February 28, 2011

What's in an Etsy Shop Name?

I have been agonizing over what to call my future Etsy shop with no product or existence as of yet. 
Baby steps. :)
I am totally inspired by all of these amazing shops and I want one that will exemplify me, my tastes, and my style of crafting. It became hard to narrow down.  And I am pretty all or nothing in every facet of my thinking so I either have an empty shop or want 50 items in it RIGHT AWAY.  

So not practical.
But to give you an idea of what I will be putting in my shop so you can help me...
I love working with felt, fabric, yarn, and paper type crafts.  My hope is to have pretty and useful items for decor, parties, and little accessories like book marks, handmade cards, and even...gulp...canvas artwork for kids rooms.

(so terrified that I deleted the last line like 6 times)
But I have bolstered up my courage and put it out there. Whew.

I have been dragging my feet (and probably will for weeks) because I am so nervous about this.

Are you sick of me telling you my pipe dream of an Etsy Shop every few months?
Forgive me? Thanks.
 Bottom line...
I am OVERWHELMED and I need YOUR advice!!!!

I think I have finally come up with a name I like.  I am not sure if I just want to keep two shades of pink so I am asking your opinion about the other name I have selected. At first I thought of being cutesy with a name like Felty & Fabs but that says absolutely nothing to someone who has no idea what I design or make.

So do I...
...keep the blog name Two Shades of Pink? Or...
 Go with Pinked & Stitched?

Which one do you like best and WHY?
(just curious)
Remember...your girl is pretty vulnerable putting herself out there and I need your awesome input! 

Love you all sweet friends!
XOXOXO

February 25, 2011

Behavior Chart Freebies

Happy Friday Friends!
You know, I have been doing a lot of introspective thinking regarding my parenting.  I have rained down hard judgment on myself as a mom.  But you will be happy to know that I have come to the conclusion that I don't have all the answers, there is no ONE right way to do things, and my best is the best for my girls. 

And I have to tell you that I have realized little changes make BIG IMPACT. Here are the changes I have made.  Not many since I can't do it all. :)

1.  Do, act, say everything with love. It seems kind of sappy but I have noticed that when I focus on doing everything with love towards my children...I mean, really engage my mind and my choices...I actually convey loving kindness.  I really want my children to know and see that I love them.  Not just hear the words.

2.  Humbly receive wisdom from seasoned mothers.  I have always been afraid to bother people or bore them with my mothering woes.  Now I just ask everyone questions and you know what?  People talk.  People understand with surprising compassion.  And I have found I am not alone with so many things.

3.  Hold to standards that last a lifetime.  I have gotten so slack with my mothering because I wanted peace more than I wanted every moment to be a teaching moment.  And I heard this once and never forgot it.  You either pay now or pay later with that kind of thinking.  My children are a legacy and a heritage. My letting things go says so many bad habits are OK. So I am consciously making an effort to stay consistent.

4. Letting things go.  I am also learning that not every misdeed or negative talk will lead to a lifetime in the pokey or worse...the frightening prospect of teenage deviance. I make mountains out of every molehill and I am trying to lighten up.  It makes me enjoy my kids, offer mercy and grace, and I find I laugh more.

5.  Praise goes a crazy long way to empower my kids. The one thing I did not notice was how my weariness began making everything be negative.  I zeroed in on all the bad things my kids do and then  stopped praising for the good things.  So I started my BEHAVIOR CHARTS again.  These are fun during potty time or when teaching your kids values but when things go bad...well.  Call me a mean ol' mommy but I don't feel much like giving a sticker after a 30 minute scream fest. But my kids need to feel proud of themselves.

So I decided to make 2 charts.  One to encourage my kids while offering a lot of grace and one to remind them that though they are given adequate chances...there will be consequences for repeated issues.


 (Click image to download)

The first chart here is the 3 strikes chart.  I was tending to be too harsh and going right to a consequence without allowing room for improvement.  What an amazing change  I saw with this!  At Cati's school, they use the stoplight method where they all start on green but can go to yellow and then the dreaded RED.  I did not want to simulate the same thing as school since my home is different so I decided to do 3 strikes and then a consequence type of chart. 

I just put an X for each strike and then wrote down the consequence.  That way, when we do the star chart (below) she will know why a star may not have have been earned at some point of the day.

 (Click image to download)
This chart was initially going to be a sticker chart but I decided to put both of these into a page protector (to further reveal the geek I am) so that I could use a dry erase marker and not use up paper over and over. Below are ones I made for myself (they are a little different then the ones you can download).



 It works great!  
I use a different color star for each child and just go down the row.  They have a chance to earn stars 4 times a day.  Morning, afternoon, and evening times with an EXTRA opportunity at the end of the day.  Kind of like one more chance to improve or for going above and beyond what is expected.

You are able to download these for personal use if you wish...cuz I love ya!  I made them kind of light and fun because I wanted this to be an encouragement and an empowering thing for my girls. I figure if I hang up pieces of paper all over my wall I can make it somewhat aesthetically pleasing. And not too loud looking.

Do any of you have some great teaching methods in your home to help encourage and modify behavior?  

I would love to hear about them!!

February 17, 2011

OH NO!

If I did not love the Lord so much I would seriously be cussing up a storm.

All I wanted to do was change the width of my blog and delete my background so I could make my photos bigger.

I ended up DELETING EVERY CUSTOMIZATION on my blog!!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! You know how?  By being the savvy blog girl that I am and clicking...you ready?

Delete all customizations.

It was like a malevolent force drew me like a moth to a flame to make me lose my mind on this fine Thursday morning.

You might think these HTML code thingamabobs come easy to me but I am sooooo the girl doing this for 3 hours at my computer until I can do it right.  So now I have to start all over but whatever.

But my words are remaining holy, people.  Promise. :)

February 16, 2011

Neighbor Gift Idea

Y'all will NOT believe this... 

I have been a slacker neighbor.

Yes it is true.

It's ironic since so many of you were so empathetic and sweet when I did the post about us moving in and no one talking to us from the neighborhood. For those of you who missed it...when we first moved in our new home, it was kind of lonely.  It had made me so sad until I realized there was nothing wrong with me making the first move and introducing our family to the neighbors.  Check out how I did that here.  I called it sconing the neighbors.  After we did, everyone waved, stopped by, set up play dates...it was amazing.  And we are so thankful!

But in August, our next door neighbors moved and our new neighbors began renovations that lasted through November when they finally moved in.   

AND I NEVER OFFICIALLY WELCOMED THEM! 

Ugh.  The holidays swept me up on the festive train to crazy and I just plain forgot.  But it kept coming to mind and I finally put a plan of action into place to scone my new neighbors and give them some extra goodies too.

First, I wanted to give them a framed picture of their new house.  But I don't know their style so I wanted to keep it safe. A white frame.  Check.  I also wanted the picture to be fun.  So one day I took a photo of their house and worked a little techy magic on it. I wanted the photo to look like a drawing so...
It would go from this...

To this.
I had to edit it a lot because of shadows in front of the garage but I finally completed it. 

I think it turned out so pretty and polished looking in the frame.

I printed it out on some sturdy, white card stock and made sure to use a matte in the frame to make it look even better.
 
I baked THE SCONES and put them in a glass vase with a ribbon tied around it. 
(I used a glass vase just in case they did not have one handy since I was also giving flowers)
Using one of the cones from the Valentine issue of Good Living Magazine, I filled it with the bouquet of flowers and attached a family photo with our home phone number on the front.
 This is what I wrote on the back. 

I put it all in a basket (I have way too many) and we brought it over to our INCREDIBLY NICE neighbors.
The presentation came out so sweet. And guess what else?  They said they never had anyone do this before and they were so touched.  We ended up getting a tour of their lovely home and chatting for over an hour.

What a blessing they are!
 I know the welcome basket was late but I believe it is better late than never.:)

February 13, 2011

Share Your Heart Blog Freebies

Happy Heart Day!
Well, I have been experimenting.

Yep.  With nerdy, digital, "I love making stuff pretty", computer stuff.

There is so much for me to learn and I have barely scratched the surface.  But I have found a bit of a new hobby and I am enjoying it so far.  And I thought it would be fun to pass along some simple stuff I put together for Valentine's Day. 

Or like a Tuesday or something.

You all mean so much to me, your comments uplift me, and I am so grateful to you. So this is my way of thanking you.

I made some images you can put on the sidebar of your blog or put right smack into your posts for love day. I am kinda last minute here so sorry.

I don't have the wonderfulness of Photoshop so I am just using free image editing software for now. I have no idea how to make these "give outable" other then just having them here in this post for the taking.  I figured if any of you savvy people out there can school me in the do's and no no's of freebies...I would love the help!

In the meantime...if you love it...click it and take it.
And just let me know you did.

I wanted to make images that remind me that Valentine's Day is not just about romantic love but LOVE LOVE.  I love my husband so very much but ALSO my darling girls, my family, my incredible life and most of all...my Jesus.

So here you go. Enjoy.



 


 

Please be kind and filled to the brim with oodles of integrity: don't sell it, claim it as your own, etc.  
I am just being nice so please be a dear and be nice back. :) And I am also, um, new at this.
Happy Valentines Day Friends!
XOXO!!

P.S.  OK.  I really need you to tell me if you like them.  This is my first time doing this and I am kind of out on a limb here. Is this cute?  Lame?  What?

February 10, 2011

Cutie Valentine Class Party

I know some of you have asked me to post photos of the party at Cati's school but I was running around and did not get as many photos as I would have liked.  
But here is what I got of their adorable day!
I made these mini cupcakes to look like roses.  Or maybe carnations?  Depended upon my frenzy, winging it method of icing these cupcakes.  I poked little sticks through them and arranged them in a bucket as centerpieces for the tables.
I also baked heart shaped sugar cookies so the kids could decorate them with icing and Valentine sprinkles.
I love all the plates and tablecloths
The paper garland looked great with it but I did not take a photo of it hung up.
Sorry.
My Ella picked a perfect flower cupcake!
How cute are these kids picking the flowers?
My Cati putting her culinary genius to work.  
She has mad skills decorating cookies.
Cati's yummy heart cookie. Just genius.
How bout how she threw it away?
I think I was insulted.
My dear friend Stacy is the other room mom for the class 
and made these darling hearts for all the kids using a Silhouette.
She made these paper flowers for all the moms and a bouquet for each teacher. 
She is a crafty genius!
 
Both the kindergarten and pre-k classes did this cute little song with hand motions 
(you can't see Cati in the photos because she is in the back) 
and then had a heart hunt outside for the kids and siblings. 
Cati is playing with her prize for finding her 3 hearts. 
I am completely digging her rolled down knee socks.
Ella found her hearts too!
Truly, she is thrilled. :)
And last but not least, the Valentine Smores was a last minute idea for their goody bags. 
I had these little bags to just throw marshmallows in there but I figured a smores idea sounded so cute so I added graham crackers and valentine Hershey kisses. 

I think next year, I am going to try this again with a cute saying like...
"Every Day I Like You Smore!"

What do yo think?

February 7, 2011

Valentine Party Paper Garland

I love, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this simple paper garland!

One of my greatest delights is being challenged to craft something for the least amount of money while using resources I have on hand.  I suppose that is what true crafting is all about.  It is the fun of creating something and seeing what happens. And this paper garland: FREE. Yes.
 And believe it or not...
This garland is made from paper off a couple doodle pads I have lying around to jot down groceries and phones numbers, card stock, scrap scrapbook paper, a circle paper punch and glittery string.
I wanted the garland to match these adorable plates and napkins I picked up at Target.  
I love that these are not conventional colors for Valentines Day since Cati's class of ten students has EIGHT BOYS and only two girls (one of which is my Cati). So I avoided the abundance of red and pink. Although y'all know me...the pinker...the better.
Each dimensional circle is just 3 punched circles
(2 folded and glued on each side of one flat card stock circle).  
It took me about 30 minutes to make. You can't beat that!
I love the color combination.
It pops with festive color while being delicate and sweet!
I hung it in my kitchen and just smiled every time I looked at it.
Until I lost 7 years off my life walking through the kitchen and it fell down as I passed through. 
Cheap scotch tape. :(
I hope to show you the pics after the fun party.  
I have another project in the works but I have no idea if I will finish it in time.

Love  and Hugs
XOXOXO!

February 3, 2011

Stitched Paper & Felt Valentines

So I am gearing up for Cati's Class Valentine party and as the "Party Mom" (that title cracks me up) I have been busy working on a ton of crafty goodness to decorate.  Of course, no Valentine party would be complete without...well...valentines. :)
 
I wanted to make homemade ones and since I heart all textures like fabric, felt, and yarn... I wanted to incorporate some of it into a Valentine card where Cati could still sign her name and put her classmate's name since she is learning her letters.
If you want to try this yourself here is what I did:  
Materials: 
white card stock, red craft felt, embroidery floss various colors, colored pencils, and craft glue.

1. Cut your card stock (I used a craft mat and rotary cutter) to the size you want.  Mine is 6 x 3 inches.
2. Cut your red felt backing slightly larger.
3. Cut out little felt hearts
 
 Use running stitch to sew heart to the top of card stock.

I used colored pencils to write out the "To" and "From" with the same color as the embroidery floss. Then I sewed over it using the colored pencil letters as a guide.
Glue card stock to felt backing.
There is your simple and unique Valentine's with some homemade flair. 
 Just the way I like it. :)