The World Just Got a Little Sweeter with Gymboree Newborn Styles!

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My supply of Scrabble tiles is dwindling down! Yay! I love the magnets I’m creating, but the process is long and boring. I even bought a new crafty glue gun, which is cute and makes me swear a little bit less, but I’m ready to live in a world without Scrabble tile crafts.


I picked up popsicle sticks at the dollar store and started gluing the Scrabble tiles to them instead of cardstock paper. Lesson learned from the first go-ahead was to work with wide ribbon, so I pulled out pretty dotted ribbon, purple ribbon, and black and white lace ribbon.


How cute are these magnets with the red and white dot ribbon? With the leftover Scrabble tiles, I created as many positive words as I could. Surprisingly, I ended up with four sets of five magnets, and now, I have all the letters people don’t want in a Scrabble game (which I glued to two wooden frames in this post).


Armed with a lazy Saturday and Amazon Prime in front of me, I finished the Scrabble tile magnet projects … well, most of them. I ran out of magnetic strips, and I want to pick up one more roll of ribbon for some of the guy names.


With the positive word magnets, I simply folded and glued the wide ribbon into a rectangle. When the glue dried, I glued the Scrabble tile word on top of the ribbon and a magnetic strip on the bottom, covering the folded edges. Beautiful!


To add a little pizzazz to the guy names, I picked up some ribbon with footballs on it. Not the most creative, but it works for me. As soon as I find more magnetic strips and another ribbon roll, my Scrabble tile projects are finally complete! Yay!


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Painting Supplies

A friend of mine was so impressed with my first Up-inspired painting that she commissioned me to create one for her son’s bedroom. My original painting consisted of a blue sky and yellow house, and my friend wanted a yellow background (set against the shining sun) with a blue house on an 8×10 canvas. No problem! I just needed a few days to complete the very colorful painting. The bottom line? My friend absolutely LOVED the painting! Yay!



Cricut is Easy as 123

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Ugh! Who knew lifting crates of apples, rolling them onto a conveyor belt, and sorting through them was such a physical task? I am so out of shape. Once the apples are picked and placed in crates, anyone who has time should run the apples through the washer.


I took three crates of apples and rolled them onto the conveyor belt. I snapped this picture between emptying the second crate and picking up the third one. Quick tip: crates full of apples are heavy and make my puny little arms sore.


Before rolling through the water sprayers, the apples take a short ride on the grate roller thingy (no idea what the technical term is). Apples too small to sell in the shop and stores will fall through the gaps and roll into a crate.


After spending a few seconds in the shower, the apples roll onto the polishing roller thingys (again, do not know the technical term). When I have a chance I’ll quickly survey the rolling apples and pick out the good ones.


After a short ride on the polishing rollers, the apples take one more ride on normal rollers and gently fall onto a rotating table. Apples that are bruised and have minor cuts are considered “seconds,” which are great for cooking and baking.


The good apples I pick out at the rotating table are sold at the orchard’s shop and various stores in the surrounding area. For some reason, washing apples is my favorite part of the job. Maybe I love the process, but I think I could wash apples all day long.


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After the first round of Scrabble tile magnets, I managed to create three sets of five-piece magnets (which I’ll publish in a separate post) and needed a plan to use the remaining tiles. I briefly thought about buying an old Scrabble game at a thrift store, but that brilliant plan didn’t solve my problem of getting rid of the tiles. Pinterest gave me another brilliant idea, gluing tiles to a simple picture frame.


I found a cute wooden square frame on clearance for $2 at a local craft store. A plan quickly formed in my mind: paint the frames and glue the tiles to it. I found the frames so charming I bought five even if I don’t have enough tiles to cover them all. I completely painted one frame light blue and let it dry for a few hours. Due to my impatience, I didn’t want to mess around with a ruler and a pencil.


Just eyeballing the spaces, I did my best to center the tiles around the opening. With the leftover tiles, I managed to create a few words that accurately describe me: queen, read, writer, zoo, etc. The process was pretty simple and quick, and I absolutely love love love the final result! Sure, the tile placement isn’t perfect and somewhat uneven, but that’s the charm.


Surprisingly, I still had a healthy amount of tiles and more frames! I painted two frames red and the other two bright yellow and picked one of the red frames for the last of the tiles. I tried my best to eyeball the center of the opening, but my eyeballs were a little off. Oh well. I can live with imperfections — I think. From a distance, the red frame doesn’t look too awful.


In the end, I am really happy with the final results of the Scrabble tile frames, and I’m even more pleased I had less than six tiles in my stash. Hmmmmm. What do I do with six tiles? Throw them away? Add them to my Scrabble game? Or — the best possible plan — simply glue a piece of magnet on the back and stick the tile to my refrigerator.

P.S. Stay tuned for the final post about my final Scrabble tile project! Whew! From now on, I’m just sticking to playing the game instead of messing with them during arts and craft time.



Author unknown
Source: Dr. Larry Bethune, “From Remembrance to Hope”

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.

As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hoping,
We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.

As we retell with pride the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.


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Once upon a time, I really enjoyed stringing beads together to make cute and awesome bracelets on simple stretch cord. But then I realized I had too many crafts and hobbies and reluctantly pared down my hobbies to three: digital scrapbooking, crocheting, and sewing. Goodbye, paints and Christmas ornaments — for a few years, I painted and donated Christmas ornaments to friends and nursing home residents. I bid farewell to my bracelet supplies — ended up handing my supply over to Charlie’s sister.


Sometimes I think about taking up jewelry making whenever I visit a craft store and accidentally walk down the jewelry aisles. But then I look at the all the supplies to create beautiful jewelry and immediately change my mind. Anyway, I volunteered to string together some cute apple charm bracelets for the apple orchard this season. The owner had received some DIY apple charm bracelets and had asked me to make them to sell at the shop. Of course, I said yes.


Ugh. I honestly believe I dropped my first bracelet five or six times before I successfully tied the final knot. I am completely OK with my long-ago decision to give up bracelet making because I am swearing up a storm this time around. The pre-cut stretch elastic included in the DIY package was VERY difficult to work with because my knots wouldn’t stay knotted. Ugh! Even with a dot of glue, my knots came undone and the beads flew everywhere.


I remember happily using a certain stretch cord all those years ago, and I found the same package at a craft store a few days. Yay! Considering young girls will probably eye the cute little bracelets, I chose the sparkly stretch cord. What a difference the new stretch cord makes!!! I whipped out six or seven bracelets in an hour. I was given some leeway, meaning I didn’t need to stick to the package pattern and could create different patterns.


An hour later, I used the rest of the beads to create another six bracelets, and I’m pretty happy with how the bracelets turned out. I hope people who shop at the orchard store will find them charming and buy a few. However, I don’t plan to pick up the hobby of jewelry making any time soon. This project scratched the jewelry making itch and gave me a good reason to stay out the jewelry aisles at the craft stores.


Cynthia Rowley Black Leaf Print Tops and Leggings

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Summer may be ending soon, but the warm weather will continue to linger for a few more months. With enough pretty shirts in my closet, I finally summed my courage and motivation to start sewing shorts. I’m really good at turning my husband’s old pants or jeans into shorts, but oddly enough, I only have three pairs of casual shorts and one pair of gym shorts I depend on.


I wanted a photo of Kenai with my semi-destroyed sweatpants, but Sophie needed to be part of the picture.

During a recent weekend keeping an eye on three dogs, I had to turn a pair of sweatpants into shorts because I didn’t keep a closer eye on one of the dogs. *sigh* I love Kenai so much — he’s a huge Golden Retriever who has so much energy and love but he likes to chew on towels, socks, sweatpants, etc. I had my back turned when he cleverly started chewing on my sweatpants.


Fortunately (?), he started chewing on the bottom leg of my sweatpants (which I took off to try on some shorts and left off when I worked on the shorts). When I realized I was running around without my sweatpants and Kenai was suspiciously quiet, I discovered the unexpected refashion project. I simply marked my preferred length for shorts and cut off the legs.

So, now I have TWO pairs of super comfortable gym shorts that I can around in. Yay! But after rummaging through my refashion bins, I found two pairs of too small sweatpants I could refashion into shorts and make them my size. I started with the red pair and cut off the legs at my preferred length, and I inserted a new panel (from the cast off legs) on each side.


From the cast off legs, I cut them open and sized it appropriately with an extra inch or two to add to the waistband. I cut open the side seams on the shorts, including the elastic waistband area, and added about two inches of new elastic to the original drawstrings. With the sewing machine, I simply sewed the panel sides to the shorts and then hand stitched the waistband closed.


The red shorts turned out perfectly! They’re comfy and roomy, and I love them! I can’t wait to wear them all the time. I was just about to follow the same process with the green sweatpants, but when I tried them on, I realized why the sweatpants were in the refashion bin in the first place. Waistband was way too low for my preference. The sweatpants were tossed in a new bin: the donation bin.


Next up is a pair of men’s red shorts I found for a $1. I love the color, but the shorts are too big and too long. The first step was sewing new side seams, whittling off a few inches on the waistband. The second step was sewing a new inseam because the crotch area was way too long and baggy on me. After that I cut off an inch or two from the legs and created and sewed down the cuff.


Just like that I have another pair of casual shorts I can add to my small stack of shorts! Yay! I’m really happy with the color red because I have a few shirts with hints of red that will complement the shorts. Now with a few more gym shorts and casual shorts on hand, I just hope the warm weather sticks around for a little bit longer … just a little bit.


Cricut Gives Your Ultimate Cutting Precision

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Did you know glue from a hot glue gun is super hot? I started creating personalized Scrabble magnets with Mod Podge. I spelled out names of family and friends and glued the Scrabble tiles on cardstock as a base. After coating the names in Mod Podge and letting the glue dry, I rummaged through my ribbon stash and pulled out some fun ribbons. I played around the name and the ribbon to design something easy but pretty.


I actually created a couple of magnets with Mod Podge and a few choice swear words. I wasn’t a big fan of carefully handling the magnets once the glue was applied to the ribbon and the name since the ribbon was highly uncooperative. My hubby found his hot glue gun, and I went to work with more names and ribbons. As much as I love the efficiency of the hot glue gun, I hate the stringiness and messiness, especially when it accidentally burns me.


Anyway, I had some slight issues with the thinner ribbons, which caused one tiny little blister on a finger. At first, I simply folded the ribbon once, laid hot glue on the back of the name, and positioned the tile on top of the pretty ribbon. I let the glue dry for a few minutes before tacking on more hot stuff for the magnet strip. Simple. Cute. But then I had to reach for the stars and try prettier designs. And I got burned. Literally.


At least the blister shrank dramatically overnight. Yay for the little things in life. Anyhoodles, I started gluing three ribbon loops at each end of the name tile, which led to more swearing at the hot glue gun and vigorously shaking my hand. After I completed a couple of magnets with the more “complicated” design, I decided my poor fingers needed a break and I searched for wider ribbon. However, the spools of wide ribbon are a little “girly” for the guy names.


I picked two spools that looked the least “girly” and simply folded and glued the ribbon into a rectangle. I centered and then glued the name tile onto the ribbon. The advantage of using wide ribbon was I didn’t have to cut the wide magnet strip in half. With a coupon, I bought a big magnet roll for a few dollars. With the thinner magnets, I needed to cut the magnet strip in half, which really wasn’t an issue, but not cutting is better.


I just needed to match the length of the magnet strip to the length of the ribbon and then just glue the strip to the ribbon. Easy! After I completed about a dozen magnets, I stuck them on my refrigerator to make sure they would stay (did I make them too heavy or did I use too little magnet), and I took a step back to study the different magnets. I like the mix I created, but my favorite was the wide ribbon magnets. Hubby wisely agreed.


As much as I like how the magnets turned out, I didn’t really have a good time creating them. I burned my fingers. Some of the ribbon was uncooperative. Sometimes the tiles didn’t stay in place. I have a ton of Scrabble tiles left and plan to use them all, but I have no desire to open a small business based on Scrabbles tiles crafts. Don’t worry, I plan to clean up the magnets in the pictures before I give them as gifts. Stupid glue gun.