July 30, 2010

Let's Make a Deal.

Am I supposed to be posting a Fancy 4 Friday post today?
Umm...next week, k?
Today I'd like to tell you about my TV appearance that was filmed yesterday (before I forget the deets).
On Monday, Hubby woke up uber early.
I heard the shower at 5 AM.
(He doesn't start teaching until 10 AM, and leaves the house at 9:50 every morning.)
Then I heard sweeping.
And mopping.
And the dishwasher running.
At 9:00, I was finally up and heard the TV downstairs.
He got sucked into watching the show Let's Make a Deal, and had me watch it with him.
Immediately after watching it, he went online and got tickets for us to see it being taped and possibly be contestants.
Jump to Thursday.
We showed up at the studio at 9:45 AM.
Paperwork craziness, contestant interviews, waiting, eating, waiting.
We waited for 3 hours in the sun alongside 2 trailers on the backlot of the studio.
Good times.
By the time I got enough food in my teeth and sweated off all of my makeup, we were filed in numerical order into the filming studio.
It looks a lot bigger on TV.
As we approached a lady that was seating groups every which way in the studio, she said, "Copy that" on her little microphone and seated us directly in front of 3 cameras.
I figured that meant that we would for sure be on the show.
We were not.
(Unless you count the air time that I got as an audience member 99% of the time.)
Wayne Brady was directly next to us for the duration of the taping. Thankfully, I could maneuver my way to hide behind contestants or behind Wayne depending on which camera they were using.
I looked like an idiot.
They have someone in the front (Rocco) waving his arms like a wild man when he wants you to cheer.
I am fully aware that I went from smiling audience member, to deer in the headlights, to screaming banchee clapping like a over-achieving freak in 3.5 seconds.
Also, Hubby's costume covered his ears so he made me crack up the entire taping.
Rocco would hold up fingers (as in 1, 2, 3) so that we would yell different numbers to encourage the contestant.
Not only was I following directions so well that I would yell "ONE!" when he would hold up 1 finger, or "TWO!" a second later when he would hold up 2 fingers (helpful audience member FAIL), but Hubby wouldn't hear that the contestant had picked a number, so he would continue to scream numbers at the contestants directly in front of us after they would announce their decisions.
Here we are after getting to our car since cameras and phones weren't permitted in the studio.
This is after 5 hours at Let's Make a Deal:

I still don't see the airdate online, but I am going to be in search of a blank VHS tape to record our ridiculous appearance once I figure out the date.
I'm totally missing my DVR today.

Happy Friday, friends.

July 28, 2010

Pillow Pets

Since we don't have cable and for a loooong time didn't connect our digital converter box, I escaped nearly six months of commercials.
Well, minus any minor ads from Hulu.
The day that I connected the converter box and discovered Qubo, is the same day that the kids discovered Pillow Pets.
This was about a month ago, and seriously, we heard about them 24/7.
It got to the point where I banned Qubo and reverted back to VHS tapes and scratched DVD's.
A couple weeks ago, we visited the OC Fair and came across the Pillow Pets booth.
I die.
The kids came unglued.
Seriously, crazy was bursting out of every pore and they jumped for joy like they came across a table of free money.
Needless to say, we bought them each the Pillow Pet of their choice.
For $54.00.
Today the kids had their pets in tow as usual, and I finally snapped a few photos of them in their "look-a-like" costumes.

Lord help me on the day those expensive beloved pets go missing or get ruined.

I'm busy working on a new product for my shop and can't wait to tell you all about it once it's completed!
I am shooting for Friday, but with the possibility of being on TV tomorrow, I am focusing on a few other things...

Have a happy Thursday.

July 27, 2010

A new home for vintage pieces.

On Sunday something epic happened: I had a little over an hour at home alone.
The Girl was at a birthday party and The Boy went to the beach with Hubby and Hubby's cousin.
I stayed home since I was in charge of picking up The Girl, so I came up with a quick project while everyone was out.

