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Leisure Arts Coloring

  • Self-Care Gifts That Will Change Your Holiday Shopping Routine

    The holidays are always a marathon, Makers, especially if you're a creative person. You're working overtime trying to create gifts for friends and family, spending optimal time and money on thoughtful gifts that will be thrown into the depths of the winter closet for years to come. Instead of slaving away over a throw pillow this year, why not try the gift that keeps on giving? self-care! Self-love and self-care are extremely important to keep you focused and driven in your day to day life, which can be a major struggle with stresses like bills, work, and the sheer fact that Elf On A Shelf exists (It's honestly the face. Have you seen that thing?). Staying positive and making sure that you get what you need is a must when it comes to your mental and physical stability.

    self-care Scrub - Give and Make Home Apothecary

    How does self-care relate to my holiday shopping list?

    Now I know it seems like I've gone on a tangent, but it's simple. If you've ever spent time thinking of ways to improve your mental and physical health, you can be sure that your loved ones have too. Mom could use an extra spa day (or three), and dad could probably use some some much needed time off from work. Your sister or brother could be looking for something soft for their skin. This is where you come in! Giving the gift of self-care is like saying to your special someone, "I care about you, and you deserve this treat". These gifts won't be shoved in a closet until next year, they'll be used immediately, because they're functional, luxurious, and relaxing. These gifts can range from bath scrubs and perfumes, soaps and lotions, color therapy kits and journals, and even something as simple as paints to play with. Check out some of Leisure Arts' DIY self-care gifts that will show your family that you care about their long term well being!

     

    Self-Care Crafting

    self-care Lotus Diamond Art Kit - leisurearts.com

    Diamond Art is one of our new crafts, but the act of diamond painting has been around for quite some time. Paint with beautiful 13 faceted diamonds onto high quality color printed fabric, fashioning your own shimmering tapestry to decorate your wall, adhere to a canvas bag, pillow or more! It's relaxing like color by number, but more luxurious because you're painting with diamonds. The act of matching the colors and lining the gemstones up will cure anyone's OCD and will have you dazzling any canvas you can get your hands on. This craft is perfect if you want to just have some "girl time" with the besties, "bonding time" with your kids, or "me time" for when you just want to relax.

     

    self-care Adult Coloring Kit -leisurearts.com

    Adult coloring has proven to be one of the most relaxing and stimulating crafts of the past few years. the act of mindlessly coloring and controlling where you want washes of color to go puts you at ease, and allows you to meditate for a moment and collect your thoughts with every new page. This Adult Coloring Kit from our website includes everything you'll need for the ultimate coloring experience: 1 coloring book with 48 designs, 12 gel pens, 12 colored pencils, and a pencil sharpener.

     

    self-care Homemade Tub Tea - Home Apothecary

    There's no better self-care gift than spa essentials. Make and Give Home Apothecary is a great book from author Stephanie Rose that is all about making beautiful and functional self-care gifts with all natural ingredients. From perfumes, to coffee massage bars, to fun little trinkets like Tub Tea (above), this book gives you a plethora of options to gift to anyone who you think needs to escape for a bit.

     

    Self-Care Daily Inspiration Flip Book - Leisure Arts

    If you're looking for more relaxing coloring inspiration, check out our Daily Inspiration Flip Book!  this dynamic duo of a coloring book will give you inspirational daily quotes that you can admire from afar or fill with color! With 40 inspiring one-liners printed on double-sided card-stock, this item is the perfect self car gift to adorn in your office or bedroom.

     

    self-care Happy Abstracts - Leisure Arts

    For The abstract artist in your life, we have the perfect book. Happy Abstracts is a great how-to book on creating vibrant and quirky designs for yourself as well as others. With pullouts of eccentric paintings from author Etta Vee, this book is the perfect balance between giving and creating in the form of colorful abstract artworks.

    self-care Aromatherapy Jewelry - Leisure Arts

    Self-care can be done anywhere, and can be with you at any time. Like these amazing Aromatherapy Jewelry designs! Let these absorbent lava beads absorb essential oils that will let you take a moment from your busy day and smell the roses (or patchouli, you pick the scent). With the modern and fresh new takes on DIY jewelry from this book, you're sure to be a showstopper at your next holiday event.

     

    Self-Care for the Yarnist : Crochet and Knit

    self care screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-48-04-am screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-47-55-am

    Tend to your own Zen Garden - of yarn. These adorable and long-lasting patterns from Make A Crochet Garden (above) will leave you with a garden that will never wilt, and a garden that you can endlessly expand. With varied cacti and adorable displays, you can't not be relaxed while creating these dainty yarn plants.

     

    self-care Make In A Weekend Comfy Knit Throws - leisurearts.com

    Self-Care can be as simple as a cozy blanket to wrap yourself up in. These Patterns from Make In A Weekend Comfy Knit Throws are the perfect mediation buddies that you can make in a simple weekend, with easy to follow instructions!

     

    Gifting any one of these self-care beauties would bring a smile to anyone's face, and it should bring a smile to your face knowing that you create a gift that will actually be put to use this holiday season. So go the extra mile this holiday season, and gift the gift of self-care!

    screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-33-16-am

    Have you ever given a self-care gift? Share with us in the comments! Be sure to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to check on any new self-care news we might have your you.

     

    Take care of yourselves, Makers!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • A Feast of Creativity! Fun Projects to Get You in the Thanksgiving Spirit.

     

    Halloween is over, Makers. The skulls and cauldrons are being put away until next year, and turkeys and cornucopias are taking their place! Thanksgiving is a holiday that's meant for endless conversation over great food, and even better company. But there tends to be one thing overlooked every year when you plan for your grand feast : the decor! Decorations make or break the ambiance of a dinner, and for a meal as important as Thanksgiving, you definitely don't wanna drop the ball. Which is why we've got your back! We've put together a few fun projects in all types of mediums that will make your Thanksgiving environment so mesmerizing, no one will even notice that you almost burnt the sweet potato pie.

    Look for your category, if you're craft specific, or dive in and try out a project in a new craft! The choice is totally yours.

    Give Thanks With Crochet Goodies

    Thanksgiving Crafts Nature's Gifts For Baby Pattern

    As any great craftsman knows, the best way to give thanks during the holidays is through home made gifts and trinkets! If you're a crochet lover at heart, then you've come to the right blog post. We've got some nifty patterns for you to try out, and give out to the people you love. Just look at the adorable fox hat and matching blanket pattern that you can make for the little ones in your life (above). This getup from Nature's Gifts For Baby  will be sure to get loads of attention for Fall, and your baby can be cute and comfortable as they're showered with cheek pinches and waves of "awww".

    Thanksgiving Crafts Little Animals Headgear - Turkey Beanie
    Thanksgiving Crafts Little Animals Headgear - Turkey Headband

    If you've got someone a little older that you're making for, check out these Turkey Transformation patterns from Little Animals Headgear (Left). These cute and functional headband and beanie patterns are sure to be a big hit with the family during Thanksgiving Dinner. Plus, if you're not dying of cuteness overload from these pictures, then your heart is made of stuffing, and you didn't eat enough cranberry sauce. The pattern can be adjustable based on how big or small the person you're crocheting for is, so this pattern can be made for a wide age range! It's holiday gift patterns like these that really show that you're thinking outside of the oven for Thanksgiving this year. Not that there's anything wrong with thinking inside the oven, of course. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day for eating! Which is why we have these next few patterns just for the kitchen.

     

    Thanksgiving Crafts Crocheted Lace Trimmings - Quick Thread Projects

    If you've always been known for your upscale Thanksgiving soirees, then this is the project for you. Quick Thread Projects (above) is known for its fun and trendy projects for any occasion, and this Lace Trimming project certainly takes the cake (or pumpkin pie). The lacework can elevate the decor of your event, or give a little extra oomph to that store-bought Jam that you're trying to pass off as homemade (you can't fool me with that unmarked mason jar).

     

    Thanksgiving Crafts White Lace Runner - Filet Table Runners

    This project is specifically for the table. Though your guests might not notice it immediately -because they're focused on the delicious buffet in front of them- it has been a traditional part of Thanksgiving decor for decades, and we can't not include tradition in a classic holiday like this one. We're talking table runners, makers! Specifically, this White Lace Filet Runner from Filet Table Runners (above). They've been the perfect pairing to that apple print tablecloth that everyone remembers they had for at least one Thanksgiving, I'm 89.9% sure of that.

     

    Knit Some Handy Kitchen Helpers for Thanksgiving Dinner

    Don't be fooled by all of our cool crochet crafts, we have some awesome knit stuff too. These Thanksgiving themed projects make the perfect handy helpers that are festive and functional!

    Thanksgiving Crafts Dishcloths for Special Days
    Thanksgiving Crafts Corn Cob Dishcloth - Make In A Weekend Potholders and Dishcloths
    Thanksgiving Crafts Apple Potholder - Make In A Weekend Potholders and Dishcloths

    These crafty potholders and dishcloths from Make in a Weekend Potholders and Dishcloths (right) will brighten up any kitchen space, and make it look like you have an eclectic taste in home decor. That corn cob dishcloth looks good enough to eat! Let these little baubles be your good luck charms when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. If the funky patterns aren't up to your speed, then try these simple and subtle designs from Dishcloths For Special Days! Modern or Classic, you choose which style is best for you and your family.

    Festive Coloring - Fun For Everyone

    Thanksgiving Crafts Bountiful Wonders Coloring Sheet

    Coloring! The craft that makes you feel like a kid again, but in the best and most relaxing way possible. Adult coloring has become one of those mindless and relaxing crafts that you can enjoy whenever and wherever you want. Which is why you need these festive coloring books for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. No one ever thinks about the down time during family get togethers - when you're waiting for the food to be finished. Even if you did think about it last year, it was probably already too late, and then you became stuck in between channels of boring small talk between your aunts and uncles that will just be repeated when Christmas comes (don't worry, we have Christmas coloring books too).

