Friday, 30 November 2012

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! - Tutorial

Hi there,

It's so easy to fall back on ready made ornaments and I must admit most of my decorations are store bought. This year, I promised myself I would do more Christmas projects instead. Ironically, we won't be putting up a tree this year as we are off to England for the holidays, so I thought I'd do a couple of baby trees to put on my pseudo mantlepiece.

With amazing foresight (something that usually eludes me), I bought two foam trees from Michaels when I was in New York last month and made two cute little trees. Now, you don't really need the cones. You could very easily make one out of just cardstock - roll it up into a cone shape and cut off the excess so it will stand up straight. The good thing about the foam cone is, you have a solid base to work on and you can mount the cone on a stem. I used a simple tea light holder.

Little Christmas Trees

I decided to make a tutorial for them, so here we go with a step-by-step.

For the larger scalloped tree, this is what I did:

 Punch out a load of 1" circles in four co-ordinating colours
Holding each colour stack firmly between your thumb and forefinger, ink the edges in a corresponding colour. You can see the difference it makes on the left-hand stack. It's subtle, but it helps hide the white core of the paper.
I papered my cone before adding my circles so they gripped better. Any paper will do as it will be covered. Spread a generous line of glue around the base of the cone and stick each circle on, one by one, leaving a semi-circle off the edge. When doing this, use a strong wet glue that has a short setting time, yet malleable enough so you can maneuver the circles to space them evenly if you need to.
 For the next layer, add a thick line of glue just above the first row of circles. Do not place the glue on the circles themselves. Place your second row of circles between the first row so they are staggered. Carry on with the third row and so on until you reach the top. You will have to reduce the number of circles per row so the scallops will look even.
 Here's the tree all scalloped up to the top.
 Once the glue is all dry, you can use your finger or a tool to slightly curl the "leaves" up a little so they stick out from the tree.
 Add a line of glitter glue to the edge of each leaf to give it definition and shine.
 Mount your cone on a stand or a candlestick to finish.

Products Used
Foam cone from Michaels
1" Circle punch from Martha Stewart
Papers from Kaisercraft Christmas Cracker collection
Distress Inks from Tim Holtz for Ranger Inks
Icicle Stickles from Ranger Inks
Stand - this is up to you but candlesticks are the easiest option

For the second tree, I did little spiral flowers instead.

 I chose four different patterned papers and cut them into 3" x 3" squares. If you have a 3" circle punch, it will makes things easier. I don't, so I traced around a glass.
 I then cut a spiral into the paper until I reached the centre.
 With the aid of a pencil or paintbrush handle, I curled the spiral from the outer end into the middle.
 So cute. They look like little snails shells
 This part is best done with hot glue. Squeeze a dollop on the centre of the florette and stick the bottom edges of the curled spiral down, making sure they are evenly spaced and tight.
 Once you have your flower intact, dip the top edges in some white glue. For better control, I used a foam brush to swipe the glue on the edges.
 Quickly dip the glue covered flower into matching glitter, tapping off the excess.
 Continue dipping all your flowers in glitter and allow them to dry before assembling.
 For the cone, I again papered it as there will be gaps between the florettes and you don't want the white foam core to show through. A dark coloured paper will make gaps look more unnoticeable.  Again, if you don't have the foam core, you can create your cone with cardstock.
 I glued a circle of lace and silver beads around the bottom of the cone to disguise the edge.
 Starting just above the lace border, I hot glued the florettes next to each other as tightly as possible.
 Keep glueing them down, staggering your colours around the cone, until you reach the top.
For the star, I traced and cut out two identical stars. I folded them so they would pop up, like the picture. I then used a strong glue around the inside edges and stuck both sides together, like a clam. You will need to hold them together with your fingers until they set. You can also stick a skewer into the bottom of your star if you want. I did this as I could then stick the star into the top of my tree. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this stage.
I then spread glue on the whole star and covered it with silver glitter. Once it's dry, skewer it to the top of your tree. If you haven't used a skewer, you will need to hot glue it to the tree to stabilise it.
 I again stuck a stemmed candle holder to the bottom to elevate the cone.

