Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: Valentine's Day

Superstitious Lucky Parcel

Today I finished off (and sent out) another swap. This one was the box, for the lucky parcel that I was a part of. I had to make up 4 items for my swap partner, for which she chose the theme, “Superstitions”. So this is a “dream” box, for her to put inside things that personify her dreams and wishes and hopes.

 

This is the view from the top. The quote there, is from a stamp by Stampin’ Up. I’m sorry I can’t remember what set it is from. But it is one of my favorites.

This box was, in a former life, a box of Godiva chocolates. I love saving little boxes like this and repurposing them, don’t you?

It’s easy enough to do. I painted it with some paints by Plaid Crafts, and embellished it with buttons and a butterfly stamp that I cannot remember the maker of. Sorry.

The quote was stamped on some textured stampin up cardstock, then inked on the edges with blue ink. I put it right over the part of the box, where it says, Godiva so that you can’t see it. It’s not a box of chocolates anymore, it’s a wish box!

Here’s the inside:

I lined the inside with cardstock.  All her little trinkets are wrapped up inside.

What do you think? You like it?

 

The Craftaholic

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A Talisman for Love

Recently I had a workshop where we made some fun heart shaped love talismans. A talisman is like a charm that is meant to bring about whatever intentions you put into it.

Anyway, we worked with modeling clay, and here’s what I made:

The red represents passion, and desire and love (duh). Gold represents prosperity, as one does want love to prosper. The Buddha for peace, enlightenment and wisdom, and the ever craft cliche word, Dream because sometimes love feels like a dream come true. Don’t you think?

Oh, and I’m sticking with the meetup platform for now. I hope to god that they change it. I hate the layout. But my bigger mission is to reach as many people as I can with my creativity, to inspire them to think differently and see their creative juices and get them flowing. So meetup is the (unfortunate) best choice for that.

The Craftaholic

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Day 161: Happy Love Day

Quote:

“I believe that constant effort, tireless effort, pursuing clear goals with sincere effort is the only way.”

Focus, focus, focus! We must focus on our goals. Too often we set these expectations, and we end up not really pursuing it as we should. The key to following any goal is focus. Focus on your goals, and reach for them. We must reach for our goals in a real way.

What are YOUR goals? What are your dreams? What do YOU long for in life? Do it. Reach for it. Make it happen. My biggest inspiration for this is my mother. Now, I don’t have the best relationship with her, but I do admire things in her. My mother came to this country from Colombia, not knowing anyone or anything. She worked hard.

She eventually met my dad, and had me. Then, after still not knowing the english language that well, went on to be a mother, work part time, and attended Kean University to become a teacher. Now, she’s not a rocket scientist. But she made the dean’s list. I once went to a community college where a professor there claimed that it was impossible to work, have children, and attend college. I told her it wasn’t so, that my mother went, and exelled, and she pretty much accused my mother of embellishing the truth.

My point is that my mother worked hard. She didn’t wait to be handed a happy life from anyone. Instead, she picked herself up, got an education, and worked really hard at what she wanted. It cost her time. But it was worth it. She looked at her life in the big picture, and she kept on going. Her life’s work, her goals for her family, and her true calling, are all what fueled her to keep on, even though she struggled with english, and even she had so much more to do at home, beside just write a thesis.

So take an example from this. Work hard. Focus on your goals. As paul said in the bible, set your eyes on the prize. You’re so worth your own success.

Today’s crafty endeavor, is just a sneak peak at something I’m working on. I have recently taken up origami. Cool right? I’m working on a piece for a swap this week, and a friend suggested origami. So I took her up on that! Here’s a snapshot of my work so far:

I know the picture isn’t much, but hey. You know what? Today I went out with my husband  ALONE for the first time in close to three years. We went out to see the movie, The Wolfman. So my gift to my hubby today was no craftiness. I didn’t even knit on the subway. So nice of me, right?

What did you all do for V-Day? Today is also the Lunar New Year. I think I’ve got the new year off to a good start. Do you?

Oh! And tomorow, I’ll be announcing the winner for my Owl journal giveaway! So comment tonight, or else you snooze, you lose!

The Craftaholic


Day 160: Make Your OWN Mineral Makeup

Quote:

“We need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet.”

COMPASSION. This means that we must feel and live and move. Not just follow discipline throughout our lives (although it is smart to have discipline in your life). I mean, that we must truly live each day. It’s like taking a breath. Don’t just breathe; take a long deep breath. That’s what it is like to truly live.

So, today’s crafty endeavor, is A LOT of fun. I taught a workshop today, where we made our OWN mineral based eyeshadow! Is that cool, or what? Anyway,  it’s really easy.

You’ll need:

Mineral Powder base (at makingcosmetics.com)

Mica pigments in varied colors (gold, red, diamond, green, bronze and copper is what we used), also from makingcosmetics.com

1/2 oz. clear containers (they are usually used for lip balm)

Just scoop about 1/2 teaspoon of the mineral base into the container.

