Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Freebie - Christmas Kitchen Clipart and Tags


There are only two days left for Christmas in July. It went so fast! I thought it would be fun to end the month with a free Christmas mini kit. In this kit you will receive the four clipart images and both tags. They are a perfect add-on to both of the Christmas kitchen sets I have in my shop right now. All you have to do is hop over to my website at Sher's Creative Space and click on the link at the top to be taken to my FREEBIES page.

Enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Christmas Traditions


As we are bringing our Christmas in July to a close, with only a couple posts left, I thought it would be fun to share our favorite Christmas traditions. Maybe we'll find a new one we'd like to try!

Christmas brunch with Mimosas have always been a tradition in our family. My mom started them in our family when we were young. I've carried that tradition with my own kids. The nice thing about brunch is that a lot of the work can be done the night before so you can enjoy Christmas morning without so much rushing around.

Another tradition is one that the kids grandpa started when they were little. Every year, along with their presents, he would give them each a stack of lottery scratch-off tickets. He has since passed, but I have continued that tradition in his memory.

And of course there is the tradition of Christmas baking, and one cookie that always finds its way to the oven is my Grandma Ashton's Sugar Cookies. They've been a family favorite for years! 

So please tell me about your traditions!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random Giveaway - Win 4 Mug Rug PDF Patterns!

 

GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED ENDED

Congratulations to Leann for winning all four mug rug patterns!

Be sure to stop by her Blog and Etsy Shop to see all of her wonderful creations!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Christmas at 90 Degrees Plus?


I know that I'm in the middle of my Christmas in July Extravaganza on my blog, but I thought I'd take a break from this awful heat and do a little swimming, or should I say floating. It's so hot that the water in our pool is nearly 87 degrees!

Back to working on Christmas stockings tonight.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tutorial - Gingerbread Gift Card Ornaments


Here's a great craft that the kids will enjoy! I designed them in two sizes. One size will fit gift cards, while the other will hold your scratch-off tickets. So quick and easy! You can whip up a bunch in no time at all.

Supplies:
Felt square(s)

***one felt square will make 2 holders
Scraps of beige fabric or felt (fabric was used in the samples)
Medium or heavy weight paper-backed fusible webbing,

***1/8 yd will make 5 gingerbread guys
Medium weight fusible interfacing,

 ***1/4 yd (18 - 22” wide) will make 4 holders
3-dimensional paint in black, white, red, green
8” piece of 1/8” wide ribbon for each holder
8” piece of 3/8” wide ribbon for each holder
Good quality, thick craft glue (I like Fabri-tac by Beacon)
Thread to match holders
Embroidery floss, only needed if you are not using a sewing machine
Ribbon or metallic thread for hangers (optional)

General supplies:
Scissors, pins, sewing needles, embroidery needle (if not using a sewing machine), paper & pencil, paper or cardstock (for printing pattern pieces), iron & ironing board, sewing machine (optional), cutting mat with ruler & rotary cutter (optional)

Supplies notes: Fabrics (not the felt) can be pre-washed but do not use a fabric softener. It can prevent your adhesive from sticking.



Pattern Pieces for Gift Card Ornament
Right click and save to your computer




Pattern Pieces for Scratch-off Ornament
Right click and save to your computer

 

Instructions:
1.  Print out the pattern pieces and cut out. If you use card stock, it will be so much easier to trace around them. Set aside for now. You will notice a 3" line. Make sure that line measures 3" so that your gingerbread people will properly fit your holder.

2.  Cut your fusible interfacing just a wee bit smaller than your felt square(s). Fuse the interfacing to one of the sides of the felt, following the manufacturer’s directions for the interfacing you are using.

3.  For each holder cut two pieces as follows:

For the Gift Card: 3 x 4 inches

For the Lottery Scratch-offs: 3 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches, will fit tickets that measure 2 1/2 x 4 inches


~if your tickets are bigger, just add the difference to the height and width

4.  Pin the two holder pieces together with the felt facing out. Stitch around three sides leaving the upper edge (one of the short edges) open. Be sure not to go over a 1/4 inch seam allowance and pivot at the corners. Trim away the excess seam allowance, close to the stitching line.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can use a blanket stitch and 6 strands of floss around the edges. Just keep your stitching no bigger than1/4 inches in. You can find a tutorial right here on my blog for the blanket stitch:


Sher's Blanket Stitch Tutorial

5.  Trace around your pattern pieces onto the paper side of the paperbacked fusible webbing. Just cut around the traced lines, NOT on them. You will cut on the lines later. 



6.  With the paper side facing up, iron the fusible webbing to the back side of your felt or fabric scraps, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the webbing you are using. Now you can cut on the traced line and remove the paper backing.  


7.  Making sure that the adhesive side is facing the felt, center the gingerbread person on the holder but leave a bigger margin at the upper (open) edge. You’ll want to leave room to place your bow.


8.  Using the black 3-dimensional paint, make two dots for eyes in center of face, and a curved line for a smile.

9.  Using the red or green 3-dimensional paint, make dots or hearts down front. The hearts are very easy to make. Just make a tiny “V” by beginning your paint application at the upper left, come down at an angle to the center. Lift the tip of the bottle and create the other side of the “V” the same way you did this one. That is how you get a tiny little heart!

10.  Using the white 3-dimensional paint, make little squiggly lines on top of head, each hand, boy’s feet, and bottom of the girl’s dress.



11.  Using the red or green 3-dimensional paint, go along the sides and bottom with squiggly lines. Let paint dry completely before completing, usually overnight. 


If you've never used 3-dimensional paints before, you can get some very helpful information right here on my blog by clicking HERE.

12.  From the 1/8” wide ribbon, make tiny little bows and glue to the neck.


13.  From the 3/8” wide ribbon, make bows and place at the upper edge of your holder. 

Finishing:
If you plan on making an ornament, attach metallic thread or ribbon to the upper corners. Just be sure to place them so they don’t interfere with the size of the opening. 


 
 
Stuff with one or more gift cards or scratch-off tickets. Enjoy!





Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July Treasury


What would Christmas in July be without spreading around some Etsy love? I created this treasury which features some very creative and festive artists. Stop by and take a look at all these awesome finds!

Christmas in July Treasury

Friday, July 12, 2013

FREE Baby Shower Clipart!


It's another Digital Designers Team hop! This time it's a virtual baby shower. Each designer will have something fun to offer on their blogs or facebook page, a gift for you! Just look for the image below and that is where you will find information on each blog to get their goodies. Above is my contribution to this virtual baby shower. 

You can pick up my offering on the FREEBIE page at my website HERE.

The next stop on the hop is HERE.

The hop's home page is HERE.

Don't forget to look for the image below.


 

Web Hop Participants:
Etsy Shop: Lovelytocu Visit Offer Page for: Mini scrapbook kit for new baby plus many more offers!
Etsy Shop: Simply Brenna Visit Offer Page for: Colorful freebies and a bonus coupon code!
Etsy Shop: Two Four Five Designs Visit Offer Page for: DIY monthly onesie sticker printable
Etsy Shop: With Envy Parties Visit Offer Page for: Little Man/Little Lady Printable Baby Shower Party
Etsy Shop: Events You Can Print Visit Offer Page for: Yellow and Grey Baby Shower Printables
Etsy Shop: ToutAim├łe Visit Offer Page for: 2 awesome gifts with your newsletter subscription!
Etsy Shop: ArigigiPixel Visit Offer Page for: Printable monthly onesie circles for boys and girls
Etsy Shop: Sher Hastings Designs Visit Offer Page for: Eleven baby themed clipart images
Etsy Shop: Cherie's Arts 'n Crafts Visit Offer Page for: Create a whimsical mobile for baby with fun animal graphics!
Etsy Shop: Kelly Jane Creative Visit Offer Page for: Free Clipart Set & Enter Drawing for $25 Shop Certificate
Etsy Shop: Jenny Allsorts Design Visit Offer Page for: Sweet Baby Printable for your little one's room
Etsy Shop: PrintableWisdom Visit Offer Page for: Two free nursery art printables, $20 giveaway
Etsy Shop: Paper Gravy Store Visit Offer Page for: Royal baby themed party printable
Etsy Shop: AnnelineSophia Visit Offer Page for: It's a Prince/It's a Princess. Clip art and digital papers
Etsy Shop: Picky Chicken Visit Offer Page for: Printable gift tags
Etsy Shop: DigiBonBons Digital Art Visit Offer Page for: 50% off PLUS a free baby shower set with any purchase

