Sunday, December 15, 2013


It's super easy and fun to create custom printing on just about anything with the EZScreenPrint kit.  Check out their website - it only takes a 1 minute exposure to sun to make a custom screen - imagine ALL the possibilities.  Ready to get started?  Use JOAN15 at checkout to receive a 15% discount with no minimum.  Have fun!  Let me see your creations!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Wilton Edible Accent Stars

Thanks to the Wilton Edible Accents I got at Michaels, I'm ready for a cookie exchange.

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these yummy cookies for a cookie exchange tonight.  It's a different idea - each of us takes one dozen baked cookies and the rest of the dough is divided up (I put mine in zip-top bags) and each of us gets to take home eleven taster sizes of dough that we can bake or freeze.  Can't wait to see the variety!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Digital Vintage Postcards

Vintage Postcard Alert - Need some cool old artwork for your holiday projects? Come on over to my etsy shop for downloadable 1907 vintage postcards from my family's collection. Great for scrapbooking, card making, shrink plastic, shirts, stockings, etc., etc. Holiday and fun everyday postcards. Can be resized and cropped to fit your project.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Last Minute and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Decorations

With Thanksgiving approaching here are a few ways to decorate your table with things you have around your home.  Last weekend I had a potluck at my house and had been so busy I didn't have any ideas to decorate my table.

I had bought a pumpkin basket at Michaels for less than $2.50 for part of a popcorn bar I had for my Bunco group.  (There is something to be said for waiting until the last minute to buy holiday decor - it was 80% off!)  I added some succulents from my yard to the basket and thought it wasn't Fallish enough.  I added in faux Fall leaves - still not enough pop of color.  That's when I saw my very Fallish colored cocktail napkins.  I opened them up, twisted them at the center and placed them among the succulents. 

I wanted a little favor for everyone to take home so I added some lentils (I was scrambling for ideas here...) to little cordial glasses a friend gave me, plopped in a succulent, added a faux leaf and cut a napkin in 1/4's and used them as little additions of color in the center of each place.

Check out the faux leaf inserted in the tongs of the forks.

Here's my less than $4 centerpiece (I'm guessing!)  Since not everyone has succulents, you could use some other kind of greenery, real Fall leaves, etc. to fill your basket - check out your yard, even ask a neighbor if you can do a little trimming for them!

 I used double-sided tape to stick faux Fall leaves on fishing line and tied them to my light fixture.

My guests were there from six until eleven so I think it was a successful night...

Gifts from the Garden Projects

It was my turn this month to come up with an idea for our garden group gathering.  We've visited gardens, a couple of months ago we visited a wreath making company so this month I thought making gifts from our garden would be a great idea.  There were almost 25 people there and we crafted our little hearts out.  We created the four projects below.  From Limoncello to Rosemary Salt all the items are from the garden, are inexpensive to create and easy.  Enjoy!

Rosemary Salt

Here's a perfect last minute gift for the cooks in your life!  Use smaller jars and they're perfect favors for a wedding or just as a thinking of you gift.

Rosemary Salt
Add the rosemary salt to potatoes, focaccia or any savory dish for the perfect extra little touch of home.

What You’ll Need
Fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Frying pan with high sides
Stirring spoon or spatula
Storage containers

How to Make It
1.      Combine salt and rosemary in pan. Place over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer salt and rosemary mixture into a container. Let cool 5 minutes, uncovered. Cover with an airtight lid. Let stand at least overnight.
2.      When ready to fill containers, discard rosemary. Fill containers with salt. Seal containers.

Make Your Own Sugar Hand Scrub

Rub one teaspoon of this delightful mixture between your hands and on the backs for a few seconds, rinse (you might need a little dish soap to remove the coconut oil) and your hands will feel amazing!

What You’ll Need
1 cup cane or raw sugar
1 cup coconut oil
Lemon zest, lavender or rose petals
Essential oils (optional)
Mixing bowl
Containers for storing scrub
Embellishments and glue

How to Make It
1. Melt coconut oil in microwave. (for my class we melted it in a small crock pot.
2.      Place sugar in bowl or cup.  Pour in coconut oil. Stir to mix. Add in lemon, lavender or rose petals. If desired, add essential oil. Mix.
3.      Using spoon, carefully place scrub in storage containers.
4.   Glue on desired embellishments.

Butterfly Vellum Candle Holder

Your favorite photos become treasured gifts with this super easy technique!  This would make a great gift for grandma and grandpa with the grandloves photos on it.

What You’ll Need
Vellum paper (found in the scrapbook section of a craft store)
Computer and printer
Tape, matte finish
Votive holder

How to Make It
      1.     Print photos desired size on vellum.  Joan used fast normal setting on her printer. Cut out in strips slightly smaller than height of votive holder.
2.      Wrap around votive holder to check fit, leaving a ¼” overlap.  If necessary, trim to fit.  Tape ends.  Run fingernail over tape to make disappear.
3.      Place candle in votive holder.

How to Make Limoncello

Here’s the perfect way to spread the lemon love!

What You’ll Need
10 lemons
1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
3-1/2 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 quart container with lid or plastic wrap to cover
Coffee filter

How to Make It
        1. Wash lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water.  Pat dry.
        2. Using a zester, zest all lemons into a bowl.  Do not use whites of lemons or your Limoncello will be bitter.
    3. Place zest in 2 quart container.  Pour in vodka.  Cover with plastic wrap or lid.  Steep for four days at room temperature.
    4. Stir water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour sugar syrup over vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain Limoncello by placing coffee filter in strainer.  Discard peels. Transfer Limoncello to bottles. Seal bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least four hours and up to one month.

      NOTE:   If you have the time, let your Limoncello steep for a very long time.  One batch I let it steep for 4-6 weeks (I can't remember exactly when I started it).  My garden group did a little taste test and said the one that steeped longer was way smoother...

  Suggested uses for Limoncello – Great with soda or tonic water, champagne or mixed with juice as a          cocktail.  Drizzle over ice cream, fruit salads or fresh strawberries.

Place the Limoncello in a planter, an ice bucket or a container that's just perfect to fit a bottle of Limoncello, some lemons, a couple of cute cordial glasses and you can even stick in a couple little branches from a lemon tree to add a special touch.

Creativity Night at Heidi Borchers' Studio

Journal Jar

 Heidi Borchers opened up her studio recently for a very fun night of creativity!  It's always great to catch-up with Heidi about the good ol' Aleene's Creative Living days and glean a tiny bit of her creativity.  We used her awesome 3D paint resist technique to create beautiful paper using tissue paper.  We then decorated a journal, a jar and a tag with the paper.  The premise behind this lovely gift is to pull a topic out of the jar (yes, we created decorative little topic tags too) then write about the topic in the journal.  Such a great idea!

 Yep, that's tissue covering the journal.

Here's the paper I made.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gifts from the Garden Ideas

Ready to teach a Gifts from the Garden class.  I'll post pictures and instructions this afternoon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butterfly Necklace

 I LOVE butterflies and was inspired by my recent trip to Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, AZ to design this stunning necklace.  It was created from a photo I took while I was there.  I loved that the butterflies 'stood still' long enough for me to take some amazing photos.  Do you love butterflies as much as I do?  Check out my new etsy site for butterfly inspired gift ideas.  Don't forget one for yourself!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Gifts From Your Garden

Making Limoncello today prepping for a garden group presentation on making gifts from your garden.  Stay tuned for more gift ideas, how to wrap them and create personalized tags.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Aleene's Creative Living Television Show

I posted the Shrinky Dinks Butterfly Necklace (below) on my facebook page and received this comment from an Aleene's show watcher - "I have all of you including Aleene on my friend's'd think I won the lottery when I discovered you ladies on here. That show brings such fond memories. ..I was a stay at home mom and it was one of the hilights of my day. That and watching the Home show. Ahhh...the good old days!"  Come on over to facebook and friend me at Joan Martin Fee - I'd love to hear from you!

Shrinky Dinks Butterfly Necklace

Back in the Aleene's days I was known as the Shrink-It Queen.  I saw a post on Mark Montano's page recently where he made a beautiful butterfly necklace using Shrinky Dinks and clip art.  I made his version now I need to make one using photos from my recent trip to Butterfly Wonderland.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Past Meets Today

Seize the Day!!!  

 I took that challenge a couple of weeks ago and emailed my former boss at iLoveTocreate about a possible collaboration.  I was headed to Fresno to a Bon Jovi concert (awesome, BTW!) and thought, why not take the bull by the horns and see if I can meet with her. 

I pitched my idea, she loved it and now I'm trying to make the numbers work.  Cross your fingers we can make this work because as a creative person you're going to want to get in on this exciting idea! 

After the meeting, I got the tour of my former work environment (it's been five years since I left) and surprised some old friends who didn't know I was coming.  Wish I'd had time to catch up with my old Aleene's Creative Living friend, Pattie Donham Wilkinson AKA Pattiewack, but for this trip my dance card was full.  It's always great to see her smiling face!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Second Chance Prom

What a fantastic night!  The planning started several months ago when a group I belong to needed to spend down our budget.  We brainstormed many ideas and we decided on a Second Chance Prom.  About 85 people attended the gala some dressed in retro gowns, some dresses borrowed from friends and one husband even came in a tux. 

We had paparazzi, a photographer who took pictures, printed them off and everyone got to take theirs home in a nice folder.  We even had root beer floats with cute striped and polka dot straws!

Each person got to take home a votive as a favor.  Here are the votives before I loaded them up.  Our colors were black, white, silver and red so I played off the colors to create these simple, yet elegant additions to the party.  I bought the votives at a dollar store, added vellum, black and white printed paper and some red jewels.  They were a handsome accent to the tables with their little battery operated flickering candle inside.

The centerpieces waiting to take center stage.
We put out the buzz that we'd be having a celebrity guest - Dean's just waiting for the pretty ladies to arrive.
Yup, I got in the act...

The centerpieces were my original idea that I whipped up.  You place a record in the oven for just a couple of minutes.  After it's cooled, you glue it to a flat record and you have a centerpiece for $2 or less.  We got the cupcakes at the local Albertson's for 57 cents each, added a little record decoration that I cut from a plastic folder from an office supply store added a little red circle of paper, punched the hole in the center and we had our centerpieces!
 The red napkins added that pop of color we needed!
I loved the wine barrel serving piece the caterer used.
We're ready to party!  And, that we did - we danced to all kinds of music, enjoyed amazing food and the best part, we enjoyed the friendship.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Costco International Photo Contest 2013

I've entered the Costco Give Us Your Best Shot photo contest for years - will this be the year I win?  I haven't entered yet, but I will before the deadline on September 30th.  They've added two new contests this year the Johnson & Johnson Baby Photo Contest and a Picture-Perfect Pets Photo Contest.  Here's the link to all the dets: - Good luck!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Secret Project

Shopping List Update - plastic black washer project - done but I can't share because my friends read my blog and they will be attending the 2nd Chance Prom that they're'll just have to wait until next month.  But, that only leaves the concrete!!!  Getting there!

Shopping List Update

Already Used

Copper wire - Butterfly Mobile
Sugar - forgot to post pictures - see below - BTW, I didn't use hardly any sugar.  See how to make sugar free applesauce at

Still Left to Use

Black plastic circles

The concrete will have to wait until tomorrow...Black plastic circles are done just haven't taken a picture

How to Turn Any Photo Into Party Decor

Who's in for a Party?

 It’s party time and you want dynamic, out-of-this-world decorations - you want something special that screams ‘Hey, this is me!’  No matter what twist you want this party to take, making decorations can be cheap and best of all, they show-off your amazing pics.  An up-high mobile will be hanging around long after the party’s over.  Butterflies not your thing, how about family photos or random shots?  Make several mobiles by theme and decorate your entire pad!  All you need is a quick trip to the hardware store and maybe a bakery for a cupcake before the party.

So, let’s get started amping-up your shin-dig – you’ll be done quicker than you can say ‘Hold on there butterfly, I want to take your ph...’


A few tweaks of the basic instructions for the mobile creates an entire party from food to table decor using thinner wire.


  • Photos, two of each, one printed in reverse because you want this to look great on both sides – project was printed 8 x 10. Use pro printing so the photos are sturdy and won’t go limp
  • Copper wire, 6’ of 14 gauge (BTW, you might want to get extra because your besties are going to want these as gifts)
  • Adhesive to stick photos together, find your sticky whether it be double-sided tape, glue stick or spray adhesive
  • Adhesive to stick photos to wire, white glue, hot glue or double-sided, non-shiny tape
  • Jar or something about 2” in diameter
  • Scissors
  • Flipper flapper, AKA pancake turner
STEP 1:  BY HOOK OR BY CROOK (no stealing required!)

It’s to the kitchen with you to find a couple of things. One, something to wrap the wire around for the hook end.  A flipper flapper (AKA pancake turner) works well.  Next, you’ll need something that has a diameter of about 2” – give or take a shake of salt, doesn’t have to be exact.

Make a quick sketch of how you’d like the mobile to look. Check out the photos for ideas.

You have to hang the mobile somehow, so form a hook by wrapping one end of the wire around the flipper flapper.  You can also form a circle, depending on how you plan for this guy to hang around.

About 8” below hook, take your 2” diameter something and wrap the wire around.  Leave about a foot (not a real one) and repeat and repeat again on down the wire.  Just imagine a butterfly circling around you as you form the circles. OK, you don’t have to!


Cut around a small area of one of the photos – it makes lining up the pictures sooooo much easier.  Make sure you’re working with one regular photo and one reversed.  Read the back of the bottle, stick or dispenser to apply adhesive to the hinny side of one photo.  Line them up and press, press, press. 
Think back to kindergarten and carefully cut around the edges.  Keep on, keepin’ on until you have enough pictures for your mobile. 


Things just got stickier.  Stick your photos on the wire with white glue, hot glue or double-sided, non-shiny tape. 

VoilĂ , you’re ready to just hang loose at your party.  Stand back and take in the oohs and ahhs and get ready to take orders!


The butterflies look so real, because they are (not really, but you get it!)
Now that the mobile has dressed up the place, you have to feed your guests and of course, you need a little something else on the down low to make a theme splash (like the table).  How about some picks for cupcakes and in some flowers you got at the market?  It’s all the same steps as the mobile, just smaller.  Print photos wallet size, making the same amount in reverse.  Stick them together, cut ‘em out and here’s where things go different.  Hopefully you have one of those itty bitty hole punches, if not, use something sharp to poke two holes in the center of each photo.  Make swirls in 20 gauge wire using the ol’ pencil (if you can still find one!) leaving about 2” straight on one end.  Thread the straight end in the holes and swirl the end with your pencil.  Make more, more, more – more is always better.  Add to cupcakes, flowers anywhere you need that party spirit.  Who wants cupcakes?

Love photography as much as I do?  Don't forget I make custom wearable art shoes from your photos.  Check out my etsy site at