Sunday, September 21

CRAFT | DIY Paper Floral Woodland Crown

It's that time again…another fun submission for the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge.
My team chose to go with a Floral Woodland theme for our projects this month. The monthly topic chosen by Cricut® was "Celebration/Wedding" so we decided as a group it would be awesome for each of us to choose a specific element of a wedding or celebration so that all of our projects would blend together to create one giant cyber celebration…so-to-speak.  Here are the specifics we decided on as a team:

Team Project Colors:  Mint + Blush
Team Project Elements should include:  Natural wood elements when possible and eucalyptus. All projects should include elements of a "Celebration" that would lend itself to either a birthday, anniversary, baby shower or wedding. Work as a team to combine our efforts/projects to showcase a variety of aspects of the same celebration. 

We also thought it would be fun to create a Team Pinterest Board to reference as we were brainstorming project ideas.  There were SO many pretty and inspiring pins on our Floral Woodland Inspiration board…be sure to peek at it.

I immediately signed up to do a floral crown since my daughter Clara had suggested it for last month's "Fashion" project.  Our team ended up deciding on a Geo theme for our fashion projects in August and I just wasn't feeling the crown idea for that. BUT…the Celebration/Wedding theme for this month couldn't have been more perfect.

I went with a rustic crown by filling a grapevine wreath with paper flowers and paper eucalyptus.
The concept was simple…and there were plenty of pre-designed florals to choose from in the Cricut Design Space. However, there was no eucalyptus so I created a file myself and I am SO impressed with how the Cricut performed in cutting out the intricacies of the fine stems I drew that made up the silver dollar eucalyptus leaves I designed.

Pen N' Paper Flowers Eucalyptus Image/File - I will make this available once the Cricut judging period has expired.
*Small Grapevine Wreath (6", 8" or 10" - determined by person's head size)

Colored Card Stock
much of what I used I already had or found at a local craft store but here are similar items:
Moss Green card stock (for 4 Eucalyptus branches)
Blush Pink card stock (for 2 small flowers)
Mint Green card stock (for 3 small flowers)
Ivory card stock (for 4 medium flowers)

* Look for a small grapevine wreath that has the thinnest vines for a "softer" crown vibe - thin enough to be able to use bobby pins to secure the crown in the hair of the person who'll be wearing it. There were some I purchased from Hobby Lobby when I first started gathering supplies and they just seemed too prickly and thick. (and honestly looked more like the thorny crown depicted in images of Jesus' crucifixion - not to get all holy on you - but it wasn't the look I was going for, if you know what I mean). I later found thinner versions at JoAnn's and Michaels.

STEP ONE :: Cut/Create Paper Eucalpytus
Using the Cricut® Design Space, upload the Eucalyptus image file. Cut four separate eucalyptus images from 12x12 Moss green card stock. Mine were sized around 6 inches wide.

Use the weeding tool to remove each of the paper Eucalyptus branches. Mine peeled off super rips or tears!! Yay!!  I've used my Standard Grip Mat several times now so it's not so tacky. Things peel off like butter now.

Can you believe how amazing these Eucalyptus branches turned out!? I think they are so realistic. With this only being the 2nd time I've used the Cricut® Explore, I was super impressed with the ability it has to cut fine, intricate details. I thought for sure it would just shred the fine stems but nope…perfection!!  The Cricut Explore also has a "scoring" feature…it would be cool to see if it would score lines into the leaves…but I'm still a newbie and haven't tried that feature yet.

STEP TWO :: Cut/Create Paper Flowers
Select a pre-designed 3D Flower from the Cricut Design Space.  Cut 2 small blush pink flowers, 3 small mint flowers and 4 large ivory flowers from the three different 12x12 sheets of card stock. My flowers were approximately 3 inches for the small and a little over 4 inches for the large.

Roll your card stock cut outs starting from the outside inwards to create the flower shape. You can do this with your fingers or use a cute party straw to help…see below. These are the EXACT same concept as the Easy DIY Paper Flowers I shared with you some time back…except I didn't have to hand cut a single flower…I let the Cricut® Explore do all of the work and I just have to roll! *wink* Pluse these have darling scalloped edges too.

There are several different 3D floral files to choose from in Cricut Design Space. (see below)
I went with the one I starred below…just because I felt the softer, more shallow scallops resulted in a more rose-like flower. But I think they are all really pretty! *wink* Pick your favorite and go with it.

I didn't end up using the more pointy 3D flowers as shown above…
but this was my only photo of the rolling technique with the straw. 
It's NOT necessary at all…but it's kind of helpful.

STEP THREE :: Assemble Crown
Layout the paper pieces of your crown starting with the Eucalyptus pieces. Add the flowers and make sure you like how they look before securing with a hot glue gun.

Consider the placement of the finished crown on the person's head when deciding on placement of the flowers. If the grapevine wreath is more oval vs. round you'll want the narrow ends of the crown sitting at the front and back of the person's head so it sits securely. Keep that in mind when placing your flowers.

Not only is this a simple crown aesthetically…the Cricut® Explore made it simple to make too.
It's pretty enough for a wedding yet simple enough for using as a birthday crown.

I hope you love the project.
And I really hope Cricut® does too…they'll be picking the Top 10 projects submitted by all of the bloggers participating in this Design Star Challenge. The winners of the Top 10 for this month will be announced on September 25th. Once they announce the Top 10…voting will open up to the public and an overall winner for September will be chosen. Then we get to do it all again in October AND November. *wink*

My whole team came up with some fabulous projects too!!
I'll be sharing all of them in a separate post…coming soon!!

A special thank you to my daughter Clara for modeling the crown for me!
She's got gorgeous hair…doesn't she?!

As simple as this project was…it took me ALL week long to find the time to actually get this post finished and up on the blog.


Friday, September 19

SHOPPE | Chalk Paint + Chocolate + a little Halloween

I'm finishing up my post for the next project I created for the Cricut Design Space Star challenge.
So while I'm working on that…and will be posting tomorrow…
I wanted to share a few things I've added to the shoppe.

With Chalk Paint on the brain…and chocolate ALWAYS on my brain too…I sketched out this cute art print for my Friday Instagram posts…I call them "Funspiration Fridays". It was too cute not to offer as a printable. There are five different versions included in this download so be sure to check them out in my Etsy Shoppe. 

You guys know how much I LOVE redoing furniture and giving it new life with a fresh coat of paint - usually creamy white. I just knew there would be others out there that would totally get the Chocolate + Chalk Paint Art Print above. It's SO fun…and SO me!

Which by the way…the reason I've got chalk paint on my brain more so than usual is that I'm on eggshells waiting for a BRAND NEW product to arrive on my doorstep that should revolutionize the entire chalk paint industry. Seriously!! (more on that later though)

In addition to that...I also added this fun  Halloween Poem Art Print… original poem by me…thank you!! Didn't know I could write poems too…did ya? Ha!!

This one is an 11x14 and comes with a Chalkboard Background too!!!

I've got this Witch Brooms Poster coming to the shoppe in a large 24x36 Poster as well as some small 5x7 Art Prints.  I just LOVE how it came out!! (Chalkboard version too - below)!!

I hope you'll peruse my shoppe and check out the goodies I've added.

I've got Halloween on the brain, (in addition to the chocolate and chalk paint mentioned above), and I'm excited to start getting some of these art prints displayed in my own home!! Have you already started decorating yet?

Have a great weekend everyone!!

I had all of these grand plans of doing at least THREE different projects for the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge this month but I just didn't have time. Actually, I made an attempt at a 2nd idea I had but it just didn't turn out like I had hoped. I plan on tweaking it though and sharing it with you all down the road.


Tuesday, September 16

FREE | Monthly Blog Hop Printables :: Halloween

Remember the FREE "Something Wicked This Way Comes" sign I shared with you?
Well it was for the awesome lineup of FREE Halloween Printables for September's monthly Blog Hop!! I have to say this collection of printables turned out SO adorable!!

Download and print ANY of the cute things you see above right here!!
Halloween Printable Bottle Labels - Skip to My Lou
"You've Been Booed" Printable Kit - Catch My Party

I hope you love them and will hop your happy little self from blog to blog to download them and then use them for your upcoming Halloween festivities!! Tell your friends too! *wink*

I've got more Halloween stuff coming to my Etsy shoppe too!
Think cute signage…if I can ever find the time to upload it! 


Friday, September 12

SHARE | Something Wicked This Way Comes

It just feels SO wrong to be posting something about Halloween when Summer isn't officially over until September 21st. It seems wrong to me anyway…

HOWEVER…Halloween is coming…and it's coming fast.
The industry I'm really have to be working 2 months ahead of each season in order to stay ahead of every holiday. I've been working on some Halloween stuff over the last month, (so I'm actually a little behind), but I'm already full focused on Thanksgiving and will be starting Christmas stuff soon. I don't LOVE it…but it's the nature of the industry.

Anyway…since Halloween is coming whether I want to say goodbye to Summer or not…
I'm forced to share one of the printables I've been quietly working on for you…

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Halloween Art Print

I actually had a customer reach out to me about designing a "Something Wicked This Way Comes" sign for her home…but she ended up thinking this version was too "pretty"- which I completely get.
But I'm okay with "pretty" more than "spooky"…so I'm sticking with this version here at my house.

I thought you might like it too so I'm offering this FREE 5x7 Art Print to all of my sweet blog readers.  It gets better though…how about this...

CHALKBOARD "Something Wicked This Way Comes" Art Print

Use this free 5x7 printable to get a headstart on decorating and perhaps even…party prepping.

Do you all host Halloween parties? I typically don't…
unless you count the playful meal I serve my family on the night of Halloween just before heading out for trick-or-treating. Ya know…the "mummy dogs" served with individual bowls of ketchup and a mustard spider web spun in the middle of the ketchup.

I love decorating the inside of my house for Halloween but the outside is usually pretty sparse, except for this cluster of really cute signs I bought years ago that I stick at my front door.

They really need to be spruced up a bit…or maybe the fading black paint adds to the "spooky" vibe of the season? Haven't completely decided yet.

I got the Cobweb sign from an Arts and Crafts festival like ummm…10 years ago?
And the two smaller signs, "Boo" and "Mr. Skull" were from Target. I'm a sucker for creamy white and when you add black for Halloween…well…you know I'm going to cave.

I also stay away from all of the "scary" stuff. I've tried turning Halloween into more of a "light-hearted" holiday for my kids instead of focusing on all the yucky "wicked" stuff. (Remember our annual Phantom Pumpkin tradition)?  I don't allow scary costumes typically…no masks…no gory stuff. I think I'm just a wimp so I guess I'm passing all of that along to my girls. Ha!!

On a good year, you might find a giant inflatable stack of lighted jack-o-lanterns in our yard. I picked it up on clearance at a grocery store years back and if I'm feeling the urge…Mr. Jack comes out to play.
I wasn't feeling it last year…maybe this year though?

Anyway, if you like the FREE 5x7 you are more than welcome to DOWNLOAD IT RIGHT HERE.
And stay tuned for the Monthly FREE Printables Blog Hop coming next week - all about…you guessed it…Halloween!! *wink*

I do have to say I grudgingly let Clara and Ema dress up as Vampires one year and we recently stumbled upon those photos on my computer. Clara actually asked me, "Why did you let me go out looking like that!?" Ha!! I think they liked the way they looked at the time…but neither of them liked the way they looked when looking back at photos. They were pretty creepy. Ha!!


Wednesday, September 10

MY NEW FAVORITE | Butter Baked Goods Cookbook

You guys!! I don't know what my problem is lately but I've been obsessed with purchasing books.
Cookbooks, home decor books, paper crafting books, whatever I feel inspired by.
Maybe that's it. Maybe I'm just looking to be inspired.

You already know I'm a sucker for pretty baking books because I've posted about them here on the blog…Miette Cookbook,  Gourmet French MacaronsSmall Plates and Sweet Treats.  I've also got these pretties sitting on my shelf too: Vintage Cakes, Sugar Baby and Back in the Day Bakery

So it was instant love when I set eyes on my NEW favorite baking book…

Rosie Daykin, the owner of this adorable bakery was an interior designer, which completely explains the cuteness of her shop.

I think know what drew me to the book instantly. The cover!! I'm just a sucker for pretty styling and color palettes…not to mention my love affair for cake plates. The mint green backdrop is perfection and the wallpaper is divine. THEN…when I read the story about the charming bake shop called Butter, located in British Columbia, I was even more convinced this book belonged in my kitchen.

I was fortunate enough to visit Victoria Island and Whistler some years back and it's still the most beautiful place I've ever been to. I would LOVE to go back there one day - and stopping into this bakery would be the icing on the…cupcake! *wink*

The recipes in this book are the same treats baked and sold at the actual Butter location.

"At Butter you will find all the yummy baked goods you remember from your childhood, made from scratch every day. We use only the best ingredients in everything we produce and take the greatest care to make sure that everything at Butter tastes as good as Mom would have made!"

Yes! Please!!!

I'm all about from-scratch baking and using the best ingredients. When I opened the pages I felt like I was reading about and looking at the dream bakery I've longed for throughout my life. I love pretty bakeries with a hometown vibe - nothing fancy schmancy…just good old fashioned baking.

What amazes me is that upon opening Butter, Rosie had to open her own marshmallow factory because her homemade marshmallows were in such high demand. They actually ship them now all over the place. And the packaging for them is just perfection!!

As if that wasn't enough…there's now a Butter Café
and I'm hoping the 2nd book I've heard Rosie mention will be all about the recipes from the café??

In fact, the old Butter location was moved to accommodate the café portion of Butter and the old location has now been turned into a Tea Room. How sweet!!

Sounds like business is good.
And I love a good "small business" story!

Hope you are inspired!!
I've already made these fun "Sticks and Stones" cookies and I can't wait to try out even more recipes from the book.


One thing I learned from the book already is that Rosie's version of a "Smartie" is much different than the American version. The "smarties" Rosie mentions in the book are the chocolate version made my Nestle - not the powdery sweet candies I'm used to. M&M's are an awesome substitute.

About my dream bakery I mentioned above...I've come to realize through the years just how much work owning a bakery would be and I've determined I'd rather just keep baking at home for my friends and family and I'll just visit all of the cute bakeries out there. How about you?

I also dream about re-inventing the ice cream truck and having something vintage-like and super cute to drive around in and serve up some fresh scoops of soft serve…or old-fashioned scoops…or maybe even cupcakes or organic cotton candy. (Guess it would be more like a food truck). Think silver airstream-ish, pink aprons…

I'm always dreaming...


Tuesday, September 9

STYLING | Baby Love Baby Shower :: Shutterfly

I love party styling - but you already knew that.
What you may not know is that what I REALLY love about party styling is being able to use the decorative things from a celebration for something post-party.

Baby Showers are especially fun because if you are smart…you can transition the party decor right into the baby's nursery! It allows you to "shower" the mother-to-be with the gift of hosting a baby shower for her, in addition to supplying her with some super cute things for the baby's nursery.

I'm so excited today because I'm going to show you some fun ideas on how to do that using some super adorable Shutterfly products.

Using 1 Wall Decal,  3 Photo Cubes,  2 Sets of Glass Magnets,  2 Journals,  1 Table Runner, 1 - 16x16 Photo Gallery Pillow and 3 - 5x7 Curved Glass Prints I was able to create a Dessert/Sign-In table AND have fun things to use in the baby's nursery afterwards.

The inspiration for this heart-themed baby shower came from Shutterfly's Baby Love (Girl) Baby Shower Invitation. I fell in love with the fun color scheme and whimsical vibe of the imperfect hearts. 

I set out to create a really simple "Desserts" and "Sign-In" table combo by splitting the serving area in half… one side for displaying a few sweet treats and the other side for holding pens and a cute keepsake book for guests to sign in and jot down a message/wish for the baby.

I used this custom table runner I designed as the foundation for the dessert and sign-in table. 
I think it turned out so adorable!!

The 5x7 Curved Glass Prints were used for serving some cute iced sugar cookies on one side of the table and for holding pens on the other side of the table. After the shower, the curved glass prints can be used in the nursery to hold pacifiers, small toys, hair accessories or they can be stood upright for a cute display. 

The Glass Magnets were used to hold my signage onto the metal stand centered on the table. I am SO in love with these oversized magnets. You could also use the magnets as cute party favors by slipping one into a glassine bag and sealing the bag with a hand-cut paper heart.

I hand-cut colorful paper hearts and attached them to wooden skewers using a hot glue gun and then inserted them into the white coconut cream cake. I love how the varying heights of this homemade cake topper added instant height to an otherwise small cake and helped balance out the table.

I used the same technique for the mini cupcakes - using toothpicks instead.

The heart pillow was adorable on the table along with the photo cubes, journals, and table runner.
You could use the pillow at the shower to clearly mark where the mommy-to-be should be sitting.
The pillow can then be added to the nursery chair/rocker for comfort and a splash of cute décor.

THE BACKDROP!!! The heart backdrop was created using a multi-heart Wall Decal I designed. It was seriously the easiest backdrop I've ever put up - just peel and stick it to the wall. They come off easily without damaging the wall/paint and you can reuse them. Then…after the shower, the hearts can be added to the nursery walls!! LOVE this idea soooo much!!

Hand-cut paper hearts were made to create a garland which I added to the front of the dresser to tie everything together. I think it all turned out so super cute and it was really simple to pull together.

Present both journals to the mother-to-be at the end of the shower. One of them as the keepsake guest book with the baby wishes from all of the guests. The other to encourage the new mom to journal all about baby's first year.

Shutterfly has some amazing products.
They were so fun to use to create this Baby Love baby shower and I was super impressed with the quality of the products as well.

I can't wait to come up with some other fun things using Shutterfly products!
I hope you've been inspired!

2. Go to the Shutterfly website
3. Search the specific product you are looking to create
4. Click "get photos" and upload my designs from your computer.
5. Add image(s) to product template, preview and order.

Can you guess what lucky girl is going to now have these things as part of her room decor?
See…I was even thinking ahead when I picked which baby shower design to use! *wink*



Monday, September 8

INSPIRE | Make Some Pretty Happen

image from my Instagram Feed

I just LOVE Mondays!!
Especially when I've dedicated much of my time on the weekend to my family.
I always feel ready to tackle the projects for the week when I've taken some time on Saturday and Sunday to step away from the computer and unplug from social media and just "BE".

As soon as the sun comes up on Monday though…you better believe I'm just itching to dive back into work. Which most of the time seems completely unlike work at all since I'm fortunate enough to be able to focus on what I love most… CREATING!!

I'm about to make some "pretty" happen today - how about you?

For those of you who are curious...
The above image was created from a photo I took of a rose in my backyard.
I then used the NEW Rhonna Designs MAGIC App to add the "lace" texture to the image and then used the regular Rhonna Designs App to insert the text.

I've got TONS of pretty to make happen today and photograph.
Be sure to come back here tomorrow for the HUGE project I've been working on and will be sharing!!
You're going to LOVE it!!





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