Skye joggers

In February, I had another opportunity to test a pattern for Blank Slate Patterns— this time it was for joggers!


Of all the garments I’ve sewn, I have done the least with pants.  I learned so much from fitting these!  The pattern includes a really helpful guide to getting the fit just right for your body–words and pictures that help diagnose and correct common fitting issues.   Even though my end result was this cute calf-length pair, I started with a muslin that was just shorts-length to make all of my adjustments before making my final pair.



The Skye joggers are super comfortable!  Mine are made from some medium knit, and I think they would be great in French terry and ponte, as well.



In my last post, I showed the first of two big Valentine projects that V did this year.  Of course, if we have a Valentine mailbox, that means that Valentines were exchanged– and V and I came up with a plan for her to make her own: all twenty-four! (enough for all of her classmates, her teacher, and a few extras)


Otters are one of V’s favorite animals, and so for Christmas, she received a set of otter stamps by My Favorite Things.  I have loved watching her reach for them again and again to make cards for friends and family, and she used them again for this project.

We decided on a circular design, and I use the print-and-cut feature on my Silhouette to create a card front that had a sentiment inspired by the stamp set (and a little more kindergarten-classmate friendly :)) and left room for the otter stamp.

V did all of the stamping herself:


She used a practice piece to work out the colors she’d use for each part of the otter.  All on her own, she realized that it would be most efficient to batch-process her coloring! She first colored the otter’s heart, then the pink cheeks, and finally the two colors for the otter’s fur.

On the back, V wrote each classmate’s name and her own on the print-and-cut scalloped circle.  She adhered the layers together, and we attached them to a little packet of candy hearts.

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This was also a really cool opportunity for us to see some of the power of prayer.  The day before, my Silhouette had simply not turned on.  On this day, it turned on and started to work, but it was still giving me trouble.  The machine even turned off in the middle of one of the cuts!  As I expressed my concern to my kids (we were all together working in the craft room), we stopped and prayed together that the machine would work long enough to finish the class cards!  And it did!  Finally, it got through the last sheet of card backs, and we all stopped again to thank God for the gift of a working machine!

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Here are the finished valentines!




I’d like to share a couple projects that V did recently for Valentine’s Day at school.  I’m really proud of her!


This first project is her Valentine mailbox.  The instructions that were sent home said that this was a family project, so we made it one!  (They also said that the only limit was our imagination…and it had to have the student’s name clearly marked on the front!)

I did a little pre-searching on Pinterest to gather some options from which V could choose.  As soon as she saw our short-list, she immediately chose a castle.  What we made is based on THIS and THIS.  Husband went searching for cardboard parts and oversaw V drawing out some crenellations to then cut with scissors.



I glued all the parts together and then spray painted the whole thing purple (well, as much as I could with an almost-empty can of paint!).  B watched this process with great interest!

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After the structure dried (and aired out–wow! I forgot how pungent spray paint is), I brought out a bunch of embellishments, and Vivian decorated her castle.  I was impressed with her choice of design– simply doilies and flowers, with some rick-rack trim.  She wrapped the cardboard tubes with paper, and then we got out the glue gun!


Since I have a low-temp glue gun, I thought this would be a great opportunity to start teaching her how to use it.  She attached spirals of ribbon to each of the towers, and then used the glue gun to attach the towers to the main structure.  I was really proud of V– at first, she was understandably a little scared to use the glue gun, but she gained confidence as I helped her, and by the end, she was using it by herself (I was right next to her, of course!!).



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…and here are the “glamor shots” of the finished castle!






V’s classmates were able to put their valentines into the box via the little drawbridge.

It looked like her kindergarten Valentine’s Day party was a lot of fun!



For the past two years, I used a Sugar Paper for Target planner for all of my goal-setting, to-dos, and daily planning.  I’d switched when I was unable to find another favorite planner of mine, and I discovered that the weekly layout with a facing weekly planning page was exactly how my brain worked!  When I went to buy one for 2018, I made the sad discovery that they weren’t selling that planner through Target any more!  I had fallen in love with the weekly layout, and the planners directly sold from Sugar Paper didn’t even meet my needs 😉

As I discussed this “tragedy” with Husband, he suggested that I make my own.  He even volunteered to set up an Excel spreadsheet to auto-populate the dates onto the weekly pages and calendar spreads so that I wouldn’t have to do it by hand.  In fact, he went so far as to program it so that I can enter any year, and it will calculate the proper dates!  Hooray!  He really is amazing.

Not only that, but he helped me fine-tune the margins and cell sizes so that it prints out just right.  I decided to make a half-letter sized planner and use the Staples Arc system to bind it (I purchased THIS punch–affiliate link).  In past years, I stuffed all sorts of bits and pieces into my planners and they ended up bulging in an unsightly way with extra papers (and then they’d fall out if I dropped the planner…).  I purchased a set of Arc covers and the largest discs I could get so that it has plenty of room to grow.  I’ve already added several bits and pieces (notes from my daughter, slips of paper with school information, ephemera stapled to patterned paper, and cards…) and it makes me so happy to see them as I flip back.  I love that these bits of life are now part of the planner in a sleek way.



After lots of fussing with the layout and fonts, I finally reached a look that satisfied me.  I took my favorite aspects of the two planners I’d loved and some modifications that I’d been making to them and mashed them all together.

At the front of the planner, I have a year-at-a-glance calendar that I modified from HERE.  Because it wasn’t quite the right aspect ratio for what I needed, I took a screen shot of the .pdf and re-created the title with fonts that match the rest of my planner.


Each month starts with a notes page, which I am using to keep track of the things I accomplish during that month.  On the facing page, I have a planning page to help me keep track of my intentions for that month in each of a number of categories: scrapbook (memory keeping), sew, home, and health.  I also have a spot for important dates and a box where I can make notes for future goals and hopes — the ones I want to get to but aren’t reasonable for that month.


Right after that comes the month’s grid.  In a future iteration, I hope to have the boxes programmed with conditional formatting so that the borders show up only if there is a number inside… but for now, I might add pretty patterned paper to the blank boxes… maybe!  These pages are printed on card stock, so they serve as a bit of a divider.  I may add little tabs (maybe with matching patterned paper??), as well.


Each week has a planning page and a week-at-a-glance page that I use to keep track of my daily to-do list and appointments, etc.


It took me until almost the end of January to get everything in order, but I was using test pages from the beginning of the year, and that really helped me work out some of the finer details before I printed everything.  I am really, really happy with how this turned out!  I am so very grateful for Husband’s help!  This wouldn’t have come together without him.

Floral baby card

I made this baby shower card for a friend of mine who just had her baby girl!

I went looking for inspiration on my “Scrap” board on Pinterest, and in browsing through my pins, I saw several that heavily influenced my design:

You can see that I took the ideas of floral clusters around the sentiment as my inspiration…


I had a floral sticker sheet that had orange, yellow and pink blooms on it, so I chose a patterned paper that brought out the pinks in the flowers that were more predominantly orange.  I made a little cluster, adding foam behind some of the blossoms for extra dimension.

I added die-cut feathery leaves for more texture, and I put everything on top of a doily  that I stitched onto the white background in a spiral.  The sentiment is actually another sticker that I trimmed to be more narrow and then clipped into a banner shape.


I really like how this one turned out, and based on the number of cards that I’ve pinned with a similar design, it seems to be something that my eye gravitates toward!  I will definitely be using this design idea in the future!


I’ve been doing some more coloring with the Copic markers that Husband bought for me for Christmas, and this is the first completed card (aside from some lunch box notes for V!) that I’ve made.


I used the Space Cadet set from Paper Smooches to make the cute little alien ship and the planet, and I white heat-embossed the starry background for inside the window.

That set doesn’t have a birthday greeting, so printed my own onto the card front, which I created with my Silhouette SD using the print-and-cut feature.  I used the fonts Hiragino Sans GB and Nightly Poem (the brush script).  I also added the detail of a thin black line around the circle window by using the offset tool and changing it to be a non-cut, printed line.


I assembled the card using a lot of craft foam for dimension!  I like how it gives the look of the cute little alien flying right out of the opening!



I’m linking this up to the Paper Smooches’ January 2018 “Anything Goes” challenge!


Copic markers!

Husband’s Christmas gift to me was Copic markers!

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I have been watching artist/paper crafters use these markers for years, and I’ve always wanted to try them.  Not only did he get me some markers (a colorless blenders, some blues, greens, browns, and reds based on blending groups recommended by Sandy Allnock), but he also purchased Sandy Allnock’s Copic Jumpstart class for me to take!  I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can!

I have done a bit of experimenting with the markers I have, and I have been having SO MUCH FUN!!!





I am excited to color more, and I already know which color markers I want to purchase next 😉