Thursday, September 30, 2010

one year older

i can't believe that you are 4. i remember bringing you home thinking "i wonder what you'll be like when you are 4." and here we are...

here's a few things about you right now that i don't ever want to forget:

* you are my constant companion. anywhere i am, you are too. anywhere i'm going to be...most likely you will follow me and be there too.

*you still absolutely love your dog. he's your best friend, but you've also made a few human little girl friends as well.

*you know how to push your brother's buttons (it's like an art form really)

*you love strawberry shortcake, hello kitty, my little pony, and barfies (barbies)

*every time you call barbies "barfies" it throws the boys into hysterics...pretty sure that's the only reason why you still call them that.

* you call pizza "chuppy" we have no idea why. you can say pizza but you call it chuppy anyways.

*you can make dad do ANYTHING, just by one else has that power.

*you are starting to love to sew and you constantly want to make things with me. (it makes for slow production but i'm totally okay with that)

*i'm trying real hard to let go of my need to get things done just to hang out with all you kids because i feel like you are all growing up way too fast. i mean you are the baby. but yet i look at you at you and you are so NOT a baby anymore.

* you HATE taking pictures. i have to bribe you. and even that doesn't work sometimes. and that's when the threats come out.

*i love you and so does your dad, and your brothers adore you and are willing to look past the button pushing when you are nice to them.

*you think the world of your brothers, and can't wait for them to come home from school.

*you've made our family complete. you make me want to be a better role model for you of what it is to mean and what a wonderful role it is to be a mother.

*i've changed because of you. and i think it's a good change.

happy birthday little girl we love you.

winner winner chicken dinner

winner of the chic camera strap is:

jenni roseland of arizona!

jenni get me your email address and i'll get you connected with shey.
thanks to all who played!

Monday, September 27, 2010

*Shey* [B] giveaway

this month's sponsored giveaway is by non other than the camera strap gal *Shey* [B]
i'm super excited to talk about her awesome products and give away one of her super lovely camera straps to a V and Co. reader.
want to win?
read more about shey and learn how you can get a chance to have one of her creations around your neck!

Friday, September 24, 2010

how to: mini banner for a doll house

so katie has been playing with her doll house a lot these days. she got her's from her older cousin who no longer needed it. she loves it and always has little scenarios going on in it. whether it be strawberry shortcake and her pals or little princesses, or my little pony...there's always something going on in this little house. sooooo. i decided to make a mini banner for her house so that whenever there was a need for a party there would be decoration to help with the celebration:
when i was editing these pictures...i started snickering because the pictures were taken as i set up the shots but then katie started to play with them and kind of tells a funny little you go... a story in pictures:

LOOK! somebody's having a part-ay!

little miss my little pony has arrived to her special surprise party! all her girl friends are here and they are rearing to go!
great food, good friends...
drinks being served in the kitchen...
ahem a few too many drinks served in the kitchen...
okay waaaaay too many drinks served in the kitchen...a call from the neighbor and that was enough to get it shut down for the night.
a few minutes after the chaos had died down, the spoiled princess came all dolled up and ready to be admired by all but were highly disappointed when they found themselves in an empty house with no admirers in sight.
the end.

how to make your own part-ay banner for a doll house.
what you will need:

paper with small pattern or no pattern.
a penny.
and a sewing machine.
trace on the back side of the paper you are going to use, a circle using your penny.
cut out your circles.
then cut those circles in half.
sew your half circles, and pull a tiny bit of thread in between each half circle.

tape up in any little doll house and watch your daughter have tons of fun with it!!!

btw thanks for your stories about gray/grey hairs! you made me laugh and ALMOST think it was okay to have a few. just almost though.

monday we have a sponsored giveaway that i'm sure you'll like!
have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

not the right kind of gray

please excuse this fellow blogger for just a minute (or two) as she may be dealing with a tiny mid life crisis as she may or may not of found her first gray hair EVER last week, and since telling that one gray hair to "suck that! stupid gray hair!" while she was trying to dispose of it by plucking it out and then flushing it away... that said gray hair then retaliated by sending up 5 more gray hairs all over the top of her said head earlier on this week.
plus i have some stuff i'm dealing with...that will take me away from this site for a few days... (not bad i promise) and if all goes well, things will be a little less gray hair making and then i can just focus on my gray dress hunt and then start looking for that perfect new hair color out of a bottle.
we'll talk soon, and i have a new cute fall decor how to when i come back...
exit said dramatic blogger...
cue in ellalator music...

Friday, September 17, 2010

how to: wax paper and crayon fall leaves

so this last week i decided to quit ignoring the elephant in the room, and acknowledge that fall is... well basically at my door step. the leaves are starting to show a hint of change and with that change came my "NO! NOT YET!" anxiety of: if fall is coming that means winter and that thing that this california native still can't understand why anyone would basically just around the season corner.
see i used to love fall. while growing up in california it meant you got to bring out pumpkins, got to cook with pumpkin, cinnamon smells were in the air, the air would turn a crisp yumminess and some of the leaves would turn a really pretty color. then i moved to somewhere where there's REAL seasons, and well personally i loath, hate, and think it's kind of poopy don't think i like winter and i think it's over rated. and it's turned me against my beloved fall because it's just the in between from me and that white yucky stuff.
but my kids love it.
and there's no real near future of moving from it.
"get over it." i tell myself.
and myself tells me to "screw you."
oh well.
might as well craft anyways.
these leaves were made just like you used to make those stain glass windows with wax paper and crayon shavings.

you can hang them, you can place them prettily to dress up any surface, and well you can just place them on your windows as well.

*wax paper.
*towels (so that you don't ruin your ironing board)
*paper towels (so you don't ruin your iron)

*fall colored crayons that have seen better days

*leaf template (right click hit save as and then print off. make sure you make them fit your picture screen so it doesn't cut off any of the leaf. i made mine as a 4 by 7 picture)

cut out wax paper approx letter paper size. with scissors start shaving your crayon onto the wax paper. not too much we want it to be a pretty thin layer of crayon melt.
i mixed two colors:
*brown and orange
*yellow and magenta
*orange and yellow
my favorite ones turned out to be the yellow and magenta ones.

when you have your two colors shaved on, place the second piece of wax paper on top making a sandwich.

with an iron set on a warm setting, place a towel first down onto your ironing board. then your wax paper and crayon sandwich. then place a paper towel in between your iron and the wax paper sandwich.

slowly melt your crayon shavings. and push the "liquid crayon" around so it's thin and covers a larger area. (be careful of spilling the wax! don't push it too far out or it will seep out the corners of your wax paper sandwich!)
once they are cool take your print out leaf, and your wax paper creation.
place underneath, it should be clear enough for you to be able to see your lines.
with a pencil trace your leaves.

cut out your leaves.

admire your pretty leaves, that surprisingly are making you feel a little better about fall coming.
now if you would like to hang them, i just got a needle and thread and made a big knot at the end of my thread. i hung them in front of our window, i hung them above our dinging room table, but in the end they ended up taped up...

on our back windows. the kids loved them. katie wants butterflys for her room, and the boys want bats for halloween.

ahh the life of a crafting mom.

maybe i'll craft myself into winter happiness. i mean there's a ton of ideas to welcome fall. a blog i just found is the better blog...if you've not seen it check it. it's pretty sweet.
BUT... i do in fact have extra clippings from this project and i'm hoping to make another project out of it. maybe monday...
happy thoughts happy thoughts i can do this...snow isn't that bad...yes it is but i still have fall to buffer it.
have a great weekend
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

fallow field farm market place

i kind of wish i could go.
i may just try and see if the husband and kiddos are up for a drive.

psst katie and i made something i'll post it soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

editing photos=some tips

i've been getting asked by a few of you if i have a cool lens that does different effects on my pictures. the answer is no, i do not. but i do in fact have access to a pretty cool editing program.
oh, okay before you huff and puff and start thinking "of course she has an editing program! it probably cost a bazillion dollars! jerk!"
let me just say this:
calm down no it doesn't cost a ton of money, and in fact it was free and oh get this, it's online.

the site i use is called : (use link to get there) and you can for no charge do just as i do with your pictures.
there are lots of effects that are for free (i personally don't pay for the extra stuff) but there are even MORE effects and editing options you can do if you pay a little for the extras. i've thought about doing it a few times...and then i get sidetracked and well there you go, i forget or don't or whatever.

basically you can use a lot of different tools on this site. but the two that i use the MOST are the "cross process" effect and the "orton-ish" effect.
here's how you do it:
you will have to create an acct (which is free) or you can be a guest, but the good thing about creating an acct is that it remembers your pictures.
once you create an acct you can follow these easy instructions:
for the orton-ish effect:
upload picture.
hit the create tab
click on the effects button
scroll down to "orton-ish"
i don't like the "bloom" effect it gives so i always scroll down to 0% but you can do whatever you like.

for the "cross process" effect:
follow the same instructions as above only instead hit the "cross process" button.
i always make it a little softer because sometimes i think the cross process looks better at a less %.

i'll be a little scarce for the next few days, i'm working on stuff, a new tutorial (if i get the chance) and on that dress if i don't post in a few days that just means i'm frustrated with one of the above and i'll be unpicking seams or re-thinking projects.

also i'm trying to recover from flipping off a tube while acting like a child when we were at lake powell this weekend. it most definitely got a lot of laughs (including mine) but those laughs are long gone and i'm not that spring chicken i keep thinking i am and my whole body is sore from the fun times in the sun at the lake.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

instead... i made her a dress

well thanks for the vote of confidence that i could totally tackle my perfect gray dress.
i *think* (fingers crossed) i may give it a shot next week.
see i thought i would give it a try after so many of you gave me the extra push by saying "oh you can totally do it!"
and i did... that is...have all intentions of starting and then, well, i talked and chickened myself out of it.
so instead i made her a dress...
out of two t-shirts.

