Handmade Bow Tie

Handmade Bow TieMy son came home for holiday break and wanted to get crafty.  While we were walking through Hobby Lobby he turned and asked, “Can you make bow ties?”.  I said, “I’ve never made one before, but it can’t be that hard”.  So he raided the remnant bin and found two different fabrics that he liked.  I’ve listed out most of the steps that we took to get to the finished bow tie.  I broke a few sewing rules making the tie, but who cares…he loved the outcome and plans to make one on his own (with me looking over his shoulder, of course).  :). If you decide to try it check back in and let me know how it went!

Handmade bow tie steps 1-4

Last minute, Easy, Thanksgiving Decoration!

If you are a Cricut user I’ve got a super quick (and easy) project to personalize your Thanksgiving table.  I used Cricut Faux Leather, but you can use whatever you want – cardstock, real leather, acetate, etc.

  1. If you look in design space and search for “napkin ring” it will pull up lots of options.  I chose the plain circle because I wanted to add additional things to the ring (you can keep it even simpler by choosing a pre-designed one).  
  2. Search for “leaf” in design space and chose two that you like.
  3. Slice the letter of your choice by searching for the font you want, type the letter, ungroup the leaf, put the letter where you want, click and drag to select the leaf and the letter
  4. Click slice.  
  5. Move the leaf to show the slice and delete the sliced out letter.
  6. Cut as normal.

Then I used crafty power tape to assemble everything.  After I got everything together I realized that I didn’t like the way the “C” looked so I cut a smaller leaf and put it behind the larger leaf with the “C”.

I’d love to hear about what you are crafting for Thanksgiving so please drop me a note.  If you like this post please comment, like and share with your friends.


Arkansas Fall Painted Wood Sign

I love browsing the internet for new projects.  Lately I have seen lots of painted wood signs that signal the beginning of the Fall season.  I thought about what fall meant to me and my family and then created a sign that reflected why we love this time of year.  I did my best to take pictures of the various steps in the process so that you can see how I got from the plain sign to the finished design.  


  • Cricut Explore (plus regular blade and regular mat)
  • Wood sign (unfinished)
  • Paint in your choice of colors (I used acrylic, but many people like chalk paint too)
  • Contact Paper (white and clear)
  • Scraper (or old credit card)
  • Pick for weeding vinyl (weeding, just means picking out the parts of the design you don’t need)
  • Matte Modge Podge (only needed if you are going to allow the wood to show through)

1. Paint the wood in the base color of your choice and let dry according to the directions on your paint bottle (if you want the wood to show through leave it unpainted).

2.  Create your design in Cricut Design space, cut the design on the Washi tape setting on the white contact paper and weed out the vinyl you don’t need.

*Special note:  If you don’t have a Cricut Explore electronic cutter you can do this by hand by printing out the design on your computer, cutting it out with scissors, tracing your design onto the contact paper and cutting it out with an exacto knife.  It won’t be as fast, but is totally doable!  If you do use an exacto knife be careful to just cut through the contact paper, but not the paper backing.  You will need the backing when you transfer the design onto the wood.  After cutting out either by Cricut or by hand the rest of the instructions are exactly the same.

3.  Cut out a strip of clear contact paper, place it on top of the design and use your scraper to rub across the clear contact paper.  Lift up a small corner of the clear contact paper to see if the white contact paper lifts with it.  If it does, great job!  If it doesn’t, try turning it over and rubbing from the back side.  You will be using the clear contact paper to transfer the design to the wood.

4. Lift the clear contact paper (the white contact paper should be attached to it) and carefully, starting from left to right, place the design on the wood. Use the scraper to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles and then lift the clear contact paper (the white contact paper should be left on the wood). If some of the white contact paper is still stuck to the clear contact paper lay the clear contact paper back down and rub again. Repeat this process until the clear contact paper is lifted completely off and the white contact paper design is left on the wood.

5. Paint over the wood and the white contact paper design with your base color.  If you didn’t use a base color, paint over the wood and contact paper design with the matte modge podge.  Allow to dry according to the directions on the paint/modge podge bottle.

6.  Apply two coats of your top paint colors, allowing the paint to dry after the first coat (according to the directions on your paint bottle).  Allow the second coat to dry until it is tacky to the touch, but not all the way dry.   Use your pick to carefully remove the white contact paper design (you will be able to see the outline underneath the paint).  Let the second coat dry completely.  Go back and touch up any areas.  Seal (or not) according to the directions on the paint bottle.  Since my paint was exterior paint I chose not to seal it.  *Side note:  If you are a messy painter like me you might want to slide strips of cardstock between the boards so that you don’t get paint on the other boards.

Here is the finished sign!

If you try this project drop me a note to let me know how yours turned out!


Heat Transfer Vinyl Tshirts (w/Cricut Explore)

ARE YOUphoto-20150711085016326 READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!?? I know we are more than a month away, but football camp and 7 on 7 season is here. What better way to support our son/brother than to sport his school colors/player’s number? These only took a couple of hours using the Rhinestone Wizard, my Cricut and my handy dandy heat press (I’m so glad I have this — it really speeds up the process). However, you could totally do this project with just a cutter and vinyl.

I used magic templates from The Rhinestone World and then imported the design into design space (for the football designs). I was really afraid that the font for the stadium seat wouldn’t cut or weed properly, but it actually turned out easier than I thought – plus since its a grunge type font no would know if a piece was missing. 🙂 Anyway, a super fun way to kick off the “early” football season! As for the wild-card shirt in the photo…I also pressed a track shirt for my hubby that was LOOOONG over due.





Spicy Tomato Soup (In my DASH blender!)

photo-20150627164442090It’s been a while since I’ve made a post…sorry! While I have the best of intentions life tends to get in the way. Anyhoo, while outside today I noticed that I had several red tomatoes that needed to be picked and when I came inside of the house realized that my cherry tomatoes needed picking as well (I guess I have been out of it lately)! Since the tomatoes were a bit over-ripe I decided to try out my blender’s soup making capabilities.

I originally bought my blender as an alternative to the $500 blenders out there and was pleasantly surprised with the results. While my blender wasn’t cheap it was still less than half the cost of the more expensive ones because it was on sale. I got it from HSN because they were running a special on it ($199) instead of paying $400 for it at the local department store in my area. The name of the blender is DASH. You can find more about it by going here. It looks like they are out of stock on their website but HSN seems to always have them in stock.


Anyhoo. I just added some chicken broth at the bottom for more flavor (you actually don’t have to add any liquid), tomato, parsley, chives and basil from the garden and a vidalia onion, Ms. Dash onion and herbs, seasoned salt and pepper (from the grocery store). I turned the blender’s dial to “soup”, pressed start and used the tamper to get things going. Once the blender started doing its thing I put the lid cap in place and walked away until I heard it stop.

When I opened the lid the soup was smoking hot!

I added a little cream and shredded cheese and voila – hot, fresh, soup!

I know many of us are trying to be healthier…I’d love to hear how you are using fresh ingredients and methods of cooking to give your family meals that are good to them and good for them.

Oh and if you are interested here is the YouTube video of the blender in action.




Homemade Brown Sugar

A couple of photo-20150322114948449weeks ago I was making pancake syrup for some really sweet college kids and realized that I didn’t have enough brown sugar to make as much as I wanted them to have. I went ahead and gave them partial bottles and promised them a refill once their bottles were empty. In the
meantime I started thinking…there has to be a way to make brown sugar from home.

After a few minutes of searching Pinterest I found a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website. I decided to give it a try since I was making a sweet potato souffle that afternoon and needed brown sugar for the topping.

The steps were super simple (check out the recipe for exact amounts):

1. Measure out white sugar


2. Pour in molasses


3. Mix until well combined and you have awesome brown sugar!

Here’s a photo of the souffle topping where I used the homemade brown sugar (brown sugar, pecans, flour & butter).




Fun With Freezer Paper

16317036176_e6465e3b85I’ve been on a T-shirt making kick lately. I think its because it’s a craft that almost anyone can do. When my nieces and nephew were visiting we decided to do freezer paper T-shirts. I asked them and my  kids what they wanted on their t-shirts. I designed the layout in Cricut design space and cut out the freezer paper with my Cricut Explore (remember to put the freezer paper shiny side down on the mat).

For those who don’t have an electronic paper cutter you can totally do this project by printing or dr16155393258_d9cfd576eaawing your design on the dull side of the freezer paper and cutting out the design with an exacto knife. Remember to keep the small pieces that will give your design definition (like the inside circles from letters)
Here’s what you’ll need to do your own freezer paper shirts:
  1. Freezer Paper (found near the foil in your local grocery store)
  2. Electronic paper cutter (like a Cricut) or an exacto knife
  3. T-shirt or other garment/item of your choice
  4. Fabric paints (I use the weekly 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby to cut costs here)
  5. Sponge brushes (found in the craft section of your local discount or craft store)  
Once you have your design cut out of the freezer paper just iron the freezer paper to your T-shirt (no steam), shiny side DOWN – if you mess this part up you’ll ruin your iron (ask me how I know)! 
After you have the freezer paper completely ironed down, put a piece of heavy cardboard inside of the shirt so that no paint bleeds through on the back of the shirt. 
16341238171_c1abdcac17Now you can use a sponge brush and T-shirt paint to color in the stencil. One tip here, don’t try to do a really heavy coat. It’s better to do light coats on top of each other (no need to dry between coats) so that you don’t have unevenly painted areas.
Lay the T-shirt aside to dry for a few hours. When the paint is dry to the touch pull off the stencil (don’t forget to remove the little pieces too). As long as the shirt is dry to the touch it is ready to wear. However, you shouldn’t wash it for at least 48 hours (or for whatever length of time is listed on the fabric paint package). When you do wash it turn it inside out and wash with like colors.
I hope you have as much fun making your shirts as we did! Toodles!
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Dino-Mite T-shirts!

16151848087_5803582ec0My youngest daughter’s daycare does theme days each Wednesday. This week the theme was dinosaurs. I was super excited because Claire didn’t have anything dinosaur themed so I knew craft time was coming! Now, for those who know me you know I am a procrastinator, but this time I vowed to do better. I designed the layout in Cricut design space and cut the design out of heat transfer vinyl on my Cricut Explore. I used vinyl and a shirt that I had in my stash…Yay me!

Anyhoo, back to the story…so in my quest to fulfill one of my New Year resolutions (being timely) I finished the shirt in record time. Claire was super excited about her new shirt and was making dinosaur sounds all the way to school (’cause that’s what two year olds do). 😉

We walked into the building and got oohs and ahhs from the staff and she was grinning from ear to ear. However, what happened next was not as funny.

One of the staff members said, “Oh, I love your dinosaur shirt Claire, but dino day is tomorrow”! Wait, what!? Tomorrow!? The staff member looked at me with understanding (and some sympathy) and said, “You can just wash it and let her wear it again tomorrow”. I thought, yeah…I could, but where is the fun in that!? So…we made another top with a little more bling!16151847827_f21c57de69 16337728275_66122fff0c

P.S. Next time I do a “bling” shirt I’ll be sure to use either darker vinyl or a darker shirt so that everything “pops”!