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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toy Box Makeover

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toy Box Makeover

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Believe it or not, this toy box was mine (and my sibling) when I was younger! No one has used it for years, and my house has exploded with toys... so I talked my dad into letting me give it a makeover and giving it to my daughter to use!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Molten Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Molten Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For Mother's Day dinner, I was in charge of dessert. The best food assignment, in my opinion...
So I of course went to my dessert Pinterest board for inspiration to make something ahhhh-mazing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Business Card Holder Tutorial

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Business Card Holder Tutorial

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When I went to Breathing Space Blogger Retreat, I took along with me a bunch of business cards. I didn't want to just whip out a baggie or something to hand them out - I needed something a little more fun and useful! I found a great tutorial at The Crafty Cupboard and it was perfect for me! Even for a beginner sewer, this is a pretty fail-proof project.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cabochon Jewelry Tutorial

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cabochon Jewelry Tutorial

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Cabochons are everywhere right now. Blogs, Etsy shops, boutiques - you name it! I always wondered how they were made and it was hard for me to find a tutorial... so here you go! They are so simple to make, and really affordable. They make wonderful gifts, and selling them is a great way to make some extra money.

I made both earrings and necklace charms.

How to create clay cabochons:
I used Mold Muse silicone molds. Highly recommend them! They are inexpensive, high quality, and they have a large selection of molds to choose from. In fact, I have a few more molds on my list that I want to buy!!

Clay or Resin:
{resin tutorial to come soon - today I am using clay}: I used both Sculpey clay and Pardo clay. I bought both at Hobby Lobby and wanted to see what the difference was, if any. Clay comes in lots of colors and brands.

Like most brands, I'm sure everyone's opinion is different. I noticed the Pardo clay I bought, while awesome in color, was really hard to use. It took over 30 minutes to get the clay warm enough and pliable enough to put into the mold. The purple was pretty much useless. I spent more than 45 minutes trying to get it to a useable consistency and it just crumbled. One thing that was good about the Pardo clay was that it was firm enough that I could pop it out of the mold without distorting the flower.

You can see in the image that the flower came out of the mold kind of cracked and wrinkled in areas.
Some flowers came out fine, others look like the one in the image.

The black and silver were the Sculpey clay. I really loved using this brand. It was soft right out of the package, and really simple to use. The only issue I had was that it was so soft that I had to leave the clay in the mold to bake it instead of popping it out. Not a problem though, just a little time consuming if you are wanting to make more than one at a time.

Close up of my flowers. The larger ones came out perfect, the smaller ones were harder to pop out and not mess up. If the designs are more intricate, I recommend just baking them in the mold.

Each brand of clay will have their own instructions for baking. For example, the Pardo clay bakes at a lower temperature than the Sculpey and for less time. So, read the instructions! Also remember that the molds cannot be baked higher that 395º, so check the clay packaging before purchasing.

  1. Knead your clay until the clay is soft, and press firmly into the mold. Scrape extra off the top until the clay is level with the mold.
  2. Place the molds and clay {if outside of mold} on a baking sheet {no oil or parchment paper needed}. Bake for instructed time and temperature. Use caution before handling since the silicone mold will be hot. Allow it to cool before demolding to prevent any part of your design from breaking or cracking.
  3. Now you have cabochons!! You can do all kinds of things: use them on cards as embellishments, create jewelry, add to hair accessories, and so much more!! The possibilities are endless.
To create earrings & necklaces, you'll need:
E-6000 Glue
Flat Earring Posts with Clutches {I got a pack from Hobby Lobby with about 36 posts/clutches}
Necklace Bails {I got a pack from Hobby Lobby with 2 bails}

Add a small amount of E-6000 glue onto the flat part of the earring post. This is almost a little too much glue.
A little goes a long way. And yes, mama needs a manicure...

Place the earring post onto the back part of the cabochon. Try to get it as centered as possible.
Let set for a few hours to dry completely.

You can see the original on the bottom flower that the clay will look matte when finished. The clay I used had some sheen/glitter added to it, so it had a little bit of shine. As an experiment, I just painted a thin layer of polyurethane varnish to give the top flower some extra shine. I love how easy it was and the glossy look.

Now your earrings are finished!

For the necklace, I just glued a bail to the back of the flower. Let dry for a few hours and that's it!

I didn't add any varnish to this flower, and it still looks great!

When I went to Breathing Space, I put together these earring sets for my house/roommates. Super easy to put together. I designed the squares, cut them out, and then took a small needle and poked the holes where the earrings would go. Push the earrings through, add the backs and there you have a personalized gift!

Linking to these parties!

**Disclosure: I received a complimentary molds from Mold Muse as part of this review. None of the clay was donated. All opinions are my own.**
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breathing Space Blogger Retreat!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breathing Space Blogger Retreat!

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This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat held at Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah. This was my first ever blogging conference, and I was so excited to go. I'm a really shy & introverted person, so I was really nervous about mingling with the 75 bloggers in attendance. So glad I went, though! I learned a lot and met SO many great people I wouldn't have known otherwise. So, lesson learned. Always challenge yourself - you'll learn more than you think!

Check-In, housing, and classes were held in the Daybreak Model Homes. Gorgeous!!
Big thanks to all the sponsors for the amazing swag bags!

Learned a lot from The Food Nanny!!
So excited to try out some of her recipes and implement her meal planning techniques!

Liz Edmunds is so sweet and SO fun to listen to!

If you don't know about the Sweet Tooth Fairy, you're missing out! She make amazing cupcakes, and was a big winner on Cupcake Wars! Can't wait to try the recipe she shared of one of her winning cupcakes.

Megan Faulkner Brown is one of the coolest bakers I've ever met!

My "bear"y awesome room!
Unfortunately I didn't sleep in here though - I had a little mouse friend hanging out right outside the window!! *shudder* Good thing the couches were comfy!

Dinner on Friday night was a "Stepford Wives" theme. So fun and everyone looked fantastic!!

The awesome place settings. Came with some swag from Daybreak, including a lip balm made from Daybreak-grown beeswax, and some delicious cake bites from The Sweet Tooth Fairy!

I also got to meet some of my bloggy "idols"! I felt so silly asking for pictures, but so glad I did!
Thanks Lara!!
Awesome colored pixie cuts unite!!

Thanks Jen!!

On Saturday morning, I learned to knit!!

It's a lot harder than I thought, but I'm going to keep practicing!
Thanks Jana for helping me out so much!!

Anna Adams is a great knitting teacher!
Thanks Anna for being so patient with me!

At lunch, we got to open a cute little gift box with a beautiful necklace inside from Oh Sweet Sadie!!

My awesome lunch friends! L-R: Me, Celeste, Nicole and Summer!

After lunch, I took an interior design class from Brian L. Clark.
He is amazing and has so many great tips! I learned a lot!

I got lost going to my next class, so I went shopping at Oh Sweet Sadie! instead!
I bought myself a super cute watch and watch band from Which Watch Designs and The Fresh Pearl.
Love it!!

Last, but not least, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo in fashion! The place was decorated perfectly and the atmosphere was so fun! What's Cinco de Mayo without some delicious food from Cafe Rio?!!
We also had the opportunity to meet the sponsors personally, and hopefully I'll get to share some great deals from them with you all in the future!

The amazing cake by Ashlee!

Thank again everyone who helped put Breathing Space together!! I had so much fun. I highly recommend going to any kind of blogging retreat/conference. It is such a great experience.
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Easy Play MakeUp

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Easy Play MakeUp

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Like I have mentioned before, we have a little makeup thief in our house...
Here is yet another solution to my growing problem:

Play Makeup!
No mess, and incredibly simple to do!