Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Meet the Maker Feature on Ellen Hutson

Hi Folks! I'm so grateful to be starting another year with the wonderful team at Ellen Hutson! Their house products in the Essentials By Ellen line, the creative wonders on the design team, the fact that you can get all the hot new products across so many new and established companies, and especially Ellen herself, all make for a happy place to be.


One of the newer features you may have seen on the Ellen Hutson Blog are the Meet the Maker posts. So fun to learn more about everyone! If you're interested, there's even a post on me that was just added.





In the short article, I mention my love of crafting with family and friends. These photos are from one of the recent family crafting afternoons, where we set up tables in the hall. Love that we have three generations of crafters working, teaching and helping side-by-side (grandma would be so proud!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!
- Kelly

Neat and Tangled Januray Guest Designer - Scandinavian Prints 5 Ways


Hi Folks! What a whirlwind Creativation was this weekend! I can't wait to share some of the hundreds of photos I took there (or check out my instagram), but first I wanted to make sure you got a chance to see the amazing Scandinavian Prints in action at the Neat and Tangled Blog this weekend.


I had a fun time making my own patterned paper using a lot of different images in the set,
 

Using the pieces to build one focal-point image on the card (along with customizing the Doily Envelope die to build the lacy mats),
 
And combining sets with Lumberjack Love to make a happy, whimsical card.


Head over to the blog to check it out!


And here's a sneak peek for my final guest appearance on Friday where I'll share six different cards all made with the Doily Envelope die. Can't wait for you to see! This is my favorite series yet!!

Thanks!
Kelly





Thursday, January 17, 2019

DIY Band-Aid Valentines: I'm Stuck on You!



As more and more schools ban sweets and foods of all kind at school, it's a little more challenging to come up with a non-food valentine that the kids will like. It's also a challenge to find a valentine that works equally well for boys as girls.

Yesterday I posted about the amazing tin valentine mailboxes that the third graders decorated for their Valentine's Day party, and today I'm going to show you the punny valentines that we made for Jackson's class!


While looking at the tin mailboxes at the Target Dollar Spot, I noticed a package of adorable valentine band-aids that had an assortment of valentine-themed prints on them. And they came in a pack of 20 for only $1!! I figured I could come up with a punny sentiment to go along with them so I bought a couple packs and headed home. 

It didn't take long. 

I'm STUCK on you, valentine.

Yep, that works!


I designed a quick 3x4 sentiment on the computer and printed them out. For the valentines we made ahead of time I chose the word "stuck" to be in purple to emphasize the pun. There were some valentines that I wanted to give out to friends and neighbors more at the last minute, however, and due to my stubbornness not to spend any more money buying colored ink cartridges, I couldn't print them at home, and didn't have time to print them at the library. So I just printed a few with a lot of open space and wrote "stuck" with a purple marker. Sometimes the best solution is the quickest solution : )


We printed all the classroom valentines with each child's name so all Jackson would need to do is sign his name at the bottom. I realize we lost a great opportunity for him to practice his handwriting, but sometimes you're just pressed for time, hahaha.

We stuck the band-aids directly onto the valentine, but you could absolutely leave the adhesive backing on them, and adhere them to the card with a tape runner so the recipient could actually use them later if they wanted to. 


I used an envelope punch board to make custom envelopes for the Valentines, but you could just pass them out as-is. Don't they look so cute in the mailbox?! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope your Valentine's Day is a sweet one!
- Kelly

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Valentine Mailbox Craft for a School Valentine's Day Party



I am excited to share the Valentine's Day craft we made at Jackson's third grade elementary school Valentine's Day party! This valentine mailbox turned out so sweet, was simple for the kids to make in a 10=15 minute station, cost less than $2.25 per person, and was put to use immediately for all the little valentines they received. They even got to be mailmen and actually DELIVER their valentines!

Let's take a look ...



This mailbox is made up of two main parts:

  1. Mini tin mailbox (Target dollar spot $1)
  2. Glass candlestick holder (Dollar store $1, although you can absolutely find cheaper ones at garage sales, resale shops, your basement, etc.)
 Other supplies you'll need include: Spray paint (read the cans to confirm but I've had good luck with Krylon on glass), embellishments for the tin (possibilities include glitter and foam adhesive hearts, adhesive gems, die-cuts, flowers, birds, butterflies), pre-cut lengths of ribbon, and hot glue.


Line up all the candlesticks in a well-vented area and spray them with the paint. Once they are dry, apply hot glue to the top of the candlestick and immediately press the bottom of the mailbox onto the glue. I did have a few mailboxes come off during the process, and I believe those were the ones I didn't press the mailbox into the hot glue right away.


I went a step further and adhered a patterned paper heart to the lid of the mailbox just so the kids had a head start in decorating at the party. I figured if they really weren't into crafting and decided not to do anything further, the mailbox would still look cute as-is. (side note: they were ALL VERY MUCH INTO the crafting, and came up with some fabulous designs, which was awesome to see.)




Here they all are, waiting to be carried to school for the party. I brought several extra patterned paper hearts for the kids in the last station who won't have as many mailboxes to choose from.



I also tried making an even amount of each color mailboxes and stands. Unlike adults, who may have selected the silver or gold tin to match their decor, or fixtures in their house, the kids all gravitated towards the pretty, blue colored tins. I definitely ran out of those fairly quickly.


We had one and a half adults helping at this station. I was the half, either taking photos or helping as needed. The kids picked out which mailbox they wanted to start with (after gasping with excitement once they saw them and realizing they would get to bring them home!) and then started picking out the stickers and gems they wanted to put on the tins.


Then they visited the mom in the corner to have their birds or butterflies (4 for $1 at the dollar store) hot glued to the tin. Their final step was to select a pre-cut length of ribbon to tie in a bow around the stand. If you're working with younger kids (these are all third-graders) you may want to pre-tie the bows on the stands or have another adult available to do this step.


So very fulfilling to see their proud looks when they complete their Valentine mailbox! Seeing what they come up with is always the best. Jackson took the spare wire pieces that came with the birds, stuck them through the back of the bird, and adhered glitter hearts to the tops so it looks like love is all around. Literally : )


At the end of the party, after they had all rotated through the stations and everyone had a completed mailbox, they got to set up their home base and start passing out the valentines.

Delivery!

I mean really, can you beat this?! They were so, so proud. And check out how well they all did!

This craft did take a bit of preparation, but I think it was well worth it. Not only do they get to actually put it to use during the party, but they have a pretty good quality Valentine's Day decoration to display at home for years to come. I've heard of some families actually using it at home during the whole month of February. Leave it out in the kitchen, or at the back door, and write a sweet note for your kid(s) to find when they come home from school. Don't forget to raise the flag!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Kelly

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ellen Hutson Little Lady


Hi Folks! Yesterday we saw the new Leading Gentleman by Brandi Kincaid for Essentials by Ellen; today we see the other newest member of the Leading family ... Little Lady. What a sweetie!!



This is another set where the accessories are just as special as the main image. I picked the crayon to go with the "it's OK to color outside the lines" sentiment. Love that this little lady is holding her hand high, so she can color her own galaxy! With a blue crayon.


I decided all the color on this card belonged in the galaxy, outside the lines, but then I started having second thoughts ...


Last weekend my cousins came over for a craft day, and Miss Mollie, who was only nine at the time, decided she wanted to recreate my card. Well, in about 15 minutes she whipped up an amazingly creative and well-executed card that I was completely jealous over.


Isn't she ridiculously talented? Sorry for the poor quality camera phone photo in low light, but I'm hoping you can see how Mollie added a few dots of purple to Little Lady's face to represent the mess from creating her painted galaxy. So clever! And I do love how she colored in her lady. So proud to be shown up by her : )

What could be better than crafting all day with six of your cousins/aunts?!


As a recap, here are the cards with the Leading Gentleman and Little Lady, which are available now!


Thanks so much for stopping by!
-Kelly



Affiliate Links:



Leading Ladies - Leading Gentleman By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Leading Ladies - Leading Gentleman By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Leading Ladies - Little Lady By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Leading Ladies - Little Lady By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

It's A Date By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

It's A Date By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Circle of Stars, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Starry Night, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Star Trail, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Catherine Pooler Ink Pad, Green Tea

Catherine Pooler Ink Pad, Black Jack

My Sweet Petunia Mini MISTI Laser Etched Stamping Tool (6-1/8 X 7)




Friday, January 11, 2019

Now Available - Ellen Hutson Leading Gentleman



Hi Folks! With as popular at the Essentials by Ellen Leading Ladies by Brandi Kincaid have been, you knew it was only a matter of time before a Leading Gentleman came onto the scene! And what a guy he is, with a ton of "guy accessories" to go with him (which, btw, are small enough in scale to go with my favorite All Inside Bear). Just perfect for Father's Day!


Let's talk about his plaid shirt ... I thought for sure there was no way that it would actually work out. And in fact, I left him on my desk overnight and almost threw him out the next morning. But then I had an idea to add shading to his sides even though I had already made the plaid. Right away I noticed that adding a color on top of the plaid helped even things out and look less stark. My next step was to go over the entire shirt with a colorless marker, which gives it a worn, flannel look. Super happy that I was able to save him!



The same could not be said for his pants. I realized that with the dark brown color, all the attention was going to his pants. So to save the plaid shirt, I simply cut off his pants! His top is adhered onto a full, uncolored die cut and I got a second chance to color gray pants for him. I'm realizing I should have probably gone for a third try, as I over-bended the gray and it looks more like he's wearing sweat pants instead of khakis, hahaha! 

But, my point is to think twice about scrapping something until you've tried to save it (like the plaid) or remove it (like the pants).



I don't always think corresponding dies are necessary for a stamp set, but I must say they sure do come in handy for a set like this, where there are a lot of small, different pieces. For the sentiment I split up the two words and popped a fish in-between.


The set also comes with facial hair! : ) I created a little fashion shoot so you can see his transformed looks.


He does look more rugged with the full facial hair. I've seen several mustaches before, but don't recall many stamp sets offering the beard and mustache option. Nice to have!


Finally, I was surprised with how the background turned out, as that is definitely going outside my comfort zone. A couple strokes of grass, a sandy alcove, and pebbles around the perimeter give this fisherman a place to hang out. Seeing everyone's amazing background scenes on Instagram has definitely inspired me to try this out ... my card-making New year's resolution.

This set, along with the Little Lady and all the other January releases, are on sale now!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-Kelly


Affiliate Links:



Leading Ladies - Leading Gentleman By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Leading Ladies - Leading Gentleman By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Leading Ladies - Little Lady By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Leading Ladies - Little Lady By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

It's A Date By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

It's A Date By Brandi Kincaid, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Circle of Stars, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Starry Night, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Star Trail, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Catherine Pooler Ink Pad, Green Tea

Catherine Pooler Ink Pad, Black Jack

My Sweet Petunia Mini MISTI Laser Etched Stamping Tool (6-1/8 X 7)