Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Homemade Holidays" Guest Post

I guest posted yesterday over at Michele's blog "The Scrap Shoppe" . She's hosting a fun series called: 
I shared some more of my altered candles.
You'll need: 

  • Glass Jar Candle ( also known as prayer candles, Novena candles) You can find these lots of places.  I first found them at the grocery store but subsequently ordered a case of them from Dollar Tree's website. 
  • Scrapbook or wrapping papers
  • Embellishments...ribbon, buttons, beads, die cuts etc.
  • Mod Podge

I like to combine patterns and textures so I used three different papers:
Decide which paper you want as your base. Cut to 8x8 then tear top and bottom edges. Cut remaining papers to 8 inches length and decide how wide you want the next layer, I did 4 inches for the middle,  and then 3 for the top paper. Tear top paper across the top and bottom as you did for the base layer. Mod Podge your papers together to form your candle wrap. Should look like this:
Patterned paper base, music paper middle, patterned paper top
Mod Podge candle wrap to candle. Cover top with more Mod Podge and you'll have this:
You can make the "wrap" cover as much or as little of the candle as you like. Now it's time to embellish which is the fun part! I used various things I had on hand like buttons, self adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, silver tinsel pipecleaners.  I chose a couple of diecuts from a package by K&CO and adhered to the center with Mod Podge. Then I added these strips of rhinestones ( Michaels Dollar Section):
I also added some buttons using a dimensional adhesive or you can use hot glue:

And some more coordinating self adhesive rhinestones on top of the buttons. To finish, I like to wrap the top "lip" of the candle with ribbon or you can use wire, beading thread or whatever you can think of. I used some vintage looking ribbon yarn and a silver tinsel pipe cleaner on these.

Hopefully this made sense but if you have any questions, please leave a comment  or email me! There's really no right or wrong here. Thanks so much Michele for having me over for Handmade Christmas! 
Also linking up at:

"Paper Source" Inspired Wreath


I love Paper Source. It's like a candy store of papers. But just like a candy store, I can't have everything in it. Well I could, but I don't think I'd feel too good after! So while in there the other day, their wreath kits caught my eye but being "us", I also had that moment of ( stealing this from my friend Christine @ Christine & Co) ICTMTM ( I Can Totally Make That Myself) or at least a version of it. Here's one of theirs:
which sells for $19.50. That's a lot of candy, I mean paper, for me. I didn't necessarily want an exact replica but I liked the idea. So I went to my cardboard stash ( recycled cereal boxes) for a base:
and cut out two "wreath forms" which I stuck together for stability. Then I went to my candy paper stash and chose the papers I wanted:
I cut my papers into 4x5 pieces and then folded in half down the longer side using my bone folder . I drew a holly shape freehand and cut out the leaves. I think I cut out 18. Then I started hot gluing them to my wreath form:
and went around until I filled the wreath form. For the "berries" I punched out gold circles from some scrap cardstock and glued some even with the leaves and used foam dots to give some dimension to others and finished with some gold adhesive rhinestones:
I haven't decided whether to hang this or leave it on my mantel where it is now so I didn't put a ribbon on it. And while my leaves are bigger than the Paper Source Wreath , I think it works?  

Linking Up At:
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Monday, November 29, 2010

"Guest" Where I Am...

I'm over at Michele's place, The Scrap Shoppe today! She's hosting a wonderful series called:

and I was honored that she invited me over for a guest post! You  know that in addition to my banner addiction, I've loved making altered candles. Come see the latest ones as well as get some great ideas on gifts and decor to make and give. And while you're there, check out Michele's wonderful blog filled with all kinds of creative ideas...papercrafts, scrapbooking, amazing flower necklaces, not to mention VERY helpful tutorials that have saved me hours of frustration! Look at this gorgeous PB knock off pillow:

And you should see the adorable Grandparent's frame idea she has...come on over!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Glittery Garland

I was on such a garland / banner kick for Thanksgiving that it shouldn't be a surprise that it's carried over to Christmas. I knew I wanted to change up my mantle this Christmas and had an idea to do an alpine / woodland theme with greens, browns, and whites. I also knew glitter would be involved so it would sparkle in the firelight. I was at Michaels and saw Martha's tinsel glitter but wasn't sure how much I would need and had something else I already wanted to use my 50% off coupon for and it was $9.99! Sorry Martha. Plan B. Found this stuff with the "kids" crafts for $2.99:

