Decorated Envelopes

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You would think just adding a stamp would be sufficient. But no, now I’m in a flurry as decorate the envelopes of the V-Day cards I’m sending. Here are a few:

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All addresses have been removed to protect the innocent!

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V-Day Cards

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For the last week or so, I’ve been experimenting with a few techniques for making Valentine’s Day cards.  Coincidentally, I’ve had to send out both a get well card and a condolence card, and I’ve used my newly-created cards for those purposes too.

I began by looking for inspiration on YouTube and Pinterest. I found this “Masked Gelli Plate Hearts” from Balzar Designs on YouTube at https://youtu.be/8VGfRw8L6T4. Since I’d just acquired a Gelli Plate and was anxious to experiment, this seemed like a great starting point. The tutorial showed me how to use all sorts of paints, stencils, and stamps to build color onto plain card stock.  Once I was happy with my paper, I cut out hearts (using my kindergarten cutting technique beginning with a paper fold), and then I glued them onto previously-purchased cards.  A few pen strokes later, here are a few of my creations.

Next, I tried some bright red acrylic paint, white paint, and a spray bottle of water.  I plopped some dabs of paint onto a piece of parchment paper (my favorite crafting underlayment!), sprayed it with a healthy dose of water, and used my finger to swirl the water into the paints. Using more white cardstock, I ran the paper through the paints, getting a somewhat marbled effect.  Once dry, I cut out my hearts and added them to cards.

For my final effort, I followed a watercolor tutorial I found on Pinterest from Bedlam answers Butterflies (http://bedlamandbutterflies.co.uk/2016/02/last-minute-valentines-day-cards/).  I’m kind of “Meh” about these, and they certainly didn’t turn out as pretty as the original, but whatever!

Now I’m on to decorating the envelopes.  More on that next week!

A Much-Belated Hand-Made Holiday

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It’s been about six weeks since I’ve last posted on this blog. I haven’t lost my crafting mojo, but my motivation to write has been sorely missing. I’ve finally decided to get back to it — writing can be hard work, but it’s an excellent mental exercise. So here goes!

This post was a long time in coming, and I’m afraid the topic is much belated. Christmas. Planned, prepped, celebrated, and finally all put away. But my Christmas prep started early last year and lasted a long time, because my goal was to make it a hand-made holiday. Gifts, tags, and bags, handmade by yours truly. Here’s a slide show of many of the items that I gifted this year.

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Tooth Fairy Pillow

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Pillow 1

To be frank, today I’m just showing off. This might be the cutest thing I’ve ever made!!! Li’l Miss, aged four, had a loose tooth, and her mom asked me to make a tooth fairy pillow. After scouring Pinterest for inspiration, I combined several ideas to make this one:

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I bought white and pink felt sheets, embroidery thread, and the dotted pink ribbon. I used pink fabric scraps and fiber-fill I already had in my stash. I used a back stitch to create the tooth fairy and the “Lauren’s Tooth” part. I stitched the felt heart onto the white felt, leaving an opening at the top to insert the tooth. I then ironed on interfacing to the white rectangle, cross-stitched it onto the pink fabric, leaving a large opening for the treasures that the tooth fairy would bring. I assembled the pillow on my sewing machine, stuffed it, and hand-sewed the closing.

Li’l Miss lost her tooth this weekend, and hung the pillow on the inside knob of the front door so the tooth fairy had easy access. The fairy sneaked in last night to leave a treat, and Li’l Miss was a happy camper!

Marshmallow Snowmen

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Snowmen

One of our family holiday traditions is cookie decorating for the young ones. I made these cute marshmallow snowmen as part of a treat for the kid crowd. Using orange and black food-safe paint pens, I drew the black eyes, coal smile, and carrot nose on each large marshmallow. Five snowmen fit perfectly into a sandwich-sized zip-lock. I then loaded five packs of hot chocolate mix into a small gift bag, inserted a snowman pack, and voila, a cute treat for our cookie decorating afternoon!

Tea Bag Gift Tags

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I’ve been crafting many, many holiday gift tags, and these tea bag tags are one of my favorites. A tag with a gift inside attached to a gift. What could be better? Because I made several of these tags for all my tea-loving friends and family, I started with a template so that I wouldn’t have to measure each one. Read the rest of this entry

HaHa Cookies & Gift Label

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I am extremely fortunate to have a group of eight of us who have known each other at least since high school. (Carol and I just celebrated our 60th year of friendship; we’ve known each other since kindergarten!) We call ourselves the HaHa’s because we laugh so much when we’re together. This weekend, we had our annual holiday cookie exchange. The event has evolved over the years — we now bring frozen dough so we can each bake what we want when we want. In addition to our dough exchange and lots of laughter, we might have stuffed ourselves with good food and wine. I’m not confessing to anything!

My cookies were extremely easy to do, and I was able to fairly quickly make eight batches for sharing. The recipe comes from the Magnolia Days blog, and I followed the recipe almost to a tee. (Find the recipe here:  https://magnoliadays.com/lemon-sour-cream-cookies.) The directions called for grating a lemon and rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingers. What a brilliant technique! The lemon fragrance spread through the kitchen and flavored the sugar perfectly. The recipe is straightforward and the blog post is well-explained, so I won’t give any more comment on it.

But I did do a quick craft project to decorate the slice-and-bake logs and to give written directions for baking. Using a large purchased tag, I sprayed each side with red watercolor spray. I printed the baking directions on one side…

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… and used scrapbook paper, a fine-tipped Sharpie pen, and ModPodge to decorate the other side.

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CRAP ALERT: I glued the trees too far up onto the tags, and they weren’t centered to my liking. Pieces of green washi tape fixed the problem in a hurry.

To finish the packages, I used red and white bakers twine to tie the tag onto each log. Quick, cute, and fun!