Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Making Use Of After Christmas Clearance items

Hello everyone!
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and are
having a wonderful 2015.
Kristie here from Kristie Kreates.
Do you do after Christmas bargain shopping?
I did a bit of that the other day and today I'd like to show
y'all how I'm using one of my bargain buys.
I found these foam shapes at 80% off at Michael's 
and I knew exactly what I would use them for.
First I stamped and colored an image and created a card base..
I measured the image and took off a little bit on each side.
You can see I noted the size I wanted at the side of the
foam shape.  I cute the center of the shape to that size.
I'll keep the pieces I cut off for another project.
I applied adhesive to the back of the foam.
and applied it to the back of the colored image.
Here you can see that it covers most of the back
and has just a little dimension.
I usually have used pieces of foam tape to give dimension 
to a card.  With the foam piece covering the 
back this way, you don't get any "sagging" in the center of the
card.  It is just a little more uniform.
And I'm using something I got at a bargain price.
Here's the card all done, ready for a 
sentiment to be stamped in side,
or a personal note to be written.

Did you get any after Christmas bargains that 
you'll be using for something other than their
intended purpose?

Thanks for stopping by today for my 
crafty tutorial.
Come again soon
and until next month when I'm back
with another tutorial,
have fun crafting.

For more inspirations be sure to stop
by my blog
and see what else I've been creating!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Handmade Party Candles

Handmade Candles- Chapter 12

We had some extra fun with this project! My kids all got to make a little candle using dixie cups as the mold. The possibilities are endless, so don't be shy. Melt some wax and get started!

Measure the depth of a Styrofoam cup or other heat-resistant
but temporary container.

Cut cotton wicking one and a half times
the depth of the container.

Melt paraffin wax (one pound of paraffin
melts to about 20 fluid ounces) in a double boiler. Or if you melt scented wax, you can melt down your used wax from Scentsy candles, etc.

For this step, I had an old emergency candle that got melted in the summer heat of the trailer that my hubby and I lived in when we were first married! Yes, it was that hot in that tin can! I finally decided to do something with it since it couldn't be burned as a candle in its current state!

 After melting down, add essential oils for your favorite scent.

Stir in dried rose petals, eucalyptus leaves, berries,
or wood shavings, using about four parts wax to one part mix-ins.
Wrap one end of cotton wicking to a pencil that is slightly longer
than the diameter of your container, and tape the other end to the
inside bottom of the container. The wick should be slightly taut. Alternatively, you could set up something like I have pictured below. We put the candles on my cooling rack and taped the wicking to the underside of the cupboards.

Pour wax into your container and adjust the wick as needed. I poured in different colors of wax in layers and let each one set up for about five to ten minutes before adding the next layer and mix-ins. Once the wick is centered and taut, allow 24 hours for the wax to harden.

Then cut the container and peel it away to reveal the candle. Trim the wick to
¾ inch. This was quite the exciting step for my 4 year old!

Wrap twine or ribbon around the candle if desired.

In my book, this candle idea is used as a centerpiece for the wedding celebrations/reception. These candles also make great holiday gifts and fun decor ideas.

Here are four of my kids showing off their candle creations!

Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here
Courtesy of

Friday, December 19, 2014

Make a Nativity

Kate here again. I know you are used to me posting recipes, but I wanted to share one of our Christmas traditions with you.
I like each of my children to have their own nativity to keep in their rooms during the Christmas season.
We've made the people from toilet paper tubes
IMG_1696 and cut up tree branches in years past.
I realized that my youngest children have never made a nativity so on Wednesday I pulled out the fabric scraps and the glue gun.
This year I actually purchased some wood doll bodies to use. It came in a package of assorted shapes and sizes.
My daughter divided them up into individual nativities for each child. On the left are the three wiseman. The center shows Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. The figures on the right are two shepherds and a sheep.
The rest is all made from scraps we had hanging around from previous projects. If you don't sew or make crafts, you could purchase squares of felt to use for the clothing. IMG_1670
I showed the boys how to cut a piece of fabric and wrap it around the doll bodies
and how to make a head covering. The embroidery floss was used for hair, belts, head ties, and even a shepherd's staff.
My daughter used bias tape to make a turban for her wiseman.

