Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010 - Recap of Winners & Vote Now!

Here's the Best of our Best - based on your voting!
Check out our Challenge Page (here) for a summary of the past challenges with links to each of these projects! What is the Craft of the Year?  

  • Challenge No. 1: Names - Winner Padded Paper Maiche Letters
  • Challenge No. 2: Digital Accessory - Winner iPad Cover w/ Tutorial
  • Challenge No. 3: Hair Bow Holder - Winner Hanging Baskets and Doll Holder
  • Challenge No. 4: Boy Toys  - Winner $20 Hockey Net
  • Challenge No. 5: Halloween - Winner Candy Corn Skirt
  • Challenge No. 6: Knitting for Little Girls - Winner Princess Scarf w/ Tutorial
  • Challenge No. 7: Gift Bags - Winner Embossed Velvet Reusable Gift Box
  • Challenge No. 8: Co-Worker Gifts - Winner Oilcloth Bags & Peppermint Bark
  • Challenge No. 9: Christmas Decor - Winner Knitted Old School Christmas Lights
  • Challenge No. 10: Felt - Winner Candy Cane Junction Tree Skirt
Thanks for playing along with us & Happy New Year!
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Better than Andes Chocolate Bars & Happy Birthday Sarah!

By now, the secret is out: we like chocolate & peppermint (here & here)! So, when Sarah sent me this recipe the other day, I had an "a ha" moment ... I'd have to make it for her birthday cake!  A triple layer 9 x 13 of goodness; 2 layers of chocolate with a super delicious green minty layer in between. Trust me, if you like an Andes candy, you will LOVE this.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And the Challenge 10 Winner is....


Sarah took the prize in the felt challenge with her project, the Candy Cane Junction Tree Skirt.  The final vote tally was Sarah-40, Sara-11.  Sara also took away a prize because she got the tree skirt for Christmas!

Thank you, everyone, for coming by, checking out the projects, and voting!

Come back tomorrow to find out about our special year end voting!



**Candy Cane Junction Tree Skirt, read more here.
**Bedazzled Christmas Tree Broaches, read more here.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 24: Marbleized Wrapping Paper

1 Day Left Until Christmas!
My SIL's present wrapped in homemade marbleized paper.
I had seen marbleized paper made before, but this was the first time I've done it.  It was so easy!  What a great way to get your kids involved in wrapping the Christmas presents!

I came across this idea in the 1973 book "Creating with Tissue Paper" by Barbara B. Stephan. 

Her instructions were for a version using turpentine, oil-based paints and water, but I remembered that there was a much more kid-friendly way to do this.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 23: Mini Resin Ornament Garland

2 Days Left Until Christmas!
Mini Resin Ornament Garland
We are getting down to it.  Frantic last minute shopping, gift wrapping, baking.  Me?  I'll be baking tonight and tomorrow night--cinnamon rolls, yulekage and, if I can manage it, another batch of krumkake.

Today's retro craft is the resin project I alluded to here.  Resin is so awesome!  Once again, I have turned to BHG's Holiday Decorations You Can Make, 1974.  
The "picture cutouts in resin" ornaments on the lower right were my inspiration.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bedazzled Christmas Tree Brooches

Last Christmas at the last minute, I decided to make some felt holly hairbows (below) for my daughters and some felt holly corsages for my nieces. The other day as I was thinking about the FELT CHALLENGE, I thought ... wouldn't it be fun to make my nieces & girls a different Christmas Brooch each year? I mean the possibilities are endless and there are so many options that would be easy to do: snowman, candy cane, gingerbread man, and so on!

So I immediately went to my felt stash and started cutting out trees. Sarah recently gave me a bag of sequins, so the trees got "ornaments" topped with beads. Because there brooches are for kids, I went with a bell topper for fun. Each brooch is stuffed with a little filling and has a holder on the back.  
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Challenge No. 10 (Felt) ...The Submissions

Challenge No. 10: Sarah & Sara must create something using Felt! Here's what we came up with!

