Quiet Book Tutorial-Part 2

Version 2

Hopefully you’ve seen the first part of this tutorial and are already obsessively working on your own quiet book! If not, go check it out here.  There are some tips and suggestions you might want to read before getting started. As promised, here are instructions for the rest of the pages in my book, as well as a cover.  Feel free to get as creative as you want and come up with your own page ideas, too!  I don’t have templates because I free-handed everything, so it’s all far from perfect, but that’s part of the charm 🙂

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Easy Fall Family Craft

Family Thanksgiving Crafts

Want to find some simple family thanksgiving crafts? I just love doing fun and simple crafts with the kids because it’s a great way to really show my love and give us great quality time together! Plus I really just don’t have the time or effort to invest a ton into an elaborate craft that I know I will have to throw away in just a few weeks!

After several years this is still my all time favorite fall craft to do with my family. It’s especially awesome since right now all those pumpkins and gourds are on discount, and the rest of the items you can find for free right in your neighborhood!

I came across this *adorable* idea in a Family Fun Magazine issue back in 2012. I used what we had locally and tweaked it to make it our own, that’s the beauty of it! I just adore my magazines and Pinterest to find things like this!

In case you want a happy little family as a Thanksgiving centerpiece here’s how I did it.

  • Get a few bags (we picked up 3) of the decorative pumpkins & gourds from wherever you go grocery shopping. These little guys were a steal on discount at .50 a bag! (score!!)
  • Next go and scavenge around your yard for anything fall and fun! We picked up leaves, acorns, twigs, sunflower seeds from the bird food and dried flowers.
  • Next have your kids help you decide how to “dress” each “person” and what their face should look like. Then  use a hot glue gun to secure everything together.

Super simple, super fun, and super adorable!

What’s your favorite fall craft? Leave me a link in the comments if you have one! If you’re looking for more great, fun, and easy ideas check out my Falling For Fall Pinterest Board!

Nicole Elliott




Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ItsMyMasterpiece #CollectiveBias

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Spring fever to clean, de-clutter, organize and recycle has kicked in full force and it’s all over social media and in conversations with friends. The bug has hit me, too, and I’ve been organizing, up-cycling, and prepping for the big move, which includes thinking ahead and planning for items that I know we’ll want and need since we’re about to expand into a much larger space! One thing that I’ve been looking for is new ways to display Amber and my jewelry collections. We have a beautiful display of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces between the two of us, but I’ve found that if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind and we rarely wear it, which is just sad! I was recently inspired by this awesome idea to make a jewelry stand using the Diet Coke “It’s Mine” Glass Bottles, and I decided to re-make the up-cycle using my own fun spin-offs and incorporating the super fun idea of using fairy lights that I saw in several different posts recently.

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Easy Easter Centerpieces

Although I can hardly believe it Easter is just right around the corner! Our family always enjoys Easter–as you’ve seen through our family Easter Sunday updates from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (can you believe this blog is almost 6 years old?! Wow!)

I’ve also shared my best Easter Basket Ideas with you, and the Best Easter Books & DVDs. 

So today I decided it would be great to share a few

Easy Easter Centerpiece ideas!

Easter Easter Centerpiece IdeasDSC_0185

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5 Ideas to Beat Cabin Fever

It’s that time of year–the one where you and the kids have been cooped up inside for months, you can feel spring just around the corner, but not quite here, and everyone is going crazy!!! Even here in Texas one day it’s 70 and beautiful and the next it’s 30 and blowing wind that makes me feel like I’m back in Wyoming.
While I’m a firm believer that I am not here to entertain my kids there comes a point where they can only be expected to fight occupy themselves and watch SuperWhy so much–amIright??? So if you’re looking to shake things up here are 5 easy, fun, great ways to beat cabin fever!
1. Create a “Treasure Box” My mother-in-law loves to garage sale and since moving down to Texas she’s gotten me seriously hooked on it. One of her gifts for the kids was this ‘treasure box” full of random crazy items from broken jewelery, beads, bells, stones,  buttons, little cars and houses, ribbon, and who knows what else! Basically if we come across it at a garage sale and it’s crafty and marked 25 cents it goes in the box! Both kids *LOVE* this box! They will pour it out onto their table and sort through it all, making piles, designs, playing with the different items, pouring them in and out of the jar–basically it keeps them both entertained for hours! ((as you can see this is FULL of chocking hazards so this is a “adult in the same room” type of activity and not recommended if you have babies up and around))

2. BabbaBox take one look at my Preschool Musts and Mini Monster Activities Boards and you’ll see I’m ALL about fun kids crafts! The things is that while I often have the best of intentions so many of the ideas I find never make it off of the internet and into our house. As a work from home mom I’m SO busy all the time so when I found out about BabbaBox I thought it was sheer genius!!!

