Brown paper bags turned into holiday decorations

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, one of those people who can do everything. She paints. She draws. She throws clay. She crafts. She crochets. She takes inspiring photographs. Even her name screams creative genius – Piper LaRue. Nice, right? So today I’m sharing a few of Piper’s masterpieces with you, specifically her hand-drawn gift bags. Yep, these all started as plain brown paper bags. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away after last Christmas so I trimmed, laminated, and framed them. Voila – handmade holiday decorations.

Santa Elvis

Santa fish

flying Santa

Santa puppet

If you don’t have access to an amazing young artist, you can find fabric and scrapbooking paper these days that’s frame-worthy. I’ve even seen some wrapping papers here that I would gladly hang on my wall. Do you have any “repurposed” holiday decorations? Send me a link, I’d love to see it.


DIY Masterpiece Monday: Painted Pumpkins

painted pumpkin copy painted pumpkin at door copy

I painted this artificial pumpkin a few years ago and it still makes me smile every October. I’m pretty sure I got the idea from a Better Homes & Gardens Magazine but I can’t remember for sure. The shape (a modified bowling pin) was easy to sketch in pencil then fill in with black acrylic paint from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. I used a pencil eraser dipped in white paint for the necklace/collar and a couple coats of yellow for the eyes. Add a few shots of clear acrylic spray to preserve your work and it’s all done. I’ve used it various places over the years but I think my favorite is at the front door under the pot of glowing eyeballs. What creative things have you made using pumpkins?


DIY Masterpiece Monday: Money Bows

I love creative gift wrapping ideas and this is one of my favorites. My daughter received it on a birthday package years ago and I managed to snap a photo before she started spending.

creative gift wrapping

This is the perfect solution for that cousin or nephew that you don’t know very well but still need to buy for. Maybe wrap a box of homemade cookies in plain white paper and top it with one of these “green” bows. It’s more thoughtful than a gift card or check but won’t be re-gifted next season.

Check out for more creative gift wrapping ideas.

DIY Masterpiece Monday: Pizza Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday which, as usual, made me nostalgic. Looking back through old photos I found these shots of last year’s homemade pizza cake. Do you have a baking masterpiece to share? I would love to see it.

pizza cake 1

phase 1

pizza cake 2

phase 2

pizza cake 3

final cake

DIY Masterpiece Monday: New Chatterbox Gift Tags From Laughing Abi Studio

new gift tags from laughing abi studioI just got home from Bloggy Boot Camp and I gotta tell ya, it rocked my world. Look for a post later this week dedicated to the SITS Girls and all their Bloggy Boot Camp fabulousness.

Today I’m squealy- excited to introduce my latest DIY masterpiece, new Chatterbox Gift Tags from Laughing Abi Studio. Like everything I design, they are fun, silly, and a little bit outrageous. Continue reading

Evolution Of A Business Card (This Is So Embarrassing)

I’ve been working like crazy lately trying to launch three new product lines for an upcoming feature on 20 Best Twenty. Moving forward always causes me to look back and measure the progress I’ve made. Today I found some of my original business card designs and had to giggle. So very, very sad. Take a look. Continue reading

DIY Masterpiece Monday: Phone Bench Before & After

This is one of my favorite projects. I bought the piece at a garage sale for $7 even though I had no idea what it was. I just liked it. Later, my aunt told me it was a telephone bench from the days when telephones didn’t fit in our pockets. Continue reading