Category Archives: holidays

Holiday Crafting with the Sizzix Big Shot

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Hi everyone!  I did some crafting this past weekend, and thought I’d share some of the things I made with my trusty Big Shot – particularly since I’m currently hosting a giveaway for a Big Shot.  I’m still getting to know my machine, and thought I’d try some new things.  For example, I have some embossing foil I was dying to make use of, and also wanted to use a new die I recently purchased.  The results?  Some quick and easy Christmas Ornaments and Gift Card Holders!

Christmas Ornaments
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Materials:
Sizzix Big Shot machine
Ornament die – #A10126
Christmas Tree, Ornament, Snowflake & Stocking die – #A10599
Dots #4 Embossing Folder – bonus item from die #658189
Snow Village Embossing Folder – bonus item from die #658189
Little Sizzles white mat board – #656492
ArtEmboss embossing foil in silver, red, and gold
Vintage ledger paper
Vintage button
Vintage lace trim
Red striped washi tape
Rhinestone button
Adhesive
Silver thread
*Chipboard or mat board

Metal Ornaments

I die cut red and gold embossing foil using the ornament die.  Once the ornament was cut, I ran it through the Big Shot machine again using the patterned embossing folders.  I finished each ornament by die cutting the silver ornament cap area and gluing it over the existing colored foil.
*Note: I didn’t mount the foil onto matboard or chipboard for more stability when making these “test ornaments”, but would recommend you do so since the foil is very pliable and is easily bent.

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Mat Board Ornaments

For the vintage ornament, I glued the ledger paper to the mat board before cutting out the ornament shape.  Next I affixed the lace trim and the button, and then glued on the silver ornament cap I’d cut from embossing foil.

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The snowflake ornament was made by wrapping red and white washi tape around the ornament (two strips), and then gluing on a snowflake I’d cut from silver embossing foil.  After gluing a rhinestone button to the center of the snowflake I attached the silver ornament cap I’d cut from embossing foil.

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Gift Card Holders
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Materials:
Sizzix Big Shot Machine
Gift Card Holder die – #658189
Extended Crease Pad – #656159
Christmas Tree, Ornament, Snowflake & Stocking die – #A10599
Framelits Phrases – stamps & dies set – #658838
Little Sizzles white mat board – #656492
Printed & plain cardstock
Glue
Black ink pad
Silver trim
Vintage Button
Rhinestone

Run the Gift Card Holder die through the machine with a cutting pad on the bottom, the Extended Crease Pad on the top.  (The crease pad keeps the die from cutting on the lines that are intended to be scored instead of cut)  Fold the two small tabs in, apply glue or double stick tape to them, and then fold in to make the pocket for the card to rest in.  Fold the rest of the gift card holder on the scored fold lines. Embellish as desired.

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Green Gift Card Holder: I embellished this holder with a tree cut from dark green card stock.  I glued a rhinestone atop the tree, wrapped a silver trim/thread around one end, and tied a bow.

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Blue Gift Card Holder: I embellished this card holder with a white mat board snowflake.  I finished by gluing a vintage button on top of the snowflake.

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Floral Gift Card Holder: I embellished this holder with a “Happy Birthday” sentiment (set 658838).  I stamped the sentiment in black ink on watercolor paper, and cut it and the floral border paper out using two sizes of framelits from the set.

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Quick, Easy & Very Versatile
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I think it’s easy to see how versatile the ornament and gift card holder projects are.  By mixing different colors, textures, base materials and embellishments, you can use these dies to create endless variations.  I just scratched the surface when crafting the other day, and look forward to using these dies – in different ways – for years to come.

Have You Entered the Giveaway Yet?
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big-shot-bundle
I’m giving away a Sizzix Big Shot Value Pack, and hope you’ll join in the giveaway fun and enter if you haven’t already.  The winner will be announced a week from today.  Click here to go to the giveaway page!

Happy Crafting!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Happy Halloween from Melody & Cypress!

BLACK ORGANZA BOAT NECKLINE SHORT BRIDESMAID DRESS UK WITH PENCIL SKIRT

Happy Halloween!
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I made a silly little witch hat for my bunny, Cypress, and thought I’d take some pictures to share with you on Halloween Day.  I made the hat from black card stock, a scrap of ribbon, and a vintage button.

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I left the hat open in the back so her ears would go through easily, so it’s not a full and enclosed cone on the top.  Doesn’t she look festive and funny?  Cypress was a pretty good sport about being photographed. What a “treat” from my bun bun.  :]

I’m dressing up as artist/painter Frida Kahlo for our Halloween celebration at work today.  I originally wore this costume back in 2006, but since I’m now in a new office/at a new company, I thought I’d reprise the costume because I love it so much.  Are you dressing up today?  What are you dressing up as?

Again, Happy Halloween!  I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday.

