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Felt leaf napkin rings and placecards for Thanksgiving

This is our fifth year hosting Thanksgiving in Chicago for the twelve members of our joint families. Each year we try to do something slightly different for food and table decor. I came up with a Thanksgiving napkin ring idea solely using things here at home because (a) my craft closet is to the brim …

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Urban wreath for fall using Polaroid photos

My friend Heather Crosby and I have creative chemistry. Whenever we get together we build on each other’s ideas until it becomes something totally original. Heather came over for dinner last week toting stacks of Polaroid pictures that she’d snapped that weekend – bright yellow mums, pumpkin patches, rows of individual pies, Indian corn, orange …

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Eyeball lychee ice cubes for Halloween martinis

In the past five years or so, it seems like Halloween has gone bonkers in the DIY area. From costumes to cupcakes to candy, it’s a holiday ripe for creepy crafting. The always stylish Rachel Pluto hosted a Halloween party for her 10-month-old daughter Maya and friends. Rachel delighted parents by making Emeril’s devil’s eyeballs, …

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Fourth of July Waterproof Coasters

More decor for our upcoming Fourth of July – slash – Shane’s birthday BBQ. I took Martha’s Fourth of July parasols and turned them into a neat matching Fourth of July waterproof coasters. Supplies: Fourth of July waterproof coaster template (PDF) lovingly adapted from Martha Stewart’s drink parasol pattern White paper Clear contact paper (get …

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Phone Book Wrapping Paper for Gifts

AT&T delivered piles of telephone books to my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Not needing ours but cringing at tossing the stack into the trash I decided to find some crafty uses for them. So I wrapped my sister Karin’s birthday gifts with birthday-themed yellow pages. Supplies: Telephone book (preferably yellow pages) Tape Scissors …

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Planting seeds and herbs for the garden

After a brutal Chicago winter I’m aching for spring. So today I planted vegetable, herb and flower seeds for our back deck garden. Now I’ve tried planting seeds many times before with mixed results …I’ve learned that using professional seed-starting germinating mix rather than regular soil makes a big difference. Give it a try. Supplies: …

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Yummy Individual Chicken Pot Pie Recipe in Ramekins for St. Patrick’s Day

This easy chicken pot pie recipe is my favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I started making this homemade chicken pot pie recipe as a St. Patrick’s Day dinner tradition but it tasted so good that I ended up adding it into our winter dinner rotation. I like making individual mini chicken pot pies …

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Monogrammed coffee insulator wrap

So I was pretty excited about the success of the campfire coffee insulator wrap and decided to make a monogrammed coffee insulator wrap for my sister Krista. Perfect for coffee/tea/cocoa drinkers and the eco-friendly, monogrammed insulator wraps are personal and practical. And not only is it a great way to cut down on waste but …

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