Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I was featured...

That sounds like it should start off some sort of AA like meeting for crafters.

"Hi. My name is Heidi and I am a Roadkill Rescuer."

I received an email the other day letting me know that I would be featured today on Roadkill Rescue. I hadn't heard of the blog before, but I am sure glad that I have now! I am a HUGE fan!

Beckie features a blogger each day who has essentially taken trash and created a treasure. I have already Pinned several projects that I am dying to recreate from her featured ideas and found several other blogs to follow. It is a Roadkill treasure trove!

Take a minute and head over to Roadkill Rescue, you will be very glad you did!

Thanks for the feature Beckie!

Valentine Card Week: Robot Valentines

Things are pretty busy at our house. Do you want to see our new Home Decor?

We are covered in Girl Scout Cookie boxes! We started selling cookies on Sunday, and we will be covered in boxes for the next month and a half. That's what I get for being the cookie mom.

I am going to try and ignore my cookie duties for a few minutes and focus on Valentines Cards. Today we are making Robot Valentines. I started with these supplies:

I created a document on the computer to make a flag for some Valentine pencils. Flag pencils were one of my first posts.

These cute Robot pencils are from the Dollar section at Target. They were the things that sparked the idea of my Robot theme. I used the same font and wording from my Robot Mugs and added a Bible Verse since these will be given out to my little guys at AWANA.

I cut my paper into strips and covered the back with glue from a glue stick.

I wrapped my paper strip around my pencil and pressed together.

The nice thing about using a glue stick is that you can adjust your paper to make sure it is lined up correctly. It is a pretty forgiving adhesive...and inexpensive.

I trimmed off the excess paper and then cut a horizontal slit in the end of the flag.

I made cuts from the edge of the flag to the top of the horizontal slit. This created a decorative edge.

Look how cute they are! You can see the Valentine Card in the background. I cut 4x6 pieces of paper and stamped a Robot image in the center of the page. I kept the same Robot used on the mug to keep things coordinated. I mounted this piece of paper onto a red piece of cardstock that was 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.

I wanted to add a little bit of Love to this card. I had a sheet of red heart stickers from a pack of Valentines, that I covered with glue.

I sprinkled glitter onto the glue to make it a bit more eye catching. I didn't want to make it to Lovey Dovey for these little guys, so I kept it simple.

I filled the treat bags with some Hershey Kisses and tied it off with a piece of ribbon.

I can't get enough of these guys!

Don't forget to head over to Friday's post for a chance to enter my Valentine Giveaway!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Woohoo!! Valentine Giveaway!!

January has been an interesting month around here. It has been just over 4 months ago that I started this blog. Someone told me that I would have something "worth paying attention to" once I hit 100,000 page views. That seemed impossible. How in the world would I ever reach that many views?

I am thrilled to say that yesterday was that day! I am now beyond 100,000 page views...which is slightly mind boggling. I am honored to think there are people out there who are interested in the things I like to do. So from the very bottom of my heart...THANK YOU...for coming by to take a peak at my little corner of the world.

To celebrate, I am going to have my very first giveaway!! I am so excited!! I am going to be sending out a special Valentine Package. It will definitely include one of these felt heart banners:

Come back next week to see what else will be included...

Since I do have quite a few readers from around the world, this contest is open to everyone. However, if you are one of my readers from the other side of the world...I can't guarantee that it will arrive to you before Valentines Day. I am not in control of the postal system...although that would be kind of cool if I was.

How do you enter?

1. Leave a comment on this post and let me know what your favorite post has been.

2. I am in the process of figuring out exactly how I want this blog of mine to look, but in the meantime, I have changed the layout just a bit to have a "Follow" button at the top of the page. Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment letting me know, for another chance to enter.

3. If you are already a follower...and boy do I love you guys for figuring out how to follow this buttonless blog...leave me two additional comments saying that you already followed. You get an extra entry for just being some of my earliest supporters!

Again, THANK YOU for coming to check out Homemade Beauties By Heidi! I can't wait to hear from you! I will leave the contest open until 5:00 Pacific Coast Time, on Thursday, February 2.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Cards from CardsEtcetera

I seem to have two ways of doing things in life. Either I am really organized and I am ready for an event WAY before it is time...or...time snowballs and I just say "forget it." I might have a birthday present sent to you a month in advance...or...I forget to mail it and it doesn't get there until too late.

I get laughed at for being early, but I am starting to think that for me, it is the way to go. I would rather send a gift CRAZY early, than late.

This seems to be true every year with my Christmas Cards. I start thinking about and imagining Christmas Cards for my family in September. I should probably just do them then! The problem is that I feel silly doing them then, which means it is all a snowball effect from Thanksgiving till Christmas...with no cards.

