February 28, 2011

A Contest! Let's Hear It for the Boys!

Oh baby!  I've got some news for you today.  We are going to have a fun little contest called "Let's Hear It for the Boys."  I have been formulating the details for quite a while and today you get to hear it all. 

What are you even talking about Cheri?  Well, let's break it down! 

What is this contest you are so excited about?

The contest is a BOY'S SHIRT CONTEST.  That is the only regulation.  It must be a top for a boy.  That could mean a sweatshirt or t-shirt.  You can sew it from scratch or buy one and embellish it (embroidering, freezer paper stenciling, bleach pen, etc.)  It just has to be wearable as a top.

Who can participate?

Anyone.  Yes, you.  Please, you.  The more the merrier.  I think just pooling all our boy ideas together will be so fun to watch.  Even you in other countries.  You're in.  Prizes and all.

However, your shirt must be created between now and the deadline.  I don't want people posting things they made a while ago.  If you have something you made a long time ago, you could always recreate a new version of it for this contest.  Entries dated before today will be disqualified.  Please be honest.

What are the deadlines?

You have most of March to create.  Then, on Friday, March 25th there will be a link party.  That's the day you will link up your entry.  I think this will help avoid anyone feeling copied as well.  You won't see anyone's entries till that day.  The winner will be announced on Monday, March 28th.

How many shirts can I enter into the contest?

Well, so you don't have to decide which is your best you may enter 2 shirts.  However, that is the max.  We don't want one person entering 50 things.
Who will judge the contest?

I have selected three very fine judges. 

U Create
1) Kari from UCreate.  Kari has great taste and a killer eye for great work.  She has supernatural style recognition skills.  Yes, it's pretty much like a super hero power.  As if that's not enough, the woman is a party.

2) Char from Crap I've Made.  Char has incredible sewing skills and on top of that she is absolutely HILARIOUS.  Char will definitely appreciate humorous entries and she will be able to see a well stitched top from miles away.  She is a creative genius and she knows boys well.

3) Jennifer, Jamie, and Jodie from Eighteen25.  Talk about design abilities....I'm never seen anything from these ladies that wasn't flawless.  Their printables, ideas, and projects make it obvious that they are design godesses.  Plus, they are really fun.  If they didn't live far away I might just show up on their doorstep and ask if I could come in and hang out.

How will the entries be judged?

The entries will be judged on creativity, design, quality of construction, and presentation.  (If you need some photography tips to help you present your project well, THIS POST and THIS POST from the photo series I did last summer might help.)
What are the prizes?

The first place winner will receive.....

1) A 20pk. of dual tip of fabric markers from I Love to Create.  Their products rock my crafting world. 

2) TWO swords of their choice from All Boy House  (These are a hit around our house.  See our review HERE.)

3) This adorable mustache necklace from Little Miss Momma on etsy.  Ashley makes it look pretty darn cute.

4) One month of FREE advertising for your blog or shop here on my blog.  Yup, one of those buttons in the sidebar can be yours.

5) The retro pointed bow tie pattern from my etsy shop.


5) All the fame in the world (okay, not really, but you can have your tutorial posted here if you choose).

The second and third place winner will receive.....

1) Fabric spray paints from I Love to Create.
2) The retro pointed boy tie pattern from my etsy shop.

Where can I get some ideas?

There are lots of tutorials here to help.  Click HERE for the freezer paper stenciling tutorial.  Click HERE for the bleach pen tutorial.  You can browse the "boys" category in the previous posts section in the sidebar.  You can browse the stores you love for ideas.  You can stop by Celebrate the Boy or last year's archives from Celebrate the Boy for ideas.  You can lock yourself in a quiet little room until you think of an idea (but I don't recommend that one). 

So, who's in?  I can't wait to see all your fun, unique, creative, ideas!  Thanks for dropping in!

February 27, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - brother, double rides, and anniversaries

We had a pretty good week.  This little guy has been doing some things that make me laugh.  He rarely calls Rex by name.  Instead he calls him brother.  "Don't do dat bruh-der!"  "Come on bruh-der!"  "I wuv you bruh-der."  It really melts my heart.  He also likes to poke his head out like this until you press your forehead up against his.  Then he smiles and laughs.  This little one has me wrapped around his baby finger.

