DEAR READERS AND NEW VISITORS....MY BLOG IS HAVING A FEW TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH OLDER POSTS,THE TRIANGLE WHERE A PHOTO SHOULD BE. I AM SLOWLY GOING BACK RELOADING THEM!

Love Travels Wood Sign

String art is so on trend, but making your own board is a little tricky...hammers, nails, fingers getting in the way! For this month's Whisker Graphics Design Team project, I used one of my String Creations Stitch Blanks, a new line from Plaid Crafts, to create a Love Travels Wood Sign.

A great project for yourself or family...Love Travels Wood Sign

I was sent their Stitch Blanks as part of our STAMPENDOUS! Blog Hop a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to try them out. I used the Map Stitch Blank to commemorate some of our family who live all over the U.S. from California to Texas to Indiana.


What You'll Need:

String Creations Stitch Blank - Map
Divine Twine Bamboo in solid pink
wood plaque (found at Michaels)
scrapbook paper
acrylic paint (I used Folk Art's Sky Blue)
glitter alphabet stickers (found at Paper Source)
Modge Podge or glue
large embroidery needle
hot glue gun

1.  Paint the Stitch Blank and set aside to dry.
2.  Cut scrapbook paper down to size and adhere to the plaque with Modge Podge or glue.
3.  Add the stickers.
4.  Thread your needle with the Divine Twine and thread through the Stitch Blank, starting and ending in your home state (of course, we are in Washington...) and out to the states of your family members.
5.  Hot glue the Stitch Blank to the finished plaque.

Love Travels Wood Sign

This would be a great gift for parents or grandparents, using their home state and out to kids' and grandkids' states.

So easy and fun, my favorite type of craft...




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How To Pack A Perfect Picnic

Today is the official first day of summer and when I think of summer, I think of picnics! It just takes a little prep to pack a perfect picnic but once you have all the major gear ready to go, you are set for for anytime celebrating.


I'm all about easy entertaining and having a picnic is a great way to enjoy a lazy, sunny afternoon or beautiful evening.  Let's talk about everything you need....


Setting The Scene
You can dress up or dress down a picnic to your heart's content, but they all need somewhere to sit and eat.  You can't go wrong with the standard blanket-and-pillows combo.  A blanket that is thick enough for a little cushion and pillows to get comfy sets the perfect scene.  These gorgeous pillows from Anthropologie are beautiful for indoor and outdoor entertaining.


Purchase or DIY a blanket like these fabulous drop cloths from Brit + Co.  This is a great option because it is washable, in case of spills and smears.

Father's Day Gift Guide 2016

Father's Day is Sunday! Are you still procrastinating? OK...check out my gift guide, there is a little something for every type of dad plus you still have time for 2-day shipping or heading into a brick and mortar store!

one. Mark & Graham Club Overnighter bag | two. Malin + Goetz Dark Rum fragrance at Barney's | three. send him monthly mystery geek and gaming gear with  Loot Crate | four. Urban Outfitters' Hot Dog Joust Pool Game | five. Homemade gin kit from Williams Sonoma  | six. Help hime cheer on his favorite team with NBA.com | seven. Rosanna Monte Carlo wall art | eight. UGG® tweed slippers from Nordstrom | nine. Red charcoal smoker from World Market | ten. a real, working wooden sail boat from Tanner Goods | eleven. Also from Tanner GoodsDSLR camera strap | twelve. J. Crew men's minimergency kit | thirteen. Mark & Graham Graham iPad Air Case | fourteen. J. Crew The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide




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Dad Is All Sorts Of Fun! Father's Day Party

I'm over on Design Dazzle for a fourth year as a Camp Counselor! This year, it is more Father's Day pun with my Dad  Is  All Sorts Of Fun! party table.

Dad Is All Sorts Of Fun Father's Day Party

It is so easy and fun to recreate the look so be sure to head over for all the details....




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Custom Labels With Minted AKA How To Get Your Things Back

This sponsored post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission on any purchase made from products purchased after clicking the links. As always, I don't link to anything I wouldn't personally recommend. 

If you are like me, you encounter many situations where your things leave the confines of your home. Sure, you could write on them with a permanent marker, but eventually, it will rub off/fade, plus it's not very stylish.

When Minted offered the chance to try out their new Custom Name and Clothing Labels, I was game.  Waterproof, non-toxic, dishwasher and laundry safe, you can pretty much guarantee you will get your things back.


However, my kids have grown out of the labeling-all-of-their-personal-items-and-clothing phase, so I decided I would share a couple of great ways I used mine for those of you in the same boat...


With school-aged kids, you will find yourself making and bringing many goods for school parties, dances and potlucks.  Sometimes you get your containers back, sometimes you bring back someone else's that looks just like yours.  I used the gem custom name label on items I bring to events like my cupcake carrier and serving tray.


What if you are a scrapbooker and attend crops where you bring your own supplies? Do you attend crafting parties where everyone has the same pair of Fiskars scissors? What about larger items that are borrowed a lot like folding tables and chairs?  How about the woodland label  so you know you are going home with what you brought.  There is nothing worse than coming home with someone else's dull scissors...


Speaking of not dull, my boys are always heading to friends' homes, bringing our games and movies in tow to play and watch. If there is a gang of kids doing the same, inevitably, games/movies gets picked up and packed up by mistake; your case, wrong disk.  Just place a Out Of Line label on the front and all confusion is solved!

Do you have a great problem-solving idea with labels? We would love to hear it, share the love!




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10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PawsToSavor #CollectiveBias

There are dog people and there are cat people. We are dog people. I’ve grown up around large dogs my entire life and knew when I had my own family, we would have a dog in our lives. To celebrate every year together, what better way to honor your special family member than hosting a party for its barkday!

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party

We've had our mini schnauzer, Zeus, since he was 3 months old and not once in all of his 9 years have we celebrated his January birthday. Although he has caused grief and destruction over the years (from skin allergies and chewing on furniture, to special gifts left on the carpet when he wasn't getting enough 'attention') we can't imagine life any other way.  It never occurred to me to celebrate since January in the Seattle area is not outside birthday weather and I like my dogs like I like my children, outside as much as possible!


Since he is considered a senior but very active dog, feeding him high quality food is important to a longer, happier life with more opportunities to celebrate.  To do this, we feed him Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Adult Shredded Blend, chicken and rice formula, a high-quality nutrition made with real poultry. It's a combination of crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces that he loves.


With optimal levels of protein and fat, it helps him maintain an ideal body condition for his busy days of running in our backyard and keeping us safe from the deer and raccoons that live in our greenbelt.

With a little help from PetSmart, here are a few of my favorite tips to make your barkday party a success!

Location, Location, Location!
Regardless of who the party is for, the right venue is essential for success. Outdoor areas like dog parks and backyards are perfect for warmer weather soirees.  In colder times, opt for indoor areas like basements without carpeting, doggy daycare or pet store party rooms.

Come. Sit. Stay.
I always love a good party invitation, whether paper or digital! I love this free dog party invite download and this adorable digital invite. Either way, don't forget important party info like where exactly to meet at the park.

Choose Your Guests Wisely
Just like a kid or adult party, creating your guest list for your pet's party is just as important.  If your pet has a group of doggy friends, a party is not the ideal time to bring a new or aggressive dog into the social mix.

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; party table

Set The Scene
Search “doggy birthday party” on Pinterest and you will find an endless amount of party inspiration! Get tails a-waggin’ and less stress for you with my easy tablescape. Whether you are indoors or out, a simple tablecover of astroturf from your local hardware store is a great base for your party table. I made a simple banner from cardstock and fun doggie-themed wrapping paper.

National Doughnut Day + Donut Walls

It's National Doughnut Day! I bet there are lots of free doughnuts (donuts??) for the taking! Today is the ultimate indulgence in doughnuts for your next party, and on my to-do list, a donut wall! I have done a lot of things with doughnuts, from adding frosting, turning them into ice cream sandwiches to various decorating parties.


When I saw Kristen Duke's wall for her son's Eagle Scout celebration, my heart skipped a beat! Why have I not heard of these glorious creatures? Better yet, why have I not done this? I think we should replace photo walls with donut walls.  So, I had to find some more...


A gorgeous set up on Style Me Pretty...


A tabletop version on Wedding Chicks...



Another tabletop version with Peter Callahan Catering at a Martha Stewart event.



Spell it out with Green Wedding Shoes...


This wedding on 100 Layer Cake made life easy using a pegboard...


A simple shelving and s-hook setup on the knot.

***UPDATE***


Oh Happy Day just created their own doughnut wall and of course, I had to add to our roundup!




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My Pop Rocks Treat Box For Father's Day

I can't resist a good pun, especially for Father's Day! In fact, I'm working on several punny crafts and parties for the big man in your life!


I'm over on Moms & Munchkins sharing a fun My Pop Rocks treat box made with a free printable for downloading!




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College Survival Gift Box

With graduation right around the corner, many a wheels are spinning about gift ideas! For this month's Whisker Graphics Design Team Project, I think I may have solved the problem, a College Survival Gift Box. Any future college student would appreciate boxes filled with toiletries, gift cards and money!


I filled Grid Bitty Bags with gift cards and money and added them to a 3" acrylic box...


...and filled a 4" acrylic box with travel-sized must-haves...


The possibilities on what can go into your boxes are endless!

Use a little bit of tape to adhere the small box to the top of the large box and finish off with a ribbon and tag.


I know...you're welcome!




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Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone. #TRISCUITSummer #CollectiveBias 

Summer entertaining is my favorite time of the year; sitting on our porch with the sun setting over our greenbelt, drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a meal is heaven. With Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, right around the corner, it's time to start hosing off the lawn furniture and getting ready with a few easy patriotic ideas!

Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining

Today I'm sharing great tips on how to create a casual summer appetizer buffet gathering; I'm all about keeping things super easy so I can enjoy my time right alongside guests. Slaving away in the kitchen while everyone is enjoying themselves is not how I like to spend my time.

Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining; a great and easy tablescape perfect all summer long

With a trip to my local Fred Meyer and a little help from TRISCUIT Crackers with toppings that are perfect for summer, we are going to make a tasty showpiece as a hearty appetizer.

A perfect heavy appetizer, Steak + Brie TRISCUIT Crackers

We are currently obsessed with TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil crackers; I love that they can be topped with savory or sweet ingredients for perfect nibbling! My husband is always eating them with roast beef slices,  so I thought they would make a great appetizer topped with freshly grilled beef sirloin roast. Here's the oh-so-easy recipe for Steak + Brie TRISCUIT Crackers:
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