I took an old CD storage unit from our garage.
{I never let Hubby sell it at a yard sale because I knew that one day I would use it.}
I hauled it through our house to our front yard.

I removed every other shelf.

I cleaned it up, and put it in the corner of our livingroom to display some of my vintage pieces.

I have 4 shelves without anything, so that means I need to hit up some thrift stores and yard sales.
Poor me. ;)
I love the re-purposed shelf.
And every time I look at it, I am reminded that I had an hour at home with peace and quiet.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

July 25, 2010

Would you like to...

be a guest blogger here at live fancy?
This week I will pop in and out with various posts while I finish up The Boy's bedroom makeover.
I am also super dee duper behind on my Etsy orders, and I have a ton of new projects I will be adding on Friday.
So while you may think that this blog is totally in need of a guest blogger this week, I'm actually talking about any date between August 7th-11th.
My family and I will be on vacation {farm style. big tractors. antiques. yard sales. small town. woot!} and while I'm gone, I'd like for this little blog to not feel so lonely.
Perhaps you just want to pop in and make sure my blog isn't depressed.
Or maybe you have a fancy craft you'd like to show off.
If you can think of something non-psychotic and semi-decent to write about, you'll fit right in.
Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and let me know if you're interested.
Thank you kindly.

Happy Sunday.
{and have a happy week until I return...}

July 24, 2010

Think it over.

I couldn't agree more, Al.

Happy Saturday.

July 23, 2010

Fancy 4 Friday No.7 (with a {semi} new twist!)

{I'm going to start off by totally copying last F4F post and paste it...}

The orginal plan for this little ditty was for you to reflect on your week, write a post about 4 things you came across that you loved, and add a link to your post.
Turns out bloggers are busy people.
Who has time to write a separate blog post just for the sake of my linky party, right?


I never even thought about that.

So, to make your life easier, I am going to ask you to add 4 links to the party each week.

Did you add a new fancy blog to your blog roll?

Did you make the cutest thing ever?

Did you read a really inspiring post that you wished everyone else would read?

Do you just want to get your name out there?

Tell me what tickled your fancy this week.

Simply add {up to} four links below so that we can see what everyone is falling in love with.

I guarantee that we will come across amazing things if people participate.

I won't beg you or anything...

But pleaaase seems fitting right about now.

See the new Fancy 4 Fridays button on my sidebar?
Made it.
Love it.
Go grab it.

This week the four things that tickled my fancy were:

1. Lemi Shine.
We have some seriously gross hard water over here. I have neighbors who like me, completely quit using their dishwashers in hopes of getting cleaner dishes. We even replaced our dishwasher. It did make an improvement, but now that we use Lemi Shine {swoon} our dishes look brand spankin' new after each cycle in our dishwasher. Seriously. Happy dance-worthy.

2. This necklace.

Perhaps I'm the only one who loves it though because it hasn't sold. I'm not sure whether I should be happy about that, and keep it, or throw a temper tantrum until someone buys it.

3. This little man.

He's currently sick with pneumonia (while on summer vacation...uber awesome...) and wants to cuddle 50% of the time and whine 50% of the time. Think happy thoughts that he's feeling better soon, k? Kay.

4. This blog. Cathe has a little studio full of vintage happiness. She has inspiring, simple, beautiful projects posted all the time. (My current favorite is this. I'll be on the hunt for some vintage bottles...) Go visit her. You'll be happy that you did.

So there you have it.
Four fancy things that made me smile during the week that consisted of tooo many stresses and misfortunes to list.
However, I did get four emails between Wednesday and Thursday that made the week feel better.
1. From Wild Rivers Waterpark telling me that they have a promo code to get you, my readers, $5 off general admission.
{use promo code SUMMER3 and click here}
2. From CSN letting me know that I am a CSN Preferred Blogger and they are happy to offer another giveaway here for you.
{deets on that soon}
3. From DrewB telling me some pretty exciting news that may possibly make me the happiest lady ever.
4. From my sweet friend Jenn who sent me the kindest words I have ever read. Why? Because she's beyond sweet and reached out to say wonderful things even when she didn't have to. Her email seriously made my day.

So really, eight fancy things.
I'm sure you can come up with four things to link up with, right?

Happy Friday.

July 22, 2010

Cricut Silhouette with Sure Cuts a Lot.

The other day I posted about the Sure Cuts a Lot Program.
I have been wanting to use my Cricut more, and my yard sale sign plans just aren't cutting it with my creative craving.
Walking by the silhouettes I made of the kids (by hand) that hangs in our kitchen, I realized that I could be making silhouettes of everyone I know.
Or my pets.
Or other random things that I love.
All I need is Photoshop (Gimp or Inkscape work fine too) and my SCAL program.
Easy peasy.

{any of these photos can be enlarged by clicking on them}

Start with the photo you want to use.

Crop it to be just the subject you want the silhouette of.

Go to Filter > Extract and the Extract dialog window will pop open. Using the brush tool, I outlined the shape that I wanted to cut out along the edges. Then I filled the shape with the paint bucket to show the areas that I want to “keep.” When you outline, then fill, you’ll be able to click the “Preview” button to view the extraction. When finished, click “OK”.

His hair was a bit wonky and made his head shape alien-like rather than his regular ol' big head. To fix it for the sake of having a decent silhouette, I simply outlined to cut off some of his hair.

Then I filled the background with a contrasting color so that I can see how well the extraction did.

Then I played around with the brush tool and filled in (very carefully) all of the areas I missed. (I'm sure there's a fancy Photoshop way of doing this, but I have yet to figure it out.)

I then turned the photo into grayscale.
(This could easily be Step 1 if you have a subject with hair that isn't wonky.)

Then I changed the contrast to make the silhouette...umm...a silhouette.
{descriptive writing FAIL}

I then highlighted the background with the wand tool and filled it in with a shade of gray. You could use any color; this step will help define your final image later. After that, I used the wand tool to highlight his face. Then I used the brush tool to color everything black.

For the areas that didn't get highlighted, I simply used the brush tool alone and filled it in with black. (And for everything that I totally ruined using the black, I fixed on the opposite side using the gray.) Once the silhouette looked how I wanted, I used the wand tool to highlight the entire background and hit "delete" on my keyboard.

I resized the image to be around 3 inches and saved it to my desktop. (You can save yours in your "What On Earth Is Kimmie Making Me Attempt Now?" file.)
Then I opened my Sure Cuts a Lot program and clicked the little image of a tree to open my silhouette.

After it opened, I positioned it where I wanted it to cut, placed paper on my cutting mat, and clicked the little scissors button in SCAL.

And this is what I ended up with:

This is about 3" on thick scrapbook paper. I'll be using it for an upcoming project.
But wait.
There's more.
With the scrap I got from this silhouette:..

I realized that you could use freezer paper and make silhouettes on clothes, gift bags, purses, etc.
{his and hers pillowcases, anyone?!}
Or use vinyl and personalize dishes as a gift.
Or create wall stencils.
Seriously, the possibilities are endless.
I'm going to be posting a lot more ideas for your Cricut.
(And if you're just figuring out how to use your SCAL program, I will be posting more projects soon to help you get inspired. Woot for no cartridges and happy, endless creations!)

Happy Thursday.

July 21, 2010

Newspaper bag awesomeness.

Jessica from How about orange... has a project that I am in love with.
Gift bags from newspaper.
{or any paper, really}
Go check out her amazing easy peasy tutorial and give her some love for sharing it with you.

{photo credit: How about orange...}

A recycled paper bag with something fancy from my Cricut sounds like the perfect project for today.
Who's with me?

Happy Wednesday.

July 20, 2010

Thanks buddy.

Dear The Boy,

I know you are only 2.5 and that you don't understand the concept of bleach yet.
I know that you were just trying to help.
I know that it's my fault for leaving the cap off of the bleach bottle while I sorted the laundry into color piles.
I really appreciate your effort, I do.

But next time, just let Mommy do the laundry, okay?
Thanks buddy.

Love, Mom

Happy Tuesday.

