No Excuses

Little Apple Bay, Tortola, BVI

Little Apple Bay, Tortola, BVI

The sky was filled with millions of sparkling flecks lit up by a full moon that blanketed a shimmering glow of light over Cane Garden Bay. The moored boats, scattered across the bay, gently shifted from side to side. It was midnight on the small island of Tortola. The warm Caribbean tide gently lapped onto the shore while reggae beats billowed out of Quito’s bar and I danced at the water’s edge. I was in heaven. I had never felt so free–so beautiful–so calm in my own skin. I felt every grain of wet sand tickle between my toes–the warmth of the water and the warm breeze in my hair as I danced to the rhythm of the island beats. It was then that Jose (nicknamed the crazy Puerto Rican) walked up to my husband and I and struck up a conversation about the magical island.

We quickly learned that Jose grew up in poverty in Puerto Rico, but at a young age was able to start his own video rental store. He made it his life’s goal to one day retire and sail around the world. He was currently living out that dream. The island of Tortola being his favorite destination awarded him a wealth of friends that we too would soon meet.

I didn’t know it then, but our conversation with Jose would stick to my brain like glue, guiding me as a life lesson never to be forgotten. Jose made it clear to us that no matter what our dreams or ultimate goal was in life, we could never give up and never make excuses for how we lived or the choices we made. If we wanted something to be, it would be as long as we lived by these two simple words –“No Excuses”. It was those words that ring true in my head today. When I am feeling the weight of anxiety pressing at my chest I go back to that night and to that moment and I feel calm. I know that I am the champion of my success and as long as I don’t live a life built on excuses I will make my dreams come true.

Bridal Shower Party Favor

DABBLE Bridal Favor

DABBLE Bridal Favor

I have done a few bridal showers, baby showers, and dinner parties in my time… so coming up with unique party favors is one of my favorite things to do. This idea for a potted flower picture would work great for a bridal shower or a summer luncheon. It’s super easy to do and costs about $3 per favor.  You can personalize each place marker with your guest’s photo, or use photos of the guest of honor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

* Scissors

*Craft Glue


*Circle Cutter (or you can cut it by hand)

*Stem Wire (found in the floral section of craft stores)

*Foam Ball (also in floral section)

*Small Flower Pot

*Silk Flower

* Sheet of Green Felt


First, place a small amount of glue on the bottom of the foam ball and place it inside the flower pot.

Then, cut a small sqaure out of your felt sheet and glue it over the foam ball.


Then, cut a 1 inch x 4 inch (approx) strip of felt out. Cut fringe into the strip and glue it inside the flower pot.

Cut fringe into the strip

Cut fringe into the strip


Measure the ribbon to fit around the top of the flower pot, cut it and use a small amount of glue to make sure it stays in place. Tie a ribbon in the front.


Cut your picture out and glue it to the front of the silk flower.


Coil the stem wire. You want to make sure that you have at least 2 tight coils. You don’t want to many coils because the picture won’t lay in the coil very well.


Put the flower/picture into the coil and stick the stem into the middle of your flower pot.



That’s it! You have a personalized party favor that guests can take home.

For more craft tips or information, check out




Where does inspiration come from? Currently I am feeling unmotivated, sleepy, and lack luster. I get down on myself for it, but then realize “what a minute– it has been tough year”! There are several obvious reasons for feeling exhausted and unmotivated at times, but how do I get out of it and find my inspiration to create again? Well first, I had to make a conscious decision to take a break, take a nap, read a book, listen to my body, and live in the moment. Simply put, take care of myself first.

A friend of mine told me that most of us either live in the past, which can cause feelings of disappointment or regret, whereas some of us live in the future, which can cause anxiety or nervousness about the unexpected. Very few of us actually “live in the moment”. She mentioned that when you travel you live in the moment the most. I have to agree. When I am traveling, I feel like a new person. I have a new identity. I am up for exploring new places, talking to people that I don’t know, trying new foods, RELAXing, reading an entire book. I am definitely not concerned about what I “should” be doing, haven’t done, or what I need to do next. It is the best feeling to live in the moment. To feel the sand under your toes, not just walk over it. To taste every sip of that vanilla bean coffee, not just chug it while your applying your makeup in the morning. To dance to reggae beats at the edge of the ocean under the moon light without worrying about getting your pants wet. (Wow, just thinking about that moment I had in the BVIs made me feel better).

