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Fall and Halloween Traditions

Lately, we’ve been:

watching the leaves turn.

Fall-leaves

visiting the pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin-patch

helping Olivia stand and pull herself up on various pieces of furniture.

singing (lots of singing).

practicing different learning concepts like “on/off, open/close, up/down, etc…” with our very active 10 month old.

picking out the perfect Halloween costume for our girl.  Our darling little Snow White literally grew overnight… right into the next sized costume!!

Costumes-2013

crafting various cards and collecting new project ideas.  So excited to be part of Jessica’s new team!

loving this beautiful smile.

Smiles

shaking off feelings of overwhelm and stress.

and most recently:

dreaming of a beautiful, fully functional kitchen (see this post).

thinking about Halloween traditions.

I’m particularly intrigued by Linda’s suggestion to make a fortune cake on the blog Giggles, Gobbles, and Gulps.  I loved reading Modern Parents Messy Kids guide describing 31 ways to begin a family Halloween tradition.  (J and I might have to try using cookie cutters to carve our next pumpkin!)  These 2 pins {HERE & HERE} have an awesome list of suggested books to read at Halloween.  And finally, a simple search on Pinterest yields hundreds of fun “Boo Your Neighbor” ideas… I can’t wait to try out this fun activity next year!

To capture the memories, I created 2 multidimensional mini scrapbooks from scratch in early October.

Halloween Scrapbooks

The inner pages are perfect for recording the details of Halloween adventures across multiple years.  More details to come regarding this amazing keepsake based on Kathy Orta’s instructions!

How do you savor the season?

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Ready for Halloween: Decorations

Halloween at our house looks a little like this:

Halloween Seasonal Decorations

At night, the soft glow of all these candles, Halloween decorations, and twinkle lights is downright magical… I love this time of year!

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Happy Birthday J!

Happy Birthday, dear James!

James 31 Family

What an incredible year- we’ve definitely done our fair share of growing (literally by two feet), laughing, traveling, compromising, and generally trying to figure it all out.

James 31

To my partner in crime, cheers to 31!

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In the Workshop: Handmade Halloween

I’m so excited to share that I’ve been selected as a member of Jessica Sprague’s new Create Inspiration Team!

Since joining The Dating Divas team over a year ago, I’ve really worked on my photography skills.  Jessica’s amazing digital classes have been such a blessing to start learn the ins and outs of Photoshop to complement this growing hobby.  Her easy to understand explanations and fun tutorials are by far the best I’ve seen on the web.  I am so honored to be joining her creative team!

Here’s a recent card that I made using online elements from The Snap Click Supply Co:

Handmade-Halloween1

The “31” digital element serves as the focal point for this quick and easy card.  You can find this cute graphic in the Frightful Complete Kit.  I printed it out and die cut the image using one of the Spellbinders Labels 16 Nestabilities.  I ran it through the Cuttlebug machine one more time to emboss the image.

Handmade-Halloween2

Then, I distressed the border using the Vintage Photo stamp pad from Tim Holtz.  I love how distressing the edges really makes the embossing effect pop!

Handmade-Halloween4

I layered this element on gold paper edged with orange glitter, printed digital paper lined with a gold Krylon pen, and a brown paper card base.

A small purple witch’s hat served as the final embellishment.  I love adding a row of rhinestones to simulate a fancy ribbon or buckle on her hat!

Handmade-Halloween3

I look forward to creating more projects using a mixture of digital and traditional paper elements!

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“Posting” Our First Father’s Day Memories

Father's-Day-2013

Photo taken by Karen Hendrix

I might be a bit biased, but this beautiful baby girl has the most amazing Dad.  To celebrate Father’s Day this year, I was inspired by Paige’s “Post-It Pictures” idea on The Dating Divas.  Instead of leaving general fun captions, however, I tailored each message to be a specific reason explaining why James is a fantastic Dad.  My project started with these guys…

Father's-Day-Ideas6

…which were turned into 65  little love notes to display on each picture of James or Olivia in our house.  The heart conversation bubble post-it notes were just perfect for this project!  If the picture was of Olivia, I tried to think up something fun that she might say or list how she already takes after her Dad in some small way.

Father's-Day-Idea8

When James walked in the door, he found this little grouping that explained all the fun:

Father's-Day-Ideas7

The whole process of writing and placing notes took a little longer than I expected but it was so meaningful to walk down memory lane, focus on how our little family has grown in the past couple of months, and make predictions about the future.

