Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday Folds: Christmas Cracker

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  When I compare the state of the weather to our state of mind and our circumstances, subject to change and fluctuation like the weather, then I still have some hope that things may get better.  - Vincent van Gogh
 How is it that words written 130 years ago by Vincent van Gogh can feel the same as the words a good friend would share with me sitting next to me?  I am so grateful that van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo were preserved and published because I am finding a friend in van Gogh's words...let alone his drawings and paintings.  Yes, when I am feeling down I need to remember that, like the weather, my mood will likely fluctuate.  Or, as my mom likes to say, "This too shall pass."  I've actually been feeling pretty good lately - content in my life - grateful for all that I have (except for the piles of papers cluttering my work spaces ;)  And I am so grateful to have found such a special friend in van Gogh :)
I am so excited about today's project for Friday Folds!  I found out how to make this Christmas cracker as a member of Paper Crafter's Library!  During the Christmas season you can sign up for free for the 12 weeks of Christmas program!  (you can still sign up for the final week)!  Projects are sent to you once a week and you can access videos and pdf files of the projects for one week.  After that time, the projects remain available only if you are a member of Paper Crafter's Library.  This Christmas cracker begins with a toilet paper roll!!!!!  You adhered folded (that's why this project is shared as part of Friday Folds) and fringed tissue paper to the ends and you can fill it with whatever you like (mine has 6 mini candy canes inside!).  You can then decorate as you wish!  Here I used Festival of Prints designer paper along with stamps from Priority Mail and No Peeking.  A bit of stitched Gumball Green ribbon finishes the cracker!  I hope you like it!  A special thank you to Andrea Walford and Paper Crafter's Library for sharing this adorable idea!!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Be Of Good Cheer Gift Tag

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Better to say but a few words, but filled with meaning, than to speak many that are but idle sounds as easy to utter as they are useless.  - Vincent van Gogh
I guess I would be best to leave Vincent's few words that are filled with meaning to stand alone for today's lesson from the craft room :)
When it comes time for holiday stamping, I confess to gathering my stamps, both old and new, for the task!  This tag uses an old favorite, Block Party (retired), that I stamped onto Naturals Ivory card stock with Always Artichoke ink.  You could EASILY recreate a similar look with the Jolly Jingles wheel or by taking the sentiment stamps from any Christmas set and, with the help of a stamp-a-ma-jig, stamp the sentiments and images one on top of the other :)  Next, I cut a tag from Always Artichoke card stock and stamped it with the small star from Pennant Parade.  I then added a piece of Be Of Good Cheer designer paper across the bottom.  After adhering the stamped image with dimensionals, I cut a thin strip of designer paper and wrapped it around a candy cane that I had tied with hemp twine.  I put a dab of glue on the candy cane wrapper to help it stay in place.  A punched small star from the Festival of Prints designer series paper was added, along with some twine in the punched hole.  I hope you like it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: An Unexpected Bird!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  See The Extraordinary In The Ordinary!
I recently purchased Carla Sonheim's book Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals.  I am fascinated by Carla's creative process for drawing her animals - finding inspiration in sidewalk cracks, oil blots on the pavement, the bark of a tree.  I took my camera out on a walk with me the other day and started photographing asphalt cracks that I have likely walked by and over hundreds of times over the past few years.  Now that I am reading her book, I saw these cracks in totally different ways!  Right before my eyes were fantastical horses and mysterious birds!  I saw outlines of mystical frogs and magical cats!  What was once ordinary had become extraordinary!  This mindset came with me as I began to brush together fallen blooms from my Christmas cactus plant.  Once I had the fallen flowers and pollen in a pile and I was about to scoop them up to compost them, all of a sudden I noticed a beautiful winged creature - a bird of pink and orange with diaphanous wings!  I grabbed my camera and snapped a photo before escorting this lovely bird to the compost bin :)  I know that it will inspire a drawing or a mixed media piece!  Where can you find the extraordinary in the ordinary????

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Two Ways Tuesday: No Peeking!

I've been busy preparing for my upcoming Holiday Cards & Tags Stamp-a-Stack so I've been putting the No Peeking stamp set to a lot of good use!  Here are two of the holiday tags I've created using the set.
This stamp set really doesn't need special techniques to create simply adorable projects!  Here I die cut a large circle with the Clear Circle Bigz die (you can use a large circle punch as well).  I stamped the reindeer using Chocolate Chip ink and then used an office hole punch to punch a Real Red circle.  I then glued the circle to the middle of the reindeer's face and covered it with Crystal Effects :)  The sentiment was stamped with Real Red ink and the trees with Bashful Blue ink.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the card stock is Pool Party.  I then used the crop-a-dile to punch a hole at the top and added retired Real Red satin ribbon (I miss having current "thicker" ribbon - so happy to see some 1 1/4" two-tone ribbon in the new Spring catalog!!!!).  On the back of the tag I stamped more trees and added the "Jolly Christmas" sentiment with Real Red ink.
For this second tag I decided to bring out the Holiday Stocking Bigz die :)  I inked up the snowman stamp with markers - Cherry Cobber and Basic Black and stamped him on the main part of the sock (cutting him out of a separate piece of card stock and then putting him on the stocking would be adorable...I just know that my workshop attendees would roll their eyes at me if I made them do too much fussy cutting :)  On the Cherry Cobbler parts of the stocking I stamped Whisper White craft ink using an image from Pennant Parade.  I confess, the sentiment is from a retired SU! set - I tend to bring out retired Christmas sets every once in awhile in order to use different greetings :)
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Two Ways Tuesday and I hope it inspires you to use whatever stamps you have to make adorable tags for your holiday gift-giving!!!!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Scrappy Tree Holiday Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I cannot tell you how happy I am that I have taken up drawing again.  I had been thinking about it for a long time, but always considered it impossible & beyond my abilities.  - Vincent van Gogh
I have been reading The Letters of Vincent van Gogh and have come to feel that if Vincent and I had met one another we would have become friends :)  I have been connecting with his words so much and will be sharing quite a few of his thoughts with you as I continue to read his letters to his brother Theo.  I was struck by the above quote!  Even Vincent thought drawing was impossible and beyond him!!!!!  How cool is that?!  What he didn't do was surrender!  He just let that thought come and go and then kept at it - practicing drawing, over and over, until, as he described it, "what seemed utterly impossible to me before is gradually becoming possible now."  What do you feel is impossible?  I have to agree with Vincent that drawing has always felt beyond my reach.  So what am I going to do about it?  I'm going to take Vincent's approach - practice and let the thought of doubt come and go.  Maybe I to can make the impossible become possible!  How about you????
Today's card came at the request of a neighbor.  She needed 25 Christmas cards and I told her I could whip some up for her :)  I know, I know - the supplies are mostly retired now, but since I had them leftover I decided to use them versus purchasing something new.  Of course, a very similar card could be created with current stamps and designer paper, so I thought it was worth sharing with you!  I ended up tearing strips of 12x12 paper and then gluing them together to form about a 12x6 pieced together section of torn strips.  I then created a triangle template using chipboard and traced the triangle out on the backside of my pieced strips and then cut them out.  Next I used 2-way glue and dazzling diamonds glitter to give the trees some sparkle :)  A small rectangle of Chocolate Chip card stock was glued to the Crumb Cake card base and the greeting from Sincere Salutations (retired) was stamped with Chocolate Chip ink.  I then added the tree with dimensionals.  So easy and so fun and festive!  I hope you like it!!!!  And yes, I am covered in glitter from creating all the trees ;)