Friday, 20 May 2022

Giveaway at Amanda Jayne Designs

 Amanda Jayne Designs BLOG giveaway

Amanda designs super cute digital stamps and papers
(check out her store HERE)
and she has a giveaway on her blog.

Head on over for your chance to win some digital stamps and paper packs.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Day 1 at Beccy's Place - A is for Accordion Fold

I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


I'm not colouring at the moment but I am working on Christmas craft projects for creative little hands around our neighbourhood ... the endless months of Covid-19 lockdowns has brought our community much closer and I look forward to sharing more crafty adventures with them over the coming weekends and school holidays now that restrictions have eased.

(Beccy's post with "A" inspiration words and
a snow angel card to inspire is HERE)

My "A" kids Christmas activity kit is for Accordion fold Christmas Tree cards and ornaments.  This wasn't the project that I originally planned for "A" but I have a new toy and felt the need to test my Crop-A-Dile!


One sheet of pretty patterned paper makes four of these fabulous accordion fold Christmas trees.  I started by scoring the sheet every 1/2" on the scoreboard, this is something that I haven't shown little hands before but I'm sure they will be interested and keen to give it a try.  I cut the sheet into four panels and folded the mountains-valleys-mountains of the accordion fold.  I squashed the folds together then punched a 1/8" hole in all twelve layers at once with my handy-dandy new Crop-A-Dile, so that all the holes were perfectly aligned.  I threaded a thin ribbon through the holes then tied the layers tightly together to make the accordion fold tree shape, so quick, easy and fun.  I know this part will be popular, as we used these plastic round tip needles to sew cobwebs for Halloween.


To make the ornament, take a length of ribbon, tie the top of the accordion folds tightly, knotting firmly, then take the ends and tie to make a loop for hanging the ornament.  Glue a star at the top to finish it off.

To make the card, do the same steps for making the ornament, cutting the ends off the ribbon after knotting the folds together (no hanging loops needed) then glue a star at the top of the tree.  Run a thin line of liquid adhesive along the edge of the folds at the back of the tree, place it on to the front of the card base and the card is finished.  I have several packs of blank card bases for these kits in assorted colours and sizes, DL (10cmx21cm), square (14cm) and A6 (10.5cmx14.8cm), so we're sure to see an wonderful variety of cards made.  ... I confess, I have a pretty big variety of patterned papers too.
 
Here is a completed card and ornament.

   

The bonus with using double-sided paper is that you can choose the design you want for the front of your card / ornament, or, in the case of the ornaments, you can enjoy both sides of the pattern.


The accordion fold trees are just over 1/2" thick, as the score lines for the folds are 1/2" apart.  The patterned paper I used had a real bonus, because one side has a patterned accent strip along the bottom, so it looks like the tree has already been trimmed.


*** INGREDIENTS ***
card bases
patterned paper - for Christmas Tree
scoreboard and bone folder
brown cardstock - for tree trunk
crop-a-dile (or hole punch) - to punch holes at along the top of the folds
to make the top of the tree
ribbon / string / cord - to tie the top of the tree
and make hanging loop for the ornament
star punch + glitter cardstock - for star on top of tree
or pre-cut foam stickers
adhesive
optional - assorted adhesive gems

*** REFERENCE ***
This project was inspired by the "Easy Accordion Tree Ornaments Craft" post on the "Mom On Time Out" blog HERE.

Day 28 at Beccy's Place - Y is for Yarn and Stick

  I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


I'm not colouring at the moment but I am working on Christmas craft projects for creative little hands around our neighbourhood ... the endless months of Covid-19 lockdowns has brought our community much closer and I look forward to sharing more crafty adventures with them over the coming weekends and school holidays now that restrictions have eased.

Beccy's prompt for Day 28 is the letter "Y"
(Beccy's post with "Y" inspiration words and
gorgeous yellow poinsettia card to inspire is HERE)

My "Y" kids Christmas activity kit is for a Yarn & Stick Christmas Tree Ornament.


