Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings from The Bride's Diary Team!



The Bride's Diary Team extends our very best wishes for the Festive Season to all our readers and clients. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year celebration.

We have absolutely loved working on our website and publications throughout 2010. It has been great to keep in touch with our members through the bridal buzz message boards and to receive your fantastic feedback. Thank you for the many wonderful compliments we have received to our fabulous new editions of The Bride's Diary. We love it too!

We look forward to a wonderful 2011 filled with exciting new additions to our publications and online features!

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in The Bride's Diary.

Once again, have a wonderful festive season.

Warm regards,

The Bride's Diary Team

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Gift-Wrapping Ideas



Whether stacked under the tree or presented to a friend, creatively wrapped presents set the tone for a memorable holiday gift exchange.




Dress packages in candy stripes for a sweet presentation. Use double-sided tape to secure the end of a length of ribbon to the bottom of a wrapped package. Wind around box, spacing stripes evenly; thread a tag through the free end of the ribbon. Finish by affixing ribbon underneath the box with double-sided tape. Repeat with ribbons in different widths or colors.



A pine-tree profile cut into gold tissue paper folds back to reveal a layer of silver tissue beneath.


With a series of crisp folds, glassine -- or less expensive tissue -- serves as both wrapping paper and ribbon.


Create a wintry scene on a wrapped present using a paper-dolls technique

Read more at Marthastewart.com: 
Gift-Wrapping Ideas  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stunningly Simple Table Centre-Pieces

If you want to add a little pizazz to your Christmas table settings, you can't go past these ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.


Fresh Flower Centre-Piece:

Bands of Christmas themed scrapbooking paper and strings of bells add interest to these store-bought vases. Cut a strip of scrapbooking paper long enough to wrap around your vase and slightly shorter than the height. String bells, buttons, beads, or other embellishments onto embroidery floss, wrap several times around the vase, and tie it to hold the scrapbooking paper in place. Fill the vase with fresh flowers of the season. Line up multiples down the center of your table, or place one at each place setting.


Cute Fabric Coasters:

These coasters are made from two round, contrasting pieces of fabric stitched together. Using pinking shears or other decorative-edge scissors, cut one 4-1/2-inch circle from cotton fabric and one 4-1/2-inch circle from felt. Put the cotton circle on top of the felt circle. With embroidery floss, sew a running stitch about 1/2 inch from the edge of the coaster. Place a coaster at each place setting, or set them around the room for guests to use.


Fabric Napkin Holders:

To make a personalised napkin ring, cut two 4x2-1/2-inch fabric strips; fold and press all edges under 1/4 inch. Place the pieces together wrong sides facing and sandwiching a same-size sheet of fusible web between them. Press with a hot iron. Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge on both edges. Glue rickrack to the back of the strip. Attach a keychain ring to the rickrack. Write a name on a metal-rim tag and attach it to a second keychain ring that is secured to the ring on the fabric strip. Tie the strip around the napkin with string or ribbon.


Personalised Wine Glass Markers: 
When the gang's all present, personalise each wineglass with a pretty tie-on. Press an adhesive initial on a vellum tag and thread on cording with metal charms from scrapbooking supplies. If desired, use adhesive dots to tack the trims in place.

For more great ideas visit Better Homes & Gardens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glittered Snowflake Garland


With their fanciful geometric designs, delicate snowflakes are the perfect inspiration for winter craft projects

Festoon your living room with garlands of shimmering snowflakes. To make flakes sparkle, apply spray adhesive or dab gently with a sponge-tipped glue applicator, then sprinkle with glitter. Shake off excess, let dry; thread onto satin ribbon. Affix to mantelpiece or walls with poster putty.

Grace your panes with paper snowflakes, attaching them with poster putty. Or make a wreath of snowflakes by sticking them one at a time to a wall with poster putty. Kids can happily occupy themselves cutting out dozens of paper snowflakes. Then adults can step in with thread and tape, and together you can watch your family's own gentle blizzard materialize.

1. Start with a square piece of paper. Fold the paper in half diagonally to make a triangle.

2. Now, fold the triangle in half so the pointy corners meet.

3. Fold your triangle into thirds.

4. Fold into the shape as shown. You may need to adjust these folds a little to get the sides to match up, so don't crease the paper until the folds are just right.


5. Cut across the bottom of your paper so it is straight.


6. Cut the folded paper with variations of straight and curvy lines. Get creative with your snowflake designs by experimenting with different sizes and shapes of cutouts.

7. Gently unfold the paper to see your unique snowflake. Use poster putty to attach to windowpanes, or make a wreath of snowflakes by sticking them one at a time to a wall with poster putty.


The holiday season is upon us, and it seems there is never enough time to get everything done. For more quick and easy craft ideas visit Marthastewart 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowmen Christmas Centre-piece



A great way to add a bit of Christmas charm to your Christmas dinner is with a snowman themed centre-piece. These DIY snowmen from the DIY Network look great and make a great project for getting into the Christmas spirit!

What You Need:

• 2 glittered snowballs (as created above), one slightly larger than the other
• Scrapbooking eyelets and brads (for eyes and details)
• 3 small buttons
• 2 toothpicks
• felt scraps (for the snowman’s scarf and hat)
• 2 two-litre soda bottle caps
• permanent marker
• orange acrylic craft paint
• tacky glue
• embellishments

Instructions:

1. Secure the larger snowball (the body) to the smaller snowball (the head) by pushing a toothpick into the body and placing the head on top. Flip the snowman over and push one of the two-liter soda bottle caps into the bottom of the body to form a firm base.

2. Use the permanent marker to color the other two-liter soda cap. This will be the top of the snowman’s hat. Cut a small circle of felt to form the brim of the snowman’s hat. Glue the soda cap to the brim. Once dry, glue the hat in the desired position on the head of the snowman.

3. Working on the face of the snowman, place and push eyelets or brads into the foam to form the eyes, mouth, cheeks, etc. You can use tacky glue for extra security.

4. Paint the second toothpick orange and allow to dry. Cut the toothpick in half and push into the nose area of the face to form the carrot nose. Tacky glue can be used for extra security.

5. Cut the felt into a long rectangular shape and snip fringe at the ends to make a scarf. You can layer up many shapes and colors of felt to add details. Wrap and glue the scarf around the snowman’s neck. Add buttons and any additional embellishments.

6. Working on the body, glue buttons down the front or push brads into the body for extra details.

Visit the DIY Network for more great Christmas ideas, including snowballs and snowmen tree ornaments.

Friday, December 17, 2010

North Pole Shortbread



The Bride's Diary team love this recipe for North Pole Shortbread by Homelife - a beautifully simple Christmas treat...

What You Need:

• 250g unsalted butter, softened
• Finely grated rind of 4 mandarins
• 200g caster sugar
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 tbs glacé orange peel, very finely chopped
• ½ cup (75g) self-raising flour
• 2 cups (300g) plain flour
• 375g white chocolate chips, melted following packet directions
Instructions:

• Using an electric mixer, beat butter, rind and sugar until light and fluffy. 
• Add egg yolks and peel, beat until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in combined sifted flours until mixture comes together. 
•Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
• Preheat oven to 180˚C. 
• Roll out dough between 2 sheets of lightly-floured baking paper until 3mm thick then, using a 7.5cm Christmas tree-shaped cutter (or cutter of your choice), cut out shapes and place on baking paper-lined oven trays. Repeat, rolling dough scraps until all the dough is used. 
• Refrigerate dough on oven trays for 30 minutes, then bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool biscuits on trays.
• Half dip biscuits in melted chocolate, place on baking paper-lined trays and stand until set.

Makes about 70. Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Visit Homelife

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Swedish Gingerbread House

Sweet details such as piped icicles, boughs of greenery, and a cinnamon-stick woodpile lend realistic charm to this Swedish gingerbread cottage by Martha Stewart. A light dusting of confectioners' sugar mimics freshly fallen snow.
Gingerbread Cookie Dough – Makes enough for one house, plus embellishments
1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out gingerbread dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Place templates on top and cut out shapes with a paring knife. (Use a small utility knife to cut out the windows.) Transfer shapes to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Royal Icing - Makes about 5 cups

2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1 cup water, plus more if needed

Place royal icing in a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip (No. 5 or 6).
Use the royal icing as the ‘glue’ to assemble your Gingerbread house. Coat only the edge that will be joined.
Pipe to outline windows, doorway, and edges of chimney, including top and base. Outline the four joining points of house, sides, and top of roof. Decorate roof: Starting at the top, pipe a horizontal line of icing in a scallop pattern, making curves in even intervals; pipe another scalloped line so the peaks join the scallops above them in the middle. Pipe icicles around edges. Dust roof with confectioners' sugar.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake Pops




These Christmas Tree Cake Pops by Bakerella are just too cute for words! They make a great addition to any christmas party - they make a great centrepiece or addition to your table decorations...


What You Need:

• Trees: Green Candy Melts
• Stars: Jumbo Star Sprinkles
• Ornaments: Rainbow chip sprinkles
• Paper Lollipop Sticks

If you haven’t made the regular Cake Pops before, then read this Cake Pop How-to for help.

How To Decorate the Trees: 

• Make a cone shape instead of a ball and insert the lollipop sticks as usual. Place in the freezer until firm.
• Dip the entire tree in green candy melts. While still wet, you can use a toothpick to create the branches.
• When the trees are dry, you can also use toothpicks to apply a drop of green melted candy to the tree in the places you want the ornaments to be.

Visit Bakerella

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stamped Fabric Ornaments

This fantastic how-to video is by Sally Traidman of Hero Arts. Sally shows step-by-step how to make a unique Stamped Fabric Ornament to add a little Christmas cheer to your home!


Instructions:

• Using green ink, lightly ink unbleached muslin to add color.
• Stamp Sparkle Tree in black ink on muslin and allow to dry.
• Attach Lace Ribbon along bottom of tree with Glue Arts Fabric Bond adhesive (cartridge for the Glue Glider Pro.) Heat with an iron.
• Stitch along the two sides of the tree, adding a loop of gold cord as you sew, which will be used for hanging your finished ornament.
• Stuff ornament and tuck in a felt trunk before stitching along the bottom.
• Trim with either plain or pinking shears, and embellish with flowers, snowflakes and gems

Visit Hero Arts

Monday, December 6, 2010

Origami Star Ornament


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The Bride's Diary team love this unique and contemporary Christmas ornament from Heartland Paper. Made entirely from folded paper, this origami star will add an extra sparkle to your Christmas tree!

What you will need:


• Cutter
• Score-Pal
• Tape Runner
• Double sided Paper
• Corner Rounder
• 14" Ribbon
• 2 Pony Beads
• Tape


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• Cut 5 - 3” squares
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• Score in half both ways. Turn over and score on the diagonal once.

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• Fold as shown alternating sides out.

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• Adhere squares together alternating paper.

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• Cut 2 - 1 ½” squares

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• Round one point of each square


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• Round top two points of glued together squares.

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• Thread one pony bead onto ribbon at middle. Tie a knot. Thread the other bead using both ends of the ribbon. Tape one end of ribbon to top square of the ornament.

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• Tape the other end of ribbon to the other top square of the ornament.

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• Glue the 1 ½ “ squares over ribbon to hide it.

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• Folded flat to store.


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• Enjoy your new ornament or make and give as a neighbor gift.

Visit 
Heartland Paper 
for more great Christmas ideas

Friday, December 3, 2010

Monogrammed Felt Tree Ornament



These Monogrammed Felt Trees by Kojo Designs are a great tree ornament and also make great gifts for loved ones - especially little ones celebrating their first Christmas!

What you need:

• two small pieces of felt (maybe 4x6ish each?)
• embroidery thread and needle
• brads
• ribbon
• 2 small pom poms
Instructions:


1. Monogram a piece of green felt with an initial. Cut both pieces of felt into our 'tree' shape (I used pinking shears and eyeballed a tree-ish shape). Poke your brads through one of the layers in an ornament-y fashion.

2. Sew the two layers together (sew a ribbon in between the layers at the top of the tree).

3. Add the pom poms on both sides as a tree topper.

4. Use the monogrammed ornament as a baby's first Christmas ornament for baby Jack (or another 2010-born little one).

Visit Kojo Designs for more great christmas ideas

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Balsa Wood Christmas Ornament How-To Video


The Bride's Diary team love these quaint Christmas tree ornaments from Shona Studios . The handy how-to will have you creating these whimsical decorations in no time!




Supplies needed:

- Background paper. Click here for the tutorial on making background papers.  
- Balsa wood, which is a super light weight wood that is typically used in the crafting of model airplanes and so on. I did a quick search to see where you can get it online and I found it here at JoAnn's fabric store.
- Craft knife (and cutting board) and or scissors 
- awl or bead reamer to punch a small hole 
- Rubber stamp. I used a stamp that I got from Stampington & Co. in my capacity as an Artist On Call for them. 
- Glue, I used a regular glue stick
- 26 gauge jewelry wire and wire cutter
- Craft paint and brush
- 7 inches of thin ribbon
- some beads for decoration


Visit Shona Studios

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

3D Paper Ornaments for Christmas

Here's a Christmas ornament you can make with colored papers or magazine pages, from the How About Orange blog.

The instructions:



1. Cut out 10 paper circles (any size, as long as they're all the same). Text weight paper will be easier to work with than cardstock.
2. Cut each circle along the radius.
3. Put a small piece of double-stick tape on each side of the cut near the edge of the paper.




4. Flip the circle over so the taped side is down; then pull each flap across the circle toward you and twist to form a cone. Press the taped ends down to secure. You should end up with two cones that look vaguely like a fortune cookie. Do this to each of your 10 circles.



5. String the double cones together with a needle and thread. Make sure they're gathered snugly in a ball and tie a knot. Use the trailing ends of the thread to make a loop for hanging.



Here's one made from magazine pages. If you like recycled crafts, give it a whirl.

Visit the How About Orange blog for more great Christmas decorating ideas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Modern Crafty Christmas Wreath



The Bride's Diary team have fallen in love with this modern, crafty take on the Christmas Wreath, by All Things Heart and Home. Robin from All Things Heart and Home saw a gorgeous wreath at Madeline Bea: Life Set to Words last January and just knew she had to try one for Christmas 2010!


Step one: Create the Yarn balls! Yarn balls are super easy, you don’t even need glue! Grab a bunch of Styrofoam balls of all sizes… yarn in 3 colors that you adore and start wrapping. No glue needed! Just tuck in the end piece when you’re done! You will need loads…I had around 30!


Then you’ll need 50 plus Christmas balls! The dollar store is stocked right now and they come in packs of 7! Run out and get some before they’re picked over…won’t be long.


A (wire) wreath-form anchors the lovely BOB! (That’s bunch of balls!)



A glue gun that is high heat and high heat glue sticks are your other tools…turn the wreath form so it looks like a bowl and start laying out the first layer…


I had freezer paper underneath so the glue wouldn’t stick but I found it was easier to glue and press while the wreath frame was lifted. Only takes a few seconds to cool!


After the first layer was glued on I turned the wreath over and went over each ball with more glue.


Then I simply built on that first layer…you can get carried away I’m tellin you! The wreath doesn’t have to be this thick …you could use fewer balls and it would look great!

