Using minimal supplies to create one-of-a-kind gifts…

This old-fashioned looking tag came about because of a special gift I received from my friend Robin at Cracker Jack Stampers the other night. Robin made us all beautiful gift tags and adorable little wrapped packages of chocolate – love chocolate! The gift inspired me to create hand-made tags to add to the home-made peanut brittle I make and give each Christmas. The peanut brittle has become a cooking tradition for me and something I really enjoy making and giving.

So using some basic stamping supplies and a stack of manila shipping tags I set out to create a collection of individually-designed tags. I also proceeded to make one giant mess! It’s just the way I work, but I had such a good time. It’s so relaxing just to take the time to sit and play and see what materializes.

The supplies were minimal: Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Perfect Pearls in a mini mister, some holiday stamps (a combination of Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi from Stamper’s Anonymous), pretty ribbons and some steel-rule dies, my Vagabond and some little embellishments.

I started with tags I had stamped recently using the milk-resist technique. I really like the way the milk-resist leaves mottled designs in the background. My style is more prone to earthy, old-fashioned, classic Christmas style so the tags are kept pretty basic with minimal embellishments.

I swiped two colors of Distress Inks side-by-side on a non-stick craft sheet and spritzed them with water and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mixed in a mini mister, dragged the tag through the concoction then dried it with a heat tool. I dipped and dried the tag several more times, flicked with water and heat dried. The pine boughs, music notes and sentiment were stamped on after the tag was dry. I then added the rusty star, lace trim and button threaded with a tiny gingham ribbon. It seemed a little plain so I wrapped the gold bells around the star and added the gold ribbon topper.

It reminds me a little of a quaint, country Christmas. I just really love the mottled colors and hope the recipient will too!

Preserving memories in the round …

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and tomorrow is a day when families will sit around the table while reflecting on all they have to be thankful for and sharing memories. How do you preserve your favorite memories? Scrapbook, photo album, digital books, photo boxes? I can honestly say I have a little of all the above but I also look for interesting and odd little ways to share those memories with family and friends. One of my favorites is an altered cd mini book.

I have made several of these over the years and it seems the more I make the more creative they become. “Memories in the Round” has become one of my favorites. In it I used a variety of techniques with Ranger inks, Perfect Pearls and embossing powder but I also added some walnut-dyed muslin, glitter and some interesting flower-making techniques.

The altered cd minis are just the perfect size for gift-giving and I hope to make several for family members this year. They’re quick to cover and easy to decorate because of the limited surface space. This Vintage style is perfect for old generation family photos as well as modern-day photos or fill it with inspirational quotes and sayings.

Catch this class before the end of the year at Capture-a-Memory in Flint Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There’s still time to create this very special one-of-a-kind gift for your holiday giving.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! And, if you’ll be in those crowds of early-bird shoppers Friday – have fun! As for me, I’ll be on the back roads to Sunset Shores in Clare for a quiet weekend getaway!