Christmas Crafts

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Happy, happy, joy, joy! It’s Christmas time!

Okay, maybe that’s too much excitement. I’m really just so stressed from moving , working, and trying to get craft orders completed before Christmas that I might be a little insane right now.

We found these beautiful 3 pane windows in our garage earlier this year while organizing the stuff out there, along with a few other old windows(one of which had a terrible accident), an old mirror, 2 vintage kitchen cupboard sets, a vintage ironing press, and the droppings from visiting mice. With some TLC and a lot of cleaning supplies, I’ve been able to bring these back to life. I love upcyling rather than making from scratch. Especially when the items have sentimental value, like these windows that came off of our house when a previous owner replaced them for newer windows.

I created this wall hanging in June from a window from the garage (which I still have to redo because it fell and the original glass shattered…).

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I’ve learned better ways to securely hang heavy items to the wall, so I will not make the same mistake again.

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I’m so in love with these I’m secretly hoping one doesn’t sell so I can keep it. But Bob doesn’t want me to keep one because I already have too much stuff as it is. Trying to purge while packing takes forever…

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This bare wood frame still has the original window latch on it! You can also see below that I used a brown covered wire to create this wreath from a garland I got at Porters for 50% off. I actually found the little wire at the thrift store, so I’ll update this if I can find the name for it.

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I attached the wreath with a small ribbon that I hot glued to the back on the window frame.

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And the black letters are card stock cut out with the largest die cuts Porters has, and taped on! (In case someone wants to change it out)

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Nettie’s Place Yarn (and Crafts)

“Each stitch handmade with love.”

Literally though, I knit and crochet all the time. Because I have Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), I often have a difficult time focusing on things – class lectures, movies, people talking to me, reading, etc. I’ve found that I’m a kinestetic learner and I need to be moving in order to fully pay attention to what I’m doing. So instead of doing jumping jacks while watching a movie or paying attention to a person talking to me(when it’s not something I can do hands on like an anatomy class), I’ve found that I can knit and crochet to keep my hands busy so my mind can focus. So it’s really my alternative form of therapy.

It’s great therapy too. I love learning new stitches and patterns and getting to know other yarn crafters in my area (for which I run Rexburg Knits so Rexburg locals can collaborate together!). It’s been a fun hobby and great therapy for me for many years, and now I’ve started to make a small business of it.

My wonderful friend Sarah at Sarah Crochets was going to sell her crafts and Maëlle Beauty at a craft fair a few weeks ago, and 2 weeks before the fair she asked me if I wanted to join her and sell some of my yarn creations. With only 2 weeks to prepare, I probably should’ve said no. But I’ve wanted to start selling my work and just never found a time to start with having a good job to keep me busy. So I said yes. And it was a stressful 2 weeks trying to figure out how to display our works, price our works, and of course, making enough product to sell!

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Our first booth!

We know it doesn’t look great. It was our first time ever participating in a craft fair, so we deserve a break.

Things we learned on that first day:

  • Our prices were way too high when compared to other similar vendors
  • Our booth needed a more polished look – less cluttered and a better range of heights
  • We needed more product on hand
  • We were too well dressed

I know, some of those things are weird. Too well dressed? How can anyone be too well dressed?! But it’s true! When I had a chance to look at the rest of the fair, I didn’t see a single vendor wearing a skirt or a suit. Leggings and jeans seemed to be a typical style.

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I had a lot of customers seem interested in my adorable newborn hats, and my baby blankets, but by the time we realized out prices were too high, the rush was over. So we may have missed out on some good sales, but we learned some very valuable lessons and had a lot of fun talking to our neighbours and customers.

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The only newborn hat I had on hand

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Baby blankets and wizard scarves

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Sarah’s gorgeous animals and pokeballs

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I was able to sell one of these. What would you buy this hat for?

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Sarah’s flower hair clips and Unicorn puppet game were adorable!

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I actually sold one of these too. It was a bit of an after thought in order to have something a little Christmas-y for the fair.

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Sarah with her awesome makeup. Note the hideous gym floor covering. I wished we had a rug.

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Puppy Love

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Daisy, 2 months old

I meant to write this when Daisy turned 6 months old, but because our summer was crazy busy (pictures are getting edited slowly…) I didn’t have time. So here is a post about our 7 month old Boxer puppy, Daisy!

She was born March 19, 2016
She joined our furever family May 19, 2016

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Daisy, 2 months old. So tiny!

