One Little Word update

Now that we’re nearing the end of March and we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to give an update on my One Little Word, or word of the year, progress.

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If you’ve chosen a word for this year, are you still keeping it at the forefront of your mind? Or has it kind of slipped away in all the business of life? Maybe it was just a fun thing to do at the beginning of the year, because everybody was doing it. I know those things we plan and promise at the beginning of a new year have a tendency to slide to the background of our minds where they remain as a distant thought.

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I really didn’t want that to happen to me with my One Little Word project. After all, it seems like a silly waste of time and energy to come up with a word to define our year and serve as a guide or inspiration point if we’re never going to so much as give it a second thought once February rolls around. It’s pointless to do it just because everyone else is.

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But, as I said in my previous blog post, we’ve gone through a very busy and stressful season in our lives, and I felt like I was not able to focus on my word for the year (I chose the word Cultivate, for those of you who may not know). With my schedule stretching me to my limit, barely finding time to do everything i needed to, much less to do the things I wanted to. It was challenging enough to find the time to cultivate my relationship with the Lord. Almost impossible to cultivate any creative areas in my life. I felt like I was just hanging on.

IMG_0042But, the cool thing about creating an album like this for myself is that it gives me a place to record my thoughts about the cultivating process. And as I began to sit down and really think about the last few months I realized there indeed was some cultivating going on that I hadn’t really been aware of.

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In my Bible study I was learning about cultivating an ear that can hear the words of the Lord. Along with that comes cultivating an obedient heart. Because it’s not enough to have a listening ear. One must have an obedient heart to be willing to follow what the Lord tells us to do.

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Our Bible study is a study of the life of King David and how he had a heart after God’s own. It was good to dig deeper and take a closer look at the heart of David. By studying the Word of God and digging deeper into a man who loved the Lord so passionately I am also learning to cultivate a listening ear and an obedient heart.

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Not only was the Bible study a great way to grow in my walk with the Lord, but it has helped me to learn to know some other women better. Hearing their hearts and listening to them, learning from them, has developed a closer relationship with other women, some of which I hadn’t really known before. Cultivating relationships like that is definitely on my list of things to cultivate this year.

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So, looking back over the first few months of the year, when i thought to much cultivating has been going on, I realized I indeed was cultivating areas in my life. Specifically the following:

Cultivating faith: Through the Bible study and more in depth study of His Word, in praying over specific needs in our lives and watching God move and provide in those areas, in spending time in worship (even if it’s just during my time in the car), in choosing to allow God to work in my heart and make it more like His.

Cultivating friendships: I’ve had many opportunities to connect with beautiful, special friends over the last few months. Some fun days of spending time with girlfriends. But also, having a schedule that was full made it possible to interact with others more and get to know some wonderful women better than I did before. I feel blessed to have gotten the the chance to know them better. If my schedule would have been routine, I would have spent lots more time at home alone. That full schedule was a blessing in disguise when I look at how I was able to connect with others because of it.

Cultivating hospitality: In spite of my busy schedule, I was able to cultivate hospitality a time or two. I hope to be able to do that more as the weather turns warmer, but I was glad to look back and feel like it hadn’t been entirely neglected.

Cultivating trust: There were some opportunities in the past few months where we just had to learn to trust. That everything would work out. And if it didn’t, that God knew what He was doing. That He is good, no matter what.

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There are a few other ways I’ve found myself cultivating the other areas I’ve wanted to focus on, some in small ways. But I was encouraged to feel like all had not been lost. In looking back I felt I was able to see specific ways that the Lord has been working on me when i wasn’t really aware. Isn’t that often how it is?

I had to think that perhaps the cultivating process goes through seasons too, just like everything else in life. And sometimes we can’t control what season we are in. I’d like it to always be the season for cultivating my creativity, but maybe sometimes we need to put some things aside so that other areas can receive the attention they need.

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Maybe we won’t know what cultivating has been going on until sometime later. In the middle of a really tough time it may feel like there is no cultivating, just ugly weeds spring up all around us. It may look like our lives are being destroyed. But even in those season there is an opportunity for cultivation. Faith, hope, courage, trust, dependence on the Lord, humility, patience. The tough times are prime times for cultivating those kinds of things in our lives. It’s important to remain focused on God and allow Him to work in us, no matter what the season.

Thanks for joining me today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what God has been doing in your life. Or your progress on your One Little Word and how it has impacted you so far this year. Or anything else you’d like to share or any questions you may have about this post. I love reading your comments and hearing from my readers!

 

Watercolor stripes background


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Hello, friends! I’m glad to be here with you on a Monday again, for a change. I realize my blogging has been sporadic lately. I’m past apologizing for that. While I’d love to spend more time crafting and blogging, I am kept very busy with my family these days.

My kids are at very active stages of their lives. One is about to turn 16 in just a few weeks! I am kept hustling, trying to manage schedules, playing chauffeur, cooking enough food to keep their tummies full (which is a monumental task these days, considering teenage boys are almost always hungry). There are more things on our schedule, more laundry to do, more dishes to wash, more food to cook and more groceries to buy. There are bigger problems to address these days than there were when they were little. These are young people trying to figure their way around this big world. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

But it’s a season. Just a season. And I have to constantly remind myself of that. The day will come when I will have more time to devote to the things I want to do. But for now, I often have a teenage boy in my kitchen late at night when all I want to do is go to bed. But he’s looking for food and someone to listen to the thing he finds interesting at the moment. And I would be unwise to shut him out.

So anyway….life is full, and busy, and good. We just came through an extremely hectic season that stretched from before Christmas to now. Our schedules were.so.full. Our weekends left little time to relax. I felt stretched in so many ways, barely able to breathe. But it has lifted a little, some things have come to an end for the time being,  and I feel like maybe now I can focus on all the winter projects that are still left undone and catch up on some of my craft projects. Deep breaths!

OK, about the card. I made this card for Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking magazine’s special issue of Card Creations Volume 13. However, it never got to be in print because the magazine closed down before that issue went to press. Amanda Coleman and I collaborated on a submission project where we designed cards together. I based this card off of a card she made. We originally planned to post our cards on the same day, but that hasn’t worked out. I found this card stuck inside a drawer, all forgotten, and figured I should just pull it out and share it with you.

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I know this card is more fitting for the fall season, which is about when the issue would have been out on the shelves, I think. But the idea is a fun one, and it’s easy enough to change it to suit your needs. Amanda’s card featured a background made from grey and white striped patterned paper. I chose to mimic that by creating watercolored stripes instead. All you need is a wide brush to use for the stripes, and keep the stripes as equally distanced apart as you can. The beauty of watercoloring them is that if it’s not perfect it doesn’t matter.

I absolutely loved how the watercolor stripes turned out, and I hope to use this idea on a future project. The background gives the card enough interest so that i felt I could keep the embellishments at a minimum.

I hope you like the watercolored stripes background idea. It’s a great way to create a custom background for your projects. You could change the color of the paint, the width or direction of the stripes, or even create a plaid background by pairing multiple stripes in different colors, widths and directions. The possibilities are endless.

Have fun!

 

Make Your Own Pocket Page Scrapbooking Cards

Hey guys! I shared this post over on the Gossamer Blue blog yesterday. But in case you missed it, I’m sharing it here as well.

Pocket Page scrapbooking is a really big deal these days. And each month you can get your own exclusive Gossamer Blue pocket page scrapbooking card inserts with our Life Pages kits and add-ons.

But what about the times when you just don’t have the right one in your stash that you’re looking for? Well, it’s very simple and easy to whip up your own in no time at all. I’m going to share some fun and easy ways to create your own Life Pages cards to perfectly coordinate with the theme and /or color scheme of your page.

Stamps:

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Each month the Gossamer Blue kits include an exclusive stamp set. And many times these are perfect for making Life Pages cards.
Here I used just one of the stamps from the Life Pages kit stamp set and stamped it multiple times to cover my entire card. I use a different color ink on two lines for a little interest and added some cute little enamel hearts. Easy peasy, right? This is a great way to stretch those smaller stamps a little further too. This is only one of the stamps from the set, so you could repeat this idea with all the other stamps in the set, or come up with other ways to use them on your life Pages cards.

Watercolor:

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This is probably my very favorite way to make my own Life Pages cards. I love watercoloring, and making a fun watercolor card to add to your album is so simple and fun.
I pressed an ink pad onto my acrylic stamping block, then used a wet paint brush to brush it onto a 3”x4” piece of watercolor paper that I had already made wet with my paint brush. You can watercolor onto a dry piece of paper, but I wanted an ombre look, and the wet paper helps the watercolors to move across the paper better.

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After my watercolors were dry, I added a little stamping on the lighter section of the card.

But don’t waste the excess ink you have on your acrylic block! All that wet, blotchy ink is perfect for smooshing onto another card to make another water color effect.

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Make sure the inks are nice and wet. Spritz your block with a little more water if you need to. The more water you use, the less vibrant your inks will be. But don’t use too much, or you’ll just have a wet mess. You want just enough water to cause the inks to be able to move around on the paper. You can also dry the paper with your heat gun and then smoosh it into the ink again. Do it as many times as you like until you achieve the desired results. The fun thing about this effect is that you really have no idea how it will turn out. It’s always a surprise.

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Handwriting:

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Pull out some of your large brush or calligraphy pens and hand write the perfect phrase on your Life Pages card. You may want to practice first on a scrap piece of paper, but this is a fun way to add a personal and unique element to your album.

Confetti cards:

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I love confetti and shaker cards in my albums! They are just so much fun! And this month there were some fantastic sequins included in the Bits & Pieces kit, which were just perfect for making a sequin shaker card. I pulled out some printed vellum from a previous kit, and some plain vellum from my stash. I stitched the two pieces of vellum together on three side, added my sequins, then stitched the fourth side shut.

Layers:

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I tend to like to keep my pocket page scrapbooking cards a little more on the simple side, but if that’s not your thing, feel free to add lots of layers.
Here I added a few pieces of patterned paper, a cork tag, a die cut heart, some enamel shapes, and a tiny tag from the On My Desk collection. The cool thing about making your own Life Pages cards is that you can make them as simple or complex as you desire.

Die cuts:

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Our Gossamer Blue kits come with a fantastic selection of exclusive die cut files each month. The little cards included with the March cut files are just perfect for creating your own die cut Life Pages cards. It doesn’t get an easier than this! I simply cut mine out and layered it over another piece of card stock. You could also add some embellishments, but I chose not to.

I added all my cards to my Word of the Year album. I plan to use them here and there throughout my album as I see fit. Here’s a look at them all together.

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See how easy it is to create your own Life Pages cards to add to your albums and other projects? I hope you’ll have fun making some unique and interesting Life Pages cards of your own. I’d love to hear which technique you’d most like to try.

One cut file, two ways

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Hello! Welcome to the Gossamer Blue Design team Inspiration Blog Hop for the month of April. We bring you these blog hops to give you even more inspiring ideas for using your kits, just as they are arriving at your door.

Today I thought it would be fun to share a couple of ways to use some of the exclusive cut files that come with a Gossamer Blue subscription. There are some really great cut files and printables available to subscribers each month, and I thought it would be fun to take just one of those cut files and create two projects from it.

One is a scrapbook layout, and the other is a card. But they both use the same cut file and the same basic layout.  I wanted to show you how one cut file can be used in different ways to achieve different results.

Sparkle and Shine card:

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I used the cut file that’s like a Life Pages card with the holes cut out. I love that one. I enlarged it enough to cover the front of a card and cut it from some of the patterned paper from the Bella Rouge collection from pink paisley. This one is from the 6″x 6″ paper pad that comes in the Bits & Pieces kit.

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I adhered the cut out design to my card using foam adhesive to give it dimension. Then I tucked some small embellishments from my kits into the circular openings. I also added a sparkle and shine sticker, also from Pink Paislee), and then added some silver paint splatters over the entire card.

For the scrapbook page,  I enlarged the cut file to about 11 1/2″ on the longest side and cut it from a sheet of card stock.

Sweet & beautiful scrapbook page:

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You can see I used the same layout design on the page as I did on the card. The photos take the place of the sticker sentiment on the card.

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I also tucked some smaller embellishments into the cut out circles, like I did on the card.

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This was a fun way to use up some of the smaller embellishments.

Isn’t it fun to see how different the cut file looks, just by changing the size? This is just one way to stretch out the use of your exclusive designs each month.

So, here’s a challenge for you. Find at least two ways to use the same digital exclusive. Either a cut file or a printable design. If you do, I’d love for you to share your results with me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and I’ll chose one random person to receive a small package of paper crafting goodies.

Be sure to check out everyone else’s blogs for more inspiration. And thanks for joining me today!

Anabelle O’Malley
Beshka Kueser
Brenda Weaver- you are here!
Caylee Grey
Cindy Liebel
Danielle Flanders
Diane Payne
Emily Spahn
Erin Taylor
Eunyoung Lee
Heather Leopard
Jessica Lohof
Jill Keller
Joy Taylor
Katie Ehmann
Laura Crosby
Mel Blackburn
Rebecca Luminarias
Sabrina Alery
Tara Anderson
Yana Smakula

Color Theory class- complimentary colors & stamping

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I’m enjoying the Color Theory Class with Wilna Furstenburg so very much! Wilna has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now, and this is the second class of hers I’ve taken.  She’s not only brilliant, but her voice and accent is such fun to listen to.

This class is all about color, of course. And for the second lesson we focused on using complimentary colors and the stamping into paint technique.

I made two cards this time to focus on each part separately.

This first card uses complimentary colors, which are colors that are opposite each other on a color wheel. In this case, yellow and purple.

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I painted some yellow paint onto my stamp instead of using ink. This creates such  fun effect. Much more random and uneven. I like this technique too, because I can choose where I will place my paint on the stamp. I didn’t cover the entire thing, but left some parts bare.

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I found out that (like my red accents), I also do not have many purple scrapbooking supplies. That’s not because I don’t like purple, but because not many manufacturers use a lot of purple in their designs. I like some shades of purple and lavender better than others, but I like it pretty much overall. I especially like it paired with bright yellow.  I think more purple should be used in paper crafting products. It could be gorgeous paired with grays and other neutrals, or an orchid shade could look so awesome with shades of pinks. I saw a cute top at Old Navy yesterday that had neon pinks in the pattern and it was paired with a lavender sweater. I wouldn’t have thought to pair those two colors in a million years, but it looked so pretty! That could look great on a card or page, don’t you think?

Anyway, I digress.

This next card was not made with complimentary colors, but it does incorporate the stamping into paint technique.

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It’s a messy, and heavily textured card, but I love that! The dry paint just begs to be touched. I didn’t have a roller stamp, so I used some clear stamps instead. Either works just fine for this technique.

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I finished it off with some black ink spatters, sequins in coordinating colors, and some word stickers. goodness, I just love all that texture! Isn’t it fun?

I’m a little on behind in my homework for this class (surprise, surprise). There wasn’t a whole lot of extra time in my schedule to play this week. But I’ll be back to share more next week. This is such a fun class, and I want to try to create something for each assignment. We’ll see if that happens or not.

I hope you’ll plan to stop by on Saturday for our monthly Gossamer Blue Design Team Inspiration blog hop. It will be a fun time. See you then!

 

Color Theory- Primary colors + Impasto

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We’re knee-deep in snow around here, and the kids are off from school for the third day in a row. I write this as Nerf bullets zip past my head and the kids scream in my ear. But at least they’re doing something other than letting their brains turn to mush in front of a screen, since that’s been a source of contention around here during the last few days.

I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. I love the snow. I enjoy snow days. I’m not tired of winter yet. I get so much joy looking out my window at the gorgeous scenery outside. I know spring will come in due time. But I know many people struggle this time of year. The cold weather gets harder to endure. You hate to have to travel the snowy roads yet again. The warmth of sunshine on your shoulders seems so far removed and makes you heartsick. You think if you have to endure one more winter storm, or one more day inside with unruly kids, you will go stir crazy.

I’m here to bring you a little sunshine. It’s not the real thing, of course. But these photos of my little girl splashing in the pool are the closest thing I could get. Maybe these photos will help you to remember what summer days feel like, and you can remind yourself that summer days will surely come again. Just hold on a little longer!

I made this page as part of an assignment for the Color Theory class with Wilna Furstenburg over at Studio Calico. We’re focusing on primary colors, plus an Impasto technique for our first session.

Let me just say this. I am NOT a primary colors girl! I might use primary colors here and there as an accent. But having to choose just one primary color to work with on a page was really hard for me. I chose to use red, since it seemed to work best for the photos and supplies I had on hand to work with. Red is probably my least favorite of the primary colors. I prefer to use it sparingly. So this was a bit of a challenge. But that’s the whole point, right?

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I used Impasto in two different ways on this page, although it’s probably very difficult for you to see on your screen. Since my photos were pretty busy, I wanted to keep my background a little less cluttered. I opted to add a layer of thick, white gesso to my background paper before adding my die cut flower background. I didn’t use adhesive for the die cut background, but just pushed it into the gesso while it was still wet.

The other way I used Impasto is on my die cut title. I brushed on a thick layer of red paint, leaving lots of brush strokes.

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The background is subtle and really hard to see on the photos, but I like the white on white look in real life. I felt it was the best way to not overwhelm my photos. I could have just skipped the white gesso, but it does add a subtle hint of texture to the page that I really enjoy.

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When I began searching through my stash to find as many red embellishments as I could, I found that I didn’t have very many at all. Pink, yes! But not red. In fact, many of these red embellishments are some I’ve had for years and years. I just rarely buy anything red.

But it was such a fun exercise to dig through my stuff and pull out stuff in one color, and then figure out how to incorporate them onto my page. I think I would like to do that more often. Chose a color scheme to challenge myself to use, and then pull out everything I can find with that color scheme. If nothing else, it helps to find to more about my purchasing tendencies and my color preferences.

Are you taking Wilna’s class? I’d love to hear your thoughts on primary colors and/or the Impasto technique.

Hoping you have a beautiful, warm, cozy, and sunshine-y day!

Gossamer Blue March reveal

I have a confession to make. I’ve kind of fallen off the grid this past week! I’ve had my March Gossamer Blue projects done for a while, but I totally forgot to share some sneak peeks with you!

I got caught up in a painting project last week. My daughter’s room has needed a redo for quite a while and I promised her I’d get it done in either January or February. Well, January slipped on by, and I hadn’t gotten around to it. And then we were nearing the end of February. Last weekend we began to tackle it, and as it always does, it took longer than I hoped. I spent the greater part of last week painting, shopping for decor items, and putting things all back together. There are still a few things to do, but it’s nearly finished.

But, I apologize for forgetting all about you, and all about my finished cards, and all about the fact that February has only 28 days and the first of March just snuck up on me and took me by surprise! So sorry!

So, here I am! It’s March 1st, and that means there are new kits in the house!! Yippeee! If you haven’t seen them yet, hurry on over to the Gossamer Blue shop and take a look at the gorgeousness for yourself. Here are the links:

March Main kit

March Life Pages kit

add-on kits

Most of them are still available, so hurry and get the ones you want!

And here are the projects I made this month.

YOU be original (main kit only):

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What I loved from the main kit this time: Umm…..everything! Seriously! I love the flowers, the puffy stickers, the clear alphabet, the enamel shapes, the patterned papers. I love it all!

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Special Day (Life Pages kit only):

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What I loved from the Life Pages kit this month: The stamp set, the gold puffy stickers, the chipboard alphabets and shapes (although I didn’t get to use them yet), and of course, the Life Pages exclusive cards.

IMG_9889This card uses just one of the stamps in the set, but this month’s set is really cute, with lots of possibilities.

I’m so Sorry (Bits and Pieces add-on kit):

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Probably my very favorite item of all in all the kits combined this month are the the foil journaling cards from Pinkfresh studio in this month’s Bits & Pieces kit. They. are. amazing!! I used one here and layered it over a watercolored piece of vellum. Then I added some of the beautiful sequins from the Bits and Pieces kit. They are my second favorite item this month. The Bits & Pieces kit is usually my favorite, but this month’s is just so, so good!!

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The sentiment was typed out on my typewriter.

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream (Main Kit and Life Pages add-on #3):

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I really loved the items from Pinkfresh Studio in the kits this month. They have a really fun, cutesy, kind of kitchy vibe. I’m not sure how to explain it. But I really loved it, since since they were so unique and different. I thought it would be fun to go a little bit abstract and create a fun background for the piuffy stickers, rub-ons, and sequins.

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I smooshed on a few different colors of ink, then brushed white paint over top when the ink was dry to tone down the colors and make them subtle. I kind of love how it turned out. Pretty different than any card I’ve created before, but I like it.

And that’s it for this today. I will be back later to share more projects using this month’s kits. Now that my daughter’s room is almost finished I hope to spend more time in my little craft nook. My hands start to itch when I go too long without making something!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Let me know what sparked your interest in this month’s kits!