To make this pretty grey color, use 1/4 teaspoon of blackslate red mica and 1/4 teaspoon of diamond mica.

Add it to the container, and then shake it up, baby.

Easy as pie, right?

Experimentation is the key with making your own eyeshadows. Soon enough you can make amazingly cool colors, just by combining different pigments together.

You can also use this stuff as eyeliner, if you apply the eyeshadow on a wet brush.

I’m off to make cupcakes with my daughter. Yummy raspberry cupcakes for valentine’s day. Fun, fun. I love to bake with my little one.

The Craftaholic

Day 159: Valentine Hazelnut Cookies-Baking with Toddlers

Quote:

“I try to see each tragedy in the context of other, bigger tragedies in history. That gives me a larger focus and makes it easier to bear.”

I’ve said it before: we all go through things. Life is not always easy, and it doesn’t always turn out the way you expect it to. Life is life, and it is full of happiness and sadness, and everything that makes us human.

Take for example, being a parent. Being a parent is probably the hardest job I have ever had. Why, some of you childless ask? Well, I’ll tell you that it is so difficult to know consciously that everything you do, each mistake you make, each choice you make…all of it can be repeated by this miniature version of yourself and the person you love, or once loved (hopefully).

Being a new mom, I’ve run into so many types of parents-the “book” parents that do everything that one or another book may say, the religious parents that “train” their child, the old school parents who let their children cry themselves to sleep…but one thing I’ve learned…we must make our own choices, and see our child in the big picture. I think that’s what this means-look at the larger picture. If my daughter eats a piece of chocolate or goes to bed a little later, it really doesn’t matter. You know? Life is short. And it’s hard sometimes. You know what makes it easier? Take it easy. Relax, but have faith and work hard.  It’s not that bad. And anyway, you know what? Actually, this is a large world we live in, filled with many, many people. Chances are, there is someone else in your situation or worst. So you aren’t alone. Life is hard. Shit happens. You know? But we must always remember to practice peace and compassion from within ourselves. If we do this, then perhaps the burdens become easier to bear. Right?

Today’s crafty endeavor is something to do with your children. I love to bake. I even further love to bake with my daughter. Today, I had a friend over, and we got ready for Valentine’s Day by making Valentines and baking some delicous cookies. I love to bake so much. And I love to make art. It’s even more fun to combine the two. Now, this got me to thinking about a goal of mine. I ordered some flash cards, a few days ago, in hopes to teach my daughter to read before the age of four, as my mother taught me. Of course, my mother is a teacher, but that’s beside the point. I thought of how cool it would be to combine learning with art. So since I had so much fun with my little one, and her friend today, I think I’ll repeat it again, next time with the alphabet.

Hazelnut Valentine Cookies

1/3 c vegetable shortening

1/3 c salted butter (don’t mock me by using margarine. please)

3/4 c light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon Hazelnut non dairy coffee creamer (the liquid kind, you know by Coffeemate. Only I used the generic brand. nothing but the best, for my cookies)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

Icing

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon Hazelnut Non Dairy Creamer (liquid, as aforementioned)

So, for the dough, cream the butter first. Then add the sugar, salt and baking powder. Beat until combined. Then add the egg, creamer, and vanilla, and then the flour. Then, just cover and chill for about 1 or 2 hours, depending on your fridge’s temperature.

Then the rest you know how to handle, hopefully. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 3mm thickness, and cut out some heart shapes.

Bake in a preheated oven for 375 degrees, for about 7 or 8 minutes, and let cool.

Mix together the icing ingredients, and frost the little hearts, being careful to not let too much of it end up in your little one’s mouth.

Then, add some sprinkles.

Here’s some valentines my little one made. We used glitter, of course. One is for my husband, the other is for my mother in law. Where’s mine, you ask? Well, it’d be weird for her to make one with me. So maybe mine will be made tomorrow, when my husband has the day off.


Nice, right? Yeah, she’s an artist, all right.

Of course, it’s more fun to eat them.

The Craftaholic

Day 158: A Valentine Portfolio

Quote:

““Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.”

What does this mean to YOU? What part sticks out to you? To me, it’s the notion that I have the power, the willpower to change things. I can literally change anything.

What do you want to change in your life? What do you want to make happen? You can do it. Not just by having faith that some invisible force will come and make your dreams come true for you, but by getting off your ass, and actually changing things. Do it. Be the change in your life. Don’t just wish for it, hope for it, write about it. Be the change.

My husband is a classically trained artist. He paints. He makes the most amazing artwork. Well, amazing to me, anyway. Recently, I was looking at an old photo of his, back from his high school days. I saw this cool shot of a girl and her artwork, and immediately I felt so intimidated. I love art. I love that there are people who can look at the world around them and draw it from their perception. It’s amazing to me. Automatically I thought, well I wish I could do that.

