Category Archives: Gift Ideas

December Mystery Kit

Hello Home and Garden Welcome readers; Michelle Wofford here to share with you some projects from the December mystery kit. Let me just say how excited I was when I opened this box and saw all the goodies I got to play with, many for the first time. All of it was such fun to work with and I now have some new favorite paper craft techniques.
Here is the supply list of goodies included in the mystery kit.

Coordinations Cardstock – Aqueduct
Graffix Vellum – Irridescent
Karen Foster Designs Scrappers Floss – Bone
Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint – Vintage Photo
Petaloo Velvet Hydrangeas – Blue
Dress It Up Buttons – Au Jardin Whisper
Melissa Frances Glass Glitter – Tarnished Silver
Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks – Country Side
Lazer Cut Elm Tree

My first project is a tea bag holder. I had been wanting to make one of these for a long time and this was the perfect time to go for it.

tea

Here’s a step by step tutorial so you can make your own tea bag holder.
Additional Supplies: Paper Trimmer, Scissors, scoring tool, adhesive, paper piercer, chipboard shape, Alocohol ink applicator, Straw
Step 1 – Trim a piece of cardstock to 6” x 12″. Score at 1” on the long edge, score at 3 1/16”, 5 ¾”, 8 13/16”, 11 1/2″ on the short edge.
Step 2 – With a scoring tool, score 3/4″ above the 1″ score line in the SECOND SEGMENT ONLY (this is the opening for your tea). Pre fold score lines
Step 3 – Use scissors to cut out the 1 ¾” x 2 3/4″ piece from the bottom of the second segment and the ½” x 1″ corner piece. Cut between the remaining 1″ flaps.
Step 4 – Using a strong adhesive adhere the ends together to form your holder. Adhere the bottom flaps.
Step 5 – Trim a 3” x 3 3/8” piece of cardstock and attach the box bottom to the base.
Step 6 – To create the top, trim a piece of cardstock to 4 ¼” x 4 5/8″ and score at 3/4″ on all sides. Cut and taper the corners. Adhere corners with using a strong adhesive.
Step 7 – Paint chipboard shape with distress crackle paint, sprinkle with glass glitter and allow to dry.
Step 8 – Using alcohol in applicator add a few drops of three colors and dab on vellum in a random pattern. Allow to dry.
Step 9 – To create look on lid, drop one drop at a time and blow into the end of a straw onto the alcohol ink. Repeat using the three colors in a random pattern until top is completely covered. Allow to dry.
Step 10 – Trim a piece of vellum treated with alcohol ink to fit behind chipboard cut out. Attach to the inside back of the chipboard piece. Attach flowers to front of chipboard piece and attach to front of box.
Step 11 – Use a paper piercer to puncture two holes in center lid, using a button as your guide. Also, pierce through flower. Cut a length of floss and thread through button, flower and lid to attach to lid.
Step 12 – Add your favorite tea.

tea2

 

My next project is a crackle paint frame.

frame

Additional supplies: Paper trimmer, green pearl accents, brown acrylic paint.
Step 1 – Paint unfinished wood frame with brown acrylic paint. Once dry apply a layer of brown crackle distress paint, and sprinkle with glass glitter. Allow to dry.
Step 2 – Apply alcohol inks to vellum, trim vellum and cardstock to fit in frame cut out. Layer vellum over cardstock and wrap with scrappers floss. Place inside frame.

Step 3 – Attach flowers and leaves to upper left corner and bottom right corner. Add green pearl where needed to flower centers.
Step 4 – Attach buttons to top right corner and bottom left corner.

frame2

For my final project I created a bound book that could be used a mini album or as a journal.

dream
Additional Supplies: Cinch binding machine, coordinating color of cardstock, paper trimmer, strong tape adhesive, bind it all 6” x 6” covers, binding wires, Alcohol ink applicator, chipboard alphabet stickers and stickles.

Step 1 – Trim multiple sheets of cardstock to 6” x 6”, however thick you want your album to be. Cover album cover front and back with cardstock.
Step 2 – Apply alcohol in to vellum and trim to 6” x 6”.
Step 3 – Use cinch (or other binding tool) to punch holes in cardstock and covers. (Tip, punch the holes and bind before you begin to embellish). Trim Coil binding to length and thread through punched holes.
Step 4 – Apply strips of strong adhesive (like score tape) and cover with glass glitter.
Step 5 – Apply pink alcohol ink to bone colored scrappers floss and thread through buttons. Attach buttons and flowers alternating above glass glitter.

Step 6 – Using alcohol ink applicator apply to elm tree laser cut out in a random pattern. To achieve the look on the tree use the same technique as you would on a nonporous surface. Wrap floss around trunk and tie in place. Attach flower to center of tree. Attach tree to vellum.

Step 7 – Select chipboard letters and cover with a light layer of stickles in a color coordinating the glass glitter. Attach to vellum.

A big thank you to Home and Garden Welcome for having me as a guest designer this month. I had a blast playing with these products and was challenged as to how to include all the elements together. I hope I’ve inspired you to start playing with your own mystery kit.

dreams

Thanks,
Michelle

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Christmas for the Girls

This year I have decided to make as many of the Christmas presents as I can this year.   For some of the girls I have made these journals with a coordinating bracelet.

 

Is there a girl in your life who would love a pretty journal like one of these?  Instructions on how to make your own can be found in the Art Journal Tutorial.

Find the supplies you need to complete your own journal, and all your paper crafting projects at Home and Garden Welcome.

 

In the meantime, Happy Holidays and may you find plenty of moments to craft!

~Nikki

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The Right-Brain Business Plan

I have had the (mis?)fortunate opportunity to write a few business plans over the course of the years, some have been praised greatly by people in the business world. When I was asked to review Jennifer Lee’s book “The Right-Brain Business Plan” for the Things Crafty Design Team I was a little skeptical. My previous experience with writing business plans has been far from enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised by the process created in Jennifer’s book and decided to work through a business plan with the help of the tools provided in “The Right Brain Business Plan” as well as the support provided on the internet.

This book is a fabulous tool for those who are wondering if they should start a business centering on their craft.  It makes you think about who you are, what you want out of starting your own business, identifying your market and all of those other intangible aspects most creative people don’t want to really consider.  And it does so in a way that is fun and engaging.

Visit Home and Garden Welcome today to get your copy of The Right-Brained Business Plan.

Happy Reading!

~Nikki

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Oh No, I’m late….

So sorry my faithful followers, I am late with the November Mystery Kit.  Something has happened in the last few weeks and we have been running six ways to sundown.  It’s nice to have lots to stay busy with, but come on.  Why does it all happen at once?
Anyway, I’d like to introduce (a little late) the November Mystery Kit.

As we enter the holiday season we are reminded to be thankful of the times we have with our family and friends, the blessings we’ve been given and are encouraged to seek joy in every part of our lives. Use the contents of the November Mystery Kit from Home and Garden Welcome to create a beautiful piece reflecting the warmth and love represented by this season of giving.

 

I’d also like to show you an amazing creation created by Lori.  I am so impressed with the creativity in the world today.  As I put this kit together I never imagined the colors and accents coming together like this.  Amazing!

!

 

To see all the detailed images and the process behind this canvas visit Lori’s blog.

What will you create?  Order your November Kit today and maybe you could win!

~Happy Crafting!

Nikki

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July Mystery Kit Creation

July is over, and I have a surprise for you!  I have decided to share MY creation with the July 2012 Mystery Craft Contest Kit.  I haven’t had many takers YET on the mystery kit and I understand.  It is hard to purchase something when you really have no idea what may be in the kit, or what you could create.  Well, now you get an idea of just what may be possible.  This is what came in my surprise box (okay, it wasn’t a surprise to me):

Included is a pack of 12×12 double-sided scrapbooking paper, a spool of blue jute and yellow memory floss, a package of Tim Holtz Fragments and a set of alcohol inks.  Now if you remember, the rules say I have to incorporate EVERY product in the kit into my final project.  I was able to use other supplies in my crafting stash, and that I did.

I have a great love for chipboard.  This easy to work heavy duty paper product makes a perfect base for all sorts of boxes and home decor projects.  If you haven’t yet, check out another of my chipboard creations here.
So I got to cutting, measuring and cutting (I have a hard time with the measure twice, cut once philosophy…), gluing, layering and cutting some more.  Then I punched a few holes, layered corkboard together with chipboard and something you may find unique – Barbecue Skewers!  Yes, I did raid my barbecue supplies for part of this project.  I used the alcohol inks on the acrylic fragments, added embellishments with the floss and jute, added a few more holes, layered a little more paper and finally got out my thread and needle to sew my colored fragments to the lid of my box.  After all was said and done I filled my new creation and sat back to enjoy my handiwork.

Can you tell what it is yet?

I made a charging station for all of my electronic devices.  (Okay, don’t tell my dad but I am not going to be keeping this-at least I don’t plant to now- it will be a Christmas gift for the gadget guru.)  It features a separate charging bay for a USB ‘a’ connector, a USB ‘b’ connector and a Mini USB connector. A compartment is hidden by a small cork board lid allowing you to attach notes, pictures, even inspiring quotes easily and in full sight.  The rim of the box is lined with the yellow memory floss knotted in the corners adding interest and strength to the box.  The front of the box features a cute plaque set off with a frame made from the blue jute. I used the jute to stitch the little fragment labels to the box, allowing quick recognition of just what type of connector you are reaching for.

