Friday, July 31, 2009

A little apron skirt

So, I've been sewing. A lot. I'm totally neglecting all of my stamps. Yikes! (Come over this Saturday for a Stamp n' Scrap Night, though, and I'll bust out the ink!)

Sewing is NOT my favorite craft, but I really enjoy making these cute outfits for Chloe! She is going to be so darn cute for school in just a few weeks. (Yes, it's scary that school starts in just 24 days.)

Here is the latest skirt I made her. I got the pattern from You Can Make This, which has some outrageously precious patterns available. You could make this skirt without the apron and you'd probably have it done in less than 2 hours. Since I'm really still learning it takes me a while. And then I do things like hand-stitch the hems and decide to hand stitch little buttons on some of the flowers. (SU! buttons in Apricot Appeal - cute, huh?) I just have a regular sewing machine and not a serger, so I also have to go back and zigzag stitch all the inside seams to keep them neat and tidy, which takes up a lot of time.

But, I think the results are worth it! I'm pretty sure Chloe agrees...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Conversations with Chloe

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Chloe: (decidedly) A princess!

Me: A princess? Why?

Chloe: Because a princess is beautiful.

Me: YOU are beautiful, and you aren't a princess. You are smart and talented - you don't have to be a princess to be those things.

Chloe: A princess gets to have a beautiful wedding and get married.

Me: *I* had a beautiful wedding and I married Daddy.

Chloe: Yes, but a princess gets to marry a prince. I want to marry a prince.

Me: Ah! Well, that makes sense.

Chloe: I will be a princess, marry a prince, and get a baby in my tummy.

Me: ...

Chloe: I also want to doctor animals. I'm going to be a Vet Princess.

Me: That's a great idea! (and a great distraction!) You can go to school to be a vet - you love animals.

Chloe: And I can meet my prince at school and we can be vets together!

Well, at least she has a good handle on the order of said events!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Everyone loves SU! Punches!

I know *I* do, but did you know that they are great for exercising the fine motor skills of your 4-6 year-olds? :)

All you need is some SU! punches, scrap paper, a glue stick, and a piece of 12 x 12 card stock.

Chloe likes to punch out the pieces and then sort them by color into different bowls.

Then just have your kiddo use a glue stick (we use the kind that starts purple and then disappears) to draw on the 12 x 12 piece of card stock. Chloe wanted to do a frame on this one - but you could have your child practice writing numbers, letters, or simple shapes. Then, have him/her add the punches pieces to the glue outline.

Chloe wanted to add some pictures of her baby gerbils, so I printed them out on plain white card stock and she glued them to her picture.

Cute, huh? AND it took her over an hour! You can have some YOU time to stamp, sew, cook dinner, use the restroom ALONE. The possibilities are limitless! Whatever punched pieces are left over we put into a cute tin (you can use a plain ol' plastic bag) and save for the next project. And, I'll admit, I've raided her stash before when I needed a quick embellishment! Shh!

Bradley, by the way, wants nothing to do with punches but he did use several sheets of retired SU! card stock to make a race track for Lightning McQueen.

Whatever keeps 'em busy!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Join my SU! Team and Join the FUN!!

While anytime is a great time to join the Stampin' Up! family as a demonstrator, joining during July and August is especially sweet!

Starting your own Stampin' Up! business means free and discounted products, plus a little extra cash--and who couldn't use that? Plus, from July 15 - August 31, you can become a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for only $85!

The special, limited-time Mini Starter Kit contains many of the items you need to get started in your new business, including:

  • For All You Do stamp set
  • In Color Classic Stampin' Pads (6)
  • Whisper White card stock (8-1/2" x 11")
  • In Color assorted card stock (8-1/2" x 11")
  • Business forms and tools

Or if you want to buy the standard $199 Starter Kit, in addition to the supplies listed below, you'll get all six of the new In Color Classic Stampin' Pads and one pack of In Color assorted card stock (8-1/2" x 11")--a $43 value! The standard Starter Kit includes:

  • Five stamp sets
  • A Stampin' Around wheel, handle, and ink cartridge
  • Stampin' Pastels
  • Card stock
  • Eastern Blooms D├ęcor Elements and applicator tool
  • Five Classic Stampin' Pads
  • VersaMark Pad
  • Stampin' Scrub and Mist
  • Blender pens
  • Business forms and tools

These special offers--the Mini Starter Kit and the In Color add-on to the standard Starter Kit--are only available for a limited time, so you must act fast!

