Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend of Crafts on the Cheap

First - just take yourself over here. Kristine McKay Designs is such a fantastic place to get fun ideas for crafts and decor. I have to say it's one of my favorites. Here are some of the reasons I love her: (dearly not queerly as Kim would say!)

1. She has great taste. I find many sites where I like something they've shared but the majority of the crafts are just not my style. Not so with Kristine! I love it all!

2. She shares. She has created these lovely things and then she explains them! And shares files so you can copy her exactly! It is so irksome to see a "craft blog" with just pics and no explanations of how they did it. I'm not a creative gal, just a copycat so I appreciate directions! And really, her downloads so you can have the same graphics she used are such a bonus!

3. She does things that are easy and reasonable in cost. This is very important to me as I just can't spend lots of money without getting hives - or the heebies at least. :)

I have to say there is a bad side to all this craftiness... I now want a Silhouette cutter. Badly. I need vinyl.

So here is a wreath for next year based on Kristine's Easter wreath made with supplies from the Dollar Tree. Check out her post at the site linked above. My wreath definitely needs a little something to perk it up. I have no idea what that something may be. Ideas?

And here is the Easter wreath. Disregard the bow. Please. I'm bowtying-deficient. I'm trying!
The wreaths at JoAnne's (speckled eggs on Spanish moss) were $30 a piece. I kid you not. I cheated and didn't spray paint the Dollar Tree eggs like Kristine did, I just bought a package from JoAnne's (on a tip from Kristine) for $3. And comparing the 2 wreaths I'm thinking I may rearrange my eggs. But I did it while watching Twilight. I was distracted. ;)

And here we have my next attempt at crafting. I'm hoping that this...

plus this...

will equal this.
This is from this site. The plaque she bought (Happiness...) is from the Dollar Tree as well. She painted everything and then antiqued it. I have a plaque as well that I did this to - just has a different saying.
Aren't these hideous? Why would you put yellow stripes down the sides? Silly people.

Baby updates

Here we have Megan at 8 months
enjoying some apples in her new highchair. Be impressed - this is our fourth baby and FIRST highchair. I am that cheap, or maybe not... since I paid for a chair that will only be used by one kid.

And here she is in her saucer at 7 months. Still putting everything in her mouth. This time it's maracas from Holly. Mmmmm maracas.

Megan is fine... I think. Her eating leaves a LOT to be desired and consequently she's a skinny little thing. But happy! She still won't do a bottle or cup so I'm just praying (literally) that she'll be OK and continue to develop as she should and be a healthy little girl. I'm still pumping as much as I can after feedings to have milk to mix with her cereal and hopefully increase production so the few minutes she does nurse will hopefully be more beneficial.

And here is a not-so-flattering pic of Lauren. But I wanted to show you that now at 2 years old she has let me do something to her hair. This was on a Monday following a weekend where I had multiple people each day ask about my little boy/son. This prompted me to attempt to put what little hair she has in a girly style. This lasted for just minutes so our photo ops were not many. Such a cute little stinker! She's let me try it a couple of times since. Hopefully the style will grow on her and she'll leave it in soon!

In other Lauren news - she's been 2 now for 2 weeks. She knows all her colors and (check this out!) most of her alphabet (upper case and what sounds the letters make). Yeah, she's a genius. Which of course reflects directly on my parenting skills. ;) Or that's what I tell myself. She's so fun to be with and I'm glad I get to hang out with her all day - she keeps me going. Well, she also drives me nuts (such a strong-willed little lady), but I'll take the good with the challenging!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Free Birthday Cards!

I used to be the one in our family who sent everyone a card on their birthday. Now that is not very impressive for most families but on my husbands side there are nine children - and 6 of them are married/with kids. With grandparents/greats, siblings, spouses, neices and nephews that was a LOT of cards! I used to be very organized and divide my card needs into adult male, adult female, juvenile male, juvenile female, and a special card for the first birthday. I handmade cards for each group and put the card in an envelope. I made sure that each family didn't receive exact duplicates in one year of any given card. I added not only birthdays to my calendar, but 4 mailing days prior to the birthday I added a "Mail it" reminder. It doesn't surprise you that I'm a Type A Virgo Math major does it? ;)

After I had my third child this all fell by the wayside. I started missing birthdays and instead of just shrugging it off and continuing with the next birthday I imagined the mess it would be if Susie opened a card and her brother Johnny remembered that 2 months prior he had received no card from me. I felt terrible! So I stopped doing them all together. BUT.... now I think I found a good solution!
I read a post on "How Does She?" and was inspired! Using VistaPrints famous freebies I designed a postcard for our families birthdays! With shipping I received 100 cards, personalized and ready-to-mail for less than $1 out of pocket. The total actually came to $6.xx but I had some PayPal money from surveys that I occasionally receive that I was able to use.
Here are the cards I designed...

And to save even more time I designed a coordinating back side that included a birthday message, our family's names and (on the top right corner that's been cut off in the pic) our return address. Sweet! All that's left is to address them to the individual and maybe add a quick personal note. Oh, and I suppose some postage. Hmmmm - I wonder if they make "Forever" stamps for postcards... somehow I doubt it! ;)
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