Why I’m A Crappy Blogger

Events of the last 6 days:

School spelling bee.

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Contrary to the looks on her face, she took 3rd place.

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Preschool graduation.  Can you see the anxiety written all over his face?

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On the way in he announced “I’m not saying anything.”  And, he didn’t.  His post graduation dinner request?  “Chick Fil A, because they have a drive thru and I’m sick of looking at people.”

Asperger’s much?

Class play.

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Someone played a dumb girl.  So, you know, it was a real stretch.  Winking smile

Karate belt test.

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I was forbidden from taking pictures until lit was over because “all those flashing lights and people staring at me drive me nuts”.

Asperger’s much?

Pack meeting.

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2 of my BFFs in town for the weekend.

BBQ at my house to celebrate.

Photo class (with the fabulous Kristen Duke).

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Saw some old friends, made some new ones.

Leaky window in the family room, discovered around 12:30 am Sunday morning…on a holiday weekend…of course!  At least we got this sweet set up out of the deal.

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Cemetery visits for my dad

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and BC’s grandparents.

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And let’s not even get started on the part where we had a bird’s nest in the dryer ducting (inside the house) or where Keller spent $229.08 on Amazon (from like 10 different sellers) because someone (hint: BC) stayed signed into Amazon/one click ordering on his iPad.  What did he buy?  Well, my personal favorite item is the $1 trillion bill from Zimbabwe.

Yes, really.

And that is all I have to say about that.

I’ll be closing down this giveaway later today, so run over and enter if you haven’t already.

And you can still go here to enter to win $50 to Target, courtesy of Consumer Crew.

Do you think Consumer Crew can help me find a stunt double to attend both awards assemblies I’m supposed to be at today?

Giveaway: $50 Target Gift Card from Consumer Crew

So, maybe I already told you this story.

I’m old and I’m losing my mind.

Anyway, my oven blew up in September.  I opened the door to put in some brownies I was making for a friend and BOOM!

More like BOOM!

All the lights went out in my house.  I had 8 boys 7 and under here and they stopped dead in their tracks.  Power was out clear to the street.  A handy neighbor took care of that situation (possibly illegally Winking smile), but the oven was a goner.

Have you ever tried to take 4 kids appliance shopping (or even shopping for milk, really)?  You’ll wish you were going in for a lobotomy.  Trust.

A dear, sweet neighbor offered to take the kids so we could replace the oven that night.  Did I mention the dishwasher was dying a slow painful death and needed to be replaced, too?  We had to make some purchases and we had to make them FAST.  There really wasn’t time to research like I like to.  That’s where Consumer Crew comes in.

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Consumer Crew has already done the research!

I know the first thing you want to know (because Crap I’ve Made has the smartest readers on Earth) is how much it costs.

$29.95/year (BUT, you can get $10 off that if you email them at [email protected] after signing up for the free trial and tell them I sent you!)
$11.99/3 months
$4.99/month

Want to see some sample reports?

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Head on over to their example page and take a look around.  (But don’t forget to come back here and enter to win $50 to Target!)

What’s in it for you?

target gift card

$50 to Target!

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment ON THIS POST saying which purchase you’d most like Consumer Crew to research for you.

Bonus entries:

Like Consumer Crew on Facebook

Follow Consumer Crew on Twitter

(Leave a separate comment for each one.)

 

I’ll leave this open until my kids get out of school for the summer, aka next Thursday at 12:30 MST.

 

***Disclosure:  Consumer Crew provided the Target gift card and compensated me for this post.***

Be Thankful

I was going to show you my (possibly too) yellow front door today and revisit the paint bucket planters I made last year, but I changed my mind.

If you follow Crap I’ve Made on Facebook, you’re already aware of the fact that I jacked up my foot a couple of weeks ago.

Long story short:  I fell off of my shoes.

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(the guilty pair)

Long story not short:  I went with some friends to be part of the first ever live audience on Studio 5.  I was pulling up my pants and talking and walking across a parking lot at the same time and I went down hard.  I was also carrying my camera.  My Kelly Moore bag kept it safe and sound.  My ankle?  Not so lucky.