Little hands helped me gather sticks a few days ago.  Some were used to make a "Magical Music Maker" and a "Twig Tree", now we get to use some for the project they were originally intended.  I used my secateurs to cut sticks into four pieces, two for the long sides of the tree, one for across the base and one to make the trunk.  I glued the sticks together with wood glue and left them to dry overnight.  Knot (or glue) the end of the yarn to the tree and wind the wool round and round until the tree is filled as much as you want, knotting the end to the tree and trimming off the excess.  Parts of the sides were quite smooth, so I turned the tree over and dotted some glue to the wool to keep it in place on the stick.  Decorate the tree by adding assorted embellishments, from pom poms and sequins to buttons, bows and bling.  Add a star to the top of the tree.  I used a squeeze punch, little hands love using these punches, to make a large sparkling star.  Before I glued it to the top of the tree, I knotted a length of ribbon, adhered it to the top of the tree with a dot of glue then glued the star on top.

   

Little hands are going to have so much fun making these.
They can supply the sticks to go with the kit bags filled with wool, embellishments, glue and, if it's out on our front lawn, some glittery cardstock and assorted star punches because everyone knows little hands love punches.

*** INGREDIENTS ***
sticks / twigs - gathered from the garden or park
optional - secateurs - to cut sticks to desired lengths
liquid adhesive - wood glue to adhere the sticks
yarn / wool - green - to wind around the stick tree
pom poms / buttons / bling - to decorate the tree
liquid adhesive - Helmar 450 Quick Dry to adhere the pom poms and star
large star - to decorate the top of the tree
I used a squeeze punch and cardstock, little hands love squeeze punches
ribbon / string / twine - loop to hang the ornament

*** REFERENCE ***
This project was inspired by the "Yarn And Stick Christmas Tree Craft" post on the "Kids Craft Room" blog HERE.

Day 22 at Beccy's Place - T is for Twig Tree

I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


I'm not colouring at the moment but I am working on Christmas craft projects for creative little hands around our neighbourhood ... the endless months of Covid-19 lockdowns has brought our community much closer and I look forward to sharing more crafty adventures with them over the coming weekends and school holidays now that restrictions have eased.

Beccy's prompt for Day 22 is the letter "T"
(Beccy's post with "T" inspiration words and
twinkling lights card to inspire is HERE)

My "T" kids Christmas activity kit is for a Twig Tree ornament.


This fun ornament starts with getting out in the fresh air picking up sticks.  Pick up a variety of sizes that are as smooth and as straight as possible but not too smooth or straight because we want our trees to have character.  As my favourite little hands are not well at the moment, I used the twigs we gathered the other day.  In a way it has worked out for the best because it has been terribly hot all day and evening ... it's "tomorrow" now and the forecast is for it to be even hotter today, so I think I will be hibernating inside with the air conditioner.

Cut a strip of felt.  My sheet was A4 size, so I cut it lengthways, 1" wide and just over 11 1/2" long, rounding the end for the bottom.  About 1 1/4" from the bottom, start making the slots for the twigs by cutting two vertical parallel slits in the felt - I cut the 1st slit about 1/3 the way in from the side and about 5/8" long, went across another 1/3 the of the way to the other side and cut another slit.  I continued along the length of felt, cutting twin slits starting about 1" from the end of the previous slit, until seven slots were made.

Line the twigs up largest to smallest, breaking (or snipping with secateurs) so that you have seven twigs working inwards to a point for the tree shape.  My widest twig is 5" long, the top, smallest one, is 1 1/2" long.  Thread the twigs through the twin slits and continue until all seven have been put in place.  I folded the top end of the strip, snipping the end off to leave a 1 1/8" flap and applied liquid adhesive to the end of the flap, adhering it to the back of the felt tree "stem" to make a loop.  Cut a length of ribbon, string or twine to make the loop to hang the ornament.  I used thick string (OK, it's natural jute with a gold thread through it to but it's too much to keep saying, so I will stick with string) to add to the rustic charm of the ornament.  Thread one end of the string through the felt loop at the top of the tree, tie a knot to make a hanging loop then pull the string loop until the knot is hidden inside the felt loop for a neater finish.  Finish off the twig tree with a star or large button.  I was lucky to have found a huge 1 1/2" red button in a pack of assorted Christmas buttons I bought the other day, it fitted perfectly, so I used liquid adhesive to glue it in place.  It contrasts perfectly with the green felt and string with golden thread.


The finished ornament is 14 1/2" long (including the loop for hanging).
The widest twig is 5" long.


*** INGREDIENTS ***
felt
scissors
twigs / sticks - gathered from the garden or park
optional - secateurs - to cut sticks to desired lengths
liquid adhesive - I used Helmar 450 Quick Dry
large button or star - to decorate the top of the tree
ribbon / string / twine - loop to hang the ornament

*** REFERENCE ***
This project was inspired by the "Twig Christmas Tree Ornament" post on the "Arty Crafty Kids" blog HERE.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Day 25 at Beccy's Place - V is for Village

  I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


Beccy's prompt for Day 25 is the letter "V"
(Beccy's post with "V" inspiration words and beautiful
embossed vellum card to inspire is HERE)

My "V" project is a Village ...
... a set of Gingerbread House accordion fold Christmas Village cards.
I confess, I haven't made or mailed any Christmas cards yet and thought I had better get started making some so that I could start sending them out in time ... kids activities will have to take a time-out for a bit.




I opened the cut file (details and link below) in Silhouette Studio and enlarged the village scene base to 11 3/4" wide.  I removed the score cut lines so that I could make smooth manual folds using my scoreboard and bone folder.  Enlarging this file has the smoke billowing from the chimney making it stand 6" high.  This is quite an ornate design and it took quite some time to cut and even longer to weed.  It was so fiddly and taking so long that I even considered scrapping them and cutting a new set but I was more than halfway done so I persevered.  I scored the folds for the bases, burnished with a bone folder, then adhered the ornate icing layers to the gingerbread houses making up this fun folding Christmas village scene.  I added a luscious layer of Frosted Lace Stickles to the chimneys, front and back ... you don't want to know why but I'm going to tell you anyway!  The first sign this set of cards would need "help" was when I adhered the second house panel in place ... yikes ... I had put glue over the entire panel but the "smoke" doesn't have any card base to stick on to ... that glue went so sticky on this hot day and didn't want to come off cleanly at all.  The second sign was when I had finished adhering all the panels in place and folded the cards to see how they looked.  EPIC fail ... remember the trouble I had weeding these delicate pieces from my cutting mat?  Well, the back of these panels was pretty messy, with some of the edges rough and torn.  This isn't usually a problem as you can't see it from the front side but because these panels fold together, the back of the smoke coming from three chimneys on each card was there for all to see and that was not good.  I didn't want to add sparkle, so I searched my stash and found Frosted Lace in my Stickles collection and it was perfect, giving a pretty texture with a subtle sparkle that covered all the blemishes and no-one will ever know.


   

I decided to add another "little extra" to two of the cards, I punched out some red hearts and popped them behind the hearty door windows, so the look pretty from the front and the back.





What do you think, add hearts to the other two?



The fun thing about accordion fold card designs like these is that they fold flat for mailing, they make a fun surprise when the envelope is opened and make a pretty display.


Even though we have a HOT summer Christmas and these cards look like winter snow, they are iced gingerbread, so I think it will be OK to make some more of these (using a NEW pack of cardstock).

*** INGREDIENTS ***
cardstock - white and brown
Silhouette Cameo
Silhouette Design Store - Design ID #235573
Gingerbread House Accordion Card by Nic Squirrell
Scoreboard and bone folder
liquid adhesive - Tombow Mono Multi

Day 26 at Beccy's Place - W is for Wreath

  I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


I'm not colouring at the moment but I am working on Christmas craft projects for creative little hands around our neighbourhood ... the endless months of Covid-19 lockdowns has brought our community much closer and I look forward to sharing more crafty adventures with them over the coming weekends and school holidays now that restrictions have eased.

Beccy's prompt for Day 26 is the letter "W"
(Beccy's post with "W" inspiration words and sparkling
Wink Of Stella ornaments cards to inspire are HERE)

My "W" kids Christmas activity kit is for a wreath ...
... a rustic mini wooden peg wreath ornament.


This fun peg wreath ornament started with a heavy cardstock ring.  I layered a 3" and 2" circle together to cut my wreath rings from textured cardstock.  I cut bundles of these, so have lots of bases for kits and lots of 2" green circles to use for an activity another day.
I glued two rings together to make the wreath base sturdier.

I gathered my stash of mini pegs together, they look so cute.


I decided to go for a rustic look and used the plain, unpainted wood pegs and started pegging ... and pegging ... and pegging ... 35 pegs later the wreath ring was surrounded by pegs.
 I finished off the wreath by making a bow from tinsel trim and a loop for hanging from string with a gold metallic thread and gluing them in place.

