Friday, December 16, 2011

Chanukah Project #4: Not Your Blue & White Tray

Growing up in San Francisco, our winters didn't consist of "dashing through the snow" or making snow angels -- we tried, but there's not a lot one can make out of dense fog.  Unless, of course, you can blow smoke rings out of the chilly air.

One of our favorite things to do, however, was count the Christmas trees we passed while riding here and there.  The holiday trees were so colorful, especially the ones that sat on a turntable, rotating beautiful colors around the window panes.  

We celebrated the eight nights of Chanukah.  Instead of colorful lights, we decorated our home with just two colors: blue & white.  Blue & white hanging dreidels, blue & white tablecloths, blue and white lights around the living room name it, our decor was simple.  

Even gift wrap could only be found in shades of blue and white. Or maybe, silver, if you looked hard enough.

Chanukah decor has changed over the last few decades. Now Chanukah comes in every color imaginable. Gift wrap, menorahs, decorations, tableware, and spinning dreidels come in bright pinks, greens, yellows and more.
So I decided to alter a mundane wooden serving tray in the new "Chanukah colors."   I found bright fuchsia gift wrap in my Chanukah box.  It was perfect. 

I painted the tray with two coats of a dark pink/fuchsia color.  I cut a piece of gift wrap to fit snugly inside the tray and adhered it with "the Podge."  When dry to the touch, I covered it with another coat of MP.  This got me I made a tile coaster to match.  (When I have time, I will make another one to match.)
 My tray is ready for company. 

This tray would also make a great surface for playing spin the dreidel.  Which leads me to a question.  When we were kids, we played for a pot of hazelnuts.  When my children were younger, they played for pennies or chocolate gelt.  What do you play for in your home?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Charger turned Menorah Platter

I know I promised you Eight Projects for Chanukah, but can I help it if I took a long-deserved break and went to Las Vegas with my BFF?!!  It was so very needed. 

We had a great time just hanging out together with all the eye candy there is to see.  At one point, while on the phone with my daughter (a Las Vegas expert after three visits), we saw flames and smoke coming out of a....well we didn't know what it was until my daughter plainly said to me, "Mom, it's a volcano [duh]!"  Well, of course it was -- an hourly attraction at the Mirage.

Anyway, that's my excuse for only being on Project #3.  However, with only 11 days until Chanukah (eeek!!), I'll just work a little faster...

This project is a Menorah Platter made from a plain charger. 
It's great to place your menorah on,
and the platter will catch all that candle wax
while saving your nice maple furniture. 

Chanukah projects and decor
You'll see this one matches Project #2, the Menorah Candle holder. 

Start with a silver charger. This one has a beaded border.
 (bought a set of six at Bed, Bath & Beyond for less than $10)

You only need a few materials: decorative paper,
iridescent alphabet stickers, flourish stickers and silver or blue rhinestones. 

Cut a circle 8-1/4" in diameter. 
Using Mod Podge, adhere the paper to the center of the charger.  Let dry.

This paper is very light blue
with the words to the song "I have a little dreidel" written on it.

Next, decide what words or phrase you want on your platter.
In the earlier photo, I used "Happy Chanukah".
This one reads,
"Harmony, Love, FAMILY."

Add the other stickers and rhinestones. 
Then apply Mod Podge over the entire charger.
Don't worry -- it will dry clear!

Here is the completed Menorah Platter, using my first example.

You'll have to trust me on the Harmony--Love--Family platter. 
It dried beautifully. 
Just didn't get a photo of it before my camera battery went kaput. 
Linking to these fabulous parties:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eight Projects of Chanukah: #2

Now that Thanksgiving weekend is almost over, it's time to stop talking turkey and get back into creating gifts for Chanukah.  With less than a month to go, there is no time to waste.

My second project in the Eight Projects of Chanukah series is this embellished candle holder.  This is a pretty alternative to the not-so-decorative box that the menorah candles come in from the store.

Supplies include:

- Libbey 4" x 4" square glass container (I bought these at the Dollar Store)
- Scrapbook Paper
- Ribbon
- Flowers
- Buttons
- Chanukah Charm
- Die-cuts
- Tag punch or ready-made tags
- Chanukah stamps
- Ink Pad


Make a template measuring 1-1/2" wide x 13-1/2" long, creating a slight arch.  The paper band must arch to accommodate the width difference between the top and bottom circumference of the glass.  Wrap the template around the glass to be sure it fits, overlapping the ends. 
Trace the template onto a 12" x 12" scrapbook paper, angling the template to fit the paper.  You can also cut two sections and piece them together, adding an extra 1/2" for overlap.

Mod Podge the paper band and let dry.  Using good adhesive, adhere band to the glass, gently pulling it taut, and overlap the ends. 

Embellish the glass using ribbon, flowers, charms, die cuts or stamped images on punched out tags to decorate the candle holder.

Place the candles inside the glass holder, and you have a beautiful way to display the menorah candles throughout the eight nights.

These glass containers can also be used to hold a votive candle.   Insert a small round candle holder and surround with blue and white jelly belly candies, sea glass or beads.  Place a votive into the smaller glass holder.  [Note to self:  After a few days, do not attempt to eat jelly belly candies.]

These make wonderful teacher and hostess gifts.  Wrap the entire candle holder with clear cellophane.  Tie with ribbon and a matching tag, and these are ready to go! 

Partying with:
the country chic cottage quick-and-easy-holiday-crafts
Rook No 17
Home for the Holidays
Today's Creative Blog
Project Queen
Creative Jewish Mom
Positively Splendid
Flamingo Toes Think Pink Sunday
I {heart} Naptime Sundae Scoop
The Gunny Sack
More Merrier Monday

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eight Projects of Chanukah

It's time to countdown to Chanukah. My intention was to post one project every week until Chanukah begins.  However, when I looked at the calendar, I realized there are only five weeks until the Festival of Lights!
I'm just going to have to work a little faster in order to create and post eight projects in just over one month.  So let's get altering! 
Hanukkah Gifts

The first of my eight projects is called "Chanukah-in-a-Jar."  There are many variations of recipes in a jar for delicious cookies, soups, natural scrubs, and more.  In fact, I've even altered empty tennis ball cans for brownies-in-a-tennis-ball-can recipes. 

For this project, I use a clear plastic pail that is 6" tall with a 4" diameter.  It has a lid as well as a handle, which lends itself nicely for attaching ribbons and tags. 

Gather craft supplies for embellishing the container including printed and solid scrapbook, glitter and gift wrapping paper, ribbon, punches, stamps, ink, tags, charms, metal labels, etc.

Chanukah decor

Cut a strip of cardstock 2" x 18".  If using a 12" x 12" piece of paper, you will have to cut two pieces and tape them together.  Then cut a coordinating piece of your gift wrap or printed paper 1-1/2" x 18"  Using a dry adhesive, tape these two long pieces together.  Adhere ribbon to center of strip.

Using a 2-1/2" circle punch, cut a circle with glitter paper.  Punch out two smaller circles (I used a scalloped punch, too) from the solid cardstock.  Stamp image on smaller circle.

Adhere long strips to pail. Also adhere ribbon in the middle of the paper, finishing at the same seam as the paper.  Then adhere the circles to the pail, covering up the seams. 
Chanukah stamps

Using varied textures and widths, cut 6" strands of coordinating ribbon to pail handle.  Cover the inset of the lid with paper with mod podge.  When dry, adhere label printed on cardstock and metal label holder to lid.  Tie charm to metal holder.
Happy Hanukkah
Stamp "Happy Hanukkah" and "To/From" images to tags.

Decoupage top of the dreidel, using 1-1/4" square punch.  Punch a small hole in center of the paper square, which will fit over the dreidel stem.
playing dreidel

Then choose the "ingredients" for your jar.  I suggest an entire box of 44 menorah candles (enough candles for each night), large dreidel, matchbox, chocolate gelt and candle blessings. 

For the blessings, I printed the Hebrew, transliteration and translation on both sides of a 4" x 6" cardstock, rolled it up and tied it with blue & white twine.
Chanukah gelt
 The match box is embellished with cardstock and a stamped image that reads "Happy Hanukkah".

Decorating matches for Hanukkah

Carefully place the candles and other "ingredients" inside the pail. 
That's it!  Here is the completed Chanukah-in-a-Jar:
Handmade Hanukkah GiftPin It

If you would like a copy of the blessings document, leave a comment with your email, and I will be glad to send it to you.

Stay tuned for the second Chanukah project coming soon!

Linking to these terrific blogs:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Monday, October 17, 2011

Candy Corn & Terra Cotta

What do you get when you mix m&ms with candy corn? 
Well, if you add them to a painted terra cotta pot,
you get a special Halloween treat!
crafts and gifts for halloween
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Now I'm not one for much Halloween hoopla. 
However, I am a sucker for embellished terra cotta pots.
So when I read Kim's creative idea at Maiden D'Shade,
I decided to borrow her idea of candy corn painted terra cotta pots.

Plus, I couldn't help myself while walking past the candy aisle
without picking up some of these:

Like Kim, I painted the lower part of the pots white,
 orange in the middle, and finally yellow on the rim.
Be sure to allow each color to dry before adding the next.
I sprinkled bright yellow glitter to the top rim of my painted pots,
adding shimmer to this Halloween terra cotta treat.
After shaking the glitter onto the just painted yellow rims,
and letting it dry,
I decided to give it a good spritz of top coat acrylic sealer
to help those little shimmies stay in place. 
Candy Corn DIY

Then I gobbled up poured about 1/2 cup of each candy
 into a cute clear bag (which I found in my stash),
tying the bag with orange and black ribbon.
I added a tag, which I had quickly embellished with Halloween paper.

candy corn colors
And, as they say in the 'hood:

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Check out this Halloween gift idea:

Party with me at

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy National Coffee Day!

Rumor has it that yesterday was "National Coffee Day."  Since I was busy observing our religious new year, this post is a day late; however, when it comes to coffee, everyday is Coffee Day! This is definitely true in our house, and here is the sign adorning my craft room door to prove it:

So come on over for a visit and share your favorite coffee drink with me!   To celebrate this wonderful "holiday," here are a few photos and past posts on my favorite coffee-themed crafts.  I've included some links to get you right over to the post for more details. 
coffee crafts
Post-it note holder made from an acrylic photo frame

I decided my daily lattes were a bit of a luxury, so I created a Coffee Stash Cash Can. I place my extra change in it (and an occasional dollar bill), and use this "extra" money to fund my caffeine addiction. Plus, it was fun to create.
coffee crafts

This next photo shows one of my coffee-theme ensembles.  It includes a set of coasters, note-holder and pen desk set, a large note clip, and (my favorite) a clipboard with matching pad of paper.  I love how everything coordinates!  These make wonderful gifts, especially with a fresh hot cup of coffee or coffee shop gift card.
handmade gifts for coffee loversPin It

Another favorite altered art project of mine includes transforming three mundane square canvasses into a canvas trio that I call "Three Cups of Coffee."  I used a lot of coffee ephemera on these, including old gift cards, coffee sleeves and even a vintage coffee spoon.  Click here to quickly get to the post to see the completed trio and tutorial.
coffee craftsPin It

old spoons in collages

And in case you've "bean" busy and missed my last post about coffee and it is again.
coffee scrapbook paperPin It

As you can plainly see, I am a fan of obsessed with everything coffee.  However, I hear that two to three cups of coffee a day --just like a glass of red wine --actually have good health benefits. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking sipping to it. 

Sharing a cup of coffee with:

Whipperberry flair-link-party
The Answer is Chocolate Link Party
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