Your input please.....

*** Thank you so much for all of you who commented and voted, your all so quick!  You had so many thoughts that hadn't even occurred to me that once I heard them I knew what I wanted to do.  I will leave the posts as full unless they are insanely long with a lot of pictures.  THANKS!*** 

I'm making some small changes to the blog (just on the techie end of things) anyway, as someone who currently has limited browsing capabilities (darn you satellite and your fair access policy, I miss my DSL, we will be together again) and a mother who uses dial-up (she lives in the boonies people, nothing we can do about it, well not unless we want to torcher her with satellite as well) I've been thinking about age loading speeds and what not.  I already reduced the number of posts you see per page down to three as with readers and everything now it's not often you need to see a post older than that, unless your new.  The older posts button is always your friend :)

With all the photos we post on blogs it can slow you down, use up your fair access policies, and cause your finger to hurt from trying to scroll faster through that post you have no interest in.  So I'm wondering, do you prefer to see all full posts as you go through a blog or a main pic then an option to read more if your interested in that post?  The polls are open, cast your vote on the top right (above my smiling face).  Thanks!

Did someone say Challenge?

Oh it's on!  Think you've got what it takes to take me on LOL, I'm really friendly I am, unless there is a prize involved, then things can get ugly. And my mom is twice as worse, are you getting a visual of the two of us at family baby showers?

Anyway, Lindsay, at Living with Lindsay has announced a challenge.  $5 to be spent at the dollar store (before tax) for a spring home decor item.  Kinda sounds like my butterfly wreath huh, well past posts aren't allowed, so I will have to come up with something equally fabulous.  Just a little blurb in case you want to join in on the fun.  Posts need to be linked by March 25 so stay tuned to see what I come up with!

You know, I don't even know what the prize is......


Galoshes say spring!

My heart went a flutter when I saw this photo over at The Red Chair Blog.
She talks about the chalkboard table in her post (which is super cute how she does it up for different holidays!) but I was drooling over the adorable galoshes display. Take out the hearts and the XOXO and you have an adorable spring display!   

I'm thinking a pair of kids galoshes and some silk flowers (real would be nice if they are in your budget, plus galoshes hold water) would be adorable anywhere in the house.  I think I even have a pair of black ones I could spray paint pink!  Oh, or how about green ones with white flowers, maybe a bigger pair in the center of the table then a kids pair on each side further down the table for an Easter gathering?  I'm inspired!


Mini Mounted Buck for the not so woodsy

I have always said you will never find an animal stuffed and hanging on my wall, anywhere!  Not because I have an issue with people who do (we live in Wisconsin, it's not uncommon here), but just that it's so completely opposite of my style.  But then,  a LONG time ago, I saw this tutorial at Chronicle Books  and fell in love with it. And since it's not dead, or stuffed,  I decided it was finally time to make one, but I didn't have enough foam board on hand (or wall space at the moment in our little apartment) so I made this little mini version and put it up on my inspiration wall!
I won't retype the whole tutorial here but I did want to give you a few tips, and the template for the mini version like mine.  There are two pages here, click on each image to see full size then right click and "save image as"

It took me a while to figure out what the body piece was when looking at the template, I guess they break it up due to printing size for the large one, so when you see the pieces that are open ended they are supposed to be cut out and taped together before cutting out of your foam board.  I did not realize this about the head when I made mine though which was a real pain in the but!  So I ran some hot glue down the two pieces and luckily it's hidden enough on the little guy that you'll never know.  Would have been helpful to have a few more directions though (ahem, who ever wrote this tutorial to start with!). 

Since mine is little I used 2 sheets of scrapbook paper.  I wish I would have had the wood grain paper like they used, I need to get one of those woodgrain tools from home depot so I can make my own.
Since mine was going on fabric and not directly on the wall, I used hot glue to mount it, it's really light from the foam board and mini size.  If you are going to hang on the wall you could use the wire technique from the tutorial or hot glue a ribbon across the back to catch a nail. 

I'm so going to have my husband make me a big one out of wood to hang my necklaces on, that would be quite the jewelry holder! You'll have to wait until probably 2013 to see that blog post! 


Match Game and case

For this project I used a digital collage sheet from magpiemine on etsy (she has the medallions in green too if you want to make this for a boy!).  I just love how the circles give the pieces a more sophisticated look and the case turned out so cute I display the game on a shelf when it's not in use. 

What you'll need-
Desired amount of matching pairs of images (I just printed out the sheet of medallions twice)
Scrapbooking paper
2 cereals boxes or other scrap cardboard
spray adhesive
brayer or rolling pin (optional)
Dollar store wooden display case
Spray paint
Hot glue gun
Paper cutter and scissors

Cut some cardboard the side of your image sheet and apply spray adhesive according to your brand's directions.  Mine said to spray both surfaces.  Glue the image sheet to the cardboard and smooth with brayer or rolling pin.  Flip it over to the other side of the cardboard and repeat with decorative paper on back side.  So now you have a cardboard sandwich.  Make sure the paper you use on the backside has a solid or repeating patter that doesn't give away what pieces match.  Polka dots work really great for this.  Repeat with your second sheet if your first one didn't have matching images.

Use your paper cutter to score lines making your images into square pieces.  Your cardboard sandwich will be to thick for your paper cutter to trim all the way through so I used it to create straight lines for myself then used a scissors to cut all the way through.  You now have a big pile of game pieces.  

I spray painted my dollar store display with white spray paint.  It had these hangers on the back that I thought added a cute element but I couldn't use them on the back so I took them out and moved them to one side so they hung over the top.  The box is made out of soft pine so I had no trouble just screwing it in by hand.

Now to make our cover.  Take a piece of card board and trace your box so that you have a cardboard piece the same size.  Cut another strip about half inch wide by the same length as your cover piece.  With your spray adhesive again, sandwich these pieces in between decorative paper.   Leave a small gap (as shown) between the to pieces of cardboard as you glue them down to allow for your lid to bend.  Trim the paper down to size and bend the small flap back and forth a few times to break it in.

Using the hot glue, glue the small flap to the side of your box opposite the side you moved the little metal hangers to.  Take a length of ribbon and wrap it around the box once adding a few inches to each end to tie a bow, hot glue the ribbon on to the cover and box starting and ending at your metal hangers.  Now you can tie your case shut so your pieces don't fall out. 
Now that you've been busy playing match with one kid, go figure out what the other two have been up to, it's awfully quiet out there.....
How do they cram so many Kleenexes into such a small box anyway?


Favorite Spaces

I thought I would share with you a few photos I took of one of my mom's favorite antique booths.  This dealer has the amazing ability to make even the simplest things look adorable just by sticking a cute tag on it.  A reminder that packaging can make all the difference!


Boys "Mom" Tattoo shirt

Okay I promised the boys version to go along with the girl's tattoo hair clip so here it is.  This one's easy peasy and much less involved than the girls clip,  I promise. 
I rummaged through H's drawers to find a plain shirt and found this cute polo which I hadn't been paying attention to because it's winter and we live in Wisconsin and it had short sleeves (H's big bro was born in summer and H was born in winter, not so great for hand me downs! But mommy adapts). He also had a very cute (but very Christmas) onesie and since there is ZERO chance of having any more kids, don't you think I have enough?, to save hand me downs for  I have no problem taking a scissors to anything. 
So I cut the sleeves and a small section between the leg holes and the tree off the onesie and added them to the polo  for sleeves and length (the polo was a bit short for H).
I also have a pile of adult t-shirts in various colors that I grabbed a white and a red one from and cut a small section for the tattoo decal.  Using the template from the girls clip, I cut out two hearts and one of each banner piece. 
the arrow on the white piece shows that direction the little lines you can see in your shirt are running (the grain).  This is important for jersey as it's so stretchy, I didn't want my pieces to stretch up so I have the grain running vertically.  Doesn't matter for the heart, mine was at an angle.
I hate pinning, which is why I end up sewing a lot of crooked projects LOL.  To avoid pinning and crookedness I grabbed my fabric tac glue and put a dot where I wanted my decal, lay one heart on the dot, put another dot on, put the second heart right on top of the first.  I used two layers for depth.  Take it to your sewing machine and tack it down around the edges (I used black thread as tattoos are outlined in black).

Put your sewing machine away, we're done with it.  Tack your banner pieces down with fabric tac.

Put a small glob of your fabric paint on a scarp piece, using a small paintbrush practice your letters on your scarp jersey to get a feel of how it applies.  I used black tulip puffy paint, if you apply it with a brush it isn't puffy and holds up in the wash beautifully.

Now pray you don't mess it up and go for it.

I did simple letters first then went back in to add the tattoo shadow font effect they always use. (If you do mess up a letter don't fret, just paint the banner black and maybe leave a white edge, it'll still be cute!)  Let dry, insert boy.  


Tattoo Hair Clip- Reader Request

One very observant reader noticed this clip on my hair clip holder.
Since she took the time to ask about it, I'm taking the time to teach you how to make it!

What you need-
Red felt
Off white, or white felt (I used off white)
Matching embroidery thread and needle
Black embroidery thread
Snap hair clip
Dab of any glue
Template (found here)
Print out the template so that the heart is large enough to cover your clip.  Cut out the pieces and trace them onto your felt.  From the felt you need 2 hearts, 1 banner, and 2 of each tail.
Bottom photo shows how they will layer as your building the clip. Set your bottom heart aside, you won't need it for a while.  With your banner colored thread sew your tails on by sandwiching the top heart between the two tails with a running stitch, repeat on other side. 

