Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekly Wishes # 2 // Recap of 2013

Okay, I'm a little embarrassed I have been really slacking on regular posts.  Okay, pretty darn embarrassed. Break's over now so you'll be hearing a lot more from me :)  Truth is, I have been really enjoying all of the holiday season with my family.  And it has been wonderful.  For the past several years I have been working retail or fast food over the season, Thanksgiving through New Years working extra hours to help through the busy months.  This year I was able to be home with my family for most of the time and I loved it, I soaked in every minute of it. I enjoyed my time with them so much and I am beyond thankful for that much-needed break, but I'm also glad things will be slowing down now and I can really get focused and be productive.

I know my most recent post was also my first "Weekly Wish."  This week is a special edition one though, so hopefully it won't seem too repetitive. 

This week is all about achievements of 2013.

  ♥ p h o t o l o v e ------------------
It was a struggle for me to find a good photo of something orange.  Finally came across this photo taken at my wedding, the popcorn bar on the way out the door.  Photo credit Jodi Erion Photography.

 ♥ 2 0 1 3 s u c c e s s ----------------------

 Got married.
(to the most amazing man EVER)
Moved into a house that we love.
Went out of the country for the first time. 
(fell in love with beautiful Mexico) 
Spent my honeymoon without any of my luggage
and still had the time of my life.
Celebrated our little sunshine's first birthday.
Narrowed down what I wanted to do with my life.
Quit my job.
Began this blog.
Started working on starting a business.
Took over my husband's mancave with craft mess.
Made a plan to organize craft mess into beautiful office area.
(will get to the DO part soon)
Got a very cute black kitty. Named him Bagira.
Learned to load and shoot a shotgun.
Started a savings plan.
Drove a pick up truck for the first time ever.


I just can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2013. It has been a phenomenal year and I am so excited to see what 2014 has in store.  It will be another year of hard work and lots of new memories.  I'm anxious to get started.

Visit the link-up party for Weekly Wishes by The Nectar Collective here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Weekly Wishes #1 // Merry Christmas!

Tonight as I was sitting on my couch scrolling through Bloglovin on my phone, having a well-deserved quiet moment after days of all kinds of crazy, I came across something fabulous.

The Nectar Collective

It's called Weekly Wishes, by The Nectar Collective.
You can see the post I found here.

This is such a great concept and it's just what I need to stay motivated. Basically, you make your "wishes" big or small of what you want to accomplish for the week.  You reflect on your wishes from the last week too, and you leave pretty photo art pertaining to the week's theme.

I got so excited about this that I had to jump up off the couch, head to the computer and get started.
So here's my very first Weekly Wish.

 ♥ p h o t o l o v e ------------------

My favorite place in nature on the West Coast.  Up in the mountains.  Every time I go I am amazed again at how breathtaking it is.  Heavenly Father is an artist, truly, I am mesmerized by the beauty.

l a s t w e e k ----------------------

Since this is my very first weekly wish, I didn't technically have one last week.  However I did mention in a post last week that I wanted to finally get both of my Etsy shops running, the website, and Facebook page too.  I had originally planned on getting everything together and up by the first of December... Things are tough when you also work full-time, have a toddler running around, and are preparing for the holiday season, so I got a little behind schedule.  Okay a lot.  BUT I did manage to finally get things running this week- the pages don't have everything I want on them, they're not perfect yet, and they still need a lot of work, but the important part is the progress, right? I'll just keep telling myself that anyways :)

t h i s w e e k ----------------------

Build a realistic schedule and budget so I can start stickin' to it.  This New Year we as a family have three main resolutions (which I will discuss more about soon).  But these are two of the three; a budget and a schedule.  Budgeting is something I have tried and failed at more times than I care to admit. Basically what it comes down to is I set completely unrealistic expectations, so we always cave in and use the money how we "need" to.  I'm really excited about using the envelope system, and this week I want to get going on that to be ready for the New Year.   As far as scheduling, this is mostly a personal thing, but it will absolutely affect my family.  I get so caught up with my giant messy to-do list that grows faster than I can keep up with- and since it's all in my head I often forget things, and then hate myself for it.   I quit my job this month thinking that would fix the problem, but I learned quickly that the problem is time management and I suck at it.  I need to sit down and make a legitimate work schedule for this month, make sure I have a sitter lined up, actually use my pretty planner so I know what's going on, and start organizing my thoughts, ideas, and plans.

Oh, and also to have an awesome Christmas.  My grandpa is flying in from my hometown- International Falls, Minnesota.  I haven't seen him in years, and let me tell you he is one outstanding person.  Aside from that, he gave me some of my favorite Christmas memories, I'll never forget my Christmas Eve personal visit from Santa Clause (he was very convincing, I grew up really believing he was Santa), and going to his house the next morning for Christmas pancakes. My daughter and husband will be meeting him for the first time tomorrow and I am going to soak up every minute we have with him this week, it will be a wonderful Christmas.

A Little Holiday Chit Chat
Growing up, my family's Christmas tradition was to open a pair of pajamas Christmas Eve, and the rest of the presents Christmas Day.

Since my parents and my husbands' parents had that tradition in common, we're pretty covered on the jammies.

Our tradition is a new Christmas book every Christmas Eve.  Starting last year and going on forever, we wrap a Christmas book for our little one and on Christmas Eve she (they someday?) open it up and read it before bed time.  I'm excited to keep adding to our collection so we have lots of fun holiday books to read in the days leading up to Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chalkboard Font Love

 I was working on some last minute Christmas decorations,
and of course had to incorporate some chalkboard.
I know it's everywhere but I love it.

I made a set of three.
"There'll be much mistletoeing"
"And hearts wil be glowing when loved ones are near"
"It's the most wonderful time of the year"

Unfortunately, in my excitement to finally get a Christmas tree today
and my rush to get these printables made before I left,
I missed my little type-o.
It wasn't until I got to the print shop and was handed my prints that I caught 
that it said "hearts wil be glowing."
Oops. Oh well, one more thing for tomorrow's to-do list I guess.

 In case anyone else out there has last-minute Christmas projects,
or if you want to post a count-down to your blog:

here's a download for you.

It prints up to 8x8, but it would be perfect for gift tags or Christmas cards too.

And here's some font lovin' to go inside.
 With reindeer names in Christmas spirit.

Prancer// schalk
Cupid// tall drink

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Smile More, Worry Less

 Well, I'm a little behind schedule.
I had hoped to get everything going by the beginning of December...
At this rate I'll just be glad if it's up by Christmas :)
So for now my website is still "Under Construction"
and my Etsy Boutique isn't open quite yet,
but wonderful things are coming. I pinky swear.

Here's a little peek at a few of my projects.

In the struggle to prepare for Christmas, get to work on time,
and prepare to launch my business, all while keeping up with our
adorable popsicle-grin monster, I sometimes go a tiny bit crazy.
Luckily I have a super amazing husband who makes me delicious hot cocoa
and reminds me to smile and not worry so much.

It's such an incredibly simple concept,
but one that I forget a little too often sometimes.
Smile more, worry less.
It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays
instead of taking time to be thankful for what we have.

 You can view the high-res JPG and download this 8x10 printable for free here.
Once you click the link just save the image to your computer,
and then print at home or at the print shop of your choice.

 Oh, yeah, and there's less than two weeks until Christmas.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Stocking For My Tiny Human

 Growing up, my stocking was what I was most excited about Christmas morning.
All of my favorite presents were always in my stocking.
Concert tickets, phone, iPod, camera,
I always had that one really exciting thing in my stocking.
Now that I'm a momma and a wife, I have been on a mission
to create the BEST stockings for my little family.
Considering I have been living on Etsy lately,
they are basically getting an entire stocking full
of all the awesome things I find on there.

Here's a few of my favorites from my search of amazing for my cute little booger.
I wish I could get them all. Is that sad? I get very excited about cute things.

1. Elmo Cookies // pinkfrostingcookies // $36 for 12
6.  Robot Crayons // ivylanedesigns // $20 for 20

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Fonts and Thanksgiving Pledge

Thanksgiving was a really different experience for me this year. 

For the past several years I've worked retail during the holiday season. I got Thanksgiving day off to spend with my family, and then I went to work before the sun came up on Black Friday, so that was fun.

 Last year I wasn't working around Thanskgiving as I was a brand new mother, I still got to spend the holiday with my family, and then I got to sleep in on Black Friday. That was more fun.

This year, I'm working at a hotel. I recently volunteered to start helping in the restaurant. (I was really excited about getting tips. Silly me.) Anyways,  I didn't realize that meant that I would be scheduled
for our big Thanksgiving feast.

When I saw my name on the schedule for Thanksgiving day, I realized how much I had taken for granted all the Thanksgivings I got to spend with my family.

I missed Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, I missed visiting my husband's family, and hardest of all I missed my daughter's first time eating Thanksgiving turkey.
I'm a team player, so I can't complain about going into work. It sucked, but there's a lot of people who wouldn't have had a good Thanksgiving dinner if it wasn't for coming to places like the hotel for a good feast.

What really got me is seeing how many places, like Target, Michael's, Walmart, etc, were open Thanksgiving evening instead of waiting for Black Friday. I know how hard it was for me to give up family time to go to work. And what got me through without complaint was knowing that we were feeding people who might not be able to make their own food.

It makes me really sad that these places have put shopping over being thankful and spending time with the most important people in our lives.

It's bad enough that the day after we honor being thankful and giving we shove and push through Black Friday. But now we're skipping the thankful part all together?
I don't like it.

I understand that some people can't afford to take that day off so they need to work that day. I also understand that some people are far away from their families, so they don't really mind working the day. But I worked retail for four years and I have a lot of friends that still do, and let me tell you, most of those workers would rather be home with their loved ones on the holidays.

So this is my pledge for the years to come.
No shopping on Thanksgiving.
And if I'm ever in a situation where I'm working retail again,
I pledge to save up money through the year so that I don't have to depend on that day of work.
For the bigger picture of all the people who DO want to spend that day with their families.
If I must go crazy shopping, I pledge to wait until Black Friday.
I plan to do what I can to make a change and preserve the importance of Thanksgiving.
Because to me family is more important than a good shopping day.
I'd be happy for anyone to join me.

 Well now that I've written a book :)
(I got a little fired up, sorry).
December is here tomorrow! It's so exciting!

 I'm really hoping for a white Christmas.
We'll see.

Anyways, here's some of my favorite winter fonts.

There'll be parties// Clipper Script
Marshmellows// Curlygirl
And Caroling// Honey Script
Ghost stories// Sofia
Tales of the Glories// Pacifico
Christmases Long Ago// Father Frost
It's the Most// Janda Snickerdoodle
Wonderful// Roskrift
Time of the Year// Siesta Sunset
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

How To Make Super Cute Hand-Drawn Blog Frames

It's finally the weekend.  The wonderful weekend.
Can you believe it's Thanksgiving in less than a week?
This year has gone by so stinking fast.
It's hot chocolate season already.
Well, it's always hot chocolate season at my house.
But now I can drink it wearing cute reindeer pajamas.
Which is really exciting.
I've got my eyes on these ones right now,
which you can buy here at Aerie (my obsession).

Aside from doing some selfish early-Christmas-for-me shopping,
I've also been busy getting lots of stuff ready for my Etsy shop,
and working. Which means being stuck behind the front desk of 
a beautiful hotel for a while.  Long enough to get bored.

So I decided to try and do something I like, but since I don't have
any of my files or programs on the work computer, I had to get creative.
I sketched a couple of frames by hand and turned them into something
to use on my blog.  I was going to share the ones I made,
but it's so simple I decided to share how I did it instead.

(Click on any of these photos to enlarge them)

 1.//  Draw your image with a very bold pen or sharpie.
For best results use one that won't bleed or smear.
Then scan your picture!
If you don't have a scanner available,
you could also take a good picture of it.

2.//  Open your image in Paint.Net.
If you don't have it already, 
you can download it FREE here.

Use the "Rectangle Select" tool to outline your frame,
then press "Crop to Selection".

 3.// Adjust the contrast 
 until the image is completely black and white.

4.//  Using the wand tool, select anywhere outside of your drawing.

Press Delete.
Continue deleting any of the white,
so everything outside of your drawing is transparent.
(You can press "CTRL" + "+" to zoom in
and "CTRL" + "-" to zoom out to get any hard to find spots)

***Some frames have disconnecting pieces,
that's why I showed this step in a way that works for everyone.
If your frame is only one big connecting line, like this one, you can shortcut this step
by using the Wand tool to select the frame, press Edit>> Invert Selection, and Delete.

5.//  At this point you can save your frame as a PNG.
It's all done! Just time to make it pretty.
Add pictures, make it white and put it over a chalkboard,
whatever you'd like.
Let's add a photo.
Select Layers >> Import From File.

6.// Move your layer down so you can see your frame again.
The layer you're working on stays highlighted,
make sure you stay on the layer with your picture. 
If you inserted a large image, it probably made your canvas huge.
Don't worry, we'll fix that.

7.// Now you can adjust your photo so it is in your frame how you want it.
The proportions stay the same if you hold shift while resizing.
You can right-click if you want to rotate your photo.

8.// Let's get rid of all that annoying extra space.
We'll use the "Rectangle Selection" tool and "Crop to Selection" again..

9.// Now to get rid of the overhang.
You'll want to make sure you're in your "Background" layer.
Then using your wand tool click inside of the frame.

Now go up to  Edit >> Invert Selection. 

 Switch to your Picture layer and hit Delete.

10.//  That's it! Yay! Enjoy your beautiful creation.

If you want you can add some special touches.
Some color or whatever you'd like.
Here's what happens when you fill in the black with white
and stick it on a chalkboard.

In case you're thinking, "Hey, what if my frame has disconnected lines,
so I can't select the area around the photo to delete it?
Or what if I want a perfectly shaped image inside my frame?
Don't worry! We can do that. It's really easy.

Let's use this frame as an example.
We're already to Step 8 in the directions above.


1.// Use the  "Ellipse Select" tool to make a circle.
(If you want a square instead use the "Rectangle Select" tool).
If you want a perfect circle hold the Shift key down
while you are creating your shape.

2.// Select the "Move Selection" tool.
You can use this to move your circle and size it
over how you want your picture to appear.

3.// Once your shape is how you want it,
go to Edit >> Invert Selection.
Press Delete.

You're done! Simple as that. 
You can still use the "Move Selected Pixels" tool
to resize or reposition your circle if you want.
Once you're happy just save it as a PNG.

Voila! Now you can make pretty frames for your blog.

They're not just for pictures either,
they look pretty with text too!

 Have fun :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Meet the Olsen Family.

Well, I'm finally doing it...
Starting a blog.

So where do I start?

I guess maybe from the beginning.
Me.  I'm Sammiey.

I like sunflowers and going to the beach.
I probably eat way too many cupcakes for my own good.
And I love art and design.

But if you want to know the first thing about me,
you'd have to know these cuties.
My two favorite people in the whole world.

Meet my handsome husband Kyle,
and our little ray of sunshine.
She's the cutest ever, right?


This is what happiness is.
I love my family so much.

When I'm not chasing after my adorable toddler,
I try to spend time doing something I love.
My poor husband had to kiss his man-cave goodbye
when I took it over with my craft-station,
which now takes up basically the whole room.
I'm really lucky he loves me so much.
Someday he will get his well-deserved man cave.
As for now it's covered in headband elastic, fabric flowers, 
hair clips, feathers, paper, glue, and all kinds of pretty things.
It might look like a mess but I just see lots of projects.
And it's really exciting.

I'm about to launch two Etsy shops
and a new website.
It's been a lot of work but I'm almost ready.
One shop for my crafts, mostly headbands.
And one shop for design, lots of cards and prints.
I'm very excited and I plan on launching
everything on the first of December!

Until then, I'm going to get started here in the blogging world.
There is a link to my website on the sidebar,
but it's not done yet.
It will be soon though, promise :)