Blogging tip: Using Collages in tutorials!

I for one can appreciate an easy to read tutorial! I love a good clean minimal look that makes following directions simply and fast! Over the last few years of blogging I have learned a few ways to help make tutorials reader friendly! Today I’d like to talk about Collages and how to create them in Picnik, a FREE online site, to help declutter your posts and make them reader friendly!

You may notice that I use a lot of 4 grid collages in my posts! I bet you thought you needed to be skilled in Photoshop to create these grids but the reality is you DON’T!
By using grid collages you can put 4 images in the same space as 1 to make your posts shorter and more appealing to the eye!


Fist things first… log onto to Picnik and get to the main page and click the “Get started now” button!


1. Upload a photo from your computer. When the photo appears as a thumbnail click and drag it to the quadrant in the collage. Do this 4 times until you have filled the 4 quadrant collage. You can move a photo from one quadrant to another by clicking the photo and dragging it to a different quadrant. If you added a photo you no longer want to use just upload a new photo and crag it on top of the photo you want to replace.

2. Choose your back ground color. I always use white becasue I think that looks best.

3. Use the rounding tool if you’d like to round the edges of your photos.

4. Click the done button.


Adding a drop shadow frame


1. Click open the “Frame” tab.

2. Click the “Drop Shadow” button

3. Click the “Transarant Background” box.

4. You can make adjustments in that drop down menu and then click “apply.”


Adding text

1.  Now it’s time to number each photo so you can do a numbered description in the tutorial.To add text click the “Text” button!

2. Pick your font.

3. Add your text in this box.

4. Click and drag your text to the exact place you’d like it to appear.

4. This box is where you will change the color of the text, size and appearance.


Resizing your photo

1. Click the “Basic Edits” tab

2.  Click the “resize” tab and adjust the  numbers according to what size you’d like to make the image. For consistence I always make my collage for my tutorials the same size: 450 x 450.  Yours might vary based on the width of your blog.

3. Click the “Apply” button

4. Lastly click the “Save and Share” tab.

To save the new image

1. Rename the image.

2.Click “Save Photo” button

Now you have a new image you can insert into your post! Under your new collage you can now describe the step by step process to create your project!

This really makes following a tutorial easy and helps make your blog look nice! Hope it helps!



Charlie the Garden Gnome

( Ummm yeah! Quite the poser huh!)

Yup! Got myself a Garden Gnome and boy is she cute!

I made Charlie Halloween costume this year and would you believe it that this is the first Halloween costume EVER! I realized this year that I’d never made a real costume, other then a tutu. It’s about time!

This entire outfit cost $5 to make.  Blue felt on sale $2.50 a yard, 4 sheets of felt for 35 cents each! 1.5 hours later….Garden Gnome!

If you ask her what she is she says ” Homeless Girl!” If I saw a homeless girl that was dressed like a Garden Gnome down town I’d give her a dollar for sure!

Anyone else make their kids costumes? What are your kids dressing up as this Halloween?


S’mores on a stick

Being crafty doesn’t always have to include your glue gun and a trip to the craft store! Put those creative juices to work and create something mouth watering! And any time you can get the family involved is always a plus!

These over sized S’mores on a stick combine a family favorite treat and a lot of together time in the kitchen! Gather graham crackers, chocolate chips, jumbo Marshmallows and Cookie sticks and get ready to create a few memories along the way!

1. Place about 8 graham crackers in a bag and let the kids go nuts breaking them up into crumbs!

2. Insert a Cookie Stick into each Marshmallow.

3.  In a double boiler melt one bag of chocolate chips stirring continuously until they are completely smooth and melted! Dip your Marshmallow!

4.  Dip your chocolate covered marshmallow into your cracker crumbs and let cool on a piece of wax paper.

And lastly …. DIG IN!!!

When I think of ways to use creativity I like to think of ways I can involve my kids! Kids love nothing more then to be side by side with you doing something! Be it creating finger puppets or making a collage or starting a new tradition in the kitchen! Get your kids involved and start adding to their memory bands of a childhood filled with creative moments at home!

What are some of your favorite creative things to involve your kids in?


Pinterest Love: Wood Pallets

No longer are we driving behind strip malls and  behind grocery stores in the dark of night to try to score a few wood pallets for the weekends bomb fire any more! We’re going dumpster diving for wood pallets to create amazing works of art, funtionable pieces of furniture and jaw dropping design features! Who knew the wood pallet would be the next big thing in DIY design! Pinterest has it’s fair share of pallet pleasures…

This pin was found on Re- Nest!  Katrin Arens has this amazing Pallet Plate display in her kitchen! So charming!

