handmade cards.


Lately, with the intention of selling them to raise money for John and Jarrod's Eagle Scout projects, I have been making a bunch of cards with varying degrees of success. I've learned, from myself and others, that not everything a crafter creates - works. I must say that several of the cards I've made I have had that varied success.

But, this card I love.

I began by printing the sentiment on to white cardstock. I tried stamping a sentiment but I really didn't have the size I liked. While printing on cardstock rather than stamping may not seem 'homemade' I think the remainder of the card makes up for it totally.

I had a Martha Stewart 1-inch butterfly punch and monochromatic colored cardstock in my stash, and I found those sweet, self-adhesive pearls and baker's twine at Micheals. Each card takes about 30 minutes to make from start to finish once I got the 'format' down, from the punching, cutting, adhering, adding embellishments and tying twine to finish it off.

So cute, right? I love the 'With Sympathy' sentiment but I also made this type of card in a 'Thank You' sentiment also. I also changed up the monochromatic colors with a card of purples and another of greens.

I've only made about $36 dollars for the boys but - every little bit helps. From the pallet of wood donated, to the electrician donating his time, the plumber donating his time, to that stray handicap bar donated, and that overhead light...and then there are the donated CAD drawings.

God will provide! I have no doubt.


handmade cards. set 2


I'm not sure where my recent drive to create some card sets have come from, except I read a blog post by Becky Higgins about how she writes thank you notes, and other little notes weekly - even in her busy schedule - her goal is at least one note.

This excercise has stuck with my heart. I considered purchasing some thank you notes so I could attempt something similar but decided I wanted to make them instead. I knew it would take more time to begin this project, which I don't know how is going to go, but I just felt handmade cards were going to be best.

Who doesn't like receiving handmade cards? In fact, they are so very personal, and thoughtful, and shows someone you care.

My other set of cards here turned out beautifully - to me anyway. I used the same set of cards as inspiration...


...stuck with pastels (although I'm not a pastel kinda' girl) and just really like how mine turned out.

Digitally created, by me, but they took awhile to adjust to a size, and the colors I wanted to go with. I made two sets of each set of colors (the six colors seen above). I did notice while making them that my, fairly new, printer doesn't handle 'color' very well. Definitely not true to the color set in photoshop elements.

With this set of cards I am spurred on to create more handmade cards and spurred on to write notes and send them.

handmade cards.


On Saturday I found some creativity, the idea had been stewing ever since I pinned something similiar, and had a couple hours before I needed to start homemade pizzas for family pizza and a movie night, so I pulled out my stamps, and card packs and got busy.

And made a set of 6 thank you cards.



I spied these on Etsy and thought they were super cute and seemed pretty simple. The catch was, I haven't played with my printer and smaller sizes yet so I kind of needed to move in another direction.


A thank you stamp, from my stash, caught my eye and I thought - hey that would be cool to fill a 'call out' with the words thank you. After practicing with the stamp and ink on scrap paper I pulled out some lovely spring colors of solid card stock, again from my stash.


I stamped multiple times on one side of each lovely sheet of cardstock with the idea if they turned out I would make several sets of cards (using the same idea/stamped image).

Using a pre-made card set (I'm sure I purchased from Michaels at some point, and probably 50% off), I hand drew a 'call out' using just a piece of copy paper and cut it out for my 'call out' template.

I laid the template over one of the stamped images, cut it out and repeated for all six colors.

Originally, I was going to just use the stamped, call-out image, and using pop dots attach directly to the card but after comparing sizes of card with call out I found the idea of a plain, matching color background looked nice and seemed to complete the card.


I finished the card with 'You're the best," stamp which actually came from a "You're the best, Mom" stamp - but I just didn't stamp the 'Mom'.

I love these cards and they inspired me. I'm hoping to make more...soon!

handmade christmas.

I have had a few successful creative crafts over the years - mind you - only a few. Successes for me are those crafty, handmade projects that I absolutely love! Last year I made this luscious N O E L, Pottery Barn knock off which if I do say so myself I love my creation 100% better.


