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Open When Envelopes—Last Minute Meaningful Homemade Gifts

IMG_3661_1_webLast week I came out with a brand new series of envelopes called OPEN WHEN. It’s a wonderful meaningful gift, and I am making a set of envelopes with box for Josh for Christmas. If you want to see the instructions and everything in the series, go here: http://www.carinagardner.com/silhouette/carinas-open-when-series/. If you want to look at the current printables for this series, go here: http://www.carinagardnershop.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=56&Itemid=2

(Photo to the left is one of the printables from the Open When: You Are Bored. You just staple onto the card a piece of bubble wrap.)

This post is just to show you a few examples of what I am doing (although to be honest, I’m not done yet). I love that you can make a set of envelopes for someone and put A LOT into the envelope or just a note. Really, the most important part (in my opinion) is the hand written note. Every single one of the envelopes I’m making for Josh includes a note and a photo. I also included some of the printables, a treat, and anything else I think will be fun for him to open.

IMG_3653_1_webYou’ll notice that I have included label printables in the shop. That’s because I know that not all of you have a diecutting machine. To be honest, the labels are a lot easier (and quicker) to use if you are throwing together this project (last minute, right?). The labels can be put on any A2 sized envelope and you can just fill them. It’s the perfect last minute solution!

(Photo to the right is from the Open When: You Are Happy printable set. The svg file from for the envelope can be found here.)

The Open When projects I’ve seen usually are given in sets of 10. But I think you should be able to include as little or as many envelopes as you want. You could even coordinate them and give more envelopes out during the year (for example, Christmas 5 envelopes, Valentine’s 5 envelopes, and your anniversary 5 envelopes).

For Josh, I selected 10 envelopes and am using my basic 10 envelope box. I love the prompts in the printables I’m hoping they will help me think of things that are special to just the two of us (and by the way, each of the descriptions in the printables have suggestions for other things you can put in your envelope).

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Every “Open Now” gift should have an “Open Now” Envelope. Truthfully, I designed the printables (shown below) so that I could use all of the cards in any of the envelopes. It’s sort of “basic pack.” I’m planning on throwing some funny photos of the two of us from 2014 into this envelope—kind of as a way to celebrate the year. The “pie chart” card I’m going to write all of the things we did in 2014.

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I’m so in love with my printable set for “Open When: You Can’t Fall Asleep.” One card allows you to staple a piece of dried lavendar to it (or any other scent you want). The silly cutouts are more of a joke then something the person has to do, but I like adding the popcycle sticks in the envelope just in case they do end up cutting out the animals.

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The “Open When: You Want to Reminisce” is going to be the most fun to put together for Josh. I’m using all the printables as prompts but spending most of my time gathering up photos and things that we did together for the last 14 years.

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You’ll notice that I’m slowly adding printables to the shop as I make them for myself. If you decide to do this project (for Christmas, a birthday, Valentine’s, and Anniversary, or whenever!), make sure and check my Silhouette instruction page because it has updated links to all the envelopes, boxes, and printables that go to this collection to see what is new!

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Hope you are being creative and having a great time doing it this holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Carina

 

 

 

Family Ornament Silhouette Instructions

5photofamilyornamentToday I have a series of 3-D cut out ornaments coming out in my Silhouette Store. I love a great homemade gift, and these are perfect for that! They are so simple to put together and I love that you can customize the ornaments (or choose one) that fits your family size (The Photo Family Ornaments come in 3 sides, 4 sides, 5 sides, and 6 sides). Here are some of the instructions and helpful hints for putting together these ornaments.

Several Sided Photo Family Ornament Instructions
(Silhouette Store links: 3 Photo Family Ornament, 4 Photo Family Ornament, 5 Photo Family Ornament, 6 Photo Family Ornament)
1. Cut out the shape and then print/cut photos that are a little bigger than the windows in the ornament. Tape photos to the wrong-side of the ornament windows.
2. Crease/fold along all the dotted lines.
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3. Place glue on the tab and adhere it to the opposite side of the ornament.

