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June 2014

May 2014

Desktop Wallpaper

Do you use desktop wallpaper on your computer? 

I love it!  I used to be really diligent with creating a new cute one every month to spiff up what I spend so much time was kind of the equivalent of buying myself flowers. Well, with moving I got out of the habit, but since Typepad (my blog host) was down yesterday I had some time that I had scheduled as computer time so I whipped up a quick one.

EPB - MAY 2014 - desktopwallpaper

What made it so quick to do? -I used a free digital scrapbooking template from Soco Scraps and Gennifer Bursett created all the digital papers and doodads that are free from Pixels & Company. I love free, so thanks Soco Scraps, Gennifer, and P&Co!

So since these digi freebies are sized for 12" x 12" scrapbook pages I just added my papers and doodads like you would normally do for digital scrapbooking and then resized them for my desktop.  Here's a video on how I did it (for all of you that will surely send me an email asking me how):




Yay! My DIY Bedroom Nightstands are done!

Ok, so about a month ago I saw these nightstands for sale on Facebook. So I texted my Husband right away and was able to scoop up these basic side tables for a good deal. You're jealous right? -With those pine bagel legs how could you not be LOL! (joking!!!)


My father-in-love was nice enough to pluck those bagel legs right off of them and put on some more subtle square ones and he also gave it a little sanding and a coat of primer so that I could get to work painting them.

Diy painted nightstand - Erin Bassett

It's been about a week since I painted them and after letting them cure in the garage so we wouldn't be tempted to put things on them, I'm moving them inside to our bedroom! Woo-hoo! Such a momentous day considering we've been using packing boxes since we moved in two months ago. 

Here's a peek at the favorite part!

Erin Bassett - DIY Nightstand Drawer

And here they are in place. Now to get around to actually finish decorating our room! We need a bed skirt and decor stat!

Erin Bassett - DIY Nightstands After Erin Bassett - DIY Nightstand1

And since I know someone will ask...the paint is by Valspar Paint, which I picked up at Lowe's (my favorite home improvement store!) and is called "Monterey Bay Teal". The Con-Tact paper I picked up at Target (another favorite store!). Oh, and this is NOT a sponsored post! Just spreading the love!

Erin Bassett - DIY Nightstands Before After




ScanNCut: Storing Cutting Mats

"A place for everything and everything in it's place." is a motto I try to live by. I really love good organization and I think that's one of the things that's slowing me down in my quest to finish up my new arts and crafts studio. Now that the major furniture is in for the most part it feels like I'm doing a puzzle trying to figure out what I use most, where it should go that's most convenient, and how to organize it to it's easy to find, use, and put away. So far it's going well, it's just slower then I'd like.

One of my dilemmas is where to store my  ScanNCut® cutting mats. I started off with them in a basket, but it just looked messy with them slip sliding every which way. Then it dawned on me that I could punch a hole in them and hang them on a hook.  -So that's what I did!

The hole punch I used can cut through thick materials, so I was able to cut all my mats at once.

ScanNCut Mat Organization and Storage 1

I just stacked them up and used a binder clip to hold them together on the side that I wasn't punching.

ScanNCut Mat Organization and Storage 2

Then I just punched a hole into the colored banner that says "Brother" so that the machine wouldn't be effected by the hole.  I tested it and haven't had any problems with having a hole in my mat.
ScanNCut Mat Organization and Storage 2

Ta-da! There's the hole!
ScanNCut Mat Organization and Storage 2

After the holes were punched I hang them on a hook on the side of one of my cabinets.
ScanNCut Mat Organization and Storage 2

So that's how I'm storing my mats.  How do you store yours?



Book giveaway2


Sponsor: Brother International

Disclosure: I am a paid consultant for Brother International Corporation and have received a ScanNCut from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and based on my use of the product. 


Crafty Book Reviews & Giveaways!