Also, last year, I made a glass-block, lighted Nativity set that I absolutely fell in love with. I finished the Nativity set and got all giddy inside because it was so beautiful.


After finishing it, as part of our Christmas decor, I knew that I wanted to make them again this year but as an early Christmas gift to my sisters (and I decided my brother needed a set also).

We were planning on heading south for Thanksgiving so I made sure I put together these handmade Christmas gifts prior to - ah - I put the finishing touches on the last set the day before. And you know what - they were thrilled with their gifts.


I love it when a plan comes together.

a small christmas gift. abc print & vitals print

Recently, our 'surrogate' daughter Stacia and her husband Steven had a son, Spencer. Even more recently, we received a Christmas letter with all of Spencers vitals. I'd previously shared with Stacia that I wanted to make Spencer a framed piece for his room. It was providential that the example I shared with Stacia were the colors of Spencer's room. Perfect!

Yesterday morning I had a few minutes before I needed to head for work so I put together Spencer's  'vitals' and an additional ABC print. I'll frame them both in white.

It's a small christmas gift, but my thoughts are with them and Stacia loves my scrappy, crafty things I make so I know she'll love them. I just need to get to Michael's for the frames, a box from Jeff's work (hopefully with lots of bubble wrap) and mail them off.

First up is the 'vitals' print:


Last year around this time I'd done a 'vitals' print for a neighbor and used these same boyish colors so I just needed to accomodate for the different 'size font' vital statistics. Love how it turned out!

Next up is the additional ABC print I'm going to send also for a side-by-side set of prints.


Again, I had a template of a previous-made ABC print with different colors used for the ABC's. I just matched the colors from the Vitals print to the ABC print and, "Voila!" it was done.

It really took very little effort with my templates, but I know Stacia and Steven will love them!

fall diy projects # 1 | gold leaf painted succulent pots

On my Autumn Manifesto is complete my fall diy projects (list). This past week I checked off one of those projects. I made gold-leaf, painted succulent pots. Now, I just need to plant the succulents.

The pots are painted in the teal family to go in our living room.

They were pretty easy to make. Although the gold-leaf was messy and not necessarily compliant at all times. I really didn't follow the directions on the gold-leaf package, but it worked out ok. Here's what I did:

1) I purchased four different sized pots with their bottoms. They are all on the small side and I like that I found a pot that was skinnier at the bottom and taller.

2) I picked up paints from Michaels. I just used Folk Art because they were the acrylic paints that were on sale. I love Martha's paints but her's are so expensive (even if on sale) and these are just flower pots.

3) I wiped down the pots, allowed to dry and then painted each pot and its bottom the same color. I was on the edge using the gold leaf because I saw another set of pots on Pinterest that painted the geometric shape using the paints and leaving some of the pot terra cotta and I thought that looked cool too. But, I wanted to tackle a fear also - fear of trying something new, using something I have no idea how it's going to turn out. So I went with the gold-leaf.

4) I used just one sheet of gold-leaf for the geometrics on the four pots. Using a straight edge from my craft stash, I cut through both pieces of plastic covering and the gold-leaf. I brushed on some Modge Podge in a small area where I wanted the geometric shape to go and applied the gold leaf (peeling off one side of the plastic, laying on the gold leaf, pressing firmly, and peeling off the top piece of plastic.)

5) By the last geometric I had really gotten the hang of using gold leaf.

And there you have it. 4 tiny gold-leaf succulent pots in some gorgeous colors.

pin action | diy photo wall

Awhile back Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess posted her and her husbands diy Instax Wallpaper they put up in their new house.

a beautiful mess

And I fell in love.

Everyday I visited her site, found the blog post of the diy wall and enjoyed the view, all the while imagining my living room blue wall being covered with photos.

About a week later Jeff and I were talking while I was surfing the web and I purposefully visited A Beautiful Mess and showed Jeff the diy wall.

Then I asked him if it would be alright if we did that to the blue wall in the living room.

I held my breath.

And he said yes.

