Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happiness is...Light Bulb Moments

Don't you love it when you have spent a lot of time trying to figure something out and then you suddenly have a light bulb moment and it all makes sense? That's the best feeling! It's especially fun when you get to help someone else learn a new thing and they have an awesome light bulb moment.

My light bulb moment came last night when I tried to make a button for my blog to link to my 365 project on Flickr.  I tried the code on the tutorial at A Few of My Favorite Things and for some reason I could get the link to work but not the picture.  So, I looked around the internet and found another code on ehow and tried it. 

Guess what!  IT WORKED!!!  I figured it out!!  I'm so excited!!!

Here's my button!
Check out my published content!
It actually goes to my Flickr page when you click on it!!

The post on  A Few of My Favorite Things was great because I learned what you have to do to make a button and I learned how to get the url for the actual picture.  I'm sure the code was fine.  I probably just did something wrong when I was copying and pasting.  Now I'm going to try to make a button for my blog and use the tutorial for creating a scroll box so it can be copied and placed on other sites, too!
I think my favorite light bulb moments happen when I can help someone else learn something new.  I was supposed to help a couple people learn to make a felt notebook cover at Whatcha Makin' on Monday night.  Well, one person couldn't make it and we started a little late, so we didn't get very far.  I was only able to teach my friend Noemi and her daughter Sarah how to sew a blanket stitch by hand. 

On Wednesday Noemi wrote the sweetest message on my faceook page.  She wrote, "Happiness is having Marci teach me how to blanket stitch".  It made so happy to know that she enjoyed what I showed her.  Then on Wednesday night Sarah came up and told me she had been practicing her blanket stitch all week and was getting really good at it. I'm so excited for her!!! She is very talented!!

I hope I have more opportunities in the future to teach things at the Whatcha Makin' group.  I love crafting so much and it feels so good to be able to share it with other people! 

Makes me happy!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

365 Project

I am going to start a 365 Project!!  I know the year is almost half over, but I'm okay with it.  As long as I feel inspired to do something then I'm going to do it.  I'm trying not to make a lot of rules for myself creatively.  Creativity is about having fun and trying new things.  And that's what I'm going to do! 

My new motto is "Jump First, Fear Later" (thanks to my favorite book Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli).  I'm not going to waste my time worrying about whether or not I will be good at something anymore.  I'm just going to enjoy what I do.  No more fear!  It's time to jump!!!

The idea of the 365 project is to take one picture every day for 365 days.  Some people choose weekly or monthly themes but others just take a picture of whatever inspires them that day.  I thought about it for a while and decided to skip the themes.  It may be harder some days but the whole point of the project is to learn to take better pictures and push myself creatively.  Why not challenge myself?  ;-)

So, starting May 1st I will take a picture every day and post it to my new Flickr page.  I will have a button on the sidebar so you can go to my Flickr page and see the entire collection of pictures any time.  Once a week I will write a post to share the pictures from that week and tell you a little bit about them.

The button will look like this...
once I figure out how to make it!

I found a tutorial about how to make a button for your blog and how to make a scroll bar for your button on A Few Of My Favorite Things.  This is a great blog to follow if you are new to blogging.  She is very helpful!

My new friend Christine from MiniMak Makings told me she knows how to make buttons, too!  So, if I get stuck, she's the lady I'll go to!  I love her blog!!!

I am very excited about starting this project!  Please be patient with me.  The pictures may not be great at first.  Actually, they may never be very good.  But it's about having fun and being creative.  I'm more interested in learning something than having a perfect outcome.

I hope you enjoy reading the weekly posts as much as I will enjoy creating them.  :o)

Say cookie!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whatcha Makin'

It's the fourth Monday of the month again so we all know what that means.  It's time for Whatcha Makin' at The Well!!! 

I'm so excited for this month's meeting!  I showed some people the felt notebook cover I made a few weeks ago and they asked me to show them how to make it!! 

We probably won't be able to finish the whole project in the time that we have so I will try and prepare them to finish the project at home.  I will see if I can get pictures of their projects when they finish so I can share what all of my amazingly creative friends came up with. 

Remember this?

