Showing posts with label blog hop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog hop. Show all posts

2015 Ornament Exchange

Ornament Exchange Link Party
I'll admit, sometimes the holidays make me feel stressed out and I get a "Bah, humbug!" attitude. This year, I am trying to focus on things that I truly enjoy to make the holiday more meaningful.

That's why I was so excited to stumble across the 2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange. It was a fun way to connect with 80+ other bloggers, share a crafty tutorial and make a special treat for a new friend on the other side of the globe.

If you haven't seen the ornament I made for my new friend, Pili, don't miss my clay snowflake ornament tutorial.  

Before we see everyone's creativity, many thanks to the hosts of the exchange. Planning, organizing and coordinating an event like this is no easy task.

Also, a thanks to the bloggers who shared the exchange announcement on their sites:

And of course, it wouldn't have been much of an exchange without the participants:

DIY Adulation | The Farmhouse In The Field | Tastefully Frugal | My Sweet Things | Christmas Tree Lane | Simply Kelly Designs | Munofore | Decor To Adore | Tulips & Orchids | Rhinestones & Sweatpants |Happily Ever After, Etc. | From This to That | DIY Just Cuz | This Design Journal | I am Homemaker Organized by Sunshine | Displaced Yinzer | My Life From Home | Nets Blog About Jnets Line | 10 Acres and 6 Chicks | Books and Life | Gardenchick | Two Purple Couches | DIY Just Cuz | Across the Blvd | Kentucky to Cali | Insolence + Wine | Our House Now a Home | Weekend Craft | Mary and Martha's House | Random Bits of Happiness | Dragonfly and Lily Pads | Garden Matter | Recipe For a Sweet Life | Mama's Journey | Amber Downs | Toolbox Divas | Craving Some Creativity | Vikalpah | Flourish & Knot | Raising Fairies and Knights | Blue Willow House | The Road to Domestication | Love My Messy Messy Mess | An Oregon Cottage | Home On The Corner | Fearlessly Creative Mamma | The Evolution of Mom | The Green Mountain Couple | Simply Home Love | Run with Jackabee | | The Chilly Dog | Try it - Like it | Gypsy Road | Playfully Tacky | Wife Mommy Me

All of our tutorials are linked-up and we want to see your ornament tutorials too. Show us your creations by adding your post to the party below. Please only add ornament tutorials to the party. All other links will be deleted. Thank you.

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Tutorial: Clay Snowflake Ornaments

Make it a white Christmas with DIY clay snowflake ornaments.It's always fun to participate in events with other bloggers, so when I saw that Erlene from My Pinterventures was hosting a 2015 Christmas Ornament Exchange, I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

I'm exchanging ornaments with Pili from My Sweet Things. Like me, she lives in a temperate climate, so I decided to make her a clay snowflake ornament to give her a little bit of a white Christmas. (Here's a peek at the ornament Pili made for me).

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the gorgeous red leather cord I used in this tutorial.



When I'm working with polymer clay, I like to protect my work surface with a sheet of parchment paper. I also make sure to take off my rings so they don't get gunked up.

Start by tracing the large, round cookie cutter onto a piece of paper and cutting out the paper circle. Cut out the circle and fold it into quarters to mark the center of the circle.
Roll out a piece of clay so it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Use the cookie cutter to cut a circle.
Place the paper circle over the clay circle and use a pin to pierce the paper and mark the center of the clay circle. You don't need to go all the way through the clay.
Use the flower cutter at the center of the circle. The pin mark makes it easier to center the flower cutter.
Next, use the diamond cutter to make six diamonds around the flower. The diamond points should be aligned between the petals of the flower.
Cut a teardrop between each diamond.
And finally, cut two triangles between each teardrop.

To finish, bake the clay according to the package directions. After the clay has cooled, cut a 10 inch length of leather cord. Knot the ends and attach it to the ornament.
And now, my snowflake ornament is all wrapped up and on it's way to Mallorca to spread a little holiday cheer!

Make it a white Christmas with DIY clay snowflake ornaments.

Of course one ornament tutorial is nice, but you don't want to miss the other beautiful ornaments that were shared today:

Happy Holidays!

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5 Sites for Project Inspiration

5 great sites for daily craft patterns, projects, tutorials, ideas and inspirationsI love Pinterest! Really, I do. But I often find that when I go there looking for a little crafty inspiration, I end up spending hours of my time scrolling through an overwhelming number of projects and products leaving me with no time or energy to actually craft anything.

So, when I'm looking for ideas on a smaller scale, there are five sites that I enjoy browsing. All five are feature projects by bloggers from around the web and are frequently updated with fresh new ideas. They are perfect for a small, daily dose of crafty goodness.

Totally tutorials tips tricks recipes how tos Totally Tutorials - The name pretty much says it all. It's a "directory of free craft tutorials" and there's a little bit of everything from sewing and yarn crafts to kids crafts, holiday projects and more.
Fun Family Crafts Fun Family Crafts - This site is a kid-centric "library of free craft tutorials for kids... toddler to teen." Most of the projects can be made by kids but there are also some ideas that are meant to be made for kids.
Im Big Now I'm BIG Now - Not only does this site have kid friendly projects, it also features some clever children's activities and even parenting tips. This is a handy resource for parents, grandparents and teachers.
I love Craft Gossip - This is one time that gossip is a good thing. This site features posts about everything from traditional crafting projects (crochet, knitting, quilting) to teacher lesson plans and you can easily browse your favorite category.
Create Happy Crafts - You should know up front, I am a little biased about this one because it is my site. I like to feature a variety of projects, patterns and recipes that just make me smile. After all, crafts and hobbies are supposed to make us feel good.

Where do you look for crafty inspiration?

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Tutorial: Mini Valentine Fold-Out Book

Make your Valentine an extra special mini book to tell them "forever and always my heart belongs to you"This month I am very excited to be participating in Emma Owl's 14 Days of Love. I LOVE love!

For me, Valentine's day is often a bit too commercial. Sure, I enjoy getting a box of chocolates from time to time. (Who doesn't like chocolate.) But when it comes to Valentine gift giving, sometime handmade is the most heartfelt.

I like to make my own cards, and on Valentine's Day I think it is totally worth taking the time to craft an extra fancy card.

This year, my card is inspired by a project I found in The Weekend Crafter: Making Books And Journals. It looks rather complicated, but isn't your special someone worth a little extra time and effort. (Husbands, I promise that your wife would be thrilled to receive this little gem if it is handmade by you!!)


  • 1 - 2 x 12 inch piece of light colored cardstock
  • 2 - 2 1/4 inch thin cardboard squares
  • 2 - 3 1/4 inch pieces of colored, patterned paper
  • Fiskars Paper Trimmer
  • ruler
  • bone folder
  • Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive
  • 18 inches of ribbon
  • stamps, ink, pens, paint (for embellishments)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 inch white cardstock square for cover decoration (optional)


We'll start by making the covers of the book. You'll need the cardboard squares and colored paper.
Apply a couple swipes of the Tombow Xtreme Adhesive to the back of your cardboard square.
Center the cardboard, sticky side down onto the back of the colored paper.
Fold in the corners of the paper.
Use the bone folder to score the paper, using the cardboard as a guide.

Tip: It helps to put a scrap piece of cardboard under your work so you don't scratch your table when scoring.
Apply adhesive to one edge of the paper and fold it in, sticking it to the cardboard.
Repeat with the remaining three sides. Don't you just love those neatly mitered corners?

Create the other cover in the same manner.
Now onto the pages of your book/card. You'll be using the 2 x 12 inch cardstock for this part.

Use the bone folder to score every two inches along the length of the paper (the pink lines in the photo below), creating six squares. Turn your paper over and make four diagonal scores in the center four squares (as shown by the blue lines below).

Valley fold the pink lines and mountain fold the diagonal blue lines. Your measurements and folds need to be very precise for this to work.

Now you are going to decorate the pages of your book. I used my Close to My Heart: Seasons of the Heart stamps.

If you don't have stamps available, you can just as easily draw a little heart embellishment in the corners as shown.
Now for the words, use your best fancy handwriting to write "forever and always" on the front, middle and back pages of my book.
After the ink is dry (you don't want any smudges) fold up your book and open the popout at the center so you can write "my heart belongs to you".
Once your ink is dry, turn your book over and apply adhesive to the wrong side of the front and back pages so you can attach the ribbon and covers.
First, position the ribbon. You may want to fold your book shut to make sure the ribbon is not too tight.
Next position the front and back covers so they are aligned with the fold in the pages. If the covers extend past the fold, the book will not open completely.
Finally, you can decorate and attach the 1 1/2 inch square of white cardstock to the front cover if you choose.

Tie the ribbon in a pretty bow to close the book.
Here's how your fancy shmancy card works. The first page says "forever", the center page says "and", the last page says "always", fold down the flap "my heart belongs to you".

You can fill the front and back inside covers with the appropriate "to and from" message.

Whose heart wouldn't totally melt when they opened this special Valentine?

Make your Valentine an extra special mini book to tell them "forever and always my heart belongs to you"

For more LOVE-ly projects visit

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Craft Challenge Tutorial: Paper Bowl

How to make a paper mache bowl with Mod Podge and recycled magazine paperA couple months ago, my friend Teena, from Serendipitini, and I did a little recycled craft challenge using plastic. Today, we're back with another blog friend and a new material - paper, specifically catalog or magazine paper.

Let me introduce our upcycled challenge team and make sure to check out their incredible projects.

I decided to try a project that I have been envisioning for quite some time, a decorative (not for soup or cereal) paper mache type bowl. It's super easy to make, but rather time consuming and delightfully messy :)


  • catalogs or magazines
  • paper shredder
  • newspaper to protect your work surface
  • balloon
  • plastic bowl
  • Mod Podge Original, Gloss Finish
  • 1 inch wide flat paintbrush
  • pin or needle
  • scissors
  • yarn or string
  • tape
  • 1 inch wide foam brush


Start by shredding a few catalogs or magazines.
Cover your work surface with a couple pieces of newspaper.Blow up a balloon and place it tied side down in a bowl. The more you blow up your balloon, the bigger your paper bowl will be.
Use a flat brush to apply a generous amount of Mod Podge covering about a 4-inch square on the balloon.
Sprinkle on some paper shred.
Make sure the paper is flat against the balloon.
Paint a generous layer of Mod Podge over the paper shred.
Continue applying Mod Podge and paper until you have a nice layer of paper covering the balloon,

Let the Mod Podge dry over night.
After applying my first layer of paper, I held my balloon up to the light so I could see if I missed any spots. As you can see, I did. That's not a problem though.
Continue covering the balloon in Mod Podge and paper shred. I did five layers. Make sure to let the Mod Podge dry overnight before you add each layer.

Tip: I don't think you can really add too much paper or Mod Podge.
Once you have added 4-5 layers of paper and the Mod Podge is dry, you are ready to pop the balloon. If you want, place a couple pieces of tape on the balloon.
Poke a pin or needle into the tape and step back. Don't let go of the pin or needle because it could become a dangerous projectile when the balloon pops.

Pssssss.... Ka-Blam!
Peel the remaining balloon bits out of the bowl. It should be pretty easy.
Next you need to even out the jagged edges. Tie a string around the bowl. This is going to be your cutting guide, so make sure it is placed evenly. You can tape the string, so it doesn't slide around as you cut.
Use a sturdy pair of scissors to cut around the bowl 1/4 - 1/2 inch above the string.

Finally, use a foam brush to apply a coat of Mod Podge to the cut edge of the bowl and let it dry completely.
The inside of your bowl should be very smooth and the outside will be a bit bumpier. I just love this random, colorful bowl. It kind of reminds me of a bird's nest.

Tutorial: Decorative paper bird nest bowl

Now, hop on over to Serendipitini ans About Family Crafts to learn more about the incredible projects my blog buddies created. You'll never look at your junk catalogs and magazines the same way again!

Serendipitini - Leather, Wire and Paper Necklace

About Family Crafts - Fall Apple Bunting
If you would like to join our happy little group of crafty bloggers in our next upcycled craft challenge, just e-mail me and let me know you're interested.

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