Andrea's blog

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Be Joyful Reminder & Frostings Hand-Stamped Jewelry Giveaway

 

Do you ever think you could use a daily reminder of a special quote or bible verse or positive affirmation to help you get through the day? 
 
Lately I've been feeling what you might describe as "moody". Okay, you might describe it as something totally different, but let's just call it moody for the sake of this post. I've had a hard time staying positive, finding joy, giving thanks, and feeling happy. Over and over again I've caught myself being angry for no good reason, irritated about small things, and just plain cranky. It's no fun to be around (just ask Ben & the kids), and frankly, it's no fun to be me when I feel that way--even I don't want to be around me!
 
I thought perhaps a special reminder might help me get through those tough days. So, I ordered this:
 
bejoyfulalways.jpg
Be Joyful Always Hand-Stamped Sterling Silver Necklace by Natasha Vaughn @ Frostings
 
...and it instantly cheered me up. Don't get me wrong, I know it's no magic potion, but I do think it'll be a great reminder to try to find joy and be positive when I start turning into my evil twin.   
 
I've admired the hand-stamped jewelry trend for a long time, and when it came down to choosing what I wanted my piece of jewelry to say, it was a very hard decision.   I considered the kids' names and birthstones, or something artsy and creatively inspiring, and even just my own initial or name. But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted it to be something that wasn't necessarily representative of me, but more of who I WANT to be--something to strive for. In this season of my life, "Be Joyful Always" covers the bases. If I can find joy, then maybe I can also be happy, fun, thankful, prayerful, caring, loving, sweet and thoughtful. 
 
Natasha Vaughn at Frostings Custom Handstamped Jewelry & Gifts did more than make me a pretty custom necklace. While shopping for my necklace, I was forced to look at myself, my values and my attitude. I'm thankful to her for offering such a special piece of jewelry that undoubtedly means so much to each person who buys (or receives) one.
 
She has so many beautiful design options, and you can have them all personalized, which makes them even more special. I had a hard time choosing the style I liked best...
 
circleoflove.jpg cupoflove.jpg treeoflove.jpg
 
Pretty cool, huh? 
Want to get one?
Want a discount? 
I thought you might! ;)

 

Discount


frostingslogo.jpgNatasha has generously offered a 10% off discount for you!

Just use code SIGNME10 at checkout in the Frostings Etsy Shop or at checkout when ordering on the Frostings website*. This code is good through May 31st, 2011. *If ordering on the website, the 10% discount will be refunded after purchase.

 

Giveaway

 
And....she's going to be giving away a free piece of jewelry (up to $50) to one of my readers!  You don't want to miss this giveaway!
 
There are three ways to enter the giveaway:
  1. Visit the Frostings web site and comment here telling me what piece is your favorite.
    (Required entry.)
  2. For a second entry, become a fan of the Frostings Facebook page.
    (Leave a separate comment here to let me know you became a fan.)
  3. For a third entry, follow the Frostings blog by signing up for their RSS feed.
    (Leave a separate comment here to let me know you did.)

I'll announce a winner on Thursday morning, May 26th -- so go start shopping!

 

 

2

Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery

The crafting world is full of projects that have been remixed, remade and inspired by all kinds of people.  So when I see something that I made pop somewhere else, I get excited that a project I came up with inspired another crafter.  I mean, why else would I post tutorials and info about how to make the things I make?

Anyhoo...here are a few places I've seen my work inspire others lately:


http://redhenhome.blogspot.com

http://retrohipmama.wordpress.com

http://sugaranddots.com

http://fiftytinytoes.blogspot.com

http://ashleydavis.wordpress.com

Thanks to these ladies for showing off their inspired pieces! Have YOU made anything inspired by my posts? I'd love to see it!

And then there's the folks on Pinterest (which is my new time-sucking inspiration-filled favorite web stie) who are saving the ideas for later:

 

Baby Girl Blocks

Recently, a friend of mine asked me to make her some wooden alphabet blocks for her new baby girl (arriving in July).  She gave me some color guidelines, a link to a style of block she liked, and some swatches from the nursery bedding:

And off I went to create this:

baby girl wooden blocks

Gotta love that Silhouette machine.  In the old days, I would have had to cut those letters by hand and then eyeball the matting (or pull out the old Magic Matter!)

Here's a tip if you ever decide to make something like these: You won't find the blocks at a craft store.  After visiting Michaels, JoAnns & Hobby Lobby, I finally headed to the hardware store, where I should have gone in the first place.  These blocks were made from a piece of scrap 2" x 4" wood found in the scrap bin (at the back of the lumber section) at Home Depot.  And the lovely lady working in lumber even cut them for me.  Sweet.

measurements: 7" tall large blocks & 5" tall short blocks

Let me tell you...creating a project for a room you've never seen, using colors you've only seen on a computer screen is a little nervewrecking.  There was about a 50% chance my colors would be WAY off from the room.  Thankfully, it appears to have all worked out just fine.  Here they are, living in their new home on a shelf in the nursery...just waiting for Baby Tate:

baby girl nursery wood blocks

2

Pink & Blue Birthday Banner Tutorial

My sister-in-law Rachel asked me if I would mind making my niece & nephew a birthday banner for their 1st birthday party.  Did she even need to ask???  Of course I would!

First step: Choose papers that match the color scheme. I used their invitation as inspiration and chose 5 different papers - solid blue, polka dot blue, solid pink, polka dot pink, and white. 

Second step: Cut a stencil for the pennant and cut each of the triangles and lay them out in order.  The pattern I used was WHITE - SOLID BLUE - PINK POLKA DOT - WHITE - BLUE POLKA DOT - SOLID PINK - WHITE.  There were so many letters in "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" that I decided to make a double-decker banner, so I used 7 triangles for the "HAPPY" banner and 10 for the "BIRTHDAY" banner so that I could have a blank white triangle on each side of the letters. The pattern happened to work out perfectly that way.

Third step: Cut the letters with my Silhouette. I used brown cardstock for the letters and chose the font "Oh Photo Shoot" from the talented KevinandAmanda.com blog.

Fourth step: Outline each banner with brown penwork -- just for a little bit of added detail and definition.

Fifth step: Figure out how to hang it and attach the triangles together! I ended up using a heart-shaped punch to make a large hole on either corner of the triangle, and then weaving wide grosgrain ribbon through the holes.  It worked perfectly!

 

It's a pretty simple banner, and it turned out to be a really cute backdrop for the pink & blue polka dot twins 1st birthday party.  Unfortunately the banner was rather hard to photograph "in action" since it was displayed against a window...but in person it looked great!

(Thank you J & R for a better photo of the banner!)

Guess now I'll need to make one for Ayla's birthday party that's coming up in a few weeks...plans and decorations for that shindig coming soon! ;)

DIY Fabric Hair Clips

fabric flower hair clipNot long ago, I saw this fabulous tutorial for how to make fabric flowers and knew they'd make great little-girl barettes. 

With a little girl birthday party coming up for a little girl with ADORABLE pig tails, it seemed like a good time to try it out. 

I raided my stash of random fabric scraps and pulled out this turquoise fabric that I used in both kids' bedrooms.  I'm a sucker for turquoise.  I bought lots of extra...

Here's how it's done (remember, not my original idea...I followed this great tutorial):

  1. Cut a flower template from scrap paper and trace it onto the fabric and cut them out.  You'll need 6-8 flowers per bloom.


     

  2. Cut a circle from the fabric to use as the base for the bloom.  Then fold each bloom into half, then again into thirds.  It helps to trim the point with scissors before then using hot glue to attach it to the circle.  Keep adding flowers around the circle with hot-glue until you have a full bloom.


     

  3. Use hot glue to attach the bloom to a ribbon-covered hair clip. I actually bought these at Target, and they were already covered with ribbon - score!


     

  4. To present it as a gift, I just cut a piece of coordinating patterned paper and made slits in it to add the clips:

Love it! I will definitely be making more of these...in fact, I made a larger version for Ayla:

Looks like maybe I should branch out to some different colors & materials though. :)

4

Teacher Appreciation Gift - Chap Stick Pockets

This week is Teacher Appreciation week, so we sent little gifts to all of Ayla's teachers at school.  One of the projects I made was a very simple paper pocket for a small tube of chap stick.  Take a look:

First I cut several pillow boxes with my Silhouette from some pretty patterned paper:

Then I inserted the chapstick and closed up the sides:

Made some quick labels with this postage stamp QuicKutz die cut and some alphabet stickers:

Then tied ribbon around each box and labeled it:

Easy peasy.  And cute. :)

6

Dad is always right. - Father's Day Sign Special

I know my dad would have no trouble agreeing with this "Dad is always right." sign.  And darn it, it's usually true, too.  He *is* always right!

Wouldn't this make a great gift for your Dad's office, man-cave or hanging right next to his "throne" in the house? You know the one -- that big ol' recliner in the den that everyone wants to sit in, but jumps out as soon as he walks into the room because it's "his" chair.  Then again, I could totally see my dad carrying this baby around with him so he could whip it out as "proof" at a moment's notice! 

Dads are hard to shop for at Father's Day, but I guarantee this will make him smile!

Dad is always right. - Father's Day Gift

$20 Father's Day Sign Design
1ft x 6in.  Available in black or brown background with or without beveled edges.

Place your Father's Day sign order by Friday, June 10th to ensure delivery by the big day.

To order: Choose the 1ft Monogram sign option and add "Father's Day Sign" in the comments section of your order.  Shipping is only $5 for this special design!

1

Create Something Special

I finally learned how to use vinyl and transfer paper in my Silhouette die-cutting machine this weekend.  Though I use my machine all the time to cut stencils for my signs, it took me 6 months to try what most people BUY the thing for - vinyl! 

For my first practice cut, I made this little phrase for a clipboard that hangs in my office.

And now, I'm sure I'm hooked. :) No surface is safe.


 

2

A Narrow Miss

We woke up this morning to power flickering and major winds, saw branches and leaves down all over the roads on our drive to Ayla's school this morning, and heard about trees and power lines down all over the city.  Evidently that was just a preview of the massive destruction caused by tornadoes in Alabama today and this evening.  Check out some of these pictures:

Craziest photo we have so far of the tornado in Cullman as it... on Twitpic All is ok on this side---Check out this tornado that hit Tusc... on Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

 

 

VIDEO: MASSIVE Tornado in Tuscaloosa
VIDEO: Mile Wide Tornado Hits Birmingham, AL

Thankfully (for us), the storms missed us by only about 10 miles north & south of us, hitting Tuscaloosa to the west, Cullman & Fultondale north of us and Alabaster to the south.  Hoover somehow managed to be a storm-proof area -- today at least.  We even managed to keep power all day long.

This afternoon Ben and I made a mad dash to move all our stuff in the garage around so that we could fit our new car inside it (c'mon...it's only 2 days old and we'd heard about falling trees and golf-ball sized hail) and then spent most of the evening down in our den and even set up temporary beds for Ayla & Paxton.  However...other than some ominous skies and a little bit of wind, we were spared all of the storms as we watched several areas around us being torn to shreds.

We're thankful today for our blessings and safety and praying for those who were in the eye of the storm.  The damage leaves you speechless.

 

3

At the Front Door - Street Number Sign

Our front porch is sorely lacking in style.  Mostly because I like to spend my crafty time inside, not outside (like my green thumb neighbors) and ALWAYS forget to water plants, which means the nice flower-filled pots my mom added a couple of years ago have sat there very lonely filled with dirt, not flowers for the past two years.  Yes, I know that's sad. 

However, after Ben spent last weekend power washing our all-brick front porch (and removing the empty flower pots completely), I was so impressed by it's "sparkle" I decided to contribute one tiny little addition -- our street numbers:

front porch sign

Street Number Sign

Yes, the porch would be much prettier with pots and flowers and a cute little painted wooden chair or a bucket or something...but I'm not sure I have "outdoor decorating" in my talents. 

Anyone want to come and makeover my front steps?  I need low-maintenance, weather-able decor.  Help me out, would you? :)

Here's some inspiration (each picture links to some great tips):

   

What does your front porch look like?

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