Monday, July 30, 2012
To celebrate Etsy's annual worldwide craft party, I'm partnering up with my gals Stacy of Kids Stuff World and Lisa of The Pennington Point to host San Antonio's first Craft War.
Stacy and I had so much fun planning our 4th of July craft party, that we jumped at the chance to do it again. This time we're taking it to South Town for a night of crafty competition. This year's Etsy Craft Meetup is sponsored by Michael's, with the theme Wish You Were Here. Inspired by TLC's new hit show, Craft Wars, we thought we'd host our own crafty competition.
Yvette and Andy from the 1906 Gallery have generously provided their space for the party, and we're working with some awesome sponsors to provide refreshments and materials for our Craft War.
The party will take place on Friday, August 24th from 6-9pm, and best of all it's FREE! So if you'll be in San Antonio, stop by the MeetUp event page and RSVP--if we get 25+ guests signed up by Aug. 12 we'll get extra goodies from Michael's to share!
Hope to see some of y'all there! Anyone else hosting their own Etsy Craft Party?
Monday, July 23, 2012
In June I gave myself the goal of making something each day for a year. Each day I post a photo on the Maker Mama Facebook page sharing what I worked on for the day. I'm just over forty days in and I thought I'd share some things I've learned about making during the process.
1. It's OK not to finish something in one day.
Most of my projects have taken several days of working on. Like these sock kitties. I actually began them before I started on my goal, but sharing each little step motivated me to keep going.
2. Stop before you're exhausted.
I'm a self-professed night owl, so that's when I get most of my making done. Unfortunately that means I often find it hard to put things down and end up staying up way too late. When you start to feel yourself getting tired, remember #1.
3. Break up big projects with smaller ones.
There were definitely times when I got bored working on the same project for several days in a row. But I was able to break up the monotony by picking out a simple, just-for-fun project that could be finished in a day.
4. You don't have to make something every day.
Okay, so I know I said my goal was to make something every day for a year, but some days it's just not doable. Sometimes it's more important to play with the kids, go on a date night with my husband, or just go to bed early (yes I do that occasionally). So, although I may not make something every day in one calendar year, I'm still shooting for 365 days of making.
And last, but not least...
5. It's okay if it's crappy.
Not everything you make (or attempt to) is going to work out. And that's perfectly fine (and normal). Take this photo for example. I fell in love with this easy way to make pompoms on a fork, and thought I'd try using ribbon instead of yarn. I pictured a silky little poofy pompom, but it really just looks like I tied some spaghetti noodles together (thanks to Instagram follower @freshieandzero for that one!).
Crafting is all about trial and error, and learning to have a good sense of humor! You can follow the rest of my daily makings on the Maker Mama Facebook page, or see them all in one place on Flickr.
What valuable lessons have you learned from your experience with crafting?
Monday, July 16, 2012
We got our craft on and made some cardboard castles (by we I mean me and Mr. Maker), and the boys promptly splattered them with red paint to give them a "realistic war" look. *sigh*
Even though it's summer it doesn't mean sleeping in--Miss Amelia loves to jump in my bed as early as 6 from time to time.
Tediously made my first pom poms and transformed them into Angry Birds using this tutorial.
Enjoyed some carrots from our summer garden (not quite as fruitful as our winter/spring garden).
Saw a rainbow that reminded me to look at the bright side of things.
Said goodbye to my favorite local yarn store (the Yarn Barn isn't closed yet, but you better stop by soon!).
Enjoyed another family game night (Chutes and Ladders this time).
Bought some thrifted wool sweaters to cut up for a craft project (sorry Gap).
And my soon to be nine-year-old has been helping me learn how to play chess (and this pdf for preschoolers helped a lot too).
What were the ups and downs of your week? Did you learn anything new?
English! Thanks so much for entering ladies! To show my appreciation I'd like to give everyone who entered half off a thrifting session if you book before the end of August--how awesome is that? Just fill out my Thrifting Information Form and we'll get thrifting!
Thanks again, and stay tuned for more thrifting news!
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I think like most mamas strive to do, I try my best to incorporate our faith and values into everyday living in our home. To help in doing that last month, I decided to do a family project using one of my favorite Scripture verses. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God, is one of the beatitudes from the book of Matthew, and a perfect reminder for what we want to create in our family.
Some days it seems the kids are crying or whining or fighting with each other every five minutes and it can get pretty stressful around here at times (I'm not the only one, right?). It's definitely not like that all the time, but we could sure use a little more peace in our home.
We had this old door that literally just fell off it's hinges in our storage shed, and I couldn't bare to see it go to waste. So I convinced my wonderful husband to cut it down to size for me, and it became a beautiful distressed blank canvas.
Before we began our wall art, we talked about what it means to be a peacemaker, and how it translates to our relationship with each other and with God. The saying really resonated with the kids; the words were simple and they understood what being a peacemaker means and why it's so important.
The kids and I each took turns painting the verse on the old door (I wrote it out in pencil first). A part of me wanted to be controlling and paint all the letters nice and neatly myself, but it would have totally defeated the purpose of being a family project--and it was a great way to practice working together.
Amelia helped by (peacefully) hanging out on mommy and daddy's lap while watching the painting in progress.
I finished the door off with a coat of Mod Podge (so the original paint wouldn't flake off), and we were good to go!
And now it's hanging in our family room for us to see (and remember) everyday. It's going to take more than just hanging a sign to make our home more peaceful, but I think we're taking a step in the right direction.
