Friday, December 10, 2010

Two more gifts

OK, here are two more gifts.  The first is the framed name I made for my niece Abbie.  I think this one is my favorite!  I only had to cut out the name, butterflies and flowers at the top on my Cricut, using the Create a Critter cartridge.  All the other flowers are from a sheet of patterned paper.  I love it, it's so cute!  :)

And this is the apron, again for one of my nieces! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Ok, I hope these aren't too hard to see.  Once again, my camera isn't working, so I just scanned and attatched an image of these.  These are some gift tags I made at an activity at church a couple of Saturdays ago.  At the activity I also made one of those cute vinyl last-name plaques.  The tag station was run by Amber Mumford, and she had some really cute ideas!  While I do have tons of scrapbooking and Cricut stuff, I don't have much in the way of stamping or card-making.  So, I was super excited to see (and use!) some of her stamps and get some new ideas.  Thanks Amber!

Gifts galore!

Yay, I'm finally posting new projects!  I have actually been working on numerous projects lately, I just haven't had a whole lot of time to sit down and blog.  With the Holidays approaching, I am working on lots and lots of things!  The following pics are some Christmas presents i have been working on for my nieces.  I still have one to make, so I will post pics of that one when I get done.  I also have an apron and several cards and tags to post, so check back later for more pics!

These I made almost entirely on my Cricut cutter.  In case anyone is wondering, here are the cartridges I used: for Kayla's name and surrounding shapes, Jasmine; for the pink and green butterfly and purple and yellow flower, Serenade; for the blue and purple butterfies, the chick, the flowers and the horse on Melissa's, Create a Critter; for the horse on Melissa's, Paper Dolls Dress Up; and for Melissa's name, Plantin School Book.  Everything else is just strips of paper or stickers.  I just bought a LOT of new patterned paper (Thank you Black Friday!), so I had lots of fun matching up colors and patterns.  I maybe gone SLIGHTLY over-board with the girlie-ness, but since I have two boys, I take the girlie projects whenever I can get them!  (I hope the format of the pics is camera is broken, so I just scanned them in.)  And again, I have one more still to make, so check back for more pics!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tis' The Season

As my sick hubby and baby sleep, I have been taking time to reconnect with Blogland. Here are some super cute things to get you into the Christmas spirit. Oh, and best of all, they are free printables! Just click the link and follow the blogger's directions.

Find these two over at  Funky Polkadot Giraffe
This printable is from eighteen25

Much thanks to these bloggers for sharing their talents! By the way, be sure to use these prints for personal use only :)


I am super excited to finally show off some bows I have been making. Now that I am officially a stay-at-home mom, I can become a nap-time crafter. I am thinking about starting an etsy account, but I am intimidated by all the amazing vendors out there. We'll see. Here is a sneak peak into what I have created.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sew Much Fun!l

Yay, it's done!!  I finished my very first on-my-own-at-my-own-house sewing project!  I made a super cute (if I do say so myself) apron for Evan.  It's hard to tell from the pics and the busy pattern, but it has quite a few pockets on the front, just right for crayons, mixing spoons, and paint brushes.  The pattern was a very inexpensive one from Simplicity, and though it took me about 4 hours (literally) to figure out what on earth all the words, symbols, pictures and directions meant, once I figured it out I discovered that it was really not as hard as I'd always thought it would be.  I rather enjoyed it actually.  I was even able to figure out on my own (thanks to a suggestion from Mom) how to line the top half of it so that it would be a little more durable.  As Evan loves to help me with cooking and baking, I'm sure we'll be getting lots of use out of it.  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apron # 2

Here is the finished second apron.  I am still going to add a little trim and some bows, but I think it turned out pretty cute!  A nice, simple start to my sewing adventures! 

Monday, October 25, 2010


The other day at WalMart (the one in York still sells fabric), my Mom and saw an adorable Christmas apron on display, and we discovered that it was from an easy-to-sew, pre-printed pattern.  That means that the pattern was printed directly on the fabric, like this:

It even came with instructions printed on the fabric:

I have been coveting those super cute, frilly aprons that are popular --and expensive -- right now (I love this website), so I decided to take the opportunity to make a second apron at the same time.  All in all I think I spent about $10 for both aprons.  I picked some cute pink and green fabric, laid the Christmas pattern on top of it, and cut them both out at the same time so I ended up with two of everything:


Then I just followed the instructions on the pattern and got it all sewed together.  Now, I do not have much experience with a sewing machine, so my Mom gave me lots of help and instruction!  It was a bit of a slow process (everything had to be pressed, hemmed, pinned, etc), but the finished product turned out really cute!  I have not finished the pink one yet, but I will post pictures of it as soon as I get it done.

Paper Pumpkins

Ok, here's an activity Evan and I did the other day.  It was super easy, and turned out really cute!  Here's the link where I got the idea.  I didn't really get any "in the process pictures," but I think you can get the idea from the finished product. 

All we used was orange and green paper, glass jars (we used short left-over jars from spinach dip, but any sort of jar or glass you have will work), and tape.  Since my jars were a little sticky from removing labels and I didn't really want to spend lots of time trying to get the sticky stuff off, I just wrapped a strip of black construction paper around the jars before I started.  Then we cut the orange paper into strips -- long strips if your jar is taller, short strips if your jar is shorter.  Just make sure that the paper is an inch or two longer than the height of the jar.  To make the jack-o-lantern we drew the face on before we cut out the strips.  Then all we did was tape the paper to the top and bottom of the jar.  I overlapped the strips a little so that there wouldn't be any big gaps.  I added some green leaves and a curled vine to the second one for a little color, dropped in a candle, and they were done!  Cute, huh? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Milk and Cookies Party

Here are some clips from Addison's First Birthday party. Head on over to my blog and check out the rest of the photos.  It was such a wonderful day! Here is where my inspiration came from.

The Cookie Bar

Lunch Table

Milk Bar

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hurricane Lamps

The other day my cousin sent me some links for some really cute craft projects, one of which was these beautiful hurricane lamps.  The website,, has some great ideas, and I decided to try these lamps.  As we all probably know, a good hurricane lamp can be pretty pricey.  So, why not make our own?  The lady who originally did this used vases she had around the house and then got assorted candle sticks from the Dollar Tree.  I didn't have any vases big enough, so I got vases and candle sticks from the dollar store.  I just made two to start with, and here's what I did (Thanks,

I started with my two vases and two sticks, washed, dried and ready to go.  I chose two different sizes of vases, just for variety.  (Please ignore all the extra stuff in the background...)
I used Gorilla Glue, which was easier to use than I thought it would be after reading the other blog.  I found it at Michael's right with all of the other adhesives.  You lightly dampen one of the surfaces, then apply a thin layer of glue to the other.  I repeat, a thin layer of glue.  The glue bubbles and expands as it dries, so a little goes a long way.  After adhering the candle sticks to the vases, I weighted them with books and let them dry...
Once they dried (which takes about an hour) I turned them over.....

and filled them with things I had on hand.  I think I would like the larger one better with a larger candle, but here's what I ended up with.

Fall Wreath

OK.  I made what is (in my humble opinion) the cutest fall wreath ever!  For less than $10.  :)  OK, here's what I did.  I got some ideas and inspiration for some cute wreaths and centerpieces on the Better Homes and Gardens website, then I got to work.  I found a plain wreath and some fall leaf garland on clearance at Michael's, I used bits of some potpourri that I've had for several years, and Evan and I collected pine cones from my parents' yard.

I first went through and just popped some of the leaves off of the garland and started laying out a rough-draft arrangement of how I wanted it to go.  I decided to only use the smaller bits of the potpourri so that the colored leaves could be the main focus.  I wasn't sure whether I would use the pine cones or not, but after I had it all laid out I decided that they would look very nice as a focal point at the bottom of the wreath.

I used hot glue to attach all the pieces.  For the leaves I found it easier to put the glue on the wreath and then stick the stems of the leaves to it, but for the potpourri pieces it was easier to generously put the glue directly on the potpourri, then stick it to the wreath.  And here is the finished product!

Not really a craft, but oh-so-yummy!

Ok, as the title states, this post is not about a craft, but about some yuuummmmyyyy soup I made the other day when it was so chilly and rainy.  Here's what it looks like, then I'll post the recipe..

Here's the basic recipe, then I'll add some of the changes I have made:
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup diced red pepper
2 cups fresh white small mushrooms, cut in half
4 tbs butter
2 tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups peeled/diced russet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 slices bacon, crisp and crumbled
1 cup petite frozen sweet peas
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste

In saucepan cook celery, onion, red pepper, mushrooms in hot butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in flour until combined.  Stir in broth, bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Add potatoes, return to boiling.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in milk, bacon, peas and corn.  Heat thoroughly.  If you like thinner soup, add additional milk.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now here's how I change it:
As far as veggies go, I basically use whatever I have on hand.  In addition to the ones mentioned above, I also sometimes used green bell pepper, carrots (chopped finely so they will sauté quickly), broccoli, and zucchini.  Adjust the amount of   butter you use for sauteing according to how many veggies you have.  There needs to be enough butter to mix with the flour to make a thick broth.  Once the veggies and potatoes are done, it is also very tasty to add fresh parsley and chives (or use as garnish), and this soup is very good with chicken!  I like my bacon to stay crunchy, so I also use it as a garnish (not pictured).  An interesting variation is to use creamed corn instead of fresh or frozen--it gives it a nice, thick, sweet finish.  Top with cheese and you have quite a tasty (and filling) soup!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Inspiration from my Hubby

Sorry we haven't posted in over a week...what a crazy week it has been!  Today I am trying to play catch-up with my house and get things cleaned up from the weekend, and I was feeling quite overwhelmed this morning.  Just making a mental list of all the things that needed to be done made me want to go back to bed.  Then I was reminded by my husband to start with something small.  He said that as I got small things done then I would be able to see my progress, which would build my confidence and make me more motivated to keep going.  (I then asked him if he'd been reading my blog!)  What a great reminder!  So then I reminded myself that whether it's catching up from the weekend, re-doing a room, working on a big project for work or planning a big event, when you have a large and overwhelming task to complete, break it up into smaller parts.  (Or in the words of a song from my son's favorite TV show, "If a word's too big to build, just break it down and you'll be thrilled.  You can handle it bit by bit!")  So, here's the moral of today's story: Break it down and handle it bit by bit!  Big projects don't have to be overwhelming, just take it one small part at a time! 

Thanks for the inspiration honey!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Use it or Lose it!

Ok, here's my organizing tip for the day.  This is more of a de-cluttering tip.  We've all heard that we should get rid of anything that we don't use in a year's time, but sometimes it can be hard to "prove" to ourselves that we really don't use some things.  (This especially goes for clothes and shoes!)  Well  yesterday I read a tip somewhere that has to do with clothing that I thought was absolutely brilliant.  Here's what you do.  Once a year (could be January, or it could be today), turn all of the hangers in your closet around backwards.  As you wear an item, re-hang it with the hanger turned the correct way.  At the end of a year's time, anything that you haven't worn will still be backwards.  That way you can quickly identify and remove items that you truly don't use.  And just think...the more clothes you get rid of that you don't wear, the neater and more spacious your closet will feel!

Monday, August 30, 2010

So Much to Store, So Little Space!

This seems to be a common problem among...well...everyone.  I don't think I've ever heard anyone say, "I just have too much space and not enough stuff to fill it up."  (If you know someone like that, please have them share their secrets with me!)  One of my biggest challenges is keeping my craft stuff organized.  I loooooove crafts of all kinds.  I have scrapbooking stuff, card-making stuff, Cricut accessories, kid-friendly items, and photos galore!  After a year or so of moving and moving again and not really having a place for my crafts to call home, I have finally gotten everything organized and in place.  (My motto, afterall, is "A place for everything.")  Here are some "tools" that I find indispensable when it comes to getting project areas organized:
Drawers work great for my Cricut Cartidges, glue, stamps, and large accessories
Boxes for kids' crafts, plus mail organizers for paper
My scrapbooking bag, which now mainly holds paper!
Boxes for photos and small bins for scissors, markers and pens