Thursday, December 11, 2014

Embroidery Hoop Snow Globe Shaker Ornaments

Every year I look forward to adding new, handmade ornaments to our Christmas tree.  As I dug through a pile of craft supplies in my craft room, I ran across a few 3" and 4" embroidery hoops.  They are the perfect size for Christmas ornaments.  Inspired by sequin shaker cards, I thought it would be fun to create embroidery hoop snow globe shaker ornaments.  It was fun and easy, and I couldn't be any happier with the results! 

Embroidery Hoop Snow Globe Shaker Ornaments

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Tribute to Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking Magazine

Dear Jennifer, Susan, Stacy, Holly, Kerri, Matt & Melinda, 

These stories are inspired by you.  They are just a little glimpse into the influence you have had in my life.   

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Modern Paper Leaf Embroidery Hoop Wreath

A few months ago I was asked by Susan, the Creative Editor at Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking magazine, to create a project for the Inspired By column for the March 2015 issue.  As most of you already know, the February 2015 issue will be the last issue of Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking magazine, so my Inspired By project missed the cut by one month. 

But never fear.  Loads of inspiration are still coming your way!  Today, Susan is sharing the last of the Inspired By projects over on the Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking blog so I thought it would be a great time to share a tutorial on how to make a modern paper leaf embroidery hoop wreath.  

Modern Paper Leaf Embroidery Hoop Wreath

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Easy Paint Chip Christmas Tree Cards

Christmastime is here.  Nothing fuels my desire to get in the craft room and make cards more than Christmas.  I love Christmas cards of all types--fancy, simple, handmade, pre-printed, photo cards, etc.  Every year I make dozens of Christmas cards, but do I send them?  No.  I put writing and sending cards on my "To Do...Later" list and I just never get around to it.  Christmas comes and goes and I convince myself I'll do it next year....I promise. 

One hang up I run into every year is mailing cards that don't fit into a standard sized envelope.  Bulky cards take extra postage, sure, but it's the trip to the post office that I most dread.  This year I have resolved to make flat Christmas cards that I can pop into an envelope and have the kids take out to the mailbox.  

Easy Paint Chip Christmas Tree Cards

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

10 Reasons to Buy a Cricut Explore, NEW Frozen Cut Files and Cricut BLACK FRIDAY Deals!

If you have been following the blog for the past few months, you know that I have been part of the Cricut Design Space™ Star contest.  What a whirlwind it has been!  You may remember my contest projects: 

Alpaca Lunch Box

Monday, November 24, 2014

Milk Carton and French Fry Box Christmas Treat Containers

Christmas season is nearly in full swing, which means it's time for unexpected visitors and the awkward "I'm sorry, I didn't have anything for you" scenario.  You know what I'm talking about.  

Whether you're looking to create quick gifts for those unexpected visitors, or polish off your holiday décor, Michaels' Recollections brand items are a great, affordable option.  Just because a gift comes together quickly and inexpensively, doesn't mean it is any less heartfelt than a handmade gift that took hours to prepare.  

Milk Carton Christmas Gift Containers

Milk carton Christmas treat containers

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Modern Twelve Days of Christmas Clock

I love analog clocks.  The louder the obnoxious tick-tock, the better.  And cuckoo clocks?  Don't get me started.  I have at least one clock in every room of the house.  You know that scene in the beginning of Back to the Future in Doc Brown's garage?  I would love to have a wall full of eclectic tick-tocking clocks someday.   

Modern Twelve Days of Christmas Clock

DIY Modern Twelve Days of Christmas Clock

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tea Light Winter Village Paper Craft

Happy Wednesday!  My Cricut Explore™  and I have been hard at work making winter wonderland crafts to help make my house merry and bright this holiday season.  Although Halloween has yet to pass, I can't help but dig into my Christmas papers and supplies and start creating projects for Christmas.  For my Cricut Design Space™ Star Round 3 project I made a tea light winter village paper craft that you can use to dress up a holiday mantel, table, or even use as a centerpiece.

Make a tea light winter village paper craft to decorate your house during the holidays |

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Make Spooky Halloween Scene Cards with Stickers

I can hardly believe that Halloween is almost here.  I am seriously hoping that the weather holds out for a couple more weeks.  Few things suck more than trick-or-treating with kids when it is 25ºF and snowing. 