Products Used
Cone from Michaels
Papers from Echo Park Winter Wishes collection
Glitter, lace and beads sourced locally
Candle holder or candlestick

So there you are. Two different trees. I love the contrast between the pastel coloured scallops and the bolder colours for the flowers. It is time consuming and repetitive, but the final result is quite stunning and well worth it. I would love to see what you come up with.

Thanks for dropping by,

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Class - Ornaments

Hi there,

I can't believe it's less than a month to Christmas. Where has the time gone? I know it's going to be another year where I say I'll do my shopping early and have time to choose appropriate gifts that will be highly appreciated. In reality, I will most probably end up running around on Christmas Eve like a headless chicken, buying that tie for someone who doesn't wear ties, or resorting to that last crumpled box of smellies that's on mega sale. Does this resonate with anyone? Please?

A big part of being a crafter during this time of year is making your own ornaments, cards and home decorations. The HKMC team decided to do a different project each, which will be taught during the whole of December.

I wanted to do ornaments, so I planned out three which could be completed during the two and a half hour class. There are a huge array of ornaments you can purchase in the shops now but it's part of the charm to make your own which you can keep for your tree for years to come.

I gave each one a different feel; modern, traditional and vintage, with different techniques, which can be made quickly enough that you could do several at a time if you wanted to.

Pretty handmade ornaments to treasure for years to come.
The Modern. Using something unexpected: a tart tin.
 The Traditional. Classic round glass ball.
 The Vintage. Vintage style cut outs on canvas.

I will be holding two classes on Thursday, 13th December. There will be a morning class at my place in Discovery Bay, from 10:00am to 12:30pm. The second session will be at the HKMC shop in Sheung Wan from 7:30pm to 10:00pm.

We'll have an email notice out soon on all the December classes, which will include tags, my ornaments, a cute Christmas house and a mixed media Christmas canvas. I hope you'll be able to join us in our crafty countdown to Christmas day. All classes can be booked through or contact Erika on 2559 0175.

Oh, and my eClips eCal class was postponed to 17th December evening, so if you have an eClips machine and want to learn how to design and cut your own images, sign up with Erika. You'll be taking home a tag made from your designs.

See you soon,

Monday, 26 November 2012

Fall Colours

Hi everyone,

I finally got round to scrapbooking a few photos from our New York trip last month. My favourites were the ones from the pumpkin patch; not least because it was perfect weather that day.

Looking at these photos, I can't believe that a week later, a fickle lady named Sandy would strike through this area and turn everything upside down. I heard that people are still staying in hotels three weeks later as their homes are inhabitable. My prayers go out to those still suffering from this and hope that they can get back into their homes soon.

This layout is also based on the November sketch challenge from My Creative Sketchbook.

Picture Perfect Fall Day
 I flipped the sketch to the left and created an "outdoor" scene with the trees and clouds. I also grouped four photos together instead of use just the one photo.
The orange cloud acts as the circle element in the sketch.
I pop-dotted many of the elements to give it more dimension.

Products Used
All papers and stickers from Bella Blvd Finally Fall collection 2011 

Thanks for dropping by,

Happy Family

Hi everyone,

Although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I am influenced by this holiday and the connotations it brings with it. I must say, there are so many things everyone should be grateful for. If we all spend more time reflecting on the good things and what we have in our lives and less on the negatives, we would all be happier people.

One of the most important things in my life, as with many other people, would be my family, so here's a layout with my two treasures. It's not often we get a good photo of us as a family, as I'm usually the one holding the camera. This one was taken during our cruise holiday in April this year.

Happy Family
I love the pretty pinks and oranges together.
 I used a mask with modelling paste to create the textured diamond effect.
 One of my favourites things is grouping flowers. It just gives your page a touch of elegance.
A good motto to live by.

Products Used
Papers, stickers and alphabet letters from Webster's Pages
Flowers, pendant and dangling trinkets from Prima Marketing
Modelling Paste by Golden
Mask from Crafter's Workshop
Liquid Pearls from Ranger

Thanks for dropping by,

Saturday, 24 November 2012

It's Her, KP

Hey there,

I seem to start my posts apologizing for the lack of posts lately; but, I really am sorry for the silence for the last two weeks. It's been non-stop here with projects, cakes, family stuff and just not enough hours in the day to do everything. Top it all off with my indestructible Macbook Pro, self-destructing this week and not being able to get alot of my programs back. Luckily, the important things, i.e. photos, were all backed up. Thank goodness for iCloud and thank goodness for the Genius boys at the Apple store. I now have 270 days left before my Apple Care runs out and I'm on my own. Gulp.

I swear I am close to posting new projects, but in the meantime, a lucky few (myself included) got to meet Kelly Purkey of Studio Calico fame, in person and take a class or two. If you've not heard of her, I suggest you hop over to her blog and check out her work. Early last year, during the CHA, we, as a group  from HKMC, got to meet her and begged her to come over to Hong Kong. She was so sweet and promised she would make it out some time. 

To our delight and fortune, Kelly had planned a trip to Tokyo to see friends and decided to drop by Hong Kong for that promised visit. Needless to say, I was one of the first to raise my hand when the date was set for the classes.

We got to work with a mini-pack of Amy Tangerine Sketchbook papers, Thickers, stickers and Kelly's own brand new acrylic stamps. She did two classes; a mini-album in the morning and a layout in the afternoon. I wanted to do both classes but was only able to do the mini-album since there were other obligations in the afternoon. Boo. Regardless, I had a lot of fun. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces and we all had a good laugh and walked away with some very cute albums.

Thanks so much to Kelly and to HKMC for organizing the event. We also hope that Kelly enjoys the rest of her time here in Hong Kong and Japan. Hope to see her back out here again in the future.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cakes, Bakes and Classes

Hi All,

It's been another busy week. Classes to teach, cakes to make and a school trip to supervise. I've not had time to do any crafty projects this week although I have lots of ideas.

I did my two patchwork frame classes on Tuesday and Thursday. It's lovely how wonderful each person's project came out. Everyone got a mixture of Tim Holtz Ideo-logy hardware for their projects, mixed with some other trinket finds. They also got to frame their projects in the Ikea Ribba frame. I didn't get any photos of the class in progress, but I think Erika took some. I'll try to get them off her to post later.

I also had a macarons order for Wednesday and two cake orders for Friday and Sunday. I do love my cake making and it's a great creative outlet for me of a different kind. The funny thing is though - building up all my cake tools and supplies are just like building my scrapbooking supplies and I seem to have just as many edible ink colours as I do crafting ink colours. Hope I never mix up the two.

Bowling Lane Cake
 This was for a good friend's son who had a bowling party. Inside, is vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream. The outside is covered in fondant with gum paste bowling pins and ball.

Puppy Dog Toy Cake
 This one was for another good friend's daughter who just turned one. I love doing sculpted cakes and this one was fun as it was modeled over an actual stuffed toy dog that belongs to the birthday girl. The inside is chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. 

I have to admit that I'm not the best at macarons. The first time I tried to make them, it took me seven tries before I got them right. Since then, I've struggled to get them right, trying out all sorts of recipes and ratios. I was given the latest recipe by a friend and these ones have turned out the best. In fact, macarons making has vexed me quite a bit and I finally decided to sign up for a class on how to make them. I'll be doing that this coming Tuesday. I hope this will help me create flawless macarons from now on.

This coming week will be more relaxed, so I'll have to buckle down and get some major scrapbooking done. Hopefully, I'll have something to show you very soon.

Thanks for dropping by,

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