Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

The Purrfect Valentine

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Penelope found my Paper Source catalog last month and basically flipped out when she saw the front cover featuring these little Kitten and Puppy Valentines. It didn’t look like they had pockets, so I thought it would be fun to DIY our own version.

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Instead of having 6 parts that need to be assembled, I made it into 3 parts (including googly eyes) with a pocket for a special treat.

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This one I made for my sister-in-law who is heading out to Spain soon as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I included some stickers, postage (’cause I want mail from her!) and a temporary tattoo.

I didn’t do any calligraphy for Penelope’s handouts. I wanted Penelope to have artistic control over assembling. She ran with it! She decided to give the kittens winky faces. Then she grabbed spare hearts from the kittens to use for eyes. She had fun. And she owned the project!

I used Illustrator, my Silhouette and My Mind’s Eye paper (paper provided by MME) to complete this project. Side note: MME plain cardstock takes ink remarkably well! WIN!

Sponsored: Symbols of Christmas Printable Book

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Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to think that all of you are Christians or even like religion. If you are a Christian, you might really enjoy this post and sharing this printable with friends and family. And I sincerely hope you do! If not, please don’t take offense. This is simply a project that I feel in my heart I’ve needed to make and share here in case others may find it impactful for their holiday celebrations.

If celebrating Christ’s birth at this time of year is not your thing, I would love to hear more about your personal beliefs and traditions for this time of year in the comments below*.

This month has been insane. So many things to do and so little time. I’ve actually had this project completed for weeks, but I haven’t had a chance to photograph and write about it until now. I figure Sunday is the perfect time to publish, since this takes a more spiritual tone.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to do my annual candy box. This project ended up taking its place. I have so many ideas for the candy box, though. I may have to publish a New Year’s or Valentine’s candy box. :)

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At church I’m in charge of the activities for our women’s group. We meet at least quarterly for spiritual, service-oriented, social or creative activities. When we were planning I knew I wanted to make a little keepsake/quiet book for adults and children alike to be reminded of the true purpose in Christmas: Christ’s birth. I’m glad I worked on this project. It’s been a busy time of year with a lot of work (a fabulous problem to have, for that I’m humbly grateful!), so carving out time to research symbols of Christmas and coordinating scripture was a great way to get in the spirit.

This printable by no means includes all of the symbols of Christmas (I realized I left out the wreath – oops), the 7 included simply serve as a prompt for discussion and pondering on the other things around us that remind us of Christ and God.

I wanted it to be something that could be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, so I made little calligraphed illustrations that could be colored and kept the design simple to appeal to adults. It’s all small enough that it can easily fit in a purse to be toted around all season long (even though it’s almost at it’s end).

I printed off a few and plan to give them to my grandparents and parents this year. The ones we made for our women’s group activity were a huge hit. We prepped 30 kits and even though we didn’t have 30 in attendance, all were spoken for! It was a thrill to see women take extras to share with others.

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The book includes symbols on: The evergreen tree, the star of Bethlehem, the candle, the poinsettia, the candy cane, the stocking and holly berries. At the end there are a couple of pages for thoughts so you could use it as a holiday journal or as a way to write your personal thoughts on the season to give to someone else. Or write in some of your favorite holiday traditions/memories.

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Each symbol has a brief explanation and a scripture. Each scripture is taken from the King James version of the Bible. Mostly from the New Testament.

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To assemble, you will need:

  • printed sheets
  • hole punch
  • needle
  • thick thread
  • bone folder
  • 6×9 inch piece of leather or felt**

Download the printable (link at bottom of the post) and print. Print double-sided and DO NOT fit to page (print at 100%). 

Cut the paper in half width-wise so that you have 8.5 x 5.5 sheets. Rearrange your papers so they are in order. I like to go by the odd numbers on the bottom right hand side. Use the blank half sheet on the outside of the title page.

Punch holes in the guides on pages 10-11. Center your pages over the leather, mark the holes on the leather and punch.

Thread your needle and sew the book: Start on the outside front cover in the middle hole. Go to the inside of the book and leave a 4 inch tail. Go through the bottom hole, then thread through the top hole and then back through to the middle hole. Your tails will be coming out of the middle of the book. Tie a knot around the string running up the spine and finish with a bow. Fold in half and crease with a bone folder.

Now you’re finished! If you batch these, you can make 10-20 books in about half an hour. They’re great for gift giving! Enjoy!

 

This post is sponsored by Mormon.org | check out their video “He Is the Gift“. It so beautifully conveys the nativity with song. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

*This blog is a positive, creative space. Comments that attack any religious faction will not be tolerated or published. 

