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'!


Mickey Mouse Birthday Invitations

I've had several inquiries on the Mickey invites I posted HERE.  So here are the sizes/cartridges I used to create these:

1. Black invitation base: Mickey Font Cartridge
-Cut the Mickey Tag at 5 1/4"

2. Red "Shorts": Plant. Schoolbook Cartridge
-Cut the circle with shadow feature at 4"
-Cut circle in half with paper trimmer...this provides the front half circle where you adhere the buttons, and the back pocket where you include the party info.

3. Buttons: Wild Card Cartridge
-Cut the button (icon feature) at 9" (sounds huge, but they obviously come out small!)

4. Letter "K": Mickey Font Cartridge
-Cut the white using the "shadow" feature at 1 1/2"
-Cut the yellow in regular mode at 1 1/2"

I glued the front red half-circle on with tape runner and then added the buttons with foam dots to make them look dimensional.  On the back, I used Scotch Quick Dry to put a small strip of glue along the bottom edge of the half-circle, leaving the middle and top open to slide in the party details:
(I used the Mickey and Mouse Deco fonts, downloaded from

At this size, the invitations will fit into a standard invitation-size envelope.  There will be room on each side in the envelope, but the size was needed to acommodate the height of the ears.  You could make your own square envelopes, but who wants to pay the additional shipping???  :)


My Little Astros...

The Mess Maker and the Noise Maker were invited to a birthday party Minute Maid Park!  What a fun time they had...
They both sported their new Astros gear!
We got a tour of the facility (WOW!) and even got to go down to the field, where the kiddos were able to say hi to some of the players...
Such a fun time...the Mess Maker is super-excited about going to see a real ball game now!  She might just be a softball player in the making...


Famiyl Game Night!

We recently started "Game Night" at our house and the kids (all three of them... J/K Honey!) love it...can you tell?

About 10 years ago I was working in the San Diego public schools as a speech pathologist.  I was staffed at one of the schools by an outside therapy staffing agency and was given NO materials.  So, I went to Goodwill and picked up anything I could find that might keep the kids' interest, including this game:
I've never seen it on a store shelf, so I don't know if it's still available...but it's awesome!  The kids can play over and over and over and never get tired of it.  I don't have the directions, but when we play, we just try and place all the food cards down on the board before the ants pop out of the picnic basket...
Once the ants pop out, it's hysterical laughing from both of them!!!
One of my friends told me the first photo looked like a Milton Bradley, MB if you're listening, I'm totally up for being paid!!!  :)


Teacher Appreciation: Thank You For Helping Us Bloom!

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week, and although the Mess Maker's preschool doesn't really "celebrate" the occasion (which I think is a travesty!), I wanted to do something for the teachers to let them know how appreciated they are!

The idea for this plant stake came from an original design by "Dimple Prints" HERE.  I designed a similar sentiment in Word, and then punched it out with a circle punch.  I added a green and white circle mat (Cricut: George cartridge), and then a yellow scalloped circle (Cricut: Storybook cartridge) for the flower. 
I attached the flower to a wooden skewer.  But I wanted to make sure the teachers knew it was from the entire class, so I decided to add each child's name to a leaf (Cricut: Doodlecharms cartridge).  The leaves were cut at 3/4", and then I ran them through my printer to print the names on them.  I have a tutorial HERE on how to do this if you're interested!
I hot glued the leaves to the skewer and added a narrow green ribbon.  Mrs. S gets a green Hydrangea plant because green is her favorite color, and Mrs. T gets a Gardenia plant because that's her favorite flower.  :)

To all of the wonderful teachers out there who educate, nuture, entertain, shape and encourage our children...


My Cut Search...Cricut Cut Search!!!

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Ever heard of "My Cut Search"???  I hadn't until Kate over at Fantabulous Cricut shared it with us today for her FCCB Quick Tip Tuesday.  It's an amazing time saver!

If you need to cut a specific Cricut cut/image, but can't remember what cartridges that cut might be on...this is your new best friend!  It happens to me ALL the time, especially now that my cartridge stash is growing.  Rather than pulling out reference sheets or searching in DS, My Cut Search allows you to type in the cut you want and a super-quick search engine pulls up any cartridge containing the cut searched for, along with page number and button/key on the overlay!

Cool, huh?  Go check it won't be sorry!

Kate is providing another tip regarding My Cut Search next Tuesday, so head over to FCCB next Tuesday to check it out.  Thanks for this awesome tip, Kate!!!  :)