Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka!

May the blessings of the season fill your hearts with peace, joy, and love.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Forest of Christmas Whimsy

A colorful collection of paper Christmas trees adorned with tiny snowflakes will brighten up any holiday table. Won't you join me in creating a whimsical grouping of Christmas trees of your own?

Begin by making the support system. Four cones made from graduated sizes of cardstock half-circles are needed for each tree. The easiest way to make half-circles is by first making a complete circle and then cutting each in half. Done this way, each circle that you make will provide you with support for 2 trees.

Cut the following circle sizes out of cardstock:


Make a notch in the center on the straight edge using a hole punch. This helps the cone to fold over neatly. To form the cone, overlap the straight edges approximately 1/8-inch and tape in place. You can use glue to close the cone if you wish, but tape is so much faster and does not show in the final product.

You will need the following strips of cardstock for each tree:

6" x 1-1/4"
8" x 1-5/8"
10" x 2"
12" x 2-1/2"

Score each strip at 1/4-inch intervals.

Pierce the paper strip using a needle tool about 1/8-inch in from the edge. Try to keep the holes centered between each score mark. Do this on one edge only.

Accordion fold the strip of paper. Glue both short ends together with tacky glue to form a tube. Load a sewing needle with strong thread and run it through the premade holes.

Pull the thread tight to form a pleated cone. Tie securely in a knot before cutting thread.

Add tacky glue to the outside of the support cone. Place the support cone into the pleated cone as far up as it will go. Hold it in place for a few minutes until the glue gets tacky and holds both pieces firmly together. Complete these steps with the remaining 3 cones.

**Please note that going through the extra effort to make the holes and sewing each of the strips of paper may not be necessary for everyone. If you are able to glue the pleated circle around the cone with ease, then please consider doing it that way instead. It will save you a lot of time. No matter how much I try, I cannot make this method work, even while making flat rosettes. So, out of necessity, sewing is my preferred way to do it.**

Start at the base and begin stacking the completed cones in ascending order to complete your tree.

The white tree is the basic tree. If you'd like to give a fancy edge to the tree, use a decorative scissor or border punch while the paper strips are still flat. A decorative scissor was used to create the scalloped border on the printed Christmas tree. A snowflake paper punch was used to create tiny snowflakes. The snowflakes were glued onto the trees with tacky glue.

Okay, now for the fun. These trees are interchangeable, meaning that because the individual cones have not been glued together, you can arrange and rearrange them to your hearts content. I love the look of an almost solid tree with just a punch of color on the third layer.

If you get tired, just change it up again.

Create a unique winter wonderland of your own.

You can use a border punch on one side of the paper strip for a lace edging. You will need to compensate by adding additional width to the strips of paper depending on the type of border punch you are using. You will lose between 1/4" to 1/2" of the edge depending on how much the punch takes away. Experiment on a scrap piece of paper first.

A colorful gathering of lacy trees.

Add snowflakes if you wish or leave it plain.

You can mix the colors for a two-toned effect.

Mix it up again for a patchwork look.

Have fun with this tutorial. I'm off to make a few more printed trees.


Monday, December 6, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again!

While the holiday season moves full steam ahead, I have fallen way behind the pack. I've managed to get our tree up this weekend but that is about it. Most of my shopping has been done but another trip to the mall is still in order. I keep telling myself not to stress, but you all know how that goes!

Amongst the chaos, I did take some time to make toffee. It tastes divine, if I may say so myself. You can find the recipe HERE if you'd care to give it a try.

I am currently in the process of organizing my craft supplies. I have managed to accrue quite a bit of scrapbooking related items this year and my craft room is about to explode. I have decided that it is time to get rid of some of my old stuff in order to make room for the new.

This is my paint in it's before state. Over time, I have managed to collect over 300 bottles and it was taking up way too much space.

It is much lighter now after tossing over 100 bottles.

I have taken all of my glitter and placed each of them into clear glass salt and pepper shakers. I've placed all of the shakers onto a lovely silver platter.

I love the reflection of the glitter against the shiny glass and the silver platter.

There is still so much more organizing to do. My goal is to have it done before January 1st. Nothing like starting the year with a clean slate, or at least a clean craft room.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and for leaving me such sweet comments. I hope that you are all doing well and aren't stressing too much over the holiday hubbub. I'll be back soon with a holiday-themed tutorial!

Take care!