Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crafting in the car and other Holiday Fun!

I think he's my favorite project!More below....
OK so I tend to get a bit rushed during the Holidays, and this year is no exception. This year I have three girl in three different schools! So, I had to finish the goodie bags for my littlest one in the car while she went into her preschool was only putting things in bags and tying on tags but this just might be the closest I've come to not finishing! SO here I am finally to share some of my Christmas crafts with everyone...enjoy, maybe next year I'll be ahead?
I did manage to snap a quick pic of the goodie bags LOL. These are the best thing since white paper lunch bags, clearly! Just maybe my new love...Inside are some cool tic tac toe mini games and some cute tissues B picked out. Both from the dollar section at Target. But the best thing of all you'll see in my next picture. Candy cane spoons! Everyone I gave them to, young and old went crazy fro them. I got them way ahead of time in mass quantities(we're talking free shipping) way ahead of Christmas since I knew they were a must have. Loving Oriental Trading Company this year!

So this is what I did with them....a mug with a coco package and a small baggie of mini marshmallows. If you look closely some of the mugs have snowman shaped ones from WalMart. The girls said the French Vanilla taste wasn't so good so I tried to give them mostly to adults though.

I am sharing the SVG file for this paper mug below....

We made coco cups for all the girls specials teachers(music, art, etc.) and the main teachers all got a mini bucket of extras too. I made a set of hand-warmers(same as last year but with real organic lavender oil) and a set of aloe infused spa socks as a cupcake...are you feeling the warm fuzzies yet?

Somehow K was recognized as the girl who gave out hand-warmers last year as gifts so her new teachers for this year got their own lavender and vanilla infused ones...the men got vanilla, and the one teacher who she had last year got another set his since wife took his. :) Sorry somehow no pics of those. Check last years post for some info if you'd like.
I make "the savages" help out. It's for their teachers, and then they are proud to deliver the gifts.
 I like to work in stations with an assembly line approach so I took over the dining room and the girls all helped, but somehow it was as hectic as last year and the year before. Then as I was finishing the last few items I had an just two years my little one will need gifts for her specials teachers on top oof the two preschool ones this year...and they'll likely have to be different since she'll be at the elementary school with G. Well, luckily K will have all new teachers so it's hand-warmers part three! :)

But here's my favorite project of all so far....a few ornaments. I helped my daughter make a set of ornaments for our Girl Scout gift exchange. She made a set of Ravens ornaments and a Monogram one in the girls favorite color. They were a hit! Because we have an odd number of girls I exchanged with one of the girls and made a Ravens one, a monogram one and also this little snowman. He wasn't a complete success at first but after a happy accident he turned out sooo cute!

These are plastic ornaments swirled with Glitter it glue then we put in Martha Stewart's glitters. After that I cut out images and lettering from white vinyl using MTC to import and SVG. I should have used the wrap function in the program but instead snipped the image a bit to make it year huh?
For my little Ravens fan friends..

I need to make more of these!He swings around so nicely.
Now for this guy.  He was a disaster at first! I initially used MTC to print, then cut his image from a plastic sheet that was supposed to work in the inkjet printer.(Image from Lettering Delights) I punched a small hole in his hat and used white thread to make a hanger for him. After I bent him and put him through the top of the ornament he popped back into shape as planned, so I used a glue dot on the inside of the top to get him to hang just right.....He looked fine at first. Actually he looked awesome. Then when he was unwrapped and all of his ink had come off! So, back to the drawing board. I ended up doing a print and cut on paper with another image flipped for on the back. I then just took the plastic part out and adhered the paper snowman to the plastic. This allowed me to bend it to fit into the opening but then it popped right back into shape after it was inside! I really want to make more of these!!

OK so here is my oh so simple mug file... I sized it so that the bottom was just shy of 3". It is way far from perfect. To make the mugs I folded the tabs in and started from the one right at the edge. Next I followed the curve just taping the tabs down to the circle using ATG tape and ending up overlapping the last and first tab a bit on the inside of the mug. Next I placed the second circle on the bottom of the mug to cover the tabs and give it some stability. The overlap f the paper is also to give it some strength. I used fairly ugly and plain Astrobrights cover stock left over from another project.