   

I'm thrilled with how this wreath turned out and know that little fingers will have lots of fun adding pretty colours and sparkle to theirs.  I really like the rustic look and think I might try to "peel" the tinsel bow off and replace it with some burlap string to make it even more rustic.


*** INGREDIENTS ***
mini wooden pegs 
heavy cardstock
ribbon-string-twine-cord - for bow hanging loop
paints - optional for colouring the pegs or wreath base
glitter - glitter glue - to decorate the pegs

*** REFERENCE ***
This project was inspired by the "Mini Clothespin Christmas Wreath Ornament For Kids" post on "The Resourceful Mama" blog HERE.

Day 17 at Beccy's Place - O is for Ornament

 I'm playing along with the

Ninth Annual Month Of Holiday Cards

at

Beccy's Place


I'm not colouring at the moment but I am working on Christmas craft projects for creative little hands around our neighbourhood ... the endless months of Covid-19 lockdowns has brought our community much closer and I look forward to sharing more crafty adventures with them over the coming weekends and school holidays now that restrictions have eased.

Beccy's prompt for Day 17 is the letter "O"
(Beccy's post with "O" inspiration words and
ornaments card to inspire is HERE)

My "O" kids Christmas activity kit is for ornaments,
suncatcher ornaments.


I decided on two ornament designs, created the shapes and cut several sets using my Silhouette Cameo.  (These can be fussy cut but I thought the activity time should be focussed on the making of the ornament itself, as there is plenty of fun things for little fingers to come.)  These ornament shapes are quite large, the Christmas Tree shaped ornament is 7 3/4" x 9 3/4", the traditional round bauble shaped ornament is 6 7/8" x 8 1/2", giving plenty of space to work with inside each one.  Each ornament uses two of the same shape, one for the front "starting" layer and one for the "backing" layer.  I was able to fit one tree and bauble on a 12" x 12" sheet of cardstock and it was lucky I had plenty of black sheets left over from our Halloween fun.


Cut a length of clear contact slightly larger than the ornament, peel off the backing layer and tape it flat onto the work area, sticky side up.  Place the ornament shape down on the sticky side.


Now the real fun begins.

Take assorted tissue paper sheets and cut or tear into small pieces.  Layer pieces of tissue paper over the inner section of the ornament, slightly overlapping the inner edge of the ornament shape so that there are no clear gaps.  The layers can create the most amazing colours and each one made will be unique.  My sample is only shades of green, imagine what it's going to look like when little hands let their rainbow of creative juices flow.


Once the ornament is covered, trim off any excess bits of tissue paper, run a line of liquid adhesive around the black shape of the ornament.


Adhere the matching ornament shape over the decorated one.  Take another piece of clear contact and place it on top of the ornament, sealing the outer shape and inner tissue paper design in place.  Trim off the excess contact from the outer edges and hold the ornament up to the light to see how pretty it is ... WOW!

  

I took my Christmas Tree Suncatcher Ornament out into the sunshine to see how it looked.


Even though I loved my green tree, it's not really a Christmas Tree until it has been decorated, so out comes the bling for another workout.  Adhere assorted self adhesive rhinestones over the tree to give it extra sparkle.  I added bling to the opposite side as well, lining them up with the front side.  Apart from adding sparkle to both sides, it means there are no shadowy dark spots when the suncatcher turns in the wind, making it a double-sided delight.  Finish off the ornament by punching a hole at the top and tying a loop of ribbon, string or twine for it to hang in the window and be enjoyed all day long.

   

It was such a pleasure watching my suncatcher spinning around out in the wind and know the kids are definitely going to enjoy this activity.

   

   

... even side on it looks pretty
this was a lucky click of the shutter while it was turning in the wind


*** INGREDIENTS ***
black cardstock - cut into ornament shapes
tissue paper - assorted colours
clear contact - yes, the stuff we used to cover our school books with
liquid adhesive - I used Helmar 450 Quick Dry
scissors - I used teflon coated non-stick
assorted self adhesive rhinestones
small circle plier punch - to cut hole for ornament loop
this can be done with the point of your scissors, the punch gives a neater finish 
ribbon, twine or cord - to make ornament loop

*** REFERENCE ***
This project was inspired by the "Christmas Ornament Suncatcher Craft" post on the "FUN365" blog HERE and the "Christmas Tree Sun Catcher Holiday Craft" post on the "Fantastic Fun and Learning" blog HERE.