7.30.2010

Directions Scratch Pad- Free Printable

Because I don't have a navigation system and I LOVE printables!

 Click Here to download

Make sure you have your page scaling turned off.  It should print out so you can just cut the paper in half.  Print out a bunch and make a notepad with my notepad tutorial!

7.28.2010

DIY "Foam" Fingers, from Felt!


For the boy's baseball birthday party I made these great foam finger out of felt. They were really quick and easy and did double duty as decoration and use during the game!

What you need-
Felt
Paper to make pattern
Sewing machine (or hot glue would work too)
Chop stick
Glue (fabric or hot)
Recycled plastic grocery bags

Step 1- Free hand a pattern onto paper.  I made two sizes, one for adults and one for kids.
Cut out two pieces from your pattern and sew them together with an 1/8 inch seam allowance.  For kid's size this is all you need to do (unless you put words on with fabric paint as I did).
The adult size needs added support to keep the finger from drooping.  Cut a scrap of felt into a circle.  Stuff the finger with a recycled plastic grocery bag (or two depending on your finger size).

Your going to cover this part up to keep your bag from falling out.  Take your scrap circle and apply glue around the edges.  Glue over the exposed grocery bag area.
Insert your chop stick a couple inches into the finger and glue in place. When you put your hand inside it should work kind of like a mini flag, you hold the stick and cheer on your team!

7.27.2010

Pikithins Handmade Bracelets

Remember friendship bracelets as a kid?  I loved making them, collecting all the fun colored threads, and trading them with friends.  Makes me want to get out the floss and see what I remember.  Well Pikithins has taken those bracelets to a whole new level! Her bracelets use techniques I didn't even know existed!
This one's a twist (no pun intended) on a classic.  I love the beachy colors like sky, sand, and water. The glass beads she uses put a fun twist in as well.  I am seriously impressed with the precision of her technique. My bracelet is very well made and the toggle clasp is a nice upgrade from tying it on like we did as kids!
Want one for yourself (or a friend!)?  Check out the details here!

Baseball Party Pics

We had a wonderful time at the baseball party.  It went by so quickly it was hard to enjoy all the work that went into it! A good time was had by all.  Here are some pics from the day.
We rented the local park so that we could have an actual baseball field to play on. My decorations were budget friendly.  The circle garlands hanging down are just paper punched out then run through the sewing machine! So super quick and I love the way they look!
We did ice cream sundaes rather than a birthday cake (although I did have a small cake for the boy and his friends, it's the green thing behind the ice cream stuff).  It was my first attempt at fondant.  I used the marshmallow fondant recipe from bake at 350.  This picture was taken after I froze the cake for a couple days so the baseballs got a bit smooshed.
One of the best parts about renting the park was the use of their ball park equipment! Hot dogs always taste better off a roller.  We also had the actual nacho cheese warmer.
We had fun "foam" fingers I will put a tutorial up on shortly.
Can't have a baseball game without bubble gum.  I was very excited when we found the throwback flavors at a local Amish grocery store.
Tissue paper poms from this tutorial

The birthday boy and his MVPs all in their shirts from Piccadilly Circus Designs.
Play Ball!

7.23.2010

Eco Chic!

So many of the projects I show you are done by re purposing old things into new things.  It's a great way to use materials you have or keep things from going into the landfill.  When I was little my grand father worked at a landfill.  We couldn't believe some of the things that would get dumped. Many otherwise useful items, even large appliances, find their way into the landfill every year. Often a simple repair with readily available appliance parts would add years of usefulness.  

This was 20 years ago so I would hope that some things have changed now, but he would bring home brand new (with tags) clothing that the stores would dump when the season was over had they not sold! Just amazing.  So I love to see others who re purpose things as well.  Of course you can find tons of people doing this on etsy.  Like RicRac and Bricabrac, where shop owner Terah uses things she finds at charity shops to make fun funky bags!
Since each bag is made from recycled items they are one of a kind.  Mine has a beautiful lace applique on the front.  She put a ton of pockets on the inside as well, along with a handy key clip hung by a vintage ribbon.
See how she used a lace doily to make a pocket, so clever! The bag is really well made and durable.  Since it's made out of clothing pieces it's safe to throw into the washing machine which for me is a big plus!

Want to win one of Terah's creations? You can here.

7.20.2010

Back up and running!


I just may have a future on the Geek Squad! My new laptop screen arrived today.  I had it from box to installed and working in under 30 minutes!!!  I must say that had it not been for You Tube I don't know that I would have had the confidence to do this myself.  When the screen cracked the first thing I did was Google "replace laptop screen".  One of the very first results was a You Tube video.  The guy in the video made it look so easy, and it was! Although I must admit there was a moment where I didn't know if I was going to pull it off as there were a few more connections going on behind my screen than the one he shows. 

Also if you ever have this problem and need to replace your screen, I purchased mine from LCDscreen.com for half of what my manufacturer (who was also back ordered for more than 4 weeks!) wanted and I had my screen within a week!

Lucky for me they went heavy on the bubble wrap as despite the multiple handle with care stickers UPS still managed to put a hole in the box during it's travels!!!!!  What can brown do for me? Stop putting holes in my packages that's what!

And since I have you, if you didn't get a second to cast your vote the other day, I'm in the finals of a DIY contest using Gorilla glue.  If you could take a moment to cast a vote my directions I would be forever greatful (my project is the vintage bingo tacks).  Thanks!

Tissue Poms Tutorial

I love tissue paper poms.  They are fun just to have up in the house! Trying to be economical for Hudson's birthday party I picked up a package of multi colored tissue paper.  You can make those big full round poms easily with about 15 sheets of tissue, but my package only had 6 of each color.  I could have cut the sheets down and made smaller fuller poms but instead I did half circles to be hung tight to the ceiling in pairs.
The pink and green are not for the party, not very baseball themed colors.  I was just having so much fun I had to make the whole package!

What you need-
4-6 sheets of tissue paper (15-20 for a full, round pom)
Pipe cleaner
Scissors
Fishing line

With all your tissue sheets in a neat pile, fold accordion style like a huge fan.
Wrap a small section of pipe cleaner around the center to secure. Attach a length of fishing line to your pipe cleaner so you can hang your pom up when it's done.
You can really change the look of your pom by how you trim the ends. I suggest either a pointed or rounded end.
Now just pull your sheets apart and fluff!

7.19.2010

Top Ten Finalist!

If you get a chance pop over to DIY Club and vote for my vintage bingo marker tacks, they made the top ten!!!! Thanks so much.

7.18.2010

Wardrobe Center Turned Sewing Room All-in-One!

Recently I told you guys I was getting this wardrobe center from CSNstores and was going to transform it into something unexpected.
It arrived, very quickly!!! CSNstores is so fast when ever I order something, I love them.  Today I want to tell you all about the OIA Wardrobe Center I used in an unexpected way! You know we're currently living in a small make shift apartment so I don't have a lot of storage, certainly not the entire room I used to have for my crafting things! With this wardrobe center and a couple inexpensive closet organizers (supposed to be for shoes or sweaters) I turned the wardrobe from a closet into this!
Okay, so it was difficult to get really great photos, but I'm telling you this has changed my sewing experience (and possibly saved my marriage LOL). Not to mention it's childproof!!!! A benefit I hadn't even considered when I had the thought.  Previously I had the fabric in clear drawers, the kids were always getting into it and I was making a mess every time I looked for a certain fabric. Now I unzip the front cover and I can see everything I have.  Fabrics I have smaller amounts of I have folded in the organizers and those I have more of are hung on the side.  The bottom of the organizer is even sturdy enough that I have a tote bag with scraps and a box of felt sitting on the bottom. 

The thing I love most about this particular wardrobe center is the outside storage.  There are large pockets on one size and smaller mesh and removable pockets (as well as one large tote section) on the other.  I have all my trimmings visible in the mesh pockets, again, I'm able to see everything I have at a glance.
The removable pockets are great for things you want to have at hand right at your sewing machine, your scissors, seam ripper, tape measure and what not.
On the other side I have the craft books I'm currently working out of.
One thing I will warn you about, this thing is huge! For me this was a pleasant surprise.  Even though my space is limited at the moment the wheels allow me to roll it where I'm working then roll it back out of the way when I'm done.  It was super easy to assemble, I did it all by myself without the hubby even home so you know it's easy! The canvas material they have constructed it out of is extremely high quality.  I love the color and sleek design. The mesh panel on the front keeps my fabric breathing so it doesn't get must, who wants to make anything out of musty fabric?

So while your at CSN stores ordering this baby, pick up a couple of the hanging organizers for the inside, because CSN stores has everything!  When your package arrives you will be set and organized in under 30 minutes!!!!

Can you think of another way to use it? I'd love to hear your ideas!

7.16.2010

Secret Project REVEALED!

You guys were amazingly helpful in helping us choose between the two typewriter banners and I told you it was part of a secret project Galoshes and I were working on.  Well I'm ready to reveal!

Do you enjoy a good book? Love reality TV (it's okay, you can admit it, I'm a reality TV junkie)? Like to hear a good story?

