Thursday, December 31, 2009

My new Christmas Tree Skirt!

I thought that I was done posting about Christmas items for the year, but I just had to share the Christmas tree skirt that I just finished last night. 

First, a little background . . . I am a huge Mickey Mouse fan, and the first Christmas that I had my own apartment I got a Mickey Mouse Christmas tree skirt.  It was made of red felt with a green ruffle, and it had a large felt Mickey Mouse in a Santa suit on it . . . nothing fancy, very basic, and very low cost since I was on a tight budget at the time.

Over the years as I got married and had a family I always wanted to "upgrade" to a nicer looking Christmas tree skirt, but I also wanted to hold on to the Mickey Mouse theme.  I have looked online almost every year for the past several years for a more classy and "grown-up" looking Mickey Mouse tree skirt, but I never found one that was right.

This year I decided to make a new skirt, so I started looking at Mickey Mouse fabric because if I was going to make a skirt, it was going to be one that I really liked and had everything I wanted in in.  Well, again, my searching was not successful.  I had almost given up on the idea of having Micky on the skirt at all, and then I saw the fabric in the picture below.  It was a simple fabric with colorful snowflakes (which is another thing I love to decorate with at Christmas time) I decided to MAKE it a Mickey Mouse fabric by stamping red Mickey Mouse icons in-between the snowflakes.

I think that by stamping the Mickey Mouse icons onto the fabric myself it really helped to make this a very personal item . . . no one else will have a tree skirt like this!

I used a red satin for the main part of the skirt.  I had always wanted a skirt made of either red satin or red velvet because of how luxurious those fabrics look.  I was also very smart . . . I purchased the fabric after Christmas when all of the winter/Christmas fabrics were on sale.  I used some red fabric from the discount/clearance section for the backing since no one would see it anyway.  I think the whole thing ended up costing me around $30, and that includes the Mickey Mouse stamp and the fabric paint.

Here is what the completed skirt looks like under the tree.

Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of the year project

The kids are off of school, and if you are like me you want to get them away from the video games for a few minutes. Why not make a great end of the year project . . . a time capsule!

Just find an empty container . . . a coffee can or shoe box would work great . . . and get out all of the glitter, glue, fabric scraps, constuction paper, stamps and let the kids decorate it any way they want. You could even let each child make their own. Have them write down their favorite memories from the past year like a special trip you took and their birthday. Have them gather photos of major news events that they remember from the past year and cut them out of magazines or print them off of the internet to add to the time capsule.

If you do not want to fill a coffee can or shoe box with items, you could take your 2009 calendar and let the kids attach the pictures of special events to the pages of the calendar. That way when they take it out later the can almost read it like a book of what happened month by month in 2009. If you do this, it would be very easy to get a storage box and add a calendar every year, so that this will turn into a family tradition and a great way for you children to look back and remember all of the special memories of their life.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anime Items

Now that Christmas is over, I can share the Anime items that I made for my son with the stamp that I made a few weeks ago.

The first project was a set of sheets. Not only did I stamp along the edge of the pillow case, I also stamped on the bag that the sheet set came in. I used a metallic silver fabric paint.

And this is one that he will probably not be showing off to anyone, but I thought that they turned out nice.

Who knows what we will be stamping on next!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Coffee anyone?

Have you been thinking of making a coffee cup cozy for yourself or your favorite coffee lover? I know that I have. Being the crafty person that I am, I have a pile of left over fabric from past projects, and since a coffee cozy would not need very much fabric I thought it would be a good way to use up some of that left over fabric.

My first thought was to just take the cardboard sleeve that comes on the coffee cup and make a pattern. And then I got an email from Embroidery Library that said that they had a project tutorial. PERFECT! Let someone else figure out the "how to" and I can just make it.

The one that they made is for a coffee mug, not a coffee cup that you would get at the coffee shop, but the one thing that I really like about it is that it uses two pieces of elastic in loops and button to form the cozy around the mug. What a great idea! Now you don't have to worry that the cozy you made will not fit the mug you have, or the person you give it to, since the elastic loops will stretch to make it fit!

