Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twined Egg Tutorial



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I am definitely getting the Spring itch! I can see blades of my day lilies starting to poke up, the birds are singing and it's slowly but surely getting warmer. So...it's time to start Springifying the house. Yes, that is a word.

I brought in our Easter decorations and found this big bag of plastic Easter eggs. I've seen lots of those tutorials for twine wrapped Easter eggs, so I tried my hand at it and I love the way they turned out! Here's a quick tutorial, they're really easy.

Here are the supplies. Glue gun/glue sticks, plastic Easter eggs, and twine!

Put a little glue on the end of the egg and stick the twine to it. Start to wrap the twine around in a circle gluing as you go. (If you do a big wavy pattern instead of a straight line, you can wrap more quickly)

Keep gluing and wrapping as you go...


and when you get to the end, snip the twine and you're done!

Now, you can leave them plain twine, or you can spray paint them any color you want. You can use regular acrylic paints, too. I've seen them in so many fun colors!

I made a handful of them and put them in this beautiful white...bowl...thing. I just bought it at the local thrift store for 25 cents! The coolest thing about these twined eggs is that you can put them in ANYTHING and they look cute! I put them in a clear vase with the decorative green moss grassy stuff (thank you Dollar Tree) and it looked good, too.


I have some other changes coming up, I'm really excited about them!


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Make Your Own Butter Spread


I love butter. I don't love that it's about a dollar per stick. But I found a way to get the buttery taste I love, make it spreadable, and stretch out my pennies!

We were invited to eat lunch at a friend's house after church last Sunday. She made the most delicious turkey and barley soup I have ever had and we had french bread with it. She got out this Tupperware container from the fridge and said it was butter spread that she had made. An I tell you what, it was SOOOOO good! I could have eaten it by the spoonful. She got the recipe from a good friend who is a nutritionist, so it's healthy. I begged her to give me the recipe and I made some yesterday and we have enjoyed snacking on french bread with home made butter spread today! I thought I'd tell you how to make it since it's pretty much my new obsession. You won't believe how easy it is to make!

You will need:

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of canola oil.

(You can use however many sticks of butter you want, it's just equal parts butter and canola oil.)

You let the butter get to room temperature, and then put it in the blender or mixer or whatever and you blend it all up until it's smooth. Put it in a container and store it in the fridge, and THAT'S IT!!!

I had NOOOO idea there was canola oil in it! I hate the taste of canola oil! But I swear, you can't taste it! It tastes JUST like butter and it spreads out so smooth. MMMMMM.

ENJOY! :)



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Monday, March 28, 2011

Emily's Giveaway



Hey! You guys want to see a great giveaway!?! My good friend Emily (who I just found out is my cousin's cousin...SUCH a small world...) over at Remarkable Home is giving away 2 (got that, TWO) of these SUPER CUTE chalkboard morning mission clipboards to one lucky person! Aren't they great!?! I know I would really love them. Now, get over there and enter! She has 8 ways to enter! The giveaway ends on Friday, so hurry! :)

P.S. Her blog is super cute and fun! She has FABULOUS crafty ideas and recipes. Be sure to check her out!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bathtime Bliss

I love photography. There is something AMAZING about taking a camera into your hands and freezing time. I am fascinated by it. I love how you can remember exactly how you felt in that moment...the sounds of the kids giggling as you "say cheese!" or the smell of the hamburgers on the grill. It really is cool what the mind can do. And a camera for that matter...

With this picture, I can still smell the scent of Johnson's Honey Apple Baby Wash. (LOOOVE that stuff! It's like Bath and Body Works Country Apple for babies. ) And every time I get her out of the bath, I put her in her lion towel and have to take her to the bathroom mirror so she can "roar" like a loin. Cracks me up EVERY time!


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I just entered into my first photography contest over at I Heart Faces! How fun!


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Versitile Blogger Award


I won! I won! Sadie from Simply Delicious (seriously, go check out her blog. She is ADORABLE in every way!) gave me the award today. Thanks, Sadie! :) I'm so honored! So...the rule with this award is that I'm supposed to also tell you 7 things about me. Here we go!


1. I am addicted to Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. Nuff said.

2. Laugh all you want, but I am seriously TERRIFIED of Bigfoot. I know...I know. He's probably not even real, but I'm telling you. When it's late at night and it's dark I am absolutely positive he is somewhere out there hiding behind a tree waiting to get me. Sigh. And I hate camping because I never sleep because I'm too scared. :(

3. My favorite thing to eat is Mozzarella Sticks from Sonic with Ranch Dressing and a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. (I know...shame on me.) Lemonberry Slushes are a close second.

4. I am also afraid of monkeys. *shudder* I'm assuming this comes from my fear of Bigfoot....
BTW....those Jacks Links Beef Jerky commercials *HILARIOUS!!!* (Haven't seen them? Look them up on Youtube!)

3. I met my husband when I was 16, and he took me on my first date! It took me a whole month to kiss him. True story.

4. That same boy Dear Janed me on his mission. On Christmas Day. Punk. (It's totally okay, though, he married me after he got home from his mission when he realized he was an idiot.)

5. I homeschool. *GASP* And I love it. *GASP GASP!!!* All I have is a 1st grader right now, but Aaron will be in Kindergarten next year. We do the K12 online school...it's seriously AWESOME. I could do an entire post on this...but I'll spare you. However, if you are EVER thinking about homeschooling, I'd be happy to answer any questions!

6. I am the Young Women's President in the Spanish Branch here. And I don't speak Spanish. Wait, that's a lie. Taco....Nacho Libre....Queso....Si. No haaaaablo essspanolllla. (I think that's from Singles Ward...) Luckily, all of my Young Women speak English.

7. I LOVE smelly stuff. (ummm...better make that GOOD smelling stuff.) Bath and Body Works, oh how I miss you. And I am madly in love with Scentsy. Someone please tell me why they stopped selling Orange Dreamsicle!?! Saddest thing ever. Accept for crying puppies.



Well, there you go! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me! Now...I get to pass this on. I'd like to pass it on to:

Stephanie from Playing House
Maria from You Craft Me Up
Emily from ReMarkable Home

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Friday, March 25, 2011

MY BUTTON IS FIXED! (sigh of relief!)

WOO-HOOOOOOO! Yeah, my husband is pretty much the coolest. He just fixed my button for me, so it's good to go now! He sure showed that HTML code who is boss. Thanks, Michael! You're the BEST! XOXOXO

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Blog Button HELLLLLP! (Minus the P)

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Oh my heck. I am having the WORST time with HTML code today! I'm trying to get the background on my "I Craft With Natsprat" button to be transparent, but it will only show up as white. Which is great for blogs that have a white background, but NOT so great for people who's blog backgrounds are other colors.

Here is what's going on.

See below...in Photoshop the background is the gray checkered, which is supposed to mean that it's transparent. I save it as a PNG which is supposed to keep the background as transparent.



Then I upload it to Photobucket and save the image. But I think when I save it is when the background changes to white. By background, I mean, the part of the rectangle in the Photoshop image that is the checkered part.



So, then I paste the HTML code for the picture into the HTML code for a blog button...and this is what shows up.

See how the background is white??? It's driving me crazy!


I've tried every tutorial I can find...AAAAAAAAH! So, do you or anyone you know do blog design type things who might be able to help me out? I mean, I'll TOTALLY pay you and everything...I'd REALLY love to get this fixed!

THANKS!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ice Cold Heaven in a Foam Cup



Oh my gosh! Look what my bestie just posted on her blog! HAHAHAHA!!! We used to go get snow cones at this FABULOUS little place called the Ice Barn in Sugar Land, Texas pretty much every week. It was our special place. Our kids were best friends, too. It was so much fun! And I usually got the same thing every time...white coconut and cream. (The cream is really just sweetened condensed milk that they squirt over the top.....SOOOOOO good, you have NO IDEA.) It is absolutely safe to say I had an addiction. But, there is no recovery group, so I didn't care. About a year ago we moved to Colorado and it was so hard to leave. I had the best group of friends there, fabulous shopping, and my Mandymelon. These pictures are from our last hurrah at the Ice Barn before we moved. Is that not the biggest snow cone you've ever seen!?! It took 2 days to eat. It was heaven. I just thought the pictures were hilarious, so I thought I'd share. :) And isn't Mandy an AWESOME photographer!?! She ROCKS. I miss you, Manders! *sniff sniff*


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Decorated T-Shirt

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We live in a little valley called the San Luis Valley. (Go ahead...google it.) A whole lot of farm land and a whole lot of mountain views. While it's beautiful...there is a drawback. There aren't many places to shop for kids clothes. There is a Super Walmart, and a JC Penneys (well, it's actually like 1/4 of the size of a regular JC Penneys and it's in historic downtown Alamosa. My dad manages it. GO DADDY!!!) and there are thrift stores. I guess I'm a little bit vain, because I HATE buying clothes at Walmart because I know every other kid in the valley has the same shirt or pants or whatever. And the closest big city is about 3 hours away. (Which STINKS!!!) and we hardly ever get to go to the big city. So, what can a girl do other than order online? Well, she can make her own clothes!

For this project, I bought a $4 plain T from Walmart. I bought some Folk Art Textile Medium (It makes the acrylic paint permanently bond to fabric) and some Folk Art acrylic paint. (The colors I used on this T are 509 Sunny Yellow, 2546 Bright Pink, and 901 Wicker White.) You mix the paint 2 parts medium to 1 part acrylic paint. They have these 48 piece packs of 3" decorative stencils at Walmart for about $3. I got the damask pack. Then I just stenciled on the designs I liked!

For the necklace part, I used a Crayola marker lid and a pencil eraser and just dipped it in the paints and pressed it onto the shirt in a necklace shape.

Annnnd, of course, what would a Natalie project be without a rosette? Why, it wouldn't be a Natalie project at all. So, I made some rosettes but instead of hot glue I used permanent fabric glue to glue it together and stitched some mesh on the back. Then I glued that to the T.

I LOVE that it's unique, cute, and NOBODY else has it around here! And my daughter ADORES it, which is what really matters. ;)


Rolled Fabric Rosette Necklace GIVEAWAY!!!



You want it??? You want it??? It can be yours, because it's time for another GIVEAWAY!!! *applause* This necklace is a FABULOUS way to add a punch of color to your outfit! It has white, green, red, crulean blue, mustard yellow, and a hint of black. Okay, here's how to enter:

1. Be a BLOG BFF (new or old)
2. TWEET the giveaway
3. Post the giveaway on FACEBOOK
4. BLOG about the giveaway
5. Grab my super cute BUTTON and put it on your blog

Each counts as 1 entry, so be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do! This giveaway will end APRIL 1. (No April Fools jokes, I promise.) Good Luck, Friends! :)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Failed.



Sigh. I saw a giveaway for a camera strap, and LOVED it! They are so dang cute! I was SOOO tempted to enter it. But, I've kind of given up on giveaways because my lucky stars never line up right...so I thought I'd just try to make my own. I mean, how hard could it be!?! It's all straight lines. Well...I failed. Miserably. I guess I'll just have to keep trying until I get it right. Isn't that what crafting is all about? If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Sigh.

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Blow Away-less Spring Wreath





I had so much fun making my last wreath that I decided to make a different one for our front door. It's really windy in the spring in this little valley where we live, so I needed something with more weight to keep it from blowing off. So, I took an old wreath that needed a makeover and wrapped it in burlap strips. Then I made a whole bunch of different flowers. The thing I love about this wreath is that the flowers are different textures and shapes, instead of them being all the same. Some of the tutorials I used for my flowers are:

http://iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com/2010/09/autumn-bloom-belt.html

http://www.craftleftovers.com/blog/archives/1499 (only instead of gluing them together, I just made a big long one and wrapped it around like on the autumn bloom belt tutorial)

And then of course the rolled fabric rosette tutorial.

For some of the other flowers, I just cut stuff up and messed around until I found something I liked. If you see any of the flowers you want a tutorial for, let me know.

Then, to keep it from blowing off of our front door, I glued some of those strong craft magnets to the back of the wreath. It's worked like a charm! (The first night I put it out I had to get up every few hours to check on it! HAHAH!) I absolutely LOVE it! Have you guys made a spring wreath yet? I wanna see it!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm In Love With A Vacuum. SERIOUSLY.


We have gone through 3 vacuums in the 10 years we've been married. Isn't that lame? I don't know what happens...but the motor just dies, and it would be more expensive to fix the darn thing than to just get a new one. And I think I have actually hated every vacuum I've had...especially the last one we just had that died last week. I'm not kidding, when it started smoking I started jumping and clapping my hands! The belt was fine...but the motor died and my husband is too busy to fix it. So, I got a new one! YAAAAAY! And I have to say, I am SERIOUSLY in love with this vacuum. It's the Hoover Windtunnel Pet Rewind Vacuum. If I were a single vacuum, I would marry it. It even winds up the cord with just the push of a button! (This is what sold my husband on this vacuum...I hardly ever wind up cords...it drives him crazy.) And I was expecting it to be loud when I turned it on, but it's actually really quiet! The kids don't even run to their rooms screaming! And it actually works on bare floors like tile and hardwood. It doesn't just shoot stuff out from the back at your feet at hundreds of miles an hour. It sucks it up with no problem. And I can't believe all of the crap it sucked up after just the first vacuuming!!! And I had just vacuumed 2 days before! I mean, there was so much dirt in there, (DIRT mind you!!! Not carpet fluff!) I couldn't believe it. I can't believe we'd been walking around on that for so long. *eeeew* OH! And it's so easy to empty! You just take out the canister, push the lever on the top, and the bottom flips open and everything dumps out. It's AWESOME! I LOOOOVE this vacuum. :) And now, back to your regular scheduled programming.



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Sunday, March 20, 2011

GLEE-ka-licious

How many of you are "Gleeks"? I have to admit, I don't watch the TV show, but I am OBSESSED with the music! I could seriously listen to it ALL DAY and never get sick of it. And truth be told, I think a lot of their songs are even better than the originals. I just heard these two this week...LOOOOOOVE. They just make me so happy! :) What are your favorite Glee songs???







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Friday, March 18, 2011

Make a Spring Wreath for FREE!




I know, I know. You are probably so sick of me now. But I'm on a roll...and I can't stop! It's like riding a bike down a steep hill with no breaks. But I won't bust my face. Kate has been taking long naps this week, so I've been able to get a lot done! The problem is, there are SOOOO many amazing blogs out there! And SOOOOO many talented craft-a-holics...and it's just....DANGEROUS to go blog hopping.

I mean, have you seen all the super cute spring wreaths people are making!?! I saw some on etsy and HAD to have one. I didn't want to pay $30+ for one, though. So....what do I do? I do what I do best and make my own. This wreath was FUH-REEEE! (um...I mean FREEEE.) I had everything I needed here at home...you probably do too!

(And I am SOOOO kicking myself for not taking pictures of the process...sorry, guys!)

All I did was cut out a big wreath shape from a big piece of cardboard with a box cutter. Then, I wrapped white fabric around it and glued it on. Then, I made more fabric rosettes with some scraps of fabric from Kate's room makeover and glued them on...and even glued on some bright feathers from the kids craft stuff (shhhh, don't tell them!) and THAT'S IT!!! I couldn't believe how cute it turned out, and how fast it was to make! I am VERY happy right now. :)


P.S. Like the rosettes? Then be sure to check out my giveaway for a SUPER CUTE rolled fabric rosette necklace! Click HERE!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thrifty Master Bedroom Makover: PART 1




After finishing Kate's room, I needed another project. Our master bedroom has kind of become the "throw everything that doesn't have a home in there" room. All my craft stuff is all over, there is usually a pile of unfolded laundry waiting for me on the bed...it's just kind of sad. I mean, shouldn't the master bedroom be the best bedroom in the house? Well, I've decided it's time it SHOULD be. So, I've been doing little projects this week to try and make it look nicer. Wanna see what I've been up to?


I wasn't looking for the Holy Grail, but I think I found it. I found these for about $3 total at the local thrift store, and with some good old Krylon spay paint I turned them into....


THIS!
*The hurricane glass candle holders are just vases glued to candle sticks from Dollar Tree!*


And, of course with the rolled fabric rosette kick I've been on, I glued some onto some old picture frames. I love how they turned out! ( I did these rosettes really messy and shabby, instead of neat and tightly rolled. LOVE THEM!!!)


I put a canvas that I covered with fabric between the frames. I stenciled on the "B" by printing it out on freezer paper and cutting the letter out to make a stencil. Then I ironed it onto the canvas and stenciled it on with black paint.


It turned out FABULOUS! (pretend that I hung them on the wall evenly, mmmkay?)


I had sewn some pillows a few weeks ago, and they were missing something. I couldn't decide what to put on them. Oh, DUDE. I have to tell you, I made these 2 blue damask pillows out of 1 old standard pillow that I cut in half and used as a pillow insert! How thrifty is that!?!


So, then I made some HUGE rolled fabric rosettes and glued them onto a strip of fabric I wrapped around the pillow as a tie. GENIUS! GENIUS, I SAY! It totally reminds me of something from Anthropologie. LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOVE.

I love making cute things and being thrifty!

Now I just need to decide on a paint color for the walls....any suggestions?