Thursday, November 29, 2012

Using Books for Christmas Countdown: Advent Fabric Bags

My son is 3 and we decided to try a different type of Christmas countdown this year.  Instead of a traditional Advent calendar, we’re going to use books to countdown to Christmas. 

Like most young children, my son loves books and being read to.  He also adores surprises and hiding things and he has a deep and abiding love for any kind of bag. Whenever we go somewhere, he asks me for a bag so he can carry his stuff. For Advent, we are marrying all these loves into one by hiding books in fabric bags under the tree.

I made fabric bags for the books but you could use the same idea with gift bags or by using wrapping paper. You can number the bags if you want, but I left ours plain so my son could choose the bag he wanted each night.

The fabric bags are easy to make.  They are great project for a beginner and a really fast project for an experienced seamstress.   I bought a 1/2 yard of a dozen different holiday patterns that I thought would coordinate well together, including some stripes and polka dots that weren’t Christmas patterns.

To start, I gathered up 24 holiday or winter themed books of various shapes and sizes. To make the bags, I folded the material in half, using the fold as the bottom of the bag (no need to sew the bottom). I decided which book to use and placed the book on top of the folded material. Using the book as a guide, I roughly measured and cut the material on either side of the book to make a roomy bag.  I left a lot of room (about 10 inches) of material above the book for a gather.

To sew the bags, I used the fold as the bottom, then hemmed the top and stitched the sides together. To close the bags, I used ribbon. I got this idea on Pinterest (of course!) and I need to go look for the pin to link it here.

In the bags are a mix of secular and religious holiday or winter-themed books. Some of the books we included were: 

The Polar Express
The Parable of the Pine Tree
The Snowy Day
Room for a Little One
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Crippled Lamb
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Biggest Snowman Ever
The Story of Christmas
Olivia Claus

I also included a few non-Christmas books that are his favorites, such as Thomas the Train. I have a feeling the books are going to be a hit...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall Tray: Little Yellow Bicycle

I wanted to post one last Fall project before I get knee deep into the holiday season.  I have this colorful tray on the shelf in our den. It features two of Little Yellow Bicycle’s Fall collections:  Acorn Hollow and Hello Fall.  The two lines work great together.

For this project I used a bare trinket box from Maya Road that included six removable chipboard ATC cards.  You can paint or mist the box, but I left it bare as I liked the warm, raw Kraft hues.

I removed each of the chipboard ATC cards and covered five of them with patterned paper.  I used a photo on the last ATC card.

I stitched a border around each card, except the photo, and added journaling die cuts to four of the cards.  I embellished the cards with pennants, phrases and chipboard, including a trio of owls and trees.  I added a twine bow from Trendy Twine to the bottom tree.

Here’s a close-up of the top of the tray:

And a close-up of the bottom:

This project was featured in the Fall edition of PaperHaus Magazine.  The winter edition will be out December 1 with 12 days of holiday giveaways. You can find out all the details here on the PaperHaus blog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Acorn Donut Holes: Quick & Easy Fall Treat

Here's a sweet treat for all the last minute moms (me!) who need something quick to bring to a gathering.  These Acorn Donut Holes are a super quick and easy treat sure to please young and old.  You can't fail with this one and they won't take more than 15 minutes to make. I originally saw this idea in Disney's Family Fun magazine.

Start with your favorite donut holes.  Dip just the tops of the donuts in warm frosting.  You can also use peanut butter or Nutella as an alternative. Add chocolate sprinkles. 

To finish the acorns, add a pretzel stick stem.  Put them on a platter and watch them disappear.  Side note: the squirrel is a tealight holder from Crate and Barrel. Love repurposing!

Ok, back to Monday's post. Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my Trendy Twine birthday celebration and giveway.  I used to pick a winner.  

Mary Pat Siehl, you are number 12!  I'll click back to your blog to contact you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving: Bella Blvd

[For the twine hop and giveaway, please see this post. ]

Oh, how quickly the holidays roll around! I can hardly believe that this Thursday is Thanksgiving. I made a quick little card to celebrate.

To make this card, I used some scraps from the Bella Blvd Thankful line and a simple design. I stitched the rows of patterned paper across the card, then added chipboard and little pennants.

To make the pennants, I added word stickers to some plain Bella flags in my stash.  To curl the twine for tendrils on the pumpkin, I wet the twine with a glue medium, then wrapped the twine around a pencil.  When the glue was dry, I unwrapped the twine and it sprung back into a curlicue shape. Easy!

If you'd like to win some twine, be sure to check out last Saturday's post.  I'm giving away 4 colors of holiday twine.  Entries close tomorrow night and the winner will be announced here on Wednesday.

To my American friends, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping by.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Twine Birthday Giveaway!

The design team at Trendy Twine has a little something up its sleeve today:  a surprise birthday party for Lesley, the owner.  Today is her big day and to celebrate, we've each made birthday cards for her, which we mailed earlier this week.

