Handmade Holiday: Day 10

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love got from me…two embroidered dish towels!



Calvin’s sisters and Mom are gonna get these embroidered dish towels from me in the mail this week! Enjoy guys.

I hope you guys have enjoyed my Handmade Holidays series. I learn so much from other people and enjoy passing along some great ideas to you guys. Have a very merry holiday, be safe, and maybe be a little naughty :)



Homemade Holiday: Day 9

Teacher gifts are must for my holidays! But they have to be inexpensive, quick, and cutie. I picked up these adorable mugs at Kohl’s for 1/2 off. Filled them with some yummy chocolates in cellophane bags, popped a handmade tag on them, and off they go to school.



Here’s the thing: Rachel’s teachers haven’t gotten these cuties yet. Why? The last two days of school were canceled due to snow. Oh well! They’ll get them after New Years.



Handmade Holiday: Day 8

Gift Boxes are one of my favorite things to make to put small gifts into. My daughter, Rachel, is getting small shiny things (if you know what I mean) for Christmas, so I needed several small gift boxes.

Using my Cricky (Cricut) and the Tags, Bags, & More cartridge, I cut out three gift boxes and decorated them just a bit. All the paper is K&Co.




You see how those trees are upside down on the box above? That’s the “Live and Learn” part of crafting I talk about all the time. Did I recut it? Nope. It’s all right! I let go of perfection a long time ago.

Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s handmade!

These next gable boxes, I picked up at the new Container Store in our area! Can I get a big WOOHOO? Love that store. These babies were adorable and just $.99 each.



Yikes! It’s almost Christmas. Gotta run and go pack up more gifts…



Homemade Holiday: Day 7

I came across the most adorable cups at my local Dollar Tree (a store where everything’s a dollar) and immediately added several to my basket. I knew these adorable cups would make great containers for homemade holiday treats. Check this out:



I used felt ribbon (one of my favorite things on the planet) to close up the cellophane bags. Felt adds such warmth to winter projects. The circle stamp is from Papertrey Ink.

And, by the way, those treats in that bag are not homemade. It’s peppermint bark I got from the same Dollar Tree. Cheating is definitely OK in these busy times!



Homemade Holiday: Day 6

Sometimes, a gift bag is fine for some gifts. Other times, you really need a box. I got a plain kraft box at Michael’s and decided to dress it up a little (OK, a lot!) to put a special gift inside.


With a little help from my Cricky (Cricut), I cut out the deer, added some glitter to his horns and adhered it to the front of the box.


Next, I stamped each end of the box with some snowflakes (PTI). Then I added a very beautiful dior bow. There’s a great guide on making this bow at Better Homes & Garden.

If anyone needs better, more specific directions on how to make any of my homemade holiday ideas, just leave a comment and I’ll post directions.

Tomorrow: a Dollar Tree cup makes a great container for holiday treats!



Homemade Holiday: Day 5

Gift bags are expensive! So what do I do? I make my own. With my Cricky (Cricut), it’s so easy.



Just cut out your shape with the Cricut, add rhinestones and adhere to your kraft bag. (You can get a dozen kraft bags at Michael’s for about $5.) Can you say Happy Holidays!?

Tomorrow: I take a plain gift box from blah to OMG!



Homemade Holiday: Day 4

Good morning everyone! How are your holiday preparations coming? I’ll be sending out cards this week, so I thought it would be nice to share a couple of easy holiday card ideas. I’m all about easy.




Stick a photo of the fam inside and you are done! Homemade Christmas cards are manageable if you get the family together to make an assembly line. One person is responsible for one piece of the card. It’ll go pretty quickly if you do that.

Tomorrow: an elegant gift bag that’s so easy to make.



Homemade Holiday: Day 3

I went a little crazy this year making preserves and jams. There was strawberry, pear, apple, fig, and peach. I needed a way to dress them up a little (OK, maybe a lot) to give them as holiday gifts. Check this out!


I started by gluing a strip of ribbon to the jar ring. (Make sure you only glue it to the ring. Otherwise, you’ve just teased your recipient with a jar of homemade preserves they can’t open!) Next I glued on some button right on top of the ribbon. Easy so far, right?

You could end there. But, really, why would you? (hee hee)

Next, I used a Papertrey Ink 3x3 vanilla envelope, added a notecard inside, stamped a Hero Arts background image on the front, added a circle stamped image on top of that, punched 2 holes in the top of the envelope and secured it to the jar with some adorable ribbon.

Whew! Now THAT’s a decorated jar of homemade preserves!


Enjoy! Tomorrow, I will post a couple of easy, cute holiday cards.



Homemade Holiday: Day 2

I’ve always struggled with a way to display all the Christmas cards we get each year. For several years, I taped them over the entry way to our living room. They fell constantly.  Annoying. Last year, I put them all in a basket in the living room and promptly forgot about them.

I was determined this year to make a card holder that I could hang on the wall in our kitchen. I saw the Kate Spain holiday fabric line and fell in love. She had a small quilt panel I snatched up and my card holder idea was hatched.


The squares are a one-piece quilt panel. I had to add on the coordinating red fabric to the bottom to make some pockets to hold all our Christmas cards. I added batting, the same red fabric for the back, and quilted around each square. I added a dowel at the top and ribbon to hang it from a nail in the wall. 1 hour project!



I really love it! Now I have something I can use year after year and hand down to my daughter for her own home. Definitely worth the work.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to dress up a jar of homemade preserves that will make you the envy of all your friends and family. Til then,



Homemade Holiday: Day 1

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? I sure am. I’m getting my home decorated and making tons of homemade gifts, which I’ll be sharing here over the next couple weeks. So join me!

A couple months ago, I was in my favorite fabric store – Wish Upon a Quilt – and saw these adorable fabric trees. I immediately set out to copy them!



One is made of YoYo’s and the other I made with fabric and elastic. Easy peasy.

If anyone wants more specific directions, just leave me a comment and I’ll post them. See you back here tomorrow with more homemade holiday ideas. Til then,



November 2010 Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

Howdy and Happy Turkey Day!

I don't know about you, but I am stuffed like a turkey.
Stick a fork in me.
I'm done.

Got just enough energy left to post these tags I made this week for the blog hop. The challenge this month was to create a tag (or two) to inspire others. Here's hoping these do it.

Sometimes you just want a bigger tag. So I used the bookmark die from PTI for this tag. This is an easy peasy tag that can easily be mass-produced. The jar is from IKEA. I imagine I will use these jars to make some of those gift-in-a-jars. You know - where you layer the ingredients for cookies or something like that.

And sometimes you want something a little more elaborate or special. Again, I used the bookmark die, but this time I used lots of Christmas "sayings" stamps in different colors and the cutey bird from "Tiny Treats: Christmas". I wouldn't recommend this one for mass-production.

Enjoy the blog hop and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.

Now go forth and help this struggling economy. (In other words, have fun shopping tomorrow. I know I will!)



Baby Elephant Card

I was playing around with my Cricut Imagine and my old cartridges recently and made the cutest little elephant card.

I used the elephant from Zooballo cartridge and filled it with pattern/solid from the Nursery Tales cartridge. The stamp and button are from PTI. I added some chalking, googly eyes and a pom pom to add some interest to the die cut. Enjoy!


Flowers in a Jar

This card was created after a shopping trip to Archiver's, where I bought some Zing embossing powder. I really like the results of the light embossing color on the dark cardstock. I'll have to do that again!

Supplies: Papertrey Ink Friendship Jar Fillers stamp set, Zing embossing powder by American Crafts, cardstock by PTI.



Halloween Treat Bags

I made these little Halloween Treat Bags a few weeks ago. Now, I've got to fill them with candy for Rachel's school friends and teachers. So easy and cute!

Used the Martha Stewart web punch for the spider web border. Used a Papertrey Ink mat stack die and the Tiny Treats Halloween stamps. The treat bags came from Michael's and the mini clothespins came from Walmart. (They have those in the office supply aisle with the paper clips! Weird, right?)

Have a spooky week!



Papertrey October Blog Hop Challenge

Welcome to this month's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop! The challenge this month was a little challenging (pun intended!) for me. I don't own any stamps or other supplies that relate to Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. I was stumped. I even thought about doing a card for Winter Solstice!

After I smacked myself on the head, I realized I was overthinking it. I think the one thing most religions have in common is a desire to promote peace.

So...I focused on Peace for this challenge. It is general enough to send to anyone, regardless of their religion.

The color combination of aqua mist and pure poppy is just divine and, I think, very peaceful. If you'll remember, this color combination was really hot last holiday season. It continues to be one of my favorites! This card and matching jar would be a great gift for anyone on your list.

Here's the card by itself. Here's a step-by-step for the card:
  1. Stamp the snowflakes from Snowfall Additions in Versamark for the background. I love how subtle and beautiful this turned out. Let dry completely.
  2. Die cut the Mat Stack 1 in Pure Poppy.
  3. Impress the Mat Stack 1with the Polka Dots Impression Plate to give it more dimension.
  4. Punch a 2" scalloped circle out of Aqua Mist cardstock.
  5. Ink up the edges of the scallop circle a bit with aqua mist ink.  This makes it stand out from the background.
  6. Punch a 1.75" circle from Vintage  Cream cardstock.
  7. Stamp the doves from the 2008 Holiday Tags stamp set in Pure Poppy ink.
  8. Adhere the mat stack, the scallop circle, and the dove circle together - use pop dots on the doves.
  9. Stamp PEACE from the 2008 Holiday Tags stamp set in Pure Poppy ink on the bottom right.

I love using jars for holiday treats. You can fill these jars with cookies, Chex mix, roasted nuts, M&M's, Kisses, brownies, etc. I just adhered the Aqua Mist ribbon on with glue dots and popped on another dove circle onto the front of the jar. Simple. Beautiful.

These jars are from IKEA and I am in love with them. They're inexpensive, versatile, and fun. They also have a good seal on them so your treats will stay fresh.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave comments or questions. Have a great Blog Hop!




Michelle Wooderson is the queen of notepads. All hail to the queen :) They are fun to do, easy, and are inexpensive gifts! I tried my hand at them recently and here's the result:

It turned out great! I used Amy Butler paper from K&Co, PTI stamps, a felt flower from Creative Imaginations, and PTI ribbon. TIP: double sided patterned paper works best for this project.

Then I took it up a notch...and used fabric instead of paper!! Fabric will be so much more durable than paper. Just imagine that notepad above being in your purse for a while and what it would look like. Fabric makes sense, huh? Here's what I did:

Download the template Nichole Heady provided here. NOTE: this template is sized too small, so increase the widths and lengths by at least 1/4 inch on each side. How do I know that? That's the "Live and Learn" part of crafting I talked about last week.

I cut and scored my template, then sprayed it with some strong spray adhesive. I layed the fabric over it and smoothed out all the wrinkles. Move quickly before it dries! Then I used Scor-tape to fold the fabric down on the inside.

The only part I need to worry about covering up is the left side. I cut a piece of green cardstock to size and adhered it down with Scor-tape. You see where I put Scor-tape on the curved piece (which will be a pocket?) I wasn't thinking and had to take the tape off the curve. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to use it as a pocket. (Live and Learn concept again.) So... just put tape at the bottom of the pocket and adhere down.

The notepad will get adhered with Scor-Tape to the right side. Don't be stingy with the Scor-tape. You DO NOT want it to come out.

Voila! A very cute and giftable notepad. Fabric is by Kate Spain. All other supplies are Papertrey Ink (Take Note), large scallop die with Simply Chartreuse felt, ribbon. Til next time,



Cricut Imagine Projects

I'm loving my new Cricut Imagine machine! Here are a couple of recent projects:

The Best Friends cartridge comes with some really awesome graphics. This kite is one of my fav images. I added a label cut from the Storybook cartridge, stamps from Papertrey Ink (Mixed Messages), and a little twine to the kite for added dimension. I also used the polka dots impression plate (from PTI) on the yellow cardstock.

What would I change? I would cut off the printed string and add my own with little ribbon pieces.

Here's another image from the Best Friends cartridge I like. You could use this on a scrapbook layout or as I've done here - on a card. What grandparent wouldn't love to get that in the mail?

I added rhinestones to the flowers, a cloud cutout from the same cartridge, and a stamp from PTI (Daily Design Sentiments.)

What would I change? I would pop dot the cloud, add a polka dot stamped background in versamark, and maybe cut out one of the flowers individually and pop dot that. Enjoy,



Myrtle Beach Layout

My first (crafting) love is scrapbooking. I've been scrapbooking since my teens, when I put little typed captions below photos in my photo albums. I've advanced a little since then. I still love it, although I find myself doing more sewing and stamping these days. I thought I'd share a layout I recently did about a trip to Myrtle Beach.

I'm fond of bullet-style journaling. It's easy and you can pack a lot of info into a small space.

I know. I know. I'm missing from a lot of the photos. If I could just convince Calvin or Rachel to pick up the camera... It's a work-in-progress.

Funny little story about this trip. We're driving down to Myrtle Beach and we see some bikers on the way down. Then we see more. Then we see some more. We look at each other and say "No. It can't be." Then we get closer and closer to the beach and we see bikes everywhere. Yes. It's Bike Week at Myrtle Beach. We had a lot of giggles about our poor planning (and yes, it turned out fine. A little loud, but just fine.) See ya soon,



Sympathy Mini Cake

Here's another mini cake I made a while back for a friend who'd lost her loved one. It's great to add a personal touch to show someone you really care. I hope it inspires you!

If you look closely, you can tell I didn't let the cake cool all the way before I put it in the cellophane bag. It sweat! That's the thing about crafting - you live and learn :)

Supplies: Papertrey Ink Sympathy Stamp Set, Spellbinders dies, Papertrey Ink ribbon, mini cake dish & cellophane bag from Michael's.

Til next time,



Picture Frame

Hellloooo! Hope your day is shaping up to be great. Here's a project I did recently using my Cricky (Cricut).
Using SCAL software, I create two files for the photo mats. One file was the background (the grey) - I just inserted a rectangle in the middle of the 8x10 paper in SCAL, so the Cricut just cut that out. I did the same thing for the patterned paper, but just made the rectangle 3/4" larger. I cut the label and the initials out with the Cricut, too. Makes for an easy, beautiful photo frame.

These make excellent gifts! Here's another tip: Black & white photos work best when you're using a busy patterned paper as the mat. See ya,


Patterned paper: Amy Butler by K&Co.
Frame: Michael's
Girl: Rachel. She's mine :)


Amy Butler Fabric: Project 3

I'm sure you've seen those adorable change purses on Etsy? They're so cute, I could purchase every one of them. Can you tell I'm working on getting my purse addiction under control? Anyhoo...

I decided to make one for myself. And wouldn't it be cute to make one to match my purse?! I got the frame at Joann's Fabric for about $4. So off I go on the web to search out how to actually make one of these things. It's got to be simple, right? I came across an awesome blog with simple instructions.


Lisa to the rescue! You can also buy purse making supplies from her at http://www.u-handbag.com/. Incredible store. Lisa also has a new book out "The Bag Making Bible." That baby is coming home with Mama the next time I'm in Borders.

Adorable. I embroidered a "T" onto the fabric before I put it together. LOVE it.

I feel a sudden urge to go to Macy's. Check ya later,



Amy Butler Fabric: Project 2

Welcome to Day 2 of my yummy fabric projects!

I have a confession to make. I love am addicted to purses. It's a sickness, actually. If you can't find me in a department store, I'll be the one drooling over and fondling the purses. Ya'll know it's hard to find the exact right purse. The right size with the right compartments with the right length handles with the right opening. I know you know what I'm talking about! So...I made my own. This is the one and only purse I've ever made.

I love it! Even more than my Coach with the soft-as-butter baby blue leather. I love it so much I don't use it often because I'm afraid of messing it up. There! I said it!

Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? Let me know show you my best-ever, love-it-so-much-don't-use-it, yummy purse.

It's an Amy Butler pattern. Can't remember the name nor can I put my hands on it right now. But you can probably find it on her web site - http://www.amybutler.com/

Join me tomorrow for another project I used this fabric on - a change purse! Til then,



Amy Butler Fabric: Project 1

I fell in love with some Amy Butler fabric a year ago. I feel like swimming in it. Have you ever seem a piece of patterned paper or fabric you've felt like that about? I know you have! I've used this fabric for three projects. For the next three days, I'll show how I've used it.

Want to know what you can do with 2 yards of fabric? Lots! Here's project one:

  • I purchased 2 small canvases from a craft store.
  • I measured the canvases, then cut my fabric out (add 3 inches on each side to your measurements).
  • I stitched buttons onto the fabric as the flower centers to add some dimension.
  • Spray some repositionable adhesive on the canvases.
  • Lay the fabric down on the canvas. You have to do this carefully and work out any wrinkles. Pin in place.
  • Fold the fabric to the back and use your my handy dandy staple gun to secure the fabric.

I don't know if you can tell in this photo, but the blue in the fabric matches my wall color exactly! Love it when that happens. This is a really neat project for any room of your house. And it's so inexpensive, you can change your decor often.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a purse I made with the same fabric. Til then,