Wednesday, December 16, 2009

letterpress giveaway

We're giving away an L Letterpress Combo Kit and a custom printing plate at the L Blog ($190 value)! Click here to find out how you can win.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I only have 3 stockings and this year we need 4. I tried to explain this tragedy to Adam, who wasn't very sympathetic. The problem is that I have a hard time finding stockings I really like. And, what I like really depends on the year and the basic design theme I end up with for my holiday decor.

If I had more time this year, I'd love to try making these stockings from Made. With the right sweaters, I think they could be fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

[kid focus] snowman

I had two sizes of styrofoam balls sitting on my table, and Elle instantly thought they were snowmen. She loved the idea of actually turning them into real snowmen, so I got out my glue gun, some yarn, black eyelets, twigs, mini clothespins and orange paint. The great thing was that I actually had all of those supplies just sitting in my craft room.

To create the snowmen, we glued the two styrofoam balls together (1 large and 1 small for the mom and dad snowmen and 2 small for Elle and Liv's snowmen).  We took apart the mini clothespins and painted each piece orange. We pressed the painted clothespin piece into the styrofoam for a nose; stuck twigs in each side of the snowman for arms and pressed black eyelets into the styrofoam for eyes.  I filled in the eyes with black Stickles, but you could fill it in with black paint, marketer etc. We then hand crocheted scarves and hats for each of the snowman.  It ended up being a fast, impromptu activity which Elle couldn't wait to show off to her dad.

Monday, November 30, 2009

thanksgiving table

This Thanksgiving, I went with a natural theme for the table decor so I focused on natural textures and elements in neutral colors with green accents.

I printed the menus and placecards on L Letterpress paper in cream and then used the L Letterpress to blind emboss the matching design on both pieces. 

For additional table conversation, I printed Thanksgiving trivia on L Letterpress paper and then die cut it using a QuicKutz leaf die cut.  The leaf has a fun pop up element that added extra texture and dimension to the decor.

I had originally anticipated going with a more modern design theme, but found these harvest -themed ceramic dinner and salad plates at Shopko for only $.50 each.  Secretly I had wanted to purchase plates for the dinner, but hadn't figure out how I could justify it. I had been thinking white square dinnerware, but at only $.50 each for this style, it was a deal I couldn't pass up.  I ended up loving the way the plates turned out.

The pictures below show how the finished product. There were 31 people seated at the table (my mother-in-law's dinner table combined with two fold up tables next to each other). I used branches, pumpkins (painted off-white), floral greenery for the centerpieces, votives, cream candles, bronze candle holders, twine and twig balls, wire twig garland, stick placemats and burlap.

thankful tree

For Family Home Evening last week, we made a thankful tree.  I die cut and glued a tree trunk to a piece of white paper and then die cut leaves from adhesive-backed cardstock.  We each took turns listing things we were thankful for and then stuck the leaf to the paper. I'm not sure she really grasped the concept of being thankful - she was much more interested in getting to stick another leaf down.  But, it was funny to hear some of things she was thankful was followed by dogs and swimming at the hotel.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thanksgiving kids table

For the kids table this Thanksgiving, I used kraft colored contractor paper from Lowe's as the tablecloth.  I then drew a placemat for each child with a white paint marker.  The girls had a scalloped border and the boys a plain square border. 

The kids could then color and decorate their placemat with color crayons. 

I also cut out several cardstock turkey feathers and scattered them on the table. The kids wrote things they were thankful for and then stuck the feather to the back of a turkey pumpkin.  

baby O shower

My friend Laura threw an amazing baby shower for her sister. Lucky for me, she made the invitations at my house so I got to watch the creativity in action.  She incorporated several letterpress elements into the party using the L Letterpress.  See more at Lucyisms.

Friday, November 27, 2009

knitting needle placecard

This placecard idea from Real Simple uses a wooden knitting needle to skewer a printed card. Might be fun for a craft party....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

canvas presents

Love this simple holiday decor idea from Real Simple. Take blank white artist canvases and wrap with ribbon to create faux presents.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

pumpkin turkey centerpieces

After Halloween, I bought several small pumpkins on sale with the intent to use them in some way for Thanksgiving dinner table decor.  I'd been thinking about painting them white and letting the kids color them at their tables, but tonight I had an idea to create a "thanks" turkey where the kids could each write things they are thankful for on paper feathers and add them to the pumpkin to create a turkey.  I did a quick google search and found a lot of pumpkin turkey ideas.  If you still have pumpkins around, here are a few links. I'll post what I end up making after Thanksgiving.

handprint turkey pie

I love this idea from Family Fun....such a fun way to let your kids help out in the kitchen for Thanksgiving.

[kids focus] thanksgiving coloring pages

While searching for some Thanksgiving images for Elle to color, I came across a great site -Artists Helping Children.  The site has a ton of arts and crafts project ideas.  I loved these coloring sheets for a few reasons - the actual artwork wasn't cheesy and they required some thought and interaction.  Elle had a great time coloring and thinking about what features and color crayons to use on each face.

[kid focus] pasta necklaces

For our Indian theme week, Elle and I made pasta necklaces.  I naively thought it would be a great activity to entertain two 2 year olds while their moms had a meeting...not so much. It worked much better as an activity with just Elle and I.

She probably had the most fun helping to make the colored pasta.  We put the pasta in a ziploc bag, added a few drops of alcohol ink (we used Tim Holtz inks by Ranger) and then shook the bags until the pasta was evenly coated.  The alcohol inks dry quickly so it was fast and easy. We then used clear elastic thread to make the necklaces.  Elle is really into matching and colors so she had a great time mixing up the pasta and then separating it back into color groups. I think this would also be a fun activity to use for teaching patterns.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

another L giveaway

My Favorite Things is giving away an L Letterpress Combo Kit! Enter now!


I ran into Archiver's tonight to purchase a few items. When I was checking out, one of the Archiver's employee, Megan, found out that I had developed the L Letterpress. She was so enthusiastic about the product and excited that she actually was talking to someone that had created it. She even wanted to go get her L Letterpress box so I could sign it. While there is definitely room to grow and improve with the line, I love that people are excited about the product and its potential. Thanks Megan - you made my night.

Friday, November 13, 2009

iDiY L Letterpress Giveaway

Here's a chance to win an L Letterpress from iDiY. It's a great blog for ideas and inspiration for DIY weddings. I'll keep you updated on more great L Letterpress giveways as they happen!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Latest and Greatest Craft Tool

My friend just texted me saying she was watching a demo of the L Letterpress on Studio 5. It was part of a Latest and Greatest Craft Tool feature. It's fun to actually see the product get into the marketplace. She called it the hottest craft item this Christmas.

Here's the link to the Studio 5 website feature.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

[kids focus] indian headbands

Last week, Elle and I focused on an Indian celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. She became my Little Talks-a-Lot and Liv was renamed Little Smiles-a-Lot.

For one of the activities, we made headbands using cardstock, QuicKutz dies (dots and bracket ) and scissors. We die cut the dots border twice and glued the strips together to create the headband. We then die cut the bracket shape to create two feathers. We just cut off the ends and center of the bracket and rounded the ends to make a feather shape. You could of course just hand cut strips of paper and feathers, but I love the finished look of using a die cut. Plus it's fun to see what alternative uses you can come up with for products you already have in your collection. Elle loves to use scissors so we tried to make the feathers look more realistic by cutting small snips all around the edge of the feather. Finally, just glue the feathers to the headband, place on head and spend the rest of the day pretending to be a little Indian girl.

Blurry pic of Little Smiles-a-Lot to show Grandma her 2 new teeth.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

michaels contest

Michaels is having a handmade holiday contest where the winner can win a trip to the Martha Stewart show in NYC. Two of my favorite things...New York and Martha. You can submit a project up until December 20th. I've got to start thinking about that perfect project....
Plus, the background pattern Michaels is using on the website looks like the QuicKutz Holiday Gift Set box design from last year. I love that diamond stitch pattern in a deep, rich red.

speaking of Ikea...

I just spent 4 hours ordering cabinets for my basement workspace-through tomorrow you can save up to 20%. I'm going for an all white look. I'm hoping it turns out the way I'm envisioning. I've taken remodel pics along the way so I'll post before and afters when the project is done.

Monday, November 9, 2009

toy storage bins

I'm working on creating a toy room in my basement. I have an Ikea Expedit bookcase I can use, and I want to find some cool storage bins that could go in the squares to store toys. I'm having trouble finding what I want. I had originally envisioned metal bins, and I'd love for them to look distressed/vintage. Anyone know of a great place to find metal bins? Or any other ideas??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dare to Design Contest

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dresses

My sister Lauren created this entry into the Shabby Apple Dare to Design contest. We went to visit her at Auburn in September and got to go to one of her fashion design classes. It was so much fun and made me want to go back to college. I hope her design is selected!
Here's her description of the dress...
Design Inspiration:
This dress is designed for a young woman with confidence, poise, and flare. With the a-symmetrical front and fabric pattern on back, the woman wearing this dress will always make a statement.

Fabric Choices:
-With a silk bottom and cotton top this dress could be worn to a nice dinner party. Dark purples and grays would really make this dress stand out.
-Another option would be a wool top and linen bottom, making this style a more day time appropriate dress. Colors that would work for this option would be more neutral colors like browns, grays, or even a golden yellow.

confession session

Confession session comes from my sister-in-law Julie, who kept us continually laughing with her confession sessions on a family trip to Denmark. Today my confession session is that I haven't had a working oven since May. It hasn't really been too much of an issue. With a new baby and the summer months, I've only really missed it on a handful of occasions. Most of the things I would have baked in the oven anyway would have been full of fat and sugar. However now with fall, I've got to stop being lazy and cheap and get it fixed.

When I get it fixed, these cupcakes are first on my list to try - perfect for using any left over candy corns. I can't imagine a much better combination - pumpkin, cream cheese and candy corns. Definitely my kind of treat.

Monday, November 2, 2009

[kids focus] leaf rub

For one of the days during our leaf week, we took the leaves we had collected outside and made leaf rubs. Elle loves to color so it was a nice change from just coloring on blank pieces of paper or in her coloring books. She also loved to trace around the leaves. Just put the leaf under the piece of paper and use a crayon to rub over the leaf until the leaf images begins to show through.

[kids focus] leaf walk

For one week, Elle and I focused on leaves. The first day we went on a leaf walk in our backyard and gathered all types of leaves from our trees. After we had gathered a sack of leaves, we took them inside and organized and sorted them by color.
Fortunately (or unfortunately if you are my husband and hate having to rake so many leaves every year - so far we've taken over 22 leaf trash bags to the dump), our backyard is full of leaves. Our "leaf week" fell at the perfect time where there were plenty of leaves on the ground and still in the trees.

If you don't have access to a lot of leaves, you can also make your own. Simply cut leaves (we made leaf die cuts with the Epic Die-Cutting Tool and QuicKutz die REV-0249-S) in several colors and let your child sort those into color piles.

With both options, she had a great time and loved practicing her colors on both the real and paper leaves. On another day, we used the paper leaves to make up "falling leaf" songs. As we sang the songs, we threw the leaves into the air to let them fall to the ground. Baby Liv found this quite entertaining.