Growing through life creatively…


I am a Fontaholic…

I cannot lie.  I am a fontaholic.  Happily addicted to letters in their many forms.  I am also a huge Disney fan.  I was actually introduced to my husband only because my step-sister knew we were both single and both liked Disney.

I’m just dropping by quickly this morning to share some of my favorite “Disney Park Inspired” free fonts.

Disney Fonts

Enjoy!  Feel free to share any other ideas for fonts that remind you of being at the Happiest Place on Earth…


Our California Mission Mission

Today’s creative inspiration is not so much a craft project or something I made as how we are creatively teaching our children about their roots.  I think I’ve mentioned that my children are 6th generation Californian on 3 sides.  There are not a lot of people whose California roots stretch so deep.  California school children study California history in 4th grade.  A big part of how modern California was founded was through the construction of the Mission system (unarguably at the detriment of the Native Americans who were the first inhabitants). Studying the Mission system often involves the inevitable “Mission Project” where children are required to construct one of the 21 California Missions.

My husband and I decided that as Native Californians our kids needed to have a good understanding of that part of our history so we set out on a family Mission Mission.  Yes – we were crazy enough to visit ALL 21 of the California Missions stretching from San Diego north to Sonoma.  This endeavor was started the summer before our daughter entered 4th grade and ended this past weekend just days before our son was to build his Mission.  32 months of creatively working Mission visits into our other travels throughout the state.

As a scrapbooker I took just a few (that is an understatement) pictures on our adventure which of course will be made into a fabulous album (eventually).  One common site at the Missions is a statue of the founder of the Mission system, Father Junipero Serra.  We made a point to get a shot of this statue at each site.  Here they are compiled into a single snapshot:

Junipero Serra

The astute mathematician will notice that there are only 20 images in the above combined image.  Sadly, one of the Missions had significant earthquake retrofitting and construction going on (this is California after all).  #irony is that this is the Mission my son is constructing for his project and therefore one that is near and dear to our hearts – San Luis Rey.  Here is the best we could do at that location:


So close and yet so far away…

I thought it might be fun to throw in photos of the Mission projects my children did in school. It has almost become a joke among school parents that you can always tell who really did the kid’s Mission when they brought it into class. At some schools, it has become a contest among the parents. To combat that idea and actually give the kids the opportunity to build the project themselves, at our school, the Missions are created in class. Parents send supplies and may volunteer to help, but are not allowed to do all the work.

Mission San Antonio de Padua

Mission Projects - Page 001

Mission San Luis Rey

Mission Projects - Page 002

At any rate, we love teaching our children through travel.  Other travel bucket/checklists we are working on:

  • Taking our children to all 50 states (they are 9 and 11 and have 10 and 11 states under their belts respectively)
  • Visiting all the California State Parks
  • Visiting all the National Parks
  • Visiting all the Presidential Libraries (we’ve only done Reagan so far)

We were lucky enough to find a “National Park Passport” at the first National Park we visited and have been having it stamped ever since.  Same thing goes for the California State Park system and the Presidential Libraries.  A fun way to keep track of your progress.

We haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on our list.  Happy travels!

Leave a comment

Thought for the Day

I love quotes.  I think they can be powerful and help you make sense of things, see things from another way, validate your feelings or just entertain you.  I also love fonts.  So it only makes sense that the creative side of me really wants to make signs.  I had seen a quote recently that I have been dying to do something with.  “Not my circus.  Not my monkeys.”  Apparently, it’s origins are as a Polish Proverb.  This speaks to me as I tend to get wrapped up in and worry about family dramas (and which family doesn’t have these!?!?!?).  This tells me to step back and try to worry less about things that are: a) not my business and b) out of my control.

I am playing around with different mediums of signs – canvas, wood, burlap, etc.  I recently discovered pre-made black canvases which seem like a bit of a time-saving step to me as I am almost always going to feel the need to do something with a white canvas before doing a quote, but may skip that step with the black background.  I picked one up at a recent excursion to Hobby Lobby.  These are new to my area and the closest is 45 minutes away.  We are getting our own in March or so and I can’t wait!

I love working with vinyl, so for this sign I decided to use the mask of the vinyl and paint the inside.  Here goes


  • Black 12×12 canvas
  • White paint
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Vinyl
  • Pampered Chef Scraper (the little brown thing used to clean your stoneware)
  • Cricut & Gypsy
  • Storybook Cricut cartridge

I started by playing around on my Cricut Gypsy/Craft Room looking for the perfect font.  I wanted something “circusy”.  I played around with Storybook and added the embellishments to the letters.  Perfect, but after I cut them out I realized I was never going to be able to use the mask of the vinyl to paint them.  I ended up throwing them on a piece of paper and we’ll see what I end up doing with that.


I then dialed back the fanciful font to one of the basic, slightly fatter ones on the cartridge.  I got a little too excited and ripped off the mask that I needed for my painting project – ooops.  My husband would describe this as 1, 2, GOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


I finally hit my stride and ended up with a simple finished product.


On to the next project!

1 Comment

Halloween/Christmas….Holiday Swap

Well, I originally made the following project as part of a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz Halloween costume (more my costume creations later because I ROCKED my son’s first ever request for a homemade costume) for my daughter, but they didn’t end up getting used and now they are Mommy’s holiday fun shoe!


This was my first foray into Modge Podge and glitter and I have to say I was HOOKED!

Supply List

  • Canvas shoes (I found these at Michael’s)
  • Mod Podge
  • Glitter
  • Tape
  • Paper to protect your work surface
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 Bowls

I started by covering my counter with paper so that it would not end up glittered and clean up would be easy.  I used tape to mask the areas of the shoe that I did not want to cover with glitter.  I used clear tape which made it a little tricky to see exactly what I did, but you can use your imagination…


Then I mixed up some Mod Podge, a little water and a bunch of glitter in a bowl.  Adding glitter to the Mod Podge gives you better coverage in the long run.


Then you just start “painting” your shoe with that mixture.  After I would paint a small section, I would hold the shoe over the other bowl and pour more glitter on it.



Keep going until the whole thing is covered.  Let it dry and remove the tape.  Enjoy your cute new shoes.

Disclaimer – the glitter can be scratchy around the top, so you might want to make sure you have socks between the shoe and your skin.  This was PART of the reason my daughter refused to wear them on Halloween. We originally thought these would be better for trick-or-treating.  The truth is that she is 10 and I’d also purchased sequin heels for her Dorothy costume.  She would have slept in those if she’d had the opportunity…

Leave a comment

Confessions of an Obsessive Compulsive Christmas Cookie Baker

There are many creative avenues I love to pursue, but most don’t make me quite as OCD as baking Christmas cookies.  It all started one year when I was single, living in San Francisco and working a stressful corporate finance job.  One weekend in December, seeking a creative outlet, I started baking Christmas cookies and just DID NOT STOP.  At the end of the weekend, I looked around my sugar spattered kitchen and wondered what on earth I was going to do with them all.  I decided to have a “Cookie Party” which was to be an Open House where friends and family stop by to enjoy some cookies and holiday cheer.  What fun that was!

Fast forward 15+ years, a husband, 2 kids, a move (or 2 or 3) to the suburbs, I still continue this fun tradition.  It sometimes gets a little out of hand – both the baking and the party (we once had more than 150 people stop by)!  Luckily, my family enjoys it and my husband is great about washing the mounds of dishes required to make so many cookies.  I have done it almost every year with just a few exceptions.  Last year I took a year off, so this year I really need to turn it up.  Having a new double-oven will make it even more fun.

Here is a quick shot of one of the tables from 2011.

Cookie Party

Recipes have been gathered from a variety of sources.  I always start of with Chocolate Krinkles because my Mom made these cookies the morning I was born (after mopping the floors on her hands and knees and before making it to her 11am doctors appointment, but I digress) and I just think it is a good way to kick things off.  Next inspiration came from Southern Living at Home’s Christmas Cookies book.

photo 1

This is actually the 2nd copy of this book I have owned as the first one nearly disintegrated.  I honor that 1st Cookie Party, but making a few of the same recipes that I have made every year (Peppermint Swirls, Coffee Crisps & Oreo Cookie Balls).

My second source of recipes is Better Homes and Garden’s annual Christmas Cookies issue.  This magazine comes out around September 1st (I am not going to lie when I say I start “stalking” the news stands not long after that date) and can be found a most craft stores and sometimes even the supermarket.  I have these dating back to 1998.  I just got the bright idea last week to look for older issues on EBay (duh!).  “Viola!” several issues are already on their way to me!

photo 2

I usually make about 30 different kinds of cookies and nearly 2,000 individual cookies.  Because this much crazy baking would involve a thousand trips to the store if I didn’t plan ahead, I do create a spreadsheet to list which recipes I plan to do, where I can find the recipe and what ingredients they require.  I do sometimes get inspired by new things along the way or decide to make multiple batches of my favorites, but this gives me an idea of where to start.  How else would I know that I needed 40 cups of flour, 31 eggs and 13 cups of butter?

I guess it is time to stop procrastinating and get baking!  I will keep you posted on how it is going this year and maybe share a few of my favorite recipes…

Leave a comment

A Pinterest a day keeps the summer boredom away…

My daughter and I have decided to “be productive” with her summer vacation this year.  Although I’m sure it will not happen EVERY day, we hope to pick a project or recipe that I’ve pinned on Pinterest and give it a go.  I’m sure my son will be roped into some of these adventures too.  We will post the “results” here!

Today’s project is the creation of the Summer Bucket List which I also hope will help keep the kids from driving themselves, each other and me crazy!

2013 Summer Bucket List

List made using Creative Memories digital scrapbook program Storybook Creator 4.0.