Category Archives: Fabric {My “Crafty” Side}

Let’s Stick Together ~ Teacher Valentine Goodies

Hi friends and Happy Friday!

This morning I jumped on Pinterest for V-day teacher ideas and immediately got overwhelmed. I set out on a few errands and figured I’d get inspired somewhere along the way. I had seen some cute mustache mugs at 99cents Only and thought I could fill those with some hot chocolate or Starbucks VIA packets or something so I popped in there and all of a sudden that idea didn’t sound good anymore. I spotted some little single tulips that hadn’t bloomed yet and thought I could doctor them up for Thursday. But then I thought they may bloom before then and look bad by the time we deliver them {I worry about stuff like this!} so I put them back and came across these super cute post-it notes….what teacher doesn’t need post-its?

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Aren’t they so cute?

Of course I had to come up with a cheesy tag line to go on the card…

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{I will, of course, add an apostrophe in “let’s” to be grammatically correct}

The kids will write their Valentine greeting on the back of the little tag.

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Easy peasy, right?

The kids will sign and address some 60+ valentines this weekend which I coincidentally also picked up at 99cents Only a couple weeks ago. They have cute ones and you can’t go wrong for a buck ~ Elliott will pass out sweets & cupcake ones and Holden will hand out pirate cards.

How can cupid be visiting again? Coming up on mid-February already….

Wow.

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Have a blessed weekend!

XOXO

Creatively Cheap

Hi friends and Happy Friday!

Well, we’re already over half way into January and Twenty 13 has been great so far! I usually have a little bit of a hard time after the holidays and January, February and March are not my most favorite months. No offense if your birthday falls in these months…Holden’s birthday happens to be late February and I wouldn’t have it any other way, of course.

But if you really think about it, February has the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day and my little guys birthday, so there is lots to look forward to and we most certainly need January to prepare!

I always LOVE hitting the after Christmas sales at Target and everywhere for that matter. In the past I have overbought stuff just because it’s cheap and this year I really tried to reign in and be really particular with the goodies that I picked up. I am cheap and waited until the 90% off sign went up at Target ~ yes, things are picked over, but that makes it easier because it’s already been narrowed down for me! I picked up some sparkly pink and aqua tissue paper that I can certainly use for birthdays throughout the year for cents and found some adorable stuffed ornaments that aren’t Christmas-y at all that I can tie on packages year round ~ my new addiction!

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{little Matryoshka from World Market ~ 50 cents}

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{scooter from Target ~ 39 cents}

I am obsessed with cheap brown shipping/packaging paper & grosgrain ribbon {both from Dollar Tree} wrapping with a little attachment and the receiver’s name using my new alphabet stamps, a gift from my mama for Christmas.

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I popped into World Market on Wednesday and all their holiday stuff was 90% off. Yes, there wasn’t much of it, but that was good because there wasn’t much for me to buy! Ha!

I could NOT pass up these little felt hedge hog baskets for Holden’s animal/safari party…

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{World Market ~ 80 cents}

I also spotted this woodland creature paper that I plan on using as a backdrop for a little photo booth at Elliott’s “Glamping Sleepover” for her 8th birthday in May…

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{World Market ~ 50 cents}

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Then, on Wednesday afternoon while Elliott was at Religious Ed class, Holden and I went to Rite Aid for some dish soap. Of course, I had to survey the after Christmas pile and found some cute shoelaces with the stocking stuffers marked down 75%…

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{Rite Aid ~ 25 cents a pair}

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They had 5 pairs that were non-Christmas ~ hearts, stars and rainbow zebra print. Initially I grabbed those for a few of her friends as Valentine’s Day treats. They had several Christmas pairs, too, that I ended up going back for and will use later this year for their friends {the Christmas ones had more options for boys, too}. Sure I’ve seen these fun shoelaces at the dollar stores, but if I can get 4 times the amount for the same price, I’m on it!

I was on Pinterest scoping out non-candy Valentine’s treats and there are TONS of cute ones so I will have to come up with something for the whole class, but I thought the laces were too cute for her to hand out to a few of her “besties”.

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So, with that, I will say that the year has started out well and I am not wallowing in the sadness of the post-Christmas crash as I usually do.

But all this creativity has certainly gotten in the way of me being more active and that’s not OK. I got in about 3 miles yesterday and plan to get out this weekend and log some more miles before the month is over.

Have a beautiful weekend, all!

We must use time creatively in the knowledge that the time is always right to do right. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Well, this morning I got up and packed 2 little lunch boxes after having 3 and a half weeks off! Again, I found myself feverishly roaming the aisles of Vons and Ralphs over the weekend searching for lunch box worthy items that my kids will eat and that are not complete junk.

We made it up and to school on time in the freeezing So Cal temps and it feels good to start back into our weekly school routine. No more late to bed and late to rise. No more jammies ’til noon.

Our Winter Break was wonderful and even though it was almost a month long, it flew by. I was thumbing through my camera roll this morning while sipping my coffee and couldn’t help but smile.

Our break was full of…

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{package shipping}

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{advent candle lighting}

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{cookie baking}

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{manger viewing}

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{blessing bag delivering}

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{sno-cone slurping}

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{gallery wall hanging}

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{In-N-Out lunching}

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{fro-yo play dating}

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{Vegas date night laughing}

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{Lolo & Lola enjoying}

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{pearly white polishing}

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{prayer bead making and reconciliation preparing}

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Twenty-Thirteen is already proving to be a busy one…the pages on my new Much Ado About You planner¬†already have glitter gel penned commitments into the month of May! I love having big things on the calendar to look forward to, but at the same time I like quiet, family weekends where we work around the house and go on outings to Hollywood, LA or Santa Monica.

Right now I’m enjoying preparing for Holden’s 6th birthday party. How can it be? I recall printing the invites and gathering goodies for his 1st birthday celebration like it was yesterday……

Here is a hint to this year’s theme {because you KNOW there is a theme, right?}…

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I’m so excited. Elliott’s 1st birthday was jungle/safari themed so I am loving coming up with similar {wild} ideas, but for an older crowd this time ~ kind of bittersweet because this is the last big party for Holden. From here on out, the birthday festivities will be much lower key and include just a few friends.

Still with a theme, of course.

Happy Monday, all!

XO

Torture

I am writing this post merely to help pass the time until I can put the second coat of chalkboard paint on my soon-to-be MENU.

{after first coat}

I’m tryyyying to be a patient crafter and wait the recommended 4 hours between coats, but the reality of the situation is that I want the last coat to be dry, the tape off, the chalkboard conditioned, a sweet sentiment sprawled across it and hung on the wall.

Torture, I tell you.

This is the look that I am trying to achieve….

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I am loving the gold, ornate frame around a black chalkboard these days…

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Once this baby is all complete, I will let you know all the steps needed to whip up one of these beauties at home.

So far, so good. Pretty easy.

It’s the waiting that’s KILLING me.

The Goal

Well, this weekend we finished off our first AYSO season….

It was bittersweet, of course.

I will not miss coaching, although it was not terrible at all. But I did my duty and stepped in so that 5 sweet little boys had a team to be on. A HUGE thank you to Coach Tim, who fortunately knows the game, for assisting me. And to Jay for filling in as the ref from time to time!

Elliott absolutely loved her team ~ again, the nicest group of girls….it absolutely broke my heart that she burst into tears and was SOBBING as she watched the little video she received from her coach at last night’s party. “I just want us all to be on the same team again”, she said through tears and catching her breath. I love that she is sentimental like her mama. I love that she enjoyed it so much that the thought of not having the same team again is heart-breaking to her. That means that she loved this season and that she has special memories attached to her first soccer experience. And that was the goal….to learn, to play your best and to have FUN.

The season seems like it started long ago in some aspects and in others it seems to have gone by in a flash. Just a mere 4 months ago we didn’t know we were going to be The Cotton Candy Girls or The Sharks. We didn’t know who would be on our teams. And we certainly didn’t know that we would enjoy it and be signing up again for Spring ’13. When Elliott and Holden both expressed a joyful “Yes!” when I asked them if they wanted to take a little break and play again in a few months, I without hesitation went to the first registration night and signed them up. Yes, two games dominate our Saturdays, but we are laying the athletic/fitness foundation for our kids and it is most definitely worth it.

{Friday night clinic before practices even started}

{Her first practice}

{His first practice}

{Picture Day}

{Oodles of snacks}

{Getting instructions from Coach}

{A muddy end to the season}

{Easiest most stress-free party ever}

{Receiving her trophy after pizza and video games}

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I didn’t want to have a banner sitting around in my garage so I cut out the boys’ names and made little plaques for them.

I used some 8X10 artist canvas panels that I found at Ross. I taped them off with 2″ painter’s tape and brushed on some acrylic paint in the team color and removed the tape to reveal almost perfect stripes. I just hot glued the soccer ball on and picked up some ABC’s & 123’s stencils, traced their numbers onto the canvas and colored them in with a thick black Sharpie. I found some little shark stickers, added those and then covered with a light coat of Mod Podge to help keep in place. Then I just got a thin Sharpie and added our team name and the year.

{Tape off and paint your canvases}

{Add the finishing touches}

{Shark bite gift tags}

{Wrap some twine and add a blue candy cane and you’re done}

And the Cotton Candy Girls certainly couldn’t go away empty handed. Found some Bonne Bell cotton candy lip smackers at Target and added some sweet treats to a little cello bag and voila!

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Yes, I’m glad the the season is over just in time to enjoy the holidays, but I will miss the friends we made and cheering {loudly} at the games.

Again, THE GOAL was to have fun and I can certainly say we achieved that.

Until the spring……

Hole{s} In The Wall

Lately I am obsessed with gallery walls.

I’ve mentioned our WHITE walls here a million times, but I’m actually not minding them as much when I hang clusters of pictures, artwork and whatnot on them and create a little gallery.

I’m in the process of doing one in Elliott’s room with some vintage plates, a mirror, a frame and whatever else comes to mind.

Here are a few that jumped out at me on Pinterest.

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I hesitate putting so many holes in the walls since I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be living here, but while we ARE here, I want the kids to feel that their rooms are {finished} and that we’re not in some sort of temporary holding tank…which is how I’ve felt for the past 3 and a half years.

And here are a few recent groupings that I’ve hung making the white more bright and tolerable…

{going up the stairs}

{landing at the top of the stairs where the kids’ reading nook is}

{downstairs in our great room}

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I have enjoyed scouring stores, thrift shops and garage sales for old frames, making a few crafts here and there and employing a can or two of spray paint to create these little spaces. It’s amazing too what things you can find around the house to add to these galleries. Again, the most boring, Goodwill bound item can be transformed quickly and easily with a can of Rustoleum and hung with a hammer and a nail.

And {another} hole in the wall.

Spray Paint & Succulents

I mentioned here what I had in mind for our end-of-the-year teacher goodies and I wanted to share how they turned out because I think this is my new favorite gifty gift. They come together so quickly and are very inexpensive, yet have that personal touch.

First, pick up some terra-cotta pots {I used 6″}, a can of spray primer and a can of spray paint in a color of your choice. Spray on a coat of primer, let dry and then a coat or two with your color…

I didn’t really paint the inside of the pot, but you will need to flip it over to get the top edge painted and both top and bottom of the little saucer that goes underneath. Fortunately it was a warm day when I painted and they dried completely within a couple hours…this is probably something that you cannot do the night before you plan on giving it to someone, though.

Next I filled the pot with potting soil and patted it down. I then took a shoot of our large succulent that I had cut off and placed in water for a week or so, stuck it down into the soil and gave it a nice drink of water.

To make delivery easier, I tied some jute twine around the pot and saucer and added a little note.

I think they turned out adorable ~ so simple and chic!

Again, this project was inspired from this post by Mel over at The Larson Lingo.

You could certainly use already painted or decorated pots and add any type of plant or flower, even herbs. These make such a nice, personalized and thoughtful gift or little thank you for the people in your life. Can’t wait to make a few colorful pots to brighten up our backyard.

And in keeping with the yellow theme, I delivered sugar cookie bar happiness to the office staffs at both schools…

Want to brighten someone’s day? Make these!

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We now have a second grader and a kindergartner!

{first day as a first grader}

{last day}

{first day in pre-k}

{last day as a preschooler}

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A big THANK YOU to Mrs. Howard and Miss Sandi for all they did to help Elliott & Holden {bloom} this school year.

We hope you both have a fabulous and relaxing summer!

Speading Sunshine ~ Teacher Gift Ideas

I’m always looking for unique teacher gifts. Something useful or handmade is what I tend to shoot for.

I wanted to share these simple, yet thoughtful mini pots that are home to a pretty little bloom…

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Melissa has provided the cute printables on the popsicle sticks so head on over to The Larson Lingo and see how these terracotta cuties come together!

We have a large succulent that I’m going to snip a smaller shoot off of and plant it in yellow spray painted pots for Elliott & Holden’s teachers to look something like this…

Going with a yellow {you are our sunshine} theme…just pick up some fun yellow goodies, stick them in a festive gift bag or basket and spread sunshine as your favorite teachers head out to enjoy their summers.

I’ve saved a couple six pack containers and will decorate them like I did for Elliott’s dance teacher last year…

…stick everything in the openings and create a little caddy.

I love this Katie Daisy print and found the cards to round out the sunny theme…

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I’m also making the office staffs my favorite sugar cookie bars, sprinkling with yellow sanding sugar, tucking them in cellophane bags and tying with ribbon.

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Just 7 more days left…

How about you, is school out for you or are you not quite in full blown summer mode yet?

Splash ~ A Mermaid Party

Phew.

Another birthday party down in the books…this makes party number twelve between the two kiddos. I LOVE planning their little parties ~ this year for Elliott we decided to do a small sleepover to celebrate turning SEVEN.

She decided on a mermaid theme and I was immediately on board! Give this mama a theme and she’s immediately in action…scouting out little goodies, trinkets and treasures.

I found the invites at Marshall’s for $3.99! They came with 8 invites and 8 thank you notes…since we were keeping party small this year, these totally worked.

