Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Banner {craft challenge}

Friday, September 30, 2011
Being a blogger is wonderful, being a blogger in Utah is a whole different kind of wonderful. :)  There are many opportunities that are available simply because of proximity to many craft companies (American Crafts, Making Memories, Silhouette, and Provo Craft just to name a few), fabric manufacturers (like Riley Blake- as long as we're name dropping. ;) ) and Oooodles of amazing craft and diy bloggers (I would name drop here, but there are just TOO many).
I'm not saying this to make you jealous, but if it does motivate any of you to move or even just visit out this way, I will be happy to host a creative tour of my great state. ;)
I'm actually telling you this to give you some background.  Karina posted in a Facebook group that I'm in that she was going to host a craft challenge and if we were interested, she'd send out a box of goodies and we'd need to make something from it.  Sounds fun, right?  Free goodies and the chance to cross something off the perennial 'to-do' list.
Here is my finished project.
Um, I'm kind of in love with it.  I have not been working with paper very much lately and so it was a nice change of pace to do this project.
This is the package of goodies I got.  The challenge was to use something from the pile- you could add anything to it that you wanted.  I ended up using the square chipboard pieces, some of the chipboard alphabet and the flowers from the scrapbook page kit.  Everything else in the project was stuff I already had on hand.  Sad that my stash is that big.  I had quite a few pages from Imaginice's Hallowhimsy line so I decided to go with that.  Using an entire line of papers takes some of the work out because things already coordinate.
The stamped characters were from a $1 pack of stamps I got at Joann's last year.  I have been scheming how to use them for a while, and they fit perfectly with this project.
I used poster tack to stick them on the wall.  I was originally going to string them into a banner, but I like the look of them laying straight better so this is what I went with.
Thanks, Karina, for the challenge.  It was a lot of fun.
xoxo,
Amy
p.s. don't forget to enter my Batty Pillow Giveaway- it ends Oct 1
linked up to BFF Link Party at The Answer is Chocolate
Look What I made! on Creations by Kara and to The Idea Room's Link Party

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Give Away- Batty Felt Pillow Cover and other goodies

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I have promised a giveaway for a while.  And, now, it's finally here! 
This pillow is the post heard round the world for me.  It continues to be one of my very most popular posts, and one of my favorite pillows as well.
So, to thank you for being wonderfully patient with me, my craziness, my lack of regular posting as of late and for simply being the most awesome people on the planet- I offer you YOUR VERY OWN BATTY FELT PILLOW COVER! 
I am only giving away the cover so I can cram the rest of the box with other Halloween goodies and fun- but if you would just like the pillow and nothing else, I would be happy to cram the entire pillow in the box, just for you. :)
All you have to do to win?  be a follower, and leave a comment.  Simple as that.  And you don't even have to follow through Google Friend Connect.  Just tell me how you like to get my blog- RSS, e-mail or GFC, or even Facebook and you're entered.  Just for kicks- you can say what your favorite part of Fall/ Halloween/ autumn is, but it's not required- I just like hearing what you have to say. :)
Have A Wonderful Day!
XOXO,
Amy
The giveaway will close Saturday night at 9 p.m. MST so I can shoot off an e-mail to the winner and hopefully get it shipped out Monday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

{Mom-day} An Update

Monday, September 26, 2011
What have I been up to lately?  Well lots of things.
You know about the Boutique
And this week I  found out I was accepted in the Holiday Gift Show for this boutique too, so I'm pretty excited about that, but it means 5 more weeks of crazy busy working. :) 

Then there was the triathalon, I was working hard, training- and super excited about it.  Then I found out I wouldn't be able to do it because it conflicted with a choir I had already agreed to participate in that same day.  :(  I was really sad until they agreed to let me push off my winning entry until next year- so now I have a whole year to get ready to not drown instead of six weeks.  I am pretty happy about that too!

