Silhouette July Promo

This month the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition is 40% off! That’s a great deal so if you don’t have the Designer Edition yet, now if the perfect time to get it. This special runs through July 31. Make sure to enter the code: BABBLE at checkout to get the discount. If you don’t have a Silhouette machine yet, there are some great bundles on sale that include the Designer Edition! Keep reading for more information.

silhouette july

You may be wondering if you should get the Designer Edition. Let me tell you why I have it and think it’s a good investment. With the Designer Edition, you will have:

  • ability to open, manipulate, and cut .svg files*
  • rhinestone tools to convert designs into rhinestone templates and create your own rhinestone designs*
  • sketch tools to convert designs into several styles of sketchable art
  • creative knife tools to allow you to clip designs using different patterns
  • enhanced eraser set to modify designs with more precision
  • built-in rule and guide lines for precise alignment and drawing*
  • layers support (including ability to cut by layer)
  • PDF import*
  • nesting feature to allow you to arrange cuts as efficiently as possible – a scrapper’s dream!
  • shadow tool – allows you to add a drop shadow to printable designs

*These are the features that I use all the time.


Did you see the baby shower decorations that I made? I couldn’t have done it without the Designer Edition.


Same for all of the glitter vinyl projects.

And now for all of you that WANT a Silhouette, here are the deals and they are good ones!

CAMEO bundle
1 Silhouette CAMEO
1 copy of Silhouette Studio Designer Edition
1 teal CAMEO dust cover

Portrait bundle
1 Silhouette Portrait
1 copy of Silhouette Studio Designer Edition
1 grey Portrait dust cover

I love that Silhouette included the Designer Edition in these bundles.

What will you make first!

DIY Onesie Dresses

Having a granddaughter is so much fun. Don’t get me wrong – I still spoil my grandson (my daughter can attest to that!), but having a little girl to shop and sew for after 6 years of boy stuff brings all sorts of new fun to being “Nanny”! Like these DIY onesie dresses. Apparently onesie dresses have made their rounds on Pinterest and blogs for a couple of years, but they’re new to me since I’ve been in “little boy world” for a while.

Easy DIY Onesie Dresses |

It only takes about 1/3 yard of fabric to make these dresses for the 3-month size onesies. The amount of fabric you buy determines the length of the skirt section (minus an inch for the hem) that is sewn onto the onesie.

For the placement of the skirt on the onesie, I measured down one inch below each arm hole seam. Then I made two tiny, light dots with a pen and then used a straight edge to make more dots to ensure my skirt would be sewn on straight. These dots are covered with skirt so I didn’t worry about using a disappearing ink pen. Although I’m sure I have one somewhere.


One of the ways to gather the fabric is to sew on a length of elastic. You pull the elastic while sewing.


I prefer to just use the good old basting stitch and pull the bobbin thread. Then I sew on some coordinating bias tape.


After the bias tape is sewn on, I trim the edge close to the bias tape, fold over, and stitch onto the onesie.


Of course I had to add some extras, like ribbon and lace.


You know you have way too much ribbon when you have some that matches your fabric exactly! And you know you have enough headbands if one matches the fabric perfectly!


Oh that sweet, little face!

Hanging Curtain Rods – An Easy Way

I don’t know why I didn’t think of sharing this idea with you sooner. This idea came to me about 100 years ago when I got my first apartment that had about 100 windows.

I’m exaggerating. There were only about 9 windows. ; )

It was a cute, little apartment above a jewelry store in a cute, little, one-traffic-light town. My mom made all the curtains for me using sheets. I can still picture that fabric in my mind.  Funny how that works….I don’t remember what I was doing five minutes ago but I recall the pattern of those curtains.

Being young, naive and IMPATIENT, I wanted to get those curtains up in a hurry. And being young, naive and MEASURING TAPELESS, I came up with a way of marking each window so that each curtain rod was installed at the same distance from each side of the window.  I still use that method to this day and now I’m going to show you.

All you need is a piece of cardboard, chipboard, or even a thicker piece of scrapbook paper will do in a pinch. (Back in that apartment, I ripped a flap off a cardboard box)
The size of the cardboard will determine how far away from the window your curtain rod hardware will be:

  • the WIDTH of the cardboard will be the distance the curtain rod hardware will be away from the SIDE of the window
  • the HEIGHT of the cardboard will be the distance  the curtain rod hardware will be away from the TOP of the window

Now because I’m lazy OR always in a hurry (depends on how you look at it), I rarely measure when it comes to stuff like this. My curtain rods don’t have to be exactly 6.8778135″ above each window.  I eyeball it. BUT if measuring is your thing, I say do what makes you happy!

For the curtains rods that I installed last night, I cut an 8-1/2 x 11″ chip board in half. That meant my curtain rod hardware would be 5-1/2″ away from the sides and 8-1/2″ away from the tops of my windows. Works for me.

So once you have the correctly sized cardboard, tape it to the wall at the corner of your window: corner to corner. I just eyeball it to make sure it’s straight. You could also place a small level along the side if you don’t trust your eyeballing skills.
hanging curtain rods
Drill the screw (or in my case: hammer the tip of the drywall anchor) right through chipboard (or cardboard) into the wall just enough to mark the spot.

Remove the screw or drywall anchor and the chipboard. Put the screw or anchor back in the hole and finish tapping the anchor  into the wall.
hang curtain rods an easy way
Now take that same piece of chipboard (or cardboard) and flip it onto the opposite corner of the window and repeat using the hold that you made on the first side.
easy way to measure for curtain rods
Finish attaching the hardware and that’s it. Now you have perfectly symmetrical curtain rod hardware installed.

hanging-curtain-rods-6 Now after only six years, there are curtains hanging in my bedroom!

hanging-curtain-rods-7 And yes, my bedroom is still orange….but let’s call it Apricot! I’ve got big plans for this little nook….I just don’t know what they are yet. Maybe a window seat? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Vinyl Word Art

We’ve all seen word art, right? I find myself admiring all of the word art posters, boards, and canvases that I see but I don’t ever buy any. Why? Because I know I can make my own for practically nothing. Any time I see some that I like, I grab my iphone and take a picture with plans to make one similar using my Silhouette Cameo. And then the photos stay on my phone and I forget about them. Womp womp. Until now. word art |
I have had the following photo on my phone for at least a month.


These word art signs were at a store near me and I spotted them on my way to the check out and stopped to take a quick photo. I was originally going to make a stencil and paint the letters on a board.

But then I saw what Nancy, from Artsy Chicks Rule made. A word art sign using vinyl. Isn’t that pretty! Perfect for the kitchen! If you’ve never been to Artsy Chicks Rule, I urge you to go visit. She is super talented at re-inventing thrifty finds.

Well, since I seem to have amassed quite the stash of vinyl it was a no-brainer!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 8.08.31 PM

I used a font called FontleroyBrown and designed my word art to fit on the piece of wood that I had. The letters are about 3″ high. One trick I learned when working with vinyl is to draw rectangles around the shapes or words to make weeding easier.

If you would like to make your own word art like mine, feel free to download the Legacy version of the cut file here or if you use Version 3, use this one. (for personal use only) Using transfer tape, I removed the words from the vinyl backing and placed them on my board that I painted black with acrylic craft paint.

word-art-3-createandbabble The I slowly removed the transfer paper. It is so easy and fast!

vinyl-word-art-createandbabble I lightly sanded the edges of the board. This little project only took about 15 minutes to make. Can’t beat that!

vinyl-word-art I hung it above the patio doors in my living room using Command strips and love how it looks there. It’s a nice reminder to anyone walking out that door.


My DIY Farmhouse Table

It’s done. I did it. I can’t believe I did it. But I did. I built a table. Built it from scratch. Do carpenters say that? Built from scratch? It’s sounds like I baked a cake. I built it from a pile of lumber. Yes, that sounds better. Here is my built from scratch, I mean my DIY farmhouse table.

My DIY Harvest Table | I’ve been wanting to build something ever since my Ryobi Christmas. Yes, I had a Ryobi Christmas. Two years ago. Santa (aka Dan) left a huge bag of Ryobi power tools under the tree. (I must have been pretty good.)
Ryobi Miter Saw
I just had to have a miter saw. Dan of course questioned this desire. The conversation went something like this:
Dan: Why do you need a miter saw?
Me: So I can build something.
Dan: Like what?
Me: I don’t know yet, but I want to build it. Think of all the wonderful things I can build.

(Now keep in mind I’ve never built anything with wood and power tools in my life.)
So for Christmas I got the miter saw, a reciprocating saw, a drill, a circular saw and EVERY piece of safety equipment known to man.
I read every single manual for every tool. Cover to cover. I visited some of my favorite DIY blogs and read up on how to safely use power tools. I spent a lot of time on the Ryobi website, reading and learning. Only after all of that did I muster up the courage to actually take the tools out the boxes and insert the batteries. I wanted to get a feel for them. Find out how they felt in my hands. I wanted to get used to the sound and sight of spinning blades. I had some wood that I had bought at the Restore to practice on. I picked up the circular saw first. And quickly handed it off to Dan and said: “you do it”.
My DIY Farmhouse Table| But I eventually gave it a try and now I am comfortably using my power tools with a healthy respect for them. And yes, that’s a sewing square on the wood in the photo above. It works. ; )
Farmhouse Table DIY | There is an incredibly talented woman by the name of Ana White. All DIY bloggers know about Ana. I have never had the pleasure of meeting her, but I hope to some day. The plans for this narrow farmhouse table are from Ana’s website.
DIY Narrow Farmhouse Table | Is my table perfect? Heck no. I made plenty of mistakes.
DIY table But I learned a lot. For example: I now know how to countersink a screw and that it hurts a lot to miss the nail and hit your thumb with a hammer.
diy-farmhouse-table I wanted my farmhouse table to work as a desk in my office. Once I put the legs together it became apparent that this table/desk was going to be huge and difficult to carry up a flight of stairs so I decided to assemble the rest of it in my office. I wanted this table to look old. Old and worn. I stained it first and let that dry.

farmhouse table DIY Then two coats of MMS Milk Paint in Ironstone followed by sanding and a lot of distressing. I figured the old and worn look would cover my mistakes, too.

Lastly, I used MMS White Wax to finish it off.


 I love how the white wax settles into the grooves and evens out the contrast giving the table a worn and loved feel and appearance.

Farmhouse Table DIY |

DIY farmhouse table |

I wanted a long table to serve as a desk and a workspace. With room for all my stuff.

Farmhouse Table DIY by

A space big enough where I can cut fabric and paper…..

…and room for my favorite crafting tool, of course!
DIY farmhouse table |

And a television so the “Housewives” can keep me company while I’m crafting. ; )

DIY Farmhouse Table |

Overall I gotta say I’m pretty proud of this table. It’s not perfect by any means, but I love it and learned so much. I can’t wait to make something else! It’s time to break out the table saw that I got for my birthday!

Sharing at: Project Inspired, Tutorials & Tips, Met MondayInspire Me Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays

Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway

I have teamed up with seven of my blogging friends to host a Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway!

Image Map
1 Grand Prize Winner will get a prize pack valued at nearly $200 that includes:$25 Gift Cards to each:
My Vinyl Direct
Expressions Vinyl
Punch Place Plus
Square1 Masterpieces
approximately $80 worth of Silhouette goodies including:
1Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit (Includes 10 free designs, 24 pens)
1 Silhouette Printable Sticker Paper
1 Silhouette Double Sided Adhesive Paper
1 Adhesive Magnet Paper
1 Rhinestone Template Kit
1 Pack of Assorted Rhinestones
1 Light Hold Cutting Mat (CAMEO)
1 Silhouette Replacement Blade
1 Fabric Blade
1 Clean Cut Interfacing
3 Winners will Each Get $25 Gift Cards to

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4th of July Star Canvas & Silhouette Promotion

The 4th of July is right around the corner so I made this cute, little 4th of July Star Canvas to add a little patriotic sparkle to my office.

