Crackers for a Gift Box

On page 31 of the holiday catalogue, there’s a suggestion to make traditional cracker boxes using the Brightly Gleaming suite of products.  Whilst these aren’t the usual pulling-banging crackers, they can be at least filled with decent stuff rather than useless bits of plastic.  The crackers would also make ‘cracking’ gift boxes! 😊

The trick is to use the small ornament punch to make the holes which allow the ends to fold in.  In case you’ve not got the ornament punch, I did try it out using a circle punch. The sides are smaller on this one, 3.5cm each.  For this end, I used a ¾” punch……

….and this end used the 1” punch.  This end’s a bit gappy.

Anyway, onto the ornament punched cracker.  Since I don’t have any Brightly Gleaming DSP, I decorated some Highland Heather card with the ornament stamps.  Whilst the catalogue suggests sizes for the sides, that’s all the information it gives.  I cut out a square 7.5” and scored it as follows:

Next, I stuck a length of double-sided tape along the small tab, then punched the holes, lining up the small ornament punch along the score lines.

I had trouble getting the ends to fold in on my prototype so I scored along the top and bottom edges of the holes.  This made construction considerably easier.  If you wanted to be able to ‘pull’ the crackers, it’d probably require adding a perforated line down the centre of these score lines.

I lightly folded in the edges along the holes like this:

Then, I flattened it out again and folded along the other score lines.

The next job was to remove the backing tape and stick the edges together to form a tube.

Lengths of ribbon were tied around the holes to gather the ends.

Lastly, I made a tag using the scalloped tag topper punch and the Itty Bitty Christmas stamps.  These would look great on the Christmas table or for presenting a small gift.  Now, who wouldn’t want this awaiting them under the tree?

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

Arm-ageddon

This whole arm problem is really starting to get to me now.  The constant pain is just exhausting.  Whilst the physiotherapy and acupuncture have improved the tennis elbow symptoms, it seems those symptoms were disguising other elbow pain.  It feels like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.  On the plus side, I am getting to be a dab hand at ‘mousing’ with my left hand.  To avoid having a similar problem with my left arm, I’ve purchased an ergonomic left-handed mouse.  Aside from having to switch around the left and right buttons to be the same as a right-handed mouse, it’s been really easy and comfortable to use.

Anyway, I’ve really been missing crafting and crafting is one of the things I would do to de-stress.  I figured that not crafting hasn’t improved my arm situation so I may as well do a bit and de-stress myself.  A large box of Stampin’ Up! goodies was delivered this week and I was keen to get playing with some new stuff.  I was conscious that I didn’t want to be doing too much and making my arm lots worse so I went for a simple, quick festive project – a Christmas tree garland.

I used a new set from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, Perfectly Plaid with the matching tree punch.

I cut a 2½” strip each of real red, old olive and thick whisper white card.  This was enough for 6 trees of each colour.  After using my Embossing Buddy, I stamped one of the trees with Versamark, applied gold embossing powder and heat set it.  I then punched the trees out.

Using glue dots, I attached each tree to a length of ribbon, spacing the trees about 2½” apart.

The finished garland is about 1.1m long but could easily be extended either by increasing the spacing or making more trees.  I’ve attached this one to our mantlepiece but it’d also look great in place of ribbon on a gift.  This was a quick little project which took me about 20 minutes and it satisfied my crafting mojo.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Left-Handed Crafting!

I’m happy to report that I’m out of the sling this week although nowhere near back to normal yet ☹ The few days in the sling allowed my muscles to calm down enough so that the weight of my arm was bearable again.  This week I’ve had some physio and acupuncture and I’ve got this really jazzy strapping helping me out.

However, I still can’t use my right hand for very long until my arm starts to hurt so I thought I’d challenge my left hand to some everyday tasks!  The first was writing.  Well, I struggled to even hold the pen to begin with! My pages of alphabet look like they were written by a 6-year old but at least they look like letters.  My blog posts and photo editing is also all being done left handed, albeit slowly, but I have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts.

So, then I turned my attention to crafting and what I could make that would be simple, forgiving and hopefully not too frustrating.  I had some 2” strips of card left over from another project that I’d saved for tags, so tags it was! My coordination with my left-hand, when operating solo, is a bit sketchy so I used my Stamparatus to help with the stamping.  The bare trees from Winter Woods were mounted on one side of the door and the greeting on the other.  I stamped them onto the lining paper so I could line up my tags with the images.

