Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY Wall/Staircase of Lights

Wow! Christmas is just less than a month away! Can you believe it?!?  

I hate to admit this but I have had my house all decorated a week after Halloween was over. I just think It comes and goes too quickly and if I'm going to put all this effort into transforming my house... I would like to enjoy it as long as possible!

Today I want to share with you all one of my favourite Christmas traditions... Ok, well I only started doing it last year, but I loved it so much I had to do it again this year. Check out my staircase, all lit up... isn't it gorgeous!

A few years ago we bought one of those pre lit trees... so then I was left with all these ropes of mini lights that just sat in a box from our old tree. Then one day while I was doing some Christmas shopping (about 2 years ago) I saw a wall of these Christmas lights in the mall and that's when I though about doing this idea on my staircase. What a simple way to brighten up any space in your home for the holidays! The impact it makes is stunning.... I absolutely love it!

So easy to do to, here is how I did it...

  • First you need to figure out were your power source will come from. Since I didn't want it at the bottom of my stairs where people might trip over the cords, I began upstairs. I have a plug on my upstairs wall that I attached an extension cord to and just pulled it to the railing. 
  • Then I secured the extension cord and wrapped it until the connector was right at the corner of the staircase. 
  • Starting at the top of my stair case I slowly dropped the rope of lights until it reached the bottom. 
  • Ensuring that the lights were straight, I then secured the wire to the banister with some twist ties.
  • I then stretched the wire over the bottom of the floor railing and tied the wire to the next banister, skipping one in between. 
  • Then just continued this process up and down the stairs, attaching the next set of lights when the cord got to the end. I used about 6 sets of mini lights. 
  • To cover up the wiring I then used garland on the top part of the railing and at the bottom along the floor. 
  • So that I never have to worry about turning it on and off I simply just put it on a wall timer! 
Easy right?

Here is a view from the other side. It totally lights up the whole front of our house! And there are our stocking... we have a flat front fireplace, kind of hard hanging our stockings on there, so here is where they hang!

Finally here is our tree all lit up... Can you tell I love brown? Not very traditional... it's all decorated in brown and gold. I just love it! 

Hope you liked my wall (staircase) of lights and maybe it has inspired you to make your own! What is your favourite Christmas house decoration?

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DIY Xmas Trees

Last week while I was out shopping with my mom, we kept seeing the most beautiful Christmas trees in the stores. There was a particular tree that caught my mom's eye. It was covered in gold glitter and beads. So I told her that I could probably make her one.
Fast forward a week and voila... not only did I make her one, but I also made a forest! Aren't they so pretty? I love the feathered ones, can you tell? LOL

Here are a few pictures I took along the way. 

  1. Using a poster size cardboard, make a tight cone. Start by rolling a small cone in the corner and continue rolling the paper until you achieve the cone width and height you like. 
  2. Hot glue the edge.
  3. Cut off the excess paper until the cone is sitting nice and level.
  4. For the feathered tree, start gluing the feathers on the bottom and work your way up the cone.
  5. For the glittered tree, I first made a shaving cream and glue mix to add texture to my glitter tree. (one part shaving cream to one part glue. I first saw this technique done here. Thanks, Brigit!
  6. I then painted on this mixture covering the entire surface. 
  7. Sprinkle on the glitter. It helps to have your glitter in a bottle, much easier to control. FYI this tree took about 24 hours to completely dry!
  8. Styrofoam bead tree, I found this package at the dollar store. Emptied it in a bowl.
  9. Using a paintbrush, I painted on my glue and then palmed and pushed the beads on the wet surface with my hand, until the whole cone was completely covered. (let's just say making this one was kind of a nightmare. The Styrofoam static made the beads stick to everything... I had Styrofoam everywhere! But so worth it. I love the results!

So here is my little forest! LOVE the white with touches of gold. Also, I don't think I spent more than $10 on supplies to make these trees... I think my mom is going to love her new trees as much as I do!

Here is a closer look at the "snowball" tree. Don't they look like little snowballs?

Take a look at the "glittered" tree. Love the texture that the shaving cream mix created!

My favorite,  the "feathered" tree! Looks so elegant and yet the easiest tree I made. To tie them all together I topped them all with the same gold bead.

My "wrapped" tree... Again supper easy and cute!

And here are the trees I kept for myself... I just love how they look in my little wall alcove.

I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial today! The possibilities are endless... now go have fun and make your own. I'm sure they won't be the last I make!

Happy crafting and for all my American friends...
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Scrap it Girls - November "Tree" Challenge and with these great blogs!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

DIY Stamp Shadows on the Silhouette! (Part 2)

Now for part two!
In the first part of this tutorial, I showed you how I created my own stamps on the Silhouette. Click here if you missed it! Now, it's time to show you how to create it's shadow. This is the easy part!

I started off by opening up a new window in the Silhouette DSE and copied my image of the stamp I created in part 1. Next, I ungrouped it and deleted the writing, leaving only the outline.

Now it's time to create another offset of the outline. Just like below... I chose 0.1 in offset. Once you've got the offset delete the internal piece of the image.

Fill up your page with as many images as you like. I will only need 5. Check you cut line settings, make sure that your images are not overlapping each other. Since I will be cutting these out of a colored card stock there is no need for the registration marks.

Save your work. I will call this file Christmas stamp shadows... that way I know which part needs to be printed and which part I can just cut out!

So here is the card I made using this stamp! Pretty, isn't it? I love how it turned out and how the stamp goes so well with it! For the rest of the details on this card refer to my previous post, here.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make your own stamps on the Silhouette! Would love to see your creations if you do end up making any!

Happy crafting and stamp designing :)

DIY Stamps on the Silhouette! (Part 1)

This one is for all of my Silhouette using friends! A few days ago I was looking for a stamp to coordinate with a card I was working on and didn't like what I had. I also didn't feel like going out and buying one.... I needed it like NOW! So I had an aha moment.... Why not make one digitally? I figured I had all the tools I needed. So here is how I was able to create my perfect stamp.... The possibilities are endless, and it's was all at my fingertips!

Here is the card I made, the file comes from here. Isn't it pretty??? Look at the stamp! What a perfect match, don't you think?  Wanna see how I made it? Follow my instructions below. Super easy! It just looks lengthy... I probably should have made a video... not a road I want to go down right not.... I'd probably crash! LOL! Ok, back to how I did it...

The first thing I did was go onto Since I was wanting to create a Christmas stamp, I needed Christmas images.  I then searched for holiday fonts or images known as wingdings. Here is the font I chose. The next thing I did was install it onto my computer, that way when I open up the Silhouette program it would automatically show up in the text box. (I chose to use a font/wingding but your possibilities are endless, use any image you have or find on the web!)

Next I opened up my Silhouette Designer Studio Edition. Selected the text box, which brought up the text style box on the right hand side. Scrolled down until I found the font I just installed  (Xmas tfb Christmas)
Because I had no idea of what the images were when each letter was typed I just type the whole alphabet out starting with upper case and then lower case letters.

Here are the images from this font. The next thing I did was change the outline color of the images to black. (I don't know why, but they look more like stamps when they are black)

The next thing I did was select my all my images and ungroup them. Then I chose some of the images I though I would like a stamp of. I'll just focus on a few for this post!

So here are some snowflakes I chose. Now, for some reason the Silhouette software doesn't recognize this font. It will just print blank for you. All you need to do is fill the image in. Yes, it's that simple! Highlight the image and with the fill color option, change the color of the inside of your image. It won't print the outline, not sure why :( . I chose to make my snowflakes blue.

 Now you can get creative... Add other fonts, quotes, re size the images, basically do what ever you like! Here is what I did... (Remember to fill in the color your fonts or else you will end up with the outline of the letters)

Once you arrange you images the way you like, group them together. Next thing I did was select each image and create an off set for them.

Now if you look closely you will notice that if I leave the image this way, when it is sent to the cutter it will cut all the little spaces in between my image. Since I don't want that to happen, I will first highlight the inside image, right click and copy. Then highlight it again and right click and delete the image. (don't worry) You should be left at this point with only an outline. Look something like this...

Now highlight this image and right click and select Release Compound Path. Go ahead and delete all the little pieces from the inside of the image. Like I did below.

Next, highlight the image again, right click and select Paste in Front. That should bring your image back. Note! Very important... DO NOT drag your image of move it on the screen or else it might not line up. Phew!!! I managed to keep it still!  Here's what it should look like now.

Notice that the offset outline is black, if left this way the out line might be visible when you cut it with your machine. I changed the outline in mine by just selecting the outline portion of the image and changing it to a very light grey. Make sure you group the outline now and the image together!

Time to select your cut style. Since I want just the out line cut, I've selected the cut edge option. If you wanted to at this point you could go ahead a send this to your printer. This image is actually too large at this point for my liking, so I will re size it and I would like to make a few more copies. I only want 5, but you can fill so many more on one sheet. I will be printing on an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper. Here is what my sheet looks like.

Now you are ready to send it to your printer and then cut it out with your Silhouette machine. Make sure you save your work. 

If you want to see how I created the shadow cutout for my stamp (blue piece behind the stamp), check out the next post. Part 2 DIY Stamp Shadows on the Silhouette! 

Hope this post was helpful and hopefully not to complicated to follow :) 
Thanks for following and if you like this post leave me some love in the comments below!
Happy stamp making!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snowmen Sleigh Ride!

Snow has hit us hard here in Edmonton... and as soon as it came so did my cold! Probably why I haven't blogged in a bit... been feeling a bit under the weather :( 
I got this really nasty cough that's not going away, booohooo me, sniff, sniff, cough!
So while I was on some great cough medicine today... I thought I would get some crafting done, lol. Here's what I made. 

Aren't they the cutest snowmen ever?! I had to get the latest SVG Cuts Christmas Open House kit specifically for this snowman file! So easy and quick to make! Thanks again Mary for the wonderful files you create! 

Here is a closer look at my "man!" Did you notice his broom. This was another Thienly Azim inspired project. She had made a broom in a recent post... I thought it would work great with my snowman. Check out her broom here. For the broom, I used a wooden dowel wrapped with black washi tape and used the branches from here to create the broom bristles. The holly on the hat also comes from the same kit. 

This 3D sled was also inspired by Thienly. As soon as I saw her latest SVG Cuts Design Team project, I knew I had to make one! Check out her sled here... it's amazing! Thanks Thienly for all your help and inspiration!

I think these snowmen will make the perfect Christmas treat boxes for the kids teachers this year... Who wouldn't love them, especially when they are filled with irresistible goodies! 

Thanks for stopping by! 
Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Quick Chocolate Cup Cakes!

Hey everyone! Hope you are enjoying your weekend :) For the first time in a long time on a Saturday I was home all day... Wow! Usually I'm running around with the kids, grocery shopping or at some event. Well, I can say I've enjoyed being at home today... My daughter and I got to paint our nails, read a few books and even did some baking together! While the boys did garage stuff and played video games!

Here is how our chocolate cup cakes turned out! Yummy can't wait to try them tonight for desert!

Here is how I made them. I kind of cheated with the cake mix! I used a Duncan Hines cake box, I love this mix. The cake always turns out moist!

Once my batter was all mixed up, I poured it all into an extra large Ziploc bag. I placed the bag  in a bowl to hold the bag in place while I scrapped out the bowl. 

Next, I closed up the Ziploc bag and pinched one of the bottom corners. With some kitchen scissors I then snipped the corner off (don't cut it too big, or you might end up with a big mess). Start pouring into the wrappers.

Like the directions on the box indicate, only fill up to 2/3 of the way up the cup cake wrapper.

Around 20 minutes later your cupcakes will look like this. Perfect time to get your frosting done! Here is the recipe I used for mine. Tip: To make more icing, simply keep whipping you mixture. It usually will double what your recipe yields! I usually let the mixer go until my cupcakes are completely cool, around 10-15 minutes!

Once my frosting is done, I scoop it all into a size 16 pastry bag with a star tip already attached. To help me do that I place the pastry bag in a large cylinder vase I have, and roll back the edges.

Then I flip up the edge of the pastry bag and twist the top closed, and keep it pinched with my hand while I squeeze and frost the cupcakes! 

And here they are once again! YUMMO!

Half of them I packed up to take to work with me on Monday! It's been a while since I treated my colleagues with some baking! I don't know any nurses who can resist a cupcake, lol! These will go straight into my deep freezer. That will keep them fresh until then!

Here are the little cupcake wrappers I found at the Dollar store! What a deal, and they come with the little toppers! I couldn't even make them for that price ;)

Thanks for stopping by! 
Have a great weekend! Live a little, eat some chocolate! :)