Thursday, December 22, 2011

Folded Christmas Tree Tag - Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46

The evergreen tree die from Papertrey's In the Meadow Silhouettes Die Collection just thrills me. It looks great all dressed up for the holidays, or au natural. Making the tree into tags, for Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46, offered another chance to decorate the tree. I used the same technique as Papertrey's glitter Make-It Monday #44. (See my earlier post here.) Just stick the 'ornaments' to the sticky paper before applying the glitter.

This tag would not stand up on its own, so I propped it up against my Mother's Putz house from about 85 years ago. Isn't it great, with it's little thatched fence? Holiday hand-me-downs are the best!

Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday, and thank you for visiting at this busy time of the year.

Papertrey Supplies: Vintage cream cardstock and tree from 'In the MeadowSilhouettes Die Collection.

Little Birthday Angel Tag - Papertrey's Make-It Monday #46

This past 'Make It Monday' #46 from Papertrey was a blast. I decided to break out of my Christmas rut and make an angel that would be at home any time of the year.

She is very small (no pontificating on her underskirt). I used the angel from  Papertrey's Love Lives Here: Holiday Die Collection, and made the fold at her neck. (She looks pretty funny without a head!) Then I cut two pieces for the top layer - a head plus shoulders out of cream paper, and her dress out of patterned paper from K & Co's Watercolor Bouquet pad. The wings are just the backside of her dress paper pattern. I glued the head on her body, added the dress (with lace trim, embroidered bouquet applique, and white gel penned collar), and glued the wings to the back of the tag. (This last step really makes her wings 'behind' her when she's propped open.) Her colored pencil face is truly primitive.

Papertrey supplies: Vintage cream cardstock, angel die from 'Love Lives Here: Holiday Collection

Thank you for visiting, and happy holidays!

Merry Snowman Christmas Tag - Papertry Make-It Monday #46

There are few things cuter than Nichol Heady's snowman family. (There are quite a few incarnations of snowmen stamps and dies available at Papertrey, and this is the largest one - Shape-Up Series: Snowman Die Collection.) My guy is ready for Christmas or any other party during snow season. I love those adorable arms that beg to be put to use.

Mounting a full fledged die cut of the snowman, over his folded counter part, allowed me to make a hat (that did not reveal his flattened head) and I was able to glue his arms between the top and front of the folded 'inside'.

The trim on his hat is just a plain silver pipe cleaner, as is the hat topper, with the pipe cleaner wound around in a flat circle. I glued the 'merry' from Wonderful Words: Holiday Die Collection to his folded in hands and everything fits quite nicely.

Papertrey Supplies: Cardstock (white and pure poppy), Shape Up Series: Snowman Die Collection, Shape-Up Snowman accessories stamp set.

Merry, Merry!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Woman of Letters

 One of my favorite kind of Christmas presents to give is a store bought item I know someone needs, adorned with a little something to make it personal. My very talented friend Linda, takes fabulous photographs, and bless her heart, shares them all with family and friends. She has albums that travel far and wide with her. When I found this pretty, yet o-so-plain album, I knew just what to put on it.

As I've mentioned before here, I love vintage images, especially those from Dover Books. I had found Floral Designs and Initials in a book store four years ago, and immediately fell in love with the designs. (If you click on the link above, you be able to see some of the beautiful pages in this book.) The motifs are from a old Spanish book of embroidery designs that were ordered by, and sold to, individuals. 
In the book's most recent incarnation, it comes on a CD allowing you to find and print out letters any size you want. I have used just a computer printed letter to adorn gift tags. They are fun to color with pencils or paint with 'Sparkling H2Os', as well. I had never tried embroidering an initial before, and it was considerablly easier than I thought. (Definitely needed the reading glasses though!)

I did the work on mid weight cotton, used a 'Big Shot' to die cut a piece of 'Timtex', and turned and sewed the cotton's perimeter down to the back of the Timtex. To finish the adornment, I die cut felt, backed with 'Heat and Bond', using the next size larger Nestibility die. Before adhering the felt to the back side, I sewed a strip of Velcro across it. This allows my friend to remove the initial if she desires.

Thank you for visiting and happy crafting!

Here We Come a'Glittering!

Don't you just wish each day in the month of December were three times longer, so we could get all our crafting done?

This week PTI's Make It Monday kills two birds with one stone. (I must stop using that expression as it makes my two parrots open their beaks and pop their eyes wide.) Speaking of parrots, the darling bird to the right is my 20 year old cockatiel, Pookie. He was helping Liz (in the background, and whose creations appear on this blog from time to time), craft earlier this week. Sorting buttons is a 'speciality' of his. He strength tests each button with his powerful beak before it is used. (He's taking a well deserved break in this shot.)

