Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Cookie Jars Extravaganza - Let's Get Hopping

Welcome to the "Gift Jar" blog hop. You might be hopping already and arrived from the previous blog. If you starting here, no worries, just use "Next Blog" arrow at the end of my blog to hop to another one within the theme.

Every year there is Michaelmas Day at my boys' school and this will be my third year running a cookie jar stall. It starts with a trip to IKEA to buy 100 jars, organise a collection of ingredients, put together a group of friends to fill the jars and decorate them. Bada boom, bada bam. 


Actually, it wasn't bada boom, bada bam the first year, let me tell you! And there weren't 100 jars either; only 25 but the details that went into the decorating... 
I didn't have to fill them but I did all the decorating by myself. I didn't really know what I was going to do. It is difficult to ask for help when unsure yourself. I was very happy when I put together these. The jars were beautiful and they were a hit. All sold within 15 minutes!

Not that it would balance the work put into these though. Only the flower on the top consist of three different layers, all cut out manually with scissors. The tags consisted of three layers, all backed with matching DSP (so had to cut six circles just for the tags).


Only naturally, the following year I looked for ways how to make it all a bit easier. I was a tad wiser in a sense of what has to be done and what can be omitted.

First thing I did was to find a partner in crime. I wanted to have several different designs and we came up with two each. We split the load and each took care of fifty jars.

It was a great cooperation of two crafters who worked well side by side and gave each other support. The tops were punched and big shotted, the tags were simplified but still functional and gorgeous. 

I was very pleased with the final look and overall outcome. Same as the previous year, the jars were a huge hit and they all sold with a great profit into the PTA bucket.


And so we are coming to the current year. 
I only have two prototypes so far as Michaelmas is taking place next month. 
In my opinion, they both look great, don't you think? I feel the decoration will be a breeze. I remember in the previous years it took me ages to figure out the colour coordination. I sorted that out by using one design for the top as well as the tag.

I tried to use punches rather than dies which cuts time considerably. I still use dies to cut circles for the top but, to be honest, because I am working on a different project that uses a big shot a lot as well I am combining each run so it feels I'm making a great progress on my monthly plan. 
I'm also cutting time by using the tag punch and the instructions are printed on a label and stuck on the second sheet of that tag.

The ingredients list is hidden on the big scalloped circle on the top and is visible when the jar is opened. I was very excited to use the new SU! blends to colour the images. The scalloped tag is decorated with little jingle bells I found the other day in a local store. The tag is attached to the jar by a colour matching ribbon. Now, only 98 more to go!

Feel inspired? Make your own cookie jar. 

500ml jar (featured) holds ingredients (75g plain flour, 75g brown sugar, 60g oats, 1/4 tsp bicarbona soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder + 50g dark choc chips, 50g fudge or 50g white choc chips, 50g cranberries) to make a batch of 12 cookies.

Instructions: you will need 1 jar of cookie mix, 1 large egg, 2 tbsp of oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan)/200C/GM5
2. Line a tray with paper or grease well
3. Empty the jar into a bowl
4. Add the egg and oil - stir well
5. Dollop spoonfuls onto the tray spaced well apart
6. Bake for 6-8 minutes
7. Eat and Enjoy

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you liked what you saw. Enjoy the rest of this blog hop. Click on the arrow below to visit Cathy Caine's post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jingle Bells

This past weekend I ran a workshop in the Christmas spirit. It was a learning curve for me as the group was large by my measure and even though prepared I felt anxious how it would go. 

I felt such a responsibility when preparing the packs for everyone. Do I have everything? Is everything the right dimension? Is it all cut straight? And don't forget the instructions! It was my first time giving out written instructions and let me tell you, it's not that easy to write these! 

Everyone made two beautiful cards, one with a matching tag. And then a box for a tealight with a little message inside. 

When I was preparing the materials I thought of the reindeer card as more complicated as there were many elements put together but actually now I think the Santa was maybe more involved. I pre-cut all the bits for the reindeer so it was more an assembly then stamping project. But everyone in the group finished their Santa card with a tag unaided and the results were great. They all put a little personal touch into it and at the end there were many different takes of the original cards. 

I wish I took photos of all the final creations but I was concentrating on all the participants being comfortable and happy with their crafting that I kind of forget to document everything. It is something for my learning journal... Oh, well, I guess I will have to run another workshop!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

October Class

Ready - Steady - Punch, Cut, Score

Little Santa

Little Santa card is very cute and quite fast to make. I used several different Christmas theme DSP (designer series paper). The used set is from the last year, called This Christmas. I embellished it with a couple of washi tapes. Santa is sprinkled with Diamond Dazzle glitter. The bonding agent is the fine tip glue pen. Basically, you just fill the bits where you want the glitter with the glue and voila. A little sweet touch was to use Q-tip dabbed onto a light pink pad to highlight Santa's cheeks. Then using the markers to colour the Santa image. I enjoyed this colouring part. It's so calming.

Tool highlights

Dazzling Star

The second card is the small format (3x3"). 
I got the Diamond Dazzle paper some time ago but without a real plan. Who doesn't like to have some glimmer paper, just in case? 
When I finally picked it up to work with it, I looked at it and watched it dazzle for a bit. And then I just reached for coloured cardstock I saw in the sparkles - pool party. I wanted to use Stitched Shapes dies on a project this month so I did and the rest just clicked together.

