Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Top 5 Pinterest To Dos

Image result for pinterest

I pin...a lot. Most of the stuff I pin, however, is just for inspiration or just for admiring. There are a few pins though that I actually plan on trying - eventually. The road from dreaming to reality can be a long one even for crafting. So, in order of intentions, here are my top 5 Pinterest to dos: (click on any of the pictures to get to the original website)

Frame the key from your first home together--would be cute with a street map behind the key.    Will definitely make this one day!

It was the caption on this pin that really caught my attention. I have lived in a total of three different houses and I have the keys for all of them currently collecting dust in some drawer. They are a bit too heavy to scrapbook but I think this would be a really neat wall hanging if I had a map of the neighbourhoods behind each key along with a picture of the house. It could be a timeline-like display.

Ticket Stub Memory Box LOVE THIS!!

I am such a pack rat and among my many collections are ticket stubs (and accompanying programs for theatre performances). This would be such a cute way of storing all my ticket stubs and displaying them. I could have an attached rack for holding all my programs as well. 

DIY/Repurposed  ::   DIY Shrinky Dink

Remember shrinky-dinks? I do...vaguely. I never made any as a kid but I always did find them neat. When I came across this on Pinterest, I really wanted to try it and I spent several weeks examining every plastic box we had trying to find number 6 plastic. I've finally got one :) Now, I just have to wait until summer so that I can take my toaster oven outside - I'm not keen on having the smell of melting plastic permeating my house.

Christmas Tree Bokeh - Top Christmas Pictures to Get Before the Tree Comes Down!

I completely forgot about this pin this Christmas. *sigh* I really want to try it for myself and attempt to take these types of pictures. I guess I'll have to wait for next year. There are some really neat examples on the internet. I think they would make fantastic pictures for Christmas cards.

paper ball garland

I saw a paper ball garland made from paint chips on Etsy a while back and thought that it would be a fun way to use some of those paint chips and other paper scraps I have lying around.

If you check out my Pinterest boards, you will notice that there are a lot of other projects on there (and more are being added all the time!). So many crafts, so little time. Do you have any crafts that are on your to do list? Care to share? :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gold, Pearls and Butterflies

This wedding card design has been percolating in my mind for a while now. When all your friends are getting married, you end up trying to come up with a lot of new ideas for wedding cards. I decided to do something different from my usual bride and groom outfits. I'm mailing this card to my friend in the States which meant that I could not make it too heavy or put too many pop-up embellishments on it.

I was determined to use one of my butterfly punches and am very pleased with how it turned out. I went for a gold and white colour palette this time and finally put my floral stamps to good use. (I bought them last year at the Great Glebe Garage Sale and haven't really touched them since.) By the way, those pearls are actually strategically placed. The golden butterfly was made by inking a butterfly punch out, but when you're working with ink, it can get everywhere. Those pearls were a last minute add on to cover up my fingerprints. They turned out so well, I bet that you couldn't even tell ;).

I wanted a punch out, step-back so the inside wouldn't look too empty. 

Of course, I must add my signature stamp!

As a side project, I ended up making an elegant note card with the trimmed card stock and the left over ink on my stamps before I cleaned them off.

Now all I need to do is send it off!

Linky Parties this post is part of: Friday Finds Linky Party

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Amassing the Cardmaking/Scrapbooking Horde

I know that today's post looks more like a kijiji ad than a crafting post but I'm so excited about the stuff I bought at an "indoor garage sale" a few weeks ago (which, incidentally, I found on kijiji) that I just had to share. I've been trolling kijiji for a while with the vague idea of purchasing cheap second hand punches but in reality, more to see what people in Ottawa are selling in terms of crafting supplies. There are a lot of crafters out there who have a lot of stuff but whose lives either no longer have time for crafting or whose interests have moved onto other things. However, the lady who I bought this stash from fit in neither of those categories. She has recently become a Stampin' Up demonstrator and was clearing out her old stock in preparation of starting her business. You can find her website here:

I had a great time chatting with her while I was going through her stuff and I got some awesome deals. Word of warning: this post is really just me gushing about supplies. If you don't normally craft then please feel free to skip this post. I may bore you :P.

Like I had mentioned before, I've been on the look out for cheap punches for a while. They're pretty hard to find and tend to be quite popular once they are posted. Although this garage sale ad didn't have any pictures, I decided to give it a try. The sale was by appointment only and I ended up being the 5th person to go. Unfortunately, by then most of the punches had already been bought but I did find this:

Any non-crafter still reading this post is probably thinking: What is that?

This old Sizzix machine came with three sets of letter dies, a handful of other miscellaneous dies, and an extra cutting mat all for just $25! I probably spent most of my time at the sale trying this machine out and contemplating whether or not to get it. Clearly in the end, I went for it. I had been considering purchasing a Cuttlebug but this was way cheaper. I also bought an embossing folder and plan to add many more folders to my collection. I'm going to be cranking out some pretty fancy cards soon. 

I did manage to find a few Martha Stewart punches for $5 each which I couldn't pass up. One was brand new and the other was only gently used. (They are in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.)

My other big purchase was this: 

Yep, count them - 40 punches in a carrying case. I saw this on for about $30-40 CAD (It was in ¥, but that was my rough conversion) plus shipping. She was selling it for $12. The punches are not as fancy or as good quality as the Martha Stewart punches so I thought a little harder about this purchase but in the end, I figured that the variety would probably lend itself to some pretty creative uses. (Some of the shapes are a little weird but I will think of something...)

So while I was debating theses potential purchases, my sister was the main one rummaging through all the other bins looking for other interesting nik naks. She was fascinated by this flocking powder which is used to create a velvety texture to card. I have never used it but I'm always up for a new technique.