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4. Use twine or ribbon to “sew” up the bottom and top of the ornaments. I like starting by placing the ribbon through the front hole of the ornament, then “whip stitching” by coming through the back of the hole and then placing the ribbon through the FRONT of the next flap/hole. Once you have gone through every hole with your twine, pull tight and tie a knot. You can leave one string long to hang the ornament or cut both strings short.

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Block Ornament Instructions
(Silhouette Store links: 4 Photo Block Family Ornament, Christmas Tree Block Ornament, Star Blog Ornament)
1. Cut out the shape and then print/cut photos that are a little bigger than the windows in the ornament. If you are making the photo ornament, tape photos to the wrong-side of the ornament windows. Add embellishments in layers to the ornament. (Pop dots are also a fun accessory.)
2. Crease/fold along all the dotted lines.
3. Place glue on the tab and adhere it to the opposite side of the ornament.
4. Place a piece of ribbon through the bottom and top of the box in the hols provided. Tie a knot at the bottom to keep the ribbon in place.

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christmastreeblockornament 4photoblockfamilyornament starblockornament

nativity4sidedornamentNativity Ornament Instructions
(Silhouette Store link: Nativity 4 Sided Ornament)
1. Cut out the shape and then print/cut photos that are a little bigger than the windows in the ornament.
2. Crease/fold along all the dotted lines.
3. Place glue on the tab and adhere it to the opposite side of the ornament.
4. Fold up the bottom of the ornament, placing glue on each flap to adhere the bottom of the box together.
5. Use twine or ribbon to “sew” up the top of the ornaments. I like starting by placing the ribbon through the front hole of the ornament, then “whip stitching” by coming through the back of the hole and then placing the ribbon through the FRONT of the next flap/hole (see photo above). Once you have gone through every hole with your twine, pull tight and tie a knot. Leave one string long to hang the ornament.

Deseret Book Home Decor Clocks

IMG_7839Introducing my new home decor clocks for Deseret Book! I’m so excited that they arrives in time for the Christmas season! Each of them have their own unique look and can be used for any number of rooms!

The long map clock has 2 clocks on it with one that says “mission” and one that says “home” so you can see what time it is whereever your missionary is. The long gray clock features my Wiltshire Daisy fabric (coming out February 2015 to Quilt Shops) and says Families are Forever. The other two clocks can be used anywhere but specifically designed them with your teenage girls in mind (the black ad white one is a intricate butterfly swirl I drew and the gray is a tone-on-tone damask).

Click on the links below to see them in the Deseret Book store. Once they are gone, they are gone! —Carina

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Holiday Mocktail Party

IMG_7779_1A couple of years ago I threw a fauxtail party, and this year I decided to revisit the idea for our holiday party with a few changes (If you want to see the original fauxtail party, go here).

Everyone came in “snooty” attire (which meant a lot of fur and bow ties). We also opened up the glamper as an extra room for the party.

I only did three drinks for this party and instead of playing bartender the whole time, I put them into closed pitchers so everyone could poor their own drinks and choose their own garnish. I put three examples out along with what was in the drinks (on chalkboard to the left).

IMG_7763_webHere are the Mocktail recipes:

Crandandy Cooler
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
A squeeze of lemon
1 cup gingerale
maraschino cherry to garnish

Mango Bellini
2 cups mango juice
2 cups white grape juice
1 cup sprite
blueberries to garnish

Nojitos
1 bottle of mojito mix
2 cups of club soda
1/4 cup of lime juice
lime and mint to garnish
(serve “on the rocks” with ice)

I have the little folded tags (as seen in picture below) for you to download should you decide you want to do a party like this here: DOWNLOAD FOLDED MOCKTAIL CARDS

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Hope you are celebrating this holiday season too!
Carina

 

My Life Calendar Series—Silhouette Project

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, November, and December released November 24, 2014.
August, September, October, Cover Pages, and Photo Pages release December 1, 2014.

