Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Purse into Camera Bag {DIY}

Wayyyy back in March I came across this tutorial to transform a regular 'ole purse into a camera bag.  Since those adorable girly camera bags are way out of my price range (our full set of luggage was cheaper than these bags!) this was the perfect solution for me! 

I promptly headed out shopping (with coupons of course) and purchased a bag for around $20-30.  I made sure to get a bag that had both short straps and a long strap to give me options when carrying it.  This is the bag I chose (actually in it's finished state). 

I didn't find the headliner fabric at JoAnn's so I bought the cheapest foam I could find.  It was about $3-5 for a 1 inch thick sheet.  I also got the stiffest needlepoint canvas they had (to give the bag structure). 

I didn't take pictures of the process and be thankful I didn't!  It was ugly.  ha!  It was pretty much trial and error with the canvas and foam.  I cut them both down to size and attached them with spray adhesive.  I made canvas/foam pieces for the bottom and the longer sides.  I ran out of foam so for the ends I used batting and hot glued fabric over the batting and canvas. 

If you were to look inside the lining of my bag it wouldn't be pretty...but it's all covered up, so who cares?  The trickiest part about this bag was the shape.  It's narrower at the top so I had to trim the foam/canvas to be curved in these spots.  After the fact I figured out I could have gotten away with not turning the bag inside out, as I could have just pulled the liner out.  I had trouble turning the bag right side out and had to re-open the liner to get everything in the right place.  But in the end I have a cheap, cute and padded camera bag!

(Since my DSLR is the only camera I have I couldn't show it inside to show how roomy it is)
I currently don't have any extra lenses (hoping Santa brings me one!) so I haven't made any dividers.  But I have some from my old camera bag so I'm just going to use those since they fit (the orange divider).  There is plenty of room for my charger, cord, manual, lens(es), camera and any other accessories!  There's even room to throw in my phone and wallet so I don't have to carry my purse when I have my camera.  I love it!

Total Project Cost: $30-35
Time to Make: an hour or two, just however long it takes you to customize it for your bag

If you have a DSLR camera, what do you use for a camera bag?

28 weeks and an update

Sorry for my absence!  I have been busy making Christmas gifts and a couple of Etsy orders, not to mention getting ready to move.  I am headed to KY at the end of this week and our stuff will be packed up early next week.  Our stuff won't be delivered until about 10 days after it's packed up.  Kind of a bummer, but doable.  Just means we will have to take a lot of stuff with us to my parents house!   And the good news is that we will be moved in before the end of the year so I can start on the nursery, finally!

My posts might be sparse for the rest of the year (which is only 18 days, crazy!), but I know you understand. :)  I do have some good stuff to share this week and I will share the gifts that I have made this year (after they are given of course!). 

In the meantime here is my 28 week picture (which is now 10 days old!).  It's hard to believe I will be 30 weeks on Friday!  So excited to meet our little girl!

Hope you survived Monday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Memories Suite Giveaway Winner & Discount Code

Well not many entered, but we do have a winner!

Congrats Lindsey!  I will be sending you instructions on how to get your copy of the My Memories software!

And if you didn't get a chance to enter (or win) and are still interested in the software I have good news for you!  With this code (STMMMS26341) you can get $10 off the software AND $10 to use in the My Memories Store (to download kits, etc!)  Just copy and paste the code into the appropriate box when you are checking out.  This code never expires and they just released a new and improved version of their software!   Awesome!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Etsy Shop!

I finally did it!  I opened my etsy shop!  I only have a few random items at the moment, but slowly but surely I am adding products. 

Most of what I offer will be handmade jewelry, paper products and fabric products (mostly accessories and baby/kiddo items).  Some will be custom/personalized items and some will be one of a kind pieces.

To keep updated you can follow my shop on Facebook by going to the link (or clicking follow on the link on my sidebar).  Or you can favorite my shop (click on the heart on the side in the shop or when viewing an item).

Hope you like what you see (and if you do, please share!).  If you have any feedback or requests, let me know!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Matchbox Advent Calendar {Mini Tutorial}

Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make an Advent calendar for Brett and I.  There are so many great ideas out there, but I needed something quick, cheap and easy.  So I decided upon a matchbox advent!

