Insectival – A Carnival for Insects at Butterfly Pavilion

We LOVE living in Denver and having a great time exploring and finding fun things to do as a family!  Last weekend my family had the honor of being guests at Butterfly Pavilion’s Insectival, celebrating their 19th anniversary.  The first thing I want to share is HOLY INSECTS we had a magnificent time.  This was not your average carnival.  It was a hand on, insect interactive family blast of a day.

We started out by holding Ruby, a tarantula, and petting horseshoe crabs.

Of course my super fun husband was entertained by the costumed bug and had a great time being his happy silly self.

The teenagers in our blending family enjoyed the activities as much as the littler kids.  I think everyone’s highlight of the adventure was capture and releasing crayfish in the stream.

I was amazed and in awe of the many species of butterflies in the pavilion and thrilled to witness J and Z having so much fun with photography.

I am pretty sure that photography classes are in our near future.  Check out their photographs!

Butterfly Pavilion has through the entire experience for families through from “a to z”!  Every showcase of species of insects is entertaining and educational.  There is so much to learn and understand about how these little critters make our world a better place.  They have amazing little jobs that make our planet work.   If you like butterflies and puzzles, here is a little wordsearch that I put together for some downloadable fun!  You can download it here or by clicking on it below.

I am also giving away 4 passes to Butterfly Pavilion AND the Butterfly Guide and Plant Guide to go with them.  If you are interested in winning this awesome adventure prize, you can enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Happy Insects to All,


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iLoveToCreate and Laura Kelly Happy Rainbow Bathroom Contest

In the past week or so I have shared several projects that together created a happy rainbow bathroom for Z, using TONS of awesome products from iLoveToCreate and some of my buttons from Buttons Galore.  Check it out!

And here it is all together!

Here are the links to read about each project and how I created it as part of the room!

I am excited to be giving this amazing craft stash to one lucky winner valued at more than $100 worth of awesomenss!  You can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy crafting!



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Adorable DIY Flower Canvases

When I found this three canvas pack on sale at Michaels, I threw them in the cart with a plan in mind.  I have been creating Z’s new bathroom with a tie-dye rainbow flower theme and they turned out perfect!

To create them I painted the entire canvases first with blue/white mixed together (mostly blue) then let that dry before painting the outline of my flowers in white and letting it dry.

Then I added the colors to the flowers with Tulip Fabric Paints.  The tips on the squeezy bottles allows me to create 3D details and fun designs.  I LOVE the way that they flow and work on projects like this.  After all, canvas is a fabric, right?

I added a few of my Laura Kelly buttons from the bright collection available at Buttons Galore  right into the paint as it acts like an adhesive too.  I LOVE that.

I LOVE the way that they turned out!  What would you doodle and paint with a stash of this awesome stuff?




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Inspired By A Child – #FashionByMayhem

Let me start by saying that I have been doodling forever and have created the licensed designs for thousands of products that have created millions of dollars for many companies, including fabric sold in the popular chains.  None of the joy of any of those products measures in the same way as what I am sharing in this post.  This experience reminded me of who I am and why I do what I do.  I share this from the core of my being.   It is more than just one of my “good idea” project posts.

It all started last fall when I met Angie Keiser and her super adorable daughter at the BloggyCon2013 conference in Ohio.  While there, I doodled Mayhem live in person, with her bunny, and she was so appreciative and full of smiles.  Angie and I stayed in touch and over the past year have become friends.  I love her because she is ridiculously talented yet humble.  Her posts and social shares evoke my joyful heart, cause me to laugh and remind that in what seems to be an imperfect world, perfection can still exist in the form of complete gratitude and understanding.   Angie posted this fun picture many many months ago of Mayhem reading one of my board books and that alone was enough to cause my heart to skip a beat.

I was stuck waiting for my girls to finish projects at a local painting studio during the past winter (before Mayhem got famous) and asked if I could have a few feet of the white table paper to play with.  I ended up doodling all over it with my custom Laura Kelly Sharpie markers and decided to send it to Mayhem to use for making a silly  and fun doodle dress.  I thought maybe I could contribute a little to her collection and possibly be a tad inspiring.

I took it home to finish it up with a little inspiration from my portfolios of art.

While I was in the post office waiting in line to ship it, this cute boy who was bored and in need of enterainment decorated my box.  He asked to keep my Sharpie.  I let him of course.  I love it when kids create in unexpected places.

Time went by and Mayhem’s awesomeness spread like wildflowers in the wind.  I followed along and “liked” her creations, “favorited” her designs and grew more and more excited about her future.  The relationship she has with her mom (and dad too) is priceless.  I imagine that the time that is spent making her paper dresses and bonding over laughter, creativity and probably some tears  is bound to be laying the foundation of a lifelong team.

Out of nowhere, a few weeks ago, my Instagram started flipping out.  I played around and realized that they had shared a picture of Mayhem coloring the paper and getting ready to create a doodle dress with MY silly works.  I was overwhelmed with excitement and giddiness.  I simply felt honored.

And then several days later, my Instagram did it again.  Mayhem did it.  She created the most magnificent doodle dress ever and gave it TWO thumbs up.  I could not agree more.  This is the picture that Angie posted.

To me there is no greater gift than inspiring creativity in another, especially  a child.  I am in awe of her creation and just so thankful to have made two new friends in Angie and Mayhem.  I can’t wait to get together with them one day soon and play!

Please check out her designs and spread Mayhem love.  You can follow them in these places:

Fashion By Mayhem Blog


And for all of you who want to create a doodle dress of your own, you can download this fun page of my doodles and make one that is doll sized.   I will be sharing a dress for my American Girl doll Saige on Doll Diaries very soon using this paper!

If you are not into dress making but want to color doodles, here is my doodle of Mayhem in her dress with her two thumbs up, just for you.  You can download it here!

So in the end of this chapter, my attempt to empower a child totally turned around and inspired me!  I guess that is the magic of life.  Whenever I give away my love and passion it seems to find its way back to me a bazillion times over.  May we all learn from Angie and Mayhem.  Time spent together accessing and sharing creativity causes magical results that last forever.

Please note, all of the pictures of Mayhem were taken by her mom and have copyright protection just like my designs.  If you share, be respectful and also share the credit.



PS:  I have LOTS of FREE downloadable things for kids here!  Please feel free to print and share.

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Creative Play Date at Color Me Mine

Being new to Denver means lots of exploring and trying new things.  Last week we ventured to Lakewood (about 45 minutes) and had a ball with our new friends creating ceramic masterpieces at Color Me Mine.  The street on which the gallery is located is sophisticated and gorgeous, filled with eateries and shops galore.  Truth, after we painted we had some tasty gelato across the street!

The kids picked out their ceramics and learned quickly that panting is FUN!  The more coats that they put on, the darker the colors would become.  J chose this dragon and made it beautiful.  I love it on her bookshelf.

Z chose a bunny (her FAVORITE) animal and it is perfect in her room.  I love the magic of what happens in the kiln.  Here is a picture of her before/after.

I painted a few pieces for Z’s new bathroom (crazy that she has her very own) to match the shower curtain and wall art that I created for her with tie-dye and fabric paints from iLoveToCreate.  Adorable, right?

The process worked like this.  We went in to the studio, picked our pieces out and painted them.  Z finished first and had a ball playing on her new phone!

Then we had to wait a few days for them to “fire” them and make them look all glazed and glossy.  When I went back to get them, they were packed up super awesome in bubble wrap in a Color Me Mine shopping tote.

I didn’t make it out of the parking lot before tearing into this one.  I made it for a tray for my husband’s dresser (anniversary gift).  Our wedding song was “The Stars are Ours Tonight” so I painted stars.

He reminds me often that even though I am silly and all over the place, he is “all in” which makes my heart fill up.  I found this brochure in our kitchen and for a moment thought that I might be getting a frog from him.  No luck.

You can follow Color Me Mine on social media and hopefully find one near you (they are all over the world)!

Happy Painting,



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DIY Fairy Fun at Tagawa Gardens

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting another awesome place in the Denver area!  Tagawa Gardens is filled with family fun ranging from plants and garden supplies to pet adoptions (furry critters abounded), gifts and produce.  The highlight of our outing without a doubt was the finding of the fairy garden section.  LOOK at this in store fairy garden.  I can’t even dream of how many fairies must live here, although they all seemed to be hiding while we were shopping.

And here is another view of their store’s awesome garden.

This place is crazy cool!  The selection of miniature plants and accessories is fabulous.  Trying to choose which things to buy to get started on a garden at home was overwhelming but we did it (with the help of a great employee).  We decided to use a wooden wine crate that was waiting in our garage in order to save a little money on the container and be able to purchase a few more little things.  This is what we bought!

Check out these adorable fairy plants, all designated to a special fairy.  Can you say, “way tooooo cute?!?!?”

We filled the crate with the soil first.

Then we planted our three adorable FAIRY plants and added our accessories.  We have been watching it grow for a couple of days (and watering a little too).

 In a few weeks, we have friends (other believers in fairies) coming to visit us.  We were so excited to learn that Tagawa Gardens offers FAIRY GARDEN PARTIES (and not only for birthdays)!!!  We are planning a mother/daughter outing and can’t wait to all make little gardens of our own.   If you are in the Denver area, I highly recommend that you check this fantastic place out.  If you are not but want to have a little fairy fun, here is a word search that I designed using art from my “I Believe in Fairies) licensed collection that you can download here for free.

You can follow Tagawa Gardens on Social Media

There is even an ADULT fairy garden workshop happening this weekend!  For more information and to access their calendar, click here.

Happy Creating Magic!

Off to spy on my garden in search of fairies,


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Poolside Kid Craft Fun with Duck Tape

A few days after we arrived in Denver and started unpacking boxes, a new box arrived on the doorstep from my friends at Duck Tape!  While I will be using it in projects that are coming up on the Doll Diaries blog soon, there was plenty to share with my girls (and their friends)!  When we packed the red summer crafty picnic basket for the pool, Duck Tape was the choice of the day. H carried the basket into the pool area.

And then they all got straight to water fun!

Adult swims tend to be boring and long to the kids (actually only 15 minutes but hey!).  We like to be prepared with something entertaining and crafty to do in the shade while resting and snacking.  We set up at an umbrella table.

The girls made bow ties which they turned into lots of fun accessories.  Other kids from the pool joined in and at one time there were 12 kids surrounding the table and creating accessories.  I love the flip flop version best.

Of course the bracelet and ring are quite nice.

And Laura (from Housewife Hellraiser) looks pretty fabulous in her neck bow tie.

To make the bow tie, follow these simple instructions.

  1. Cut a piece of tape between 6-10 inches long.
  2. Fold the sides in to the middle.
  3. Bring the ends to the center and use a small piece of tape to hold then in place
  4. Ta Da.  You have the bow to make into whatever you would like.

Then use other pieces of tape to make them into whatever you want.  Go for it.  Get creative!  The coolest thing about doing this at the pool is that the kids’ final masterpieces were waterproof so nothing got ruined.  Yay for that!!!

Do you want to win some Duck Tape to play with at your pool?  Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Creating with Duck Tape,





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