Monthly Archives: August 2015

Grown Up School Supplies with Expressionery + $250 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

You know when your kids go back to school and you’re just a little bit jealous of their shiny new school supplies? Sometimes it’s nice for the adults to get some new supplies too! Our friends at Expressionery recently added a huge variety of great items for yourself or to give as unique gifts. For back to school time, they sent over a notebook, notepad, weekly agenda pages and adorable paper and binder clips in a cute little bag. The fun part is that it’s all personalized with my name so it feels extra special!

expressionery package

I appreciate that the items are packed securely with extra attention to detail like the gold and white crinkle paper used as packaging. It’s a fun surprise to open the box and see everything so pretty and neatly organized!


They’ve got tons of cute designs to choose from on their website for the products you see here (and more)! These would be great to use at home or in the office to make being organized more fun.


You can even choose your product and type in the personalization and immediately see what the final product would look like! It’s a lot of fun to play around with the different fonts and layouts exactly to your specifications.


You can check it out now and use the coupon code SUMMERSALE for 30% off the entire site right now, plus free shipping on orders over $50!



Giveaway! $250 Visa Gift Card

Through September 12, enter Expressionery’s contest for a chance to win a $250 Visa Gift Card!


Expressionery: Grown Up School Supplies

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Peach Pineapple Salsa

Have you ever had fresh Georgia peaches? They taste like nothing else! Last month, I shared a recipe for Crock Pot peach cobbler, inspired by my love of peaches grown in the south. I’ve recently tried some savory dishes with peaches, and wanted to share my new favorite summertime dinner recipe: Crock Pot chicken tacos with peach pineapple salsa! If you are looking for an appetizer, the fresh salsa is great on its own.

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Peach Pineapple Salsa| Craft Buds


If you love easy Crock Pot chicken recipes, you’ll love this dinner that’s easy to throw together. Trust me! I’m a very low-maintenance cook, and just happen to have a great farmer’s market nearby. If you don’t have fresh peaches and pineapples in stock, pick up a jar of peach or pineapple flavored salsa and make your own variation.

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Cilantro

To make the Crock Pot chicken:

– 2 to 3 fresh or frozen chicken breasts

– 1-2 cups of salsa (any kind)

Place the chicken in the slow cooker and cover with salsa. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours. The longer you cook, the more it will shred, or you can easily chop it once it’s fully cooked. Set aside

Peach Pineapple Salsa

To make the peach pineapple salsa:

– 2-3 fresh peaches, diced

– 1/2 fresh pineapple, diced

– 1/4 red onion, diced

– 1/2 Cucumber, diced

– 1/4 cup lime juice

– handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine ingredients and mix well. Serve with Crock Pot chicken tacos or eat with tortilla chips.

To make the cilantro rice:

– 2 cups uncooked rice

– 1/4 cup lime juice

– handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

– pinch of salt


Prepare rice according to package. Add several squirts of lime juice, salt and cilantro. Serve as the first layer of chicken soft tacos.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos with Peach Pineapple Salsa | Craft Buds

To assemble the tacos, layer small flour tortillas with the prepared cilantro rice, Crock Pot chicken, and peach pineapple salsa. If desired, add shredded cheddar cheese, a squirt of lime juice and more fresh cilantro. This is a great dish to serve buffet style and let your family assemble their own plate! I hope you enjoy this recipe, and that it helps to shake up your dinnertime routine.

Do you have a favorite Crock Pot chicken recipe?


Pattern Release: Holly Jolly Stocking

I’m excited to announce the release of my newest PDF sewing pattern, the Holly Jolly Stocking!

Looking for a Christmas stocking pattern that’s fat-quarter friendly and easy for beginners? This step-by-step Christmas stocking sewing pattern will guide you through making a simple lined holiday stocking with a cuff and hanging loop. If you choose to quilt the main stocking to batting, you can get a nice weight and texture. Otherwise, feel free to skip this step for a more simple stocking that’s quick to sew!

I used Tinsel Fabric (Cotton + Steel) to make these festive new stockings for my family.