This entire patio set is created with Wood Pallets. Pinned over at Livingroom Interior Design. Amazing!

Shelving is a great way to repurpose wood pallets and this pin comes to us via “You paid more then me.”

This pin from Apartment Therapy shows us that casters and a glass top can glam up any wood pallet!

This little wood pallet reading nook was pinned via “OhDeedOh” as is beyond darling! My kids would go nuts for something like this!

And lastly this darling sofa bed pinned via Apartment Therapy!

Are you as inspired as I am to get a wood pallet and work some magic on it! My mind is going a mile a minute as i try to think up my own exciting project! Are you thinking too?

* If you repin any of these darling ideas please follow the link to the original post and pin from there!


Show and Tell with Roadkill Rescue!


Beckie from Infarrantly Creative and Knock Off Décor just launched a third site dedicated to showcasing your trash to treasure type projects!

Beckie is most known for her amazing Roadkill Rescue projects. Her latest was this curbed door that she found and turned it into a headboard.





We love her Roadkill Rescue projects and we are so excited for her new site. Won’t you join us in welcoming Roadkill Rescue to blogland!? With two new projects everyday Roadkill Rescue will feed your junkin’ desires!




Time to get your link on! Have you created a fab project you want to show off!?! Link it here and get seen by thousands. I’ll often feature favorite links on Facebook and twitter and on my site so by linking you give me full permission to shout your praises and feature you and your post! Consider it FREE publicity!


Healthy, affordable and organized snacking!

Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

Ok! I bet I can guess 3 things we are always trying to improve in our lives!

1. Eat better!

2. Save money!

3. Get more organized!!!!!

Am I right or am I right! Well if those are things that ever make an appearance on your “To Do” list I have a great lifestyle tip for you! How would you like to roll all three of those wants into one great change? I knew I had your attention!

A few months ago my family and I were tackling those three very wants! It started with a real desire to eat better and have more snacks on hand! Because we don’t typically buy cookies, chips or other junk food we often find ourselves hungry for a snack! Apples and bananas don’t cut it every day so we set out to find some healthy snacks that we all would love!

We found ourselves at our local “WinCo” grocery store in their bulk food section. This section of the grocery store is AMAZING!!! Tons of food all sold loosly and by the pound! We grabbed tons of great new treats and took them home for stage two…

Thanks to IKEA and their amazing storage options we stocked up on these useful containers! Each new snack item or bulk food item is easily seen and makes organizing a breeze! They were affordable and reusable so the value will last a long while!

Now we have an entire shelf dedicated to healthy snacks and bulk foods nicely organized and displayed! Buying from the lose bulk section is a huge savings as well. Nearly all of the items we bought were way cheaper then had we bought them in packaged quantities! And this way we can buy the exact amount we wanted and help avoid buying items that we wouldn’t finish before they went stale and wasted money!

Here’s our list of bulk food items that we now enjoy snacking on…

Raw Almonds,Sun Flower seeds, Popcorn kernels, Dried Apple Chips, Craisins, Granola and, Roasted Pumpkin seeds!

A family favorite combo is a small bowl of Pumpkin seeds, almonds and craisins! The salty and sweet combo is to die for!

We also stocked up on bulk Jasmin rice, Basmati rice, brown rice, taco seasoning, flax seed, steel cut oats, bread crumbs, panko flakes and Italian seasoning for every day use! Bulk food is the way to go!

So we saved money by buying loose food in the quantities we wanted, we organized out pantry and made grabbing a snack easy and lastly we introduced healthy options that we all love!

And for a super easy and healthy snack alternative have you ever popped your own popcorn in the microwave? No, not the overly buttered, grease versions you buy in prepackaged folded bags! Why not try this next time…

1. Grab yourself a brown paper lunch bag and 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels!

2. Throw the kernals into the bag and fold the top over twice.

3. Microwave on your popcorn setting or for about 2 min. Listen closely. When the kernels stop popping it’s done!

4. Serve unflavored or add a very very small amount of melted butter or cinnamon sugar! Even if you flavor your popcorn I grantee it’s a much healthier version then the store bought microwavable popcorn version and this method cost only pennies!


We’ve totally been enjoy this new snacking lifestyle! I hope it inspires you to tackle those three wants that always seem to find their way on our wish lists! Happy snacking!

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website


“Rescue Remodel”

Who loves Firefighters? Raise your hand!

Who loves IKEA? Raise your hand!

Who loves a chance to honor your local fire station and enter then for a chance to win a $25,000 kitchen Rescue Remodel from IKEA and The Family Handyman? Now’s your chance to do just that! Enter your local fire station for a chance to score a totally cool kitchen make over from IKEA!

Appliances, cabinets, counter tops, Oh my! Everything your deserving fire station needs to feel like the hero’s they are!

Contest Period: Entry for this Contest begins on Oct 18, 2011 and ends on December 6, 2011. There will then be a public voting period on selected finalists from about January 24, 2012 until February 28, 2012.

To nominate your local fire station follow the link HERE!


Cricket gets baptized

Our Cricket was baptized this month! I can’t believe I have a daughter old enough to get baptized! We belong the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and at the age of 8 you are old enough to make the choice to be baptized!

It’s was a special day for her and she smiled from ear to ear all day long. Her grandparents traveled to be here and she was surrounded by family and friends!

For Crickets baptism we did a few special things to help her celebrate the day.  WE had a fun photo session a few weeks before of her in her special dress. Photos were taken at Gardner Village in Midvale, UT. I’ve had a lot of people ask about her dress and if I made it or where I found it. TO be honest I found it at a Children’s resale store called Kid to Kid. No I wasn’t looking to buy her baptizm dress at a discount store. Trust me, for a day as special as this I was intending to take her shopping for just the right dress but when we saw it last year at Kid to Kid she and I both fell in love with it! It was sooooo different from all the other white dresses they sell for baptisms and the fact that it had the black details made me want it all the more! I had never seen a dress like it so I bought it thinking it would be the back up dress if we didn’t find anything else. Well guess what, we never even looked for another dress. She loved it so much and I was thrilled that she wanted to still wear it almost a year later!

I also had a hard back memory book made from as a keep sake. I used her dress photo session pictures and added some favorite scriptures and kept a page empty for her to record her thought of the day! She now has that special book to keep in her memory box.

All in all it was a great day for her and our family. I am always impressed by what my kids teach me! She is a shining example to me.



“Take and Make” with Elmers and X-ACTO

I hosted a fun get to get together where I shares some awesome products from Elmers and X-ACTO! Each guest got to hear about each creative tool and at take home a huge collection of fun new tools to use at home to come up with an awesome project to share with us! I was blown away when I saw what each of them came up with! Each of them had the same exact set of creative tools but not a single project was a like! I love the creative community! Shall we see what they came up with….


Summer came up with this darling Halloween wreath! She used her scissors, X-ACTO knife, craft glue, and  bi fold foam board to create this festive wreath! You can read her entire post here.


Tiina came up with this awesome Cake Pop holder! What a great way to display those yummy treats! She used her X-ACTO knife to cut X’s into the Bi fold Foam board to insert each cake pop. She used her scissors to cut the paper bunting and the Permanent Tape runner to attach the bunting to the foam board. Tiina used candle sticks as the base! Too too cute!


Mandi created these awesome Faux Lanterns! Such a fun idea! I would have never come up with this! She used her Bi fold foam board, X-ACTO knife, scissors and tape runner. YOu can find her entire tutorial here!
Alex created this fun Monster Wreath! I love the use of fabric! She used her scissors, Bi fold Foam board for the teeth and arms, paint pens for the arms and craft glue! So so fun!
Each and every guest loved the assortment of craft tools and were so excited to get crafting! What a fun set of examples on how you can use these great tools! Thanks Elmers and X-ACTO for all the great tools!
You can find Elmers on Facebook!
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A new door look thanks to Elmers

I had a great opportunity to try out some of Elmer’s and X-ACTO new product line! I was gobstopped when a package arrived at my door chuck full of fun tools! Here’s what I came up with… A new front door look!

1. I used my new X-ACTO knife to cut my Elmers Bi Fold Foam board to size.

2.The pink X-ACTO scissors are fantastic! I never knew how bad my scissors were until I had a new pair to work with! They were perfect for cutting my fabric to size.

3. I used hot glue and wrapped my foam board with the cut fabric. Isn’t that fabric awesome! Walmart fabric department!

4. Lastly I added fabric flowers and fabric rosettes embellishments! I have a collection of these fun flowers that I use a lot in my decor. The secret is never gluing them onto your projects but to use broach pins. That way you can change them out and never get tired of them in one place.

Super fun right! All of the great Elmers products I had the chance to use I loved! The creative tools are a must for any crafter! I especially recommend the scissors and of course the X-ACTO knife! The permanent tape runner was also an awesome tool! Great for paper crafting!

I wasn’t the only one who got to try out these great products! Elmers sent me a huge stash to share! I hosted a “Take and Make” Elmers party with some of my readers and they all got to take home their own collection of craft tools to try and then had the chance to come up with their own awesome project! I’ll be showing off their projects later this week! You are going to be blown away!

Thanks Elmers for this great chance to play with so many of your great tools!