After completing the project I still have PLENTY of supplies left for an identical charging station, or an entirely different project. In addition to the contents of the mystery kit I used 8″x10″ chipboard sheets (I think 4 sheets?), part of a 12″x12″ cork board sheet, barbecue skewers, 4 diamond brads, rub-on accents and craft glue.

What could you create with this not-so Mystery Craft Kit?  Order the August Mystery Craft Kit from Home and Garden Welcome, create something amazing and maybe YOU could WIN the August contest!

Happy Crafting

~Nikki

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Rainy Day Inspiration

So, it was a rainy day in Northern Michigan and I was feeling like creating something.  I just didn’t know what.  After I got out some supplies and started thinking about things I’d like to have but don’t want to buy an idea came to me.  I have nowhere in our travel trailer to keep our coffees, teas and hot cocoa mix that is cute and easily accessible.  Cool! Now I know what I want to make, but what is it going to look like?  Reaching for what sparks imagination like nothing else (the bottle of wine in the pantry) I spied this and knew what I’d make.

No, I am not going to make a loaf of bread.  I am going to make a decorative box along the lines of a bread box to match the interior of our trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Istarted with chipboard.  I knew this was going to have to be pretty sturdy so I planned on doubling up the chipboard for the sides and the top.  I rough sketched an arc on one sheet of chip board and cut it out with a craft knife.  Using the first side piece as a pattern I cut out the second side.  Next I cut  a strip about 1/8″-1/4″ out to create the base of the groove the lid will move in. Then I glued the pieces I cut out onto another sheet of chipboard.  I cut 1/8″ off the  back and bottom of my side pieces so they would fit together better later in the process. Finally I cut a flat edge off the top of each arc so the top to my box would fit nicely.  The last image is not correctly oriented – it shows the top of one side and the bottom of the other.  Make sure when you are gluing your pieces together you have 2 mirror images, NOT exact copies!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I set the sides aside (see what I did there?  Pretty funny, eh?) to dry and began working on the door of my box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I began with 2 sheets of chipboard, cutting them into 1/2″ strips.  Once the strips were cut I aligned them as perfectly as possible and glued a piece of flexible fabric to the back side.  This held the strips together as I was working on the front of my box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this sheet is drying I began to work on the front of my box.  I wanted a toile-ish look to the front of my box but did not have any paper that had what I was looking for so I decided to make it myself.  Starting with a sheet of white cardstock I stamped images on the paper in red and brown ink and embossed them using different shades of red embossing powder.  Next I used an inkssentials blending tool to add Tim Holtz distress inks in scattered straw and brushed corduroy to the background.  I was very pleased with the result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my paper was finished I glued it to the cover of my breadbox (opposite of the side my fabric was glued on) and added stitching detail with dark brown memory floss.  I was very happy with the way things were coming together at this point in time. I had a glass cabinet pull just waiting to be used in a project like this.  I punched a hole in one of the slats and used a small bolt to tighten the cabinet pull in place. (It doesn’t show up in these pictures, look for it later.  It is PRETTY, I promise!)

 

Once my sides and covers were dry I began fitting the pieces together trying to see how the box was going to work.  Noticing that I needed a deeper groove for my door to fit in I cut 1/8″ strips of chipboard from my scraps and glued them along the inside and outside edge of the track I had created earlier.  Then I glued one side of my box to the base and the back.  Once the glue dried I painted the inside of the box with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint in Brushed Corduroy.  After all, the inside of the box has to be as pretty as the outside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next part was a test in patience.  Aligning the cover in one groove and setting it in the opposite groove while keeping everything square and straight.  I’d advise buying any children in the vicinity some ear plugs so they are not exposed to the outbursts that may occur during this step.

Now that the back and sides are glued securely and the front is nicely seated in its track I made a small shelf/top to add some strength to the box and a little extra storage area.  It also hides the ‘rolling’ features of the door.  I did this by doubling up a few pieces of chipboard and wrapping the shelf in a coordinating paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I added some paper to the outside of my box to finish it off.  I also added a leather strap along the middle of the arc.  I did this for a few reasons.  First off, it gave me a place to hang things like coffee scoops or tea balls inside the box.  It also added some strength to the sides of the box, the movement of the lid wanted to push the sides out allowing the lid to pop off its track.

 

 

 

After a few coats of a sealant here is the final project in place.  Perfect, don’t you think!

 

 

 

 

 

All the materials I used in this project, or at least very similar materials, are available from Home and Garden Welcome.  Stop by and find what inspires you. I’d LOVE to see what you can create!

Happy Crafting,

~Nikki

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Beautiful Berries, Caring Craft

I am fortunate enough to live in Northern Michigan where Mother Nature is generous enough to  provide us with several options for berry picking.  In my yard we have both wild blackberry and raspberry patches that provide abundant harvests year after year.  These plants seem to thrive on neglect and produce enough berries to make jams, pies and other yummy treats.

Know what you Have

It is important to know what kind of berry patch you are picking in.  If you try to pick blackberries thinking you are in a raspberry patch you will be in for one very sour surprise.

Blackberries are a much larger, more stout plant.  The stems are much larger, more woody with large thorns.  The leaves are large with thorns as well.  The berries are much larger and have very distinct ‘fruits’ that are joined together to make one larger fruit.  These fruits are the size of a thimble once mature and are a dark, rich black color.  The smaller red fruits look like ripe raspberries, but if you try and eat one you will quickly realize your mistake.  Blackberries also have a much larger seed in the berries when compared to wild raspberries.

Blackberry Bush

Blackberries beginning to ripen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild raspberries, on the other hand, are a much friendlier plant.  While they do have thorny branches they are not as painful as the blackberries.  The stems are less woody and the thorns lean closer to small thread.  The leaves feel more hairy than thorny and are smaller than the blackberries.  The fruits are smaller, too.  They appear more smooth rather than having the distinct ‘bulbs’ that the blackberry is made of.  The seeds are smaller and less prominent.  Wild raspberries also ripen about 1-2 weeks earlier than their thornier cousin.

Wild Raspberry Bush

Wild Raspberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have picked your berries (I suggest bribing the neighborhood kids – give them a bucket to fill for you to use, then give them each a smaller bucket that they can eat) you have so many options.  I make jam with the berries.  Sometimes pies, and I even make some preserves to put in a very popular gift basket for my friends around the holidays.

Once you have prepared your preserves, tie a nice card on with the recipe.  Add the dry ingredients into a basket (or even a mason jar), add a ribbon and you have a wonderful handmade gift that is sure to put a smile on someone’s face.

Raspberry Bars Gift Jar

 

Here is the recipe I use for my Raspberry bars.

filling:
4c fresh raspberries (or blackberries)
4c White Sugar
1c Water
Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.  Boil, stirring constantly until well thickened.  The mixture should evenly coat the back of a metal spoon without breaking.  Set aside to cool.
crust:
1pkg yellow (or white) cake mix
3/4c butter, melted
2 eggs
1c rolled oats
3/4 c brown sugar
1t cinnamon
1t vanilla
Mix all ingredients together until well combined.  Set aside 1 1/2 c of crust mixture.  Spread remaining in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan, packing down evenly.  Spread the cooled raspberry mixture evenly over the bottom crust.  Crumble small pieces of the remaining crust mixture evenly over the raspberry mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350° F or until golden brown.  Cool completely before slicing.
 

Visit Home and Garden Welcome for papers, ribbons, stickers and other items to add your handmade recipe card to your delicious gift!

Happy gardening and creating!

~Nikki

 

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Here in the United States we celebrate Father’s Day the third Sunday in June.  I say lets challenge that idea and celebrate Dad (or Grand Dad) all year long!  Our Dads are so important to us, yet it is so hard to find time to spend with him.  Here are some gift ideas that Dad will love, and you can enjoy together.

For the Fisherman

If the Dad in your life believes in the saying ‘A bad day fishing beats a good day working.’  a fish graph is a great gift idea.  Check out these models to help ensure that Dad does not have to suffer a bad day fishing again.

Hummingbird 718 Mono Fishing System     Hummingbird 581 1 w/GPS

For the History Buff

Does the Dad in your life love finding hidden treasures?  How about getting him a metal detector.  Imagine finding old coins, farm implements, tools, keys or maybe even jewelry.  Once those treasures are uncovered you can look together to find the story behind the objects.  A learning exercise and physical exercise all in one!

Lone Star Metal Detector

For the Gardener

Whether he is growing prized pumpkins or cultivating rare roses how about get Dad something to help achieve his goal.  Through composting or water collecting together you can learn about how Dad cares for his garden while learning a little about conservation and ecology.

  Rainwizard 50 gallon Oak Barrel     TerraCotta Composter 50 gallon

For the Grill Master

If Dad is the ruler of the backyard grill why not get him some tools that can expand his grilling horizons.  Maybe he’d even be willing to share a few of his secrets with you while you watched him work his grillin’ magic!

  Non-stick Rib Rack                 Brinkman Smoke n’ Grill

For the Birdwatcher

For the Dad who loves his feather friends almost as much as his own children how about a gift that you can help share in his passion.  Whether it is showing you all the birds who have visited his feeders lately or the newest way to keep those darned squirrels away, get him something with his winged wonders in mind.

The Efforless DIx feeder       Audubon 5mp Birdcam

Whatever you decide to get Dad for Father’s Day, if it is something you can enjoy together it will be a gift he will always cherish.

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