Matryoshka Doll Downloads

I had the delight in discovering Yasmine Surovec's blog, A Print A Day recently and look at what I found:

Downloads for notepad and labels here.

And it gets even better with this:

Download for Calendar pages here.

There are so very many more downloads available on her site, go have fun checking them all out yourself!

Handmade Fleece Hat and Scarf

Fleece Hat and Scarf

This is a super fun and easy craft project just using fleece! We made these during our last MOPS meeting and I am in love with this little project. For the version of the project that we made in our meeting we didn't even need to place of the stitching we simply punched holes up either side of our hat after folding our fleece from left to right (along one edge that was folded and the other two stacked pieces of fleece) and threaded a 1 inch strip of fleece that we cut through the holes and knotted at either end to secure (trimming ends).

Here is a diagram and version of the project using some simple sewing:

Cut fleece to 16" x 21" so it stretches the long way. Fold in half with right sides together. Stitch along the short ends to make a tube that will fit over your head. Leave the last 4" unstitched. This will become part of your fringe. Cut 4" slits every 3/4" along this end. Turn right-side out.

Cut a piece of scrap to 1" x 8". Gather fringes and tie tightly with scrap. Roll bottom up twice to make band.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Mmmmmm...made this this morning and it was a perfect "morning after Thanksgiving" treat!



1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and soda; add to creamed mixture (batter will be thick).

Spread half of the batter into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Combine chocolate chips, cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle half over batter. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over the top. Sprinkle with remaining chip mixture. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12-16 servings

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day!

Here is a quick layout that I did using Creative Imaginations' Narratives Collection.

Thank You

Thank You

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

There's just something special about watching the Packers play at home on Lambeau Field.

Lambeau Field

We spent the weekend with Ethan's family and they watched Zoey while we got away and went to the Sunday game this past weekend and it was so much fun. Usually we go to games in December or January and it's freezing and bitter cold, but there's something special about that is Wisconsin we are living in after all and having the little heater packs tucked away in your boots and having hot cocoa while bundled up with your neighbors in the stands is an experience in itself. Ethan and I were actually talking about how different the crowd was and we were thinking that it may have something to do with who it is that comes out for the colder weather games vs. only the warmer and more temperate ones. For this past Sunday's game the weather was really mild and we were commenting on how we were actually hot at one point (probably because we are so used to dressing in layers to stay warm!

Lambeau Field

One of my favorite things about going to these games is to people's so much fun.

Lambeau Field

Our seats are really good ones, we're right down there near the South end zone...they are in my Father-In-Law's name (his family was actually on the waiting list for these tickets for quite some time I believe) and so for us to get to use them is a pretty neat thing.

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

The half-time show on Sunday was pretty exciting and probably the best one that I've seen so far. The University of Wisconsin Marching Band was performing for the crowd and perform they did!

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

After half-time throughout the rest of the game the band split up into sections and would filter through the stands and play little bits here and there. Here was one young man that came near us.

Lambeau Field

And of course I had to get some pictures of these guys:

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

Such a fun way to spend the weekend. Thank you Ann and Ken for letting us have the tickets every is truly a special thing and we are so appreciative! Oh, and thanks for babysitting too! =)

Some Recent Craftiness...

Nature Girl

I've been slowly playing with my November Cocoa Daisy kit (which I just am in love with!)...last night I put this layout together using goodies from it and I was happy with how it turned out. I've been holding on to these photos and just didn't ever feel as though I had the "right" papers or embellishments to go with them. I am happy with the patterned paper from Basic Grey's Indian Summer collection...they just seemed to work perfectly in this case.

We're off to see family this weekend (Zoey's already got her bags packed for grandma's house!) and will go to the Packer game this Sunday and this time I am going to try and remember to bring my camera along! Have a great weekend!

Someone Deserves a High Five!

At the Park

Zoey's first Kindergarten Parent/Teacher conferences were last night...I have to say that it would be hard to top just how proud of this little girl I was last night while we were all sitting there together with her teacher sitting across from us in her classroom. She's pretty darn super-duper! Super happy parents of one (okay, I just have to say "super" once more!) super happy little girl! The neatest thing I think was that the day prior to her conference Zoey's teacher saw me in the hall and said (with much enthusiasm) that she was so excited for our conference, that she just couldn't wait...and due to her amount of enthusiasm I was a bit nervous about what it was exactly that she was so excited about sharing...or, what did Zoey do that showed she is directly from my genetic lines of dorkydom? =) Alas, her secret is safe for a bit longer it seems...her teacher was genuinely excited about sharing what achievements Zoey's been making in school thus far. One more time, super proud of this little girl!

12 Ways We Know the Holidays are on the Way: Mini-Book

long white spacer12 Ways We Know the Holiday's are on the Way!

Today I am sharing a fun little mini-book that I created using library pockets as the pages. After cutting out the library pockets from my lss's Ellison die-cutting machine I created tags from cardstock and rounded the corners using my corner rounder punch and threaded a book ring through holes that I punched in the top corner of my library pockets.

12 Ways We Know the Holiday's are on the Way!

The patterned papers that I used to embellish the book are all by We R Memory Keepers with the exception of the Glazed (dot) cardstock by Bazzill. The snowflakes were cut out using the SLICE portable die-cutting machine by Making Memories.

12 Ways We Know the Holiday's are on the Way!

My journaling strips were typed up in word (I think I used Century Gothic type) and I simply printed it off on cardstock and then used my paper trimmer to cut into strips.

12 Ways Mini Collage

A super fun and easy way to record what your family does every season to get ready for the holidays! This is going to be a class that I'll be teaching next month at Paper Studio in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Marks Paper Company : The 12 Creative Days of Christmas + Tea Booklet w/Tutorial


Getting ready for the holidays is going to be extra special and a bit more fun this year with The 12 Creative Days of Christmas going on over at the MPCo. blog! Stop on over here to read and learn more (updates will be every Sunday and Wednesday)!

Here is a fun project that I created recently for Marks Paper Company using the Old Fashioned Courtship Collection of papers. The idea is that the book is a tea booklet and you can adhere little tea packets to each solid cardstock piece within the book (you could always change this up and simply add photos in place of the tea packets). I was thinking that this would make a great teacher gift for the holdays with a nice handmade mug to go along with the tea.

Decorative Fold-Out Mini-Book

Supplies needed for this project: 2 sheets of color coordinated cardstock, 1 sheet of Marks Paper Company patterned papers (Old Fashioned Courtship Collection), Corner rounder, Ink + stamps (Hero Arts), Embellishments, Ruler, Paper trimmer, Scoring blade, Craft knife

Project tutorial can be downloaded for free here.

Birthday Weekend...

and what a good one it was! It started out with my receiving an email from one of the editor's over at Creating Keepsakes magazine on friday letting me know that they had seen a project that I had created which they thought would be perfect for an upcoming article in their March/April 2010 issue, and would I mind sending it in to them for publishing? Ummmm, mind? YAY! =) This is the first time that I've gotten a pub without submitting something for a specific call...very cool indeed!

Then, on Saturday I worked at my local scrapbook store and the owner and I spent the entire day rearranging the store and the studio space which, while it may not sound like it, was alot of fun. Those that know me well know that I love rearranging things here at home and it turns out it's fun at my workplace as well (it must be a design thing)! And I suppose that it helps that I have a boss who, when we are both at the point where we're sweating and tired and plain out pooped, will call out "SUGAR BREAK!" I mean, who can not enjoy themselves while hanging out with someone like that? Saturday evening Ethan had prepared for me a wonderful meal of wild rice, mushrooms, onions and some of the vegetarian Quorn bits of chicken with hot buttered corn on the cob (my absolute favorite food is corn on the cob, I would eat it every day if I could!) and there were my favorite flowers on the table as well...yellow daisies. It was a very special evening and it was nice to have it be a quiet one.

