Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Birthday Project Update: Part 2

So, I'm turning 40 this month--one week to go--and my goal is to pull off 40 little ways to bless others.  I got this idea from The Birthday Project.

In addition to the 3 Rebox surprises my boys helped me leave earlier this month, I have:

4.  Surreptitiously paid for the order of the person behind me in the Taco Bell Drive-Thru line.
5.  Left a surprise (one baggie with a package of microwave popcorn & $1--enough to rent a movie from Redbox) at another local Redbox kiosk.
6.  Left cookies and a note for our mail carrier.
7.  Left another Redbox surprise.
8.  Added a surprise personalized piece of jewelry to an order placed by an expectant mama for this mama, who was ordering gifts for her mother (grandma-to-be) and aunts.
9.  Donated furniture to LOVE, Inc.
10.  Added a surprise personalized piece of jewelry for another mama-to-be who was ordering a piece for her mom, the nana-to-be.

Stay tuned for more updates on the final 30 blessings.  I'd love to hear your ideas or ways you've randomly blessed others!

Have a great week!


Friday, July 5, 2013

My Birthday Project Update

So, I'm turning 40 this month and I've decided to come up with 40 ways to bless others,  a la The Birthday Project.  Missed that post?  Read about it here.

This week my boys helped me leave 3 gifts at one of the local Redbox kiosks--each one a baggie with some microwave popcorn, 4 quarters (enough for one movie from Redbox), and a note:

We taped the baggies on the side of the kiosk with much glee!  The boys let me snap a quick pic:

Hopefully, three unsuspecting people had their day brightened just a bit when they went to rent a Redbox movie!  And, hopefully, I'm reinforcing a spirit of giving in my boys.  Kindness, even in simple gestures, warms the heart--of both those receiving it and those extending it!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Have you heard about The Birthday Project? I'm trying it out...

Have you heard about The Birthday Project?  I'm a big fan & I'm trying it out!

Here's their mission:

The mission of The Birthday Project is to create a shift in the way people from all walks of life think about and celebrate their birthday (and other milestones).  The Birthday Project serves as a source of information and inspiration on the infinite ways to do this, including highlighting lesser-known charities, insight on party/event ideas, tips on charitable giving, testimonials from both those participating in this movement and recipients of random acts of kindness and much, much more.

I love reading about others' creative ways to use random acts of kindness to celebrate the milestones in their lives.  July is my birthday month--and I'm turning the big 4-0, baby.  So, rather than wallow in the last 40 years, how I've spent them, and how I'll spend my time left (which is, frankly, my usual M.O.), I've decided to create my own Birthday Project.  During the month of July, I'm performing 40 acts of kindness to celebrate my soon-to-be 40 years!  I intend to get my family involved (although they don't know that yet).  Stay tuned for pics & deets.

Here's the text for the calling card I've created to accompany surprises I'll be leaving in various places for others to discover:

Hi there!  I’m turning 40 this month & 
I’m celebrating by giving to others!  
Have a great day!

In the meantime, today's our first real day of "summer" (read: first weekday since summer school let out).  We're in full-Lego mode around here.  How about you?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

What If I Actually Tried Some of Those 500+ Pins I've Pinned On Pinterest? Experiment #1

I was rearranging my Pinterest boards this week and realized I have pinned over 500 (five hundred!) ideas, few of which I've actually tried.  So, I've decided to begin a new series--What If I Actually Tried Some of Those 500+ Pins I've Pinned on Pinterest?

Experiment #1 is this Pin on my "Crafty" board:

Apologies to the originator of this idea, but this Pin goes to a parked site, so I am without anyone to credit.

First, I gathered supplies & tools:  Two different sizes of cans, some jute, a glue gun & glue sticks:

Then, I went to work wrapping & gluing.  I started with the bigger can and from the bottom up.  Here's an in-progress shot:

I wrapped & glue the smaller can from the top.  My tips & impressions?  It goes much faster if you can keep the glue gun in your hand while gluing & wrapping (rather than repeatedly setting it down & picking it up).  Also, I think it was easier to keep the jute horizontally straight/level when working from the top down, but the finish at the top of the can looks better on the bigger can that I wrapped and glued from the bottom up...

Here's the finished product--2 ways:

From a can of soup to a shabby-chic stylin' vase

From a can of pinto beans & a can of soup to 2 containers with bath supplies for a visiting guest

What Pins have you tried out or do you hope to try out?

Stay tuned for more experiments in What If I Actually Tried Some of Those 500+ Pins I've Pinned on Pinterest?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hello, are you? I'm crafty! or How to Make an alternative to the Front Door Wreath

Hello, are you?  I'm crafty.  So, apparently, I've not posted anything since April 5.  It's now May 21.  May. Twenty-First!  Remember when I was so excited because both the boys would finally be in school full time and I'd have "so much free time"?  Not sure what I was thinking.  Not so much free time as it is time used differently...But, I digress.

