Monday, December 21, 2009

Reminiscing on Holiday Projects Past

Happy Holidays!
I'm enjoying time with my family this holiday season, so I thought I would put together a few of "my favorite things" from holidays past. If you're looking for a last minute gift or a fun project to do with your family, maybe you'll enjoy one of these:

Christmas Carol Holiday Game

Christmas Verse Coffee Sleeve Book

Muffin Tin Advent Calendar

Juice Lid and Paper Star Ornaments

Festive Photo Ornaments

Have a great holiday season and I'll see you in the new year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Activity Books

I bet things around your house are pretty crazy right about now, just like mine. The holidays are a blur of activity.

We are planning on taking some time around the Griffith house to slow down and count our blessings on Thanksgiving, but before we sit down at the table it seems there are a million things to do.

Here's a project you can make to keep the kids busy while you do last minute meal prep. And this won't take long either, so you can whip it together at the last minute. (Now that's my kind of project!)

Get the download from Kristine Mckay and enjoy! Oh, and if you have a spare moment, watch my video on the Blessings Envelope Accordion Book that will capture our blessings this year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Snack Mix Cornucopia Treat & Peanut Butter Pumpkins

We're having an October snow day! You never know what the weather will do in Colorado. The kids and I are making last-minute treats as teacher gifts and party snacks for Halloween, but these would be great for Thanksgiving as well. The same can be said for this adorable set from The {Stamps} of Life that I used for the tags. (See a ton of ideas for the fall holidays from the gallery here!) I recently joined their design team and I can't wait to share the next set, which is for Christmas!

The snack mix is so easy to throw together and has some sweet additions. It's packaged with a sugar waffle cone in a disposable decorator bag. So fun! (Barb has another adorable craft with decorator bags, which is my all-time favorite for Halloween!)

Here's another sweet treat that you and your kids will have a ball making!
Peanut Butter Pumpkins are so easy, yummy and fun. Get all the details on how to make them **IN THIS POST**

Are they not

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Download Free Digital Papers and Re-Color with Picasa

If you're new to digital or hybrid scrapbooking, (or even if you're not) you probably love finding free digital papers you can download. The Angel Company is offering a new set of B&W papers that you can download here:
(There are two sets, so be sure to scroll down to see them all.)

So, they are pretty cool in B&W, but if you want to add a little color, it's very easy. You need to convert the papers to jpeg and use my favorite FREE photo software, Picasa. Here's how: With the Picasa running in the background, open the pdf document and change the view so that the full page can be seen. (It can also be helpful to use F11 for "full screen".) Press Ctrl + Prt Sc, then switch to Picasa and the screen capture should be visible. Use crop to highlight just the paper portion of the image and then save. (The default is to save as a jpg.)

Next, check out this YouTube video to see the step-by-step of how easy it is to recolor the paper with Picasa.

Ready to make some easy scrapbook pages? Try using Picasa's "collage" function! It's easy. Watch another quick video here.

PS- Are you still reading? Please leave a comment on this post, email me or give me the thumbs up in Facebook to let me know you're still out there! I heard a lot of chirping after my last post!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Party Food and Drink Ideas - Recipe Roundup

We do a ton of partying at this time of the year. I have been collecting all sorts of good party ideas and I have compiled my favorites here. Hang in there. There's lots to see, and even a chance for you to share your favorite ideas and win an appetizing prize! Below you'll find ideas for:
  • Easy Food & Drink for Grown Up Celebrations
  • Kid Friendly & Quick Crafts and Treats
  • Fun Decorations and Last-Minute Gifts
Candy Corn Pudding
Butterscotch on the bottom, vanilla (dyed with yellow food coloring) in the middle, whipped topping on top. (Make this kid friendly by using clear plastic tumblers.)

Bewildering Beverages
Here are some ideas for grown up refreshments: Yellow Twilight- Lemonade with an Absolut Bite, Morgueritas-a Deadly Lime Libation, Poison Appletinis- Dangerously Sweet

Make the accompanying cards to label your concoctions with this easy spooky house card. The instructions can be found here and were altered to use 4" x 12" cardstock. The windows were made with a grid punch.

Glass Markers
Grab some circle punches, an alphabet set and some other designs and make these easy glass markers. I used a script background to make veins in the eyeballs and flowers and flourishes for the irises. Make a set and decorate this little bag box to make a great hostess gift.

More Eyeballs
The same stamping techniques worked to decorate my Deviled Egg card. The eggs themselves got their red veins from food coloring and vinegar added to a baggy as the hard boiled eggs cooled. Other great savory foods to bring to a party include Mummy Pizzas, Mummy Dogs, and Salty Bones (breadsticks). I found lots of great recipes at Family Fun and Pillsbury.

More Kid Stuff
Mummy Tube Treats- these TP treats would make a good gift or craft. We'll be making them at our Girl Scout Halloween Party next week. If you're looking for a quick treat to give kids, try making some of my Yummy Mummy Candy Bars. (Both crafts use common party streamers for the mummy wrap.) I'll even show you how to make them in this video! (Want more hands on instruction? I have a video for Eerie Votive Candles too!)

A Decoration or a Gift
Make up a bunch of spooky bottles, using these great downloads from KMcKay Designs. Be sure to ink up your bottles with Palette ink. It should be heat set, but will adhere to glass, giving your project that extra creepiness it needs. You could bring a bottle of wine to your hostess, dressed up with these fun labels or even give a set of labels that are ready to stick on to your favorite hostess's wine or even soda bottles. She will love that!

Now for your ideas . . . .
I'd love to hear your favorite tried and true recipe for Halloween. Leave a comment with a link to your favorite recipe (and if you have a paper craft, packaging, label etc. that accompanies it- EVEN BETTER!) The winner will be announced on Friday and will receive the BONE APPETIT STAMP SET! So let's hear 'em!
**Contest Winner: Carolyn from Florida!**

Monday, September 28, 2009

Halloween Card and Treat Bag

This was a card design for our church card ministry and I decided to do a treat bag design as well. (That gave me a little more room to add spooky elements, like the spider and paper-pieced pumpkin.) I punched black paper with that Creative Memories punch that does the buckles and little squares. I cut away a section of the grid that comes out of the punch and the great thing is, the more crooked you cut, the cuter the windows are!

I love this palette for Halloween. If you are looking for spooky treat ideas, you've got to check out my friend Barb. She's concocting very creepy crafts in her Craft Cave!

We craft every month on the first Thursday from 7-9 pm and the following Friday from 1-3 pm at Joy Lutheran Church. There are always great seasonal ideas and it's fun and FREE!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Special Delivery Cards

We've also been making lots of baby cards at church lately. I colored these with the simple watercolor technique.
 The other designs we've been doing a lot of are sympathy cards. I personally had to send some sympathy cards, as well as attend a funeral this week. I explained to my two older kids (who attended the funeral with us) that life--in the grand scheme of things--is a balance of sweetness and sorrow. Without rain, we would have no sunshine.

In good times and bad, I turn to my studio to express to those around me a simple sentiment that I hope will help them weather the tough times and celebrate the wonderful things that bless their lives. It reminds me of the Irish blessing, which I'll close with today:

"May the trails rise to meet you,
The sun warm your face,
The rain fall gently upon your fields
And the wind be ever at your back "

Friday, August 28, 2009

Recycle Handmade Cards - Bless it Forward!

If you like to hang out here at my blog, chances are you have a pretty large amount of handmade card fronts. You probably have friends who send you lots of beautiful cards too. Don't store them in a box. Give them new life and
Bless it Forward!

You can even make a great gift by collecting a few cards and make this card organizer, which is an envelope box covered with paper.

Check out this video to see how I made some low-profile tabbed dividers, to organize the cards by category.

Thanks to all of you who played my Great Greetings Game. Congratulations, Carolyn from Florida!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great Greetings from The Angel Company (A Must-Have for Making Cards)

There is really something special about a handmade card. I love to ponder how many people have been blessed by the card ministry I help with. As I was getting these card designs ready to bring to church tonight, I was mindful of making the inside as meaningful as the outside is beautiful. Cards with insides sell far better than ones without. (The exception is Thank You's. They are OK plain.)

Coordinating the inside of a card is even easier to accomplish with some of the new sayings sets, like Great Greetings from The Angel Company. With coordinating fonts and heartfelt sayings, your cards will really have that extra sparkle. (Click the link for ordering information and to see a larger image.)

There are phrases that work great together, as well as greetings that could go with TAC's other word sets. The "May all your wishes come true" phrase could be added to almost any birthday set for a fun gender-neutral inner greeting. Here I've worked my Semi-Hand Stamped magic for a quick and easy card.

Another trick I sometimes use is to print the inside from my computer. Click here for the document I use.

