Free craft ideas and DIY sewing patterns, tutorials, and printable templates for weddings, baby and kids, gifts, invitations, parties, birthdays, cards, food, recipes and home.

simple & clever craft ideas



The Best 30+ Halloween Songs for Kids Playlist (that parents will like too)

Fall, Halloween, Holidays, Inspiration

Here's your Halloween treat, friends: The Best 30+ Halloween Songs for Kids playlist (that parents will like too) - and you can tune in now! While I usually post crafts, I thought you might...The Best 30+ Halloween Songs for Kids Playlist (that parents will like too)... »

My ‘Inside Storey’ Feature at Storey Publishing


Some book press for "One-Yard Little Wonders" - you can read my Q&A profile over at Storey Publishing's blog, "Inside Storey." I'm still giddy that three of my sewing patterns are included in "One-Yard...My ‘Inside Storey’ Feature at Storey Publishing... »


10 Crafty Chicago Moms You Need to Know: Red Tricycle


Red Tricycle just published 10 Crafty Chicago Moms You Need To Know and guess who made the list? Yep, I'm super excited to be included with other creative Chicago moms like Lidia Racoma from...10 Crafty Chicago Moms You Need to Know: Red Tricycle... »

Behind the Scenes: Filming at HGTV


Yep, that’s me at HGTV filming an episode of HGTV’s Crafternoon Show with Marianne Canada courtesy of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Dream. Come. True!! Jo-Ann selected three bloggers — me, Jess Abbott from...Behind the Scenes: Filming at HGTV... »


My Mommypage Interview


Mommypage reached out last summer for a St. Patrick's Day interview about me and and here it is. Give it a read if you're curious how all this stuff began ...and learn what...My Mommypage Interview... »

Sew For Sandy


The Huffington Post Home contacted me about their Sew for Sandy initiative and I'm happy to pass it along. "As an initiative to collect as many warm blankets, clothing and gear for those in...Sew For Sandy... »


How to use the Martha Stewart Satin Spray Kit {and review}

Inspiration, Under 1 Hour

The Martha Stewart Spray Kit is basically a genius way of turning almost any Martha Stewart Crafts paint into spray paint. Let's process this. You can turn almost ANY COLOR into spray paint which...How to use the Martha Stewart Satin Spray Kit {and review}... »

Meeting Martha Stewart at the Entertaining book signing in Chicago


(all photos courtesy of  Heather Crosby of YumUniverse) My friend Heather Crosby from YumUniverse and I were two of the lucky 450 (!) to attend Martha Stewart's Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations book signing...Meeting Martha Stewart at the Entertaining book signing in Chicago... »

Crafty Holiday Gift Guide Ideas for Christmas and Hanukkah

DIY Gift Ideas, Holidays, Inspiration

As a crafter like me you are probably doing one or more of the following things right about now: (1) making handmade holiday gifts for friends and family, (2) looking to buy creative and...Crafty Holiday Gift Guide Ideas for Christmas and Hanukkah... »

Rehemming and reminiscing


We had to move the crib rungs down yesterday to lower the mattress. Why does this make me sad? Two reasons. #1: My baby Elise is growing up so fast. Ever since she hit...Rehemming and reminiscing... »

2010 Sewing Calendar featuring projects

Home, Inspiration, Sewing Projects

I'm crazy excited to be a part of the Sewing 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar edited by Megan Smith. One hundred simple sewing projects organized in three-day increments fill this crafty calendar of the new decade....2010 Sewing Calendar featuring projects... »

Kathy and Shane on WeTV’s ‘Amazing Wedding Cakes’

Inspiration, Weddings

Whew! I finally edited and posted our episode of 'Amazing Wedding Cakes' that first aired June 2009 on WeTV ...right after Bridezillas as a part of WeTV's We Go Bridal night. Check it out...Kathy and Shane on WeTV’s ‘Amazing Wedding Cakes’... »

Vodka Infusion Party and Hangover Cure Favor

Decorations & Favors, Free Printable, Inspiration, Parties & Birthdays, Recipes

Za Vas! Heather Crosby and I continued the Upper Crust Social Club event series by co-hosting a Russian-inspired vodka infusion party. Guests brought their own homemade vodka infusions ...such a range of tasty concoctions from...Vodka Infusion Party and Hangover Cure Favor... »

Filming for Amazing Wedding Cakes on WeTV

Inspiration, Weddings

Mary and Brenda Maher of Cakegirls are two of the most talented and inspiring self-taught ladies I've ever encountered. Their cakes are not only totally original and visually arresting but taste delicious too (I'm...Filming for Amazing Wedding Cakes on WeTV... »

Upper Crust Social Club Ladies’ Late-Night Tea Party

Decorations & Favors, Inspiration, Parties & Birthdays, Recipes, Showers

My ever-so-creative friend and frequent partner-in-crime Heather Crosby came up with a festive idea that encapsulates the two things we like best -- making things and spending time with friends -- by creating the...Upper Crust Social Club Ladies’ Late-Night Tea Party... »

Smythe Sewn Letterpress Wedding Invitation Book

Inspiration, Invitations & Cards, Paper Crafts, Weddings

Holy smokes! This invitation by Nick and Nikki Lo Bue is one of the most amazing wedding invitations I've ever seen. Nick and Nikki had a charming story behind their relationship which inspired them...Smythe Sewn Letterpress Wedding Invitation Book... »

