Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Valentine's Day goodies!

I love Valentine's Day. It's a perfect opportunity not only to tell our dearest ones "I love you", but to show love and care and thought towards the people in our lives that we love and care and think about! Luckily Stampin' Up! have provided us this year with some fabulous fun & love inspired products called "A Whole Lot of Love"! 

The products are available through to 27 January (or while supplies last). They are exclusive and they will not be available after the promotion. The great part is there are no purchase limits! You can buy as many items as you like! And here they are....

Love You More Stamp Set
Clear: $29.95
Wood: $37.95

Flowerfull Heart Stamp
Wood: $16.95

Follow My Heart Stamp Set
Clear: $21.95
Wood: $27.95

Sweet Sayings Cards & Envelopes
12 printed card bases, 12 envelopes (4 each of Real Red, Pool Party & Crisp Cantaloupe)

Sweetheart Treat Bags
12 heart sacks, 12 die cut labels, 12 pre-cut pieces of Pool Party Baker's Twine

And then there are these cute little guys. Perfect for your kids to be able to give Valentine's to friends at school or church! 
Monster Hugs Boy (arms in front open out)
18 boy monsters, 18 googly eyes, 18 adhesive hearts

Monster Hugs Girl (arms in front open out)
18 girl monsters, 18 googly eyes, 18 adhesive hearts
I have ordered a few of these products for myself and am looking forward to designing some fun Valentine projects for our first Workshop of 2014!! (Woah, that was weird typing a 4 instead of a 3!)

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Minion Softies

Earlier in the year when the second Despicable Me movie was released, naturally my niece (4) and my nephew (6) fell in love with the characters all over again. I have a bit of a history of softie making for my nephew (and trust me alot of the toys are DODGY) but he loves all of them regardless of how they turned out. 

Not long after the movie was released it dawned on my nephew that I could make him a minion softie. He begged and begged, and knowing it would not be an easy task I kept putting him off and telling him I was too busy hoping he would forget, but of course, he did not. It didn't take long before my niece caught onto this and of course she wanted one too. So a few months ago I thought, what the heck, I'll make minions for Christmas. 

I scoured the internet for softie patterns because my history of toy patterns is far from polished. I came across this AWESOMELY great tutorial and based my creations off of it!

For the hair I found this neat wool at Lincraft that was all curly and knobbly looking. I threaded it through on the tops of their heads and knotted the strands into place. I think they look neat!

Mr 6's name starts with an S and Miss 4's name starts with a B so I wanted to make sure their minions were personalised so that there could be no arguments or confusion as to which minion belonged to who. So that is how the idea of the little logo got changed to the blue & pink letters on the overalls! At the end when I was adding the buttons it only seemed natural to match them to the letters and I love how they look!

And then it dawned on me there are different kinds of minions! So I was able to adjust the pattern and made the both the shorter two eyed minion and the taller one eyed minion (I have NO idea what their names are???). 

I decided to put in a lot of effort into making small, close stitches to make sure each element was ridiculously secure. I know the way  my niece and nephew play and careful and delicate is not their forte! It took me a long time to get all the elements completed but I think that gives the minions an overall more polished appearance which I'm pleased with.

The mouth's. That is always my least favourite part to tackle on any softie. More times than not they just look weird. I'm so pleased both mouth's turned out on these. It was one major "PHEW" from me!

And here are the finished products. Don't they look great? I know they will be happily received and loved on Christmas morning.

Have you made any Christmas presents this year? I'd love to hear about your creations.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Ruffle Tree Skirt

Look at my Christmas ruffle tree skirt!! I am so excited that I finished it!! It took me 4 days to complete from start to finish. I based the skirt off of this tutorial

I made my base slightly larger because I have a large Christmas tree. If I recall correctly I did it 50 inches in diameter. The only fabric I could find in my stash big enough to make the base all one piece of fabric was a soft pink fabric. At the time I thought it wouldn't matter cause you wouldn't see it. I was wrong.

The ruffles are so full and delicious that they stick up, revealing my ghastly pink mistake. I have decided to just get over it and deal with it. I thought I might tack down some of the bulkier ruffles to hide the pink but by the time I finished the skirt I just couldn't be bothered!! Maybe it will bother me another year and I'll do it? Maybe not... 

