Monday, May 31, 2010

Monthly Recap: May 2010

What a busy month May has been!  While I'm getting back on my feet after the holiday weekend (I hope you had a wonderful one, by the way!) let's recap the month's happenings here at Ready, Set, Craft! shall we?

cupcakes for birthdays and warm weather...

a bug themed birthday party...

scrapping every day in May... or trying to at least!

simply stamped cards...

gifts for Las Vegas...

fantastic guest posts (terrariums, making paper, recycled business card holder...)

may day baskets and mother's day brunches...

sewing baby bibs and puppy beds...

Miss anything this month?  Want to see more?  Head HERE to check out May's projects!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bella's House

You may remember me mentioning last week that I had bought some fleece to make a pad/bed for Bella, my chocolate lab's, crate (aka Bella's "house")  Well, this must be the first time I have EVER bought fabric for a project one day, and actually completed the project the very next day!

Check out Bella's new, comfy, and colorful space!

Seriously the simplest thing ever!  The entire project took less than a half hour and all I did was...

1)  Measure and cut a piece of fleece a few inches shorter than the length of the crate and about double the width

2)  Folded it in half (with right sides of fabric facing in), and sewed the bottom and side seams closed

3)  Cut four pieces of batting slightly smaller than my fabric, turned my fabric inside out, and inserted the batting into the fabric

4)  Sewed the end closed, and then sewed all the way around the rectangle about two inches in to secure the batting in place

Now Bella can be comfortable and stylish - thank goodness!

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Post: Terrariums

I constantly find myself in awe of the wonderfully talented people I encounter daily - especially here in the land of blogging.  I share links to some of the fabulous projects I come across each weekend in my Week in Review posts, and now on (most) Wednesday's... at least for a awhile... I'm going to be going a step further and inviting one of those creative folks to guest blog here at Ready, Set, Craft! 

You may remember today's guest, angelina la dawn tomato, from her crafty ornaments guest post here during the holidays last year.  She's back today with a fun terrarium how-to that is a perfect project for kids and adults alike.  When you're done here be sure to pop over to her place to check out what she's up to there!

i know this craft is kind of not super crafty, but let me just tell you how much i love terrariums. it's a lot. one of my kitties refuses to let anything green and growing in a flower pot survive in our apartment, so this is the perfect plant for me. it's also a great activity for kids, and they make great gifts. really, i love these things!

so go grab your supplies:
- large glass vase, candle tumbler or fish bowl {like i used}
- colored rocks, pebbles, sand, sea shells, mosaic tiles, or any other accent you'd like to use {look around at the craft store- there are tons of options!}
- potting soil {optional, depending on how big your container/plant is}
- a succulent or cactus to fit your container

step 1: fill the bottom of the bowl with your colored pebbles or other accent material. {i usually go for 25% full}

step 2: add an equal layer of dirt.

step 3: add your plant of choice.

step 4: add sea shells {i used the shells i've collected over the years at various different beaches} or other accent material around the plant.

step 5: voila! you're done! i put mine in the book shelf for something unexpected.

you only need to water your plant once a week, and by putting the pebbles {or whatever} at the bottom of the bowl, you prevent over-watering. pretty fool-proof. and i love anything that seems to have endless possibilities-  go make it your own :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get Better Box for Lily

If you're a regular reader, you'll have picked up on the fact that I'm very close with my friend Heather (Hi, Heather!) and her family, including kids (my "nieces and nephew" Mariah, Anthony, and Lily).  Heather and I like to bake...

Their whole family does the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk with us every year...

And you've seen me help throw Lily's first and second birthday parties...

Both of Heather and I's families live on the other side of the state - so we kind of act as each others' surrogate, local, families... and we enjoy spending lots of time together!

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember that Mariah, Heather's eldest, had surgery on her wrist last February, and that I made her a Get Better Box...

The story behind get better boxes goes something like this...

When I was a child, I was an avid reader. One of my favorite anthologies was the “My Naughty Little Sister” collection by Dorothy Edwards. Yes, she was an English author, and these books are an “English thing” so I’m not sure if any of you will have even heard of them.

Anyway, there was one particular story about a “Get Better Box.” The little girl in the story was sick, and all of the adults in her life brought her a little something to make her feel better, which was all kept in her “Get Better Box.”

My Mum's Mum (my Grandma) kept a "Magic Box" for my Mum when she was sick as a child, and a combination of that box and the "Get Better Box" story inspired MY Mum to keep get better boxes for my brother and I when we were kids.  Whenever we got sick, Mum pulled out the “Get Better Box” filled with new coloring books and crayons, games, puzzles, etc... they were just little things, but the box and its contents always helped me feel better.

