Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deck the Halls...

....with boughs of holly.....Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!  We have been "officially" on vacation for 4 days now.....and I'm LOVING it (except for the 4 1/2 hour car repair escapade yesterday).  I'm starting to finally feel like my house and mind are ready for Christmas.  There are still so many things left to do before my parents come fly in on Saturday morning, but I feel confident that it can be done!

I thought I would share some of my Christmas decorating....some of it is made (with ideas stolen from other blogs or from ideas I found in magazines) and others are traditional store-bought festiveness (we can't do it all, now, can we??).  :-)

First up....the tree.  The tree has been an adventure this year.  Since we travel every other year, we decided a couple of years ago to go ahead and purchase a pre-lit tree.  Good idea, considering you have to find someone to make sure your tree is watered while you're gone.  It's also a good idea when 2 out of the 4 people in your house are allergic (and I mean REALLY allergic) to the pine trees.  Good thing we live in the Pacific Northwest, huh??  Well...when you buy these prelit tree, no one tells you that the lights can go out and it's virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find replacement bulbs.  Needless to say, our tree came out of the box this year with 1/4 of the lights out.  :-(    Other than the lights mishap, I LOVE our tree....each ornament has a meaning...I love taking out our ornaments each brings back so many memories of how we got the ornaments (I especially LOVE looking at the ones the boys have made throughout their elementary school years). 

This next picture is of my new-ish piano.  Joshua has been taking piano lessons for a couple of years now and has been practicing on my old Casio keyboard that I got when I was in junior high.  So this summer, we buckled down and purchased a 1920s upright grande.  LOVE IT!  It's sound is phenomenal....not to mention the color is fabulous.  I've had so much fun getting back on the piano myself and playing again.  It's also fun to decorate....

The next picture is a close-up of a few items on top of the piano.  The Santa and his elves are creations by my dad.  He's an incredibly gifted artist / retired art teacher. 

Next up are the mini Santas my dad made for me.  In the background is a Pinterest-find.  I love the Christmas Bible passage on this picture.  You can find it on my Christmas board on Pinterest.

The next pictures are of my fireplace / mantle / banner.  I made the banner using my Cricut.  For the circles I used the Birthday Bash cartridge.  I cut the banner pieces at 4".  I used the Alphalicious cartridge for the letters...also cut at 4".  For the reindeer, I used the Create-a-Critter cartridge.  I cut the reindeer at 8".  I added red stickles to his nose and a red sparkle to his collar.  

The next picture is a project I found on Pinterest, as well.  I just loved it and knew I wanted to make one...I ended up making 5.  :-)  I found the 8x8 shadowboxes and vinyl saying at Ben Franklin craft store.  All I had to do was add the vinyl to the front of the glass, find some Christmas paper I liked, which for this one was some red music paper I had on hand, and add some jingle bells.  I love how it turned out!

This last picture is a Christmas tree made out of spools.  I actually saw this idea at Ben Franklin.  All I needed were some wooden spools, wooden stars, a little brown embroidery floss, strips of Christmas paper, and a little hot glue.

Well....I think that is all for today.  I'm hoping to get some more baking done tonight and post a few more things tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have been seriously slacking on the blog lately....not by choice, though.  School has started and I have 27 cherubs in need of some love and interventions, as well as my own two cherubs at home.  Oy!  Does it ever get easier??  I have done some crafting here and there.  Today I'm going to share a couple of the decorations I've made for my home for Halloween.  Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays to decorate for.  My boys LOVE spooky / scary decorations....I don't.  I prefer cute fall-looking decorations.  So here's what I came up with for this year. 

This picture is horrible, I know...I took it with my phone....ugh!  Anyway... I used the following materials to create this card:

Mini Monsters Cartridge--2"
My Pink Stamper Spooky Puns stamps

Halloween Barn Star:
-For this, I used a small barn star.  I created a tracing template in order for my paper cut outs to fit perfectly.

Halloween Centerpiece:
This is a pinterest-inspired project.  I found this on pinterest and just had to make one.  I followed the original creators directions on layering the candies and filling in the middle with marshmallows (saves a lot of money on candy).  Instead of using halloween themed lollipops and rock candy sticking out the top of the centerpiece, I decided to use my cricut to create little toppers to stick out.

Simply Charmed Cartridge:
Ghost: 3"
Pumpkin: 3"
Boo: 2"

Boo & Spooky Banner:

For the BOO letters, I bought the cardboard letters that you can find at JoAnn's.  I painted the outside edges and the inside edges black.  I then traced the letters onto Halloween paper and mod-podged it to the cardboard letters when they were dry.  I did not go over the top of the paper with mod podge because the paper had a texture on it (the green with the spider webs).  I didn't want the effect of the web to be lost.

For the Spooky Banner I used the following:

Birthday Bash Cartridge for the banners:  cut at 6 1/2"
Simply Charmed Cartridge:  Bat cut at 4"
Alphalicious Cartridge:  Letters cut at 5"--letters were inked with black ink to add dimension

Behind each of the letters, I hand-made the paper-folded rosettes.  I cut 1 1/2" x 12" strips and then scored them every 1/4" folding them back and forth like a fan.  I hot-glued the ends together and then added hot glue to the middle, holding until it dried.  I then placed the green circle on top.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!  I will do my best to start posting more often.  :-)


Friday, September 2, 2011

September Already?????

I can't believe how fast August flew by.  This last month my blogging took a backseat to two soccer tournaments for my oldest son (one of which they won the whole tournament and the other they did remarkably well), my baby (not really....he's 9) went to church camp for the first time, I attended 3 days of Summer Institute (our district's professional development classes), had to set up a classroom for 31 second graders, as well as many doctor's appointments.  And now....September is upon us.....and it's back to school.

Most of my crafting has been related to the classroom lately.  I have had the best time making decorations for the classroom, as well as some new learning games to incorporate into our curriculum.  I think it has already paid off....I met my new students on Thursday night.....they were so excited when they saw the classroom....we are going to have a great adventure with lots of learning!  I will be posting pictures of my classroom soon.  In the are some of the projects I've been working on.

This first picture is of a card I made with my card-making girls.  Isn't it the cutest?  I just love pennant banners right now.

To make this card:

*Birthday Bash Cartridge
*Baby Buttons

Once again, I LOVE my pennant banners!

For this card:

*Pennant / Triangle Punch
*Tim Holz Distressing Ink
*Just a Note stamp

 The next couple of pictures show a furniture refinishing project I worked on.  I got a SUPER great deal at our local Good Will....I found this desk and an end table for $25 total!  I couldn't pass it up, especially when I knew that I could just refinish them and they would be like new.  My youngest son needed a desk for his room.  He's going into 4th grade and needed a place to work on homework (besides my kitchen table). it is.....  I sanded down the desk and painted it navy blue to match the rest of his bedroom furniture.  He picked out contact paper to cover the top (laminate) of the desk.  He decided that he didn't want new hardware for the desk.  I was kind of surprised, but it looks great with the original hardware.  I think it turned out of all.....he LOVES it!


And finally.....another banner I made to welcome my students and their families to Open House.  This banner was placed above my door to welcome everyone who visits our room.

To make this banner:

*Birthday Bash cartridge
*Alphalicious cartridge

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I will do my best to start posting on a regular basis. 

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Projects, Projects, Projects

August seems to always be the fastest month of the year for me.  I feel like it sneaks up on me and then sprints to the end of the summer, all the while, packing in doctor appointments, soccer practices, tournaments, camp, and trying to set up my classroom for the school year.  Why is that??  This year has proven to be no different.....I have been really busy with all of the above, hence the reason I haven't blogged in a while.  However, here are a few of the projects I've been working on.  They are all school related, but there are a few other crafty projects to be posted soon!  
My theme in my classroom this year is polka dots on chocolate....I think I already blogged about that.  :-)  I am also incorporating a few owls here and there because they are just so darn cute....I can't help it! 
Last year, I had a basket with a label, of course, titled Book Hospital.  I needed a place for my students to put damaged books for me to fix (and my desk is not an option).  It seemed the most logical solution.  I did like the basket, but I wanted something cuter this I really want to use that basket for something else.  :-)  This first picture is of my new Book Hospital.

Supplies Needed:
*Beverage Bucket.....Target $1 (fantastic deal!)
 *Baby Steps cartridge
 *Pink vinyl
 *Lots of ribbon

This next picture is of the step stool I am using in my classroom.  My students often use it to reach the top of our SMARTboard.  I had a red plastic step stool last year that I found at Target in the dollar section.  I think it cost me $2.50.  It held up great! did break because of my clumsiness.  Boo!  So...I found this wooden Target.  I just cut out some circles on my Cricut to jazz it up a bit.  Isn't it cute??

