Welcome to my part in Drea Becraft’s Holiday Blog Hop!
December 16th -18th
Just in case clicking on the Holiday Blog Hop button doesn’t work. The hop starts here:
For my prizes, I’m offering the handmade ornament seen hanging from my snazzy Rose Anderson pen below — a bunch of grapes for the wine lover out there — suitable for tree or anywhere! 😀 And, winner’s choice of an ebook copy of either Dreamscape or Hermes Online. The winner will be randomly chosen from all comments left this weekend.
So without further ado, let me offer some holiday gift making ideas and after, an excerpt from my most recent novel.
I’ve always made my own gifts for family and friends. To me nothing better shows the depth of my feelings for them than spending a portion of my life (aka my limited time on earth) to craft something just for them. We all only get so much time. I’m an upcycler and repurposer. I love making nice things from things. Doing this keeps stuff out of the waste stream a little longer too.
I’m going to give a few of my best without pictures. Hopefully, I’ll describe them in detail enough, you’re able to follow along. If you’re stuck, email me and I’ll talk you through ~ roseanderson4858(at)yahoo(dot)com
The Secret Book ~
This book innocently sits on the shelf with the rest of your library, but when you turn a few pages, you’ll discover this crumby old book is actually a secret compartment. It’s a box made out of a book and the cover is the lid. Sneaky 😉
- You’ll need a thick old and boring looking book. Try a thrift store or the library a free or an inexpensive discard.
- Modpodge and applicator (foam or bristle brush)
- An Exacto knife or box cutter blade.
- A sheet of foil or waxed paper
Flip open the book and go at least ten pages in. Mark the page by tucking your sheet of foil or waxed paper inside and close the book. This is what you should see – ten loose pages and a protective sheet of foil or waxed paper. The rest of the pages will be the box. Now apply a liberal coating of Modpodge to the edge below those ten pages. Put something heavy on top, smooth any blobs with the brush or foam applicator and wait about an hour for it to dry.
The book will be stiff now except for those few loose pages at the front of the book. Determine the size of the compartment your book will have within its pages. Trace out a smaller rectangle and carefully use the Exacto blade or box cutter to cut out as many pages as you’re able to at one time. Keep on going until you almost reach the back cover. Once you have a nice deep center cut away, paint on the Modpodge to seal the raw edges just like you did to the outside. Using the scrap pages you’ve cut out, paste these over the raw edges inside with more Modpodge for a nice finished look. Leave your book open to dry. And there you go — a very cool looking, infinitely useful, gift. 🙂
Repurposed Stationary Set ~
I started this project by buying a sustainably grown bamboo pen for my daughter (off ebay). Then, using two sizes of opened and flattened envelopes as templates, I made crazy envelopes out of full page magazine ads and Patagonia catalog pages. I fine line of regular old Elmers glue sealed my new envelopes. I could have used a glue stick but having had glue stick projects come unglued before, I opted for the sure thing. I bought a recycled paper writing tablet and made a custom cover for it from a very nice picture I found online depicting the recycle symbol as the top of a stylized tree. I also found a Save a Tree/ Reuse Paper self-inking stamp. I bundled up the envelopes in two stacks and put it all into a cigar box that I covered with cancellation marks from all over the world. It was one of my more fun projects that looked like it came from one of those fancy and pricey catalogs.
Ransom Note Refrigerator Magnets ~
Picture one of those TV crime show ransom notes where the words are glued together from newspapers and magazines. Now picture these individual letters sticking to the front of your refrigerator. Cool huh? Being a Scrabble fan I was confident words could be made if I followed the number and ABC count of Scrabble letters. I also added questions marks and exclamation points for emphasis. ICutting large alphabet letters from cereal boxes, glossy sales papers and magazines, I stuck them on peel and stick magnet sheets. I bought those, but it’s also a great way to use up those freebie ad magnets and out of date magnetic calendars. Just carefully peel away the text or picture to get to the sticky base underneath. Tip: arrange them this way and that to save space. I then use a matte finish Modpodge coating. After they dried, I cut them out. They came out really nice and got a lot of laughs.
Snowmen vs. Santas Checker Set ~
A friend of mine drinks different types of beer and saves bottle caps of all colors and brands for me. A few years ago I thought up a twist on an old standard game – checkers. You’ll need:
- 24 bottle caps. Be sure they’re not bent.
- 1 bottle of clear Diamond Glaze (check your craft store) or two or three bottles of cheap dollar store clear nail polish
- 12 pictures of Santas and 12 pictures of Snowmen thought really it could be anything as long as there are 12 of one and 12 of the other. I cut mine from a catalog with vintage pictures but you could also check the dollar store for inexpensive holiday greeting cards. It’s possible to cut the small circles (bottle cap size) by hand by tracing a quarter. Or buy yourself a nice quarter-sized hole punch. I eventually did that. Much easier and super fast.
Once you’ve assembled your supplies, dab a dot of glue inside the bottle cap and carefully center the picture inside. Smooth out any bubbles and lumps. Allow to dry then slowly fill the bottle cap with Diamond Glaze or nail polish. I found simple checkerboards at my local dollar store and used those to go with my games. You can easily make your own. A search online will give you the exact count of squares needed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these fun little projects. 🙂 Happy Holidays!
Dreamscape is a ghost story, a love story, a time travel of sorts, a murder, a mystery and reader’s Easter egg hunt. Peppered throughout are clues leading the reader to a story behind the scene.
My blog is full of reviews and interview if you’d like to know more about me as well as what other readers have thought about both of my books.
Dreamscape Excerpt (PG)
Lanie returns from her blind date. Keyed up by fending off her date’s attempt to get cozier than she’d like, Lanie thinks a cup of tea might settle her down. She has no idea Jason has been waiting all night for her return. At this point she’s unaware her new house is haunted ~
Hello, I’m Rose Anderson, the author of scorching romances Dreamscape and Hermes Online. You can find me just about anywhere these days. Here are several of my links. I’d love if you’d stop and check out my books or just say hi. 🙂
My blog: https://calliopeswritingtablet.com/
My page at my publisher’s site: Siren-Bookstrand_RoseAnderson
My book trailers: MusesWritingTablet
Yes I tweet, let’s be friends! @roseanderson_ (notice the _ at the end)
And we can be friends here too! Google+ Circles (I’m not on Facebook)
The Stuff Your Stocking Blog Hop runs all weekend.
Check out the other talented authors participating
And come back tomorrow for more!
Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win!