Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en

No - not a very inventive title, but I excel at crafting- not original titling :D (okay- maybe I do, or should, considering I'd love to write full time one day- but it's just a blog and it's just hallowe'en and I just want to wish everyone a happy one!)

Okay, so. Every year, for the past two? years I wanted to make something special for the kids in my children's class. Being as I love baking and candy making and paper crafting I thought I'd do something cute for the classes. It's fun, the kids can be involved yadda yadda yadda right? WELL both last year and this year- poor poor pitiful me left the craft til last minute so not only did I have no room for error, I also had no room to let the kids help as I was doing this the evening before. In fact, I stayed up til two last night fininshing the ones for my daughter's class. Aigh. I do it to myself.

So here's the story: last year I wanted to make those tent bags with homemade chocolates. Well, you have to be careful as some kid are allergic, severely allergic, to nuts. This poses as a problem because I'm not sure if my chocolate melts are made in a plant that produces nut products or not. So better safe than sorry, I said no to the chocolates, and decided to make caramels instead. WELL my regular batch was too goopey to hold it's shape and I burnt the chcolate one- bad candy thermometer :C- so it was about nine? ten at night and I had nothing- NO-THING! So I decided at that wonderful time at night to make mini chocolate chip shortbread cookies. Well, I had trouble with the temperture as smaller cookies bake faster than regular ones. They were okay- but a bit, um, hard. (One of Lexie's classmates complained to her- 'your mom needs to make softer cookies'- thanks kid :P) So I was up til about midnite or one am last year making nasty cookies in ugly bags. OH THEY WERE UGLY!!! LOL- so ugly that I don't have a photo. I wanted to make pumpkin and ghost tents- the ghosts were hideous as I had this brainstorm to run the paper through the cuttlebug folder first (the swirl one) and it warped the paper. The pumpkins I used my EK Success bugs- the peircing ones that help you stitch- and I faux stitched with a pencil. It wasn't neat- it looked like- well- like a child did it :C THEN I cut out peices of black paper to make faces- oh, they were just so horrible.

So this year will be better... right... ??? I do have to give myself some credit. The boxes turned out okay- it's hard to mess up a pizza box. BUT my grand idea was to make a chocolate rolled cookie and then decorate these circle cookies in the faces of monsters. I actually got pretty good at cake decorating- and love it- and one of my fave sites is the Wilton site which has some pretty good ideas... so! I start making my cookies. A nice sugar cookie recipe- what I didn't realize was that sugar cookies require almond extract- I'm sure I could've subsitituted more vanilla- but I didn't think about that until AFTER I put the almond extract in and I'm staring in the bowl thinking of kid's allergies. Crap. So I'm taking stock of what I have- which isn't much, grocery day isn't until Friday, so I have to work with what I have. I FINALLY find a recipe that has all of what I have and start. I measure the cocoa first- I need 3/4 cup- I only have 1/2 cup. Crap. So I go on the net and try to find substitutes for that as I do have squares of unsweetened baker's chocolate. So after many sites searches (it really wasn't easy to find) and some math (which I'm not very good at) I thought I had it figured. I chilled the dough. I took out the dough and got everything ready to roll the dough. Dough was hard as rock. Crap. So I nuked it for 30 seconds and put it on my kitchen table. I now have chocolate crumble that doesn't roll worth a hoot all over my table. Double Crap. And now I don't have enough ingredients to start all over. I could really cry. So I just wind up getting some chocolate bars- and again without thinking about the nut allergy thing- oops. Grrr- if it's this hard for a mother to do that for her kids' classroom I cannot imagine how hard it is for the mom of the child WITH this allergy. I really feel for them doing this everyday. So that's my wonderful tale. I could cry- I almost did. But thankfully my mom put it all into percpective, as mothers usually do. And it didn't turn out too bad- this is what I came up with:

The finished pizza box- I wish I had some Hallowe'en stamps to livin' up the purple paper- but I don't. Ah well, chances are the kids are just going to tear them up to get to the goodies inside :D

The inside of the box- I got a free box of chocolate bars from Superstore as their deal- and they had to be the cadbury ones- so it sucks cuz they are peanut butter, but I gave the teacher's each a warning. Thankfully the children in question just can't eat peanuts. I feel for the moms whose children can't even smell them or touch something that has peanut oil or something on them.

I made 21 for Lexie's class all last night (I had everything pre-cut or I'd have been up an extra two hours!) and the day before I did ten for Gabe's class.