It’s all of those things. I want to live in the moment more—–live like I am traveling everyday. I live in Los Angeles and haven’t taken advantage of all the amazing museums and culture that surrounds me (well not like I used to). Somewhere along the line I got “too busy”. Somewhere along the line the priority to make more money to pay for expensive things and fill my schedule until I collapsed became more important. Somewhere in there I lost myself–my artistic, creative, funny, relaxed, dance in the ocean with my clothes on, freer self.

Well it’s time to get back to that. To be inspired again. But first, I must take care of myself. Let the self demands go for now and relax. Live in the moment. That is my inspiration. Enjoy today.

enjoy the moment

enjoy the moment

Memory Box Makeover

So I have a problem, I like to save things. It causes clutter and it drives my husband crazy, but there are just those things that I don’t want to get rid of- things that remind me of a great trip, a romantic dinner, a thoughtful card… you get the idea. Anyway, I had this ugly shoebox holding most of those types of random things from when my husband and I started dating– 7 years ago.


Dabble Box BEFORE

I finally decided to do something about the ugly box when I was cleaning up the office, and I had an idea of a way to do a simple “makeover” without spending a lot of time or money. So here it is, the memory box makeover. Simple, Quick, and Cheap!



Here’s what you’ll need:

* Shoebox

* Roll of Contact Paper (I found mine at Home Depot, for $7)

* Scissors

* Construction paper, tape, & any type of embellishments to decorate your finished box.

Before you begin, here’s a little tip about the contact paper, it’s not super tacky which is great because you can peel it up and reapply it if you lay it down crooked, or if you see an air bubble. The most frustrating part of this project for me was the air bubbles. Just go slow when you are adhering it and make sure to smooth it down as you go to avoid air bubbles.

Step One: Measure the box base and cut the contact paper to fit. (Use the handy guides on the contact paper to make straight cuts).

DabbleBox3Cut the contact paper to fit the size of the box from the base up to the sides.

DabbleBox4Peel the protective paper off and pull up the sides to adhere it to the box. Be sure to smooth the paper as you apply it, otherwise you will end up with a bunch of air bubbles!

DabbleBox5To fold the corners over, make a small cut right at the edge of the corner, then fold the contact paper to the inside of the box.

DabbleBox6Now that the base is finished. Repeat the same steps for the top of the box.

DabbleBox6Cover the top of the box, then cut small incisions into the corners to fold each flap in.

Close Up of Edge Cut

Close Up of Edge Cut

Fold the edges into the box top.

DabbleBox8Your finished with covering the box. Now for the fun part, decorate it with a stamp, sticker, or any embellishments you may have lying around. I chose a MEMORIES sticker ($1) that I adhered to a piece of blue construction paper.

Memory Box Makeover Complete!

Memory Box Makeover Complete!

In the works for July

I have a few things that I am working on for future posts. Here is a glimpse for what’s to come…

DabbleCurtains I am tired of these boring white curtains. They no longer match the decor, so I am working on a way to change them up with some dye and some other techniques. I don’t like sewing, so this could get interesting…

DabbleMemoryBox I am going to transform this ugly designer shoebox into a beatiful designer memory box.


This hideous frame has been sitting in our art room for over 3 years. Yes, really 3 years. My husband keeps saying he is going to frame one of his paintings with it, but I think I am going to turn it into a DABBLE project instead. Clearly the frame needs some work, but instead of putting a painting in it, I think I am going to turn it into a retro style mirror…. we’ll see how it turns out! To be continued…

DABBLE Crafting Party

Dabble Scrapbook Frames

Dabble Scrapbook Frames

In lieu of posting a project this week, I thought I would take a minute to talk about my trip to AZ and the DABBLE craft party.

I had such a great time  in Arizona. Not only did I get a chance to catch up with family and friends, but I also got to teach a DABBLE party “She’s Crafty” at Britta’s house.  The idea behind my DABBLE crafting parties is simple, you gather your friends and I arrive with all the craft supplies to teach everyone how to make a unique craft. The parties are a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning doing something creative while socializing with your friends. For Britta’s DABBLE party, we decided to do the “scrapbook inspired frames”.  

I was excited to teach a new technique on how to make scrapbook inspired frames. In my first attempt at making the frames, I used the decoupaging  like the one I posted here under “scrapbook inspired frame”, but I figured this technique would be to involved to teach for a 2hour class. I eventually figured out a different way to create these fabulous frames and I think they came out better than I had even expected! By simply gluing paper onto the frame and sanding it off, each dabbler made a unique frame that reflected their own personal style and showcased their creativity. I was thrilled to see that everyone was having a great time and was really enjoying making their frames. It reminded me of why I created DABBLE Arts & Crafts, to inspire creativity by providing fun & easy craft projects that anyone can do. The best part of the party was that everyone seemed truly happy with what they created and inspired to do more!

Britta and Amy's Frames

Britta and Amy's Frames

Crafty Candleholder

I was at the $1 store and found these scouring pads. I was going to use them to distress paper for another project, but realized when I opened them that they were not rough enough. The material was really soft and pliable. I started pulling at it and thought it could work as an interesting cover for something…

I found a plain clear candleholder that I already had and it worked perfectly. I ended up with this really cool candle holder.



Here’s how you can do it to!



*Scouring Pad/Sponge (I used a silver one from the $1 store, but the copper kind will work too)

 *School Glue

*Paint Brush






Mix the glue with a little bit of water. Paint the glue all over the vase.


Stretch the scouring pad out so that you can get it over the vase. Pull it over the entire vase until you are happy with how it looks. 


Stretch the scouring pad.

Stretch the scouring pad.



Scouring pad stretched around the candle holder.

Scouring pad stretched around the candle holder.



Let the glue dry (at least 2 hours). Although it takes awhile to dry, the school glue mixed with water is the best because it will dry relatively clear and not goopy looking. Then, put a candle in it and admire your work!


Candle holder complete

Candle holder complete

This craft cost me $1, because I already had the candleholder, the brush and the glue!

I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment and let me know if you liked this craft. And, if you try it, send me a picture and let me see how yours turned out!

Butterfly Craft

Here’s another simple craft for kids using items you have around the house.


What you’ll need:

*Toilet Paper Roll

*White Construction Paper


*2 Pipe Cleaners

*School Glue


Butterfly Craft Supplies

Butterfly Craft Supplies

Sketch out butterfly wings on the white paper (as pictured). Leave some space on one side of the paper (enough to cover the toilet paper roll). 


Draw Wings onto the Paper

Draw Wings onto the Paper

Cut out the wings. This is a great time to let your little one color the wings (it easier to let them color the wings before you attach them to the roll). Allow them to color the strip of paper that will cover the roll too. Then, apply glue to the paper and roll the paper onto the toilet paper roll so that it is completely covered. (as pictured)


Cover the Toilet Paper Roll

Cover the Toilet Paper Roll

Glue the wings to one side of the roll. Then glue (or tape) the pipe cleaners inside the tube allowing half of them to stick out as the antennas. 


Finished Butterfly

Finished Butterfly

 That’s it! Your Dabble Butterfly is finished. 


*NOTE, I actually used this project in my art class for kids 3-7yrs. I let them use water color paper and paint and they had a great time. The finished butterflies were really colorful and had an interesting tie die effect to them.

Paper Bag Puppet Owl

I teach an arts & crafts workshop once a month for kids 3-6yrs old. One of our sessions was all about puppet making, we made felt puppets and paper bag puppets. I decided to post this particular paper bag puppet because it was a huge hit with our 3yr olds.

First gather your supplies.

*1 paper lunch bag

*glue stick or liquid glue

*construction paper


*scissors (you will need to cut the pieces for your child)


*circle punch (I am horrible at cutting a perfect circle, so I like to use the cutter)

*sticker eyes

Paper Bag Puppe Supplies

Paper Bag Puppet Supplies

I used three different color pieces of construction paper. I did that so that the kids could identify them easier, but you can use one large piece of paper to cut all of the shapes from. If you are only going to use one color, use white so that they can color the pieces themselves.

Next, draw the shapes on the paper. You will need:

* 2 wings

*1 large triangle

*1 small triangle

*2 circles (about the size of a silver dollar)

*1 tail


Draw the Puppet Shapes

Draw the Puppet Shapes

Then, cut all of the shapes out. If your child is of age to use scissors, let them cut the pieces.

Puppet Pieces

Puppet Pieces

Before you begin gluing on the shapes, make sure the fold of the paper bag is facing up. Glue the large triangle first. Then the yellow triangle (for the beak), then glue on the white circles.



Then, flip the owl over and glue on the wings and the tail.

Owl- Back

Owl- Back

Flip the owl back over, stick the eye stickers on, or draw them in. Let your child color or decorate the owl with stickers.

Completed Owl Puppet

Completed Owl Puppet

Show your child how the puppet works by putting your hand inside the bag and moving the fold up & down to make the puppet “talk”. Even better, gather the family, make several puppets and have a puppet show!


Magnus coloring his puppet in a recent Dabble Workshop

Did you like this craft project? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

I will be posting tons of craft project ideas for kids so be sure to check back. 🙂