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I love a great calendar! The My Life Calendar set is my newest silhouette project that you can use for your own organizational purposes or even give as a homemade gift. This series is easy to put together and you can change up how it is up together and cut out. Here are a few pointers on the calendar pages…

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1. Each My Life Calendar Page comes with a background paper and a top layer. It also comes with several pieces to cut out for the header (with month and embellishments) and at least 6 icons to place on the month. You can mix and match the page backgrounds or use only one for your entire calendar (psst, I love December’s cut out because there is a place to hand write in the days of the month).

2. You can put this calendar together and add momentos, icons, and journaling as you go (aka actually use it as a real calendar) OR you can use is as a monthly scrap canvas like I did with the April layout below.

3. The holes that come with the silhouette cutouts fit a regular binder. You can also move boxes/windows down and have the month/letter cutouts be at the bottom of the page (so that your calendar faces out instead of in like mine below). You can also choose to remove the holes altogether and have the calendar spiral bound (in which case I recommend the photo pages!)

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4. Use the photo pages, extra icons, and calendar cover pages to help add to your project. I designed the photo pages to be placed behind each calendar (so they are facing the next calendar page), but they can be used however you want.

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Hope your project turns out amazing!

Carina

PS. The Silhouette shop has a sale during the month of December. Stock up now!

 

25 Days of December Silhouette Album

IMG_2934_1_webEvery Christmas I try to tell myself that THIS year it’s going to be more about family, love, and giving. But like all the rest of you, I find myself completely caught up with the busyness that consumes my time during the month of December.  December happens to be a crazy time for designers ON TOP OF the usual craziness that happens during the holidays. For me, work revolves around CHA, new releases for first quarter, and the Atlanta GiftShow (for MiniLou). Despite all of this, I’m going to try (once again) to slow down during the month of December. And with you as my witness (See! I’m holding myself accountable to you!), I’ve decided to get on top of things THIS month to make December a little more cherry and bright.

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First off, I already ordered my Christmas Cards (I think a sigh of relief escaped as I wrote that). They arrive December 2nd, and I plan on getting all my labels done this coming week. Yes, it is a relief to already have them printed, and no, I am NEVER this early. Second, I’m going to get all my holiday shopping done in November. Yes, you heard me. And no, I don’t have a plan for this yet. Any tips would be helpful!!! (Leave comments below.) And FINALLY, I went ahead and designed myself an entire 25 Days of December Album (that you can purchase in my silhouette shop), that I have already cut out and put together.

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IMG_2939_1_webI have never done an album like this before, but have ALWAYS wanted to. I designed all of the albums and accessories to be super easy to cut out and use.

This year, I’m doing the 5 x 7 Album, but I also have available the 5 x5 Album and the 5 x 7 Horizontal Album. The 5 x 7′s are meant to fit a 4 x 6 photo per day. The 5 x5 Album is meant for instagram photos and fits a 4 x 4 photo beautifully (I love to use Persnickety Prints for my 4 x 4 photos).

Each album also comes with some different accessories. I plan on using the extra pocket pieces and fun shapes to add journaling and some of our holiday photos (and to stash my Christmas Card).

So if you are making this album, it’s pretty easy to put together, but here are a few hints to help you out:

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1. You will need to cut 5 of each tabbed piece. That will give you 25 pages—one for each day. Cut one or two of the cover piece (no tab). I only cut one and used a pocket accessory for my back page.

2. Add as many accessory pages as you like. You can see in mine that I elected to put a few in the front and back of the album. Because I’m making this a “stress-free, expectation-free” album, I didn’t want to throw in pages that I then felt obligated to fill. However, I do think it would be pretty to throw in an extra shape or pocket page between each tab so that it goes to a specific day.

3. If you are looking to have this album “pre-made” in time for Christmas or you are making it for someone else, I recommend only adding “scraps” to the left-side of the page and leaving the tabbed side for the photo. (Like the second photo at the very top.)

