Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Other Creations: Christmas Spirit Countdown

I've got hot chocolate in my mug, Michael Buble's Christmas album playing and a pine- tree-scented candle burning.  Instant Christmas, yes??  Well...hopefully!  Unfortunately, it isn't always so easy to create that peaceful loving Christmas vibe.  I get lost in the rush and stress of the season instead of focusing on what this holiday is really all about.  And so when this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge theme was to create something countdown-related, I decided to go for a Christmas Spirit Countdown project!

Instead of counting days, I wanted to count different ways that I could get into the Christmas mood.  So I made a wooden house, covered it with paper, glued on a wooden clip and used it as a background to hold up different suggestions of what I can do if I'm not feeling "Christmas-y."

Here is a picture of the house with Idea #4 attached:

And here's a close-up of some of the other ideas that I'll swap in and out:

There are so many ways that we can reach out and spread the true spirit of the season and I hope that my little countdown idea calendar will remind me to focus and not get sidetracked by the glitz and glam that doesn't really matter.  Other ideas that I will add to my countdown include: Read Luke 2, donate to the food bank, participate in Sub for Santa or other charitable programs, watch "Elf," spend time with loved ones, keep my eyes open for ways to help, be positive and be grateful.

I LOVE this time of year and I enjoyed making this project.  Here are some of the supplies I used that you can get at Simon Says Stamp:

Now I just KNOW that you've got all sorts of clever countdown ideas yourself.  Why not share them with us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog and be entered to win a little gift for yourself ($50!!  Yippee!) 50dollar_voucher_600px

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tutorials: Christmas Tags with Wax and Dryer Sheets

I am quite biased since this week's theme for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog was my brilliant dad's idea (a total mystery buff), but haven't you loved everyone's interpretation of the "mystery" theme??  

For my project, I decided to go with a mysterious substance to make these Christmas tags:

I already gave it away in my post title, but the mysterious material is dryer sheets!  Oh  boy!  An actual fun reason to do laundry...sort of.  I've used dryer sheets before on projects, but had never combined them with wax.  So here's what I did to make these tags:

First, I got a used dryer sheet (they work much better if they've been run through the dryer a time or two), some ink, and a sponge.  I just sort of dabbed and rubbed ink onto the dryer sheet.

Next up, I laid the dryer sheet across different patterned papers to see which tag background would look best.  I ended up deciding to use some vintage Christmas music as my background.

I knew that I would also be incorporating wax into this project and wax can flake off, so you need to make sure whatever you're adding wax to is stable and sturdy so it won't bend and allow the wax to chip off.  My next step was to use a Tim Holtz tag die to cut out tag shapes.  I cut them out of the sheet music and out of a very thick chipboard.  I then glued the sheet music tags onto the chipboard tags for a solid base.

After my tags were good to go, I cut the dryer sheet in half and laid it across my tags.  I melted some beeswax in a melting pot and brushed it on top of the dryer sheet that was on top of the tag.  No need to adhere the dryer sheet to the tag because the wax sticks the dryer sheet to the tag for you.  I love the instant hazy ethereal look the melted wax added!

I wanted to add some more texture and pattern, so I smeared some white acrylic paint onto a polka dot stamp and stamped it on top of my tag.

But what to do for the focal point?  I wasn't done with the dryer sheets just yet!  I grabbed another used dryer sheet and sprayed it with Dylusions ink spritz in two different shades of green.  When that dried, I cut out some triangle shapes for trees and glued them onto my tag.  I liked how they were still sort of see-through.  You'll also notice that I trimmed the excess dryer sheet off the edges of my tag.

I thought the trees could still use some oomph, so I added some Ice Stickles and topped them off with some pearl embellishments.  Last but not least, I spelled out "fa la la" with some stickers and added them on then punched a hole through the top of the tag and added some yarns and fibers.

With my other tag background (why not make it easy on yourself and do multiples at the same time?) I made this second Christmas tag:

I always buy holiday twigs and sprigs (at Michaels, JoAnn's, etc.) at this time of year to use on Christmas projects and with wrapping jobs.  They are reasonably priced and add some great wow factor to your creations.

So there you have it!  Wax and dryer sheets and maybe a little too much time on my hands.  Be that as it may, I liked the finished results.  

Here are the fabulous materials I used for these projects that you can get at Simon Says Stamp:


While this week's mystery theme may stretch your brain a bit, I am so excited to see what you come up with!  I can't wait to check out your entries and just remember that you'll be entered to win 50 big bucks at Simon Says Stamp for submitting your creations to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog.