Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teacher Gifts From the Heart

Little K has some amazing teachers this year.  

I look forward to picking her up from school every day just to hear her talk about what she has learned, or the funny way her teachers interact with the students, or the exciting experiments/projects they are working on.  These teachers have pushed her beyond her limits - and she has succeeded.  They have made her most difficult subjects exciting and easier to comprehend.  I am forever grateful for their passion - and for sharing it with my child.

(note:  she also has a particularly difficult teacher this year that makes me appreciate the others all that much more)

We don't usually give Teachers gifts at the Holidays - but this year was an exception.

When I came across this quote:  "Great Teachers teach from the Heart, Not from the Book".  I knew it was a perfect way to express how we feel. 

So I made it into a stuffed embroidered fabric picture.  One for each of her favorite teachers.  

The quote is printed on fabric - using Freezer Paper.  If you have never tried this technique before - it so much easier than it sounds.  

THANKS - to my Mom for introducing me to this fun method.

 Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than a piece of paper.  Also tear a strip of freezer paper of a similar size.  Using a hot iron (no steam), iron the paper (shiny side down) to the back of the fabric.  After just a few seconds of applied heat - the fabric and paper are temporarily fused together.

Cut the paper backed fabric to fit your printer paper size (8 1/2" X 11").  I used a rotary cutter, but a paper cutter works well also.

To get the printed image onto the fabric - load the paper backed fabric into your printer and PRINT.  It's that simple.  Really!

Peel the paper from the fabric.

Then heat set the ink with a few more seconds under a hot iron.  This prevents smudges and bleeding.  It will also make the ink water safe (for hand washing). 

What makes this project so sweet (in my opinion) is the added details of a felt heart stitched to the printed fabric quote using embroidery floss and a blanket stitch.

I'm pretty impressed with myself that I remembered how to do a blanket stitch.  I love how finished it makes the edges of the heart.  If I knew my stitches would be so neat - I might have even attempted a contrast stitching.  Maybe next time.

You can download the printed quote here.

The last step is to layer the printed/embroidered fabric over a layer of batting and wrap it around the frame backing (you know - the piece that you remove from the back of the frame to insert the picture). 

I removed the glass - so the stuffed fabric would puff out of the frame a little.  Insert into the frame and you are done.  

I think it's the perfect gift for several teachers (both Male and Female) that we really appreciate.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Torn Strip Fabric Wreath

I'm currently editing pictures from the Cream and White Party we hosted last weekend and will be posting all about it soon.

Here is a Sneak Peek of some of the decorations.

One of my favorite things we made for the party were these Torn Strip Fabric Wreathes that greeted guests at the Front Door.

 I've posted details on how they were made over at The Pink Elephant for my Project Thursday contribution this week.  

I'm loving all the Neutral Colors and Textures....considering keeping them up for just a while longer.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Boo Bag Sweet Treats

I'm finishing up our Neighborhood Boo Bags.  Just a few more details and they will be ready to be secretly delivered.

Every Year we try to include a Home Made Sweet Treat.

Our families current favorite is Peanut Butter Bars - but they are not very colorful (shades and brown and beige), so I decided to switch up the recipe and make them more Halloween Themed.

 White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


20 Halloween Oreo Cookies
1/4 Cup Melted Butter

1   Cup Butter
 1 1/2   Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2   Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
2   Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2   Cup Chocolate Chips
1 1/2   Cup White Chocolate Chips
2   Tablespoons Shortening


1.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in medium bowl.  Crush Oreo Cookies (using a food processor) into small crumbs.  Add to melted butter and stir until well coated. 

2.  Spread cookie crumb mixture onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan and refrigerate until firm.

3.  Melt 1 cup butter and peanut butter in large bowl in microwave - stirring frequently until smooth. 

4.  Add graham cracker crumbs and confectioners sugar to melted mixture and stir until well combined.  Set aside.

5.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave until smooth.

6.  Spread melted chocolate over cookie crust (this helps keep the cookie crumbs together and adhere them to the peanut butter layer).

