August 2014Occasionally Crafty: August 2014

August 30, 2014

Metal Star Challenge!


You may have seen on our social media accounts that Valerie and I challenged each other to come up with a craft using the same materials! Look for the results in just a few days!





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August 29, 2014

Fall Sunflower Door Decor


Does it feel like fall where you live?  Please tell me someone is experiencing something at least approaching fall!  Once school starts, I start getting antsy for the rich tones, spicy scents, and comfort foods of fall!

Since it's still in the 100's here for at least another two months, I figured I'd get started on a new fall project to bring fall to my home, no matter what the weather is outside!  Read on to see how I turned this



into this beautiful decoration for my door!


I made a quick trip to Michaels for some supplies. Right now is the perfect time to hit that place up because they have all their fall decor and craft supplies on sale- even up to 40% off!  So, I bought a wheat berry "bush", a sunflower "bush", and a pick of orange flowers, all on sale.

I am by no means great at floral arranging, but I knew I wanted the sunflowers as a central focus in the piece.



The wheat berry bush provided some fullness and height, so I placed it in the back.

The orange flowers on the side softened things up a little.

Once everything was in place, I bound them together with floral tape (not pictured).  Then I tied myself a beautiful fall bow.  The key to a gorgeous bow is wired ribbon.  Mine is 1 1/2 inches wide.  The wire helps your loops stay full, and you can add a little shape to your tails if desired.



This is a perfect piece to hang on your door, inside or out.  Unfortunately my security door makes the outside of my door pretty useless, so I think I'll use it to bring fall inside!



If you like this, I'd love for you to share it with your friends via the social media buttons below.  Don't forget to enter our birthday giveaway, and check out some of our other fall projects here!
P.S.  I'll be linking this up to parties listed here-- come check them out with me!
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August 27, 2014

HUGE Birthday Giveaway- Over $950 in Prizes!

You all are so lucky.  Are you ready for this?

It's a special day today! We're celebrating blogger birthdays this week with The Cards We Drew and we've rounded up a great group of bloggers and vendors to throw the ultimate birthday bash and party like it's YOUR birthday! We're giving away over $950 worth of prizes for three lucky winner (U.S. residents only--sorry). You can enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below, but first check out the great prizes and bloggers involved and please be sure to read the fine print!

abbey logo

Each blogger picked their own gift card to giveaway...so here's what's up for grabs!!

Someday Crafts $15 Chilis Gift Card / The Cards We Drew $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Sweet Tea and Saving Grace $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / A Girl and a Glue Gun $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Made to be a Momma $15 Amazon Gift Card / Cupcake Diaries $15 Olive Garden Gift Card / Glued to my Crafts $15 Lowe's Gift Card / Kleinworth and Co. $15 Target Gift Card / Frenchie Wraps $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Simply Designing $15 Amazon Gift Card / Carissa Miss $15 Amazon Gift Card / Food Folks and Fun $15 Target Gift Card / Occasionally Crafty $15 Amazon Gift Card / Maybe I Will $15 iTunes Gift Card / Over the Big Moon $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Yesterday on Tuesday $15 Amazon Gift Card / Housewife Eclectic $15 Amazon Gift Card / Our Thrifty Ideas $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Gingersnap Crafts $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Pretty Providence $15 Target Gift Card / Crafting in the Rain $15 Panera Gift Card / Sister's Suitcase Blog $15 Target Gift Card / DimplePrints $15 Lowe's Gift Card / That's What Che Said $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Twin Dragonfly Designs $15 Amazon Gift Card / Happiness is Homemade $15 Amazon Gift Card / The Baker Upstairs $15 World Market Gift Card / Blooming Homestead $15 Target Gift Card / Splendid Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Reasons to Skip the Housework $15 Target Gift Card / Giggles Galore $15 Michaels Gift Card / Raegun Ramblings $15 Amazon Gift Card / View from the Fridge $15 Chipotle Gift Card / Flats to Flip Flops $15 Old Navy Gift Card / Cooking with Crystal $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / Home.Made.Interest $15 Home Depot Gift Card / 100 Directions $15 Amazon Gift Card / 733 Blog $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Endlessly Inspired $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Here Comes the Sun $15 Target Gift Card / Bloom Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Strawberry Mommycakes $15 Pottery Barn Gift Card / Handmade in the Heartland $15 Amazon Gift Card / Wait til Your Father Gets Home $15 Amazon Gift Card / Mabey She Made It $15 Amazon Gift Card / Play Party Pin $15 Amazon Gift Card / Poofy Cheeks $15 Target Gift Card / Bombshell Bling $15 iTunes Gift Card / C.R.A.F.T. $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Gallamore West $15 Target Gift Card

AND on top of all those gift cards we have the following vendors participating...
wink and winn
$100 Credit to Design Your Own Handbag at Wink and Winn

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$50 Credit to StitchFix where you can get your own personal stylist sending clothes to your door!

