Project Life – Clementine Baby Book featuring layouts Month 7 – 12

Happy Monday Everyone!

I was super busy this weekend getting things photographed and caught up for the blog and the Etsy shop this weekend – I have some great posts coming up!  First up is one of my favorite projects – Isabel’s Project Life Baby Book.  I am getting close to being finished (I’ll have to go back and finish some journaling, which you’ll notice below) and I am so excited to be almost entirely caught up.

Now onto the layouts – have a look below and hopefully it will inspire you and your Project Life album some way!Image

To include Isabel’s crayon art – I cut down an existing sheet protector to fit – haven’t decided if or what I am going to put on the back.Image

Here is the second insert of this month (which reminds me I have to put a tab on there!)  I haven’t found the right two photos for the bottom corner pocket.  I am using one of my favorite page protectors offered by Becky Higgins/Project Life Design G  I love it because it has the perfect combo of horizontal/vertical.Image

You will notice lots of blank spaces in the next two months, I don’t know what on earth happened but I have had the hardest time finding photos to fit into these months.  I am still searching my collection so I hope to get those filled in with both journaling and some additional pictures.ImageImageImageImage

Above you will notice some pictures peeking out – they are some fun ones I want to put into an insert but just haven’t come up with an idea/insert that I love just yet.  I tucked them there so that they wouldn’t get mixed in with the wrong month etc.ImageImageImageImageImageIf you are like me – I usually end up buying the coordinating set of cardstock to go with my core kit.  I think this makes me feel “safe” from the days of my 12×12 scrapbooking.  It’s a you never know what you might need/want type thinking but I was glad when I was able to use it to add some background to some pieces of art Isabel brought home.  Since the cardstock is double sided you don’t even need to cut out two pieces – bonus time saver!Image

Here is another insert that I forgot to tab – will have to go back and do that as well.  But the backside is just more photos from month 12.  Nothing terribly crazy or tons of embellishments (which still overwhelms me)  I am just super happy that I have this much of her early years documented.  Some of my favorite pictures – some not so great pictures but regardless memories that she can look back at years from now is why I keep going and why I love this method so much.

Stay tuned for the last installment of Isabel’s baby book on how to handle everything post first birthday!


The Obsessive Crafter is now on Etsy!

A little over a year ago I started this blog in the hopes that it would one day lead to an Etsy shop.  I am beyond excited to announce that The Obsessive Crafter on Etsy is now live and ready to take orders.  I will be featuring some of my signature paper crafts for parties like garlands, cupcake toppers, favor tags, banners and more.  Take a look at my shop and tell me what you think – even better share with Friends and Family!

2dozen black and white polka dot cupcake flags gold blue white chanukah paper garland blue silver chanukah paper garland maroon brown green mustard 3d circle thanksgiving paper garlandbrown green yellow maroon thanksgiving fringe paper garlandIMG_2277christmas red gold garlandgreen red christmas paper garland

You can check back at the Etsy shop or follow me on Facebook to keep up with all the latest listings!  Thanks to everyone for your amazing support and encouragement as I take on this new adventure!

Bento’s are back!

Welcome back readers!  As I have been so busy with the migration of the blog and a special new project that I’ll be announcing later this week… I realized I had no new bento posts!  Horrible I know! But you are in luck, they are back and I’ll do my best to give them a more regular weekly feature.

apples and sunflower butter flower sandwich

My daughter is not into sandwiches, I try every so often to see if with a different combo I can get her to eat one.  This pretty flower one was no different, she ate the insides but left the bread.  I guess I should be happy given my lifelong battle with carbs but I still want her to try new things so we will keep trying.

I also added a small dipping container of sunflower butter (since her school is nut free)  She was not a fan (and as a Peanut Butter addict I can’t blame her) but I thought I would try… it really is a great nut free option but keep it in a separate container if possible since it is super messy to clean up.

cheese flowers pasta and apple bento

After reading some comments on Ritz Crackers I decided to try a different organic non-GMO option, the  brand being Late July.  Isabel liked them so that was the win of the day!

cheese quesadilla with clementines

Leftovers are great when you can repurpose them for lunch.  Quesadillas are great for this, they can be cut into any size needed.  Here I added some of her favorite “dips” sour cream and guacamole.  Her teachers said she loved it and was so excited to eat this lunch!

pasta veggies and yogurt bento

Pretty standard lunch for her today, probably running late and didn’t have much time for any creativity.

raisin bread clementine baby bell bento

Here is another attempt at a sandwich, again bread went untouched EXCEPT that raisin bread with a smear of butter on it – she LOVED that.  Baby Bel cheese are so great for lunches, if your kids can peel them, its tons of fun.  If they are too little to peel them, you can make some fun decorations into the wax that covers them.  This one was ladybug inspired!

So even though its been almost two months since I last had a bento post- this is the end of week 2, stay tuned next week for more lunch ideas for your little one.

Happy Halloween!

To get one more post in before Halloween tomorrow I thought I would share with you a Halloween tradition at my brother-in-law’s office.  Each year they come up with the most creative pumpkins and then set up a website to see who can get the most votes.  Since you all have been so great in supporting me in the past I hope you will all check out my brother-in-laws pumpkin on the site and vote for his pumpkin – every vote counts and I promise they won’t spam you!



A Scary Halloween Party

Looking through this blog you will see lots of cutesy things.  About a month or so ago at a holiday get together the idea of a Halloween party came up…But not a cute and crafty kinda Halloween party but a real scary, creepy and adult like halloween party.   This is pretty far out of what I normally blog  about but I thought it would be a good challenge to see what’s out there.

Here are my top 5 scary decor ideas:

Bloody Shower for Halloween

This would most definitely scare me, if I turned the light on to use a restroom.  This image was found via bing/pinterest but it doesn’t look to terribly difficult to attempt.


Want a way to scare guests from going upstairs?  Drape a mannequin in gauze/cheese cloth and the result will definitely up the creep factor of your party.

Gross and scary bathroom decor for halloween

How about this for your bathroom?  Guests would go running for sure!

Creepy Black mannequin for the corner

Add another mannequin in the corner to give your guests the feeling that someone is watching them.

painted doll for extra scare factor

When I saw this picture, to me there was nothing creepier… little kids represented in doll form and painted in all white.  If your lighting is right this could be the scariest addition to a party!

Here are my picks for top 5 creepiest foods for a Halloween Party:


Puff pastry intestines are super easy to make.  Just take some frozen puff pastry, weave it around the baking pan and then make blood with either red food coloring or you could use red royal icing.

Turkey meatball EYEballs for Halloween

Look how lifelike these Turkey Meatballs look as real eyes.  Just make sure to add the olive to really make it look real.

Hellraiser cheese spread for Halloween

While I think this display doesn’t do Hellraiser justice – it is a great concept to take a cheese spread and then sculpt it into something scary.  This one definitely leaves room for improvement but just think what you could do…

Tru Blood Halloween Drink

If you want to embrace your inner vampire try it with this Tru Blood halloween drink

shrimp brains for halloween party

What better way to feed guests than with this shrimp brains appetizer, voted one of the 27 best Halloween fun snacks by buzzfeed

Well there you have it – my picks for creepy, gross, scary or spooky things to add to your Halloween party this year!  Happy Celebrating

Party Post: Camp David

For many of my returning readers you know that I often help friends & family out with their parties in various capacities.  My good friends the Dluhy’s had me help design their son’s amazing 2nd birthday with the theme of Camp David.

For this party I helped with various components.  Let’s start with the signage…

These were originally created for David’s 1st birthday.  To make them I took two pieces of foam core, covered them in a faux wood paper (the large kind found to make bulletin board backdrops) then covered those in protective clear shelf liner (aka contact paper)  I took color coordinated duct tape and attached them to one another.
For the lettering I used a variety of colors that fit in with the theme, used the Life’s a beach cricut cartridge and then just stuck them on with some double sided tape.

Another area I worked on with the “camp site” aka “base camp.”  Originally this party was supposed to be outdoors, but Mother Nature did not cooperate.  We moved the party inside and turned out working great.

To create the A-Frame wood tent I used this tutorial I found on pinterest.  I headed to Joann’s to find the right fabric for the tent and found a great lightweight fabric that had the appearance of canvas (what I had envisioned as a traditional camp tent)

For the blankets we found at Joann’s large run felt.  I believe it was a 72″ wide run if I remember correctly.  I bought 2 yards of each color (Brown, Orange and Green) and then cut them in half to double our amount.  This was a great cost savings (instead of buying real blankets) and also totally helped keep the mess of the kids off the floor.  The white boxes you see are lunch boxes for each child.  The labels I created using the original artwork from the invitation and my cricut Accent Essentials cartridge.

Even though the kids had their own lunch boxes there was still a food buffet for the adults or the kids who needed something different.  We used some leftover burlap (also from David’s first birthday) to add a layer on top of the orange table cloths.  Then I took some extra burlap and maybe a yard of green gingham fabric to create the garland we pinned in the center of the display.

These favors are great – not only to the come contained in a super cute mason jar (which are all the rage right now) but they are all the ingredients you need to make smores at home!  What better thing to take home?  I created the labels on top of the jar, again from the original artwork of the invite plus adding a super cute camp themed font to read Camp David.
Instead of doing cake or cupcakes, the Dluhy’s chose to make these super yummy brownie smores.  They were premade brownie bites that they then topped with a marshmallow and melted them down to “toast” them.  The little leaf decorations came from the party store and the wood stumps (courtesy of my mother-in-laws tree she had to chop down) all added to the rustic look/theme of the party.

Now for the star of the party, the faux campfire.  This was a collaborative effort between the Dluhy’s and I.  They wanted the fire to be as real as it could, while remaining safe.  To create the look first cut strips of red and yellow cellophane.  Then I layered in red and orange tissue paper.  In the center of the “fire” I placed a battery operated fan (to blow the flames) and a battery operated light (to make the cellophane light up)  We placed firewood around the the setup of tissue and cellophane.  We used some leaves (found at Michaels) around to just enhance the scope of the fire.  It was a big win with the birthday boy.

As always this party was so much fun to work on and not only did the guests have a great time but the birthday boy really enjoyed himself too.

Happy 2nd Birthday David! Thanks for letting me get to share in your special day!

Project Life: Isabel’s baby book Months 1 – 6 in layouts

Things have been so busy here – from all the news about the new baby to working on a dear friends son’s birthday party to the migration of this site over to wordpress (more on that later)… it’s been hard to post regularly.  Thanks so much to those who keep coming back, yesterday we hit another great page view milestone of 30k in about 14 months!  I couldn’t be more excited how people are getting excited about Project Life or Bento Boxes or Erin Condren planners all because of what they read here!
Without further ado here is the latest installment of Isabel’s baby book.
Not much of anything different going on here, using the clementine core kit with the occasional supplemental cards here and there.  I am really enjoy using Design A for the main layout of each of the spreads.  I like the consistency it gives to the album and for the most part gives me the ability to include all my photos from the month.
This layout includes one of my favorite pics (3×4 to the far left)  That night Isabel barely slept so much that I was up through most of the night and ended up watching the coverage of the royal wedding live.  Since it was such a momentous occasion in pop history, I felt like it would be fun to include it.  

On the insert you will see I used a 6×12 page protector cut down to include her 2 month check up report.  Maybe other docs do this too but I love having the “after visit summary”  it has everything about measurements, development etc so you can journal about it later.
Month 2 for Isabel included her first trip to Marshall to visit her Great Grandparents.  Since it was such a momentous occasion I included a special insert for some of my favorite photos from the trip.  The Marshall insert was using Design G found in a variety pack.
Here’s the back of the Marshall insert and the front of the mother’s day insert.  Lots of journalling to do for that one – but I am not worried, its all captured in my Erin Condren Life Planner (find out more about how I use it to journal here)
Onto the three month spread, I used a standard 8.5×11 page protector to include the daily sheets from her first week at day care.  It is great to look back on since it shows how much she was eating, how often etc.
Month 4 came with lots of inserts, her after care visit report, her first artwork and and entire Design F sheet with one side dedicated to my sister’s wedding and the back side dedicated to our family vacation to Hilton Head.  Design F made the most sense since I had SOOOO many photos I wanted to include from those two major events.
Hilton Head left me with so many pictures I also used a Design I insert to fit the last few that I wanted in there.
Months 5 and 6 were nothing out of the ordinary, just capturing fun photos.  The next project life installment will be catching you up through the end of year one.  So excited to be almost entirely completed with this album that I love more and more every time I open it.

Bento Boxes: Out with the old and in with the new!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the start of school marks a new year for me!  So I have been busy cleaning out all of Isabel’s old bentos and started fresh with the Ziploc divided containers and they are working great so far.  Here is an update on her lunches and some handy new tricks I have been trying…

Don’t the new lunch boxes photograph so much better?  So much more light and fresh looking than the old ones I used before.  They are also great because there aren’t as many little containers to clean!
Trick #1 – Freezing Yogurt: I have been buying the YoKids Yogurt tubes.  I freeze them and then stick them in her lunch box so even with ice packs they stay cold and help keep the other food cold as well.
Trick #2 – Leftovers: Here is an example of where we had some rice leftover from the night before.  Isabel loved it so I added some to her lunch and it came home empty.  Great way to use up the leftovers before they go bad.

Continue reading

DIY Project: Binky or Paci Straps

If you have a young child who uses a pacifier are you constantly picking them up and cleaning them off? Losing them whenever you go out?  I am sure you have seen the straps they have at various retailers but maybe like me, you are shocked at the price for a piece of nylon and a metal clip right?

My daughter used the Soothies brand, they have only two small holes to attach a strap.  I was often disappointed when I would find a cute strap and but it attached to the pacifier in a way that was too big for her “binky.” After some serious searching I broke down and bought one because we were travelling so much it just made sense…instead of having to worry about gross airplane/airport floor germs.
When a few friends were having babies I thought this might be a cute way to add to a gift for them.  So off to the stores I went in search of some grosgrain ribbon.  If you ask me, Hobby Lobby has one of the most impressive selections of decorative grosgrain ribbon.  They have sports for boys/girls, Disney characters, cute patterns and almost all of them I can never find elsewhere.

Now how I sewed them was a bit of trial and error.  What I did wrong… 
Initially, I cut one piece of ribbon, put the “clothing clip” in the fold of the ribbon and sewed the ribbon together.  At the end is where I took a short piece of cording folded it in half and then sewed over it to close the seam and secure the cording.  Sorry I don’t have photos of this but trust me its better that you read on below for what I did right.  The finished product was an okay strap, definitely did not look professional by any means.

Here’s what I did right the second time around. What I did right…

  •      Cut one piece of ribbon and folded in half (place the clothing clip in the fold)
  •        The two ends of the ribbon I folded right side facing each other (while the clothing clip was still in the fold, a bit tricky to handle but it can be done)
  •       I placed the approx 4 in piece of cording folded in half in between the two pieces of ribbon (that I just folded right side facing each other) facing towards the inside of the loop and sewed the seam (very similar to how you would sew fabric)
  •      Flipped the ribbon/cording right side (image side) out and ironed the end seam so it was nice and flat
  •      Lastly I sewed the “sides” or the long part of the ribbon together

Sewing the strap this way left me with clean seams and nice finished edges.  The cording I used has held up nicely and I picked black because it shows dirt less than the typical white or pink colors.
So there you have it – a pretty quick and definitely cost effective way to make decorative binky/paci straps.  I would love to see your version of them – send me pictures!

Project Life: Isabel’s Baby Book – lots of layouts!

In an effort to maintain my out with the old in with the new, (Jewish) new year I am working diligently to finish Isabel’s baby book.  As much as I love this album, I am getting creatively anxious to move on to the next project.  So here are the latest layouts using primarily the Project Life Clementine Core Kit with inserts from the Cobalt Core Kit, The Midnight Core Kit and the Blush Core Kit.  I am finding that as I get more comfortable with the format I am more willing to mix and match cards/elements that I had been too “intimidated” to do early on.  I have also included various cards from the Pocket Pages Baby Kit.
Here is an insert using Design H Page Protector (I haven’t yet added a tab, but plan on it so all inserts coordinate) but the insert is the page protector and on the back has more close ups of the details in her first bedroom.  Design H is one of my favorite page protectors because it gives a lot of versatility with photos/journaling or filler cards.  I also love the comparison photo of my first picture and my last – quite a change in that belly! 

I used the Tall Envelope Page to keep the cards I received at the hospital as well as her announcement we sent out.
To include a letter that was written to Isabel from a dear family friend I just used a plain 8.5″x11″ page protector from either Avery or Staples.

The going home card and sugar and spice card come from Pocket Pages Baby Collection I mentioned above and it is available at Michaels.  While the quality was inconsistent in the pack in terms of printing, some of them were cute additions.  If using these cards please note that you will have to trim them to fit the pocket sizes.
This layout is from the first week at home.  For anyone that had a child with jaundice or was learning to breastfeed you may recognize a chart similar to this one.  I had to keep a few of the pages because in those early days they really helped us anticipate what Isabel’s needs were and how well she was recovering from her jaundice.  I also included a thank you note from all my nurses at the hospital.  While I am sure most hospitals do this – I thought it was a sweet touch!  Again, here I just used a regular 8.5×11″ page protector from Staples/Avery.

The next few layouts are from Isabel’s Hebrew naming ceremony.  It is custom in Judaism to circumcise a male baby at 8 days old, which is called a Bris or Brit Milah.  For girls there is really no time parameters for her to receive her Hebrew name or that they even have to have a ceremony.  We held Isabel’s no more than 2 weeks after she was born which was wonderful to have everyone meet her and celebrate her birth.
My mother made the dress Isabel wore to the naming from material from my wedding dress (which she also made)  I included a leftover piece of the lace from the dress, since it was so special to us for many reasons.  I also created a 4×6″ vertical card to include her Hebrew name and why we chose it.

Because there were so many wonderful photos I had to include another Design H insert.  This time I used filler cards from the Midnight Core Kit and the Blush Core Kit.

Since the Clementine kit came out before Project Life offered vertical 4×6″ journal cards I had to make some of my own.  I used a folding card from the Clementine kit and then for the blessing that we said to Isabel, I used the Clementine 12×12″ card stock
Well that catches us up a bit – I have through the whole first year almost complete and now its time to photograph them so I can come back with more layouts for you next week!  Hope you enjoy and can get some inspiration for your own Project Life Albums!