Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love Potion Ideas and Free Printable Labels

So many couples I know just aren't into celebrating Valentine's Day. I know lots of people consider it a consumer holiday... with an expectation to buy candy and over-priced flowers but I just love the idea of celebrating LOVE.

So for Valentine's day why not make up a little something fun for you and your partner... just yourself... anyone else that you love... or someone you know who'd like to find a little love.

I'm talking Love Potions-

They could be bath salts, placed into a small glass bottle.

Here's a basic recipe I found online, but there are tons of them out there. I used Lavender because I think it's it's relaxing and romantic.

I made mine unique by adding some hearts cut out of lavender and honey soap. I simply cut a slice off the end of the bar and cut it into a heart shape. I liked the idea of these little hearts being visible in the bottle then dissolving away in the warm bath water.

You could also make linen spray. Small travel sized spray bottles are the perfect size.

Here's the recipe I used.. but I cut back on the essential oil called for and just used a few drops. Again I made mine lavender. Spray this on your sheets and pillow cases for a nice, subtle, romantic scent.

Or some how about some tea. Again I used a small glass bottle with a cork top.

I used loose herbs but you could also use a tea bag and replace the original tag with a love potion label.

I've made two sets of these labels, purple as shown in my post, or pink.

Both are available for Free.

Just click on the links at the bottom of this post and print or download.

I included a label for all three things I made here as well as a generic "Love Potion" label in case you want to label something else, here are a few more ideas:
  • Massage Oil
  • Bubble Bath
  • Sugar or Powdered Coffee Creamer
  • Serve cocktails for a party in little bottles with labels. (Wouldn't that be so cute!)

Just be sure if you're using the generic label that the recipient knows the real contents and whether or not it's edible. You could write the contents or directions of use on the back.

And don't forget to enter my giveaway-A Box of Craft Supplies for Year-Round Holiday Crafting, If you haven't entered yet, hop on over to that post and leave your comment by January 31st!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Precious Metal Clay Class

This past Sunday I mentioned that I was taking a precious metal clay class.

I haven't really done that much jewelry making before (I've made a necklace and bracelet or two and one set of earrings) but I think this stuff could easily get me hooked on jewelry making.

It was so incredible to mush this clay around and end up with a gleaming piece of hard, solid silver. I didn't think it would be anything like glassblowing but it I got the same feeling that I would get from turing a drippy honey-like substance into a solid useable piece of glass.

Turns out PMC is a lot like polymer clay, in fact that's what we practiced with first.

Since PMC will dry out (and has a tendency to get that way if overworked) playing around with the polymer until you get the look you want helps to not waste the expensive clay.

The tools for the most part were simple items, rubber stamps and beads for impressions and textures. Craft knife, needle tool, tooth picks, water, olive oil, small rolling pin to work the clay cut it, and keep it from sticking to things.

First I tried a stamp of a fall leaf... since I love fall so much!

One it was fired and polished I gave this dark look with something called liver of sulfur (which smells remarkably like my pysanky egg that exploded... only not so strong). These will be earrings I think.

I made another set and I left it nice and shiny. These might be another pair as a gift.

I also made these little circles- so tiny, I used the pencil for scale.

Here's an action shot of me brush polishing one of them... they were so small it was hard to hold it still to brush.

And some dragon fly pendants... or maybe earrings, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet but the little dragon fly spoke to me. We're in the depths of a harsh New England winter and I'm longing for spring and summer again. In particular I've been missing kayaking, and I've never seen so many dragon flies before we started kayaking- they are everywhere!

Above is a look at a one I'd polished (right) and another I hadn't (left). See how white it is before polishing, didn't look a thing like silver! Below is one with liver of sulfur (left) and one without. I made 4 of these, I'm thinking a few might be gifts as well.

Last but not least... in the spirit of Valentine's Day I made these two pieces.

The little heart stamp (top photo) reminded me of a valentine, so I carved little lines on the back to make it into an envelope.

And on the heart bead, I carved the mister's and my initials into the back.

The downsides of PMC- it can be expensive... the pack of silver clay we worked with was $34 dollars and was really small... but I made all this from it, which was certainly more than I thought I'd get.

Also, to be fair that bead is solid silver. There are techniques to make a hollow silver bead which would have stretched the clay out even further.

I so glad I explored this medium and think I'll definitely be trying it again. So many new ideas for "next time" are already bouncing around in my head!

One last thing- Don't forget to enter my giveaway (if you haven't already). A box of assorted craft supplies for 8 different holidays.

It's open until the Monday January 31st- click here for details and to enter!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Giveaway- Win a box of year-round holiday crafting

In my house we make a big deal out of birthdays. And the blog is no exception. Yesterday was the blog's second anniversary (or birthday) so this week, as a thank you to everyone who's been reading this blog I'm doing a giveaway... a big giveaway!

But first a little bit about how I decided on what the prize would be-

Last year when I'd finished one solid year of blogging I took a bit of time to reflect on what I'd done and what I wanted to do. If year one had a theme it would probably have been "try something new" I took a ton of crafty classes and tried so many new techniques.

For my second year I really wanted to do more tutorials (which I'm glad to say I did), but if the year had a theme I think it would have to have been holiday's. I love holiday crafting, and have done more of it this year than ever before.

So I've put together a box of assorted craft supplies that represent the major crafty holiday's around the year. There's a ton of stuff, over $70 dollars worth of stuff actually, and it was hard to photograph it all in one good shot. I had specific ideas for projects with some of these materials but mostly I've left it up to the lucky winner's creativity.

Wanna see more of what's in the box.....

And here are some close-ups:
  • New Year's and practically every other holiday... Glitter.
  • Valentine's Day: 2 packs of blank cards, ribbon, a bare wooden frame.
  • St. Patrick's Day: Bag of foam Shamrocks, Ribbon, Shamrock cookie cutter.
  • Easter, or if you don't celebrate Easter these would just be a nice Spring project: Foam Eggs and some wool to make felted eggs. (like the ones I made here).
  • 4th of July: Mini Flags, Wooden Star, Ribbon,
  • Halloween: Stickers, Ribbon, and a foam pumpkin.
  • Thanksgiving: Stickers, Dried Gourds
  • Christmas/ Or these would just make nice winter project materials if you don't celebrate Christmas: Wood trees, and coffee filters to make Snowflakes. (tutorial here)

By the way- those coffee filters are good for so many craft projects. You could use them for Halloween and make my Coffee Filter Spider Webs or Valentine's Day and make Hearts and Flowers Wreath. Or During School Vacation (a holiday if you're a kid) to make my tye-dye coffee filter critters.

  • I've also included some paper and a few foam brushes just to round things out.

And a lot of these materials are mix and match. For example there's red and green ribbon in here so although it's not listed under Christmas... you could still use it for that holiday too.

So here's how to enter:

The giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada (although I know in Canada you don't celebrate the 4th of July... lol). Sorry other international readers, this was too much to send through customs.

The giveaway is open until Midnight EST on Monday January 31st.

  • To enter simply leave me a comment telling me what your favorite holiday craft is. (That's good for one entry).

  • If you're a follower or become a follower let me know and you'll get a second entry (Total of two entries).

  • If you mention this giveaway on your blog (whether you're a follower or not) you can also get another entry. In your comment please leave me the link to your blog post so I can verify it.

So, that's up to 3 chances to win!

This giveaway ends at Midnight EST on Monday January 31st I'll pick a one winner using a random number generator and announce it on Tuesday February 1st. The winner will have until February 2nd to claim the prize or else I'll pick another winner.

Good Luck And Thank You for reading my blog!!!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. I'll draw a winner and announce it in my post today (Feb 1st 2011). Thank you to all who have entered, become follows, and posted about this on your blogs!

I've posted the winner... here's the link

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two Year Anniversary Equals Silver.

Today my blog turns two (I can't believe it's been that long already). This afternoon I'm celebrating by taking a class in precious metal clay. I've been really interested in trying it and can't wait to see what it's all about. Hopefully I'll leave the class with at least one pair of handmade silver earrings.

I'll let you know more about how it went later this week.

And don't forget to stop by tomorrow... I've got got a great blogiversary giveaway to announce!
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