It's super lightweight and reminds me of shredded mylar. I cut out the letters to spell "BELIEVE" using my Cricut. I chose a mossy green cardstock for the letters and mounted them on panels I'd run through my XYRON adhesive machine. This let the letters stick as well as provided a sticky surface for the glitter.  Then I adhered the glitter panels to a panel of COLORBOK snowflake paper, brown metallic paper, and finally cream:
Of course I had to add some "bling" so put some clear and green rhinestones in the centers of the snowflakes
To finish things off, I covered clothespins with some coordinating green scraps I had leftover from a previous project and punched snowflakes from more scrap cardstock with a green rhinestone center:
The mantle's not done yet but here's the banner:

Now I need to figure out an alternative to Pottery Barn's $12 snow that I really want for my hurricane vase.
Linking Up At: 


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our "Black Friday" Traditions...

do not consist of getting up before the chickens and waiting in long lines to shop. For as many years as I can remember, we have gone to downtown Seattle to see the Christmas decorations. The Fairmont Olympic hotel ( which used to be the Four Seasons Olympic) is a very special place for us. It's where we got engaged; where we spent our wedding night; where we've celebrated birthdays, Mother's day, or just gone for a weekend getaway. Every year, the hotel is host to a huge gala fundraiser (which we don't attend!) auctioning off gorgeous, professionally decorated Christmas trees. The proceeds from the auction benefit Seattle Children's Hospital.  They're only on display the weekend after Thanksgiving before they're whisked away to their new homes.
I'm very into the red and lime green color combo right now so this one caught my eye. Each one of these trees is so detailed , words don't do them justice. Of course this one with a chocolate dipped strawberry was one of my faves!
Even once the trees are gone, the hotel remains a magical wonderland: 
One of the traditions we love the most is visiting the "Teddy Bear Suite". The hotel decorates one of their junior suites with, as you can guess...teddy bears, and its open to the public to view:
Here are some of the bear friends all comfy on a beautiful bed, surrounded by the spirit of Christmas. After the Fairmont, we usually head over to the Seattle Sheraton which hosts the annual gingerbread house village...giant gingerbread houses decorated by their pastry chefs with amazing themes. The line this year was waaay long and we decided not to wait but maybe another day during the season.  From downtown, we headed over to another area we love, University Village, near the University of Washington, which is an outdoor shopping center that's beautifully decorated. Seattle weather being what it is, I didn't take a lot of pics here because of the rain but guess who we found? Not Santa but his helpers!
Waiting for the boss man to kick things off. A few years ago, our own hometown started its own holiday celebration called "Snowflake Lane" ( well it's called that until 12/26 and then the week between Christmas and New Year's it's called "Celebration Lane") where every night live toy soldier drummers appear to perform to a music and light show complete with "snow"...the fake kind...we've had enough of the real stuff! Giant drum shaped stands line the road on both sides in front of the mall with lighted snowflakes on top.

Remember I'm short! So this pic was an "up shot"
Every night there are other toy soldiers walking around on stilts handing out candy, as well as Sugar Plum Fairies and other Winter Wonderland guests. Isn't this a lovely couple?

Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and a giant polar bear and Christmas Mouse also made an appearance. It was a great day, just focused on soaking in all the seasonal fun.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From Our Home To Yours..


Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I have so many blessings to be grateful for and included among them are the wonderful bloggers and friends I've met. Hope you each spend time with those you love. And yikes...Christmas is one month from Turkey Day exactly!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hanukkah's Next Week!

You know how you plan waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy in advance to do something and then BAM, where'd the time go? Uh huh. And Mother Nature is NOT helping since I need to mail these and she brought snow during Thanksgiving week. Dear Mother: It is not supposed to snow in Seattle in November! Did you perhaps confuse us with Minnesota? Good thing Hanukkah is eight days so if these are a little late...

 I started with 5x5 wood plaques, painted them black, then dry brushed with white, then blue, then gold. Created a "Subway Art" thingy on my computer, printed out on regular copy paper and then the fun began! I have this giant jar of JudiKins Mica Gloss I bought at a stamp show.  It's magical stuff to play with and it's wonderful for making background papers. I wasn't sure about printing on the glossed paper so I printed first, and then went over the printout with the Mica Gloss. It's transparent enough to see through. You don't need a lot of each color so I put drops of it on a plastic sheet protector, brayered it ( lightly...so things don't get muddy) and then went over my printouts. This pic doesn't capture how the gold really gleams.  Once dry, Mod Podged that onto my prepared plaque.
Made the background paper for the cards using the same materials and technique. Computer generated dreidel which I mounted on navy blue velvet paper, then on Stardreams gold scrap leftover from the card. Embellished with "Diamond" Stickles and blue adhesive rhinestones. Computer generated sentiment.

Had some scraps left from my background papers and card so of course made tags! Finished with fibers and ribbon on hand. And after all of that, I have pretty "trash" leftover because here's the paper that was underneath the papers I brayered:

You can see the gold glisten a bit better here.  
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