Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crafty Creatives Christmas Box

In late September, Crafty Creatives offered for sale an optional special-edition box for Christmas to arrive in late November. I couldn't resist buying it, of course! I've had the glorious thing in my possession now for a few weeks and am finally sitting down to write about it!

I love the various CC stickers on the boxes. Excitement from the get-go! I didn't get a picture, but instead of the normal pink bag, this one came in a red one!

I save all my paper as well, so different paper = love!

And here we are at the art card. This will look great framed as a Christmas decoration- I may have to have one frame purely rotational for seasonal art cards.

When the Christmas box arrived, I was up to my ears in craft fair business and Thanksgiving craziness, so I didn't even get a chance to open it until December! My friend noted that she wished she'd taken a photo of it packed in the box so she could remember how to put it in, so here's mine! ;)

Before the wide shot, here's some smaller shots- so many snowflake goodies- really great bits and pieces to use. I'm planning on doing some great little trees for my dollhouses with the cones- I'll have to track down some appropriately-coloured Floral Soft! ;)

Wreath blanks and jingle-bells- two things I cannot get enough of! 

This box had three kits! The first one is great and will probably be the first I do- a glitzy beaded bauble! My daughter loves all things purple and was thrilled with the colour selection. Can you tell that I had to blur myself out of the bauble? 

Kit #2 was a great one as well- felt decorations look beautiful on the tree in every decade and are the epitome of 'crafty Christmas'. Look at those tiny buttons, too!

And finally, the third kit: lib scrub! Included are lots of little pots to make gifts for friends and family (and teachers!) I may go buy some popping candy so my daughter can add them to make a few for her friends- the Lush scrub I have with popping candy is very popular with her!

This box was massive- so many more things than I've mentioned, all pictured here. As always, you can click to enlarge and see everything- there was a TON of great papercrafting stuff that I've barely even touched on!

This box contained:
  • CC Kit 1: Beaded bauble
  • CC Kit 2: Felt tree decoration(s)
  • CC Kit 3: Lip scrub gifts
  • 3 wooden snowflakes
  • Card cone 'family'
  • jingle bells
  • 10 chunky howlite-style Christmas tree beads
  • 1m Berisford ribbon
  • 2 wreath rings
  • 2 double-sided craft papers
  • 2 mini DIY gift boxes
  • silver snowflake charms
  • pack of card blanks
  • Christmas tree stickers
  • Christmas bells cabochon
  • clear wrapping seals from Stix2
  • Christmas sequins / table scatter
So all in all, it was an absolutely packed box. The CC format is changing in the new year and the only way we'll have these boxes of craft-inspiration supplies will be by this optional way of purchasing, but even if I end up not being a fan of the new format, I will definitely be getting the optional boxes!

And a note on the jingle bells... After the Crafty Christmas boxes shipped, the few that were left were offered for sale again on the website... along with some goodie bags from last year's Christmas Nostalgia box. Yes, I couldn't resist- but I got more jingle bells! YES!

CC Box 18 arrives this week, and I still have yet to share box 17 with you- so I may do it as one big post. We'll see!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Pud Necklace Tutorial

Phew, this autumn has been crazy. I've done my first few craft faires, juggled through a few shops, sold a ton on Etsy thanks to the new credit card payment system, and have been generally working my little behind off!

I'm behind on non-CC content, and one of the first things I knew I wanted to do for you guys was a tutorial, so here's one I've had planned for a while- Christmas puds.

This tutorial is also a companion to my Christmas Pud Necklace kits, so anyone buying those looking for a photo tutorial, you're in the right place!

This tutorial can be used to make a variety of different pud things, simply scale to the desired size as needed. In these photos, I make a chunk 1" pud for a pendant.

I have made my puds a few different colours over the year, but I've found a roughly 2:1 ratio of brown to red clay looks the best. If you only have a small bit of red clay (from the kit, etc), pinch off a pea-sized piece of red clay and leave it to the side- you’ll need this later! Blend the remaining red clay with all of the brown clay to make the body of your pud.

Roll the red-brown clay into a ball. Texture it with a toothbrush, or by rolling it on a piece of low-grit sandpaper. Set aside.

Condition and roll out/flatten some white clay.  Shape to a irregular round shape (think ‘splat’) or cut it to shape with a craft knife. I was making several puds at once here, so I have three 'splats' cut out. Make them as big or as small as you like.

Soften the edges with your fingers - once satisfied, place the clay on top of the red-brown pud base. Gently push it into place, working around the edge of the 'splat' in a circle.

Blend green and black clay together. NOTE: Start by blending just a VERY TINY bit of black clay and add more in tiny bits as needed, depending on how dark you want your holly leaves to be. You really will need almost no black clay to start, and none if you prefer a bright green.

Thinly roll out the dark green clay and cut two holly leaves. Cut a rectangle shape, and then slowly notch the ends and sides until you are happy with the shape. Gently scratch a line down the middle of the leaf for detail.

Place your holly leaves on top of the white ‘cream’. You can choose to either have them lie flat of give them a bit of lift.

Condition another small piece of red clay, and make three holly berries to place between the holly leaves! The easiest way to get them all the same size is to roll out a long skinny snake of clay and cut equal sized pieces from it before finishing the pieces into a better spherical shape.

Once your berries are placed, decide how you want the pud to hang, and use a sharp needle to poke a hole. I put mine in at a slight angle so the pendants show off the holly a bit better.

You can also slice one pud into two before adding the holly and berries to make two pud halves. These work great for post earrings and brooches.

Bake according to packaging instructions (110 degrees C for 30 minutes for FIMO) and varnish if desired, and you have a great little necklace that will be the perfect addition to your Christmas jumper! 

To buy a kit for this, send me a message on Facebook or give me a tweet! Is there anything else you'd like to know how to make? Any other kits you'd like available? Let me know!