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PRIZES WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:
Winner One: $645 worth of Gift Cards + $50 StitchFix Credit
Winner Two: $60 worth of Gift Cards + $100 Credit to Wink and Winn
Winner Three: $45 worth of Gift Cards + $25 to Pick Your Plum + Jamberry Nail Decals
Giveaway Details and Fine Print:


Giveaway begins 8/27 and ends 9/5 at 11:59 p.m.. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter and winning entries verified. If winning entry is not complete, prize will be voided and another winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Gift cards are chosen by each individual blogger and are mailed out separately to the winner in increments of $15 per blogger. Winner may not choose what gift cards they receive as that is predetermined by the bloggers in advance. Winner will have to provide a valid mailing address and email address, which will be kept confidential, in order to claim their prizes from all parties involved. All individual blogs are responsible for fulfilling their own respective prizes and will have the gift card in the mail or through email to you within one week of verification of winning. Gift Cards are sent out in $15 increments. The Cards We Drew, nor any other blog, is not held liable for unfulfilled prizes from other bloggers and/or vendors involved with this giveaway and all associated with this giveaway are hereby not held liable for any issues with the winnings. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and not in ANY way involved with this giveaway and are hereby released of any responsibility or liability.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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August 25, 2014

Handmade Cards for Baby Gifts

It seems like a lot of my friends are due with babies, and it's a never-ending, gift-giving, craft-making opportunity! I still enjoy making onesies for the newborns, and snack/sippy cups for turning one, but you always need a card to go with a gift!
I'm all about mass production these days. Honestly, with the time you spend to make one card, you can duplicate your design and make a handful without much extra effort. (I've been doing the same thing with meals, doubling and freezing the extras!)
So I found a CUTE design on the Silhouette Store....



...and took advantage of Michael's 5/$1 scrapbook paper (I know I had plenty, but sometimes you need fresh paper to get you motivated!) and got to work on 3 boy cards and 3 girl cards. That should last me the year, right? 
Once all the pieces were put together I had fun embellishing them with buttons, brads, sparkles and a fun saying! There's plenty of room on the inside to write a personal message, and they'll be a fun addition to an already personal gift.

We hope you stop by later this week- our friend Abby from The Cards We Drew is celebrating her birthday all week with awesome roundups and over $1000 in prizes given to three winners.  Come back Wednesday to enter!
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August 21, 2014

Front Door Decor!

Hey everyone! I've been a little more MIA than Valerie over the summer. But now that the kids are back in school I have a bit more time and energy to do something I love.
The craft I have for you today is something I can genuinely say that I created all on my own. See, Pick Your Plum had a daily deal with these metal letters that you could put your address numbers inside.

By itself it's not much of a decoration. It doesn't even have a means of hanging! So I scoured through pinterest for ideas and NOTHING appealed to me, or even really had metal letters like mine. I knew I wanted it on my front door, I didn't want it in a wreath, and I wanted to keep it more rustic and grungy feeling.
So I headed to Michael's (while the kids were at school! awesome!) and looked around for anything that could be used as a backdrop of some sort for my letter. I looked at open frames, I looked at baskets, I looked at canvas, but then I found this beauty in the wood section.

Nothings says home like a window! Now I just needed to figure out how to put it all together. Since chalkboard items are quite the rage I decided to cover it in chalkboard paint and use some twine and ribbon to tie it up. I love the mix of hard and soft! 
It turned out better than I thought it would! This will be on my door when seasonal wreaths aren't in use. 
Oh, and If you're curious about how I got the twine around the ribbon like that, I just braided two pieces of twine and the ribbon together and spread out the twine pieces so it made that wave effect!
Glad to be back to crafting and sharing with you! Welcome to all of our new followers!!
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August 20, 2014

Quick and Healthy Snacks with NatureBox



We've been back to school for two weeks already!  I can hardly believe it!

This year I have all kids in school at least part of the time.  My youngest is in preschool, but he gets to bring his lunch, so he feels like a big kid too.

I struggle with ideas for packing three lunches every day, plus my kids are always ravenous when they come home!  So, I was really excited when I was chosen to try out a bunch of healthy snacks and treats from NatureBox.


There are SO MANY monthly boxes out there, for crafts, beauty, even clothes!  I love that there is one just for healthy food!  NatureBox delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods right to your door.  I can choose my snacks from the many available in the online catalog, read through ingredient lists at my leisure (instead of with a fidgety child in the grocery store), then order what I want!  

I'm not great at eating healthy, but I want to encourage it in my kids, so I love that each snack contains wholesome ingredients - with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

I also don't always love "healthy" food.  A lot of it tastes like cardboard to me.  Crossing my fingers, I picked out the French Toast Granola and Salted Caramel Pretzel Bites for healthy treats, then chose Cheesy Potato Fries, and Honey Sesame Crisps for a more savory snack.  My youngest loves apple bars, so I selected the Apple Figgy Bars as my final choice.



We use reusable lunch boxes for the kids, so these snacks fit in perfectly and helped me make delicious lunches for them.


Here's the true, kid-tested verdict:


French Toast Granola- YUM!  We especially love this in yogurt!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bites- YUM! We loved the mix of sweet and salty in these bites.

Apple Pie Figgy Bars:  DELISH!  
Cheesy Potato Fries:  Mom likes them, kids find them too strong.  

Honey Crunch Crisps:  Not our favorite


We can't wait to try out some more! Considering how much you spend on healthy foods at the grocery store, getting a box of your favorites sent right to your door is a great deal!  Remember, when you join NatureBox, you'll receive five different snacks every month. You can choose the snacks you want or be surprised with their carefully curated selections.

Sound interesting?  Click here to get 50% off your first month’s NatureBox delivery! ($10 value) using promo code: SNACKTOSCHOOL

Fine Crumbs: Promotion is good for 50% off your first month to month box or $10 off your first box in your first prepaid subscription. New and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.”

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



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August 13, 2014

Back to School Printable Sign: Always Do Your Best

We've been busy celebrating the end of summer, and getting our kids back to school!  My kids started last week, and Laura's started today.  


So we've been a little bit quiet creatively.  Hang in with us- some fun fall projects are on their way!
I thought I'd share with you this quick printable I made for a "Back to School" activity I'm doing tonight.  This would be great to display for your family's Back to School Dinner, or a Back to School party.  Maybe your teacher would even love it for her desk!

Click here to download this file  for yourself.

*
 This printable was put together using a freebie from Studio 4 Design Works which put together the elements for this design.  You can visit their site for lots of awesome digital scrapbooking goodies!
Hope your first day goes (went?) without a hitch!

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August 7, 2014

10 Creative Projects for Back to School

You can tell that it's time to go back to school in some parts of the country.  Even if your starting date isn't today (like ours), you've probably got it in the back of your mind.  Today I have a round-up of some Creative Projects to Make for Back to School!  These are great for a teacher, your child, or just for you to put up for decorations this time of year!  



Click on each link for a tutorial:

1.  Ruler- Framed Chalkboard Sign Tutorial from The Thinking Closet

Ruler Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial by The Thinking Closet

2.  Duct Tape Art Portfolio from One Creative Mommy- perfect for all you kid's artwork that will be coming home. 
 
Tame your kids art and homework with a Duck Tape Art Portfolio! {Kids' Project} OneCreativeMommy.com

3.  Back to School Teacher Gift: Pencil Vase from Frugal Couponing Living


4.  Pencil and Crayon Wreath from Crafts 'n' Coffee: 

how to make a back-to-school wreath with pencils and crayons

5.  DIY Locker Accessories from Second Chance to Dream

DIY+Locker+Accessories DIY Locker Accessories

6.  Crayon Vase from A Little Claireification

Back To School Craft: Crayon Vase Teacher Gift with ALittleClaireification.com #crafts #teachers #school @ALittleClaire

7.  DIY Homework Caddy from Uncommon Designs

Get ready for back to school with a homework caddy!  The most dreaded part of the school day just got a little less chaotic and a lot more stylish!  via uncommon designs

8.  Back to School Ruler Wreath from Create.Craft.Love

Back to School Ruler Wreath via createcraftlove.com #backtoschool #wreath #rulerwreath

9.  DIY Chalkboard Placemats from Giggles Galore

Back to School Chalkboard Placemats


10.  Back to School Printable Bookmarks from Simple As That

Printable Back to School Bookmarks


Do you like to make things for back to school?  Or is that something you'd rather skip?  Share your ideas below!

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