November 2011 archive

Santa Letter – Free Envelope Template

Click HERE for the 2014 NEW Postmarked Envelope & Letter Template!!



This year Santa is a big thing in our house. The letter to Santa was written very early, but we waited to send it because we wanted to take it to Macy's. Macy's has a great big mail box just for Santa Letters, each stamped letter they get they will donate $1 to the Make a Wish Foundation, then they will deliver all the letters to the post office. The excitement of finding the mail box on Friday was unbelievable.

Husband and I thought if Santa responded that would be super cool. So, I created a letter with specifics from the Kid's letter to Santa. Then I included a couple of bits of info about special things she has been doing the past year – like dance class. I mentioned the dogs by name and last I added a note about the cookies and hot chocolate that were left out last year.

I then created an envelope with a special postmark and return address. I used my home printer and ran a stamped envelope through the printer using the file I made. This was such a big hit – everyone at our office has had to read this letter and she makes a big deal to point out the reindeer postmark.

I wanted to share my envelope file with everyone. If you have a little one who needs a letter from Santa, feel free to use this file to print your envelope. There is an area to type your child's name in and Just remember to put the stamp on first so it can get cancelled by the postmark in the printer. Click here for Download SantaEnvelope 

If you use this file, please like me or favorite me. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great Holiday Season.




Taking Part in:
Wordful Wednesday

And Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Recycled Sweater Mittens – Easy Stocking Stuffer

I found a sweater at the thrift store. It's 100% wool. I wanted to whip up some new mittens for the kid this winter without knitting them and I figured this was the best way to do it. I added these to the kiddo's advent packages. A quick, homemade stocking stuffer plus saving the world.


First, I washed the wool sweater in HOT water with a COLD rinse. Then put it in the dryer. I pretty much tortured the poor thing. This felts the sweater making the knitting into a solid piece of fabric that you can cut.



Then I traced the little hand for a size reference.

I then cut out a mitten pattern that connects the one edge on a fold. I made this by taking the shape of the kiddo's hand and I gave it a more basic box like shape instead of the curved define hand look.


Using the ribbed bottom edge of the sweater for the mitten cuffs, I cut one mitten from the front of the sweater and one from the back.


Once cut out, I fold them with right sides together and ran a zigzag stitch, starting at the cuff around the thumb and finger part to the fold.


Turn the mittens right side out and you're ready for a winter wonderland of snow!!

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Taking Part in:

Why I’m thankful for Cars – Not so Wordless Wednesday

Love these picts? Get all my posts and updates at my new Facebook Page . I'm super exctied about it!!!


Well, even though it's to be wordless, I just can't be. These pictures were taken over the weekend at a friend's carshow. It was hosted at KoIawski Customs shop in Reading, PA and was a great time with awesome cars, pin up girls, food and games. Who doesn't love a line of vintage video games??

So on to the Thankful about cars. I have to say that without my father's love for race cars along with my father-in-law's love for vintage car parts, I wouldn't have met my husband. It was my father's need for a certain car part and father-in-law was the man to have that part. That was over 25 years ago. I grew up knowing this man and his boys. Even though we lived 350 miles apart this love of vintage racing brought us together. So, cars and clubs have come and gone, but I still love cars, because that's what brought me to my wonderful Husband.


Part of Wordful Wednesday at


& Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Kiddo’s Very Own Fairy Dust


I am working on an advent calendar for the kid. I wanted to fill the days with a lot of homemade items instead of junky toys. So Tinker Bell has been quiet popular at the house lately so I thought a personalized jar of fairy dust would be a nice surprise for one of the treats.

A simple project with cute results.

I used a glass vial I had at the house, but these are available in different sizes at the craft stores.

I printed the kid's name and "Fairy Dust" out on a plain white piece of paper. It could be on an cream or antiqued paper. Just use paper, cardstock will not bend around the glass as nice.


Once printed out, tear the paper around the printing to give it an old feel.  In this example I used an ink pad to create the look of a burnt edge.  I like to use Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, but a black or brown ink pad would work too. I take the paper and lightly brush it against the ink pad.

NOTE: If you choose to try and burn the edge with a flame, do it outside or over the kitchen sink and make sure you leave a lot of space between the ripped edge and the printing – paper burns fast and crumbles when trying to glue it down.


To attach the label I use Mod Podge.


 I dab a little to the back and stick it to the vial where I want it, then I coat the whole label on the front with Mod Podge. This seals all the edges tight to the bottle.


While the Mod Podge is still wet I carefully go in and clean the bottle off.  If the Mod Podge starts to dry, a damp paper towel can clean the glass. Let dry.


I didn't fill the whole vial with glitter because it is big, so it's about half full, which is fine. Remember a little goes a long way – at least that's what I'm going to tell the tiny one.  I made a custom blend of "Dust". I started with the base of a pearl color, in a fine grade of glitter, then from the Martha Stewart Glitter Collection I added dashes  and shakes of different colors. Shake, Shake, Shake and voila, custom dust color – hard to match, but the little one can't find a match either, therefore it must be special.

Now to seal the vial. I used a pink candle. Sit the vial on a dinner plate – ceramic or metal pan, light the candle and hold it so it drips. The best thing to do is to just drip the wax into the top center. As the wax pool builds up it will run over the sides. IF THERE IS WAX ON THE LABEL JUST WAIT UNTIL IT IS COLD!! Don't touch it yet. Finish up with sealing the jar.


Now that the wax is cold gently pick off the drips you don't want. This is one of the reasons to use Mod Podge over the entire label, the wax will just flake off, if it is plain paper the wax will not flake off and might rip the label if picked at.

Quick and easy. Once it's sealed it could be a shelf sitter, not to be used. 

This fine glitter is fun to have around and I don't mind my child playing with it. There is glitter all over the house 24/7. I used to work at a store that dusted each package that left the door so each customer could have a little fairy magic for their day. So I've been covered in glitter a lot. BUT it will get everywhere!!! Husband will go to work with it in his hair, the dogs will shimmer in the sun so beware and enjoy.

Take Part in:

Small Things

Family in a Jar – Another Anthroplogie Inspired Project


I really loved the Anthropologie Tree Jars. They are a great idea for holiday decorations. I thought I have a ton of mason jars in the basement, trees from the village I used to set up, I can totally make these.

First I found a collection of jars. Different sizes – one was even a plastic pretzel container. I started off by spray painting all the lids silver. They started life a hodge podge of colors and patterns. Now they are all uniformed.Xtreejar

For the basic jar, I hot glued the tree to the bottom of the jar.


Next is adding the snow


Then shake in some glitter



Next idea was to take a little spray adhesive, shoot the inside of the jar lightly and sprinkle some glitter in. Place the lid on and give it a shake. Once the spray is dry, put some fake snow in the jar, glue the tree to the lid, put the lid on – Done.


AND my favorite the Fam!!

Print off a small picture of the family on cardstock. An outdoor picture work best. Xtreejar-8

Cut out the cute family with an craft knife, leaving a tab at the bottom so it can be used as a base.


Fold the tab and glue the family on the inside of the lid. Glue the tree behind them.


Place some fake snow in the jar and screw on the lid.


A quick and easy project that the whole family can help with. A cute way to personalize the decorations a little. Hope you love my take on this project.

Part of


The Victorian Silhouette – The Cheater’s Way

When I was in kindergarten my teacher sat each one of us in front of the over head projector and traced our silhouette out, then cut it out of black construction paper, pasted it to a white background and has us kids give it to our parents for Christmas. My mom still has mine.

One day the kiddo was lokking very crazy with the hair and it hit me, that would make an awesome silhouette. So I grabbed the camera and took a (horrible quality) profile picture of her.

Now I cheated a bit with this project because I wanted to make 5 of these, and I didn't want to cut out the silhouette by hand, so I used the Cricut Cutter, then I used sticky black vinyl because I wouldn't have to deal with glue for mounting these. Brilliant!


I opened the profile up in Photoshop, turned the image to black & white and colored in what I wanted for the silhoutte with a black brush.(I did this because to make the SVG file for the Cricut Cutter.) Bandw

Next I made a Layer From Background, and used the Lasso tool to cut out the unwanted fraggle hair and shadow. Now with the silhouette ready I flattened the image and saved it as a jpeg.


I placed the image in a new Illustrator file and traced it. Now the silhouette is a vector line drawing and can be saved as a SVG file, which can be imported into the Sure Cuts A Lot program that I have to connect to the Cricut Cutter.

I cut out 5 miniture silhouettes in less than 3 minutes. Then I picked the design.


Next I placed the vinyl on card stock and placed them in the awesome mini frames I picked up for $1 a piece.


All in all, it took longer to write this up and get the pictures together than it did to finish 5 of these little beauties. I LOVE Vinyl, I LOVE my Cricut Cutter!!!

Farm Living Is The Life For Me – 30 Days of Thanks

I am thankful for my small farm. I love the animals, the tractor, the pumpkins. We have 2 acres of our own. Our farm is called Dusty Bottom Acres We have 9 fiber animals, one very large sheep and 2 SouthDown Baby Doll sheep. 3 of the goats are angora, 2 are cashmere, 1 is a pygora. We shear them for their fiber.

Then we rent 3 acres from my Grandfather for our pumpkin patch. We grow about 25 different varieties of squash. It's a lot of work.

I am thankful that we have the space and get the chance to be a little self sufficient. We have a small garden, chickens for eggs, fiber for yarn. Each year we do a little better.



Sliders for Bento

Sliders are perfect for Bento Boxes!! They are a great size to fit and most little ones love them. Again, mine ate hers cold but they are easy to warm up too.

Today's box included:

Cheeseburger Slider
Waffle Fries
Dried Cranberries
Whoppers (a 3 ball package from the Trick or Treat Stash)
Condiment Container of Fry Sauce (known by most as Ketchup)


Blog Hop Thursday

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

I am taking part in Blog Hop Thursday. The sponsor is bassgiraffe's Thoughts. A Great mom blog. The Star Blog today is

Check this one out too, great blogs about life with kids. Enjoy.

Through the lens – 30 Days of Thanks

I am thankful for the uniqueness of each family and that I get the opportunity to see it through the lens of a camera.

I recently did a photo shoot with 3 families at one time. We trucked through a wooded path, passed an abandoned farm house to find the remains of the barn. We posed one family, then the next and the next.

There really isn't much more to say, just enjoy these cute families.


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