Friday Freebie: 5 Favorites

In creating my layout for Round 5 of the Mad March competition, I made a template based on the inspiration piece from Pinterest. The template is 12x12 and features 14 layers including photo & paper masks and journaling. It's free for personal use only.

Click here to download the 5 Favorites template


Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!


Mad March Competition - Round 5

This was one of those layouts that went a lot of directions before it was complete. I'm really happy with the end result. Not sure I would have come to this conclusion without the Round 5 challenge.

The requirements:
  1. Use an action on your photo - Totally Rad's Bitchin' B&W
  2. Use an inspiration piece from Pinterest to start your page - this gallery wall
  3. Do your journaling in list format - check
  4. Blend a number into the background paper - blended a grouping of numbers from Digi Essentials 4 by Karla Dudley.
  5. Recolor an element - I recolored several! Dots paper by Robyn Meierotto and Lacey paper by Celeste Knight, both from DHD's DSD 2011 collaboration. Zig zag stitches from In Stitches - Bright Basics by Robyn Meierotto. Plaid Heart from I Love Boys by Robyn Meierotto.
  6. Make a 2-D element 3-D - Plaid Heart. Added stronger shadow than other elements and warped it.
  7. Create your own word art using one alpha and one font - Title. Used Edwardian Script for '5' and Mellow Alpha by Robyn Meierotto.
  8. Use stripes, polka dots & floral patterned paper - Pinstripe Grey by Deena Rutter, Dots (recolored) by Robyn Meierotto and Lacey (recolored) by Celeste Knight all from DHD's DSD 2011 collaborative.
  9. Use only 3 colors: Black, White & your choice - kraft/tan/brown.
  10. Use only black & white photos - check
  11. Use something from one of our free kits - Pinstripe Grey by Deena Rutter, Dots (recolored) by Robyn Meierotto and Lacey (recolored) by Celeste Knight all from DHD's DSD 2011 collaborative.
  12. Subject: Favorites - 5 favorites of Dylan's at age 2.5
  13. Use staples on your layout - clipping heart to page. From Nursery Rhymes by Sara Schmutz
Supplies: Kindergarten Crafts by Miss Mint; Back to Basics - Black Frames & Nursery Rhymes elements by Sara Schmutz; Digi Essentials 4 by Karla Dudley; I Love Boys elements, Mellow Alpha & In Stitches - Bright Basics by Robyn Meierotto; Dots patterned paper by Robyn Meierotto, Pinstripe Grey patterned paper by Deena Rutter, and Lacey patterned paper by Celeste Knight - all from DHD's Digital Scrapbooking Day 2011 collaborative kit; Edwardian Script and Century Gothic fonts.


How To: Built-in Shelving

After being asked on my post about the Half Bath Shelving how I made the built-in shelves, I thought a "how to" post might be a good idea. The method I used in the bathroom and in Dylan's room, is very straight forward and simple. Keep in mind, in both cases I ran my shelves from wall to wall and this tutorial follows that design.

  • wood shelving - I used 10" deep Eastern White Pine
  • 1x2 wood - these are for the supports. I used Eastern White Pine that matched the shelf piece.
  • 1x3 wood - this is for the front of the shelves. Knowing I was staining the wood in the bathroom, I did buy 2 smaller pieces here that had a nicer finish. I wanted to be sure they were nice, straight smooth pieces since they would be the most visible. 
  • drill
  • level
  • screwdriver
  • screws and wall anchors - I used some we had on hand. Keep in mind your wood thickness and wall type when making a selection.
  • stud finder
  • hammer
  • nails
  • nail setter
  • wood filler
  • stain (I used Minwax Red Mahogany in the bathroom and stained before installation) or paint

Start by cutting a piece from the 1x2 and shelving boards that match the width of your space. Next, measure the depth of your 1x2 board. Then measure the depth of your shelf board. Now subtract the depth of the 1x2 from the depth of the shelf. This will give you the length of the two side pieces to cut from the 1x2 board. Cut those pieces (you will want your shelf to fit cleanly on top of these pieces - see illustration 2).

Illustration 1: 1x2 shelf support pieces
Attach the longer 1x2 support piece to the back wall at height desired using screws at each end. Start by screwing one end loosely, then place a level on the board to align other end. Secure screw at opposite end and then tighten first screw completely. Add additional screws in the center as needed. For the bathroom, I added one extra screw directly in the center. Use a stud finder to help locate studs to screw into or use wall anchors. In my case, I had studs at each corner and one at the center.

Next, place the side supports so one end butts the back support. Add a screw at this end, but, as with the back piece, don't tighten completely. Use a level to align the board and then screw in the other end. Tighten both screws. (Tip: If you predetermine you screw locations, you can mark and predrill holes on one board then use that as a template for the opposite side. Just remember to flip the second piece so the holes are mirrored. Then you will quickly and easily have all your screws in the same place without extra measuring.)

Illustration 2: Shelf should fit cleanly over 1x2 support pieces
Measure the back wall again over the back support. Then pull a measurement from wall to wall at the front of the side supports. These may or may not be the same depending how squarely your home was built. Mine was slightly off. Cut your shelf board based on these measurements. Then place the shelf board on top of the support pieces. Use a small drill bit to start holes along the back and side edges. Then hammer nails into each of these holes to attach the shelf. Sink the nails slightly below the shelf top using a nail setter.

Illustration 3: Add front piece making sure to align the top with the shelf.
Add the front piece to the shelf and supports already in place. The top of the front piece should align with the top of the shelf. Again, use a drill to start small holes to nail into and recess each nail slightly using a nail setter.

The shelf is now fully constructed! Add a bit of wood filler to each of the nail holes and follow directions for drying time. Sand lightly and touch up with stain (or paint). Allow to dry and enjoy!


Toilet Tube Chicks

Yesterday morning, Dylan & I needed an activity so I searched Pinterest for an Easter project and came across Toilet Tube Easter Chicks at Happy Hooligans blog. Perfect. An easy project and I had everything we needed on hand.

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Acrylic paint and brushes
  • Glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Orange felt (not shown)
  • Tissue paper

We started by painting our tubes. Dylan was really into this at first. Then painting the tray of his highchair became more fun so I had to help him finish the tube!

Next, I had him point to where he wanted his eyes and beak. We went one at a time and with each I put a dot of glue, then he placed each piece.

Finally, he decided to skip gluing tissue paper to the sides, and instead stuck it out each end! I love that he made this project into his own. :)

And, I'm glad I had the camera ready to snap off a couple of quick photos because moments later he tore it apart. Then we had a new activity as he experimented with the pieces himself along with a glue stick I gave him. Part of the fun of crafting with a toddler - you never know entirely where you will end up!


Mad March Competition - Round 4

This challenge is definitely getting tougher with each round! My jaw dropped when I saw the list of requirements for Round 4 on Friday afternoon. It took some time, but I pulled it off.

The requirements:
  1. Warp three shadows - top left circle, photo and large right circle
  2. Use 4 circles
  3. Subject: All About Me
  4. Scrap from one kit, and use every single paper in the kit - Right Now by Karla Dudley. Used all 15 papers (5 along top, 4 along bottom, 4 on circles, 1 on background and 1 on brackets).
  5. Take a self-portrait and use it on your layout
  6. Use a stroke or outline somewhere on your page - around photo
  7. Use song lyrics on your page - 'These Are Days' by 10,000 Maniacs. Around circles to right of photo.
  8. Journal directly on your photo
  9. Choose three layouts from the gallery and use as inspiration - "Click Click" by claudiaharvey (photo placement & tilt, title placement, paper borders at top and bottom). "That's My Stuth" by Audrey Neal (paper borders at top and bottom, overlapping circles). "Snowed In" by missy-backues (curved text path).
  10. Use a brush to distress your text - used Brush 3 from Right Now elements on 'me' in title.
  11. Use brackets on your page

Supplies: Right Now papers & elements by Karla Dudley; Adobe Jenson Pro, Century Gothic and Janda Everyday Casual fonts.


Half Bath Shelving

During one of my many Pinterest browsing moments, I saw this image:

Source: Rate My Space - Master Bath Renovation

I knew immediately I wanted to do something similar in our half bath on the first floor. The layout is nearly identical and we could really use the storage space of built in shelving. Somehow our once remotely tidy bathroom has taken on a new, cluttered life now that we are in the age of potty training.

Many years ago, Trent & I made our own built in shelving for the nook that is in what's now Dylan's room. I confess, this time, all I did was pull one measurement (the width of the back wall) and then Dylan & I went shopping at Lowe's. That's right, no drawings. Just one measurement and a mental sketch. Really, this type of built-in is that simple - a few cuts, a few screws, a little touch-up and it's done. Find my "how to" post here.

Now, instead of a cluttered space, our half bath has a new tidy look.

All of the decorating elements were from around the house except the green ceramic planter and the carved frame both on the top shelf. Those I found this week at a thrift store for a combined total of $3.50! Seeing the "full" view in the after photo, I think I might make one more purchase - a dark brown trash can.


Mad March Competition - Round 3

For Round 3 in the Mad March Competition, I created this page:

It had to meet the following requirements:
    1. Use three photos from three different occasions
    2. Use three patterned papers
    3. Place one photo at the very edge of the layout
    4. Use only three colors
    5. Use this font on your page: Ostrich Sans
    6. Use an arrow embellishment
    7. Use a brush
    8. Subject: Recap
    9. Use a sketch (layout design, but NOT a template)
The photos were from 3 different snow experiences in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was fun putting them together on one page and seeing the changes. Dylan wasn't too sure about the cold white stuff the first time around, but this year he couldn't wait to get out and play in it!

Supplies: Oh Boy ABCs papers by Carina Gardner; Genuinely You papers by Karen Funk; Jolly papers by Sara Schmutz; Digi Essentials and Holiday Word Art '10 brushes by Karla Dudley; PageMaps sketch #33 by Becky Fleck; Tears Set 1 by Tiffany Tillman; Ostrich Sans and Just the Way You Are fonts.


Celery Experiment

We had a lot of celery in the house thanks to a recipe so I decided to try the old food coloring & celery experiment with Dylan. I wasn't too sure how he would handle the waiting part. Then my friend, Stacey, gave me the best idea - set it up before nap time. This is exactly what we did and after nap, the results were ready.

I prepped the cups with food coloring and water first. I just squirted in a few drops of each color and stirred them. (Those snowflake cups are the only clear plastic cups we have on hand so they were put to use again!)

Next I explained to Dylan what to do and let him place each celery stick into one of the cups.

A few hours later when we checked, both pieces of celery had colorful veins.

Dylan definitely found this interesting. He was very curious about the colors coming up through the celery and liked stirring the colored water (not part of the experiment - just part of the fun!). I learned a bit myself. After putting yellow food coloring in one of the cups I thought that maybe it wasn't the best choice, but it worked fine. The veins were an orange color and we could see it. Searching online afterward, I discovered that the leaves can also pick up the colors so next time we'll leave those on.


Mad March Competition - Round 2

I made it through Round 1 of the Mad March Digital Scrapbooking Competition at Design House Digital! The challenge for Round 2 was to use each of the following items in a layout:  Mist, Alpha, Doodle, Neutral, Eyelet, Stitching and Stripes (get it? "madness").

I decided to create a page about taking Dylan to the theater to see The Lorax. For the doodle, I used my tablet to sketch "truffula" trees in Photoshop based on the sketches in the book by Dr. Seuss.

Supplies: DHD National Scrapbooking Day 2011 Blog Hop kit; Gennifer Bursett's Toolbox Mist Vol. 1; Robyn Meierotto's Mellow alpha, In Stitches - Bright Basics, & Kraft Fun Day elements; Karla Dudley's Felis elements; Tiffany Tillman's Baby Dinos elements; Century Gothic, Janda Everyday Casual and Times Roman fonts.


facebook birthday wishes

Another page inspired by a challenge. This time for the DHD March journaling challenge to use free-style type journaling. I admit I was totally stumped when I first read it. After seeing Elan's Happy Birthday to me layout, I decided that's exactly what I wanted to do. It is fun seeing all the birthday wishes on Facebook each year. With this page, I have a record of all those digital messages from my birthday last November.

Supplies: Karen Funk's One Year Older elements & Claire alpha; Jen Allyson's Real Simple - Polaroid Frames; DHD Digital Scrapbooking Day 2011 Collaboration kit; Arial Black, Century Gothic & Just the Way You Are fonts.


Mad March Competition - Round 1

Design House Digital is hosting a digital scrapping competition. Round 1 required using a blog hop kit, a template, at least 3 colors, framing a photo and interviewing someone. I interviewed Dylan on Tuesday evening before bed. Here's my entry:

Supplies: Tiffany Tillman's Summer No. 24 template; Audrey Neal's Flight Path kit; DHD Spring Menagerie Collaboration kit; Karla Dudley's Today brushes; Rhonna Farrer's Celebration kit; Century Gothic font.


Wordless Wednesday: Fountain

Wordless Wednesday


Homemade Puffy Paint

We are currently in a phase where anything mixable and where Dylan can 'help' makes for a good project. Homemade puffy paint fit the bill. It was very easy to make. He loved helping me measure & dump each ingredient. We used the recipe shared on sandy toes and popsicles blog:

  • 1 tablespoon of self rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • food coloring
  • water

Add the first 3 ingredients into each spot in a small muffin pan. Then add enough water to create a paste and mix it all together.

Use q-tips to paint designs onto stiff paper or cardboard. I cut up an old cereal box for us to use. (And, yes, the painting on the right was mine - Dylan isn't quite advanced enough to paint shapes on his own!)

After your designs are complete, microwave for 5-10 seconds. Admire your artwork!


Durham Bulls Fan Fest 2012

The Durham Bulls baseball team hosted their annual spring Fan Fest at the beginning of the month. Trent happened to have the day off work so we headed to the ballpark. We were fortunate that some friends of ours made it out too. It was an overcast rainy day, but the boys had a great time running around the stadium and playing catch on the field. We were also grateful for a moment with Wool E Bull for a group photo.

Supplies: Sara Schmutz's No 1 Fan kit; Robin Meierotto's Fashionable Fall papers, So Daily - Die Cut Cards and In Stitches - Bright Basics; Karla Dudley's Today and Digi Essentials 8 brushes; Just the Way You Are font.

Also seen at CraftGossip.com - Scrapbooking.


Little Order to the Pantry

Last year, I found a great blog post on creating your own lined canvas bins using old diaper boxes. I bookmarked it for future reference. Fast forward to this week and I was frustrated with a pile of chip/snack bags in our pantry that fall everywhere with the slightest bump. I had a small cardboard box that was just the right size so I set off to repurpose it and have it looking cute.

Completed Canvas Bin
I used canvas and spray adhesive to cover the exterior of the box. Then dug through my scraps for fabric to make the liner. I followed these instructions for making the liner with a little alteration as I added the striped top with fabric left from our dining room curtains. (Yes, this bin totally coordinates with the dining room/kitchen even though it lives in the pantry!)

Filled to the brim with bagged snacks.
Besides the new neatness to my pantry, the best part was the price - free. All of my supplies I had on hand left from previous projects.

Supplies: cardboard box, canvas, spray adhesive, fabric remnants, thread.


Blue Lagoon

I confess, I've been day dreaming of the beach lately. That led me to start 'pulling' photos in my digital files to scrapbook from our trip to the beach last fall. This is the house we were fortunate to spend a week at with friends:

Supplies: Gennifer Bursett's Gidget papers; Karen Funk's Claire alphas; Come Unto Me font.


Lens Pouch

Since getting a new lens at Christmas, I've been looking for ways to take it along from time to time. My camera only fits in my small bag with the kit lens (new one is too long) and I don't always want to carry my large camera bag as I typically have a diaper bag in tow as well. I found the idea for the Strappy Camera Lens Pouch on Pinterest.The tutorial was written by another mom who also wanted to take along the extra lens while toting the diaper bag.

This was my first time sewing a project with a zipper. I was proud I at least knew to change the foot on my machine! Beyond that, it took a minute of reading the manual. I was just about to search online for how-to videos when I figured it out.

The main fabric was in my stash leftover from creating my camera strap cover. On the inside I used a coordinating fat quarter I bought while shopping for the zipper.

Supplies: floral print fabric - Central Park by Kate Spain; liner fabric - JoAnn Fabrics; Pellon fusible fleece; Coats & Clark thread and zipper.


Stamped Shamrocks

A St. Patrick's Day inspired craft I've seen numerous times in the past is stamping shamrocks using a green pepper. I confess, the thrifty side of me hated wasting using an entire pepper for this so I cut off about 1/3 and then stashed the rest back in the fridge for dinner.

The initial reaction when I handed Dylan the project supplies was confusion. I can't blame him. Why in the world would mama hand him paint and a vegetable? So, I showed him how to dip the pepper into the paint and stamp a shamrock shape.

He followed my lead, took the pepper and made a stamp all by himself.

Then came the "oops" moment. What I neglected to realize until we were in the midst of the process is that a short stubby slick section of green pepper + paint getting on fingers = slimy and hard for Dylan to pick up (me too for that matter). So after one awesome stamp by each of us followed by a second attempt by Dylan that resulted in a big paint blob over my stamped shamrock, we moved on to finger painting. Got to roll with the art flow here. Next time, I'll let him have the whole pepper. :)


We Were Here

Dylan & I spent a week in Virginia at the end of January, beginning of February. A look at our week in a glance:

Supplies: Kate Teague's Just the Photos 3 - the Squares template; Robyn Meierotto's Oceanside papers, In Stitches - Bright Basics, and Let's Go mini kit; Sara Schmutz's Happy Camper brushes and Star Spangled freebie (recolored tape); Just the Way You Are and Impact Label fonts; Google map.


90th Birthday

Trent, Dylan & I traveled to southwest Virginia for the day in late January to celebrate my paternal grandfather's 90th birthday. Of course, not everyone was there, but it was fantastic getting as many of our extended family together as possible. A glance at our fun:

Supplies: DHD February Blueprint Challenge template; Karen Funk's One Year Older & In This Life kits; Shannon Hegarty's Lighhearted papers; Century Gothic font.

My Memories Suite v3 Giveaway Winner

The winner of the My Memories Suite v3 software is ...

Comment 7 was posted by Kim @ Everything Etsy:



Shamrock Handprint Plaque

It's true, we have a handprint or footprint plaque for almost every holiday now. I love pulling them out to decorate with and Dylan gets so excited seeing them! Our Shamrock plaque we made last year the day before St. Patrick's day.

I started with a square wooden plaque that I painted white. After the paint dried, I very lightly sketched outline of the shamrock leaves in pencil. Then, with Trent's help, we slowly painted Dylan's hands and made the prints - two with each hand. I painted the stem and set it aside. Once the green paint was dry, I used a Sharpie marker to carefully outline the leaves I had sketched earlier as well as the stem. This gave the design the 'pop' it needed and helped define the shamrock. I completed the plaque by sealing it with a coat of Mod Podge and adding a picture hanger to the back. Also, as with all the plaques, I noted on the back the date and Dylan's age.

Supplies: wooden plaque; acrylic paints; brushes; Sharpie marker; Mod Podge; picture hanger.