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,



Mini Pound Cakes

This is a great idea for dressing up treats of any sort - cakes, a box of cookies or muffins, a cupcake box, and even the dreaded fruitcake for the holidays. I've been doing this for a couple of years and they make terrific gifts - for birthdays, get well wishes, fundraisers, or just for the heck of it.

Michael's sell these miniature loaf dishes for $1. I know, right? $1! They usually carry them in seasonal colors, so at Christmas you'll find white, red, green and for fall you'll find purple, green, and orange. They also have fancier ones for $4-5. Very pretty. Grab some of their large cellophane bags while you're there so you can just slip the entire dish into the bag.

But for my purpose, the inexpensive ones were just fine. I was asked to make a cake for a fundraiser cake auction and immediately knew what to do. Now, don't you think these little cakes will bring more $$ than a pound cake wrapped in cellophane?

One cake mix will make 3 of these mini loaves. I used a pound cake mix & added a lemon topping (a mix from Williams & Sonoma) to them. I let them cool completely. If you don't, your cellophane bag will fog up and your cake will get wet on top. I also take a paper towel and wipe off the rims of the dishes to remove any residual Pam spray.

I added a patterned paper band around the middle and a label for the front using Papertrey Ink stamps. Stinkin' cute, right? And oh so easy. Enjoy,



Birthday Bag for Guys

Erin Lincoln. That rascally girl! She's always inspiring, endlessly creative, and so witty. It's a joy to read her blog and to have learned from her for years.

She introduced me to Papertrey Ink stamps a couple of years ago. I'm grateful! My husband not so much :)

For this project for the Papertrey Ink Bloghop, I chose to pay homage to Erin. I've always had a hard time with masculine cards and projects. She's taught me how to do a masculine project any guy would love to have. Hats off to ya, girl!

All products used are Papertrey Ink. That woodgrain impression plate is one of my fav products of all time. It's a must-have. Thanks for visiting my blog. See you again soon,



Easy Gift Bags

One of my favorite easy crafts is making cute gift bags out of inexpensive kraft bags. You can get a pack of 12 kraft bags at Michael's for around $5. For those of you who are math-challenged like me, that's $.42 each! (yes, I used a calculator.)

I taught a little workshop last night on gift bags and here are some of the projects we did:

Just punch circles from that stack of patterned paper you have (I know you do!), attach a quote sticker and you're done.

Patterned paper and stamps (from Papertrey Ink) make this bag completely giftable for any occasion.

This goes to show you that a kraft bag CAN be elegant. I die cut a wool felt (I LOVE that stuff) mat and stamped a simple sentiment and a couple flourishes. Don't forget that felt adds such warmth to any project - even paper projects. My favorite thing about this project? I can use it for a guy or gal.

Here, I cut a piece of solid red fabric and frayed each side for a rustic feel for the mat. Using my Cricut Imagine machine, I print and cut those holly leaves. Then I used a small circle punch to punch a couple of pink berries. Added some clear glitter for some pizazz and an old clothespin to complete the homespun look of this bag.

Creatively yours,



Teacher Gifts

I wanted to show you some teacher gifts I made for Rachel's teachers last school year as a thank you. (Yes! I'm just getting around to posting them!) I personally feel very strongly about showing teachers my appreciation for all their hard work educating my daughter. Let's face it. They don't get paid a lot for educating the future generations of this country.

I get (errr...steal) my best ideas from other people. I was at a dinner party and a friend mentioned she was working on teacher gifts. I asked her what she was doing and she said embroidering hand towels. I had been thinking about what to do and that idea was perfect and inexpensive. I told her I was stealing her idea and I ran with it! (Thanks Susie VanJ. for the great idea.) I'm passing the idea on to you now, so I'm paying it forward :)

I bought nice hand towels and embroidered them with my Babylock Ellisimo machine. Love that machine! I made some nice gift tags to personalize the gift even further. Took about 20 minutes per towel for the embroidering and making the tag. Not bad for a handmade gift. I also washed them all after embroidering to remove that "store scent" and to give them a nice, freshly laundered smell.

Here's a closeup of the tag. I used a 1.75" circle punch, a 2" scallop punch, Papertrey Ink stamps, ribbon and cardstock. Seriously, those stamps make it so easy to create professional looking projects quickly.

Almost every one of those teachers has told me how much they are enjoying those towels in their guest baths. Ahhhh...that makes it all worth it.  Enjoy,



Happy Birthday Cutie Patootie Card

Here's a birthday card I created recently. Quick and easy!

All stamps, ribbon, cardstock, and buttons are from Papertrey Ink. If you don't know this stamp company, get your fingers fast-typin' on over to http://www.papertreyink.com/ and check out their AWESOME stamps. Prepare your wallet, though. There are so many beautiful stamps, you'll have trouble sticking to your budget!

See ya,

Organizationally Challenged

I admit it. I'm organizationally challenged. I used to be the queen of organizing. Somewhere between getting married, having a kid, starting a business, selling a business, and starting a farm, I lost my ability to keep things organized. (Is it any wonder?!)

Well, I decided (after seeing the piles of papers around my kitchen) I needed a change. I was being overrun with stuff and it was stifling my creativity. So a couple of weeks ago, I went on an organizing search. I saw a segment on GMA about organizing your family and I saw a tip posted by Big Picture Scrapbooking. I combined the two to create my own little organization system.

Ta-dah! My own little slice of heaven :)

A place to keep up with everything that's going on with my family. Who's doing what when! I color coded everything. Farm events are green, Rachel's stuff is pink, Family stuff is blue, my stuff is purple, Calvin's events are orange. EVERYONE can now see what's coming up and who's going where. I got the calendar/cork board and white board markers at OfficeMax (20% off coupon was used!)

The biggest challenge I had was all the PAPER we get in the mail. I didn't have a place to put stuff so it ended up in piles (and piles) in my kitchen, on the computer desk, just everywhere. So here's what I did:
I created six files and got these wall pockets to go right under our family calendar. The files I created were:
  • Shred: If I don't have time to shred after opening all our mail, I stick it in this folder to do later.
  • File: All the papers I need to file away go into here to be filed later.
  • Bills: All of our bills go into this file. I look in this weekly to make sure nothing gets paid past due.
  • Traci: If anything needs my attention, like a paper from school that needs signing, Rachel sticks it in here.
  • Calvin: I'll stick things in here that needs Calvin's attention.
  • To Do: This file is for things that need doing THIS WEEK.
Now, when I open the mail, it goes into one of these files or the paper recyling bin! Ahhh...I can't tell you how much this system has helped us. I hope it can help you, too.

(I got the wall pockets, files, and file tabs at OfficeMax. Same 20% off coupon was used!)

Creatively yours,