Visit www.allthingsheartandhome.com for more great Christmas ideas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mini Applique Christmas Pillows



This sweet Christmas pillow by Better Homes & Gardens looks deliciously rustic, thanks to the mix of textures: even-weave fabric, wool scraps and floss, chenille yarn, and wire for hangers.

What You Need:
• Lightweight paper-backed fusible web (for stabilizing the fabrics)
• Wool fabric scraps: green, red, rose, off-white, golden brown, gray, gold, and brown
• Tan even-weave fabric for ornament fronts (We used cross-stitch fabric.)
• Quilting threads
• Wool floss: brown, black, off-white, rose, green, red, orange, and gold
• Three red buttons
• Six gold beads
• Backing fabric
• Polyester fiberfill
• Red chenille yarn
• 18-gauge wire for hanging loops

Download the Pattern Here

How to Make It:

• Cut and Sew the Appliques

Trace the patterns onto the paper side of the fusible web, leaving about 1/2 inch between the shapes. Cut out the shapes, leaving some excess web around each shape. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the shapes to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric scraps. Cut out the shapes on the drawn lines. For each ornament front, draw a 3-1/2-x-4-1/2-inch rectangle on the even-weave fabric. Whipstitch the appliques in place with quilting thread.

• Embroider the Ornaments

Using wool floss, embroider the ornaments as follows:

For the holly: Work brown stem stitches for the branch; attach red buttons for the berries.

For Santa: Work black French knots for the eyes, off-white straight stitches for the eyebrows, rose stem stitches for the nose, a rose straight stitch for the mouth, and green lazy-daisy stitches and a red French knot for the holly.

For the gingerbread man: Work off-white stem stitches for the icing on the arms and legs and for the mouth, off-white French knots for the eyes, red French knots for the buttons, and green lazy-daisy stitches and a red French knot for the holly.

For the candle: Work brown stem stitches for the pine branch, green straight stitches for the needles, red French knots for the berries, a black straight stitch for the candlewick, orange satin stitches for the inner flame, and gold straight stitches for the candle glow.

For the reindeer: Work a red French knot for the nose and a black French knot for the eye. Sew gold beads to the collar.

• Assemble the Ornaments

Cut out the finished fronts; cut out matching backs from the backing fabric. With right sides facing and using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew a front and back together, leaving an opening in the bottom edge for turning. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and stuff with fiberfill. Sew the opening closed. Whipstitch chenille yarn around the edges of each ornament and attach a hanging loop. For a wire hanging loop, cut an 8-inch length of wire. Using needle-nose pliers, bend the ends into tight curls and then bend the wire into a soft arch to fit across the top of the ornament. Stitch the curled ends to the top corners of the ornament.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Bird Ornaments




These gorgegous Christmas bird ornaments by A Feathered Nest are just so sweet. Let your imagination run wild with ways to use the ornaments - you can hang them on the tree, make a garland for your home's entry way, tie them onto presents, hang them on gift bags, and give them away with your baked goodies! These Christmas bird ornaments do require some sewing know-how, but the results are worth it!



What you need:

• DMC Floss (it has strands you can pull apart)
• Small embroidery hoop
• Scissors
• Felt
• Pinking shears
• Embroidery needle
• Washable marking pen or something you can mark with
• A template from your imagination traced onto cardstock (it's not hard to trace a little bird shape, then draw a wing in the middle & cut it out)

Instructions:


• Step 1: Trace wing shapes, then stitch using my stitch guide , this amazing guide here, or do your own thing. Be creative! If I get some time, for those of you interested, I'll post another stitch guide and include some of the newer things I've learned like the flowers, leaves, and other border stitches.

Don't worry about your embroidery hoop going over the top of the other stitched wings - I didn't have any problems, just don't get it too tight and try to be careful.


• Set your wings aside and cut out your main body using your pinking shears for that pointy edge look. Trace your bird shape onto ONE piece of felt. Pin that one piece to your backing, and it can be the same color if you want - I used two different colors. Cut out your bird shape around the edges of your tracing pen.