Monday, December 19, 2016

Wrapping Paper How To with Annmakes

How to wrap those last minute gifts when you have no store bought gift wrap left?  Here is an idea.  As a small gift from me to you, my viewers.  Grab some kraft paper or any paper for that matter and quickly transform it into original gift wrapping paper.

Go for a country rustic look with some kraft colored paper, or use some nice new white or colored paper.  Gather some stamps, printing presses, or found objects.  Dip your chosen tools in paint or ink and print away.  If it is handmade it is even more special.

It is also a project you can do with the kids.  Have fun most of all.

Happy Holidays!

***Below are some links just in case you want some last minute gift ideas for someone crafty, maybe yourself.  Clicking on those links and making a purchase will  mean that I will receive a small commission.*** Thank you.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Dollar Store Wreath Craft by Annmakes

Wreath making time with Annmakes and Dollar $tore supplies!  Make it quick too.  Inexpensive, and easy.  What more can you ask for?  It will WOW your visitors this Holiday Season.

Supplies were purchased by me at Dollar Tree, and Dollarama here in Canada.
2 Foam Wreaths
2 Sprigs berries (gold, and platinum)
2 large single metallic poinsettias on clips
2 birds on a branch
1 card of small poinsettia gift toppers (Dollarama)
ALOT of plastic ball ornaments  that are sold in tubes at the Dollar Tree, different sizes.
Note: not all of the supplies I show in the video were used to make these wreaths.

Ribbon, I already had (saw very similar rolls at Dollar Tree)
Glue, and Glue Gun by AdTech (mine)
Pins (mine)

To make each wreath, begin by wrapping the ribbon around the foam base (this is optional).  Tip* I used some pins to secure the ends of the ribbons while I wrapped the base.  I removed the pins just before gluing at the end.

Glue on ornaments, it doesn't matter how.  I prefer, to begin with, the larger ones and fill in with the smaller ornaments.

Glue on berries, flowers, and bird.

To hang cut length of ribbon needed to simply wrap around top portion.  I was able to tuck it in between the ornaments,


Thank you for viewing, and reading!  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rinea® Foil Ornament

Rinea® Foil by Global Crafting, is a wonderful crafting foil that is thicker than regular aluminum foil, comes in an array of beautiful colours, and cuts easily.

Today. the Designer Crafts Connection members are sharing the projects they (I) have made working with this wonderful product.

Here is my ornament:

To learn more about Rinea® Paper Foil and view samples, please visit :
Here are process photos of how I made the ornament.

I began with a clear acrylic DIY Ornament purchased at a store.  I added some red alcohol based ink to the inside of the clear ball and let the ink dry.

On the outside, I applied some yellow ink.  I also altered the silver top of the ornament with some metallic gold ink.

Once all the inks had dried I added some confetti.

Now for the Rinea foil!  Following the video instructions on the Rinea® site ( I made the green and gold star.

From the same green and gold foil, I also punched out some borders.

I adhered the foil borders by turning them into stickers, using a Xyron Sticker maker.  Which essentially adds adhesive to one side.

I adhered the foil star with some tacky glue.

To make the gold ruffle I did a gathering stitch through a piece of golden ribbon.

Finally, I adhered the ribbon ruffle with some tacky glue, and threaded some gold colored thread through the hanger loop.

I hope that you are inspired to try using Rinea® paper crafting foil by Global Crafting in your own creative projects.  I truly enjoyed working with the product myself.

Please, check out all of the projects made by the talented Designers participating in this blog hop.  Readers enter to win by commenting on each blog and/or the Designer Crafts Connection Blog.  Must use the Rafflecopter widget to enter.

Thank you for stopping by.

**The following are links to Amazon, and some of the similar products used in this project.  These links are intended to make your shopping for supplies easier.  Note, I will receive a small monetary commisiion for any purchases made from these links.  Thanks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thankful Card with Gel Press®

Hello, today if you go visit the Gel Press blog you will see my card and the steps to make it.  Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada, but in the USA, my friends there will celebrate in a few weeks. Here is the card I made:

I want to wish everyone in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving and let's just be Thankful all year long.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Trick or Treats

Halloween How To's in a Video Frenzy this week brought to you by the Creative Team at Gel Press®.  Gel Press®, the authentic Reusable Gel Printing Plate.

This month the Gel Press® Gals from The Design Team are sharing
Spooky" Halloween themed videos...   Here is the link to my video:

To view all the videos check these:
Here is picture of the project I made for this video frenzy:

To make this I upcycled a box that once held some beauty products..., and now it holds a surprise for spooking!

To see a sped up video of how I used paints and a Gel Press to print on the
outside of the box, just check out the video. Note, that you can print just about on anything (non-living) lol, with mediums and a Gel Press.

Supplies used:
Small box
Acrylic craft paints
Stencil Girl Stencil (L241 Dube)
Scrapbook paper
Various embellishments, and toy skeleton from my stash.
Gel Press® Reusable Gel Printing Plate (I used the 5 x 7)

Thank you for stopping by.  Below are links to Amazon where you can purchase products similar to what I used.  I will receive a tiny commission if you make any purchase.  Thank you in advance.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Amazing Casting Products Designer Blog Hop

**not a sponsored post

Be Amazed by what the Designers of the Designer Crafts Connection have scavenged to mold and transform! (
Today, I am sharing my own adventures with Amazing Casting Products (

I scavenged through my studio and found a lot of objects and bits of ephemera to make molds off and to alter.  I love the idea of making more of some of the special items I have collected over the years and always find too precious to use.  Now I can make multiples of these loved pieces in my Mixed Media Art.  Here is one of the projects I completed just in time for Halloween.

To begin I used Amazing Mold Putty to make molds of a selection of items I gathered from my studio.  Some of my favorite items I wanted to replicate include vintage buttons I have collected over the years, an angel ornament from years ago, an old brass drawer handle, old jewelry passed down to me, a light bulb, and the cutest little owl button I already had in my stash.
To make molds using Amazing Mold Putty is so easy and fun.  If you go this site you can view a video that explains so much better than I can:

In addition to collecting various precious objects to mold, I also collected some pieces of ephemera and even a funky little branch that I wanted to try using the Amazing Resin on. (

In the tray in the photo above you can see the pieces, I coated with the Amazing Clear Cast Resin ( And the objects I made with the Amazing Mold Putty AND the Amazing Resin.  Note that I even colored some of the resin with pigment powders to make the colored pieces, including the owl.

I gathered some craft supplies I already had in my stash to make the project shown at the beginning.

To adhere the papers to the wood plaque and also to adhere the resin pieces I used Gel Mat Medium.

Before any gluing was done I used a file to smooth any uneven edges.

I used small scissors to trim off bits of resin.  To make this guy/gal I added a pinch of iridescent blue pigment powder into the resin during the stirring stage.  I poured just a bit of resin into the mold, and I added two tiny beads for his eyes before I completely filled the mold with the resin.

Here is the project all glued down waiting for a tree to hold the branch. LOL!
To complete the piece I used some vellum with a sticky back, ink, stamps, and glitter to make the speech bubble.

Here are the supplies I used to make Hooty!
Amazing Mold Putty
Amazing Clear Cast Resin 
Amazing Casting Products blog:

Other supplies: Wood plaque (Dollar Tree)
Scrapbook papers (from my stash)
Jute trim (Dollarama)
Ribbon (my stash)
Gel Mat Medium (Omer DeSerres)
Double sided tape (my stash)
Ink pad (Ranger)
Alphabet Stamps (Various in my stash)
Glitter glue (My stash)
Pigment powders (ColourArte)
Beads (my stash)

Thank you very much for stopping by, and please visit ALL of the Designers Blogs who are participating in the Amazing Casting Products hop.

Contest and Prize available
 Readers enter to win by commenting (on one or more blogs) then entering to win via the Rafflecopter widget which will be on the DCC blog. (see rules there) One entry for each comment. 
Susan M. Brown's photo.

**The following are links to products similar to those used in making the project.  If you purchase through any of these links I will receive a small monetary commission. Thank you.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Duct Tape Your Heart Out! Book review

Duct tape, especially Duck Brand, is one of my favourite DIY, How To, and Crafting supply ever!  In my mind, it is one of the best tools ever invented.  Yes, I call it a tool as well as a supply because it works hard to keep things together.

**This post is not sponsored, and I am genuinely a fan of these products.

Leisure Arts is another company I love to talk about because they make such nice crafting books and tools.  I have reviewed other products by Leisure Arts before and it is always my pleasure to do so.  I specifically asked for this book to review as I am such a fan of the product.

The book is 48 pages, and came out a few years ago, but is still available.  I read the entire book and found it to be well written, and explained as are all the books I have reviewed for Leisure Arts so far. It is a pleasant and easy read with a lot of colourful pictures, and instructions to make over 21 categories of projects.  There are 44 fun and easy projects to make for Fashion, Decor, and gifts.

                                      Samples of gorgeous Duck Brand Duct Tape sent to me!

I love to buy, hoard, and craft with so many of the beautifully patterned Duct Tapes.  I also love all the colour choices available to me so I can repair a multitude of things in and around my home.  I have repaired laundry baskets, garbage bins, my car (temporarily), suitcase, shoes, binders, bags, toys, and so much more.  I always travel with a roll in my car and I also pack some in my suitcase.  Full disclosure, I carry a mini sized one in my carry-on when I fly.  Hey,  ever had a bag tear in between flights?  Been there, done that!

                               I had fun making these Duck Brand Duct Tape pieces of jewellery!

For those of you who are subscribed to my YouTube channel, you may have noticed my affection for Duct Tape in my shopping hauls.

I do recommend this book for inspiration and fun projects to make by you,  and for kids, and teens.

Thank you so much for reading this post.***You just might want to check out the Duck Brand site for all their Halloween ideas! Click here. Also, Leisure Arts' Fabulous Fall items on sale, click here.

Link to my YouTube channel:


Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Art of Well Being

Art has always been necessary for my survival and well-being.  I am very serious about the survival part.  For since childhood, I needed art as a way to escape from some of the harsh realities of life.  Making things with my hands kept my mind from dwelling on what scared me.  I was a very sensitive child, I was told, I could play alone for days and hours.  My solitude was not self-imposed but more of a reality of my circumstances.  Whenever I had the opportunity to share with others in any social situation I was at ease too.  I loved being creative and sought to share that with anyone who was interested.  throughout my postgraduate studies, I turned to my love of sewing to relax. Not only did I have a nice wardrobe to go to the University and to work, but I also designed and made my wedding dress for our wedding following graduation.  Art making whether With paints or threads continued to be my salvation through life's challenges.  My love of crafting branched out into some business, writing, and teaching opportunities. Over the years my hobbies evolved into my present profession, and I am very pleased.

Today I want to share my latest project that I created with the Gel Press® reusable gel printing plate, Stencil Girl stencils, and some acrylic paints by Deco Art®. My project is one of the many shared by the Gel Press® Design Team.  Links to other pages are below.

Materials used:  
6" x 6" Reusable gel plate by Gel Press®
6" x 6" StencilGirl Products Stencil S110 Stegmiller
8" Round canvas board
Coffee Filter
Acrylic craft paints by DecoArt®
Decou-Page™ by decoArt®
Rubber stamps and Ink
Variety of embellishments (EK Success™)
Trim (my stash)
Hot glue gun and glue (AdTech™)

To make this project I made several different prints using the materials mentioned.  I applied acrylic paints to the Gel plate and pulled prints.  I covered the Gel plate with the stencil, added some paint and laid the dried print over to pull another print.

I chose to use this print as my focal point.  

I added some green paint at the bottom.
I chose to use the round canvas board as it matched the coffee filter.  I used some of the same paint used in the print to paint the round canvas while leaving the centre white.

Once all the paint had dried I adhered the coffee filter print using Decou-Page™ medium, to the canvas.
I decorated the picture with some scrapbook dimensional embellishments using a hot glue gun by
 Ad Tech™.  

To finish off the piece I attached some jute string to make a hanger.  I covered the edges with more jute string and made a bow with the same string to add to the top.

To see what the other Designers of the Gel Press Team have made click on the following links:

**Below are links to similar products I used in the above project.  Note, if you purchase through these links I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive compensation.  Thank you for your support.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ghosts, Goblins, Goodies and a Gel Press®

Hello.  Today I am sharing with you a sweet Halloween shadow box I designed for this month's Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop, in collaboration with Gel Press®.

Here is my project:

To make this project I used:

                                              Gel Press® reusable printing plate (available here)
                                              Re-purposed tissue paper
                                              Re-purposed cardboard sticker box (Dollarama)
                                              Masking tape
                                              DecoArt™ Gesso (black), Acrylic Craft paints, and DecouPage
                                              Ad tech™ Hot Glue Gun, and Glue sticks
                                              K&Company (EKSuccess) Halloween Embellishments
                                              Stickers (Dollar Tree)
                                              Cotton swabs (Dollarama)

I used the Gel Press® reusable gel printing plate to create the print I used in the background of the box.

To see how I made the project you can view the video by following this link:


Visit the Gel Press® blog here: to see other great projects made by the Design Team, including Me!

Thank you for stopping by, and please check out all the other wonderful projects made by the other participating Designers this month.

Ann Strecko Koeman **You are here

For even more ideas and links, check out the Gel Press Facebook page!  Enjoy!

**I am an Amazon Associate, and will receive monetary compensation for purchases made through the links on  this page.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back to School and the Basics with a Gel Press® Blog Hop

**Sponsored Post**Today's How To is all about using packing tape, a Gel Press® reusable printing plate, and paint.  With these three things, I will show you how you can have fun making some cute embellishments and bookmarks.

                                                        Planner/Dashboard for Planner

                                            Recycle a piece of clear plastic from packaging.

                                  Pull a tape print, glue to plastic, punch holes, and decorate.

View this quick video to see the technique:

With all the kiddos heading back to school, Gel Press ® thought we should take you back to the basics!  Please visit each blog for an idea or technique that you may not have seen before!  Happy Hopping!

Gel Press 
Ann   (Here)

Mixed Media Art Quilt with Fabric Elements

Today I have an Art Quilt I made using a product called: Fabric Elements.My  project is part of a collaboration with other Designers belonging to the group: Designer Crafts Connection.

There will be a giveaway. Readers may enter to win by posting a comment on  this blog (below) and the DCC blog (here) then entering via the Rafflecopter widget. on the DCC blog.

Fabric Elements™ "Inspiring the art of mixed media".  Is a product Designed by Rebekah Meier for Fabric Editions, Inc.  The mini Paper Quilt Kit stitch-N-Tear® Technique received the 2015 CHA Award.  The kit includes Osnaburg (fabric), Batting, Textured Foam Sheet, Stitch-N-Tear® sheet, Printed tissue paper, EZ-Steam™ II sheet, a Stencil, Lace, Beads, Sponge, and Easy -to-follow instructions.  Each Designer was given this product and asked to create whatever we wanted.  How fun is that?

In addition to the above-mentioned kit I used some Metallic and Acrylic craft paints from Testors.

I used some tiny drops of 3-IN-1 Glue from Beacon.
I also used black thread, my sewing machine, and some beads from my stash.

Thank you for stopping by.