Archive | October, 2012

Trunk or Treat!!!!

29 Oct

Emma had her first trick or treating event this year. My mother-in-law’s church was holding an event where they decorate the trunks of their cars and pass out candy to the little ones. Since it’s yucky with the storm coming they decided to hold it inside and go room to room instead. We practiced Emma saying “Trick or Treat”, holding out her bag, and saying thank you after. She caught on real fast!!

Emma picked out her fairy costume this year –  halfway through trick or treating she then decided she was a butterfly 😛

For the most part Emma was having a blast – she loved picking up candy from the doors that weren’t scary. If it was a scary looking door she’d run up to me with her arms in the air saying, “I too scared, I too scared, up mommy!”

Then we got to Dodo and Nana’s door and we were happy as can be!

I love that little smile!

She also enjoyed picking out which candy she wanted next. I let her have two choices and she shared with the rest of us 😉

I think this was the perfect way to get her familiar with trick or treating without being too scary and since she caught on so fast I’m even considering taking her out a little on Wednesday. Let the Halloween traditions begin!!

What kind of family traditions do you do for Halloween?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

“Twine” Wrapped Wine Bottle

27 Oct

As you know I have been playing with leftover wine bottles from my sisters wedding and I decided to try a “twine” wrapped wine bottle. I’ve seen these around on pinterest, facebook, and other blogs but I’ve never really been much of a fan of them. That is, until I spotted a gorgeous natural tan colored twine that looked so elegant my jaw dropped!

This comes from from Create Cousin and it made me realize that I do love wrapped wine bottles! I can totally imagine this as part of a table centerpiece for thanksgiving or on a mantel of someone who loves rustic style decor. So I decided to make one myself, but of course if you know me at all – I don’t follow instructions well at all.

I grabbed a wine bottle, some macrame chord and modge podge and got to work! Be warned that this project is not easy to start and kind of messy! I started of slow and let the macrame chord dry before I kept going to ensure it to stay in place.

After that it was quick and easy! I kept wrapping and glueing and wrapping and glueing until I got to the top and realized I needed to stop and let it dry again. Patience is not the easiest thing for me when I’m doing crafts – but in most projects it’s the most important part so I while I was waiting I worked on other projects to keep me busy 😉

Then once it was finished I added on a final bow for that last touch! This project was not only easy, but it was fun! I would recommend this project to anyone and could even been done with school aged children. For the younger kids – I would suggest starting it for them! My next attempt will be to die the macrame chord in other colors – because my Dad is crazy about dying things, so I’ll let him have a go with that 😉

What do you think? If you are interested in seeing some other wine related items that are must haves – check out The Collectionary!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

What A Show!

26 Oct

I’m Back!!! I missed you all so much! After a super long weekend at the craft show and a long week getting everything back to normal around here – I am excited to say I’m back 🙂

Thank goodness for my trial set up or this would have taken ages to figure out. The PVC pipe held everything extremely well! My favorite part was the bar to hang my scarves on. This was my first attempt at having things up off my table and although I’m so happy with the outcome I do want to do things a little differently.

I want to find different hangers to put the scarves on – it wasn’t easy to get the scarves off and on the hangers which I don’t think is helpful for customers who want to try things on. I also would change up the shelves a little differently. People don’t like pulling things in and out of shelves if they have to figure out how to fold them and put them back! I’ve decided to put one blanket in each shelf instead of two and to hang up the other scarves instead of folding them in the shelf.

Other than that I was super happy with the set up!

My most picked up items were my cork keychains, cup cozies, scarves, and burp cloths. It seems like everyone that came through was touching and feeling everything and amazed at how soft everything was. Since comfort is one of my number one priorities when it comes to my items – that made me very happy!

Another thing that was picked up a lot was my business cards. So much so that I’ll be ordering another pack of them as soon as possible! I didn’t expect my cards to go as fast as they did but I am definitely okay with that 😉

For those of you who are considering doing an outdoor show there are a few things I wasn’t quite prepared for! Wind was one of them. Everything was secured tightly with zip ties and didn’t move much in the wind but my frames that were hanging from the lattice weren’t on tight. I’m still trying to come up for a solution for that one.