So I hope you all have a happy hallowe'en with your little ghosts and goblins... after today, it's time to get ready for Christmas... augh!!! If I had this much trouble with Hallowe'en I dread what Murphy's Law has in store for me during the holidays! LOL take care :D

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Birthday Cards

So a quick post for today- as I haven't really scrapped much latley- so I don't have anything really new to share. Yesterday was a VERY productive day for me (don'tcha love those!). I cleaned my entire house from top to bottom (not too hard considering it's a two bed, 1 bath apartment). I made a roast for dinner, finished laundry and even finished a birthday card for a friend of mine!

<-Closed card
Open card ->
So yeah, I was pretty impressed with the accomplishements of yesterday. It's always nice when everything is done- but tough as a mom when the very next day you're starting all over again. I had clean dishes, but now my full dishwasher needs to be unloaded and put away. I had laundry done, but with a family of five the hamper is almost half full again. My once clean carpet has chocolate cupcake crumbs all over it. Sigh. That's the life of a SAHM tho right? Work is never done. At least there's always time for stampin' to take some stress out of the day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Snowflake Follies Set.

Okay- so I'm not the best at updating :P But I'm getting there!! I'm trying to incorporate craftin' in my everyday life and want to share my creations with you!
So a few days ago my church celebrated it's 10th anniversary, which was pretty cool, and I got to help by making the invites, favours and programmes. I really didn't feel that it stretched me all that creatively so I decided to donate a door prize with a basket full of goodies. Two crates, one with chocolates and one with coffees and then three sets of gift cards. Well, I also have a facebook account and my friend really liked one of the sets of cards and wanted it- so here I am making it again with a technique that I worked with. I don't know if anyone else has done it- but I didn't see it anywheres- but I know for a fact great minds think alike- so I won't take the credit on this one... just in case :D

So- of course I don't have the best camera- or lighting- so please bear with me. I ran a 3.75x3.75 peice of WHITE cardstock through my Cuttlebug (BEST B-DAY PRESENT EVER!!!!- love you honey :D) I used the snowflake folder (OH- go to their site and check out some of their new embossing and 2 step folders- I want them!) ANYWAYS-LOL- I just ran that through my cuttlebug.

Then I tried highlighting the embossing- which I have seen before. But I tried doing a lighter colour first (the catseyes from ColorBox are perfect for this work!) and then the darker colour. I've done this before with three different shades of blue- very pretty! Or even using three different colours, like yellow, orange and pink- just make sure you use the lighter colour first.

Then using glitter glue (I don't have stickles, but I think they may work) I splotched some on my peice of cardstock and just swirled it on with some foam brushes in a circle motion. It does need to dry, and wait til it's completly dry, or it'll get goopy. As I've said, I don't have stickles, so I didn't use them- maybe they dry better- I don't know. I just like the glitter effect- and it makes a great back ground :D

And there's the finished card using your peice of cardstock as a nice element to a card. The other elements I used were mixing glitter and fine embossing powder together (equal parts). I then stamped snowflakes on vellum and used my mixture to heat emboss it- be very careful tho! You could either scortch or blister your vellum! (that is the strip under the ribbon). Then I used the same technique on a square of vellum that I placed OVER my stamped saying- to give it a 'frosted window' look (that was my hubby's idea- and he says he's not creative!)
So yea- that's my Christmas card- I may change my own for this year- these were my favorite but a card is like a nice dress- you simply can't be seen with the same one as someone else!! LOL so that's it for now- bye!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Sorry- I don't want to edit the whole post- it was tough enough to get it alligned straight! I am NOT computer savey! Anyways, I meant to say, when you are scoring the sides of your crate, and you want it a bit wider, score at 8/16ths NOT 12/16ths- sorry. My math was off- I guess that WOULD make it an even tighter squeeze eh? Sorry for the confusion :P

The Infamous Milk Crate- Finally

For all of you that have been oh-so-patiently waiting I say this: Thank you. I have a blog already- but have NO CLUE how to imbed pictures- and as I am a teacher not a preacher, I have to SHOW what I'm doing, not just tell cuz then I'd get us both lost. And now- we begin :D
8.5x11 sheet of cardstock
Stamps, ink, embossing powder, ribbons
Cutter, scoring tool
Score height wise at 3 and again at 5.5 inches.

Score each side at 1 and 10/16- this is perfect when doing milk cartons or one carton and one box. However, if you are doing two boxes side by side it is pretty crowded, so you may want to score at 1 and 12/16 if you are doing 2 boxes (tutorial to follow!)

Cut sides as shown inward. I put sticky strip as shown PLUS one peice of sticky strip along the top of the second cut peice.
As you can see in the bottom picture, there is adhesive strips on the outside parts of the second strips. You may want to release some of the backing as it is VERY HARD to do that after the sides go up!

I would suggest that if you are going to stamp right on the paper, to do so now. What I like to do to make my own patterned paper is to mix equal parts fine embossing powder and either fun flock or fine glitter. This adds texture to your paper and is fun as a gift!
Bringing the front outter side up and adhere it to the inner flap. Then bring the larger side up and adhere it to both the front and inner flaps- as shown here. This is so when you have the crates back to back you can cover the seams or make them look like they are supposed to be there by putting an embelishment there.

TRICKY PART!!! This is folding the inner tab up so it is sturdier. As you can see- THIS is why I pealed part of backing off. Try using dull scissors or tweezer to help you peal the backing off all the way. My favourite is the Double Stick Tape by Thermo Web- it's less expensive than ProvoCraft and is just as tough!

Sorry this shot is blurry- but the next step is to take your crate and set it on it's side. Using a ruler and exacto knife, cut from the corner of the bottom to the corner at the top, as shown, to give it a finished look. Do this to both sides.

Now- make another one!

Now to the fun part! If you haven't decorated your paper yet, and now want a fun alternative. Take a peice of cardstock and decorate it seperately. I took a new clear Snowflake stamp set from Inkadinkado found at Michaels and some silver ink and silver embossing poweder and made <--- this. THEN I cut it into peices, one 11x8.5 sheet is enough for 4 peices of 2.5x5.25(ish) for covering.

I used my fiskars border punch to add details to it. You can scallop it, add another peice of paper over it, or what have you- possiblities are endless! So here are the adhered peices. I did do this after I assembled the crates- but it is easier to do it BEFORE they've been assembled.

Now put sticky strip all over the backside of one crate. I like to outline the edges, and then add a few peices in the centre for added strength.

Setting each crate back to back- carefully adhere them to eachother. I find it easier to keep them down so you can align the sides. Then press together and VOILA- time to decorate the rest!

I cut a peice of 2.5x3- but you can make it whatever size you want to fit the side panels. Go the entire length of the box- do a small square in the middle- HAVE FUN! That's the main thing right?

To do the front panels- I like the scalloped finish. In my previous SCS uploads, I had used my Cricut and Mini Monograms at 3 inches. Over top of that, I had typed my lable- either two or three times- using the Word Art program available on any Microsoft office suite. I used the curved option, and then when it was done, I selected my font, typed my lable, using a * if I was naming it more than once (2-3 times gives it a nice cirlce) so when you hit 'insert' you have a huge curve, then you go to word art options- choose circle- and then it should be a circle (see what I mean about me explaining things?). I then finagle my way into the perfect size and then print, and cut using my fiskars circle cutter. But HERE I just used my 2.5 inch square scalloped and then layerd them with simple squares.

Check out SCS tutorials to find out how to do their milk cartons or 2-4-6-8 boxes (which I score at the same intervals as the milk carton so they are the same size). The boxes I use for this is like that, but different. So here are the directions for those!

6x11 peice of decorated cardstock for each box you'd like
4.5x4.5 peice of cardstock for each lid
cutting and scoring tool
Decorate cardstock as you see fit. I again, LOVE stamping and embossing!

I used the same colour as the crate itself for cardstock, but then as you add decorative elements they all work together. IF you are going to add a window- do this to the second panel from the left- this will be the front panel, keeping the tab to the back. I like using vellum as an underlay to my window- and again, doing what you want, you can leave it or add a lable or whatever you like!

To make the lid, take your 4.5x4.5 cardstock (here I used my accent colour with the silver ink and same stamps as the decorative elements of the crate). Score at JUST under 1 inch on each side (about 15/16ths of an inch) so it's just big enough to fit overtop). The cut and adhere just like you would a box itself. There is the finished box!!

And there you go! I only made two boxes to show you how it would look, but the crate fits four! Also, add a tag if you'd like, as I've added to some of my previous crates. They are awesome gifts! So buy or make some candies, buy or make so cocoa mixes or even add small gifts and make it pink or blue for a baby shower- possibilites are endless- and I would LOVE to see your take on them- I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial- and now- I gotta figure out how to fix the layout- TTFN!

Monday, October 20, 2008


I am sorry that this is a bit naked right now- I have had blogs in the past, but really, they were nothing more than me rambleing on about nothing :D Now I want a blog in which I can share my creations and 'how tos' with my friends from SCS and anyone else who happens upon here. So- for all of my patient friends, I will be making and posting the oh-so-infamous box either tonight or tomorrow. I need to make a new one and take pictures as I go- so don't think I forgot about you- it's just that I am pokey and this is a work in progress. That being said, welcome to my blog- feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments and - well, that's about it!!