Show and Tell with Announced Design

I am thrilled to introduce you to today’s giveaway sponsor! The sassy pants gal behind this amazing design company is a dear dear friend who I wish was my roommate! I adore her for more reason then I can count and when you meet her and her new company you will start to see why. Lara, the voice behind Less Cake more Frosting, has  finally opened up a design shop and just in time for the Holidays!

Announced Design is a brand new design shop that specializes in helping you “announce” all of the important things in your life!

Announced has everything from Printable Artwork:

Be Merry-Golden Frankenscence

Live To Be

Trim Up the Tree-Grinch

To customizable greeting cards, invitations, and announcements:

Happy Everything

Decorated Season

Sweet & Sugar

Ribbons & Lace

Party & Bunting

And starting in 2012 Announced Design will start offering Logo and Design services as well. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your designing needs.

So if you have something that you’d like to ANNOUNCE….head over to Announced Design and get ready to Announce it in STYLE!

There is still time to order Christmas Cards and don’t forget about Happy New Year cards!

Two lucky winners will be chosen to win something fantastic!Enter to win a “Holiday Set” that consists of one FREE printable and a Free Customizable Holiday Card Design!

Simply leave a comment in today’s comment’s section telling me which design you most adore from Announce Design!

For additional entries you can follow “Announced Design” on Facebook  or twitter and leave her a happy greeting on her wall, tweet about this fantastic giveaway with a link back to this post, Facebook about this giveaway with a link back and be a follower of Blue Cricket Design on Facebook! Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry!

Winner will be announced THIS SATURDAY on the BCD facebook page! Thanks Announced Design! I HEART you!

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!


Advent Calendar: Mini Goodie Bags

Each year I love creating a new advent Calendar for the family!

Remember my 25 Days of Christmas Count Down!That year I created a Advent Calendar using Book envelops! This year I used a fun product as well that allowed me to create goodie bags that my girls will love opening each day as we count down the days till Christmas.

Single serving Popcorn Bags from Orson Gygi (3.99 for 100 pack) are the jumping off point for this years fun filled advent! Along with scrapbook paper, Distress Ink, and number stamps!

1. I cut my paper just big enough to cover the popcorn image on the popcorn bags.

2. I’m a lover of the Distress Ink so of course that was a must to help define the edges!

3. I stamped on the dates.

4. And used a glue stick to glue on each paper to the bags. I did lay heavy books on top of the bags while the glued dried to help them dry flat.

5. I got a  collection of fun goodies to add to each bag for my girls to open. I put three treats into each bag so my girls will be sharing the contents of each count down day. Things like candy, Christmas erasers, new tooth brushes, half dollars, pencils, fruit roll ups, and coupons that read ” Makeover with mom tomorrow! You get to stay up 10 more minutes tonight! Back tickles!” Special things that they can look forward to.

6. I strung a ribbon and folded over each bag and secured it with two large paper clips. I want to be able to reuse these bags down the road so I avoided staples and a cloths pin just wasn’t cutting it on some og the heavier bags!

This entire project me just over an hour to complete! It’s a fun and festive way to count down the holiday season! You still have time to create one of your own! December is only a few days away!


Photo tips with Emilie: Santa pictures with no Santa

All you need is a…
-Santa Hat (I found mine in the $1 bin at Target)
-White Glove
-Fabric for a backdrop (I used black fabric but you can use anything you have around)
-Reflector (I’ll talk more about this later in the post)
Cut a hole big enough for your hand to fit through
The perfect spot to shoot is next to an open door.  You’ll notice a couple of things…
1.  Notice I just draped the backdrop over the open door.
2.  Notice that my Santa hand person was not blocking the light coming in the door.
3.  Notice there is no direct sun coming through the door just indirect light.

Here’s the image I captured…

The next images I played with a reflector as fill light.  (Fill light is the light that diminishes the shadows cast by the main light.)  The open door will light my subject bright on one side and leave a shadow on the other side of her face.  Sometime this look is desired.  A strong light and dark side makes for a more dramatic image.  When you diminish the shadows by using fill light it creates a more soft image.
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!!
If you enjoyed this tip and love learning about photography and lighting then you must check out the Photo By Emilie Workshops.  She offers workshops in Salt Lake and ONLINE!!  She is giving you a discount of $25 off until Christmas.

Cutting Edge Stencil project and giveaway

Have you guys heard of Cutting Edge Stencils? They are AWESOME!!! Yes, three exclamation mark worthy awesome! I was able to sample one and put it to work and i adore this fun creative tool!

I chose to sample the Nagoya All over stencil and  because this was my first attempt at stenciling I wanted to tackle a smaller project so I went with a creating a piece of leaning wall art.

I need something big to use as a canvas and while at IKEA I about did a cartwheel when I saw the “Vika Amon” table top for $5.99! Talk about perfect!

Along with my stencil I also used Acrylic paint and PLAID Extreme Glitter paint!

I used a foam roller and some tape to secure the stencil in place.  It was a breeze lining up your design and finishing the edges! I just had to wait a few minutes to let the paint dry before I painted the next section of designs.

And lastly when it had dried 100% I painted the glitter paint on a few random sections just to add a little more fun!

The Cutting Edge Stencil is such a blast! The hardest part about this project was picking the stencil I wanted! ENDLESS options in classic designs and craft sizes too!

Want to try one out yourself? Well nows your chance! One lucky reader will win their choice of one FREE stencil (up to $50 value!). Simply leave a comment in today’s comments section tell me what stencil you want to get your hands on! For a full list of options check out the web site HERE!

For additional entries you can follow Cutting Edge Stencils on Facebook! Please leave another comment telling me you did so!

I’ll announce the winner on the Blue Cricket Design Facebook page next Monday! And check out this fun how to video!


GroopDealz must see buys…

Are you all shopped out! Tired of fighting the crowds but still need to cross off a few more gifts from your list! Lucky for you GroopDealz is the perfect solution! Featuring the hottest buys  and HUGE markdowns over the Holiday weekend and into Cyber Monday! Check out a few of the fun must haves…

See something you LOVE? Wanna make it yours or give it as the perfect gift? Well jump on over to GroopDealz NOW and get shopping! These and more amazing deals are waiting for you! And be sure to check back tomorrow for even more GOODNESS!


Cheater Cinnamon Pull Aparts

I don’t know about you but this time of year always makes me crave the sweets!  That can back fire at times becasue also at this time of year I find it so much harder to find the time to bake and cook! Seems like we’re busy getting ready for Christmas so the last thing I want to do is take the hours ir might take to back yummy cinnamon rolls. This her little treat gives me that warm cinnamon fix I’m looking for in a fraction of the time…

Instead of using homemade dough these Pilsbury Grands are all you need! All you do is take each premade biscuit and divide it into two or three sections. Roll each section into a ball and roll the ball into cinnamon sugar. Place each ball into a greases pan and bake according to the  directions on the tube.

This is what it looks like just out of the oven! Fluffy balls of yumminess begging for icing!

Lastly you drizzle home made icing. I make my icing by sight ( I know!) but it’s basically 3 tbsp milk , 1 table spoon melted butter, 1 table spoon soft cream cheese and 5 heaping table spoons of powdered sugar.

Instead of hours you’ll be able to enjoy these bad boys in less then 25 min! The perfect treat for your family that tastes like you spent way more time on them then you really did!


Thankful thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Today I ask one simple thing of you. Please take a moment to leave a comment today and tell me one thing you are thankful for. It will only take a second. It can be a single work, a short sentence but please oh please, if you took the time to stop by today please share a thankful thought. I look forward to reading the many beautiful blessings that fill your lives! They will uplift all of us who read them!

Ok! Ready! Set! Go!



Show and Tell

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!


Pill box to the rescue!

So who’s traveling for Thanksgiving? If you raised your hand with enthusiasm have you started packing yet? Well here’s a quick tip for helping pack those earrings for your getaway!

I found this pill box at a new store near my home called Asian City. $1.99! SOLD! I knew it would make the perfect little earring and necklace organizer!

Necklaces and earrings all fit cozily inside each little compartment!

The perfect small little organizer that you can toss in your suitcase or purse! Happy travels!


Black & White Photo wall and my Kitchen reveal! FINALLY!

Earlier this Spring I had Big Fish Painting come and FINALLY refinish my kitchen cabinets! When I first walked threw my home the cabinets were something I liked! They were Camo Green and different but I knew over time I’d want a new look and 3 years later I got that new look with a fresh coat of Alabaster paint!


And After…
Ahhhh! Much better right!What a difference some paint can make I tell ya! Fresh, bright, light and a big dose of new kitchen mojo! Now you might be wondering why it’s taken me soooooo long to share my kitchen reveal! If you recall I’ve had a pretty rough year that’s lead me to have anxiety and horrible decision making skills! Remember THIS post! I literally had endless paint samples on my wall for months! I just could NOT make a wall color choice!
Well finally HGTV paint from Sherwin Williams in Copen Blue won out after sleepless nights and near panic attacks! You’d think that after I made a paint color choice it would be smooth sailing from there but oh no! Next big hurtle… What to do with the giant blue wall.
A short while  back I discovered printing photos on Blue Print  print shops. It was affordable and so stinkin’ fun! Ever since then I knew I wanted to do more with this new trick so it was time to get to work on a feature wall of Poster Prints! Add waiting for our trip to California  for family pictures, editing time and me making my mind up on prints and you get my HUGE delay!
I had these photo printed at my local Blue Print printing store, SBR Technologies in Salt Lake City. These are not photo quality printing but printed in black and white on paper which gives them a cool grainy effect that I think adds charm! The higher quality photos the better!
My collection all measure between 1″-2″ wide. I started by creating a layout I liked on my kitchen table that I thought I’d like on my wall.
I used Scotch Blue Painters tape on the top corners of each poster. When you first hang the posters you will only want to tape the top two corners. This way you can adjust the posters easily without having to remove a fully taped poster. Start with the very most top  center picture and place that one first.
Next add each remaining photo adjusting the spacing and getting it just right!
When you get the placement perfect then you can add more tape to each poster to secure it on all corners and edges. Then step back and enjoy!
To print this way costs about 30 cents a square foot so this entire wall cost me only $9!!! YEP! You read that right! NINE bucks!
I think it was just what this new space needed! So My kitchen makeover is official done! May have taken me over 6 months but I love it all the same! And the best part about this feature wall is how affordable it cost to create! HUGE impact for a small price making it way affordable to swap out photos over the years to update the family pics! Can’t beat that!
So check your local area for a print shop by doing  a yellow pages search for “Blue Print printing” and see what comes up near you. Call ahead to get their pricing and go crazy creating a fantastic feature wall of your own!