Friday, December 30, 2011


The 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase winners from weeks two and three, as well as the Grand Prize Winners are being announced today!  Head over to and see if you're one of the lucky ones!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Year in Review

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Cooking With Cricut challenge day!  Melin asked the Design Team to share their favorite project from 2011 for today's challenge.  There were so many . . . it was hard to pick just one!

I finally narrowed it down . . .

I just love the way this door sign for my sister's baby shower turned out!

It now hangs on this cutie-pie's bedroom door!  Baby Everett joined the family on December 10 and was just 15 days old for his very first Christmas.  His Mommy and Daddy said that all of their other Christmas gifts couldn't hold a candle to this precious gift from God.

Here is the link to the original post with all of the details and specifics, if you'd like more information.

Now it's your turn!  Link up your favorite project from 20111 over at and you could be this week's Top Chef.  Make sure you check out what the other Design Team members have shared, too!

Sending you all hugs and best wishes for a safe and Happy New Year!

~ Jen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 24 & 25 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase

Merry Christmas!

Last Christmas I created a board book for my then six year-old daughter re-telling the story of Christ's birth in language she could understand.  (Here is a link to the post with all of the details.)  I had so many nice comments about this little book!  So I wanted to share it with you again as part of Day 24 and Day 25 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at!

I used only used two cartridges to create this book . . . Paper Doll Dress Up and Plantin SchoolBook!

May you always have the gladness of Christmas . . . which is hope;
the Spirit of Christmas . . . which is peace;
and the Heart of Christmas . . . which is love.

~ Jen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 22 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase

It is Day 22 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at and  Can you believe that it is already December 22nd?  Have you checked everything off of your to-do list yet?

We've made it about halfway through ours --
  • tree decorated - check
  • house decorated - check
  • outdoor lights up - check
  • stockings hung - check
  • presents wrapped - nope, not a single one
  • baking finished - almost, two different kinds of cookies, Lemon Bread and Chocolate Turtle candies to make still (as a matter of fact, I'm probably baking while you're reading this!)
  • gifts completed - almost, two to go.
Also on my to-do list was making my seven year old daughter a top to wear on Christmas Day.  (She finally agreed to model it for me in front of our Christmas tree! )

This super cute "JOY" applique was cut using my Cricut and the Joys of the Season and Doodlecharms cartridges.

Here are the ingredients you need:
  • Heat 'n Bond
  • Assorted fabrics (I used "Fat Quarters" from the fabric store -- they are the perfect amount of fabric for little projects like these)
  • Tiny jingle bells
  • Gold seed beads
  • Googly eyes
  • A shiny red button
  • Dimensional fabric paint
  • Optional:  sewing machine with coordinating thread
And here's the recipe: 
  • Stocking cut from Joys of the Season at 5 1/2" tall.
  • Ornament cut from Joys of the Season at 3 1/4" tall.
  • Reindeer cut from Doodlecharms at 4 1/4" tall.
  • Iron Heat 'n Bond to the wrong side of your fabric.
  • Place on cutting mat, fabric side down.
  • Cut design -- I use "Medium" pressure and "Low" speed.  I have a separate blade I use for fabric only and I always use a sticky mat.
  • Remove paper backing and iron on shirt.
  • Secure edges of design by sewing or using dimensional paint.
  • Embellish -- the reindeer gets googly eyes, a shiny red button nose and a painted smile and antlers; the ornament has a painted hook and sewn on beads; and the stocking cuff is secured with paint and has tiny jingle bells sewn to the toe and the cuff.

Now head on over to and check out the other Designer's beautiful projects.  Don't forget to leave a comment to be eligible for this week's prizes.  Oh, and don't forget to download the amazing freebies Melin created for you!

~ Jen

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Holiday Florals

Welcome to Day 21 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase and challenge day at Cooking With Cricut!  Today we are decorating with flowers -- paper flowers, of course!  Melin challenged the Design Team to include our favorite holiday florals in this week's projects.

