Liberty Bow

Lilla Rose normally releases a Flexi-of-the-Month on the first. But, because Independence Day is the 4th they wanted you to be able to have it in time! Yay for us!

Introducing Liberty Bow:

Liberty Bow - July Flexi-of-the-Month (http://lillarose.biz/mamacre8s)

And to sweeten the pot, Lilla Rose is offering a sale on everything on the site for two days (sale runs from June 25th until 11:59 pm on June 26th, 2014). All items on the site are 10% off and you get free shipping on all orders over $40.

Lilla Rose Sale 10% off Everything (http://lillarose.biz/mamacre8s)

And don’t forget, because this is an early release, you can still get June’s Flexi-of-the-Month, Calla Lily, until June 30th (and it’s included in the sale too!).

June Calla Lilly  (http://lillarose.biz/mamacre8s)

* All clicks go directly to my website; any sales help to keep my kids home, and is much appreciated.

Answer Me This #2

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

Answer Me This

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I wore a pink blouse and black slacks, LegoFan wore his new green shirt and tie, and Diva wore a beautiful long, pastel dress with pretty pink flowers on it. She also added some pearl-colored sandals with chunky crystals on them – her new faves!

2. Easter Bunny: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

We never really focused on the bunny and always kept that casual. The kids figured that one out long before they began to question Santa. And we never had any photos taken at the mall. The costumes are never good and they really creep me out! But they still like egg hunts and a few surprises Easter morning; and so I oblige, with pleasure.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else’s house?

I’d prefer to celebrate at my own house – if I had one.

First, I enjoy entertaining. I enjoy having people over and creating a warm, family environment. But a very close second has to do with all LegoFan’s allergies and anxieties. It’s just better for me to have control over the food and lack of furry animals. It’s better for him if he’s in a setting where he’s familiar and comfortable.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Is this a trick question? I think it’s impossible to come up with just one. I’ve always loved Brach’s Jelly Beans – not the Jelly Bird Eggs, not the Spiced Jelly Beans – just the plain ole, regular, original, Jelly Beans. But I really, really, don’t like the black ones and the red ones. Can we get bags made without those two flavors, please?

And then there’s the chocolate… M&Ms, Mounds Bars, York Peppermint Patties… I’m getting hungry!

Lastly, I love the eggs: mint, raspberry, marshmallow, and nougat. Love. Love. Love!

5. Do you like video games?

No. I don’t understand them. I can’t seem to play them. Much to LegoFan’s utter disappointment. He loves them: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, anything LEGO. I just don’t see the fascination. But he’s good at them. So we have the Wii U in the house, the kids play the games, and I try to understand.

6. Do you speak another language?

I took three years of French in high school. I learned a little Italian when I went to Rome for World Youth Day 2000. And I tried to teach my kids a little Latin. So I guess the actual answer to this question is no. I can say and read a few words in several languages, but I cannot speak any of them other than English. And sometimes I question that ability!

Now join us over at Catholic All Year and play along!

Valentine Bottles

Valentine Bottles

I made this sweet Valentine’s gift last year for a friend who really likes M&Ms. I have seen a few versions of this type around Pinterest, but I thought I’d share my take on it so you can make your own for this Valentine’s Day. It’s coming up soon!

Materials:

  • Four or Six pack of bottles – just make sure the mouth is wide enough for what you want to put inside the bottles.
  • Decorative craft paper – any style that your recipient will like. I used four different patterns, but you can use as many or as few as you would like. *Note: I used a cardstock thickness. If I were to do this again, I would use a thinner paper so that it’s easier to adhere to the bottles.
  • Adhesive – I used a clear, double-sided adhesive. I didn’t worry too much about it because once the bottles were filled, you couldn’t see anything anyway.
  • Something to fill the bottles – candy, snacks, notes, sky’s the limit – well actually you are limited by the width of the mouth of the bottle…
  • Miscellaneous supplies: scoring mat and bone folder, die cut machine and dies, rubber stamps and ink, punches, any other decorative items you may like.

For this project you do need to go shopping a little bit early so you can get the bottles you need and drink the contents – that’s the yummy part for you! Once the bottles are empty, you will need to wash and dry them thoroughly. You will also need to remove the labels. If there is a label around the neck, try to get one of them to come off in one piece and save it to make a template. Don’t forget to save the cardboard container they came in, you’ll need it to hold all the bottles when you’re done.

The first step is to cover the cardboard holder. I placed mine sideways on the paper I selected and used it to measure the sides. I chose to cut four panels and adhere them, but you could just cut one long piece and wrap it in place, adhering as you go.

Lay the box down and measure the sides.

Lay the box down and measure the sides.

One side covered, on to the second side.

One side covered, on to the second side.

I even covered the bottom with a solid color.

I even covered the bottom with a solid color.

Now, I didn’t measure as well as I had thought – surprise, surprise! So I had a few gaps. I decided to add a folded strip to each corner to account for that, and fix some of the edges.

Gasp in my measuring.

Gasp in my measuring.

Here's one of the corners I made - creased down the center to equally cover both sides.

Here’s one of the corners I made – creased down the center to equally cover both sides.

Here's a view from the other side.

Here’s a view from the other side.

Now the edges look much better!

Now the edges look much better!

For the handle, I measured the height and cut a strip of paper to go around it on both sides. Next, I folded it around the sides to get creases. That way I could figure out where the hole in the handle should go. Then I just traced the hole onto my paper, cut it out, and adhered it to the handle part of the  box.

Tracing on the paper for the handle.

Tracing on the paper for the handle.

All cut out!

All cut out!

Adhered to the handle.

Adhered to the handle.

Another view of the finished handle.

Another view of the finished handle.

Now it’s time to pretty up the bottles! I apologize, in advance, for the blurriness of the next two photos, but I wanted to show you what I originally used. I could not find a link to this particular stack, but I found this paper (all the papers I used on this project actually came from the same stack) in a stack by DCWV. I love their stacks! It may actually be an addiction now… Anywhoo, I chose this paper because of the lines and thought they would look nice around the center of the bottle. I cut off the pink outsides, and left the cream-colored inside. Then I cut it into four strips long enough to go around the center of the bottles.

Original sheet of paper.

Original sheet of paper.

Now cut into four strips - one for each bottle.

Now cut into four strips – one for each bottle.

One by one, I took each strip and wrapped it around each bottle. Here is where a thinner style paper definitely would have come in handy. It took several attempts with different types of adhesive to get the thicker paper to stay put. But my perseverance paid off and they really looked good.

Strip wrapped around the center of the bottle.

Strip wrapped around the center of the bottle.

Now this next step may be a little tricky. I was fortunate to have the top label of the bottle come off very easily and in one piece. Because of this, I was able to trace it and make four identical wraps. Where this gets tricky is if yours doesn’t come off in one piece and your bottle is wider at the bottom than it is at the top. If you have to create something from scratch, keep in mind the the curve at the top will be shorter than the curve at the bottom in order to get it to wrap smoothly. I hope that makes sense. I apologize, but I don’t have a picture of the original template to show you what I mean.

 

View of the neck wrap.

View of the neck wrap.

Another view of the neck wrap.

Another view of the neck wrap.

Since the bottle cap had the soda’s logo on it, I decided to cover that up too. I took a circle punch that was about the same size as the cap and punched out a piece of black paper. Then I took a smaller punch and cut another circle out of matching pink paper and adhered them to the top. If you don’t have a punch that’s the right size, you can always turn the cap over and trace it.

Cap topped.

Cap topped.

Here are a few views of the finished bottles:

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Finished Bottles

Now, I thought the bottles looked a little plain. So I took my die cut machine and a label die from Papertrey Ink and cut out four small labels, one for the front of each bottle. Then I stamped a saying on each one and adhered them to the fronts of the bottles.

Bottles with labels.

Bottles with labels.

Now comes the really fun (and delicious) part! Fill each bottle with your treat of choice. I was lucky enough to fill the bottles and have some M&Ms left over. Who am I to waste?

All filled and decked out!

All filled and decked out!

Now they are all ready to give to your sweetheart, your kids, or your best friend! While this one was created for Valentine’s Day, you could make it for any holiday or ‘just because’ – just change up the paper to match the occasion!

Have you ever made something like these? I would love to see your version!

 * This post is linked to: Homemaker’s Challenge and Growing Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pot of Gold

I made this for a friend for St. Patrick’s Day. However, I don’t think it needs to be limited, so I’m posting the directions in June! It’s called Pots of Gold at the End of the Rainbow, and consists of Skittles and Rolos – Yum!

Pot of Gold Final

The first thing I did was purchase and drink a bottle of fruit-flavored water – this part of the gift was for me! Make sure you wash and dry your bottle and lid before working with them. I removed the manufacturer’s label, but covering it would probably work just as well.

I measured the flat space and cut out a rectangular piece to fit around the bottle. Then, using a double-sided adhesive, I attached the paper to the bottle.

Next, I got out my Big Shot and my Papertrey Ink Fillable Frames Die and die cut two out of dark green paper. I added one to each side of the bottle. One side said, “Pots of Gold at the end of the Rainbow” and the other side said, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.”

I'm Irish

Then I got to fill the bottle – another fun part for me because not all of the candy fit in the bottle! I put a handful of the Rolos at the bottom for the Pots of Gold. Then I divided the Skittles into colors to recreate the rainbow. I put them in one layer, one color, at a time and put on the lid. I used Skittles, but you could also use M&Ms.

Pot of Gold Reverse

A fun, simple gift to send to someone to let them know you care!

* This post is linked to Home SanctuaryDeep Roots At Home and Homemaker’s Challenge.

100th Post – Thanksgiving

I find it very appropriate that my 100th post will be one of gratitude. I’ve seen a few people posting alphabetic gratitude lists on FB each day, so I would like to do that here as well.

I am grateful for:

A: Asperger’s Syndrome

B: Board Games

C: Creativity

D: Diva

E: Eternal Life

F: Faith, Family, & Friends

G: God

H: Homeschooling

I: Ice Cream

J: Jesus

K: Kisses

L: LegoFan & Love

M: My Mother

N: New Chapters

O: Open Air

P: Photos & Photography

Q: Quality Time with my children

R: Restoration

S: Sunsets & Sunrises

T: Tradition

U: United States of America

V: Victories; small, medium, & large

W: Wisteria & Weeping Willows

X: eXcitement

Y: YOU

Z: Zestiness

Thank you for reading – for subscribing – for commenting!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Red, White, and Blue Friday

Have you heard of Patriot Voices? The concept is simple…

Alone, we may think our voice is unheard; together our voices are much louder.

This shopping season we would like to turn Black Friday into Red, White, & Blue Friday. How do we do this? Agree to actively seek out gifts that are made in America and purchase as many as possible. Let’s send a message that we believe in our country; we believe in our small businesses. Let’s keep our money in America! Come take the pledge here!

I will try to update this post with a few small businesses where you can find some great items made right here in the good Ole US of A! Please feel free to add your favorites too (No affiliate links, please. Also I will be checking them out before posting.)

Let me know in the comments if you took the pledge – I did and I hope you will too!

Happy Birthday, America!

I wanted to make a moment to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day! Thank you, God, for this country that is America. Please watch over and bless our country

I wanted to share a great version of our National Anthem – please watch, enjoy, and share:

Remember, freedom isn’t free ~ Support our troops ~ Vote in November ~ Pray for our country.

Valentine Treats

Since Sarah is hosting Pinning it Down today, I thought I’d share a couple of treats I made for the family for Valentine’s Day. Obviously, it’s too late to re-create these for this year, perhaps you can pin them for next year or adapt them to another celebration you have coming up.

But before I show my projects, I want to wish Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things a very happy and safe delivery of her blessed baby girl. She is officially ‘overdue’ and is anxious for her darling daughter to make her appearance. May God bless you both with a healthy delivery!

The projects…

First, I made a basket of gifts for the family based on this idea from sixsistersstuff.com. The original idea had a separate gift for each of the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day. However, a couple of the suggestions weren’t possible for us to do due to allergies {and I couldn’t come up with anything better} so I decided to use what we could do and place it all together in one basket.

The original pin had some  free printables, but I was also low on color ink so I had to improvise. I got out my cricut and cut these heart-shaped locks out of pink paper. Then I hand-wrote the the loving puns. The kids loved reading the puns and laughing at them. Then they all enjoyed digging into the feast. Here are a couple of close-ups of the puns we used…

 

 

Everyone seemed happy with their treats and they were a lot of fun to make!

This post is linked to Pinning It Down – did you try something off your pinterest boards this week? Join the party and let us know what you did!

This post is also linked to Titus 2sday and Women Living Well.

Papertrey Ink 5th Anniversary Challenge #1

Papertrey Ink is kicking off its 5th Anniversary with an amazing challenge. Nichole has asked her design team to list their top five favorite products and their favorite post(s) of the last year. Then, she challenged us to take a look at them and pick one that inspired us to create something of our own.

I have been a stamper and paper-crafter for a while, but I haven’t really posted a lot about things I make. I’m not an expert and I don’t know a lot of techniques. I kinda get inspired by the celebrations at hand plus the daily emails of some of my favorite designers.

So today I looked at the inspiration posts and saw some great stuff – Nichole has some amazing ladies on her team! And while I liked many of them, one of them stood out as a post I had wanted to remember and do myself. The designer is Betsy Veldman and you can click HERE to see her original project. It’s basically a collage of sentiments, using various fonts and colors. I really liked the way they turned out!

With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought I would use this as an inspiration for a Love card. The card base is a 5×5 square made out of a deep red piece of cardstock; and the matting is a sheet of white paper with pink hearts (4.5×4.5).  Both papers are from Creative Memories. Next I took a piece of pink card stock and cut it into a 4×4 square. In the center, I stamped “It’s Your Day” from Think Big Sentiments #2 with an embossing pad and covered it with white embossing powder. Before I heat embossed the image, I scraped the letter ‘Y’ off the word your so that it became ‘our.’ Since the card was about ‘our love’ I thought it was more appropriate that way. However, it didn’t all come off like I had hoped. I will stamp over it later.

Then I used two pieces from the Love Birds set: a pair of doves and a trio of hearts. I stamped them with Versamark Dazzle Ink randomly over the entire square. In retrospect, I probably would have skipped this step. In the end, I think it turns out a little too over-crowded.

 

Then I added a couple of sentiments, similar to Betsy’s idea. I added “Love Birds” from the Love Birds set and “love you” from the Tag-Its #5 set. And my last stamp is a pair of hearts from the Tag-Its #4 set in the space where the ‘Y’ used to be. Then I attached all the pieces together with adhesive.

While I like the card in general, there are some things I would do differently – the versamark background and the pair of hearts in place of the ‘Y’ because they don’t give the polished look I wanted. Also, it would have been helpful if I hadn’t run out of my usual adhesive – it would look more professional if it was sealed all the way around. I am hoping to remedy that as soon as I can get to the store this week!

All-in-all it was nice to sit down and craft before the Super Bowl comes on tonight. I don’t really care about the outcome as I don’t really care about either team. However, I am Boston Red Sox fan, so perhaps I should cheer for the Pats, but they did beat my Ravens so…

Contentment

As this holiday season comes to a close with Epiphany, I find myself reflecting on how this last month or two went. As I think, I realize that this has been one of the best Christmases ever.

  • It wasn’t because I got the best gifts.
  • It wasn’t because we hosted the best parties.
  • It wasn’t even because we attended the best parties.
  • It wasn’t because we had the best clothes.
  • It wasn’t because all the food turned out great.

I am realizing that for the first time, I really put Christ in CHRISTmas.Here’s how:

  • We participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure;
  • We took my daughter’s doll cradle and some shredded paper (added for acts of kindness and sacrifice) and made a bed for Baby Jesus;
  • We wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Manger;
  • We followed the genealogy of Jesus with a homemade Jesse Tree:
  • We celebrated the lives and Feast Days of some Saints who loved Jesus long before we were alive – we discovered we can learn a lot from their faith and example!
  • We made many of our gifts, removing ourselves from the malls (we did go to a couple of stores, but were determined not to participate in the madness);
  • We made Christmas Eve Mass a priority – it was something special – we arrived early and didn’t rush out. We lingered. We studied the beautiful Creche. Then we went home and read The Night Before Christmas, but the last thing we did as a family was to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.

It was such a beautiful time this year. There was no stress. There were no worries about the ‘perfect’ gift. There was just family and love. From the First and Holy family, to our immediate and extended family.

I am convinced now that this is a lot closer to the way things are supposed to be. It’s amazing that the more I let go of the way the world thinks I should do something, the more I feel at peace. How about you? How did you make your Christmas season centered more around Christ? Happy Feast of Epiphany!