Create*Bloom*Grow

Growing through life creatively…


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100% Not Irish

I know they say that, “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”, but I am not so sure. I grew up going to Catholic school. Generally, at Catholic schools (especially back in the 70’s and 80’s) there are a lot of Irish and a lot of Italians. I am a quarter Italian and 0% Irish. I often felt fairly out of place not being 50% or 100% one of those 2 nationalities. Today is the day that I am reminded I am 100% NOT Irish.

I love the enthusiasm. I tend to be pretty spirited about whatever I am doing, but have found that I just can’t quite pull off much for St. Patrick’s Day. I always wear green and we eat the requisite meal. I am happy my kids are past the leprechaun trap stage as that was a special kind of torture for me.

At any rate, I am thrilled to be invited by much-more-Irish-than-me friends to their house for dinner. I was asked to bring dessert, so in the spirit of my Lenten crafting challenge, I had fun with it. I started yesterday and am done by noon today which is huge for me as I am the “Queen of Procrastination”. I did Thin Mint Truffles and Minty Mini Cupcakes.

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These are the Thin Mint Truffles. Throw a box of Thin Mints in the Cuisinart and combine with a block of cream cheese. Roll balls and dip in chocolate. What is not to like? This is probably a good time to mention that while I am fairly crafty with a lot of things, cake pops (or anything rolled and dipped) are not my strong point. I doubt anyone is going to complain!

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Next up the Minty Mini Cupcakes. Homemade double chocolate mini cupcakes topped with fluffy mint butter cream. They are topped with pieces of Andes mints which did not come out of the bag quite as pretty as I imagined them.

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I bought these at Walmart before Christmas and they never ended up in any of my Christmas cookies. I think they will be quite tasty and I look forward to using them again soon.

I hope all of you have a wonderful St. Patty’s Day however much Irish you are!

 


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Personalized Cricut Signs

First, I’d like to check back in on my Lenten crafting challenge… So far, so good. I’ve been working on tutus for my booth at the craft fair in May. I’ve also done a Cricut project or 2 which I may share later.

Today I am sharing a bunch of projects I did one year for Christmas. I love signs and quotes. These were some early Cricut & vinyl signs that I did for Christmas one year. Simple, painted wooden plaques with vinyl cut on my Cricut and a picture hanging hook on the back. Everyone enjoyed their gifts and I liked giving something more personal.

Starting with my favorite – a perfect gift for grandparents:

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And for a bunch of kiddos on our Christmas list. It was fun to use the kids favorite colors and pick an image that each individual would like. I doubled up on the butterfly as I thought it was a beautiful image and the plaques were given at separate Christmas gift exchanges. All of the vinyl with the exception of the orange robot and the soccer ball were cut on my Cricut.

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I would love to get into making more signs. I’d also like to get the hang of antiquing my signs.


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Masquerading at the school auction

Recently I had the opportunity to do a very fun project. The theme of the auction at our school was Masquerade Ball. They brought someone in to sell masks which was nice for most people, but was never going to fly for me as I did not want a mask that could possibly look like someone else. Throughout my life I have definitely had the need to be unique. Heck with worrying if someone else would have the same dress at my Junior Prom, I did not want anyone else to even have the same color! I opted for bright purple which in the end was only worn by one out of probably 300 other girls. Anyhoo…

I also love to make things which meant this was the perfect time to stretch my creative muscles. Luckily, I had a few partners in crime. 3 of my girlfriends and I went on a road trip to visit the new Hobby Lobby on my birthday followed by lunch at Fenton’s. What could any 42 year-old birthday girl like more than a morning of crafty inspiration followed by a super yummy lunch and amazing ice cream with like-minded friends? We picked up supplies and inspiration all over the store.

We met a few days later to put together the masks. I did do a little bit of prep work to my mask as I wanted it to be glittered (a tremendous shock for anyone who has been reading my blog). I also decided that the base should be painted black before I glittered it. My husband assisted by spray painting it with left over paint from a Pinewood Derby car.

The basic base painted black:

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Then I gathered my glittering supplies:

  • Mod Podge
  • Bowl
  • A little water
  • Black glitter
  • a straw to stir and a brush

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Next I worked in small sections painting some of the Mod Podge, water, glitter combination over the mask and then pouring more glitter over each section. I like things really sparkly…

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Part of the reason for wanting to make our own masks was that most of the masks sold were the type that attach to your head with an elastic. I would go nuts having something in my hair like that. It seemed much more elegant to hold it on a stick. We got together and the glue guns went flying. I love that they are all so totally different. Here are the final results:

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A few notes on what it took to create mine:

  • Think about the sizes and proportions of the different embellishments. I had to go back to the store for additional trim as I found the original ones I selected were all the same size.
  • I used a rhinestone clip on earring for the embellishment at the forehead. Wish I had a bigger one, but I worked with what I had.
  • Don’t be afraid to go big.  In the end, I loved mine, but it was not as over the top as I would have liked.

We brought a vase to the auction, so we had someplace to put our masks the night of the event.

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And finally, a better view of my mask as featured on the lovely face of my daughter dressed up in my old Senior Ball dress. In my effort to be different, I ditched the color craze and made the dress myself.

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Happy crafting!


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Lenten Crafting

I gave up something for Lent every year when I was growing up. For those of you not familiar with Lent, it is the 40 days before Easter in the Catholic Church.  A time of waiting and preparing. Eventually, it became more popular to “do” something instead of “give up” something.  Truthfully, I have not had my act together to even do that over the last few years, but this year I am going to make it happen.

I’ve decided to make sure I take time to “do something crafty” each day.  I was inspired by a woman at a quilt show a few years ago who quilted for 1/2 hour per day.  Some days she did little projects and some days she did a little bit of a bigger project. I think I would be so much happier (which will make me a better person) if I took time to do this each day.

Yesterday was the 1st day of Lent and I made a tutu.  I will actually be doing quite a bit of this over the next few months as I am going to have a tutu booth at a vendor fair in May.

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This one is not totally done, so I have a little more work ahead of me tonight. This may actually be one of the first tutus I sell. A lady online said she was looking for some tutus locally and someone referred her to me.  I would love to have some sales under my belt before I set up a whole booth of this delightful tullishness. I make my tutus fairly simply by sewing an elastic waistband and then tying on the tulle.  This particular tutu is kind of interesting because I did 2 red, 2 black, 2 red and so on.  Depending on how you fluff the tulle, it can look mostly red (as it does in the picture) or black.

How many tutus will I make for my booth?  I am planning on about 100 (20 or so in 5 different sizes).  Just like with my OCD cookie baking, I put together a spreadsheet of color combinations and how much tulle each size takes.  I just ordered 85 – 100′ rolls of tulle from my favorite website, Papermart.  Who doesn’t need 8,500 yards of tulle lying around their house?!??!?!

Can’t wait to update you on my progress!


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Wishing you a Wii-ly Happy Valentine’s Day!

I guess I’m on a roll with the digi scrap program this week. In addition to using it for my Girl Scout Cookie thank you notes, I’ve also used it for my children’s Valentine’s for a number of years.

I love that they can have really personal Valentines to hand out to the class. Again, I make them as 4″x6″ cards (or sometimes 3″x5″) which I can print out as pictures.

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I usually start “bugging” my kids about what they want to be for Halloween sometime in August. I am the “Queen of Last Minute” (no joke, I think the first pin I ever pinned on Pinterest was a sign that said, “Don’t rush me, I’m waiting for the last minute.”), but I do not like being left in the lurch for Halloween costumes. My son has pretty much always opted for something he can buy at the store. That was fine with me because I was not going to attempt to make a homemade Star Wars character anyway. This past year, he told me early on that he wanted to be a Wii Remote. Um, excuse me, you want to be what?!?!?!? I thought he was kidding. I also thought he would change is mind. No such luck, he had decided what he wanted which presented Mommy with the awesome challenge of making his dream come to life. I am happy to say that I met the challenge and he ended up with a really cool costume! I will do a post on the making of this crazy costume later this summer.

For now, I hope you have a Wii-ly Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Too Much of a Good Thing?

‘Tis the Season – No, we have not rewound the calendar to December.  It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season.  Happy days….

I’ve been a Girl Scout leader since my daughter who is now in 6th grade was in 1st grade.  We have had many adventures, but some of our favorite revolve around selling cookies.  Can’t help it – I was raised in a retail family and I like to sell.  My daughter has the same genes.

We did realize early on that it is super-important to stay organized (you wanted how many boxes?) and to show our gratitude to her customers.  We discovered early that a very personal way to do this is by creating a 4″x6″ card in my digital scrapbook program.  I’ve been using Storybook Creator Plus from Creative Memories.  Sadly, with the closing of CM, you can no longer get this fantastic program, but there are others out there that you can use.  I use my digi scrap program for MANY things that have nothing to do with scrapbooking.

I print out a bunch of these cards as photos at the beginning of the season and we are ready to go.  We have done a number of fun cards over the years.  They often involve a photo of her and the cookies in some way, shape or form.  This year she opted for no photo, but we came up with something very “tweeny”.

Cookie TY Blank

The ones I print for her actually have a note of thanks at the bottom and her name, but I’ve posted one that you can actually use yourself!

I’d love to hear what other Girl Scouts do.  Happy Cookie Sales!


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Olympics are almost here – Go Team USA!

I LOVE the Olympics.  I get so excited about cheering for the good ol’ Team USA.  This past week, I decided to use some of my left over scrapbook paper to make a Team USA Banner with my Cricut.  I’m going to give you a quick overview of products & techniques I used to make it.

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I had used the BoBunny “Liberty” papers to do a scrapbook of our Washington DC trip a few years ago.  I had a bunch of different patterned papers and the solid Dark Denim & Paprika “Double Dot” papers.

I made rosettes in contrasting color to the background of each pennant.  There are a bunch of different ways that you can make the rosettes.  I have always found it best to use hot glue as it is really strong and dries quickly.

I used a banner from the “Pretty Pennants” Cricut cartridge to make the base and the letters are from “Storybook”.

I used silver glitter craft foam cut on my Sizzix Bigshot for the stars.  At first I was going to put the stars in the middle of each rosette.  Then I decided to mix it up for the rosettes with letters and keep only the solid star rosettes symmetrical.

I finished it up by punching holes with my slot punch and stringing ribbon through the whole thing.  I figure that I will also be able to use this banner again at the 4th of July, but just taking off the TEAM part.  Double duty!

It is hanging right under my TV and once I get my Olympic flag up out front (and maybe my red, white and blue bunting if I am feeling really crazy), we are all ready to watch the Opening Ceremonies!  Go TEAM USA!

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