how to fill a Lego brick container


There is this thing that lives inside just about every Lego store.  It’s so big and bright and calling out to my kid, “Come over here and take me home with you!”  You guessed it: it’s the Lego brick wall.  And how can anyone resist, right?  Piles of colorful, shiny, new bricks just waiting to be used in some way.  Our 4-year-old is beginning her migration from Duplo blocks to the small bricks so we’ve been known to bring home a container of loose bricks once in a while (vs buying a whole set with directions and a real purpose).  On this trip to the Lego store, I decided to get the most for my money (hey, I didn’t say that this brick wall option was cheap!) and see how well I could fill a small Lego brick container.

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card making: heat embossing with colored powders


Heat embossing is a super fun technique that is simple to apply to any small project.  It’s a technique where the embossing powder produces a shiny, satiny finish that is usually glossy after it is heat set.  Check out the effects of using different colored powders and then experiment with different color combinations to find the perfect match for your next project.


chocolate buttermilk layer cake

Happy Easter with chocolate layer cake.  And buttermilk.  Chocolate cream cheese frosting.

You’re welcome.


And the recipe is here: Donna Hay’s Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake

It was delicious!


card making: easter eggs by the dozen


Easter is coming!  There’s still time to whip up a cute card so here are a dozen different ideas made to inspire you.  In this article I talk about techniques such as heat embossing, doodling, using fabric, hand-stitching, and masking.  Each card has step-by-step directions, extra photos illustrating different steps along the way, and alternative ideas for a different spin on each design.

Not into Easter cards?  That’s okay!  The oval shape used in these examples can easily be replaced with other shapes for other occasions.  Try a star, heart, a simple circle, a basic rectangle, or a diamond shape – you get the idea – and then follow the directions to create a similar result.  Or stick with the oval shape but change up the color palettes and stamped sentiments.  The possibilities are endless!  Happy crafting!

recipe: apple pie sticks


I think I first saw a photo of these somewhere on Facebook and could not resist seeking out the recipe.  Before you click on that link let me just warn you with two words: FOOD PORN.  Oh yes.  There are some mighty sexy photos of apple fries dipped in a yummy gooey caramel sauce attached to that very link.  You. Have. Been. Warned.  {giggle giggle}

Mine?  Well.  Let’s just say that I’m not gonna try to call them fries.  They are not skinny.  They are not dainty.   They are big sticks.  But these be yummy sticks so at least they taste better than they look.

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recipe: ginger coconut pumpkin seed granola


Homemade granola is so delicious and extremely easy to personalize.  This was the first time I tried to make it at home and man, I am so glad that I did!  I followed this simple recipe for the first batch (just to test the water and try my hand at it) and my husband loved how it turned out (didn’t add anything to it like raisins or nuts, just good ol’ oatmeal).

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

last show of the year

Alas, November has come and gone without a single post until today!  It was quite a busy month with travels and a one-year-old’s birthday celebration.  And although it’s quite last minute, here is info on my last show of the year taking place tomorrow (Saturday), December 1st in Newton, MA.  It’s Trefler and Sonsfirst annual holiday open house from 10 am to 2 pm at 29 Tower Road.

Somehow I actually managed to put together two new holiday card designs within the past few days.  Oh wait, I know how … it’s called caffeine!!  🙂  These two designs will be available at tomorrow’s show along with a couple of other designs still in progress.


And if you can’t make it out to the show tomorrow, I’m happy to say that these two designs are available at Gather Here in Cambridge.  I’ll have them posted in my Etsy shop online after the show this weekend (if there are any left!).

Hope that those of you in the local area can make it to the show tomorrow!  Happy holiday shopping!


the penny jar = redeemed

We both thought it would be about $30, so we weren’t too far off.  Not bad for 10+ years of collecting these copper things!

And yes, we will start over again … hopefully it won’t take us 10 years to get it full again.

the penny jar

Can you guess how much is in the jar??

This jar of pennies began before I met Tony, which many of you may not know, was almost 11 years ago.  He started putting his loose penny change in it way back then and we decided to cash it in (since it was nearly full) the other night.  The great thing about those Coinstar machines is that you can opt out of the counting fee (something like 7 or 9 cents per dollar) if you choose to redeem your coins as a gift card.  So we decided to get a Starbucks card since we buy our ground coffee there.  Score!

Now just by looking at this jar of pennies, can you guess how much is in there?  And just an FYI, four little dimes managed to get in there somehow … I’ll post the amount tomorrow.