Sunday (today), Zoey and I did a bit of birthday shopping (thank you Ethan!)...I found these boots:

which I did not pay full price for. I actually got them on sale for $59 and had a special $10 off coupon to apply to my purchase so I was pretty happy about that. I love them. I've been wanting these Frye boots for so long now but just can't justify spending that kind of money on a pair of boots (when I'm really not a hardcore country/horseback riding kind of girl to begin with...I just want to look like one apparently!). I used some birthday money that I got from my dad to purchase a copy of The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Isreal and Nancy Garfinkel and a copy of Martha's latest Christmas edition of Living magazine and to sweeten the deal even more, I got a birthday package in the mail from my in-laws and one of the goodies inside was a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's newest book, The Lucana: A Novel. Yay! I also had a special visit from my mom, little sister and step-dad in which they basicly drove up to see me (a five hour drive, one way) and drove back. They delivered a homemade chocolate birthday cake with peanut butter frosting (my grandmother's recipe), a table runner that my mom had quilted, a gift certificate to a favorite coffee shop here in town and some other special things including several hugs. What a crazy, lucky girl am I! Oh, and the Packers must have known it was my birthday today too as they pulled out a win from somewhere for me! It was a great 32nd birthday!

Today I Turn 32...

years old. In the picture here I was 12 years old (it was 1990) and I was posing for my mom in my new (to me) basketball uniform (and yes, I realize I look slightly possessed!). I also realize that my uniform really wasn't all that cool but this was Junior High we are talking about so they weren't the coolest of uniforms to begin with (those all went to the girls in high school). And I think it's safe to say that I wasn't all too concerned with "cool" at this stage in my life anyways (due to my lack of hairstyle and would you check out those stylin' hightops, complete with the velcro straps at the ankles!!!!) All I can say is, thank goodness I grew out of this ackward stage! =) Truthfully though, I may have grown out of my physical geeky-dom (some may argue and say only just somewhat!) but I just moved on to even more ackward and strange life stages while on my way to becoming an adult. But it's all been real and crazy and at many, many times, fun...and that's something to be thankful for. Hoping that this 32nd year will be the best yet!

Stamped Acrylic Holiday Gift Tags

long white spacerAcetate Holiday Tags

These gift tags I originally created for a workshop that I helped teach at Paper Studio, Inc. I first stamped on the acylic tags with white Staz-On ink (and let dry), I then cut out papers from the Making Memories FaLaLaLa collection of patterned papers and embellishments and adhered the papers to my (now dry) tags using a permanent adhesive roller. The ovals and scalloped ovals were cut out using Spellbinders' nesting dies. I adhered my scalloped and plain ovals to my tags using 3 dimensional adhesive after stamping my sentiments on them. A fun and unique gift tag to attach to gifts this year! All supplies available at Paper Studio, Inc.

Matryoshka Nesting Dolls Fold-Out Card

Matryoshka Doll Card

I cannot tell you just how excited I was to find a template to create this card over at Zakka Life. I am getting Zoey a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls for Christmas this year (something that I was on the look-out for last year) along with the book The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss. This card now of course will be accompanying the gift under the tree...or perhaps even in the tree!

Matryoshka Doll Card

[ETA: The nesting dolls can be purchased (along with the book) at Hearthsong here.]

The patterned papers that I used are all by Cosmo Cricket, I used the scalloped border punch by Stampin' Up for the red dot paper along the bottom of the dolls and used clear stamps by Hero Arts for one of the dolls faces and the "i luv you." Other embellishments include chipboard (cherries) by Basic Grey, letter stickers by Creative Imaginations, buttons by Chatterbox, and gemstones and brads by Doodlebug Designs, Inc. Pretty much everything that I used to create this little gem of a project was from one of my kits from Cocoa Daisy.

Such a fun and sweet little project, I think that I'll also be making Zoey a blank cut-out of these dolls too so that she can make up her own "set" after reading the story.

i love her..i love her..i love her..


