My kids went back to school this week.

One started Monday.


One started Tuesday.


And, one started Wednesday.


The littlest one starts preschool next week.  And, for the first time in TWELVE YEARS, I will be kid-less for a couple of hours 3 times a week.  HOLY.  CRAP.

Whatever shall I do?

Have your kids gone back?

Do you take first day pictures?

Have other traditions?

I’d love to hear about them!

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CAMEO winner!

The Silhouette CAMEO winner is Emily M.  If you are Emily M, check your email and spam and get back to me ASAP!

If you didn’t win, and you need to get your hands on a CAMEO and/or some vinyl, the promos below run through today.


GO HERE for the CAMEO + vinyl bundle.

GO HERE for Silhouette’s vinyl selection.

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Tiered Skirt Tutorial

It’s been 2 full years since the debut of my tiered skirt tutorial.  But, last week in Omaha, my niece needed a little somethin’ somethin’ to wear to her birthday bash.  What do you make for a girl who requested a Cars cake for her 3rd birthday?


A Cars skirt, of course.  If you’re a beginner sewist (we don’t say sewer, remember?), this is a good one to try.  I was at Hobby Lobby buying fabric shortly after they opened at 9 and this skirt was being worn before noon.  And the total cost including elastic and tax?  $6.47.

Have you made my tiered skirt?  I’d love to see it!

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Sound of Music Nursery Art

If you’re here for the CAMEO giveaway, it’s one post down.

If you want to see how I made the art in the DIY Blogger House nursery, you’re in the right place.


Lara of Less Cake {more frosting} and I collaborated on this nursery.  When you get a couple of Sound of Music dorks together working on a room, you’re just asking for some sort of movie reference.  And, since clothes made out of curtains don’t make sense in a room that’s not for an actual baby (or ever), artwork it was.  Winking smile

Lara showed me Copeland’s Colorful Nursery from Project Nursery and we knew we HAD to use that phrase.  And, we knew we wanted BIG.  We looked at canvases, but my signature project budget was running low.  We thought about painting it on the wall, but I was worried about a) screwing up and b) having to spend that much time in the house that last week.  So, inspired by the amazing artwork in Mandi’s entryway, we went with plywood.

I picked up this piece (4’ X 4’, thin…maybe 1/4”, pre-cut) at Lowe’s for about $14.  I went through the entire stack before settling.  I liked the movement of the grain.

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Then, I took Lara a Diet Coke and she came up with a sketch/design.


I separated the design in my Silhouette Studio software, and cut the script-y font out of vinyl using my CAMEO.  I applied the vinyl to the board and painted 2 coats using regular old cheap acrylic craft paint.  Then I peeled off the vinyl.

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You’ll notice that I jacked up the colors.  Oops.  It still turned out awesome, right?

Once that was dry, I cut the print font out of vinyl with my CAMEO and applied that to the board.  The white paint needed 3 coats, but that may be due to the fact that it had been in the basement for like 5 years.

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It needed just a little bit more *something*, so I went with 2 coats of a gloss poly,

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sanding between coats (and taking awesome cell phone pics in my garage in the dark).

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The total cost for this was right around $20.


Photo by Nathan Sweet Photography


And, because I love you, I’m sharing the Silhouette Studio file for your cutting pleasure.  Open-mouthed smile

Sound of Music Art

The scale is HUGE/sized for our 4’ X 4’ board but it can all be cut on 12” vinyl in your CAMEO.

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Giveaway: Silhouette CAMEO™ vinyl bundle!

Hey!  How’s it going?  I’m in Nebraska visiting family.  Yes, that drive is horrible…thanks for asking.  Open-mouthed smile

It’s time for another Silhouette promotion!  This one involves vinyl, which is probably the thing I cut most with my machine.  Check my next post for how I used vinyl as a stencil to make the Sound of Music nursery art in the DIY Blogger House, but for now here are the details on the promotion and a giveaway!

Don’t have a CAMEO yet?


Go here to take advantage of that deal.


You can find the vinyl here.

Now onto the reason you’re all really here.  Winking smile

Want to win a CAMEO plus white vinyl, black vinyl, and transfer tape?

(I know you do!)

One lucky Crap I’ve Made reader will win her (or his) very own Silhouette CAMEO™ + vinyl bundle


Leave a comment on this post.


Follow the Silhouette blog.  Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying that you did.

Follow Silhouette on Pinterest.  Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST saying that you did.

***3 possible entries per person***

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Wednesday, August 29th 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.

Be sure to check back because I’ll be updating this post with other giveaways in blog land as I come across them!

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Back to School Bouquet

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Are your kids back in school yet?

For the first time in 12 years, ALL of my kids will be in school…at least for 2 hours 3 times a week. (Hey, I take what I can get!)

But in the mean time, we’ve still got another 2.5 weeks of summer.

The fighting has reached epic proportions.

So, when AstroBrights Paper asked me to participate in the “Make Something Astrobright” design challenge, I jumped at the chance.  We needed a little something to cure the end of summer blues around here.

If you’re not familiar, AstroBrights Papers comes in 23 BRIGHT colors.  And if you know me, you know I love me some color.  (Aqua piano, anyone?)  I decided that the paper AstroBrights sent would be perfect for some origami.  My kids LOVE origami.  You will often find one or more of them making a swan out of the program at church (at least it’s quiet?).  I think we’ve checked out/purchased/borrowed at least 10 different books.  There are are a million videos on YouTube, too.

For this project, we (and by “we” I mean “Macy”) decided that we were going to make a lily.  She already knew how to make one and I was going to take pics and tutorialize, but then I found this origami lily tutorial and decided to just direct you there.


And now you see why.  Winking smile

So, my kids folded up an assortment of lilies in fun AstroBrights Paper colors.


Then, we decided to make a bouquet for the teacher for the first day of school.


You’ll need: 
an assortment of origami lilies in AstroBrights Papers colors 
cheap pens 
floral tape

Snipe a tiny piece of the bottom of each flower.


Stick the pen inside the lily and out the hole in the bottom.



Grab your floral tape


and start wrapping at the base of the flower.


You’re going to want to wrap 4 or 5 times tightly and then start working your way down the pen.


Once you get to the point of the pen, wrap your way back up.


Finish off with a few more tight wraps around the base of the flower and then hand your teacher a bouquet of Astrobright delight to do a little first day of school kissing up.



AstroBrights is also offering all of you a chance to win a cash prize and school supplies valued at $30,000 for the school of your choice (K-8), plus a $500 gift card for yourself, in the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes.  Nice!

Head on over to Astrobrights on Facebook to enter.  Or, if you don’t really like free stuff (you’re dead to me), you can just check out a bunch of other fun things to do with paper.

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Back to Shoe Shopping

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

Do you have this many feet that need new shoes?


I do.

And by “need” I mean that the girl child wore a size 8 when I bought her shoes in February and the sandals she bought last weekend were size 10.  (Let’s not even talk about the time that she missed the Presidential Fitness 1 mile run time by 2 seconds and we discovered that her running shoes were a size 7.5 and when she ran it in some size 9’s a week later, she shaved 30+ seconds off that time.  Mother of the year?  Char Coester.  Confused smile)

Yes, this is a sponsored post.  BUT, I agreed to do it because it’s somewhere I regularly shop and a deal that I’m going to use myself.

I know how expensive back to school shopping can be (times 4).

I know what it’s like to drag 4 kids around the mall trying to find stuff that fits.

I know how frustrating it is to buy shoes that you think are a good deal and have them fall apart a month or two later.

I know how bad the whining gets about wanting “cool” shoes.

I know the feeling of trying to cram your kid’s foot into the shoes that fit fine last month.

I get it.  Oh do I get it!

So, that’s why I’m sharing.

Now through August 18th, Famous Footwear has BOGO 1/2 off PLUS 15% off (and, if you join Famous Footwear Rewards, it bumps it up to 20% off).  Just print this coupon to take advantage of the savings.

BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon

I swear to you that Famous Footwear Rewards IS NOT one of those annoying rewards programs that sends you spam every 10 minutes.  I’ve been a member for a couple of years now and all I ever get are rewards certificates and occasional coupons.  See?

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You earn 1 point for every $1 you spend (in store or online) and can earn up to $100 back every year.  You also get a discount offer just for signing up (and remember that extra 5% off) and other discounts and perks.


So, I’ll see you there.  One store with shoes cool enough for my 12 year old (hint: her beloved Chuck Taylors) and sizes to fit everyone?  You can’t beat that.

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Painted Pillow + Pom Poms

Say that 5 times fast.


The nursery in the DIY Blogger House was inspired by this fabric


by Patty Young.  (She is DELIGHTFUL.  I took a class from her last year at The Creative Connection and it was for sure one of the highlights of my trip.)  It’s Moorish Tile in white from her Andalucia collection for Michael Miller.

I picked up a bunch of awesome fabrics from  (I’m not affiliated with them in anyway, just letting you know where I got my stuff.)  They have an awesome feature on their site where you can add fabrics to an inspiration board to see them all together before you make your purchase.  I built on the colors in the Moorish Tile fabric and came up with this:


I didn’t end up using all of the fabrics on the board, but it was my online version of stacking a million bolts in my cart before I make a final decision at my local fabric store.  Winking smile

I made pillows out of the Michael Miller Ta Dot Lagoon and the Premier Prints Zig Zag Chartreuse, but I wanted something unique for the other pillow.  I decided to enlarge part of the design in the Moorish Tile pattern and paint a pillow.

Because I’m not that coordinated, I cut a freezer paper stencil.

Because I’m lazy, I used my CAMEO.

I showed you last week how to trace a design using your Silhouette.  That’s where I started.  I traced the image of the fabric, but then I had to make a couple of modifications.  My trace of the design looked like this:

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That’s absolutely fine, but I wanted it cleaner and with less stuff around the edges.  I wanted to focus on the center part.  So, I made the trace bigger (click and drag on the corner) and rotated it the direction I wanted it to be (the green dot at the top of the design allows you to rotate).  Then I right clicked and selected “Release Compound Path”.

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This makes the image a bunch of separate cuts and lets you delete the floater pieces that you don’t want.  I deleted all the floaters and was left with this:

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Getting closer!  I opened my Eraser menu after that (over on the left, under the add text button) and erased the parts of the design that I didn’t want.

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At this point I would recommend selecting the entire design and right clicking and then selecting “Group”.  This way your whole image sticks together and stays the same size.

Now I just needed to fill in the missing pieces.  I used the “Draw Freehand” option to do that.  It’s right above the add text button.  You can see it highlighted in the image above, but it’s tiny.

Draw in one of the missing lines.  It doesn’t have to be great.  Mine started out like this:

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If you double click on the line you just drew, it will bring up the point editing menu.

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It will allow you to maneuver the end points of the line you drew over onto the lines in the design as well as modify the curves.  Just play with it a little!  And, if you screw up, use the undo function and try again.  Once you’ve got it how you like it, select the whole design and right click and select “Group” again.

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Repeat for the other 3 sides.

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Nice, right?  I had a 14” pillow form, so I wanted this design as close to 12 X 12 as possible.  I stretched it all the way to the edges of the cut area.

To cut freezer paper with your Silhouette, put the shiny side up and reverse your image (if necessary…it wasn’t really necessary on this).  Choose the normal paper settings and then slow it down just a little.

I ironed the design to some white cotton duck that I had on hand and then filled it in with craft paint mixed with a textile medium (so it doesn’t get crispy or crack).  The paint colors I used were Granny Smith from Martha Stewart Crafts and Ocean Breeze from Craft Smart.  They were picked strictly for how well they matched the Moorish Tile.

And the finishing touch?  Some pom pom trim from our friends over at Pick Your Plum.


I kind of love it.

I bought the 2 bottles of craft paint for this project and our designer Brian provided me with the pillow form ($1.99 from IKEA) but I had everything else on hand.  I think this is a great inexpensive way to add a custom one-of-a-kind pillow to your space.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Bangerter Parade Home

<90 days
5 local bloggers
1 designer


It’s beautiful.

This corner:

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Went from this:

To this:

Bangerter Parade Home 2

As this posts, I’ll be at the big reveal party.  Because there were a limited number of spots and because many of you are not local, we’re sharing it with you at the same time.

Come on in!

To the right we have the office, done by the fabulous Jen of tatertots & jello.  The details and how to’s for all of her projects will be on her site.


To the left is the formal living room, courtesy of designer extraordinaire (notice how I didn’t use “”, Brian?) Brian Clark.


And on the wall you can’t see, there’s a delightful family tree project that Jen and I got to help him execute.  We’ll talk more about that later (like next week…this post is going to be 8000 miles long as is).


Let’s go down the hall.


That delightful barn door and the mudroom just beyond it are the work of Amy from The Idea Room.  She’ll be sharing the details of her projects over there in the coming days.


And further down the hall, you’re greeted with the family room (on your left) and the kitchen (on your right) which are both the work of designer Brian Clark.



And just around the corner there in the kitchen is the dining area, featuring a pantry of epic proportions, by none other than Shelley from House of Smiths.


Upstairs is where things start to get crazy on account of me and Lara from Less Cake {more frosting} being on the case.

In no particular order, we worked on a nursery, a boy’s room, and a room inspired by the Make-A-Wish Foundation wish of a local girl who kicked cancer’s butt.

Lara and I will get into the details of our projects in the coming days/weeks, but here’s a look at our rooms.

The Nursery

(Crib from a reader and rehabbed by me, bedding sewed by me, art made by me with some design assistance from Lara, curtains modified by me)

(Freezer paper stenciled pillow, cut with my Silhouette CAMEO, pom pom trim from Pick Your Plum)


(Changing table purchased use for $20, rehabbed by me, broken board replaced, mis-matched shelves covered)

The Boy’s Room

(Valance and sham by me, duvet modifications by Lara, headboard by me, art by designer)



The Make-A-Wish Room

Ciearra’s wish was to go to New York and be a fashion model.  This room incorporates her dream and her favorite color…purple.  Brian also included pops of lime green, which is the color for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the type of cancer Ciearra had).  You’ll find the word “courage” a few different places in the room.  This is in honor of Ciearra’s courage fighting cancer.  Any girl brave enough to walk into her first day of junior high 2 weeks late with no hair gets 1,000,000 courage points from me.

(Headboard by Lara, art above headboard by Lara, photos above desk from Ciearra’s photo shoot with Nigel Barker)



(One of the images from Ciearra’s photo shoot was abstracted and then painted tone on tone on the wall)

In addition to the kids’ rooms, upstairs you will find the laundry room, also by Amy of The Idea Room,


and the master bedroom by designer Brian Clark.


I love his non-traditional take on board and batten.


The yard was designed by our friend Cynthia Bee over at the Conservation Garden Park and includes some fun expected touches like an arbor made from old doors


and a hanging daybed with a magazine holder made from a basket.


Thanks for coming on the tour.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved every second of it.  Who gets to do this with some of their favorite people on Earth???

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer.

See you soon with details on some of my projects!

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