Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Craft: Sleep Mask

I have a very good friend. That is very hard to buy for! (And if you happen to read this, I mean this in the best way possible!) She is also one of those unfortunate people that have a December birthday. Not only a December birthday, but one just a couple days from Christmas. The worst! I had picked up a few things for her but was trying to think of something she really wanted. Then she mentions that she wanted a Sleep Mask, but couldn't find one. So I began a massive search for a Sleep Mask, but to no avail, could not find one! Being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to make her one. I found this tutorial on Prudent Baby. I used their pattern, but used fabric interlined with fusible fleece for the front and just a simple black quilting cotton on the back. She also happens to be the only person I know who likes to wear glasses, so I dug into my "for special occasion" fabric stash, this happens to be Echino by Etsuko Furuya.
I believe that this brings me to the end of my Christmas Crafts. I LOVE to make things all year long, but there is a certain joy that comes from making things specifically for people. With that, I wish you a Merry Christmas! I'm certain to be back after the new year. With the new year comes many, many new projects!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Craft: Simple Gifts

Unfortunately, the holidays can hold a lot of material obligations. I personally enjoy a simple gift, one that is thoughtful. Because, it really isn't about the money. But about knowing that someone has thought of you. I made these simple cans of paperwhites for my office friends. Just a can pulled from the recycling, a handful of gravel and a paperwhite bulb. Wrapped in a simple cover of burlap. In 3 to 4 weeks, they should bloom. A simple reminder of the new year and spring to come. (A complete tutorial can be found here. Via Mayamade.)
I also read this much more eloquently written blog post today, also written about paperwhites on Soulemama.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Craft: Candy Cane White Chocolate Pretzels

I enjoy making treats, but only if they are quick and easy. I'm not one to embark into an 8 hour session of sugar cookie making. However, I am more than happy to melt some chocolate, smash some candy canes and dip some pretzel flats in both items and call it a delicacy. And definitely package it into a pretty cello bag. That pretty much makes up for my lack of endurance in the kitchen, doesn't it? The recipe and idea are found here, on Cooking With My Kid.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flea Market Style: Brooch Necklace

Our holiday party is this afternoon and I was searching for something a little festive to wear with my standard black sweater. I remembered making this necklace a few years back. I bought the brooches at a flea market and attached them with jump rings, tied on a ribbon and an instant necklace! Inspiration found here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Craft: If at First You Don't Succeed...

I try to be an honest person, so I have to fess up. Apparently, dough and I are not friends. After my post, about the salt dough ornaments, things went awry. I set the oven low and let them bake (dry out) for 4 hours. I wonder if it was too long... when I took them out, they looked, well dried out. Perhaps I didn't knead the dough for long enough. There were tiny cracks in it when I rolled it out. I had to throw that batch out. So I turned to the craft store and purchased some Crayola Model Magic clay. Even easier than making salt dough! All I had to do is open the package! After cutting them out and stamping them, I just let them dry for 3 days. That's it. They turned out smooth and white. Just like I had pictured! A simple and easy way to dress up simply wrapped gifts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Crafts: DIY Monogram Mug

These monogram mugs can be found all over the internet as well as all over the market place. I knew I had to try my hand at this. Last week was quite harried, but I had like 5 minutes to kill before a hair appointment the other evening, so I popped into my local goodwill and scoured the shelves for white mugs. I managed to find 4 that were in really good shape. The original directions for this project can be found here. They call for using graphite tracing paper to transfer the image onto the mug. I couldn't find any of this, so I printed out letters in illustrator (rockwell) then cut out each letter, used double stick tape to apply the letter to the mug, and traced around it with a pencil. I also couldn't find porceline pens (I could only handle a trip to one crafty shop this weekend, and had to pick up fabric, so Joann's was the only stop-their real artist supplies aisle is a little lacking.) So I ended up purchasing a Deco Art glass paint marker. I wish they had a finer tip, but I made it work. They still turned out pretty well. I have two more mugs left. Trying to decide who should get them!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Craft: A Present for Grandma

My grandma is one of the few people in my life that truly appreciates a handmade gift! So I never miss an opportunity to make something special for her. For Christmas this year, I decided to make her the Mama clutch, the tutorial is from Growing Home. I used fabric scraps I had on hand and I was able to put this together in one evening. It has a zipper closure and two small pockets on the inside. I like it so much, I think I might make one for myself. Because I need another bag, right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Craft: Salt Dough Ornaments

I was feeling the need to do a little holiday crafting today. Something quick, easy and inexpensive. I decided on salt dough ornaments. I plan on using these to tie on gifts. All that is required is salt (1/2 cup), water (1/2 cup) and flour (1 cup). I also used my alphabet stamps and my set of snow flake stamps. All of these items I had on hand.
I did have to buy some cookie cutters. I looked high and low all morning for an inexpensive set with no avail. Then, I stumbled upon these for .99 at Trader Joe's! I love that place!
I found great instructions for salt dough ornaments here. You basically make the dough, knead it, roll it out, cut it out, at this point I used stamps to make imprints, then you bake for a LONG time at a low oven to dry them out. If wanted you can shellac them with varnish. I think this would be great to do with kid's as well. Don't be surprised if you receive one of these tied to a gift from me!
cutout, before imprinting with stamps
all ready to go in the oven!