Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stamping Time

During the last couple of weeks I've really gotten back into making cards. I brought a lot of my supplies upstairs, where it's warmer and where I can watch HGTV while I work. My daughter and her family came up one weekend and asked if we could make cards. She suggested that we use some of our washi tape for decorations. My final bit of inspiration is Pinterest. I am hooked on it. I can search for cards by using the name of the stamp set I want to use and get all kinds of inspiration.
So here are some of the cards I've made recently. You can click on the card to see my inspiration from Pinterest, if there is a specific one.

"Sheltering Tree" stamp set from Stampin' Up. The blue with white polka dots is paper.

Same stamp set but the black and white polka dots is a piece of  washi tape.

The bird is from the "A Happy Thing" stamp set by Stampin' Up. 
The words are a stamp by The Last Word.

"Big Day" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

The cake and "Happy Birthday" stamps are also from "Big Day" set by Stampin' Up. The diagonal striped prints are from 3 different rolls of washi tape.

"So Many Scallops" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Celebrate Today" stamp set by Stampin' Up plus washi tape.

 "Best Day Ever" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Morning Cup" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

"Thoughts and Prayers" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Lotus Blossom" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

"A Happy Thing" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

The tree is a stamp from Northwoods Rubber. The words are a stamp by Hero Arts.

The rest of these cards feature washi tape.

("Just a Note" is a Stampin' Up stamp.)

("You make me smile" is stamp by J Denami Design.)

("Happy Birthday" is a stamp by imaginations.)

(This cute little bird is from a Stampin' Up set called "Happy Together")

(This phrase is a stamp from the set called "Heard From the Heart" by Stampin' Up.)

 I am having so much fun creating cards again. I hope I inspired you to get crafty too!

Friday, February 6, 2015

TIle Coasters - an easy DIY project

Last weekend we had our annual Scrap and Craft time at church. I was asked to plan a couple of make-and-take projects. I quickly found two card ideas, but I also wanted another craft. So I went to my favorite place, Pinterest and finally found this tile coaster project. I tried one at home, and it turned out well - not quite like the picture (does anything turn out just like the picture?), but I liked the end result.
So I bought more supplies: tiles at Menard's (for only 12 cents each!), sharpie pens, rubbing alcohol, spray fix and spray, clear acrylic, and pads for the bottoms.
The ladies at Scrap and Craft had a good time making these. The tiles were a bit time consuming, just because of the time needed for each step to dry, but everyone liked trying something new.
Here are the tiles I made. I think they'd make good gifts, don't you?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mother and Daughter Crafting

My daughter and her family came up to celebrate New Year's with us. Every time she comes to visit we always make sure we have some time to craft together. We usually prepare for the weekend by looking up potential projects online - especially on pinterest. 

Here are a few of our projects so far...

Project #1 - heart pictures. We painted white card stock, used a punch to cut out the hearts, and used Mod Podge to glue the hearts to another piece of card stock.  Click here for out inspiration - we used hearts instead of circles)

Here's Carrie's finished picture . . .

and here's mine.

Project #2: Word plaques. We used the silhouette to cut the words out of white card stock. Then we applied washi tape to another piece of card stock and layered the cut out piece on top so the tape shows through. On the second one I just put patterned card stock behind the word "Love." (Click here for our inspiration.)

Project #3: Cards using my new Stampin' Up feather bundle (stamps and framelit dies). (Click here  and here for our inspiration)

And here are our finished cards.

We have one more day to do some crafting. I wonder what our project will be.....

Friday, December 26, 2014

Homemade Christmas

Kenny Rogers sang a song called Kentucky Homemade Christmas. For our Christmas this year I rewrote the chorus, and read it to our kids before giving them their presents...

"It's just another homemade Christmas at Lake Emily,
            Just odds and ends we fashioned with our hearts and with 
                    our hands.
It's just another homemade Christmas at Lake Emily,
           Our fine and fancy homemade love, 
           God's precious gift from up above,
Make up the homemade Christmas of this poor Minnesota home."

Craig and I decided to make most of our gifts this year. We had such fun planning them, and working on some of them together, and we hoped that the kids would like these gifts from our hearts - and they did!

Here are the gifts we made:

Pillows for the gals - I stenciled the tops using patterns I designed and cut out with my Silhouette. Then I sewed them and stuffed them.

Plaques for some of the guys, and for someone at work - I made the design for each plaque on the computer. For this first one I just printed it, glued it to card stock and slid it into the clear plastic holder. Then I used a glue gun to glue on two cornstalk buttons.

For this next one I used my Silhouette to cut the letters out of vinyl and put them on top of the plastic holder. I glued on some jewels in the middle of the stars and put a patterned card stock inside the holder.

For this last one I used my Silhouette to cut the design out of white card stock. Then I cut colored card stock to fit behind the words. I added a full piece of card stock on the back and stickers on the front before sliding the whole thing into the plastic holder.

These next projects are made out of cork, which I bought already cut as coasters and trivets.
I created the designs on the computer in Silhouette Studio. Then I made a stencil by having the Silhouette cut out the design. I stenciled the designs onto the cork by using a stain marker.

