April 16, 2010
Here are a couple of printable Mother’s Day Cards you can print in a snap. These unique cards are designed for your kids to attach their small school photos. Of course… they can color the card… or there is a pre-colored card available for them to just cut and give. I suggest the cards be printed matte photo paper or card stock.
I just read that Mother’s Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States. The occasion is now celebrated not so much with flags as with gifts, cards, hugs, thank yous and other tokens of affection.
I’m pretty easy when it comes to Mother’s day. In fact this year, the mothers in our family will be sharing the day with my grandson Wyatt. He will celebrate his 14th birthday. We will also be celebrating Easter with the belated Easter Egg hunt… since the weather played havoc on April 3rd.
So… all in all… we plan to have a fine day. Hope you will too.
P.S. How are you going to celebrate Mother’s Day. Does your family take the lead… or do you?
March 17, 2010
Easter is just around the color and your Easter coloring sheets are ready for you to download. Kids love to color them with crayons, colored pencils or markers. I keep plenty coloring pages on hand for when the “grands” come to visit.
I received a sweet note my friend, Betty. She runs off the coloring sheets for the hospital, where she works. So often children show up to the hospital with their folks and get pretty bored waiting for mom or dad. The nurses and aids offer them the coloring sheets to keep them busy. Great idea. If you know of a pre-school teacher who would enjoy them…. simply pass on the URL of this site so their students can enjoy them too.
Three things I love about Easter:
1. I know Spring is just around the corner.
2. I love bright Easter colors.
3. I look forward to our family Easter Egg hunt.
Four printable coloring sheets are available. Each critter is on a separate 8.5 x 11 page for you to download. The links are below.
P.S. I found some great Easter recipes and crafts in a Family Easter Activity Book. It’s a Must! Check it out!
P.P.S. Don’t forget Easter cards and Easter place cards. I’ve designed some cute cards you can tuck into your Easter gifts… and the kids always love to put names on place cards for your guests.
March 6, 2010
Your St. Patrick Coloring pages are ready for you to download for your kids. I remember how important holidays were to me as a child. St. Patrick’s Day was one of my favorites because it was fun to catch the unsuspecting friend who forgot to wear green. Pinches all around.
I’ve often wondered why St. Patrick’s Day was such a big deal here in the United States. After learning there are 4.1 million people who live in Ireland and 35 million people in the U.S., who have Irish ancestry, it makes sense. Going back several generations, there’s a bit of Irish blood in my veins also.
Kids look forward to the “wearing of the green” and celebrating one of the oldest observed holidays.
Here are your St. Patrick day choices.
I remember a neighbor, who made shamrock sugar cookies with green icing sprinkled with shiny sugar crystals. I couldn’t wait to get mine. They seemed extra special since my mom didn’t do the sugar cookie routine. I never fell into the sugar cookie routine either… that’s why I look for mine at the local grocery store. I love sugar cookies.
Print off the St. Patrick coloring sheets for your kids to enjoy. Keep them busy with a few crayons and markers.
P.S. I keep a stack of St. Patrick Coloring pages printed since my grands visit at different times. They are so use to having seasonal coloring pages around, they always look for them when they come by.
January 25, 2010
Your kids coloring pages are here. Here are two Valentine card designs to choose from. The kids can color their own Valentines to surprise mom and dad, grandma and grandpa…. or their friends.
Of course, there is the back and white printable for coloring… or they can choose the pre-colored version. The small icon is on the back of the Valentine card. When the card is folded, the inside will be blank so the kids can sign their names, design their own art work or put stickers inside, etc.
Last year, some of you may remember the “Love Notes.” They were very popular. If you didn’t get your “Love Notes,” they’re still available. As long as your checking out “Love Notes” you can cash in on a making clever paper craft Valentine holders for your gifts. You’ll get raves!
Have a great day… and make sure you run off plenty of kids coloring pages so they can make their
Valentines cards in time for an early delivery.
P.S. For a little higher quality Valentine card, run the coloring pages on light weight photo paper.
December 29, 2009
Sock Monkeys became a hit during the depression when mothers began making monkeys out of old Rockford Red Heel Socks. John Nelson, a Swedish immigrant, patented a sock-knitting machine. The work socks were manufactured for farmers and factory workers in Rockford Ill., in 1890.
The 100 year old sock monkey is making a comeback. You are beginning to see the icon on coats (Kids Gap) p.j.’s (target) and fabric. When times get tough, we begin to see the comforts of the past show up in our everyday living.
Even though sock monkeys are being mass produced, there is nothing like a hand made sock monkey from the old Rockford Red Heel Socks. Every sock monkey becomes a unique piece of Americana folk art because each monkey takes on it’s own individual personality.
My sis, Sheila, has made a sock monkey for each one of her grandchildren. She purchased a bunch of socks and shared her stash with me this year. I made two monkeys for my youngest grands… Beck and Rosemary. I was lucky enough to find a pre-made monkey at a retail store, purchased it, and dressed it for Abram.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had my sewing equipment out…and it was a little like learning to sew all over again. But, even though it was a bit of a challenge, it was fun.
I actually think the kids parents and I got a bigger kick out of the sock monkeys than the kids did… as evidenced by this photo. (At 7:00 p.m. on Christmas day.. I think they had hit the wall.) But… as the years go by, I’m sure they will appreciate them more… if not… I know of a few other grands that are itching to get their hands on them.
On the other hand, Sheila’s grand daughter, Savannah is in the right spirit of the day….happy with her Sock Monkey.
There is nothing like a homemade gift… don’t you agree? I love Americana crafts!
P.S. Here is a site where you can purchase the Sock Monkey socks and instructions for making a sock monkey doll.
December 5, 2009
Make a Christmas Star for your front door or a special place in your home. This metal star will add a spark to your Christmas decorating. It’s an easy Christmas craft.
My friend, Stefanie, gifted me with a large star for my front door. It was so cleverly crafted I ask her if I could share the instructions with you. Thanks Stef for sharing.
Here is the supply list so you can make a Christmas star.
The metal star can be purchased at your local craft store or an import store. There are different sizes, and since they’re made in China by different companies, the sizes will vary. The center elevation will vary from star to star also.
You will need at least 5 pieces of 12″ x 12″ Christmas craft paper. You’ll need to cover 10 surfaces on the metal star. However, you will be repeating 5 papers in order to come up with the 10 total pieces. I love paper so it’s hard to me not to purchase more than I need. However, purchasing a few extra sheets of craft paper will give you better design options.
In addition to the metal star and the Christmas craft paper, you will need a 1″ sponge brush and Mod Podge, (Purchase the Outdoor Mod Podge if you plan to display your Christmas Star outside.) Scissors (You can use a craft cutting machine but I found using the scissors works just fine), a pencil, a plain paper (for your pattern), and a ruler.
Place your plain paper on the star. Apply pressure on one of the narrow sections. Run your finger nail in the creases, and on the top edge so you can plainly see the shape. Place a dot on the three corners. See photo.
Remove the paper and place it flat on the table. Using a ruler, connect all the dots. Using the ruler again, draw another line 1/8″ inside the previously drawn line. This will be your cutting line.
This is step is important. Cut the pattern on the inside line and place a # 1 on one side of the pattern. Place a # 2 on the other side of the pattern.
Select 5 sheets of Christmas paper you want to use. You will be cutting 2 pattern pieces out of each sheet you select. You will cut 5 shapes from each paper using pattern side # 1. Turn the pattern over to the #2 side. Cut another 5 shapes from each of the papers. You should have 10 shapes. 5 should match pattern side #1 and 5 should match pattern side #2.
Each pattern will be place across from each other on the star. Place them around the star loosely. Do you like what you see? Move them around until your satisfied.
You will be using the Mod Podge as the glue. Do one section at a time. Using the sponge brush, dip into the Mod Podge and apply it to a section of the star. (I touched the brush to a bit of water… not much…. and it made it spread a bit easier.) Don’t worry if you get the Mod Podge on other surfaces. This product drys fast so you need to move quickly. Place your pattern piece on a section. You should leave a 1/8″ metal boarder showing, Don’t get to “nuts” with this…. just get it as close as you can.
It’s important that you rub your fingers over the paper to smooth it out to remove all the air bubbles and adhere the paper to the Christmas star.
Continue the above process. Make sure you put a matching piece of Christmas craft paper directly across from each other. When you’re done, allow the Mod Podge to dry for about 20 minutes.
Apply the Mod Podge to the entire star to seal it. Again, if your star is going to be used out doors, use Out Door Mod Podge.
Add ribbon for hanging. You will need from 24″ to 36″ of ribbon depending upon the size of your star. I just used the ribbon I had on hand. You can purchase some fancy Christmas Ribbon if you want. If your star is the very largest one… use a wide ribbon… at least 1 1/2″ wide.
