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. 🙂
October 2, 2011 § 7 Comments
It’s pumpkin and apple season!
I’ve noticed that when candy or chocolate apples are made to look like pumpkins, lines are piped on the surface of the apple, which happens to be quite the opposite of how pumpkins truly are. I figured, why not imitate the recessed lines of pumpkins by cutting thin slices out of the apple?
So, that’s exactly what I did to make these apples look truly like pumpkins.
Then I figured, why not make them taste like pumpkin pie?
And that’s exactly what I did. I threw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger into the candy melts. And now my pumpkin candy apples taste just like pumpkin pie.
Did the apples brown at the cut edges? Not so much. They were immediately dipped in candy melts, which coated them well enough to keep from browning. Would the apples brown the next day because they’ve been cut? Hmmm, I’m not so sure. I ate almost all of them almost immediately.
I did save one for a friend, which I packaged using the technique in my recent tutorial on packaging cupcakes, cookies, and macarons, this time using a 2L pop bottle.
October 1, 2011 § 40 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!