Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let's give this a try...

I haven't had much time to craft lately...


I haven't had much time for anything really except packing and cleaning and feeding little girls (and napping on occasion).  I'm ok with that.  It's the season we are in and in a month or 2 we will be settled in to a new house and a new schedule with a cute new baby to cuddle and love.  There will be lots of crafts to craft and creations to create and lives to live.

Until then, though, I'm afraid I won't have much to show you except me hidden behind a lot of boxes.

That gets boring after a while.

So, I thought I would ask if any of you would like to come guest post with me.  I can't promise a lot of exposure, though I will do all I can to promote you, but it would at least introduce you to some new people/readers/friends.  And, I would love, love, love to see what you have to share.

I have a couple of months available.  We are moving at the beginning of July and then having a baby in August (I'm thinking some time off after that might be nice). If you are interested, send me an e-mail ( or leave a comment (if you don't have your e-mail linked with your profile, please leave an e-mail address I can reach you at...unless you are family; I know where you live.)  Let me know when you think you might be available and what you are thinking you might like to share.

Ok.  Thanks!

Have a happy day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moments of Cookie Kindness

I was sitting at my desk, quietly minding my own business, when I noticed some movement outside my front window.

I glanced over just as the doorbell rang and a hooded figure dashed away!


Should I open it?

I took the risk...and thank goodness I did!!

This mysterious little package was sitting quietly in front of my door.  Judging by the subtle smell of peanut butter, I knew that this was the kind of thing worth bending over to pick up. 

The card was creatively addressed to me and my family.
And the words inside were uplifting, fun, and so kind.

And the package was delicious!

Cookie ninjas rock!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Magnetic Paper Dolls (Embracing Messy guest post)

In case you missed it, here is the post I did over at Embracing Messy.  

Remember my  magnetic activity book?  I'm still trying to find some more ideas for it, but I did manage to get this sort of done.  Here you go! 

Magnetic Paper Dolls

Here's how I put them together:

First I started out with the template created by Sherri Osborn here.  Thank goodness for artistic people who share their talents, right?!  If not for Ms. Osborn and her fantastic templates, these would have been stick people paper dolls...not nearly as cute.

I printed out the body pattern on magnetic paper.
I tried originally printing it out on normal paper and then gluing that onto the magnetic paper...don't do it!  It is too thick and the clothes didn't stick on top.  Stick with the straight magnetic paper.

 Next, I gave it a happy face...and some underclothes.  Let's keep things modest, here!

I pulled out some cute paper...

Side note: See those red tags?  Here's a close up: 
I'm not ashamed to admit I did a fancy happy dance in the store.

Using the templates, I traced and cut out the clothing, adding layers for some dimension. 
Since I wasn't planning on having anything that needed to be stuck on top of the clothes, I did use paper first and glued (Mod Podge!) that onto the magnetic paper.

Then I covered the top of the clothes with contact paper to protect the paper a little. 
Then I very carefully cut it all out!

And, tada! It's done.

Of course, it wasn't until I pulled it out at church a few days later that I realized she has no hair.

I guess that's another project!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Moments for me

Doesn't it feel sometimes like life is just out to beat you up?

Yeah, me too.

Sometimes I just want to sit my life in the corner and say, "You sit there and think about what you're doing.  Come talk to me when you can be nice."  

That wouldn't work, though.  I'm afraid I am learning that life is supposed to be hard.  It's how I learn.

Dang it.

The other night, I was standing in front of the mirror talking to myself getting ready for bed and pondering over the day, when I noticed what I was doing.

I was analyzing my face and the things I was feeling about myself and telling myself weren't very positive.

"I look worn out."
"I look so tired."
"I don't think my efforts are getting me anywhere."
"I'm not that important."
"I should be doing better."

Geesh.  Hard stuff. 

And, you know what?  Most of it isn't true!

"Be Gentle With Yourself"

My mom tells me that a lot.  Slowly but surely, I'm learning what she means.

I decided to try something new...a new perspective.

"I am worn out because I'm a good mom with 2 young, beautiful, and amazing daughters."
"I am tired because I work very hard to support my fantastic husband through school while running our home and raising her kids."
"And my body is working hard to create the little body of our little boy."
"Because of my efforts, my daughters know that they are children of God and he loves them."
"Because of my efforts, my husband knows he is a son of God and he has value."
"Because of my efforts, lives and worlds are being impacted that I'm not even aware of."
"I am a good person."
"I am so important."
"I can always do better, but I am doing amazingly well."

"God loves me."

A simple change, but a strong impact. 

You should try it.  Take some time to be gentle with yourself and see what a strong and loved person you are!  Then keep on making the world a better place.

My Memories Suite Giveaway winner!!!!

Good morning!  

I have a busy day/busy week ahead of me, so I think will be helpful if I start Monday by giving away some awesomeness!! we go!

First off, thank you so much to everyone who entered.  I really appreciate it!

Here is my list of entrants: is the number:

Number 5 is Coralie!  Yay!!!

I already have your contact information, Coralie, so I'll be sending you an e-mail shortly.

Thank you, everyone!  Have a great day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pinspired Mother's Day/Grandma gifts

Are you looking for the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software giveaway?  Click here.

What's that you say?  Mother's day was almost how long ago?  

I couldn't very well post this project before Mother's day and spoil the surprise now, could I?  

This is what we made the grandma's for Mother's day this year.  

It started out with this pin:

The pin leads to this post over at this happy blog

Hers is a card.  

We did ours on a small 8 x 11 canvas.

And we used sparkly paint.

And I painted their names and the year on their handprints after I took this picture.

And I think they're so cute!  

Thanks for the pinspiration, Nifty Mom!

Happy Mother's Day (late!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Embracing Messy Guest Post

Remember my Magnetic Activity Book?  Remember I was trying to figure out what activities to put in it? 

I am sharing one of my ideas over at Embracing Messy today!

Head on over and check it out!

Then come back and enter the My Memories Suite giveaway!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Memories Suite Software Review and Giveaway!!!

Alrighty, friends!  I'm so excited about this.  Seriously, I'm over here doing a little jig.

I was contacted recently by some really nice people at the My Memories Suite company.  Have you heard of them?  I had and I was super excited that they asked me to do a review of their digital scrapbooking software!

Please note, I am not much of a scrapbooker.  I get around all that cool scrapbooking stuff--the pictures, the pretty paper, the embellishments, the glue, the formatting, the cool quotes, the cuteness---and I get a little overwhelmed.  Ok.  A lot overwhelmed.  I can use and enjoy each of those elements individually, but put them all together and I end up just staring at them blankly.

The thing is, I love my pictures and I want to display them and preserve them, but I also want to be unique.  Enter the My Memories Suite software.  Not only is that site loaded with scrapbooking kits and cute templates, but you can also download software that allows you to build up your own digital scrapbooks, create photo books, add movies and music, and (my favorite) turn your pages into a movie!  Plus so much more!  I haven't even finished exploring it yet.  OH!  And they also have a YouTube channel loaded up with inspiration.

Every year, I like to put together a collection of pictures to share with my family.  I usually put it off and end up spending a week putting everything together in time for Christmas.  This year I vowed to get started early to avoid a rushed look and I have always liked the idea of putting my picture books on DVD,  but I had no idea where or how to start with all of that!

Check this out, though (keeping in mind, of course, that it is a work in progress): 

Isn't that cool!  I can add music to it, I can add more prettiness to it and nice words and all sorts of happiness!  AND...I did what I've done so far in a matter of hours.  Woohoo!  I'm going to enjoy My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software like crazy.  I'm already wondering how I managed without it! (That is saying a lot for a non-scrapbooker.)

Now, here is the very best part.  The awesome people at My Memories Suite are giving away a copy of this awesome software to one of you!  

Really!  YAY!

And, if you don't want to wait around for the giveaway, you can get $10 off your purchase by using this code: STMMMS89425


Welcome to my first official giveaway!! *jig, jig, jiggity-jig*

Here's what you need  to do to enter:
Please go over to the My Memories Suite website, take a look at all the fun stuff they have to offer, and then come back here and let me know what you would choose and how you would use it.  What would you do to make your creations unique? are some extra entry opportunities (leave a separate comment for each, please): 
1. Follow the My Memories blog.
4. Take a look through my happy little blog and, if you haven't already, follow me in some way (Google Friend Connect, Linky followers, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest).
5. Spread the word: Blog about it, post it on Facebook, Tweet it, Pin it.

Good luck!  This giveaway will end on Sunday, June 3, at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern time).  I'll announce the winner on Monday morning.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moments of Mommyness

My Mister is on a much needed break.  He has been in nonstop school for the last year and now finally is in the midst of an almost 4-week break.  

And what does he want to do with that break?

Well, we've been spending a lot of time at the park.  We've been eating dinner as a family.  He and I have been staying up late catching up on movies and favorite TV shows (Psych, anyone?  Grimm?  Once Upon a Time?  Survivor?...).  We've been hanging out with friends.  We've been talking a lot.  We have maybe been laughing a little.  I haven't been cleaning the house as much as I used to.  He's been doing the dishes!  =)

It's been exhausting!  The good kind of exhausting, of course.  

Oh, and we've also been looking for a new house.  Yeah.  Remember when I mentioned the sudden rush of things to be taken care of?  When the Mister finishes his PA classes at the end of summer, he will be ready to start his rotations: the last step of his education before he has to take a big scary test and enter the real world as an official PA.  

We had anticipated that he would be assigned to do those rotations in a city that is about half an hour from here...the city we do our shopping and stuff in.  You would think that I would have learned by now that when I make plans something always changes them!  He was assigned instead to a city that is about an hour and 15 minutes north of here...much further away.  For convenience (and money) sake, we have decided to move up there.  It's just easier.

Here's the kicker...he starts his rotations on August 27.  Baby boy (W) is due on August 19.  Mister's finals are August 13 -17.  It's a little crazy.  

But, no worries.  Arrangements have been made to induce labor and we are hoping to move in July.  All is well, and we are excited for a change of scene, but expect a little craziness now and then.  (Do you like how I say that like that would be something new?)

Anyway, I digress.  I was talking about how nice it has been to have him home.  It makes me think how nice it would be to have this set up all of the time.  Of course, that's not how life works.  We have to be responsible.

Have you ever seen Into the Woods?  It is one of my all time favorite musicals.  It is full of so many little life lessons and it is super fun to sing along with.  

Here's a song from it that has been on my mind: 

Now, please don't assume that I'm trying to say I would like a "prince for...whatever." Really using this song is a reach for the point I'm making, but it was a good excuse to listen to a good song.  =)  

Still, If our lives were only made up of beautiful and extraordinary moments, would we appreciate them as much?  Do we give the not so beautiful moments of life enough credit?  

Life really is made up of little moments.  Sometimes they can seem so boring and ordinary and we forget to see how beautiful they are.  I have to remind myself to step back and look at the moments of my life.  The things that make up me...the things that make me happy, or even sad for that matter...the things that make me feel and try to appreciate them for the gifts that they are.  

So, I'm starting my Moments series.  

And in honor of Mother's Day (which I know I'm late for), here is a moment of mommyness from my life.

L is 2 years old and lives up to that in every way possible.  She is a feisty little fireball with a beautifully sweet personality.  She is a joy.

This is our tradition.  I am cooking dinner and cleaning up the house.

She comes in and assumes this position:

Then she says, "Again, Mommy!" and I say, "Ready...Set...Go!"

And she goes! 

From the living room a few seconds later, I hear "Again, Mommy!"


And she's back. 

and ready to go again. 


This could go on for hours.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

So you don't feel abandoned...

I am crazy busy this week!  We've got some life changes coming up and I've been trying to keep up with the sudden rush of things that need to be taken care of.

But, I am still working on some projects.  I've got to keep a hold of what sanity I can, you know.

So, here is a sneak peek at some things to come:

Oh, so exciting!  

And, that's not all!  The ideas have started to pour out of my brain again (that is the beauty of sparks more creativity)!  Woohoo!  Lots of fun to come!

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Brave Buddy

I would like to say that this project served it's purpose beautifully.  It didn't.  But, I had fun making it, so I'm sharing it anyway.

O: She is a sweet girl with a sweet face.
And, yes, she is wearing a hat with a headband on top.  One can't be too prepared when going out.

Now, imagine that sweet face at 3:00 in the morning waking her mommy up because, "I'm scared in my room."

Every night for a week.

Ok.  It's still a sweet face, but I'm tired.

Something had to be done.

So, I took her to the Ugly Doll website (because I've always loved them and I've always wanted to try making one) and let her pick out her favorite.

Then I put aside all the chores calling to me and set to work.  Remedying a lack of sleep takes priority over dishes...just so you know.  So does chocolate.)

I drew out a sketch of the doll she liked and grabbed a good-sized piece of fleece and some felt.

Please note, I am going to show you how I did this, but don't expect much exactness.  This was a figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of project.

First, I folded the fleece in half so I could make sure I was creating 2 matching pieces.  

For the top half, I traced a plate.

For the bottom half, I turned the plate over and ran the pencil around the inside bottom. 
You can kind of see the shape...I could see it, so I cut it out.  Remember, I had my fleece folded in half so I was cutting through 2 layers and ended up with 2 matching for the front, one for the back.

Now the face.

With the felt, I made 2 big white circles for the eyes.
This was the bottom of a cup that I traced.  It was perfect.

For the blue in the middle, I free-handed it.  Again, I folded the felt in half so I could have 2 circles that matched in size.  

Now I sewed the blue pupil to the white eye.  

Here is a picture of my stitching...nothing fancy.

I also embroidered the mouth directly onto the fleece (We decided to make it a happy mouth.) and pinned the face in place to make sure I was getting it on straight before I sewed it on all willy-nilly.

Then I sewed all the facial features into place.
And, yes, we turned the nose.  O decided she liked that better.

Here's another close up of the stitching.  Just a simple running stitch (I think that's what it is called).

On to the limbs.

I free-handed the shapes on paper and then traced them onto the fleece and cut them out (2 pieces of each appendage).
I sewed those together (wrong sides out), flipped them right side out and stuffed them.

Then I laid out the front side of the body and figured out where I wanted the appendages to be.  I pinned them in place, but on the this:
So the doll kind of looks like it has assumed the fetal position.  

Then I laid the back side on top, right side in.  
I straightened out that bottom part and then sewed the two sides together, making sure to leave a big gaping hole at the bottom to turn it and stuff it.

Then I turned it and stuffed it.  =)  While you are stuffing, be sure to add some extra mom love and hugs and cuddles.  That is, you know, what sets this doll apart from any other.

I stuffed him pretty full so he would be soft and cuddly.

Now to sew that hole closed, I started with matching thread and watch the magic of stitching fleece closed.

Pull the needle through so the knot is on the inside.  Take the needle to the opposite side and place a smallish stitch and pull it through.

Then go to the other side, almost directly opposite of the first stitch, and do the same thing, pulling the two sides together.

Do this back and forth stitching until you reach the end.

I was in a hurry (read: it was bedtime) so I didn't worry too much about hiding the end knot, but I kind of like how nice and clean that seam looks!
You can barely tell he's been through major surgery!

And here's the end result!
I think he's cute.

I took him upstairs to O, told her he was filled with every bit of braveness Mom could give, and watched as she cuddled up to him and happily went to sleep.  

Then at 3:00 a.m., as she stood next to my bed crying that the doll wasn't working, I wondered what else I might be able to do.


p.s. I'm linking this one up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Be gone, wretched ants!

Disclaimer: If ants make you squeamish...move on.  Just look away and come back later.  

You've been warned.

I hate ants.

When I see them in my house, I get so angry!  I've officially declared war on any ant that dares cross my threshold.

This year, though, they came with a vengeance.  And it wasn't just the little itty-bitty sugar ants; it was those great big carpenter ants.  Have you seen those suckers?!  They're huge!...and, yes, I've told my landlord.

Anyway, I was losing the battle...big time.  For every 1 I'd stomp out, 5 would come back.

Then, I found this on Pinterest: 

(Here's the link.  You should know it makes A LOT!)

I used Borax instead of boric acid. 

Now, I did this right after dinner.  I poured the mix onto some cotton balls in the lid of a jar.  I set it up by the kitchen sink (where kids can't reach it) and set about cleaning up the daily mess.  I kept a close watch on it, though, but no ants partook of their special drink.

So, I put my girls to bed and started my work, trying my hardest to put the ants from mind.  

A few hours later, I walked back into the kitchen and turned on the light and saw this:
This picture doesn't do it justice, especially since they all started to scatter once the lights came on.  But my counter was covered with ants and I could follow 2 distinct lines from the places they were apparently coming into the house and back to the bait.  

They fell for it!  It was beautiful!  

Here's a close up...gross, but, still kind of awesome. 

They were all over those cotton balls!  That stuff must taste like chocolate to them!

So, I quietly turned off the light and left the kitchen for the night, leaving those huge ants to their huge party.

In the morning, they were gone.  

And they haven't come back.