Monday, July 2, 2018

Hi friends -- it's been so long! I've been doing so many different things and it just isn't possible to "do it all" as you all know. Recently, I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone - SO far out of my comfort zone! 

I've been invited multiple times to teach a class for Skillshare, but it was too much for me until I finally decided to just go for it. I started with a super simple sewing project so I could learn to publish a class without too much distraction. I'd love for you to check it out at

There are so many classes available on Once you join, you will have access to any and all of the classes. You can join Skillshare using my referral link and get 2 months free. Use the link to check out my class and all of the other classes available!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

All the Pretty Ladies…

Mini Pinata 4

And handsome mariachi guys, too!
Mini Pinata 9

My family had a ball making these mini piñatas last night for our Family Home Evening activity. The instructions can be found here (dancing girls) and here (band). I bought tissue paper at Target in the party goods section. There was a pack with lots of colors, including black and I had to buy a pack with several pinks as well. There’s enough tissue in the one multicolor pack to make a bazillion mini piñatas!
Mini Pinata 10

The idea and tutorial came from the amazing blog Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! These tutorials were outstanding! We only made one minor change - we drew on the eyelashes and lips with fine point Sharpies because they were too difficult and tiny for us to cut from tissue paper.
Mini Pinata 12

This project took longer than I had planned, naturally, but was well worth the effort. We originally decided to each choose a friend to whom we wanted to give our piñatas, but, alas, the idea of giving these away was too much! That’s okay – everyone loudly insisted we make a new one every year. I think we will be better prepared to part with our creations next time around.
Mini Pinata 1

Don’t these make you feel festive?
What fun activities do you have planned for the holiday? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Last Minute Valentine's Day Craft

I volunteered to provide a craft for my daughter’s second grade Valentine’s party tomorrow. I’ve known about it since October. I even chose the craft project during the Christmas holidays (found on Pinterest, of course).

source: How About Orange 

I wanted to send it into the classroom early so the teacher had time to familiarize herself with the project. Somehow, it is the day before and I finished assembling everything this morning. Time slips away so quickly sometimes!

The good news is that this is really easy to put together – even on a large scale and even for second-graders to do on their own. I was asked to send in a craft that would be quick and simple for the children to do themselves.

How About Orange had great directions and beautiful pictures, but I’ve added directions for efficiently  assembling the materials and means for a large group of people to make this - such as 25 second-graders.

Ready to get these together for a class project? Let’s get started! Plan a couple of hours from start to finish for prepping the craft for someone else to actually complete. (Their part goes much faster than yours!)

Valentine's heart craft 9

construction paper
needle with large eye
glue stick
washi tape or regular masking tape
novelty toy to use as a weight (I used erasers shaped like rings—Target, party section.)

Instructions for setting up project:
Cut thread in 2-3 foot lengths depending on how long you want this to be. I used 5 hearts per hanging craft.

Fold construction paper in half so it is 9 inches wide and 6 inches tall. With the open edges at the top and the fold at the bottom of the paper cutter, cut strips that are 1 1/2 inches wide. You will get 6 strips per sheet of construction paper.

Layer 5 strips together with each one sandwiched within the next one.

Thread needle and push it through all five strips at the same time.
Valentine's heart craft 1

On the bottom (make sure points of hearts are facing down), tie on an item which will weight down the hanger a little.
Valentine's heart craft 2

On top end, make a slip knot and then fold washi tape over the knot and ends so they are tucked into the tape. 
Valentine's heart craft 11

Note for putting these together to send to school:
I slid the 5 strips  to the top of the thread, folded them in half, then wrapped the thread around the strips so the toy was on top just to keep it all together. I put all of them in a ziplock bag, so the teacher will be able to pass them out easily without having to untangle them.

Now the children will be able to quickly make the hearts and easily have a finished craft.

