Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Gingerbread House

Here is an inexpensive kids craft for you to do. It's fun because each kid gets their own house to decorate and there's no fighting over creative differences. The houses are made out of graham crackers instead of gingerbread. We used pint sized milk cartons as the house structure and "glued" the crackers on using royal icing. As soon as I was done making the house structure the kids went crazy decorating them with candy. Use royal icing to "glue" the candy onto the house. My 4 year old son has a good imagination and he was very creative. He used a jolly rancher for the chimney. I loved it so much I had to copy him. Finally, I dusted everything with shredded coconut to make it look like snow. You could try using powdered sugar on the roof top to look like snow as well. I posed my daughter's mini doll for the pictures. It was the perfect size. We lined all our finished houses up and made a mini village.

Happy Holidays!

Mini La La Loopsy sitting in front of her new candy home

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Tags Part I

Yay! It's Christmastime. I hope you are as excited as I am. I just bought my lifetime supply of Christmas wrapping paper from Costco, so I am officially in the spirit! Wrapping paper means it's tag time. SU! has a huge line of tag stuff so it makes it super easy to crank out these projects. All of these tags above were made using SU! stamps, punches and die cuts. Michael's Craft Stores has so many cute ribbons that these tags practically make themselves ;)

Saw this on my cuz' blog. It's so cute I had to piggyback her idea. If you haven't checked out the link yet here it is again:  by tkg
We have a lot of the same stamps and so we end up doing the same projects. I don't have the snowflake punch she has so I had to improvise. I modified the Sizzix Flourish Set in carob brown card stock. Rudolph is made using SU! Stocking builder punch in tan card stock. I shaded the edges with brown chalk and rosed his cheek and ear with red chalk. His collar is punched out of red textured card stock and embellished using the negative snowflake from ek snowflake border punch on baby blue with white polka dots. Can't really see that detail in this photo. It is mounted on a Sizzix tag die cut on the same baby blue white polka dot card stock. Finally, added a googly eye and tiny red pom pom nose. Oh yeah, and don't forget about the ribbon at the top. It matches Rudolph's collar. I didn't plan that, but it worked out so perfectly.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yuki Merry Christmas

Between work and mommy duties I have not been able to do as much crafting as I would like to. You know how it is with school, swim lessons, music lessons and chores....all on top of the 40 hour work week. Sometimes I just don't know how it all gets done! So I have been working on this card for about two weeks. Not because it was difficult, but because I have only 10 minutes here and there to work in my studio.

This Yuki Sister Stamps is just so adorable. I painted it using those shimmery watercolors again. Then cut it out using Spellbinders Labels Four. The red paper is embossed using Sizzix Flower Vine Embossing Folder. The sentiment is heat embossed using Rubbermania Stamps #55 Red Dragon Embossing Powder on green Bazzill textured paper. I also added teeny tiny ribbons to her ponytails for that extra 3-D pop.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flower Punch Happy Bday Card

It was my friend's birthday on Tuesday. I made her this card using a pleated paper technique I learned at a recent Stamp Camp. Can you see the gray "skirt" on the bottom half. Take a 1" strip of paper and fold it to look like pleats. I used a scorer and made 1/2" pleats, then topped it with vanilla grosgrain ribbon. I used that multi-ink technique again on the main flower image. (Wish I knew what the technical name of that technique was) Inked it all over with green and just edged lower left corner with purple to give it a gradated look. Then I added a bunch of circles and mounted Happy Birthday sentiment. Check out the background cardstock. It's dotted swiss textured paper in Celtic green. I just LOVE this color. It is neutral enough that I can use it with just about all my card projects. So cute.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Simple Birthday Card

I finally got my shipment of Sister Stamps. I made this very simple card. I find it so hard now to make a "simple" card because of all the embellishments, punches, charms and fun stuff that are available. I just want to keep adding more stuff and don't really know when to stop.

I saw these really cool coloring techniques using Copics on various craft blogs. I do not own any fancy Copics, so I had to improvise. I used shimmery watercolors. It's by Yasutomo and it is a 16-color pallet. I bought it for $3.99 @ Freddy's. Here's my attempt at painting like the pro crafters. Hope I did Sister Stamps justice. Tell me what you think about the hair painting technique.

Here's the link to that tutorial by Amy super-hero-blue-black-hair. She used Copics and she made it look SO EASY. I tried....really I tried.