Another was dust!! We were in a wooded area with lots of dirt and when people walk through it – dust kicks up and gets on EVERYTHING! I wasn’t expecting to have to wipe down my items on a regular basis or have to wash & dry them when I came home. I wish I had a swiffer or duster with me so that I could have continually wiped off my items – that might have made my aftermath of cleaning a little easier.

Prepare to spend a day after the show sorting/cleaning/re-organizing everything!

One thing that REALLY helped during this show was sharing it with a friend. This was Ashley’s side from Leapinlilypads. Because we split the space we both saved on money, as well as having someone to be there when we went to go get a meal or use the restrooms.

It also made it easier on my traveling to share some of what we were bringing. We each brought two tables, our chairs, and our supplies so one person wasn’t overwhelmed with too much packing or unpacking. One thing I didn’t expect going into this was all the last minute spending I’d need to use. I planned for gas money, food money, and extra for spending (of course I’d find something I’d want to buy from other vendors).

What I didn’t count on was all the small last minute things for the show like: cash for change, stickers for my bags with my business logo, chalkboard markers (because they work so much better than chalk), 3m hooks to hang my frames, and a bunch of other little things that add up so fast! Next time I’m going to also plan for an extra $100 bucks on miscellaneous things before the show actually happens.

Some things that Ashley did that I love – used wrapped boxes to create height on her table, used cardboard and ribbon to hang her bows, and found things like baskets and vases to use to hold her items. Any way that you can save money by using things around the house as part of your table design is a great way to be budget friendly!

Some perks from our tent that I didn’t see around other ones – bright colors, hanging things from the tent walls, a dedicated table space to use for working on, clear banners so people will remember who you are, and free goodies just for stopping in (I had dum dums for the little ones).

Finding ways to be remembered is key to future purchases. Just having a business card isn’t always enough – so I like to make as many memorable pieces as possible!

We had a fantastic time at the show and are proud to say we’ll be doing it again next year! Hooray for a successful weekend – and hooray for being back home 😉 because this girl is ready to get back to being crafty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

A New Set Up

16 Oct

My studio room has been needing a new set up for quite some time but I never got around to figuring out a plan. What I needed was to get rid of that big square table and find a skinnier one to take it’s place. Once the table was out – rearranging the space was SO much easier!

 

I can’t tell you how much this frees up the floor space in this room. With the ironing board able to fold up and be against the wall and the small 4×2 table folded up – it gives me even more floor space. I love being here but one of the most difficult things about it is working up here with Emma. There are some days where I just chose not to come here because I’d rather spend time with her but other times I have her with me and try to get as much work done as I can.

 

Now that there is more floor space for her she can easily play with her toys and not be right at my feet. I also love the fact that I can set her up at the second table and let her color and play there. She loves to imitate me these days so I can just picture her pretending to sew or paint 😉 I’m going to give it a for the next few weeks and see how it goes!

 

One of the things I am most excited about is my new mini shelf on my desk! This is the third one that I purchased that isn’t going with me to the show. As you can see it’s already over-flowing with goodies so after the show I will be definitely using at least one of these to store things in when I’m in-between shows.

Is it just me or do other people rearrange their spaces every couple months?

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Whew! What A Weekend!

15 Oct

My dad and I did the second phase of prepping the tent today. We spent most of the day figuring out how to hang things throughout the tent and making it stable and look awesome.

 

It may be hard to tell but since the tent poles make an X instead of going straight across we needed to find something we could use like a pole that could carry weight as well as attach to the tent poles. We went to Home Depot and bought some PVC pipe. My dad drilled holes on each side to attach to the poles and we are using zip ties to connect it to the X poles and to make it sturdy and hold more weight.

