October 30, 2011 § 8 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 24, 2011 § 8 Comments
Good news!!! I will be making a TV appearance tomorrow on Citytv’s Breakfast Television here in Toronto. I’m excited! I’m so honored to be invited by the team at Canadian Living to join them in presenting some fun Halloween ideas. If you’re in Canada, you can watch Citytv live (from 5:30 am to 9:00 am Eastern Time) or online.
What will I be doing, you ask?
Well, I’ll be presenting some pumpkin carving ideas. I’ve carved all these pumpkins here between yesterday and this evening.
I had a great time picking the pumpkins at Front Step Farms. The owner Michael and his daughters graciously helped me with the picking.
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 § 7 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 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yay, today marks the first year of this blog! Looking back, I don’t know whatever propelled me get it started. Perhaps because my wedding stationery business at the time wasn’t allowing me to explore my highest creative calling. Perhaps because I always wanted to be a professional crafter, but so few and far between are the opportunities to become one. Perhaps because wasting good ideas by keeping them to myself would become a lifelong regret. So here I am today after having blogged 146 posts, welcomed nearly half a million page views from around the world, written guest posts and online articles, and contributed ideas and articles to Canadian and American print publications for the upcoming, even more exciting year of 2012 — all done in the past twelve months, along with the past seven months of juggling a full-time job working in a cubicle and a rewarding part-time job working with children. Whew! It’s been amazing because you are here — visiting, reading, recreating, passing the ideas along, and allowing me to have this creative outlet.
You motivate me to continue this journey. THANK YOU for sticking around! I hope you’ve been enjoying visiting, reading, recreating, and passing these ideas along, and that you continue to do so. I hope I’ve given you a wee bit of inspiration through this blog, as you have reassured me that giving inspiration is exactly what I am meant to be doing in this lifetime.
Let’s look back at the 10 most visited ideas in paper, plate, and plane’s first year:
ONE: KEYS TO MY HEART
TWO: NO-FUSS PAPER ROSES
THREE: HEART WALL LAMP
FIVE: EASTER EGG CARTON CHICKS
SIX: CARROT CAKE POPS
SEVEN: ROLLED PAPER ORNAMENTS
EIGHT: HIGH HEEL TREAT BOX
NINE: ROLLED PAPER CHESS SET
My Personal Faves
The rolled paper chess set I designed for O.T.’s birthday is definitely my most personal favorite. But here are another 5 creations that have personal meaning for me, or took a bit more thought to conceive/create, or a combination of both:
And…drumroll…who won the $32 giveaway pile of crafty materials?
Comment #22 is from Betty in Barcelona! Congratulations, Betty! I will be emailing you shortly.
Thank you all for participating in the giveaway! And thank you for the fondest birthday wishes! Turning another year older ain’t so bad! Besides, it’s not til the end of the month. I’ll relish being this young until then. 🙂