I really would have preferred to have it say Konichiwa for the sentiment, but I live where it is difficult to find Asian sentiment stamps. (Not sure if there are such a thing). I had to settle for this Happy Birthday sentiment.
Happy crafting to you! Have a good week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Card

Today is my co-worker's birthday on 11/11/11. Kinda a big deal, right?
I think of this card as a tag punch explosion card. It looks almost as if I just threw a bunch of punches on this card. It is very busy. I tried to use a monochromatic scheme so that all of the different elements matched. I hope she likes it.

Here is the vertical version of the same card with a Thank You sentiment.

Then I made this very linear card with the same Many Thanks sentiment as above. Very opposite from the tag explosion chaos.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Paper Bag Album

Paper Bag Album cover

I made this baby girl album from a sample I saw at Cut & Paste Paper Arts Store.
It's a small store, but they always have the latest arrivals. If I'm ever in the neighborhood I try to stop in just to see what's new. They have a lot of samples and they are so helpful with all my questions.
I distressed the designer paper with brown vintage ink before assembling. I made one of these for my dear friends that had a new baby girl and gift wrapped it in a brown lunch sack to stay with the brown bag theme. I hope she was able to fill it with cute baby pictures.

Inside pg 2

Inside pg 3

Inside pg 4
Inside Pg 5
Inside pg 6
Inside pg 7
Materials used:
Brown paper lunch sacks
SU! Designer paper
Various paper

The open ends of the bags I glued shut just for stability. However, I made one where I kept all the bags open and used them as pockets to add more things such as little baby mementos. Cards or notes for examples, or more photos, or I've heard of parents keeping a tiny lock of hair. It makes it much more fun than a traditional album because it is so interactive. It's almost like a pop-up book. Each page had a surprise with hidden pages or pockets. There are two different lunch sack sizes. I tried making albums with both sizes. Both came out cute. It all depends on your personal preference.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Calendar Gifts

I thought this would make a great Christmas gift. I made this calendar picture frame holder out of wood, glue, screws and 6x6 album page refills and two album rings. I covered the top with paper to hide some of the excess space above. This project took some wood-working skills. I used a hand saw, but I suggest a miter saw if you want straight lines. My mom saw this project and described it to me. We drew up some plans while she was visiting and she helped me with the dimensions. The bottom piece is 10" and the side pieces are 10" as well. The middle brace piece that connects the bottom to the sides is 8" and the dowel is 8 1/4". You may need to adjust your measurements if your album pages are different dimensions than shown here. There are 6 pages; January through June on one side, July through December on the flip side. There's the Triple Treat Heart again from SU!

This one I painted gold. I stamped the calendar, but I think it would be much easier to print it off on a computer, especially if you make a few of these to give as gifts. Unfortunately, my computer died along with all my word programs. I think SU! also makes a calendar stamp, but don't quote me on that.
Side view
At first I didn't want to make the holder too ornate because I thought it would distract from the pictures. However, some subtle texture or filigrees would probably look really nice and not be a distraction at all. I think next time I will paint it black with some accents up the sides. The album rings come in all sorts of colors nowadays. You could even use ribbon instead.
Helpful tip: paint all wood pieces before assembling.
Thanks for visitin. Some feedback would be nice. Happy crafting!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Another SU! punch. Here's the owl punch I was so reluctant to buy. I use it all the time now. What I didn't like about it is that they're owls, I guess. Owls have become so trendy in the past few years and I tend to shy away from things like that. But what I do like about it is it is so fun to punch. You don't even have to stamp a thing. For this card I used only punches and designer paper with a little ribbon embellishment. It's pretty much the same card as the sample in the Idea Book & Catalog. I might have changed it a little bit. You can punch it onto white cardstock and flip it upside down to make an ghost as previously posted. You could cut off the legs and make tulip flowers. I think there's also some way to make a penguin, but I'll have to do a little more research. Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Toy Horse Birthday Card

Made this card at a SU! stamp camp. This is how I got talked into buying this punch. It's a Christmas set, but this shows how versatile it is. It's a really clever boy birthday card, which are not always easy to make. It's cute without being too cutesy. Do you get what I'm saying?
Here's a handy link to much more SU! cards

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Triple Treat Flower

I just got this stamp and punches from SU! It's a delight because I don't have to color anything in and I don't have to cut anything in detail. It's just ink, stamp, then punch.
My mom taught me this cool technique (I don't know the exact name of it) where you take a Color Box Cat's Eye and stamp two or more colors onto your stamp and it creates this airbrushed blended effect. If you're not familiar with this technique, here's what you do: Choose two or more colors of ink. Start with the lighter color and ink your stamp. Using the next darkest color "edge" the stamp. Lightly tap around edge of image with the ink pad. You're ready to stamp your image. Flower images are perfect for this technique. Play around with different color combinations. I didn't think the Lime and Merlot would come out so terrific, but it's a really great contrast. I tried Canary and Violet, but it just turned into brown, not so pretty.
Remember these tips: The Color Box Cat's Eyes get muddied the more you do this. You have cross-contamination between ink colors. Wipe off as much contaminated ink as you can from the pad and re-ink when necessary. If you don't have re-inkers, then don't try this; you'll just end up wasting your ink pads.

