Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Bell Necklace


One of my most favorite things about December is that I can pull out my advent calendars.  I LOVE advent calendars and have started a little collection of them, the girls love them as well and race around the house counting down the days until Christmas. 

One of my newest advent calendars is a train with large boxes to hold items and knew right away that I wanted to put something special each day in it not just a simple piece of candy. 029

Having very little money I knew I had to get creative and use things that I already have on hand. 

For the first day I thought about what a had on hand and knew that I wanted to use some of the jingle bells, nothing sounds like Christmas more then the ringing of a bell from Santa’s sleigh.


So I made each of my girls a jingle bell necklace.  It was really simple I simply took a bell put a jump ring around it and put it on a silver chain.  Of course ever necklace needs a card to sit on which gave me an opportunity to come up with a poem.


“Do You Hear What I Hear?

From This Christmas Bell

A Sound of Santa Cheer

From the Sleigh it Fell

Wear Around Your Neck

And Give a Little Ring

Keep Yourself in Check

For Presents He Will Bring.”

For those who want to use it for themselves I created an adobe file, each page includes two poems.  Just click HERE!

Don’t want to make your own you can purchase it from my etsy shop for $3.00, just click HERE.


And here they sit until the girls get home from school.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Messenger of Peace

I’m sure you have noticed that my blog isn’t my regular bold red, but has been changed to Purple.  I didn’t change it to purple because it is my favorite color (although it is one of them).  I changed it because we are nearing October which is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month and purple is the color that has been chosen to represent domestic violence.

As you may or may not now I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. Although I have been out of the relationship for nearly 10 years, it is still difficult to talk about and as a result I have been unsuccessful in starting any new relationships. For the month of October I am going to dedicate my blog to making others aware of domestic violence.  I plan to talk about my past and perhaps even retype some of my journal entries.  I hope to also have other survivors come forward and share some of their experiences.  I do this not to make others feel pity but to encourage others.  My hope is to also give others the resources that are needed if they are victims or know of victims.

To prepare for the month of October I have been designing a jewelry collection that I am naming Messenger of Peace.  Each item will carry the color purple and a silver dove.  The silver dove carries the color purple symbolizing as a messenger of domestic violence awareness and bringing peace to those who have been affected.  A portion of all proceeds will be donated to assist victims of domestic violence.  I have listed some items in my etsy store and will continue to create more throughout the month.



I know this topic can be difficult for many but this is an issue that needs to be stopped and needs not be ignored.  As most of my readers are women I hope that through the heart ache you read that you will feel the strength to empower each other.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family Beehive Art Knock off

I grew up in Utah and as you may or may not know Utah is the Beehive state.  Throughout Utah you will can see beehive symbols in odd places, even the Utah Highway Patrol’s logo feature the beehive.  I like beehives, perhaps Utah rubbed off on me but there is just something so amazing about bees and their homes.206px-Utah_Highway_Patrol_patch(source)
On a recent trip to Deseret Books I saw this framed personal art.
Sadly, I couldn’t afford the $229 price tag, and then I remember a post at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar found HERE about getting cheap prints at Staples, by using the blueprint option, and thought and I can replicate this, for cheap.
I went to work and searched for a beehive image that I liked.
I didn’t want all the hoopla around it so I used my paint program and erased everything but the beehive.  I then went to The Graphic Fairy’s and found a bee image I liked (hind sight say’s I should have just used the bee’s in the original image, I think they kind of came out as looking like fly’s).
goldenbee2-graphicsfairyAfter I placed my bees where I liked them I went to Picnik and using tips from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar found HERE placed the final touches.  This was a gift for my brother so I but on his last name, the year he was married, and the little decoration underneath, the five bees represent my brother, his wife, and three sons.
I went to the Staples website and placed my order, within 10 minutes they called me back telling me that my order was ready, it was so quick.  This is what it looked like when I picked it up.
I took out my colored pencils and colored the beehive and bees yellow, and my vision was beginning to take place.
I then took wet black tea bags and rubbed them all over the paper, to make the paper not so white.
I had an old frame that the glass had broken out and had cardboard backing I originally planned on using a piece of extra white board that I had on hand but it wasn’t quite big enough.  Instead of buying a sheet of wood I decided to just use the cardboard, because I was trying to replicate a canvas look I wanted bubbles so I Mod Podged the paper directly onto the cardboard.
I still didn’t think that my paper was dark enough so I took some black acrylic paint and mixed it with my Mod Podge brushing it on top of the art work.  Once it dried I brushed on a few more layers of regular Mod Podge and framed it.
I am so happy with how this project came out.  My biggest regret?  Leaving it on the floor to dry, my mom’s dog walked on it and ripped a piece of the paper, whoops.  One reason I don’t have dogs. 
A break down on the pricing:
Printing                              $3.17 (tax included)       
Colored Pencils                   FREE (already had)                
Tea Bags                           $2.00                                
Picture Frame                      FREE (already had)                 
Mod Podge                         FREE (already had)           
GRAND TOTAL                  $5.17
Original Image                   $229.00                               
SAVINGS OF                  $223.83 
I saved a huge amount and even managed to make my image larger, BONUS!  I am so excited to give this to my brother and his family.   I originally planned on doing it for a family Christmas gift but I really couldn’t wait to make it.  Happy Birthday big brother.
I am linking this post to
and the parties found at the bottom of my page.

Monday, July 18, 2011

10 Year Old Support

First of all I apologize for the EXTREMELY long absence from the blog and unfortunately I don’t think things will be picking up very soon.  Summer has kept me busy and I have been doing work down at the Oneida County Crisis Center, which means I have been staying down at my parents house as it is too far to drive everyday. 

We also went on a vacation and I will be sharing pictures later in the week.  We went down to Southern Utah and did a lot of the National Parks down there, Bryce Canyon, Zion’s, The Grand Canyon (sort of), Cedar Breaks, and spent a few days at Lake Powell.

Today I want to share with you an amazing discovery I found at Barnes and Noble the other day.  We like American Girls in our household and unfortunately I discovered them just a bit to late, or so I thought.  While in the children's book section we were looking at a tower that had American Girls books and we found  The Care & Keeping of YOU.

AG Image

Princess and I butt heads A LOT.  I love her but we have different personalities and we don’t always get along.  She is also now 10 and seems to be getting in the “Mom doesn’t know anything!” phase.  This book has been a blessing. It seriously covers everything for a growing girl.

Princess is not much of a reader but for the last week she has taken this book with her everywhere and every chance she gets she has her nose in the book.  In fact this morning she stopped before getting in the shower to read if there were any tips on cleaning.  There weren’t other than taking showers more often but I love that she is stopping to think about taking care of herself.

The table of contents is broken up into sections of: Heads Up!, Reach! Belly Zone, Big Changes, On the Go, and The Girl Inside.  It really does seem to cover everything.  I don’t expect it to cover our talks together and in fact this book encourages talking to adults about some of the issues, but I like that we have one book for all of our resources and I don’t have to look everywhere for resources.

The book was really cheap as well only $9.95 but biggest regret is not buying the entire set that they sale together that was right around $30.  I highly recommend this book for your growing daughter and had to express my amazement with this book, it really has become a blessing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mamma Mia

Well, I survived the trip but just barely!  I don’t know why I thought it would be easy to take for girls on a 4 hour drive.  We survived though and had a blast. 


My biggest regret is not giving ourselves more time.  The girls really wanted to go swimming and I wish that we would have left earlier to give us more time in the city.  Once we go there it only gave us 1 hour to swim and quite honestly we could have done without the swimming.  I was hoping to do nails and have time to actually eat dinner but it just didn’t work out. Summertime in Idaho means construction city and because the weather has been less than summerly lately I didn’t even think about construction.  We ended up eating only a block away from the venue but because I didn’t really know where it was we drove up to the parking garage and ended up almost being late as it took us 40 minutes to drive one block.  Which made pictures before not possible.

We made it though and the girls had a blast!  Some of the highlights:

The dresses!!!  The girls LOVED them!!!!


The binoculars!!! As before I didn’t buy the best seats so I wanted to make sure we could see every detail of the show.  We bedazzled them before hand, and got a lot of compliments on them.


Because of the time issue my pictures were after the show in the dark, yuck.  As I was trying to get a half way decent picture with the trailers in the background some of the cast came out.


We were able to meet Donna Sheridan (Kaye Tuckerman) and the daughter Sophie Sheridan (Chloe Tucker).  For those who don’t know this is a really rare opportunity, regular local plays it is common to meet the cast but not with these touring productions.  I must say Kaye Tuckerman was simply beautiful too, honestly I don’t think I have ever talked to anyone so beautiful in my life.  She was so nice and the girls were so impressed that she knew we drove such a long way to watch and that it was Princess’s birthday.  Apparently, they didn’t listen to me talking to her directly.  We spent about 5 minutes with them and it was really neat to be able to talk to them.


On the way back we stopped off and had lunch at Twin Falls.  The girls were too scared to go all the way on the observatory when they discovered that some of it was off of the ledge.


We are home and I am very glad that I was able to give the girls an opportunity to see an amazing show.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Dress For Princess


As mentioned a few post ago I also made a dress for Princess for the Mamma Mia Show.  We had the handbag first and on one of my many trips to Jo-Ann I saw this pattern and knew that it would be perfect.


I generally wouldn’t buy the material without her input first but I just knew she would love it because it matched the purse so perfectly.  The pattern is Simplicity 4070 and it is a woman’s size pattern.  My original intent was to not buy the pattern.  I am just to cheap to spend over $10 on a pattern so I took pictures and bought the fabric.  Then luckily a week later Jo-Ann’s had the patterns for .99 cents so I went ahead and bought it, still knowing that I would have to size it down for a 10 year old.


I ended up making the dress a size 6 petite and when it came time to closing the back I sized it down.  The top is a little big but it still seems to work okay and she loves it so that is all that matters.


When I originally pulled out the pattern pieces I was thinking it was going to take me F-O-R-E-V-E-R but had I not had to size it down I could have easily had this dress done in half a day.  One more reason I LOVE Simplicity patterns they are so easy and I think the end result is lovely as well.


I must admit I was nervous about sewing the lace as I have never really dealt with it and it was a piece of cake.  Also I have heard horror stories of tulle but I had absolutely no problems with it.  In fact I was actually talking on the phone to my friend while I sewed it on the bottom of the dress and until I was finished didn’t even realize I had sewn it, seriously it was one of the easiest fabrics I’ve sewn with.


I like how the dress turned out and am super excited for tonight when the girls will be all dressed up and ready to go to Mamma Mia, more pictures are sure to follow.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Guitar Cake

Princess wanted an electric guitar for her birthday cake, and this is what I came up with.
At first she wanted chocolate cake and then she wanted white cake with it as well. So I decided to make marble cake.  I was surprised when looking how to make marble cake that the only directions I could find were for a Bundt cake, so I winged it.
I think that it turned out okay.  I used the chocolate recipe cake found HERE and I must say it was delicious, I liked it because it was made for a whole sheet cake.  My sheet cake pan was a little bit bigger then the size asked for so I made a Better-Than-Basic Yellow Cake recipe that I had in my FAVORITE cookbook Disney’s Family Cookbook. 
This cookbook is no longer in print anymore but I must say it is amazing.  It is from the creators of Family Fun Magazine and if you can find it snatch it up.  When I find it on ebay I buy it and give it away as wedding gifts.  Seriously GREAT!
So marble it I first put the yellow cake in because there was less and then I poured the chocolate to fill in the cracks run my spatula throughout it making sure I went all the way down to the bottom.  I must say this cake is delicious.
I wanted the cake to be close enough to life size so I ended up using the entire sheet cake for the base.  I was going to make a template and go around it but I was a little lazy and I just looked at a picture while I cut out the shape.
I think it turned out okay. When I was originally making it I thought that I would finish it up at my folks house so I wanted it on two separate sheets so I could put it in the fridge.  In the end however I found something that I thought would work to place the cake on at my house and used it.  It was never put in the fridge again, and was finished at my house something I now regret.
The neck was Rice Krispy treats and everything else was cake.
I dirty iced the entire cake and the put it in the freezer.
Then I took some regular store bought fondant.  I usually make marshmallow fondant but I wasn’t up for the mess.  It tastes better, I cheaper than store bought, but it doesn’t apply to itself very well.  She wanted the guitar to be red but that is a really hard color to get so she settled with the pink, I think it looks more girly anyways.
Notice my nice mistake at the bottom of the guitar? It wasn’t my original intent to have the purple covering to go over it but when mistakes happen you can always improvise.
As mentioned before I wish I would have waited when I did the final icing.  I was tired, it was late, and I should have just waited until morning. The strings and the wording look like crap, but o’well.  I need to continue reminding myself when I am tired of something to walk away for a bit and finish it later.
She loved the cake, it tasted great, that is all that matters.
Happy 10th Birthday, Princess!!!
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