The Ultimate Crafty Giveway; Over $250 worth!

****SORRY!   This awesome Giveaway has ended!  Hope you got your entry in on time.****

Hello my Friends! 

Here’s something I bet you didn’t see coming! 

I’m ridiculously excited to share this giveaway with you today!
I got together with some of my crafty friends, and we’re giving away over $250 of craft supplies, including a Silhouette! (Yes, it’s true!).
We’re so excited to share this with you… it is like an early Christmas present for one lucky reader! 
You can be oh-so well equipped to be a crafting like mad by the new year!
Just look at what could be all yours . . . . . .
[Read more…]

A NEW RSS Feed + a *GIVEAWAY* !!!/ Winner Announced! (This post info out of date as of 1/12. Feed info not correct anymore.)


One step closer to the winner announcement here:   Does anyone remember when the ‘Daily Lotto Numbers’ were drawn live on tv, with the numbered ping-pong-like balls bouncing around in an air machine, and then a ball would get vacuum sucked up and that number would be the winner? Well….maybe it still is on t.v. like that, but I don’t watch much t.v. anymore.  Anyhoo…..the point is, we wished we could draw a winner that way.  Of course, we don’t have such fancy machines on hand.
But….we do have a BINGO ball tumbler! : )

And so that’s just what we used, in 2 shots here for you. HERE WE GO!:


Katie from Sew Woodsy Says:
August 9th, 2011 at 9:32 am e

I subscribed to your feed.

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS Katie from Sew Woodsy!  We hope you find this paper trimmer as handy as we do!  You have 72 hours to email us with your shipping address, before we’ll need to draw another winner.


Hi Friends!

We have so much exciting news for you in this post, we can hardly stand it.  A new improved Our House Of Joyful Noise RSS Feed for you, an *awesome* GIVEAWAY that is the perfect tool (or gift!) for any crafter…and recent news that just came in, of an even BETTER Giveaway! ($100.00, anyone?) So let us brief you on one thing at a time here.  You’ll want to pay attention to each, as an important piece, because in the end they all tie together.  Here’s the scoop…..




{ First, if you don’t need the reason behind our new feed, skip down to the *** paragraph.  But it’s important you do replace your feed for us! Or subscribe and follow us, if you are so inclined.}

I have mentioned many times, the particular way in which you all needed to subscribe to this particular blog, because of it’s unique feed that times every section of the the blog, together as one.  It’s called an aggregate feed.  If any of you, as readers, are only interested one section of this blog, you are free and able to just grab the url address, after clicking on the tab for that section, in the url address bar above, and at it to your subscribing service. I do that a lot at other sites I want to subscribe to. But to subscribe to the entire blog here, this special aggregate feed has been necessary. Using the ‘SUBSCRIBE’ bar in the sidebar, choosing your preferred method, will successfully subscribe you to our whole blog.

What I want to tell you tonight, is that we have a NEW Subscription Feed.  The aggregate service we originally set up with, was actually a project that was in beta testing, and then abandoned!  We didn’t know it. (Ugh!)  We have found the service times out sometimes, and our posts were greatly delayed in getting to you, our subscribed readers.  So, we have finally set up with a NEW url (aggregate)  feed service, at Yahoo Pipes! (It was really fun building it too! lol).}

***So what this means for you, is if you are ALREADY subscribed to our blog, you won’t be soon, as we will be removing ourselves from that previous feed provider (called xfruits).  So please RESUBSCRIBE with our new url feed, today.  Or, subscribe for the first time today!!

Doing so is so simple! It’s how many of you subscribe to sites anyway. There is a SUBSCRIBE Bar in our sidebar to the right, as well as every section’s sidebar of our blog here.  You may subscribe through the bar, choosing your usual preferred method. However, we have found there is a ‘bug’ with Google Reader (one of my preferred methods) when trying to automatically add us.  So as noted in the sidebar, all you need to do is manually add our url feed, by cutting and pasting the url feed.  This may be manually added with any of the other methods of subscription as well.  Our url feed you need to use, is as follows, in it’s entirety:

That should work. If anyone is having any problems subscribing, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to help!

Next course of business?…..



In my head, I have been planning on having this GiveAway, for a very long time!  I usually think of it, when I am using my own!  Because it’s the greatest and handiest little thing to have around. I use it a lot!

It’s a Fiskar SureCut Paper Trimmer, and it has to be one of my most used crafting tools!

It’s MUST HAVE, for scrapbookers.  But it’s NOT JUST for scrapbooking!!


It’s perfect, fast, and accurate, to trim any paper, up to size 12″ x 12″, in a zip!  ZIP! ZIP! ZIP!  And you can even trim or resize several sheets of paper at once! Any time you want to cut paper, with a perfect straight edge, and very accurately, this is your tool.

It’s great for kids too, who sometimes really can’t cut a straight line with scissors, with takes care and patience.  Kids just need to be shown how to put the paper in this trimmer, and cutting is fast and safe! So bring it out at arts and crafts time!

The blades, which are safely in the cartridge, are replaceable. They just pop in and out. Mine came with a scorer cartridge too! Perfect also, for card making.

Remember the ton of paper pennants I made recently?  I used my own Fiskar Paper Trimmer.


Except the one I have, is an old model….

….and it still works like a dream.

But should you win, YOU will be getting the latest and newest one, and it’s SWEEEEEET!  It’s even sturdier, prettier, has clearer grids to line up your paper, rubberized feet to stay in place on your surface, and more!


Here’s some detail and description about this handy-dandy tool…..

Keep all of your papers crisp and clean with a trimmer specifically designed to meet your needs.

Choose our SureCut Paper Trimmer to bring a new level of precision to your next paper project. The SureCut wire cut-line indicates exactly where the blade will cut your page. Our patented TripleTrack System interlocks the blade and rail for straight, precise cuts every time. This trimmer can even handle extra-large papers with precision — a self-leveling swing-out arm extends the measuring deck to a full 12″. A permanent scale and grid cutting mat helps ensure cutting accuracy. An ergonomically designed, high-profile blade carriage is easy-to-grip to help you make accurate cuts quickly. It even includes a lightweight, portable design, so it’s easy to take this trimmer wherever your passion for crafting takes you.

  • Ideal for all your paper trimming needs
  • SureCut wire cut-line makes it easy to see where blade will cut for unmatched accuracy
  • Patented TripleTrack System interlocks blade and rail for cuts that are straight and steady, never curved or wobbly
  • Self-leveling swing-out arm extends the measuring deck to 12″ to cut extra-large papers accurately
  • Permanent scale and grid cutting mat is printed from underneath to last
  • 1/16″ gridlines provide an additional guide for precise measuring
  • Expanded cut rail with integrated smudge guard holds paper or photos in place without fingerprints
  • High-profile blade carriage is easier to grip than other trimmers
  • Rubberized feet provide stability
  • Cuts multiple sheets of paper at once
  • Works with TripleTrack™ blades, style I
  • 12″ cut length
  • Lifetime warranty

So what do you think??


Here’s all you need to do, to enter the *random comment drawing:

1)  New to Our House Of Joyful Noise?   SUBSCRIBE to Our House Of Joyful Noise with our new feed, as instructed above, and then leave a comment that you did so.


If you already have been subscribed to our blog, RE-SUBSCRIBE to us with our new feed, as instructed above, and then leave a comment below that you did so.


2)  *LIKE* Our House Of Joyful Noise on FACEBOOK, and then leave a separate comment below, that you did so.

3)  *FOLLOW* me/Our House Of Joyful Noise,  on TWITTER, and then leave a separate comment below that you did so.

4) Tweet this GiveAway/Blog post with a link to it, and then leave a separate comment below that you did so.

*The random comment drawing will take place on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011, and the winner will be announced no later than the end of Thursday August 25, 2011.  Two weeks for this important new feed announcement and GiveAway, for maximum reach. This post will be promoted throughout the 2 weeks.

If all of that doesn’t give you reason to Subscribe, or go for this GiveAway, HEAR THIS!!:

We just found out we will be having another Give Away soon, for a $100 VISA GIFT CARD!!

You don’t want to miss the chance to win that, do you?

Good Luck Everyone!!

French Door Spring Fancy Strands / Give-Away (Closed)

I find spring-time to be such a craft-inspiring season.  Although winter & spring has been taking turns around here in the past few weeks, I still like to think of it as just spring, as it should be.  Time for garden planning, enjoying the new warmer, sunnier days, and looking for those very exciting signs of spring.  They are popping up all around us, despite the occasional surprise snowfall!  With spring comes all kinds of cheery colors and symbols always associated with this season of new life.  It just makes me feel like crafting!