4. Have fun or go simple with your paper choices. On mye tabbed sheets I elected to use kraft paper just because it was easy. I cut each tabbed sheet on an 8.5 inch x 11 inch piece of paper (one fits per sheet). I inked the edges a little bit to give it some dimension. (FYI, I use my newest Carta Bella collection Christmas Time for this book).

3. Glue is good. A stapler is better. ESPECIALLY on the pocket pages. The folds are pretty self-explanatory on the pocket pages. Once you fold them all in, I like to take a stapler to it. It adds some “scrappiness” to the album and helps secure the pocket in place. I’ve also used hot glue and a glue stick. They work great as well. Note: For the Mini Pockets, you may want to add a couple of extra staples right to the MIDDLE of the page to separate out the two pockets.

4. Use ribbon, twine, or O-rings to keep it together. If your album gets REALLY thick, you may want to consider O-rings (you can usually find these at an office supply shop). I wanted to keep my album “unprecious” and added different little bits of ribbon and twine. I want the kids to feel like they can handle and play with this album all through the season and beyond. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Have a plan. Especially when it comes to the photo part. Are you going to print at home or send out your photos? Are you going to print daily or weekly? Are you going to journal (or will it stress you out?). My plan this year is to print everyday at the end of the day. So I have a pack of 4 x 6 photo papers ready for December. As for journaling, this year the album is the “family” album. That means, I plan on having the kids write things they are thankful for or are doing for Christmas. Josh and I will add notes too. If you are doing a personal, reflective album, yours will be so different from mine.

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And that’s it! I hope you have fun making your book and you get to spend some time really showing off how wonderful the holiday season really is! If you are on instagram, you can follow me at @carinagardner. Make sure and hashtag #25dod (25 Days of December) so that we can all share in your journey in December!

Happy scrapping!
Carina

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RBD Post Quilt Market Designer Blog Tour: Carina Gardner

IMG_2977_1_webI’m excited to be the next stop on the Riley Blake Design Blog Tour! I’m suppose to be introducing Primrose Garden, but for those of you who follow my blog, you know that I’ve been posting about this line for the last couple of months. It just barely hit stores so I’m excited to share the inspiration behind this line.

First of all, I designed this line at the same time that I purchased an old 1968 Jet Airway. The stove was original and turquoise (I may have purchased it simply for the stove…heehee). I started thinking about colors and patterns I would want in the trailer, if I were to, um, glamp it up :) . I started thinking about making the glamper red, blue, and black (and I did furnish it with a lot of laminates from my Evening Blooms collection). I wanted something that felt fresh, clean, but had a traditional appeal. And that’s how Primrose Garden came into being! You can see that I created wallpaper for the glampGLAMPER_carinagardner_1_web copyer kitchen from the red master colorway from Primrose Garden (see link to Glamper pics below).

This is my first collection with an 18 inch doll panel! You’ll see more of these from me in future lines.

Because I don’t want to bore you with things I’ve already posted, here are some other links that will help you should you be thinking about sewing with Primrose Garden:

Primrose Garden LookBook (all the fabrics and doll panels!)
18 inch Doll Panel Fully Illustrated Instructions (Free Tutorial)
18 inch Doll Panel Quilt and Pillow (Free Download and Tutorial)
Carina Gardner Aurifil Thread (matches Primrose Garden!)

And if you are curious about my Glamper Renovation, you can see all the posts here. If you just want to go straight to the final photos of the glamper, you can see them here.

Thanks for visiting my blog! For more updates on fabric, quilts, and giveaways, be sure to check out my Facebook page and instagram feed!~Carina

<<<See the previous stop on this tour with Lila Tueller
See the next post with Lori Holt>>>>
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Visit the entire Blog Tour!

11/6 – The Quilted Fish
11/7 – Bella Blvd.
11/8 – Deena Rutter
11/10 – Lila Tueller
11/11 – Carina Gardner
11/13 -Bee In My Bonnet
11/14 – Fancy Pants Designs
11/15 – My Mind’s Eye
11/17 – Zoe Pearn
11/18 – Sue Daley
11/20 – Kelly Panacci
11/21 – Marin Sutton
11/22 – Lori Whitlock
11/24 – Melissa Mortenson
11/25 – Melly & Me
11/28 – Scott Jarrard
11/29 – Elea Lutz

Primrose 18 Inch Doll Panel Instructions

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.08.33 AMThank you for purchasing the Primrose Garden 18 inch doll panel! While there are instructions on the panel itself, I find that illustrations always help me see how to put something together. Sooooo, I’ve put together some illustrations that coordinate with these doll panels for you! Feel free to download and use as you put together these dresses!

If you are looking for this panel, please check with your local quilt shop first. There are also several online retailers carrying this line

DOWNLOAD THE PRIMROSE GARDEN DOLL PANEL INSTRUCTIONS

If you are feeling extra sewerly today, you can also download the matching quilt and pillow instructions for this line. Or get the matching Auriful Threads.

Happy Sewing!
Carina

Primrose Garden 18 inch Doll Quilt and Pillow Pattern—Free Download

PrintMy new fabric line Primrose Garden will be hitting your local quilt shop this month! To celebrate my first ever 18 inch doll panels, I have a free 18 inch doll quilt and pillow pattern for you!

This is such a simple, easy project! It doesn’t take a lot of fabric and is such a fun gift for your 18 inch doll lovers (there are three in my house).

DOWNLOAD  THE PRIMROSE GARDEN 18 INCH DOLL QUILT PATTERN HERE.

If you get the Riley Blake Newsletter, you may have also noticed a red quilt that I put together. It’s design was based on one of the free patterns available at Riley Blake called Whimsy. I changed a few of my dimensions to make it fit my office wall but it’s basically the same design.

Sneak peek at the quilt below if you don’t get the newsletter:). So many more projects coming with this line!

Happy sewing to me:).
Carina

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Owl Halloween Wreath

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IMG_1268_webI love Halloween. Just look through the archives of this site, and the love is evident. Two days ago, my next door neighbor Sara said she wanted to make some Halloween wreaths. I was along for the ride and decided to take advantage of the burlap craze to make a new wreath for my door. The end result was the wreath you see above. My kids are obsessed with the owls and I’m obsessed with the way the orange pops on my black door. Win-win!

These are not step by step instructions but a guideline for making a wreath like this:

Materials:
Two owls
2 Black sparkly branches
Orange burlap (about 1 1/2 yards cut into 3 inch wide strips)
Styrofoam wreath form
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ribbon for a bow (or premade ribbon)

I should fess up now and tell you I simply bought the bow already made up from Michaels. It was the exact right pattern and I couldn’t find any ribbon like it so I just bought it.

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IMG_6672_webHot gluing the burlap to the wreath was the longest part of the process. All I did was glue down one end of a burlap strip to the wreath form, make a loop, twist it a little, and glue the next part down. If you buy a wire wreath, you can use a method like this one here that I found on Pinterest.

Leave a small space in the burlap for the bow. Once you are done gluing down the burlap, add the bow and position the branches up. Glue in the owls.

Pretty simple huh?

And, for your crafting pleasure, here is a listing of other Halloween projects I have done over the years that you might be interested in checking out:

The Witch and Wizard Party: http://www.carinagardner.com/2012/10/17/witch-and-wizard-party-kids-halloween-party/

IMG_1260_webFree Halloween banner download that I hung on my piano: http://www.carinagardner.com/2010/09/10/how-to-make-a-halloween-banner-free-download/

Free silhouette files and ideas: http://www.carinagardner.com/2012/08/15/episode-4-all-hallows-eve-decor-video/

Batty Wreath: http://www.carinagardner.com/2009/10/23/spiders-web-papers-batty-wreath/

Halloween Advent class in the shop: http://www.carinagardnershop.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=162&category_id=37&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2

Happy crafting!

Carina