Mariah loved the Get Better Box I made her - and it was lots of fun to put together.  Having been through a couple of minor hospital stays as a kid and plenty of surgeries as a high school and college student, I can sympathize with how crappy even a minor illness can make you feel as a kid (and as adults too, right?!).  I was happy to do it!

Now we've learned that little Lily (Heather's just-turned-two-year-old) will be having surgery on June 2nd.  Turns out she was born without tear ducts!  Poor baby!  I think it's obvious that I'm going to make her a Get Better Box as well!  : )  I've already purchased a couple of things and will of course be making some hand-made goodies as well, which I'll share with you in the next week or so.
Here's where you come in...

I'm calling on my blogging friends to help make this Get Better box extra special.  Several of you contributed some lovely handmade things to Mariah's box last year, and I would be so honored if you'd consider crafting some love for Lily's box as well.  Won't you help me?

If you'd like to participate, drop me an e-mail and I will send you my mailing address.  You can send something homemade, or store bought, or even a simple card if you'd like.  Any small items to help a little one feel better as she recoups from surgery would be PERFECT!  Only catch is we're on a little bit of a time constraint - I will need all Get Better Box items by Tuesday June 1.

Thanks in advance for your help!  : )

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week in Review

Each weekend in my Week in Review post I share with you some of my favorite crafty links, inspiration and projects I've come across during the week, from all over the blogosphere.  ENJOY!

I've seen rings similar to this is stores all over the place - check out how quick and inexpensive it is to make one of your own!

I love that I don't need any special kit or materials to do this - I can just use what I have!  Cute!

I just love the bold colors of this wreath - it just screams birthday party, doesn't it?!

Now this is a sewing project I can dive into!  So simple and so pretty.  This was an amazing new blog find of the week... this blog just went from private to public and thank goodness it did - there are some beautiful projects on it!  Go check it out!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scrap Every Day in May - Week 3

New to Scrap Every Day in May?  Click on the button to your right ------------------------------------------>

Despite not getting back into town until late Monday and needing most of the week to recover and regroup, I did manage to crank out a couple of layouts in the past couple of days.  Remember that I'm just working on basic layouts right now - and will be adding embellishments, titles, and journaling later on.

I starting putting together a couple of pages from our trip to New York City with Travis' family at Christmastime in 2008.

I'm not thrilled with these pages - they are going to need some serious embellishing I think!  Any ideas?!

The other layout I worked on is one from our trip to Los Angeles back in the summer of 2007.  My brother was living there at the time and we went with my parents for his graduation from the LA Music Academy.

I have to tell you, of all the layouts I've done this month this one may be my favorite.  I love the way it turned out - and think all it really needs is some journaling and a title to finish it off!

I used Lindsey's tip from last week and double matted the photos I wanted to "pop" in this layout... I think it worked out really nicely!

Even though May is coming to an end - I'm going to continue to plug away at this travel scrapbook.  I'm setting myself a goal to be done by mid-June, so I can move on to the dreaded wedding scrapbook!  I'm kind of using my travel scrapbook as a "trial run" before the wedding one... helping me get used to scrapbooking again and hopefully get a little better at it!

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010


... this week is a bit of a wash for me, but I'm doing my best to re-group and get a handle on what I have going on in the next few weeks.  I know for sure that there is a lot of sewing on the horizon!  You see, it's generally at this time of year when lots of babies are cropping up everywhere!  : )  I'm at the age where most of my friends are done being married and on to having kids... you know how it goes.  I'm working on a whole bunch of these...

 This one still needs to be pressed and have velcro attached... but you get the idea...

I'm using a pattern from this fantastic book with a few tweaks.  I'm using cotton on top and flannel on the inside...

Here's some more fabric, waiting for me to cut bibs out of...

I'm actually working on getting ready for a girlfriend's baby shower at the beginning of June... but I know that she checks this blog so I don't want to spoil any surprises.  I'm working on centerpieces, favors, cupcakes, and custom thank you notes as well.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to share photos (and tutorials!) after the fact!

I also picked up some fleece on crazy sale this week...

I'm going to make a crate pad for our chocolate lab, Bella.  

She has a HUGE crate that she sleeps in at night and when we're not home (we love Bella, but she's still a lot of puppy, and we can't quite trust her to roam the house unattended by herself yet.  We're SO glad we crate-trained her!)  We usually throw in blankets and old towels in there for her to cuddle up on, but they move around as she does.  I'm hoping to sew something up that will line the crate and stay in place.  Plus... the fabric is super cute, no?!

I'm still working on scrapping... more on that tomorrow... and I'll have some Stampin' Up! tidbits to share, too.  Feels like I haven't stamped in forever - I miss it!

Have a wonderful day - the weather is (finally!) gorgeous here - I hope it is where you are, too!  : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Post: Recycled Sweater Business Card Holder

I constantly find myself in awe of the wonderfully talented people I encounter daily - especially here in the land of blogging.  I share links to some of the fabulous projects I come across each weekend in my Week in Review posts, and now on (most) Wednesday's... at least for a awhile... I'm going to be going a step further and inviting one of those creative folks to guest blog here at Ready, Set, Craft! 

I am exceptionally excited today to welcome one of my favorite bloggers, Dot, from Dabbled.orgDabbled was one of the first craft blogs I ever encountered, and I've been following Dot's projects and artwork for more than a year now.  I'm honored to have Dot here today - she's been such a wonderful crafty inspiration for me.  Be sure to head over Dabbled after checking out Dot's tutorial - I promise that you will be inspired, too!

Recycled Sweater Business Card Holder

Hi, I'm Dot.  I blog over at and I've been loving the projects here at Ready, Set, Craft! for a while, so when Joanne asked me if I'd do a guest post for her, I figured it would be fun!

I've chosen a quick and easy project that doesn't take much sewing skill or time, and is a great way to use a small piece of fabric that you might have lying around from another project.  I had been saving
this little scrap of sweater, with a lovely beading detail, in my bag of tricks for a while.  (It's actually a scrap from one of my first recycled sweater projects back in 2007 -- the Ele-purse!

Old sweaters are a great material to work with.  They are 'free' (a great use for that sweater that was shrunk in the wash, or got a mothhole!) or very cheap (your local thrift store will have a bunch!).  And you're up-cycling old materials.  They are also extremely forgiving fabrics for those of us who are not overly skilled in the sewing department.  This is totally a project that YOU can do, even if you're not an experienced seamstress.

This project is for making a business card holder or mini-wallet (because I needed one, and because this fabric scrap was particularly small), but the same process can be applied to a simple case for a
compact camera, or anything you need a small pouch for.

So, on the the project:


Fabric scrap large enough to wrap around the front and back of a business card, with some to spare (somewhere around 3x8 inches).  Credit card sized piece of plastic (I used an expired insurance card -
those pretend credit cards that come in the mail work too.  This will stay in the card holder to keep it stiff.)  Ribbon for trim and button loop.  Coordinating button.

Sew the Body:

Fold your fabric in half, with the good sides facing each other, and the fold at the bottom.  Use a plastic card to estimate the size of your pouch-- the 'front' of the pouch will need an extra inch or so of fabric (for the flap), but the back should just a little higher than the height of the card-- use pins to mark where you'll sew the seams and where you'll cut (see photo below.)

Stitch a seam on either side.  Trim the excess.  (See photo below - you may want to leave more 'flap' than I did)  Turn pouch right side out, and insert the card to keep it stiff.

Sew the Flap:

You should now have a pouch with an opening at the top, and enough fabric to fold over for a flap on the pouch.  You're going to secure a loop of ribbon to the top of the flap, and hem it.  So, as shown in the photo below, you're going to make a small hole in the center of the flap.  Thread your ribbon through it to make a loop.

Then fold down a hem, and sew to secure.    This doesn't have to be super neat, as you're going to cover it with ribbon.  Trim off excess ribbon from the ends of the loop.

Pin a ribbon around the front and back of the flap, to cover the stitching.

Sew on ribbon by stitching around the edges on the front of the flap (use a matching thread -- here I used a contrasting thread for demonstration purposes).

Stick several business cards inside the pouch, and fold over the top to estimate where to place the button (whereever the end of the loop is!).  Find a coordinating button (make sure it fits through your
loop!) and sew it on to the front.

Enjoy your new card holder!

In retrospect, I would have made the flap longer (perhaps an inch or more), so it would fold down neater, but I had a stain on the sweater that I was working around, so I went small.  You could also do the flap rounded or to a point, instead of squared off as you see here.   The possibilities are really endless with something like this.  Just use your imagination!

Thanks to Joanne for inviting me!  I hope you've enjoyed this simple tutorial -- I'd love to see anything you make with it!  You can find me at, my Arts & Crafts blog, and I'm also the editor of --the website dedicating to answering the question of "What's For Dinner!?"  Drop by either place and say hi!