the twinery | sizzix fresh vintage blog hop

Welcome to The Sizzix Fresh Vintage by Eileen Hull Blog Hop! I can't wait to show you the fun project I created using the Bag Caddy from Eileen's new Fresh Vintage line of Sizzix dies. 

As a Design Team member at The Twinery, we are so honored and excited to be a part of this blog hop with so many other talented designers! There are over 60 designers participating...which can be quite a bit...but don't worry! It may seem like a lot, it’s all been broken down for you. Here’s how the blog hop is set up:
  • Each week, for 6 weeks total, new projects are featured in the hop. Each day in the hop will feature a new die with numerous ideas. You won't have to worry about finding a long list of blog hop designers or a specific "start" post for the hop...because the Fresh Vintage Blog Hop has it's own little button to help you navigate your way through the 6 week hop! It will automatically take you to the most recent projects - just click "HOP BACK or HOP FORWARD"
(Don't worry about not remembering where this button is...I have it over in the sidebar as well!)
  • Did you miss a day or miss a week in the hop? No sweat! Just visit the “FAQ” section at the bottom of this post for more info!
Now, let's see what I created using the Caddy Bag die by Eileen Hull! 

What a happy coincidence when I found out that those ever useful sticky note pads are the perfect size for the a match made in heaven. I'm thinking these will make sweet Christmas gifts for my daughter's school friends, oh and Teacher's gifts as well, or how about party favors - another good idea.

I started with the cream mat board, which coordinated so well with my cream colored felt and gives this project such a sophisticated edge. Eileen suggested spray adhesive, but I went renegade by using my Elmer's glue stick and it gets an A+ for stickiness! The enclosed instructions are well documented and there's even a diagram of the "sandwich" you need to create to make sure you get a the job done right the first time. After the easy assembly, I wrapped Denim baker's twine around my caddy and attached the leaf stem to the caddy by tying it with twine. I then took the two strands of twine and ran it from the backside of the flower die cut to the front and tied two small knots to keep it attached. Clean and Simple.

To package my Caddy, I used the negative round piece punched from the top of the caddy handle as an embellishment to hold the blue felt flower I cut, using more Denim baker's twine from The Twinery to knot on two more punched flowers that are part of the Caddy die cut from Eileen Hull.

To show that you can also use thinner boards, I first tested Eileen's die with a recycled cereal box, using the same steps as I did with the mat board.

And now let me show you the test run version of my Caddy Bag using the cereal box instead of the mat board. It's not as sturdy nor does it offer as impressive a product, but in a pinch I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Of course, a little Lemondrop baker's twine certainly helps the cuteness factor as well. Wondering what's inside the Caddy? Two Dove dark chocolates fit inside a small glassine bag so well. And two of those glassine bags fit inside the Caddy Bag nicely. Chocolate is a girl's best friend, right?

For another chance to win, the Oh My Crafts blog is giving away a Flowers, Layers #9 die, so be sure to stop by over there and leave a comment. It's cute!

'twas the night before halloween

I think I might have mentioned, at least I have on Facebook, that our Family has been under the weather. As in for the past 10 days, one or all of us have had some sort of viral bug. Fever, coughing, knife-stabbing ear pain, congestion, drainage. YUCK-O! So what seems like the time when I have the most projects due, and am {thankfully} very busy with the Etsy shop, I have been sick myself or taking care of someone who is sick. Full Disclosure: Before Gordon got sick himself, he pulled 125% of his weight in nursemaid and chef duties!

And that's why I have resorted to only gifting pencils to the Kindergarten and 3rd Grade classmates of the girls this year...the night before Halloween, on top of that. Yes, this is what I was doing at 5:00 on Sunday evening.

Let's begin with a pile of pencils purchased on sale last year, tags from the shop {but offered as a free download yesterday}, scallop punched black cardstock from Momenta, Mandarin baker's twine from The Twinery, a slit punch from Stampin' Up, scissors and some time.

Here, you can see that after I tied the pencil securely to the punched scallop, I slipped the tag's string between the baker's twine before I finished tying the knot. I also used the back of the tag to let the recipient know who the pencil was from.

Three cute pencils embellished, only 35 more to go! Hoping you'll enjoy the sugar rush that will soon be yours!

have fun | be safe

A few freebie printable downloads for you!

free download has now expired | 8x10 print available for purchase here
download | 4x6

free download has now expired | available for purchase here

free download has now expired  | available for purchase here

Please, only for personal use, not for resale. Thanks.

happy BOO to you

Two out of three layouts, not bad. I just don't know why I didn't photograph the layout I made for Victoria, it's in her album I know. I have told you that often I make the same layout three times didn't I? Well, I do! 

This layout is in Zach's album amongst the tons of others. He's 15 here and not quite hit his growth spurt, he's probably 6"1" now! It's simple, but I love the collection of photos. Especially the smile on Zach's face when he got his iTunes gift card from Oma. Well, and how Victoria is so much more interested in the cool stuff Nana has in her hands. This was the Fairy Godmother's second year gracing the Halloween festivities.

This layout is for our little Princess Isabella. Generally the same photos, but geared more toward her take on the whole dress-up and get candy and gifts genre.

Since these are all older layouts I've shared with you this month, I'll try to get our 2011 Halloween pics scrapped and share those sooner than next Halloween. Mwah hahahahahahaa, now that's funny.

Stop in tomorrow when I'll be sharing some free downloads for your last minute Halloween decorating and treat bag activities!

52Photos :: today :: calm :: collection :: busy

my 52Photos capture :: today

special thanks to Marnie for removing distracting people from the background of this much loved photo

Today I went to the Pumpkin Patch on a field trip with my last baby. Believe it or not, it was the first time I had ever been with any of my three children. When Zach was in Kindergarten, for one reason or another, Oma ended up making that special trip and I missed it. Yep, working single Mom guilt, but we won't go there. Isabella's Kindergarten class did not make the trip, and she reminded Gordon and I that she had not been to the Pumpkin Patch, intimating that she was not too pleased with having not had this opportunity for a fun day with Mommy. Today has the privilege of going down in history as a perfect day. The weather was gorgeous, my Baby was happy to have me along and to be outdoors with her Kindergarten family and two other pumpkins were deemed the perfect pumpkin before settling on this one. That made the day even better. Guess what? We even have two photos together, Mommy and Victoria, one taken by her Kindergarten classmate and one by a random Mom I asked! Today, I was able to take this photo of my sweet, precious, vivacious daughter that totally captures who she is and what she's all and loving fun. Perfect daugher, perfect {to}day.

my 52Photos capture :: calm

When I am out and about, usually just in our little corner of the world, I enjoy walking around with my camera and taking photos. I will practice on just about anything that doesn't move, trying to capture the best angle, capture the right light or try to represent something in new ways. Doing so calms me and I didn't really realize that until now. I actually slow down. I take time. Time to do absolutely nothing but be aware of what's around me that I need to investigate and see in a new and different way. Thank you Canon 40D, I appreciate you. {I don't have a name for my camera, do you?}

my 52Photos capture :: collection

Pictured: Our collection of toys that have not found their way back to the garage after the girls have been outside playing. It takes them about 2.5 minutes to drag the 20 items from the garage that they eventually play with for 30 minutes but then take 2.5 hours to put it all back away. I know, I know, one day I will look at this photo and weep for the little kids they once were when garden tools, empty buckets, a length of rope meant for the horses and a tricycle meant a fun afternoon.

my 52Photos capture :: busy

Yeah, I'm not usually that kind of girl that takes self-portraits, but it was for "work" - Gordon would laugh at that for sure. While I was hosting the Write.Click.Scrapbook. blog, I was creating a mini book about {my five senses} and for the sense of sight, I photographed myself to chronicle me needing my reading glasses more and more, aging and the fact that I see my babies growing up much to quickly. Seeing this makes me think I should unpack the remote timer for the camera so I can take a self-portrait without a mirror and a blank stare!

my 52Photos capture :: wild

It's always a wild adventure when Papa's hanging around. Which is quite often, since Nana and Papa live just up the driveway from The Love Shack! On this day, Papa brought the horses back down the mountain to the field by our house so that they could try to eat all the green grass in said field in one day...but that's another story. Knowing that Papa always has something up his sleeve, the girls immediately dropped their bikes once they saw that the tractor was coming down the driveway with Warrior and Eve {pictured} following behind. True to form, Papa led Eve around so that the girls could "ride" her. And he's such a good Father-in-Law, he always asks, with a twinkle in his eye that is hard to resist, if it's okay if he does that. He does love his Squirt {Isabella} and Little Bit {Victoria} more than ever. Wright Family Tidbit: Papa represents our District as County Commissioner and we are proud of him for what he does.

next week's theme


the wrap-up

I'm behind and ahead in the same post, can you believe it? Well, you can thank Lisa for that...she gently kicked me in the tush, as only a friend can do, to let me know, "Girl, you need to upload some photos!"

Ghere for an explanation, a blog button and an invitation to join our 52 week journey of discovery! We'd love to have you join us...just jump in now and see where your photos take you.

the twinery and little yellow bicycle | a winning combination

Hello Fall! And isn't that a great name for the newest paper collection from Little Yellow Bicycle? Fall is my favorite time of year, you know that, so I was most pleased to create quite a few projects featuring Little Yellow Bicycle's Hello Fall! line AND bakers' twine from The Twinery.
I challenged myself to create a mini album that can be interactive and have ephemera and photos added to it after I've created it. You see, I want to use this awesome 10-piece chipboard mini album from Little Yellow Bicycle to chronicle our Thanksgiving Week when Zach will be home and will be able to be part of our celebration of thankfulness and gratitude.

The front of the mini has a clear acrylic cover and that's what I embellished with the chipboard frame, tree and Family banner. See the canvas Gratitude pennant and felt flower embellishment? It's actually adhered to the page underneath.

And that's where I tied a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree with some Lemondrop baker's twine...

...and will add a family photo on this gorgeous yellow damask pattern so that it will peek through the acrylic cover perfectly. The canvas banner has been embellished with just a touch of Caribbean baker's twine as well.

I sewed this canvas border strip to the page with my sewing machine and embellished that line of stitching with two strands of baker's twine in Honeydew and Mandarin and the corrugated leaf shape is outlined in Marschino baker's twine as well. The journaling spot is just tucked into the little pocket the stitching created and I'll add in photos here as well, probably adhering them securely once I decide what is actually going to be displayed on this page.

With five family members, these little pockets, that have journaling cards inside, we'll each document one of our many blessings.

As much as I adore Fall, I could probably fill up this sweet little envelope by myself, but I'll be a good girl and ask the rest of the family to chime in with what they love about Fall, too. The frame was too large for my mini album page, so I cut it and pieced it back together, layering a piece of patterned paper where a photograph would probably go. On top of the chipboard flower, I layered a journaling spot and  outlined the die cut frame shape with Maraschino baker's twine.

I adore all the fun journaling spots in this collection, and here I've layered it with a chipboard scroll, some clear cut shapes and the part of the Paper Flower Kit that's been embellished with Maraschino and Caribbean baker's twine.

This tweetie, from the Chipboard Shapes pack, will help me tell my story as I tuck photos and perhaps some favorite family recipes from our Thanksgiving feast behind this canvas strip that's been adorned with more Maraschino twine. I didn't remove the adhesive back from the Canvas Sticker Border so that I could use it as a holding place for my ephemera.

The leaf stick pin has been inserted into the foam pop dot that adheres the Oh Happy Day canvas banner to my mini layout and tied off with two strands of Lemondrop baker's twine.

I can't wait to share the finished mini book with you once our Thanksgiving has been celebrated, it's going to be fun and colorful and full of memories.

Would you ever imagine that this raw pine shadowbox was from a dollar store? I began this project by embellishing the frame with the Canvas Tape Roll, cut in half lengthwise to make it go even further. A variety of Cardstock Die Cuts were used as fillers as well as Corrugated and Chipboard Shapes and the shadowbox hangs from a collection of baker's twine embellished with some Fabric Favorites.

Here's a close up of the twine, canvas tape and canvas button...cute, cute, cute!

I trimmed the pumpkin shape to fit into the 2"x2" space and added another pumpkin to the front of the shadowbox. More Felt and Paper Flowers make an appearance here with a Clear Cut leaf shape.

Ready for Project #3? Sure, it's a jar candle, but did you ever imagine that you could kick it up a notch like this? Maraschino twine highlights the banner from the Family Tree Page Kit to which I've added the Clear Cuts Shape Grateful sentiment.

That gorgeous aqua Crepe Paper Lace Ribbon was added to this lovely paper {it's already sticky} and then I fussy cut around the scalloped edge to add just a bit of whimsy.

Didn't forget the top, either! Using my 3" scallop punch, I embellished a round journaling spot with Caribbean baker's twine, a chipboard shape and three stick pins that I pushed into the foam pop dots I used to adhere the chipboard shape.

I had fun and hope you did, too!

get ready

Just'll want to stop in tomorrow when I'll be sharing three new projects, and lots of detail photos,  all made with The Twinery baker's twine and the Hello Fall! collection from Little Yellow Bicycle.

There will be prizes to be won from Little Yellow Bicycle as well as The Twinery, so be sure to stop by their blogs tomorrow as well. Don't worry, I'll link you up!

pinterest | to cook

To cook, again and again. The first time I made this Risotto, I adored the simplicity of the recipe and loved the taste! What's not to love when it's easy to make, has minimal preparation and clean up AND tastes like you slaved over the stove top for 25 minutes stirring and stirring and stirring.

recipe | follow me on Pinterest

The project planned for today has been postponed so that I could share with you our yummy dinner from last night. Tilapia grilled by Gordon on the grill. Risotta a la Monika, courtesy of Pinterest, and broccoli, just because we like it...Steam Fresh florets if you must know. Plus some freshly brewed iced tea, Southern style, and rolls. I could fib to you and tell you we had a delicious dessert as well, but we didn't. I had wanted to make one of the Pumpkin Bread recipes shared on the I Love It All Facebook page, but with Victoria still not feeling well, we all took it easy and watched a movie together this afternoon. 

I hope you might try this recipe...serious yumminess, I promise. The most time consuming part of it all is grating the Parmesan cheese and that takes all of 3 minutes. Get to cooking, you'll be so glad you did.

month in review organizer | 2012

I love calendars. As a matter of fact, I've already purchased a printable calendar from and am planning how I'd like to personalize it and make it my own. I have tons of pretty paper and embellishments, so why not make my planner as cute as I possibly can. I want it to make me smile every time I open it up.

Truthfully, I really want to work on that project rather than the 3 others that are staring me in the face. Not that the others aren't fun, THEY ARE, but I do love calendars. 

That said, guess what? I've created a month-in-review 6x4 journal. There are so many uses for it:

+ date nights {!}
+ highlights for each member of the family
+ milestones that your newborn reaches each month
+ gratitude journal
+ a secret place to capture your goals and dreams
+ weight loss journal
+ perpetual calendar

What I like about this mini book is that with the book binder rings, you can print two photos, adhere them back-to-back, punch holes and you can include your favorite pics from each month as well. Or, add memorabilia to the tickets, receipts, love notes from the kiddos, well just about anything.

our little punkins

If you have kids that are close in age, like we do, this is bound to happen.

Exhibit A: Punkin #1

Exhibit B: Punkin #2

If I could take those pumpkin stickers off, I would. Maybe I need to trim the layout and add to a larger piece of cardstock behind. Hmmm, sounds like an idea!

Same costume, different cuties. And, yes, that's one item in a bin under Isabella's bed waiting for the arrival of grandkids so I can snuggle yet another Punkin' cutie. Don't laugh, with 20-year old Zach, that possibility might actually occur sometime in the next 5-10 years. 

Don't you love that Nana dressed up as the Fairy Godmother to hand out sweets to her little treats?