    Thanksgiving Crafts Color On The Go - Welcome Fall
    Thanksgiving Crafts Color On The Go - Gather Together

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Adult coloring was made for down time, so this Thanksgiving, when you feel the need to be creative, check out the beautiful content in Bountiful Wonders (above header), Color on the Go - Fall, and Color On The Go - Gather Together (above).

    If you're looking for ways to repurpose those pages after they're colored, check out our DIY Coloring Decor post we did for National Coloring Day.

     

    Bonus : Thanksgiving Fun with Plastic Canvas

    Thanksgiving Crafts Holiday Fancies - Give Thanks Napkin Holder

    This is for the festive turkeys that want to go the extra mile this holiday. Plastic Canvas is a fun and addicting craft to start, and what better project to start with than this adorable napkin holder, from Holiday Fancies, perfect for any table. Pair this with your table runners and lace trim, and you've got yourself a swanky Thanksgiving.

     

    Share Your Projects With Us! 

    Which of these projects do you want to try, Makers? Give us a shout out in the comments or on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We love to see what you're working on!

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    Happy Decorating!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Bountiful Pencils

    My favorite time of year is here -- sort of; fall is having a difficult time arriving with above-average temperatures and little rain! So to encourage all things autumnal to surround me, I pulled out my Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone coloring book (one of my favorites) to decide which page would be my next to color.

    Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts. Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts.

    Coloring is so much fun especially when the design is themed around something you love. So coloring a fall-themed design was easy for me. I've been using and loving the new pencils Leisure Arts has to offer. There are two choices; they are the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils. Both of these new sets of pencils give an extra "wow" factor to a picture!

    As with most pictures I color using colored pencils, it is the layering and blending of colors that bring an image to life.

    Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993). Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993).

    Think outside-the-box when it comes to your color palette; don't think you should only use the "traditional" or "natural" colors for the pumpkins and gourds.

    Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts). Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts).

    Another step to my creation of a 3-D look to a 2-D drawing is the use of a second medium. To aid in this dimensional effect, I introduced some watercolor pencils to my coloring.

    Adding the watercolor colored pencils over certain sections of the premium colored pencils already rendered on page. Adding the Watercolor Colored Pencils over certain sections of the Premium Color Colored Pencils already rendered on a page.

    The final incorporation of both the Premium Color Colored Pencils and Watercolor Color Colored Pencils comes after the water-dipped paint brush blends those layers together. After the pumpkins and gourds are colored, I move on to coloring the falling leaves. I will first use the watercolor pencils on a few of the leaves and highlights on some pumpkins and gourds.

    After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors. After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors.

    Working on my page for a little while every day was very convenient for me; morning coffee and coloring. I always enjoy seeing an image come to life with each added color!

    The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts). The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts).

    Here are some of the selected pencils that I used on this page. In the below image, the silver pencil shafts are the Premium Colored Pencils on the left, and the gold shafted pencils are the Watercolor Colored Pencils on the right.

    I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)! I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)!

    All I have to do is find a nice frame in which to place my completed page. I very much want to keep this page protected, yet share its bounty with my guests.

    Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts. Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts.

    Happy fall decorating using Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone!

    Martha

  • Express Yourself: Light Box, Letter Board, Planner & Journal

    It's a new (school) year and kids of all ages want to express themselves - their clothes, accessories, make-up, elective classes and extracurricular activities. Generally speaking, kids usually want to share with others what they're thinking -- and so do adults! Let Leisure Arts help everyone to express themselves with these fun and creative supplies!  

    Everything we do is a means to express ourselves. Every choice we make defines part of us. So let's make a statement! I remember an accessory people wore to help tell others how you were feeling. If someone couldn't guess by your actions, then they could see what mood was displayed if you wore a mood ring. A funny little piece of jewelry that told others how you were feeling -- generally speaking!

    Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online. Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online.

    A more modern approach is to light up a statement -- announce it for all to see. The Cinema Light Box is great to welcome new students to your classroom or visitors to a business.

    Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).
    Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).

    For a smaller, hands-on approach try the Cafe Letter Board for multi-line sentences -- even add some color and script with either the Gray and Aqua or Blue and Coral expansion sets.

    State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583). State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583).
    Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua). Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua).

    And don't forget that you can incorporate your love of coloring and organization with either The Art of Planning Kit or The Art of Journaling Kit. There is one accessory set to be used for either kit, too.

    Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured]. Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured].
    Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit). Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit).

    The pages in either of these kits are perfect for those of you who love to doodle and color but don't have the time to do a detailed page from a coloring or sketch book. You will find designs to color and/or embellish throughout each. I have had a lot of design fun with the new watercolor colored pencils Leisure Arts now carries! The 30-Pack set includes a paint brush, too; just add water!

    Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582). Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582).

    Have Fun • Be Creative • Tell Your Story!

    Martha

  • More-to-Explore Clothespin Magnets to Paint, Color & Glue

    Enjoying craft time is fun for older kids and adults when making clothespin magnets. Decorating can be easy to more complicated by using mixed media such as painting, coloring and gluing paper, fiber or other embellishments. This is one of those "more to explore" projects that can grow from simple to more advanced -- enjoy!

    I loved using large, wide wooden clothespins so much for the younger kids' project (see the egg carton flower clothespin magnet in the second image), as described in my blog post on May 18th, I wanted to expand my decorative uses for the clothespins while still making them into magnets.

    Remember, here is what the large clothespins look like before decorating them:

    Large, natural wood clothespins measure approximately 2.875" long x 0.625" wide; four per pack. Leisure Arts item #48165. Large, natural wood clothespins measure approximately 2.875" long x 0.625" wide; four per pack. Leisure Arts item #48165.

    And here are some of my finished, decorated clothespin magnets (I even included the younger kids' version of the egg carton flower clothespin magnet -- pictured in the upper left-hand corner of the image]).

    A variety of clothespin magnets painted and decorated with embellishments. A variety of clothespin magnets painted and decorated with embellishments.

    Now, grab your paint -- I used either spray paint or acrylic -- and start by placing at least two layers of paint on your clothespins. While you let the paint dry in between each layer, start gathering your embellishments: wrapping paper, coloring book pages, mini paint canvases, buttons, beads, artificial floral items and markers.

    These uses of other embellishments can be as simple as gluing an artificial flower to the end of your painted clothespin, to the more complicated use of mixed media with multiple steps as seen by adding a mini canvas to a clothespin.

    Paint and other embellishments are added to clothespins that older "kids" and adults can make; magnets can be added to the backs. Paint and other embellishments are added to clothespins that older "kids" and adults can make; magnets can be added to the backs.

    If you decide to use mini canvases to attach to your clothespin(s), determine the size clothespin you need. My mini canvases were so small, that I actually used a smaller 1.5" clothespin as its backing. I used a coloring book page from the Art of Coloring Vintage as part of my canvases' decor; read about it here from an earlier blog post.

    The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet. The daisy page from the Art of Coloring Vintage was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet.

    I also learned that there are BIG differences in round magnets sometimes called 'button magnets'. I didn't remember that my first purchase of magnets had no felt backing. I quickly grabbed a package of adhesive-backed magnets that were in the same area as the acrylic paint; I thought this would save me the step of gluing.

    The difference in magnet buttons: thickness and adhesive backing! The difference in magnet buttons: thickness and adhesive backing!

    But I didn't like the weaker strength of these adhesive-backed magnets and ended up using two per clothespin. I much prefer the strength of the plain magnets that needed to be glued onto my clothespins. See the image below for a visual comparison.

    Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness. Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness.

    I thoroughly enjoyed using these larger wooden clothespins as part of another art project -- it was fun to do while I was making them, and upon completion the clothespin magnets are useful to me at home and office!

    Have fun exploring; let me know what embellishments you used when making your clothespin magnets!

    Martha

  • Spring Blooms Coffee Filter Flowers

    Dying and making coffee filter flowers was so much fun as an indoor activity when the weather outside was a bit uncooperative. But it is spring, right? That means a lot of changeable forecasts that may alter family play time. So gather a few supplies and have fun indoors as this activity spaces out over a few hours to a couple of days depending on the volume of flowers you want to cultivate!

    I was reminiscing about my coloring from 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers, when I decided to jump onto Pinterest to see what was popular using such search words as "flower" and "color".

    Spring inspiration, item 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers by Leisure Arts. Spring inspiration, item 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers by Leisure Arts.

    My Pinterest search lead me to the "coloring [or dying] of coffee filter flowers".  Making coffee filter flowers has remained very popular so I started to investigate further. When I saw a post on Poppies by Reality Daydream, I knew I had found my jumping off point into the wonderful world of dying and making coffee filter flowers!

    Close-up of a Poppy; a coffee filter flower. Close-up of a Poppy; a coffee filter flower.

    There are many methods and supplies for dying and making coffee filter flowers. I gathered my basket coffee filters and food coloring to dye them. To add variety to my flowers, I wanted to cut shapes from some of the coffee filters. I again relied on Pinterest to assist me;  this Pin shows simple shapes.

    Fold several basket coffee filters and cut shapes before dying. Cut different shapes to make a varied floral arrangement. Fold several basket coffee filters and cut shapes before dying. Cut different shapes to make a varied floral arrangement.

    With shapes in mind, next I needed to get my dyes ready. I relied on food coloring from the pantry. As seen here, my technique was simple; line up plastic containers of water with various dye colors. The number of drops of dye, the size container and amount of water, and the length of time the coffee filters sat in the dye are all contributing factors into the resulting color. One important note to make: the dye colors appear darker in the water, so as your coffee filters dry the shades appear lighter.

