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.


Creative blog discoveries!

I woke up at 5:00 this morning. FOR. NO. REASON. So I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee and some uninterrupted online time where a random Twitter click sent me into a DIY/craft/decorating frenzy. It started here with Kim at Today’s Creative Blog. She highlights a different creative blog every day. I can’t think of a more perfect idea. SUBSCRIBE!

Today's Creative Blog

A few caffeinated clicks around Kim’s site led me to Diane at In My Own Style. She writes about making things beautiful – everything from elegant DIY glass paperweights to outdoor tuna can lanterns.

In My Own Style

Then I took it too far. I clicked into the creative abyss. I visited Kim and Diane’s Pinterest pages. Now my kids are late for camp, my coffee cup is empty (gasp), and I am drooling on my keyboard. Sound like a perfect morning to you, too? Check out the links and get inspired!

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

DIY craft apron with FREE tutorial.

My latest DIY masterpiece – a new craft apron inspired by a Bean’s Blog tutorial.


I tweaked Anne’s design a bit by sewing a pocket on the front and the back side. Yup, I made it reversible! If you’ve been searching for the perfect apron to match your product line or business style I highly recommend her easy-to-follow tutorial.

Your turn. Tell me what you’re working on.

Summer Craft Show Shenanigans #2

by scoobygirlYesterday I set up shop at the Summer Art & Craft Show in Alsip, IL. I filled my table with fabulous product, met my neighbors, and even had time to make a quick Starbuck’s run for some caffeinated happy. Finally it was noon and we were ready for crowds of shoppers to spill into the room. 

(Cue crickets chirping in the corner.) Continue reading

Top 5 Things I’ve Learned About Starting Your Own Creative Business

Purseonals Greeting Cards & Gift TagsI am not a business expert. I might actually be the opposite, whatever that’s called. (Novice? Beginner? Idiot? ) But that’s why I’m writing this post. – to offer a handful of observations from a regular person. One who loves creating so much she made it her business. Sound like you? Then here we go. Continue reading

My Story – Chapter 1

Purseonals Greeting Cards & Gift TagsMy new addiction to Twitter leads me to inspirational blogs every day and over time I’ve realized, I have a story to tell too. The most obvious starting point is the start of my business, Purseonals. So here’s Chapter 1. Enjoy.

A few years ago my oldest daughter and I fashioned a purse-shaped thank you card out of construction paper and glue. It was Continue reading