Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carmel Apple Giftie...

We love Connor's karate instructor, Master Brandt. He is awesome...patient, caring, involved, really knowledgeable about what he does, and he always has time to listen to my concerns and find a way to help Connor.

So, I wanted to make him a prize and attach a little note to let him know how thankful we are to have him in our lives. It does seem like the right time of year to do that...

So, I made a caramel apple basket. Actual caramel apples seemed to have logistical problems...messy, what extras do you add, hard to transport...this seemed to solve those dilemmas.

I made some homemade caramel sauce and put it in a cute container. I used the recipe from the How Dos She?'s really tasty and super simple! I decorated the jar with some fall stickers that I bought on clearance at Target...I love that I am finally embracing the concept that absolutely everything o a project doesn't have to be homemade to be makes things soooooo much easier! I added some apples and one of those cutter/corer thingies.

I did use a Papertrey stamp set to make a label for the top...I mean...if you have the perfect HAVE to use it ;)

I just used more of the stickers to make a tag and wrote a nice note on the back of it. I love it when you give someone a prize and they seem genuinely kinda makes you want to be nice more least that's how I felt...but I got over it ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge 133

So...when I saw this sketch, my mind immediately went to the super cute snowman image from Stampendous holding a banner I would make for him. Random...but it's where I went...

The problem of course, is when you start with a giant image, you end up with a

SuPer-SiZeD project...

way too big for a card...

I think I'll either frame him or put him on the front of a gift bag.

Here he is holding his banner that I made from punching out ovals, folding them in half, and then writing on them and gluing them onto baker's twine. I'm kind of on a baker's twine kick...probably because I bought 8 full spools of make the goodies on the side, I just cut whole images out of the Cosmo Cricket Christmas paper (from last year's line) These colors totally don't look like they match at all in the pictures...I guess you'll just have to trust me that it's cute in person.

Here's a close up where you can almost see that I used Crystal Laquer on his eyes and mouth to make them a little more coal-like...wait...maybe shiny coal is diamonds and this is all wrong...well...they are a little more dimensional...I also used punched snowflakes, some diamond dust, and a pom pom to finish him off...

Here is a side shot of his face where you can see his 3D nose and how the twine is punched through and then pulled around to make him look like he's holding the banner. Plus...I love him and 2 pictures wasn't enough ;)

Here he is on a boring kraft paper base before I decided that was way too bland and moved him to his teal home...he's much happier now...

Sprinkles Jar Filler

Perfect filler for these sprinkles jars to make the adorable sprinkles tube holder from Day 3 of Taylored Expressions 12 Days of Christmas.

They are like colored white chocolate shaped candy melts...too cute as gingerbread man eyes and Christmas bell and poinsettia decorators ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge

Here's the sketch for the challenge....originally I saw something super cute in my head...

this isn't it...I made what was in my head and on paper it was ridiculously busy and just not right...the photos of the actual project aren't great, but it's 90 degrees outside and I started sweating trying to set it up to get a picture...90? in November? I know about the sunshine tax, but c'mon...this is crazy! Anyway...I fiddled for about 5 minutes and decided this was as good as it was going to get...

originally in my head, the buttons ran down the sides where the twine is...but it wasn't right...there was also a lot of ribbon and rick-rack in my head that just wasn't pretty in the real world...I really am happy with how the button scallop came out around the main image. ;)

I even made a matching envelope...and the inside of the card has the matching color strip across the bottom just to tie it all together.

The stamps are from Taylored Expressions and all other supplies are from PTI. I have only recently found Taylored Expressions...and I think it's going to be an expensive discovery ;) She did a 12 days of Christmas idea series that had some of the cutest ideas ever! It was kind of a spendy week...but I have the stuff to make lots of Christmas gifts! Of course, now I need to actually quit hoarding the goodies and make the presents!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween fun

Halloween at our house...

I finally took a picture of our pumpkin display without a's not the greatest photo, but it's here...we have more pumpkins than this, but they are spread along the front walk-way or over on the far side of the house and I couldn't get a good picture. I did not buy any new ones this year...there just weren't any cute ones out...and I am sad that my Mickey and Donald pumpkins didn't get out this year, they need some repair work...any one know a good pumpkin hospital?

