Andrea's blog


Etsy Shirts at Aldi Prices

Earlier this week I was admiring some screen-printed tank tops at an Etsy shop, wishing I could buy them. But, seeing as I wear them primarily to yoga classes and I have about 15 ribbed tank tops already, $27 seemed a little steep. So imagine my delight when I ran across these at Aldi today for only $4.99:

Granted, they're not *quite* as cool as the Etsy shop version (and the model is missing the *so cool* tattooed arm band), but a $4.99 shirt satisfies my desire for a new shirt...for now! :)

Portrait Photography Tips

I've recently subscribed to the Digital Photography School blog, and today's post looked like a great one to share:

How to Take Portraits - 19 Portrait Photography Tutorials from Our Archives

I haven't looked through them all yet, but thier daily posts are really easy to understand and quick to read, so I've enjoyed learning more from them.

While we're at it...I thought this was a VERY cool technique that I'm looking forward to trying:

Light Painting



Paper Lily

Today's project: A Paper Lily



I wish it was for a happy occasion, but it's for a paper flower bouquet for a friend and former Scrapjazz Blue Crew member, Shelley.  Her step-daughter (17) was killed in a car accident earlier this week and we're all hurting with their family. 

 Scrap Etc. (the local scrapbook store where she's also a designer) is sending our love and support with a paper flower bouquet.  

Instructions for creating this style of origami flower can be found here


Handmade Necklaces and Gift Boxes

Thanks for all your input on gift ideas for our favorite nursery workers at the Rec.  I decided to make them each a necklace, so I journeyed into the jewelry making supply aisle at Hobby Lobby
This is what I came up with--very simple and easy since I'm a novice jewelry designer, but I tried to pick glass pendants that represented each of their "styles".  The red necklace is for Jen and the tan necklace is for Margaret.
Either they really loved them, or they're really good at pretending they love something.  They were both wearing their new neckaces when I came back to pick Ayla up from the nursery and kept going on an on about them. 
Honestly though, the packaging was my favorite part:
I found a gift box template that I adapted slightly after printing it onto 12 x 12 paper to make these little gift boxes.  (I recently acquired a large format printer HP Deskjet 1220C that I was thrilled to try out!)   I used double-sided Scenic Route paper, initial chipboard letters, a little bit of ribbon and miniature thank you cards.  It was pretty easy, and turned out really cute, if I do say so myself!  Ayla helped stuff the boxes with tissues before we put the necklaces inside. 

Bird Bully

Our backyard is a regular scene from a Disney movie. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks...and the occasional stray cat. But here's the villain of the bunch:


And don't forget his winter-time sidekicks -- The Birds.



Roger "made our" Day

The Hoover Public Library strikes again, and brings in fabulous entertainment.
Ever since I took Ayla to see Roger Day last summer, I've been anxiously awaiting his performance again this summer. I even roped Ben in to come see it with us, because all year we've been listening to his music with Ayla. She routinely asks for the "Hippo" song which is actually the "Rhino" song called "It's a No-No to Kiss a Rhino". (He does have a hippo song too..."Hiccuppopotumus".)
Roger Day is silly, fun, talented, and entertaining for all ages. The kids LOVE him (as well as the moms & dads!):
Ayla clapped and danced and did arm movements to all the songs. Last year she couldn't even walk! My how things change.
You can hear samples of his music and see where it can be purchased at his web site:
I highly recommend his CDs and DVDs for anyone with pre-school kids. It's catchy! Even my brother-in-law (I wont say which, but only one has pre-school age kids) was caught listening to Roger Day on his mp3 player at the beach....with no kids in sight....

Sneak Peek!

Blogging has been light this week for a few reasons:

  1. Our internet connection has been splotchy at best...
  2. We've done very little all week worth posting about...
  3. I've been in creative mode, working on a fun new project for an article...
Here's a sneak peek:
More pictures and the full project instructions will be published on in late August.

Ideas please...

We've been going to the Hoover Rec Center for almost a year now...nearly every day! The child care is wonderful, and I'd like to give the two ladies who work there some kind of gift on our 1-year membership anniversary. They're so good to Ayla and she loves them. And I love them because they give me an hour and half of me-time every day. Can't ask for anything better than that!

I'd love to make them each something in addition to getting them a gift certificate, but I'm stumped on ideas. Any suggestions of great crafty (not cheesy) child-caregiver gifts?


When I grow up...

Last weekend Ben and I were watching a movie, and something in the movie must have inspired me (although I forget what now), because I said "When I grow up, I want to be an artist...."
It was such a true statement for me, that I decided to do a painting/paper art collage for my office. So this afternoon during naptime, here's what resulted:

With all the traveling I've been doing lately, I haven't had a chance to do any real creating. And when I don't get to make anything for a while, I start getting cranky. Making a good scrapbook page or creating a new wall-hanging or something of the like is just a great stress reliever for me. So it felt VERY good to get this out, like a huge exhale...

It's the little things...



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