But the thing is, it’s all about your mind. Right? You can make things happen with the power of your mind and your will. If I doubt my artistic talent, I am of course, not going to produce anything worthwhile. Right?

But then, if I choose to believe in myself and my talent, that alone will get me to create more beauty with paper and paint.

Today’s crafty endeavor is a Valentine Portfolio. I made this for my husband, to commemerate the (almost) 12 years that we have together. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’ve been with him that long.

The black and white picture here, is a picture print out that was taken a LONG time ago. We were still dating here. It was after my husband had finished playing a show on the Lower East Side.

The little spats of green are drawings that he made, which I cut out and pasted.

The above picture, is from when we were dating also. We had gone away to upstate New York in this shot. The picture below it, is of us, when we were engaged. We had gotten so frustrated with wedding plans, that we just spontaneously went to Boston on a greyhound bus.

The envelope contains love letters and ticket stubs that I collected when we were dating. On the envelope, I included one of our wedding invitations.

You like it?  These things are never really finished. There are always more memories, more letters, more stubs to add to it. That’s what’s so fun about this.

Here’s what it looks like closed:

Pretty paper, right? I know. It’s nice. Can’t get to my desk though, to tell you who makes it. Sorry.

I think it’s by a company called “Fancy Pants Designs”. I think.

I’m off to a doctor’s appointment. I’m ashamed to say that I detest going to the doctor. I really do. But it should be nice to see Manhattan all covered with snow and slush.

Also, I wanted to say that my journals are starting to pile up. So the time has come for a giveaway.

If you indeed enjoy reading my blog, and would like this owlishly cute hand bound journal, here’s what you have to do:

Heart my shop

Leave a comment with your email addy!

And that’s all.

The Craftaholic

Day 157: Make A Talisman Bracelet

Quote:

“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation.”

Simplicity. Right?

What does this mean, really? It means, let’s put things into perspective. Let’s look at it for a minute. Look at your life with an attitude of gratitude. Notice the good things in your life. Think twice before you buy name brands. Be simple. Remember, you can’t take it with you when you die. It’s a morbid thing to think about, but it’s true.

Today, I have TWO crafty endeavors for today. One is a quick valentine thingamajig that you can easily make. It’s cheap and quick.

It’s a lovely set of altered candles! It’s easy. Just wrap the tissue around a plain white candle, and then whip out your heat gun, and apply heat to the candle. The heat will melt the tissue into the candle. Cool, right?

It’s easy. And the candles look so “designer”! Right?

Another thing I made is a very cool talisman bracelet. I love talismans. I’m quite the superstitious person, actually.

It’s a charm bracelet. I bought the bracelet at the dollar spot in target. I actually had to make it longer, with another one I had. I then weaved in some silk sari yarn that I had in my yarn stash. I weaved it in three times, back and forth.

Then, I just added the charms. These are from Blue Moon’s “Token” line. This is cool talisman bracelet. The colors intertwined of red and purple and orange, strengthen the meaning of the bracelet.

Red, for strength and health

Purple for power, wisdom, healing and protection

Orange for encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, kindness, plenty

Then the symbols are cool too. The Ankh represents eternal life.

The Buddha represents enlightenment and good luck.

The tree, for stability and growth.

Then, the other symbol for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of it. Anyone know what it is?

Anyhow, it’s easy to make talisman jewelry. A talisman, is just sort of a lucky charm. Anything can be a good luck charm, so long as you empower it.

Like it?

It’s snowing here in Brooklyn, NY. Want to see what it looks like at 7:30 in the morning?

Pretty, huh? I’m just glad that I’m not going anywhere today. Lentil Soup and Linzer cookies will be made today, I think.

The Craftaholic

Day 156: Set of Owl Cards

Quote:

“So we should be grateful to our enemies, for it is they who can best help us develop a tranquil mind.”

This is another recycled quote. Sorry about that. The Dalai Lama talks about being grateful to your enemies, because we are to practice the utmost compassion when we are confronted with our enemies, and those that hurt or bother us. Instead of responding to the difficult or annoying things in life with compassion and peace.

Today’s crafty endeavor, is a simple set of owl note cards.

These I actually made for a swap. I love them, though! I want to keep them!

For these notecards, I used the Owl Paper by Kraft Kutz and the Box of Letters by K & Co.

I also sent a couple extra pieces of this paper to my partner, for their crafty endeavors.

And I sent this:

It’s a set of recipe cards I made a while back. Cute right? I like making these recipe cards a lot. And at least now, with swapping, I can actually make more without creating more clutter in my home.

You like it?

Oh! And I found these really cool, plain wood trains in the dollar spot at Target. I’m going to make a cute train set for my daughter. She loves trains, and I have the perfect paper to cover it with.

