Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year!

A few pieces of my vintage and not-so vintage Christmas jewelry

God bless us, every one!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm A Winner!

I won this set of rubber stamps by commenting on a craft blog I follow on YouTube. Actually, I won 5 stamps, but one, an adorable image of a piece of wrapped candy, fell behind my dresser and I can't get to it, ugh. (I'm sorry, R.J.!) I didn’t even realize I was entering a contest. I usually try and leave comments on craft videos regardless if there is a contest or not, so this was a nice surprise.

Guys are rare in the crafting community and this one, R.J. Avery is just the nicest fellow and very talented. My daughter Dawn and I learn something from him just about every time we watch one of his craft videos.
I stamped the gingerbread with white embossing powder, but I wasn't happy with the result. I just so happened to have a 3-D embellishment of the same little guy only a little smaller. I popped him up directly on top of my stamp, which allowed the stamp to sort of highlight the sticker. I like the affect, and, good save! The inside sentiment is a sticker.
Isn't the mouse just the cutest little thing you ever did see?! I embossed him with black detail embossing powder and colored his sweater with a red glittery gel pen. There are two different patterns of Washi tape along the bottom, one on top of the other. I surrounded the mouse with opaque Christmas tree and snowflakes stickers. I used another sticker for the sentiment and added a couple of more snowmen.
The Christmas tree stamp is so pretty! I stamped it several times using clear VersaMark embossing ink and silver detailed embossing powder. I love the affect of the silver embossing powder, it's my favorite. The trees didn't show up as well as I wanted them to, so I colored them in with various shades of green colored pencil and gave the front a light coating of green ink with my Tim Holtz blending tool. I used the same silver embossing powder on the inside sentiment using one of the new stamps.
I've never been challenged to make a certain type of card, but I'd do it again, it was really fun. Thanks again, R.J., have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


My daughter Stumbled me an Etsy seller, Recycled Souvenirs, who sells things made out of aluminum cans cut from craft dies, you know, like some of the ones I have. LIKE THE ONES *I* HAVE! I couldn’t get to the recycling bin fast enough to cut a few cans and give it a try! Surprisingly, I didn’t cut myself, yay.
It was fun figuring out which dies would look good in aluminum form and then seeing them come to life. To give you an idea of size, the bird cage is about 4-inches high. I learned a lot, mostly to be more observant as to which side should be the right side, and that a variety of soda cans would make for some interesting patterns. (But I only buy Coke, don’t know if I can sacrifice taste for the sake of crafting, haha!)
The cool thing about the dies is that they sort of bend the edges as they cut so they’re not sharp. Also, even though aluminum is pretty tough these are still fragile and bend quite easily. These would be great for card-making (of course!) scrapbooking, magnets, pictures, and other crafty-type things along those lines.

Check out the camera piece that Etsy seller has up, it’s what got me so excited. I don’t know who they are, but for all the trouble it takes to make these puppies they’re very reasonably priced.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Ornament Exchange

My daughters and I signed up for an ornament exchange and this is one of the ornaments we came up with. I'm having a lot of fun with the new Tim Holtz snowflake die!
I cut them all out, the girls folded them and attached the ends, and I pulled my hot glue gun out of its holster and went to work. Dawn made the finishing touches since these were actually her project. (She had another project half-way done and the epoxy didn't set right, so they were ruined. Que Plan B.)

Dawn also ordered wooden snowflakes and had them drill a hole at the top for ribbon.
She sprayed them with pearly and blue colored mist and attached them to the outside of her packaging.
Here's a shot of her bags tucked amongst some of the other fabulous ornaments that were brought. Mine are right in front of hers, the envelopes with the rosette and Washi tape.
Valerie's ornaments are in the green boxes with ribbon.

She made the most adorable yarn balls with knitting needles on them!
She started with a paper mache form that came with a gold hanger attached to it already, which was a great help. She painted on the glue a little at a time and wrapped the first layer of yarn over it in a circular pattern. The second layer was applied by putting glue directly on the strand of yarn and winding it around. This was very time-consuming, but well-worth the results.
The knitting needles were made with skewers cut in half. It took a bit of searching, but she found beads to fit the tips and glued them in place.
I already posted about my ornaments, but here are the stars I made in case you missed it.
I cut my stars from natural-colored card stock using a die and gave each star 3 layers of embossing powder and hit them with my heat gun. (I may have a few fingerprints left!) The center star was so tiny, though, I couldn't hold it to emboss it, so I cut it from some pretty sparkly paper, the same I used for the backing.
I wrapped each one with tissue paper and tucked them inside little gold office envelopes I had inked up to give it some age. I put Washi tape around it to make it look like a gift then added my handmade rosettes as a finished touch. I also put a strip of Washi tape on the back. At the party everyone was more interested in the tape than anything else because they had never heard of it...can you imagine? hahaha! It was neat to be able to be excited and tell them all about the wonders of this magical thing we are all hoarding nowadays.
Here's a photo of the other ornaments from the exchange (I stole it from my niece's Facebook!). So much talent!
Reindeer, two glass ornaments with curled paper, elf, snowman, little felt Russian doll (what a lot of work! I mean, they all were, but this was pretty intricate), ceramic critters, plastic form filled with snow, and then ours. It was a fabulous ornament exchange with some pretty fabulous women.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Homemade Refrigerator Roll Dough

Making Clover leaf rolls is one of my proudest achievements in the kitchen. My go-to cookbook is an old Betty Crocker book, a just married gift from my bff, Lauri. It's battered and well-used, the best pages being the messiest. I highly recommend Betty's recipe (as well as other recipes found in this book, like the best peanut butter cookies in the entire world!). It's the closest thing to my dad's clover leaf rolls I can make.
I made a batch for Thanksgiving and they rose nice and high, the best I've ever made, I think.
A couple of days after Thanksgiving my daughters suggested I make more, but I told them they'd have to wait for Christmas. Well, I caved and whipped up another batch.
What's neat about this dough, besides the fact it makes A LOT of rolls, is that it keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days. So I made some the other day and just now took the last of the rolls out of the oven. I made mini rolls and had enough left over to make a tiny cake-pan full.
I had some turkey breast, so I made myself a little sandwich from half of the pan bread. It was messy, the rolls separated because it was still warm from the oven, but I didn't care, the effort to keep it together was worth every bite! I wish this blog had smell-a-vision!