Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wordle-ing my brains out

If you haven't tried Wordle yet...YOU MUST!  I've been using it for all sorts of things and Christmas projects.  I won't share them all because some of them are for people who may on occasion click on this blog.  But I will share one with you that I took to a gift exchange at church and it was a big hit.  I really need to make one of these for myself because I wanted to steel my own gift back!

I used this website Wordle and typed in the words I wanted.  To make the bigger words you type them in more often.  So for "Believe, Christ, and We" I typed them in 3 times each.  Then you can manipulate how you want them, what font they are to be in, size, shape, color EVERYTHING!  It's fabulous, then just print...FOR FREE!

I printed mine on vellum and Mod Podged it over scrapbook paper on this cool wooden thingy.  I call it a wooden thingy because I have no idea what it was used for in the first place.  Since it's just you and you won't tell anyone else, I got it off the curb, it was dark brown and solid wood, so I painted it and WA-LA!  I may have found 8 of it's brother's and sister's on the curb too and can't wait to get to making these for my family next year for Christmas.  I'm going to ask each family for 20 or so words that describe them and then make one for each family group.

SOOOOO long story short this gift cost me $0 out of pocket that day I had everything in my stash!  YAY for the stash!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Army of Gingerbread People!

I found this cute tutorial online to make these super cute gingerbread men.

click here for tutorial

Immediately I started making them and made them until I ran out of felt!  I didn't have any tiny rick rack so I improvised and just used embroidery floss to make the squiggles on the leg and arms.  I also improvised and used fleece for the eyes instead of felt.  I decided to make them gender specific (my girls needed gingerbread girls) and added a half eaten bow to one with some "bling".  They are adorable!!

I got 3 out of one piece of felt and on the last 2 I didn't stuff them and I really like the flat ones better.  SOOOO long story short these cost me $0 today, I had all the stuff in my stash, and even if you didn't you are talking a whole dollar (maybe) to make several of them!

Now...to take over the world!!!  MUAWHHAAHAAA

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Plan 2010

I realized today that I needed to sit down and write out my plan for Christmas.  Lots of people have been asking me what I am making my family for Christmas this year and I have lots of ideas floating around in my head but it's time to get the plan formulated so that I'm not running in 50 directions Christmas Eve!  So here is my outline of things I am doing for the kids for Christmas:

K= Oldest Daughter 11 years old:

  • She has requested a stuffed Octopus (weird I know and it goes against all my "no stuffed animal" rules, but it will be homemade and hopefully something she will love, and it will be FREE!!)
  • Wooden bracelets found at Hancock's for 25 cents each will decorate and make beautiful with fabric, paint, and ModPodge.
  • PJ's bought last year on clearance at Walmart for $1.50 a pair
  • Knitting loom bought on clearance for $2 (will get some yarn too)
  • scripture tote
  • maybe a shelf for over her bed so she can have her books handy
O= Youngest Daughter 8 years old

  • Same wooden bracelets as oldest
  • also Pj's bought on clearance
  • knitting loom
  • Quilt
  • Handmade hair bows

C= Oldest Son 6 years old

  • Cowboy dress up outfit.  I am making a vest out of faux leather.  Sheriff's badge, and maybe some chaps.  
  • PJ's free from a friend
  • Star Wars wooden people found here
  • He has also requested a stuffed Panda bear.  
  • Dinosaur DVD's received set for free from hubby's "select a gift" at work
L= Youngest son 16 months old

  • Homemade PJ's
  • Need more ideas!

Hubbs= Best Husband EVER (age will not be disclosed)

  • PJ's pants
  • need more ideas
So that's it so far.  Haven't even begun to think about extended family yet.  My SIL has requested blankets for her family, and my mom wants coasters.  FIL is getting Cowboy Poetry book, MIL is getting a cute picture thing that Hubbs found for her.  Grandma is getting...don't know.  I'll post more when I figure it all out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

It's been so long since I've posted I bet you thought I was busy making something A-M-A-Z-I-N-G...well I wasn't!  I was busy with life, 4 kids, daycare, hubby, and just running a household.  I know how can I be sooooo boring?  My daughter asks me that ALL the time!

I have done a few projects I found a really cute chair on the curb and have reupholstered it to look fabulous, do you think I've taken a picture of it...NO!  I guess I could now, I'm looking at the chair and my camera is within reach, I may not even have to move...hold on...be right back...

OK, there!  Before it was a velvet pink and it would not have been so bad if it hadn't been so dirty and worn. Now it is sporting a new clean fabric and is all cute and creaky!  I found the fabric at Hancock's for $8 a yard (luckily I hadn't bought it yet) but my friend and I went up to Chicago to Vogue Fabrics and found the exact same fabric for $1.99 a yard!  What a bargain.  Now for only $4 I have a new-to-me chair.  

If you live in or around the Chicago area you have to hit Vogue Fabrics, it was fabulous.  Word of advice, don't take your 12 month old, it's a big downer!  I could have looked around for hours but I rushed through a bit because he was getting antsy.  

Let's see what else...Oh, I took apart one of my old dresses and made a fabulous skirt for my daughter.  

She's 11 and growing like a weed so things get short really fast.  She likes it and all of you re-designers out there really inspired me!

Oh, and I've got on a kick making head bands for my girls.  

 (no this is not one of my girls, but he was the only one home with me, don't judge me!)
Now that Christmas is coming up really fast I'm sure that I'll have lots of projects to post about.  I'm so glad that this whole blog thing didn't take off like I hoped it would have because really several months in between posts is NOT acceptable for a craft blog! 

I'll try and be better, I'll try and craft more, promise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finally Done

This project has been months, maybe even years in the making.  For a few years I have dedicated a wall, the only wall, in my kitchen to the children's art.  Before this project I had a wire strung between two antique door knobs that the kids hung their art on with decorated clothes pins.  This system worked well and the kids know if they put it on the board it is temporary and only stays up about a week or two then is taken down/thrown out to make room for new art.

Well I wanted something different there so I came up with this:

You can see my kids already got to the Welcome!  I just taped off a rectangle the size of the inside of the frame and painted it with about 8 coats of magnetic paint, and 2 coats of chalkboard paint.  Then I just hung the frame around it.

Here's what I learned:

1. Magnetic paint says you only need 2-3 coats, well it LIES!  I did 2-3 and you couldn't even hang a small magnet on it.  Even with 8 coats it's not strong like your fridge, but it will hold things well enough for my purpose.

2. Don't paint your actual wall!  Next time I will paint a board that size and nail it into my frame, way easier and removable.  Now if I want to get rid of it I will have to repaint my whole kitchen!

3. Be prepared to Swiffer Sweeper your floor every day, chalk is very dusty.

4. Chalkboard paint washes very well with water, unlike an actual chalkboard.

5. The kids will be completely entertained for 15.2 minutes after you are done with this project.  Just long enough for you to take pictures and blog about it!

Chalkboard paint is cheap, magnetic paint is not cheap, the frame was on clearance at Hob Lob for $8.  I got the paint for a gift so in my mind that is FREE, so the whole thing only cost me $8!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My 30 Second Fix

No, that's not the amount of time it takes me to down a Pepsi...maybe 60 seconds...HAHA.  No, seriously, It's the amount of time it took me to dress up these puppies.

I put my plastic grocery sacks in my old pickle jars.  I have 2 of them full.  I could have one of those hangy thingamabob's but I don't have a lot of wall space in my kitchen, actually none to be more specific.  So I opt to shove my bags in these jars.  They are not cute by any means and have looked like this for years days.  My motivation to make them cuter comes from the fact that my friend is coming from out of town and she hasn't been to my house in years, and her house is always WAY cute and put together and I was feeling a little competitive.  I know get over it already, but hey I'm a girl and that's just how we roll.  Sooo here is the before:  I know yuck-o-rama, right?

and the after

I just cut a piece of scrapbook paper big enough to cover the pickle label and scotch taped it on.  When they are up against the wall you can't even tell they are half-a$$'d

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Teddy Bears

I've been wanting to try my hand at making Teddy Bear's for a while now.  I have tried a few different stuffed animals and they have not come out well.  So when I came across this pattern on the Internet I was thrilled.  It promised that it would be a quick, easy project, and by-golly it WAS!

The pattern was free, you know I love free!  I used fleece for this project and it worked well.  There were a few parts where it got a bit bulky, so next time I think I'll try flannel.  I also learned that I should embroider the face before I attach the head.  Oh, and if you decide to use the pattern the part when it tells you to slit the stomach so you can sew the top, don't do that!  Just leave one of the side seams open and hand sew it back together it will look better.  I think that's all I would change.  One of the legs looks like it's growing out of his bottom, so next time I'll position them more carefully, and the tail did not get caught all the way in the seam, thank goodness this is just for me, I think I'll call him Oops!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Syndy's Sweat Shop

I decided a few weeks ago, as my girls were screaming at each other, and then things became violent and there was an incident with one of them getting pushed backward into the bath tub (man O is freakishly strong), and they were yelling about how much they hate each other, that they needed a distraction.  A distraction that would get them thinking about other's and not just themselves, they needed a service project.  I contacted my MIL in Chile and asked if there were any needs that the kids and I could help with.  She came back with a great one.  There is an orphanage in her area that needs backpacks, and school supplies.  They don't need to be huge ones since they don't have very many possessions to speak of, so they can be homemade.  PERFECT, I can do homemade.  I came up with a pattern and yesterday we started making them to send. 

