Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Altered Canvas Fabric Flower Photo Keepsake

I wanted to include something for Kim at 4 Crazy Kings in the letter exchange package between our daughters. I shared PART 1 yesterday. After agonizing over several options, I hit on the idea to alter a canvas. I couldn't get it out of my head, and had a million ideas running through my head. I hope I've turned it into a something that is both cute and whimsical, as well as a fun way display a picture of her two adorable daughters. It also incorporates Mod Podge, so it's this month's entry into Xazmin's Mod Podge Mania as well.

A picture of my daughter and two of her little friends is in it to give you a better idea of what it would look like finished. I hope it looks more whimsical and homey handmade than just amateurish. I am trying to do more altered artsy things, but I don't know if I've found my niche yet, as I'm not 100% happy about with the way it turned out. I will say I think it looks better in real life, and I decided to send it along to Kim because she'd approve of stretching yourself artistically and trying something new. She'll appreciate it if only for that reason! I started off with an unfinished value pack 8X10 canvas panel. Bought when they were on sale 40% off they were only a few dollars for both. They aren't wrapped canvas and are solid. ER painted it blue for me, her color choice, picked because she is in a huge Cinderella phase, and Brad drilled the holes for the ribbon hanger. I found the perfect quote for it: Sisters are the blossoms in the garden of life. I thought it perfectly combined sisterhood, growing up together, and the floral motif I'd already decided on. I used a simple pencil transfer to get help know where to paint. Just print out sentiment on the computer. On the backside of the paper scribble with pencil. Turn over, place on top of canvas where you want it to be. Then go over printed over printed sentiment, where the computer typed letters are and press hard to transfer the pencil scribbled on the back onto the canvas. The picture above is of my paper lettering template after I transferred them to the canvas. You'll get a light impression on the canvas. Paint over with acrylic paint and thin paint bush. Then seal everything with a layer of Mod Podge. The flowers I made for it, were inspired by this tutorial by the artsy crafty babe. I didn't intend on making the yellow on so much bigger than the purple one, but decided not to by type A and fuss to much. Note for Kim. the petals are still free moving and may need fluffing and positioning when you get it. The stems are ribbon and rick rack and the leaves are cut from fabric stamps. I attached the leaves and stems with Mod Podge. I added some stamped flourish, adhesive crystals, and a butterfly button to give it some texture and added interest. Then I added another thin layer of Mod Podge to the canvas board, to seal the stamped swirls and protect the ribbon and fabric leaves from fraying. If I was making one for myself, I wouldn't include the protective photo sleeve but since it was a gift for Kim to put a picture of her choosing in. I thought it was nice to include it as a place holder so she'd know where to add the photo. The backside of the altered canvas has scrapbook patterned paper decoupaged with Mod Podge on to give it a finished look.
Kim from 4 Crazy Kings posted about all the entire package from our Letter Exchange, here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Letter Exchange with Four Crazy Kings, Part 1

Once again I prove to myself that I am the WORST PEN PAL EVER! I was so so so so so late in getting our letter exchange with Kim from Four Crazy King's daughters out. I have no excuse! I actually finished awhile ago, but somehow getting thing boxed up, addressed, and all ready to go never happened. But finally it's out the door, and Brad even splurged for priority mail to hurry it on it's way a little faster! It arrived over the weekend so now I can share what was in the package.

We sent along a little note that ER illustrated with a marker drawing and scalloped punched tags from old greeting cards. I enclosed a postcard with pictures from our home town on it for Lu and Em to see. We also sent along a few extra goodies, like these two booklets I made.
The first book is a little "story" about all three girls and the second is for coloring.
Here are the pages and the story: This is a story about three little girls. L, E, and ER. L and E are sisters living in New Jersey and ER lives in Michigan. They live 591 miles apart but still have lots of similarities.
L's favorite color is red. E's favorite color is purple. ER's favorite color is pink. But they are all colors in the rainbow. (Yes I realize pink isn't technically part of the the whole Roy G Biv thing but pointing that out didn't fit in the with the flow of my story☺)
L's favorite thing to eat is ice cream. E's favorite thing to eat is smoothies. ER's favorite thing to eat is ice cream. And they are all things good to eat in the summer! (Typo alert, L's favorite thing to eat is clearly a popsicle. Whoops, note to self do not create booklets at 2 in the morning anymore.)
L's favorite thing to do is camping. E's favorite thing to do is looking at books. ER's favorite thing to do is painting. And they are all things it would be fun to play together, if only we didn't live so far apart.
You have two little girls in your family and...I only have one. But we are all loved a our Mommy and Daddy!
For the back page I wrote a little message from ER to the girls. My point behind the book was to show that even though they live states apart, little girls everywhere have similarities and things in common. I don't know if I quite accomplished that.

I'm not a 100% happy with the way it turned out, as you can tell my binding machine had some issues, which is why it's not all one piece. Originally I wanted it to be a flap book with the last part of each section under a flap but I couldn't figure out a way to make it work and withstand busy hands handling it. So this is infinitely less interactive and cool, but since it was already way late going out, this is the format I settled with.

I found the graphics I used for the State comparison pages at Kid Zone. What I really liked is that you can save each coloring page onto your hard drive and then manipulate it as you need for your own printing purposes.

I created this when I first got Photoshop Elements and was stilll learning how to manipulate things in the program. I wish it had a more polished look, with all the pages being the same size, but this was the best I could do at the time. I glued them onto cardstock so they wouldn't be so flimsy and binded them together. New Jersey and Michigan State OutlinesNew Jersey and Michigan Flags and State Facts New Jersey and Michigan State Flowers New Jersey and Michigan State Birds The last page in the State Comparison Coloring Book, was a pretty color page featuring both the state bird and flowers.

We included a blank book with bound cardstock pages for the girls to make their own book too.
The other little fun thing we sent were these crafting kits for both girls filled with pom poms, Hello Kitty stickers, travel playdoh, princess foam stickers, pipe cleaners, and punched shapes. The cute graphic frame on the craft and collage kits is by Vicki at A Work in Progress from her kit Flutterby Flowers. It was a freebie I found but I'm not sure if the link is working anymore.

Believe it or not, the little plastic containers are from two sets of big girl underwear that Grandma Norma bought ER. Yeah, I am THAT cheap, but hey there were the right size, snapped close, and I think the label cuttened them up a bit, right? Kim also posted about the letter exchange, be sure to stop by her post too☺

Monday, September 28, 2009

Envié Bath and Body Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Congratulations to clallen, comment 16, who said: follow blog publicly clallen at ntin dot net
Today I am excited to introduce you to Envié (on-vee-ay) Bath and Body, a luxury line of ultra exclusive bath and body products. It just had it's official launch, and I'm one of the very few bloggers that was chosen to introduce them. I am especially happy to be a part of this, because not only is it headquartered in my home state but also I admire owner and lead chemist Desiree Mattox's drive to make her dream of developing her product line made of high quality natural ingredients that provide the skin with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, come true.

Desiree earned a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry for the sole purpose of creating a successful line of luxury body care and cosmetics. During the course of her undergraduate studies she gained experience in a variety of chemical industries including water purification, medical lab preparations and analytical/environmental chemistry. Desiree has conducted extensive research on fragrance creation, analytical methods of fragrance quality control and product development. I love hearing about women who've had a goal and accomplished it through education and hard work. Envié Bath and Body has created a unique body care system specially formulated to nourish, condition and pamper your skin. The Body Care Systéme is packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to give your skin all the love and attention it deserves. The products featured in the system include Luxury Bubble Bath, Luxury Shower Gel, Silkening Body Polish and Conditioning Body Butter Créme; designed to compliment each other for the ultimate daily pampering experience.
The Conditioning Body Butter Cream is enriched with Avocado and Marajuca oils, this body butter is nothing short of incredible. The abundance of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids provide your skin with the nourishment it craves and deserves.

I got the cream in the Promenade scent to try, it's a soft, feminine, floral with light mint top note and very pleasant to wear. I have very dry legs and get white dry patches and red irritated spots from time to time. I could tell as soon as I unscrewed the lid that this was thick heavy stuff! It's almost a solid, but still easily absorbed and leaves a non-greasy sheen on your skin for a healthy glow. I liked knowing that this heavy duty moisturizer would be working on my skin all day long! The best part, hello sexy smooth legs!
I also got to preview Envié Bath and Body's Nourishing Hand Soak, a dry mixture of milk, honey, oatmeal and green tea leaf powder. It easily dissolves in water to create a luxurious soak that will soothe, soften and nourish the skin. Part of their yet to be released Envie Manicure Suite, it's also a great addition to a long bath or relaxing pedicure. As with all Envie products, it has an array of nutritive benefits. Following my review, the soak will be available for special purchase only. You can request it but it is not yet posted for sale on the website.

I have been on the look out for a foot soak, ever since the one I used to use was discontinued. As a diabetic I have to take special care of my feet and check them for injury every day. I like to use foot soaks and a rich moisturizer to keep them from getting cracked, which in my case can lead to a serious infection. Desiree's products were a great combination! After a long summer of wearing sandals most of the time, my tootsies needed some pampering! I've been using the regimen for almost four weeks now and there is a noticeable change in the skin condition of my feet, especially in the heels. It's the perfect combination to help repair your feet and get them back in shape after flip flop season!
Desiree wants to share one of Envié Bath and Body's exclusive products with one of my readers! Win a product of your choice from their Body Care Systéme!

To Enter:
Leave me a comment telling me which product you want to try and why, please tell me which scent you're interested in as well!

Extra Entries:
{Please leave an additional comment for each additional method}
  • Publicly follow my blog.
  • Post my link button on your blog.
  • Post about this giveaway and link to this post and Envié Bath and Body's site.
  • Follow me or Desiree on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway. Leave us a link to your tweet in the comment.
  • Follow Desiree's blog The Glam Laboratory, she does not have the Follower's widget up on the blog, but you can manually enter it on your Reading List, on your Blogger Dashboard by adding the homepage URL under ADD.
  • Subscribe to The Glam Laboratory's posts, use the box at the bottom of the blog.
Good Luck! Giveaway open until midnight EST October 12th to US residents.

Disclaimer: Thank you to Envié Bath and Body for the review and giveaway products. This post reflects my own opinions and experiences, which were not influenced by the company. Yours may differ. I got this opportunity through The Product Review Place, showcase your product or find review opportunities there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scalloped Punches and Greeting Cards

We've had a busy few days. So I don't have any scrapbook pages or project ready to share for Scrapbook Sunday today. But in the past Noelle shared her favorite tools, so I thought I'd share an easy way I combine my scrapbooking punches and old greeting cards to get more use out of them.
Many cards have lovely illustrations and are professionally designed, and we get a lot at our household. I can't keep all of them but don't like to just throw them away. So lately I've been taking them and punching the best parts of the designs out with my scalloped circle and square punches.

Then I let ER use them in collage art projects, use them to decorate new cards that she can send as thank yous, or just play with them. She likes to lay them all out in a row and look at them. Plus then I don't have to buy as many stickers, she can just glue a couple of these on to her papers or in her little notebooks. As many people pointed out in the comment section, they are also great to use as gift tags. I've also seen them used to make mini garlands. I forgot to mention that the first time around. Thanks everyone for the reminders!

More Scrapbook Sunday posts over at Noelle, Holly, and Vickie.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hide n' Seek

The past few weeks, ER's favorite games have been Candyland and Hide n' Seek. She wants to play them every day, all day if we'd let her. At a recent visit to Grammy's and Papa's she enjoyed an excitement filled game before breakfast.
The thing is she's really terrible at hiding. She hides in the same place over and over. But the real give aways are the loud giggles she makes the whole time. Some of the time, she'll change her mind about where she is last minute and run away as you come in the room. She has gotten better though, she used to sit right on the chair in plain sight, giggling when it was her turn to hide. It was kinda hard to pretend not to see her for very long☺
It's a good thing Papa and Uncle Dave are willing to play over and over and over and over and over...She especially likes finding Uncle Dave! "I finding Uncle, all the time," she told me on the drive home.
All that playing works up a hearty appetite, good thing Grammy knows how to whip up delicious pancakes! ER ate them right up, she likes hers plain, with her favorite berries. Guess the cat's out of the bag, I didn't make the ABC's from It's the Big Day. That was all my mom, but I did the photo styling all by myself. Does that deserve a gold star?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun at Our Local Farmstand

