Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine 'Conversation' Clothespin Tutorial and Strawberry Valentine Oreo Cookies!

Valentine 'Conversation' Clothespins
photo courtesy of Etsy 

Hi! I'm so happy Friday has finally arrived (it's my favorite day of the week!) Weekends are like Chrismas gift waiting to be unwrapped, and Friday has all the exciting anticipation of Christmas Eve. Two fun filled days lay ahead when the family can be together without the demands of work or school. There's less homework, routines can slide a little, it's okay to stay up up a little later or sleep in a bit in the morning. This is our time to enjoy a picnic in the park, a visit to the museum, a night at the movies, dinner out, or an evening of browsing at Barnes and Noble (yes, in our famiy that's considered an excellent weekend activity!) 

In celebration of this lovely day I'd like to share another fun and easy Valentine project. I came across this idea on Pinterest, but unfortunately the link didn't provide the shop or name of the seller who originally made these. Not to worry. I've crafted many of these for different occasions, and in few simple steps you'll have as many of these little cuties as you like. This is a wonderful activity to do with children! You need only three inexpensive items to get started:

Clothespins. These can be found anywhere. I purchased mine at Walmart.  

This cute little alphabet stamp set. I love the vintage type style of this alpahbet. It includes the heart stamp AND a little star (think Fourth of July!) This is available through Hobby Lobby, but I purchased mine at AC Moore using the weekly coupon. I picked it up for practically nothing!    

An ink pad. I used 'Cough Syrup' from Jenni Bowlin, but any color you prefer will work perfectly.

Now that you've assembled your supplies you're ready to begin.
  1. If you want your clothespins to have an aged look, follow the instructions from Tuesday's post for tea/coffee staining them, then allow them to dry before you proceed. 
  2. It's time to break out your stamps. Stamping is fun! If you're working with a new set of stamps you'll need to gently separate them before using them. Ink up your stamp by gently pressing it onto the inkpad a couple of times. Don't press too hard. You don't want excess ink to run over on the surrounding rubber (you won't get a clean stamped image if this happens.) If you're new to stamping you can practice a couple of times on scrap paper to get the feel of it.   
  3. Hold your clothespin steady and stamp your sentiment onto the handle one letter at a time. Press gently but firmly each time you stamp a letter. You don't have to perfectly align your letters. The imperfections lend charm to this project. Use any sentiment you like. I made all of mine different (like the conversation heart candies.) There are no limitations aside from the size of the clothespin.       
  4. Once you complete the sentiment follow the same procedure to stamp the heart onto the tip of the clothespin.  
You now have a batch of 'conversation clothespins' to attach to anything and everything your heart desires. It doesn't get any easier than that!

I found the most adorable recipe while blog surfing on Thursday...  


I'm so happy I stumbled across these! As it turns out, my son needed treats to take to the chess club meeting today, and I had all the ingredients for these cookies in my pantry. They start with a cake mix, so that alone tells you they're going to be easy. They come out soft and sweet and chewy, really everything you could ask for in  a cookie. What fun it would be to bake these with children!   

I have another addiction to confess to today... I'm completely hooked on reading:-)) I consider it a decadent a treat to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. Even more than that, I love just being around books. I love the way they smell. I love the way the paper feels. Whenever I visit someone's home I always feel more comfortable when I see books lying around. You can learn quite a bit about people by the books they read. At my house there are stacks of books to be found everywhere (one of the rare instances I do not consider a random stack of stuff clutter.)  

When I was little I stored my most loved books on the shelf of my headboard. When I was newly married I was able have an entire shelf unit in our living room just for my books. When we bought our first home I knew I wanted a space designated solely for the purpose of reading, so I created this little library in one of our spare bedrooms. The shelves are filled with books for all ages, so that a magical journey awaits anyone who walks through the door. I truly believe that the love of reading is one of the best gifts a parent can give their children.     

The ceramic jar sitting on the shelf was made by my oldest daughter in art class many years ago. I so love looking at it.

More than anything I wanted our library to be comfortable. I went with big, overstuffed leather recliners, and placed them in front of a sunny window. The floor is covered by a plush area rug. I keep plenty of throw blankets and pillows around so we can really get cozy.     

You don't need a special room to create your own library. A comfy chair and good lighting are the only requirements. You don't even need to buy books. A weekly trip to the public library is an exciting adventure and competely free of charge!     

This is the book I'm reading right now... 

Catching Fire is the second novel in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I'm about 3/4 of the way into it right now, and I can barely put it down. I'd love to hear what you've been reading if you have a moment to share!

 Thank you for visiting and sharing a bit of your day with me!! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with friendship, laughter, and the very happiest of surprises! Hugs,  


  1. Hello Nancy,

    I can't find another contact matter so am posting this here, it is regarding a question on ebay. (I was googling on "What do you do with scrapbooking tags" as I wanted more ideas for what they can be used, other then add them to gifts.) Anyway, your question about someone using your images came along.
    I see you haven't watermarked your images, maybe you don't like that or haven't looked into it, but it's quite easy to add a text to it. It's not exactly a watermark, but it does make it more of a hassle for people to copy your images. Plus, if someone uses your image somewhere else and doesn't mention you, viewers of the image can still see who made it.
    I use a free program called Irfanview to do this (batch rename, resize & add overlay text). Just set it up once, and after that it's about 4 clicks to add this text to a lot of images at the same time. If you want to know how I use it, just mail me. (Or even better: I'll write a post about it. Just give me a couple of hours to write and post it.
    Now, about your tags: they're gorgeous! I hope to be able to make something (similar, though in my own style ofcourse, not copied!) one day.
    Debbie / Daqa

    1. Hi Debbie!
      Thank you so much! I'm so sorry I didn't write sooner, but I just now noticed your message. I would love to learn how to add text over my images in bulk. The only way I know how to do is in photoshop, working with one image at a time, making it a very slow process. Thank you so much for your help!