Saturday, December 24, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 24

I must say that I like this little forest of trees! I came up with it in a moment of creative desperation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 21

Another sweet and subtle tag with a soft chevron pattern in the back. Kinda goes with this weird font my blog has decided it likes...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 20

This is best seen up close because of all the fine glitter details on the tag.

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 19

More gold and pink because it is so yummy.

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 18

Gold and pink for Christmas? Yes!

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 17

This is actually one of my most favorite wrapped gifts. Usually, I like minimal contrast, but the bright pink was so awesome on the gold and white paper and glittery branch. Ooohlala!

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 16

*do not look at the date or this font, which was accidentally changed. I am not this retro.

Day 16 was all crafty with buttons. This font is SO distracting to me. Arg!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 15

I've been waiting all year to work with this sparkly stuff. I purchased it for about $.10 from Michaels last year when they were clearing out the Christmas decor. The "this is so cheap I need to buy it all" frenzy hit and before I knew it, I had a large plastic bin full of sparkly stuff. I suppose that now is as good a time as any to start using it, right? To make the topper, I just pulled from the larger clusters of 3 different shaped leaves and flowers. Since I have so much, I'm going to experiment a little more with this. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 13

I'm not whining, but this is quite a task I've set out for myself. And it's not the wrapping that's tough, I really like that part. It's the photographing of the gift! I was actually looking forward to doing this photoshoot because I took a photography workshop this weekend which really cleared up so much camera mystery for me (no more effing f-stop talk from me anymore!). I now have my camera on full manual mode. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, the bummer was that I had to take the photos on the dreariest, grayest, winteriest day possible. Ug! Talk about adding a challenge to my natural lighting situation! I did not get to use my new photo editing software either. Now it does sound like I'm whining. Sorry about that. It just occurred to me that the good news was that I did take that class or I'd be showing you some very dark photos of gifts.

After exploring retro folksy styles and lots of red and white, I'm moving into some sparkly stuff. This is silver paper with silver eyelash yarn. The topper is a group of glittered pinecones and a custom gift sticker I made. Nicely done for a special Papa gift, I think.

Monday, December 12, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 12

I used a combination of wrapping papers in this wrap; a strip of red polka dots on a white wrapped box. It coordinates well with my other red and white gifts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 11

This is another one of my vintage ornaments I scored from the last estate sale. Grandpa Bryan is kind of a country boy so I thought the little deer belonged to him.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 10

This is a perfect solution if you need to ship your package. The ribbon never gets messed up! I made this with all different kinds of washi tape (like the kind available from Pretty Tape). Super easy and fast. Plus your gift paper is extra secure with all that tape keeping it together. *Sigh* I just saw all the new washi tapes designs and will now have to purchase them all. I've got real problems.

Friday, December 9, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 9

This was a fun gift to wrap. I made the felt acorn toppers after collecting acorn caps in abundance while on an autumn walk and hot glued them to the felt balls (like these). Then you glue and wrap the string around the stem to make the topper. I like grouping several at a time and as you can see, I layered some varying widths of ribbon to keep things simple. The tag is cut from the craft wrapping paper and the ends trimmed in with scissors. To make the wavy part, simply press one side of you hand down on the paper as you slide it along the edge of a table. Then turn the paper around and do the opposite on the other side. Get it?

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 8

Okay, full disclosure. This is obviously posted on day 9 but the gift was wrapped yesterday! I didn't have time to photograph it but it still counts, people...

We are pom-pom obsessed at the moment. What, with the Bombshells of Cincinnati out and about, and my kids learning how to make them at the Crafty Supermarket, the yarn is flying in this house. I tied these 3 to the package to look almost like buttons on a shirt. Not sure that really comes through, but it was the inspiration anyway.

DIY Friday: Make your own lip gloss with Kool-Aid

I saw a simple recipe for home made lipgloss on Pinterest and thought I'd do it with my daughters. Mind you, this is in addition to the earrings we've made and the bow tie necklaces. Not sure how many girls are going to be the recipients of these crafty gifts, but it sure is fun to craft like maniacs in the meantime!

Here is what you need:
1 cup petroleum jelly
1 packet Kool-Aid drink mix (without the sugar added)
24 small containers with screw top lids. I got mine from the beading section at Michaels.
Food coloring
1/4 tsp edible glitter (optional, I use the kind from a cake decorating supply store)
a whisk, a 2 cup heat proof glass measuring cup with a spout (such as Pyrex)

Scoop put the petroleum jelly into the measuring cup and heat in the microwave until liquid. This make take several minutes, but do it 30 seconds at a time. I've never burned petroleum jelly, but I doubt it's pretty.

Using the whisk, mix in the packet of drink powder, glitter and food coloring. There will be small bits of the drink mix left in the gloss, and we call those flavor bursts. Pour into the containers and let cool. I've attached some cute labels you can use. Right click to save file to your computer. Print to adhesive white stock and use a 1" hole punch to cut them out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 7

Remember when I told you about that one estate sale where I scored some great vintage holiday gift wrapping stuff? This was by far the best of the lot. Adorable tie-on tags! I've had these for years because I'm hoarding them, but this challenge is doing more than keeping me creative--it's making me use this great stuff. I chose this particular picture to show off the tags's a donkey. A Christmas donkey! I'm not sure whether it's meant to remind us of the donkey in the manger, or if Mexican donkey's were really big 50 years ago but I love it so much. Second favorite is the little girl with an umbrella. Maybe these came from a company in California? Or maybe the truth of winter (especially here in the midwest) is that it rains more than it snows this time of year. Whatever the reason, the tags brought me joy. I hope they do for you too!

I couldn't resist showing you the girl with the umbrella. She's at least wearing a scarf.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 6

This was a neat little wooden box I found while waiting in line at Michaels the other day (yes I am a sucker for the $1 specials). It's about the size of a glasses case and just perfect for a little handmade necklace gift for my sister-in-law! I glued a white velvet ribbon and a picot edge ribbon across the top flap. I covered the wooden button closure with the felt and sequin embellishment. The inside of the box is filled with red paper crinkle to cushion the gift. I'd show you but somebody might read this post and peek at her gift...

Monday, December 5, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 5

Okay, big apologies for the short focus and slight blurriness on this photo. I like some bokeh, but not that much! This is one of the vintage ornaments I scored from the estate sale a few weeks ago. I think the ornament is so freaking cute that next year I'll be making them for sure. I resisted major temptation to buy the walnuts in the shell this Sunday at the grocery store.  *too...many...crafts*  I'm thinking the blanket should be made of velvet ribbon, yes? Oh yes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 4

One of my favorite pastimes now that my kids are old enough to stay home on their own for a few hours, is to go to estate sales with my mom. Usually, my mom scopes out what she thinks will be the best one and we head out to check out the heirlooms and garbage that the survivng kids didn't want to keep. Usually, there is a stash of old Christmas crap in the basement, which thrills me to no end! A few years ago, I scored some great vintage Christmas tags, ribbons and a few sheets of lickable "stickers". After wasting great quantities of saliva to try in vain to get them to stick to the wrapping paper, I finally turned to the mighty tape gun to get those rascals to stick. The ribbon is also vintage, and as you can see, mighty curly and brittle from being so tightly wound for 30 years or more. I opted not to mess with it too much and keep the curl "au naturel".

Saturday, December 3, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 3

I'm posting this gift for Day 3 because the gift is for my neice Sophia, who is turning *gasp* 15 years old today. I remember that girl in her little swing at 3 months old, crooning "aroo! aroo! to her smitten Auntie Margot! She is turning into a beautiful young woman to be sure.

The wrapping details: White glossy paper, vintage silver ribbon and a custom-made tag. The tag has a little history, which I'll share some time this month for DIY Friday. It uses some custom made stamps to make the little village. Cute, cute.

Friday, December 2, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 2

It was tempting to use these as 2 gifts, what with the weekend coming up and all. It just occurred to me that I'm going to need some better organizational skills if I'm to keep up with my promise of 25 days of gift wrap. That means I have to write 2 more posts today to cover Saturday and Sunday! Oh well, better get going on that.

Day 2's gift wrapping uses cut paper snowflakes created by the ever talented snipper Natalie Madison. Simple white grosgrain and sheer silver ribbons keep the focus on the snowflake. I'm big into red and white because it's pretty and also because I have a humongous roll of red printed craft wrapping paper. I swear, my great grandchildren will be getting red-wrapped gifts that thing is so huge.

And should you need more inspiration, I just discovered The Gifted Blog that is all about gift wrapping. How cool is that?

Bow ties Are Cool

How cute is that?

Here's the truth: The entire Madison family is obsessed with Dr. Who. For those of you who are not enlightened, it's a British science fiction show. It's a mildly scary family show but my kids love a little fear in their tv line-up. It's possible that you might be thinking of Dr. Who of the 70s and 80s where the sets looked like they were designed by the 6th grade art department. It is the same series, but thoroughly updated to the 21st century. Anyway, it's nerdy, but we like nerdy stuff and are proud of it.

The most recent incarnation of Dr. Who (Matt Smith) wears a bowtie as a part of his "look". When my daughter Julia caught on to that, it started a "Bowties Are Cool" movement in her own 6th grade class. Bow ties were being crafted out of paper, duct tape, ribbons, whatever they could find. Suffice it to say, anything with a bow tie is now "Cool".

Naturally, when I pulled out the Shrinky Dink plastic a few weeks ago, Julia immediately started creating bowties of various sizes and patterns. There was a little eye-rolling by me, but since I am really trying to not be THAT kind of mom (meaning "old and out of touch"), I rolled my eyes back forward and decided to be supportive. I'm glad I did because that little Shrinky-Dink bow tie was so darn cute when it came out of the oven! Now I eagerly jumped on the bow tie bandwagon, and ran to get my bag o' beads from my studio. We dismantled an old broken necklace to get the chain (about 18" long) and attached it to 2 jump rings that we'd placed on the holes at the top of the bow tie. We all really love how it turned out and immediately set out to make more. Luckily, none of Julia's friends read my blog so they won't know what their Christmas gift will be this year... :o)
Julia styled Natalie and took this picture. Lookin' good eh?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Gift Wrap: Day 1

My creative challenge this Christmas is to explore gift wrapping and post one of my own creations each day. I will tell you that I'm totally freaked out to commit to something like this! I love being consistently inconsistent--it's my artsy thing, you know. But this is a good kind of challenge and the double bonus is that all my gift wrapping will be completed before December 24th. *high fives to myself* (which really just looks like a clap, if you think about it. Don't think about it too much or you'll start giggling like I'm doing right now.)

The first installment showcases a gift topper created from layered felt circles, sewn together with a vintage sequin at the top. I used my cream wrapping paper, and a silverish sheer ribbon. The felt circles (and other shapes) are pretty inexpensive and available from vendors on etsy such as this one. You can find similar sequins from this company...and I tell you, they are fun to have around!

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