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27 Feb

Craft Room Reveal: From Chaos to Creative


titleIN CASE you didn’t see the before photos, take a look at this previous post. It shows all the chaos that was my craft room… but the after photos in this post show all the creative it is now!

The room is not large, so it’s hard to get back far enough to take a picture of the gorgeous table my husband and son made for me. (Actually, my husband designed it—with my input, of course—and my son built it for me.)

We took all the furniture out of the room and put in all new. New desk for my computer, new shelving for storage, and—how exciting is this?—my handmade, glass-top, craft table!

Did I mention I LOVE my new craft table?

It has storage in all four corner shelving units and there’s three inches between the glass top and the wood underneath. Ample space for storing my cutting mats, rulers, t-square and such.

I’m in the midst of labeling everything with chalkboard labels (chalkboard tape by Duck brand duct tape) and chalk markers from Chalkseries.

So without further ado, here’s my Craft Room Reveal!

craft tableBecause of the glass top, the windows are reflected in the glass. But you can plainly see the space between the wood and the glass… such a brilliant idea!

Glass-top craft tableAnother photo from the other side of the table, still showing reflections, but at least the windows are not showing.

desk1Here’s my computer workstation. My Curio cutter is peeking into the picture on the upper left, with it’s handmade dust cover on top. The little red and white storage unit holds tools and pens for the Silhouette.

desk2Another view of my computer desk, showing some quilled cards my husband gave me, a cross (in the little box), and a handmade cedar box crafted by my son. Notice my basket of scissors!

etagereThe etagere that holds a few items, including a birdcage given to me by my daughter, some devotionals, a basket holding some fabric, and some things you cannot see in this photo.

Kallax1We used Ikea Kallax shelving units to create storage for my many craft supplies. The labels aren’t on them yet, but they’re coming!

pigsOn top of these shelves are my three little pigs soft sculptures with paper mache heads. You can also see some needle felted animals (a horse is unfinished), my tall knitting needles, and my “Jesus knows me, this I love” sign (soon to be repainted).

Reading nookThis corner shows my reading nook, which doesn’t yet have the reading light that will be beside the chair. Two Kallax shelves hold books and lots more craft supplies. Above the chair is my inspiration board.

Kallax2The view of the Kallax shelves across my craft table.

dollsOn top of one of the Kallax shelves are a few of my prim dolls that I made.

Kallax3Beside my reading chair, this Kallax holds books, jars of thread and buttons, baskets of tape and clips, and more.

Kallax4Here’s the Kallax on the other side of the chair, holding more books and other supplies.

boxesOn top of the shelves is a collection of my handmade boxes.

memesMy craft room memes.

plastic drawersI kept this plastic drawer unit because I needed someplace to house drawings that would keep them out of dust. The middle drawer houses some miscellaneous craft supplies, too. The picnic hamper on top holds pads of lined paper and clipboards.

One piece of furniture still needs to be bought. Since this is the only room we have for a guest room, it has to do double duty. That means we have to  buy a day bed that opens out into a double for guests. We’ve not yet decided exactly what we want, so that’s on the back burner for now.

What are you doing in your craft room?


20 Feb

10 Favorite Font Combinations for Crafters & Designers

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IT’S NOT ALWAYS easy to find good font combinations for your craft or design projects. In fact, sometimes it’s downright frustrating. Do you combine serif and san serif faces, or how do you decide which roman font goes with your script font? Well, to make things a little easier, I’ve come up with ten of my favorite font combinations and put them in a graphic for you so you can see what they look like together — they’re in pairs, first the script, then the roman. Then I’ve included links to where you can find the font (just click on the font name). Most of them are free, but be very careful about the license. Some of them are okay for commercial use, but most are for personal use only, unless you buy a commercial license.

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These font combinations are ones that I’ve used in crafts and for making posters for myself. Of course, you may decide to combine them in different ways, and that’s fine, too. Because in the end, it’s what strikes your fancy that matters.

One tip, though. Don’t use script fonts for all caps, because it makes it difficult to read.

What are your favorite font combinations?

17 Feb

Simple Burlap Wreath: A Tutorial

I’VE BEEN busy today. As I sat listening to Willie Nelson singing some of Frank Sinatra’s songs, I enjoyed not only the music but some time crafting.