The French doors between our sun room, which is always bursting with sunshine or a soft natural light, and our living room, has been the focus of my craft quite a few times!  All of the rectangular panes of glass  strike me as mini picture frames, calling for some little artwork.  This past Winter, I made beautiful sparkly snowflakes on blue ribbon, which is a craft I am saving to share later this year. There was a functional twist of an idea I used with them, and I think some of you will rather enjoy using the idea for yourselves next year, when I’ll have the opportunity to share it with you in time to use the idea.

My craft idea for Spring is very similar, although strictly and adorably decorative, using very simple Spring shapes, ribbon and colorful card stock.

I designed a small collection of Spring Shapes in Photoshop, to use as stencils again and again.  I will share these with you by the end of this post. But here is a peek at what I came up with.



The supplies needed were few and simple:

  • Spring Shapes, printed on cardstock to cut out
  • 6 full rolls of thin ribbon
  • Cardstock in cheery bright Spring colors
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • *Any little embellishments you like.

I found this block-pad of linen cardstock in beautiful colors, at the craft store.  I knew it would be perfect, to use for my Spring shapes, that I wanted all relatively the same size.  It was a pleasant surprise to realize they were sticker paper too! That was going to work out nicely, for adding the centers on flowers, etc. And if there was no need for sticky paper, I just left the backside on.

Alright, so I didn’t take photos of every step.  That’s needless really.  But the simple directions are, that I cut my Spring Shapes out of the white cardstock I printed them on, and used them as stencils on the little square cardstock pieces.  There was a whole lot of tracing stencils, and cutting out, going on.  Then it was sticking or gluing pieces together, to make little happy die-cuts of art.


I have to tell you, as crafty as I am, I HATE CUTTING STUFF OUT!! With scissors.  Thankfully, my kids love it!  I did do a lot of the cutting for this project, but they enjoyed helping when ever and wherever they could.  I was thankful for every bit.


Using almost an entire roll of ribbon for each row of windows top to bottom, attach one end on top of the door, and center of the row.  Run it all the way down, to attach to the bottom of the door, again keeping it center.  Cut off any excess before attaching. We use a tack at the top, and glue on the bottom.

Then just dab a little hot glue onto the center of each die-cut one at a time, and apply it to the ribbon in the center of each window.


Here are my doors, all done!!  CUTE, or WHAT??

Such a simple project, but just a lot of cutting.  This was a craft for the kids and I to do together, from the get-go, so  I knew which part I’d be letting them do some of!  Hopefully you have a few of those happy-cutters, too.

You know, you don’t have to have French doors, to do this project!!  You can do the same thing, in grid picture windows, or make horizontal strands as a Spring-themed decorative garland!


I can tell you, by the time we had made 24 die-cut pieces, trying to make them each a little different, we got to the last 6 and wondered if the doors would look cute enough still, with nothing across the bottom row of window panes.  And then I had the quick and easy idea, to wrap up this craft, in 6 simple letters:


Seeing my Spring-ish doors makes me smile anyway.  But what really warms my heart, is the words spoken by my little boy the other day: “Mama, every time I see my butterflies that I made, that you put up on the door, I get a really happy feeling inside.”

Dang if that doesn’t make me really happy inside, too.   I love doing projects with my kids.  It’s so rewarding, for all of us, in so many ways.


Just so you know….our French doors are rarely closed like that.  Our 4 season sunroom, is open to the rest of the house most all of the time.  It’s surely a cheery passage-way now.


When spring turns to summer, I’ll be taking these strands down, but keeping them to use again next year, just as I did the winter ones! They are easily re-usable, for at least a few years if not more, if they are stored nicely.


On a side note….I do struggle with displaying fake flowers in my house.  I prefer fresh of course.  But it’s just not budget smart, year round.  Unless I can cut fresh flowers from outdoors now and then, and I do when I can. But in between….fake it is.  I just like to have some especially, in my old milk jug.

So just for fun, I decided to design a little collage, to show you some of the pieces a little closer up.  Naturally, when posting photos on a blog, some detail is lost.  But it’s still a closer look.

And then I thought the collage came out so cute, that maybe it would be a fun idea, to have a Give-Away!  It will printed as a 12 x 12 photo (such as it is), and mounted on a sturdy backing.  It will be sprayed with a protective coating, so it can be popped right into a 12×12 glassless frame. (I never use glass in my frames.  No need when they are mounted and sprayed, and they look so much nicer without the glare.)

The collage of these mini-photos, is of course, of little paper art.  But how cute would it look on display, near your Easter tree, in your kitchen, or in a little girl’s room!  It would look cute anywhere!

If you’d like to try and win this Give-Away, all you need to do is the following:

1.)  Follow our blog, via Subscribing or our Facebook Page, in the sidebar. (If you are not already.)

2.)  Leave a comment below, saying anything you wish, or letting us know you are now following our blog!

3.) Link up a crafty idea of your own, right now, if you can!!  (Not required, but we hope you share something if yours if you’ve gotten creative, and blogged it, lately!)

I’ll do a drawing from the comments by the close of our Linky-Party this week!

Want to do this craft yourself?  Here are the pdf links to my Spring Shape Sheets:

Spring Shape Page 1

Spring Shape Page 2

I hope those links work for you anyway If not just email me, and I will send them to you. I did free-hand draw a few on my own, that are not on the sheets, but most are here. You can add idea of your own too.  Just keep the shapes simple.








Cotton Creek Friends – Another Give Away! (*Winner Update*)

Yes, we have another give-away.  Oh.  I know, as I type this, that we have not yet wrapped up the last give-away, which ends at the end of October. I’m SO sorry to inundate you all with free money and stuff!  It’s awful, isn’t it?  ; )

I have a friend, Jessica Dittmer,  who is one of those artists. You know, the type who no doubt has heard all of her life, such things as, “You have more talent in your little pinky, than I do in my whole body.” The kind that has so much creative energy, that her creative directions are hard to contain, or keep up with!

To start, she’s a professional photographer.  But she’s also an illustrator, an altered-art artist, a designer, a quilter, a sewer……it’s crazy!  (I mean, so crazy, that I know I am missing some of her skills in this list here.)

Jessica’s work is so impressive, that the company DEMDACO took notice, commissioned her design work for a line of products.  Yes, this is the same company that produces the Willow Tree Figurines.

One of the art services she offers, I am betting you will love as much as I do.  Because…’s all simply magical. Charming. Endearing.  Sweet!   Wish You Wells is altered art, with a ‘storybook look’.  Using a reference photo of the client’s child or children, Jessica creates a magical art piece, that looks like it is straight out of any fairy tale!

Here are just a few before and afters, so you can see for yourself! :

Beautiful stuff, isn’t it?  This is such custom and personalized art work.  Who wouldn’t love a piece like this, featuring their own children?  It’s a perfect idea for the decor of the child’s own room!  Or what a sure conversation piece, work like this would be in the living space of anyone’s home, when guests are over.  Jessica has a real love and appreciation for old antique treasures, and it is truly reflected in so much of her work.  That might be one reason why I love it all so much!  You can see a lot more examples of Jessica’s custom art work at her Wish You Wells site, by entering the main site.  Information to have Jessica create a custom art piece for you or someone you love, can be found there as well.

But Jessica also now has a new adorable line of stuffed animals she has designed, and sews herself, called Cotton Creek Friends!  I’m smitten with the name alone!  But what I really love about these stuffed animals, is the charm of their home made quality, handmade and sewn with love, and the simplicity of toys from the pioneer days. Here’s a little peek at some of her adorable critters:

The dog and bunny are such perfect little companions for kids. But I can see any of these critters as part of my home decor!  How cute would they be, just sitting on a bench?  Or on a shelf with some books?

Here is one of my favorites:

A pig, named “Apples”.

There is even a cat for Halloween!

She has more Cotton Creek Friends in her Etsy Shop!

So here’s the smile in your day:  Jessica is donating any Cotton Creek Friend to a winning blog reader of Our House Of Joyful Noise!  How sa-weet is that??

What do you need to do?  It couldn’t be an easier, or fun!!  Just visit her Cotton Creek Etsy Shop here, take a look at all of critters, and pick out your favorite!  Tell us which one you would choose if your name is drawn, in the comments below.  If your name is drawn, it’s yours!  Jessica will ship your Cotton Creek Friend right to your doorstep!

We love doing stuff like this for you!  And we’re so grateful to talented and generous artists/friends/blog readers like Jessica, who donate wonderful things to give-away!!  THANK YOU JESSICA!

So go get Etsy shopping and choose your favorite!  We’ll be drawing a winner on Wednesday night, October 13, 2010, to be announced on Thursday the 14th.




Sorry I’m posting the winner a day late here!  Things have been a tad crazy around here.

The random drawing winner of their very own Cotton Creek Critter is:


Kim Bradford Says:
October 7th, 2010 at 9:05 am e

” Love them all, but going with “Stickley Dog”! Seriously, the “pinkie expression” was made for great artist like Jessica….she is so talented!!! :)


CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS Kim!! Please contact Jessica directly via this e-mail: and she will get your handmade Cotton Creek Friend “Stickley Dog” to you!

Thank you all for participating!!

Now, just because you didn’t win this time, you can still order a Cotton Creek Friend of your own, or as a gift, through Jessica’s Etsy Shop! Think about Christmas!!  Or think about yourself!!  lol

BIG thanks to Jessica Dittmer for donating your talent and creations to us!

Crafts at the Fair; (Come Stroll the Fair Series)

This may be the shortest blog post from me ever. I don’t think I have a whole lot to say.  But sometimes once I get going, more just comes out, so I guess we’ll see! : )

One of my favorite part of fairs, is walking around to look at the crafts.   As a creative person myself, I can just appreciate the time, skill and handiwork that I know artists invested.

This time at the fair, we had limited time for viewing crafts, and we didn’t come across much more than what was in this building anyway.  There was lots of little things, artwork by kids (I remember those days….I always had my work in the fairs), and lots of QUILTS.

The other day, I told my friend I want to quilt some day. (Because she is making her grandfather a quilt right now.)  But after I said that, I wondered if I really do want to make one, myself.  I think more accurately, I just want a meaningful quilt of my own.  You know…one that is made with little stories of my family history, with bits of my kids clothes, etc.    I’m not sure if I really need to be the one that makes it, although I have said I would love to learn how to sew, and that’s the truth.

All I know is, I got that typical happy feeling, looking at these quilts with their different patterns and colors, and it made me want one of my own, all the more.

It also made me want to take photos of them.  So I did.

I love all of the vivid colors in this one.

Of these 3, the one of blues on the left strikes my fancy.  But {A} loves the turtles on on the far right.

More happy colors.  I really got pulled into this one.

I thought this one was SO creative.  Clever.  I am finding myself getting sucked into all of this flip-flop decor craze.  I just bought a flip-flops toothbrush holder for the bathroom.

These hand-carved wood benches were impressive.  There were many beautiful ones I would have loved to photograph.  But the sun was really beating down on them, so I thought I’d take more when we came back around this way.

We never came back around this way. So that one photo is all I’ve got for you.

Then there was this potter there, who did some amazing work.  He was great in talking with my kids.  There were several pieces sitting on these shelves that I wanted.  But I would have never been able to decide.

And my family is not patient with my indecisions.


As I cut back from my portrait photography work, there is a lot of other creative outlets I want to venture into a bit more, as time allows.  Mostly, I’ll be investing my extra time into my kids, and their schooling, as they are just growing up way too fast for me.  But with my late nights, etc, I want to start putting my graphic designing skills to work.   I have all kinds of ideas, and the more I think (which I never stop doing, even when I am asleep) the more I think of.

One idea, is to create a collection of sidebar tags, with my collective art skills.

When I saw the pottery at the fair, this scriptural quote popped into my head.

So I made my first one.

I am giving it to anyone who would like it for their own blog or web site sidebar.   It is 180 pixels in width, so if you need it any other size, just e-mail me and I’ll size one just right for you.  Happily.  Free.  : )   It’s not linked in any way or anything.  It looks it, but I tested it, and it isn’t.  The code created itself, and I don’t know which part to take out, but it’s not a linked image nonetheless. Just a pretty for your sidebar.  Because people love to see something new there sometimes.  So surprise them!

Here is the coding for your sidebar (bel0w).  Just cut and paste. I am pretty sure this will work, just as widgets do.  But if not, let me know!

<img src=”” alt=”” title=”web_potter_clay_Isaiah64_8″ width=”180″ height=”252″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-4415″ />
I have already put this one in a couple of places on my blog.  So look around for it, and if you like it, now you can have one too!  I’d love feedback on this whole sidebar tags idea.  It would be a blast for me to make them.  Do you think there would be a market or interest for them sidebar tags of all kinds? Quotes, scriptural, inspirational, etc?  Please….tell me what you think.

Lastly, the quilting friend of mine?  She is ridiculously creative, in 1,000 ways. A true gifted artist.  And she has offered to donate a give-away item made by her, for us!!  How awesome is that?  How is awesome is she? I can’t wait to tell you more about her.  We haven’t worked out the details yet, but when we do, you’ll be the first to know!

Ok, I guess I thought of more to say afterall.  Oh well.
Feel free to get me back. : )