Monday, August 29, 2011

Fave Things - Fresh Farm Sign

This week I'm sharing this cool "how to" on this farm sign!
It comes from Connie at Sensible-Redesign and I just love it! I love it because she tells you exactly how she did it!! So I can use her tricky graphite paper trick some day.. I've got that one in my crafty idea bank now.

Check it out if you need a new project!

Costume Time

We are going to Disney's Not so Scary Halloween Party this year..
My husband suggested we dress up as a family...
Toy Story Style.

So naturally I couldn't just go BUY Toy Story costumes! (Even though I would guess it is cheaper than making your own when you are ridiculously detailed like I am). So the hunt began...
 I spent half of last week hunting for shirts, hats, fabric and glues of all kinds. Then I spent the rest of the week working on various parts of each costume. My Jessie shirt is the only thing complete at the weekend's end. But I think I will have everything done in time.

I started with a Goodwill $4.95 shirt with 3/4 short sleeves.
(this is going to be in Florida! I'm not wearing long sleeves!)

I had to find a yellow Woodie shirt for Brian, then I could match a yellow fabric for my shirt. Using tracing paper, I drew/traced the shape I wanted, cut it out, fixed things, then used Under Wonder to iron the yellow fabric onto the shirt. This was actually the most difficult part of the whole thing. Ironing onto stretchy material is difficult. You have stretch EVERYTHING so it is perfectly flat before ironing.

Next I drew my Jessie swirls on tracing paper, and then hand traced that onto the yellow fabric. I used Tacky glue and glued down the red rope, but I sewed it down later. I figure I'll be holding Bradley, this stuff needs to stay put!

Many pins were used to hold the rope in place while it dried. I am not a talented sewer, and could have NEVER just sewed these swirls on!

Ta da!

We are slowly approaching:
I tackled the sleeve cuffs next.
Mine are going to be at my elbow though. Which I think is a way cute spin on the costume, but you can decide.

I used tracing paper to make an arm band, then cut it out of the yellow fabric. I ironed the yellow fabric to some really thick Pellon stuff. I don't know what it is.
Then I tried various swirl designs. Big ones and little ones.

Ya gotta go with the little ones, even though they are more work. They look so much closer to the original charater. I didn't want to redraw everything, twice, so I traced it on! Brilliant!!

 Again with the pins.
 A little sewing  and some felt pieces and I have my super cute, Jessie arm cuffs!

Now I need red yarn hair!
Don't worry, I'm working on that too...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pendant Ideas

Hey everyone!

We are fast approaching my favorite season Autumn, and better yet, the holiday season! I was thinking of some ideas that we could have for special pendants for this seasonal time, but then I got to wondering what YOU wanted. So often Stephanie and I make pendants that WE like, but what do YOU like?

We would like to know what kind of ideas you have, what you would like to see on a little scrabble pendant. It could be holiday related, anagrams, specific colors, words, whatever! What are your ideas?

Here are some images that make me excited for the coming seasons, maybe Stephanie can design something with the feel of these!

Or maybe some of these!

Again, these are just some ideas that come to mind when I "google" "Christmas swirls".

Ok Stephanie, here are some ideas, READY GO!

As for everyone else, tell us your ideas! We would like to make some new designs, and what better to make than something that YOU want! Happy coming seasons!

(YEAH! Autumn is almost here!)

Ok, one more idea. GO STEPH, GO!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fave Things - 100th Sale Celebration!!!

I'm a few days late on my Fave Things post, but for good reason...
We have broken 100 sales on Etsy!!!!! I wanted to celebrate by sharing some of my fave photo pendants we've done over the last few months!

This one is so sweet. Every time I see it I wish I had more "first days" photos of my own little guy.

I love the variety of photos we get! From every day snap shots, to professional photo shoots, we get all sorts of images and turn them into new, modern little pieces of jewelry. So fun.

These are my personal faves. I love that "buzz" pendant. That exact keychain is on my kitchen door key. So I see it every day. The one below it was a free one we did for a new mom. It is just so sweet. -clearly I love the baby pics we get-
Of course my all time fave is that silly photo of Bradley sticking his tongue out. But now I love to pair it with an experimental resin and silver bezel pendant! (We have some fun things coming your way in the future!!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Japan Project... Complete!

This last month we decided to end our Japan project and donate all the money we had collected. We have to say a big thanks to all our friends, family, and Etsians who helped us raise money for Japan!!
We are so proud to announce 
that we were able to donate $290 to the  

  It took a lot of research to figure out how each group would use the donated money, but we loved the Global Giving website. They actually have12 different Japan relief funds that target specific needs such as families, orphans, the elderly, rebuilding infrastructure, and more. We donated our money to helping the families! Thank you to all who donated and helped spread the Hope in the wake of this disaster. 

 We never expected the response to this little effort would be so great - really. We thought if we can donate $50 it will be a miracle.

This was my workspace mid Hope Pendant boom! We were getting orders every day (which is a lot for us)! Heidi and I were making pendants every day for a month at one point! I got tired of wearing mine, so I put it on my keys. They just slide right on any keyring. I love seeing it dangling between my stack of shopper's rewards cards and my car key.

Neither Heidi or I have ever done anything like this before. We were so surprised by the response. I know we didn't raise some crazy amount, but for our efforts we were so pleased to be able to help Japan in a small way. It was really a lot of work to donate all the profits from these little pendants. But I would do it again in an instant because the feeling of "doing something" and being able to help in some way was so gratifying.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Stroller Story

*Sigh* That is really how I feel about this whole stroller thing.
My luck with strollers is rather unfortunate. My cousin-in-law is expecting his first any day now, and he asked me how many strollers we owned. They of course were arguing between one or two. I hung my head and said, "four." Which isn't even accurate! WE HAVE OWNED FIVE TOTAL. And my most recent purchase will make six.

I'm not crazy.

The first was a hand-me-down from a friend. Free.

The second was our original car seat/stroller purchase.

The third was of course the umbrella stroller. (ps I'm not even counting the stroller(s) in Oregon my family keeps there.)

The fourth.. was a bad idea. I bought it last season at the consignment sales. But could only test drive it on bumpy ground. When I got it solid concrete I figured out it didn't wobble because the ground was bumpy. Further research showed that replacement wheels were back ordered, and were $20 each. I paid $30 for the darn thing with hopes of having a lighter weight stroller for traveling.

The fifth my husband bought me for mother's day, and is a nice light weight stroller to replace my bad purchase.

Number six, and my latest addition is another umbrella stroller. I purchased it brand new, with the registration info attached, and the wheels weren't even put on yet, for $8 at the consignment sales.

The reason for my second umbrella stroller purchase??  *sigh*  I packed Bradley into the car and never turned around to pack the stroller. I drove away and left it in the Marietta Square. Major blond moment. At  least my husband was really nice about it and kindly told me maybe someone really needed a stroller and they found yours and you helped someone! Unlikely, but it made me feel better at the time. I still repeat his lame but calming story to myself when I think about leaving the stroller just sitting there. It still makes me feel better.

The horrible part is that $8 for the new one at the consignment sale isn't even a good deal compared to the hour of annoyance that came with it! Here is the short version..
I waited in line for 5 minutes, then waited for the cashier to finish checking out the person a head of me for 30 minutes.. grr. THEN I had to wait for 15 more minutes for the cop checking everyone's receipts to verify I had indeed purchased one item for $8 and it was a stroller. GRR. If it wasn't a cop I would have just walked away. But cops are persistent, I didn't want him to track me down in the store and make a scene. That would have made this whole process even more fun!!

In the end we have four strollers in our garage. One doesn't work, three we use on a regular basis. We have the pool stroller- the large one that can hold a car seat and various flotation devices; the walking stroller - which is the light weight one I like to travel with; and my new umbrella stroller that lives in the back of the car.
The hand me down one I handed onto a friend moving out of the country for a few years.

See, I'm not crazy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Consignment Dealz!

Last season was my first time attending the All 4 Kids Consignment sales. I was overwhelmed at all the deals and wished I had found it sooner. This year I was much more prepared.

This season I wanted to get some winter clothes, an umbrella stroller, and dvds. (I found if you go on the first day you can find brand new clothes, with the tags on, and "like new" condition for kids clothes.) I ended up finding exactly what I wanted, plus a few books, a puzzle, and duplos! I'll have to post the stroller story another day... I don't have the energy now.

Here's my loot!

I think I did pretty good! I found Baby Einstein movies for $5-$3 each, the Duplo bag was $5, and I found name brands like Disney, The Children's Place, Osh Kosh and Arizona.

I spent $35 on clothing. I am very very critical when choosing clothing. It can't be more than $5, must show NO signs of stains or rough wear like those little fuzzy balls that happen around the sleeves. It must also be cute. Cute colors that you don't typically find in cheap stores and cool patterns or imagery that is relevant to our family. For example, I would never buy any Georgia Bulldog anything-there is a lot of it here in GA. Nor would I buy any Cubs, Stealer's, or Marlins sports teams stuff - even if it is really cute, like really really cute.

The sadistic side of me wanted to see if all this crazy searching and inspecting of second hand stuff was really a savings. This is what I came up with...

ConsignmentFull Price
Carters Coverall$5.00$10.00
Carters Coverall$5.00$10.00
Blue hoodie$3.00$15.00
Osk Kosh LS Tee$2.00$16.00
Long Sleeve Tee$2.00$6.00
Child Place LS Tee$2.00$9.50
Disney Vest$3.00$10.00
Child Place Sweater$5.00$15.00
Arizona Sweater$1.00$13.00
Child Place Tee$3.00$9.50

I tried to find accurate prices, and I feel like I did pretty well. Of course no one buys all full price items, we all buy the sales stuff! But this comparison makes my savings look huge!!

Plus I have a slight hippie side to me that says, "Of course it is worth it, it is just like recycling! Re-use is one of the three R's!!" And that is true. Especially for the toys. My mother in law still has the legos and duplos her kids played with. Those things last forever! Better to pass them on or save them rather than dump them in a landfill. Okay, back down off my hippie high horse..

I'm most excited for this outfit. Now if only it would be winter weather, and if only Brad would grow.. That is a whole other issue..
He'll be 24 months in November... Will he fit into 24 months clothes?? He had better!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pickling Peppers!

 My husband is a lover of peppers. Me, not so much. I can appreciate the flavor they give off, and handle them in small doses, but that's about it.

We planted 5 pepper plants in our garden this year since the hubby loves them so much. Banana Peppers (2), Jalapenos (2), and Serrano (1) peppers. I dig the banana peppers in sandwiches every once in awhile, mostly because I love the vinegar flavor. Otherwise, I am a big wuss.

I enjoy pickling/canning things, if you didn't know already, so I thought peppers would be good too! We can always use some peppers in our food storage. And they last for quite awhile, so it works out!

 First you have to prep all of your peppers by cutting off the tops. Some people cut them in smaller pieces or rings, but I like to leave them whole.

 Then cut up some garlic to either stick in with the peppers, or boil in the pickling solution. (Depending on how strong a garlic flavor you would like.)

Then boil some vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and the garlic. Make sure not to burn it!

 Canning is labor intensive, and gets super hot! So pick a good day! (I chose to do it on a nice humid day so the tempeture in my house got to be above 90 degrees. Smart, eh? Also, it helps if you have AC!)

Sanatizing jars
Make sure to sanitize your jars, and keep them hot when you pack them full of the peppers.

Then when they are all packed full, pour the vinegar pickling solution over the peppers, pop on a lid and secure! (When packing the peppers, make sure you stuff it as full as you can, every single space. The peppers, or whatever you are canning will shrink and constrict itself into a smaller space. Leave about 1/2 inch to an inch space from the top, otherwise your jars will overflow in their water bath and after they settle and cool.)

Then for these peppers, water bath them (boil them) for about 15 minutes to get a good seal with your lid, and to prevent any contamination or future spoilage.

Here is a basic recipe to follow. But you will need to apply more "canning" techinques than are given. I have lots of answers if there are questions!

THIS recipe, is what I use my canned/pickled banana peppers with. I will eat these sandwiches all day long, and with all the peppers I can get. It is super easy, and so so yummy!
Italian Beef Sandwiches Recipe

Seriously, yummy!
Happy summer, and happy pickling your peppers!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fave Things - LDS Love

This week's faves are from Etsy! Each one is from an LDS seller/artist. I cannot believe how totally cute this little collection is! Link to actual page with links!

I'm completely enamored with the family tree from The Staker Store.
My great Grandma Jordan had a family tree on her wall when I was little. It was huge! At least in my childhood memory it took up nearly a whole wall. It had cut out ovals to put photos in, and places to write names. It was all filled out, and had extra photos glued on top rather than in the little ovals. I always looked for my own picture or my cousins or siblings even, but I think we were too far down the line. Let's face it, it was a Mormon pioneer family... there were 30 some grand kids I'm sure!

But this tree is so simple, and non sequential, and beautiful! I think anyone with photoshop or illustrator could make their own!