Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 1: Gingerbread House

Welcome to the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop!

Halloween is over, so Christmas is just ahead!  Ok, not really.  In fact, I have a personal rule about not decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

Except…when I saw this cute house die designed by my friend Eileen Hull, I knew I had to make it into a gingerbread house.  Oh well, rules are made to be broken, right?    Happy Thanksgivmas!

gingerbread house christmas craft

For this project, each of us started out with the following Sizzix products:

#65279;Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die – House, 3D, by Eileen Hull
Sizzix 12×12 matboard, white
Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine

I started by assembling the house base using double sided tape and brads.  I like to assemble the Scoreboards dies before painting so I can get the edges covered without touch-ups.  I applied two  quick coats of a 1:1 mixture of DecoArt Texturizing medium and Americana acrylic paint in Light Cinnamon, leaving the tops of both roof pieces, the fence, windows, and door frame white.

To get a fun faux-snow/icing look to the roof pieces and window frames, I applied Marvy Puffy Velvet Fabric Markers and heat set the pieces when dry.  I made the peppermint candies for the roof with a quick swish of white paint on some wooden discs and some red glitter glue, with a coat of Diamond Glaze for a smooth finish.  The red glitter glue also added the perfect peppermint touch for the door frame.

sizzix gingerbread house craft door

Of course I can’t just leave well enough alone, I’m a detail girl.  I glued on some premade glittery candy cane and gumdrop buttons, and used one of the brad punch-outs for a doorknob.

sizzix gingerbread house die side view

The matboard fence made its way over to the side of the house, surrounding a lollipop tree made with white cardstock and Clearsnap’s Design Adhesives.  The fence also gets a holiday makeover with a Clearsnap Smooch garland and a tiny red ribbon bow.

sizzix gingerbread house detail

I finished up with some pale yellow cardstock to give a warm glow inside the windowpanes, and an itty bitty foil and Smooch decorated tree peeking out to show some holiday spirit.   Did I mention that I love details?

To check out the next of 60 blog hop projects, use the navigation buttons at the top of the sidebar over there ————————>

or use the master list here:  Sizzix blog hop master list.

Thanks for hopping by!  Tune in next week to see Karin Burniston’s Pop-Up Cube!

Until next time…


November 4, 2010 at 11:55 am 27 comments

Garver Brothers Burns, I’m Sad.

arson at garver brothers store


Unbelievable.  The face of my hometown was changed forever last night, as a local landmark building burned to the ground.  It was a 6-alarm blaze with more than 15 departments called.  I didn’t even know a 6-alarm fire existed.

The old Garver Bros. store had been standing there since 1866.   It’s a tiny town, and this was the largest building in it.  It was converted to an antique store/flea market long ago, and had a small collection of old town memorabilia on the second floor. When I was a kid, it was the best place to find plastic necklace charms and jelly bracelets.

A few months ago I went to the weekly Sunday flea market for the first time in years, in search of some “projects-to-be”.  I didn’t find what I was looking for, but did find some electric train cars, a collection of old postage stamps, and some great old sheet music to take home with me.  I spent a little time up in the museum area looking through the pieces and enjoying the history.  I hadn’t been up there before, and I’m now glad I took those extra few minutes.

Between this fire, and the demolition of the old school building where I spent all of my K-12 years, the landscape of my little town is sure going to look different when I next visit.  And while it isn’t where I’ve chosen to live now, I can appreciate how it shaped my perspective of the world.  Some of my greatest friends to this day were made during those years.

Sure, the downtown area can be rebuilt.  The school already has been remodeled and updated for the needs of the kids who are there now.  The new building is creating great memories for those kids.  The block will evolve and hopefully bring in new business and opportunity.  But for those of us who started out as or still are “small-towners” it’s a big hit to the gut.  Maybe it’s the idea that “home” has always been constant and unchanging.

I’m  sad at hearing the news.   I’m guessing there will be a bit of shock when I finally see the empty spaces.  And I’m angry at the thought of some nimrod (the nicest word I can think of ) burning it down on purpose.   I hope the community can join together to create something positive from this.

So many thoughts swirling today…



October 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

Crafts n Things Fall Issue

Fall Crafts n Things magazine cover

I just finished leafing through the latest issue and it is fantastic!  From the adorable owl on the cover above, to Melony Bradley’s awesome autumn tea towel tutorial, to a sweet needle-felted snowman from Debra Quartermain, the magazine is packed with inspiration.

Felt Halloween Treat Bags

Find the directions for my Halloween Treat Bags made with felt and a Sizzix ScoreBoards die on page 9.

Until next time…

September 21, 2010 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Upcycled Bath Salt Gift Basket

Perfect for a cute, casual gift, bath salts are fun to personalize.  Many bath salt recipes can be found online, or can be created from a premixed jar found in large hobby stores.  There are countless combinations of colors and scents and additives that can be used depending on the recipient’s tastes.  For instance, these salts were created using a few drops of a friend’s favorite colors and no scent at all (she is sensitive to scents).

I have many of these small embellishment jars left from reorganizing my craft flower stash, and they are perfect for giving this type of gift.  I mix the salts, colors and scents in a small plastic bowl, allow them to dry, then add to a thoroughly washed jar.  Wrapped with hemp cord, they make great upcycled containers!

To add a little more pizazz to the gift, I tied a long piece of scrap fabric around the outside of a kraft-colored, take-out-style container, securing with a few dots of Beacon’s Fabri-Tac Glue.

The tag was fashioned from a thin wood veneer (Midwest Products), cut with the Tags #3  die and my trusty Sizzix Big Shot Machine, and inked with Clearsnap Chalk ink in Chestnut Roan.  I then die-cut a scalloped hole in the tag with the Big Shot and a “Movers and Shapers” die and backed it with a yellow patterned paper scrap.  A few cut-out stamps and a hemp tie added the final touch to my personalized gift!

Until next time…

September 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm 2 comments

Big-Brained Folks are Everywhere!

This weekend, while waiting for our older children to finish baseball practice, a few of the “fall ball” moms were chatting and getting to know each other.  This is pretty typical  of any sports season, as we are all going to see each other many times over the next few months.  However, for me, this conversation was anything but typical.

In the course of the chat, one of the moms mentioned her daughter’s early medical troubles, and in that strange way where one just knows what is coming next (does that happen to anyone else or it just me?), I listened to her describe my condition.

I suffer from a congenital defect called a Chiari Malformation (pronounced kee-AR-ee) that was discovered in my case after a hospitalization two years ago for something completely unrelated.  In many cases, symptoms continue to worsen over time or seem to be triggered by some event.  In my case, both.   Others live symptom-free forever.  A great description of the symptoms and nature of Chiari Malformations can be found at the NINDS website.

In the last two years, I have met several other people with Chiari Malformations.  One I found online and then realized we both belong to the same mothers’ group.  One is the daughter of the massage therapist my husband gave me a gift certificate to for Christmas 2008.  Yet another is a friend of my parents’.   And now a little girl at the baseball field.  Random strangers with a rare connection.

I watched that little blond girl, all of 5 years old, who had been through brain surgery at 16months and was running and climbing and carefree.  I am so glad she had the opportunity to have a great surgeon available at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who knew about such a rare condition and were able to get her help quickly.  Truly amazing!

I don’t often post on the topic of my condition, but sometimes it hits me.  This was one of those times.

Until next time…

August 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm 1 comment

Beach Vacation Out-take #1

Or otherwise titled:  How many photos am I going to have to take to get ONE suitable for a Christmas Card?

Yes, there are at least 20 more shots in this spot alone where at least one of these little hooligans has his/her tongue sticking out, eyes crossed, fingers rabbit-ear-style behind someone else’s head, or is otherwise annoying the daylights out of a sibling.

I’d like to think they’ll grow out of it, but somehow, I don’t think so.

Until next time…

August 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm 1 comment

Back from the CHA Summer Show

Why yes, I do remember I have a blog!  Not that you’d be able to tell from looking at it.  The blog guilt has been eating me alive!

I took a little break to finish up the school year and have some fine family fun during the summer, but as the kids gear up to return to school (AAK! -Already?) I’m gearing up to return to the internet.

Those of you who are crafters may know that the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) held its summer trade show in Chicago last week.  I normally work the show in some capacity as a freelance designer, and this year was no different.  I had the opportunity to demonstrate the new Designer Foils, Design Adhesives, and Archival Dye Inks for Clearsnap.  Can I tell you how incredibly wonderful it is to work in the Clearsnap booth?   It is truly a great company filled with great people (and great products!).

Have you ever volunteered for something, only to think immediately “Yikes! What have I just done?”  I did that this week too.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany Windsor, host of Cool2Craft, in Chicago as well.  When she had an unexpected cancellation in her Thursday show line-up and came to Clearsnap to fill it, guess who offered to help.   Yes, the person who hates the sound of her own voice volunteered to broadcast it live for 8 minutes. Many thanks to Lisa Fulmer for putting me at ease!

My Cool2Craft Clearsnap Foil Segment is about 32:00 minutes into the show.

I also taught three class sessions in the Clearsnap booth.  We created a 6×6″ mini scrapbook page filled with stamping, heat embossing, glitter, Smooch Illuminate, Design Adhesives, and a host of other things.  I wanted to make sure everyone left having experienced a variety of techniques and products.  The classes were videotaped, and will be edited down to a short demonstration to appear on Clearsnap’s website.  I’ll be sure to link when it is available, assuming I can stand to link to my own voice again.  🙂

Also thanks to Lisa for taking one of the only photos of me at the show (Demo-ing for Clearsnap at Peterson-Arne).  For the first time ever, I didn’t bring my camera to the show.  I think I took a few on my iphone, but those were mostly with friends.  I came home thinking there wasn’t much that caught my eye, and as I looked around at other designer’s blogs I realized why.  There was an influx of vintage at this show.  And while I appreciate vintage, I don’t like working with it much.  I’m more of a bold and bright girl than a soft and frilly one.

I lean more toward the bright geometrics of the new Echo Park collections and Jillibean Soup’s Atomic Soup collection.  These two companies managed to stop me in my tracks and take a second look.  And frankly, Atomic Soup is the kind of line a nerdy girl with two biology degrees and a career in crafting can really get behind!

And of course, I loved seeing all my designer buddies again.  The show is never long enough to really catch up the way I’d like.  And thanks to all those wonderful designers who taught the Monday education classes, I’m excited about taking a new fork in the road!

That’s it for now,

Until next time…

August 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

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Material disclosure: As an independent craft designer, I often receive product at reduced or no cost for use in my work. A list of companies with whom I have current or past relationships is listed on my "About Me" page. I am not compensated monetarily for posting about any products mentioned on this blog. Please feel free to contact me with any questions pertaining to my relationship with manufacturers or products used in posted projects.