My last minute Christmas projects

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I hope that you are ready for Christmas at your home. I'm happy to say that my last gift has been wrapped and is under the tree, the turkey is in the fridge and I just have a few last minute things on my grocery list that I will pick up a little closer to the 25th. I am looking forward to spending time with my daughters baking in the kitchen over the next few days. 

I wanted to share with you a couple of my last minute projects. The first one is a little treat bag that you can make up and hand out to friends that stop by over the holidays. I called it a Reindeer Treat bag!  I created the bag header and I you can use it too if you want. Just  download my art, print it on white cardstock and cut it out. To attach the bag header to the top of a glassine bag  or a clear bag you will need to fold the bag header in half and use staples to close. Fill the bags with candies or use my recipe below.

Reindeer Treats Recipe: mix together  equal amounts of pretzels, Shreddies cereal, M&M's candies and chocolate chips.

Download Reindeer Treats bag header here.

You will notice on the download that there are two extra square tags on the side of the download. I hate to leave blank space when I am printing something out so I added the tags!

I love to send and receive Christmas cards. It's a Christmas tradition that I personally look forward to every year. This year I made a ribbon garland using scraps of ribbon to display the cards with pictures on them. My photo above shows my  2012, 2011 and 2010 Christmas cards to demonstrate what the Christmas card garland will look like. 
Here's a quick overview of how to make one of these ribbon garlands. It doesn't  take long to make. It's such a simple project that you could make it with the kids in under an hour ... it will keep them busy before Santa arrives! I used lots of different ribbons - assorted colours, widths and textures. I even added some tinsel ribbon for fun. I cut the ribbon into lengths of about 6" but you don't have to have them all the exact same length so don't worry too much about measuring. I used one long length of twine as the base and tied a loop for hanging on one end. Then I just started tying ribbons in a random manner along the twine. I added a large wood clothespins in between the ribbons about every 4" to hang the cards. You will want to cut the ends of the ribbons once they are tied onto the twine. Cut the ends however you want ... mix it up as you can see in my photo above. Make the garland as long as you want to fit the space you want to hang it. When you are done, tie another loop at the end of the twine for hanging and cut off any extra twine. 

I made a couple of these chalkboard signs with my daughter and her friends a few weeks ago. They were painted on wood market trays from Creative Bag. I bought some more of these wood market trays to use for Christmas day entertaining. The trays are disposable but the shapes are really nice and I clean them off and paint them with black board paint. You can see more details on how I create these here and here. I am going to save the trays from Christmas day to do something for my daughter's rooms. I know that I will be checking my Pinterest boards for quotes to use. 

I hope that your Christmas preparations are going well and that there will be time to do sit back and relax with family and friends. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Christmas {post} cards and chalkboard art

Friday, November 30, 2012

I am so excited ... my Christmas postcards arrived this afternoon! 

I knew that I would not have time to create 80 handmade Christmas cards like I normally do this year. Instead, I designed a holiday postcard and had it printed at  I have designed and print my business and family cards with moo many times over the past few years and I have always been happy with the quality of their products. The stock they print on is so nice and everyone always comments on how beautiful they are. The colour on the girl's photo turned out great and the digital chalkboard and vintage postcard backgrounds that I created look even better than I thought they would.

I paid for quick delivery turn around but it took the courier 4 days to get them to me after they were cleared from Canadian Customs ... long story short ... DHL Express should not have the word "express" in it's company name. Oh well, at least I have my cards now and I looking forward to writing on the backs and mailing them out to our families and friends.  

By the way, I am really glad that I made these as holiday postcards instead of cards. No envelopes to be thrown away and I had our return address printed on the back of the cards so I don't have to add return address labels. 

I have been on a bit of a chalkboard art phase lately. I have been pinning lots of chalkboard art and graphic inspiration on my "chalkboard" Pinterest board. And I think that I am going to use a number of chalkboard elements it in my holiday decorating this year. I'll share more about that later ... I'm still painting "things" with black board paint.

 I just finished this large chalkboard artboard on the weekend.  I was hoping to pick up a couple of large wood canvases but I was only able to get one in the size that I needed. My original plan was to create a piece that I could hang over the fireplace in the livingroom with a Christmas saying for the holidays. I ended up designing what you see above because I was missing my oldest daughter who is off to University this year and I thought that she would like these graphics instead. I loved reading "Guess How Much I Love You" to both of my girls when they were small and this quote was just so much fun to work with. Now I just have to figure out where we will hang it ... but not until I have the Christmas cards addressed!!

 If you are interested in making chalkboard art piece like mine, you can see my chalkboard tutorial on Creative Bag's blog over here

salt shaker snowglobes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My oldest daughter went off to university this fall for the first time. She was home last weekend and I caught her looking through my Christmas decorations for things that she could take back to school to decorate her dorm room. Her room is as big as a closet and she shares it with another girl!! We ended up buying her some mini lights that she could hang on the walls and together we made a small salt shaker snowglobe to put on her bookshelf. 

Here's how we made them:
1. Gather your supplies: salt shakers, mini bottle brush trees , silver glitter, snow glitter, gel medium, E-600 glue, pliers, a long stick, mini dictionary and scissors.

  2. I found that the plastic bases on the mini bottle brush trees were too large to fit through the opening of the salt shakers, so I used a small pair of pliers to break pieces of the base off until it was small enough to fit. 
3. Then we added gel medium to parts of the tree that we wanted to add the german silver glass glitter ...
... and we quickly added the silver glitter before the gel medium dried. 
Note: I like to store my glitter in vintage salt and pepper shakers - it makes it easier to use the glitter and I have more control.
4. After the tree is completely dry, it is time to put it into the salt shaker. I added a small dot of E-6000 glue to the bottom of the tree base before inserting the tree into the shaker. You can use the long wood stick to position the tree in the middle and make sure that it is standing straight. Let the glue dry for a couple of minutes and then add snow glitter to the bottom of the shaker so that it completely covers the tree base. 
5. I torn pages out of a mini dictionary and cut little banners to go inside the snowglobe. My daughter is helping out with "frost week" activities after Christmas holidays on campus and we thought that "frost" would be a good word to use on her banner. I played with the paper banner a bit so that it would curl around the tree once we placed it in the shaker. Again, use the long wood stick to position the paper banner where you want it. 

And there you go! So simple right?!

I think that this is one of the holiday crafts that I will make with my youngest daughter and some of her friends for Christmas this year. 

Note: here are some more details about my supplies ...
Salt and pepper shakers - I collect vintage ones at the antique and second hand stores all year. If you want a bunch to do with the kids like I am going to do - you can buy new ones at the Dollar Store.
Mini bottle brush trees - I bought a value pack of assorted sizes of these trees at Michaels. I am going to use the larger sizes in larger glass jars so the value package was perfect for me.
Glitter - my favourite glitter hands down is Wendy Addison's Emporium Pure Glass Glitter. I found it in a shop in New York a couple of years ago and I am so happy that I can buy it at home  in Toronto at Creative Bag.
Looking for more holiday ideas and live in the Toronto area? I have two free holiday workshops scheduled at Creative Bag in November and December. You can get more information by clicking here!

Vintage book projects no.1 - fall pumpkins

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have had a love affair with old books for quite a long time. And I am always looking for unique ways to re purpose them. I was inspired by a picture of a "carved" book earlier this year and knew that I had to try to make a pumpkin book for fall decorating in our new home.
If you'd like to try to make one of these yourself, this is what I did ...

1. You will need an old book and an exacto knife. I used a dictionary for this project because I liked the yellowed pages.
2. Cut the book pages from the cover being careful to leave the pages glued together.
3. Draw out the shape the you want your final pumpkin to look like. You have to think about how your pumpkin will sit so you will want to leave a small area at the bottom of the pumpkin flat.
4. Using the shape that you drew as a template, start cutting the pages with the exacto knife. You will want to cut in sections. Take your time. When you get to the end of the book and have cut all of the pages, you may find that some of the pages were not all cut to the same size. That's okay, don't panic ... you can always go back and trim some of the pages.
But just like when you were 5 and tried to cut your own bangs ... try not to be a perfectionist and over cut!
5. To make the pumpkin into a 3D shape, I glued the first and last pages together using gel medium and 6. used paper clips to hold the book pages together until the gel medium was dry.

You can decorate the top of your pumpkin with a branch. I also added leaf shapes that I cut out of green felt and some pieces of twine.

These pumpkins are great for fall decorating and can easily be added into your Halloween decorating as well.

If you are looking for more Halloween projects pop over to Creative Bag's blog. I have been posting Halloween packaging, food decorating and party ideas over there all month. There are some free downloads for Halloween packaging here and here

I know that a number of people have been inquiring about my workshops. I don't have any mixed media or art classes planned at this point. The only workshops that I have planned for the rest of this year are free holiday packaging and party workshops at Creative Bag. The workshops are usually on Thursday nights in Toronto (close to Yorkdale Shopping Centre). If you are interested in attending just send me an email and I will add you to my email list and notify you when dates are available.

resin flower jewellery

Friday, May 18, 2012

I have been so inspired over the past two weeks by two things ... 1. we just recently received our Creative Bag Wedding resin flowers at Creative Bag and 2. Anthropologie just opened their new store in Oakville (which is about 7 minutes away from the house I will be moving into with my family this summer!!)

