A “LOVE”ly Celebration

Saturday was a very exciting day for our family–my son proposed to the love of his life, and both families were close by and got to watch it all unfold! Witnessing the proposal was a very moving and magical experience, and it meant the world to both of them that we were all there.

After pictures were taken and we had a round of drinks at a nearby dessert bar, we all headed back to our house for a party. Her family had just traveled from upstate New York, and this was the first time that the two families were meeting, so my son wanted this to be a very informal gathering. He wanted there to be plenty of time for relaxation and casual conversation. Even though this was to be a very casual get-together, I wanted the house to look festive because, after all, this was an engagement party! So I made all of the decorations in keeping with the theme and my son’s wishes. As I have said many times before, one of the best parts about paper crafting is the fact that you can customize any project to fit a theme, style, or recipient and, in this case, I did all three!

Now that you know the back story, it’s time to get to the fun part–the actual decorations! My goal was to have some form of decoration in all of the major parts of the house where people were going to be, and I used a combination of banners and table top decorations to accomplish this goal. The color scheme was teal and purple, and these are the patterned papers I used in some form on almost all of the decorations I made:

Let’s start with the side porch door, and I’ll walk you through the decorations as people saw them as they came through the house:

I really wanted to dress up the side porch door, as this is the first thing that people were going to see as they arrived. So I made a vertical banner, which I had never done before. I wanted the words on the banner to speak to this being a celebration for both my son and his fiancé, so I chose to use “Best Day Ever”. The banner ended up blending in with our door color, so I got two bunches of balloons for either side of the door to help draw your eye to the banner.

Here are some pictures of the banner against a white door, so that you can see the detail more clearly:

Each of the 4 x 4 letter blocks was adhered to a long piece of white burlap ribbon. I looped the top end of the ribbon around a piece of dowel and tied coordinating strips of ribbon to the dowel on either side of the banner. I then tied the hanging loop of twine to the small eye hooks my husband drilled in to either end of the dowel.

The next decoration people saw was another banner as they entered the kitchen area:

This time I attached streamers to the 4 x 4 letter blocks, so that everyone would have to walk through the streamers. I don’t know about you, but I think streamers scream party, and I wanted the happy couple to walk through some streamers on their engagement day!

The last banner I made was hung the mantel, and you could see it from anywhere in the kitchen area:

Out of all of the banners I made, this one was my favorite. Because this was a double banner, I used 3 x 3 letter blocks and strung all of the blocks together with ribbon. I put command hooks on top of the mantel and hung each banner by tying the ribbons to the hooks. I know it is customary to put the woman’s name first, but it rhymed by flipping the names around!

Now let’s go into the sunroom, where the appetizer table was:

The plates and napkins were on top of a cabinet that was by the door entering the sunroom. As a decoration for this cabinet, I covered the couples’ initials with some of the different patterns of papers. I kept each letter very simple, except for tying a wooden button on with some twine to her initial. I also added some tiny hearts table scatter to the top of the cabinet as an extra touch.

I didn’t have much room on the appetizer table for decorations, so I decided to use a stack of books. My son and his fiancé attended the same Master’s Degree program in Creative Writing and both work in the publishing industry, so the books have real significance to them.

I covered the books in brown paper–which I haven’t done in MANY years– and it brought back a rush of memories of starting each new school year by making my own book covers with grocery bags. I was so proud of myself when I thought of the idea of adding the equation to the spines of the books! I thought that it not only tied in with the occasion, but also tied in the fact that her undergraduate degree was in economics.

And did you notice the mason jar of flowers on top of the books? This actually is my most favorite decoration of all, and I had one jar on the appetizer table, and one on the kitchen table:

I took flowers from our garden and placed them in the mason jars, with the white hydrangea clusters on top of the daisy varieties. I then covered the flowers completely with water, followed by a thin layer of vegetable oil. I added a tea-light to the center of each jar and lit the candles. The oil layer provides the buoyancy needed to allow the tea-light to float.

I think these jars of flowers are just beautiful, and I know that this is going to be my preferred method for arranging flowers from now on. Flowers and candlelight always add a touch of romance, and I was happy that I found a way to incorporate both in to the decorations.

The get-together ended up being everything that my son had wanted, and it truly was a great ending to the BEST DAY EVER! He loved how festive the house looked with all of the decorations, and the two families had a wonderful time getting to know each other.

Mission accomplished!

