Handmade Christmas cards

For this year’s Christmas cards I experimented with pieces of an old jigsaw puzzle. If I would have a jigsaw puzzle with bigger pieces, I would have put the “merry Christmas” words onto the pieces, but the ones I took turned out to be too small for that, so I had to find other ideas.

First I took the jigsaw puzzle pieces and painted them over several times with white acrylic paint. I added some glitter to some pieces while the colour was still wet just to try out how it would look like. I should have added some lacquer onto the dried pieces to prevent the glitter from falling down (e.g. decoupage lacquer).

After I had dried the white acrylic paint over night on the other pieces, I tried out several other different ideas: some I decorated just with small star or snowflake stickers and onto some I pressed “Merry Christmas” or snowflake stamps. With the stamps I recommend you to let it dry over night once more and perhaps also put some clear lacquer onto it, because the stamp colour stays wet for a long time on the acrylic paint.

I especially liked the snowflake pattern in metallic pink so I used it quite often.

I also draw the outlines of three jigsaw puzzle pieces onto paper and cut it out. Turned out to look quite interesting.

On one card I added a small present: a Christmas tree decoration from Ikea:

With another card I punched out a reindeer on the corner and put some golden canvas behind it. On the picture you cannot see it properly, but I actually put two layers of the thin canvas behind it, so some golden lines are seen a little lighter and add some depth to it.

As usually my ideas were better than the cards, but feel free to use the idea (and link it to this page) and show me what you made out of it.

All of my cards are visible at Flickr, Set: Christmas cards.

Let me know what you think of these ideas? Anything you could use yourself on your cards?

Finally in Etsy

It took me some time to fill out these forms and pages and upload the pictures and so on, but finally it was there – the moment, when I pressed the Open your shop button! 🙂

I had it in mind already for a few months to switch from Taitomaa to Etsy and now it is done. Why? Just because Etsy is international and easy to use (beside having to fill out a looooot of boxes, which is a good thing for the product but bad for a person with just too few free time, and in addition to this: I can follow Etsy on my iPhone without having to turn on my computer every day.

The address of the new shop is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pearlkitchen

Have a lovely weekend!

Present for Father’s day

And it is once again time for Father’s Day. In our family Father’s Day is twice a year. This is a little odd but let me explain: I am having two nationalities, one from my father and one from my mother. In Finland Father’s Day is celebrated in November and in Germany in spring. As I live in Finland and my father in Germany I think a great dad like him can be celebrated twice a year. Which means that I can blog twice a year about my Father’s Day present and thus twice the ideas for you.

My father loves to receive handmade presents or something with photographs. Mostly I have made him something with photographs: albums, a clock in which I put photographs and so on.

This year I got the idea of making some coasters. Not my best notions, but handmade at least.

I had some round plastic coasters from Aarrikka for some reason and I decided to use them as basis for the coasters. Then I printed eight detailed map parts out from Google view, always zooming in to a special place: the neighborhood where my parents live, where I live, the place of our cottage, the city where my sister lives, and so on.

Then I printed the maps out, put the plastic coaster onto the map on the right spot, draw with a pen around the coaster to mark the edges and then it was very easy to cut the circles out. After some circle I realized that I am just so bad in cutting out circles! Luckily I love to make cards and had a circle cutter. But, I failed at that task too and did not always choose the right center, leaving a lovely blue circle line on the map where the pen had drawn the line. But, at least it is a handmade present.

In the end I brushed decoupage gloss onto the plastic coaster, put the map onto it and then brushed some more decoupage gloss onto the map. Luckily I brushed carefully so that I did not break the paper. The gloss makes the paper wet, so be sure to only brush very few times over the same spot. Be careful especially to let the map dry well after printing.

After the night the coasters were ready to be sent just in time for Father’s Day.

 

Not the most beautiful of maps that I chose, but luckily the idea was good to delight my father 🙂 Hoping for better ideas for Christmas.

 

won my first challenge

Some news at least: for the first time I participated in a cardmaking challenge, topic: vintage. I found the pattern interesting that we had to follow and participated with this card:

And guess what?! I won the challenge. 🙂 Crazy life!

I got a sweet prize from Arkkikauppa.com for it. I have to admit I did not immediately know how some things were meant to be used, but I think I will find something for them. And Arkkikauppa has so much more interesting things…

I hope I find time to make cards to more challenges as they are very inspiring, but there is just this tiny, time consuming idea of opening an Etsy store soon and there is still a lot of forms to fill out and products to make and photograph before I can even begin with it. Just for fun – what a load of work 🙂

By naturess Posted in cards

New jewels

At the moment I am concentrating my free time on making new jewels, mostly necklaces to sell. It is not that I would not keep them myself, but I thought in the beginning, the best practice in inventing new patterns, new ideas to combine colours and different shapes is to simply do and then sell them to keep storage small. Just the selling part is of course staying at zero as I have not really made any marketing to friends and family or anywhere and I have to admit the pictures also could be better. The sun shone so lovely that I took pictures outside, but that was just too much light.

But at least some success in the last time as I finished my first necklace with three rows of pearls. I wanted to make a completely different jewel but then I saw the colours and could not resist to the beautiful shades of the pearls fitting so good together. So once again a necklace kind of made itself.

A new project: my first products for sale

And this is the reason why I have been so silent in the last time: I made my first products for sale. Just to try it. My first product to be sold on the internet is a rainbow pearl necklace that I like very much.

You can find it on http://www.taitomaa.fi/shop/Pearlkitchen

For the start I chose Taitomaa as a selling place, because at the beginning of selling something for fun I would not like to pay anything and still be kind of a part of a community selling handmade products.

So, and now I should get back to uploading more products to the service. See you later 😉

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My first art clay course

Already for some time I had wished to start to work with art clay silver, but I thought that this is not really something easy to teach myself as I do with pearls or decoupage or sewing. In addition, what if I fall in love with art clay silver (as well) and I need an own oven and tools and so on. My table is already over full.

Then I saw a note in the internet that there is a course for Art clay silver for beginners here in Töölö in Helsinki and it can be paid with culture coupons we get at work. So of course I had to go to that course. Just for a try of course ;).

I signed up for a course at Hopeasavi.fi and here I am, after my course: completely in love with it, for sure, and happy owner of a first handmade silver jewel:

It took me not even two hours to get the pendant ready, the most difficult part was to find an idea. I took a stamper with a love letter test and pressed it onto the the flat clay. I liked the rough shape and did not much soften the edges – just as much that there are no sharp edges. Then I added a small flower for some texture. Ready – to dry and to burn and to polish.

mobile phone bags

Sorry for not writing so often. I got so used to holidays that now that work has begun again, it seems that there is no free time at all. I have still made some pearl stuff and my new project: bags for mobile phones. I have made three already. This one is the newest model with a little pocket on the back side for e.g. credit cards. My plan is to produce some more so that I would soon be able to open an own Etsy-store to try to sell some of my handicraft.

I have not used a sewing machine for a long time and never properly learned to sew, so this project with the mobile phone bags was quite interesting. Still another hobby to fill my cupboards.

 

Our bbq got just the little something with lime cream cheese dip

Yesterday’s bbq was just a success. We loved it all and we were so hungry that I did not even have the time to take a picture. On the other side, I don’t know, if I would have taken one, because I did not even think, it would taste that well.

On the grill we had: banana and ananas on the stick, meat (pork), zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms. For the fruits I had found an interesting recipe for a dip with lime (always good) and cream cheese ( chose of course Philadelphia). The most interesting was that the dip tasted well with everything and my guests loved it very much.

Here is the recipe:
1 package of cream cheese, e.g. Philadelphia (à 200 g)
1 dl confectioner’s sugar
juice of 1 lime
(coconut flakes)

Mix and serve cold.

Just too easy! I have to say, if we had not eaten the dip completely during dinner, I would have finished the bowl afterwards, just me and the spoon.

Easy recipe also for one person, as the recipe is not too big and it fits to many different dishes, if you should have something left after one meal.

The original recipe can be found here (in Finnish).

Update

Blog is on a break because of the summer holidays. We are travelling around Finland, about which I will be blogging in Finnish (suomenluonto.wordpress.com) and in German (finnischenatur.wordpress.com).