This morning was hurried and rushed and we were all running late. I had an appointment in another town to get to right after dropping Zoey off at school and she was being pokey and stubborn and I had too much to do myself to help get her organized and ready for the day. She was grumpy and I was too short with her. I was literally holding my electric tooth brush in my mouth brushing my teeth while packing her lunch for school. We made it to school on time and I just made it to my appointment and now I am missing her and wishing that our morning would have been a better one and had gone differently. Being a parent is such a mixed bag. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Ornament/Treat Box Holders

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Holiday Treat Box Ornaments

This was a project that I created originally for an ongoing workshop that was held at Paper Studio, Inc. which is located in Minocqua, Wisconsin. I used an Accu-Cut die for creating the paper boxes and box lids (if you do not have access to an Accu-Cut machine click here for a great tutorial on making a small gift box that would work perfect for this project) and then punched out scalloped circles from cardstock using a small Fiskars punch. I stamped on the scalloped circles using Christmas stamps from Hero Arts and added a rhinestone to the center of some of my stamped images. I simply threaded some ribbon through a hole that I had punched through the top of my box lids and tied my ribbon to secure. The papers that I used for this particular project are all by Bazzill. I used the dotted swiss, the new glazed cardstock and then plain textured Bazzill cardstock (for the scalloped punch outs). This was a super fun and easy project and will make for some special treat holders for some special people this year I am sure! All supplies used for this project are available for purchase and/or use at Paper Studio.

Fall + Winter Reading List

I'm already putting together my list of books that I hope to read within the next few months...I think one of the things that I love most about this time of year is getting cozy and enjoying a good book in the evening hours that are before bed. Here are some of the books that I've come up with so far:

1. Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

2. The Lacuna: A Novel by Barbara Kinglsolver (just thrilled to see that she has a new book out!)

3. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (heard so many good things about this one that I bought myself a copy)

5. The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Isreal (I want to own this book)

6. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis

7. Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe

8. Too Much Happiness: Stories by Alice Munro (this one will be released Nov 17th but is available for pre-order on amazon)

9. Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle

10. NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

11. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (I love her blog and I want her book)

12. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof

13. The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate (my mom told me I should read this, so I am going to)

Are there any books that are on your "To Read" list? Please share!

Some Music on a Sunday...


Would You Go With Me - Josh Turner

Just For Fun...

I got a fun blog award passed on to me by a friend and part of it is to answer the following list of questions and then to pass on the award so here goes....

Here's the rules: I need to pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left them this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions (to follow) using just ONE word.

1. Where is your cell phone? n/a (don't have one)

2. Your hair? short

3. Your mother? strong

4. Your father? creative

5. Your favorite food? greek

6. Your dream last night? good

7. Your favorite drink? water

8. Your dream/goal? peace (in my heart)

9. What room are you in? bedroom

10. Your hobby? paper-arts

11. Your fear? fear

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home

13. Where were you last night? here

14. Something that you aren't? high maintenance

15.Muffins? rhubarb

16. Wish list item? health

17. Where did you grow up? small town

18. Last thing you did? tucked in my little girl for the night

19. What are you wearing? yoga pants + an old long sleeved t-shirt

20. Your TV? old school

21. Your pets? deceased

22. Friends? the best

23. Your life? thankful

24. Your mood? good

25. Missing someone? yes

26. Vehicle? Subaru

27. Something your not wearing? make-up

28. Your favorite store? any bookstore

29. Your favorite color? crimson red, brown, green, burnt orange (I just can't choose just one)

30. When was the last time you laughed? tonight

31. Last time you cried? today (when I was laughing)

32. Your best friend? true blue

33. One place that I go to over and over? work =)

34. Facebook? interesting

35. Favorite place to eat? Harbor View and the Island Cafe

I had a few answers that went beyond the one word rule but for the most part I stuck to it. Here are the blogs that I am nominating:

Ronda - She goes above and beyond for a fellow scrapper, she's extremely talented and is incredible about telling it like it is when journaling on her pages.