Tool highlights

Halloween Box

The 3D project of the class is this cute Halloween box. I made some of these already, last month, for MacMillan coffee morning. Everyone liked them so much that I decided to share them in my October class. I followed this great tutorial of Julie DiMatteo to make them. 
Halloween used to be my big thing when living in the USA but not so much here. It was nice, nevertheless, to brush my old "witching" set to make nice tags. Bellow, I am showing 2 super cool tools I used. Simply scored made the box super fast and easy to make. No measuring involved! Brilliant! In no time one punch made the decorative closing. When creating the boxes, these two tools became my new crafty besties. 

 Tool Highlights

Friday, September 29, 2017

Support Macmillan, Enjoy Halloween

Every year my boys' school is joining in raising funds for MacMillan. Every single class holds its own coffee (and cakes) morning, any leftovers are then brought to school and sold in the afternoon at pickup time.

I wish I could bake so have something to bring to these mornings. But baking is something that just doesn't come easily to me. I've tried, few times. Fair to say that four times out of five could be called, well, unsuccessful attempts. 

So since I can't offer a cake I thought of an alternative. I made these little boxes, filled them with treats and offered instead of the baked goodies. It is not Halloween just yet but there is no harm in being ready, right?

I followed a tutorial of Julie DiMatteo and used up all my Halloween sheets that I was holding onto for years. I think I put them to good use. What do you think? Don't be a stranger; drop a line in comments.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dino-rrific Birthday Cards

I needed a birthday card for my nephew and when a friend asked for a card for her little girl I came up with this.
It's funny how sometimes I can work on something the whole day and have nothing by the end of it and sometimes I can make two beautiful cards in one evening.

I used some current, some retired colours. The stamp set has a selection of dinosaurs. I've chosen the brontosaurus because I always think of those as a friendly, smiley dinosaurs and also that shape was the easiest to cut out with my snips.

Sometimes it seems to me that a card is never done and there are tons of things what else can be done. Just like with these. The hats were originally stamped in green colour. It looked nice before I stamped the leaves but afterwards it blended too much into its background. I think that adding a tiny bit of more glimmer, in shape of a hat, was the perfect last touch. What do you think?

Dino-rrific Birthday Card Supplies

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September Class

For this month class, I dusted off, a very VERY old stamp set (it came out in 2000, believe it or not). I guess that just shows the quality of Stampin' Up! products as these stamps didn't start to peel off of the wooden blocks nor the images lost their sharpness. The set is called Long Stemmed and is long retired but I like the simplicity of the flowers as well as the size.

Not long time ago a friend was in a need of a sympathy card. I came up with a very simple card and thought it would be a good project for the class. First, I felt a bit uneasy to suggest to make a sympathy card. It's not like birthday cards that you stack up and can't wait to send to your friends. But even if someone wouldn't like to make this specific card, the stamps used are so versatile they could be used for pretty much any occasion. One could just change the colour scheme and the sentiment. I plan to make more cards showing just that later on. 

The second project I created uses the beautiful things from the new winter catalogue. 

I made an untraditional Xmas card. I someone had told me a few months ago I would be making a Christmas card using Early Espresso colour (very dark brown), I'd probably laugh out loud. And yet, there I was spreading the love amongst my fellow stampers.
The card was very easy to make. It was more or less an assembly of pretty elements together. The sentiment in the middle of the flake is not Stampin' Up! I could find a fitting saying that would fit the circle punch so I borrowed a stamp from a different maker. 

Christmas Card Supplies 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

In The Meantime...

Here is a bit of crafty summer recap. Things I worked on the past three months.

So first, there was the summer fair at my kid's school and I donated a box of handmade cards for the silent auction. I loved working on those. The box challenged me but turned out quite well.

I tried to fit the whole year into ten cards. I made a card for Valentine's Day, Mother and Father's Days,  a couple of Birthdays, Thank you, Halloween, Congratulations, Thinking of You and of course, Christmas.   

Needless to say, with my organisational skills, the ink on the box was still wet on the day of the fair. To get better organised and plan ahead and be less of a procrastinator is still on my to do list! 

Shortly after the fair, the end of the term came. As traditionally, little tokens of appreciation were passed onto the teachers. I made these gift card holders for them. Simple but lovely. I like when projects have a bit of movement and I was very pleased with these. 

Not all the things I did in those weeks were paper craft. I did a bit of crochet again. First I made a pair of baby sandals for a little baby that is to be born yet.And then I found a challenge. Or a challenge found me... or was it a friend who tagged me in a Facebook group called Octopus for Preemie? In any case, I am now crocheting little octopi and jellyfish for prematurely born babies. It makes me feel nice and fuzzy inside knowing what difference these toys can make. 
I also met some new crafty friends and I made a lavender filled heart. (On the photo, mine is the one with the blue and green pattern. It's hanging on a window in our entrance hall, smelling just lovely.

And then there was few thank you cards for friends. 

A birthday card for my nephew. 

And a "goodbye" for my good friends that are moving abroad this summer. 

As always, I enjoyed making all these. It does make me happy even though sometimes it is difficult to get inspired. My next project will be to organise my crafty room a little bit better so it's finally functioning. So far, it is, of course, disorganised chaos. Sometimes I wonder how other people keep their spaces so neat and tidy. Judging by their photos and videos. And where their creativity comes from and how come they have time to craft and blog and do everything else so perfectly. And then I saw a poster that said: "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle". Oh, I felt so much better after that!