Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blanket Party w/ giveaway

Gabe's Gifts
Hey guys!  It's the end of the month - which means blanket party time!   Don't forget each Monday you can see a special blanket tutorial at Today's Top 20, here at We're the Joneses, and This & That Creative

For anyone new - I've started a blanket drive this year to raise blankets for Project Linus.  Why?  To donate blankets in my son Gabe's name.  I lost our baby in August due to a miscarriage.  I really wanted something positive to be associated with his name.  And giving back is the best way to do that.

Project Linus is such a great organization.  They donate handmade blankets to kids (newborn - teens) who need them the most.  I'm really happy to be working with them.

March is going to be a really hard month for me.  My due date was actually my birthday - March 14.  So I'm hoping to make a blanket drop off.  If you have any blanket that you would be willing to donate - please send them my way! {You can email me at amandablogs(at)yahoo}

Here is one of the receiving blankets I made with the help from Raspberry Creek Fabric.  She really went above and beyond - sending me super cute flannel for 4 blankets!  THANK YOU! :) Make sure to check our her shop for super cute prints!
And I have a taggie blanket ready.  This was thanks to Sew It Up Fabric.  She has kits that come with the adorable fabric, minky and ribbon all ready to go.  The instructions are super easy.  This was such a fun, quick project!

  So link up any blanket project you've got.  Mail me your blankets to get donated.  Email if you are interested in guest posting a blanket tutorial (it will be seen here at Today's Top 20, We're The Joneses and This & That Creative). 

Can't wait to see your projects!!
I'll pick one project using random to send out a little package of my favorite crafty things so make sure I'm able to get your email address! :)

And don't forget tomorrow is the Blogger of the Month Party.  Come link up your fave. project you've made in February for a chance to win a great prize from My Vinyl Designer as well as a month's of advertising here at Today's Top 20!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging/Etsy Tax Tips

I know it is Monday and it's usually blanket day, but I thought that this was something you would all be interested in!  And if you already filed your taxes this year, keep records for next year!
If you make money blogging or on Etsy you have to (ok.  You really should) claim it on your taxes.  Congrats!  You are a business owner! :) There are lots of deductions you can write off.  I'm not an accountant, so you should talk these over with yours but here are some general things that can help you save some money.
1. Internet related expenses.  Without the internet - there would be no blog right?  Hosting fees, domain name registrations, internet access, blogging software, picture storing, linky party subscriptions are all things that fall into this category.  Don't forget selling fees - Etsy, pay pal, Ebay.  
2. Your equipment. You need a computer right?  Any upgrades (memory and so forth), software (including tax software, picture editing).  And don't forget those cameras, sewing machines, and silhouettes!!
3. Do you tweet from your cell phone?  You can use part of your cell bill as a write off.
4. Any new office furniture?  {My table from the trash would not count here lol}
5. Supplies/Stationary.  Supplies add up quickly.  Fabric, thread, needles, pins, rulers, cutting mats, pens, staples, paint brushes, Stamps.  Keep all of your receipts.  Your accountant can help you go through all of them.  I write notes on mine so I know exactly what project I bought each item for.  If it's something like Mod Podge I just write general.
6. Advertising, Promo and Design.  Do you advertise on other blogs.  Ask for a receipt or print off your pay pal receipt.  Advertising also include promos and giveaways! Did you have someone design your blog.  Print off a receipt! 
7. Travel and Entertainment.  Did you go to a blogging conference?  Conference fees, travel accommodations, and dining expenses can be written off. 
8. Office Space.  Do you blog from home?  Do you have an office?  You can deem that part of your home as your office and write off a small amount of your household bills for rent plus your utilities.
I know.  It's a lot!  Just remember to save your receipts!  Make small notes on them.  I put all of my receipts into a big folder and at the beginning of each new month I sort them and staple each category together.  I also try to keep Etsy/blog stuff away from my personal stuff when I check out somewhere.  For example I was buying tablecloths and towels for an order at Target but I also had milk and a movie.  Just have them ring it up as 2 transactions.  

I also keep a sales order book on my desk.  (You can get them anywhere).  Every time someone orders something or pays for advertising I write it down.  I keep all of the receipts in the book.  I also write how I got paid (pay pal, cash, check).  Keeping them in one place makes it easy to have them ready to go!    

Any tips you have for tax time?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Josh's Valentines...and fabric for sale!

I almost forgot -- yesterday was Valentine's Day.  DUH. 
Josh's school is known as the Pirates.  So I found some pirate treat bags at Hobby Lobby and we filled them with some candy.  I just printed off some not so fancy bag toppers and stapled them. 

They say you aarrrg a good friend. 
I was trying to use his school's logo but I couldn't find a good one to use that wouldn't kill my ink.
And now that I look at this one I realize that it's not cross bones back there they are bats.  Oh well.  :)

He liked them.

And I didn't have to beg him to write his name a million times.

So you saw my table.  Well today I was moving stuff into the new craft room but I had to unload the drawers of fabric.  My table looked like this.

This fabric situation is out.of.control.

So come take my stuff!!!

1 yard of butterfly fabric

I thought this was cute.  No clue what my plans were for it. :)
2 yards
$8 (for both yards)

Kitty fabric
1 yard

Sand dollars
1 yard

half yard

princess dresses and shoes
1 yard

I'll post a few more tomorrow!  If your interested email me or leave a comment! 
I'm also getting rid of my old camera - canon A1100 IS.
Here is the amazon link
Amazon sells used ones for $110.  I'm just asking $50. 
It's in great shape. Less than 1 year old.  Comes in original box with the memory card, computer software and everything. I'd rather one of you all get it!  Then I get a chance to see your pictures! :)

My Craft Room ... Help me pick a paint color!

So I've finally decided to take my crafts out of the closet and turn our extra bedroom into a craft room.  It's kind of a mess right now - computer, Ebay clothes, our holiday decorations.  Plan is to put decorations in big closet that holds all my craft stuff and take all that stuff and put it in here. 

But we don't have any furniture in here.  And I really don't want to go out and buy furniture.  I'm more concerned with buying bedroom furniture! {Which our bed/dresser should be delivered here in a few weeks!}  Oh, and I want to get a pub table.  And a new entertainment center.  And then we will have to get the rest of the bedroom set.  See?  Furniture in here is waaaaaay down the list.

So when I saw our neighbors dragging this outside the other day I jumped on it.  {Andy was way embarrassed that I was hauling in their trash} But this thing has potential!
The top is a little banged up.

But it has drawers!

Granted only 2 drawers because the 2 from the other side are missing.  But either it's going against the wall OR I may have a plan for those. 

Plus it has a chair.  That I don't have a picture of.  But it's got some character.  I like it. 

But it's perfect.  I can put my sewing machine on it.  And my cutting mat.  And I have room for my Cricut.  And just, well, room. 

Million Dollar Question:  What color do I paint it? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blanket Tutorial

So this week I wanted to do a blanket! I made it about a week ago.  And I went to upload my pictures and <duh>.  I had to erase them when I put my memory card in....

<cue cheesy game show music>

my BRAND..... NEW.....CAMERA. {Crowd cheers.  Or at least I do.}

Yup.  Happy Valentine's Day!  Andy got me a Nikon D3100.  And I love it.

So it's a good thing it's as basic as basic gets.  Maybe just something you wouldn't have thought of to do.

Is that a table cloth?  Why yes it is.

And all you do is take a table cloth (I got this one at Target for about $4 on clearance.  The thicker ones work best!)

Lay it out right side up.  Take a piece of fabric (I used 1 yard of fleece...I stocked up when Joann's had it for $3 a yard!!) pin it together.  Sew leaving a small opening.  Trim your corners.  Flip and sew it up.

Sound boring?  No way!  This is perfect for storing in your car.  Put the tablecloth side down when you take the kids to the park.  Your blanket won't get all muddy.

Do your kids play sports?  Well, it always seems to drizzle when it's game day.  Put the fleece side down to keep you warm and when the rain hits the tablecloth side it keeps you dry!

Kids having a sleepover and want to eat in the living room in front of the TV?  Put this down tablecloth side up!  No juice spilling on your carpet.  Wipes right off. 

MACHINE WASHABLE (make sure you check your tablecloth package to double check!)

I love these blankets!

Remember to check out My Vinyl Designer for all the latest in Vinyl! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guess what...

So we got a new mattress!  Hooray!  Our old one was...well...old.  Did you know that mattresses have a date printed on them.  {Alright.  Hurry up.  I know everyone is running from their computer to go check the date on their mattress.}  Well mine almost made it to it's birthday.  Almost.  2/24/1994. 

1994 people.  My mattress was 17 years old.  No wonder my backs started to hurt.

So this beauty was delivered the other day.

Lady Bird Plush
It's a Paula Deen Lady Bird mattress. And it's oh so comfy.

I've been referring to our bed as Paula.  And Andy has informed me that it's creepy.  "Oh gosh Paula is so comfy."  "I could lay on Paula forever."  Yea.  Ok.  I get how it's kind of creepy.  But seriously.  I love this thing.  Now.  If I didn't have to wait another 3 weeks for our bed to be delivered!!!!

But guess what else I got yesterday.

Andy came home with this fantastic present for me.
D3100 25472
Yup!!! A Nikon D3100.  I'm in LOVE. He was out doing stuff.  And taking forever so I called him. 
 me: "What are you doing?"
him: "I'm walking around the mall."
me: "Whhhat?  You hate the mall."
him: "I'm looking for something."
me: "For 5 hours?  What are you looking for?"
him: "A new wallet."
me: "I just tried buying you a  wallet and you told me yours was fine."

So I'm curious right.  So I call the bank.  Find out there was a big old purchase at H.H.Gregg.  And I say OH MY GOSH. 
Bank guy:  Is there a problem.  Ma'am do you need me to put a stop on your card? 
Me: (Squealing by the way...) HE BOUGHT ME A CAMERA!!!!!
Bank guy: You called us to find out what your Valentine's Day gift was?
Me: Yup.
Bank guy:  Your good.

:)  You bet!

I'm off to play with my new toy for a while.  Lots of buttons.  Lots of buttons.

Sponsor Love ... Thread This Fabric

I love fabric.  Like really love it. And I love  the gals over at Thread This Fabric.  They are just so sweet!  Plus they get your order cut and in the mail right away! Which is always good because when you order fabrics as pretty as these you just can't wait to get it!! 

Rainy Days and Mondays Riley Blake 1 yard set 2 yards total
Hooty Hoot Kangaroo Owl Roll Call and Blue Mini Dots by Riley Blake 1 yard set of 2
Quite Contrary White and Red Cheery Dots by Riley Blake 1 yard set of 2
OR this Quite Contrary White and Red Cheery Dots set by Riley Blake.  {Can you tell I love Riley Blake? lol}

Well, let's be honest.  Really I'd take 1 of everything! :) But I couldn't decide so they are going to surprise me.  And I'm sure I'll run over and buy the others!  Because their prices are really great.  AND my favorite part?  I love how they pair the fabrics up together!  {You can also get just the individual fabrics} But for me, I always go out and buy the prints...get home want to make something and realize I didn't get anything to match it with! 

So go head over to Thread This Fabric - tell Britney and Amanda I said hi!  They're super sweet gals!  {And soon - they are getting Michael Miller fabrics too! Woo Hoo!}

Friday, February 11, 2011


The winner is .... Brittanie! 
"Ive never seen those before! I am always folding pages.. So bad! Im a follwer :) "

Email me with your info and I'll get it into the mail for you!

Our new mattress is being delievered this morning and then hopefully I can get some pictures of some things I've been wanting to show you all!  Talk soon!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An overdue 100 follower giveaway!

I said I'd do a 100 follower giveaway.  And then I had the blanket drive party.  And then the Blogger of the month party.  And so here we are..finally doing the giveaway. 

Do you read Saturday Mornings?  It's a way cute blog.  Dana also has an etsy shop where she makes super cute book thongs.

And she was nice enough to send me one to give to you!

Sea Dolphin Blue Book Thong - Bookmark Silver and Glass Ocean Blue

I just love that color blue!

And you can't have a book thong without a book!  So I'm also including a $10 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble!

Want to win?
Just follow - leave a comment.  Saying whatever. 

I'll pick a winner on Friday!
Make sure to leave your email address for me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Guest Post : Dressing Heidi Sage

I can't believe we are starting month 2 of blanket tutorials!! WOW! The gals from Dressing Heidi Sage are just adorable.  It's a whole family event - - which I love.  And wait til you see their little blanket.  I love the pocket.  Well...can I even call it a pocket?  It's the cutest pocket ever.  Read on!  You'll see!  Thanks gals for sharing!! :)

Hey, this is Courtney from Dressing Heidi Sage.  We're a blog of all things cute for kids.  With my kids as inspiration, Deborah (my mom), Chelsea (my sister) and I, find ourselves busy crafting for and with kids...while all being hundreds of miles apart.  This particular tutorial is for a blanket Deborah made for Heidi Sage.  Not only is it adorable and cozy, it's also a blanket any skill level can make!  We hope you find the tutorial easy to follow and we would love to see you make one for Gabe's Gift.  As you read through the tutorial, remember this could very easily be changed into a blanket for a boy or even gender neutral.  It's all in the details.  So without further ado, I'll hand it over to Deborah...

Heidi Sage has already started to pre-school, and her school requires a blanket for nap time. I received a phone call from her mother this summer with an order for one blanket with Heidi Sage's name, dimensions of the blanket needed to be 3 foot by 4 foot, and it should be double sided for warmth....oh, and she wanted it red to match her school bag and bedroom. (Her mother is only slightly particular!)

So, I started thinking of different ways to make Heidi Sage's blanket. I decided it would need some flowers to make sure it was girly and later in the project I decided to add a purse and high heel to make sure it was REALLY girly. The purse was also to serve a purpose, but I'll get to that in a bit.

I used fleece for the blanket and also for the appliques. Little ones tend to love how soft and cozy fleece is. I first made some simple paper flower patterns and cut my flowers from different colors of fleece.

All the appliques were sewed on by hand. I used embroidery thread to sew on my appliques. I used the six strand thread and divided it into three strands. I used a blanket stitch for attaching each of the appliques. I sewed on the flower centers first before attaching the flowers to the blanket.  Click here for a quick video on how to do a blanket stitch!

I monogrammed Heidi Sage's name in one corner and added some flowers around her name. If you don't have a monogramming machine and you want it personalized, you can always just leave space and then take it to a local sewing store, boutique, or other shop that has a machine. Make sure to shop around. You can find people who will do it out of their house for as cheap as $5/piece...and others who are really proud of their ability to push buttons and center things!

On the opposite corner I decided to add THE purse. Our Heidi Sage doesn't go more than five minutes without a pacie in her mouth, and she sure never takes a nap without one. So, in order to make sure she always had one for nap time, the blanket was made to hold extra pacies. And I added a shoe just for fun. A girl can never have to many shoes in our family! I found a simple purse pattern online and attached the flap onto the purse so it could open and close.

After all the appliques were finished I added the back piece of fabric and used the sewing machine to sew the two pieces together.

Courtney has reported the blanket gets softer and cozier with every washing!
NOTE: This could also easily be for a boy just by finding some simple dinosaur or truck patterns. The possibilities are many....the cuteness is endless!

Stay warm!
The Girls at Dressing Heidi Sage

Friday, February 4, 2011

Come look!

Look!  I'm pretty! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


So my fantastic blog designer is working on my new blog design as we speak because.  Well.  This one is embarrassing. But not for much longer!  And I can't wait for you to see!!!

But first.

Ignore the bad lighting. 
Ignore the fact that the bottom picture isn't framed yet. 

Don't ignore...
Josh's fabulous art work
My XOXOXO sign!

It started out with this...
Ugly huh.  Remember this?  I had big plans for this.  So many infact.  I wasn't sure what to do.  Do I write Welcome and hang it above the door?  Hang it vertically and make a weekly menu board?  A growth chart?  A blessing board?  Then I was going to put some Mario art work in it and hang it in Josh's room.  Then...the glass broke.

I'm so glad I chose not to throw away the frame!  Once I slid the burlap in it was nice and snug.  I just painted on some x's and o's and it was done.  Best part?  After Valentine's Day I'm going to take the burlap out.  Replace it with some new 'lap.  And paint something Irish-y on it.  And then something for Easter.  And a flag.  Something for Halloween.  And Turkey Day.  And Christmas.  And New Years!  WOO HOO! :) And for the "off season" I'll probably just write SMITHS on it.  Nice and simple.  Fold up the burlap and store it away.  I love it.