Imagine That: No-Bake Gingerbread House Banner

In The Studio

The color of the month over on the Imagine blog is Gingerbread and the idea that wouldn’t leave my mind was gingerbread houses.

Basically, this project has all the fun of decorating gingerbread houses/cookies without having to clean up the kitchen. It’s fabulous for crafting with kids, and the sky’s the limit on how much or how little you want to decorate the houses.

Using chipboard or craft cardstock and whatever house die or cut file you want takes care of the base of the banner, getting you closer to the the real fun that much sooner.

And here’s something I’ve learned about working with the Cotton White StazOn Studio Glaze: you can’t be stingy if you actually want it to show up as white rather than clear. Let the Cotton White build up or go back and add a second layer, if need be, especially against dark backgrounds. And layering one color of StazOn Studio Glaze over another while both are still wet works just like layering royal icing on cookies–beautifully!

Make sure to head over to the Imagine blog to see the video of how this project comes together!

Imagine That: Naughty or Nice Reversible Stocking

In The Studio

Shall I add another voice onto the fire of “where did the year go” lamentations? I suppose I shall–dude, this year is flying by! I have no idea where it went and not nearly as much as I would have liked to show for it, but I have a cute craft today that can help get you on the way to holiday preparedness.

Two sides of the same stocking–which side you flip is between you and Santa!

Holiday prep was another of our prompts and, combined with the color of the month (Sangria), I decided to go with a classic Christmas stocking with a twist. One side of the linen cuff reads Naughty, with some prickly holly leaves, while the other says Nice, paired with a pair of pretty poinsettias. Both feature a bit of heat embossing, which is the real highlight of this project (I think).

In preparation, I tested several Imagine mediums to see which would give me the result I wanted.

  • Versamark (pad and marker): definitely held the embossing powder but became part of the fabric rather than sitting up on top like heat embossing on paper.
  • Delicata (and other pigment inks): Also sunk into the fabric a bit more than I wanted, wicking through the fibers in some cases–this was problematic for details.
  • Creative Medium: Great through a stencil but I think you’d really need a good mask (like freezer paper ironed-on) to hold the integrity of finer details in a design. Did maintain it’s raised quality after heating.
  • On Point Glue: Perfect for fine details! This was what I used to embellish the Memento Marker and All-Purpose Ink words and art on my stockings.

Because of the heat embossing, you definitely want to make sure the fabric you’re decorating can take the heat without melting. Mine was felt (wool felt) and linen and I made it specifically for this project. If you’re purchasing one to decorate, make sure you test in an inconspicuous place before starting.

The full process can be seen in the video over on the Imagine blog!

Imagine That: November Projects

In The Studio

For all my US-based readers, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Non-US readers? I hope you had a happy Thursday. We’ve gotten into such a groove with the Thanksgiving prep over the years that it’s become quite relaxing to host my family for dinner each year and I really do think it was our best turkey yet (for more on how we do our turkey, check out this vintage post all the way from 2010! Todd’s Turkey).

I have a lot to be thankful for this year with the new job, new friends being made here in Thomasville, and I recently got the all-clear on a health issue that’s been hanging over my head for the last two months (more on that another time, perhaps). Todd and I celebrated 10 years together at the beginning of the month, too, and my heart couldn’t be more full of love. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to create projects for Imagine/Tsukineko and share them with not just my own readers but theirs as well!

Another thing I’m not only grateful for but excited to get to do is that I’m going to Creativation in January! I’ve wanted to go to this trade show for as long as I’ve known it existed (which has been a good long while considering how long I’ve been knocking around the craft world in one way or another) and this fall I just decided I was going to make it happen. And, yes, I’ll be hanging out quite a bit at the Imagine booth, so if you’ll be there please stop by and say hello! Until then I’m counting the days and happily removing links from my paper chain!

And now here we are in Christmas build-up with the end of the year hurtling towards us. Last year we had a very quiet Christmas just the three of us (Todd, Duncan, and I) with minimal fuss. We barely even did presents, as well, concentrating on stockings instead, and it was glorious. Of course, if you’re in the mood to give a simple gift to friends, teachers, coworkers, etc., consumables are the way to go, and a little bit of pretty packaging goes a long way to make a simple gift seem like so much more.

Warmest wishes to you all and a Happy Holiday season!

Thinking Cool Thoughts

In The Studio

And I’m not talking about when our downstairs a/c died this weekend…

Since moving into the Dollhouse I’ve had an image in my head of how it needs to look come Chirstmas-time. That image includes a lot of hand-crafted touches, naturally, but what it doesn’t account for is the small window of time to work on everything. Each year I’ve purchased supplies for at least one project only to stash them until the next fall rolls around. And it just snowballs from there (pun unintended, but we’ll go with it).

Not this year.


To catch up on some of my Christmas crafts I’ve decided to take the Christmas in July cliche and use that as my excuse to get a jump on those rollover projects in the hopes that I will be ready and rarin’ to go and decorate once the Thanksgiving dishes are back in the china cabinet.

(Of course, I’d also planned to start on this over the holiday weekend but, well, didn’t. So this might stretch into August at this point.)

I have three main projects I want to accomplish:

  1. Cone trees for dining room “runner” display
  2. Antiqued Christmas village for hall console table
  3. Christmas cards
It's a good start, but needs friends...

It’s a good start, but needs friends…

The cone trees are pretty simple, really. I already have the papier mache cones in different sizes that will flank the flocked tree I decorated last year. I’m going to use the white glue + shaving cream “snow” technique as seen on Learn With Mrs.B’s How to Build a Snowman Video:

Cute and simple. I’m so there.

Next on the list are some papier mache houses we picked up at Hobby Lobby last year that I want to turn into my own holiday village. I was inspired by a set of verdigris, antique, house-looking lanterns we saw in a store at Disney Springs after our cruise last November.

Aren't they just absolutely charming?!

Aren’t they just absolutely charming?!

They weren’t for sale, of course, just display, but I took pictures to maybe create my own. After buying the blank houses I then found the same lanterns in the Acorn Online catalog under Architectural Lanterns. They’re not ridiculously priced or anything, but by now I’ve committed to crafting my own with some faux finishing techniques, etc. Acetate will work well for the windows and I can still add battery-operated tea lights inside for a pretty glow.

A few cards from Christmas 2015 (from the Winter Whimsy card kit)

A few cards from Christmas 2015 (from the Winter Whimsy card kit)

Finally, I’d like to get a head start on my Christmas cards. We don’t usually do photo-cards but if we wanted to, now would be a really good time to decide. And even if not, I’d like to have more time to craft them. Last year I had a great boost because I put together two card kits for The Crafty Branch and I had to make the samples for the kits anyway. We still have those kits in inventory (more on that in a moment) but I don’t want to do the exact same cards as last year, you know?

This is actually one project I have started on, drawing out some images and typesetting some sentiments for a digital stamp kit to complement the card kits at The Crafty Branch. They’re not quite ready to go, yet, but I hope to have the first set in the store by the end of this weekend.

And speaking of the store, this is a good time to mention that we’re having a big Christmas in July sale over at The Crafty Branch…


So, you know, head on over and pick up some of our kits. You’ll be getting a head start on your own holiday to-do list and supporting a small business, too!

As of today, thinking about Christmas and cooler weather hasn’t had any sort of effect on the summer swelter going on, but it’s at least comforting to know I won’t be starting the holiday season behind!

12 Days of Blogmas: Holiday Wishes

Just for Fun

We’ve made it! It’s Christmas Eve and this is the final post of Blogmas 2015.


And here are my 12 wishes this Christmas:

  1. Peace… this time of year can be so hectic and draining, I wish for peace and quiet to reign supreme. And not just for me and my family and friends, but for the country and world, too. I don’t want to get all political, but I will say that I think the answer isn’t restricting one thing or another, but getting to the root of why people are so fearful and angry, the reason why they lash out at friends and strangers, and maybe then the news won’t be so full of what despicable thing one person did to another.
  2. Harmony… we’ll head to Mom’s tonight for the family get together and I’m hoping that everyone is cheerful and gets along. We usually do but, like any family, there are times and topics of contention; I hope those stay away.
  3. A clean house… I suppose this one falls on me. Getting ready for Christmas has left little messes here and there, so between now and New Year’s Day I want to tidy up so we can start fresh for 2016.
  4. Good health… this time last year a lot of people we knew were going through some serious health crises, either themselves or their loved ones. Right now I have a friend recovering from brain surgery and I hope her recovery continues to go well and she can be back to herself for the new year.
  5. Low gas prices… even though that’s not exactly helpful for friends who work for Chevron, etc. Still, running the roads like I do makes me appreciate each penny the sign drops.
  6. A new job in 2016… not that there’s anything wrong with my current job, but after 20 years I’m more than ready for a change. I’ve put in an application with a company closer to home, now I’m just waiting on an interview.
  7. Productivity… I get a lot done, true, but I know I could be doing more, or at least do what I do more efficiently, so I’ll be working on that this coming year.
  8. Creativity… you knew this would be in here, right? I want people to be open to creative opportunities, to not deny themselves their innate creativity, and to express and explore that creativity a little bit every day. I think it makes life better.
  9. Champagne moments… a business friend revels in even small celebrations, calling them Champagne moments; I really like that idea and want more Champagne moments for us all (even if you’re more of the sparkling grape juice type).
  10. More happy mail than bills or junk… I have two penpals these days and I love getting letters from them. It’s such a throw-back to have to wait for a reply to your message and it’s been fun getting to know these women.
  11. Enough… and the sense to recognize it. Sure, I’m like anyone else, there are things I want that I don’t have (and there are the credit card balances to show that my impulse control for many of those wants isn’t what it needs to be), but I really have a lot, more than enough, and I need to remember that going forward. We all do.
  12. Finally, that next year be more ‘fuck yeah’ than ‘fuck this’. I saw this on tumblr and it’s probably the best summation of this whole list and what I want for myself as well as my family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

The 12 Days of Blogmas is a link-up hosted by The Coastie Couple and The Petite Mrs. Check out either of their blogs to see what everyone else has to say on today’s topic!

The 12 Days of Blogmas is a link-up hosted by The Coastie Couple and The Petite Mrs. Check out either of their blogs to see what everyone else has to say on today’s topic!