Hop Participants on Facebook:
Etsy Shop: Emily Ann Design Studio Visit Offer Page for: Gender Reveal Party Printables
Etsy Shop: InkBite Designs Visit Offer Page for: Free DIY Printable Gift Boxes and Tags
Etsy Shop: BitsyCreations Visit Offer Page for: Free printable baby congratulations or birthday card
Etsy Shop: PaperPrintsDesign Visit Offer Page for: 14 Baby Shower Paper Set + bonus paper inside!
Etsy Shop: DigitalWork-Leska's Digitals Visit Offer Page for: Shower of love, collection of 5 digital papers & 2 frames
Etsy Shop: Lollipop Lime Graphics Visit Offer Page for: Choose any 5 Designs from my Shop Instant Download for $10.00
Etsy Shop: ljcDigitalDesigns Visit Offer Page for: Buy one, get one free in my Etsy shop!

More Offers Available!:
Etsy Shop: Twisted Papers Visit Offer Page for: Buy 2 collage sheets select any Christmas collage sheet for free.
Etsy Shop: Chocolate Rabbit Graphics Visit Offer Page for: Christmas in July! Wonderful Winter scrapbook paper set for free.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mimosa Recipe


I actually feel quite silly naming this post "Mimosa Recipe" because it's really not much of a recipe. You simply mix equal amounts of orange juice and champagne (or sparkling wine).

Mimosas have been a family tradition for our Christmas brunch for as far back as I can remember. Even as a youngster my mom would fill a wine glass about an inch high with some Mimosa. I carried on that tradition with my own kids. No they are both in their 20's and they always come over for Christmas brunch and the first thing they do is fill a glass of Mimosa. 

Then my personal tradition is to come home after the family parties and finish what's left!

On a different note: Be sure to check back tomorrow because I'm participating in another Digital Designers Team hop. The theme is BABY! There will be all kinds of fun and cute free goodies. It's a virtual baby shower and you get the presents!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gingerbread Pattern Giveaway - 3 Patterns - Today Only!


GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

CONGRATULATIONS TO MELISSA!

Be sure to stop by her fun blog!
http://hilltophausfrau.blogspot.com/

If you missed this giveaway, there will be another one before my Christmas in July event ends. Stay tuned! 

Today I want to get you in the gingerbread spirit! One winner will win all three of these gingerbread patterns. The winner will be able to decorate their tree, or even an entire room in gingerbread glory! My personal favorite are the gingerbread napkin rings or pins. I whipped up a bunch of them in no time at all.

All you have to do to win is comment here and tell me how many Christmas trees you will be putting up this year. And don't forget to leave me information on how to reach you in case you win.

I'll announce the winner on facebook, and right here tomorrow. Good luck!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tutorial - Painted Glasses, Dots!


Hand painted glassware seems to be all the rage right now. I've come up with this super simple, super cute, and super inexpensive gift you can make in a jiffy! They make a great hostess gift alone, or paired with something yummy or a bottle of wine. You can even make them for yourself, in fact, I think you should!


SUPPLIES:
Glass or wine glass
ENAMEL paints, usually sold near the acrylic paint
Paintbrush end, pencil eraser, or tool of your choice
Palette, plastic lid, or paper plate to hold your paint
Alcohol
A couple of paper napkins
Cookie sheet to hold glasses while baking
Oven




IMPORTANT - READ FIRST:
Always start with a squeaky clean and dry glass. Wipe down the glass with alcohol. Once you have done this, it is very important not to touch the area of the glass you will be painting. The oils from your hands can actually keep your paints from sticking to the glass. If you accidentally touch the glass during the painting process, just grab your alcohol and wipe that are while making sure not to smear any paint. Since I will not be painting the inside, the stem, or the upper inch of the glass, those are the only areas where I let my hands touch the glass. I found it easiest to hold the glass from the inside.




Decide how big you want your dots, then choose your tool accordingly. For the bigger glasses I chose bigger dots and I found the eraser end of a brand new pencil gave me the size I wanted. For the wineglasses I wanted smaller dots so I chose the wooden end of a paintbrush. It helps if you choose something that is perfectly flat rather than a "rounded" tip. Experiment "dotting" paper until you find what works best for you project.

Shake you paint well and put a small amount (about the size of a nickel) on your palette, I used a paper plate for this. It's best to use one color at a time. If you plan on having your dots touch each other, you'll want your paint to dry before applying your next color(s).

Simply dip the pencil, paintbrush, or tool of your choice into your paint, then dab it on the glass. Remember to be careful not to touch the area you are painting with your hands or fingers. You can also become super creative with the dots by making swirls or shapes from a group of dots. I've seen glasses like this and they are really cute as well.







Once you have finished your first color, repeat the step above using any additional colors you wish to add. Don't worry about any little "peaks" that appear in the center of your dots. Once the paint dries, your dots will flatten out. If you have any tiny splatters, you can gently scrape them off with your fingernail once the paint completely dries.



For the final process, you will have to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the bottle of enamel paint you are using. For example: the brand I'm using instructs me to:

Allow paint to air-dry for 48 hours. Then set in a cool oven, heat to 325 degrees, bake 30 minutes, turn oven off, let them cool down in the oven before removing.





After these glasses are baked, they can be washed, but I would not recommend putting them in the dishwasher.

These were so much fun to make, you may become addicted like me. These paints are also great to use on any white dishes or serving pieces as well. I had so much fun that I painted some in other colors too. Next I think I'm going to try a confetti style and use lots of bright colors!







Friday, July 5, 2013

Sunset Through the Trees


I snapped this picture a couple of days ago of the trees in my yard. It looks like the trees are getting ready for fall with the splashes of red and orange, but it's early July. It was actually a sunset that was so vibrant in color, that the reflection bounced off the trees. I've seen this effect before but never as bright and colorful as I did this day. I knew I had to grab my camera quickly because it would disappear as quickly as it appeared. The photo really doesn't do it any justice, you should have seen the real thing!

Don't forget to stop back here tomorrow for my first Christmas in July tutorial!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grandma Ashton's Sugar Cookie Recipe



3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


***You can use this recipe in your cookie molds and cookie stamps, but you will need to leave out the baking powder if you do.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Chill dough.  

Roll out between 1/8" and 1/4" thickness (your personal preference) on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters and gently lift cookies and place about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet. You can sprinkle with sugar before baking, or frost later.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes.

Let cool completely then frost.

I have a confession to make...I NEVER chill my dough and my cookies still come out perfect. They sure do taste good too!

Images are from "Christmas Kitchen Clipart" which is available at my Etsy Shop.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Christmas in July Extravaganza & Links to FREEBIES!


Welcome to my first ever Christmas in July Extravaganza! I have so many things planned for this month.

I have a couple brand new tutorials for you, some random giveaways, and I'll be sharing some of our tried and true favorite Christmas recipes. Wait until you try my Grandma Ashton's sugar cookies! They are so delicious, and come out perfect every time! More about that later. 

For my digital scrapbooking pals, I have a cute little freebie clipart set that makes a great add-on to a couple of my popular Christmas kits.

Before I get on with my new stuff, let me show you a couple Christmas tutorials and digital downloads that you may not even know I already have right here on my blog.




OK, that should keep you busy until my next tutorial where we'll make something to add a festive touch to your Holiday entertaining.
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