Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How does the Poop Emoji and Christmas go together?


This blog starts off like a bad joke: How does the poop emoji and Christmas go together?  The punch line: they were my Christmas gifts this year!
Each year, a couple of my girlfriends and I make handmade gifts for each other.  This was my gift for them this year!!!  Who doesn't think the poop emoji is fun and use it often when texting!!!???  Come on, not just me, right??!!!
I found a pattern on Etsy to cross stitch these for the girls.  

Keeping the cross stitch simple I chose a white Aida fabric with sparkles...cause sometimes poop needs some sparkle!  



My idea was to use the inexpensive frames from Ikea that stand by themselves.  My thought was the girls could put these in their bathrooms/powder rooms.  

I cross stitched and cross stitched, and when I went to put the fabric in the frame, I didn't like the fit.  I did one, ended up moving some lettering on the piece, but decided to go bigger on the frames.


I picked these frames up from Ikea too.  Sorry for the bad photo: and I was trying out the frames so I still needed to iron the pieces.  I liked this frame best because it was all fancy.  My husband said it was to fancy for a poop emoji: I told him that's what makes it so funny! I often think he doesn't get me.......


These were some of the ones I finished.  I have one more to get done: my boys want one in their bathroom.  

I had a lot of fun cross stitching these.  I got some weird looks when I cross stitched in public.  LOL
I am already planning next year's gifts!!!
Michelle




Monday, January 11, 2016

Washi Tape and Using Stamps on Wrapping Paper

Many of  us crafters have stashes of washi tape.  We collect it, hoard it, organize it, but are sometimes stuck on how the heck do we use it?
I have been using it to wrap gifts for three years now.  I love the little extra it gives to a gift rather than using just normal tape.  Sure you can see it, THAT's the point!  I coordinate my washi to the wrapping paper.  I come up with weird combinations.  My favorite is to use washi with plain kraft wrapping paper and stamp images on the paper.  Then I let my washi go wild!!!  I pick out the craziest washi I can find and tape it UP!!!!!



I use think washi or thick washi.



My next trick that I do: I use name stamps for my kids gifts.  Often name tags get knocked off in our house, then I am left with the question: Who is this gift supposed to be for??!!!  I fixed that problem by using my name stamps for the boys.  I'm not sure where I found these stamps: I THINK I got them at crafting shows, and just happen upon all of my boys names over the years: even JESSE with just an E, because Jessie....is a girl.  JESSE is the boy version! I was thrilled to find it spelled right for him! As a rule on Christmas, I don't use boxes, no boxes for clothes or weird items, I wrap them the best I can.  Kids could care less about the shape.  It is a pain after the kids open to collect all the boxes and break them down and store them.  I gave all that up.  NO BOXES unless it is already in a box!  I will use gift bags, but no boxes!  I fold a shirt or hoodie really well and tight, and wrap it up. I've never had an issue.  Clean up from all the kids is a lot easier now and I don't feel like we are wasting boxes.



My favorite wrapping paper this year for Christmas was the Brother and Sister Design Studio brand from Hobby Lobby.  It was a nice weight, heavy, cut nicely and didn't rip!  I stocked up for next year!


I even got to use my Merry Christmas washi tape this year.  


This was my wrapping tools as I wrapped Christmas presents this year.







Hope you liked these ideas for your wrapping projects.  Birthdays are a great way to use that crazy print washi that you wonder why did you buy it!!! So get that washi out and use it!!!!
 Do you like to wrap gifts?  How wrapping savvy are you?  Everything perfect with bows?  Or do you wrap like a 5 year old?  (which I can TOTALLY respect!!! :) )
Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy!!!



Introducing our new puppy!!!  With the holidays and my son's  basketball season, I have had such little time to post here lately, so this post is a little late.  We got Otis, yes, we named him Otis, in October.  He is a tri colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  This was the photo I got from the breeder, we used the same breeder , Susan, that we got Levi from since he is such a wonderful dog!  I can truly appreciate how hard it is to capture a wiggling puppy on film!!!  This was our first look at Otis.  We fell in love!  I love the tri colors.  And Otis is beautiful!


