Life pivot

2011 SUCKED! There! I said it! I hated 2011 and was more then excited to kiss it goodby at midnight on Dec. 31st. See ya later loser year!

I had every good intention on welcoming 2012 with open and loving arms. I was ready for a new start, fresh perspective and much needed joy and happiness. So far??? Well, lets see…

I had pneumonia all of January, seemed to recover all of February and here I am half way threw March and feel like I’ve had a false start! Eeeeerrrrr!

Ugg! Come on Becks!

I’m totally in the middle of a life pivot. You know… where you are standing at a cross road and you have two options. You can A. keep walking down the same path where you have proven to master the skills of being sad, uninspired, angry, miserable at times and find yourself surviving instead of living or B. make a small pivot to the left and walk down a path where you snap out of it, try anything to make smiling less of a chore and more of a reflex, where days are filled with triumphs and ease and you can actually stand to be around yourself!

It sounds like an easy decision but man oh man has it been a struggle for me!

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been a little more MIA on Blue Cricket these last few months! I needed to take some time off in order to gear up for my big “Life Pivot!” You see…it’s much harder to chose a happy path when the one you are on is so cozy and familiar. “Cozy” I’m sure sounds like the wrong sort of word to describe depression and anxiety but honestly it does feel that way at times. It’s a new normal. It’s what you wake up to, what you muddle threw and what you tuck in at night. It’s like that ugly cozy robe your husband hates to see you wearing EVERY day! Throw it away already, right!

I get it! I get it!

So I made the choice, again, I might add ( apparently it can take a few attempts to pivot. It’s harder then it looks and might take more then one go at it!) to pivot. I’ve been trying so so hard to fix myself.  Some might say that “fixing” ones self is unnessisary when it comes to grief but I am just plain tired of myself! Sooooooo tired of myself that I think a new stage of grife should be added to the list. At the very end of the 7 signs of grief I think we need to add “Life Pivot.”

STAGE 8: Life Pivot: Where you simply change the direction your life is going cause let’s face it people…the other path just ain’t working for ya!

It’s not easy. Life Pivoting takes a lot of “on purpose” living. It takes extra effort, elimination, selfishness and trying new things!

For me I’m trying everything. I eliminated as much stress in my life as I could. I hired amazing contributors who have helped step in and make BCD run. I eliminated a lot of my business stresses and have seen a HUGE improvement in my over all level of wanting to pull my hair out. I’ve also cut back a ton on my online time! HELLO free time! I forgot what that felt like!

I’ve become a little selfish! I treat myself to little luxuries that make me smile. I read for pleasure, WHAT?????, I know! I’ve read a few novels and am nose deep in a Ben Franklin biography that brings me more joy then I ever imagined possible! Side bar: Did you know Ben Franklin common law married a woman who was already married to a man who disappeared? Juicy right! Any who… I take myself to the movies, I eat what I want and I hit up a Matt Townsend “Smart Life for Woman” class when I can snag a babysitter.

Matt’s classes are pretty fantastic! It’s a big group class with only ladies and he discusses a topic each week that really hits home for me! p.s.  These classes are so amazing that you want everyone you know to come to them but it’s also like having a yard sale. All your “crap” is on your front lawn and you don’t want your neighbors to come and see that you owned a Thigh Master and  have a collection of Holiday Barbies. See what I mean! So if you ever come to one of these classes and see me and I’m tearing up and shaking my head cause Matt just mentioned your dead grandma putting her arms around you and telling you to ” take a deep breath, it will be ok!” just ignore me and let’s pretend you didn’t see my “yard sale crap!”

I’m also trying new things! I started piano lessons. After 7 years and only having had three months of lessons under my adult belt, I’m trying it again. “Skip to my Lou” is proving to be my new anthem these days and I am enjoying the challenge. I know my goal of being able to sit down and play an Adele song is years away but the joy I find in doing an 8 note scale with the proper fingering is pretty darn fantastic! I’m learning that I’m worth investing in!

I’ve also started attending the LDS temple weekly. This is me trying new things and selfish at the same time. (WARNING: supper dupper personal confessions ahead!!) My spirituality has been suffering for years! I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I love my membership in this gospel. I was born into this faith and have always had a strong testimony of it’s teaching. It was easy for me to feel the spirit, to feel like a loved daughter of God and to serve in the church but for the last few years I have been struggling to feel the way I used to. It’s been a long time since I’ve been overwhelmed by the spirit, where a song has moved me to tears or where I felt like I could serve in a calling and have something to give.  This is a big deal to me. It’s a big deal because my religion is a huge part of who I am, how I live and how I raise my family. Can you imagine how hard life would be when you are missing an important piece of the puzzle. It’s like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. I’m trying new things and throwing myself into things that are meant to help bring peace, joy and purpose. I am indexing ( a service project where I enter information from old documents so people like you and me can find information about our ancestors) I am reading more scriptures and talks from my church leaders and I am attending the temple as often as I can desperate to feel a change. This is a very personal and difficult struggle for me. I’m not used to having spiritual lows but here I am and I’m working on it!

So there you have it. That’s me and my Life Pivot. I’m working hard and seeing small improvements. The other day at the gym I had a conversation with my husband that went a little something like this…

 

Me: Man, I’ve been in a good mood for the past few days!

Hubs: Great! Do you know why?

Me: Who cares!!!!!

 

That’s about right! Who cares! I’ll take a day where I sing along to my favorite song and take my kids to the park for no other reason other then feeling like it any day!! That’s what I’m looking forward to. More effortless joy!

My pivot is  starting to work! So pardon my absent. Forgive my lack of Mod Podge and glitter. My latest project of working on “me” is taking top priority and proving to be more important then I thought!

 

This video has brought a lot of hope and smiles to me as of late. I hope you enjoy it as well…

 

 

 

 

 

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Harry Potter Party by “Just another day in Paradise”

banner tutorial here

Nothing is more magical than a Harry Potter party. This party theme is perfect for your older Witch or Wizard. I had a lot of fun throwing our 8 year-old this Wizarding themed birthday party. It was by far the most fun party I have thrown.

The decorations were burgundy and gold for the Gryffindor House, with a little bit of black thrown in. There was definitely magic in the air between spells class, magical creatures class, potions class, broom-flying instruction and then a trip to Honeyduke’s.

Of course the whole thing started off with this very special invite.

tutorial here and here 

On party day we had everything set up to welcome our Wizards.

Once they had their robes and wands, it was time for spell class. Each wizard got his very own spell book and a magical creatures book. They learned some important spells. Then we went through the magical creatures book in order to prepare for a magical creatures hunt.

 spell/magical creatures books tutorial here

One of the funnest parts of the party was potions class.

Just looking and smelling the bottles of disgusting ingredients was a hit. Labels were downloaded from HERE. I ended up doing a bit of my own interpretation of the different ingredients. My motto-think outside the box and use your imagination!

In potions class we had three different potions that we whipped up.

The blue fuzzy potion was a mixture of Unicorn Tears, Bone Dust, Worm Juice, and a little water. AKA vinegar, baking soda, and dish detergent. This was probably the most popular potion made.

After a good time in potions class we headed to Honeyduke’s for some famous Harry Potter treats.

A midst all the goodies were chocolate frogs, acid pops, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans, chocolate covered  cockroaches…AND

there were even Cauldron Cakes.

This little cupcake was my answer to a birthday cake. Individual and fabulously unique cupcakes are almost as good as a huge elaborate cake…plus there is less left over!

recipe here 

After getting all of their wizard training, each guest was officially ready to be a wizard. They left armed with books and wands in tow and belly’s full of magical treats, flying home on their very own Firebolt broom.

broom tutorial here
If you have a Harry Potter enthusiast in your midst, a magical wizard party will definitely be a hit. Hope you enjoy all the fun I had in creating this party and that it gives you some inspiration!
For more amazing party ideas be sure to visit Larissa over on “Just another day in Paradise”
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A traditional bird house made from non traditional items!

Tweet tweet!!! Welcome home little birdies! Spring is knocking on our front door and it’s time to welcome back our neighborhood feathered friends!

This months Lowe’s Creative challenge was to create a bird house out of unsuspecting items from Lowe’s! Can you guess what this little abode is made of?

Molding details make the perfect frame for this easy to build bird house! When theses molding pieces were put together  they created the ideal home shape! You will need the following supplies from Lowe’s:

-Two 6″ molding halves

-One 6×6″  Cedar Hatteras castine (this tops off a stair rail)

- 4′ of rope

-One 1/4″ dowel

- Wood Glue

- Wood Fill

- Paint

- Sand Paper

- Craft sticks

Let’s get started…

1. Measure and find the center and mark where you’d like to drill your door hole.

2. Used a 1″ drill bit to make your hole.

3. Mmeasure and drill a 1/4″ hole for your perch.

4. Hold your two pieces of molding together and drill a hole in the top where your rope will be inserted into.  This step takes another pair of hands so grab a friend.

5. Now that your holes are all drilled you can glue the two molding pieces together!

6. Use a heavy object to hold the two pieces together as they dry over night.

7. Time to fill the cracks! Grab some wood fill and fill the seams.

8. After the wood fill has dried it’s time to sand off the excess fill.

 

Now it’s time to paint!

Hand paint the roof and walls and perch stand. Inserted the perch stand and used a little glue to secure it. String the rope threw the top hole and tied a large knot at the end.

With the house fully assembled it’s time to glue it onto the painted cedar hatteras. Painted the hatteras and turned it upside down making it the perfect base for the house.

