Monday, July 30, 2012

Make a Card Monday - Summer Flight


Love, love, love the butterfly paper but I couldn't see using it in my scrapbook. It made the perfect base for a muted summery card. I also got to use one of my few Stampin' Up! sets.


Details:
cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), unknown (pink circle and card base), DCWV (brown mat)
patterned paper: DCWV stack (butterfly)

embellishments: ric-rac rbbon (unknown)
color: Palette Haystack ink
stamps: Stampin' Up! Happy Harmony

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cute, Customized Clothes from eShakti (a review)

Do you have trouble finding nice clothes that fit? I'm only 5'3" so I tend to head straight to the petite section of a clothing store. 5'3" is, I think, the max height for petite clothing so sometimes the length ends up being too short for me. High waters, anyone? Um, no thanks.
But I'm definitely not tall enough to find things that fit well in the regular sized clothing areas. Tops are usually too long at the bottom and too low at the neckline. Pants tend to drag on the floor too, while dresses and skirts hit too far down on my leg and make me look stumpy, for lack of a better word.
Suffice it to say, clothing shopping, while necessary, is not my favorite past time. Fortunately for me, I was contacted by eShakti, a women's clothing website.

Here's some info about what they do.
"eShakti is a unique women’s apparel store online that allows custom changes in the style of the garment – sleeve, neckline, length can all be changed by the customer to her preference.
eShakti’s custom capabilities allow shoppers to easily tailor any item to their specific requirements ensuring a flattering fit and unique look. Built-in online customization tools allow women to modify original fashions to fit their size, shape and personal style. Unlike traditionally-tailored clothing, eShakti’s incredibly quick turnaround time allows customers to receive their custom-made look within a week of ordering!
Many of the pieces available are reminiscent of the past, combining feminine details and dressmaker finishes for today's modern woman. Dresses, skirts, tops, cardigans, jackets and scarves are available in a wide array of fabrics and colors ranging from size 0 to 26W and Custom."


Did you catch that they customize??? I love their feminine style and beautiful fabric choices so it was hard for me to narrow down to just one item to try out. I finally picked this super cute, rosette trim dress in red. I don't think the red one is available anymore but it comes in other great colors, including this really trendy coral.
http://www.eshakti.com/clothImages/Rosette trim dressV.jpg
I used the online customization tool to submit my measurements. Not much later, I got a confirmation email and then about 10 days later, my dress arrived! 
Pros: The length was perfect.
The waist and bust fit wonderfully.
Fast shipping (even with my customization)
Nice fabric
Quality construction
Easy to wear
It has pockets! I didn't realize that was a feature.

A few minor-ish Cons:
The fabric will require ironing. This might just be a con to me because I loathe ironing. :)
The neckline is a little lower than I'd prefer. It was still modest but I feel more comfortable with a slightly higher neckline, especially for church.
Here's what the back looks like:

Look at how the length is perfect for my short ol' self. An older lady at church told my hubby that I was a 'real dish' in this dress. LOL
My attempt at modeling---it's laughable, I know. :)

Their mission is "To make you look and feel fabulous by giving you uniquely classic styles in a wide variety of fabrics and color choices in sizes from 0-26W AND customized sizes and styles too.
They offer a no-hassle, money-back guarantee on sales returns. All items, including custom orders, are shipped in 5 business days or less and should arrive at your door within 12 business days."

The best part they charge just $7.50 for customization and new customers get customization free in their first order. To see more styles, please visit www.eshakti.com
or visit them at www.facebook.com/eshakti or  www.pinterest.com/eshakti
Right now, until July 31st, you can use this special promo code HY32FER to get 10% off when you shop at eShakti. This code can be used in addition to the existing 'up to 40% OFF Sale'.

Note: The discount code is not case sensitive. The code can be used any number of times until the validity period. This discount code is not applicable on our Overstock category.


Disclosure: I would like to thank Jennifer at eShakti for providing me the dress for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own, honest thoughts about it. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drift Wood Decor - Painted Birds

A couple years ago, Bass and his brother took a trip to a family cottage in Northern Maine. It was where they had spent summers as kids and where they have lots of great family memories. They spent time hanging out, canoeing and boating on the lake, and enjoying some down time. On one of their canoe outings, Bass found this piece of wood and ended up bringing it home. It sat in the garage for ever since neither of us had any specific ideas for it. Then it came to me. It would be perfect in the kitchen above the sink.


I'm not really much of a artist so I found some clip art online that I liked and then I used that as a guide to sort of free-hand the design onto the board with pencil. Once I got it the way I liked it, I painted it in with black acrylic craft paint. Then it just sat and sat in my decor closet until we finally painted the kitchen this spring. I was right---it does work perfectly above the sink.