**Leather provided by Leather Hide Store.

Off My Creative Game

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I’ve been off my creative game lately. I’ll blame it on the fact that life is just getting exponentially busier. I’m not complaining, but making more of an effort to carve out creative time seems to be a must these days.

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We didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like I  had hoped: with a trail of candy leading to a warm breakfast. I did it last year and just loved Penelope’s response. This year, it didn’t happen. As disappointed as I was in myself for not making it happen, Penelope didn’t care. I hope that she’ll be surprised and excited when I get around to doing fun things for holidays, but not ever feel entitled if they don’t happen just the way she envisions. I think that’s a hard balance to strike, especially with the driving force of over-celebrating that Pinterest sometimes brings (anyone read this article that’s resurfaced the last few weeks?).

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This shirt I decorated yesterday would have made for the perfect Valentine’s touch LAST MONTH, but it doesn’t matter. What matters to me most was her reaction when I gave it to her. It didn’t elicit a reaction of “Mommy, I should have worn that for Valentine’s.”, but “WHAAAT?? Mommy!! Is that for MEEEEEE???”. This girl’s reactions to even the smallest gestures are the best thing in the world. They remind me why I longed to be a mom in the first place.

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  • Shirt: Walmart
  • Heart design: Me, using Silhouette Iron-on material
  • Velvet pants: Walmart
  • Shoes: Amazon

I finally got around to sewing this week! I’ll be sharing those details with you tomorrow.

DIY: Gold and Leather Bolo Necklace

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I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.

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I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!

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Make one with me!

Leather Gold-Dipped Bolo Necklace Tutorial

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Supplies

  • gold chain 11-18 inches
  • 20 guage gold wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • closure
  • leather strip, 8 x .5 inches
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • liquid gold or gold foil
  • junk brush

If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.

Click below to read the rest of the instructions!

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Hand-Cut Playhouse Silhouette Promo

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Anything in miniature is just irrisistable, is it not? Penelope and I found these little miniature plastic toys at the toy store a couple weeks ago. They’re no taller than half an inch, making them the perfect travel play buddies.

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I’m always trying to find appropriate quiet toys for Penelope and Felix to play with during our church services on Sundays. They can be the hardest 3 hours of the week if I don’t come prepared with ample toys and snacks. Problem is, often times they get bored with the toys they typically play with. The idea struck for Sunday-only toys when I found these little cuties.

They were great last week, but we were missing scenery. The little pouch my friend made is perfect for housing all of the animals and any coordinating accessories so my mind set to work to make something collapsible that would fit inside the little pouch (isn’t it too cute?!?).

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Making little cut-outs with Silhouette’s chipboard did the trick! Designing the scenery was a breeze, too. It was a fun little mommy-daughter activity for us to decorate the scenery together.

I’m not sure I’ve seen this kind of excitement from her in a while.

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Now my only hope is that I can hide these little goodies during the week. She wants to play with her toy scene all the time!

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Yesterday started a huge promotion over at Silhouette. They’re offering huge discounts on not only the machines, but a whole pack of goodies. If you don’t have a machine yet, I advise you get one with this promo. You’ll get so many fun starter goodies you’ll be crafting well into the thick of winter.

Use promo code MELISSA at checkout for this exclusive deal.

Specialty media plus a Silhouette CAMEO® for $269.99 (savings over $120 from retail cost $383.90)

  • 1 cardstock essentials pack (new product)
  • 1 pack printable adhesive kraft paper (new product)
  • 1 pack printable clear sticker paper
  • 1 pack temporary tattoo paper
  • 1 pack printable cotton canvas (new product)
  • 1 pack chipboard
  • 1 pack printable silver foil
  • 1 pack printable magnet paper
  • 1 pack double-sided adhesive

Specialty media plus a Silhouette Portrait™ for $129.99 (savings over $110 from retail cost $263.90)

  • 1 cardstock essentials pack (new product)
  • 1 pack printable adhesive kraft paper (new product)
  • 1 pack printable clear sticker paper
  • 1 pack temporary tattoo paper
  • 1 pack printable cotton canvas (new product)
  • 1 pack chipboard
  • 1 pack printable silver foil
  • 1 pack printable magnet paper
  • 1 pack double-sided adhesive

30% off on all specialty media

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I am a Silhouette affiliate. I wouldn’t blog about their products unless I really loved them. And I do. I receive a portion of sales made with the promotional code MELISSA, so thank you for your support!!

 

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