Being Creative is Just What I need

Being Creative is Just What I need

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I got a new toy a few weeks ago and basically want to do nothing but play with it.  I bought myself a Cricut Explore Air.  I have had 2 Cricuts in the past, starting with the original machine.  It worked just fine, but only cut small things, so when the bigger one came out I got it and gave the smaller one to my kids to use because they were always asking me if they could cut shapes with it.

And I was completely satisfied with my second machine.  I used it a lot when we had our etsy shop, but once we closed it I only used the Cricut every couple of months if I wanted to perk up a gift or redo a room.  I’d make a Bible verse for the wall or add seasonal images to Mason jars or something else fun like that.

Then my BFF got a new, updated machine and when I saw how it worked my heart skipped a beat.  I knew we had to be together.  So I took the plunge and got one for myself!  The new Cricut works with Bluetooth and I can design on an app that’s easy to use and tons of images available!  Like…..way more than I’d ever need.

I had to watch a few videos before I got the hang of it.  This one, “How to Cricut with Cricut Explore Air Video” was really helpful.  And while you’re at it, check out the project center to see how many things you could make with this machine!  It’s kind of amazing.

I started with making phone stickers.  I have a plain battery case which isn’t cute at all, so I used the Cricut to decorate it.  I made Minnie Mouse both regular and for fall (I used a Disney® Cartridge to make Minnie then added the flowers from another design).

A fun way to use the Cricut Expression Air! Phone cover decor.

I made a Harry Potter style one for our trip to Universal.

Phone case with a Happry Potter theme

Then I made one for my Young Living event this coming weekend.

Make an oily phone case cover! <3

The phone case decorations take about half an hour to make and it gets my creative juices flowing.  I buy all of my adhesive vinyl from Expressions Vinyl.  They have the best quality for the best price and a TON of selection.  It’s kind of dreamy.

And then I discovered that I could make t-shirts with my Cricut.  And now I can’t stop.  I keep asking the boys, “Do you have any blank shirts I can play with?!?!”  I made us all shirts to wear to Universal as a nod to the Marvel area there.  We were all either Team Cap or Team Stark.  (they thought they were being funny to look serious for the photo, you know, like a super hero would)

Marvel tshirts made with the!

What I really love is that I can add Bible verses to make the t-shirt message more meaningful to us.  In this case Team Stark was Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.”  Team Cap is, “The Lord is my strength and my shield…,” Psalm 28:7.  It was such fun to answer the question, “What is the Bible verse?” and we could tell people and share Jesus.

I made myself an oil shirt that I have been wearing a lot.  I’ve washed all of these several times and they are holding up beautifully.

Make your own tshirts with the Cricut!

And this one I made for a friend who is going to Disney World.

Make fun Disney shirts with the Cricut!

I did some cute pumpkin things too!

Make your pumpkins even cutrer with the Cricut Air!

Seriously, this is just a sampling of what I’ve made.  I’ve created cards, home décor, Christmas stuff, I’ve gone crazy!

I put my new machine on a little table in the dining room and it’s ready to use any time I feel an itch.  If I have a spare 20 minutes I will go in there and make something.

It’s been so satisfying.  I have missed using my creativity lately with all of the traveling and book writing and homeschooling I’ve been doing.  My little Cricut projects use up that energy and they all make me smile when I see them.

I can show you more details about using the Cricut Air and show you how I use it if you want.  But it’s really pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  I will sometimes just open the app and put together a design for later, save it and use it when I’m ready.  That’s really fun because once it’s all designed I can make something in about 10 minutes from start to finish.  That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

If you like to be creative, but don’t have a ton of time, think about getting a Cricut.  You’ll love it!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook so we can share more ideas!

And in case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post and I bought my own Cricut with my own money.  I just really like it so I wanted to tell you about it. 🙂

Styrofoam JOY

Styrofoam JOY

In this week’s One Month To Win It competition the theme was Styrofoam.  The Styrofoam company has so many product options that I had a hard time deciding what to make. I wandered around the store carrying several Styrofoam cones and spheres, but I finally settled on a small wreath.

Deco Art sent me some of their MagiKote.  You spread it on styrofoam and it makes it solid so you can paint it….so cool!  I just had to try them together.

I used a small biscuit cutter to make circles in the Styrofoam wreath.

Then I used a knife to carve a little more around the circles.

I wasn’t sure at this point if it would look weird.  I hoped not, but so much of what I make looks weird that I didn’t have high hopes.

After spreading the MagiKote on and letting it dry, then putting on another coat….it was ready to paint.  I can’t show you pictures of painting it because it was so late by the time I got to it that I was spray painting in the dark.  Once that was dry I got the girls to paint the circles with white craft paint.  What can I say?  I was tired.

We cut out Cricut letters for either side, tied a ribbon at the top and it was ready to hang.

It was after 10:00 PM when I took the pictures, so the light is bad.  But I really like it.  It is very….um….joyful.

I hope you’ll go over to One Month To Win It and vote for your favorite Styrofoam project.

Kitchens, Driving and Other Uninteresting Subjects

Kitchens, Driving and Other Uninteresting Subjects

I had a little bit of unexpected down time today so I spent it doing important things, like poking around on Pinterest and playing Facebook games.

Also, just for fun, I read back through your comments from the past couple of weeks.  I get so much encouragement from your comments…really…it means the world to me.

Thanks to those of you that suggested for movie reviews.  I haven’t used it before, but I checked it out after some of you mentioned that you check there THEN if the movie still looks good you go preview it.  Great idea!

On that subject, Autumn asked if I have noticed that some kids react differently to movies than other kids.  Definitely!  Two of mine are much more drawn to anything and everything on the screen.  It goes into their thought life and they struggle, even if it is a good movie, with thinking about it all of the time.  This is why we limit all of our movie viewing to once a week.  A couple of my other kids are more sensitive to worldliness and ungodliness.  We use them as our gauge.  If they can’t watch it then no one can.  The real point is, know your kids, spend time with them.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking they can watch things that your instinct tells you is a bad idea.

From my post on how hard I work, Becky asked if I have 2 stoves in my kitchen.  Yes, when I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago I did everything I could to make it work for a large family.  We have 2 ranges, 2 microwaves, 2 refrigerators.  I know I’m spoiled.

From my post on what we did last weekend, Cha Cha asked if Jacob was finally driving.  No, none of the kids drive yet.  Grace and Jacob both have been taking driver’s ed from James for a few years now.  They do finally have their learner’s permits and are doing driver’s ed in parking lots and empty neighborhoods at this point.  Believe it or not, they don’t even care.  I say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go to the store and get that for yourself?” or, “Don’t you think it would be good if you drove yourself to work?”  They just shrug.  What is that about?  I remember making sure my mother knew to pick me up from school ON my 16th birthday to go get my license.  We always told our kids they would be much older before they got their license, but I am still surprised at their lackadaisicalness.  (yes, I had to look up how to spell that)

From my last post about food, Lori asked about my beloved Cricut.  I’m not sure how we got from apple pie to the Cricut, but you know I am always glad to talk about my beloved.  Lori and her sister were on the roof of her sister’s house and apparently got heat sick because they started to wonder if her sister needed to get a Cricut and Lori decided asked an expert.  Here’s what I use my Cricut for: wall decals, making stencils, cards, tons of home decor, place markers at our party, gift bags, applique patterns, Christmas ornaments, tags, we used it last Friday to make a topper for a friend’s parent’s 50th anniversary cake.  I do use it at least once a week.  It is expensive though.  It’s not just the cost of the machine, but each cartridge, replacement mats & blades.  Now that I have a bunch of cartridges it seems worth it, but it took me time to build up my stock.  I love mine and do a lot with it, but if I didn’t make crafts a LOT then I would think it might be better to find a friend that owns one and see if she’d be willing to let me borrow it every once in a while.

OK, I’m tired now.  Using my brain and spelling long words wears me out.  If anyone asked me a question that was important, please ask me again.  I tend to forget things or lose my focus while looking up pretty pictures online.

Happy Independence Day!

Spring Color for the Porch

Spring Color for the Porch

Don’t you love to add color to the front porch in the spring?  Oh yeah, baby.  That gets my juices flowing.

I started with $10 worth of real plants from the hardware store that we planted in pots we already own.

We pulled out the rest of our pots and filled them with dirt (a couple of kids always help me with these projects).

I found some old flash cards, drinking straws and twine (I ended up not using the pink) and went to work.

Of course you KNOW I used my true love, the Cricut!


Mama’s chair by the door, sitting and rocking and listening to the children play while she reads.  Ahhhh…..

Walking up the front path to the door you see this…..

It’s a mix of real flowers and paper flowers.

In one pot I stuck shovels and gardening tools…..

My homage to Texas bluebonnets.  They’re my all time favorite flowers.  I taped the Cricut flowers to sticks we found in the yard.

Book pages form the flower centers.

I know it’s a little weird, but it was easy, fast and FREE!

I wrapped drinking straws with twine and taped the flashcards to the top.  Easy breezy!

If you’re on a spending freeze like we are….don’t let that stop you from finding ways to spring up your house.  I may grow some more paper flowers just for fun!


Linking to: Centsational Girl

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Framing Spring

Framing Spring

I spent today doing one of my favorite things.  No, not eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups until I made myself sick, although that is high on my list.  I worked on the living room.  I cleaned, I decorated, I re-hung pictures.  I even washed the couch cushions although that was no fun at all.  And by the way, the kids are no longer allowed to eat in the living room.

It was time to freshen up the frame over my green couch.  Last summer I had clocks in it.

In the fall I changed it to silhouettes, thanks to my friend Kellie.

And now I’ve changed it again for the spring.

We cut a piece of luann to fit the frame then covered it in batting and white burlap.  Then we used, you guessed it, my true love, the Cricut to cut out flowers.

I stapled the center of the flowers with my Fascinater, one of the holdovers from my old scrapbook days.   Patience helped me brown the edges with a stamp pad.

I stapled the flowers onto the board with a staple gun and then we curled up the edges a little.

It’s so calm and relaxing…like a spa retreat without the massage or the mud bath.

Two little butterflies drift by….ahhh…..

I am still not sure if I want to keep the burlap ribbon over the frame.  I like the way the color brings out the butterflies, but it’s a little too cutsie.  What do you think?

I still want to recover that green couch.  Someday, when our no-spending pledge is over I’m doin’ it!  But now that the cushions have been washed and ironed, it’s easier to wait.  I’d rather not go into how disgusting it was because that would distract from this relaxing flower-frame post.

The good news is that the frame project was completely free…yippee!  Tomorrow I’ll show you what I did with the pots my friend gave me for my birthday.  You will LOVE it.

Linking to Centsational Girl


Cricut Gifts

Cricut Gifts

On the last night of my Blissdom trip I was supposed to stay with my sweet friend Shaunna.  But her dad had a medical emergency so I thought it best to just stay in a hotel.  I’m happy to say that her dad is doing a bit better, but he still needs our prayers.

I had a darling little basket of goodies to leave for Shaunna, which I didn’t get to give to her.  But I still have to show you because I used my true love, the Cricut for a couple of the gifts.

Since Shaunna uses paint in her furniture restoration business, I got the idea to use paint cards as a thank you note.  I just picked two that blended well together and used my Cricut to add the note, “Thank You” to the top card.  Punch a hole, run some twine through it and you have a fun card that was free.

Her two kids are so adorable so I wanted to give them a little something.  Shaunna and I have had several talks about homeschooling which meant I had to bring them a jar of fun, educational toys.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to give her my Cricut gifts.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet her sweet family.  I’m mostly sorry I didn’t get to sit up all night talking with her, laughing, crying and doing what girls do.

Remember to pray for Shaunna’s dad.  Maybe I should get a few more paint cards and send him a “Get Well Soon” note.  🙂


Cricut Happiness

Cricut Happiness

I’ve been busy with my love, the Cricut again.  That little machine makes me happy.

I got a blank metal sign at Hobby Lobby and used my Cricut to add a Valentine’s Day message.

In getting ready for Bissdom, I used the Cricut to decorate my computer.

Cutting strips from old book pages adds just the right touch.

The Cricut will cut the letters you need and then with the touch of a button it will also cut the shadows for a double layered effect.

For my two roomies I wanted to make a Blissdom survival package.  So I filled these little buckets with goodies and used my Cricut to put their names on.

Every girls needs a bucket of love.

Oh my Cricut, how do I love thee….let me count the ways….