Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping up with the Everyday and Etsy Store News

The college semester started for me this week so it's been a scramble to get ahead on some projects and experimenting with new ideas so here is what I have been up to aside from being an insane person trying to do everything (AHHH!). I really have no idea how school, mommy stuff, blog stuff, shop stuff is going to work...but here we go! I am determined to be organized and so far, so good :)

 My big custom order is coming along and it's actually going quite smoothly. Here is a peek at some of the fun fabrics I am using for this order. SUPER fun!
 I am really wanting to get some market totes in my Etsy because I am so passionate about buying local and this is a great way to help others get on board (a cute tote can change the world!). This bag was a no go, but it was fun to make and is making a great library tote :)Of course about 3 minutes into using this tote bag I managed to spill coffee on it....
  When I got the wild hair to hand embroider the bunting strand on my bag, I got a little crazy and made this little thing. It's embroidered on burlap and adhered to cardstock, I think it will be cute to frame :)

The next one was a biggie...our bathroom. Which has been completed for several months now, but not painted. We had a showing last week and I was determined to get it painted. Three hours of painting later (thank Jesus for naptime)...I'm kinda loving it :)

Now we just need a hefty amount of decor happiness and finally, ONE room completely renovated in our house. Everything else is at like 85% so this is a big deal.

I've been tossing some ideas around for my Etsy store and am going to be adding some new items in the next few weeks so be sure to add my store to your favorites.

I will be adding some fun boys bow-ties, flower headbands, embellished totes, and bunting fabric options for the upcoming holidays. I will be posting updates on new items here on my blog, so make sure you are following :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

DIY Memory Game - Tutorial

All of the work I've been doing putting educational things for my son and daughter to do gave me a little idea.

I had the idea to make my own little memory game for Leonard (since according to the boxes at the store, he is old enough). This actually turned out to be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to having Leonard try it out.

This is super easy and probably requires no explanation, but here goes. BTW - this is for a set of 8 pairs, so 16 cards :) I made two sets.
Cardstock - you will need a patterned sheet for the back and a solid (preferably white) for the front
Stickers - not teeny tiny ones, look for a pack with good graphics
Glue gun (or adhesive product of choice)
Corner rounder - optional, but it will make your cards last longer
Paper cutter

If you are using a corner rounder, go ahead and round them corners :)
 Put your cards together and voila!
 Now where to store my little cards????
 Just make your own cutesy little boxes using this EXCELLENT tute!

 Let's play!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preschool Fun - Exploring Color

I dug out a few more fun little activities from one of my books and we focused on our colors the other day. 

 This is a fun little game that is super simple to make.

1. Cut two business size envelopes in half and glue onto some cardstock or construction paper.
2. Color with four colors (primary)

3. Cut out shapes or other things in those colors (see below).
4. Have child place them in the correct (hopefully) pocket.
 I used a Cricut to make mine, but if you aren't good at cutting freehand, search for some fun shapes and designs online.

My son is not getting the concept of putting the things in the envelope despite knowing all of his basic colors. This is going to be great to work on, don't worry if they don't get it at first :)
 We worked on making some rainbows. Not quite getting the whole idea of making the rainbows but the cotton ball clouds were a hit and we are definitely getting better at using glue!

Thanks to Pinterest, I came across this totally adorable preschool blog Preschool Alphabet So many great alphabet activties! I can't wait to get started, this is something we really need to work on.

Hopefully I'll have some fun new ideas next week :) 
Please feel free to share your own!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Inspiration Workshop - Week 13 - Favorite Color

 I have really been having fun doing these Inspiration Workshop blog posts on Gussy Sews

They are really fun and this week she is doing a giveaway if you link up so check it out!

For the longest time my fave color was pink. It probably still is to an extent, but it would be more accurate to say I love yellow and gray. 

So of course, I really look bad in yellow (it is sooo not my color).

             Source: via Erin on Pinterest

I want this dress so bad!

Fortunately, I do have a red headed little girl who looks AMAZING in yellow.

 It will have to be up to my daughter to wear them yellow :) I am happy to make it for her :)

I may not be able to wear yellow...but it sure is going to be showing up in my decor soon ;)

                 Source: via Erin on Pinterest

                   Source: via Erin on Pinterest

              Source: via Erin on Pinterest

 Isn't yellow fun! It just makes me happy. Now off to look at more pretty yellow stuff on Pinterest (hehe!)

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Inspired

The little Front Porch Inspiration post I did for Gussy Sews' Inspiration Workshop turned out to be a great little boost for me. I have been unhappy with the front porch for a while now. 

It used to be really pretty.

Then I killed all the plants.

I got frustrated with all the tools and equipment we have to keep up there.

I don't have a magazine (or blog worthy for that matter) porch, BUT I can make it a happy place for me to start enjoying again.

 I'm going to paint the table white and distress it so some of the old black comes through, I think it's going to be cool.
The rug is from Urban Outfitters, it's been sitting in the linen chest forever.
 Empty jars from the local honey and jams we buy. I put tealights in them, but for now, I stuck some Crepe Myrtle sprigs in them.
 One of the few remaining plants that I haven't killed...
 This was a great free find I posted about a while ago, it's been a great home for random small tools and such.
 More plants I haven't killed...yet...working on that green thumb.
We got to enjoy the front yard for a bit yesterday :)
 It was nice to be able to sit and drink my iced coffee and watch the kids play :)

Hope we can all learn to make the best of the things we DO have, even if they aren't perfect or even halfway close to what we want them to be. There are opportunities to be creative everywhere.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Menu Planning

I made this nifty little coupon/grocery list notebook last week.

  It's not perfect (construction wise, it worked GREAT at the grocery store though).

But it's getting close. I have tried finding a tutorial for one, but most of the ones I have seen don't quite have what I need. Simple being the most important thing...I just sorta winged this. An improved version may pop up in my Etsy ;)
So this brings me to menu planning.

With the school year already here for most of you, it's time to get out of the summer haze and start meal planning again!
I have always done some form of meal planning.

My mom always did it so it was the only way I knew to make a grocery list!

Menu planning isn't just a time saver, it's a money saver. Fewer nights of "oh well, let's order pizza" (also waistline saver). Planning in advance for crazy days makes life a little easier.

I whipped up a little something for you to print out and use to help you get started if you are lost when it comes to meal planning. After a while you won't even need a handy guide

Here's what I do :)

After perusing the sale ads, I list my meals. I try to base my meals on things I already have on hand and what is on sale.

Also remember to keep an eye out for pantry and freezer staples that are on sale. Keeping a well stocked pantry makes meal planning a cinch.

Plan ahead for busy nights. A slow cooker meal is always great for these kinds of nights.

Know your stores. I know almost exactly what everything costs at the stores I frequent, what is on "sale" at once place may actually be cheaper at regular price somewhere else.

Try something new. I try to add a new recipes every week or so. Plan to do your new meal on a night that you have time to cook.

Don't know how to cook? You are probably wasting a lot of money on eating out and missing out on a lot of fun! Ask friends for simple recipes, there are millions online too. Pick simple recipes (6 ingredients or less) or even slow cooker meals.

A little tip for the cooking-challenged. Watch  Rachael Ray. Seriously. She cooks like a real life person and her little tricks (trash bowl, gathering ingredients, etc.) help streamline cook times. I have learned A TON watching her.

Make meal planning part of your routine and start enjoying fewer stressful nights and have an answer for the "what's for dinner?" question :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Preschool Fun

I know I have mentioned on here before that I am an Early Childhood Education major in college right now (just determined to finish my Bachelors before I am THIRTY!).

I have a 3 yr old and nearly 2 year old.
Perfect guinea pigs for ideas right? 

I have been lacking in motivation, even checked out two books with all kinds of preschool lesson plans.

Not even cracked open.
Till last week, when I decided to get with the program!

This kind of stuff does actually take some planning and I am NOT good at kid's crafts for some reason so some ideas were really helpful.

 So we made flying birds and nests to put them in. We went outside to gather leaves and grass for our bird's nest.

 Attach some yarn to those little paper plate birdies to make them fly!
Another lesson we worked on was using our art supplies properly (this is actually important)
Simple shapes glued to paper reminding them to use small fingernail size dots. This actually worked for some reason...

I am ending my craft/lesson times with a snack and you can incorporate all kinds of learning with making snacks.
Applesauce, graham crackers and a block with a plastic zippy bag.

Lots of fun crushing graham crackers (major motor skills)

Using a spoon to scoop onto applesauce and stir (fine motor skills)

They LOVED this activity!

This is good practice for me so I am really going to try to keep up with this and hopefully we can all share some good ideas :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Progress - Scrappy Denim Applique Quilt - Part III

Now I know you all were just completely convinced that my quilt project was a no-go!

I had to spend some time figuring out if I wanted to actually applique every square...

Then I started getting too complicated with WHAT to applique...

I decided to go with just doing whatever popped into my head as I went along.
I am actually getting close to done...kind of.

It's really kind of turning out cute!

The rows will be done very soon and then I just sew all the rows together and add the inside stuff, the backing, binding, quilting...

Ok, so this is taking longer than I thought...but I am still at it, and that's the important part! It's really stretching me attempting such a time consuming project, but I am really excited how how things will turn out!