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Monday, December 7, 2009

Some key things to remember when crafting for the holidays:

• Incorporate photos and mementos from events that happened throughout the past year — like the big family vacation, graduations and other celebrations — or items from last Christmas.

• It’s not about cost, but the sentiment that goes into the gift. Craft supplies can be costly. Take it back to basics by using items you already have or found items.

• Don’t take on so many craft projects you get stressed or overwhelmed, especially if crafting as a family. Keep things fun and stress-free, even if it means crossing some of those projects off your crafting to-do list.

• Get the entire family involved. On this page you’ll find a kids craft corner — incorporate some of these ideas into your projects, or let your kids take on their own crafting projects. (Just be sure to follow safety rules.)

• If you have one particular craft skill, stick with it for this year’s gifts, especially if you’re getting a late start. The holiday rush isn’t the time to learn a new skill.

Family Features lists some trends that will dominate this year’s Christmas themes:

• Traditional red and green will be the primary colors, with the green moving from lime green to a more traditional green such as forest green, avocado and Kelly green.

• Snowmen that are sweet and happy will remain strong, along with reindeer.

•Birds, snow-flakes, trees, retro critters and teddy bears.

• A nature influence will show up in cones, leaves, berries, pine boughs and branches in neutral and classic combinations with texture, layers and embroidery.

Wrapping with scrapbook supplies


Design by Melissa Inman

Top off a purchased gift box with a ribbon-covered lid. Melissa applied double-sided tape on the inside edges of the box lid and secured the ribbon ends to it as she wove the ribbon together.

Use your stash


Confection bags, scrap-booking paper, stickers and ribbon from your local craft or paper supply store help to dress up your canned goods for any seasonal occasion.

Glitter can add magic to holiday crafting

By JENNIFER FORKER, For The Associated Press Monday, December 07, 2009

For many crafters, glitter makes everything better.

It adds sparkle to even the most mundane items, especially at holiday time. Consult a few glitter fanatics, and the project ideas pour out like, well, so much superfine glitter.

"Glitter can transform any item. It can completely change something old into something new," said Jessica Okui, 31, a craft blogger from the San Francisco Bay area.

Okui's next project: glittering her young daughter's dirty, white tennis shoes. She'll use fabric glue, then lock in the colorful glitter with an acrylic sealer.

For the holidays, Okui has glittered origami cranes in gold and silver, and posted the images at her blog site, Zakka Life.

Hannah Milman is a self-described "glitter freak," but that comes as little surprise, since Milman is editorial director of crafts for Martha Stewart Living magazine. The crafting-industry titan came out with a line of glitter a few years ago, and continues to add colors, shapes and sizes (available at Michaels Stores).

For Milman, anything can be glittered, and glitter can be most anything. Besides the stuff sold as glitter, she recommends seed beads, sequins and craft-store rhinestones -- just use the right glue. Milman recommends an archival-quality, water-based craft glue for most projects (Elmer's will do) and fabric glue for glittering on a fabric surface.

She can speed-talk through a long list of glitter projects for the holidays. Her favorites:
Glitter seashells in two tones to make elegant ornaments.
Personalize store-bought holiday cards with strategically placed glitter (use a glue pen).
Glitter small plastic animals to make a winter wonderland scene.
Find branches, pine cones and acorns, and glitter them.
Glitter jingle bells and worn-out ornaments for the Christmas tree.
"You can really achieve all those fancy, glittered ornaments you see in the stores," Milman said. "You can do that yourself, and it's an heirloom forever."

Milman also suggests glittering your own photographs. At Martha Stewart Living's Web site, a photo can be transformed into a "glitter by numbers" image.

For Sandra Lee, host of HGTV's "Sandra Lee Celebrates" holiday specials, glitter defines the winter holidays.

"You can't have Christmas without glitter," Lee said. "Glitter is what makes it magical."

In her holiday specials, which air Saturday nights through Dec. 19, Lee employs a healthy amount of glitter. She suggests these fast glitter tricks for holiday decorating and entertaining:

Use a spray adhesive, and dust a store-bought flower centerpiece with glitter. Lee recommends using a superfine, iridescent glitter on red roses.

Make holiday "crackers" by filling empty toilet-paper rolls with treasures and wrapping them in gift wrap. Cover that with gold glitter netting (or spray with adhesive and dust with glitter).

What, pray tell, is glitter's allure?

"It's the brilliance. It's something it does to the synapses of the mind. It just makes you happy," said Barbara Trombley, who launched the first art glitter business in this country in 1983. Today, the Art Institute Glitter, based in Cottonwood, Ariz., makes 400 glitter colors in nearly a dozen sizes and types.

The downside to glitter is its pesky tendency to travel everywhere a crafter doesn't want it to go. Sealants keep glitter in its place after a project is finished.

Our experts have their own ideas for corralling glitter during the creative process: Milman divides glitter colors in wax-lined cupcake baking cups, because the glitter won't stick to the wax. Okui applies glitter inside a cardboard box that has a lip to it. She recommends using a face mask -- especially with kids -- when using fine glitters.

This holiday craft is simple enough to do with young children.

Art glitter tree ornaments

(By Jan Hennings, adapted from the Art Institute Glitter's blog, artglitterblog)


Clear, glass ornament

Heavy card stock (scraps will work)

Thin ribbon in coordinating color

Clear beading thread

Artificial snow

Glitter (your choice of color, size, shape)

Paper to make temporary funnel

Craft glue or spray adhesive

Plate for shaking glitter over




Drop a spoonful or more of fake snow into ornament with a paper funnel.

Cut out a tree or other holiday shape.

Spray with adhesive, or cover with craft glue.

Sprinkle with glitter. Shake off excess.

Make a tiny hole at the top of the tree, and tie some clear beading thread through the hole.

Roll tree shape around a pencil, and insert into ball.

Feed the two ends of the clear thread up through the two holes in the top of the ornament, and tie in a knot.

Add ribbon (glittered, if you desire) to the ornament's hanging hook.

Recycled Greeting cards

Featured Project; Thank You Paper Mug

Thank You Paper Mug Help your loved ones keep warm on cold evenings—or just kick back and relax for a few minutes—by inspiring them with this cozy mug treat holder. It’s a delightful favor that they’ll be excited to receive and show off.

Featured Video; WInter Wonderland video with the cricut

you can find the original video here

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12 blogs of Christmas

Today I hopped around the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop and I decided to show you some of the great things I found. Just click on the clipmark to go to the original post and be sure to send some stampin love!