July 19, 2010

Organized, Illegal, Broke, & Crafty.

Yesterday I fixed The Girl's closet.
Instead of re-doing the entire thing, I bought a new end cap for the closet rod.
$150.00 vs. $1.50.
Decision made easy.
I also went through every jacket/sweater/shirt/tank/dress and re-assigned them to color-coded hangers.
Then I organized everything by type, size, and color.
{OCD bliss}

I got rid of 1/3 of her closet items with big plans to have a yard sale, make money, and shop for new clothes for her.
And then today happened.
After dropping The Girl off at Zoo Camp, I was totally lost in an area I wasn't familiar with at all.
Driving by the wrong freeway on-ramp, I made a U-turn and decided to get on that freeway anyway and eventually make my way home.
Apparently the U-turn was illegal and there was a NO U-TURN sign.
Did I see that sign?
Obviously not.
{Mr. Officer thinks that I did in fact see the sign, and that I also decided to make the illegal motion directly in front of him.}
So, with a tired, crying Boy in the backseat, a lack of knowledge of the area, and an officer writing out what was sure to be a hefty ticket behind me, I broke down.
Cried like a baby, got my ticket (and directions home), and drove home.
The yard sale I am planning will now go to fund traffic school and fines.
Goodbye, fun summer money.
Goodbye mini-vacay to Vegas.
Goodbye everything in my home.
The bright side: I can finally use my Cricut for some awesome yard sale signs.

Happy Monday, friends.

July 18, 2010

Errands & Rules: summer style.

Get the car washed.

Take care of the pets.

Get some work done.

Wear sunscreen before going outdoors.

Protect your vision.

Wear your seatbelt.

Be kind to your siblings.

Always pay attention to the road while driving.

Put on your pajamas and get in your bed.

You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.
{mom's homemade version of an infinity pool}

Happy Sunday.

July 17, 2010

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

The other night, I attended an Attic 17 event and promised to bring a bunch of mini cupcakes with me.
Promise kept FAIL.
My oven apparently needs to be replaced.
Or fixed.
That night, I planned on baking them with just enough time to frost them and walk out the door.
When I was rushing to get them out of the oven, they were still cups of batter so I assumed that I forgot to turn on the oven.
Turns out our house now fills with the smell of gas and doesn't heat up to the temperature it's supposed to.
Hubby says it's an ignitor issue...I just want some dang cupcakes.
So, I opened all the windows at 8:00 PM and baked these little fluffy pieces of Heaven for about 2.5 hours just so that the batter didn't go to waste.{made from scratch, thankyouverymuch}

I came across a recipe for lemon cream cheese frosting online, and I thought it sounded so summery and delicious.
I was right.
I made a gazillion cupcakes, so at 11:00 PM, I texted the three teens that live nextdoor and asked them if I could come over with a plate.
Of course, they agreed.

Right now my family is nextdoor swimming.
It is The Girl's half birthday (6.5...whoa) and she wanted to go to the pool.
Thankfully, we have an awesome trading system among the neighbors nearby.
I bake.
They let us tear apart their yards and never tell the kiddos to quiet down when one squeals about the other splashing them.
It's been quite a busy week...please excuse the lack of this weeks' Friday post.
I'll hopefully catch up with everything next week.
If you can't get over my nonsense blogging routine, all I can do is offer you a cupcake.


Happy Saturday.

July 15, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner!

Trying to accomplish about 473 things today...doing this quickly, folks.
The winner of the $40.00 CSN Giveaway is...

Erin, I will be contacting you with the deets.
Everyone else, thank you for entering- I now have a load of new ice cream flavors to check out.

Happy Thursday!

July 14, 2010

Cut it out.