After that, I gave them the scissors and glue gun and let them go.
They decided we needed an angel so they each found another doll body for an angel.
This is my four-year-old's nativity. He made all the fabric choices for his people. I helped him cut out the pieces and glue them together, but he was definitely the director.
He suggested some of the most unusual combinations, and I love how it turned out.

He promptly put it on the shelf by his bed.
Here is my ten-year-old's on his windowsill. He said one of his wiseman took the arctic route.
Thus the fur coat and head covering.:)
IMG_1687 And my seven-year-old put his on this corner.
This was a super fun activity and helped refocus my children (and me!) on Christ being the reason we celebrate Christmas.

Kate is an author. Her newest release is an easy chapter book titled Lucky Midas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cranberry Salad

Kate's newest release is an easy chapter book for readers aged 6-8 titled Lucky Midas.
Kate here again with another recipe. Here is a fruit-filled, festive, jello salad. It can be eaten with or without the topping. Here's what you'll need:
The sour cream and cream cheese are for the optional topping.
6 oz. pkg. raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
(You may have noticed a few stray walnut pieces in the 9 x 13 casserole. 
These things happen when you have little helpers.)
Add, stir, and chill:
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
2, 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
3/4 cup cranberry juice 
See the whole cranberries? Make sure you get the can that says whole cranberries in sauce. Just so you know--the canned cranberry sauce without whole cranberries will work, too. I tried it once and it tasted great. But it looks so pretty with the whole cranberries, and I love all the crunch and texture in this salad.
Look how pretty that is. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for four to five hours.
It is delicious served like this, or you can make the topping.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
chopped nuts for sprinkling
Mix the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar with an electric beater until smooth. (This will take at least seven minutes and likely longer if you forget to soften the cream cheese.)
Spread over chilled jello salad and sprinkle with nuts. 
Cut into squares, serve, and enjoy!
Cranberry Salad
6 oz. pkg. raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
In a 9 x 13 dish, add the following ingredients and stir:
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
2, 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
3/4 cup cranberry juice
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for four to five hours.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
chopped nuts for sprinkling
Mix the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar with an electric beater until smooth. Spread over chilled jello salad and sprinkle with nuts.

Kate's newest release is an easy chapter book for readers aged 6-8 titled Lucky Midas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Simple frame technique.

Kristie here from
I can't believe December is already here!
But it's a new month, so here I am 
with another crafty tutorial for you.
Today, I have a simple framing technique to show you.
Here's all you need
A piece of white card stock, an acrylic block and some ink.
I am using Distress Ink, because I just happen to have it close 
at hand.
Any size acrylic block will work for this technique,
I like to use the small block to make gift enclosures.
Ink up all 4 sides of the block.
Press the block onto your white card stock.
Please excuse the messy pad under my paper.
I like to use an old mouse pad to give a little cushion
when I'm stamping.  As you can see
I use this old mouse pad a lot.
When you lift up the block you will have a frame.
Depending on the type of ink you use, you will get different
looks to your frame.  I love this mottled look.
Now what to do with that frame?
As you can see I stamped a small flower in the center
of the frame with Wild Honey Distress Ink.
I measured and cut another piece of card stock
a little bigger than the frame piece.
Using a sponge applicator, I sponged the edges with
Wild Honey Distress Ink to match the flower.
I adhered the framed flower to the inked piece 
of card stock and then added them to a white
card stock base.
This will make a nice little card to go with a gift.
It's easy to give a different look to your stamped pieces
by stamping a frame for your card.
I hope you have been inspired
in some way and that you'll try this technique.
You can also reink the block with another color and
stamp over the frame again to give a multi colored look.
Or try stamping onto colored card stock.
Play with the inks you have and see what you can come 
up with.
Thanks for stopping by today,
I hope you'll stop by my blog 
and see what other things I've been up to.
You never know what you'll find on my blog.

I'd like to wish you all a very 
Merry Christmas
and a happy and healthy 

Until next month, have fun crafting!