September 27, 2010

I have to show you another shower invitation I made for a shower in August. This dear girl is always dressed so beautifully and I am truly jealous of her sense of style. One Sunday she wore this gorgeous long gray dress that showed off her cute pregnant belly so perfectly. I do not think I know any other pregnant woman who could have got away with that dress. Instead, I retain my sense of style to much simpler things. Like Shower Invitations. Check this one out: (names changed to protect the innocent)

Mod Shower Invitation

This was made from the Mod Bebe Girl Kit on Designer Digitals. If you are interested in using this invitation for an upcoming shower please contact me. (As stated before, I do charge, and I do use proper license.)

September 26, 2010

Do you have friends who coupon? And when they talk about the amazing deals you think "I really should try this out" but then you get a little overwhelmed with the idea. That was me. It just seemed overwhelming to me to think that in order to save money I would have to spend my entire Sunday afternoon clipping and organizing. But I decided to give it a shot this week. I mean, what did I have to lose right?

But first, I gave myself clear rules:
1. No buying something I won't use or consume.
2. I'm still going to stick to preferred brands (I'm picky) and family favorites.
3. Buy 1 Get 1 Free could not be all about the free item I get - I have to want/need both the item I buy and get free.

I know there are others out there with different opinions on that (or who donate some things) but I'm all about SAVING US MONEY. That and we don't have room in this house for stuff we won't use. (I have a craft addiction people, that means no room.)

So I talked with a dear friend who emailed me some of her favorite sites and blogs.

I'm so glad I did. I now have a much better idea of how this works and I'm thrilled to announce that I have saved my family money this week.

Purchase #1: Groupon.com
Tickets to the Seattle Zoo. $6 each, regularly $11. Seeing as they last until April I bought enough for my family to go twice.
Spent: $36 Saved: $30

Purchase #2: Tanga.com
Disney Family Fun Magazine. I have been wanting this for a while so when I saw it on one of the blogs, I was happy to see such a great price for it. $2.99/yr for up to 3 years.
Spent: $8.97 Saved: $21

Purchase #3: Fred Meyer
I found out from one of the blogs that Fred Meyer has "Extra Savings" flyers at the entries in their stores. She also lists the items in it. Saved me a trip there just to see it. I discovered that this week the S&W Variety Beans were on sale (my favorite brand) $0.75 each instead of $1.25. We usually buy them at Costco but they're still about $1.20 there. So I stocked up and bought 68 cans! They also had Hot Wheels Buy 1 Get 1 Free (um, 2 little boys, of course we buy Hot Wheels) so we bought some for our son and some for gifts. We also bought some fresh Pumpkin Pies on coupon (my husband's favorite) $1.99 marked down from $4.99.
Spent: $65 Saved: $50

Purchase #4: Rite Aid
This is by far the best deal of the week! I got 85 diapers for almost nothing. It required extra couponing work, and involves cash back for the next purchase and a mail-in-rebate, but we shop there often enough.I also got B1G1 (Buy 1 Get 1 Free) deal on Starburst Gummies. We love Starburst so I had to try these. Love them!
Spent: $2 Saved: $29

Total Spent: $111.97 Total Saved: $130!

I'll be back soon to let you know a little bit more about how to coupon yourself. It really wasn't that hard for me, and as you can see - my first week was total success!

September 20, 2010

I'm so busy. Seriously haven't stopped all day. Sleep training, weening, and dieting do not go well together. Over the weekend I canned 29 pints of Zucchini and Regular Salsa and 5 pints of Spaghetti Sauce. The smell is still lingering in our house. But tonight, I work on preparing for a Baby Shower tomorrow. I've planned a few cute decorations and we're going to have a Chocolate Fountain! Wahoo! I have to share the invitation I made for it. It's too cute. All names and personal information has been altered to protect the identity of my friends.

Baby Boy Shower Invitation

This was made with Lynn Grieveson's Walk this Way Kit from Designer Digitals. Feel free to email me if you are interested in using this invitation. (Of course I do charge, and will use proper legal rights for the Kit.)

September 16, 2010

I was incredibly busy last week. We had our family portraits taken on Thursday night among a bunch of church meetings, lessons, and errands. I spent so much time getting our wardrobes ready! Does anyone else get stressed over that? I think portraits are the ONLY occasion where I actually HAVE to have the whole family coordinated! The boys get coordinated every so often, but all of us? Nope!

Let me tell you how I chose the outfits.

1. I chose the boys clothes first. They are always the easiest and there are several stores that sell matching or coordinating kids clothes. This time I had already purchased their outfits at Christmas time last year from Crazy8. It was an awesome sale so I spent very little on their clothes: Jeans, White Polo shirts, a Blue/Brown striped sweater for one, and a Blue Puff Vest for the older. Their shoes I just purchased recently out of need. I knew family photos were coming and the boys outfits so I made sure to get brown shoes for both.

2. Next I chose my husband's clothes. I tried to find something with similar colors to the boys. Not an exact match, but something that ties them all together. 2 days before the photos I remembered suddenly that he only had one pair of light jeans. Carpenter style. He didn't like the other 2 or 3 pairs he had because they weren't very comfy so we'd given them to my nephew. I panicked and then went straight to Old Navy. Thank-you Old Navy Outlet for having a 40% off the entire store sale right when I needed it! I got him 2 pairs of jeans instead of the 1 I planned. With his Jeans he wore a blue & white vertically striped button up shirt that I found there. His shoes were some light brown ones he had already.