7.  Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over cookie/chocolate crust and refrigerate until set.

8.  Melt white chocolate chips and shortening in microwave - stirring frequently until smooth.

9.  Spread over peanut butter mixture.

10.  Sprinkle with festive Halloween non-pareils, jimmies or quins.

11.  Refrigerate until firm - at least one hour.  Cut into squares.

More tips and details for this recipe are included on my Project Thursday Post over at The Pink Elephant Blog.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Got Paid....For My Photo Prints

I have a tendency to dabble in way to many things at once (hence the name of my blog).

Sometimes that means I don't spend as much time (as I used to) indulging my passions.  

This week I was reminded of how much I enjoy taking Still Life Photos.  

Have you heard of Society6?  

A while back I set up a few of my favorite Still Life Photos for sale on their site.

They offer a great collection of all kinds of Artists Images.  The images are available in high quality products (like iPhone cases, pillows, stationary cards) and of course - PRINTS.  

 Much to my surprise - I received a notification this week that Society6 had deposited into my PayPal account for the SALE of my photographic products.

How cool is that?

Somewhere in the world - someone has one of my photographs hanging on their wall.  

 Someone else has 2 of my photographs - made into Throw Pillows - tossed onto their sofa.  

No matter how much I listen to my "inner voice" and allow my personal vision to guide my creative output.  It's still just a little thrilling to think that someone else might like my creations too.  

You can see more of my favorite Still Life Photos on my Society6 Profile HERE.

I'm feeling the urge gather up my favorite things, create a sweet vignette, dust off my SLR camera and get photographing again. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homework Station

We have been in school for 5 weeks this year so far - and this is what our Kitchen Counter often looks like:

To tell the Truth - it almost ALWAYS looks like this.

Homework never gets done in one sitting, so the homework supplies stay out all afternoon, and night and usually the next morning (for those last minute study sessions).

I decided it was time to Tame the Beast and Take Back our Kitchen Counter.

Ta Da...We Now have a Designated Homework Station!

 I would have loved to fill it with Fun Bright Colored accessories - but since it's in the middle of the Kitchen - and can be seen from all over the first floor - I decided to keep things neutral.

Everything essential for homework has it's place.

Text Books are covered with Newsprint Wrapping Paper (I added clear Contact Paper for extra durability).

 The books were covered - but not yet labeled - for at least a week.  

 I thought it was fun searching for the right text book - Little K....not so much. 

I used Red bordered labels - and my Old Fashioned typewriter - to make the Subject Labels.

Baskets of all different sizes are used to corral the clutter.  

Each one has it's own clever hang tag:

PLUG IT IN (electronic devices and chargers)
TAKE NOTE (note cards and sticky notes)
GO AWAY (erasers and white out) 
KEEP IT TOGETHER (paper clips and glue sticks)

 Cans of different sizes are wrapped with Scrap Book Paper (you could also use the same wrapping paper from the Text Book Covers). 

Look at these happy colored rubber bands - tucked inside one of the cans. 

 Colored pencils add another splash of bright.

Smaller baskets keep little bits in place, and cardboard magazine holders hide notebooks and paper packs (I plan on covering the white holders with more newsprint paper).  

 Another wrapped can holds a supply of sharpened pencils (that will somehow disappear completely within a few weeks).  

The bookcase that holds it all - is right next to the kitchen counter where homework is done. 

I didn't expect that everything would be neat and tidy all the time, and the counter is still filled with books and papers most of the afternoon and evening.  But our Homework Station has kept a lot of the little bits in place and made it much quicker to put things away (for her, and for me).

Now I need to do the same kind of organizing for the other place that homework gets done....the car. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Duck Tape Flowers

Little K has been making all kinds of things from Duck Tape - but until recently - we never attempted making FLOWERS because they looked too complicated.

Nothing worse than getting frustrated with a project because it's more difficult than you imagined.  

We finally decided to attempt one.  
Much to our surprise - they are NOT as difficult to make as you might think.  

