Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Operation Write Home - Crafting For A Cause


     There are many charities I am honored to support each year.  But I have been looking for a way to actually give more of me, my talents or time.  And I am happy to say I have found the perfect match!

     As the Mama of a US Marine Corps Lance Corporal stationed overseas I know how difficult it is for him to send a note on special occasions -- yes there is Facebook and SKYPE -- but there is nothing like getting a card on your birthday or Christmas.  And for so many of our troops it is just not possible to pop into a Hallmark store and pick the perfect card.

     And since I'm addicted to all things paper, how happy was I to find Operation Write Home!  Operation Write Home has sent over one million handmade greeting cards to deployed service members around the world.  As they say, "There's no card store in Kabul or Baghdad".

    Of course you can donate but they are also looking for people to create all occasion cards.  There are some restrictions but they have a great facebook / web / blog site.  You can even get a free rubber stamp for the back of your cards!  You can send cards filled out with words of support and gratitude to help them feel as special as they should as they are serving our country in lands far away from home.


     Please think about putting some of your pent-up creative talent to good use!!!  This is a great project for you to do together with:

  • Your girlfriends -- get a couple of bottles and some basic art supplies and have fun with it!
  • Your boy scout / girl scout troops -- this would be fun for the young men and women in the scout system to support our heroes
  • Church / school groups -- hey teachers this would be a fun project for those busy little hands!
There is great info on their blog and website and lots of fun and free items you can get to inspire you.


     Wouldn't you like to make the day of these hardworking heroes?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Valentines Treat Bags


     The next challenge for the Decorate to Celebrate Design Team is Valentines Treat Bags.  I found these adorable mini burlap bags in the clearance bins and knew I had to use them!
      With a great selection of stickers from Martha Stewart and Michaels, this was a quick and easy way to have cute little bags ready to give out to all my Valentines :)


   What you will need:

Stickers, raffia, ribbons

Mini Burlap Bags

     Start layering on the stickers and some you can just leave plain, it is really all up to you.  HINT:  Leave the "background" sticker on the plastic sheet it comes with.  It is easier to layer and then pull up the finished piece.  Sometimes I add a little glue for extra staying power.
Layer various stickers in different combinations

Adhere to the front of your bag
     I think these treat bags are very sweet and are perfect for little treats or potpourri for sachets.  I have told my husband jewelry would fit quite nicely in these also!  And since there is little cost and time associated with making these bags, I like to make a big stash and keep them handy for dentist's staff, mail carriers, teacher gifts, etc.  Have fun and show someone you love and appreciate them this Valentines Day.  xo

Add a ribbon loop so you can hang from a doorknob

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weaving Sticks...Not Your Grandma's Knitting


     On my crafting bucket list, there remains some key things:  learning to sew, learning to knit.  And a few hundred more, but these are at the top.  At an industry craft show, I attended a workshop sponsored by Clover Needlearts.  Well, all I can say, is I'm hooked.  This is a great project for using up your yarn supplies and it is so much fun to do.  You are only limited by your imagination.

     I am newer than a newbie, so I'm leaving the instructions up to the professionals.


     My favorite crafting blog, Craft Test Dummies, has a wonderful tutorial on the Clover Weaving Sticks.  Check it out, this a great blog. In addition to one of the best blog names, they have amazing information and the best tutorials.

Craft Test Dummies Blog

     YouTube is another great resource for craft tutorials.  Here is one from the manufacturer.  This is an affordable and portable craft and until I learn to knit one and purl two, I am all about Weaving Sticks by Clover Needlearts.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Decorate To Celebrate Design Team Challenge


     As I sit watching the snow fall and the ice forming, it was a perfect time to do my first Decorate To Celebrate Design Team Challenge - snowflakes!

     In my post-Christmas sale shopping, I was able to acquire beautiful ornaments for a ridiculously low price.  I had found a white twig in our garden which gave me the perfect stepping off point to create a snowflake banner.

     The Paper Source has a great supply of banner blanks which I covered in winter themed paper.  Using ornament hooks I just hung the ornaments off the twig and applied some stickers onto the paper and the twig itself.  This is an easy way to brighten up a window and great for the kids to help out with.  It may be stormy outside but having this banner on my studio door makes me appreciate the beauty that a Northeast winter can bring.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Recycled Holiday Cards


     I love receiving Holiday cards.  Not only do I enjoy reading about my friends and families adventures, there are so many beautiful cards that I hate to throw them away.  In addition, my ritual post-Christmas shopping involves buying up more cards and Christmas supplies at crazy prices.  Now, that makes me happy.

    So I have come up with a few ideas to use your holiday cards while saving some trees and money for next holiday.  (As a crafter, we are always a few months ahead of the calendar).

   Be creative with these ideas and show me what you come up with.  These concepts can also be applied for cards you get and send throughout the year.  The potpourri sachet idea?  Just by using a different type of card, this can be made into a cute teacher's gift, or a birthday gift.  Crafts are not just for Christmas!


    Please take a look at my ideas....this is also a great activity to do with the kids on those snowed in days.