August 2011Occasionally Crafty: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31

Scrappin' Wednesday- Summer

I've lived in Phoenix for eleven years now.

You'd  think by now I would be used to the heat.

I'm not.

About this time of year, I start longing for winter.  70's, sunny, cool at night.

August 2011 has been the hottest August on record.  I feel every degree of it.

117 is awfully hot.  Especially when you are outside picking up your daughter from school every day, then roasting in your car all the way home because the drive is too short to cool down the car (one of the not-so-fun aspects of a charter school....)

It will only be 108 today.  It's amazing that you can tell a difference between 108 and anything over 110, but you can.

This week's scrapbook layout makes me feel cooler, remembering the splash-pad days of summer.  Don't you want to go splash around with your kids sometimes?

Someone remind me that it will cool down in another month or so, and that I will be bragging about our weather all winter....


Monday, August 29

XL Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted a tradition for the first day of school.  I was inspired by How Does She, who posted the tradition of the GIANT chocolate chip cookie for the first day of first grade.  I thought it was cute, but honestly, I don't want my child attempting to eat that much sugar and chocolate.  She's hyper enough as it is.

So, I decided to modify the idea, and I made XL Chocolate Chip Cookies.

It's halfway gone already!

They are about double, or maybe even triple, the size of a typical cookie.  Let me tell you, they are delicious!

This is not my "go-to" chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it might be a close second.  The ones I usually make are soft and chewy.  These are rolled in sugar, and thus have that slightly crisp bite on the outside, with all the soft chewiness on the inside.  They actually remind me of Paradise Bakery's chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmmm.....

I made two XL, and then used the rest of the dough to make normal size cookies.  They didn't last long!

If you're interested, here's the recipe (it's printable):   Courtesy of


Thursday, August 25

Three Things Thursday- Seriously Cute Stuff!

1.  These are some seriously cute baby booties from The Little Birdie Blog.  Her fabric choices are adorable, and I love her embellishments!  Go see all the different ones she made- you'll be inspired!

2.  This might be the cutest party I've seen!  I pretty much love everything about this Monster Party from Sew Much Crafting.  Click over to see all the cuteness yourself!


3.  Janelle at Of Pinks and Fairy Tales is a Toy Dropper.  Click here to read all about it- I think it's fascinating and totally awesome that people would do that!  She made this adorable stuffed horse, Stella, for someone to find. I would love to happen upon something like this.

Thanks for all the cute-ness, ladies!  Feel free to grab a featured button if you like!



Wednesday, August 24

Scrappin' Wednesday- Fishing

My kids love to "fish".  We don't usually let them use real hooks, as they are still a menace with flying things.  Instead, they use their kid-size poles with floaters to cast off and reel in over, and over, and over!

One day, my husband and his buddy took the kids out on his boat for some fishing.  The kids had a blast.  They drove the boat, and even touched the real fish the guys caught!  Well, my daughter wouldn't dare....

Here's the page I put together to remember their day:


Monday, August 22

If you missed it- Interchangeable Pillow

Update***  Thanks to Taryn from Design, Dining, and Diapers for making this project a Top 10 project at The CSI Project!  I'm honored!


Happy Monday, everyone!  First, I want to tell you a funny (maybe sad) story.  I had these wooden curtain knob things that I decided to use to hold back my bedroom curtains.  My walls are creamy white, and my curtains are blue, so I decided to paint them the color of the walls, but distress them so they would stand out from the wall.  So, I painted two coats of black paint, let it dry, then painted several coats of the creamy white on top.  I then sanded it strategically to let the black show through, to look distressed.  I was pretty happy with the look.
Well, a few days later, I came home from an afternoon out with my daughter, and my husband had been touching up the paint on the wall.  He said- "I painted your knobs too- you got black stuff all over them!"

Either my husband doesn't get the whole distressed thing ("nothing else in this room looks old!"), or I just did a really bad job making them look distressed.  So now I have pristine creamy white knobs again.  Sigh....

Anyway, today, I have something I think (hope) you're going to love!  This was originally posted at Keeping It Simple, but I thought I'd repost it here in case you missed it.

I love to decorate for different holidays and seasons.  I used to just do Christmas, but with all the inspiration in blog-land, I decided I HAD to get some decorations for all the other fun times of the year!  I've been doing it for the past year and a half now.  I especially love Pillows.  There are so many cute pillows out there, and I want to make all of them!  The only problem is, all those decorations take up a lot of space- right?  So I got to thinking- what if you could just use ONE pillow to decorate for all the holidays and seasons?  My mind got spinning, and I got creating.  Here is what I came up with:  A Pillow for All Seasons.

That's right- these are all pictures of the same pillow.  You make (or reuse) one pillow, and only have to store the decorations!  Want one of your own?  Here's how to make one:

Supplies needed:
1 pillow form, batting, or old pillow
Neutral fabric to fit your pillow form (if sewing your own cover)- amount will vary
2 rectangles of light colored fabric for background- amount will vary but a fat quarter should be plenty
1 rectangle batting (Warm n Natural, etc)
Basic sewing supplies
Sewing Machine
Patterns, fabric/felt, embellishments for seasonal accents, as desired
Optional:  Paint/Freezer Paper/Xacto knife or craft cutter

Okay, let's get going:
1.  To make this work, you need a neutral pillow, or one with fabric that will go with all the seasons/holidays you want to decorate for.  I sewed a burlap pillow cover for an old pillow I had in my closet, but this would be a great way to use a pillow with a small stain or unsightly design.  If you need help sewing your own pillow cover, here are a few tutorials that will walk you through it:
        Envelope style-

2.  Next we will sew the background for our seasonal accents.  Cut two squares or rectangles to fit in the center of your pillowcase front, adding a half inch all around for a seam allowance.  Mine were 8 in x 7 in.  Also, cut one rectangle with the same dimensions from your batting.

3.  Line up your fabric rectangles right sides together, then place the batting at the bottom.  Sew around all four edges, leaving a few inches open to turn right side out.  Before turning, clip corners.

Turn right side out.  Your batting should now be in the middle.  Poke out corners with a crochet hook or something similar, then press.  Topstitch around your square, making sure to close the opening you left.

4.  Attach your completed background to your pillow.  Since we're "keeping it simple" here, fabric glue or hot glue will work just fine.  Make sure you use plenty and give it time to dry.  I chose to attach mine using a blanket stitch (shown here) just to give it a little extra decoration, but it's totally up to you!

5.  Now you're ready to make and attach embellishments.  I am giving directions to make one large embellishment and a word strip.  Adjust for your own personal style.
    - Decide where your embellishments will go.  Attach velcro to your background square.  I put one piece, rough side up, on each side of the top for wordstrips, then one large one in the lower center of my square for an embellishment.  Unless your pillow is going to be thrown around your house, this should suffice to keep any embellishments in place.  The soft side will go on your embellishments.

6.  Now, let your imagination run wild!  You can make birds or flowers for spring, stars for patriotic days, pumpkins, Christmas trees, hearts for Valentine's day, a shamrock for St. Patty's- you get the picture!  You can use felt or fabric, ribbon or found materials- whatever you can imagine, you can create.   To get you started, I'm including a pattern for a pumpkin and a Christmas tree.  I used craft felt and embroidery thread for my pumpkin, and I used scrap fabric (with a little fray-check on the edges) for the Christmas trees.  They're held together with good old fabric glue.  To use, click on the image below to get to the full-size image.  Then right click and save to your computer.

7.   Finish up by creating seasonal word strips, if you so desire.  I cut one inch wide strips to fit my square (mine were about 6 1/2 inches) out of some scrap fabric, then used freezer paper stenciling to create my words.  If you need a little help with that, there's a tutorial here that will guide you along.

Now, all you have to store is your decorations.  My clutter-prone self is happy.

I've got this set ready for my fall decorating.  I can't wait!

Well, there you have it.  I hope my directions were clear enough- please feel free to shoot off an email to me or leave a comment. if you have any questions  Thanks for reading- now go get creating!

P.S.- I am linking up to my favorite parties this week- go check out all the crafty goodness!
Tip Junkie handmade projects



Thursday, August 18

Three Things Thursday

I guess I have sewing on the mind this week, because all the projects I'm featuring have something to do with sewing!

1.  CathGrace made this adorable Summer Dress.  My favorite feature is the peek-a-boo ruffle in the back.  She even made matching shoes!

2.  Jamie from Backless Shirt makes these super cute Gathered Clutches for her shop, based on a pattern from noodlehead.  I have been really wanting one of these, and still can't decide if I should try to make one or just forget about it and order one!  I love her fabric choices, but she does custom orders too!

3.  This last one isn't a sewing project, but is perfect for your sewing space.  Desiree at The 36th Avenue created this seriously cute Sewing Space, including stenciled shelf boxes made from thrifted wine crates.

Thanks for the inspiration!  Feel free to grab a featured button if you like.



Wednesday, August 17

Scrappin' Wednesday

My daughter's only been gone all day (for school) for two days, and though the house is much calmer and quieter, I miss her!  I hope she's having a lot of fun and learning a lot in class!

One of my favorite photos of my youngest son was taken for his 7 month pictures.  My children have been blessed with the most amazing eyelashes.  They are long and dark- every girl's dream!  They definitely did not get them from me- I have eyelash envy myself.

Anyway, my grumpy baby's happy moments really came out in this photo shoot, so I proudly present my page of my son's 7 month pictures.  Here it is:

Do your kids have a physical attribute you wish YOU had?

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 15

Back to School Cupcake Toppers

My daughter (my oldest) starts school today.  She starts first grade- which I can't believe.  She is so excited (and I'm a little ready) to be at school ALL DAY.  Plus she gets to EAT LUNCH at school!

Earlier this week, my daughter and her friends got together at Peter Piper Pizza for a little Back-to-School playdate.  I brought the cupcakes, and for the occasion made these little cupcake toppers.

Please pretend my cupcakes are beautifully frosted.

I designed these using my Silhouette Studio software.  I used the Apple and Banner (apple_and_banner_C02908_1) shape for the apple, and part of the Nesting Scallops (scallop_nesting_0902) for the tag.  I surrounded the apple with a circle, used the Fill tool to color in my design, then duplicated the whole thing and made it a print and cut design.

I realize this isn't exactly groundbreaking design, but if you have a Silhouette and don't want to take the time to whip up your own, you can download the file I created here.

I used them for cupcake toppers, but they'd also make cute stickers, gift tags, or other labels for back-to-school or fall themed parties.

Linking up to some fun parties this week:  Come on over and join the fun!

Thursday, August 11

Three Things Thursday- Jewelry Edition

When I browse link parties, I am particularly drawn to jewelry and accessories.  I don't know why.  I guess I dream of being more stylish than I am, and I'm always looking for new ideas to help me accessorize.  So, here are some beauties that caught my eye this week:

1.  This Wrapped Chain Beaded Necklace by Miss Lovie is really sweet (tutorial included).  I have toyed with the idea of making jewelry, but at this point I probably shouldn't start a new, potentially addicting, craft habit.  But if you make jewelry, this one's a winner:

2.  You can make your own Wrap Bracelets with a tutorial by The Hollie Rogue.  These are really popular right now, and I really want one.  Or five.

3.  There's just something about ribbons and pearls that I adore.  I really love how this Ribbon Pearl Necklace from The Crafty Blog Stalker looks (love that name, too!)

As always, thanks for the inspiration, ladies!  Grab a featured button if you like.



Wednesday, August 10

NEW JoyBelle Jewelry Giveaway Winner!

I've got a scrapbook page below, so check it out while you're here!

Well, I never heard from my winner, so it's good for all of you- I picked a new winner!  I hate to have to do that.  It's a big fear of mine when entering giveaways, that I will miss out if I win because I forget to check back.  So keep it easy and LINK YOUR EMAIL TO YOUR PROFILE!

*climbs off soapbox*

Here is the NEW winner.

Jamie said...

Following Occasionally Crafty!

Okay, let's try this again- Jamie,  your email isn't linked to your profile so PLEASE email me within the next 48 hours to claim your prize!  You can find my email under my Contact page.

Remember, everyone else has 10% off until Monday using the code CRAFTY!  Hope you're shopping!


Scrappin' Wednesday

School starts in less than a week.  My oldest daughter starts first grade, which means she will be gone all day.  This makes me want to both cry and cheer.  I'm tired of the fighting all summer and will enjoy some time with the boys.  But, my daughter is growing up so fast, it makes me sad.

Feeling nostalgic, I put together a page for her fifth birthday last year.  It HAD to include her favorite color (pink), and I think the bright colors and patterns capture her playful spirit.  Here it is:

I've still got a lot to do to get ready for school.  Are you ready yet?


Monday, August 8

JoyBelle Jewelry Winner!

I have a project today, so don't forget to scroll down and check it out!

But, I know you want to know the winner.

And who had comment #39?  (Some of you forgot to leave separate comments, so I went through and made sure you got credit for everything!)

Teri said...

The Addisyn is really a pretty design. I'd love one with my kids names ! Thanks for the giveaway.

Congratulations Teri!  You need to shoot me an email (address on my Contact page) within the next 48 hours since your email address isn't linked to your profile.  Hope to hear from you soon!

Remember, if you didn't win, you can still get 10% off your purchase at JoyBelle Jewelry by using the code CRAFTY at checkout until August 15th!  Have fun shopping!


Simple Makeover- Ikea MALM Dresser

My daughter has a very basic white Ikea MALM chest of drawers.

Until recently, I never even thought of doing anything to it.  But then, I was walking in Michaels, and saw this really cute pink printed shelf paper.  I thought it would be perfect for her dresser.

I started off by covering the middle drawer.

Looking good.  I started to cover the other drawers, but it was just overwhelming.  Instead I decided to just use thin strips of the shelf paper in the center of the other two drawers.

I really liked how it turned out, and if she (or I) gets tired of it, we can just peel the shelf paper off.  It's just like adhesive vinyl- you heat it up with a blow dryer and it pulls right off.

So now we have a sweet little pink and white chest of drawers to match her pink, brown, and white room.

Linking up to some of  these fun linky parties- go over and party too!

Tip Junkie handmade projects