Galoshes and I are doing a blog together that to my knowledge is the first of it's kind.  It's a series of letters, real letters, some saved over the years, some new, but all 100% REAL written between a mother and daughter (Galoshes and me). It's going to be almost like reading someones diary, and who doesn't secretly want to read someones diary?

So if your looking for a good story, a good read, a guilty pleasure or you just want to know how the heck we got this way LOL, check out Dear MaryJanes where the first post is already up!

7.15.2010

Pre-Game Show

So the baseball themed birthday party is 8 days away.  I have finally recovered from the week long virus that has had my entire family sick for the last two solid weeks! I went around the house with a garbage bag collecting all the nasty tissues today and got the house in order to begin party planning mode.  I even color coded my shopping list so I knew what to buy now and what has to wait until the last minute.  Seriously, here's proof.
I DID tell you I was a Capricorn when I introduced myself so don't look surprised!

So as if taking care of all the sick kids and the sick husband (and the husbands are the worst aren't they!) then ending up sick myself wasn't bad enough! Yesterday just as I started to feel a bit better, I cracked my brand new laptop's screen! I've put my old laptop through some major wear and tear but I've NEVER had it leave me stranded so to speak (even when Hayden dumped a bottle of water on it and the screen permanently darkened, it still worked and I could still see the screen).  But the new one, although I'm love it (Windows 7 is rocking my world by the way) one little mistake and the screen looks like I took pitching practice at it!

The kiddo (yes, Hayden again, that kid had better grow up to be on the geek squad so he can at least fix these things) was up at the desk, opened the laptop and placed a pen on the keyboard.  No harm done, until Mommy walks in and closes the laptop while looking at the boy scolding him for being at the desk..... CRUNCH! Okay... so it doesn't make an audible crunch, I had no idea anything had even happened until I tried to turn it on and saw the spider webbing like when your windshield meets a gravel truck.  I hadn't even closed it all the way! GRRRRR.  The good news is, thanks to all the great people who use YouTube, it looks completely easy to replace! Maybe I'll be the one on the Geek Squad here pretty soon!

Honey Flower Beads vintage style with a modern mix

Honey Flower Beads offers fun jewelry and oh so cute hair clips! Amber is a wife and mother of one and the artist that creates all the fun things in the Honey Flower Beads shop.  She was very nice to work with and very easy to talk to.  I fell in love with this sweet flower necklace of hers.
She pulled the colors from the pendant with beads on the chain so everything goes together so nicely even though the colors are all strong.  I can see the amount of time and work that went into the piece.  It's so well made people are surprised when I tell them it's from a shop on etsy.  It looks very professional.  I wouldn't hesitate to give a gift from Honey Flower Beads. Well I kind of am as you have a chance to win a pair of her earrings! Check out the details here.

7.13.2010

Your Time BodyTreats has me drooling

This stuff smells good enough to eat! Take advantage of Your Time Body Treats' Christmas in July special (see shop for details).  I have been indulging in the White Cupcake sugar cube scrub, Orange Chocolate lip balm, and Cotton Candy lip balm.  Amazing!
Seriously, if these things smelled any better they would have calories! The sugar cubes are the perfect size for taking one at a time into the shower.  I gave a few to my mom to test out.  She used them on her face and really loved the size of the cube and that she could use it to scrub around her nose.  I broke my cube up and used it to scrub my feet.  It took some effort to break it up, these babies are packed nicely!

The lip balm is the perfect balance of smell, shine, and slickness (not sticky). She has lots of flavors available but who doesn't love cotton candy! And it came in my favorite color!
Keep Your Time Body Treats on your list when gift shopping.  They make such a beautiful gift and support an etsy shop owner (my favorite thing to do!).

Lata, the artist behind Your Time Body Treats, also has an amazing jewelry shop and she's offering a giveaway to MJ&G readers! Check out the giveaway page for more details!

Surprise!

You guys are completely amazing! When I couldn't decide on which banner I liked better I knew you would have the answer, and boy did you! So many of you took time to give me your input I thought it was call for a surprise giveaway (or three)!

An Blath Paipeir has the most amazing paper flowers.  Check out these things from her shop.

Lucky Andrea was randomly drawn to win a pair of earrings from An Blath Paipeir!

Brooks Boutique has accessories for you and your little one. Check out these cute things from her shop.
And lucky randomly selected Stacy (who I see is also a Wisconsinite!) gets to choose a key fob from Brooks Boutique

Hey CaryAnn is a fun and funky shop turning buttons into jewelry.  Here are a few things from her shop.
Lucky randomly drawn Megan will receive the yellow ring and white bracelet shown here!

Thank you all again for taking a minute to give me your input!   I will share what's in the works soon!!!