My seven year old daughter was the inspiration for my project today.  She created this cute little candle holder at school and has lit it each night to decorate our dinner table.  It is so colorful and just a little bit wild -- just like her! 

So Momma decided to make an adult version of this little candle holder!   

Here is what you need:
  • A glass cylinder vase (mine is from the local Dollar Tree store)
  • Tissue paper (I used Christmas tissue paper)
  • Mod Podge (mine is matte finish)
  • A paint brush
  • Flowers (see the list of ingredients for these below)
  • Glue Dots

Here's how you make it:
  1. Wash your vase with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.
  2. Tear your tissue paper into small pieces (mine averaged about a 1 1/2" square).
  3. Using your paint brush, brush Mod Podge onto the vase in an even coat.  Don't do too much at once or it will dry out.
  4. Add a piece of tissue.  Brush Mod Podge on top of the tissue to to seal it.  Make sure your brush has plenty of Mod Podge on it or you'll tear your tissue paper.
  5. Keep adding Mod Podge, tissue and more Mod Podge until your vase is covered.
  6. Let it dry overnight.
All finished.  Time to dry.
The ingredients!
Start at the bottom &
work your way
around & up.

To create the poinsettias I used the Cricut Joys of the Season Cartridge and Cricut Design Studio.  I used the base cut in black-out mode and then cut three of the flowers -- they are 2 1/2" tall.  I hid the flower centers and did not cut them.

Here is what you need to create the flowers:
  • Card stock for your flowers
  • Pearl-Ex powder
  • Soft paint brush
  • Adhesive
  • Metallic gold seed beads
  • Thin gold beading wire
  • Thin awl or tiny hole punch
  • Small glue dots
Here is the step-by-step on how I created the flowers:
  1. Base cut in black-out mode -- leafy green Bazzill card stock (I'm not sure of the name -- this came out of my scrap stash.)
  2. Three poinsettia flowers (only) cut out of a cream colored linen paper (left over from some wedding invitations I made for a client).
  3. Brushed two of the poinsettias with a soft paint brush and Brilliant Gold Pearl-Ex powder by Jacquard.
  4. Glued the plain poinsettia to the green base.
  5. Then I stacked the gilded poinsettias on top of the base -- gluing the centers only.
  6. I strung five gold seed beads onto a 28 gauge gold beading wire.  To form the circle of beads I strung the wire back thru the beads from each end and pulled it tight.
  7. Using my handy-dandy pointy poker tool, I punch two small holes thru the center of the stacked poinsettia and threaded the two ends thru the holes.
  8. I then turned my flower over and secured my wires by twisting them and clipped the excess wire off.
  9. Using the same poker tool, I curled the poinsettia petals to give them some dimension.
  10. Added a few glue dots to the center of the flowers (back side) and stuck them on the bottom of the vase.  My vase took five flowers to go completely around.

All the ingredients for paper poinsettias!
Step 3:  Brush with Pearl-Ex

Step 4:  Glue plain poinsettia
to the green base.
Step 5:  Glue gilded poinsettias --
centers only.

Step 6: String the beads and send
the ends of the wires back thru
the beads to form a circle.
Step 6 continued:  Pull tight to
"gather" beads.

Steps 7 & 8:  Punch holes and thread
wires thru to the back.  Twist to
secure and snip excess wire.

This was a really easy project . . . it took longer to cut out all the flowers than it did to assemble them!  And you really can't tell in these pictures, but the Pearl-Ex gives them such a nice golden lustre.  The powder gets into all the detail cuts and gives it depth and dimension.

I have to tell you -- I was pretty pleased with the way this turned out and called my daughter to come and see what I made.  Boy, did she burst my bubble!  I was informed by the second grade "expert" that I had done it ALL wrong.  There was NO glitter and my paper choice was B-O-R-I-N-G!  LOL!

After I picked up the pieces of my shattered ego, I asked her to tell me how she would have done it.  And so . . . a second candle holder was created with the "expert" telling me how to complete each step.

It was declared "perfect!" and "so much better than that other boring one, Momma!"  Ahh . . . I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  As you can see, we used red and green tissue paper and LOTS of glitter.  (All secured with Mod Podge.)  (Note:  She did ask me later if I would get in "trouble" for this one because I didn't use my Cricut.  LOL!)

Now it's your turn!  Link up your favorite holiday florals project at Cooking With Cricut and you could be this week's Top Chef.  Make sure to become a follower over at CWC and leave a comment to be eligible for one of this week's prizes and one of the 25 Days "grand" prizes!

The 25 Days showcase is winding to a close.  There have been some truly extraordinary projects created by the amazing and Design Teams!  These ladies are so talented and have created many wonderful projects over the last 21 days.  We've had some amazing sponsors, too.  They've been so generous with prizes and discounts -- I hope  you'll check them out.  And Melin has outdone herself with some beautiful cutting files and digi stamps -- and those vintage printables have been amazing, too -- and she's given them all away for free as a thank you for stopping by Cooking With Cricut!  So make sure you stop by thru Christmas to download your freebies each day -- they truly are wonderful.

Sending you hugs and best wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

~ Jen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Gifts, Cards & Tags

Welcome to Day 14 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase and Cooking With Cricut's weekly challenge!  Today Melin challenged the Design Team to come up with some quick and easy gifts, cards or tags for the holidays.  You know . . . something you can whip together at the last minute!

Dee and I have lost count (seriously) of the number of nieces and nephews we have between our two families.  However, we do have FIVE that were born this year!!  Two in January (on the same day, in the same hospital, four hours apart from two different sets of parents and here's the kicker -- they were both early!), one on Valentine's Day, one in August and one this past Saturday!  That's right!  My sister, Elizabeth and her hubby, Matt, welcomed their son to the family on December 10 at 12:33 a.m.  Everett James weighed in at 7 lbs. 13 ozs. and is 20 1/2 inches long and is perfect in every way!

So there are lots of presents to be made and wrapped at our house!  All of the little bitties are getting these super easy to make onesies.  This one is for the two girl babies . . .

I used the Joys of the Season cartridge to cut the tree out of fabric.  It measures 4" wide by 5" tall.  I used three different fat quarters -- so I cut each of my trees into three pieces so I could switch it up.  A star button and different size/shape red buttons decorate this cute little tree.  I am on the hunt for some gift-wrapped package buttons to finish this off.  I cut the tree trunk by hand.  They are attached to the onesie with Heat 'n Bond and then zig-zag stitched.  The buttons are very firmly attached -- but their mommies and daddies will all be warned of the choking hazard.

The three baby boys are receiving this onesie . . .

Yes, we're Gator fans (if you didn't already know that)!  Win or lose, we love our team and wear our colors proudly!  These were made just like the girl's onesies.  The ties are cut from Everyday Paper Dolls and measure approximately 6 1/2" long.  The suspenders are 1" wide orange grosgrain ribbon. 

Our 18 month old grandson, Dylan, is receiving a Gator onesie and this one to wear for Christmas day . . .

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch . . . but you sure do make a cute tie!  The suspenders are cut by hand out of red cotton fabric.  The tie was cut using the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge.  They were attached to the onesies in the same fashion as the girl's appliques.  This tie measures approximately 8" long.

Now here is what makes this gift so quick and easy . . . these can all be cut by hand using a "stencil" if you aren't sure about cutting fabric on your Cricut.  You can also use the heavy duty Heat 'n Bond and skip the sewing step or use dimensional fabric paint to seal the edges.  Or if you don't want to even use fabric you could use freezer paper to make your stencil; iron it on and simply paint the shirt using fabric paints.  Easy-peasy, quick and easy . . . and oh!  So cute!
We recently took our 7 year old daughter and our grandson to see the Santa at the Mall.  Demi did great -- this was the first year that we didn't have to bribe her or take several trips to finally make it to Santa's lap.  Dylan was a different story . . .

Nope.  Not having any part of the Santa thing at all.  Demi was laughing -- I don't know why.  She did the same thing from her second Christmas until year before last!

I did manage to get a pretty good picture of the two kiddos prior to the Santa trauma/drama!

That is Dylan's "Gramma grin!"  Every time he sees me that is the grin I am greeted with.  I just love it -- it makes my day!  (And, no, I don't spoil him one little bit . . . it's a lot of little bits!  After all, that is my right and duty as a Grandma!)

Now, head on over to Cooking With Cricut and check out the rest of the Team's projects.  And don't forget to link up your quick and easy card, tag or gift.  You just might be our next Top Chef! 

You'll also want to download the amazing free files Melin has created and if you aren't a follower at CWC, sign up!  Once you're a follower, leave a comment on the post and then you're eligible for one of this week's prizes provided by our very generous sponsors.

~ Jen

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 10 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase!

"Oh, you better watch out . . . you better not pout . . . you better not cry . . . I'm telling you why . . . Santa Claus is coming to town."  Can  you believe that there are only 15 more days until Christmas!?!?!?!  Today at we are paying homage to the jolly old elf himself. 

Santa Claus is one of those figures that people either love or dismiss.  I, for one, am a big fan of the man in the red suit.  Not because of the materialistic gifts he brings, but because of the life lesson he teaches.   What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

Throughout life, we each need this capacity to believe.  Believe in ourselves, in our friends, in our talents and in our family. We’ll also need to believe in things we can’t measure or even hold in our hands. I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness.  

Sounds a lot like Jesus to me.  After all Santa has roots based in Christianity.  Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Sinterklaas. He was a 4th century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia (now in Turkey).  Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. 

It seems fitting, to me, that the very things we are called to do as Christians -- love, believe, hope -- are embodied in a "person" that is so beloved by so many people of different faiths and beliefs.

For today's Day 10 project for the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase I have created a little candy container. 

Because I knew this little box would be seen from all sides I created clothes for the back too!

Here's the recipe:
  • Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge -- Santa Claus cut at 6 3/4" tall.
  • Cricut Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge -- favor box cut at 11 1/4" wide.
  • Cricut Plantin SchoolBook cartridge -- rectangles cut at 1" wide by 1/2" tall.
For Santa:
  • I used a ruby red ColorBox Pigment ink pad to shade the edges of his suit and hat.
  • The "fur" on his suit was coated with Plaid's Soft Flock fibers.
  • Gold Stickles were used on his belt buckle and the toy sack bag.
  • Pink chalk gives his cheeks a rosy glow.
  • And Zig markers were used to draw the facial features and other details.
For the "chimney" box:
  • I made the square favor box as large as I could on my 12" x 12" cutting mat using white card stock.
  • Then I cut approximately 45 "bricks" and glued them on the unassembled box.  Once all the glue was dry I scored and assembled the box.
  • Another piece of white card stock was used to create the lip for the top of the chimney.  I simply scored a 2 1/8" wide piece every 1/2 inch and then folded and glued it in place.
  • The box flaps on the top of the box were folded in and glued to give the box added strength.
I love the way this little project turned out!

Now head over to and see what all of the other Design Team elves have created!  And make sure you download the awesome free files that Melin has made -- they are only available for 24 hours and then a new set is available.  So make sure you check back each and every day through Christmas to see what the generous and talented Melin has created for you!  And don't forget to check out our fantastic sponsors and the great giveaways, too!

~ Jen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

25 Days of Christmas at Cooking With Cricut: Day 6

We're dancing an Irish jig and kissing the Blarney Stone at and today.  We're taking a break from Christmas and looking a few months into the future with projects celebrating the month of March!

I created a sign featuring an Irish Blessing with a sneaky little leprechaun.


Here's the recipe:
  • Paper Doll Dress Up Cricut cartridge:  Leprechaun cut at 7 1/2" tall. 
  • Emerald Green and Gold Stickles used on the hat and shoes.
  • Evergreen ColorBox pigment ink used to shade the leprechaun's suit and hat.
  • EK Success chalk used to shade the beard and hair.
  • All paper came from my paper stash and is either Bazzill or Recollections card stock.
  • The patterned paper and saying were printed from my computer.  The digital paper was a free download from
  • My little leprechaun's face is hand drawn -- I don't own any of those cute little "Peachy Keen" face stamps (but they're definitely on my wish list!) -- using my Zig Writers and a white Gelly Roll gel pen.

I also made a mini-banner using the Paper Doll Dress Up and "Just Because" Cards Cricut cartridges.

Here's the recipe:
  • Paper Doll Dress Up:  Shamrocks cut at 3" tall.
  • "Just Because" Cards:  Green pennants cut at 5 1/4" tall and the white mats are cut at 4 1/2" tall. 
  • The green card stock is by Recollections and the white is just a plain card stock purchased at the office supply store.
  • Evergreen ColorBox pigment ink was used to shade the green pennants.
  • The center panel greeting was printed from my computer.
  • Emerald green self-adhesive rhinestones in two sizes also decorate the center panel.
  • I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in the corners and set my gold-toned eyelets.
  • 3/8" white satin ribbon tie the pennants together.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my projects.  Head on over to see the super cute FREE files Melin has created for you to download and make sure you check out the other Designers' wonderful projects.  And don't forget to leave a comment and become a follower at to win one of this week's awesome giveaways!

~ Jen


Monday, December 5, 2011

On the Fifth Day of Christmas . . .

 . . my crafty friend Melin is giving you . . . sweet treats!  Free candy cane cutting files and digi stamps! It's day five of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at and -- so head over and pick up these yummy treats!

And make sure you check out the delicious projects the Design Team members have created to inspire you!  Don't forget to leave a comment and become a follower to be eligible for one of the fantastic prizes!

~ Jen

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's all about LOVE . . .

It's Day 4 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at Cooking With Cricut!  Make sure you head over and check out all the amazing projects the Design Teams created celebrating love.  You'll always want to see the awesome freebies my crafty friend Melin created for you! 

 Isn't that bear adorable!

Speaking of love . . . I created two cards for my friend Madison's "I Feel the Love" project. Each month Madison selects a different person (or persons) who is going through a difficult time and could use a lift, to receive handcrafted cards.  Crafters from around the country have responded and since June 2011 Madison has collected over 275 cards!  For November and December the recipients will be children at the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, CA.

Here are my cards:

I used the Hello Kitty Greetings Cricut cartridge and made shaped cards.  All of the paper came from my scrap stash and they are finished off with some Stickles and a rubber stamped greeting on the inside.  The elf kitty has DecoArt's Glistening Snow Writer on her hat brim and pom-pom.   They are both 5 1/2" tall.

Here are some close-ups:

I've got a couple of boyish cards in the works to send with these two girly cards.  And Monday evening I'm conducting a card class for my daughter's Girl Scout Brownie Troop.  They are going to make cards to send to Madison and some for our local hospital's Pediatrics Ward, too!

Make sure you check back tomorrow at Cooking With Cricut for Day 5 of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase!  Melin's got some more great freebies lined up for you and the Design Teams have been hard at work cooking up some inspirational projects!

~ Jen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On the Third Day of Christmas . . .

. . . my crafty friend Melin is giving you . . . the CUTEST Christmas elf -- free cutting files and digi stamps!  It's day three of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at and -- so head over and pick up this cutie patootie!

And check out the fabulous projects the Design Team members have created to inspire you! Don't forget to leave a comment and become a follower to be eligible for one of the fantastic prizes!

~ Jen

Friday, December 2, 2011

On the Second Day of Christmas . . .

My crafty friend, Melin is giving you . . . . a super cute snowman cutting file or digi stamp!  That's right!  It's DAY TWO of the 25 Days of Christmas Crafting Showcase at and  -- so head over and pick up this cutie!

And check out the fabulous projects the Design Team members have created to inspire you!  Don't forget to leave a comment and become a follower to be eligible for one of the fantastic prizes!

~ Jen