You can even see a sneak peek of the new kitchen color scheme. Reveal coming soon! Until then, here's one more shot of our Maine board birds. :)



Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor & Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty and Fabuless;  Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;

Monday, July 23, 2012

Make a Card Monday - Thanks, Teacher


I got this image back in my TAC demo days because it reminded me so much of my little guy complete with Dennis the Menace cowlick. I never used it though! In my effort to let all my stamps see some ink, I used him on this teacher thank you card.
I rounded the top right corner of the yellow mat and the bottom right of the polka dot mat.


Details:
cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), unknown (yellow) DCWV (base)
patterned paper: DCWV School stack (abc pattern and polka dots)

embellishments: 'dedication' sticker (unknown)
color: Palette Noir ink, flesh-toned pencils, Tombow gray marker
stamps: TAC Kevin

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

The books are in... so we're ready to go for our second year of homeschooling. Here's what we're planning to use for the 2012-2013 school year:

Tenor is going into 5th grade so he'll be working through
Saxon 6/5 for math

Rod and Staff Building Christian English for grammar
Rod and Staff Spelling 5 for spelling
I Can Master Handwriting (the left-over cursive section from Soprano's book last year) for penmanship
Institute For Excellence in Writing - Ancient History Based Writing Lessons for writing

Spanish 1 for Christian Schools for Spanish

Soprano is going into 3rd grade so she'll be doing
Saxon 3 for math

Rod and Staff Beginning Wisely English for grammar
Rod and Staff Spelling 3 for spelling
A Reason for Handwriting C for penmanship (to learn cursive)


Switched on Schoolhouse Elementary Spanish (the 2nd half of the lessons) and Usborne's First Hundred Words in Spanish for Spanish

Together they'll do My Father's World Creation to the Greeks.
My Father's World incorporates Bible, history, geography, music, and art altogether for multiple grade levels. We loved our work last year doing the first year of the MFW 5-year cycle, Exploring Countries and Cultures, so we're excited to start this year: Creation to the Greeks.

All our MFW books plus extra book basket and resource books
To be sure to fulfill state requirements, we're going to do worksheets and activities from some different resources. These are on mixed levels but I'm going to make 'em work for both Soprano and Tenor.

World Geography for geography reinforcement
Healthy Choices for health
My First Book About Pennsylvania for PA History
and Community Helpers flashcards for civics 

Edited to add: I've been having misgivings about doing an extra geography, PA History, and Health worksheet each week. I don't want to fill our days with extras simply for the state of PA. I want to put our main efforts into our MFW studies and be sure to do as many of the activities as possible. I think I'm going to only schedule half of each book this year. Then we'll finish the 2nd half next year... still fulfilling our requirements but taking off some of the pressure.

The only other things we have to cover are fire safety and phys. ed.  Phys. Ed. will be covered with our co-op and by doing Tae Kwan Do.
We'll be continuing with our homeschool co-op group so they'll each get gym, music/choir, and an elective each semester. Of course, we have fun field trips in mind too like The Science Factory, a reproduction of the biblical tabernacle, Penn Museum, and maybe even the Creation Museum in KY.
It should be good! Let's go....


Linking up at:
Not Back to School Blog Hop  

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Hip Homeschool Moms 
Back to Homeschool Blog Hop (Life with My Giggly Girls)
A Mama Story 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Short Ruffle Aprons

For my sister's 50s Housewife themed bridal shower, we asked the guests to come dressed in their best aprons and pearls. Great idea, right? One slight problem as one of the shower hostesses I needed a super cute apron. I didn't have one!
Fortunately, I had a couple weeks before the shower to make one that would match my outfit. Any 50s housewife would have done the same, I'm sure.
I'm not a wing-it as I go kind of seamstress. I need patterns with detailed instructions and measurements so I found a multi-use pattern at Joann's with this adorable ruffly apron.

It called for 4 different fabrics so I got a large floral, a textured lace, a small print, and a stripe.

It wasn't too hard to do although I don't think the where they said to attach the ruffles hid the seam of the ruffle underneath but it's okay. It turned out so well, I made one for my sister as part of her shower gift. In her coral and blue wedding colors, of course. Her fabrics were a large floral, a small geometric, a small floral, and a stripe.
Now the only problem is that it's almost too cute to actually cook in!

Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor & Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty and Fabuless;  Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;

Monday, July 16, 2012

Make a Card Monday - Be Comforted


Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13


Details:
cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), DCWV (mat and circle), DCWV (embossed card base)

color: Palette Noir and Burnt Umber ink, flesh-toned pencils
stamps: TAC Cross

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Memories Suite Winner!


Thanks everyone for entering and checking out the great digital scrapbooking software from My Memories. Congratulations to Jenn who was comment #8. Please email me for the code to download your free copy of  My Memories Suite.


Even if you didn't win the giveaway you can still get a fantastic deal. MyMemories.com is offering $10 off the purchase of the My Memories Suite scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store --- a $20 value! Just use this code when you check out: STMMMS89634
Let's get scrappin'!

Dressing Up the Front Step

Our little house has a little front stoop, and up until now, it was totally bare. The house is looking much better since we painted everything last fall and added/fixed the landscaping beds. We just needed a little something to make it more welcoming.
I saw a project on another blog for a decorative post made from scrap wood and knew immediately it would be the perfect way to reuse our Narnia lamp from the dining room.
Here's what the porch looked like before:
And here's what the Narnia lamp looked like before:

Yeah... we had a post on a half wall with an outdoor light fixture sitting on top. I don't get it. It was definitely a conversation piece but it totally had to go. As we started tackling the updated to-do list, Bass was able to disassemble that whole area of trim to get the lamp out (and safely pull out the unneeded electrical.) The light went to his brother because they needed an outdoor light... for the outdoors... where outdoor lights should be.

After a lot of sanding (lots done by Tenor), piecing wood scraps, and a bit of painting (done by me), our new porch post and decor looks like this:

Cute, right? Bass and Tenor made the post for me for a Mother's Day/Birthday gift. The aqua jar was from Christmas Tree Shops and holds a few seashells from our trip to the shore. At the shore, we also found that black hook for $0.99 (which Bass cut down because it was too tall) and the weathered looking welcome sign. The terra cotta pots and plants were from my sister's wedding. The larger pots came from Kmart and Home Depot (both around $6) and the plant stand came from Lowe's (about $10, I think). Tenor made me a little planter with pink impatiens for Mother's Day so we did a little transplant to fill in the tan pot. I added a few $1 seed geraniums and another $1 pack of pink impatiens. A little work and a little color add up to a big difference on our front step.
Doesn't it just make you want to come right in? It makes me smile whenever I pull in the driveway.
BTW---Tenor took these photos for me. Not bad for a 10 year old, eh?

Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor and Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;

Monday, July 9, 2012

Make a Card Monday - Get Well

This is not my favorite type of card to send because it means someone isn't feeling well. I do like to have a few on hand though in case I need them. Using up scraps, I went with a monochromatic color scheme for a multi-layered, but simple card.
The butterfly stamp is a 2 step stamp. I stamped the base with a light blue and then overstamped the outline with a brighter blue color.


Details:
cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), unknown (mat)
patterned paper: unknown stack (argyle and floral)

embellishments: ribbon (EK Success Adornaments)
color: Palette Noir, Reflection Blue, and Ballet Blue ink
stamps: TAC Swirly Wings (limited edition set)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Schedules for the Kids

Now that we're finished with our school year, it's getting a little harder to keep the younglings happy and occupied. We have a general rhythm to our days during the school year so they're used to a basic routine. This summer I thought we'd take all the pressure off and just let them do all the things they said they didn't have time to do this past school year. Well... that lasted about half an hour.
Apparently, they still need some sort of structure to their day. So I opened up Excel and started typing. :)
I've used this basic idea the past few summers and actually included little clip art pictures so my non-readers could get the general idea of what our day looked like. This year, I just went with a totally boring format. I put our daily routine in but left out any times. That allows us to be a little more flexible (since I have a very 'stick to the rules' youngling in my house.) So now rather than asking me and not liking my answer, when they say 'what do we do?", I can say check the schedule.

I also try to mix things up by planning out of the house activities. We're blessed to live in an area where there are lots of kid events offered. In fact there's so much that I was afraid I'd miss out on some great opportunities (some of which we can count towards next year's schooling.) To get all that info together, I opened up the calendar template in Publisher. I picked a cool template option and fun summery color scheme and then typed in everything that I had info for.... library programs, $1 roller skating, craft days at Michael's, free concerts, and $1 movie days. I also added in the week the younglings will attend a local day camp and our Vacation Bible School week.
After I printed it, I realized that some of the events required pre-registration so I went back and high-lighted those. Now at a glance, I can see all the activities I was hoping to participate in and make sure we don't miss out!

So between the daily/weekly schedule and the extra events, we should be all set for some summer fun. If not, there's always the I'm Bored Jar and the sand table.
 
Or there's always more chores!!!

Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor & Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty and Fabuless;  Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring; One Creative Weekend at One Creative Mommy

Monday, July 2, 2012

Make a Card Monday - What's Moo?


Scrapbooking creates, well, scraps. I'm pretty sure that's not why we call it 'scrapbooking' but it's definitely one of the results. I have a huge file storage tub with bits and pieces of paper that are too big (or too cute) to just throw away. Fortunately, I like making cards, and cards are a great way to use up some of those scraps.
This card started with the 2 patterned pieces left over from a mat stack.
I thought Bessie there would be a good sized image to fill up the card and I personalized her collar and hat to match the patterned paper.


Details:
cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), unknown (pink, brown, card base)
patterned paper: unknown (pink marble and pink crackle)

embellishments: ribbon (unknown), paper clip (unknown), brown binder clip (Making Memories)
color: Palette Noir and Burnt Umber ink, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Tombow gray marker
stamps: TAC What's Moo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trying Digital Scrapbooking and a Great Giveaway!

(This giveaway has ended.)


I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!
 I would love to be all caught up with having my photos in scrapbooks but I am so far behind. One of the hardest things to scrapbook is when you have a ton of photos from just one event like a birthday or Christmas. It feels like you either have to cut out a bunch of great pics or you end up with 10 pages!
Worse still are vacation photos! We came back from Disney with hundreds of photos! If I try to scrapbook those, I'll be doing Disney pages for years.

Fortunately for me, I was contacted by My Memories to review their digital scrapbooking software awhile back. I'd just been so busy with the end of school, wedding stuff, vacations, and prepping for VBS that I didn't have time to even look at it until now. I love regular old cut and stick scrapbooking with paper and embellies so I've never really tried any digital scrapbooking. Mostly because I thought it would be too hard and take too long. I'm happy to say that with My Memories Suite, I was totally wrong.

With all of the pre-loaded content My Memories Suite comes with, it's super easy to just jump right in and create something. After installing the software, I was able to make this in a matter of minutes.

The paper background, ribbon, brads, and flower embellies are all included! I used one of the included layout templates and just dropped in my own pics. I added shadows to all the pics and embellies to give it a more dimensional look. Another super cool thing.... the fonts you can choose from are the fonts installed on your own computer. So all my cool fonts are available in the software. I wasn't limited to just a few basic fonts.

In this layout, I used my neat African font for the title. I added ric-rac ribbon and a paper strip behind the photos. I also added a border around all the pics. (It only took 2 clicks to do it!)
 

And here's another page because I seriously could not stop myself. (This was too much fun!) Again the backgrounds, embellies, and journalling box are all elements that are included.


I think all my "I'm-too-busy" excuses for not scrapbooking are now blown out of the water. This scrapbook software makes it super easy to actually get pages done so I can preserve our memories while I still remember what the memories are. They even have photo book options where you can create an entire album super easily. I think that might be how I tackle our Disney pics. It'll be more than just a photo album but way less time than a traditional scrapbook. Win, win!
I think this will be a great way to compile our homeschool memories too. I could easily make nice collage pages of science experiments or art projects to include in our portfolios.
Maybe like this:

I would show you the picture collages I did put in this year's portfolios but after creating the above layout, I'm way too embarrassed to show you the terrible job I did in MS Publisher. Let's just say that this is a MAJOR improvement. And it took less time than what I made before. :)

They have so many great (and inexpensive) kits and templates on their site too.
Here are some of the great features of My Memories Suite:
"It has over 1500 background papers, 1300+ embellishments, 20 new templates, a new Resource Gallery that lets you drag and drop pictures, embellishments, shapes, backgrounds and more directly onto your layout. There is also a new Photo Wizard to help you assemble your book quickly and easily. Other new features include Word Art, giving you the ability to type text around your pictures and shapes, plus the ability to type text directly on the canvas and zoom in on your page."

You could make all sorts of things like cards, photo books, blog banners, business cards, calendars, posters, and of course scrapbooks! Or make some seasonal art like this using one of our beach pics:

Just print and frame. Easy peasy. Want to up the cool factor? You can even add music, web links, video, and sound to your projects. I could include a video of the Magic Kingdom's Main Street Electric Parade right in our book!

Do you want to try it for yourself??? Here's your chance!
Thanks to MyMemories.com, I'm able to give away a copy of the downloadable My Memories Suite (a $40 value) to one of my readers! (My first official give-away ever!!) Here are the rules:

Mandatory entry
#1 Let me know what pics/event you need to scrapbook and visit MyMemories.com to choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout that would help you get it done! Leave a comment telling me which one you love the most. Be warned... it'll be hard to choose just one!


You can earn extra entries if you:

#2 Follow my blog via RSS or Google friend connect (if you already follow, just leave a comment saying so)
#3 Follow My Memories blog - http://blog.mymemories.com/
#4 Follow My Memories on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/MyMemories/140359372717593
#5 Follow My Memories on Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/mymemoriessuite


Just leave a separate comment for each entry.
Contest ends on July 11, 2012.
This giveaway has ended. See the winner here.


Can't wait to see if you win??? MyMemories.com is also offering a special deal for my readers --- $10 off the purchase of the My Memories Suite scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store --- a $20 value! Just use this code when you check out: STMMMS89634




Fine Print: 
Winner will be chosen randomly via random.org then announced on my blog and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the My Memories Suite to review. All opinions are my own. :)

Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor & Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty and Fabuless;  Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring; One Creative Weekend at One Creative Mommy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...