After learning a few tricks (and after a few practices) you can make one in under 15 minutes.

All you need is a variety of Duck Tape, pen, cutting mat and a utility knife.

Start by wrapping the body of the pen with a thin strip of Tape.  Only go as far as the cap - they fit pretty tightly and won't fit over the duck tape.

Here comes the Magic Trick....use a utility knife and cutting mat - instead of scissors - to cut the Duck Tape.

Pure genius.  Can I tell you how much time I've spend trying to de-gunk the scissors after trying to cut through that sticky tape.

The tape easily releases from the cutting mat - and the knife slices through the tape like butter.

Cut the tape into 2" sections.  Since the tape is approximately 2" wide - you will end up with 2' squares.

For this flower you will need:

10 squares for the center
14 squares for the outer petals
4 squares for the outer leaves

Next fold over one side of the square.

Then fold the other side of the square so you end up with a pointed top with exposed sticky tape at the bottom.

I found it's easiest to make all the "petals" at once, before you begin to attach them to the pen.
As you can see - it's not important that all the "petals" be perfect, neat or all the same.  The key is to be sure there is enough sticky at the bottom. 

Start attaching the petals around the stem of the pen.

I like to add the petals, one after the other, going around the pen clockwise. 

I find this method makes it easier to space them evenly.

Once all the petals have been added - it will be a bit messy underneath.

 The solution is to add 4 more leaf "petals" - same color as the pen stem - to cover up the messy bits.

 One final step was to add some Bling to the centers.

 And now we have a collection of bright Duck Tape Flower (pens) sitting by the kitchen phone.  I will never again need to go searching for a pen when the phone rings.

This project was also shared recently at The Pink Elephant.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Project Life {2013}: January

I am taking on Project Life again this year.

Last year - I managed to keep up for over half of the year (even though I only posted the first few pages). 

My approach this time is MORE about completing the task of documenting our every day lives (as I believe Becky Higgins intended when she created this idea of scrapbooking) - and LESS about making beautiful detailed pages.  I hope to still be able to do some of that (because I do love the details), but it will be time permitting.

We have last years Album sitting out on the Bookcase - and I am surprised at how often my family picks it up to look through the pages - and the smiles that come from seeing the memories.

That is enough inspiration to keep me going.


I didn't purchase a core kit this year.  My intention is to use papers that I already have - PLUS the Studio Calico monthly Project Life kit (although I'm still on the wait list).

I loved how last years album coordinated from pate to page since I used the Turquoise Core Kit, but I felt somewhat limited when it came to special events that called for a different color scheme.

Since I will be using a different collection of papers for each week - I want to keep some elements the same through out the album so it doesn't completely look like a hodge podge.  

My intent is to keep some of the Flag Banner and Font used on Title Card the same each week. 

Left Side Page

Right Side Page

I made a 3 X 4 filler card with various "organizing" words to highlight what went on as we took down the holiday decorations.  


Somehow I have lost the pictures I took of Week 2.  I'll have to retake them and update this post later.


 Left Side

 Right Side
 This side was filled with Instagram pics - so the 4 X 4 slots were a perfect way to use those square format pictures without having to add a backer of filler.

It was a busy week - and I didn't have a lot of pictures to choose from, so I raided Little K's instagram feed and printed some of her pics (with photo credit of course)


 Left Side.  I wasn't thrilled with only have a 4 X 4 slot for the Title Card, but I managed to keep the same elements as previous weeks.

 I've seen several other Project Life users journaling in this "Week in Review" style.  I'm not much of a daily journaler, so this recap is working out perfect for me.  

I love including little "artifacts" into my Project Life, but I found out last year that the albums can get Very Fat - Very I'm trying to incorporate things with less texture, like the Saftey Information Card from a flight I took this week.  

I was going to just take the card, but then I started feeling guilty about leaving the next passenger without this important I asked the flight attendant first if it was OK (phew - apparently I could never be a thief - I had guilt written all over my face)