November 23, 2011 § 18 Comments
Whew, enough catch-up posts from me. Now on to some serious crafting around here, as it should be!
I am in love with French macarons. Aren’t we all? They’re delicious. Divine! And so darling. Torontonians aren’t quite blessed to have the luxury of indulging in Ladurée on any given day. But what we do have is a handful of gourmet bakeries that serve these pretty pastel treats. I thought it was imperative to reward myself with three last Friday, after completing my crafts for spring issues next year. Three teeny tiny macarons for $9 is definitely not a daily splurge! And I inhaled them too quickly.
Immediately followed was the urge to craft fake macarons for this blog. If I can’t buy them often, at least I can pretend to always have them!
These are so simple and quick to make, in hindsight. But it took me two days of experimentation to figure out the right technique to make them. My challenge were the macaron “feet”. Macarons are such a simple shape, but no two circular discs would ever do! They’re not that simple. Without feet, they’d look like whoopie pies. And whoopie pies and macarons are from absolutely different leagues.
I’ve seen some faux macarons online made of molded clay. There are molds available that let you make your own polymer and paper clay macarons at home. Tempting! But I thought: $5 for a mold, anywhere between $10-30 for expensive paper clay in an assortment of colors (if I want to make plenty), shipping, handling, duty (and shipping duties in Canada are sky high)…it can be costly!
There has got to be a way to make macaron ornaments for nearly nothing! I figured how you can make dozens for about $5.
Can I say these faux French macarons are Parisian? Because I made them entirely out of plaster of Paris. And all quickly done by hand, as you would bake them. No need to spend your money on a mold, and ordering online and all the shipping fees, etc. All you need is plaster, a bit of paint, ribbon, and any 1-1/2″ circular object with an edge.
These instructions make 12 shells (6 macarons):
1. Take two sheets of cardboard. Draw 2-1/4″ circles, spaced evenly. I suggest doing 6 per sheet.
2. In a disposable cup, using a disposable spoon, mix 1/2 cup plaster + 1/4 cup water + dollop of paint.
3. Quickly spoon mixture onto carboard, staying inside the circles. Tap the cardboard against table to even out surface. This is where it is easier to do 6 in a sheet, so you can spoon and tap the first 6, then move on to the next 6. Dispose of any leftover mix, disposable spoon, and cup or clean thoroughly until there are no traces of cured plaster. You cannot mix new plaster with partly-cured/cured plaster, otherwise the combination will cease quickly.
4. Let the plaster stand and dry for about 5 minutes. When the surface is dry, but the inside is still soft, etch the surface of the plaster using a 1-1/2″ circular object with an edge (I used a hose clamp). Do not go all the way through.
5. Let the plaster dry until you can peel it off the cardboard easily. If the plaster is too dry at this stage, it will stick to the cardboard. Set discs aside to dry completely. Break off the edges of the plaster. The edges should be rough, as these will give the look of the macaron “feet”.
6. In clean cup with clean spoon, mix 1/2 cup plaster + 1/4 cup water + dollop of paint.
7. For each disc, quickly spoon a small dollop of mixture on the centre of the disc. Tap to even out surface, until plaster mixture reaches the edges. You must work quickly with each individual disc.
8. Let dry completely.
9. Cut ribbon in 5″ lengths.
10. In clean cup with clean spoon, mix 1/4 cup plaster + 1/8 cup water + dollop of paint.
11. With disc facing bottom side up, fold ribbon in half and place on disc. Quick spoon plaster mixture over ribbon.
12. Quickly place second disc while plaster is wet, sandwiching wet plaster in between. Let dry.
Et voila — faux macarons!
November 20, 2011 § 8 Comments
Ok, so a month later, finally a recap of my first TV appearance!
I had the most wonderful experience at Canadian Living Magazine headquarters and Citytv Breakfast Television here in Toronto on October 25th! It was a very early morning, which started at 3:45 when my alarm sounded, after which I immediately threw hot rollers in my hair, and loaded my car with carved pumpkins. Arrival and set-up was 5:30. Make-up 6:00. And my super short three minutes of fame slated at 7:53 am.
This may sound odd to you — in the spring months I had actually visualized being on Breakfast Television and carving my butternut squashes. A premonition? “The Secret” come to life? Ok, I’m not here to prove nor disprove the law of attraction. However, back in the spring, I had a moment of reflection after a couple of friends urged me to pitch my crafts to the show. I supposed if I would pitch anything in the spring, it would have to be for something six months ahead, in the fall. I thought, if I were to make my first crafting appearance on live local TV, I’ll carve squashes.
As it goes, I didn’t bother with the pitch. Who cares about a random blogger carving anything on live television? The end to a reverie.
Then the bizarre twist of fate. While I was in California last month, I received an email. The short of it: Breakfast Television. Me. Carving Pumpkins. Here’s to you, universe — in my hands are the fate of pumpkins, not squashes! Seriously, though, what are the chances that my first television appearance would be to carve some autumnal gourd as I had earlier prophesized?
More importantly, you’re probably wondering — how do I get a random email request such as this?
I could not be more thankful to Canadian Living Magazine. I guess I have been silent here and not been revealing much about the work I do outside of this blog, until the work manifests itself in public. This year, I have had the greatest creative opportunity to work on crafts projects with Canadian Living Magazine. You’ve read the posts I wrote for The Craft Blog earlier this year. But, I have also been busy designing some fun crafts for the magazine’s print issues in 2012. The process is lengthy for print publication, and crafts ideas and articles go through a gestation period of sorts for about ten months before they are born into the world. In fact, this month of November, I was busily crafting for the April and May 2012 issues. Yep, despite my lull online, I’m not totally a slacker (not entirely, though I should totally pick up the pace on this blog)!
So, on with the show! We had four segments filmed live inside the Test Kitchen (where the magazine prepares all recipes in-house). I joined the three amazingly talented women: Austen Gilliland (Senior Editor and Craft Editor), Adell Shneer (Test Kitchen Manager), and Rheanna Kish (Food Specialist), and we each did a segment on creative Halloween ideas.
Of course, seeing that this is a month late, I just went to Breakfast Television’s site and wasn’t able to find the full episode that day. However, I found our individual video clips. I have no idea how to embed non-Youtube videos, so please click on each image to link to the video:
Adell had the first segment and concocted a cauliflower “brain” with dip. You totally have to try this recipe out. It is packed with cheese and absolutely delicious!
Me and my hair and, oh right, my pumpkins went for the second segment. I really did not anticipate a third of the segment would become about my hair! I wish there was time to explain the “convertible pumpkins” which let your children design and paint the features of the pumpkin. The features can then be placed on the pumpkins for funny faces during the day and removed to make jack-o-lanterns at night
Rheanna had the third segment and she made some yummy sweet-salty-spicy zombie popcorn. I could not have enough! Sweet. Salty. Spicy. You would be remiss not to try this recipe out!
The fourth clip of Austen doing creepy crafts is not available. Boo. It’s really too bad, she made awesome paper packaging for the popcorn! On a good note, I did a search and found this clip from last winter when she shared cool crafts ideas from the book, “Create, Update, Remake”. How timely — these are fantastic projects and gifts for winter and Christmas! Enjoy!
October 30, 2011 § 6 Comments
Ahh, I can’t believe Halloween is a couple of short hours away. I haven’t been holding out on you, I promise! I had some more ideas I wanted to test out and make and share here this month, but there simply weren’t enough hours in the day!
