20 May 2015

THANK YOU TEACHERS!

The school year is wrapping up and it's time to say THANK YOU to our dear teachers that love and support our kids for nine months of the year. My first grader really went through a mighty transition. I've got to hand it to her (and her teachers!) for surviving many lost teeth, full-day school, real homework, and Spanish. I'm not sure I fully understand how these teachers do what they do, but they do it well and I'm a grateful mom. My preschooler has had her own challenges and her teachers have guided her with such thoughtfulness.

This year, I utilized my excessive amounts of mason jars and filled them with salted caramel chocolates (my favorite forbidden treat). And oops... I (over)bought a 5 lb bag... oh fret. Holy Yummy Balls.


SUPPLIES
Mason Jars
Kraft Paper
Sticker Paper
Fiskers Punch or Scissors
Twine
Candy

PROCESS
1. Clean and dry jar completely then fill it with whatever treat you'd like.
2. Use the top of the lid to trace circles on kraft paper and cut out the circles.
3. Insert the kraft circles on top of the insert lid, and screw on the outer lid.
4. Print the printable labels and tags onto sticker paper, or kraft or regular paper.
5. Cut out as instructed on the printable.
6. Affix the label to the top and wrap twine around the neck of the jar.

Happy Almost Summer!
xoxo

12 May 2015

WELL HELLO, CAMPER

A girlfriend is having a baby boy and loves the great outdoors so a camper shower is in order.

At first, I wanted to have an outdoor, blanket dinner with strung lights, a long wood plank of a table and lanterns. I still want to do that, but the weather has been iffy so I'll save that for a warm summer night to come.

Instead, I stuck with stoneware dishes, gold flatware, flax linens, fir, pinecones, golden tin cans, vintage camping lanterns and mountain oil paintings. I was able to use several things from my Thanksgiving decoration stash, like the feather garland and pinecone garlands. I already had a burlap runner. I made some place setting labels, party favors and a few more simple decorations and called it good.

Below is my party plan that I worked from. I'll post some photos and DIY soon.


04 May 2015

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU

The awaited day... May 4th. Everyone from ├╝ber geek that is dressing up as a Stormtrooper, to the casual fan, has something to say about Star Wars.

Like so many others that grew up in the 70s, experienced the real Star Wars IV A New Hope... that movie changed e v e r y t h i n g. It changed the way I played with friends, my interest in boys, my sense of humor. I was seven and in love.




























I went from playing with Barbies to collecting trading cards, running around the forrest with friends waving long sticks around, I had a poster on my wall of Han, my best friend had Luke on her wall. I'd make Chewbacca sounds with my school desk to get a laugh, I'd repeat lines from the movie, which was most likely the start of my childhood career in quoting movie lines... it was and still is deeply rooted in me. I suppose it sounds as if I should be dressing up on May 4th. I don't go that far. But I do have a fond appreciation for Star Wars geeks. Because honestly, I'm not that far off.

I kinda feel sorry for those people that are so young that all they know is Star Wars I, II, and III. Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones and Phantom Menace are just embarrassing compared to what we experienced in the 70s. And you can bet your boots, I'm eagerly awaiting a redemption in VII, The Force Awakens. But before then, I'll watch them all... because, you know... it's important to be refreshed and ready.




30 April 2015

LITTLE J HEADBAND DESIGN

Once Upon a Time... I had a lovely job at a small studio called Axiom. I met my husband there. I met the best boss in the world there. I met lots of fabulously talented people there. I made wonderful friends there. We were like a little family.

When one of them started her own company, I was excited to help in any way possible. She needed a logo, she needed packaging.

Those things, I can do.

Little J Headbands are so versatile. They work with both short and long hair. The scarf is quite cozy, and there's no need to take it off after you take off your coat... it becomes part of your outfit. Super!





































Packaged in a clear box with a blind embossed kraft lid and. Logo and directions in black. The boxes stack on the shelf and have been selling like hot little cakes! Yay for LittleJ!!!

