Want awesome free stuff? And a new favorite blog or two?

1000 Follower Celebration

Flamingo Toes is one of my all time favorite blogs. Hands down. She has an amazing Etsy shop which is full of awesome rings, necklaces, bracelets and even a pattern for a great purse. But we don’t always have a ton of extra money for shopping online for pretty things just because we love them…so wouldn’t it be better to win some stuff instead? Of COURSE!

Which brings me to my new favorite blog – A Glimpse Inside. That’s where I got that nifty button up there at the top of this post. Isn’t it great? So if you head over there right now you have a chance at winning $25 worth of shop credit in one of the coolest Etsy shops ever.

So…seriously…GO! As much as I love you, my reader (lol, yes, my one lone reader) you really shouldn’t be here anymore…go enter that contest! 😀

New Obsession

Yes, I’ve been gone again for a long time. By now I just can’t find the energy to tell you everything that’s going in my life that will explain my absences – just chalk it up to a recently discovered pregnancy (not mine!), a recent decision to move asap and life’s drama in general.  (Everything, even excuses, look better in rainbows.  Just sayin.’)

But I wanted to share my newest obsession! See, I do think of you guys, all the time.

My sister Katie found this for me and I love it so much I’m sharing here. It is AMAZING. You can define a color palette for your blog, quilt, redecorating or any other kind of project where you’re using color – just copy the URL of the web-hosted image, insert it in the generator and click Color-Palette-ify. So fun! It’s called the Color Palette Generator and it is a total blast. One of the best parts is that you can do this directly from Pinterest without opening the picture in its blog, very convienent!

This is an adorable quilt that I thought would be fun to use with the generator. Notice it picked up the brown of the chair the quilt is laying on – it will pick up all colors in the picture, not just the ones you notice first. Here’s what I got:

 

PS – to find the image URL, right click and select Copy Image Location, or in Windows 7, Copy Image URL.

PPS – I found that image up there somewhere on Pinterest. Have I talked about how amazing Pinterest is yet? If you don’t have one, get one! You can request an invite from the site or just drop me a line and let me know you need one, or leave an email address in the comments and I’ll get you an invitation out. It’s addicting, I’m warning you. but I don’t need a 12 step program yet! 🙂

New bloggy goodness!

I’ve spent the better part of this day locked in my sewing room. There are two reasons for this – one, my kid is sick and grouchy, so I’m trying to stay out of her way as much as I can; and two, I’m really trying to work harder at being a good blogger and crafter. To that end I took some pictures and edited them for use here on my blog.

If you like them, you can use them however you want. They are bigger if you click on them. So click on them and choose ‘save image as’, name the file whatever makes your little heart happy, and it’s all yours! It would be awesome if you’d take the time to drop me a line and tell me how much you adore my wonderful images (lol!) or at least give us a link to your blog so we can check it out. But, it would just be awesome…it’s not a rule or anything!

If there’s enough interest, I’ll look into making more goodies for your blogs, so if you have any special requests just leave me a comment. I love your guys’ emails, of course, but my blog looks a little lonely with no comments. 😦

Oh, and one more topic of discussion – this blog has gotten pretty messy with diary entries and whining posts and not enough pictures or good crafting content. But, I’ve had this up for almost five years, and there are a lot of posts to go back through and edit and reorganize. I’ve been really horrible about tagging things correctly, too, so it’s really hard to find anything, and gives me a headache just thinking about it, honestly. So, what I am thinking about doing is moving over to Blogger for my crafting posts. (Yeah, I tried that once before, a few years ago, but I wasn’t really focused enough to put in the effort needed and eventually gave up. Not gonna happen this time.) There are a lot of pluses to Blogger but the truth is I really am having a hard time being disloyal to WordPress after this many years here. So I’m still just in the ‘considering’ phase. The other option is to stay here at WordPress and just start a new blog for my crafting stuff. I’ll still post here either way, about my fitness and life and stuff, but…Idk. It’s just something to think about.

What about you? What are you thinking about today? Share with us…we want to know!

