December 27, 2023

Nativity Craft Projects

I knew that Christmas was already over but my Christmas Craft Project series is not yet over. So I will continue my series habang nasa mood pa akong magblog. I also need to delete pictures na on my phone and desktop so I will have more storage. 

Last year, I joined Cricut Philippines’ Christmas Playlist Challenge and I submitted these craft projects as my entry. I only have pictures as souvenir kasi nasa mama ko na lahat ng mga ito. :) 

Nativity Scene Ornaments 

These are Laser Cut files designed by CutsunSVG but I don’t have a Laser machine so I used Cricut Pen and cardstock. I purchased the file from Design Bundles but the design is no longer available. 

3D Nativity Set Layered Craft 

We just came from Da Nang Vietnam so I had limited time to make this project, also I didn’t have enough cardstock so I only submitted Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus. Actually, may kapareho ko na gumawa nito and she was able to complete the set and won the Cricut Maker 3 prize. 

I wanted to finish this 3D Nativity Set pero sa dami ng gusto kong gawin, hindi ko natatapos. My mom wanted this pero hindi ko natapos and ang nadagdag ko lang are donkey and sheep. Despite that, she still displayed my nativity in her house. 

Cute Nativity Gift Tags 

Since I couldn’t finish the nativity, I decided to use my leftover mirror foil cardstock and made some gift tags. This is a combination of print then cut and print and die-cut. I used the Cute Nativity Clipart to make the design. 

December 23, 2023

September Craft Projects

Two days to go before Christmas but I still have no plans, no Christmas menu, and no gifts yet for my family. We had no time to go out because my husband was out of the country for the last 2 weeks so hindi kami nakakaalis. And for the past few days, I was not feeling well so I had no choice but to stay home and rest. I was in the mood to blog pa naman but I had to pause. 

I still have a cold and cough but at least, no more body pain. I am thankful that my husband is already on vacation leave so I don’t have to worry because he can do chores and errands. Siya na rin bahala mag-isip ng kakainin namin sa Christmas. Hehehe! For sure, bibili lang kami ng food. 

Anyway, since I can’t do anything these past few days, I was cleaning my phone gallery and ang dami ko pa pala hindi na nabablog, so bago pa ko magdelete, magblog muna ko.

Home Sweet Home Card 

My mom went back to the Philippines last October so I made this "Home Sweet Home" card for her. I had a hard time cutting the Home Sweet Home phrase so I used white iron on vinyl for this. I embossed the wall of the house and applied pearlescent medium. 

Printable Retirement Cards

I used to make printable cards before because that is the easiest way to make a card. For this project, I used “Old Couple on Beach Watercolor Clipart”

Printable Funny Cards 

I made these printable funny cards for my son’s 15th birthday. I used the following clipart to design the cards. 

3D Layered Craft 

I cut these designs for no reason at all, 3D Explore, 3D Sunflower, and 3D Just Sunflower.  

I am not satisfied with the two flowers because I did not have a clean cut but I still assembled them. But I love the 3D Explore. 

Gnomes Craft Countdown 

I joined the Gnomes Craft Countdown by Craft with Sarah but I was not able to cut the projects and it took me five months to finally finish all the designs. I will share those gnomes in a separate post.

Animal Egg Holders 

I started this project last June but it was only last September that I was able to finish all the designs, I will post the 32 Egg Holders in a separate post too. 

Birthday Cake Topper 

Halloween Lollipop Holder and Halloween Chip Bag Treats 

My son had a project in TLE and parents are allowed to help so I helped him in cutting and printing the packaging. You can read my blog post here and here.  

Cute Monster Candy Holder 

Other candy holders that I made are the Monster Treat Box and Monster Candy or Money Holder. 

Halloween Craft Projects 

I joined Halloween Craft Countdown by Craft with Sarah last September but out of 20 designs, I only finished 10 craft projects. Luckily, I am one of the winners of the 4th prize + bonus since I made 10 craft projects. I shared those designs in this blog post, and I also added some Halloween Craft Projects that I made. 