4th-of-July-Star-Canvas |

It was made using:

  • Silhouette Stencil Material (I fell in love with this stencil material after using it to makeover a favorite chair of mine)
  • 8×8 canvas
  • blue acrylic craft paint
  • white spray paint
  • small paint brush

The shape that I used is the Star Inverted Rhinestone Design ID #6443 from the Silhouette Online Store. This shape has a message on it instructing you not to alter the size, but since we’re not using this for rhinestones, go ahead and resize for the size of your canvas. I resized mine to 8×8 to fit my canvas.

4th of July Star Canvas by

First I painted the canvas with blue craft paint and let it dry. Since the stencil material is adhesive, I just stuck it down on the canvas and sprayed the white spray paint over the whole thing.

4th of July Star Canvas by

Since I didn’t pay attention to how well the stencil was sticking to the canvas around the edges, I ended up with this sort of bokeh affect! That’s one happy accident! Trust me, it’s rare when my mistakes actually look good.

4th of July Star Canvas by createandbabble

I like how it looks like there are lights shining through the canvas.

Oh, and one more thing about the stencil material: the stencils that you create using it are reusable! Yep, reusable.

silhouette stencil material

I used the same stencil on a T-shirt.


We will be at the beach over the 4th and now I’ll have a cute t-shirt to wear to the boardwalk to watch the fireworks.

By the way, right now is a great time to stock up on all types of Silhouette materials (including my favorite: the stencil material) and accessories and save 30%! Buy as much or as little as you’d like.


30% OFF all materials and accessories!

Just remember to use the code: BABBLE during checkout.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase using these links, I will earn a small commission. As always, I only recommend products that I use and love and you know I love my Silhouette! I was not compensated for this post, but did receive product. All opinions are 100% my own.

Discover P&Geveryday

Ever since I discovered that gardening may become a new hobby for me, I’m trying to learn a little bit about it. Now there are a lot of resources that I could use. There are countless websites, books in the libary, magazines, etc. that I can use. But I know me. I easily become overwhelmed with all the information that is available and I start to lose interest. I’m just looking for smaller doses of information that will help me succeed. I recently found a great resource that I want to tell you about.


It’s the P&Geveryday website. This website is is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve rewarding moments. Every day. P&Geveryday has a goal to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life. I like that!

The site features content and resources on beauty, family, food, health, home and more – all alongside great offers from the innovative and trusted brands you know and love. All in one place!

What you will discover on P&Geveryday

  • Delicious recipes, beauty trends, and smart tips
  • New products to try out for yourself, family and home
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Fresh ideas and inspiration
  • Coupons and samples from your trusted brands
  • And much more!

P&Geveryday is a website created by Procter & Gamble, a company that has been establishing brands for the past 175 years, helping people around the world have extraordinary days. Every day.

I just read the article under “Gardening” and quickly learned 7 watering tips. Good information for this novice gardener to know!


And there’s another about weeding……


….and how to attract hummingbirds.


I’d love for you to visit P&Geveryday and tell me how their ideas, advice or products can make it easy for you to enjoy life….every day!

You can follow P&Geveryday on Facebook, too!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tie-Dyed T-shirts

Happy Summer! I cannot tell you how happy I am that summer is here. I’ll take hot and humid over cold and snow any day! Summer to me means fun. And this year we’re going to tie-dye our summer, starting with the tie-dyed t-shirts.


As most of you probably know, Dan and I love to ride our bikes. Riding bikes is our favorite summer activity and we are planning another long bike ride at the end of this summer. This time we’re going to have two more riders (my brother and sister-in-law) take the trip from Pittsburgh to DC with us. And I thought it would be fun to make some tie-dye t-shirts for us all to wear on one of the days. I love how bright they are and they were fun to make.


Tulip has One-Step Tie-Dye Kits in various sizes. One-Step means just that – you just add water to the bottle. The powdered dye is already in it. No measuring, no adding other ingredients. It couldn’t be easier. Wow, tie-dying has come a long way. I remember the tie-dying sessions at the neighborhood playground many, many years ago where we would go from bucket to bucket of different colored dyes dipping in sections of our t-shirts. This is so much better (and less messy)!

Tie-dye Your Summer

Even the grandbabies got in on the fun! Melanie looks like she’s supervising!

Tulip Tie-Dye Your Summer

Here’s how we made our tie-dyed T-shirts.

  • The first thing I did was wash the new T-shirts.
  • Then you fold and tie them up with the rubber bands that are provided in the kit. Tulip’s website has lots of instructions and ideas for creating various patterns. For a spiral pattern, I grabbed the middle of the t-shirt and twisted and rubber banded until it looked like the photo above.


  • Next is the fun part: squirting on the different colors of dye.

Tulip Tie-dye Your Summer

  • Once you’re done applying the dye, wrap the t-shirt in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag for at least eight hours.
  • Then rinse the t-shirt until the water runs clear.
  • Next, wash separately with a little detergent. The instructions also recommend to wash your tie-dyed items separately for the first few washings.


Tie-dying is a fun, summer activity that even the kiddos will enjoy (outside, with supervision of course!) I think it would be fun to make them for a family reunion. Now wouldn’t that make for a colorful family photo!

Please visit ILovetoCreate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more creative and fun creating ideas.

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Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Blue Print Social and ILovetoCreate for Tulip Tie-Dye. As always, the thoughts and experience expressed here are entirely my own.

Junky Deck Decor

I’m so excited to show you the corner of my deck that I just decorated. How do you like my junky deck decor!

Use old "junk" or unused items for planters to decorate your deck |

It’s been a busy, busy week around here. We have been getting the outside areas of our home cleaned up and ready for summer. It’s funny because I was just saying as we were pulling weeds, laying new mulch, and planting flowers that one of the reasons why I bought a condo was so I didn’t have to do yard work. Ha! I found out the HOA does not cover the side or back mulched areas. So I inherited gardens along the side and back of the house. Ugh. I say ugh because gardening is not my thing. In fact for the past six years that I’ve owned this house, I’ve pretty much just ignored those gardens and let the weeds grow. Yeah, I’m one of “those” neighbors. But in my defense, I didn’t know they were ALL weeds. I know next to nothing about such things. Seriously. I took pictures with my iphone to show “gardeny” folks at work and asked them if they were weeds or plants. Yep. Turns out most of them were weeds. Sigh.


We had work to do. And lots of it. Digging up weeds (they were way beyond the “pulling” stage).



I round up my unwilling helpers: Dan and my son, Alex (I’ll call them the “voluntolds”) and sent them off to get mulch and a weed barrier. Since we are not the gardening type, we didn’t even own a shovel. As we were contemplating how to get the mulch from the truck to the flower beds, I’m pretty sure I heard cheers coming from the neighboring condos and the guy next door actually drove off to a friends house to borrow a shovel for us. ; ) Update: we are now the proud owners of 2 shovels.

In anticipation of all this outdoor planting stuff, I bought lots of flowers for the beds and also for the deck railing planters. I kinda went a little overboard and had flowers leftover but nowhere to plant them. So I looked around inside my house and found a few things that could work.
How about a worm box! A worm box? Yes! Perfect. It was my Dad’s and I’m sure he made it. He didn’t buy anything if he could make it himself.

worm-box-2 Oh my goodness, I wonder how old that dirt is that’s inside of that old box?!
I cleaned it out, filled it with fresh potting soil and Ageratum (at least that’s what the tag says ;) Don’t they look pretty in there? I can picture my Dad looking down on his worm box and either shaking his head or laughing just a little! And because finding this old worm box in the basement brought back some wonderful memories of me and my Dad, I went looking for this photo:

That’s me and my Dad fishing. I was 16. OMG, 40 years ago! It seems like yesterday. Look at the ground behind me…..there’s the worm box!


This fishing creel purse …. do you sense a them here?…. it’s seriously unintentional, just a coincidence! …was heading for the donation box until I saw the planter potential:


I would be honored if you share or pin this post!


The little, chippy step ladder was a $2 yard sale find and the galvanized tubs were from Pick Your Plum. Dan almost threw away the old birdhouse in the corner, but I rescued it and think it looks perfect in this little junky vignette. My deck and flower beds look so much better. I can hang my patriotic banner on MY deck now ; ) And all of a sudden the neighbors are being really friendly ; )

And you know, I think I’ve had a change of heart and might actually like this whole gardening thing.

 I link up to these great parties.