We had a quick morning playdate at the local farmstand up the road yesterday morning. I love having such a great find so close by! It's one of my favorite fall things to do that gets us out and about and enjoying the lovely day and all the locally grown produce. I've added this post to a new weekly linky party called Tree Hugging Tots, hosted by Growing by Leaps and Bounds.
I don't mean to make you all jealous but seriously, isn't this place pretty? Less than five minutes down the road! Guess living "out in the country" has it's perks! I meant to get a mum for the front porch but I couldn't juggle all the packages today. They have all kinds of goodies but my favorite are...
their pickles! Oh my goodness are they fabulous. We bought two jars of Kosher Dills today because I still have some Hot & Sweet ones in the fridge. ER and I both ate two right when we got home. The also have really good jams and jellies, plus super delish hot off the fryer pumpkin donuts. Now I don't like pumpkin under normal circumstances, but these are divine!
The main attraction for the kids are their pony rides, free petting zoo, and of course this ginormous hay pyramid. Love that this one is free and well maintained. They keep it covered with a tarp at night and remake parts everyday. Never before has ER been brave enough to climb it. Guess she got over that!
I think this is her "King of the World" moment or at least her King of the Hill experience. Oh sorry, I mean Princess of the Hill in this case.
Remember that petting area I mentioned? While one rather pushy fellow was wondering about and even climbed up on the pyramid. The kids found that rather amusing. What wasn't so amusing is how he also jumped up on the picnic tables and knocked over our apple cider. When I tried to shoo him away I got a handful of goat horns for my trouble. Like I said, very pushy indeed ☺ ER had to tell her preschool teacher all about it right at we got to school.
You may recall that in my Fall Begins post I mentioned that maybe she'd be able to finally pick up one of the big pumpkins this year. Little did I know that would happen so soon! Granted this one isn't that big but it's from where they are all laid out on the ground. Every year since she first went to a pumpkin patch ER has been trying to pick up one of the "big" pumpkins as she calls them. I didn't think she had it in her, so my camera wasn't ready. She's a fast one!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sew Fierce GIVEAWAY!!!

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Congratulations to Joannof10, comment #19, who said I love the "knot dress" sooooo cute!!
As you all know I am a huge fan of Steph at Sew Fierce and Sew Fierce on Etsy, she makes the most adorable clothing! I've written about her store before, read my full review for the clothing here and my review for the hat here. Because I've already gone on and on about how much I love her stuff in those posts...I thought I'd just show our favorite pieces cause really the clothes speak for themselves.

We have several things from her, like this customized monogramed dress, that I just adore...
and her Whimsy Faith Top and Ruffled Capris, ER looks so sweet in these...
and a pretty tulip sun hat that was worn all over this summer, those ties really came in handy during windy days!
Steph's clothes and accessories are amazing and very well made. She's expanded her to include bibs and burb cloths and fabric covered wipe cases that would make lovely baby shower gifts. She takes extra care to make sure her clothes will withstand lots of wear from active little kiddos too. The seams are professionally serged, and top stitch is done for durability and longevity

Steph is offerring one of my readers a $25 gift certificate to either her Sew Fierce dot com or Sew Fierce on Etsy stores! Good for or toward any item in the shop, ready to ship out to you!

To Enter:
Tell me what item at Sew Fierce is your favorite.

For Extra Entries:
{Leave a seperate comment for each extra method}
  • Publically follow my blog.
  • Post my link button.
  • Blog about this giveaway linking to this post and Sew Fierce.
  • Follow Steph's blog A Pockeful of Buttons.
  • Post any of Steph's link buttons.
  • Become a fan of Sew Fierce on Facebook.
  • Follow either Steph or me on Twitter. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
  • Leave a suggestion for Steph on what fabric combinations or colors you might like to see, a product you'd like her to carry, etc.
Please Note: Gift certificate is only valid on items in stock and ready to ship, not good toward custom work.

Giveaway open to all my readers, WORLDWIDE, now through October 8th at 12 midnight EST. Good Luck!

Apple Smiles

A fall favorite and often the first cooking activity I did with kindergarteners, are these simple Apple Smiles.

Apples, Cut into Slice
Peanut Butter or Cream Cheese
Mini Marshmallows

Management Note: If you're worried about giving kids knives, even dull ones, a popsicle craft stick works well for spreading.
Spread each slice of apple with peanut butter.
Top with mini marshmellows. You can top with another slice of apple to complete your smile and have top and bottom lips. But ER just takes hers off immediately, so I don't bother.

An inexpensive and quick treat that's a fun beginning of the year center, easy for parents to run in the classroom, and ties in well with apple and orchard, harvest, and fall themes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PUR Water Flavors Pitcher: Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed, congratulations to Luv to Save, comment # 41 who said: blog follower as ethelluvtosave at Thank you to everyone who entered!
I am diabetic, so sugary fruit juices, sodas, and even carb laden but good for you milk tend to drive my blood sugar levels sky high. So in an effort to maintain good control over my sugars, I often end up drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated. But drinking plain water can get rather boring to the taste buds after awhile.

Then I tried a new product from PUR Water and I am loving their PUR Flavor Options!

What is PUR Flavor Options?
  • PUR Flavor Options is the first and only filter for tap water that lets you add a touch of sugar-free, calorie-free fruit flavoring to your water.
  • PUR Flavor Options was named “Household Product of the Year” by Product of the Year USA in January 2009 and comes in raspberry, lemon, grape and strawberry.

About PUR Water Filtration:

  • Environment & Money: Switching from bottled water to filtered and a reusable bottle can eliminate up to 3,200 plastic bottles and save one person up to $600 annually.
  • Health: The EPA estimates that approximately 20% of Americans’ lead exposure is attributable to tap water. PUR filters are certified to reduce many contaminants, including 98% of lead, 99.9% of microbial cysts and 99% of pharmaceuticals.
  • Philanthropy: With each purchase of a PUR filter, a donation is made to Children’s Safe Drinking Water which has, to date, provided over 1.5 billion liters of clean water to needy children and their families around the world.

What I love about PUR Flavor Options:

  • No calories and no suragr or carbs but lots of flavor.
  • Clear flavored drink, I can drink as much as I want without having to worry about staining my teeth, something I worry about with diet colas and ice tea.
  • 4 different flavors mean I can change and try new flavors all the time.
  • You can switch out the flavor cartridges, just keep the opened ones in the refrigerator.
  • You can decide how intense you want the flavoring to be by choosing how many times you push a button.
  • You add the flavoring only when you want. If you don't add the flavoring, the water you pour out will be pure and filtered, with a great clean taste.
  • Use your own reusable bottle for portability and cut down on wasteful one use water bottles.
  • Inexpensive way to add more variety into the beverages I drink.

Suggestions for PUR Flavor Options:

  • The pitcher is smaller and holds less than another brand of water filtration pitcher that we also own. The PUR Favor Options water pitcher holds 7, 8-ounce glasses of water but it seemed like I had to refill it a lot. BUT on the upside, it actually fit in our fridge door unlike the other brand's. I'd like the option for a larger pitcher as well as the space saving one currently available, cause some of us like big glasses at a time.
  • I liked the lemon flavoring a lot, it tastes like water with a lemon slice in it. The raspberry flavoring tasteed a little bit too artificial to me. But it is still pleasant tasting and a flavor I'd buy again, I just like lemon a lot more.


Excellent value for your money that provides a lot of variety. It's good for your health, good for the environment, and the pocketbook. It's a win win all around☺

Win a PUR Flavor Options Pitcher:
Try out PUR Flavor Options by winning your own pitcher, stage 2 pitcher filter, and a raspberry flavor cartridge.

To Enter:
Visit PUR Flavor Options, and look under Why Choose PUR? and tell me which one of the 10 reasons is most important to you or tell me one of your own.

For Extra Entries:
{Please leave me a seperate comment for each method of additional entry}

Publically follow my blog.
Add my link button to your blog.
Subscribe to my RSS Feed, there is a area to do so at the bottom of the page.
Follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link to it in your comment.
Take the What's Your Flavor quiz on the Pur Flavor Options website, and tell me what your answer is. I'm perfectly peachy.

Open to US residents now through Wednesday October 7 at 12 midnight EST.

Disclaimer: Thank you to PUR Water for providing the review and giveaway products. This review relates my own options, which were not influenced by the company in any way, and experiences. Yours may differ. Thank you to The Product Review Place for helping to connect me with this great company and sponsor!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP