Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Overall, it was a good year . . .

Hello Friends -
Happy New Year's Eve!

It has been a fun 2013!   And I am looking forward to an eventful 2014!

Just a quick look at 2013 that never got blogged . . . I am always making something.

Stay safe today and I'll see you in the new year!
Mary -

Graduation card for my niece, Paige.

Birthday card for my nephew, Dan.
I sent live ladybugs as his gift.
When I plan a bit, I can make more detailed cards.

New neighbor card to go with an Apple Pie.

My attempt to replicate a beautiful
Fourth of July banner from my sister, Stephanie,
with Halloween fabric.

Canning entered as a new hobby this summer.
Organic strawberry freezer preserves in vanilla yogurt
is quite yummy!

Part One - Birthday card for my niece, Anna.

Part Two, what a pop of color can do.

Birthday present for my sister, Stephanie.
I tried to get it in the sunlight so you can see
the gold mist spray on the brown paper.

A trio of gifts.

My roasted pumpkin seeds for adult trick-or-treaters.

Halloween card that I made in mass.

Birthday card for my nephew, Alex.

Turkey shaped pancakes.
I do weekly art with pancake batter.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

From the Garden . . .

Hello Friends -
I hope you had a great week!

Crazy as usual here.  Still on the house hunt.  We will know Wednesday if we get the one we put an offer on last night.  Seriously?!  Do I not have other things to be doing!  And if you know me, I do not like suspense.  Must be why I was up at 4:02 this morning.  But the dining room table is cleared off!

So last week I was really in my element.  Crafting with materials from the garden.  I taught 2 classes with two helpers at the Wreath Class and just me at Arranging A Winter Container.

It was a lot of fun.  It smells so wonderful.  I got to meet many people that do not realize they can be crafty.  And it puts me in the holiday spirit.  A win, win for all!

I teach basic floral arranging principles for the Container Class and the bundle technique for the Wreath Class.  And how to make a bow with tails at both.

Please enjoy a few photos of my samples.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Sample Wreath For Class

Sample Container For Class
Outdoor Undecorated Container For High Traffic Area
{ie, outside so could be stolen, used scraps from class.  Guess I should have swept up my mess before I took the photo?}
Entry Way Container
Class Attendee's Container, I made the bow.
Didn't she do a great job?!
And she thought she would not be able to be creative.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Let It Snow Blog Hop . . .

Hello Friends -
I hope you have had as great of a week as me.  Two nights of teaching floral design with evergreens - containers and wreaths {photos next week}.  Paper crafting with a new friend - {Hi Erika!}.  Made a huge dent in my shopping.  Though some of it was online and that stresses me out a bit.  I hope it arrives on time!  And all of the usual stay-at-home mom stuff.  Whew!

If you are new to The Tool Shed - welcome! Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know you were here.

Lisa had the great idea to have this Let It Snow Blog Hop where we are showcasing winter-fun projects.  If you came from Jessica - http://craftinandstampin.blogspot.com/ you are on the right path, if you started with my blog, please hop over to Lisa's Blog to start at the beginning, so you don't miss all the fabulous projects!

I really enjoy needle felting.  Sometimes I have pieces in my etsy store.  I am sold out this week.  Will try to get some pieces in next week.  I may have some time if we get a load of snow . . . so cold these last few days I should make myself some wearable mittens!  Hope this card makes you feel warm and cozy!

This is a 4.25" x 5.5" card.
Snowflake Stamp Set - Iron Gate Stamps
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Embossing Folder - Sizzix
Ink - Staz-On {Timber Brown}
Felt Mitten - My Etsy Store
Corner Rounder - Fiskars
My Craft Supplies - Big Shot, Adhesive Pearl, Mounting Tape, Glue Dots

Your next hop is:  Aisha - http://londonskyedesigns.net

Here is the complete blog line up:
1. Lisa ~ http://honeybearzdesigns2011.blogspot.com/

2. Julie (Cricut Chick) ~ www.simplysilhouette.com
3. Tricia - http://lshdesigns.blogspot.com/

4. Lori ~ http://scrappinmystressaway.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

Hello Friends -
I hope you have had an enjoyable day with your family and friends.

I have eaten way too much!

I am a bit behind but here are a few fun things I have made with my kiddies over the last month.  I have just been enjoying being a stay-at-home mom this last month.  And that is what I am thankful for.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -
Jack's Turkey

Maggie's Turkey

Jack thought the turkey needed a scene and a hat with a feather.

We made a few cards . . . not sure why the color got wonky?
But of course I am seeing this AFTER they are all mailed.

Pilgrim girl owl was Maggie's favorite.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Chocolate Treats -

Hello Friends -
Hope you had a great weekend!

We are getting ready for Halloween and making treats for our cousins.

I love using Wilton molds to make decorative chocolate covered Oreos.  Pretty quick to make with high impact and yumminess!

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn is Here -

Hello Friends -
I hope you are having a good week!

I am really feeling fall here in Chicago this week!  Grey sky, leaves falling and cool temps!

I made this card for my mom's birthday this week.  Yes, I like to watch TV and fussy cut out items I stamp - leaves are so much fun!  Don't worry, you will be seeing more.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

This is a 4.25" x 4.25" card.

Stamp Set {Pumpkins and Gourd} - Iron Gate Stamps
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics (Peanut) and American Crafts (Carrot)
Pattern Paper and Soup Label - Jillibean Soup
Ink - StazOn {Timber Brown}
My Stash - Big Shot, Polka Dot Embossing Folder, Twine, Brown Chalk, Mounting Tape

I have linked this card to the following challenges:

Feeling Crafty Challenge - Autumn Theme - http://feelingcraftychallenge.blogspot.co.uk/
The Cupboard Trilogy Challenge - Fall - http://thecupboardtrilogychallenges.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy World Card Making Day -

Hello Friends -
Hope you get a chance to make a card today!  We are in full swing Halloween at our house.

Stamp Set - Iron Gate Stamps (Halloween)
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Pattern Paper - Pebbles (Thirty One)
Ink - StazOn (Jet Black)
Punches, Mounting Tape - My Stash

I used the design sketch from Mojo Monday #313 - http://mojomonday.blogspot.com/

And entering the Cuttin' and Stampin' Challenge Submission #39 Halloween - http://cuttinandstampinchallenges.blogspot.com/

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Garden Talk - Fall Container Gardening

Hello Friends -
I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by.  Here we are - October!

It feels like autumn today.  Leaves falling.  Overcast sky.  No chill in the air, but that will be here soon enough.

Needed to be in love with my house again so I did a little arrangement on the front porch.  It needs a few bright colored leaves around the base but none of those beauties have fallen yet.

{And yes, I did cringe when I put the pots on the new porch.  I was reminded it is just cement.}

The container has Purple Fountain Grass and Flowering Cabbage with white geraniums that are not in the photo.  I plant containers (my favorite thing to do) that are "all around" so they can be pretty from all sides.  I move them around in my yard during the summer for different looks depending on what we are doing in the yard - entertaining or playing children.

If you think about what you plant you can get many seasons out of a container.

I plant my spring/summer containers with fall in mind.  I use Purple Fountain Grass for height and a different color instead of a spike.

I try to find a 3 - 6 pack of Flowering Cabbage or Kale for a few dollars rather than paying $5 - $8 in the fall.  They will not be huge but stay in proportion to the container.

Then I fill in with summer annuals of our color choice.  Sometimes those plants stay on to the fall or if they do not match, I will remove them and replant with plants from other containers to go with the look I want to achieve.

This arrangement cost about $30 total.  I already had the containers.  There are about $12 in plants for and soil mix in the container (3 seasons).  The mum was $11 and the pumpkin was $4.

Hope this gets you in the mood to rearrange and think about how you garden.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween is in the Store . . .

Hello Friends -
I hope you had a great weekend!

Ours was busy with all good things {volleyball, Green Living Festival (I got to talk about compost - for hours), our school's Oktoberfest} and all with beautiful weather too!

And now it is time to get to work.  It finally feels like fall with this cooler weather.  I don't know, I just could not get into thinking about falling leaves and pumpkins with the perfect beach weather we have had here in Chicago.

I put new product into the store tonight.  (So exciting!  And I have time to play this week!)

For the direct link click here

Please leave me a comment to let me know what you like.  Thank you!

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Pebbles Thirty One 6" x 6" Paper Pad
36 Sheets / 24 Designs / Single Sided
Halloween Stamp Set (sheet size 4" x 6")
Pumpkins and Gourd Stamp Set (sheet size 4" x 6")

Pebbles Thirty One Flat Treat Bags - 24 pack / 5" x 6"

Pebbles Thirty One 6" x 12" Chalkboard Stickers / 12 stickers

Pebbles Thirty One 6"x12" Double Sided Icon Sticker Sheet (side one)

Pebbles Thirty One 6"x12" Icon Sticker Sheet (side 2) / 68 stickers total




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mojo Monday #310 - Tree House

Hi Friends -
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Just a little something I made for my friend who wanted a welcome card for a new neighbor.  Such a lovely thought!  And it has been so sunny with a beautiful blue sky this week, I was inspired by nature.

