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Today’s creative daily prompt is “refresh.” One of my favorite things about the start of a new year is finding a new day planner. This time I decided to build my own.

I bought all the components as my Christmas gift to me. It’s so refreshing to have it all set up and ready to use. I’ve color coded the months. I’ve got calendar stickers and washi tape ready to pretty things up along the way. I geek out over office supplies so I’m super excited about it.

What makes you feel refreshed for the new year?

a Minted love letter

Preparing for special occasions, such as welcoming a baby or planning a party, can be overwhelming. I’m always grateful for sites like Minted that make it easier to find something beautiful and personal. Just look at their birth announcements. If Zach and I are lucky enough to have more children, we are going to have the best time picking out announcements. So much awesome:

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Minted is one of my favorite places to shop. I’ve spent hours browsing just for fun. And I really love how supportive Minted is of indie artists. That kind of attitude toward art and commitment to artists is hard to find from retailers these days.

I am still in love with the personalized ornament cards I ordered for Christmas. I have one hanging from my rear view mirror and people compliment me on it all the time.

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Seriously. I took my car to get the oil changed a couple weeks ago and the guys were asking where I got it because they want to do order some too.

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The Minted site itself has been a big draw for me. You won’t spend ages trying to dig around for what you need. I’m always on my phone so I love that they have a website that works well for mobile and standard browsing. They offer everything from wedding invitations to business cards. My current obsession? Their art and Valentine’s gifts. I mean …

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Aren’t they the sweetest? There are so many beautiful and fun art prints I want to get for Miles’ room. Here are some of my favorites:

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I’m always happy to share the good in the world, so I am so grateful the kind folks at Minted asked me to share with you. Now go check out all the great design for yourself.

shoes

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I own maybe five pairs of shoes right now. And two are flip flops. So I pretty much wear black sneakers or brown Sperry Topsiders.

Anyway, Zach has a collection of laces in fun colors. (He’s much more fashionable than I am.) I was tired of my regular Sperrys, but let’s face it I hate shopping and I don’t have the money for new shoes right now.

I used a plastic craft needle from my stash to lace these and I love how they turned out. I may raid Z’s shoelace stash again in a few months. 🙂

This is the 2nd of my July photo a day posts.

street

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This adorable 3D street scene was made by my mom for one of Miles’ presents. She used kraft paper to wrap the box, then used strips of black paper to create the street. Just use a white paint pen or silver Sharpie to put the lines down the road. Use glue dots for the matchbox cars and boom! Awesome gift wrap for kids. 🙂

This is the 7th of my January photo a day posts.

tree

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We live an old house. And old houses, especially in drought-ridden Texas, come with cracks. My plan was to cover the crack in our nursery with a rather complicated custom wood cutout. Then my mom came up with this genius solution.

Now there’s a felt tree covering the ugly crack. (No, the crack wasn’t that big. We just wanted a big tree.) And we used Velcro for the leaves and bird so they can change with the seasons. Educational! I love it. And Miles loves to stare at it.

Coming soon: a fox, a squirrel, a knot in the trunk with Miles’ initials “carved” (stitched) on it, and whatever else we come up with. You can’t tell from the photo, but the tree stretches from the baseboard and up onto part of the ceiling.

This is the 27th of my November photo a day posts.

photo blogging for November

For the month of November, my posts will be dedicated to the November photo a day project from Fat Mum Slim. If you don’t know Chantelle’s blog already, you should check it out! It’s going to be awesome. Feel free to join in the fun! I’ll get back to my regular blogging as I can.

Many of you know, Zach and I are expecting our son any day now. Posting even just a photo a day may prove challenging once the sleep deprivation begins. I hope you will stay with me, dear reader, while I adjust to my exciting new adventure as a mom.

artist spotlight + free Halloween printables

 

Guess what, lucky reader! Artist Kat McBride was kind enough to create something special just for my readers. Hooray! You get to share in some adorable, kid-friendly Halloween fun with two free printables courtesy of Kat. (Just click the images to get to a larger version.)

Courtesy of Kat McBride

Check out Kat’s incredible paintings in her Etsy shop. She is a self-described art enabler and creative catalyst. She loves to share her passion and wants to help fuel your creative fires. You should visit Kat’s blog for some fabulously fun lessons on how to draw, how to paint and which supplies you need.

Courtesy of Kat McBride

I now have a haunted house of Nerds on my craft table, which makes me a very happy lady indeed. I want to see pictures of your creations too! Send me photos of how your printables turned out and I’ll include them in an upcoming post. Please remember to include names with your photos so I can include captions.

Photo by Rori Harrington

DIY tissue paper poms

Photos by Rori Harrington

I made these DIY tissue paper poms for my awesome hostesses to use at my baby shower. (Thank you Misty and Lindsay!) They were fun and easier than I expected. A friend also recommended trying this with tulle fabric, which would probably look amazing. I haven’t tried that … yet. 🙂

1. These poms are easy and fun. Here’s what you need: Tissue (8 sheets per pom) in the colors of your choice; scissors; paper cutter; tapestry needle; twine; twist ties (I saved up the ones from bread for a few weeks to make these).

2. Be sure to evenly stack your 8 sheets per pom. My stacks were between 20″ x 10″ and 20″ x 12″ for these poms.

3. Take one stack and make an accordion fold of about 1″ until you reach the end. (You are doing the folding along the 20″ length, so you should be left with a 10-12″ folded piece.

4. Wrap and wind a twist tie at the center of the accordion fold.

5. Trim each end into a rounded edge. If you have a punch, you may want to use it. I just used a good pair of craft scissors.

6. Fan out one end of the pom.

7. Carefully (you don’t want to tear them) pull each leaf away. Don’t worry if things seem wrinkly. It’s going to look great once you finish.

8. Before moving to the next side, take a length (base this on your needs) of twine and thread it through a tapestry needle. Carefully thread the needle under one end of the twist tie for convenient hanging. After the twine has been added, fan out the next side and repeat step 7.

9. You’re done! Now you just have to decide where to hang your fun creations.

 

 

DIY custom cupcake toppers

I love creating DIY party decor. If you have an event coming up, perhaps a game day gathering or a child’s birthday, these DIY cupcake toppers are super simple decorations that add a fun punch of color. I love red and turquoise together. And I heart whales, so I made mine with my favorite whale stamp.

The best part? You can customize these toppers to match any theme or color scheme. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money. All you need is a few sheets of white card stock to layer on a colored or patterned card stock, a few punches, some popsicle sticks and glue.

Stamp your selected image on the white card stock. Punch out the image with a scalloped circle or whatever shape suites your theme. Use a strong adhesive to stick the scalloped circle on a larger punched circle. Put some glue around the back of two of the large circles, add some extra glue in the center for the popsicle stick, and sandwich the stick between the circles. This way you have a whale (or whatever image you selected, on both sides of the stick. I used mini clothespins to hold everything together while the glue set for a couple minutes.

Happy crafting!

 

DIY inside-out sopapillas

Before you make these, let me warn you. They are addictive and delicious. Zach got me these amazeballs Jet Puffed “cinnamon bun” marshmallows. The new flavor is delicious. I bet they would be super yummy in coffee. If you love cinnamon, you should try them.

You may remember my post about crescent roll s’mores. These awesome mallows inspired a new experiment: DIY inside-out sopapillas. There’s no honey involved and this recipe is much less messy than the traditional treat. I used dairy-free ingredients to make mine, but you could do the same thing with regular unsalted butter.

Here’s all you need to do: Melt your butter and sprinkle some raw sugar on a plate. Dunk a couple mallows in the butter and roll them in the sugar until they are covered.

Place one or two mallows on a crescent roll and fold the roll shut. Pinch the dough so there aren’t any openings. You want all the mallow goodness to stay inside. Press the roll in the raw sugar to give the outside a sweet coating. Place on foil and cook the same amount of time you would cook regular crescent rolls.

These taste so good. And they are so quick and easy to make. I recommend serving them warm. Enjoy!