Happy Christmas!

At my work place we are engaging in Secret Santa. That is when you draw the name of a co-worker and secretly give them presents. At the end of the given period, you reveal your identity. Usually, the group engaging in this festivity agrees to a low dollar allotment.

We are doing a one week Secret Santa mission. I have found 5 small, yet nice, items to gift to my recipient. I had the clever idea to package them in a snowman!

My snow "balls" are "square." I used a cut file for a cube that I created years ago with my Pazzles software. I resized it to 4 graduating sizes--staring with one inch and increasing by a quarter inch each time. The bottom gift was quite a bit largerthan the others and flat (a picture frame). Fortunately I had a box to compliment my set up, as creating a cube for the bottom would have made things disproportionately odd. His hat is a cylinder that I fashioned by hand.

Cube Before Closing

I am attaching a note instructing my recipient to begin at the bottom. My identity will be revealed in a note inside the hat!

He's a four "ball" snowman!

Happy Holidays!

This is a craft that you can do with the kiddos. Make your snowman as tall as you wish!

Blessed Christmas to you and yours.

We are up--cycling Christmas at The Cutting Cafe blog.

What do these items have in common?

Fun Fibers

Fun Fibers

Ball Jar

Ball Jar

Digi Stamp

Digi Stamp

We are using jars and cans to decorate for the season. Check the blog for more ideas.

I went real simple. But I like it because you can do this with your kids. They can make their decoration as simple or fancy as they like. I used a glass jar. I didn't have fake snow on hand, that is why I used some fun fiber. But I recommend the snow. My car looks like it's driving around after a snowstorm! They must live in MinneSNOWta!! I see that I could have made my digi stamp a bit larger. Still it is a fun little decoration. I printed the digi in reverse as well. Then I sandwiched foam tape between both copies. This way you can view the scene from two sides of the jar. Happy Holidays!

Christmas In a Jar!

Christmas In a Jar!

Bird's Eye View

Bird's Eye View

Digital printable files used in this project:
Car from Feb 14
Tree and Gift Tag from All About Christmas

We often see art and crafts reflecting the world around us. That is because art often borrows from nature and the world. A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the lines of a sloping roof.

Gable on House

Gable on House

This gable architecture design is used in this Gable Box Template from The Cutting Cafe. I used the template to make a couple treat boxes for Christmas. The box measures 4.5 by 3.75 by 2.75 inches. This is just the size of the bottom portion of the box. The actual height from top to bottom is approx. 5.25 inches. The file comes with various decorative handles and window openings. Be sure to check The Cutting Cafe blog for more ideas. This Gable Box is easy to assemble, so you can get the kids involved and make one for every one in the family!

Jolly Santa Box

Jolly Santa Box

Open View

Open View

Inside View

Inside View

Classic Santa

Classic Santa

Side View

Side View

I have bught a box of clear candy tubes. There are so many fun ideas out there for these tubes. As well, you can think up your own.

I am sure that my kids were the last to finish school this year. But just in case you still need a gift for your teacher, here are a few ideas. As well, I have used the Reeses Pieces to make a Father's Day gift and a gift of love! You can get the kiddos involved in filling the tubes and tying the tags.

I created the tags in Adobe Illustrator. You can use MS Word or other program. I cut the mustache by free hand.

Pictured left to right are:
Teacher Thank You, Father's Day (mustache), To My Honey

So Many Pieces!

So Many Pieces!

Close Up

Close Up

Happy Valentine's Day again from Krista's Paper Cafe. I came up with this one more idea and want to share it with you. I think these would be fun for your kids to give to classmates. You could assemble the critters and they could design the pockets!!

I designed the pocket cut file myself. Easy enough--you can do it too. Adding faux stitching with a gel pen helps get the point across that this is a pocket. The Bee is a cut file from KaDoodle Bug Designs and the other animals are from Treasure Box Designs.

Do you like the sayings? I know you have heard them before. But kids will laugh!

The critters are removable. They could be used as book marks or add a magnet to the back.

For more Valentine Ideas see my previous post here.

I do appreciate your comment and I read every one of them! Thank you.

KaDoodle Bug Design

KaDoodle Bug Design

Bee Mine!

Bee Mine!

Treasure Box Designs

Treasure Box Designs

I'm Not  Lion. You're Grrr-eat!

I'm Not Lion. You're Grrr-eat!

Treasure Box Designs

Treasure Box Designs

Valentine, You're Purr-fect!

Valentine, You're Purr-fect!

Treasure Box Designs

Treasure Box Designs

Stop Monkeying Around!

Stop Monkeying Around!

Excuse me as I am sending this post a second time as Miss Elf now has a helper--Mr Elf!!

This is so fun! This Elf cut file is designed by Cheryl at Creative Kuts. It is actually 3D and is made with candy canes! We eat very little sugar at our house, so I used pipe cleaners. Because I used pipe cleaners, I used hot glue to adhere the body parts. My elf is a bit long legged (like me) but I think that is even more fun! I think this project is pretty kid-friendly. I am going to pre-cut the peices and invite the kids at Thanksgiving dinner to make one. There is a male version also. I hope you enjoy looking at this cutie pie! (I think that this will not be in the CK Store until Monday.)

I used pipe cleaners, so first I had to make candy canes.

The various pieces prior to assembly.

Lay two canes side by side at an angle. You can adhere them together or only to the dress.

Add hands and feet and close dress.

Here she is completed.

A close up of her sweet face.

Miss Elf has a New Friend, Mr Elf

Here is the back. You can also see the size w the ruler.

You may recall that I am a member of the design team: "made with love (and paper)." We are on our Tenth creation as a team. Please stop by and do join us in this month's challenge!! You are welcome to submit your creation to the challenge.

Our made with love (and paper) challenge for December is Vintage Holiday. We are required to use a pine cone and something sparkly.

I am also part of a swap group and for December we are making ornaments. I have decided to combine the two projects!

I have created this square cone ornament. You can leave them empty or fill them. I used vintage style papers and ivory lace. I found that great pinecone pattern from the marvelous Penny Duncan. These are so easy and fun to make. Note the sparkle on the pine cones. It nicely simulates the sap often found on them.

This first ornament is for the Design Team. Can you imagine the paper as a vintage, velvet wallpaper?! Love that!! The larger ornament is just under 5.5 inches and the smaller, is 4.5 inches. You can make these any size.

You can make these ornaments any size.

A close up showing the beautiful, vintage-style paper.

You can have so much fun with these. Imagine the decorating possibilities. I was pleased to have all the supplies on hand. I have been hoarding the red cardinals for over a year!! (next set of photos) I love cardinals at wintertime. I have to give a pair of these to my mom. She loves little song birds as well. Anyway, you can hang these on the Christmas tree, in the window or on the backs of your guest's chairs in the dining room! You can leave them empty or add almost anything you like. You could even make these with fun, traditional holiday colored paper and toss candy inside for the kiddos. And bonus! If you assemble the cone, the kids can decorate them! (You know I like those kid-friendly crafts!) I am excited to make more. I wish I could use these as my Christmas cards!! But that would be a lot of postage.

close-up showing the fun victorian print

Are you looking for holiday and Christmas decorations and cards? On Monday I began listing these items in my shop. I invite you in for a look.

This Post Is Dedicated to My Dear Friend, Karle.

One of the latest crazes in paper crafting is Action Wobbles(c). This is small plastic spring attached to adhesive paper on both ends. The idea is to put a little spring in your creations. See this post of a card I made when Wobbles first introuced to the craft world.

Yes, they are fantastic! So fantastic that the company that makes Wobbles cannot keep up with demand. When they first came out I also thought they were fantastic! But I am thrifty and I am also quite careful about what I take out of and put back in to the earth. I do not care for waste or products that do not decompose.

My friend Karle made a card with a Penguin on it. I suggested that she add a Wobble. She has one Wobble to her name. I asked her if she knew how to make a paper spring. She did not and I cannot just hop in my car. Chicago is close to Minneapolis, but not that close. I need to be here when my kids get home from school.

In the first grade I learned how to make my own paper spring. You simply fold a strip of paper back and forth to give it the spring effect. In fact, I learned two methods. I put together a still photo tutorial. I hope you can catch what I am doing. Maybe I'll have to video it live. Let me know. You know I love this because it is kid friendly. Remember, I learned this in the first grade (37 years ago).

First, the easier version. You want a strip of paper that is wide enough to support your object, but narrow enough to hide behind it. This version can be flimsy--depending on what you are attaching it to.

Start With a Narrow Strip of Paper/Cardstock

Fold Strip Back-n-Forth (like making a paper fan)

Adhere to Object and Base (card, scrap page, etc.)

Now the version that is a bit trickier. However, it is much more sturdy and may be a tad more springy! Start with two strips of paper. Again, you want strips of paper that will make a finished spring that is wide enough to support your object, but narrow enough to hide behind it. (Scroll to the bottom so you know what you want to end up with.)

Begin with 2 Strips of Paper

Adhere the End of One Strip to the Other Forming a Square Corner

Fold Strip on Right Across to the Left, Crease

Fold Strip on Bottom Across to the Top, Crease

Fold Strip on Left Back Across to the Right, Crease

Fold Strip on Top Back Across to the Bottom, Crease

At this point, you will have a column. When you let go, it will pop open a bit.

Spring Stretched Out

Adhere Spring to Object and Base


(This post is photo heavy . . . but I want my kids to enjoy the process. They (especially the youngest) love having their pictures on my blog.)

"Mom . . . ?" the call goes out.

"How many days until school?"

(Not that they want to GO to school . . . . By the way my kids do not start until after Labor Day, Sept 6. The Kindergartner, on Sept 8.)

I have heard about making a paper chain to count down to the first day of school. I decided that the kids and I would do this. You know I like when those kid-friendly crafts. As a crafter, I could not stop at any ordinary paper chain. I wanted the kids to enjoy the chain, give it a little meaning and make it "pretty." We added apples and a bell to our links.

In my Pazzles program I first drew a 10 by 1 inch rectangle. Then I drew an apple and separate leaf. I selected the apple and made an outline, or shadow of it. Centering the apple's shadow on the rectangle, I "joined selected items" (or welded the two together). Each apple link will represent how many days left until school day. I also created one link with a bell (using the same process). Explanation to follow . . .

Cut file pattern created in Pazzles

At bed time the kids will rip off the link for the day (counting backwards). The last link has the bell on it. School starts the day the bell rings! Clever, eh? I tried to make it so the little kids would "get it." Had to give them the history of the apple and bell as it pertains to school. I had my daughter include the leaf on her apples. But I skipped this step for the boys. They like to craft, but are not into detail.

The Pieces of the Links


I think I will share the creative process via pictures . . .

Preparing to Craft

Numbering Apples for the Count Down

Apples Applied to Strips (Jacob)

The New Kid is Ready to Link

2nd Grader is Ready to Link

The Teen is Ready to Link

Working Hard

Working Hard

Working Hard . . . ?



I think the kiddos did a fab job! Way to go! We hanged the chains on the fridge.

The Count Down Begins

We are having some summer fun at Paper Playtime. Our challenge for July is SUMMER. We can make any paper creation with a SUMMER theme. And you can play along too! (Look for Challenge #50.)

We are also getting our style on at Getting Cricky with K Andrew and her Simply Sunday "Fashion-ista" Challenge.

One of my favorite designers of paper cut files is Miss Eleanor at SVG Shop. I have used her files in my blog posts previously. Miss Eleanor has created the cutest cut file for a 3D flip Flop! Wait! You say . . . Flip Flops? Paper Crafting? Huh?! I have several ideas I want to try, but here is the first. I used buttons to decorate my flop. I did not have any large fun buttons, so I had to get a little creative. I made my box at 7 1/2 inches long. Can you imagine smaller one as party favors? Or leaving one on your co-wrler's desk filled with candy to brighten their day?!

As I write this blog entry, Eleanor is offering the flip flop cut file for free. If you make one (or a pair) do comment on my blog with a link to your post/photo abum so I can see your creation!

It's a Flip Flop BOX!!

The Top Lifts Off

Close Up of Strap