Now it’s time for some detail work! I hand painted a shingled roof using a tooth pick! This step took me an hour (YIKES!) but I think it added such a charming look!

Broken and painted craft sticks make a perfect picket fence!I used wood glue to adhere them onto the house!

And there you have it! A charming and simple home for your chirping friends! And YES!!! That is my view from my front door! Pretty amazing huh!

Lowe’s has some fun and impressive bird house ideas in this months Creative Ideas Magazine! Have you signed up for your free subscription yet? If not jump on it!

 

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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!



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FREE Spring Printable by “Stay at home Artist”

I don’t know about you, but I am itching for spring.
It’s such a happy time of year with emerging flowers, raindrops, and soft sunshine.
LOVE it.
With the coming season in mind, I’ve created a cheerful, spring-inspired free printable to share.
These darling little toothpick flags are so simple to put together.
Just print, cut, and glue!
(They can be used on other items besides toothpicks as well–drinking straws, cake pop or sucker sticks, skewers, etc.)
To print some of your own, all you have to do is download the file HERE.
Then decorate for a party or special occasion (like Easter or a birthday)…
…or make an ordinary spring day a little special!
Kacey is showing off her amazing skills full time over on “Stay at home Artist!” come check her out!
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Shamrock Shoes by my Life and Kids

Shamrock Shoes

Don’t get pinched this St. Patrick’s Day! Make yourself a pair of glittery green shoes in four easy steps.

Shamrock Shoes Tutorial

1. Grab a pair of your old shoes that need a little updating.

2. Stuff them with grocery bags or newspaper (to protect the inside from turning green.)

3. Spray them with Krylon Glitter Blast Spray – available at most craft stores. I gave mine three coats, and one can is more than enough for a pair of shoes.

Once the final coat of glitter spray is dry, spray them with clear acrylic sealer to make sure the glitter doesn’t come off. I used one coat.

4. Wear your Shamrock Shoes on St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrock Shoes

 

Be sure to check out Anna over at “My Life and Kids” for more great project ideas!

10 Comments

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!



38 Comments

10 min. Pearl Earrings by “Miss Lovie”

Let’s make some timeless and classic pearl dangly earrings!
Wouldn’t these be great for a Mother’s Day gift?
This post was originally seen on Luxe Boulevard.
I’m just reposting in case you missed it!
These earrings are so quick and easy. Even if you’ve never made jewelry in your life. Seriously.
First gather your materials. If you don’t have any on hand, all these supplies can be found at any craft supplies store. Check for sales and always use coupons!
You’ll need all those tools except the crimp tool.

Get 2 10 mm pearls and 4 8 mm pearls. (I usually just use glass pearls.)

You’ll need 4 eye pins, 2 head pins, and 2 ear wires.

And here we go.

Here are the detailed instructions to make a simple loop that I copied from my Huge Flower and Bow Necklace Tutorial in this post here.



After your simple loop is made,

Make another simple loop above that pearl and connect another eye pin. Slide the last 8mm pearl on and make another loop above it.

Now you’re done!

Here’s just a few tips.

When you make the loops above the pearl, be sure to make them as close to the pearl as possible. If you look at the one on the left, it is not very close to the pearl. I just cut that one off and re-did it (so it might be good to have some back-up head pins and eye pins available.) This makes it look much cleaner and more professional.

Also, when you are making the loops, be sure to create the loops so that they are going in the same direction.

DONE!
While it seems like a lot of steps, it really is so easy and shouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes!
Happy jewelry-making!

For more great inspiration be sure to visit Allie over on “Miss Lovie!”
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FREE Printable by “Stay at home Artist!”

Being creative is not always rainbows and lollipops.

Sometimes you spend hours painting a project…
…only to realize the color just doesn’t work.

Or you painstakingly toil over a new recipe…
…only to discover the texture of your dish is eerily similar to kindergarten paste.

Or you spend days working on a brilliant idea for a blog post…
…only to find another blogger just posted a similar project (and it might be “better” than yours).

At times like these (and, yes, I have had times just like these), I find it helpful to keep this simple phrase in mind:

original quote sourceIt’s easy to get caught up in unrealistic comparisons or feelings of failure and, as a result, forget about the pleasure of creating.  Projects, blogs, and the people behind them don’t have to be perfect to be worthwhile.  Creativity is a gift meant to bring us beauty, growth, and joy.

To help myself remember this, I made a little printable and put in it a frame…

I hung it above my sewing machine…
…so I can gaze upon it as I rip out stitches for the umpteenth time. :)

This printable is available for FREE!  You can download it HERE.
The file is watermark-free and fits in 8×10 or document sized frames when printed at the original size.Display it in your crafty space and enjoy working on your latest creative project–whether it turns out perfectly or not. 

Fine more amazing inspiration by Kasey over on “Stay at home Artist!”

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