Friday, we had a little party for the daycare...we dressed up, practiced trick-or-treating, and played some games. This is a quick pic of the treat bags I made for them...super simple, but I made all 6 of those tags in 30 minutes with stickers and my Papertrey dies...

Here is a close up of the tag...loving the dies for tags...absolutely planning on making my own Christmas tags...but we'll see what really'll probably be those lovely self-adhesive sticker guys again this year...

After the daycare party, we had the cub scout party here...8 elementary school boys amped up on sugar and testosterone...not pretty. It was absolutely hysterical to see them bob for apples...they took their shirts off and really got into it. I was too busy drying people off to get any pictures. We played a few games, ate pizza, and decorated cookies and cupcakes. Here is Connor after he got "mummified" in toilet paper.

He cracked me up when half-way through the evening, I went inside to get something and he followed me in, gave me a big thumbs up, and told me "The party's going great Mom, don't you think?"...Seriously...the boy slays me!

Here are Connor and Sanford in their costumes...The Gangster and the Keystone Cop...Sanford's costume was a small fortune, but when I saw them together, it was worth every penny!

Connor wanted his dad to take him trick-or-treating, and Sanford loved every minute of husband is suuuuuuch a ham! I can't figure out how someone so anti-social can love being the center of's a puzzlement!

So, the boys went off and I stayed out in the cul-de-sac with all the neighbors, eating snacks, watching Halloween movies on a giant blow up screen, and passing out candy...have I mentioned how much I love my neighborhood? Seriously... it's like something in a movie...Fourth of July parades, Christmas parties, someone always home to borrow an egg's a great place!

Here's Connor with all of his loot.

What I really needed was to take a picture of the boy this morning when he looked like something from Night of the Living Dead and refused to get out of bed...when he finally did get up, he put on a hoodie, pulled the hood up and the drawstring so tight so that only his eyes showed...and I swear they were glowing red at me as I kept nagging him to hurry up and get ready for school!

oh...and for anyone keeping track, yup, the pumpkins and all Halloween stuff was taken down and in the garage before I went to bed last night...Jo-Ellen, be sure to let Rob know I wasn't a slacker :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Papertrey October Blog Hop

Projects this month were supposed to represent a winter holiday that was not Christmas. I used traditional Christmas colors...mainly because I loved how the mug looked paper pieced using the new Christmas Prints paper ;)...I was careful not to use trees, since those screamed Christmas to me and I was trying to keep it generic winter.

I make a cocoa box using an A2 card box and tiny tubes.

I had extra space at the top and originally was going to fill it with starlight mints which I thought would look adorable, but I was to lazy to go to the store and ended up filling small 1 x 8 inch bags with individual servings of package per tube of cocoa. The marshmallows fit in perfectly with minimal coercion :)

The mug fit nicely on a 1 3/4 inch circle then I had to use the new dies that coordinate with that punch. The scallop is quite pretty. I cut it in felt and paper and ended up using the paper...but it cut really nicely on the felt problem with the details.

This is a pretty generic winter giftie that could be given as a Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Hey, I like you present. It should also make my friend Cindy happy that I actually made something and submitted it somewhere ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If at first...

it looks like crap, try, try again.'s only like 15 times cuter now.

And it took about 5 minutes...must have just been having some kind of cute craft blockage yesterday....

Same ribbon tie, same stocking, just a different layout and bolder colors made such a my head at least :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


so...I swore off Papertrey for 3 months. I decided that I couldn't buy anything new until I had actually used each stamp set that I had already purchased from them.

Three months is a long time...since I made it that long, I deserved a prize (I may not have actually used all of the stamp sets, but I showed amazing restraint...and that in itself is prize-worthy...isn't it?!?) I knew the perfect thing...more Papertrey things to look pretty on my shelf, create oodles of creative thoughts, and accomplish nothing...great plan!

Package arrived, I opened it, oohed and ahhed, then let it sit on my counter for 4 days while I was up to my armpits in paper bats, sparkle modge podge, and cricut letters (don't ask).

