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nail plates: 101

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i have been getting questions about these nail plates i use via email, text, and facebook, so i decided to throw together a little tutorial for you!

first things first, you'll need to get yourself a stamper, a blade, and some nail plates. i recommend Amazon for the best prices(here and here), but some mall kiosks sell them, as well as Sally's Beauty Supply store. 

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i am using Konad plate m73 and China Glaze "for audrey".
the nail plates will come with a thin film of plastic over the top. make sure you peel this off and throw it away. yeah that might sound silly to say (like, duh everyone knows that), but i was asked this question and so i wanted to address it :) ...once you have everything, then we can get started!

step 1: paint your nails (aka give them a basecoat for you your design)

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i am doing something simple, and am just going to stamp my ring fingers this time. so the white is really my only "basecoat" here. let dry.

before we do begin the actual "stamping" process, there some things you need to be aware of. when my sister-in-law and i first bought these plates, we were so stinking excited to try them out. we came home and started using them....and got so frustrated that they weren't working! we were so mad and thought we had just wasted our money. not a fun moment. but we kept trying and found out that:
it takes practice. this might sound so funny because we're talking nails here, like it should be the easiest thing ever, but trust me, it takes practice to use that stamper.
in order for the design to work better/look better/be seen (however you want to say it) you need to use a thicker nail polish. we found that using any Sally Hansen or Wet n Wild brand works awesome. the best part is it's cheap, so you don't have to go out and buy a "special" expensive brand of polish just to do this! today however, the "for audrey" China Glaze works awesome. some work better than others. sometimes you just have to experiment.
3 it dries fast. meaning, you have to work fast.

keep those things in mind and continue...

step 2: paint over the nail plate design of your choice, with your polish

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step 3: scrape off excess polish

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sometimes you might have to do 2 scrapes to get all of it, but remember to hurry, because the polish left sitting there(embedded in the design) is going to dry fast. at least faster than you think.

step 4: stamp the plate

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(oh look, my first moving pic! ha ha)
a key to this part = press HARD and ROLL. it helps to grab all of the design. when Lins and I first did this we were stamping-straight up and down-thinking that was all it took. nope. remember to press hard and roll! you should be able to see your whole design on the stamper when you bring it up:

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if it's not all there as you'd like, try again (after wiping your stamper clean)

step 5: stamp the design on your nail

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using that same technique (pressing hard and rolling), apply to nail! (thanks goes to the hubs for snapping this yesterday...even though he didn't want to. ha ha)

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yay! that's it. now go give it a try!

*have you used nail plates before?

*what's your favorite plate, or one you'd like to have?
well i love them all, but the one i wish i had right now is the chevron one, BM201 (found in this set)

i sewed my first bag

all. by. myself. (insert freakout here)

i am a little excited to share this with you.

one of the gifts my mom gave me for Christmas, was a Hobby Lobby giftcard. i was beyond excited when i opened it! so while we were visiting we (of course!) went and i picked out some sweet stuff-this fabric you see included. i didn't really know how to do it, but i wanted to sew a big church bag. for putting a quiet book  for Bronx and all my Sunday items in-separate from the diaper bag i am always lugging around :)

i don't really love reading instructions, and i get too "gung-ho" when i want to do a project right now. so one day in January (yes, i'm that behind in posting this cool project) i busted this out and just dived in.

if your interested in following along, here's the process that i went through:
(but beware, i am not the greatest at writing them, and this process might be confusing-so if you're trying to follow me, read through them COMPLETELY first, then start!)

step 1: pick the fabric. i used duck fabric(a canvas type feel) because i wanted it more heavy-duty.

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and as you can already see from the finished project above, i ended up not even using the cute teal/blue checkered fabric. that's saved for another project now. (and ps-the solid grey/my inside lining, i got from JoAnn's)

step 2: turn the fabric print side in (so they are facing each other) and sew together sides. leave the two edges unsewn.

step 3: cut handles

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i wanted mine thick so i made them about 3'' across (so 6'' if you're measuring without it folded in half).

step 4: sew handles 

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remember to sew JUST down the side, with the pattern facing each other-if there is a pattern, and it makes a difference. turn right-side-out.

step 5: sew handles to bag

if you look close, you'll see that i have NOT sewn the edges of my bag together. i simply flipped it over and eyed where i wanted the handles to lay. then i sewed them to the grey duct, keeping the floral fabric away. you'll also see that i folded and ironed down about 1'' on the tops of the bag. (see below pic)

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this way when i finish and sew across the top, the handles with appear to "vanish" within the bag.

