Friday, December 21, 2012

friday favorites | december 21, 2012

Hola, crafty peeps! Happy Friday to you all!

We're just settling back into our routine here after being away for a bit- on Wednesday night we returned home from spending 8 days in the beautiful Dominican Republic! I took tons of photos and had a lot of fun (and I made sure that the blog was filled with scheduled posts so I could still share some craftiness with you while I was gone), but I am so happy to be back home now and getting the final bits of Christmas preparation finished up.

I'm trying not to let too many extra projects sneak onto my final to-do list, but there's one that I'm just itching to try- dyed bottle brush trees like these from Elizabeth Kartchner's blog!

Image Credit: Dear Lizzy

Elizabeth has a great video tutorial for dyeing Tim Holtz's vintage white bottle brush trees with Distress re-inkers, and I've also spotted trees misted with Heidi Swapp's Color Shine on Kim Jeffress' blog. Since both of those products are water-based, I'm guessing this technique will work with a variety of different inks, including Jenni Bowlin's re-inkers and Studio Calico's Mister Hueys- you can bet I'll be trying out a bunch of different color mists and inks from my stash on these!

I'm definitely wanting to work with what I have or what I can acquire inexpensively for this project, and while Tim's little white trees are adorable, they're also $4.99US for a pack of 2 trees + a wreath, so I set out to see if I could find a less expensive source for white trees. With just a bit of Google searching, I found that it's possible (and very easy!) to bleach the green trees (that can be found in large packages at the big box craft stores) white and then dye them! There are tons of tutorials out there for how to do it, such as the ones here, here, and here. And if you live near a JoAnn store, they currently have their Christmas Inspirations decorations on sale 70% off, including a 9-pack of bottle brush decorations that includes 7 trees of various sizes and two cute little bushes. The sale takes the price down from the regular $19.99US to just under $6 a pack, which is a major savings! I also found a 15% off your entire purchase (including sale and clearance) coupon in my JoAnn iPhone app (and I noticed that I was also emailed one this morning) that I was able to use on top of that sale, so that package of 9 trees/shrubs cost me a mere $5.10US in the end- about what one pack of the Tim Holtz trees runs! If you're wanting to try this project, as well, JoAnn might need to make it onto your errand list this weekend (and I've read that Michaels also has a large pack of the trees, too).

Wow, so who knew I could write so much about little bottle brush trees, right? I blame the restaurant in the hotel we stayed at in Punta Cana last week- they had the most adorable set of white bottle brush trees on each table, so every morning at breakfast they were right in my face! :)

And of course I still have the usual set of crafty picks to share with you today- I've linked up more than usual this week- upping this week's count to 12 from the usual 9. And would you believe that there's still more wonderful Christmas stuff rolling in? At this rate I might have to do another seasonal roundup post-holiday- but, hey, at least that'll give me ideas for next year, right? :)


From the top left:
  • Check out this fantastic tutorial for making ornament inserts!
  • I always love Rebecca Cooper's lovely banners, and her latest is no except. See how she made it at Simple As That.
  • Patricia Roebuck shows a novel use for Silhouette shapes- she cut out the inside of several frames and then used a sketch pen to drawn the outsides. Love the concept!
  • Learn how to make your own glittered votive candle holders at 100 Layer Cake.
  • IKEA's Livet Hemma blog reminds us how easy it can be to decorate for the holidays by simply piling some lovely Christmas ornaments onto an everyday serving dish. 
  • Antilight shares a tutorial for making these sweet, pocket-sized hand warmers.
  • Need a few more gift tags as you finish up your wrapping? Eat Drink Chic has a lovely set of free printables for you. 
  • Purl Bee shares instructions for making three different (and fun!) felt ornaments.
  • Minted's new Julep blog has a post showing how to make these fun accordion paper trees.
  • The time for advent calendars has almost passed, but I couldn't help linking up this sweet Christmas city advent from Mr. Printables.
  • Need to use up some of your washi stash? Try these washi tape wreaths, found at Freckled Fawn's I Am Doe blog.
  • One more advent calendar to wrap things up, and it's the direction I think I'm going to go with next year's- an awesome basket full of 24 decorated (and filled!) treat bags at Be Stamped.