Now sew the banner onto the front.  Remember, we are only using the top heart right now.  

Now grab your black floss.  I chose to go with the classic "MOM".  Always start in the middle and work your way out when free handing words!  I did the outline then filled in for the font style.
You will have a mess in back, don't worry about it, that's what the back heart is for.  Okay, set aside this heart and grab your back (still plain) heart, your clip, and your glue of choice (I used fabric tac).
Cut a tiny slit in the heart, open the clip, and push through slit.  IMPORTANT- You need to think about which side of the head the clip will be worn on and place your clip in that direction.  Mine was made to go on the right side of the head so when I'm holding the clip it opens to the left.  

Dab a little glue under the marked spots of the clip and snap it shut. It's just to keep your clip from shifting around inside.  Now lay your top heart on top of your clip and grab your heart colored (or black if you choose) floss and stitch the front and back hearts together with a running stitch.

When you get to the banner tails make sure you only just tack the back heart onto the back of the tail and don't go all the way through, you don't want to see your thread across the front of this section.

When you finish, tie a knot and dab a bit of glue on it so it doesn't come undone.  Your done! But wait, what about the boys? The reader who requested the clip tutorial mentioned she was going to make her son a coordinating shirt, well as a mom of boy girl twins I thought that was a brilliant idea!  So here's a teaser, I'll show you how I made the shirt tomorrow!

Shared this at- Show off your stuff party 


Secret Dreams

One of the reasons I started this blog was to motivate myself to finally pursue one of my dreams.  I REALLY want to create an illustration line.  I love children's illustration and drawing and although I took art classes in college, I got a degree in business and marketing.  My student adviser advised me that it was a safer, more well rounded, degree.  And it is, and lucky for me I'm a pretty good self teacher (and googler) for anything I don't know how to do, or programs I need to learn to use (like illustrator!).  Anyway, I'm getting off track.  Last night I completed my first finished print, and although I won't be putting them in shop until I have a small series, I wanted to share it with you here.  


3D Butterflies

Make sure to cut some extra butterflies when making the butterfly wreath. Template for butterflies  in wreath post.  I love these for dressing up presents or on my daughter's bedroom wall.  I thought the pictures did a nice job of walking you through it without added reading, but I will say stickers work excellent for this too if you have butterfly stickers!

Official Business

For the bloggers who promoted the giveaway....
Congratulations Disney!

And the winner is.......

 By Random.org random generator #437

sneakypillowjumper said...
Looked through her etsy shop with my 3 year old- he was in love with all of them. Especially loved the Dino Den, Pirates & The Kings Castle- kept saying- maybe I'll get that one for Christmas. I adore the Neighborhood Cafe. I am not sure I could even pick- they are so adorable- and now added to my favorites on ETSY!


Butterfly Wreath- Think Spring!

With all of us covered in snow I thought we could all use a little reminder that spring is coming.  I chose to finish this wreath with butterflies, but it would be really beautiful left plain and hung with a big satin ribbon, beautiful enough to use for a wedding!
 You may be surprised to find out what it's made of- Brown paper lunch bags!
What you need-
6-8 brown lunch bags 
Scallop circle punch (mine's 2.5 inches)
Foam wreath (dollar store)
Glue gun
unsharpened pencil
Colored paper and book pages for butterflies

Leave your lunch bags folded up when you punch your circles, I punched 6 circles which gave me 18 circles per bag (if you leave the bag folded it punches 3 each time!).  When you have a stack take your unsharpened pencil and press it into the center of a circle so the circle folds up like a flower.  Put a dab of hot glue on the circle where the pencil makes a point and stick to your wreath form.  Continue until your wreath looks like this.

This is the point where you could hang it with a satin ribbon and it would be beautiful, over the backs of chairs or down the isle of  a church.  Had I had a big green ribbon I may have stopped here, but I didn't so I looked for other options to dress it up. 
I decided on butterflies.  Cut a bunch of butterflies out of the paper of your choice, use as many different papers as you like, fade from dark to light, do a rainbow, what ever suits your fancy.  I chose blue cardstock and some old book pages.  

You don't need this many, but that's what I started with. Bend your butterfly in half and apply hot glue to the underside of the belly, press onto wreath in what ever random way you choose.  Start out by laying a few in your pattern, you can go back and fill in as you go.  I chose to put my butterflies large to small going up one side.
Continue to place them until your happy.  Stand back and admire.

For those of you who have asked about how I cut my butterflies, I used the images above, which you can right click and save image on.  Print them out and use them as templates to cut yours out.  I wanted to make you a nice pdf you could just print and cut but the butterflies are solid so that wouldn't work.   


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