Monday, December 31, 2012

Under Construction


Welcome everyone and thank you for stopping by today.  Remember me saying I wouldn't be posting on Monday?  If not, read about it here.  I am participating in a New Year's Day BLOG HOP, so my new post will be up tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, I have been making a few changes to the layout and look of this website.  Please be patient with me while updates are made and let me know what you think of the changes- after all, it is being changed for you!

If you missed the last post, check it out here. Otherwise, browse around and enjoy yourself.  I do apologize for the text formatting.  When I made an adjustment last night, it altered (negatively) the text of every post on the blog (sorry).  It is a problem I see and plan to correct as soon as possible.

Thank you for being patient with me & for coming to visit.  You wont want to miss tomorrow's blog hop with myself and some other really talented bloggers, so don't forget to stop by!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Create Treat Bags from Ordinary, Every Day Supplies (no fancy cutting machines or expensive tools required!)

Be Warned: I am feeling chatty this morning, so please excuse my wordy post!  Some of what I say is important though, so please read through it!

I know I have said this in my last several posts, but can you believe how close it is to Christmas?  Wow, it really snuck up on me this year.  I can't wait to just relax and enjoy time with my family.

But first, I wanted to show you a little something that I made for some of my husband's students at school.  For his helpers and kids that are in his work out group after school, he wanted to have a little treat to celebrate Christmas break.  He said it was perfectly fine to simply throw the puppy chow into a ziplock bag and be on his way... come on crafters, you know this is not how it went at all!  I decided to make a nice little top piece for the bag to give it just a little extra something that a clear plastic bag cannot offer.

The only problem was that I decided to do this later in the evening, away from mom's Silhouette machine (which I am always borrowing!), away from most of my scrapbook papers, fancy scissors, anything!  But after I started working on this, I thought it might be important to share how projects like this CAN be done without all those fancy scrapbooking and crafting supplies.  Many times, blogs will share their projects that are done with tools that a beginning crafter may not have (I know that I do) and that might be discouraging.  Today, I am here to show you all that no matter what level of crafter you are, you can create some really cute projects!

{But First: A few important things I need to tell you}

{1} I will NOT be posting at all next week.  That means that Monday (Dec. 24) and Thursday (Dec. 27) there will be no new updates on this blog.  I hate doing that for fear that some of you may get out of routine and forget about me, but this time is about family and I plan to use any time off as time for them.  My next post then will be on Tuesday, January 1.

{2} You might have just noticed that I said my next post would be Tuesday, January 1 and not Monday (my normal posting day).  That is because I will be participating in a BLOG HOP with Every Day is an Occasion, Ribbons & Glue, The Hunny Pot, A Mermaid's Crafts, A Piece of Life's Pie, Quick Chick Designs, Court's Craft Corner and My Paper Love!  It is going to be an awesome start to the new year with so many talented people. PLEASE stop by to not only visit me but to visit these other blogs as well.  We are each making a craft with something new we got for Christmas.  The variety is endless, so you are bound to find something that you love!

{Now onto the real reason you are here}
Sorry to take care of business first, but it had to be done. 

These treat bags are easy to make, even with the simplest of crafting tools. All I used was:

-Regular Scissors
-Baker's Twine
-Hole Punch
-Pen or Marker

First, cut the background paper into rectangles large enough to fold in half over the top of the ziplock bag.  Next, find a contrasting paper to use for the round piece.  Using items around your house, find a circle shape that will fit nicely on your rectangle (I traced the bottom of a toothpick holder!)

To get the designed edges on my circle, I simply drew it out on the back of the paper then {very carefully} cut it out.

Write your message on the small paper and glue the paper pieces together.  Then, align the paper over the bag so that it is positioned where you want it to be.  Punch 2 holes into the folded paper and the plastic bag.  I could not even find a regular hole punch so I used our 3-hole punch (hey, it worked!).

Finish it off by running some baker's twine through the holes from the back to front of the bag.  I like this look better than stapling, but it is up to you.

  {Your Turn}
What a simple way to turn a nice gesture into something extra special.  The best part is, this can be done with ordinary, every day items.  I love that because it really does mean that anyone can be creative (something I truly believe) without having to go out and buy all new supplies.

Wishing you all the best for the Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) season and the upcoming New Year.  Enjoy this time with your family and friends and I will see you again soon!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

LINK LOVE! Linked up to: Every Day is an Occasion

Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY Rustic Gift Wrapping

One of my favorite things about Christmas is wrapping Christmas presents.  The shopping itself sort of stresses me out, but the wrapping is like a mini vacation where my creativity is allowed to roam free as I load up each box with ribbons, bows and other assorted goodies.  As you may have been able to guess, I am loving all the rustic themed gift bags this year.  My mama, being the creative genius that she is, came up with the idea for this adorable wrapping paper.  I made my first batch of it today and got some wrapping done for my husband:

All you need to make this wrapping paper is:
{1} Packaging paper.  This can be found at stores like Big Lots or the Dollar General.
{2} A Christmas stamp & ink.  The idea for this wrapping paper actually formed because we bought this stamp.  Michael's had a BIG sale going on and we got this huge stamp for a little over a dollar!
{3} Versa Mark, embossing powder & an embossing gun.

