Monday's with Carol Heppner - Learning to Craft

 Looking for some great Holiday crafts?  Check out all my December posts.

The Gift of Creativity
On our way to see Santa, my five-year-old niece turned to me and said, “I know what you want Santa to bring to you, Aunt Carol.”  Surprised, I asked what she thought I would like.  Her eyes, filled with wonder, grew even brighter as she whispered, “Art supplies.” We both giggle.

This year, my niece decided to surprise us with ornaments.  She traced and colored her hand onto paper and then cut out her hand.   It’s not the making of the ornament that was important, but the fact that this is the first project that she designed and executed all by herself.   

My niece started kindergarten this September and enjoys using scissors and glue.  To her, a blank piece of paper holds countless possibilities.   So, we always spend time creating.  Like me, she has a passion for paper arts.  I am the recipient of a number of her collages.

At this age, they are learning to color within lines, learning to cut with scissors, and getting glue on everything.  As adults, it is easy to want to give advice so their work looks more professional.  However, this is the time to nurture their creativity rather than technique.  

When my niece is around, I work on a table that is at her level.  She has her own set of art supplies so she can work along side of me.  I will ask for her thoughts on the colors I am using or the designs on which I am working.   Of course, I answer her questions as well.

The more they are allowed to create, the more creative they become.  And, their creativity will go beyond crafting and follow them into their everyday life.  Being creative allows you to find multiple solutions to life’s challenges. 

This weekend, we made gluten-free Christmas cookies.  Some of the stocking-shaped or tree-shaped cookies have smiley faces.  Other cookies are decorated slightly less traditional.  These are not how I would have decorated the cookies, but they are how a creative and happy five year old will decorate cookies.  

To the happy five year old inside of you –

Merry Christmas!

Mondays in December

Mondays in December
Join me every Monday in December as we get ready to celebrate Christmas. 
This Monday it’s all about the Sock Monkey.

Make sure to read about the great giveaway below! 

Sock Monkey Blog Hop
Sock monkeys are a very big trend this Christmas season and you can find them everywhere.  They are making appearances in toys, ornaments, on clothing and more.   Join in the fun and add a sock monkey to your holiday season.

Monkey Adventures with Noelle Monkey
Instructions below

Noelle Monkey is getting ready for the Annual Sock Monkey Christmas Party.  This year it is sponsored by When Creativity Knocks™.  

A noted socialite and party animal, Noelle wants to make sure she looks her very best, so Noelle hired designer, Carol Heppner, to create the perfect cocktail dress.  Of course, Velcro® Fabric Fusion is used as the dress’s closure so Noelle can change her outfits throughout the year.

Ape Couture
The chimply marvelous back velvet bodice is trimmed in gold.  The underskirt is a bright purple lace and is followed with a black polka dot sheer skirt.  The upper skirt is a gold-glittered, red fabric with a green-glittered belt. 

Noelle’s bracelet and necklace were custom made by Carol using jewelry supplies from Cousin® Corporation of America 

The Party
Noelle’s party invitations are custom made using JudiKin’s Sock Monkey rubber stamp to decorate an office tag.  All the party information is place on the back of the tag.
Of course, she is serving Banana Daiquiris and Christmas-Monkey Bread.  

You’ll go bananas when you join the Sock Monkey fun by making your own monkey.   Grab the When Creativity Knocks™ video book “Sock Monkeys Go Bananas”  to see how easy these monkeys are to make.  The video book also comes with patterns for the monkey and clothes.  

Make sure to visit all the blogs in our Designer Crafts Blog Hop to see just how many different looks you can create with this pattern.  

Noelle’s body was made from The Original Rockford Red Heel® socks and dyed with Rit® purple dye.  The red flower in Noelle’s hair was white but dyed red.   Noelle is the inspiration for the Sock Monkey tag that was made with Judikin’s Sock-Monkey Rubber Stamp. 

Monkey Instructions 
To make this monkey, the sock is dyed purple and then allowed to dry.  Cut out the monkey’s torso, head, ears, arms, legs and tail and then sew the individual pieces.
Sew the pieces together.
Apply fun buttons on the face for eyes
Use white faux fur to create the monkey’s hair.
Cut a black velvet bodice and then trim the bodice with gold fabric.
Use three different fabrics (in this case, purple, black polka dot, and red) to make the skirt.
Attach the skirt to the bodice.
Follow the directions on the Velcro® Fabric Fusion package to apply the Fabric Fusion to the back of the dress.  
Place the dress onto the monkey  

Bracelet Instructions
Braid the ribbon and then thread a bead onto the ribbon.  Sew the bracelet onto the monkey’s arm.

Necklace Instructions 
Thread the green and red beads onto elastic jewelry cording.  Make sure the red beads are in the center of the beaded strand.  Place the strand around the monkey’s neck and then tie the ends of the elastic together.   Remove the excess elastic.  Use a jump ring to attach the pendant in the center of the necklace.

Your Invitations

  • Enter to win a sock monkey prize valued at over $40.00 from When Creativity Knocks.  Giveaway ends December 19, 2011.

   1. Go to When Creativity Knocks
   2. While in the Member Log inbox, click on “Create An Account”
   3. Make sure to enter the code: Sock Monkey
NOTE: There is also a discount coupon to purchase the
WCK VideoBook: Sock Monkey Goes BanAnas 
  • Have some fun Monkey/Banana puns that you would like to share?  Add it to my comments below.
  •  Make sure to visit the rest of the blogs in the hop to see the friends who will be attending Noelle’s party.  Just click on the Designer Craft Connections Blog Hop link in the side column of this blog.

Sock Monkey Blog Hop is sponsored by:

Gifts that last a lifetime!
Give the gift of learning a new craft and you give a gift that lasts a lifetime. 

My craft articles appear in many national craft magazines. National craft manufacturers hire me to create craft projects using their products. Now, you can get my craft tutorials with a click of a computer mouse.

Simple instructions, many with step-by-step photographs, along with the main project helps you to learn more about the techniques used in the projects. Learning new craft techniques allows you to broaden your crafting skills.  Once you learn those skills, you can apply them to your other craft projects. 

My craft tutorials can be purchase in printed format and mailed directly to your home or downloaded to your digital device. They come directly to you from They are priced low for the holidays, so make sure to pick them up now.