Here's a few step by step pics...I glued the handle together then spread the tabs to put them on the mug with Scotch quick dry glue. For next year I am thinking of making a slit to fit the tabs through.

SVG for mug on 4Shared
MTC for mug on 4Shared

*Or maybe these are my favorite project...hmmm decisions decisions...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Tumbler

Hi everyone, my little ones (all of them, even the 13 yo) loved these "tumblers" so much over Easter I thought they might like some new ones...for Christmas. I first saw the idea for these very old style toys on Family A website that always inspires me. It takes nearly no time at all and they create so much fun! I have created an SVG file, a SUT2 file and a .cut file for everyone which I will attempt to share at the bottom of the page.
These little things tumble end over end "magically" :)
After cutting out the file on your machine score these folds...a heavier cardstock tends to hold up better.
This adhesive is called "scoretape" but I also like Scotch quick dry adhesive. If this is your first time to my blog. let me tell you how much I love scoretape...well maybe not or you won't come back...LOL "Red tape" also works well but be sure your double sided tape doesn't extend beyond the and keep the marbles from rolling freely.

OK so you can use whatever you want for your ramp, even an ironing board or an even longer cushion but it does need a bit of friction so it wont just slide down anticlimactically without flipping...really sad when that happens... also it can be a fun challenge to get it balanced on edge (without bending the paper). 

Please note that I am just a mom and comments (nice ones) keep me sane. I ask you to please not share this file, instead refer them to my site. Also please do not create this for profit, including contests, without my permission. Instead, contact me ahead of time if you want to use my file. Thanks and enjoy!
SVG on 4Shared
SCUT2 on 4 Shared
CUT on 4Shared (uses Plantin Schoolbook)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Advent Calendars

 Why new? Well because four advent calenders just simply isn't enough. LOL. And I was eager to try the wonderful deign from I was able to do these using my Cricut Expression  and even though it was a bit time consuming it went very well. I made three...and each one got easier. If you visit the site you can see that they offer a video for projects to show exactly how their trickier projects got together. The tips were so helpful!
Here are the three in the hallway at the top of the steps
 My two older daughters got traditional Christmas colors cut from the DCWV stack from my stash. Little B got her traditional mostly pink one using the Jingle paper pack from Close To My Heart.
 This si what the inside boxes look like. There is about an inch of depth and each box varied in size. I had fun finding little trinkets and candies to fill it in. It was just right for chap sticks and small items but the last opening fir a small angel ornament for the last night.
She was so excited she wanted to model it for everyone. :)

*Note: This is a rewrite of my original post which got accidentally deleted. :( Sorry to say this isn't as good a tale as the original but I still wanted to share this with my readers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

For the season of Thanks and Giving

Our tree full of leaves and with  a yellow ribbon in honor of soldiers sailors and airmen still deployed.
This tree represents one of the most wonderful memories to be etched into my heart.

In order to bring a sense of gratitude to the Holidays I wanted to create something unique.  Since I had recently seen a "spooky tree" made from paper bags on the site for Halloween it popped into my mind that it might make a good gratitude tree. I decided to try it on a larger scale suing several large shopping bags.

This is our tree before the leaves...
Unfortunately a blog accident has left me with now pictures of the prcess so I'll try to describe as best I can how I made this tree. First I cut down one side of a large paper grocery bag then cut around the bottom to create a sigle flat piece. I tore this in two so that I had two long pieces to work with. For this tree I used two bags which gave me four longer pieces.(woohoo I found some iphone pics)

Next I taped the pieces overlapping to cover a sauce jar, I think Ragu pizza sauce but I could be mistaken. LOL Then, using a spray bottle of water I lightly misted the strips and twisted them around until I felt it looked right. It was a make it up as you go along kind project after all.
Here's how it started out:

 Then, using a spray bottle of water I lightly misted the strips and twisted them around until I felt it looked right. It was a make it up as you go along kind project after all.
 Next I decided the center needed some support so I grabbed a bit of everything in the kitchen drawer. I think what worked best was bamboo kitchen skewers for the center and straws for the limbs. You can't tell but they are inside there...and I just taped it all together the best I could with double sided tape inside some sections.

