Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 365 {Week Three} *Still Catching Up*

I appear to be missing days. Hmmm...oh, well, I guess there's only 5 shots from week 3 and 2 of them were actually taken the same day! I certainly took more than 5 shots that week.

This was my first moon shot with my SLR and this shot made me fall even deeper in love with my Canon 50mm 1.8 lens that hubby gave me for Christmas. In my opinion, this lens (or the step up 50mm 1.4) is a must-have lens for anyone who owns an SLR. I couldn't have gotten this shot with either of my other 2 lenses. In fact, I think all of this week's shots were taken with this lens.

Another low-light scene in which my nifty-fifty came through for me. Taylor's learning how to play tic-tac-toe in this pic.

A birthday party for one of my BFFs. This was her desert and we all shared. It was sooo yummy.
Another moon shot taken outside the restaurant at the party.

Friday afterschool/work trip to Dairy Queen. There was a time when I wondered if Taylor would ever get to eat a Sundae from Dairy Queen due to her dairy allergy. Fortunately she outgrew her dairy allergy and had her first Dairy Queen Sundae 3 weeks ago.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Project 365 {Week Two} *Catch Up*

Yeah, time really got away from me this month! Ah well. It happens. It's life. But I am documenting it and I've been taking my Project 365 pics everyday, I just haven't been diligent in downloading, editing and posting. But here is Week Two...

This is Taylor's first Barbie. I have "issues" with Barbie. I think Barbie perpetuates to unrealistic expectations for girls and women to have unhealthy bodies and subsequently, unhealthy body image. Although, I played with Barbies as child, I swore I wouldn't let my daughter have Barbies in our house. I've adhered to that until Taylor was given a Barbie by a classmate at school as a Christmas gift. After several weeks of contemplation, I decided to allow her to play with Barbie. This pic was taken just before we opened it. I'm still a little torn about the decision, but ultimately, I cannot protect her from all negative influences in the world and it's my job as a parent and more importantly as a mother, to model healthy self esteem and body image so she doesn't feel the need to strive to become some sexualized, flawless looking female. (I warned you I had issues with Barbie ;) ).

A before pic of a corner of my craftroom before I started reorganizing.

Woo HOO! My first shipment of crafty goodness from Consumer Crafts for my first Crafts Unleashed Design Team project!

Taylor's babies (well, 3 of them at least). I discovered them when I went into her room to wake her for preschool. This is a common scene in our house.

Taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers.

These flowers don't smell. :) I used these on my Mixed Media Love Canvas. Tutorial for the flowers is here.

Getting Taylor involved in cleaning her room. She loves to vacuum and it's good for her sensory seeking and fullfils her need for heavy work and auditory stimulation. And, it fulfills my need to get her room vacuumed!

Well, that's all for Week Two. I hope you've enjoyed these snapshots of our life. Remember to add a link to your pics if you're participating in Project 365. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thrifted Shutter Photo Display Tutorial {Thrifty Thursday}

I love the look of shutter photo displays and one of my goals is to print and display more photos in our home. I scooped up these shutters from a thrift store a couple of months ago for just a few dollars. I finally finished this project and I'll show you how I did it! If you don't have thrifted shutters, then you can always purchase some from a home improvement store.

For this project you'll need:

- shutters
- paint (I used house paint, but you could also use acrylic paint)
- paint brush (I used a 2 1/2 inch bristle brush)
- wire
- wire cutters
- photos to display
- mini clothes pins, paper clips or bind clips for hanging photos

This is what my shutter looked like when I bought it.

I got these paint samples from Home Depot. They were pre-mixed and were less than $3/bottle. One is black, the other is a pale blue.

I started by painting a coat of black paint over the shutter. I was going for a rustic look, so I intentionally left areas unpainted and was not "perfect" in my painting. Once dry, I flipped the shutter over and painted the other side. Be sure to open and close the shutter so that the slats don't dry closed and get stuck.

Next, I used a dry brush technique and painted a light, coat of the pale blue over the black paint. To do this, dip your brush in the blue paint and then paint on a scrap piece of newsprint, or a rag so that most of your paint is off your brush before you paint your shutter. Again, I left areas of the natural wood, unpainted, and I left lots of the black showing through to give it that rustic, layered look.
Once that coat was dry on both sides, I attached my wire that my photos would hang from.

I wrapped the wire around the edge of the shutter, and then thread it through the hooks that hold the dowels used to turn the shutter slats. I used three pieces of wire for each tri-fold shutter, so I could hang three rows of photos.

I'm using my finished display as a screen to hide some mismatched baskets that sit on top of my sewing station. You could also do this with shutters that are doors and use it as room divider or a screen to hide a cluttered corner.

Love Project Showdown!

Today's the day when you get to vote! Remember my Mixed Media Love Canvas, that I created as part of the Love challenge among the Crafts Unleashed Design Team? Well, now is the time to vote for your favorite project! So, head on over and vote!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cutest Piggy Bank EVER!!!

I found this adorable little piggy at Target the other day and I just HAD to have her!

As soon as I saw her I knew she'd be the perfect little piggy to hold my pennies that I'm saving for a big ticket crafty item. I knew she'd look soooooo cute in my craft room waiting for spare change to fill her belly. Doesn't she look totally adorable? I think I'm in love.

And, really is it any surprise that I'd love this little piggy given my blog design?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mixed Media Love Canvas

My first Crafts Unleashed Design Team project is on

Crafts Unleashed today!

For full details on how I created this piece, head on over and

read my post at Crafts Unleashed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paper Flower Tutorial

Here's a simple tutorial on how to create gorgeous 3D paper flowers using your Cricut. I created these flowers to go on my mixed media love canvas for my first project on Crafts Unleashed.


Paper or cardstock


George and Basic Shapes Cartridge

Mod Podge

Paint Brush



Hot glue

1) Place your paper or cardstock onto your Cricut cutting mat and load the paper into your Cricut. With your George and Basic Shapes cartridge in your Cricut, select the flower shape indicated below (you want to press shift, then the flower key to get on your cricut display). Then press the Shadow Blackout feature button as indicated below. Set your size dial at 2 1/2 and press Cut.

You will need 3 flowers to create one 3D flower.

This is what the flowers will look like once they are cut and removed from your cutting mat:

2) From your first flower, cut one petal as shown below. From the second flower, cut 2 petals as shown below.

3) Next take your first flower and bring the sides of the opening together to form a cone as shown below:

4) then add a thin line of hot glue to the one edge of the petal to finish your cone shape. Repeat this step with your 2nd flower to create another cone.

5) Next, take your third flower (with 5 petals) and fold it in half to find the center. cut a small slit in the center as shown in the first picture below. Then, fold the same flower in half in the opposite direction and find the center. Cut a small slit, just as you did before, which will leave you with an x cut in the center of your 5 petal flower.

6) Next, you'll begin to assemble your flower. Cut a small amount of the point off of your 4 petal cone. Apply a dab of hot glue to the tip of your 4 petal cone and poke it through the x that you cut in your 5 petal flower (see the picture on the left below). Then apply a dab of hot glue to your 3 petal cone and add it to the top of your bottom 2 layers of your flower. You should now have a flower that looks like the picture below on the right.

7) Next, curl the edges of each petal by wrapping the edge around a tiny paintbrush or other round tool. Once all the edges of your petals are curled, dip your flower in Mod Podge as shown below.

8) Scrape off any excess Mod Podge. Then pour glitter over your flower and tap off any excess. Repeat as desired until you have even coverage. Finally, place a scrap of tulle into the center of the flower and push into place.

Now step back and admire your glittery goodness!

These gorgeous flowers can be added to any project your heart desires. Think scrapbook pages, cards, banners, wreaths, photo frames, decorative candles, really the sky is the limit.

Happy crafting!

(Don't forget to check out the canvas I used these on over at Crafts Unleashed)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Project 365 2011 {Week One}

Project 365. Have you heard of it? Probably. Do you know what it is? Maybe not exactly. Well, in 2011, I'm doing it! Project 365 involves taking one photo a day as a way to record an entire year. At the end of the year, the end result is that you truly have "snapshots" of your whole year.

Well, when I got my camera {my new baby as I affectionately call it}, I purchased it with the goal of improving my photography skills and a big dream of maybe even going pro at some point. Well, I certainly LOVE shooting. The more I shoot, the more I want to shoot. So, I carry my camera with me everywhere. I take several shots everyday, so why not be really creative with those shots, really purposeful and capture all of those moments that make up my life?

Project 365 is perfect for this! So, I'll be choosing one picture from each day to post here in a weekly post every Sunday. So, check back here each week to see what I've been up to and waht I found inspiring that week. All of these photos were edited (very minimally) in Photoshop but my version is ancient as far as technological age. I've got version 6. It's about 10 yrs old and I haven't found any actions that are compatible with it. If you know of any that will work with such an old version, please share!!! In the meantime, I'll make do and keep dreaming of a new version ;). I'm also going to play around with piknik more. Anyway, enough rambling...onto the pics...

a fun shoot with my mom and step-dad

feeding the ducks at the park with Grammie and Grandad

my first self-portrait

I joined Twitter!!!

She's a STAR! She holds the family record
(and she gets a ball with gold stars on it! How cool is THAT?!)

snuggles with Daddy before bed

therapeutic play - more posts will be coming on this!

date night a local Mexican restaurant

Are you participating in Project 365? Post a comment with a link to your pics/post! I'm always on the lookout for photography inspiration.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One Word 2011

One Word...


That's my word for 2011. Organization. I want to organize my house, my car, my time and my life. Perhaps that's a little ambitious, but I think it's doable. I'm sick of sorting through piles of clean laundry searching for matching socks. I'm sick of having a craft room that's a disaster. I'm sick of always looking for things. I'm sick of having a sink full of dishes. I'm sick of scrambling around in the morning trying to get out of the house on time and running late most of the time. I'm really sick of picking up after Tornado Taylor.

So, after considering several goals I have, systems I need to put in place and my desire to be happier in general, (I mean I'm happy as far as happiness goes, but I'm also often cranky and impatient. Does that make sense?), I've decided that if I was more organized in every aspect of my life, I would be able to achieve a better sense of balance and I'd be happier. I'd spend less time looking for matching socks and more time crafting and playing with Taylor and hanging out with my husband and friends. If I was more organized, I'd be more efficient in my work tasks and other responsibilities and this would result in a greater sense of accomplishment which is always a mood booster. So, my one word for 2011 is Organization. I'll be blogging about my organization efforts and, of course, all the other fun stuff that I'll have more time to do because I'm more organized.

So, that's my one word for 2011. What's yours?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Studio Sneak Peek - Guest Post at Crafts Unleashed!

IMG_4622 - 1

Yesterday I shared with you my exciting news about joining the design team for Crafts Unleashed. Thanks for sharing in my excitement! Well, today I'm sharing a peek of my studio over on the Crafts Unleashed blog. You can see pics of my former studio in our last house, here. Head on over to Crafts Unleashed for a peek into my current studio and then I'm planning to share my full studio with you next week! So, stay tuned!