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Easy and Fun Craft Ideas for Grandkids: DIY Magic Bubble Wands & Rock Monsters

Creativity and Crafts
craft ideas for grandkids
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If I do say so myself, I was a pretty good mom. I’m also a pretty good Grammy.

It’s not that I’m a totally indulgent grandmother. There are rules in my house and certain things I have no interest in doing.

For instance, I’m really no good at pushing toy cars around the floor and making motor sounds. Also, I’m not big on activities that involve dirt, danger, or the possibility of encountering insects or reptiles.  And when it comes to hide and seek, I have a limited attention span, especially if the other players aren’t really big enough to hide properly.

However, if you want to read a story, bake cookies, or have a tea party, I’m totally on board. That’s part of what makes me a good Grammy.

But the real secret to my popularity as a grandmother is that I’m all about crafting.  continue reading

Homemade Fun: DIY Corn Hole Game

Creativity and Crafts

One Christmas Eve many years ago, my husband and I assembled a ride-on, battery operated fire engine for our then four-year old son.

This thing was the mother-of-all “some assembly required” joke punch lines. It had about ten gazillion parts and an instruction manual as thick as a small phone book.  And although I graduated magna cum laude from pretty good college, it might as well have been written in ancient Greek. To this day, I’m not sure it wasn’t.

Finally, I had to call in the cavalry, my dad.   Even with Dad supervising and my husband and I assisting, it took us until about two o’clock in the morning to finish the assembly process.

As you can imagine, our son was really excited about his new fire truck! But you know what he was really, really, really exited about?

The box that it came in.  continue reading

Fierce Road Trip: One Perfect Day At The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Adventure and Travel

If you’re a quilter or fiber artist, chances are you’ve heard of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. And if you haven’t, you really should!

With more than 1,300 quilts on display, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) is internationally recognized as the largest outdoor quilt show and sale in the world. It’s also one of the oldest. (2018 marked the SOQS’s 43rd birthday.)

Every year during the quilt show, the streets of Sisters, Oregon, population 2,50o, quadruples with more than 10,000 visitors. People come to the SOQS from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries.  continue reading

FABRIC-COVERED DIY JOURNAL – JUNKY, FUNKY, AND FUN TO MAKE

Creativity and Crafts
DIY journal, prayer journal
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In my recent post on junk journals (if you have zero idea what a junk journal is, you should probably read that post first) I said that after my dear reader and new best friend, Jolyne, made me a completely cute, one of a kind junk journal, I knew I had to make one for myself!

These little journals make delightful and inexpensive gifts for friends, family, and co-workers, and are incredibly fun and easy to make.

Read on to see how I made my very first junk journal.

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THE JUNK JOURNAL – ART WITH HEART

Creativity and Crafts
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You know what one of my favorite parts about being a writer is?  Going out on book tour.

Why, you ask?

Is it the chance to meet readers face to face?  The opportunity to visit new places? Or the ability to collect ideas, stories, and inspiration for my next book?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely. All of the above.  But you know what’s the really great part of being a writer on a book tour?

The presents. continue reading

A (Craft) Room of One’s Own: Craft Room Ideas, Inspiration, and Eye Candy

Creativity and Crafts, Home Matters
craft room ideas
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In my recent post, Crafts and Creativity: The Secret Ingredient for a Life of Joy, Fulfillment, and Eternal Youth, I made a couple of blanket statements that I stand behind one hundred percent.

  1. Human beings are hard-wired for creativity.
  2. Crafting is good for the soul.

I truly believe this. If you’ve read my books, you know this is a theme I’ve explored more than once.  I also believe that every creative woman (which, as I’ve explained above, means everybody. Including you.) needs a craft room of her own. continue reading

The cutest of all the DIY bookmark ideas

Creativity and Crafts
DIY bookmark ideas
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During my last book tour, one of my readers gave me a beautiful bookmark, made with pretty batik fabric. I was fascinated with the clever latticework design and thought it would be fun to make some myself.

It’s not shocking that a craft project combining pretty fabric, book accessories, and sewing techniques would pique my interest. In fact, those are truly a few of my favorite things!

It took me a few tries to figure out the technique. And once I did…Well, I may have created a monster.  I am now completely addicted to making these bookmarks! Dear family and friends, you will now receive a bookmark as a gift for each holiday. There is no such thing as too many lattice batik homemade bookmarks. It’s common knowledge. continue reading

Crafting: The Secret Ingredient for a Life of Joy, Fulfillment, and Eternal Youth

Creativity and Crafts, Learn for a Lifetime
creativity and crafts, good for you
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What would you say if I told you there was something you would truly enjoy that would make you feel happier, more fulfilled, and youthful?  (I mean, besides chocolate.)

As it turns out, there actually is such a secret ingredient for a more joyous life.

It’s called crafting.

In addition to providing you with a supply of adorable, one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for people you care about, crafting can increase your happiness, lower your stress levels, and keep your mind sharp.

Don’t take my word for it; ask science.

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Three Perfect Recipes for World Baking Day (Plus, My Favorite Baking Cookbooks)

Books, Food for Grownups
best cookie recipes, best baking cookbooks
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Cookies, banana bread, muffins, oh my! Today is World Baking Day and it’s time to fire up those ovens, Fierce Friends. Don’t tell my Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan, but sometimes I just need sugar. And carbs. And butter. And joy.

Here are a few of my go-to recipes when those cravings hit and a few baking cookbooks that have guided me along the way.  continue reading

Flower Pot Ideas from a Master Gardener (with Deer Resistant Flowers!)

Home Matters
deer resistant flowers, flower pot ideas
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It took its sweet time getting here but I say, “Hooray for Spring!”

I don’t know about you but I am more than ready for sunshine and flowers. The sunshine is definitely here but the flowers have proven a bit trickier.

Though our new neighborhood is surrounded by forests and plenty of common space, the lot is much smaller than our old one, really too small to put in a proper garden.  Even if it were otherwise, the hordes of deer that populate the surrounding forests seem to think of gardens as their personal salad bar.

But deer or no deer, acres of land or gardens the size of a postage stamp, it’s spring. I want to plant flowers. I need to plant flowers. continue reading