Monday, July 14, 2014

{In The Shop} - Hocus Pocus Halloween Cross Stitch Pattern

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If you love the movie Hocus Pocus as much as I do {doubt it!}, then you recognize the line:

It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus.

First said by an overconfident teenage boy, it is delivered by Bette Midler in the most mocking, condescending fashion ever to grace the big screen. Truly outstanding!  So I thought to myself, "Self, why wouldn't you want to have this in your house for the Halloween season?"  Thus, this pattern was born.
 At only $5.00 for the pattern, it's a steal.  Also - it's not a huge investment for a beginner.  This is an easy counted cross stitch pattern so if you're just starting out, don't be afraid!  You'll master it in no time!
The finish project measures 8" x 10", making it the perfect pattern to turn into a pillow or simply frame.  I haven't decided what mine is going to grow up to be yet, but I love that I have options.  Plus, nothing beats a little Hocus Pocus at Halloween time.

 Get it today!

Halloween Hocus Pocus Cauldron Cross Stitch Pattern .PDF


Check out my other Halloween cross stitch pattern, the Double Double Toil and Trouble Witch here.



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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Adult Golf Party

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For years, I've known that I wanted to throw a golf themed party for my husband's 30th birthday and for years, I struggled to find decorations or ideas that were fitting for someone turning 30.  Not 3... not 60.  30.  A little shopping at Party City, Walmart and Home Depot and I was able to come up with an age appropriate and still very festive birthday party for my old man.  Check it out!
Guests were greeted at the door with a 1st Hole flag pin {wooden dowel from Home Depot with a paper flag and Cricut cut number attached} and an astroturf rug.  You have set the mood, right?!
 Thank goodness the hubs made this cute chalkboard for me so I can do festive drawings!
 My husband has golfed his entire life - it is a huge part of our lives and I wanted to showcase that.  I collected pictures from his mom of his golf adventures through the years and then added in a few more of my own.  Guests loved looking at old pictures of him!
 Of course, our front entry "tree" had to be decorated.  Duh!
 I printed off golf movie quotes and posted them around the house.  Everyone felt challenged to name the movies!  Here is the list of quotes I posted:
"Dead heat after one hole.  This is turning into quite the rivalry." - Swingers
"I never slice." - Caddyshack
"See it. Feel it. Trust it." - Seven Days in Utopia
"Doing the bull dance.  Feelin' the flow.  Workin' it. Workin' it." - Happy Gilmore
"A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your balls." - Tin Cup
and just for fun.... "Shoot Straight!" hung over the toilet in the Guest Bathroom.  I actually yell this to my husband every time he's walking out the door to go play golf with his friends, but I thought it was funny to put over the toilet.  :)
Decorations galore!  Streamers! Balloons!  It's not a birthday party without them!  Party City also had White Honeycomb Tissue Balls that look like golf balls when expanded and hung.
 We put astroturf on flat surfaces all over the house, including the mantle.
 I'm not much for baking.  I don't have the patience for it.  So much to my surprise, these golf cupcakes turned out really well!  Thank goodness for Betty Crocker Icing Sprays - they come in a can a la Cheez Whiz with piping tips so you don't have to battle with a bag.  They are a little pricey at $5 a can but my piece of mind was worth it!
 For those who don't know... the 19th Hole... is the bar.

 And of course there was food!!!
The Menu:
The Green - Salad {used: premade salad}
Putter Poppers - Jalepeno Poppers {get the AMAZING recipe here!}
Chip Shot - Chips and Dip
A La Carte - Veggie Tray
Birdies - Chicken Wings {used: Tyson Anytizers, hot wings and Honey BBQ wings}
 We got all our plates, napkins, streamers, balloons, green table clothes, utensils, cups, etc from Party City - all for under $50!

I bought golf tees and plastic practice golf balls from Walmart.  Find them in the sporting goods section!

I got an 8' x 6' roll of astroturf at Home Depot for only $20!

The golf pin flags and food flags were made using a Cricut.  The golf flags were glued to skewers.  The food flags were taped to upside down golf tees.

For entertainment, we had a beautiful putting green set up in the front room for people to practice their swings.  You can find the exact one here...
I also bought an unputtable ball for kicks and it drove my husband crazy!  You can get it here:
Thanks for checking out my party!


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Time as a Photographer -- Take Two!

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When your two best friends ask you to take pictures of them for part of their wedding reception decor, you really can't say no.  Even though I prefaced it with, "I'm really not that good" and "Are you really sure you want my goofy butt to do it?", they still insisted that it would be perfect.  PERFECT!  Great - no pressure.

To prep, I reviewed my notes from the last time I played photographer {My Time as a Photographer} and did more research on outdoor photography.  I read blog upon blog about camera settings and proper lighting.  I even read some articles about directing people during a photo shoot.  I felt armed.

I was soooooo not prepared.
Here's the thing about taking pictures of your two best friends who are about to have the biggest event of their lives thus far........after 14 years of being together........... it's emotional.

A few times during the shoot, I had to hide behind my lens or fain getting something in my eye to hide the little tears.  I mean, come on!  I just love these two!  Look at them!
Ugh!  I'm getting emotional again!  Anyway!

They were actually very easy to photograph.  Even though I took about 560 pictures and only really liked 20 of them, I'm still really happy with the way these turned out.  They love each other so much that I didn't even have to try hard to capture it.
They were the perfect mix of romantic and silly with each other during the shoot.  I have more goofy photos than kissy-kissy ones, but that's pretty much the story of their relationship.  And on this morning, even the birds wanted in on the fairy tale.  Check on the picture of them walking away from me.... does anyone else see a heart?
******************

A really fun twist on their wedding was the addition of baseball elements.  The groom has played baseball his entire life and it is such a huge part of their story - of course they had to incorporate it!
We went to a local Little League baseball field for some really fun shots!  Aside from the bride's inability to keep dirt off her, everything went swimmingly.  They were infinitely more comfortable at the baseball field than they were at the park and these pictures ended up having a lot more life to them.
The bride purchased a custom bat from Pick Your Plum a few months prior to the wedding and created the heart shape with an assortment of used baseballs.  It turned out to be a perfect accent to the pictures!  They also brought along baseball gloves for a quick game of catch and of course they needed to be used in the photos!
I am actually very touched that they trusted me with these photos.  They have been two of my best friends since I was 14 years old and I am so grateful to have them in my life.  They are wonderful people who do wonderful things and I couldn't have been happier for them.

Again... no, I'm not a photographer... 
but it's fun pretending!


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Cricut Canvas Tote Iron-On Tutorial

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I am notorious for carting around a plethora of craft supplies.  I take them to friends' houses to work on projects.  I take them to work sporadically for special mission.  And occasionally, when wonderful people buy from my Etsy shop, I have to tote their shipments to the post office.  Amazingly enough - I don't have a bag to help me in my mission.  Well... didn't.  I DIDN'T have a bag.  Until now!

In this tutorial, I use my Cricut Expressions 2 to cut iron-on material and apply to a canvas tote.  Let's get started!

Materials
Canvas Tote
Iron-On Material
Cricut Expressions 2
Iron
Ironing Board
Cotton Cloth
Paper Cutter
X-Acto Knife
Ruler
Sewing Pins

Instructions
1.  Unroll your canvas tote, wash and iron out the wrinkles.  Set aside.
2.  Decide on the size and layout of your design.  My design is 12" x 4".  Cut your vinyl to size.
3.  Apply material to the Cricut cutting mat - liner side DOWN.  See below - the liner side is the shiny/plastic side.  Insert your mat into the machine.
4.  Create your design on your Cricut machine. 

**REMEMBER!!!** For iron-ons, you will be cutting the MIRROR image of your design. 

Put the phrase into the line, spelled backwards and size to fit.
Looks pretty good but it's not the MIRROR IMAGE.  Select a letter and the Edit pencil.
In the Edit screen, flip the image horizontally (the second option) and hit Save (the disc). 
MUCH BETTER!
5.  Reference the Cricut cutting instructions for the settings appropriate for your machine.  On the Cricut Expressions 2, I just selected Vinyl Kiss Cut and changed my blade dial to 4.
6.  Select Cut and watch it goooo!
7.  Once the design is fully complete, eject from your machine and remove material from the mat.  Because you did a kiss cut, the liner should not be cut at all. 

8.  Carefully remove the excess material around your design and any pieces that you won't to iron onto the tote.  This is called "weeding".  Cricut sells a lot of "weeding" tools.  I just use an X-Acto knife.  Set aside.
9.  Turn on the iron and put on the highest setting.
10.  Figure out the position of your design.  Use sewing pins to mark the corners and set aside your design.
11.  Lay your cotton cloth over the canvas tote and pre-heat the material.  This means - iron the material to warm it up - this helps adhere the iron-on to the canvas.  **NOTE : You still have NOT put your design on the tote.
12.  Now that your material is prepped, take off the cotton cloth, place your design, remove the sewing pins, and recover with the cloth material.  Phew!
13.  It's go time!  Using gentle pressure, press the iron onto your design to adhere.  Use a "lift and press" method, instead of a sweeping motion.  Leave iron on design for 10-15 seconds per location.  Flip canvas tote over and iron from the back side.  Flip again and repeat lift and press over entire design again.
14.  You're almost done!  Allow the design to cool 5-10 minutes.  Pull up a corner of the design to test if iron-on material is fully adhered.  IF THE DESIGN IS LIFTING, place cotton cloth back on top of design and re-iron, focusing only on the area that is lifting. 
15.  When design is fully ready, pull liner away from design at a 45* angle.  Move slowly and keep your eye out for lifting.  If you do have some, don't panic.  Place the liner back down, place the cotton cloth on top and iron the location (focusing only on the area that is lifting).  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes and try again.
Ta-Da!!!  All done!

I have already used this bag extensively!  I love that I always know where my craft stuff is when I travel with it and ... well, it's cute.  :)  I hope you are inspired to make your own!

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