Oct 30, 2012

The 5 Minute Ghost

Ok, this is not rocket science.  It's not blow-your-socks-off cool either.  It is kind of cute though and if all you have is 5 minutes or you have kids looking to do a last minute Halloween craft, here's your project!  It's quick and it's easy!

Seriously, it took 5 minutes and I had all the stuff already on hand.  Plus, it recycles - kinda - which is great for the environment, right?!

Here's what you do...

Gather your supplies - you will need:

1 - empty plastic soda or water bottle (be sure to rinse and clean it before use)
1 - Styrofoam ball
1 - piece of white fabric (you can use an old shirt or old sheet too)
Ribbon or string
2 - buttons 
Scissors to cut the ribbon and fabric

Oh, and Rice - don't forget the rice.  Well, rice is kind of optional, see step 1.

Step 1:  Remove and discard lid, then fill bottom of bottle with rice.  The purpose of this is to give your craft some weight.  FYI:  You can use other things for weight like small rocks, dirt, beans, water, etc...

Step 2:  Next, push your styrofoam ball on to the top of  the plastic bottle

Step 3:  Drape your fabric over the styrofoam ball

Step 4:  Take your ribbon and cinch tight around the base of the ball.  This will separate your head from your body and will define your ghost.  Finish it off by tying the ribbon into a cute bow.

Step 5:  Next, add on your eyes.  I started with bigger green buttons but liked the small black ones better so I switched them out.  FYI:  If you don't have buttons just take a sharpie and draw on your eyes.

Step 6:  Step back.  Stare. And then pat yourself on the back for completing your very own 5 minute ghost!

Happy Halloween!

Oct 28, 2012

CTTCC & an Update!

I think I'll do the update first - I'm still working happily away on jewelry items.  I did another shipment  yesterday and will do another shipment on Monday.  I'm happy to say that we are getting there.  All shipments should be sent, at the very latest, by the end of the week.  Yay!  Please know that with this frankenstorm that is going to hit the East coast, there is a possibility for delay once it is in the hands of the post office.  I do put tracking info on all shipments so we can follow them if needed.  Email me if you have questions.

Also, remember the fundraiser for the family from last week?  I told you the total WE - remember we did this together - earned for them was $1185.  It wasn't!  After I passed on the check I had a few more donation come in.  All in all the final total for the family is... drum roll please......


I'm blown away - again I thank you so much for helping this cause.  We will never really know the exact way it helped but based on the mom's reaction when she got the first check, she cried and cried, I know it was greatly appreciated and very much needed.  So THANK YOU!!!

Ok, moving on to the CTTCC.  Anybody know what that stands for?

It stands for Compliments To The Creative Crafter.  A few months ago I shared a few post of ideas that inspired me and called them Compliments to the creative crafter.  I have a hard time sharing things I make based off of someone else's idea.  It kind of feels like cheating.  I know we have pinterest and blogs and there are lots of clever ideas out there that inspire us.  But I don't think it's right to do a tutorial or claim an idea that was inspired by someone else.  So, I think it's important to give credit where credit is due.   Today's Creative Crafter is Artangel.  Here's why...

During the month of September I worked on a project for my church.  I photographed all of the young women in my ward.  The young women are girls ages 12 to 18.  The photographs were being used for a program in early October called Young Women in Excellence.  It's a night that the girls are honored and get to show the project and goals that they have been working on.  It's awesome!

Anyway, after the photos were done, I was also asked by a friend to help with the decorations and to display the photos.  The theme was "He is making you a Masterpieceso I knew whatever I did needed to be something classic, rich, and masterpiecey.  Enter Artangel!

She did a post a few years ago on mixed media with tissue paper - I swear, when I read her post, the heavens sang.  It was perfect.  She made this....

(photo by Artangel @ http://artangeloriginalart.blogspot.com/)

It really wasn't the project itself that got me.  It's a cool mixed media canvas but I fell in love with the background.  It's made using crumpled tissue paper, glue, paint and oil pastels.  If you want the tutorial go to her site! http://artangeloriginalart.blogspot.com/2010/11/mixed-media-crumpled-tissue-technique.html

I used her idea but tweaked it a little.  First, I didn't buy special glue.  I just used plain old school glue and mixed it water.  I also decided to do this is a grand way.  I needed a BIG backdrop so I took large foam boards, they were like 3'x4' each, and used Artangel's technique on all of them.  All 16 of  them!

Then I hooked them all together to make a rich looking back drop.  The following pictures don't really do it justice but it was pretty cool and was just the look I was going for.  

(click on the photo to see it larger)

You can ignore the weird face that seems to be floating the air on the left.  It was part of the presentation.  They had a sculptor come and talk on the theme of making a Masterpiece.  I missed the presentation but my daughter and husband told me it was awesome.

Here is the backdrop and the sculptor at work. 

All in all, it turned out great.  Thanks to Artangel for the idea!  I plan to use this technique for lots of other things too.

Also, I know you can't see the frames very well.  But you can take Dollar Tree frames and paint them.  Then rub off some of the paint for an old, textured look.  They are super cheap frames but with a little paint, it turns them into something that looks really cool and well, less cheap! 

Ok, I'm off to make fried eggs and jewelry.  Not at the same time though.... have a great day!

Oct 25, 2012

Fail or Fun?

I have a confession!  I'm so not into fall or Halloween this year.

Not sure why, maybe it's just that I have a lot of other things on my mind and a lot of other things to do.  Regardless, my house is un-decorated.  It's OCTOBER 25th!  Yes, I know, fail!  However, something fun has come out of my lack of motivation.

My kids have taken over.  

Little Bug started asking me months ago if we could get out the decorations, it was too soon then.  Come October 1st though she was raring to go.  We got out the box of decorations but other than some spider webbing, the box has remained untouched.  It still sits by the side of our couch!  Instead, she and her sister took it upon themselves to be creative.  First, they drew these for our front door.  

Ya, it cracks me up.  One of them drew Mr. Count with fresh blood on his lips. (he looks kind of friendly for a blood sucking count) The other one drew him a headstone. I guess the blood he drank was deadly.   She wrote "R.I.P" - that seems appropriate for Halloween.  But then she followed it with "V.I.P".  Apparently Mr. Count was a very important person.

They are cute but here's where it gets fun.  Bug drew this and put it up by our stairs to the basement.  

It's hard to see because it's white-on-white but there is a ghost on the left.  He's the head ghost - his speech bubble says "Forward March!"  Then it appears there is an army of ghost following in line.  They are in unison saying "Boo!"   The sign below, drawn in her best scary lettering says, "Beware of the Williams - They have an army of ghost!".  Scary, right!

I'll admit I really didn't get it but Bug was very happy with her work.  She was so happy with it, she started being almost protective of it.  You know kids.

Because of this protectiveness, her dad started teasing her and would take a ghost off the end of the line and would move it.  At first, the ghost would just move to a neighboring wall.  Bug would realize it was moved, pitch a little fit, vocally express her complaint and then move it back.  Then she'd count them to make sure all her ghost were there and accounted for.  This process would repeat sometimes several times a day.

Eventually, the rest of the family got involved too.  It has turned into a fun little game.  Our own version of Halloween Elf on the Shelf in a sense.  Where is he hiding?  What is he doing?  

Today Mr. Ghost is on military leave and is hanging out on the art wall with his new friend Mr. Robot.  I imagine it will take Bug a little while to find him, but she will.  Then she'll roll her eyes, and say "Mom!" She acts like she hates it but we all know the smirk - that smile she tries to hide - really mean she loves it.

It's been a fun little game that all happened because I lacked motivation.  Honestly, I was feeling a little guilty about not decorating.  Like I was ruining my children's Halloween fun.  BUT as it turns out, things just have a way of taking themselves in a new direction.  Isn't that how life is?  I'm actually kind of happy about it now.  It's been a fun little game for our family.  One that I think we will have to continue next year too.  I sense a tradition coming on.  

Our little ghost will have to evolve into something more sturdy though.  Luckily, I know a crafty gal who's suddenly in the mood to make Halloween decorations with her kids!

Oct 23, 2012

Those Hearts!

Look at all those hearts!
(* - this map has been edited to include four more states, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, and Arkansas)

I've been debating all day about how to write this post.  Or even if I should write this post.  I so badly want to share but at the same time I don't want to come across as bragging.   This isn't about me but I can see how there is a fine line there.  Still, what WE (me and you) did was a big deal and so I'm moving forward because I think it's important that you know how things turned out.

Last week I posted that I wanted to help a family in need.  The plan was simple, all money made from my Etsy shop sales would be donated to a family, to a mom mostly, who is fighting hard against cancer.  It wasn't that I was pessimistic but I am a realist so I didn't plan to make many sales.  I thought if I could pass along $100 to this family that that would be awesome.  I had even planned that I would make up the difference between what I sold and the $100 so they would for sure get a $100.

Well, it's been a week.  I closed the fundraiser last night. If you follow me on facebook you may have read my morning post.  If you don't, here's what I wrote:

"Feeling very overwhelmed and amazed. My little project to help a family in need wrapped up last night and all I can say is "WOW". My heart is full and I'm so touched by the generosity of both friends and strangers. I will never underestimate the power of one.  Because "one" order added up to many and together great things have happened for this family! Thank you all! More details to come"

My heart is still very, very full.  Over the past week, as the orders came in so did your notes, comments, and emails.  All uplifting.  All encouraging.    One thing that stood out very clearly to me is that even though cancer is a difficult trial it also has a way of unifying people.   Even people who don't know each other.   

So, here's what WE, mostly as strangers, did TOGETHER for this family ...

First, today I made this card, it was a quick creation so don't judge.

Ummmm, ya!  Looking at it now it looks like a political map.  Oops. I didn't realize it at the time.  What it is really is a map of all of the states that orders came in from.  Look at that map!  Look at those hearts!  Isn't that cool?  28 states were represented.  That means that 28 states for sure have really nice people in them!

The writing on the red part is all the towns and city names where orders will be shipped.  Places from Canby, Oregon to Hampden, Maine and many, many cities in between!

The saying in the dark blue box says, "Hearts from all over the country send you their love!"  This little project may have been my idea but if it wasn't for you, it would still just be an idea.  You supported the idea, you shopped with the intent to help lift and encourage.  Needless to say, it was important for me to represent you somehow in the delivery of funds.

Next, I opened the card and inserted in the cashiers check.  Can you see that amount?  No?!  
Well here it is bigger...  

Can you see it now?  HOLY COW!  You guys did this!  Each order, each individual item from $4 earrings to $19 necklaces, all added up to this.  And, as promised, I said I would give 100% of the purchases minus the shipping cost to this family.  And that's just what I did.  No supply costs were taken out of this amount!  So this amount, the amount you paid, went directly to the family!


I'm happy to say this far exceeds my initial goal of $100.

With ALL my heart, I thank you!  Thank you for supporting my efforts, for being willing to help and for giving to a family in need.  I'm so grateful.

P.S. - I don't want to ask too much of you but I do have one more favor.  If you ordered something please keep in mind that I have 114 items to make, pack, and ship.  Please be patient.  Some items have already gone out and another shipment will hit the post office tomorrow.    I'm working on them in batches but it may take me a day or two, or three, longer than normal.  I hope you understand.

Oct 21, 2012

One More Day & Packaging

Time is flying by!  Just a reminder that tomorrow (Monday, October 22) is last day to help out.  If you missed it and don't know what I'm talking about, you can see the original post here:  A Call for Help

Basically, in a nut shell, I was made aware last week that someone needs help.  She is a mom to 7 and is fighting hard for her life.  She has cancer and things aren't good.  Her family is suffering and there are many needs both financially and physically.  I wanted to help but didn't quite know how.  So, the best thing I could think of was to put my crafty skills to work.  I decided to donate all of the money from my Etsy shop for one week.  I'm covering the supply cost so that 100% of your purchase, minus the shipping cost, will go directly to this family.

The response has been phenomenal!  THANK YOU! 

Just as a reminder though, tomorrow is the last day to help out.  So, if you've been thinking of shopping, please do.  My items make great gifts (at least I think so).  And, with the holidays coming up, you basically get a two-fer, you get to get your shopping done plus you help someone out!  

Speaking of  gifts, I've had a question or two about product packaging and if my items come packaged ready for gift giving.  I'm NOT one to just throw your purchase in a plastic bag and ship it off.  All my items come in either custom made card envelopes or boxed.  Here's some visuals.

The photo shown above is of the packaging for the braided bracelets (a green bracelet is shown) and leather headbands.  It looks like a little card and when you open it up, inside is the item.  For the other bracelets and no-slip head bands, they come packaged the same way but in a longer card (see larger envelope in photo below)

Necklaces and earrings come on a product card and then are placed in a small box.  All items are ready for gift giving.  A friend of mine had a great idea to use some of my items as stocking stuffers for her teenage daughters - great idea, right?!  Head bands for teenage girls = awesomeness!

Anyway, hopefully that answers some questions and gives you a clearer picture of how your items will look all packaged up.

Again, thank you for all your support.  To those of you that have already purchased, I seriously can not thank you enough!  Your support means so much to me and will to this family as well.  

P.S. - I've sold out of some of the items.  If you've had your eye on something and it's no longer listed, shoot me an email.  I'm happy to do custom orders.  

Oct 17, 2012

THANK YOU! & an Update!

I have been totally overwhelmed at the response I've gotten from my last post, A call for help
(if you missed it please see the link)

I have readers with kind hearts and it makes me teary to think that together we are going to help a family that  needs help.  Things aren't good for the mom but through it all she is positive.  I read a statement on her FB page, "You can't have a positive life with a negative mind!".  I'm hanging on to that one.  Despite her positive outlook, she is still worried about her 7 kids though so, thank you!  Thank you so much for helping!

To be honest, I didn't set my sights very high, I was just hoping to sell enough to give them $100 - with your help we've tripled that.  I'm thrilled.  Can you image if we could reach $500 before Monday?  I'm not sure if my crafty hands can keep up but I'm willing to try because I know it will make a difference.

So, if you are still thinking about buying something, please, please do - there is still time.  And,  just as a reminder, all the money from anything purchased from my Etsy shop, minus the shipping charge, will go directly to the family.  I'm donating all my supply costs.

Also, I've had several emails asking questions about some of my items.  My statement bracelets mostly, so I'm addressing some of the questions about them below...  

Q:  I like the wording but not the color of the suede, can the suede be changed?
A:  Absolutely!  If you order the bracelet, just leave a note in the comments section and state the color you would prefer.  Colors vary so please see the other listings to see color options.

Q:  What statements do you have left?
A:  I have restocked but here's a list of the available statements and the quantities I have left.

- Life is about creating yourself (2) (still to be posted)

Q:  I wanted to buy a pink braided breast cancer bracelet but they are no longer available, will you be restocking them?
A:  Yes, they are already listed and available for purchase.  

Remember, there are several different items available.  Not just bracelets.  I have necklaces, earrings, headbands and more.

Thank you all again!  Together we can do great things.

Oct 15, 2012

A Call for Help!

Red Swirl Heart Pendant Necklace

Tonight I'm overwhelmed and feeling the need to send out a call for help.

As you know from previous posts, my family has had it's fair share of run-ins with cancer.  From my dad, my mother-in-law, my sister and my friend, I've dreaded the word cancer and have hated that it has hit so close to home.  When it hit my loved ones, it felt like I was the only one dealing with worries associated with cancer.  I know this is not the case.  Many, many others have felt this same way.  

But still, it's a lonely and scary battle.

Tonight I found out that there is a mother, who like many others, is fighting hard for her life.  Things aren't going well.  Her biggest worry is for the future of her children.  One of which is the same age as one of my daughters.  I lost my own mother at a young age and my heart breaks at the thought of what this girl is going through.  This family has many needs, not just wants, but actual needs that they can not fill themselves.  Because of this, I want to help.  

Here's where you come in.
If you've had an eye on something in my Etsy shop, now's the time to buy it.

For the next week, starting today - October 15th until October 22nd, everything I earn will be donated to this family.  That means that 100% of the amount you spend, minus the shipping cost, will go directly to them.    I'm eating my supply cost as I want to give them as much as I can.

So, if you've had your eye on a necklace, a head band, a bracelet, or anything else in my shop - now is the time to buy it.  Plus, if you need another reason to shop, Christmas is coming up and these items make great gifts.  Not only will you get some shopping done but your purchase means you are helping someone in need.

So, if you want to help, you can shop now.... there are 4 pages of items so be sure to look at all your options, and custom orders apply to this too.

Shop now....

From the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU!

These things, and many others, can be found in my shop

Breast Cancer awareness items

Custom pendants

Braided headbands and bracelets

No slip headbands

and several different pendant necklaces, these are green but other colors are in the shop.

Oct 14, 2012

Minted Winner!

Well, are you so ready to hear who won the www.minted.com giveaway?  

Me too!

So, the lucky winner is.....

(This is Cassie's pic on her profile - cute dog!)
Blogger Cassie said...
I loved #1. We live far away from most of our friends & family so Christmas cards are so fun for 'catch up'.

Thanks to all who entered.  Cassie - contact me for details on how to claim your prize!

Oct 11, 2012

Minted Give away - Last day to enter

Sadly, today is the last day to enter the giveaway I'm hosting from Minted!  

Minted is giving one of my lucky readers a ..... wait for it....

$50.00 gift certificate plus free shipping 
on anything from their site.  That's just cool.  

In order to be involved in the drawing you have to submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. today.  To see the contest post and read the details - go here:  CONTEST POST
(comments left on this post will not be entered, please post comments on the original post)

And, just an update, I still haven't decided which design I'd pick.  In fact I've found others that I like too - when you are given so many wonderful choices, it's super hard to narrow it down.

I'm thinking of Christmas but did you know they also have a ton of cute Halloween designs too?

So cute!

Oct 9, 2012

Nativity - Stable

First, have you entered for your chance at a $50 gift certificate from Minted?  No?!  Be sure to check out the previous post: Hello October for your chance to win.  You can enter until Thursday night.  And, if you aren't sure what Minted is, well, it's a pretty awesome online stationary company.  They have the cutest holiday cards, stationary, business cards, plus more.... so fun.  You can read more about them on the post I mentioned.  Go enter!

Ok, and now onto today.  If you are following along with the Nativity tutorials I wanted to share a quick new thing.  I recently sold a Nativity set to a super nice lady and in our back and forth conversation she had asked if the set came with a stable.  At first I said no but after a bit I changed my mind and I a stable to include with her set. It turned out to be just the right addition.  So, if you are making a set of your own, here's the difference.

Nativity Before:

Nativity After:

Cute, right?!  I think it really does complete the set.

Sadly, I didn't make a tutorial with step-by-step pictures but as an added bonus for those of you that are following along with the monthly tutorials, I'm going to explain how I did it.  This is NOT our October tutorial, it's just something extra you can do if you'd like.

Oct 4, 2012

Hello October, Where Did you Come From? + Giveaway

**** The giveaway is now closed****

Hello October!  You've caught me quite by surprise.  I was pretty sure it was just August and I'm not sure how I missed September but here you are, and you are here to stay... well, at least until November takes your place in my planner.

So, I'm feeling a bit behind.  It's October 4th and I haven't done a single new Fall or Halloween project.  I have a list of them on my "to-do-someday" list but they are still imaginations that are in waiting.  Instead I'm dreaming up other creations and even thinking about Christmas - eeek!  Now that is a bit scary but that's kinda the point of my post today.

We've been busy here at my house, lots of things happening but mostly this time of year we are busy doing photo shoots.  My cute hubby and I have a little photography business and it seems late August through mid November we are busy with shoots, edits, proofs and all things photo.  I LOVE IT!.  I love photography and I love capturing little glimpses into who people are, their family dynamics and their beliefs.  Here's one from a session we shot last week .... love the message and fully know that this mom believes it.

We always try and ask our clients what they will be using their photos for.  Our sessions lately have been mostly about Christmas cards.  It's just that time of year.  Families want photos for their cards and yearly newsletters.  I'm no different.  I've found myself more than once checking out websites and card designs.  I've been dreaming up my own family Christmas cards and as luck would have it, I was contacted by the fabulous www.minted.com/holiday-photo-cards.  Have you been to their website lately?  No?  You totally should.

Their designs are amazing.  You can pretty much get anything you need there, well maybe not milk, but if you need Stationary, business cards, holiday cards, wedding invites.... you get it, they can do it.  I've been tempted to order some mommy cards because I think that's just how all the cool mommies roll.

These would be so handy for every time my kids come home saying they want to have a play date with someone but didn't know their friends phone number.  I could just send them to school with one of these cute cards and yes, then I'd be a cool and organized mom. (hahaha)

And check it out.  Minted has just rolled our their new Holiday designs for 2012.  I've been spending some time narrowing down my favorites.  These are at the top of my list for Christmas Card designs.

I love all the stats in the left column.  Our family would totally say +2 for guinea pigs.  
(We kind of love our little piggies and that was a big thing for us this year.)  

Or this one.  I like how the "Merry" anchors the photo and is quite clean looking

And, I love the playfulness of this one - so, so, cute. 

To be honest, they had so many, I was having a hard time choosing.  So, while I ponder my choices, how would you like to win a gift certificate to their site?  Of course you would LOVE that.  And, guess what?  I have one that I get to give away.

Giveaway Rules

1 - This is for a $50 gift certificate for anything + free shipping
(awesome sauce!)

2- Enter by leaving me a comment, tell me which of three cards you think I should order.

3- Get an extra entry by going to www.minted.com  browse around for a bit and then come back and tell me about something you found that you love.

4 - and if you want an extra entry, head on over to their facebook page and say hello -  be sure to tell them you're stopping by from Then She Made!  After you do that, come back and tell me it's done!  

5 - The giveaway will be open for one week and all entries must be in entered by midnight on Thursday, October 11th.  The winner - sorry, there will only be one - will be chosen and announced on Friday, October 12th.

***Entries are no longer being accepted and the winner will be announced soon***

P.S. - You should know that I'm not getting anything for this.  This is not a paid sponsorship nor do I get any products in return for my post.  This is just me sharing a little love.

Thanks www.minted.com for sending some love to my readers!