Here’s a mini tour of where some of the little messages where placed:

In the Dining Room

Father's-Day-Ideas2

On the Refrigerator

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In the Entryway

Father's-Day-Idea4

In Olivia’s Room

Father's-Day-Idea5

James loved the fact that I incorporated a challenge into this Father’s Day gift.  He could only open up a final card once he found all the hearts!

Cheers to all the fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers celebrating this special day!

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Father’s Day Card Ideas

Last year, I was newly pregnant when Father’s Day rolled around.  I wanted to do something special for James to mark the day so I created this card inspired by a photo I found on Pinterest:

Father's Day CardFather's Day Card 3Father's Day Card 2

I was thrilled that one of the talented graphic designers working with The Dating Divas agreed to translate this card into an easy printable for our readers.  To see how the project turned out, check out this post: To Our Mr. Fix-It on Father’s Day.

Father's Day Printable

 

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First Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Photo taken by Karen Hendrix Photography

I love you so much, Olivia.  I can’t wait to meet the beautiful, confident, caring, and intelligent woman you become.  In the meantime, I’m cherishing your sweet smiles and little gurgles, as well as sneak peaks into your blossoming personality.  You are already so independent!

We spent our first Mother’s Day at my parent’s lake house and strolled through a garden of irises.  Your Dad gave me the most perfect little gift in honor of our big day: he crafted a beautiful rose out of paper.

Mother's Day Paper Rose

Mother's Day Gift Idea

What a beautiful reminder of my sweet Olivia Rose.

 

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In the Workshop: December Greetings

Lots of fun creating Christmas crafts this season!  Here’s a peak at some projects that I have been working on during the month of December:

I taught a class at Checkered Cottage in early December where participants completed 4 cards and a treat box.

December Handmade Cards

Christmas Treat Box

Aside from basic layering and stamping techniques, participants learned how to: fold a single sheet of 12×12 paper into a festive treat box, create a banner shape using a square punch, edge paper borders in Krylon/glitter, and create texture by threading ribbon through die cut shapes.

This cute and simple tag adorned a special Christmas package!  I love using twine as garland on this tree punch.

Christmas Tree Tag Card

And, finally, I couldn’t resist attempting to make my own thumbprint light garland for a recent post with The Dating Divas.  (Original inspiration for this craft came from Pinterest.)

Light Graffiti Date

 For the full scoop on this fun date, check out my full post “You Light Up My Life!”

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In the Workshop: Reindeer Food

When we visited our nieces over Thanksgiving, we surprised them with a special package of magical reindeer food!

Christmas Reindeer Food

Christmas Reindeer Food Detail

I spied these cute little bottles at Read Lead, a local paper-crafting and stamp store, and knew they would be perfect for this project.  A darling printable note from The TomKat Studio provided the perfect description for this fun little tradition.  Can you find one of several silver snowflakes tucked into the mix?

Christmas Reindeer Food Detail2

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Fall Bucket List Update

I can’t believe it’s less than 10 days until Christmas!  Before sharing some Holiday projects we’ve been working on, I thought I would quickly revisit the Fall bucket list that I posted here.  I didn’t get everything checked off, but here are a few highlights:

1. Savor the changing leaves.

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaf

I had an opportunity through the Dating Divas to sharpen my photography skills this fall by completing an intensive photography workshop.  One of the assignments challenged us to take several images illustrating the concept of back-lighting.  This task forced me to go outside early one morning and start looking…and inevitably appreciating… different qualities of light.  Wouldn’t you know that a strong rainstorm left this gorgeous tree without its leaves just a day later?  So glad I was able to get these images…

2. Make chili with Mom.  Done and done!

Fall Chicken Chili

3.  Make pumpkin bread and cookies.

Fall Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

I finally made Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!  I think I’ve had various versions of this cookie bookmarked for about the past 2 years.

Fall Pumpkin Cake

…. We also tested out a new pumpkin dessert at Friendsgiving.  This recipe from Kraft Foods was fantastic… I think I like it better than pumpkin pie!  It was incredibly easy to make and each layer is bursting with pumpkin flavor.  The best part?  The dessert is light and satisfies your sweet tooth without leaving you feeling stuffed… perfect for after a Thanksgiving meal!

4. Be grateful, everyday.

Always working on this concept…  I came across this amazing idea from Cathy Zielske and decided to craft my own version of 30 days of Gratitude in November.  Here’s a glimpse at my book that utilizes a mixture of her digital downloads, photos, and paper:

Fall Gratitude Book

Fall Gratitude Book Detail 2

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