Carrie and I found this mini calendar at a craft sale in Crosslake this fall. I bought this one to use as a sample, and made two more to give to my daughter-in-laws.

Carrie saw this pegboard box on Pinterest and asked us if we could make one some time. This box could be used as a gift wrapping station. You can put the rolls of paper, gift bags and tissue paper in the box. You can hang ribbon, tape and scissors from hooks on the outside. I think there are other things this box could be used for too, maybe for scrapbooking or craft materials? 
Maybe jewelry on the outside and magazines inside the box?

Craig and I made the box together. Craig spray painted the box white. Then I cut stencils for the words and feathers out using my Silhouette, and then painted them on the box. The words go all the way around. There are smaller feathers of the same style on the back. The only thing I wish I would have done was to "lace up" the corners using ribbon or shoe laces. Wouldn't that look cool?

For our boys Craig and I made these hockey stick coat racks. I found directions about how to do it online. We had the sticks from years ago when our boys played hockey. We got pucks from our oldest son, and we bought hooks and screwed everhything together. It was a little tricky to get the sticks upright and the pucks level.

(Aren't these boys  men handsome?)

For family and co-workers I made these Santa ornaments. I had seen one at a craft show in the cities, and I bought it to use as a pattern. I bought 2 inch wooden brushes and spray painted them red. I had some fuzzy white yarn that is wrapped around the brush before hot gluing wiggly eyes, a red bead for a nose, paper holly leaves and jingle bells onto the brush. For some of the noses I used wooden "buttons" that I purchased from the hardware store and painted red. Then I used ribbon/fabric for the hanger.

I also gave some of my coworkers this really good Party Mix. If you make this, beware! It's so good it's almost addicting :)

These are the gifts we made for Christmas 2014 - gifts of love. And that's what Christmas is really all about isn't it? Love - love for one another, but most of all the love that God showed the world when He sent His only Son to this world to save everyone who believes in Him. (John 3:16) 
If you want to know more about this love, you can read about it in the Bible, and you can pray and ask God to show you His love. He loves to show people just how much He loves them.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Time's a comin!

Up north here there's a radio station that plays Christmas music every day from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day - and every night they do a special called "This Is Christmas." They feature Christmas songs from different years, and they tell some of the highlights of the year. One night I heard Christmas Time's A Comin' by Johnny Cash.
I started to think about what I like most about Christmas, about memories of Christmases past, what I'm doing now to prepare for Christmas, and what I'm looking forward to this year.

I love lots of things about Christmas:

  • Music - last weekend we went to hear John Berry sing, and he sang My Heart is Bethlehem. It's a great song - the message is something we need to remember all year long. We need to invite Jesus to come in to our hearts.  Of course, there are lots and lots of Christmas songs that I love. I love singing Christmas carols at church, and humming to songs on the radio.
  • Lights - I've always loved driving around on a winter night, looking at houses decorated with lights for Christmas. I remember riding with my mom and dad to look at the houses on "the Drive" and there was always this one house that had music playing and lots of lights and decorations. When I was little I loved to fall asleep in the living room with the Christmas all lit up. And my own kids always slept in the living room on Christmas Eve, with the tree lit.
  • Christmas cookies - my mom and I always made Melting Moments. We usually just made powdered sugar frosting (powdered sugar and milk) and colored the frosting pink and mint green. My daughter, Carrie, and I have continued the tradition. We've also had fun trying new recipes too. There were several years where I joined a group of women to bake cookies together. It was a cookie exchange with the added fun of spending an evening together making and decorating cookies.
  • Family - one of the best things about Christmas is just being together with family. When I was growing up  we'd wait and wait on Christmas Eve for my dad to come home from work so that we could open our presents. He'd finally get home.... but then we'd have to wait some more until he got his presents wrapped. We'd read the Christmas story from the Bible, and I'd play a song on the piano. Then we could open presents. Afterwards we'd drive over  to my grandma and grandpa's house  for supper and the evening. My cousins would be there, as well as some great aunts and uncles. It seemed like my grandma used every dish in her house for supper, and of course the dishes needed to be washed before we could open gifts! But it would finally be time, and one of us kids got to hand out gifts. We'd take turns opening so that everyone could watch what others were getting. There were silly gifts from Santa (really from my grandma) and homemade gifts. My grandma and aunts brought out treats - pecan pie, fudge, Christmas cookies of all kinds, divinity, and much more. Then we'd gather around the piano, my Aunt Lorraine would play Christmas music, and we'd all sing. When my grandma got sick and couldn't host Christmas any more I took over. By this time I was married and had kids of my own. The traditions have changed over the years, but the good feeling of spending the day with family has remained to this day. In fact, my kids have said this year that some of their best memories are having the whole family around the table for dinner, sharing food and stories and laughter and love.

  • Games - for a lot of years we'd go over to Craig's parents' house for Christmas day. My mother-in-law would spend a lot of time choosing and wrapping gifts for the Dice Game. Our kids loved trying to win the 2-liter bottles of pop. It was a fun Christmas tradition. A couple of years ago the boys brought out a new card game called Wizard and we all had fun learning to play it. Last year my oldest son got a John Deere board game, Through the years we've played lots of games at Christmas time - pictionary, cranium, banangrams, to name just a few. I wonder what games we'll play this year?
  • Christmas Stockings - when I was little my mom bought me a stocking made by a neighbor lady. It's a knitted stocking with Santa on it. My brother got one too and we used them every year. When I married Craig he got a matching stocking - made by the same lady - and as our family grew, each of our kids got one. Those stockings have seen a lot of use. Some are getting pretty tattered but each year when I get them out they bring back a flood of good memories. My daughter is especially fond of the Christmas stocking tradition - and she's starting it with her own family.
But the very best thing about Christmas is - Christ!  

John 1:14 says,

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Jesus came to earth because God loves us so much. (John 3:16) He loves you and He loves me. Jesus came to earth and the angels rejoiced. Jesus came to earth, and died and rose again to save us from our sins, to restore our relationship with God, to offer us eternal life with Him. All we need to do is accept His gift - give up our lives so that we can truly live. 
Don't miss the best part of Christmas this year, the best gift you can ever, ever, ever receive. Is you heart Bethlehem today?

My Heart Is Bethlehem - John Berry

Eternity stepped into time,
And drew a mortal breath.
Mystery so clearly seen
The world could not forget
That in the town of Bethlehem,
In the most unlikely place,
God, the father wore
A child's face.

There's something in the heart of God,
So purely meek and mild
That finds its best expression in
The longings of a child.

For every child's heart is hungry,
To be found and loved and known
A someone who would make their heart a home.

My heart is Bethlehem
I will make room for him.
This humble dwelling place
Made worthy by his grace.

This child is still adored,
Because he still is born
Deep in the hearts of men,
(To love and not condemn)
My heart is Bethlehem

I wish for you this Christmas Eve,
That you would find true peace.
But silent nights are holy nights
And wonders never cease.

There's no remembering,
The ghost of Christmas past
For God's forgiveness finds your heart at last.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rigatoni Hotdish

Last night I made an easy rigatoni hot dish - and it was so good, that I decided to share the recipe.

1/2 - 1 lb. Italian sausage (depending on how much meat you want in the hot dish)
1/2 box rigatoni noodles
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (I used Chunky Ragu with tomato, garlic & onion)
2 cups shredded cheese - I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella

Cook rigatoni noodles according the the directions on the box. Meanwhile, brown Italian sausage, onions, green pepper and garlic. Add jar of spaghetti sauce and simmer until the noodles are done.
Rinse noodles and add to meat mixture.

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease 9x13 pan.
Pour meat, noodles and sauce mixture into pan. Spread shredded cheese on top. Bake for 50 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden brown.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Finally - A Craft Closet

It's been a while since I've blogged...we've been pretty busy. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandson lived with us for two months after they moved back to the States and I soaked up the time with them, knowing that they'd be starting a life apart from us soon. Mardo got a job, they found an apartment, and they got a car. So we helped them move about 140 miles away. And while I am happy for them, and I know that they need to continue on the life God's planned for them, I am also a bit sad.  It's pretty quiet here without them. I miss my grandson meeting me after work, saying "Nana!" I miss the talks and shared chores with Carrie. I miss the steadiness and gentleness of my son-in-law as well as his music and creativeness. I miss shared meals and card games on the weekends.
However, the past couple of weeks have also been happy ones - as Craig and I readjust to having the house to ourselves. I enjoy time spent with my husband. We have some projects planned. We have been sharing dreams and hopes. We've watched football and hockey games together, worked on our Bible study lessons and just spent time together in the family room with a fire in the wood stove.
Some of our talks have centered around the holidays, and how much we are looking forward to spending time with all our children and grandchildren. We talk about how thankful we are for our boys - now men - and how proud we are of who they've become... their good hearts, their generosity, their good work ethics, etc. We love our daughter-in-law and one who will become our daughter-in-law next fall. We love and cherish our other grandchildren, marvel at how quickly they're growing up, and wish we could see them more.
You're probably wondering - what does this blog have to do with the title, "Finally - A Craft Closet"?
Well, I'll get to the point. For a long time (years, in fact) I've wanted to finish the closet in the guest bedroom and make it my craft closet. I've wanted a real craft closet, a place to store all my craft supplies (and I have a lot, I admit) where I can easily get to them and find what I need. There just always seemed to be other projects with a higher priority. When Carrie, Mardo and Micah moved into their own place I decided it was time for a craft closet makeover. I talked with Craig, and he agreed to help me.
I wish I had a "before"picture. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that it was pretty bad. I think I'll let pictures do the rest of the "talking." I still want to organize my supplies a bit better, and I need to arrange the room... but I love my new craft closet! I have to say thanks to my husband, Craig, for all his help. He even put a light in the closet with a light switch outside the door!

Finally, here's a peek at my newest furniture piece - my craft island. I plan to paint it to coordinate with the room. It's on wheels, so it moves easily, and has a towel bar a paper towel bar. I'm thinking I could use those to hang other things using S hooks... like a glue gun or embossing gun maybe?