For all of the details, to go

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hand painted dinnerware and decor

I just discovered a new site called Wrapables and I wanted to share some of the items I found on their site.

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Celebrate the beauty of nature with our Tracy Porter Vivre Dinnerware. These elegantly painted plates and bowls are hand painted with scenes of flowers. Choose from Dinner Plates, Mugs, Dipping bowls with tray, Teapots, and Salt & Pepper set.

There is a color and style for everyone.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Memories at Christmas

1999 was an emotional year in our house . . . in April my husband and were married, that fall we found out we were pregnant, at Thanksgiving we found out that my mother-in-law had cancer and then she died on Christmas Eve . . . all in the same year.

What does this have to do with a crafting blog? Well, the family recieved so many flowers at my mother-in-law's funeral and since I am a crafty person one of the cousin's suggested that I hang the flowers upside-down to dry out and then use the flowers in items for the entire family. I thought that this was a lovely way to preserve the flowers and pay tribue to my mother-in-law. Since she died on Christmas Eve, I decided to make Christmas ornaments for each family member with the roses we dried and saved. Oh . . . it was extra special to use the roses because my mother-in-law's first name was Rose.

I took simple acrylic ornamets that snap together in the middle, and hot glued one of the roses and baby's breath to the inside. Then when I snapped it shut I covered the seam with ribbons and trim that I have left over from making the floral arrangments for our wedding that same year.

Attached to the ornamet is a tag with this poem on it . . .

In the garden of the heart,
Love's spirit ever grows,
As sweet memories unfold
Like the petals of a rose.
And love's beauty offers comfort
To soften thorns of sorrow,
For knowing love endures
Gives hope for each tomorrow.
May this Rememberance Rose
Be a comforting reminder
Of love that lives forever.

Every year when my children put these ornaments on the tree they call them the "Grandma Mosch ornaments". It is hard to believe that this year is the ten year anniversary of the year that she died.

Merry Christmas Rose! We miss you and you are still with us in our hearts.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho layout

I was working on a scrapbook for another family, and I highlighted their Holiday photos with Santa with the "Ho, Ho, Ho" image from the Christmas Cheer Cricut cartridge.

I did the background in green with the ho, ho, ho in a red and white candy cane stripe paper. I think that setting it on the green paper really made it stand out.

Add some paper with Santa hats and some snowflakes, and you have a cute and simple layout.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Creative Memories

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Wall Decor

Earlier this week I told you about how I changed the look of a framed photo in our dining room for Christmas. In the picture you may have noticed that I changed some of the wall decor to the right of the framed photo also. I did this using my Cricut.

To start with, I found two 5x7 frames that I liked, and then I picked to images from the Christmas Cheer Cricut Cartridge.

For the first one I used a glossy paper with a green tone on tone pattern of holly leaves on it. I then cut out the "Ho, Ho, Ho" image from the Christmas Cheer Cricut Cartridge from a red and white striped paper that had a candy cane feel. I then cut out the same "Ho, Ho, Ho" image from solid red paper in the shadow function and backed the striped "Ho, Ho, Ho" and then I mounted that on the green holly paper.

For the second frame I decided to cut out a Christmas tree from the Christmas Cheer Cricut Cartridge. I cut this out in a rich green paper, and used a wood grain paper for the trunk of the tree. I did the shadow of this image in a softer green color, and mounted the entire thing on a red glossy paper with a tone on tone image of snowflakes. To top things off, I added a star to the top of the tree that I punched out of metallic silver paper, and used several different metallic colored papers to create the shimmering lights on the tree.

I think that these made great Christmas decorations, and these layouts could easily become Christmas cards.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas transformation

On the wall behind our dining room table is a large picture, and a few years ago during the Christmas season I was looking at it and thought that it just does not fit in with the rest of the house when it is all decorated for Christmas.

I didn't want to go out and purchase a new framed picture to hang there just for Christmas time, but I wanted to do something to "change things up".

I found some Christmas fabric, and made a cover to go over the existing picture. Basically, I made a fitted sheet the size of the frame. This was pretty easy to do since I have made fitted sheets before from nursery bedding patterns . . . I just altered the dimensions to fit the frame.

I used some red satin to make a large bow that I pinned to one corner. It kind of looks like a giant wrapped present, and the nice thing is I can use it over and over again each year since it is fabric . . . I just had to iron it a bit once I pulled it out of the Christmas decorations box.

As you can see, I also changed the two items that were hanging to the right of the framed picture. Those were also simple to make, but I will save that for my next blog.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beaded Snowflake

Here is a Christmas ornament that my sister-in-law made. At the time, she did a lot of beading, and jewelry making.

I really like how simple this ornament is, and how she combined the different colors. Then, at the top, she twisted the wire into a swirl pattern for the hook to hang the ornament. You could make these with colored beads, like she did, or use all white and silver beads so that they look like fresh snowflakes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snowflake card

We are in the middle of our first real snow storm of the winter here in Minnesota, so I thought I would show off a card that I recently made with snowflakes on it.

I love decorating things with snowflakes, and snowmen, in the winter. Maybe it is because no two snowflakes are alike, and they look so beautiful before anyone has walked through the snow and the light hits it just right.

I made this card for my sister's birthday, which was just last week. I used paper that has blue, purple and green snowflake images printed on it. Then I did a solid border of purple around the outer edge, since that is my sister's favorite color. I used my Cricut and some punches to cut out snowflakes from a light purple glittered paper. This made me think of how the snow glitters when the light hits it just right.

I think that a card like this could be used for a winter birthday, holiday card, thank you card, or even a winter baby shower. The possibilities are endless.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Making my own stamp

I have never made a stamp before, so this was a totally new project for me. The reas
on for wanting to make
my own stamp is that my son is VERY into an Anime show called Naruto and I wanted to be able to put one of the symbols from the show onto items for him for Christmas presents.

I purchased a Speedy Carve Kit which includes the block for the stamp, the wooden handle and two different blades to attach the the handle for carving the stamp. You can purchase them here.

First I had to print out the image/symbol that I wanted on the stamp, and then cut a piece of the rubber block from the kit down to the size of the stamp. Once I had the image printed out, I traced over it in pencil, and then filled the image. Then I placed the image down on the rubber block and pressed firmly, and then rubbed my finger over the entire image to make sure that it transfered over.

Now for the hard part . . . carving.

Actually, the tool is not that hard to use, but there is a learning curve. Start on a large open area to get the feel of the tool and do not press down too hard or you will just take big chunks out of the rubber and you will not have as much control over what you are carving away.

Remember, it is not important that the area outside of the image is perfectly smooth, just that anything you do not want to be stamped is lower than the image you are trying to create.

Every time that I thought I had the stamp complete, I would ink it up and do a test stamp, and then I could easily see the areas that were still too high and needed to be worked down. I did fine that when you were going along if you would angle down slightly as you were coming to the edge of the block and do not stop at the edge of the block, keep pushing the tool through the rubber as you angle down, this helped do that a "lip" did not form around the entire outer edge of the stamp.

The images on the right side in the picture above would be the "test" stamps, and as you can see there was some ink picked up by the pad around the outer edges, and I and to clean those up and trim things down until I got to the final image on the left side of the picture.

It may not be "perfect" but my daughter who is also into Anime thought it was good, and if the kids think it looks good that is all that really matters. Now I can use fabric paint and put this image on any number of things for my son. We could even use it to stamp on his wall if he wanted to. I already stamped it on some items, and I will show those off in another blog.

Remember, if you want to give this a try you can purchase the kit here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Scrapbooking Layout

Here is a scrapbooking layout that I loved so much for Christmas pictures. I have used it in my own books, and also in a book I did for another family. It is simple, but cute.

After I placed the pictures on the page, I drew a black swirling line around the outer borders of the page. Then I used my Christmas Cheer Cricut Cartridge I cut the Christmas light bulbs out of a variety of colors. If you wanted to give the bulbs more "shimmer" you could cut them from glitter or metallic papers. If you do not have a Cricut, you could purchase stickers.