June 28, 2013

Ribbon Bookmark

The first round of ribbon bookmarks for teacher gifts turned out so wonderfully well, that for a friend of mine's birthday, I decided to make her one.  This friend of mine also runs the book club that I am a part of.  I also know that she doesn't have a totally awesome bookmark.  So I made her one.

These are so remarkably easy to make.  Ribbon, ribbon clasps in the same width as the ribbon (found in the jewelry section of a craft store) and whatever charms you want to attach.  I had to bounce to a couple craft stores to find the wider ribbon clasps, but so worth it!  If you can attach jump rings for the charms, you can do this project. 

Do you want to make your own yet?  I need to make one for myself.  I am terrible about making stuff that I keep just for me. 

June 26, 2013

What I Do While Waiting

This summer has me waiting around, a lot!  I enrolled Maben in swim lessons and both boys are in gymnastics.  This has me sitting around for at least 40 minutes a day.  While, I spend most of my time trying to watch my children in their endeavors, sometimes they have to wait too.  When instruction is given, or another kid is taking their turn, there isn't much for me to do, other than trying to entertain the other child and myself.  I have started bringing a busy bag with me, that contains some busy things for myself too. 

In the past week I have done a few watercolors in my sketchbook and Colton has done a few paintings as well.

The whale was requested by Colton.

I love my travel watercolor set.  You can find it here or at your local Hobby Lobby or other art/craft store.  This has become my go to watercolors since I have been doing most of my painting at the park/pool/gymnastics.  I have fallen in love with the journal too.  I found mind at Hobby Lobby, but you can see it here on Amazon.  The pages are thick, absorb the water well and do not buckle as easily as other watercolor journals. 

June 24, 2013

up, Up, UP in a Tree!

I'm not the only handy one around my house.  When my husband isn't busy or exhausted from work and travel, he can be found getting dirty (sometimes right along side of me) fixing, building, or replacing something.  Matt asked me to call our local mechanic's shop to see if they would give us a tire so he could put up a tire swing for our kids.  It just so happened that I need to go in for an oil change and bugged them until they gave in.  YAY!

I brought it home and on Sunday, my husband gathered up the supplies and went up in one of our smaller trees. 

Even though this is one of our smaller trees, it's still huge and he is really up, Up, UP there!

One tip that I can give you about putting up a tire swing, many places tell you to just put a strap over the limb of the tree, but an arborist will tell you NO!  It is actually better for the tree to drill a hole in it, use a galvanized eye bolt (secured properly) and the tree will heal itself around the bolt.  With a strap, it will continuously wear at the bark and cause more stress and damage on the tree.  My husband spent a lot of time researching the options and now I am sharing his findings with you.

The boys waited anxiously for dad to finish and it was worth the wait.

Colton doesn't look too happy in this next photo, having to wait for his turn.

I am seriously still laughing at his sad little face.  I love those little gems you discover later when you go through photos.

Summer has been great and just keeps getting better.  A big thanks to my husband for providing more fun around the house for the kids. 


My kids figured out a way to play with the tire swing at the same time.  I love their ingenuity.  I'm impressed that they both can throw through a moving target.

June 17, 2013


I found these super cute felt masks for $1 a piece over at Target and couldn't resist, even though I could have easily made them myself (probably for more than $1).  I went to deliver a birthday gift to a girlfriend of mine today and after running to her front door, this is what I came back to in the car.  Moments this sweet are rare for the mother of boys.

The quote is a variation of one from Napoleon Bonaparte and the font is International Superhero.

June 12, 2013

How To: Messy Line Drawings

I love, Love, LOVE messy line drawings.  I have been working on perfecting my technique for this and have found such an EASY way to get this look and I will show you how.

First, with either a Cricut, Silhouette, Cuttlebug, etc...start with a die cut.  I have been working on trying to catch up in my scrapbooking and I needed a train, so that's what I used.  Aside from a die cut, you will also need a marker.  I used a 03 (which is approximately 0.35mm thick) prismacolor art pen.  I have done this with fine point sharpies too, but you would need a larger die cut since it creates a thicker line.

Look at your die cut and think about the shapes.  Everything can be broken down into shapes and lines.  Then start with one outline.

When you start drawing your shape/outline again, it doesn't have to be perfect.  The more imperfect it is, the better it looks. 

Keep repeating this same process all over your die cut and once you are done, you have a perfectly messy line drawing that you are going to love!

June 9, 2013

My Birthday Wish List

I promised my husband that I would give him a wish list for my birthday.  I figured since most of it will be geared towards my artsy/crafty side, that I should share it here too.

This has to be the coolest pencil sharpener I have seen.  Since I have a hard time finding the little itty bitty ones that I get with pencil kits, this would be a great item to have on my art desk.

I am a visual person and since I love to take things apart, fix them, assemble stuff, this would be a great look book for myself.

Since I am on books right now, this one has caught my eye.  I am trying to get better at hand lettering and what better inspiration than a peek into the sketchbooks of people who are far better at it than I.


I have been doing a bit of watercolor again.  It really is one of my favorite mediums to work with.  I discovered these great self-watering brushes (load water into the handle and squeeze for a few drops of water) from another artist and they are great!  There are some knock offs that aren't as good as the Koi brand ones.  I have the medium one and it's not quite large enough, so I wouldn't mind having a larger one.

And the last thing that is artsy/crafty that I can think of is a variable temperature control for my soldering iron.  It's a 100 watt soldering iron which is far too hot.  It makes me have to work very quickly and that sometimes causes for a very sloppy look.  This would eliminate that and also allow me to work with a variety of solders, since some are designed for a low temperature.  

And last, but definitely not least, I have seen some ideas on making your own washi tape, so I would love some white artist tape that is acid free that I can decorate myself with either pen and ink or watercolor. 

Is there anything you think I should add to my birthday wish list?  Anything I missed?  Any new products that I need to try?

Source for all photos: Amazon

June 4, 2013

Teacher Gifts: Round 3

Whew, third and final round of teacher gifts are complete!  You can put a fork in me, I'm done and ready for summer.

Maben has had three teachers helping him out this year.  The PTA had an awesome book where they asked each teacher to write down their hobbies, favorite stores, etc.  Well, they haven't updated it in a couple years so one of the teachers wasn't in there.  I did know for sure that two of the teachers listed reading as a hobby.  Hmmm...so I started looking for great gifts for people who like to read.  I stumbled across the idea of making homemade bookmarks out of ribbon and charms on pinterest. 

Sold!  I was doing that for all three teachers.  And they turned out amazing and were really easy to make.  Ribbon, ribbon clamps, cute charms and some jump rings.  That was it!

So, you think that's it?  Yeah, I'm a little bit of an over achiever and couldn't leave well enough alone.  Just so they knew exactly what these were for, I crafted a handmade journal for each to place the bookmark inside.

I will have to create a tutorial on how to do those.  They are so easy to do.  Okay, it's on my summer to do list.

I am putting these two gifts together with the Washi Tape Thank You Cards and calling it a day.  I hope Maben's teachers appreciate these as much as I appreciated them this year.

Showing this off at:
Not Just A Housewife: Show Me What Ya Got #122

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