Warm regards,
Melody

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My New Halloween Wreath

halloween_wreath

You know that crocheted doily wreath that I first created last winter, and have then altered for different holidays and seasons since?  Well, it’s been changed up again.  This time the crocheted doily part is minimal – is really just the white base – but I love what’s been added to it.

Rabbits Aren’t Just for Easter Anymore
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As you may know, hubby and I have two pet rabbits.  Our cute little fur kids inspired me to go outside of the usual “Halloween animal” sphere when decking out this wreath.  I used my Big Shot machine and a Tim Holtz Easter Elements die to cut out bunnies and bows in black and orange.  When combined with some rhinestone strands, a black netting bow, and a sparkly button, this wreath has a fun and festive feel.

Have you done any crafting or decorating for Halloween yet?  Do tell!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Patriotic Vintage Doily Wreath

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Happy Tuesday!

I recently changed up my wreath – you know, the one I’ve decorated for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Spring thus far.  (Well, I also did a St. Patrick’s Day version, but guess who forgot to take a photo before switching to spring?  Ack!)  This incarnation features red, white and blue.  The wreath was switched up in time for Memorial Day, and will stay this way until after the 4th of July.

To create this look I pulled some blue doilies from my stash, as well as some red and white “bullseye” doilies.  I decided to add some simple foil stars and a bit of white ribbon to finish it off, and love the look. Because I pin the doilies on each time with T-pins it’s easy to take off the old doilies and add the new ones.

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What do you think?  I hope you like it.  Please let me know if you’ve been inspired to create a doily wreath of your own…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Easter Bonnets + Bunnies = cute & funny!

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Well, technically they’re hats – not bonnets, but “Easter bonnets” sounds so much cuter!

Yep, my bunnies have Easter hats.  We won’t be taking them to any egg hunts this weekend, but they’d look super cute if we did!  You probably think I’ve gone completely round the bend, and I suppose it’s possible.  But perhaps you’ll change your mind about having me committed when I tell you that these hats were gifts from my dear friend, Debbie.

She’s an artsy-craftsy gal, and is a bit mischievous, so when the idea of bonnets for bunnies came up in one of our emails exchanges I guess she just couldn’t resist.  Within a week a package arrived at my home, and I had no idea what she was sending me.  This is what I found in the box:

easter_bonnet_pkg

Not only did she send the cute little hats for Cypress & Pinto, she included a darling card and a vintage bunny cookie cutter.  So sweet!  I laughed and laughed when I opened up this box – it made my day.  I couldn’t stop laughing, and every time I look at these pictures of the bunnies in their hats I laugh, too!

So, with much laughter and gratitude, I dedicate this post to Debbie.  Thank you for the darling bonnet and hat, and for the FAB Easter package!

FIRST UP: PINTO!

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“This hat is delicious!”

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“You want me to wear this on my head?!  Pppfftt!”

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“The camera loves me!  Bask in my bunny glory.”

AND NOW, MISS CYPRESS…

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“You’ll pay for this, Mother.  You’d better sleep with one eye open.”

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“Tie ribbons are better to chew on and to cut with my teeth than to tie anything on with.”

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“Hey, whatever works.  I look cute no matter what!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed these silly pictures of our bun buns.  And whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you have a wonderful and beautiful weekend!

Warm regards,
Melody (and Cypress & Pinto!)

 

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A New Crocheted Wreath Variation: Spring!

I’m continuing to modify the crocheted wreath I created back in December – it’s so easy to do since the doilies are just pinned on!  Thus far I’ve shared two versions: Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  Today I’m showing my newest version: Spring!

wreath

I used crocheted doilies and floral pot holders in purples and yellows, and love how the wreath turned out. Two of my favorite flowers are irises and daffodils, and the color scheme of this wreath reminds me of those two flowers.
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I didn’t make this a “strictly Easter” wreath since this version is likely to hang until June, when I’ll work on creating a 4th of July-themed wreath. So this wreath uses spring colors, but doesn’t include bunnies, chicks, or eggs – though I was tempted because I love all three of those things!
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Spring begins tomorrow, so I’d like to wish you a Happy Spring a bit early.  If you live in a cold climate, I hope you enjoy nicer weather.  :]
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Warm regards,
Melody
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Crocheted Valentine’s Wreath

valentines_wreath

Hi, y’all!

Remember when I shared that Vintage Crocheted Wreath back in December?  The one I hung for Christmas?  Well, in that post I mentioned that it would be easy for me to modify the wreath for different holidays or themes throughout the year.  By pinning my doilies and potholders on instead of gluing, it was super easy to take some of the pieces off and add new pieces to create a Valentine’s Day wreath.  This version is all red, white, and cream, and I think it’s darling.

