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Tag Archives: holiday

  • Coffee Filter Flower Baskets

    I enjoyed making my coffee filter flowers so much, I was positively anxious to try making coffee filter flower baskets! This project sounded perfect for some seasonally-appropriate fun now that Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner.

    There are a few supplies needed, and none are expensive. You may already have the supplies on hand. What a deal! I was inspired by this flower basket pin by Urban Comfort.  I wanted to try using water based markers as a second coloring technique on the coffee filters. I already had flower stem wire  and food coloring left over from my earlier project and coffee filter flower post, my craft collection included water based markers, and my party supplies had some plastic nut cups. Okay, my supplies seemed to be in order.

    I was quickly reminded that sometimes you just have to figure things out or use your best judgment when creating. The plastic nut cups I had on-hand were too small and would have been devoured by the flower petals. I quickly went on-line and had to "guesstimate" on the size I would need for this project. Many nut cups are also called candy cups - so read descriptions carefully. To assist you, here is a link to the specific nut/candy cups from Outside the Box Papers that I used for this project.

    My second coloring technique: use water based markers. The Easter coffee filter flowers are made by using 4-cup size coffee filters. Color each flower with water based markers. The polka dotted paper cup will be the basket; it measures approximately 2"W x 1.375" H. My second coloring technique: use water based markers. The Easter coffee filter flowers are made by using 4-cup size coffee filters. Color each flower with water based markers. The polka dotted paper cup will be the basket; it measures approximately 2"W x 1.375" H.

    Dying the individual coffee filters with water based markers took longer on the front end because each filter got colored by markers. As opposed to dying the coffee filters by placing them in food coloring dyed water to soak for 30 minutes to several hours. Just think of the preparations this way: the time you spend coloring the individual filters is your creation of individual palettes of color; just like each flower is different from another.

    The second coffee filter coloring technique I am trying: water based markers used to color individual coffee filters, draped over inverted glasses, prepped for water! The second coffee filter coloring technique I am trying: water based markers used to color individual coffee filters, draped over inverted glasses, prepped for water!

    Have fun with your patterns - but remember, every mark will bleed once water is applied.

    The marker colors show an immediate watercolor effect. See the colors spreading and dripping once water is spritzed onto them. The marker colors show an immediate watercolor effect. See the colors spreading and dripping once water is spritzed onto them.

    Although some of the demarcations were indistinguishable, I really liked the color intensity the markers produced!

    Some of the finished results reveal that these colors are vibrant. My earlier method let the coffee filters sit in water dyed with food coloring; that earlier method produced lovely pastel colors. Some of the finished results reveal that these colors are vibrant. My earlier method let the coffee filters sit in water dyed with food coloring; that earlier method produced lovely pastel colors.

    The third method of coloring coffee filters is created by applying food coloring in specific dots or short lines directly onto two or three folded coffee filters. A quick dunk in-and-out of some water, with a gentle squeeze to drain the excess water, is all you need to do to successfully dye your coffee filters. As before, unfold the coffee filters and drape them over inverted glasses to dry. Remember, I sped up the drying time by placing my coffee filters under a ceiling fan.

    All the flowers colored by placing dots of food coloring onto folded coffee filters before dipping into water. All the flowers colored by placing dots of food coloring onto folded coffee filters before dipping into water.
    Different floral effects can be made by the pattern cut into the coffee filters, as well as, by the coloring method. The coloring technique here: food coloring placed directly onto the coffee filters before water was applied. Different floral effects can be made by the pattern cut into the coffee filters, as well as, by the coloring method. The coloring technique here: food coloring placed directly onto the coffee filters before water was applied.
    Intense colors were achieved when drops of food coloring were applied directly onto coffee filters before a quick dip into water! Intense colors were achieved when drops of food coloring were applied directly onto coffee filters before a quick dip into water!

    I referred to the original pin by Urban Comfort to read about their construction of the coffee filter flower baskets. I did not have any glue dots as outlined in their description, so I used hot glue to attach the floral wire to the paper nut/candy cups. I also used hot glue to attach the nut/candy cups to the first coffee filter layer, and in between each layer thereafter.

    Floral Stem Wire (20 Gauge) hot glued to paper nut/candy cups to make coffee filter flower baskets. Floral Stem Wire (20 Gauge) hot glued to paper nut/candy cups to make coffee filter flower baskets.
    Coffee filter flower baskets get transformed into Easter baskets once filled with candy goodies! Coffee filter flower baskets get transformed into Easter baskets once filled with candy goodies!

    Preparing the coffee filter flower baskets to be used as centerpieces, or with tablescapes and serving pieces for display, helps to generate the mood for springtime frolics and Easter Sunday gatherings. I used artificial shrubbery to help show off some candy, as well as, a platter to display all of the baskets.

    Here is one close-up of the completed Easter coffee filter flower baskets colored using water based markers and sprayed with water. Here is one close-up of the completed Easter coffee filter flower baskets colored using water based markers and sprayed with water.

    One whimsical idea is to incorporate your coffee filter flower baskets with other fantasy-themed items such a woodland creatures and fairies.

