Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How I Use My Erin Condren Life Planner

Back in high school and college I was an avid planner user. Being able to keep track of assignments and events helped me stay organized and on top of things. But after graduating and heading into the job world, I wasn't sure I needed a planner.

Since starting my own blog and Etsy shop I noticed I was feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with tasks and remembering things. I read a blog from a fellow crafter, Jennifer McGuire, about the Erin Condren Life Planner and I decided to order the Hardbound Vertical Life Planner.


I really liked how the vertical planner had 3 sections per day. That way I could keep my personal and business tasks in the same place but still separate.



And for only $35, the hardbound planner is 18 for months! I thought this was a good deal for an Erin Condren beginner. She also offers a spiral bound planner which I now have my eye on!

I am still getting the feel for the layout, and deciding what items to track, but overall I definitely feel more organized. I can open my planner before bed and make sure I've paid the necessary bills, filled my Etsy orders, or just keep track of blog or social media ideas. (And yes I like to include what TV shows I want to watch!)


I'm a simple planner and use basically pens and stamps. I am really liking the Pilot FriXion Pens. They erase clean, write very smooth and come in plenty of colors.

I use MFT Planner Basics stamps for my headers and I use some of the icons as needed. I've experimented with several inks and had many bleed through. Right now I am liking a chalk pigment ink by Archival. I've tried several pigments inks (and dye inks) like the versa fine and found they bleed through. 

I keep all my stamps and pens in a Happy Planner planner bag I found at Hobby Lobby.


For me it helps to make planning fun with these accessories. I know there are 100,000s of stickers and planner kits out there as well, but for now I plan on keeping things simple. 

Thanks for taking the time to read how I used my Erin Condren Planner!

If you are interested in the Erin Condren Planners, please use my referral link to save $10 off your first purchase!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wedding Favor Tags

Last fall when we were planning our wedding, we struggled to find a wedding favor that made sense. We didn't want to give our guests something they would just throw away. A few ideas we tossed around were seed packets, koozies and something edible.

So my mom volunteered to make (A LOT) of her homemade fudge. (Basically she was baking for the 5 days leading up to the wedding - THANK YOU MOM!!)

Another big thank you goes out to my aunt who helped package all the fudge in gift bags.

We used pink cellophane bags, I found on Amazon, tied with ribbon and included a tag I created.


I created the tag design on my computer based off of some ideas I found on Pinterest. I used the phrase Love is Sweet and included the message 'Thank you for making our day complete'. And added our names and the wedding date.

I found the tag shape in Design Space, and cut the tags from left over pink paper I used for our invitations. Then I printed the message on white cardstock and glued it to the pink tag.


We displayed the favors in metal trays on a table near the door. I also created a sign to go along side the favors, using the same Love is Sweet design and some of our engagement photos. After the wedding, we gave the frame to my mother in law as a wedding memento.


I think the fudge was a hit! We noticed many guests eating their treats at the wedding!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Old Window Transformation

When we purchased our fixer upper 7 years ago, we replaced all the old wooden windows with new vinyl single-hung windows. Most of the old windows had broken glass, but kept one that was still in good condition for a craft project.

I had originally painted the window blue and then it sat in the garage for years. When I finally got around to looking at it, I hated the blue. I decided this would be a good project to try chalk paint on, so I purchased some porcelain white chalk paint from Michaels.


I had never used chalk paint before, but I love the matte finish it creates. I had to re-sand the window to help remove the blue paint, and then I painted 3 coats of the white chalk paint. After letting the last coat dry for 24 hours, I sealed the chalk paint with clear wax. You simply brush on the wax, wait a few minutes then buff off with a cotton rag, it couldn't be easier.

I searched on Pinterest for old window projects and found one that someone added a shelf to. I loved the idea of more space to display decor, so we cut a shelf  and some brackets and I painted those white.


Since the glass was so old (probably over 50 years), it wasn't clear and that bothered me, so I decided to paint the glass with chalkboard paint.


I painted 3 coats of chalkboard paint, and sanded before the final coat and this resulted in a smooth surface. Make sure to prime the chalkboard with chalk before using.

To dress up the window we cut 4 mullions to create the look of a 6 panel window. I used hot glue to adhere them to the window.


I am in LOVE with the final result. I added some vintage estate sale finds, cotton garland and my Nora Fleming Bud Vase, and viola!


Monday, February 27, 2017

MFT Color Challenge 64

For this week's color challenge I decided to make my grandmother a birthday card!



I created the card out of Blue Yonder MFT card stock, (this could be my favorite blue card stock ever, it's the perfect soft blue.)

After looking at the colors in the challenge, I randomly decide to die cut a bird and bird cage on my Cricut. I glued the layers together onto white card stock and used a glue dot to raise the bird off the card.

I started flipping through my stamp sentiments and found this 'a little birdie told me' from the Crazy Talk set by Stampers Anonymous and thought that was perfect!

While I was embossing the sentiment with white heat embossing powder, I accidentally got some of the versamark ink on the black card stock. To cover that up I used my Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen to create glitter black card stock.

Hopefully my grandma enjoys her handmade card!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

50 Shades Darker: The Movie

Finally, after 2 years we get the next installment in the 50 Shades Movie Trilogy!

50 Shades Darker picks up right after Ana has left Christian. I was glad the movie sped up their separation and left out some of Christian's stalker tendencies.

Dakota was a strong, powerful Anastasia and I LOVED it! She has transformed this story on screen. I felt that Jaime has gotten more comfortable in Christian's shoes (or should I say jeans).

Of course there was a lot of sex, but I felt the right amount of time and emphasis was put on the important moments - #spreaderbar and #silverballs - I am almost surprised these were included but I am so happy they were!

Everyone who read the book (which should be EVERYONE by now) knows how the movie ended, and I appreciated the fade to Jack Hyde leading us into 50 Shades Freed. Thankfully, we only have to wait a year for the last movie. And if you stayed past the credits you got to see a sneak peak of Christian and Ana's wedding! 

Overall I felt the movie was cut short - it was less then 2 hours. I know all that sex can get redundant, but more could have been shown about Leila and Ms. Robinson. Also, Christian's confession/realization that he gets pleasure from punishing women that look like his birth mom felt anticlimactic. I still thought the movie was very good and entertaining. The soundtrack was amazing (Taylor Swift, need I say more) and helped enhance the drama and romance. This trilogy might be one of the few where the movies are better than the books.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DIY Rustic Wedding Invitations

When Michael and I picked a barn for our wedding venue, we knew right away that our theme would be rustic. We agreed upon accents of lace, mason jars, pumpkins and other fall outdoor elements like hay bales.

I knew I would design and hand make our invitations, not only to save money but because I LOVE to craft!


After spending hours on Pinterest for inspiration, I knew I needed burlap, lace and some ribbon for a pop of color. I found burlap paper at Hobby Lobby and spools of scalloped lace trim that would be perfect. Finding the perfect rose gold ribbon, to match the bridesmaids dresses, was a challenge. My local craft store Gary's Art & Crafts, carries 1000s of ribbons so thankfully I found the perfect shade there.


I designed the invitation wording on my computer and printed and cut the design on white card stock. I chose a simple rectangular shape with beveled edges.

I cut the burlap to 5" x 7" to fit into a standard A7 envelope. I cut strips of the lace and ribbon and layered those over the center of the burlap, adhering it with tape (which would be hidden with the white card stock).

I decided to make things more complicated and cut our names from rose vinyl and then used transfer tape to center on the white card stock. (I wish I had my Heidi Swapp Minc machine back then because it would have made things so much easier!)


When I put the invitation into the envelope I felt it was missing something, so I cut envelope liners with a scalloped edge using my Cricut.

Since I had to make 62 invitations, I put together the invitations assembly style over the course of a few weeks. This made things move smoothly and not feel like a HUGE undertaking.

I created a postcard for our RSVPs and printed it through Vistaprint. We decided on postcard cards to save money on postage and I was able to print 100 of them for $20.



Lastly, I designed a quick map with directions to include in the invitation since our wedding was kind of off the beaten path and in an unfamiliar city. I just printed the maps on light pink card stock and used a vinyl heart sticker to mark the location.




The final total cost on our invitations was $200 including postage!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

MFT Challenge Card 2 in 1

MFTWCS318 & MFT Color Challenge #62

This week I decided to try 2 card challenges in 1! The My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge 318 and The My Favorite Things Color Challenge #62.

You can never have enough birthday cards so I decided that's what I would make. I used My Favorite Things Spearmint and Gravel Gray 100lb cardstock as well as some white and blue cardstock.

I created the top folding card out of spearmint, then created a white heat embossed back ground on the white card stock using stars from my Hero Arts Operation Write Home stamp set.


For the birthday sentiment, I printed the design on a laser printer and used my Heidi Swapp Minc to foil it in teal.

I cut some stars out of my blue cardstock and colored them with my Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen for some extra shine.


On the inside, I silver heat embossed 'Hope your day is AWESOME' from my Paper Smooches Fun and Flirty set. I also silver heat embossed some stars on the envelopment to match.

I am really enjoying these weekly challenges, it's a great way to get inspired and create more cards! 






Sunday, January 29, 2017

My First Challenge Card

MFTWSC317

To get me moving on my 2017 goal of making my own cards, I decided to try my first MFT Sketch Challenge! This challenge provides a basic layout to inspire your design.

I decided to incorporate my newest stamp set - You Bake Me Happy by My Favorite Things. This set is features some absolutely adorable baking and kitchen related sentiments!


I used My Favorite Things Wild Cherry cardstock for the card and created a border with some Valentine's themed paper. Then I cut a scallop edge border out of white card stock. 

I used my Cricut to cut two different cupcakes, both from the Sweet Treats cartridge. I assembled the cupcakes and used some craft foam to give them dimension off the card. I used my Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen to color the cherry and heart toppings to give them some shimmer.



Lastly, I white heat embossed the sentiment You Bake Me Happy. I think it turned out so cute and I can't wait to send it to someone!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Goals

Andrews Bald, North Carolina

Wow! Where did 2016 go?
So many wonderful things happened in 2016, the biggest being I got married! I was so busy and I know I didn't blog very much. So I wanted to start 2017 off with my goals for the year.

Here are my 2017 Goals:
  1. Blog, Blog, Blog! I have so much wedding DIY to share with you! From invitations to wedding day signage and favors. Stay tuned for these blogs in the coming weeks.
  2. Make all my own cards. Now that I have more time I want to make my own cards - for birthday, congratulations and more! I have found a wonderful DIY card enthusiast, Jennifer McGuire Ink, and have fallen in love with card making. I hope to share some of the cards I make throughout the year on the blog too!
  3. Slow down and enjoy! 2016 was so busy with wedding planning and crafting that it went by too fast! This year I want to focus on the day to day joys and make sure I take the time to enjoy them.
  4. Travel. We honeymooned in Natchez, MS and Gatlinburg, TN and I caught the traveling bug! It was so gorgeous. We enjoyed trying new restaurants, hiking and so much more. I can't wait to plan our next vacation.