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(the day of the injury)

I was on crutches for a couple of days (if you see any pics of me meeting Heather Bailey or at the Quilt Market Meet Up, you’ll get to experience the awesomeness of the rented crutches).  I ditched them so I could get through airports to Kentucky with luggage by myself.  I was NOT riding one of those carts.  Nope.  No way.  No how. (And the dr said putting weight on it wouldn’t hurt anything, if I could stand it.  I’m not super reckless…just mildly so. Open-mouthed smile)

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(super awesome bruising/drainage, about 4 days after the injury)

My foot still hurts.  It’s still too swollen for anything other than flip flops.  It’s still a weird color.  It’s been like 12 days and I’m kind of sick of it.

Confession:  Combined with some other crap (nothing major…just life) that’s going on, I’ve been having a little bit of a pity party.  Or maybe a lot of a pity party.

Today I’m going to be thankful.  I’m going to bust out the note cards and write some thank you notes.  I’m not going to make them, and I’m not going to have any guilt about that.  Nope.  None.  A thank you note from the dollar section at Target is still a thank you note, right?  I mean, I WILL still stamp my return address with my fancy Purple Lemon Designs stamp and stuff….

So, I challenge you to do the same.  Thank someone today.  Send an email, make a call, craft a card…whatever!  Just be thankful.

And I may have split my head open on a plantation shutter last night.  Perhaps I should consider some full body armor?

5 Fab Blogs You Might Not Be Reading

Thanks to Trop50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 Fabulous Wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous!

Instead of talking about the BIG blogs I read regularly (UCreate, Tatertots and Jello, Made, Make It and Love It, etc.), because I know you read them too, I decided I wanted to talk about 5 fabulous blogs with 1500-ish or less followers.  These are blogs that I adore.  You know…the kind of blog that makes you smile when you see an update in your Google Reader.  So, here they are (in no particular order)…

 

#1: Sew A Straight Line

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Sabra is one of my very favorite people on Earth.  We’ve been friends for 8 years now, since our oldest boys (11 days apart) were tiny.  She’s HILARIOUS, especially on a road trip when you’re both pregnant and staying at Circus Circus.  Sew A Straight Line is a blog she created to (re)learn to sew.  If you need a good laugh, go read this page where she starts out by telling you about the first thing she ever sewed trying to kill her in her sleep.  Now?  She makes all sorts of fabulous-ness.

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And she shares the less than stellar stuff, too, which makes me love her even more.

 

#2: The Crafty Cupboard

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Melanie is the genius behind The Crafty Cupboard.  She was a top 3 finalist in season 1 of Crafting With The Stars, but I was a fan long before that.  And, sometimes she even comes to Utah.  I got to show her my favorite fabric store and have lunch with her a couple of months back.  The only thing that could have made it better was less of my kids in attendance.  Winking smile

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She shares my love of vintage Pyrex and has some INSANE thrifting luck.  You need to get her to tell you about how she got the money for her DSLR.

 

#3: Sutton Grace

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I think I was first introduced to Erin from Sutton Grace via her family trees.  I made 2 of them for Christmas that year (and have the stuff to make one for myself tucked away awaiting the names of the rest of BC’s ancestors).  I kept reading because she just seems so dang nice!  I want to hang out in her dining room and stare at her curtains…I’ll even bring the drinks.

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That’s not creepy, right?

 

#4: The Boy Trifecta

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Emily was my partner for the first season of Crafting With The Stars, but I originally became familiar with her when she won the crap out of A Lemon Squeezy Home’s purse week. I adore her.  She’s one of those people I feel like I needed to meet/be friends with, and blogging made that happen.  (So YAY for blogs!)  I love that she sews things for boys that a kid with an opinion will actually wear.  She’s also got mad crochet skillz.  (Note to self:  learn to crochet or knit or something ASAP!)

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Plus, we both have 3 boys and are married to Bryans.  Fate, right?

 

#5: Less Cake {More Frosting}

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I don’t remember how I met Lara from Less Cake {More Frosting}, I just feel like we’ve always been friends.  (Pier 1?  Cheesecake Factory?  The Chocolate?)  She has that “thing” where to know her is to love her.  And I do.  She adores Barbara Streisand and hates the word “crafts”.  She gets WAY more excited about fonts than anyone I know.  She’s not afraid of color and she makes a mean printable.

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Plus, the girl loves Diet Coke and Neil Diamond.  You can’t go wrong with that.

Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Giveaway: The Key To Taking Pictures eBook

Hello there!  I’ve got a whole lot of crazy to blog one of these days, but we’ll get to that later.  We’ve been a couple of weeks without a giveaway…did you notice? I think the fact that this one has THREE winners should make up for that, though.

Remember how I said that one of my goals this year was to improve my picture taking?  I think this will help…

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Katie, of Katie Evans Photography has written this book to help you make the most of your camera and improve your skills.  She says:

Have you invested in a digital SLR, but can’t quite figure out how to get those stunning pictures out of it? You know what you want your pictures to look like, but you just don’t know how to get there. You haven’t dared to shoot in anything but automatic and when you do…well, let’s just say those aren’t the pictures you post on your blog.

You CAN get those beautiful, artsy, cool pictures you are imagining. You just need me. Okay, you don’t need me but you do need some information that I will happily share with you. The information that I will reveal in this ebook will help you understand your camera and beyond. Some of the things I will teach include how to achieve a proper exposure, how and where to find the best light, which lenses are the best and why, what the important settings on your camera are about, RAW vs. JPEG, how to compose a striking picture, the best editing software, my  “must-do’s” in my editing process, and so much more.

Sounds good, right?

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I’m especially excited about the section on lighting (aka the part I need the most help with).

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Katie also gives photography tips on her blog.

What’s in it for you?

Well, first of all, Katie’s offering everyone $2 off the price of the ebook using code “CRAP”.  This code is good for two weeks and you can buy the book here.

And, she’s giving away THREE copies of the ebook!

To enter:

Leave a comment ON THIS POST saying what your biggest photography challenge is.

Additional entry for following Katie’s photography blog.  Leave a comment on this post saying that you did.

Like Katie Evans Photography on Facebook.  Leave a comment on this post saying that you did.

My Michaels Top 5…er, 6

Good news!  You can click on over all day long for 40% off Michaels coupons on the blog (up top and on the sidebar)!

What’s your craft supply store of choice?  Mine is Michaels.  I’m not getting paid to say that…it’s true.  Let me tell you why:

  • I can get there in under 7 minutes.
    Their hours are longer than the other choices in my area.  (Maybe it’s just me that always runs out of something at 8:45pm?)
    They carry lots and lots of Martha Stewart goodness.
  • I thought it’d be fun for me to share the top 5 things I buy at Michaels, so I made a list of 6.  Open-mouthed smile
  • Ready?
  • Frames:  Michael’s has a great selection of frames.  They’re always my first stop, whether I’m looking for oval shaped frames for my kids’ silhouettes or giant frames for movie posters for the theater room.
  • Cardstock:  Pretty much any time you see a project involving cardstock ‘round these parts, that cardstock came from Michaels.

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  • Chalkboard markers:  You all know I love the wet erase chalkboard markers, right?  I’ve talked about them before.  I get them at Michael’s.

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  • Origami paper:  What?  You didn’t know I bought origami paper?  Well, I do.  And Michaels has by far the best selection…TONS of patterns to choose from.  A stack of paper and an origami book from the library will keep my older kids busy for HOURS.  Plus, it gives them something to do with the program at church.  Winking smile  Our favorite thing to make is a crane.  I found some directions here.

  • Tracer Jr. Projector:  When I was looking for a projector to work on my Utah Jazz Mural, I found it at Michaels.

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  • Martha Stewart Glitter:  If you’re gonna use glitter, USE MARTHA GLITTER.  (And her glittering glue is fabulous as well.)  It comes in like a zillion colors and I love how fine it is.

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  • So, there’s my Michaels top 5 6.

    If for some reason, you don’t see Michaels ads, you can still click here to get a 40% off coupon!

May Silhouette Promo

It’s that time again…Silhouette promo time!

I’ll give you the details up front:

A Silhouette SD
1 package white flocked heat transfer material
1 package teal smooth heat transfer material
1 package dark pink smooth heat transfer
All for $219!

Or, if you already have a machine, take 25% off all heat transfer material.

As always, use code “CRAP” to take advantage of the savings from May 17th –25th.

Here’s a link directly to the machine bundle.

Want to see what I made with the heat transfer they sent me?

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It’s a skirt (more on that later this week…SUPER simple tutorial, another reason you’ll want to make one).

I used the heat transfer to add the detailing.

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(The yellow was from another project and Macy’s request.)

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I’m flying home from Kentucky today.  Last night we went to Churchill Downs.  Here’s a shot of Lorie and me on the bus in our Derby hats:

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See you soon!

Crafting in Kentucky

So, I’m here safely in Kentucky enjoying the GE Momsperience.

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21C has quite possibly THE NICEST staff in the history of the world.

And did I mention the place is fabulous?

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Because it is.

And tonight we made Derby hats, with the assistance of some lovely ladies from Dee’s Crafts.  Janice was especially helpful…just ask Lorie (who was pretty much the first one to start and pretty much the last one to finish).

You’ll see more of the hats, I promise, but I’ll let you have a peek at mine:

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(My dress is on the left.)

Fun times, for sure.

Silhouette promo tomorrow.  Watch for it.

Wallpaper Pennant Bunting

Whilst I was at Abode, I picked up this beauty:

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It’s a wallpaper sample book.  At first look, it was frightening.

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But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I could make something fabulous.  The result?

Wallpaper Pennant Bunting

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Supplies:

Wallpaper
Double fold bias tape
Sewing machine
Pennant template (you can make it whatever size you want, but I’m including mine for those who are feeling especially lazy)

I’m sure you’ve seen this general concept before, so this will be brief.

Cut out pennant shapes from your wallpaper.

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Bias tape has one side slightly shorter than the other.

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You want the short side on top.

I like to leave about a 4” tail on the bias tape for hanging purposes.

Stitch the pennant pieces inside the bias tape.  I used a long straight stitch but a zig zag would be cute, too.

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When you get to the end of that piece, put another one in.  Continue until you reach your desired length.

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Add another one, if you want.

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The perfect finishing touch?

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This printable from the girls at eighteen25.

‘Scuse me whilst I go stare at my mantel for a bit.

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My Love Affair With Shutters.

I guest posted on the blog for a local consignment store (Abode) a while back and thought I’d share the post here, too.

The header on my blog says “sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes it’s just crap”. I’m mentioning that because my project went through several stages of CRAP and it’s not at all what I had in mind. And I ripped off the awesome wallpaper in a fit of insanity. Don’t you worry…I’ve got other plans for that wallpaper.

So, if you’re a regular Abode shopper, I’m sure you already know this. If you’re not, pay close attention. There’s a room way back in the back full of all kinds of random junk. Go to that room and start digging. And don’t wear tippy heels.

What are you looking for?

Shutters.

I love shutters!!!

I used to have an awkward hole above my fireplace where random neighbor children would play. (OK, so the one on the left is mine.)

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I suppose I could have put a TV up there, but then I would have had to listen to it. So, what’s a girl to do?

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Shutter up, that’s what.

These particular shutters started out like this:

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I removed the hardware and spray painted them Key Lime. Then I roughed them up and used a glaze to tone down the crazy.

They provide a great backdrop for my obsessive mantel decorating tendencies. See?

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Christmas

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Valentine’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day

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Spring/Easter

So, what if you don’t find a whole set of shutters the perfect height and just find one or two instead?

I picked up these old drapery hooks at Abode:

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They sat perfectly on top of the slats of my shutter.

You could use them for keys:

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or to hang some little buckets on:

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I think this would be fabulous in an office holding supplies or in a kitchen with potted herbs. What about one big bucket in the center with some sort of flowers? Cute, right?

So, go to the back room at Abode (1720 S 900 E in Sugar House, 11-2 Tuesday-Friday & 11-6 Saturday ).

Find some shutters.

Don’t be afraid to paint them.

Hang stuff on them.

Live happily ever after.


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