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Sunday, June 2, 2013

[new news]

So my Stars and Stripes series has been temporarily interrupted because of an opportunity I was given recently....ETC aka my place of employment aka the most fun place to work asked if I would start doing weekly tutorials for their blog. Since tutorials/creating/photography are my favorite things, I immediately said yes. First tutorial will post this Tuesday! If you don't already, you can follow ETC HERE or become a fan of their Facebook page and see all the fun stuff I'll be posting on there.

I will be posting pics of my Fourth of July decorations all complete soon too. So happy with how they turned out! But in the meantime, check out a few of my favorite pictures I took recently of my kiddos. Impromptu photo shoots are my favorite <3





I am one blessed Mama <3

Oh, and one more thing! ETC also has their own Pinterest and Instagram [Follow us @ ETCAZ] accounts now! Stay updated/inspired with all things ETC!

<3 Lindsey


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #3

This might be my favorite one of the bunch!

It's so quick, simple, and really cute. And involves one of my favorite things...embroidery!

Here it is!

[pssst...I'll have a tutorial for the quilt in the near future too!]

First, you upload/print the pattern below. Get a 9" embroidery hoop. Trace the map outline on a piece of fabric. (I backed my fabric with interfacing just to make it a little bit more sturdy. Not necessary though.) And I traced the pattern with a light box and, my all time favorite, a Frixion pen. Which you can buy at ETC! (YOU NEED ONE IN YOUR LIFE - fyi)


And don't forget to draw your little heart in your most favorite state!

Next, using some red embroidery floss, stitch along the outline. I used the split stitch, which is demonstrated in THIS adorable video. It's the first stitch shown, so no fast forwarding! And using blue thread, I stitched on the heart.

Now trim off your excess fabric, leaving about an inch along the edge. I then used hot glue along the inside of the embroidery frame to hide the raw edges.


If you used a Frixion pen, you'll want to take your project over to the iron and gently, using the heat from the iron, run it over the top to make the pen markings disappear.

And now you have the cutest Fourth of July decoration!


<3 Lindsey

Almost forgot the most important part! Your embroidery pattern! Here you go!


One more thing! When you print this out, print it in a 5x7 size for a 9" embroidery hoop. NOT a full page size (unless your embroidery hoop is big enough for it.) I print from Microsoft, select "Print", and then pick the 5x7 option on the right hand side. Should be able to print two 5x7's on one page that way. But like I said, you can adjust this pattern to the size of your hoop! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #2

Fourth of July craft numero dos!

So while perusing Pinterest for inspiration, I noticed there are like zero cute Fourth of July prints. Zero. So today's DIY is like a craft project and freebie all in one!

First, let's start with the craft...

Back story: I am loving all these Anthropology inspired "zinc" letters on Pinterest lately. 

[click on pic above for link]

Well, I wanted to add a frame to the Fourth of July decor. I was thinking stripes and then I saw these "zinc" letters and thought it would look so cool to do the stripes kinda subtle with the zinc color and white. So here is what I made!


Totally classy right?? ;) And I love that the frame is something that could be used year round, but with the printable it has a totally nautical/patriotic vibe to it. And the subtle metallic stripes turned out exactly how I hoped! 

Here's how you make it!

First you need all of what's below. I bought my 8.5" x 11" wood frame from Joann's. I used FolkArt metallic pearl white paint and a Martha Stewart navy blue paint (not pictured-oops). Oh and any white acrylic paint will work!

[Also make sure to get some masking tape & a foam paint brush if you don't already have one on hand]

So, step one: Paint two coats of white paint all over the frame. 


Next, after the paint dries, use <preferably> a clear acrylic ruler and using a pencil mark 2 7/8" increments along both sides of the long frame. And then draw a line from those markings across the frame. Then using the masking tape, mark off the areas where you'll be painting the metallic stripes.


I also taped around the outer edge of the frame. Just because I wanted the frame to be white around the outside. Just cause. 

And now paint 1-2 coats with your navy paint.


After that has dried completely, paint 3-4 coats of your metallic paint on top of the navy paint. The other zinc tutorials I found use a black paint as their base. I chose navy so the metallic color has a cooler hue to it. But the darker paint on the bottom is what gives the metallic paint it's depth and makes the stripes pop out more too!

Let it dry and remove your masking tape. Print out your free printable <woot-woot!> and you're finished!


And here is that free printable!


And because I'm super nice, I made an extra one!


<3 Lindsey

And in case you missed it, HERE is a link to the first DIY from the series! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #1

I have a fun series planned for the blog that is all about Fourth of July, in honor of my next class!

One thing that bums me out about Independence Day is all the cheesy decorations. They're everywhere.

RIGHT?!

Let's class up Independence Day <---- My personal mission this month.

So the first project I have planned is really easy and really cheap!

STAR SPARKLERS!

So back in December, I bought a huge pack of tinsel pipe cleaners for a Christmas craft project (bought them at Hobby Lobby fyi).


I ended up having quite a bit leftover, so I came up with this....


All you have to do is trace the star pattern with your pipe cleaner, wrapping the end of the pipe cleaner around the beginning to secure the two ends together & hot glue the star and another pipe cleaner together.

Easy as 1...


2...


3!


And done! I included the star file below to upload and print. Also has a "4" on it. That would be super cute to trace too! But I have bigger plans for the number 4...You'll see!

<3 Lindsey

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

[i am good enough] and gosh darn it people like me

So this post will totally deviate from my usual posts, but I felt it important to share.

I recently shared THIS on Facebook. Which is something I'm quietly passionate about. I know that sounds a little ironic... how can you be passionate about something without wanting to share it with everyone?

Well, because it's an awkward issue. I semi-sorta-shared it on here a few months ago.

Everyone has their hang ups. Whether it be physical or otherwise. It could be "my house isn't good enough" or "my clothes aren't good enough" etc etc. And I think in this image-overloaded-Instagram-filtered world, it can be super easy to be insecure.

I'd be lying if I said I never struggled with any of the above, but for the most part my biggest struggle is body or self image.

Like seriously struggled with it. I think like most girls do. And I can contribute it to many things...none of which I'm super comfortable sharing publicly. But even as an adult, I would take my criticisms towards my outward appearance to extremes. And every time I've tried to "resolve" my issues, I might have experienced happiness temporarily but it was never long term. It quickly faded and if anything made my self-hate worse.

For example, about four years ago I decided to train for a half marathon. In my very insecure head, I felt fat. I wasn't, but I thought if I lost a certain amount of weight or accomplished this huge goal that my life would be perfect. I for reals seriously believed that.

So I hardcore trained for 6 months and got in the best shape I've ever been in. Yes, I felt so great about myself periodically. And I was so proud of my accomplishment. But overall it was such a huge let down. My kids still fought and drove me crazy. My husband and I still fought and drove each other crazy. Ha! My house was still a mess. I still had bad hair days. My face still broke out like a 14 year old. My life was exactly the same, except I could finally rock a bikini.

I had a huge light bulb moment during that time. I was never going to be what I considered "perfect". The stars were not going to completely align in my life. EVER. There would always be something I deemed imperfect about it. I learned that I had to come to terms with who I was. Not only on the outside, but on the inside. Accept what I thought were flaws and learn to love them. Learn that those flaws are what makes me unique and different. Stop listening to people who told me differently. And start being a good example of self love to my impressionable young daughter.

It's awesome to want to be healthy. It's awesome if you're a girly-girl and love make-up and clothes or if you're happiest in your pj's. It's awesome if you love interior decorating or being crafty. Or if you could care less and love to write or read books. It's awesome if you're ADD like me and want to change your mind about what you love on a daily basis haha. But don't ever think that being in great shape, or having the best clothes, or cutest house is what will bring you ultimate joy in life. That's a journey and a process, a sometimes long and difficult one, and not something that will happen from a new <smaller> pair of pants, a new couch, wrinkle-erasing face cream, or a diet pill.

I work with a bunch of ladies and we are ALL hard on ourselves. Too hard. And I never agree with a coworker's criticism of themselves. I always think they are insane for believing something so depressing about themselves (what is usually an exaggeration of the truth) Because I, like most nice people, only see what makes them so great. And I have to remind myself that they most likely see the same about me. They don't focus on what I'm lacking in nearly to the same degree as I do. I hope that us as women can be kinder and more accepting of one another and, most importantly, of ourselves. That's all.

Perfection is perception, not reality.

<steps off soap box>

<3 Lindsey





Sunday, May 5, 2013

[june adoorable decor]

Who's the worst blogger????

MEEEEEEEEEEE!

I'm typing this post from my phone. A first. I'm already regretting it. But when you live in a house with 5 people and one computer, you get desperate.

So keeping this kinda short....I took May off from teaching my class, but will be teaching a new wreath on June 1st!

And here it is!



It's a fun 4th of July starburst wreath for all you patriotic peeps out there. And it's my biggest wreath yet! 18 inches!

<gave up on my phone, kicked my son off, and am now on the computer haha> <I WANT A TABLET!!!!>

I digress....

Anyways, you can sign up for class HERE and save 10% on the class too.

A little update about my most recent quilt- I tried my hardest to quilt it myself (if you follow me on IG @lindseymneill you would have heard ALL about my pathetic-ness) So it's currently with the quilter. Should get it back soon and add the pretty red & white striped binding. EEK! Can't wait!!!

And some belated/personal news over at the Neill House- We have officially saved up enough to buy a house starting in July! So if I'm even more quieter on here than usual, you'll know why. Though I do have some fun projects lined up to blog about in the meantime!

Enough rambling! Hope you all have a great week!

<3 Lindsey


Friday, April 5, 2013

[and the winner is] hello wreath giveaway

Time to announce the winner of the giveaway!

I just want to say thank you real quick to all those who commented! You all gave me a big smile with each and every post : ) THANK YOU!

Just a reminder, the winner will receive a kit to my class (which is today - eek!). The kit will include everything you need to make it, minus a hot glue gun and whatever you decorate your hello sign with. Also will include instructions, so no fear! This is by far the easiest class I've done yet, so you should be able to whip it out in an hour. If you have any issues, you can contact me at Lindseyh1982@yahoo.com! Always happy to help! 

Any who.....AND THE WINNER IS <drum roll> 

TORRIE FROM THE GROWING STOTT FAMILY! 

CONGRATS!!!! (IMAGINE THERE IS CONFETTI AND STREAMERS FLYING ALL AROUND YOU AND "CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES" IS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND. WOOT WOOT!)

But you didn't win a million dollars. Just a wreath kit. BUT IT'S STILL TOTALLY AWESOME!! 

Anyways, I'll be contacting you shortly so I can mail it out! 

BUT WAIT! 

I have good news even for those who didn't win!

I have extra kits leftover! If you want one, just leave a comment below or contact me at Lindseyh1982@yahoo.com. They are $18.99 each, plus shipping. Hurry before they're gone!


<3 Lindsey

p.s. sorry for sounding like a infomercial right there...but seriously, hurry!