instagram gift tags

December 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

instagram gift tag

So my crazy holiday schedule this year led to a last-minute plan for crafty Christmas gift tags, which turned out to be awesome! I love Instagram and have so many great pics of my family. I chose a couple of favorites and took a few more holiday fun ones of my girls. Then I copied the photos into a Word document and printed them out on cardstock. I’m so happy with the results, such a cool touch to my Christmas packages. It’s like an extra little gift on the gift – yay!instagram tags

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!

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.

letting it happen

January 3, 2013 § 3 Comments

all you need

It’s funny how things work out sometimes – so different from how you planned, yet sometimes so much better. The annual Christmas card is always such a big deal to me. Sending them out and receiving them from family and friends is one of my highlights of the season. I love to really think about our card. I’m a planner, and I look through old photos or set-up little photo shoots to get the perfect image for the card each year. This time around, I found a really cool card on Tiny Prints with a Beatles quote (one of my faves) and knew I wanted to use it. We needed to get one great shot of the girls set to the side so that the wording would show. So we headed down to Volunteer Park in Seattle where there’s an awesome brick wall, the perfect place for my perfect Christmas card photo. But life – and our little sister – had something different planned.

The posed shots from that day were just OK, not many real smiles and a little stiff, but when Sophie decided to bust out her rock star moves (so Sophie), it cracked us up and ended up being more than perfect – it’s one of my favorite pictures ever of my girls! And all the other candid photos from that day were wonderful, too. Sometimes it’s those unplanned moments – the pictures between the pictures – that really captures life. Sometimes just letting it happen lets the real us shine through.

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!

happy feet

August 6, 2012 § 3 Comments

We’ve just returned from a quick getaway with a couple of families to Sunriver, Oregon. It’s a wonderful vacation spot, and I loved seeing my children happy and carefree, having fun with their friends. They’ve spent the past few days swimming, biking and generally just running around together. I kept looking for a break in the action – a good time to tear them away from their play and sit them down together for a group photo. But it can be tricky to get seven crazy children to sit still for a perfect shot. So instead I decided to steal a quick moment, scoot them together on the front porch of the rental house where we’d gathered, point the camera down to their feet and click.

My college friend Jean has been taking these kind of feet pictures ever since I’ve known her. She says it was something she and her friends just started doing in high school, and she never stopped. I’ve been out and about many times with Jean over the years and had fun posing with our group, toes together, for one of her shots. I’d never thought much about it, but now it makes perfect sense to me.

I’m sure that Jean’s collection of feet pictures over the last more than 20 years does the same for her as anyone else’s favorite photos does for them: reminds her of the important moments in her life – events both big and small shared with the people she loves. I realize that it’s not the actual images in the picture that always matters as much as the time taken to get the shot, the brief pause in the action to take note of the occasion; that photo, like a bookmark in your life, captures the moment and helps to preserve it. Having pictures is nice, but the memories are so much more valuable.

From Jean and her fun feet pics, I’m reminded to take notice of all of life’s precious moments (even if I don’t get the perfect shot) and to enjoy and remember life as it comes. I could take a hundred photos of my girls and their friends with their sweet smiling faces – and believe me, I have – but this picture of their happy feet is really all I need to remind me of our summer trip to Sunriver, of these beautiful children and of the memories we’ve made together.

summer notebooks

June 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Like I’m not crazy busy with a million little things already: school finally wrapping up, my Sophie’s birthday luau on Sunday, dance recitals, teachers’ gifts, etc – but for some reason, once I got this latest craft idea into my head, I couldn’t let it go. So for the last couple of nights, I’ve stayed up late putting together Summer 2012 notebooks for all the kiddos in my life. I found the blank books at Ben Franklin and “Modge Podged” on some great summer-colored papers. I used the Cubicle 12×12 Take Note paper from Studio Calico, stamped with my title, for the covers. They were so simple and, once I got going, I was able to put them together quickly assembly line-style. Now they look perfect, wrapped up in baker’s twine and ready to be given away.

I always loved blank books and journals when I was a little girl and, even today, a new notebook gets me giddy – I always keep a couple in my purse for when inspiration strikes. I am happy knowing that the little ones in our life (my girls and all their friends) will have their own special books to document this summer. Life moves fast, and I don’t want them to forget a moment.

luau invitation

June 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been busy around here finishing up the invites for our next birthday party: a luau for Sophie’s 8th. The invitations are my favorite part of putting together a party, and this invite idea began with me trying to make mini leis using baker’s twine and some paper flowers. They were pretty, but I couldn’t quite pull the look together so I ended up stringing the flowers across the top with the twine and secured a couple more with jeweled brads at the bottom. Beautiful coordinating papers I found from the Ambrosia line by Bo Bunny tied in perfectly with the party’s Hawaiian colors.

As usual for her parties, Sophie had a definite opinion on the invitation’s design and especially the wording. After several tries, together we came up with our sweet little poem, and now she can’t stop reciting it. We are getting excited for our little sister’s big day. I’m having fun planning for the delicious food, perfect party favors and even a hula lesson. And as for the decorations, I’ve got a great idea for a new banner and a some cool arrangements with paper flowers and lanterns that I’ve seen on Pinterest – I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. The anticipation is so much fun!

teacher gifts

May 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we are so lucky that both our girls have wonderful teachers! I can’t believe how old the girls are getting. I remember when they were little and I had them to myself; I knew all the stories and tidbits that made up their day. Now it’s their teachers who get them all day, who witness the stories and are present for the tidbits. For all that precious time they spend with my girls and for all the important things they do for our family, I wanted to thank them.

It’s funny sometimes how an idea comes together. I have been thinking about making paper strawberries since before Easter when my friend Stephanie sent us some paper carrots she had made, filled with candy. I thought it would be so cute to package a few paper berries up with one of the stoneware farmer’s market baskets that I love at Anthropologie. Several times I tried to cut and fold paper to get a strawberry shape, but just couldn’t get it right. Then a couple of weeks later when I was in Florida, I made a trip to Violettes Scrapbook Store, a great shop I never miss when I go home for a visit. As I was checking out with some new stamps and Copics, I happened to glance down next to the register and spotted a little scrapbook paper basket filled with paper strawberries. I was a little (A LOT) excited and, with the help of the crafty lady behind the counter, made a quick job of taking one of the strawberries apart to make a template. My gift idea was realized: I made strawberries for each basket and added a little sign with wording I’d found on Pinterest. Voila, a sweet way to tell the teachers how much they are appreciated for everything they do.

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