Dec 19, 2011

DZ Doodles Plethora of Ideas and Projects to Re-Create During The Winter Season!

Hello, doodle follower friends!

Although the celebration of the Christmas season is over, it's still winter and a time when 'snow' thoughts still fill our minds. For some, there's been snow, but for our area it's been pretty much a brown season, overcast or just rainy so far. However, if you're feeling a bit of the cabin fever, especially with the kids, here's a variety of crafting ideas you'll all be able to enjoy together while passing the time for spring to arrive.

Play with some clay this winter season following Polyform's Extruded Snowflake Tutorial, and have some fun creating your own snowflake versions as well!
Polyform Sculpey - EZ Shape, Granite, Puffy, Premo, Eraser Clay, Glow In The Dark, Sculpey III, Bake & Bend Clay, Ultra Lite, Super Sculpey and Super Sculpey Firm, Living Doll, Translucent Liquid Sculpey has some wonderful featured projects listed to get you motivated! 

Brassy Apple's Magnetic Snowman Tutorial is great 'frosty' fun for the whole winter season and your hands won't get too cold making him either! 

Make a felt fabric wreath like the variety of wreaths shown on Crafts 'n Coffee blog. They are easy and inexpensive to re-create or dream up your own using this selection of inspiration!

CLEAR TOY STORAGE BAGS with drawstring closure are a perfect way to keep things organized! Using 17 gauge clear vinyl, some fabric, a little machine stitching, and a drawstring Ashley's post at Make It and Love It shows you how easy it is to make.

Looking for the newest and favorite things to do throughout the new year? At 365 Lucky Days blog I found some inspiration that I look forward to re-creating, and you may to!

Here's an idea to use on your next card or scrapbook page, or gift-giving and paper crafting projects ... the blog My Poopet's How-To Make Handmade Fabric Decorator Tape is great idea to make now while winter-bound and save-the-stash for use throughout the year!

Sometimes I just have to say to myself, "why didn't I think of this?" Ideas From The Forest blog made these snowflake teabags for a nice warm cup of tea ... a great touch to add to tea lover's gift-giving project!
Have a ball creating fabulous polymer ornaments like the variety of designs created by these polymer artists - 1. by Starless Clay. 2. by Mandarin Moon. 3. by Jainnie. 4. by Curly Girl Designs.
At the Polymer Clay Super Store sign-up for discount coupons, new product announcements, weekly specials and more!
At Polymer Clay Central there's a message board, challenges, chats, illustrators, International Teacher's Director, PC Central Events Date Book, and so much more to enjoy!

Printable Seed Packet - click on image to enlarge, right click mouse on enlarged image and in drop down menu "Save As..." to your digi files. Great little May Day gift (May 1st).

Learn how to create a Soda Can Butterfly Pin with Eileen Hull using your Sizzix die cuts - it's quick, easy and a great gift to give (or keep for yourself). Her video teaches you how easy it is and great inspiration for other 'pin' creations you can think up. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, wedding dates are just some of the important events happening in the first six months of the year.
This may be the perfect clear double-sided "metal" tape that I've found to use in holding soda can pieces together.
SIZZIX Catalog

Click on to download a New Years Printable!

Happy New Year! Here's to oodles of doodle crafting in 2012!
Diane :0)

Dec 16, 2011

More DZ Doodles Christmastime Projects and Fun-Freebie Count Down Digi's!

Hello, fellow doodle friends!

Are you ready? Every time I think I am, so many more great Christmas craft ideas still come through my email and I have to add this one or that one to my huge list of them that I 'Gotta Try' - and once in a while I've actually crossed one off! Here's a few more that have caught my eye that you may want to add to your 'list' as well. Although hubby mentions the doom's day prediction of the Mayan Calendar for Dec. 21, 2012, I'm still  planning to re-create a lot of these projects during my 'cabin fever' time within the first part of the new year for the 2012 Christmastime (tee-hee). ;0)


Adds a festive touch to your holiday ...
Download your free template HERE.

