Club Little House

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“For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.”     -Jose Ortega y Gasset

clublittlehouse
When I was in elementary school, I became quite enamored by dollhouse miniatures.  There was something about the tiny little items that enchanted me.  Of course, I had quite a stint with my Barbies, yet it seemed I spent more time designing their houses than actually playing with them.  That compulsion to decorate somehow evolved into creating little dollhouses inside cardboard boxes.  Then I received a REAL dollhouse kit for Christmas, and my mom let me spread out all of the supplies on the kitchen table, and I glued and painted to my heart’s content.  I still have those minis tucked away, and I absolutely must get them out, dust them off, and enjoy them once again!  My love of miniatures has been dormant for quite some time, yet I recently rekindled my obsession by participating in “Club Little House” which was organized by the wonderfully crafty Amy Powers.
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“Club Little House” littles created by Amy Powers

“Club Little House” participants agreed to construct twelve 1:12 miniature items and ship them to Amy by the deadline.  For a small fee, she graciously packaged up twelve items and sent them to all of us in return.  As a result, we each received a lovely assortment of clever, and lovingly-crafted “littles.”  I am quite in love with everything I received.  You can take a look at all of the items, including mine, here.
I spent quite awhile trying to come up with just the right thing to create for “Club Little House.”  In the end, I decided to make something that relates to my job as a teacher.  Here’s what I came up with….
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“Club Little House” miniature school charts by Kerrie More

They are pretty simple, but to tell you the truth, they were very time consuming.  I love how they turned out, and I hope the recipients who received my “littles” enjoy them as much as I did making them.  (Just a note:  I did not make any money from the creation of these items.  If you like these images, you should go to this site and purchase them, much bigger of course, from – Paper Source.)

I was so impressed by the items in my “Club Little House” box, but imagine my delight when I discovered a sweet “little” from one of my favorite artists, Mary Engelbreit!  Don’t you love them?
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“Club Little House” littles created by Mary Engelbreit

Participating in “Club Little House” was really a lot of fun.  I want to thank Amy Powers for organizing such an enjoyable artistic opportunity and for sparking my love of miniatures once again. I loved it so much, I am already thinking of what I might create for the next “Club Little House!”

Happy Summer and Happy Crafting!
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Time to Get Inspired!

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“Christmas isn’t a season.  It’s a feeling.” – Edna Ferber

The latest issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas is now available online!  You are going to LOVE this latest treasure trove of crafty holiday inspiration!  I am proud to be a part of putting it all together.  From writing the book reviews to editing the copy, every bit of it was a pleasure!

cover-1One of my favorite projects was Noodle and Lou’s Gift Toppers.  I mean, how cute are these?  Time to start gathering the vintage papers and get to work!

jennsflowersI also have a soft spot in my heart for these adorable vintage ephemera letters by Ashlee Park!  Seriously cute, don’t you think?

ashleeslettersAnd I can’t help but mention the book reviews.  Among several craft-book reviews I wrote for this issue, I also included some great “snow-themed” fiction books – perfect for a cozy afternoon by the fire.

bookclubHurry over to Amy’s site to get this incredible online magazine for only $3.99.  It’s a great bargain for so many great ideas!

christmas2013promoHappy Holidays, Happy Crafting, and of course, Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Rosette Art” by Cathe Holden

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“It is deeply satisfying to win a prize in front of a lot of people.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

I wholeheartedly agree with the above quote by E.B. White.  Each of us should have a chance to win the big prize, shouldn’t we?  Well, there’s no better way to give a fantastic “prize” to someone you love than to make something from Cathe Holden’s recent book, Rosette Art (Chronicle Books).

Rosette-Art-Cover-470We’ve all got them… stashes, boxes, bags and drawers overflowing with simple treasures we can’t bear to part with.  Vintage fabric, ribbon and buttons; lovely papers, pretty pictures and tiny trinkets.  Well, Cathe Holden presents the perfect project for using up some of our beloved scraps…. Rosettes!  Such a simple, but versatile idea! This one-of-a-kind book is more than an assortment of unique rosette crafts; it’s also a collection of lovely papers to incorporate into the designs. For many, the traditional rosette reminds us of the elusive first-place ribbon.  However, with inspiration from this book, you can make a loved-one, or even yourself, feel like the grand-prize winner! The endless list of suggestions will start your own creative juices flowing, and soon you will be hooked-on dreaming up your own clever rosette patterns.   Try a garland, mobile, ornament or wreath.  Whatever you choose, you likely won’t be able to stop with just one!

Head on over to Cathe’s website, Just Something I Made to get started on one of my favorite projects from the book — the Money Rosette.  Wouldn’t this be a perfect “prize” for someone’s special birthday?

cathe_holden_dollar_rosetteShe also shares the directions to make these amazing shelf-paper rosettes.  Can’t you just imagine all of the possibilities?!

CatheHolden-shelfpaper-rosettes-01Pick up a copy of Cathe’s amazing book– complete with papers to get started.  You’re sure to win first place with all of your friends when you whip-up some unique, and thoughtful, gifts!

(This review was originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas.  For one of Cathe’s projects, as well as some other “prize-winning” crafts, be sure to check out this fantastic issue!)

“Inspired Ideas” Spring Issue – It’s Here!

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No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.  ~Hal Borland

covernoshadowI loved working on the spring issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas.  Once again, I helped edit the articles and wrote several book reviews.  This issue includes several more book reviews for craft titles as well as three amazing fiction titles. This time I chose three novels with a flower “theme.”  All of them are very different, but very good!  Isn’t this the perfect time of year to settle in a sunny window and crack open a good book?bookclub

My favorite non-fiction book review this go-around was a fantastic little book by Lilla Rogers called I Just Like to Make Things.  This book is just a treasure-trove of advice and inspiration for those of us who want to maximize our creativity.  It’s especially for those who want to turn their creative passion into a career.  Pick up a copy soon.  You won’t be disappointed!lillarogersbookHowever, it’s really the crafts that make Amy’s publication so special.  Each unique craft idea is full of cheer and whimsy.  You’ll have a hard time deciding which project to try first!  To be honest, Amy’s bird nests are at the top of my list, as well as the sweet little Easter cloches designed by Ashlee Parkashleecloche2 nests

If you’re in the mood to bust some of the stashes in your craft closet, head on over and check out all of the great ideas in this issue.  It’s quite an amazing deal for so much loveliness!  Be sure to stop back by and let me know if you read one of the recommended books or whip up something special for spring!

Happy crafting and happy reading!

It’s Finally Here! Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas: The Christmas Issue

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I am so excited to announce that the Christmas issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas has finally been published!  If you’ve never had a chance to experience her beautiful, inspiring online publication, it’s time to head on over to her website to take a peek!  Once you start looking at this issue, as well as back issues, you will become enamored and will want to read them all! This publication is a unique mixture of craft ideas and tutorials with a vintage feel that is strong on whimsy.   Christmas is right around the corner, and I know you will be heading to the craft store right away so you can whip-up an adorable vintage mesh stocking (just like the one you got as a kid!), some shiny tin ornaments for your tree or perhaps a miniature deer mount as a gift for the friend who has it all!  All of the directions, along with fantastic pictures, are provided to make it a piece-of-cake to create something delightful to get into the holiday spirit!

I was thrilled to contribute to this issue by reviewing some heart-warming holiday reads.  Furthermore, I served as the editor of this issue, and was able to lend a scrutinizing eye for typos and other small nit-picky details that perhaps only someone with an English degree would even bother to notice!

To experience some unique craft ideas and be introduced to some adorable new products — and of course, read my inspiring book reviews — hurry over and take a look! If you read (or have read) any of the book titles that I recommend in my article, I sincerely hope that you will stop back and leave me a comment with your thoughts.  It’s so much fun to talk books!

Happy Holidays, happy crafting, and happy reading!

Summer Reading List, Oh How I Love Thee!

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“I was born with a reading list I will never finish.”  –Maud Casey

Okay, I’ll admit it…. I’m spoiled.  I have an amazing job in public education, and while teachers don’t go into education for the money, we do get some other enormous perks = SUMMER!  The two months that I have off are filled with many activities which include a lot of “catching-up” with home tasks, chores and the little things that I neglect during the school year.  However, it is a huge priority for me to sit down and read as often as possible during my time off.  As an avid list-maker, I have made several summer lists, but the most important one is my reading list.  Here it is!  I would love to hear your feedback on my choices!

First of all, I LOVE magazines!  I will be reading many!  My favorites:

Of course, I have more books to read than I can count, but these have risen to the top of my stack!

Wicked by Gregory Maguire has been highly recommended on a couple different posts from “The Art of Reading” series that  I publish on this blog (Katie and Jennifer), and it’s time to see what the buzz is all about!  I have not seen the play version, so I am going in completely “blind.”

I can’t believe how long I have been meaning to read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski!  It has literally been “on the stack” for years.  A few of my good friend really loved it, and I hear it is a dog story, so I’m anxious to finally enjoy it!  The time has come!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley was a thrift-store find, and the title is so enticing! I don’t always read mysteries, but every once in awhile I really crave a good one! This is apparently the first in a series of mysteries featuring a young sleuth named Flavia de Luce.  I’m hoping that I love it, so I can get lost in the rest of the series.

It’s won several accolades and has turned up on recommended lists for both adults and teenagers, so I want to read Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward for its potential for my high-school library.

A fellow co-worker told me that The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff was one of her best reads last year, and I love Meg Rosoff.  I see on her blog that there may be movie-rights in the future…  I love to read books and “cast” them in my mind with the actors I would see in the roles!

I have a new puppy!  In my mind, this should probably be the first book I read!  I have never read a Cesar Millan book, but I figure, he must know what he’s doing!  I have high hopes that after reading this book, my little Arlo will be sitting-up, rolling over, and sleeping through the night!

I am going to be taking a stitching class via Big Picture Classes from the talented Amy Powers, and I spotted these two books at my local library the other day.  The class is called “Happy-Go-Lucky Stitchalong.”  Doesn’t that sound fun?  These books are full of inspiration and published by my favorite craft book publisher Lark Books!  I have already found some great inspiration for my project with Amy!

Have you made your summer reading list, yet?   What was the best “summer book” you can remember reading?  I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by… happy summer, and happy reading!

It’s Finally Here! Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas: The Spring Issue

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“Spring has returned.  The earth is like a child that knows poems.”                          – Rainer Maria Rilke

I am so excited to announce that the spring issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas has finally been published!  If you’ve never had a chance to experience her beautiful, inspiring online publication, it’s time to head on over to her website to take a peek!  Once you start looking at this issue, as well as back issues, you will become enamored and will want to read them all! This publication is a unique mixture of handicraft ideas and tutorials with a vintage feel that is strong on whimsy. This latest issue is quite possibly her best yet!  Easter is right around the corner, and I know you will be heading to the craft store right away so you can whip-up an adorable Easter bow tie, some springy pencils or a whimsical little bird to tuck into an Easter basket. All of the directions, along with fantastic pictures, are provided to make it a piece-of-cake to create something delightful to usher in spring!

So why am I so excited to share this issue with you?  Well, I was lucky enough to meet Amy at The Creative Connection (by Jo Packham) last fall, and she was kind enough to ask me to contribute some book reviews for this issue.  I had so much fun writing the reviews, as well as editing many of the articles (a great way to use my English degree!) Amy is a class-act and one talented designer and artist!  I am honored to be a part of this issue.

To experience some inspiring springtime craft ideas, as well as introductions to some adorable new products — and of course, read my inspiring book reviews — hurry over and take a look! If you read (or have read) any of the book titles that I recommend in my article, I sincerely hope that you will stop back and leave me a comment with your thoughts.  It’s so much fun to talk books!

Happy spring, happy crafting, and happy reading!