Cozy Christmas Cottage


Sizzix Blog Hop 1 - Keri Lee Sereika

Today I have a cute little Cozy Christmas Cottage to show you.Want to come in and have a cup of cocoa with me??


The basic supplies used were:

  • #65279 Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die – House, 3D, By Eileen Hull (Instructions for basic assembly can be found here. )
  • Sizzix 12×12 matboard, white.
  • Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine

I decided to do up my house using  Jillibean Soup Christmas papers from last year .  I mean, who doesn’t love Kraft, Red, White and Rich Cocoa together??  The roof top is made with pinecone petals and adorned with faux snow.


Two Gifts from the Kitchen

hot cocoa gift set gift from the kitchen

To create the two gifts from the kitchen you can use your own embellishments and the recipes listed below.  The directions for this wonderful winter gift can be found in the December newsletter for Crafts N Things magazine.  If you have never checked out the magazine you really should.  There are a huge variety of crafts and most certainly a craft for every skill level and style.   The magazines website is . You have to sign up to receive the newsletter.

Hot Chocolate mix:
10 cups dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups powdered non-dairy creamer

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined. Store cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups mix, or enough for about 45 servings.

For 1 serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, and add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Top with dollop of whipped cream or a few marshmallows, if desired.

I love to make gifts for family and friends.  One item that goes over nicely at Christmas time is cookie mixes in a jar.  I will take a few hours one day to make up a huge batch of them.  Once the jars are filled I decorate the out side of them to suit my mood.  On this one in particular I used a stamped image that I colored last year for my Christmas cards.  I had a few left.  I also used a tag that I made last year from a die cut and old dictionary pages.  I like to recycle paper whenever I can and the dictionary that I tore up has been used on a few dozen projects now.  The vintage paper makes a great background for almost any project.  The circle on the was a piece of left over scrap paper that I had stamped at some point in time.  I really like using up all the bits and pieces that I have accumulated over the year.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a jar:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Nestle Toll House Morsels Semi-Sweet
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix the salt and baking soda with the flour, then layer the ingredients into a 1 quart, wide mouth jar. Use scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from calico. Place over lid, and secure with rubber band. Tie on a raffia or ribbon bow to cover rubber band.

Give with the following instructions:
Chocolate Chip Cookies 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 2. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup of unsalted butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix in cookie mix. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, spaced well apart, onto a greased cookie sheet. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Santa Christmas Card

I have a card here to share that I just LOVE! I used a sketch by Tami Mayberry as my inspiration and then used all my fun goodies that I purchased online.
Anyway, here is the Inkadinkadoo Father Christmas stamp and Webster’s Pages papers I bought from  ….(sorry but I think that the stamp is from 2008 and is most likely old out of stock.  So keep your eyes open for for a stamp similar.  🙂 )

Show your Heartfelt Thanks with a card

Working hard….today I am grateful that I have the ability to work hard. That my limbs work and that my mind is sharp (okay, so perhaps not “sharp” but “working well” can still apply, right? LOL) I have been hard at work for weeks wrapping up an ongoing project that I am almost done with and today was a majorly long hard day…and though my muscles ache and my eyes are sore from shooting hundreds of step out photos, I am thankful that I have muscles that ache only because I over worked them and eyes that are sore because I have using them to SEE…Thank you Lord for the things I so often forget to say THANK YOU for.


This card is from a few week’s back on CPS. If you are ever looking for a good “jumping off point” you really should play along with CPS and the weekly card sketch we have! Enjoy!


9-26-11 CPS239 Want2Scrap - Heartfelt Thanks - Keri Lee Sereika



Stamps: Impression Obsession – Thanks Sentiments
Ink: Tsukineko – VersaFine Vintage Sepia
Copic Markers & ABS – E57, E35
Dies: Spellbinders – Labels Eighteen
Pearl Heart & Pearls: Want2Scrap – Scallop Heart & Beaded Square, White Pearl (Altered with Copic ABS)
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
Patterned Paper: Graphic 45
Embellishments: Ribbon Rosette(handmade) & Ribbons

Make a hand painted scarecrow

Make a Wood Slat Scarecrow for a fall decorations. We love the whimsical paintings by Megpie Designs and her tutorial below. We are lucky to have her share her methods for creating unique art.  Her scarecrow is cheeky and he’s really simple to make, and he looks great tucked into a Fall wreath.

hand painted scarecrow tutorial

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Materials  for Wood Slat Scarecrow:

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 Use sponge roller to base coat top half of wood slat antique gold; also paint the craft stick antique gold.
Attach hat brim with glue gun, then base coat the bottom half of the wood slat antique white.
Actually, what this pic shows, is that after I painted the top halves of the wood slats, I poured someantique white onto my palette and rolled the lighter color onto the bottom halves of the wood slats.  Since it wasn’t enough contrast, I loaded my 1″ wash brush with antique white and repainted the bottom. Ummm … you could do this too, or you could just skip that step. Whichever!
Don’t forget to paint the backs and the sides of each slat!
Okay … I found this background stamp a few years ago.  It makes the absolute “perfect” cross-hatch pattern on my straw hats and burlap texture on my scarecrow faces.  I love it!!
 Here’s a pic of the top of the stamp. (and the stamp pad I used)
Rub the stamp pad over the stamp, and stamp the craft stick (hat brim)
and the top half of the scarecrow (hat) *and* I like to stamp the bottom half (the face) separately.  No real reason.  Just because.
Next, shade around the edges of the rectangles and the top half of the craft stick.
Dip a 1/2″ wash brush into water, then dip one corner into a small puddle of honey brown paint. Drag the brush back and forth on the palette to distribute the paint gradually …
Secure the hat brim to the hat with the glue gun.
Blush cheeks with sponge dauber and pink powder blush.
Use a stylus or the end of a paintbrush handle to dot the eyes.
Thin black paint with water to an inky consistency, and use the liner brush to paint a mouth on the scarecrow.
Use the liner brush and jack-o-lantern orange to add a triangle nose to the scarecrow.
Here’s how to make the cute black crow poking up out of the hat brim:
Paint the jumbo craft stick black.  Don’t forget to paint the sides.
Use the sanding block to sand around the edges of the craft stick.
Then trim off the end of the craft stick. I like to use my Midwest Products Hobby & Craft Easy Cutter Ultimate
Dip dot the eyes with white paint.
Add smaller black dots over the white dots.
This photo (above) shows step-by-step how to paint the beak with antique gold and a script liner brush.  When completely dry,  brush on a coat of Sparkle Glaze.
Secure the crow to the hat with the glue gun. Make two holes in the top corners of the slat scarecrow.
Thread one end of the jute through the hole and knot the ends.  Thread the other end of the jute through the second hole, creating a hanger.  Tie a knot with the ribbon scrap and attach to the crow’s neck.
Use the permanent black marker to outline the hat, hat brim, and face. Outline the crow’s beak.  Use thinned black paint to make eyebrows and stitch marks on the nose and mouth.
There you go and adorable hand painted scarecrow.


Make a Cardinal Wreath for Thanksgiving Decoration

Thanksgiving is at my house (again) this year … I’ve made all my guests a family initial cardinal wreath. (I’m also making these for teacher’s gifts!) So simple … here’s what I did:
10″ Grapevine Wreath, 4″ Gold Initial, Bird’s Nest Pick,
Floral Pick (evergreen, pine cones, berries),
Cardinal with alligator clip,
20 gauge crafting wire, wire snips
needle nose pliers (to help with tightening wire)
hot glue gun
First, cut a 12″ length of craft wire and wrap it two or three times around the initial.
Attach it to the side of the wreath. You may have to turn the wreath a few times to determine the best place for the initial.  The thinnest spot works best.
Turn the wreath over and twist the wire ends together to secure the initial.
Poke the bird’s nest pick into the wreath near the top of the initial. Poke the sprigs into the wreath. Secure with crafting wire and/or hot glue.
Clip the cardinal near his nest … and there it is!
Quick and easy!  A nice take-home favor on Thanksgiving Day.

Hand painted Cube Ornament

Sizzix- Twist Cube

Here’s my take on the Twist Cube … no twisting involved! I thought, and I do hate to be redundant … (I’d so much rather have a clever different way to say this)… so again, I thought …blank canvas! What a great way to showcase six little Christmas icons – all at a cute little 3″ x 3″ size!!!  Here they are:
  The Christmas Puppy
  The Christmas Kitty
  The Christmas Star – all tangled in lights …
 A Snowman with Earmuffs!
A Snowman in a Floppy Hat – with Jingle Bell …and lastly, my personal favorite:
 A Snowman in a Woolly Tasseled Scarf!! … if you’d like to see more,
here are a few Work In Progress photos:
 This is what we all started with ^
I painted a sheet of textured acrylic paper black.
 I cut the painted paper into six 3″ x 3″ squares;
 distressed the edges with a sanding block …
 … made myself six small patterns …
… transferred each pattern onto a paper square with white transfer paper …
… painted, shaded, highlighted, and then outlined the details with a permanent marker.
Assembled the cube, and centered a painted paper square onto each side of the cube. I used red line tape to adhere the centers
of each paper square … then glued around the edges to keep them from curling.