{How to Make it}

All you do is stamp your image all over the paper.  Make sure to leave a spot or two for your embossed image.

{stamp, stamp, stamp}

Next, emboss your image into it's spot:
{I LOVE embossing, it looks so neat!  For those of you who don't know how: simply stamp as you normally would but use Versa Mark instead of an ink pad.  Then cover in embossing powder, remove the excess powder & emboss with your heat gun}

To finish up, wrap your package in your new paper and complete with some fun and rustic toppers.

...Like twine and baker's twine!

{love this}

...for a little extra something, add a small bird or other adornment to the top of your gift.

{I love having this little bird on here, but my husband hates glitter (and the bird is covered in it), so I figured I should probably save it for another time}

{More of a gift bag type?}
The same tecnique can be done to make your own gift bags:

{Check out the red & green mixed embossing.  Pretty neat huh?}

{Your Turn!}
Whether you love the rustic look or know someone who does, these gift wrapping ideas are sure to be a hit!  I can't wait to make more and I can't wait to hear about any that you have made as well.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

LINK LOVE!  Linked up to: Every Day is an Occasion

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Bandana for Our Furry Friends

I finally got around to making our Christmas cards.  Okay, I finally got around to taking a picture and ordering one of those cards from online that you upload your picture to.  It is less crafty than I intended but they are really cute!  Either way, I had to get our dog Ernie (remember his debut on my treat container post?  If not, go check out the big sweetie!) ready for the occasion as well.  That is why I made him a *drumroll please*....... Christmas Bandana!

I couldn't resist having him "say" that.  This bandana looks really nice going down his backside too, but for the sake of family pictures, we moved it up front.  Even though it looks kind of long on the front, I really like it (is it more "formal" that way?).  Plus, the top can be folded down to position at whatever height you desire.

Did you notice the bells at the bottom?  My favorite part about this whole project is how he sounds like Santa's sleigh as he trots around the house.  I absolutely love it!

All you need to do is:
1. Find a fabric that you like,
2. Cut it into a rectangle (make sure the long side will fit around your dogs neck!
3. Fold into a triangle.  I kept my fabric doubled over so that the bandana is extra sturdy.
4. You can sew this together quickly, or if you are trying to get this done as you are taking pictures (I know, I know, don't judge me), use some Heat n Bond along the top and middle edges.
5. Quickly sew on some bells along the bottom "V" of the bandana.  Don't go all the way up because that will just rub against your pet's neck.

That's it, you're done!

{My handsome husband and my adorable doggie}

Once the bandana was finished we were ready for our family "photo shoot"!  We took lots of pictures and had a ball listening to Ernie trot around the house with his jingle bells.

{Your Turn}
Which of your furry friends would like a Christmas bandana of their own?  Or, tell me a story of some of the fun (or wacky) things your pets have worn for the sake of a good picture.  I love all of our furry friends, so please share your stories with me!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

LINK LOVE! Linked up to: Every Day is an Occasion

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Christmas Greeting Printable

Can you believe it is December 10th already?  DECEMBER TENTH!!! That means I have 15 days to get all the Christmas shopping done and wrapped, all the treats made and delivered to the neighbors and all the Christmas cards put together and sent out.  Worst thing is, I haven't really begun any of these *panic setting in*.  Oh well, for now I will just drink my coffee and take a break with you fine folks.

I would love to give you all a sneak peek of our Christmas Card that we are sending out but I am running a shade behind on it's production.  In lieu of that I will give you a Christmas "card" online!  I will even include a link to the image so that you can use it for your own season's greetings, for wrapping paper (think tiled images) or even just to print and put into a frame for some last minute decor or gift giving.  You can use it for whatever your heart desires- my gift to you!

I love when words literally take shape!  As I was thinking of what to write in here, I just kept thinking "mittens on kittens" which is what my husband says when referring to the "My Favorite Things" song.  Isn't that funny?  I guess that is one of those personal jokes that only we think is funny... so I left it out.

Interested in having this?  HERE is the link to print or save it!

{Your Turn}
I hope that you all are farther on your Christmas to-do list than I am and have enjoyed today's post. I should probably get myself around and get working on that other Christmas card... you know, the one I actually need to send out in 2 days! See you on Thursday!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Burlap and Berry Christmas Wreath

'Tis the season for Christmas villages, decorated cookies, beautiful lights and festive Christmas decorations.  Well, up until yesterday you would never have guessed it was Christmastime around my house.  Let's just say we are running a little behind on all things Christmas this year.  Nonetheless, we finally have some decorations up (yay)!  One of my favorite new additions is this wreath that I just threw together.  It is really easy to make and only takes TWO materials.  Want to see it?