The choir I was in was for our church's women's organization's annual worldwide broadcast.  So, if you're LDS and were watching the General Relief Society's Annual Broadcast, and had a sneaking suspicion that you saw me singing in the choir, you were right. :)  You can see one of the songs I sang in here.  You'll see me front and center at the top of the screen right about the 2 minute 15 second mark. :)  It was a wonderful experience, but a long day.  We had to be on the buses at 12 and didn't get home until 10 that night.  But it was something I will never forget, and an opportunity I was so thankful to have.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Autumn Link party for Point of View.  It was so much fun to see so many wonderful ideas.  Look for our feature posts to be up later this week.
I will have the giveaway up tomorrow- it will run through Saturday so I can get the prize in the mail next Monday and you can enjoy your Halloween goodies most of October! :)  Until tomorrow then...
XOXO,
Amy

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Point of View Reveal- Autumn!

Friday, September 23, 2011
I love autumn!  The colors, the cool crisp air, And fun crafty projects!  Man do we have a great line up for you!  I hope you'll enjoy all these wonderful Autumn projects and then head over to Gwen's blog to link up your own Autumn flavored points of view- we'd love to have you! :)
Click on the link to see each of the projects:
Stephanie- Our guest poster for the month.  Please make her feel welcome. :) (I know you will- you are all awesome)
Amy (Oh, wait, you're here. ;) )

Now on to my project:
Bead board Pumpkins
I have been meaning to finish this project for at least 2 years.  I cut out the pumpkins from molding left over from finishing a room in our basement and then they sat, and sat...until this month!  {which is one of the main reasons I LOVE Point of View- it gets me working on things that I might otherwise put off}
So, this is not a complicated tutorial and I have probably left out too many steps, but if you get stumped- just leave me a comment or an e-mail and I will get back to you with more details.
  So, like I said, I cut the pumpkins out of molding.  It is wide, plank, MDF molding.  {I think the dimensions are 6" wide by 1" thick, but don't quote me on that.}  I drew them free hand and then cut them out with a jig saw.  I am not very good with a jig saw.  :)  I tried to use the side of the molding for the bottom of the pumpkin when I could so it would stand up more easily, since I don't trust my jigsaw skills enough to ensure a straight cut on the bottom. :)  Then I traced the shape of the pumpkin on the wrong side of the bead board and drew a dip to cut off the stem.  Then I was forced once again to wield a jigsaw.  {it's not really that bad, promise}
I sanded down the rough edges and then glued the bead board onto the MDF pumpkin.  Once that had dried a bit I sanded down the edges to try to get them to match up a bit better and smooth out the curves.
Then I painted and sanded to distress the pumpkins.  I mixed up all three pumpkin colors, so I can't tell you what they are, and really, I don't know that you can even tell that there are three different colors- so that maybe wasn't the most successful aspect of the project, but I used what I had. :)
I kind of like them at this stage, but I think they needed a little more depth to them, so I busted out some walnut stain and painted it on, then wiped it off with a damp rag- making sure the grooves were still dark.  
A bit of wire wrapped around the handle of my foam paint brush to curl it, and they're done!
I'm so happy to have them, they're going to make a great backdrop for my other Autumn decorations, and I'm thrilled to finally have them crossed off my list!
Now- what are some of your favorite fall projects?  They can be new, old or in between! ;)  Come link them up and let your Point of View be heard!  And we would sure love it if you would help us spread the word.  We'd love to have our biggest link party yet! :)
Have a wonderful Autumn! {and it totally wasn't planned, just a happy coincidence that our Autumn Point of View happened to fall on the first day of Fall! :) }
XOXO,
Amy
Linked up to Whipperberry's Friday Flair,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fresh from the Farm skirt

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
 When I set out to create a skirt, or pillow, or whatever for that matter- I usually have a picture in my head of what I want it to look like, but usually no pattern or other practical experience on how to make it to pull from.  So, basically it's a crap-shoot whether or not something will turn out the way I want it to.  I know many of you find yourselves in the same boat.  So, here's my question for you sewing adventurers our there- to unpick or not to unpick?
 This is the skirt I made for my baby.  It is not what I wanted it to be.  The skirt I ended up making is growing on me, and the more she wears it, the more I like it, but- still- it's not the one in my head.  Close, but no cigar.  The fabric I used for the underskirt is a piece I got from my mother-in-law (if you're keeping track- YES she has a LOT of fabric) and it's all I have, so if I want to try making this skirt again, I'd have to unpick the entire bottom portion of the skirt to salvage it- as well as salvage the farm fresh fabric (the band across the bottom) because the colors in it are the ones I wanted for this skirt and that's all I have too.
My issues with it are the following:
1.  The top skirt is not long enough.  I thought I wanted to see 3" of the underskirt, but I was wrong.  Just a peek would suffice.
2.  Because of the length of the top skirt, and the weight of the corduroy I used- it sticks out like a bell.  My neighbor thought I wired it to stay that way.  Ummm.....no.
3.  I think the drop waist is too long.  By at least an inch.  The proportions got away from me.
So here's my question.  Do I fix it the way I thought it would be?  Or, if she's this happy in it- just let it go and try again next time?  What do you think?
And, before I let you go- just a reminder that POV is coming up this week.  I know, I can't believe it's the fourth Friday of September already either.  The theme is Autumn and I would love for the link party to break 50 points of view- so make sure you get all your projects ready and tell your friends- we're going to have some fun!!
XOXO,
Amy
p.s. I haven't forgotten about the giveaway I promised last week.  I'm still trying to gather my wits about me, but as an incentive to keep being patient with me I will tell you that it will include a bat pillow cover (among other things).  I will get it up soon since I want to be able to ship the prize to the winner before we get too far into October. :)
Linked up to Whipperberry's Friday Flair.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Mighty Office {Mom-day}

Monday, September 19, 2011
Because a post needs a picture, and this is a cute one. ;)

"Hold your heads high, you wives, mothers, homemakers.  You engender life and enrich it.  Don't trade that pervasive force for fleeting, surface trinkets.  Cherish it, enlarge it, magnify it.  You hold a mighty office."

A Newspaper reporter's summarizing of quotes from Barbara B. Smith.

Happy Monday.
xoxo,
Amy 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boutique Pictures

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So, this is my little space at the boutique.  I only had 6' X 3'- so it wasn't much.  I tried to make the most of it by adding the table on top of the banquet table.  It  helped, but it wasn't perfect.  I'll have to work on my set-up a bit more before I do another one.
I had a great time, and I was really happy with my over-all sales.  I feel like all my effort over the past 9 years, honing my skills and product offerings is finally paying off.
This is also where part of yesterday's post comes from.  My family could certainly use the extra income, I could definitely use the creative outlet- but how to balance this pursuit with my primary goal of being a good wife/mother?  Oh the drama!  Seriously. ;)
I'll be listing the left over goodies in my ETSY shop soon, but if you see something you like- shoot me a comment or e-mail, I might be able to give you a better deal. ;)  I have bat pillows and wavy ruffle pillows left, as well as the brown pin-tuck pillow, but the other pillows all sold- Yay! 

I just have to thank you one more time for all your kind words and support.  You truly are the best!  I'll be offering a give away coming up at the end of the week to show you my appreciation- I just need to gather a few more things before I can show you all the goodies.
So, have a great day.  Know that to me- your comments, encouragement, ideas and visits mean everything.

XOXO,
Amy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Balance {mom-day}

Monday, September 12, 2011
He wanted to know why there weren't more pictures of him on the blog.  Here you go buddy. :)
So, to say the last couple of weeks were crazy would be an understatement.  Running around like a chicken with it's head cut off crazy would be a bit closer. ;)

Today's post isn't going to be me waxing profound- but rather a plea for wisdom, ideas, insight from all of you wonderful ladies who stop by to read this blog.

As we've discussed before, motherhood is hard.  VERY hard.  And the ratio of "Hallmark" moments to moments of utter frustration is not what I thought it would be.  With a lot less gratitude for my efforts than I'd like.

It's easy to get distracted.  Sucked into blogland/ crafting/ reading/ anything to escape the chores/ whining/ struggles that are a mother's daily life.

I want to be the full-time mother.  I have given up a lot to be able to stay home with my children.  We sacrifice many things people consider "necessities" in order to allow me to be in our home full time. 

So my question is- how do you maintain the balance between being the mother, fulfilling the needs/ desires of your children, teaching and training them and preparing them for life; with still being a human being who needs encouragement and validation and well, something to keep them from going crazy?

If you're in the middle of raising young children, how do you cope while still keeping your primary focus on your family and home?  If you're past this stage- what advice would you offer to those of us in the thick of it?  Is there anything you'd do differently?  Things you did that you loved?