After a trip from Charleston, SC to Charlotte, NC, Otis was able to come to his forever home.  We were able to work it out that Susan happen to be going up north on a trip, passing through Charlotte, so she was able to meet us for us to get Otis.  He got to our house and we fed him and got him water and let him meet everyone, two and four legged.




Sorry for the fuzzy picture, he was Otis meeting his big brother Levi for the first time.  Levi is pretty relaxed around animals, the cat doesn't bother him, she can actually be an amusing playmate at times.  Levi LOVED our golden retriever, Leia.  He loved to play with her in the fence for hours, wrestling and chasing each other.  Leia was never aggressive or rough even though Levi was less than half her size.  Unfortunately, Leia passed away, and Levi was missing her.  We hoped he would find a pal in his new brother Otis.  


Levi is crated at night, for his safety since we tried having him sleep with us.  He gets so comfy, he fell out of the bed twice to the hardwood floor.  He was screaming, I was screaming, my husband was confused, co-sleeping just doesn't work.  So at night, Levi is kenneled.  It is the only time the door is shut on his "bed".  He often walks in there and will lie down with the door open.  It's his safe place.  We knew with a puppy, he would have to be kenneled at night for potty training, and wanted him to be close to Levi for comfort.  We put the crates side by side.  It has worked from day one, perfectly.  They sleep side by side, often Levi will stick his nose through his cage to comfort Otis especially  on those first new nights.  They eat together, Otis in his cage (since Levi seems to enjoy puppy food) and Levi on the outside with his bowl right beside the cage.  This has kept any fights from occurring.  Each dog has their own food, in their own space. 

A cavalier's nose will end up all black as they grow.  It is so cute to see Otis's little pink spots left on his nose.  (those spots are getting smaller and smaller now)

Sometimes Otis's bed is used for puppy time out.  When Otis has gotten so wound up and being a little naughty, he gets puppy time out for a bit. Often he is just tired and needs a nap.  He didn't used to nap outside his bed, to many things happening.  A puppy time out gave him a chance to get that puppy nap.  Of course, it isn't always as effect way of separating Otis and Levi when Levi goes in his bed to lay down beside him.  LOL

Levi has always gone to the office with us, Otis goes every day as well.  We have a kennel for him in the office to keep him safe if we need it.  We also have a back gate at the office so neither dog can run outside without being on a leash!!! We use the kennel less and less during the day now.  He is normally on free range in the office area playing and snuggling with Levi.  They often nap together.  


Otis has taught Levi how to play.  Before we got Otis, we had a ton of dog toys that never got played with.  Levi would grab one or two, here and there, but never that often.  Otis immediately finds the toys.  At the office we have a small basket, at the house, we have a BIG (and growing larger) basket of toys.  Otis plays with the every day!  Toys ALL over my floors!!!! 


Otis has found the Yoda bed, Levi's favorite place at the office.  Levi shares, but I strongly suspect he isn't all that happy about it!








I'm pretty sure Otis is a lap dog.  Levi is on the big side of breed standard, he doesn't normally side ON our laps, beside us is his spot of choice.  Otis will walk over you, sit on you, lay on you. On your lap, your butt, your shoulder, your legs, as long as he can touch you!!! His favorite place to chew on his toy is on Clint's legs with the lazy boy stretched out.  He is safe from Levi stealing his toy and of course, laying on someone.  
Otis has been a real joy. He has made Levi more playful.  He definitely keeps you on your toes.  But always joyful and full of energy!  More puppy updates to come!  
Michelle









Monday, October 19, 2015

15% STAMP Sale!!!!!! Stampin' Up!!!



Stamp Sale!!!

