Queen For A Day

Queen for a Day Crown Cookies

With a good part of 2015 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start thinking about the remainder of the year. It’s holidays, family gatherings, sports themed food indulgences and changing weather.

My journey took a bit of a detour; well, hit a brick wall is more like it. But we mustn’t forget the joy creativity brings us, even in trying days. Force ourselves if we have to, to get into the craft studio, kitchen or garden. To feed our souls as well as brightening someone else’s day.

Queen for a Day Crown Cookies

Don’t you just love birthday parties? There’s nothing like them! We recently celebrated a loved one’s birthday who doesn’t care for cake. Since I am a huge cookie baker, I was up for the challenge.

I’ve been collecting cookie cutters for years. There are so many things you can do with them it’s simply endless! They are an easy size to manage, and I decorate them over several days. This is especially helpful when making Christmas cookies.

I bake the cookies one day and store in plastic containers. You can also take a day to make several batches of dough and refrigerate for up to several weeks.

To make the icing I use Wilton’s Color Flow recipe and try to keep on the thick side. Keep it covered with a wet paper towel as this icing dries quickly. After mixing in a stand mixer I pour some out in a shallow bowl, take the cookie and dip top side down and drag a knife across to remove excess. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let them dry several hours or over night. Avoid stacking the cookies sheets until icing is thoroughly dry, otherwise the color comes out blotchy. I do stack sheets in oven overnight (to keep out of sight and wandering hands).  Its amazing but they don’t get stale once the icing is on.

Now they are ready for the piping. This is a Wilton Royal Icing recipe. It does have to mix for a long time and can crack or be hard to work with if it’s not right. Definitely worth checking out some videos for helpful tips. Now the fun begins! although your hand will get stiff from squeezing, you can decorate and embellish with any sort of sprinkles, glittery shapes or colors your heart desires. If you want, you can individually wrap them in clear plastic bags with colored twist ties or bows. Add a cookie to each place setting, add some with a gift of coffees, hot cocoa or basket of baking supplies.

Make someone’s life a little sweeter with something from your kitchen.

All the best,

Diane Long

Stamped Wooden Box

Stamped Wooden Box image

I’d like to kick off Fall with a series of handmade gift ideas, but let’s see how I do. Not sure I’m ready to give up summer yet and I have been outside more than in my craft studio lately. That being said, I do realize how important it is to get a jump on the holiday gift giving season so here goes (and as always, please forgive my persistent lack of photography skills….)

Stamped Wooden Box

I picked up a set of 2 wooden boxes for less than 5 bucks but I think I will check out the different stores to see how the quality may vary. It was nice that it had the smaller square already cut into it, made eyeing the stamp even easier. The stamp was just a foam one I had but I do find many uses for it. The wood burning tool I had not used for years but had been wanting to do something with it for awhile. Reasonably priced and fun to work with. You may want to get some practice wood to try it on first.

wood box supplies

I applied gold acrylic paint to the stamp and stamped it on the wood. Took one of the finer point tips to insert in the burning tool and preheated. Traced around the design with the tool working towards me. Sometimes it can stick a bit and leave a larger burn mark but that is less noticeable when done. I painted over the design with the Lumiere Metallic Gold paint (the acrylic stamps better but the Lumiere shows up better)

wood box paint

wood box burn

Apply stain of your choice and add a urethane finish. You could also paint the box with acrylics and lightly sand to reveal design. This box could be used for any number of things including stashing a gift card inside.

Check out some other Homemade Gift Ideas to stitch and Ornaments to make

Let’s get crafting!!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Gift Idea for Mother’s Day…Father’s Day too

Key chains made from polymer clay

It’s been a while since I dug out my polymer clay stash and I had been wanting to play so out they came. I set up my pasta machine, but don’t let that scare you, you don’t need to have one to create with polymer clay. Buy some of the softer clay brands that you can kneed by hand (they are usually marked Soft) if you find you do enjoy it, look for a pasta machine at a thrift store or ebay.

Mother’s Day Gift Idea

I always like to include something handmade when gift giving. What better time than Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s the old school memories of painted hand prints or noodle artwork that we gave as children, but it feels extra special.Keep in mind, this technique can be easily used to make a pendant, pin or earrings when sized appropriately.

A note about the photos- I just couldn’t get a shot of how the blue and white key chain looked. The white has an iridescence to it which I’ll explain in a moment but try as I might, my photography skills are lacking.

Polymer Clay Key Chains

I wanted this to sort of look of Mother of Pearl. so I grabbed some white  Dicro Fibers and ironed it in between some parchment. Kneaded some Pearl polymer clay until pliable. Cut random shapes out of the ironed Dicro Fiber and placed on the clay, folded it in half and ran through pasta machine. Continue to fold and put through machine in different directions until you can see the threads of the fiber showing through. I also added some Crystal Effectz for added shimmer.

dicro fiber trans

Press a rubber stamp into the clay pressing firmly and evenly. You can do this either by pressing the stamp down onto the clay or turning the stamp rubber side up and pressing the clay down onto it (sprinkle some corn starch on rubber first to prevent sticking) Cut out square with a shape cutter or clay blade. I like to work on a piece of tile, this way, I don’t have to move the piece onto a different surface to bake. Bake in the toaster oven according to manufacturer instructions.

heart stamp

I rolled out some blue clay, cut it into a slightly larger square.Made a small hole with a bamboo skewer and baked. After the pieces were cool, I spritzed with some Armor All (interior car wax) which gave a bit of shine. Attached the two pieces with super glue, added a wire to hold the key ring.

The heart design stamp was an old one from Stampa Rosa. It was nice because the heart shape became raised when stamped in clay. Had some other stamp designs that would have come out debossed in clay so I decided to make a mold. I just took some bits of scrap clay (ended up purple) and I stamped the design, cut it out and baked it.

stamp mold

 

When cool, I rolled some tan clay (combination of tan, gold, white, brown) making sure not to blend completely, I liked the variations of color.

brown clay

Press the clay into my purple mold, and got the positive image of the design. Added a hole and baked. When it was cool I added some brown acrylic paint into the crevices to bring out the design. Added wire and a key ring.

So, now I’m ready for Father’s Day too!

 

Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs

Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs Image

Well I’ve done it again, I don’t know why I am obsessed with Easter Eggs but I am. Perhaps it’s the challenge of the surface not being flat or that its fragile nature can, shall we say, make or break the project. By the way, I could really use some more recipes for all the scrambled eggs I’ve got!

Maybe these first projects of Spring are so cherished, not only for the blessed Easter holiday they represent but the celebration of natures beauty coming alive again after such a cold dark Winter. It probably won’t be long before we start taking all the warm weather and scenic glory for granted!

How to Make Easter Eggs

As always, you want to start with hollowed eggs, you don’t want to use boiled eggs you will be eating. After they are hollowed and dry, you want to spray them with clear sealer. Begin making a design. I usually use Starform stickers. The butterfly used is from Elizabeth Craft Designs. I love these type of stickers because there are so many things you can do with them.Not only are they versatile but the designs are wonderful.

Using the applicator tool and felt, begin applying the colored inks of your choice, dabbing gently around the egg in a random fashion. These inks do dry quickly. I would avoid using the Blending Solution for this technique as I think it will have an effect on the clear sealer underneath. Simply remove the stickers and spray again with clear sealer. The sticker shapes have both an outline and the inside portion of the image and the Alcohol Inks do a great job of coloring the stickers as well.

On the blue egg, you will see the colored outline of the butterfly which was used as a mask for the egg to the right. I placed the butterfly outline on to the egg and added the gold inside portion from the sticker as well.

You can also refer to more detailed directions in the Instruction Sheet for Easter Eggs that I had done previously.