December 21, 2023

Christmas Craft Countdown 2023

One of my goals this year is to craft more so I can use the craft supplies that I hoarded so I’ve been joining different craft summits. I will check the schedule and browse the different designs that I want to recreate.

Last month, I joined Christmas Craft Countdown by Craft with Sarah and there were 20 projects that we can do. Out of 20 designs, I was able to make 19 craft projects. The only project that I did not do was the Advent Calendar since my son is too old for this. 

I made Winter Holiday Scrapbook Overlay, Christmas Planner Stickers, Christmas Gift Card Holders, Merry Christmas Postbox Banner, Faux Leather Christmas Ornaments, and sharing some pictures of my favorites from this countdown. I’ve already posted some of these projects on my Instagram Profile @mitchcraftaholic 

Christmas Tree Layered Design 

Even though it took me a few hours to cut and assemble this design, I am very happy with my Christmas tree. 

Gingerbread Cottage 

I am always having problems with intricate cuts so for this project, I used contour and hid some elements so I would have a smooth cut. 

Cute Character Decorations 

I love these cute ornaments and I have to remake this project because my mom brought them to Norway for her Christmas tree. My favorite characters are snowman and nutcracker.

Snowglobe Card with Print then Cut 

For the longest time, I wanted to make a shaker craft project and this is the first time that I made one. I already bought some shaker elements so I will make more projects like this. 

Hanging Bird Decorations 

There are 3 birds for this project but I only make the Cardinal Bird. 

Layered Snowman Mandala Shaker 

This is also a shaker display card. 

Giant Nativity Sign 

This is a huge craft project, about 28 inches but I only finished a part of it which is Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. I will continue this project next year so I can display it in our new house. 

Photo Globe Surprise Explosion Box 

This is a simple explosion box with just one layer. 

Wall Smash Card 

This is supposed to be a Printable Iron-On project but I don’t have the materials so I just used the design for Christmas Cards. 

Carol Singers Layered Design 

I also love this design so even if it took me hours again in cutting and assembling, okay lang. 

Double Dutch Card 

I don’t have a nice Christmas pattern for this project so I just used white cardstock and embossing folders. 

Elf Gnomes Layered Design

I love gnomes so I made this one and added some magnets at the back so I can display them on the fridge. 

Pop-up truck Greetings Card 

This is supposed to be a pop-up truck greeting card but I don’t have the right photo paper but I still tried making it using cardstock. 

DIY Christmas Cracker 

I have no idea about Christmas Cracker but I like this project because I know that I can use it for a gift box. 

I submitted my entries for a raffle and fortunately, I am one of the winners of 1st prize. Yey!

December 20, 2023

Filipino Parol Ornaments

I was supposed to finish my Da Nang Vietnam series this month kasi one year na pala ang nakalipas pero my mind is into crafting so nakalimutan ko na naman. I am trying my best to finish my Christmas Craft Project blog post para hindi na umabot ng next year. Hehehe! 

I mentioned in my previous post that I made four different ornaments for our Christmas tree and Filipino Parol Ornament is the second ornament that I did. Cricut Philippines’ Day 2 challenge is Parol so I decided to make an ornament instead of big parol. 

Last year I also made a Parol Ornament using this 3D Snowflake design, I was thinking if I would recreate this design and make it big but I remembered the Filipino Parol design that I’ve bookmarked. The designer is from the United Kingdom but she really designed a Filipino Parol. 

At first, I just wanted to make two ornaments but after finishing the two ornaments, I wanted more with different colors inspired by the colorful Pampanga’s parol. So I ended up with four ornaments. 

It was funny because, my husband wanted to put up our Christmas tree since last month but I always told him, 9 days before Christmas na lang. We have limited space in our house kasi so masikip lalo kapag may Christmas Tree. But after I finished my Filipino Parol Ornaments, I was so excited to hang them so I told my husband, na pwede na magkabit ng Christmas tree. Hehehe! 

I am so happy with the finished product, especially after seeing them on our Christmas tree with Christmas lights so I plan to make more if I have extra time. I want to try new colors naman.

Update: I won the "Day 2: Cricut Parol" challenge. Yey! 

December 19, 2023

Pizza Christmas Tree Felt Ornament

Pizza Christmas Tree Felt Ornament is the last entry that I submitted for Cricut Philippines’ 12 Days of Christmas. The theme is “Make a Christmas tree using a Cricut machine and post a reel” Waah! I made a lot of Christmas Tree craft projects these past few weeks but I could not submit it since I didn’t take videos of my process. 

I’ve been crafting nonstop since last month so I’ve done several Christmas trees already so I asked myself, do I still have a space for another Christmas tree project? And because of limited space, I decided to make an ornament again which I knew that I could use every Christmas. 

Just this year, I made an Acrylic Nativity Ornament, a Filipino Parol Ornament, a Gnome Christmas Tree Ornament, and lastly this Pizza Christmas Tree Ornament. I already shared this on my previous blog post but I wanted to dedicate a special post to this because I seldom do felt craft projects. 

Actually, I have no idea about the upcoming challenges but a few days before the “Day 1 Challenge”, I already ordered felt fabric online but until now, my order is still waiting to be shipped. Imagine, more than a week na ako naghihintay, good thing that I did not wait for my order. 

And because of my limited supplies, I couldn’t make a green Christmas tree so when I saw the pizza tree #M8B266E4 image on Cricut Design Space, an idea popped into my head. I already made a pizza felt food toy before but now I wanted an ornament. 

The design is made for a vinyl project so I edited it a little bit so I can use it for my felt project. I added shape, offset the image, and sliced some layers so I could maximize the space of my felt fabric. I used a combination of soft and hard-felt fabric. 

I had my Cricut Maker for over 3 years but this was the first time that I used my rotary blade. I used to manually cut my template and fabric, pwede naman pala magmachine, Pinahirapan ko pa sarili ko.

Anyway, I cut the design, glued the pieces together, and manually sewed the sides of the pizza. This is only one ornament but it took me a few hours to finish it. I was happy with my Pizza Christmas Tree Felt Ornament because it was another milestone. So I’m pretty sure I will make more felt craft projects in the future.

December 18, 2023

Christmas Craft Projects on Cricut Design Space

I had my Cricut Maker for over 3 years already but I haven’t availed my 30-Days Cricut Access Trial until I joined the Cricut Philippines 12 Days Giveaway. So finally, I subscribed to Cricut Access since I know that I have the time for crafting this Christmas break because we have no travel plans. 

Sharing with you the Christmas Craft Projects that I did and submitted as my entry. I also shared it on my Cricut Design Space Profile

Santa Claus Tri-Fold Shutter Card 

My first project is the Santa Claus Tri-Fold Shutter Card. The Tri-Fold Shutter Card Template is from Emily Minor which I downloaded and uploaded on Design Space. Then I looked for images that I could use to decorate my card. I used the following designs to print some stickers. 

Reindeer with Santa Hat #M5059074D 
Santa #M5058DEB 
Santa #M5059416E 
Santa #M5058D2E0 
Santa #M50594192 
Bear with Santa Hat #M50590C26 

Christmas Card 

I recreated this Christmas Card but instead of vinyl stickers, I used cardstock so I could use my scraps. I cut the letters thrice for dimension. 

Elf Lollipop Holders 

I made Halloween Lollipop Holders before and I still have leftover lollipops so I decided to make an Elf Lollipop Holder using the #M2EB0F3B9 design. I tweaked the design file a little bit because I only wanted to design the front. I also reduced the size because I only had small lollipops. 

Acrylic Nativity Ornament 

I made Stained Glass Ornaments two years ago so when I saw this design #M505890D9, I wanted to make another one. I cut the design using Premium Shimmer Vinyl and used Ohuhu Markers to color the design. I also added White Glitter Cardstock at the back. 

Reindeer Gift Tags or Ornaments

I found these Reindeer images #M50591D94 and M50591D96 and I used them for gift tags or ornaments. I added a hole so I could tie a ribbon. 

