Week 28 layout + Swap!

Hello my lovelies! Last week, I participated in my first “filofax goodies” swap with Kristine from KJoyCreations so I thought I’d share all the fun stuff she sent me… and she sent a lot more than I expected!

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A variety of clips, stickers, pens, washi tape, a tube of Baby Lips (yes!), and my favorite of all the two handmade pieces she made for me. The first is the watercolor piece on the left that she created for me to use in my Martha Stewart binder and the second is the heart piece on the right. It is one of her KJoy Hearts– she created it using my husband’s, daughter’s, and my names! She is so creative and her penmanship is beautiful! The KJoy Heart is currently posted on my refrigerator but as soon as I get my family room walls straighten out, it will be framed and hung as well. If you’re interested in purchasing a KJoy Heart of your own or you want to see all her other fun work, be sure to visit her on Instagram!

I am still working on collecting stuff to use in my organizer, slowly but surely. A few reasons why: 1) there is a lot of cute stuff out there that I can’t pick, 2) sometimes I can be TOO picky that I end up not buying, and 3) let’s face it, I’ve got bills to pay. BUT I did purchase a few rolls of washi tape from an Etsy seller that I should be getting in a week of two. I also purchased a few more colorful pens that I’ll write about a little later.

For now, here is my simple (a.k.a. plain a.k.a. boring) layout for this week that is still half empty

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Here’s what I used:

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– Washi tape: from swap with Kristine

– Journaling Cards – Target

– Flower Stickers – Michaels

 

DIY – Easy mini folders with tabs

I had a few comments and messages on my Instagram when I posted my first peak into my Martha Stewart organizer, specifically with the mini folders that I made. They’re super easy to make and I love sharing when people ask nicely so here you go!

First, I created this template that you will want to print out. Click on the image and it will take you to a PDF that you can print.

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If you are using printed paper you will want to print on the wrong side of the paper. Here, I am using pretty floral patterned medium weight paper from the Best of Maggie Holmes paper pack that I got at Michaels. This template will produce a finished envelope of 4 3/8″ x 2 1/4″ (plus the height of the tab at the top). You can easily alter the template to make the envelope smaller or larger.

After you have printed out the template on your paper, cut along the solid lines then fold along the dashed lines. The bottom half of the template has tabs on either side of it– these you will glue to the outside back of the envelope.

The tab at the very top folds left to right, glue this down as well. The next step is optional: If you want both sides of the top tab to have the angle, you will just need to snip the left side of the tab at a 45 degree angle.

And you’re done! You can make tons of these in lots of fun patterns or colors and use them any way you’d like– glue them onto another sheet of paper like I did to create a divider with pockets or include them in your letters or gifts to loved ones to hold a little surprise!

I probably should have posted photos doing this step by step or at least a video… but my printer ran out of ink so I can’t print one now myself even if I wanted to. If you have any questions on assembling the envelope, please let me know!

Getting Organized – let’s get started!

Every now and then I will browse the #mahalmade tag on Instagram to check out photos posted by people that are using my charms and how they use them. Quite a few of the lovely ladies seem to have been clipping them onto journals and personal organizers and their captions included the tag #filofax. I didn’t know what “filofax” was so I took a browse through the tag and did my research and I found myself in personal organizer world filled with washi tape, fun post-its and other decorative elements… AND. I. FELL. IN. LOVE! By nature, I am into all kinds of things that allow me to express myself creatively. I scrapbooked for a bit then found myself getting too lazy printing photos to use and I eventually stopped, but my stash of fun papers lingered around.

The filofax/personal organizer world was calling my name! An actual Filofax was not– they cost a bit more than I wanted to spend on something that I wasn’t sure I’d stick with, so after doing some research I opted to go a less expensive route. I found myself at Staples and I purchased the light, minty blue Martha Stewart binder ($9.99) as well as a few inserts, and I wanted to share with you what I have so far! This is just a couple days in– nowhere NEAR a lot of other peoples’ organizers but it’s a process :).

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Here is my binder. It’s a 1″ binder and inserts that are 8.5″ x 5.5″. It did not have a closure but I found something online where the girl used the MS nameplates and a piece of elastic to go around the binder. I have lots of decorative elastic from when I made headbands for my daughter, and I had this perfect sparkly minty blue ribbon that was PERFECT. The binder itself is nice. It is a three ring binder with a single pocket on both the front and back pockets. The inside of the binder is cloth while the outside is a faux leather type of material. From the going store-to-store that I did before I finally purchased this binder, the light blue gets dirty pretty easily so just something to be aware of if you decide to purchase one. It does feel sturdy though unlike some of the other small binders that are currently available.

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Here’s what my binder looks like when you first open it. I bought the clear vinyl zipper pouch from the MS line. Inside I have a couple of black pens and four Sakura Soufflé pens which are pastel and dry matte. They’re amazing. I bought my Sakura pens at Michaels. They came in a set of 10 for $24.99 but I used a 40% off coupon for them.

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On the inside cover I have a heart chalkboard sticker that I’m using as a color key, each color represents a different family member.

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I used some of the decorative paper I also got at Michaels a couples months ago to make little folder pockets to store things such as sticker sheets and other cards in. And those little bunnies! Sticky tabs I bought at Daiso… for $1.50! Aren’t they adorable?

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Uhhhh yeah, have I mentioned how ADORABLE these bunnies are????!!!! And they even have backs on them haha.

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For the calendar inserts I searched for printables online. I found these month calendars on Etsy from the shop Organize With Katie so I printed them out then pasted them onto more decorative paper. Next, I needed weekly pages. Initially, I bought the MS 2014 inserts but considering half the year is already gone it just didn’t make much sense so I returned them. I thought of designing my own bit dating them all seemed more of a pain in the butt than it was worth so I ordered a set off of the same Etsy seller. I would have preferred a different font but I can always worry about that next year. Here is what the pages look like blank:

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They are one week on two pages. Here is my layout for this week (week 27):

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Really simple, mainly because I don’t have a whole lot to decorate with haha. With it being the week of Independence Day, I decided to go with patriotic red, white, & blue stars, bunting, and a strip of glitter tape.

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From the Martha Stewart Home Office line I also purchased a pack of these four slot clear inserts. They have flaps that go over each row so that the contents don’t spill it. One pack came with five sheets. Right now, I just have my daughter’s school photo. They’re the perfect size for wallet photos, business cards, journal cards, etc.

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I also made mini calendar cards that I can slip in between my weekly pages so I don’t have to flip back and forth to check dates. These are also printables that I found online and pasted onto paper. The calendar is actually a one year calendar but I cut out the individual months to fit my needs. You can get it here.

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Lastly is my current “today” marker. I saw something like this on Pinterest but I can’t find where it’s from so I made my own for personal use. I don’t have a laminator but that’s fine since I’ll likely be changing this out for different paper patterns anyway.

And that about sums up the beginning of my organizer. I’m hoping to make this a weekly post to share my layouts, crossing my fingers that I do (eek!). I’m super excited to work on my organizer more! Right now I’m looking for washi tape. I’ve found tons of stores online that sell them but I have a hard time finding designs that I like that I would see myself using often. Do you keep a personal organizer/filofax? Please share your favorite shops to purchase supplies!

Happy Valentine’s Day! + Spring bunny amigurumi

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ll be honest, my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. In all the years we’ve been together, both dating and married, we never celebrated. I guess we didn’t find a need to. Nevertheless, I love V-day for all the pretty decorations that you see pop up in stores just about everywhere, even random street corners will have tables filled with flowers, teddy bears, and all kinds of last minute gifts for your loved one.

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But now that we have our daughter I find myself even more into the cutesy heart stuff. I wanted to give her something special this year that she can actually use or keep several years, not just candy that she’ll devour in seconds. I’ve been into crochet lately and I recently started looking into amigurumi, which is the Japanese art of making little stuffed animals/toys by either knitting or crocheting and then stuffing them with filling or what I like to call… fluff.

I found this super cute pattern while browsing Allaboutami.com. I had already made a big red crochet flower but I needed something to put it on and I figured one of these cute bunnies would have been perfect.

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I will be the first person to say that I am HORRIBLE when it comes to following crochet patterns. I also didn’t have a small crochet hook so I ended up using my good old’ H crochet hook. I feel like my bunny, or at least its head, turned out a lot bigger than what it’s supposed to look like but, hey, I did say I suck at following patterns. For the bottom of the feet and the ears, I just glued on pieces of pink felt since did I mention I also couldn’t find my embroidery needle? I cut the foot felt into little hearts, too.

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My bunny kept toppling over when I tried to sit it up, probably because of that huge flower on one side, so I also crocheted a pink puffy heart for the bunny to hold in its opposite hand to balance out some of the weight. It worked!

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Overall, this is a fun project and the pattern is easy to follow. And I’d have to say, I think I did a pretty good job at my first attempt at amigurumi. I can’t wait to surprise my daughter with it.

DIY “Liquid Sand” Texture Nails

Ever since I saw a swatch of OPI’s Pussy Galore Liquid Sand from the Bond girls collection on someone’s Instagram, and I can’t for the life of me remember who it was, I’ve been on the hunt for it and I haven’t been able to find it in stores anywhere! Soooo, just like I did before I found my “perfect polish,” I made my own.

I searched the web for DIY tutorials and found one that used dryer sheets but it wasn’t the texture I was looking for. The Daily Varnish has a tutorial but it used embossing powder which I didn’t have on hand. It would have required a trip to my local Michaels Arts & Crafts store which can end up being dangerous because there is so much other stuff I could end up buying. I finally found this tutorial from Spektor’s Nails which was perfect because I had everything on hand already.

Here’s what I used:

IMG_5096Sinful Colors Starfish, Recollections extra fine glitter in Blush, and NYC Matte Me Crazy mattifying topcoat

I bought the glitter about a year ago in a pack of I think 20 or 24 from Michaels. It came with lots of pretty colors. Regular price is either $19.99 or $29.99 but at the time I used a 50% off coupon so I paid a reeeeally good price for the amount, colors, and quality of the glitter I bought. I’d definitely recommend Recollections glitter if you don’t want to splurge on Martha Stewart glitter which are also really great but also more expensive.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures during the process. I’m horrible at it and I started them so late I wanted to just get it over with and go to sleep. So here’s what I did:

  • Apply one coast of base coat on all nails. I use one I got from Ulta. The formula is a transparent green.
  • Apply one coat of my base color on all nails, Sinful Colors Starfish.
  • Working one nail at a time, apply a second coat of color. While the polish is still wet, sprinkle on the glitter all over your nail and gently pat the glitter into the wet polish. Be careful not to press too hard or move it around. Do this for all nails.
  • Apply one coat of matte top coat.

And there you have it!

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So maybe it isn’t exactly like Pussy Galore but overall I am very pleased with the results… you know, if you ignore my ugly cuticles. The process was painless and the tutorial was very easy to follow though I didn’t use the fan brush to apply the glitter. I thought I was going to have to actually mix something into my nail polish which, thankfully, I didn’t have to do. Be sure to check out the tutorial here.

What do you think about the liquid sand nails and/or textured nails in general? Let me know if you have any liquid sand formulas or if you give the tutorial a try– I’d love to see your results!

New Spring pieces

Our family room has been a mess as of late with all of my jewelry supplies hiding in corners, in entertainment centers, and behind baby walkers. I’ve got TONS of supplies waiting to be made into something so I finally put some of them to use over the last week. When I think “spring” I think of flirty girly colors, lots of pastels, and LOTS of bling!

Here are a couple of the pieces I managed to put together while watching two AH-mazing Lakers games the last few days (go Lakers!):

The little birds hanging out in the pictures are from Michaels. I’ve actually got three of them– these two have cut outs on the sides, the third doesn’t have cut outs but has pretty rhinestones on the wings of the bird. I fell in love with them when I first saw them and I knew they were coming home with me immediately. My daughter is OBSESSED with birds and always points them out to me, “Mom, oh, a bee!” She calls them bees. She calls most things by their first letters– my purse is a “pee,” her diaper is a “dee”… Naturally, when she saw these little guys, “Mom, oh, a bee!” If you love them as much as I do, try your local Michaels store. I got them a couple months ago, I think they’re from one of the Spring collections. I saw them maybe a couple weeks ago and I’m pretty sure they were in the clearance section and they had other colors, too. So if you happen to still find any or if you bought them like I did, please share– I’d love to see them.

Valentine’s Day crafting

My favorite holidays in no specific order are the 4th of July, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. Not because of all the gifts (um, giving fireworks as gifts?) but because I’m obsessed with lights and cutesy decorations. And water fountains. And things that shine/sparkle. But that’s beyond the point :). So after the Christmas and New Year’s festivities were over I started planning K’s Valentine’s Day goodies for her to bring to school. I love the idea of unique, handmade valentines and not just the cookie cutter kinds you find at stores with a card and a piece of candy, though I know they’ve gotten a little better since I was in grade school.

I didn’t want K to pass out sugar to the other kiddos at school– I’m sure they’d get enough candy from everyone else anyway. For my brother and sister-in-law’s baby shower last year, I decorated bubble wands as the party favors and I had a few extra so I figured I’d decorate them for Valentine’s Day. Well, me and arts & crafts stores have this bond, a bond that makes me buy crap I really don’t need. What did I buy that I didn’t need? Bubble wands *le sigh*. They weren’t just any bubble wands– they were packs of red, pink, bubble, and yellow bubble wands with a heart on the top. Come on people, a HEART! So I bought some.

Then I went to Target and, well you know, Target and I have a bond, too. (Note to self: stop bonding with stores that always have cute stuff). Killing time, K and I stopped by the holiday corner to look for something for her teacher, maybe a bigger bubble wand. We didn’t find any big bubble wands but I spotted lollipops in really cute packaging. They were heart shaped and guess what colors they were? Red, pink, blue, and… purple. No yellow pops. I bought a few bags and figured I’d attach them to the bubble wands. I apologize ahead of time to the other parents at the school for joining in loading their kids up with sugar.

I got home and started crafting away! Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures of the process. I taped a lollipop to each bubble wand. Then I made some simple tags on my computer and printed them out on pink cardstock and attached them to the wand with ribbon. And that was it! Super simple and super cute!

K had fun matching the lollipop colors with the bubbles but got a little confused with the purple pops. “Mom?” she’d say whenever she had a purple lollipop that didn’t have a matching bubble. My initial plan was to just keep the purple pops and hope I’d find a use for yellow bubbles but then it hit me– Lakers! And so the purple pop stuck to the yellow bubble wand and they lived happily ever after.