Decorated Halloween Branches

 I kept my Halloween decorations to a minimum this year since our house is currently on the market. Did I tell y’all that, by the way? Yes, the house went on the market! Anyway, as much as I love decorating for Halloween (and fall in general), I kept it minimal for staging purposes. I hate my house being staged. It doesn’t feel like my house.

halloween branches with paper ornaments

But I did create this little vignette on my kitchen sideboard.
The weather here in SC has been gorgeous! I sent the boys into the woods in our back yard and asked them to find me some big branches. Of course this was not a difficult task for them! They love collecting sticks!

I spray painted the branches with some black spray paint I had in the garage.

During the process of turning and drying each side, I made the “ornaments.” I already had made some of these rosettes for a holiday craft party I had for the neighbors. I used Stampin Up designer series paper, punches and the Designer Rosette Bigz Cutting Die to create the accordion folded rosettes. (order rosette die here) I basically layered the different pieces using the coordinating papers from Stampin Up. (They make it so easy!)

halloween rosette howlstooth scaringbone stampin up

I used Howlstooth and Scaringbone designer series paper for these two. I LOVE this paper! It is darling for Fall and halloween, but can also be used any time of the year! You can order it here.

halloween rosette howlstooth scaringbone stampin up

  These next two are made from Stampin Up’s Wicked Fun designer series paper, which, by the way, is on clearance for an excellent deal! Order it here.stampin up wicked fun halloween rosette

This ornament also uses the Lifestyle Crafts Lattice Doily cutting die.

lifestyle craft delicate doily die cut halloween ornament

I also used this skeleton cutting die from Lifestyle Crafts Tricks ‘n Treats collection.

lifestyle crafts skeleton die cut

Once I started assembling it, I realized that it would be a great activity for the boys!

lifestyle crafts skeleton die cut

So I cut two more sets and told them to see if they could build a skeleton.

I let them do it on their own first and I was pretty surprised at how well they did! But then I let them use mine as a model to glue their pieces to the paper.

lifestyle crafts skeleton die cut

lifestyle crafts skeleton die cut

My skeleton got some ribbon and some distressing and was hung on my tree with the rosettes.

lifestyle crafts skeleton cutting die

And here are all the “ornaments” all together on the branches.

halloween branches with paper ornaments

My little corner of Halloween!

Hey, have you entered to win the Designed Beginnings store credit? You could win a $40 store credit to use on anything  you want! Don’t miss out! YOu have until Friday, October 19 to enter! Just click here.

Parker’s Lego Birthday

Last Saturday we celebrated Parker Reese’s third birthday. It’s hard to believe my sweet little monkey is three already!

The child’s two favorite things are Legos and Star Wars so Of course he chose a Lego themed party. I was actually pretty excited about this. I knew it would be a fun (and easy) theme to work with.

I started with Lego invitations that I found on Pinterest. I created the invitation using the Silhouette software. I downloaded a Lego font that I found on the Internet and just changed the color of the letters and I used a wooden stamp for the party information. I cut red, yellow and blue card stock into rectangles (about 3×5 inches) and used a 1-inch punch for the circles. Dimensionals were used under the circles to give it the 3-D look.

Lego birthday invitations cards

The decorations were simple. I bought lots of red, yellow and blue balloons and tied them around the room. I made this banner using my silhouette, some lego scrapbook paper I found at the craft store and an image I found online.

lego birthday banner

lego birthday bannerlego birthday banner

The table spread was also simple. I used a big Lego head in the center of the table and tied lots of balloons to it (they hadn’t arrived yet when I took the photo). I added some color using vases of candy (blue Sixlets, Twizzlers and Lemonheads) and, of course, Legos!

lego birthday party decor

I really wish I had gotten a better picture of the cake. It was three sections (red, yellow and blue) stacked. My friend Cristy (who made Parker’s adorable hay bale cake last year)

lego cake birthday

 I was lucky enough to find someone local that did Lego parties. Bricks 4 Kidz was great! During the party, the kids got to build they’re own mini figuring, participate in races, games, scavenger hunts and more!

For party favors I ordered a bunch of lego candy (2 lbs!) and random Lego pieces (500!).
Each child got to take home a candy favor. I used cellophane bags and the Lego paper to make the candy favors. 

lego candy party favor birthday

I had hubby and the boys custom build each child a figure using the Lego pieces. They turned out pretty interesting! The kids also got to take home their mini figurine they created during the party.

lego party favors

Happy third birthday to the kid who loves trying on my shoes,

 loves making people laugh,

always keeps us on our toes,

but is still the sweetest little guy in the world!

Halloween Matchbox Treats

lifestyle crafts matchbox die cut stampin up halloween

Yes, Halloween is right around the corner! Can you believe it? It is time to start thinking about those Halloween treats!
The Lifestyle Crafts Fall Core Collection 2 cutting dies have just been released!

And I’ve used two of these items to make the cute little Halloween treat boxes above!

The Rectangular Matchbox Cutting Die was used to create the treat container. I chose some coordinating Halloween papers from Stampin’ Up! and ran them through the Big Shot with the matchbox die cut.

Here is box number 1…

lifestyle crafts rectangle match box cutting die

This designer series paper I used for this box, Wicke Fun, is one of my favorite holiday papers! And it’s on clearance right now and are 50% off the regular price!! Get it here before they are gone! I also used the bat punch, also on clearance (order here) and the new rosettes die cut (order here).

stampin up halloween rosette

Once the box is cut you fold it and put it together  so it looks like this. The rosette die cuts and scores the paper. To create the rosette, you will fold (accordion style) the scored marks, glue the two end pieces and push the center inwards and fill the center with hot glue to secure. The circles and bat are punched and the white circle is stamped with using the Wicked Fun stamp set (order here).

rectangle match box cutting die stampin up rosette

I added a stip of matching card stock around the box. Before I attached it, I stapled coordinating ribbons. Don’t worry, the staple will be covered by the rosette!

lifestyle crafts matchbox cutting die

Then I secured the rosette piece on the strip with hot glue.

stampin up rosette wicked cool halloween

Now for box number 2…

In addition to the matchbox die, I used the Lattice Doily Die, also from the new collection, for the second box.
I ran it through the Big Shot, using grey card stock.

lifestyle crafts  latticedoily cutting die

The doily was then folded to fit around the box.
This designer series paper from Stampin Up! is Howlstooth & Scaringbone, the new Halloween collection. This collection is fun! It features orange and ivory polka dots, herringbone, stripes, orange chevron (TRENDY), grey & ivory polka dots, and a few other very “in” prints (order here).

