Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Day Late

one: "Fortunes forecast! Lucky charms!" I think that's my favorite line from Disney's Robin Hood. I love how Little John delivers it. Today for your viewing pleasure [and quite possibly your creative inspiration] I give you fortune tellers. Remember? I tried to amp it up a little. These ones require a bit of thought. I wanted there to be a bit of a challenge so as to encourage multiple visits. Here's how to work it:
  1. Ask, "Which do you prefer, multiplication, addition, division or subtraction [then proceed to spell out product, sum, quotient, difference - don't worry, they're marked]?" 
  2. On the inside one will encounter the standard set of numbers. Instead of just picking a number however, the suplicant will proceed to work the math and attempt to create an equation that results in said suplicants age by using the prefered method, i.e. I am still 34 [for a couple more months] and a little forethought revealed that I cannot create an equation using the numbers 1-8 to equal my age if I choose anything other than addition. Therefore, I am required to work my way slowly to 34 by adding various small numbers--Though I am not opposed to switching up the method mid-process for a fun mixed equation.
  3. Lastly [and somewhat anti-climactic if the truth be known] one needs only to choose a random number. I'm trying to figure out a more fun was to do this... maybe grade your performance on a scale from 1-8? Maybe I'll add smiley face stickers or colors or something...no wonder those foil stars were calling to me at Staples last night! Dang.
  4. Reveal said number by opening up the flap and, voila! Fortune forecast.  
I'm working on a template/how to for the box. I'll let you know when it's up.


two: In a few weeks we'll be setting out with my family for beautiful Oceanside, CA. We have a few activities planned - the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, LA Dodgers game. The kids are going to want money. I'm going to want to give it to them. I'm going to wish they had earned it. I came up with a plan. They can each earn a potential $30 and rather than give it to them in small increments and listen to them cry about how they want this Lego set or that Pokemon card I devised a progress tracker. It works with a magnet. Pretty slick. Again, working on a how-to. I'll let you know.

ps. All projects created using Echo Park Paper Co. products available at JS. Click the photos for direct links to products.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun With Foods

is a regularly scheduled Relief Society meeting our ward puts on once a month. Last month they did a whole class about crock pot cooking that got my wheels turning, but I've yet to put it into practice. Two months ago they did a whole class about everything one can make using a basic bread recipe [dinner rolls, cinnamon/orange rolls, pizza crust, etc]. Last night was all about grains. I am fascinated. I am intrigued. I am going to tell you the single, most doable, thing that had the biggest impact on me and leave the rest for another day:

Soak grains before cooking.

Apparently this makes the grains more digestible and activates the grain enzymes which increases their nutritional value and flavor. Who knew? So, going to make wheat pancakes for breakfast? Put the wheat to soak the night before. Rice with dinner? Put it to soak in the morning.

Easy peasy.

ps. I don't think you've heard the last from me on this subject... I just requested three books from the library about grains. Consider yourself warned. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2.for.Tuesday


one: This man and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month. I figured it's about time he get his photo featured. Though looking over my shoulder he did mention the fact that he didn't give me permission to plaster his face over the world wide web. So there you go.




two: This quote. I love it. This project is going in the boys room. Hoping the words will inspire. Thought leads to action and all that.


ps. the template I used for the anniversary is the free template over at JS for Template Tuesday today [Template Tuesday #30].

pps. click images for product links.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Girl Friday


Me, I have a love for hats. I used to buy hats all the time. I realized that I never wear the hats I buy. I quit buying hats. Recently I went shopping with my dear sister. I always buy stuff I never wear when I shop with my sister. I bought a hat. I love the hat. The Girl loves the hat. I love the hat on The Girl.

The Girl has started saying, "Oh dear!" Randomly, she will come to me and say, "Momma, lets laugh and sing!" So I start singing and three or four words in she busts up laughing. Which makes me laugh. When she feels somehow slighted by something I've done or said she sings this little song, "Mommy's stupid yes sir-ree" to the tune of A Happy Family. She single handedly ate four klondike bars yesterday while I was curled up in fetal position on the couch [we've had the flu this week... hopefully I'm the last] and her dad was running errands. The evidence was all over her princess dress.

ps. Lace frame how-to.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make It Do

Have you ever paused to wonder where exactly the forks go? Or the spoons for that matter? I do this quite often. I can never remember. I suppose if I were more diligent at setting a nice table on a regular basis I wouldn't have this problem, but I don't... So I do. Plus, I believe I've mentioned that it's The Girl's job to set the table, so throw being three into that mix and it becomes quite the puzzle. How to help her set the table without leading her around the table indicating each item for her? Enter the interactive placemats I shared a couple of weeks ago for JS.

This project was really simple to make and has yeilded huge results. I created an 11 x 17 template [obviously the most time consuming part of the project] that included the makings of an informal place setting in proper placement + spacing, dropped in some cute papers, and printed + laminated at Staples. Done and done.

A few things to consider:
  1. I originally intended to use this template as an embroidery pattern to put on linen placemats. I still think that would be really cool.
  2. Don't have Photoshop? Cut out the individual elements and trace around them onto the paper of your choice. Adhere to the background of your choice + voila.
  3. Cut the shapes out of fabric instead and applique/ use a fabric glue like Fabri-tac, Aleene's Fabric Fusion or Heat 'n Bond to stick them on [side note: it's been a while since I used Heat 'n Bond and I've never tried Aleene's Fabric Fusion or Fabri-Tac - they just seemed like what I would look for if I were to do this project. All products got overall good reviews with a few terrible ones. I am not necessarily endorsing the products, just brainstorming]. 
  4. Print the page, as is, and let your kids color it.
  5. Template = Pattern. So many options.
Finally, the true test - can The Girl set the table properly? Well, see for yourself:


video

ps. I wanted to fit everything on the placemat [including the cup] so I went with a salad sized plate vs. a larger dinner plate. In my trial you may notice that things are a bit tight. I've made the necessary adjustments to the template.

pps. The song in the video is All The Ways by Frances England from her Mind of My Own album.

ppps. The template is in the box. Please leave a comment if you grab it. I've been getting a bunch of people downloading my templates and I think that's awesome. I'd love to know who's using them.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2.for.Tuesday




one: winner winner chicken dinner. A few weeks ago I offered a prize to anyone + everyone who knew the answer to a question. Today I finally made good on one of those prizes. I can't decide which I like better [the frame isn't part of it, I just needed to distinguish the borders]...



two: beach hat. for a beach bum. We're heading to Oceanside next month and I've had this cute little hat on the favorites bar for a bit too long now. Time to make it happen [it's rated as easy - we'll see]. I'm wondering how it would be with raffia?  Definitely more beachy + hopefully more flopsy. I'm looking for a bit of flopsy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aha!

Since joining the Jessica Sprague Creative Team I've developed a love/hate relationship with hybrid [meaning that digital products are printed out and assembled hands on vs. organized and assembled entirely on the computer] projects. Love the hands on process/ hate the bleeding print. A complete tragedy when that happens.

Did you know that paper matters?

Fairly recently I learned something new. Maybe something so completely obvious it's laughable to be sure, but new all the same. The type of paper used in printing projects matters. Alot.

One of the perks of being on the JS team is that companies will occasionally offer free or deeply discounted products for us to play with. When the Red River Paper Company offered sample papers I briefly wondered if it would be worth it because my printer just bleeds anyway. Again, not so. I was so excited when the package arrived I dusted off my JS products and kicked out a few paper postcards. I thought, "what better way to get a true test than with multiple patterns + colors in the same project?" I loved it. When the first page came out [printed on 53 lb Red River Premium Gloss] I picked it up, licked my finger and tried to smear the ink. No joke. Guess what? It didn't smear. So I licked it. Still no smear. By now I'm doing a little happy dance in my seat and wondering just what it would take for the ink on this paper to smear. I took it over to the sink and ran a small stream of water over it for a couple of seconds and then dabbed it dry. NO SMEAR! Obviously it's not ideal to put your paper project under a stream of water. The paper will warp if left to it's own devices, but I am not kidding... The ink stayed put.

I tried some other papers in the pack they were wonderful and heavy papers. The print was sharp and clear [though if it wasn't a coated paper the ink didn't seal and would bleed]. There was this one paper that, after I realized the ink wouldn't bleed, I sat it aside for a special project - It was thick and heavy and beautiful and thick. Too thick for my junk printer. And then there was this one project [done on a satin finish paper] that I thought would come off without a hitch but the inks wouldn't dry. Forever. It's still not dry and the lines are fuzzy. I realized much later that there is a right + a wrong side to special papers. I gave that paper a second chance and have come to the conclusion that Arctic Polar Satin 66 lb Red River Paper might be my favorite paper for printing projects at home. Not too glossy, true colors, clean lines. Beautiful prints.

Thank you Red River Paper Company! Not just for making fabulous papers, but for providing me the testing grounds for getting optimal results from of my less than stellar printer. I will stop complaining about it now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Very Most Favorite

time of day is the quiet early morning hours when the world is just starting to open her eyes. 


She reaches her arms high in a great big stretch and with a wide yawn she breathes in all the possibility of a new day.  It was my pleasure to witness this very chain of events this morning. And as the sun peeked his head over the mountain I took this photo of my babies all cuddled up in bed with their daddy. Life is good in the morning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2.for.Tuesday


one: Survey Says: Salsa. Soup + Salsa. I am exhausted. We were up until 3:30a.m. this morning bottling tomato soup + salsa. I love the soup, but am really wondering if it's worth all this trouble. This is the third week in a row we've done this. I don't think the salsa is worth it. I've still not found a bottled salsa recipe I love. Tonight we used recipe #2 for this year. I think we're going to have a salsa party when we're done with the tomato season. Everyone will have to fill out a survey about the each of the different salsas and hopefully we'll be able to pin down a recipe we like. Hopefully. I'm thinking a questionaire like this might just do the trick. This just might be the labels on a few jars that get delivered as invites. That would help me get rid of some... hmm.
two: Flashback. Remember when I first started posting 2.for.Tuesday clear back in November 2008 [wow]? It was entirely about great ideas I had seen and wanted to try. Some I even tried. I kind of miss that. I kind of miss letting the ebb + flow of the internet waves pull me where they would. It isn't very often anymore that I surf without a specific purpose in mind. Today I was reminded of how much I enjoyed creating a post with the sole purpose of sharing fun ideas with you. Elsie Marley recently shared a post called things on the internet: tutorial edition. Things like the homemade retro play stamps tutorial/photo by Teri at Giddy Giddy. It's all fun. Go see.

ps. It seems a few crazy Christmas cards are extremely past due... I'll get right on that.

pps. The label was made with Echo Park's Country Drive Elements 2