Wednesday 14 December 2011

Gingersnap Creations Blogspot Challenge - Wax

This week's challenge starting today on Gingersnaps is Wax. I would like to thank my lovely, very dear friend, Jack, who showed me how to do candles a few years ago. It is such a nice technique to have up your sleeve and fairly quick but effective. If you are still making gifts for people or want a table centrepiece for Christmas Dinner, I would really recommend them.

I would also recommend the homemade pine cones because if you leave them on the cocktail sticks, you can plunge them into anything and they stay put. I quite fancy doing some in dry oasis as a table decoration, maybe with some fake connifer and berries. I got the fake connifer in a big pack for £1 at my local craft shop, Nancyz Crafts, which always seems to sell exactly what I want.

The other pine cones I have been putting on my blog over the last couple of weeks have been left plain, but this time I added fake snow to go with the snowy scenes on the candle. I don't have the Tim Holtz pine cone die but you can easily follow his instructions but without the die. At first I thought, well if he says you can use the die to make roses, how about turning that on its head and using a spiral flower die to make the pine cones! And I had one of those! So I started off using my Marianne Creatables die. I didn't have the Kraft Core but I thought, ok, if you are using dark brown Core-dinations, the core will be a light brown anyway. So I rang Nancy and she had 12 x 12 sheets in French Roast for 50p a sheet, which makes loads of pine cones!

Then I decided I wasn't making life difficult enough for myself so I made some without the die. I had a wavy edge pair of scissors which came free with a craft magazine. I cut a rough circle, then cut a spiral into it, letting it get a bit thicker nearer the centre so that the base of the pine cone would be a bit wider. It wasn't a very deep scallop design so I snipped just one millimetre with a pair of scissors between each scallop so that I could bend the 'petals' out further, like on a pine cone. I cut a nick into the centre the way Tim explains, so that it forms a base. The only other thing I did differently was to colour the cocktail sticks with a brown Pro Marker, which disguises it if any of it shows.

Finally I cut some snowflakes out of roasting tin foil. I used the Tim die for that - I'm not stupid enough to cut those myself!! I plonked them into the candle on memo pins. Everything is now falling off the kitchen cork board!

Another, maybe more conventional way, to do the same candle would be to have small evenly sized pine cones and to stick them into the candle in a continuous circle around the base, like a wreath. I was in the mood to have them jutting out at odd angles though!

I am entering this into The Stamp Man challenge which is to Create an Ornament.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Crafty Individuals' December Challenge - All Wrapped Up

I made some little Christmas gift bags using Crafty Individuals' Christmas backing papers and stamps, for their December Challenge, which is All Wrapped Up. I hope you will join in.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Starry Nights on Gingersnaps

I thought I was going to miss the deadline for this dt piece for the first time ever! I still have this horrible throat bug and conjuntivitis and have nearly lost my voice. The surgery are sending a prescription to my local chemist for my kind friend to pick up, but I am not holding out much hope of getting better quickly.

The Gingersnap theme launching today is Starry Nights, and I wanted to create a Christmas snowy and starry scene inside a bubble box. I used Crafty Individuals' Christmas papers and their Santa in the Sky stamp, CI254. I covered the box with the papers and used a gold pen around the edges. The fiddly bit was that I wanted the design of the paper to run continuously across the lid so I cut the square for the lid, drew the circle aperture in pen, then cut it out with a circle Nestie. I then stamped the image directly onto the circle of paper, and again onto plain white gloss card. I wanted the word 'Believe' to run under the sleigh and above the buildings, rather than being obscured by them. I cut out the buildings and matched them up over the top of the stamped image to make them stand out. I added Polar White flower soft at the bottom of the row of buildings and in dots over the globe, and also adhered silver stars to the underside of the globe with glossy accents but they are not very clear in the photo. Definitely don't feel like getting the camera out again at the mo. I added one of my DIY pine cones under the globe at the base, then sprinkled some around the box to take the photos.

Friday 2 December 2011

A Christmas Card - and Tim Style Pine Cones

I haven't got much to blog at the mo as I am lying on the sofa nursing a throat bug which is really grotty. It is very unlike me to catch anything. I don't feel well enough to do Tim's tags so my offering looks a bit pathetic, but I am enjoying seeing what everyone else is making. As you may know by now I don't hang from Tim's shirt-tails so it shows how inspirational he is that I jumped off the sofa yesterday to see if I could improvise from his brilliant pine cones video. The card is one that I think will be for Colin this year unless I can do better before then, so it's just a vehicle to show off the pine cones. (I used the Winter Distress Inks). I think bearing in mind I don't have the pine cone die or the Coredinations Kraft card I did ok.