Anyway, after telling my friend that I caved and finally made a purchase, I told her I had this idea to use the stocking die for paper and felt and then stitch on the paper...then I felt compelled to actually do it...

I like the stitching on the cuff, and the felt with the paper...but the rest of it definitely needs work...

but, it was only a prototype...and I did actually make it's probably okay that I already placed another Papertrey order...right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random Hoopla...'s a bunch of random crapola.

Here's the wreath I made for Connor's birthday tomorrow. The blog I stole it from ( said it took about 144 balloons...ummmm, I obviously did something wrong because I used about 400 balloons. Maybe because I cheated and cut a styrofoam wreath apart, added rubber bands, glued it back together and then jammed the balloons under the bands. I just couldn't find the greening pins they were talking about. Can you say 3 trips to Party City yesterday?!?!? I think it's cute. Sanford is NOT impressed. Connor hasn't seen it yet.

I decorated a licorice tub as part of my father-in-law's birthday gift.

It turned out pretty cute for an 8 minute project...

I even put a matching sticker on the lid...yup...dork!

Here's part of Sanford's Father's Day gift...a waste of cute packaging. He doesn't care.

Connor also got him a toolbox to keep all of the tools and parts for their new ridiculous RC cars in. I printed out a label that matches the maker of their cars and modge-podged it on...who knew modge-podge could be manly??

The camera adapter for the iPad finally got here. I downloaded some editing software and played last night...How adorable is that boy? It's probably why he's still alive!

ummmm...this might be a little much...but it cracks me up!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

all hail the glue gun!

so...not only did I decide what to do with them...I made more ;)

I just glue gunned those suckers right to my mirror...hopefully it'll be okay when I pull them down in a few weeks...whatever, it's festive for now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


we went to the antiques roadshow...

it was a fun experience...kind of like geriatric disneyland...a whole lot of old people standing in reeeeeeeeeeealy long lines looking for a thrill...Sanford said we weren't old enough to be there. I pointed out to him that we had to borrow stuff from people OLDER than us to take...ummm...old people have better crap...or at least older crap ;)

so, here are our items in order of appraising...

This is my Aunt JoAnn's doll from the fifties. She has a case FULL of outfits and hats and purses and several colors of cats-eye glasses. She is all about the accessories!

Poor thing has spent her entire life being called the wrong name. She is NOT a Ginger doll, her name is Muffy. Hmmm...maybe she was happier with Ginger...I mean Muffy? Really? Maybe in Connecticut...anyway....she's worth about $75 and each of her little outfits is worth about $10...

so around $200 total.

Then Sanford and I split up. He went and stood in the PAINTINGS line...that wrapped around the building..okay...maybe not, but it WAS almost 2 hours...and I went to the DECORATIVE ARTS line to get this checked out...something else borrowed from my Aunt...

Whatever could it be?? Antique...hand painted...wooden feet....lovely...perhaps folk art? victorian umbrella stand? decorated by someone famous?'s crap. The appraiser actually asked me why I brought a trash can to the roadshow. Lots of people liked it. My aunt likes it. My uncle said it was in his house as long as he can remember. It's pretty...but still crap. Worthless. Feel free to drop in your banana peels and chewed gum. It was the butt of innumerable jokes throughout the day. My husband quite enjoyed at this point it's a priceless family relic...I'll have to see if my aunt will leave it to me someday! It is without a doubt the cutest trash can I've ever seen...but it has no monetary value.

so $0 total.

Next up were two paintings from Sanford's parents...paintings that his mom said were worth thousands of dollars...(ah nuts...I just scrolled down and realized only one painting loaded...I'm not messing with it. The painting are basically the same...rough palette knife is a seascape and the other is a mission looking building and some shrubbery...)

We had a good time waiting in the line. The women in front of us were a crack who flew in from New York just for the show. She brought an Indian looking rug with her to get had was cool...she paid $75 and it was worth $400-$600...she said if she set it in my trash can then the trash can could be worth $400.01-$600.01...yeah, the sisters were a crack up...I said something about being on the bullet train to hell and she said no...we were all just greasing out stealing that line! It's a winner!

