Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Gift Bag {The Twinery / SRM Stickers}

I don't know if you've noticed, but to me it seems that there are a whoooole lot of birthdays happening this time of year. 
And where there are birthdays...there are gifts. 
And where there are gifts...there is a need for cute gift bags.

Enter The Twinery and SRM Stickers:
I took a plain glassine bag and jazzed it up with some birthday border stickers. Then I turned the flat glassine bag into a dimensional gift bag by folding it along the three closed edges (the same depth of fold on each side). When I opened up the bag, I just folded in the bottom corners, and voilĂ !

The finished product is perfect for giving a small gift, or even to use as a party goodie bag. And, of course, The Twinery's twine is perfect for tying (pun intended) it all together.

Happy gifting!
Twine: The Twinery (Blue Lagoon - Limited Edition); 
Bag and Stickers: SRM Stickers (Flat Glassine Bag, We've Got Your Border - Birthday); 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Introducing...Floral Frenzy!

I'm excited to share that I've got a new stamp set releasing over at Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

If you follow me over on Facebook or Instagram, you've seen some of my sneak peeks:

And here is the first peek at the full "Floral Frenzy" set:
I am so excited about this set because you can use the flowers alone, with leaves, or with leaves and stems...and there are SO many different possible combinations! (This is where I could go back to math class and use a factorial or something to figure out just how many combinations are possible...but...I won't.)

I hope you love Floral Frenzy as much as I do!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Need a necklace? No problem! {The Twinery}

It's no secret that I love using twine. I use it for crafting, of course, but I also love to use it for quick and easy jewelry. (You can see some past jewelry projects I've done with twine here, here, here, and here.) I love using The Twinery's twine for jewelry because it is so soft and lightweight, and it adds a great pop of color.
Recently I was looking for a last minute addition to my outfit, so I simply grabbed my spool of Solid Mandarin twine and went to work. I started with three strands of twine, knotted it in several places along the middle section and then braided both ends. I made it extra long so that I can also wrap it around a couple times as a super skinny belt, but love using it as a multi-strand necklace as well. 

With so many colors of twine available from The Twinery's shop, I've got lots of options for additions to future outfits...and you do, too!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Labor Day Sale at Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

Ink Blot Shop, LLC is having a SALE!

No coupon code necessary - all sale prices are as marked.

Happy shopping!

Sale prices valid only through 9/7/2016 or while supplies last.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Reviews :: The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with An Adult, The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, and The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan & Mike Berenstain

If you liked The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook, you're sure to enjoy the The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook. The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook is a hardcover cookbook that has fun, easy recipes that will be easy to create with the help of little "cubs". 

For each of the six holidays (Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, "Fall Festivities"/Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) there are ideas for drinks, main dishes, desserts, & snacks. In addition to the cookbook aspect, The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook also has a small story that runs before each section of the book. (I must say that the story sections could have used a little bit more time in the editing department.)
Each of the 40 recipes in The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook has a large, full-color picture of the completed product on the page opposite the recipe. 

The recipes are all very easy, but I must admit that I was hoping to find recipes from scratch (rather than using "ingredients" like a bag of microwave popcorn or a can of tomato soup). Even still, there are several recipes here I am looking forward to trying (especially the "Winter Sweet Potato Soup").

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook you will find some basic kitchen conversions (tablespoons to cups, etc.).

I love when kids are encouraged to help out in the kitchen and adding in the lovable Berenstain bears characters only makes this more appealing for kids.

The Berenstain Bears books are instant classics, as far as I am concerned. These are books that I grew up reading and the new books in the collection (even though they are now mainly written by Mike Berenstain rather than Stan and Jan Berenstain), keep in line with the Berenstain legacy. The Berenstain Bears books are books that exemplify moral character, and I appreciate that. 

In The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, the bear cubs (including Honey) are headed off to school. Each of the cubs are excited, but also a bit nervous. What I love about The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is that it points out that you should take your worries to God. This is a great example for kids who will be reading this book (and the parents, too!). There were several Bible verses referenced in the book, which is wonderful.

I think The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is definitely a great choice. 

The Berenstain Bears Jobs Around Town gives a quick look at a wide variety of jobs that Brother and Sister Bear might do when they grow up. I found the voice/perspective of the book to be confusing, but other than that I enjoyed it. 

The Berenstain Bears Get Involved shows Brother and Sister Bear and the rest of the Cub Club learning about helping others in need, and they get to put their learning into action when flooding hits their town.

The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors is a take on the story of the Good Samaritan. Although I could have done without the country stereotypes in this book, I thought it was a good take on the familiar parable.

In The Berenstain Bears Gossip Gang, Sister learns about gossip - from multiple perspectives. 

In The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag, Brother and Sister Bear learn that bragging is not a loving thing to do. I appreciate the moral of this book, but wish it had been handled in a different way. Throughout most of the book, Brother and Sister Bear are bragging, rather than learning their lesson. I wish they had learned their lesson sooner and maybe even learned some alternatives to bragging (like building each other up). I also didn't care for how Grizzly Gramps talks to Brother and Sister Bear about their bragging - he calls them "two of the biggest, bragging-est fools". In the end, however, Brother and Sister Bear start to get the idea and apologize for their bragging.

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury is a page of questions and activities based on the 5 stories - a nice addition to some good books. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review :: Garden of Eden (coloring book)

Coloring books are great for everyone from 1 to 100 and Zondervan has come out with a new one called Garden of Eden
As you might imagine, the Garden of Eden coloring book is filled with images of flowers, plants, and animals (and Adam and Eve). There are verses from Genesis chapters 1-3 spread throughout the coloring book that go along with the images. Some of the pages feature full scenes (many on two-page spreads), while others are just a single animal or a pattern made up of smaller images. The images are printed on both sides of the pages, so if you were wanting to color something for framing you would need to make a decision on which side to use.

As I mentioned in a review for another coloring book put out by Zondervan, I noticed a few layering/design inconsistencies in the artwork that I would have preferred not to see in a coloring book put out by a major publishing house. I may have only noticed them because I work with digital design software, but I wanted to mention it just incase.

All in all, I think the Garden of Eden coloring book is a great choice and would even be a great addition to a homeschooling unit on creation. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hi. {The Twinery}

I'm happy to have you here!

Today I wanted to share this card featuring a few of my favorite things - mason jars and twine...and (stamped) flowers. 
I love using The Twinery's twine to jazz up mason jars, and I wanted to give the same feel to this mason jar stamp. Rather than wrapping my twine around the entire card as I often do, I just pierced holes in the card around the rim of the stamped mason jar and threaded the Solid Lilac twine through the holes. I love the final product!

Thanks for stopping by today!
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Lilac);
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (Kraft); 
Stamps: Ink Blot Shop, LLC (This & That; Quirky Alphabet); 
Ink: Ranger (Archival - Jet Black);
Colored Pencils: Prismacolor (Premier - 24 pack);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors);
Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bible Art Journaling in 3 Minutes or Less :: Psalm 113 Process Video

I'm back with another new video to share from my Bible Art Journaling in 3 Minutes or Less series.

This series is based off of a challenge to myself to do page (or project) process videos that are 3 minutes long (or shorter). I know it can be hard to find time to watch a long video, so I'm taking the time to make them short.

This video is based on Psalm 113:

Want to get the Ink Blot Shop, LLC stamps used in the video?
Find them (& more!) here:
Find all my posts pertaining to Bible art or journaling here.

Bible: Zondervan (NIV Holy Bible, Journal Edition);
Stamps: Ink Blot Shop, LLC (
This & That, Trinity Names, Big Words (Solid));
Ink: Ranger (Archival - Jet Black);
Pen: Faber-Castell (PITT Artist Pen - Black, F);
Paint: Plaid (Apple Barrel - Bright YellowTropic OrangeLime Tree); Michaels (Craft Smart - Ocean Breeze);

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review :: Doodletopia Manga by Christopher Hart

Doodletopia Manga (pronounced like "mawn-guh") by Christopher Hart is a fun book! It is one of three titles currently in Hart's Doodletopia line of books. It combines instruction, inspiration, and a space for your doodles all in one. This book is intended to be drawn in. 
Doodletopia Manga is divided into 14 sections. They are:
- Introduction
- Finish the Heads and Faces
- Make Hilarious Expressions with Silly Selfies
- Draw Your Own Versions of Manga Characters
- Dress the Chibis from Around the World
- Draw the Super-Cute Animals
- Add a Team Leader
- Have Fun with Emoticons
- Stuff the Pages with Doodles
- Master the Manga Mazes
- Complete the Scenes
- What's Cooking?
- Create Mange Crafts
- Doodle Free-For-All

What I like about Doodletopia Manga is that it is not limited to one drawing subject (people, animals, etc.) but includes a mixture of characters to draw. Although there is a lot of practice going over pre-drawn body shapes, there really isn't much instruction regarding the body. It is mainly going over a pre-drawn character outline, with the emphasis on adding details and accessories. 

The book is printed in two color scales - grayscale and orangescale. The orangescale words and drawings are helpful tips and guides (such as center lines and eye lines on characters) to give you a "base" for your drawings.

The one major problem that I see with Doodletopia Manga is that I have three kids who love to draw (and I do, too!)...and we have one copy of this book.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review :: Snuggle Time Psalms by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Cee Biscoe

Snuggle Time Psalms is a fantastic board book to share with little ones. There are adorable illustrations of various animals on each 2-page spread along with a Bible verse and a short (rhyming) version of the Psalms. 
There are 15 psalms total in Snuggle Time Psalms. They include the following Psalms: 4, 6, 8, 18, 23, 63, 84, 91, 95, 103, 104, 113, 121, 133, and 139. (To be clear, these are re-tellings of the Psalms, not the Biblical text.) What I especially enjoyed about this book of psalms is that each of them are written in the first person (from the child's point of view). I thought this was unique and a great way to help teach children about the psalms and about how they can talk to God (like the other great book from this author/illustrator duo, Snuggle Time Prayers).

Both Snuggle Time Psalms and Snuggle Time Prayers have both been fast favorites in our house. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.