Thirty Days of Thankfulness Tree

A bunch of my friends are doing the "Thirty Days of Thankfulness" challenge, and I wanted to participate, too!  This little project lets my whole family take part and my hope is that it will really help us concentrate on being thankful this month.

This project is super-simple and SUPER-cheap!  I found a vase in my cabinet and filled with little pumpkin vase filler (Target $1 spot).  I collected dead branches from the back yard and put them in the vase.  And the rest was done with my Cricut and about 12 pieces of carstock!  The banner was cut from the Wild Card cartridge at 15".  I ran it through my printer to get the text and then inked the edges.  The leaves were all cut from the Doodlecharms cartridge at 3 1/2' and 4".  Each family member has a different color, and one leaf for each day of the month.  I punched holes in the stems and used twine to make loops to hang them.

The tree is a little bare right now (we'll do day 3's leaves tonight at dinner), but just wait until the end of the month!  I'll post a follow-up pic to show how beautiful our Fall Thankful Tree will be!

I'm thinking you could adapt this to work with different seasons or holidays activity...
1. Fall tree with colored leaves for Thanksgiving
2. Christmas tree with ornaments at Christmas
3. Eggs on tree for Easter
4.  Hearts on tree for Valentines
5. Flowers on tree for Spring
Might have to get crackin' on the Christmas one!!!

Thanks for looking and have a creative day!


Pampered Chef "Apron" Invitation

My sweet friend, Colby, is having a Pampered Chef party later this month and asked if I would make her some "cooking" themed invitations to send out.  Um, YEAH!  She originally asked for a chef's hat, but I only had one image in all of my cartridges and it wouldn't have worked well. Soooooo, plan B was apron!

This apron is from the Country Life cartridge (LOVE!!!)...I cut the shadow at 5" in red cardstock.  I cut the normal image at 5" in patterned paper and also in cream carstock (to mat on the reverse side with party details...not shown).  To give the invites some dimension, I added plaid ribbon to the top of the apron and attached it with brads.  I also added a paper flower and button, along with pockets that I hand drew stitching on to give them detail. To finish, I printed "You're Invited" onto cream cardstock, trimmed, and matted with blue cardstock, attaching it beneath the flower embellishment.  These fit perfectly in a standard thank you-sized ennvelope.

Hope you like them, and thanks for looking!  Have a creative day!!!  :)


In Loving Memory...Round Two

Wow, what a difficult six months this has been for my fur babies.  We lost Duke, our Golden Retriever, 6 months ago to lymphoma.  And this past Monday, we lost Sammy, our Pekingese, too.

Sammy was blind, possibly hard of hearing and his teeth were in bad shape, to the point that they were causing him pain and would need to be pulled.  AND, he bit a very good friend that came over to visit.  He wasn't always agressive, but given his health, we assume he was becoming increasingly confused and/or scared.  On recommendation by our vet, and after much soul searching, we decided it was in the best interest of The Mess Maker and The Noise Maker, as well as the children and adults that come over to our home, to put Sammy down.
Sammy's been around about as long as The Household CFO has been...he became a part of our family just one month after getting married and was my original "baby".  We're missing you, buddy.  I hope you're playing, eating LOTS of dog treats and loving on Duke right now!
In loving memory of our second furry friend...
November 8, 2001 - September 19, 2011


Bird-Themed Luncheon Table

I'M BACK!!!!!!!
Wow, it's been a while since I posted, and I do apologize for the long hiatus...moving to a new home took over my life for a bit, but things seem to be settling down (finally!) and I'm back in the crafting mode!  :)