I love a good sale!!
Visit my online store:

Details:

  • Dates: October 19-23, 2015 
  • Host stamp sets, rotary stamps, and supply list stamp sets are not eligible for the 15 percent promotional discount on stamps. 
  • Bundles are not eligible for this promotional discount, but they will retain their current 15 percent Bundle & Save discount. The stamp set from the bundle may still be purchased ala carte with the 15 percent promotional discount. 
  • Stamps purchased using a 50 percent Stampin' Rewards discount will not be available for this 15 percent promotional discount. Stamps purchased using Stampin' Rewards discounts will still be 50 percent off retail value of the stamp set. 
  • All order types qualify for this promotion. 
  • There is no limit to how many discounted stamp sets can be placed on an order. 
  • There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. 
  • Order Deadlines
    • Online: October 23, 2015 by 11:55 PM (MT).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Make a Seasonal Cross Stitch Board for minis!

I have had so many responses to showing my seasonal cross stitch boards, I thought I would do a post on how to make them.  They are really quite simple but you can make them as fancy as you like.  I started out with a board that my dad made for me.  This was 100% handmade, he designed the edges and the scallops.  I love it to this day.  It holds a special place in my heart because he made it for me.  
As you can see, it has a wood finish that he stained and then glazed for me.
  
He even engraved the back of it for me with my married name and the year I got married.  
My father passed away and I really wanted another board.  My husband is not a wood worker.  I started researching on how I could make my own.  Maybe not exactly like the one my dad made me, heck I don't even know what tool you would use to make the beveled edges!!!  
I went to Hobby Lobby ( you can search your local craft store) and found a wooden plaque, roughly the same size as the one my dad made for me. )  Sometimes they will be in different sizes, choose the size you like.  Keeping in mind how many frames you want in your set.  Maybe you only want 3 frames?  Maybe you want 4 like I show.  Also keep in mind the size frames you want.  I have three boards, two are pretty close to the same size.  One is longer- I wanted to be able to do bigger projects so I had to use bigger frames.   Basically to decide how big of a board I wanted, I took my frames and laid them out on the floor, spaced apart the distance I liked, and measure the total length- easy enough!!    That gave me a rough estimate of how big my plaque had to be- go slightly larger to leave room at the top and bottom.  My craft store didn't have the large board at the time but I was able to hunt for it online.  I did this a couple of years ago, and I couldn't find the store I used but:  here are some examples where I found some just searching online:



Here's a rustic one:

I like this place, you can select EXACTLY what length and width you want, the edge you want and the color you want. (keep in mind you have to put dowels in so maybe keep the color to white or black- something you can easily match)  Then just let them know you want it blank!!!!  
http://www.craftcuts.com/home-decor/wood-signs.html

Make sure you double check your measurements!!!  That's the hardest part....finding the craft plaque.  
The next part is making the pegs- I used a craft dowel that I found in Michaels.  You want to double check the thickness of the dowel- you want it to be able to hold your frames but not overly big!  I think the ones I used are just over a  pencil eraser head size.  
Now for the power tools!!!
You cut your dowel- I like my pegs a little longer so my frames don't slide off- on one of my boards, the pegs are longer than my original board, on one of my boards, my pegs are slightly angled up- both methods keep the frames on the boards nicely.  I have mine placed near my kitchen door and one near my front door so sometimes the door slamming can cause my frame to slide off - mainly when I use the plastic light craft frames.   I would say they are a little over a half inch sticking out from the board- so 3/4 of an inch to leave room to put the peg in the holes.
You drill holes in your board, where you want the top of your frames to be- they don't have to be all the way through the board, just enough to hold.  Add a good wood glue- and your board is ready to dry.  On one of the boards, my husband drilled it to far, it went through to the back...no worries, he made it flush with the board and did some light sanding.  You will never see the back of the board so that part doesn't matter that much. 
We sanded our boards, just to make it smooth and the paint will look more evenly on it.
After the glue dries, you can paint your board any color you want- or stain it!  Some of the new chalk paint may be fun!  Black, wood stained, white, a red board!  I could make a zillion boards!!!






This shows the peg angled up slightly.  

This shows the length and width of the peg made from the wooden dowel.  You might want to sand the dowel slightly after cutting it to get soft edges.  (before painting!)  
Frames can be found anywhere.  These are some Pottery Barn Kids Christmas frames ornaments- I just took out the mat and added my cross stitch.  When I cut my cross stitch- I add no fray to the edges with a qtip- let it dry.  You can get No Fray at any of the craft stores.  It adds a protective edge to your cross stitch.  Once dried it will look a little clear/glue like at the edges, that's okay.  I store my seasonal stitching in plastic sandwich bags in a container, changing them out per season.   They are easy to cut, you just use the glass as a guide and good material scissors. 




You need a hook on the back to hang on the wall.

Here is another picture of the pegs, they are hard to see in the black paint, so this one showed it better.  But an easy way is to take your frames, and see how much room you need.  For regular frames, I use ribbon to hang my frames on the pegs.  Keep in mind the "hanging distance" on your board when you space your pegs, you need to leave room for your frames to hang!!!!  

The great thing about these boards is the projects that you can do on them.  The projects are small so they go pretty quick which is fun.  It's fun to make seasonal ones but you can also make fun ones, for a girl's room- Disney silhouettes, for a boy's room- trucks or animals.  The sky is the limit!
These boards can be anything you make them.  Think outside the box!  Maybe you don't want to use pegs, you could do a board with another way to mount your frames to them!!!  I have made these boards as a wedding gift- including a "starter pack" of seasonal stitchings!  A really wonderful house warming gift!  You can always gift a new set to add to their collection year after year!

Do you have a cross stitch board?  I'd love to hear about it!  Leave me a message!  Or send a picture!!!!  To see pictures of my cross stitch board with the frames and seasonal stitchings on them- search my blog - to the right- cross stitching!

Thanks for stopping by
Michelle

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dooney and Bourke Pebbled Leather Domed Satchel Review- Things I LOVE!

My blog followers know that I enjoy sharing my "finds", or Things I Love with my readers.  And my readers also know my love for crafting but also my love for handbags!!!!  Okay, I said it, I LOVE BAGS!!!!  
Today I am sharing my review for the Dooney and Bourke Pebbled Leather Domed Satchel.  I got this satchel on QVC, I think the retail price is $362.  
This bag first caught my eye because of the beautiful trim and the leather handles and the belting.  Very pretty.  The hardest part for me was deciding what color to get.  I decided on the Aubergine.  It was kinda sight unseen because I couldn't find a video showing the color.  Not sure if this is a newer color or a really old color, either way, I could only use my computer and often computer screen vary on colors.   I am very pleased with the color.  It is supposed to an eggplant color.  Pretty.  It appears lighter in the light but is a nice deep rich purple.  

To me the belting around this bag really sets it off and the side tassels are pretty as well done in the same trim.  I like this trim better than the natural trim on some Dooney bags.  But it is a personal preference. 


The zipper pull is also in the same trim and nice and long.  It makes it comfortable to get in and out of the bag.

I love the key holder.  It makes finding my keys a breeze!

The inside is the normal red material that Dooney has inside their bags.  It has one zip pocket and a slip pocket on one side.  The other side has two slip pockets.  
The bag from QVC came with an accessories bag.  I like the wrist strap.  It does not fit my iPhone 6, it is to small but it is a cute little accessory bag.  I could easily fit some money and credit cards in it for a quick trip to the store. 


I would call this a medium sized bag.  It can get a little heavy when I load it but it does have the handles and a shoulder strap.  I always love two ways to carry a bag!
It does have a back pocket.  If there are any negatives about this bag, it is this pocket.  It is quite small and narrow.  Even though I have small hands, I find it awkward to access it.  I don't use the pocket.  I could see keys would be able to fit in it, but the key fob is easier to use.  To me, this pocket is useless in normal everyday life.   I could see movie tickets fitting in that pocket, but other than very small items, not much use for it.  Overall, not a huge thing, this is the only negative I found with the bag.

The bag has feet on the bottom, not pictured here. I am loving this bag.  I have gotten a lot of compliments on this bag.  
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle
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