As mentioned in my last post, I spent the previous weekend brainstorming and carving pumpkins for the show on Tuesday morning which turned out to be such an amazing experience. I have plenty to say about what happened on Tuesday and I also have the video clips to post, but will do so in a separate post. After that, I caught my breath on Wednesday night. Come Thursday, O.T. was speaking at a conference in the east coast in Albany, NY, called me after work, and surprised me with “I’m taking the Greyhound from Albany, meet me at the station at 6:30 am”. Immediately after hanging up the phone, I attempted to embark on a cleaning frenzy, with no success (again, not enough hours in the day). In any case, my spectacular week couldn’t've gotten better! So he’s been here for several days and will be here until Wednesday.
As for the past couple of days, being Halloween weekend, the days are prime calendar real estate (after Christmas and Thanksgiving, of course). We had a couple of parties to attend this weekend and everything went by in a blink!
As for things that blink — I did have time to make these eyeball paper packages for the office tomorrow. 420 mini chocolates in 60 eyeballs in 2 hours. I wish I had shared this sooner, but I actually JUST came up with the idea today. One of the rare occasions when I’m glad I waited til the last minute. Otherwise, I would’ve simply reused my old ideas and would’ve felt a bit of self-reproach for not coming up with anything else different. I’m quite happy with the efficiency of these packages, considering how laborious most of my previous treat packages have been.
I have a 13″ x 19″ format color printer, and have stacks of 11″ x 17″ paper which I used. My very hastily made design (which you may download here for blue, here for brown, here for green) is intended to be 11″ x 11″. One eyeball paper package fits 7 pieces of mini chocolates. Simply fill with treats, gather, and twist. Yes, how handy that the excess twists into the optic nerve!
I’m sure you haven’t left your Halloween treats for last minute as I have, so perhaps this is an idea to consider for next year!
October 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
The latest article I wrote for Craft is available today! I know, I know, another caulking project from me?! I couldn’t resist, especially because it was so easy to turn a regular fitted ball cap into a bloody brain with my caulking gun.
This article had awesome timing. I finished it off here in Toronto before my vacation in California where I managed to get O.T. to agree to model it for the world. And how appropriate that the brainy wears a brain cap.
Did I ever mention O.T. is a computer chip designer in Silicon Valley with 3 patents to his name (one for each consecutive year from 2009 to 2011) and 4 more patents for approval? He exercised his brain from the age of 4 to 28, the years he attended school, unstoppably, from kindergarten to a doctorate (a fellowship, at that!) in both computer science and computer engineering. I love this chic geek of a man! Happy 32nd birthday, O.T. (it was his birthday this weekend and, yes, we’re only 2 weeks apart!). And thank you, O.T., for all your brilliant algorithms.
October 18, 2011 § 6 Comments
Everyone, meet Gord! For the holiday, I’ve carved this Halloween skull lantern out of a butternut squash, with a chunk leftover for some scrumptious soup (my fave kind of all time, not just du jour!). Yes, I do love pumpkins. But, of all gourds, butternut squashes are tops.
There’s no better shape for a carved skull than the butternut squash. It is bulbous, hollow in the bulb (perfect place for a tea light), and has a narrow shaft (appropriate shape for the jaw line).
This is my second go at butternut squash carving, all done with my trusty paring knife. Last year, my carved butternut squash flower centerpieces took half the effort and a fraction of the time as this one lone skull.
I figure it will be a challenge to explain the process into words, so I’m going to skip the long-winded tutorial and leave you with step-by-step pictures only (there is some interpretation to be left in between steps).
The key steps are towards the end of the process. It is important that the sides of the squash be sliced off and the forehead shaved down to a flatter shape, otherwise the skull will look more like an alien. I realize my skull balloons last week are looking like aliens…I must do something about that…
October 13, 2011 § 2 Comments
Rather: super simple whatever-you-can-mold-from-ice-cube-trays-or-candy-molds topiary. In this case: skulls. I’ve been looking for ways to use fancy silicone ice cube trays and candy molds. I figured, with a couple of cups of plaster and some form of styrofoam (ball, cone, or ring), that a holiday centerpiece, mantelpiece, or wreath can be made with these molds.
Knowing that I’d be at O.T.’s in California all week this week, I was excited to decorate his place with a bit of Halloween, but I also had to make sure the materials could be easily packed in my suitcase. A Dollarama skull ice cube tray (which you’ve recently seen included in the giveaway; I adore it so much, I had to pick one up for myself — amazing investment for a buck), a styrofoam ball, a dowel, and some plaster barely took up any room in my luggage. The result: a modern, obscure Halloween centerpiece for O.T.’s kitchen table.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Halloween. You can make any type of topiary with whatever ice cube trays and candy molds you’ve got. My silicone ice cube tray collection includes skulls, pumpkins, hearts, and Christmas trees. I can make one for every occasion. And again, you can use a Styrofoam ball or cone or ring to make topiaries, trees, and wreaths respectively.
1. Mix plaster according to package directions. Pour into molds. Place toothpicks, pointy side up. NOTE: I discovered later it was better to break the toothpick in half, so that it is shorter. If the toothpick is too long, it may not go into the styrofoam completely.
2. Let plaster dry. Unmold.
3. Press plaster pieces into styrofoam.
And it’s done! It is very easy to do. It’s a matter of waiting in between molding for the plaster to dry, but there’s always chores to do around the house while that’s happening (especially here at O.T.’s). On that note, back to cleaning for me…
October 7, 2011 § 6 Comments
October 1, 2011 § 39 Comments
It’s October! In a couple of days, paper, plate, and plane will turn one year old. At the end of the month, I, too, will turn one year older. I wanted to celebrate this wonderful month by giving away some cool crafty items.
With thirty two dollars in my pocket, two weeks ago, this diva-on-a-dime ran amok at my most favorite crafty source, Dollarama. What can I get possibly get my dear crafty friends for thirty two dollars?! (I guess it goes without saying — I’m turning thirty two on Halloween!). (And oh, as much as this has a tone of sponsorship, it is certainly just me raving about Dollarama, as I often do, and hauling things out of my own pocket, as I’ve done for the past year to keep this blog alive and kicking).
Well, here goes a long list! Ok, let’s take a look at what you’ll get. I tried to keep in mind a variety of your crafty needs. Let’s start with paper. It is my first passion, afterall.
Art Blanc Notebook
Art Blanc books sell for as much as $11 at gift shops and book stores. I was happily surprised to see Dollarama carrying this famous Russian line of luxurious, textured notebooks in their stationery aisle for a whopping $2. It was so difficult to choose which design to include in this list of giveaways. Of course, I chose the one that most looks like Turkish tiles (as you may know, I have a weakness for anything Turkish). I happen to carry a huge notebook (yes, the traditional paper kind) with me at all times so I can scribble and doodle all of my ideas that eventually materialize on this blog. I’ve never found electronic gadgets that efficient for this purpose. I actually bought a tablet way back in 2007 and fast forward to 2011, I still very much prefer my good old paper notebook.
Handmade Indian Scrapbook Paper
These sheets are 100% cotton paper, with beautiful gold foil details. There are two packs, each with 2 sheets of gorgeous handmade Indian paper. A total of 4 sheets. Size: 12″ x 12″ (30 cm x 30 cm).
Vintage Handmade Dimensional Stickers
Pretty 3-dimensional stickers layered with buttons, ribbons, rhinestones, and pearls. There are three packs, each with 8 stickers. A total of 24 vintage handmade stickers.
I’m not exactly sure if these colorful butterflies are made of paper, but these are perfect for scrapbookers. I’m sure I’ve seen similar at craft stores for quadruple Dollarama’s price. There are two packs, each with 3 butterflies. Each butterfly is 2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ (6 cm x 4 cm).
These are intended for laptops, but they can also be for cellphones, printers, windows, walls, wherever you want to stick stickers that won’t stick forever. These are the removable decals you’ve probably seen being sold everywhere. Dollarama happens to sell them for $1.50 for a pack of 5 designs. There are 3 packs in 3 different glittery, blingy colors.
Bottles of Glitter and Decorative Beads
Dollarama has bottles and bottles of glitter in so many colors. It was difficult to narrow down the choices. I used shades of purple to make the juice bottle glitter vases back in July. For this giveaway, I chose green, gold, and blue, considering that Christmas is around the corner. I also bought a six-pack of adorably cute bottles of micro beads in Christmas colors.
Spools of Ribbon
Sheer organza polka-dot ribbons in yellow, apple green, and fuschia pink. Size: 1-1/2″ wide x 77″ long (4 cm x 2 m). Two stylish satin ribbons with illustrated flower prints in green and red. Size: 5/8″ x 72″ (1.5 cm x 1.8 m).
I didn’t forget you, clay makers! Dollarama doesn’t sell polymer clay, however they do sell these soft, light weight, air drying modeling clay packs similar to Crayola Model Magic . Each pack is 1.4 oz (40 g), in green, pink, and purple.
Decorative Push Pins
I thought these little lady bugs and busy bees would be a fun addition to your home office or your children’s boards. Each pack has 12 push pins. You know I love making me my push pins such as the light bulb and Kill Bill push pins.
When I was a kid, I had an obsession with erasers. My mom would avoid taking me to stationery shops because I always threw a tantrum over buying paper and erasers to add to my colossal collection. When I saw these as I shopped for crafty items, I couldn’t put them down. My childhood obsession with erasers is likely equivalent to my current obsession with sushi as an adult. I hope you or someone you know has an obsession with erasers and sushi, too.
Of course, there has to be a little bit of Halloween in the mix!
I adore these! The package comes with 12 teeny tiny pumpkins, about 1-1/4″ (3.5 cm) in diameter. There can be many creative uses for these little guys, but last year, I used them as place card stands.
Halloween Cupcake Liners
Who can resist Halloween cupcakes? These orange and black cupcake/muffin cups have a spider web design, are standard size, and come in a pack of 50 pieces.
Skull and Pumpkin Molds
These rubber ice cube trays make for great candy molds, too. I used them last year to shape my pumpkin butter.
So how can you grab all this stuff for yourself or for your kids/grandkids/friends? Please comment below before Monday, October 3, 2011, 10:31 pm EST. Say anything that comes to mind — what your favorite posts were in the past year or what other ideas you want me to explore or the types of crafts you most enjoy or simply share your blog link with the rest of us or anything else you want to say! I will count the number of comments, place the count in a number generator, and announce the giveaway winner with the winning comment number on Monday, October 3, 2011 after 10:31 pm EST. And wherever you are in the world, I’ll be happy to ship to you! Stay tuned!
September 29, 2011 § 2 Comments
I cannot wait to work on fall and Halloween crafts for October, but before I do, here’s a recap of the fall and Halloween ideas I designed last year. If you didn’t get a chance to make any of these creations last year, I hope you try them out this season!
My most favorite post was the one with the Halloween balloon body parts. Doodle on balloons to create creepy eyes, bloody brains, and witch’s fingers:
Make cute little phantom place cards by drawing faces on pumpkin seeds:
Cut out and fold an itsy bitsy spider treat box with the very first printable I designed and shared on this blog (and it was my very first tutorial ever):
Grab a tupperware bowl, four corks, scraps of paper, a pen, and some raffia and create this witch’s candy-filled cauldron with broomstick:
You know I love me my packaging, so here’s another printable! Fill this harvest corn treat box with…you guessed it…candy corn! (I think this is still my favorite treat box out of all treat boxes I’ve designed for this blog to date):
Your little ones can make art of autumn grains with this wheat and corn décor made of exactly that: wheat (pasta) and corn:
And the most popular fall tutorial I made last year was the carved butternut squash centerpieces:
Oh, and I almost forgot: I did a whole week of pumpkin experimental recipes last year:
My favorite from pumpkin week was the pumpkin panna cotta:
And, I almost forgot, I designed and baked a ginormous woven cornucopia cracker for Thanksgiving:
Enjoy! More fall and Halloween ideas from me coming up in October! And I have a birthday GIVEAWAY coming to you this weekend! paper, plate, and plane is very soon turning 1. And I am very soon turning 1 year older. I am excited to host a special giveaway to celebrate the occasion(s). Stay tuned!!! :D
July 25, 2011 § 13 Comments
Here’s another beautiful way to recycle your plastic bottles into decorative vases. Ridged rectangular juice bottles are so simplistic, they make quite some modern vases. Add a dusting of glitter and you have yourself a stunning set to add to your table or mantle.
To make your own recyclable glitter vases, you will need plastic juice bottles (I prefer ridged rectangular ones, like Ocean Spray), glue, paint, glitter, foam brush, paint brush, and X-Acto knife.
1. Using an X-Acto knife, cut off the top half of the plastic juice bottle.
2. Paint the outside of the juice bottle.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all juice bottles you are using. I painted each a different shade of purple.
4. Turn the bottle upside down. Apply glue to the flat bottom (currently the top) of the bottle, on the outside.
5. Spread glue using a foam brush.
6. Pour glitter over the glue.
7. Tap off glitter onto a large sheet of paper.
8. Repeat steps 4 to 7, applying glue and glitter to short segments of the bottle. It’s best to apply glue and glitter in segments to prevent glue from drying before glitter is applied.
9. Continue apply glue and glitter until the entire surface is covered.
10. Repeat steps 4 to 9 for all juice bottles you are using. I used a different shade of glitter for each bottle. Let dry upside down.
I smiled from ear to ear throughout the making of this craft yesterday, as it came into being with the help of serendipity. I knew I was going to make glitter vases out of my collection of juice bottles, but hadn’t a single idea what color it should be nor what flowers to display. I figured, I’d have the idea sorted out by the time I finished instructing a dinosaur workshop (my wonderful weekend job and the origin of many creative musings).
Along my drive, I randomly caught sight of purple lavender-like weeds on the side of the road. It was decided my vases would be gradations of purple. I made a mental note of the exact location of the weeds so I can later return for some pickings. After teaching the class, I decided to stop into a Dollarama I hadn’t ever visited (no, I haven’t visited all of their stores in the Greater Toronto Area; well, at least not yet). There, I found a trove of beautiful, fine glitter in cute jars and in an assortment of colors, none I had seen at other Dollaramas before. I also found artificial lavender stems available in exactly three shades of purple, as I envisioned. The weeds and the artificial lavender stems are so uncannily alike, it’s just so amusing how things turn out sometimes. Everything I imagined appeared before my eyes. I love those days.
July 24, 2011 § 5 Comments
Well, we all know I love me a good bean project and I love me a good recycling project, so I designed this vase out of beans and a 2-liter plastic soda pop bottle. The result is a little surprising coming from a handful of beans and a plastic bottle, isn’t it? It’s so simple and a striking way to display the flowers growing in our backyards this summer. And we have one less piece of plastic being thrown into the recycling bin (well, for now, anyway).
I decided to clip a few of the daylilies copiously consuming my backyard. Daylilies are not conventional cut flowers. I thought daylilies needed their beauty sleep at night, but truth be told (after some reading) , a daylily flower has only a single day’s worth of life. On a good note, the other buds have their turn at life the next morning. Even so, whether or not the new buds will sprout in my vase tomorrow, I had to clip them. They’re just so pretty and so vividly orange, which makes for such a great contrast to my very pale taupe vase. I had conveniently invested in a couple of cans of spray paint on clearance for $1 at Michaels at the beginning of the year. It’s amazing to pick up an irresistible bargain for later use and actually use it for a project so perfectly suited. Most times, I’m sure some of you can relate, a lot of our “Oh, what an amazing deal, I’ll buy two or three or a dozen” bargain hoards seldom find a use.
You will need:
a. 2-liter plastic soda pop bottle
b. Beans, shape and size of your choice. I chose navy beans only because I still have some left over from previous projects: bean-by-number Turkish tiles, bean-by-number Venetian mask, and gold bean banges.
c. An X-acto knife, a ruler, a marker, hot glue gun with glue sticks, and a can of spray paint.
2. Using a ruler and a marker, draw vertical lines along the length of the bottle. Use the bottom grooves of the pop bottle as points to start your lines. I alternated full-height lines with random-height lines.
3. Using a hot glue gun, affix beans one at a time, applying glue in 1-1/2″ lengths. The longer your line of glue, the quicker you will have to work before the glue quickly dries. Continue until you have all of your lines covered with beans.
4. Spray paint and let dry.
This is the lovely time of year when we have the luxury of clipping flowers from our backyards. I think it’s wonderful to be able to display our backyard flowers in our very own handcrafted vases. Even better when the vases cost so little to make. But it’s the best when making them means that some of our garbage could be repurposed into surprisingly beautiful creations.
I’m sure you’ve started to notice, I’m developing a collection of unique vases from my pile of recyclables. You’ve seen the collection start with the peek-through vases earlier this year, and the basket weave vases in the spring. Since it’s summer, I really want to add more to my assortment of recyclable vases. There will be more recyclable vase projects to come!
July 16, 2011 § 3 Comments
Has it really been over a week since I last crafted? Our summer in Toronto has been Tremendous and who wants to offend the sun by staying indoors?! When I started the full-time job in March, I would scramble home to make sure I could craft before sunset. I absolutely refuse to take pictures at night (I’m sure you can tell which crafts were made at night from their poor pictures) and I have yet to build a “studio” or light box of sorts where I can take pictures under artificial light. I was under the assumption that come warm weather, I would have extended hours, as late as 9 pm, to craft and take pictures with natural light pouring through the windows. Right. Of course. Well that theory is out the window! Extended hours so my crafts could see sunlight? How about me and my very vital human need for some Vitamin D? Yes, that’s where I have been — scarce and out of doors and making up the weight I lose in sweat by gorging on an equal (or greater) weight in summer treats. How has your summer been? By no way is this question an affront to those in the opposite hemisphere undergoing the opposite. It’s just that our summer has been gorgeous.
Speaking of gorging on summer treats, here’s one that is guilt-free. I’ve wanted to make these rolled paper ice creams since I rolled paper ornaments for Christmas. In fact, I’ve had planned for a long time now to make rolled paper everything. We’ll get to that later (if ever!…or at least not during these summer days). For now, rolled paper ice cream!
You will need construction paper, double-sided tape, mounting tape, and 1/8″ red ribbon.
1. Cut construction paper lengthwise (9″ long) in 1/4″ increments starting from 3″ wide down to 1″ wide (e.g. 3″, 2-3/4″, 2-1/2:, 2-1/4″ and so on until 1″). Take the widest piece (3″) and adhere mounting tape across the center. Take 8″ of ribbon, fold, and place on the mounting tape.
3. Take the second widest piece and adhere mounting tape across the center.
4. Center the strip on the previously rolled strip and roll.
5. Repeat, going from widest, until you’ve rolled the 2″ piece.
6. Adhere mounting tape on the bottom.
7. Take a brown sheet of construction paper. Cut into an 11″ circle. Cut circle into quarters.
8. Take one quarter and place double-sided tape on one of the edges.
9. Roll on top of the mounting tape to make a cone. Peel off the double-sided tape and affix.
10. Continue steps 2-5, by rolling the remaining strips (except the narrowest strip).to form the ball shape of the ice cream,
11. When you get to the narrowest strip, place the mounting tape directly on the center and cut it about 3/4″ from where you began. Place double sided tape where the seams will meet. This will ensure the final seam is flat, and not raised.
