May 30, 2013

Wowsa Geez!


What up?!

Wowsa geez!

My guy found this fun little duo band, you may have heard of them, Scott & Brendo.  Well, one of Bug and Jet's favorite songs from them is called Kitten Air (click the link to hear it) and starts just like the above.  Those words also explain so much.

Wowsa geez!

I feel like it's been awhile but so much has been happening and so much is upcoming that I had to pop in for a quick update.  In no particular order....

  • 100 pendants are shipped and on their way to a lovely youth group somewhere in Texas.  Never done an order that big before but I must admit the sense of accomplishment once they were packed and on their way was extremely satisfying!  So, normally these pendants are shipped already in necklace form but this order was for the pendants only.  Did you know you can order my stuff without the chain?  You can.
  • No more work for me!  A couple of weeks ago I turned in my badge and said good-bye.  I will actually miss working.  I liked the low-stress, creative environment.  It suited me well plus I really enjoyed getting out of the house and having something to call my own while the kiddos were away at school.  However, we evaluated it all and determined that having me work, at least in that job, wasn't actually benefiting our family.  Two of my girls didn't really care that I worked a couple of days a week but Jet, well Jet was pretty excited when I told her I wasn't going to be working anymore.  She likes me home and really, I'm ok with that.  So, for now, summer is calling.  Kids need my love. And it gives me more time to devote to my Etsy shop and photo business.  It's all good! 

  • Speaking of our photo business,  we kicked off our photo season last week.  We celebrate 5 season in our home; spring, summer, fall, winter and photo season.  Photo season runs from May to early November.  I always forget how much I love to take pictures until I get behind the lens.  My personal goal for summer is to carry my camera with me a little more, not just on shoots.  I forget to take pictures of every day life and I need to do that more.  I follow a blog from a friend of mine from high school and she is really good at photo journaling her every day life and she inspires me to do the same.  

  • Craft camp!  Next week starts our craft camp.  I'm pretty excited.  Years ago, 2008 to be exact, I planned out a weekly summer craft camp for my girls.  Miss M had her own since she was older and then I did a separate one for Bug and Jet.  They all loved it.  We planned in advance what we would make, invited friends to join us, and then each week I taught a little class.  It usually ran for 4 or 5 weeks.  The girls, ever since the first camp, have asked me to do it again and so we are.  It starts next week!   This year we opened it up to friends ages 9 to 12 and now have over 20 girls coming to each session - Wowsa geez!  It will be fun!  I promise to share what we make.
(photo credit goes to:  cooking up north)

  • How many of you have pinned and pinned and pinned projects and recipes and all things lovely to Pinterest? Ya, me too.  I finally decided to make something I've pinned.  And, wowsa geez!  It was every bit as good as the photo looks.  It was cinnamon roll cake - soooo, good.  Go visit Cooking Up North to get the recipe.  It's worth it!
Oh, and I have tutorials coming for you all - stay tuned!

May 20, 2013

Father's Day Treat Tutorial

Awhile back I posted about a service project the women of my church did to prepare for Father's day.  It's a tradition that on Father's Day we give all the men in our congregation a treat.  It's just a token to let them know we appreciate their dedication and service.  I pulled all the stuff together and with their help we cranked out 80 origami shirts that have a little bag of treats hidden inside.  It was awesome to get them all done.

Want to know how we made them?  Here's what we did.

First, gather your supplies.  It doesn't really take much but you will need...

  • Paper - I used a kids art paper that measured 9x12.  It was the perfect size.  You can find this paper at stores like Hobby Lobby in the kids art area by the Crayola.  It's just cheap drawing paper and I think it came with 30 sheets to a pad.  
  • Pattern Paper scraps for tie
  • Small plastic bags to hold the treats
  • Treats, we used snack sized candy bars and such
  • Glue
  • Stapler

Step 1 - Lay your paper flat in front of you (this photo makes the paper look square, it's not it actually measures 9 x 12)

Step 2 - Take your paper and fold it in half long wise.  It was funny because at our meeting one of the sisters described the way to fold it as making it a hot dog bun.  Hot dog buns are folded long and hamburger buns are folded shorter.  I'd never heard that description before but I totally get it.  You want your paper folded long and skinny, not short and fat.  

Anyway, once you've fold it and creased the fold, open your paper back up so you can see your fold line. 

Step 3 - Next, take each side of your paper and fold them into the center fold line like shown above.

Step 4 - Keeping your paper folded, turn it over so that the sides you just folded are now on the bottom.

Step 5 - On one end of the paper, carefully fold down the edge about a half an inch.  

Step 6 - Next, turn your paper back over and fold one corner on an angle so that the corner point touches the center line.   Then, after you have one side done, repeat the step with the other side.

This makes the collar of the shirt.

Step 7 - Now that the collar is done we need to make the sleeves.  One the opposite end of the paper from the collar, take one side and fold a triangle shape outward from the center fold.  To get the best results, fold from the corner.  You don't want your triangle (sleeve) too big or too small so just use good judgement and re-fold if necessary.  After you do one side, repeat the process and fold out the other side so that you have something that looks similar to what is shown above.     

Step 8 - Next make a crease about 5 inches down from the top of the collar. 

Step 9 - Then, make another crease approximately 4 inches from the other end and then tuck the front of the shirt under the collar flaps.  Technically your shirt is now done.  However to turn it into a gift there are a few more steps. 

Step 10 - Add on a tie.  I just free hand cut a tie using scraps of patterned scrapbook paper.  You could also draw on a pocket or add little buttons. 

Step 11 - Next, package up some fun little treats inside of a clear little treat bag.  We used snack size candy bars and some tootsie rolls. 

Step 12 -   Then you add a little note and staple both the note and the treat bag to the back of the shirt.  Our note said:
"It's a SWEET TREAT to have you in our ward"
Happy Father's Day!

(Because there are usually multiple congregations of our faith in an area we divide them into, and call them, wards)

And there you have it - a cute little gift ready to be passed out on Father's day.

You can also fold these shirts without the space in the middle and turn them into gift card holders.  I wrote about that a few years ago and you can see that post here:  Gift Card Shirts

And if you want a refresher on what we gave them last year you can check out this post.  It's a similar idea only you use a full size candy bar and an envelope.  Tie-rific Father's Day gift


May 10, 2013

Non-traditional Cake Makin'

This is either the weirdest idea I've had, and possibly the strangest thing I've made or it's super smart and I'm thinking outside the box.  You can decide.  Even though I'm finished with the project, I'm still on the fence.

Sooo, here's what happened.  I have this friend, I haven't known her too long, just a couple of months but she is super cool.  She recently had a milestone birthday - one I will have this year, too - and I wanted to help her celebrate somehow.  However, I didn't want to be traditional.  I really do quirky best so stationary sets and fancy pens really weren't an option for her.  Instead I made a cake out of something she loves.  Let me just show you the pictures, that may be easier.  Now keep in mind, it's a cake in the loosest sense of the word.  Some of you may see the "cake", some may not - that's ok.

First, I went out and bought her favorite drink.  We have discussions about this often because I really don't like Pepsi - I can tolerate it now but there was a time that I was such a Coke fan that if my only choice in a restaurant was Pepsi, I'd crawl under the table and cry or boycott the restaurant completely.  I've matured now though so I can  have a friend who likes Pepsi and things will be ok.  

When I bought her soda, I had to make sure that I was buying the same amount of soda to equal her years in life - 40 of them.  My theory here is that even though I've only known her a few months, we've become fast friends and I'm sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that had we been friends longer, I would have treated her to a Pepsi many other times.  So, I decided to buy her 40 Pepsi's for the 40 years I missed out on being her friend.  Ya, it's cheesy but that's ok.  

Next, I grabbed my freezer paper (it was the only large white paper I had in my house) and I started wrapping the sodas up.  I did the big box first.

Then individual cans went into a small box and got wrapped up in white paper as well.  

After wrapping the smaller box I stacked it on top of the bigger box, you know, like a layered cake.  Can you see it?  We'll, this worked great for about 5 minutes.  Then my stupidity hit a new level.

I decided to cut a slit in the top of the box so that I could add "candles".  The slit worked great.  Just a straight line big enough for a straw to fit in.  The problem was that the cans had shifted in the box and I needed them to separate a little to fit the straw all the way in and have it hold in place.

This is were my great idea turns to a "what was she thinking, duh!" moment.  To make the room I needed, I put my scissors in the slit and attempted to push the cans apart. Do you know what happens when sharp scissors meet an aluminium can?

Pressurized soda can + sharp scissors = HOLY CRAP GRAB ME A TOWEL QUICK!!!

Yes, a soda geyser was erupting in my living room and my family will never, ever let me live this one down.

Luckily, because the sodas were inside a box, it only really ruined the one soda and the box.  I just had to start over.  The replacement wasn't as crisp looking but the idea still worked so I went with it.  

I was able to put the "candles" in place and then decorate the "cake" by wrapping ribbon around both layers and adding a big 'ol 40 to the front.  The candles were some of my happy straws with pieces of a sparkly Christmas garland coming out of them.  It worked.

And here it is, the finished "cake".  Ya, it doesn't look much like a cake BUT I know it is one cake that will stay moist, be fully enjoyed, and hopefully it made my friend smile, that's all it needed to do.

May 6, 2013


Just a heads-up.  Starting tomorrow, Tues. May 7th, my Etsy shop will go in sleeper mode.  It will re-open, next Monday, May 13th.  Soooooo, today is your last chance to buy something for mom and have it shipped in time for Mother's day.

These pendants have been the top seller this year.  You can add a child's name, birth date or both to back.  Such a sweet sentiment for the new mom, or the old mom, or just mom's in general.  Plus, I can make them in different colors if you don't like the turquoise, magenta or moss.

Anyway, I still have these and many, many other designs that can be make it to mom in time, they just have to be ordered today.  Follow the link here to see all the goods.  :)

May 3, 2013

Friday's Fast Five

I've been busily working away on a few things today and thought I'd show you the five things that have been taking up the minutes in my day.  Because, really, I know you want to know.  :)

Mother's Day orders - did you all realize that Mother's day is in 9 days?  Yup, it snuck up on me too.  I've been working on filling orders as well as listing new items.  Trying to get all the orders out on Monday morning so if you still wanted in on the action, there is time.  I can even send it directly to mom for you.  You can check out my stuff here:  

Father's Day - I'm ahead of the game on this holiday.  Mother's day may have snuck up on me but last night I made Father's day crafts, 80 of them to be exact.  It wasn't all me, I planned it out and got all the supplies but the women's organization in my church got together and cranked them out.  It was awesome and what they say is true, many hands do make light work.  We have a tradition that we always give the men in our congregation a little gift/treat on Father's day.  These are what we will be giving them this year.  And, because I know I will get asked, I'll share a tutorial and more details on them soon.

Flower Hair Pins - These little bobby pin flowers have been keeping me on my toes.  They are super cute and I'm getting a lot of requests for them.  I had just three different color sets listed in my Etsy shop but I've been sewing all week and am happy say that I'll be listing several more color sets tonight.  Pinks, reds, purples, and more  - so cute. 

Water and Adorable Straws - I'm trying again to remember to drink water.  I'm not good at that but I am getting better.  My trick?  Make your water cute.  Psychologically the cute straw works wonders and I'm certain it makes my water taste more fun.  It's true.

And, as an added bonus, since my girls have my same need to decorate their water, they think I'm the best mom ever for buying these straws.  Who knew that such a simple act could get me so much love and praise - I'll take it!  My friend Katie, who is awesome and very talented, sells these in her shop.  She does amazing things with invitations and announcements and all things paper.  If you want to make your water cute too go check out her straws and other things.

Mustaches - Do you think mustaches will ever go out of style?  Bug and Jet have been home from school for three days.  One was a snow day, the other two were a school wide break.  To keep them entertained I took them shopping.  Of all the things they could have bought, we came home with fuzzy staches.  we've gotten a lot of mileage out of these little things too.  Awesome!  

Anyway, those are five fast things on this Friday night.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

May 2, 2013

Heart Speaks

Yesterday I had an experience that will not leave my mind or my heart.  To sum it up, let me share with you my post on my personal Facebook wall...

"Today at work I had a lady hang out in the yarn department for about an hour.  At first I greeted her, then a little while later I asked her if I could help her find something, and then finally she came up to me and wanted to chat.  Granted I was working so it wasn't exactly chit-chat time but when she finally left my heart hurt a little.  I realized the woman was lonely.  I'm so glad she left with a smile but I keep thinking about her.  How sad that she had to go into a retail store to find a friend." - FB post May 1, 2013

This woman was put together nicely, hair combed and cute clothes.  When you looked at her she was your everyday woman.  Her head did not hang down.  She was not physically showing any signs of sorrow.  She didn't act needy, nor did she appear depressed.

She could have been you.

She could have been me.

I don't know much about her life.  I didn't get her name.  I don't know her story but I know that when I was talking to her my heart knew she needed our conversation.  It knew.  I felt it so strongly that I couldn't ignore it.  She needed somebody to connect with.  I don't know if I made a difference by taking the time to chat but I hope I did.

The interesting thing about it all is how this experience impacted me.  How many times I have passed by people that are just like her.  The ones that need a friend but it doesn't show on the outside.  The ones that maybe I make a passing judgement on; "they've got it together, they don't need me."  How many hearts are out there that need somebody?  How many people just need a friendly conversation?  How many woman have to go to a retail store to find a friend?  How many times have I let my own insecurities get in the way of being present enough to recognize a heavy heart that is hidden behind a put-together exterior?

Speaking of my own insecurities, a few years ago I was serving in a position at my church where I helped plan and execute a large youth event.  I was one of the leaders in charge and it was a new role for me.  After all the planning was done and it was time for the event I wasn't exactly sure what my role would be during the conference.  Was I to interact with the youth? Was I behind the scenes, kitchen duty?  Was I to do both?  So I asked.  The response I got from my superior, while I know it was said without malice, hurt.

I was told, "we want the dynamic people to be with the youth so Sister so and so ..."  He went on to explain that the other female leader was the one that they wanted to be interacting with the kids. I was, indeed, without it being said, just the kitchen help. It didn't matter that for months I had planned and researched and studied and worked.  It didn't matter that everything else I had done up to that point showed my talents and dedication.  None of it mattered because all I knew from then on was that I was not dynamic enough.  Which meant, in some way to me, that I was also not of equal worth to the other leaders.

Still to this day I hang onto those words.  Any time I have a hardship in life or have to put myself out there in social situations, or if I have to speak up about something, I hear in my head "your not dynamic enough, why try?  Why bother?"

It's a false statement but don't we all do that?  Don't we all hang onto the negative and then we let those negative statements restrict us from all the good that we can do?

Yesterday, while I was interacting with this woman,  I didn't need to be dynamic.  I just needed to be present.  I didn't have to be fun, I just had to be genuine.  I didn't have to entertain, I just had to listen. I didn't have to be charming, I just had to care.

At that point in time everything I kept telling myself that I'm "not" didn't matter as much as what I actually was.  I'm grateful that I had that moment of clarity.

I'm sure I didn't make a grand difference in this woman's life but maybe, just maybe, because I was willing to open myself up enough to feel her heart, maybe she didn't feel so alone when she left.  Maybe she left feeling like she met a friend in a retail store and maybe that made her day better even if it was just for a moment.  I know the whole experience made a difference in me.

I always say that kindness matters.  I hope I was kind enough that it mattered to her.  I also hope that I will remember that there are others just like her that are out there.  I'm sure I cross paths with people daily that just need a boost, a smile, a positive conversation or a heart that cares.  I hope I always remember, and then act on that.

I hope we all do.

May 1, 2013

Trim Headbands - Tutorial

So a few posts back I did a quick little tutorial on how to make bracelets out of trim.  If you don't remember it, you can find it here:  Trim Bracelets

The bracelets are cute.  We like them.  However there is a down side.  Each bracelet, depending on the wrist size, only takes between 4 to 8 inches of trim and then you have a whole bunch left over.  I'm really good at hoarding ribbon and trim so I don't mind the excess but it is a good idea to use it up, right?!  To do so I just made some really simple headbands.  My girls, all three of them, like to wear headbands so making headbands from the excess trim is a win-win for me.  And, these are actually easier to make than the bracelets.  They are also perfect for the kiddos to make themselves.  Just make sure they know how to properly use a glue gun and then let them go crazy using up all your old trim.

Here's what you do...

Gather your supplies, you will need:

Suede strips (or use a piece of ribbon)
Thin Elastic
Glue gun & Glue sticks

Step 1:  Starting with your trim, cut a piece that measures from the bottom of one ear, across the top of the head, and then down to the bottom of the other ear.  

Next, cut the piece of elastic.  To get the right measurement of the elastic, measure from one ear around the base of the back of the head to the other ear and then cut it slightly smaller than the measurement you get.  No exact science here.  You just want the headband to hold tight to your head so make it so the elastic will be snug. Snug, not tight - tight headbands are annoying!

 Then cut two pieces of suede that are about an inch long.

Step 2:  Using your glue gun, add a dab of glue to one end of the trim and adhere the elastic in place.  Tip:  Don't over lap it too much or the suede won't cover it.  

Step 3:  Then position a piece of suede underneath the pieces you just glued together.  Use your hot glue again and add a little glue to hold it in place.  Then, add another dab of glue to the top part and wrap the suede piece around and secure in place.

When you are done with one end, it should look something like the photo above. 

Step 4:  After you get one end done, repeat the steps and glue all the pieces together on the other end. 

When you are done, which should only take a matter of minutes, you will have a headband that is ready to be worn.

Step 5:  Find a cutie to wear it!  (That was an easy step for me, Bug was a willing subject)

There you go, they are pretty simple.  And, depending on your imagination, or your stash of trim, you can make a bunch of different styles.

I prefer the braided style but the kiddos like some of these others and as an added bonus, the cost is low.  Much cheaper than buying them at a store.  I saw something similar at Target for $12.99 - eek.  Why pay that for one when you can make your own for much less?!