Monday, December 29, 2014

Post Holiday Play

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday week. Our week was busy with planned festivities as well as an unplanned--didn't see it coming, emergency, meet the ambulance, trip to the hospital. (with a family member, no worries, all ended well thankfully!) I got home Christmas Eve morning at about 3 am. Slept till 6. 

Santa surprised me Christmas morning by leaving a CRICUT EXPLORE under the Christmas tree with my name on it! I was very surprised! Not familiar with using a machine like this one little bit, I have been trying to find some time to play with it.

My particular model came with a tool kit. All of the tools you see in the photo above were included in the box. Apparently that isn't always the case. The tools fit perfectly in the little open space that you see here in the photo.

Also included with my machine was a 2 month digital subscription at and there are so many fun images--my mind began spinning as soon as I saw all that was available.

This machine cuts paper, cardstock, poster board, fabric, iron on fabric, vinyl etc. I see no limit to the fun I can have with this!

This sums it up nicely! Thank you Santa!

Speaking of "thank you" I need to write some thank you notes for gifts received so I thought I would begin by cutting some easy designs. I already have some kraft paper notecards.

These pieces were very easy to cut out. The brown oval had some tiny pieces that had to be punched out with one of the tools that came with the machine. 

Neither of these cards are glued. I am researching which glues work best. (If anyone has experience with glues please leave me the info in the comment section.) I have a list of things I will need to purchase at Michael's or Joanne's. 

The more I play, the more I want to play!!! Even my daughter is getting into the act. She is an RA (resident advisor) at school and she is required to make door decorations for each room on her floor every month. We cut out hearts in several shades of pink and red and she is making flamingos out of them. She found the idea on Pinterest and they are so cute. I will post a photo when she is done.

I saved the paper that our gift wrap was rolled on. It was a heavy kraft paper, maybe just a bit heavier than cardstock. I hated to throw it away so I saved it and used it to make some large gift tags. It worked very well. I made some nautical inspired tags....

and some tags with little heart cut outs.

This is so much fun. I almost regret not purchasing one of these machines years earlier. 
I think I can use it to embellish my angel ornaments among many other things!!!

Thankful.....Santa knows me all too well! This will entertain me for hours at a time and for days on end! Oh what fun!

........oh, and here is the photo I promised earlier in the post. These are pink flamingo Valentines found on Pinterest. One link on pinterest takes you to The instructions are actually located at (National Wildlife Federation) I noticed on Pinterest that many blogs have featured this easy, peasy craft project.

These flamingos gave me a chuckle. She has 6 completed and 34 more to go. Since she is having her wisdom teeth removed tomorrow, this simple craft will give her something to do while she is recovering.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2015! I have some resolutions for the new year but will discuss them in a future post.

 I plan to do a post to recap my year of blogging. My blogger buddy Diane, who blogs at Lavender Dreams recently posted her "year in review". Click here to visit her blog and to see some highlights of 2014! She has taken some wonderful trips which included lots of hiking, sightseeing and shopping! She also stitched up the sweetest stuffed toys and dolls. Be sure to visit her and tell her I said hello!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Recycled CD Cases to Wrap Gift Cards

I am always dreaming up new ways to conceal gift cards!  I was preparing to wrap a pair of gift cards and I opened up a drawer and found these two empty CD cases. An idea was born!

I grabbed an old CD and traced it on Christmas scrap booking paper. I cut the circle out and folded a piece of scotch tape to attach the circle to the inside of the CD case.

Then I used another piece of tape and secured the gift card to the circle. I closed the case and it was ready to wrap.

Unless the recipients happen to read my blog or facebook page, they won't have a clue what is inside. An added bonus is that the gift cards are less likely to get lost or misplaced wrapped in a CD case.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wrapping Stocking Stuffers

In our household, stockings are a big deal! Generally speaking, everything in the stockings are wrapped--even the smallest items. I like to get a head start on wrapping stocking stuffers and try to wrap all of them as I buy them. Wrapping all stocking stuffers at the very last minute is not my favorite thing to do.

This year, rather than buy a lot of various printed gift wraps, I am trying to stick to using kraft paper tied up with colored twine, jute, rafia and ribbon. I like the way it looks under my Christmas tree. There is no limit on what can be found to match this color scheme including kraft paper doilies, paper bags etc. The craft stores as well as grocery stores can yield some interesting and coordinating gift wrap options.

At TJ Max for example, I found kraft colored tissue paper printed with sheet music and a roll of kraft paper printed in red sheet music. (see in above photo) LOVE! I have been looking for some for a very long time! I also found gift wrap mimicking the red ticking fabric that I absolutely love. TJ's also has a variety of beautiful jute ribbons, twines, lace and other trims on a roll. (see below)

These trims from TJ's are on nice, wooden spools which can be reused to wind the lace trims I often pick up at antique shops.

Twines can be picked up for a song at Ocean State Job Lots, Walmart, hardware and even grocery stores.

The little brown snack bag shown above with tissue was my latest find at the grocery store. They are small, sandwich sized bags and come 48 to a box. I am sure I will find many uses for these!

Today it is cold and damp, with occasional drizzles. I thought I would spend the afternoon gift wrapping and sipping some hot tea. All stocking stuffers bought to date are wrapped and ready to stuff!