Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Printable Lunch Bags! Tutorial

 I have a cute teeny tiny little stamp that I use on tags that I use when wrapping up an order.   It's a cute touch.  However, sometimes, I just want more impact.
At the beginning of summer, I purchased 100 lunch bags for 1.99.  I only needed 6 or so to make my summer banner.

Needless to say, I was left with 96 paper bags and nothing to do with them.
I wondered if I could print on the lunch bag.   Turns out, you can!!!   I will share how I did it here for my fun loving friends ;)
If you have your own little business, this is a great, cheap (.02 cents apiece!) and easy way to make your mark.  If you want to make custom birthday party bags, memorable lunch bags, etc. this is a really fun way to do it.  You can also create custom wrapping paper for smallish gifts.  So rad (trying to use other adjectives than great)!

I used Microsoft publisher to make mine.

Here are the steps.
1.  Create a new document
2.  Under page setup, select "Custom"
3.  Under measurements, put in 5.2 Wide by 10.2 Tall
4.  You'll have blank page to work with.
5.  Put a text box or image on the document-whatever you want! 
6.  Rotate the items so that they appear upside down.  I'm assuming you know how to do this.  If not, let me know!

7.  Print-The printer doesn't automatically know that to print your document 5.2 x 10.2 so the first time, you have to set up a custom paper size.
  • When you click "Print" there will be a box that says, "Properties".  Click it.
  • Click the "Features" tab
  • Click on "Paper Type"
  • Click on "Custom" and enter the dimensions (5.2x10.2).  Rename the custom print, "paper bag". Hit OK and you're all set.  Next time, you'll just have to go to paper size and select "paper bag".
  • Place the paper bag with the flap on top going into the printer first (see my uber-professional pic below) and hit PRINT!

Out will come your beautiful bag creation!  Neat, huh?  I have a few other ideas with these so stay tuned ;)

Cute alone...

A bow adds mucho cuteness.
Linking up to these fab parties:
Tip Junkie handmade projectsTodays Creative Blog

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ribbon Pencil Case Tutorial

I'm so excited this week.  I have THREE really fun ideas to share with you.  I don't know if it's my lack of sleep that's brought these ideas on, back to school madness or what, but I'm glad that I'm having a "good" week in this respect ;)  Today's is the only one that requires sewing (and it's really minimal).  So, if you don't sew, stick with me.  I have two more ideas that even the most crafti-not can do!  Promise.

Today's fab idea I had while sitting at the kitchen table yesterday morning at 530am.  The house was quiet, I finished my Bible study and sat staring around the room as if I had no idea what to do with myself next.  It was quiet (did I already mention that?).  I'm not used to that.
I glanced over at the kitchen counter where I do my fabric cutting (I've pretty much taken over said counter), and saw one of my funky spools of ribbon.

So I don't know about you, but I'm always digging around my purse for a pen.  After looking at the ribbon I thought that I could make myself a fun little pen holder so that it's easier to find a pen and if I had a special case for it, maybe it wouldn't ever leave my bag?  We'll see about that.  Anyway!
Here's how to make your very own.

Materials Needed:
19 inch long piece of polyester ribbon (the ribbon i used is 1.5 inches wide)
3 inch long piece of 1/4" wide ribbon to hold case closed

 The 19 inch long piece of ribbon will hold pens and pencils. 

Before you begin, be sure to use a match or candle to burn the ends of your ribbon.  Somehow, the ends melt just a tad ensuring they don't fray.  Cool huh?
Then, wrap the item you want inside the ribbon (like pic above).
Pin your 3" piece of ribbon along the folded ribbon sandwiching the ends between the large ribbon.  This is going to be where you'll tuck the top so make sure that you're pinning it in a place where it will hold that ribbon closed.  

 From the bottom of folded ribbon, you'll sew up to the top, back-stitching at both ends.  Sew as close to the edges as you can.

 Cute, huh?  Takes approx. 5 mins to make and you have a great, fun and cute item to house your pens.  It would make a great teacher gift, back to school item, could house an emergency tampon for your purse (yea, it fits).  Nothing more embarrassing that being at the store and a tampon flying out.  It's never happened to me, but almost did.  I think.
You can make it larger for knitting needles, paint brushes, etc.

Let me know what you think!  Come back this week for my other ideas.  You'll like them :)

Linking up to these fab parties:
Tip Junkie handmade projectsTodays Creative Blog

Friday, August 26, 2011

Easy Pleated Tote

Hi Friends!

I'm so excited that today, Jennifer over at Tatertots and Jell-o is hosting a Sweet Floweret giveaway!  If you have a second, check it out tonight-she's posting at 7pm or so ;)!  If you're visiting from TT&J, welcome!  Love having you here.

This post is going to be short but sweet.  First week of school and it's been a doozy!

 Had to add this pic of my oldest.  I think he's the cutest thing in this picture!  So excited to start school and make new friends.  My second starts next week ;)

Last week, a friend of mine requested that I make a diaper bag.  I've never made a "diaper bag" per se.  My opinion is, any big bag can be a diaper bag (right?).  I've made a bunch of bags before  and you know my love affair with pleats and totes, but I wanted to try something new.  SO I went on google images, typed in "big tote tutorial" and stumbled across this one.  Found it over at artsy-crafty babe (Rebeka Lampert's) site.  She has loads of other patterns for sale too.
The Pleated Tote is one of two free downloads...
Simple, cute and fun.
Great for a beginner and doesn't require any hardware!  I like that ;)  I love how it turned out.

She said she wanted funky.  I think this is funky... don't you?

I added lots of pockets to the inside for all those diapery things.
Well, have a great Friday!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Custom Scripture Pillows Now in Shop

Hi Friends!
I finally listed my custom scripture pillows in my etsy shop.  I have three options now, although I can make whatever size and shape anyone would like.

Here's my mini pillow-6x7.5.  It's so cute on a shelf or alongside a bunch of other pillows.  Great as a hostess gift, wedding pillow, I could even add a ribbon to make it hang on a door knob... Hmmm. 

So cute and little ;)  Show here for scale.
The 14x14 pillow and cover is the perfect size, in my opinion.  It can go nicely on your bed or next to the couch pillows for an added touch in your family or living room.

  Here's my cowabunga sized scripture pillow cover.  It's 18x18.  I have mine on a chair by the front door.  The flowers add a cute touch and are a little bit extra.  The covers are removable and washable!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Be Strong and Courageous and a Little Contagious

This morning, I was looking up verses online to encourage a friend.  Wouldn't you know it, the Lord encouraged me on the way ;)
I was reading Joshua 1:1-9.  It' a portion of scripture where Joshua is appointed to lead the people after Moses' death.  Read some of the things that God told Joshua...

v3  Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you...
v5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.

v5  I will not leave you or forsake you. 
6Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.  
7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  
8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but  you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 
9Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Amazing. I believe the same promises are true for us.  THREE times in three scriptures He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous.   I looked up the word "STRONG"  in Hebrew as it relates to this verse. (check out this cool site for Bible study  www.biblos.com).

to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen

The thing I really like about the definition is that it says "to be or GROW firm or strong."  Many of us  may not feel "strong and courageous".  Many of us don't feel like leaders -it's not in our blood, we're introverts, we're too scared of what people think, we don't know what to say, we may be too vulnerable...  But guess what?  God's desire is to GROW us.  Was Jesus a leader?  Um. yea.  Does the Bible say to be Christlike?  Um. yea.  Does God say He can help us with that?  Um.  Totally.  For sure.

I know this is a long list of words, but I was so encouraged by some of it's meaning (particularly the ones underlined).   These words show up when you look up the word Strong in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
aid, amend, catch, cleave, confirm, be constant, constrain, A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence, to seize, be strong (figuratively, courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer -- aid, amend,  catch, cleave, confirm, be constant, constrain, continue, be of good (take) courage(-ous, -ly), encourage (self), be established, fasten, force, fortify, make hard, harden, help, (lay) hold (fast), lean, maintain, play the man, mend, become (wax) mighty, prevail, be recovered, repair, retain, seize, be (wax) sore, strengthen (self), be stout, be (make, shew, wax) strong(-er), be sure, take (hold), be urgent, behave self valiantly, withstand. 

 My prayer today is that you and I would be like Joshua.  Appointed by the Lord to work in a mighty way for the kingdom.  That we wouldn't look left or look right but that we would be strong and courageous, standing firm-established-constant-encouraged-wherever God has us.    So if you're living your faith under a rock, get out.  Be strong and courageous.  Be contagious. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When My Kid Got the Gimmies

At first, it was a visit to Target like any other.  Mom quickly eyes the clothing section, walks a bit more slowly past the shoes.  Perhaps trying on a pair.  Kids spend a few minutes looking at toys.  The oldest always planting himself in the lego aisle. 

He's six.  And like most six year old boys, he is OBSESSED with legos.
I would venture to guess that we thousands of lego pieces.  
Every morning BEFORE breakfast, he builds a new ship.  This is todays.

Taken this morning.  Lego creations, lego shirt, lego computer games!  Word of the day is, LEGO. AHHHHH!

His last birthday was all lego and at Christmas a friend of my husbands from work gave us a gigantic bag FULL of the little plastic pieces.  A big black garbage bag-not a grocery store bag.  I digress.  Back to Target.

Typically, son will say, "mommy!  I really want lego set xyz!" and I say, "well, maybe you can ask for it for your birthday?"  He agrees and we make our way to the food section.

This time however, tears started flowing.  When he said he really wanted this set, he REALLY wanted it.
I was shocked.  He was throwing a fit because his birthday was months away, and to him, earning money was something that only happened when he lost a tooth.
The lego set was seven dollars.  It may has well been a million.  My husband and I knew it was time to start teaching him about saving money...  earning it, tithing, tax, etc. 

We don't give allowance.  Not sure we ever will.  I feel like a weekly allowance for kids (especially at this point) makes no sense.  They hardly have any chores right now, and when they do,  we feel that they are a responsibility of keeping up a home.  (thoughts?)

I do however, see giving money when the kids help with special projects.  Above and beyond.  So, we had our son help with some projects around the house.  He couldn't leave and play and come back when my husband needed him.  He had to work the whole time and follow through.  Then he'd earn $2 per job.

The first project was painting a basement wall.  The second was handing my husband nuts and bolts and tools while he reinforced the pergola.  The third and perhaps most challenging was staining the deck on a 90 degree day.  It was so fun to watch my son get to work.  He had a great attitude and loved helping daddy (knowing he was earning money helped too, I'm sure!).

Handing his dad tools

Staining the deck!

It was dang hot...
Every time we'd go to Target, he'd go to the lego aisle and ask my how much money he needed to get his set.  After two months of this, he changed his mind, and picked a Lego Bionicle guy which cost even more money ($8)!  During a period of three months, three jobs and three lost teeth, he earned enough to pay for his bionicle plus tax and 10% to tithe.
He did it!  Building his new Bionicle...
There were so many times I just wanted to give him the extra money to cover the cost.  Three months for a kid is a LONG time.  But he did it.  And he learned a great lesson and so did the two other kids who watched it happen.

If you have kids, how are you teaching them about money?  How did you grow up learning about fiscal responsibility?  Thoughts on allowance?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Living "well done" in a "good enough" world

Yesterday I wrote about living the kind of life you look back on and aren't disappointed by the description it would lend.
Ultimately, though, because my citizenship in Heaven and Jesus Christ my Lord, all I really care about is what HE thinks.  My soul longs to hear, "well done, my good and faithful servant."
I want my motivation in everything-whether it be folding laundry, cleaning up the never ending smell of pee in the boys bathroom, ministering to other women, respecting my husband (you get the gist)-be to hear those words.

It's hard to live a "well done" life in a world where "good enough" is the norm.
Do you feel like "good enough" isn't even happening in the role(s) God has you in?

Don't forget, if Christ is your Lord and Savior, the power of the Spirit lives in you.  DON'T FORGET.  IF CHRIST IS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR, THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT LIVES IN YOU! (I'm not yelling.  I just feel like all caps helps get the message across in a different way-and repetition.) ;)

Ephesians 3:20,21 - God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think according to His power that works in us.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Peter 1:3-5 - By God's power we are guarded to an eternal and incorruptible inheritance in heaven.
2 Peter 1:3 - His power grants us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

It is in the power of His Spirit that we CAN do well.  Smelly bathrooms and all.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.  Isaiah 40:31.
Before you plunge into whatever you've "got to get done" today, get this done.  Wait on the Lord.  Will you be perfect?  No way, jose.  But as we continue to draw from His strength our good enough will  turn to well done.

Thoughts?  Verses?  I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cemeteries and Post Cards

I was reading the paper this morning...  If you're in a good mood and want to get out of it fast read the paper or watch the news.  It's so depressing.

As I finished reading the section on Nation and World news, I glanced at the Obits page.  There was a big 6 paragraph writeup on a local woman.  The subheading of the  article read,  "Northwest Sider had Passion for Cemeteries and Post Cards."

I'm not trying to be a jerk and say that cemeteries and post cards are bad things to like.  What I am saying is, if this woman were alive, would she be happy with this description of her life?

Have you ever thought about what you would want to be written up on your life?  What would your heading be?  "Palatine resident loved running and movies,"  or "liked to craft" or "made people laugh".
All I know is that when I die, I want God to be glorified.  Not me, not my crafty-ness or humor or mothering or amazing fashion sense (chuckle!).  How can I live my life right now to make that a reality?
If you were to die this minute, what would your obituary heading read?  Think about it.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fabulous Find Friday

Well, this fab find made it in by the skin of my teeth ;)
I was browsing etsy today for some ideas and came across THE most adorable felt flower headbands I've seen.  The best part is, they are SO affordable that I thought that I read the price wrong.
Since my daughter will be wearing a uniform to school this fall, I wanted to make her some navy hair accessories.  When I found these over at Maple Sugar Lane, I figured I may as well buy them!

 I could have bought all of her stuff but had to stop myself :)  I limited my purchase to these two.

This ADORABLE headband with flower was only 4.25
I couldn't resist this one for 6.95

 These are a few items I thought I'd highlight due to their high "OH MA GASH" cuteness factor...  You can get them for babies, or request a larger size for girl or adult.
SO sweet... 5.95

4.25 for some red blooming goodness...
How sweet are these?  2 for 3.25!
As if that weren't enough, I emailed Jaime at Maple Sugar Lane to make sure it was ok that I feature her today.  She responded super quickly and informed me that all first time customers who LIKE her FB PAGE get 15% off with coupon code "FBFIRST".  SO basically you get your stuff for free.  Well, not really, but for an amazing deal.
Go check out her shop.  She has oodles and oodles more things to fawn over.  Here's the link again.    I can't wait for Ella's headbands to come in the mail so I, er, I mean she can wear them ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stinky and the Star Wars Craft Book

Get your "Stink" on!


Last week at the library, my youngest son spotted this book-The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton. I LOVE the cover.  Light saber scissors.  Hilarious.  This book contains over 40 Star Wars craft ideas with instructions, etc. 

Let me just tell you how super excited all three kids were to pick out a craft from this book and make it (ahem,  have mommy make it).  Thankfully, all three wanted the SAME craft.   Actually, Ella wanted a Jabba the Hutt Body Pillow but I was easily able to talk her out of it (the finished product would be bigger than she is, and all I need is an ugly Jabba taking up space!).  So, they picked out Jabba's child, Rotta the Huttlet stuffed toy (they all call him 'stinky' which is what he is called in Clone Wars).  After I spent a few minutes feeling sorry for whatever creature had to conceive a "huttlet" with Jabba, we gathered up the materials we needed.  Fleece, scraps for eyes, stuffing.  That's it!

The kids helped "stuff" stinky
By the third Stinky, I was getting a little nutty. 
They were blinded by the sun...


Oh, Stinky.

Only a few of the crafts required sewing.  The others were cutting and gluing.  If you have a Star Wars fan in your home, check this book out.  I think it'd be great to get ideas for an activity for a bday party.  It's nice to find a book that contains crafty fun that boys can enjoy!

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