Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elf on a Shelf Ideas

Last year, we started a new tradition with Elf on a Shelf. The kids got the book as a gift, and it was a hit...
And when I saw this post on Pinterest, I knew I had to pass this link along.  101 ideas for the ELF!
This Flickr Photostream has lots of cute ideas to share.
And a couple I found here.
I saw this blog post on creative ideas for placing your Elf on a Shelf, and wanted to share them today, too.  How CUTE!!
Even more adorable idea at Parenting Magazine here.
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Calendars

(*Photo taken from Katherine Marie Photography)

Every year at our house, we do some sort of Advent Calendar.  Sometimes, we do even more than one.  This year, I want to encorporate giving on a daily basis.  So when I saw the above photo on Pinterest, clicked on it and read the blog post about it, I knew this was it.

Advent Activities:

1st Take a set of holiday books and leave at a mall play area
2nd Make a street pretty for Christmas (pick up roadside trash-Santa Style!)
3rd Adopt a classroom in need (send holiday party treats; craft box)
4th Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers (brrrrr— it must get cold out there!)
5th Purchase toys for kids in need
6th Tape candy canes and happy holiday notes to ATMS, vending machines…
7th Send of box of mittens and hats to a school
8th Offer to buy a pack of gum or mints for checkout clerk at grocery store
9th Bring peppermint mocha to daycare workers
10th Donate Blood (K and Mom)
11th Hand out pretty Christmas flowers
12th Bake & deliver Christmas cupcakes to library employees
13th Set up a free gift wrap station!
14th Pay for santa pictures for someone at mall
15th Collect canned goods for food pantry
16th Pass out candy and spread cheer to folks mailing off their Christmas cards at the post office
17th Set up a “helping task force” – take back shopping carts, hold open doors for rushed and weary shoppers…
18th Leave small Christmas treats/gifts in shopping carts for folks to find
19th Take presents to hard working post office employees
20th Call animal shelter and find out what donations they need. Make a contribution & visit animals.
21th Leave basket of Christmas gifts on doorstep of a family that needs it
22nd Buy coffee for stranger at Starbucks
23rd Leave present in mailbox for mail carrier
Christmas Eve: Take all night drug store employee a Christmas surprise (because it’s no fun to work on Christmas Eve!)
Christmas Day: Deliver something special to folks who are working and/or recovering at local hospital

I plan on adding/editing a few here and there, but I really want to do this.  I hope you'll join in on the fun with your family, too!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Printable Owl Calendar--Freebie

I found the CUTEST owl calendar over at My Owl Barn.  It is FREEBIE printable that you can customize (print it all, or month by month, in whatever size you want!).  Check it out here and have fun with it!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cookie Decorating Tip

You all know I love a good cookie. I especially love decorating beautiful cut-outs for Christmas. So when I saw this tip and was blown away at its simplicity, I knew I had to share it...
Enjoy your day! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Around here...

I've been crafting...
I found this tree printable here.  I used 3 fall colored ink pads (one color representing one child--and we have 3 children), and asked them to add their fingerprints to the print.  I love how it turned out.  Plan to either scrap this or frame it.  :)  The original idea was used as a guest book for a wedding, with fingerprints as a "signature."  Fun!
This freebie from Rebecca Cooper just made me squeel!  LOVE the pennants and the possibilities with them.  Can't wait to use them up!  Thought of maybe using the fingerprint tree with these for the layout.  We shall see...
And I found this free printable over at Eighteen Twenty-Five.  I love that you can save them in various sizes and upload them/print so easily.  I'm framing this print (from Costco, and this one is an 8x10) as a hostess gift for my sister, who is hosting Thanksgiving this year.

Going to take a bit of a blogging break here to celebrate the holiday here.  Thank you for being here.  Thank you for your comments, your input, your inspiration.  YOU are among my blessings this year--and I hope you and your family have a blessed and safe holiday. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Treat Bags

Oh, Cricut. How I love thee...
I like to create treat bags for my son's classrooms.  This year, I turned toward my tried and true Cricut.  I cut out these turkeys (about 4" tall) and assembled them, with the help of my older, crafty daughter.

Next, we applied red-line (strong adhesive) tape to one side of the mini clothes pins (purchased at Pat Catan's, a local craft store.)  We stuck one clothes pin onto the back of one turkey die cut, so the clothes pin would stick to the turkey well.

We filled up 4" treat bags with pretzel m&m's and candy corn, and taped them shut to secure the candy wouldn't spill out.
Then we used the pinching mechanism to "grab" the bag at the top.  So easy and FUN! 
Think of the possibilities here!  Pilgrim hats, cornstalks, cornucopia, you get the idea!

For more Thanksgiving ideas, including additional creative treat bags, check out my Pinterest board here.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yarn Covered Letters

I have gone a little yarn crazy as of late. A few weeks ago, I picked these 5" MDF letters from a local craft store, knowing what I'd be doing with them...
They needed a lot of yarn, but I used what I had on hand, and was sure to use fall colors.
I kept wrapping and wrapping each letter, with no plan in mind...
I love how they turned out!
I may or may not add a few felt leaves to them today.  My wheels are turning on how I can use this very idea for the upcoming holidays, too...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

true beauty mini book

Hey everyone...

Sharing with you the "True Beauty" mini book from the November kit. Loved it. Loved it good.

Mostly I loved how the colors melded together so beautifully. The sweet yellow and blacks and greys worked together so wonderfully that this album could not have been anything less than a book of 'true beauty'.

For me the album took shape with photos that drew me in. Photos that told me a story of beauty. Photos that for me were going to be timeless. Each page celebrated the beauty of the dream of a little one, or the joy of father and son, or the beauty of adoration between two brothers. It took on a life of it's own as I played with the paper, tags and seam binding.

A couple of things are a bit untraditonal about the creating of this mini album. Instead of the book opening from right to left, I decided to have it open from the bottom to the top. You'll see what I mean in a minute. Another thing that is different is how each page is layered on top of the other with several peeking out from underneath. I love this technique. I trimmed the page protectors, and sewed the foundation papers to the page protector.  I just love to be able to feel the texture of the papers and the different surfaces.

Let's take a closer look. Warning...this is photo heavy::

 The kraft album cover makes for a fabulous canvas. I just started playing with the tags, stamps and flowers. The cork circle...can we say adorable? Punched and trimmed some of the pattern paper and layered away. Sometimes this process can be so freeing.

 Here's a close up...just because I love close ups.

This is the opening page. I trimmed the first page protector to about 3 inches. The foundation page was then sewed to the top of the page protector. Then again with the layering. The wallet size photo hangs over the front a bit just to add to the texture of the page. And you can see two other pages peeking out from underneath the beginning page.

This page protector was trimmed to about 4 1/2 inches. (Note: I took the pages out of the album so that I could sew them better with my machine. After I was all done, I re-assembled the book.) The process was the same:: sew foundation page to the page protector, and then layer away. See how I used the charcoal tag with the heart punch. I liked how that worked out. Sometimes (make that alot of times) you just get lucky.

 This is the third page, and it ended this set of pages. We start all over again with the next page layout.

And this next page HAS to be my favorite of the book. Who can resist that sweet face? O.K...I digress...back to the book. If you follow me on here even a little, then you know how I don't re-create an original layout every time.  Especially when it comes to a mini album. I usually repeat elements and pages. I mostly did the same here with this page. Notice how similar it is to the very first page of the mini.

This album has a total of ten pages, so the last set of layouts is in a group of four. I just adjusted the size of the page protectors so that I could still have them all layered.

This has been one of my most favorite projects to do for the gallery. It gave me great joy in the process of creating and designing each page. And that for me is the true beauty of this paper arts world we live in.

ETA:  We have TWO of these amazing kits left if you would like to make one of your own!
wip siggy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

December 2011 WIP Kits

Thanks so much for your patience!  I think they were worth the wait...
December Main WIP Kit 2011--$30 ($28 for subscribers)
Contents of this kit include:  9 Patterned papers (1 Jenni Bowlin Christmas, 1 Bella Blvd, 3 My Mind's Eye Kraft, and 4 Echo Park), 4 kraft tags (Etsy), 2 yards red and white baker's twine, 4 shipping tags, Echo Park Times & Seasons cardstock sticker elements sheet, Echo Park Times & Seasons alphabet sheet (including 3 full alphabets in 3 different colors), Ormalu Fact or Fiction Flair (8 pieces each), Ormalu Fact or Fiction Flappers (22 pieces each) and Ormalu Letter & Line shipping package tags (set of 6 as shown).

Close up of the Main kit:
Another Close up of the elements in the Main kit:
Fall Tag Kit--$15
Contents of this kit includes all the pieces/parts to create the above 42 tags.  Perfect for Thanksgiving, and your own Drawer Full of Blessings, as shown here:
Be a Sport Mini Book Class Kit--$25  **Limited Quantities
Contents of this kit include:  Bella Blvd. die cut sheet, Bella Blvd. cardstock sticker sheet, 8 6x12 pages, 2 chipboard covers for mini album, several felt tags, 5 star straight pins from Little Yellow Bicycle, 1 yard red ribbon, 1 yard red baker's twine, 6 yellow raffle tickets, 6 blue raffle tickets, soccer ball, football and baseball die cuts, black chipboard letters, cloud die cut label, paper clips, sports quotes, black label die cut, grass die cut, several star die cuts and puffy sport ball stickers.  *Note:  This kit will be presented on the blog and comes with an email showing the finished book in detail for those who purchase the kit.**
2011 Holiday Christmas Kit--SOLD OUT
Contents of this kit include:  10 patterned and specialty papers from K & Co, Crate Paper, Doodlebug, Making Memories, Echo Park and Jillibean Soup, Echo Park cardstock stickers, Crate paper die cut sheet, Crate Paper Christmas Label sheet, Doodlebug Elements Sheets (two in two different varieties), 1 4x6 acrylic mini book with graduating pages, My Mind's Eye 12 Days Acrylic Stamps, My mind's Eye 12 Days Brads/Elements package, white raffle tickets, 2 Christmas Labels from the Living Room Floor, 5 Elle's Studio labels, 1 yard green gingham ribbon, 1 yard brown/white striped ribbon, 2 Gingerbread die cuts, 4 4" square envelopes in white, and green alphabet from Authentique.
Christmas Memories Banner Kit--SOLD OUT
Contents of this kit include everything to make this two-tiered holiday memories banner, except the photos.  Felt holly leaves, paper, chipboard pennants, and festooning are all included.  Email instructions are included with the purchase of this kit!

To reserve any or all of the kits listed above, please contact Trish at!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I hate to do this. But it has to be done. The December WIP Kits are not going to be posted until a major shipment arrives. I promise to post the photos as soon as humanly possible, and apologize for the delay. Believe me, this kind of thing does not make me happy on this end, either. So in light of the situation, I promise the kits will be worth the wait. So does the vendor who put me behind. I'll keep you posted. I'm praying for tomorrow...

What did put me in a happy mood today was this photo. So I thought I'd share.  While editing many of the fall sessions today, I came across this picture. My daughter comes along to be my assistant on big shoots. She does everything from holding my bag, to entertaining children, as you can see here. These boys had met her before, but only once a year ago. They took to her instantly, and she loved it. Triplet boys and their older brother. I told her it should be the photo that goes on her babysitting business card!

Enjoy your evening...

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Drawer Full of Blessings

One of the kits that will be released tomorrow is a tag kit. You may remember this Drawer kit back in the Spring.
Same concept, only this kit contains a variation of fall-themed tags that are perfect for Thanksgiving. My plans for this Thanksgiving include setting out a bunch of different tags, along with a couple of writing utencils, with hopes that everyone will write about their blessings this holiday. I will then take photos of our family gathering, print them at home with my handy little Canon Selphy, and add those to the mix.
Hopefully, these tags will help add to the fun atmosphere of the project.  The kit includes the tags only, in effort to keep the project versitile and affordable for everyone!  For those of you who purchased the Spring kit, all you have to do is switch these out.
Enjoy your day!