Wilna - Love how courageous she is in sharing her faith with the world, her art is truly from her heart.

Misty (like "drizzle") - An amazing friend in real life, always makes me laugh and is an amazing seamstress (and mother).

Patty - Pretty much every time I see this woman she makes me cry or almost pee my pants (from laughing). She's one of those people that I know have been put into my life's path for a reason.

Anne - An amazing cook, to get some great recipe ideas be sure to check out her blog...another real life acquaintence who is now a blogger.

You are all "over the top" in my book! Now snag this award for yourselves and pass on the good cheer!

Working Through It...


I haven't been feeling very creative lately, at least when it comes to scrapbooking. Perhaps it's because I've been concentrating more on things here at home. Like baking and trying out some new recipes on the family, re-organizing and cleaning out the clutter that seems to accumulate so fast, making sure that there is time for Zoey and I to connect right after school. I've noticed that this is how I am...I ebb and flow, sometimes I want to share and get things out and done and other times I feel myself retreating back into myself and wanting to hold things close, let my ideas roll around for a bit before releasing them and letting them go. Maybe it's because my birthday is coming up soon and I'm realizing that I'm inching even further away from my twenty's. Regardless, I attempted to create a layout (pictured above) about how I'll be turning 32 this month and how this year feels like a good year to get my priorities back into check. To concentrate more on finding balance and peace. Peace not only within myself but with the people that surround me and that I care about. I included the following quote on my layout and it fits perfectly with how I am feeling right now.

"Decide what your priorities are and how much time you'll spend on them. If you don't someone else will." - Harvey Mackay

I'm feeling the need to cut out those things that truly are not important. Those things that add unnecessary stress to myself or to my family. Things that I feel that I do more so out of obligation instead of heartfelt desire. Obviously there are things that I will have to continue doing that I do not absolutely enjoy (ummm, laundry unfortunately is not going to go away), but there are things that have taken up my time here and there that are not important or things that I could find a way to do more efficiently. The first step is to prioritize and to come up with a plan, and to make a commitment to stick to it.

Looking forward to sharing with you:


I'll be sharing very shortly here on my blog my 2009 holiday projects that I've been working on the past month or so, as well as ones that will, I am sure fit themselves in within the next upcoming few weeks or so before Christmas is directly upon us. Quite a few of the projects that are already completed were created for Paper Studio and some others are ones that I just created on my own and for fun. I just love Christmas's the absolute best! I think the thing that I love the most is that it most often times incorporates those special people in our lives that we love and care for. Either we are creating something for those people that we care for or we are creating something that will honor them and our times shared with them. Either way, it's usually not about's about someone else.

Trunk-or-Treat Re-cap

Trunk or Treat at Church

Here is a picture of the three little amigos...or better known as Zoey, Ruby and Ruby's little superhero brother, Mateo.

Trunk or Treat at Church

There was much running around to be done right off the bat...which was a good thing because it was pretty chilly and of course nobody wanted to wear their coats over their costumes.

Trunk or Treat at Church

Trunk or Treat at Church

Trunk or Treat at Church

Then of course when everyone had their trunks all set up it was time for the actual "Trunk-or-Treating" to happen.

Trunk or Treat at Church

I couldn't believe just how Zoey made out (when it came to the treats) and it was nice too because their was a mix of handmade goodies in addition to the traditional candy sweets.

Trunk or Treat at Church

After spending some time outside it was time to head on in to the fellowship hall for some warm cider and cookies and cake!

Trunk or Treat at Church

Trunk or Treat at Church

Then after being sugared up the kiddos expelled some of that energy by running around inside the fellowship hall...

Trunk or Treat at Church

boys chased the girls (I guess some things never change).

Trunk or Treat at Church

And here is a picture of Ruby and Teo's mom and my good friend, Misty. I think she was going as the Northwood's Packer Princess this year?????? =)

Trunk or Treat at Church
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