I love books!  Fact, fiction, crafts...they're all good!  Today I'm going to share with you some great new books that I was sent to review. Rest your mind at ease, when I get review books I read them and if I don't like them I don't review these ones passed! :)  I'm so glad they did too because the publishers were nice enough to allow me to give a copy away to my readers and also some of the finished projects! (see the giveaway details below)


Cute Crochet World, A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More by Suzanne Thompson


This paperback book is chalked full of little crochet projects. 144 pages worth! It's divided into six sections:

  • Critters
  • Food
  • Growing Things
  • Seasons
  • Toys, Tools, Transportation
  • Home

Make sure you read the "read me first" section of the book to make sure you know what supplies you may need as well as helpful techniques and tips.  Each project will tell you the normal information you'll need: the skill level, materials & tools, pattern notes, abbreviations, and most importantly, the instructions.  A lot of the patterns also have note on how you can use your finished piece.

Here's a few of my favorite projects from the book:

Cute Crochet World - Donut
Cute Crochet World - Donut
Cute Crochet World - Donut

About the author: Suzanne Thompson has crocheted and knitted since childhood. In junior high, she earned a fortune (of several hundred dollars) by crocheting and selling granny-square handbags. However, she later chose writing and designing over mass production. The author of Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden, Suzann also teaches and writes about crochet, knitting, and polymer clay. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Dublin, TX.



Sew Quick Sew CuteSew Quick Sew Cute by Fiona Goble

Who loves simple and speedy projects? -This girl! And good news too, because there are some cute ones in this paperback book! All the projects in the book are designed to take anywhere from an hour to a weekend so you can actually get them done instead of adding them to the "work in progress" bin!

Some of my favorite projects are:


Each project lists the approximate time it takes to make it, supplies and templates, step by step instructions with photos. With 142 pages of projects you'll be sure to find a fun one to work on!

About the author: Fiona Goble is an accomplished knitter and the author of many craft books and articles. She also owns a small business making woolen bags and home accessories. She lives in England.



5 lucky blog readers will randomly win a prize of either one of the books or a finished project from the book!  Enter below by commenting and then hitting the +1.  There are additional entries as well, see all the details below.

Comments and entries are now closed and winners have been choosen.

Excerpts reprinted with permission from Cute Crochet World © 2014 by Suzann Thompson, Lark Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Lark Books.

Excerpts reprinted with permission from Sew Quick, Sew Cute by Fiona Goble. Copyright © 2014 Ivy Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy this from these links it won't cost you a penny more but I make a little bit of money (not enough for a pony).




ScanNCut: Cleaning Mats

As an impatient crafter I use a few different cutting mats with my ScanNCut® so I don't have to be slowed down by cleaning all the little bits off while I'm working. I'd much rather be crafting along then cleaning stuff (as you can tell by my inked up stamps, painted on stencils, etc. LOL!-) I just don't clean my art stuff unless it's necessary, and cutting mats are one of those necessities! Having a clean mat allows whatever material you are using to stick well to the mat so that it cuts cleanly without your material lifting off the mat and causing problems.

Cleaning ScanNCut Mats

Well, I was organizing my new art studio the other day I was looking at my ScanNCut Mats and how desperately they need a good cleaning!  Now I'm sure you expert digital die-cut machine owners know how to keep your mats clean but for all you newbies I thought I'd pass on how I clean my mats....oh, and you experts, be sure to add any tips you have below in the comments! We'd love to learn from you too!!

Ok, so I start off by scraping all the bits off of my mat. I use an old credit card style hotel room key to get off paper or plastic pieces left behind on my mat.

Cleaning ScanNCut Mats 1

Next I take an alcohol free baby wipe and gently work in a circular scrubbing motion over my mat, using new wipes as I need them. 

Cleaning ScanNCut Mats 2

Ewww, it really gets the gunk off!


Lastly I let my mats dry for about 10 minutes before replacing the plastic protective cover back over them.  The stickiness on my mats is revitalized now that they're clean and I'm able to use them a lot longer if I keep them clean.

Are you a neat freek and clean your mats as you go? Do you have any tips for us? Leave your comments below!



Sponsor: Brother International

Disclosure: I am a paid consultant for Brother International Corporation and have received a ScanNCut from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and based on my use of the product.