12 Days Blog Hop: Jesse Tree Advent with the Jesus Storybook Bible

This giveaway is over!  Congratulations to Barbara!  I’ll send you your Bible right away!

Welcome to the 12 Days of Crafty Christmas Blog Hop!  I have teamed up with 5 other fabulous designers, and we are excited to be bringing you some crafty inspiration to help you celebrate this Christmas season.  Look forward to some wonderful project ideas, tutorials, freebies and giveaways brought to you by Mari Koegelenberg, Pamela of Keeping Life Creative, Laura of Wishing Well Creations, Melissa of Domesticated Lady, Jen of Girl Boy Girl Designs and myself, Kelleigh Ratzlaff.

I’m excited to get the ball rolling today and show you what I have been working on!

Read all the way to the bottom, because I have a giveaway!!

Several years ago, I heard about the Jesse Tree Project, which is an advent retelling of God’s plan to rescue His children.  It comes from Isaiah 11:1 – “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”  This verse refers to Jesse, the father of King David, who was in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

It’s important to our family to keep Christ in Christmas and pass on a strong tradition of celebrating what the birth of Jesus Christ means for our salvation.

Jesus didn’t stay in the manger.  He lived a life that we should try to live, he died a death we should have died, and he rose again so that we can live forever with him!!

Last year, I discovered the world’s greatest children’s Bible:  The Jesus Storybook Bible.  I had heard many, many reviews from trusted friends and pastors recommending this Bible, so I purchased one for our family.  Now, I must say that we have several kid’s Bibles.  Like, maybe 6?  A lot.  What I love about this Bible is that the subtitle is so true:  Every story whispers his name.  And, it’s true!  Every story written in the Jesus Storybook Bible concludes with a paragraph that points to Jesus.  All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, everything points to Jesus.  It is such a great survey of God’s Plan, and a wonderful reminder to adults and children alike.  I get choked up every time I read from the Jesus Storybook Bible!  Plus, the stories are short enough that we read one story each morning while waiting for the bus to come.  If you have 5 minutes, you have enough time to have a meaningful family devotion time.  Not kidding.

I loved the idea of a Jesse Tree, however I wanted it to be very accesible to my children, plus I was a little intimidated by the whole project.  I needed simple, understandable and cute!!  But, I knew that this was the year I was going to do the Jesse Tree!

At the same time all of this was running through my head, I discovered that someone had put together an Advent Reading list using stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible!  I was giddy!  A match made in heaven!

I asked my sweet friend, Pamela of Keeping Life Creative to create some printable ornaments using her felty talents, and she agreed!  I was so excited with what she came up with.  Check out her blog post to see how she put her ornaments together.  It’s a lot easier than what I did, so those of you who are intimidated, please don’t be!  You can do this!  Pamela’s printable set is geared toward the actual Jesse Tree tradition and contains Bible story passage references from that tradition.

However, I bugged her again, and she agreed to create a FREE little add-on set just for those of us who are doing the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent!!  YAY PAM!  You are so wonderful, my friend.  Thank you very much!!

I love how my ornaments turned out!

 This is what I did. Some of it is technical, but for those of you who are familiar with Photoshop, it will be no biggie.  I’ll include some “basic version” directions, too.

First, I had to pull Pam’s PDFs into Photoshop.  I simply went to File>Open and selected the PDF file.  I left everything on the pop up screen as-is, and imported all of her files.  They opened on the screen as if they were jpg images.

Next, I selected (Rectangular or Eliptical Marquee tool) each image and cut it (ctrl X), then switched to Silhouette Studio  and pasted it onto a blank screen (ctrl V).  It comes in ginormous, so I clicked and dragged the corners to resize it to inky-dinky.

Next, I set up my Silhouette screen like this (and hopefully you will figure it out by just looking):

And I used the print and cut feature.  Love that feature!!

Basic Version:  Open the PDF document and go to your print dialog box (so, click the printer image).  Then, on the next screen under “Pages to Print” type in 7-10 (the pages without the dashed lines) and under Size Options, click “Shrink Oversized Pages”.   Now, look toward the bottom and click the Page Setup box.  Scale the image down by a %.  Your setting will vary, so I’m not even going to guess what you would put in there, but you could start with 40%, print it out and see what you get.  Your ornaments could be larger than mine or smaller!  The idea here is to shrink the page down so that when you punch the image out with your paper puncher, it will fit nicely in the punchout area.

I added ribbon to the back of the little wooden disks I found at Michael’s.

And then glued the pictures to the front.  I plan to mod podge them one day, but today is not that day.  Mama’s tired.

I knew I would forget which picture went with which story, so I made little punch-out (or cut out) labels for the backs, too!  I created mine in Silhouette Studio, but I re-created it here for you!  Click on the image below to download my basic sheet in a fully editable psd file (for Photoshop users) and two PDF files:  one with circles and one without circles.

I am so excited about the way this project turned out.  It’s simple, easy to use, and it will definitely help us to focus on the reason behind the season.  My kids can’t wait to start pulling them out of the box one by one, read the story and hang them on a miniature Christmas tree!


And now, for the giveaway!!  I recently found the The Jesus Storybook Bible for a seriously awesome price, so I bought a couple of extras to give as gifts.  I’m still waiting for the box to arrive, but as soon as it does, I’d like to send one Jesus Storybook Bible to one of my blog readers!! I’ll be choosing a winner on December 24th, so you have plenty of time to send your friends over here to enter.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post.  Do you have an advent tradition?  I’d love to hear about it!


Merry Christmas, everyone!  

Don’t forget to keep coming back and hop along with us as we continue the 12 Days of Crafty Christmas!!

I’m a Paper Designer!!

I’m so excited to announce that I have released my first two digital paper collections!


Introducing Summer Lovin’ and Little Mister!

The Summer Lovin’ collection contains eight patterned papers and eight mini-polkas, each sold separately!

The Little Mister collection contains ten patterned papers and ten solid papers, each sold separately.

I have always had a big obsession with digital papers.  I love seeing gorgeous papers on my screen and then moments later holding them in my hands.  Digital paper can, obviously, be used for digital layouts, but as a hybrid designer I love the many ways I can use it for my pretty papercraft projects!

  • First of all, I can use the psd files included in my papercraft templates to “clip” the digital paper to it before I print out my project.
  • Or, I can drag the digital paper onto the .studio file in the Silhouette Software to utilize the print and cut feature on my Silhouette.
  • Finally, I can simply print the paper out on my printer, flip it over and print the template on the other side and cut it out by hand!

Lots of options!!

Want to try before you buy?  Head on over to my Facebook Page to pick up the Summer Lovin’ Solids for FREE!!

PLUS, to prove how easy it is to enjoy digital designs all printed out, please go ahead and download a FREE Father’s Day card printable!  Just print it, score it and gift it!  I have included a BONUS free layered psd card template!  Click the image below to download!


I hope you love playing with these papers as much as I loved creating them!! Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Happy Flag Day!

PS – Don’t forget to enter the HUGE Avery Labels giveaway!


30% off in my Template Shop to Celebrate {i}NSD, plus a FREEBIE!

Happy {inter}National Scrapbooking Day!  Yep!  That’s today!

So, basically, I’m gonna eat Mexican food while I scrap.  I’m flexible when celebrating two different holidays.  LOL!

My ENTIRE papercraft template store at the Digichick is at least 30% off right now!

I sorta forgot to mention that in the newsletter I sent out the other day.  Whoops!  Yep, it’s a great time to fill your cart with all of the little templates you have been dying to try!

Need a couple of ideas?  Here are a few of my best selling templates!

Scroll on back through my oldies!  I have some fun templates in my store!

And, while you are on the computer, head on over to Facebook where you can participate in the TDC Facebook Page Hop.  Start on my page, (make sure you “like” it), click on “Fan Freebie” on the top right, and download your freebie!

Then, click on the arrows at the bottom to keep going to collect the entire collaboration kit!  I promise, it is SO much fun!!

I’ll be back to show you what my Creative Team Members did with that word art freebie!  In the meantime, enjoy the hop and the fabulous sale!  (Oooh!  And don’t forget to check out my new releases!  Eeek!)

John 3:16 Valentine Printable

I’ve been in the mood to create, lately.  Not just stuff I HAVE to create (cash envelopes or papercraft templates, anyone?) but the stuff I GET to create.  Like this cute FREE printable, just perfect for Valentine’s Day!

(Click to download in 8×10, 8.5×11, 11×14 and a layered psd file!  For personal use only.  NOT for resale.)

I was completely inspired by Pinterest on this one (a teacher made a bulletin board similar to this), and I was also super anxious to try out a transfer technique I took a self-paced class on.  (I would link you up, but the instructor switched stores, and I can’t find her!)

What I did was print out the verse on two pieces of 8.5×11 paper (which I have included in the download) and transferred the ink to a 11×14 canvas!!  What you see here is ink, NOT paper.  Kinda cool, huh?  I love the distressed look!

Here are the steps I took to transfer ink onto canvas using Mod Podge as my medium.

1. Prime Canvas with white acrylic paint. (Or whatever color you would like to see where the white letters are.  Cream? Pink?)  Let it dry few a couple of hours.

2.  Next, print out the word art onto plain printer paper.  Important: FLIP the word art horizontally before you print.


You might have to trim the white edge off the paper if your printer doesn’t print borderlessly.  Also, if you printed the two sheets like I did, you will have to trim the bottom off of the second sheet.

3. Spread an even coat of Mod Podge (I don’t think it matters weather it is Glossy or Matte, but I used Matte) over the entire canvas.  Don’t glob it on, but don’t be stingy, either.  The next time I do this, I’ll be using more, for sure!  Make sure you don’t forget the corners of the canvas.  I didn’t put any on the edges, but I don’t think that matters.

This is what happens if the red ink bleeds into a glob of Mod Podge, or if you don’t use enough (the distressed looking part on the bottom).

4. Now, carefully lay the paper on the canvas and smooth out the bubbles with your fingers and then with a brayer (if you have one).  This is an important step, so make sure you don’t leave any creases or bubbles!  Also, do your best not to overlap papers.  I did okay, but I wish I had done better!

(See the little bulge under the E?  If I had smoothed better, I might not have had that bleeding issue!)

5.  Let the Mod Podge dry overnight or for a super long time.

6.  This part is messy, but fun!  Spray the paper with lots of water, and then use your fingertips (not fingernails) to roll the paper off of the canvas.  Start in the middle, rather than the edge.  Also, only wet the areas you will be working on.  I wet the whole thing and it made some of the ink bleed a bit.  It’s not the end of the world, though!

7. Keep spraying and rolling (and perhaps brush with a soft cloth) until all of the little fibers are gone.  The ink will lighten up, but don’t worry!  If yours looks like this, you are not done.  Keep spraying and rolling!

8.  When you are done, it will be nice and smooth and a bit more teal than blue!  Like I said, the canvas will be lighter than the print.

You can now Mod Podge the whole canvas, but I just left it as it is!

Enjoy your free printable!  You can frame it, mod podge it, change it up (for you Photoshop girls), or whatever!

Be reminded that GOD loves you more than anyone in the whole wide world!!  So much, that he watched his only son suffer and die a horrible death, and then come back to life, proving that only God has power over death.  He did all of this so that we could have a personal relationship with him and experience eternal life in his presence!!  I’d say, that’s the best Valentine anyone could ever receive!

Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day! Grab your FREEBIE!

It’s Digital Scrapbooking Day, people!!  What does that mean?  HUGE sales, TONS of freebies, LOTS of inspiration and FUN challenges!!

I’m super, incredibly excited about the awesome Facebook Page Hop the Digichick designers are having this year.  There are twenty-four designers participating, which means twenty-four FREEBIES!!  PLUS, we all used a common palette, so most of the freebies will match one another!  In the end, it will be like collecting a big collaboration (with a couple of random bits of goodness thrown in there for good measure!).

This is my Freebie!!  I’m going to be putting it in my shop at TDC next week, but I’m giving it away to my Facebook Fans this weekend!!

Not only did I figure out the code to fancy up my Facebook Page, but I also figured out how to link up a freebie for you all!  Wahooooo!  I feel so accomplished!

SO, please head on over to my Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs Facebook Page and start hopping!!

When you are done, click over to my shop at The Digichick!!  The entire store (not just my little corner) is on sale for 30% off, however, since I love my blog readers, you all get 40% off!  Aren’t I so sweet?!

And, if that wasn’t amazing enough, when you make a $15 purchase at The Digichick, you get a gorgeous boutique collaboration FREE!

Yum, yum!

Finally, be sure to participate in the fun DSD challenge going on in the forums over at The Digichick.  One participant will be randomly selected to win a ginormous prize of free templates, kits and more!  Basically, the designers (including myself!) donated gift certificates so you can grab anything you want from our stores!  How cool is that?

If you are curious about digital scrapbooking, THIS is the weekend to dig in and try it out! 

Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day!


Quick Gifts! A Blog Hop Round-Up and New Releases!

If you missed out on the limited time 12 Days grab bag that I put together with Mari Koegelenberg, Pamela Donnis and Melissa Wilson, don’t fret! NOW, you can pick up JUST the pieces you really had your eye on, in our individual stores!!  Love Mari’s bold papers and elements?  Did you think Mel’s soft and sweet mix was more your style?  How about Pam’s funky vintage look?  Perhaps you needed some quick print and assemble gift ideas from me!  In any case, this is your chance to grab what you want!!

Check out my store at The Digichick where I’ve listed my three contributions, and put them ON SALE for New Release Thursday!!

PLUS, you can still pick up all of our freebies and peruse the tutorials that we put together for the fabulous blog hop:

I’m STILL needing some more ideas for the Wish Baskets we are giving to the boys.  Can you think of some fun, inexpensive, family oriented activities to list on their coupons??  I need help!

12 Days Blog Hop: Wish Baskets

Growing up, my parents couldn’t give us a lot of things, but they were very good at giving us experiences that didn’t cost a whole lot of money, and those experiences are some of my favorite childhood memories.

I remember the Christmas that my Dad brought out “Wish Baskets” for each of us kids.  They were actually small, wicker baskets with lids, and each one was a different color. Each wish basket contained a dozen little strips of paper.  At the beginning of each month, we got to draw a slip from our basket and we would get to do the item printed on that slip.  They were simple things: a picnic in the park, a trip to Dairy Queen, a trip to the bookstore, etc.   They were simple, yet meaningful, and I looked forward to wish basket day every month.

Today, I would like to give you a sheet of FREE printable Wish Basket Coupons. (Click on the image to download it!)

My children are VERY familiar with the concept of coupons, so this should be fun!

I made these with the idea that our family would do activities in honor of each of our children.  Some of the ideas we have come up with so far include:

  • A trip to Dairy Queen (we order off of the 4 for $5 menu!)
  • Family Movie Night (child picks the movie, homemade pizza toppings and ice cream or popcorn)
  • New book – from book store or book order form
  • Breakfast with Dad on a Saturday morning (guy time)
  • Root Beer floats
  • Make Cookies with Mom

Notice that many of these items are things that we would have done anyway (family movie night, make cookies, etc), and yet NOW they are special because they are being done in one boy’s honor.

Remember that kids don’t need THINGS.  They need YOU! Make a memory without spending a lot of money, and make it last all year long with Wish Baskets!!

A printable Wish Basket (created from my Clover Box Template) is included in your 12 Days Grab Bag that you can purchase at The Digichick or Little Dreamer Designs. I have also included a bonus cutting file in the Grab Bag, so you can create your own unique wish basket coupons, or add it to your next layout or project!

If you are interested in other wish basket designs, check out my store!  I have tons to choose from!

Looking for more “experience” related gifts?

Don’t miss any posts in our 12 Days of Christmas blog hop!!

You may want to subscribe now so you don’t miss anything!

Do you have any ideas for our Wish Basket activities??  I could use some more ideas!!

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