So, how have you been?  Me?  I've been churning out end-of-the-year teacher gifts like crazy!  Fun, fun.  Lots of Mother's Day and new mom pieces, as well.  And, Father's Day isn't too far off--Sunday, June 16, people!

I'm digging this Dad gift, currently:

So, over the weekend, after churning out some 40 or so pieces in 2 weeks, I decided to be crafty in a different way.  Found an old mdf letter "M" from Hobby Lobby that I bought for a project I decided not to do.  Got out the hot glue gun and the jute.

Had this on hand--it was $1.99 at Hobby Lobby.

Used foil as a glue gun rest...
 Then, I began wrapping the jute and gluing.  It took a little longer than I thought it would...
Halfway through...

Completely wrapped

Then, I thought, what could I add?  I remembered an old T-shirt of mine with cute shabby fabric flowers...I loved that shirt & wore it often--until it got a hole.  Of course I'd saved it, with an eye toward re-purposing it into...something.  I cut out the fabric flowers from the T-shirt, then added a hair-clip flower I'd found on clearance at Target a while back.  Added some ribbon, and after burning only one finger and one thumb in the process, here's what I came up with:


Hangin' on the front door

Close-up of the front door

So, whatcha think?  A nice front door wreath alternative, I think!


What will you craft today?**


**Maybe you don't want to craft something, but would rather hire that out...  If it's jewelry that you want, or maybe a keychain for Dad, check out HandstampedOriginals.  Now through June 16, save 15% on all orders from HandstampedOriginals with Coupon Code: YOUROCKDAD

Friday, April 5, 2013

Like mother, like sons?

This morning my boys created a piece of jewelry just for me!  Notice the ruby and diamond Lego crystals  Just makes me smile!

Jack & Sam--Future HandstampedOriginals Artisans?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

This just in & a sweet Etsy Treasury

Hey there!  I have completed a few new pieces, now available in my Etsy shop:

Personalized Vintage-Inspired Necklace, with a working accordion locket!

Colorblock Navy/Brown/Yellow Chunky Necklace--I'm digging the navy blue these days!

Colorblock Beaded Necklace with Apple Green, Tortoise Shell, Yellow, Coffee Brown--Love.This.

Also, HandstampedOriginals was recently featured in a new Etsy Treasury, created by fellow Etsian, Jonna  Kirk.  Check it out!  Thanks, Jonna!

After 2 People Fell in Love a Tree Started to Sprout Roots

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow days!

The boys were out of school last Friday and Monday.  Then, Snowmageddon struck on Thursday.  The boys had snow days on both Thursday and Friday.  Our official tally was 11.5 inches of snow.  And, many, many more inches of snow are predicted for Monday evening!!  A photo retrospective:

Cheese circle sandwiches make a lovely snow day lunch!

Backyard snow fun!


Testing out the new tube before taking it to the park!

I heart coffee.  Being snowed in is much more bearable with caffeine!  

Side bonus of snow days?  Extra snuggles, warm cookies, reading, games, movies, and fun with family.  And, extra jewelry-making time here and there.  :D  Check it out:

And, I just strung several new beaded necklaces today--still working on getting those listed.  :D  Pics coming soon--probably on Tuesday's snow day!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Organization, New Pieces & A Coupon Code

Hey there!  Working hard in my newly re-organized craft room, which is now messy again from all the work.  Here's a look:

Ribbon nicely organized--check

 A view of my son's old headboard turned pin board (I still want to frame the edges).

The newly added work table, which I've expanded to for beading, as I use my desk for stamping.  This table was never even in the room before I reorganized and look how full (& messy) it is now-yikes!

A couple new pieces I just added to my Etsy shop

Last but not least, here's a coupon code for you!  Now through February 28, 2013, save 15% on any order from HandstampedOriginals with Coupon Code: BEMINE

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Long time no blog

Well hello there.  Christmas, Christmas break, New Year's and January came and went.  Hello February!  This was the week when everything went back to "normal" (whatever that is) for our family.  All the boys' extracurricular activities have started up again and even one of my own extracurricular activities (Thursday Women's Outreach) is starting up again this week.  So, I'm back to a somewhat predictable schedule and am back to the blogging.

I've been engaged in a Major Craft Studio & Basement Clean-Out & Reorganization, so soon you may see a flurry of new pieces from HandstampedOriginals (including ones utilizing those old typewriters I snatched up).'s one new piece I made today while trying to put off working on the Major Craft Studio & Basement Clean-Out & Reorganization:

Here's another new-ish one:

Happy February people!  More coming soon.