Monday, December 23, 2013

A Last Minute Recycle

My niece Maddie came for a visit on Saturday afternoon.  She loves to spend time in the craft room, mostly making tags using Distress Ink and the Vagabond machine.  But this time she wanted to make something for Christmas for her mom and dad.  She's a good crafter and familiar with most of the tools in my craft room so it was not a stretch to think that we could make something in a few hours.

What to make was the first question?
think some more.
and then then it came to me....
Out to the garage to open a box that has all my class samples.  I made this tray for a class I taught in New Zealand back in the fall of 2011.  It was the only thing I could think of that had a family picture that might be able to be re-used since it was glued to a piece of black foam core and I could pop it out easily.
Follow along to see the transformation.
Here's what we used:
Adirondack Dabber paint in Pool
Distress Paint in Mustard Seed
Claudine Helmuth paint - Dash of Red
Claudine Helmuth - multi-medium
polka dot paper- merriment paper stash
Studio Calico Wood Veneer shape (bicycle)
Studio Calico Weather Mistables (clouds and sun)
mini numeral
SA stamp set - Way with words
chit chat sticker
remnant rubs
word band
compass coin
game spinner
journaling tickets
word keys
label clips
bare mini burlap panels
alpha cards

We set to work dismantling the tray and reusing the items into a Configurations Book I had been using to test paint techniques for the LIVE configurations class.
The inside cover was already done, we just had to find the boxes that went into the inside.  We reused almost the entire tray - even the cover of the mini book in the bottom right corner was cut off and ended up on the new cover. 
I pulled out a bunch of paper for her to choose from for the cover.  She liked this one with all the different writing and the words Forever and Unconditional.
Here is the inside that was done previously using Tissue Wrap and the Honeycomb stencil.  We added the quote from the tray then used Alpha tiles to spell out family.

We only used 6 of the boxes that came with the Configurations book.  The top portion in black is just paint with the family picture on foam core added with foam dots to pop it up even more.  I cut the ends off a word band (please wear safety glasses if you try this) and we added it right on the photo.  A little white paint over the words makes it stand out.
We re-purposed the small picture of the kids running into the house section.  We thought it was funny that the kids look like they are running right out of the book.  The clouds have been painted with Distress Stickles to give them some shine and the sun was colored with Distress Stain.  The tree, the heart and the houses are all from Collections Elements (an Australian Company).
She picked 3 words from the Chitchat sticker book that described her family and we added them to the small box along with some Remnant Rub stars.
She wanted to make a shaker box for the book.  So she painted 4 hearts representing each child in the family.  Then painted each heart their favorite color and stamped each heart with their initial.
We added some Sticky Back Canvas to the spine (we painted it brown and stamped it with Adirondack Pool paint).
Then she inked the cover with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. She knows her Distress Ink.  Favorite color?  Vintage Photo of course!
Well, the few hours we had on Saturday wasn't enough once we had to wait for things to dry, so she ended up spending the night on Sunday and finishing the book today.  Still plenty of time to get it wrapped up for tomorrow.
The best part?  She's proud of her work and wants to do more and try new techniques.  Love that.
Merry Christmas!
Now carry on,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The recipe... and a winner!

There were some surprising entries in the drawing this week.  Never in a million years would I have imagined people (yes, more than one) would say 'Fruitcake' was their favorite holiday food!  Seriously...about the same odds as my husband uttering the words, "I'm craving a tuna sandwich".   There were some other interesting foods like mashed rutabagas and oxtail soup and some foods like Divinity that I have not had since I was a child.  I also loved Jane's story of her grandmother that would only give out a family recipe to the "worthy" (if you weren't worthy she left out one of the ingredients! hilarious).   Thank you all for sharing!

I live in a house that was once owned by very good friends of our family.  The lady of the house was an amazing cook and made caramel's every Christmas to pass out to friends and neighbors.  Growing up we would wait for the plate to arrive, peel back the Saran Wrap, and count how many caramels were on the plate so we could at least get one (yes, they were that good).

She never gave out the recipe.

Fast forward about 20 years - my husband and I buy the house from the family (the wonderful lady had previously passed away).   When we started to renovate there were still some items in the garage waiting for the owner to pick up...leftovers, like old chairs and tools.  I opened a cabinet and to my amazement there was her recipe book.  It only took a few turns of the pages to find "the recipe" all typed out.   Amazing to find such a treasure.  When the husband came back to collect the rest of the property I asked about the recipe book.  He said, "you can keep it, none of the girls wanted it when they cleaned out the house." (I assumed they already had copies of the recipes or more than one cookbook).

So now I have it...the coveted recipe that even my mother (her best friend) didn't have.  I have shared it with only one other person, my friend Sue W. who was also a friend of the family and had eaten the caramels.  I make them at Christmas, put them on a plate and wrap them in Saran Wrap and give them to friends.  And when they ask me for the recipe I say, "it's a family secret".
don't you love that she had to hand write in the 1/8th pound?

Congratulations to the winner!
...and can I come over for breakfast?
Laura Strack
This wreath card is simply sweet!!! My favorite Holiday Food is this wonderful Breakfast Casserole that I make on Christmas morning that has hash browns cooked in the oven and then topped with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, diced ham, and then you can add various toppings such as jalapeno, green onions etc...I've made it for my Hubbie for 18 years and now, he along with my 2 sons, look forward to a hearty brunch on Christmas. Which reminds me, I need to go to the store! Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!
Laura please send me your shipping address to!

Just for fun I made more gift tags using the Tattered Leaves die.
Here's what you need in order of use:
 tattered leaves sizzix die
adirondack dabber Paint - silver
glossy accents
distress glitter - pumice stone
chit chat stickers - seasonal
distress ink - brushed corduroy
a stick from a tree
red and white string
 The washi Tape is by October Afternoon - I used it on all my packages to secure the ribbon!

Here's what you need in order of use:
 tattered leaves sizzix die
adirondack dabber Paint - silver 
Distress Stickles - Clear Rock Candy
chit chat stickers - seasonal
distress ink - brushed corduroy
 5 small bells on wire
Trimmings - red and cream
the leaf was painted silver, word added, then covered with Distress Stickles

Have a great day everyone! And thanks for sharing your memories this week - it really made me think about what I love and appreciate at this time of year!
now carry on,