**Candy Cane Junction Tree Skirt, read more here.
**Bedazzled Christmas Tree Broaches, read more here.

Now, the question is: which one is your favorite? Vote now! svs signature

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VAC Day 22 and Challenge 10 Submission: Candy Cane Junction "Jeweled" Tree Skirt

3 Days Left Until Christmas!
Candy Cane Junction Jeweled Christmas Tree Skirt
Sarah and I found out recently that we have a shared love of vintage felt and sequin Christmas decorations.  I've made a few vintage kits over the years, and have collected a few vintage pieces that I've found in thrift stores.  It cracks me up that the older kits are called "jeweled."  Somehow, I don't think of sequins as "jewels," even if they are shiny. 
Here's a view of the entire tree skirt

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas Dresses

For the past 2 years now, we've had really good professional pictures taken in the "winter." Now that the Merry Christmas cards are out, I can share the pics.

This year I wanted to make the girls' dresses for our family pictures. I knew in my head what I wanted and had a lot of fun perusing the lovely fabrics at my favorite local fabric shop - Scrapbooks, Etc (they really ought to change their name - you know to showcase the fact that they have such awesome fabric selections). I knew I wanted yellow and grey and was thinking pink or purple. When I saw these, it was a match!

I like matchy matching the girls, but wanted to make the dresses a tad different. I made a really easy modification to the pattern and gave "A" a yellow stripe across the bottom and gave "I" a yellow stripe down the middle - loved the result.

At the last minute, I decided to make them hairbows and I love how they turned out! Funny how a little rectangle can be pinched together and turned into a lovely bow. (That's pink felt wrapped around the middle 'pinch' to hold the bow together.)

Fabrics: both are Robert Kaufman, Free to Grow
(I also used the yellow in this project)

And for fun, because I cannot think of much in the world that is cuter than this face right here!

I will confess that Izzie's dress is not exactly how I envisisioned; what I wanted was this (below - longer bell sleeves with yellow ends) but it fit her terribly! The sleeves were HUGE and made the whole dress look just wrong! So first, I tried adding elastic inside the yellow sleeve ends - didn't work.

So sadly, I had to cut them off and go with the regular cap sleeve with elastic (like the pattern called for) but making the change made for a perfect fit. Yay!

One more shot of the cuties for good measure ...

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Virtual Advent Calendar Day 21: Spool Garland

4 Days Left Until Christmas!
The spool garland spans a doorway, with vintage Christmas card holders at either end.
Painted spools and wooden beads alternate with spools still wound with bright colored thread.
This colorful spool garland will brighten up any window or doorway.  Have you caught on to the fact that I don't really go with traditional Christmas colors around here?  I've got to warn you, it weighs a ton, so unless you have a sturdy tree, you'll want to use it elsewhere.

Today's craft came from the Farm Journal's 1972 "Christmas Idea Book."
These fun spool ornaments inspired today's garland.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Very Quick Gift Fix - Oilcloth & Felt Combo

Enter the scrapbusting felt-backed oilcloth coasters:
I had some leftover oilcloth from this project ... and as with all my other projects, I just had to tuck away those scraps *just in case* I needed them later! At $14.99 / yard for this oilcloth (I only needed 1/2 yard, AND it's 60" on the bolt because it's considered home decor fabric, but anyway...) I wanted to use it to its fullest extent! 

Enter the super fast felt-backed oilcloth coaster. SO simple, you cannot even call its instructions a tutorial. All I did was cut little squares (about 4 x 4) of my leftover oilcloth strips; cut equally sized squares of red felt; place right sides facing out as they would be finished; and zig zag along the edges. 

Awesome & quick because felt and oilcloth do not fray!

Tip - don't pin these to sew - you'll leave holes in the oilcloth. If you need something to hold them together (I didn't bother), use mini clothes pins or binder clips.

The thing that surprised me and made this REALLY easy was: I didn't even have to do the tissue paper trick that I talked about here on these coasters. I stitched directly onto the oilcloth and had no problems whatsoever. Maybe a zig zag stitch is easier on the oilcloth than a straight stitch? Because let me tell you, when I made those Oilcloth Peppermint Goody Bags, the tissue paper saved me and was the only way that I could get the top stitching to work.  

so in about, oh 15 minutes (including the cutting) you can collect a nice stack of these!

Picture of the back ...


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Virtual Advent Calendar Day 20: Retro Baking - Krumkake

5 Days Left Until Christmas!
Okay, so technically, this is not a craft, but it does remind me of the Christmases of my childhood so I'm going to run with it.  This, for those of you who are not Minnesotans of Norwegian descent, is krumkake.  These delicious cookies are traditional at Christmas time.

About a year ago, I found this Nordic Ware krumkake iron at a thrift store in Tucson.  According to the box, I paid $5 for it.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tradition - Custom Santa Cookie Plate

We all love a tradition, right? It's just fun to talk about the things you remember from your childhood and then carry those over to your "adult" life ... I could go on an on, but when I think of Christmas, I think of huge candy canes in my stocking, many many car trips to see Christmas lights, making fudge & party mix, my brother's peanut butter cookies (which are so much better than any i've ever made), a candlelight service at church, celebrating with one set of grandparents at Thanksgiving, and celebrating with another on Christmas in a room where literally the presents were waist level around the room's perimeter (that was fun!) and so mucn more.
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Virtual Advent Calendar Day 19: Tissue Paper & Transpancy Ornaments

6 Days Left Until Christmas!

Tissue paper and transparencies are surrounded with a pink pipe cleaner.
Can you believe there are only 6 days left?  These fun ornaments are transparent so they catch the light from the sun during the day, and from the Christmas tree lights at night.

Today's craft is inspired by the 1972 edition of "The McCall's Book of Handicrafts."
Tissue paper and wire jewelry.
When I saw this, I was reminded of the tissue paper stained glass ornaments I made as a kid.  That involved glue tissue paper to wax paper and surrounding it with a pipe cleaner.  For my updated version, I decided to using a printed transparency with a tissue paper backing.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monkey off My Back

Enough said. Well one more thing ... this almost didn't happen. After frantically wrapping multiple individual presents for each box and prepping the boxes for about 2 hours,  I go to the trusty to print labels. Run out of printer ink. Try again. Doesn't work. Try again - success! Then in midst of taping down said labels, baby wakes up. Frantically run to get her before tshe wakes up the other one. Back to sticking down labels, finish up with that, and then start to run outside. Open door, about trip over a very large stack of received USPS packages and have near panic attack at thought of the mail man coming and going already! Then, see his truck down driveway - looking like an idiot with a stack of boxes - and become elated that he can take my packages and I'm all good. Whew! If I had done all this today only to not be able to ship the boxes, I'd be one unhappy lady! However it all worked out, and now

I'm gonna quasi kick back and enjoy the rest of the countdown ...

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Virtual Advent Calendar Day 18: Bottle Brush Christmas Trees

7 Days Left Until Christmas!

The bottlebrush Christmas tree.  A proud tradition in retro crafting.
Day 17's miniature village is surrounded by a forest of bottlebrush trees.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 17: Mini Village

8 Days Left Until Christmas!
Mini houses are all the rage this year!
My inspiration for this came from Suzie Millions and her benchmark tome, "The Complete Book of Retro Craft."  We also had one of these when I was a kid (I'm sure my mom still has it).  Honestly, they are all the rage this year.  There have been two tutorials lately one   So, instead of a full blown tutorial, I'm just going to tell you what I did that may have been different.

First, I arranged my little village on a styrofoam disc.  I wanted to put a picket fence around it, and I still may, but I couldn't find my packages of mini picket fencing in the crafateria which, again, is resembling the crapateria.  I may come back and add that later.
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Gingerbread House

It's a funny time of year for crafters I think, especially those of us who like to blog what we make! We are crafting away, but unable to share because the projects are surprises, right?

Well that's me anyway ... between here on S vs S, and Christmas gifts - it is busy!

One extremely shortcut thing we made the other day was a gingerbread house w/ an $8 kit from Target. Once I got it home, I starting wondering whether this was too ambitious of a project, but just rolled with it. What the heck. I did put the house together and squirted on the icing, then let the girls decide to decorate it or eat it. They decorated a little: the front and roof look good, but I think they mostly ate: the sides and back are completely bare!
On another note, has anyone been able to find little gumdrops for sale? I haven't been able to find them!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 16: Mason Jar Rim Window Ornament

9 Days Left Until Christmas
Mason jar rims and resin become a window to a Christmas scene.
Can you believe we are into single digits for the countdown?  Christmas will be here before you know it!
I used kosher salt for snow.  Worked great!
Have I ever mentioned that I love resin casting?  I don’t know what it is about encasing stuff in resin, but it’s fascinating.  Resin crafting is definitely a well-used weapon in the retro craft arsenal.  Why, kids have been encasing bugs, plants, coins and whatever else in resin since time immemorial.

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