Hand Painted Autumn Gift Tags

 Hand painted Autumn Gift Tags make a great hostess gift. Megan Maravich is a decorative painter who makes the cutest characters.  If you would like to see more of her fall characters you can check out her site.
The grandparents stayed with the kids this weekend …it was a welcome break for me!  When I got back on Sunday afternoon, I was jonesing to create something quick and fun! With the weather getting chillier and the leaves changing colors, I’m inspired to paint anything that reminds me of Fall.  Scarecrows, black birds, pumpkins, sunflowers, hay bales, corn stalks, leaves, you-name-it!
I also love working with wood.  It’s especially easy to paint on; and if I need pieces cut to a specific shape, I can head out to the barn
and fire up the scroll saw, table saw, and belt sander. However.  When I say Quick and Fun … I mean something I can do right now.  I love pre-cut wood shapes!  You can buy by the piece  or by the package.  Too quick!  Instant fun.
Here are the pre-cut wood shapes I started with: three wood tags, two mini craft sticks (for the hat brims).  I always start with a sketch … sometimes two, sometimes thirty-two.  When I’m happy with a design, I trace it onto heavyweight tracing paper.  This is the pattern – it comes up again later.
First, I wipe each piece clean with a cotton cloth, and paint one coat of DecoArt® Multi-Purpose™ Sealer onto each surface.
(front and back)
This is my volunteer – Blondie is showing you the sealed wood and the sanding block.  This block is Medium grit.  When completely dry, you’ll notice the sealer has raised the grain of the wood.  Use a sanding block and sand with the grain to smooth each surface; especially the edges.
Next, base coat each main surface with acrylic paint.  (Don’t forget to paint the backs and the sides)!  When completely dry, sand smooth and use the sanding block to remove the paint from the edges.  This gives each tag a more “weathered” appearance.
Here’s where the pattern comes in:

Line up the pattern over the piece, and use light transfer paper to transfer onto a dark painted surface (the black, in this case);
and dark transfer paper to transfer onto a lighter painted surface.
Shade each painted section.  Before painting the crow’s beak, however, here’s a trick for applying the hatch marks to his hat …
… a rubber background stamp!  Too easy, and looks great!
Add the painted details to each piece … then brush on sealer. (By the way … I used the stamp on the scarecrow’s face).
Outline with black permanent marker; glue on hat brims.
Thread ribbons through holes for hanging … and finally,
 Stamp a special note onto the backs.
Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

Quick & Easy Birthday Canvas by Megpie Designs


I try to be creative when it comes to giving birthday gifts.  If I really think I can paint something the birthday boy or girl will like or use, then I paint something.  Usually, it’s a personalized bin that I can fill with drawing paper, paints, markers, etc.; but not this time.
Here’s how I made this: I chose a blank pre-stretched canvas and acrylic paints in colors to coordinate with the birthday girl’s bedroom.
Here’s the quick and dirty on how I base coat large backgrounds: I use a roller with a clean sponge, I squeeze multiple colors of acrylic paints onto a palette (in this case, a disposable plate),
Roll the sponge into the paint until it’s covered.

The beauty of this technique, is that you can cover the canvas completely and quickly, with no pattern and no cause for concern if you run out of paint. Simply apply more paint to the palette – randomly – and then apply the paint to the canvas until it’s covered.

Here’s another tip: store the sponge in sealed Cling Wrap – it will stay nice and moist and you can use these same colors again.
Next, I hand painted her name onto the canvas.  Please note, had I used tracing paper and transfer paper to apply the name, it would have been perfectly centered and each letter would have been the same size.
Instead, I got this. I shaded around each letter with a deeper shade of the background color. Then, I applied a darker shade of green
to the bottom half of each letter. Then I randomly applied polka dots with sponge stipplers.  Finally, I applied a sparkly glaze.
And used a hot glue gun to attach a furry boa around the canvas. Happy Birthday, Emma!
– peace out – Megan

Scarecrow Bookmark

Need a fun fall gift for a friend or have a fall birthday?  This adorable scarecrow bookmark is a great idea and is brought to you by Megan Maravich of Megpie Designs.  Hope you enjoy her work as she will be bringing lots more hand painted  craft ideas from now through the end of the year.

I’ve had a few requests to “borrow” my design ideas to make little projects for fundraisers.  Absolutely!!!  I thought I’d share a few tips and How To photos:

Getting started: I ordered a dozen unfinished bookmarks from Oriental Trading Company.  However, Midwest Products makes some great thin wood strips that could be cut to size.

I use the largest hole punch on my Crop-O-Dile II to make each hole a bit larger.

Seal the front, back, and sides of each bookmark with DecoArt® Multi-Purpose(TM) Sealer.  Use mini craft sticks for the hat brims; seal those as well.
Use a sanding block to sand all surfaces smooth and remove any splintered wood.

Base coat each piece, including the hat brims.  Shade around the left side of each painted section.  I use a cross-hatch background stamp for the straw hat details.

Attach hat brims with Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue®.

Paint details … triangular noses and black dip-dot eyes. Dip a stylus or small paintbrush handle in a puddle of black paint.
Dot once; reload with paint before dotting other eye.

Reloading each time gives you same-size dots. Dotting without reloading gives you dots in decreasing size.

I decided to add a crow to each scarecrow’s hat.  I used pre-cut oval wood shapes.

Cut small triangles from masking tape and press onto oval.

Paint ovals black; remove tape, and paint beaks yellow ochre.  Lightly sand the edges of each oval to remove some of the paint.

Use a stylus or paintbrush handle to dip dot the eyes.
When dry, seal each piece.

Add detail lines and stitches with a permanent black marker.  Glue crow to hat.  Thread some fun ribbon through the top of the bookmark …

Super simple!