Friday, February 23, 2018


In 2015, my brother-in-law's job moved to Idaho. That summer, the whole family traveled to see him and explore Boise. We packed a ton of fun activities into our visit. It's a beautiful city, with lots to do... at least during the summer! We had the perfect weather for Trevor's first river rafting experience, a leisurely float (with brief moments of excitement) down the Boise River. 

Boise (affiliate link)

Trevor and I will be returning to Boise next month for spring break and look forward to seeing how Boise in the spring differs from Boise in the summer! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Coloring Book Jar Toppers

This post contains affiliate links.

Look at my cute jar of strawberry jam! The topper is made with an image from the same coloring book by Leisure Arts that I used for the cupcake card. This project is ridiculously easy to do, and you can get quite a few toppers from just the one coloring page. Wouldn't this make a great gift?


Strawberry Jam Jar Topper



Color the strawberry page. Use the punch to cut circles out of the completed coloring page.

Use hot glue to attach a coordinating ribbon to the outside of the jar ring.

Glue the coloring page cut-out to the jar's lid and tighten the ring around it. 

Now give out the jam to friends and family!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cardboard Cowboy Boot Craft

I'm on a mission to create crafts inspired by each of the 50 states. Is there anything more Texas than a cowboy boot? This one is made from the flap of a cardboard box.


Cowboy Boot Craft


  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • ballpoint pen
  • brown ink
  • q-tip


Start by cutting out a boot shape from cardboard. I used the flap of a cardboard box and it was the perfect size. I cut mine freehand (and it looks more like a Christmas stocking with a heel than a cowboy boot); you may want to sketch the shape on the cardboard before you cut it out. 

Now, use the CAPPED ballpoint pen to draw patterns and designs on your boot. Use the same amount of pressure you would if the pen were uncapped. 

You'll end up with lines that look like this:

Rub a brown inkpad on the edges and on the heel. 

At this point, I trimmed the boot to make it less stocking-like (curved the top, pointed the toe up) and re-inked. But I didn't re-photograph. Sigh.

Rub a q-tip in the inkpad and use it to trace the indented patterns on the boot. The q-tip will travel smoothly in the grooves you made with the ballpoint pen. 

Here's how my boot turned out. 

It occurs to me now as I'm blogging about this... those straps I drew in as decoration should probably be attached to a spur. Oh well. We'll just pretend it's decoration, or that my cowboy has spurs that camouflage perfectly with the background. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Camp Lassen, Year 3

I've gotten another step closer to scrapping the remaining photos from Trevor's time in Cub Scouts. This two-page spread is from 2016, his third and final trip to Camp Lassen as a Cub.

Camp Lassen (affiliate link)

Since I scrapped this about 18 months after the trip, there was no way I could remember the details from a trip I didn't even attend. Thank goodness I keep a daily journal about Trevor's life (412 typed pages and counting). I just searched the document for Camp Lassen, then copied what I'd typed onto the journaling block, as good as if I'd scrapped it the day they'd returned home from camp! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Storing Scout Patches (And My First Time Designing One)

This post contains affiliate links. 

Patches are a big deal in the Boy Scouts of America. On his uniform, a Boy Scout displays the BSA emblem, the US flag, a council patch, unit numbers, his rank patch, his patrol emblem, a badge of office, and merit badges. But for most Scouts, that long list represents only a small portion of the patches he owns. Scouts get patches for outings, events, and activities, too. 

So if most patches don't go on the uniform, where do they go? Some Scouts sew all their patches onto a blanket. Others put them on a backpack or a jacket. I imagine a lot of Scouts just let the patches pile up in a shoebox or drawer. 

The option that made the most sense to Trevor and me is to store them in a binder. They sell binders with a label on the spine specifically for holding Scout patches. While they look very nice, we went a cheaper route and got a plain heavy-duty binder and a pack of trading card pages. We sorted the photos and put them in pockets... which worked well until we turned the pages and the patches slipped out. So frustrating. 

The solution came from a tool that is common in the scrapbook industry:

We R Memory Keepers - Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool

This is the Fuse tool. It functions similarly to a wood burner to melt page protectors to 'lock' the pockets. We put the patches in place, heated up the tool, and did a quick zip to seal them up. It's a bit hard to see, but you can just make out the horizontal lines above the penguin and cake patches, as well as the diagonal line separating the two. 

Here's a typical page in Trevor's album. As you can see, we labeled the page with the rank and year, then filled in the extra pockets with a Cub Scout emblem and strips of cardstock to match the rank color (in this case, Bear is blue). 

The patches are securely locked in place, but if he ever wants to remove one, we can easily cut or slit the pocket and get a patch out. 

Some of the patches don't fit nicely in pockets. For example, the loops on the temporary hanging patches don't fit the pages we bought. We either folded the flap under (as in the 'Knights of the Round Table' patch above) or let it stick out and fused diagonally around it. 

You might have noticed in the title of this post that I tried designing a patch for the first time. Every so often, there will be a contest to design a patch, usually for a special event or anniversary. In this case, the call went out for a commemorative patch for the 90th anniversary of Camp Wolfeboro. There were four specific rules for the design:

       1) The design must be on a circle 3 inches in diameter
       2) The design must promote the theme of "90th Anniversary"
       3) The following must be incorporated into the patch
                a. "Camp Wolfeboro"
                b. Use the Pine Tree from the Camp Logo
                c. "XC Anniversary" or "XC years" or "90th Anniversary" or "90 years"
                d. "MDSC" or "Mt Diablo Silverado Council"
                e. "Since 1928
       4) The design can include up to six colors

I used PicMonkey (of course!) and came up with this design:

It was a lot of fun to put together. They haven't announced a winner yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win