Okay, now that my whining is out of the way, I can get around to sharing some super fun (and a little spooky) Halloween cards that I have been working on this past week.  I love making cards with scenes.  There is just something so quaint about miniature paper trees, animals, houses, rolling hills, etc.  Making scenes on cards makes me feel artsy, like I actually have a grasp on depth and dimension.  Artsy-fartsy-ness aside, it is just plain fun.  Grab your favorite set of stickers and get creating!

Make Spooky Halloween Scene Cards with Stickers

Create Halloween scene cards with stickers and patterned paper

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to Make Pumpkin Purée (and What Not To Do)

For the past couple of years here on the farm, we have done a lot of experimenting in our garden.  Each year we grow different crops to see what we like, what is worth the effort, and what actually grows.  We have grown leeks, cucumbers (almost), asparagus, squashes of all types, peas, beans, and corn, to name a few.  The ultimate goal is to decide what we like best, decide what is worth the effort, and continue to grow those crops in the future for maximum efficiency and minimal frustration.  

Having successfully grown large jack-o-lantern pumpkins in the past, we decided to grow sugar pumpkins (AKA pie pumpkins) this year to add to our winter food stores.  For years adopted the Martha Stewart philosophy that canned pumpkin purée is just as good as fresh pumpkin purée.  While I won't argue that this may be true from a taste perspective, it is not nearly as satisfying as learning how to make pumpkin purée.  

How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Purée (and what not to do)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ghosts and Ghouls Halloween Party Decor

Every year I want to host a Halloween party for my kids and their friends, but I don't.  My overwhelming desire to do nothing takes over and my kids are lucky to get help throwing together a too-small, last-minute Halloween costume.  Somehow I managed to get my act into gear last week and ended up making an entire set of Ghosts and Ghouls Halloween party decor.  Clearly I was avoiding something to have been cooped up in my craft room for that long.  

Ghosts and Ghouls Halloween Party Decor

Ghosts and Ghouls Halloween Party |

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece

Hello!  Welcome back for Cricut Design Space Star Round 3!  This month's challenge was to create projects for weddings and celebrations.  My team and I created projects around a woodland theme.  For my project, I created a rustic woodland party decor centerpiece that could be used for any woodland themed celebration.  This woodland house would look lovely at the head table at a wedding, or as a centerpiece at a Thanksgiving table.  No parties in your future?  Make a rustic woodland house as a piece of home decor.  

Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece | 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cricut Explore GIVEAWAY!

Hello friends and happy Monday!  Are y'all ready for another GIVEAWAY?  Keep scrolling down to see how you can win a new Cricut Explore!

Cricut Explore Contest Graphic

Friday, September 5, 2014

Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!

It's time for a Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!  Why?  Because giveaways!  And because you're awesome.  I couldn't do what I do without the support of my loyal readers.  Awww.  How's that for mushy?

Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!

Here's what's in it for you.....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time to Vote! Top 10 Cricut Design Space Star Round 2

I have such fun news to share!  Remember my Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set from last week?  It was chosen by the folks at Cricut as one of the Top 10 projects from Cricut Design Space Star-Round 2.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set

Hipsters rejoice!  Foxes and cats are SO last year.  Alpacas are now joining the ranks of most celebrated hipster mascots.   Alpacas are funny.  Their fuzzy, pouty lips and crazy hair make them look completely ridiculous and adorable at the same time.  When I saw this alpaca as I was browsing through the Cricut image library, I fell in love and knew I had to use him on a project.  With back to school time approaching, I thought I'd make a silly, eco-friendly alpaca lunch box set for my kids to fight over take to school.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial |

I am not opposed to using plastic Ziploc bags, I just like to minimize the use of disposable plastic where I can.  On any average school day, I send my kids to school with up to three sandwich bags each, not including any pre-packaged snacks. I have seen reusable sandwich/snack bags here and there, but they are either way too pricey or they don't have a sturdy plastic lining.  Lunches make messes and a regular fabric wrap isn't going to do a very good job of containing a smooshed PB&J.  So I set out to create my own reusable fabric sandwich bags.  

As I was searching for laminated cotton fabric online to make some reusable fabric sandwich bags, I ran across iron-on vinyl.  Whoa.  In my mind this could be a total game changer.  You see, laminated cotton fabric, although awesome, can run upwards of $15/yard.  It was hard for me to justify spending that much money for a sandwich bag that my kids would wreck/lose/throw away.  Iron-on vinyl seemed like a perfect solution.  Not only was it less expensive, I could apply it to any scrap of fabric I had in my stash.  A cheap mom lifesaver.  

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial |

Monday, July 21, 2014

Peaches and Cream Argyle Embroidery Hoop Decor

I am a huge fan of embroidery hoop decor.  They are inexpensive and fun and easy to make.  They are lovely as individual pieces or art or grouped together in clusters.  Inspired by the delicious peaches in Chickaniddy Crafts' Twirly Girly collection, I made a peaches and cream argyle embroidery hoop decor piece to brighten up my kitchen.

Peaches and Cream Argyle Embroidery Hoop Decor

Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor |

Nothing says summer quite like fresh, juicy peaches.  It was love at first sight when I first saw the peaches in the Twirly Girly collection.  I knew they had to be front and center on a project.  

Stitched paper argyle pattern |
I machine-stitched the diamond argyle pattern, but it would look just as lovely with hand-drawn faux stitching.

Paper peach die cuts and flower brads |
I adhered one large peach and two small peaches to the hoop, using varying heights of foam squares to add dimension.  I couldn't resist the darling flower brads and added a few of those, too.

Seam binding double bow |
After I added the peaches and flowers, I used by Bow-Easy bow maker to make a sweet double bow to adhere to the top of the hoop.

Create an argyle pattern with patterned paper |
To create the argyle pattern I first traced the hoop onto a piece of cardstock.  Next, I die cut diamonds from patterned paper and adhered them to the cardstock.  Afraid that adhesive will gum up my sewing machine, I strategically placed the adhesive near the corners of the diamonds where I knew I wouldn't be stitching.  

Stitched paper argyle pattern |
I machine-stitched the diamonds with a dark thread that contrasted nicely with the lighter diamonds.  I just kept flipping and rotating the sheet as I completed one row of stitching.  I wasn't worried about how the edges looked as I would be trimming the excess later. 

Trim excess paper from embroidery hoop |
After stitching the diamonds, I adhered the inner hoop to the back of the cardstock with liquid adhesive.  After the hoop dried, I trimmed away the excess paper with a craft knife.  TIP: Place a book on top of the hoop while the adhesive dries.  

Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor |
I secured the outer hoop to the inner hoop before adding my bow and embellishments.  

Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor |
Now I have a pretty piece of decor that will brighten up my space all year long.  

Happy crafting!


If you like this embroidery hoop decor, you may also like these embroidery hoop decor pieces: 

Paper Flower Embroidery Hoop Decor |

Cross-stitched Heart Embroidery Hoop Decor |

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Paper Cafe Lights Garland Tutorial

Inspired by a host of pretty cafe lights images on Pinterest, I have been wanting to create a paper cafe lights garland for quite some time.  There is just something so romantic and lovely about strings of bright lights twisting and weaving around a large room or outdoor space.  When I found My Favorite Things Die-namics Lightbulb die designed by Laina Lamb, I knew it was perfect for what I had in mind.  

Cafe Lights Garland

Paper Cafe Lights Garland |
The hardest part of this project was deciding what color to make the lights.  At first I tried a short string of white lights, and then I tried a string of yellow lights.  Both were fun, but I wanted something with a little more color.  I ended up playing around with colored cardstock and the pastel colored lights were my favorite.  

I die cut and assembled a bunch of colored light bulbs and strung them together with some baker's twine.  The result was a brightly colored garland that I can use for celebratory occasion or just to add some fun to a regular ol' space. 

Paper Cafe Light Garland |
Once the light bulbs are strung, it is easy to adjust the distance between them.  If you are creating a garland for a large area, space the light bulbs further apart.

Paper Cafe Light Garland |
I used a soft color palette so the garland wouldn't seem too thematic.  Tone down the garland a bit by using all white or all yellow cardstock.  It would also be easy and fun to create a garland with bright Christmas tree light colors.  

Paper Cafe Lights Garland Tutorial

Paper Cafe Light Garland die cuts |
The Die-namics light bulb fits easily on a 2"x3" piece of cardstock allowing you to cut 24 light bulbs from a single sheet of 12"x12" cardstock.  I die cut the white filaments from scrap white cardstock and the bulb ends from light gray cardstock.  I was able to speed up my die cutting by cutting two pieces of cardstock at a time.  

Paper Cafe Light Garland supplies |
To assemble your light bulbs you will need a tape runner and a glue pen.  I also like to use tweezers to help me grab the little die cuts.

Paper Cafe Light Garland assembly |
Assemble the light bulb die cuts by first adhering the screw top piece to the top of the light bulb.  Adhere the filament and punch two holes into the end of the light bulb.  I used a screw punch to punch the holes into the top of the light bulb, but a regular punch would work just as well.

Stiffen ends of twine with Fray Check |
Rather than thread a needle, apply Fray Check to the end of your twine.  After it is dry, the twine will be stiff enough to easily thread through the holes in the light bulb.  Hooray for not having to put the twine ends in your mouth!

Paper Cafe Lights Garland |
Cute and versatile, you can use your cafe lights garland for almost any occasion.  They would make lovely wedding or birthday party decor.  Be sure to hover over the image above to pin this image for later.

Happy summer!


If you like this garland, check these out:

Paper Popcorn & Cranberry Garland |

Fourth of July Banner |

Friday, June 27, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe |

A few weeks ago my mom asked me to bring a plate of deviled eggs over for Sunday dinner.  It was no problem since we have a dozen or more egg laying hens here on the farm.  Would you believe that in all of my years I have never made deviled eggs?  I mean, I have definitely eaten my fair share of deviled eggs, I have just never taken the time to actually make them.  As I pondered the standard mayo/relish/paprika deviled egg combo, I thought I would experiment and try something different.  I looked at a few pictures on Pinterest to see if I could find an interesting recipe and the one thing that kept jumping out at me was bacon.  Mmm, bacon.

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe |
I honestly don't remember where my thought process went next, but I sent my daughter to pick a bunch of chives from our garden.  Seeing the chives and bacon together made me think of loaded baked potatoes.  Hmmm, could I make a deviled egg that tasted like loaded baked potatoes?  I got out a few other ingredients and gave it a go.

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe |
Start by halving six hard-boiled eggs and popping the yolks into a small mixing bowl.  Add light sour cream until the yolk mixture becomes creamy, about 1/3 cup.

(Now imagine that I was more organized and took pictures of all of the remaining steps.) 

Add cream cheese.  Yum.  And don't worry if the cream cheese is a bit clumpy.  The clumps will work themselves as you continue to add ingredients.  Fold in chopped chives and bacon.  Mmm, bacon.  If you chop the bacon while it is still warm and greasy it will make your yolk mixture taste even better.  Add spices and seasonings until it tastes awesome.  Since we raise our own pigs here at the farm, the bacon we get from the butcher isn't as salty as store bought bacon so I added a little extra salt to my mixture.

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe |
Gently spoon the yolk mixture into the egg white halves and garnish with a piece of bacon and some chive sprigs.  Chow down!

Epilogue: I'm a jerk.  I constantly forget that my mom is lactose intolerant so she wasn't able to eat any of the eggs.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the heck out of them!

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs


  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1.5 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 TB finely chopped chives,
  • 3-4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Cut hard-boiled eggs in half and scoop yolks into a bowl.  Cream together yolks, sour cream and cream cheese.  
  2. Fold in chopped chives and bacon.  Stir in spices and seasonings.  
  3. Scoop into egg white halves and garnish with chives and bacon.  Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.  

(Download printable recipe HERE)

Loaded Baked Potato Deviled Eggs Recipe |

I am linking up this recipe to this week's Link Party Palooza at Tatertots & Jello.  Stop by to add your link! 

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!


If you liked this recipe, you may also like these:

Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies |