Handmade with Love...Valentine's Day Gifts

Friday, January 29, 2016

I think giving or receiving a gift is much more valuable when you know someone took the time to make something just for you.

What a better way to show someone you care with these handmade gifts for Valentine's Day.  Here is a list of 20 things to make.  These are simply projects that will really show that special someone you care.

The links to the directions are under each photo.  Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Customizable Free Prints

Love Glass Block

Valentine Tree

Valentine Sundae

Valentine's "Love" Blocks

The All About You Gift Basket

Two Little Lovers Sitting in a Tree

Personalized Wine Bottle Labels

Key to my Heart Frame

Date Night - Free Printables

Wrap  Store Bought Books

Photo Banner

Beer Bottle Labels

Instead of Wedding Vows, you can use your favorite song lyrics

Tuxedo Strawberries

Photo Collage Letters 

Printable Coffee Cup Sleeves

M&M Cookie Cake

Valentine's Day Love Coupons

Barbie Evolves #TheDollEvolves

This afternoon I jumped on Facebook and on the corner of my page I caught an article about Barbie evolving.  Needless to say it peaked my interest,  so I clicked on the link and was quite surprised to find that Mattel is changing the face or should I say body of "Barbie" to represent real life women.

Mattel is releasing the new dolls over time.  There are 4 body types, curvy, tall, petite, and original.  There are also 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 24 hairstyles.  They've come a long way since the 1950's Barbie.  

1950's Barbie

2016 Barbie

Here is a video of the new Barbie Dolls. 

I think it's about time that Mattel has caught up with "real life women" and give girls a realistic doll that represent the majority of us out there.  Dolls that represent their moms, grandmother, sisters, aunts, cousins, neighbors, teachers, and any other women in their lives. 

If you are interested in ordering the new dolls, they are available for pre-order at the  Mattel Store.  As far as I can tell this is an exclusive only for the Mattel store.

Take a look at the dolls and leave me comments on your thoughts.  Do you think they are finally heading in the right direction?

DIY Spring Hydrangea Wreath

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nothing says, "Welcome Spring" like a hydrangea wreath for your front door.  This is one of my best selling wreaths.  The color combinations are endless.  There is a wreath for everyone.  

I do need to add that I use high quality silk hydrangeas that can get very pricey.  Even if they are on sale or with a coupon they can be $6.00 or more a piece.  I've seen prices up to 20.00 for a bunch of them.  Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your flowers.  

Ribbon prices vary as well, depending on the look you want to achieve.  The fancier satin ribbons on average are $10.00 and up.  My suggestion would be to use a 40% coupon at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  I am partial to the ribbons at Hobby Lobby, I think they have an array of elegant ribbons.  


12 Hydrangea Heads - 6 of each color.  
If you want a three color wreath,  then use 4 heads of each color.
Grapevine Wreath - 18 inches
Glue Gun
Wire Cutters
Ribbon of your choice.  I use wired ribbon so it holds its shape.

Step 1:
Place grapevine wreath on a wreath stand, if you don't have one just rest it on the table.   

Cut the flower head about 3 inches.

Place the flowers where you want them on the wreath.  After you are satisfied with the placement, hot glue the stems and place in the wreath. The wreath pictured has 12 hydrangea heads on it.  If you want to go with less hydrangeas, purchase a smaller grapevine wreath.

 Next, add the leaves that are left over from your flowers.  I place them in-between the 2 flowers.  I usually glue the outside leaves first, then find a placement for the leaves on the inside of the wreath.

You can also leave the wreath without any leaves, it's all your preference.

Loop a ribbon through the wreath and tie a bow.  Wired ribbon works best, as it will keep its shape.    This will double as your wreath hanger.

To keep your wreath looking wonderful all season, I would highly recommend hanging it in a protected area away from harsh elements and direct sun.

Have fun and enjoy your wreath!

What to do on a Snow Day?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Before 5:00 am I was woken up to Brooklyn howling like someone stabbed him.  I flip out of bed, slipping down the hardwood stairs in my socks running to see what happened to him.  You think I would learn my lesson by now,  the dog hates the answering machine.  When he hears that thing go off it sounds like a soundtrack to the movie "Call of the Wild."  I'm not kidding, I want to record him, but at that time of the morning I couldn't see straight never-mind finding the buttons on my cell phone without my glasses to record it.  Yes, all those years of making fun of my mom for holding something out in front of her to read it - has come back to me in full karma!

Now back to the phone call & Brooklyn, what set him off was one of those lovely "robo" calls from my district to tell me that the kids had a 2 hour delay, but teachers were to report on time.  For some reason the pitch of the guy's voice hits a nerve with Brooklyn and the call hit a nerve with me.  Ok, kids get to stay home, yet I am to travel in this frozen tundra to arrive to school 2 hours before any students walk in the door-- and you need to wake me up before 5:00 am to tell me this?

I look outside and can't see out my window, so I do what every good teacher does and jumps right onto Facebook to see the conversations.  Just as I imagined, everyone was complaining about this 2 hour delay and arriving on-time.  See there was a travel advisory for our county.  Now mind you, we are very equipped up here to drive in the worst weather, but when you see all the major school districts around closing, you know it's bad!

Finally the words "Closed" appeared on my newsfeed and just like the kids (maybe even more so) we were all so excited not to have to go out in this today!

The best part was when I looked out and saw the snow in my driveway!  Yikes - I turned around and went right back in the house and waited for the gentleman who plows it. There was no way I was going out in this.  See the picture below.  Not the best picture sorry it was about 6:45 am when I took it.

This tree has grown from a seedling I planted with my kids.  They were taller than the tree for many years and had their 1st day of school pictures taken in front of it every year, as well as prom pictures.  Love this tree - many memories!

I figured since I was up for the day I might as well do something productive.  So today seemed like a good day to organize my craft supplies.  This is a job that I've been dreading.  Everything was a mess from my Holiday season rush and I needed to get it organized before I start on my spring wreaths.  It's taking some time, but I am feeling very accomplished today.

What are some things you like to do on a snow day?  Anything fun?

DIY Beach Wedding Signs...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I've been working on some signs for a beach wedding post in the near future and thought I would share with everyone how to make these signs.

You don't need Photoshop or another expensive program to design signs like these.  I use PicMonkey all the time for the majority of my creations. In PicMonkey you can change the colors of the fonts, also you can fade the fonts to make them look even more chalkboard like.  The possibilities are endless.

Download your prints and then send them to the photo printing store of your choice.  You can print these signs in any size you like.  You can make them poster size and decoupage them to a wooden background. To see the size of pixels you need see the chart from PicMonkey at the end of this post.

 First of all,  you must only use royalty free clipart or clipart that you have purchased or obtained from the artist, if not you are infringing on the copyright law.  Make sure you follow any instructions pertaining to the artist and their license.

Fonts are free at Dafont.com.  I have purchased certain fonts (like the one for my blog)  and the one used in the "Sandy Toes" wedding sign.   To purchase the "Beautiful Day" font click here.

Corner Clipart:
Starsunflowers Studio is where the "corner" clipart was downloaded from.  They have beautiful chalkboard graphics and freebies for your personal use.  They also offer professional services as well, go and look at their designs. 
Click here for Starflowers Studios Corner Clipart

Seashell Clipart:
Designs By Miss Mandaee is a wonderful blog with beautiful graphics for your personal use. I used her "seashell" clipart for this project.  Her site has printables, freebies, or you may purchase design work for your blog, website, or business.

Please see my previous post on using Picmonkey to make a chalkboard sign.  This will give you step by step instructions with photos on how to make your own printable.  To view chalkboard tutorial click here.

Here is an example that I customized with the names of the bride and groom.

If you would rather have the printables I have already created you can download them and print them.

Have fun creating & enjoy!

Wedding Paper Divas Free Samples Coupon

Victorian Spring Wreath

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I know it's only January, but I couldn't help get my hands into a spring project today.  I just love spring flowers and especially purple ones.  I decided to make my own version of a shabby chic Victorian wreath today.  The stores are finally putting out their spring displays, so I couldn't resist.  I love all the soft pinks, creams, greens, and purples tones.

I am ready to see blooms start, but realistically I know we still have at least 3 more months of winter left and I know we are due for some major snow storms; so for now I will be happy making some spring creations.

So I've added a few more spring wreaths to my collection.  Something just makes me smile about the colors of spring.

Snow Day today - made a 2nd wreath <3

Customized Print for Valentines Day

Monday, January 4, 2016

Are you looking for a budget friendly gift for Valentine's Day?  Well today is your lucky day!  Here is a budget friendly (almost free) idea for Valentine's Day.

Make a custom photo and then frame for your loved one. Photofunia.com is a great website where you can create a ton of images to print out and frame. They have everything you can imagine, from billboards to writing in sand.

It's as easy as filling in your lines of text and pressing the "go" button.  That's it!  Download your print on a flash drive and take it to your local store such as Walgreens, Walmart, Staples, etc.  Grab a frame and wrap your photo up for a loved one. I  find wonderful frames at the Christmas Tree Shop.  If you aren't lucky enough to have one of these stores local, you may also purchase online.

Also this would be great for an engagement or wedding gift.

Here are a few that are my favorites:

I would do a white frame with the aqua mat board for this print - the white frame didn't show up well on the white background.

To make your own custom print click here.