January 23, 2015

Monkey-ing Around

I was so excited to do this craft.  Not only was it for a fellow teacher, but it was going to be for my son's former first grade teacher.

Ms. J.W. is simply awesome.  She is young, vibrant and innovative and loves what she does.  She is structured and loving, just the right combination for a first grade teacher.  My son loved her and we were grateful for the amazing year he had under her instruction.  You remember my best customer Thasha?  This year her daughter is in Ms. W's class and believe me when I say they were overjoyed to get her as well.

One of the activities that Ms. W. does in her class to encourage writing skills is to have the children take home the class mascot 'Marvin the Monkey' for the weekend.  The children include Marvin in their weekend plans and they journal everything that happens.  Well over the years Marvin {and the bag he is carried in} has been loved by many, but so many trips to the homes of friends has left his bag a little worn.  Thasha and the other class mom decided a great birthday gift would be to give Marvin a new bag filled with Ms. W's favorite goodies.

After getting help from the little prince on which Silhouette file to use, I got to work on creating a new bag. I got lucky and bought the last bag Hobby Lobby had in stock and placed an order to Expressions Vinyl for the brown and cream htv that I would need.

I had to separate the file into pieces based on color.  Most of the monkey will be brown with a few cream and black pieces.  The words will be white.

The bag ready to be designed.

It is important when using a cut file with as many pieces as this one that you pay close attention to how the pieces go back together, particularly if you plan to use htv like I did.  I checked and re-checked the file before putting down each piece.

HTV is a wonderful medium to use.  It layered each piece with ease.  I was concerned that I might have trouble with it becoming "sticky" or peeling off due to repeated heat in an area but it held up beautifully.

How adorable is he!?!  I was so pleased with how well this turned out and I waited anxiously to hear how Ms. W felt about her gift.  I didn't have to wait long, Thasha sent me a pic of her loving her new bag {and goodies}.

Happy Birthday Ms. W and happy traveling Marvin!

January 3, 2015

A Year of Cards

Happy New Year! I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to 2015.  As a crafter, I have a long list of new things I'd like to try and I can't wait to share those with you.

But first things first, let's take a look at my year long commitment of creating handmade cards for my family.  I wish I could say that I was this awesome sister/aunt that remembers birthdays, buys the card and gets it in the mail on time but the truth is I pretty much suck when it comes to that...lol!  It's not that I don't love my family, I just have never been able to get my act together enough to get it done.  Well, a new year meant that I had another opportunity to change things and I'm happy to say that I did.

I made the decision in December 2013 to make each of my family members a birthday card for the next year -- not only make the card, but get it in the mail so they received it on their birthday.  I was successful in doing it for all but one.  Not 100% but certainly a win in my book.

Here is my year of cards review.

My oldest sister Linda's card

My nephew Nathaniel's card

My sister Denise's card -- she turned 50 this year
and she loves a good martini!

My niece Amber's card -- she loves purple!

My sister Gracie's card.  I made this card based on
a piece of artwork she made

My brother Terence's card

My niece Jasmine's card

My sister Sherry's card

My niece Vanessa's card.  This one was missing
the cupcake wrapper bottom but I think it
still looks okay

I was so proud of myself for getting these done that I'm planning to do the same thing again this year.  I didn't stop here though, here are a few others that I did as well.

A thank you card for Cindy, a friend of my sister Gracie

A birthday card for the mom of my co-worker Whitney

As the year ended, I wanted to take the opportunity to teach the little prince about thinking of others at Christmas.  With the help of my co-worker and friend Melissa, she gave me the names and addresses of some of our currently serving military men and we sent six people a little holiday cheer.  We hope that since they were unable to be home with their own families that maybe a little note from us would help bring a bit of Christmas to them.

This was fun and I love being creative -- can't wait to see what 2015 has in store.

November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we prepare ourselves to feast on some of the best food ever, I thought I'd throw one more craft your way to get you in the mood to give thanks this holiday season.

I was the winner {winner, winner Turkey dinner} of this craft from Dee over at The CSI Project.  She posted her Turkey Feather Craft/Giveway and my entry won.  I was very happy because I had missed this deal from Pick Your Plum and really wanted it.  As Dee said, it was meant for me to have!

As soon as my box arrived, I couldn't wait to get started.  There was only one problem -- I didn't have a pumpkin.  I was worried because most stores in my area have stopped selling pumpkins now that Halloween is over.  A trip to Hobby Lobby for something completely unrelated and I found this.

Did you know there was such a thing as an 'artificial carvable pumpkin'?  Well, I certainly didn't.  Apparently, you can take this pumpkin and carve it into all sorts of things.  Who knew!?!  I was excited because with it being carvable that meant I could stick my feathers into it without it damaging the pumpkin.  But the best part, this baby was on sale for 80% off the original price.  So my $26 pumpkin only cost me $5 and change.  Can we all say "SCORE"!

I woke up early Sunday morning and got right to work.  I found some great papers in my scrapbook supplies and here is what I came up with - my wonderful Pumpkin Turkey!

Getting those feathers in was a little tricky so they aren't sitting exactly the way I would like but I love it and what a great decoration for the holiday.

Little Blue's Room wishes you and your family a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2014

A Pilgrim Ship

As the teacher of babies this year, my teaching partner and I really wanted to find a Thanksgiving craft that was different.  We threw around the idea of a centerpiece using pumpkins, branches and pictures but after a shopping trip to both Michael's and Hobby Lobby we couldn't come up with anything that would work or was budget friendly.

A trip down Pinterest lane and my partner found this great Recycled Pilgrim Ship craft by 4 Crazy Kings that I immediately fell in love with.  The best part...it was completely FREE!  Yup, I used that four letter word!

Since we are talking about such young babies, a drawn picture was out of the question so off to the supply room for paint.  What mommy and daddy doesn't just fall in love with their baby's hand print, right?

Our parents were overjoyed to have such a wonderful keepsake from their sweet little one.  For us, we were patting ourselves on the back for a job well done because anyone who has ever worked with young babies knows how hard getting a hand print can be...LOL!

What a fun craft.  Now it's time to start thinking about Christmas.

November 15, 2014

Our "Dream" Vacation

Have you ever had a vacation that you couldn't wait for?  Have you been so excited that you felt like you were floating?  And once you got there, felt like it was a dream?  That is EXACTLY how I felt about our Disney cruise vacation.  I booked this vacation for our little family way back in January and you seriously would have thought I was a kid on Christmas morning the way I was jumping around the house once I clicked the button that said "book it" - HA!  It wasn't just that we were taking a Carribean cruise on a Disney ship, but we were going to celebrate Halloween on the High Seas!  I have to say that if you have ever considered a cruise, I would highly recommend Disney.  No detail is forgotten and it really is magical for everyone.  This trip was everything we expected it to be and so much more.  So let me share with you a couple "crafty" items I made to make our trip a little more personal.
This is a glimpse of our dream vacation aboard the Disney Dream!

The internet is full of blogs with helpful information about what you'll need to know when taking a Disney cruise.  Over at Fab Chick Gets Fit, Valerie does an amazing job of detailing her family vacation on the Dream with these posts herehere and here.  This awesome lady happens to be a personal, real life friend of mine too!  At Dixie Delights, I found a wealth of information that you can find here.  At Insider Tips Disney, they detail the boarding process for the Dream here.  I however cannot vouch for how well this works since our family received the prestigious honor of being FAMILY OF THE DAY and were the first people to board the ship.  We almost fainted!

One of the things that I knew I wanted to do for our family was to make a keepsake we would have to remember our trip by.  This is a mat I had in my craft supplies (still can't remember what I bought this for) and decided I would follow the lead of Christy over at Harvard Homemaker and spruced it up with some customization. 

As you can see, I used my Silhouette machine to personalize the frame.  Once on board, I dropped it off at guest services with my colored markers to have it signed.  I was so excited the last night of our trip when it was returned to our room with all the signatures.  Awesome!

Now, next on the list were our lanyards.  Yes, I know you can buy those but this family is always looking to save a buck or two so I decided to make ours for a fraction of the cost.  A trip to Hobby Lobby and I purchased a 3 pack of lanyard necklaces and a 4 pack of the plastic holders.  Using red vinyl I already had, I created our lanyards that held our key to the world cards.

This is pure genius.  When they say that this card is the "key to the world" they really mean it.  It is used for literally everything!  This lanyard made keeping up with it simple.

My last craft project was our pirate shirts for Pirate Night.  My son had pirate accessories that we brought along (eye patch, sword, and glow in the dark skull rings) and we knew the ship would provide us each with a bandana so all we needed were Disney inspired pirate themed shirts.  Check out what my Silhouette and I dreamed up for us.

Pirate Mickey
This is my son's shirt.  I wanted something simple and fun, what could be better than a pirate Mickey.

Pirate ship Mickey
This is my shirt.  Can't celebrate Halloween on the High Seas without a shirt that says so, right?  The shirts were purchased from Hobby Lobby for under $5 each.  Daddy decided he didn't want one so it was mommy and son all the way!

By far this was one of the best vacations I've ever had.  The only other that comes close was my time spent in Hawaii.

Pumpkin port
Pirate Night
Castaway Cay
Halloween Tree

There was something aboard for everyone in our family -- time alone and time together.
To me that spells the perfect vacation!

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