Add to your Christmas Decor by placing the star on your door or a special place in your house. I hung my Christmas star on the door of an old antique cupboard. If your going to use it for a gift… attach one of my Christmas tags on the ribbon.
It is a fun easy craft project. Try it
P.S. For another easy craft project, go to last years Christmas Magnets. They are easy too.
November 6, 2009
This Thanksgiving prayer card was inspired by a poem by Grace Noll Crowell (1877 – 1967). She published over thirty-five books of poetry, stories for children, and poem and prose devotions. One of her most famous poems is named, “Because I have Been Given Much.” In 1975, Phillip Landgrave (1935 – ) composed the music and it has been included in the hymnals of many denominations. In our church meetings, we sing it frequently.
I thought it might be a thoughtful addition to your Thanksgiving, so I placed the prayer on a card among a leaf design so you could download it and make copies for your guests. Simply run the Free Thanksgiving Prayer on photo paper. Place the prayer on or next to your guest’s dinner plate. At the end of the day, your guest can take it home to display on their fridge or elsewhere as a little reminder.
If you need “Place Cards” for your Thanksgiving table… click here to view 3 printable designs . You can download them from the post. They will also make a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving table.
Thanksgiving is certainly a time for reflection and gratitude of blessing received this past year. I want to express my gratitude to my readers by giving you this Thanksgiving Prayer to enjoy and use.
P.S. In addition to the Thanksgiving Prayer, there is a Fall bookmark for you to use in a special book. (I had extra room at the side of the card design… just a little extra bonus.)
October 7, 2009
Hosting a Halloween party with family and friends can be so much fun…. especially if everyone wears a costume. I’m not much for a spooky Halloween party with scary things. My Halloween party scene is pretty mellow. It consists of the first fire in the grate… chili on the stove… cold cider in the fridge…fresh donuts on the platter and of course… all my grands dancing around, showing off their costumes.
The kids love our family Halloween party because they can run around my neighborhood in a flash, collecting extra goodies before settling down by the fire and sorting out their candy into categories. We live in a pretty safe area… which is nice on such occasions.
Are you having a Hallowen party for family or friends? If you are… you will need a Halloween party invitation. I’ve designed a couple for you. Simply run them off on card stock, or matte photo paper. They fit nicely in a standard small envelope so it’s it’s easy for you… no fan fare.
This is my early Halloween treat for you. I know… you would probably prefer chocolate… but downloading it from my computer to yours is beyond my tech. savvy.
Click here for your Halloween party invitation download. (without the initials of course)
Hope you have a wonderful Fall and Halloween season.
P.S. If you’re having a Halloween party with family only… make sure an take lots of photos. My grands love to look at all the old photo from previous years. In fact… those are pretty much the only ones they’re interested in.
June 15, 2009
Selecting unique wedding gifts and cards isn’t much of a challenge if you’re trying to please both the bride and groom. “Couple” gifts are usually the most common wedding gifts offered. You know…housewares for the kitchen…. a toaster, can opener, and steak knives. And, who spends the most time in the kitchen? Generally, it’s not the man of the house.
I suggest, if you really want a unique wedding gift, purchase something that will please the groom. I ask a few future grooms what they would like to receive as a wedding gift. Here are a few of their suggestions.
* Tools – You almost need a hammer right away to hang photos of your wedding on the wall. So, a few tools is a great idea. A hammer, a set of screwdrivers, and pliers placed in a simple tool box is a unique wedding gift and will be greatly appreciate by groom.
* Ex. Large Towels – Guys like towels that are large enough to dry off their larger physique. They want a towel they can comfortably wrap around their waist and tuck the corners in. This casual attire is the preferred dress for the shaving routine. This is a great time to personalized your wedding gift. A towel for her as well as for him… with their names embroidered on the bottom.
* A Bar B Q – Ah haa! They want to cook the burgers and steaks. If you are going to make this type of purchase, check to see if their apartment has a balcony or a place where the grill can be stored before you buy. If you can’t afford the grill… Bar B Q tools are a great alternative for a unique wedding gift.
* A Cooler – Yes, I can see where a cooler would be useful. Purchase one that has a smaller cooler inside (double the value.) The smaller cooler will come in handy when the groom attends football games. And, it can also be carried on a golf cart.
There you go… a few unusual wedding gifts suggestions… that will certainly please the groom.
Now… unique wedding cards? Well that’s a different story. I never seem to have a wedding card on hand. I have always wished I had one I could just print off on my computer. Well, here you go. I designed a few unique wedding cards for you to download and print. Just right for those times you forget to pick up a wedding card.
Here are two choices… a set with a colored back ground and a set with a white back ground. Wrap your gift and tape the card securely near the bow so it won’t fall off when the wedding gifts are loaded into the car.
All you have to do to get these free printable wedding cards is to fill in your name and e-mail address below and I will zip them off to you in a flash.
Next time you’re invited to a wedding, consider the groom first… and give the couple a unique wedding gift. And, don’t forget your wedding cards so you can attach it to the package.
P.S. Another unique wedding gift is a snow shovel. Tape your free wedding card to the handle.
P.P.S. The great wedding photos were taken by my daughter Katie. She’s a professional photographer … and you can see more of her fantastic work at Kate Benson Photography.
April 28, 2009
These Homemade Mother’s Day gifts are just the ticket for kids to craft. This cup and saucer flower holder is so easy to make that a three year old can easily participate. I gathered my grand kids around the kitchen table to make this simple mother’s day craft projects for their moms. A few of them were a bit disappointed they couldn’t give the gift to their moms immediately and had to wait a week for Mother’s Day.
The first mother’s day craft is Cup and Saucer Flower Folder.
The supplies you’ll need are simple. Some of the grands and I went to the local thrift store and found a great variety of cups and matching saucers. We paid about $.50 cent for each piece. Then off to the craft store to purchase the “flower frogs.” Now just try and explain to at 3 year old why they are called “frogs” when you really don’t know yourself. We found our frogs at Michaels Craft Store. There were 3 to a package. We purchased the smallest size. We also bought E6000 glue. This glue is used to hold mirrors into place. It is a clear glue strong glue. We also purchase a bit of ribbon that we will use to attach the mother’s day tag to the handle of the cup. Of course you will need the tags… which are offered at the bottom of this post. If you run across tea cups from a child’s tea set or a very small ceramic container… pick them up too. They make darling flower holders for the dandelions and small flower bunches the kids bring in from the yard. Last of all.. you will need flowers.
Apply the glue to the bottom of the “flower frog”
Place the “flower frog” inside the cup. Little ones may need a little helping placing the frog in the center. Allow the glue to dry.
The tags can be run off on Avery sticker paper and attached to a larger paper backing, or you can run them off on matte photo paper. My grands chose their own tags, we cut them out and they signed their names. Insert a hole in the tag and thread the ribbon and tie it to the handle of the cup.
On mother’s day… insert the flower into the “flower frog” and fill the cup with water. (We purchased our flowers at Costco… and one bunch filled 8 cups.) You could also scour the neighborhood for tulips and daffodils of you only have a couple of cups to fill. I have neighbor’s who are pretty willing to share their a few of their blossoms.
Watch the grands in action. They had such a good time crafting their mother’s day gifts.
Our second homemade Mother’s Day gift is a Pedestal Cookie Plate.
Again… the supplies are very simple. During our trip to the local thrift store, we purchased large salad plates. Pretty ones were a bit harder to come by… but we got what we needed. Antique plates are fun for this project. You will also need glass candle holders. We found them in various shapes and sizes and they were in abundance at the thrift store. The E6000 glue is also used to attach the plate to the candle holder. Don’t forget a bit of ribbon so you can attach your mother’s day tag.
Apply the glue to the top of the candle holder.
Turn the plate upside down so you can place the candle holder in the middle of the plate back. Let it set for a few minutes before you turn it upright.
Attach the tag to the pedestal base with the ribbon.
Fill the plate with cookies or small slices of cake… cover the plate with plastic wrap. The kids will be thrilled to present this to their mom’s or grandmothers on Mother’s Day.
Again… watch my two cute grand daughters, Ella and Claire put this mother’s day craft together.
Now if you want these free mother’s day tags… simply give us your name and e-mail address and we’ll send you the download link. If you’re already receiving free Insightful Nana downloads… you will not have to sign in again. I’ll automatically send these tags to you.
Make sure and watch the videos so you can see how easy these homemade mother’s day gifts are for your kids or grand kids to make.
Have fun with this mother’s day craft.
P.S. This kids loved these Mother’s day printable they colored. Best of all they are a free download.
P.P.S. Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts are just the best. I remember getting homemade gifts the kids made in school. I still have them… they are priceless to me.