March 31, 2011

A Spring Scavenger Hunt

I've been wanting to plan more activities for my kids recently.  The weather isn't great here yet, but I still like to get them outside when I can.  So, I planned a spring scavenger hunt for Rex.

I gathered 12 random things from our yard and took pictures of them on white posterboard.  Then I put them into a collage on picnik.  This is what it looked like.  (You are welcome to use it, but depending on where you live, you might not have all the same things in your yard.)


I printed it off and taped it to the top of an empty egg carton.  That way he had a way and place to store each item as he collected them. 


We headed out into the yard to start hunting.


He was pretty into it.  I had to help with a couple of things, but he found most of it.  He was pretty proud of his new found treasures.



Have you done any fun scavenger hunts with your kids?

Thanks for dropping in!
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March 30, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Last week's challenge was to apologize quickly.  I was hoping to have a good experience when in public.  When I picked this challenge it was because it bothers me that there seems to be a lack of courtesy in the world at times.  I once overheard a guy complaining that I was blocking the aisle with my cart.  He went on and on until I finally made eye contact with him, letting him know I could hear him.  I hadn't even been blocking the area.  I was kind of shocked at his rudeness.  Anyhow, the point is I've decided to be quick to apologize to strangers even if I don't think it's my fault because I would rather over-apologize than promote blatant rudeness.  I didn't have a life-altering experience this week, but I did think about it a lot.

This week's challenge is to give someone some flowers to plant.  Yes, we're getting pretty specific here.  I don't think it would be too hard to do.  You see flowers in the plastic containers ready to be planted all over right now.  They're usually $1-2.  Wouldn't it be fun if someone dropped some off for you?  Let's spread some spring love.  You could even go the extra mile and plant some for someone.


Alright now.  Did anyone have a good experience with apologizing last week?  We'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading.

March 29, 2011

Once Upon a Thread

Hey everyone.  We're going on a little trip today over to Katy's blog, No Big Dill where she has been doing a month long sewing series based on children's books.  It's called Once Upon a Thread.



Here's the book I chose.


Here's a sneak preview.  Come check it out HERE.


Thanks for stopping by.  Tomorrow is Wake Up Wednesday.  (Have you remembered to say sorry this week?)  See you then!

March 28, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys Winners!

Before announcing the winners, I must say I was extremely happy that I didn't have to judge the contest myself.  There were a ton of incredible entries and I had so much fun browsing all of them.  Wow!  You guys rock.  So let's get to it.

Our first place winner is Sabra from Sewing a Straight Line with her Scrappy Polos.  She made these babies from scratch.  I loved the mix of fabrics and all the embroidery.  Wow. 


Second place goes to Dragonfly Designs for her Rocker Tees with a Twin Twist.  Very clever.  Did you see how she used snaps to look like the knobs on the guitars?  Great embellishing. 


And third place goes to Sharon at Life is Good for her Ketchup Top.  I love it when people make something that is super personalized and original.  Apparently Sharon loves ketchup.  Why not shout it out to the world by suiting up her little guy in a ketchup top?  She also upcycled it from clothing headed to the thrift store.


Thank you all of you who entered.  Your entries were so great and I really wish we could have 20 winners. 

Here's a big thank you to our judges!
U Create





And a HUGE thank you to our sponsors!  Click HERE to see the prizes.






And if you didn't get to check out all the contest entries you can revisit them HERE.

Thank you for stopping by! 

March 27, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - catching up and health

Last week was a little overwhelming for me.  I felt pretty swamped.  However, I love the feeling you get when things finally start to slow down a little more and you get to catch up.  I'm still working on the catch up part, but I love getting my house back in order and starting to check things off my list that have been waiting a while.

One of those things was giving my boys haircuts.  Even Superman gets haircuts, you know.


As much as I was loving Baden's hair long it was starting to bug him.  It was getting in his eyes.  So, I took off like two and a half inches.  Now he matches his brother.  He may have even lost a few pounds.  This kid has a ton of hair.


There's nothing that makes me more thankful for my health than getting sick.  I've been so lucky this winter, but something finally hit me yesterday. 

A whole different thing hit Rex as well.  This is going to be too much information, but I'm going to share it anyhow.  We went to the grocery store as a family yesterday.  Rex was whining about not feeling good, but we kind of thought he was being dramtic.  In the produce area my husband had pulled out a bag to put some veggies in and Rex said he had to throw up.  The timing couldn't have been better.  My husband held out the bag and Rex tossed his cookies right into it.  Is that great teamwork or what?  I know.  Gross, but good teamwork :)  We didn't even have to hear, "Clean up on aisle 12." 

What were you thankful for this week?