3. Then it was my turn. Jeans were easy. But the top? I figured if I wore blue it would be over-kill. At this poing I placed all the clothes I had so far on the kitchen table too see how it looked. Last time I took a photo, but this time I didn't need to. Hrm. I figured brown would be too oppressive, red would be an eye-sore. I decided on Green. I brought two different style jacket/shirts home. But my husband made a grimace with the first one, and the second wasn't my style. I looked everywhere for a white top, thinking that would work. I finally found a super cute one. It was a kind of white, dressy tee at Nordstrom. Yes, I know, it's expensive there. But I wasn't expecting $77 for a T-Shirt! That's more than I spent on everyone else! So I looked again. I finally found a Teal Cardigan that was much more reasonably priced. Then I wore some brown shoes that I already had too. I'd only worn them once before so they weren't broken in. After 1/2 hour I had blisters on my heels. After 1 hour the blisters popped. I'm still healing. I need to find little socks for those shoes.

Well, it's over. They are done and they look fabulous! We had them done by Kali Leenstra Photography. Head on over to see our photos. She took our photos a little over 2 years ago and we were so pleased then. She has continued to amaze me with her stunning photography, which only seems to get better with time.

September 10, 2010

My main project right now are my curtains. They are taking forever. But the effort is well worth it. Want a sneak peak?

The fabric is a faux dupioni silk. I'm using Blue and Cream! I'm so excited.

My Curtains Sneak Peak

I'm doing a few rows of pin-tuck on the curtains. I can't wait to be finished these. I'm saving a lot of money doing them myself, but it's taken me forever.

My Curtains Sneak Peak

Soon I will show you the completed project and tell all the details and share the stories.
A few weeks ago I was working on a new version to my Diaper Bag, and remembered that I had another Version 3.0 cut out and ready to sew. I finished up for a friend who just had a baby boy. This was cute feminine fabric, but still has some great blues in it to make it work for the Mother of a boy.

I bought this fabric at JoAnns on sale and it ended up being right around $4/yard! My favorite is the polka-dot fabric of the lining.

Baby Boy Diaper Bag

I can't begin to tell you how much I love the outer pockets on the diaper bag. They are large and easy to access.

Baby Boy Diaper Bag

There are 3 (hidden) pockets on the outside and 3 on the inside (on the other side of the bag). For some reason it has been so much easier for me to remember what pocket things are in with this layout. My husband definitely appreciates that!

Baby Boy Diaper Bag

September 5, 2010

Every year my parents hold a camp for all of their grandchildren. Each year the kids get T-shirts. This year after I learned about the Heat Transfer product for the Silhouette, I knew I wanted to make the shirts from that product.

The camp theme was "Hero" so I looked all over the internet for some ideas for the T-Shirts. I found this logo online:


Then I made my own copy of it in Adobe Illustrator and cut the Red and Yellow Heat Transfer pieces on my Silhouette directly from Adobe Illustrator.

We purchased the shirts on sale at Joanns. We chose Royal Blue. Of course, there weren't sizes for the littlest children so I used some old shirts to make patterns for their sizes and used some larger shirts to make the little ones. They turned out so cute.

To iron I placed the yellow first, ironed it, allowed it to cool and then placed the red on top. It looked so good and was actually pretty easy to do. The hardest part was getting everything cut and weeded. It's a little more difficult to weed than vinyl.

Hero Camp Boys T-Shirt

Just so the girls got something special we used Red Glitter heat transfer on their shirts instead of the regular red. That one is WAY more difficult to weed because it is really difficult to see the cut lines. BUT the results were worth the extra effort! The glitter looked fabulous and the kids all enjoyed their T-shirts! The yellow circle picked up some of the red from the glitter heat transfer so the yellow on the words seemed different. To make it closer I took some of the peeled off backing from the red glitter and ironed over the words with it. That really helped match it up well.

Hero Camp Girls T-Shirt

For the littlest (under 2) Cousins we changed the saying from "Hero Camp" to "Hero in Training". It was a simple and easy change and the parents loved it.

Hero Camp Baby T-Shirt

September 1, 2010

A few weeks ago I had a funny lesson on being too quick to judge. I was driving with my kids to visit a friend. We were slowed down significantly by traffic from a recent train so I had some time to watch a woman at a bus stop. She was stooped over and digging in her bag for something. Suddenly, she rose and shouted something. Then quickly she stooped again, pointing off at something across the road and mumbling. Then she stood. She raised her arms and wobbled a little. Then pointed again and said something else. As I watched I immediately assumed she was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. She was acting like a loud, mad woman.

Then, slowly, I passed her. That's when I saw, hiding behind her bag and legs, a little girl. She was small for her age, but intent on listening to her Mom and looking off in the direction her Mom had been pointing. The minute I saw the young girl, I quickly thought, "Oh! She's a Mom!" Then I realized that I probably look the same way to people when I'm describing something for my son, or trying to entertain him long enough to prolong a public melt-down. So to all those people who have assumed I've been inebriated beyond judgement, or high on something other than life - I'm a Mom. Just get used to me acting strangely in public. My parents taught me well.