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Gifts for Dad 2015

Father’s Day is right around the corner! What are you doing to celebrate Dad? It’s been so fun watching James and Olivia’s relationship blossom. Our toddler is quite the helper these days and very interested in Daddy’s house projects. I wanted our gift to him this year to capture a sense of “building” moments and memories.

I came across this PIN and absolutely fell in love with the concept! I bought a cheap hammer, found a Woodburner Pen (marked half off), and set to work!

Fathers-Day-Gifts-Building-Memories

Full project disclosure: Things didn’t quite go as planned. A quick and easy project quickly turned into 2 hours of fighting with the wood grain to make legible swirls. I wouldn’t chalk this up to a “Pinterest Fail,” but… man, oh man! I sanded. I retraced my outlines. And, I might have started to pull my hair out! I even burned my hand! (Thank goodness for lavender essential oil!) Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m missing a comma between “build” and “Daddy.” This project was definitely more time consuming than expected! But, I do think James will get a kick out the idea and effort that went into this handmade Father’s Day gift.

I paired this engraved hammer with a free template from Mr. Printables. I couldn’t be happy with how it came together. Check out the dimension! James always admires cards that have an “engineering” aspect to them, so I know he will love the stair-step effect created with this printable! You can grab your free copy HERE.

Need a little more Father’s Day inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Board for the perfect gifts for Dad and take a walk down memory lane with the following posts (click on the headings for links)!

Father’s Day 2014

Super Dad Book

Father’s Day 2013

Father's-Day-Ideas6

Father’s Day 2012

Father's Day Card 2

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Springtime in Paris Contest

Earlier this month, I saw that Michaels was having a fun contest centered on the theme: Paris in the Springtime. I’ve wanted to go to France and this gorgeous city for as long as I remember. I’ll never forget seeing the iconic Eiffel tower erupt in a dazzling display of golden light on New Year’s Eve 1999. For this project, I decided to create a DIY travel journal.

Paris DIY Journal

When I saw this Recollections Keepsake Book at Michaels, I immediately thought of the Eiffel tower’s beautiful sparkles! It was also the perfect size to throw in my purse or suitcase to document beautiful memories of the City of Light.

Paris DIY Journal Embellishments

I embellished the front with elements from the Trinkets Collection by Project Life, a die-cut image of The Eiffel Tower created by my silhouette machine, and punched flowers. In terms of design, I opted to almost everything flat and avoid additions that might “catch” as this journal was shuffled between suitcases/bags {no double-sided foam tape, no rhinestones, & no ribbon}.

Paris DIY Journal Supplies

James and I have been so fortunate to travel to a number of amazing places in the past: Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Aruba, Barbados, Hawaii, and the list continues… A common theme I’ve noticed: If I don’t write down a snapshot of our day while we are on the trip, it is 10x harder to remember an accurate timeline that captures daily adventures after the fact. In the past, I’ve taken a small little notebook with me and scratched down details I didn’t want to forget. The problem? I haven’t had time to do anything with them! What a messy collection of memories!

Travel Journals

This beautiful on-the-go journal solves my issue! It will allow me to capture all those candid moments and effectively start the documenting process immediately.

To prep this little book for journaling, I sprinkled decorative elements throughout its pages. Here’s a sample:

Paris DIY Journal Pages

Why the “keys”? …No, it isn’t in honor of The Pont des Arts {although I would have loved to have seen this tourist spot before glass panels were installed}. Instead, it symbolizes getting off the beaten path and discovering Paris through the lens of a local. I look forward to not only visiting the top 10 list of iconic attractions/museums, but also seeing fun landmarks that might not necessarily show up in a guidebook.

Paris DIY Journal Cover

My goal with this project was to create something worthy of capturing the ever-evolving beauty and grace of the city. I can’t wait to fill in the pages someday.

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Valentine Gifts & Activities 2015

This year, February 14th was filled with:

… Hearts galore.

Valentine-Gift-Detail-2015

… Quick and easy Valentine gifts. {Don’t you just love this free “Eyes on You” printable from Lil’ Luna? I also dressed up a white picture frame with a pink bow and sparkles.}

Valentine-Gift-2015

Valentines-Gift-Bag-2015

… 5 Sweethearts sporting cute heart glasses. {Olivia’s cousins were in town.}

Valentines-Day-2015

… and impromptu tea parties. {Plum tea and pie are Olivia’s fav!}

Valentines-Day-2015-1

All in all, pretty perfect!