For the next several months I formulated a plan of how I would go about doing this. I knew I couldn't afford 'wallpaper' like Elsie had done. We didn't have connections to have printed the photos for cheap.

When my daughter Ashley came home for a couple months we continued talking about the wall and I began hunting through my photos.

I knew I would use 4 x 4 pictures with a thin white border. After going through my photoshop elements actions I decided on a 'colorized' action from the Pioneer Woman that she had offered free when she still had her photography blog.

I would need over 900 photos to cover the entire wall.

I got started uploading photos to Walgreens, finding a great deal on prints, and having the beginning photos printed.

Then my sister Paula visited for one day.

Between my sister, my daughter, and I we came up with a more feasible dIY.

Then I became super excited. This wall was going to make a statement. Huge impact!

The entire wall of photos became a 4 foot by 8 foot wall of photos centered horizontally on my blue wall.

And I look at it all the time. Giddy doesn't come close to how I feel about this wall. Ecstatic. Energized. Proud.

Jeff 'built' the 4' x 8' frame, painted the molding to match the other walls in the room; Ashley and I put up the 240+ photos.

My grandson Ian, especially likes to walk by pointing out everyone calling out their names.

I love this diy project. It is one of my favorites.

I'm not sure if I can top this DIY but I'm sure gonna' try.

on my wall.

I finally did it! This has been on my project list for a long time now. Plus, with Ashley and the boys here I have been able to get alot of photos of Ian and Wyatt and could choose from a larger selection, and newer selection of favorites. Elizabeth sends a decent amount of photos of Ella, although I'd love more, so I did have plenty to choose from.

One absolute rule I followed. I didn't want a true pose. These photos are printed,    18 x 24, on blueprint paper and print from Staples. Each photo cost only $1.81. Yep! pretty cheap. Plus, there was a huge buy one get one free frame sale at Michaels over Memorial Day weekend so all three 18 x 24 frames and photos cost less than $50.

I think they make quite a statement and I look at them all the time, not just when I walk into the living room. But, they make me smile totally!

pin + action | 06 front door mat


pin (p n) ac·tion (ak'sh n) v.

1. the act of pinning; and then making, crafting, copying, diying, the pin


early in my pinning days i'd seen this mat and thought, 'hey, i could make that for our front door!' and so it went every time i passed the mats in department stores i searched for a plain mat with nothing on it. about a month ago i was in walmart and saw one. i nabbed it! the other day i picked up stencils.

with black acrylic craft paint, a foam brush, and those stencils i made my mat. besides it being super crooked, and uncentered hoosier man and the boys like it - so it's going out our front door. we currently have a very old, very faded mat that we had purchased years and years ago when we were in virginia on a mission trip to equipping the saints. the mat says, ' well butter my bu*t and call me a biscuit, look whose here!' pretty cool!

but, then, so is hi. i'm mat.

i wasn't kiddin' about the crooked and off-centered but i'm gonna put it out anyway. not everything i pin and take action on is gonna' turn out perfect. i get that. but this one isn't bad enough to hide.








pin + action | 05 paper towel holder


pin (p n) ac·tion (ak'sh n) v.

1. the act of pinning; and then making, crafting, copying, diying, the pin

i was pinning just the other evening from my laptop in the living room. i pinned this paper towel holder on to my board kitchen love. the diy came from itsy bits and pieces.

i showed the diy to hoosier man. his comment was mostly silence, or some mumbling comment of uninterest. i concluded the paper towel holder would be great for the kitchen. again not much of a response.

last night hoosier man comes home from work with everything he needed to make the paper towel holder. simple as that. no begging and pleading. just the supplies and the fact that he used his Christmas present gift card to purchase those supplies.

and i am thankful. grateful. excited. overjoyed. hum...this non-committal, silence thing is interesting.

hoosier man had all the pieces already put together when he got home.

so we decided which side of the cabinet to place the towel holder. and he started drillin'

that's my hoosier man. he's super talented and gifted like that. he pretty much can fix anything.

he posed for this shot.

i love my super cool, industrial-style paper towel holder. and it is off my counter!!!!