one woman's view into a world of creativity

Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Christmas Light Splendor

I’ve gone to see the downtown Caldwell Christmas light display several times now.  One of those times we brought my dad’s nice camera and took some pictures.  I found myself often drawn more toward the light reflections in Indian Creek than the actual lights themselves.  I loved how the colors of the lights were drawn down into the water, where they shone with brilliance and blended together like the Aurora Borealis.


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Father’s Day Card

This year I finally got a head start on Father’s Day, and ended up with enough time to construct a home-made card.  I really liked how it turned out, and wanted to share the how-to with others who might wish to adapt it for their own card creating. 

I started out with the desire to use some of my security envelope tints in a craft, and use them for inspiration and materials.  I have a lot of black and white envelope patterns, so I started with a black and white color scheme. 

  1. Start with a collection of envelope security tints/patterns.  You know, the patterned interiors of envelopes like bank statements. (I wanted to create something from my saved patterns, for sustainability purposes, but any decorative paper will do.  If you have scrapbooking paper you could select fun papers to go with you theme.  For example, baby themed decorative papers for a baby shower card.)
  2. Then select a few photos related to your card.  For my purposes, I chose childhood pictures of my dad and I.
  3. Scan the photos and change them to grayscale.  Print small versions of the grayscale photos, about business card size.
    (If you decided to use different colored security tints, you could filter the photo colors to match.  For example, make the photos monochromatic blue value to match blue envelope patterns.)
  4. Take a piece of cardstock or other heavy paper and fold it in half, hamburger style, for the base of your card.
  5. Sketch out a geometric design on the card with pencil, making sure to a few rectangles the same size as your selected photos.  The photos should be placed in a pleasing composition with spaces for patterns in between, so you might find it helpful to lay out the photos first, and then sketch lines around them.  This geometric design should look something like a quilt or a stained-glass window.
  6. Paste your grayscale photos into their spots with a glue stick.
  7. Begin cutting your envelope patterns into rectangles corresponding to the spaces you sketched out before.  It’s ok if they don’t fit exactly, because the pencil lines will be covered as long as the pieces butt-up against each other.  I used a paper-cutter for convenient and precise straight edges.  For aesthetic purposes, try to choose places for your patterns in such a way that none of the same patterns touch.
  8. Glue the pattern squares into place, trimming where necessary.  Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect, so long as the gaps are less than a quarter of an inch.

    When your photos and pattern squares are all glued down, it should look something like this.

  9. Then take a piece of black construction paper and cut thin strips of the same width.  I found 1/4 inch to be a good size for my purposes.  These will become the borders between your squares.
  10. Cut your black paper strips to size so that they fit along all the borders of the card and where pattern squares meet.  Trim as needed and glue them down to finish your design, making sure to cover any gaps between the rectangles.
  11. If you haven’t yet, you can repeat the process on the back of the card, though this is optional.

    My finished card laid open and flat to show the front and back and how they mesh.

  12. Finish with a personalized message on the inside.  For mine I wrote a Fathers Day message.

Belated happy Father’s Day to everyone! 

The finished Father's Day card, viewed from the front.

Decorated Easter Eggs

Some of my favorite craft bloggers have been sharing their Easter egg decorating ideas lately (Alisa Burke post 1, post 2, and post 3, and Aunt Peaches  post 1 and post 2 ), so I felt like sharing my own collection of hand-decorated Easter eggs.  Decorating Easter eggs is a tradition my mother and I started, and we try to work together on a few eggs every year.  It’s a wonderful way to exercise our creative energies and spend quality time together.  There are so many fun options for paint, ribbon, glitter, sequins, fabric, decoupage and more!  Because we blow the contents out of the shells first, the eggs will not go bad and can be cherished for years.

We’ve been decorating eggs for a number of years now.  I can’t remember exactly when we first started.  We keep our eggs together in a basket that we bring out for decoration around Easter time.  I photographed the eggs of previous years as well as some of those we created this year.  I hope you enjoy the slideshow:

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If you’d like to create your own Easter eggs like this, first you have to blow out the yolk and white.  You may find this video helpful, or these instructions, or you can follow my directions, which vary slightly.

You’ll need:
  • 1 egg (or more)
  • a marker
  • a large needle or similar pointed tool
  • a bowl, preferably one with a sealable lid
  • paper towels
  • sanitizing spray or wipes 

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  1. First, mark the poles of the egg with a marker, top and bottom.
  2. Shake the egg vigorously in your hand (but be careful not to let it slip and fly!)  This helps break up the inner membrane structure of the egg, allowing the yolk to escape later more easily. 
  3. Then using a sharp object like a large needle, poke a hole through the shell, using the mark to guide you.  I used a sculpting tool with a pointed end to do this.  Be careful not to grip the egg too hard, lest you shatter it.  (Drills can be used for larger eggs.)
  4. Once you’ve pierced the shell, gently work the tool in a circular motion to wear away the shell, chipping and widening the opening. 
  5. Repeat on the opposite end, making sure the end of the egg has a slightly larger opening.
  6. Then hold the egg over the bowl.  I’ve found it’s easier to empty the contents of the egg when the larger pole of the egg is facing down, closer to the bowl.  (If you use Tupperware, you can save the egg yolk and white in the fridge for an omelette later.  The video tutorial says otherwise, but I think this is debatable.)
  7. At this point you may choose to clean the end of the egg, press your lips to the shell, and blow out the contents, or you may opt for a safer option(salmonella risk) and use a medicine syringe or straw to blow the egg out.  Whatever method you use, be sure to blow all of the egg out.  If you’re struggling to empty the egg, make sure you completed step 2, or consider widening the holes on the poles of your egg.
  8. Once you’ve blown all the innards of the egg out, I recommend sitting it on a paper towel in a vertical position for a few hours, so that any remaining residue may run out the bottom end.  This prevents issues later on.

I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures and make a nice tutorial.  I hope the included video and instructional website will suffice.  If you have questions, feel free to write them in the comment box below.

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