lifestyle crafts lattice doily matchbox cutting die

Like the first box, I stapled coordinating ribbon to the doily piece before attaching it to the box (order here). The rosette was created like above. Now check out the cute googlie eyes on the mummy! I actually purchased this stamp from Michaels (in the dollar stamp bins) but you can find a similar stamp set here. And the adorable googly eyes have adhesive backing (order here).

 lattice doily matchbox cutting die stampin up howlstooth

A glue dot to attach “spooky” (from the Wicket Fun set) and hot glue to attach the rosette.

stampin up howlstooth googlies

Ladies and gentlemen…
you have some adorable Halloween treat boxes!

lifestyle crafts matchbox stampin up wicked cool bats

lifestyle crafts matchbox stampin up howlstooth goolies

lifestyle crafts matchbox die cut stampin up halloween

And here is one other matchbox (not Halloween related) I created using the rectangular matchbox cutting die from Lifestyle Crafts.

lifestyle crafts rectangular matchbox cutting die Remember the Spooky Halloween Coffin I shared with you last week?

lifestyle crafts coffin die cut stampin up wicked fun stamp

The Tricks-n-Treats dies are now for sale! There are a bunch of fun Halloween die cuts to choose from so be sure to take a look!

And don’t forget, you can save 20% by entering the code SCISSORS at checkout!!

Spooky Halloween Coffin

Lifestyle Crafts will be releasing their newest line of fall holiday die cuts on September 17. I have a little sneak peak for you of one of the dies from the Tricks ‘n Treats collection.

lifestyle crafts halloween coffin die cut

This spooky coffin was created from the QuicKutz coffin cutting die {not for sale until Sept 17}. Let me show you how I made it.
I started by measuring some designer series paper from Stampin’ Up! {view entire collection here}. What I love about SU’s designer paper is that it is heavy duty, like card stock, so you can use it for boxes, cards, etc. and it will hold up. It’s not flimsy like the paper you get at the craft store. This grey and ivory polkadot paper is from their newest Halloween collection, Howlstooth and Scaringbone {order here}.

lifestyle craft coffin die cut howlstooth paper

After cutting the paper to size, I placed the paper and die in the cutting plates and ran it through the Big Shot {order here}. The die cuts some edges and perforates others.

lifestyle craft coffin die cut howlstooth paper

The perforated edges are to be folded. The small tabs are where you will glue the sides together.

lifestyle craft coffin die cut howlstooth paper

Two way glue works best for three-dimensional objects. It makes them sturdier. It comes in a green and white bottle and you can find it in the scrapbook adhesive section of the craft store or you can order here.

lifestyle craft coffin die cut howlstooth paper

Once the top and bottom were glued, they looked like this.

lifestyle craft coffin die cut howlstooth paper

Then I decided I wanted to emboss the top, so I had to peel it apart. I had this cute spiderweb embossing folder (order here) so I used it for the coffin lid.

spider web embossing folder

And then I decided I needed to distress it with some ink (are you surprised?)

spider web embossing folder coffin die cut

Now that the coffin was finished, I needed to dress it up. I used these two small tags, part of Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kits cutting dies.

lifestyle crafts label it kit die cut

Once cut, I used Stampin Up Wicked Cool stamp set {order here}. I stamped “Spooky” and then used the spider web to stamp in just the corners of the label. Then, of course, I distressed both tags with black ink.

wicked fun stampin up

I used double-sided adhesive to stick the tags together and then added a little rhinestone embellishment {order here}.

stampin up wicked fun stamp label it kit die cut

I tied two coordinating ribbons in a single knot and attached the tag to the coffin using a dimensional adhesive {order here}. If you’re not familiar with dimensionals, they are fat, double-sided adhesive pieces that leave a gap between the two pieces you are attaching. They add “dimension” to your project!

lifestyle crafts coffin die cut stampin up wicked fun stamp

And that was it!

lifestyle crafts coffin die cut halloween decor

I added some crinkled orange paper which I cut myself using a scoring board and scissors.

The skeleton came from a Dollar Tree garland.

lifestyle crafts coffin die cut stampin up wicked fun stamp

Be sure to check out Lifestyle Crafts new fall cutting dies! Tricks ‘n Treats and Cornucopia will be for sale September 17.

Easy As Pie Gift Box

I wanted to share with you these cute little “Easy as Pie” boxes I made as a make and take a few months ago.

The box was cut using Lifestyle Crafts’ dessert box die cut. You use the die to cut the paper of your choice. I used one of my favorite Stampin’ Up! designer series papers, Summer Smooches {order here}, with coordinating card stock {order here}. The die cut will also create perforated edges which you will fold. Then you just glue the sides together to create the top and bottom pieces of your box! Easy as pie!

To decorate the tops of my box, I used Stampin’ Ups Summer Smooches fabric {order here}. In case you didn’t know, Stampin’ Up! has adorable coordinating fabrics for most of their designer series papers. You get three coordinating fabrics in a set for only $9.95. Check them out here.
Anyway, I used the Fun Flowers die to cut paper and fabric flowers {order die here}. I layered the flowers so that the petals were staggered, added a smaller punched flower and used a coordinating brad {order here} to attach them.

I made little tags for each box and stamped “sweet treats” on each tag. This stamp came from a set called Teeny Tiny Wishes. It has just about every greeting you can think of {order here}. I tied a simple ribbon to each tag and looped it around the brad.

I ended up using some ink to distress the edges of my boxes. I just think it adds a little something extra and always makes it look better.

I love this dessert box die cut! Check out more ideas for Lifestyle Crafts die cuts on their blog and Pinterest page.

Back to School Gift Ideas with AstroBrights Paper

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have your kiddos gone back to school yet? Our summer officially ended when my boys went back to school this past Friday. And although it stinks to say good-bye to summer, good-bye to the beach and pool and the late summer nights, WE are all excited about the new school year.

Photobucket

Being a former teacher myself, I love to show teacher appreciation and I’ve tried to pass this along to my boys. I l try as often as I can to make little gifts, treats or cards for the boys’ teachers to show my gratitude for all they do. And at the beginning of the year, I know they need supplies. So gift cards (Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, Walgreens, etc) are the best thing you can give them!

So I knew exactly what we were going to do with this lovely batch of AstroBrights sent to me int he mail.

I was going to create some cute gift card holders.

I found some darling “scholarly” designer paper to coordinate with the AstroBrights paper.

The first project with a little pocket on the front to hold the gift card.

 I used my Silhouette CAMEO to cut the pocket and the ticket.

The rest of the pieces are cut to fit and punched. The layout if very similar to my popsicle card.

The little pocket has preferrated edges that you fold which are glued to the surface of the card.

Here is the card once the pieces are secured. I found some coordinating bright turquoise blue baker’s twine to loop through the tag.

The gift card fits perfectly on the tag and right inside the pocket! {In case you are wondering, I’m not giving them an ITunes gift card! It’s the only one I had on hand.}

The next is a cute little gift card box. I can’t take credit for designing this one. We made it in Stamp Club and my demonstrator, Angie Guy, created it.

I started by cutting the faces of the box and the decorative flowers. These were all cut using Stampin Up! dies.

Next I had to create the box that holds the cards. You do this by cutting a sheet of  5 1/2″ x 6″ paper. Score the 6″ side at 1″ and 5″. Score the 5 1/2″ side at 2 1/2″ & 3 1/2″ Then cut slits as shown below.

Then the scored edges are folded and creased with a bone folder and glued together to make a box that is open at one end.

Large 4″ and 3.5″ scalloped circles were cut with my Silhouette CAMEO. I used the same color as the face of the box and the designer paper. I also added a rhinestone embellishment in the center of the small, layered flowers.

After gluing the two large scallop circles together, lay them over the top of the box and gently crease a mark for each of the box faces. After the creases have been made, use a bone folder to finish the folds. Attach the inner side of the scallops to the back side of the box.

Then you just attach the smaller flowers to the front of the box and use velcro with adhesive backing to hold the closed.

Check them out…

Fun and bright! What a great way to celebrate back to school!

Want your paper announcements and projects to get noticed? Want your newletters, flyers and brochures to stand out from the others in that pile of papers? AstroBrights paper is the solution!

AstroBrights papers come in 23 brightly colored shades sure to stand out in the “crowd” of paper stacks. 

And don’t miss your chance to enter the “Give a Brighter Year” sweepstakes

Enter your favorite elementary school to win $30,000 in supplies! And, if they win, lucky you will also get $500! Talk about a win-win situation!

AstroBrights is also hosting “Make Something Astrobright” design challenge.  This contest is designed to bring families together and encourage creativity. What will your family create with AstroBrights paper? There is a different challenge each week so be sure to check it out! You can enter both of these things by going to the AstroBrights paper Facebook page.

 

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“Cool” Popsicles Card Using Lifestyle Crafts Pool Party Dies

Today Lifestyle Crafts released their newest line of QuicKutz Cutting Dies!!

popsicle card lifestyle crafts pool party die cut

The Pool Party Cutting Dies are so fun and perfect for summertime crafts and scrapbooking! Check them out…

lifestyle crafts pool party die cut

As shown above, I used the popsicles to make a fun & friendly “You are cool” card.
I started with a plain white card and some Stampin’ Up scrap pieces of brightly colored paper and ribbon.

I used the quick cuts dies to cut my popsicles.

popsicle lifestyle crafts pool party die cut

Next I used my Stampin’ Up! scalloped edge punch to create a border.

stampin up scallop edge punch

I used the Summer Smooches designer series paper to create my background. It wasn’t quite big enough so I split it in half since the entire center of the card would be covered. Then I added my scalloped border at the bottom.

stampin up summer smooches DSP paper

I placed a white strip over the background and glued my popsicles and the sticks on top. Then I tied my teeny tiny Stampin’ Up ribbon into teeny tiny bows and used glue dots to attach them to the popsicles. This step took patience.

popsicle card

I knew I wanted to use a fun summer phrase, something about being cool, but didn’t think I had any stamps to do so. Then I remembered I had bought these from the dollar stamp bin at MIchaels. The center stamp says, “I think you are…” and the cute little image stamps have different words to complete that sentence.

summer stamps

I just used bits and pieces of the stamp to say, “You are cool.”

stampin up label punch

I punched it out with one of my smaller phrase punches and layered it with a slightly larger label punch. I attached these witha  dimensional adhesive to add some dimension to the card.

lifestyle crafts pool party die cut

Fun! I love these cute little die cuts!

And even though summer is winding down, it’s not too late to create some summer crafts! I’m sure you have dozens of summer vacation photos that need to be scrapbooked, right? These dies would be perfect! But they are limited edition so be sure to check out the Pool Party Dies now!
Lifestyle Crafts has also picked out some fun Core Collection that would complement the new Pool Party Collection perfectly! And they are on sale for 35% off!

Better yet, with my coupon code you can save an additional 20% making the total savings 55%!! So check out those dies and use the promo code SCISSORS at checkout!

Head on over to Lifestyle Crafts blog, their Facebook page and Pinterest  to see more fun ideas using the Pool Party Dies and all their other stuff!

Summer Vacation Mini Album

We just returned from a fabulous weeklong vacation to Folly Beach, SC. I have tons of pictures document this trip and so I thought I’d make a mini album that will be easy to carry around so I can share with family and friends.

scrapbook mini album beach

I started with a small notebook that I purchased from a dollar bin. {Michaels or Target, I believe.} Those dollar bins get me every time! Especially since now they all have adorable stationary and matching pens! I have an entire drawer full! So I was glad to finally use one for something!
I searched my stash and found some coordinating papers and ribbons.

I cut the papers into a variety of sizes in order to layer.

I ran the red paper through my Big Shot in a circle embossing folder.

So here are my pieces after I cut them to layer.

I thought this font {Quirky Alphabet from Stampin’ Up!} looked kind of beachy! I used Not Quite Navy ink to stamp “Folly” on a little wooden tag for added dimension, and “2012” on the paper flag.

You can distress the edges of paper by brushing the edges against the ink pad.

distress paper edge

This helps make this little piece of paper pop against the larger background pieces.

I layered the pieces like so. {Please ignore the shell. I thought this was where I was going to put it but changed my mind and moved it in the next step.}

I cut the ribbon into similar size pieces.

Then tied them around the elastic band of the notebook. Then I glued the shell to the knot of the ribbon.

stampin up ribbon embellishment

And that’s my $1 notebook turned mini-album!

I plan on using double-sided tape to attache the photos to the pages. I will also leave several pages blank to jot down memories of our trip and to document descriptions of the photos.

scrapbook mini album beach

Adorable Treat Caddy for Movie Night

The boys absolutely love when I announce, “Tonight is movie night!” They run get the blanket, spread it out on the floor and claim their spot.
Typical movie night consists of pizza dinner in front of the TV. However, Lifestyle Crafts recently sent me this adorable treat carrier die cut, so I decided to surprise the boys with a special movie night treat.

circus snack treat carrier

Isn’t this treat caddy adorable?! Where did I get it? It’s a Lifestyle Crafts cutting die.
Lifestyle Crafts recently released their Fall Core Collection 2012 dies. Check them out. . .

I immediately had my eye on the treat carrier and the tickets and I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.
I started with this stuff. The circus paper I’ve had. I think I found it at Michaels. I grabbed some coordinating paper and one of my popcorn boxes.

circus paper

Making the treat carrier was pretty easy.
If you don’t have and/or are not familiar with a die cut tool,  you NEED one! These things are so useful! This is the handle piece of the box. You need to cut two.

You simply layer the cutting mat, paper, die cut and another mat on top and run it through the tool.

You do the same with the box edge die, also cutting two.

And the banner.

When it’s all done, you will have several pieces that look like this.

The die not only cuts the paper, but it also perforates areas that are to be folded. Once folded, your pieces will look like this.

lifestyle crafts treat carrier die

Now it’s time to put it together. The next few steps are not the “correct” way to assemble these boxes. I realized this after I had done some gluing. But it still worked fine.
I used double-sided tape to attache the two handles with the “feet” pointing outward.

Next I lined the inside flaps of the edge pieces with glue. I LOVE this two-way glue. It’s super sticky and works great for cardstock projects like this.

Glue these edges under the “feet” of the handle pieces. (Here is where I noticed that before adhering the two handle pieces, I should have tucked the back edge flaps of this piece inside. I ended up just attaching them to the outside of the handle piece. No biggie, you won’t be able to see it since it will be filled with snacks).

lifestyle crafts treat carrier die

Then I added the banner.

lifestyle crafts treat carrier

Now to fill the box!
I was thrilled that my popcorn boxes fit perfectly in this little caddy! I used the design on the backside of the circus paper to decorate face of the box. Then added a coordinating strip and stamped “popcorn” on white cardstock. I also used the same stripe cardstock to cover a juice box.

popcorn box

I had an idea for the tickets as well. Same process using the ticket die cut.

lifestyle crafts ticket die

Jackson has been really into reading (or attempting to read) lately. So I thought it would be fun to let him read this. . .

ticket die cut

Of course he needed some help, he’s only 4! But he loves trying to read! :)
Then end result. . .

circus snack treat carrier

A fun movie night at home with happy kids and yummy snacks!

Be sure to check out Lifestyle Crafts Cutting Dies, including the new Fall Core Collection. And if you need some ideas, check out their blog.

 

Lifestyle Crafts It Kits & Alphabets

Today Lifestyle Crafts released its newest line the It Kits Dies. The It kits are core collection products (meaning they will be around for a while) and the kits are great for someone just starting out not only because each kit offers a variety, but because they also come with the digital files which lets you cut It Kits shapes on your digital die cutting machine as well as your manual die cutting machine. You can’t get any better than that!

lifestyle crafts label it kit

I used the Label It Kit and the Edge It Kit dies to create a couple projects I want to share.

Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kit Dies

Aren’t these great?! The Label It Kit has just about every size and shape label you can think of! And the Edge It Kit dies are so much easier than punching borders!
I’ll start with the “Thank You” card. I started the card with some basic shapes using Stampin Up! paper. Then I added a border to the bottom using the last border pictured in the Edge It Kit.

Lifestyle crafts it kits

Next I used this Label It die along with an oval that fit inside. This would serve as the backdrop for the words.

The words were cut using Lifestyle Crafts brand new 4×4 alphabet dies for the letters.
For this project I used the Parade font die.
I also got the Sugar Cookie font which I think is darling! I’ll share that project soon!
This is the first time I’ve used a die to cut letters and I love the way they turned out.
lifestyle craft label it kit parade alphabet
I also made a cute little clip inspired by a stamp I found at Michael’s for only $1. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed the little dollar bin full of stamps and inks, but I can’t stay away from them!
I found this adorable “You are my Sunshine” stamp and thought it would work perfectly with this sun-shape from the Label It Kit. I inked only the words in Melon Mambo from Stampin’ Up! and Daffodil Delight for the sunshine. Then I cut the sun out and attached it to  the Label It cut out.
Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kit Dies
I attached the label to a clothes pin, clipped it to a tin bucket ($1 from the Dollar Spot at Target) and tied a ribbon around the bucket.
I thought this would be a cute gift and you could put some little summer items inside the bucket!
Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kit Dies
Lastly, I used the Label It Kit to decorate some lolly pops. I used the sunshine cut-out along with a circle that fits inside and a small tag.
And also this vintage-like label. It reminds me of a Krispy Kreme sign!
Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kit Dies
This was very simple! I just layered the labels, stamped the words and attached the decor to the lollipops.
I tied two coordinating ribbons around the sticks for a little added flare.
Lifestyle Crafts Label It Kit Dies
And there you have it! Three cute and easy projects using Lifestyle Crafts new It Kits dies! Be sure to stop by the Lifestyle Crafts blog for more ideas using these great new dies!

Bloom-and-Grow Pretty Paper Bouquet

I’m so excited! My grandma is flying in today! She lives in Wisconsin and we only see her once, maybe twice a year. I wanted to welcome her with some flowers, but I knew she wouldn’t be able to take them home with her. So I came up with an alternative. A pretty paper bouquet!

lifestyle crafts bloom grow die cut flowers

Today Lifestyle Crafts released their newest die cut collection, Bloom-and-Grow! This new collection is full of pretty flowers for scrapbooking and card making. Many of the shapes are layers so you can create 3-D designs!

bloom grow die cut{source}

I used the Scallop Doilies Die to create my grandma’s paper bouquet! The paper is Summer Smooches designer series paper by Stampin’ Up!.

lifestyle crafts bloom & grow die cut

These die cuts are very simple to use. You simply place the paper on top of the die, sandwich it between cutting plates and run them through your Big Shot or other die cut machine.

scallops doilies die cut

I used a variety of the Summer Smooches papers and arranged them after they were cut. I used dimensional adhesives to make the flowers 3-D. I also cut hearts to use as the leaves.

I planned on using pipecleaners as the stems, but realized the flowers were too heavy. Quick fix – I grabbed some pencils we had laying around! I wrapped strips of coordinating Lucky Limeade cardstock around the pencils to cover them.

Then used a dimensional adhesive square to attach the pencil to the flower.

I embellished the flowers with buttons and brads and added the leaves to just a few. Good thing the bottoms of the stems would be hidden by the vase!

paper bouquet

Next I made the tag. I use my tag die cut and oval punch and some little flower stamps.

I tied it with one of my favorite ribbons from SU, ruffled ribbon.

Oh yeah, I need to mention that I had trouble getting the flowers to stay in place in the vase so I dropped a wad of play dough in the bottom and stuck them in it. Worked like a charm!

Hope grandma likes them!

lifestyle crafts bloom grow die cut flowers

Be sure to check out Lifestyle Crafts new Bloom-and-Grow collection!

Handmade Mother’s Day Card

Just two days left until Mother’s Day! Have you found a way to say thank you and I love you to yours?
If you haven’t already purchased a card, here is a simple way to make your own! The sentiment and papers can easily be changed, so this card could really be used for any occasion.

Handmade Mothers Day card Stampin Up

In the past year, I’ve become a Stampin’ Up-aholic! If you’re not familiar with Stampin’ Up!, it’s a company based out of Utah that sells a variety of paper products, stamps and other accessories for home decor, scrapbooking and card-makings. I love it so much {and I order so much of their product} I’ve recently become a SU demonstrator! So I’ve gotten lots of new products to try out!
One of my newest tools added to my collection are these Framelit Dies. These can be used in any die cut machine and are great for layering different sized shapes.

stampin up framelits die

So I used started with 2 blank cards and 2 sets of each of the pieces I needed to make the card I had in my head. I decided on two different sized framelits.

stampin up framelits die beyond garden dsp

I began by embossing my green cardstock.

embossing folder

Next I ran the paper with the framelits through the Big Shot.

stampin up framelits die

The smaller one cut the green embossed paper.

stampin up framelits die

And the larger cut the Beyond the Garden designer series paper.

stampin up framelits die

I started with the pink strip of paper and layered the two framelit pieces on top.

handmade mothers day card stampin up

I have this great set of stamps that includes a sentiment for just about any occasion/holiday. {Teeny Tiny Wishes}. I stamped it using Melon Mambo ink and then used the same ink to distress the edges.

Stampin Up mothers day stamp melon mambo

A little floral punch and a rhinestone embellishment, an the care was complete!

Stampin up floral punch rhinestone embelishment

I attached the greeting with a dimensional adhesive piece to give the card some texture.
And that was it! A cute, inexpensive way to show your mom that she matters!

Handmade Mothers Day card Stampin Up

Have a great weekend and Happy Mothers Day to all the mom’s out there!

Thank You for the Letterpress!

I finally got to sit down and make something other than favor boxes the other day. I had some new products to try out and I came up with this cute little thank you card.

I recently became a Lifestyle Crafts affiliate {Eeek, I know! So excited!} So when this showed up on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to get my craft on!

They sent me a Letterpress Starter Kit and a letterpress ink and printing plate set of my choice. I chose the tile printing plates with teal blue ink. Fun and mod, don’t you think?

Anyway, I was a little nervous about using this thing, even though I got to test drive it last year at Creative Estates. I’ve told you before, I’m not one who likes to read directions, but I gave in and thought it might be a good idea. This thing had a lot of parts! It was actually much easier than I thought and had only a few simple steps.

You first attach the printing plate piece or pieces to the letterpress platform. You can use the grid to make sure your placement of the printing plates and your paper match up.

You use the ink base and brayer to roll out the ink and apply it to the printing plates. I did remember from the conference last year that they said a little ink goes a long way. And boy did it ever! I used only a tiny drop! This ensures that you get even coverage on the printing plates and also prevents bleeding from too much ink.

Close the platform.

And crank this puppy through the machine. My machine is a Big Shot, but any embossing/die cut tool (Epic 6, Revolution, etc.) Speaking of Revolution, don’t miss the deal going on right now! I wasn’t familiar with this tool, but it sounds pretty magnificent!  It’s similar to the Epic in that it die cuts and embosses but it has a 4-inch magnetic platform, so when you put your metal dies on the platform, they hold tight and don’t slide off! It is easy-to-use and compact. Huge promotion going on right now for this machine! See below for details!

Okay, I got a little excited! Back to the card. here is how it looks after running it through the machine.

Now to make the card. I absolutely love this teal ink and it was so hard to choose which coordinating paper I should use! I had several in my stash!

I went with butterflies and polkadots! I used the polkadot designer paper as the backdrop and used my top note die to cut a frame-like shape with the butterfly paper.

Next I used my scalloped border punch to create a decorative edge strip of cantaloupe-colored paper.

A few coordinating butterflies.

I grouped them together and used a dimensional adhesive. This raises the butterflies slightly for some added texture. I also used a pearl embellishment in the center. I forgot to mention that I used black ink to distress the letter pressed paper.

Oh yeah, and I used sticky strip, an extremely sticky, double-sided tape, to hold the gathered ribbon. To do this you just fold it, kind of accordion-style, and attach one side of it to the tape. The ribbon I used is Stampin’ Up! ruffled ribbon in Island Indigo.

And there is my card! Then I realized, I can make a matching envelope! I used another printing plate from the tile set. I covered the lower part of the envelope with a piece of scrap paper. Same technique shown before.

Perfect! Except that I now realize it probably isn’t supposed to have the grid included in it! Oops!

Maybe I should send it to Lifestyle Crafts to thank them for this fabulous set!

Don’t miss out on these sa from Lifestyle Crafts’
April 16-22  you can get a 24 pack of patterned paper for only $10! That’s 50% off the normal price and you can use Scissors & Spatulas promo code  (SCISSORS) to get an additional 20% off! In case you’re not good at math, that’s 70% savings!
 Revolution, is being offered for $59.99 (Reg. $89.99) while supplies last! AND, of course you can use Scissors & Spatulas promo code (SCISSORS) to get an additional 20% off! That’s just $47.99!
 Want more reason to order now? You’ll receive free shipping on all orders of $25 or more on lifestylecrafts.com through the end of April!
What are you waiting for? Go shop! Just don’t forget to enter SCISSORS at check out to receive an additional 20% off!

Paper Mache Eggs: Part I

What started as a simple paper mache project, turned into some pretty fancy eggs!

I gotta admit that I was pretty pleased with myself! You see, I really only had intended on covering the eggs with a decorative scrapbook paper.

It all started like this. . .

Some plastic eggs, water, Decoupage (I ended up using Elmer’s glue), sponge brushes and bowls.

I mixed the glue and water {I didn’t measure, but I’d say 1 part glue to 3 parts water} and poured into smaller bowls. I guess I forgot to mention that I let the kids make some of these too. I gave them their brushes and bowls and let them go to town.

Anyway, I used some packaging paper as my base coat.

I tore it into pieces. . .

and soaked it in the glue mixture.

Then covered my egg using the traditional paper mache technique. I did have to shape and smooth some of the paper with my hands.

Next I took my Stampin Up! designer series paper and matching cardstock. . .

*If you are not familiar with Stampin’ Up! dsp, it’s double-sided with coordinating colors and patterns. They also have coordinating cardstock papers.

and tore it into pieces.

For the most part, I used one designer series paper and along with one color cardstock paper on each egg. I did a little at a time, letting each layer dry a little before adding the next. When they were completely covered, it took overnight to dry. I even had them under a heat lamp for several hours!

But in the morning they were finally dry! This was where I had anticipated being finished. BUT, it needed something else. {You’ve never heard me say that one before, have you?}  If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you could guess what I did.

Yes, I took out my Distress Ink pad and started inking it! To do this, you just lightly brush the ink pad against the paper in a back and forth motion.

Much better.

Then, I added one coat of pure Mod Podge because I like the little hint of shine in it’s finish.

And now, I thought I was done! But I wasn’t! I had another idea.

So I grabbed a few coordinating Stampin Up products and worked on the eggs some more.

But I’m going to share that with you tomorrow. For now, just take a sneak peek!

Cheap & Easy Monogram Art

I totally meant to post this before Valentine’s Day but somehow completely forgot! Better late than never, right? This was the creative activity for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) in February.

It’s a three-dimensional heart art on canvas. This project isn’t limited to just hearts though. That is why I thought i’d go ahead and post it. You can modify this craft to suit any season or holiday by using a different shape or use an initial to create a monogram.

This project is really inexpensive and you only need a few materials. The first is a painter’s canvas. You can find them in the art section of any craft or hobby store. They come in a variety of sizes, we used 8×8 and 5×7 inch canvases.

You’ll need to print the shape or letter you want to use. The letter can come straight from your wordprocessor. Just enlarge the font size. You can Google any shape you want to use. It will be completely covered so it doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it is a large image.

Now here is the fun {and free} part. Can you figure out what the hearts came from?

Paint samples from our local home improvement store! You can absolutely use scrapbook paper or whatever you like, but these are free and come in every color and shade you can imagine!

You’ll start by cutting out your shape or letter.

Use regular old school glue to attach your image to the canvas. Just a little will do just fine!

Then just use a punch to cut the hearts {or other shape}. Butterflies are another great shape and they would be perfect for spring decor! This triple heart punch is from Stampin’ Up.

After you have punched your pieces, glue a layer over your letter or shape just to cover the print.

Once it has dried, add another thin layer on top to make sure all of the image is covered as well as to give it some depth.

Once it is covered, fold some of your pieces to add some dimension to your craft. Add as many or ass few as you’d like. It’s your project!

When you are finished, you’ll end up with a cute little monogram {or shape} to display in your home. This mom added a few pieces of designer scrapbook paper in the mix.

You can drill holes in the canvas and tie a ribbon through it.

You can display it on an easel or plate stand. You can even frame it!

It’s a very simple, very inexpensive and very cute project! The colors and design can be modified to use for any season or holiday and to match any decor.

What I’ve Been Up To (Christmas Crafts)

Hello friends! I just cannot believe that Christmas is just days away! It completely blows my mind! Where has December gone? 
We had a handmade auction last week at Stamp Club. All proceeds went to the Ronald McDonald House. With just a handful of us we raised over one-hundred dollars! There were no limits or restrictions to the items we brought for the auction except that they had to be handmade. I just wanted to quickly share with you the items I made. I do not have the full tutorials, but I will do my best to explain how I created them.
This project started with the angel image. I found about 5 or 6 of them in a small baggie at the thrift store for fifty cents. I think someone just printed them off on cardstock to be honest, but I thought they were pretty. I tore the corners just a little bit and used sandpaper around the edges of the image to make it look more worn. Then I used my distress ink pad around the edges. This is the first time I’ve tried distressing paper with sandpaper and I was really pleased with the way it looked after I brushed it with the ink. The ink really soaked into the paper since it had been thinned from sanding.
Next I used my sewing machine to stitch the lace and burlap to the image. I also used two-way glue to adhere the image, but because burlap is so rough I thought sewing it would help keep it in tact. Plus, I like the look of stitching. I attached the burlap to the designer scrapbook paper with hot glue. After this, I was stumped. I didn’t really know what else to add. Then the song Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” popped into my head!

Luckily I had some old hymnals that I found at Goodwill a while back. I flipped through one and knew this would be perfect! I tore just below the first phrase, distressed it with the ink and attached it with double-sided adhesive.

I found a piece of scrap wood in the garage, hubby cut it to size, drilled holes in it, I inked it {of course} and I added some jute rope to make it hang. I love this piece! 
 Who is Angie? Angie is the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator that hosts the Stamp Club events. 
I call this piece “Angie-inspired”because she made a Christmas card that I used as inspiration and I used the technique she used to make that Christmas pillow that I love.

For this piece, I adhered iron on pellon interfacing {basically iron-on adhesive for fabric} to the back of my fabric and used my Silhouette to cut the ornaments. Be sure to apply the interfacing before cutting! It makes the fabric nice and stiff for smooth cuts. Then I peeled the liner away and ironed the ornaments on to the black and white damask fabric. I then used fabric glue to attache the ribbons. Each ribbon is two separate pieces. One short piece for the vertical “hanging” ribbon and a longer piece for the bow. I find it is easier to tie the bow and then cut the ribbon so you know it is long enough. 
 The frame I found at the thrift store for a couple bucks. It had a really ugly tropical fish print in it but the frame was fabulously fat! I trashed the print and the glass and wrapped the fabric around the cardboard insert. I sprayed a very light coat of black satin paint on the wooden frame and then scuffed it up a little with sand paper. I replaced the insert wrapped with fabric and viola! 
Don’t forget to stop by and enter the My Memories giveaway! The winner will receive the digital scrapbooking software for FREE!

"She’s Ready to Pop" Again!