Cleverly Coordinated
You've heard me say how much I love our Ordinary Greetings set as well. (Click here to see how I cut it apart to make it even more versatile.) It is a perfect companion to Fishy Friends, since they both have a curly, but not-too-cutesy font. There are so many cards you can make with just those two sets.

Tip: to get the little waves, I flipped over my scallop scissors. Isn't that fun?

This thinking of you card is just right for summer, with its little lobster. The images work great for kids' cards, but I think they work for big people too.

It's your turn:
How about a little challenge? Check out the Ordinary Greetings and Fishy Friends sets and leave a comment with your favorite or most original greeting that could be used for the outside and inside of a card. I'll pick a winner and send them ANY $20 SET FROM THE TAC CATALOGUE! It could be Great Greetings or any other set. Wanna Play?

Edited: We have a Winner! Congratulations, Carolyn!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Love & Laughter Paper Covered Frame

This easy project is one of my favorites, and perfect for so many occasions. This one went to my friend for her 40th birthday. We love being surrounded by photos of friends or family that bring love and laughter to our lives.

It's no surprise the stamp set I used for the phrase on the tag, Love and Laughter, was a best seller for The Angel Company last year. It too, is good for so many occasions.

To see the technique I used to miter the corners, see this post.

For those of you following my Twitter Tweets who asked about my studio, here is a look at how things are shaping up. Now, keep in mind, this is a work in progress. I seem to thrive in a messy--I mean, creative, environment. My biggest challenge is to put my things away (and to try to find them when I have just thrown them in a pile.) My strategy with my room is to create a place for everything, use a uniform color scheme and inexpensive storage vessels, and to use labels to make sense of it all. Hopefully this will be helpful to those of you that are struggling with organization too. (You might want to also check out this post for some of the pictures I used for inspiration.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wall-E Winged Pop Up Card

This cutie reminds me of Wall-E the robot and features a set from The Angel Company called Robots. It was inspired by a Miss Moxie card kit I got from Trudy Osborn and another winged pop up card made by KellyRae Cooper.

We made this card at my Crafternoon Catalogue Tour and last weekend at the Mile High Angels Summer Celebration. There are some really cute new TAC stamps, so grab a set and try this fun card. It would be great a variety of images.

Basic Measurements and Folds
Center Pop Up Piece: 3x11, scored at 5 1/2"
Base: 4 1/4 x 9", scored along the 9" side at 1/2, 2, 4 1/2, 7, and 8 1/2"
Winged Piece: 3 3/4 x 6, scored along the 6" side at 1 1/2 and 4 1/2

  1. Mountain fold all pieces.
  2. Adhere the 3x11 piece together, forming a 3 x 5 1/2 piece of double thickness.
  3. Cut an 1/8" slit along the center fold of the base piece.
  4. Slide the pop-up piece through it and fold the 1/2" tabs up and adhere together, sandwiching the pop-up piece between them.
  5. Slide up the center pop-up piece and adhere the "wings"
  6. Decorate as desired and use the new We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper to round the edges. You can go through several layers at once!

Have fun and post a link in the comments to a picture of your creations!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Christmas Carol Holiday Game- Free Download

I love the idea of
Christmas in July!
It's the time when I start cooking my ideas for the next holiday. Here's a fun one that will keep your family busy and it makes a great gift. Everyone is looking for ways to give heartfelt gifts and I think you should add this one to your list!

The game is called
Convoluted Christmas Carols
and the object is to read the very wordy description and guess which Christmas carol it is. I just know that you and your friends and family are going to have so much playing this (my Bunco girls and Angel friends all did!) that I made up these printable free downloads for you! (Scroll down for link.) All you have to do is print the carols out on cardstock, cut out and decorate. There is also an answer key and some printable answer sheets too! Find a cute box to decorate (mine is from Creative Memories tape runners) and you've got yourself a very fun little gift! Enjoy!

Christmas Carols


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inexpensive Vase for Floral Centerpiece

Or maybe a quick and easy
Thinking of You Gift . . .
I am in the midst of busy summer craziness, but I made a little video to show you how to turn a recycled bottle into a gorgeous and thoughtful little gift.

I just read Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and one of them reads,
"Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special."
So go pick a flower from your garden and make someone's day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mini Scrapbook for a Thank You Card

This is a thank you card for my daughter's piano teacher, but it's more than that. It's a little memory book that I hope she will put up on her piano to remind her of Katie. (She and her husband are moving to California.)