Each team member is spotlighting Lesley's card on our blogs today. This is the card I made.

I tied a bit of Twisted Lime twine around the chipboard vase then curled it for a decorative effect.  To curl the twine, I wet the twine with a glue medium and rolled it around a toothpick to dry.  When I removed the toothpick, the twine held its curlicue shape.

The team invites you to join the party with a hop to each blog. You'll find lots of great tips with twine along the way and a few prizes too.

The next stop on the hop is Jamie. If you get lost, just pop over to the Trendy Twine blog for the full lineup.

The prize on this stop is 20 yards of holiday twine.

You'll get 5 yards each of the holiday colors: Berry, Holly and Holly Berry plus 5 yards of Orange Truffle which we are featuring this month (not pictured).  To enter the drawing, follow this blog and leave a comment here on this post by 9 pm EST on Tuesday, Nov. 20. A winner will be chosen by and posted here on Wednesday, Nov. 21. 

Happy birthday, Lesley!  

Products used:
CS: American Crafts
PP: Crate
Chipboard: Crate
Stickers: Pebbles Inc (sentiment), Echo Park Paper (flower)
Pearl: Close To My Heart
Wood veneer: Studio Calico
Twine: Trendy Twine
Sewing Machine: Bernina 

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Creative Sketches: A Fall Day

In the South, we don't always have a true Fall. Sometimes, we have more of an Indian summer and a mild winter with some falling leaves in between. I long to visit New England this time of year to see what Fall is really all about.

But we do have a pretty vista year-round at the lake house and I snapped this photo of the boys on a visit there in November 2010.

I used Little Yellow Bicycle collections on this page, a combination of Acorn Hollow and Escape. Love how well the two lines work together.  The journaling spot tucked under the photo is Elle's Studio with a little May Arts ribbon stitched on as a pull tab.

Here's a closeup of the embellishment cluster at the top:

This layout was based on the new November sketch at My Creative Sketches. 

We'd love to have you play along and there is a great prize up for grabs. You have until Dec. 14 to link your work.  You can find all the details here on the My Creative Sketches blog.

We also have new two specials to announce at My Creative Scrapbook. First, the November and December kits can be made as a one-time purchase for a gift.  The second special is a new referral program. If a member refers a customer who signs up for a 3-month membership, the member will receive Prima Flowers and an additional gift. Please visit the My Creative Scrapbook blog for details.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby Layout: Pebbles

I was so excited to see this Walnut Grove line in the November kit at My Creative Scrapbook. In the midst of Halloween and Thanksgiving and on the cusp of Christmas, it was really nice to take a breath - and a break - and work with a non-holiday line.  This Pebbles collection is versatile enough for every season. OK, maybe not deep winter, but I used it here for a Spring page and in an earlier blog post, I used Walnut Grove to document a pumpkin patch outing.

I had just been introduced to scrapbooking when my son was born, so I still have unscrapped photos of that time. My first true outing with the new baby - other than a visit to the pediatrician - was to meet my closest friend for lunch.  It was a beautiful Spring day and my friend brought along a camera and shot these photos for me. I'm so glad I have them. 

I love this pennant background paper. It perfectly reflects the airy, happy, playful feel of that day.  I kept my page very simple, just adding lace, a few stickers and a title block. 

I decided to add a couple tags for a punch of color.  I made them from patterned paper and they were so quick to do.

I used a manilla shipping tag as my pattern and chose two coordinating papers.  I didn't make the tags as tall as the shipping tag since most of the tag would be hidden under the photo.

After I cut out the tags, I lightly inked the edges and stitched around the edges with white thread.

I tucked the tags under my photo, then added a phrase sticker to each. The tags made a nice finishing touch to my page.

If you are looking for a place to find scrapbook tips, tutorials and instructional videos, visit the My Creative Scrapbook blog.  The design team posts there every weekday and you'll find a wide variety of techniques. The mixed media team amazes me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Big Welcome: Baby Card With Twine Fringe

I'm sometimes asked what is my favorite type of card to make. I usually say thank you cards, but I've been having a change of heart lately. I think baby cards might be my favorite.  Like a sweet baby, a sweet baby card is hard to resist.

For this card, I used Bella Bvld and fussy cut a giraffe from patterned paper. I added a tuft of twine fringe to his neck using Trendy Twine's Orange Truffle. To make the fringe, I made a series of loops, placed very tightly together on the underside of the giraffe's neck.

After I had all the loops, I turned the giraffe over and cut off the loops to make fringe, trimming the the twine to the desired length.

Here's a closeup of the fringe:

Trendy Twine is hosting a "thankful" challenge this month and we'd love to see your entries. There's a great prize up for grabs. You can find out all the details on this post.  You have until Nov. 30 to link your project.  For more ideas on how to use twine, please visit the Trendy Twine blog.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy Handmade Christmas Ornaments

One of my favorite things to get into the holiday spirit is to make Christmas ornaments, especially paper crafted ones.  I love that homemade touch on our tree.

This year, I made Christmas ornaments using lightweight chipboard frames, patterned papers and small embellishments.  Holiday paper is of course best for this project but you can also use non-holiday lines for a bolder look.

I started with the new Once Upon A Time collection from Little Yellow Bicycle.  I love the red cardinals featured throughout this line and wanted to spotlight the pretty birds.

To make the two smaller ornaments, I used the “hanging wreaths” patterned paper in this collection and two round frames from the chipboard shapes. 

I pop-dotted the paper and chipboard together to give a little dimension then embellished the ornaments with sentiments and bows from the clear cut shapes. To hang them, I added Peppermint Stick twine from Trendy Twine.

To make the large ornament, I used the Vintage Santa paper in the frame, then embellished it with a tag, a vellum tape pennant and a cardinal from the fabric favorites.

I don't have my tree up yet, but you can get a feel for how the ornaments would look on a Christmas tree in this photo.

This type of ornaments isn't limited to holiday paper.  I also made chipboard frame ornaments using The Good Life collection from Fancy Pants Designs.  This line was included in the November kit at My Creative Scrapbook.

I loved the decorative chipboard in this Fancy Pants line and the way the chipboard frames could be layered.  On each of these frames I layered a plain small frame on top of a larger, decorative one.  I backed each frame with patterned paper then added sentiments and small embellishments.

There you have it: quick and easy Christmas ornaments.  Adding these to Paper Issues holiday linky party and to Tip Me Tuesday.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Projects with Little Yellow Bicycle

I’m super excited today to show you a couple holiday projects I made for a guest spot with Little Yellow Bicycle.  LYB is doing a fun 12 Days of Christmas series with 12 members of the Once Upon A Christmas cycling team.  I’m Day 3 and am featured on the Little Yellow Bicycle blog today.

If you don’t have Once Upon A Christmas, run to your closest scrapbook store.  This collection is a classic.  It features deep red and green and great neutrals to soften them. The icons are of nature: birds, trees and deer.  And there’s a Father Christmas too.

When I opened my cycling team box, the dark brown houndstooth paper was the first thing that caught my eye. I went to work with it right away.  It made the perfect cozy backdrop for this holiday photo of my sister and son on a carousel ride.  My son’s sweater featured reindeer and snowflakes so I pulled both of those into my design.

On this page, I used a journaling card as a decorative element for a cluster of items, including a little pennant made from a vellum strip and a stick pin.

For my actual journaling, I made a tag to slide under the photo. I used a piece of cream paper from the collection, stitched around the edges and added a word sticker at the top. The tab at the top of the journaling card is made with a little piece of vellum strip backed with cardstock.

For my title spot, I used a tag, embellishing it with a sticker and punched snowflake.

For my second project, I made a simple holiday card.  The OUAC collection has a pretty piece of red damask paper with a large script sentiment, Merry Christmas, at the bottom. As soon as I saw that paper, I knew it would be perfect for a card.

To make the card, I trimmed the sentiment from the damask paper, then added a bit of red houndstooth with a vellum strip above it.

An accordion flower from the line’s Paper Crafting Kit added some dimension to complete the card.  These flowers come pre-scored in the kit and are so easy to make. I love them.

I have one more project with Once Upon A Christmas: paper ornaments.  They are on the Little Yellow Bicycle blog today. I'll be back with those - and a tutorial - on Monday. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Simple Cards: My Creative Scrapbook

I think my favorite part of kit work - besides excitedly opening each new DT box - is near the end when I gather the scraps from my projects to make a card.  By then, I know the line I'm working with really well. I know which patterns I like to mix and match and I have a lot of freedom.  The layouts I obsess over are done and there are no photos to edit. It's just me, some scraps, glue and my imagination.

I have a clean style so my imagination doesn't really have to work too hard...Below are cards I made with leftovers from two different November kits at My Creative Scrapbook 

The first is from the Creative kit, which featured the lovely Walnut Grove line from Pebbles:

I admit: I unabashedly love the pennant craze.  I made the "thank you" pennant by folding a sticker around a long toothpick. 

The soft muslin pennants under the vase are Pink Paislee trim.  The bottom row is natural (straight from the packaging) and the top row is misted to match the flowers.  

The second card is from the Album kit, which featured The Good Life, a pretty new line from Fancy Pants. I really loved the colors and the punch of black. 

I thought this card was perfect for retirement.  I used a very simple design, just stitching patterned paper on part of a card, then adding a tag. 

To make the tag, I started with a plain white shipping tag.  I used a zig zag stitch around the edges just for a hint of texture and added a ribbon to cover the reinforcement hole at the top. Then, I added a sentiment sticker and a piece of chipboard that overlapped the tag and grounded it to the card. To finish, I added a couple buttons for bicycle wheels.

My Creative Scrapbook features four different kits each month.  Here's a photo of the two November kits I used.  You can find out more about these kits, including a Christmas special, here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...