Category Archives: Crafts

V-Day Cards


For the last week or so, I’ve been experimenting with a few techniques for making Valentine’s Day cards.  Coincidentally, I’ve had to send out both a get well card and a condolence card, and I’ve used my newly-created cards for those purposes too.

I began by looking for inspiration on YouTube and Pinterest. I found this “Masked Gelli Plate Hearts” from Balzar Designs on YouTube at Since I’d just acquired a Gelli Plate and was anxious to experiment, this seemed like a great starting point. The tutorial showed me how to use all sorts of paints, stencils, and stamps to build color onto plain card stock.  Once I was happy with my paper, I cut out hearts (using my kindergarten cutting technique beginning with a paper fold), and then I glued them onto previously-purchased cards.  A few pen strokes later, here are a few of my creations.

Next, I tried some bright red acrylic paint, white paint, and a spray bottle of water.  I plopped some dabs of paint onto a piece of parchment paper (my favorite crafting underlayment!), sprayed it with a healthy dose of water, and used my finger to swirl the water into the paints. Using more white cardstock, I ran the paper through the paints, getting a somewhat marbled effect.  Once dry, I cut out my hearts and added them to cards.

For my final effort, I followed a watercolor tutorial I found on Pinterest from Bedlam answers Butterflies (  I’m kind of “Meh” about these, and they certainly didn’t turn out as pretty as the original, but whatever!

Now I’m on to decorating the envelopes.  More on that next week!


A Much-Belated Hand-Made Holiday


It’s been about six weeks since I’ve last posted on this blog. I haven’t lost my crafting mojo, but my motivation to write has been sorely missing. I’ve finally decided to get back to it — writing can be hard work, but it’s an excellent mental exercise. So here goes!

This post was a long time in coming, and I’m afraid the topic is much belated. Christmas. Planned, prepped, celebrated, and finally all put away. But my Christmas prep started early last year and lasted a long time, because my goal was to make it a hand-made holiday. Gifts, tags, and bags, handmade by yours truly. Here’s a slide show of many of the items that I gifted this year.

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Tea Bag Gift Tags


Tag 16

I’ve been crafting many, many holiday gift tags, and these tea bag tags are one of my favorites. A tag with a gift inside attached to a gift. What could be better? Because I made several of these tags for all my tea-loving friends and family, I started with a template so that I wouldn’t have to measure each one. Read the rest of this entry

HaHa Cookies & Gift Label


Label 1

I am extremely fortunate to have a group of eight of us who have known each other at least since high school. (Carol and I just celebrated our 60th year of friendship; we’ve known each other since kindergarten!) We call ourselves the HaHa’s because we laugh so much when we’re together. This weekend, we had our annual holiday cookie exchange. The event has evolved over the years — we now bring frozen dough so we can each bake what we want when we want. In addition to our dough exchange and lots of laughter, we might have stuffed ourselves with good food and wine. I’m not confessing to anything!

My cookies were extremely easy to do, and I was able to fairly quickly make eight batches for sharing. The recipe comes from the Magnolia Days blog, and I followed the recipe almost to a tee. (Find the recipe here: The directions called for grating a lemon and rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingers. What a brilliant technique! The lemon fragrance spread through the kitchen and flavored the sugar perfectly. The recipe is straightforward and the blog post is well-explained, so I won’t give any more comment on it.

But I did do a quick craft project to decorate the slice-and-bake logs and to give written directions for baking. Using a large purchased tag, I sprayed each side with red watercolor spray. I printed the baking directions on one side…

Label 2

… and used scrapbook paper, a fine-tipped Sharpie pen, and ModPodge to decorate the other side.

Label 3

CRAP ALERT: I glued the trees too far up onto the tags, and they weren’t centered to my liking. Pieces of green washi tape fixed the problem in a hurry.

To finish the packages, I used red and white bakers twine to tie the tag onto each log. Quick, cute, and fun!

Mixed Media Ornament Boxes


Box 6

Last week, I wrote about the themed ornaments I made for each of my grandchildren ( In an effort to DIY much of my Christmas, I also made each child a box that corresponded to the ornament I made. For example, Kelsey’s angel ornament will go in an angel box. Below each picture, I will list the items I used to make each.

Box 2

An empty Brie cheese box, gold acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, sheet music, black fine-point pen, heart jewel, red watercolor paint, letter stamps, and ModPodge

Box 4

An empty checkbook box, brown Distress crayons, white card stock, a black fine-point marker, and ModPodge

Box 1

A purchased jewelry box, sheet music, red acrylic paint, black card stock, gold scrap paper, white felt, ModPodge, and letter stamps (under Santa’s beard are the words “Be Good”!)

Box 5

A purchased jewelry box, blue and purple Distress inks, white card stock, scrapbook paper, black and orange sharpies, red Distress marker, buttons, a small pompom, and ModPodge

Box 3

A purchased jewelry box, green and blue Distress inks, brown craft paper, green scrapbook paper, red Distress marker, white paint pen, and ModPodge

Box 7

An empty greeting card box, sheet music, white gesso, scrapbook paper, washi tape, gift box stickers, snowflake stickers, string a Christmas lights, diamond gems, and ModPodge.

And here are the same boxes with their ornament they will hold. I can’t wait to see the kids’ reactions!

Mixed Media Ornaments


Ornament 7

I didn’t start out intending for this to be a DIY Christmas, but as I continue to make gifts, I realize many of my presents this year will be hand-made. These ornaments are some of my favorites so far. Each year, I get the grandkids themed ornaments — Kaye gets an angel, Mikey gets a bear, and so on. Usually I buy them, but this year I used a variety of material — acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, an old map, for example — to create each child a one-of-a-kind ornament directly from Grandma’s hand to their Christmas trees!

Ornament 5

Ornament 6

Ornament 4

Ornament 3

Ornament 2

Ornament 1

Scary Doll Remake



My BFF loves to decorate for Halloween, so I visited my local Goodwill store hoping to find inspiration. My first idea was to find a plastic baby doll to strip, take apart, insert into a jar, and fill with water and some green food coloring. Ick! But when I saw this lovely porcelain doll for less than $5, I knew she was the one! Read the rest of this entry

Christmas Wrappings


Wrapping 1In general, there are two approaches to Christmas prep. One approach is to buy gifts throughout the year, prepare early, and roll into Christmas with ease. The other approach is to freak out in mid-December about all the things you still need to do. I belong to the first camp. I have many of my gifts bought, I’ve made a number of them, and I’m working on using my crapsmanship skills to make one-of-a-kind Christmas wrappings. Read the rest of this entry