Bree Y., over at Anatomically Incorrect Creatures has this faux taxidermy cheeky creature available for purchase in the Etsy Creature Shop 'after' Christmas, and hopes to make patterns available as well! Be sure to view her 'Creature Gallery' of comical felt fabric designs!

Let the smell of gingerbread fill your home during the cold days with

Here's two more DZD favorite countdown to Christmas day freebie-fun images.


The Doris Scarf is a great pattern for the beginner crocheter
as it uses the easy stitches when you first learn to crochet.
Measurements:3 x 43"/8 x 109cm
  • 'Country' (75% Microdenier acrylic/25% merino wool; 3oz/85g, 185yds/170m skein) Color #0013 Spruce, 3oz/85g
  • 5.5mm/I-9 or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Yarn needle
Take time to check your guage/24 sts = 4”/10 cm in pattern st.

Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Half double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)
Treble crochet (tr)

Ch 24.
Row 1: (Sc, ch 3, sc) in 13th ch from hook, *ch 5, skip 5 ch, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch; rep from *, ending with ch 5, skip 5, sc in last ch, turn.
Row 2: Ch 7, sk 1st sc, skip 5 ch, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch-3 loop, *ch 5, (sc, ch 3, sc); rep from *, ending with a ch 5, skip 5, sc in last ch, turn.
Rep Row 2 a total of 68 times; do not fasten off.


Next row: Ch 4 (counts as 1st tr), 4 tr in same st as ch, ch 5, skip 5 ch, 5 tr in next ch-3 sp, ch 5, skip 5 ch, 5 tr in next ch-3 sp, skip 5 ch, 5 tr in next st. Turn.
Next row: Ch 2, hdc to end. Turn.
Next row: Ch 3 and dc in same st, 2 dc in next st; rep to end. Fasten off. Pick up st on corner of opposite end and rep ruffle instructions.


 Weave in ends. Block if necessary.

Greet your guests and dress up your front door with this lovely Silver Bell Welcome wreath by Annabelle Keller for Krylon, that you'll cherish for the Christmas seasons to come.
  • Krylon Short Cuts® Aerosol Paints - Chrome (#SCS032)
  • Krylon Glitter Spray - Shimmering Silver (#402)
  • (1) 24" artificial pine wreath
  • (5) 4" craft foam bells
  • (17) 1" craft foam balls
  • 1" × 12" x 18" sheet of craft foam
  • (2 yds) braided 3/8" wide silver trim
  • (3-1/3 yds) 2 1/4" wide silver ribbon for bow
  • (5 yds) 3/16" wide wire edge silver ribbon for bells
  • Silver hologram glitter
  • (2) 18" lengths of cloth covered floral wire
  • 1 green chenille stem
  • 5 round toothpicks
  • 17 bamboo skewers
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • White craft glue
  • 3/4" wide flat brush
  • Waxed paper
  1. To create bell clappers, glue toothpicks into bottoms of bells off center leaving 1/2" protruding. Glue a ball onto each toothpick, twisting to fit securely against bottom of bell.
  2. To serve as handles, place skewers into the top of each bell and into remaining balls.
  3. Spray all pieces with Chrome. Stand in sheet to dry.
  4. Spray balls with Glitter Spray. Stand in sheet to dry. When dry, remove all skewers.
  5. Cut to fit with a 1/4" overlap and glue 3/8" trim around the bottom rim of each bell.
  6. Use flat brush to coat bell clappers with white craft glue.
  7. Over waxed paper, sprinkle clappers with Silver Hologram Glitter. Let Dry.
  8. To make bell bows from 3/16" ribbon, cut (5) 27" lengths for bows and (5) 9" lengths for tails. Cut (5) 3 1/2" lengths of cloth covered floral wire.
  9. Make a six–loop bow with each 27" length. Using floral wires tie bows to center of tails. Curl tails.
  10. Glue bows to tops of bells over holes made by skewers.
  11. To complete bow and hanger, cut a 24" piece for tails.
  12. Make 8–loop bow with center knot with remainder.
  13. Using floral wire, wire tails to bow and bow to wreath at 12 o’clock position.
  14. Tie chenille stem to wire wreath frame behind bow for hanger.
  15. Arrange bells and balls on wreath. Glue in place. Mist entire wreath with Glitter Spray. 

Inspired by a similar real gingerbread cookie dough wreath on Martha Stewart's website, Carrie at Saving 4 Six made her own wreath, to last longer than just this season, she opted to use a Salt Dough Recipe. Upon seeing this, loving wreaths + gingerbread men + the Christmas season scents I had to re-create it incorporating a few 'twists' of my own to her version.

THE DOUGH: This is a good recipe that is just right for baking a tray of small figures.
2 level cups (8 oz/225g) of wheat flour (or white)
1 heaped cup (4oz/100g) of common household salt
1/4 cup cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
(OR substitute; 1/4 cup Allspice)
3/4 cup (6fl oz/150ml) of lukewarm water
1 Tbsp wallpaper paste
1 Tbsp olive or peanut oil

Some people think wallpaper paste and oil are unnecessary, and that the dough is good enough with just flour, salt and water. Others think the paste makes it easier to join the various part together, and that the oil makes the dough more supple. However, if there is no oil or paste at home, do not let that hold you back. With this dough, it does not matter if you leave out those two ingredients. However, using the recipe as shown I think it is a good, firm dough, one that does not crack as easily as others I have tried out. But if you are not happy with it, there are alternative recipes ... DOUGH 2 (quite soft): 2-cups (8oz/225g) flour, 1-cup (4oz/100g) salt, 1-cup water, 1 Tbsp oil. DOUGH 3: 2-1/4lb (1kg) wheat flour, 2-1/4lb (1kg) salt, 3-Tbsp wallpaper paste, 3-Tbsp oil, 21fl oz (600ml/1.3pt) water (oil included). DOUGH 4: 1-1/2lb (1-1/2kg) flour, 2-1/4lb (1kg) salt, 18fl oz (500ml/1 pt) water (sprinkle on a little flour and knead). DOUGH 5: 1-1/2lb (1-1/2kg) flour, 5oz (125g) salt, 12fl oz (350ml/3/4pt) water, 1 Tbsp wallpaper paste. DOUGH 6: 5.5lb (2-1/2kg) flour, 2.2lb (1kg) salt, A good liter (2.2pt) of lukewarm water, 6 Tbsp oil, 6 Tbsp wallpaper paste.

Blend together the flour and salt (I sift it) and if necessary the paste-powder, and pour on the water/oil combination. It is fine to use cooking oil or sunflower oil, but some people think olive oil or peanut oil increases durability. Stir well in the bowl and pour mixture out on the table/counter (oilcloth makes a good base to work on). The dough looks crumbly and dry, but when you have kneaded it steadily for about 10-15 minutes you will have a dough that is both supple and firm. With such consistency, the figures keep their shape better; they are less likely to collapse, or get blisters during baking. It is better to knead it a little longer than to add more water too early.

You can test the dough by holding a roll straight down for about half a minute. If it keeps its shape fairly well, the dough is good: if it quickly pulls itself down a great deal, then it is too wet. In that case put a little flour on your hands and knead it in. On the other hand, if the dough is too dry, even after a large amount of kneading, mix in an extra teaspoon of oil, or just moisten your hands.

With kneading you may find it easier to divide the dough into two parts and knead one lump at a time. Once the dough is just right, it should be left for 30-60 minutes, well packed in plastic wrap or a container with a tight-fitting lid. The most important thing is not to let any air get in, as this will dry out the dough. It doesn't matter if the dough is left for a few hours, or overnight, since it can be kept cool for a few days. But take it out an hour before you intend to use it. If kept for a long time the dough may get too damp; you then have to knead in a little flour and/or bake it at a low oven temperature. However, for the best results, use newly-made dough.

Cut the dough into fourths and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch (1cm) (you DO NOT NEED TO USE FLOUR). Even though the front side of the dough may have a few cracks, the reverse side can be smooth and even, so turn it several times (doing so also prevents sticking).

BAKING and DRYING: Most ways of baking dough are variations of three principal methods. Lay figures on foil lined cookie sheets.
  1. Long drying: Dry the figures at a temperature of 180-190 degrees F (75-80C) for about 12 hours, or at 130 degrees F (50C) with fan-assisted ovens. This method uses up a great deal of energy, but many people think it is the gentlest and safest way of stopping the dough from rising or cracking.
  2. Gradual increase in temperature: You start with a cold oven of 180-210 degrees F (75090C) and bake at this temperature for 1-2 hours; then 1-2 hours at 230 degrees F (100C), then 1-2 hours at 280 degrees F (125C) and so on until the figure is done at around 330 degrees F (150C). At high temperatures it is important to check carefully that the figures do not get burnt, rise or crack.
  3. Rapid baking: Some people think small figures should be baked for two to three hours at 250-270 degrees F (110-120C. 
The reason for the different methods is that ovens vary so much, and there are also differing opinions on whether or not fan-assisted ovens are so efficient. But if you don't have much heat coming from below, speed up the process by placing the baking tray on the lowest rack. Opinions vary on whether or not the oven door should be slightly ajar during the baking process. Some people start baking with a slightly open door, and after a while shut it completely; others keep it closed the whole time. All agree, however, that you MUST LINE THE TRAY WITH BAKING PAPER OR ALUMINIUM FOIL to avoid rust, and many people bake several trays at a time. If you're worried about the figures getting burnt you can always cover them over, and also use aluminium foil as a means of support. If you want to stop baking for a while, you can do so after a couple of hours. Later on put the tray in a cold oven and let it slowly heat up again.

WHEN IS IT DONE? You can test in two ways: 1.) Tap lightly with your fingers on the back of the figure. The sound should be "hollow" and even all over; if it is faint and dull anywhere the figure is not ready. 2.) Try to "push a needle" through the figure; when finished this should not be possible and the surface will be as hard as stone.

Over at Kim's Craft Cottage you'll find the tutorials for two of her lovely creations using felt fabric. Although Kim used Spellbinders dies and 35% wool/65% rayon felting something similar can be made up without all that expense.


FIVE TYPES OF FELT: Felt 101 with tutorials teaches you in this article by Maria Canfield Clark of "Creative Dish" about 5-types of felts, and what felt craft projects you can make with each type.

And here's a look at my second A Christmas Story themed card!

Have fun ... times running out, but of course there's always next year's Christmas season to look forward to!
Diane :0)

Dec 5, 2011

DZ Doodles Christmastime Projects and Fun-Freebie Count Down

Hello, fellow doodle friends!
I'm excited to share with you my favorite doodles as we count down to Christmas Day. For the next eleven days, a Christmas Fun-Freebie Design will be listed for that day only, an old or a new design, either on this post or a new post. Simply click on image to enlarge, right click your mouse on enlarged image and in drop down menu "SAVE AS..." to your digi folder.


Pizzazzerie's Candy Cane Topiary is just simply a gorgeous idea for decorating and their site will show you the how-to to recreate the project using simple and inexpensive items!

Cookie-in-a-jar (a quick little gift) at Things For Boys make great gifts, party favours, teacher's gifts and are perfect for the school fete. The recipe won a KitchenAid mixer and has become Abby's 'go to' cookie recipe! She's even included a downloadable PDF file to recreate the labels with recipe to print out!

Katrina Kennedy's 365 is about your life. It is about capturing, documenting, and preserving all that is important to us. People come to this project for so many different reasons, with so many different motivations. Join us as we explore all the options available, are inspired by each others techniques, and learn to make this fit who we each are.


NAOMI TABATHA Was born 1963, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. After working at two toy manufacturers, she began working freelance as a 3D figure illustrator. Her original stuffed toys have graced countless magazine, book, and CD covers. She also creates baby goods and writes columns in women’s magazines on making cute stuff. An Aquarius with blood type B, her love of making things by hand is part of the eco-friendly lifestyle she tries to lead.

All you need is a needle, thread, and some brightly colored felt to bring these new friends to life! The badges in the book are a delight and would make awesome rewards for children when they achieve a goal. Many of the patterns are full sized or you can scan the patterns and enlarge the image in a computer photo editing program or have them photocopied larger if that is what you need. The pictures are so darling and the instructions are clear. I think you will love this book! It is clear and exact from its pictures to its instructions. This book includes 86 easy-to-make toys and accessories in felt. 32 pages are devoted to full-color pages of photographs of the toys and accessories, with the emphasis on cute animal characters. All toys and accessories have a Japanese cute sensibility, and are reminiscent in style of the type of character goods that were popular in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s when the author was a child. The remaining 32 pages give easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions for each project. Patterns for every project are included. All projects are hand sewn and are made with just felt and needle and thread. The instructions are simple enough to be followed by anyone from about age 10 upwards, and there is an explanatory page of basic stitches used in the book. Until recently, sewing was an everyday activity in most households. But somewhere along the way we stopped making and started buying. It seems to me that most people have forgotten how to make things, which is a shame, because there’s nothing to compare with the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something yourself, or the happy smile on a loved one’s face when they receive a homemade gift you’ve spent hours making. I hope I can convey to you the warmth that comes from making something yourself with love and care. All the toys and accessories in this book are made of felt and they can all be made by hand. If you think a project looks too challenging, just give it a try anyway and start sewing. As long as you take it one careful stitch at a time, you shouldn’t have any problems, even if you’re a beginner. Don’t worry about making mistakes! Just have a go. I’m sure your creations will become your best friends. Welcome to the cute and colorful world of handmade toys.


This is the year end of the Samplers offered by Red Brolly to stitch for Christmas, for yourself or gift-giving. Bronwyn Hayes has included the pattern and instructions in two different ways for you to download. I'm thinking, for the stitchy-person in your life, of creating a kit with a printed fabric piece of the image, DMC thread assortment, needle package, and mounting board/frame with glass piece! Include an embroidery book of stitches too!

During all this Christmas-holiday hoopla you may be in need of a 'good drink' to sit back with and enjoy all that you have created. The Skinny Drink of The Month by Bethenny Frankel may be the perfect pick-me-up! This coffee drink is part hot chocolate, part cappuccino - but at only 43 calories a mug, it has way fewer calories than either! JUST COMBINE: 10-tablespoons ground coffee, 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg in a coffee filter. Brew with 6-cups water in a coffeemaker. Then mix 1/2-cup steamed or heated soy milk (Silk brand is the best), 3-tablespoons agave nectar, and 1/8-teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder. Pour coffee into 6-mugs and top with soy milk mixture. So good!

Here's a way to 'eat your way' through a Yoga pose ... with a Yoga Pose Cookie Cutter Set by Patti Paige. And what a fun gift to give, anytime of the year, to that Yoga fan! Baked Ideas has a huge assortment of cookie cutters and ideas that will have you creating all sorts of cookies in the coming year!


HEART IN HAND SNOWFLAKE by Extreme Cards is a traditional motif, representing the Shaker belief "hands to work, hearts to God." This snowflake is for machine cutting with assorted cutting files, however, if you're very patient you could try the download PDF file to hand cut it using an Xacto/craft knife.


Crafts 'n Coffee's Father Christmas + Mother Nature = one dozen beautifully natural Christmas decorations are holiday decorating ideas that use natural materials such as this Au Naturel Birdseed Wreath!


I love Yuletide Log's! Here's a Stuffed Buche de Noel created with felt fabric including a 2-part How-To Instruction by Erika Kerin at Craftstylish that you can probably whip now or for next year's Christmas decor!


Dizzy Designs Homemade
Santa Sleigh

I'll be back with more ideas ASAP!

Happy Crafting, Diane :0)

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