Friday, November 6, 2015

hostess gift idea for the holidays

Our family holiday entertaining plans are underway and I've already started marking dates on the calendar for holiday parties we have been invited to attend. That had me thinking about what to do about hostess gifts. I always try to give something that is practical, reusable and unique. And if time is not an issue, I always try to add something that I've created myself, even if it's just the gift tag!!

Last year I created these adorable hostess gifts and I thought that I'd share them with you for some early holiday gift giving inspiration.

I purchased large glass containers and filled them with beautiful decorated cookies. The containers will look like snow globes when you add a little course sugar to keep the cookies in place. I attached chalkboard tags that I decorated with chalk markers on with twine to the glass lids. 

The cookies can be eaten (right away or saved for another day), the glass containers can be reused, and this gift is sure to make someone smile when you walk in the door. Best part about this hostess gift is that it is so pretty you really don't need to wrap it up which will save you some time. 

If you are a baker and can make your own cookies that's awesome! Or you can do what I did and buy cookies from a local bake shop or custom cookie maker. My cookies were custom made for me by Branded Bites. Branded Bites used some of my illustrations to created my cookies. Just remember if you are looking to have custom cookies created you may need extra time to order them at this time of year.

And here's one of my favourite hostess gift wrapping ideas! Place two stacking boxes on top of a cake stand and tie them all together using a wide ribbon. Add an ornament to finish and you're done. The boxes could be filled with homemade baked goods or whatever you want. 

You can find more of my holiday ideas from last year here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sweet table set up tricks for your Halloween treats

Are you hosting a Halloween party this weekend? Here's a few of my tips and tricks for setting up a Halloween sweet table. 

Tip no. 1 - It's okay to use an assortment of different containers and cake stands to display your treats. If you are going to use coloured dishes just try to keep them all to one colour so that the colours of the treats will take centre stage. 

Tip no 2 - Keep your treats simple and don't stress about having to make everything yourself. I used a combination of store bought treats (donuts and two-bite brownies) and combined them with some easy to make treats (candy bark and a chocolate covered cereals) and bulk food candies (gummy worms and candy covered popcorn).

The candy bark was so easy to make using melted chocolate and assorted candies and sprinkles. I was inspired to make my candy bark after reading the recipe in SheEntertains magazine.

Whenever I don't have time to make brownies I buy one-bite brownies and decorate them with store bought cake icing and sprinkles. Everyone just assumes that I made them myself. 

Trick no. 3 Use some Halloween decorations in your set up that work with the colours of your treats. I added pumpkins that I decorated!

Tip no. 4 - Try to elevate some of your serving containers so that everything is not at the same height. I used a few wood slabs in my set up - stacks of books or set up boxes will work too.

I decorated a number of pumpkins this fall using paint, glitter, tissue paper, chalk markers and gold paint markers. You can see some of them here and on Instagram.

The gold polka dots on my pumpkin were created with gold tissue paper and mod podge. It took me less than 15 minutes to decorate the pumpkin and all of my polka dots are the same size!

Here's a quick tip for cutting perfect tissue paper circles - use a paper punch! I find that it is easier to punch three or four sheets of tissue paper along with one sheet of text paper. 

I hope that your weekend is boo-tiful. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My diy watercolour bags are featured in SheEntertains magazine by Elle Daftarian

diy watercolour tote bag | Lorrie Everitt

I teamed up early this month on a project with Elle Daftarian from Petite and Sweet. Elle has just published her Fall 2015 edition of SheEntertains which is an online magazine and it is full of great entertaining ideas for fall and Halloween. 

I created the diy watercolour tote and favor bags for a Halloween party that Elle hosted for her daughter Sophia and Sophia's friends. You can find all of the details about the party and the diy tutorial to create these bags in SheEntertains

If you are interested in creating the bags yourself you download my graphics for the tote bag  here.

click on the photo to download

By the way, the font that I used to create the girls' names for the favor bags is called Mulberry Script and you can find it here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

do it yourself wrap bead bracelets

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Don't you just love wrap bead bracelets?! I purchased one while I was in Barcelona last fall and I wear it all of the time. I can wear it alone and I layer it with other bracelets. 

After purchasing some small turquoise beads on sale at Michaels the other week, I decided to try my hand at making my own wrap bracelets. Here's how I made mine:

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

My supplies: small beads (keep in mine the smaller the bead the more beads you will need), two sizes of beading thread (I purchased the cording shown at Michaels and used the two threads at the top), 2 collapsible eye beading needles, bead stringing glue, small buttons (mine were antique), scissors, two clips and a board to work on

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

You will need two different thickness of beading thread. The thicker thread will be used as the base of the bracelet and the thinner thread will be used to add the beads to the base. 

Note: You are going to pass the thinner thread through each bead twice so it needs to be very thin but strong.

I used my original wrap bracelet as a guide for how long to cut the threads. 
My original bracelet wraps around my wrist twice and is 15" long. 
So I cut my thicker thread to 50" long and the thinner thread to 92". 

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

First step is to add a button to the thicker (base) thread. Fold the thread in half, add the button and add a knot as shown. Note: the button should be able to lay flat - knot the thread so the button can move a little.

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio 

I created this crafting board so it could hang up for easy storage in my studio. It's basically a 9"x12" masonite board covered in scrapbooking paper. I punched two holes using the crop a dile tool and added a cotton ribbon for hanging. Use two clips to attach the thread base to the board as shown. You need to create a space between the two base threads so you can easily add the beads.

Once the thread base is secure on the board, fold the thinner beading thread in half and add it to the thread base just below the knot. Add a collapsible beading needle to both ends of the beading thread.

Tip: If you don't have a board like mine use a clipboard and one clip.

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

And now the fun begins ... adding the beads!

top left: Tie a knot with the beading thread to keep it in place on the base threads.
top right: Wrap the ends of the beading threads around each base thread twice.
middle left: Add a bead to the bead thread on the left as shown.
middle right: Take the bead thread on the right and insert it into the same bead as shown.
bottom left: Wrap the two bead threads around both base threads again - twice.
bottom right: Add another bead using same guidelines as before.

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

You will continue to add beads (remember to wrap bead threads twice before adding next bead) until you are close to the bottom of the board. 

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Here's a close up for reference.

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

My finished bracelet will be longer than the length of my board so I had to re position the base threads. I wanted my beaded area to be 12.5" long. Keep checking the length of your bracelet so that you will know when to stop.

FYI: I used 55 beads on my bracelet. The bracelet that I purchased had 80 smaller beads. 

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Once you are satisfied with the bead length, you are ready to finish the bracelet.
top left: After the last bead is in place, wrap the bead threads around the base threads two last times.
top right: Knot the beading threads around the base threads as shown. Cut the beading threads and add bead string glue to the ends to prevent fraying.
middle left: Tie a knot with the based threads directly over the beading thread knot.
middle right: Knot the base threads once more to create a "button hole". Make sure that the button hole is large enough for your button to go through.
bottom left: Create one additional knot to finish the bracelet as shown. Cut the threads close to the knot and add a little bead string glue to prevent fraying.
bottom right: Your bracelet is ready to wear!

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Here's another look at my finished bracelets.

I'm also so excited to be on Instagram now! You can find me here! I'm really new to Instagram and still looking for other creative people to follow for inspiration. Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions.

diy wrap bracelet | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Thursday, October 1, 2015

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

After being inspired by the endless number of projects that have been popping up on Pinterest featuring art framed in embroidery hoops, I went to work digging through my sewing supplies for my stash of embroidery hoops. I did a lot of cross stitching back in the 80's and like most of my craft addictions, I (still) have a ton of supplies to use up.

I have been playing around with these printable cotton fabric transfers and I decided to try them out for this project. Unlike most of the iron on transfers that I use, these ones are actually cotton fabric that goes through the ink jet printer - so you don't have to worry about reversing the image before printing. The adhesive is on the back so there is no fading when you iron them onto another fabric.

  embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Once you have printed out the fabric transfers you will need to cut the image out before you iron them onto the fabric of your choice. I used an inexpensive unbleached cotton for my background material.

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Embroidery hoops are available in a number of different sizes. I sized my fabric transfer to just fit inside the embroidery hoops so that there would be room for me to stitch a decorative boarder around the image.

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

I have not been sewing for a while and forgot how relaxing it can be. It's easy to do while watching tv or sitting shotgun on a long car trip. I used a number of different colours and stitches on these pieces. The metal letters came from my scrapbooking stash and were perfect for this little project.

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

I also used a combination of felt and buttons to create little saying on each of my pieces ... like sweet "heart" and 

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

"sun" shine. If you want to re-create something similar to this and can't find the metal letters you can always add the words to your art before you print it on the fabric transfers.

embroidery hoop art using printable cotton fabric transfers | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Now I just need to find a place in my studio to hang these! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

here's what my week looks like ...

chalkboard diy | Lorrie Everitt Studio

Do you have a difficult time trying to remember what everyone in your family is doing during the week? I use to before I created this easy diy project for my kitchen. 

I turned an over sized painting that I purchased for $10 at the second hand store into a chalkboard. I hung it in my kitchen in a spot that it would be easily seen and my family uses it to keep track of appointments, school events, games/practices, etc. 

For whatever reason, my husband really didn't want me to put this in the kitchen at first. But everyone that visits our home comments on it and asks us where they can get one ... so now my husband thinks it is a great idea.

chalkboard diy | Lorrie Everitt Studio

I painted the frame using a couple of coats of white chalk paint. I painted over the original painting using a couple of coats of Martha Stewart's chalkboard paint. Luckily the painting did not have a texture so I did not have to do any sanding before I painted the surface.

Tip: Allow the final coat of chalkboard paint to dry for about 24 hours before using it. You'll also want to condition the chalkboard surface by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire chalkboard. Clean off using a dry cloth.

chalkboard diy | Lorrie Everitt Studio

I knew that I didn't want to have to rewrite the days of the week on the chalkboard every week so I used a chalk marker to write each day of the week and the "good to know" line. I write the weekly notes in chalk. That way, when I erase the board with a dry cloth at the end of each week, everything comes off except for the words in chalk marker.

Even if you don't have great handwriting, it is possible to achieve perfect type on a chalkboard using chalk markers if you follow my handy instructions ...

how to write on a chalkboard like a chalk artist | Lorrie Everitt Studio

1. Gather your supplies: white transfer paper, a pencil, chalk markers, print out of your design/type (sized to fit your chalkboard), painter's tape and ,of course, a chalkboard.

I type out whatever words/design I want to put on my chalkboard on my computer first. That way I can play around with different fonts and the spacing.

Note: I print everything in the final size I need for my chalkboard, even if I have to cut up my words/design to print on a number of pages. You just tape them all together.

2. Cut your paper design out to fit your chalkboard so you can see where to place it. Use painter's tape to hold the paper in place and insert the white transfer paper in between the paper and the chalkboard. Make sure that the white transfer side is facing down towards the chalkboard. Now trace the letters (design) using a sharp pencil.

3. When you are finished tracing with the pencil it will look like this. 

4. Now you are ready to write using the chalk marker by going over the fine lines from your tracing. 

And that's it! If you can trace - you can do this.

Lorrie Everitt

Sunday, June 7, 2015

my gift wrapping inspiration for a wedding gift

gift wrapping inspiration for a wedding gift | Lorrie Everitt Studio

My husband and I attended a wedding this weekend and I thought that I'd share with you how I gift wrapped our wedding gift. We always give cash but I really don't like to put it in an envelope because I think it's nice to see a few gift wrapped items on the gift table.

Instead of using gift wrap, I placed a gift box inside of a custom bag that I created using iron on transfers, a cotton tote bag and the graphics from a free download that I designed for Creative Bag. The graphics were easy to personalize - I just added the bride and groom's names as well as their wedding date. You can find the free downloads for five different graphics to use on cotton tote bags here.

gift wrapping inspiration for a wedding gift | Lorrie Everitt Studio

You can see the inside of the gift box above. I filled the box with sizzle before I added the card and money. I simply tied a wide white satin ribbon around the gift box to keep the lid from falling off inside of the bag. I added a little note inside the box to let the bride know that the box could be used as a keepsake box for gift cards and photos after the wedding.

wedding details that I love | Lorrie Everitt Studio

We had such a wonderful day at the wedding. The sun was shinning, the bride and groom were so happy and everything was so beautiful. I snapped a few shots at the wedding reception ... these were some of my favourite decor details.

Do you have a wedding to attend this summer? I hope that this inspires you to do something a little different with your gift wrapping - even if you are giving cash!

By the way - do you like to win free stuff? Creative Bag is celebrating the launch of their new website all next week for five days starting Monday June 8th. There will be five daily giveaways and daily specials in stores and online. I will be posting all week long on the Creative Bag blog and I hope that you will hop over to see what is happening and while you are there enter to win each of the daily draws!