Thursday, September 27, 2012

Simple Halloween Decor

Happy Thursday!  Can you believe it is almost October already?  I. Love. Halloween.  My husband asked me the other day if I thought maybe it was a little early to be hanging a skeleton in the window.  I looked at him with confusion as I finished hanging it up.  That being said, he is patient with my decorating and I try to keep it tasteful (and not too feminine!)

Today I will show you how to make a simple Halloween decor that speaks volumes!

Pieces like this are festive yet not over the top.  The best part is that you can make it yourself!  That's my favorite kind of decoration!

- 3 Glass Jars in different sizes
- Candy, Popcorn, or other fillers
- 3 Mini Pumpkins
- Black Vinyl or Sharpie Marker

{Decorate the Pumpkins}
I cut images out of vinyl using the Silhouette Cameo.  However, if you do not own a cutting machine, drawing on the pumpkins with a sharpie would work too!  I think the "boo!" is my favorite.

{Fill the Jars}
Using Halloween or fall themed food or candy,
fill each jar to the top.  If you have extra that means you have earned a mid-craft snack!

{Put it Together!}
If your jar allows, place a lid on top.  I covered mine with burlap for that "fall" feel.  Next, place your mini pumpkins on top of the jars and voila!  A simple yet totally festive Halloween decoration.

{This picture isn't the best quality but I wanted to show you how darling it looks above my fireplace}

{What Do You Think?}
What designs would you put on your mini pumpkins?  Would you fill the jars with anything different?  As always, if you make your own version I would love to see it so please share it with me!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Link Love!  Linking up with the craftaholics anonymous fall frenzy link party and Every Day is an Occasion!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Doggie Treats & Treat Bag!

Happy Monday! How is everyone today?  I can feel a productive week coming on, so that always makes me happy.  To start off this power-week I wanted to share with you my latest craft.  Remember me telling you about us taking our puppy to dog training class?  (If not, here is another dog related post that you might enjoy)  Well, on Thursday we had our final class and we got to proudly watch as our sweet puppy walked across the stage to get his diploma.  Okay... that's not true, but he did get a diploma!

I wanted to give the rest of the dogs in the class a "goodbye and good job" present, so I made homemade doggie treats.  This was my first time making animal food, but it turned out pretty well.  Then I finished it off with cute packaging.

{I went with a Halloween theme since it's coming up, plus I thought the "trick or treat" sort of went with the idea that the dogs are doing tricks, so they get a treat!  Too bad I didn't have a trick FOR treat stamp}

If you are interested in the recipes, check out PART 1 of this post.  If you only want to see how to make the packaging, go ahead and skip to PART 2.

(Part 1) Recipes:
I'll start off by giving the recipes for the THREE kinds of treats that I made:

{1} Bacon Biscuits

1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon
1/2 cup hot water
2 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 jar (about 3 1/4 ounces) bacon-flavored pieces
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a medium bowl, dissolve bouillon in water.  Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended.  On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Use a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out dough.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until firm.  Transfer to a greased wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.  Yields about 6 dozen doggie biscuits.

DISCLAIMER:  This is NOT my recipe.  It came from a saved photocopy from an old recipe book that my mother had.  If anyone knows of the book's title and author, please let me know so that I can give appropriate credit.  Wording and Recipe are identical to the original book recipe titled "Yummy Dog Treats".

My experience: First off, I used a larger bone shaped cutter, so my recipe yielded about 2 dozen.  I also had trouble rolling the dough with a rolling pin- so I just molded it with my hands.  I think this was because I put in too many bacon bits (oops!).  Lastly, I would suggest testing the cook time with a biscuit or two beforehand.  My oven cooks hot, so I expected it to be less time- but even at 25 minutes, my bones were burnt!

{I tested Ernie to see if he would go for the burnt piece (on our right) or the non-burnt piece (on our left).  Turns out he likes burnt food, just like me.  Or... he just doesn't care as long as it's food.  He went for the burnt first, but within a second took the other one too!}

{2} Peanut Butter Paw Prints
 {Please excuse the ugly baking sheet, I baked these treats back to back so there was previous cookie left over!}

This 4 ingredient recipe can be found at

My experience: This dough was my favorite to work with and it smelled so good (if you like peanut butter that is!)  I used a small round cookie cutter (actually I used a piece from my blender that was the size I wanted) and then made the paw prints using my thumb and pinky fingers.  The only problem was that this dough expands more than the bacon one- so my paw prints came out less defined than they were in the dough.  (Dough is pictured above).  One last note- I tasted these treats and as a human I should say, they weren't bad!  I felt so wrong doing it, but it's all "people ingredients" so I had to!

{3} Blueberry Banana Bites
{Don't you just LOVE the colors in this one?  Natural coloring is amazing}

This recipe can be found at ...isn't that a darling name for a dog blog?

My experience: This one can only be made into spoon dropped bites, so if you're looking for a treat you can shape- this isn't it.  That being said, they cook up very well and are soft yet stay together.  I love that the fruit gets used here and my dog loved it too!

After a long day of baking...
{Let's just say there was plenty left over for my dog Ernie to have}


(Part 2) Packaging:
Let's be honest here:  I had the packaging planned out before I had the treats figured out.  That is the crafter in me.  Here is the best part- it's easy to do!

Let's Begin:
From a package of party treat bags, I cut off the end so that I would have two pieces to work with.  To close up the open edge on the long piece, I used hot glue.  This way the bags could be stacked on top of each other for that layered effect.

Next, I printed off the list of ingredients and information linking to this post onto a sheet of colored cardstock paper.  I made all of this in Word; it will just take some adjusting to get it how you would like it.  Then I cut it into rectangles and folded it in half.

For the "Trick or Treat" I cut out the shape using my Silhouette,  then I just stamped on the wording.  Simple as that!  Can you believe it's that easy?

Lastly, I filled the bags with treats and lined them up on top of each other so that they would lay nicely and that the cardstock would reach both bags.

I finished it off by stapling the cardstock in place.  For an added touch I used purple staples!  Very festive, don't you think?

Each bag had 1 Bacon Biscuit, 2 Peanut Butter Paw prints and 3 Blueberry Banana Bites.  It was a good thing I made extra because my dog was more than happy to taste test a few for me!

This project was something entirely new for me and it was fun to try.  The packaging was simple and easy and could be used for birthday parties, teacher's gifts or to put candy in for real trick or treaters!

Your Turn!
Congratulations, you  made it to the end of this very long post!  I wanted to include the recipes on here so that the people in my dog class could make more for their pets if they wanted.  How would you use these treat bags?  Is anyone going to try making the dog treats themselves?

With Love,
Kelsie Ann 

Link Love!  Linking up with Every Day is an Occasion! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sneak Peak!

I will give you all a little sneak peak as to what my blog post will be about on Monday...

{That's me and my puppy in our kitchen}

For those of you who have checked out this website because we shared a dog class: The recipes will be up on Monday, I promise.  I didn't want to throw off my posting schedule but also did not want to give you a website with no recipe!

For those of you who are searching for a fun little craft:  That post will be up Monday as well.  Yes it does have to do with dogs, but the craft idea can be used for anyone- even people!  Come back on Monday and see... you won't be disappointed.

Did you catch the Thursday post?
I know this double post is confusing, but if you didn't see the latest post on Matchbook Favors, check it out here.
  You'll be glad you didn't miss it!

Until then,
Kelsie Ann

Matchbook Favors

I love all things old.  No, I don't mean smelly cheese or spoiled milk- I mean things like: shoe shining stands, dusty leather-bound writing pads and yes, matchbooks.  It is true that some people still use these things today; but let me ask you: If you needed to light a candle would you pick up the matches or your click lighter?  My point exactly.  There is something simply pure about using these "old" things that I just adore.

That being said, I will show you today how to make matchbook favors for any gift, party or event.  This craft brings a taste of the old and the new together for something really quaint and practical!

These particular ones were made to give as wedding favors to our guests.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate seeds into the favor (our theme had a lot to do with "growing") and when searching the internet for ideas, I stumbled across this idea on

That website offers a free template that you can just print right off and use.  Because I like to do things myself however; I opted to make my own design.

When choosing my design I pulled some modern inspiration from subway art!  I don't know about you but I am LOVING all of the subway art crafts that are out there right now.  Here is an example if you're not sure what I'm talking about:

How I did it:
I actually designed this entire layout in WORD.  Easy right?  No special programs, no fancy skills, all I did was type out what I wanted to say, changed the fonts and sizing and added a flower pot image to the side.  All it really takes is a little time to adjust everything to perfection.

{Then I just printed it out and cut it into strips, folding where needed.  This may take a few trial and errors but it will be worth it to get the exact size that you desire}

After that, I filled individual bags with 1/4 teaspoon of seeds.

Lastly, I printed out planting instructions and a message from the bride & groom which was then placed behind the seeds.  Both were then stapled into the matchbook.

Isn't that easy?  We made our matchbooks small in size and then placed them inside of a flowered box (shape bought from the Silhouette store) to set at each place-setting.  That's it.  Simple and beautiful.  Old but new.  

Your turn!
These matchbooks can be themed towards anything- weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, even individually personalized!  What can you see yourself using them for?  Can you think of anything to put inside them besides seeds? I would love to hear your ideas and I always love receiving comments from my followers!

With Love,
Kelsie Ann

 LINK LOVE!  This post is linked up to Every Day is an Occasion, go over there & check them out as well!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wedding or Anniversary Gift for a Friend or Yourself!

I. Love. Pinterest.  Three little words that mean nothing to an "outsider", yet brings about a sense of connection to those who are also *ahem* addicted.  I try to design my own crafts on this blog so that you are receiving new ideas and not just my version of the same old thing that is pinned a hundred times elsewhere.

Well today, I have to source pinterest for this idea.  BUT... before you click off this page, let me tell you how I took the same idea and changed it up to fit my life.  If you stick around I will give you a cookie.  Okay, I can't do that but I will give you a memorable gift idea for a friend, or for yourself!

{It is a decorative jar filled with our ceremony program from the wedding.  What a perfect way to remember that special day and decorate the house}

Here is where I got the idea:

How I changed it:
{1} I used a mason jar instead of a Christmas ornament.  I wanted something that I could have sitting out year round instead of only at Christmas.  Just FYI- I plan to also make the ornament this year.
{2} I used our ceremony program instead of the wedding invitation (like she did).  I did this for two reasons; 1- I needed more paper because the jar is larger and 2- Our invitation was not done on regular paper.  Want to know what it looked like? See it here.

What you need:
 {All you really need is a copy of your program (or invitation) and a jar.  I also opted for some heavy twine just to dress it up a little in rustic fashion}

Cut the paper into strips and roll them around a pencil:
 {I cut everything into a single line except for our scripture (see top picture) and our song/composer (see bottom picture) because I thought those were best kept together}

Lastly, I added some twine:
 {I might trade this out for some lace, or ribbon or bakers twine.  I am giving myself time to think on it}

Isn't that easy?
This craft takes no time at all but says so much to the person receiving it.  I think I may go back and cut up some more of the back paper (the yellow) so that the jar is all the way full.  

One more thing...
{I know this is a terrible picture but I wanted to show you all this added part.  I connected a small light to the inside of the lid so that when it is dark (or even shady) the paper pieces light up!  How neat is that?  Now it sits in our new curio cabinet between bride & groom figurines that we received as a wedding present.}

What do you think?
Do you like the idea of the paper pieces in a jar or would you just stick with the ornament?  Any other idea for how to make it a part of "daily life"- a shadow box maybe?  Give me your thoughts!

With Love,
Kelsie Ann

 LINK LOVE!  This post is linked up to Every Day is an Occasion, go over there & check them out as well!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Painted Storage or Home Decor Jars

Have you ever started making something with the intent of using it for a specific reason, just to change your mind halfway through?  It happens to the best of us, don't worry.  The good thing is that when we do that, we usually LOVE how it turns out.  Just like these:

I have seen mason jars painted all over and I liked the idea of that, but I wanted to be able to see inside.  Plus, I had already done that in this post and was ready to try something different.  My original intent was to make these and put them on shelves in my craft room to store paintbrushes, pens, ribbon, buttons, really anything.  That is why I wanted to be able to see inside them yet have each container be a little different.

Then I found this beauty at the store:

I didn't buy it, but I came right home and asked my husband to make me something just like it!  I love that instead of just having shelves (our initial plan for the craft room) it also has individual spots for the bins (they can't move around!) and I love the bar underneath it.  I probably wouldn't use hooks, but that rod is perfect for hanging ribbon!

Yes, the jars could still work but by this point I was way past them and onto bigger and grander ideas.

So what to do with the painted jars?  Our upstairs bathroom has bright yellow walls (they are glorious!) and green accents (like my lovely leaf shower curtain).  It may be one of my favorite rooms in the house... really.  They would be a perfect fit!

{I especially love the budded sprays coming from the jars.  The one on the right sort of looks like a bushel of wheat... without the tops.... if you squint your eyes a little...}

If I ever decide to bring them back to the craft room, then I am just one door away.  Until then, they are looking lovely in the upstairs bathroom- proving once again that my first idea is not always my best.

What about you?
Do you still like them best for holding craft items or would you consider using them as decor for rooms in your home?  Maybe you have an even better idea for where they should go!

With Love,
Kelsie Ann

 LINK LOVE!  This post is linked up to Every Day is an Occasion, go over there & check them out as well!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Decorative Clothes Pins (Not Just For Clothes!)

What is small, handy and totally cute?  Did you guess clothes pins?  Well the truth is... they are!  There are so many ways they can be put to use.  We made these adorable clothes pins for our wedding "guest book" .  They held up the small cards where friends and family wrote messages for us.  It was a clothes drying out on the line sort of sweetness.

{Above Wedding Photographs taken by jhendonphotography}

Want to see them close up?
We made over 150 of them, but here are some of my favorites, separated into a few groups.  Each one was made using scrapbooking rub-ons; either pre-bought or made at home:

{These were made at home (really!).  All you need are the printable sheets of rub-on paper and an ink-jet printer!  This is a great option if you don't want to be limited to the rub-on packages at the store}

{These are so perfect for a wedding.  I especially love the brackets around "Marriage Vows"}

{These are some of my favorites.  How darling are these tiny word definitions?}

{Many store-bought sets of rub-ons have a row or two of long designs.  For these pins I just cut that line into 3 or 4 pieces and voila!  Beautiful, decorative clothes pins that can be used for anything!}

{These just make my heart melt.  The lettering looks so vintage (and a little circus-ey) while the coloring makes it really fun!}

{These are all marriage words too, but could also be used for hanging pictures of family, friends, or just for a little inspiration in your day}

THIS ONE MAKES ME CHUCKLE...{It was supposed to say "Committed"... you know, like a husband and wife should be.  However, after I put it together all I could see was "Commit Ted".  I don't know who Ted is, but I didn't figure that it fit our wedding theme!}

I love these clothes pins!
I plan on turning some of these into magnets so that I can hang notes, the grocery list or whatever on the refrigerator.  I think I will also keep a few to hang pictures in my craft room, and maybe keep a few to use for gift wrapping.  Who knows?!

How would you use clothes pins?
What would you do with them?  Hang pictures, notes, or (let's get crazy here), clothes on the laundry line?

It seems that there are hundreds of ways to use clothes pins and when they can so easily be made this cute, why wouldn't you?

With Love,
Kelsie Ann

LINK LOVE!  This post is linked up to Every Day is an Occasion, go over there & check them out as well!