handmade Christmas: 2012

After having our last party on Saturday, Christmas is officially done (once I take all of the decorations down tomorrow, it will be "official" official.) A glimpse at the handmade this year:

on the wall: font // deer silhouette
the annual gingerbread house party
hood cowl for my sister - modeled by Izzy: pattern
this collection becomes:
easy costume jewelry for my sister
nest pendant for my mom: tutorial
art display for my mom: inspired by
(the best part about this gift is that I was able to re-purpose a piece of the crib all three of my babies slept in...only my mom can appreciate the nostalgia factor this thing has)
reading pillows
one for my nephew + one for a dear friend's son: inspired by (I winged the pattern and added a velcro closure on the back)
built by my talented wood-working husband: one wooden 6 pack case w/ opener for my homebrewing step-dad
with accompanying customized bar towels by moi
and of course, the personalized stationery.

Christmas 2012. In the books.


Start Here Workshop winner

Congratulations, Melissa! You've won a spot in Lisa's Start Here Mini Workshop :)

I've forwarded your user name - you should be getting an email shortly.

Thanks to all who commented! I hope you'll all take the class - it really is wonderful!


mad today

The past week, I've been so sad trying to come to terms with what happened last Friday. I'm so torn between wanting to just stick my head in the sand with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears shouting LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU and immersing myself in the news to honor the victims the only way I really know how. I can't think about those horrific events for even a second without welling up.

Today I'm just mad.

Mad that two dumb ass sophomores at our local high school thought it would be funny to prank text their moms yesterday that their was a shooter in the school. That the high school went into lock down and dozens of law enforcement were dispatched. That rumors are rippling through the district about some student organized revolt tomorrow because of the Mayan calendar.

Mad that I got a call at 10 o'clock last night to let me know the last two days before holiday break are canceled county-wide thanks to these hilarious jokes. Because there aren't enough resources to investigate every bogus claim.

Mad is an understatement. I'm multi-expletive pissed.

Mad that I spent the majority of the day yesterday dying rice blue for a crafty activity in Zack's class.  And putting together treats for Izzy's classmates. And gifts for 5 teachers that I'm so indebted to. Teachers that shouldn't have to fear for their lives in an effort to educate our children. Mad that I was at the store at 9 last night buying cheese and crackers to put together a tray for Jake's party tomorrow.

Mad that I had to tell my kids this morning that their break was starting early. That I had to ruin their initial joy by telling them why.

Mad that an in-school evaluation we had scheduled this week for one of my kids won't happen for weeks now. Yeah, really, really mad.

So freaking mad that my kids have to grow up knowing about this stuff.

So I guess we'll get an early start on the snowflakes for Sandy Hook that I was planning to make as a holiday break project. And be unspeakably grateful for the fact that I have my three kids with me to cut paper into pretty shapes in the hope that it will bring one iota of joy to a community so thoroughly devastated.

And listen to Christmas music and make cookies and wrap gifts and hug my kids and and try to be glad instead of sad and mad.


custom notepad PDF winner

Congratulations, Candy!

You're the winner of the custom notecard PDF. Please email me to let me know what name you would like. And thanks to everyone for the kind words :)

And one more tip...I shared this photo on Instagram yesterday:

If you are binding multiple pads, just stack them up, glue them all together and then cut the individual pads apart with a sharp blade.


easy notepads

So, in case you haven't heard this story before, my dad has owned his own print shop for 30+ years. My love of paper and stationery and office supplies surely comes from that early and frequent exposure. One of my favorite presents as a kid were the personalized notepads he would make for birthdays and holidays..."from the desk of Erica Allen" in multi-colored 8.5x11" pads. Heaven. (And don't get me started on how much I ADORED those letraset tranfers decades before scrapbooking made them popular again!)

I decided to put together some personalized notepads for my kids/nieces/nephews for Christmas and thought I'd share an easy binding method in case you haven't seen it before. These would be great with some washi covered pencils...totally doing that.

After cutting paper to size, add a chipboard backing (the backing from paper or even cereal of other food packaging works great,) align top edge and hold together with binder clips.

Run a thin line of glue along the top edge - any white school glue works fine.
Smooth out the glue with a brush (or your finger, like I do.)
I let the first coat dry and then add a second before removing the clips.
Simple as that!
I'm giving away one personalized PDF file to a blog reader, a twitter follower an instagram follower so if you'd like a chance, be sure to leave me a comment! I'll choose winners tomorrow evening to give you plenty of time to print before the holiday (makes a perfect stocking stuffer!)


Start Here Mini Workshop giveaway

I'm so thrilled that Lisa asked me to be a part of her Start Here Workshop at Two Peas. And, I get to share the class with one of you! Just leave me a comment with your Two Peas user name for a chance to win. I'll select a winner on Friday the 21st for a nice early holiday gift for one of you :)

If you've already purchased the class, Two Peas will refund the purchase price so GO! Buy it now so you can enjoy it over the weekend!

And if you want more chances to win, pop over to Lisa's blog for a complete list of contributors who may or may not be giving away a spot as well ;)

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." - Pablo Picasso 

Get a jump on inspiration with Start Here. In this workshop, Lisa Truesdell will give you the tools to turn almost any image into a jumping off point for your next layout. You'll learn to break down images into smaller elements and use them to inspire your page's color combo, design, or even new techniques. We'll talk about finding images you love and identifying what grabbed you about them, and how to put that inspiration to work! Lisa is joined by twelve talented contributors who will each be sharing a page based on one of Lisa's inspiration pieces, as well as their thoughts on finding starting points in unexpected places. 

Included in the workshop are 27 brand-new scrapbook pages (15 from Lisa and 12 from her contributors) showcasing a variety of interpretations of inspiration pieces, 3 printable PDFs and 3 brand new videos following Lisa as she makes a layout starting with an inspiration piece.

Lisa's talented contributors include Allison Waken, Ashley Calder, Becky Novacek, Doris Sander, Erica Hernandez, Emily Spahn, Kelly Noel, Kristina Nicolai-White, Laura Kurz, Lexi Bridges, Lisa Dickinson, and Marcy Penner

The content of this workshop will be available immediately upon purchase. The lessons are available for you to work at your own pace and upon purchase can be accessed in the "Workshops" section under "Classes & Events." A private message board forum is also available to ask questions for Lisa and to connect with other participants. Enjoy!


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