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)


BITE-SIZE HOLIDAY COOKIES IN A JAR


MOD HANUKKAH DREIDEL by Kelly Lyden
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
Just My Delicious by Paula, CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD RECIPE!


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
 Materials:
  • NaturallyCaron.com '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
GAUGE
Take time to check your guage/24 sts = 4”/10 cm in pattern st.

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

SCARF
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.



RUFFLE

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.


FINISHING

 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.
Materials:
  • 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
Steps:
  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" FavCrafts.com 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)








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