August 28, 2013

HTML is Going to Kill Me

So, I have been giving myself a crash course in HTML so I can put together a project gallery to help make my blog easier to navigate for older posts.  I am failing miserably right now, even when it comes down to using the HTML that other bloggers have graciously offered up.  I will figure this out!  This Labor Day weekend, I will not be relaxing, I will be laboring over my blog. 

In the meantime, not all my creativity has been stifled by my agonizing over HTML.  I have been practicing some wood burning and painting with wood dyes.  I showed this off over at my facebook page but I love it so much I need to show it here too.

Curly Maple board and I used Mixol wood dyes

Any link that takes you to Amazon is an affiliate link, like the one above. 

August 26, 2013

The 1st Day of 1st Grade

I know some people have started school already, some haven't, but here in the Houston area, today was the day! 

Maben was a big brave boy and put up the least amount of resistance going to school this year than in the past few years. 

We were out the door in time to take some photos!  All the other 1st days, I felt rushed trying to get all the ducks in a row and out the door.

Maben even wanted to ham it up for the camera!  He is coming to the age where he doesn't really want to do that anymore.  He rolls his eyes at me and won't smile, but not today.

His nerves didn't come out until he was in his classroom.  The nice part was I could walk him to class and help him through his anxiety by showing him what his routine would be in the morning.  Once he knew where to put his backpack and lunch box, the anxiety subsided and he told me to leave.

He declared he had a great first day.  Even after we got caught in a massive downpour on the walk home, it was smiles all around. 

The best thing he told me today was, "Mom, every day I get one day bigger and older and smarter and that's why I am in first grade."  How true that is. 

So, here is to a great start to a new school year.  I hope that it continues to bring him wisdom and smiles.

August 22, 2013

I Am Finally Able To Share Some News!!!

The Sawdust Girl herself, Sandra is featuring a fun vase of mine over on her site today.  You should go check it out by clicking this link.  I will be posting over there once a month as one of her contributors.  Isn't that awesome?!?  I'm very excited and hope you venture over there and check out not just my vases, but all the amazing skills she has for making your house into the home you want.

August 19, 2013

Back Up Your Blog

With all the changes that the site has been undergoing, I thought I would show you how to back up not only your blog, but your template as well.  This will definitely give you the security you need in order to play around with your blog and make changes.

The blog back up is 4 easy steps.
1. Select Settings
2. Under Settings, select Other
3. At the top of the Other page, select Export Blog
4. Click Download Blog and Save.

If you need to import your saved blog, instead of clicking on Export, click on Import and select the file.  Easy peasy!

Backing up your template is just as easy.

1. Select Template
2. At the top right hand side, select Backup/Restore
3. In the pop up box, click Download full template, then Save

If you need to reload your template, instead of clicking on the download, below that select the Browse option, select your saved template and click Upload.

Feel free to play with your blog without the fear of losing it all or screwing it up. 

August 14, 2013


Summer has almost come to a close.  School starts in a few weeks and that is going to give me a lot more time to dedicate to creating, the blog, and all the other awesome ideas I have floating around in my head.  I also have some exciting news to share, but not just yet.  You will have to wait until next week.

I am making a few improvements around the blog if you haven't already noticed.  I have added a a contact me form on the right hand side so you don't have to search for my e-mail address.  Over there you will also see a link to my new facebook page for this blog.  You should totally like it.  I know, I am finally jumping on the technology bandwagon.  I even got a smart phone!  No joke, it's about 5 weeks old.  My very first one! 

It's been suggested to me that my blog is not too user friendly for finding older projects.  I would have to agree and will be changing that.  Hoping to get a project gallery up and running in the near future.  I don't have a deadline for that as I know it will be rather time consuming.  I have been blogging for almost 3 years!  Wow!  It's hard to believe it's been that long.  Lots of projects to sort.

I also updated my profile photo.  Maben is getting to be a rather good photographer.  I am hoping to get a friend of mine to do a fun and creative photo shoot in the near future as well.  Lots of ideas, let's see how many of them I can get rolling.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, likes, dislikes about all the changes, please let me know.  I don't just blog for myself, I blog to connect with other creative people and your opinion matters to me.

August 12, 2013

Lowe's Build and Grow

I finally got to sign the kids up for a Lowe's Build and Grow clinic!  In my area, they are one hot ticket and I never get in.  I have a friend to thank for giving me the heads up, Thanks Laura!

I was pretty excited for the kids as I know they will love the movie Planes and this week they got to build Dusty.  Both my kids went through a massive Cars obsession, I am pretty sure it will turn into a Planes obsession soon.  We haven't gone to see the movie yet, but am looking forward to taking them with my husband. 

This build was a little more than what my kids could do on their own, but I am knowledgeable enough to help them.  The directions were in picture format, so I had Maben "read" them off.  Most of the nails I started off for the kids and they tried to finish them.

I had to keep reminding Maben to change his hands so he wouldn't whack a thumb.  He whacked his thumb and looked surprised.  Best lesson for him, he was much more careful after that and he didn't hit himself very hard. 

The build took about half an hour for myself to help both kids finish their plane.  I think applying all the stickers correctly took longer than the build itself. 

The boys are very excited for their new Dusty plane and we are signed up to do El Chupacabra in two weeks! I am sure there will be lots of flying races around the house over the next few weeks.  They have already started.

Aside from Dusty, my boys also got to come home with an apron, safety goggles, a completion certificate and a patch they can add to their apron. 

I am in no way affiliated with Lowe's.  Just blogging about it.  If Lowe's would like to sponsor me, I wouldn't turn them down.  If someone from Lowe's is reading this, you can e-mail me!

August 9, 2013

Paintings By Request

I mentioned earlier this summer that I have been painting much more, mainly because I am finding myself waiting around a lot.  Since I often just need a nudge as to what to paint, I have been asking not just my kids, but other kids near by what I should paint.  Here is a selection of a few this summer.

Maben asked me to paint the rocket ship and alien that is on the side of one of his buckets.

One of the kids in Maben's gymnastics class asked me to paint him a sunset.  I love this one. 

Angry birds is always popular in our house.  This is big red bird, also known as Terence.  Did you know that the Angry Birds have names?  Yup, that's how addicted my children are.

This is Lazer Bird from Angry Birds Space.  It's what Chuck (the yellow bird) turned into when he went to space.  

And here is a minion from Despicable Me.  This one is for my husband, he needs some minions.

August 6, 2013

Animated GIFs In Photoshop

Last summer I decided to make an animated GIF of Maben jumping into the pool.  This year, I think it's a bigger deal as I have a swimmer!  This was his first time jumping off a diving board into the pool.  Of course I had to be there with my camera ready.

Maben was so proud of himself and I am too.  Both times I have done this, I used the tutorial from Creative Techs.  It's done so well, that I am not going to redo it.  If you want to try this, I suggest you head on over there and try it out.  It doesn't take long to figure it out.  They even have a file you can download to try their animation if you don't have any photos/pictures ready for this.

They show how to do their tutorial with drawings and text.  If you do it with photos, I would suggest you put your camera on continuous shooting mode so you don't end up with a gap in the photos.

August 5, 2013

How My Husband Was Detained In A Chinese Airport at Gunpoint!!!

Sorry, I couldn't come up with a shorter title than that.  I mention my husband quite often on my blog and I love him dearly.  He is my best friend and we started off as friends before we started dating and then turning into a family.  While I love my husband, I like to rib on him occasionally like we are still college drinking buddies and when he has a good story to tell, I love to encourage him to tell it.  So, hop on over to his leadership blog: C4 Explosive Leadership Tactics and learn how my husband was taken off a plane in China at gunpoint and detained by their version of the TSA. 

My husband!

August 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Maben

My oldest son Maben is turning 6 today!  Happy birthday Maben.  Where has the time gone?  I look back on his birthday photos and wonder what happened?  How did he get so big? So fast!

1st Birthday

Maben was always a very sweet baby and is an even sweeter and more thoughtful boy.

Those chunky cheeks didn't last near long enough!

2nd Birthday

Maben has always marched the beat of his own drum.  While most children want a cake with the biggest Disney character of the time, Maben has always chose otherwise, as seen here with his fruit covered cheesecake. 

3rd Birthday

His third birthday, he tried and tried to blow those candles out and I think he just managed to blow raspberries, but it was so cute!  He is a very persistent and determined child.

4th Birthday

He hasn't always been a ham for the camera, but the older he gets, the more he wants to be behind it.  He loves to take photos just like his momma.

5th Birthday

That penguin!  I both love and hate that penguin.  Maben was insistent that he wanted a penguin cake.  No one, and I mean NO ONE (I went to 10 different stores) looking for someone that would make a penguin cake, I went to even more stores just to find a toy penguin that I could put on a cake.  The boy knows what he wants and it's not usually what everyone else wants.  I admire that so much about him.  He likes what he likes and isn't influenced by what others like. 

As he turns six today, I hope more than anything that he maintains his uniqueness, compassion and his want for learning.  I hope I have at least one more year of hugs in front of his friends, because I know that will soon come to an end.  Happy birthday baby!  I hope year six is a great one.

August 1, 2013

Monthly Best: July

July was about summertime memories.  These are the moments that I cherish and hope my children take with them forever.  From tennis camp, playing on the tire swing, being my sous chef, becoming mud monsters and being in the "real" mountains.  To me, this is what summer is about.  Being care free and enjoying the simple things in life. 

What's the best summertime memory for you and your family so far?  Being in the Rocky mountains and my little mud monsters are my current favorites.

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