I had the honor of working with Carla, today’s guest poster, for several years at EK Success. First she was a freelance creative designer who would submit awesome works of art to me, then she became a coworker when she moved to NJ to be part of the education department. In my opinion, she’s a creative genius. She is someone that always seems to have a little experience in everything or isn’t afraid to investigate and explore more about the things she doesn’t know yet. She’s here today to share a creative tablescape she helped craft up and a coordinating little gift she put together for crafty friends. Take it away, Carla!
One of the many things I enjoy about scrapbooking is the community that surrounds it, online and in real life. I love attending events such as Creating Keepsakes Conventions, where I can share my passion with hundreds of other people! A couple of years ago some friends and I attended CKC in Lancaster, Pa. We took classes, we shopped till we dropped, and we attended an evening crop. (For the uninitiated, a crop is a party where everyone works on their projects. Think quilting bee, but with paper.)
The crop organizers offered a prize for the best-decorated table with a beach theme. We decided to go all-out and compete to win! To get started, we knew we needed a great theme, and we needed some great crafts. We brainstormed until Lenore came up with the idea of a “Lancastaways” table. With that, our imaginations took off! Everyone contributed to the final outcome.
Lenore created an amazing sign for our table from pallet wood, paint, and a touch of glitter!
To our castaway table we added all manner of tropical touches: dried grass, fish net, a palm tree, coconut cups, a captain’s wheel, and a life saver (is that what you call that thing?).
We crafted “life vests” from orange t-shirts and duct tape, supplied by Virginia, and topped off our costumes with sailor hats.
My contribution was a surprise for my cropping pals — an emergency crafting kit.
Inside I included an assortment of goodies to go with our theme, and a tag to explain it all.
We were super excited when we won the table decorating contest! We each received a bag full of scrappy goodness (because you can never have enough of that!).
With all this stuff, we still managed to create room on our table for actual cropping! We all had a blast and agreed we needed to do it again soon!
Carla is a communication and marketing professional as well as a scrapbooking teacher, crafter, and former Education Manager for Martha Stewart Crafts at EK Success. She blogs along with several creative friends at TheCraftingJournals.com. Also, check out her How to Scrapbook series on HowCast.com.
See all of the times Carla’s been on Spotofteadesigns.com!
Recently I was forwarded an email by my fellow crafty friend, Carla. It was an opportunity to receive a nifty bag full of crafty goods from a CHA blogger event, run by Prime Publishing (you know, the ones who run the Favecrafts.com site amongst other things?) I entered my name and was happily surprised to learn that I would be receive said bag of goodies!
A few weeks later, a HUGE box arrived on my doorstep. It was like Christmas, opening each mini bag inside with different materials from well known craft companies like Fiskars, Lion Brand, Darice, Plaid and I Love To Create. It also included a follow up email about a blogger contest using some of the materials in the box.
I pulled out a few “new to me” products from brands like Fiskars, Aleene’s and Tulip and came up with the above “Use Your Stash Challenge” type craft! I converted the fabric bag that held Brielle’s crib sheets into a decorative gift bag with some no sew flowers on top. Click on the image above and look for m name to see the full details about the craft!
While you’re there, don’t forget to vote for your favorite craft project – or mine if you just want friendship brownie points
Thanks again to Carla to telling me about the contest, Prime Publishing for sending me the goods and all the crafty companies that donated items for the bloggers! I look forward to digging into this stash for future projects!
My nephew Blake (3 months shy of 3 years) and my cousin Liam (4.5 years) are both at really great ages. They’re becoming more talkative, animated and just over more silly together, which is really fun to be around. I use any holiday or occasion as an excuse to give them some little trinkets and see their eyes light up with curiosity. Recently, I took the opportunity to design a few rainbow themed activities for them in honor of the upcoming rainbow filled day of St. Patrick’s Day.
I filled cute green organza bags with an assortment of colorful cereal loops, a piece of yarn and some custom printables and watched them get to work! These bags were the perfect size for little hands, allowing me to safely transport their gift, but also allow them to peak inside.
The first activity involved making a rainbow by sorting colors and laying them onto a printable of a pot of gold.
They loved this part, naming the colors out loud and finding the spot on the printable to place them.
Next, they threaded the cereal pieces onto some yarn to make custom necklaces with a pattern of their choice.
While Liam informed me that “necklaces are for girls” Blake happily strung his along, oblivious of the gender driven fashion piece. Tip: roll a piece of tape to the end of the yarn to make it easily to thread the cereal on.
Finally, they loved munching down on the sugary treats. Overall, I think they had a fun time with this rainbow filled craft and snack!
BONUS FOR YOU: I turned the lucky tags, rainbow making pot of gold game and necklace making note into a free printable for you to download. Click on the image above to download the 2 page spread featuring all three components. (The first page has 4 of the lucky tags, if you’re only interested in that piece.)
If you’re looking for an assortment of bags (paper, organza, plastic, etc) for your next event or party, make sure you check out StoreSupply.com. I was generously donated these bags for my post, but was drooling over the full assortment of bag choices available in their store that I can use for future parties and crafts!
No Time for Flash Cards, Flamingo Toes, Navy Wife, A Peek Into My Paradise, Sewlicious Home Décor, Sew Can Do, Two It Yourself, Craft-O-Maniac, Ella Claire, Just A Girl And Her Blog, JAQ Studios, Lady Behind the Curtain, Snap creativity, the DIY Dreamer, Cherished Bliss, Live Laugh Rowe, All Things With Purpose, Craft Dictator, Just Between Friends, Just Us Four,
Disclosure: I was compensated by SupplyStore.com for these items, but the opinions expressed are all mine. For more information on my disclosure policy, please visit this page.
My sister-in-law, Lauren and new mom to my adorable neice, Brinley, is here today with her first official guest post! (on her birthday, no less!) While I’m a better baker than chef, Lauren has skills in both! She used her cooking skills to whip together some DIY baby food for her growing girl. Take it away, Lauren!
Prepare: Scrub, clean & pierce 2 extra large sweet potatoes (I used organic).
Bake: At 375 for 1 hour.
Cool: Allow to cool enough to handle. Slice in half and scrap out insides.
Blend: Cut into cubes and purée in blender with water until smooth. Add water as you need to loosen potatoes. Depending on the size of the potatoes, you may need to at 1 potato at a time in the blender.
Form: Allow purée mixture to cool (I covered and put it into the fridge for a few hours until baby B went to sleep). Spoon or pour your mixture into ice cube trays and freeze trays overnight.
Store: Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. One cube is about one ounce. Defrost in microwave as needed.
Looks like Brinley loves her mom’s cooking! Happy Birthday Lauren!
All Things With Purpose, Made In A Day, Cherished Bliss, Live Laugh Rowe, Thirty Handmade Days, Kitchen Fun with My Three Boys, The Country Cook,
Back in December, we attended a joint birthday party for two brother-in-laws who were both turning forty and who both happened to be named Mike. As they were both manly hunting men, I dug into my stash and pulled out some items I thought could make for some “manly” birthday cards.
Behold! Pun filled cards, a man’s favorite style of cards!
I realized later to play off the pun here I should’ve wrote “Oh DEER” instead of “dear” but I think they still understood the point. This was a fitting card for the one Mike that recently just shot his first buck!
Mike #2 got another manly punny creation with this bear themed design.
Hope you guys had a fun time celebrating turning 40!
Supplies: Patterned paper and diecut: The Paper Company
Two It Yourself, Home Coming, Sew Can Do, Just A Girl And Her Blog, Ella Claire, JAQ Studios,
For the past few months, on Brielle’s monthly birthday, I’ve been sharing some advice and recommendations from my perspective as a first time mom (FTM). Today I wanted to focus on a few points about YOU and your post baby self.
You are now responsible for the life of a cute little bundle. You rarely go for long stretches of time without changing a diaper, wiping a mouth or feeding someone before yourself. But you are still a person! Take note on a few of the below pieces of advice:
- Give yourself a break when it comes to weight loss. Fact 1: when you leave the hospital, you will still look about 6 months pregnant. It takes a little while to lose some of that weight or for some parts of you to shrink back from their stretched out shapes. (and some things may never be the same!) Think about this if you start getting down: Nine months on, nine months off. Give yourself some time to slowly lose the weight! It did take you about 9 months to gain it so it probably won’t come off right away. If you are breastfeeding, you burn a lot of calories just in feeding your precious little one. Most doctors would highly suggest you don’t diet when breastfeeding or don’t work out until given approval at your 6 week post partum checkup.
- Buy transitional clothes. Fact 2: you will still need to wear maternity clothes in the early weeks/months after baby. Do yourself a favor and after a few weeks, buy some clothes that fit you, even in this (hopefully) transitional size back to a smaller self. I spent about $65 and purchased two pairs of skinny style jeans in a size bigger than I had been pre pregnancy and they were the best $65 spent! I felt more like “me” in styles that I had hard worn previously and I felt they were more flattering than squishing myself into smaller sized, unflattering pants for the sake of my ego. (Confession time: at about 3 months PP, I tried to wear one of my pre pregnancy skinny jeans. I “fit” into them but when I went to pull them up by the leg, I ripped them! Whoops!)
- Take a daily shower. This one seems obvious but is easier said than done with a newborn. I know I was a lucky one (as I noticed this from reading online message boards), but I never went a day without taking a shower since Brielle came home. Even when I was home alone watching her all day, I somehow found time to hop in the shower for even a quick 5 minute rinse and it felt great. Granted, little Brielle did come in the bathroom with me and sat in her Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper while I played peek-a-boo behind the shower curtain, but at least I was accomplishing something I needed to do for myself. Even if you shower and put on a new pair of yoga pants when you get back out (guilty) it helps to keep that routine for yourself.
- Treat yourself to a little beauty time! The first time I left Brielle with Derek for longer than a 30 minute trip to Shoprite was for a root canal. Whomp Whomp! The second time, it was for a two hour trip to the hair salon for a cut and highlights! It was good to have some “me” time but also to get a little refresher in the beauty department. This was the second best money spent on myself, post baby, after those jeans! (Friends/family of an expecting mommy reading this: buy them a gift card to their favorite beauty/nail/massage place and offer to babysit once the baby arrives!)
- Stay in touch with friends. With today’s modern technology, there really isn’t an excuse to not keep in touch with someone, even in written form. I’m personally not on Facebook but since my phone was pretty much glued to me to track feedings, I was able to keep up with my friends via emails, texts or pictures during those first crazy months. While we didn’t make every event we were invited to or meet up for lunch at the drop of a hat, I think I did a good job of staying in touch with the friends who have grown with me through all these milestone life moments.
- Find time to do things you enjoy by yourself. Sure I don’t get to take as many bubble baths or go for a run as much as I used to since Brielle’s birth, but I have tried to keep up on some other hobbies that I enjoy. I’m still keeping up with blogging, scrapbooking, planning parties and hosting family holidays. These were all creative things I enjoyed prior to the baby and something I hope to do alongside her when she’s older.
Do YOU have any tips on being you, post baby?
DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. To learn more about my affiliates, please review my disclosure policy here.
Here’s a few more pages from Brielle’s Baby Scrapbook:
Fact: The above layout about Brielle’s nursery was laid out as cut pieces that were not adhered down for over a week, during one of Brielle’s fussy weeks! BUT I finally found time to adhere it all down and I love how it came out! I used this card from Pink Paislee as inspiration to make my own background using paper strips.
I used layered butterfly punches around the page, which were inspired by the paper punched mobile Anita had made for her room that is hung over her rocking chair.
Supplies: Patterned paper: Recollections, Martha Stewart Crafts, The Paper Company | Punches: Martha Stewart Crafts, EK Tools | Adhesive gems: Martha Stewart Crafts | Journaling Card: My Minds Eye
Within her first week of being home, all her aunts, uncles and first cousins came to visit her! I made sure to capture these first moments with the photos seen above. I look at them now and can’t believe how little she or the other new little cousins were just a few short months ago!
Supplies: Patterned Paper: K&Company, Jenni Bowlin | Alphabet Stickers: American Crafts | Die cut borders: My Mind’s Eye | Tag: 7 Gypsies | Twine: Martha Stewart Crafts
Someday Crafts, Just a girl and her blog, ella Claire, Lady behind the curtain, JAQ Studios, Just Between Friends,
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it was fitting to post this card all about love!
One of Derek’s younger cousins, Kelly, moved from Pennsylvania to Texas for her job in July 2012 and by the following fall had met the man she planned to marry and got engaged! In December, we attended their Pennsylvania engagement party in which I designed this card:
Congrats again Y’all!
Supplies: Patterned paper: EK Success I Do collection | Punch: Martha Stewart Crafts | Stickers: Sticko Phrase Café, Jolee’s Boutique
PS Are you on Bloglovin’ yet? It’s a great way to see all the blog posts you love without having to go through all their social media. I am addicted to cleaning out my feed by the end of each day! Follow my blog here!