Friday, November 30, 2007

Button Wreath Ornament

I have seen these cute little button wreaths popping up all over bloggy land, so i decided to make one myself. They are fun, cute and quick to make! Within five minutes, I had this in my hot little hands and ready to hang! I am thinking about attaching them to gifts and adding monograms too...what do you think?
Directions for making these little beauties can be found here. I found the red striped ribbon at Michaels (their bobbin ribbon) and raided my stash for the buttons. My daughter and I are having a blast coming up with different color combos to create. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Some favorite things from today...

Ribbon candy in a jar makes me smile around the holidays. And when a piece breaks, someone is required to eat it. Follow the rules. You can find it in tons of places--I got mine at Michael's!Planting amaryllis bulbs makes me happy. While they don't look like much now, they will in a few weeks! I'll send a photo update when they bloom. I also love how fast they grow--the kids and I love to track their progress daily.
I found these babies today and I squealed with delight! Yes! Perfect for those mint cookies I posted on last week, and no unwrapping all the mints! Simply add to the top of those cookies and poof--love these!
Thanks to Tina and her blog, I visited Starbucks today to get that advent calendar I wanted since last year (they actually sold out last year!). This year, I got one, and can't wait to alter it!

And while I was there, I picked up a yummy hot cocoa and these:
Not only are they cute, but they are also really delish as well! I'm sending some off to my daughter's teacher tomorrow!

And I'd thought I'd share some of my carolers. I put them out on my dining room table this year, after not bringing them out the last 2 years. I like rotating stuff every year, depending on my mood. I missed them. Yes, they're all handmade by a local gal. My whole family now collects them. They make me happy.
And here is photo of a few more gumdrop trees. I have 6 more finished now! Again--enlist someone to help you out and they will be finished in no time.

And for those of you who have emailed about the snowmen on Tina's blog (or left a comment on Tina's blog) I'll post pictures and how-to instructions early next week, I promise! They are a bit time-consuming, but really worth the effort for special someones in your lives...

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Goodies...and more goodies...

Here are a few treats that I photographed last year, after a class I taught here in my home called "Sweet Treats." Basically, it incorporated food and scrap items to make unique gifts for the holiday season. I thought I'd share some of the ideas with you today!I covered pretzel rods in chocolate, added holiday sprinkles, and tied them together with ribbon. The headers and tag were made using my Cricut. Love that thing!
These are some basic sugar cookies I cut with a cookie cutter. I spend one whole day baking a ton of cut outs, and another entire day decorating them. I freeze the cookies before frosting them, and they taste so much better when I do that. I used piping bags to do the icing, and red m&m's for the berries. When they're completely dry, I bagged them and tied with ribbons. (I keep these by my door during the holidays for friends who stop by.)
Ah, one of our holiday favorites. White trash. Bagged in big cello bags and tied with ric rac. Here is the recipe:

White Trash

1 package mini pretzels

5 cups Cheerios

5 cups Corn Chex

2 cups salted peanuts

1 pound of M & Ms

2 packages vanilla chips

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chips and oil on med for 2 minutes, stirring once. Stir until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Spread onto three waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool and break apart. Store in an airtight container.

Try it out--the stuff is totally addictive!

And more cookies...

And this one I completed last night. I used a styro wreath, covered the base in red ribbon, and covered the entire thing in red buttons. Kind of along the lines of the trees everyone is doing from Tia Bennett and Ali Edwards, but a little different. My house has a ton of red--my favorite color--so this is hanging in my kitchen, for me to enjoy all day long...
Hope you're in the midst of holiday crafting as well!

Thought I would share what November looks like

in Hawaii.

After seeing all of the beautiful photos of everyone elses' falls, and now, winters, I thought I would show you what it looks like in Hawaii. This was taken off of a beach near where I live. Please know, that until after Christmas, all I want is snow snow snow, so I am incredibly jealous of all of you who get to enjoy the changing seasons. So so so very jealous!Also, I thought I would let you all know that I am so so so excited to see what the other design team members have done with the amazing December kit, I know that I have had a blast, and still enjoying, playing with it. Trish did an awesome job putting it all together, that is for sure! :) I hope that all of you, who got the kit, are enjoying it as much as I am! :D

Monday, November 26, 2007

All About Eve...

The lovely ladies over at All About Eve asked Work In Progress to sponsor one of their challenges a while back, and I was so excited to accept the invitation! I've loved their work for some time on that blog, and I was instantly impressed with all the cool layouts.

So the lovely Anilu accepted the challenge this week, and here is her amazing layout:The title of this challenge is "hindsight." And if you'd like the opportunity to win a free WIP kit, check them out! You're bound to get a creative jump-start over there for sure...

And in other crafty goodness, here is a little project completed in about 40 minutes with the help of two kiddos doing the toothpicks and gumdrops...

Start off with a box of toothpicks (broken in half), two tubs of red and green gumdrops, and a Styrofoam cone.

Start at the bottom and work your way up. I decided early on I'd do two rows of colors and then switch up. You can do whatever you like!
It may not look like it but my cone is 18 inches high. Of course, smaller cones would take less time and less candy.
They look really cool in sets, so we'll be doing more of these, for sure...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Using the Noteworthy in the add on kit

I'm on this kick making these mini books out of file folders. Here is a link to where I found the instructions to make them. They are really fun and easy to make. Here is a link to a Christmas one and more with Noteworthy on my blog

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rolo Cookies

Okay, not only are these amazingly delish, you only need FOUR ingredients to make these gems, and one of the ingredients is Rolo's! Seriously...double the batch because you'll eat half of them for sure...

Rolo Cookies

1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 package (13 oz.) Rolo candies
1/2 C. Margarine
1 egg

Mix cake mix, margarine and egg together. It will seem too dry, but keep mixing. Form dough around a rolo to make a ball, using very little batter (but enough to cover the rolo.) Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Do not overbake! Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

And hey--for all of you out there who ordered that recipe book kit, be sure to save these pictures to your computer and print them out along with the recipe--and add them to your books!

Happy Sunday to you!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Every year at this time, I get together with a group of friends and we have a gingerbread making party for moms and daughters. It is always fun and relaxing, and I enjoy entertaining for everyone.

A few years ago, we each made one of these on one of those crafty days...The mini book is as simple as it gets. Two pieces of 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 chipboard that was embellished using pieces parts (yes, those fake candy pieces were purchased at Michael's in the craft section and are made out of a femo type material). A few pieces of fabric, some ribbon and paper, and you're good to go.
Everyone brought a recipe to share. We did simple layering and embellished with more candy-type pieces. So fun. No pictures in this one--but you could easily modify that. I can't tell you how much I refer to this little book throughout the year!

And if you're looking for a fun website with tons of cool ideas, check out I found tons and tons of yummy cookie recipes on that site, and here is the direct link.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tina’s Favorite Things – this was fun!

  1. My Ipod video. I seriously love this thing. My husband got me the U2 version last Christmas… I have watched videos, listened to music, worked out to my music and played music on my computer and in my scraproom. You can even play your ipod through your car stereo (with additional supplies) – You can download your favorite videos. Mine is filled with lots of U2 (which a special version came with the ipod), matchbox 20, some episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Studio 60 and even some of the American Idol videos.
  1. Mac laptop – Okay so it’s not mine, its Chelsea’s. This thing is awesome! We’ve had more fun with this thing since she got it a week ago, and it’s perfect for all her graphics classes in High School and college!
  1. Rose petal betty bath soaps and lip balm. I got this for gifts and some for myself J - it is truly an awesome product
  1. Chevy Trail Blazer – we had talked about getting a new car for so long that my taste had changed. Each time Joel said in the fall we’ll get one or let’s wait till spring I was heartbroken. But turns out we waited just long enough for me to find the Trail Blazers and I’m so glad. This car is perfect luxurious yet sporty, comfy and oh so cool A Sunroof, On star, a phone that I just talk to the speakers Plus a BOSE stereo which I love to crank up loud!! I’ve had it for over a year and almost every day I tell my husband “I love my car!”
  1. My Canon Rebel – I know there are many steps up to this camera but after taking a photography class with Karen Russell (another luxury) – I love my camera even more.
  1. A scrapbook weekend retreat – A weekend away where all your meals are taken care of and all you have to think about is scrapping – perfect, just perfect.
  1. My Silpada earrings – since I found these earrings I can finally wear more styles that won’t infect my ears.
  1. Matchbox 20 CD - Exile on mainstream
  1. Cropadile – does so much so effortlessly
  1. Quickutz – even after getting the Cricut and other cutting systems I still love my quickutz and all the fun dies you can get
  1. Magic Erasers – I must second Molly on these – they are the best

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and...

I hope each and every one of you enjoy a day with family & friends, acknowledging all of your blessings. You are among mine!

And in honor of the shopping blow out tomorrow and Oprah's Favorite Things show (wasn't that amazing?) I had the design team make lists of their favorite things for you to gander...may you find what you're looking for!

Anilu's Favorite Things

1. Philosophy Pomegranate shower gel. The smell is heavenly!
2. Bare Minerals make up. Hands down the best thing ever. Try it.
3. Martha Stewart Crafts glitter in any color. Gorgeous colors and coverage.
4. Martha Stewart Home garlic peeler. It's a must have gadget for the cook.
5. Martha Stewart Home stainless steel soap. Gets rid of those nasty onion and garlic smells completely. Love this little thing!
6. A new Mac Book. A girl can dream...
7. This Pencil Urchin from Etsy. So original. I would soooo get this if I could.
8. Braxton Trestle Desk from Target. I really want this one for my scrap space.
9. I dream of this Nikon D-80 every day....
10. I'm dying to try this Glitter Mist form tattered Angels. Looks yummy!

Molly's Favorite Things

1.DVD player in the car. Yes, even in Hawaii, this is a must. We have terrible traffic out here, with us sometimes waiting as long as 2-3 hours in bumper to bumper traffic, and if I didn't have that DVD player, well, let's just say, I wouldn't have any hair left.
2.My photo printer. Right now that is a Canon, as I just picked up one right away so I could start printing out photos again, as I took them. But I am in love with my HP photosmart. So in love.
3.Adobe Photoshop. Seriously. I use this everyday, and would be lost without it. It helps brings my photos to life.
4.Roomba. And man, do I miss it! When I was sick last year, while pregnant with Caitlynn, this was our lifesaver in our marriage. I couldn't use the vacuum any longer, and the Roomba saved me, and my marriage ;).

5.Mr Clean Magic Erasers. 2 boys + 1 baby= enough said. These should be a must for everyone's shopping list.
6.Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D. Even though I will be upgrading soon, this digi slr has taught me so much about my photography. Well, helped me, anyway. I have caught some of the most amazing photos of my children and husband with this camera.
7.DVR box. I think that that is another one that speaks for itself. How did I ever live without this??? I have had one since Time Warner first came out with it back in 2002. For the past 5 years, it is a constant companion, allowing me to fast forward, pause...just love my TV again. :-) Plus, it allows me to watch Grey's just about anytime I want to! :-)
8.IPOD. Video IPOD to be exact. My oh my. I tried to not get one, saying CD's are just fine. Oh, how I was wrong. Now I can pick and choose what music I want. It is the best thing ever. And the video part, it has saved many excursions to restaurants. You have to love that, when the kids are occupied, it's almost like you are having a date with your husband...almost. ;)
9.Making Memories Precision trimmer. Everything they have said about this trimmer is true. I love love love it.

Nicole's Favorite Things:
1. Origins Smoothing Body Souffle - this stuff is delicious! Yummy body butter with a minty scent...mmmm!!! This had better be under my tree...ha,ha!
2. Slipper socks from Bath & Body Works - I am truly convinced that a girl cannot ever have enough of these...wonder what color I'll get this year? :)
3. Moose Munch from Harry & David - We always love to give "treats" in our stockings and this chocolate covered popcorn is my indulgence!!! (it ialso comes in dark chocolate..the best!)
4. Disney movies we LOVE this year - "Ratatouille" and "Meet the Robinsons" - these are a must have in my book!
5. Ornaments - every year the kiddos buy me new ornaments for our "candy-themed"'s always fun to see what they find! If you decorate a tree, ornaments are a must-have! Especially hand-made ones!

Ivette's Favorite Things:
1. My digital 10.1 megaix Canon SD900 Elph camera! I do photography as a side busniess and I hate to lug around my big bulky camera. So I bought this one for eveyday shots. It fits in my purse and takes amazing high quality photos. I love it!

2. Handbags! Handbags! I'm such a girly girl and I love any of Coach's signature handbags did I say ANY of them? (maybe I should copy my husband on this

3. Books! (Like I have time to read) No really, I love any good chick book my fav at the moment is Emily Griffin's Something Borrowed, she also has Something Blue, and the new one is Baby Proof they are all super funny quick reads for those times when you feel like chillaxing!

4. Ok, so I'm going to sound like an infomercial but I love the Magic Bullet my BF Jen gave it to me last year (thanks Jen) and can I say smoothies! I'm not much of a cook but this has really helped me out the in kitchen department. My DS and my DH Love all the cool things it does. Plus it's small and fits almost anywhere.

5. Pottery Barn picture frames - my home is full of them! I Iove that clean look with the black frame and the large white mat. They come in all sizes and are super sturdy you can hang them or lean them up on a shlef for a beautiful simple look.

Trish's Favorite Things

  1. My Artisan Kitchenaid Mixer. I’m a serious baker, and sometimes quadruple the batch, so this one is a biggie. (And I’ve had both, but you really want the Artisan because the neck tilts up, thus eliminating the need for you to remove the attachment when you’re finished with your batter, KWIM?)
  2. Blokus. Totally awesome board game recommended by my dear friend Val who knows fun family games inside and out. It can be played by children, young and old, even for the little ones who aren’t able to read yet.
  3. Apples to Apples. Another fun family board game for all aged kids. (Thanks again, Val!)
  4. Nintendo Wii. Okay, my family is completely obsessed. (Thanks Bueck Family!) If you can find one, grab it. You won’t be sorry. Warning—the thing is totally addictive…
  5. Anilu’s Jewelry. My child, my MIL and a friend of mine are totally going to love what she’s created for them. Amazing, unique and affordable!
  6. Le Creuset. Specifically, this one.
  7. Carrie Underwood’s new CD. Really love it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Random stuff...

Made these today, and they're a big favorite in our household. Any cookie that only has 5 ingredients is my kind of cookie...

Andes Mint Cookies

1 pkg. Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 pkg. Andes mints
2 eggs
1/2C. oil
1 C. chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil together. Batter will be thick. Stir in chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. After cookies are removed from the oven, place one Andes mint on each cookie, allowing it to melt. Swirl lightly with a knife and let cool before storing in an air tight container.

The above photo is of a big glass jar that was on my counter. Emily inquired when she saw the project newsletter and asked for a better picture, so this one is for you! You can find these shelled nuts at any grocery store. Just buy them by the pound and layer!

And speaking of the project kit, here is another photo of the calendar I created using the kit. Quick and simple! Love working with those vintage Christmas die cuts. Look for more of those in future kits--they were fun!
Now get cookin'...

A Yummy Treat.

My Grandma used to make these cookies. On Thanksgiving day, she would've turned 95 years old. Thought I'd share the recipe with you...

(And to be clear, they are not gingersnap cookies. These are soft, moist, melt in your mouth molasses cookies. Gingersnaps are harder. She would've liked for me to pass that on.)

Grandma's Molasses Cookies

2/3 cup oil 2 tsp. baking soda

1 C. sugar 1/2½ tsp. salt

1 egg 1 tsp. cinnamon

4 Tbsp. Molasses 1 tsp. Ginger

2 1/2½ C. flour 1/4 C. sugar (for dipping)

Mix oil & sugar. Add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture. Roll into small balls and roll in sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-12 min.

Happy Tuesday to you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Perpetual Calendar

This adorable calendar was made using a cookie sheet, chipboard and decorative paper, some ribbon and a die cut machine! Using magnets attached to the back of the chipboard, they can be changed out depending on the month.Here is a closeup...
This adorable project was made by my craft friend, Kathy Darroch. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us with another holiday gift idea, Kathy!

And for more adorable ideas, be sure to check out Tina's blog--you have outdone yourself woman!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Thankful Idea...

I taught this clipboard class two Thanksgivings ago, and I thought I'd share the idea with you today. Not new, but it is one that has served our family for a couple of years, and we always look forward to it now...The idea is simple. Alter a clipboard, screw two holes in the bottom for nuts and bolts, and make it into an easel so it is freestanding. Put a library pocket toward the bottom, and inside of it, add a bunch of journaling prompts. They can each be the same, or you can mix it up. For example, on one of them, it says..."I am thankful for..." and below it it lists "One Person________, One Place_______and One Thing__________." Then the person who fills it out has to sign and date it and put it back inside. I make enough for everyone to fill out, and right after dinner, we take a minute to do them. (Throughout the season, this is out on a table for decoration with a photo on it like it is pictured above.) After the holiday, remove the cards and turn them into holiday layouts--and the journaling is already complete!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The December Project Kit...

I sent out the newsletter yesterday for the December Project kit. If you are on the wait list for one of these kits, look for your paypal invoice on Saturday. They will start to ship out on Monday!

And for those of you waiting for the main December WIP kit, those invoices will be sent out on Monday, and will begin shipping on Tuesday. Thanks for your patience!

Here are two of the projects from the project kit:
And to Terri in Delaware--those are layers of nuts in a giant jar on my counter in the background. You can get them at a grocery store--totally easy to do. Saw it on Martha last year--ha! Just be sure you vary the size and color between the layers to achieve that look. The other jar contains flour. I bake a lot (understatement).

And to you gals who are coming to tonight's class, I can't wait to see you! I hope you'll love this class as much as me! So looking forward to seeing you...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Because Of You Class Kits

Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching this album to a group of ladies here in NE Ohio. The woman hosting the class was looking for some sort of tribute album, and I immediately thought of the one Tia Bennett did for the Album Shortcuts book, called "Because of You..." So after seeing her use Basic Grey papers, I couldn't resist either...The album is 8x8 in format, and goes together very quickly. Here are some of the page samples:

The basic premise is that photos and statement go on one side, journaling on the opposite page (using various labels and journaling spots)...

And although most people in the class focused on one person, I elected to do my album on 10 different women who have helped influence/shape my life. I intend to keep this one for me--isn't that a concept?
I have a handful of these kits for sale if anyone is interested. The kit includes everything needed to complete this 8x8 album--and yes, the Pioneer album is included in the cost of the kit! The cost of the kit is $38 plus shipping, and comes with an email containing pictures of the finished layouts. If you have any questions or are interested, please email Trish at

A special thanks to the lovely ladies who attended the class this past weekend--it was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones, too! Jen, thanks for holding the class--and thank your sister, too! I'll be seeing some of you this coming weekend...

And speaking of it, I'm holding another private class this coming weekend as well! It is part two of the School Album, grades 7-12. Please contact me if you are interested in a kit--I am making extras for people who attended the first and couldn't make it to this class. For those of you who are interested in taking the first part of that class, I will be teaching it again after the first of the year. It is, by far, one of my most favorite classes to teach ever, and the last two times I taught it were sell-outs. Each of these classes are $45, and will come with photos in an email of the finished project. (Each kit contains 16-18 completed 12x12 layouts, but the album is not included in the price of this kit--sorry!)

Okay, that's it for now! Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, November 12, 2007

And so it begins...

A few of my favorite things...

And they're all handmade!

The following photos are of a card keeper I made for my MIL. I made this a while back at a class with Kathy Darroch (my friend and wonderful scrappy gal!). It took me a while, but I just finished tons of birthday cards that will fill the pockets of this book, and the entire thing will be her b-day gift.Kathy had us take an 8x8 album, remove the plastic protectors, and add in our own cardstock pages (measuring 12 x 8, and folded up to create the pockets). All the papers are K & Co., and the entire thing is simply elegant. Great gift idea for someone who has everything!

Every page also has the month and an area to write in special dates and names. There is a bookplate adorning every month, and ribbons and eyelets hold the pockets in place along the outer part of the pages.
And when it is closed, it looks like this! Totally adorable!

And this lovely little decoration was made by Jen Bueck:
The raw wood was purchased from Michael's, and the felt embellies are from Creative Imagination. Too cute! And she's done so many more. I'm going to have to take more pictures...

And one more for today! Total quickie treat, and perfect for making now and freezing until you need it. (I'm a huge fan of a freezer, and on any given day, you can open it and find cookies inside!) Okay, you'll need a bag of white chocolate, and a bag of peppermint crunch (I got mine at a candy making/supply store).
Simply melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, stir in the peppermint, and drop by spoonfuls onto a piece of waxed paper, and chill.
They are really refreshing, and very colorful! Try it out! It's never to early to start the whole holiday thing...(or is it only me who tends to blink and it's over?)

Enjoy your day!

Ok, now I am in love working with the November Add On Kit! :D

Oh yeah! I bought this because I LOVED the mix of PP's that Trish put together (and do you know they work VERY well with the November main kit, as well!)! Here are the specs:

This was also done for Valerie Salmon's Got Sketch blog, too, which you can see here, is of Brendan and my Nanny (his Granny Nanny). I just love this photo. May not be 'perfect', have the best light, etc, but you can just SEE how much they love each other, and how much fun they have together.

Supplies used:

PP-Love Elsie (polka dots and cut out flowers) and 7 Gypsies

Cardstock-Bazzill (not in Kit)

Flowers-Bazzill and Heidi Swapp

Letter stickers-Mustard Moon (not in kit)

Bingo Card-Jenni Bowlin

Label-Scenic Route

Chipboard Label-Source Unknown (not in kit)

Felt Buttons-Jenni Bowlin (not in kit)

Rubons-7 Gypsies (in main kit for November)

White Pen-Sharpie (in main kit for November)

TFL! :-)