12 Crafts of Christmas – Day 1- Old Book Advent Calendar

Well it’s the first day of the 12 crafts of Christmas series Roo and I are hosting for this year!  Here is the trailer we put together:

This will involve 12 DAYS of crafts that you can make to prepare for the holidays or just to watch for fun while you’re doing your own Christmas crafts… We hope to distract you from the stress and anxiety of Christmas and focus on setting aside time to have fun with friends and family!

Some of the projects are related to home decor, some can be used to make as presents, and some are just for fun. Skills included are some basic sewing, easy crocheting or knitting, kid crafts, and a little scrapbooking/altered type projects. From November 19-30, there will be one craft video posted each evening. Though we are by no means experts in any of this, we thought it would be fun to share what we like to do.  Because after all, that’s what life is about, sharing, growing, and connecting with people.  So feel free to comment with tips on more effective ways of getting the same results…. or maybe an altered version of one of our projects that you came up with! We love getting new ideas!

I have to warn you, so far these videos are turning out way longer than we had planned, so I’ll try and post minute markers as to where the meat is if you’re short on time. A little shenaniganing is expected but not completely necessary to make any of these crafts were are carrying.



Day 1’s craft is going to be an ongoing thing throughout the 12 days.  Because it’s a rather lengthy project, it was not completed in entirety before video one was scheduled to be posted. So I thought it might be fun to do a final reveal on day 12. And because it’s an advent calendar, December 1st will see it’s first use anyway…    Also, I think it’s the kind of project that sparks ideas as you go.  So I don’t think it will ever be completely finished. I plan on adding photos to it for upcoming years as well.

Old Book Advent Calendar

For this craft you will need:

  1. 25 Old books
  2. Mod podge
  3. Binder Clips or some sorta clamp
  4. Decorative fabric and paper
  5. Embellishments…  stickers… stamps… buttons… etc…
  6. Optional: paint or watercolor..
  7. An exacto knife, or anything you might think will work to cut through the pages easily.
  8. Coffee or hot chocolate
  9. Snacks

As far as the books go, I’ve collected them over the years at yard sales, flea markets, or consignment type shops. You can use new books, but I just feel the old falling apart ones give a little charm.  But after all, you are going to decorate them how you like, so you can give em a little antique look if they aren’t quite old enough. Or you could go for a more modern looking set. You might use newer books and make a sleeker design. Maybe even use a set of Christmas childrens books? There are endless ideas you could come up with….  easiest and more inexpensive way is to come up with something that uses stuff you already have.

And even if you don’t want to go to all the trouble to make an advent calendar, you could also just make a few to give as as photo gifts for grandparents or whomever!  Just use the book as a frame and decorate!

So here is Video 1 for the 12 Crafts of Christmas:  I reccomend watching in HD.

I’ve uploaded it to the max 1080, but 720 is also acceptable… lower than that and the craft is harder to view…   so just adjust your quality because I think the default is 360.  And on top of that, we were forced to record at night… and we used the ipad since I have yet to get a new camera since it busted…  so overall filming quality was not at it’s best from the get go…   yikes!

The craft actually starts around minute 9…  heh..

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for our special guest in tomorrow’s video!




Bible Journaling


So Roo and I cracked open our new Journaling Bibles so we thought we’d share a couple of the pages we were working on.

The bible we both have is the ESV Journaling Bible from Crossway.  Besides being adorable, it’s small enough to carry around and enjoy wherever whenever. Available on Amazon here: ESV journaling bible

I started in Nehemiah because that’s where we are at church right about now. My first journal was actually something our Pastor said because I loved it so much. “You cannot hide a heart that has been broken by God.”


Though I plan to be pretty messy with this Bible, I like to kinda jot important things on sticky notes first, then decide what I want the focus of the journaling to be.  So most of the time, it will probably be my favorite scripture or passage from the pages, but sometimes, you just need a beautiful statement like this to look back on.

And as Roo and I were journaling together, we decided to go back and highlight all the verses she had already learned in Awana, so I did the same in mine.  So of course, we started with John 3:16:


So if you don’t know the Gospel, there ya have it right there:


Which is the whole point of EVERYTHING…  funny how I didn’t learn that in the Roman Catholic church growing up…

Roo went on to 1 Corinthians as well. She used some stamping on this page and then actually colored them in with highlighters. We both sponged a bit of ink for our backgrounds.


We are having so much fun doing this, and I think it’s really helping her and I memorize scripture as well.  We hope you’ll join us and share your journaling! God Bless and have a great week!

