Gifting love (including DIY tutorial)

 

The cards read “You are my angel” in German.

Are you wondering what to give – gift – someone you love? Maybe your kids? Or a dear friend?

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This card reads “You are my sunshine” in German.

How about telling them what you really want them to know? How you feel about them?

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This card reads “You are strong” in German.

In a way that they can always read what you want to tell them.

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This card reads “Follow your heart” in German.

Or maybe gifting them your “truths”. Or simply little messages you want to share with them?

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This card reads “You are my star” in German.

For Christmas I made both my kids some “message cards”, basically cards with little messages I want them to always remember.

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This card reads “You are my treasure/ my dearest” in German.

I thought I share a few of them – maybe it inspires you to create something similar for your kids or another loved one.

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This card reads “You are my star” in German.

I made these cards similarly as I made my affirmation cards. If you want to you can find a free online-mini-workshop for my mixed media affirmation cards HERE.
The process is pretty much the same. Just instead of adding affirmations I added little messages personalized for my kids.

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This card reads “You have a special gift” in German.

You can gift these anytime – for a birthday, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s day … or just a regular Monday. ;-)

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This card reads “Let your inner light shine” in German.

You can make one card. Or you can make MANY!

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This card reads “I love you” in German.

You can make them in a color scheme, or all in the same color – or in a rainbow of colors. Whichever you like most!

 

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This card reads “You are a miracle” in German.

You can make a big batch all at once … or spend a few weeks making one card a week.

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This card reads “I’m so happy that you exist” in German.

Which message would you want to create for a loved one?

P.S. And of course it’s perfectly okay to make such “message cards” for yourself as well. We all have some messages that we need to hear again and again, don’t we?

You’re a star – mixed-media star ornament tutorial

A little while ago I made a bunch of origami stars out of old book pages.

origami-stars-ursula-markgraf_MG_2961

Even though I really liked those stars I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I add a bit of paint, a few stitches with my sewing machine and some words. ;-) So I finally tried it ….

mixed-media-star_MG_2958-2

… and loved it so much, that I made some more.

mixed-media-star-ursula-markgraf_MG_2976

I’m planning to use some of them as tags on Christmas gifts, some will go on a little Christmas tree and the rest will probably looks sweet in a window.

mixed-media-stern-ursula-markgraf_MG_2973d

If you wanna create your own mixed-media stars, you can. Just for you I filmed how I made them.

mixe-media--star-tutorial-E

But first, here’s a list of what I used. Of course, please feel free to swap out stuff or simply use what you have on hand. This is meant just as an inspiration.

List of materials:

-origami star made out of old book pages, instructions on how to fold the star can be found HERE
-gesso (alternatively white acrylic paint)
-sewing machine
-silver acrylic marker or acrylic paint
-white acrylic paint
-materials for mark making like old credit card, little tube cap, piece of drinking straw or similar
-decoupage glue or matte medium (if you don’t have either you can use any clear drying glue)
-printed out words or similar, scraps of fabric
-little silver stars or similar decoration
-button
-wire
-little glass bead(s)

mixed-media-star_MG_2958-close

And this is how I made the stars:

I’m wishing you lots of fun making stars! If you make some, I’d love to see them! :-)

And if you have any questions, just ask in the comments!

 
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How to create mixed media postcards (Video)

Mixed-media postcard tutorial video with Ursula Markgraf

I finally managed to film and edit my first ever video. And here it is:

I hope it inspires you to get creative!

If you have any questions or would like to show me your creations, just leave a comment! :-)

And of course I’d be thrilled to get any feedback!

And if you’d like more videos like this – please sign up to my newsletter. :-)

 
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Celebrate life everyday – mixed media step-by-step photo tutorial

Today I have a mini-photo-tutorial for you on how to make a mixed-media postcard. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Quite some time ago I participated in a postcard swap which I really enjoyed. The theme for the swap was “Celebrate”. As I loved creating my card back then so much I decided to create a similar card and share the process of making it. This is the finished card:

finished-MG_2533 Kopie

As you see, this time with a tea cup. I LOVE tea. And to me a good cup of tea is a perfect way to celebrate my life. Every day. :-) Wanna make your own? This is what you need:

ursula-markgraf-step1_MG_2526 Kopie Kopie

Of course you can use any other art supplies you have around. And you certainly do not have to use everything I put in the picture. This is an awesome project for playing with what you have and like. Anything goes. :-) When you have all your supplies ready, you create a background. (I created two. I love creating backgrounds.)

For the backgrounds I just added some collage bits, used water color crayons, my chalks some white acrylic paint, some distress ink and some spray tint. When you have your backgrounds ready you need to print out some words. (Or write them down with a permanent pen.) I printed the words “Celebrate life every day”.
You will also need a cutout of a cup. You can either use paper scraps or old book pages – which I LOVE. You could also paint one onto some thick paper and cut that out. If you make several cups, play around until you find the one that you like best on your background.

ursula-markgraf-mixed-media-step2_MG_2527 Kopie Kopie

Then arrange your words and your cup on your background and – glue them down.

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In the next step color your word paper strips with some water color crayons or chalks. Outline them to make them stand out more. Also outline your cup and add a shadow around your cup.

step4_MG_2533 KopieLast step is to add some steam – if you like – and maybe some fun embellishments. I added a tiny little polymer clay heart to my cup. Cause I LOOOOOOVE my tea. :-)

ursula-markgraf-mixed-media-step5_MG_2536 Kopie KopieHave fun making your own “Celebrate” card!

And if you show off your card, comment and leave a link to it in the comments. I’d love to stop by and take a peek.

P.S. I’m planning to post more mixed-media tutorials in the future, so if you enjoy them, hop on the list for my lovely emails so you don’t miss any:

 
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Want to know how to make the tiniest crochet hearts? (free pattern/ tutorial)

Long awaited – but finally here *drum-roll* the tutorial to make the tiny mini-hearts that I used for my crocheted gingerbread house tags. (Free pattern for those HERE.) 

 

When I made the gingerbread house tags I was searching the internet for a pattern for tiny hearts. And there are many patterns for small crocheted hearts out there. But none was quite tiny enough. So I made up my own. And now you can make them, too. :-)

 

Tutorial for making teeny tiny crocheted hearts

You need yarn – the thinner the yarn, the smaller the hearts – and a matching crochet hook.

1. Start with a magic ring:

Crochet beginning with magic ring

Just make a loop

Crochet beginning with magic ring

and pull your yarn through. Then crochet a chain stitch.

 

2. Work 5 single crochets into the loop you just created/ the magic circle.

How to crochet a tiny heart

 

3. Pull tight and finish the round with a slip stitch into the first chain stitch you have made.
It should look like a small circle.

Crochet tiny heart

 

4. Start the second round with a chain stitch.
Then you work 3 single crochets into the first single crochet from the last round. 

tiny-crochet-heart-tutorial-ursula-markgraf_MG_8370

 

5. Work a slip stitch into the second single crochet.

Crochet tiny heart

 

6. Into the third single crochet work 1 slip stitch, 1 chain stitch, 1 slip stitch. This will be the tip of your heart.

Crochet tiny heart

 

7. Into the fourth single crochet work 1 slip stitch.

Crochet tiny heart

 

8. Into the fifth single crochet work 3 single crochet stitches. Finish the round with 1 slip stitch into the middle of your heart.

Crochet tiny heart

It should end up looking like this:

tiny-heart-crochet-tutorial-ursula-markgraf_MG_8376

 

I always tie a knot with the tail and the thread that I started with. I think it gives the heart a nice shape.

Crochet tiny heart

And done! :-)

Now you can use your tiny heart to embellish your crocheted gingerbread tags ;-) or tie it around a candle, decorate a card, make a mini-bunting out of tiny hearts or …

 

If you liked the tutorial, please leave me a comment! Makes my day! :-)

 

P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet … wanna celebrate the opening of my button shop with me? More HERE.  

 
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Quickest Advent wreath

Today comes the last Crafty Christmas post. Here are the links to all the Crafty Christmas posts:

free crochet pattern to make gingerbread house tags

inspiration for making Christmas cards

making scented Christmas ornaments

my tiny gingerbread house

tiny origami stars

Today I do not have a tutorial for you but “just” some inspiration. This was my Advent “wreath” for this year. :-) 

(If you like, check out my “wreaths” – do not take this too literal –  from last years HERE and HERE. )

It looks rather different compared to the traditional German Advent wreaths. But you know what else? It is EASY and FAST to make! 

And that is actually what I wanted to show you today: DIY and craft does not always have to be elaborate, costly, and take forever. It can also be quick and easy … and I think it looks pretty good, too. Especially right before Christmas quick crafts can be such an sanity saver! :-)

Do you agree? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 
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Cuteness alert! Teeny origami stars

If you know me, you know I like “tiny”. No idea why. So after yesterday´s tiny gingerbread house I have another “tiny” one today. Tiny origami stars!

Look at them! They are SO cute!!!

And with a teaspoon for scale! I LOVE these.

Once you have figured out how to make them it is really easy. To me it always takes a bit to wrap my head around such stuff … But it really is not that hard. Now even my daughter loves making these.

And it is so easy to decorate with them. Just put some in a clear glas container … or on the table … It always looks good! I love easy decorating! :-)

If you want to make your own there are MANY tutorials out there. I used these:

video instructions and written instructions

 

And as you can see I made them using old music sheets. Flea market score! :-) I am a sucker for everything “musical”. Just look here

But you can use ANY paper to make these. Old magazines, printed paper, newspaper … anything really!

 

Do you like them? If yes, don´t be shy and leave a comment! It makes my day! :-)

And check out all the other Crafty Christmas goodness. :-)

 
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Easiest Christmas ornaments to make with kids

Here comes another post in my Crafty Christmas series. Another quick and kid friendly craft – how to make cute and SCENTED applesauce-cinnamon ornaments. You might have already seen this wreath in my tutorial on how to make crocheted gingerbread house tags. But this time we focus on the cute cookie-like ornaments. :-)

Now please – these are not meant to be eaten! They may look tasty! I am pretty sure they are not. But the good thing – they last several Christmases if you are not throwing them around too much. :-)

So how to make them? It is SUPEReasy. You can either google for applesauce-cinnamon recipes. Which I did. And then just ditch the recipes and throw together applesauce and cinnamon. Which I also did! *lol*

(I love google. But I get overwhelmed quickly.) 

1. Make dough:

So, I did not add other stuff. If you do search you will find all kinds of recipes … some call for glue and other things. I literally just mixed together the cinnamon and the applesauce. Now, you do need ALOT of cinnamon so you might not want to use the best and most expensive one you have around. I used about 2 parts cinnamon and 1 part applesauce. But it does depend alot on what consistency your applesauce has so I encourage you to just play around and add a little at a time.

 You wanna end up with something dough-like that is not too sticky. I only made a rather small batch but it made quite a bunch of ornaments! 

2. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter

Now let your kids get “dirty”! ;-) Sprinkle cinnamon on the table to prevent the dough to stick to it.

 (WARNING! Do NOT use flour for this AT ALL! I did that last year – I thought I am clever – and the ornaments with the flour ended up with some rather not so pretty mold on them. :-/ You do not want to have that believe me! Especially not if it is followed by a discussion with your 2-year old WHY on earth you are throwing out HIS amazing work!)

You can roll out the dough with a rolling pin – but you can just as well press it flat with your hands. That is what we did and the kids can help!

Then go nuts with your cookie cutters!

(Smaller shapes work best. Also very intricate shapes might break easily.)

3. Let your “cookies” dry

In order for the ornaments to harden I just put them on a plate and let them sit near the heater for a couple of days. I have read that some people bake them. I never did that. 

I was never in a hurry AND if you let them sit and dry your house will smell AMAZING like cinnamon.

So if you happen to get sick from the smell of cinnamon – please do not do this project. ;-)

After the ornaments are dry (it does take a few days) you can draw some “icing” on them with acrylic paint if you like. Then hang and enjoy! 

If you like this post you might also like yesterday’s post on how to make fingerprint Christmas cards … or just hop on my email-list to not miss anything! :-)

Comments are highly appreciated as well. ;-)

 
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Sneak peak into our Christmas mail

Have you already sent your Christmas cards? 

No? 

Well, here comes an inspiration for some quick handmade cards that are really easy and fun to make. Especially if you have kids that you can employ have fun with. ;-)

Just get out some paint – preferably not the water proof one! – let the kids dip their finger in it and make some fun marks on the cards. Then connect them to make Christmas lights and write a short message … DONE!

This was actually not my idea. I found it last year somewhere on pinterest and a google-search pointed me to this tutorial as the original source. Hope that is correct!

When you read the tutorial you will notice that I did change up it up a bit. I just let my kids put colourful blobs onto the cards with their finger (not thumb) anywhere – and I connected them later with a dark grey pencil instead of drawing the line first. That way no “Oh no, you put the light ON the line”-incidents could happen! ;-)

So, have you sent your cards yet?

 

This is actually part of a small Crafty-Christmas series. Yesterday I posted a tutorial on how to make crocheted gingerbread house tags. Check it out HERE. And tomorrow … well, you will have to check back tomorrow … ;-)

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How to make your own gingerbread house tags (free pattern)

When I was at my first market selling buttons EVER people were very interested in my decoration. (It really got me to the point where I was wondering if I am selling the right thing. *lol*)

One of my decorational pieces were these little gingerbread house tags. As a little pre-Christmas gift just for you I decided to put up the instructions so if you are interested in making your own – well, now you can ;-)

This is actually the first post of a little mini-blogpost series “Crafty Christmas”. So if you like it be sure to stop by tomorrow to get more Christmassy DIY inspiration. 

This project is perfect for beginners,too. Very easy! 

Edited 18th November 2013: If you want to be one of the first to hear about my next crochet pattern … then sign up for my newsletter. :-) New crochet pattern coming soon!

 
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Crocheted Gingerbread House Tag

supplies:

-yarn in dark brown and white 
-crochet hook matching your yarn 

 

Now, let’s do it! :-)

Chain 10 and chain 1 more for turning:

1. row: single crochet into second stitch from hook until the end (10 stitches), chain 1 for turning:

 2.-8. row: single crochet each stitch (10 stitches), chain 1 for turning. When you are done it should look like this:

9. row: Start decreasing for the roof. Crochet first two stitches together, single crochet into each stitch until you reach the last two, crochet last two stitches together, chain 1 for turning (8 stitches).

10. row: Repeat 9th row (6 stitches).

11. row: Repeat 9th row (4 stitches).

12. row: Repeat 9th row (2 stiches).

13. row: Crochet last 2 stitches together. Pull yarn through and finish off. Your house tag is done and should look like this:

 With some white yarn single crochet around the “roof”. When you are at the top chain 25 and slip stitch to the “base”. This way you form a loop which you can use to hang your cute tag. Finish the “roof”.

Now, very important step – you need to block your cute tags in order for them to look pretty.  Spray them with some starch, let dry and … embellish and use them to decorate! 

I used some of my tiny handmade gingerbread buttons (CLICK to see them) for embellishment. But of course you can use something else just as well.  See:

Done! Was that easy?

 

Please – pretty please with cherry on top – leave me a comment how you liked the pattern! It is my first pattern that I am sharing so I am super excited! :-)

P.S. Let me know as well, if you are interested in knowing how to make the teeny crocheted hearts.

EDITED: Wanna see how I made the teeny tiny crocheted hearts? No problem – here is the free tutorial. :-) And if you like what I share please sign up for my free newsletter below or here.

 
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