The boys tried out the trike together.  It's an ugly flash picture, but I had to capture them trying to scoot around the kitchen like this.  I love it when they play together.

Lastly, I am most thankful for my husband this week.  Yesterday we celebrated our 6th anniversary.  He really is everything I ever wanted and more.  He has taught me a lot and I feel so grateful that he is mine.

Thank you for reading.

February 26, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - "ReSew" Review and GIVEAWAY!

I think you know I am a big fan of refashioning.  I love the idea of reusing items that might otherwise be thrown out.  I love spending very little money on thrifted items and making them new for my family.  Well, that is exactly what the book "ReSew" by Jenny Wilding Cardon is all about.  Jenny is creative, talented, and extremely kind.  I am excited to introduce you to her latest book.

I love Jenny's explanation of why she loved thrifting from day one.  I couldn't say it better myself.

"It was my opportunity to save money; to spend locally; to stretch my creativity (with my found treasures and my dollars); to help lighten a strain on the environment; and, mostly, to uncover the distinct and unique - and remake it, too - among the swell of mass producing, big-box retailers that often promote the impersonal and uninspired."

The book is loaded with projects.  Jenny's instructions are great.  As you read, you get the feeling you're sitting down with a good friend who is teaching you how to make something and even sketching as she explains. 

I want to show you a few projects I really liked.  This great quilt came from a bunch of thrifted sheets.

This hat, mitten, and scarf set came from a woman's sweater.

This top used to be an oversized sweatshirt.  I LOVE how she used the extra fabric to make the stripes on the shirt.  It gives it so much textural interest.

In all of her projects Jenny has a real eye for details.  See how she reused the button down portion of a shirt in this dress?  So clever.

Jenny's book is loaded with great refashioning ideas.  You can purchase "ReSew" on Amazon right HERE.  She is also giving away a copy right here.  Just leave a comment to enter.  One comment per person please.  Drawing ends Monday night and the winner will be announced Tuesday morning.

Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas, Jenny.  You rock!

February 25, 2011

Feature Friday - FREE Preschool Packs

A couple of weeks ago I got a sweet e-mail from a thoughtful reader named Kelley.  She told me about this free printable Batman preschool pack that she had found right HERE.  She thought Rex would like it and she was absolutely right.  It's from Carisa's blog which is called 1+1+1=1.  Her blog it is full of awesome printable eductional awesomeness.  Yes, that's right.  

We downloaded the Batman pack.  Rex was literally jumping up and down as he watched the pages come out of the printer.  There are some pages that require cutting, pasting, and coloring, so I printed them off on regular paper. 

Rex is getting pretty good with scissors and he was giddy about cutting out the characters and sorting them as "good guys" and "bad guys."  

For some of the other sheets that just required some tracing I printed them off on cardstock and put them in a page protector.  (This page was meant to be used as a matching worksheet, but until Rex knows his numbers well he just counts them and then traces over the number.)

With the page protecter Rex can write on the pages with dry erase markers and use them again and again.  (He also thinks dry erase markers are amazing, so he was really excited again!)

Do you want to see the other preschool packs Carisa has made?  Click HERE.  She's made them all free for anyone to use and there's something for everyone.  Thank you Carisa for performing such a kind service.  You made Rex and I both so happy today!

And, in other news.....we're going to have a fun contest here that I'll tell you about on Monday.  Think boy.  See you tomorrow!

February 24, 2011

Laundry Room Makeover

Hooray!  I'm finally done painting the laundry room. It was a work out.  Even with the paint that has primer in it it takes a couple of coats to cover red with pale turquoise.  Plus, there was a lot of trim work.  Enough whining Cherdog!  (Yes, I actually refer to myself that way sometimes.)  Let's take a look.

Wait, let me give you a little glimpse at what it used to look like.

While I do like red, for this small room it felt kind of cluttered and small.  The countertop was that catch-all area and things didn't feel organized.

So what was done?  Of course the painting (which is "Fountain Spout" by Behr).  The mud room shelving was already there with the baskets.

I kept the same curtain up since it was a neutral creme and it has bits of the red accent color.