Before I close, I have one more project to show you–the party bags. You can’t have a party without favor bags!

I filled bags with 3 different flavors of popcorn from our local popcorn shop, and attached a tag that said “He POPPED the question, she said YES”! This isn’t my original idea, but, when I saw it on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect for our popcorn-loving family!

Here is a closer look at the tags–the background paper used for the tag reminded me of popcorn kernels. The label was computer generated and printed on adhesive label sheets. I punched the label out with a circle punch and mounted it on a solid card stock circle also made with a circle punch. I know it was a little corny (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!), but everyone loved them!

Thank you so much for sharing in this special day with me–this is the first engagement for our family and it’s very exciting! I not only made all of the party decorations, but I also made our son and his fiancé a gift that I would like to show you as well. I will try and get a second post up later this week.

Until then, take care, and, as always, remember:

“May what waves kiss your feet; / the sand be your seat; / and your friends out-number the stars”

-C-

P.S. She said yes!

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NESTED HEARTS–PART II

Hi again everyone! Welcome back to Part II of my nested hearts post. I have a folder of Valentine project ideas that I have been compiling since my kids were in grade school. I pulled it out recently, and it was in looking through the file that I ran across these nested hearts. The original instructions showed attaching a Tootsie Pop up the middle of the heart to give as a Valentine. Gone are the days where my kids need class valentines, but it’s kind of a cool idea nonetheless.

I ended up using the nested hearts for something entirely different. I love to give my kids a little something for Valentine’s Day, and so I had decorated the fronts of plain white gift bags to use for their gifts. The bags were definitely “valentine-y”, but they lacked that extra pizzaz to make them special. When I saw the instructions for the nested hearts, I knew I had found my pizzaz!

These next few pictures will show you my step-by-step process for decorating one of the bags:

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Decorative paper

Ruffled ribbon trim for the finish ( I definitely have been watching way too much of the Olympics!) As I said earlier, the bag front was OK, but it lacked personality and pizzaz. So I added a nested heart to the bag, and look at the transformation:

Talk about pizzaz! The nested heart was exactly what this bag needed–it brought the bag to life! I was so excited, I could hardly wait to put the heart on the other bag!

Here is a side-by-side picture of both of the bags, along with the coordinating Valentines I made. I couldn’t be happier with how these bags turned out, and I am so glad that I saved and came across these nested heart instructions!

Riding high on the success of the gift bag decorations, I decided to make a larger version to use as a table decoration for our Valentine’s Day dinner.

The original nested heart is in the middle, so you can see that the others are quite a bit bigger. I followed the same steps, but I started out with 8″, 9 1/2″, and 11″ strips of paper.

I love setting the table for holidays and special occasions, and I think the nested hearts are the perfect addition to the place settings for our Valentine’s Day dinner.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day dinner, I found a recipe for what I think will be the perfect dessert that I wanted to share with you. We will be having a mini chocolate cream pie and I will link the recipe at the end of the post. It uses a 6″ pie plate instead of a regular sized one. Here is a comparison of the two pie plates side by side:

The 6″ pie plate is the cutest thing ever, and I think it will make the perfect amount of dessert for my husband and I. I am hoping that it will take away the age old battle of not wanting to eat an entire pie but not wanting it to go to waste either. With a mini pie, there won’t be a lot left over.

Thank you for stopping in again today. Have a good rest of your week, Happy Valentine’s Day, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

Recipe: http://www.dessertfortwo.com/chocolate-cream-pie-2/

The Sweet Smell of Summer

Hi everyone– how are you? How has your summer been? It just seems like this summer has flown by, and I can’t believe that we turned the calendar to August this week. I haven’t had much time to spend in my craft room until several weeks ago, when I found myself in need of some thank you gifts. I thought I would stop in and show you what I came up with.

I wanted these gifts to be somewhat special and out of the ordinary, so the most time-consuming part of this project was coming up with just the right idea. In times like this, I always refer back to my project photos and, in doing that, I ran across this picture of a Christmas stocking stuffer I made 11 years ago:

This is an envelope sachet that I made for my Mom, and she kept hers hanging in the bathroom. The minute I saw this picture, I knew I had found my project!

I had forgotten all about making these sachets, and how excited and proud I was of how they had turned out! I hadn’t been stamping for very long when I made these, and I remember how giddy I was that I could make something other than a simple card! I had gotten the idea from another Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, Carla Brasher, who had posted this project on her blog as part of her 12 Weeks of Christmas series. Her website is no longer active, but I was able to find a picture of her sachets on Pinterest. I used her instructions for the basic construction and sachet filling, but I changed the appearance of my sachets.

Fast forward to 2021. A lot has changed in 11 years, and in thinking about this project, I knew I could modify the instructions to make the sachet size more realistic, and the whole process more streamlined. To begin with, I changed the envelope size from 4 3/8 x 5 3/4 to 3 x 3, which is closer to a traditional sachet size. Secondly, I purchased some scented sachet material instead of making my own filling with corn cob bedding and essential oil. This method was certainly more convenient given my time constraints, but it isn’t a cost effective solution if you are mass producing these sachets. I will list the instructions for making your own sachet filling at the end of this post.

I chose to use a peach scent for my sachets. It seemed appropriate, since the peaches are at their best right now, and I have some new peach-themed stamps and paper that I was excited to use.

I started by cutting two coordinating patterns of paper to the measurements listed above, and attaching them to the base and flap of each of the envelopes. Once that was done, it was time to determine how to embellish the sachets. I wanted them to be soft and feminine, and this ended up being much more of a challenge than I had anticipated. After several hours and lots of trial and error, I finally landed on a neutral die-cut peach, some lace and a little bling.

I attached the die-cut peach to the lower right corner of the envelope before I added the filling. I used dimensionals so that the die-cut would be able to move freely as the filling shifted around inside the envelope.

Now it was time to fill the envelopes.

The scent of this sachet was fairly strong, so I only added 1 tsp of the mixture inside the envelope. I didn’t want the scent to be overpowering, and this amount also allowed the sachet to remain relatively flat. There was a little over 4 tsp of filling in this bag, so you would be able to fill 4 envelopes out of 1 sachet packet. I then sealed up the envelopes and added the rest of the embellishments, and my envelope sachets were finished.

For the packaging, I started by placing each sachet on top of some shredded paper at the bottom of some cellophane bags. All I needed now were the bows and tags, and I kept the design elements similar by using the same card stock, patterned paper, and lace. I layered my gift tag and tried to mimic the look of the sachet envelope with the base tag.

I am so pleased with how these sachets turned out! They are exactly what I had in mind–somewhat special, out of the ordinary, soft and feminine thank you gifts. The sachets would also be perfect for shower or luncheon favors, or as a craft class project.

Now, before I sign off, I wanted to give you the DIY instructions for the sachet filling. You will need some corn cob bedding, and essential oil in a scent of your choice. I remember purchasing the corn cob bedding at Walmart, but I discovered this week that neither Walmart or major pet stores carry it in store anymore. You can order it, and here is a picture of what PetSmart offers:

I followed Carla’s instructions and added 2 cups of the bedding and 1 oz. of oil to an airtight container. It’s better to start out light on the oil and add more if needed vs. adding too much at the beginning and having to start over. I stirred the mixture around twice a day for 5 days to make sure that the oil was completely absorbed. You may need more or less time, depending on what part of the country you live in. It is important to make sure that the mixture is completely dry before you add it to your envelopes, because otherwise you run the risk of the mixture staining the envelope and whatever material is sitting under or next to the sachet. Carla added 2 Tbsp. of filling to each standard A2 sized envelope; you would add much less if using a 3 x 3 envelope.

Making your own filling is definitely more cost effective if you are making a large amount of the sachets, but it is not without it’s inconveniences. You need to allow enough time on the front end to order and receive the bedding and oil, as well as the time to prepare and allow the filling to dry. Also, given the size of the bag of bedding that is available, you are going to have left-over bedding and filling, if you use a 3 x 3 envelope. You would have to consider all of these factors when planning out your project.

Thanks for spending some time with me today. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

Hearts and Envelopes

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I want to show you how to make a small gift bag that would be perfect for packaging Valentine’s treats. The best part about this bag is that it starts with a common household product. It’s called a bag-a-lope, and, while it’s not a fancy name, it’s certainly very descriptive of the end result. A bag-a-lope is simply a bag made out of an envelope. I learned how to make one at my very first stamping class, and I recently came across the printed instructions I received at that class. It’s relatively simple to make; it doesn’t require a lot of supplies; and it’s a good idea to have in your back pocket should you have an unexpected need for a small gift bag!

Let me walk you through the basic construction first, and then I will show you the bag-a-lopes I made for Valentine’s Day this year.

You can make a bag-a-lope from any envelope. Most of us have both standard and legal sized envelopes around, and I am going to show you the basic construction using a legal sized envelope. You can use a standard envelope, but it ends up being a tall, narrow bag, so it isn’t as versatile. When you use a legal sized envelope, you actually cut it in half, giving you two bags that are the perfect size for small gifts.

The first thing you want to do is seal your envelope at the top, end to end.

Now cut the envelope in half. Each half will measure basically 4″ x 4 3/4″. The next step is the most important one:

With the open end at the top, fold in or score the two long sides and the bottom at the same measurement. For most bag-a-lopes, the fold measurement is 1/2″ or 3/4″. There is no set measurement–it really depends on the size of your envelope and how large an opening you need or want for your bag. If you use a larger mailing envelope, you might end up folding each side in an inch or more. The important thing to remember is to have all three fold measurements consistent. In this example, I have scored all three sides in at 1/2″. Make sure that you press each fold line both towards the font and towards the back of the bag to really set those lines.

Once you have your fold lines made, you can decorate your bag between the side and bottom folds, which is indicated by the cardstock. If you are going to cover the entire space between the fold lines with paper, then use the side with the seam in it. If you are going to stamp, or just use a small tag or embellishment on the front, then use the side without the seam.

Once you have decorated your bag, it’s now time to start to open it up. Start at the top of one of the long sides, and gently begin to open up the envelope as you work your way down to the bottom. Once you get close to the bottom, you will begin to see a triangle form. Gently push up from the bottom of the bag while you finish opening up the side to help with the triangle formation. Do the same for the other long side of the envelope.

When both sides of the envelope are open, your bag should look like this. Stand the bag up flat, and give those triangles a good press. Then put adhesive on the underside of the point of the triangle, and adhere the triangles to the bottom of the bag. I like to use glue dots for my adhesive.

And that’s it! From one legal sized envelope, you just made two small gift bags that each measure 3 1/8″ x 4 3/4″, and are 1″ wide. These bags are the perfect size for small gifts or treats. You can finish the bag any way you like–I’ve shown you two different options in the picture above. You could add a ribbon handle by punching holes on either side of the bag, and tying knots in the ribbon on the inside of the bag. This would allow you to deliver a treat to someone’s house by hanging the bag on the front door handle. The other option is to tie up the treats in a separate bag, add a tag, and place the treat bag inside of the bag-a-lope. The sky is the limit, and the wonderful things is that these bag-a-lopes are very versatile and adaptable to a variety of needs.

Now that you have a general idea of what a bag-a-lope is and how to make one, I want to show you a set of Valentine bag-a-lopes I made this week. I love to give my kids something homemade and handmade on the holidays; especially Valentine’s Day. We are meeting both of our kids tomorrow for separate, Covid-approved visits, and I wanted to bring them a little something special that they can put at the table on Valentine’s Day.

I bought this Valentines kit from Stampin’ Up! last month that includes notecards in 2 designs; layering cards in both the landscape and portrait orientations; and gold foil lined envelopes in 2 different patterns. The more I looked at this kit, the more I decided that I wouldn’t use it as it was designed. So I decided to “de-construct” the kit and use the contents to decorate some bag-a-lopes that were more my style. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I was a little timid at first cutting all of these cards up. Once I had my first bag done, however, I just let my creative juices flow, and the ideas came faster than I could create them! I used a standard A2 card envelope for my bags, as I wanted them to be solid white inside. The envelope measures 4 3/8″ x 5 3/4″. I cut 3/4″ off one side for the opening, and scored the other three sides at 3/4″. Here’s what I came up with:

I told you that I de-constructed the kit! I used every element in the kit in some way, and, along with other Valentine stamp sets, punches, and dies that I had, I was able to come up with six different bag designs that have the personality and charm that I love. Not even the envelopes were spared. It’s a lot to take in looking at all of them together, so here are some pictures of smaller groupings for you:

I had a wonderful time making and decorating these bag-a-lopes, and I can’t wait to give them to our kids! I am hoping that they will put these on their tables, so that they have a little treat to go along with their Valentine’s Day dinner. I will do the same for my husband and I. Here’s a picture of the bags all filled, along with a picture of how one of the bags will look on our table:

That’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed today’s treat packaging idea, and that you’ll give making a bag-a-lope a try. Stay safe and healthy, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part IV

I am down to designing the last 5 tags for this final bag style:

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The inspiration for this tag came from a Christmas ornament that I gave my husband several years ago. He has worked in corporate finance his entire career, and when I saw this ornament, I knew I had to get it for him. It is actually hanging above the towel hooks in our powder room, and, each time I look at it, I am reminded that I have always wanted to design a card or tag based on the concept:

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I think this is such a clever ornament, and I just love the play on words! I wanted each of my tags to feature an iconic, summer image, and surfboards definitely fit the bill.  The more I thought about the basic concept; the more I could picture the beginnings of a tag design in my mind. Since I have always wanted to re-create this idea, and since there is no time like the present, I decided to jump in and see what I could come up with. I can’t wait to show you how this tag turned out!

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I don’t own any surfboard stamps, so, just like with the flip flops, I found a template on line and reduced the scale to fit the tag base. The basic idea I had was to have 3 surfboards leaning up against a palm tree, so here is how I set the scene:

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The illusions of sand and water were created by sponging the inks directly onto the white background. The design was beginning to come together, but the pink board was too dark, and the surfboards look like fish. They needed definition and embellishment!

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Much better! Now all I needed was the lettering, and this is where I struggled. I had two options for the lettering stamps I chose to work with: I could either have white letters on ink squares

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or brown letters on colored card stock

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The original idea I had in my mind was to use the brown ink blocks with the white lettering, but when I laid it all out, I began to second guess myself. So I spent three days stamping all of the options pictured above, and, in the end, it came down to either the brown ink squares with the white lettering, or the brown letters on the pink card stock. I was really trying to stay away from using a lot of pink, so, after all of this time and effort, I circled back around to my initial choice.

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I glued the individual letter squares onto a card stock strip to keep them straight.

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And here it is; my finished tag. May I introduce you to my version of a summer “board meeting?! This tag took a lot of time, and trial and error, but I am really happy that I stuck with it. I love the final result, and I think this would be a fun tag to use for a summer company gathering. You’ll notice that I attached the tag with a mini clothespin rather than tying it on. After all of the time and effort I put in to this tag, I just couldn’t bare to punch a hole in it!

I’ve come to the end of my summer gift tag challenge, and I have designed and created 20 tags in a little over 2 weeks. Here’s a look at each individual tag:

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I set out to make bright, colorful tags featuring iconic summer images that coordinated with the 4 different bag styles that I found in my “stash”. I definitely think I accomplished my goal, and, as a result,  I have a basket full of fun tags to use throughout this season.

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Do you have a favorite? Each tag is so different from the others, and I did that on purpose–I wanted to end up with a fun assortment of choices that would work for a variety of recipients and gatherings.

I have mixed feelings about this challenge coming to an end–on the one hand, I have thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating these tags, but, on the other hand, I could use some time to restore a sense of order to my craft room. It’s a situation! Thank you for spending this time with me, and I hope we can continue to get together more often this summer. Until next time, take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part III

Today I will be focusing on creating a tag for the solid teal bag:

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and this tag is inspired by a trip my husband and I took to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park this past weekend. As you stand atop the summit of Cadillac Mountain, you have a panoramic view of Southwest Harbor and the Atlantic ocean. The boats in the harbor and out on the water look like small white specks from the mountain top. My pictures certainly don’t do the views justice, but you can at least get a sense of the scale of the harbor below:

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I love seeing the sailboats out on the water, so today’s tag will feature a sailboat and also a more neutral color scheme. The following pictures will show how this tag came together from start:

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to finish.

Since my other two tags have trended more to the feminine side, I wanted to mix things up and create something that is more masculine and versatile. The sailboat image; the stars; and the nautical color scheme all work together to accomplish this goal. The sailboat fits really well on the oval shape of this tag, but I needed to fill in a lot of white space around it. Splitting up the sentiment into separate words is a great technique to take up some of the extra white space.

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Looking at this picture, I am amazed at how this tag totally transforms the feel of this gift–the bag color by itself is definitely feminine, and yet when combined with the tag and plain tissue paper, it takes on a more neutral appearance which would be suitable for any recipient.

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I am 3/4ths of the way through this challenge–15 tags made; 5 tags to go. I am just “sailing right along” with these tags (I apologize–I couldn’t help myself!) and my basket is filling up nicely. I hope you’ll check back for the final part of this series, as, in my opinion, I have saved the best for last! Have a great week, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat, and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part II

As a quick recap–I found some gift bags in my craft room two weeks ago, and I have challenged myself to make summer gift tags for each of the four different bag styles. In Part I of this series, I made a tag to go with the polka dot teal bag:

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and today, in Part II of this series, I will be designing a tag for the solid pink bag:

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I want this tag to be bright and fun, so that it stands out against the solid background of the bag. In thinking about that goal, colorful flip flops came to mind, so that became the starting point for this tag. I played around with the flip flop stamps that I have, but I just couldn’t come up with a pattern that I liked. So, I abandoned the stamps and found a flip flop template on line. As my Mom used to say: “Sometimes you don’t try harder; you try different”. I will now let my pictures tell the story of my design process from start:

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to finish.

Once I had the template enlarged to my satisfaction, I cut the flip flop bases out of three different patterned papers. The patterned paper isn’t as sturdy as regular card stock, so I backed each tag with white card stock for extra stability. When I looked at the tag bases together, the navy ones were too dark, so I made additional lime green and teal flip flops to bring the total back to 6. Once I added the flowers and the sentiment, these flip flops really came to life. These tags are bright; they are fun; and they are the perfect summer decoration for these pink gift bags! They are nothing like I had pictured, but exactly what I had wanted to accomplish!

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Fun tags can’t be attached to the bags just any ole’ way, so I used the dog tag chains instead of bakers twine or clothespins. I got the idea from a new pair of shoes I purchased this past weekend. There was a key chain attached to one of the shoes with this type of chain. Inspiration is everywhere!

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I am halfway through this challenge, and my basket is half full with these colorful, summer gift tags.  They just make me smile! Stay tuned for Part III, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part I

Look what I found as I was going through my craft room last week–

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Talk about charming gift bags! Just look at those colors; and those scallops; and those polka dots!  I am just as excited seeing them now, as I was when I purchased them last spring. The bags came packaged in sets of 10 for each color, so I have a total of 20 bags. The colors are so bright and happy, and I can just picture how cute they would look for summer gifts. BUT….. gift bags need tags. I need to make some tags.

I have issued myself a challenge to make 5 tags for each of the 4 different bags over the next several weeks, and I will be posting my tag designs and finished projects for you to see. I can’t wait to get started, as these bags are too cute to spend another summer in a bin!

I chose to start with the tag for the polka dot teal bag, as this is my favorite, hands down! My goal is to create a tag that is bright and playful, like the bag itself. I’m going to try something new and different today by just letting the pictures take you through my design process from start:

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to finish.

I’m really happy with how this tag turned out, and I definitely think I accomplished my goal of creating a bright, playful tag. I wasn’t sure if I would use the black and white paper on the tag base, but I’m really glad I did. I think all of the black elements help ground the tag, and provide a nice contrast against the bag color. I hadn’t planned on adding anything to the middle of the flowers, but I didn’t like how they looked with open centers on the tag.

The more I looked at this tag, however, the white space bothered me, so I tried adding the center dots from die-cutting the flowers around the tag.

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Wow–I can’t believe the difference these 3 little cardstock dots make! Not only do they help fill in some of the white space, but they also mimic the polka dots on the bag. I know I have said it before, and I’m going to say it again now–paper crafting is all about trial and error, and you should never be afraid to experiment with your ideas.  You never know when you might end up with a happy little discovery, like I did today.

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5 tags down; 15 to go.

Before I close for today, I have one more picture for you of one of these bags all dressed up and ready to use for a gift:

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It’s true what they say–it’s all about the packaging!

I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. I will be back with another tag design soon, so stay tuned.  Take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

Paper Plate Make-Over

Yesterday I found myself in need of packaging for Christmas cookies in a hurry, and all I had was a white paper plate. I wanted to quickly pass along how I transformed the plate, in case you might find yourself in a similar situation. I gathered a few supplies:

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and gave this paper plate a Christmas make-over. In less than 15 minutes I turned this plain plate

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into a charming plate fit for my Christmas cookies!

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I simply punched holes every 1 1/2 inches around the rim of the plate; wove the ribbon in and out of the holes; made a bow; tied a jingle bell onto the bow; added the holly leaves, and ended up with a sweet, festive cookie plate. Just make sure that you punch an even number of holes, so that the ribbon ends up on the back of the plate on the final hole. I started with about 45″ of ribbon and tied the two ribbon tails in a knot on the underside of the plate when I was done weaving. Trim the ends of the tails close so that they don’t show.