Using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder, I stamped and heat set the trees on each tag.  Then I cut a wavy edge to the top of a Post-it note for the mask and used the overhangs of the mask to hold the tag in position.  I used a sponge brayer to colour the sky.  The ink is applied so gradually, it’s a very forgiving method so handy for my non-dominant hand.

The embossing resists the ink and any residue was easily removed with a tissue.  To give more texture to the sky, I spritzed some water on and dabbed it off with a tissue.

Next, the door of the Stamparatus was turned over so I could stamp the greeting.  I then punched the tops with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.

Since they were Christmas tags, I wanted a bit of sparkle so I put them into my ‘spraying box’ and sprayed with Champagne Shimmer Mist/isopropyl alcohol mix.

The last job was to attach some ribbon, for which I did have to bring my right hand out of retirement!  The whole project probably took me twice as long as usual but at least I was crafting.  It must have given my brain quite a workout too as I had to have a nap afterwards!

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Peacock Two Ways!

One of the new releases that caught my eye in the new Annual catalogue was the Royal Peacock bundle.  I really like the two-stage stamp for the peacock, although just the base stamp looks great on its own too.  Previously Sizzix used to make dies for Stampin’ Up! but the detailed peacock dies are made by a new company and I have to say I’m impressed.  Usually detailed dies like these are a complete pain when trying to get the card out of the die and I usually add a layer of wax paper to help with the release. No such problem with these dies.  They cut cleanly with a single pass through the Big Shot and the cut shape literally fell out of the die!

My first card this week features the stamped peacock and an embossed background.  I began by stamping the peacock with Pretty Peacock ink and then stamped the second layer  with Versamark and applied copper embossing powder.

The background uses the Layered Leaves embossing folder (retired) which I edged with strips of copper foil.

I used a sentiment from the Beauty Abounds set.

 

My second card is a die cutting extravaganza!  I started by die cutting a bunch of the peacock tail feathers from Very Vanilla card and sticking them onto my Very Vanilla top layer.  This gives some texture and a faux embossed look.

The detailed peacock die also embosses the image and I stamped the ‘Proud’ sentiment from the same stamp set and cut it out with the Everyday Label punch.

I added a piece of the Old Olive/Pretty Peacock ribbon and an Old Olive mat layer.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

Festive Foliage Tags

The Christmas Traditions Punch Box comes in a gorgeous tin with 6 festive stamps, a coordinating punch, 2 ink spots and an acrylic block.  The tags are quite small so I wanted to pop them up as a feature on a larger tag so set to work making a background.  When I buy a new stamp set, I tend to use the main images and the smaller images don’t often get a look in so I thought I’d try making this background using only the small stamps from the Mistletoe Season stamp set.  I’m really happy with the way the festive foliage background turned out.

For this project I used:

A4 piece of thick white cardstock

Scraps of green and red glimmer paper (from Joyous Noel glimmer paper pack)

Gold foil paper

A strip of white card for the sentiments

Stampin’ Up! Mistletoe Season stamp set

Stampin’ Up! Christmas Traditions Punch Box

Stampin’ Up! inks in Shaded Spruce Ink, Old Olive and Real Red

Gold Ink pad

Foliage dies

Scalloped Tag Topper Punch

2m ribbon

I started off randomly stamping the whole A4 sheet with the pine boughs in Shaded Spruce and Old Olive.  I then filled in the gaps with the sprig of berries stamped in Real Red and the 3 dots in gold.

The sheet was cut down into 2” strips to fit in the tag topper punch and then cut in half to make ten 2” x 4⅛” rectangles.  This left a narrow strip which I scored at 4⅛” and folded to make an additional tag.

The Sending Christmas Wishes stamp was stamped in Shaded Spruce and Real Red ink and then punched out.

I cut out 11 circles from the gold foil paper and a bunch of foliage and berries from the green and red glimmer paper.  This was the longest job.

The tags were punched with the tag topper punch to give the lovely scalloped shape and then I used the envelope punch board to round the other two corners, stuck on a gold circle, a couple of pieces of foliage and berries and topped off with the sentiment tag mounted on dimensionals.

A 20cm length of ribbon finished off each tag.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2018 Stampin’ Up!