 

After those were in place the rest came together easily. We used Velcro dots to hang up the banner, white plastic chain to hold the bar to hang my scarves on, and zip ties to attach the lattice to the PVC. Putting the tent together the first day is going to be the hardest part! After that, I have a feeling this show is going to be a piece of cake 😉

Only four more days! I’m excited, nervous, and making a mess around here trying to organize it all to pack up:

 

There’s twice as much stuff that just hasn’t made it to this room yet! It’s going to be interesting to see if it all fits in the car.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Prepping for the Show!

14 Oct

I am days away from packing up and heading out to a long weekend show. The blog might take a hit for a couple days so bare with me! I’ll try to keep you all informed as much as I can 🙂

Today we spent a majority of the day packing up inventory and doing a trial set up of the new tent

 

Tomorrow we’ll be doing the trial set up for the lattice, tables, walls, banners, mirrors and all those lovely extra things 😉 I’ll also be practicing putting this thing up and down – it’s a lot harder than it looks!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Shopping Shopping Shopping!

12 Oct

I’ve been shopping up a storm for the craft show coming up and I thought I’d share with you all the things I’ve bought this week!

 

I bought this jewelry holder at Bed Bath & Beyond for $15! I’ll be using these to hold the crocheted bracelets I make at the craft show.

We found these little easels at JoAnns for $1.99 so I picked up a few to display my frames on.

I bought a few more wreaths for my yarn wreaths! Since I have a little extra time I thought I’d make a few more. These are $4.99 at JoAnns.

These key chains and screw eyes are to make more cork key chains with. The key chains are $2.99 each at JoAnns and the screw eyes are $6.99 each at Home Depot.

If you remember from my post about my craft table set up – I said I was going to fix the hangers so that they were angled more forward. These little dots are going to keep the hangers at an angle so they’ll face forward instead of in a line. These were $3.99 at Target!

I also bought some Command Hooks. These are going to go on the lattice behind the second table to hang the book wreaths and extra frames.

Today I’m making an order for more yarn and trying to find fabric for a new tablecloth for my tables!

Phew – this girl has done too much shopping! But the good news is I am almost all set for the craft show 🙂 I’m so excited I can barely contain myself!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

We Makin’ Cookies!

11 Oct

This is what Emma chanted last night the entire time we made cookies 🙂 I’ve been trying to bake more often around here and now that the weather is cool and the toaster keeps us warm – it was time to make some cookies!!

Today we decided to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – if it weren’t for Betty Crocker Mixes – I’d never make these cookies so tasty!

First we stirred in the butter, egg, and a little bit of vegetable oil.

Then came the mix!

Stirring takes a lot of concentration, muscle, and some tounge 😉

Then we took a spoon and made cookie blotches on the pan. Emma was so shocked she got the cookie dough off the spoon without having to use her finger. That’s right – she banged it on the pan until it came off. That’s my girl!

Someone was so excited to watch them bake in the toaster oven. She wouldn’t leave the stool until they were ready!

I bet you can imagine her disappointment when she realized she had to wait for them to cool. In order to make time fly by we counted the cookies – a bunch of times!

Then it was time for a taste test! Nothing ends a great day like fresh cookies and milk 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to bake?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Personalized Wine Bottles

10 Oct

For those of you who follow my blog – you might remember me making personalized wine bottles for my sister for her wedding centerpieces. Now that the wedding is over and we have tons of wine bottles sitting around the house – I decided to have a little fun with it and see what else I could come up with! I have a few ideas so you’ll be seeing more posts as I finish them.

 

I took one of the wine bottles with the vinyl J on it, a box, and a can of spray paint and got to work!

I covered the wine bottle in white spray paint (and painted some grass too – oh well!) and let it dry for four hours.

Here’s an up close and personal so you can see the vinyl J better.

Once it was dry enough to touch I laid it in my lap and peeled the vinyl off. I wasn’t sure how well this would work. I was imagining the paint bleeding and the vinyl taking off chunks of paint but it came of really smooth and easy!

Then I put it up for display – of course right now the sun is beaming in and ruining the view!

I’m so happy with how easy, inexpensive, and fun this project was! I’m imagining all the different designs, styles, and colors I could do. Looks like I’ll be playing around with this project next weekend 🙂

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

 

How I Coupon

9 Oct

Today’s post is going to be about how I coupon. There are so many different ways to coupon and so many different techniques for saving money, so I decided to share mine!

I keep my coupons in a binder that has a billion pockets in the front. It holds coupons that aren’t necessarily for the grocery store but that way all my coupons are together. I have a divider for my grocery store points cards, a section for the coupons I want to use currently, and the notebook pages for my lists of what I need. Behind those are how I sort my coupons – I use sheet protectors to keep everything organized and easy to flip through for searching.

I start out with the latest pile of coupons from the newspaper and my binder. I thumb through the coupon pages and if I find one I like I take the entire page out. If there’s coupons on the back that I like also I dog-ear the page to remind myself when it comes to sorting time! After I’ve gone through and separated out all the coupons I want – I throw away the excess pages.

Once I’m down to my small pile of coupon pages – I sort by expiration date and get them ready to add to my existing coupons. Before I add them in I go through and take out the coupons that have expired or are going to expire before I make it to the grocery store. Once I’ve done that I take the empty sheet protectors and add them to the back so they are ready for new pages.

Then I start adding in the new pages. For the coupon pages that have a coupon I want on one side and nothing good on the other I will put it in the sheet protector with another facing the opposite direction. That way when I’m flipping through I look at both sides and there’s something I want on each side. If I have dog-eared the coupon page because there’s something on either side – I’ll put that page in the sheet with nothing behind it so that when it’s flipped I see the back as well.

Because my mother-in-law is awesome and gives me her coupons that she doesn’t use – sometimes I’ll have multiple sheets. As you can see above on the left hand side I have multiple Domino coupons. I pile them together and put them in one sheet protector. Since they have the same expiration date it keeps me from flipping through pages of the same coupons and if I decide I want more than one I just peek in to see how many pages of that coupon I have!

This works great for things we buy often like crescent rolls and yogurt. It may have an expiration date of 12/31/2012 and I have three different pages of that same coupon and expiration. I’ll use one each time I make a run to the grocery store so I save three times and I’m only hogging up one sheet protector.

Once I get all the coupons in their sheets by their expiration date, I take a look at my two weeks grocery list. This is a list I came up when I was sick of trying to figure out what all ingredients we had and what dinner I could make out of it. I spent a day gathering breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas and wrote down what ingredients I needed for each meal. You can check out my list of meal ideas here!

This list keeps me from standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what we have and it gives me a full two weeks worth of meals for each day. Plenty of options!! Another thing I did to make this as easy as possible, I put what I buy in order of the how I go through the grocery store. This keeps me from having to read the whole list while I’m in the grocery store trying to make sure I didn’t miss anything. (Yes I’m that annoyingly organized about it!)

After I make the list of what we need to restock for the two weeks – I flip through the coupons and see which ones match up with what I’m buying. Sometimes there’s a lot! Sometimes there’s nothing. Each time I find a coupon that’s expiring that we might not necessarily need but I’d like to use the coupon so I’ll buy it. I keep these off to the bottom right so that I know if I’m hitting my budgeted amount I can take those items off my list since we don’t really need them.

After I’ve pulled out the ones I’d like to use on the next trip – I cut them out so it’s not a huge piece of paper and count up all my savings off my coupons. Then I put them in the pocket and all I have to do when I’m ready to go shopping is grab my notebook!

This two weeks I’ll be spending about $80 and with coupons alone I’ll have saved $14. Once I get there and buy everything on my list and use my points card I end up saving another $10-$15 dollars. After my grocery run – I’ll update at the bottom here and let you know how much I saved exactly!

How do you organize your coupons?

If you are interested to see how I prep my food after grocery shopping – I have a post called Preparation Meets Opportunity about it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

%d bloggers like this: