Friday, July 26, 2013

The Friday 10 :Linkup:

Well, she has done it again.
When I saw Mandy’s from helloJAXON’s newest linkup for The Friday 10, I had to participate! It is such an easy way to open up, share something about myself and who doesn’t love making lists?!

While I did write this post on Friday, I didn’t finish this beast until Saturday technically so consider me tardy for the party.
1) Katy & Liv – Ever since I made my official decision to open up my own shop, I have never been happier. It just felt…RIGHT. Yes, I am very nervous and I’m trying hard not to let any negative thoughts creep up into my mind. I have been trying to channel a little bit of a certain HealthyDiva’s positive attitude and only think GOOD THOUGHTS! I figure if I make stuff that I love, that other people will love it too!
2) My Officer – He just melts my heart. My man is the most supportive, funniest, awesome-est person I could ever imagine knowing, loving and sharing a home with. I thank God everyday for bringing him into my life and pray for his safety every chance I get. Before meeting him, I never thought a man could love me or treat me the way he does.
3) My Babies – Eight years ago, I was pregnant with my first…However, at this time eight years ago, I didn’t know that I was pregnant with twins. I never quite knew how blessed I actually was at the time either. Kayden and Kaytlen are now 7 1/2 years old and about to start SECOND grade and I never knew my heart could be so full!! When I look at them, my heart feels like it could burst! Little Miss Olivia is my little blessing as well. She is our little .3% chance IUD baby (TMI lol) - I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be a mommy to these kids and I try to never take a day with them for granted. I will never be a perfect mom but I will always try to be a good one.
4) My Stepson – This young man deserved his own spot on my Top 10 list. Our relationship is wonderful and stressful. This has possibly been my most challenging relationship I have had to date. The sweet little boy who I wish was my own is leaving such an impression on me and I cannot even begin to describe my feelings towards him. Unfortunately, my heart is heavy for this little guy. He is living under a dark, horrible roof and we really don’t know if and when he will be able to get out from under it. Now I am no psychologist but his mother seems to have deep strains of mental illness. The house he lived in until he was almost six was disgusting and unlivable. There was dog urine running through the floor. Literally, from the first floor down into the basement. CYS has been involved more than once but has done nothing to help rectify the sad, unsanitary situation. There was so much crap and garbage in the bedrooms that you could not even see the floor. Now when he visits every other weekend, he reeks of filth and animal vomit. He gets sent to school with shirts too small, holes in his shoes and floodwater pants and believe me when I say the lack of proper fitting clothing has nothing to do with a lack of finances on her part. Now our relationship was strained because he didn’t look up to female ‘mother figures’ as positive role models or support systems in his life. He feared that at any time I would scream and yell at him or his dad for no good reason at all. The more time we have spent together, the better our relationship has become. I can only imagine what horrible things were said to him about me that just lead him to not like me…But he always warmed up to me after a day or so. We had him for ten days right at the beginning of summer vacation and he really, really opened up to me and I saw a whole new kid come out. The little boy, underneath all of the fear, got to finally shine through. He actually asked me if I have ever had to lie at school about a boo-boo I had…He said he had to before. My heart dropped and I was so sick to my stomach.  So…now I can only hope and pray each day that we eventually get full custody of him and raise him right so that special, fun-loving little guy can be loved the way he deserves to be loved.
(Okay, back to the fun stuff now, eh?)
5) Crafting – Seems obvious, I know but I feel so great when I am decorating and pretty-fying something! A little glitter and glue can really calm a girl’s soul sometimes! I am YEARS behind on my older kid’s scrapbooks but for Olivia, I swallowed my pride and bought an actual baby book and just filled that sucker out. It was kind of nice having events pre-filled and all I did was have to add a date but I of course add my own little touches to it.
6) Sparkling Water – The flavored kind, duh! I know, I know – it has fake sweetener in it but for whatever reason, I have just been hating our tap water! It was either the flavored sparkling or no water whatsoever.I really should just chill tap water and soak some fresh fruit in it to make a delicious and refreshing cooler…But I could only drink it that way in a mason jar with a fancy straw so I better put those up! (only kidding) (uh, who am I kidding, no I’m not)
7) Pinteresting-Sprees – Ah Pinterest….You make me feel good…then bad…then good again. You are like an unsteady relationship with the high school bad boy.
I just love (and hate) Pinterest. I have always been a fan of ripping out magazine pages and pining them up on a bulletin board (or just taped on my way) as a source of inspiration, motivation and/or reminders. Now will I ever actually complete or accomplish any of the ideas that I come across during my late night pinteresting sprees? Maybe, Maybe not. Either way, it is fun and I have no intention on stopping anytime soon.
8) Friends Reruns – Probably my favorite TV show ever and last year during my late night, pregnant insomnia, I discovered that from 11:00pm to 1:00am each night they run four episodes on Nick @ Nite…and usually they are in order. The Officer and I still fall asleep to it to this day. The night almost doesn’t feel complete unless I watch at least one episode! And yes, I am that annoying girl who can recite quotes from each episode! #noshame 
9) Chapstick and Mints – Do these need an explanation? Who doesn’t love soft lips and fresh breath?
10) Blogs – Back in October of 2009, I came across my first blog. I had no idea what I was looking at. “Pictures of food? Pictures of sweaty people? About Me sections? WTH???”   I soon started to understand what I had found and haven’t stopped reading since. I have never met anyone in “real life” that is a blog fan like myself – if I mention the word ‘blog’, most people look at me and say, ‘blog? what? huh?’ but I love the sense of community and it is very encouraging seeing the real-life friendships that have flourished all because of a blog or two.
I started with healthy living blogs and have ventured onto lifestyle, organizing/cleaning and mommy blogs. I always LOVE finding fun, new blogs to add to my daily roster of reading!!
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Phew, well I am sure I will keep thinking of more things I can’t live without but this chick needs to take her happy ass to bed.
You Stay Classy San Diego Winking smile 
xoxo Morgan