To make this advent calendar I did the following:
  1. Gather empty matchboxes (or buy 3 packs of 10 at the dollar store and empty out the boxes)
  2. Make a template to use to cut out scrapbook paper (I just wrapped a small piece around a matchbox and made little cuts on the edge and then used my paper cutter to trim it down)
  3. Select  scrapbook paper and cut out covers for matchboxes
  4. Using spray adhesive, cover the matchboxes with the cut paper
  5. Punch/cut out circles from scrapbook paper
  6. Stamp 1-25 onto circles (you could also print out the numbers and then cut them out)
  7. Adhere circles onto matchbox with spray adhesive
  8. Hot glue magnets onto the back of the matchboxes
  9. Fill matchboxes with activities, candy or tiny gifts/ornaments
  10. Put matchboxes on fridge or other metal surface (I am using a cookie sheet from the dollar store-I may paint it red and attach something to hang it, but it will have to wait til after the move!)
Easy peasy! 

Since it's just Brett and I, I thought it would be a good idea to put activities for us to do together inside the matchboxes.  In this busy time of year it's easy to get caught up in the holiday preparations and over look spending time with our spouse so I wanted to avoid that (especially since it is our last Christmas just the two of us!).  Here are the activities we will be doing (but in a different order):
  • Bake and decorate sugar cookies
  • Watch A Christmas Carol
  • Drive and look at Christmas lights
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Wrap presents together
  • Read the story of Christ's birth (in Luke)
  • Enjoy hot some homemade hot chocolate
  • Watch Polar Express
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Take spare change to the Salvation Army bell ringer
  • Buy each other's stocking stuffers for under $10
  • Watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  • Play a board game
  • Have a candlelight dinner at home
  • Send out Christmas cards
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Attend Christmas Eve Service
  • Plan & go on a free date
  • Watch Elf
  • Participate in an Angel Tree or Food Drive
  • Listen to favorite Christmas music
  • Take cookies to friends and/or family
  • Make ornaments
  • Take a family picture
  • Go see a Christmas movie
Did you make an advent calendar this year?  I'd love to see it so let me know if you did!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software {GIVEAWAY & Free Printable!}

I have never really gotten into scrapbooking, but I have recently been interested in digital scrapbooking.  It seems so much easier and more practical when all my photos are digital, and there is no mess to clean up (I have plenty of other crafting messes to deal with!). 

I was so excited when My Memories contacted me about trying out their digital scrapbooking software!  It was so easy to download the software (you can download it or have it shipped) and get started!  My Memories offers lots of free and paid kits that you can download to get papers and embellishments.  You can also use any other digital scrapbooking kits you may have downloaded elsewhere!

In no time at all I had made this Christmas printable (that you can download for free! Just right click and save.) and page with my husband and I from last Christmas.   The software is very easy to use and doesn't take long to get used to!  They even have templates to use so all you have to do is add pictures (the snowflake page was a template)!

And in the Christmas spirit, My Memories is letting me giveaway a copy of their software to one of you all!  To enter you first need to be a follower of this blog (just click "Join This Site" on the right side).  And then leave a comment for each one of the following (for one entry each):
  1. Visit the My Memories website and comment which digital scrapbooking pack you would download first!
  2. Have a friend enter the giveaway (just have them comment who sent them)
  3. Share the giveaway/blog post on Facebook
  4. Follow the My Memories blog
  5. Follow My Memories on Facebook
The giveaway will close on Saturday December 3rd, 2011 at midnight CST.  If you don't win the giveaway, you can still get the My Memories Suite software for a discounted price!  Just be sure to watch for the announcement of the winner...the code will be given then!   Just a tip..the My Memories software would be a great Christmas gift for the scrapbooker or crafty person in your life! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Wow! It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is now gone and Christmas is fast approaching!  We went back to KY for about a week and a half for the holiday.  It was a great trip back and we were quite busy!  We spent most of our time looking for a rental house (and we found one!), spending time with family and friends and eating lots of yummy food!  I also acquired a cold, so lots of rest was involved too.  I had planned on posting and crafting while we were there, but that didn't happen.  But I have some exciting things to share...including a giveaway tomorrow!!  So be sure to come back and enter (and share with your friends)!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pinterest Recipes I've Tried

Although I have a lot of recipe pins on Pinterest, I haven't made most of them (yet!).  But I thought I would share the ones I have and let you know what I thought.

Mexican Crock Pot Soup
The Pin: can of rotel, can of corn, can of black beans (drained & rinsed), 2 frozen chicken breasts, 8 oz cream cheese, 1 packet dry ranch dressing, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder. Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook 6-8 hours. Shred chicken, and enjoy!
My Take: Delicious!  I topped with sour cream and ate with tortilla chips.  It is pretty thick so I would recommend filling an empty can from the recipe of water (or milk) and adding that while it cooks.  Also, if you aren't big on spicy food, either omit the chili powder or use just a dash.

Crock Pot Potato Soup
My Take: It was pretty good!  I didn't have the exact amount of the ingredients so I improvised a bit and it still turned out pretty well.  I also added the bacon and green onions (chives actually) and let it cook for about 30-60 minutes before serving so the flavors mixed well.  I would definitely recommend this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
I was craving something pumpkin and this seemed easy enough!
My Take:  Absolutely delicious!  But it makes too much for 2 people (it makes a 9x13 worth).  We are still eating it!  It would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Reese Cup Bars
My all time favorite candy is Reese's, so anything peanut butter and chocolate catches my eye! 
My Take:  Very easy and delicious!  But again, made too much for Brett and I.  They also dried out quickly (we kept them in the fridge as they were best cold). I would recommend them for a gathering or to cut the recipe in half (or even half again).

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Brett loves anything buffalo flavored so I thought these would be a big hit.
My Take:  They were pretty delicious, but way too spicy for me (thanks to pregnancy)!  I could only eat one so Brett used the leftovers on pita bread to make a pizza.  That I tolerated a little better, but only a small piece!  I think it was too spicy because we used hot sauce instead of buffalo sauce though...oops!  So don't make the mistake I did!

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish
I love crab cakes (and Tuna Cakes) so I thought we would give these a try. 
My Take: Ehhh, these were okay.  I didn't make the tomato avocado relish though, I just put avocado on top.  The cake by itself was too bland so it needs something on top and definitely the ranch to moisten them up.  We probably won't be making these again.

What's your favorite pinterest recipe?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Mantel {DIY Projects}

So this is a tad late, considering I am taking down my fall decorations this week and replacing them with Christmas decor!!  But better late then never, right?  Since we are only in this apartment for six months (less than two left!!) I haven't been big on decorating.  To me there's no point in pulling out all of my decorations (that I packed up reallllly well) to have to pack them up again.  But since we actually have a mantel (that doesn't have a TV on it) I can't leave that bare!  Here's what I did with the decor I have year round (that the movers packed up and unpacked).  I also added two DIY projects-the yarn wreath and fabric pumpkins.

To make the pumpkins I loosely followed this tutorial. But they are very simple to make.  Take a roll of toilet paper, wrap a piece of newspaper around that, stuffing the edges in the roll opening.  Take a fat quarter sized (18"x21") piece of fabric and wrap that around the roll the same way you did the newspaper.  There's no right way to do this, I just made sure to keep the fabric folds tighter so it kept a round-ish shape.  I did have to trim some of the corners of fabric off to get it all into the roll.  Now for the stem.  You could use a real stick, but I didn't feel like wandering around our apartment complex looking for sticks so i improvised!  I took 3 q-tips, hot glued them together and wrapped brown felt around that.  Then I finished them off with a green felt leaf!

Cost: $.88 (or FREE if you have everything!)  I had the fabric and felt on hand and picked up a 4 pack of cheap toilet paper at Kroger for $.88 (we use more expensive toilet paper so I wasn't about to use that for a craft project! haha!). 

To make the wreath I wrapped a wreath form with yarn, securing it with hot glue every few wraps around.  To cover up the wreath form I did some overlapping too.  Then I made some fall flowers out of felt and hot glued those on.   To hang it I wrapped some brown satin ribbon around the wreath.

Cost: yarn - $2.50 at Joann's + wreath form - $1.80 (normally $2.99 and used a 40% coupon at Joann's) = about $4.30  (I had the felt and ribbon on hand, and have yarn left over).

Up next, Christmas decorations!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Page Canvas {Tutorial}

Book Page Canvas {Tutorial}

Like many other bloggers, I love book page projects!  Here's on that I made using a Goodwill canvas and a tutorial to make your own!

Canvas, any size (mine was $3 from Goodwill)
Book pages ($.50 for a book from Goodwill)
Mod Podge
Paint brush

Total Cost: $3 (give or take $1-2 depending on what you have on hand)

Time to Make: 30-60 minutes

Now the fun part...
 1. Gather your supplies.  This is the canvas and books that I used.  I have nothing against the National Cathedral, but it just isn't quite my style!

