“Charming” Wine Bottle Tag

It’s “Barbecue Week” here at Made by the C. With summer in full swing, and Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to design some projects with backyard barbecues in mind. Between today and next Tuesday, I will be featuring three different ideas of what to make and/or bring to a barbecue, and how to package it up. Whether you are hosting or traveling to a get-together, I hope that you will find some inspiration during this 3-part series.

It’s always nice to bring a hostess gift in addition to your food contribution to a get-together, and you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of wine. So, for my first project, I designed a unique wine bottle tag that will set your bottle apart from others. After all, you know what they say, “It’s all in the packaging”!

I’m going to be using the very first stamp set I ever bought on this tag. I know I’m going to be dating myself, but I purchased this set back in 2005. It’s long since been retired, but it is still one of my favorite sets and I look forward to using it every summer.

Wine Tag supplies_1.jpg

The images are perfect for barbecue- themed projects, and I have never seen another set with images as versatile as these since then.

As you can see in the picture above, I chose a red, white, and blue color scheme, and I made 4 different oven mitts, which will become the stars of this tag.

Wine Tag start_1

With the top part of the tag completed, it’s now time to focus on turning these 4 oven mitts into wine charms, which will get attached to the middle part of the tag. I took hoop earring wires that I purchased at my local craft store, along with a few additional supplies, and turned them into wine charms.

Wine Charm supplies_1.jpg

The one thing that I discovered is that you need to use a jump ring to attach the oven mitt to the hoop earring wire, in order to get the mitt to lay flat.

Wine Charm Ties_1.jpg

Once all four wine charms were completed, it was time to finish up the tag. I added more gingham paper to the bottom of the tag, and threaded some white baker’s twine through some punched holes. I tied the wine charms on to the tag with the twine, wrapped some coordinating paper around the wine bottle, and my project was done.

Final Wine Tag_1.jpg

I am in love with how this turned out! The tag with the wine charms would make a great gift by itself, but put it on a bottle of wine, and you are sure to impress your hostess! This tag would make even a cheap bottle of wine look like a million bucks. It truly is all in the packaging!

Thanks for stopping by today, and make sure that you come by on Friday for part two of this series. Enjoy the rest of your week, and, as always, remember:

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

-C

 

Mason Mondays

It’s no secret–I LOVE mason jars! I love their shape and the color of the vintage aqua jars.  They are incredibly versatile, and can be used for many different functions and purposes. I have used them all throughout my house, and in each instance, they serve a specific need.  For example:

Mason jars on window ledge_1.jpg

I am using these jars in my pantry to provide a splash of color.

Mason jar vase_1.jpg

This jar in my kitchen is doubling as a vase,

Mason jar home decor_1.jpg

while the painted jar in my living room,

Mason jar craft room decor_1.jpg

as well as these jars in my craft room have been re-purposed as home decor.

Mason jars work really well for craft projects. Since I tend to use them often, I am starting a new series here on my blog entitled “Mason Mondays” to highlight my posts using these jars. Anytime I feature a mason jar in my project design or packaging, I will post it on a Monday under the “Mason Mondays” heading.

Today is the first post in this series, as I used the 4 oz. mason jars for my husband’s Father’s Day dessert. He loves Key Lime Pie, and when I found this recipe for Key Lime Pie Cups, I knew these would be the perfect ending to his Father’s Day meal.

You start out by filling each jar with a graham cracker crumb mixture,

Graham cracker crust layer_1.jpg

followed by the key lime filling.

Key lime filling_1.jpg

The filling gets topped with Cool Whip and graham cracker crumbs, and then the cups need to refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Ready to refrigerate_1.jpg

Just before serving, place a lime wedge on each cup.

Dressed up and ready to serve_1.jpg

All I needed to do now was put each Key Lime Pie cup on a dessert plate and pour the coffee. My husband could hardly wait to dig in!

Served and ready to eat_1.jpg

Look how sweet each dessert looks in the 4 oz. mason jars! And it tasted just as good as it looked–I love it when that happens! It was very light and refreshing–a perfect summertime treat. My husband had 2 servings, so I think we can call this recipe a success! Check, check, and check!