This year I did get some cards out. A few people received cards, but I didn't get them out to everyone. Specifically I didn't get them out to my kids teachers. Yes, I did give gifts to their main teachers. It is all the other teachers that we missed. They both have "Specials Teachers" at school...Music, Art, Science, Computer, Literacy, Library and PE. Not to mention ALL the teachers they have from church activities...AWANA, Choir, Sunday School. I want these people to know they are special. I want them to know how much we appreciate them...how very much we appreciate them.

I did appreciate them at Christmas...apparently I just didn't let them know it. Then I planned on doing something for New Years and that just didn't happen either. So Valentines Day it is. No more excuses. No more good intentions. The line is drawn in the sand. The love will be shown by Valentines Day!

Luckily I discovered a shop that will make our appreciation so much easier. After Christmas I found a shop called CardsEtcetera on etsy.com. I LOVE HER WORK! She makes the most adorable cards out of your photos. It is like she crawled right into my mind and created things just for me! Really...it is what I would make if I were creating cards. I love them!

Look what she whipped up for me...

That greeting was what made it ok for me to procrastinate. When I ordered them, I knew they would work for New Years OR for Valentines Day. Not to mention...they don't SCREAM a specific holiday, so I feel people may leave them up for awhile. Of course she has more Valentine options out now, and a little part of me wants to reorder and go REALLY Valentiney.

The best part? Ok...I am not really sure what the best part of CardsEtcetera is. There are too many great things to choose from. I adore her designs. Jocie is about as sweet as a person can possibly be. She is a FAST worker. She aims to please. She does quality work. And...I can order my prints from Costco and pick them up in an hour! Yeah...this is a FAST option for when I procrastinate. Maybe that is not a good thing for me to know! Seriously though, go and check out her shop. You will be SO glad you did!

I think because I am always doing something crafty, I wanted to add just a little bit more to my cards. Maybe I wanted to pretend like I actually had something to do with the creation of these cards. I decided to layer two pieces of card stock under my photo.

I think it gives it a little more oomph. It is simple. Not super sappy with tons of hearts. Just beautiful in its simplicity.

We are doing a little gift to go along with the card. Some of them will be getting gifts made specifically to suit their interests. Some of them will be getting these:

Again, it is beautiful in its simplicity. It is a wood container from the Dollar Section at Michaels. I added the word love with a red sharpie and we are going to put Cake Pops minus the pop part inside. I guess that makes them cake balls. We are going to go all out on the Valentine theme for this part. It gets eaten, so no one will keep them around for long anyways.

Who do you need to share LOVE with this Valentines Day? Remember, it is never to late to let someone know they are appreciated!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday...Robot Mugs for Valentines Day

Today I spent lunch with my little guy and his good buddy. We had lunch outside by a fountain and then walked along the pier watching people fish. It was a GORGEOUS day! It was in the low 70's and very sunny...the perfect Southern California day. It was definitely a "Wonderful Wednesday."

On Wednesday nights my kids go to AWANA. It is a club at our church, kind of like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. I have been thinking about what to bring for my group of little guys for Valentines Day. Today a great idea struck me!

A few weeks ago I bought these in the Dollar Section of Target:

I knew they would make a cute Valentine theme for the boys, but besides that I really didn't know what else I would do. I also had several of these that I had planned to make into cute Christmas projects for them.

Unfortunately we didn't have AWANA right before Christmas, so the gifts were still here at my house. So, I needed to repurpose them for Valentines Day. To keep with the robot theme, I got out this set of stamps:

I have to admit, a lot of boy themes can be pretty boring. These are not boring. They are SO cute! You can interchange all of these robot parts to make a million different robots. They are really cool!

I went online in search of some clever Valentine wording for robots. There isn't too much out there. I did see one Valentine with this wording:

I thought that was cute and appropriate for a group of Kindergarten boys, so I found a cool font on the computer and printed it out. Next, I used the coloring sheet that came with my Christmas mugs to know where to cut my new paper to size.

Once my paper was cut, it was easy to see what size I needed to make my robot stamps.

These clear stamps and stamp blocks are so easy to use. I could see exactly if my impression would fit in the space or not. It made the whole process so easy. I stamped my robots onto the page and came up with this:

I hate to toot my own horn, but these are so stinkin cute! I used the copier feature on my printer to make the additional copies I needed.

I purposely kept hearts off of these...we are talking Valentines for 5 and 6 year old boys. I figured there will be hearts on other parts of this gift, so I would keep their mug more boy friendly.

This guys is my favorite.

Why thank you Mr. Robot. I think you are great too!

This guys smile makes him look like he is up to something.

I can't wait to see what they look like with all the other Valentine goodies put with it...or how they look when the boys have colored them in!

I am linking up here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

QUICK Valentine Marshmallow Shish-Ka-Bobs

Today I was looking for something fun to do for my kids. Nothing big, nothing super fancy. Just something unexpected to say "I love you."

As I was cleaning the kitchen some Valentine supplies caught my attention and an idea was born...Heart Marshmallow Shish-Ka-Bobs. ( I just realized I have no idea how to spell shish-ka-bob...and spell check really isn't helping!) Here are my supplies that I already had:

The tiny heart sprinkles are a BIG hit at our house. I am going to tell you a secret. I could put those sprinkles on ANYTHING and the kids would be excited and feel like they got something special. I am pretty sure I could sprinkle them on broccoli and they would come running to give me hugs. Well, maybe not broccoli.

The little sticks I used are really pretty cool. Someone made them for me awhile ago. They are regular wood skewers that were glued into a wooden bead. How cool is that? I think it makes things look more finished. It reminds me of the sticks for rock candy.

You can see on this photo how they are made.

How cute would it be to make these with pink or red beads? Or heart beads? The options are limitless!

I did alter these sticks just a bit by cutting them shorter with a sharp pair of scissors.

Next I simply pushed three heart marshmallows down onto the stick. Did you know they make heart marshmallows for Valentines Day? The best part...I only paid about a dollar for the bag! It makes a pretty cheap Valentine Treat!

I took a few of my chocolate pieces and melted them in a glass bowl in the microwave. Just follow the directions on the bag. I dipped the top marshmallow into the chocolate.

While the chocolate was still wet, I sprinkled my hearts onto the chocolate.

I stood the sticks up in a short glass that would allow them to dry. You could lay them down on a piece of waxed paper, but I didn't want to have smash marks on my chocolate.

I placed my glass in the freezer to allow them to solidify quickly. While I was waiting I got out my ribbon jar and these pretzel bags.

This step is completely unnecessary if they are going to be eaten right away. I had the supplies, so I used them. I cut the bags shorter for these sticks...just about in half. I slid one of my Valentine Shish-Ka-Bobs into the bag and tied it with a bright pink velvet ribbon.

Look how cute they are! It would be an EASY project to make for Valentines Day to give to the class. It is so simple, your kids could even make the treat themselves! It is an inexpensive project and easy to make. And let's face it...it looks a lot more fancy than a piece of candy from a giant bag!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE complicated treats. Ok, here is a true confession...do you know Bakerella? I ADORE her! I wish I could be her. But sometimes a Mom just needs something cute and QUICK!

I am linking up to the following parties:

Todays Creative Blog

Home Stories A2Z

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentines Day Isn't Just About Cards

Valentines Day isn't just about the pretty cards. Ok, I know you know that. But have you thought about ways to make your cards better? What about ways to make your cards part of your decorations?

It makes sense when you think about it. Valentines Day is centered around giving cards.

Ok, so maybe it isn't just about giving cards. The greeting card industry would sure like us to believe it is. I decided to go along with them...kind of. I decided that I would buy a new card each year and make it part of our Valentine decorations. There are some really beautiful cards out there. But they can also be quite pricey. Who wants to pay $5 for a card that will be read and thrown away? Not me.

But what about $5 for a new Valentine decoration? That doesn't sound to bad. So this weekend I bought this...

We have a fantastic little card shop in our town. It has BEAUTIFUL products. Pricey, but beautiful. When I saw this card I knew I had the perfect place for it.

I brought it home and put it into an old frame that I had spray painted. I didn't want to put a nail where I wanted it hung, so I used these...

These might be my new favorite product. I love how I can hang things wherever I want...even on a mirror. They are great! When I decide to change things up...like I constantly do...they simply pull right off. They are the best invention!

Just look how cute my card looks now!

It gives a cute Valentine look to my vintage typewriter. I love it!

Two years ago I stumbled across a few vintage Valentine postcards. They are so cool. I propped them up using over sized clothespins from the Dollar section at Michaels. They are some of my favorite Valentine pieces.

This one is sitting inside my cabinet by our "Job Jar." Since the Job Jar is used when things haven't been put away, I thought this postcard was fitting. He looks so sad.

This is the card I bought last year...

The photo doesn't do it justice. I like it...the ticket to my heart.

Take a look around. Maybe you have some old Valentines that have a special meaning that you could bring into your decorating. Look at Valentine cards in a different way...you may be surprised at what you see.