Sadly K is on a super fun trip and can't help but she can when she gets home.  So I taught O and the neighbor girl M to sew and they each made a back pack.  I still need to buy the draw string but other than that they are complete!  They both did a wonderful job for 1st timers and I'm going to put them to work again shortly.

We are sending the supplies and packs to Utah, where my MIL will be for a few weeks and she will take them to Chile in her luggage!  Win Win!!  Cheap shipping for us and new packs for the children in Chile.  Bonus, my girls aren't fighting anymore...sad that one of them has to be 3 states away for this to happen, but still a bonus

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Earning the Mommy points

Today my 5 year old son comes in with his friend P and asks when I'm going to make him a cape.  Then he proceeds to tell me that I need to make P one too so they match.  So being the awesomest mom ever I start to dig through my stash and come out with two T shirts that I put with my fabric to "upcycle".  I pulled out my cape pattern, any respectable mother with boys should have one, cut the pieces and serged around the edges.  Now P and C have matching capes that are red on one side and green on the other so they can either be arch enemies, or each other's side kick. 

Here they are with their best Superhero moves:

Total project cost $0, 15 minutes of time invested and they are happy Superhero's.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Having a Kick Butt Summer

Actually the title of this post should be, "Summer is kicking my butt!".

Really, that's how it feels lately.  My parents came and had a great visit for 2 weeks, we went to a family reunion in Missouri, of all places, and it's been stinkin' hot and wet here in the Midwest.  We've tried to go to the pool, but the baby is not a fan!  Do they make baby sunglasses?  I think his problem is the brightness of the water because all he wants to do is bury his head in my shoulder and sleep, that's cool if I'm at home with the TV on or my laptop handy, not so cool if I'm in the middle of a swimming pool getting a MAJOR sunburn, and trying to keep track of all the other children who don't know how to swim!

Needless to say there has not been much crafting going on at my house.  I have been doing some "tailoring" for a friend of an acquaintance.  I say "tailoring" because I do not know what the HE-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS I am doing.  She came to me with the favor of mending her clothes, well my idea and her idea of mending were two different things.  10 hours later (with her sitting and watching me) we are still not done and I'm getting pretty good at taking a blouse from a size 2X to an XL!  (just buy clothes that fit you in the first place PLEASE!)

A few of the projects I've been working on are:
A wet bag to put my soiled cloth diapers in when I'm on the go.  They are made from cotton and PUL on the inside.   Each has a zipper closure and ribbon handle.  Check my ETSY shop if you are interested in purchasing one.

My hubby had a birthday and this is the only picture that I got of the tie that I made him.  Yes, I make his ties.  They are quick, easy, and you can customize them to the likes of the wearer.  If you haven't made a tie you should it's an easy 20 minute project that always gets lots of compliments, and hey you know we are all about the compliments.

So the wet bag was almost free, all I had to buy was the outside fabric, I already had the PUL, zipper and ribbon at home.  The tie was also free I had that fabric stashed away waiting for a great project.

What have you created this summer?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sometimes free is not that great

So, this summer has been CA-RAY-ZEE!!  Is it me or does every one's children go insane and become extra naughty the minute school gets out?  Our school got our last week on a Tuesday (weird I know) and the kids, all three of the oldest, were grounded the rest of the week for being awful to each other.  The worst part is that when they are grounded I'm grounded too, it doesn't seem fair that I am punished for their naughtiness.

Anyhoo, I posted earlier in the month about the free bowling.  Well as expected the free bowling coupons came into my e-mail inbox, I was so excited to think that we had a weekly activity to do that didn't require me getting into a bathing suit!  I called the bowling alley to see how much shoe rental is... $3.75 per person per game!  W-H-A-T?????  That is not a good free deal.  It was going to cost me $22.50 for free bowling, I don't think so!

So I found another bowling alley in town that has free shoe rental and their games are only $3.50, better but not great, so we are going to do one game each and call it good.

Sometimes the "free" deal is not the steal that it is made out to be!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Bowling

I found this link on another blog and thought it sounded cool.  I signed our family up for it and am excited for it to start.  I don't know all the details but it sounds great and even found an alley that does it here in my small town.


I am trying to find fun and inexpensive things for my kids to do this summer.  We of course are going to sign up for the reading program at the library, we also have a pass to our local Children's Museum, and where my hubby works they have a park with a free swimming pool, and mini golf.  Another great free thing I found was Border's is doing a reading program, read 10 books and get a book for free.  They had good books to choose from too! Go to their website for more information

So this summer will be full of fun, free, activities!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Freegifting at it's best

Just an FYI Walgreens is offering a free 8x10 photo collage today thru Saturday (May 8th).  I've made these before for gifts and they are a big hit.  I did this one for my hubby for his birthday.  Here's the link Walgreens
They come out really cute and you can pick your colors and add a title.  Stick them in an inexpensive frame and they are fabulous!

Happy Freegifting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day is just around the corner!!

Mother's Day will be here this weekend.  My husband always asks for a list of things that I want.  That's hard because I see so many things that I would love to have, problem is when it comes to sitting down and making the list I can't think of a single thing.  Sometimes I wish we could take our thoughts out of our heads like Dumbledore in Harry Potter, put them in the Pensive, and give them to whom ever needs them (did I use whom right?).

Anyhoo, I also always struggle with what to do for my own mother.  When we lived close it was easy we would go out to lunch with my grandma the Saturday before and have a great afternoon.  Now that I live 2000 miles away it's not so easy.  Just sending a card doesn't seem like enough, and frankly sending a gift is hard because I am THE most forgetful person on earth and don't think of it until late Mother's Day Eve!

This year I found this link to Snapfish for a free flip book.  I tried it out and made 2 books, one for my own mom and one for my mother-in-law and only paid for shipping and tax on each book.  It equaled out to about $2.15 for each one.  SWEET DEAL if you ask me.  Use coupon code ALLYOUMOM at check out and it's that easy!  You are able to do a 5x7 45 page book!

Don't know if it will be there by Mother's Day (my mom should be used to that by now), but what a great gift.  I also hope that my mom doesn't read this blog cuz I just blew the surprise!

Here are a few things on my Mother's Day List:

Chalkboard paint
Smock top fabric
Chalkboard fabric
Magnetic paint

What's on your list???

Monday, May 3, 2010

AAAAWWWWW that's much better!

Technical difficulties!

I don't know why my sidebar things are at the bottom of all my posts...I swear I didn't click on anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Toiled you so!

Made this cute purse for a friend. She is in charge of the teacher appreciation gifts at her son's school and asked me to donate. I love it, I wanted to keep it, she had to rip it from my hands! Just kiddin'.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Last night was GREAT!

We had a blast at the Shannon Hale book signing. It was so great to meet the person who writes the books I love. She was a very accessible person, sweet, friendly, funny. There was about 60ish people there, so it was a small group and we were able to talk with her and ask questions. Not me of course because I was so nervous I didn't have anything to say, but my friends had plenty to say. I brought Book of a Thousand Days for her to sign, my favorite title of hers. It's a wonderful book with a sweet and innocent main character that I just fell in love with.

Now my dilemma, do I read the signed book or invest in a different copy???

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother's Day is taken care of!

I've posted before how I love to get kitchen gadgets and appliances, and other crazy "housewife" stuff for gifts, I do however like the stuff just for me too! I know it's a little early for Mother's Day, but my hubby has given me my gift early. I'm headed up to the Chicago area tonight to attend a book signing for Shannon Hale. If you haven't read her books you should they are wonderful. She writes Young Adult Fiction and Adult Fiction. I've only read her YA stuff and they are the kind of books I would read over and over again.

So tonight my friends and I are headed on a bit of a road trip. There's going to be good conversation, good books, and possibly good food (oh and NO kids!!!) what more can a Mom ask for?

I'll post tomorrow on how it went, I'm a book signing virgin!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the agenda

Last week was spent finishing up projects for my daughter's birthday. Let's just say it was not a good sewing week for me. I waited until the last minute to even start one of the projects and after sewing it wrong 3 different times, and then having it be too small in the end I gave up and told her that one of her gifts was an IOU!

So...on the agenda this week is the IOU gift, it's going to be a strap for her new digital camera. Hopefully I can cut it the right length, get the interfacing to fuse correctly, and don't run out of the right color thread (told you it was a bad week last week!). Sometimes I wonder how long I've been sewing, has it been 26 years or 26 minutes? I guess it really keeps things real for me and let's me sympathize with my sewing students when they mess up on their projects.

Also on the agenda is a tote bag for a giveaway at a friend's school. She contacted me to see if I would donate to her cause. My dilemma was what colors to make it. I don't know who it will be going to so I decided on a neutral black and white palate with a punch of red for color. I got a remnant of fabric from my store yesterday for $1.07, and some ribbon with my 40% off coupon and I'm ready to work tomorrow.

On the agenda will also be making myself a wet bag for my cloth diapers. I found a great tutorial online and if it works as well as it says I'll share when I'm done.

So those are a few projects that I'm working on this week...what are you're plans for the week?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Going Green...Literally

I have to admit that I don't typically think too much about our environment. I'm not a recycler, I don't compost, I don't ride my bike to the grocery store. However being thrifty most of the time, by nature makes you environmentally friendly. I do cook a lot from scratch (not a lot of packages in my trash), I do buy at thrift stores and garage sales, I do hand down clothes to my friends (and vise versa), I do cloth diaper, and I do make my own baby food. So it's not like I'm an "earth hater" or anything I just can't keep my brain focused long enough to separate my garbage. My adult ADD is for another post all together!!

I did however manage to make a cute earth friendly craft this week. I love those toys that have the crinkly stuff inside that babies love. I've often wondered what they made them out of. I'm sure there's cellophane or some other great material in the middle of them, but I improvised. Inside my crinkly tab blanket is an empty baby wipe container.

First I cut the wipe container at the seams and squared it up. It ended up being about 9"x10".

Then I pinned the ribbon to the Minky

Then I sandwiched a piece of flannel between the Minky and the wipe bag

and sewed the whole thing together. My 7 mo old really likes it, and I have to say it's oobercute.
Not a bad project and ZeRo dollars!

linkin' to

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earring Holder

I saw this cute earring holder on A Girl and a Glue Gun and loved it. My daughter is starting to care about wearing jewelery and has gotten a bunch of earrings for her birthday this week. So I dug through my stash, found a frame, some leftover paint, plastic mesh (free from a friend), some ribbon, and as A Girl and a Glue Gun would do plugged in my own glue gun and went to town.

This holder matches her room and she is gonna SQUEAL!

Thanks so much for the fab idea!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let Sleeping Babies LYE!

Seems like these days my crafts have been more functional than fun, but I do have a fun time making them so I guess they are FUNctional...I know corny. Anyhoo, at my house it's inevitable that when the baby is sleeping someone rings the door bell. It's almost always the same culprit too...the neighbor kids. So I made a cute sign to hang on my door and we'll see if they actually read it.

Found a 6x8 canvas at a garage sale this morning, and painted it brown, then added orange accents to match my paper. Modpodged paper and letters on... it wasn't rocket science.

Total cost for this project 30 cents! I got the canvas that I used at a garage sale today for 30 cents and the rest of the stuff was from my stash!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I LoVe Kitchen Gadgets

I know I'm a freak of nature. I'm the woman who LOVES getting kitchen gadgets for gifts, Mother's Day, Christmas, my birthday, you name it. I like to think that my hubby is the luckiest guy on earth because I'm so easy to buy for. Last year for Mother's Day he got me a set of bamboo spoons that are dishwasher safe, I smile every time I use them. So I decided my gadgets needed a cute place to live. I used to have an adorable pitcher that I used for a utensil holder for a long time but eventually it broke. I've tried other holders but they are always too small, too big, or are made of glass and I'm really rough on them. My solution was to use something that I had an abundance of...#10 cans. Every time I grind wheat I have an empty #10 can (yes I grind my own wheat, I told you FREAK OF NATURE!) and they are the perfect utensil holder size! Of course I can't just use an ugly ol' can, can I?


This is much better. Just hot glued some burlap and ribbon on, and stenciled utensils on the side. Now that is what I call a CA-UTE utensil holder.

Total cost: $0 (it all came from my stash!)

Transformation Thursday

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I think I'm addicted to Toile

I don't know about you but to me Toile makes me smile. It's one of those timeless patterns that you can use with almost anything. I love that it comes in many colors now and you can find it to accent any room in your house.

I know my last Creative Juices Challenge was also a "Toile" project, but this weeks is too. Found this cute star at Hob Lob. The places where I put the toile paper were just plain white. I distressed the paint and gave it a good coat of gloss Mod Podge. Now it hangs on my door, but I think it's a little too big and really does not compliment the 1994 hunter green. In my perfect world my door and my shutters would be black and the word 'WELCOME' be lovingly displayed in vinyl on my front door. Now back to reality where my house screams 1990's and my priorities are wiping bums, and keeping up with baby and his spit up puddles!

RECAP: Paid $3 for star on clearance at Hob Lob, had the paper and Mod Podge at home. TA-DA only 3 bucks for this cute find.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Playing with myself

Well I'm challenging myself to another Creative Juices Challenge. Last time no one linked up even though I went through all the trouble of figuring out the MckLinky (seriously it's not THAT hard but for me to do something techie at all is a MIRACLE!), but my project turned out WAY cute and my BFF benefited from it so I'm doin' it again. Tomorrow is the day and I have my craft all finished and ready to be debuted. It's a bit bigger than the last one. SOOOO here's the rule:

Craft must cost no more than $3, this does not include tax

All 'stash' stuff does not count towards your total

Lets see what great things we (I) can come up with!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rules are Rules

Recently my bestest buddy and her family moved closer to us. It's been 10ish years since we've lived within a days drive and in the same time zone! So this last weekend we headed up to Chicago to visit them and see their new diggs! Poor thing hardly had a box unpacked and we invaded, all 6 of us, with all our crap.

Well unpacking would have to wait a few more days because we had our hearts set on a craft project, and let me tell you don't get in my way when a craft project is involved (just ask my kids...wait...do I have kids???!!!). Our inspiration came from her friend, who's inspiration came from someone else, who's inspiration came from someone else...it's sometimes hard to tell where these fabulous ideas start! Here's the link to the blog I used... Forthelove . And here is my process:

A blank canvas from Hob Lob. I found mine for $7.99 for two 16x20 canvases. (didn't have my coupon so I paid full price but what a deal if you had your 40% off!!!) "For the Love" did hers on a 24x36 inch canvas but my house is not big enough to pull off such a large piece of art, so I scaled back.

I only painted the edges of the canvas.

Rows of paper. I bought a small stack of coordinating papers at Hob Lob, they were on sale so I got 30ish pieces for $5.

Here's the finished product. Towards the end I ran out of patience and steam so one line is just cute leaves. The letters were cut from vinyl with my Cricut. My friend provided the vinyl from her stash, so the whole project was well under $10. I may do a few of these up for Christmas!!!

Some things I learned during the process:

  • Mod Podge and canvas together are hard to work with. The canvas stretched when it was wet with ModPodge, so maybe next time paint the whole canvas to stiffen it up? Also having something underneath that was hard helped with the bubbles. Mostly just put it on and walk away, when it dried overnight it looked a lot better than when I left it.

  • Paper stretches when you get it wet with Mod Podge, be careful not to stretch too much or you do not have even edges (don't look at mine too closely)

  • Stagger your paper seams so that there is not a big line in your project.

  • When putting on your letters measure and center them (again...don't look to closely at mine)

  • For me coordinating paper was great, I didn't have to think too much.

  • Next time I may even use a harder surface like wood so it all goes a little smoother.

  • Don't let your hubby help with the "rule" making. Mine wanted to add things like, no farting at the table, and no electronic gadgets at dinner. He didn't understand the cute whimsy of it all.
I love my finished product. It's cute and fun, and my kids are starting to refer to it. Thanks Tam for the idea!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Creative Juices Challenge

What a week this has been. Between Dr's appointments, play group, church activities, St. Patrick's Day, Hockey, pre-school, and baby sitting, my week has been very full! I still managed however to slip in a little crafting. I mentioned last week that I was going to start at $3 craft challenge... well here it is.

I've decided to call it the "Creative Juices Challenge" because it takes a lot of creative juice to do something for 3 bucks. So here is what I came up with:

I found these gems at the Dollar Store. They are glass and were plain (just clear). I used Mod Podge and cute paper to cover them, then just hot glued some ribbon and a button on. Red embroidery floss through the button gave me the pinch of color I needed. My whole project cost me about $1.40, and that's if you count the whole piece of paper (I only used a small corner of it). I thought these would make a great hostess gift, or a gift for a bride made to match her china. Does anyone even register for china anymore...??? Anyhoo you can use paper or fabric to cover them I even used tissue paper on a set and they were adorable.

SOOOOO what have you been working on? Do you have any fantabulous ideas for inexpensive project? Link up... I hope this works, it's my first time.

Remember the rules:

supplies must cost no more than $3 not including tax

anything you have at home already does not count in your $3 (fabric, glue, Modpodge, you know "stash" stuff)

It can be anything, home decorating, gift giving, craft, sewing, crochet, the possibilities are endless

Let's get those creative juices flowing!!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Craig's List Enthusiast!

I don't know if any of you have the same problem I have...I love Craig's List! I have found the best stuff on there. My husband knows when I call him at work and the first thing I say is I LOVE YOU, that he is swinging by to pick something up that I got for free on CL. My finds have been, a wooden swing set/play thingy (we call it The Monstrosity, cuz it's HuGe), a nice cabinet for my sewing room, sewing machines, lots of things for the children the list could go on and on.

My most recent find was fabulous if I do say so myself. I had a baby in August, child #4, and decided that to save a few buckaroos I should try cloth diapering. I have lots of friends that cloth diaper so I was able to use them as support and reference. Buying ready made cloth diapers can be a daunting and expensive endeavor, so I set out to make my own. Bought all the supplies, made the CA-UTEST diapers ever and when my baby came out he was already too big for them...AAAUUGGGHHH! So I used disposable for a few weeks, in the mean time my friend, bless her heart, sold me some used Fuzzi Bunz to get me started. I used those and made a few more of my own (bigger this time) and now he's outgrown all of those. So I decided that I was gonna have to fork out the bucks for the one size cloth diapers, or commit to make several more sizes (I was not willing to do that).

Long story short, being the thrifty girl that I am I've been procrastinating spending the $300 it was gonna take to buy those plush, already made diapers, and my procrastination paid off!!! Searching Craig's List I found a woman in my area giving away a bag full of cloth diapers. They were all the sizes I needed (I won't need any bigger) and it was a huge bag, we are talking a large leaf garbage bag, full of random diapers. AIO, pocket, covers, snapped, Velcroed, you name it.

Here's a pic of about 1/4 of the diapers that I got (the other 3/4 are dirty and you don't want to see that!). I am so pleased with my find, and to add a cherry to the top of that sundae when I got there she (the woman from CL) had a bag of women's clothes she was giving away that just happened to be in my size! They were all cute and gently used SCORE!

So here are a few things I've learned about getting great stuff from CL:

1. You have to check it often, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I check CL about 10ish times a day. If something good comes up it goes FAST!

2. If they leave a phone # just call, don't wait for an e-mail to be answered.

3. When responding to them via email be sure you use the exact wording of the ad title in your subject line, some people use this as a means of weeding out spam. They may delete you if it's not exact.

4. NEVER go get anything alone!!! This is basic safety ladies, take a friend or spouse, NO the 4 year old does not count! This also goes for selling items on CL. I never have someone come and get something from my house unless my hubby is home. If you live alone or are concerned, agree to meet in a public place. I've picked up lots of things in the parking lots of our local grocery stores.

5. Be considerate. If you agree to meet someone or pick something up DO IT! Don't leave them hangin' it's just bad form.

So those are a few tricks of the CL trade. Now go find something fab for free!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Free Alert

I saw this on another blog that I lurk on and had to try it. It's a company called HotPrints that gives away photo books. I was skeptical so I waited to post about this until I saw the finished product. Well, I received mine in the mail today and it actually turned out really cute. The photos are a good quality, and the backgrounds are cute. I don't think I would call this a book actually, maybe more like a magazine, but on thicker paper... does that make sense?

They offer one free every month, there was an advertisement in the middle of mine but you can easily take that page out. So for free I give it a thumbs up!! Here's the link:

Happy Free Gifting!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time Flies

WOW, time flew since my last post. I betcha' thought I was gone for good... well I'm back. I took a short spur of the moment trip to visit my family in California. It was great. I hadn't seen my brother in about 2 years, and heck, I have a new baby to show off!

So now I'm home, sleepin' in my own bed again YEAH! and really wanting to do some crafting. I've seen so many $5 challenges out there, you know the ones, see what you can create for $5. Well I'm steppin' it up a notch and I want to see what we can create for $3.

I'll post the challenge next week, I need a few more days to get my ideas in check, and hopefully I'm smart enough to run a MckLinky so we can see all the fab things you come up with.

supplies must cost no more than $3 not including tax

anything you have at home already does not count in your $3 (fabric, glue, Modpodge, you know "stash" stuff)

It can be anything, home decorating, gift giving, craft, sewing, crochet, the possibilities are endless.

So check back next week with your projects and we'll get some creative juices flowing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Missed the Boat

Totally blew off Fabulous Gadget Friday. Maybe I should call it 'I have four kids and my brain is fried Friday'!

I'll try harder next week I PROMISE!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cuz who wants to share Chapstick???

There are a few things that we learned when we moved to the Midwest from California, never wait until the end of a snow storm to shovel your driveway, NEVER leave your house without your umbrella, never assume that the tornado sirens are running a test, and never run out of Chapstick! The winters here are sooooo cold, we sometimes feel like our skin is just flaking away. Chapstick is a must but the kids are always losing theirs or they can't remember who's is who's. So I came up with a simple cute way to keep it all straight.

All I did was remove the original wrapper and Modpodged cute paper on the outside. I did use my Cricut to cut out their initials, but if you did each one in a different paper it would work the same. This way no one uses someone else's, and I find my girls are more likely to keep track of it since it's cute. I even have one for myself that says MOM! What a great gift these would be for a child or even party favors at your next birthday bash.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spell check only takes you so far

I just realized that in my attempt to spell SEW-er that I spelled sewer. OOPS! You know what I meant. Are they spelled the same? Now I'm confused.

Fabulous Gadget Friday

I've decided to start a new feature on my blog, it's called Fabulous Gadget Friday. I tease my hubbs a lot because he LoVeS electronic gadgets, I mean we are talking big time here. Our room practically glows at night from all of the the lights of the things he has plugged in on his side of the room. However I am just as much a culprit when it comes to sewing gadgets. So, I'm going to highlight a new gadget every week and it will typically be something that I have used, which means it will have been tried and tested and proven to be something that EVERY die hard crafter/sewer/decorator will need.

This week I am starting small:
This little handy dandy helps string elastic through a casing. No more using a safety pin, that would come unpinned half way through and poke you. I really don't know how I lived without this gadget for so long. You can find them at your local fabric store on the notions wall, and they are very inexpensive, but will save you tons of time and sanity!!!

On a side note, I finally got a picture of myself up for my profile. It's hard to get a good picture of yourself when you are the one taking it so I apologize for the lack of photography skills. I tried to have my 7 year old take it but really this one is much better. I will continue to strive for a better one, but at least now you can put a face with a name.

Oh, and it's almost Valentine's Day!!! I love Valentine's Day, we are starting a new tradition this year of going out to breakfast (as a family) to celebrate the holiday. Since it's on Sunday this year we are headed out a day early and are hitting a new restaurant tomorrow morning. So, have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Free Alert

Free Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny's today until 2pm!!! The kids and I scooted over there this morning in our PJ's it was great, no waiting, and fast service. I guess the 6 inches of snow on the ground slowed down everyone else!!

Homemade Cleaning Supplies= Thrifty BLISS!

I came across this the other day and a huge light bulb went on over my head! I have a Swiffer Wet Jet but hardly ever use it because the cloths are so expensive, and so is the cleaner at goes inside.

No tutorial here, just cut an old cloth diaper to the correct size, attached the loop side of the Velcro with a zig zag stitch and WA LA, a Swiffer pad that works perfectly and goes in the washer.

For the cleaning solution I use a homemade 409 in a squirt bottle. I have laminate floors and it works really well. Here's the recipe for the 409 if anyone is interested. I have not bought any other cleaner for my bathroom or kitchen in years. It even works on windows or mirrors.

16oz water
2 tbl spn vinegar
1 tsp borax
1/8 cup of dish soap

Mix in a spray bottle and shake.

linkin' to


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Laundry Fairy Left Me a Treat

I don't know about you but laundry is the bane of my existence. It never ends, when I get to be in charge of the world there will be a clothes tree and every morning when you wake up there will be a new outfit hanging on it ready to be picked. The outfit will fit perfectly, be cute and fashionable, and also be appropriate for the weather for that day. Most importantly it will also be disposable so just toss it into your outfit compost heap, grab you new pj's off the tree and wait for tomorrow when another new outfit will appear! I'll save my dream of a shoe patch for another post!

SLAP, SLAP wake up and get back to reality... oh, yeah, laundry, right..

Laundry would be at least tolerable if it wasn't for the rewashing. That is washing the clean clothes over again because either your kids threw the clean folded clothes on their floor instead of in their drawers, or the basket of clean clothes sits in the laundry room/living room/dining room/bedroom until no one can remember if it is actually clean or dirty.

Well first problem solved! I no longer do laundry for my older children. I have a 10 year old and a 7 year old that are completely responsible for their own laundry, sorting, washing, drying, folding, putting away. My 5 year old is responsible for putting his clothes away, and he is being trained on how to use the washer and dryer. The 5 month old gets to have a little slack until he's old enough to at least walk. HAHA!! This way they cannot say, "MOOOOOOM I don't have any clean (insert any article of clothing)" because I can say, "NOT MY PROBLEM!"

The second problem has been a little harder to tackle. I am a big culprit when it comes to leaving the clean clothes in the basket and forgetting that they are clean. Sometimes I'm running out the door and need to switch the laundry, most of the time I just get sidetracked by the million other things that are going on in my head and forget about the laundry. So I came up with this little guy:

One side says clean and the other says dirty. It is attached with velcro and you can just flip it over depending on the condition of the clothes. Now maybe I won't have to hear the dreaded question, "is this basket clean or dirty?", and I won't have to do the sniff test. I hate the sniff test.

Oh, and I'm using what is quickly becoming the bestest, most cutest, most versatilest fabric ever, burlap. I love a good burlap project.

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The Girl Creative