I got these Stampin Up ink pads for $1 each. The lady was generous enough to let us test out all the colours first. 

She threw in the stamps for free.

These embellishments were just plain cute. We got all of them for just $2. I haven't a clue what I will do with them but stuff this adorable will eventually have a use. 

Last comes the stuff which we got for free, which was a fair bit. 

I loaded a huge box of stuff into my trunk at the end of 1.5 hours (yes, I was there a really long time). I can't wait to play with it all! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Valentine Girl's Night

This angle makes our cake pops look awesome.

It was Girl's Night on Valentine's Day; a lively evening of pizza, cake pops, 90's music and Dutch Blitz :). Us CCCO girls trickled into Amy's house between 4:30 to 7:00 pm and set about making a mess in her kitchen. Her house is wonderfully set up for group cooking endeavors. 

Our resident baker, Amy, made the pizza dough before hand. 

In honour of Valentine's day, we decided to shape each pizza into a heart.

A little attention to detail and we even sliced our salami slices into little hearts. (That salami sure had a lot of kick, Michelle!) 

Piping hot, fresh from the oven!

Throughout, we were alternately singing, lipsynching and dancing to love songs from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s - and discovered that we have all heard these songs sung in Chinese while growing up. Mandarin and Cantonese speaking pop singers really like English slow songs :P.

For dessert, we made cake pops. I learned last night that the original way of making cake pops is to bake a cake, crumble it, mix the crumbs with icing and then form it into balls. I must admit that sounds very dense and not that appealing to me. Several months ago, my mom found this cake pop maker in the clearance section of Loblaws and could not resist buying it. We took it out to use for the first time yesterday and were delighted to find that it's really easy to use and works very well. For a quick recipe, we just used cake mix and club soda.

So easy - fresh out of the box and just plug and go!

This was the tester batch. We weren't sure how much batter to put into each well and so they turned out a little pale and uneven. 

The second batch was a vast improvement.

A pair of chopsticks makes transferring these things onto a cooling rack hassle-free. These cake balls taste best when fresh out of the maker with no icing. (Although decorating was fun...)

This was a great idea for a cake pop holder but I think we will need to weigh it down more next time.  It held for most of the evening and only tipped over once. 

We didn't have any chocolate melts so we had to experiment a bit to create a dip with chocolate chips.

Dipping it, unfortunately, was not very successful.

I tried to use the thicker consistency of the icing to my advantage.

A bit of sculpting...
He's not sure what to think...

But in the end, he's happy to be here :)

As you can see from our first picture, our other designs were far more abstract. They look neat but were a little too sweet.

To Amy, Tracy, Emily, Michelle, Elysia, and my sister, thanks for an awesome evening! As always, we need to do this more often! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Crafting from Around the World: Lei Making in Hawaii

I have just returned from a week long vacation in Hawaii and yes, it was awesome. It was sunny and warm and the scenery was beautiful. But you didn't think that I would actually take a vacation from crafting though, did you?

I went with two of my friends from medical school and we stayed near the Waikiki beach area. On day 3 of our trip, we discovered that just a few blocks from our hotel, the Royal Hawaiian Center was offering free Lei making lessons every week day. Of course we had to be there! Our class had a total of 25 participants and the three of us sat down at a long table with a surprising number of tourists from Canada. (We were all there to escape the snow :) )

The basics of lei making are pretty simple: you just need to string a bunch of flowers one by one onto a piece of string with a needle. Execution of this though, was a little trickier than it first seemed.

The materials

We were each given a basket containing a generous collection of orchids and two other flowers which I have forgotten the names of. At first, I was a little horrified at the thought of all those cut flowers being used in a craft - I kept thinking of how much trouble my mother has with coaxing our orchid plants to bloom each year and the thought of using those blossoms to make garlands made me a little uneasy. However, I was in Hawaii and the blase way they treat orchids makes them seem like they grow like weeds there. My hang ups didn't last long. :P

The first thing we did was snap any residual stems off the orchids. Then, using the needle, we would string the flowers together one at a time, careful to pierce each flower right in the centre.

The needle was a foot long!

A flower shouldn't spin around on the string once it is strung - if it does, you did not pierce it at the right spot. 

The pattern was fairly simple: orchid, orchid, orange flower, white flower, repeat.

It took about an hour but the three of us all managed to finish our leis (some of us with fewer injuries than others in the process :P). I thought that the different types of flowers made our leis much prettier than the plain orchid leis that were being sold on the streets.

Another nature craft which we made in Hawaii was a crown woven from coconut leaves and decked out with flowers.

It's not quite like braiding; you need to twist each strand under before weaving it in. 

Flowers go on the right side if you are single and on the left side if you are 'taken'.

I wish Canada had the same abundance of flowers for me to craft with. In the cold climates, you either need to be super rich (real flowers aren't cheap!) or work in a flower shop if you want to play with blooms on a regular basis. Hmm... maybe I'll try making a dandelion lei in the summer...

Thursday, February 5, 2015


It has been a really long time since I did 3D origami. I blame it on the lack of bus rides and boring lectures.

I was organizing my craft supplies when I found the body of this 3D figure. I had set it aside last year when I was undecided as to what to make it into. Because my last bunny had been given away as a gift, I decided to round out my personal collection by making another one. He's smaller than Amigo, Louie and Hibbert but I think he is just as cute. I let my cousin name him and she picked Phillip.

I love that satisfying feeling of completing a project. I have way too many UFOs (unfinished objects) cluttering up my house. One of my unofficial crafting resolutions this year is to finish up my long list of half-finished works (When it comes to crafting, I sometimes have the attention span of a squirrel). Let's see how that goes...

{Update 16/02/15 - I added him to the Gluesticks blog's Friday Finds Linky Party. Check it out. There's a lot of neat stuff there.}