Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

We hope your day was filled with
Treats, Treats, and more Treats!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Storkie Express: Holiday Card Review

It's never too early to start thinking about the annual Christmas card! Recently, I got to try a service for customized holiday cards, that was new to me. It's always fun to try out something new, and now that I've done the "test drive", I can't wait to share the results with you!
(Some Personal Details in the Photo Edited for Privacy)

Ever since we became a family of three, we've sent out photo Christmas cards, so naturally that was my first stop at There were a lot of choices and styles from sophisticated to cutesy; it was hard to choose! I think they've even added several more choices since I ordered. I was just browsing over there again and saw a bunch I don't remember.

ER helped me pick the Decorative Penguins Photo design. She exclaimed, "Oh Mommy, they're just so CUTE," as soon as she saw it. If you click the link to our design above, you'll notice that the example background is purple. We picked green because I thought it went better with our beachy picture, but we could also have chosen pink or blue.

That was one of my favorite part about designing our Christmas cards on With just a few clicks I could easily preview the various background choices. You might also notice that I changed the font color and adjusted the font size. It was easy to do both and get exactly the look I wanted.

Another really fun option you can choose is to add bling to your card. On this one you can add a 3D gemstone to the red bow, red star, or both. It's an additional ten cents per bling per card, so twenty cents per card for both. I choose not too, but in hindsight I really regret it. I think it's one of the things that really sets apart and it would've been just $4 extra dollars for my set of twenty cards. A small amount to really make your family's greeting card stand out from the others. The ordering process was quick and easy. I ordered them on October 4th, they shipped on the 6th, and were on my door step on the 12th. Pretty good turn around time for a custom printed product. They came packaged in a nice box with tissue paper for a really nice presentation.

Included with my review set of photo Christmas cards, and with all card orders, are white envelopes. Mine were upgraded to include our return address printed on the back flap, also in the Murry Hill font used on the card so they coordinate perfectly. It's such a nice touch and saves me an extra step too.

The cards themselves are printed on a matte smooth recycled cardstock. The graphics are nice and crisp. The photo looks sharp too. I'm really pleased with the overall look and feel of the cards and envelopes. As well as the substantial dimensions, they're just over 7"X5".

Where really shines is with all the little extras you can choose to make your holiday cards special. Besides adding a photo to your card there are many ways to customize your Christmas cards ranging from adding bling, colored envelope liners, envelope seals, and even custom stamps! I think those are great ways to make your holiday greeting really special and get noticed by your recipients.

You can learn more about Storkie Express on their Facebook Fan Page and follow them on Twitter.


This product review was made possible by the Double Duty Divas. I was not compensated for this review other than a product sample provided by Storkie Express Inc. All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A "Handy" Hanging Bat

For our last Halloween craft this year, we whipped up this sweet cubby little bat. Can you tell by the hair bows at the ears and the pink mouth, it's a girl? No bat in the belfry 'round here, she's been hanging out around our kitchen chandelier instead. That way she can keep an eye on things and be where all the action is.To make the wings, I incorporated one of my favorite things. You got it, handprints...sort of! This time I traced both of ER's little four year old hands onto craft foam. I positioned them so I could connect them and cut out as one piece.
Then it was time to prepare the body. It's a bit of a "green" craft because instead of starting with a black tube sock, I used a sleeve from an old sweater of mine. It was put into the drier, and while it didn't felt, it did get quite a few pills and shrunk to an unflattering fit. Note: a tube sock probably would've given us a better shape but I liked the idea of repurposing.
I chopped off about six inches from one sleeve and rounded the top. Turned it inside out and did a quick bit of messy stitching with some embroidery thread to close it up. Then came ER's favorite part, stuffing it all up with fiberfill. I pinched off each side of the sewed up rounded edge to make "ears", and put a few stitches in to hold their shape. The ribbon bows are not only cute, but also hid the threads.
Felt was used for the white part of the eyes and mouth. I stitched on the felt and button eyes as well as the foam wings on the back. The pink felt mouth and felt teeth were added with fabric glue. I'm going to add 2010 on the backside of the wings so that years from now, we'll know that it was ER's preschool little hands that are commemorated in foam:)

Shared At: Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
504 MainTidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Crafty Soiree #9

Hey Everyone! We've had quite a week here, I came down with the flu and was SICK! Yuck! Wouldn't you know it, just as I started feeling better...the hubster got sick. He even missed work and he NEVER stays home!

Now you know what's coming next...yep, now the kiddo is not feeling good either. I'm keeping my fingers crossed she's okay enough to get her preschool Halloween party on Friday, or there will be one very unhappy little four year old mooping around our house! So sad because she spent so long working on goodie bags for her classmates, and is really looking forward to handing them all out and wearing her costume to school. So keep your fingers crossed she gets better!

Last week I only made it around to a handful of your posts, and I'm very sorry about that crafty friends. It' s a real bummer, because I love visiting you and some of my long time bloggy friends linked up for the first time last week. With the holiday weekend, Halloween is a big deal with the preschool set around here, I may not make around to everyone this upcoming week either. I'll click over to see everyone, but I don't know if I'll be able to comment every where. Those really take up a long time, especially when you've got word verification on.

Thanks for linking up and have a fun filled Halloween:)

Okay enough about my week! Let's get to the fun and three pumpkin projects! I've done this yarn project in the spring for Easter, but never to make pumpkins like Naturally Educational did! I think I like it for fall even more!
Road Theory shared this cute pumpkin shirt, made extra special with ruffles! I love that they are also on the sleeves.
Our third pumpkin project is this card from Create with Joy. Isn't the pumpkin stamped on twill cool? I've never tried that before and now I really want to!

Ladies, for being our features this week, we're happy to offer you our special Crafty Soiree Ribbon! It's yours to proudly display! Don't forget to check out today's Crafty Soiree post at Yesterday on Tuesday, we both pick three participants to feature each week so you might have been featured by Malia. But you'll have to visit her to find out!

Now it's your turn to link up! The linky will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join us! Here are some guidelines for our guests:
  • Link up your creative projects! Crafts, Decor, Recipes, Sewing and Organizing tips are are welcome. Kids crafts are welcome too, we want to see how you're encouraging the next generation of artists!
  • Add your links to the specific posts and not your blog's homepage. Please make sure you post is NEW to A Crafty Soiree, it can be from your archives but should not be something you linked up to our soiree before. We've had a few repeats and we'd like to avoid that.
  • Add my Crafty Soiree button above or link back to me in your posts, so others can find us and join in!
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Please consider following the hostesses, me and Malia, we want to get to know our guests
  • Most importantly... enjoy yourself and have fun!

Don't forget, A Crafty Soiree is hosted on two blogs, so when you link up on one your link will automatically show up on the other one too! Please note, by linking up to A Crafty Soiree, you're giving permission to feature your project and photos in the future, with proper credit of course☺


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spellbound Halloween Tag & Photo Card

ER wanted to put together some little treat bags for her preschool classmates. She was a very conscientious treat packer; it kept us occupied for almost an hour! We used this opportunity to count to 16 over and over, and over again! It was also a great way to fit in some one to one correspondence practice. We gave the kiddos a Halloween pencil, pumpkin erasers, stickers, vampire teeth, and a couple of sweets.Now you KNOW we could not just tie our baggies closed and call it a day! Oh no that is not how we roll around here:) I just got my hands on the new Spellbound Halloween themed digi kit from Louise at Adori Graphics. I had so much fun using it to whip up some tags for our bags.I designed this 2X3 tag (edited for posting) put a bunch on one sheet, and printed out all of them on two pages of photo paper. I added a picture of my own little sweetie, so everyone would know who the goods are from:) The only thing I think I would change is, to make the button cluster a little bigger.

Anyhoo, here's the tag attached to our loaded up treat bags. I totally wanted to use ribbon, it would've been even more adorable, right? Then decided to make my life easier and just use the twists. After all, chances are both are going to end up in the trash as soon as the kids tear into them. Still super cute don't you think?
While I was at it, I also made this fun little photo card, edited for posting, to send to some friends and family using the new kit. They printed out two to a sheet and these will fit right into the envelopes we usually use for bill paying.

Most of the premade designs I was seeing were for horizontal photos. I love being able to make my own designs so I can fit my favorite pictures of ER. If she was a little older it would be fun to attach them to some paper and have her write her own little message on the back.

Check out Louise's post about Spellbound for some more preview pics of the kit contents. Loads of fun stuff in there and in my opinion, also perfect for pages about a certain wizard, who's the subject of an upcoming movie! I'm sharing this on my weekly linky party: A Crafty Soiree:)


Disclosure: I'm a on the Design Team for Adori Graphics and receive access to products to create promotional items.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jack O'Lantern Treat Bags

If you child likes to paint, paint, paint, paint...then this simple treat sack is for you! You'll be surprised how quickly they can whip up a whole batch of these. They're perfect for neighbors, friends, or anyone else you want to give some sweets to this Halloween and so much cuter than the little plastic baggies you can buy. It's especially good for the littlest ones. The kids can have a great experienced based art experience and it's still easy to turn it into something that looks recognizable to the rest of us!Materials: sponge, orange paint, brown paper lunch sacks, pre-cut jack o'lantern face pieces, hole punch, ribbon, and of course...your treats:) A clothespin is optional but helps keep fingers a little less covered in paint.

I gave ER one of my old cosmetic sponges, that I clipped to clothespin to give her some thing to hold onto. Then let her have at it, with a stack of bags. She happily sponge painted a whole bunch and it kept her busy for a really long time. Mommy supervised from the kitchen table, AND actually got to eat her lunch uninterrupted...yay!After the bags dry, glue on pre-cut eyes, noses, and a mouth. Fold top of bag down. Punch two holes near the top. Add your treats. Tie closed with green ribbon. Easy peasy!

Literature Connection:

When I was still teaching kindergarten, I liked to do this craft after reading the book Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. It's about Rebecca Estelle, who loved to plant a bit of everything...expect pumpkins. She hated pumpkins! But then one year, despite all her efforts to avoid growing them, they end up taking over her garden.

To get rid of them, she bakes up batches and batches of pumpkin goodies. That night she carves and carves the pumpkins, to bring people out to the farm for her impromptu party. Everyone has a great time.

After everyone in the class makes a treat bag, they all looked so cute sitting up on the window ledge, kind of like the picture of Rebecca Estelle's pumpkin patch of jack-o'-lanterns near the end of the book. Even a smalller sized patch, like the grouping of three we made after reading the book is still fun to see.

Other Quick Jack O'Lantern Crafts for Kids: One reason I love Jack O'Lanterns is because it's so easy make different variations, here are some others we've made.

Paper Plate Jack O'Lantern: ER made this cute little mini plate version in preschool. Paint plate orange and glue on pre-cut face and stem pieces.Jack O'Lantern Jar Votive Holder: Wash an empty glass jar and peel of all traces of label. Paint jar with Mod Podge, layer on small squares of orange tissue paper until the entire surface of the jar is covered. Glue on pre-cut face pieces. Coat entire jar with another layer of Mod Podge to seal it. Let dry. Have an adult put a votive inside and light or use a small battery operated votive inside.Terra Cotta Pot Jack O'Lantern: Paint each pot orange, mod podge on the face, and then seal everything with another thin layer of mod podge. Roll up a bit of brown paper to make the stem, pushed it into the drainage hole in the pot and then attached a paper leaf to it. Thanks to my friend Margaret for planning this fun version! and of course, our most recent one...Jack O'Lantern Sun Catcher

What have you turned into a Jack O'Lantern? I'd love to hear about your crafts! Leave me a comment and a link to your post if you've got one so I can check it out. I've got to start gathering ideas for NEXT year:)


Shared At: Get Your Craft on at Today's Creative Blog
abc button

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jack o' Lantern Sun Catcher

ER and I made this last week, when we were trying to think of something cool to use for our guest post at Muffin Tin Mom. Can you tell we had jack o'lantern's on the brain?
As I looked at the leftover tissue paper and empty toilet paper rolls from another fall project, that I'll share in November, I thought they might combine nicely to make a neat nontraditional shaped pumpkin.Paint the outside of an empty toilet paper roll orange and let dry. Cut roll into approximately one quarter inch sections. Pinch sections into petal like shapes.
Attach to one another using glue dots, as shown. It kind of looks like a flower. Actually, it looks a lot like a flower:) I think we'll have to make a bunch of these in the spring to hang from our window.
This is unrelated, but before you ask, that thing in ER's hair is from her Great Grandma down in Missouri. It's a neck scarve /slash/ necklace. She think's it for her hair and insisted on wearing it that way. I know it looks weird. We do not wear it out of the house!

At this point, you might notice how silly it will look with the inside of the toilet paper roll exposed. Paint the inside of the shape orange.
Paint one side of the shape with glue, lay it on thinck, as shown above. Turn over and press into orange tissue paper.Let dry. We left ours out overnight. As you can see, the next day it was glued on really good.When dry carefully cut around shape. Isn't the sun shining through pretty?
Attach precut eye, nose, and mouth with mini glue dots. Carefully poke a hole through the tissue paper at the top and string through ribbon. Hang your sun catcher near a window and enjoy!


Shared At: Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative BlogSumo Sweet StuffKeeping It SimpleMaking
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP