Printable Portrait Frame

Max came home from school the other week with a cute little project that I thought I would adapt & share.  It’s easy and versatile- I basically just scanned a fancy picture frame that can be printed out & filled in by little (or big) budding Picasso’s and Kahlo’s:


Or, if you prefer, some oval fussiness:

You can either print them out onto white paper, then let your little (or big) person draw their masterpiece within the frame, or, go a little further and print it on a color paper of your choice, cut out the middle, & frame around an existing drawing. 

Just click on the above images to open them in a new window & print- I tried to get them the right size for printing, but you may have to resize beforehand- I would recommend doing a “print preview” to see if it needs adjusting, which you should be able to do from the preview screen.  Let me know if you need help, & I’ll give it my best college try.  Feel free to make several copies to give art projects a little added flair.   This is Max’s self-portrait:

I was also thinking these frames might be cute for other paper projects, such as collages, silhouettes, etc.  Have fun.

*** Update ***

You’ll have to resize the images from your print preview screen to at least 150%, but no larger than 167% for the rectangle, or 187% for the oval to get the most out of your 8½” x 11″ sheet of paper.  Sorry for the confusion!



Well, I pretty much gave up on Thing a Day right from the get-go…. being that it’s now day 9 & I’ve only managed (with great difficulty, mind you) to make one thing ( a Muno finger puppet- yes, I know he already looks like a sex toy, and making him into a finger puppet does not help his cause, but it was quick, easy, and oh-so-satisfying).

Realizing my own limits is something I have struggled with in the past and I suppose I still do.  I seem to have these grandiose ideas of what can be accomplished in a short amount of time.  Actually, I’m not being unrealistic- the projects I plan for myself can be accomplished in that time, just not by me.  The harsh reality is that most days, I’m lucky if I can manage to get my teeth brushed by noon. 

Anywho….  this hasn’t stopped me from planning all kinds of  house & craft projects to prepare for a certain someone’s 5th birthday party, in just 3 short weeks.  I’ve got doors to paint, trim to hang, pennants to make, goody bags to stuff, games & activities to plan, cakes to bake, etc, etc, etc…

Will I get it all done?  Probably not.  But at least my teeth will be clean…

For Lack of a Better Post

It’s been one of those days…. you know, the ones where you walk out of the room for a minute and your two-year-old has colored the entire toilet in your new Physician’s Formula under eye concealer. The kind where, between the dog, two cats, and two rugrats, you’ve basically been up to your elbows in poop for the bulk of the morning.  The kind where the car keys end up at the bottom of the 4 foot tall rancid, putrid outdoor trash bin where you should’ve thrown the dirty diaper instead.  Yep, pretty darn sweet. It’s cloudy. Other than procrastinating, I haven’t been getting a thing done.  It’s been a basically funky week in general.

But then I got in the car to take Max to school, and “New Beginning” by Tracy Chapman was playing on the radio.  What a great song.  It reminded me that just because a day starts out one way, there’s always time to turn it around.  It’s actually something I’m always trying to teach Max.  So, why, I ask myself, impose my funk on anyone else, when I can simply share some fun stuff that I’ve found while wasting time researching future projects and freebies?

First, I know it’s a little early, but I can’t help it, I’ve already got Christmas on the brain. It’s never too early to start your shopping, and, hey, while you’re at it, why not get your gifts wrapped and tagged early, too (that’s the part that I NEVER allow enough time for)? To get you started, here are some fun downloadable Dr Seuss gift tags from Seussville:


If you’re not *quite* ready to admit that the holidays are fast approaching, here are some cute and stylish “four season” gift tags and baby gift tags courtesy of Fog and Thistle

Next, if you have any leftover pumpkins and/or gourds from Halloween that haven’t been hacked into, why not make a pumpkin topiary to decorate your front porch or table for Thanksgiving? 


I made two for our porch one year, courtesy of Martha Stewart, but I can no longer find the directions.  P. Allen Smith has some similar instructions, as does

Speaking of everybody’s favorite Domestic Diva, Martha Stewart, she has a plethora of fun projects on her website.  Being that I have a new found addiction to felt, one I’m planning on trying soon is this felt fall berry wreath




I could go on and on, but I think that will suffice for now.  Does anyone else have any projects you’re planning for the season?

To Do List

Not much to report so far this week, other than projects that are due on Friday.  This is what’s on deck:

  1. Finish inside details of Jedi robe.
  2. Alter shirt.
  3. Make baby gift: blanket, bib, shirt.
  4. Make b-day gift: tote bag?
  5. Make shirt for me  😀
  6. Decorate kids’ wagon & bikes for 4th of July parade.
  7. Make Antipasto Salad for 4th of July picnic.
  8. Shop for ingredients for Antipasto Salad for 4th of July picnic.
  9. Tag baby blankets.

Let’s see, today is Wednesday, this stuff needs to be done by Friday, 1pm, that means I need to accomplish 3.6 tasks per day (with Friday being only a half day), not including squeezing in playdates and a Doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  It might help if my body didn’t seem so immune to caffeine today…

I am very excited at the prospect of making something for myself, which almost never happens.  I had the pleasure of going fabric shopping the other day, & scored some good deals at Joann’s.  I’ll be sure to share when it’s finished. 

An enormous thank you to everyone who has ordered handmade items from me over the past few months.  Unfortunately, I won’t be taking on any more special requests for a while… otherwise, I’ll never get my shop updated.  If you’ve already ordered something, don’t worry, it will get done.  I’m hoping to have a bunch of priced-to-sell, ready to ship items so that I can make a dent in this fabric stash & start on some fall items.  I’ll make an announcement when I’ve started listing them on Etsy.  In the meantime, have a fabulous day!


Summer Solstice Cleaning

It turned out to be a pretty nice weekend here, a little warm, but not over the top.  It was productive, getting some cleaning & yard work done.  Since December, all house projects have come to a complete halt, and the garage, the landing pad for any tool or other miscellaneous item without a home, has gotten *slightly* out of control….. OK, it’s a complete & utter disaster.  Basically, it got so bad that it’s prevented us from moving forward with any project that requires a tool or paint, because, well… it’s just not worth the extra half hour spent searching for the item in need, nor the risk of putting our lives in peril for fear something big might come down on top of us.

I know we’re not the only ones– I’ve walked by other houses in our neighborhood with their garage doors open, and for the most part, they’re just as bad.  I suppose the exception would be the people who have a shed in their backyard… we don’t.  All of the houses that share the same style as ours have a garage with a door that faces the side of the house, making it near impossible to actually park a car inside.  Due to the extreme skill level one would need to angle the car in & out, most have also become storage facilities. 

We’ve lived in our house for almost nine months now, and this is probably the third or fourth time we’ve cleaned out the garage.  Not a good sign….  But this time, we actually pulled stuff out & rearranged (OK, mostly Bill did that while I stood there & pointed) instead of just straightening up a mess that had no rhyme or reason.  Stuff we don’t immediately need made it’s way up to the attic (which now needs its own cleaning).  Other stuff, like yard equipment, got grouped together.  It felt good.

We even made a special trip to the Home Depot to get some snazzy peg hooks & tool-holder thingies, which will hopefully all be hung by the end of this week.  And so commences all the overdue home improvements that have been patiently waiting their turn in line.  Now, if only I didn’t have A.D.D.  when it came to projects, we might actually be able to get something finished. 

For a long time now, we’ve had sort of an 80% rule when it comes to any kind of home improvement project.  We get it done to a livable level (80%), & I get bored & move on to something else.  Hence, the kitchen still has no base moulding and the fabric I bought for valances still sits in the studio, already cut, but not sewn.   With the garage clean-up, my head started spinning with all kinds of new projects we could tackle: new flooring in the foyer, a window seat in the family room, and hey, maybe we can pull out the ugly, dated railing on our stairs and put in a much more attractive wooden balustrade…. Bill, if you’re reading this, please stop twitching.  I think he would pass out if I ever put my mental list into writing.

 Now that the garage is about 80% done, it’s time to start something new…  🙂

Could’ve been worse…

I feel like I haven’t posted any projects in a while…. although I’ve been really busy, I’ve been making a few repeats & a couple of things that I forgot to photograph,  including a really cute baby blanket- oops!  The weather has been absolutely perfect here the past few days, so we’ve been trying to get out as much as possible.  Plus, I try not to work while I have the boys at home…. for obvious reasons, but also because if I leave them to their own devices for too long, stuff like this happens: 

It could’ve been worse… 

Have a great day everyone.

Let them eat soup

So I’ve been thinking about this whole blogging thing for a while, trying to come up with the perfect post, something creative, interesting, significant.  I mean, after all, it is my FIRST post ever, right?  Well, truth be told, I got nothin’.

Have you ever tried to force something creative out of yourself?  It just doesn’t work.  So I just decided to approach this whole blogging thing the same way I would approach an art, craft, or sewing project- just let go & let it flow, mama! (easier said than done).

So, in lieu of trying to be witty or poignant, I’m just writing today what comes to me. My deep philosophies on the meaning of life will have to come another day.  Right now, I am running back and forth between my computer and my stove, making soup for my 19 month old for breakfast.  “Soup for breakfast?” you say, and I answer, “Yes!” At 19 months,  there aren’t too many things this boy can ask for that I actually understand, and today, he looked in the pantry, pointed, and most definitely asked for soup (Chicken Noodle, one ice cube, in case you were wondering).  Today is his lucky day.

We’re also working on our package for miniswap 3 today.  We are sooooo excited to have gotten a super nice family from Sydney, Australia as our swap partner.  I’m not sure if the boys quite get what we’re doing, but they’ll definitely love getting a package from the other side of the pond.  The package is to be kid-oriented, and mostly handmade or gently used items.  Our swap family has two little girls, so I’m just beside myself with giddy-ness as to what I can include for them- oh, the ideas I have!  More updates on this to come…

Some of the things I’ve been working on this week are baby gift sets.  Here is one for a boy:


 And a female version:

I just love the Tracy Porter fabric on the boy set, and the sweet peas on the girl’s.  These sets will be available for purchase on my Etsy shop which is coming soon!  Hopefully they’ll make their new owners very warm & happy.

Well, off to start my day- there are noses to wipe, teeth to brush, laundery to do, breakfast to clean up (the dog loved the soup, by the way).  Thanks for stopping by, & come again soon.