Any way, after a 2 hour wait we got in and found out that we weren't retiring, or buying a new house, or a new car, or going on a cruise with the auction proceeds from these paintings. The artist was "prolific"...appraiser-ese for he painted TONS of crap and it's not worth much...

The appraiser worked hard looking to try to make it worth more money when we told him that Jane always said they were worth thousands...but again there was that word "prolific" and they are small and done "quickly"

total $300-$500 each.

So....yeah, monetarily...a let down , but honestly, none of it was our hoopla what's it matter???

We saw Mark Walberg filming his ~welcome to San Diego~ intro, we saw a Keno brother, we had $8 cookies, we saw a half a lady getting pulled around in a wagon, we made fun of A LOT of people (who I'm sure were making fun of us for having a trash can ), and best of all...

I got this's a gen-u-ine Antiques Roadshow T-shirt...that I one of those spinning-wheel raffle give away thingies. I'm going to wear it every Monday night at 8 while I watch Roadshow until it's old and ratty...that or I'm going to wrap it in acid free tissue and preserve it in a lignin free box in unused condition so that Connor can take it to the roadshow in 50 years... ;)

now what?!?

so I had a few girls over on Friday to play all crafty...and Cindy mentioned that she wanted to learn how to make paper rosettes...I guess it stuck in my head. Then yesterday while hopping around in blog-land, I saw the cutest patriotic rosettes on a stick in a jar of red, white, and blue popcorn...seriously, who comes up with this stuff? (heartland paper company) Ridiculously adorable!

So, I broke out the paper and my scor-pal...and maybe a few other goodies. I still need to add buttons and a tag on the big one, but here they are...

The real question what? They are big...the one in the center is 12", and the other 2 are 8"...I thought I was going to hang them from my mantle, no. Then I thought, okay, together on ribbon, kinda like, no. So what do I do with them?!?

I used paper from the boxes that I never dig into anymore...I actually think there's a Debbie Mumm paper involved (reallly?) and I know that blue star paper is like 6 or 7 years good for me using my stash...I bought the flags at Michael's when I went looking for paper to finish them off...I managed to buy paper, but none of it looked right when I got it home ...It may be good for a whole 'nother set of these darn things that I don't know what I'm going to do with though...anyway, the flags were way too cherry a red, so I might have colored the stripes with a marker to darken them up a that something I can go to jail for??? don't tell! they do match MUCH better now ;) holy smack is that glass dirty...please ignore the filth!

I think the "usa" needs a little bling, yes? It looks so sad and naked in the picture. I have a set of 3 layered buttons to get tied on top of a tag that I'll put in the center of the ribbon'll be cute, but, what am I going to do with them?????

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Retirement gift was more like a week than 3 days...but if I hadn't been a slacker, I might have knocked someone over from surprise...and I wouldn't want to use my blog for evil ;)

Here's the basket that I made for the MCHS school secretary that was retiring. Sanford really likes her...and she is always BEYOND appreciative of any little gifties that I send in. She is also crafty, so maybe that's why she's thankful...she actually understands how much work something is ;) Anyway, I wanted to make something special for her but it needed to be useful and tie into her retiring...

So, since she's a stamper...I made a basket designed around a color scheme and a stamp set.

I gifted a Papertrey Anniversary set from this year and chose my new fav color scheme...Hawaiian Shores and Pure Poppy...okay, aqua and red for those of you that don't speak papertrey-ese. I packaged up buttons and ribbon and flowers and all kinds of embellishment goodies.

Here is the stamp set packaged up...

Here are the buttons and a nugget tin done a la Nicole Heady...

I also wrapped up a chocolate bar and a clear box holding a set of blank notecards and cuttlebug embossed paper to use as bases on the cards.

This gift was ridiculously inexpensive (I think I spent $8 on the crinkle wrap and the tin it's all placed in). The stamp set was free because of the Papertrey deal where you get a free anniversary set with every 12 sets you buy throughout the year and I had the plastic packaging, nugget tin, paper, ribbon, buttons, felt, and small red tin...but I spent HOOOOOURS cutting and embossing and die cutting the labels and tags that matched the stamp set.

