In the U.S.A., Memorial Day is today, June 14 is Flag Day, and July 4 is Independence Day, so you can’t go wrong with a bit of patriotic decor this time of year. Here is my restyled Shantilly frame, a free art print on a hand-quilted table runner my daughter-in-law Tiffany gave me for my birthday, the 1776 pillow I made last summer, and a pinwheel bouquet (also a free printable!). Happy summer! ♥
Our friend Mahe of Altered Upcycling is offering her newest Kindle book, Zentangle Inspired Art: A Beginners Guide to Zentangle Art and Zentangle Inspired Art and Craft Projects, to all of us for FREE from Monday, May 19 through Friday, May 23! The book is full of projects and worksheets to facilitate both the beginner and experienced artist. Mahe says, “Even if you have never tried doodling before, this guide will walk you through the entire process of Zentangle art in a step-by-step manner supported by numerous pictures and examples.” Thank you, Mahe! ♥ P.S. Remember . . . if you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a free app for your phone, tablet, or computer to read Kindle books!
I recently hung the Peeps garland I made last spring (out of felt, not the candy!). Here are the super-simple directions:
(1) Draw a simple bunny shape or find a free template online.
(2) Make the bunnies from felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, or scrapbook paper.
(3) Add the eye and nose dots with fabric paint, permanent marker, or embroidered French knots.
(4) Attach the bunnies to ric-rac, ribbon, rope, string, or twine using glue or hand or machine stitching.
You’ll soon have a cheery pop of color for your spring décor. Have fun! ♥
During my last spring cleaning, I found NINE unopened decks of cards in the game chest. If they haven’t been claimed yet for their intended purpose, they’re up for grabs for crafting, right? So, when I saw several versions of Valentine garland made from hearts playing cards on Pinterest, I had to give it a try! I punched holes in the corners, strung them with red baker’s twine, and added a few hearts cut from the backs of the Jokers and advertising extras for a-la-mode. So easy, and they made great gifts for some special people I love! ♥ P.S. Here’s the red sweater heart pillow that’s sitting on my favorite chair this month and the felt conversation heart garland I hung across the mantle.
My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥
When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥ P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter!
I’m a lucky crafter . . . I won this fun Sneaky Art book and Rainy Day Art Pack, both by Marthe Jocelyn, from Robyn of Museiddity‘s recent giveaway! I’m happily set for my next little visitors! Please click here to learn more about the book and here to learn more about Robyn and and begin exploring her Museiddity creations. Thank you, Robyn! ♥
I’m afraid my “let it snow” frame worked, because we had snow over the weekend and still have below-zero wind chills today! Lucky for me, I get to work from home . . . and the lasagna, breadsticks, and chocolate cake we had for dinner warmed me up just fine. (Gym . . . I promise I’ll be there soon!) It’s also a perfect day for this fun little free printable on my living room side table . . . thank you to Pam and Lisa of Over the Big Moon. ♥
In autumn I bought a fun chicken-wire frame at a craft show from Shantilly, and since then I’ve had fun restyling it for different holidays and seasons. November’s design reminded us to give thanks, December’s spoke of joy, and January’s is all about snow . . . a clip-art mitten illustration mounted on scrapbook paper, letters snipped from alphabet fabric, and tiny clothespins to hold everything in place. ♥
First of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes, and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations
- Cherie of Down In Fairy Dell
- Cristin of Eve of Reduction
Did you love sleepovers when you were a little girl? They were my favorite! Last weekend some fun girls in my family drove in for a “Crafty Cousins Slumber Party.” We went out to eat, chatted, crafted, slept, ate breakfast casserole and cinnamon roll-ups, went to a big craft show (where my lovely daughter-in-law Shannon launched Shantilly!), and ended with lunch out with my dad. We made fabric flower brooches, Christmas cards (thanks Margo!) and earrings (thanks Karen!). If you heard laughter floating through the air Saturday night, now you know why. ♥
Saturday I had a fun craft day with three lovely ladies . . . my daughter-in-law Shannon, her mom Debbie, and her friend Lori. First we went to a “crafter’s sale” where very friendly people sold their gently used or leftover craft books, supplies, and tools for REALLY REALLY low prices. I came home with a delightful bag of goodies! Then Debbie taught us to make these fun ornaments . . . perfect for decorating packages or hanging on a Christmas tree. Click here for a detailed how-to video and here for a shorter version. As someone who has never scrapbooked before, I had a LOT to learn about terminology and how to use the equipment and tools, so I appreciated my very patient teacher. We all love our finished projects . . . thank you, Debbie! ♥
I got a lovely gift in a pretty lime green Coldwater Creek shopping bag that had the store name written across both sides, but I wanted to reuse the bag for a homemade gift. So, I cut out some flowers from last year’s calendar and glued them on the sides . . . perfect! P.S. The lace hairbow on the card is from my recent vintage dress upcycle . . . a little extra gift to go with what’s inside. ♥
In June, I wrote in this post about our crafty upcycling friend Mahe (aka MZ) that included a call for submissions for her new upcycled craft book. The Green Crafts Lifestyle is now out, and it’s amazing! It includes sections on paper, plastic, wood, metal, and fabric and has projects from 20 artists around the world, including four of my bloggy friends:
- Vicky of Vicky Meyers Creations
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Lora of Lora Lee’s Centsations
- and Sheri of Awesomesauce and Asshattery (author of her own new Kindle book . . . click HERE for details!)
Along with 35 projects detailed on nearly 200 pages of photographs and step-by-step directions, you’ll find author bios and photos with links to their blogs, websites, and other online contacts.
Now for the promotion! To provide all crafters with a chance to learn from these techniques, Mahe’s Altered Upcycling business will provide unlimited FREE Kindle copies of The Green Crafts Lifestyle this Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18! Kindle doesn’t restrict you to its device; you can read the book on any PC machine or tablet with the free Kindle App. Simply click HERE for your free copy.
AND . . . drum roll . . . MZ is looking for MORE submissions from MORE of you! In her words: “We need talented artists, crafters, and upcyclists to provide projects and tutorials based on upcycling and green crafting. Altered Upcycling will take submissions for Part 2 of “The Green Crafts Lifestyle” series, and the project submission deadline is August 31, 2013. Please make sure you send tutorials that upcycle wood, plastic, paper, glass, or fabric. The tutorials must be in MS Word format with the pictures embedded in the doc file. I will also need a photo of you as well as an artist bio and links to your blogs, Etsy shops, etc. Please email tutorials to email@example.com. Let’s save the world one craft project at a time!”
Thank you, Mahe! ♥ P.S. If you haven’t entered my “Catch-up Giveaway,” please click HERE!
They were SO much fun to make, and they’ll be even more fun to give away as gifts . . . with a cupcake or muffin tucked inside!
The downloadable kit includes all five oven colors, a removable cupcake tray, cupcake flags (on which you can type your OWN message!), and adorable oven mitt gift tags.
I invite you to click on Claudine’s shop from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely find, Amy and Claudine! ♥
In the past, I’ve shared reviews of two of Mahe Zehra Husain’s fabulous upcycling books, The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling and Make a Card Awesome. So, when she asked if she could send a preview copy of her newest publication, I was more than happy to agree! This one is called Adventures in Mixed Media: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Beautiful Pieces of Art. It includes chapters on:
- Materials (Paper, Coloring Mediums, Found Items, and Art Stores)
- Techniques (Making Mixed Media Art Paper and Making Mixed Media Collage Paper)
- Projects (A House Journal, Altered Art Organizer, Paintbrush Book, Mixed Media Canvas, The Earth Without Art, Idea Journal, Mixed Media Memories, Art Around your Neck, . . . And Now ‘Round your Wrist, Birds, My Imaginary Flight, and Believe)
I love the way Mahe describes how she organizes her craft room to store “found” items, and the sections on “7 Unusual Sources of Paper” and “Let’s Go On a Treasure Hunt” had my creative juices flowing! Mahe includes YouTube videos for each of her techniques, as well as complete written directions and photographs of all papers and projects. You’ll love Mahe’s friendly, conversational writing style, too! You can get your copy by clicking here at Amazon.com or any time from my Shop Love! page above.
Oh, and remember that Mahe’s first book is ALWAYS available for FREE at her web site, Altered Upcycling. Thank you for all you do to care for Earth as you create, Mahe! ♥
This puzzle box kit I purchased and put together YEARS ago may look *vaguely* familiar . . . if so, it’s because it just received the same makeover as the children’s step stool we painted and decoupaged last week! Now all the wooden puzzles are ready for our littlest visitors in style! ♥
Look at this cute handmade owl!
And pretty DIY Washi-tape notebook!
And hand-punched glittery confetti!
If you haven’t already made Emily’s acquaintance, you MUST check out her fun home DIYs, starting with a house tour. (Yes, she really DOES have two purple couches!)
Congratulations on your first year of blogging, Emily . . . and thank you for all the fun and creativity you share! ♥
Several years ago I bought this sturdy step stool for our youngest visitors to pull up to the sink in the guest bathroom. I can’t believe I just now got around to doing something fun with it! The room already has lots of pops of color with lime green towels and accessories, so I decided to use the colors of the shower curtain—black and white—but still make it kid-friendly. We (meaning Dave . . . thank you Dave!) sanded it and painted it black, then I decoupaged my favorite chalkboard-print scrapbook paper to the tops of the steps. Ahhh . . . much better! ♥
The main occasion for our big family gathering over Father’s Day weekend is my husband Dave’s *milestone* birthday. Since Dave has been a teacher, principal, and Superintendent of Schools throughout his career, we’re using a school theme for the party.
The Book Page Banner designed by Lauren of The Thinking Closet (one of the sweetest, most talented bloggers I know!) sparked the idea of using bunting shapes and book-page letters for the birthday banner. My version included:
- measuring, drawing, and cutting the shapes from black cardstock with a ruler, pencil, and scissors,
- adding an inch at the top of the 5″ x 7″ size and folding it over to give a little extra strength to the punched holes and help the letters stand out from the wall,
- Googling “printable alphabet template” for the letter patterns, tracing and cutting them out from an old book I save for just this purpose, and using a glue stick to attach them to the cardstock, and
- threading baker’s twine through the holes for hanging.
It was easy and fun and will be a perfect complement to our other decorations. And, if you haven’t checked out Lauren’s amazing banner (complete with detailed tips, a C.S. Lewis quote, a free cut file for your Silhouette, and POM-POMS!!!), then click HERE right now! And follow her blog and FB page, too! Thank you for the inspiration, Lauren! ♥
When our whole family gathers in over Father’s Day weekend, I want to have some fun crafts that work for *kids* from pre- schoolers to 80+. My latest idea is a decoration that everyone helps create—T-shirt garland! To keep everything handy, I decided to make a kit with all the necessary materials. Then I can simply hang some baker’s twine across the windows and we can pin on our paper T-shirts as we “customize” them.
To make the kit, I first found an empty box that was just the right size. (This one once held a chocolate cake that came in an order one of our kids sent us from Omaha Steaks . . . yum!!!) I cut off the lid and then cut, folded, and glued the lid cardboard to divide the box into four compartments. Here it is with clips holding everything in place while it dried. When the inside was ready, I traced around the outsides and covered them with scrapbook paper, then made a simple word-processed label for the front using clip art and a text box.
Next, I googled “printable t-shirt template” to find a pattern I like and watched a couple of movies while I traced and cut them out on light-colored paper. I also shopped for tiny clothespins and found these at Amazon.com. They’re REALLY tiny—about one inch long—but perfect for hanging paper items. I also found a small empty jar in the pantry to store them in since we’ll need to keep them safely away from the babies and toddlers. (I later glued three of the pins to the lid for a-la-mode.)
Finally, I added markers, crayons, and colored pencils for creating the T-shirt designs. Since I already had these and the paper on hand, my only expense was the clothespins—and they’re so cute I probably would have bought them anyway. 🙂 I’ll be sure to show you a photo of our garland after everyone is here! P.S. I think this would be a fun way to commemorate family activities over the summer, too . . . books the kids read, trips to the beach and zoo, special treats they get to eat, and that sort of thing. If only I’d thought of that when MY kids were little! ♥
Have you ever heard of 9-hole buttons? And did you know you can use them for words and monograms??? I didn’t until I read this fun post by Nicole on Diary of a Mad Crafter! And Nicole is so clever that she even made her OWN buttons!!!
I found mine at the yehuting Etsy Shop . . . only $4.98 plus shipping for forty. This lovely shop owner has TONS of other amazing notions, too. Do pay her a visit!
We’re having a big family reunion in June that falls on Father’s Day weekend. I wanted to make cards for all the dads who’ll be visiting, and the wooden buttons on plain kraft cardstock worked perfectly for a masculine monogram. I have quite a few left over, too . . . so more projects to come! ♥
Have you discovered Global Girlfriend yet? Besides my friends’ shops, it’s my favorite shopping spot EVER! This fair-trade boutique sells handmade clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, bath and body products, and paper goods from all over the world, and the money goes to help craftswomen make a living to feed their families. They also have gift certificates, which the special girls in my family LOVE to get for their birthdays . . . even though it can literally take hours to decide which gorgeous items to spend them on! Right now, in honor of Earth Day, Global Girlfriend is offering FREE SHIPPING for $25 U.S. orders (code: FREE25) and $50 international orders (code: FREE50). Please check them out if you get a chance . . . it will definitely brighten your day! They’re also on Facebook here and my Shop Love! page here. P.S. Below is one of my favorite GG purchases, a set of inspirational cards made from handmade paper. I love them so much that I’ve also displayed them on my office wall! ♥
I love PEEPS . . . even though they make most of the rest of my family go “Ewwwwwwwww . . . !” But who could resist some adorable PEEPS garland? It’s super easy, and as I made it, I realized I had lots of choices. So here’s a chart! Simply pick one thing from each column (which you probably already have around the house!), and soon you’ll have your finished garland hanging among your other spring decor. Here is mine with felt, fabric paint, ric-rac, and machine stitching. (Click on the photo for a close-up.) Oh, and you can find lots of free templates for the bunny shape on Google images. Have fun! ♥
||Eyes and Nose||Garland||Attachment Method|
Last September I wrote a post about how I designed the gravatar I use for my WordPress blog and gift tags. I was very happy that many of you checked out the Design-her Gals business, and some of you even made and shared your own “gals!” For example . . .
- Just look at this fun version of Liz at A Ponytail Kind of Day with her Cavalier King Charles and Diet Coke!
- And this fun version of Kelly at Boomdeeadda with her camera and cats!
Now, sadly, Design-her Gals is closing its doors on April 15 . . . UNLESS someone else takes over the business. Could that be one of you? If you’re interested, please explore their web site and then email the owner, Jeanne Fitzmaurice, at Jeanne(at)designhergals(dot)com. As Jeanne says, “Spring is the perfect time for a new owner to lead Design-her Gals forward with a fresh perspective!”
And ALL of you can use the promo code GOODBYE to get 35% off business cards, notecards, and other paper goods with your very own “gal” on them (in an outfit and accessories YOU put together!) through the closing date. Remember that a portion of every purchase also supports Stage IV breast cancer research! ♥
I was the amazingly lucky winner of a recent giveaway on the Trixie Lixie blog . . . a beautiful fabric covered journal! I just love it, and it even has a pocket on the inside back cover. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Tracy also sent me one of the new knicker kits she sells in her shop! Just look at this pretty fabric and elastic! I can’t wait to try this project! Following are LOTS of links you can follow to check out Tracy”s creativity from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Tracy! ♥
- Click here for the Trixie Lixie blog.
- Click here for a tutorial on making fabric-covered journals.
- Click here for a knicker tutorial.
- Click here for the Trixie Lixie shop.
- Click here for the Trixie Lixie FB page.
In my “Meet an Upcycling Queen” post last month, I introduced Mahe of Altered Upcycling. Many of you picked up the free ebook she offers from her blog and loved it! Now Mahe has another free offer starting TOMORROW, February 23 and running through Wednesday, February 27—a card-making ebook available here on Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download “Kindle for PC” from Amazon.com here, also for free.) Mahe was kind enough to send me a preview copy, and I found:
- cards featuring paint chips along with items many of us already have around the house,
- cards for lots of different holidays, seasons, and occasions,
- step-by-step directions and photographs,
- links to youtube video demonstrations,
- and much, much more!
Please take a moment to help yourself to this lovely gift which is regularly $2.99 but ours for free for the next five days. Thank you, Mahe! ♥
I’ve been following Christina at Le Trango: An Illustrated Accessories Company for quite awhile and always get a smile when I see her adorable illustrations coming through my WordPress reader. So I decided to check out her Etsy Shop and found this sweet set of notecards I can send to my friends and family. The shop also features Christina’s whimsical creatures on canvas tote bags, pocket mirrors, and stuffed toys. Click here for Le Trango’s blog, here for the Etsy Shop, and here for the FB page from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Christina! ♥
Have you discovered the Nicky Grace Vintage Fabric & Gorgeous Things blog? It’s a feast for the eyes! And when I checked out Nicky’s Etsy shop, I just had to buy this beautiful set of 10 fabric collage cards, two each of five designs. Look . . . some of them even have HEARTS on them . . . perfect for Valentine’s Day! Nicky also has other fabric collages, embroidery, hearts, ceramics, paintings, bunting, pillows, bags, dolls, pincushions, and even shapes cut from vintage fabrics for crafting. Click here for Nicky’s blog, here for her FB page, and here for her Etsy shop from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Oh, and you MUST check out these photos of Nicky’s amazing Pop-Up Shop! Thank you, Nicky! ♥
I recently won a 2013 Art Calendar by Blue Sky and Egg Press in a giveaway sponsored by my blogging friend Molly of Charlotte’s Fancy. It’s PERFECT for my home office! Then, generous person that she is, she also added a whole BAG of cards and labels—some artistic, some crafty, and some cute. I put a few of them in the collage below . . . I just love them all! If you’re not already acquainted with Molly, please check out her blog, including the “About” page where you can find links to her projects that have been featured on other blogs and even in magazines! Thank you Molly! ♥
See these beautiful flowers? They’re painted on a vinyl record album!!! I love it! This work of art was created by my friend Kristin and her parents. Kristin was a student teacher in my school and is now a full-fledged teacher, newlywed, and brand-new Etsy shop owner. I’d like to invite you to check out Kristin’s blog here and her shop here—featuring painted glassware, handmade cards, candle holders, and more—or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you again for the lovely gift, Kristin! ♥
As you know, I LOVE writing to people on notecards with original art. My New Zealand blogging friend Bec of Clouds of Colour has gorgeous prints in her Etsy shop, and when I asked her if she could transform this beautiful pink doily crochet watercolor into cards, she jumped right on it! I know you’ll enjoy checking out Bec’s work from the links in this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely purchase and customer service across the ocean, Bec!
P.S. Please help yourself to Bec’s adorable and FREE downloadable, printable gift cards, perfect for Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. Just lick HERE! I can’t wait to use them . . . thank you again, Bec! ♥
Ooohhh . . . MORE cards with reproductions of original art! And they’ll be PERFECT for invitations for a big birthday party I’m throwing this summer for the head cowboy in our family, thanks to my blogging friend Beverly of Beverly Dyer Fine Art and Stationery, who also sells her beautiful creations in many stores in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. She even added this beautiful memo pad to my order! Click here for Beverly’s web site, here for her blog, and here for her Etsy shop featuring painted art prints, cards, pendants, and pillows, or find her links anytime in my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Beverly! ♥
I absolutely love to send people cards made from original art and photography reproductions, so I was very excited to find these in the Redbubble Shop of my blogging friend Rita from Australia! Rita has her own studio and gallery, teaches classes, hosts exhibitions, and has MANY creative irons in the fire including quilts, fibre and textile art, mixed media, and collectibles. Here are Rita’s links, which you can locate anytime in my Shop Love! page above:
- Gone Rustic WordPress blog
- Gone Rustic Etsy Shop
- Redbubble Shop
- Pilgrim Cottage Collectibles Etsy Shop
- Stitched Up Mama WordPress blog
- Stitched Up Mama Etsy Shop
Thank you for the beautiful cards, Rita! ♥
Yes, I’m about to share ANOTHER amazing daughter-in-law craft! We were so excited to get this beautiful star with photos of our dear little ones for Christmas. Jen was kind enough to send me a tutorial this week . . . and she must have known I’d ask, because she’d even taken a photo of her materials! Thank you, Jen! ♥
(1) Get a wooden or metal star from a craft store, some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, a paint brush, scissors, and photos. Tip: Photos that are further away from the subject work better than close-ups.
(2) Use a piece of plain paper to cut templates for each side of the star points. Then look at the pictures and decide which ones to put on the star and where they will go based on their sizes and vertical/horizontal positions.
(3) Use your template to cut out the pictures, making sure they are facing the same way as their position will be on the star.
(4) Paint the backs of the photos with Mod Podge and stick them to the star.
(5) Cut scrapbook paper to fit any extra space on each point of the star and Mod Podge it on.
(6) Paint the whole star with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight.
Remember the beautiful birthday cards I received a week ago today? The fabric postcard is framed (Laura wrote a how-to post about it and I even commented . . . never knowing what she was up to! :)), twenty are on my photo mobile, and the rest are displayed in a beautiful bowl. Thank you again for the wonderful surprise! ♥
Do your New Year’s resolutions include using more of what you already have in your crafting, gift-making, and home decor? Then you’ll want to meet Mahe at The Altered Upcycling Blog and Altered Upcycling. Mahe explains that she has a Master’s degree in Operations Research, works at a software house, and is an avid altered artist who is constantly looking for ways to make the world greener one small craft project at a time. And, if you sign up on her blog or web site, you’ll receive her FREE pdf book called The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling for one-of-a-kind jewelry, cards, gift bags, wall art, and more. Mahe sends out free ideas and how-to videos in her email newsletter as well, such as how to make a beautiful card from a dinner napkin, old dictionary page, leftover ribbon, and glue! Mahe writes in a friendly, conversational style as if she’s sitting right beside you, includes what worked and DIDN’T work for her, and supports her ideas with step-by-step directions, photographs, and alternatives. You can get your copy by clicking on the link in this post or any time from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Mahe! ♥
We had our “Walker Family Christmas” yesterday, and when my daughter-in-law Shannon walked in with this cute owl tin, little did I know that a surprise birthday party was inside! A few weeks ago, Shannon secretly emailed as many of my blogging friends as she could and invited them to join in a card shower for my birthday today, and W-O-W, was I ever showered! I stayed up until all hours last night reading and shedding some tears over the beautiful cards and sweet messages from all over the world. I can’t thank Shannon enough for this incredibly thoughtful gesture, and I can’t thank YOU enough for being my wonderful friends and encouragers. As this card that Shannon made for me says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” New Year blessings to all of you, with love from Pillows A-La-Mode. ♥
Welcome to the “JOYFUL” edition of Collectively Creative, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! My project is easy and fun . . . similar to the Instagram collage letters I made this summer. . . . and I love how it turned out!
(1) Purchase some wooden letters at a craft store. Mine are 12 inches tall and were on sale for around $2 each.
(2) Optional: Paint the letters and let them thoroughly dry. I spray painted these with the green paint left over from my antique milk bottle project.
(3) Get out Christmas cards you received and saved from last year and cut out pictures and words to fit the shapes of the letters, overlapping them as in a collage. Attach these bits with Mod Podge. Or, if you don’t have cards available, use images and words from holiday magazines.
(4) When each surface is covered to your satisfaction, coat the entire letter with Mod Podge and let it thoroughly dry.
(5) Display your letters on a shelf or drill small holes or attach hanging hardware to the backs and hang them on the wall. Mine are now over the stairs along with my peppermint wreath where they’ll greet our Christmas Day guests at the front door. ♥
P.S. Before I link to our other Collectively Creative posts, I’d like to give a shout out to some other amazing bloggers who have shared their J-O-Y this season. Thank you to ALL of you for your inspiration!
- Framing Christmas PJs – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
- How To Display Christmas Cards – (Organized Living Essentials)
- Adding Joy to Every Room – (Neaten Your Nest)
- DIY Gift Bows (Upcycled Toilet Paper Rolls) – (Inspire and Indulge)
- How to trim a Christmas tree: ornaments, Lego trains and whipped cream – (The Thing About Joan)
- Joy Advent Calendar (And Giveaway!) – (Cul de Sac)
- Joy To The Cookies: Having an Annual Holiday Cookie Baking Party – (Green Door Hospitality)
- The Spirit Of Christmas – (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
- DIY Themed Mini Christmas Trees (This One’s for My Husband!) – (Mrs. And The Misc.)
- Wrapped In Christmas Lights (Happy Little Kiwi)
- Sharing Joy – (Gentle Stitches)
- The Joy Of Discovery – (Love, Laughter and a Touch Of Insanity)
Today I’d like to highlight three more of our WordPress blogging friends who have lovely handmade items you’ll want to check out! Read about them here today and anytime on my Shop Love! page above.
(1) I Love Cards & Design: Click here for Patricia’s lovely blog and here for her Etsy shop. I LOVE these chevron cards! You can choose your own colors (or a mixture like these) and get any name or message on the front. I asked for “Happy Birthday” so I can use them for extra-classy greeting cards in the new year. Patricia also has other fun items, such as calling cards, favor boxes, and birth announcements. Plus, her customer service and packaging are SO professional! Thank you, Patricia!
(2) Jewels for All: Click here for Stefanie’s fun, creative blog and here for her Etsy shop. These gorgeous red earrings will be a gift for someone special . . . if I can part with them! 🙂 Stefanie also has many other one-of-a-kind earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. I really love your work, Stefanie!
(3) I’d Rather Be Crafting: I just met Eleanor, a new WordPress blogger here, but she makes the cutest coin pouches and matching keychains (along with other crafty items) that she sells on her Eleanor’s Creations Facebook page. To order, simply write “Sold” in the comment section and message her the email address associated with your PayPal account, and she will email you an invoice. I’ll have fun gifting these to some girls on my list, Eleanor! ♥
Last week I put out my first “Shop Love!” post.
I wanted to start promoting our blogging friends’ small businesses.
I’ve done a little more shopping . . .
and I won a giveaway . . .
so today I’d like to highlight four more bloggers and stores.
Once again, each one impressed me with both their BEAUTIFUL products . . .
and their QUALITY customer service.
Here are their contact links!
You can also check them out ANYtime on my new “Shop Love” page above. ♥
(1) The Original Thread: I fell in LOVE with this inspirational 2013 calendar, which is designed by Melanie of The Original Thread blog and sold as a fabric panel in her Spoonflower shop at Madex Designs. She has many other gorgeous fabrics as well!
(2) Terri’s Notebook: I recently won a lovely giveaway from Terri’s Notebook—two pdf patterns. I was going to wait until I made the items to share them . . . but that hasn’t happened yet, so I’ll share what they WILL look like. 🙂 The first pattern is for Stuff Baskets and the second is for a Checkerboard Set, and both are for sale at her Patchwork Trails Etsy Shop. You can also visit Terri’s portfolio here and her paper goods shops here. Terri’s motto is “Explore. Dream. Create.” Don’t you love that? ♥
(3) A Kitschy Kitchen: I’m just starting to make aprons myself, but I know someone on my gift list who will LOVE this one! It’s from Megan of A Kitschy Kitchen: The Life and Studio of an Apronista who sells her creations at her Etsy shop. Notice, too, the adorable fabric gift card holder! Stressing quality as well as beauty, Megan’s motto is “Buy Well, Buy Once.” She also has some other lovely items in her shop, such as embroidery, cocktail napkins, and coasters.
(4) TheHighNoteDotNet: I’ve followed Darilyn’s lovely blog thehighnotedotnet for a long time now and was so excited to receive my first purchase from her Etsy shop, which specializes in vintage music projects. Darilyn even included a little gift . . . a copy of my favorite quote, which I embroidered on a pillow and she offers to all of us for free to make an iron-on transfer. She graciously provides tutorials for her projects as well. And check out her craft room . . . it’s amazing!
A couple of years ago I saw a kids’ art jar online and thought it would be the perfect gift for a special little girl’s birthday. It was so colorful and intriguing . . . but when we dumped everything out, I found LOTS of pretty raffia filling and WAY too few actual art supplies. Live and learn, right? So, when my dad was preparing for a recent move and asked if I’d like to have some empty plastic snack containers, I immediately thought, “ART JARS!” I began collecting artsy/crafty items from the dollar bins at Michaels and Target, plus hitting the dollar stores, and soon had a huge bag of fun things to include. These will be under some Christmas trees soon! ♥
Yes . . . I was the very lucky winner of another blog giveaway! Debbie of Debbie Does Doodles made these fun and lovely tags and labels and included a sweet note on a vintage postcard that made me smile. Isn’t her work amazing? THANK YOU, Debbie! I appreciate you! ♥
I know . . . I’ve been winning WAY more than my share of blog giveaways lately! But . . . they’re so much fun! 🙂 And look at these BEAUTIFUL handmade cards I received in the mail from my new friend Vickie of Horsemark Cards!
Please take a moment to get acquainted with Vickie by clicking here for her blog, here for her FB page, and here for her store. Vickie—they’re spectacular, and I can’t thank you enough for such a lovely gift. ♥
I got the sweetest giveaway gift in the mail today . . . stationery, notecards, and a memo pad designed by the fabulous designer Kara of Karalynn Creative . . . plus, the most amazing pencil I’ve ever seen made by Anthropologie! Besides Kara’s WordPress blog, she has a lovely Etsy shop for you to visit, too. Thank you, Kara! ♥
I met my super-crafty, super-sweet, and super-pretty daughter-in-law Shannon for coffee, and look what she made for me! Tiny easels with paint and ribbon a-la-mode and tiny art canvases with paint and paper decoupage (and tiny spools for Frankenstein!) for my Halloween decor! I LOVE them! THANK YOU, Shannon! ♥ P.S. Click here to see an example of Shannon’s mixed media “She Art.”
For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send. I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT. I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!” So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.
- I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
- The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
- The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
- With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
- A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
- While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! 🙂 After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
- Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet. 🙂
Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail! ♥
My crafty friend Debbie gave me a fun gift. . . a sample of her new Halloween treat bag! Isn’t he cute??? Mine is filled with paper to use as a decoration, and he looks right at home beside my bowl of giant fabric candy corn! I’m going to try my best to make some for our trick-or-treaters this year. Thank you, Debbie! ♥ P.S. If you love owls, remember that you can get a free David Bromstad owl art print by following the link you’ll find here!
I was so intrigued when I saw some wooden letters decoupaged with maps on House of 34 and decided to make a set for a gift. However, the birthday guy is an amazing photographer who creatively explores the city of Philadelphia with all of its amazing architecture, landmarks, murals, and street art. So . . . I printed off some of my favorite Instagram photos he’s shared on FB and cut out different bits to create a “Mod Podge collage” on each letter instead. I love that I can show him how proud I am of him . . . and it was fun, too! ♥ P.S. You can follow on Instagram at mr_fisher. And Ashley Bollinger has some other fun Instagram art projects here.
On our recent trip to visit Baby Katy, I saw some adorable creations in her nursery! I also discovered the most amazing fabric art at the Philadelphia International Airport—Kay Healy’s “Coming Home” life-sized fabric mural in Terminal E. (Click on photo above for a larger view). I couldn’t stop looking at all the intricate details!
Now for those fun nursery ideas . . .
(1) The top picture is “She Art” lovingly created by Katy’s Aunt Shannon. Visit Christy Tomlinson’s blog (the founder of She Art) to learn more about this art form.
(2) The owl and flower paper collages are by a lovely interior designer and friend of Katy’s mom and dad. Please check out her web site at Ashley Heath Design. (And we loved how the flowers coordinate with Katy’s new mobile!)
(3) Katy’s mommy, author of the delicious cooking blog Consumed: My Culinary Adventure, made this beautiful curtain “gift-wrapped” with ties sewn from a coordinating fabric. I love it! ♥
If you’ve ever wondered where my WordPress Gravatar originated . . . now you get to find out! It’s from one of my all-time favorite online businesses called Design-Her-Gals. If you LOVE putting together outfits, you’re going to love this site! You pick your “you,” then dress and accessorize her and put her on stationery, business cards, mailing labels, notecards, aprons, mugs, caps, luggage tags, and all kinds of other cool items. PLUS, Design-Her-Gals supports research for Stage IV breast cancer. PLUS, they have the BEST sales! For example, right now they have 37% off all their stationery and paper products! They even have print-order and print-at-home options available! So, even if you’re not in the market for something like this right now, please explore their site when you get a chance, and get on their mailing list, too, so you’ll know about their frequent sales. I have a card for my writing business in one outfit and square gift cards for my sewing and crafts in this outfit . . . and check out the fabric swatches and sewing machine! ♥
- They’re quick and easy, and it’s so much fun to mix and match scrapbook papers for the covers, spines, and labels.
- A notebook costs less than $1 to make and less than $2 to mail, so by adding a handwritten message on the first page, it makes the perfect economical yet pretty and useful greeting card/gift combination.
You can find a complete tutorial here. I can’t wait to start giving these away, too! ♥
In my spare moments this week, I’ve been standing at the kitchen island turning the scrapbook paper circles I cut out on our recent road trip into garland for my class reunion this weekend. The first string I made was plain blue and gold, but I decided to have fun with this one and add some designs. Oh, and I also found some pretty blue and gold fabrics for the tables. It seems like only yesterday that we were wearing these colors for our high school activities! But I love “now” WAY more, don’t you? ♥
We spent fifteen hours in the car this weekend for a fun trip to see family. In my project bag I brought along . . .