she loves it so much that she let me take pictures (with no complaints...which is a huge shocker!) and then she wore it to the boys' soccer games, then she came home and wouldn't take it off to go to, you got it, she went to bed in it.

i had to make her take it off today so i could work out some of the "kinks" i had. yes i made it better and i'm a little happier with it, but it's still not what i exactly want. so no, no new pattern for this dress, but maybe in the future you will see it...somewhere. >;P

and well there you have it. a new dress for an adorable little girl. and nothing for the mother of the adorable little girl.
maybe next week?
*itching hives*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my new shoes

well i finally did it. i bought those yellow shoes i've been eyeballing for over three months.
best part about it...they were on sale for $8.99. yeah i know how could i not right? (oops i guess they are now up to 12.99 again. sorry)
edited: to answer the questions in the comments: they fit like a glove perfect to my size. the size i bought are size 6 1/2 and after 4 pregnancies that's my size i buy in all shoes. even flip flops. i have really skinny feet (kind of boney so if you have a little more of a thicker foot i would go 1/2 size higher?)

the reason why it took me so long to buy them was because:
A. they are yellow...i'm so a black, brown, sometimes red kind of shoe girl. but recently i bought my first pair of turquoise wedge shoes and
B. they are flats.
i hardly ever EVER wear flats. i'm 5 foot 1 and well i think my legs look better in heels. sooooooo i ALWAYS wear some kind of heel. even my flip flops have a wedge on em. yup hang up 556 right there with hair issues and the color purple. or people that walk around with their arms over each other, or couples walking with their hands in each other's back pockets. i dunno why...just bugs.
okay well...
i bought the shoes they were a steal.
and well because i'm obsessed with gray and yellow. together. mmmmm it just speaks FALL to me.
so in true vanessa form i've been obsessively looking for the perfect gray dress to go with my yellow shoes.
i want to wear it for our family pictures. because we've not had them done in more than two years. sad.
here are some dresses i've come across:
link to this dress mmm, yes lovely but i'm short i don't know if it will go well especially with my flat shoes.

i love the neck on this dress...but if i need to wear a cardi with it...bleh?
LOVE this dress, neckline needs to be a little higher for me but i absolutely adore the full skirt. i am soooo loving the 1950's feel to it as well.
and then theres this dress...that i think i'm basically coveting. because i think it's perfect. especially with a cute cardi and my shoes, or with a big heel black peep toe shoes. which i also have.
i want it and i want a mustard yellow cardigan to go with it.

should i try to make it?
it gives me hives thinking of trying...i'm so not a pattern follower...but i think i may have found a pattern.
*itching hives*
i know it's simple...but i don't know. what if i royally screw up?
i guess i could always wear something else.

top 5 summer activities: win $100 visa card

well here we go again. another shot at winning free money. get yourself a chance to win a $100 visa card by telling me what your fav thing you did this summer.
this will be the last $100 giveaway that i'm scheduled to do, so go on and give it a shot!
we will then go back to regularly scheduled posts, (or lack there of!) and giveaways, and well just general randomness that is my life.
thank you to kelloggs and blogher for giving me the opportunity to give out free money and to talk about my family a little bit more than i normally do.

winner of last weeks $100 visa card is:

Amanda C. Melton
your email address has already been forwarded to blogher. thanks for all who played.

enter here for this week's chance to win $100

Monday, September 6, 2010

i'm happiest when

our weekend was spent together as a family.
i can honestly say that i'm happiest when we, as a family are working together.
i guess if you are talking love languages mine would be acts of service.

yes, yes, i am married to a marriage and family therapist...can you tell? we talk about this crap all the time.
and no he doesn't analyze me and everyone all the time.
but yes he can scare the crap out of our children with his army interrogating skills.
pretty sure no boy will ever get close enough to date katie, as he will probably be polishing his hand gun as he asks the boy what his intentions are with his daughter.
and pretty sure he'll have some pretty good follow up questions to "We're just going out dad." when our boys are of age and want to go out for the night.

yup, being married to a marriage and family therapist has it's upsides...being the kid of an interrogator for the army has it's downsides.
anyways i digress...our weekend.
it was good.
there were some downtime at times, so the boys of course took the situation at hand and turned it into a clone wars battle field and made, in this case, big huge branches into weapons to save the day.
seriously give the kids anything and this is what they do. katie on the other hand can hang with her brothers, no problem, but in the middle of a "war scene" she'll break out in song about princesses and pink kitties and snakes.
drives her brothers into hysterics at times with some of her songs.
it's her proudest moments when she makes them laugh.while the kids were saving the day in the clone wars, and while the husband was being all manly and using a chain saw...
i went exploring and saw some sage-y looking bushes.
i thought i should pick some up and see if there was anything i could do with it is currently drying in my kitchen.
i still have no clue what i will do with it.
it may just sit there for all i know...
we shall see.
all in all it was a great labor day weekend.
close to home.
working hard.
sometimes my heart is full and i feel really blessed.
we'll talk soon.
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