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My 1 Year!! Blogaversary

WOW!  🙂 I can not believe it has been one year! On February 14th 2016, I decided to do something wild and crazy…love me! I decided to do what makes me happy and get myself back.

I would often see others getting out there and doing their thing. I was a little envious. It must be great to know your God given talent and actually do it. I wanted to figure out where my talents lie. So, I tried a few things: baking, crocheting, and just making stuff. I was able to do it all; however, there was only one I LOVED. Making and crafting things! I always wanted to walk into Michael’s or somewhere and see people buying my stuff. Or designing some of those amazing stamp sets. How cool would that be?!
I did some research and found out that I need to put myself out there, in order to be seen. No better way to do that than a blog and social media…

So, Crafty Lotus was born! 11 posts published with 409 views, 262 visitors and 35 countries! That is AMAZING for MY 1st year.

I have learned a lot over these 12 months. Time management (still working on this), business organization, personal growth…to name a few. I have learned a lot about myself as an artist, crafter, woman, mother and wife. I am learning to be accepting of myself and ALL my glory! 😉

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Thank you to every- and anyone who has stopped and visited my blog, Crafty Lotus. It has been a great year. I am looking forward to many more!
Until next time….Keep Crafting!

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A New Year Crafties!

Happy 2017, World!🎉

It’s that time of the year when we all make resolutions to do something/anything positive for the new year. Then a few months into the new year, we say “Forget it. This is too much.” We’ve all done it. *Raises hand* I’m guilty of it too.

I have recently read a tweet from Ms. Iyanla Vanzant that resonated with me. “It’s time to set an intention for your heart’s desire. Then, put your attention on your intention.”

Usually in life, if we intend on doing something…we do it. “I intend on going to the store/mall/party/work.” It, for the most part, gets done. So, this year we should be making the BEST intentions for our life/careers/blogs. Then be sure to put our attention towards making it happen.

For me, what helps is to be able to physically SEE my intentions/goals.

My 2017 Goals/Intentions

 By writing it down, I’m able to visualize and focus on my goals/intentions. Therefore, being able to put my attention on my goals. So, whatever your goal  may be (more family time, get better at Copic coloring, learn new cardmaking techniques, etc), write it down and focus your attention towards it.

Here’s to a more focused year. 🍹 Cheers! Until next time…Keep Crafting!

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Everyone Can Use A Break

HELLO WORLD!!!! I’m back. I know that it has been a long time since my last post. I just needed to take a break. I was exhausted and in need of a time out. With being a mom of 3, a wife and a new blogger–life was a little hectic. I wanted to make sure that I was posting something worth while on a regular basis (weekly to start). It became a little overwhelming. I was having some really late nights; which in turn led to late mornings. ¡No es bueno en absoluto!

That told me that it was time for a little break. Time to re-focus. So, I did. I was nervous though. I thought that I would lose some viewers. But I see I actually gained a few more. Thank you for that 🙂 I realized that I need to work on my time management skills. I mean…couldn’t we all use a little help in that area?! I need to set up boundaries and create a balance between work, family and my blog. I guess it’s time to join that Planner Life! 😉

I decided to try to come up with some crafts that fit into my life. Before, I was just trying to craft and create anything. I think as a newbie blogger, you kind of have to do what fits in with your lifestyle. As you get further down that blogger road, you will be able come up with ideas to craft/create with less stress and worry. It will become easier…I hope. Now, I will take a look at the coming weeks ahead and see what bests fits.

Even though I was taking a break from the blog, I was not on break from life. My kids were actually on their Spring Break. So, when there is no school, I try to keep them occupied with craftivities! We made Papier-mâché Easter eggs. The kids had so much fun making and smashing them (mini piñata meets baseball bat)! And I also made a shaker birthday card for my wonderful husband.

Blogging this way should alleviate some of my blogging stress for now. I figure, over time this blogging thing will get easier and less stressful. I have to remember that I am still a newbie at this. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Here are a few pictures from my “Spring Break.”

Have you had any blogging whoas or time management issues? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Until next time…Keep Crafting!

 

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Craft Outside the Box

Have you ever started thinking about your next craft project and thought, “Man. I need to go buy ___” or “I can’t do this project because I need ___.” That’s exactly where I was. I know we all wish we had an endless budget when it comes to our craft rooms and supplies. (I know my room would be more like a Craft Apartment! Soo many rooms. Soo many supplies.)

As a family of five, budgeting is key. Some months you can go out and get that new stamp set, inks, tools or whatever. Other times you can not. That is when you have to think outside the box. Shop your supplies.

This week, I wanted to do some Spring/Easter inspired cards. All of my local craft stores (Michaels, AC Moore, Jo-Ann fabrics) were having some amazing Spring sales. All of the new Spring releases! The temptation was REAL! However, this month I am on a budget–which means no extra, “just-gotta-have-it” craft supplies. 😦 What is a girl to do? Use what you have and think outside the box. After all, Spring is a time for new and fresh ideas (not just supplies).

Shop your supplies! Go through your existing craft supplies. You will be amazed at how much stuff you actually have and all the supplies/tools you forgot about. Be sure to keep an open and fresh mind. Look for that one thing that catches your craft eye and go from there. It could be anything–patterned paper, die cuts/cartridges, stamp sets, stencils, colors or tools. We all have stuff that that we have purchased with the thought of “Oooh! This will be real cute for something.” And never used it. Well, today is the day to use that something, try out that new technique or use that tool.

So, I have the Cricut Rock Princess cartridge that I found on clearance one weekend. I have been dying to use it for a craft project. I know what you’re thinking, “How are you getting Springtime from Rock Princess?!” There are some really cute shapes on this cartridge. It has some flowers, butterflies and some cute rock princesses. It’s just a matter of thinking in a new light/view. Come at Springtime from a different perspective.

Here We Go!

I am going to do 2 cards-Religious Easter and fun Easter.

Supplies:

  • Bazzill Basic Paper cardstock
  • Recollections cardstock paper
  • Jen Wilson La Paperie-My Mind’s Eye patterned paper
  • DCWV The Music Stack cardstock
  • Cricut cartridges: Doodlecharms and Rock Princess
  • colors: acrylic paint, colored pencils and Marvy Brush Markers

For the fun Easter card, I wanted to do something other than the usual basket full of eggs

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Layers of the shoe

and animals. I wanted something fun and funky! I thought of Converse All-Star hi-tops. I cut out a shoe from the Cricut Rock Princess cartridge.

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Some egg-citing coloring

I picked out this really cute, Spring-like floral print from the DCWV-The Music Stack cardstock. I used the Cricut Doodlecharms cartridge to cut out the eggs. I chose a few large eggs and lots of little eggs.  After jazzing up the eggs and the hi-top, I figured out the placement of everything on the card. I

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The finished shoe

added a light blue background that I water colored.

The finishing touches for this card

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Final Fun Easter Card

were the sentiment and butterfly. I used acrylic paint for the sentiment and a marker watercolor technique for the butterfly.

 

For my Religious Easter card, I chose my sentiment first. When I think of the word rejoice, I image dancing. Doing a happy dance. So, I chose “Kim” from the Cricut Rock Princess cartridge.

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Plain Kim

 

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Jazzed up Kim

I jazzed “Kim”  up and gave her life with some acrylic paints.

 

For the sentiment, I chose a background of a nice shade of yellow. I did some brushlettering/calligraphy with some Titanium White acrylic paint. Once dry, I went over it with a fine gold glitter and Mod Podge mix. My homemade version of the Wink of Stella pen. 😉 Then just printed the rest of the sentiment with a Navy Blue Marvy Brush Marker.

To put it all together, I trimmed the down the sentiment paper with these

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Final Religious Card

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Fun Trimming Scissors

fun scissors. It just added a little something extra. Then I “popped up” Kim with my foam tape.

 

 

Here are the final products. I just love them.

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Religious Easter (top) and fun Easter (bottom)

 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

 

Until next time…Keep Crafting!

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The Paddle Challenge

Do you know someone in the Navy or Marines? If so, then you have seen one of those cool paddles. Well, I was challenged with getting one for someone that is separating from the Navy. Man are those things pricey! They range between $75 and $200. I just knew that there must be a less expensive paddle out there some where. After some research, the answer is NO! So, you know what that means…time to get my craft on!!!

During my research, I looked at several pictures of paddles online. Some were very intricate with words within the paracord wrapping, and others were very simple. I also noticed that some of the paracord wrapping was nothing more than friendship bracelet making. Do you remember making those in school? I do.

Supply List:

  • 3 ft Wooden Paddle
  • Parachute 550 Cord (Navy Blue and Gold)
  • E6000 Clear Flexible Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating
  • random orbital palm sander
  • adornments (i.e. pins, coins, ribbons, etc.)

First, I came up with a design for the neck of the paddle. I went with the traditional Navy

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The paddle before

colors of Navy Blue and Gold. I wanted something a little fancy for the wrapping. I went with a two-colored, double spiral and two 5×4 Turks Head knots. Secondly, I had to come up with a design for the face of the paddle. I collected some items to adorn the face of the paddle–pins, coins and ribbons. I also had a little plague engraved with the Sailor’s name, rank and a nice sentiment.

 

The face of a paddle is curved. So, to start, I had to sand down the places for

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Sanded down areas

the adornments to go. You definitely can NOT put a FLAT object neatly on a CURVED surface–trust me. I surely gave it a try. 🙂 While, I had the sander out I smoothed out a few rough spots on the handle, sides and back. This is also a necessary step in order to properly adhere the objects to the face of the paddle.

 

The paracord wrapping was rather easy for me. I guess all those years of making friendship bracelets really paid off! Now, that 5×4

Turks Head knot?! I must have tried to tie that knot about 11 times before I was finally successful at it. So, of course the second Turks Head knot was no problem at all.

Now time for the gluing process. I used some E6000 Industrial Strength adhesive to adhere the adornments to the face of the paddle. This was a little tricky. I have never personally used E6000 before. I had no idea of how slick it was! I thought it would be tacky, like most adhesive. I was wrong. So, what I had to do was to apply some heat–a blow dryer. I glued the pieces down and then turned on the blow dryer. I positioned it to where it would be able to blow heat on the pieces while I held them in place. I held them in place with the

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Some weights added to hold down

heat for about a minute and a half. I let the pieces finished curing overnight. I had to place a 10 pound kettlebell weight on top of it overnight. This was to ensure that the pieces did not pop up or off during the curing process. The curing time for the E6000 adhesive is at least 24 hours–72 hours for maximum hold/curing. Oh, I also put a little of the adhesive on the Turks Head knot to secure them in place. Don’t need them moving all over the place. 🙂

 

Once everything was done, I added my logo (advertising and marketing :-)) to the back of

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Back view of paddle

the paddle. I sprayed the handle and paddle face with about five coats of clear, glossy acrylic coating. Voilà –one awesome Navy

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Finished Paddle

paddle!! Can’t wait to see the Sailor’s face when he lays eyes on this.

 

Until next time…keep crafting!

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Engraving Sensation

February is now coming to a close. Is anyone else a little excited for Spring?! Unless you suffer from allergies-which sucks. Time to open up the windows and invite in new, fresh ideas. It’s a time for Easter celebrations and Spring season sports-that’s soccer for my household. (Soccer moms unite! :-))

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My EK Tool engraver

How about engraving for new and fresh? I received an EK Tools cordless engraver as a Christmas gift from my husband. How cool is that? I have never engraved anything in my life. He just saw it in the crafting tools aisle and grabbed one for me. So, like a kid, I

 

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Always Coca-Cola

immediately started grabbing any and every thing to see if it was engravable. I tried it out on rocks, plastic tupperware, a ceramic mug, a pencil, a glass and a key. I have not used it since…until recently.

When you put it out there in the Universe that you want to try something or refrain from something; it seems that you are given several opportunities to try and excel in that arena. So, I put out there that I want to do more crafting and opportunities galore showed up. Engraving happened to be one of the many arenas.

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Mug before

I went out to the mall to pick up a nice going away gift. I decided on a couple of Contigo travel mugs in blue. I had them engraved with a Navy emblem. I asked about having some words added. At $10 per word that sent the price of the mug up to almost $60! There was no way I was going to pay almost $120 for two travel mugs. So, DIY to the rescue!

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Final Engraving

 

First, I found a picture of the saying that I wanted in a brush lettering style-Fair Winds and Following Seas. Next, I penciled it onto the mugs and added an anchor to either side. Finally, I traced it with my engraving tool. It turned out rather nice. Hopefully, the recipients enjoy their custom travel mug.

Until next time…Keep Crafting!

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Finding My Me

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Just Me

Crafty Lotus. Finding my me through crafting. What does that even mean? Well as a mother and a wife, my life changed tremendously! It revolved solely around my children and my husband. I was slowly being phased out and had no idea that it was even occurring. I looked up and my children were no longer babies! They are now 13, 6 and 4. They no longer needed their mother for everything. My husband always had his thing and his fellas. But me….I am mommy and wife. I needed to find myself. I needed to find my me!

 

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Parks Half Marathon Sept 2015

So, I took to the trails again…running! I joined my local running club, MCRRC. It was great! I felt like I had a purpose. It was fulfilling. I had set some running goals…complete a Half Marathon by the end of a year. I smashed it! I completed my first half marathon, Parks Half Marathon, in just under 2 hours and 30 minutes. But there was still something missing. A void that I needed to fill.

Every since I could remember, I always had a passion for crafts of all kinds. So, during the holiday season, I decided to make a few

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A Few of My Cards

Christmas cards to mail out to friends and family. It was great! They were so cute. Then in a short time span of a month, I had created more cards for people: sympathy cards, going away cards and birthday cards. All this card making had really ignited something within. And. I. Loved It!  The next thing I know…I had a few orders for Valentine’s Day cards. What?! People want to buy my creations? Well alright!

 

This feels right. This is my lane. And so Crafty Lotus was born…and now my journey begins. Thanks for coming along on this exciting journey with me!