saving holiday greeting cards

We have a really large chunk of blank wall space in our living room that becomes a canvas for all sorts of decorations and creations depending on the current holiday or season.  One thing that we look forward to each winter holiday season is filling up that space with the wonderful greeting cards from family and friends.  But what do you do with all of the cards once the holidays are over?  You could simply recycle them.  Or if you’re like me and want to save a few of them, you can keep them together with a simple binder ring.

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crafting :: candy cane + chocolate sleighs

{Edited on 12.20.17 to add new photos … scroll down to see them + a couple of new ideas!}

I saw this video on how to build little sleighs using candy canes and mini chocolate bars, and decided to try making some with our daughter.  It’s a really cute way to spread some holiday cheer to friends, teachers, and neighbors – and they’re simple to assemble.  She provides a helpful video on her website but here are some things that we did differently (plus a couple of things I learned along the way).

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card making :: ready for christmas

I’m sure that there must be a gazillion Christmas themed stamp sets, so how do you choose one?  One aspect that I look for when it comes to buying new products is versatility.  Can I use it in more than one way?  How can I get the most use out of it?  And when it comes to stamp sets, I try to think of how many designs I may be able to come up with.  I had the opportunity to try the “Ready for Christmas” photopolymer stamp and die cut set by Stampin’ Up! and enjoyed creating different scenes with it.

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card making :: home life

Doesn’t it look like I stamped half a million flowers and leaves on this card design?

If you’re a crafty stamper too, you may have picked up on this trend of “layered stamping” because I feel like it’s everywhere. When I first began using stamp sets that came in multiple pieces (the layers), I’ll admit that I found it daunting. I’m supposed to line up what to what now? How do I know where this one goes compared to that one? You get the idea.  It took some practice (and patience!) to figure out some of the unique qualities behind layered stamping, and I think the “Home Life” stamp set from Stampin’ Up! is a great way to ease your way through the use of this fun technique.

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card making :: stampin’ blends

A while ago, Stampin’ Up! came out with alcohol-based markers to use along with their stamp sets. Unfortunately they were only on the market for a short time as they discovered an issue with the manufacturer.  Alas, they’ve come up with a new line of them and I had the opportunity to try some of them out.  These dual-tip markers are being offered in 12 different colors and 2 shades (a light and a dark) within each color, plus a color lifter marker.  They’re a great way to color in stamped images where you want to see some use of shading.  I’ve paired them up with the “Floral Statements” stamp set to try them out.

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card making :: skeleton halloween card

We’ve become one of those households that loves celebrating Halloween.  It has also become a good reason for me to whip out some of my old stamps and embellishments, and I love that our 5-year-old enjoys crafting as much as I do!

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ripple yarn project

Earlier this summer, I signed up to be one of the 57 artists in the Ripple Yarn Project.  The project was created by two local artists, Adria Arch and Cecily Miller, and the installation is along the Minuteman bikeway in Arlington Center.  We were assigned specific measurements to knit or crochet a piece to cover a portion of a tree using a bright and bold color palette, but were [almost] totally free to do whatever design we wanted.  The exhibit will be up for six months.

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diy :: food skewers out of buttons

I’ve been on the whole lunch box packing thing lately. There is a ton of inspiration out there for fun ways to jazz up what might otherwise be considered a boring meal.  One thing that is pretty common to use are food picks or skewers.  Fast forward to a trip to our local craft store and E eyeing a package of cute mermaid themed buttons.  I snuck them into our shopping basket when she wasn’t looking and decided to try to make my own plastic skewers that could be reused in her lunches.  Because you know me, I’m just crafty like that.  🙂

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card making :: climbing orchid

I think I owe my fondness of orchids to our mother: she has this incredible knack of being able to keep them alive in her house, and they continue to bloom year after year.  She must have at least a dozen at a time, and each time I see an orchid flower or plant I think of her.  Stampin’ Up! has this stamp set called “Climbing Orchid” and it has matching dies so that you can cut out the stamped images too. We had a couple of yucky rainy days recently so it was perfect for staying in to craft.  Here are a few card designs to illustrate ways you can use the stamps.

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introducing crafty lunch lady

With our kid starting kindergarten soon, I’ve been practicing packing her lunch while using a spiffy Bentgo Box.  I love this thing!  We’re going to let her buy lunch at school a couple of times per month too (read: on pizza days!) but since she tends to be particular about what she likes to eat, this’ll be a way for me to make sure she’s eating well during the day.  She’s generally a good eater but she’s less likely to try new foods if we’re  not there with her.  Plus she said that opening up her lunch box each day will be such a fun surprise!

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