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CRAFT | She Lets Creativity Blossom Art Canvas

Tuesday, April 29

Want to know how I created this Art Canvas I shared with you yesterday for the Darice booth at SNAP!?

I used a 1.5" round craft punch and cut out a whole bunch of circles from the Core'dinations "Tillie Spotted" and "Jillian Dot" card stock packs - selecting only the colors that were bright and happy.  I just LOVE the texture of the "polka dots" of these two collections and the fun colors available. Seriously! Look at how adorable all of this texture and color is.  For fun, I also threw in a few gold glittered card stock circles from American Crafts just to add a splash of "glam" to the overall piece.

I used the brown "Tillie Spotted" card stock (the one with the larger polka dots) and used a pencil to sketch out a tree skeleton and then I cut it out with scissors.

I then used a piece of fine sandpaper to showcase the "color core" feature of the Core'dinations paper. I intentionally left the two large side pieces of the tree in the picture (shown below) to show you the side-by-side difference after sanding. Cool, right?

I secured the tree skeleton to the canvas using Ultra Thin Glue Dots and then I just started placing the various colored circles on the branches of the tree. In order to secure the paper circles, I chose two different types of Glue Dots. (Ultra Thin and Pop Up). I used the Ultra Thin on most of the circles but then used the "Pop Up" glue dots to create a little dimension for a handful of the top layer of circles.  I even found myself stacking two of the Pop Ups together to give some of the paper circles a little more height. 

Then I lightly sketched out an inspirational quote with a pencil on the canvas and painted over it with black acrylic paint.

TIP: Use a white eraser for the sketching part just in case you don't like the way it looks the first, 2nd or maybe even 3rd time. *wink* Make sure you erase lightly so as not to create any dents, creases or damage to the canvas.

I hope you're inspired to create something similar.
This would actually make a really pretty Mother's Day gift, don't you think? If your mom is a creative-type. Otherwise you could swap out the quote for something more fitting for your mom.

Anyway…I can see this in a baby's nursery or even as a creative back drop for dessert tables too - on a much larger scale. How about creating an oversized popsicle on a stick for a kids room? Or a pretty butterfly? There's no limit in the creative things you can do using the basic concept of punching circles from this fabulous textured card stock.

What are you inspired to make after seeing this? I'd love to know!


It took me forever to decide on just the right quote.
Seriously, you don't know how long I fretted over this.
I knew it couldn't be too wordy because of limited space and I knew I wanted it to be something related to "creativity" since it would be displayed in the Darice booth. BUT I also wanted it to be something I, (or anyone), could hang in their studio or creative space. I like it. I think it turned out just right.

LIFE | Missed you while I was at SNAP!

Monday, April 28

Hello PNPF friends!
I had an amazing time at SNAP! in Salt Lake City and although I'm still trying to catch up on sleep I wanted to quickly share just ONE of the many highlights from the last 3 days in Utah.

Before I left I was working on a secret project for Darice.

If you don't already know, Darice is a wholesale distributor for the crafting industry. You'll find their name on almost all many of the craft items and supplies you pick up in your local craft store, toy store as well as party, drug and grocery stores. Their products are EVERYWHERE!!

One of their paper crafting items is Core'dinations card stock and I was one of the 10 bloggers they asked to create a home decor item featuring their new card stock. The home decor item was then to be put on display in the Darice booth at SNAP! 

I showed you some peeks as I was working on the project prior to heading out to SNAP!  but now I'm excited to share with you the end result! (if you follow my Instagram feed you already got to see it).

I also got to meet this sweet girl from the Darice Team at SNAP! I'd been working with her leading up to the conference and she's the one who organized getting me the card stock I selected to do the project.

Me being silly at the Darice Booth as part of the hashtag fun on Instagram!

I'll share the specifics on how I made the Tree Art Print tomorrow…
just wanted to share a little excitement today from the conference.

The mountains of Salt Lake City were beautiful…but I was SO happy to arrive home to my family yesterday. I was really missing them. It was a chilly 34º on Sunday morning when I flew out of Salt Lake City. Brrrrr!!! This Florida girl was missin' the sunshine and warm weather!

FREE | Monthly Printables Blog Hop :: Mother's Day Chalkboard Art Pick-Me-Ups

Tuesday, April 22

Mother's Day will be here before you know it and I've got a really simple but thoughtful idea for you today as part of the Monthly Blog Hop for April!! (remember, I'm participating with 7 other AMAZING bloggers to bring you FREE printables EVERY MONTH for the entire calendar year of 2014). Have you missed the FREE PRINTABLES from previous months? No worries - check out the links at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, the FREE printables I designed for this month is a set of Chalkboard Art "Pick-Me-Up" cards for you to fill out and present to your mom. Each one has a different prompt for you to answer with your handwritten response on the back of each card. I've even included a "Happy Mother's Day" tag to match.

FREE Mother's Day Pick-Me-Up Mini Cards

You can keep this project as simple as you want or you are more than welcome to get a little creative with your presentation. Here are some ideas:

Simple: Cut them out as squares.
Creative: Use a 2" craft punch to cut them out. (round, scallop or flourish will work perfectly)

Simple: Tie them together with a pretty ribbon.
Creative: Fill a small cute jar with mom's favorite candy (or nut mix) and include the cards as part of the gift. She can keep the cards in the jar after it's empty.

Simple: Wrap them up in some pretty tissue paper or decorative paper and tie them off with a ribbon.
Creative: Slip the wrapped cards into a beautiful cello envelope or one you have decorated. Seal with a pretty ribbon or sticker. She can use the envelope to store them.

The idea is that Mom will appreciate these little cards not only on Mother's Day but she'll be able to reference them any time she wants whenever she needs a little refresher about how important her role is and has been in our lives. (I know as a mom, I enjoy these reminders myself).

Again, just bundle them up with a pretty ribbon or include a jar as part of the gift.
(using the Happy Mother's Day tag to label the jar if you want).

Feel free to print off multiple sheets and use some of your favorite cards over and over - with different answers of course.

These cost me a grand total of .49 cents to have two sheets printed onto card stock at my local Office Depot. Nice!

I hope you love the FREE printables.
They are versatile enough to use for Father's Day too…if you'd like to plan ahead! *wink*

Now for the BLOG HOP portion of the post…
If you'd like access to even more FREE PRINTABLES check out all of these fun options just waiting to be downloaded. Click on the links below to be taken to each blog - which results in you "blog hopping".

Skip To My Lou

As promised…if you happened to miss the free printables we've shared previously:

I leave for SNAP! Conference on Wednesday morning and won't return home until Sunday.
LOTS of anxiety about leaving my family for that long. I'm such a homebody! Seriously!!

But I LOVE how my business cards turned out and some other fun surprises!
I wasn't organized enough (or had any time for that matter) to schedule automatic posts while I'm away so I hope you'll be keeping up with me on Instagram as I post all of the fun I'll be having!!

SUGAR | Cute Candy Carrots

Thursday, April 17

These cute candy carrots I made are on The TomKat Studio blog today. They are really simple to make and the FREE watercolor Easter Tags I made for them are perfect! Which candy from Sweetworks do you prefer for these candy carrots? The pearlized sixlets or the pearlized gumballs?

Hope you love them!
Hope you'll try them!

I just realized I don't have Easter Dresses for Ella or Ema yet - eeps!!
I've been so busy with other things…I'd better hurry and make that happen!

FREE | Watercolor Carrots :: Easter Tags

Tuesday, April 15

It seems like the last few weeks have been a blur…

I've been prepping to attend SNAP! the blogging conference in addition to filling orders and doing special projects, scrambling to meet deadlines, prom dress shopping with Clara and as much as I'd like to say I'm prepared…I've still got lots of random things to wrap up.

Easter is on our heels and so today…I thought I'd post these FREE water color Easter tags I created - inspired by the Carrot Soup book I mentioned the other day!

I'll be sharing what I did with the tags on The TomKat Studio this week so stay tuned!!

FREE Easter Tags - Watercolor Carrots

Looking for more FREE Easter Printables? Don't forget ALL OF THESE!

There's an 80's themed prom I'm supposed to be attending as part of the evening activities at SNAP! and I thought I had my outfit picked out but now I'm not so sure. Ugh! On a good note though…I'm pretty happy with the way my new business cards turned out. I'll share after I get back from SNAP!

INSPIRE | Ideas Become Things

Friday, April 11

A week or so ago I received a knock on the door about 7 o'clock in the evening as I was in the kitchen doing the wretched dinner dishes. The day had been somewhat of struggle that day and I certainly wasn't expecting a visitor so I begrudgingly prepared myself for a visit from the neighborhood social committee. However, when I flipped the front porch light on to see who it was…no one was there.

Instead, I heard the roar of the UPS engine start up which caused me to instinctively look on the ground for a package. And there it was. A simple brown cardboard box stickered with the familiar bright orange "Live Inspired" insignia. Instantly it became a good day. I opened the package to find this…

A beautiful new book from Compendium, my favorite Inspirational Gift Company.  The book entitled "What Do You Do With An Idea?" by Kobi Yamada is a story about what happens to an idea when it's nurtured and given love and attention.

"This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's just getting started."  Powerful words, right?

Not only is the story beautiful, the illustrations took my breath away. I've been fixated on watercolor lately so these gorgeous illustrations by Mae Besom really had me lost in the pages of the book. I LOVE how the book starts off mainly black and white and shifts into full blown color. I also love how the "idea" is represented by the image of an "egg". It plays on the whole "hatch an idea" mindset.

The book is truly empowering. It's simple enough for Ella to enjoy and understand and yet it contains a powerful message Clara and Ema (and myself) can appreciate and be moved by.

And I was really moved by this book. To make things even more special…this was inscribed on the inside of my book: Jessica & Ella - Remember, ideas become things. - Kobi Yamada

"Ideas become things." - I love that Kobi Yamada. Perfect.

However…the inspiration really began with the notecard that came with the book.
The words punched me right in the gut because they were just what I needed to hear on that otherwise deflated day:

although it's technically a children's title, I think it takes time to learn to believe in your dreams. Your blog and all that you've accomplished are a true testament to the magical things that happen when you let your ideas grow."  Angeline, thank you so much for your simple note that came at just the right time and was just what I needed to hear.

Would you like to win a copy of this gorgeous book?
I've got 3 up for grabs - thanks to the generous folks at Compendium.
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

You can choose ONE or ALL of the different entry methods for earning points.
The more points you have the better your chances of being selected.

I think sometimes my problem is that I have SO MANY ideas I don't know how to tame, nurture, love, care for all of them at the same time. Maybe there could be a follow up book entitled: "Guide to Parenting Your Ideas: What To Do With All of Those Children Ideas Screaming for your Attention and Love" - Ha! 

SHARE | Ella's Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Party :: Recipes

Wednesday, April 9

Have you been anxiously awaiting the recipes I've been promising you from the Rainbow Unicorn Party?  The first one I want to share is for these...

Chocolate Sprinkles Cookies

I was inspired to make these after seeing THIS POST from Rosie at Sweetapolita.
These are SUPER chocolaty but oh so delicious! They weren't hard to make at all but you'll need to double the recipe if you are looking to feed a crowd. (and yet for me, the batter got a bit dry pretty quickly, so if you make a big batch you'll need to keep the dough covered while you've got your first batch in the oven).

I opted to use the pastel colored round sprinkles - to keep with the party theme a little better. (Not that the other ones wouldn't work just fine). BUT…I did have to pick out every purple sprinkle so they matched the party color palette perfectly. Ha!! GET THE RECIPE HERE.

Next up…the recipe for this...

Rainbow Sprinkles Popcorn

This is actually considered "Cake Batter Popcorn". It looked adorable sprinkled with the same candy sprinkles used on the Chocolate Cookies. It's SUPER sweet and it keeps the popcorn soft…not crunchy. (I personally prefer crunch). But the kids loved it and it looked cute on the dessert table. I'm honestly not a huge fan of boxed cake mix, which is what the recipe calls for, but it sure makes things simple.

The recipe came from my Popcorn Flavor Round-Up Post - 9th flavor down in the post. 
Really easy to make and since you can change out the colors of the sprinkles this treat works for ANY celebration you are having. I just filled up some white party cups and popped the clear lucite table labels (coming to the shop soon) in front and called it done!

Had you noticed there was no purple in the party scheme until I mentioned having picked out the purple sprinkles from the bottle I used for the cookies? (and popcorn too).

I'm not a big fan of purple in the first place. (cringing when I say that because I have so many friends/fans that love it and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings - *wink*). I'm trying to warm up to it again. My room was painted lavender when I was in middle school so I'm not sure what happened between now and then? I think you either love pink or purple. And I just happen to prefer pink.

Anyway…not only did I have to sort through the sprinkles, I also sifted through the shimmer sixlets and candy pearls from Sweetworks too - removing all of the lavender pastel pieces. I created my own custom mix of colors I call the "Ella Collection" - Ha! The tedious behind-the-scenes tasks that no one ever really knows about…until now.

SHARE | DIY Spring Carrots :: SNAP! Creativity

Monday, April 7

Hello everyone! I'm sharing how to make these adorable mini "Spring Carrots" over on the SNAP! Creativity Blog! They are really simple and make creative snacks for Easter or any of your celebrations this Spring. Check out the post HERE.

I promise to get back to the Rainbow Unicorn party details I still want to share with you. (see the PARTY HERE and the COOKIES HERE).

I've still got a recipe and the how-to on the fun Pastry Pedestals and platforms PLUS a closer peek at those NEW clear table labels.

Been prepping for my trip to Salt Lake City later this month.
If you don't know, I'll be attending SNAP! - an amazing 3-day blogging conference.
On top of all of the informative classes and amazing sponsors that I'll get to rub shoulders with…
I'm also looking forward to the 80's themed prom night and pajama party night.

I've been keeping myself busy with planning out the 80's themed outfits, designing and ordering new business cards, picking up little gifts for the "secret sister" portion of the event…all in an effort to distract myself from the fact that I don't like to fly…travel alone or be away from my family. (just breathe, Jessica).

COOKIES | Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Party :: Paint-by-Party Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, April 1

You guys…I'm totally gushing today about one of the cutest parts of Ella's Rainbow Unicorn Party. It's not only adorable but it's brilliant because it is a party "activity" that becomes an edible party favor.

I had the privilege to work with Lisa from Flourish Sweet Shop again while planning Ella's birthday party. (remember the "Love You to the Moon" cookies she made)? When I mentioned to her Ella's request to be able to color rainbows as one of the party activities, Lisa mentioned a new cookie concept she'd been playing around with and I knew it was exactly what I needed for Ella's party.

Rainbow Unicorn "Paint-by-Party" Sugar Cookies

These 100% edible “Paint-by-Party Cookies” by Flourish Sweet Shop (FSS) were designed for
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