12. Roll the final piece only once around and cut at the seam.
14. Cut red construction paper into 4-1/2″ length and 3/4″, 1/2″ and 1/4″ strips. Repeat same rolling process to make a cherry.
Hang them up as fun summer party ornaments — how about some ice cream bunting?!
July 8, 2011 § 22 Comments
I realize the crafts I’ve most enjoyed making on this blog are ones inspired by my musings at hardware stores. In hindsight, the four years I toiled running a hardware store customer service desk during my late teens have paid off in dividends in the form of knowledge of unlikely crafty materials. I hope you enjoyed this week’s no-carve stamps made of caulking because I am not done with caulking yet!
These teeny tiny ice cream charms are made of caulking. And wooden dowels. And screw eyes. Yes, all hardware store materials. And to make them, you will need hardware store equipment. Don’t be alarmed, these cute charms are amazingly simple to make!
a. 1/4″ wooden dowel.
b. 13/16″ screw eyes.
c. Tube of white caulking/sealant.
d. Pencil sharpener. A regular sharpener will do, however, I used my electric sharpener.
e. Hack saw.
f. Drill with the smallest bit you can find. Drilling is optional, but I promise it makes things a lot easier.
With under $5 worth of materials, you can make dozens of ice cream charms to give away this summer!
1. Sharpen the dowel.
2. Using a hack saw, cut the sharpened point of the dowel into a cone. I literally did a hack job. The cut edge does not have to be perfect because it will be covered with caulking.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have as many cones as you need.
4. Using a drill, create a very shallow pilot hole on the flat end of the cone. This will help ease the screw eye through.
5. Screw one screw eye into each cone, only deep enough to secure the screw eye, ensuring most of the length remains exposed.
6. Cut the tip of the caulking tube to create a hole no more than 1/8″ in diameter. Squeeze the caulking out onto the flat end of the cone, covering the edge. Continue squeezing the caulking while twirling the cone until you reach the eye of the screw.
7. Press each charm upright into a Styrofoam block to dry. Let cure for 24 hours.
I must say, this is a project I contemplated long and hard since my first caulking project, candy heart coasters, back in January. It was almost natural to arrive at the visual idea of soft-serve ice cream from caulking, however, I spent an absurd amount of time considering the material of the “cone”. At first, only considering the shape and size of what is available in stores, I thought: wall anchor. But the color selection and the disproportionate ridges left me with little interest to undertake the craft. I eventually considered cutting the shafts off of wooden golf tees and keeping the top wider portion of the tee to create flat-bottomed ice-cream cones, as most soft-serve typically come. But I wasn’t happy, I wanted a cone — pointy, as it should be, in the truest meaning of the word. Then yesterday, with a conscious glance at my pencil (the very one I use everyday to log my ideas on paper) it occurred to me that my pencil sharpener could go on a dowel-sharpening mission It’s almost miraculous that we can alter our perspectives when are minds are willing to do so!
July 5, 2011 § 8 Comments
Hope you had a wonderful Canada Day and 4th of July holiday weekend! I spent mine in Michigan at my parents’ with newfound relatives and without a moment to craft. And I couldn’t wait until today to show you my latest contribution to CRAFT. It feels like a while since I last posted a crafts tutorial using a totally random household material, so today I’m excited to introduce a technique that allows us all to design and illustrate our own stamps without having to carve rubber or linoleum or block or anything at all.
I illustrated and made my own peony, dahlia, and lilac clear rubber stamps to create these prints inspired by vintage botanicals, in celebration of summer, using a very simple technique with one household object that most of us would otherwise pass with little consideration for craft projects.
Yes, the random household object is silicone rubber caulking, which some of you may recognize as window or tub sealant. Head straight over to CRAFT to read my super duper simple tutorial. I promise it is easy and absolutely no carving is needed! Please show me the designs you come up with using this technique, as I’d love to see them. Enjoy!