valentine spinners

February 11, 2013 § 1 Comment

valentine spinner

I get my inspiration from lots of different sources: friends, magazines, craft stores, Pinterest and, yes definitely, my children. Last year, we had a blast making our awesome owl valentines to exchange with friends and at school, but this year I was looking for a new project. I asked Sophie and – out of the blue – she said, “I want to make game spinners.” Where did that come from?

It was the spark I needed to get my creative juices flowing. I picked up a pack of 6×6 chipboard squares and some valentine scrapbook papers. We cut the arrows out of chipboard, covered them with Washi tape, and used a felt sticker heart for the tips. My girlie had fun assembling them and especially stamping on the cute messages. We taped a pixie stick to the back along with our to/from because according to Soph: “the kids really care most about the candy.” That may be true, but I like to think that the smiles on their faces might be just a little bit bigger when they see these super cool valentines. That makes me happy!

valentine treat bags

February 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

valentine treat bags

Sophie and I have had fun today assembling these sweet little Valentine’s Day treat bags for her friends. Inspired by a gift from my friend Stephanie and several Pinterest pics, I’ve been incorporating wax paper treat bags into my recent craft projects. There are so many of these bags on the market right now. I got mine at my local Paper Source store, and you can find a ton of really pretty ones on The Sugar Diva’s website. For Bella’s birthday craft party and for this project, I sewed the bags shut as an added touch. Some may think I’m crazy, but I think going the extra mile makes all the difference. Love is in the details!

valentine tags

January 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

valentine tags

As soon as the Valentine’s Day crafting supplies make their appearance in the stores, I can feel my excitement level rise. I love Valentine’s Day, probably not shocking considering this is a holiday where crafting takes center stage. This week I was so anxious to break into my valentine supplies that I didn’t even wait to clean up the craft room from Bella’s birthday party – I just set up camp on the floor and started in.

I have a big box of shipping tags that I got at an office supply store (I like incorporating industrial elements into my projects) and decided to use them to make pretty Valentine tags using some of my stash of supplies: a mat stack of papers from Crate Paper, felt hearts, some awesome washi tape, cupcake liners, ribbons and a repurposed used book. I’m not even sure who I’m making these tags for, but I smile thinking of how lovely they’ll look tied to a gift for someone special in my world. Cheers to the beginning of the Valentine’s Day crafting season!

If you need some Valentine’s Day project inspiration, be sure to check out a couple of my favorites from last year: crafty owls and valentine bookmarks.

a crafting party

January 19, 2013 § 8 Comments

scenes from a craft party

After a week’s delay for my Bella to get over being sick, she was finally able to have her super-fun crafting sleepover party with a few friends. Bella loves to craft almost as much as I do (and that’s saying something), and so planning this party together was a lot of fun. She chose the cool color combo – aqua and lime green – something I wouldn’t have thought of, and I loved it! We worked together on the decorations; Bella was so proud of her washi tape flags for the cupcakes. I love the sleeping masks I made for the girls to decorate by sewing on buttons and felt embellishments. And my hubby got a laugh watching me sew (yes, sew) the wax paper favor bags closed!

We made button necklaces from an idea I found on Pinterest, and Bella came up with her own game: a duct tape version of charades. During the night, I printed out some cute pictures of the girls that I took on Instagram, and they were able to add them to their SMASH Books (a cool new scrapbooking line). But the best part was how proud and excited Bella was to share these fun ideas and projects with her friends. Here are some scenes from our craft night – with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to get your crafting skills ready.

vanilla sugar

December 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

vanilla sugar jars

I came across the idea of homemade flavored sugars in the May issue of Country Living and saved it for the holidays. These recipes are so simple to make and taste great in tea or coffee. Start with 2 cups granulated sugar. For vanilla sugar, split 1 vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds from the bean into the sugar; then bury the bean in the sugar. For cinnamon sugar, add 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon and 2 cinnamon sticks. I am loving the little chalkboard spice jars at Anthropologie, and this delicious vanilla sugar was the perfect thing to put inside as a holiday gift. Merry Christmas!

washi tags

December 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

washi tags

I love that my craft room looks like Santa’s workshop right now with all the fun holiday wrapping supplies I’ve amassed being put to good use. My friend Stacy had a Christmas tag making party last week (something she’s done for the past couple of years), and we discovered that all the cool Washi tape we’d been collecting makes for AWESOME holiday tags. I love homemade tags, and these are so simple and cute. I can’t wait to see how great they look on all my “brown paper packages tied up with string – these are a few of my favorite things.” (Sorry, but I can’t possibly wrap presents or even think about wrapping without singing the Sound of Music.) The holidays just make me happy!

chevron bulletin board

November 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

Sophie had the day off today to mark Veteran’s Day. We went to lunch with my friend Stacy and her girls, and then we spent a little time getting lost in Ben Franklin Crafts – fun! I wanted to make it Sophie’s day – our special time together – so this afternoon, we made a new bulletin board from her room with some pretty aqua chevron fabric I picked up. I am in love with chevron stripes and was excited to add some to Soph’s room. It is easy to make a custom bulletin board of any size using fabric, a staple gun and an art canvas. We took a huge canvas we already had, covered it with the fabric, wrapping it tightly as we stapled it along the back side. For this board, I wanted a clean and simple look so I trimmed it out using decorative silver nails along the edges. Sophie is so happy with her new board and is already happily pinning up her treasures.

There are so many easy-to-make and lovely bulletin board ideas online. I’ve added a few to my Pinterest page in case anyone out there needs some inspiration. Craft on!

welcoming summer

May 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

With the long weekend, it officially feels like summer around here. Ever since our Halloween banner project, my friend Stacy and I have been in production mode making banners for most of the holidays. And just when I was beginning to get tired of repeating the same design, my favorite craft store Ben Franklin got in fresh supplies. In addition to their other banner-making embellishments, Paper Accents is now selling extra-large chipboard pennants and, as is usually the case at my Ben Franklin, one of the employees had made a sample inspiring me to try my own. I combined some pretty blue and yellow papers and buttons from My Mind’s Eye and made flags to string across the top from my collection of Washi tape. I love the results: a cool new banner for the front door to welcome guests – and summer – to our house.

 

glassybaby

May 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

I love glass – all types: mercury, milk, clear – and have it displayed throughout my home. Now I’ve discovered glassybaby, and their story has inspired me to expand my collection. In 1998, Lee Rhodes was battling cancer when she designed the first glassybaby. Lighting and displaying these colorful, resilient little works of art around her home brought Rhodes strength. Each one is unique and handmade by four glassblowers; the color choices are vast and can be soothing or vibrant. The company’s studio is located in the Seattle neighborhood of Madrona and, besides three Seattle-area locations, there is a store in New York’s West Village. From her difficult battle with cancer, Lee Rhodes found a light to help her through and has shared it with the world. Since 2003, glassybaby has donated more than $900,000 to charities. I love thinking about how something so simple can affect so many. It makes me happy to add a little bit of glassybaby to my world.

knowing where you come from

May 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve always loved Mother’s Day. It’s fun to spend time thinking about the special people in our lives and important to make sure they know how much we appreciate them. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law and to be the mother of two lovely daughters. My girls get so excited about the homemade gifts they make for me, and I can vividly remember my own creations for my mom and the happiness I felt making and giving them. And even though they are no longer alive, on Mother’s Day I love to think about my grandmothers and how important they were to me.

I don’t think I realized when I was little how unusual my family was. I just knew that my grandparents were close, but it was many years before I truly understood that the bond had been formed a lifetime before I was born. All four of my grandparents grew up in the same small town of Speedway, Indiana. In fact, my grandmothers Marion and Marcy had been friends since the beginning of grade school. I have seen a picture of my Memo and Grammy side by side at their Kindergarten graduation, and a picture with three of my four grandparents graduating from middle school hangs in my house. I also have a photo of my two grandmothers sitting together, both pregnant at the time with my mom and my dad. I think about how amazing it must have been to have a friend growing up – sharing so many firsts in life together – and then see your children grow up and marry each other. How beautiful would it be to share grandchildren with your best friend? They both loved me, but they loved each other too, which was something intangible I felt from the time I was little.

So happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy the special treatment, pamper those you love and remember the details of your own unique family and how important it is to know where you come from.

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