Saturday, December 4, 2010


You know, I really should catch up my little count going on (not really) over there ---------------->
2010 is well on it’s way out (already) and I have been lacking in my counting and recording skills.
(Blame it on the fact that math and I don’t usually agree..  or that I am just usually really, horribly wrong.  I blame it all on Roy High.)
I did manage to get FOUR layouts done, in TWO days.
Yup, I am pretty cool!
(Not really, it is just cool by my standards lately.  I’d be REALLY cool if my Christmas cards were out..  it would be even better if I had the pictures taken for aforementioned cards.  I do have the clothes picked out!)
Anyway (after a lot of distraction on my part..), here they are!
(New products will be released this upcoming week!)
This is a printable kit from Kitschy Digitals, but I used it for a layout all about Lynnie-lou and her summer reading goal.
Isn’t that gnome cute?!
100 books
I also used Kitschy Digitals Vintage Photo Frames, Crystal Wilkerson’s staple and woodgrain paper, rick-rack and stitching from Splendid Fiins.
(Kitschy Digitals also has a darling die-cut kit that matches this stuff..)
This is a template and quick page from In the Making Design.
I was looking for an excuse to use her “Sassy Season” papers and elements (they are cute!), but also relied on some of my favs..Crystal Wilkerson’s staple (told you I loved it!), and that stitching from Splendid Fiins.
Liv has come up with this incredible template to help showcase your photos.  They really take center stage here.
I got sucked into all of my summer pics (cold it be because of the cold?), and wanted some fresh, calm colors to go with.  Crystal Wilkerson’s “Sweet Summertime” papers, elements and label fit the bill.  Splendid Fiins stitching (heart) also helped to finish this one off well.
Santa's Sleigh
Last, but not least, Carina Gardner has an awesome kit coming out this week as well.  I have learned one thing about her: she does what she does well!  Her kits are incredible!  They have so many pieces, totally worth it.  Then there’s the same old stuff I love..  that same staple from Crystal Wilkerson, from my splendid friend, the rick-rack and the lovely stitching!
Don’t forget that the WHOLE STORE in on sale for this month, not to mention, if you spend more than $20 you will get the collaborative kit for FREEEEEE!!
(Did you hear Adam Sandler’s voice in that?)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

American Girl Doll PJs.

It’s been a while, like nearly a year, since I said I would post the pattern to the doll PJs.  Better late than never, right? ;)
For this project you will need:
- fabric, 13 1/2 x 24 inches
- elastic, 11 1/2 inches(I like to use 1/4 inch baby elastic).
- thread, scissors, straight pins, sewing machine, iron, all that good stuff.
- and the pattern (download here).
To start, you’ll first need to download the pattern, extract the files, and print them out.
You should have two pages, one labeled “top” and one labeled “bottom”.  You’ll want to overlap these by one inch (there is a noticeable gap on the top piece where you can match the lines on the pattern up).  Tape them across the seams on both front and back sides of the papers.  Cut this out.
Next, fold your fabric.  Lay it out, pretty side down, so your fabric is long, not wide.  Fold it in half, and then fold it in half again.
You should end up with a fold like this:
doll pjs 013
Next, lay your pattern on your fabric, making sure that the fold on your pattern is also on the fold of your fabric.
doll pjs 009
Cut this out. 
I used a rotary cutter, it helped to use my straight edge guide for the sides and the top slant.  If you are using scissors, you’ll want to pin this pattern to your fabric.
You should end up with two pieces like this:
doll pjs 014
The next thing you’ll want to do is to overcast stitch, or serge, the edges of the top and bottom (narrowest parts on the fabric).  It isn’t a “must” but makes for a prettier edge (that is how my grandma taught my mom and how my mom taught me..  one of the first places she would look on any finished project, were the insides to see if the work was neat).  It also helps so your fabric won’t fray and unravel after many wearings and washings.
An “overcast stitch” is when you zig-zag stitch right on the edge of you fabric, casting the stitch over the edge, just a little, and by doing that, it folds and tucks the very edge of the raw edge underneath itself.  I looked in my machine’s user manual and found the settings I needed to be able to do this.
If you have chosen to do this, the next step is simple: fold over the bottom edge 1/2 inch (this is the cuff of the pant leg), press it, pin it and straight stitch it 1/4 inch in.
doll pjs 015
(This is much easier to do right now, before the two sides are joined.)
Next, put both pieces, pretty sides together, and pin just the top sides.
doll pjs 017
Now we’ll straight stitch first, from the top corner to the little point near the middle.
(This is the straight edge, not the curved one.)
After you’ve straight stitched both sides, over cast stitch if desired.
After you’ve done that, you need to lay them out, opened, so the seam that you just stitched is facing you.  Join the two seams in the middle, and start pinning there.  Pin down each leg.
doll pjs 018  
Sew from the bottom of one leg to the crotch and stop.  Do the same thing to the other side.  This ensures that your seams line up in the middle.  I like to overcast stitch the edges after this too.
Don’t they look like pants now? :)
We are almost done! 
Fold down the top of your pants, 1 inch.  Press and pin.  You’ll straight stitch this 3/4 of an inch from your folded edge.  Make sure to leave a gap open.  This is the casing for your elastic for the waist.
doll pjs 020
Since we already overcast stitched (or serged) that edge in the beginning, you shouldn’t have any  raw, feathery edges bugging you right now.  Feed your elastic through (I like to put a safety pin in one end of my elastic, and feed that through the casing, a good friend taught me that trick).  Pin your ends together and sew them with a few stitches.  Stretch out the waistband, and straight stitch your casing shut.
Turn them right-side out, and you did it!
doll pjs 021
Isn’t your doll so happy?
doll pjs 023
Your little girl will be too. ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fun new products..

I love seeing what fun new stuff the designers come up with at Jessica Sprague..
Just a couple of things new to the store tomorrow:
silouhette 003
Okay, so part of this one isn’t new, but it’s newish.
Splendid Fiins put out a “Splendid Tutorial” on how to make Silhouettes, from beginning to end, and making them into your own brush!  Pretty incredible, I know.
Tomorrow, new to the store, will be these alternate borders.  You can color them, but I am just boring and left them black.
I made mine into ornaments, and if you click on it, you can see the name and age of the little girl whose silhouette is on there..
I just printed off the finished product, cut it out, rounded the corners, and glittered the edges of some chipboard before I stuck down my silhouette with craft dots.  Add a little rick-rack and you have a cute little ornament!  I would have liked to have diamond glazed it, but ran out of time.
My mind is just racing with all the possibilities with this one!
Queen of Quirk (I love all things quirky..) has “Reindeer Games” coming out tomorrow.  I wanted to use all of the elements and papers on one page, but that wouldn’t have looked too great.  It is all so fun though!
reindeer games
I also used her template.
Stitching, Splendid Fiins.
Fonts, Marcelle Script and Caviar Dreams.
Don’t forget, the great holiday sale is going on there, and prices are slashed by 20%!!  With any purchase over $20 you get a free comp kit, that is pretty fun too..  need to find more time to play with that one…
Oh, and the FREE class starts TOMORROW!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One buck Wednesday!

As usual, on Wednesdays, there are some fun deals at Jessica Sprague..
Just a couple of those are:
Elle’s Studio Christmas Gift Tags
elle's studio christmas gift tags
These are so fun!  I usually make my own every year, stamping and punching, coloring sometimes too..
These guys are already all dolled-up for you.  They come in three different colors, different sentiments too.  I layered mine with a scalloped center piece.
Another beautiful product available for one buck today are Christmas card templates from In the Making Design.  She has used her “Frostbite” papers to make these lovely cards.
I LOVE Linda’s stuff.. it is always so gorgeous!
ITM_Frostbite_photocard2  There are five to choose from, all for one dollar!
With a bunch of fun sales coming up, don’t forget the one at Jessica Sprague, going through December.  20% off most products, not to mention a bonus with $20 purchase.
Ohhh!!  AND the FREE class!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello Monday…

It is Monday (yet again)..

Some people don’t really care for Mondays, but they aren’t so bad.

- It’s cleaning day!

- It’s the start to another list of to dos..

- And there’s new goodies in store at Jessica Sprague!

Today there’s a bunch of darling quick pages from Crystal Wilkerson…

This is Quick Page #1 from “Merry & Bright”.


And new goodies from Echo Park.

I made these magnet clips with papers and elements from their “Dashes Through the Snow” paper and elements 2 packs.


Head on over, find something new, cute, and fun. 

Don’t forget to register for the FREE class that begins the 29th!!  It will be fun for crafters/creators of all types.

There will also be the annual holiday sale beginning Black Friday (what better time, eh?) and going through December 31st.  It’s 20% off, plus a free collaborative pack for FREE with $20 purchase.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One buck Wednesday!

Just a heads up..

This fabulous stuff is available today for ONE BUCK!!!

Carina Gardner:  Daisy Jane papers & Paper Bits

Daisy Jane

And Echo Park’s “Sleigh Ride” Papers and elements.

Elle's vintage journaling cards copy EP Sleigh ride

Seriously..  one dollar…  how can you say no?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FREE class!!!

Jessica Sprague is offering a free class!!
(Are you even more excited now that you know who it is that is offering the FREE CLASS?)
It’s gonna be awesome..
And did I mention free?
It is for everyone and anyone, not just digi scrappers, but anyone who loves to craft or create.
(And anyone who happens to love FREE stuff.)
(Or who might just happen to love Jessica Sprague..  maybe as much as I do.)
I will be playing, so come and play along with me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

How did I forget?!?

I posted all of my latest layouts, and left out one of my favorites!
This is from the pics I took from my latest assignment, and I loved this one.  I am so thankful for him!
Template from In The Making Design, “Thankful” (available Wednesday).
Papers also from In The Making Design, “Classic Budiour”, and “Lastoria”.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Latest layouts.

Here’s the latest creations for Jessica Sprague product releases this week…
More In Store Monday:
- Carina Gardner
“Haunted” paper collection and stamps.
I also used the staple from Crystal Wilkerson: Crystal's {PLAYGROUND} Element Pack
Splendid Fiins (Orange rick-rack, orange stitching, and photo corners): feedsack element pack 1 and feedsack element pack 2.

Black stitching from Katie Pertiet.

- Elle’s Studio
Vintage typewriter Christmas journaling tags.
I also used product from Echo Park’s “Sleigh Ride” Paper collection (coming Wednesday).
Template form Miss Jessica Sprague herself: Jessica Sprague Template+ 1.15
Staple from Crystal Wilkerson: Crystal's {PLAYGROUND} Element Pack

One Buck Wednesday:
- Carina Gardner
Daisy Jane papers and paper bits.
Daisy Jane
Stiching from Splendid Fiins: feedsack element pack 2

Staple from Crystal Wilkerson: Crystal's {PLAYGROUND} Element Pack

Stitching from Splendid Fiins: feedsack element pack 2

Photo frame and mask from Kitschy Digitals: Vintage Photo Frames
- Echo Park
“Sleigh Ride” papers and elements.
EP Sleigh ride
Stitching from Splendid Fiins: Sew Crafty Messy Stitches vol. 1
Template from Jessica Sprague: Jessica Sprague Template+ 1.04

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes.

I cannot take credit whatsoever for these delicious treats.
My friend Emily shared this a while ago on her blog and I knew I had to try them out.
Well worth it I may say…
I did have to make an alteration, but trust me, still incredibly yummy.
I used my tried and true, but not from scratch (GASP!!) favorite box mix, and made this frosting.  Now mind you, I had no whipping cream (that smelled good, I am crazy about that), so I used a can of sweetened condensed milk instead (and licked the can clean!).  It worked out fantastically!
Caramel Frosting
1/2 cup butter or 1 stick
1/3 cup whipping cream (the real stuff)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
melt the butter, cream and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. The recipe said to just heat until the sugar dissolves, but I liked the results better if you heat just till boiling point, let it simmer for like 1 minute more after that..pour hot caramel in a mixing bowl, and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, then add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one at a time or the sugar will fly everywhere. Mix until smooth. The frosting will still be some what warm. That's okay. This stuff sets up really fast.
I used my uneven spatula, trying to get the tops all pretty and such, the frosting was still so warm, that It just coated, so prettily the top of each cupcake.  It was no work at all.
(My family also licked the bowl of frosting clean.)
I also had no sea salt, so I cannot testify to that particular flavor explosion, but these were oh so good!
Thanks Emily for sharing your little bit of found heaven!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cupcake confession.

I have my “go-to” items when I make cupcakes.

Some of them aren’t your traditional baking items, but they work for me!

Thought I would share what has made my life easier when it comes to baking my favorite treats.

**NOTE: I am NOT trying to pass myself off as “the best cupcake maker ever”, nor do I insinuate that I am a “professional” baker, by any means, it is a hobby.  It is something that I enjoy, and unless the people who I share these with are lying, others enjoy the fruits of my labors as well.*

These are staple items that I have in my house at all times.  You never know when you will feel like something sweet to eat, or an activity to do with the kiddos.  Even to take a plate to someone who might need some sweetness in their life!


Powdered sugar, cake mixes (and all necessary ingredients), nut cups, my piping bag, coupler and favorite tip, un-even spatula, and ice cream and cookie dough scoops.

Let’s start with confession #1..


RARELY do I bake a cake or cupcake from scratch.  There are certain recipes that are favorites, but these cake mixes are the best things in my book.  I try to get the butter recipe ones, they are the best and the moistest.  If the flavor I want doesn’t come in a butter recipe, I tweak the recipe to become a butter recipe.  Substitute the 1/3 cup of oil for 1/2 cup of margarine or butter, softened.  Decrease the water to 1 1/4 cups, but keep the eggs the same.  I keep a few of these in food storage, love it when they go on sale!

After you cupcakes (or cake, we like those too!) are done baking, let them cool for ten minutes, cover with foil and freeze for a half hour to an hour.  This traps in the steam and makes for a moister cake.  (I learned this tip from a friend of a friend, best thing ever!)


Another tip I learned from a cooking show (although I can’t remember which one..) is to use an ice cream scoop for getting that batter into your cupcake liner.  It is the perfect amount of batter.  I love using my little ones for my “baby” cupcakes.  Perfect amount every time!


Then there’s the liners.  I prefer to use nut cups.  They have a nice, sturdy construction to them, the also have a slightly  waxy coating to them that makes them pop out so easily.  I buy them at the local craft store for a couple dollars a package.  They are great to line up on one cookie sheet and pop them all into the oven at the same time.  No more rotating muffin tins!

cupcake 9

Then there’s the frosting staples..


Powdered sugar is another food storage item (along with marshmallows now that Veronica shared the joy of homemade marshmallow fondant with me).  Can’t have frosting without this stuff!


My favorite frosting tip of all time is Wilton’s 1M tip.  It is mated with the GIANT coupler, which goes with the GIANT piping bag, but well worth it.  It makes the prettiest piping on top of those cupcakes, makes them more edible, because they look prettier!


Then there’s that GIANT bag.  I use coupons on these bad boys.  40-50% off..  YES, PLEASE!

This guy can hold A LOT of frosting, I mean an obscene amount, but that makes the job that much quicker and easier.

So, there’s my tips..  watch out tomorrow for a new recipe my friend shared on her blog. 

Had to try it..


Monday, November 1, 2010


(Is that even a word?  Well, it is now!)

This year for Halloween, I had two little girls who wanted to be something that was going to stretch the creativity that lives in this house.

Peyton said over and over that she wanted to be “Bo”.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.  At first, I thought she was saying, “Boo” because she had been watching Monsters Inc., but that wasn’t it.

It wasn’t until I put Toy Story 2 on for the bazillionth time that it clicked.

She wanted to be “Bo-Peep”.  In the movie, Woody calls her “Bo”.

I based my sketch of this off of pics of her online, but couldn’t find the exact anything as far as material went.





I made everything totally on my own.

If I had to do it all over again, I would most definitely find a pattern.

(That and a more cooperative model.)

I even made her staff.

(It was impossible to find one of those, let alone a blue one.)

I made her bloomers out of blue flannel (can you say warm?) and also lined the top with it.

She loved it, and she did look cute!

Lynn was having trouble with deciding on something fun to be.  I showed her a book that my mom gave me, one that I used to look through when I was little, dreaming of the day I would be a mom, and she fell in love with the jar of jelly beans.


I knew that if I were going to make this, it was gonna have to be good.  It would also have to be reusable.  So I started off with a sketch.  I was pretty happy with just the sketch!


And here’s the finished product.

jellybean 001

The details are my favorite part!

 jellybean 005

I created labels in Photoshop using Crystal Wilkerson’s Playful Font, and editing that just a bit (I had to erase the centers of the letters “a” and “e”).  I also used her Artisan label templates No. 1 and lobster font on the “Pitcher Brand” label.  I mirrored them, printed them out on iron-on transfer paper, and ironed that onto my fabric.  The “a fat free treat” got cut down into a circle and put through the Xyron and stuck to the vinyl “package”.

jellybean 006 

I even created a “Nutrition Facts” label, and ingredient list in Photoshop for the back.

jellybean 011

jellybean 009 jellybean 010 

For the “jelly beans” letters, I used the same font, “Playful”, and didn’t mirror it, printed it out, ironed it on the wrong side of my fabric, peeled off the backing, then ironed on my heat and bond.  I peeled off the paper backing from that, and then cut out my letters and ironed them on.

  jellybean 008

We spent one evening, watching scary movies and blowing up a bunch of water balloons. 

(Okay, Merrill inflated, I mostly tied.)

It was all worth it!  A fun, unique costume that we can use over and over again!

(She just wished the kids at school hadn’t chased her and popped her “jellybeans”.)