August 2012Occasionally Crafty: August 2012

Friday, August 31

Baby Boy Shower Gift

Don't forget to enter the Very Jane giveaway for a lovely coral bubble necklace!
Click here or scroll down to enter!

Wow- August went fast, didn't it?  Well, I wanted to end the month with a cute baby gift idea.  It seems like everyone around me is pregnant or just had babies.  I had a hard time with it for awhile because we are pretty sure we are done having kids.  I didn't know if I was feeling the urge to have another one or if I was just feeling left out, since everyone is all pregnant together.

Then I remembered how much I like sleeping through the night.

Anyway, I have had several showers to attend, and in the next few months I have several packages to send.  So, I need all the baby gift ideas I can find!  Here's what I put together this time:

For this baby, I sewed up some washcloths.  They're simple squares cut from cotton fabric and terry cloth (I used some thin, soft towels that I cut up just to make a bunch of these!)

I included a lap blanket/burp cloth/changing pad (the dinosaur print on the bottom).  It's made from a soft flannel on one side and jersey knit on the back.  It's not big enough to wrap baby in, but it's really absorbent and soft, so it has a lot of uses.  

Finally, I found this cute Boy Subway Art from The Green Family.  The colors were perfect for her nursery, so I printed it and framed it for her.

Projects like these are great- scrap busters, so it's useful to the new mom and helps me clear out my fabric closet a little too!

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is wonderful!  Happy Labor Day!


Wednesday, August 29

A Very Jane Giveaway

If you were here for my Birthday Bash, you know that I'm a HUGE fan of Very Jane.  They are a great deal-a-day site that has amazing deals on jewelry, accessories, baby gear, home decor, and more.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I would buy something from them several times a week if I had more money, and I spend way more than I should at Very Jane as it is.

Here are just a few things they've had on their site recently:

Ruffled shirts- gorgeous!

Sweet and funky sunglasses cases:

Adorable nursery prints

Gorgeous hand-stamped jewelry:

Photo: TOMORROW'S SNEAK PEEK: Tiny Tags Handstamped Initial Necklace

Even home decor like these stylish pillow covers:

SINGLE 18 x 18 Pillow Cover // Dogwood Pond

Really- with several deals a day, there's always something you're going to want to buy.  I even buy stuff for gifts because they offer such great deals!  I love that you're often supporting handmade shops when you shop through Very Jane!

So, blah blah blah, you love Very Jane.  We get it, Valerie.  That's what you're thinking, right?  Well, you should love them too, because, not only do they have great stuff you're going to want to buy, but they contacted ME and asked me if I'd like to host a giveaway of one of their "deal" items to you!

Um, yeah!  

So, I've been paying attention to my "style" boards on Pinterest, and I've seen a lot of these great bubble necklaces around.  They're gorgeous, right?  I'm not even usually a "statement necklace" type of gal, but I LOVE these necklaces.  

If you've been wanting one, you're in luck!  Very Jane is generously providing me with  a coral bubble necklace (made by Cheerfully Charmed) to give away to one lucky reader!

Would you like to win this coral bubble necklace I'm wearing?  (Well, not this one, but another one exactly like it? :)

Enter via Rafflecopter below, and please share the giveaway with your friends!  We'll run it until after Labor Day, and announce the winner next week!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**disclosure-- Very Jane provided me with a necklace to review, but all opinions are mine. I really do love Very Jane and want everyone to know about them too!

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Tuesday, August 28

Reusable Lunch Box Notes

We recently posted our Lunch Box Notes over at CraftJunkie Too, but in case you missed it, we wanted to re-post it here so you can get some use out of these once school starts.

  It's hard to believe it's already time for that, but our kids have actually started school already.  Valerie's kids are in week 3, and Laura's are in week 2.  Crazy!   Anyway, today we're sharing with you some Re-usable Lunch Notes for your kids.

We've seen lots of printable lunch notes to stick in your kids' lunches, and they're adorable.  But, if you want a more eco-friendly option (not to mention saving on the cost of paper and ink to print them out), we hope you'll consider using ours.

We each designed a "boy"-themed note and a "girl"- themed note.  Simply right click to save them to your computer.  Then you can print them out, laminate them, and use a dry erase or overhead marker to write your notes on them each day.  If you don't have a laminator, you can either get it done at an office store or use self-laminating pouches from the store.

Here are Valerie's notes:

These are Laura's notes:

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(We've got to say that making these is addicting!  We could've made designs all day long!  If ours aren't your style, it would be pretty easy to make your own-- you could use Publisher or even an online photo editor like PicMonkey.)
Valerie's kids use a Bento box for  lunches, so it comes home every day.  The note won't get thrown out because they don't use wrappers or plastic baggies.  If you're concerned it might, try using these in your child's backpack or homework folder instead.  

We hope you have fun spreading a little love to your kids this school year!  

We are linking these up to: 

Craft-o-Maniac- Monday Link Up

Keeping it Simple- Motivate Me Monday

Sugar Bee Crafts- Take a Look Tuesday

Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

Lil' Luna- Link Party

Somewhat Simple- Strut Your Stuff

Naptime Crafters- Friday Favs

I Heart Naptime- Sundae Scoop Weekend Wrap-up

Come back tomorrow for an awesome giveaway!   Have a great day!

Monday, August 27

Pinwheel Pretties Party Package Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Pinwheel Pretties Giveaway, and welcome to any new followers and friends!

The winner of the Custom Party Package is Jenny Orr!   Congratulations!  Please check your email and respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

I've got a few fun project to post this week, so I hope you'll stop by later and check them out.  Have a great week, everyone!

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Wednesday, August 22

Shower Curtains for inspiration

Don't forget to enter the Pinwheel Pretties giveaway for a CUSTOM party package!
Click here or scroll down to enter!

So I've been in this weird transitional period for about 45 days now (!!!) where we've been moving from hotel to hotel, and family to family while we moved from Korea back to the good ol' USA. But the time has finally come! We just closed on our FIRST HOUSE this week, and the time to decorate and make this space my own is happening! 

The first decorating we'll be doing is not what I planned on, but realized we'd have 2 more bathrooms than we're used to, and we'll need shower curtains almost immediately. So, let the decorating begin. Here are the two shower curtains I picked and they definitely spark my imagination for what I can do with the rest of the bathroom!

This curtain will be in our Master Bathroom. At first we thought we could get away with doing little to nothing since we'll be the only ones using it, and then I realized, this is MY bathroom and I want it to look and feel GREAT!
I love how it is masculine and feminine at the same time. I also have a love of grays and blacks, but that pop of teal is great. I'm thinking of teal towels and metal embellishments for soap holders and such. 

This is the curtain I picked for the guest/basement bathroom.
I'm not a flowery sort of girl, but i loved this non-traditional pattern that was full of some great bold colors. I can go so many directions with this that will all be fresh and exciting.  

So what ideas come to mind when you see these shower curtains? I will be sharing all of my home decorating with you and would love any input or ideas from you as I go!

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Monday, August 20

Giveaway- Pinwheel Pretties Party Package

Happy Monday everyone!  I'm happy to kick off the week with an awesome giveaway from our new sponsor, Pinwheel Pretties.  First up, let me introduce you to Jill and her sweet shops:

I'm Jill Hayes, a gal with a great deal of lively energy, a little spunk, and a pinch of wit! Planning weddings and events and designing and creating party favors and decorations is an outlet for a full-time graduate student.   I specialize in party favors and decorations. I sell what I make at local craft shows and in my three Etsy shops and I teach mostly 3-D projects at local scrapbooking retail stores. I especially love to to design one-of-a-kind gifts, holiday items, home decor, and anything your lil' heart desires! I am also a local professional Wedding and Event Planner in the Kansas City area with a degree and a previous career in Interior Design. I coordinate elegant weddings and spectacular parties for brides-to-be, baby showers, children's parties, birthdays for all ages, retirement celebrations, graduations, and any other special celebration. 

Wow!  She's one busy lady!  You can find her in all these great places:
Party Fetti-
Pinwheel Pretties-
Wedding & Bridal Designs-

Jill's shops feature pinwheels, of course, but are also stocked with lots of other great party favors.

I love pinwheel banners- what a great whimsical addition for your party decor!

Pinwheels  Set of 16 and Pinwheel Banner for a Summer Party or a Birthday Party Baby Shower Bridal Shower party favors or bat mitzvah

I love the idea of using pinwheels for cupcake toppers.  These are so cute!

Cupcake Toppers Pinwheels Custom Made To Order Set of 12 for Baby Shower Bridal Shower birthday party favors or wedding

Pinwheels on clips make a perfect treat bag topper.

Pinwheels on Clips for Bag Toppers Custom Made To Order Set of 12 for Baby Shower Bridal Shower birthday party favors or wedding

Some of my other favorites from Jill's shops include these lollipop covers,

Party Favors Popsicle Lollipop Covers or Gift Card Holders for a Birthday Baby Shower Bridal Wedding Summer Pool Party

Fancy Floral Garland
and her custom-designed birthday tiaras.  Wouldn't this make your little girl feel special?

Princess Tiara for a Birthday Girl or a Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Party

Now to the giveaway:  Jill is generously giving away one custom pinwheel party package, valued at over $125!  The party package includes the following:

1 set of 12 standard size twirling pinwheels
1 pinwheel banner with 12 standard pinwheels (non-twirling)
1 set of 12 small cupcake pinwheels (non-twirling)
1 X-Large Yard size twirling pinwheel

The best part is, these pinwheels will be created in your choice of solid cardstock colors, and you can mix and match up to three colors.  If you've got a birthday party or shower coming up, this package will be a pefect addition to the festivities!  Note- production and shipping will take up to 14 days from time of order, so plan ahead!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, and you can enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  You have until midnight on Friday (technically Saturday morning!) to enter.  A winner will be announced next Monday.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, August 16

Faith is Like a Seed- Printable Handout

In my church, I teach Sunday School to the adults in our congregation.  It's called Gospel Doctrine class and it just might be the most intimidating responsibility I've ever had.  I'm no scriptorian, but I do have a love of the scriptures and the gospel that help me teach this class.

One of my biggest challenges is keeping my lessons interesting and "memorable" (meaning, I want them to HEAR what is being taught, if that makes sense).  Because I'm a musician, I often bring music into my lessons to help teach a point.  I find that sometimes music conveys the Spirit like nothing else can.

Recently, I used the children's song "Faith" to teach about--what else-- faith (Alma 32)

Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.
Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray.
Faith is like a little seed-- if planted, it will grow
Faith is a swelling within my heart; when I do right I know.

I made a handout using a line from this song.  I like to put little reminders directly into my scriptures, so that when I am studying them on my own, the lesson will come back into my mind.

(I need to say a quick thank you to LDS Files for the seed image.  You can find it here.)

I'm sharing the handout if you'd like to use it.  It would be great for Primary, Youth, or even adults!  It will print four to a page, and you can DOWNLOAD IT here.   (the gray lines are just cut guides)

While I was putting this together, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about how I study and mark my scriptures.  I know that not everyone that reads my blog is interested in this, but it is something that is important to me.  I've looked online for inspiration before, so if this helps someone else, I'll gladly share it!

Scripture study is a very personal thing.  Everyone has their own way, their own system, etc.  I have read my scriptures many times, and in pretty much every way imaginable. My scriptures are dog eared, full of writing and color, and are stuffed with lesson handouts, as I mentioned above.

I have quotations that I got from talks or lessons.

I have lists  (Corianton's 5 problems, The 9 "Wo's"- wo unto the....)

My favorite thing to do is to go through and mark my scriptures by topic.  I found these great colored pencils a few years ago, and I use them all the time!  Now being back-to-school time, you can find these at the store for cheap!    They are Crayola's Twistable Colored Pencils.  No sharpening- what's not to love?

I read my scriptures cover to cover, looking for scriptures that talked about a specific set of topics that I had identified before I started.

Red--Qualities of God and Jesus Christ
Orange-- The Holy Ghost
Pink-- Charity/Service
Yellow= Faith and Hope
Tan-- Repentance
Light Green--Salvation/Eternal Life
Dark Green--Prophecies Not Yet Fulfilled
Light Blue-- Prayer
Dark Blue-- Creation/Fall of Man
Purple-- Prophecies Fulfilled or Being Fulfilled
Dark Brown--Baptism
Black-- Miscellaneous

I know there are lots of other topics I could have chosen, or ways I could have split them up, but this is what worked for me (and fit the colors I had!)

When I find a verse that talks about one of these topics, I draw a dark line outlining the verse, then shade it in lightly (you can see what I mean in the above pictures.  I just like the way it looks.)  If a verse talks about more than one of these topics, I color half one color, and then the other half the other color.  I also make notes in the margins and draw arrows to footnotes, or underline words and phrases that stand out in a verse.

I got this set of scriptures about ten years ago, and it is a treasure to me.  I love to reread them and remind myself of things I have discovered along the way.  I also often find a verse I missed that fits into one of my topics.  It's amazing how you can always find something new in the scriptures.

By the way, if you'd like to read what I read, you can order a free, no-strings-attached Book of Mormon here.  I also read and mark my Bible the same way.

I'm linking this up to some of these link parties this week-- I hope you'll join in too!

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Tuesday, August 14

Find us at CraftJunkie Too

Hey everyone!  Hope your week is going well.  I sent my kids off to their first day of school yesterday.   I've only got one at home now!  (It was so quiet!)

Anyway, I'm just popping in to let you know we're over at Craft Junkie Too today, as part of her Back to School Series.

Craft Junkie Too Friend

We are sharing our Reusable Lunch Notes.  Stop by and download them for yourself- we've got a bunch for you to choose from!  Here's a sneak peek:

When does/did school start for you?

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Thursday, August 9

Cast Iron Chicken

I'd be lying if I said I'd never been on Pinterest. It's great for inspiration, a first step in the thinking process, or even as a search engine. My husband  purchased a cast iron skillet recently and HE was looking on Pinterest for recipes! It was worth it, as we stumbled upon this excellent recipe at Bev Cooks that is simple, healthy, and delicious!

A few changes we made:
  •  Using dark meat pieces instead of a whole chicken, though both ways were fantastic
  • Adding red potatoes right in with the chicken. To season your potatoes pick between italian seasoning, ranch dressing, or even lipton onion packets, 1/3 C olive oil and toss them around in a bag. Voila, perfectly seasoned and crispy potatoes to compliment your perfectly roasted chicken!

The ingredients assembled and cooking

Ready to eat!
Have any other great cast iron recipes?  I'd love to try them out!