Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Roll-up Checkerboard

In the life of THIS crafter not only is March National Craft Month BUT as one that collects all year long for Operation Christmas Child "quality crafts" are the item of the month! What better way to celebrate both occasions than to create something for Operation Christmas Child!

I love creating items to put into my shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. I believe I put a piece of my heart into every item I make. Who better to give a piece of my heart to than a child in need?

Operation Christmas Child typically receives the least amount of boxes for children in  the 10-14 year old age range. Having four kids of my own, my guess for this occurrence would be simply "what do you get (or make) a child that age?" For year round shoebox packers and filler item collectors I wanted to come up with a project that would answer that question.

This roll-up checkerboard fits the bill. Perfect for a boy or a girl it can even be personalized by the colors you choose, or the items you use for checkers. 

Supplies Needed:
Fabric placemat at least 12” x 18”
Stencil Brush
Masking Tape
Paper Plate 
24” length of Ribbon
Markers, Buttons, tokens (12 each of 2 different colors) 

1” velcro pieces


Make sure placemat is clean and ironed flat if necessary

With placemat facing you lengthwise, position the checkerboard stencil on one end of the placemat and tape stencil in place using masking tape.

Using stencil brush, apply paint to the stenciled areas, remove stencil and allow to dry. 

Apply 2- 2 inch pieces of Fabric Fuse to the non painted end of the placemat. Fold non painted end of placemat up to the checkerboard to form a pocket. Apply firm pressure to taped areas to make sure the adhesive bond is secure. 

Fill the pocket with the pieces you have decided to use for checkers and roll up board. Mark area on back side you wish to place the ribbon tie. Remove checkers. Apply 1 1/2 inch piece of Fabric Fuse to middle of ribbon (you might have to trim or fold over the adhesive depending on the width of your ribbon.) Place ribbon unto area marked, and apply firm pressure to secure adhesive.

To play: unroll mat and remove checkers

For storage: place pieces inside of pocket and roll up. Tie ribbon to secure. 

Once rolled up most normal sized tokens being used for checker pieces should stay in place for storage. For bulkier pieces apply a piece of velcro along the edge of the pocket using fabric fuse.

A HUGE THANK-YOU to Plaid Crafts for providing the stencils, brushes, and paint, and  Therm-o-web for providing Fabric Fuse for this project!

Would you like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and how you can pack your own shoebox gift for a child in need? Check out their website for more information.  How to pack a shoebox

Check out the #CrazyShoeboxCrew on Facebook

Monday, January 30, 2017


The Operation Christmas Child Three Rivers, IL Area Team is joining American Patchwork and Quilting Magazines "1 million pillowcase challenge"

And we need you

Check out the link here on my blog for more information on how you can get involved!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Shutterfly Album of Paraguay

When you have a background in the Scrapbook Industry and then you take an amazing trip, when you  (finally) create the album you put so much pressure on yourself to make it perfect it might take longer than normal.

I was invited to participate in an Operation Christmas Child distribution trip to Paraguay. It was an amazing experience and the pressure for the album to be amazing was great!

Instead of doing a traditional album, I decided to try my hand at an album from Shutterfly. This is what I came up with! I like it and better yet, I can share it digitally with others ! Hope you enjoy it!

Visit to create your own personalized photobook.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

If you give a girl a cookie press- Poop Emoji Cookies

I love my Pampered Chef Cookie Press! I got it several years ago at a party and its my "go to" tool for making Christmas Cookies this time of year. This evening while my daughters and I were baking cookies for a cookie exchange, my younger daughter exclaimed "If you remove the bottom of that cookie it looks like the  "Poop Emoji!"

I don't know about your kids, but I have a daughter that thinks this emoji is adorable! I'm sorry but I think somethings are better left to the imagination, and certainly don't need eyes and a smile!

Regardless to each their own, and when I left for the cookie exchange, my daughter asked for permission to try making some and she loved the results!

She started with my "go to" spritz cookie recipe but substituted chocolate cake mix for the yellow. This is similar to the one that came with the Pampered Chef Cookie Press, except I found it needed a bit more flavor for my taste, and was a bit too stiff to work with my press so I adjusted the way the butter is softened and the amount of flour. (Recipe Follows)

Then she used the ornament cookie press disk to create her cookies. She removed the bottom two pieces to create the shape. Then all that was needed was to add eyes and bake.

For the eyes she used dot sprinkles. I think you could easily add a dot of edible marker or black frosting to really finish off the look

Volia' Poop Emoji Cookies.

I just hope Santa has a sense of humor!!!

Betsy's version of the Pampered Chef Cake Mix Spritz Cookies

1 box cake mix
1 lb butter softened
2 cups plus 1/2 c flour
1 T. Almond Extract
1 T. Vanilla Extract
Colored Sugar

Soften buttter to mushy not melty.

Preheat oven to 350
In Mixing bowl pour cake mix, add butter and mix well. Add extracts Sprinkle in 2 Cups of flour and mix well. Add up to 1/2 c more of flour until soft dough forms (consistency of silly putty, dough will loosely hold a ball shape)

Following directions, use cookie press to create cookie shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugar

Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees allow to cool on cookie sheet 3-5 minutes before removing. 

To make the the version shown, a chocolate cake mix was used, with "dot" sprinkles in place of Colored Sugar. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

When you have a box of colors

This past Sunday I took a "Prophetic Art Class" with a bunch of friends. The class was taught by Janice VanChronhite of JVC Artworks. The purpose was to release the artist in you to be able to portray what the Lord was speaking to you.

After sharing her story with us, Janice encouraged us to write/draw on a piece of paper the things that hindered us in being creative. I never "drew" growing up. That was where mom and sis came in. Both of them could draw what they saw. This being the case, I never thought I was artistic. So I never did much with anything artistically. Knowing this about me, you can understand why painting parties, art classes and the like kind of intimidate me. ( Ask my friend Ashani about the meltdown I almost had at the last one we went to.) 

Strangely I didn't feel that here. The class was a mix of children, teens, and adults. Writing on paper the things that kept me from drawing or painting was kind of freeing. Everything from lack of time, lack of talent, and harsh criticism and even clutter went down on that sheet of paper. I then covered them with Jesus. It was so freeing. 

She gave us another assignment in class and then challenged us before we left to just spend time everyday creating.  

So today I finally did. I was left along with my box of colors and just had fun creating and putting them out here is a big step for me but I'm trying to overcome that whole "being scared of what others think" thing. They are simple, and that's ok. It was fun, it was freeing, I enjoyed the process.

The first piece was kind of what I picture in my mind during worship,  it's titled "When glory falls" I got new Faber Castell "Gelatos" so I played with some of the metallics for this.
When glory falls 

For the second one I was playing with soft pastels, I love the way they blend, but they are so messy (and the chalky feel drives me crazy) but I had them so I tried them out. No real rhyme or reason to my drawing. I just loved drawing trees as a I drew them, and then some mountains, and they needed grass and flowers :)

The final one is just simply a rainbow (representing God's promises) and the word "believe" it was just a reminder to believe His promises. I was again playing with gelatos, and using a wide damp brush to blend. Super simple but a good reminder.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

All that Glitters!

For the past couple of years I have been collecting old jewelry. Pieces from thrift stores and garage sales, antique stores and things given to me by family, have all found their way into my collection. The goal of the collection was to make a wall hanging out of the jewelry.

This project has been sitting in bits and pieces on my desk for about 2 years, and since I had some extra time the last few days so I  decided to finish it and just in time for Christmas!

After cleaning the pieces, I removed the pin backs and post if necessary, some of the pieces came to broken, so a little E-6000 was used to replace the gems. 

Try to remove pins and backings as close to the piece as possible, this will help the jewelry to adhere flat to the fabric.

Using a piece of black velvet for the background, I outlined a basic shape with masking tape on the velvet. I also used masking tape to secure the fabric to my cutting mat, because the fabric was slippery this just helped keep things in place. After figuring out the basic placement, I used hot glue to attach the jewelry to the fabric. 

Looking at all the pieces is like a game of "i-spy" 

The fabric was then attached to a board. I originally wanted to add lights to the piece, tucking them in from behind, but due to my Facebook opinion poll, decided against it. (26 to 11 in favor of no lights and three suggestions of gallery lights and one vote for a disco ball from my daughter. )  After the fabric was attached I used glazier points from MD Hobby and Craft to secure the wood into the frame. 

Insert the points parallel to the piece using a flathead screwdriver to wiggle into place, if you are having trouble a slight tap with the hammer helps. 
Because of the weight of not only the jewelry but the wood I attached the fabric too, I didn't want the frame to carry all the weight, so I attached a simple wood support frame to the decorative frame. 

You can see the holes originally drilled for lighting.

I love the finished project!

 I do agree it needs light to bounce off the jewelry to give it some added sparkle, but am glad I didn't embed lights as I think it might detract from the beauty of the jewelry itself. I still might add some type of gallery light but probably not the disco ball my daughter had in mind ;)

I pray all of you have a wonderful holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas!!!

Supplies used: Vintage jewelry, Velvet fabric, wood,  E-6000, MD Hobby and Craft Glaizer Points, Screwdriver, Hammer, Drill, Screws, AdTech multi temp glue gun, pliers, cutters, button shank remover

Friday, November 25, 2016

Just playing around!

One of the benefits to having friends that make jewelry, and working in the craft industry, you get people to teach you things, and product to work with! I recently found some old jewelry and decided to try my hand at a "remake" this pearl drop necklace was the result. I had received the original chain in a pile of "junk" jewelry, taking it apart and remaking it to off set, I added the number, key, and pearl drop! I love the way it turned out! The daughter modeling the necklace didn't really want to give it back!

This next project was thanks to Prima Beads, I received an assortment of beads from them last year and never really played with them. This was my first attempt at stringing the Swarovski crystal. I love the sparkle of he crystals.

That's what's on my craft table this week...what is on yours?