Each month, the BabbaBox is delivered right to your door and features a bunch of fun activities all organized around a theme that kids 3-7 love. My favorite part is that it helps us parents spend more quality time with our kiddos without having to think up or search for the creative ideas or go out and buy materials. All you need to do is open up the box and jump right in-the *perfect* thing for those cabin fever days!

3.  Odds and Ends- Maybe it’s just my kids but they LOVE playing with non-toy items all the time so when they’re getting tired of their brand new Christmas, really already??? toys we go searching for fun items–this colander and pipe cleaner activity kept them busy for a good 45 minutes. Other things that are always winners? Pots and pans, spatulas, and of course the classic boxes!

4. Playdough – Perhaps a little obvious but I had to mention it because, seriously, you can’t go wrong with it!!!! Be sure to make your own, it takes all of 5 minutes and is so much nicer than the store kind (and much more forgiving on carpet when the inevitable horror of the carpet mashing happens) Pinterest is full of amazing DIY Playdough Recipes–my new favorite is the Playdough that uses Koolaid instead of food coloring–we made it recently with fruit punch, it was bright and smelled amazing!

5. Set up Play Stations – take a page from the day care and preschool book and at the beginning of the day set up a few different play stations–for example blocks, dress up, play people & houses. The kids get to choose which they want to play with, then when you say it’s time they switch to a different one. This will probably work best if you bring the toys/items into a room that isn’t surrounded with other toys-like the front room. If you rotate toys this would be a great way to bring some that you’ve stored away back out for some excited re-acquainting!

Don’t forget to sign up for the BabbaBox newsletter it’s full of more great ideas to beat cabin fever and save you time!

Thanks to BabbaCo for sponsoring today’s post!

Nicole Elliott


Make a Wizards Hat with Bic Markers

We’re finally getting settled in here in our new home in Texas and trying to get into a routine of things. Over the past week I’ve started up doing preschool again with Amber & as the weeks go on I’m planning on using Pinterest to come up with all kinds of fun crafts to do since she *loves* craft time!

This past week we made this super fun, super easy Wizards Hat-just in time for Halloween! Although we’ve never been big on Halloween I do think that the costumes are fun and we enjoy the pumpkins each year.  The supplies we used were:

The first thing Amber wanted to do was color the spider with our new BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker and then we gave him a cute little smiley face (he’s a nice Spider you see?)

Then it was time to get our glitter on around the brim!

Next Amber wanted to decorate the ribbon. We’ve been learning about patterns for school so she did a dot-dash pattern all along it.

Tip: When using permanent markers always put paper between them and the table-if you *don’t* at first Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will take it right off of hard surfaces like kitchen tables!

Then it was my turn! I stuffed the hat  so that it would keep it’s form and I glued on the ribbon winding around the hat and added on our cute lil spider.

Ta Da! A fun craft that doubles as dress up-my favorite kind!

One lucky winner will receive their very own 36 pack of BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
We were sent our uber fun and colorful BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers for free through Smiley360.com All cute smiles, fun crafts, and adorable smiles are our own.

Nicole Elliott

Summer Camp {At Home} DailyBuzz Moms June 9×9:

Ideas have been compiling into ever growing long to-do lists

Pinterest Boards stuffed to the brim with great ideas to use…someday…

Outdoor adventures have been put off for months for”when it’s nice outside”

Finally the hustle and bustle of the school year slows and trickles into Summer.

A week opens when there is nothing extra….so of course Summer Camp At Home is planned and blossoms!

And what would a Summer Camp be without….


Silly Sock Puppets, perfect for giggles and Amber’s vivid story lines-fresh from a preschooler’s imagination.

Sensory Activities Oozy Gooey Goop

Just the thing for mixing, squishing, and yes–more giggling

Outdoor Games

Running, Hide and Seek, Red Light-Green Light, Swinging, Splashing, Sliding, and all things Adventure-ing



Seasons, Sounds, Flowers, Animals, How to Make Memories

The tip your head back and stare up-up-UP at the sunshine filtering through the green, green leaves kind of learning.

The best kind of learning.

All in all, a perfect week of Summer Camp….at home!

This challenge is in participation with DailyBuzz Moms–all giggles, ideas, and pictures are my own

How To Make a Fabric Wreath

I’m a very odd mix of crafty and un-crafty genes. My dad is an amazing artist and I inherited some of that from him. My mom is very not crafty and I inherited a little of that from her too. The result is that I love art, am decent at doodling, good at photography, a scrapbooking fool, but can’t sew to save my life! I always admire girls who are totally talented and come up with amazing crafts all on their own! My fellow Coastie wife Brittany is one of these girls and when I saw her beyond adorable fabric wreaths I just had to know how to make one! I haven’t gotten the chance to make one for myself but I thought you might like the chance to try and Brittany was so sweet to send me the instructions and give me permission to share them and her pictures with you. I love the idea of using one of your hubbies old, ratty BDU/ODUs to make a completely personalized military wreath!!! According to Brittany these are very easy to make but take about 5 hours to complete.

Items Needed:

1) 3 yards of fabric (doesn’t have to be anything fancy- keep in mind that you wont see the pattern much once you cut it up, so mostly focus on the colors) or one old ODU/BDU

2) Scissors or Rotary cutter.

3) a 12” wire wreath frame (they sell them at Michael’s, you can use different sizes but 3 yards of fabric is perfect for this size)

4) Wire or string and/or hot glue gun to attack ribbons and decorations

5) a yard stick (preferably, it will just work easier for you to keep straight lines when you are cutting) , or a ruler will do.

***The following are the exact items Brittany uses in case you want to get serious about making these:

~ OLFA 45mm Rotary Cutter – has a tungsten steel blade which can be re-sharpened or replaced easily. (Hancock Fabrics, Michaels, JoAnne Fabrics)

~ OLFA Rotary Mat – 18×24 is a great universal size for various crafts. It works well especially with this project. (To be used w/ rotary cutter so you do not penetrate your workspace surface.)

~Omnigrid Quilting Ruler – 6×24 is a perfect size for this project.

~Premium Titanium Coated Fabric Scissors – Any brand will do. (Just a little Tip: MIL taught me to always keep craft scissors separated. Scissors used for quilting or fabric projects should not be used with scrapbooking or paper projects b/c paper is made of wood and will dull your scissors, making it difficult to cut fabric.)

~ I prefer clear glue sticks rather than the ‘cloudy/white’ ones. So you will not see the dried glue on your finished project.

*All materials listed above are available in various sizes to fit your needs and/or craft space. They can be purchased at Hancock Fabrics, Michaels, JoAnne Fabrics, or many other craft suppliers.


1) Cut fabric into 1” x 6” strips. Easiest way to do this is unfold your yard of fabric (so its still doubled up) and cut a HUGE 6” strip, then cut that 6” piece into a bunch of 1×6” strips.

2) when you have piles of your strips, I like to separate 6 even piles (if I’m using several different fabrics), one pile for each section of the wire frame, just so that i can keep track that I am not using too much of one fabric and then run out at the end..

3) Then just literally tie each strip onto the wire frame, one by one, on each wire, all the way around. Do one complete section at a time, then move onto the next ‘section’.
4) Attach your ribbon, twine, or decorations

5) You can either tie a piece of string, ribbon, or strip of fabric to hang, OR you could just hang it by one of the outer wires of the frame (that’s what I do and it works perfectly)

There you go! In case you are totally not crafty or just don’t have the time to make one of these great wreaths yourself, Brittany makes wreaths and all sorts of other amazing, crafty items in her Etsy Shop Coast 2 Coast Crafts

Summer Bonding Project

I’ve been into scrapbooking since I was in High School. As most of you know in the past few years I’ve converted completely to digital scrapping–but I still have a ton of papers, embellishments, stickers, and more from my paper scrapping days. Because of this I like to come up with fun and creative things to do with all my “left overs”. I was really excited when I got the chance to review a couple of Glue Dots great products! You can visit the Glue Dot Fan Page Here to find out more about them.
My sister is spending the summer on staff at a Bible Camp in Wyoming and her 17th b*day is this coming week (mine is July 12th, hers is the 13th–I always say she was my late b*day present 🙂 ) Anyways I haven’t gotten to talk to her much this summer and wanted to do something fun and special for her birthday. Greeting cards these days are just so “blah”. It seems like I spend an hour to find one that doesn’t even seem that funny or say what I want it to. I decided to create a very special birthday card just for my sister instead of buying one!
Here is how you can make your very own card too!
Materials: Scrapbooking Paper, paper scraps, Glue Dots, Marker, Envelope, and something to cut with
Step #1 Fold and cut the Scrapbook Paper so that it fits into your envelope
Step #2 Trim the picture to the size & shape you want and use glue dots to attach it to a piece of paper to create a frame around it
Sept #3 Cut Scrap Paper into strips of random sizes and use glue dots to attach them to front of the card
Step #4 Use  glue dots to attach matted picture on top of paper strips
Step #5 Use your marker to decorate and write an insanely witty comment
Step #6 Mail the card and think about the giggles it will cause when read, throw in some cash too–since everyone deserves to get b*day presents!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.