I’ll likely make a new version of the wreath for the spring, and will share that new wreath with you in a month or two.  In the meantime, do you have questions, comments, feedback?  I’d love to hear from you…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Black-Eyed Pea Salad (aka Wilcox Caviar)

wilcox_caviar
I’m posting this recipe now, in late December, for those of you who ring in the New Year by eating Black-Eyed Peas.  A Southern thing, I know this practice extends to other regions, too.  Though I think of this as kind of a summery salad because there’s no cooking involved, and the ingredients are light and fresh, this side dish – which can also be eaten as a dip, on baked potatoes, or on salad greens – is a yummy addition to the menu no matter the season.  Big thanks to my friend, Barb L., for sharing this recipe with me!

FYI: I cut this recipe in half, since it’s just me and hubby, so the photos below include the half-size portions of ingredients and a single serving of salad.  :]  However, the ingredients list includes the amounts for a full-size batch.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad (aka Wilcox Salad)

salad_ingredients
Ingredients
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4 cans white shoe peg corn, drained (or use a mixture of white and yellow corn, like I did)
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
3 avocados, diced
1-2 bunches small green onions, diced
leaves from one bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I used white)

before_stirring

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.  Chill overnight.  If you prefer, you can omit the avocado when making the salad, and can add it to the bowl when you give the salad a final stir before serving. That’s what I opted to do when making the batch I photographed…

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Do you eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day?  Or do you eat other goodies to celebrate?  Please post a comment and share.

I’m wishing you all the best in 2013, dear readers!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

2santas

To all who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas!  And if Christmas isn’t your thing I hope you’re still having a wonderful day. :]

I also hope you all enjoy these pictures of our bunnies, Cypress & Pinto, dear readers.  Happy Holidays from our home to yours!

santapinto

santacypress

Warm regards,
Melody

p.s. See you on Thursday for a New Year’s-related recipe!

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

star_tree

I really enjoy decorating for the holidays, and was excited to change things up a bit this year.  We usually decorate with the same items and theme, and I decided this year would be different.  Why?  I guess it feels like I missed out on celebrating some things this year since I didn’t dress up for Halloween and was sick on Thanksgiving Day with a nasty headache.  So, when it came to Christmas I decided to go big.  I’m feeling particularly festive since I’ve been cleared by the doctor for full use of both my hands.  Hurray!  It was a real pleasure to decorate our home for the holidays, and I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Doilies Everywhere!
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As I mentioned in my Doily-Inspired Mandalas post, I’ve collected a number of doilies over the past few months.  One of the lots of doilies included several identical white doilies, and I decided to make a garland with them – to hang over a doorway.  I also decided to use some of the larger doilies for wall decor.  But first I had to stiffen them. Armed with a mixture I made by cooking cornstarch and water, I did just that.

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The eight white doilies are linked together with old-school brass brads.  I added some ribbon bows and vintage silver candy molds to add some “pop”.

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These three large doilies look nice alongside the window, and the silver floral trim that I glued in the center really added some sparkle to otherwise flat pieces.

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This view is from the bedroom, showing the backside of the garland – looking towards the tree.

tree_skirt

Our tree has to be elevated up off the ground because of our pet rabbits, and I decided to use a table cloth that my mother-in-law cross-stitched years ago for our “tree skirt”.  I love the look of it, and it has a lot of sentimental value.

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Our main tree, lit.  I left our typical hand-painted tin Mexican ornaments off the tree this year, and used lights, glass bulbs and snowflakes instead.  I already had all those things though – the only things I purchased were the doilies used elsewhere in the room.

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I found this vintage tinsel star at a thrift store in Kansas in 2009.  Cost?  A mere 75 cents!

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This smaller green tree sits atop our bookshelf.  If those star ornaments look familiar, it’s because I shared how to make them in a DIY post last year: Aluminum Star Ornaments!  The star atop the tree is – yep, you guessed it – another stiffened doily.  I glued an old rhinestone earring into the center of the star to add some oomph.  The tree’s base and the the top of the bookshelf were “doilied”, too. :]

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Here are the little tree and wreath that I put out in the studio, in the corner next to (and above) my desk.  Tinsel rules in the studio this year, but I still have doilies under the tree and under the tiny baby Jesus.

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And of course, here’s the Vintage Crocheted Wreath I shared on Tuesday – which is hanging on the inside of our front door.

I wasn’t kidding when I said there are doilies every where!  The look I was going for is Modern Vintage, which is how I often describe my artwork – particularly my collages.  I love vintage, but want to keep it “clean” and interesting – and I don’t want it to look too saccharine.  Pretty, unique, and a bit unexpected – those are words I’d like used to describe this year’s decor.  Do you think I succeeded in keeping a bit of an edge?

Do you have a theme that you work with when it comes to your holiday decor, dear readers?  I hope you’ll comment and share.  Oh, and if you’re interested in the recipe/process for stiffening the doilies with cornstarch, just let me know.  I’d be happy to post a link in the comments to the page I referenced when I worked on the doilies.

Warm regards,
Melody

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