New Year’s Resolutions Chalkboard + $75 to Lowe’s

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This month’s Lowe’s Creative Blogger team challenge was “New Year’s sparkle”.  If you know me, you know I’m not especially sparkly.  Winking smile

So, what’s a girl to do?

I asked for suggestions on Facebook, and I was still stumped.

I went to Lowe’s and walked around for inspiration and came across these

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and then the wheels started spinning.

Supplies:

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Frame (mine was 16 X 20 and purchased on super clearance…you don’t need the glass so thrifted or on clearance because the glass is broken is perfect)
1/8” MDF cut to size of frame
Valspar metallic spray paint
Valspar glitter spray pain
Valspar chalkboard paint

I gave the frame 2 coats of the metallic paint.  It is COLD here, so I painted it in the garage and then brought it inside to dry between coats.  It might still be drying if I hadn’t.

Then, I sprayed the front with 2 coats of the glitter paint.

Glitter is hard to photograph, but here’s the best picture I got of how it looks in real life.

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I painted the MDF with 2 thin coats of chalkboard paint, one in each direction.  And then after it dried I put it in the frame.

We each came up with a resolution (OK, we made up that last on on BC’s behalf because he was at work and not answering his phone) and wrote it on the chalkboard.

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We’ll keep this displayed all month long to help us remember our resolutions, which will hopefully make us more successful.  Winking smile

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To get your new year started off right, Lowe’s is giving one lucky Crap I’ve Made reader a $75 Lowe’s gift card.

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post telling me what one of your New Year’s resolutions is.

Extra entry:

Leave a comment telling me what you’d spend your gift card on.

***TWO POSSIBLE ENTRIES PER PERSON***

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Thursday, January 3rd at noon MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

And while you’re waiting to see if you won, head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Or, check out the Lowe’s Creative Idea’s app (also free)!  I have it on my iPhone and it’s delightful!

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*I was given a Lowe’s gift card for the supplies for my project.  All opinions and statements are my own.

Season’s Greetings

It’s still the season, even though I missed the day, right?

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I hope your holidays are fabulous.  We’re enjoying them thoroughly.

We’ve met new cousins,

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cried tears of happiness over presents,

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lost our 2 front teeth,

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and felt like punching the guy with the harmonica.

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(Whose idea was that anyway???)

I’ve truly never felt more grateful for what I have.  I’ve been reduced to tears many times this week over just how darn blessed I am.

I hope you’ve felt that joy, too.

Happy Holidays!

 

And, if Santa didn’t bring you quite what you wanted and what you wanted was a Silhouette, they’ve got a couple of promos going on now that you might be interested in.  Details here on my Facebook page.

A Day of Remembrance for Sandy Hook

Everyone grieves differently.  Everyone copes differently.  Everyone moves forward differently.

No one’s right.  No one’s wrong.

We’re just different.

My sister used to (? maybe still does?) go sit at our dad’s grave and talk to him and leave him notes.  That doesn’t work for me.  I remember him in the way the back of Keller’s head looks and when I sometimes call my kids “pup”.  Or when I get the giggles about how loudly and joyfully he sang “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” every year at my grandma’s family Christmas party.

Not right and wrong…different.

If you read/follow a lot of blogs, you have probably seen that many are observing a day of silence today, and many more tomorrow.  I love what these women are doing.  I love to see the blogging community come together for good.

So why was I hesitating?

Silence isn’t right for me.

I don’t consider myself a writer.  I don’t know how to move people with my words the way other bloggers can.  I’m a mom who studied math and economics in college.  I sew stuff and make crafts.  Who do I think I am?  Why does anyone care what I have to say?  Maybe they don’t?  Maybe just one person does?  And, if that’s the case I believe it’s still worth doing.

From my personal Facebook page this weekend:

Oh Facebook…do you really want to know what’s on my mind?

I’ve spent the better part of 2 days holding back tears and feeling like I want to throw up. You see, I have a child the same age as the children killed in CT. He probably would have been in their class.

I also have a child who fits many of the things people are saying about the killer. "Weird. Socially awkward. Extraordinarily bright. Asperger’s. Subject to outbursts. Didn’t speak much. Didn’t like talking to people. Odd. Nervous and fidgety. Deeply uncomfortable in social situations."

It’s the same child.

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I’m sick about what happened to children just like him.

I’m sick about what a grown child "just like him" did. Terrified, really.

So, Facebook, THAT is what’s on my mind.

I sat in church this week and cried when we sang the 3rd and 4th verses of “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

So now what?

I recalled the words of Gordon B. Hinckley in the April 1999 General Conference for my church.  I think they’re applicable whether you’re religious or not.

Let us return to our homes with resolution in our hearts to do a little better than we have done in the past. We can all be a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more thoughtful of one another. We can be a little more tolerant and friendly…It is our obligation to reach out in helpfulness, not only to our own but to all others as well.

Let’s be a little kinder.

Let’s be a little more generous.

Let’s be a little more thoughtful.

Let’s reach out in helpfulness.

Let’s do a little better.

Peace on earth, good will to men.

Burlap Stockings with Simply Kierste!

Today’s project is a collaboration between me and my pal Kierste (from Simply Kierste) that has been a year in the making.  We started these stockings last year but then life happened for both of us and so…better late than never, right?  Plus, you’d never have known if I hadn’t told you, right?

I’m going to provide you with the pattern and details on how to do the general assembly and Kierste is going to show you how to cute them up.  I’ll tell you when to go over to her site and get some embellishment ideas and then you can click back over here to finish the assembly.  Sound good?

BURLAP STOCKING TUTORIAL

Stocking template, printed and assembled
2/3 yard lightweight fusible interfacing
1/3 yard burlap
6”-ish of ribbon/twill tape/etc for hanging

Cut 2 stocking shapes from interfacing, facing opposite directions.

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Fuse shapes to burlap (following package directions and using a press cloth), placing the top of the stocking along the selvage of the burlap, just slightly below the edge.

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Cut out around the interfacing, leaving a seam allowance.  It doesn’t need to be uniform or anything, but you do need to leave enough to make a seam.  (You’ll be sewing along the edge of the interfacing.)

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***STOP AND EMBELLISH THE BURLAP SIDE (the outside of the stocking) AS DESIRED NOW***

Head on over to Simply Kierste for some ideas and beginner’s tips and then come back to finish your stockings!

Once you’ve monogrammed/embellished/whatever your stocking, put burlap sides together.  You can see through the burlap weave just enough to get the pieces lined up nicely.  Insert a loop of twill tape or ribbon for hanging.

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Pin.

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Stitch along edge of interfacing, leaving top of stocking open.

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Clip curves (carefully, be sure not to cut the stitching).

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Turn right side out and press a little, if necessary.

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Reverse Stenciled Signs

Before I get started, quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the Silhouette Black Friday deals.

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GO HERE and use code “CRAP” to take advantage of  the promotions before midnight tonight.

I love the look of neat and tidy text, but I sometimes don’t love the harshness of vinyl.  Maybe “harshness” isn’t the right word?  I dunno, but stay with me for a minute…

Remember how I used vinyl to stencil the art in the DIY Blogger House nursery?

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I loved that project and it got me thinking about doing things in reverse.  So, when a friend asked me to recreate something she’d pinned, I went for it.

Supplies:
A board of some sort – I use 1/4” MDF.  It comes in a 2’ X 4’ sheet at Home Depot for about $3.50.  I have not found something as thin/affordable at Lowe’s.  All 3 signs you’ll see in this post came from the same sheet.
Vinyl lettering – I cut all of mine with my CAMEO.  The color of vinyl is not important.  You could probably even use stickers.
Craft paint in 2 colors
Sponge brush
Sandpaper and stain
(optional)

Cut your MDF to size.  What size is not really important.  One of these signs was about 18 X 24 and the other two were closer to 15 X 24.

Apply a base coat of craft paint.  This is the color your lettering will end up.  I used white and off white.  I also watered down my paint, about half paint and half water.  You might not need to, but I was using some nasty old paint.  Open-mouthed smile

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Once the paint is dry, apply vinyl lettering to the board.

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Make sure the edges of the vinyl are sealed nicely.  Apply a coat of craft paint over the whole thing.

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Scary, right?

Once the top coat of paint (or two) is dry, peel off the vinyl.

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Whoa!  Different sign all of a sudden!  I may have dropped my phone in the toilet last week and lost some of my pictures.

You can for sure stop now, but I wanted something a little more worn.  I took some sandpaper to my project and roughed it up a little.

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(I stopped after the sanding on this one.)

Still not quite right?

Apply some stain.  And stage the picture SUPER professionally. Then lose that picture when your phone goes swimming as well.

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A little irony in the fact that one of my signs actually said “swim”?

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He he he.

So, try using vinyl lettering as a reverse stencil.  I think you’ll love it.  It’s my new favorite thing.  And if you’re on my Christmas list, pretend like it’s your new favorite thing, too.  Open-mouthed smile

Pocket Switchers Transforming Balls

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pocket Switchers for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

I recently received a box of Switchers Transforming Balls in the mail.  Switchers transforming balls convert from a rubber ball to a surprise easily…no instructions or pictures needed.

I knew what was in the box, and I know my kids, so I hid it.  I knew that if they saw what was inside, I would have 2 options:

Hear “MOMOMOMOMOMOMOM!  CAN WE PLAY WITH THOSE BALLS?” every 30 seconds for the rest of the day.

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Give in and let them play.

I waited for a relatively calm afternoon when everyone’s homework was done and there were no sports practices to rush off to, and I cut open the box.

And I immediately had company of the 4 and 6 year old boy variety.

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Campbell’s favorite was the shark “because it looks like a football” (and he’s currently obsessed with football).  Bennett’s favorite was the octopus, because it was the easiest to figure out how to transform.

My favorite part was that there are no batteries to replace and no annoying sounds.  They also seem like they’re little boy proof and won’t be missing an arm any time this week. Wait.  Fishes don’t have arms.  Neither do sharks.  Or octopi.  You know what I mean, right?  Winking smile

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(Yes, Bennett wears mismatched socks most days.  Poor picked on 4th kid!)

The Switchers are recommended for age 5 and up.  Bennett is 4.5 and he struggled a little with the fish and the shark.  I think with a little more time he’d have figured them out, but sometimes over zealous older siblings don’t let you have more time.

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The boys immediately ran upstairs to show my older kids the cool new toys.  Later, I even found one stashed in my purse in the middle of our football banquet.  Guess someone was worried the banquet would get boring?

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Switchers are available in the check out aisle at your local Walmart.

I think I might leave the one in my purse.  You never know when you’re going to have to keep a kid occupied.  Or should I say octopi-ed?  Ha!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Festive Front Porch

This month’s Lowe’s Creative Blogger team challenge was to create some holiday décor.  I decided to head outdoors (mostly because that didn’t require convincing BC to haul in bins or put up trees).  I went to Lowe’s and came home with this:

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I’ve been buying my front door wreaths from Lowe’s for YEARS. They’re inexpensive (around $15) and they stay fresher than others I’ve purchased.  However, they come with a big old red velvet ribbon bow on them and that’s SUPER not my style.  The good news is that the bow is easily removed by undoing the wire on the back.

I saved the wire and reused it to make my new wreath embellishment, because I couldn’t find the wire I bought at Lowe’s last month I’m super eco-friendly. I cut the bottoms off of the tree picks and then wired them together and attached them to the wreath.

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Much better!

Then, I used the drop cloth to make some pillows for my porch chairs.  I cut the hem off of one of the 4 foot edges and then cut an 18” strip the width of the drop cloth (so 4’ X 18” ish).  Both 18” ends should still have the factory hem on them.  Cut 12” (including the hem) off each end.  These pieces are for the envelope closure on the back of the pillow.  Square the remaining piece so it’s 18” X 18”.  The square piece is what you’re going to embellish.  I chose some Christmas word art from the Silhouette Online Store and cut it out of freezer paper with my Silhouette.  You can for sure do this with a craft/utility knife if you don’t have a cutting machine.  I ironed the freezer paper to my drop cloth square to create a stencil.

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And then I taped around the edges

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and gave it a coat of red spray paint.

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I used Valspar Gloss Classic Red.

After it dried, I peeled off the tape and freezer paper and assembled my pillow case.

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And I loved it so much that I decided to make another one, only in reverse.

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Kinda makes you want to sit down and visit, doesn’t it?  Well, except for the part where it’s frickin’ freezing outside and metal chairs are SUPER cold on the old rear end, right?

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Maybe the festive-ness of the porch will rub off on the rest of my house?

A girl can dream, right?

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Be sure to check out Lowes Creative Ideas and sign up for their free newsletter which is full of fun DIY projects.

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*I was given a Lowe’s gift card for the supplies for my makeover.  All opinions and statements are my own.

Gift Card Stockings

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Let’s get real for a second here:  Sometimes Christmas sneaks up on me.  And, even though I had big plans in October, I have 2 days left before Christmas and I have to go the gift card route.  Plus, they mail nicely, right?

So, how can you give a cuter gift card?  Put it in a stocking, of course!  These babies are perfectly sized to hold a gift card or two

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and would look darling hanging on your tree as ornaments

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or tied atop a package as well.

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Supplies:

Fabrics, 1 for the exterior and one for the lining.  I used Riley Blake small chevrons in green, red and aqua and Riley Blake small dots in green, red, and aqua as well.

Trims.  I used some red baby pom-poms and some Sew Together crocheted lace in red and aqua.

Print out of the pattern piece and cutting instructions which can be found HERE.

Assembly:

Cut out 2 exterior fabric stockings, facing opposite directions.  Cut out 2 lining fabric stockings, facing opposite directions.  In these images, the chevron fabric is the lining and the polka dot fabric is the exterior.  All seams 1/4” unless otherwise indicated.

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With right sides together, place your lining fabrics on top of your exterior fabrics.  Sew along top edge of both sets as indicated by the lines in the image below.

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Turn wrong sides together and press a crease along the top edge as shown.

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Unfold.  Stack both pieces, right sides together, making sure lining is on top of lining and exterior is on top of exterior.

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(You’ll want to line yours up completely.  I staggered them for illustration purposes.)

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Leaving a small (1-2”) opening in the bottom of the lining fabric stocking for turning,

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sew all the way around the edge.  I found that leaving the opening on the bottom flat part of the stocking “foot” worked best.

Clip your curves.

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Turn the whole thing right sides out.

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Press the exterior half.  You can press the lining half, too, if you want, but I didn’t find that it made any difference in the finished product.

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Stitch the hole in the lining closed.  I used my machine since it’s inside a tiny stocking and no one is ever going to see it.  You could do it invisibly by hand if you’re a little bit nuts and enjoy stuff like that.  Open-mouthed smile

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Tuck the lining down inside of the exterior fabric.  (This is when those creases you made along the tops of the stockings way back in the beginning comes in handy.)  Use a pencil with an eraser to tuck the lining all the way in if you need to.

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Fold down the top of the stocking along the fold line indicated on the template and press.  Attach a loop of trim (you can sew it neatly under the cuff or hot glue it if you’re lazy pants) and you’re done!

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And a whole row of them hanging together?

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So cute nobody even cares what’s inside!

PiCALITY

You’ve all heard about the struggles we’ve had with family pictures in the past, right?

Needless to say, getting a family pic for holiday cards wasn’t exactly at the top of my to do list.  In fact, it wasn’t actually even on my to do list. Open-mouthed smile

So, when my pal Becca called and asked if I was interested in having some pictures done by her friend Daniel Silva, I was hesitant.  But, everyone had a decent haircut, so I agreed.  (Seriously…what are the odds of all six of us having good hair at the same time?  The universe wanted me to do this.  Or something.)

Here’s the concept:  PiCALITY wants to capture REAL memories.

It doesn’t make any sense…why go somewhere you have never been and try to create a false memory? Let’s go take awesome pics where you really do spend time as a family.

And, PiCALITY wants to keep it fast and affordable.

No one wants to spend a crazy amount of money for creating true family memories in photographs. We created an affordable price for photographing ‘For Real Memories’. In a 60-90 mins session we photograph any arrangement of pics. Whatever we can fit in that time with your family is yours. No additional charge for pose, groups, portraits, backdrops and etc. Its simple we take great photos in 45-90 mins and you take all edited pics (45-75 digital photos) on a flash drive.

Becca and Lara both had pictures done in their homes (and you can too…they turned out freaking fantastic!) but that’s not where we spend most of our time together.  We are always always always on the go.

Sometimes it’s lacrosse,

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sometimes it’s football,

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sometimes it’s basketball,

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and sometimes you’re just along for the ride.

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Welcome to our life.

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Let’s try that again.

Welcome to our life.

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It involves a lot of bleachers,

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and a lot of crazy,

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but it’s our PiCALITY (ba dum bum!).

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So here’s the good news:

If you’re a Utah local who is also a procrastinator, you are in luck.

PiCALITY has appointments available that will get you a card worthy pic.  (Free Christmas card design for sessions between now at December 16th, but seriously…don’t wait clear ‘til the 16th.  That’s just asking for an ulcer.)  AND, if you get pictures done THIS WEEK (now thru December 1st), you can save $100 if you mention Crap I’ve Made.

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Plus, it’s SUPER easy to schedule (especially if you hate the phone or only like to schedule things whilst you’re not wearing pants).  You can schedule from the PiCALITY Facebook page or on the PiCALITY website.  You can also give Daniel a call if none of the times listed will work for you.  Nice, right?

So…how’s your hair?

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Disclosure:  I was provided with a PiCALITY photo session in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.  Daniel went WAY above and beyond and even allowed my kid to call him Bob.  The pictures don’t lie…this was a great experience.

Silhouette Black Friday Promotions!

If you’ve been a fan of Silhouette and their products for a while, you KNOW this is the best sale of the year!  And this year?  You’ve got options!

YOU MUST USE THIS LINK and code CRAP to get the promotional prices from now through midnight EST on November 30th!

OPTION #1

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1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus 1 copy of Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition (MSRP $349.98) for $229.99

OPTION #2

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1 Silhouette Portrait™ for $179.99

OPTION #3

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40% off at silhouetteamerica.com!

(Offer only valid at silhouetteamerica.com. Expires November 30, 2012. Rain checks not available.  40% discount excludes Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait™, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards).

And, last of all, if your name is Anastasia, you should check your email before you make a purchase.  You won the Portrait giveaway. Open-mouthed smile

Happy shopping!


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