September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Hunny!

Today is my husband's birthday and I just wanted to tell him as publicly as I could, Happy Birthday!!! 

I hope the boys and I make your day extra special!  I love you so much.  And, here is the most important question of the day, are you ready for some cheesecake brownies?

P.S.  We really need to retake a photo like this.  I love it...but it's six months old.  I'm sure the kids won't mind hopping on pop again!

September 24, 2012

Crafting Fails

I found a really, really cool product.  It's Lumi Inkodye.  If you have ever done sun printing, it's like that, but for fabric.  Really cool right? 

Well, I have tried it twice...

I failed...twice!

Once I figure this out, I will definitely put up a post on what NOT to do!

And I was really hoping to share with you the awesome vision I had in my head. 

September 18, 2012

Photo 366 #38

It is actually feeling like fall here in Texas.  We are out of the triple digits, cooler nights and overall, much more tolerable weather.  I am getting outside more and it feels great. 

September 11 - What a life changing day.  Last year I started a service project with my MOMS Club to give back on September 11 to those who serve our community.  We chose to bake goodies and write thank you notes to Police officers, firefighters, soldiers, etc.  All those people who give to our community and may not always feel that they are truly appreciated.  The MOMS Club continued it this year and here is a photo of Colton outside our local Texas National Guard Armory after we delivered lots of goodies with a friend of mine.  Her little girl was cropped out of the pic, (cutest little girl too) because I completely forgot to ask permission to post the pic with her in it.

September 12 - I love how perfect nature is.  This tendril from my cucumber plant had me in awe.

September 13 - Colton's preschool does devotions in the morning and they usually start it off with a fun song for the kids to sing and dance to.  Colton loves to run up there, then just stands there.  Today he just looked "too cool for school" while rocking his sunglasses. 

September 14 - This is a pic of Colton's first painting brought home from school.  He told me he made a, "Scary Grrrrr monster," out of circles.

September 15 - After quite a bit of rainfall, I had some very delicate mushrooms pop up in my garden.  I picked one to examine it and then placed it on the edge of my raised garden bed.  The contrast of the delicate mushroom and pattern created in the wood end grain was just beautiful to me.

September 16 - I bought some new paintbrushes for the kids to use.  They are AWESOME!  They are watercolor brushes, but in the handle, it holds the water.  No more kids knocking over the water cup.  They just need to squeeze the handle a little and the water comes out by drops.  Love these.  I even have a set.  Here is a link to the set I bought the kids.

September 17 - While driving around with Colton today, I have noticed that the hawks have discovered it's fall.  I am seeing many more hawks in the area.  I really hope that my leucistic hawk makes a comeback, but until then, I will keep admiring all the others in the area.

September 13, 2012

Photo 366 #37

Sorry this is getting put up so late this week.  I was surprised by a lot of changes happening this week and very quickly.  It definitely put stress on everyone in my house and am glad that it is subsiding so I can get back to our normally scheduled programming! :P

Also, I included an extra photo in last week, so this week I will only be posting 6 photos to get back to the normal flow of things.

September 5 - I thought I had taken a photo of Maben at gymnastics.  Not sure what happened, but all I have is a pic of the mats.  I took this photo so I could adjust my white balance to take a photo of Maben.  Oh well, at least I took a photo!

 September 6 - Here is my fall garden.  It currently has tomatoes, cilantro, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumbers.  Here in south Texas, we get two growing seasons.

September 7 - I decided to be a little girly and paint my nails.  I think it's been about a year since I did it last.  Maben told me my nails looked like a party and they were pretty.

September 8 - Colton has shown quite an interest in our workshop lately, so my husband was helping Colton saw a piece of scrap lumber.  They also hammered some nails together.  It was so cute!

September 9 - I took the kids to the zoo and my kids love the monkeys.  Here is a mama and baby red-tailed monkey hanging out together.

September 10 - I met up with some friends to head to a nearby park that has rescued animals at it.  Here is an emu checking me out.  Such big beautiful brown eyes!

September 10, 2012

Top 10 Things I Learned From Competing

I just wrapped up being the winner of So You Think You're Crafty's 12th season!  Oh yeah!  I learned a lot being part of the competition and just as the new season of competition has started today, I am passing my lessons learned onto everyone.  Especially you season 13!!!

10.  Plan ahead.
This seems totally obvious, but you are given each week's theme in advance.  If nothing else, write down a few this while not browsing Pinterest.  I felt that if I looked at Pinterest when thinking about what I could do, I wanted to match other people's ideas up for the theme, not my own.  You want to know what's great about planning and brainstorming multiple ideas?  You have a back up for the ultimate craft fail.  I had a massive fail the week of summer bounty and my beach angels were made while on vacation in Cape Cod, MA.  I had to find a glue gun to buy so I could do it.

9.  Don't copy Pinterest. 
The weeks that I feel I did the best were the weeks that I didn't take my inspiration from Pinterest.  If you have seen it on Pinterest, or a version of it, so has probably every other crafter and half the voters.  Originality is key!

8.  Pinterest is Evil.
 No...totally kidding here, kinda.  I do love Pinterest, just when it isn't hindering my ability to be creative.

7.  Go inspiration hunting.
I find that getting out of my house, away from my computer and out into nature I get the most inspiration.  My next best place for inspiration is museums.  When competing, the last few weeks of the competition I really started to just run out of inspiration.  So, go out, get inspired. 

6.  Stay away from trends.
I almost went home the second week into the competition because I decided to jump on the trend of the men's shirt refashions.  I saw another great project go home that jumped on a trend later in the competition.  I am guessing people thought it was overdone by the time I jumped on board.

5.  Embrace the challenge.
I had the HARDEST time doing something for ombre week.  I just couldn't embrace the challenge.  I hit the crafting equivalent of writer's block.  I just was at a total loss.  I didn't embrace the challenge and was stuck at the last minute turning out a great piece, but dreaded the entire week and didn't have enough time to take a great photo. 

4.  Stop worrying what everyone will think.
You can drive yourself crazy thinking, "will other people get it?  Will they like it?  Will they vote for it?"  The only thing you need to ask yourself, is if YOU like it.  If you like it, chances are other people will like it.  I would rather go out on a piece that I loved making and loved the outcome.

3.  Stage your presentation.
Present your craft in a wonderful way.  Use humor or whimsy.  Use nature, break out of the white background.  I was definitely guilty of completely staging a shot.  Realtors stage houses to sell them, stage your craft the same way.  That's my hallway, I was standing (climbing/falling over things is more like it) in the hall closet to get this shot.  My house is dark, so the only way to allow the natural light in was to open the front door.  That table belongs in our great room. 

2.  Learn to take great product photos.
I can take some really great nature photos, I get some great photos of my kids, but I have always struggled with product photography.  Bad photos don't sell.  I saw many great crafts not get (what I thought) was the best ranking because I glazed over them the first time around due to poor photography.  My turned bracelet.  I thought this was the best product photography I did all season...and it won!  So, I would suggest really practicing taking photos of inanimate objects until you get the hang of it. 

1.  Have a support team.
If I didn't have a wonderful husband who I bounced ideas off of, who helped watch the kids while I used power tools in the garage, I wouldn't have even made it past week two in the competition.  My friends and family were so encouraging throughout this entire process.  They made the entire competition worth it. 

September 7, 2012

Arts and Crafts Mirror Tutorial

I wanted to let everyone know that in case you missed it, the Arts and Crafts Mirror Tutorial is posted over at So You Think You're Crafty. 

September 5, 2012

Photo 366 #36

This last week has been a whirl wind of crazy going on.  Getting Maben settled into Kindergarten was a little more difficult that I thought.  Colton missing his brother until he started school today.  I won So You Think You're Crafty, which still has me reeling with excitement.  And now, I have come down with a cold.  Booo!  I cannot wait until all these new routines become normal for the kids and myself.  Yup, routine shot right now, even this isn't getting put up on the right day!

August 28 - Colton showing off the last car that he earned for being a big boy and potty training.

August 29 - Colton showing off his grand prize for potty training; a new Cars blanket.  YAY FOR NO MORE DIAPERS!!!

August 30 - My husband bought me some roses for our anniversary.  This one just looked different than all the others while opening.  I thought it was rather beautiful.

August 31 - This giant swallowtail has been my unicorn all summer long.  They have been floating and fluttering through my backyard and I have been dying to get a photo of one, but he was very elusive.  While I was at the nursery, one danced around this flowering shrub long enough for me to capture him. 

September 1 - Here is how Animal likes to sleep.  It doesn't look comfortable, but it always makes me laugh.  I'm convinced he is half cat.

September 2 - The plants that I picked up from the nursery.  This will be my fall garden.  Yay for two growing seasons in Texas!

September 3 - I busted out my Cricut for what turned into a crafting fail.  Ehhh, it happens to us all doesn't it?

September 4 - Colton on his first day of preschool.  He had an amazing day.  Upon arrival he greeted me by almost tackling me with a hug.  Once we got to the car he said, "My name is Colton with two oooooo O's! I played blocks, cars, dinner, played on the playground and painted. It was a monster, I colored a monster too! GRRRRRR!"  I love my little monster.  Hmmm, I wonder if they were self portraits?

September 3, 2012

And The Winner Is...

ME!!!  I am so excited to announce that the Season 12 winner of So You Think You're Crafty is me!

I want to take the time to thank my family and friends, my blog readers, friends of friends (and so on) and the total strangers that voted for any of my projects.  I loved being a part of the competition, even if it did cause me to go a little crazy at times.  Don't worry, I will post all about how crazy this competition really did make me go, as well as some of the lessons learned in an upcoming post.

Along with winning some awesome prizes, I also get to proudly display a Winner's Badge!


Again, a big heartfelt THANK YOU! to anyone and everyone who supported me through this journey, especially my husband and children.  Without their support, I wouldn't have made it through the first round.

Take a look over at So You Think You're Crafty for Season 13 which is beginning soon as well as my tutorial about my Arts and Crafts Style Mirror which should go up this week.

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