I don't want anyone to think I'm not happy with motherhood.  And I don't want all these "mom"-day posts to have a negative tone to them.  But, I also want to acknowledge the fact that it's not all walks to the park and ice cream and parties.  There is a lot of hard work to be done in the trenches.  Things that aren't pretty or glamorous, or easy.  But- they are where the good stuff happens.  In reaching beyond what you think you can do, and discovering that you are stronger/smarter/more capable than you ever thought you could be- Motherhood changes you in the very best of ways.  And I especially want to make sure that any mom out there who thinks they are the only one who struggles with the day to day of motherhood knows that they are NOT alone.

So, ladies- let's hear it.  How do you find a balance between being a mom and being a person?  If there even is such a thing. :)
XOXO,
Amy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To the Best blog Readers on the Planet!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
What can I say- except I have the best blog readers in the planet!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  My booth is all set up (forgot the camera tonight, I'll get pics up tomorrow).  Now I'm just anxiously awaiting the start of the show.  For those of you who are local to Utah- the show will be held in Daybreak on Soda Row.  There is a private party for opening night tomorrow from 6-10.  You are all invited.  Then the show opens to the public Friday and Saturday from 10-9. 
It was definitely intimidating to see all these professional artisans with their polished booths and endless boxes of inventory.  But I held my head high and feel very proud of what I have accomplished.  I had unique pieces that reflect the very best of what I make and do and I'm going to hang my hat on that, no matter how much I sell. ;)  (unless I don't sell anything- then I reserve the right to whine) lol.
So I'm off to bed, hopefully to rest up and get ready for tomorrow night.
Thank you all again- one last time.  Your encouragement and support has pushed me through the last few days when I really needed the boost!  You're the best!!!
XOXO,
Amy

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boutique update #3

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So, this is it- Deadline time.  The boutique is actually this weekend and I have to have everything set up tomorrow night.  It's do or die time folks, and well, I'm dying. ;)  Not literally, but I have this horrible cough that won't let me sleep, which is sucking all my energy, which leaves me frustrated and disappointed that I didn't get everything done that I wanted to.
I'm hoping that no one will notice when they come.  You won't, will you?  You'll just look over all the lovely things I did manage to get done and smile and ooh and aah.  Right?  Thanks. :)
So- final tally of things I made in the last four weeks for the boutique:
3 fabric Happy Birthday banners
4 Felt Happy Birthday banners
4 sets of Halloween figurines
6 Felt EEK banners
4 Wavy ruffle pillows
3 Bat Pillows
1 orange side tie pillow
1 cream side tie pillow
I guess when I list it out like that- it's not too shabby.  It's a lot of hours and a lot of work.  I'm still debating if I am going to do more of these or just forget about it.  I need deadlines, but this might be too much pressure for my family right now.  I guess we'll see how it pans out.  If I sell lots of my inventory- it just might make up for the crazy that has been my life the last couple weeks.  Of course it doesn't help that last week was when my husband decided to start framing and finishing our basement.  I'm thrilled- since I'll finally have a dedicated work space, but the timing could not have been worse.  :P
So, I'm off to price everything, get my number on it all, and figure out how to display everything so it's irresistible.  Wish me luck. :)
XOXO,
Amy

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back To School Point of View Features

Friday, September 2, 2011
I am so excited to share with you a couple of the projects that were linked up to this month's Point of View party.  There are so many wonderful ideas- I am always amazed by what people come up with.  I decided to theme my feature picks.  I love a good celebration- taking the moments of life and really living and making them matter.  So I chose a couple of back-to-school meal/party ideas.  There is some major inspiration in these great posts:
This Back-to-School dinner was submitted by Inspiration for Celebration.  I love the apple doughnuts on sticks as the centerpiece, the darling table runner and how she thought of small details like the silverware tags that make even a family dinner something wonderful.
This back to school party includes some incredible details.  See that table runner?  That's made with chalkboard fabric!!  Awesome, right?  She has links to all the great resources she used to pull together this fun celebration.

I can't always afford to put into use all the wonderful ideas I find, but I'm hoping that by taking time to add even a few of these little details into our family celebrations- I'll make them just a little more special- for everyone.

Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I'll be sitting behind my sewing machine/glue gun/cutting mat/clay table working my little tail off.  Hopefully I'll have some fun things to show you next week! 
XOXO,
Amy
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