Friday, January 22

ExStraw Special Valentine Printable

With a baby due on Valentine's Day I have gone into full nesting/prep mode.  None of my babies have ever come super early but... I have my hospital bags pack(complete with treats for my mom and the hubby), the kids overnight bag packed(hoping to add a surprise present in there for them), and I am crazily organizing and cleaning the house so everything will be easier when baby girl comes!  (NO... we don't have a name yet.  This naming thing is hard for us!  LOL)

Part of my preparation has included getting Valentine's ready for the kids.  I am sure that I will go into labor the week of all the kids parties so whatever projects the teachers send home will be more than enough for the hubby to tackle while I am at the hospital or home recovering with a cute squishy baby!  When you throw in homework...  Well...  lets hope the teachers are lenient that week.  My mommy will be here to so I am hoping that my crazy organizing will help everyone involved so I can just relax.  LOL

This is the EARLIEST I have EVER had Valentine's done for my kids friends!  Usually I have them help a little more than this year, but I was going for quick and easy.  This year they all got the same thing to pass out, instead of me letting them pick.  They don't seem to mind!  Why have I always done 3 different Valentine's?  *Palm to forehead...

First off I ordered 2 sets of THESE CRAZY STRAWS off Amazon.  Living in ND... Amazon becomes your best friend.  LOL  As you can see, there are TONS of different colors and shapes, the straws seem study and I am sure they will be a hit!
Then I created a print out that was simple.  All my kids have to do is sign it!  No need to make sure each individual classmate has their name on it right?  I did create 3 different colors, per each childs request.  
One boy requested blue. 

One boy requested red.
And my daughter wanted pink!
This was the longest part.  I had the kids sign them before even cutting them out.  I let them cut them out even though...  It wasn't that hard and I knew I could cut about 5 sheets at once and be done WAY faster, but... I like to let them help.  I did do all the hole punching!  I have a Crop-a-dile where I could stack about 30 of them together and punch all at once.

Next I just slide them onto the straws!  
*HINT:  Slide the bottom of the straw onto the Valentine first, sliding it a little higher than you want it to set.  THEN slide the top part of the straw into place.  These straws are just bendy enough that if you need to bend the straw to get it on there you can!
SEE!  Simple, easy, cheap, and DONE!  
Hope at least one more person can use these than me!

CLICK HERE for the ExStraw Blue!
CLICK HERE for the ExStraw Pink!
CLICK HERE for the ExStraw Red!

Tuesday, January 12

Primary Secretary Helpers

I recently got called at church to be the Secretary in the Primary Presidency.    At the church I attend we are not paid to teach or help we are asked and called.  The Primary Presidency is responsible for making sure that all the children ages 18 months to 11 years old have a teacher and that that the teachers are taken care of.  We are also responsible for those who teach Cub Scouts and Activity Days (the younger girly version of a Wednesday youth activity for girls 8-11).  On Sunday we teach a lesson to half the kids (Junior Primary) during the second hour of church and the other half (Senior Primary) during the 3rd hour of church.    Have I confused you yet?

Anyways, as Secretary I am responsible for taking roll, getting the numbers to leadership at the quarter and making the assignments for talk, prayer, and scripture for the kids.  Those are my major things anyways.  There are a few little ones as well.

To make my job a little easier I made a chart where I can write down what child did what on what Sunday.  This way the weekly assignments are a little more spread out, I have an easy access to see what parents to call and remind that week, and an easy way to see how long it's been since a child had a turn speaking.

CLICK HERE to download
the Dated Assignment File

I also created a very simple substitute sign up list.  This will help me create a list of other people at church who don't mind subbing if one of our teachers can't make it that day.  We encourage our teachers to ask parents of kids in their class first, but sometimes that doesn't work out!  I will probably have to update my list a lot as we have several military in our area who move.
CLICK HERE to download 
the substitute list.

We really appreciate when people volunteer, especially since many times it's last minute RIGHT before class starts.  As a thank you the secretary before me create some cute gifts for those who help. I updated it a little and changed the words.  This is nice because your could pair it with Andes Mints, regular mints, mint patties, or Junior Mints!  I haven't actually made any because there are a TON in the closet.  But here is the printable I created!
CLICK HERE to download
the sub thank yous.

There are a few helpers.  Hopefully I can help out at least one other secretary with these!  I know that usually people like to start this stuff at the beginning of the new year.  Hopefully I am not to late to help another!

Monday, December 28

Wonky 9 Patch Tutorial

I found this post buried deep in my draft posts from WAY back in June of 2012.
This is a tutorial for a Wonky 9 Patch.  It's a fun variation of a basic 9 patch...  There is a little more thinking involved so you still end up with squares, but... if I can explain this right it shouldn't be to hard!
At the end of May in 2012 we THOUGHT the military was moving us away from Florida so we took a big splurge and headed to Disney World for a whole week!
Part of our fun there was getting signatures and meeting all the different characters.  My kids were in heaven.  Instead of doing signature books I decided that signature quilts were the way to go!  
See that post HERE.
After the fun was over it was time to figure out creative cute ways to make awesome blankets!  The one below was for my son.  He is into outer space so the starry print was great for him!
All my original signature "squares" were 5x8 inches big.  I cut more out of other fabric I had purchased.This quilt is just a variation of a normal 9 patch.  I just couldn't get myself to do a normal one.  
For this quilt I was careful to place my signature squares in the corners.  Each original block is 9x9, just like a normal 9 patch.  Mine is extra wonky because I used rectangles instead of squares, but you could TOTALLY replicate this process with squares as well!
My original blocks are rather large so I only made 8 of them.  I then paired them off, making sure that the colors in each of the middle spaces were different within each pair.  Notice how the top middle and bottom middle in the top square are blue and the one below it has yellow.  The VERY middles are different colors as well as the left and right middle for each pair of squares.
I cut each pair together, laying one on top of the other with  right sides up for BOTH!  In a normal 9 patch you would cut right down the middle horizontally and vertically.  For a wonky 9 patch you place your ruler and cut like I have pictured above.  You start at the left of the top middle square and end at the right of the bottom middle square.
WITHOUT MOVING THE PIECES move your ruler to make the "horizontal" cut.  This time you will slice from the bottom corner of the left middle square to the top corner of the right middle square.
When you separate them out it should look like this!  Next comes the swapping!  If you notice my bottom left and top right signatures were upside down in the original square.  Here is where that gets fixed!  Since you are probably NOT making a signature quilt you won't have to worry about that step, but  still be sure to swap where I show you!
First that the bottom left of the bottom piece.
And swap it with the top right of the top piece.
The top right of the bottom piece...
is going to go the bottom left of the top piece.
After swapping sew the "vertical" pieces together first, then press!
Then sew those two pieces together on the "horizontal".  (Not sure why this whole picture is upside down.  I apparently uploaded it that way and I can't find the original on my computer!)
Do this sewing for both pieces.
After you have done this for all you pairs you can choose how to sew them all together for your finished quilt top!
(See if you can spot the difference between this picture and the one below.)
I bordered my quilt with scraps of leftover fabric.  I know I used HUGE blocks, but the concept is the same if you are doing smaller 4 inch squares.  Just sway where I showed you and you should be fine!
(Did you spot the difference?  HINT: I had to do some MAJOR unpicking to fix it.)

I will post pictures of the completed quilting when I can!  I just realized I don't have pictures of any of my kids completed Disney Quilts!  This was before I machine quilted myself and I sent them to my momma.  She was just learning at the time but did a FABULOUS JOB!  They deserve their own post!

Monday, December 21

Modern Half Square Triangle Baby Quilt

I just wanted to share with you a quilt I finished several months ago.  A while back my mom and I joined a fabric swap group.  Each month had a different theme.  I believe all these squares came from the flowers swap in the sprint time!  I personally LOVE scrappy quilts and usually choose them over patterned quilts with specific prints anyways.  I like finding ways to make fabrics that don't really match... match!
Here is a view of the top!  I actually saw something similar on Pinterest and I took a screen shot of it with my phone so I could go back to it while making the quilt.

I don't know WHY I didn't pin the thing!  Now I wish I had because I have loved this pattern and used it on at least 3-4 baby quilts since this one!  I LOVE this pattern!  Easy. Simple.  And ends up looking completely different depending on what fabric you use.  I love it.  Thank you to whoever came up with it first!

This quilt is special to me because it one of the first that I felt brave enough to custom free motion quilted on my machine!  It was fun to do different patterns besides just a plain ol' stitch in the ditch with my walking foot.  What IS interesting to see is that this quilt was made about 10 months ago.  I have quilted... to many quilts to count since this one and it's fun for me to see how I have grown free motion wise.
I LOVE the colors in this quilt!  I LOVE that it is almost vintage, but the pattern makes it a more modern quilt.
I was surprised at how well the quilting showed through even with the very fluffy back!  I like fluffy...  especially for a baby quilt.
Here is a cute stamp I had made so I could mark who made the gift!  I have several baby blankets people gave to me when my were born.  I have several that I can't remember who gave them to me!  With this baby I will defiantly have people sign their work.  Quilting is art people!

Friday, December 18

2016 Free Printable Planner

The long awaited 2016 Printable Planner!  I think this years is my favorite!  

Now... Please remember that I AM giving this for free, but I do work long and hard on it.  It takes me several hours to get the fonts, dates, colors.... everything the way they are.  As it is... I am sure it isn't perfect!  I fix mistakes and update as they are found, but... I am human!  

Seeing how much time I spend on this my husband and family think I should charge.  Personally... I have always offered this for free and I am SURE that is the only reason it is so popular.  But, he is right.  I spend a lot of time on this.  Most printable planners go for anywhere between 10 and 30 dollars on Etsy.  So this year I will be simply asking for donations.  IF you like my planner I am just going to use the honor system and ask that you donate what you think it's worth. Please click the link below!  It's Paypal so it's super easy to do!

Now... On to the planner!

I print everything front to back (2 sided) on my printer.   If you do not have a printer that will print on both sides I recommend either manually flipping your pages OR hopefully you have the option to select all even pages, then flipping, then selecting all odd, and print.  Maybe you can manually type in to print 1, 3, 5, 7...  then flip.  
This is the new opening page!  I keep my planners thought the years.  To me they are almost like a journal.  I like seeing where I was on different dates and comparing.  Sometimes I even go back and write in something that happened on a day that passed.  It's interesting to see how I use my planner and how it changes for me!  
The monthly/weekly portion are saved in two downloads.  January to June and July to December.  They are very large files and I have a hard time getting them to download to the site I save my printables on.  But here is a view of the monthly calendar!  I kept it VERY much like last year, because I like the size and I used the goal portion.
Here is a view of the weekly!  I actually really liked my layout from last year so the only thing I took away was the water droplets to track that you were drinking water.  I just felt like the page was super cluttered and I am super bad at tracking water.  
The square with the shopping list is the right size to place a post-it note.  I LOVED this part!  I put post-it notes on all my pages when I put my planner together.  I do my meal planning on Sundays so it was nice to have a place to meal plan and shopping list all in one.  
I switched up some of the quotes, others I kept because I really liked them.
Other than that everything else is the same as last year, just with a different font and colors.
This one most would print and place before monthly calendar.  I like mine after.  I placed this as a separate printable so you could put it where you like!
I revamped the monthly budget pages.  These are printed with 3 pages of Daily Expense tracking sheets.  Print 12 sets, front to back, so you have one for each month.
Cleaning Checklist!  I didn't create one last year and I wished I had.  I usually print about 4 of these as my life, family, and the time of year can drastically change my cleaning schedule.  If anything, writing it down helps me to remember what I decided to do.
Alright!  I understand that writing down your passwords and such is probably not a fabulous idea, but...  I don't write down ANY of my passwords that are vital to financial security.  I use this more for my Netflix password or any random sites that have me create a password just to buy something.
THIS one is my favorite.  I always have a long list of projects to get done.  This is a great way for my to have a running list and decide which one really needs to get done next.  
I know this seems like a silly one, but...  It is fabulous for meal planning.  We have family favorites and ones that I enjoy cooking and ones that I know the kids can cook.  I just put their initial by the meal they can cook.
Here are a few note pages.  Depending on how you like to put your planner together I usually put a ton at the end.   This year I left a skinny space at the bottom with no lines for doodling or randomness.  I don't know why.  I just felt like it was a good idea.

To download just CLICK the kinds ON THE WORDS BELOW.  It will open another window and you just have to save it to your computer from there.  This also gives you the option to view it before downloading to see if it is something you would really like!

Please let me know if you find any mistakes and I will try to fix them quickly!  Again... If you like my printable I ask that you donate this year so I can continue to keep this going!  I do work hard on it.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 16

Blank Polar Express Ticket

A while ago I create a Polar Express Ticket Printable that had the word BELIEVE on them.  Since then I have had several people ask if I had a blank version.  I didn't think I could remove the words to make one but...  I DID! Yeah me!  Or yeah you who asked?

Or CLICK HERE to go to the post for the printable ticket with words on it.