What about your family? Do you have a family motto or favorite quote that guides you? I'd love to hear how you incorporate your beliefs and values into everyday living!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I'm a strong believer in secondhand shopping as an essential element in taking care of our environment, sparking creativity, and simply saving a few bucks. With that in mind, I'm excited to announce that I'm now offering services as a Thrifting Coach! So, if you're a San Antonio local or will be visiting the Alamo city and you're looking to do some thrifting, I'm your lady!
I've been thrifting for well over 10 years now, and have learned a thing or two about how to find the good stuff. I love secondhand shopping so much that I'm beginning to run out of room, and I've had to pass up some really awesome finds!
So, whether you've been thrifting for years or are a secondhand newbie, I want to help you hunt down those treasures you're dying to find! How would you like to be my first client?
This week I'm giving away a free two-hour personalized thrifting session to one local Maker Mama reader. Simply leave a comment below telling me what you're dying to find at the thrift store and you're entered! For extra entries, leave a comment below for sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (leave a comment for each share, please). The giveaway will be open until Friday, July 13 at 9p.m. CST (let's make it a lucky day after all!)
For more information about thrifting with me, check out my Services page.
Good luck and happy thrifting!
Monday, July 9, 2012
July is here and just as we're finally getting settled into summer, it's already halfway over! Here's what we were up to last week:
I surprised Chris with a day trip to Shiner, Texas to check out the brewery and enjoyed celebrating with the kids later that evening...
The boys have learned how to play checkers and they love playing--it's great finding new classics for the kids--and finding indoor alternatives to t.v.!
We busted out the sparklers for the 4th--even Amelia wanted to hold one!
I scored a new set of suitcases for under $5 (thanks to my brother for going back out to get them with me and taking this photo)! I might stop buying them one day...
We took another trip down to Houston. My husband's elderly grandparents just moved to assisted living and were passing on some of the beloved items in their home. It was bittersweet knowing it would be our last time there, but we treasured being able to take some of the rich family history back home with us.
Chris and I took a much-needed date night out for coffee and a movie (Moonrise Kingdom was wonderful!).
Eleanor and Liam one their t-ball game this week. It's funny, some days Eleanor doesn't want to play and others she's the first one dressed in her uniform--I love our little girl!
And last but not least we've welcomed a much-loved piano into our home (from Chris' grandparents). The kids always loved playing it in Houston and it's been such a gift to bring it home. And the boys and I already learned our first song (so what if it's only Hot Cross Buns?)!
What memories have you been making this summer?
P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'd love to see what you're pinning! I'm at 464 followers and I'd love to make it to 500 by this time next week--could you help me reach my goal? You're awesome!
Friday, July 6, 2012
I finally have the winners for the Craftsy giveaway....
Congratulations goes to Emily, Erin, and Kimberly, whom I've already contacted. Thank you to everyone who entered!
And just to get some feedback, I would love to hear your thoughts about giveaways here at Maker Mama. What products or brands are you most interested in hearing about? Are there any you wouldn't be interested in? I love bringing giveaways to y'all, and just want to ensure it's something that still interests my readers!
I'm also accepting sponsors at Maker Mama now. I even have a code for a free trial ad if you want to try it out! And thanks to my first sponsors, Coriosity and Wendolonia for their support for Maker Mama. By sponsoring Maker Mama, you'll be helping my in my goal of growing the blog and supporting at least my crazy crafting and thrifting habits!
The ads are run threw Passion Fruit Ads, which makes it super-simple both for me and my sponsors. Have questions? Check out my sponsor page!
I'm looking forward to sharing some great posts next week and hope y'all have a great weekend!
Posted by Amy Johnson at 4:06 PM
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Stacy of Kids Stuff World and I had the opportunity to throw the first SA Crafty Kids party over the weekend with a 4th of July theme, putting our crafty skills together and rounding up some of our favorite local bloggers for an afternoon of celebration. I went all out with decorating the house and wanted to give you a peek at our day...
Monday, July 2, 2012
Last week during my busy life as a mama of four I enjoyed...
A family trip to the zoo on the HOTTEST day of the year. Yeah, we don't watch a lot of t.v. (or weather reports as a result) and didn't realize the heat index would be around 105! But we had plenty of water and sunscreen and stuck to the shade as much as possible. And I loved watching my little monkeys watching the zoo monkeys!
Painting the back wall of our house that we added refurbished windows and a new door to. We're still adding some finishing touches, but I hope to have it all nice and prettied up for more photos soon! And thanks to everyone who complimented our color choice over on the Maker Mama Facebook, too!
Amelia learning how to make her own block towers. I have a basket in our kitchen to pull out when a distraction is needed. Her favorite part is knocking them down, of course!
Finding a new way to occupy the boys at the doctor's office. We made an unexpected visit last week (not for anything serious) and luckily I had some pens in my purse for drawing on the table paper. Even if it only worked for two minutes, it's definitely an idea to stash away in my bag of tricks!
Hunting down some awesome patriotic finds at the thrift store. You can find more about my thrifty 4th of July finds on my last post.
Watching the premiere episode of Craft Wars. There's a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about whether the show is a good thing or not, by I really enjoyed it myself. And if you don't have TLC on your t.v., you can purchase and view full Craft Wars episodes on Amazon at a really great price (that's an affiliate link).
Sprucing up my home for the 4th of July. I even made my first free printable for a 4th of July bunting!
Throwing the very first SA Crafty Kids party with my bloggy friend Stacy of Kids Stuff World. It was a ton of work pulling everything together, but we had a blast--and can't wait to do it again!
And trying out tie dye for the first time at our party. Thanks to Heather aka GeeketteBits for showing us how it's done!
How about you? Try anything new this week? How are you beating the summer heat?