Monday, January 9, 2012

Inkling: new year organizing

There’s something about a new year, new calendar and new start that sparks a desire to clean and organize. There’s been a big focus on organizing tips on a lot of blogs lately.

Every year around this time I get caught up in the organizing frenzy. 

One area that was out of control and a mess for me was a lack of a system to organize my blog contacts. When I started this blog, I would jot down notes in a  handy notebook. Passwords, user names, contacts all scribbled here and there.

I didn’t want to incorporate these contacts into my general rolodex so I created a separate filing box.

This was a win-win since I used up scraps of crafting paper and bits of supplies. Sweet scrapbook embellishments and trim decorate the divider tabs that I made and stamped A-Z.

I wanted this file system to be fun and cheery. Not like my office rolodex which is very office-like.

Little bits of this and that are sticking out but I can easily find a password or blog contact name. 

I filed away the pretty business cards from a few contacts.

Each business card provides a little inspiration.

Each one is unique.

And the personal notes on some of the cards keep me inspired.

How are you organizing for the new year? 

Stay tuned, I’ll have more organization projects this week.

Thank you for visiting!


I happily link at the parties listed here and 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebrations: pretty candles {PartyLite}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PartyLite. All opinions are 100% mine.
I wasn't familiar with PartyLite until I saw their beautiful candles featured on some of my favorite blogs. So I'm really happy to be able to share the PartyLite information and products with you.

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I miss the smell of Christmas in the house. A few PartyLite candles would certainly look beautiful and provide pretty fresh scents.

Wouldn't it fun to host a PartyLite party with friends after the hectic holiday season. There's something for everyone. From simple elegant pillar candles.

To beautiful collections like the one above.

This Woodland Retreat set is the what I have my eye on. I love the faux wood grain on the candles and matching tray.

For more information or to see more of their products "like" the PartyLite Facebook page to find out about special monthly offers online for party hosts and guests. Also, the PartyLite Winter/Spring 2012 Catalog just came out in December. Lots of pretty things to check out!
PartyLite is offering a giveaway here on homework good for a coupon code to take $15 off an online order.
  • To enter "like" the PartyLite Facebook page and leave a comment here.
  • Be a follower of homework
  • Anonymous or "no-reply" comments must leave me an email address to be eligible.
  • I'll draw a winner (drawing date to be announced) and email you the code.
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 This contest is now closed. The winner of the $15.00 coupon is comment #1. 
poindextrJan 7, 2012 05:00 PM
what a nice offer - I'd love to add my name to the drawing please.

Congratulations Poindextr. I'll email you with the details. 

The Inspiration Board: link party spotlight ~31~

The first post-holiday Inspiration Board of 2012 was brimming with wonderful projects. The color palette shifted to a more everyday serene look and I loved seeing a sprinkling of early Valentine’s Day projects. 

Thank you to everyone who linked up a project. It’s amazing to see the array of ideas and talent. If you dropped by to visit, I hope you were as inspired as I was. 

Here are a few in the spotlight this week.

This isn’t just an ornament. It’s a delightful surprise by Craftberry Bush. Inside the ornament is all the makings for hot cocoa. The embellished plain glass ornament was a popular item this season and this by far is my favorite. So creative and adorable. 

I have a love affair with all things pastry. Confession…I’ll eat pastry crust plain. So pictures like this just make me insanely hungry. Mini pie stars by A Pumpkin and a Princess.

I got a new sewing machine for Christmas. It’s still in the box. I’m so eager to start sewing again but I just haven’t had the time yet. Describe Happy made this beautiful, super cheerful quilt in one and half weeks for her sister. Amazing! 

Alderberry Hill linked a round up of every day tips to make life easier. There are so many great ideas; reuse a wet wipes container to store plastic bags, use the bottom of muffin tins to bake cookie bowls and more. 

Beautiful faux stained glass by Screaming Sardine. The colors are so gorgeous and vibrant. Really beautiful! 

As I’m cleaning out and organizing I’m trying to think of ways to reuse and repurpose things before throwing them or giving them away. This is a great idea by Sweetwater Style. Make cloth dinner napkins from old drapes. I love the detail stitching on the napkin edge. Note to self: break out that new sewing machine. 

I love white on white and this damask wall art is so pretty. Learn how to make this wall art using a stencil and puffy paint at Our Mini Family

I love all the homemade soaps and scrubs that are popular right now but I haven’t seen these before. Pretty bath fizzies by Sweet Anne. Perfect for a Valentine’s gift or any reason gift. 

Beautiful, beautiful photos of holiday mood objects and colors by Beach Comber. This makes me long for summer days at the beach. Absolutely lovely. 

Inspiration Pinboard
Features 31_collage
1. Glitter Votives – The Cottage Market
2. Simple Vanilla Cupcakes – Sugar Swings
3. Candlestick Makeover – Larissa Hill

If you were in the spotlight, please feel free to grab a button.


Thank you again to everyone who linked a project and to everyone who came to visit. I loved looking at all the projects and visiting your sites.
Please come back next week for another link party.
Link parties are held every Tuesday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inkling: printable winter birds

I came across the sweetest little bird printables while strolling through blogland.

I’ve taken down all my holiday décor except for this faux pine garland and these winter birds have now made their home in and around the pine.

birds20100001  birds20100005
Becca offers the free download on her blog. The birds even come with cutting lines. These would make great ornaments for next year or year-round gift tags.  

A Gold Finch

And a Purple Finch

The perfect touch of color and winter cheer. Thank you for sharing these Becca.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Upcycling: gold leopards to stone leopards

Just like Medusa from Greek mythology, I turned these leopards into stone. 

Or at least, faux stone.

When I was sorting through Christmas décor, I found these leopards at the bottom of a box of holiday décor. The leopards are made from paper mache and I think they were a gift. They’ve never worked with out with my holiday look…

I started by covering the leopards with a white paint primer.

To achieve this faux stone look, I mixed the same white paint and some leftover grout. 

Once the white paint grout mixture was dry, I distressed the leopards a little. I know there’s special paint you can purchase to give projects a distressed look but I used Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in silver. 

I applied the gilding with a cheap course bristle brush very sparingly and used a toothpick to add a few dots here and there. Close up the gilding has a pretty metallic sheen. 

It would be fun to apply this faux stone or as I call it {Medusa} technique to a variety of objects.

This project is linked at the parties listed here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Inspiration Board: link party 31

Happy New Year and welcome to The Inspiration Board link party. The holiday season is behind us and we’re on to a new year of creative sharing. I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings to all of us.

Thank you to those who have linked up in the past and are back for more inspiration. There are many link parties available and I’m so appreciative that I’m on your party list. If you are new, thank you for joining in the fun. I’ll be going through the projects and featuring some in the spotlight on Friday and on the Homework Facebook page and Twitter.

A few rules:
  • Link up your own projects – something you created. 
  • Link to a specific post, not your blog home page (No Etsy shops or giveaways). 
  • Grab a “homework” button and include it somewhere on the post you’re linking, on your home page or a page of link parties. Or, if you prefer, add a text link. 
  • Follow homework. You’ll find the “Follow via Google Friend Connect” gadget on the right sidebar. 
  • Please visit the other links that intrigue you and make someone smile with a comment or two. 

I’m ready to be inspired and can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on. 

Don’t forget to add my button somewhere on your blog. Spreading the word helps bring more visitors to your linked project. 

Want to host your own link party? Click here to sign up for InLinkz

Monday, January 2, 2012

Good Taste: leftover candy canes {peppermint sugar cubes}

Do you have leftover candy canes from the holidays?

With all the delicious homemade treats and goodies the candy canes rarely get eaten. I usually end up throwing them away after Christmas. 

I decided to put them to use this year and make peppermint sugar. Then I remembered that Vanessa over at Nifty Thrifty Things made some cute sugar cubes awhile back and decided to make the peppermint sugar into sugar cubes.

Blog Peppermint Sugar
Here’s how to make peppermint sugar or peppermint sugar cubes.

Take about {6} candy canes and pulse them in your food processor until they are ground up. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and pulse until blended with the candy canes. Stop here if you just want peppermint sugar. 

Since I was making sugar cubes, I removed the larger chunks of peppermint. Drizzle a teaspoon of water into the mixture and blend together. Add drops of water until the mixture is moist – too moist and the sugar will dissolve. 

Press the moistened sugar into candy molds or small ice cube trays. Tip: I used wax paper to press the sugar into the mold since it’s so sticky. Let the cubes dry overnight and remove them from the molds. 

I made a variety of shapes. The hearts would be fun for Valentines Day.

I had some leftover peppermint sugar and made these cute marshmallow kabob stir sticks for hot chocolate. Use a little of drizzle of tube frosting and roll the kabob in the sugar mixture. 

Add a cube to your favorite hot beverage and enjoy!


This project is linked at the parties listed here and 

Tip Junkie handmade projects Childmade Visit    The Crafty Nest