Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Deck The Halls

I didn't intend to take so long in posting this. We have all been passing a flu, then a cold, around the house for the last week or so. But, now that the sniffles and aches have all cleared up, I'm back in action. January's "12 Months of Christmas" project is a home decor item, as opposed to a gift. If you're in possession of some vintage Christmas light reflectors, this will be a perfect project for you. If you don't already have any, there are many lots available for purchase on eBay. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles so shop around. Here's a peek at the final result...

We'll start with a list of supplies:

* One wreath form. For the example pictured above, I used a 9" wreath. But, I have also made an extra one that I will be giving away that is made from a 14" form.

* Tinsel garland. Mine is vintage, purchased off eBay. Obviously, you can still buy it in stores too... in a variety of textures, thicknesses and colors. I'm thinking a vintagey-looking white color would look even nicer than the silver. I might have to give that a try on another wreath. The 14" wreath required about 18" of garland. That works out to be about 1.29" of garland for every inch of wreath.

* 2 yards of ribbon (2 feet for the hanger, 4 feet for the bow). The ribbon I used is red satin in a 2 1/4" width, available at Michael's.

* 1 3/4" T-Pins. The amount you need varies from wreath to wreath. I bought a box of 28 pins, and that was more than enough for 2 wreaths with several pins left over.

* Vintage Christmas light reflectors. The amount you'll need varies depending on how many you want on your wreath, the size of the reflectors, and the size of the wreath.

* Flat-backed rhinestones in a variety of colors. You can also use jeweled brads. The beaded flower brads I used are from K & Co, and are available at Michael's.

* Hot glue gun.

Step 1: Use a dot of hot glue to adhere one end of the garland to the wreath form. Begin wrapping the garland tightly around the form until the whole thing is covered. Secure the other end of the garland to the form with another dot of hot glue.

Step 2: Take a 2' length of ribbon, and wrap it around the top of the wreath to make a loop. Secure the ends of the ribbon together with a line of hot glue.

Step 3: Secure the hanging loop to the wreath with a T-pin.

Step 4: Use the remaining 4' length of ribbon to tie a bow. You'll have to fiddle with it until you get it looking just right. Once you do, trim the ends of the bow. Then, secure the bow, using a couple more T-pins behind the center of the bow, over the pin you've used to attach the hanging loop to the wreath.

Step 5: Flatten the backs of any jeweled brads you are using. Then, use a dot of hot glue to attach them to T-pins.

Step 6: Attach the flat-backed rhinestones on top of T-pins using dots of hot glue.

Step 7: Use the jeweled pins you've made to attach the light reflectors to the wreath.

Voila! Your wreath is complete. Hang, and enjoy! And, if you want to bypass the whole hassle of making one of these wreaths, just leave me a comment here. You have until Saturday at 11:59 pm PST. On Sunday, I'll draw a random winner to receive the extra wreath that I made! :D

Monday, February 16, 2009

February pretties...

So, how about some layouts from the gorgeous February Label Tulip kit? This month, we decided to keep it simple with one main kit and no add-ons. That way, everyone has a chance to use up their stash and clear some room for all of the new CHA goodies that will start arriving next month! *wink, wink* There might even be a little project kit that I've worked up for your crafting pleasure. So, keep your eyes peeled in the future for that. *nudge, nudge*

Anyway, in the absence of pools of product I'm usually swimming in from the add-ons, it gave me an opportunity to play with some mediums and techniques that were either new to me, or I hadn't used in a really long time. For instance, this page...

With Dina Wakley as our guest designer this month, who wouldn't be inspired to try their hand at some spray inks? I've had these things in my crafting arsenal forever, but was a little too timid to use them. This month, I figured I'd give it a go. And, I added my own little unique glittering technique to boot.

Unfortunately, this page didn't photograph as beautifully as it looks in person. For one thing, the snowflake sequins sewn around the edge aren't black in real life. They are more of an iridescent blue-grey. And, from the photo, you can't really notice the fine detail of the glittering technique, but I'll explain it anyway.

First, you place the vine-shaped piece of chipboard from this 7Gypsies package onto a piece of plain-colored cardstock...

I ran the chipboard shape through my Xryon with a repositionable adhesive cartridge. Once it is on the page, apply a light coating of spray adhesive over the chipboard. Working quickly, before the adhesive dries, lightly sprinkle some antique silver glass glitter. Now, if all you want to do is the glittering technique, you can go ahead and remove the chipboard shape from the paper. You'll be left with a gorgeous vine design in the negative space surrounded by beautiful glitter. But, I went ahead and left the chipboard shape in place while I sprayed some brown and turquoise spray inks over the top. Then, I removed the vine. I also rubbed the edges of the cardstock with some turquoise pigment ink and brown glitter gel before I stamped around the edges with the Label Tulip exclusive bubble wrap stamp from last month's kit. Lots of fun techniques!

I have been dying to get my hands on these Amy Butler butterfly die cut sheets from K & Company for quite some time now. They were lots of fun to play with... both the butterfly dies themselves, and the negative space left behind. Both were used for my layout, "Butterfly Kisses."

And, look... there's that vine again! This time, the actual piece of chipboard. I didn't do anything to it. This is just what it looked like when I pulled it off the other page after it was sprinkled with glitter and spray inks.

A touch of spray inks on this page too...

I've been digging through all of my older photos, trying to get them scrapped. I took this picture of Hazel when she was a little over a year old. I've always loved the photo, but had a hard time finding the right stuff to scrap it with. I think this worked out perfectly! I can't believe how much she has changed and grown over the years! This was also my interpretation of the member gallery lift for this month.

Our challenge at LT this month was to make a card. Any card. Any theme. Any size. I thought it would be a nice challenge for a month that we were a little light on product. This was my contribution.

For the technique on the wings... Start with the chipboard wings from that same set of 7Gypsies shapes that the vine came from. Using the direct-to-paper technique, pounce on the wings with your choice of colored pigment ink pad. Heat-set the ink with an embossing gun. Once the ink is dry, apply a crackle glaze (available at Michael's) over the top of the chipboard according to package instructions; allow to dry. Once dry and cracks have formed, use Q-tips to apply some metallic pigment cream over the wing. The cream will fill in the cracks created by the glaze. Once the cracks are entirely filled, wipe the excess pigment cream from the top of the shape. Finally, apply some silver Stickles to the edges of the wings with your fingertip.; allow to dry. I even added some extra dimension to the card by stuffing some PolyFill behind the paper heart as I sewed it to the card.

This month was full of great experimental fun. I relished in old techniques that I had long forgotten, and ever dabbled in some new stuff. I hope it inspires you to do the same! Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I have a couple of Label Tulip peeks to share. I'm running so behind this week. As soon as we got back from the cheerleading competition, Hazel came down with the flu. We've spent all week passing it around the family. Ugh. But, I managed to sneak in some scrapping time yesterday... FINALLY. And, I'll get the rest done today. Whew! I hate cutting it so close, but I hope you enjoy these little sneaks...


If you still need a scrapping fix, you can check out my monthly post on the Pink Paislee blog from yesterday. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We're back!

We just got back home from Hazel's cheerleading competition in Concord/Charlotte, NC. Her team, The Tiny Twisters, from Storm All-Star Cheerleadering did really well! Out of 8 teams, they came in 4th place! And, Hazel's sign was a hit! I recorded her performance to share with the world (or the select few of you that read my blog). ;0) The speakers at the competition were behind me when I was filming, so you can't hear the music all that well. But, you can definitely hear the little ladies cheer! Please keep in mind, this is a team of 4-6 year olds... they're just learning the ropes. And, I think it's beyond adorable! Go Storm! (Hazel starts off in the back on the left-hand side of the screen).

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's that time...

for Friday Fill-Ins!

1. Please don't tell anyone that I used to collect Beanie Babies. How seriously embarrassing. And, big thanks go out to my mom for that. I've since sold them all in a garage sale. Amazingly enough, that rare blue elephant never made me a thousandairre as promised. LOL!

2. Can you drink coffee in the morning? I can't. Or any other time of the day, for that matter. I've never acquired the taste for it. Blech.

3. The color pink makes me want to puke! Well, puke may be a bit strong. But, I don't dig pink. I've never been that kind of girly-girl, and I don't look good in pink anyway. Unfortunately, Hazel is infatuated with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING pink.

4. I have a craving for sushi. That's an odd thing to crave at 9:00 in the morning. But, I could eat sushi all day everyday. *drool*

5. If my life had a pause button, I'd pause it right now. And, I would enjoy what will probable be one of the last weekends that Bryan will be home for the next 1 year+. We're ramping up for another deployment, lots of lock-down schools, and preparatory planning. We won't be seeing much of him from here on out. :0(

6. Eyes are the gateway to the soul. Isn't that how the saying goes? I think you can tell a lot by watching people's eyes... especially during conversation. They can be very telling.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating at Cheddar's. We haven't eaten at one since we lived in Dallas. We're traveling to Charlotte for a cheerleading competition, and they happen to have one of 2 Cheddar's in North Carolina. Bryan and I have been craving their Buffalo Chicken Wrapper ever since we left Dallas. Hmmm... maybe I should change my answer on #4. Tomorrow my plans include cheering Hazel on in her cheerleading competition. Go Storm All-Stars! And Sunday, I want to clean! Well, I don't really WANT to clean, but it's what needs to be done. *sigh*

I was up late last night making this nifty sign for Hazel's cheerleading competition this weekend.

I knew my mad skills (and insanely huge scrapbooking stash) would come in handy for something else one day! LOL! Miss Hazel will have the best sign in the house, if I do say so myself. Now, if any of my readers are from Texas, I have a questions for you. Do you know of any good online stores to get things to make homecoming mums? And, anybody that isn't from Texas, and thinks they know what a homecoming mum is... you have no idea. Texas just does 'em different. And, like everything else... BIGGER! Anyway, I'm not looking to make a mum, I just want some of the things they use to make some signs and noisemakers for Hazel's big competition in Myrtle Beach next month. But, all of the sites I found on Google, you either needed a business license to buy wholesale, or they didn't have a good selection. Link me up if you know of any great places on the www, please.

Everyone else... have a FANTABULOUS weekend! I'll be back on Sunday or Monday with February's 12 Months of Christmas project. I have it done, but totally forgot to take pictures while I was making it. DOH! So, I'm going to make another one and photo the process. I'll have a little giveaway to go along with it, so don't forget to check back!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jingle Dogs!

Okay, so I must admit, I got off to a bit of a bad start on my 12 months of Christmas. But, never fear! I am totally caught up. Not only do I have January's project completed (finally), but I have February's project done as well. I'll wait to share the 2nd project for a couple of days so that we can parcel the creativity out a bit. But, here is January's project in all it's stuffed cuteness...

I found this cute little sock dog project in one of Martha Stewart's Christmas issues a few years back, and had been wanting to try to make one ever since. There are several different adjustments that you can make to the original pattern to customize the dog's features. I made this little guy as a stocking stuffer for my mom. She loves schnauzers, so this is my stuffed version of the breed. Here's what you'll need before you get started...

* A pair of socks - neutral colored if you want a traditional looking dog, or you can funk it up with something more colorful (*new* clean ones, please... nobody wants to receive an adorable stuffie that stinks of toe jam)

* Poly fill or some other sort of stuffing

* Needle, thread, scissors.

* To give you pup some personality, you might want some buttons for eyes, pipe cleaners if you want to make the ears stand up, a pom-pom or button for the nose, ribbons for a collar, another patterned sock to make a sweater for your doggie, or anything else to doll your stuffed pal up.

Step 1: Cut the elastic top edge off of one sock.

Step 2: Turn the sock inside-out, and lie it flat with the heel facing up. Cut the top portion of the sock up the middle, to the heel. This will create the back legs of your dog.

Step 3: Trim the legs to the desired length for the breed of dog you are trying to create.

Step 4: Stitch the legs together, but leave a gap between the legs so that the dog can be stuffed. Here's where I would do something a little different than the article suggested. Go ahead and stitch the feet closed too. Turn the sock back to right-side-out. They have you stitching the feet closed after you turn the sock right-side-out, and it looks kind of funny. So, just do it before. Then, stuff your dog.

Step 5: After you're done stuffing, stitch the hole in the middle of the legs together.

Step 6: Bend the front of the sock "body" upwards to create a neck. Stitch in place.

Step 7: Now, it's time to start working with the 2nd sock. Cut it up to match the pieces pictured below. The toe of the sock will be the ears. The heel will be the head. The ankle will be the front legs. And, the top elastic band will be the tail.

Step 8: Start by working with the heel portion of the sock to form the head. Pull the shorter end of the sock over the neck of the stuffed dog; stitch in place.

Step 9: Stuff the head, and stitch it closed. Here's where you start to build the personality of your dog. To create the look of a schnauzer, I sewed the head together vertically. To create a dog with a longer "muzzle" and more rounded features, stitch it together horizontally.

Step 10: Now for the ears! Cut the toe portion of the sock in half vertically. Then, trim each half to the desired look of the ears... long and floppy, short and pointy. I opted for short and pointy since most schnauzers have docked ears. Turn each ear inside-out; stitch together leaving the bottom of the ear open.

Step 11: Turn the ears back right-side-out. If you want your dogs ears to stick up, like mine, insert a pipe cleaner into the unsewn opening. Trim it to just inside the ear. If you want floppy ears, skip to step 12.

Step 12: Sew ears to the head of the dog.

Step 13: Onto the legs... turn each leg piece inside-out. Stitch together, leaving the top open for stuffing.

Step 14: Turn the legs back right-side-out. Stuff each leg; stitch on the front of the dog body.

Step 15: To create the tail, use the same procedure from steps 10 & 11 with the top elastic band piece from the sock. First, cut the sock to resemble the type of tail you want. Again, if you want it to stick up like mine, insert a pipe cleaner. Attach tail to dog's body.

Step 16: Now you're done sewing the dog together, and it's time to add some personality. To give it a little sweater to wear, cut the top portion off a patterned sock.

Step 17: Cut tiny little holes for the legs. Be careful not to cut them too big because they do stretch.

Step 18: Add all the little touches that give your dog some personality. I used black buttons for the eyes, and a black pom-pom for the nose. Then, to create a Christmasy collar, I used some ribbon, a paper poinsettia, and button. And, I wanted my dog in a sitting position, so I carefully stitched the lower legs to the body.

Some other things you might try...

* Add some beans or pellets to weight the feet down. Or, if you want it to sit, add some beans to the bottom. I didn't do this. But, looking back, I wish that I had.

* Add some dried lavender to the stuffing to make the pup all pretty-smelling.

* Use children's socks to make these smaller. That would make a great Christmas ornament!

The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination! Thanks for joining me on this project. I will post February's project in a couple of days along with a little RAK to go with it. In the meantime, check out the Label Tulip blog to see how you can win this nice little set of BRAND NEW goodies just off the showroom floor at CHA!