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
Trick-or-Treat
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!

August 11, 2014

Giving School A Little "Boost"

It's that time of year again!  That's right, summer is almost over and the kids are heading back to school.  I don't about you but I have had a fabulous summer with the little prince.  He made the choice early on that he didn't want to go to camp.  My first thought was "what exactly am I supposed to do with him all summer long?" followed by my second thought "great, that's money in my pocket".  The truth is we had a great time.  Besides the money that was saved {it should be against the law for parents to pay $230 a week for camp} I was able to truly enjoy some down time this summer.  I took it easy and didn't worry about much except trying to make memories with my kid.  Isn't that what summer is all about!?!

To get ready for the school year, I am joining my Silhouette blogging buddies for this month's challenge - SCHOOL.  I haven't participated in a challenge since our Organization challenge in January when I created my Simple Project Calendar, so I am excited to be included this month along with the other 17 bloggers who have come up with some amazing projects -- the creativity abounds with these ladies!

Back to School: Printable Book Cover Labels Back to School: Personalized Bag Tags DIY Chalkboard Vinyl Calender  Stamped Lunch Notes with the Silhouette - August Challenge Personalized Classroom Sign for the Teacher Apple earrings for that special teacher School Supply Organizer (Teacher Gift) Easy Vinyl Embellished Bookmarks Chalkboard Place Cards Fabric Tear Away Notepad LEGO inspired Printable Backpack Tags {FREE PRINTABLE} First Day of School Photo Prop Back to School: Personalized Notebooks Back to School: Geometric Paper Bag Textbook Covers Easy Back to School Teacher Gift & Printable Frozen Inspired Pencil Toppers First Day of School Photo Keepsake Giving School A Little Boost

My school project is thanks to my best customer who needed help getting the school ready for the new year.  She was given the task of covering the school walls to promote the yearly fundraiser -- Boosterthon.  She asked if I would help her and I was happy to do so.  This year's theme is music inspired and she decided that she wanted "iPods".  I decided since it was for Boosterthon, the name would change just a little.  A trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies and I was on my way to help give the school a little boost!


I started by creating a template that I would use for all five.  




Using an exacto knife I cut out the the sections that I needed then traced the top portion.

Middle circle to be cut out

Circle cut out

I used a silver piece of posterboard to create the bottom circle.  I cut a smaller circle out of the middle of the larger one so the colored posterboard can be seen.


Circles glued in place.  Things are coming together well.



I guess I should explain Boosterthon a little for those who may know nothing about it.  Each year the theme changes but the premise remains the same -- teaching the children through five different character qualities.  Each character quality is assigned a fictional person (hence the faces on each).  So using the posters that she was given, I cut out each person to be placed on each board.

New name needed -- iBoost!  Cool!

Now it's time to put my Silhouette to work for all of the words and shapes that will be needed to bring this project to a close.

Each character quality is "highlighted" in green

Using the welding tool on the Silhouette software I was able to cut out each word as a whole.  This technique was a true lifesaver!  It would have taken me twice as long if I had to glue each letter individually.  The headphones were cut by my customer using the schools new VariQuest machine.  They are attached to each iBoost using black paracord and tape.









It looks awesome!  The school is ready to welcome teachers, students and parents alike on the first day.

Would you like more Back-to-School inspiration?  Check out these projects from my Silhouette blogging buddies.  Be sure to hop over and give them some bloggy luv and let them know I sent you!  

1. Weekend Craft // 2. From Wine to Whine // 3. Life After Laundry // 4. Adventures in All Things Food // 5. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 6. Sowdering About // 7. The Kim Six Fix // 8. Architecture of a Mom // 9. greylustergirl.com // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath // 11. Simply Kelly Designs // 12. My Paper Craze // 13. Sweet Tea & Saving Grace // 14. Black and White Obsession // 15. Ginger Snap Craft // 16. It Happens in a Blink // 17. Creative Ramblings // 18. Little Blue's Room

June 3, 2014

Shake it Up

My best customer is back at it again!  Her darling daughter turned six and she
pulled out all the stops to bring her dream to reality.

The birthday girl told her mom this year she wanted her party to be Shake it Up.  Don't know what that is?  It's a Disney show.  Oh wait, let me rephrase that - a cancelled Disney show.  Why mention the cancelled part, you ask?  Well because when a show is cancelled it becomes next to impossible to find the licensed products for it and that's what happened here.  Thank heavens for Ebay!  A search on the site and she found what she was looking for to make this party the awesome affair her daughter has become accustomed to.  She enlisted my help to put together a few little touches and she was on her way.

Thanks to a local kids party establishment, she was able to have a rockin' dance party -- Shake it Up style!





First things first, she wanted a cake topper.  She found one she liked and asked if I could recreate it for her.  She was able to find a few photos online of the main characters of the show for me to choose from.  After choosing the best ones, I headed off to the UPS store to have them enlarged.  Using the foam core board that I purchased from Hobby Lobby, I traced and cut out the two shapes.


After gluing the photos to the foam core and using sandwich toothpicks, I secured the characters to the styrofoam base.  Things were coming together well, but this was just the beginning - I needed to also cut her name out in foam core and paint the base orange.


Using floral wire, I was able to attach the 'Shake it Up' sign behind the characters.  Perfect!



Added on a few more decorative touches and one cake topper is finished.  Now it's time to work on the party favors.


The original party plans included a pinata but unfortunately the establishment did not allow things to be hung from the ceiling so that meant plan B.  Using the drink cups she received as part of her party pack, I created these candy cups (again, based on something she found elsewhere) that each of her guests received.


A late RSVP meant that the birthday girl would either have to forgo her candy up or we'd have to come up with another idea.  Enter the birthday girls candy favor!  I found this cup at Michael's and after sending a few pictures of various cups to her mom for her approval, she liked this one the best.  What a time saver smart phone technology is!


Using my Oracal 651 outdoor vinyl (works best if you plan to wash the item), I personalized the cup first.



A trip to Party City and I picked up a variety of candy to add to the cup, being careful not to pick any peanut products as the birthday girl is highly allergic.  Talk about "WOW" factor!!

The day arrived and it was party time!  All pictures shown were given to me by my customer as I was unable to attend the party myself.  The birthday girl had a blast!

Party favors for the guests

Music CD's with personalized CD covers.  The back of this even had her picture on it -- too cute!

Another close-up

Photo op with the stars (and their choice of photo prop)

Birthday with flare!  Yes, I even made the cupcake toppers you see here too. :-)

Once again, I want to thank the Glenn family for allowing me to help make their baby girl's
birthday everything she wanted.  Until next year....


April 19, 2014

Scrabble Date Night

Date night.  You know what that is, right?  You and your sweetie talk it over, make plans, find a sitter and off you go to share some much needed time out on the town with one another.  Yeah, I remember when date night actually happened for us - prior to the birth of our son.  I hate to admit it but we don't get out as a couple much these days.  We find it hard to fit it in with work and family obligations.  So how do we keep the spark alive?  Date night at home!

My blogging buddy Denise over at Go Cheap or Go Home hit the nail on the head when she posted her now famous 52 Stay At Home Date Night Ideas.  This list gives you some amazing ideas of how to enjoy a date night without ever leaving your home.  That's right, no need for a sitter because these can happen after you've put the kiddos to bed.  Check out the list for yourself.  Of course the crafter in me was immediately attracted to #18.  A fun night and a craft to boot...what could be better!



I started with the last of the three wood tile boards I purchased at Walmart a while back {the other two were used for my It's Fall and Christmas Countdown boards}.  


Each tile was painted in an antique white acrylic paint.  The best part -- the little prince stopped playing crossing guard to come help me with the painting.  What a good assistant {smile}.


Using a pencil and ruler, I created a grid in each tile to match that of a true scrabble board.


I painted over each pencil line with white acrylic paint.  Note: if I were to do this again, I would use a paint pencil to make the lines.  I hand painted the lines and they are a little wonky...lol.  And speaking of wonky, I should have created the star with my Silhouette using vinyl.  Boy am I awful at hand painting stars.  Aren't all preschool teachers supposed to know how to make those!?!


Fast forward.  The frame is painted blue, I've completed the colored tiles, and added some fun lettering.  This is really coming together.



The letters were printed on regular printer paper.  I cut each letter out carefully and glued them in place.  I needed to make sure that I protected the letters, so I used Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  This was my first time using the product and I loved it.  Remember that a little goes a long way.  I used a toothpick to spread it around on each little square and let it dry.


The finished product.  I'm so happy with it, little imperfections and all.


What's next?  Put the kids to bed, make a dessert to share, grab the scrabble board and make it a date night -- bringing the 'love in' house.  Not fond of playing board games?  Seriously, there are 52 ideas on the list, I'm sure there is something on it that will fit your fancy.  Go ahead, I dare you.  Date night doesn't have to break the bank and the creativity goes a long way to strengthening your relationship!


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