Just Us Girls: 48 Creative Art Projects for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together

Oh my gosh!!! I just finished wrapping up writing, creating and making a mother daughter craft book that’s totally jammed packed with 48 heartfelt, earth-friendly projects to help explore and nurture the mother daughter bond.

It was such a fun and amazing project and I can’t wait for it to actually be in my hands. It will officially available on February 1st BUT you can already pre-order a copy of it here!! So don’t forget to add Just Us Girls to your holiday wish list and spread the word! I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I feel to be able to put this out into the world and share it with you!! (eep…that’s me doing the happy dance:)

Stay tuned for upcoming live craft experiences with your truly!


Homemade Craft Connection :: Autumn Leaves

November is for falling leaves. Autumn is the one season this East Coast transplant totally misses.We don’t get to see the turning leaves here in Northern California.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss bundling up in the clean crisp air to go out to see the fall foliage over the Delaware Water Gap. It’s totally a stunning site. (Can you tell I’m feeling a bit nostalgic :) We just don’t get that wonderful red and orange landscape here. So as a reminder to me of Autumns past and as a good way to brush up on your tree botany. Here’s a printable with a few of my favs.

(click here to download PDF)

And did you know that certain trees are thought to hold magical properties. Maple is associated with strength and wisdom. Oak is linked with success, strength, courage and longevity.  Beech is know for knowledge, understanding, balance and luck. And Aspen is often paired with intuition, communication and the power of vibrant speech. It’s good to know these things when you need a autumn pick me up:)

Is it our human nature to pass judgement?

I don’t know what was going on last week, maybe mercury was in retrograde, but folks were being really nasty on the internet. There was an industry copyright incident, a mom was getting brutally criticized for being fit and an author was driven to speak out against those that send her hate mail. All in all it was not a good week for the online community that I’ve grown to love.

All of this hate spewing I find incredibly disheartening. Why is it that folks are so quick to pick up the pitch forks to verbally execute another person? Is it just human nature to pass judgement? Perhaps it’s the remanence of an old survival instinct. I could see how back Paleolithic Era it might have been important to be able to make quick decisions about a situation. And even how your survival could possible depend on it. But in this day and age, making a snap judgement doesn’t helps anyone. In fact I think it’s quite detrimental to all involved.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t speak out about injustices or have a strong opinion. What I am saying is that you should take some time to discern the situation before you pass judgement.  Don’t be one of those people that just jumps on the bandwagon ‘cause they don’t want to miss out on that shot of adrenaline you get from being mean.

Now, I’m not so naive as to say that I’ve never passed judgement on someone myself. It’s something we’ve all done and most of the time we’ve done it without even realizing we have. It’s so easy to quickly discredit and dismiss someone. But let’s be real here. It’s never as black and white as we think it is and you’ll never truly know what motivates others, as you are not them.

And please let’s not forget how it feels to be judged. It totally sucks! And it’s never ok to be mean! This is something that I teach my daughter. And I think it’s something we all know to be true. You don’t have to like everyone you work with or meet but you should at least give them the human courtesy of being civil. And remember that your reaction almost always has more to do with you then it does with the person you’re judging.

I think it’s about time we start giving some more conscious attention to our thoughts and actions.  So I leave you with this:

Stop, Slow Down, Get Perspective and then Decide.


“Princess Bride” star Patinkin reveals his favorite line in the film 

Homemade Craft Connection :: Glow in the dark trick-or-treat pillow bag

With Halloween quickly approaching Ava Blu made it very clear that she was “way too old” to be going trick-or-treating with the plastic pumpkin that she’s been using for the last 6 years. It was time for an upgrade.

So, it got me thinking, when I was a kid we would just use pillow cases as our trick-or-treat bags. Every kid in my neighborhood had one swung over their shoulder.  So I wanted to do an updated version of the trick-or-treat pillow case bag, but this time with a strap for your shoulder. Here’s what we came up with :)

You’ll Need:
A pillow case (we used a plain white pillowcase)
2 buttons
Needle and thread
Fabric paint (or Acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium)
Glow in the dark paint
Painter’s tape
A sponge

1. Fold your pillow case.

  • Placing the side seam in the center and form 2 triangles. One on the front and one on the back.
  • Fold each triangles up, wtih the triangel point on the center seam of your pillowcase.

2. Place a button at the point of each triangle and sew them in place.
 * If you’d like you can also turn your triangles into pockets. Just stitch half way up the seams on each side (like we did).

3. Fold your pillow case in half vertically.
4. With a pencil lightly draw the shape of your strap.
5. Cut out your straps. Unfold and lay flat.

6. Apply your painters tape to your pillow bag in your desired design (we did a plaid design). Make sure the tape it is pressed down securely without any air pockets.

7.  With a sponge apply your paint and let dry

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the other side.

9.  Remove the painter’s tape on both sides.
10. Apply your glow in the dark accent paint (we put ours on the “white” stripe areas).
11. Sew the top of your straps together.
 *  As a no sew alternative you can just tie the straps in a knot.

And you are ready to go trick-or- treating in style!!

Homemade Craft Connection :: Day of the Dead Calaveras Mask

My daughter is studying the Day of the Dead in school, so I thought it was quite fitting for us to make our own Calaveras Masks. The Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertor is a celebrations that takes places annually on the 1st and 2nd of November.

It’s a festivity that honors the lives of family and friends that have passed. The belief is that the souls of dead family member’s come back and visit for the first two days of November. And traditionally they are welcomed with alter’s full of their favorite foods, marigolds flowers and candles.

Dia di Muertor is laden with rituals and symbolism from skulls and butterflies right down to the chosen colors of the decorations.

The skull is an iconic symbol of the Day of the Dead, and while this may initially seem morbid it is actually done quite beautifully with a playfulness that signals an uplifting sense of positivity.

Today it is common to find public procession or parades hosted in cities with large Latin communities. Folks often wear skull masks and dance to honor their deceased relatives.

Wearing a mask on this day is a powerful symbol of overcoming your fear of death. It give people a change to become a different version of themselves, a braver more fearless self. A self that is in touch with their darker side if only for a day.

Butterflies are also a very important symbol of the day. They are often thought to represent transition and resurrection. And in a small Michoacan town in Mexico where the Monarch butterflies migrate every fall they are believed to be the returning souls of the deceased.

(Click here to download the PDF printable template)

To Make your Calaveras Mask You’ll Need:

Calaveras Mask Template (download here)
Acrylic Paint
Scissors or Craft Knife
Glue Stick

3D Paint
Black Glitter
White Glue & Paint Brush (to adhere glitter)
Fake Eyelashes

Tissue Paper
Crepe Paper
Chenille Stems
Floral Wire
Floral Tape

Glue Gun

1.  Print your mask pattern.
2. Cut out your pattern and back it with chipboard.
3. Paint in your mask. Use the color guide as a reference.

4. Add details

  • Use 3D paint to outline the boarders and add dot accents.
  • Apply white glue to the “eye circles” and then sprinkle with black glitter.
  • Glue on the Fake Eyelashes to the edges of the eye holes and let dry.

5. Make Your Flowers:

Flowers are also an important part of the Dia di Muertor celebration and more specifically the marigolds which are known to be the flower of the dead.  They are a symbol of life and love and it is believed that the strong sent of the  flowers helps guide the souls back to earth. Petals are often sprinkled on the ground leading up to the altar.

Paper Marigold Flower

  • Cut 8 sheets of tissue paper into squares.
  • Accordion fold the group of tissue paper.
  • Twist the chenille stem around the middle of the tissue paper.
  • Trim the ends to points.
  • Make 2 slits on each side.
  • Fan out and spread out the layers.

Paper Rose Flower

  • Cut your flower petals.
  • Roll each petal around a pencil and form the petal.
  • Make the stigma with the floral wire.
  • Secure the petals to the wire by wrapping it around with thread.
  • Continue adding petals and wrapping them with the thread.
  • Finish off your rose by wrapping the stem with Floral Tape.

6. Arrange your flowers and hot-glue them to the back side of your mask.

7. Finish your mask with the Inner Lining & Ties. Sandwich the ribbon between the inner liner and the outside of the mask gluing it into place with the glue gun .


Homemade Craft Connection :: Halloween Garland

This is a quick and easy way to add some Halloween spirit to your home. I had originally intended to do this craft in neon pink but orange and black felt more fitting for October.

This bow-tie garland is so unexpected sophisticated when normally pasta art and preschool tend to go hand in hand. I actually saw a version of this garland when I was visiting ABC Carpet in NYC last May and just knew I had to try to make it myself. So here you go:

You’ll Need:

  • Bow-Tie Pasta
  • Orange & Black Spray Paint (you can also use acrylic paint. The painting/drying process just take a bit longer)
  • Orange & Black Glitter
  • Spray Mount (or as an alternative white glue)
  • Black Thread

    1.     Spray-paint your bow-tie pasta the desired colors and let dry.
    2.     Divide your pasta in half. Spray half the painted bow-ties with spray mount and sprinkle with glitter.
    3.    Measure the thread to the desired length.
    4.    Tie the pasta to the thread in the center.
    5.    Hang up your garland.



5 ways to stay positive

What a great way to start a Monday then to share with you 5 ways to stay positive. Instead of writing a lengthy post I thought I’d try a videolog :)

5 ways to stay positive + ONE more!

I hope this will help you get your week off on the right foot!