We went to see War Room today (which is fantastic, by the way!), and on the way home took a little trip into JoAnn’s to pick up some burlap for table runners for our Rosh Hashanah celebrating in a week. I say we because I have a husband who never minds craft shopping with me. And I love to take him ’cause he always buys more than I ever would. LOL! Although the burlap was only for table runners, he suggested that I should make a burlap wreath, too.

Now what you need to understand is that we’ve never hung a wreath on our door. He didn’t want the paint scratched from a wreath hanger, so we always hung our Christmas wreath on the brick wall beside the front door (which works, too). But husband dearest saw a burlap wreath at JoAnn’s and said, “I bet you could make one better than this one!” Which was good, because it was ON SALE for $24.99. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble buying something that could only cost a little money and labor. So I got some extra burlap and a foam ring and took a picture of the wreath (which husband dearest liked) so I could do something like it.

Here’s the picture of what we saw, including how it was made.


As you can see, it’s rather sparse and the bow is a complete disaster.
Now here are a couple of pictures of my wreath in progress.


I covered the wreath with a long strip of brown burlap and then began gluing down the burlap “fluffs” in a different manner from the store-bought one. I made squares of burlap and stuck the end of a paint brush into the center, gathering the burlap around the paint brush. Then I slipped the paint brush out and hot glued it to the wreath. Much fluffier!

Here’s a picture of it on our door. (Notice that I didn’t cover our beautiful brass dove descending on the cross, but framed it with the wreath.) I made a bow of brown burlap and looped a “ribbon” of brown burlap around the top of the wreath. Then, using flat tacks, I tacked it to the top of the door. No worries about it scratching the paint!



Have you ever made a burlap wreath? How did you hang it?

17 Feb

Sharpie Pens: 8 Tutorials for Things to Do With Them

EVERYONE HAS a Sharpie or two lying around.  At least, if you don’t, you should. These pens are like magic! Just them and a little creativity and you have a masterpiece.  Sharpies come in multiple colors and several tip thicknesses, so you can have just about anything you need for whatever craft you can think up.  I’ve scoured the internet and come up with eight tutorials that are diverse and interesting, and require more dedication than skill. None of them are very time consuming, either, so you can decide today and be done today, too! Instant results!

Tutorials for Things to Do With Sharpie Pens

From Kimmykats, Sharpies and washers tutorial.
What magic can happen when you combine a sharpie,
some muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide…

By Stephanie Lynn, Sharpies and dishes tutorial.

Once the designs were drawn, the dishes were set on a cookie sheet and baked at 350º for 30 minutes until the designs were set.
From Homespun Happenings, a Sharpies and sign tutorial.
With dark stain, the effect was perfect.
Doodle Easter Eggs from Alisaburke tutorial.
Eggs this pretty can be for any day!
Just Crafty Enough brings you Marimeko Shoes tutorial.
Give plain sneakers a whole new look!
The Thirty Sixth Avenue gives you a Christmas ornaments tutorial.
Get your Sharpies, some fun stencils, and give those ornaments a makeover!
Tye-Dye some shirts with Markers and Alcohol from Genuine Mudpie tutorial!
Pretty flowers effect with just a couple things you already have around the house!
Dear Lilly had a Christmas Project tutorial.
With fabric from your stash, some old pillows and a Sharpie, no cost pillows!

I know you have a zillion more ideas of what to do with your own pens, and I’d love to hear some of them. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorites.

What will you do with your Sharpies?

16 Feb

Weight Loss: A Creative Way to Keep Track

A Creative Way to Track Weight Loss

WELL, I DECIDED to lose that extra weight, and I wanted a way to keep track of my weight loss that would encourage me to keep going when I wanted to quit (which was about once a day). So I thought that maybe having an interactive visual would be the thing. I saw something similar on Pinterest (don’t we see everything on Pinterest?) and with my BRAND NEW CURIO by Silhouette America, I made my own version.

Simple, really. Two canning jars (pint size) with lids and rings, some vinyl, and my lovely NEW CURIO. Did I say I just got a new Curio?

Did I say I love my new Curio?

I cut two circles out of green vinyl for the tops and then the phrases “lbs. to lose” and “lbs. lost.” Then I put 50 (yes, fifty!) flat marbles in the “lbs. to lose” jar and as I lose weight, I’ll fill the empty jar as I empty the full jar! Make sense?

So here’s to day one. I’ll take another picture when I have some marbles in the empty jar.

Update: I’ve now lost seventeen pounds in two months. Want to know how? Low-carb. I have more energy, have lost weight (and inches!) and never feel hungry. It was a little rough getting started, as I got “Low Carb Flu,” but that went away in a couple of days, and now I feel much better than my old way of eating. And no, it’s not a super restrictive diet. I eat lots of veggies, albeit low carb ones, and plenty of meat and full-fat dairy. When I crave cookies, I make homemade peanut butter cookies with just three ingredients that satisfy. And at night, I eat a tiny slice of chocolate cheese cake. Yum!

What do you think? Do you have any special ways to keep you going when you want to quit before you attain your goals? What do you do?

16 Feb

Christmas Wreath: Quick and Easy!

Quick and Easy Christmas Wreath

I HAD THIS wreath on my door throughout the fall, but with Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to change it up for the holiday. One of my favorite things is little, fat birds, and I found this one at Joann’s with their doorbuster sale for just $2.50. Adding a couple of holiday picks cost another $3.00, so for just $5.50 I got a brand new wreath for the holiday.

The only thing I don’t like about it is the brown bow at the top. Had I been more foresightful, I would not have hot glued the brown bow to the wreath so I could change it out. But I still think it’s a pretty Christmas wreath, anyway.

Here’s what I did. Gather two holiday picks (mine have holly leaves and little red berries) and wire them to the burlap wreath. Tuck the little bird’s wire feet firmly under the wire and there you have it! (I learned from the bow and didn’t hot glue anything to the wreath, so I can change it out for other seasons.) You could use berries, snowflakes, jingle bells, or any other Christmas trinkets you have lying around, or head on down to your favorite craft store (with coupon in hand, of course) and get yourself a few new doodads to add to your decor. With a little imagination and even less effort, you’ll have your door decked out with a Christmas wreath for the holidays in no time!

Another craft I did was this rustic joy hanger. It’s made with painted letters, a small grapevine wreath and a large jingle bell. Easy-peasy!

I love the word joy. It is a simple word with only three letters and it is full of such a huge amount of emotion. It represents the elation of the Christmas season and personifies the coming of the Christ child.

So I wanted to make a decoration that shows my joy in the season and would be simple to make and still have huge impact.

You will need:
1 six-inch grapevine wreath
1 three and a half inch rustic jingle bell
5″ letters J and Y
Acrylic paints in Brick Red and Metallic Bronze
Small paint brush
Sand paper
Hot glue gun and glue stick

What you do:

  1. Paint the letters with the Brick Red paint and allow to dry
  2. Paint over the letters with a light coat of Metallic Bronze and let dry
  3. Sand the edges of the letters
  4. Tie the jingle bell to the top of the wreath so that it hangs in the hole in the wreath
  5. Hot glue the letters to the sides of the wreath

16 Feb

Little Wooden Houses: Building a Tiny Neighborhood


I LOVE LITTLE wooden houses! So when my son told me he had some scrap wood and asked me if I wanted it, I eagerly said yes. He cut it into house shapes for me, and I spent the day painting and sanding them. I did 13 today, and would have done more, but I ran out of houses. There’s something therapeutic about painting and then sanding little wooden houses. Mine range in size from fairly large (about 6″ tall at the peak) to really tiny (about 1″ tall at the peak).



I sent him some pictures (which he declared cute) and asked him for as many more as he wanted to give me, according, of course, to how much scrap wood he has available at any one time.
I made a Christmas village for my coffee table with the larger ones, and some of the little ones became pendants on necklaces or Christmas ornaments for gifts. The third one from the left in the picture above is my favorite, and will become a necklace for me.


They couldn’t be simpler to make, yet I see some of them on Etsy selling for a pretty penny. But you can make them easily. I guess I could have sanded them first, painted them, and then sanded the edges again, but I figured I’d get pretty much the same result if I just painted them and then sanded them. And they turned out just the way I wanted them to.
All you need is some house-shaped wood, or get someone to make peaks (roofs) on some blocks of wood for you. Then paint them the color of choice and when they dry, add details like windows and doors. Sand all the edges and some of the flat surfaces if you want a really old look, and then seal them with varnish. You could rub some oil on them first, which would give them that antique-y look that’s so popular, too. Easy-peasy!

13 Feb

14 Simple Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

ON HOLIDAYS, we like to have something for the kiddos to do. That’s why these Valentine’s Day crafts are so valuable. It gives little hands a creative outlet and their creations delight the adults in their lives. I know the crafts my grandkids do delight me!

I scoured the internet to find some crafts that the kids could do with little or no help from Mom so that they could make Valentine’s Day crafts as a surprise for Mom and Dad or for other people that they want to honor. Click on the photograph to be taken to the tutorial and then show these to your kids and let them craft away. Of course, you’ll have to buy the materials if you don’t have them lying around the house, which will kind of spoil the surprise, but you’ll find them captivating nonetheless, I promise.

Valentine-Printable-U-Createcrafts.com_Valentine’s Printable for Perler Beads

Heart crayons 1Heart Crayons

clipsHeart-shaped Paper Clips

5405556008_8917bcfb1fCelery Stalk Stamp

beaded_heartBeaded Ornament

crayon-hearts-1Crayon Shaving Hearts

paper-heart-garlandPaper Heart Garland

muffin-paper-flowersBaking Cup Flower Valentines

valentines day 126Wrapped Heart Canvas

Valentines-Day-Countdown-Printable14 Acts of Love Display

Valentines-day-crafts-for-kid-29Tic-Tac-Toe Hearts

Paper-Straw-Valentine-DIY-CraftStraw Heart Valentine 

i-Z39dd6j-XLI Love You This Much Card

6a00d8341cadf753ef01053721d5d8970b-450wiHappy Valentine’s Day for Crayon Out Loud

What do you like to do with your kids on Valentine’s Day?


06 Feb

6 Romantic Valentine’s Day Getaways for You and Your Love

valentine-decoration-871297272416YnQTHIS YEAR, why not give an experience as a Valentine’s Day gift? These romantic Valentine’s Day getaways are sure to spark those fires you want to kindle in your love’s heart! I’ve gathered together some little travel itineraries for you so you can book now and enjoy the holiday.

New Orleans (LA)—The “Big Easy,” a romantic destination extraordinaire, with restaurants and tours that will wow you. From formal dining rooms to quaint courtyards, enjoy the signature creole and cajun cuisine, or simply the freshest seafood you can buy. Take a tour on a balmy night and enjoy the slow pace and the uptown jazz. Delight in a horse-drawn carriage ride under French Quarter streetlights or stand on the deck of a riverboat.

Orange Beach (AL)—With miles and miles of white sand and clear water, you’ll want to stay forever. Take a ride out over the ocean and enjoy the beautiful sea life from the safety of a helicopter. “With the doors removed, you have a completely unobstructed view of the emerald green waters of the gulf along with an awesome view of sea life from above,” says Steve Oliver, Orange Beach Helicopters owner. “You are almost guaranteed to see dolphins, sea turtles, rays, even sharks.”

Maui (HI)—Offering a taste of just about everything the Aloha State has to offer, Maui is smaller than the Big Island and larger than Lanai, and offers a wide range of activities for Hawaii visitors. Impressive wildlife and intriguing history and culture await you on the island. Hula dancers, coastal fairways, snorkeling alongside sea turtles, or just lounging on some of Hawaii’s most notable beaches, you’ll find something here for every taste and a large dose of romance as well.

Aspen (CO)—A winter wonderland and famous ski destination, Aspen is snuggled in the great Rocky Mountains of Colorado. As picturesque as a snow globe, you’ll have your choice of four premier ski areas that cater to those  who love the powder no matter what their level of ability. Or spend your time at the high-end shops, the captivating museums, fashionable galleries and entertaining festivals. Whether on the slopes or not, it will be a trip you’ll never forget.

Savannah (GA)—Eccentric Savannah is a wonderful spot for a Valentine’s day getaway. Antebellum history is evident in every corner, and Southern accents share fame with creepy graveyards and Spanish moss. Design students mingle with ghost hunters and preservationists; edgy cafes and restored theaters bump shoulders with Southern-fried restaurants. But at night it’s another story altogether as “The Hostess City of the South” sheds its propriety and shows visitors a good time.

Sedona (AZ)—One of America’s most beautiful places, Sedona is home to a large populace of spiritualists among the spectacular red buttes and canyons where New Age “vortexes” are said to balance the spiritual powers within. Not your cup of tea? No problem, just book a day at one of Sedona’s many spas, or hike one of the over 100 trails it’s famous for. If you don’t want to break a sweat but still want to see the incredible sights, book a spot on a Pink Jeep Tour. You’ll love the view!

Where will you go on your romantic getaway?