More Crafty Gifts

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 31, 2007 in Crafts, Jewelry, Other items, Soldered Art

I FINALLY had a chance to finish gifts for my friend Linda (who lives in Florida) the other day.  Okay – I know – they’re late.  But that’s the great thing about old friends – they love you anyway!

So…Linda, if you’re reading this and you haven’t received your package yet – DON’T READ ANY FURTHER or you’ll spoil your surprise!!!!

For Linda’s daughter Kylee, I created one of those "little girl" initial necklaces I posted previously:


I used a small piece of patterned paper, an letter ‘k’ rub-on and sandwiched it between two 1X1 pieces of beveled glass.  I forgot to take a picture of the back, but I thought it turned out pretty cool – I took a small piece of a doily and adhered it over the back side of the double sided paper for a lace effect.

Oh – by the way – I also made all these gift boxes.  These are the ‘nugget’ boxes that are so popular on SplitCoastStampers this season.  They are made to fit Hershey’s Nuggets, but they also fit small items like jewelry.

For Linda, I made a bracelet from green turquoise and red carnelian beads as well as some silver filigree pieces:


I just love these colors together!

For Linda’s son Zachary, I made a little lunch tin that he can use for lunches or to store crayons and other art supplies:


I used some Basic Gray paper with a little ModPodge to adhere it to the tin.  I also used some Stampin’ Up! double stitched and grosgrain ribbon as well. 

For her husband Tom, I sent some cigars from Mike’s collection – no photos there!  But I did package them in a paper towel tube then wrapped it like a ‘cracker’ – hmm…maybe I should have taken some photos of that.

Finally, I sent a gift for the whole family.  I made a Christmas ornament using a photo taken while Linda was here visiting this summer:


I printed the photo in black and white on cardstock and then colored in the images with chalks in colors to match my color scheme of orange, red, turquoise and green.  I added some glitter to the water in the photo and added the word "memories".  I love the way this turned out – it really looks like a vintage photo.

Then I sandwiched the photo between some pieces of beveled glass (the back side is a really pretty orange handmade paper with tiny white polka dots) and taped and soldered the edges.  On the bottom corner, I added some metal seashells (brads from which I cut the back) and a glass scallop shell.  Then I hung some more glass shells and crystal beads from a jump ring on the bottom and used a seashell ribbon as the hanger at the top.

Just as a comparison, here is the original photo I used:

LInda and her kids

In fact, I liked this idea so much, I made more ornaments for Mike’s family using the same technique and this family photo:

The Torrence Families-3

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the ornaments before I gave them out… :(

But I used the same technique, using red and green for everyone’s clothing and adding a Christmas sentiment at the bottom.

I love that I can modify the black and white photos to match any color scheme – no matter what the people were actually wearing!


Gift Bracelet

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 26, 2007 in Crafts, Jewelry

One of the Christmas gifts I gave this year was this handmade charm bracelet:


I made this for Andrew’s stepmother Clare.  She is a devout Catholic, and I when I saw this pretty vintage cross charm on eBay, I just knew that I had to make something with it for Clare. Here’s the back of the charm:


It says, "I am a Catholic.  Please call a priest."  Isn’t that a perfect gift?


Merry Christmas!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 26, 2007 in Family Stuff

Okay – I know it’s a day late, but as you can see, I haven’t really had time to post lately.  I’ve been so caught up in the holiday craziness, I just haven’t had a chance.

So let me see if I can catch you up just a bit…

Emily and Matt had their school Christmas concert – here we are getting ready (Andrew went kicking and screaming – I reminded him how many of HIS concerts Matt and Emily have attended over the years…):




Then Emily had her dance recital – she’s been taking a hip-hop dance class for the last few months.  The routine was ADORABLE, but for some reason, photos on the stage don’t come out so well.  But here she is with her flowers after the performance:


Andrew also had a Christmas play for his school.  He was mainly a background character, but was on stage during the entire play.

I managed to capture a photo of the entire school (yes – the whole school, not just the class) on stage for the finale at the Broadway Theater:


Andrew is in the middle right section – see him? 😉

We also went camping last weekend.  We were lucky enough to have several inches of snow on the ground – the kids (and dogs) had fun playing in it (good thing because the indoor pool was closed for maintenance!):



PC220009 - Copy

That last photo is Matt trying to chip the ice and snow off the tablecloth on our picnic table.  After we managed to pry the frozen tablecloth from the table, we had to throw it away (it had several large holes).

While we were there, Mike and his brother Mark built a temporary mud room for the camper.  We’ll use it to store our winter gear and cut down on the cold wind at our door.



Isn’t it lovely?  Now, before you criticize the aesthetics of OUR pretty room, let me show you a few others from around the campground:



As you can see, we’re right in style with our beautiful plywood lean-to!  We’re hoping to take it down at the end of the season and use it again next year.

Our last day at the campground, the weather started to turn, so we headed back home just in time for Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve was a hectic day – it involved FOUR trips to Target – don’t even get me started!  Let’s just say that next year, *I* will be in charge of all of the Christmas shopping!

But after a crazy day of last-minute errands and baking DOZENS of cookies, we took some time to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas during our Christmas Eve worship service.  It was a beautiful and moving service – the first one in our new church building. And to make it even more wonderful, Emily played ‘Away in a Manger’ with our children’s bell choir.

After the service, we visited another local Christmas tradition – the Haggerty’s light display.  Every year, a local family puts up thousands of lights and hundreds of animated characters to share with our community.  Here are Matt and Emily:


All of the kids absolutely love the Christmas display – thanks to the Haggerty family!

And a belated Merry Christmas to all of you from the Torrence family!


Birthday Gifts

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Crafts, Jewelry, Soldered Art

Yesterday, Emily went to a birthday party for several children and I had a chance to play with some more jewelry designs – this time for six-year-old girls.

I wish I had taken photos of the gifts I made (I think they turned out really cute), but since I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t have a chance.

But…I did make a similar necklace for Emily as a ‘test run’ – and I did manage to take a photo of it:


To make these, I started with a small piece of patterned paper.  I tried to use whatever colors Emily told me were their favorites.  I then added a rub-on initial for each girl for the front of the charm – "e" for Emily… ;) 

I also stamped a birthday sentiment on the back for the birthday girls (Emily’s just has a flower).  Then I sandwiched the paper between two small pieces of beveled glass (1X1) then taped and soldered the edges.  I added a jump ring to the top and used a ball chain to hang the pendant.  I also added a little dangle with some matching crystals…and voila!  A sweet little necklace perfect for a six-year-old!


Gifts for Dance Teachers

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Crafts, Other items

While I was waiting to go to the doctor’s office the other day, I had about 20 minutes to waste and I was really close to The Scrapbook Station in Voorhees, NJ. I haven’t been there in a very long time, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The store used to mainly focus on stickers and die cuts, but they have vastly improved their stamping supplies.

In fact, I was drawn to a display for scratch-art clay stamp board pieces – and I just had to try them out! I bought a little sample pack and had a chance to play with it the other night.

I used them to make more ornaments – this time, for Emily’s dance teachers. Here’s how they turned out:


This stuff is SO cool to play with! I stippled the background with different color inks then stamped the dancer image (En Pointe from Stampin’ Up!) with black StazOn ink. Then – and here is the cool part – I used a sharp tool to scratch out highlights on the image. The highlights show up white against the background – so fun!

After I finished with the highlights, I added some chalk shading then coated the surface with VersaMark ink and embossed the whole thing with clear embossing powder.

I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch two holes in the top and added jump rings for a piece of thin leather cord. I also added some gem dangles from the left jump ring – turquoise, jasper and also some amber. I can’t wait to try some more techniques with stamp board!


More Ornament Gifts

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Crafts, Soldered Art

Okay, so I was on a roll making little ornaments for gifts this year…then Mike asked me to make some for his office.  He needed about 25 in all – yikes!  So I decided to keep them VERY simple:


I took a piece of Stampin’ Up!’s Holiday Harmony paper and stamped a sentiment from the Star-Studded Season stamp set using Purely Pomegranate ink.  I also stamped a little star above and below the sentiment and embossed it with silver embossing powder (as seen on the right above).  The other side of the paper I left plain (as seen on the left – that’s the back of the ornament).

I sandwiched the paper between microscope slides, taped and soldered the edges and added two jump rings – one to the top and the other to the bottom.  I tied a hanging ribbon to the top and strung some fresh water pearls (pomegranate and green) and a crystal from the bottom. 

It’s like a Christmas card you can hang on your tree!


Teacher Gifts

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Crafts, Soldered Art

Remember a while ago that I posted about finding great little vintage advertising cards with the children on them?  I found a use for them – I’m using them to make teacher’s gifts!

One card says, "Head of the class" and has a cute little girl in a red dress – the other says "Foot of the class" and has a sad little boy image.  I color copied the cards at my local copy store, put them back-to-back and used them to make Christmas ornaments (on each ornament, one side has the girl and the other side has the boy):


I added some glitter to the red parts of the images and sandwiched them between two pieces of beveled glass then taped and soldered the edges.  I added a few jump rings to hold a hanging chain and some red crystal drops.  I also added some "black magic" finish to the solder to get an antiqued look.

I made several more – on one, I tried using a copper patina finish instead of the black magic, used beads instead of the crystal drop, and used a ribbon hanger.  On the other one, I reduced the image to fit it between two microscope slides instead of the beveled glass (I had to cut off the words and add them over the image):


I love how these turned out – I hope the teachers like them too!


Ornament Exchange

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Crafts, Other items

Last week, we held our first (annual?) ornament exchange.  I thought it was FANTASTIC!  The talent was amazing and all of the ornaments were unique and gorgeous! 

We had eleven participants in all (that means we exchanged 11 different ornaments!) – here is a photo of everyone (taken very reluctantly, I might add):

Ornament Exchange

And here are our ornaments:

Ornaments for Exchange

Thanks to everyone who participated!


I’ve Been Gone for a While…

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 16, 2007 in Family Stuff

These last weeks have just been crazy around here – getting ready for the holidays, job interviews…and I’ve also had a few health issues (including a trip to the E/R last Thursday). I’ll report more on my condition after my next doctor’s appointment on Thursday.  But let’s just say that I’ve been in an extreme amount of pain the last few weeks – so much so, that I haven’t really been able to focus on anything else.

Except that life goes on and I’m trying to keep up with things as best I can.  So it’s back to reality – pain or no pain.

One of the other things that kept me from posting was the fact that our computer died an untimely death a few weeks ago.  Fortunately, I didn’t lose any files, but I had to wait for our new computer to arrive and for Mike to set everything up.  He did a great job, but it’s still not the same.  It’s taking some time to get used to all the new stuff – I’m such a creature of habit!  I’m going to make a few quick posts to catch you up on some of the things I’ve been up to…


Bad Dogs!!!!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 4, 2007 in Our Goldendoodle Puppies

Yesterday, my sweet, adorable puppies were SO BAD!!!

As I was taking Emily to school, they ran away from me as I was trying to put them into the car.  They just took off down the street, tails wagging, wrestling and playing with each other as they went – meanwhile, I’m running after them screaming and Emily is crying hysterically in the car while they disappeared from sight.

I dropped Emily off at school (still crying – “I want my teddy bears!!!!”) and frantically drove around town asking everyone I saw if they had seen two recently-groomed, large fluffy bear-like creatures frolicking in the street.

Fortunately, my friend Jennifer found them and was able to lure them into her van.  I am SO grateful and it means so much to me – not only because she found  the dogs for me, but also…

  1. She recently broke her heel so she is currently has a cast and is on crutches
  2. Geddy tends to get car-sick and Jennifer has a real aversion to all things vomit-related (her own gag reflex kicks in whenever she sees or even hears about it) and…
  3. She’s generally not a ‘dog person’.

So, Jennifer – let me thank you again for finding and rounding up my very naughty dogs.

Oh – and when we got home, one of the dogs (I have a feeling it was Geddy) ATE one of my microscope slide ornaments I made for next week’s ornament exchange!  I have a feeling eating glass is generally not good for a dog…sigh…

By the way – we went to the pet store last night and bought them a super-large metal crate to keep them – and my craft projects – safe and sound.

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