This was super easy to put together. Use a 12x12 and pull out your Scor-Pal. Score along one side at 4" and 8", then turn it 90 degrees and cut at 6". Accordion fold and adhere the two resulting panels end to end (one panel completely covers the other). The best part? It fits into the new Wal-Mart envelopes! This would make a great Father's Day card!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

EZ Dahlia Gift Card Holder with No. 10 Envelope

This is the perfect way to present a gift card and it's so easy to make! If you missed the instructions on how to make the cute flower petals using a heart-shaped punch, check it out here.

The flower center is from Hello Sunshine, which is only available for a few days, so get it quick!

If you haven't made one of these cute enclosures before, you might be surprised that there's a plain old #10 envelope under there! Grab your Scor-Pal and check out the easy instructions, below:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easy Dahlia Flower Card with Tutorial

Do you have a ton of end of the year cards and gifts to give? Here's an idea:
Special Doesn't Have to Take Forever!
I made this easy dahlia flower with a circle and heart shaped punch. Check out the video here:
EZ Dahlia Card Tutorial

One of the things that makes this card easy is that it's Semi-Hand Stamped. If you hang out here, you've seen this idea before. Check out these past posts that start simple but have added sparkle:

Pre-Printed with a Personal Touch
Keep an eye out for notecards on clearance and make them more personal with hand stamping or added embellishment:
Cards As Gifts
Quick Card Keeper

Inkjet Printable Notecards
Invites or Thank You's for a Baby Shower
Notecards for a Teacher

Dressed-Up Gift Bags
Boo Bags
Fall Floral Bags

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Card Size with a Flat Ribbon Trick

I get some of my basic card-making supplies at Wal-Mart and I noticed they replaced their A2 envelopes with a new size that will accommodate a 4x6 photo.

This got me thinking about using my 12x12 papers and cardstocks for card-making, since 4 and 6 are multiples of the standard 12x12. (I love it when paper is used most efficiently!) I cut two 4.25 x 8.5 pieces from a standard 8.5 x 11 (the all-time most economical cardstock size) which leaves some scrap for making your focal points.

The white piece is folded at 6.25 and the colored pieces (the red one is 4.6) are adhered under the folded flap.

I used my DIY Border Punch technique to pretty up the edge and also a Flat Ribbon Trick, which I learned from my friend Carol from our church card-making group. It uses ribbon the most frugally and you always have a flat and neat looking knot. It's such a great trick, I made a Brilliant Inkling Video to show you how to do it!

I think I'll like this new card size. What could be better, at Mother's Day or any time of year, than getting a card with a snapshot of a smiling grandkid or three? ;)

Brilliant Inklings
[bril-yuhnt ingk-lings]
- noun
  1. a YouTube series of under 2-minute videos
  2. a quick tip to add sparkle to your paper crafts
To see all my video gems, click here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Making and Selling Cards

I've had lots of interest in the card-making ministry at church, so I thought I would share a card idea with you and tell you more about our group.

If you make cards to sell, try this fun and easy (3.75 x 8.5) card. It's great for TAC's Wing It pads and can be customized, which customers will LOVE. They want that handmade, personal quality, so they can give this card to a grandpa, dad, uncle or brother with this option:

Fill-a-Phrase Stickers
I used 1/2" x 1 3/4" labels (Avery 8167) and stamped them with masculine family member names. The stickers are clipped to the card and the small tag is perfectly sized for them to just choose a sticker and add that personal touch!

On a Mission to Make Cards
I was just visiting with some of our group members about how many people all over the country have been blessed by our cards. We have a set night that we make them and we have three large card racks to display them, with a locked drop box for donations. They are $3 or 2 for $5 and we are constantly surprised by how many we "sell" every month.

Volunteers provide the designs and materials, so it's free for participants and they get to keep one card for every five they make. (We usually only make a few of one style.) It is so much fun and it has grown over the five years we have been doing it. If you have been thinking of doing something like this with your church or organization, you should jump in! Schedule a night and look for a card rack and you're in business. Let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hello Sunshine

This is a simple card I designed for our card ministry at church. We get together every month and replenish the card racks that are on display in our fellowship hall. Donations from the card "sales" go to various charities within and outside of our church.

I thought this card was fun because I was able to easily paper piece the center using a punch. I wish all stamps from The Angel Company were designed this way, so that where possible (circles, squares, flowers, scallops) the parts could just be stamped and then punched out. That is what I call simple, smart and sophisticated!