Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Happy Book: Star Gazing

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." 
 Vincent van Gogh

I am running about a week behind on my Happy Book projects, but it's getting to be that busy time of the year again... school meetings, hayrides, and costume preparation have been taking up a lot of my evenings, so my blog (among other things) has been suffering a little. I'm ok with that. Go with the flow, or get stressed out? I've decided to lower my expectations of myself in the name of sanity!

This week's Happy Book assignment, as led by Jamie Ridler, was to fill our book pages with stars, and "collect them for wishing". I chose to cut and paste the astrological signs of my kids, my husband, and myself. It was fun getting out the glue stick and colored pens!

What's your sign? Do you think the characteristics associated with that sign fit your personality?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alphabet Block Halloween Craft from Rook No. 17!

I am so excited and honored to be featured here at Reflections...on Living Creatively!  I'm grateful to Bekah for giving me the opportunity to do my very first guest post!  

Oh, now wherever shall I begin?

Perhaps introductions are in order?

I'm Jenn, and I'm the "bird" behind  the creative living blog Rook No. 17.  I draw on my experiences as a mother, chocolatier and pastry artist, teacher and lifelong crafter to share original crafts, recipes and ideas for making every day special.  I hope you'll drop by some time and say 'hi'!  You're sure to find something yummy, quirky, curious, crafty, or inspiring!  

Today I'm pleased to share with you one of the Halloween crafts I put together for my "Virtual Halloween Open House" this year.  It was inspired by my love for vintage toys and indulges my weakness for glitter!  

This A-B-C block set is an inexpensive & versatile craft that you can adapt for other holidays and purposes.  A pastel palette and some whimsical children's book illustrations would yield some charming decorations for a nursery!  If black birds aren't your bag, you can top the blocks with any sort of vintage style Halloween knickknack to suit your taste.  



3 2x2 Wood Blocks (purchased from craft store for approx. $1/ea)

3 Faux Crows (Dollar Tree Stores)

Printed Images (1.7x1.7)  ~ I've included a free download below

Black Paint ~ I like DecoArt Americana "Black/Ebony"

Fine Sand Paper or sanding block

Matte Mod Podge

Glitter ~ I used PK Glitz "Glitter Glitz" in Black

Wooden Spools (salvage or craft store)

Mask download (see below)

Hat Band download (see below)

Scrap Paper or old book pages (for hat embellishment)

Hot glue gun

Step 1:  With a piece of sand paper or a sanding pad, sand block to remove any rough surfaces/edges.

Step 2:  Paint entire block.  Dry.

Step 3:  When block is dry, sand corners and edges to give an aged look.

Step 4:  Apply Mod Podge to the back of printed image (free download below).  Affix image to block.  Dry.  Repeat for all 6 sides.  You may seal the blocks if you wish.  I chose to leave mine unsealed because I felt that it was more consistent with the look of the vintage alphabet blocks I've seen in antique stores.  

Step 5:  Remove plastic legs and eyes from the bird.  Didn't know you were going to be learning a little taxidermy today, did ya?

 Step 6:  Paint the spools black.

Step 7:  Mod Podge the back side of the printed hat bands, then wrap around spools.  Cut a small circle (a little less than the diameter of the top of the hat) out of scrap paper and affix with Mod Podge.

Vintage_Scrap_Bands.jpg Vintage Scrap Bands picture by sarahjmorriss

(Click the image above to download a printable .jpg)

Step 8:  Using a hot glue gun, affix bird to the block and hat to the bird.

Step 9:  Brush Mod Podge on to the head, back and wings of the bird (everywhere that there are feathers).  Dust with black glitter.

Step 10:  Cut out mask and attach with glue.  I did not put the plastic eyes back in.  The plastic seemed to take away from the vintage look of the piece.  

Scan_Pic0094.jpg Mini Masquerade Masks picture by sarahjmorriss

(Click the image above to get a printable jpg of the masks)

Here is a free download of images you can use for the blocks:

ABC Block Images

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heat Wave- A Layout

Thanks for stopping by on this Scrappin' Silhouettes Thursday! Today we have SS18, a great sketch featuring circles!

I added another large circle as the background to add to the theme.

To play along, just create a layout based on the above sketch and link up to Scrappin' Silhouettes. While you're there, check out the other DT members' creations!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amazing Cookies from Mummy Crafts!

Hi! I'm Crafty Mummy and I blog over at Mummy Crafts.
Thanks for letting me drop by today, Bekah!
I'm a SAHM to 2 kids and a lovely hubby in Queensland, Australia.
I love to craft - sewing, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking - anything really!
Today I'm going to share some baking with you.
A couple of months ago I bought some homemade cookies
from my son's kindy for a fundraiser.
They were delicious!
The difference to my own recipe was the rolled oats
so I did some searching and found this recipe on

Prep time: 15mins
Cooking time: 15mins
  • 125g butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (135g, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 110g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 110g (1 1/4 cups) rolled oats
  • 140g (3/4 cup) dark Choc Bits

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line your baking trays with baking paper
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla
  3. Add egg and beat until combined
  4. Sift together the flour and bicarb, then add to creamed mixture
  5. Add choc chips and oats, and stir al that through
  6. Drop teaspoons of mixture onto your tray, about 10cm apart to allow for spreading
  7. Bake for for about 15mins or until golden
  8. Allow them to cool on the tray for 2-3 mins before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling
  9. They'll keep for up to a week in an airtight container
Now if you want to share them with the family and friends, or donate a few to the school fete, you can see how I packaged mine up over in this post: Cookies for School
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Guerrilla Happiness

les erablesImage by 1D110 via Flickr
This week's Happy Book assignment, led by Jamie Ridler, was to write down things that make you happy and post them in random places like the grocery store or a bathroom stall. I decided to turn my assignment into a FaceBook experiment! For the past several days I have used my status update to let others know what has made me happy, and I invited them to list theirs as well. I knew it would make me even happier to see what others wrote, but what surprised me was the number of "thanks" I got. The experiment proved to spread happiness, and as one commenter wrote, "posting these on FB.. makes me really consider what is important in life!!!"

Here are my posts and a sample of replies from this week:

Sunday- this makes me happy: sunshine, my dishwasher, football, and pie. Your turn!
  • clean van
  • hubby home from work
  • homemade costumes, hayrides
Monday- this makes me happy: getting off work at noon, 50% off coupon for Michael's, House and Castle on TV tonight. Your turn!
  • paid holiday
  • talking with neighbors over the fence
  • craft time
  • freshly bathed children
  • brownies in the oven
Tuesday- this makes me happy: sleeping with the windows open, beautiful pink and orange sunrise, new blinds deleivered. Your turn!
  • soccer practice
  • good dinner
  • fall colors
  • kids singing in the tub
Wednesday- this makes me happy: hearing my girls shout "I love you!" when I dropped them off at school this morning, the Chilean miners being rescued, breakfast for dinner. Your turn!
  • seeing friends online
  • sweet potatoes
  • going out to dinner
  • cooler weather
  • hump day
Thursday- this makes me happy: blasting Billy Idol on the stereo with the windows down, seeing a kid I work with do something for the first time, dinner with my grandparents. Your turn!
  • my husband
  • driving through leaves
  • laughing with co-workers
What made you happy this week?
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finding Inspiration at Christian Paper Crafts!

It's almost the 15th of the month...time for another round of fun scrapbooking challenges at Christian Paper Crafts. I host the "Everyday Inspiration" challenge, so here is a sneak peak of October's inspiration piece...
Scarves by Jessica Alba
I noticed how almost all the scarves have fringe or some other cute trim, so that is the direction I took with this layout...
 Paper, pom pom trim, and butterfly from Scrap-Tastic.

I hope you join us on the 15th of every month for fun, fellowship and inspiration!

Be sure to pop in this coming Saturday for a fun Halloween project by guest blogger Jenn of Rook No. 17! 
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Project 365: Week 41 and a Plan






Saturday- Well, I just haven't decided yet!

There is a plan for these photos. All week I have been taking shots of just about everything in my life- my home, food, people, the weather, books, you name it. I have been jotting down funny things the kids say, what we wore, normal or unusual things about the day. I have been keeping receipts, emails, and envelopes. All these bits and pieces of everyday life are going into an album project called "A Week in the Life", inspired by Ali Edwards. It's nothing more than capturing the daily ins and outs of my life. Right here. Right now. And it is so much more.

The photos I shared with you today will be enlarged to 5x7 and serve as the main photo for that day in the album. I have gathered a selection of paper, stamps and stickers to round out the album, and plan on assembling it next weekend at a crop. I am super excited to finally have tackled this project, and can't wait to share it with you!
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Love Like Sisters

These girls have seen me through it all- bad boyfriends, too much wine, marriage, babies, illness, you name it. 

 Most products by Prima, from a Scrap-Tastic monthly kit. Alpha stamps by Unity.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Happy Book: Time Machine

Time Machine: Where am I right now? This question was posed as today’s Happy Book assignment. So here’s the run-down on my life today:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunny and 70’s, perfect fall weather!

Today I’m wearing jeans, a v-neck brown t-shirt, and brown Sketchers. It’s a pony-tail kinda day. The girls both wore cute skirts to school today.

Tonight I get to watch two of my favorite TV shows, Bones and Fringe.

Justin is still recovering from his accident at work, but he can get around on crutches and drive a little!

I am working a half day at Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Early Intervention division.

My co-worker and friend, Kristine, and I just made plans to go shopping and out for drinks tomorrow night.

I am packing up for an all-weekend crop retreat next weekend!

Waiting on three packages- new blinds for the front window, my monthly kit from Scrap-Tastic, and the products I ordered from for my Week in the Life album. I LOVE getting packages!

Speaking of Week in the Life, this week I have been snapping pics of anything and everything in my life, collecting receipts, emails, etc., and documenting our day to day activities. Actually, this Happy Book assignment finally gave me the nudge I needed to get this project underway!

I did two loads of laundry before work today.

Grabbing a fountain Coke on my way into work made me happy.

What’s in my car CD player: Dave Matthews Band- Big Whisky and the GrooGrux King.

Drinking hot tea in the evenings.

Eating like crap- Poptarts and coffee for breakfast; Goldfish crackers, Coke and dried fruit for lunch.

A friend brought us an awesome dinner of pasta, garlic-oregano flatbread, and cherry pie!

The rest of the assignment is to place these little nuggets of info somewhere safe and read them at a later date, like writing yourself a letter and not opening it for 5 years. A glimpse into the past. Wouldn't you just love to find something like this your great-grandmother had written?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Very Fashionable- A Layout

I used a sketch from Christian Paper Crafts Scrapbook Inspiration forum for this layout about my daughter's first pair of glasses.

I used the March kit, Lucky Me, from Scrap-Tastic.
Paper- My Mind's Eye
Alpha- Pink Paislee

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Here's another scrapbook page I completed recently. The photos are from this year's Father's Day. Most of the products are from the Scrap-Tastic September kit, Fly Away.
Paper: Fancy Pants
Glimmer Chips
Glimmer Mist: Sweet Clover and Old Lace
Rub-ons: American Crafts 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Project 365: Week 40

Sunday- self portrait by Morgan
Monday- Naptime!

Tuesday- Home therapy with the PT.

Wednesday- Baking brownies!

Thursday- Free frozen yogurt, courtesy of the coupons from the dentist.

Friday- First art project Viv brought home. A dragon she's been working on for weeks!
Saturday- nothing like waiting in line for new tires all afternoon!
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