When I was sewing on the last row of ruffles hubby asked me if I'd checked that all the fabrics I had chosen matched the tree ornaments. I hadn't. And for a moment there I doubted my matching skills. But I had nothing to worry about. It matches perfectly with our colour scheme & my mismatched, eclectic style.

It feels wonderful to have ticked off one of my biggest Christmas craft projects EVER!! And I get to enjoy it for years and years to come! Now onto gift wrapping & my Christmas tree!

This year I went with super dooper simple gift wrapping. Who doesn't love brown paper? And hemp twine? And Kraft boxes? If you answered no to any of those questions, then you need to change your ways, because they are amazing!! The Kraft boxes are Stampin' Up! beauties. The larger boxes are found in the Seasonal Catalogue and they are $6.95 for a pack of 3 boxes (#132147) and the smaller boxes are found in the main catalogue and they are $4.95 for for a pack of 4 boxes (#124106). You can read more about the boxes here. I found an idea a few years ago to just use monogram tags to label Christmas gifts and this year I got around to doing it! Every member of my family has a different coloured letter to match in with the beautiful Christmas colours. I love how it has turned out. To make them I just punched out a 2-1/2" circle (#120906) out of Very Vanilla cardstock (#103550) and then cut out the letter I needed through the Big Shot (#113439) using the Typeset Alphabet Bigz Dies (#127553).

Now to finish the 4 other projects I have started and not yet finished..... In the meantime, here are some of my favourite tree ornaments!!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Craft Inspiration!

I haven't had a great deal of time to do Christmas crafts but I'd love to share with you some of my favourite ideas this year. Some I am currently making, and other's I don't know that I will have time to make but definitely wish I did!! 

This beautiful string & felt flower wreath was found through Pinterest, but unfortunately the link did not work to find out the source of this image. I have made a start on this one but so far have only wrapped the string around my wreath... 

This tree skirt tutorial is AMAZING. (It can be found here). I am about half way through mine. I hope to do a blog post on it later in the week....

I'm loving these. SO FUN. I am half way through making these too! I have done 1 coat of spray paint but they need a few more coats. (Can be found here.)

This is one of the awesome projects I haven't gotten around to yet... A Christmas card holder wreath! Pretty neat huh? (Can be found here).

DIY baubles!! These are divine. Also on my "not yet done" list but maybe they'll happen? If not, next year definitely. The blog post I found these on (which can be found here), is filled with some pretty awesome ideas of how to use vintage paper in Christmas craft projects. Definitely worth checking out.

This one is a Martha Stewart special, thanks Martha. How CUTE huh? Just some cheap plastic deer toys, glue, and glitter! 

This too is not a project I've been able to set in motion but I just love it. (It can be found here). But I guess it goes without saying, there is buttons involved, therefore I love it!

What Christmas crafts have you been up to this year?  Feel free to share them over on my Facebook page.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Gift Wrapping 101

At last night's Christmas Stamp-a-Stack Gift Tag Class I put together a small Christmas display showing some Christmas projects as well as some of the fabulous gift box/gift wrapping solutions!

Christmas is now within reach and we are all starting to scramble to get our Christmas gifts together in preparation for the big day. I don't know about you but I have a slight obsession with making sure my gift presentation is TOP NOTCH!! I am not a fan of busy, patterned, cartoonish type wrapping papers. Yuck! You couldn't pay me to put that kind of wrapping paper on my presents! I love my presents to look a certain way and Stampin' Up! offers SO MANY options to help with this, especially if you are entering "awkward shaped present" situations. There are boxes of all shapes & sizes, muslin bags, paper bags etc. And then of course you can make your own wrapping paper! But there is no point in me just talking about this. Let me show you!! 

The Extra Large Gift Box comes in a pack of 3 Kraft boxes. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 11.1 x 15.2 x 15.2cm. The pack of 3 costs $6.95 which breaks down to $2.30 each. Comes flat packed.

The Decorative Window Gift Box comes in a pack of 6 Kraft boxes. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 3.8 x 10.2 x 10.2cm. The pack of 6 boxes costs $8.95 which breaks down to $1.50 each. Comes flat packed.

The Kraft Gift Boxes are the little sister version of the XL boxes above, same design, just smaller! They come in a pack of 4 boxes. They are FOOD SAFE!  Boxes are 9 x 9 x 6.4cm. The pack of 4 boxes costs $4.95 which breaks down to $1.23 each. Comes flat packed.

Tag a Bag Gift Boxes come in a pack of 8 Kraft boxes with matching acetate sleeves that the box slides into. They are FOOD SAFE! Boxes are 17.5 x 5.4 x 6.4cm. The box of 8 boxes costs $11.95 which breaks down to $1.49 each. Comes flat packed.

These gift bags come in a pack of 10. They are FOOD SAFE! Bags are 12.7 x 21cm. The bags cost $6.95 which breaks down to $0.69 each. 

SIDE NOTE: Both the Tag a Bag Boxes, & Tag a Bag Gift Bags come in bundles with the Tag a Bag Accessory Kit below.

The Tag a Bag Accessory Kit comes with 10 large base tags, 10 medium builder tags, 3 colours of twine (6.1m each), 10 mini clothespins, 40 Stampin' Dimensionals & 5 self adhesive strips. The colours of this kit are Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Smoky Slate & Tangerine Tango. The bundle prices give you a 15% saving.
- If you buy the kit on it's own: $13.95 
- Buy the Tag a Box Bundle (Boxes & Kit) $21.95
- Buy the Tag a Bag Bundle (Bags & kit) $17.75

The Mini Muslin bags come in a pack of 8 bags. They are 100% cotton with a drawstring closure. They are STAMPABLE! They measure 10.2 x 14cm. The pack of 8 bags costs $16.95 which breaks down to $2.11 each. 

These are all the gift box/bag options they have available! Now did you notice I mentioned wrapping paper in the beginning? I'm sure you are wondering why Stampin' Up! would be supplying rolls of wrapping paper. Well they don't, but this is where your imagination comes into play. You take yourself to the shops and buy a roll of white, or brown wrapping paper. This is your blank canvas!! Pull out your stamp sets, your ink pads, and off you go! Making your own wrapping paper is fun and super dooper easy. Here is some wrapping paper I have made over the last couple of months. 

And then some made by my sister...

And my awesome friend...

So as you can see the possibilities are endless!! 

If you would like to order any gift wrapping options or anything else and you would like to receive the items before Christmas, I must place your order before 11th December to ensure it arrives in time!! Please let me know if there is anything you would like!  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tic Tac Toe Sketch Challenge

Our latest challenge was a doozey!! Ingrid chose it for our group to do. The way it works is you choose a line of 3 items and you need to include those 3 elements on your design. It was so hard!! But we gave it a go and here is what we came up with. 

Alicia came up with two beautiful designs. Her top design was: circles, twine & bling. Her bottom design was: 2 or more patterned papers, lace & bling. Loved both these designs. My favourites this round I think!

I loved Ingrid's design (Inky Ingrid). She chose: punches, ribbon, 2 or more patterned papers. The funky part about this design is she has cut off the bottom of her stripey paper and just flipped it over and used the spotty side on top!

 Kristy (Kristy Coromadel Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator) also chose: punches, ribbon, 2 or more patterned papers. She had trouble incorporating a 2nd patterned paper so just stuck with the one. She was worried her bow was too oversized but we all loved it!! I love a bit of dimension on a card and the ribbon adds nicely to it!

Rochelle (Lille Parti) made her card using: 2 or more patterned papers, lace, bling. I love the chalk board effect she has created with this card. It's such an effective method and relatively easy to achieve. There is something about beautiful colours up against the stark black background isn't there? It's a fabulous design!

With my design I chose: circles, twine, bling. I have been hanging out to do something like this with baker's twine for a while now so I made sure I chose a combination where twine was involved. It was fun using my brand new Circles Collection Framelits too!! I went with a simply layout and chose my colours based on which twines I wanted to use! 

If you'd like to join in with our challenges in the future please let me know!! Our next challenge is about to be issued by Alicia and I've heard rumours it will involve a brayer, so it should be interesting....