As soon as I saw the way Anthropologie was packaging their earrings and necklaces with old photos, I knew exactly how I was going to package the jewellery that I was planning to make with the new resin flowers.

Above you can see two styles of rings and a matching pair of earrings that I created with the resin flowers. The design for the earring card holder was created using old family photos and a page from an old dictionary that I scanned and played with in Photoshop. I printed the art on photo paper and mounted it onto chipboard.
Here's another pair of earrings and a matching necklace that I created using the resin flowers. The woman on these jewellery card holders is my Grandmother when she was younger. Not sure, but I think that these were taken when she was on her honeymoon. My Grandmother would have loved these!!!
The pictures on these jewellery cards are of my father and I. The picture was taken in 1962 and it is one of my favourite pictures of the two of us together when I was small. I punched two holes in the card for the necklace so that I could add the ribbon and attach the necklace.

I didn't make jewellery cards for the rings ... I've always liked seeing rings displayed in shallow containers filled with rice. So that is what I did with mine.
I just love resin flower cabochons right now. I've been using them on stationery and favor boxes for weddings and parties. You can see more of my ideas using these on Creative Bag's blog. I will be posting a tutorial for making some of these jewellery pieces on the Creative Bag blog next week if you are interested.
I will also be doing a demo with the resin flowers as well as a few other projects at Creative Bag's Toronto store on May 24, 2012 at 6pm if you are interested in attending. There is no cost to register but space is limited. Everyone will be making a resin flower ring and tissue paper flower pom-pom (yes, for free!) and you can find out more about the event and how to register here. 

To all of my Canadian friends and family, have a great holiday weekend!

my next workshop/demos at Creative Bag {April 26th}

Friday, April 13, 2012

I am going to be doing another workshop/demo at Creative Bag and you are invited to attend. It's on Thursday April 26th from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Toronto store. The store will be closed at that time so you have to register to attend. The event is free but you have to RSVP by 24th so that we can provide seating for everyone ... and space will be limited. Anyone that would like to shop in the store after the event will be given a 10% discount off their entire purchase.

Creative Bag has just received some new products that I have been playing with and I can't wait to share with everyone.

I love the new stickers that you can design and personalize yourself on line ...

and I will show you some great project ideas using both the white and clear stickers.

The new online sticker program also allows you to design and personalize iron on transfers. Let's just say that my iron has been used more in the past couple of weeks than it has in three years! I can't wait to show you my canvas bags and bunting projects and share with you my tips and tricks for this amazing product.

... and if you have been following me on Pinterest lately you know that I have been pinning lots of ideas using bottles and jars ... that's because they have just received lots of different ones at Creative Bag. Can you tell I'm smiling as I write this? ... and I'll show you lots of ideas for how to use them for your next celebration/event. Do you like the Betty and Veronica stickers on the bottles pictured above? I created them on my home printer using the Creative Bag stickers and online design program! ... by the way ... I'm a "Betty".

You can RSVP me directly at if you are interested in attending on April 26th. I hope to see some of my local friends there!!

Hoppy Easter Monday

Monday, April 9, 2012

I hope that you had a wonderful Easter weekend. It's Easter Monday and my kids do not have school today ... which means I will be checking up on them every few hours to make sure that they are not eating candies and chocolate all day.

We spent a couple of days at the cottage this long weekend. It was the first time we've spent any time at the cottage since September and we all looked forward to getting away from the city for a couple of days.

We went for a walk on the beach Saturday afternoon ... it was a beautiful day and we can hardly wait for summer!
I hosted an Easter brunch on Sunday at the cottage and made little Easter loot bags for the kids. The bags are from Creative Bag, of course, and I did a quick post about them here.

The little chick with the letters were a last minute idea that I created using things at the cottage ... a dice, black checkers, K&Company glitter chipboard letters and some colourful Easter chicks. I used gel medium to glue them all together.

Have a wonderful day!

finding time to be creative

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today my "to do" list is long ... but I have promised myself that I am going to carve out a couple of hours in between all of the things that I have to do to make time to do something that I want to do.

Yesterday when I was at work we received a number of new products and I packed a few of them to take home and test out project ideas. I was so excited as I packed my bags to come home and was daydreaming almost as soon as I got into my car. I swear my head was in another place while I was driving home ... do you ever do that? ... suddenly notice that your exit off the highway is next (or worse, you just passed it) and you honestly don't remember driving home?

Our house is for sale and my home studio space has been moved from our diningroom to the basement so that we can sell the house. I loved my studio on the main floor ... everytime I walk past our "staged" diningroom I feel sad. It is hard to feel "creative" in an unfinished basement with 1/2 of your supplies packed away in banker boxes so that the space will look "decluttered".  I dug through a few of the boxes last night so that I could find some of my supplies on the off chance that I would find time last night to create something ... no such luck.

So today I am promising myself that I will make time for myself for a couple of hours ... to be creative ... for me ... not for any purpose or anyone ... just to have fun, experiment and enjoy the journey.

Wish me luck!

paper flowers using the spellbinder flower die on my cuttlebug machine

Monday, February 27, 2012

My oldest daughter just recently celebrated her 18th birthday. She didn't want a party or to do anything special on her day ... her only requested was that I made her a chocolate cake and to make sure that her Scooby-doo candle was on it.

We gave my daughter money for her birthday and I wanted to personalize the gift box so that she would want to save it. The green kraft paper box is from Creative Bag. I picked up some of the new Basic Grey "kissing booth" papers and my first Spellbinder flower die to decorate the box. I've wanted to buy a spellbinder flower die since I first saw them last year at Scrapfest but they have always been out of stock when I look for them. This die is amazing and I know that I will be using it a lot.

Here's a quick tutorial for how to use this die on a Cuttlebug die cutting machine ...

1. To use the spellbinder flower die on the cuttlebug you will need: (1) A board, (1) B board and (1) C board. 2. Place the A board on the cutter, 3. followed by the C board. 4. Then place the die on top of the C board with the cutting edges facing up. 5. Put the paper you want to die cut on top of the die, 6. and put the B board on top of that. Now you are ready to turn the handle and watch the boards go through the machine.
7. Remove the scrap paper from the die and 8. carefully remove your cut flower shape from the die. 9. To form the flower, start with the smaller end of the die cut shape and start to roll the paper as shown.
10. Continue to roll the paper until to you can twist the flower shape to rest on top of the widest end. Glue the flower in place to hold.

Here's Haley's finished gift box beside her birthday cake.

Here's Haley making her wish and blowing out the candles on her cake. That crazy Scooby-doo candle has been on everyone of my daughter's birthday cakes since she was 3 ... I cried when I packed it up after her birthday ... next year Haley will be in University and I have a feeling that this was our last birthday at home with our baby. sigh.

GreenCraft Magazine and a blog giveaway!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm so excited to share some news about a couple of exciting things that I've been up to lately. First, I just received my new copy of GreenCraft Magazine by Somerset Studio in the mail and a few of my projects have been featured in it!!!
My glass tile earrings made from travel maps were featured first ... you might remember them from here and the tutorial here.
And to my surprise, five more projects were featured near the end of the magazine. Two on this page ... my Archie comic scrabble tiles and my vintage light reflector gift tags ...
and three more on these pages ... my bottle cap tutorial is here and I'll have to post sometime soon about my photo blocks and recycled tea container!

I have been crazy busy with Creative Bag lately. If you don't know about Creative Bag - it is the best place to buy all of your packaging, party, wedding supplies - they have three retail stores in Toronto, Mississauga and Pickering as well as a website. We were just at the National Bridal Show last weekend ...
it was so much fun. We are doing a giveaway on the Creative Bag blog for one of our most popular items at the show it's called "diamond wrap" (see those fat rolls of rhinestones ... they are 10 yards long!!)
and all you have to do is hop over to the blog and enter to win. Just follow me on the Creative Bag blog for a chance to win. Leave me a comment on the Creative Bag blog and get a second chance to win! But do it soon because I'm going to be drawing a winner tomorrow (Friday February 3, 2012) morning. I've got another free Valentine themed download that I'll be posting tomorrow on the Creative Bag blog and if you are a chocolate lover ... I promise you won't be disappointed!

push pop cupcakes for a Valentine party

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was so excited when I saw the push pop containers arrive at Creative Bag last week. Have you seen them yet? Apparently they are the next "big" thing since cupcakes! My daughters and I had fun making mini cupcakes to fill inside them on the weekend and I created a tutorial to show you how to make them for the Creative Bag blog this week that you can see here.

Here's a close up of what the container looks like ... can't you just see these at a birthday party, wedding or any celebration involving food!!
To display my push pops I put a piece of styrofoam in a container and filled the container with sugar. I carefully punched holes in the styrofoam with a screw driver keeping in mind where I wanted to position the push pops. Then I added the push pops.

I posted earlier that I am now writing for the Creative Bag blog too. You can view the blog here. If you like my personal blog, I hope that you will follow me at the Creative Bag blog too ... I have some free downloads there (I'll get them on this blog soon too!) and I plan to do some giveaways, contests and lots more!