Elliott wanted to go to the pool with her friends which totally made sense. The weather here had been HOT for weeks, but the day of her party was supposed to be in the high 60s/low 70s! I thought about canceling the pool, but the mermaids suited up and spent about 2 hours swimming, jumping, splashing and diving.

{Matching nightgowns from Target for 50% off were part of their goody bag…they showered, shampooed and got in their jammies before we headed home}

{I also found some cute shell bracelets at our local drug store for 75% off months ago}

{The seahorse bowls and plates were from a random Kmart visit ~ 75% off before Christmas. These also went home with each guest}

{Above the table, on a big branch, I hung some Dollar Tree paper lanterns and a few jellyfish made and handed down from my friend, Mia}

{my mom made these seashell jars last summer and I filled them with Dum Dums}

The food was fun and easy…

{eating sushi after the pool}

{my four-legged [octodogs] didn’t quite look like the ones on Pinterest}

I invited the mamas over for drinks and appetizers, too. I threw together a quick 7-layer dip and picked up a sushi platter at Trader Joe’s. My neighbor, Sun, brought some Korean BBQ on a skewer ~ yum!

The mama mermaids sipped what I called Mermaid Tail Martinis ~ Vodka, Malibu, pineapple juice, blue curacao {shake that in a cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass} add a splash of Sprite and float a mango mochi on top. I premixed a pitcher of the drink and then shook it with ice as needed. Do not add the Sprite before shaking because of the carbonation. Ratio: 2 cups vodka, 2 cups Malibu, 2 8.45 ounce cans {or the equivalent} pineapple juice, 1 ounce blue curacao. Makes 8-10 servings. The mochi can be found at Trader Joe’s and is like a little ball of ice cream.

The mochi sort of melts into the drink and makes it creamy. One mochi lasts for about two drinks…there are only six mochi to a pack so I needed to stretch them out and it worked perfectly for each guest to have one.

The cake was just a four layer cake with vanilla cream cheese buttercream. The girls also had Elliott’s favorite cotton candy push pops.

{candy sushi made with halved powdered donuts and rice krispie treats topped with a Swedish fish and then wrapped with a strip of fruit by the foot [I used Market Pantry brand from Target]}

{they drank blue lemonade out of little plastic coconuts from Dollar Tree}

The mamas left around 9:00 or so and then we were on our own to get the girls to bed! I cleaned up the kitchen while they watched their favorite Disney Channel shows and all four were asleep by 11:00pm ~ I was shocked.

7:00am wake up call courtesy of Holden!

I told Elliott she could choose any cereal she wanted and she decided on Fruit Loops…a special birthday treat. She also wanted monkey bread, but wanted to call it {mermaid bread}.

After breakfast, they lined up and I did glitter nails with polish from her friend, Emilie…

I also borrowed a mermaid cardboard cutout that my friend Mia also did for her twins’ recent mermaid luau party and we took some fun pics before the girls headed home…

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Not gonna lie…I was exhausted at 11:00am Sunday morning when the little mermaids swam back to their mamas!

But it was the perfect little homespun birthday celebration and I loved every minute of the planning.

Screaming/giggling/singing/dancing first graders are lots of fun.

Jay & I survived our first sleepover!

Tomorrow is the REAL birthday for my {almost} Memorial Day baby.

Where do the years go?

I’m Not Afraid Of Yarn Anymore

I’m always a little behind when it comes to {trendy crafts}. I love looking at what everyone’s doing and learning what craftiness is all the rage, but I immediately think that it’s too hard and will take too much time, blah, blah, blah.

Yarn wrapped frames, letters, bottles, wreaths, you name it are all over the blogosphere. I used to think yarn had no place in my life since I have ZERO interest in knitting ~ just not my thing.

This past weekend I learned from my craftabulous friend, Richelle, just how EASY it is to wrap a cheap, ugly oak frame from a garage sale and transform it in about an hour to this…

…how cute is that?

Just hot glue the end of your yarn to the back of the frame and wrap, push together and tighten the yarn around the frame. The corners are a bit tricky…I went all they way around the frame, skipping the corners, and then came back to tackle them separately. Once you have covered the whole frame {like I said, takes 30-40 minutes ~ but I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to things like this}, cut and glue the end of the yarn to the back of the frame. Then, put a dab of yarn next to the corners and wrap away. You need to put glue along the edges of the corners to get the yarn to stick, but there is no rhyme or reason to this…just wrap away until the frame is covered, cut and glue down on the back of the frame. Do this process on all four corners and you’ll be all done and ready to find a spot on your wall or a home on your mantel!

I just framed the kids’ initials outside their bedroom doors and I love the way they turned out!

Definitely adds some pizazz to our whiter than white walls, wouldn’t you say?

You can also take fabric and cut or rip into strips and use that to cover your frames. This technique would be muuuuuch quicker depending on the width of your strips! I plan to cover a few with some fun fabric and will let you know how those turn out, too! Can’t wait….