There’s so many Groovy things to do…

fitty-madebyfitty-oldbook-scrapbooking-studiocalico-americancrafts-coupleOne of my favorite things to do is to use old books as Scrapbooks. I’ve actually given them as gifts more than I’ve made for myself… but I have a few works in progress that I add to as I get just the right photo. I’m quite picky when it comes to what photos I use for my old book books… Old book book scrap book books. sheesh…
But with today’s apps and programs, you can pretty much make any photo look like it was taken when the book was written. And lately, I think God is trying to tell me that I was born too late. Well not lately, my whole life actually… Things of old just seem to gravitate toward me… People just give me furniture that looks like it was George Washington’s cousin’s wife’s mother-in-law’s. They leave me nik naks that look like they’ve been run over by trains. And they know that I will like them. And now I’ve moved to a house that was built in 1802… kinda by chance… so it’s all good because now my stuff matches my house! And my old book scrapbooks fit right in!


This is just more proof that anything works as a scrapbook. I used some paint and confetti to embellish. Not much involved here. It’s just about what you think looks good.  I know I always talk about doodling.  But seriously, it’s my favorite embellishment.  You don’t have to be a master artist.  That’s why it’s called doodling.  It’s mindless scribbling!  And it just looks good no matter what you do.  And if you don’t like the way it looks, cover it up with a sticker.

Seriously folks…  I’ve kinda be re-inspired to scrap some older photos..  Moving always forces you to look through old boxes… and I found the motherload of pics and old albums.  So many have good scrap potential.  I’m always torn about how to organize my scrapbooks. Like, should this one be just for this year?  Should this one be just of the dog?  Should I start a new one every year for just me and Daryl?  AHHHHH, it’s brain wracking…  So I decided that my old book scrapbooks are going to follow no rule.  They will just be.  Any photo I come across that I think would make a good arty entry to my old book will just be rendered admittance.  No questions asked.


Stay Groovy.

XO Fitty

Saturday morning Jam session


Sometimes I think I’m as addicted to my kid as I am to coffee.

I don’t really care to waste time wondering if that’s good to bad, but in the meantime… I thought it’d be nice if we had some photos of us doin’ what we do when we’re hanging at home on a saturday morning.  This jam session happened after we built a snow fort in the living room.  We froze our toes off the day before so I decided to be lazy and just bring the snow in so I could enjoy coffee and the couch while she enjoyed the snow.  

I think it’s important to stop organizing, stop packing, stop worrying, stop everything and just enjoy being exactly where you are right this moment.

I usually forget that and just run around the house like an  angry person and stay up all night fretting and scheming.
So for my new year, I’m going to not plan to do anything or stop doing anything.  I’m going to just try to remember to enjoy what I have today, and realize that I can live with much less.

And I’m going to put down all the sad pages…



Along with the happy ones.


I’m still trying to get my december daily mini album finished, so I’ll get to that…  it’s just these darn impromptu photo shoots that get me side-tracked!


I feel like I don’t know what the heck I scrapbooked about before Eleanor?  I don’t know what I did? lol.  I know all parents say it, but it’s so true…  have no clue what life used to be before I had a kid.  All I do know is that it’s so much better.  No matter what hard times we’re going through.

🙂  xo Fitts

Apple seedy yes indeedy!

So despite the back of the hand slapping we always receive when we go here, we somehow ended up back at Russo’s in Chesterfield for Apple picking this year.
We thought about not going and trying another place but… we thought misbehaving again at the same farm is more fun than behaving at a new farm?!
We think at least. Next year we’ll discuss again briefly and then probably end up back there letting our kids ride in the wagons, move the gourds out of place, and throw hay.

Eleanor knows how to spell her name, but I don’t think she knows how to spell mine.. which made it funny when I realized the wagon she picked had my name on it. Yes, that’s how you spell Fitty on wagons.  On the interwebs it’s F  I T T Y.  Wagons, K A R E N.  Got it?  Good.    And Collin on a wagon is spelled K A T H Y.   It has something to do with the Secret National and International Association of people who use wagons for secret agenty purposes.   How do I know about it… heh…

I love how this blog has turned into a big crunchy photo share…  I’ve been busy but I don’t even have to promise that I’ll be scrapbooking these pics…  they are just too yummy! I might even do a mini album!


This is the newest member of our clan, Collin.  I just can’t stand the adorable that pours outta this one!!!  He’s the little nugget belonging to one of my besties Mary.  Right now he’s also the easiest to grab shots of because he’s not running around chasing other running around boys while throwing rotten apples.  So I was able to snap a few of those bad boy blues!!


Can you stand it!

And with each new pic of Eleanor, I say it’s my fav… just like the latest song you wrote, you might as well throw out the rest.. But in this case, I’ll be keeping them all. This one reminds me of an Olivia Newton John record album cover… Have YOU never been mellow?


I probably shouldn’t point out the dirt smudge on her nose… coz before I wrote that, I was the only one who noticed.


oh, and they have pumpkins too.. all mine lost their stems rolling around the back of my car… 😦 boo!


Horsey is the ewesh when it comes to what Eleanor carries around with her, but the little sewing kit she found in one of my bags is a new addition. I don’t know if she thought she might need to sew some apples back together or something. When we got home she did tell me she was mad at me for not fixing Luke’s stuffed Sonic yet… It hasn’t been a week yet, but I guess I should get right on top of that. After all it is a neck wound and this is the stuffie ER!!



This is me

imageSo last month I took part in an online Studio Calico class called “This is me”with Lexi Bridges. She is awesome, just go check her out!

For some reason, I feel almost wrong scrapbooking about myself… like I’m saying…  “Hey, I think I’m cool!” or something.  It’s like a selfie on facebook, you just don’t do it unless there’s some good reason or you have something ridiculous on your face that covers most of it. I don’t know, but I think you all agree, it feels weird to move the direction of the focus off of our family, friends, and pets and onto ourselves.  And if you’re a mommy, it’s always all about the kids.

What intrigued me about this class was that the goal was to make a mini album. This is something I’ve never done. Like cards, I had little interest. But I can’t lie, I’m now hooked. I love the idea that you don’t have to pick out a cover (you can), but you can create the entire thing from scratch.

I cut some chipboard, covered it in fabric and vvvv wwaaa laaa I had the beginning and the end.  Now I just needed to fill it. To do the pic on the cover, I used printable fabric and then sewed it on the cover fabric that I chose before I modge-podged it to the chipboard.


The whole process was pretty dang enlightening. What was I going to include? That was tough… I feel like there are so many things that can be part of someone’s life.. things that affect them on a daily basis. Though I felt like cleaning the house was not something that particularly touched me on an emotional level. Though re-organizing does have a way of setting free the endorphins of inspiration!

No, but seriously… I pretty much have to re-arrange my peg board or something before every craft session to get the juices going. It’s like magic!

So anyway,  I narrowed my book down into a few catergories:

1. Family: ok, I know… but that’s what makes me who I am. My family. And they’re the most important. So of course, there’s a big spread of my favorite little lady as well as the Hubs and the fuzzys.



imageThe big swingy pic of Roo was also printable fabric. 

2. Interests/hobbies: Basically my crafty adventures using paper and a collection of sewing machines that each have a strength and weakness.. one with the fatal weakness of not working! Yikes!

3.  Music: Besides giving piano lessons, music is a big part of my life. When I was making this book, I decided to collect a handful of artists that I admired and just make a little pic collage. By no means did this include all, but whatever came to mind or what I’ve been listening to lately. This is where I really got sad… and happy at the same time… because I couldn’t remember the last time I just sat and listened to an album… just for the sake of enjoying it. Granted, there’s been a lot of disney and nick music blasting in my car due to Roo, but in-between audiobooks, there hasn’t been a recent “GOD I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO THIS SONG!” So I’m on a mission to change that. To make an effort to just listen like when I was a teenager with a new Belinda Carlisle cassette on the bed following along with the lyrics. image

 4: Some random current interests/likes.

5: Goal. Yes one goal. To cure my headaches.

6. A short note to my Grams.  She’s the one person I think about everyday. She was awesome and I miss her.


It’s not over embellished… some pages are down right messy! But I decided not to over-think it and just let it be what it was going to be. So it ended up longer than I imagined, and much more journally than I imagined. I felt like I had so much to say about every page…  and in the end I was re-introduced to myself and I’m now kinda itching to pick up things that I put down throughout the years.

To not do things because I care what people think, or don’t think… or say or don’t say… but just to do them because it’s fun and enjoyable.  To share for the sake of sharing and not worry about who will make fun of me tomorrow…  After all, does it matter? The most important things are the simple ones. So ENJOY them! And don’t forget to take pictures!


I know … I keep saying I’m going to do a workshop and never follow through… but I will! And I think this would be a great first project. So if anyone’s up for finding yourselves in June, I’ll make it a point to set something up.

Planning is Important!

I say turn everything into a scrapbook! Like your planner!


Peter: “Hey Fitts, you up for roller skating this saturday at 6pm?  All the cool kids will be there!”

Me: “Yea sure, that sounds off the chain! Or should I say, off the left side wheels on my right foot! I’ll be there for sure”

Peter: “Cool franks!  I’m so glad you could come, Wendy is going to be there and she hasn’t seen you in like… EONS!”

Me: “No way! That’s awesome!  I can’t wait to catch up with her!”


and then I check my planner calendar thingie shoved in my way too many notebooks bag and there it is with little flower and heart stickers surrounding it. “George and Princess Beautiful get married”

So anyway, I’m on yet another mission to make my planner so damn cute that I can’t go  a day without adoring it’s pages and consuming the dated information!

Well, off to werky…  Have a FUN Wednesday and stay dry if you’re in Jersey like me!


Sometimes… the day before is better than the day of…

Sometimes your daughter has a 3rd birthday.  Actually, it normally only happens once.  After 3, sometimes it skips 4 and goes right to 5… but it never goes back to 3 again. And you’re at your moms house because she always has a picnic on labor day, so you bring your newly 3 year old daughter and you also bring your camera because you think you’re gonna get some really good pics of her on the exact day she turns 3. But then it turns out to be the yuckiest most HUMIDIFIED day ever there was the whole summer and  your daughter spends the entire day in the pool with TURNY(i love when nicknames evolve out of mispronunciations from toddlers ) .  Should be Tierney.  🙂

So let’s just say the birthday pics were a wash…  but the dancing vids from that day will be cherished!

Luckily the day before, I just happened to tote my camera to my friend Michelle’s house for her son’s 4th birthday party…  and sitting across from Roo, I was able to snap a series of her eating her philly swirl push up pop.  Though I could’ve easily included 15 pics, I chose my 5 faves and smooshed em into an instagram collage and then cut em apart after I printed them. And this is probably to be my last layout of summerness that I’ll do until next year.

So just this past August I

finally got my hands on some Studio Calico kits.  So this is mostly from the August one … or the September one… I’m not really sure because Roo mixed them together…

But hopefully I can dedicate some pages to just one kit exclusively..  because I LOVE THEM.

And I’m trying a new thing where I just kinda …  turn off the brain and just go with it.  Ya know how when you think too hard, you just get frustrated and end up with nothing. This way, I just throw it all down and then edit later. Because after you’ve thrown down, inspiration surely follows and you suddenly just start getting ideas.

To make these sunshiney spotty lights, I used this simple app called “Bokehful”.  You can make them in a few different shapes.. the hex is my fav…  as is prob. for most.

If I ever get a new iphone… I fear I may abandon my camera all together because between the apps and the ever-evolving quality of photos it takes…   I may just lose the need…

I’ve also been addicted to foam adhesives lately.  I feel this need to make things pop out..  So there are several different heights going on with the photos.  You can probably tell from the shadows… a couple are flat… then some are off the page a little, and some a little more.

There are some things in the works that me and my hubs are trying to plan.  Maybe some workshops or collage clubs.. lol.  But we’ll keep you posted.  Would love to get together with some of my local friends and make some art!

Digital scrap


I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it just got easier…


Close to my heart has this great ONLINE software you can use to make digital scrapbook pages.  You have a lot of artistic freedom like you always did, but now they’ve got what they call “express layouts”. 

So if you don’t want to think, you don’t have to!  They’ve made layouts for you that are adorable!


There are a bunch to choose from, you just pick the one you want, and slide your pictures over onto it. 

And when you slide in your photo, you’ll see this window pop up with more options for editing your photo.  You can change it to sepia or black and white. You can zoom in or out.  You can crop, rotate, and matt it!

And the prints come out beautiful.  I’ve made books on snapfish, shutterfly, walgreens, cvs, blurb, and Studio J.  And I’ve loved every one of them.  But the biggest difference I noticed between the photo sites and Studio J is the quality of the photos.  The pages in my photo books seemed to have faded over time and my Studio J prints are still as bright as when I first got them.  They are 12 x 12 high quality prints. Perfect to just slide into your favorite scrapbook.  Also a nice idea to make one here and there and add it into your project life books.

So check it out, play around!  I know you’ll love it if you have very little time and want to make something special!