12 Days Blog Hop: December Album Inspiration and a HUGE Digi Giveaway!


Head on over to Laura’s blog at Wishing Well Creations to hear about a digi girl making a paper album and then giving away a HUGE lot of digital scrapbooking goodies!  You are sure to be inspired!

Her awesome album cover (she talks through her process):

Laura’s ginormous giveaway:


You must enter on Laura’s blog post!!

And, don’t forget to enter to win a HUGE lot of traditional scrapbooking goodies by an official My Mind’s Eye designer, Mari Koegelenberg herself.  Pick up a free advent calendar template while you are there (it’s totally not too late!!).

Finally, don’t forget to enter to win the Jesus Storybook Bible here on my blog, and get some advent inspiration as well!

We’re having fun bringing you the 12 Days of Crafty Christmas!!  Keep checking back for more crafty inspiration!

12 Days Blog Hop: My Mind’s Eye Giveaway and Free Advent Calendar


Head over to Mari Koegelenberg’s blog to enter to win an amazing pack of paper goodies that she created for My Mind’s Eye.


While you are there, pick up a FREE Advent Calendar template!


Don’t you love what we have for you so far?  

Keep an eye on our blogs as we continue the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

And, don’t forget to enter my Jesus Storybook Bible giveaway!

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!!

Seed Packet Card Tutorial

I’m excited about the response my new Seed Packet Card Template and Cutting Files has received!!  It’s always fun to create something that others are enthusiastic about.  And those projects my Creative Team created are incredible, aren’t they?  Don’t forget that you still have a chance to win a $10 gift card to my store by commenting on one of the stops on my blog hop!!

This template comes in PSD, PNG, PDF, JPG, AI, DXF, SVG and .Studio files!  You can use your digital die cut machine or cut it by hand!  Wahoo!

Assembling this little Seed Packet Card might seem self-explanatory, but I always get a little confused, so I thought I’d show you how I did it.

As always . . .

Before I get started, let me direct you to some pretty good tutorials (if I do say so myself!) found at The Hybrid Chick:

Where to Start – offers suggestions for basic materials to get you started with hybrid.

Using Templates – guides you through the process of using my templates from downloading to adding digital paper, and preparing to print.

Borderless Printing – shows you how to find your borderless printing option on your printer . . . or at least gets you headed in the right direction.

Now, print your project! Of course, you can use digital paper or simply print the lines only PDF version on some of the patterned paper or cardstock in your stash.

I used a soon-to-be-released collaboration kit called Roots and Wings by The Digichick Designers.  It is AMAZING, as always!! Here’s a little sneak peek, but don’t tell the ladies you saw it here!  LOL!  It will be available May 3rd!

Let’s get going!

I printed my project out onto Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte and used the Fast Normal printing mode to conserve ink.  I definitely changed the color of my lines before printing to make them less noticeable.  I often change them to white!  Just a little tip for ya!  You can still see them, but they don’t jump out at you like black lines would on a final project.

Next, score on the dashed lines using a bone folder or some other scoring tool.  A single tine of a fork and a straight edge works great!

After that, cut the whole project out.  I always cut after I score, because it’s much easier to score on a full sheet of paper.  I use a craft knife (Xacto knife) for most of my template cutting these days, but you can use micro tip scissors, too!

Next, you fold the template as shown!

 And, use your favorite adhesive to glue the tabs to the INSIDE of the card packet.  My favorite liquid adhesive (which I use on almost everything these days) is Beacon’s 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue.  You can find it at large craft stores and some scrapbooking stores.  Love this stuff!!  (I would totally link you up, but the prices on Amazon are completely insane.  This stuff is about $5 a bottle, but, of course, I use coupons!)

Just a little reminder to glue the side and bottom tabs to the INSIDE.  Don’t wrap them around.  That would look tacky.

This is me, pressing the edge down while it drys.

 And, that’s it!  It’s assembled!  This is the inside.  You can see that the envelope flap opens on the inside of the card.

And, you can also see that I totally messed up on my stamping. Yeah. I know.  I’m a dork.  I should have put a different sentiment inside!  Oh, well.  You’ll do better, right?  :)

Keep in mind that you can put lots of different items inside this adorable card!!  Check out some of the projects on the blog hop for some ideas.  You’ll find gift cards, cash, jewelry and more!  Oh, and you can totally fit a seed packet inside the seed packet card.  It just slips in!

I hope you have a great time creating with this new template!  Be sure to share your creation on my Facebook Page and in the gallery at The Digichick!  I’d love to see what you make!

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!

Paper Flower Pieces Tutorial (and a FREEBIE!)

Back when I first started creating cutting files to go along with my papercraft template sets, I realized that I would need to offer a free template so that my potential customers could test out their digital die cutting machine to make sure my cut files would work for them.  I had been playing with creating my own paper flowers for a while, so I decided to make it easier on myself by putting together a set of cutting files that could be opened all at once and cut all at once without a lot of messing around with resizing.  What a perfect, simple freebie to offer to my potential customers!!

I called my freebie Paper Flower Pieces . . . because that is what they are!  Feel free to grab the template!  It comes in SVG, DXF, JPG, PNG and PSD, plus I included a PDF for you non-digi types!  Covered all my bases!  Essentially, what I’m telling you is that you do NOT need to own a digital die cut machine to use any of my templates!!  You can cut them out by hand (which is actually what I do 75% of the time, anyway!).  AND, you do not even have to have Photoshop to use my templates.  If you open up the PDF “lines only” version, you can simply print it out on a piece of paper that you have in your stash.  Easy!

I’d like to lead you through the steps to creating a gorgeous paper flower that will rival anything that you might buy in a scrapbooking store.

Check it out!

I recommend using cardstock for these flowers because it is sturdy and can stand up to being very wet and handled quite a bit.  You could print digital paper onto matte photo paper, however you will have to handle your flowers very gently since you are dealing with a thin layer of ink over paper.  The ink might bleed and it will definitely crackle.  Be prepared for a grungy look if you go the hybrid route. It does look cool, though!

First, cut out the flowers.  In the template, I have provided 9 flowers in 3 graduating sizes, which is exactly what you will need to make a pretty flower.  Obviously, the easiest way to cut the flowers is by pushing the “cut” button on your machine, but you can always cut by hand or even use a flower shaped punch if you have one in 3 sizes!

Now, stack your flowers and poke a hole in the middle of each set.  I used a small nail and hammer, but you could always use a pin!

Poke a brad through the middle and fan the layers as shown.  You will want to use a little brad for this part.  You can always remove it later and switch it out with something more elegant!

Use a small spray bottle to spritz your flower with water.  You could always just run it under a faucet, though!  Spray both sides until they are very wet!

Now the scrunching begins!  Start in the middle with the smallest flower and scrunch it up close to the brad as shown.  Pinch, pinch, pinch!

You will need to keep spraying the flower with water to soften up the flowers as you scrunch!

Pinch it in the middle, nice and tight as you keep adding layers.

Squeeze, crinkle, wrinkle!!  Pinch it like a Hershey’s Kiss in your fingers! (Oh, but be gentle, because it could tear . . . which is actually okay!)

Now, begin working from the outside layer into the middle to separate and curl the petals.  I use a piercing tool or a pin to “grab” the layers as I go.

Repeat the pulling out and curling process throughout the remaining layers.

When you have messed with it and you like what you see, it’s time to let the flower dry.  You could let it air dry (which could take for.ev.er.) or hit it with your heat gun, like I did!  Be aware the the heat gun could “burn” the edges of your flower!  RUSTIC!!

Done! At this point, you can dress your flower up with some glimmer mist, glitter the edges of the petals, change out the brad or cover it with some bling!

I used this flower on my Standing Pillow Box Template Set.

If you like what you see, please pin it!  :)

Pin It


The Cupcake Shaped Box Template: Refrosted!

I am often asked which papercraft template is my most popular template I have ever created.  Without a doubt, it is my Cupcake Shaped Box.  I first released it as part of a fundraiser in May 2009, and I gave it away to all registered participants.  After that, I released it for sale in my digital shop and it started selling like hotcakes!  I have had many requests to convert it to cutting files for digital die cut machines.

I’m happy to announce that NOT ONLY have I converted the template files to cutting files (including psd, pdf, svg, dxf, png), but I also updated the template to make the top “fluffier” and I cleaned up the lines a bit.  It was a LOT of work, but the finished result is SO worth it!!  What do you think?




Eeek!  I just love it!  Look at that fluffy “frosting!”

Let me show you how I put this together!

As always . . .

Before I get started, let me direct you to some pretty good tutorials (if I do say so myself!) found at The Hybrid Chick:

Where to Start – offers suggestions for basic materials to get you started with hybrid.

Using Templates – guides you through the process of using my templates from downloading to adding digital paper, and preparing to print.

Borderless Printing – shows you how to find your borderless printing option on your printer . . . or at least gets you headed in the right direction.

Now, print your project! Of course, you can use digital paper or simply print the lines only version on some of the patterned paper or cardstock in your stash.

After adding the digital papers to the psd version of the template, I printed my project out onto polar matte photo paper by Red River.  (The blue is just for scraps and decorating!)

Next, I scored on the dashed lines using a bone folder and cut the entire template out by cutting on the solid lines using my craft knife.

I folded along the scored lines (notice that one of the hexagons is flipped back), and then unfolded the template again to decorate it before assembly.

To assemble the cupcake shaped box, I first I applied my favorite wet adhesive, Beacon’s 3 in 1, to the side flap as shown (with one of the hexagons flipped back) and then adhered the flap to the inside of the box.

Add some glue to the bottom of each of the 4 small triangular shaped tips and p

ress the inside hexagon to the tips.

Then, add some glue to the bottom hexagon and press it to the bottom.  At this point, I turned the box over and pressed the inside with the end of my craft knife to make sure it was nicely adhered!

To assemble the top, I first slightly curled the flaps, just to give them a bit of a bend.  Then, I folded the three rounded flaps in.

To close the box, hook two of the little circle pieces together.  Then, add the third, hooking it as shown. That’s it!

Finish it off with a pretty little button and admire your handy work!

This adorable Cupcake Shaped Box will hold something about the size of a ladies’ fist: a small cupcake, a bag of truffles, a new necklace and more!  Wouldn’t it make the most adorable wedding shower favor?  So cute!

Now, I just have to compare the old box and the new box, so you can see the difference:

Um, yeah. BIG difference, don’t you think?  It’s been “Refrosted”!!  Wahoo!

You can purchase the updated Cupcake Shaped Box in my Etsy Shop!

So, what do you think?  Is it an improvement?  Are you as excited as I am??  YAY!!

How To Add The Pinterest Pin It Button to a Blog Post

I admit that I am completely in love with Pinterest I could go on and on explaining what Pinterest is, but it’s been done.  Instead, let me sum up: It is like a giant online cork board that you can pin great articles, cool pictures and fabulous ideas to without having to tear a page out of a magazine.  When you see something that you like online, you “Pin it” to your Pinterest Style Board so you can come back to it again or share it with a friend.  So cool.

I have discovered recently that Pinterest is also a really great way to get the word out about a post or product, especially for those of us in the crafty field or home decor niche or blogging world.  I get most of my blog hits from Pinterest these days, and just yesterday I had someone tell me that she found my Etsy shop and made a purchase because a friend of hers pinned my cash envelopes to Pinterest!  Gotta love Pinterest!

When I first signed up, I found it to be really easy to figure out how to add the Pin It button to my search engine toolbar.  In fact, Pinterest has a video tutorial.  Easy.

What it doesn’t have is an intuitive tutorial to explain how I can add the Pin It button to the bottom of one of my blog posts to encourage my readers to share my content on Pinterest. I think I finally figured it out!

This little tutorial will explain how to add the Pin It button to a specific post on your blog.  It is not javascript and it will not work to embed the Pin It button into your WordPress template so that it appears on every post of your blog, but it is really not difficult to add to a single, remarkable post once you have figured it out.

First, finish writing your blog post (or work with an existing blog post) and get all of your images in place.  It might even be easier to quickly publish your post and then come back and add the button so that all of your urls are in place.

Next, go to Pinterest > “About” (upper right) >choose “Help” from the drop down menu > Choose “Goodies”


Fill in the boxes with the following:

URL of the webpage the pin is on: = Copy and paste the post url from your browser.  It will start with http://

URL of the image to be pinned: = Right click (or control click) on the image that you would like people to pin and go down to “Copy Image Location”.  Paste that code into the box.

Description of the Pin (optional): = The description you write will show up in the box when people pin your post! Use obvious key words so that your post will show up in searches!

The code in the box will change as you enter the information.  When you are done, copy that code.

Now, go to the HTML edit mode of your blog post (indicated by the red circle in the screen shot below).

Paste the code at the bottom of your blog post.

That’s it!  Go preview your post and test your link.  It works! Yay!  Now, publish your post again and invite others to “Pin It!”

I’d love your feedback! Please let me know if this works for you!


Pin It