    I am starting to create an imaginative Easter garden centerpiece. In addition to my coffee filter flower baskets are pieces from the Woodland Garden Kit (#47858) and the 4 Pack Resin Fairies (#47962)! I am starting to create an imaginative Easter garden centerpiece. In addition to my coffee filter flower baskets are pieces from the Woodland Garden Kit (#47858) and the 4 Pack Resin Fairies (#47962)!

    As you set the table, you may decide to decorate everyone's place with an individual coffee filter flower basket and a garden fairy.

    A single fairy with a coffee filter flower basket filled with treats become Easter baskets ready to be placed at every place setting as part of your table decor! A single fairy with a coffee filter flower basket filled with treats become Easter baskets ready to be placed at every place setting as part of your table decor!

    Another option is to use a platter for easy distribution of the coffee filter flower baskets as your guests' take-home gifts.

    So pretty--So pretty! Coffee filter flower baskets adorn a spring platter; keep it simple, or add more... So pretty--So pretty! Coffee filter flower baskets adorn a spring platter; keep it simple, or add more...

    See all of the components to each of Leisure Arts' Fairy and Gnome Garden Sets to help you plan your themed decor.

    Help keep the youngsters entertained during the day. Here are the fairies coming out to play with your guests as part of your Easter activities. Help keep the youngsters entertained during the day. Here are the fairies coming out to play with your guests as part of your Easter activities.
    Nestle some fairies among the candy goodies in and around the Easter coffee filter flower baskets! Nestle some fairies among the candy goodies in and around the Easter coffee filter flower baskets!

    Have fun with these dying techniques; they each produce wonderfully vivid results! I think these coffee filter flower baskets are great for many uses: use with name cards and other place setting decor or place ordinary salt and pepper shakers in them (maybe omit the handle) for your dining table; or, for play time use as an accessory with a doll's outfit, or plan a garden party with a raffle drawing and each basket could hold a secret number under some nuts!

    Even if you don't drink coffee, and however you decide to use these flower baskets, you just might want to invest in some coffee filters - there are so many crafting possibilities!

    Until next time - have fun!

    Martha

  • DIY Holiday Lights: Easy Gifting and Decorating Creatively

    Expand the use of tea lights and LED candles to craft easy holiday ornaments and table decor. This can be a most enjoyable time of year with all of the holiday crafting and baking, along with its celebrations, gatherings, and functions. But it can be a stressful time, too; especially when it comes to gifting and decorating creativity. Relax and review some of these craft ideas I've gathered for you!

    I saw the first project below last Christmas season but never got around to making any. So this year it was the first craft project on my list to do and share. A benefit to having been delayed a year, there are multiple variations now! This project's main component are a set of tea lights like the ones Leisure Arts sells (#47150). 

    Use tea lights to make ornaments and luminaries for holiday decor! Use tea lights to make ornaments and luminaries for holiday decor!

    The goal is to make Christmas tree ornaments that look like snowmen using the tea lights. Last year when I started gathering supplies I never could find a stove pipe hat so I moved on and chose a felt stocking cap. Luckily I found one misplaced pack of six and bought them. Fast-forward to this year, I followed a Pinterest pin to this post on Tea Light Snowman Ornaments and followed its directions very closely.

    I tried to purchase another set of the felt stocking caps [in the same size] as I found last year, but they couldn't be found in a local brick-and-mortar store. After not feeling positive about my manipulating ribbon and glue to replicate a scarf, I just experimented with pipe cleaners and really liked the result. Here is a picture of most of my supplies; some supplies were added as modifications to the original tea light snowman were made.

    Most supplies needed for Snowman Santa and Snow Lady tea light ornaments. Most supplies needed for Snowman Santa and Snow Lady tea light ornaments.

    Oh, I'm beginning to have a holiday smile on my face!

    Positioning the felt hat on tea light with eyes and mouth already marked! Positioning the felt hat on tea light with eyes and mouth already marked!

    I added a little more personality to each of the light's characters. The Snow Lady has long eyelashes with a warm chenille pipe cleaner scarf. She's wearing ear muffs crafted out of a smaller piece of pipe cleaner and mini poms-poms. Snowman Santa has a gift with him!

    Snow Lady tea light wears ear muffs with her chenille scarf. The battery compartment is still accessible from the back. Snow Lady tea light wears ear muffs with her chenille scarf. The battery compartment is still accessible from the back.

    My next project was also inspired by a Pin I saw last year using toilet paper cardboard tubes to fashion owl ornaments.

    Molding the cardboard tubes to have owl ears. Molding the cardboard tubes to have owl ears.

    I painted my owl a fairly true-to-life color and added details using my black Sharpie marker. As I was looking at the owl's detailed face and feathers, and thinking about its placement on a tree or wreath, it dawned on me to make it a luminary IF a tea light would fit inside the cardboard tube. I had not planned on the owl decoration to be a luminary, so I had to carefully cut slits through the layers of painted cardboard. Next, I used Loctite® Fun-Tak® to hold the tea light in place.

    Angled feather-slits made with a craft knife through painted cardboard tube. Angled feather-slits made with a craft knife through painted cardboard tube.

    Guess what; a tea light from Leisure Arts was the PERFECT FIT!

    A tea light fits perfectly inside the cardboard tube; it is held in place with some Loctite® Fun-Tak®. A tea light fits perfectly inside the cardboard tube; it is held in place with some Loctite® Fun-Tak®.

    I hot glued a wooden clothespin (Leisure Arts #48158) to the back of the owl so I could perch it anywhere on a tree or wreath. I think the angle of my feather slits need to changed, and the feathers need to be opened more to enhance more illumination.

    A little illumination is visible. Perhaps a different angle or wider slits are needed for more light to be seen. A little illumination is visible. Perhaps a different angle or wider slits are needed for more light to be seen.

    I think I'll experiment with another owl and circular holes.

    A two-tone red owl with pin-pricked holes for better tea light visibility. A two-tone red owl with pin-pricked holes for better tea light visibility.
    The owl's features are done and the tea light is in place! The owl's features are done and the tea light is in place!

    I checked the "better" illumination by sitting my owl in the office's semi-darkened mail room. I think the red owl will look great on a tree with the tea light snow people!

    Sitting in the office mailroom. Sitting in the office mail room.

    Now to show you all three tea light ornaments clustered together: Snowman Santa, Snow Lady and Owl. I like the brighter color used to paint the owl red. I think I'll lean towards making more owls in a variety of folk art colors and add whimsical details around the eyes, feathers and wings.

    On the office tree! Snowman Santa and the Snow Lady both have their lights on. The owl's light is on, too, but the angle doesn't show it very well. On the office tree! Snowman Santa and the Snow Lady both have their lights on. The owl's light is on, too, but the angle doesn't show it very well.
    See the difference in the tea light noses with the light turned on or off. Remember: color the flame orange with a permanent marker. See the difference in the tea light noses with the light turned on or off. Remember: color the flame orange with a permanent marker.

    Next up, more holiday lights on my dining room table at home. I have my LED 3-Pack Candle Set  in a row  atop a table runner.

    The very popular LED 3-pack candle set can be part of a holiday tablescape, too! The very popular LED 3-pack candle set can be part of a holiday tablescape, too!

    I wanted to add to my tabletop candles and decided on making a paper village using my coloring book paper from Art of Coloring  Festive (Leisure Arts #6945) and Art of Coloring Holiday (Leisure Arts #7094). I've just gotten started but am very pleased with the simple, clean paper house design found here.

    The tea lights make paper house luminaries as part of the table decor. The tea lights make paper house luminaries as part of the table decor.

    I looked at many paper house, paper box and paper folded ornament designs but this design by Hello Bee was the best for this project: a house structure to be a luminary and to show off a coloring book design. The paper house on the right has red and green tissue paper taped to the inside of the structure as a line. With the tea light turned on, the tissue paper-lined house was supposed  to give a warm holiday glow. However, it was the heaviest tissue paper I've ever felt and was displeased with the effect; that house will get a renovation! I like the intent of the added tissue paper, but I will need to buy some new (traditionally lighter-weight) yellow tissue paper. When the tea light is turned off, the tissue paper liner masks the appearance of the tea light if you don't like it being seen inside the house.

    In the early Fall, I showed different ways to use and decorate the LED 3-Pack Candle Set for National LED Day. Along with button garlands wrapped around the pillar candles, other embellishments were incorporated to the tablescape that included leaves, more buttons, baskets, etc. Not shown in my earlier post, was the below image of a wintry decorated candle; it is perfect for Christmas and beyond. I made snowball pom-poms (watch how here) and used them along with another button garland to decorate around the largest LED candle in the set.

    These snowball pom-poms look great in holiday colors complementing the ribbon and button garland. These snowball pom-poms look great in holiday colors complementing the ribbon and button garland.

    Candy canes are quite popular to use as part of your holiday decorations this time of year. This home decor candy cane candle project is so festive you could use it in any room for some extra holiday glitz. I wanted to try making a ring of candy canes surrounding a large candle, that I first saw here. It was a great decorative tip or trick, but I wanted to use the largest pillar candle from my LED 3-Pack Candle Set so I would not have to worry about the candle burning down.

    Simple idea - festive look! I'll use my LED pillar candles and won't worry about any flame! Simple idea - festive look! I'll use my LED pillar candles and won't worry about any flame!

    Since I was going to use a hot glue gun to secure the candy canes to each other and I didn't want any hot glue seepage onto my LED candle, I first made a poster board sleeve, or ring, to fit around my candle. Then I glued each candy cane to the poster board and made the candy cane ring. By using the largest pillar candle from my LED 3-Pack Candle Set I don't have to worry about wax getting a bit too warm for plastic wrapped peppermint candy!

    Peppermint candy canes are hot glued to a poster board sleeve [a 3"-4" ring] wrapped around the tallest LED pillar candle. Peppermint candy canes are hot glued to a poster board sleeve [a 3"-4" ring] wrapped around the tallest LED pillar candle.

    I bought inexpensive candy canes, white poster board and wide ribbon. Since I wanted a long section of each candy cane to be glued down, I cut a 3"-4" wide strip of poster board to act as a protective sleeve around the LED candle. I tied on a ribbon for extra security to assist holding the candy canes in place. Now I have an extra pop of color that can be added to any room -- and this is before the LED candle is lit!

