8/30/13

Make It: The Beautiful Mess Notebook

Disclosure: I was sent products to review. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own. 

I am serving as the 'craft lady' again at MOPS this year. My friend Katie and I are doing it together, and I am excited about the possibilities that come from planning a craft for 50 women. Our theme for the year is "A Beautiful Mess: Embrace Your Story". I think that is pretty fitting for motherhood don't you? This year we will all be sharing our 'beautiful messes'. MOPS groups are rallying women to be more honest, to feel more equipped, and to find our identity by journeying along side one another.
To kick off our year, we will be making "The Beautiful Mess Notebook" using Martha Stewart Decoupage at our first MOPS meeting.

The Beautiful Mess Notebook using Martha Stewart Decoupage . Better moms make a better world! 
 We have lots of old friends returning to MOPS and lots of new ones too. I think working on a project together is a great way to bond :) We are planning to use our notebooks as journals- they can be filled with notes of inspiration, bible verses, words of wisdom and also serve as a place to record thoughts and feelings. I like the idea of taking something ordinary and with a little mess, turning it into something beautiful.


Want to make "The Beautiful Mess Notebook" with us? Here is what you need:
-Composition Notebook
-Assorted Scrapbook paper or wrapping paper
-Scissors
-Paint Brush
-Martha Stewart Decoupage (available at Michaels)
-Martha Stewart Decoupage Paper Cut-outs - Butterflies (available at Michaels)
-Paint

Cut up your scrapbook paper and attach them to the cover of your journal. I cut mine up into squares to give it a 'quilt' feel. Use the decoupage to attach the paper to your notebook. Once the front dried, I added them to the back as well. 



After the paper squares were in place, I used some gold craft paint to dress up the spine. 



Then I painted the decoupage on the back of the butterflies and pressed them into place. I liked these new cut-outs from Martha Stewart, she has several different kinds (butterflies, leaves, ferns etc). They are sturdy and can be applied to anything from fabric to glass (the formula is durable, even dishwasher safe!) using the Martha Stewart Decoupage.


Finally, I applied a coat of decoupage over the entire front cover. Once it dried, I did the same with the back cover.


And that's it! I can't wait to share this with my MOPS friends. 


What in your life is a "mess"? The laundry room? Your schedule? Dinner-time? A Friendship? If you look hard enough, you just might spot some beauty.

Find out more about the Inspired by Plaid Martha Stewart Products I used in this project.
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8/28/13

Ruffles Make Everything Better & A Giveaway


You probably already know this about me, but I love ruffles. Need more ruffles in your life? Check out these ideas...

Ruffles on cakes. 

Ruffles on beds. 

Ruffles on cribs. 

Ruffles in bathrooms. 

Ruffles on lamps. 

Ruffles on wreaths. 

Ruffles on onesies. 

Ruffles on pillows. 

Ruffles on dogs.
Ok- maybe not on dogs. I went too far there.
Ruffles on curtains.

Ruffles on chairs. 

Ruffles on ruffles. 

See Ruffles do make everything better!
So let's have a little GIVEAWAY! 

How about a pair of triple ruffle pants from Kelly's Kids with Jennifer Anderson for your little girl?
Or if you have a little guy, how about this awesome vest?! (Love the monogram-- monograms also make everything better. But I will save that idea for another post!)


Want to win? It's easy. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Which one would you want to win? The ruffle pants or the vest? Can't decide? 
Go to take a closer look at Kelly's Kids with Jennifer Anderson


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8/26/13

Sew It: The Circle Skirt

Today is my girl's first day of second grade. Sniff, sniff. Actually I am really excited for her. Second grade is fun and she loves her school. She will do great. It will seem quiet around here without her. But everything has a season, and there is lots to look forward to this school year. Yet if I could slow time down a little, I would. It's scary to think how fast the first 7 years of her life have gone by.


Anyway, let's get onto the sewing! I made two of these circle skirts for Afton over the summer. I used one of my favorite fabrics, striped knit.


The best thing about this thick knit is that I was able to leave it unfinished. So it was a really fast and easy pattern to create. I followed the tutorial on "MADE". If you don't read this blog, you are missing out. Dana is an uber-talented woman who is a whiz with the sewing machine. I love the photography and styling she uses on her projects. It is all so appealing.


Using the tutorial on MADE, I created my own pattern based on Afton's measurements. Since I didn't have any pattern paper here at the house, I used the art paper from my girls' art easel. You could also tape printer paper together or use newspaper (being careful not to smudge it on your fabric.)


One of the things that makes this skirt looks nice and finished is the thick elastic on the waistband. The other skirt I made was a purple stripe, I used 1.5 inch elastic. The 2 inch elastic looks more professional.


This is a pattern I will use over and over again. Because who doesn't love a skirt that twirls?!


Check out the entire tutorial here on MADE. At the bottom of the post, she also includes a tutorial for creating an adult sized circle skirt. Worth pinning.

Are your kiddos back in school yet? Have you discovered any great sewing tutorials lately?

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-The Scoop -Too Much Time on My Hands  -Home Stories A to Z  -Tatertots and Jello  -The 36th Avenue -Whipperberry  -Serenity Now -Love of Family and Home -It's Overflowing -Mom4Real -I Should Be Mopping the Floor -Live, Laugh, Rowe

 All photos and text on craftytexasgirls.com are copyright protected. You may not copy entire articles or posts (even with a link) without my express written permission. Email any requests or links used to craftytexasgirls@gmail.com.

8/23/13

Beach Photography: Our Family Photo Shoot from Destin

A few weeks ago, we went to Destin, Florida. This was our third summer to go and it was amazing. The clear water, white sand and warm weather are incredible.



I took a ton of snapshots on the beach with my iphone. But I wanted to have a nice family photo session done with a pro. One of my friend's recommended Sarah Lyn PhotographySara is just about the sweetest person I have ever met, we emailed back and forth several times before the shoot. When I met her for the session, she met a big smile and huge hug.


It was a really windy evening and my sweet Maisy was a little crazy-- but Sarah worked her magic.





She was full of ideas for 'poses' and she took photos of all the silliness in between. I love all the emotion and movement she captured.




I even got a new 'headshot'!


If you are ever near Destin, contact Sarah Lyn. You can follow her on facebook and see her work at Sarah Lyn Photography.

All photography by Sarah Lyn Photography
Now comes the hard part, picking which ones to print and hang on the wall!

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8/21/13

Craft It: T-Shirt Hack (How to Cut up a Shirt)

Sometimes you need a 'life hack'--a technique that makes some aspect of your life easier or more efficient. You know like using bread clips to organize power cords or putting pancake batter in a ketchup bottle. 




And sometimes, you need a 't-shirt hack'. Like when you get a really big, boxy t-shirt from a race or you are handed a large plain t-shirt that you have to wear to all your child's sporting events. If you're looking for a 'life hack', you won't find it here. But if you're looking for a 't-shirt hack', then you are in luck!

I am helping with cheer again this year (coaching and sitting on the board for our local youth football association). Each game, the coaches wear 'spirit' shirts of some kind. Here is our shirt for this year. So Cute, but lacking a little flair :) So I 'hacked' it. Literally...


1. Gather a t-shirt, scissors, fabric paint
2. Cut off sleeves and neck
3. Fold the back of the shirt in half, cut three small slits. 
(Make sure not to cut through the front of the shirt! Only the back)
4. Add glitter paint to lettering (I used Tulip)
5. View of the front
6. View of the back 


Now, we are ready for football season. 



Have you ever 'hacked' a t-shirt? 

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8/19/13

Camera Talk: Shooting in Manual Mode and a Giveaway

On Saturday, I went to Kristen Duke's "Say NO to Auto" Photography Class. I learned a ton about using my camera in Manual Mode. I have to admit, it does take a little more thought to shoot in Manual. But the difference in the quality of photos between Automatic and Manual is amazing. 


Like my camera strap? See how the free tutorial here and make one too! 
And although it can be overwhelming at first, it is possible to learn! :) I have a Canon Rebel, which I usually shoot in the 'CA' mode with the flash turned off. But after the class, I am ready to shoot in Manual Mode! Below you can see an example of "Manual Mode vs Automatic Mode".


Comparison of Manual vs Auto  (Image Source Here) 
I now own this book, "Say NO to Auto" which I am going to keep in my bag. It's kind of like a 'cheat sheet' for shooting in various lighting conditions until I get more comfortable with knowing what settings to use and when. Whether you take photos of your kids/grandkids, you are a blogger, or you have aspirations of running your own photography business-- shooting in manual allows you to really capture the moment in the most beautiful way. 


See more about the "Say NO to Auto" book here
And since we are talking cameras, I am excited to bring you a really fun giveaway from my newest sponsor, Sassy Steals!


Sassy Seals offers daily online deals on women's jewelry, women's trendy clothing and other handmade crafts. Visit SassySteals.com for women's fashion deals and weekly giveaways! 

Sassy Steals instagram @sassysteals.com -- Sassy Steals on Facebook.com/sassysteals.com

To celebrate the joy of capturing life's great moments with a camera, Sassy Steals is giving away a Polaroid 300 plus film to one lucky winner. 

The Polaroid 300 takes business card size instant color photos, It is has an auto adjust falsh, electronic shutter 1/60 second, and manual exposure compensation. It has four scene settings to help capture the perfect shot in any light. The camera works with Polaroid 300 instant film and comes in purple, blue or black (winner chooses color)!

Want to win this fun camera from Sassy Steals? Simply use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



So do you 'say NO to auto'-- are you shooting in Manual mode? What camera do you use the most to capture the joy of everyday life? 

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 All photos and text on craftytexasgirls.com are copyright protected. You may not copy entire articles or posts (even with a link) without my express written permission. Email any requests or links used to craftytexasgirls@gmail.com.
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