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I actually am so pleased with how this turned out that I think this will become my packaging for baked goods going forward. Necessity really is the mother of invention in this case! My mind is already thinking about different variations of this idea, but, that’s for next year…..

The official countdown before Christmas has begun. Good luck with your final preparations. I wish you all a very merry and magical Christmas, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy May Day!

Welcome back to my second post for today!

I know that May Day isn’t celebrated as it was when I was growing up, but I have such fond memories of making and delivering baskets to my friends’ doorsteps that I have decided to keep the tradition alive for my own enjoyment.

If you’re not familiar with the tradition of May Day baskets, I go into quite a bit of detail in my very first blog post here so I won’t repeat myself now. Instead, I’d like to get right into this year’s project. Since the treats set the tone for the entire theme, I’m going to start there and end with the basket.

I chose to make sugar cookies for my treats this year, but not just any sugar cookie–I made Swig Sugar Cookies. Have you heard of them? I saw the recipe several years ago on a blog I follow, and I have been wanting to find a time to make them ever since. These cookies were started by a bakery in St. George, Utah and are reported to be the best sugar cookie known to man. It’s said that the magic of these cookies is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is at room temperature. What intrigued me the most is the cookie’s shape–it reminds me of a flower and with the pale pink frosting, I  think they are really pretty.

After you make the dough, you roll it into balls. Then you dip the bottom of a glass into some sugar and flatten out each ball, which gives each cookie it’s signature shape and creates a well for the frosting.

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Even after baking, the cookies retain their shape:

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The frosting is tinted with one drop of red food coloring, and I just love the pale pink color. Don’t you just love how the cookies look once they are frosted?

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I think they are such pretty cookies, and they really do look like flowers. Now that I had the cookies made, it was time to focus on the basket.

I already knew what basket I was going to make, as I had saved the directions to a basket I had seen online several months ago. I thought it would be the perfect size for my cookies. I spent quite a bit of time picking out the colors and the designer paper for this basket, as it was important that the basket be as pretty and sweet as the cookies were. I ended up using the same patterned paper that was used in the online tutorial, as the floral pattern and the colors matched the cookies perfectly.

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The basic basket is a 4 x 4 box with 3/4″ flaps on all sides. The fun part comes when you add on 1″ strips of paper going both directions.

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The ends of the strips get attached just underneath the top flaps and create these arched slats. Here is a front and side view of the slats:

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Once you have all of the paper strips attached at the top, you fold the flaps down.

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All that was left to do was add the handle, which I edged on both sides with lace for some added charm.

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I kept the tag simple, so that the basket shape and colors could really stand out.

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Ta da–I present to you my May Day basket for 2016! I love the shape and details of this basket, and I think it’s the perfect basket to hold my sugar cookie treats. Here’s what it looked like with the cookies inside:

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The sugar cookie recipe makes a lot of cookies–71 to be exact–so I still have a lot of cookies left over. As an additional surprise, I have another packaging idea for cookies for you that doesn’t involve a handmade basket.

I decided to make a paper backing for the cookies that would hold the cookies in place inside a cellophane bag. This type of packaging would work for any occasion and for any size of cookie. I simply measured the height and width of my cookie, and cut a piece of white paper that was 2 1/2″ longer and just as wide as my cookie. My cookies were 3 x 3, so my paper was 5 1/2″ x 3. I scored the bottom at 1/2″ and 1 1/2″. Once the paper is folded on those score lines, it will create a cradle for the cookies. I decorated my paper backing with stamped flowers in pastel colors, made a tag by stamping a small doily with coordinating images, and this is what the final set looked like:

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I’m sure this all makes more sense, now that you have a visual! I took a picture of the cookies sitting the backing before I package them up, as the glare from the cellophane bag makes it difficult to see everything clearly.

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You can see that I added a piece of patterned paper to the bottom flap of the backing, as otherwise it would have been white.

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You could make this packaging even simpler by using patterned paper for the backing instead of stamping designs of plain paper.

Before I close, I thought I would pass along the links for the cookie recipe and the basket pattern in case you are interested to try either or both yourself.

Well, this has been quite a day here at “Made By The C”! An anniversary and May Day, all in the same day! I hope you’ve enjoyed my projects today, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-