There are so many benefits for becoming a Demonstrator! Whether you just love to stamp, or you want to grow a successful, thriving business, the Stampin' Up! opportunity is the right fit for you. Stampin' Up! demonstrators enjoy many benefits, with just a few listed below:

  • Product discount: Demonstrators get a 20 percent discount on all Stampin' Up! products, including stamp sets, paper, and accessories. It's a great way to support your love of stamping and paper crafting.
  • Extra income: You'll earn extra income based on your sales and recruiting--how much extra income is up to you. Maybe you just want enough income to pay the electric bill every month, or maybe your goal is bigger--the monthly payment for your new car--it's your decision!
  • Flexible schedule: This is your business, so you can put in as much (or as little) time as you'd like.
  • Support from Stampin' Up! We love our demonstrators and it shows through our demonstrator support materials, including a monthly magazine, workshop ideas, and audio and video trainings on all kinds of topics available on our Demonstrator Web Site.

So what are you waiting for? Contact me TODAY to join the Stampin' Up! family! I love to have you on my team!! Not sure if you are ready? Give me a call and we can set up a short meeting and I'll personally walk you through the process, benefits, and opportunities of being a demonstrator.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Playing with fabric

I need some designer paper in these colors/patterns! :)

I've been working on some dresses for Chloe for when she starts kindergarten in the fall. These little pillowcase dresses are fun, EASY, and good for layering. She can wear them with a t-shirt under once school gets started. They also look cute for winter - imagine how cute this outfit would be with a blue long-sleeve t-shirt and some pink tights and brown leg warmers!! Adorable! Of course, my model is pretty darn cute herself.

And look - my grass looks like it will survive this drought!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Beat the Summer Blues! (part 2)

It's the middle of summer break and you are probably running out of ideas to keep your little ones busy and out of trouble, so here's another fun, inexpensive craft that everyone will enjoy!

You will need: uncooked pasta (macaroni, shells, twirls, any small pasta will work), food coloring (drops, not paste), rubbing alcohol, coffee filters, zip-type bags, mixing bowl, waxed paper, newspaper, and a covered work surface.

Step 1: Measure your pasta and put into zip-type bag. I had the kids scoop the pasta from an open bowl so that it was easier for them to manage.

Step 2: Add 5 drops of food coloring to the dry pasta. You could do less or more - we chose 5 since it's Chloe's favorite number right now.

Step 3: Add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol to the pasta and food coloring. Seal the bag (don't forget this part!!) and then shake it to mix the contents.

Step 4: Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes (shout out to The Pampered Chef for making the most awesome kitchen timers ever. We have them all over the house. Wonderful for "time out" since they count up and down.).

Step 5: Hang out for a while. Read a book (our current selection for Bradley includes "The Potty Train" (seriously, the tag line is "Chugga Chugga POOOOO POOOOO!" You have to read it) and "It Hurts When I Poop." We have a theme. Chloe is into chapter books and the awful Junie B. Jones. I'm trying to get her into Frog and Toad, though.

Step 6: Once the pasta has set for 15 minutes, drain the bags into a coffee filter in a bowl. You could use more than one bowl, but we just washed this one out in between colors.

Step 7: Drain the alcohol out of the filter (you will get your fingers dirty, but you can rinse them when you rinse the bowl).

Step 7: Place filter full of wet, colored pasta on the prepared surface - newspaper covered with a sheet of waxed paper. Try to smooth the pasta out so that the individual pasta pieces aren't touching too much as they dry.

Let the pasta dry over night. Then you can use it in any number of projects. If you use larger pasta you can string it onto yarn to make necklaces, but we used ours to make pictures.

Draw a line image with plain ol' white glue and then put the pasta on top. This is great fine motor work!

Bradley LOVED doing it. He could do the pasta all by himself, though I helped with the glue part.

Chloe could do everything all by herself.

A masterpiece! (She made it for her Uncle Matt.)

Monthly Recipe Card Swap - July 2009

***This is a sticky! It will be up until the Swapper spots are full or until it closes on July 10th Scroll down for other content!***

Howdy, Swappers! Here are the rules:

These cards should be your best work - they will be part of treasured albums and I expect to see high quality. If you send poorly made cards I will return them - we have high standards! :) Look at my other samples (click the Recipe Cards link in my sidebar) to see what I mean. They don't have to be full of embellishments or overly complicated, but they have to look good and be made with quality materials.

Recipe Card base needs to be GOOD, thick card stock (Stampin' Up!, Paper Trey Ink, etc) - we don't want flimsy cards! The cards are 6"x6".

Each card needs to have at LEAST 2 layers - use Nesties, patterned paper, card stock layers.

Each card needs to have at LEAST 1 embellishment (brads, ribbon, bling...etc).

And, of course, you need to include a recipe according the theme of the month!

Please only use one side of the card - most people put them back-to-back in the album sleeves. You can, though, put your contact info (name, blog, etc) on the back. Please, also, give credit on the back if the recipe is not your own (or your family's).

Sign-ups close on July 10th and the swaps are due to me by August 10th. Email me to sign up - the first 12 people to email will be allowed in the swap. Once everyone is signed up I'll email you the final count. I'll also email you my address so you know where to send the swaps. Each month the swap will re-open, so if you don't get in on the first one you can get in on the next one!

You need to put them in a protected mailer and you might consider putting them in a large plastic baggie inside the mailer so that they don't get wet (just in case!).

Everyone will make however many sign up. I'd like to have at least 10 people per month - so share with your friends!

The theme for July is Grilling. It's still too hot to get the oven going, so share your great BBQ recipes - fish, chicken, veggies, whatever you love to toss on the grill.

I can't wait to get started!


1. Me
2. Kristine Breach
3. Peggy Paszkiewicz
4. Debbie Pamment
5. Erin Nicholas
6. Katherine Winter

Monday, July 6, 2009

6 x 6 Recipe Card

I LOVE making these recipe cards. My sister entered the swap so that she could get in on the fun, but she was insanely busy - so I made her entries for her. :) If we have enough spaces open for the next Swap and you want to do two entries, that's fine - you just have to make two different recipe cards. You can keep one and give the other as a gift!

This one is all SU!, again. I used retired Designer Paper and card stock - both in the lovely Baja Blue. The little felt flowers are Old Olive and Baja Blue with Apricot Appeal brads. I did the frame with two Top Note die cuts placed perpendicular to each other - I like the way it looks.

I should be receiving all the June swaps over the next week or so (they are due on the 10th) and then I'll have them out asap - I'll probably mail them on the 13th. I have a little surprise for all my June swappers, too. Just a little treat for being the first group! :)

Be sure to email me soon if you want to be in the July swap - open entry closes on the 10th!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Fun on the Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

We had the family over and it was a blast, as always! We didn't want to deal with the crowds at the water park and amphitheater, so we settled in at the house and I think we made the right choice!

The kids played in the pool and slip n' slide - and no one got hurt! Here's Chloe - she just learned how to pinch her nose to hold her breath underwater.

Poor Bradley and Chloe don't really know how to manage the sliding part of the slip n' slide - but Bradley will run down the length of the slide, drop to his knees, and put his face in the water. It's awesome, of course.

Alec, on the other hand knows exactly how to work it!

Alyssa likes to crawl down the slide and then drink the water at the end. Ah, refreshing!

Here's Alexis looking less like a little girl every dang day. I can't believe she'll be 11 in November. She has red and blue bands on her new braces.

I'm so glad the cousins get along so well (usually!).

Watching fireworks. There was a ban on most fireworks this year because of the drought, but the kids still had fun with some little sparklers (did you know they sell them year around at most cake shops?).

The food was amazing, and the leftovers will last for days. We always cook way too much! My brother-in-law grilled and my sister and I cooked desserts galore and other yummies like dips and salads. Everyone went to bed late, full, and happy.

What more could you ask for? I hope you and your family had a wonderful 4th, too!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

6x6 Recipe Card

We've got our monthly Recipe Card Swap going and I'm so excited! This is my first entry - our theme for June was Summer Appetizers. The theme for July is Grilling, and I can hardly wait to try them out!

Everything is by SU!, except for that little button which I got from my stash and I probably got it at JoAnn's.

I used my Big Shot and an SU! Texturz plate to do the dots. I'm sure most of you know this tip, but I thought I'd share it just in case you don't. If you spray your card stock with alcohol (the rubbin', not the drinkin' kind!) before you run it through your Big Shot you will get a deeper, more defined impression. Just a fun way to add some different texture and depth to your creations.

I can't wait to see what everyone else made for the swap!
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