Anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Blue Hair

It has been a very busy month!

When my husband and I made our wedding date, it had more to do with the date the venue was available verses what holidays surrounding our special day. We made the mistake of not realizing Mother’s Day was the very next day. For the past four years, we have been celebrating them separately, but from here on, it will be a Motherversary. I was lucky to celebrate these two separately, yay!

Like many woman out there, I typically pick my own gift. Sometimes I leave the checkout cart open, with a sweet, “It’s ready for you dear.” Once in awhile, I give my husband the ad, with what I want circled. This can be treacherous though. You are assuming 1) He will do the leg work of going out and buying it, and 2) they will have it in stock, sometimes they don’t. I prefer the online order option. Since I am absolutely in love with Nomades, I created another bracelet. This time, it had nothing to do with the military, and everything to do with my little ones.

2014-05-08 15.39.41I paired our jeweled luv spacer, May special Mother’s charm, and cherry blossom pave, with the April Lavander pave, black sparkle pave, feathered friend spacer, 2 ocean pearl spacers, Baby girl footprints and a 15mm photo charm of my kiddos.  2014-05-08 15.39.50Here’s a closer look at the photo charm. I love it, and the kids thought it was amazing as well. Here’s a link to my page, just in case you’d like to order one for yourself 😉

For those of you who like charm bracelets, you know this combo wasn’t cheap, so I didn’t expect another gift, let alone 2 gifts =)

On our Anniversary, we stopped at a flower shop, my husband told me to stay in the car. I thought, flowers, how original. I quickly felt like a jerk! My husband had secretly taken one of our wedding photos to several flower shops, until he found one that would recreate my WEDDING BOUQUET! Can you believe it!?!

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I was moved to tears when I saw it! After our wedding, I wanted o get my bouquet freeze dried and put in a bouquet frame, but the wedding costs were to great, and we just couldn’t afford it. Since the four year anniversary, according to my husband, is flowers and silk, he had my bouquet recreated, and a silk ribbon tied around it. It still gives me chills!

My final gift was something my husband and I had been discussing for years. Matching tattoos. I got a key on my forearm and he got a keyhole on his chest.

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I know, they’re red, bloody, and a little inflamed, but hey, that’s what tattoos look like when they’re finished.

Lastly, of this week of celebration and gifts, I got a new hair-do.

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It’s short, and BLUE! Why? Because, that’s why. Sometimes we need to be crafty with ourselves =)

Have a Crafty Day!

Pricing items- Something to think about

If you’re like me, it’s really hard to price your creations.

I tend to think like a buyer. Would I pay that much? Where else can I get it, and at what cost?

I need to think like a crafter. Handmade item. One of a kind. How long did it take to make? How much was the materials to make it?

A character hat can cost up to $12 of inexpensive yarn, just for the appropriate colors. Then time and talent need to be factored in. Think about it.

Thinking

Here’s a great article for crafters and buyers alike.

http://www.handmadeology.com/pricing-for-time-intensive-handmade-items/

Fairy Beach Garden

Spring has sprung and I’m trying to decorate accordingly. That being said, I can’t wait till the summer. Even though the humidity here means no need for a sauna, I love the heat. So I decided to go beachy with my next fairy garden.

I paid attention this time, and planned ahead so I could make a semi-tutorial for ya’ll, yeah me!

Supplies: popsicle sticks, shell, hot glue gun (and hot glue…duh!), sand, dirt, pot, birdhouse, and plants =)

 

IMG_1126Dollar tree is a great place to get the tidbits you need to make your garden; most craft stores have unfinished wooden birdhouses for about a dollar.

IMG_1124I have discovered that pruning shears are perfect for trimming the perch on the birdhouse, and cutting popsicle sticks.

IMG_1127 I decided to use un-colored popsicle sticks to make that wooden plank look, which really wasn’t necessary, but so what.

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I used orange popsicle sticks to make the door, and the cut bird perch made a perfect handle.

IMG_1128I decided on a shell roof. Sounds easy huh? NOPE! The odd shapes of the shells made it pretty difficult to form them together.

IMG_1129See? When in doubt, just add more….

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and more….overlapping them until you get the look you would like.

IMG_1132 I decided we needed a bench. In order to do this, I needed extra hands for the drying process. Thank you honey =)

 IMG_1131I used small shells for the back of the bench.

 IMG_1133Lovely.

IMG_1135Buttons + jewelry wire = Fairy sized bicycle.IMG_1141

Here we are. I hot glued 3 sizes of shells together to form a mini shell fountain. I just can’t get tired of these little darlings. Now to find a bikini clad fairy.

Have a Crafty Day!

Charming Military Story Contest

The company I am a consultant for, Nomades, recently had a share your story contest about your favorite charm. In case you are new to my blog, Nomades is a charm and jewelry company started by Military Wives that wanted to share their story in the form of charms. The charm companies really didn’t represent us, so they took matters into their own hands and started this amazing company.

Consultants and customers alike were encouraged to participate. I submitted my story, it was short and sweet, it didn’t get picked (insert sad face here), but I write a blog! I can share it anyway, woot woot.

Here is my bracelet so far.

IMG_0966Pretty awesome right? I love the We Also Serve charm, it’s the American flag with the crossed wedding rings. It shares the spotlight with the USMC and Army beaded spacers that represent my husband’s and my service. But Although I think of these three as one, they are three separate pieces, not meeting the criteria of the contest. So I stared and thought, and stared some more. Then I realized my favorite was the Family Ties spacer. It was a special for the Month of November, and I immediately ordered it for myself. It consists of four little paper doll cutouts, holding hands, with teeny heart spaces on each chest.

Why is this one my favorite? Each charm has a meaning, evokes a memory or emotion. These four little guys remind me of our children. We are a blended family, blending our families to become one. My kids can describe one another as full, half, or step siblings, but they simply call each other brother and sister. Since we married, the kids have fallen into step like a silent drill team, not missing a beat, as if they were always together. Our extended families have opened their hearts to us, referring to our children as Niece, Nephew, Grandchild, and Great Grandchild. They hold no difference between blood and step relation. Just like these little figures are bonded together with open hearts, so is our family.

In case you would like to browse the catalogue, click here.

Have a Crafty Day!

DIY Ugly Sweaters

Happy day after Christmas. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season.

This year, my husband and I were invited to our very first ugly sweater party! A few years ago is when I first heard of this mastermind event. One of my sister’s was asking around for an ugly sweater, I was both humored and a little offended that she would think I actually had an ugly sweater, I mean, what does she think about my wardrobe, SHEESH! I in fact DO NOT have any ugly sweaters, so this meant a DIY project, YAY!

Step 1: Decide how you want your ugly sweater to look. This is a lot easier then you might think, we simply Google searched ugly sweater and got tons of images.

Step 2: Find a couple old sweaters to convert. I couldn’t see buying a new sweater to make it “ugly” nor did I want to spend my free time scouring thrift stores.

Step 3: A trip to the Dollar Tree! Hello, L-O-V-E the dollar tree, it’s the one place I can take the kids and tell them, “you can each pick out one thing, anything in the store.” I found these great Reindeer ear headbands that I took apart to use on my husbands sweater.

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Step 4: Decide how you will attach your felt/ornaments/buttons/ribbons. I went with a hot glue gun due to time constraint. A word of caution when using hot glue on a sweater, put a barrier between the front and back (I used a piece of cardboard) or you might glue your sweater closed.

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Step 5: Create!

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I love how they both turned out, but my husband’s Reindeer butt won the ugly sweater contest unanimously! Now the question is, will I keep these for next year or make new ones?

Have a Crafty Day!

Losing Half of Myself

I’m going to go off of the crafty portion that I’m known for with this post, but it is something that all women, Mothers, and those of us that craft battle with…WEIGHT! Dun-dun-duuuun!

As crafters, we have a predominantly sedentary “job.” Unless you have a job that you can do while exercising, professional sports entertainer is the only thing that comes to mind, the only payment we get from watching our weight is being healthy, and the satisfaction of liking the way our clothes fit; better yet, liking the way we look in the buff =)

My battle with weight cycles around 3 key issues:

1. Being pregnant and having children take a toll on your body. The older you are, the harder it is to get that baby weight off.

2. Diet. I am a self proclaimed foodie, I love food! All types of food, and lots of it.

3. Time to exercise. I mean, who has it? Between taking care of the kids, making meals, doing housework, and finding time to sit with my yarn and make string pretty, I’m up till all hours of the night.

So here’s my before and after:

IMG_0216From a size 16 to a size 8!!!

Literally half of myself. How did I do it? Well I am not a trainer, or medical professional, but I will share the things that I did for my radical transformation. I hope it can help you like it helped me.

First let me say this DID NOT happen quickly, it has been a year and a half of hard work and changing many aspects of my diet. So if you want a get skinny quick answer…good luck with that, but it isn’t here.

The photo on the left was taken before I started getting serious about losing the weight I had accumulated from my last pregnancy, and I have to say seeing that photo was my “a-ha” moment. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I did not want him to come home to that photo. I needed to make some changes, and I needed help.

I became good friends with a Beachbody coach. Don’t laugh or snicker, home fitness plans work IF you follow the program, to be honest I did not follow my first program to the letter, but I LOVE the DVDs. Turbo Fire got me started, I saw dramatic differences with Hip Hop Abs.  You can read about my coach’s transformation here, she is fabulous, high energy, and truly dedicated to me and my fitness goals. Unlike a personal trainer, where you only have their attention if you pay, once Nancy is your coach she doesn’t leave your side. I haven’t ordered a program for about a year, I moved across the country, and my girl has not abandoned me. She calls me often, posts workouts and reminders, and gives me motivation daily. This was something I could do to burn those nasty things called calories, make time for without having to go anywhere, and still take care of my baby.

Then I looked at what I was eating and why I eat it. Have you said or heard “make sure you eat everything on your plate.” I’ve heard it, I’ve said it, but why? So we don’t waste food, yes, but if we don’t eat OUR food are those starving children in 3rd world countries not going to starve? Ummm…..NO! This steams from our parents, and our parent’s parents living through tough times and the Depression where you ate all your food because they didn’t know when they were going to eat again. Is there a light bulb turning on? This mentality, although very relevant in their time, has only developed confusion and eating disorders in our time.

I increased my fruits and vegetables, A LOT! Converted to whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. These are HUGE changes, I did them gradually. I even tried Beachbody’s Shakeology for awhile and really loved the feeling and energy it gave me. Some key food advice from Nancy, don’t deny yourself the food you love, just don’t keep it in the house. Go out and buy one cookie from the bakery, instead of the bag of Oreos. Go out and buy a fountain drink from 7Eleven, medium size, filled 3/4 of the way with ice, instead of the 24 pack or 2-liter of Coke. This way you don’t feel like your missing out and you don’t have these high calorie items at arms reach. SMART RIGHT?

Now I only walk to pick up my kids from school, I try to exercise regularly. I joined a stroller fitness class and it doubles as a play date for my almost 3 year old. I finally have a handle on eating healthier and I am keeping the weight off. I hope some, or maybe all of these tips can assist in your weight management.

Have a Crafty Day!