Recently, I volunteered to host a table at our annual mom's group luncheon.  Each "hostess" plans a theme for her table and decorates with whatever she wants.  I chose "birds" because I have a slight obsession with them!  Here's another pic:
The "tree" in the middle looks a little lopsided in the picture for some reason, but didn't look that way in person!?!?  Why am I posting this on my crafty blog?  Because I used my BFF Cricut to make a lot of the little embellishments on the table of course!
These little favor bags are just tulle bags from Hobby Lobby, filled with birdseed and tied.  I used my Storybook Cartridge "D (+shift+shadow)" for the bird base and "D (+shift)" for the top layer of the bird.  I ran the birds through my printer after cutting them to print "Thank You" on them.  You can see my tutorial on how to do this HERE.  Then I just hot glued them to the little bag!
I also used the bird cut from the Storybook Cartridge for the tree centerpiece, adding about 8 birdies to the branches.  To add a little more detail to the tree, I also cut about 35 flowers from the Florals Embellished Cartridge "Flower7 (+shift+Layer1)".  I cut a slit in each one to the center, overlapped the cut edges and glued, making them 3D.  Then I glued a pearl in the center of each and attached to the branches.
For napkin decorations (instead of napking rings), I folded the napkins using a "bird nest napkin folding" tutorial I found HERE.  I placed a twig in the center of each, and then a small grapevine birds nest complete with a little birdie (supplies from Hobby Lobby).  Isn't he cute?!?!
And here is the table all set up!  I used a bird embellished planter to hold the tree centerpiece, wooden birdhouses, framed bird prints, wicker decorative balls, bird embellished tea light holders and other bird decor from around my house.  To finish the table off, and add a little "treat" for those sitting at my table, I made birdnest cookies!
I must say that I do NOT like coconut, but I made these and tried them and they were actually really tasty!  You can find the recipe HERE.  The "eggs" are Jordan Almonds I found at Wal-Mart.  I put each cookie in a bad and tied with raffia.

The last crafty thing I did was to make prayer verse cards.  I printed three prayer verses onto cardstock, trimmed them into rectangles, inked the edges and stamped a bird image on the center.  These were displayed in a trio of birdhouse place card holders from Willow House (pg. 29 of current catalog). 
So that's it!  Here are some of the other FAB tables my girlies decorated...

Mari & Lindsay: Pink, Black & White
Leslie: Picnic
Nicole: Black, White & Lemons
Charity: Back To School
*I didn't get a photo of Gretchen's table because these were taken before hers was set-up.  :(  It was a great luncheon (with yummy food!) and we had 13 new moms attend!  SUCCESS!!!

Thanks for looking!


A Dora Cake...

Going through some old photos, I found this...

Never posted the good ol' Dora cake I made for the Mess Maker's 4th (family) birthday party.  This was HARD!  She wanted a "Princess" Dora cake, not just a Dora cake.  The only Princess Dora they make is the one with the yellow dress...  "But mama, I want a pink dress!"

I think I made it work, but this took some real effort I tell ya!  Fondant flowers, colored, cut and embellished by yours truly...over the entire dress.
Thought when I finished that it was perfect...until I noticed a slight "lean"...and then a bigger lean...and then the whole thing looked like it was going to be one massive landslide.
Oh well, lesson learned...


Family Summertime Bucket List

One of my new FAVORITE crafty blogs is "Tatertots & Jello"...Jen has the most amazing ideas and inspiration, and she features awesome ideas from many other sources as well.  I just love visiting over there!

I found this project the other day, highlighted on Positively Splendid, but developed by Jen at T&J...a Family Summertime Bucket List.  Pure genius...

It's basically a bucket (or other container...mine is an old Similac formula can I've had taking up room in my craft closet for over a year now!) that has cards with fun activities listed on them...whenever the kids are bored, have them draw out a card and complete the stated activity...everything from planting flowers and having a picnic, to going to the zoo and having a Bar-B-Q.  Fun, right?

Jen has done all the work for us and has provided her pre-printed activity cards (along with some blank ones to add your own activities) and a label for your "bucket"...just visit Positively Splendid's feature of Jen's Bucket List project and download the cards for yourself!  I printed mine out today and got to work, creating an entire summer's worth of fun for my kids in no time at all, thanks to Jen's pre-printed activity cards!!!  My container isn't very "pretty" as I am EXTREMELY challenged when it comes to Modge Podge...but it works for a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, right???  ;)

Can't wait to get started...thanks Jen!!!


Crayon Photo Frame & Teacher Gift Basket

I made these frames for The Mess Maker's preschool teachers as part of their end-of-the-year gifts.  There are LOTS of crayon art projects out there on the web, but I followed the tutorial over at Mama Made It because it was the easiest to follow and I found the exact frames she used at Target.  I used 32 crayons on each cut the crayons, I used a sharp butcher knife and then glued them on the frame with a hot glue gun.  When finished, I printed the sentiment and added it to the inside of the frame...  Easy-peasy!

Here is a photo of the finished gift baskets, with the crayon frames, the owl pillow boxes (that have giftcards inside) and the bookmarks with the students' favorite thing about each teacher printed on them:
(Tin buckets are from the Target dollar bins!)

Thanks for looking!

Owl Pillow Box

I saw these cutie-patootie pillow box owls at Card A La Carte and just HAD to make some of my own!  I used my Cricut, though, and will share what cartridges/shapes I used...

Wedding Solutions Cartridge:
*Pillow box was cut in "blackout" mode at 6"

George & Basic Shapes:
*Circles (for body and eyes) at 1 1/4"
*Hearts (for feet/beak) at 1 1/4"
*Circles (for black part of eyes) at 3/4"

A little bling was added to the eyes for sparkle, and a tag with the sentiment, "From Owl Of Us" was attached with ribbon and a glue dot. 

These little cuties hold giftcards for the Mess Maker's preschool teachers for end-of-the-year gifts.  They're part of a gift basket I'll be posting in bit...

Thanks for looking!  :)


I was in the "Cricut Chirp"!!!

I recently posted a bunch of layouts I completed at some weekend crops to the Cricut Messageboard.  And I just found out a few days ago that I was highlighted in the May 2011 edition of the Cricut Chirp, Provocraft's monthly Cricut newsletter...WOO HOO!!!!

So honored that they thought highly enough of my work to feature my layouts!  Here  is a sampling of the layouts...the rest can be found in my original blog post, HERE.
Thanks for looking and for all the kind words...I appreciate it!  :)


Teacher Appreciation Bookmarks

I made these last year for the Mess Maker's preK teachers, and they really liked them.  So, why reinvent the wheel???  :)  These are the ones I just made for her teachers this year...same except for the kids' names and responses to the question, "I like Ms. _____ because...".

I used my Cricut A Child's Year cartridge to cut the kids at the bottom at 2 1/4" in blackout mode, trimming some of the bottom of the image off so it didn't cover any of the type.  The base of the bookmark is 3 1/4" x 7 1/2".  The patterned paper is 3" x 7 1/4" and the cream cardstock with the responses is cut to 2 3/4" x 7".  The font is Chocolate Box (one of my faves!) downloaded from  I added an eyelet and ribbon, along with some twine accented with wooden barrel beads.

I just love hearing the responses from preschoolers as to why they like their teachers!  Here is a sampling of what the students said:

"She writes notes and hugs me"
"She opens things"
"She plays silly songs"
"I like to talk to her"
"She listens to my stories"
"She gives me snacks"

Awwwwww....pretty stinkin' cute, right?  :)
These will be given along with a gift card to the teachers' favorite restaurants, from the whole class.  Can't wait to see what they say!

Printing Onto Die Cuts!

I have had several inquiries recently about how I print onto my die cuts after they're already cut out (because if you're "Cricut Centerpoint Challenged" like I am, it just never works after your print and try to cut them on the Cricut!)  I posted this tutorial a while back, as part of a Scrappin' Saturday feature at FCCB.  But I want to post it again, for anyone that might have missed it!

I am featuring a Monkey Birthday Inviation I did for my neice's first birthday.  You can use this technique for lots of projects, including adding journaling and printed text to die-cut journaling blocks, page accents, card embellishments, and any other shape you want to add computer-generated font to, AFTER they are already cut out:

1. In your word processing program, type your text exactly how you want it on your die-cut, making sure to leave enough space between them if you're printing multiple journaling spots:
2. Print out your text on regular printer paper. At this time, I place my die-cuts (which have already been cut to the size I need for my layout) over the text and adjust the size/spacing of the text as needed to make sure it all fits nicely within the cut. I typically print out several pages until I get it just right:
3. Add a very small amount of adhesive over the center of each journaling spot:
4. Turn your paper over, hold it up to a light or window and take your die-cut shapes and center them over the journaling area. By using only a tiny amount of adhesive, you can easily remove the die-cut and reposition it over the journaling:
Do this for each die-cut shape you want journaling on.

5. Run your paper back through your printer, with die-cuts attached, the same way it went through before:
6. When finished printing, you'll have perfectly placed journaling on your die cut:
7. Gently remove each die-cut shape and add to your project with additional adhesive:
That's it! I've never had a problem with my die-cuts separating from the paper in the printer or my paper jamming in my printer when the die cuts are going through, but I suppose each printer is different. I just have a very inexpensive HP Inkjet printer from Wal-Mart.

So that's my tutorial. I hope you found it helpful! Remember that you can do this on ANY shape your good ol' Cricut can experiment! And then let me know if you tried this and how it worked!

Happy Scrappin'!