I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. 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-

 

 

 

One In A “Melon”

Watermelon; sweet watermelon. It’s so cool and refreshing on a hot, summer’s day. Not only is it a staple at most summer gatherings, but it also seems to be a popular theme and trend this season. I am seeing watermelon images everywhere, from paper products to craft projects. Case in point, I saw this display at my local grocery store several weeks ago:Watermelon display

Stampin’ Up! has even gotten in on the trend–one of the new colors that they introduced in June is called Watermelon Wonder. This has sparked a multitude of watermelon-themed projects, including this mini treat bag designed by Cindy Schuster. I thought it was so sweet and clever that I needed to make one for myself. I used the same basic elements that Cindy did, but I changed the design slightly to make it my own.

my version of bag_1

The paper is double-sided, and the striped pattern on the inside breaks up the solid color and adds a lot of interest and charm to the bag. And look at that beautiful lace trim! The color and pattern are very elegant, and yet is takes on a casual, fun appearance in this instance. I made the seeds using a heart paper punch, just as Cindy explains in her blog post. It is such a creative idea!

I decided to turn my project into a thank you note, so instead of enclosing a treat, I made a notecard to slip inside.

bag with notecard_1

I love having the flexibility to use a product in more than one way, and, in fact, versatility is one of the main factors I consider before purchasing a stamping product. I have to know that I’m going to be able to get more bang for my buck before I’ll buy something. I knew that the mini treat bag die by Stampin’ Up! passed my versatility test when I learned that it can fit inside a standard-sized envelope (5 3/4″ x 4 3/8″). It’s one thing to know that you can create cute projects like this, but to know that you can mail them too–that just put’s it over the top, in my opinion! Who wouldn’t want to receive one of these bags in the mail!

bag in standard envelope_1As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, watermelon seems to be a popular theme for this summer. Besides seeing some interesting projects,  I’ve also found some recipes that I’d like to try. First on my list is The Pioneer Woman’s Watermelon Pico de Gallo (salsa). For all of the other watermelon recipes, products, and projects I’ve discovered, please check out my Pinterest board.

Thanks a “melon” for stopping by today, and, as always, remember:

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

-C

 

 

 

Vintage Summer Notecards

I’ve discovered that I make a lot of things in sets. I like sets. I like that there are multiple items in the grouping, and that everything coordinates together. One project that I love to create for each current season is a notecard set. It’s so handy to be able to grab one when the need arises, and the size is perfect for a short, handwritten message. I do so little writing by hand that filling up a notecard is about all I can do before my hand starts to cramp.

But, I digress. I want to show you my Summer 2015 notecard set:

notecard set_1

I designed the notecard fronts to look like vintage postcards using a few of my favorite summer-themed images and sentiments. Developing and creating a vintage look is a multi-step process, and I’d like to highlight and explain each step in more detail by taking one of the postcard images from start to finish.

Step #1--stamping_1

The ultimate goal is to create an image that looks yellowed, worn and faded, so choosing the right paper, ink color, and image is key. Cream card stock is ideal, as it gives off an aged appearance just because of the yellow tint to the paper. Choosing a muted ink color helps add to that aged, faded appearance, and the ink color will dull even more when stamped on the cream card stock. The image you choose should be classic and timeless, as it lends credibility to the likelihood that it could be old or vintage. On a side note, you may recognize the sentiment used on this postcard design–it’s the sentiment I use in closing each of my blog posts. It came in a stamp set that I purchased back in 2008. I fell in love with the phrase the first time I read it, and when I started my blog, I knew it would be the perfect ending to my posts.

Once you have your images stamped, the next step is to create the illusion of age by sponging the edges of the paper.

sponging_1

It’s amazing how something as simple as sponging the edges of the paper can add so much. I chose to sponge the edges with the same color that I used for the wording, as I wanted it to blend in, rather than detract from the main image.

Our vintage card is getting there, but it needs some contrast and something to take up the blank space at the bottom.

postmarks_1

I added the cancelled stamp image in the upper right corner, and the airmail stripe along the bottom in black, and that’s just what this card needed. I stamped each image on paper once before stamping it on the card to get the faded black color.

The final steps included distressing the edges of the paper with my fingernail to give it a “beat up” look, tearing the edges in a few spots, and mounting it onto a card base. Here is the final result:

distressing & mounting_1

Now that you know what went in to creating this look, you have a better appreciation for the end product. I have devoted many the hour to mastering this vintage look, and it’s like anything else, once you understand the how’s and why’s of the process, you have a greater chance of success.

Enjoy the rest of your day, and, as always, remember:

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

-C

Preparing for Impromptu

Hi everyone! I’m excited about this post, as it is the first in my month long series “Summer by the C”. I am finally on school vacation, which means that I will have more time for creating and sharing my paper-crafting adventures. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but school just ended here June 29th, due to all of the snow days we had to take this past winter. It’s strange to think that for some parts of the country July 4th marks the half-way point of  summer vacation, and yet for us, it’s just the beginning.

Enough about winter–I’d rather focus on summer and getting prepared for impromptu. Now I can see you shaking your head, and I can hear you saying “Cyndi, preparing for impromptu is an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. If you prepare for something, then it’s not considered impromptu.” I agree with you 100%, but whether it makes sense or not, I am a person who enjoys impromptu more if I’m somewhat prepared.

And the impromptu occasion I’m talking about today is the spur-of-the-moment meal that happens when friends and/or family just drop in. These casual meals are more apt to happen in the summer, and it’s one of my favorite parts about this season. I’ve learned over the years what foods to keep on hand, so that I’m not caught off guard, but one area I could use improvement in is the last minute dash to find the plastic silverware and get napkins on the table. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to eliminate this stress by making some plastic silverware holders that are stocked and ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.

Early in my search for utensil holder patterns this past weekend, I ran across a video of Stampin’ Up!’s interim CEO, Sara Douglass, on a local morning TV show. She was showcasing coordinated party supplies made with some new products that were released June 1st, and one of the highlighted supplies was a utensil holder.  Sara had some great ideas and instructions, so I am sharing the website and video with you here. The utensil holders are made from paper gift bags and patterned strips of paper. I gathered my supplies, and went to work:Supplies_1

I chose a color scheme of blue and yellow, and these cute polka dot gift bags.  I also had purchased some starfish to use as part of the embellishments. I followed Sara’s directions, and here’s what my utensil holder looked like after cutting the slits, and covering the flap with the decorative paper:

Flap cut with paper_1

Now all that was left was to embellish the bag, and fill it with silverware and a napkin.  That sounds relatively simple and quick, but I really struggled with this step.  I had envisioned using some linen thread and the starfish as the embellishments, but I just couldn’t seem to make them work.  Let me show you what I mean:

Linen thread and shell #1_1

Linen thread and shell #2_1

The linen thread didn’t look right; it just wasn’t ” beefy” enough. The starfish didn’t look right, either, and I was concerned that it was too fragile for this project.  So, I scrapped both of these embellishments, and walked away from the project for awhile.  I was opening up the mail last night after dinner, and, after looking at the envelope flap, it occurred to me that part of my issue with the bags might be the shape of the panel.

I started fresh this morning, and I had so much fun. I changed the shape of the panel, and that made all the difference.  Here is my final design:

Final design_1

I kept the embellishments simple, and yet the button and twine bow add so much charm.  I love the font of the sentiment on the tag. It’s hard to see it clearly in this picture; here’s a close-up:

label close-up

I love the tiny little blue star on the label!

I don’t know what color I like more; the blue or the yellow. Do you have a favorite?

both blue and yellow designs_1

I couldn’t wait to fill the holders with silverware and napkins!

filled with silverware_1

Remember the starfish? I hot glued some twine to a metal bucket, and glued them on top of the twine. It’s a perfect bucket for the silverware holders.

ready in metal bucket_1

side view_1

So bring on the spur-of-the-moment meals, as my silverware holders are stocked and ready. I know these will make a big difference for me. I love being prepared for impromptu!

Be sure to check back for more “Summer by the C” posts, and, as always, remember:

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

-C