Sunday, June 30, 2013

Easy Fourth of July decorations

Last year, I started to get some cute Halloween decorations that I placed on my little desk in my entry way. I enjoyed the display so much that I decided to try to change it seasonally and use homemade decorations when I can. I always wanted to do something seasonal on my mantle but that is more daunting to me - I can handle this desk better.

This is my first time with an Independence Day display and I'm really happy with it. Here it is (click the image to see it bigger):

Yes, I know that light switch in the middle of the wall is awful but I just pretend it's not there. I've tried covering it with a decoration but that is the main switch we use in the kitchen/living room so covering it is more of a hassle. There are a few other places in the house where the builders did that and it drives me crazy!

The vase with the little flag and flowers were made last year as a last minute table decoration when we had hosted my husband's parents for a cookout. I cut those things with my Cricut Expression but I can't remember which cartridge (I've since sold the machine) - it's probably Graphically Speaking. The little silver sprigs in the vase were from my Christmas tree decorations and added for a bit of sparkle.

The Framed subway art is here from The Crafting Chicks. I looked all over for subway art and this was my favorite. I printed it at home on photo paper instead of cardstock so the colors would really pop.

The shadow box was sitting in my storage area so I took white 12x12 cardstock, added a few blue cardstock stripes and cut that large star out of pearly red paper using my Silhouette Cameo (I love that machine!). I realized as I was writing this that the star fell down - it was supposed to be in the middle of the shadow box but the glue dots must not have held. It doesn't bother me too much so I'm going to leave it alone.

I found the hanging sign while checking out Pinterest. I would link directly to the site where I printed it but the site seems to be down as I write this - just click the Pinterest link in the previous sentence and pin it for yourself for later. We didn't have any dowels but my brilliant husband came up with the idea of using a tube from a pants hanger. He's so smart! I covered it with washi tape and used red liner tape instead of a glue gun as the directions suggested to adhere it. I had it printed at OfficeMax for only $1.25. I love how it turned out!

And there you have my Fourth of July display. I'm sure I will add to it or change something next year but since it was all inexpensive paper that I already had on hand, I won't feel guilty about it. I'll probably keep it up until the end of July and then change my display...but I have no idea what theme to go with next. Any suggestions?

Have you made any festive decorations? I would love to see it, leave a link in the comments.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Craft Happenings this Week

There has been lots of crafting in our house this week and that's a good thing. I'm so glad my girls like to get crafty with me, it makes me happy to think about what kinds of projects we will make together in the future. My oldest, who will be turning 5 soon, already likes to make cards - sometimes she will suggest that I go downstairs to scrapbook and then she can make cards alongside of me. What a cutie.

So what have we been doing this week, you ask?

The girls wanted to do some beading on Monday. Sophie is very much into defined patterns and groupings so her first bracelet was in a rainbow pattern. I don't know when she learned the order of a rainbow but she has known them for a long time and I love that. I have to think of ROYGBIV to get the colors in order. Her other bracelet is so her. She loves to have things organized by color or shape (not that she keeps her toys organized!) so I think it's so cute that she did this.

Delaney, who is 2.5yo, is old enough now that she wants to do whatever her big sister is doing. Normally, she just likes to pour the beads back and forth from cup to cup or pour them into a muffin tin (I let her do this with some bigger beads that are easier to find when they spill) but she wanted to make a bracelet that day too. I set her up with some thin twine but because it is like DMC floss where it has several strands, I wrapped clear tape around the end to make it easier for her to thread it on the beads. Of course she didn't want to use the big beads that would be easier for her but we found some that would work. She was SO proud of the bracelet that she made.

I was also busy this week cutting these vines for my church's Vacation Bible School program. They are doing a Kingdom Rocks theme so we will be covering the railing with stone and vine paper and adding these to the top to add some dimension. I was helping brainstorm ideas for how to make some of the decorations last week and I'm so glad to be able to help. This is right up my alley!

I have been off and on whenever I get a few minutes on my Project Life page too for the week of May 20. I haven't had a lot of time to dedicate to it but it is coming together. It's nice that I have an area in our family room down in our basement to be able to leave it out. I would be so much further behind if I wasn't able to do this.

Finally, I have a whole list of other projects that I need to work on but haven't had time yet.
  • Make birthday party decorations - Sophie's party is in a little over 3 weeks. Yikes!
  • Finish my Mom's Shutterfly album of her Africa trip. I promise I will finish this soon, Mom!
  • Get started on my All About Me album that I hope to be putting together as I take the Find Your Voice class. I want to do this to give my kids and future grandkids (and great grandkids?!) a glimpse into what life was like in the last year of my 30s and in 2013. I had plans to do this when I turned 30 but it never happened so I'm not going to let that happen this time. I just got my sweet and girly Dear Lizzy Mini Project Life kit from HSN so I will be using that.
  • Make a bunch of birthday cards. My stockpile has run low.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about all the crazy stuff I'm trying to accomplish.

What's on your crafting plate?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Project Life | May 13 - 19

Last week was super busy but I went to a crop on Friday night and was finally able to get a few pages finished. This page took me longer than I would like and I'm not really sure why - I think I just wasn't feeling it even though I'm satisfied with how it turned out. It's not my favorite but I'm ok with that.

I used mostly the Becky Higgins Project Life Olive core kit with a few other things thrown in from my stash as well as from my Studio Calico Project Life monthly kits.

Full layout without the insert.

 Left page plus front side of an American Crafts 6x12 insert.

Right side plus back of insert. The color of the Grow card wasn't the right shade of green but I really wanted to use that card on my landscaping insert.

I decided to try something different with my title card this week because after 2 years, I'm getting a little bored with the same style of title card every week. I never label my pages with week numbers because sometimes I combine weeks if I don't have a lot of photos or stories to document.

The bicycle 4x6 journaling card was cut using the Silhouette Cameo.

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative today.

I still have 3 weeks to catch up on in my album but I'm hoping to get it done this week.
How are you doing on your album?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Project Life | April 29 - May 12 (covers 2 weeks)

I'm a few weeks behind but I'm hoping to make up some ground this weekend. This was a fun week to work on because I used Blush cards with new and old embellishments from my stash. I love the girlishness of the Blush collection and it works great for my two kiddos. You will also notice that I combined two weeks here. I didn't have a lot of photos in either week so by combining them, it saves space in my album, helps me catch up faster (yay!) and I don't have to worry about trying to fill a bunch of empty slots.

The Process
I thought I would also share my process for prepping a layout. I made a simple template by using Microsoft Word and making a table. Then I look through my photos folder and write down what photos I want to use. I also use the Momento app on my iPhone which tracks my Facebook status updates. This helps me to remember if there are any stories I want to share that didn't necessarily have a photo to go with it (funny things my kids say, etc) and those get added to the list.

Once I have my list compiled, I start to map out where I think I want everything to go. I do this because I print my photos at home out of convenience and this helps me figure out what size to print them and if I need any inserts. I already recycled the sheet I used for the finished week below but here is a copy of an upcoming week that I will be printing photos for soon. I know it is a little light to see but I use a pencil when I am doing this so it is easy to erase if I change my mind.

 Now on to the fun photos!

April 29 - May 12 Full page

Left side 

The title card was the backside from the week before and I liked it so I made it work for this week. I made the May by hand cutting the banners, adding Sn@p letter stickers, My Mind's Eye washi and twine. The "S" is artwork that my daughter brought home from school. The letter was about 10 inches high so I scanned it with coordinating pink cardstock behind it and then printed it as a 3x4.

Right Side
 I embellished with a doily, My Mind's Eye stickers, Dear Lizzy butterfly and more Sn@p letters.

That Imaginations heart sticker is a few years old from my stash but I loved the sparkle. The flair and wood heart are from my Citrus Twist Project Life kits.

Thanks for stopping by! I read every comment so feel free to say hi and let me know what you think. :-)

Last Minute Father's Day Craft Ideas

Father's Day has snuck up on me this year - for some reason I kept thinking it was another week away. Of course that means I am not prepared. After a quick search of Google and Pinterest, I think I am ready to do a project with the kiddos. If you are in the same boat as me, check out these fun ideas!

Here is a fun fill-in-the-blank Father's Day letter that I think my 2 year old will even be able to do with my help.

I'm definitely going to do this free We Love You Because collage. Amy at Positively Splendid made it available in tons of different name options. This is something anyone can do, even if you don't consider yourself to be crafty. Take a quick picture, she gives you a great tutorial on how to make a collage and either print it yourself or have it printed locally. I already cut the big speech bubble using my Silhouette Cameo and black cardstock and will use photoshop to add words.

My girls did this All About Dad book from eighteen25 last year (well, my oldest did because the other was a toddler) and my hubby loved it. It doesn't take too long either.


And next year I think we will do something like this that I found on Pinterest. You could do a candy bar version too but my hubby is more into savory than sweet.

Did you do anything crafty for Father's Day this year (or in the past)? I would love to see it so share the link if you did!

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's a...Spray Paint Party

My hubby has had this ugly hand-me-down secretary desk for years, including in college, so it has been beaten up. One of the drawer pulls was broken, it had several scratches plus I hated the color. However, it was functional and since I haven't found the right piece of furniture (in my hubby's budget), it will have to do. I've been wanting to spray paint it for months but finally got around to it this past weekend.

A little of this (at Walmart)

and some new drawer pulls and this is what we have.

Holy Wow! Why didn't I do this sooner??

It looks SO much better and the paint even hides most of the scratches that my hubby wasn't able to sand out.

I got a little spray paint happy this weekend and also painted this little antique desk (with a water stain on it) that I bought cheap many years ago as well as a little clock in our bathroom that was very ugly (it was a gift) but again, functional. Actually, the clock was the first thing I painted...a guinea pig, if you will.

What do you think? Have you ever given new life to old furniture?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Project Life | April 2013 pages

This is my second year of doing Project Life and I am doing a much better job of keeping up this year. I think it's because I've figured out my groove and what works for me. I start by making my own planner pages and making a list of all the things I want to include that week: photos, stories, Facebook status updates, etc. Once I have my list, I can figure out what sizes I need for photos and if I need any collages. I print most of my photos at home for convenience. That also helps me keep from falling too far behind on my album.

Here are the past several weeks of pages.

I used the Becky Higgins Project Life Blush set.

I used a cards from the Becky Higgins Seafoam collection, Simple Stories Sn@p and MAMBI Summer collection. This also includes a Design H insert (you can see it on the right side here). 


The back side of the insert is seen on the left side. 

This week uses the Project Life Mayfield Childhood collection. I also used a 5.5x8.5" insert here for the program.

Back side of the insert. I didn't have enough room to use the professional portrait of my daughter in her costume so I adhered it to the back of the program. I have a group portrait of her class and a larger photo of the one seen here that I will include in her album.

I used random things for this week. The field trip card background is from an old Stampin' Up 6x6 paper pad, the title card is from the Project Life Jade collection and the Play word is cut from a 3x4 card that came on one of those 12x12 sheets but I don't remember which brand.

This week used the Blush set again. I really love that collection. I used a design ? for an insert here to include artwork that my daughter made in preschool. The number 5 is an old Making Memories chipboard that I covered with washi tape. 


The backside of the insert has a handmade invitation that my daughter made at preschool.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have any questions about my pages.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bedroom Wall Art

For the longest time, the wall above my bed sat empty because I didn't know what I wanted there...I'm talking a long 5 years. I had seen this idea and this idea on Pinterest and knew they would be perfect for my bedroom plus it gave me a chance to finally make some homemade decor. I love how it turned out.


The letters came from Hobby Lobby on a week when they were half off so they didn't cost much (they were over near the baskets at my store). They were a brass color so a quick coat of spray paint fixed that. The paper was from my stash and I used a Martha Stewart scoring board to score strips every 1/2". The strips varied in size to make different size paper flowers. To give you an idea, the largest flower used four 6x12 strips. You could even use a border punch to dress up the edge but I wanted to keep this simple since I had several patterns. Then I used a glue gun to adhere them to 3" circles that I cut out with my Cameo. Then I attached everything to my wall with 3M command strips.

Let me know if you have any questions or need a tutorial on how to make these flowers and I'll see what I can do. Have you made any home decor? I would love to see some more ideas.  

Supplies used: 
Martha Stewart Scoring Board 
Silhouette Cameo  
letters from Hobby Lobby
various scrapbook paper and coordinating cardstock
hot glue gun
ink - for around the edge of the small circles
spray paint

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Welcome to my new blog where it's always a Paper Party around here.

If you would have told me as a teenager that I was going to be a crafty mama, I would have laughed. I was never into crafts as a teenager but 14 years ago, I accidentally discovered stamping and then scrapbooking and I've been crafting ever since. For years, I was creating the traditional 12x12 pages but about 5 years ago, We R Memory Keepers came out with their divided page protectors at the same time that I had my first child. I started using that system and love it. For the last 2 years (plus an attempt in 2010), I started using Becky Higgins Project Life system to document more of the little things that happen in our life. I still embellish but with 2 kids and a part-time job, this works great for me and helps me get my memories in albums. I definitely plan on sharing those pages here, starting next week. As far as cardmaking, I don't stamp much anymore but I do like to use my scrapbooking supplies for them so I will be sharing those ideas as well.

I am also one of those moms that goes overboard with my kids birthday parties. I think birthdays should be celebrated all week and really make the person feel special, no matter what age they are. My littlest daughter was completely obsessed with the Lorax last year so that was the theme of her party. I found lots of ideas on the internet and Pinterest - who doesn't love Pinterest.
The banner and food labels were a free printable from Whimsically Detailed and I made the faces for favor bags with my Silhouette Cameo.

These were cupcake toppers that also made great photo props. I got a picture of everyone wearing them, even my baby niece. I also used the Cameo to cut the same mustache and slid them onto bendable straws so when people took a drink, they had a mustache.

I made that backdrop with a sheet from Goodwill plus felt that I hand cut and hot glued to the sheet. For the tree bark, I just added grey painted stripes. I wanted a nice backdrop for photos.

Thanks for stopping by! I love to read comments and will answer any questions you have. Like everyone else, I'm a busy mama but I'm hoping to blog at least a couple of times a week.

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