Instructions for assembly of project:
Carefully roll one half of the strip of paper around a pencil. You should roll from the edge towards the center fold. I rolled mine a little more than halfway to the fold. Repeat for the other side of the heart.
Valentine's heart craft 12

Putting your fingers in the roll to hold it intact, put glue along the edge of the strip right where the two halves will meet in the middle.
Valentine's heart craft 13

With the thread running through the strips of paper already, all you have to do is slide the other strips out of the way and place the thread into the glue so it is sandwiched between the two rolls when glued together.
Valentine's heart craft 15

Hold together for a few seconds while the glue dries. (Don’t worry; gluestick dries quickly.)
Valentine's heart craft 14

You will end up with something like this one. You can insert the pencil into the rolls to tighten the “curls” up a bit if you would like to do so.
Valentine's heart craft 4

Repeat for the remaining strips. Be sure to space the hearts out along the entire thread.
Valentine's heart craft 6

Hang using the slip knot at the top or use tape/magnets over the washi tape. The eraser at the bottom will hold it down so it hangs straight. I had the perfect little wall in my entry to hang this.

Don’t you love it?
Valentine's heart craft 3

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inspired by Picasso: Frankenstein

Picasso Style Frankenstein2525

Have you seen this adorable project all over Pinterest in the last several weeks? Me, too! It’s found on Squarehead Teachers and the descriptions says that the author saw this and took a picture of it. I love it!Halloween Art Project: Picasso's Frankenstein Have a Picasso print and a pic of Frankenstein... See what they come up with from there...

I volunteer in my daughter’s classroom with the art program. I go into her class and talk about an artist and do a project with the class with that artist as the inspiration. When I saw this, I knew I had found my project! Unfortunately, there are no instructions. You can look at it and figure it out, but I thought I would give everyone a tutorial to make it easy to collect the materials and follow instructions.


construction paper (9 inches x 12 inches) - lime green, green, black, white, purple
black, fine point Sharpie marker
glue stick

Cut construction paper as follows: Picasso Style Frankenstein99

Lime green:
cut in half (6 x 9 inches) and cut in half again and once again (3 x 4.5 inches)

Cut in half (6 x 9)

cut in half (4.5 x 12 inches)
hair: cut a long strip - about 1 inch wide
eyebrows & bolts: cut a skinny strip (1/2 inch x 12 inches) – cut in half again
eyes & mouth: remainder section

teeth & eyes: cut into quarters (4.5 x 6 inches) - one needed

(Do not cut purple paper.)

1. Draw pencil lines to divide a half sheet of lime green paper. The vertical line is about 1 1/2 inches in and the horizontal lines divide the paper into three roughly equal sections. I adapted the excellent directions about drawing a cubist portrait from Art Projects for Kids to figure out how to do the profile. (I also did this with First Graders last year and they did a great job!)
Picasso Style Frankenstein11

2. Draw the forehead in the top section, the nose in the middle section and the lips, chin and jaw line in the bottom section. (Note: You don’t need to draw in the lips if you are making a large, open, mouth. I showed both ways in the instructions for making the mouth. You will want the chin and jaw line, though.) Cut along the profile.
3. Stack the lime green profile on top of a half sheet of green construction paper. Line up 3 straight edges. Cut off the bottom corner (opposite of the chin) through both papers at the same time to make outer lines of the face. (Mine is pretty round, but you may want to cut it more sharply to make it more block-ish.)
Picasso Style Frankenstein44   Picasso Style Frankenstein55   Picasso Style Frankenstein66 
4. Center the small piece (3 x 4.5 inches) of lime green on bottom center of vertically-positioned purple paper. Use glue stick to glue in place.
Picasso Style Frankenstein77
5. Run glue stick along the profile line (side with the pencil marks) of the lime green paper, flip over and overlap on the green paper along the vertical edge that does not have the corner cut off, lining up the top and bottom edges and making sure it fits from left to right on the purple background paper. Then, glue all over the back of both faces and glue to the purple background page.
Picasso Style Frankenstein88
6. Use the appropriate paper sections to make the hair, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, teeth, neck and bolts.

eyebrows and bolts:
Cut both skinny black strips of paper in half again. To make eyebrows, cut small triangles out of the bottom edge of 2 strips.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1010

To make bolts, cut the last 2 strips into half again. Glue one strip to another strip so that it is perpendicular. Then trim the edges until the bolts are the size you would like. Glue on the eyebrows and the bolts.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1313   Picasso Style Frankenstein1414   Picasso Style Frankenstein1515

Cut the 1 inch strip of paper along the bottom the same way you did the eyebrows. Glue to the top of the face lining up one edge with the edge of the paper and let the other edge hang off. Flip over to trim the edge that is hanging.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1111   Picasso Style Frankenstein1212

The trick to making the eyes is to break it down to simple steps and think about how a real eye looks. (Alternatively, you can just do a large, white circle with a small, black circle inside it.) Because this is Picasso-style, you will make one front view eye and one profile eye.

