• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Heart Canvas Frame

Oops!  Still trying to get all these Valentine’s projects posted before the end of February.  😉

This little canvas frame took NO time at all.  You could literally make this in a half hour and give it for a gift a couple hours later (just to be sure the paint and glue were totally dry, lol).  The frame is one that EK used to sell – not sure if they still do or not?  Being canvas, it takes paint like a dream and I used Jacquard Lumiere paint to cover it in pink.  The rest is simply adding a few Prima flowers and some pre-glittered chipboard shapes from Scrapworks.  I used Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Adhesive so it dried fast and strong.  Done!  Change up the colors and theme and you can have instant gifts for family, friends, relatives, teachers…

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Random Pendants

Just a couple of quick pendants I made using old Magic Scraps metal tags covered with tiny scraps of paper and covered in Glossy Accents.  Added outline stickers to the one and Stickles to the edges of the other.  Haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with them yet, was just testing the suitability of the metal tags as a base material.

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Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls

That would be these.

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My friend Kary and I went out for coffee yesterday morning and the coffee shop had these in a glass on the counter.  So here I am, ordering my frozen blended coffee concoction and eyeing these.  Pretty, aren’t they?  Well, of course Kary notices me looking at them.  And being the good friend that she is, SHE knows just WHY I’m looking at them.  And laughs at me.  😉  Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE tea.  More of a coffee person these days,  but love the occasional cup of tea.  Especially a good tea.  But of course, I wasn’t originally thinking of drinking these, lol.

Did some research on these and here’s what I found:

Tea enriched with the fragrance of jasmine flowers has been a favorite since the Sung Dynasty ruled China 800 years ago. The jasmine plant was brought to China from Persia before the third century. These intoxicatingly fragrant flowers first made their appearance in tea around the fifth century.

Dragon Phoenix Pearl gets its name from the tea bushes “climbing the hillsides like a Dragon rising from the waters”. It is grown in a mountainous, often fog shrouded area near the border of the Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. Dragon Phoenix Pearl is one of the finest jasmines shipped from the port of Foochow.

The tea is plucked in April and May and stored until August when the finest jasmine blossoms are in bloom. Night blooming white jasmine flowers are picked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed and kept cool until nightfall. In the early evening the flowers begin to open with a popping sound which is the signal for the scenting to begin.

Once open, the “mating” of the jasmine and tea leaves takes place in several applications, each taking up to four hours, after which the jasmine petals are removed. Once the petals are removed each leaf and bud set are skillfully hand rolled into a tiny pearl size ball. The tea is then wrapped in silk mesh and dried to set the form.

During infusion the boiling water causes the tiny pearls to open like flowers and then sink slowly to the bottom of the cup. We recommend placing 18 to 20 of these tiny pearls in a clear glass cup to watch their graceful unfurling. The superb fresh bouquet, delicate flavor and unique leaf shape make this tea extra special.

Let me tell you – these smell AMAZING.  So I bought some.  Kary followed me home to watch (she knew) and the minute I got in the door I tried to poke a hole in one with a needle tool.  I tried stabilizing them with Future Floor Finish first (just turned their pretty colors to a dark, shiny brown).  I tried wetting them down first.  Unfortunately, there just is not a way to string these.

So with Kary giggling and offering helpful suggestions along the way (I am soooo converting her to a crafty girl!), I began testing other options.  I cut a small piece of acrylic and began gluing the pearls onto it using Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Adhesive.  Kary suggested it might look better if I added some color to the acrylic so I pulled out some alcohol inks and dabbed the back, then added a silver bail and popped it onto a hemp cord.  I actually braided some of the cord but forgot to string it before tying off the knots and didn’t feel like re-doing it for the photo, lol.  But anyways.  Here’s my tea pendant.

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And yes – it tastes every bit as heavenly as it smells!


Adore Candle Holder

This was a fun project!  Ever made your own “glass glitter”?  Great for working out frustrations, lol!

After Christmas I purchased some clearance gold ball ornaments.  The super cheap kind that I think ended up costing about $.75 for a package of 24 mini’s (about 1.5″ diameter, I think).  To set up for this, I took an old wooden kitchen cutting board (this is going to mangle it, so don’t use your good one!)  You could also use just a sheet of scrap wood.  Grab some protective eyewear as well!

I put a few baubles at a time (remove the metal hanger part) into a ziploc baggie (you’ll go through several of these as well) and just started pounding on it with a hammer to break them up.  Every so often, add more baubles and as the baggie gets too beat up to be sure you’re containing all the tiny shards, switch to a new one.  Keep hammering until the shards are a size to your liking (you’ll have a mixture ranging from the shards down to dust all mixed together).  I store mine in an old Prima bottle and it’s so pretty!

Now, for the candle holder itself, I grabbed a little votive holder from the dollar store (you can get these cheap ones just about anywhere from your local craft store to dollar stores to department stores).  I used Helmar’s Professional Acid Free Glue – which is a white glue that sets clear.  Holding the candle holder from the inside, SMOTHER the outside in this glue.  You want a thick coating that isn’t running down the glass though.  Then just start adding the glitter, pressing it in and working with it to be sure it’s not “melting” down the side.  At this point, it honestly looks like crud.  The white glue WILL take a few days to completely dry to clear because it’s on so thick and being covered with the glitter doesn’t allow air to get to it quickly.  Patience!  I set mine on its bottom, then a few hours later smooshed things back into place that had run a bit and flipped it over.  Repeat this until it’s no longer sliding around on the glass and then just wait for it to finish drying to clear (you can see this by looking through the inside).

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To finish it off, I found this velvet ribbon with slider from EK (an older line – can’t remember if it was that family line or the Rebecca Sower line).  It was originally self-adhesive, but of course I used some more of the Helmar to be sure it was going to stick to this bumpy surface.  I also pre-bent the curve into the slider before attaching it.  That’s it!

This looks awesome with a light in it.  I use those little battery operated tealight candles in anything I’m not sure I can wash out if candle wax drips.  It looks even better in a little grouping of candles with the light from the other candles flickering off of this one!

Anti-Valentine ATC

Obviously, despite loving to make projects for Valentine’s Day, it’s not exactly my favorite holiday, lol.  I made this ATC to temper all the lovey-dovey stuff I was making but not “feeling” this year.  Patterned papers and sticker from the Basic Grey Bittersweet line.  I cut the sticker and inked all the edges of the sticker and the ATC.  The epoxy hearts were actually one of the puffy ones from Making Memories that I simply split in half and used both sides.  The metal letters were originally gold and I covered them with alcohol ink to change the color.  I used the Around the Block tape embosser to do the wording.

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SNR March 2009 Altered/Home Dec Calls for Submissions

Scrapbook News and Review is looking for your altered and home décor creations.

The Details:

-Must include complete supply list

– Please send each item in a separate email unless they are part of a set

–Photo must be a minimum of 650 pixels on longest side, 72dpi preferred

-Please include contact information

– Projects may be previously seen. If chosen, we respectfully request they be removed from any blogs or galleries. An ‘Out for Publication’ sign will be provided upon request.

Send submissions to: jfranklin {at} scrapbooknewsandreview.com

March 2009 Calls

Artful Rooms: Items that can be altered for use in the bathroom. Here’s a hint – this is a GREAT place for little altered storage/organization items!

Options: Baskets that have been altered

Seasonal: Easter and Spring altered decorative items

Wearables: Jewelry, totes, and other wearable items created using scrapbook/stamping supplies

ATC Alley: Designer’s choice – let’s see your latest and greatest Artist Trading Cards!

Deadline February 25, 2009

New Post Up at the Helmar DT Blog

Come check out another version of handmade beads at the Helmar DT blog!  Here’s a sneak peak of the bracelet I made.

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Instructions to make these beads are on the Helmar site, but I just wanted to go into a little more detail on the self-adhesive denim I used.  This is by a company called Shortcuts who was purchased by DMD a few years back.  I’m not positive if they are still producing this particular line, but it included printable, self-adhesive vellums, canvas (no, Ranger did not come up with something brand new), denim, mulberry paper, metals, and more.  It’s a fabulous line!

Also, just a quick note – I have also glued down the bead caps to the ends of the beads to avoid that disjointed look.  I’ll try to get a pic of it later!