Make the most of these days!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Distress Ink Easter Eggs

Distress Ink Easter Eggs
I had so much fun last year making Sticker Resist Easter Eggs that I thought I’d do it again this year. Yes, my family will be eating scrambled eggs all week but that’s a small price to pay for a holiday tradition. Using a large needle, I poke holes in the egg slowly making the hole larger (Using anything larger may crack the egg) Blow the insides out, rinse and dry. You can tape one hole and pour some thin craft glue inside the egg and let it dry. this will make it a bit more stable in case you drop it- and you will drop it. Lightly sand the egg in case their is any rough patches.
I used Starform Stickers, letters and circles. Applied Distress Inks, Archival inks and Adirondack Spray, heat set between coats, remove stickers (I put the letter stickers back on for the photo) Spray with clear sealer. Added gold dot stickers to the brown egg and white borders stickers to the misted egg.
For How to instructions on both sets of Easter Egg projects, Click the PDF
Need to finish up some other craft projects before the weather gets too nice to stay indoors.
All the best,

Diane Long

Craft Frenzy Friday

Blog Hop Button Its Back! Colorful Spring Crafts Blog Hop + Giveaway

More Flameless Candle Embellishing

Flameless Candle Embellishing

With so many stickers, stamps and art supplies now available, the decorating possibilities are endless. I just can’t get enough of micro beads and once again I covered the Love words printed off the computer, wrapped around the candle and added the beads. The second candle couldn’t be easier. Simply take letter stickers of your choice, and add stickers such as these to have as a sweet accent for a baby’s room. Perfect idea to keep a variety of craft  supplies and candles in various sizes on hand for a last minute, yet personalized gift.

All the best,

Diane Long

Flameless Candle Embellishing

Flameless Candle Embellishing

Embellishing flameless candles are a great way to personalize gifts and home decor. The first candle uses a rubber stamp from Impression Obsession, clear ink, sticky powder, and Martha Stewart glitter On the second I used gold vellum paper, a Martha Stewart punch, and the entire surface is covered in clear micro beads.(although it doesn’t show in photo) I also used a wedding photo covered in micro beads on a candle in a previous post. Lots more ideas on the way.

Happy crafting!.

 Diane Long

Easier than you think Easter Eggs

Easter Egg Decorating Ideas using Stamp Ink

I have always been inspired by my sister Cathy’s Easter eggs. She would dye rice and place them on a glue covered egg one piece at a time. Beautiful scenes and little figures placed inside of an egg which had an opening carefully pricked into it.and the side of the egg removed.

My version takes much less time and effort than the eggs my sister did and easy enough for anyone to do.
I took Starform Stickers (some refer to them as border stickers- see Ecstasy Crafts from my list) Place them on an egg, then apply dye inks, remove sticker to reveal masked design, You can place additional stickers on top, ink over it with a different color, You can also place a fresh sticker back on the egg as a final touch (as done with the striped egg) Try spritzing ink in a bottle onto the egg in various colors. You can add a sticker as a finishing touch on this as well. For complete directions check out Ranger Inks Yahoo Group Inkling project.
Have a Glorious Spring!
Diane

For tutorial on how to make these Easter Eggs in PDF, Click here

Fall Leaves in Rustic Metal

Metal Fall Leaf Candle

Although it’s always sad to see Summer go, it’s not so hard to replace it with a season as beautiful as Autumn. Here is a project to keep the look of fall leaves around just a little bit longer. Using a Leaf Punch, and some Alcohol Inks, this can be done in no time.
We are gearing up for the busy Holiday Season but please remember to slow down long enough to enjoy the simple things all around us.
Diane

For tutorial in PDF, click here

Christmas in July- Easy Ornament

Beaded Clip art Christmas Ornament

This ornament is so much easier than it looks. I used clipart from Dover but you can use black and white photos as well to give a personal touch. Just print on Inkjet Printable Acetate. For complete instructions log on to Ranger Inks Yahoo Group.

The Holidays will be here before you know it!
Diane

For tutorial in PDF, click here