Learn how to sew a stocking (or two! or five!) for your holiday mantel with my new Holly Jolly Stocking pattern!

Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern by | Craft Buds

Materials (for each stocking):

Note: To make a stocking with a matching front and back, you’ll need 1/2 yard of that print (you’ll have some fabric left over). To have two different prints on front and back, you may substitute 2 different fat quarters. – 1/2 yard stocking exterior fabric (or 2 fat quarters for different prints on front and back) and loop – 1/2 yard lining fabric – 1 fat quarter (18” x 22”) for cuff Quilted version: – 13” x 18” batting or large scraps Non-quilted version: –  Recommended: 13” x 18” lightweight stabilizer for stocking front and back Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern: Quilted Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Use a different print on each side of the stocking so you can show off even more of your favorite fabrics!

My pattern testers made some really creative versions of the Holly Jolly Stocking! Here’s what they had to say:

Holly Jolly Stockings by KatieD

Katie D. made a lovely pair of quilted Christmas stockings…Just flip them on the mantel for a totally different and fun look! She says, “Stockings have been on my To-Do list for years! I made two quilted stockings and used low-volume prints on the front and red or green backs with contrasting cuffs. The instructions were very clear and the final size is great.” Holly Jolly Stockings by Modern Magnolia

Hannah of Modern Magnolia Studio sewed up these adorable stockings in holiday and wintery fabrics. Aren’t they just lovely? “I LOVE this pattern!” she said. “My mom is already requesting I upgrade all her stockings now, and I plan to make more stockings closer to the holidays.” Holly Jolly Stockings by Clover and Violet

Clara of Clover and Violet made these adorable quilted Holly Jolly Stockings in Pam Kitty Morning fabric! If you don’t want to use holiday fabrics, take this inspiration for a fun twist on tradition. “It’s super cute and fun to make! I think it is a great pattern,” Clara says. Holly Jolly Stocking by Kaela

Kaela made this awesome gingham stocking with a wide plaid cuff. I love the slight twist on traditional Christmas colors. “The pattern was so easy to read and follow along!,” she says. “Thank you so much! I’m so excited to make my family of 5 stockings!”

Holly Jolly Stocking by JodyR

Isn’t this Christmas stocking by Jody adorable? This is a view of the front and back, showing the slightly different red prints that beautifully blend with the dark minty green cuff. Jody says, “I was pleasantly surprised to see how large the stocking is was when putting the pattern together. We love stocking gifts so a bigger stocking is great! I am so excited to make 3 more for our house and then 12 more for my mom’s house because she liked it, too.”

Want to get the Holly Jolly Stocking pattern and get an early start on your Christmas sewing? It’s available now in my Craftsy pattern shop!

Holly Jolly Stocking Cover

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Etsy Giveaway from Most Precious Gift: 5 Winners!

Today we’d like to welcome Ashton Tennial, owner of the Etsy shop Most Precious Gift and newest Craft Buds sponsor! Most Precious Gift carries a variety of adorable headbands, hair bows and more!

most-precious-gift-square border

Ashton was inspired to open her Etsy shop by her three spunky little girls (5, 4, and 2). Ashton says, “I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom for the past two years. I have always been a crafty/artsy person. One day I decided to try and make my own hair bows for my daughters and everything snowballed from there. I really enjoy what I do and take a lot of pride in my work.”


Ashton is offering a giveaway to FIVE of our readers to pick out their choice of a headband or hairbow. Just leave one comment below telling us what your favorite item from the shop is. Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, August 17. We’ll use to choose the winners (EDIT: Winners have been chosen, thanks!). And if you want to order something right away, use coupon code FREESHIP25 for free US shipping on order of $25 or more for the month of August.

How to Print and Use PDF Sewing Patterns

How to Print + Use PDF Sewing Patterns | Craft Buds

Sometimes, it’s the little sewing tips and tricks that really help to get us motivated to finish that next project! Today, I’m sharing with you a little tutorial on how I like to print and use PDF sewing patterns.

Unlike a paper sewing patterns, PDF patterns must be printed on your home computer and printer in order to use them. If you are not used to this, it may take a little trial and error to get started. I hope to save you a few steps by showing you the way I like to do it!

Print PDF Patterns Tutorial

Step 1: Download the PDF pattern. I’m using my Holly Jolly Stocking pattern as an example. Open the pattern file on your computer. Since it’s a PDF file, your computer will select a program to use to open it (such as Adobe Acrobat, pictured above).

Select “Print” then look around the pop-up menu until you find an option that says print “actual size” or something similar. You want to make sure you don’t shrink the pattern to fit on the paper. The screenshot above shows how I ticked the button that says “Actual Size.” Now I can select print!

Important: Many PDF patterns have a 1″ test square on the pattern (shown below on the upper left corner). Measure this box on the printout with a ruler to confirm it has printed the correct size.

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 2: Take your printed pages and look for the natural place where they overlap. Some people like to cut off the overlap, but I prefer to simply fold it back. In this stocking pattern, you can see how I fold along a thick line on the right side of sheet 1. Then I can place it on top of the corresponding line on sheet 2, and line up the stars (a mark intended to help place the pattern).

Not all PDF sewing patterns will have a distinguishing mark like this, but you can usually line them up from the point the pattern starts on one sheet and ends on another.

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 3: Continue to fold under the edges of the pattern, and tape the papers together in the order they belong. On the bottom row, you’ll fold under two edges of the paper. Don’t worry about the order border for now. I like to use washi tape, taping a few times inside the pattern, because it is quick, easy, and surprisingly durable!

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 4: Cut out the sewing pattern along the border. Place the pattern on your fabric, and trace directly around it with a rotary cutter and mat, or scissors. If using scissors, you’ll want to pin the pattern in place on the fabric.

Wasn’t that simple? I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial on how to print and use a PDF sewing pattern. Read my handy tutorial on how to transfer a paper sewing pattern with freezer paper here!

And if you’d like to check out my Holly Jolly Stocking pattern for yourself, you can get it here.

Back-to-School Teacher Gift: Candy Caramel Apples

With summer coming to an end, kid-friendly recipes and activities help make going back to school more fun. These fall-inspired candy caramel apples are tasty, fun and easy to prepare—even with younger kids. Wrap a couple up in cellophane sheets with some ribbon for the perfect gift for teachers on the first day of school!

Caramel Apples Recipe: Back to School Gift: Craft Buds

What you’ll need:

– 6 small apples
– 1 bag soft caramels
– 2 tbsp. water
– 1 c. chopped nuts
– 1 bag M&Ms (or your favorite candy)
– 1 c. chocolate chips
– 6 wooden sticks
– 2 Hefty Foam Bowls
– 1 baking sheet
– Waxed Paper

The great part about this recipe is that you can easily change up the toppings. I’ve made this treat several times before with different candy combinations, including mini chocolate chips, sprinkles and coconut shavings. For this batch, we kept it simpler for the teachers with chocolate drizzle and nut-covered apples. (We topped the leftover apples with M&Ms for my family to enjoy!)


1. Wash apples and remove stems. Insert wooden sticks (wooden skewers, chopsticks, etc.) into the stem end. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place apples on baking sheet and put in fridge.
2. Separate nuts, M&Ms and candy into separate foam bowls. Set aside.
3. Unwrap caramels and drop in microwave-safe bowl with water. Place in microwave for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring halfway.
4. Dip apples in caramel, letting the excess drip off. Chill in fridge for 5-10 minutes.
5. While you wait, microwave chocolate chips for 1-2 minutes or until melted.
6. Dunk the caramel-covered apples in desired topping and place back on baking sheet.
7. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate on caramel apples.
8. Refrigerate until the caramel is set.

Guest post by Hefty. Photo: Joshua Resnick

Looking for more teacher gift ideas? Check out these Teacher Appreciation Pencil Pouches, cute Printables for Scissors as a gift, and the In Good Hands Printable!

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