Winter crafts….quick! It’s almost spring!

The rhododendrons in San Francisco are at their prime.  Flowering cherry trees are filled with blossoms.  Tulips are bursting through the earth, stretching toward the sun and stunning the steady parade of walkers. Did we skip winter this year in California?  Now that it’s March, spring is truly right around the corner.Image

So before we get to spring, let’s talk about winter.  I love working on craft projects in the winter.  It’s so cozy to park myself in the breakfast nook with my paper, stamps, inks, scissors and whatever else I need  and watch the nasty weather outside. Weirdly, this winter, we have not had too many of those days.  Maybe they will come in spring.  But in the meantime here are some of the projects that I did this winter while the weather was NOT miserable.  Some I even did outside in the sunshine.

I had a lot of fun with Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint.  First I painted a metal tray that I bought at Ikea.  My daughter had the idea that I could serve plates of appetizers on the tray and label them with chalk.  Good thinking!  Then I found some leftover tiles in the garage and painted those with the chalkboard paint.  Next it was a metal bucket, and finally a wood board ( I think it was floor molding from our remodel a few years back)!  The chalkboard paint adhered best to the wood, but it worked pretty well on the other surfaces too.  I’m still looking around the house for more items to paint!  It makes my husband nervous…

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Another project I enjoyed this winter was carving rubber stamps and making cards.  You can buy Speedball rubber at art supply stores.  Draw your design on parchment paper with pencil and transfer it onto the rubber (by rubbing).  Then carve away!  It takes a little time to get it right, but it doesn’t have to be perfect!  And fortunately rubber is pretty cheap.  You don’t have to stop with rubber stamps.  There are all kinds of things you can print – bubble wrap makes polka dot patterns.  I cut up a pair of old flip-flops and used a square to make a nice checkerboard.

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And finally, I have to include a kitchen project. Here are the cookies I sent my girls in their Valentine’s day care packages.  I made the shortbread heart cookies from Silver Palate, using a small heart cookie cutter.  Then I turned them into sandwiches (that traveled better than a single cookie) by spreading pink buttercream frosting between two cookies.  I have to admit that they were delicious!

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OK, now bring on spring!  (I’m guessing/hoping that it will rain a lot between now and June).

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