Wednesday, December 15, 2010

it will only take a second

to pick this year's red currant crop.

A few months ago I was given several mature red currant plant cuttings. A couple of them came with green currants.  For the moment they are living in pots and seem to be quite happy. They have put on new pale green growth and the currants have ripened.  I am surprised the blackbirds haven't found the fruit. Perhaps one of them tried the fruit and told the others not to bother.  Mind you there have been plenty of mulberries in the garden to feast on.

Summer's Jewels
If I was to make some jelly from this crop it could easily be stored in one of these bottles!

 height 5 cm & diameter 1.5 cm
Maybe home grown red currant jelly next year.  Delicious!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

another gift treat package

These ideas pop up lots at Christmas but they are so useful for events at other times of the year.  One for a gift or lots for a party.

 Here is another Martha Stewart idea from her 2007 magazine.

Instructions are available here.
I thought the labels could be cut using the Spellbinders Nestabilites Labels Seventeen set.  The 5.5. cm wide might do the trick.  As the cone design is based on a square of paper it would be possible to scale up the size of the cone for lots more filling if required.

Monday, December 13, 2010

how would Martha Stewart make them

This style of paper decoration is popping up in several places on the net now.  These paper balls have been created using last year's Christmas cards.  You can get Martha's instructions here

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I like haberdashery or how to make bobbins

I enjoy mixing my sewing supplies with cardmaking and paper arts.  At the last Paperific I spent some time with Julie Van Oosten at her Collections stand.  One of her latest products is making thread bobbins or spools from cardboard.

I have purchased her bobbin kit but once I started making bobbins I made them larger than the kit sizes.  The bobbins are used for storing some of my ribbons.  Seeing my resources helps inspire me and I love the way these bobbins have turned out.  My Cuttlebug with the original Sizzix circle dies have come in really handy.  Sizzix dies love cutting cardboard.

I use Pritt Power glue stick for attaching the paper to the cardboard to both sides before die cutting. The pressure of the cutting process helps complete the adhesion.

 Paper by 7 Gypsies - Conservatory Collection
The Swiss dot and ruffled ribbon from here.  I have taken to buying white ribbon and then colouring it with alcohol inks as needed.
 Brassed off eyelet with a little help from Copic pens

Saturday, December 11, 2010

with a little help from my Cricut

These two containers were created for friends.  They hold a gift of lots of petite chocolate balls.

When I last came across this design the artist had used 20 different pieces of paper and made it into a hanging bauble.  I have left an opening in mine with a ribbon to seal it up.  When the contents have been eaten these can be converted into hanging baubles.

Bigger is not better with this construction as the weight of the chocolates flattens the bottom 'fins' of the ball.  I chose not to make it a hanging ball.  Cello wrapped sweets would be a lighter filling.

The finished size of the ball is 11 cm and it is made with 20 pieces each 6 cm in diameter. 

After cutting the circles on the Cricut they must then be accurately scored.  I made up an equilateral triangle template in two layers of cardstock.  It is worth making up a test bauble to work out the sequence of the patterned pieces. This can be quickly stapled together for the test  These balls have a top of five pieces in one pattern and a bottom in the other print.  There is then a belly band of 10 pieces in alternating prints.

 The Cricut makes the circle cutting very quick and simple.  If you are using one print you will get 16 circles of 6 cm diameter from one sheet of 12 in x 12 in scrapbook paper.

Friday, December 10, 2010

kittens are not just for Christmas

... but rabbits are definitely only for Easter.

For last night's card class I wanted to give the participants a gift to finish off the last class of the year.  The pillow box holds some chocolates and my wishes to them for next year. The packaging was made with a combination of high-tech Cricut to low-tech Scor-Pal.  

 I used the pillow box from the Cricut Easter cartridge. Punched out the rabbit cutout with a circle punch.

Then  I backed the circle cutout with a piece of lightweight acetate and used some double sided tape to seal the sides of the box.  The box was then packed with the message and the chocolates.

The first thing to make for the decorative sleeve was a template indicating the score lines and position of the circle punch.  The hole in the sleeve is smaller than the hole in the box to allow for some misalignment and issues with getting rid of the rabbit.

This box size worked well with the 1 3/8 and 1.25 inch circle punches we have been using in recent classes. Larger boxes will come with larger rabbits.  It just might get harder to pull a rabbit out of the box.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

time to go

One of the cards I made using rosettes was for a birthday.  Last weekend it was time to send it off.  Due to its design the card needed a box to protect it in the mail.  On my trips to the usual shops that carry gift boxes I carried a piece of paper the size of the card to check the fit. The boxes were generally too tall and just a bit too narrow.

In the end the solution was DIY using my favourite construction material, foam core. I was able to make a sturdy box of just the right width and height.

I hope it has arrived in time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

garden flowers and the hidden cast

Planning a photo of some of the flowers from the garden I put together 3 different roses and two buddleia blooms of different ages.  However the fauna decided to come along as well: 2 slaters, 3 earwigs, three different spiders, ants and some other small moving critters.  Quite a cast.

The slaters surprised me.  I thought they stayed with the leaf litter on the ground and under pots.