Friday, 28 December 2012

The Homemade Gift Card Sleeve

Unfortunately I was too deep in thought to remember to take pictures as I went along.......So all I have to show is the final product.

I have to admit that as much as I love gift card holders/sleeves, some of them are kind of lame and it becomes redundant when you get several of the same gift I like to spice it up and make mine different and more personal.

If you're interested in making your own gift card sleeves, this is what you need:
-Stamps & Ink
-Scrapbook paper/cardstock/old cards
-Pencil crayons
-Thin felt-tip pen(s)
-Glue/glue dots
-Accents (i.e. cricut cutouts, gems, glitter, stickers, ribbon, etc.)
-An old gift card holder
-Hot chocolate & Baileys or a glass of Wine (optional)

The first thing I always do, is I get one of my old gift card holders and take it apart.  Now, when I say I take it apart, I just make sure I un-attach where the gift card is glued.  I flatten it out, place it on the paper or cardstock I want to use and trace it.  Then I cut it out and make the folds where it will be glued.  The rest is up to you!  Add greetings, sayings or quotes, stamp or glitter it up, and have fun!  Once you've jazzed up your sleeves, glue at the folds and throw in your gift cards!

These were the ones I created this year:

My dad even complimented me on the one he got!  He NEVER does that!  So I  must have done an okay job!

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 27 December 2012

One of the little Christmas gifts I made this year!

So I'm a total tool and deleted all the pics off my camera.... (urgh!).
I'm having a really good start to the day......and it's not even Monday......Awesome.....

Anyways...onto the post....

I made a couple of these cute little bulbs for Christmas.  I made one for my best friend's brother, another for my Dad, and I have one more kickin' around here for a future gift perhaps....

This is a super cute, super easy, inexpensive gift to put together for the men in your life that either have a moustache or enjoy participating in Movember.  And I guarantee they will enjoy it!

This is what you need: A ceramic or glass Christmas bulb (grab 'em when they're 50% off ;)) and a black Sharpie.  You could also always throw a ribbon or bow at the top as well if you wish.

This is what you do: Take your sharpie and draw a moustache where you wish on your bulb.  Then, write "Stashing through the snow" somewhere on your bulb.  Easy, right?  You're done!  See!  I told you it was easy!  Quick, easy, and inexpensive!  It's the perfect gift!  I placed my moustache and my words in different places on all of the bulbs I made just to see what I liked best.  You can get creative with the lettering and placement to jazz them all up and make them all slightly different.  And, if the gift is for an older male, you can always do the writing and drawing with a silver Sharpie.  Not that I'm suggesting or implying anything..... ;)

Here's one of my final products!

And here is the one I gave to my dad on the tree.  He LOVED it!


Monday, 17 December 2012

More Crayon Art....

So I was in an artistic mind-set yesterday and decided to do another crayon art.  This time the subject was little owls.  I think owls are so cute!  This one isn't for work..but I'm hoping to create a couple more pieces over the break.....

By now you probably know how this works.....

1. Sketch out the project.
2. Glue the crayons on the canvas.
3. Melt the crayons with a hair dryer.
4. Paint the rest of the picture.
5. Varnish (optional).

I meant to take an image of the original sketch with the crayons placed on it...but I just kept going without thinking.....

So here is what the project look like near the beginning.....

And a little farther on....

And here is the final product!



Sunday, 16 December 2012

Easy Peasy Christmas Gift

So I'm posting this one up here before Christmas because my Grandma is almost 90 years old, she doesn't own a cell phone, nor does she own a computer.  So I know I'm safe and she won't see her gift before Christmas.

I've always seen those DIY Christmas bulbs...but I had never made any they were 50% off....I figured what the heck!  I'd use them between this year and next for sure!

So I bought the small, clear, glass, heart-shaped bulbs, and the large round ones as well.  Why not, right?

All you need is: Acrylic paint, clear Christmas bulbs, and a Sharpie.

First, take off the top of the bulb.  Start by slowly squeezing a few drops of the paint into the bulb. Move the bulb if you like so that the paint spreads.  It's up to you.  I know there are a lot of different techniques you can use for this particular craft.  I like experimenting though and finding out for myself....Once you're satisfied, begin squeezing other colours of paint into the bulb and rotate the bulb around so that the paint spreads.  Once you're happy with how it looks, it needs to sit (without the bulb cap on) for several days.  Mine took almost a week to dry out.  I also had to tip it upside down to dump extra paint out (I went a little paint "happy" - oops!).

This is what it looks like near the beginning....

Once the bulbs were dry, I just added a couple of little words with my Sharpie.  I had planned on putting some glittery snowflakes I used to have....but I've misplaced them....Oops.....

This is the final product!

Easy, right?!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cute Little Winter Treat!

I hate this...I have a couple of little projects/gifts that I've made in the past month or so....but I can't post them yet.....I can't post pictures.....yet.....with my luck, if I did post pictures..... the receivers of the gifts would check my blog out and see what they were getting!

So I've got a little post to tie you over...

I made these a few weeks ago for Christmas party #1 and they were a hit! (and tasted good too!).

They take some time to decorate, and you need to be patient and have a steady hand.....but they're totally worth it!

Here's what you'll need:
-Sugar cookie mix/ingredients
-Large marshmallows
-Icing (I used: black, orange, green, brown)
-Vanilla icing
-Cooking spray

Here's how to make 'em!:

1. Bake some sugar cookies (I used the Betty Crocker Sugar cookie mix - I wasn't making them from scratch when I knew it would take a while to decorate them....).
2.  After the cookies are baked and cooled, fill a bowl with vanilla icing and put it in the microwave to melt the icing so that it becomes a liquid.  I used a small bowl and only put a bit of icing in at a time - it only took about 30 seconds to melt a small bowl.
3. Take a spoon or small ladle and slowly pour a small amount of icing onto each cookie.  If you melt the icing it gives the "melted" look to the snowman (which is exactly what you're going for here).
4. Spray a small amount of cooking spray onto your large plate.  Place marshmallows spaced apart on your plate.  Place in the microwave for about 40 - 60 seconds.  Pull out.
5. Place a marshmallow on each cookie.  When you're pulling them off the plate they will bend and warp (don't worry!  They're supposed to!).
6. Let cookies sit for a while (30 minutes or so) that way your icing and marshmallows will settle.
7. Use your icing to decorate your melted snowmen! Draw on your eyes, carrot nose, scarves, twig arms, buttons, etc! (You could also use chocolate chips for the buttons).


Saturday, 17 November 2012

DIY Gift Light

So I decided to make part of my best friend's birthday gift.

All you need for this little project is:
-A wine bottle
-Frosted glass spray
-Glass paint
-Christmas lights
-Glue gun and glue sticks

The first thing you need to (obviously) do is clean out and dry the wine bottle.  Next, take your bottle and glass spray out into a well ventilated area that isn't too cold (which isn't too easy to do right now with the current weather situation...).  Make sure you have some newspaper under your bottle and start to spray the bottle with the frosted glass spray.  You may need more than one coat depending on the bottle.  I did about 3 coats.  I let my bottle dry overnight.

The next day I painted the letter "M" on the bottle with glass paint ("M" for "Melanie" - my best friend's name).  Then I let it dry overnight again.

The following day I measured out some ribbon and took out my glue gun and attached the ribbon to the wine bottle.  I also added some gemstones to jazz it up a bit more.

The final step is super easy!!!!  Push some Christmas lights into the bottle and here ya go!


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Halloween Fun!!!

So I got ridiculously ambitious this year....
I made my costume.....that's read correctly.  I MADE my costume........
I was in Dollarama and saw peacock feathers, and that's when I instantly knew what I had to be!

Luckily I had some royal and sapphire shaded blue I didn't have to buy anything like that. Although, I have to admit, I was sorta torn between bright green clothing as you know why I did the bright blue clothing......(one less thing to buy!).

For my costume I clearly needed to make a fan tail of feathers, and I also decided to make a tutu to go with it (why not?!).

Here are the materials you need to make my costume:
-A hand fan (mine was made of a light wood)
-LOTS of feathers (Dollarama is the way to go)
-Hot glue gun & glue sticks
-Thick cardboard
-Tulle (I used blue, a green, black, and a blueish-green)

The tutu was the easiest thing to make....but it definitely took about 6 hours to make.  You need patience (which I clearly lack.....) to make this......

First, you need to measure the elastic against your waist and cut any excess off (make sure you leave extra though because you do need to carefully sew the ends together).  Next, cut your tulle into long strips.  You will want to measure one strip first.  It really depends if you want a short tutu or a long tutu.  If you have your main portion of tulle measured to the correct length, there is a shortcut to cutting it.  If you youtube it, you should be able to find a cutting tulle tutorial.  It involves rolling it and then cutting it.  That way cutting all of your tulle will only take about 5 minutes.  I decided on a mid-length tutu (I'm wearing it Wednesday for the kids at work).  Next, start taking 1-2 strips at a time (depends if you want it a bit thicker), and knot the end of the tulle strip around the elastic.  Continue doing this with your strips of tulle until the waist is full.  Like so:

*In progress


*This was with green leggings...which I woulda done if they weren't so see through......Oops!

Now the fan was my biggest challenge.  I went to Dollarama and bought a wack of feathers. Luckily I had a friend who had a spare hand fan for the main base of my fan tail. Then, I also bought some green fabric, found some thick cardboard, and then wound up requiring some elastic to attach my fan tail to my arms.  

So, here we go:
First I took my fan and started to glue feathers all the way around it.  You may need to trim some feathers.  So your fan should look like this:

Next, I took two pieces of thick cardboard and traced a rough outline of the fan shape.  Then, I cut both pieces of cardboard out.  Then, I took the fabric and cut it.  After that, I glued the fabric to the cardboard.  Once that was set, I glued one piece of cardboard (and fabric) on the one side of the fan, and the other piece to the other side of the fan, so that the actual fan tail itself was sandwiched in the middle.  Once that was done I had to measure the elastic around my arms, and I glued the elastic to the fan.  Like so:

Now, here's the final result (which I'm sooooo happy with!!! I can't wait to wear it again!):

*The full costume

*Me again

*Close-up of my fan tail!

Have a Safe & Happy Halloween!


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Woodland Creations

I know it's been a while.  I still haven't had a chance to get out with my D-SLR to get some good fall shots.  I'm hoping to do that before it's too late!

It was my niece's 2nd birthday party, and my best friend agreed to a woodland themed party (yay!).  I'm so glad she did because it turned out so cute and absolutely perfect! :).  I decided to help create some of the decor.

I got a couple of small bird houses to hang around the kitchen.  They were plain wooden birdhouses when I bought them.  I coated them in gesso and busted out some brown, white, and green acrylic paint (I mixed a tiny spot of green paint with white to give it a light mint green hue).  Once they were dry, I decided to use my glue gun and glue some little clumps of moss to them.

I knew I needed some toadstools.  I was also going to cut and sew some toadstools from felt, but I didn't quite get that far.....So I got some red and white fimo and carefully used my fingers to create these little guys.  I created them in a couple of different sizes.  My words of wisdom when using fimo: Make sure you cut your finger nails before you dig in!  Trust me.....First I shaped all the stumps and caps separately, then carefully pieced them together.  Lastly, I added the little white polka dots.  Once they were ready, I threw them into the oven to cook for about 15 minutes.  Overall, they really didn't take very long to shape.

As you can see I did mount 2 of the birdhouses onto dowels.  I ended up having to glue the dowels to the glass to keep them upright.  Once I put the birdhouses in the vases, I then filled the bottom with white rocks, placed some little ferns in the back ground, placed some moss on top of the rocks, and placed a toadstool in each.  Like so:

Here are some of my creations all together.  I ended up doing a similar type centrepiece with a round glass bowl.  But with these toadstools, I did end up gluing them to some river rocks.  I also added some ivy leaves to the top of the moss.

All in all, I would say the party was a success!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I'm sorry for the lack of updates!

I will have something up by the beginning of next week!

But....because it's autumn and the colours are so pretty I thought I'd throw in some of my photography!
Here are some autumn photos from the past few years.  I need to get out this year!  And I also want to go camping in Algonquin one fall to get some good shots as well.



Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Annual Autumn Tradition....

I got busy working on my annual autumn tradition for the kids at work.

This is super easy and the kids LOVE them.  They last for months as well!  You could even do something like this instead of carving a pumpkin at Halloween.

All you need are the little gourds that look like mini pumpkins, paint (I use acrylic), and paint brushes.

I always wash the gourds down and then let them dry for an hour or so.  Don't paint on them when they are slightly damp.  Otherwise the paint will come right off.

Here are my little guys beforehand:

Then I painted different faces with different expressions and different eye colours.  So that once I was done, the gourds ended up looking like this:

And last but not least, the final group shot:


Friday, 14 September 2012

Okay...I didn't do this but...I "supervised"

So my good friend Sarah asked me to help out with this project for her sister's nursery.  Of course I was more than happy to help out!  Woohoo!  Crayon art!!!

I didn't actually create it.  Sarah is the artist of this piece.  I provided directions/suggestions.  I got to be the

First Sarah drew the uber cute elephant onto the canvas and wrote the baby's name.

Next we chose the crayons she wanted for this particular piece and arranged the them.  Sarah chose 2 different shades of each colour and put a black crayon on each end.  I absolutely love the colour choice!

Then we glued the crayons in place and busted out the hair dryer.

The next step was melting the crayons.

After we let the melted crayons sit for a minute, the final step was painting the elephant and the upcoming baby's name onto the canvas.

And this is the final beautiful product!
Well done Sarah!  Looks fantastic!  Drew will LOVE it!!!!!


Monday, 3 September 2012

Back to school.....

I realize it's been a while since my last post (I'm sorry!).  I guess I started to enjoy to the summer a little too much....

So I decided to make something to celebrate my new employment - something for my new (kinda) place of employment - something for my library - something that hopefully the kids will enjoy.

You can do this with any name or word.  All you need are wooden letters (or letters made of a similar material), scrapbook paper or fabric (I used paper), a pencil, sand paper, scissors, paint, a paint brush, a sponge, Modge Podge, ribbon, a glue gun, and any other embellishments you may want to add.

First, sand down the edges of the letters.
Next, trace the letters onto the scrapbook paper or fabric and cut them out.

Then, you'll want to use the Modge Podge as a glue to stick the paper onto the letter.  Once the paper or fabric letter is glued to the wooden letter, take a sponge and the paint and carefully sponge paint around the edges of the letters.  You'll probably have to dab the sponge every so often to remove excess paint.  Once the sponge painting is dry (shouldn't take long), you may want to paint the edges of the letters.  My preference would be a white or black paint for the edges of the letters.
After drying, use your finger as a brush to cover the letters with Modge Podge (to seal and finish each of the letters).

Your final step would be looping the ribbon and gluing the ribbon (which acts as a hook) to the back of each letter (near the top).

To finish the letters off, the final step is optional. Glue pieces of ribbon, flowers, sequins, buttons, or other embellishments on the letters and hang.  I'm still deciding if I want to add any embellishments to my letters.  We'll see....

Enjoy & good luck to all my fellow colleagues in education as we begin a new school year!


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Off for a week....

Hey Everyone,

I was hoping to have time to create something new and share it before I left for Florida, but I'm sorry to report that I have been unable to do so.  In celebration of the tropical south, I decided to post some pictures with the same type of subject matter.  The first one was taken in St. Thomas I believe, the second one in Aruba, and the final in St. Kitts.

I will return in a week's time.

Until are a few more of my photographs to tie you over!  Enjoy!


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Monster Mash!

What would a Monster Mash birthday party for a 6 year old be without a monster?!

I couldn't say no to creating this monster for my nephew's 6th birthday party!

So I'm not gonna lie...this little guy was a pain in the youknowwhat....but.....I can't complain with how he turned out.....If you're interested in creating something similar, be prepared to spend a few long days working away on it...especially if you're a perfectionist like me...

All you need: Acrylic paints, plywood, gesso (for acrylics), paintbrushes, water, paper towels, varnish, overhead projector (optional), pattern (optional).

So I'm not going to lie.  The first time I did this, I spent about 8 hours doing the first coat of paint...but I did half of it and the the other half.  Stupid me!  Don't make this mistake.  Because I did half and half and only mixed enough paint for the first half and had to eyeball it...and painted the rest during sunset....the tones weren't quite went over it with gesso so I could re-do it.  Use gesso first before painting so that the plywood recognizes that it's acrylic paints that will be going over it....and it works as a primer.  You can use it on canvas and other surfaces you may use as well.  It just acts as a base.

Because I was working on a time constraint, I found a pattern and threw it up on the overhead.  I did modify it a bit.  I eliminated the shorts (had to modify the body outline) & eliminated the teeth as well.  I also changed the eyes a bit.  so I traced my monster up on the plywood.  Now, this is where you'll want to through gesso down (unless you're like me and decide to throw it down to erase the whole thing because you don't like how it looks....).  Then I chose my first coat of paint...a blueish green colour and painted it over the entire monster.  Next, I took the colour I chose for my spots (purple) and painted them in various places, and in various shapes.  Once they dry, I used a combination of dry brush and sponges to give a bit of a fur-like texture to the edges around the spots and throughout the entire body.  I also added some white highlights to the body as well.  I also created a mixture of paint a shade lighter than the purple and dabbed some of this colour over the spots to create some accents and definition to the spots. Next, I approached the claws and the eyes.  I decided to use silver for the claws (I painted these with a fine spotter brush).  My final step was the biggest pain, and it took a full day of work.  Outlining.  Always my least favourite thing to do.  I mixed and created a paint colour a shade darker than the main body colour and went around the entire body of my monster.  Then I made my touch-ups (which also takes forever).

The final step: Varnish!  I used a matte finish varnish and sprayed this bad boy with two coats of it outside.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Some Photos

So because I'm making you all wait until the end of the weekend to see my most recent creation (I don't wanna give the surprise away!), I decided I'd tie you over with some of my photography.  I have shot portraiture, commercial, landscape, and a mix and mash of all of the above.  I did college and university at the same time and my college diploma is in Creative Photography.  At Humber I shot mostly commercial and portraiture.  And before you make any comments, just remember: Photography is still art!

And.......because it's really nice out and we've been having fantabulous weather, I decided to stick in some nature photos.

The first two photos were taken at my cottage a couple of years ago.  While the final photo was just taken in my living room over a white backdrop.  I stole one of my mom's flowers from a bouquet...or should I say "borrowed....."


*Please remember these photos belong to me*


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Homemade Coasters = Way Better!

I can't believe I didn't think of this!  I got the idea from Pinterest....but I did this in Undergrad Photography...I just didn't mount my photo transfers...Stupid me!  How did I not think of this?

It's so easy....and ridiculously inexpensive!

What you need: Gloss gel medium (I used a Liquitex medium..but I think Golden also has one), laser prints, scissors, a ruler, & kitchen tiles.

*It is important to realize that these images will be reversed (not inversed...but reversed) when you take them up* (just thinking if you are using verses or a text on your coaster - you'll have to switch it around in Photoshop).

First decide what images you want to use.  You may need to resize them in Photoshop (I know I definitely did).  Put them on one sheet to save the cost.  Send them somewhere that prints on laser printers.  I just sent mine to Staples.  It cost like 39 cents or something.

Cut out your images and make sure they fit on the tile properly.  If not, do a bit of a trim up.

Use your finger or a brush to cover the tile in your Gloss Gel Medium.  Make sure it's a nice thick coat. Then place your image on the tile as you wish (image side down).  Place it firmly and make sure there are no bubbles or bumps.

Let the tile(s) sit for 6-8 hours.

Now it's time for the mess!  You'll need to be near a faucet or have a pan of water handy, as well as a rag.  You may even want rubber gloves.  Your fingers will feel pretty raw afterwards if you use your bare fingers (like I did....).  Soak your rag and place it on the tile for a minute or so.  Let your tile absorb the water.  Now, remove the rag and slowly start rubbing where the image is.  You'll notice that the paper will start to come up.  Continue to scrape/rub the paper off.  You'll start to notice your image on the tile!  You'll get to the point where it looks like your coaster is done and ready to go.  However, you'll probably notice as it dries that there is still paper covering the image.  You may have to do this several times to remove all the paper.  But once it's done, it looks beautiful!!!!  And, you can even do this on wood and other surfaces!  Now all I have to do is add some felt to the bottom and coat in varnish (for extra protection)!