{ETA: Giveaway is now closed.}

Before I begin...have you entered the giveaway yet? I will be announcing a winner tomorrow 7.15.10. (You can enter until you see the winner announced!)
Also, I know you guys have seen my blog on its worst behavior for the past 24 hours. I finally figured out some simple things that I've been meaning to learn in Photoshop. I came across someone with my blog background (again!) and always get such an icky feeling when that happens. (With over ten million blogs out there, it's hard to imagine how many blogs look alike- especially when you're not paying for someone to design it for you.) So, after some Google reading and lots of trial and error, I finally made my own blog background. I didn't realize how easy it would be! So while I was at it, I made a new header. And then some new tabs. Next on my list is a new background for Twitter and a new Fancy 4 Fridays button. Maybe I should make backgrounds and headers and sell them in my Etsy shop uber cheap? Thoughts?

Okay...back to the point.
A few months ago, I found an ad on Craiglist for a "Cricket Machine" for a seriously good deal. It even came with rolls of vinyl, two cartridges, a craft organizer bag, and tons of ribbon and scrapbooking goodies. Notice the spelling?
A young man bought it to start a car decal business that fell through.
My Cricut machine is still one of my most proud purchases.
We had to drive farrrrr to get it, but it was so worth it.
Hubby did some research on Cricut cartridges and we came across something called the Sure Cuts a Lot.
{lifesaver for people who want to save money}
There are free programs that you can download that coordinate with the SCAL program, but I haven't had to use any yet.
If you do a Google search for "free SVG files" you can cut out any of the images you see with your SCAL.
Have you seen the freezer paper stencils everyone is doing these days?
Think of what you could make if you had endless images at your fingertips.
I know...it's amazing my kids are still alive, really.
{Hi, CPS. I'm joking.}
The amount of crafts possible for me to do with this machine is endless thanks to SCAL.
So, if you own a Cricut, stop wasting your money on cartridges that give you limited images.
Do your research if you don't trust me...YouTube, Google, and several hundred blogs can tell you how wonderful the program is.
And since my friend Erin just used her Cricut for the first time today, I figured I should spread the news.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

July 13, 2010

Thanks for that, Blogger Designer.

Yes, my blog is wonky.
Totally broken.
I thought I should remodel a few things.
You know, order 1,000 business cards with your blog's header and then decide that you want something completely different?
Yeah, that.
So while the kids are occupied for 5 minutes before bed, I thought I would click on Blogger's new Designer deal thing.
Good idea FAIL.
Broken blog.
Please excuse the dust around here while I put my kids to bed and stress over un-doing and re-doing everything.

Happy Tuesday.
{Please pray for a happy Wednesday around this joint.}

July 12, 2010

Moody Mama

Today I am moody.
I am eating cupcakes.
I am cleaning my house.
I am frustrated with too many things to list.
But tomorrow is a new day.
{I am looking forward to it.}
And today Hubby gently oiled my new favorite thing for me in hopes of cheering me up:

She is quite beautiful and I cannot stop staring at her.
{Thank you, Rachel, for my new vintage friend.}
Today I am having an off day.
Please excuse me.

I hope that you are having a happy Monday.

July 9, 2010

Fancy 4 Friday No.6 (with a new twist!)

Do you want to know what I want?
I want a successful linky party.
Had I known that it is nearly impossible to create such a thing, I might have re-thought the whole "Fancy 4 Friday" idea altogether.
But since I'm half stubborn, half crazy, I am going to put a spin on things this week and see what happens.
If people actually show up and add to the linky, I will not only do a happy dance, but will repeat the process next week.
The orginal plan for this little ditty was for you to reflect on your week, write a post about 4 things you came across that you loved, and add a link to your post.
Turns out bloggers are busy people.
Who has time to write a separate blog post just for the sake of my linky party, right?
I never even thought about that.
So, to make your life easier, I am going to ask you to add 4 links to the party each week.
Did you add a new fancy blog to your blog roll?
Did you make the cutest thing ever?
Did you read a really inspiring post that you wished everyone else would read?
Do you just want to get your name out there?
Tell me what tickled your fancy this week.
Simply add {up to} four links below so that we can see what everyone is falling in love with.
I guarantee that we will come across amazing things if people participate.
I won't beg you or anything...
But pleaaase seems fitting right about now.

This week the four things that tickled my fancy were:

1. This has been all over Twitter, and it made me laugh my booty off. It helps that the cat is identical to our cat Bella. If you have a minute, read it. You're bound to laugh. {This is the extended version. Unfortunately the shortened version can no longer be found online by yours truly.}

2. This amazing thing happening over at Samster Mommy. I adore her blog, and I wish I had come across this sooner. I will definitely participate and I hope you will too.

3. This blog. It was the first blog that I read in blogland. I had known about family blogs, but never knew about blogging in general. I was in awe of her entire blog from the beginning, and I have visited everyday since I first came across it. Her family is beautiful. She will make you laugh. She bakes, sews, and spray paints like it's her job. Go fall in love with her if you haven't already.

4. This. I want to make it. The end.

So now you have the chance to skip the blog post and just add the links.
Please tell me this is easier on you.
{not begging, not begging...}
Feel free to leave me a comment if you'd like to let me know what link(s) you added or what you love about it! If I come across something linked up that I think everyone should know about, you will definitely see me blog about it.

Oh, and don't forget to enter the $40 CSN Giveaway if you haven't already!
Happy Friday.

July 8, 2010

I love you, kindergarten.

We've been on summer vacation for two weeks now.
I have been meaning to write this post for two weeks and 1 day.
Better late than never.
And better now than further into my summer vacation when my brain turns to mush.

Dear Kindergarten,

The night before we became joined at the hip, my Facebook status read:
"I remember picking out your very first outfit; it was so tiny and I couldn't wait for you to arrive so I could dress you. I remember picking out your birthday outfits every year and thinking, "Wow. My baby girl is another year older ALREADY!". I remember picking out your Pre-K graduation outfit and how we giggled that we matched. I just picked your outfit for your first day of kindergarten, and all I can do is cry."

You and I, Kindergarten, were not friends.
You were the evil thing that was forcing my baby to grow up and spend hours away from me.
Away from my cuddling time.
Away from my routine.
Away from my norm.
The norm that I fell in love with over the previous five years.
The first day of school I spent at home weeping and creating a banner for The Girl to see when she came home.
It read, "Welcome home Kindergartner!" and was proudly displayed across our entryway.
I baked her cupcakes.

Hubby asked me, "Are you going to spend every day of kindergarten making her treats and missing her?"
I responded, "Yes."
Instead of giving me grief, he gave me a hug and told me that he was proud of her and that she's having a blast making new friends.
I was skeptical.
On Day 3, a friend of mine called me and told me that they had closed the "late birds" kindergarten and that she had no idea if The Girl was still in the same class since they had moved everyone. She advised me to call the school and see where The Girl was.
I was livid.
Moving my daughter without telling me?!
Taking away her new best friends?!
The principal called me back right away and was so kind.
Level-headed and completely understanding.
She explained that The Girl was still in the same class with her teachers that split the full-time shift, and that her class had gone from 26 students down to 20.
There were now 12 kindergartners and 8 first-graders.
A combo that made me beam with happiness.
I spoke to her teacher Mrs. Jameson after school that day, and she blew me away with her grace.
She clearly understood my concern, had a frazzled day, and said only positive things to put me at ease.
I later spoke to the other teacher Mrs. Grindle about the last-minute classroom switch, and she was just as lovely to speak to.
Over the course of the year, these women inspired me.
The Girl has only said nice things about them.
And the two times that she wasn't on her best behavior at school, The Girl told me that she was sad to have disappointed her teachers.
I remember thinking my teachers were mean when I got scolded at school.
To hear the opposite was an eye-opener.
My daughter will remember these women forever.

The day they met- Kindergarten Meet & Greet

The movie day she & her friend Lacie won in a raffle. They saw Furry Vengeance and ate at McDonald's.

The last awards assembly.

Kindergarten, I love you.
You brought me so much happiness and strength.
I cried when we met...
But cried harder when we said goodbye.
I took a picture of The Girl every morning before she spent her day with you.
And I am so thankful that I did, because children really do grow up quickly.

Happy Thursday.