Here's a close-up of the flower. The largest flower is inked in Lime and edged in Merlot. The middle flower is inked in Dusty Plum edged with Violet. and the middle circle is just Violet. The large flower was punched using SU! matching punch, and so was the middle flower and circle. You could just assemble using glue, but I used dimensionals to make it pop. I stamped Happy Birthday sentiment (SU!) onto grosgrain ribbon using VersaMagic Concord Grape and then stapled it onto the front using Making Memories pink staples. Lastly, I embellished pink and green grosgrain knot at top right corner.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventures in Baking Parts I & II

Part I- Ginger Pumpkin Bread
I took a break from crafting to do some baking. I come from a long line of bakers and I think it's just in my blood. Plus I've watched thousands of hours of the Food Network so that automatically makes me a chef, right?
I don't normally bake bread. I usually bake cookies, but this crisp cold fall weather has inspired me to try pumpkin bread. I found this Ginger Pumpkin Bread recipe from Although the texture and sweetness was excellent, I wasn't crazy about the ginger. I prefer ginger flavor in savory foods like teriyaki chicken and kalbi (korean style ribs,) not so much in sweets. Unless we're talking gingerbread cookies with vanilla frosting. But that's a whole different category. "I never met a cookie I didn't like," is my motto. So pretty much any flavor cookie is good, even the ginger variety.
I tried it out at work and had mixed reviews from "love it" to "so-so." I guess it all depends on your likeness to ginger. My husband liked it, which says alot because he hates anything pumpkin flavored. He doesn't even like pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!
Unsatisfied with this bread (sorry, Martha) I found another recipe and we move on to Part II:

Part II- Spiced Pumpkin Nut Bread
Do these loaves look unusually mountainous? The recipe called for two 9x5 loaf pans, but I didn't realize that detail until after I threw them in the oven in two 8.5x4.5 loaf pans. I guess it's that whole reading-the-directions-thouroughly thing again that I failed to do.

{Why make large loaf pans only 0.5" larger than the medium loaf pan. I totally get the mini loaf pans. They're miniature sized. They're cute. The large loaf pan just messes up the medium loaf pan recipe and I doubt I will go out and buy large pans. Why not just make one standard size loaf. So irritating. lol.}

This bread was delicious regardless of the overfilling faux pas. It didn't overflow while it baked and it still baked all the way through in the same amount of time as the recipe called for, so I guess it's all good. They'll just be larger toward the middle. The Ginger Pumpkin Bread texture was way more moist and cake-like, which I really liked about Part I, but I much prefer the pumpkin pie spice added to this bread. Maybe I'll try Part I again and sub pumpkin pie spice for the ground ginger. Part III is coming soon. I was going to bake mini loaf Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (recipe from the same source) but I ran out of flour and sugar ingredients. It'll have to wait until my next grocery shopping trip.
Find this Spiced Pumpkin Nut Bread recipe at
Thanks for visiting and Happy Autumn everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Last month I went to a Stampin' Up! stamp camp. We made these adorable Halloween candy holders. My variation is a little different than the original, but you get the idea. (Check out those conjoined twin pumpkins on the right!)

Here's a close-up of the ghost detail on the front. Use different shape circles for the eyes to create a "crazy" ghost! Use googly eyes for an even bigger impact.

Close-up of the sentiment on the inside. You can use any lettering to stamp "boo." I added the witch spider stamp for fun.

black cardstock
white cardstock
orange cardstock
Stampin' Up! owl builder punch
Stampin' Up! scallop circle punch
Circle cutters
1"x8" cellophane bags
approx 24 M&Ms per bag
craftsmart Halloween stamp
letter stamps to spell out "boo"
black ink stamp pad

Fill cellophane bags with about 24 M&Ms and fold over to seal. Make sure to not fill it all the way to the top. You'll need enough room to create a "tab" that you can tape the tag to. Punch out ghost by using the owl punch onto white cardstock. Cut off the legs and flip it upside down and there's your ghost. Draw on eyes with a black marker. I punched out tiny black circles using the owl punch and glued them on. You could also use googly eyes. Make the black base tag by folding a small piece of black cardstock in half and then punching out circle just off the edge to create a card that opens. Cut a smaller circle on the inside to create a window. (Stampin' Up! makes a circle window die cut that does all this in one step, but I don't own one so I had to improvise.) Punch orange cardstock using scallop circle punch. Stamp "boo" sentiment in the center. Glue ghost onto front of tag. Glue window to orange scallop circle. Tape the tag onto candy bag. Punch black cardstock using scallop circle punch. Line up with tag and tape to back of the candy bag for a finished look. Laura has Stampin' Up! ideas and much more on her blog

It sounds like a lot of work, but it went by pretty quickly with my 'lil helpers. They filled the bags with candy while I did all the cutting and punching. My 6 yr old is crafty enough to glue on all the eyes and ghosts. It did get a little messy because those eyes circles are so darn tiny. It was a fun Halloween arts & crafts project for the kids. We had quite the production line going.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baby Onesies

I know this is another sewing entry, but I just had to share these. My dear friend just gave birth and I wanted to give her and baby something original. I got plain white onesies then tie-dyed them in blue and green. I appliqued little felt designs onto the front using contrasting embroidery floss. The Owl Onesie is made using the owl punch from Stampin'Up! I was not able to punch directly onto the felt because of its thickness. I had to just use the design and hand cut each piece out. The eyes are tiny buttons.
For the birds I used Stampin' Up! sizzlet. Again, the felt was too thick to run through the Big Shot Machine. I had to create a template and hand cut each piece.
The "E" monogram I used Basic Grey Bon Bon chipboard as my template.
I like that it's cute but not too girly.
Babies make messes; they can't help themselves. I like the idea that when he wears these, even if he spits up on himself, you won't even tell because it will just blend right in with the tie-dye.
It will help disguise it, right?
Here's the card that I made to go with it. I used the Stamping Up! owl punch. I have to say that when I first saw the punch I was not impressed. I'm not sure how my cousin talked me into getting it, but I'm glad she did. It has grown on me. I use it all the time. It's really fun to build different owls with designer paper. The building punches are a lot of fun in general and I recommend these. She talked me into getting the stocking building punch and I can't wait to start playing with that one....but that's another blog post. Back to the card. I tried to create an atypical boy baby card. They're always powder blue and very cutesy. I used dark green textured paper for the background and dark pumpkin textured paper for the accent border. I stamped letters to the front in green on cream color paper. Constructed the owl and attached the letter E on his heart. The inside sentiment says, "E is for" with his name spelled out.

Monday, October 24, 2011


When I was six, my 13 year old cousin would baby sit us kids. She would make clothes for her little sister's Barbie dolls. I don't know if I was amazed that the dolls had such a vast wardrobe, or that my cousin could make such tiny clothes, but I have always been inspired by my cousin and that childhood memory. My mom taught me how to sew when I was twelve. I hate following patterns. I get too impatient. I get lost, just like when I'm on those automated phone menus. I always have to call back because I miss the options from not listening. Anyway, I am able to sew dresses and girl clothes without following a pattern pretty easily. Once you get into arm sleeves, zippers and crotches it gets very complicated. I went to the Fabric Depot last week and saw this cute skirt sample hanging up. I didn't buy the pattern, so I probably got the measurements wrong, but it turned out cute anyway. I had some leftover material and made a matching rose hair clip.
My mom crocheted the sweater. Not sure if it matches the skirt, but I couldn't find a blouse that went with it. Here's a close-up of the cute material. It's got Asian writing and daffodils. The long petticoat is a darker contrast with a design that looks similar to hearts. The ribbon accent is pink & green grosgrain ribbon from Michael's Craft store.
I was able to sew this in one day. I'm not sure if I would have saved time by following the pattern. Yes, I had to figure out all my own measurements, but I didn't have to pin the pattern to the material, cut and then read step by step confusing instructions. I like figuring it all out on my own anyway. It keeps things challenging.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Kicks

Rember when I was in the 6th grade and I drew all over my pink Converse hi-tops with a black sharpie? Well apparently I should have started marketing them back then because they are so "popular nowdays with the kids." Yeah, I sound old fashioned.
I painted these for my son with fabric paint. Hope they last more than two weeks. Kids go through shoes pretty quickly.