Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sparta Savings Has Moved

We have changed names and to a new blog.  Please join us here: Prairie Scraps.

I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Name

I've finally decided on a name.  I just had to let all the advice that I got from my 100 Comment Post and my exhaustion from reading 137 posts to settle before I could make up my mind.  I have settled on Prairie Scraps.  The prairie is not only where I currently live, but also where I came from.  I graduated from Sun Prairie High School - so even if I'm not living on the prairie, it seems that it is a part of me.

As to the Scraps, I like it.  It often refers to "Scrap"booking, which I do a lot of, but it can really represent any scraps that I'm working with: wood, fabric, paper, even life! 

I've already change the name on my Etsy shop.  Please take a look at my shop, as we are raising funds to send my 15 year old on a 4-H awarded trip to Japan in June. Take this link to check it out:  Prairie Scraps.  I'll be changing over to a new blog and unfortunately, there's no real easy way to do that and ensure that all of you, my followers can make it smoothly with me.  I hope that you'll all make the switch.

So, I think the name fits!  What do you think?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Trying to be Healthy

I hate exercise!  There, I said it!  I've tried to think of a positive way to write a post about exercise, but I can't.  I've tried gyms, treadmills, biking, walking, running, everything!  I hate it all!  Are all blog posts supposed to be positive?  This particular post, just can't be positive, because I just don't like exercise.  Plain and simple!

I've lost weight, then gained it, then lost it, then gained it, and on and on.  Sure, I like being a smaller size, but I find it very painful to exercise to get there.  So the minute I don't feel up to it, or have time for it, I quit exercise.  When the pain doesn't outweigh the benefits, I don't work out (which is most of the time!) Oh, yeah, and worse, when my father says I'm fat on the internet, I stop working out! (Not that I need an excuse, but hey, I'm affected by my parents mean comments, still! Note to parents: don't comment on your child's weight, good or bad, ever!)

Is it possible to actually not benefit from exercise?  I mean, yes, I usually take a little off, as long as I'm eating well, too.  I also know all the health benefits for the long term of exercise: lower cholesterol, lowered risk of heart disease, and on and on.  But seriously, I am in pain from exercise every single day that I do it!  I feel old and frankly, I feel like I need a nap every day that I work out.  Everyone says to just give it time and you will feel better.  I don't!  I have worked out 4-5 days a week for over a year...and I still hate it and feel in pain and tired every day!

So, back to having a somewhat positive post - I am going to try to report in here what I am doing to stay healthy.  Not necessarily just exercise, but some of the things I find helpful.  Granted - my goal right now is to just exercise 5 days a week, no excuses!  Even though I know it hurts - I know that at 40 - I need to take care of myself.   We own a good treadmill, and it's the least of the worst of exercise, so that's what I'm using.

What about you?  Do you find exercise painful?  How do you keep healthy?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free Paint - Again!

I can't believe that Ace is giving away free quarts of paint, for yet another week!  How exciting can that be?  If you have been fortunate enough to get free paint the last two weeks, you can get more this Saturday, March 17th.   I highly suggest picking up  that one accent color that you've always wanted to add to your decor, or just get a more practical color, like your favorite white or black for those projects that come up!  Here's the link:  Ace Hardware Free Paint Link.

 Be watching for some of my projects soon.  What are you using your free paint for? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick Scrapbook Tip

I did something last night that I have never done!  I scrapbooked out of order!  Can you believe it?  I always have to go in order and everything has to be chronological!  I have been trying to finish out all my paper scrapbooks and go over to my digital scrapbook, but I hate to say that as an Independent Creative Memories Consultant, I thought I could make the transition smoothly, but it's just not happening.  In fact, I stopped paper scrapbooking last year, because I was feeling so overwelmed. 

With the move, I have stacks and stacks of boxes of craft things and Creative Memories Scrapbook things, and I am determined to get rid of my projects by doing them one by one, rather than just put them away or pack them away somewhere. 

While sorting out a box this week, I found all the Christmas Cards and letters from 2008 and 2010.  Yes, 2009 is MIA.  I am such a stickler about doing everything in order, that normally, I would stack those away somewhere and hope I can find 2009.  But I am in that "Get' er Done" stage right now!  I put them into my album! 

I want to share with you a couple of tips about Christmas cards and letters (and I'm not having that discussion about whether it is a waste of time or not to send them out.  I save only letters, pictures, and handmade cards for my album and frankly, found it to be fun to look at them last night!) 

My family album (which is where I keep the cards & letters for the year) is the 12x15 size.  This way, I can get more pictures into the album than with a 12x12.  I put Christmas on black pages, so I can easily find them and the end of the year.  Just something I've always done.  You can do this in any of the Creative Memories size albums, except the 12x15.  (They discontinued the 12x15 black size, so I will just do it until I'm out.)
My tip for the letters is to cut the tops and bottoms off, so there is less bulk and then I simply run a piece of Photo Tape down one side of the letter and adhere it to the very edge of the page.  I try to put it down outside of the actual paper and on the binding of the page.  This way, the paper can go outside of the Page Protector and be opened up.  Cards can also be added this way, so the back of the card is under the page protector and the front of the card is on the outside.

I continue to line up all the letters, putting the photo tape down the same side of the pages and staggering the letters so it looks nice.
As you can see, you can then read all of the letters, yet they are taped down and going nowhere!  To finish off my pages, I simply cut out the years numbers using the Creative Cuts Playful Numbers Set  with Christmas paper.

For the pictures for that year, I trimmed all the photos down and made a collage on the following two pages.  Also, I included our own letter and pictures there, so that we had everyone's year in review in one place. 
So, as you can see, even though I don't have the rest done around these pages, at least I know that all the letters and pictures from Christmas are in the same place and we can even enjoy them if we want!

Please visit my website, HERE to get 30% off all Power Pallettes this month!  Also, I will be linking this up to all those great blogs in the right column (I like to give them credit all the time, rather just once in my post).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Upcycled Spoons

My son has been awarded an International trip to Japan through 4-H. While we are very excited (and nervous) to have him spend 2 months in Japan, it's taking quite a bit of fund-raising! A lot of fund-raising, in fact!

As we were talking about some of our options for raising money for this trip and we decided to use our talents to raise the money. We love to craft and recycle things! One of the things we've been making and selling are Plant markers made from recycled spoons.  I've wanted to make these for a long time, because I love the thought of reusing plant markers over and over, I struggled finding something that would actually keep the name on it year after year.
Aren't they cute?  I thought this would be a project that I would do by myself, and then I got a hammer out and tried to smash those spoons on the driveway.  Needless to say, I did need the brawn of my son and Mr. Right to make a dent!    We then use a letter press to imprint the letters in the spoon.  My son added Sharpie to the letters to make them stand out.

We have sold these at the Farmers Market and craft shows, and the funny thing I hear are people that say they will make these themselves.  Trust me, it's easier and cheaper to just buy them from my son and have it go to a good cause.  We have gotten many great reviews about these markers.  They would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift or Easter gift for the gardener.

We have them listed in our Etsy Shop.  We are happy to make them special order also, for $3.  Myself, I love putting the name of the perennials in my yard on them, so that I can remember what I put there. 

It is really hard to take a picture of shiny things, but just wanted you to get an idea of what these look like.  Please consider supporting a 4-Her by purchasing anything in my shop or contacting us directly for special orders!  Thanks!

I am linking up to the blogs I love in the right column!  Give them some love!
Pinterest Link Up

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Family Entertainment

Mr. Right and I come from very different family backgrounds. One of the things that I haven't always enjoyed, was his family's past time of driving on the weekends.  His family always got in the car and would go driving just to look around.  They never had a plan or idea where they were going - they just would check things out.  Mr. Right loves to do this on weekends.  In the past, I usually put my foot down for this.

Now that we live in a new state and area, I've been letting him have an outing each weekend, just to check the are out.  I have to say, that in a new place, it is sort of adventurous.  This weekend, this is what we found:
The road suddenly ended and the that sign to the left says 'Limited Road Access".  Yes, we actually drove to the end of the road this weekend!  

My point of this post is this, taking a Saturday or Sunday afternoon drive on occasion, is a great form of family entertainment.  We will probably talk about that limited access road for a long time!  It makes for great family memories and time together.  We don't allow reading, music players or movies when we do this as a family.  Other than a few gallons of gas, this can be a great way to spend time together and get rid of the winter doldrums!  Take a ride today to see something new in your area!

Friday, March 9, 2012

To Give or Not to Give? That is the Question!

I have this really weird issue with things I've made.  If I sit down to make something for a gift for someone, I have no problem parting with it, but if it is something that I made and then thought about giving it away, I can't seem to part from it so easily. So the first person I really met and talked to here in Idaho, happens to be a Stampin' Up consultant.  I jumped at the chance to go to a class on a Saturday morning, and didn't really care what we made.  I just had to have adult conversation and time out of the house!

The project we made was an "altered book" made out of paper.  yes it's all made from paper, no book was injured in this project.  Oh, before I forget, here's the my new friend, Deann's Blog.  Here's the direct link to the Faux Altered Book.

I thought this was beautiful when she first showed me and I think I was just going to put it on my shelf or something.  then during the class, she mentioned that she was going to give it as a gift to her mother.  Well, that got me to thinking that maybe I should give it to my Mom too, who happened to have a birthday the following week.  Being a procrastinator, I hadn't thought about what to do yet.

OK, so this book did say Happy Birthday all over, I don't know why I thought I should keep it.
There are so many layers to this book - a little envelope on the inside with brads and twine to tie it shut.  I just put a little note to have a happy birthday in there.
The pocket all closed up!  It is so adorable.  I can't believe how many layers of stamps and papers this had.  I definitely never think to go this far - but I love how it turned out.
So now, what to put in there for my Mom's birthday.  I just love to make things for people, so I thought I'd stick with it.
This was the easiest project ever, but cute!  I glued a couple of buttons on a tack with hot glue and tada!  I made vintage looking push pins!  I cut a piece of a box from the many boxes around here to stick them in while in the mail.

Sorry for the bad picture here - I had already mailed it when I realized the picture wasn't so great!  I don't know about you, but I always like to see all the sides of how people do these things!

I had to show you the pins in the book, because I am so attached to this book that I didn't want to give it away!  Isn't that weird?  Anyway, you know that this really was a special gift, since I was so reluctant to give up the book.

I also made some flower pins to go with the book. Here is a felt one that I made on our trip here.  I thought I'd get dozens of felt hair baretts and pins made on our 24 hour trip, but I'm not sure what happened to the time!

Just a peak of the back side so you get the idea.  The leaves don't look so dimensional, but I did give them a little tuck.

A blue rosette with a feather - I always think of blue with my Mom, as she has blue eyes.

A triple rosette with vintage buttons on it.  Kind of springy, don't you think?  Oh - if you like any of the pins, please let me know - I would love to do special orders for people.  I can make these in either pins or hair clips.  

I stayed on the cardboard theme (which I think I may continue with my Etsy shop too.  It was nice for shipping, because they didn't move around at all.)

Put it in a gift bag and then boxed it up for the mail!  My Mom, by the way, raved about the book.  She wondered if I really made it? lol

Check out all those blogs I love to link up to in the right column and don't forget to give me your comments below.  I love to hear that you are out there!

Now what?

When I joined the blogging class with Blogelina, I had no idea that I would be moving across country during the class. But as I got settled here, I did get a chance to kind of catch up on things, sort of...
I signed up for the final big event to write an epic post and get 100 Comments on My Blog Post.  I guess I didn't read all the details on this or even think through this totally, but I thought it would really challenge me to find a new name for my blog in my new home.  And it would sort of launch a new part of my life.   Well, what I didn't realize was that I would have to read 137 other blog posts and leave meaningful comments on each and every one of those posts!  Yes, I read and commented on 137 different posts in eight days!

I just finished on the final few hours of the final day (imagine that - I procrastinated until the last moment!).  OK - I really worked hard on this and wanted to really read all the posts!  I checked in between every few posts, my own growing comments.  I was excited to see it hit 100!  Well, so far it hasn't hit 100 yet, (if you haven't gone there yet, please read my post and comment to help out at My 100 Comments Post) which I'm trying hard not to be too disappointed about.

Also, I thought it would clear up what the name of my blog should be - I'm not sure I can decide yet.  Funny how I couldn't make up my mind, but some of you couldn't either.  Please stay with me here, I'm going to take a little time to be away from the naming game, but in the meantime, I am going to be showing what's going on here in my new Prairie Life (will that be the name?  I'm not sure!).  So stay tuned...I'm getting back into the swing of things on the blog!