St. Patrick’s Day has never been a big holiday at our house, which is surprising given our love of gold-wrapped chocolates. Instead, we move quickly from Valentine’s Day to Easter. In fact, last weekend we raided the storage closet and found our Easter holiday storage bins. Once the baskets and masses of plastic eggs were freed, we immediately started started playing ‘Easter Egg hunt.’ Let’s just consider it practice for the big day. (more…)
Every year around this time, I print a photo calendar for the upcoming year, using pictures from the previous year. I usually choose a standard monthly wall calendar, but this time, the design options seem to have exploded. Another great feature this time around: mobile apps that let you create a calendar directly from your phone. So many great calendar designs, so little time left to choose.
Above are a few of my favorite calendars for 2015, below are the calendar sources:
Making my own marbled paper is something I’ve wanted to explore for awhile. I purchased a marbling paper kit for Jenna a couple of years ago and she absolutely loved it, but the primary colors included in the kit weren’t ideal for some of the decorative projects I had in mind.
After coming across a few posts about marbling with nail polish, I decided to experiment with marbling paper again. (more…)
This weekend I made a really simple paper garland to serve as a backdrop for a cookie party.
I started by creating a large batch of paper circles using a 3-inch paper punch.
To make each paper ornament, I folded the circles in half and glued the halves together, using 5 circles for each ornament (4 to 6 circles work the best).
I left one side of the ornament unglued until all of the paper ornaments were created. Then, I attached the ornaments to twine by gluing the twine inside of the remaining two sides.
And once the garland was complete, I placed in along our kitchen windows, behind the table where I’ll set up the cookie display.
I finished Jenna’s watercolor set Valentine’s on Friday, and this weekend I moved on to Jason’s. Both of their schools no longer allow candy, so I had to come up with fun gift options of the non-sugary variety. Mustaches are hysterical to J+J these days, so when I saw these paper mustaches, I decided on a photo prop theme.
Here are the templates that I used for the cards and eyebrows:
- Cards (Print on 8 x 11 paper and cut into thirds)
- Eyebrows (Print on 8 x 11 paper, cut out individually and attach eyes)
We’ve purchased most of our gifts online this year, so boxes showing up at our house is almost a daily occurrence. The stack of boxes in the garage is getting pretty tall, so this weekend I decided to put some of the cardboard to use by making gingerbread house gift tags. I had planned to make them by myself – you know, so Jason and Jenna wouldn’t wonder why Santa was using our homemade gift tags – but Jenna can always tell when I’ve got something crafty going on in the office and it wasn’t long before she was in on the action. Since starting school, Jason has become much more interested in coloring and crafts, so of course, he joined in.
These are very easy to make and could be used as gift tags or ornaments. I started by cutting a few panels off of cardboard boxes (in areas that didn’t have any printing) and then made a couple of house patterns out of regular paper. I traced the patterns onto the cardboard and then cut the cardboard using a ruler and extacto knife. We used a white Galaxy Marker (which can be purchased at Hobby Lobby) and charcoal crayons to decorate the houses. Once the houses were complete, I used a hole punch at the top and then tied some silver twine through the hole.
And now we have our very first present under the tree:
Instead of my usual Friday Favorites today, I’m sharing some Halloween labels that I made this week. Yes, it’s not even October but the Halloween season is well underway at our house. If you ask Jenna what we’re doing this weekend, she’ll probably tell you ‘baking pumpkin cookies.’ And she’d probably be right.
See below for the links to download this series of 4 label designs.
Jenna’s birthday party is in a couple of weeks, and I finally finished (and mailed) the invitations. We’re keeping the party pretty small since we’ll be headed out on vacation the next week. The theme is Tea Party, which she chose based on her (current) love of Alice in Wonderland.
Here are the files:
Download the Invitation PSD File
Download the Thank You PSD File
My daughter is rarely without a piece of paper and crayons in her hands. Drawing has definitely become one of her favorite activities, so I guess I should not have been surprised when she made her own book. Using a few scraps of card stock and pieces of Japanese washi tape (previously being used to display her drawings on the wall), she bound together a simple but adorable little book. That book is the inspiration for a project I’m sharing today on the Land of Nod’s blog, Honest to Nod. Be sure to check it out!
Preparations for Jenna’s 4th birthday party are underway. Jenna has loved playing tea party for quite a while, and now that she’s become interested in the Alice in Wonderland story, it’s no surprise that she’s requested a tea party theme for her birthday. My plan is to keep it pretty simple – a table filled with children’s teacups, tiny cakes and oversized paper flowers in the backyard and, of course, a game of croquet.
I started working on the paper flowers this weekend. Wow, they are pretty time-intensive, and I’ve only finished two so far. I’m already thinking of how to best mix paper and real flowers.
I created two petal patterns (one large, one small). For each flower, I cut out 10 large petals and 8 small petals in contrasting papers. For each petal, I glued two petal shapes together using decoupage glue and then coated the outer sides with glue to make them sturdier.
Once the petals were dry, I arranged the large petals into a flower shape and used floral tape to secure them on the bottom side. I repeated this step for the smaller petals.
I generously glued the area near the tape to make them sturdier and less floppy.
I cut a circle using a 1 1/2 inch paper punch and glued that to the center of the smaller petals.
Next, I glued the smaller petals to the larger set of petal to form the flower.
Once everything was dry, I attached a wooden dowel using tape. (Note: I started out trying to attach individual petals to the dowel but found that securing them first – as shown in step 2 – was much easier.)
I covered the entire dowel with floral tape.
And, finally, the paper flowers are done. Two of them, at least!
Jenna has made it known that for her next birthday party, she wants a tea party a la Alice in Wonderland. I have visions of oversized blossoms and toadstools springing up all over our backyard, children playing croquet and a long table overflowing with stacked teacups and petits-fours. In other words, I can’t wait to start the party planning.
January is nearly over and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we’ve yet to send thank you cards to friends and relatives who gave gifts to J+J over the holidays. I’m not the only one, right?
With my trip behind me, I’ve committed to getting them in the mail this week, and today I made one big leap in the right direction: I made custom notecards out of Jenna’s recent art.
Here are a few examples:
Here’s how I made them:
- I selected 4 recent drawings and scanned them into the computer. I opened the files in Photoshop and cropped them to 4 x 4 inches (300 dpi).
- In Photoshop, I created a template based on the size of the notecards (the folded cards are 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 so my template was 5 1/2 x 11). I also set up a custom print size in the Page Set-up menu in the Print window.
- I centered the scanned drawing so that it would print along the bottom half of the page and added the text and a very light border. I had to print a couple of trial runs to get the positioning just right.
- Step 4 – writing and mailing. That’s the hard part …