Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Mantel Decor

Last Monday, we took down our Christmas decorations. I took down the tree and mantel decor and my two youngest sons took down the Christmas village. I gotta say, it felt rather dark and lonely after enjoying those lights for a few weeks. I decided not all light had to stay down. 

So, I set about designing and creating a January Mantel Decor that included lights. First, I scanned through Pinterest, then I scanned through my Cricut Design Space software. Here's what I came up with:

I chose a row of houses from the Close To My Heart Artistry Cricut cartridges and sized it to 11.5 x 5", then duplicated it and cut them out from white, dotted paper. The shiny dots added just the right texture.

I chose a snowflake overlay from the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and sized 2 of them to fit my clear vases, cut them out of plain white card stock then put them inside the vases. 

I then chose a variety of trees from different Cricut cartridges (Close To My Heart Artbooking and Flower Market) and sized them each about 2.5 x 5", then duplicated them and welded them together before cutting out of white, dotted card stock.

I had a few snowflakes left over from Christmas projects, also cut on my Cricut Explore Air, so I strung them onto kitchen twine and hung them loosely from the mantel. (The snowflakes came from Close To My Heart Artistry and Art Philosophy cartridges.)

I put a set of white Christmas lights behind the display and it brightened up my living room immediately!

I love the detail of the dots.

Happy New Year!
Thanks for looking!
Happy Crafting!

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Making of my 2016 Christmas Card

Every year, I create a new design for a Christmas card and make them in batches. This year, I've made an embossed set of cards that are simple and elegant.

Here's a shot of a bunch of the cards together:

Here's an up close look at the "snowflake" card. 
I used an embossing folder to make the snowflake impressions
with my Cuttlebug.

I stamped Isaiah 9:6 inside the card in Holiday Red ink
from Close to My Heart.

Here's an up close look at the "dots" card.
I used an embossing folder with my Cuttlebug, again.

For the red ornament, I used Close To My Heart's Art Philosophy cartridge. 

And the ornament image on page 33.
I cut the image from red card stock on my Cricut Explore Air, sizing it to 1.5 x 2.5". 
I cut thin strips of the same red card stock to use for the "string" holding the ornament.

I stamped the word "Joy" on each ornament with Versamark Ink
then heat embossed with white embossing powder.

I love how they turned out!
Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Close To My Heart HAUL and New Flower Market Cricut Cartridge

I've uploaded my latest video, this one of a Close To My Heart Haul which includes the new Flower Market Cricut Cartridge. Just look what I did with the handbook!

Check it out here:

Thanks for watching!
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Easy, Fun Hostess Gift

We were invited to brunch by some dear friends this Saturday and they insisted we bring nothing. Since bringing nothing is really not an option, I went to my studio and created a hostess gift. So, while we're not taking food, we are taking a hostess gift to thank our dear friends for their hospitality.

I created a set of cards, each one slightly different:

I simply used the Martha Stewart lacy border punch to create layers of lace and topped each off with a strip of decorative paper and a simple embellishment.

I created the layers by punching the lace on one side of 1" strips of card stock and gluing them to the base, which was also punched on one end. The strip of decorative paper hides the seam created by gluing the pieces on top of one another. 

Making cards is fun, easy, economical and quick. These cards are blank on the inside.

If you would like a set of similar cards, let me know in the comments. 
A set of six cards, with envelopes, is $12.00, including shipping. Embellishments will vary and may not necessarily be the ones shown.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Osprey Catch

Besides writing, crafting, home making, home schooling, cooking, baking and child rearing, I love photography. 

You can see my gallery of photos here.  The picture featured below is in the gallery, but it's featured here because, just today, this photo won Viewbug's Spring Selection Award!

"The Osprey Catch"

This picture was taken while we were on a ship touring the area of Michigan where Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. It was a gorgeous day and I'd been snapping photos all day. My son saw this Osprey circling for fish and I began snapping over and over in order to catch him in the act of catching one. Finally, I got it! The perfect picture! After he caught this, another Osprey tried to take it away from him.

To all you aspiring photographers out there, I say go for it! Don't be afraid to showcase your photos and enter them in contests. If I can win, so can you!

Happy Photographing!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The End has Come

The end of our house hunting adventure has come - we found a house! As I mentioned in my last house-hunting post, we put an offer in on a house we found. This house is bank-owned, so the process was a little more time consuming than a regular home sale.

But, we persevered through a number of setbacks and glitches and learned last night that we got the house! We're excited! Here's the house:

The lot is 1/3 acre, so big enough to have a decent back yard (pictured below) and there's already a garden sectioned off in the side yard. 

You can see our agent and my husband in this shot.

This house has 7 bedrooms, but we will only be using 5 as bedrooms. 
One will become David's study and another will become my studio. 

The master bedroom is large:

The kitchen is small, but has room for expansion, which we're already talking about. I compromised on the kitchen since the rest of the house is so great. It's attached to a dining room, so we'll knock out a wall and build or buy a large island to expand the space.

The living room has a hardwood floor as well as a wood-burning fireplace:

My favorite room in the entire house is this massive sun room! (below) It covers one entire side of the house, is about 25' x 15' and, as you can see from this pic, has many windows. It overlooks the street on one side and the back yard on the other. For me, this makes the house. 
It is already designated as our family room.

So, the house hunt is over and we feel we found the perfect house for us! 
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
This will be our 4th move in a 3-year period of time......and should be our last for a very long time. We have never moved this much and it's exhausting. We are ready to stop moving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Harrowing House Hunting Experience

Last Saturday we went house hunting, meeting our agent at four different locations in our quest to find just the right home to buy. This house hunting excursion turned out to be quite the exciting time.

We went to the first house and the first thing I saw when we walked in was a huge - and I mean HUGE - black spider on the very cluttered kitchen counter. It was at least 3" across and stood up from the counter. I stopped dead in my tracks, pointed to the spider and said to my husband, "I can't go in there." He went up to the spider, determined that it was plastic and assured me he would not tease me with it, so I felt safe.


The kitchen was not the only thing cluttered in that house. The entire house was a complete mess. There were groceries, guitars, lots of clothing and a set of drums in the living room. The coffee table could not be seen for the clutter covering it. Each bedroom and bathroom was the same way. It was very hard to look at the house with that much clutter all around. It took us a while to assess whether or not the house would work for us.

The second house was the most adventurous of all the houses we saw. Whoever lives there was home. Whether it was the owner or tenants, I'm not sure, but a woman holding two very large onions greeted us at the door. She proceeded to "show" us through the house, balancing those big onions in her hands as she used those hands to point to different rooms, etc. At one point she dropped one onion, but it was too crowded for me to help her pick it up, so she had to bend over in front of my son and me to pick up her wayward onion.

Each bedroom was very cluttered, dirty and clearly unkempt. And the bananas. One bedroom was literally half full of nearly overripe bananas. They were everywhere, lying in their bunches, right in the bedroom. And the smell.....oh, my.

When we got to the kitchen, I tripped on what I thought was a rug and nearly fell down. It was not a rug, but rather a huge bump in the middle of the kitchen floor. It was about 3" high and had cracked through the linoleum. More than an eyesore, it showed something was terribly wrong with that floor. Also, there was a very large woman holding a 10" knife. She was cooking something in the kitchen, as well as outside, and proceeded to "show" us different features of the kitchen and attached sun room with the knife as a pointing stick. More than once, I thought she was going to accidentally slice into me with that knife. When a very large person wields a knife as a pointing stick to a small person, it's usually the small person who ends up getting hurt.

I was relieved when we left.


House #3 had no knife-wielding cooks or things bumping up the kitchen floor, but had an odor that made us all hold our noses while we were inside, including our agent. There was no power on in the house, so we couldn't see all the space, especially the basement. The filled refrigerator and chest freezer made us all very eager to leave. Yes, filled...with no power on in the house.


When we got in the car to go to house #4, I told my husband that I was shocked that agents allow their clients to have homes in those conditions and hope to sell. Our agent was embarrassed, not because these were his listings, they weren't, but because he would never want to show houses in these conditions and other agents had allowed him to walk into it. I felt discouraged because housing around here is pricey and I was appalled with the thought that this might be the best we get for this kind of money.


Then we went to house #4 and immediately fell in love with it. It's in pristine condition, has very large rooms, 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a huge back yard and a good, central location to where we need to be.

We put in our offer.
So did someone else.
It's bank-owned, so the bank invited us all to put in our "best" offer by noon today.
We did that, along with a letter I wrote explaining why this house would be so great for us. I pulled at the heart strings of Fannie Mae.
Now we wait.