halloween kit no. 2

halloween kit 2

This is part of my new Halloween Kit 2.  I wanted to design a set that could be used for decorating, card making and just be plain versatile and still look like me.

I just love the door knocker! It may not knock loudly but it does move. That was the first thing that the kids tested. I think if it hadn't moved I may have gotten a thumbs down—lol.

The Bony Rosettes are included and are great for wall decorations like the sample wall project that you see below.

halloween kit 2

My son:
"A small version of these would work well as cupcake toppers!"

Why yes—that too!
(I love it when they give me advice related to my work :) )

halloween kit 2

How about rosettes on gifts, cards and scrapbook layouts? And don't forget that there is also a new set of Halloween Backgrounds in the shop.

Good news!
I'm offering a 25% discount on any purchases over $15.
Coupon code: laborday12
(be sure to add it to the Shopping Cart page; NOT the Check Out page.

• • •

Friday Tidbits
- What a sweet project for little girls!
- A beautiful/simple structure and shape.
- If you're in NYC you can get my book at The Museum of Arts and Design!
- I kept it up! One every day... My favorite so far? Number four.

Have a great weekend everyone!

halloween bit

halloween preview

Here's a little sneak peek of what will be coming soon! It has been such a great set to work on and it will tie in nice with the other Halloween products in the shop.

Like I hinted at this week I'm also hard at work on a huge project that will hopefully come to fruition when the time is right.

Friday Tidbits
- Stephanie Levy e-course - I took this class last year and it was SO inspiring. I'm very happy to report that I will be a part of this one. Sign up and join in the fun!
- Annie Aitken artwork - so interesting! I read about this Australian artist in the June issue of InsideOut (always a great read and great blog too).
- Tara Hogan wood cards - LOVE!
- Friday freebie is up!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

PS - Did you see that I cleaned up the blog a bit? I like it. It's easier to get to everything—or at least I hope so.

review: kiwi crate

kiwi crate

I was given the opportunity to review the Kiwi Crate a while back and I couldn't have been more pleased with this hands on idea for kids. It is a box of crafty goodness that arrives at your doorstep on a monthly basis with a paid subscription. It is very well designed, packaged, thought out and creative. Cohesive design and clean presentation will get me every time—they had me from the moment I opened the box. The crate comes with everything you need to complete three projects plus additional ideas provided in the easy to follow brochures and online.

kiwi crate

My daughter loved it! Since she is a bit older than the recommended age (3-7 years old) she was able to tackle almost all the projects without my help. Little ones will definitely benefit from their parent's help (aka great crafty bonding time!).

I wish I had good photos of my little C tackling the projects sadly the lighting where she was working wasn't that great so the pictures aren't that good at all. She barely let me take these few photos before diving in. ("Are you done yet? Can I play? Can I play NOW?")

kiwi crate

What I loved about the projects was that they allow for a lot of flexible creativity. I'm always telling my kids that there is no right or wrong answer in art and I think these projects prove just that. Instructions and all the materials are given but the creative part is left up to each little artist—it's anything but painting by numbers. You can't beat that!

So... two thumbs up for Kiwi Crate. There needs to be more of this simple, creative fun for kids out there!

Good news!
Here are some promos that are going on...
- Get $5 off a monthly Kiwi Crate subscription. Use promo code BOOK2 at checkout.
Code Valid 8/19- 8/26.
- Sign up for 1-year of Kiwi Crate and receive 2 months free. Use promo code BOOK7 at checkout.
Code Valid 8/19- 8/26.
(On the billing and payment information page, under the credit card expiration section, you should see the word PROMOTION. You can add the code in there or use the KC links above.)

Have a creative day!

kiwi crate

sometimes you just have to jump


Sometimes things line up in such a way that you can't deny the path that you're supposed to take. I've been coming across articles, ebooks and had conversations that have all led me in a weird (but cool) way to the same thing—I need to take the next big step—and I'm going to do it.

I will share what I'm up to when the timing is right but for now I just wanted to share this much. It also explains why I'm not blogging as regularly. I'm up to my eyeballs in work!

Wee! Exciting times!

• • • 

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

• • •

The flower is an orchid—part of an arrangement I got from Mr. Z on our anniversary. Love, love the texture. Isn't it incredible?

simple monday: scraps flower

scraps flower

When I was cutting out my Layered Rosettes I noticed that the shapes that were left behind as scraps where interesting shapes themselves. I saved them and use some to make this flower.

All I did was use a circle base (cut out of a 1.5" circle punch), glued the 'petals' one at a time and added an embellishment to the center. That's it—easy!

Look at your scraps and see them as viable material. Maybe you can come up with something unexpected too.

Happy Monday!

scraps flower

blooming gift card set

blooming gift card set

Matchbook cards or mini-albums are easy to personalize in many ways. That's why I really love this set. The Blooming Gift Card Set can be used to give a personal and feminine touch to a retailer's gift card or to simply use as a mini-album with photos or artwork. This particular size can fit into an A2 envelope.

This set also includes a card, envelope, envelope liner, tag, flowers and a lattice background. The pieces can all be used individually or as a festive floral gift.

I can't wait to make another one myself. I hope you enjoy working with it too!

• • •

Friday Tidbits
Some paper eye candy... Beautiful letterpress gift tags
Books by talented friends that I can't wait to get my hands on...
- Making an impression by Gennine Zlatkis
- Pattern and Design coloring book - by Jenean Morrison

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

blooming gift card set

simple monday - backgrounds as card designs

summer card

My initial thought when I started creating square formatted illustrations was that they'd be a good background or starting point for scrapbooking pages. Here is an example of how I used one of the Summer Backgrounds on a much smaller scale and as a focal point on a simple birthday card.

By leaving a square cutout behind the image the card has more dimensionality and the interesting shadow effect is an added benefit. I think you can tell in the bottom photo that I also added an extra frame on top of the image to give it more substance.

Happy Monday!

summer card

oh happy day

Oh Happy Day is this week's freebie and maybe a general idea of how I led our summer and how I feel about us celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary yesterday (yay us!).

Wouldn't it be a great thing to say right before getting out of bed every day (regardless of what it may bring)? Oh happy day! Yes!

We've been having happy days all around, whether we were away on vacation or home in our PJs we had a great couple of months. I realize that things got quite slow around here and in my shop but lately seeing how quickly the kids are growing has made me stress less about that and keep things in perspective—such is the luxury and/or quandary of being my own boss.

I hope you're having having happy days yourselves!

• • •

Friday Tidbits
- Check out how the talented Lowri used my apple box to create a larger and festive school box project.
- Printable blank calendars: Take a look at these couple of options that I designed to coincide with the start of the school year.
- Back up your computer people! A worrisome and eye opening story.
- 21 great Etsy shops worth checking out - I'm so happy to be in such a great company! Thank you Gabrielle!

Have a great weekend everyone!

making it our own


I love craft books but I rarely if ever make anything exactly as a tutorial shows. I think that's the case for most everyone, right?

Interestingly I have several sewing books that I rarely use but love skimming through. I finally got from looking to making with the prodding of my little C (she's pretty persistent!). So instead of getting to work on my 3D rosette idea I spent the weekend finishing a doll that I had started months ago.

The idea started with Margot a topsy-turvy doll from the awesome Wee Wonderfuls by Hillary Lang. We made the opposite end of the doll in the yellow dress that's on the cover. But instead of making her with two heads (at the request of the now owner) I used the bottom part of the body of another doll in the book. Instead of stitching the dress on her she has a removable dress (more sewing gymnastics for me), a shorter skirt and thankfully no collar. As you can see I had no purple thread handy (we used fabric that we had on hand) and C said she didn't care as long as it "looked pretty" and pink thread fit the bill. I got in a little crochet (finally) with the shoes.

So now I have a happy camper (who made a new dress today—her first semi-solo sewing project) and no rosette. Totally worth it!

When was the last time that you made anything by following a tutorial word for word? I love seeing how crafters take my ideas and just fly with them by adding their own flavor and edits/changes. That's what creativity is all about. Then again, the flip side is that sometimes following instructions is more relaxing than coming up with new ideas. I lean towards the editing part. How about you?


thinking, thinking...


This is a photo of Layered Rosette in progress that I wanted to share because I think it would be awesome try making one like this—with a large center. Instead of sealing the front and back with circles I'm going to try rings to see if they hold. That way the center can be used for something else (hang something?). I don't know if it will work—I'll let you know.

weekly freebie

I told you I wouldn't be posting freebies here and only in my newsletter but I'm having technical issues with that so... here it is. Have fun and have a great weekend!

Friday Tidbit
As I've mentioned before I love Mollie Makes (it feeds my inner girly girl). Well now it turns out (if you haven't heard by now) that they are publishing a new sister magazine called The Simple Things. It looks very promising! A preview can be seen here.

layered paper rosettes

layered rosettes

I started this Layered Paper Rosettes project just before going on vacation and thought I'd be able to post it while I was gone (yes, I took my laptop with me—in case of emergencies—the life of a business owner!) but there was just no way I could muster enough focus to do it. I also was sticking to the "I'm on vacation and the computer isn't part of that!" self-imposed rule. So here they are and I can't wait to make more.

layered rosettes

Layered rosettes are simple to make—a little bit of patience (glue drying!) and something heavy makes them easier to take on. The combination of the 5 designs will make many different rosettes. I think they can be also used as tea light covers, Christmas ornaments, gift toppers, etc.

What do you think you can use them for?

layered rosettes

Have a wonderful day friends!