P.S. I am not one for proof-reading my posts so excuse any typos – thanksSmile 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Obsessedfest :Crafter’s Edition:


When I heard about this linkup, I just HAD to jump on the bandwagon! First off all, I love love love Mandy’s helloJAXON blog. She is full of creativity, love for her family and adorable little boy and loves her some fun adult drinks (a girl after my own heart!)
So I am diving head first into my very first
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My Week of Obsessions:
1) My very first Tutu & Headband order!
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It is for my dear friend Courtney and I am in love with how it turned out! It is my ‘Orange Raspberry Sherbet’ and with the ribbon, it is ADJUSTABLE!

2) Martha Stewart Fine Glitter
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OMGOOODNESS- this stuff is the BEST! I purchased it on Amazon.com in order to avoid the $9.95 shipping cost on the Martha Stewart website (Sorry, Martha – but really? When the shipping cost is nearly half of the cost of the item you are buying, it is time to walk away)
I have been decorating football shirts, crowns, you name it – I don’t know how I ever lived without it!
And I just had to OMBRE it up for our Obsessedfest host, Mandy! You know how much she loves her ombre!!

3) Halloween Cardstock
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Halloween inspired cupcake flags anyone? The weather has been very fall-like over the past couple days which has me craving all things fall. While I am not ready to fully part with summer yet since it means the big kids will have to be getting back into school, that does not mean I can’t start prepping items for my upcoming craft shows!

4) My kickass hot glue gun
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I truly don’t know how I lived without this sucker either! My good friend Terry bought me my first hot glue gun when I was helping her craft up some decorations for her parent’s wedding anniversary. And you don’t ever have to buy an expensive glue gun either!! I think she said this one was around $2.00 and this pack of glue was about $2.50. Totally budget friendly!

5) Tulle, Tulle, Tulle
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I am getting started on my team color’s tutus and I am so pumped to see how they turn out. So far I planned for:
Steelers, Pens & Pirates
Penn State
Ohio State
Cleveland Browns
and 2 of our local school teams!
I also graduated from the “buying wholesale tulle off the big cardboard sheets” to “buy the tulle on the spool” – although the wholesale tulle is much cheaper, the spooled tulle is SO MUCH EASIER to deal with!!
Well, that is it for my first Obsessedfest linkup!
See you next week for more OBSESSIONS!!

Adventures in Making a Crown, Part 1 :Create:

I’ll be honest. I thought crown-making was going to be much easier than it has been. Granted, it hasn’t really been all to difficult…There have just been some unforeseen issues.

I purchased my crochet lace on Fabric.com which has an AMAZING shipping turnaround. I ordered several colors…

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You can see there…brown, black, lime, white, pink and turquoise.

Lesson #1: Next time, I will just buy a neutral color – white maybe – and spray paint each crown separately. I would say paint them with acrylic paint but the spray paint is SO MUCH EASIER!

