Fall is in the air…

I don’t know about you but Fall is definitely right around the corner. We have had several cool days this last week and I am really excited for the season to start. Something about the next few months just makes me feel warm and fuzzy! I love hot apple cider, wearing sweaters, cuddling up by the fire place, and most of all… I just love spending time with my family around the holidays.

This week I made a fun Fall wreath to put on our door with old newspapers from the recycle pile. Here are the instructions.

1. Use black lace to wrap around your wreath to hide the styrofoam.

2. Iron newspaper on to freezer paper.

3. Paint newspaper orange (I used Lumiere – Burnt Orange by Jacquard). Set aside and let dry.

4. Cut 120 flowers (I used the same flower shape and cut to 1.75″).

5. Use sewing pins (the ones that have a ball at the end) and secure each flower to the styrofoam wreath.

6. Add a fun accent bow.

This was a fun project, however I did have to iron the newspaper to freezer paper before running it through the cricut. Otherwise, even on the vellum settings (blade 4, speed 3, pressure 4) it was still tearing up the newspaper. It was fun and easy and I think we will re-make this at Christmas with red and green colors. Great activity for the little ones!


Addison Paige


Finding a Balance…

Have you ever read a book or heard a story from a close friend that was so thought provoking, it made you want to re-evaluate your current life choices. I just finished reading a great book, “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” by James Patterson. The story is about a mother who writes a diary for her son so that she can pass along life lessons and important moments in her life. I just have to recommend it to all working mothers who struggle with the balance between family and work or other important things in our lives. This was a great reminder of what is most important in life.

This story really touched me and came when I needed it in my life. Between work, the boys, the house, and my husband being deployed, I was struggling with finding a balance. This book prompted me to take a hard look and remind myself that family is most important.Everything else (the laundry, cleaning up after dinner, work) can wait. I also realized that I would love to pass a journal on to my children with the lessons I have learned and my favorite moments of our lives together.

I love these journal kits you can buy from Paper Source. I used the 8″ by 10″ album instead of the journal because I liked the glassine sheets in between the pages. Here are the instructions for the project.

1. Cut your patterned paper to 10″ by 12″. Apply PVA glue to one side of your chipboard cover. Place glue side down on to the center of one of the rectangles (make sure your patterned paper is wrong side up). Cut the corners and use the PVA to adhere the excess paper to the chipboard.

2. Since the kit doesn’t come with chipboard for the spine, you can either purchase additional chipboard or you can use something that you at home. I used a cereal box and I cut the box to 10″ long and and the same thickness as the spine of the book.

3. Cut book cloth to 12″ by 5″. Adhere the chipboard to the center of book cloth. The trick to centering is fold your book cloth in half and draw a line to indicate the center. Then draw a center line on the cereal box. Match the lines up and the cereal box will be centered. Also if you are using a light colored book cloth put the colored side of the cereal box up so that the neutral side is facing down. This will help ensure you don’t see the cereal box design through your book cloth.

4. Adhere the chipboard covers to the book cloth so that there is about 1/4″ between the chipboard and the cereal box. This space will allow for the book to open and close easily.

5. Fold the remaining book cloth over and adhere it to the inner side of the covers.

6. I then used an old metal label from a worn out box that I bought a long time ago at Ikea. I used an exacto knife to make slits in the spine of the book for the metal label before I threw the box in the recycling.

7. Add ribbon to the chipboard where the book cloth and paper meet. I used the PVA to adhere the ribbon. I folded the excess ribbon just like I did the paper and book cloth and adhered it to the inside of the cover.

8. Use PVA on the last page of the book to adhere it to the back cover. Use extra PVA on the mesh. Do not put any on the spine of the book. Apply to the front page to adhere the front cover.

9. I then used an old piece of bubble wrap that came in a package that I got last week to add dimension to the paper. I sprayed the bubble wrap with glimmer mist and stamped it on the cover of the book.

10. Then add flowers and embellishments to the cover and spine.

11. Use the Fancy Frames cartridge to cut out your favorite frame. Adhere to the inside cover and journal in the frame. Add embellishments.

I was really excited about this project. I just have to make three more for my other little ones. I think I will give it to each one on either their wedding day or when they have their first child.

This book by James Patterson has really made me focus on what is important to me… family. I am interested to hear of other books that you may have read or something that you have found to be inspirational. Leave a comment and let us know what you have come across that has helped you with keeping a balance in life.


Addison Paige

It’s Time to get Organized…

With school starting this week for my boys… I always feel like this is the time to get organized. This is a fun bulletin board that is multi-functional. It is a push pin board for notes, has a frame to clip business cards to or other items, and it has a place for me to put my keys. Plus I love how beautiful it turned out. The color scheme is great for our entry.
With the challenge this week using items from our local dollar store, I purchased this wire fence material for $.99.
It worked out great because at the end of each section the metal frame was bent so that it could connect multiple sections. I just took pliers and opened it up a little more so that is would be perfect for keys.
Here are the instructions:
1. Use a push pin bulletin board for the frame. This will allow you to use push pins to stick notes on the right side of the board. This is one from my office that I don’t use any more. What a great way to repurpose and reuse.
2. Adhere patterned paper to the bulletin board (you could also use fabric, newspaper, or wrapping paper… if you want that craft paper look you can always use a brown paper bag from the grocery store).
3. I used two sections of the garden fence and tied them together with black ribbon. Then use pliers to open up the clips for your keys.
4. I then used packaging tape to adhere it to the bulletin board on the left hand side of the board.
6. Add lace trim tied in a bow to cover up the tape. Add a flower embellishment.
7. Use the Fancy Frames cartridge and cut out the shape that resembles the Eiffle Tower. I cut it out to 5″ and adhered it to lower right corner of the board. Add a flower embellishment.
I hope you enjoyed the project… have a great Thursday!
Addison Paige

Fun Idea with the Cherry Limeade Cartridge

We have family in town this weekend and I thought I would make a few coasters to help identify our glasses. Usually if I have a party and we use plastic cups, I just get out a sharpie to write names on however this week we were just going to use regular glasses. I wanted everyone to be able to identify which one is theirs.
So I made these fun coasters with everyone’s initials. Now they can just place their glass on the counter on top of their coaster. Here are the instructions.
1. Use the Cherry Limeade Cartridge to cut out the cherries size 2″ in both red pattern paper and green pattern paper.
2. Cut the stem off of the red cherries and adhere the red cherries on your green stem.
3. Cut out the letter you want with coordinating paper. I cut my letters to 2″.
4. Cover with modge podge so that it is water resistant.
Addison Paige

Summer Favorites

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is pick fresh fruit at the local farm and make jam for the rest of the year. With summer coming to an end and school just around the corner… I thought it would be fun to share jam that we made this past week. The boys were so proud of themselves that they asked to give them to their teachers on the first day of school.

Our boys had so much fun running through the rows and picking rasberries. I think they may have ate more than they put in the basket.

To make the decorative tags use the essentials cartridge that come preloaded on the Cricut Expression 2 and cut a circle 2.75″. I then added a flower, the word jam, and a ribbon.

Enjoy the last few days of summer break… have a great week!


Addison Paige

Miss You Card


It has been a long week… my husband left last Wednesday for a 7 month deployment to Afghanistan. The transition to being a single parent is always difficult and more so the first few weeks while we are still trying to get into a routine. He has officially been gone for 7 days and I feel like it has been forever. My boys miss him so much and the youngest ones are always asking for him. So this week they have been busy drawing pictures for him so that we can send out a package at the end of the week. I thought I would make him a card to remind him how much we miss and love him.

I thought I would share … I love these little clouds that have come out in different paper collections, however sometimes it just isn’t the right pattern paper. I found this cloud in the Create a Critter cartridge and now I can use any patterned paper I want to coordinate with my project.

Here are the instructions:

1. Fold a piece of 8.5″ by 11″ paper in half and trim it down to 6.75″ by 4.75″.

2. Use the Create a Critter cartridge and cut out the cloud accessories for the Sun page 52 of your booklet. I cut mine to 4″ and 2″.

3. Adhere the large cloud to the center and the small one with foam dots to give it dimension.

4. Add your saying and embellishments (flowers, rhinestones, and bird).

I hope you enjoyed the project… have a great week.


Addison Paige


Fun Twist using Shrinky Dinks

I just thought I would share a fun technique using Shrinky Dinks with your Cricut and Ranger’s Melting Pot. This project is fun and can be used in so many ways… make jewelry charms, magnets, embellishments for your cards or layouts, the possibilities are endless. I plan on using one of my little hearts on a bracelet and the other will be on a card.

So let’s get started. First you will need to use your Cricut machine to cut out shapes using Shrinky Dink. I used my Cricut Create Expression 2 to cut out 2 hearts from the Just a Note cartridge. I cut them to 5″ and 4″. When cutting I set it to heavy material and I cut it twice.

Then I used the Ranger Melting Pot ( I just got the new one at CHA with the new logo). Fill the melting pot to the fill line with clear UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). Make sure you are working on a craft mat because this will get very hot (Ranger has a great one and all of these supplies you can find at Michaels or your local craft store). Place the cover on and turn the heat setting up to UTEE.

This will need to heat for about 5-10 minutes… keep an eye on it but it will warm faster if the cover is on. While I used clear UTEE, it will start to amber the longer it is heating, so if you want a clear pour don’t let it heat too long. You want all of the UTEE to melt to liquid form.

You will then carefully drop your shrinky dink shape into the UTEE. Let it sit in the UTEE until it shrinks (should be immediate) and falls to the bottom and lays flat (may take a minute depending on the size of your shrinky dink and how warm your pot is).

Once it is ready to be pulled out of the UTEE, use tweezers and pull it out and drag it across your mat to get it off of your tweezers. Do not touch it with your hands. It will be very hot! Repeat for all of your shapes. If they weren’t quite done or if you don’t like how it came out, just put it back in the melting pot and try again.

Let them cool on the mat. Then using alcohol inks stamp the course side of the shape (side facing down on the mat).

I then printed a bird and clock to place behind the hearts. Then apply to the back of each shape using glossy accents.

Use your hand to mold the paper to the back of the shape. Then trim the excess.

To clean your melting pot when you are done, pour out the remaining UTEE on to your craft mat so that you can save it for the next time you use it. Use a rubber scrapper to get all of the excess UTEE off and then use a paper towel to wipe out the metal dish. Be careful it will be hot. Once it is wiped out, turn the heat setting off and unplug. Let it cool before storing. Once the UTEE is cool you can put it in a plastic bag to use again. Just place it back in the melting pot and it will return to the liquid form.

Well I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on using the Cricut machine with the melting pot to make shrinky dink items. I have included the pdf of the prints I used, just in case you liked them.

Prints for Shrinky Dink Tutorial


Addison Paige




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