21 April 2015

PARTY IN THE GARDEN

This is the first time we haven't had a birthday party at our house. So far, we have had 11 parties between our two kids with themes like Cupcakes, Japanese Girl, Dutch Tulips, Polka Dots, Fairies, Farmer's Market, Cinderella, Pastel My Little Pony, aaaaand Frozen. I'm kind of running out of wowza. I think we peaked with that Frozen party last year... no pun.

I'm actually trying to tone it down a bit. So we booked Red Butte Gardens. They entertain the kids with a story, craft and games. They also do the clean up, which is mighty nice.

So on the party planning end, all I did was prep a snack, cupcakes, a few decorations and a party favor. In all honesty, any normal person would have just paid the fee for the event and be done. I'm taking some baby steps with this toning it down thing.

The following images show the party favor, decorations, cupcakes and twelve really happy kids. You can also check out my Party Plans board on Pinterest.

PARTY FAVOR
Includes a garden shovel, Easter grass and candies, strawberry marshmallows, handmade watermelon notebooks, pencil, bugs and sugar stick. I made the clothes pins with washi tape for each kid. Many items purchased at Target's Dollar Spot or on sale after Easter had passed.

SNACK BASKET
I used baskets (luckily on sale at the Dollar Tree, 2 for 1:), lined with a napkin and then each had an Izzy's soda can, Angie's Boom Chicka Pop, napkin with straw, granola bar wrapped in kraft paper and  an applesauce squeeze.

DECORATIONS
Because our party was in a garden we focused on watermelons and strawberries, using lots of pinks and greens. Balloons with paper 7s tied to the strings, white flowers in milk glass vases and green tea tins, colored table cloths, a handmade banner on skewers stuck in potted plants, and a "seven" cupcake topper skewer. I made the seven topper with a wood seven, covered it with washi tape and glittered the edges.

CUPCAKES
Chocolate with pale pink frosting and a watermelon sour topper.









 











14 April 2015

DIY NECKLACES

I made a shorter version of the same necklace as the last post for my girls easter outfits. *Side note, after they wore them for 10 minutes and proceeded to attack each other as they do, I noticed the necklaces were starting to fray at the tussle's knot. So I tugged the strands down again and superglued the top of the tassel. This process is called NinaProofing. I should have done it from the get go.

P.S. The dresses are made by Nicole Paul of Hum Stitchery and the sweaters are from Zara.









































03 April 2015

EASY SPRING NECKLACES

Here's a quickie for the Easter Baskets. I made these for a birthday party favor last weekend, but after my daughters saw these colorful tassels ... I had to make one for them too.




SUPPLIES
Natural Hemp Cord
Elmer's Glue - I use this to stiffen the ends for easier threading
Small Natural Wood Beads
16-20mm Wood Bead
Florescent Yellow Rubberized 8 mm Beads
Florescent Yellow Enamel Paint
Clear Gloss Spray Paint
Masking Tape
Fabric Scissors
Fraycheck or Superglue
Brush
Florescent Yellow Polyester Thread

PROCESS
1. Mask off the larger wood bead in the way you want to paint it. You can slant or half it. You can paint the whole bead or leave it natural. I like mine slanted or half painted.
2. Paint several coats and let dry in between. I like to paint with the bead on a chopstick... stick the handle end into a piece of Styrofoam to dry. When you're happy with the amount of color, you can spray it with a clear gloss spray paint.
3. During dry time, prep the necklace and make the tassel. First cut a piece of hemp cord about 80" long. This may seem long but if you want a long necklace that slips over head you'll want plenty for knotting. It's better to have too much than too little.
4. Next start on the tassel by winding yellow thread around a book (6" wide or so) about 75-100 times. Slide the thread off of the book, carefully gather it at its half point and wrap it around the hemp cord half way point (40"). Take another piece of the same yellow thread, wind it around and knot it. I like to wind it again and knot it again for extra security. I also dab a little fray check or super glue on the knot just for good measure. Secure! Then cu the loops and trim the tassel.
5. Dab a bit of Elmer's glue on the end pieces of the hemp cord. I like to twist it between my fingers to make each end stiff and straight. * FYI, if these aren't good threading ends, it makes it tough to get through the bead holes easily and this project that once seemed simple becomes a real drag. So these ends need to be good and stiff and tight for threading. This cord doesn't go through needles easily, and many needles are too large for these smaller beads. I've experimented and the glue ends has proven to be the easiest method.
6. Once the wood bead is dry you can thread it onto the necklace by taking both ends together and putting it through the wood bead hole. I like the yellow half to be closer to the yellow tassel. Take the bead all the way down to the tassel top and superglue it into place, tightly so that you don't see any hemp cord. I glue it so that the bead doesn't slip through all the way.
7. Knot at the top of the wood bead and start adding beads to each strand to your desired point. I had some medium sized beads (about 8-10 mm) that I used first, you can put two or three of these first, then the smaller. For little kids, it's cute to skip these middle sized beads. After each bead I knot it tightly into place before adding another bead. I put the same number of beads on each strand and stop at about the collar bone point. I like seeing a bit of string at the top but you can keep adding beads all the way around to the top if you'd like.

That's it, you can make this as short or long as you'd like. For women, these were about 10" o beads and then some string. For kids I did less.

Happy Easter! xoxo


24 March 2015

FLORESCENT YELLOW PARTY PLAN

When planning a party, after the space has been chosen, the first thing I do is see what that area has to offer. For a girlfriend's party, our chosen space comes with a lot of beautiful windows, light, exposed brick, white furniture, florescent yellow tables and an enormous globe in the entry. Those are some fantastic qualities to build from! 

MAIN VISUALS
Globes. Florescent Yellow. Light Wood. Plants. Sushi

We are getting sushi takeout from Takashi. Instead of just opening up the take out boxes and putting out paper plates, I've got some ideas. Here's what we'll need:

MAIN CELEBRATION TABLE FOR FOOD 
- Burlap Runner
- Globes (placed on top of the runner)
- White horizontal plates for sushi
- Wood horizontal boards for sushi
- Banner (String it in the front of the table or above - DIY)
- Cake with florescent yellow topper
- Wood forks for cake

EATING TABLE
- Burlap Runner
- Globes and Plants (wrapped in kraft paper and taped with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Wood plates
- Wood chopsticks (with painted ends florescent yellow - DIY)
- White napkins (with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Limonata Bottles at each place setting

SEATING AREA
- Pillows (world map, florescent yellow, white fur)
- Throws (white fur)
- Plants (on the side table with kraft paper and taped with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Party Favors (florescent yellow bead necklaces - DIY)

*This is a last minute party plan so I'm going to use as many things from home as possible. If I have a plant in a white planter, I'll use it, if I have a pillow with some bit of light blue, I'll add florescent yellow yarn pom poms or tassels. Keeping in mind that I need to transport all of these items so I'm keeping them as light and compact as possible.


17 March 2015

HUM STITCHERY IS ON!

My dear friend, Nicole has wanted to start a children's clothing line for so long. Now that she's launched her kickstarter campaign, it's time to shout it out!



Nicole is so very talented in every way. Through the years she has made little dresses and tunics for my girls and I cherish every piece she's ever created. She uses adorable fabrics and is really a master at her craft. Please, please, please check out Hum Stitchery and pledge to help her get her dream off the ground.  Look for my little redhead in her video, she has even named a dress after her. That makes me smile so big.

Good luck Nicole!!

04 March 2015

PASSPORT FOR KIDS

I teach some young girls every other week about... well, there isn't a curriculum, but rather some values and such to touch upon. Along with some activities and treats. It's called Activity Days. It's a lot of fun. I had no idea what to expect when I started teaching but these girls are so fun and eager to learn new things. Yesterday we talked about OUR PLACE IN THIS WORLD. I wanted to get them thinking about how we treat others, our differences that go beyond what we eat and wear to how we can take care of one another.























































I put together a little passport that we went through and they each got to put a star on the countries that are tied to their family heritage. It was a fun activity and it got them really excited about the unique things that each country is known for.

I've included the passport cover and pages and you can put your own booklet together. Be aware, this is me taking bits of information from the internet, I may have gotten a thing or two wrong ;)

Inside there's a pledge for them to sign. Also, they can draw a self portrait and fill in the information, name, birthdate, country of origin and where they'd love to go.

For these kids, it was really all about opening up their minds to a place beyond their neighborhood, city, state and country. To understand more about all of the fabulous people and places in our world.

After we did this, I taught them how to make mini weavings. One of them said, "I could do this all day." I can't help but smile at that. It's a fun little group.

FREE PASSPORT PRINTABLE

SUPPLIES
Printer & paper
Xacto Knife
Ruler & Cutting Board
Bone Folder
Needle & thread
Awl (to poke holes in spine)
Rubber Cement
*I happen to have bookbinding tools, if you don't have these, something similar will suffice.

PROCESS
1. Print Cover and trim off the white border all around leaving all four panels of the front/back and inside.
2. Fold at the half point (short fold), then fold in half again.
3. Carefully glue the corners in place.
4. Print the pages so that pages 1-5 are on the front and 6-10 are on the backsides.
5. Trim off all the white borders and fold in half. Use your bone folder if you have one to get a good creese.
6. layer all the pages so that the cover is on the outside and the first page is Ireland (I did this mostly because it's St. Patrick's day soon). Put the Mary Blair illustration in the middle and make sure that United States is last, next to the child's passport information.
7. Open the booklet and poke a hole in the center of the creese. Then another a 1/2" from each end.
8. Thread your needle, no need to knot it.
9. From the inside go through the center hole, leaving about 3" of thread hanging.
10. Hold the tail in place and from the outside of the booklet go in from the top end hole. Now go back out through the bottom hole and back in through the center hole so that your back where you started with the tail.
11. Knot the two threads in the center inside of the booklet and trim.
12. You can trim the fringe of uneven pages from the outside if you'd like, but be aware that you could trim off the little flags on each corner of the pages.











26 February 2015

ST. PATRICK'S DAY SKIRTS

Last March I made these skirts for St. Patrick's Day for my little girls and then posted a quick photo but I never gave a tutorial. This year you get the tutorial.

























I love this Cricket Clover fabric by Heather Ross. It's part of the Briar Rose collection from 2013. You can still find it. When I bought it, I wasn't sure what I would use if for so I only bought a half yard. Then I decided to make mini skirts for my girls but I needed enough fabric for two skirts so I added a band at the top for one and a different band at the bottom for the other to make it work. Overall, the size 3 (the skirt with the pink on the top) is 1/2" shorter in length and has a 1" smaller waistband than the size 5 (the skirt with the pink on the bottom). My measuring is very rough because I made these quickly and I can't stress this enough... I am not a seamstress with real skills. I wing it. Always.

As a side note, these skirts still fit my girls, a year later, so the size 3 is working for 4 and the size 5 is working for 6, almost 7. I figure, if it's too short, put on some leggings or shorties underneath and it's all good.

SUPPLIES
- Looking only at the size 3 skirt with the top band of pink:
(A) Fabric for the large portion - (Cricket Clover) 9"H x 44"W
(B) Fabric for the shorter portion - (pink) 5.5"H x 44"W
Pins
Iron & Board
Sewing Machine & Thread
Elastic (3/4") & 2 Large Safety Pins

PROCESS
1. Wash and dry your fabrics. Iron and lay out flat. *My fabric shrunk a bit so it was more like 42" after washing (instead of 44").
2. Cut the (A) half yard of clover fabric in half down the long length so you have two 9"x44" pieces. I was making two skirts so with a 1/2 yard of fabric and only one skirt, you could make it much fuller and have two side seams. I only had one side seam and utilized 1 piece per skirt. The more you have, the more fullness in the skirt.
3. Cut the (B) shorter portion of fabric to be the same long length but only about 5.5" in height.
4. Back up (A) and (B) along the long side and pin. (see top photo)
5. Stitch those two together about 1/2" from the edge.
6. Fold over and press the (B) fabric on one long end about 1.5" pin.
7. Stitch about 1.25" from the folded edge on the (B) fabric. This will be for the elastic.
8. Press the sewn seam connecting (A) and (B). Then go back and top stitch along that seam so it lays flat. (see second and third photos)
9. Roll fold and iron a hem at the bottom of (B) fabric. Top stitch 1/4" in from the edge.





































































10. Insert a large safety pin into your elastic piece and feed it through the elastic seam. Pull it so that the waste band is about 18" (size 3-4) or 20" (size 5-6). At your end point, safety pin that end to the fabric to hold it in place. Make sure the starting pin is connected to the fabric as well. Leave a few inches of elastic on both ends hanging out just incase you need to loosen it.
11. Back up the long strip so that you create one large hoop and pin the end side (see bottom photo).
12. Using just one safety pin, pin all of the waistband into place. Make sure your pin is going through all layers of elastic and fabric.
13. Stitch the end seam about 1/2" in from the edge. Make sure you stitch over the elastic a couple of times. And cut the excess elastic. *My girls don't like to feel their seams etc. so I actually stitched a smooth ribbon over this edge... again, a fine example of me winging it. I know there's a real way to insert elastic and have it hidden, but I need to figure that out.
14. Turn the skirt inside out and Press the seam open.
15. Flip the skirt back out so that the print is on the outside and top stitch the seam so that it stays open in place. On for each side of the open seam.















































Once this was finished I added a little pocket to the front of each skirt in the coordinating (B) fabric.



19 February 2015

GREENS & GOLD FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

St. Patrick's is coming up next! I'm not Irish but I like this time of year a lot. I think it's the colors!

I love all greens. It's so refreshing to bring the beginnings of spring color inside after a long winter. Of course, this winter is weird... it's February and it feels like April. So I'm feeling Spring early.

Along with green I'm ALWAYS interested in adding gold. I have several ways of adding gold. First, I love to gold foil anything and everything (plus a little more).

I also appreciate a good gold paint. The Martha Stewart Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint is my favorite. It works great on glass, wood, cork, leather, fabric... just about anything. I have yet to find a really amazing gold spray paint, but I keep trying.

I painted the bottom of an old vase to use for St. Patrick's Day decorations. It's so easy. Seriously, zero effort on this one.

SUPPLIES
Masking Tape
Paint Brush
MS Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint
Vase

PROCESS
1. Just mask off a clean line with masking tape.
2. Brush on a couple of coats, and let dry.
3. Peal off the tape carefully.

You can also paint the inside of a vase by swirling the paint around and turning it upside down onto wax paper to let it drain to the top of a vase. This is great if the vase isn't going to ever have water in it. I like to have a variety of green vases and gold objects in my St. Patrick's Decorations so I use both methods.









































I also like to include, clover, moss and gold chocolate coins. That's all I need to feel the St. Patricks vibe. This year, I may add a little more. Stay tuned.


























14 February 2015

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE... WIRE WRAPPED IN YARN




These are are a fun craft to do on Valentine's Day. I did this little "love" impromptu with a couple of girlie friends while our kids played. I do so enjoy walking away from a playdate with a completed craft in hand.

Once this is learned you'll want to make these for every holiday. They can be any shape you want... St. Patrick's Day is next... four-leaf clover! This idea is also great for kids names too, to put in their bedrooms.

SUPPLIES
Wire - 12 gauge aluminum
Yarn
Scissors
Mod Podge
Paper
Pencil

PROCESS
1. Draw out the shape you want on a piece of paper.
2. To create your shape or word, place the wire over the drawing and follow it.
3. Slightly undo the word to just loosen up the loops so you can wrap the wire easily. You'll get it back into shape after it's wrapped.
4. Glue an end of yarn to one end of the wire and wrap it around the tip of the wire, then wrap the yarn back over itself to secure that end. Keep wrapping, you can glue occasionally if you want but I try not to glue, it leaves the yarn stiff.
5. If you change colors, cut the yarn and glue it down. Start your new color, glueing slightly over the top of the old to secure the transition.
6. Keep wrapping until you get to the end of the wire and finish it the same way you started. Wrapping the tip with yarn so you don't see the wire.
* The more you wrap the thicker it becomes so try to keep all the yarn on the same level (one layer).
7. Once it is all wrapped and glued, you can reshape using your drawing as needed.

These can be hung with straight pins on a pin board, or you can add tiny magnets for a magnet board. You can also create a small loop on the ends and tie string to it.

xoxo...  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!




11 February 2015

VALENTINE'S CLASSROOM EXCHANGE FOR KIDS

I'm a bit late with my kids class treats for Valentine's this this year. If you are as well, and need a quick idea, print this out, gather some goodies, load some baggies... you can get this checked off your list in an afternoon.



SUPPLIES
Cello Bags - I used 2.5" x .75" x 6" (Try to get bags as close as possible to this size).
Cardstock - I used Paper Source Stardream Opal or Quartz
X-acto Knife, Cutting Board & Bone Folder (Scissors or a paper cutter will also work)
Ring Erasers - I got these from Target
Candies - I got chocolate kisses, Jelly Beans, and gummy XOs all at Target. Also at grocery stores.
Stapler - This could be cuter, with ribbon etc., but a stapler will do in a pinch. I thought about making the staples gold but again...!
Sharpie - To write their names on the back.

PROCESS
1. Print out the cards below on 8.5" x 11" cardstock.
2. Cut the center vertical line, and two outer vertical lines.
3. Turn your paper and cut the horizontal lines.
4. Keeping the paper in it's place, score on the fold lines. You should have six cards.
5. If your child is old enough to write their own names have them help out with this part. If not, write in their names.
6. Partially fold each card along their scored line so that they're ready for placement.
7. Fill each bag with a ring and some candies. Of course, the kids love to be involved in this part.
8. Fold over the top of the bag and place the folded card over the top of it. Staple closed.
* If you can't find this size bag, use what you can and fold it down to fit within the card closure.
9. I used the red for boys and the pink for the girls.




09 February 2015

VALENTINE'S EXCHANGE

It's not very often that you can gather 30 creative ladies together. It's even less often that you can get them to make a dozen of something crafty and lovely. These crafts are time takers for sure but when Stephanie throws her annual Valentine's Exchange Party, it's time to get busy and get there.

The deal is you craft up twelve of, something... a Valentine, to exchange. With so many talented people there, I was a wee bit intimidated. But it really was fun and rewarding.

I made weavings, each one of a kind with a mix of cream, gold and pink yarns on a gold painted twig. Then I placed each one in a glassine bag, tossed in a few tissue hearts, sewed the top, and topped it with a heart sticker.  Twelve of those, took me about a week of nightly work while watching TV.



































After a short break, maybe I'll make myself one too. I'll show them all soon.

For now, take a peek at what I traded them for!
Starting at the top left:
Flowers by Millie
Deer Valentine by Stephanie Ford
Moss hearts by Rachel David
Cornhusk Flowers by Brittany Jepson
Needle Keeper by Amy Holmes
Felt Tissue Case by Tia Harrison
Heart Paper Garland by Faith Wallis
Candy Jar by Caroline Drake
Fabric Garland by Melissa Bell
Bag of Felt Balls by Aubry Bennion
Cement Earrings by Kersey Campbell
Lavendar Sachet by Kersten Swinyard





27 January 2015

HOME COCKTAILS

My Sister-in-Law threw a Cocktail Tutorial Party and asked me to put together a little give away gift. I designed and hand stitched little french-fold brochures and we attached a jigger to each one. Because the brochure was full of recipes I wanted photos that didn't represent Miami circa 1982 so I began the hunt. I found a couple of blogs (here and here) that were filled with beautiful photography of cocktails and recipes. I gave them credit in the brochure, but of course, I'd like to show off their talents here as well. See below for recipes, complements of Elisa Noelle of Bar X.

P.S. I don't actually drink cocktails (though sometimes I wish for them at about 4:00 when my kids are at each other, not doing homework, being uncooperative and snippy. That's when we all need one, right.)






































































MANHATTAN
2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dash Bitters
two hearty shakes of bitter in glass, add vermouth, add rye, drop three broken ice cubes, and stir

MARTINI
2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
add vermouth and gin in glass, add ice cubes, stir, add lemon twist

GIMLET
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
combine all ingredients, shake

OLD FASHIONED
2 oz Spirit
1 Sugar Cube
Bitters
Twist
place sugar cube in glass, douse with bitters, add ice, stir, add twist

TRADITIONAL
WHISKEY SOUR
1 Egg White (set aside)
2 oz Bourbon
3/4 Lemon Juice
3/4 Simple Syrup
Bitters
5 Ice Cubes
combine bourbon, syrup and juice, add egg white, and dry shake,
add ice cubes, and shake again, double strain into glass, and add line of bitters

SIDECAR
(FAMILY)
1 1/2oz Spirit (Brandy)
1/2 oz Citrus (Lime)
1 oz Cointreau
combine ingredients, and shake

GINGER BEER
1/2 oz ginger root juice
1/2-1 oz lime
3/4 simple syrup
soda
combine ginger, lime and simple syrup, shake with ice and double strain into glass, top with soda


05 January 2015

HOW TO ORGANIZE THE ART PILES

I am DROWNING in art. I'm not kidding.... My kids probably produce on average 8 pieces of art daily, and at least 4 pieces that are really adorable and savable... EACH! There is a crazy pile of artwork in my sewing room, another in our home office, the daily schoolwork pile has art from September to now, the art drawer has a pile and then this pile shown below in the photo (note the art boxes, which make it seem like it's organized, but those are jam packed)... there are at least five different places where artwork is being placed in my home.




























































I consider myself to be pretty organized, but the artwork has gotten out of control. Literally... out of control!! Can you sense the panic? I can't get on top of these piles. So here's my idea...

STARTING NOW, JANUARY 2015 Everything created by my kids will be photographed on my phone and printed into Chatbooks.

After this is set up and rolling, THEN... I'll go through the many piles and edit and keep only the really amazing pieces of art. and file them into my kids craft boxes (see the top left of the photo). Those boxes by the way were meant to be for school, home, and church art up until age five. I currently have two boxes for my six year old, so they need editing too. But again, this is going to get attention after this project is under way.

I've had several chatbooks made already and I love them. They're affordable and easy to use and their customer service is amazing. I've already got an account so I can easily add another book. All I have to do is this:

1. Set up a new email account. I used an old yahoo account from years ago.
2. Set up a new private Instagram account. The downfall to this plan is that Instagram makes you sign out and in of each account which is a huge drag but for this project, I'm willing! I did, however, leave them a comment to get with it and make it easier for people to have multiple accounts.
3. Add a new book to "My Books" in the Chatbooks account (or for those that haven't done it before get the app on your phone and start... it needs to be done on your phone, not the computer).
4. Start taking photos.
5. Start posting photos to the new private Instagram account. Nobody else will see them if you keep it private. Don't add any followers and don't follow anyone.
6. Photos are added to your Chatbooks account in the same order that you add them to Instagram so be mindful of how you want them to appear in your book. You can delete images, but you can't move them around.
7. You'll start receiving books once you subscribe. Each volume is sent out after 60 photos. Chatbooks will send an email to edit your book (change text etc.) and then it comes to your house like magic. Pretty amazing set up, I say.

I've created all kinds of photo books from several sources and this is by far the easiest option. I'm looking for something that will actually get done so it has to be easy. I will shoot art on a daily basis, mostly likely at the end of the day so I only have to log out/in once per day.

Now I won't have to fret when it's time to toss the little love notes and drawings and art created at school and at home. It's also great for the bulky pieces that just don't work well in the filing system.

And THAT is my plan. Pray for me and my piles of madness.