Use the white paper to draw a front view eye. Don’t worry if it takes several tries because you will flip it over to glue it on so your lines won’t show anyhow.
To make the profile view eye, you will need to make it appear as if it looking the wrong way since it will also be flipped over. To make this eye, start with the triangle shape – or alligator mouth, or “greater than” symbol – then, make the circular shape noting that it is nearly flat on the inside and it is concave – or c-shaped – on the outside. Be sure to make the eyes big enough. (You may notice note that mine were not and Frankenstein looked sad. So I did it again which is what shows in the final picture.)

Cut out the shapes you just drew except cut out the profile view eye like a triangle with one edge curved in the shape you drew for the inside of the eyeball. You do not need to cut around the eyeball part.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1616

Flip the eyes over and place on a scrap of black paper. Trace around the center top and bottom edges (or the whole thing – it doesn't matter) of the front view eye. (Show in red.) Use those lines as a guide to draw the right-sized eyeball on black.
Place the profile eye on the black paper so you have enough space to use it as a guide to draw the eyeball the right size. (Red arrows pointing to the lines – don’t forget to trace the side which is along the triangular piece.) Cut out the black sections of the eyes.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1717

Glue the black eyeball on the white front view eye and glue the whole thing to the green paper. Glue the white profile view eye to the lime green paper. Glue the black eyeball in place along the edge of the white paper.

Use a Sharpie to trace the edges of the profile view (triangular section only) and the front view eyes.
Picasso Style Frankenstein2626

The mouth can be made a couple of ways. If you cut out the lips, you can make the mouth by using the Sharpie to show profile lips and front view lips something like this:
Picasso Style Frankenstein1818

To make the mouth more Frankenstein-like, you can use the black paper to make a rectangle the approximate size of the mouth. Then round off the corners to make a mouth shape. I tried to make mine have both a profile shape and a front facing shaping. (Not sure if that really worked – ha!) Glue the mouth onto the face.
Picasso Style Frankenstein1919   Picasso Style Frankenstein2020

Cut a a long rectangle from the edge of the white paper. Then snip it into smaller rectangles for the teeth. Glue teeth in place in the mouth.
Picasso Style Frankenstein2121   Picasso Style Frankenstein2222

Use a Sharpie to add features such as stitch marks (pictured in original source project above) if desired.

There you go – Frankenstein in Picasso's cubist style!
Picasso Style Frankenstein2424

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It’s December Already!?!

Wow – it’s really time to think about Christmas! Yikes! I’m not feeling on top of things this year. Luckily for me, other people are on top of things!
Just Believe
Have you heard of the site Minted yet? This is a site whose mission is to “connect the world’s best design geniuses with a community of design-savvy customers…” What a great idea! And, let me tell you, they have definitely found amazing designers and products.

I am kind of a sucker for pretty papers and artwork, but this site really blew me away. I was mentally doing quite a bit of shopping while I looked through the site. I went to “Art Prints” first because I have been trying to hang pictures around here. There were so many things I loved, but the best part is that you can get prints in a variety of sizes and prices. So impressed!
Newspaper Bouquet
Of course, seeing as how I haven’t done a single thing about Christmas cards yet, I had to check out the Christmas cards. And, get this…you can upload your own picture and see how it looks in all of the cards at once. My favorite part of the whole site! There are so many amazing and gorgeous choices. Here are a few I love (and I could pick a whole lot more – there are hundreds of choices!) :

QuiltedClassic Stripes and Swashes
Merry Typography
It is going to be really hard to choose this year. I’ve never even thought about a postcard-style Christmas card, but I am really loving that option. I might have narrowed it down to these designs:
Pom Pom FunPostmarked
Santa Stop

So get to Minted and check it out! They have a blog, too, which is amazing, of course. I was really taken with the name of it – Julep – as well as the blog itself. Again, beautiful artwork and designs along with great DIY ideas and freebies. I liked this idea for illustrated portrait place cards:

Minted and Julep are well worth the time to sit and look a while!

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