Chocolate tasting tour of Chicago

Inspiration, Recipes

Anyone who works in the Fulton Market area on a windy day can attest that Chicago's long standing candy and chocolate history is still thriving. For his sister's recent Chicago weekend visit Joseph Dombroski...Chocolate tasting tour of Chicago... »

Craft and pass it on


I'm pleased to announce that I'll be at Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair on September 13-14, 2008. "Craft and pass it on" is the new motto that came to me while I was trying...Craft and pass it on... »

Friday Inspiration: Fulton Seafood and Meat Markets

Inspiration, Recipes

Who says there's no good fresh seafood in Chicago? Stepping inside L Isaacson & Stein Fish Market to buy ingredients for Shane's Fourth of July birthday BBQ was a revelation. I've heard about this...Friday Inspiration: Fulton Seafood and Meat Markets... »

Friday Inspiration: Seattle


Shane had a business trip in Seattle so I was excited to join him for the weekend. We had such a good time in the Pacific Northwest, red-eye flight aside, and I've been humming...Friday Inspiration: Seattle... »

Friday Inspiration: Warhol’s Commercial Work


So I've been watching a documentary about Andy Warhol. Honestly, I've never really been a Warhol fan ...I mean, I generally understood how influential he was, and I got how much of today's design...Friday Inspiration: Warhol’s Commercial Work... »

High School Themed Engagement Party

Decorations & Favors, Inspiration, Parties & Birthdays, Weddings

Hostess Heather Crosby had a blast from the past throwing a high school themed engagement party for her brother Chad and bride-to-be Shayda who met back in their teens. Starting with a handwritten ‘Secret...High School Themed Engagement Party... »

Friday Inspiration: Ireland


This week Friday inspiration goes green. I just got back from exploring Ireland with my sisters. We started in Dublin, drove (on the left side) to Galway, toured Kylemore Abbey and Connemara, meandered the...Friday Inspiration: Ireland... »

High School ‘Secret Passed Note’ Engagement Party Invitation

Inspiration, Invitations & Cards, Paper Crafts, Vintage Inspired, Weddings

Leave it to Heather Crosby to come up with an invitation concept that I've never seen before. Heather's beloved brother Chad and his lovely bride-to-be Shayda met way back in high school. A chance...High School ‘Secret Passed Note’ Engagement Party Invitation... »

Friday Inspiration: Dolly Parton at the Chicago Theater


Some musical inspiration for you this Friday. Alex, Heather and I watched Dolly Parton perform at the Chicago Theater last night ...10 rows from the front! We went to celebrate Heather's birthday but I...Friday Inspiration: Dolly Parton at the Chicago Theater... »

Custom, personalized cookbooks

Inspiration, Recipes

Mother's Day is quickly coming up and so I thought I'd post a unique idea: custom, personalized cookbooks with all your family's favorite recipes from Build a cookbook using recipes from Simply Recipes...Custom, personalized cookbooks... »

Friday Inspiration: Turquoise and orange

Decorations & Favors, Inspiration, Weddings

I love the combination of turquoise and orange that Anne-Marie Rosser and Adam Whipple used for their intimate outdoor wedding reception on a Chicago terrace. Anne-Marie started with turquoise tablecloths and crisp white linen...Friday Inspiration: Turquoise and orange... »

Friday Inspiration: Edward Hopper


Tonight my sisters and I saw the Edward Hopper exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago. I just love his everyday scenes of people, life and solitude in the city. Many of the paintings...Friday Inspiration: Edward Hopper... »

Friday Inspiration: Brooklyn


I've spent the week exploring New York City and Brooklyn. The crafty clothing, accessories and home stores here in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill are inspiring ...and many of them...Friday Inspiration: Brooklyn... »

Monday Inspiration: Lace tape


Friday was my last day at work. So this week, inspiration's coming on a Monday ;) I love this lace tape over at Willow. Owner Amy Doehla seems to find the most unique things....Monday Inspiration: Lace tape... »

Friday Inspiration: Tape Vases at Anthropologie

Home, Inspiration, Vintage Inspired

So my friend Renee and I decided to browse through Anthropologie after having afternoon tea at Julius Meinl. It's no surprise to anyone that Anthropologie has some of the most crafty, creative, seasonal store...Friday Inspiration: Tape Vases at Anthropologie... »

Friday Inspiration: Garfield Park Conservatory


When it's February in Chicago and 17 degrees, warm humidity seems 120 long days away. Little did I know it's plentiful and free right now ...and only a short 10 minute drive from my...Friday Inspiration: Garfield Park Conservatory... »

Whimisical wedding “altar” from strung flowers

Decorations & Favors, Inspiration, Recycled Crafts, Weddings

One of the biggest challenges of getting married in a "non-traditional" space is that the backdrop might look a too plain or stark during your ceremony. We got married in a Chicago loft space...Whimisical wedding “altar” from strung flowers... »

Friday Inspiration: Mini alphabet & numbers cookie cutters


Ooh, I have a new toy. I decided to order Mini alphabet & numbers cookie cutters from Paid shipping and everything just to have them on hand should I choose to use them....Friday Inspiration: Mini alphabet & numbers cookie cutters... »
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