    Fluff out that ribbon -- when you're using an LED pillar candle as part of your table decor! Fluff out that ribbon -- when you're using an LED pillar candle as part of your table decor!

    What a fun and busy couple of weeks I've had preparing and gathering these project ideas for you. I hope they will come in handy and lead you in using your tea lights and LED candles as home decor in different ways than you might have expected - craft on!

    Martha

     

     

  • Plastic Canvas Gifts For Men

    Top Plastic Canvas Gifts For Men

    Craft plastic canvas gifts for all the men on your list this holiday season.  Instead of purchasing gifts this year, use your plastic canvas crafting skills to create something personal and unique. Men can be hard to find gifts for, but we've got some ideas for gifts that will surprise him. Whether he's into sports, fishing, or old western movies you can create a great plastic canvas gift for the man on your list!

    1. Football Coasters Perfect For A Man Cave: Make a touchdown when you give this great gift for men. Perfect for Super Bowl parties or at any sports-oriented get together. They'll tackle the job of protecting his furniture while everyone has a ball watching the big game. Start on the perfect gift today with the Super Bowl Coasters ePattern.

    Plastic Canvas Football Coasters For Men

    2. Some Rustic Western Decor: The perfect gift for cowboy in your life! Create a bookend cover, brick cover, coaster set, door sign, picture frame, or tissue box cover decorated with rodeo silhouettes and rope borders. Create one or many of these great pieces for the man on your list with Out West.

    Plastic Canvas Western Decor For Men

    3. A Mug That Goes Great With The Paper: This "puzzling" mug is the perfect gift for someone who has a way with words! It also makes a handy holder for pens and pencils. Create this great plastic canvas gift for men now with the Crossword Mug ePattern.

    Plastic Canvas Mug For Men

    4. A Set Of Ducks For His Desk: The perfect gift for the outdoorsman, this distinctive collection of desk accessories reflects the natural beauty of a wetland scene. Give his home a peaceful, outdoorsy feeling with duck paperweights, bookends, planters, wreaths, or a desk caddy. Create one or many of these great plastic canvas pieces to him with Distinctive Desk Set ePattern.

    Plastic Canvas Duck Desk Set For Men

    5. The Perfect Disguise For A Tissue Box: This old-fashioned radio-inspired tissue box cover will be a fun addition to any retro-themed decor. Great for men who love music - the perfect addition to his man cave. Create this cool plastic canvas radio now with the Old-Timey Radio ePattern.

    Plastic Canvas Radio For Men

    6. A Bass To Hang On The Wall: Cast out your yarn and needle to make the ideal gift for the man who loves fishing. Mounted on the wall, this stitched fish will "catch" everyone's eye and "reel" in compliments. Stitch it, and then find the perfect piece of driftwood to display it on for a gift any fisherman will love. Get started on this great gift today with the Bass ePattern.

    Plastic Canvas Bass For Men

    7. A Key Ring For The Golf Lover: Finding a unique gift "fore" a golfer is in the bag--with this miniature golf bag, that is! Paired with the matching key ring, the fun combo makes a great small gift or stocking stuffer for fans of the fairway. Create this unique plastic canvas now with the Fore A Golfer ePattern.
    Plastic Canvas Golf Set For Men

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Plastic Canvas Gift Giving Guide.

  • Knit Gifts For Girls

    Top Gifts To Knit Girls

    Knit gifts for all the girls on your holiday list.  Give the young girls on your list the coziest and funnest of handmade, knit gifts this season. Whether she likes playing dress up and wearing jewelry, or prefers reading, you can knit the perfect gift for her this year.

    1. A Sock Monkey Pillow: Knit this fun, cuddly pillow. She will love the 3-D element of the ears and hat pompom. Great for play, and great to cuddle up with at night. Challenge yourself to knit with a loom to create this fun gift found in Loom Knitting For Mommy and Me.

    Sock Monkey Pillow For Girls

    2. A Fun Beaded Bag: Little girls who love playing dress-up and other girly things will love this fun, fuzzy purse! It is embellished with fun beads and buttons. Perfect for holding her chapstick and other trinkets! Start knitting this little bag today with Kid's Knitted Sweaters & More.

    Knit Purse For Girls

    3. A Warm, Sparkly Hat: Girls will love this colorful, sparkly scarf and hat. Perfect for heading to school on cool days or for going out on snow days! Knit it in her favorite color and she will fall in love! Find the pattern for this great gift and more in Knit Hats and Scarves For Kids.

    Knit Hat For Girls

    4. Knit Characters From Her Favorite Stories:  If she is always reading, then she will love these classic fairytale creatures! She can play with them alone, or listen to their stories with the included CD. Fun for the whole family! Knit her favorite characters now With Storybook Dolls To Knit.

    Knit Dolls For Girls

    5. Fun, Chunky Jewelry:  Use your knitting skills, embroidery floss, and beads to create fun jewelry pieces for the girl on your list! She will love these fun pink shiny beads - all her friends will be jealous! Learn how to make this girly bracelet now with Beaded Bracelets To Knit.