Eeeek! I’m so excited!
Do you remember my post back in April for the “She’s Ready to Pop” baby shower favors?
Well, I have gotten more comments and questions about these favors than all my posts put together! {Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but I have had A LOT of inquiries.} I originally found these boxes at Hobby Lobby, but that was back in April. I have had so many people write me saying that they either do not have a Hobby Lobby or could not find them at their Hobby Lobby. I offered to buy the boxes an ship them, but my HL no longer carries them either. So I came up with a different solution. . .
I will make them and sell them in my shop!
{the shop is still in the works}
These I made for a small shower I had for my friend Rebecca. She is having a baby girl, but I didn’t want to use the typical pastel pinks. I decided to use a fun, more exciting theme of hot pink, black and white zebra. That’s the best news about this item. It can be customized to fit your party’s theme and decor!
That’s right, you tell me your colors and theme as well as any preferences you have for the favor boxes and I’ll ship them to you flat but assembled. All you have to do is pop the boxes into their upright position and fill them with your favorite popcorn snack.
I recommend my recipe for white chocolate popcorn. You can jazz it up by adding any extras you want to fit the color scheme. I used M&Ms in my first batch but this time I added chunks of pretzels.
These favors are a hit! They are cute and yummy and everyone loves them!
I hope to have my shop up and running soon. Until then, you can find more information about these boxes under my shop page.
And don’t forget about Shabby Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas! On the third day of Christmas, Shabby Apple gave to me. . .
This Tambourin Skirt at 25% off! Enter ‘Day3′ in checkout!
Don’t forget to check out Shabby Apple‘s newest line, Tinsel Town!

Cute Nametags For Any Occasion

Need a cute name tag idea? I was asked to help design the name tags for the upcoming year of MOPS. I found my inspiration from Kendra at My Insanity
I added the feathers for a little extra pizazz for the steering team members. 
These name tags are cute, easy and inexpensive. Much better than the blue and white “Hello, my name is. . . ” stickers! 
Here is what I used: a pink feather boa, black feather clips, cupcake liners and cardstock.

Two of the three liners need to be cut in order to see all three layers. Fold the liners in half and cut around the edges. Cut the cardstock to fit in the center of the liners. I used a circular scalloped punch and folded the edges slightly.
Use scrapbook adhesive to attach the layers. Attach a pinback to the backside.

I cut the pink boa into small pieces and and hot glued the pieces behind the black feather clips. 
Then I clipped the feathers onto the pinbacks. 
Tada! That’s it! Cute, girly nametags for MOPS open house
This was my failed attempt at taking a photo of me wearing my name tag. Little Miss Momma makes it look so easy! I’ll keep practicing. 

Aren’t they cute?! The girls loved them!

Trying Something New – Paper Crafts!

I recently started making paper crafts thanks to my MOPS buddy Angie. Angie is incredibly talented in decorating and crafting. She is also a Stampin’ Up demonstrator/sales rep. I’ve been a scrapbooker for years, but Angie introduced me to a whole new world of paper crafting. I’ve recently started making greeting cards, mini photo albums, and a few other paper crafts.

Here are two of the mini albums I made designed by Angie.
{Please excuse the photos. I took these at night so they are kinda dark.}

Materials needed: embossed heavy cardstock, coordinating designer scrapbook paper, envelopes, ribbon, brads, silk flowers, buttons, stamps, ink pads, scalloped or floral punches, a hole punch and scrapbook adhesive.

The first is a matchbook album. This is the front cover which closes just like a matchbook and is held together with a ribbon at the top. 

Inside the book are several pages, each a different style, to hold a single photo. 
The second is an accordion-style album. This album opens like a book and is secured shut with a ribbon.
Inside envelopes are attached to create a vertical accordion which houses unique pages for single photos.
A huge thanks to Angie for showing me how to craft with paper! I know I don’t have the step-by-step tutorial today, but don’t worry, I’ll be making more of these soon and sharing with you exactly how to do it! 

This week I’m linking up to these fabulous parties:

Todays Creative Blog


Guest Post: Custom Gift Box from Gwenny Penny

Hey, everybody! I’m so excited to be posting here on Jen’s blog today. I’m Gwen, and I blog over at Gwenny Penny. I’m a full-time mom of two little girls, and I love sewing, crafting, and just about everything creative. I blog in order to make sure that I carve out some creative time just for me each week. These are some of my favorite projects
Today I’m going to show you how to make a simple custom gift box. Shouldn’t you wrap a handmade gift in a handmade box? Yes! I was searching high and low for a little gift box in my basement a few weeks ago, but all I could find were enormous gift bags. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and make a cute little gift box of my own…

Adorable, no? These are so easy… I used to make this style box when I was a kid. And you can customize the gift box for the recipient by choosing the right rubber stamps, colors, and embellishments. Now you really want to make one, right? Here’s the how-to…
Materials:
  • 2 pieces of 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock
  • rubber stamp(s)
  • ink
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • butter knife
  • scissors
  • glue
  • embellishments

Instructions:

Step 1: Chose a piece of cardstock to use for the top of your gift box. We are going to stamp the paper first. You can stamp however you like, but I like to use the following method so that I don’t end up with any gaps. Lay your ruler out from one corner of your paper to the opposite corner. Start stamping along the ruler every couple of inches (depending on the size of your stamp).

When you get to the edge of your paper, place a piece of scrap paper along the edge and continue to stamp so that you get the partial pieces of your pattern on your cardstock.

Step 2: Once you complete the first row, move the ruler down a few inches, keeping the same angle along the paper. Start stamping the next row, staggering your stamps between the stamped images in the row above.

Continue until you’ve filled the paper above and below that first row that your created in Step 1. Let the ink dry before moving on to Step 3.

Step 3: Now it’s time to assemble your box top. Flip your paper over so that the stamped images are facing down. My finished box is 7″ x 4.5″ x 2″, so these measurements will result in a box of that size, but you can make any size you want. You need to start by creating four lines on your paper. Each line will be 2″ long and will be located 2″ from the adjacent edge of the paper. The lines drawn from the short edges of the paper will be horizontal. The lines drawn from the long edges of the paper will be vertical.

Please see the picture below for more detailed information…

Using scissors, cut along each of these four lines.

Step 4: You will need to score your paper to make it easier to fold. With your stamped images still facing down and using the blunt edge of a butter knife (upside down), score the entire length and width of your cardstock, 2″ from each edge. See the picture below for more detailed information…

Step 5: Time to start folding. With your stamped images still facing down, fold along the score lines on all four sides, folding the edges toward the center of your paper.

Take the four small squares formed by your cuts and score lines and fold them into the middle of the box top.

Glue these squares to the inside of the box at all four corners.

When you are done, it should look like this on the inside…

Step 6: Take your second piece of cardstock and trim 1/8″ from one short side and one long side. This will make it easier to fit the top piece over the bottom piece when you are done. Repeat Steps 3, 4 and 5 to create the bottom for your box. When you are done, you will have a cute little gift box!

But what is a handmade gift box without embellishments? Time to decorate!

I took a piece of fabric bias tape and looped it around one end of my box, securing it with glue. I made a little bow with the bias tape and glued that on top, followed by a small white button.

This is a quick and cute project that really adds a nice touch to a gift. There are so many options here. You could stamp the recipient’s name somewhere on the box, stamp the cardstock used for the bottom piece of the box, wrap it up with some ric rac or baker’s twine… the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination and creativity :)

I hope you’ll come visit soon over at Gwenny Penny. I would love to have you stop by. Thanks so much for having me here today, Jen!

Framed Hanging Silhouette Plaques

Happy Friday! The theme for round two of American Crafter was home decor. A pretty open theme. I decided to use a little something that I made my mom for Mother’s Day for my entry this week. She loved it and I hope you will too!
Framed Hanging Silhouette Plaques

Those profile silhouettes are my two brothers and myself. A couple weeks ago in my MOPS {Mothers of Preschoolers} group we learned how to make silhouettes using sweet Kristyn’s {I met her at GNO AZ} tutorial at Lil’ Luna. Here are the ones I cut of my boys during our craft session. 
Now I can remember my parents paying big bucks to an artist at Disney World to have our silhouettes made. Of course he could just look at us and cut a perfect profile silhouette! This method is much easier {and much more friendly on your wallet}! All you need is a camera, a printer and some scissors. 
Here are the steps for cutting the silhouette:
1. Take a close up profile photograph.
2. Print the photo on regular paper to the size you wish to cut. For these I printed 5×7.
3. Cut around the profile leaving a 1-2 inch border.
4. Using a pen, trace around the profile making sure to capture small details such as lips, hair lines, etc. At this point you can also add things like bows, collars, etc.
5. Using double-sided adhesive on ONLY the outer edges that will be discarded, secure the photo to card stock so it will not slip.
6. Use sharp scissors to cut around the traced line of the photo.
Easy enough, right? 
Ok, now for the plaques:

I started with three unfinished wooden plaques {$1.99 each} from Hobby Lobby.

I stained the wood using a dark colored stain. Mine is mocha but any dark wood stain will work fine.
I used one light coat of primer and two coats of Olympic Irish Cream latex paint.
After the paint was completely dry I used a low grit sandpaper to remove areas of paint around the plaque to let the dark stain show through. You can do this as much or as little as you like. It all depends on your preference. I like a lot of wood showing through. Then I used a template to cut ovals {slightly smaller then the face of the plaque} from an old book.
 I used Mod Podge to adhere them to the wood. One coat on the wood and two coats on top was plenty. *Note: the paper did bubble up in a few places. I used a plastic scraper to gently smooth out the bubbles. 
I used the same double-sided adhesive to attach the silhouettes to the plaques.

I used a glue gun to attach ribbon to the back of each plaque for hanging.

After hanging all three silhouette plaques I enclosed them in a large, open frame made out of some scrap trim pieces we had in the garage.
And that was {one of} my gifts to my awesome mom who put up with a lot of stuff from me over the years.
Thanks mom! 
If you have a minute, head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for round two!
Pretty, pretty please!

Jackson’s Peeking Groundhog

Well, another day stuck in the house because of cold, rainy weather. Booooo! So I’m trying to think of things to do to keep the boys (and myself) busy. How ’bout a craft? And since tomorrow is Groundhog’s Day, let’s make something for that! Now here is where my background in Early Childhood comes in handy.
This is what I came up with.
A peeking groundhog!
Okay, so the groundhog may look a little funny, but little man Jackson absolutely loves playing with it and I love that he made it!
These are the materials we used. Pretty basic. Oops, just notice that the styrofoam cup is absent from the photo. Brown pom-poms would have been really cute for the groundhog, but I didn’t have any in the junk craft bucket.
First Jackson painted the cup.
While it dried . . . 
Jackson cut the paper to make grass, 

I cut a circle and an oval for the groundhog and he glued the pieces together,
and then gave the little guy a face. (Please note the pride on Jackson’s face for what he just did. I love it!)

When the paint was dry we glued the grass onto the top of the cup.
I had to help a little bit with this part to secure it all the way around.

Finally, I poked the bottom of the stick through the inside of the cup.
And that was it!
Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Scrap Wood Becomes Valentine’s Decor

Hubby has tons of scrap wood in the garage. I was feelin’ kinda crafty one day and decided to go dig through his pile to see what I could fine. I came across these two pieces. Hmmmmm, what if I (well, hubby actually) cut them into blocks?
I had hubby cut them into 3″ cubes.
I painted the blocks with semi-gloss white paint which we always have in the garage.

Then, using really large grit sandpaper, I rounded the corners. After that I used a finer grit to distress the paint a bit.
I rubbed each block with some distressing ink.

Using my Cricut, I cut 3″ rounded-edge squares from scrapbook paper. I applied Mod Podge directly to the wood to adhere the paper then sanded the edges and corners of the paper to blend it. Then I applied one coat of Mod Podge over the paper.

Close up of the blocks after sanding. The one on the right tore a little, but once I applied the MP on top, it smoothed and wasn’t noticeable.

While the first coat of MP was drying I used my Cricut to cut the letters “I” and “U.” I placed them on the block and applied one more coat of MP. I glued a painted wooden heart I bought at Michael’s on the other block.

And. . .

.
here they are! My cute little Valentine’s blocks!

I Love My Cricut!

I bought this baby about two months ago and it has remained in the box.
Not because I didn’t want to use it. I was so excited when I bought this machine. But between tinsel & twig, my blog, the holidays and the clean up, I haven’t had a chance to use it! So it’s been sitting in my room and every day, for two months. I’ve admired the picture on the unopened box.


Until today. Today I opened that box and pulled out this wonderful machine called the Cricut. 
And boy was it fun!
While working on Little Man #1’s scrapbook today I decided there was no better time than now to pull this baby out and give it a try. So here is what I did. 
Every May we pick strawberries locally. This is the page I was working on today. 
P.S. this was May 2009. I’m sooooooo far behind. I was pregnant with Little Man #2 in these pics!

This thing is so easy.

Load the paper (stuck on the sticky mat) enter your text and press cut.
Peel back the sheet of paper.
Using the spatula, remove your letters.
That’s it!


I arranged the letters on the paper and used a glue pen adhesive.
Love this thing!
BTW, if you have a Cricut and need cartriges, Michael’s had a bunch on clearance today for $9.99!! That’s marked down from $69.99!!