I would NOT have done this for most people. They just wouldn't appreciate the time and effort that went into it. I was happy to do it for her though. I just hope now that she's retired she has more time to stamp...that's what we're all looking forward to right? The day we can roll out of bed, stumble into the craft nook, and make a big, sticky, colorful mess before breakfast!?! I mean, we only work to support the craft habit...I swear sometimes I think it's worse than crack!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I honestly thought I took pictures of more of the teacher prizes from the last week of school, but as usual, I was a slacker. There are pictures of two of them. The first days prize wasn't really worth a picture, just a cute tiny basket from Cost Plus with a bag of dipping pretzels, fudge dip, and a cute tag. The next days gift was probably photo was a bunch of pastel plaid stationary goodies that I got last year at the dollar section of Michaels, altered to be "teacher-y" with the Papertrey Teacher's Apple set...journal, thank you notes in a box, small notepad, and matching pencils...about $4.00 worth of gift, but it looked good.

My friend Jo-Ellen went to the dump with me on Saturday...and helped me shovel ridiculously smelly compost into bins, bring it home, and unload it...if you don't think that's worth a prize, you are an ungrateful maroon! So here's the giftie I gave her on Sunday....when I brought back her yard waste can that we transported compost in...did I mention how sTinKy compost is???

it's a Papertrey tin with antibacterial sanitizer in it...3 different smells...some scratch off lottery tickets, and a turtle purse/key holder thing...I don't know what it is, but she saw it at the gas station and liked it...her kids go/went to Turtleback Elementary, so she kind of has a thing for turtles.

Any way...I just popped the stuff in the tin, computer generated..."lucky to have you for a ", stamped on friend...and it was all good, because the lottery tickets tied in with the lucky part...I thought it was so clever that I used it again on a teacher gift...see the picture lower...

Here's a giftie for Connor's teacher...yup, I can see that I put the accent/embellishment on the side of the box where the printing is upside down...unfortunately, I DIDN'T see it before I used a bunch of scortape on it...oh well,'s made with mostly Pebbles goodies...I made the box a year ago and just never used it, so I don't remember where I got the was free on the web somewhere...I wish I still had's a cute box! Inside was a Starbucks gift card.

here's the teacher version of the lottery card holder...just versamark ink stamped on a tiny kraft bag from Michaels...simple, but cute enough...

okay...then we have the last day of school stuff...I made the BeSt prize for the teacher...a pop top can, like from pineapple, opened from the bottom with a safety opener, cleaned out, filled with a matching card and gift cards and then was awesome!...yeah, you guessed it, no picture. I would have SWORN that I took a photo...nope...rude surprise when I loaded the pics onto the computer this morning and noThINg...uuuuggghhhhh!!!

Anyway...moving's how I decorated the door this year. Connor only had to break through the crepe paper...not as much fun as the signs I usually make, but I completely forgot to get the paper...side note here...have you seen that blog where she does "Martha Points"? you get plus points if you do something "Martha-esque" and minus points if you screw up...It's hysterical...this reminds me of that...forgot paper for traditional sign -10 points...made up for it with a $3.99 balloon and left over crepe paper + 7 points...cracks me up...I would sooooo be in the negative section alllll the time! One step forward, 17 steps back!

okay, so ...a little cardstock, a cricut, some crepe paper, and a balloon...done.

not much to rip through and Connor was maybe it's more than -10 points ;(

So...again, I'll state for the record, my son is an only child, always will be. That makes this all okay...and probably gives me a few Martha points to boot!

He gets a few new summer/water toys on the last day of school. Here's a bucket filled with stuff from the dollar section...badminton rackets, water bombs, and water balls...

Here's a stack of gifts...I am aLL about the red, white, and aqua color combo lately...not sure what that's all about...but here are two new squirt guns and an airplane model kit...I bought a few board games too, but that seemed like to much, so I saved them for a few weeks for now when the "moooooooom, I'm bored....." starts!

That's all for now. I'll post a retirement gift I made for Sanford's favorite school secretary'll probably be like 3 days from now... ;)