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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Reception Desk Pen Security on: December 02, 2011 12:19:42 PM
This is an oldie but a goodie.

Receptionists know how impossible it is to keep pens at their desks; their desks seem to be a free-for-all that the entire office to help themselves to whatever they want. And if someone asks to "borrow" a pen, it is likely never to come back.

So many of us do this:

It's just silk flowers, hot-glued to the top of Stik Pens, wrapped in floral tape, and stuck in a vase.

If someone asks to borrow a pen, hand them one of these. It's a cute surprise and it's highly unlikely they'll walk off with it. And even if they do walk off with it, it's easy to find it again.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Vintage Movie Poster Handkerchief Box - Upcycled Calendar Pages - lots of photos on: April 11, 2011 05:36:20 PM
My best friend and I share a fierce love of classic film and of handmade gifts. I went through a big crochet phase just before Christmas this year and I found this tutorial for how to make lovely "handkerchief boxes" out of cardstock:

Robyne Melia is Bobby La: Box Tutorial Sort of Thing
- These are similar to the ubiquitous "Christmas Card Baskets" so many people have in their collections, only I think her handkerchief boxes are exquisite.

I had an old 2008 calendar filled with classic movie posters in my scrapbooking supplies and I realized the images would be perfect for making the handkerchief box, so I set to work. The thing about a 12-month calendar is that it has the perfect number of images to use for a six-sided box (6 inside and 6 outside). I'm definitely looking at old calendars with a different eye now!

I used heavy-duty sheet protectors to "laminate" the pieces. If I were to do it again, I would have actually taken them to get laminated. It would have made it more polished. My friend really liked it and said it looked "professional", so I guess it's fine as it is.

Here is what I ended up with:

All the panels, inside and out. Click to embiggen:

Metropolis on the inside of the cover.
Valentino looks longingly at a coy Hepburn
Veronica Lake keeps her eye on the Marx Brothers
The inside bottom: Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes"
Glamorous Gilda (Rita Hayworth) on the top. I made the tassel out of a plastic ring and a gold bead.
Front and side: Fred and Ginger invite you to dance. Another coy Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's
Side and back: Buster Keaton races toward the War of the Worlds
The outside bottom: Kubric's gotta' go and ruin everything by making a poster without any faces on it. This is the least-seen panel, so I put it on the bottom

Thanks for looking!
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Photo ornaments for co-workers on: December 30, 2010 12:01:53 AM
I work at a local animal shelter - with dog trainers, in particular. I had no money for Christmas gifts this year, so I decided I was going to make gifts. And I couldn't buy supplies, either. I had to use stuff on-hand. 

I came up with photo ornaments. They are sort of along the "Acordion Balls" ornaments on this page: Recycle and Reuse Christmas Greeting Cards

I used foil wrapping paper that I had in my stash, printed and cropped photos of them with their dogs (or just their dogs if I didn't have a good portrait of them), used old Christmas cards as cardstock bases, and some beads and sequins in my stash. Oh, and some gold sequin glue to add some sparkle.

I wish I had used a different glue - tacky glue doesn't really adhere to foil wrapping paper. They all loved their ornaments, so I guess it was a success, but I don't expect they'll last more than a year or two. We'll see.  Anyway, here are the pics:

The front, with photos of the doggies:

The backs - you can see how they sort of look three-dimensional:

And for the one co-worker who hasn't adopted a dog yet (soon - it's only a matter of time!), I made her a quilled snowflake, which I already posted about here:

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Divine Hat and Divine Mittens on: December 29, 2010 11:45:02 PM
So, keeping along the same lines as my Lavender Bunny, here is another Christmas gift for another niece.

I was browsing the other patterns by Rheatheylia and found her pattern for the Divine Hat. Someone on Ravelry had created and posted a pattern for matching mittens. I had a LOT of this chunky yarn (bought two skeins of it when I was at Wal-Mart), so I decided to make a warm set for my middle niece.

The hat was a DREAM to make. I started and finished in one night! I am eager to make another one for myself.  The mittens - meh. I didn't like how the mitten pattern worked bottom-up and the hat pattern went top-down. So I created the mittens top-down, sort of using the pattern as a guide. They turned out okay, but I haven't given them to her yet, and I don't know if they'll fit. Fingers crossed! 

Here are the pics.  As before, you can find more information about these by visiting my posts on Ravelry: Hat post | Mitten post.  Thanks for looking!

5  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Yet Another Lavender Bunny on: December 29, 2010 11:42:55 AM
I decided to only give hand-made Christmas gifts this year. Mostly because these past two years have been a big challenge financially and we just don't have the money to spend on gifts.

My neice will turn 2 years old in February and this is a great time for her - everything is magical about Christmas!  So I wanted to make her a friend. One that she would (hopefully) cherish.

I am a beginner crocheter and I needed to do something simple - something tried and tested. I had bookmarked Rheatheylia's Lavender Bunny Pattern years ago and decided this was my year to try it. I was not disappointed. And once she found the bunny inside the box, she immediately giggled and gave him a huge bear hug. She slept with him that afternoon and that night. I think we have a winner!

You can read more about him, the yarn I used and my process to make him at my Ravelry entry.  Thanks for looking!

6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Quilled Paper Snowflakes - with progress pics/tutorial on: December 19, 2010 03:56:55 PM
So, Christmas is here and my husband and I are flat broke. Two years of unemployment will do that to you. But we still wanted to give nice things to our friends and family. So I decided to try to make something for them, using materials I already had on-hand. I realized I have a TON of wrapping paper - I buy it every year after Christmas on clearance.

I googled "Paper Ornaments" and found a lot of great ideas, but the quilled ornaments really caught my eye.  And so it was settled - quilled ornaments it was. I used a silver holographic wrapping paper, which makes them nice and shiny, but you really could use ANY paper.  Here is a shot of three of the ornaments:

Sometimes I used a pattern,  but mostly I just played around with shapes to find patterns I liked. I wanted all my snowflakes to have six points. Because that's how a snowflake is formed. And I'm a geek like that.

There are some great videos on You Tube that show how to quill paper and make the different shapes.  This video was particularly helpful:


Here are some progress pics for one of my snowflakes:

Step one: make strips (no photo).  HOT TIP: At first, I was using a rotary cutter and ruler. Very tedious. Very slow... Then I realized my paper shredder made the PERFECT size of strip (")... so I started cutting 14" x 8" chunks of wrapping paper and running it through the shredder. It made things go MUCH faster! And an added benefit was that the strips came out micro-serrated. The holographic paper edges became a bit sparklier than when I was using a straight blade to cut them.

Step two: make the coils. I used a quilling board to make the coils all the same size. This snowflake has six large, loose coils. Six open hearts. One smaller, loose coil (centre of the snowflake). I don't remember the length of strips I used - no longer than 6".

Step three: pinch the tops of the six loose coils to form teardrops. Here you see four teardrops and two non-pinched coils:

Step four: glue the teardrops to the open hearts. This will make stylized arrows. Make sure they're straight. You'll see my fine-tipped glue bottle here. Not necessary but SO nice for this (you could use a toothpick or pin if you wanted). I used regular Aileen's Tacky glue:

Step five: glue the arrows to the centre coil. I used the lines on my cutting mat to make sure the spokes are sticking straight out from one another. The wax paper keeps it all from sticking to my cutting mat, if any glue should happen to ooze out.

All six spokes glued:

Variations: Like I said; I didn't really use patterns in most cases. I just played with the shapes before I glued them.  Here are two possibilities using the same shapes (a scroll between two teardrops). I decided to go with the one on the right:

This is a collection of snowflakes on my desk. This still isn't all the designs I came up with. The late afternoon winter sun casts a beautiful blue onto the paper. We're only two days away from the solstice and the sun will set at 4:30 today here in Alberta.

This is my favourite pattern. It's more intricate than the six-spoked snowflakes and more difficult to make (I had to pin it to a corkboard to keep it all in place while it dried).  It's not my design - this particular one belongs to a lady named Reese Dixon. She has a brilliant tutorial on quilling and how to make this particular design on her blog here: http://www.reesedixon.com/2008/12/quilled-snowflake-ornament.html

I made four ornaments for each couple we were exchanging gifts with. I used nylon filament and silver beads to create ties for each ornament.

I hope they like them.  C/C welcome!
7  COOKING / Dessert / Without Exaggeration, The Best Peanut Butter Cookies in the World on: June 07, 2009 03:29:32 PM
In the last office I used to work at, there was a lady named Carol.

Carol made cookies.

Not just any cookies. Carol made The Best Peanut Butter Cookies in the World.  I swore she put just a little bit of crack in them. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious and you couldn't eat just one.

Before I left for another job, she gave me the recipe. And now, dear Craftsters, I share the recipe with you, as requested in my Etched Cookie Jar for Housewarming Gift thread.

1 cups Golden Flavour Crisco
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
tsp salt

Beat Crisco, peanut butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs & vanilla and beat until combined.
Sift flour,  baking soda & salt and add to creamed mixture gradually until well-combined.
Shape into 1" balls and placed onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten lightly with a fork.
Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

The recipe yields a crazy six-dozen cookies! As you can see, there is a decadent amount of shortening and sugar in these.  But it's worth every calorie. Enjoy!

8  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Etched Glass Cookie Jar for House Warming Gift on: June 06, 2009 02:51:25 AM
Hello everyone, this is my first ever post on Craftster!

My very bestest friend recently moved into a cute new house with her guy and invited me to her house warming BBQ.  I didn't know what to get them as a gift. But then, being inspired by all y'all and the amazing things Craftsters post to this community, I decided to make her a gift, rather than buying her something she probably already has or won't use.  I really like to bake, so I thought I'd make her cookies.  But somehow that didn't seem like it would be enough - or rather, not permanent enough.

So I turned to you, dear creative people, for inspiration and came across styrofoamkitty's Frosted Glass Tutorial, and decided I'd make her a cookie jar to contain the yummy baked goods.

And here are the process pics:

Materials used - biscotti jar, etching cream, paint brushes, masking tape, scrapbook stickers, rubber gloves.

All taped up, letters in place, ready to go.  The stickers spell "Homemade" in all different fonts, with letters all askew.

Etching cream smeared onto the jar, over the letters.

All rinsed-off. The whole process took about an hour, including making room on the crafting table. I can't BELIEVE how easy this was.

Finished product, including cookies!  I included a copy of the recipe on a pretty card, tied with ribbon to the jar.

Thanks for letting me share!

EDITED TO ADD: As requested, I have posted the recipe! Without Exaggeration, The Best Peanut Butter Cookies in the World
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