Commands she knows:
Sit
Lay down
Leave it
Drop it
Kisses
Shake
Walk on/Come on
Up (for hugs or jumping onto the couch)
Go to daddy (because let’s face it, dad’s her favorite)
She is also bell trained to ask to go outside.

Commands she’s practicing:
Come here
Wait
Stay
On your bed
Off (for jumping)

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Daisy, 2 months old. I love the pile of wrinkles.

She has her own place on the couch although she is currently cuddled in my lap.
She loves daddy, and gives him hugs and kisses frequently.
We take her for a walk every night (around 1 hr).
She eats 3-4 cups of food every day (except right now we’re having a tummy crisis, so she’s on chicken and rice for now).
We usually add a table spoon of coconut oil to her food once a day for good digestion and soft fur.
She loves getting to visit her fur-parents in Idaho Falls every once in a while.
She loves to play fetch with a tennis ball and bite and bat at yarn on a yard stick (like a cat).
She also loves to chew and eat sticks and grass in the backyard. We’re working on that…
Update: She’s allergic to pumpkin puree.

Her nicknames are many. Daisy doo, baby dog, puppy dog, sweet puppy dog, little nub, Daisy girl, crazy Daisy.

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Daisy, 7 months old

Her health issues have also been many, unfortunately.

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Daisy’s swollen face

Just 2 weeks after we got her, she had a reaction to something in the backyard and had extreme swelling on one side of her face under her ear. Being a new fur-mom, I was freaking out. I called the on-call vet at least 3 times that night, stayed up all night with her, and took a lot of pictures as the swelling moved to the back of her neck and then under her other ear. When we finally got her to the vet on Monday morning, the swelling had almost completely gone. She’s gotten swelling 2 more times, but just a little bit of children’s Benadryl clears it up quickly.

The other health problem we’re having currently is with her digestive system. Since she chews on and eats the bark off of sticks from a large stick pile in our backyard, she was being picky with her real, healthy food. When she vomited a pile of half digested sticks about a month ago, that meant she gets confined to a certain area of the backyard so she can’t reach the stick pile. It’s been going great and we do let her in the whole backyard sometimes. Until yesterday. She was a happy, morning puppy. Ate her breakfast as usual, and then vomited it all over dad’s pillow for sitting on the ground. Washable, thank goodness, but that meant chicken and rice diet for the puppy! Yesterday and today she was fine, acting like her normal self. She was even sad she didn’t get to go for a walk yesterday. Then today, about half way through her walk, she looked sick and her legs started shaking. She threw up some chicken and rice from today. I ran home to get the car and we had our friends come over with canned pumpkin and a few suggestions. She drank water, I washed her face off, and she’s happily sleeping like nothing was ever wrong. It’s been a long weekend. I’m really hoping she will get better, but a trip to the vet is in our near future if she doesn’t. 😦
The vet took an x-ray of her and found gas in her stomach, fecal matter in her large intestine, and some white dots where her colon starts that could be causing a blockage. We’re giving her a laxative(made for cats to break of hair balls) and antibiotic for 5 days to see if we can get her better.
Update: The round of medication worked and she’s back to normal and officially off of chicken and rice tomorrow!

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Daisy in Canada

Daisy just has the cutest personality. She’s loving, stubborn, a bit of a diva, but she still loves to wrestle, dig in the dirt, and look so cute with her sad puppy eyes and her droopy lips. She makes us laugh at least once a day with her antics, and we love her to bits!

Here’s more photos because I can’t help it.

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Lesson Learned

Life is rough. I don’t mean right this second rough, although it feels like it. I mean, it’s always got twists and turns that throw you for a loop and leave you wondering if you made the right decision or not.

Let me tell you this story…

Bob and I are planning a “wedding”. We’re getting sealed for Time and All Eternity in the Rexburg, Idaho LDS Temple soon, and since we eloped for our wedding, we want to party it up for the sealing. That means food, games, and decorations. If we’re paying this much to have a great party, I want to have it documented. That means, photographer!

Being a photographer myself, that comes with the territory of being picky. Very picky. Once I finally find someone I like and they get the approval of the hubster, we’re all in. No holds barred. Do or die. Eggs are in the basket. And we found the perfect one.

So why am I awake at 2 a.m. looking at photographers websites and price quotes tonight? Because life threw us a curve ball. A very unfortunate curve ball.

This is definitely not the worst thing in the world. I’m not hoping or expecting sympathy or understanding. Just hear me out for a couple of minutes. I’m learning things about myself and about life in this situation, and it might be relevant to someone in the future.

When I got the text from our photographer that she wants to go to her sister’s 18th birthday party on the day of our sealing and will not be able to be our photographer, at first I was calm. That quickly turned to sadness and then anger. (P.S. Throwing phones is not acceptable adult behavior) I was angry that she would leave us hanging with less than a month to go before we need her services all for a birthday party that doesn’t have social significance like a 16th or 21st birthday party might. Why in the world would she do this to us?? I still get angry when I look at that text. “I have a family event to be at.” “I seriously had no idea.”

I still don’t understand WHY a birthday out of state is more important than work. But that’s not what I’m trying to get at either.

Life is going to do this to us whether we like it or not. What other people choose to do can affect us a little bit or a lot. It’s going to suck sometimes. It may be the end of something amazing. But it’s always going to work out. Maybe not the way we planned, but it will.

I know this because it’s not the first time I’ve had hardships to work through in my life. I’m sure you’ve had some too. I’m still alive, and happier than I was many years ago. Clearly all those difficulties worked out if I’m happy. My life has definitely not been what I imagined it would be. (I had too good of an imagination while growing up.) This new bump in the road is definitely not what I imagined it would be. But it will all work out.

If you’re still doubting that it will all work out, please read/listen to this talk from last October: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/yielding-our-hearts-to-god?lang=eng. Sister Marriot definitely has reason to feel like it won’t work out, and yet it has for her.

As for me, I will be more careful in making decisions. I will ask more questions and be more prepared to have photographers fall through. I will learn from this unfortunate situation and I will put my trust in the Lord for the rest. He is the reason I can be okay with waiting for things to work out in the end. He is my support during these trials. He is the one who is always rooting for me no matter what. And He is the one who will do whatever it takes to help me have everlasting happiness.

 

If I need more reason to push through and stay afloat during times of trial, this adorable sweetie is the reason.

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Daisy, 2 months old

Yes, I’m a doting fur-mama to this sweet Boxer puppy, Daisy. She’s our smart little princess and she will always be my first baby.

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Daisy, 4 months old

 

The Fanciest Menu Board Ever!

It’s finally done! I’ve been wanting to make this one for a while, and I finally decided on the style and materials I wanted to use. Since I already had most of the stuff, it only cost me 51 cents (for laminating). But if you were to buy everything for this project, it would cost roughly $25. That is if you already had the brush, scissors, rotary trimmer, rulers, pencil, iron(for the fabric), and mod podge. (which, let’s face it, any crafter has plenty of this stuff right?)

I found the idea for this menu board on Pinterest from The Clay Family. I love her whole command center design. Unfortunately I don’t have the space or need for the whole thing. So I just took inspiration from the menu board at the top, which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it! It was exactly what I’ve been wanting. I just didn’t know it before.

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So, my measuring methods are a little unconventional… I knew I wanted a nice edge on the fabric for the background of the bulletin board, so instead of measuring I just stuck the board straight on to the fabric and traced the edge of the frame. That way I would have extra fabric to fold over before the tacks went in. Then I cut the measured fabric, ironed out the wrinkles, and started pinning with the tacks. Be careful with the corners!

I know my tacks aren’t perfectly straight. I couldn’t think of a way to get them straighter. If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know.

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At first I just did one tack per clothes pin, but they rotated too much (pictured below) when I tried to put the recipe cards in them. So I went with two and that was perfect.

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The letters were from scrapbook paper. They were in nice little squares, so I had to get creative to make my own oval stencil and cut very carefully.

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The front of the clothes pins also have little strips of scrapbook paper to spice them up!

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I cut another piece of scrapbook paper to size to make the ingredients side of the board. I got it laminated at Quick Ship N Copy for 51 cents so I could write on it with dry erase markers. When I was studying Anatomy, laminating my papers made it easy for me to practice memorizing bones and muscles. Plus, the markers rub off even after being on there for a week or more.

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Again, I went to Pinterest for help. I wanted chalkboard style labels for the card boxes and I couldn’t find anything to buy that was the right size. But of course, that’s what happens when you live in a small town. It’s even hard to find buttons!

I found these awesome labels from Life Your Way. I saved the free download and printed them small. Then I painstakingly cut them out by hand. (Hence why I tried to find some to buy first) I just used a white pencil crayon to write on the labels and then mod podged them on.

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The boxes are made from Bristol Board I had lying around. I decided on the size, cut them out, taped them together, and covered them in scrapbook paper. I originally had glued the tacks to the back of these boxes, but since they’re covered in paper all the way around, the tacks were pulling the paper and falling off whenever I tried to move them. So I gave up and just pushed them through the inside. It works, and it doesn’t look tacky! (pun intended)

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The recipe name cards are made of Bristol Board too. I added the location or book and page for the recipes to make it easier to use the menu board. That way I don’t have to go looking through everything. I even color coded the recipes for the Fast (green) and Fave (purple) boxes so they don’t get mixed up when I use them.

UPDATE: The card boxes are 3 inches wide and the cards pictured are smaller in length. They kept falling in! So I’ve redone the cards and they’re now 3.5 inches long so they won’t fall in.

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When I hung the board I couldn’t be happier! It looks amazing and I love using it! Also, I was surprised to find that the black dry erase marker shows up the best out of all the colors we have. I just keep the markers on top of the board. Maybe I’ll make a marker box if I revamp the board? Who knows…

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Have you made a menu board? I would love to see them! Share them with me in the comments, or email me: aimsical@gmail.com

What’s Green, Orange, Red, and Delicious?

It’s a low calorie-high fiber kind of day! Sleeping in is the best. So when we finally woke up this morning, Bob went to go get a car part so we won’t run out of coolant and have the temperature gauge go up as high as possible like last night… It was definitely an eventful day. While he was out doing that, I wanted to put together something yummy for breakfast. We just went shopping last night so we had some good stuff to choose from. Star Fruit (Carambola), Naval Oranges, and Raspberries. Yes, it would be so much better if everything came from our own garden, but that’s definitely not ready yet. It’s nice to have access to such delicious foods when they aren’t in season here. These foods have so many good things that we need for our bodies, and since I’m going to be nutrition certified soon, I figure I should start learning now.

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Starting with the Star Fruit! It’s such an interesting little fruit. Not very well-known in the Western world, but I think it should be. It’s a Malaysian fruit that it also grown in Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and China. They grown on trees like oranges, and when sliced up, it looks like stars. It’s very low calorie and has a long list of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. The whole fruit is edible and is ripe when yellow with a little brown on the ridges. Bob said it tastes a lot like an apple.

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Oranges and Raspberries are a lot more common in North America. We know they’re good for us, but do we really know why? Oranges have many essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, as well as dietary fiber for normal growth and development. Citrus fruits in general are high in Vitamin C. Oranges also contain Vitamin A, alpha and beta-carotene’s, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin, and lutein (antioxidants), among many other things.

Raspberries also are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber. But what makes these tiny little berries great is that it contains a long list of antioxidant compounds that have shown to “play potential role against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases.

Now, I don’t put all my faith in popular science now-a-days since so many results and opinions change so often. We do know that these fruits are good for our bodies and that’s why I like to eat them. If they do contribute to all these other amazing things as has been said, then that’s fabulous! If not, at least we’re helping our bodies work a little bit better every day.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast food? Are there any beneficial properties to the things you like to eat? Learn something new today!

Home, Sweet Home

Nettie’s Place is our home. It’s a 92 year old house with loads of character! It has original creaky wood flooring, and some original wallpaper to go with it. It’s not really a “fixer-upper”, but it definitely needs some updating in a few areas in my opinion. It used to be a knickknack shop called Nettie’s Place and a lot of locals still remember it. But that means the main living space is very open and spacious for optimum shopping ability. And with additions to the house, it’s quite a maze of character. But that’s what makes it fun to us! It’s going to be an adventure and I can’t wait to get this house functional and looking beautiful!

Here’s a bit about us: My husband Bob is studying Electrical Engineering and working as a tutor. I went to university for Photography and then went to a Massage College to become an LMT(Licensed Massage Therapist). It’s been along 5 years, but I made it! And soon my man will be done as well. He loves working with all the electrical boards he has, playing League of Legends, going on walks, watching good movies, and baking cookies. He’s known as the cookie man by many people and his cookies are amazing. I love crafting, home decorating, ballroom dancing, knitting, crocheting, photography, and traveling.

For this blog, I’ll be sharing everything from refurbishing old furniture to massage tips and tricks. I’m no expert in anything, but I’ll be posting the good stuff with the bad stuff so everyone can learn from my mistakes instead of making your own. It’s our family blog, so there will be a little bit of everything. I’ll include photos with nearly every post I share, but if you want to see my current photographer work, you can go to amphotographer.org. Other than that, just steep some tea, get comfy, and enjoy learning with me!