Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mini Post #2 Tree Card

Let me be real clear about the word "mini" in the title.  It has nothing to do with the amount of time it takes to complete one of these projects.

Adorable, right?  Simple?  Yes, one would think.  Well, I won't tell you how long it took me to complete this little project.

I found a backer board in the studio and I had some scrap cork material on hand.  I also had some tacky glue to meld the two together.  The glue was in one of those tall economical plastic bottles and I have had it for awhile.  There was about 1 1/2 inches in the very bottom.  After using lots of hot water and a pliers to get the cap off, I realized it would take a day and half for the glue to make it's way to the opening.  So, I used a knife to cut off the top 3/4 of the plastic container.  Rather than run back out to the studio to get a brush, I decided to just smear some glue on the backer board with my fingers.  Turns out the glue was really thick and tacky and was not spreading well, so I started adding a little water as I went.  Finally I had the board covered.  I smoothed on the cork and laid a couple heavy books on top while it dried. (rolled up cork does not want to lay flat...just thought I'd mention that.)  Now I realize I have glue in several spots on a perfectly good black top.  Off comes the shirt so I can wash it out before it sets up.  The clock is ticking away and I'm just getting started.

I get my coffee every morning from the Gelateria Del Leone and I saved a bunch of the cup sleeves on the off chance I could use them for something.  Since they are corrugated I thought I'd use these as part of my tree.  Then I got the idea to make this a Christmas card for the baristas.

I assembled a few more scraps and played around with arrangement.  Somehow mine was not looking quite like that cute little tree on Pinterest.  I tried a few different layouts and then decided to just go for it and start gluing.  This time I used the glue gun.

I tried the button idea and it was OK, but not great on my tree.  I decided to use the Gelateria logo as my tree topper.  I added a little extra mane to the lion with a piece of twine that I feathered out.  That little white dot is a straight pin.  Once you cut off the shank of the pin to the right length, it pokes nicely into the cork backing.  (Wire cutters are in the basement.  Add that to the list of stuff that is now on the table...glue gun, scissors, paper cutter, vellum, twine, pins, cardboard, white card stock, Christmas cards, buttons, and lots of slivers of paper and cardboard)

I cut "Happy Holidays" from a Christmas card in lieu of using the red/white ribbon on the sample.

I trailed a little twine from top to bottom to add more interest.

My copy cat projects take on a life of their own.  I try not to fall in love with the Pinterest version because I know mine won't be just like it.  But I still have to warm up to my own when it's finished.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Project #1 Gift Tags

Big projects are on hold right now.  There are things to come in the Spring, but the winter months I'm devoting to those little creative ideas that pop up on Pinterest.  They look cute, I pin them, and then they are forgotten.  It's time to actually make some of those things.  Since  I don't have plans to start the BIG deal for at least three months, I'm hoping my "just for fun" projects don't get derailed, and I will have several mini endeavors to post until sometime in March.

I saved this, or so I thought, to one of my boards because it was too cute (and easy) to pass up.  I wanted some gift tags for Christmas packages and decided these might just be the answer.  Turns out I didn't save it and only have this picture taken of my computer screen.

I did find it in a search on Pinterest, but not the exact same photo.  This one is from Etsy.

I have a huge supply of these tags so it made sense to use them even though the dimensions are different from the ones shown in the picture.  I cut a background paper to glue to the front of the tag, punched the hole back into the top, and I was ready for the second step.

According to the directions on Picklee.com, the bodies were cut from fabric scraps.  I decided that for my purposes, craft paper would work just as well.

I cut out the little egg shape, glued it to the background paper, outlined it with black marker, added the legs and antlers and dotted the eye.  Yes I went with the beak too.  I'm just following along with what's in front of me.

I'm making the strings long enough for the boys to get them over the branches on their tree.  It's a tree they have been decorating since Thanksgiving with ornaments they have made.  I'm confident they will find room for a couple of handmade ornaments from Grandma too.

Obviously a gift tag should have a name on it, but the boys are learning to recognize their own names in print so these serve a dual purpose.

Nothing brilliant here.  Not time consuming either.  Just taking a little time to have some fun.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wrapping It Up

There was a time when I browsed the fabric stores because I loved looking at the gorgeous colors, patterns, and textures.  Turns out I did more than look and, the result is, a lot of yardage went from their shelves to my shelves.  In recent years I have gotten my color and pattern fix from wrapping paper.

Home Goods Happy!  That's right.

I have kid's paper left from previous years, but each year they come out with something cuter.

I tell myself, "it's cheaper than fabric," as I put another roll in my cart.

And this one is great for kids but works well for adults too.  Not that I don't have lots of grown-up paper in my stash from previous years.  But...well, I don't have any really good excuses, and I suppose I really don't need to make excuses.

For this navy, red, and white paper, I used all red decorative elements.  A couple red Christmas ornaments, a spray of red berries, some foil twist wire and...

a few little beads cut from the string and glued to one reindeer's antlers.  Done!

I cut out one moose from this paper, mounted him on a piece of colored paper, and added the movable eyes.
I tied two bells to the ends of magenta foil twist garland and deemed it complete. The paper is barely noticed by a 2 1/2 yr. old in the frenzy to rip the package apart, so this is all really for me.

A little curly ribbon in red and black was all this paper needed.  How can you not be happy looking at this snowman smile?

I picked up two little sleds somewhere.  Probably a yard sale in the heat of summer.  My plan was to paint over the decals and then do something with my grandson's names on them.  But, by the time I dug these out, I was in full blown wrap and tape mode.

This one had a decal of a young girl from the early 1900's in an oval.  I selected a santa from some sticky back gift tags, cut it big enough to cover the decal and stuck it on the sled.

I used this with some paper and ribbon left over from last Christmas.

I glued some of the same ribbon onto the second sled.

And that became the ornament with this paper which is also a leftover from last year.

I will take these packages to my daughter's house for her boys. That meant I needed to wrap more to put under my tree.

If you remember from this post, the theme this year is black with sapphire on silver.  There are a couple rolls of ribbon and paper on the floor next to the tree.  I bought these to add a little variety to some paper I had on hand.

This package holds the blue bowls you saw in a previous post.

Don't worry, I'm not going to describe what is in each package.  That would be pretty silly since some of them are just empty boxes.  I am just nurturing my addiction for pretty paper and ribbon, and the rush from putting it all together.

A couple of these boxes contain gifts for the "neediest cases" which is a charity event our neighborhood contributes to each year.

For a few weeks they will remain under my tree.

I reached this point and then couldn't stop myself.  Next thing I knew, I was back at Hobby Lobby looking for more ribbon.

A few more packages were added.

I decided to add the curly glitter spirals to the top of the tree.

Then I found the teal colored branches in my seasonal closet.  I added those to the wreath on the front door.

I think I'm getting close to being finished.

Just a few more pictures in an attempt to catch the right light.

Ok, I am wrapping it up with this last photo.  I have another little project in the works and I need to get on with it.