What I have spent time doing today…

Yes, I have a huge to do list.

A to do list that I really should be working on. But you know what? Once you put something on a list, it’s no longer a vague, abstract idea of something to do to fill time later. No, the second it goes down on that paper, it becomes a heavy THING. A THING you have to do. And that, my friends, is exactly what I do not feel like doing right now!

What was that? You want to know what I’ve been doing instead? Well, fine. I’ll show you. (And not say a word about how nosy you’re being! lol)

Ready? You sure?

Click on them and they get bigger.

These were all very quick changes that were made for free on a website called Picnik. There are lots of options you can choose from. All of the things I was able to do to my pics were free, yay! I have a few favorite buttons that I just love to use on my pictures.

My favorites in the Create> Effects tab are: Cross Process (my all time fave, or at least my right now fave lol) 1960’s, CinemaScope, Lomo-ish, Vignette, Matte, Sephia and Black and White.

Also in the Create section, you will see a Frames tab. I love rounded edges on my photos so of course I’m thrilled that they have that option for free. There’s also a Polaroid option, a museum matte, a border and a drop shadow you can use.

You can add text (which I showed on my last picture, but the thumbnails may be too tiny for you to tell) as well as doodles, flowers, crazy frames, etc.

What I love about Picnik: It’s user friendly and the free options are pretty good.

What I am not wild about: It feels kind of restrictive. I’ve used other online photo editing sites that feel like you have a lot more freedom to tweak your photos and add more to them. However, their formats were no where near as easy to use, or as quick. I didn’t notice any lagging on Picnic at all, even while it was doing a bunch of things at once, so I was really thrilled with that. It’s down and dirty and fast for editing pics for your blog, which I so appreciate since that’s one area I really need to shape up in!

So this is what I’ve spent valuable time on tonight – editing my pictures for no good reason other than I felt like it. Go play with Picnik and tell me what you think! It’s free and easy, just like all the best things in life. (hehe).

My To-Do List

Today’s gonna be a busy day, if I manage to accomplish even half of the things I want to do I’ll be thrilled. The plan is to post this list and then come back and update it with the time I finished each project, but we’ll see how much blogging time I have left over to actually do that! Without further adieu…

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 To-Do list

scrub shower Done!  10:10 AM

finish laundry (finally!)

organize closet Done at noon…the next day lol

As much of dd’s schoolwork as is possible

dishes

sweep and mop bathroom and kitchen

clean out and detail my car

organize linen closet (and find some place for extra blankets while I’m at it!) Done! 10:10 AM

vacuum all floors

Make dd’s bed for overnight guests tonight Done at 9 PM

take out ALL trash – including what’s behind my bedroom door! Done, the next afternoon

PUT AWAY CLEAN CLOTHES – just. do. it. Yes, three baskets is a lot.  Suck it up.  Wimp. Done at 6 PM next day

clean and vacuum under couch cushions (and start doing this on a weekly basis!)

make potholders and hot pads

work on gray and yellow quilt  – just do it, get over the block already!

clean out both fridges

upload videos from Shea’s visit Done at 5:3o PM

Move firewire card from old pc to new one

Make lunch and dinner Done

Eat every two hours Fail, but this is an ongoing goal

take pills Done at 9:00 AM

let Sasquatch out and play with her Done at 9:45 AM

take the kids outside (maybe even the park?) Done

quit crying every time I pass a mirror (don’t ask.  Just know it involves my now orange hair) Done at 2 AM – redyed it! yay

cardio – at least an hour!  Quit slacking woman. Didn’t get a full hour but still had fun

study

You thought I was exaggerating about how big of a list it is, right?  Wrong!  So what are YOU doing today?  Hope it’s more fun than what I’m looking at!

I like this advice!

So this is a quick post that may not seem like it has a whole lot to do with my blog content (or the content I’ve been posting over the last year or so, anyway).  But the truth of the matter is I haven’t let go of my dream of selling my handmade items online and at craft fairs around our area.  There hasn’t been a lot of physical progress toward this goal, but I do read and absorb all kinds of information about this subject.

Plus, this link has great advice for anyone who writes anything, not just descriptive product information.  It’s great advice for anyone who is supposed to be a blogger but tends to be rather sporadic with her posts!

Content Makeover: How to Write Product Listings with Personality is what I’m talking about. And I’m being serious – you should read it even if you only ever post on message boards or Facebook or Twitter. We all want to have our own personalities come out where ever we can, and anything we post online anywhere is a great chance to do that.

So, go read it, think about it, play with it, practice it. Don’t be afraid of sounding like yourself or finding your voice…the results will be worth it.

I’m tired

But I feel GREAT!  I just worked out for an hour and then lifted weights for a little while.  Without a spotter (he was already in bed) I don’t do very much…plus I was absolutely starving after that long work out and not enough food today.  But I am so glad I did the work out and now I need a hot shower!

The third item on the 30 Days of Lists is “I am looking forward to…”. So let’s try this one out, shall we?

I am looking forward to…

A long relaxing shower

A good night’s sleep with NO DREAMS (and especially no nightmares!)

Not having to work in the morning (yay!)

Spring break for the kidlet next week…no rushing schoolwork at the last minute

Bridgeport this summer

Getting the carpets shampood

Fitting into smaller clothes and looking good

Learning to dance (someday)

Growing my bangs out again

Finishing the books I’m reading so I can start the new one

Playing with my dog tomorrow

Getting the black book shelf reorganized and dusted

The weekend

Sleeping in

A shower

ETA: And the biggest, greatest thing (now that the hot shower is done lol!) that I’m looking forward to is having my amazingly hot and talented bestie over to shop and cook for me and for us to hang out!!  I just love that girl!

So those are the things I’m looking forward to right now.  Some of them are so important they are mentioned more than once (lol).  What about you?  What are you looking forward to?  Anything so important it deserves a double mention?  If not, why not?  You might want to work harder on that…and then come back here and let us know what you decided to look forward to.

Another quickie

Maybe I should add ‘quickie’ as one of my categories here. I tend to use this title a lot! Anyway…

I have been thinking about my blog, my crafting, etc and I’ve realized a few things. One, I’m just not organized enough to keep this blog looking the way I want it to look…like angry chicken or HELLOmynameisHeather or iHannah or Pringle Hill Studio or (one more, then I’ll quit, I swear) Blue Cricket Design. I have good intentions…I actually have the best of intentions…but it’s just never gonna happen unless I buckle down and get some self-discipline. Considering the fact that it’s 1 AM, I have to be up in four hours and instead of sleeping I’ve been sucked in by Youtube and now blogging, it seems that self-discipline is a long way off from my little bubble of reality.

There are two parts to this problem of blogging/vlogging/sharing my creative stuff. One is that there are times when I hit a brick wall when it comes to being creative. It’s hard to find time for a shower, let alone time for a craft project, between cooking, cleaning, babysitting, teaching, the ministry, meetings, sleeping (or not, as the case may be), laundry, wiping noses, cutting hair, driving, shopping for food that I have to cook…see where I’m going with this? The other side of the problem is that there are a lot of moments when self-doubt stops me from moving ahead. I tend to think my projects are sub par, uninteresting, messy at best, dull at worst, and the thought of anyone seeing me on camera wigs me out so bad that I end up hiding in the house for another day or two while I convince myself that I’m really not a monster and it’s okay to go out in public. That’s a lot of problems wrapped up in one small head!! 😉

And then I was thinking, I could vlog. I have vlogged. While I hate the word, I didn’t hate the experience. But I don’t know that I loved it either. So, I am somewhat on the fence. I will probably just keep going the way I have been around here – sporadically posting, randomly overloading my pages with whatever I feel like typing that day, and being completely void of any kind of scheduling regularity.

I tried. I really did try to live up to my plans. But at least I manage to show you guys some cool links, right??? RIGHT?!!

I even looked for found a picture to post, as I’ve decided no post should be naked!