Plus, you can get different shades of (lets say) pink for different crowns by using different shades of spray paint (obvious I know) but it is harder to come by different pink shades of crochet lace unless you are a lace ninja… you can always use the spray paint for other projects  too so nothing ever goes to waste!

Lesson #2: Next time, I will try lightly ironing the lace out before applying the fabric stiffener. I know it make seem pointless because you are just going to crumble it up in the bowl anyways but I would just dip the fabric in the bowl and wipe off the access between my thumb and pointer finger to try and keep the fabric as flat as possible.

 

Next, measure and trim. I cut all of mine 15” and ended up needing to trim more off of each end due to fraying so they ended up around 14” each. It was a perfect fit for my 7 year old daughter’s head!

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Gather your supplies – Grab your Stiffy! hahahahaha – yeah I know, I’m 12 again. Come on though, the company set me up by naming it that!

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Now, pour…

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Soak…

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Saturate…

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Squeeze out excess…

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and Lay out…

See that white splotchy-ness on the black?

Yeah, that totally goes away once the stiffener dries!

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I set mine out on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper…

And flipped them about 3 times over the next hour to prevent the stiffener from clogging up the lace holes…

Then just left them to dry overnight.

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Part 2 (the fun part) coming soon!

<3

Morgan

Friday, July 19, 2013

Random Thoughts Late Night.

My mind is just tick, tick, tick, tick, tick with ideas for my little company and I am trying to use up as much free time I have when I’m not on baby duty or mom duty with the big kids… I am very lucky to have such an understanding man in my life. He is always trying to keep little Liv busy while I’m cutting, gluing and daydreaming. My “big” kids are amazing with their little sister as well. I couldn’t have any more luck in my life with my amazing family!

Tonight needed to (once again) get my thoughts on the screen. I need to get my thoughts out and organize my ideas before I start buying random craft supplies and waste my business cash.

I definitely need to create a business plan since I want my company to become a thriving, full-time (keeps me working from home) business. I also need to dedicate a great space in my house to being my work space. Right now, I have my crap spread out over several rooms…my poor family! I feel a little bit in limbo since I’m waiting on my supplies to come in.

By the way, fabric.com and ribbonretreat.com so far have had a great turnaround time for shipping but the sunshineshoppesupply.com took the entire 5 day processing time which is acceptable (since they posted that as a possibility) but I really, really hate waiting! I was completely shocked and satisfied when my order at fabric.com that I placed at 10:30pm was shipped by 11:00am the very next day.

My official list of items created and provided is:

*Sports Team Hair bows, Head bands & Tutus

*Birthday Princess Crowns

*Paper Garland (vertical and horizontal)

*Tassel Garland (horizontal)

*Cupcake flags and twirls

I keep thinking that these five sound like too much to start out with but if I think about which one I could cut out, I can’t imagine not doing it! I’m such a dork! I figure I can just start out with these items and grow, expand certain hit items, reduce certain non-hit items (not that there will be any ; ) ) and go from there. Hey, I’m sure many business owners started off in one direction but ended up switching things up a bit.

Tomorrow we will be having our first yard sale and I really  hope we rake in the cash!! Mostly, I just hope we get rid of our crap! Ugh if I see anymore baby clothes that don’t fit Olivia, I’m going to freak out! I tried to sell these clothes at a family members house for the past two weekends and it was a bust so I’m hoping since we have a busy busy street, we will be successful If not, don’t even bother calling the fire department…I’m burning it all.

Besides the garage sale, my fabric came in so I can start my birthday crowns. Ah! They just make me so happy just thinking about them. I think they are so pretty! I will definitely document my first attempt at making them and I sure hope I don’t totally blow it!!

Wish me luck!

Morgan

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My brain, the hamster wheel.

It has been about a week since I decided to start my own company and I’ll tell you, I have never been happier. My hands (and baby) are covered in glitter, I have multiple colors of tulle scattered all over my floor and there are a bajillion cupcake flags covering every surface of my living and dining room. It feels amazing.

My mind is filled with constant swirls of ideas, questions, dreams…It has all been overwhelming but in a very good way. I just really needed to open up my Live Writer and get these thoughts out of my head and onto my screen. Earlier I caught myself Googling`how to package cupcake flags` because the only idea I came up with involved a small box and a styrofoam block. I can only imagine how much that would drive up my shipping and handling costs. Then the idea flashes before my mind that I shouldn’t worry about it because I’ll probably never sell a single box. Then I push that thought aside…Shhh, I don’t have time for that negativity because I’m doing this!

When it feels right, it must be right, right? I just have this warm feeling of joy in my heart that this is what I am meant to do! Heck, I would buy what I make so I’m sure plenty of people out there will love my stuff!! You don’t have to be the biggest, most popular shop to do well. We all start somewhere!!

Here are some of the million questions I have running through my busy brain:

-How would I ship my Cupcake twirls? They will definitely lose their charm all smushed from the Post Office!

-How will I display my tutus and head bands at vendor shows? I’ll have to look up how other people do it and pray their ideas aren’t costing big bucks!

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Um, intimidating much??? Wow, that is a display!

I should totally make a Katy & Liv sign out of felt garland and hang some shiny pompom tassels!

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I guess I am just really, really nervous to go to my first vendor show! I don’t want to be a turd up against these super crafty ladies that can whip up a tutu while drinking an iced coffee and crocheting a scarf all at the same time. Geez, even the thought makes me tired!

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Whoa, I really need to get busy!

I still have a lot of supplies to ponder buying but I have already put in about $100 in supplies and I want to start bringing in some money before I really start spending more. One of the most expensive craft supply I would love is a circle punch…those suckers run anywhere from 9.99 to 20.99 at Joann Fabrics! For one shape, one size? You are kidding, right?

Cardstock garland is one of my favorite things to look at. I have never actually seen cardstock garland in person but it is all over my favorite blogs and Etsy. My favorite shape is the star! I would love the star, heart, football and leaf shape. How cute would a Christmas tree-shaped one be?! I have also seen that a lot of crafters actually sew their garland; I don’t have a sewing machine so I guess I would opt to use 2 pieces of garland every couple of inches and just glue them to the twine, ribbon, thread, etc.

Oh so many things to still sort out but I’ll get there. It wouldn’t be worth it if it was totally easy!! I have to go, my tulle is calling me!

Smile

Lots of love & Martha Stewart extra fine glitter!

Morgan

Sunday, July 14, 2013

And it starts with a cupcake flag :Create:

My first post ever.
Well I’ll just jump right into it…
I made the decision to begin my own business. I have been craving my own business for the past couple months but I never really thought it would be possible. I figured that it would cost too much money (which I don’t have) so I just wrote it off as a dream for when I win the lottery (any day now)
Then it hit me one day…JUST DO IT.
And I did.
I started my business, Katy & Liv.
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Named after my gorgeous daughters – I picked a girly name because originally I was only planning on selling my handmade hair bows and headbands. Then when I got the crazy idea to expanding into party d├ęcor and favors, I was still hell-bent on the name Katy & Liv. I put my supply order in, told a few friends and Shazam! I am a business owner.

While I am waiting for my hair bow supplies, I decided to get busy making one of my favorite things ever…Cupcake flags. They are such a cute, easy way to decorate a cupcake, birthday cake, donut cake…any kind of cake for any kind of event!
I have made 2 types of Cupcake Flags – Washi tape and card stock. I love the card stock for a few reasons:
1) Since washi tape has adhesive on the back, it is easy to get caught up in the “OMG my tape is sticking to itself” dance – even though washi tape will separate easier than other kinds of tape, it is still a royal pain in the ass!
2)Washi tape is more expensive than card stock and I’m a lady on a tight budget!
3)I can think of one million other ways to decorate with washi!
All you need to make your own flags are:
Scissors
Cardstock (Decorate, solid color, whatever your heart desires!)
Toothpicks
Craft glue
Then get busy!
First, Cut your card stock strips! I measured mine at 2.5” long and just over .5” high.
Then fold, fold, fold!
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Lay your cardstock flat and apply a ‘delicately generous” swirl of glue. I say it that way because I cannot STAND an over usage of glue that leaves its all over my fingertips!
Play your toothpick in the fold of the cardstock and close your sides together. Press firmly and line up your corners…also make sure the toothpick is lined up straight coming out of the cardstock.
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Cut a triangle out of the end of your flag…perfection is NOT the key here. I love a nice, unique look to each flag…gives it that true homemade look!
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Then repeat a couple hundred times until you have your desired quantity! BAM!
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I just love how customizable they are! You could have them for every possible event you could think of and if you are like me, there is ALWAYS a reason for cupcakes!
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Have a good night!!
xoxo,
Morgan