Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adding Your {Signature} to Blog Posts

I've been wondering how people have been adding their "signature" to their blog posts, so I was happy to find this tutorial {here}! Thanks Blue Cricket Design!

I {H.E.A.R.T} Finding New Blogs

I came across the blog {Today's Creative Blog} where every Monday they do something called "Get Your Craft On!" a couple weeks ago and I love it. Anyone can add links to their craft blogs, so you can spend forever looking at everyone's crafty ideas . . . and in the process you find blogs you want to follow. 

Just wanted to share! Happy crafting!

Monday, December 28, 2009

{New} Years Resolutions . . . LOTS of them

{Warning: this post is long and probably doesn't interest you . . . but I needed to put it somewhere!}

So, normally I wouldn't share my resolutions . . . but I'm thinking it might keep me motivated to know that other people know what they are . . . maybe! I feel like every day I come up with something else I need to work on. This girl is FAR from perfect . . . sigh. So here we go. I plan on checking in with myself on the first of every month to see how I'm doing and if I need to do better {which I'm sure will be the latter}.

~ I am AWFUL at keeping up with "the basics" . . . saying daily prayers and reading scriptures, SO one of my more important resolutions this year is to say my morning & evening prayers and to read my scriptures at least once a day. Isn't it so obvious that life goes more smoothly and you're more patient when you keep up with these two simple things?! It is for me anyway. I found this reading chart that I'm going to print out and keep out in the open . . . I'm thinking I'll print one out for my 8 year old too. 

~ Next, I have WAY. TOO. MUCH. crafty "stuff" that I just HAD to have, and then ended up doing nothing with . . . SO I am going to make something at least twice a week {my life gets overwhelmingly busy sometimes and I sometimes go a month without doing anything "fun"} and share a tutorial for each thing on my blog. I am really big about doing tutorials. I hate when you see something cute on a blog and then you have to go buy the pattern/directions. I've stolen enough ideas from other people over the years and it's time I give something back.

~ I used to have a daily photo blog where I would take a picture, no matter what, and post it on my blog every day. My life has dealt me some pretty lame stuff this year and I've gone away from doing it, SO my plan is to get back into the "daily photo groove". I love to look back and remember the little things in my life. And, to go along with this one, I am going to write in my journal every day using this website. Super easy way to keep up with journaling . . . you can even have reminders sent to your email when you've missed a day, or a week . . . whatever. Then you can have it printed into a hardback "regular" size book.

~ Christmas Eve I lost my grandma . . . a grandma who I used to be really close to but for one reason or another we haven't spoken in almost 10 years. I have felt like I should probably reconnect, but never did . . . and {for now} it's too late to do that. SO one of my resolutions is to strengthen my relationships with my loved ones. Life is too short to be selfish. I plan on writing {like on real paper with a real pen . . . no emailing - that's so impersonal I think} a card every Sunday to someone in my life. Strengthening relationships is really what this life is all about . . . it's about time I take that seriously.

~ I LOVE a clean and organized house, so I'm going to keep it that way. I started today on seriously going through every drawer, closet, nook & cranny to get rid of the "junk" that has piled up all over the place. There's no need for so much stuff, and I'm learning that organizing your space and making it more usable makes the entire family happier and less stressed out about life. I know it sounds weird, but it's SO true . . . try it.

~ And last, but probably most important - I'm going to spend much more quality time with my beautiful girls. They deserve much more than what they're getting. I don't even read to them anymore! I've become quite the pathetic mother and I know that that HAS to change before they lose interest in loving me just because I'm their mom. 

So there it is . . . a lot to swallow, but I know that if I do these things I will be a happier, and more patient person. Here's to a new year. 2009 was awful for me . . . I'm REALLY excited for a fresh start! What are your resolutions? Figured them out yet??

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun Tutorials {Galore}

I've been super busy with Christmas stuff/traveling, so I haven't done much by way of craft blogging ... but I have been following my favorite blogs and love this post that Sew Mama Sew posted today {here}. This is SUCH a great list of good tutorials! I L.O.V.E. that I came across it! I am really excited to try a few of them when the holidays are over and life gets back to "normal". Just thought I'd share. Hope you're Christmas & New Years will be fabulous!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

{First} Guest Blogger!

I'm so excited to have one of my very best friends {I swear we were meant to be sisters} post a fun idea on here. If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out {here}! I'm always looking for fast, creative, & {of course} cute gift ideas, so I'm so glad that she shared it with me. I just hope I have time to use it for Christmas this year . . . I'm drowning in projects {urg}. If not, I'll for sure be using it for birthdays next year! She has some great ideas . . . I'm sure you'll be seeing more of her in the future. Thank you Jennie! xo

Colorful {Bean bags}

So with Christmas coming up, and having three kids and very limited funds, I decided that I would try to make the girls some of their gifts mostly out of stuff I already have. A friend of mine was making some bean bags for her son and it gave me the idea to make some for my 21 month old. Being the third child I haven't worked with her like I did with the first two, so I decided to make some to teach her colors. 

It's a seriously easy project, and she saw them this morning and threw a monster FIT when I took them and put them in the closet with the other Christmas stuff . . . so apparently they will be a big hit.
{The journey . . .}
Cut out two of each color in the size you want them to be {adding 1/2" to account for the 1/4" seams}. I cut them 3"x3", so they're pretty small, but I wanted them to be small enough to take to church or wherever else I need her to play quietly.
Putting right sides together start sewing about 3/4 of the way down on one side, going all the way around, and stopping about 1/4 of the way down on the side you started, leaving a hole big enough to flip it right side out.

Flip it right side out . . .
and using a pointed object {I used a chop stick} push out all of the corners to make it more of a square.
After they're flipped out make a funnel with paper if you don't have a small funnel, and fill it with whatever you want . . . beans, rice, or I used "poly-pellets". {It took me FOREVER to find them the first time at Joann Fabric, and right when I was about to give up I found them with the doll making stuff. It has a picture of a doll and some stuffed animals on the front of the bag. Just a little FYI}
Hand sew the hole closed with a whip stitch. 

I also decided last minute to make a simple draw string bag to carry them all in. I had visions of them all getting lost in the toy box, and I didn't want that to happen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fast Neighbor & Teacher Gift

I am so excited that my best friend (sister-at-heart) asked me to post something on her crafty blog here! To be rubbing shoulders with all of you amazingly talented women is quite humbling!

So I know how crazy these few days before Christmas can be, therefore here is a really fast and fun gift for all your neighbors and friends. This also makes a great teacher gift and not to mention- it's really inexpensive :) which makes it nice for everyone.

I was so excited to get these done! Every one of them turned out with a little bit of individual personality as I tried to make the most of the scrap paper I had. Now go to your pantry and see what you have so you can get started!
You need pop top cans with the pull-back ring. Make sure they are not the kind with the rounded bottom edge. You need the regular can edge so you can glue the lid back on the bottom.

Start by using a safety can opener that cuts on the outside edge of the can. Cut open the bottom, and fill it with your own assortment of candy. Then glue the bottom back on. I used a hot glue gun, but I know there is other metal glue that might be a little easier to use. Be careful with the hot glue, you have to get the lid back on before it cools or the can edge won't slide back into the groove and fit just right.

I used scrapbook paper, stamps, ribbon and tags to decorate them up. I also thought fabric might be a fun and easy way to dress them. This part went really fast once I kind of got an assembly line going. My only suggestion is to make sure you use a strong glue that will adhere the paper to the metal can.

For the tops, cut a mat just larger and then cut out the little part to go around the pop- top ring. I have an oval cutter which worked perfectly for that part. Loop the ribbon through the ring to tie on the tag, and Voila! You're done.

That's it... I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I {LOVE} this!

I saw this great tutorial {here} a while ago at UK lass in US, and liked it, but wasn't sure how I wanted to make it or which child I would make it for. Then today on Ucreate I saw it this way . . . a Critter Condo. This is PERFECT for my kids! I know I only have a week left but I really want to try to make it before Friday. And hopefully, if it's easy enough I'll make two of them for my two older girls.
This is the doll house version . . . and you can see more examples of what others have done on Uk lass in US's flicker group {here}.

Friday, December 4, 2009

{M.I.A} ... seriously!

Okay, I know, I know ... it's been WAY too long since I've posted anything. Life has thrown me some curve balls and crafting hasn't been the top thing on my list. I have a few things planned for my girls for Christmas that I'm going to start on Monday when they're in school. I'll be sure to post everything I do with tutorials!! Sorry for being away so long! Hope your holidays are going fabulous and there isn't too much hustle bustle in your life {unless you like it that way!}. Stay tuned ...