The Craftaholic

Day 148: Make a Set of Postage Stamp Cards

Quote:

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

I posted this one as a repeat, because I need to learn this lesson, truly. Why do doubt ourselves? Self doubt is probably one of the most destructive things a person can do to themselves as artists, crafters, mothers, and people.

When we are confident, we are sure of ourselves, we know our opportunities, and we can open doors, because a confident attitude attracts open doors. When you’re looking for love, any good matchmaker will tell you that a confident attitude is what attracts the opposite sex, weather male or female.

So we must learn as artists, to not doubt ourselves. Our self doubt comes from different places. It really depends on you, as a person. What triggers your self doubt? For some, it’s looking at other artists accomplishments, and comparing them with ours. It could be your age. It could be someone else’s talent.

The thing is, each of us have our OWN talent. The universe has just the right timing for when our goals will come to fruition. It is just a matter of us working towards it.

So how to we realize our own potential? How do we gain our confidence in ourselves, and our art? I can’t tell you. But I can tell you how NOT to. Here’s my advice: stop looking at other people. Your art will happen when it happens. And don’t try to be the “next” Martha Stewart or Fridha Khalo. Just be who you are, and do what you do. Remember: Van Gogh never sold a painting in all his life. He lived his life poor, and spent his entire rent money on art supplies. Although this may not be a very encouraging example, I mean to tell you this  so that you can understand that he did what he did because that was his calling. He knew it. He didn’t make art to sell. He didn’t try to make a business out of it. He just lived his life, and did what came naturally. So did Sylvia Plath. So did many others like them.

So we must STOP doubting ourselves. Just stop. As soon as you feel that negativity, just STOP it. Do what comes naturally to you. Just follow your instinct. Listen to your intuition. This is perhaps, what we all should do to realize our potential.

Today’s creative endeavor is a set of cards.


Recipe:

Words: Retired, from Stampin Up

Birds: Hero Arts

Postage Paper: 100 Proof Press

Oil Pastels

Workable Fixative

Black Ink Pad

Shimmerz Bling Paints, in various colors

Grey Cardstock (or whatever, but this is what I had on hand)

So all you do, is color the postage paper with the oil pastels, and blend it in. Spray it with Workable fixative. This is done so that it protects the oil pastel background, and allows you to do more work, without getting the color everywhere.

Stamp the birds on the postage paper.

Stamp the word stamp on some watercolor paper, and then paint over it with the Shimmerz Paints, in whichever color you choose.

Then, just cut it out, and glue it on the postage stamp.

After that, fold your cardstock, and glue a square of decorative paper onto the card. Then glue the postage stamps.

That’s it. You’re done.

You like it?

The Craftaholic

Day 147: Make a Set of Valentine Recipe Cards

Quote:

“To me there is no different whether president, beggar, or king.”

You see? This is what I am always saying. It’s a NO to labels. The is no difference between the “true” classically trained artist, and the self taught, outsider artist and crafter. There is no difference between neighborhoods, rich or poor, or colors upon our skin. Many people say this, and think they believe it.

To truly believe in what the Dalai Lama is saying, we must put an end to labels and names. Just end it. It doesn’t matter what neighborhood in brooklyn you come from. No one cares. Seriously. They don’t. It doesn’t matter what brand of clothing you are wearing, or how you look, or what craft you think you are an expert on.

The truth is, there are millions of us treading and walking on this earth. Millions and billions. Why does it really matter how much money we waste on clothing, makeup and transportation? Why does it matter what neighborhood you live in, or what religion you are? No one cares. Move on, okay? There is more to life than how much money you throw away living in some “prestigious” neighborhood in Brooklyn. Frankly, I’d rather live a little further away, and know that I’ve got some extra money for things like food, clothing and the occasional hot date with my husband.

Today’s creative endeavor is a set of Valentine Recipe cards! Yay! And a tutorial again! yay!

Recipe:

Recipe Card Stamp-Stampin’ Up

Heart-Sock Monkey Stamp Set, Stampin Up

Black Ink Pad

Workable Fixative

Oil Pastels

Glue

Prism Glitter-Close to My Heart

Decorative Paper

Watercolor paper

Creme Colored Cardstock

Pop Up Glue Dot

Ironic that two competing companies make up this set, huh?

Instructions:

Anyway, all you do, is stamp the recipe card 10 times, and stamp the heart 10 times. Then, you color the heart with a red oil pastel crayon, and blend it in with your finger. Spray with workable fixative, and let it dry for a second or two.

Apply the glue with a q-tip. Apply the glitter, and let it dry. Then, cut it out, and apply with a pop up glue dot on the card itself.

Cut out the cards of course, then apply decorative paper on the blank side.

That’s it!

You like it? I made this set of 10, for a Valentine Baking Swap that I am in. You think she’ll like it?

The Craftaholic

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