Back to PTI's Make It Monday #44 -a small 'noel' tag waiting to adorn a gift. I mounted the adhesive paper, as in the previous post here. The 'winterberry' sprig does not show up as well as I would have liked, but  I really learned about color using this technique. The greater the contrast between glitter hues, the more decipherable the images are when finished. I love adding the pearls and rhinestones directly to the sticky paper before I glitter.  (They stick much better being adhered before the glitter goes on.) By the way, the elf shoes propping up the tag, have a post of their own here.

Supplies: Papertrey Ink's Winterberry Die Collection , Block Alphabet Collection Die, Tag Sale #1 Die, and White Adhesive Sheets.

Hope you had fun visiting. Please leave a comment or question if you like.

Merry, Merry Glitter to All

I just love making tags this time of year. There are so many techniques to try out, and the little venue of tags is perfect for experimentation. (The tags that work out get to come to the Christmas parties on gifts.)

This week's PTI Make It Monday #44 is a glitter-all-over format. In order to make tags using the floppy adhesive paper, I first adhered the plain paper side to a piece of card stock, and then sent it through the die. The overlapping silhouettes required some careful thought, and it was very hard to get the very small cardinal 'masks' to stay put while I glittered. I tried several other coated papers to see if they would work better than the backing, but all the others stuck TOO well!

Handy Glitter Tip: Toss your excess glitter on the floor - it's so hard to get back in the bottle any way. The glitter co-mingles with your dust bunnies (yours - I don't have any - ha) making them self illuminating, which makes dust so much easier to find, and vacuum up. No time to vacuum. No problem. Your floors are now decorated for Christmas!

Supplies: Papertrey Ink's 'In the Meadow' die set and 'White Adhesive Sheets', Martha Stewart glitter, and Jo-Ann Christmas ribbon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wee Elf, Snowman & Easy Christmas Tree

For me, there is nothing more fun than making toys at Christmastime. There are so many wonderful artists who have shared their know-how. In the previous post I mentioned crafter extraordinaire Jenny B Harris, who gives patterns on her blog. I would like to introduce you to a maker of fairies (from a book), and a sculptor of fine vintage toys (a video from Martha Stewart).

The elf (who was too big for his shoes in the previous post), seen here with his snowman friend, was inspired by the wondrous book Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor. This wee elf  is only three and a half inches from his feet to the top of his felt hat (bell not included). Salley's book has directions for four different sized folk, simpler body constructions than my elf for younger doll makers, and loads of costumes and venues to fit every occasion and fashion style. Once you see her beautiful photos, you will want to whip up a little world of your own!

The snowman was made after I tried my hand at a felt pumpkin person. Jenny Murphy, who designs and constructs all sorts of exquisite vintage toys, shows how she constructs her old fashioned pumpkin people. You can watch the video here. My snowman is 5 3/4 inches high and the outside is made from all cotton quilters' batting instead of felt. (One of the nifty things you learn from the video is to stuff your figure with excelsior . That detail gives them a lot of charm.) The face and buttons are sewn on black beads, and the orange nose is a pushpin glued in place.

The Christmas tree is very funky and different from my usually overworked style, but I love it. It's composed of a Styrofoam cone wrapped with a very pretty green trim that my mother-in-law had taken off a stool that was being reupholstered. Pins hold the fringe in place, as well as the delightful red gingham flower ribbon from Wrights. Very easy, and if that chair should ever need it's trim back, the pins are just removed.

Jenny B Harris + Papertrey Dies = Fun

December is holiday month, and that means playing elf and making all sorts of not terribly useful, but very fun elf shoes. The elf shoes above were a match made in heaven: Jenny B Harris' pattern for elf clogs, and Papertrey's wonderful dies for holly and hearts.
Jenny's elf shoe pattern is as perfectly executed as it is cute. If you cut out the felt carefully, all goes together without a hitch. I used a buttonhole or blanket stitch (with real vintage cobbler's cotton thread) which worked out fine, but was a bit slower than Jenny's excellent suggestion of soft Pearl Cotton combined with whip stitch. The toe balls on hers are too cute, but they seemed over the top after the hearts and holly went on.

To be sure these would be my elf's favorite Christmas clogs, I used the smallest heart die from Papertrey's  Heart Prints Collection, and the middle sized holly sprig from the Holly Jolly Die Collection. (One of the things I love about Papertrey's dies is the fact that they can be really small.  I love creating tiny items, and Papertrey is the only die company, I've run across, that have truly small dies. Yeah!) I chose to needle felt these small felt parts to the unassembled, but cut out, shoe pieces. A few beads and a couple of sequins sewn on, and the shoes were ready to stitch together. As you can see, the shoes are a bit big for my elf, so maybe I'll hang them on the tree or leave them is some mischievous location.
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