Guest Designer – Lil’ Man D ( 4yrs old ) laminated bookmarks

We had to go get new tires the other day and my lil guy.. much as he loves the dealership and checking out all of the cars and trucks..specially the trucks ( he is just like his daddy when it comes to trucks lol ) .. he gets bored after a while.  So this time I decided to take along my portable easel box I showed you in a previous post earlier this week and watercolors  in case they came in handy… plus it was a great way to test it out and see how well it worked out.

They have a seating area with comfy chairs, but also a large eating area with vending machines and coffee etc and part of that is a long bar area with bar stools…and lots of natural light from the big windows.  So we sat down  with some snacks and drinks and I started to color.. lol.. 2 seconds later as predicted “I want to color please mommy”

So here we go, these are 4 of the bookmarks he painted while we were waiting for our new tires.  I had already stamped everything out  on precut  strips of Canson Mix Media Paper and they were in the easel box ready to go with the H2o pen.  The easel box and the Gansai Tambi box are about the same size so easy to grab and go even without a bag.
I love this first Giraffe because he told me he was painting a rainbow on it too ..  I love his imagination, but I am sure glad he explains what some of it is sometimes haha.  Some of these will go to friends and relatives and others will go in the Abandoned Art box.  The Giraffe is a stamp we picked up at Michaels last month.  The father and daughter image is a Unity Stamp co stamp  that I stamped up for me to color, but he hijacked it haha

The finished pieces were mounted on some plain Recollections 65lb card stock and then laminated and a hole punched for them.  A little bit of ribbon and some beads and they will be all ready to go ūüôā

This portable easel with storage is great .. he loved it so much he asked for one of his own so he could bring his pens along next time too.  These boxes are small enough and light enough for a kid to easily carry around and if required .. you could easy pop on a carry handle or strap. Once his is finished,  he will be able to decorate it as he wishes. He loves to paint wooden blanks and boxes,  so I know whatever it is…. it will be UNIQUE  haha



Unity Stamp co. First Love, First Hero

Stampendous “PenPattern Giraffe”

H2o brush

Gansai Tambi Watercolor set


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Make your own portable mini desktop easel with storage

A while back I bought a bunch of these  cute little wooden boxes .. the idea was to use them to A: decorate and B: for storing some of my loose pens.  Well .. as you do, it just suddenly hit me.  I had the perfect portable storage to take my pens anywhere, but of course being me.. I hate coloring flat.  I built a super simple desktop easel last year using an offcut spare bit of shelving and two of my sons triangular wood blocks from his building set LOL.
Fabulous little thing.. I use it all of the time… but it’s not exactly idea if you ¬†want to work on odd surfaces like the park benches with the wire tops… but THIS.. now THIS would work. I have had my pens in this box for a few months now and it never even occurred to me till NOW ¬†lol. ¬†I have everything I needed to make a portable easel with storage for my pens.. all I had to do was throw a handle on it if desired and ¬†build the easel portion. ¬†Pff .. NO brainer lol.. TA DA !!! 5 minutes and one pack of popsicle sticks later and I have ¬†my portable easel which could be multi-positional if desired.
Right now I have a flexible band across the top holding extra pens.. but you could store pencil sharpeners, pre printed images or any extras in there as needed by adding an insert with elastic loops, or plastic pockets ¬† These boxes are plenty big enough for a 72 set of pencils and ¬†more if you were to include the top section by adding a strap. ¬†It can be done with any size box, but ¬†this one was ¬†already here and already filled so I chose to use this one for the project. It is approx 8.5×8.5 and ¬†3/4 -1 inch deep at the bottom and 1/2- 3/4 inch deep at the top.
I cut 3 different lengths of Popsicle for different working angles and just stored them inside.. but if this were something you would use a lot you could easily add all 3 angles permanently by fixing them to the box with a nut and bolt and or use metal bars which you can find at the DIY store and just fold out the one you wanted ( think Swiss Army pocket knife lol )
I added a Popsicle to the top with a strip of commercial grade double sided tape to give the paper a resting place so I wouldn’t have to use pins on it to stop it sliding. ¬†I might replace that with a cute little wooden ruler I have once I cut it to size.
Just be sure to seal your box top to protect your wood and /or decor if you decide to ¬†fancy it up; and carry a spare piece of card or something to act as a barrier and give a little padding beneath your project. ¬†There are lots of options for ¬†decorating the top ¬†including a frame with a permanent perspex window, ¬†or a slide in .. hell if you wanted to get fancy .. you could ¬†make a cut out…frame in a sheet of perspex and pop a ¬†battery operated light inside..VOILA !!! portable light box included.
You can take this base project idea ¬†which will knock you back about $5 for the box and ¬†a couple of bucks for Popsicle sticks if you don’t have them…. and totally go to town and personalize your portable easel… make it as quick and simple or ¬†hi-tech and permanent as you want. ¬†Possibilities are endless.

….anywho.. maybe someone out there will have a need for a portable easel with storage and not want to spend a gazillion bucks on one… so .. here you go..something to think about next time you are aimlessly wandering the aisles, coupons in hand.

.. you are welcome ¬† ūüôā

This is exactly the same kind of box I used in a previous project, with the big cockerel on it.. for anyone who saw that post

Vintage Cockerel Style Wooden Keepsake box.

Cricut February Mystery Box ..

The February Mystery Box from Cricut is available NOW.. don’t miss out ¬†The ARV for this months box is $115.91 and you can grab yours for just $39.99. ¬†Not all boxes are guaranteed to have the same ¬†items in.. but they usually do, or are very similar. ¬†from what I have seen this month you can expect, a cartridge, some pens, cartridge storage, rolls of adhesive foil & rolls of glitter vinyl.

so go grab yours now before it sells out!

Free shipping at Cricut with code LOVESHIP

10% off + free standard shipping with code LOVECRICUT (EXCLUDES AIR 2 and CRICUT ACCESS)

Cricut Explore Air $199 and under

Be sure to check back again ¬†next month as I think there may be multiple mystery boxes on offer again ¬†ūüôā ¬†This is a great way for new machine owners to start building a supplies collection.

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Attack the Scrap Bucket ! fun project for kids and grown ups

We’ve all seen those fun Magnetic word sets that you use on your fridge, or freezer .. here’s a way to make your own. Great project for crafty homeschoolers, teachers, business signs or people who need something a little bit different from the usual word sets.
I was lucky enough to have some tails from Cohas (formerly ZiggBoard) Magnetic Sheets that I could cut into strips to make these letters and words. ¬†You may have seen previous post where I started making letters and numbers for the lil man .. now we are progressing onto words and ¬†so I got out my MFT Bottlecap letters die and off we went again. ¬†I won’t lie… it’s a time consuming project… we all know it takes a lot ¬†LOT of letters ¬†to make up enough single letters to form a decent amount of words.ziggy_alpha3 I probably cut and assembled at least 10¬†sets of individual letters.. probably more ¬†and I already cut out at least 8 sets to start forming word magnets. There are going to be a lot of letters you use A LOT and some you don’t use so much.. just store those for later. ¬†As your kids vocabulary grows, you will be able to use those up to expand your set. ¬†Anyone who is homeschooling already knows that it’s time consuming, but VERY rewarding and totally worth the time and money spent.

These dies are totally worth grabbing because you can use them for so many projects, both fun and educational for years to come.

Name tags, labels, cards, magnets,stickers …so many fun things.

Ok so what did I use?… pretty simple project.. as I said.. just time consuming

  • Cohas Magnetic¬†sheet cut into strips
  • 110lb Card from my scrap box…I have a tonne of this from my Cricut Print & cut projects. ¬†Now they are expanding the Print & Cut dimensions to fit almost a full 8.5×11 this will reduce my scraps… but even so..right now I have enough to make alphabet sets for half the neighborhood lol.
  • Mod Podge I use this to cover the strip first and attach the letters then add a coat on top to seal them in.
  • My Favorite Things Bottlecap Alphabet Dies
  • A¬†paint brush to apply the Mod Podge
  • TIME.. and Patience.. even if you just do a few strips at a time… it adds up to a decent set ¬†fairly quickly

Of course if you are a good crafter who doesn’t have a pile of scraps lying around waiting for that “maybe one day project”.. you can always print your letters on printable Vinyl or adhesive label sheets and just cut it into strips.¬†Less time consuming but¬†I am determined to attack my scrap bucket ¬†before this year is done!!! lol ¬†Plus it is kind of fun letting him add a couple of strips at a time to the freezer, so he isn’t overwhelmed with a tonne of new words.

On a totally off topic random ¬†thought.. just because we are on a sort of educational thing anyway. ¬†We were in Toys R Us today and a lady was there, obviously overwhelmed by all the toys… she asked him how old he was. And I could tell she was hoping he was around the same age as someone she was shopping for. ¬†Turns out she has a young relative flying in for Christmas and was struggling to find a ¬†suitable gift. ¬†She had a set of Power Ranger figures in her hand and asked him if he thought they were cool. ¬†All she knew was the kid liked Super hero’s. ¬†

Well hot damned if my little guy didn’t jump in like the Bloody Toy Ambassador¬†for Toys R US.. and dragged that poor lady all over the store showing her everything he wanted for Christmas lol…¬†with a toy review and running commentary all the way.¬†We started with Five Nights At Freddy, hit the Educational aisle where he proceeded to tell her how great the squishy Body ¬†kit was..and reeled off ¬†all the body parts shown on the back of the box, dragged her off to see Grossery Gang and the yuck truck on another aisle… then onto Imaginext vehicles and buildings… followed by transformers and finishing up with Octonauts.

Poor lady haha.. he talked her ear off for a solid half hour I think while dragging her round the store haha.¬† She was ¬†in awe of his knowledge… specially when he started naming all the body parts… ¬†and yes ¬†he is getting that for Christmas, he just doesn’t know it yet LOL. ‘His Big’ sister in Australia is getting him that. It will be a fun start to his homeschooling science learning.

So proud of my lil man… that is the second time this month he has helped someone out in toys R US who was having probs picking gifts.

and back on track again…

Now I know decent Magnetic sheet is not always easy to come by, but I have used this magnetic sheet for all sorts of fun projects myself … from picture magnets, ¬†to Metal Die storage. ¬† If anyone is interested in what I would call it a crafters grab bag those will be available early next year. ¬†These will most likely be pre-cut ready to go pieces in various shapes and sizes.

Need something other than alphabets, numbers and words? ¬†want to make picture blocks, fun gifts, organization tags….or just have some fun and attach fun crafty items to cards etc … or decorate your locker. ¬†This magnetic sheet is awesome, ¬†everyone should have a bag of this in their stash.

Here are a few  of the other items I have made in the past.. search for magnet on the blog or have a wander through the projects tab at the top of the page for details on those projects.  and expect to see more of these projects next year.. I have some ideas I am dabbling with.

CAAB_magnet_canvas_wmd SD_FF_magnet_wmd kk_magnet_velvet

Rubber stamp storage solution.. and cheap too

Finally found what I have been looking for.. a storage solution for the rubber stamp collection the lil man have and I have. This won’t hold the big stamps we have, but it is fab for the Michaels budget stamps they have in the $1.50 buckets.

organizationThe top 30 pockets will accommodate a 3 inch stamp and the bottom 3 will accommodate a 4.5 inch stamp. Each hanger holds 33 ++ stamps depending on how many you fit in each pocket. I managed to squeeze in a good 150-160 stamps without even trying ūüôā

I picked these particular ones up at a store called $5 and below tonight in our local Mall… $5 each and I grabbed 4.

I will probably go back and grab a few more for the last of my stamps, and perhaps an extra one or two for the stamps yet to come lol. They are designed for organizing jewelry and I am so glad I didn’t get the bigger shoe pockets I was almost ready to buy.. they wouldn’t have been as good size-wise and I think I would have ended up with stamps on top of stamps which kind of defeats the object of the clear windows lol.

Super happy with this new organization … now I just need somewhere to hang them ūüôā ¬†I might pick up a couple extras for ¬†the lace and flowers and embellishment bling too… clear out another canvas tote on my cart ūüôā ¬†These would probably work out for my embossing powders and alcohol inks and such too… hmm ok I might be ¬†turning one of our obsolete coat closets into a hanging craft closet haha

Ziggyboard…. how I love you soooo

Am I the only one not coloring, or crafting tonight because I am too busy cleaning up my mess so I have space to craft? lol … living in an apartment with no dedicated space and buying all the new stuff has kinda hit my craft area pretty hard lol.

I have a pile of scraps to take care of that look like Mount Everest….ahhh such is life. Hopefully tomorrow I can see the top of my craft carts ..luckily even though I bought a bunch of new dies from Lil’Inker and The Gina Marie dies from Scrapbook Outlet…I still don’t have that many, so I managed to hang them all up on the front and side of my 2 drawer filing cabinet with some  magnetic sheets I got from Ziggyboard.

That is now filled with all my card stock and envelopes and I even managed to throw in my large block dies and embossing folders ūüôā

The 12×12 however is residing on top, it won’t fit in there *sigh I hope my cats stays off it….one of them is a real pain in the buttkiss about jumping on my carts to get to the window.

Well whatever ya’all are up to… Happy Crafting ūüôā Room Makeover Giveaway



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Win a $1,000 Craft Room Makeover from –






Quick tip on Wink of Stella & Luna pens


I was recently asked by a message board member if her newly purchased Wink of Stella pens were dried up and not working. If you are new to Wink of Stella, or Wink of Luna pens you may not be aware of the process to get started with these pens. how-to-prime-your-brush over at gives you the lowdown on  getting started with these pens.

They also have a quick explanation on product storage you might find useful if you are new to some of these products like I am.  I love that CraftingAbility and ZiggyBoard include tip sheets in your package too.  I keep all mine above my desk for easy reference.





Ziggyboard Challenge ‚Äď Chalkboard Vinyl kits

Logo_r_seyZiggyboard chalkboard vinyl comes in a variety of ¬†formats, precut labels and 12×12 sheets for use on die cutting machines like Cricut, Silhouette, and other popular brands. The vinyl can also be cut with scissors, punches, die cutters, paper cutters, and other crafting tools.

According to the product page, it is good for indoor and outdoor use too.

We were thrilled to receive 3 review kits from,¬†which is part of the¬†ImageAbility, Inc. family. I know this matters to some people too…¬†All Ziggyboard sticker products are made in the United States.

There are allsorts of cool products in this line beyond the kit we got. ¬†This one in particular caught my eye ¬†Magnetic adhesive ziggyboard ¬†and is going on my Christmas list to Santa. This would be awesome for organizing all of my metal dies. ¬†I live in an apartment, so finding good storage solutions for all of our crafting stuff….well let’s just say it’s a challenge all in it’s own lol.

Talking of challenges….

Myself and 2 of our veteran message board members, NanaDonna and Deescraps all received a kit that contained:





(20) ¬†12×12 inch sheets of matte black adhesive blackboard ¬†vinyl.








A  silver fine chalk pen

A fine tip white chalk marker





A multi pack  of precut blackboard vinyl adhesive labels.






Now for the fun and games, as part of our review we decided we’d have a little fun with this project. ¬†We agreed upon a mini challenge…. so our challenge is to make 3 gift items. Christmas is coming and ¬†this is a great product to use with, or without kids. ¬†But if you have kids, there are so many cool things they can make for friends, or grandparents etc.

We’ll each be doing our own separate projects and reviews too, but we figured a mini challenge would be a fun way to test¬†the kits and do something practical and fun at the same time. ¬†I’m really looking forward to seeing what the ladies come up with for the challenge ….and for their individual projects.

This is something I have never used before and it looks like something me and the lil man can have a lot of fun with together. ¬†I love that my lil guy likes to craft, so anytime we can work on projects together is cool. ¬†He is 3 and a half and at that perfect age where ¬†he has no inhibitions about what goes where, or being bound by conventional ideas.. he’s a hoot to craft with!

I’ve already started on a couple of ¬†the challenge projects, one is for the lil man and one is for hubby and me. ¬†I haven’t quite decided on the 3rd yet….and even though I am making these for us, they would make really cool personalized gifts too.

There are so many cool projects on pinterest…. if you haven’t tried this adhesive blackboard vinyl yet, go check it out.

Check out our pinterest boards.


Build your own portable Craft Cart

Here is one even the ladies can do… so don’t think you need to add this one to your honey do lists.

I was lucky enough to have a cube set and canvas totes to “recycle” which cut down on my costs and let me spend a bit more on a nice top surface…. and I already have a can of the stain I want to use. Both units cost just over $100 in materials, but if you have to buy the cubes too ….that will obviously bump the price up to closer to $200. ¬† You would be hard pushed to¬†find a commercial cart for that price, let alone two. ¬†If you can recycle/upcycle.. ¬†all the better.


Tool list..

Drill and  drill piece for pilot holes ( save splitting the wood when you start putting the screws in)
Screwdriver or driver piece for drill
Screws  size depends on what you choose for a top and bottom surface.
Casters 4 per unit.. 6 if you want added support for longer units


Cube storage units. ¬†These can be picked up ¬†online, or in stores… Home Depot, Walmart, Target.. all carry these and you can pick up deals if you watch for them. ¬†I picked up ¬†a whole bunch of them a few years ago to build a cube wall in my baby’s room in a Home Depot Thanksgiving sale. ¬†I think I got 10 units, each of which came with 4 storage totes and the whole lot cost me just under $300, which considering they usually retail around $40 each and then an extra $10-15 for the totes.. was a total steal. ¬†He is getting to that stage of wanting to fetch his own books etc., so I removed the top layer… I know my kid….I will walk in one day and find him scaling the cubes like a monkey to get something.

This would work with reclaimed kitchen and bathroom cabinets, old bedside cabinets, or similar….depending on your needs and what you can get your hands on. ¬†If you are a handy crafter that likes to recycle, or you have a handyman available… reclaimed pallets would work great as a rustic work surface. ¬†Kitchen work tops are great for their easy clean and cut resistant surfaces too. ¬†There are lots of alternative to buying cabinets and work top that can be used, if you can lay hands on them easily. ¬†If I had more room down each side of the space I have this in….I would have put¬†some rails or peg hook board down the side too. ¬†Another possibility; if you can get it, is some magnetic paint or magnetic sheet on the sides to hold the thin metal dies…. or a block shelf with drill holes, to hold pens and brushes etc …. as I said…. so many possibilities to customize this kind of project to suit your space and needs.
I shall probably build a pen block to hold all of my brushes and pens and other small tools. that I can just sit on top when I am using it.

Casters I got basic, non locking casters and since it won’t have a whole lot of heavy stuff in it, I didn’t see the need for the heavy duty ones. ¬†These cost around $3 each at Home Depot.

MDF base board 2×4 sheet cost around $10 per sheet for the 3/4 inch. ¬†If you have the room and ability to buy the bigger sheets and cut them down to size…. It is usually ¬†cheaper. I don’t have a truck and live in an apartment now, so no workshop space and limited tools make pre-cut easier and quicker for me. ¬†These 2×4 sheets will slide in behind the front seats across the foot well of a Ford Fusion.. for anyone in a similar situation.

Birch Plywood ¬†2×4 precut sheets for the top surface. ¬†They have a choice of surfaces to suit budgets and tastes. ¬†So depending on how you plan to finish the top off…. ¬†you can ¬†save some money by choosing something else, if it suits. ¬†These were just under $20 a sheet. ¬†Obviously, again bigger sheets and cutting them down would be cheaper and leave you with some extra lumber for adding in extras shelving, racks etc ¬†in the rear of your cart if needed.

Ok…. assembly… that’s pretty much a drill and screw no brainer.

I flipped the MDF and attached 4 casters using 1/2 inch screws, flipped it over.. aligned my cabinets…. I set mine up against one edge so there was no gap when I ¬†pushed them together. ¬†If you are only doing one…. you should center it obviously. ¬†I set it back slightly to create a lip, so when I am using the front edge the tote handles wouldn’t be so annoying. I screwed down from the top into the MDF to secure the cubes to the base. ¬†Then I added the birch top, aligned and screwed that to the cubes from the top. ¬†If you aren’t planning to stain the top or are using another type of top surface….you will want to attach from the underneath side instead. ¬†I will be bedding my screw heads below the surface and filling the holes before staining mine, so they won’t be seen when it’s finished.

cartI then turned it round and installed 3 pillars for support and added in a recycled wooden crate to hold my oversized paper and sketch pads that won’t fit in the totes. I’ll be adding in a few shelves at the top of that cart, then a bunch of shelves in the other one between the two poles. To finish off I will put some backing board on the backside of the cubical frame to hide the totes from the other side and then staining.


Voila… easy peasy rolling craft cart that can easily be built from upcycled/recycled materials. ¬†I have the glass top from¬†an old desk in my closet, but since I¬†have a toddler who will share this craft space and is a bit heavy handed… I don’t plan to use that just yet ….but that is a great addition if you paint, ink or stain ¬†and want to protect the wood.
I live in an apartment with no ¬†dedicated craftspace…. so this makes an excellent practical solution for my crafting needs for me and my son, whilst blending in really well with our existing furniture. We live upstairs and these are low profile windows, so it also covers my safety concerns by keeping my son away from the windows when he is running around like a fruit loop without blocking natural light too much


….and also removes monkey boys chances of scaling the walls in his room

Easy to move and push together to create an activity space that all of us, as a family can use together when needed and because we have a recessed window…. it fits in without using up valuable floor space.

All in all; a totally cool project, quick and easy to do….unless you have a mini helper….in which case add on an extra day ¬†LOL.

I’m not going to wait to finish this off before posting this project.. mainly because I plan to wait a little while before staining this….and because I can’t seem to get someone off it long enough to do it haha. ¬†My son has already laid claim to HIS new crafting/play space.


But I think the pics and instructions are easy enough for anyone to follow.  This is a seriously cool project for  any crafter; no matter whether you live in an apartment, or a house with a dedicated craft room.



I know my son is going to enjoy this new work/play surface just as much as I am…. and hubby…. well he will just be happy to get his desk back to himself and not have to see Craft stuff everywhere ¬†LOL…

… all round a very happy family.11902574_902602156472902_6912734688643080552_n


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