Supplies Needed:
*Wooden Step Stool
*Plantin Schoolbook cartridge---circles cut at various sizes.  I did use Roly Poly to get the empty middle.
*Vinyl--brown, pink, green

These next pictures show my new whisper phones.  These tools are used by students so they can hear themselves reading.  It's super neat how these work!  These are tools I have always wanted in my classroom, but have never had the money to purchase.  They are terribly expensive.  I think I found 12 for $70.  OUCH!  So....I went to Home Depot in pursuit of creating my own.  I had a friend who made hers, so it was rather easy for me to grab the supplies I needed.
Supplies Needed:
*PVC 3/4" Elbows (these came in a package---it was cheaper)-$2/pkg
*PVC pipe (which this great guy at Home Depot cut for me for free)-$1.50
I think for this whole project, I spent $20 and was able to make 30 whisper phones!  Much more affordable!

All I did was take two elbows and connected them with the pvc pipe.  Super easy! Then you get the following picture:

And because I like to have EVERYTHING organized in my classroom....I cut vinyl numbers (to match each student's number).  I put each number in the middle of the phone.  For the numbers, I used the Alphalicious cartridge.  I chose the short stack feature and cut the numbers at 2".

 This next project was Pinterest inspired.  I think I seriously have an addiction to Pinterest.  Oy!'s the project I pinned...okay....never mind....I can't figure out how to post a picture from someone else's blog.  Any tips, please help!  Here's the link instead...
I just thought these pixie stick birthday treats were here's my spin on the idea.

 For my birthday pixie stick treats, I decided to use the smaller pixie sticks.  I also decided to make a cute little bucket for the pixie sticks to go in.  I love it!

Supplies Needed:
*Create a Critter Cartridge--balloon (I used my gypsy to delete the face)
Alphalicious Cartridge--letters cut at 2"
*Peachy Keen Stamps--Everyday Character Face Assortment
*Bucket (I found these at Target last spring.  This was left over from some Easter baskets I made. They were $1 each, so I kinda stocked up.)
*LOTS of ribbon last project for tonight.....I really wanted a banner to hang back by my small group table.  It needed something fun and cheery.  I decided to make this READ banner, with polka dots and owls!

Supplies Needed:
Birthday Bash Cartridge--pennants cut at 6"
Create a Critter Cartridge--Owl cut at 4"
Alphalicious Cartridge--Letters and shadows cut at 4"

Thanks for hanging in there with me tonight!  Lots of projects going on!  I can't wait to share what I've done with some furniture!  Have a great night!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Classroom Craftiness

As promised...I am going to post some of the things I've made for my classroom and a few other classroom related pics.  I would love any feedback you can give me, additional ideas, etc.  When I'm back at school getting everything set up, I will post completed pics.  I can't help myself....I have to decorate my classroom in a theme.....and I like it to coordinate....part of my teacher OCD, I suppose.  :-)  This year's theme will be polka dots, more specifically, dots on chocolate (I'm using a lot of the Creative Teaching Press Products), and throwing in a few owls here and there.  I figured the owls would fit they're so darn cute!  :-)

This first picture is of the labels I will put on the student cubbies.  I made one for each cubby 1-30.  Each student is assigned a number.  When they put their names on things, they also write their just helps me with organization and helps so I don't have to remake labels every year for files and such.

For these tags, I used the following:
-Creative Teaching Press Frame Cut-outs
-Cuttin' Up Cartridge-cartoon cut at 4"

This next picture is of the letters I'll use for my word wall.  I did all of the consonants in blue and the vowels in pink.

For these dots I used the following:
--Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge for the circles---shadow cut at 4", regular circle cut at 3"
-Cuttin' Up Cartridge for the letters--cut at 2"

This next picture is a poster I made.  I found this cute acrostic saying on a message board when I was searching for bulletin board titles with a polka dot theme.  I instantly fell in love with this!  I'm hoping to train my kiddos to say the poem after I prompt with "DOTS."  Cute, huh?!?!?

For this poster I used:
-Creative Teaching Press Dots on Chocolate posterboard
-Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge for the circles--cut at 4"
-Cuttin' Up Cartridge for the letters--large letters in the circles were cut at 3 3/4" and the rest of the letters were cut at 2 1/4"
          -I then used my Creative Memories punch to punch out different colored circles to add to the large letters.....these were cut at 3/4"

This next picture is of a poster with pockets labeled with numbers.  One way I keep my classroom library organized is by having these pockets.  Each student has a pocket (again, their number).  In each pocket will be 3ish sticks with a dot on top (also labeled with their number).  Each of my library baskets is labeled and has a pocket on the front of the basket.  I don't have a pic of that yet, but I will soon.  So...the student takes their dot stick and when they find a book they want to read, they put their stick in the pocket of the basket they took the book from.....that way when they go to return the book, they remember where they got it from.  Does that make sense???

For this poster:
-Dots on Chocolate library pockets

I like to use daily take home folders in my classroom.  I have found over the past 11 years of teaching (wow!  I can't believe it's been that long) that regular 2 pocket paper folders NEVER hold up.  So, I splurge and purchase the plastic 2-pocket folders for my students.  I tried this for the first time last year and they held up the ENTIRE YEAR!  LOVED IT!  There are a lot of cute acronyms for folders....I have found a variety of names for folders through I think the original idea was a M.O.O.S.E. binder.   I don't have the money to create binders for my students, so I just stick to folders. works for me.  A lot of websites you can print folder / binder covers, but I knew the paper would never stick with glue to plastic.  So....I made my own and printed them on 2x4" labels.  The inside will have labels on each pocket....on the left.....Left at Home.....on the right....Bring Right Back to School.

This next picture is just a super cute lamp that had a kind of dot-ish type feel to it....and I love the color.  I'm thinking it will fit right in!  Classroom library maybe???  I got it at Target.  I think they're on sale this week for $12.

So I HAD to make a few owls.....they are so cute....I think I'm going to hang one in my classroom library.  I might have to make a few more and hang them about the room.  :-)

For these cute little critters, I used:
-Create a Critter---cut at 11 1/2"

And now for classroom pics.  I was able to get into my room on Monday, even though the carpet hasn't been cleaned and the tile still needs to be done.  But....I got in and decided to take a few shots to share.  Our classrooms are L-shaped, so bear with me as I explain.

View as you look in through the door.  Sink / cabinets directly to your right.  SMARTboard just beyond that.

This is the back part of the L-shape.  Classroom library will be in back left-hand corner.  My small group table will go right near the white board (I think).

View of the cubbies and a learning wall.
View of the front of the room from the back.

Well...I think that's all for today.....thanks for hanging in there with my super long post today.  :-)  Feel free to leave any comments / suggestions / ideas you might have.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christmas Barn Star

I am so sorry I've been slacking on the blog posts....I've been reading blogs, just not writing.  In my last post I said I was busy working on making things for my classroom....I'm still working on them and have yet to get the pictures uploaded to my computer.  I promise they'll be up soon.  In the meantime, I had a friend on Facebook ask me to post a picture of my Christmas barn star.  I think the paper I used on this barn star was Bo Bunny.

The directions for this barn star are the same as the patriotic barn star, with one further step.
1.  I used tracing paper to trace one of the points of the star.
2.  I transfered the tracing paper onto a file folder (so it was sturdier).
3.  Use the tracing template to trace each part of the barn star.  Cut them out.
4.  I used Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the barn star.  Make sure the smooth out the paper.  It tends to want to bubble if you don't.
5.  Let it completely dry.
6.  Seal the paper with another coat of Mod Podge.  Let dry.
7.  Then...I used E-6000 to glue a smaller barn star on top.

I am off my foot for a couple of days, so I'm hoping to get started on my Hawkeye barn star.  Football season will be here before we know it!

Have a wonderful night!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weird....I know....

I can't believe how fast this month has flown by, and I'm sure August will be just as fast.  I'll be back in the classroom before I know it.  August will be filled with my youngest son going to his first year of church camp and my older son playing in two soccer tournaments, as well as 4 days in Summer Institute classes and a leadership team meeting.  I have recently been reading a lot of teaching blogs on top of the crafting blogs that I frequently visit.  Many of the teachers that have teaching blogs are starting to get their back to school stuff and have begun to prep for the school year.  Even though I don't officially start school until September 7, I have been completely inspired by these bloggers.....I, too, as weird as it sounds, have started to get some things ready for school.  Yesterday, I spent a lot of my day at my cricut making things for my classroom.  I have always decorated my classroom in a theme.  Last year I did the Hollywood theme and toyed with using that theme again, but I just couldn't do it.  Am I crazy???  So....this year I have decided to do a polka dot theme.  I really like the Dots on Chocolate that Creative Teaching Press created.  This was the inspiration for decorating my classroom this year.  I am hoping to get the pictures of what I have created so far posted soon.  :-)  I can't wait to share the couple of things I did make for the classroom.   
Have a great night!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Greetings from Seattle

Greetings from Seattle!  The weather all over the nation has been kind of whacky lately.  My thoughts are with my family and friends dealing with the heat and humidity in the midwest.  I can't imagine having to deal with that.  I'll take my Pacific Northwest weather!  :-)  That being said....the Pacific Northwest hasn't been ideal for summer weather either.  Usually our summers are fabulous!  We have sunny days and comfortable temperatures with no humidity.  Well....this year has been the exception.  While my family and friends are frying in the midwest, we have had unusually cool (like I'm under a blanket cool) and rainy days.  :-(  BOO!  So...I found this really cute image in my Create a Critter cartridge that I wanted to use to make a Seattle themed card.  Here it is....

Recipe for this card:
A2 sized card
Patterned Paper & light blue cardstock cut at 2 1/2 inches
Duck on p.31 of Create a Critter cut at 3 inches
Umbrella on p. 31 of Create a Critter cut at 3 inches
Peachy Keen Critter Faces for the Duck
Peachy Keen Everyday Character Faces for the Umbrella
Greetings from Seattle Stamp from AMuse Art Stamps

**I used my gypsy to remove the faces for both the duck and the umbrella so I could use my Peachy Keen Stamps.

Well...I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My First Blog Award!!!

I was so surprised today by one of my new followers / friend named Pam.  She decided to award me with a very nice blog award.  I am so excited!  It completely made my day!  If you haven't checked out Pam's blog, you need to!  She is a very talented crafter....I just LOVE her new hippo card.  :-)  Please go and check out her

To accept this award, you are to give 5 facts about yourself and then pass it on to 5 friends.

1.  My favorite color is pink.
2.  Skinny Vanilla Latte is my favorite Starbucks drink.
3.  I probably have more scrapbook paper than I need.
4.  I can never just make one card....I have to make a few to have on hand.
5.  My favorite treat to eat when I'm crafting is Peanut Butter M&Ms.

Here are the blogs that I'm passing this award on to.  Make sure you check their blogs out!

I hope everyone has a good night....hopefully I can get my latest card posted tomorrow!  It's so super cute!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Very Hungry Caterpillar

It has been a very busy couple of days at my house.  This week at our church is VBS.  My oldest son and I are volunteering and my youngest son is a participant.  I am having so much fun helping to lead the music at VBS, but quickly found out yesterday how tired I can get.  Whew!  Both Nathan and I came home and slept for a couple of hours.  Despite all the busyness, I did get my nephew's birthday banner done!  Yay!  My newphew is turning 1 next moth (I can't believe it!).   My brother and sister-in-law have decided that they want to have a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme for the party.  So....I created a birthday banner for him.  I am so turned out so cute!

This first banner is of his name and is meant to be on his high chair, across the front of the tray.

Recipe for this banner:
Birthday Bash Cartridge for the banner pieces
Create a Critter Cartridge for the caterpillar....on the cartridge I used the worm image.  I cut out all of the pieces, and then added another layer on top to make the head red.
Mickey Mouse Font Cartridge for the letters

This next banner is the Happy Birthday banner for the wall.  I cut the banner pieces larger for this banner since it would be hung on a wall.

Recipe for this banner:
Birthday Bash Cartridge for the banner pieces
Create a Critter Cartridge for the caterpillar
Mickey Font Cartridge for the letters

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the birthday banner!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Iowa Hawkeyes Card....and a couple of others.

Last night I was feeling all crafty and wanted to use a couple of stamp sets that I bought while I was in Iowa in May.  I found these at a little scrapbooking store in Des Moines called Heirlooms By Design.  Here is a picture of the stamp sets I bought...
I've been really excited to use these and decided last night to play around with them.  I love the card I came up with.  I showed my husband and oldest son since they are two of the BIGGEST Hawkeye fans around.  The response I got from my husband was....

Hustband:  That's who are you going to give it to??
Me:  Really??  ( I start thinking....)
Me:  A frienemy!  :-)  a.k.a. someone I know who is a dear friend / sister-in-law (I heart u!), but unfortunately likes Iowa State (Boo!). (Insert evil laugh here.) I anticipate a card going in the mail for the Iowa / Iowa State football game in September! it is....

 Don't you think this is a perfect card to send to a fan on the opposing team?  What do you think??

And...since I'm on an Iowa kick....I remember telling you about my brother & sister-in-law's wedding back in May.  I made them a really cute banner to hang in their house.  I forgot to post the card that I made to go with it.  This card was super easy....simply just paper I found that had the Damask look that they used in their wedding and a flower / brad.  The stamp I used is from A Muse Artstamps .

Finally....this last card is a card I made as thank you notes to have on hand at school.  For this card, I used the Preserves cartridge.

That is all for now.  I hope you enjoy these cards.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Have a great day!