2. Next, tear out the book pages.  I used dictionary pages and some from the paperback on the stack above.  The smaller and lighter pages are from the paperback and have dates on them (from a diary).  I decided to use dates that were special to Brett and I (birthdays, anniversary) to make it  more personalized.  Arrange your book pages on the canvas however you would like.  There really is no right way!  Just make sure that the edges are covered.

3. The tricky part of this project is getting the book pages adhered to the canvas.  I knew that once I arranged them I didn't want to have to try and lift the pages to get under them to the canvas.  So I used double sided tape to tape the pages together to make one big piece of paper.  This way you can get to the whole canvas.

4.  Next, cover the canvas with mod podge.  I took the easy route and just poured it on and spread it out with a foam brush.

5.  While the mod podge is still wet, put the book pages on the canvas.  Make sure it is even with the edges before you put it down because once you do, you could rip the pages if you try to move it (yes, I figured this out the hard way!).  Press down lightly on the pages to make sure it's stuck on there good.

6.  Now start to put mod podge under all of the pages that are on top of other pages.  While you are doing this you will also put a layer over the pages on the top. 

7.  Make sure you put mod podge on the edges too.  When you get the edges covered fold the edges down like you would when wrapping a present.

When you are done with the edges, let it dry and trim any excess book pages off the back.  You are done!!  If you want you could add embellishments to the front...rosettes, glitter silhouettes, text, etc.  Get creative with it!  I haven't added anything yet in case I decide to use it in the nursery! 

If you make your own, let me know!!  I'd love to see!

Link parties I'm participating in:  (go check them out!)
The Home Stories of A to Z Tutorials and Tips
Tatertots & Jello

Friday, November 11, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip {Recipe}

Spinach and artichoke dip is possibly one of my favorite dips/appetizers.  Who wouldn't like melted cheesy yumminess?!  I have found that the best spinach artichoke dips are homemade so I thought I would share my go-to recipe.  Brett and I actually had this for dinner the other night as neither of us were motivated to make something else (and I forgot to thaw some meat, oops!). Enjoy!

  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (by sitting out or microwave)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese (I didn't have this so I just added more Parmesan)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I don't have this so I used garlic powder and a dash of salt)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (more or less depending on how you like this flavor...it doesn't add much spice because of all the dairy, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup spinach (I just took about half of a frozen bag of spinach and thawed it so I'm not sure exactly how much I had, but 1/2 to 3/4 cup is good)
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained (cut into smaller pieces if you so choose)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (I didn't have this and it was fine with out, but would be extra yum with!)
How to Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. In a bowl mix cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, Parmesan & Romano cheeses, garlic, basil, garlic salt, chili powder, and salt & pepper.  
  3. Gently stir in artichokes and spinach.
  4. Transfer mixture to baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.  
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned on top. 
  6. Serve warm with tortilla chips, pita chips, slices of bread, veggies, etc!
Linking up to these parties: (go check 'em out!)
Tatertots & Jello
The Home Stories of A to Z
33 Shades of Green

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Birchbox

Have you all have heard of Birchbox?  I hadn't until I read about it on The Small Things Blog.  For $10 a month you get a box of 4-5 beauty product samples.  It's a great way to try different products and have someone else do the shopping for you!  I just got my first box the other day, yay!  Here's what was inside.

The blue one on the left is chocolate...with chipotle, salt and popping candy!  Crazy!
As soon as I opened the box I was excited...it smelled so good! ha!  In my opinion the best part is that the products are personalized!  When you sign up you take a beauty survey and they base what they send you on that!  As you can see from Kate's November Birchbox, hers is different than mine.  Very cool!  And a fun way to spend some of my monthly "allowance"! 

If you want to sign up for your own, go to this link.  I've only tried the body butter so far (because it was what smelled so good) and it's already worth the $10!!  They also offer gift subscriptions in 3, 6 or 12 months.  Perfect if you need a last minute gift for the holidays!!

*Birchbox is not paying me or sponsoring this post...I just wanted to share!*

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My To-Do List

Image Source
Although I'm not posting every day I am usually working on a project every day (I promise I haven't forgotten about you all!).  So I thought I would share what is on my to-do list for the next few months (probably until Peyton comes).  It is ever changing, but here it goes!
  1. Finish purse into camera bag transformation
  2. Make iPad case
  3. Make countdown board (and tutorial to share!)
  4. Refinish thrifted bedside table for guest room
  5. Make potholder clutch(es)
  6. Make baby blankets for Peyton
  7. Make boppy covers
  8. Make Christmas gifts
  9. Plan Peyton's nursery (lots more projects with this!)
  10. Make diaper bag and changing pad
  11. Make items to sell in my etsy shop (that is to be opened...soon!)
Next week I will be putting out our Christmas decorations (woo hoo!)  Since I will not be back to Alabama after Christmas (we are spending 2 weeks in KY for Christmas/New Year's and I will be staying since travel after then wouldn't be the best for me) I would rather take the decorations down myself before Christmas than have the movers pack them up with the rest of our stuff.  And we will be in KY for Thanksgiving so hubby agreed to let me decorate before we leave!  I love this time of year!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baby Bump

I haven't talked much about my pregnancy yet, so I thought I would share how our little girl Peyton has grown so far!  I am 24 weeks, 3 days today and feeling pretty good.  Nothing really to complain about, just some heartburn with anything I eat (I got it after eating oatmeal this morning!).  My most favorite part so far is feeling her move.  I love it!  It is the best feeling in the world!

8 weeks

12 Weeks

16 weeks
20 weeks
24 weeks

The bump grew a lot from weeks 20-24...hence the shock on the scale at the doctor's today! (But I blame it on a post-lunch appointment time and full bladder :)  haha  Time to pop in my prenatal exercise DVD! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Taggie Blankie {Tutorial}

As more and more of my friends have babies I am realizing that there are so many gifts that you can make!  On Day 28 of 31 Days of Handmade Gifts I shared some blanket tutorials and a preview of a taggie blankie I made for a baby gift. Here is the tutorial!

Taggie Blankie Tutorial

Time to Make: 30-60 minutes
Sewing Skill Level: Any (this would be a good first project!)
Cost: FREE!  (I had everything on hand, but it wouldn't cost more than $5 to make!)
13 in. x 13 in. fabric (quilter's cotton)
13 in. x 13 in. flannel or other soft fabric
Ribbon scraps (2.5-4 inches in length, various textures)
Sewing machine, thread and scissors

You could make this out of any fabric.  I have seen ones in the store made out of fleece, minky, etc.

1. Cut out fabric and ribbon scraps. You might want to iron your fabric (especially cotton) to ensure it's flat.

2. Fold ribbon pieces in half and pin to the right side of one of the fabric squares (it doesn't matter which one).  Make sure the raw edges of the ribbon and fabric line up.  Placement doesn't matter, just where ever you think looks good.  Just fight that OCD and place them different distances apart.  Yes it will be hard to do, but it doesn't matter!  Baby doesn't care. :)

3. Stitch ribbon pieces to right side of fabric (using 1/4 in seam allowance) removing pins as you go.  Back stitch with each ribbon piece to ensure they're on there good!

(Tip: To save some time/thread you don't have to clip the threads between sewing each ribbon, just move the needle to the next ribbon piece making sure the other threads are out of the way!)

4. Once you finish sewing the ribbons on, clip all the threads.  Also, make sure all the ribbons are sewn on good, you don't want a baby pulling any of them out!

5. Pin the other piece of fabric to the piece you just sewed the ribbons to (leaving the ribbons folded in and flat) right sides together.

6. Sew the fabric pieces together using a 1/4 in seam allowance, leaving about a 4 inch opening to turn, removing pins as you go.  To get this seam allowance I just used the edge of the foot.

(Tip: Start at one edge of your opening, not at the corner.  Then sew around and end at the other edge of your opening.  At the corners leave the needle in the fabric and just turn the fabric pieces).

7. Clip the corners and turn inside out.  Poke out corners (using your finger, knitting/crochet needle or something similar).

8. Iron your blankie, making sure to flatten the edges of the opening.  Almost done!!

9. Topstitch around the whole blankie, making sure that you close the opening.  And you're finished!  If you like the look of two lines of stitching, go for it.  (I just wanted to finish!)

 Let me know if you all have any questions or make one too!  I'd love to see!

Linking up with Christina's Adventures for $20 Below Thursdays, Creation Corner for a Handmade Christmas, Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party and The Home Stories of A to Z's Tutorials and Tips Party!

Home Stories A2Z
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