Andrea's blog


New at A.Steed's.Life

You may notice a few changes around here this week! A.Steed's.Life got a little facelift!  Apparently my uncontrollable urge to rearrange all the rooms in my house at the beginning of the year extends to my virtual spaces as well! :) 

While I work on getting everything back into place and spruced up, please be sure to let me know if you run into any problems accessing posts, logging in, or commenting, etc.!  Thanks for visiting!


Last Day of the Signs By Andrea Sale!

Today (December 16th) is the last day to take advantage of my "Buy More, Save More" sale on my painted wood signs at 

- 10% off one sign, 20% off two signs, and 30% off three or more signs!

It's also the last couple of days to order a sign and have it shipped in time for Christmas!  

So don't wait any longer!  Order now!

At midnight tonight, all my signs are going back to full price and I will be shipping out the last of the holiday season orders by  Tuesday, December 20th.  Then I'm taking a painting break until after Christmas to be with my family.

It's been a great (and busy!) season.  Thank you so much to everyone who has ordered already! I hope you've been pleased with your hand-crafted signs.  You've helped make 2011 a successful year for me and my family!

Happy Holidays to you all!


Through the Years Album - Paxton

A few months ago I finally caught up on a few of my annual scrapbooks.  Specifically - the pages for Paxton's year-by-year album to match Ayla's

I love these books.  They only require that I make one two-page spread a year, but show a great collage of photos of the kids from each month of the year as well as highlight some of the milestones and big events.  Simple, and do-able. 

His album is an 8" x 8" book by American Crafts.

Also...a good reminder of how miserably hard his first year was...

and how sweet and fun he became about 1/2 way through his second year...

And while I was at it, I finished up Ayla's next two pages too:

Felt good to do a little bit of scrapbooking. :)


New Website & HUGE Signs by Andrea Sale!

Wow! I've got all kinds of news!  A new website, changes on A.Steed's.Life., and a BIG, HUGE, ONCE-A-YEAR SALE.

Over the past several weeks, my own personal webmaster (aka Ben) has been hard at work helping me put together a brand new web site for Signs by Andrea.  My sign business and Zazzle poster sales have grown so much over the past year, it was time to give them both the attention they deserve.  To do this, I'm separating my blog into two separate websites: 

I think you'll find the new website is easy to navigate and offers a much more pleasant shopping experience.  Now you can personalize and add any of my signs to your shopping cart instantly, pay online, and track the status of your orders.  It's fabulous.  I'm beyond excited. :)

And this new website couldn't have come at a better time (nothing like a deadline to get us going)....  Beginning today, I'm offering my HUGEST sign sale of the year.  It's time to start getting your shopping underway and get ahead of the holiday rush.  This is the one sale you want don't want to miss.  It doesn't get any better than this:


So come on over now and check out the newly launched and tell me what you think!



Oh yes she DID!

Remember back in March, when I made this logo as a birthday/retirement gift for my mom? 


Well, this summer I got to see it in-action on her Spyder:

And now she's taken it a step farther - just like I thought she might!  She had her already-there spider tattoo (between her shoulder-blades) turned into a variation of the logo -- amazing.

 Does this make me a tattoo artist? ;)


Annual Halloween Costume Album

I'm an annual one-page-a-year-scrapbook kind of girl.  Just look at my past albums, and you'll know it's true:

And especially now, since I'm no longer making a yearly scrapbook album, it was time for me to get a few more of those one-page-a-year albums up and running -- starting with Halloween, my favorite holiday!  I wanted a simple little album that we could pull out each year with our Halloween decor that showed off all the kids' costumes throughout the years.

I used a 6" x 6" American Crafts D-ring album that had a plain chipboard cover that I could customize.  I decorated it with patterned paper and mod podge to "wrap" and cover both the front and back of the album.  I believe the papers I used are by My Mind's Eye, but I know they're from several years ago, so they may no longer be available.

The first page of the album is a themed-out title page, with black mesh and typical iconic Halloween embellishments (spiders, bats, etc.)

On the rest of the pages, I made sure to include a photo, the year, and a costume description (in case one day we can't tell what they were supposed to be!).  For Ayla's baby and toddler years, each page was dedicated to one year...

And when we added Paxton to the family, each child got a page in a facing spread.  Plus, I added an insert between the two pages for a photo of the two kids together in their costumes.

Here's a look at the back cover of the album.  Something simple, easy to keep up, and a great little Halloween decor piece to boot. :) 


On Marriage...via Alice

My grandmother sent this to me today - a speech she wrote for my cousin's wedding brunch a few weeks ago.  My grandma is a smart cookie.  So is my grandpa for that matter.  I'd like to read his version sometime too! ;)




….not just being in love

…saying “I love you” often, anytime, anywhere

…showing it in the little things you do for each other that aren’t required or expected.

....physically…touching, feeling, hugging, kissing, holding hands, anytime, anywhere.



...for the things that are important to each of you,

…for the differences.  Differences are what make life interesting.  You all know that I operate at full speed ahead and Elliott is “what’s the hurry?”  I always say I make his life interesting and he makes  my life comfortable



…in spite of differences, you have to agree on some pretty basic things.

…how you spend money and where, how you don’t spend money and where.

…what values you want to instill in your children by your example.  What you expect of them.  What kind of discipline you agree on.

…how you relate to family and friends….on both sides.  You all know that Elliott and I don’t miss anything, especially since we have had the time and the money.  As Elliott tells people “If you don’t want me to come, don’t ask me.



…there are probably plenty of things about each other that bug you.  That’s probably not going to change.  Get used to it. Try not to mention it too often.  Bite your tongue.

…on the important things.  Know when to stand your ground and know when to say “uncle” or to compromise.  Some things are not worth fighting over.  You can’t always have it your way.



…fortunately, Elliott and I seem to have been born with good genes.  We are two smart, capable, stable people in pretty good health (compared to everyone else we know our age.)   We don’t get credit for the good genes.  But I think we do deserve credit for taking advantage of them.

Which is my last piece of advice.  Take advantage of what you have been blessed with.  You only go around once.  Live well and healthy.





Black & White Pumpkin Tutorial

Inspired recently by the really cool white pumpkin w/black lettering trend, my sisters-in-law and I had a girls night and made our own versions. 

Here's how we did it:

First, design your lettering and graphics to cut out of black vinyl.  We used my Silhouette software and the font BlackKnight FLF - which is a fabulously Halloween-y font - to make the designs. 

Peel back the excesss vinyl, leaving the lettering and design.

Then press the transfer paper to the design so that you can place it easily on the pumpkin.  We used large artificial white pumpkins (purchased at 50% off from Michaels.)

Gently peel back the transfer paper and press the vinyl onto the pumpkin, revealing your design.

We decided to add a thin coat of matte Mod Podge over the design, to be sure it stayed put (since the adhesive vinyl didn't seem to be well adhered to the pumpkin.  Plus, we thought we might display our pumpkins outside and wanted to help keep them from peeling. 

I was so happy with how they turned out, and amazed at how easy it was to do!  Here's a look at all three of our creations:

We aren't the only ones with awesome black and white pumpkins.  Here are some versions around the web that inspired our evening:




Fall Sign Sale - Trick or Treat - Count Your Blessings

Looking for a fabulous new addition to your fall decor?  How about a custom Sign by Andrea?  For a limited time only, these seasonal custom-designed hand-painted signs are only $20!*  

Trick or Treat? - black w/white lettering - 2ft x 6in - $20
- order -


Count Your Blessings - brown (as shown) or black w/white lettering - 2ft x 6in - $20
- order -

*$45 regular price.  $20 fall special runs through November 9th, 2011. Both sign designs are also available with optional beveled edges (+$5).

Don't forget to check out my other personalized sign designs when you order so you can combine shipping costs.  It's not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts! 



Fall Front Porch

Friday was a gorgeous day, so Paxton and I sat out on the front porch decorating for fall. 

I dug through the garage to find a set of four pots to create this stacked potted design (just put a smaller pot upside down inside each of the two pots you can see in order to have a strong base for teh next pot and the pumpkin to sit on.  Then I filled the empty space inside the pots with grocery bags and covered it with a piece of burlap fabric before adding the little pumpkins and flowers.

The pumpkin is decorated with a vinyl "S" & spider decal (tutorial on that coming soon), and I decided that since those candlestick holders had sat in a bucket in the garage for several months, it wouldn't hurt anything to use them in some outside decor. :)

I made the wreath with a metal hanger and strips of frayed burlap, following this great tutorial.

And then I added a seasonal 3ft custom "Trick or Treat?" sign over the door.  I think I'll replace it with a Thanksgiving-themed sign in November and then a Christmas-themed sign in December and continue to change it out as the year progresses.

For a Friday morning sitting on the front porch enjoying the weather and using all stuff we already had on-hand, I think we did okay. :)  Ayla was excited to see it when she got home from school and now likes to walk in through the front door whenever we get home from being out. :)


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