Happy Day -
Mary -

Tree House Stamp Set - Iron Gate Stamps
Cardstock - Bazzill
Designer Paper - Bo Bunny
Ink - Staz-On
My Stash - Watercolor Crayons, AquaPainter

Monday, September 9, 2013

Coffee Talk - New Hobby?

Hello Friends -
I hope you had a great summer!  We certainly did this year.  So many days at the beach, the pool and hanging out at home were just what we needed to get ready for this new school year.

I am sorry I was not posting.  I was crafting.  I was photographing.  But I was not editing or writing because I was living a different life this summer.

As I was expressing my guilt to my great friend, Missy, about my total slacker attitude toward my business for the last several months.  {And it is totally my own fault.  I really need some deadlines and accountability to motivate me!  Or maybe just a calendar would help!}  Missy pointed out, "You have a new hobby."

Yes, I have a new obsession - finding a new home.

That is what I would do online, every day - look for a house and drive up and down streets to write down potential addresses.  Now it is not just any house.  I have this idea and that is some of the problem.  We have 3 main areas that we are looking.  And that is another problem.  It seems like so is everyone else.  So far, no house that I have to have.  No house that I cried over when we were out bid.

A few times we have thought we had a winner, things do look better in photos.  It is the smells that are usually the downfall!  Well that and being in a flood zone can do it too.

So there it is.  Constantly looking for a house on my own and with a realtor to get it first.  My realtor joked that I should get my realtor's license because I know some of the neighborhoods so well.

I have not given up hope but now there is just slim pickings and nothing new to look at.  I will not be as crazed to watch e-mails for alerts 30 times a day (I didn't count but it probably was that).  And I will move back to crafting and trying to love this house.

And laugh with me - I need to make some home decor because I was so sure that we were moving that Halloween and Christmas are packed and in storage.  And I made a little deal with myself that I would not go into storage.  Seriously, we were the ones at the beach with deli containers and a metal colander because I packed the beach toys last year.  Sad, I know.

And that is what I know.  Still waiting for my Halloween paper order to show up.  Cannot wait to get started with all of the ideas in my head.

Thank you for your patience.  There is more to come.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Friday, July 19, 2013

Forgotten Treasures Blog Hop -

Please Note:
I am so sorry this is late. We had no power and I tried to launch the blog entry from my cell phone. And from there it looked like I was live but from the comments I am seeing it was not.

Hello Friends -
I know - where have I been?  I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are this year!

If you are new to The Tool Shed - welcome! Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know you were here.

Welcome to the Forgotten Treasures blog hop where we are showcasing projects made with a least one item we have had for 6 months, or longer. If you came from  Robin L. ~ http://create-a-latte.blogspot.com you are on the right path, if you started with my blog pop over to Christine's blog to start at the beginning, so you don't miss all the fabulous projects!

We have several sponsors offering gift certificates for this hop. To be eligible for the gift certificates you must comment on each blog and comment on each sponsor's facebook pages. Random winners for each gift card will be selected on July 22 and the winners will be posted on Christine's blog

$20 gift certificate 

3 lucky winners will receive a $5 gift certificate 

$10 gift certificate 

$15 gift certificate 


So about 1.5 years ago I punched out these pennants and pulled them out to use.  I don't know why I did not use them - they are super easy adhesive paper!  But there was always some new paper to use!


Sentiment - Birthday Wishes stamp set {Iron Gate Stamps}
Cardstock  and Rhinestones - {Bazzill Basics}
Designer Paper - {My Stash}
Punch - Pennant and Butterfly {Marvy}
Ink - Jet Black {Staz-On}

Thank you for stopping by, the next stop is Claire R ~ http://threewaterscreations.blogspot.com/
Here is the complete blog line up:

Mags Graphics http://magsgraphics.blogspot.com/

Hope you have a Happy Day -
Mary -

Monday, May 20, 2013

Coffee Talk -

Hello Friends -
Hope you had a great weekend!

Every once in awhile I just feel like chatting.  Be it over coffee or diet coke or your favorite beverage . . . so thanks for reading.

OK, I go to a hair salon to get my hair done.  It is one of those splurges that I do about 4 times a year and really it is not that expensive.  (Well yes, it is more than going to Great Clips.)

But the salon is a different experience.  Really.  Once I sit down, someone asks me if I would like lemon water, tea or coffee and how I would like it and then it is served in a glass goblet or china cup.  And in between services I am asked again.

The head massage during the hair washing stage is divine.

I am a big aromatherapy lover and the products smell wonderful.

The blow out and finished look garners compliments for the next two days on how great my hair looks.  {I see immense value here.}

And I asked loads of questions.  I have semi-curly thick hair that goes crazy big in humidity.  {I really need to move to a dryer climate for better hair days.}

My recent question was, "How do I not frizz so much and have nicer curls?"  I try loads of products from the mass market stores and some work okay.  But I really want a better look.

Frankie made her suggestion and how to apply it.  I said, "Okay."  But she did not use it because she did my hair straight with a big roller brush, hair dryer and lots of pulling.

I get to the check out and was surprised on this tube of magic's price tag.  {It does have a money back guarantee as long as it is not half gone.}

So my question to you if you care to comment:  Would you spend $25 for 5.1 ounces of product if you know you will have good looking hair for as long as the tube lasts?

I justified my purchase because:
1.  I can take it back and I would if I was not happy.
2.  I spend $25 on a die for my Big Shot if I love it and then sometimes forget to use it or only use it a few times.

So let me know what you think and I will let you know if the magic is real or not.

Happy Day to you -
Mary -

Monday, May 13, 2013

Birthday Wishes -

Hello Friends -
Hope you had a great weekend!

It is a beautiful sunshiny morning in Chicago - finally!

Just a quick card that went out in the mail already today for my niece.

Okay . . . I can admit that I create my own problems that can waste precious time.

1.  I do not clean up my space after card making and cannot find what I need.
2.  I do clean up some of my craft space after card making and cannot find what I need because I put it away which is not what I remember.
3.  I buy single pieces of paper thinking that I have something at home that matches it and I do not.

This card is finally using a piece of 12 x 12 Stella Rose paper that I have had longer than I care to admit because no pieces of paper matched.  Until today.

This is a 4.25" x 4.25" card.

Sentiment {Birthday Wishes Stamp Set} - Iron Gate Stamps
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Pattern Paper - My Mind's Eye and Echo Park (Chevron and Polka Dot)
Embossing Folder - Sizzix through the Big Shot
My Stash - Twine, Scissors, Pearls, Grey Ink

Hope you have a Happy Day -
Mary -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Best Moms in the World -

Hello Friends -
Wow!  Another busy week here.  Hope you had a good one too!

I do know some of the Best Moms in the World . . . this is for you!

Cardstock and Pattern Paper - Bazzill Basics
My Stash - Circle and Scallop Punches, Grey Ink, Seam Binding, Pearls

I hope everyone has a lovely Weekend!  And Happy Mother's Day to every woman that has some positive influence on a child, your community and the Earth.  In my opinion, that is what Mother's Day is all about.

If this is your first time visiting the Tool Shed, please leave a comment and become a Follower to let me know you were here!  Thanks so much!

Happy Day -
Mary -

Blogs that I linked to this week:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mojo Monday #291 {Part Two}

Hello Friends -
Happy Weekend!

Wow, this was a busy week and I look to the next five weeks as more of the same and then SUMMER VACATION!!  Woohoo!!  {I think I look forward to it more than my children!!}

Okay, so here I go again with this Mojo Monday sketch inspiration {I have the image at the bottom of this entry.}

Oh my goodness am I in love with this Lily Bee Design paper!!  This card was so simple and quick that I will make more cards this weekend to have on hand.  {Those are 1.25" strips for the pennants.  I know.  Sometimes I do not know what the dimension should be.  But this worked out well on the 4.25" square card.}

This is a 4.25" x 4.25" card.
Sentiment - Iron Gate Stamps
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Pattern Paper - Lily Bee Design
Embossing Folder - Sizzix run through the Big Shot
Ink - Staz-On {Timber Brown}
My Stash - Twine, Scissors, Label Punch, Pearls

Happy National Scrapbook Day!  I do not scrap much these days . . . it has to stay all in my head for right now!

Take care -
Mary -

The whole {Birthday Wishes} Stamp Set:

Mojo Monday Sketch #291 -