(1) blue and gold scrapbook paper to cut into circles for garland for my class reunion next weekend,
(2) fabric and buttons to make flowers, and
(3) two embroidery projects to finish (posts to come!).
I also received these adorable earrings as a surprise gift from our hostess! They’re created by a nonprofit called Unboxed Art . . . please check out their website when you get a chance, and have a lovely week! ♥
A few years ago I found this beautiful lined stretch-lace tank for $5 on a sale rack at JJill! But . . . it turned out that the color made my already-pale skin looked even more washed out . . . and it got several snags from a clothes-eating teacher’s desk . . . so I decided to get out my trusty scissors to rescue it from its lonely existence at the back of the closet. Here’s what I made:
- A headband
- A flower pin and hair bow (each with a vintage earring in the center)
- A mini origami lotus bag (paired with a bit of coral velvet from a robe my mom-in-law made and some thin gold cord)
- A bracelet purse (paired with a cotton remnant in the same color family for lining)
- A luggage tag (lace back paired with the same remnant and some burlap ribbon)
- A contrast-corner pillow (lace back paired with the same remnant and the lace from the tank’s neckline across the corners)
Loved it . . . hated it . . . now love it again! ♥
When I put together the Persian Plum kit I received from Books Quilts and Sewing’s giveaway, the first step was to sew a small, neutral-colored square onto a larger colorful solid or floral triangle and then cut the tips off both. This left me with a stack of perfect little triangles, and of course I decided I must do something with them as well! I always keep a stash of blank notecards and some craft glue handy, so here’s what I came up with (adding a tiny strip of one my other remnants for the trunks). I think they’ll become a nice little gift for a friend or family member someday soon! ♥
One of my teacher/writing group friends just got her first publication acceptance, so I wanted to give her a gift that includes the dragonfly on her business cards. I traced the dragonfly on a small scrap of sheer fabric, triple-folded it for strength, and embroidered over the lines. Then I cut it out and glued the body onto a flower on the cover of one of my mini-notebooks, leaving the wings free. Oh, and I wrote a message for her to discover on the first page. I’m SO happy for Pam! ♥
If you, like me, keep many of your sewing/crafting supplies out in the open in decorative containers, you’ll love this quick-‘n-easy project from Dianne Faw! Simply take the cover out of a tape dispenser, use it as a template to make a new, pretty one (from scrapbook paper, gift wrap, a map, whatever you have on hand), and put the new cover in. So cute! ♥
P.S. I’m keeping my new dispensers in this fabric basket that I fashioned from an “oops” while making my first bracelet purse. And if you haven’t tried a bracelet purse yet, click here. They’re so much fun to make and give for little girl gifts!
I’ve been trying to think of a fun way to display greeting cards rather than taping them to the frig (HO-HUM!). Seeing LOTS of garland (a.k.a. bunting) on Pinterest gave me an idea for our fireplace mantel. It was super-easy! I used some of the scrapbook paper from my mini-notebook project and the peanut butter lid from my road trip flowers project to cut out circles. I then folded them in half, unfolded them, dabbed them with a glue stick, and folded them back over some twine. I love how festive and colorful Dave’s birthday cards look now . . . I think I’ll leave them up for awhile! ♥
The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying this beautiful collection when I saw it marked down from $19.99 to $9.99. (Click on photo for a larger view.) Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is! Start by buying some mini composition notebooks. (Target has two-packs for 99 cents.) Then . . .
(3) Fold on the lines the wrong way and then the right way, making firm creases. Then glue the cover onto the notebook starting with the spine, then the covers, then the flaps.
Following are three additional options you can use to “dress up” your notebook . . . choose one, two, or all three. For me, what I chose depended on the cover design. For example, one has cute little birds on it and a spine cover would have hidden one of them, and another has words on it so I didn’t want to cover them with a label.
OPTION 1: BEFORE gluing on the cover, put a colored brad about ½ inch from the middle of the edge on both the front and back cover. Put a small coated ponytail rubber band around the back-cover brad and fasten the brad as tightly as possible. Leave the brad on the front cover a bit loose. Then, after you glue the cover onto the notebook, pull the rubber band from the back and loop it over the front brad.
OPTION 3: Make a small name label out of another scrap. If you like, make “stitches” around the edges with a colored pen.
Your notebook is now ready to toss into your purse or give away . . . perfect for a small hostess or gal-pal gift. Or, turn it into an extra-special greeting card by writing a happy birthday/get well soon/congratulations/thinking of you message on the front page of the notebook for the recipient to discover and putting it in a colorful envelope. Now, what to make with the rest of this fun paper . . . ♥ UPDATE: Click here for MORE mini-notebook!