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The Best Christmas Present 2014

I might have gotten the best Christmas present ever, this year. I know, I know… that’s a pretty tall claim. But take a look:

DIY Toddler Sticker Book

2 gorgeous sticker books crafted with care by Olivia. My mom watches Olivia during the week and one of their favorite activities is crafting sticker books. The concept is super simple: grab an empty photo album and fill it with stickers! Love that it’s simple, cheap, and FULL of amazing learning opportunities.  All of the designs provide endless prompts for talking about colors, shapes, and so much more. Olivia also gets to practice her fine motor skills (and motor planning/sequencing) as she peels and places the stickers on a page. It’s also a great way to reinforce the process of cleaning up- picking up all the little pieces and taking care of her supplies.

Toddler Sticker Books

Our sticker box is filled with goodies from the dollar bin at Target and old address labels.

Sticker-Book-Detail

My mom wrapped up 2 completed editions as a present for me, along with a homemade card from my sweet girl. Every time I look at these, I’m amazed at Olivia’s effort, determination, creativity. Thanks, Mom for putting together this keepsake that’s equal parts love and learning.

Sticker-Book-Details3 Sticker-Book-Details2

Guess what Olivia got for Christmas? 2 new photo albums to fill up!

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Christmas Accordion Album 2015

Over the Holidays, I put together a darling little accordion album from Carina Gardner. This mini scrapbook was the perfect keepsake to hold cherished Christmas pics of Olivia.

Christmas-Accordion-Album

I cut out the digital files using my silhouette machine and added a few design elements: rounded photo corners, red polka dot washi tape borders, sprigs of paper holly, golden stars, and Holiday stickers.

Christmas-Accordion-Detail

My favorite element? The back cover hands down. Love the photo and the framing!

Christmas-Accordion-Cover

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Snowflake DIY Gift Tags

Snowflake Holiday Gift Tags

Tis the season… for creating cute gift tags, that is! These darling tags were actually made from paper scraps left behind by my Silhouette machine. All you need to do is punch out the shape outline left behind!

Then, punch an identical tag to pair beneath it and clip them together with ribbon. The negative space from the original silhouette cut-out provides a little window, which beautifully showcases a decorative paper underneath! I’ve seen this technique before on Pinterest but have never tried it myself using paper scraps!

Snowflake Gift Tag Tutorial

The creative possibilities with this format are endless! On the second tag, you could use your favorite scrapbook paper, design a background out of watercolors, or even add some washi tape! The Thinking Closet posted this amazing tutorial for a gorgeous washi tape background. I used a snowflake embossing folder to add a little extra dimension to the top tag.

I adorned these tags with a festive medallion embellishment from the Winter Wishes collection. (Note: I adjusted the hue to match my aqua color palette using the “saturation” layer in Photoshop Elements.)

Snowflake Gift Tag Detail

Edging the border with glitter gave this element a little extra sparkle!

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Quick and Easy Christmas Decor

I absolutely adore certain script fonts- their graceful flourishes add so much dimension to various scrapbooking/card projects. When I saw this Christmas Words Set featured on Snap Click Supply Co., I instantly fell in love! … and, I knew these elements would translate beautifully into a piece of gorgeous home decor!

Santa-Art-Print-Pinterest

This festive project came together in just a few simple steps:

  1. Cut out one of the elements using a Silhouette machine on white card stock. Size your element to fit within an 8×10-inch frame.
  2. Adhere your word element to a piece of red card stock.
  3. Add a small medallion embellishment.
  4. Adorn with small and mediums sized rhinestones.

My medallion embellishment consisted of a digital JOY element from the Aspen Frost collection. I mounted this decorative piece onto a red circle punch and a gold scallop. A small red bow completed the look!

DIY Santa Frame Detail

I placed this new Christmas print in my entryway… I love walking by it!

Christmas Words Frameable Print

Cheers to quick and easy Christmas crafts that also double as home decor! Looking for even more ideas? Check out this post: Santa Cheer Hostess Gifts and Decor.

Christmas Frameable Art

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Halloween Tradition: Magical Moon Dust

Did you catch the Blood Moon last week? The moon was enormous in the night sky and this little snapshot captured on my iPhone doesn’t do it justice!

Blood-Moon-2014

With Halloween drawing near, I decided to whip up a little bit of magical moon dust!

Magical Moon Dust

To make your own magical moon dust, mix together oatmeal, sprinkles, and Halloween confetti! Then, pour it into a little jar. To decorate your tag:

  • Download the witch digital tag from the Frightful Collection.
  • Print and cut the tag using the print features of the silhouette.
  • Edge your tag with purple glitter.
  • Add a few light orange rhinestones to the top.
  • Adhere a small”Moon Dust” title (edged in gold) to the front.

Magical Moon Dust Tutorial

I also attached a cute scalloped punch embellishment to the top of my jar with twine.

I pinned this darling idea from See Jane Blog ages ago and thought it could be translated into a fun, family tradition in the weeks leading up to October 31st. You will need:

  • 1 decorative pot
  • 1 jar of Magical Moon Dust
  • Candy corn pieces
  • Cake pop/lollipop sticks
  • Cookies

Have your kiddos “plant” candy corn seeds at night and then wake-up to find a special surprise!

Magical Moon Dust Tradition Halloween

Those candy corn seeds grow into a sweet treat! This DIY Halloween craft checks all the boxes- it’s fun, easy, and a clever tradition to celebrate with your family!

Halloween oreos

Want a few more ideas on cultivating “Spooktacular” Halloween traditions? See the bottom of THIS POST.

Happy (Almost) Halloween!

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DIY Halloween Cards

There’s finally a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to change! Here are 2 quick and easy Halloween cards to help you celebrate the season!

Halloween Silhouette Cards

I used the Halloween Cameos collection as a base for my design. Aren’t these silhouette images from Snap Click Supply Co. so fun and festive?!

Here’s the pumpkin version:

Pumpkin Cameo Card

After cutting the cameo, I layered it onto Bo Bunny orange dot paper edged with a gold Krylon pen. Two small embellishments give this card a little extra dimension: a little golden “Boo!” flag at the top and green vine leaves around the center circle. I didn’t glue all the leaves down, which gives the card a little bit more texture and movement!

And, one my favorites, the witch:

Witch Cameo Card

I couldn’t resist adding a line of purple rhinestones and a punched flourish to her hat!

Halloween Cameo Card Details

I would definitely recommend using a newer Silhouette mat when cutting these files since the cameo designs are incredibly intricate. Once the pieces are successfully cut, these DIY Halloween cards can be put together in a matter of minutes. I love how they turned out! These cameos would also be great as a Halloween gift tags!

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DIY Sensory Bin for Olivia

To help her sensory and speech issues, Olivia has been working with an awesome occupational therapist.  On one of Tracy’s visits, she brought an enormous sensory bin filled with colorful noodles.  Olivia LOVED scooping, dumping, and pouring.  The best news?… the bin was large enough for Olivia to actually climb in (which she eagerly did!).  Here’s a quick pic I took during this visit:

Sensory Bin Success3

I knew I wanted to recreate this learning activity… so….

14 boxes of noodles later, Olivia has her own extra-big DIY sensory bin!

Sensory-Bin

Tracy told me the secret to getting her noodles to turn a gorgeous blue was soaking them in rubbing alcohol. I did a few Google searches to figure out the exact process.

Some posts suggested using vinegar to dye the noodles.  I actually tried this approach with one box.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same success.  The noodles I dyed with vinegar came out clumpy and an entirely different texture.  See the comparison?

Sensory Bin Process

Since I wasn’t planning on using any of the noodles in later recipes, I went ahead and used alcohol as a dying medium.

I would definitely recommend using gel based food coloring! I mixed the gel coloring with alcohol in a small bowl and then dumped in into a Ziploc bag filled with noodles.  The next step was super easy- shake, shake, and shake some more!

Supplies-for-Sensory-Bin

After the color was dispersed, I emptied the noodles onto parchment paper and arranged them into a single layer to dry.  Since the gel food coloring is so potent, a pair of disposable gloves was invaluable for the step of the process!

Olivia absolutely loves her new DIY sensory bin!  I love that this activity will grow with her.  We can use the noodles for learning colors, sorting, counting, adding to art projects, and the list continues!

 

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