Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinecones for the Tree

Even if the gift inside the box is store-bought, having a little home-made topper can make a good present, extra-special. These pinecone ornaments are just perfect for that. I learned to make them ages ago, and decided to add a few new ones to my collection this year.  For the ornament above, I used paper from Bella Blvd.'s new Winter Wonder collection, called Ski Slopes.

To make your own, you will need...
-a small styrofoam egg
-paper (or ribbon) cut into 1" wide strips, then cut into 1 1/2" long 
 pieces. You will use about six, 1 inch strips.
-tacky glue
Fold the rectangles of paper to a point (not true triangles), as seen in the photo. Place each folded paper onto the egg, pinning at the two top corners. 

The key to getting the pinecone shape started, is to pin 3 of the folded rectangles so their bottom points meet at the bottom of the egg (you can see this in the picture below). Then, you just keep going around pinning the pieces at each corner, covering the pins of the row underneath as you go. 

 Once you get to the top, slide the pins under the fold (see below).
Loop some ribbon on a pin (I used a pearl-topped headpin for this), making your first loop a big one so you can use it for hanging on the tree.  Dip the pin in some tacky glue before sticking it into the top of the pinecone.

Here are a few I made with ribbon. They are hanging on the tree, just ready and waiting if I need to attach them to the top of a package.

I hope you have all of your shopping done and can take some time to sit back and relish in some holiday memories as they happen.  Make sure you get some photos too!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

still playing tag

So having Whooping Cough does have it's advantages. I have been able to play along with Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. Each one has been a delight, and I have a new favorite (or 2, or 3). This one at the top is literally a "Where's Waldo" of tags. I couldn't go quite as "steampunk" as Tim's tag, but I love the hodge-podge of items. I got to color the Grinch with my Copic markers and found that all of those embellishments waiting to be used in my stash can be looked at in a whole different way when thinking Christmas.


The next tag I couldn't wait to try because of the technique for the background.  First I stamped the pattern with red, and then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  Next, I blended in the green all over the tag (and over the red, but since it was embossed it remained prominent). I covered the whole tag in clear embossing powder (flicked some off) and then heat embossed again. This makes the red part double embossed and raised.  It reminds me of wallpaper and has a texture you just want to touch. 

I didn't have any of the Candlestick dies he used, so I die-cut some flourishes and put them together to create a custom candle-stick holder.  Using glossy accents randomly on the candle makes it look like it's dripping wax. 

I just love the traditional colors on this one!

 This last tag was putzy.  Creating those ornaments was a lot of work but such a great technique transferring the paper image onto packing tape.  Go watch his instructions:

It truly gives you the look of vintage ornaments. 

December is going by quickly. 

 that you can enjoy the holiday and its celebrations
while still trying to get all you can on your "to do" list.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Before and After Gift Bag

If you are like me, you don't like to throw away those cute shopping bags that stores give you this time of year. The problem is, I don't want the store's GIANT logo across the bag if I am going to give it to someone else (especially if the gift inside isn't from that store). So, I give you before and after.

First, I used some Distress Inks to "grunge" up the bag a little big. The white was just a little too stark for the images I was going to be adding. I then covered the logo with hunter green cardstock that I punched with a border punch on all 4 sides (this is an adorable Fiskars border punch with a row of evergreens. It's from last year's Limited Winter Edition.). I used some white dabber paint to make snow on the trees. Lastly, I used Versamark ink to stamp on some shadow-effect snowflakes.

I cut out some images from an old Die Cuts with A View Christmas pack. I cut out each image twice and trimmed one. With some pop-dots underneath, I raised the smaller image and affixed it to the larger one to give it a shadow-box effect. I dabbed on some white paint around all of the edge and embellished with Stickles. Everything looks better with some Stickles, don't you think?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Speed tag

So, I cheated on this one.  I did not use Tim's reverse stamp on acrylic technique.  I took from his design the green/red color combo and the wreath.  Sometimes, you have to go with the simple.  I love this polka dot paper from Kaiser Craft and I clear embossed the white dots to add some texture.  I like this little cherub I found in my stash too~perfect dangling from the top of the tag. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tag~You're It! I have 2 more tags done!

I've already finished one more tag than I did in all of last year's twelve! Being sick and confined to the house does have its advantages!

For the snowman tag, Tim chose shades of blue.  As I've mentioned before, purple and I have a long history.  I saw this tag as my chance to "Kellyfy" it with some purple pizazz!  Tim used acrylic/acetate for the snowflakes on the side, and while I did make one (it's kind of hiding behind the snowman), I wanted something that was more visible, so I went with vellum.  I love the way he pulled tulle through the button holes, so I did that too.  And, while I admired his snowman's "25", I added some dimension with one more snowflake.

For the tag below (Tim's Tag #3), I used my large Fiskars Stamp Press to arrange all sorts of Christmas stamps from Kaiser Craft and Close to My Heart to make a hodge podge. I then embossed it with a snowflake pattern, added some greenery, berries (love that idea to just color clear ones with your own inks/markers), and some twine to finish.  I like that he throws an easy one in once in awhile.

So, I'm sick.  A cough you can probably hear through your computer speakers. 

No housework done.  No Christmas cards done.  Minimal Christmas decorations done.  No cookies done.  But, I have priorities.  4 tags done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2 tags from T!m

While some people long for December to listen to Christmas songs (I'm one of those crazies that start doing this on November 1st), or start Christmas shopping, or celebrateAdvent and Jesus' birth, I am  awaiting...Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas.  I only found this magnificent event last year, but this is his 5th.  I've promised myself that whatever I can get done is great.  Last year, I made 3 tags.  This year, I am already 2 for 2. 

Tim Holtz ( is a magnificent teacher. I love and respect all of the techniques he teaches with his laid back style. But, for me the challenge and the fun comes in trying to re-create what he did with items I have. In this tag below, I don't have the giant reindeer that Tim uses, so I decided to use these 2 small ones.  I improvised with my own stamps, brads, and border punch.  I did pound a nail into my brads like he did to give them that "worn" look.  I did get a little over-zealous with the pounding and pounded all the way through on the first one~oops!

In the "noel" tag at the top, I loved Tim's technique for creating the pinecones.  I cut my own spiral circle using some Paper Shapers from Provocraft. When was the last time you dug those out of the bottom of your drawer?  They give a perfect edge for the pinecone. I added some Stickles and they almost look real. 


For greenery, I just started punching and cutting with every punch, die, and stamp I had.  This NOEL tag has become my new favorite.

Noel (Christmas) is coming.  How crafty are you in December?