 After the trunk started to dry it became a bit more stable. The rest of the tree was simply created by dividing and twisting the four strips into two or three smaller sections over and over, allowing the tree to "branch out" and take shape.

The leaves were cut using my Cricut Expresssion, but I am not sure of the cartridge. Any simple leaf shape will do. I used several colors and sizes just for fun.

This last part is my favorite. :)

At first I was thinking the project turned out pretty but not as effective as hoped. I sat down with the girls and explained the idea of writing on the leaves and soon they thought of a few things and put a few leaves on. Well I wasn't overwhelmed with the initial response frankly and had hoped for better.

But after Thanksgiving dinner was all done and everyone was puttering around the house doing various things. I spied G (my intense middle child) in the dining room writing. I was so surprised when she told me she was filling in the tree! Slowly and quietly my other two girls joined us as we had a more heartfelt discussion and filled nearly every speck of the tree up. This was a moment a Mother lives for! Best day ever!

*Note:This is a rewrite of my original post which got accidentally deleted. :( Sorry to say this isn't as good a tale as the original but I still wanted to share this with my readers.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Princess Party!

This smile is worth all the work!

It was my littlest daughter's first ever birthday party. She turned four and after watching her sister have parties she had quiet a wish list! It definitely had to be a princess party, with lots of pink. After planning out the cake, she saw this cake topper online and fell in love. Soon after however, she began to change her mind about so many of the details and it took plenty of talking to convince her she could not have a sleepover. She also decided she wanted cupcakes, but couldn't decide on chocolate or vanilla cake. So there was a compromise that worked out well. The cake was both chocolate and vanilla layers which I torted (cut into thinner layers after baking) in an effort to get more frosting into the cake and make DH happy too. There were going to be 9-10 kids plus the parents so I was happy with this option too.

 FOr the cake I used chocolate frosting instead of my traditional homemade chocolate ganache but I have to say. It really wasn't any easier and I had such a difficult time putting the fondant over it! For one thing the consistency stays the same throughout instead of the ganache which goes on soft and goey, allowing you to spead it well. But then Ganache hardens just right to make it easy to cover. Lesson learned! I didn't end up saving any time.
 The cupcakes were super easy but I couldn't find the right tip for the frosting and ended up just cutting a hole in my plastic bag and then topping with some edible silver glitter. :) My soses were super simple gumpaste. Just  a strip rolled and pinched at the end...the Wilton brand in the plastic bag is so nice to work with.
 After perusing blogs for a while I found an idea to make little take home skirts for the girls which doubled as chair decorations. It was super easy to simply tie the tulle strips onto the wide ribbon that I got from one of my favorite sites, I literally buy hundreds of yards of ribbon at a time and this stuff is delightful!
 The young Prince who was invited got a shield cut with my cricut cutter from the Blackletter solutions cartridge with silver paper which is difficult to see. I used two loops of ribbon to make it easy to carry around and then tied it on as well.
 Her's the whole table I was able to lay out...
 Each guest sat down to a place mat which was actually a silver cake board. The crowns were from the dollar section at Target (what a find!) and even the prince got a handsome one. Then the plates were layed and my oldest daughter made paper "flowers" from the napkins. The castle box was actually a juice box holder with "handles" so that there were no spills from squeezing the drinks. :) I printed the images onto cardstock using a set of graphics from Lettering delights and used a punch to make scalloped circles.
 Thanks to an idea form a friend, I put some tulle in various colors tied to the ceiling. The kids loved the effect so much that my G wnts to do it for her party too. Hmmm somehow these things are getting more elaborate each time
 I was able to find a unicorn to make a poster for "place the horn on the unicorn" and it was so funny to watch them learn this new game....
And what is better than a simple white bag? Only one with a beautiful ribbon tied to it. So I broke out the good old standard and just put the goodies in with the wands peeking out and loved the basic look.

*Note: This is a rewrite of my original post which got accidentally deleted. :( Sorry to say this isn't as good a tale as the original but I still wanted to share this with my readers.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holiday Magic!

New Month New deals!
Close to My Hearts new Stamp of the month is in plenty of time to help us work our “Magic” for the Christmas Holidays!