    Food coloring was the dye of my choice. I used assorted "traditional" and neon colors. Food coloring was the dye of my choice. I used assorted "traditional" and neon colors.

    I folded and cut three coffee filters at a time. I let each folded bunch sit in dye from 30 minutes to 8 hours. After removing each bunch from dye, I opened and placed each bunch on cookie racks placed inside an inverted box lid lined with waxed paper. I did not try separating each wet layer at this time. Coffee filters take forever to dry on their own! So my preferred method of drying was to place the inverted box lid (with wet flowers on cookie racks) under a ceiling fan! TIP: You may have to place another cookie rack over the inverted box lid to prevent any coffee filter flowers from flying around the room as each wet flower layer dries!

    Two different shapes just removed from food coloring dye. I opened each folded stack of three and placed on cookie racks. Two different shapes just removed from food coloring dye. I opened each folded stack of three and placed on cookie racks.

    I kept experimenting with multiple colors and shapes. Here's my finished variety of dyed coffee filters at the end of the weekend.

    Many shapes and colors later - voila! Now I have choices from which to begin. Many shapes and colors later - voila! Now I have choices from which to begin.

    I reviewed my Pinterest pin which led me to the post on Poppies to prepare both the center and the stem for each flower.  Since I am not a seamstress, I had no exciting fabric to use as the Poppies' centers, so I relied on felt. I glued the felt to some cardstock to give the center a bit more strength.

    Felt glued onto cardstock to be used as the center of some flowers. Felt glued onto cardstock to be used as the center of some flowers.

    To create the Poppies as described in the Pin, several layers of coffee filters would be stacked and glued one on top of another. But I wanted to insert a stem through the bottom coffee filter layer, not glue the wire to the outside of all of the coffee filters. I decided to insert floral wire through the bottom coffee filter layer and added an extra piece of plain cardstock for support. This bottom layer also hides the wire and glue as you stack the other layers on top of it.

    Floral Stem Wire (20 gauge) inserted through coffee filter and cardstock circle; hot glue melted over both. Floral Stem Wire (20 gauge) inserted through coffee filter and cardstock circle; hot glue melted over both.

    I noticed that I was drawn to the look of flowers that resemble both Peonies and Roses. This gathering of pale colored flowers was so inspiring, I wanted to try her technique. One drawback for me at this time was that I didn't want to use my flowers as a centerpiece, or glued to a wreath or for the underneath of each flower to be seen. Let me know if you think of a good technique to use to finish the back of these flowers so that the pinched masking taped center is hidden.

    With all of the above in mind, I decided to insert wire for stems into my other floral creations, too. I held a pipe cleaner with the 20 gauge floral stem wire to give my stem extra thickness before wrapping with floral tape.

    Day Lily-like flower. Curled pipe cleaner connected to 20 gauge floral stem wire; lighter-weight 26 gauge floral wire wrapped around base of flower. Day Lily-like flower. Curled pipe cleaner connected to 20 gauge floral stem wire; lighter-weight 26 gauge floral wire wrapped around base of flower.

    In addition to the Poppies I made, the other varieties of coffee filter flowers included a Day Lily, a Peony and a Shasta Daisy.

    Day Lily and Peony look perky in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts). Day Lily and Peony look perky in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts).
    Pretty yellow Shasta Daisy shows off its beauty simply placed in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts). Pretty yellow Shasta Daisy shows off its beauty simply placed in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts).

    I gathered all of my coffee filter flowers into a larger vase and placed on my desk. I wanted to enjoy the colors of spring everyday in the office; pollen-free and no watering necessary!

    A purple glass vase is perfect for spring and showcasing my floral bouquet; from left to right, see a Day Lily, Poppy, Shasta Daisy and Peony. A purple glass vase is perfect for spring and showcasing my floral bouquet; from left to right, see a Day Lily, Poppy, Shasta Daisy and Peony.

    Spring into something fun and share your love of color!

    Martha

     

  • Vintage Adult Coloring Book Clip Magnets

    A themed coloring book magnet became my gift to those who helped me for the past two years. As a member of P.E.O., I completed a two-year term as a local chapter President. P.E.O. is an international women's organization supporting the education of women. I wanted to give the women who served as my officers a remembrance gift as a thank you for their time. 

    I decided to make a small remembrance gift using a coloring book page. P.E.O. has the Marguerite Daisy as one of its icons. I knew I found the right design when I saw the daisies in 7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection by Leisure Arts.

    A daisy repeat pattern from Leisure Arts #7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection. A daisy repeat pattern from Leisure Arts #7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection.

    I wanted a playful look to the daisies as if one was running through a field of flowers. I used splashes of color with markers, with added blotches of white soft pastel chalk. Did you know there are many hues of white in a pastel chalk collection? I chose one that was not too gray, and not too creamy in hue.