It is rustic and festive, it is a win-win!  I had bought the red and green stems a few months back from the floral section at Hobby Lobby.  I was not sure how many it took to make a wreath so I just bought six of them.  When I put it together however it looked a little... bare.  So, I figured why not add one of my favorite materials- burlap?!  I love how this turned out and I am so glad that I didn't "get enough" of the stems in the first place.

{How to Make it}
Gather your materials.  All you need is some burlap and roughly six floral stems of your choice.

For the burlap, you will need to cut strips wide enough to show underneath the berry stems.  This is really all personal preference and depends on your stem size, but if you want to know how wide mine are, I cut them roughly 4 1/2 inches wide.

Just make sure that you do not pull the thread all the way out or the burlap will lie flat again.  I find it best to pull from both sides and let the extra thread hang.

Easy peasy! Now onto the stems...

{Floral Stems}
Like I said before, I bought six of these but depending on the size and fullness of the stems you chose, you may have to get more or less.  All you need to do for this step is to attach (I used tape) the stems together to form a circle.

I love those red and green "berries", so pretty!

{Attaching the Burlap}
Now that you have the pieces ready, it is time to attach the burlap.  Simply lay the burlap where it belongs around the wreath.  Here is the best part: to attach the burlap you can tie a loop around the stems using spare burlap threads!  This is a craft that supplies it's own materials- how neat is that?  You wont need a needle or anything, just stretch out a "waffle hole" big enough to slide the thread through.  When you are done, knot it together on the backside & cut the extra thread away.

{That's it!}
Finish attaching the burlap around the wreath and you are all done!  I love how easy this wreath is and how cute it turned out.  I have a feeling this wreath will be a new staple in our Christmas decor.

{Your Turn!}
What do you think about using burlap in Christmas decor?  Do you love the rustic look or do you think it looks like it belongs on a barn (get my joke? The pictures above were taken on a barn door!)  Okay, I am laughing at my own jokes now, I should probably stop while I am ahead.  I hope everyone enjoyed this post and is excited to make your very own Christmas wreath.  Hey- there are still people out there like me who aren't finished decorating, right?

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

LINK LOVE!  Linked up to: Every Day is an Occasion and Chick-n-Scrap

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Winter Gift Exchange Experience

Have any of you ever participated in an online gift exchange before?  Well, Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous plans out two of them every year!  I wanted to participate in the last one but because it was so close to our wedding, I figured I better not try to cram one more thing in!  That being said, I was really excited to participate in my first one this winter.  Linda used to help organize and match people together.  This website can also be used to post your holiday, birthday, anytime wishlists for friends and family.

Even though I went into this entirely clueless, I was really happy with the way things turned out.  The woman I got paired up with is really sweet and seems like such a nice person.  Although I still wasn't sure what I was doing by the time I mailed her gift, I have learned a lot about what to expect and how to go about doing the exchange in the future.

I wanted to show my exchange partner off a little bit because oh my goodness she is crafty!  Here is what she made for me (keep scrolling, there are several things!)

How darling is this bag?  I LOVE the big bow on the front and see the picture on the left?  Those are matching pockets on the inside of the bag!  I was so impressed with her craftsmanship on this, it was so well done.  I immediately switched out the contents from my previous bag to this one.

This gift was actually a perfect gift and she didn't even know it.  Since I've been working in retail, I have seen a lot of people using coin purses and I have been thinking "I should get one of those".  Little did I know, that I was being made one!  What I especially love is how the inside has a different pattern.  So cute!

This is awesome.  It's soft but sturdy and is the perfect size for holding a variety of small crafting goods.  Did you notice that it is made from the same pretty fabric as the bag?  I have been trying to figure out how she made this and I am sure it's easier than it looks but I am impressed to boot!

This one might be my favorite of them all.  I saw that my partner had made a ton of cute pin cushions that she posted online and I almost asked if she could make me one- even if I just bought it from her!  I have been needing one but had not decided what pattern to have put on it.  She made this so perfectly fit for me (I don't know how she did it!)  My favorite colors are green and yellow, I love summertime and I love daisies (which is what that flower looks like, don't you think?)  I am still so tickled impressed by this and by her.

{I would recommend it!}
It's a little tricky your first time into the exchange world, but now that I have experienced it I can't wait to participate in my next one! I am so grateful to my partner for her hard work and brilliant crafting and I hope that she enjoyed her gifts from me as well.

Please note that although these pictures belong to me, the items pictured were not my creation and I do not take credit for them. I am going to talk to my partner and see if she wants her name/info mentioned to link ownership to them. However, I have included this blog name on the pictures so that her work is not floating around the internet without having a source. If she says yes to posting her links, you all should check out her work- she is very creative!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann