Watermark Your Photos-PicMonkey

Hey techies! Today I’m sharing another PicMonkey tutorial on how to watermark your photos. I did a post on making a PicMonkey Invitation a couple months ago and several people have asked what program I use to make my graphics. PicMonkey is extremely user friendly and free (unless you want to upgrade to Royale.)


I, personally, don’t use watermarks on my photos because I use a LOT of photos in my blogs and honestly, I just forget. It has nothing to do with the difficulty of the task. The first step is to open www.picmonkey.com in your browser (I know…duh…but it is the first step.) Next we’ll make a watermark that you can use to stamp onto each of your photos so you won’t have to re-create a new watermark every time you edit a photo. Click on the design button on PicMonkey’s homepage.

transparent-canvasIn the ‘crop’ menu on the left, click the box for ‘transparent canvas’ and hit ‘apply.’ This will make your watermark only show the text/image over your photo.

textAt this point, you’ll most likely want to use the ‘add text’ menu or the ‘overlay’ menu (the butterfly.) I wanted my name as the watermark so I clicked the ‘Add Text’ button and a text box popped up on my canvas as well as a text window to adjust the size, orientation, color etc.

font-fadeFor the purpose of this tutorial, I left the text black but for my actual blog I would use white and fade it so it would show up better on my photos. I might even make a white version and a grey version in case I have an image with a white background. The above photo actually has the window for the arrow rather than the text but I wanted to point out where the fade slider is for the text or image. I love PicMonkey because you can use their free fonts, their Royale fonts and all of your existing fonts on your computer. If you want a TON of fonts but don’t want to pay the extra for Royale you can download free fonts at DaFont.com or Google.com/fonts.

geometricIf you want some sort of boarder around your text you can use the ‘geometric’ option from the ‘overlay’ menu. I chose a black rectangle that I enlarged and rotated. I right clicked on the black rectangle to bring up a menu where I ‘sent to back’ so it would fall behind my text.

layered-boarderThere are literally billions of different options for making your watermark. A lot of bloggers write out their name or full url and place it in the lower right or left hand corner of each picture. Some bloggers have more of an image stamped with their ‘seal’ somewhere on their photo. You will only want to have the border if you want it to really stand out on your photo.

cropYou’ll want to use the ‘crop’ menu to crop your photo as ‘no fixed proportions’ so you can outline the area you’ve designed.

save-sizeOnce you’re satisfied with your watermark, hit ‘save’ at the top of your screen. Name your file and re-size it’s dimensions. You’ll want to change your size to something much smaller; anywhere from 100-300 depending on how large you want your watermark. You can also just leave it large and re-size it when adding it to your photo.

adding-watermarkTo add your watermark to a photo, open your photo in a new PicMonkey tab and click ‘edit’ from the homepage. Once you’ve selected the photo you want to watermark, click the ‘overlay’ menu (butterfly) and click ‘your own’ to add your watermark. Resize as needed.

watermark-example-1Here is the watermark I made for this tutorial but I’ve also made a few others in the past when I was trying to decide if I wanted to watermark my photos.

watermark-example-2watermark-example-4watermark-example-7Yes, the theme for the photo bomb was ‘my babies.’ If I come into a problem with people stealing my photos, I’ll probably start adding a watermark. For now, the disclaimer on my ‘about me’ page is comfort enough. I may be too trustworthy but that’s ok. Have you run into copy write problems with your photos in the past? Do you use a watermark now? Aren’t my babies the cutest?

*For a tutorial on how to make the Nutella Parfait on the title photo, click here and for the Gooey Granola Bars click here (both of which will have you thanking me.)

Organizing Crafts

Ello creative friends! I’ve been asked a few times on the blog how I organize allllllll of my crafting crap supplies. I’m sad to say that it is my very least favorite thing to organize in our home and I think it’s because I have more stuff than room to fit it all! My dream is to have a FULL room just for my hobbies/crafts (or a large portion of a basement.) For now, I’ll do the best I can to organize what I have so I don’t buy things more than once and I always have some kind of supplies to make a craft if I’m feeling creative.

organizing-your-craftsOrganizing crafts is messy and I wasn’t sure exactly how to show you everything since there is SO much in such a small area. I thought numbering the shelves and describing what’s on them would be the most efficient way to show you my goods.


  1. Guitar amp, bag with ancient gaming consoles and my book bag with supplies from my art class a couple years ago.
  2. Disney puzzles, chess, hammock, basket with misc. cords and coloring books.
  3. Party board games, shoe boxes full of cards for Sophie, our wedding memorabilia and cards to send out, Smash Book basket (whatever current Smash book I’m working on has all supplies in there for easy access), sewing machine with incomplete cover, computer/photo paper in magazine folder, and large paper cutter.
  4. Tote filled with fun crafts (buttons, pipe cleaners, friendship string, heat beads), tote of punches, glue gun and embossing gun, tote of scrap book paper, magazine folder of misc. scrap book paper, a Recollections storage unit with stamps in the left drawer and stickers on the right, a photo album of my plant tags, twine and a 3 hole punch.
  5. This is the insane part. The floor holds fabric for projects yet to be completed, (stockings and a blanket for Lexi) Scrabble, Rock Band drum kit, transfer paper for my Cricut, all the current scrap books/Smash books I’m working on and my Cricut (I know, I need a better place for it!)
  6. Rarely used games, a tote of cards and dice games and a tote of poker chips.
  7. Our most played games, (these get played about once/month) our camera bag and photo reflectors. Under the camera equipment sits my Dad’s tripod and a few prepped canvases for a quick craft. I like prepping canvas all at once so they have time to dry so I can get to the painting part when I’m inspired.
  8. This 6 cube storage unit holds a TON. On top is my massive bead box. Top left: crayons, colored pencils, markers, water color and kid scissors. Top right: ribbons and a few magazines. Middle left: acrylic paints filled to the top (my inspiration for getting this organizer b/c they were spread between 3 totes before.) Middle right: paint brushes, gesso, brush cleaner and other tools. Bottom left: tulle and small scraps of fabrics. Bottom right: sewing supplies (needles, pins, thread, quilt cutter, measuring tape, heat’n bond etc.)

While I look at this photo, the closet still looks insane and unorganized to me. I at least know where everything is and it’s easy to put away. The main thing is that the floor access to the crawl space is clear for tornado warnings!

My desk has an Alex drawer unit that holds the supplies that I use more often. I just recently bought this unit and am so happy with it because it has really long drawers and I have room to grow.


The top drawer has my favorite expandable acrylic organizer (I also have one for my makeup.) This drawer holds my paperclips that sit on top of my post-it notes. It also has my pencil sharpeners, eraser, USB stick, extra markers, lip chap, hand lotion, chalk, notebook, iPhone cable, return address stamp, ink and stamp roll.

IMG_3689The second drawer down is my adhesive drawer. It holds my washi tapes, embossing pad, glues, scrap book tape, magnetic tape, glue dots, floral tape and acrylic tape.  My favorite adhesives, besides the beautiful washi tapes, are the Scotch glue dots and the Martha Stewart glue (in case you were wondering.) I also really love my Aleen’s scrap book tape for scrapping.

glitter-Alex-drawer-IKEAThe third drawer down shows my unhealthy addiction with glitter. It also holds our True Love tin (wedding gift from my sister) containing mosaic tiles. I also have my One A Day journal (that I’ve, sadly, not written in for two years) and the Martha Steward circle cutter.

junk-Alex-drawer-IKEAThe fourth drawer is my obligatory junk drawer that has stuff that I use but don’t really have a place for. Embossing powder, extra exacto, bleach pen, fancy scissors, screwdriver, date stamp, extra ink pad, stone beads (I guess I do know where those can go…) and buttons.

final-Alex-drawer-IKEAThe final drawer is my techy drawer because it holds extra cables, my iPhone box, headphones and my awesome Bamboo tablet that I NEEDED but have hardly used. *looks down and shakes head*

If you’ve ever been curious as to where this blog originates, it is here:

blogging-deskThis shot was from a couple weeks ago, before I got my new lamp and before I started trying to make a dent in my scrap book pile. I like using a laptop rather than a desktop so I can move it to the couch if we’re watching a movie or if I’m using the desk for an extensive project. The shelf up top holds my ‘no touching unless you’re Shelly’ carousel of crayons, fake plant, twine, mini 3-hole punch, tape, stacking dolls and random vase. I also have my favorite Disney princess (Ariel) and favorite musician (Trent Reznor) on the walls. You’ll also probably recognize my friendship lamp!

wall-storageThe area on the wall behind my computer holds the photo wire with some of my favorite memories that I often rotate. I also have a wall container unit that holds my stationary for quick thank you notes, markers, colored pencils and my favorite writing utensils. I have to admit though, my desk does not always look this empty. I clean it to this state once every couple of weeks, but usually it has some sort of project occupying at least half of the desk. Here’s what my desk looks like tonight:

messy-deskMy desk will remain like this until I finish ONE scrapbook. In case you were wondering, I’m working on our Disney Trips album. All in all, I know where everything is and I don’t have to make too much effort trying to get it out or put it back away, which is key in keeping things organized. I have also promised myself to not buy any more scrap booking materials until I go through half of my supplies. This is hard because I really want to see what Project Life is all about! Anyone else have a similar method or do you organize completely different? Similar messy desk syndrome at least? ;) I’d love to hear how you organize your crafts or if you have any suggestions to help me improve my situation!


createI saw this glyph for ‘create’ and had an epiphany that I feel should not have taken 29 years to realize. One of the things that is constant in my life is that as long as I create, I am happy. There are a billion ways I can be creative. Painting a massive canvas, baking a 12 layer chocolate cake, making a clover headband, weaving a rug, learning Blackbird on the guitar…literally a billion. Even if my creation fails, I still get joy from the process and usually learn something along the way. So create, and be happy.

So what’s aperture do again?

Hello shutterbugs! I am doing a new series on photography the next several weeks. Photography is a hobby that I wish I was more passionate about. I look up to the people who can really capture a moment in time to freeze it for all eternity. It’s a major talent to be able to see an image and re-create it perfectly as you see it in your mind. This is my ultimate goal and I’m starting today by learning about aperture. I believe the best way to learn is by teaching others, so hopefully this will help me in understanding my DSLR further.

ApertureThere are three main areas of the camera that you can adjust to get your photo to turn out how you’ve imagined. The aperture, ISO and shutter speed can all be adjusted to get the perfect shot. Aperture refers to the adjustable hole in your lens that allows light to enter. Measured in f/stops, the smaller the number, the larger the hole and in turn, more light that can enter the camera. Imagine the aperture as your pupil; with low lighting, your pupil gets larger to allow more light to enter but when you’re outside where it’s sunny, your pupil shrinks to shield your eye from the light.

fstopsAperture is used in determining the depth of field (or portion in which your image is in focus.) The wider your aperture (low number), the shallower your depth of field making a smaller portion of your image in focus. The smaller your aperture (high number), larger your depth of field making a larger portion of your image in focus. I’m a visual person so here is an example of a low f/stop setting and a high f/stop setting.

tea-low-aperturemountain-high-apertureNotice how the tea cup is in focus but the background is fuzzy? There is a shallow depth of field because a low f/stop number was used. In the photo of the mountain, everything is in focus making the depth of field very large with a high f/stop number. The toughest thing for me to remember is that the smaller the aperture (hole), the larger the f/stop number. A good way to remember this is to squint and open your eyes real wide. People often squint to see things in focus (small eye = small aperture hole.) For an image with everything in focus squint or make your aperture hole smaller (f/stop number larger.) Basically, they’re opposites.

fstop2The best way to learn how aperture affects your photos is by taking the same photo several times, changing only the f/stop. Here are a few of my favorite explanations of aperture from my fellow bloggers:

i heart naptime
Kevin & Amanda
Click It Up A Notch
Snap Creativity

Now I must take advantage of Sophie’s nap and practice! What’s the hardest part for you to remember while changing the settings on your camera? Anything you’d like to learn more about that I can do in my photography series? Chances are, I need to learn it better as well! Just keep practicing!


Mountain and teacup photos were not taken by me. Click on the photo for the original photographer’s site.

# Ask Away Friday with Sarah || Beauty School Drop Out

Another beautiful Friday is here to welcome us to the weekend!! Friday’s are great because they say ‘you did it! you’re almost to fun!’ and also because it means it’s # Ask Away Friday!! My partner had a lot of questions that made me smile this week so I’m excited to share my answers with you!
Ask Away Friday BadgeMy questionnaire extraordinaire for this week was Sarah from Beauty School Drop Out. Sarah wears many hats but her biggest hats are as wife, mommy of two boys, attorney, runner and blogger! Sarah is a knitting expert and is big into eating healthy meals as a family. She’s a great resource for me because knitting is one hobby I haven’t tried and am interested in AND we’re just starting to be able to eat as a family at the dinner table since Sophie can eat more of our food!


 Here are the questions that Sarah asked me:

1. It seems like you are really thriving through your first year of motherhood.  Now that you’re an “experienced” mom, what advice would you give a friend getting ready to have a baby?
Thank you! I’ve never thought about that but she is healthy and happy so I guess we’re doing something right! I would tell them to do what YOU feel is best for your baby. Don’t listen to ‘what you should be able to do’ according to other people or the internet. Sometimes it takes a long time to heal, sometimes you can’t breast feed, and sometimes your baby won’t sleep without being in a swing…and these things just happen. As long as you’re healthy (or on the road to recovery) and your baby is healthy, everything is going better than perfect! Oh and if things don’t seem ‘quite right’ don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.

Feeding-Tube2. I’m slightly obsessed with paper planners (and all things stationary, honestly) but sadly I think an electronic system just works better for me.  Are you still using your awesome homemade life planner?
I confess, I do use my gmail calendar on my phone the most for scheduling. I used my planner really well for several months but when I didn’t have a convenient place to use it, I lost track of it. We now have it back in a prime location so I’ve been using it more the past couple of weeks and have been LOVING it! Sometimes I’m better at seeing things in written out in as the big picture which is hard to do on my phone.

planner3. What’s your favorite quick, weeknight meal to cook for your family?
Probably tacos because it’s my husband’s favorite meal. :) My favorite way to make them is to chop up some onion and sautee it before browning the ground turkey. We use TacoBell’s taco seasoning and make sure to marinade the meat in it for at least 10 minutes. We either use black beans or refried beans and add salsa, cheese and guac to the taco to finish it off. Sometimes in a whole grain wrap or on top of spinach…either way, it’s our favorite quick meal for the week because it doesn’t take a lot of attention!

4. I love Jimmy John’s! I saw a photo on your About page of you in a wedding dress holding a JJs bag – what’s the story there?!
We stopped at Jimmy Johns to get food between our photo shoot on the circle and our ceremony, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to join in the cocktail hour. My husband works for Jimmy John’s corporate office as a systems administrator. Also, no, we don’t get discounts. ;)

jimmy-johns5. Have you always been into DIY and crafting?  Tell us about one of your first projects.
Yes and yes. My Mom, Dad and Sister are all extremely talented in the way of art, craft and diy so it was a natural thing for me growing up. If you can think of a type of craft or art, I’ve most likely tried it at least once when I was growing up. I have no clue what one of my first projects would have been?! I remember helping foil the edges of stained glass pieces when I was too little to cut or solder and I was always my Dad’s assistant, getting him tools, on DiY projects.

bean_dad3_19866. What is your most and least favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is the fact that it’s forcing me to practice, and in turn improve, my photography skills. I know photos are a big part of why people look at blogs and I want to be up there with the greats eventually. ;) My least favorite thing about blogging is the fact that it’s all new skills to learn for me. In order to be at the level of blogging that I want DiY Mama to be, I’d like to know CSS and have awesome photography skills. My writing skills will also need to improve and I’ll need an extra five hours in the day set aside for all the projects I want to do…but those things will just have to wait. ;)

city-museum7. “Let’s try this again, shall we?” is the tagline to your blog — what’s the story behind it?
I tend to say that in my head a lot. It’s rare that I’ll do something anything perfectly the first try. I could be trying a new painting technique, new food for Sophie or new recipe and will have to say that because something didn’t go right. In every single aspect of my life I have to try things again from a different approach and that’s ok. My parents taught me to just try again. ‘Here, try it this way’ is something I heard a lot growing up so now I say to myself ‘let’s try this again, shall we?’ (in a Brittish accent usually.)

8. Throwback Thursday – what activities (sports, band, etc) did you participate in in high school?
Oh dear! No one’s ever asked about my high school days! Throughout high school I played soccer (year round) and was in choir. I was also in Hello Dolly, Girl Scouts until my Silver Award, Student Council and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes.) I’m not quite sure how I actually did all of that and kept up with school?! It sounds like a lot now. A lot that my parents and grandparents went to every single game, award ceremony and performance I had. The biggest reason I was in so many activities is because I was well supported.

highschool9. What’s a big decision that you made recently?
We haven’t had to make any big decisions since we decided to not go to Paris for money reasons. Currently the biggest decision I’m working on is what fireplace doors to buy so Sophie won’t jump in the fire this winter. ;) I have some time.

10. Describe yourself in 6 words or less.  
Caring, needy, tenacious, creative, and not always organized but great at organizing. ;) That last one was more  than one word but I didn’t know how to describe it in one.
vegasSee what I meant about the fun questions?! Anyone else play the head of a horse in their high school musical? What about remembering your first craft project?! I’m thankful my biggest decision lately is what fireplace doors to purchase. I need this break of ‘not crazy’ in my life. :) Be sure to check out the questions I asked Sarah at Beauty School Drop Out!

Family Command Center

Hidy ho good neighbor! Do you have a hard time keeping everyone’s schedules in order, argue over what to eat for dinner or always looking for that list for the grocery? Well look no further! I’m going to show you how to create a family command center that can organize all of your family’s information in one place! Ok, I’m done talking like an infomercial. Not sure where that came from.

command-centerThis project was ultimately a success but there were a lot of failures along the way! It started back in February when I thought it would be a good idea to paint in the middle of the winter and not need to open all the doors and windows. I was very wrong. I started with a magnet paint so we would be able to put those magnet letters or other learning tools on the bottom for Sophie. 1. Magnet paint is extremely harsh smelling. 2. It takes FOREVER to dry before it stops smelling. 3. It requires more than one coat. After evacuating our home for several hours to Barnes and Noble, we come back home to the wall not even able to hold a piece of paper with a magnet (and still smelly.) I tried another coat and it still wasn’t a strong enough hold so I gave up on the magnet portion of the wall and waited until spring to do the chalkboard portion. Unfortunately, I can not give you any tips on doing a magnet wall since it didn’t work for me but I may try again in the future.magnet-wall

A few months later, I painted the chalkboard wall. I had to sand down the magnetic surface because it was too textured. Once I wiped my surface clean, I used a roller to apply two coats of the chalk board paint (letting it dry for 24 hours in between each coat and before writing on the wall.) I also taped off where I wanted my boarder. I had to use a boarder because I got outside of the lines with the magnetic paint and didn’t want to touch it up with our grey paint. Happy accident. Also, notice I painted this right before Father’s Day. :)

chalkboard-paintI painted the boarder with a regular paint brush to make sure there wasn’t too much paint on the brush which kept it from seeping under the tape. I used Target’s smallest size tub of Devine Color in ‘Pond‘ for the border. Our command center is as you walk into our kitchen, making it a central location for us to easily access it. Once everything had dried for a day, I hung everything we needed to be organized.

locationFor us a large dry erase calendar works well for a monthly at-a-glance snapshot of the big events that are going on. There is also room for our to-do list, coupons, and a few pictures.

calendarUnder the calendar, I hung a picture ledge that holds our planner and chalk. Our planner has been used a lot more regularly now that we have it in a prime spot that is easy to access. We use it for all scheduling and meal planning making it easy for either of us to see what’s going on anytime.

planner-shelfThe bottom portion of the wall is reserved for fun! It is currently showcasing art by my niece, Fiona, and myself (who still draws houses like I did in 3rd grade.) I really love our wall. There are some splatter marks I’ll eventually (who are we kidding) never touch up, paint on the light switches and the frame at the top is not centered. This is what makes it a DiY project and is worth being proud of (even if it took 6 months to complete.)

artHow do you keep your family’s schedules in order? Anyone have their mail sorter in their command center? We’re terrible at going through our mail as soon as it comes in the door. I should probably go work on my house drawings. Let me know if you’ve used magnet paint and if you were successful!

Let’s Do It!

let's do itThis summer’s motto: let’s do it! I’ve realized recently that we can’t live life thinking ‘what if ____ happens.’ Living life that way, we’ d miss out on a lot of great memories. We survived taking our 9mo baby on a 12 hour road trip and had an absolutely amazing time. Sometimes we do things that I’m sure people say ‘why are they doing that?’ like taking our bean to Kohl’s at 10:30 this weekend, letting Soph climb into the shower with me with all of her clothes on because she’s being needy or as everyone with babies is leaving the festival for the night, we’re just going! If our girl is happy though, we’re happy. We want her to experience all the awesomness that this world has to offer and we’re not going to say ‘what if ____ happens’ but ‘let’s do it!’

Roadtrippin’ With Baby

Howdy ya’ll! You’ll never hear those words out of my mouth but we recently returned from Oklahoma and I felt it appropriate. ;) We took our 9mo baby girl with us on a road trip to visit our family in Tulsa two weeks ago. Now that things have settled down, I thought it would be helpful, to other brave souls who may try road tripping with their lil ones, to put together a little post on what things worked and didn’t work on our trip.


The most important thing we learned while vacationing with our little bean is to not worry. Don’t be afraid to go places. If things don’t work out you can always go back to the car or hotel for food or a nap. We made sure to max out this vacation with ‘firsts’ for Sophie. We drove on a Saturday thinking it would take 8 hours…it took 12. Of those 12 hours, only two were bad though so I think it was extremely successful! We had a few spots mapped out to stop in case she was awake. She was awake for the safari but missed out on the fire breathing dragon so Mommy and Daddy ran out to take a quick pic. It’s ok though, giraffes and dragons are pretty much the same. ;)

dragon-giraffeAnother thing we learned fairly quickly is to take it easy at rest spots. When we let Sophie out of the car to look around in the gas station, watch the kids play on the swing set or pretend to drive, she did a much better job of eating and going back to sleep when we got back on the road. When we rushed her stops, she couldn’t be consoled and we’d just end up stopping again soon. Sometimes she was happy pretending to be George Washington by playing with random stuff in the car (does she not look like GW with the diaper on her head?!) other times she’d need to be thrown really high outside with Daddy. She LOVED captaining her ship with her cape too (we were listening to The Princess Bride and she thought she was Dread Pirate Sophie.) I wish we would have taken a blanket to lay on the grass so she could crawl around a bit at rest stops. Next time!


reststop2One thing that we did very successfully was her diaper bag. We packed a ridiculous amount of crap stuff for her when we should have just bought all of her diapers, wipes and food once we got there. The diaper bag was clutch though. It had a gallon ziplock bag for ‘wardrobe change accidents’, wipes, two extra pairs of comfy driving clothes, tons of toys, (book, teethers, rattles, stuffed animals etc.) ready-made Enfamils, baby food jars, and TONS of diapers and bibs. We were extremely thankful we laid a towel down on the back seat next to her car seat in case she had a bad accident and we weren’t near an exit (we’ve learned from experience.)


We also made sure she got enough sleep but we didn’t plan our vacation around her naps. She got good naps in the morning and at night but we tried to keep her awake a bit longer during the middle of the day to do something fun and she was completely fine. Did not cry once from hunger or being tired. She LOVED watching every person, animal and dinosaur we saw! We took her to the Driller’s baseball game, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, City Museum in St. Louis and the 4th of July Festival to see the fireworks. She seriously loved every single thing and we loved watching her. We were only about 15 min. from home/hotel from all of these places so we knew if she was too tired or scared we could easily take her back.




funI was worried before we left that our ‘quiet, relaxing, peaceful trip to visit our family’ would end up being a ‘cryfest, headache filled, sleep deprived’ trip. I was very wrong. We couldn’t have had a better time and I’m so thankful our family let us come visit them and showed us a wonderful time in OK! We won’t be afraid to travel with her again until she’s in her terrible two’s. ;) Have any of you taken a road trip with a little one? What did you learn that you want passed on to other parents to keep their vacations a happy memory? Mmmm that funnel cake was amazing by the way.

Creative Summer Crafts

TGIF! I hope you’re all doing well and gearing up for a fun filled weekend! I was super inspired by the sheer number of creativity I saw on my fellow blogger’s sites this week! TONS of great summer crafts! It was actually really tough to choose only five that I wanted to do/share with you all! Anyone want to come babysit so I can just create all weekend?!

craftyMy top favorite crafts that I saw were projects that I’d like to make for myself or someone else. I like how some of them are things I’ve never done or thought to do but are simple to do and are inexpensive.

  1. The first project I fell in love with is trending all over the blogsphere right now! Weaving! I really like the thought of putting something textural on a gallery wall in whatever shape/pattern I choose. Rachel at A Beautiful Mess wove this darling pink and green piece with a loom but shows how to make your own with a board and nails!
  2. Ashley from Sugar and Cloth guest posted at Julep this week the most adorable way to liven up some simple candy jars! You could really do this with any container. She painted the bottom and added feet for just a few dollars to make them one of a kind.
  3. I spotted this summer outdoor sign painted by Ariean at One Krieger Chick! Ariean did a great job of writing the tutorial and showing how to do a great ombre effect with paint. I love how it livened up their outdoor space to make it more fun and personable to their family!
  4. Amy at Delineate Your Dwelling, once again, created something that I fell in love with. Stamping cocktail napkins as a gift using wine corks! The design possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to re-use something you already have!
  5. Kristy, from Diary of Dave’s Wife, posted this totes adorbs tote at Eighteen25 this week! I love it for so many reasons. 1. You can’t have enough totes. 2. I abrev ev. 3. I love stripes and the heart on the back!! Looks like a great tote to take to the beach or farmer’s market this summer!

Was I right or what?! Awesome job ladies! Lovin’ the creativity going on this summer! I think I’ll save weaving for this winter because I’ll get too restless doing it while it’s nice out, although I really want one for my gallery wall..hmmm… tough problems today. ;) I also want to throw a party so I can make some cute jars, and instal a pool so I can make that sweet splash sign. ;) Anyone throwing a party that I can make these cocktail napkins for? I’ll bring the wine in my totes adorbs bag! Now that I’ve got it all planned out…what are you going to try to make? Any fun crafts you’re going to try your hand at soon?

# Ask Away Friday with Lisa || Expandng

Hello lovelies! I’ve had an awesome week with it being my husband’s birthday week, my best friend coming to visit and having the most perfect weather! I’m also super excited to be swapping questions for # Ask Away Friday since I had a week off while we were on vacation.

Ask Away Friday BadgeI’m super duper excited to be swapping with an extremely sweet lady named Lisa who blogs with great writing and photos at Expandng! Lisa is a mama who knows how to have a great time with her family and document it beautifully. Be sure to check out her blog for some of my favorite posts A Man and His Jam and her series on Letter to my Future Self.

lisaHere are the questions Lisa asked me:

1. When and why did you start a blog?
I started my blog DiY Mama soon after Sophie was born. I wanted to have a way to follow how we were caring for her and share what worked and didn’t work for parenting her. I also wanted to share the DiY projects that we make including my failures to show that sometimes projects don’t work out how you want them but that shouldn’t stop you from creating! It’s been a big help in keeping me sane while being a stay-at-home mom!

blog2. How has your blog changed since you started it?
It hasn’t changed a whole lot because it’s not even a year old and I don’t want to change things often so I can track what my readers like and don’t like. I’ve improved a bit on my graphics and I just changed the font and sidebar, but not much other than those areas!

3. Since your blog name is DiY Mama, what are the things that you DiY? And confess, what are things you just buy?
We have DiY’d some bigger projects such as tiling our back splash and building the deck and pergola. My husband also wired our whole home for speakers, installed wall speakers and put automatic lights in all the closets. I’ve done a few painting projects and I’m working on a floor to ceiling gallery wall right now. Since our home is only four years old it hasn’t needed many other DiY projects! The crafts I DiY are just for fun! There are some things that we won’t DiY again like staining our fence because we did such a terrible job. ;)

stain splash

4. What is the best and worst part of being a parent?
The best part is watching her learn and grow! Right now Sophie is super vocal and is pulling herself up like a champ. She just has such a great time doing everything so I love watching her. The worst part of parenting is clipping her nails and feeding her while she just wants to blow raspberries all over me. ;) There’s honestly not one thing that I dislike about being a parent right now.

photo1(36)5. I love your blog design-so simple and clean. I also love your graphics. What programs do you use to create them?
Thank you! I use PicMonkey for all my graphics, my Tuesday Truth and Friday Finds. I use Polyvore for my mood boards. They’re both user friendly and have a ton of tutorials for specific things you might want to do with them.

6. The DiY jewelry dish you recently posted was gorgeous. Where do you draw your DiY inspiration from?
Thank you again! :) I draw inspiration through several mediums. I follow several design blogs, read Pinterest and try to replicate things I see in stores. Sometimes I’ll just go to a hobby store and find something that I like or a new technique I want to try and just make something. Two things I’ll be trying soon is wood burning and using a grommet tool!

6best7. I hear so much about the SITS Girls, and I see the badge on your blog. Could you tell me (and your readers) more about them and why you’re a member?
SITS Girls is an informational site on all things revolving around blogging. They feature bloggers (which is why I have them on my sidebar) and have posts on photography, designing your blog, how to stay focused, and even craft posts. It’s a massive site! I wish I had time to really read it more often because it’s seriously a great tool and a great community of bloggers to be a part of.

Capture8. How much of your personal life (kids, family, etc.) do you share on your blog vs keep private? How did you make that decision?
I share pretty freely on DiY Mama regarding every aspect of my life. I don’t give personal info for security reasons but I write about everything else. I don’t write super deep posts just because this is a DiY/parenting site that is on the lighter side, more geared toward inspiring others.

sophie (38)9. What is your favorite form of social media?
Currently, Instagram. I look at it every morning when I wake up to see the beautiful pictures and get inspired for the day. I only follow a few people because they are photographers, florists or design bloggers who I am inspired by. I like that there is no pressure for me to follow, tag, retweet, like and correspond with people in order to keep followers because I don’t use it to further my blog.

insta10. What is your six word memoir? Basically summing up your life’s story (so far) only in six words. (Stole this from an Honest Tea bottle cap!)
This is really hard for me! Crafty Hoosier; lover of family and Disney. I have deep roots in my home state of Indiana and the two biggest loves of my life are my family and Disney!


Bonus: Answer one question you asked me! I asked: If you could have a second wedding reception with all of your friends and family, money is not relevant, where would you have it? What would you eat? How would you decorate?
I loved planning my wedding/reception! I would do things a LOT different if money was no object though. I would have loved to have a week long vacation for my wedding/reception. I would love to celebrate in Disney but I know I would get stressed out about trying to show my favorite parts of Disney with everyone! I’m going to say I’d like to go to an all-inclusive resort in Fiji. We would have a roasted pig and island cuisine with lots of fresh tropical fruits. I wouldn’t decorate much because the teal water would be my backdrop but I would be sure to have lots of flowing white curtains, twinkling white lights strung about and island flowers on the tables. We would have the reception at the beginning of the week so we could relax or go explore the remainder of our time there. Sigh. :)

NamaleGreat questions Lisa! I’m excited to go see how you answered my questions! What are your favorite programs for making graphics? Have any secrets on how to trim squirmy kid’s nails?! I’ll be starting a fund for this magical reception that I’ve been dreaming about if anyone’s interested. ;)