Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Treats

Now that our Chanukah celebration has ended, it is time to stir up some spicy egg nog and get my craft on with some special handmade Christmas gifts!   This is one of my favorite gifts to give to friends and neighbors:  A canning jar filled to the rim with delicious trail mix and red & green m&m's! 

After running the glass jar and lid through the dishwasher, and making sure they are completely dry, I filled the one-pint jar with a special blend of peanuts, butterscotch and chocolate chips, raisins and almonds.  I interspersed red & green peanut m&m's to create a delicious, festive colorful treat. 

I then embellished the outside of the jar and lid with holiday paper, red satin ribbon, a punched label that I stamped with the word "Holiday" and mini letters spelling "treats."  Then I punched out a large circle and mod-podged that to the inside lid.  After tightening the lid, I added a vintage style ribbon.  Lastly, I hot-glued holly and a bright snowflake button to the front of the jar.   
This makes a nice gift on its own. However, I decided to add a set of holiday kitchen towels and bright red and green place mats. Using a plain brown paper sack with handles, I embellished the bag with scalloped red paper, a name tag and two "slices" of holiday ivy and three red "berry" buttons.  Everything then goes into the gift bag.

This entire gift was very economical.  The jar and embellishments were on hand; the place mats are from the Dollar Store, and the towels are from HomeGoods.  Be sure to use fresh trail mix and candy.  And don't eat too much of the goods while you put this together or else you will have to find a much smaller jar...Happy Trails!
Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Holidaze!

Give Joy 5x7 folded card
Shop for elegant photo cards.
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This is the photo we are using for our 2010 holiday card.  Shutterfly pays you for posting your photo or album on your blog!  I like this.  It's the easiest thing I've done all day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is Chanukah Early This Year?

If you think Chanukah is early this year, you are absolutely right.  And if you think Chanukah is the same time as always, you are also right!

How can both these statements be true?  It's because Jewish holidays are celebrated by the lunar calendar.  Chanukah is always the 25th of Kislev.  Because the lunar calendar has an extra leap MONTH every four years, compared to the secular calendar's extra DAY, the Jewish holidays fall at different times on the secular calendar.  

This year, we begin celebrating Chanukah on the evening of December 1st.  Is your menorah ready?  And equally important, is your furniture protected from the hot wax which will no doubt drip from the burning candles onto the tabletop?  In the "olden days," we placed pieces of foil under our beautiful menorahs.  Although now you can buy acrylic trays and vinyl placemats, they aren't very festive.  So, why not make one that is both festive and uniquely yours? 

Plain, inexpensive charger
Start with an inexpensive, plain silver charger.  (For some reason, it looks gold in this photo.)  I chose a pretty Amy Butler blue and taupe scrapbook paper, and cut a circle the same size as the charger center.  I decoupaged the inside center of the platter and the back of the paper, and adhered the paper to the charger.  

I then scoured my sticker file and picked out some shimmery black letters to spell "Happy Chanukah".  To personalize it, I spelled our family name and year established (our wedding year).   You can spell the names of your children, pets, or write anything you want.  This would also make a wonderful gift for Saba & Safta or your Bubbe and Zayte.  This is also a great project for your children to create for their own menorah.

Using azure and black Staz-on ink, I stamped flourishes and menorah designs on the outer edge of the charger.  I accented the flourishes with tiny silver bead rhinestones.  I also added a coordinating oval shape that I punched from the same paper.  It is hard to see it in the photo, but I added a sticker that reads "festival of lights", which I adhered on top of the oval.  Seal the entire charger with several coats of Mod Podge.  

Where are the candles?
 Here is the completed menorah plate, ready for the kindling of the candles.  
Now where did I put those candles?

Happy Chanukah!

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Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions

Krafty Kat

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Create Your Own Holiday Gifts & Favors

What?  December is just around the bend?  With 95-degree weather here in Los Angeles, it's difficult to believe that we are just a few short weeks away from Thanksgiving and the December holi-daze!  Well, the calendar doesn't fib, so just in time, here are some great ideas for creating handmade, personal gifts for the special people in your life.
Assortment of Chanukah Gifts and Favors

Candy-filled Treat Jar
embellished with ribbons, tag, stamps, flowers, label holder & more!

Set of Tile Coasters
and a beautiful Glass Holder for the Menorah Candles

Gelt-filled Favor Bags
Give Joy to your loved ones!

Blue & White Jelly Beans in Mini Glass Jar
And a silver dreidel charm!

Holiday Votive Holders
Cool Breeze-scented votive in glass holder

Festive Xmas Votive & Holder

This season, why not treat your family and friends to
handmade gifts you make yourself?

  It's easy and fun! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Turquoise Leopard

If you just hopped over from Paisley Passions' Thrilling Thursday, welcome to my blog!  I would love to know you visited, so I welcome your comments and your own blog link.
What do you get when you cross a leopard with turquoise paint?

After a quick sanding, add bright turquoise paint, adhere (i.e., Mod Podge)  funky paper, embellish with ric-rac, rub-on design, tags, mini clothespins, buttons, metal label holder, and one large pear die-cut. and you get this:

a fun and colorful new mail and note holder!

Yes, Sandy -- another fun makeover for a PML Thrift Shop bargain!
Currently linking to:
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The Boardwalk Bragfest

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Got Mail

I may be dating myself by recalling the days when we would anxiously await the mailman's arrival, run downstairs to the garage, and grab the mail from the box that led to the outside slot. 

In those days,  before modern communication including Facebook, Twitter, texting and e-mails, we enjoyed old-fashioned snail mail.  I had a pen pal named Anne who lived on the other side of the country in Akron, Ohio.  Although we never met, we enjoyed several years of writing back and forth about whatever nine-year old girls wrote about in those days.  I recall letters that began, "Dear Doreen, Thanks for your last letter.  School is good.  My sister and I went to the park after school..."  You get the idea! 

I hadn't thought about Anne in decades until I came across this vintage metal mailbox at the flea market.  For less than $10, I saved it from obscurity.  Here is what it looked like:

Note the wonderful scalloped edges on the lid and the curvy rack at the bottom
(used to hold magazines and newspapers).
Time to transform its mundane exterior with a little paint and a whole lot of embellishments. 
First I decided on my color palette.
After a light sanding, I painted the exterior with light avocado (minus the tortilla chips).
This is my favorite part of the transformation: 
going through my stash and finding embellishments that will mix and match together.
Then I edged the papers with charcoal chalk ink
I painted chipboard scrolls that I later stamped with flourishes.
Adhered the paper with Plaid's Royal Coat antique decoupage finish.
Stamped vintage images on a pretty Paper Source label,
and adhered the label on the front of the mailbox.
Added quirky snaps on the scalloped lid, a chipboard bird holding a key (and the lock is hanging from the scroll), a few buttons, and a small flower and bling to the bird's tail.

Being the ribbon queen that I am,
I tied complementary ribbons in shades of green, cream and yellow,
using ribbons with varying textures and widths, to the magazine rack.
Then a chipboard label holder and two brads on top of the mailbox
with a label that reads "You Got Mail" finishes the project.

I'm happy with the result!  Now, what to use it for? 
My husband has a brilliant idea: 
we're going to hang it on our porch next to the front door
and use it for....mail!

P.S.  I'm going to try to re-connect with my pen pal, Anne.  I wonder if she's on Facebook! 

Linking to:
Funky Junk Spring Projects
Knick of Time
The Gunny Sack

The Project Queen Turning-the-daunting-into-the-do-able

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