10.30.2010

$35 CSN Gift Card Winner!!! and Pandora Radio

We have a Winner!!!
Congratulations to Angeline, who said "I would like the Rachel Ray Skillet".  
She is the winner of the $35 CSN Stores Gift Card Giveaway!  How exciting! 
Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my first giveaway. 
  
Now on to Today's Fabulous Find.  Often when I'm typing up blog posts, I'm listening to my favorite radio stations on Pandora Radio.  Are you familiar with Pandora Radio?  I absolutely love it!  Pandora is free radio over the Internet. 
Straight From Pandora.com
Pandora is personalized Internet radio that is designed to help you discover new music you'll love mixed in with music you already know.
Pandora is powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a crazy project started over ten years ago to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.
Pandora is always free, with the option to pay for additional features.
Just type in one of your favorite artists or songs, to give us an idea of the kind of music you're looking for. We'll launch a streaming "Pandora station" to explore sounds we think you might like.

Now I'm a huge 80's music fan so one of the stations I listen to is Belinda Carlisle.  Sure you hear some of Belinda's songs, but you also hear Cyndi Lauper, Chicago, Wilson Phillips, Madonna, and others.  The music is all similar, but if there is a song that plays that you absolutely can't stand, you can choose to skip it. 

Do you like to sing along to the radio but don't remember all of the words to some of the oldies?  No problem, Pandora has the lyrics too! 

If your favorite song of all time is playing when the phone rings, the kids need you, or whatever, all you have to do is click on the pause button and your song will be waiting for you until you can get back to it...nice!
Christmas is coming.  If you like to listen to Christmas music throughout the day, Pandora has some good Christmas stations.  The 'The Chipmunks' Station plays a lot of the traditional Christmas songs, like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Silver Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Winter Wonderland, etc.  We listened to this station a lot last year.  These are the songs I listened to on records, as a kid! 

If you want to open an account it's very simple to do.  Just go to http://www.pandora.com/ to get started.

Today's Fabulous Find...Pandora Radio
I'm not being paid by Pandora to gush over them, I just like Pandora. :)


Have a happy and safe Halloween!
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10.29.2010

Before and After Picture Frame

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love to spray paint!  Right now I'm rushing to get my projects done before it's too cold to go outside to paint them.  I'm afraid I'm already too late, but I'm willing to risk it to get them done.  Today I want to show you my most recent makeover.  It's the first of several to come.  I bought this picture at a second-hand store for $1.00.  It was pretty beat up.

With only about .50 worth of paint and about an hour of my time, it's now looking shiny and new. 


It was just the size I needed to put the print in, that I got for free!  The paint is Valspar's Velvet Brown.  I sprayed a coat of Krylon clear finish on it as well.
 Today's Fabulous Find...
Valspar's Velvet Brown Spray Paint

(I love the deep brown color, it matches the oil rubbed bronze handles and hinges in my kitchen really well.)

Reminder:  Today is the last day to enter to win the $35 CSN Gift Card.  I will be closing the drawing at 11:00 pm MST and will post the winner on Saturday, the 30th. Click here to enter!
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10.28.2010

Kids Halloween Activities

My 3 year old made a simple craft by gluing a construction paper jack-o-lantern to an empty oatmeal canister. 
He loved making it, and used it throughout the day to carry his matchbox cars around the house.   Of course, by the end of the day he was using it to play kick the can.  Boys. :)
 
If looking for some Halloween activities to do with your kids is on your list of things to do, these links are full of fun ideas to help get you started:

 Halloween craft, decoration, and recipe ideas: 

Some fun printables, including coloring pages, games and much more :

Also, I'm always so excited and appreciative when another blogger chooses to feature something that I've made.  I want to thank Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for featuring my Fall Pumpkin Patch from her Pumpkin Parade Party as well as House of Hepworths for featuring my little pumpkins at her Hookin' Up with HOH Party.  Ladybug Blessings featured  Marlin and Merva who were linked to her Handmade Tuesday Party.   If you're not familiar with these sites, you may want to go check them out and join in on the party!

Today's Fabulous Find is Apples 4 The Teacher
 A one stop 'shop' for kids Halloween ideas. 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the $35 CSN Gift Card, I'll be selecting a winner tomorrow.
 
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10.27.2010

Wicked Witch of the West Cookies

Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West has water thrown on her and she cries:  I'm melting!  I'm meeeeltinggggg!  You can watch it here if you don't remember. 
I thought I'd re-create the scene on a cookie, just for fun!  Read on for the softest, most delicious sugar cookie recipe that I love and crave! 

 

The witches broom is an idea from a magazine, I don't remember which one.
To make it you'll need:  Fruit by the foot (without tattoos is best) and pretzel sticks.


To make the broom:  Unroll the fruit by the foot and cut it at about 2 1/2 in. long.  Using a small sharp knife, cut slits in it almost to one edge. Lay the pretzel on top of it and roll the fruit up around it.  Pinch it tight at the top around the pretzel.


To make the witches hat:  Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave, spread the chocolate on a Nilla wafer, place a Hershey's kiss on top of it, and then place it in the freezer for a minute or two to harden the chocolate.  For the band, take a thin strip of fruit by the foot and wrap it around the base of the kiss. 

Last, but definately not least, my favorite sugar cookie recipe. 
 
 
Cream cheese frosting from the store is yummy on these sugar cookies...and it's easy.  Frost them with whatever frosting you love.  Enjoy!

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10.25.2010

Marvin, Meet Marlin and Merva!

As soon as I saw Marvin the Mummy at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom, I knew I wanted to make one with my kids.   My six year old daughter was on board with the idea, so we got busy.  We spent a couple of really fun hours together, each making and designing a mummy.   

She named hers Merva.  I named mine Marlin.

We didn't stop there, she wrote Marlin and Merva's Story...and we made a video for your viewing pleasure!  She's so excited to share it with you.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie!  (It's short.)
video

"Playing mummy" totally brought me back to my awesome Barbie playing days! 
(See, I've reverted back to speaking in 80's!)
It was too funny how perfectly they fit in the Barbie car. 


Suzy's tutorial is excellent.  We made a few substitutions when making the mummies so we were able to use items that we already had.  We used a ball of crumpled tin foil for the head, black construction paper for the eye area, and added google eyes.

Ahhh...first family portrait.

Thanks Suzy for the fabulous idea!

Tip: Kids have a lot of fun making their own videos.  Next time they are playing with their Barbies, Transformers, Fisher Price Little People sets, or whatever, grab your video camera.  Encourage them to make up and act out a story with their toys as you zoom in close on the characters.  They love to watch the play back!

Today's Fabulous Find...
The treasured time spent making Marlin and Merva with my daughter...can't beat that!

 *My daughter is positively beaming with excitement that I am posting about Merva.  Leave her a comment if you'd like, she'd love it!


Linking up to:

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10.22.2010

Featuring: Creative Planter Ideas

Isn't this Pumpkin Vase Flower Arrangement so pretty?   And fun too?  I love the vibrant colors of the roses.  Did you know that you can buy fake carvable pumpkins?  Go visit Ashley at Little Miss Momma and check out her tutorial, it's actually pretty easy to do.

Picture from Little Miss Momma
When I first saw this Vintage Book Planter at Cottage Hill, I had to take a closer look.   What a creative idea!  A plant growing inside of a book, how unexpected and great is that?  Lindy is kind enough to share how she did it.  Go visit Cottage Hill so you can take a closer look for yourself. :) 
 
Picture from Cottage Hill


 So there you have two very creative ideas for planters! 
My thanks to Ashley and Lindy for allowing me to share them with you.
 
The Pumpkin Vase Flower Arrangement and Vintage Book Planter...
Today's Fabulous Finds!
 

On Another Note: 

A favorite blog of mine is Tator Tots and Jello.  Jen has put together a list of 17 Halloween Costumes and my Train Costume is one of them!  Thanks Jen!  If you need a costume for your kiddo you'll want to go take a look!

Edited to Add:  I just saw that Someday Crafts, another favorite place of mine, has also featured my Train Costume today in another fun post of Halloween costumes, how exciting!  My thanks to Michelle at Someday Crafts for the mention, and also for featuring my Fall Pumpkin Patch here earlier this week!
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10.21.2010

Blogging Helps and Tips

Blogging can bring you joy and happiness, when you know what you're doing, and pain and frustration when you don't!  If you are learning to blog by trial and error, like myself, then this post is especially for you.  There is a wonderful new resource for bloggers, new and old, called The Blog Guidebook

 


 
It's filled with helpful how-to's, that can save you time and frustration, and so much more.  This guidebook is a great resource for Bloggers and has a load of useful information.  Check it out, trust me when I say you'll be glad that you did.
 
The Blog Guidebook is Today's Fabulous Find!
 


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10.19.2010

First Giveaway! $35 CSN Gift Card! (This Giveaway is Closed)

$35 Gift Card Giveaway to CSN Stores
 
CSN Stores
 

I was so excited to be contacted by CSN Stores.  They are offering you, a reader of Today's Fabulous Finds, a chance to win a $35 gift card to spend at any of their 200 plus stores!  CSN Stores has thousands of products to choose from.  In fact, you'll find something there for every member of your family.
 
 How about a piece of new furniture for Mom?
I've had my eye on this entry table for awhile now.  Wouldn't it be nice to add baskets to the bottom shelf and have a place for the kids shoes that seem to hang out by the front door?














This end table is gorgeous!  Just look at those curves!








 
Chef's Choice International WafflePro Taste / Texture Select Traditional "Five-of-Hearts" - 8300000  
  


Check out this fun waffle iron.  The kids would love eating heart-shaped waffles for breakfast.











 
 

My family loves to play this game.  Christmas is right around the corner, it would be nice to save a little, wouldn't it?
CSN Stores has a 2010 Gift Guide that will help you find just the right gift for just the right price.  As a bonus, many of their items ship for free!











What about a new jigsaw for the man of the house?  (Then mom can use it too, to cut out all of her cute crafts!
Ready to enter?  Here are the details:
This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  There are three ways to enter.

Mandatory Entry:

1.  Go to CSN Stores.com, look around, and then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me what you would spend the gift card on should you win.

Bonus Entries:
2.  Follow this blog.  If you are already a follower, just leave a comment telling me that you are.
3. Spread the word about this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, and leave a comment on this post saying that you did.
You can enter a total of three times, leave a separate comment for each entry.  Your e-mail address must be included in your comment or visible on your profile so I can contact you if you win.  If you prefer to keep your e-mail private, you must contact me within 24 hours if you win or I will choose a new winner.

This giveaway ends Friday, October 29th at 11pm MST.  My thanks to CSN Stores for providing the winner with the $35 gift card. Shipping is not included, but many of their items ship for free.
Good Luck!


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10.18.2010

Fun New Sites

U Create 



One of my favorite places to find great new ideas is Ucreate.   It was just posted that Ucreate has expanded and now has; Ucreate with kids, Ucreate Food, and Ucreate Parties.  I'm excited and think they will be great resources.
 



Ucreate with Kids, Ucreate Food, and Ucreate Parties are Today's Fabulous Finds!
Go check them out.

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10.16.2010

Fall Pumpkin Patch

Today was a beautiful day, not too hot, not too cold.  The unmistakable feeling of fall was lingering in the air, you know that feeling, right?  Wanting to take full advantage of the nice weather, I sat outside at the patio table and made myself a little Fall Punkin' Patch while I watched my own 'little punkins' play. :)


These may look familiar to you if you've seen my 2x4 Pumpkins.  They were my inspiration.  I used the scrap wood and other leftover items from the kits from our Ladies Craft Night to make them.  I actually already had the vinyl letters too.  So once again, free craft!  Oh, how I love to make things for free!

They fit perfectly on my kitchen window sill.

How to make your own Fall Pumpkin Patch

*The blocks are cut around 2 inches wide (they vary some), and are 3 1/2 inches tall (width of the 2x4). 

*The paint color is pumpkin orange (Wal-mart) with spice brown (JoAnn's) mixed in to darken it.

*All of the sides were lightly sanded and the corners were sanded down to the bare wood.

*It was sprayed with a clear acrylic sealer with matte finish. (I like to spray them because it makes the color look more vibrant.)

*Glue the stem on with hot glue, wrap the wire around it and curl the ends.

*Tie, raffia, a strip of fabric, ribbon, whatever you like around the stem and embellish with a silk fall leaf.

*Apply the vinyl. 


These were so easy and fun to put together! 
I think you might have fun making them too. :)

The Fall Pumpkin Patch...Today's Fabulous Find!


Also, today I was pleasantly surprised to find out my Halloween Fish, Say what? post was named at JDaniel4's Mom.com as one of her 'Great Posts I Came Across This Week'.   This was the first I had heard of this site and I think it's great.   It has a lot of ideas for kids, moms, and more. 

You might want to check out JDaniel4smom...Today's 2nd Fabulous Find!  


Linking up with these Fabulous Parties!
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on A Shoestring
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
The DIY Showoff Parade
Made By You Mondays at Skip To My Lou
Making the World Cuter Monday
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple
Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do
Anything Related at All Thingz Related
Take A Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Craft Edition
Halloween Pumpkin Parade Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Topsy Turvy Tuesdays at I'm Topsy Turvy
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog
Letting the Creative Juices Flow at These Creative Juices
Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings
Sugar and Spice Party at Seven Thirty Three
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Look What I Made at Creations By Kara
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design
Hookin Up with House of Hepworth
Show Off Your Stuff Party at Fireflies and Jelly Beans
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursdays at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions
Look at Me Party at Fun to Craft
Its So Very Creative at It's So Very Cheri
The DIY Living Party at The DIY Club
Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie
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10.15.2010

Ladies Craft Night On A Dime

So this week I've been busy putting together 56-2x4 Pumpkin kits for a ladies craft night at my church.  They were able to make this set of pumpkins for free, thanks to some really great finds! 


My dad is so great, he knows that I love to craft, so when he had the opportunity to snag enough 2x4 ends to fill his truck (from a construction job) he loaded them up and brought them home for me.  Isn't that so nice?  Best gift ever!  Not only did he get me the free wood, but he cut it all for me too!  Love my Dad!

Tip:  If they are framing a house/building in your area, talk to the supervisor and ask if you can have the unused 2x4 ends.  There's a good chance they'll let you have them for free.

There were 168 pieces that needed to be sanded.  This is how they looked before...


...and this is how they looked two sanded knuckles and 2 1/2 hours later...


What?  You don't notice any difference?  Oh, I'm hurt. :)


Trust me when I say, sanding them with an electric sander did make a difference.  I prefer to do the sanding for them, before the craft night, for three reasons: 
1.  Electric sanders are loud and interfere with conversation.
2.  Sanding dust is dirty, the women come looking nice and shouldn't have to leave all dusty.
3.  It saves time.

I chose to put the items in a kit, and included instructions in each bag.  I find this helps things to run more smoothly.


Kit Contents and Cost Breakdown for 56 kits:
    Brown paper sacks (.88)
    Paper with directions (not pictured)
    3 wood blocks (free) 
    Spanish moss ($4 for a large bag)
    Raffia (donated)
    Cut branches for stems (My neighbor had a truck full of them, lucky!)
    Fabric for bows (already had it and it costs less than ribbon)
    Wire ($4.50)
    Paper Towels (donated them)
    Hot glue (leftover from last years craft projects)
    Orange Paint ($8)
    Brushes and sandpaper:  (leftover from last year)
                                               
Total Cost for 56 sets of Pumpkins:  $17.38
Cost for each set:  31 Cents! plus tax


We chose simple decorations for the night.  The centerpiece was a wide-mouthed canning jar filled with pine cones and tied with a raffia bow.  Which cost us nothing! The table runners were plastic dollar store tablecloths cut in fourths the long way.  We used matching napkins to add more color. 



The food was delicious!  The ladies brought a variety of soups, rolls and cake.  This was not an extravagant night, but it didn't matter, it was perfect.   Sometimes just keeping it simple is best.  The ladies were happy to come eat, visit, and take home a  finished craft. 

The total cost for the entire evening:  Under $30, including the craft, dinner, and decorations!


...so there you have it, How to have a Ladies Craft Night on A Dime, Today's Fabulous Find!
 

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