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!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Guest Post: Jenny from Party Pail

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve not been updating my blog frequently or sharing lots of projects with you. I really enjoy blogging, but it was becoming an obsession and was taking too much time away from my family and other responsibilities. Now, I take pictures of projects all of the time and have them stored so that one day I might be able to get back to the blog and still maintain some balance in my life.
I still get lots of requests for guest posts and advertising, though. Often, I turn people down, but I couldn’t say no to Jenny once I read her post. I love her ideas and she works with a fun party company with lots of ideas to share. You can read more from Jenny at the Party Pail site where she blogs here or shop and get ideas at the Party Pail product site. Enjoy her guest post and please stay tuned for projects as I can get to them!
Cooking Themed Birthday Party
Does your child love to cook? Do you watch the Food Network and Top Chef together? A themed birthday party may be perfect for you and them. A Cooking Birthday theme is a great group activity, and you were going to have to feed all those rug-rats anyway, so why not get them involved?
· If your home doesn’t have the space to accommodate ‘too many chefs’ in your kitchen, consider renting a catering kitchen as your birthday location. It shouldn’t cost too much, and you’ll have all the space and equipment you could possibly need.
· Make chef’s hats for each child and let them decorate as a possible activity early in the day. They’ll have a lot of fun and look the part when you get started.
· Cupcakes are both simple and fun to make, and starting them early in the day will give them an opportunity to cool before the kids dive in to decorating.
· Popsicles are another fun and familiar dessert that make a great party treat. All you need is an ice tray and your child’s favorite juice!
· Personal pizzas are a great way to let each kid participate and customize their own meal. Offer pita or whole wheat pizza dough and healthier topping options alongside or instead of the classic pepperoni and cheese.
· Salad kabobs are as much for fun as food. Each child will get some veggies, but since they’ll make their own kabobs, they’ll only take the ones they’ll actually eat.
· Crepes can be a fun and exotic dessert and activity. They’re actually pretty simple to make, lower on sugar than traditional cake, and they’re usually filled with fruit, which makes them both delicious and fairly healthy.
Author Info:

Jenny Franklin is a bit of a birthday party savant. When she’s not busy planning and preparing, you can find her here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Easy as 1-2-3

These next two teacher appreciation gifts were as easy as 1-2-3 thanks to some other great bloggers. The girls from Eighteen25 shared a free subway art printable HERE. (Note: The colors printed out much darker for me than the way they are pictured. I copied the printable into Photoshop to brighten the colors and change the size a bit.) All I had to do was grab a frame (I used an inexpensive 8x10 from Target), put it all together and wrap it up.
 she wears flowers - teachers a she wears flowers - teachers b she wears flowers - teachers c

Kristy at The Diary of Dave’s Wife made it even easier. Again, Avery picked out a soda, I printed and cut the printable, and we tied the tag on with ribbon. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
she wears flowers - Teachers 17a

And the best part is that they look so good when done. It didn’t cost a lot or take a lot of time to be thoughtful, but it makes a big difference to the person who receives it.

I’m off to make a strawberry pizza dessert for my middle school daughters’ teachers’ appreciation lunch. They didn’t want any part of taking gifts to their teachers – they are “too old for that,” according to them—so I am doing what I can get away with to let the teachers know we appreciate them.

What things are you doing for your children’s teachers this week?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Simple & Sweet Teacher Appreciation Gift w/ FREE Silhouette File & Tutorial

she wears flowers - Teachers 12

I found this adorable idea at Qbee’s Quest. Her directions are easy and clear, but I wanted to do less work. My daughter has 3 teachers in her classroom--that's 3 of everything--plus, I know I will make these again.

I’m all about keeping things quick and easy so I used this idea to make my own boxes and tags on my Silhouette. Love that the cutting work is done for me! These were super speedy to put together.

I've made a free file of the Candy Bar Box Set to share so you can quickly and easily make your own adorable teacher (or anyone else) gifts.

If you don’t have a Silhouette, don’t stress. You can get the easy-to-follow measurements and instructions from Brenda in her post HERE.

Candy Bar Box Set Silhouette File {free}

she wears flowers - Teachers 12
 Just click on the image to be taken to the download page. 
(There is no preview, but the file should download and then you can open it with your Silhouette software.)

free Silhouette file: Candy Bar Box Set
Hershey’s Bars
double-sided tapeshe wears flowers - Teachers 1


Cut everything out using the Silhouette and fold on the score lines.
she wears flowers - Teachers 4

Use double-sided tape to stick the background rectangle to the scalloped background.
she wears flowers - Teachers 2

Tape the message piece onto the background pieces
she wears flowers - Teachers 3

Center and tape the tag on the front.
she wears flowers - Teachers 5

Put double-sided tape along the edge of the cardstock (the flap), fold into a box shape and stick together.
she wears flowers - Teachers 6

Thread a 20 inch piece of ribbon through both holes.
she wears flowers - Teachers 9

Place the Hershey’s bar in between the ribbon pieces.
she wears flowers - Teachers 10

Slide the candy bar into the box.
(This is what it looks like with the ribbon wrapped around the candy bar--but tuck it into your box.)
she wears flowers - Teachers 8

Tie the ribbon into a knot at the top adjusting the length to keep the candy bar in place in the box.
she wears flowers - Teachers 11

All done!
The best part is that you can easily change the size of the box using your free Silhouette file – you aren’t just limited to Hershey’s bars!

I’ve got a few more things in the works for Teacher Appreciation Week and just might get them posted before the week is up! ;)

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thank you to all of the wonderful teachers we know!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hello Valentine’s Day!

It’s been a while…but I've been busy sewing and crafting lately. I've recently let Pinterest do the so-called research work for me and found some fun ideas for Valentine’s Day.
First, Avery’s Valentine cards this year:

she wears flowers - Heartbreaker Cards 1

One of the suggestions on the original site was to let your child color her own. Yeah, right. No way was that going to happen!  But, I knew she could cut them out. She asked me to help so I cut a few of the backs but she cut nearly all of them herself. Then, I sewed a front and back together on the sewing machine leaving an opening for the candy. My daughter had a ball stuffing Skittles into each heart. The opening wasn't quite big enough (or the paper was too stiff??) so the stitching broke on a few of them. No worries, though, we just stapled it closed and everything worked out just fine.

she wears flowers - Heartbreaker Cards Frontshe wears flowers - Heartbreaker Cards Back

Avery is absolutely in love with these cards. She kept telling me “Shhh!” so I didn’t accidently tell anyone about them. She was so excited to give them to her classmates. This idea was found via Pinterest with the original link HERE. Dana provided a printable, but I wanted to make a few changes so I made my own.
And, I'll share those, too:

she wears flowers - Heartbreaker Printable
(click on picture to print—designed for an 8.5 x 11 inch paper)

I also made loving peg families for Avery’s teachers at school. And one for myself, of course.
This is my little family:

she wears flowers - love my peg family 1

I got this idea HERE via Pinterest and knew I had to make these with a variety of pegs to represent different families. I found the best Etsy store to buy the dolls from—Clickety Clack. The pictures showing the different sizes were really helpful so I could get just what I want. I made big kids, little kids, toddlers and, of course, a bunch of mamas and papas for those families.

The original site didn't give many instructions – probably because it is self-explanatory once you see the picture. She did provide some good ideas about the peg dolls. I used larger dolls for the mama and papa so I didn't need to alter the girl dolls. I did cut the “foot” part off of one girl doll to make her smaller  because I didn't want to use the "tiny" size. You will have to adjust to make it work for your family.
 Here’s a list of the supplies I used:

Peg dolls – Clickety Clack
Small hearts – JoAnn’s
Bases - Hobby Lobby
Wood glue
Hot glue (for the heart)
Spray paint -  Heirloom White
Red paint – Napa
Cardstock (I totally forgot this part, but I wanted to put it on the bottom to make things look more finished.)

This project is speedy—for most people. I actually painted and glued twice :( After I glued and painted them the first time, I loaded them on a cardboard tray to bring into the house to dry since it is so cold in the garage.  I dropped them all and most of the peg dolls broke off of the bases. With a lot of sanding and patience, I got everything back in top shape.

This would make an adorable gift for all kinds of occasions.
Don’t get stuck on Valentine’s Day when you have love and hearts around!

What did you do for Valentine’s Day this year? I hope it’s been fun!

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