Friday, October 29, 2010


Sometimes I really do believe that anticipation is half the fun! With Halloween 2 days away, I am already sad that it's almost over but I am more excited than anything preparing for my Pumpkin Carving party tomorrow! I've been in full preparation mode all week, making little things here and there to give to my friends and make the time together both fun and special!

Last year for Christmas, I made my closest girlfriends scrabble tile pendants with something personal for each of them on the front, and I chose the first letter of their name as the scrabble piece. I have so many left over that I decided to use a few for some decorations for the party!

Have you noticed that I love Walmart's cheap little wooden frames. I think I got these for $2 each a while back. I grabbed some Halloween fabric that I bought a few weeks ago at JoAnn's for 50% off and picked out a few phrases from my scrabble tiles. I wasn't sure which I would use but I wanted to be prepared.

I took the glass out of the frames and used my hot glue gun to cover the glass with a piece of fabric. My perfectionist side needed to take a backseat because it really isn't rocket science and lining everything up perfectly is not the point. Maybe if I keep reminding myself about that, it will sink in :)

Using card stock, I glued the scrabble tiles down. I put the covered glass in the frames and glued the scrabble card on top. It was that easy!

This is their permanent home....well, until after the party....on my bookshelf, right below "Boundaries" and Dr. Phil....and just above "He's Just Not That Into You". Yes, I read the book. It changed my life. Don't judge me.

Because I love the season more than the holiday, I also whipped up an Autumn frame using scrapbooking stickers and some scrabble tiles. I think it's lovely!

I can't wait to post pictures of the party....Happy Halloween peeps!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Man oh I going to miss October. I have thoroughly enjoyed crafting all things Halloween. All I've learned from this October is that I really need to start my Halloween crafting in June. I already have so many projects on my list for next year and plan on starting very early!

Last week, I spent a good two hours in know, the kind of trip where you go up and down every single aisle, taking your was a nice afternoon. I picked up a few glass votive holders for $1 each and a pack of tissue paper that had orange and black (score!) for $1. I cut the orange tissue paper in strips and using Mod Podge, layered them across the votive holders. I used the black paper to make one into a jack-o-lantern, and with the other I punched a few oak leaves. With a tealight inside, they make the most adorable luminarias for my front porch. I suppose you can also put them in a window. For less than $2, you can't beat it.

The other big project that took me several days to complete were these dryer-vent pumpkins. Are they adorable or what??? My pastor asked me to make a big batch of these as thank-you gifts for her elementary school staff and it was a fun challenge.

I used a glue gun to create the circles, spray painted them with pumpkin orange spray paint and let them dry. Using a sponge brush, I used an orange/brown paint mixture to add some highlighting and texture. I wasn't sure how I was going to create the stems so I played around with a few ideas and ended up using some old magazine pages. I twisted the paper, painted it brown, using some moss green paint for highlights and glued them in the center of the pumpkins.

I already have more scrapbook paper than any one person should own, so I chose some patterns, printed out some thank-you tags from a free template, and using rafia, tied a big bow and attached the card. Love them!

I know this is a horrible picture...but they covered my dining table. I made 21 total and have an order for 3 more. So much fun...and I have yet to make one for myself :)

I have my 2nd annual "Pumpkin Carving Party" this weekend....cannot wait! I look forward to posting some things I put together for the party.....Happy Halloween all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crochet Hook Cozy

So I have been immersed in all things Fall...because let's face it...Fall is awesome! But last weekend I took a break to clean and organize my craft room and it feels great. Once I had the overall room done, I realized that there were a few things that needed a bit more help because they were just out of control.

Notice the crochet hooks...and how many of them I have. Sometimes when I go visit my grandparents or go out of town for Christmas, I like to take my crocheting with me but end up just gathering a bunch of needles that I think I may need and often find that I didn't bring the right one. So....I decided to make a crochet hook cozy! I already had pink felt, pink yarn and my many crochet hooks.

I wanted to add a decorative edge to the felt so I chose some lime green embroidery floss (don't you just love pink and green together???) and did a simple blanket stitch around the edge of felt.

First I thought that I would sew individual pockets down the bottom half of the felt but I didn't want to be limited in the amount of needles that I could fit in the cozy. I remembered a picture of a crochet hook cozy that I had seen where they used a crocheted piece to anchor the needles down to the felt so I figured I would wing it and see if it worked.

I used a basic double crochet and checked my length against the felt as I worked. I crocheted five rows and loved how the colors worked together!

I centered the crocheted piece on the felt and tacked it down with a few cross stitches on each end and at various points across the whole piece of felt. I used the lime green embroidery floss so that the cross stitches would add a decorative touch to the outside of the cozy.

I wove my needles through the top and bottom of the crochet piece to hold them in place and that was it! I hit a few bumps along the way, mostly because I was just eyeballing the whole thing, but I used them to my advantage. The crocheted piece ended up being a bit too long but I just used the overhang as the button-holes for the buttons sewn on the opposite side for closure.

You can see how the blanket stitch adds some color...and the cross stitches add a little something here and there. Overall, I love it! Now I know where all my needles are and can grab them easily for projects, travel, etc.

On a totally random side adorable is this little box???? I don't remember where I bought it but it looks like one of those plastic storage containers that I use in the garage, but it's super tiny and I use it to store my buttons.....little things make me smile :)

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Decluttering and Organizing is a gift!

"Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

-- Albert Einstein

Have you ever watched the show 'Hoarders'? It is so disturbing and yet I feel so bad for the people heart goes out to them because it usually stems from some kind of emotional trauma. I remember when my mom died, I was in a state of shock for a while. I did a great job of pretending to be okay and pretending to be strong but when I closed the door behind me at home, it was the farthest from the truth. I just stopped caring, yet it wasn't a conscious choice. It was just something that happened. It wasn't the kind of depression where you are crying or sleeping all of the was the kind where you just change and go dead a little bit. The caring stopped and once the caring stopped, it was easy to watch it snowball.

With lots of therapy...lots of time in God's hands...and lots of love from friends and family...I was able to get out of the fog, dust myself off and clean the mess around me. But...I remember what it felt like to be in the fog so now it's like the pendulum has swung so far the other way, and I am somewhat obsessed with cleaning and organizing.

Besides a big project that I have been working on because of a deadline...I spent most of this weekend cleaning and organizing my craft room. It's always been pretty organized but you know sometimes you need to tweak a few things and re-organize.

All of my glue and adhesive things are in one drawer. All of my scissors and cutting tools in another. I have a whole drawer of glitter...don't even get me started. My name is Michelle and I'm addicted to glitter. I blame my mother, she glittered everything! There's a drawer for ribbon, drawer for painting supplies, etc.

I let go of some things that I don't really use anymore and re-purposed the left-over organizer to give my jewelry making supplies a new home. I love it and whipped a couple of earrings just because I had it all right in front of me.

If you get these as a birthday gift...act surprised :)

The big white bin is everything scrapbooking. I wish I had more time to do it and have been spending some time learning how to digital scrapbook. So much fun! And each of my current projects have their own portable just keeps things straight in my head that way. Do you spy some dryer-vent pumpkins on their way to adorable?

I even took my embroidery floss and put them on some labeled bobbins so that I always know what I have and what I need. I already have doubles and would like to avoid that in the future.

So yes, I'm obsessed with organizing, but it keeps me sane. When my house is clean and organized, I feel like I can focus on the things that are important and my thought process is much more clear. I'm sure this is a lesson that many learned younger in life, but I'm thankful that I get it now. I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monsters, mummies and friendship!

I have a friend, her name is Yvette. She is crazy, she is fiercely loyal and she makes my work days bearable because she is my office-mate. We have lots in common: we both laugh at the dumbest things, we enjoy performing various Broadway musical numbers (in character) and we share an affection for Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

We are very different as well. While I enjoy the changing of the season and love the themes of Harvest and Thanksgiving, my good friend enjoys the morbid and the scariness that is Halloween. Because I love her and because she saw a terra cotta pot at the 99cent Store, I obliged her affections and painted her a little something to make her smile.

I'd like to introduce you to Frank...that's Frankenstein to those who don't know him. Take a pot, in this case it was a dollar, paint it, and you have a very affordable, totally adorable Halloween planter.

I couldn't stop there and since I had several small planters in the garage, I had an idea. Last year, I wrapped chocolate candy bars in white party streamers, added a few googly eyes and gave my friends mummy candy for Halloween. I figured, why not do the same to a small pot and make it a terrible two-some...Frankenstein and the Mummy! Both simple, but equally adorable and both entirely capable of bringing a smile to a friend who deserves it!

Happy Halloween Yvette!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Creativity knows no bounds!

A few things that you've learning about me so far: I love Fall. I love a good bargain. And I love to use items meant for one thing to create something original and recycled. This craft encompasses all of these loves into one sweet little thing!

A little background, I have been obsessed with cleaning my home for the last few two BFF's have been a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a bottle of Lysol Disinfecting Kitchen Spray. (inside tip, it's not just good for the kitchen). When I was cleaning out my storage shelves, I found a bag of puzzle pieces from a puzzle that I was doing right before I moved into my current home...5 years ago...and determined that I probably was never going to finish this puzzle and instantly thought to myself...what can I do with puzzle pieces???

Last week I made a Fall wreath from Dollar Tree items and I love it! I think puzzle pieces look a little like leaves and I've been thinking of party favor ideas for my Pumpkin-Carving Party on the 30th so I put the two thoughts together and TA-DAAA!

This was fun to make so if you have an old puzzle laying around or see one in a thrift store, pick it up! I think it would make a great kids craft too...super easy and super fun! This is how i did it....

All of the supplies for this project were already in my craft room so it cost me nothing new. I grabbed some card stock, fall colored paint, some Mod Podge, ribbon and my glue gun. I was playing it be ear because I had no idea what the final product should look like, but I have to admit it was exciting to start from scratch and just figure it out as I went.

First I painted about 10 puzzle pieces in each of the fall colors: red, orange, yellow, brown and green. The colors were a little too bright and looked too "primary" so I shaded the pieces a little so that they resembled the gorgeous colors of Fall leaves. I used some yellow to shade the brown and green, some orange to shade the yellow and red, etc.
I'm not sure why the green pieces look blue in the picture but it looks like little pieces of earth and that's not how look in person.

I laid some pieces out in a circle until I got the layed look that I was going for and it gave me the size of the circle I should cut. Using a piece of heavy cardstock, I cut a thin wreath form, not worrying too much about cutting a perfect circle because it was going to be covered in puzzle pieces anyway.

I started layering and gluing the puzzle pieces one layer at a time. Each layer took about seven pieces and it was fairly simple. I staggered the colors as much as possible as well as the direction I of each piece as I glued it to the layer below. Three layers was more than enough and gave the wreath some dimension and texture...I loved how it looked so far.

I made another wreath with the painted pieces I had left over and realized that I could make two wreaths with the pieces I had originally thought would make just one, and even had a few extra pieces to boot. I used a different color ribbon on the second wreath and gave each wreath two coats of Mod Podge.

Each wreath has an approximate circumference of 3.5 inches and took approximately 21 puzzle pieces each. I have tons of unpainted pieces left and think I might just make these to attach to the party favor bags for my party guests. I'm also looking forward to making some Christmas wreaths in the coming weeks as well...who knew an unfinished puzzle would be so fun to work with!

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