    During last fall, I made a few magnets using both mini stretched canvases and board panels, you can read my earlier post here. I wanted a variation of this theme by including a clothespin to make this project a clip magnet. With this goal in mind, I purchased a pack of 2" canvas board panels. The board panels provide a solid flat back onto which I could securely glue both a clothespin and magnet.

    The coloring book page was "loosely" colored with markers and a soft white chalk pastel. The yellow squares are painted 2" canvas panels. The coloring book page was "loosely" colored with markers and a soft white chalk pastel. The yellow squares are painted 2" canvas panels.

    I wanted to determine how much of the colored daisy page I would use decorating eight board panels. For an easy visual determination, I placed the painted board panels on top of my colored page. That's when I decided to turn the canvases so that instead of presenting as a square, each would become a diamond. For the clip, I would glue a 1.5" clothespin on the back of each panel with each clothespin's opening facing down.

    The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet. The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet.

    Thank goodness for Mod Podge® Gloss sealer! A wonderful -- and easy -- method of sealing a project on all sides. I definitely wanted a glossy sheen for these flowers! I added a date on the back and was ready to wrap!

    Here are several examples after Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer was applied. Here are several examples after Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer was applied.

    I decided to put each magnet in a small box; I didn't want the clothespin or panel board corners to break through a paper gift bag. Instead of wrapping each box in gift wrap, I decorated each white box lid with another daisy and a little glitz. The little glitz ribbon I found as I was rushing through my local Dollar Tree store; here is the ribbon I used on their website.

    Gift boxes were decorated with Diamond Wrap Ribbon and a daisy; both were purchased at a local Dollar Tree store. Gift boxes were decorated with Diamond Wrap Ribbon and a daisy; both were purchased at a local Dollar Tree store.

    These coloring book clip magnets were a perfect expression of my love of coloring and appreciation to the women in P.E.O. who assisted me during the last two years. It was a great way to share myself and say thank you as part of this remembrance gift keepsake. Another organization for which this daisy gift could be used is the Girl Scouts of  the United States of America. The daisy-themed project would be great to give the leaders or parents of any Daisy Girl Scout troop! Because of their age, the Daisy Girl Scouts would need older girl or adult help making the final project, but what a delight the leaders and/or parents would get when they received such a memorable gift!

    Enjoy all that you do; the resulting gift will show the care that you share!

    Martha

  • Dress Up Your Sweet Treats This Valentine's Day!

    Hearts, flowers, and candy galore usually define Valentine's Day. Make your celebration even more heartfelt by including thoughtful special gift wraps or decorative embellishments as additions to your gifts and sweets.

    My idea was simple enough; I wanted to make some animal cut-outs using pages from my coloring book stash. Then I got serious when I saw these super-cute animal shapes by Lia Griffith and just had to do them for Valentine's Day.

    These animal templates for DIY Candy Huggers by Lia Griffith found on Pinterest served as my inspiration. These animal templates for DIY Candy Huggers by Lia Griffith found on Pinterest served as my inspiration.

    My first step was to choose one book from my coloring book collection. I chose Leisure Arts' item #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature after I saw several pages with heart-shapes incorporated into the designs. Plus, I wanted nature-themed pages for my animals.

    A wonderful collection of imaginary and realistic flora can be found in Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. A wonderful collection of imaginary and realistic flora can be found in Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature.

    Here's an example of one page whose heart shapes were very well incorporated into its design.

    The heart shape can be found peeking out among the flowers and birds on this page from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. I've lightly colored some for you to see more easily. The heart shape can be found peeking out among the flowers and birds on this page from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. I've lightly colored some for you to see more easily.

    After enlarging and printing the original templates by Lia Griffith, I modified one so that my three animal shapes included a cat along with the bunny and bear shapes. Once I had a master set of my own templates, I set out arranging them on a coloring book page; I could trace and cut three animal shapes from one coloring book page!

    I arranged my animal templates to ensure all three shapes could be cut from one coloring book page. The red construction paper had already been glued to the back of the coloring book page. I arranged my animal templates to ensure all three shapes could be cut from one coloring book page. The red construction paper had already been glued to the back of the coloring book page.

    I found some heart-shaped candy that I thought would fit under the animals' arms once crossed into a hug; I was anxious to see this project come together!

    Each animal had a foam sticker placed on its body. Then a non-edible treat like a Valentine's-themed eraser, or a piece of heart-shaped candy was place over the heart. Every animal had a foam sticker placed on its body. Then a piece of heart-shaped candy, or a non-edible treat like a Valentine's-themed eraser, was placed over each animal's heart. 

    Now I wanted to place a decorative tie around the arms instead of permanently gluing them together. Because the arms could be uncrossed, and the candy eaten, I always wanted a heart shape to be seen while the paper animal was being used. I adhered heart-shaped foam stickers to each of my paper animal huggers.

    Next, each animal's arms were crossed and held together in a hug by a removable silk cord. Next, each animal's arms were crossed and held together in a hug by a removable silk cord.

    I knew I had to find another type of treat instead of candy. Not every treat has to be edible; sometimes there are dietary restrictions that must be followed for children and adults alike. Don't take the celebration out of the party, just find a suitable fun treat that can be used instead of candy. You can see my solution was a fun mini-eraser!

    Instead of a heart-shaped candy, try using a different treat like this eraser for your "animal hugger". Instead of a heart-shaped candy, try using a different treat for your "animal hugger" like this eraser.

    Here are my animal huggers all in a row atop some festive Valentine's Day paper doilies.

    Here are four of the six "animal candy huggers" made by using two coloring book pages from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. Here are four of the six "animal candy huggers" made by using two coloring book pages from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature.

    If you prefer not to make animal shapes, consider dressing up a rectangular-shaped chocolate bar. Look what you can do with some Paper Shaper Craft Scissors and paper flowers (like the ones I made in my earlier post Birthday Coloring Cards & Tea Light Cake).

    Wrap a candy bar, color a few shapes, secure with a band made from construction paper and add some paper flowers. Now that's fancy chocolate! Wrap a candy bar, color a few shapes, secure with a band made from construction paper and add some paper flowers. Now that's fancy chocolate!

    If you have a photo taken every year on Valentine's Day, or have a favorite one in mind to give in a personalized frame, try combining a few decorative ideas into one gift. Because I found a modestly-priced wooden frame it had no glass in its frame's opening to cover a photograph, nor did it have a wooden back to more securely hold an image in place.

    So now I needed to use a coloring book page that could act as the frame's back, as well as, to serve as a nice-looking image place holder until a new photograph was inserted. The page I planned on cutting was from Leisure Arts' item #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs.

    I call this page "Hearts Aplenty" and I used it with my painted frame. This design can be found in Leisure Arts #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs. I call this page "Hearts Aplenty" and I used it with my painted frame. This design can be found in Leisure Arts #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs.

    I painted my inexpensive wooden frame red. Then I glued a wooden ampersand symbol painted black, with a white outline, onto the frame to help signify the unifying feeling of love on this day. As part of the frame's presentation, I placed one of my animal huggers on top of it.

    I painted two inexpensive wooden items and combined them to make a very nice Valentine's gift. The frame with heart-shaped opening along with the ampersand were painted with acrylic paint and then sprayed with an acrylic sealer. A photo can be added later but until then, I chose to use a coloring book page as a placeholder. The bunny is not attached to the frame. I painted two inexpensive wooden items and combined them to make a very nice Valentine's gift. The frame with heart-shaped opening along with the ampersand were painted with acrylic paint and then sprayed with an acrylic sealer. A photo can be added later but until then, I chose to use a coloring book page as a placeholder. The bunny is not attached to the frame.

    Wonderful ideas come together with a little inspiration - and coloring book pages! How do you try to incorporate your coloring into other gifts, stationery, and/or decorations?

    Happy Valentine's Day to all!

    Martha

  • Birthday Coloring Cards & Tea Light Cake

    Celebrate the next birthday with a card and cake made by you. Birthdays are celebrated all year long and can come when the weather is preventing you from leaving the house. Don't despair; you can make a personalized card -- and cake -- in advance of that special birthday celebration!

    Grab your package of Birthday Coloring Cards (#48232) and choose one of three designs to color. The weather can be challenging during many seasons, so lighten the stress by coloring one of these fun designs. I tried to make my letters deep and bold, while still being playful. I used colored pencils and markers, then added some glittery color with gel pens.

    Color a birthday card! Experiment with different hues, techniques and media. One of three pattern designs found in a package of six cards with envelopes (#48231). Color a birthday card! Experiment with different hues, techniques and media. One of three pattern designs found in a package of six cards with envelopes (#48232).

    My colleague, Pam, colored the same design as I did. It's a great comparison to see another's finished work with their use of colors and media. I really like the different way her card makes the word "Birthday" POP off the page!

    Personalize a birthday card by coloring it using your favorite media in the recipient's favorite colors! Try using gel pens, markers and/or colored pencils (#48231). Personalize a birthday card by coloring it using your favorite media in the recipient's favorite colors! Try using gel pens, markers and/or colored pencils (#48232).

    Another birthday card has a design for you to color without the birthday greeting printed as part of the design. Don't ever feel like you have to color the entire design area for your coloring to be complete.

    Choose one of three designs in a package of six cards with envelopes. Some have a "Happy Birthday" inscription; all are blank inside (#48231). Choose one of three designs in a package of six cards with envelopes. Some have a "Happy Birthday" inscription; all are blank inside (#48232).

    Prepare for some added fun -- it's time to get your make-ahead birthday cake ready now! I was so intrigued by making a cake out of a tea light that I had to give it a go. I was first inspired by these photographed steps showing how to easily make spiral flowers and spiral paper flowers here. Then my wheels began turning...

    I started gathering items I would need which included a new craft supply for me, Paper Shaper Craft Scissors (#47596). I grabbed one of my tea lights (#47150) from my stash, and since I enjoy using my paper supply from my coloring books, I tore a page from one of my recently obtained coloring books, Art of Coloring Vintage Collection (#7041). 

    Gathering supplies to make paper flowers on a tea light birthday cake! For a decorative edge on your flowers, choose one of the 12 shapes found in the Craft Scissors Value Pack (#47596). Gathering supplies to make paper flowers on a tea light birthday cake! For a decorative edge on your flowers, choose one of the 12 shapes found in the Craft Scissors Value Pack (#47596).

    Reviewing the images of the spiral flowers, and spiral paper flowers, I cut my spirals using the pink-handled scissors. I then curled each flower by holding the outermost edge with my needle nose pliers. NOTE: depending on which way you curl the paper, the printed design may appear on the inside or outside of the flower petals. I chose to curl in different directions to add more dimension to my final birthday cake.

    Don't forget the necessary tools to be used: a pair of needle nose pliers and hot glue gun. Don't forget the necessary tools to be used: a pair of needle nose pliers and hot glue gun.

    Each flower had a dab of hot glue placed at its base. I used Washi Tape to decorate the outside edge of my tea light birthday cake. Then I hot glued each individual flower around the flame on the top of the tea light. This was so much fun! As I worked, it dawned on me to make a two-tiered cake. Since I wasn't sure I wanted to keep forever multiple tea lights with the same pattern from one coloring book page, the additional tea lights on the bottom cake tier only had a removable paper circle placed over each flame (see the cut slits in each flower pattern center).

    Here's a close-up of the stacked tea lights. Only the top tea light has the flowers permanently glued around its flame. Here's a close-up of the stacked tea lights. Only the top tea light has the flowers permanently glued around its flame.

    Make the birthday person's place setting extra special with your colored birthday card and tea light birthday cake presented on a plate!

    I stacked four tea lights to give it an appearance of a two-tiered cake. Present your "cake" on a plate with your card for a special presentation. I stacked four tea lights to give it an appearance of a two-tiered cake. Present your "cake" on a plate with your card for a special presentation.

    Here's a different look for announcing the birthday honoree...

    All aglow with happiness - anyone would feel special with such a nice presentation! All aglow with happiness - anyone would feel special with such a nice presentation!

    Even with the flames turned off, the tea light birthday cake stands out announcing someone's special day!

    A different way to present your tea light birthday cake is on a plain footed base. A different way to present your tea light birthday cake is on a plain footed base.

    The tea lights are not permanently glued together. They are stacked and can be moved until the perfect setting is acquired for the Birthday Boy or Girl.

    Here's a super-close image of the tea lights. Another decorative option is the add a little color to some of the edges of each flower. Here's a super-close image of the tea lights. Another decorative option is to add a little color to some of the edges of each flower.

    No matter how you choose to celebrate someone's birthday, you will make it stand-out by adding your special touches with a personalized colored birthday card and everlasting tea light birthday cake!

    Have a happy day!

    Martha

  • After the holidays, thank you notes!

    Now it is time to write some handwritten thank you notes. New Year's Day is behind us and most seasonal celebratory activities and get-togethers are over. Show your appreciativeness for those few individuals who made your holiday experience extra special by coloring them a handwritten thank you card!

    I do take advantage of using electronic means to write notes; messages, invites, updates, and notes of appreciation. But there are times when even a brief handwritten message means so much more to the recipient than an "e" message. Now add another special feature to your holiday thank you cards by coloring! The perfect solution is Leisure Arts' Thank You Coloring Note Cards (item #48231).

    Each package of Thank You Coloring Note Cards (#48232) contains six cards with envelopes; two each of three designs. Each package of Thank You Coloring Note Cards (#48231) contains six cards with envelopes; two each of three designs.

    There are three designs, two cards per design, and six envelopes contained in each package. This set offers a nice variety of designs so that you can vary the use of each depending on the age of the recipient, or your artistic mood at the time of coloring.

    The package of Thank You cards has three designs, two cards per design (Leisure Arts #48231). The package of Thank You cards has three designs, two cards per design (Leisure Arts #48231).

    Spend a little extra time by adding some coloring pizzazz to your note -- wow, what a pop your handwritten message will have!

    Color your own Thank You cards! Colored pencils and markers used on one of three pattern designs (Leisure Arts #48232 - Thank You Coloring Note Cards). Color your own Thank You cards! Colored pencils and markers used on one of three pattern designs (Leisure Arts #48231 - Thank You Coloring Note Cards).

    Now I can't wait until later this month for my friend's January birthday -- yes, Leisure Arts carries Birthday Coloring Note Cards, too!

    The package of Birthday cards (#48231) is also available! The package of Birthday cards (#48232) is also available!

    We'd love to see some of your colored cards. Share your finished coloring note cards on Leisure Arts' Color Art for Everyone Facebook page; we'd love to see them!

    Happy 2017...

    Martha

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