Hmmm

Well guys I think I may have to admit defeat here. I’m just not a blogger. Or at least, not an interesting or dedicated one! So I think I am going to give up the dream for a bit and see if I can put some creative spark into something else in life.

I won’t shut the blog down, of course; what would be the sense in that? It’s a good record of the past few years of my life, or at least bits and pieces of those years.

But I won’t be putting up anything new either unless the urge becomes overwhelming and I just can’t help myself. This could happen, has in fact been known to happen, especially to me. But for now, I’m not going to stress about coming up with cool blog titles or photographing all my crafty projects to post here, I’m just not that organized or motivated right now. Summer’s here, and with all of that comes swimming and sleeping and heat and skirts and fishing and general busy-ness – so I am hereby letting myself off the blogging hook from now until times indefinite.

Enjoy your summer!!

XOXO for who knows how long,

Bethie
Messymama.

Let’s do it right this time.

So, I just spent an hour writing a great post full of links, pictures, and a running commentary. Then I hit the wrong button and lost everything I’d just typed. So this time around, there will be links and pictures, and very limited commentary. I’m getting sleepy, what can I say? (Not to mention totally disgusted with my own mistakes, sheesh). Anyway. On to the show…

Oh, Fransson! is on my top 5 favorite blogs ever. Look for her paintbox quilts and wonkiness. Love it! See how many pics she gets? That’s because – she is awesome!



Notes From the Patch shows another way to finish the edges of a quilt – with an adorable ruffle.

Curbly.com shows how to make Shrinky Dinks out of #6 plastic.

comfortstitching is an amazing wealth of ideas and tips and great pics.

Craftzine shows how to make cool pencil/storage cases out of recycled cereal boxes that actually stay closed. Love it!

The Polka Dot Chair is full of good ideas and fun tuts, including a quick-change corsage necklace that I want to make really soon.

Patchwork Posse is another quilting blog with a great binding tut and some fun spring posie quilt blocks that are so adorable.

alisa burke shows how to make a perfect petticoat that I really want.

Doctrine and Diapers shows how to make this great nightgown out of your husband’s t’s.

Mode Bake Shop has so many great projects, you really need to look around at their posts and take it all in. I want to make this candy heart quilt soon.

Country Living.com did this article on how to make terrariums out of picture frames. I don’t know that this is something I will ever have the patience to make, but I would like to, because it’s perfect and charming.

Songbird is incredible. She has beautiful colors splashed around everywhere and great ideas. Also, she just blogged about a site called Tumblr that is a visual bookmarking aid, so maybe one day I won’t spend an hour blogging my favorite projects and then lose it all!! (lol)

The Happy Zombie has a great piece about sashing your quilts, which I really intend to read one of these days. It’s the one part of quilting I’ve been meaning to try and keep thinking of reasons why I should put it off, because it’s intimidating. I will overcome my fear!

sew4home has a great tutorial on journal covers.

Trey and Lucy is a blog where you’ll find a little bit of everything. She has lots of family memories and photos, and tons of cool crafting and sewing tutorials, links and ideas. I also like her style of writing and the way she uses color and font size to make her page all cheerful. It’s fun.

Ruffles and Stuff is a blog with lots of good tutorials and great colors and an all around good ‘feel’ to it. I want to make these earrings one year.

Of course, Sew Mama Sew would end up here and this great nightie tutorial is just one reason why.

Film in the fridge is where I learned how to make string quilt blocks, so that’s what I’m linking to. But look around at her site – this is some serious eye candy for quilters and sewers. This is probably #4 on my top 10 fave blogs. (That may have to become it’s own post here shortly.)

And you know what…I think I am going to stop right there. For two reasons. One, I’m getting really tired and stiff from sitting here this long; and two, it just dawned on me that I should probably organize these links into categories. What do you think? I could do all the quilting links in one spot, all the home decor in another, etc. That might keep it from being so overwhelming.

And the saddest part is that I’m not even halfway done with all the links I have in my unorganized bookmarks…no telling how many are still in my folders…this is what happens when you don’t organize things as you save them! Learn from me, people!! (lol) 😉