The cupboard doors on the cabinet below were removed and my dad headed off to the Depot to have them cut a piece of melamine the right size so that a shelf could be added, maximizing the storage.  The two bottom laundry baskets remain there for darks and lights and the other two are the ones that I carry the laundry back and forth with.  I have finally found the magic system for myself.

You saw the laundry room sign HERE before.  The baskets were $6 at Tai Pan Trading.  They are perfect for housing the little items you use a lot - dryer sheets, stain remover, etc.

Now let me give you a final look.  As you enter from the gargage there's a wall where I have this simple magnet board.  You can see the laundry room is just beyond it to the right.

If you looked sharp left you'd see this little key box.  Have you ever given someone a gift you liked more than they did?  I gave this to my sister several years ago and then I bought it from her at her rummage sale last summer.  Ha!  It looks perfect with the turquoise wall behind it.

So as you walk in you see the mudroom shelving on your right (which by the way has the wall color behind the shelving and baskets so I had to squeeze in there to paint it all.)



....turning... and that's it!

Now, nerdy me even likes to see the purse I made hanging in there because it matches.

So, let's do some laundry baby!  (Which is exactly what I have to go do now since I ignored it in order to get the painting done :)

Thanks for dropping by.

February 23, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Last week's challenge was to watch someone's children.  We invited a neighbor boy over for a few hours to give his mom a break.  Rex had a blast with him and we sent him home with some cookies.  It was a good afternoon for us (and his mom I think). 

This week's challenge is to leave a note for a server at a restaurant.  I think waiting tables is an extremely difficult job.  People are hungry (which means cranky) and if the kitchen is running slowly the server has to take the heat for it.  So, notice something you like about the server and leave a kind note.  Plus that means you get to go out to eat!  Woo-hoo!  If you're thinking you might not get out you could hit a drive thru and leave a note.  Actually there is this lady who works at our McDonalds that is so kind.  She'll always get the door for me as I enter the playland and she even pulls up a high chair to the table for Baden.  I think I might leave her a note this week.

Alright now!  Let's hear how your week went.  Did any of you watch someone's children?  I can't wait to hear about it!  Thanks for reading.

February 22, 2011

Farmhouse Pantry Doors

I wanted to show you my reorganized, repainted laundry room today, but it's not done.  It didn't turn out to be a one-coat venture so I'm still working on it.  I thought that instead I would show you a fun feature in my home.  When we have people over for the first time, it's always something people notice and really like. 

These are our pantry doors.  We did NOT make them, but I thought seeing them might give you some ideas.  While I can't answer technical questions about them or their construction, I tried to take good pictures so you can see just how they were made.

We bought this huge lock (at Tai Pan Trading if you live in Utah) to put on the doors.

They have these cool hinges.

This is the backside.  Nothing fancy.  You just see the planks and they weren't sanded or textured like the front.

You can see that the boards are doubled up around the border, leaving a recessed area inside it.

There you have it.  They give the kitchen a warm, home-like feeling.

Tomorrow is wake up Wednesday and then Thursday I'll show you my laundry room.  Thanks for stopping in.

February 21, 2011

How I Made the Video

I was going to take the day off, in celebration of 1 year, but a few of you asked about the video and how it was made.  I thought I'd throw out a few tips if you want to make one yourself.  If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it was the video from yesterday's post

Alright, it wasn't as hard as it looks and you don't even need a video camera.  It's just a ton of pictures.  So, get some motion going on and snap as fast as you can.  If you have a DSLR camera chances are you'll be able to snap them really quickly, especially if you put it on the sports setting.  (If you have a point and shoot camera you can still do it, but it will be a little less smooth because there will be more spacing between the pictures.)  Snap away. 

Then when I loaded them onto my computer they were still in the same order, which saved me a ton of time.  My computer came with "Windows Movie Maker" which is what I used.  This is what it looks like and it's not too hard to figure out.  You import the pictures.  (I recommend having them in a folder to keep them separate and reduce confusion.) 

Rather than importing them into the program one by one, you can click on the first in a sequence, hold shift and click on the last picture in the sequence.  That way you grab them all.  You can do the same to grab them and drag them into the timeline at the bottom of the page.  That's where you put everything you're putting in the video.  That's like your canvas.  On this particular program I set the photo duration at .25 of a second and I did that before I started dragging the pictures into the timeline.  (Go to Tools, Options, then the Advanced tab and change the duration.)

I imported the photos in groups and them deleted them from the workspace (where you see all the thumbnails) after dragging them into the timeline.  It made it less confusing.  Once I had all the pictures in I added the music, which is imported the same way the pictures are.  You upload the music and drag the file to the timeline beneath the pictures where is says audio/video.

Those are the basics to making the video.  You might have a different program, but the concepts are the same.  If you don't have a movie making program on your computer I would guess there's something free you could use online.  Anybody know of something like that?  (If you do please tell us in the comment section.)

It's pretty fun and there are a billion cool things you could do with it.  Let your mind run wild.  That's it for today.  See you tomorrow.  Thanks for reading.

February 20, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - My Blog Birthday

Yesterday my blog turned one year old and today we're going to celebrate.  We made this little video for fun.

So today I am truly grateful for you.  Thank you for coming here.  Thank you for your kind comments.  Thank you for sharing links you think I'd like.  Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me.  I really appreciate it.  When I began this blog my goal was to do it for one year.  Check.  I guess I'm done now.....but the truth is that I love it way too much to stop now.  So, there will be more to come.....more crafts to create, more things to learn, more stories to tell, and more taking part in each other's lives.  Thank you for being here.

February 19, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour

Today I'm excited to tell you about our newest sponsor.  I'm pretty sure you're going to like this idea if you're anything like me.  You know the routine...keep the kids happy, craft, run errands, OH NO....what am I goin got make for dinner?  Hmmmmm....

Well, let me introduce you to Michelle at Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour - our new best friend.  She has made meal-making efficient and budget friendly.  How does it work?  You can subscribe to her meal plans.  Here is what she says:

I have created a plan to cook all 5 dinners for the week in just ONE hour. All the menu plans have family friendly meals that feed 4-6 people and no, they are not all casseroles. :)

The meals are fresh, not frozen. They keep in your refrigerator until ready to heat and eat.

You can subscribe to my menus below. Each month you will receive 4 weeks of menus so you can cook 5 dinners in ONE hour too!
It's only $15.00 for a 3 month subscription. That is only $1.25 per menu!

I think this sounds like a fun, smart idea.  The menus tell you everything you need, making the grocery run quick and painless.  I know there are times when I stand in the middle of the grocery store and ask myself, "What should I buy?  What do people eat?"  That sounds ridiculous, but I think you know what I mean.  You just get in a rut sometimes.

So, for more ideas, information, or to sign up you can head over to her blog HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

February 18, 2011

Feature Friday - My CWTS Partner and Little Man Pants

We have a double feature today.  First of all, my brilliant Crafting With the Stars partner WON!!!  I wanted to show you what Mandi made during the course of the competition.  Be prepared to drool.

You saw her Pottery Barn Knock Off Mirror here a few weeks ago.

Then she whipped up this....

...which she built using this.

She made this Birth Announcement Memory Box for the baby round.

Then she finished up by turning her plain pantry door into this.

Now raise your hands....who wants to be Mandi when they grow up?  I do.  You can get more of her anytime at Tidbits from the Tremaynes.  Thanks for letting me by your partner Mandi!  You rock.

Okay, let's move on to today's featured tutorial.  As I mentioned, Celebrate the Boy has begun and Dana from Made posted a little boy pants pattern and tutorial on the first day.  I was nerdy excited to try it out.  Her fabulous tutorial can be found right HERE.

You see, the wonderful thing about Dana and her tutorials is that she makes things very simple for those of us who didn't start sewing shortly after leaving the womb.  She is extremely thorough as well.  Her tutorial made things really easy and I whipped up these comfy pants for my chunky little guy, using some of my hubby's old pants.  I gave him a little room to grow with the length.

They give him plenty of room in the tushy for his diaper bum.

And, I think he likes his new comfy pants.

So, you know that part in What About Bob? where he keeps yelling, "I'm sailing!  I'm sailing!"?  Well, that's kind of how I feel today.  "I made pants!  I made pants people!"  It was easy and I want to lock myself in the basement and sew ten more now.

You can find Dana's fantastic tutorial HERE.  Thank you Dana!


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