March 26, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - whoopdwhoop

Today I'm going to tell you about a cool new site based on an awesome idea.  It's called whoopdwhoop.  It's a place to exchange creative goods.  Imagine...being able to trade someone for what you want rather than having to spend money!  (I know my husband would prefer that :)


Now you're probably wondering how this works.  Let me explain.  A "whoop" is like a monetary rating.  You list your product as being 1-5 whoops based on how much work it took to make, the expense of the supplies, the expense of mailing it.  You earn "whoops" be swapping your items.

Here are a few cool things I found while browsing there.

Leg warmers


Beautiful earrings


Vinyl labels


Neckwarmer


One of the best things about this site to me is the ability to exchange strengths.  Let me explain.  I can sew, but I can't knit or crochet.  So, I exchange my strength for someone else's.  Fun, huh?

So, go ahead and browse over at whoopdwhoop.  I'm sure you'll find something worth whooping :)

March 25, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys!

Alright!  Today's the day.  It's time to link up your contest entries for the "Let's Hear It for the Boy's Contest."  I can't wait to see them all.


If you don't know how to link up, I showed you how HERE.  Good luck!





March 24, 2011

Vinyl Frame, an offer, and last minute contest questions

Okay, we have a few things to talk about today.  First let's get to the tutorial and then we'll hit on some business items. 

I saw THIS frame from Less Cake More Frosting a while back.  Naturally, I loved the houndstooth, but I also loved the idea.  I hadn't really thought to put vinyl on a frame.  (While she used the vinyl as a stencil, I will be using it straight up and leaving it on the frame.)  On the other hand, I feel bad posting a lot of things that require a Silhouette, so I thought I'd show you a way to get the same feel without a cutting machine.


I used a paper punch instead.  It was a large scalloped circle.


I aligned the scalloped circles as best as possible.  (They aren't perfect, but I'm pretty sure no one is going to stand in my mud room long enough to analyze them.) 


When there was a circle that would run off the edges, I placed it where I wanted it (with the backing still on it) and made a crease using the edge of the frame so I would know where to cut it.  You can kind of see the crease here.


That's it.  It helps bring more red into the pale turquiose and red laundry/mud room.


Okay.  Now I'm going to answer a few questions I've received about the contest tomorrow.

Q: Do I have to have a blog to enter? 

A: No, but I'm hoping you can find a way to link up.  For example, you can try linking it from your flickr or photobucket account.  I haven't tried this, but I think it would work.  If it doesn't work just e-mail me your photo and I'll make sure it gets included in the judging.  We're definitely not disqualifying you because you don't have a blog.  (You could actually even set one up in minutes if you wanted though.  No pressure :) 

Q: Can I enter a jacket? 

A: Yes.  The criteria was that it was a wearable top for a boy.  To me, a jacket is okay.

Q: Do I have to have a tutorial for it?

A: No.  If you want to publish the tutorial on my blog after your big win you can, but it's not obligatory.

Q: How do I link up?

A: I answered that HERE in Tuesday's post. 

Alright.  That should cover everything.  Now I have one last thing.  I was contacted by Paper Coterie.  They are a new company about to launch their web site.  They have the most gorgeous books, calendars, and cards that can be personalized with photos.  (It's a bit like snapfish or any company that does photo books, but in my opinion their designs are a billion times better AND they have some really cool inspirational ideas.) 

So, why am I telling you this?  They need help getting feedback before the big launch.  That means the first 25 people to leave a comment on this post, including your e-mail so I can contact you, get any one FREE product from their site with free shipping.  You need to be willing to give them a little feedback on what you think of the site.  If you're not in the first 25 group you can still head over because until the final launch everything is 50% off (price is marked already) and there's free shipping.  (US only.)

I am telling you this because I really love what I see there and I am really excited to participate myself too. 

FEEDBACK POSITIONS ARE NOW FULL.
That's all for today.  Bet you're glad you read to the end of the post :)  Thanks.  See you tomorrow for the link party!

March 23, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

As I mentioned Sunday, the response to the Tohoku Tote was amazing last week.  I'm putting the final touches on the pattern and should be e-mailing it out tonight.  There were over 300 pattern requests and most of you donated far more than the required amount.  Wow.  I was so touched by your generous spirit.  Thank you for joining in for a great cause. 

I wanted to give you a sneak preview to the second look of the Tohoku Tote.  The pattern includes instructions for both, so you can choose which version you prefer.  Here it is.


Alright.  Let's talk about this week's challenge.  This week's challenge is totally different from last week's.  The challenge is to appologize quickly.  Now, if you don't ever make mistakes then you won't have to worry about this one :)  You've got the week off.  For the rest of us there's room to improve.  Maybe there's something you wish you hadn't said.  Maybe you've harbored remorse for a while.  Maybe you can even appologize when it's something tiny.  Saying sorry is something I try to do a lot with my kids.  I want them to know that I'm not perfect and that I'm learning too.  I'm trying to think of different ways I can incorporate appologizing into this week. 

I don't think there's much to hear from you about how last week's challenge went since I already heard from you if you made a donation.  Feel free to add to the appology ideas.  I think this could be an interesting topic.

Thanks for reading.

March 22, 2011

How to Link, Share, and everything else you wondered about

I wanted to give you one last reminder that this Friday is the day to link up you boy shirts for the contest.  Don't forget!  Click on the button if you missed the details.



I Am Momma Hear Me Roar


I get a lot of e-mails about how do all sorts of things on your blog.  I thought it would be good to take a day and explain some things or share some links that tell you how to do all those things.  There is a lot you can learn by just googling the topic, but it's nice to compile all the questions in one spot.  Here we go.

How to link to a link party.  A few of asked about this because you wanted to make sure you'd be ready to link up here on Friday.  This one's easy.  First of all, you don't want to just copy your blog address.  See?  Right now you only see the blog address where I've circled it.


You want to copy the location of your specific post your linking. To do this just click on the title of your specific blog post.  (Above: I clicked on the yellow text that says "Upcycled Braided Necklace.")  You'll notice the address bar of your browser now has more text in it.  It's your blog name with a slash and then usually the post title in it.  It looks like this. 


Highlight and copy that info.  That's what you'll use to enter the link party.  The link party will have a spot at the end that says "Enter your link"  or some say "Click here to enter." Click on it. 


Where it says URL you will enter that code you copied.  The rest is pretty simple.  Enter a title for your entry.  You can enter your e-mail address or skip that.  Click that you want to upload pictures from the web.  It will pull up pictures from that post and you will select which picture you want to showcase.  That's it. 


It will take you back to the main page where you can confirm that your link has been added.  You're in!

How to Spread the Word (and gain favor with your favorite bloggers :)  Did you know how easy it is to share something you like on a blog with your friends?  At the bottom of my posts there is a spot that says "Share This."  It's right next to the comment spot.  If you put your curser over it a little box opens to give you options of how you want to share the post.....facebook, twitter, etc.  You can pick your method and share the post with everyone.  As a blogger, I LOVE it when you share something you like here because it helps to spread the word.  So next time you see a post you like you can share the love.  That'd be sweet.  (wink, wink)

How to Make Sure I Can Respond to Your Comment.  Sometimes you ask a question, but your profile isn't linked to your e-mial address and I don't have a way to respond.  I usually respond in the comments then, but I never know if you're really going to head back to check it.  So, here's a quick tutorial on how to link up your e-mail address to your profile so I can repsond to you.  Click HERE to see Kim from 733 tell you how it's done.  It's easy.
How to Create a Facebook Page and Link it to Your Blog.  Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home did a great tutorial on this one.  Click HERE to go check it out.

Beautify Your Blog.  Momma Go Round did a series a while back that was excellent.  She showed how to do lots of little things to update the look of your blog by yourself.  Click HERE to see the series.

Blogging Tips.  Laurie from Tip Junkie did a great post compiling all sorts of links and info about blogging.  Check it out HERE.

Here are a couple of sites to check out as well. 

Cutest Blog on the Block has lots of free backgrounds and they have a sections called "Secrets" that tells you how to do lots of stuff to your blog as well.

Blogger in Draft is a really cool tool that allows you to alter the look of your blog without commiting to it.  They have a lot of tools that haven't been launched on the real Blogger yet.  It's really cool.  Check it out HERE.

Any questions?  That should give you a lot of look through and play with.  Thanks for stopping by.  Tomorrow is Wake Up Wednesday and I'm hoping to start sending out the finished pattern for all of you. 

March 21, 2011

The Silhouette really cuts fabric (and an offer)

So I received a Silhouette machine a while back.  I love it and use it quite a bit.  The last few months there was this buzz that the Silhouette now cuts fabric.  Well?  I'm here to tell you it's true.  They sent me some of their fusible interfacing to try it out.  This is what I made with it.  It was actually a simple, easy project.


So, let me give you the lowdown.  They have 2 different kinds of interfacing.  One is thicker and called "clean cut."  It has a stronger adhesive for a cleaner cut and less fraying over time.  You can use clean cut interfacing for projects that don't need to be washed or that can be hand-stitched.  The other is the "sewable" interfacing.  It has a thinner adhesive allowing you to temporarily iron your cutout designs to your project while you sew or stitch them. You iron the interfacing onto your fabric, peel of the paper backing, and then cut it like you would anything else.  (There are instructions on what speed and blade cover to use.)


So, I'll be honest.  I was a bit skeptical as I fed it into the machine.  I wondered if it would really cut all the way through or if I would have fraying threads everywhere.  Well?  It worked amazingly well.  See the up close?  Not one fray.  I ironed on the design and stitched it on as well.  It made the shirt a really simple project.  I didn't have to design a pattern and trace it onto the fabric and cut it out.  I just cut it with the machine, ironed, and sewed.  Voila. 


I really like this product.  I'm brainstorming different ways to use it.  I thinking you could make some really cool pillows with it.  You could do a lot of personalizing projects.  Plus, it's easy to use the reverse of whatever you cut.  I now have a cut out letter "b" I can iron onto another shirt, too. 

Whether you're still comtemplating buying a Silhouette or if you already have one, here are 2 different offers.

OFFER #1:

a Silhouette SD
a pack of the sewable interfacing
a pack of the clean cut interfacing
a roll of the white flocked heat transfer vinyl
All for $229!

OFFER # 2:

25% off all the fabric interfacing!

Just use the code "ROAR."  The offer is good from today until March 27th.  Click HERE to visit the Silhouette store.  Click HERE to visit the Silhouette blog for more ideas.

Thanks for dropping by!

March 20, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - dinner, life with a superhero, and you

I am grateful for a lot of things this week.  On Monday my mom stopped by with this.  It was a pan of her tasty lasagna.  She made me an extra pan so I didn't have to make dinner.  I hate making dinner.  I wish I didn't hate it, but I do.  So, this little pan totally made my day.  I think my dad had something to do with the typed instructions.  (He loves his computer and he's very efficient.)  Or, maybe they just think I'm a moron.  Either way it was awesome :)


As you know, I am the mother of Super Rex.  While that comes with a lot of drama at times, it also comes with plenty of laughs.  He makes me wait to push the garage door opener until he's right by the garage.  That way it looks like he's lifting it up with his super strength.  Love that little guy.


Lastly, I am so grateful for all of you.  I would post a mirror if I could.  This week has been the most amazing week of blogging I've ever had.  I have been so touched by your stories and donations to Japan.  After posting the Tohoku Tote and offering it free to those who made a donation my mailbox got flooded.  To be honest, I got a bit emotional everytime I checked it.  I've already received about 250 pattern requests and most of you are donating far more than the requested amount.  The orders haven't stopped either.  Wow.  It feels so good to see what we can do when we pull together.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Thank you for being here, too.

March 19, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - Jo Totes

I think a lot of you probably have a similiar story to me.  You had your first child and you had a cheap little camera you toted around.  Eventually, you wanted to learn more about taking great pictures of your kids so you could capture all those precious moments and not spend hundreds on photographers.  You did some research and some saving.  Then, you made your big purchase.  You got a DSLR and you love it, although you're still learning.  Are you with me?  You love it, but it's big and you don't want to throw it in your purse.  You kind of wish you had a stylish way to bring it with you.....something that says "hip and cool" rather "than tourist coming through."

Okay, I have a company I am THRILLED to tell you about today.  Meet Jo Totes and their camera bags for ladies.  Pretty fabulous if you ask me.  These bags are a great way to protect your purchase and make sure you use your camera (since you're going to want to tote this baby around).


Let's take a look inside.  The padded interior can be custom fitted not only to protect a camera and lenses, but also to accommodate and organize items like a wallet, music, phone, keys, cosmetics and more.  Padding is sewn directly into the interior lining on all four sides and the bottom of the bags. The bottom is also equipped with four metal feet to guard your bag from rough, dirty, or damp surfaces. Inside of each Jo Tote are removable pads which are completely customizable—you can use as many or as few pads as you wish, arranged in the way that best suits your camera, lenses, and other items. Each bag also includes pockets, strong and comfortable shoulder straps, a top-zippered closure, and a removable cross-body strap.


I received one last week.  It came in this cute box.  Very true.


The bag itself was wrapped in a bag to protect it.  I love it when things are shipped nicely.


And my honest opinion?  I LOVE this bag.  I love that I can fit a lot into it and have everything sectioned off nicely....my camera, and extra lense, candy to bribe my children, etc.  It's super cute and really well made.  I would label them the best priced AND cutest camera bags I've ever seen.


Jo Totes has lots of colors to choose from and they have this new style (on the left) coming out soon.


Does it make me a nerd for picking one that matches my blog - houndstooth interior and all?


If you're looking for a great bag to protect your camera head on over to JoTotes and pick out a bag to put on your mother's day or birthday list.

Thanks for reading.

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