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you'll also see that i sewed 2 more lines down the straps for added strength. (see, i am not the best at instructions-ha ha. this is all over the place!)

let me also insert here that this was an all day project. it wasn't just a "oh-let-me-bust-this-out-in-like-an-hour" kind of project. ha. the time frame may have had something to this little munchkin wanting some of my time :) .....

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back to business.

step 6: sew an inside pocket

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really this should be before step 1. you will save yourself a ton of headache if you just decide if you want pockets or not, at the beginning. as you can see (above), it's not the easiest thing in the world to sew on a teeeeny tiny sewing machine (or any really) with a whole bunch of fabric.it's basically torture trying to maneuver the fabric so you don't sew over the front. ahhhh but i lived. and i learned.

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aaaand i did it! yessss. inside pocket=done.

step 7 and 8: sew sides of bag, and sew top of bag (sorry i don't have a pics of this) 

but up until now, i have just been working with the long body of my bag (so the 2 pieces of fabric that i sewed together in step 1). i  folded it in half (print side facing each other again), and sewed up the two sides. then i sewed on the outside of each top(where the handles connected).

step 9: make a more sturdy base for your bag

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i had to call my mom for this because i wasn't sure how. once she explained it to me, and i did it, i realize it was super easy.

keep your bag inside-out and take one corner. make it a triangle(above left pic). sew across. the deeper in-or closer to your bag's top-the shorter the bag becomes, and the wider the base becomes. i made mine about 3''.

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flip right-side-out and ta da! and you have your bag......but i thought it was too plain. 

after sleeping on it, i went and grabbed some clear vinyl at Walmart the next morning(it was like 97cents for 1/4 piece!) and decided to make a cool outside pocket. with a lable that i could change out to my liking.

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again, remember to do this FIRST...if you so choose to have an outside pocket. ha ha....it would have been loads easier :)

*tip for sewing with vinyl= HERE <<this was a lifesaver you guys!

i cut "the FULLER's" using my silhouette. 
"the" = century gothic font. 
"FULLER's"=sybil green font.

bag finished=roughly 15"x15" sitting flat(which is funny because it totally looks like a rectangle to me, not a square. but i just measured it so...!).

even though i had some bumps along the way, i had a blast making this and am excited to do another!(who knows for what....?) but i'm sure it will go 100% smoother next time! glad you followed along!

*what's the hardest project  you've ever worked on?

*your funnest?

fun find friday: fairytale follies

hands down this is the most random thing i have bought off Amazon to date. but however weird it may seem, i wanted to share with you because i had this book when i was little and thought it was so fun to read/look at!

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Find the Stars for the Fabulous FairyTale Follies by Graham Philpot. longest title ever. it's similar to those Where's Waldo? books (which i loooove too!). in a nutshell, you try to find each fairy tale character that fits the given descriptions. obviously this isn't a baby book. i'd say ages 8+ would enjoy it. i don't know why i had the random urge to call my mom for the title one day and add it to my order, but i did. maybe it was just one of those "good memories" i want hanging around...? you'll also notice i didn't buy it brand new (for $11). instead i got it used and in "good" condition(for $4). that front cover is the worst of it-the inside pages are totally fine. no spills or tears or anything.

there are a zillion other awesome books i remember from my childhood that i want to buy so that B will be able to read someday. it's hard not to buy them all at once! (ha ha-don't worry hon, i won't)

*what's one of your favorite childhood books?
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Anne Hoberman is another favorite of mine!

*what's the weirdest thing you've order from Amazon? :)

steppin' up on fitness

we were hit with the nasty little bug that has been going around lately, and B got his first little fever. it broke my heart. that was mid-week, the week before last. so we have been taking it easy for about 2 weeks.

i really need to step up my game.

i woke up Monday morning feeling good and rested, but very very sluggish and flabby. man i hate that feeling. but it did get me up and going, and i realized that i felt good enough to actually exercise. yay! i decided to start Insanity again. if you have gone over to my family blog and read about my post preggo workouts you'll remember that i had finished Insanity, had restarted it, and was running every other day. but it's still kinda chilly outside here, so i'm just going to stick to doing Insanity inside. if we do get a nice day and get outside to run, then i'll count it as a bonus burn day. and of course by "we" i mean B and i  :)

here are the some of the foods(well lunches) i have been obsessed with lately:

left: my friend made me this delicious quesadilla stuffed with cucumbers, peppers, onion, and spinach. it was the best thing ever and i have been trying to duplicate it since. somehow it just never tastes the same-but i love making this for lunch! the side of strawberries and green grapes is awesome as well.
right: just a good 'ole salad-but with a little "oomph". yes those are pepperonis shredded on top, as well as cheese, mandarin oranges, and croutons.

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who doesn't love peanut butter? putting it on celery is my favorite snack right now-especially if i am craving something chocolaty. some other snacks i always have on hand are:

• yogurt
• almonds
• string cheese
• apples
• bananas

what's cookin' good lookin'?

i am by no stretch of the imagination, a cook. nor do i call myself one. so me sharing a dinner menu plan, kind of makes me laugh.

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but i want to share it with you all because maybe there is another girl out there like me who needs a little "oomph" to get her dinner on. i do. that's why i threw together these print out menus in Microsoft Word one night (i first talked about them over here). i'm muuuuuch more happy to cook when i have a plan, and when i know i have the exact ingredients for that plan.

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it also helps to have it staring at me every time i walk into my kitchen, ha ha. i know there are a zillion cuter ways to display my menus (i can think of 3 friends in specific that do!), but here is a simple and fast way, if you're interested :)

click >>HERE<< to download your own dinner menu print out!

*what is one of your favorite meals to cook?
>mine.... Hawaiian haystacks because it's easy! ha, but i rarely actually make it because the hubs isn't "fond" of it!

sunday best: baby boy vest+tie

i don't know why it's taken me so long to post about this. it was so fun to make, and got my creative sewing juices flowing. i love creating and i love trying to make new things! (you're all like: duh audrey, we know!...thus the blog...)

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since i got my sewing machine up and running, i have wanted to sew a little 'outfit" for B, but didn't want to go overboard. when i saw this vest and tie on this Etsy site, i decided to make my own.

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i was so excited to be doing a new project, that i didn't stop to take pictures. in a nutshell:  i simply cut out my own template from paper(for the tie and vest), traced and cut the fabric with it, and sewed. i will say the sewing was slightly tricky because even though  i had it pinned-with all the turning and corners-i had a hard time keeping it in place. i will have to make another(or two) and show more of the deets.

of course i had him wear it to church that Sunday. here he is showing off his new gettup :)

valentine cards & hanging hearts

i was asked to help out with a YW activity last night, and of course it involved valentine cards! here are some of the ones i made to take and show:

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(i will be ecstatic when i own a DSLR and have a house with huge windows and LOTS of natural light..)
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idea from here via pinterest

as you can see they are pretty clean and simple, perfect for a quick activity!

the supplies:

• cardstock
• embroidery floss (i also used some bakers twine, aka striped embroidery floss)
• 1" hearts (used my silhouette to have them pre-cute and ready to go!)
• scotch tape (to attatch the hearts to the string)
• washi tape
• sharpie
• scalloped scissors

i just punched a sharp pencil through the cardstock where i wanted to thread the string through:

i also had these scratch cards printed off, and the girls did these as well:

(these were done first, and they dried while making their other cards)
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here's Jessica and i(and oh look-my infamous squinty eye smile!), she's actually my husband's cousin, and was the one that invited me! ps, she makes an AWESOME YW pres! i'm so happy she thought of me-i really had a blast hanging out with these girls last night!

isn't that card (above right) so creative?! i haven't seen someone make a friendship bracelet in forever, let alone make it a cute decoration for a card! and what a cute little envelope she made too!

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B did okay.
everyone was so helpful and he got held lots :)


as for hanging hearts, i thought our place could use some more "Valentine-y-ness" so i used my silhouette to cut these out a week ago:

i think they're pretty fun and give a little "whimsical" feel to the area.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

*are you doing anything awesome today?
the mr. surprised me last night with pb cups(yuuumm) and a giant card! he works today :( so most likely we'll just have a nice dinner late tonight.

*who is YOUR valentine?
 i have 2: hubby and baby B