I can't wait to see what everyone decides to put on the front of their covers.  I have a couple of ideas for what I want to put on my next one, but I'm keeping it a secret until I finish.  ;-) 

For those of you who would like to play along at home, here is the pattern I got from Craft Stylish

Happy crafting!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spotlight on In The Heights

In The Heights is a musical about a community struggling with keeping it's traditions alive while also remaining current with today's society.  It's about a group of people living in Washington Heights.  They all have their own dreams to fulfill but they have to do this while remembering where home really is. 

Here's a little sneak peek!

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the genius behind this amazing show.  He started writing it when he was in college at Wesleyan University and with a little help from his friends Thomas Kail (director), Andy Blankenbuehler (choreography), Alex Lacamoire (music director) and Quiara Alegría Hudes (book) he turned this show into one of the most innovative musicals to come out in a long time.  I was not surprised at all when it won the Tony award for Best Musical in 2008.

A little more Awesomeness

The music in this show is so fantastic!  It is a mixture of hip hop, latin and old school show tuney goodness.  There's something for every kind of music lover.  The first time I heard a song from this show I was hooked!  It's the perfect marriage between musical styles.  Miranda knows how to do it!  He stayed true to his roots while also taking chances and trying new things.  To him there are no rules. 

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the great dacing in this show.  So great!!!

It makes you want to dance, doesn't it?

I have wanted to see this show from the start.  And today I finally got that chance.  The touring cast is playing at Bass Concert Hall in Austin this weekend for the Broadway Across America Tour.  My mom and I have season tickets and I've been counting down the season waiting for this one.  I absolutely loved Sabrina Sloan as Vanessa!!!  She was on American Idol.  The show was even better than I hoped it would be.  I have had this connection with the music from the start but seeing it live just made it that much more amazing.  I really loved it!!

I wish I could have seen it in New York with the original cast because they are so spectacular but this is almost as good.  The original cast had some amazing talents that I love including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Jackson, Karen Olivo, Robin de Jesus and Mandy Gonzalez.  They became those characters for me.  But it's not about the actors.  It's about the story and the story lived up to every hope I had for it.  If you ever get a chance to see this show I recommend that you do.  Lin-Manuel Miranda has an amazing career ahead of him.  I can't wait to see what else he comes up with.

While writing this post today I found out that they are making In The Heights into a movie! I'm so excited!!! Lin-Manuel Miranda will star in the movie!! I can't wait!!! I think it comes out next year so I will keep you posted.

Bonus Material: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chris Jackson are in a hip hop comedy group called Freestyle Love Supreme together.

Here's a story about them

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happiness is...All Green Lights When You're Driving

You know
 that awesome feeling
 when you're driving and don't
 have to stop at a red light once?
  It doesn't happen often but
 it's a great feeling
 when it does.

On Wednesday
 I was driving to Bible study
 at The Well and thinking about
 what I wanted to write for my first
 Happiness post.  I was driving on Lamar
 (where I usually have to stop a million times)
 and noticed that I was hitting all green lights.
  I thought to myself how awesome it would
 be if I could hit every light green on the
 way to church and write my very first
 happiness post about it.  I didn't
 think it would really happen
 but I was hoping. 

guess what!! 
It actually happened!
I didn't have to stop once!
I hit green lights the
whole way!!

Makes me smile! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, everybody!!!  I hope you are having a wonderful day and that you are able to take some time today to celebrate.  This is a perfect day to spend some time doing something to help the environment, no matter how big or small. 

Since I love to craft I thought it would be fun to try a project using some recycled materials for my Earth Day celebration blog.  I love the idea of using the things I love to do in a way that can impact my community.  I'm not saying this particular project will impact my community, but I think it's a step toward moving in that direction with my crafting.  This is just a small project but it's a start.

I worked on another project last month that could fit into this green category. Remember this collapsible shopping tote? I want to try to find some inexpensive fabric and make some sets to give as gifts.  Fabric made from recycled material would be even better.

I have seen these really cool purses and wallets made with recycled materials all over the place recently and I love the idea!  Some people make them with candy wrappers.  Others make them with juice boxes or chip bags.  I decided since I already had some magazines around the house that I would use those to make my first purse.  The plan is to make a coin purse to start out.  If it works out okay I will move on to a purse made from juice boxes.

Aren't they amazing???

I wasn't able to finish the whole project by today because I've just been so busy lately.  I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and work on it.  I thought I would tell you about what I've done so far and then I will write an update with the finished product as soon as it's done.  It just means that my Earth Day celebration can last even longer!

I couldn't find any really good patterns online so I used multiple sites and videos for this one.  The basic idea and instructions came from this candy wrapper purse blog.  I got the instructions for how to make the paper chains at  Can you believe I never learned how to make a paper chain before???  Me either!  Crazy!  :-)

I started out by cutting 112 strips of paper that were 2"x 4.5".  112!!!  That's just for the coin purse!!  I'm glad I decided to start small!

I won't bore you with all the folding details.  You can just go to if you want to learn how to make the chain.  I had to make four chains of 28 strips of paper.

After that was done I connected the chains to make a ring.

This is actually as far as I have gotten.  I planned to sew the chains together earlier in the week but realized that I didn't have strong enough thread so I will finish it and post the rest as soon as I finish.

I hope that you have an awesome Earth Day.  If you have any fun ideas for eco-friendly crafts I would love to hear them.

My friend Velma decided to join in on the Earth Day fun, too!!  Look what she's working on...
It's a knitted shopping tote!

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's the Little Things

I was reading PostSecret and drinking my coffee on Sunday morning (it's my Sunday morning ritual) and there was a video at the end for The Book of Awesome.  I watched the video and immediately fell in love with this amazing idea. 

The book is actually based on a blog called  1000 Awesome Things.  It's a simple idea.  List awesome things.  Every weekday the author writes a post about something awesome.  The best part?  It doesn't have to be some big, amazing thing.  He writes about little things that can brighten your day.  I browsed through some of the past posts of awesome things and found some fun ideas.  One awesome thing was catching somebody singing alone in their car and sharing a laugh with them.  Another one was coming back from lunch to a way better parking spot.  The smell of Play-Doh made the list, too!  I liked #585 - figuring out the plot twist just before they reveal it.  This has never happened to me.  Maybe someday.  :-)

I just think it's so great to look at the little things in our lives that make us happy.  Not every great moment has to be a huge life changing event.  Sometimes the littlest thing makes us smile and saves the day. 

So, I decided I'm going to try to look at my own life this way.  I'm going to try to see the happy moments the little things bring.  Not just the big stuff.  It's much better than dwelling on the negative.  If something is bringing me down I will make an extra effort to find something that made me happy.  I'm going to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative (yeah, I did just say that!).

My plan is to write a series of blogs called "Happiness is..." to share some of these moments with you...and maybe you can share some of your happy moments with me, too.  Feel free to comment on any of my blogs and tell me about the little things that happen to make you smile.  I can't wait to hear your stories!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun with Felt - Gift Card Holders

I chose an easy project this week because I'm working on something a little more complicated for next week and need extra time to work on it.  I decided to make felt card holders from the Aranzi Cute Stuff book.  I thought they would work well as gift card holders. 

It really is a simple project.  If I didn't run into so many silly issues with my sewing machine it would have been perfect and I would have finished it in no time.  Sadly, this was not the case.  My machine didn't like to sew that close to the edge of the felt!  It kept eating it.  It's difficult to rip out seams on felt because it gets all fuzzy.  I ended up just sewing it and trimming all the weird threads because it wasn't cooperating.

I'm not thrilled with the outcome of this project, but I said in the beginning that I would post all of my projects - good or bad.  I just kept reminding myself that not not every project will be amazing...and that's okay. The important thing is that I tried.  I did learn some new things on the project so I'm still happy I did it.  I'm sure it will go better when I make these in the future because now I know what not to do.  ;-)

They turned out pretty good overall but I think when I make them again I will attempt to hand stitch them.   


This green card holder is the first one I sewed.  I really like the flowers.
I learned how to sew an L-stitch and an S-stitch on this project so that made me happy.  I love learning how to do more hand sewing.  The S-stitch is the middle of the flower and all of the eyes.  The L-Stitch is the leaves on the green flower holder.

Originally I planned to put cute little eyes and a smile on the yellow but they were very small and hard to cut out.  Instead, I traced a duck shaped button I have.
The pattern didn't say anything about sewing around the applique pieces to hold them on.  I thought that was weird!  I tried to sew all the way around the pieces but wasn't happy about the way it looked since the pieces are so small.  I compromised and sewed a couple of stitches all the way around to secure them.  It doesn't look too great but it I didn't want them to just be attached by the eyes.  That's weird!

The dark blue card holder turned out the best.  I love the stars with smiley faces!!  The pattern gave them arms and legs but I didn't like that so I skipped it.  It's not like real stars have arms and legs.  They just sit up in the sky and smile down at us!
I love the little chick.  It took a lot of tries to get the beak to line up but I finally got it!

I think the fish look so cute on the light blue.  It looks like they are swimming in the ocean!

The white bunny was my favorite applique piece. 
I will probably make some themed gift card holders for Christmas later in the year.  I really like the idea of the project.  It's a really cute alternative to putting a gift card in an envelope.  I'll post pictures when I get around to making more.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mission Accomplished

The un-findable ponytail holders have been found!!!  Well, sort of.  The other day when I was babysitting, Elissa insisted on putting my hair in a ponytail (She's three).  So she went and got the huge box of ponytail holders and a brush.  While she was brushing my hair I looked through the big box to see what cute little ponytail holders they had.  There were a ton of them!!!  I searched through all kinds of cute little clips and headbands and ponytail holders while she brushed my hair.  It was very relaxing...until she tried to put it in a ponytail.  Then it was painful!!!

Then I saw them.  They had ponytail holders like the ones I saw at Justice for Girls!  So I decided I would compromise and use those for my ponytail holder project since I was giving them to the girls anyway.  They aren't exactly what I was looking for but they're pretty close.

I went to the store to get them today and had a mini panic attack when I didn't see them where they were the last time I was there.  I wandered around praying that they would be somewhere else.  I was so sad when I couldn't find and started to leave without my ponytail holders.  Then on my way out I saw them hanging on one of the clothes racks.  There were only two sets left.  Exactly the number I needed!  YAY!!!

They don't have the variety of colors I was hoping for but I'll make it work.

I ended up paying more than I wanted to but that's okay.  Two packs of these cost almost as much as the six packs from Amazon but it was worth it because I know for sure that these will work and I won't have a ton of extras.  So, I'm calling it a win.  :-)

I have a few projects in the works that are time sensitive right now so these will probably be a project I work on some time in May.

I'm still on the hunt for the Goody Pony-O's for future projects so I would appreciate it if everyone would continue to look around when you are in stores that sell hair accessories.  Let me know if you find them!  :o)

Just for funsies, here are some pretty hair accessories I found on Etsy...

Owl Hair Clip

Turquoise Flower Head Band

Crochet Cupcake Head Band

Fabric Head Band

Flower Clip

Felt Blossom Bobby Pins

Okay, that's all for now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Cloud Illusions I Recall, I Really Don't Know Clouds at All

I was sorting pictures on my computer to try and put them in some sort of order the other day (it's a mess right now) and I came across a bunch of sky pictures I had taken.  Why do I take so many pictures of the sky?  I have no idea!  I just think it's pretty!

I like to think of the sky as God's canvas and he paints pretty pictures just for me.  He lets you guys see them, too, cause He's cool like that.  :o) 

I thought I would share a couple of the pictures I found.  Keep in mind that these were mostly taken with my iPhone so the quality isn't necessarily the best.  I'm so happy my mom gave me a camera for my birthday!  My blog would be nothing without it.  Thanks Mom!

Remember this rainbow from my color blog?

These are my 4th of July pictures from last year.  We walked down to the park to watch the show.  It was fun!

Sunsets are so pretty!

Does this remind you of anything?

"Can you stand on your head?"
{weheartit, Flickr}

Or is it just me?

This was a really gloomy day!  It looked pretty cool!!

Apparently I'm not the only person who likes to take pictures of the sky!  Look at these lovlies...


This is called a circumhorizon arc.  Isn't it pretty?

I've been going a little picture collage crazy lately. I just learned how to make them on my computer the other day. I love it!!!