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Creative Casey's Blog

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gingerbread Sweet Creations

I've only been to the George Eastman House one time probably 8 years ago. I won free tickets and heard about the neat holiday programs they sponsor there and decided what better time to go. I found a friend that was willing to go along on this adventure with me. This year was the first time they had the Festival of Trees which was really cool. There were dozens of lighted and decorated trees (all with different themes) that were contributed by local groups and businesses and were for sale in a silent auction. Sorry I didn't take pics. Should have!

Then they had a holiday wreath display and auction. And they had their 17th annual Sweet Creations Display. This was dozens of gingerbread creations made by local bakers, families, organizations and schools. All were on view and for sale in a silent auction.  My friend and her "little sister" Destiny from the Big Brother Big Sister program had helped to make a gingerbread house and it was neat that I saw it on display.

I have to say this was a really great time to visit the George Eastman House. It was fun and festive!
You can check it out at:

This one was insane. Lights, people and objects inside.

This was set on the game Candyland and based on the game. Very clever.

Check out the snow and garland!

I want my fireplace and mantel to look like this!

I wanted to buy this to bring to work and have on display. :)


Was made by a mother and daughter who recreate historical sites.

Crazy beautiful!

Update 12/19/12: I helped my friend Megan and her 4 y/o daughter create a Gingerbread House last night. It was pretty hilarious. Our gingerbread pieces were broken to begin with so our structure wasn't the strongest to begin with.  Ultimately after we let the main portion set and went to add candy we had some major structural issues. Megan was fast on her feet though and grabbed some gorilla glue. This mostly worked, but of course the house is not going to be edible. :)  Grace seemed to have a blast right along with us, especially eating the icing!

*I wonder if it's still holding up today!

This must be the year of gingerbread houses. I went and visited my nephew for Christmas and they had purchased a gingerbread kit also. This was more of a gingerbread village. Pics are below. We both had fun eating some of the candy along the way.

DIY- Therapy Heat Packs

I was planning a large campus event called Relaxation Night and trying to think of things to put in free goodie stress relief bags when a co-worker mentioned to me about some homemade heat packs she saw on Pinterest. She mentioned they were made from felt. While I thought this sounded like a great idea I was not about to make 75 of them in a couple of days. However; I was eager to try making some and decided over Thanksgiving break I could make some for a small termination token to all of my group clients to hopefully help them to remember the importance of taking time to take care of themselves in a busy chaotic world.

I ended up making 30 packets. I spent around $11 dollars total. I decided to use fleece instead of felt or cloth because I thought it would be more soft and comforting. I purchased some fleece inexpensively at Craft Bits and Pieces and bought a large bag of rice. I used pinking shears to cut the edges, sewed around leaving a small opening for a funnel and then hand-stitched the rest of the small opening closed after putting the rice in. In addition, I used oil scents almond, sweet pea, and lavender that I mixed in with different batches of the rice. I even talked my dad into helping me mix the rice and funnel it into the bags while I was visiting for Thanksgiving! Quality time together!  The little label I made with extra linen I had and a permanent marker. I tested it out and it works well putting it in the microwave on low for one minute. Hopefully my group members will like them.  Here's a tutorial online on Pinterest I found after I created mine;

Mud & Merlot Pottery Class Update

Finally without no further delay here are the finished projects from the Friday Fling- Mud and Merlot Class my mother and I took in October.  I think they turned out awesome but will admit I think they shrunk a little more than the 15% we were told.

To check out the original blog entry detailing this adventure click here:

My pieces.

All pieces.

My mom's pieces.

Warm Hearts- Warm Babies Project

My November/December charity project was to knit hats for premature and newborn infants in need through a Colorado non-profit organization Warm Hearts-Warm Babies;   I learned how to knit recently from my friend Leslie. I've been knitting a lot of hats that may end up eventually on my Esty shop. I decided that I could easily knit a few hats for this charity. I sat down one evening and knitted for about four hours and ended up creating four hats all using left over material from other varies projects.

Here is the information on the organization:
Warm Hearts~Warm Babies. We are a group of kind-hearted volunteers that help to make life easier for Colorado's tiniest citizens. We sew, knit, crochet, and quilt for premature infants and babies in need.  We donate to hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, shelters, law enforcement agencies, foster care, WIC offices, and individuals across much of the state of Colorado.  All of our gifts are donated free of charge and 100% of what we receive in donations goes to help the babies.  

So if you are looking to give a little this holiday season keep this project in mind!
Enjoy the pics. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Students Making a Difference

At the college I work at there is a big community service/civic engagement program. When I started volunteering for the Dress A Girl Around the World program I decided to ask around and see if any students from the community service type of programs at the school would like to get together and create some dolls that I would deliver to the Dress A Girl program. The college programs jumped on board and on Mon. evening Nov. 5th at 8pm about a dozen students got together with me and our receptionist who joined in and we listened to music and created about 30 dolls in 1.5 hours.  I had created a brief powerpoint presentation about the program, agency, and founders including pictures of the monthly meet up and other dolls and dresses that had been created.  Many students expressed wanting to go to the monthly get together and be a part of this project.

Below are pics of all of the dolls created that night.


I've been wanting to visit ARTISANworks; for years. I've lived in the Rochester area for about 11 years and I've heard a lot of great things about this place. I've also lived around the corner from it for many years, but just finally managed to visit it last weekend. I purchased a Groupon over a month ago and then a Meetup group I'm a part of announced an outing to ARTISANworks so I jumped on the opportunity to go. I invited a friend and we met others there on a cold Saturday afternoon.

Here's the skinny on ARTISANworks:

ARTISANworks is a self-funded 501(c)3 not-for profit art space that exists without government aide. We rely on the generous support from both personal and corporate members, and donations of artworks and memorabilia.
Our 40,000 square foot renovated factory building integrates arts of all kinds, events, and entertainment.
We support regional artists through our art incubator program and our collection includes more than half a million items. We take a multidisciplinary approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, and collection of art, focusing on the visual, performing, and culinary arts.

It was very neat to go with 3 other people who had also never been there before. We took the tour and then went around the entire warehouse again as a group.  We dreamed for 3 hours about the next party or event we would host there. It's an amazing concept. While we were there they were preparing for hosting 2 weddings that evening in different spaces. There are over 20 spaces/rooms each with a special theme that you can rent out for whatever theme you are going for. You will be in sensory overload by all of the artwork. It is on the floors, walls, hanging from the ceilings and every little space. There are well known artist pieces such as Picasso and Warhol but also many local artist artwork. I even found out yesterday that my friend Karen Pelc has a couple of pieces in the gallery from her "artist days".  Makes me want to go back and see if I can find her artwork! 
Another neat aspect to this place is that there are artist studios throughout the warehouse. The day we went there were two artist in residence working and they let us visit, watch them work, ask questions about their art and so on.
I would recommend catching the tour because you get many interesting facts that you wouldn't know if you didn't go on the tour. Such as; it cost 14,000 dollars a month to heat this space!
Hope you enjoy a few of the pics I took.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stampin' Up

While at my neighborhood art festival this September I won a free $20 gift card to this Stampin' Up card making class. The classes are held on one Tues. and one Thurs. night a month. It's taken me up until now to find a free day to go but I made it.  I took the Creative Tuesday class but really want to and plan to try out the Technique Geek Thursday class (in Dec.).  Here's the class information:  The classes are held in a large room in a local church right in my neighborhood so that was convenient.  Believe it or not there are a ton of women (maybe men too but not the night I went) who go to these classes each month. There are regulars!

It wasn't quite what I thought. I made two different types of cards and you basically get the supplies in a bag when you get there, go to a table where there are instructions and a sample of the first card design your making and then you just make it at your own pace.  There were a lot of instructors around to ask for help if you needed it or I found a great way to interact and meet people was to ask them for help.  Boy, stampin' up is a whole other world.  They have pressing machines and cutters, special glue dots, puffy adhesive, and the list goes on. There is also apparently an entire stampin' up lingo that kept throwing me off.

Needless to say I enjoyed creating and trying something new. Plus I made something I will get to use over the holidays and winter.  Now I want to try the technique thursday class because you learn all kinds of techniques for card making but I believe I can apply it all to mixed media work also.  I'm scheduled for December and will keep you posted!  Below are my creations!

DIY Storage Dresser

I was looking for a simple cube style unit to put storage bins in for my spare room. I couldn't find any on craigslist or that were new and in my price range. I did however find this cheap $5 laminate bookcase on craigslist and got the idea to build it up to make it taller. So I went to Home Depot and purchased four of the top decorations for fence posts ($3 each). I then used drywall screws to drill and attach the post tops to the bottom of the bookcase, turned it upside down to paint the "now legs of the bookcase" and whalah...magnifico! Total project time about 1.5-2 hrs.  My mom had gotten the bins for me previously on sale for $3 each.  I think it turned out pretty good and will work for what I want it for.

Sorry I was bad about before and after pics. But here is the pic with the raw legs attached.

I'm also considering taking off the backer board on the bookcase so that I'm able to push the bins in a little further.