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    6. A Hat With Ears:  The girl on your list will love this warm knit set! She's sure to stand out and get lots of compliments on the unique earred hat. Perfect for kids who love animals! Knit this great gift now with Beginner-Friendly Knitting.

    Cat Ear Hat For Girls

    7. A Pair Of Warm, Fuzzy Slippers:  These fun, fuzzy slippers will be delightfully warm on cold days. The young girl on your list will love how whimsy and cute they are! All her friends will be jealous at sleepovers. Give her these slippers with Favorites To Knit.
    Fuzzy Knit Slippers For Girls

    7. A Cute Headband:  Imagine how cute the little girl on your list will look with this headband on. Knit it in her favorite color and finish it with a fun bow and beading for a hair accessory she will love to wear! Learn how to knit this great gift with Hats & More.

    Knit Headband For Girls

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Knit.

  • Crochet Gifts For Your Cat

    Crochet Gifts For Cats

    Crochet gifts for every member of the family this year, including your pets!  Show your favorite kitty love with these fun and cozy gifts. They will love them almost as much as they love playing with your yarn while you make them!

    1. A  Crochet Ball to Chase: Whether old or young, your cat will not be able to resist this catnip infused crochet toy! It combines two of cats favorite things: balls and yarn. They'll love to chase it and bat it back and forth! Give your cats what they want this season with Sweet Pet Comforts.

    Crochet Ball For Cats

     

    2. A Stocking of Their Own: Your cat will love to have its own stocking this year! Hang this cute stocking along with the rest of your family stockings, and fill it with treats and toys for kitty!  Crochet this special stocking now with Treasury Of Holiday Crochet.
    Crochet Stocking For Cats

     

    3. A Cozy Basket For Winter Nights: Kitty will love to sleep all day in this cozy crochet basket. The yarn and fabric will smell just like home as you make it, so your cat will fall in love immediately! Create this soft, sturdy cat bed now with Baskets.

    Crochet Basket For Cats

     

    4. A Fun Fish Toy & Blanket: Don't buy cat toys this season, crochet your own! Your cat will love to bat around these soft handmade fish toys and then curl up for a nap on the whimsy matching blanket. Add catnip for extra fun! Get started on crochet gifts for your cat now with  Cuddles to Crochet For Pets.
    Crochet Fish For Cats

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Crochet.

  • Light Up Your Fall - National LED Light Day!

    October 7th is National LED Light Day -- so light up your surroundings! Fabulous fall decor from colorful leaves and pumpkins, to flying bats and ghosts, who couldn't use an extra candle or two, or three, to add a little glow to their seasonal surroundings? Leisure Arts has an LED 3-Pack Candle Set just for you - and it's being offered at a reduced price! These candles are fake, or faux, and are a great solution for ease of use and enhanced safety; fake means no candle flames ignited or melted wax! Look at what's included in the LED 3-Pack Candle Set along with some of our decorating ideas for you to incorporate into your seasonal decor!

    LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode. LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode.

    This is the first "fake" set of  LED Light candles that has gotten me excited to use. Not only do the faux candles feel like wax, each can be illuminated in a different color using the included remote. The remote control offers so many options, including two timer settings.

    LED Light - Unboxed 3 Set The candle heights are 3.9" (10 cm), 4.9" (12.5 cm) and 5.9" (15 cm); the diameter for each is 3" (7.6 cm). Each candle requires three AAA batteries.

    I like the fact that I can decorate each LED Light candle individually and use them as a coordinated theme, or display them separately around the house, or on the covered porch, or other area to be determined by my seasonal decor.

    Decorated LED Light for Fall Decorating each candle with a button garland. No need to worry about this decoration melting!

    As your decorating theme or mood changes, so can the color of the LED Light candles so that you can project your feelings or home's ambience as is suited from moment-to-moment!

    A beautiful amber glow setting LED Light for an evening setting. A beautiful amber glow for an evening setting.

    I have started with a simple tabletop decoration. It projects the change of the fall season into early winter by using leaves and ribbons in different colored patterns, along with the additional  button garlands I used as additional candle embellishments.

    A beautiful LED Light trio displaying various embellishments to use with your tabletop decorations! A beautiful trio displaying various embellishments to use with your tabletop decorations!

    Have fun exploring what type of seasonal decorations you can enhance by incorporating this LED Light candle trio into your lifestyle!

    Martha

  • Home Decor: Buttons & Candles for All Seasons

    August is a transition-time of year. Growing up in the northeast, it was the final month of summer vacation. The days were still hot, but the evening air would sometimes be cool. August ended with my birthday and an introduction to a new school year after the final three-day holiday weekend celebrating Labor Day. It was a cue for me to say, "Okay; now I'm ready!" I was anxious for new challenges, seeing familiar faces and getting ready for seasonal changes. This inspired me to create with Buttons and the LED Candle Set.

    I want a change to my summer decor, but I don't want to jump into fall leaves, berries and gourds. I scoured the few magazines readily available at hair salons and doctors' offices, but then turned to Pinterest for some ideas, too. I was inspired by this Vintage Button Garland and the ambience it created in quite a simple way. Plus, it was a perfect embellishment for a "fake" candle. LED candles won't burn so my garland is safe; easy-peasy, nice and easy!

    I gathered the buttons I had previously sorted and started planning. I decided to thread my buttons onto waxed linen in a color similar to the candles in my set. I love my LED Candle Set (item 47363 from Leisure Arts);  they look and feel like real waxed candles, plus they have a remote control to change colors, add flickering flames or set a timer!

    Gather different sizes, shapes and colors of buttons. Use buttons without shanks for this project. Used waxed linen to assist holding your buttons in place. Gather different sizes, shapes and colors of buttons. Use buttons without shanks for this project. Using waxed linen  assists by holding your buttons in place.

    Using the waxed linen allowed me to easily thread my buttons.  Also, I didn't have to place knots on either side of a strung button to prevent its repositioning. The waxed linen has a natural 'tackiness' which assisted in placing the garland on each candle. But, just in case your button garland gets heavy and wants to slide down your candle just a bit, use a little piece of mounting putty behind several buttons to hold the garland in place.

    Close-up of waxed linen removed from its packaging. You may like to use a mounting putty behind a few buttons on your LED candles to help hold your button garland in place. Close-up of waxed linen removed from its packaging. You may like to use a mounting putty behind a few buttons on your LED candles to help hold your button garland in place.

    Since the LED candles don't get hot,  you can safely walk away from your lit candles. I really do love the LED Candle Set (item 47363 from Leisure Arts).

    Here's the LED Candle Set I used. Leisure Arts' item 47363 has three candles of varying height, plus a remote control to set a timer, and options for candles' colors and flickering flames. Here's the LED Candle Set I used. Leisure Arts' item 47363 has three candles of varying heights, plus a remote control to set a timer, and options for candles' colors and flickering flames.

    This transition-time of year includes the colors of deepening yellows, fading greens, and dulling browns to its flashes of remaining bright colors. I decided to replicate those colors on each garland I made. I didn't measure at first. I wanted at least three rows of buttons to wrap around each LED candle. I wrapped the waxed linen six times around a candle to give me the rough estimate of the length I needed. Later, I did measure a piece of waxed linen and it was 6 feet plus; so to be safe, measure a piece that is 7 feet long.

    Experimenting with button placement on the waxed linen garland, and positioning on a candle. Seasonally themed garlands can be made ahead of time and swapped when the time is right! Experimenting with button placement on the waxed linen garland, and positioning on a candle. Seasonally themed garlands can be made ahead of time and swapped when the time is right!

    After making three button garlands, I discovered two unopened plastic containers that had plaid-patterned buttons and leaf-shaped buttons in them. Time to create a seasonally-themed button garland for my candle!

    A fall-themed garland for the short LED candle. A fall-themed garland for the short LED candle.

    I was not going to undo the previous garlands strung, so I decided to further embellish the candles with ribbons and/or their display area. Here are some developing ideas to inspire you for your home decor planning in the upcoming months. If you need some more inspiration, for more ideas using buttons and ribbons, look at Leisure Arts' item 6023 - Crafting with Buttons & Ribbons.

    Buttons galore with a golden yellow ribbon give your LED Candle SET a sense of transition away from summer. Buttons galore with a golden yellow ribbon give your LED Candle SET a sense of transition away from summer.
    Using waxed linen cording prevented the buttons from sliding together. Each end of the waxed linen was then wrapped around several buttons to hold it snuggly in place. Using waxed linen prevented the buttons from sliding together. Each end of the waxed linen cord was then wrapped around several buttons to hold it snuggly in place.

    For a preview of Christmas and winter, I thought of pom-poms. HMM...I tied a seasonal ribbon on one LED candle and the ideas started developing. For a winter theme, the LED candles could be placed on a stand then pom-poms could be stacked at their base -- this idea is just developing! Again there are no worries as these are flameless - I really do like Leisure Arts' LED Candle Set!

    Planning for a Christmas -themed holiday setting. You could place your LED Candle(s) on small pillars, add a ribbon to the candle base and have room on your tabletop for other seasonal decorations. Planning for a Christmas-themed holiday setting. You could place your LED Candle(s) on small pillars, add a ribbon to the candle base and have room on your tabletop for other seasonal decorations.

    What's great is that the button garlands can easily be swapped out with another. So let the themes Begin! Although the button garlands can be stored easily, I would recommend a cool storage area since it is waxed linen.

    A colorful glow to show the three heights of candles contained in the LED Candle Set. A colorful glow to show the three heights of candles contained in the LED Candle Set.

    Plan for your transitional decor with changes in color and themes. Do you need to get your creative juices flowing? Start small; try simple changes and see how a few special touches can give a new ambience to your existing home decor!

    Enjoy!

    Martha

  • Tasteful Palette of Gel Pen Colors

    Happy National Coloring Book Day! I am so excited that all of the coloring enthusiasts can share their creativity on a special day dedicated to the art of coloring. I have the large 36 count box of gel pens from Leisure Arts. Many of you want the variety that is found in such a large set, but at the same time, may get overwhelmed by the variety of colors and styles.

    Don't feel stressed about your choices, try to learn the look of the different styles to help with your color decisions. In order to better understand the colors and styles, my suggestion is to break down the box of gel pens by style. See the front of the box; it outlines the number of gel pen colors in each style: 10 Solid, 8 Metallic, 8 Fluorescent, and 10 Glitter.

    In order to demonstrate the different styles of gel pen colors found in the 36 count box, I decided to look for a coloring book page with similar images. I chose a page from 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    Yeah, gel pens in 36 colors and four styles: Solid, Metallic, Fluorescent and Glitter! Yeah, gel pens in 36 colors and four styles: Solid, Metallic, Fluorescent and Glitter!

    The task before the fun of coloring is to break down the gel pens by style. Some gel pen lids are easier to judge by their appearance that that specific pen belongs to a certain style group. For instance, the Glitter pens have little sparkly specs in their plastic caps. The caps in the Metallic style group have a more muted tone. The best thing for me to do was to make swatches of each color on a blank piece of card stock. Then I could switch out colors if I was unhappy with one or more colors in a style group until I was satisfied with the final group.

    Gel pens are sorted by style (my Neon label should be called, Fluorescent). I also color-coded each style. Gel pens are sorted by style (my Neon label should be called, Fluorescent). I also color-coded each style.

    After I was satisfied with the gel pens I chose for each color style, I went one step further and color-coded each group. I placed a paint swatch of color on the gel pens belonging to each group. For instance, my Metallic style group has a pink paint swatch on the front of the cap, the cap's top and the pen body. This way no matter if the pens were lying down or standing in a container, I could easily grab all of the pens belonging to one group; my coloring life just got easier!

    If you compare the beginning of my coloring below, the fish are colored in the same order as the above-photo showing the gel pens in their color palette styles.

    To demonstrate the different gel pen styles, I chose a drawing with similar images of fish (Leisure Arts' item 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone). To demonstrate the different gel pen styles, I chose a drawing with similar images of fish (Leisure Arts' item 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone).

    The top fish showcases the colors from the Solid style. The second from the top fish is smaller and is colored with the Fluorescent gel pens (in the earlier photo, I incorrectly labeled my piece of card stock with the word, Neon).

    Next, you will see the Glitter style used on the fish on the left-hand side that is third from the top. The bottom fish shows the Metallic style and is very pretty is person but tends to be too shiny in my photos to highlight any good contrast. The one thing that I did find a little peculiar about the Metallic [especially the pink color], if I tried to go over a section because all was not properly filled with color, the pink became more grey. It was as if there was too much color build-up.

    I really like looking at the different styles in one project; I can more definitively choose in which color direction I wish to go. Also, it saves me frustration when I think I've chosen one color based on the gel pen's lid, when in fact the ink color is not what I intended at all! I'll finish the fish eyes after I stare at the bodies of the fish for a while. I may not do the background so I can keep the fish as clean examples for each color style.

    Showing their respective gel pen style, the fish are complete except for their eyeballs. Showing their respective gel pen style, the fish are complete except for their eyeballs.

    Consider your first colored page using your 36 count box of gel pens broken out by style as your color swatch. Just like knit and crochet, begin by making a swatch - a palette swatch of colors - for your reference before beginning your project. Spend a little time up front to make your creativity flow more easily. Enjoy!

    Martha

  • Mother's Day Coloring Book Paper Cookie Box

    Mother's Day is fast approaching and many of us want to remember, honor, and give thanks to our mothers, other family members, friends and neighbors. You may want to express a special 'thank you' for their shared love, care, or mentoring.  A small gift from the heart is like sharing a piece of you; it is the perfect remembrance. The love of coloring can be shared by both artists and non-crafters alike by making this box out of coloring book paper as part of your Mother's Day gifts to give.  So please share your love of coloring and say thank you to those special people in your life. Here's to passing on some extra motherly love!

    To make this simplified version of a paper box, only a few supplies are necessary. I got my inspiration from posts on Pinterest. I liked the visuals found in Design Mom's post, Paper Plate Berry Basket. To construct your box, you will need:

    1. Coloring book paper (8.5" wide), one page per box
    2. Pencil
    3. 8" Plate (to use as your circle template)
    4. Scissors
    5. Cellophane tape

    To decorate the box and make it look like a gift, you will need:

    1. Coloring instruments (colored pencils, gel pens, markers, etc.)
    2. Tissue paper
    3. Ribbon or bow
    4. Gift tag (or make one out of leftover paper scraps)

    Remove your coloring book page from its book. Color page if desired using your favorite media; see some of our newest coloring supplies! When finished coloring, turn the page face down. Using the plate as your guide, trace a circle shape onto the paper; then, cut out the shape.

    Using an 8-inch plate as my template, I traced circle shapes onto the back side of various coloring book pages. Using an 8-inch plate as my template, I traced circle shapes onto the back side of various coloring book pages.

    Working with the circle cut-out, gently fold the edges from side to side and unfold, and, from top to bottom and unfold, to create crease marks as your guides.

    Gently fold the circle shape in half from side-to-side - no hard crease is necessary at this step - unfold. Next, gently fold the circle shape in half from top-to-bottom creating an intersection made from the two creases. Gently fold the circle shape in half from side-to-side - no hard crease is necessary at this step - unfold. Next, gently fold the circle shape in half from top-to-bottom creating an intersection made from the two creases.

    If you like, you may lightly mark the center intersection with pencil.

    To assist you, make light pencil marks at center intersection. This will act as your center point mark when folding the edges. To assist you, make light pencil marks at center intersection. This will act as your center point mark when folding the edges.

    Next, fold each side's edge towards the center mark and crease firmly. Unfold for now.

    Close-up of two sides folded towards the center point. Hard creases are now made on each straight edge. Close-up of two sides folded towards the center point. Hard creases are now made on each straight edge.

    Repeat with the opposite side; unfold. These hard creases have created a square shape that will be the bottom of your paper box. You can see folded intersections from these hard creases. Starting with the bottom right-hand creased intersection, lightly mark with pencil a vertical line up to the adjacent horizontal line.

    You can also make pencil marks on each edge's bottom right-hand crease. Cut from the circle's edge only up to intersection of adjacent crease. You can also make pencil marks on each edge's bottom right-hand crease. Cut from the circle's edge only up to intersection of adjacent crease.

    Cut along this vertical crease up to its adjacent horizontal crease. Turn your circle shape one-quarter turn and repeat. Do two more times so that you have four cut lines/creases. Fold each towards the inside of the circle creating four flaps.

    Four creases have been cut. Fold each flap towards the inside center of the circle. Four creases have been cut. Fold each flap towards the inside center of the circle.

    Each flap will be folded and taped onto its adjacent side's interior wall. It's easier to line up the straight edge of each flap against its adjacent crease if you hold the box on its side. See next image.

    Align the straight edge of the flap against the bottom crease and tape on the inside; the box is on its side for this picture. Notice how the two rounded edges meet creating a neat corner. Align the straight edge of the flap against the bottom crease and tape on the inside; the box is on its side for this picture. Notice how the two rounded edges meet creating a neat corner.

    Repeat with all four corners. A nice box will be created even if some creases are not quite straight, or if some rounded edges do not meet perfectly.

    All sides are taped together -- nice box! All sides are taped together -- nice box!

    Insert some tissue paper for pretty stuffing or as a little cushion, before adding your goodies. I used fold-top plastic bags instead of plastic zippered bags to hold my cookies. Don't be shy about presenting favorite store brand cookies in your box(es).  I used Archway's Frosty Lemon and Oatmeal Raisin cookies and they sat perfectly in a neat stack!  Think of other goodies to include in your box(es) such as a small book, special notes or remembrances from the kids, something for personal use like a new scarf or a hobby-related item .

    Fill the boxes with tissue paper, wrapped cookies, notes to Mom, or other special treats and items of interest. Make a gift tag from remaining scrap paper. [Prototype boxes in the background.] Fill the boxes with tissue paper, wrapped cookies, notes to Mom, or other special treats and items of interest. Make a gift tag from remaining scrap paper. [Prototype boxes in the background.]

    This box is dressing up your gift, so now add some ribbon or a bow, and a gift tag or card, and ta-dah; your gift box is ready to be given!

    Close-up of completed box filled with cookies and wrapped with bakers twine. Handmade gift tag made from scrap coloring book page. Close-up of completed box filled with cookies and wrapped with bakers twine. Handmade gift tag made from scrap coloring book page.

    You can present your gift box in many ways: at Mom's place at the table, presented at the playground with the kids, or at a restaurant from the grandchildren.

    Presentation tray -- a special way to give a simple gift with extra thought and handmade flair. Presentation tray -- a special way to give a simple gift with extra thought and handmade flair.

    Whatever the final presentation is, enjoy your planning, preparation and honoring this special day for mothering!

    Martha

  • Jack-O-Lantern Dishcloth

    I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. I love all the decorations. I like to drive around and look at everyone else’s decorated yards. I leave my decorations up until the day after Day of the Dead. I was looking for something quick and easy project to do. Something that I can work on in and out of the car this week while waiting in the carpool line at school or while waiting on after school activities. I went through all of my Leisure Art Books and found this cute Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin dishcloth in a book called A Dishcloth a Month.

    I was just finishing tucking in all my ends when my friend asked me if it was a new coaster for our table at the new knit shop. I said I had not planned on it but why not. It is slightly big for a coaster but it is really cute idea for decorating a table. So I am in the process of making a few more for our knit/crochet table. I am even going to crochet some without the Jack-O-Lantern face. You just follow the pattern and as if you had changed your color from orange to black. My favorite part I will only have four ends to run in or tuck in. Whichever way you want say it. You can even use brown for the stem instead of the green. Since it is fall I can keep the ones without faces through Thanksgiving. It’s a win! Win! I hope that you have had as much fun with this Jack-O-Lantern pattern as I have. I used 100% cotton. I am going to check and see if Sugar n Cream has a variegated fall colored yarn for some of my solid pumpkins. I think that would be really cute.

     

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