Ho Ho Ho Gift Box 

After subscribing to Cricut Design Space Access, I always browse the community projects and bookmark those projects that I want to recreate. While browsing, I found this HO HO HO gift box, I immediately cut the design and even went to the grocery just to buy Ferrero Chocolates. 

Pizza Christmas Tree Felt Ornament 

I was looking for a Christmas Tree Project then I discovered a pizza tree #M8B266E4 image. I like pizza so I decided to make a Pizza Christmas Tree Felt Ornament that I can use for our Christmas Tree. For my past felt craft projects, I only manually cut the template and fabric so this is the first time I used my rotary blade. Hehehe! 

I edited the file using the sliced function so I could maximize my felt fabric. Then I cut all the fabric using Cricut Maker, glued the pieces using Fabric Fusion Glue, and manually sewed my pizza ornament. This is so cute and after cutting felt fabric, I'm pretty sure I would have more fabric projects in the future. 

December 12, 2023

5 Hidden Gems: Unexplored Photo Locations That Will Take Your Breath Away

Welcome fellow shutterbugs! Have you ever been on the hunt for the perfect place to capture your next award-winning shot, only to find that every photography location seems overly familiar? Well, you're in the right place! Discovering hidden gems for photography can make all the difference in your next photo session. 

Importance of finding hidden gems for photography 

There's something special about stumbling upon stunning photo locations that have yet to be mainstream. Hidden gems for photography not only offer unique landscapes and perspectives but also promise originality - a key element in capturing compelling photographs. These locations are usually void of the typical tourist clutter, offering an unobstructed canvas for your creative vision. 
  • A sense of exploration 
  • Unique perspectives 
  • Originality in your portfolio 
  • Less crowded settings 
Overview of the blog topic and its relevance to photographers 

In this blog post, we'll be unmasking five of such unexplored spots that will breathe new life into your images. These unique photography spots have been carefully selected for their sheer beauty and exclusivity. Perfect for everything from landscape photography to beautiful portraits, they're destined to provide a fresh perspective and ignite your creative spark. So grab your camera and join us as we embark on this quest of visual discovery! 

Hidden Gem 1: The Stairway to Heaven, Oahu, Hawaii 

Description of the Location and Its Unique Features 

Among the lush greenery of Oahu, Hawaii, perched magically above the clouds is the incredible 'Stairway to Heaven' or Haikū Stairs. This steel staircase, standing with over 3,992 steps, offers a fascinating climb up to the top of Ko'olau mountain range. The mystic aura of the cloudy skies, the panoramic view of the enchanting island below, and the azure Pacific beyond make it an incredible landscape for photographers.

Discussion on Why It Is an Unexplored Spot for Photography 

Despite its undeniable charm, the 'Stairway to Heaven' remains largely unexplored due to its "off-limits" status. However, those who dare to venture and are lucky enough to dodge the local security, are rewarded with a sight that few have had the opportunity to capture. This exclusivity and the challenging climb make it one of the most unique photography spots. 

Examples of Stunning Photos Captured at This Location
  • A majestic sunrise, casting a warm glow over the landscape, as captured by adventurer and photographer, Jonny Stock. 
  • The winds playfully dance with the clouds at the dizzying height, captured in an ethereal black and white photograph by artist, Ellie Stove.
  • A panoramic shot of the entire Oahu Island basking in the golden hour, a masterpiece clicked by travel photographer, Ben Huego. 
The 'Stairway to Heaven' truly lives up to its name, not only as a destination but also as a phenomenal backdrop for stunning stock photos

Hidden Gem 2: The Forgotten Forests of Vermont 

Description of the Location and Its Unique Features 

The Forgotten Forests of Vermont, often overshadowed by the bustling city life and conventional beauty spots, secretes unspeakable charm yearning to be captured. Nestled in the Northeastern United States, these dense, quiet woods are etched with trails that lead to breathtaking views. You'll encounter whimsical flora, moss-covered trees, and sunlight filtering through the dense canopy creating an ethereal, magical world. In the fall, the forest transforms into a riot of fiery reds, oranges, and yellows.

Discussion on why it is an Unexplored Spot for Photography 

Though Vermont is famous for its scenic beauty, its hidden-away forests remain a wonder uncaptured in mainstream photography. Their outlying location, away from tourist hubbub, keeps them discreet. Yet, it's precisely this perceived inconvenience that gives photographers the peace and space needed to seize the forest's true essence. If you're looking for unique photography spots to dabble with your creativity without disturbance, this is your place. 

Examples of Stunning Photos Captured at This Location 
  • A high-resolution capture of the divine moment when sun rays pierce through the forest's green cover.
  • A wide-angle shot capturing the forest's seasonal transformation during fall, highlighting the fiery colors. 
  • A sweet close-up of the delicate forest floor presents a fairytale-esque capture of miniature toadstools and mossy rocks. 
  • A majestic panorama capturing the meandering paths leading deeper into the woods enveloped in fog for an added touch of mystery. 
The Forgotten Forests of Vermont is undoubtedly a hidden gem waiting to be explored! 

Hidden Gem 3: The Magic of Isle Royale, Michigan 

Description of the location and its unique features

Isle Royale is one of those sparkling secrets that never gets old. Located in the crisp waters of Lake Superior in Michigan, it spans over 400,000 acres and is populated by a mere array of wildlife. The island is home to busy beavers, majestic moose, and graceful loons, offering a dreamlike landscape for photographers. Its lush green vegetation intermingling with the crystal blue waters adds an enchanting depth, making it an unconventional but compelling subject for photography. 

Discussion on why it is an unexplored spot for photography 

Why is this a hidden gem? The reasons are twofold: 

• Accessibility: Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Isle Royale's seclusion is its main hurdle, keeping crowds at bay. Hence, limited human activities mean undisturbed nature - a bliss for photographers aiming for authentic, raw shots. 
• Seasonality: Being a national park, it closes each winter. Many potential visitors miss out because operations only run from April 16 through October 31. 

Examples of stunning photos captured at this location 

Imagining sunrise over Scoville Point, the total stillness punctuated only by bird calls and the lapping of lake waves provides photographers with breathtaking images. A beautiful sight that's become a popular stock photo. Another all-time favorite spot is the Stoll Trail beach, where the sunset paints the sky in hues of gold and crimson – a sight that can leave any photographer spellbound.

Hidden Gem 4: The Mysterious Caves of Halong Bay 

Description of the location and its unique features 

Located in Vietnam, the Halong Bay area is a hidden treasure for photographers. More than just a body of water, it's an ethereal expanse adorned with majestic limestone structures, emerald-green waters, and secretive caves that hold stories untold. The caves, with their stalactite and stalagmite formations, offer a unique setting for some jaw-dropping photography. 

Discussion on why it is an unexplored spot for photography 

Halong Bay itself is quite known among travelers, but not many have ventured deep inside the caves to discover the photographic magic that lies within. The reason? Accessibility! Many caves require a boat journey and some level of trekking, which discourages the casual traveler. Plus, the lack of artificial lighting elements inside makes it slightly challenging to illuminate the subject. But for a passionate photographer, these challenges only add to the appeal! 

Examples of stunning photos captured at this location 

Here are a few examples of what can be done at this location: 
  • Images emphasizing the scale of these gigantic formations against a human or boat subject 
  • Abstract photos of the intricate patterns in the stalactite and stalagmite formations 
  • Long-exposure shots inside the cave, capturing the drops of water falling from above in a frozen moment of time 
  • Capturing the ethereal glow of the caves when tiny beams of sunlight manage to peek through the cracks 
So, brace yourself for an exhilarating adventure into the mysterious caves of Halong Bay and seize the opportunity to capture stunning stock photos! 

Hidden Gem 5: The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Description of the location and its unique features

The Fairy Pools, located on the breathtaking Isle of Skye in Scotland, is an enchanting spectacle to witness. This piece of paradise boasts cascading waterfalls, and swirling pools of turquoise water, framed by some of Scotland's most impressive mountainous landscapes. The crystal clear streams appear surreal against the typical moody Scottish skies, making it a delight for naturalistic photography.

Discussion on why it is an unexplored spot for photography 

Despite its ethereal beauty, The Fairy Pools is still under the radar when it comes to popular photography locations. The relatively remote location, and weather that's often anything but predictable, probably play into this. However, these very factors contribute to its untouched brilliance and unique versatility in images. You can capture cloudy, brooding atmospheres on some days and vibrant, clear vistas on others. 

Examples of stunning photos captured at this location 
  • Be sure to get a shot of the swimmable Fairy Pools with the towering, snow-capped Cuillin Mountains as a backdrop. The contrast of the calm, still waters against the rugged peaks is truly inspiring. 
  • An ultra-wide-angle lens can perfectly capture the imposing landscape and nature-dappled water, adding a dramatic touch to your shots. 
  • Another amazing photo opportunity is shooting the rustic stone wall that meanders through the lush green fields, with the waterfalls cascading in the background. 
Indulge in the serenity of this place, and let the shimmering Fairy Pools grace your photographs with an unseen Scottish charm. 

Tips for Exploring Hidden Gems 

Immersing yourself in the unknown and capturing the untouched beauty of lesser-known corners of the world is nothing short of magical. Here are a few tips to make your journey to these hidden gems smooth sailing. 

Researching and Discovering Unexplored Spots 

Choosing your destination is the first and most crucial step. 
  • Go through travelogues, local blogs, and internet forums to find the less trodden paths. 
  • Social media can also be a great source; explore hashtags related to travel, unique photo spots, and hidden gems. 
  • Once you've identified a potential location, do some more digging to understand the best time to visit, accessibility, and safety measures. 
Preparing for the Journey – Essential Gear and Equipment 

Unfamiliar terrain and conditions might have unique demands. 

- Always carry your best camera gear for the perfect shot. 
- Pack according to the weather conditions and have a suitable set of clothes for all possibilities. 
- Essentials like water purification tablets, portable chargers, and a well-loaded first aid kit can prove helpful too. 

Being Respectful of the Environment and Local Communities 

No picture is worth causing harm to Mother Nature or disturbing local life.
  • - Make sure your presence leaves minimal impact on the location by following basic rules such as not littering. 
  • - Respect local customs and traditions and integrate with the local communities to make the most of your trip. 
Remember, the essence of exploring hidden gems is not only to snap stunning photos but to also offer an enriching journey from start to end. 


Recap of the 5 hidden gems explored in the blog 

Let's take a snapshot quick look at the breathtaking photo spots we ventured through. 

1. The mystical forest of Northumberland, England - A natural mosaic filled with rich flora, fauna, and ancient history. 
2. The starlit sky of Star Valley, Wyoming, USA - An otherworldly spectacle that's nothing short of a dream-like vista. 
3. The golden dunes of Erg Chebbi, Morocco - A desert wonderland showcasing brilliant hues, from sunrise to sunset. 
4. The ethereal beauty of Zhangjiajie, China - Lush landscapes, towering peaks, and dreamy clouds. 
5. The vibrant colors of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, Cape Town, South Africa - A display of culture and architecture that manifests as an explosion of color. 

Encouraging readers to step out of their comfort zone and discover new photo locations 

Dear readers, you have a fantastic opportunity on your hands. Each photo you take captures a split-second moment that can never be exactly replicated again. So, why not make every click count by challenging yourself to explore new vistas? Don't confine yourself to familiar sceneries. Venture into fresh territories. Take chances. The undiscovered, far-flung corners of the world hold sights rare, exquisite, and absolutely picture-perfect. 

Inspiring photographers to capture unique and breathtaking shots at unexplored spots 

Photography, at its core, is an art of perception. It isn't merely about capturing what you see but about immortalizing the feelings and emotions that these sceneries evoke within you. So, carry your camera and your adventurous spirit, and go forth. You are not only a photographer. You are an artist, a storyteller, and above all, an explorer. Remember, every corner of the world, whether explored or hidden, has a new story waiting for you. It's time to make that story your next stunning capture.