Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Extravaganza

Oh doesn't this just look so yummy!  To find out how to make this American Jello go to

Can you believe this festive candle crate was made using only dollar store items?!?!  I can't either!

Go check out Frugal Life's blog to get the how-to.

And, in case you didn't get enough today, here is another FABULOUS idea....(last one for today, I promise!)

Isn't this such a cute use of an old window!  The Creative Crate painted a flag on the window portion of original and oh so cute!  Go here to check it out!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

4th of July Extravaganza

Tricia-Rennea is offering this cute 4th of July clip art set FOR FREE!!!! 

If you haven't discovered her blog yet, it is full of lots of freebies!  And they are all super cute!

Go check out her site here for instructions on how to get this clip art set.

And, if you want another yummy, but healthy, 4th of July inspired treat, head on over to Make and Takes for the how-to on these cute skewers!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

4th of July Extravaganza - Hair Flower

Did you see my announcement the top of the page?  I am holding a Hair Bow Tutorial Week July 12-16!

If you have a hair bow / flower tutorial you would like to share, or just a really cool hair bow / flower you made you would like me to feature, please email me at!

No matter what, be sure to stop by and check out what I will have going on that week!  I will be kicking the week off with a tutorial on how to line aligator clips and then, as of now, showing you how to make at least 4 other types of fabric flowers! 

But for now, I made this super cute hair flower for my daughter to celebrate the 4th of July!  It was ridiculously easy and I love how it turned out! 

I participate in the link parties found here.

4th of July Extravaganza

And if I Heart Naptime's Freedom Blocks weren't cute enough...she went and made this adorable 4th of July inspired mirror!

Sooooo cute!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Sew Can Do CraftShare Tasty Treats

I am partitipating in Sew Can Do's CraftShare this week for Tasty Treats!  Come check it out!

I'm posting about these...YUM!

Happy Designing!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

4th of July Extravaganza

Oh yum!  Look at how delish these look!  Hop on over to Whimsical Creations to get the how-to!  They look so yummy and Patriotic all at the same time!  Yum!

Look at these oh-so-cute Freedom Blocks made by I Heart Naptime!

You should go check her blog out.  She makes a lot of cute blocks and sells them as kits or already completed home decor items!  So much fun!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

4th of July Extravaganza - 4th of July Tree

 Hurray!!!  The 4th of July is quickly approaching us! 

The next 8 days I will be featuring some cool patriotic ideas, so be sure to stay tuned to see some cool stuff!

To start us is my 4th of July Tree!

I made this using a dollar store tree.  I painted the tree white and the pot red.  Then I used white felt to create the soft area on the top of the pot.  The stars were made from pre-made stars I found at a craft store and thread...simple. 

What are you doing to decorate for the 4th?

I participate in the link parties found here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Link Party!

Thanks for stopping by for my LINK PARTY!!!!

Just as a reminder, I have a few rules so we all play nice :-)

  1. Link up a craft / project / recipe / etc. that you have done. (Please no shop link ups.)
  2. Be sure to link up your permalink directly to the specific post you are showing off, not to your main blog page.
  3. Please visit the entry above you and leave a comment! Let's face it, we all love visitors and comments! So please at least visit the link prior to yours; visit more if you can!
  4. Please put my link party button (or a link to my blog) up on your site somewhere. It can be in the post you are linking to, on your side bar or, as I like to do, have a link at the bottom of your post that brings you to a list of parties you participate in. I am not too strict about how you do it, just please do it so that others know about the party, can visit, and can link up!

That's it! Thanks SOOOO much for participating! I LOVE seeing all of your wonderful creative ideas every week!

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guest Post from Pretty Dubs!

I am very excited to be here with Ashley. She has a great ideas on her blog; one of my favorite posts is her Turquoise Color-of-the-Year. I can hear her voice and can imagine sitting with her and visiting about turquoise - I've totally embraced it.

My name is Bonnie and I am really enjoying my blog Pretty Dubs. Making something new gets me giddy and I just want to prance around the house and ask my husband {for the 10th time} how amazingly cute it is.
It all started with an apron. I LOVE aprons and that was the beginning of my blog, an apron blog. It has evolved to so much more and I'm loving it.  Other things you will find on my blog are baking (oh, I love baking) and fabric flowers, some furniture make-overs, and other crafty ideas.  The works. Since it began as and apron blog, I decided to sew up a new apron and let you know how to do it. Here's the JEAN APRON tutorial.  {this would be so cute in a darker wash as well!}

The Jean Apron

I have decided that I really really like this apron.  It was fun, easy to make, and feels like I could smear dirt on it and not have to worry about it.  The other thing I love...big pockets.  These were my husbands old jeans and I've decided I love guy pockets.  
What you need:
Some old jeans - preferably ones bigger than you normally wear
Other fabric (for neck and waist ties) - two 4"x44" pieces & two 3 1/2"x44" pieces
Step 1 - cut apart your jeans
Cut the front and back of the jeans apart, leaving the side hem connected to the front of the pants.  Cut the back legs apart.

*I started with one pair of jeans (my own) and decided they were too small to cover well, so I went for my husbands.
Step 2 - cut the crotch a little bit
Just cut enough up one side so the other will lay on top.  If you cut too far, then they won't overlap.

Step 3 - decide how long you want your apron
Hold them up to your waist at your pants-line (or about at your hip line) and decide how long you want your apron to hang.  You won't be hemming the bottom, so this will be the true length.
Step 4 - piece in the gap
Using the bottom of the pant legs that you just cut off: cut, position behind the front, and pin in the middle of the two sides. 

Step 5 - finish the bottom front
Sew the middle piece in by sewing directly on the 2 hem lines already present on the edges.  I did sew on both just to make it stronger.  Make sure to sew up the crotch to seal the seam.  Cut off excess from the back middle piece.

Step 6 - cut the top

You have already cut apart the back legs of the pants.  Using the pant leg that has no side hems, lay it down on the ground and lay your bottom front piece on top.  
Decide how long you want the top (take a guess) and center the top band of the pant leg in the middle of the waist band.  Make them run parallel, even if that means the pocket is slightly crooked.  
Pin on and hold up to check the length/fit.  If it needs to be moved up or down, do it and pin again.  It's okay if they don't meet up on the edges (this picture shows they do, on the one I really ended up making, they don't).  
If desired, trim the sides of the top to be symmetrical.  (for example - I would trip the left side of the top to match the right side).

Step 7 - make your neck ties
Cut two 4" x 44" pieces, iron in half, open, iron both sides in to meet the middle line, then iron in half again.  
Tuck one end of each tie inside: open one end, fold down, close on the ironed lines, pin.  This should seal all raw edges.

Step 8 - encase top sides with home-made binding/neck ties
Unpin one side of the waistband (connected to the top of the apron) and place the neck tie binding around the raw edge.  
Begin sewing on the short side and then all the way up the front side of the apron, sealing the binding as you go.

As you get to the top band, make this pattern (below) out to the edge and continue up the length of the neck tie.  This will secure the neck tie.  
{how to: sew up to the top edge, turn your piece and sew along the top out to the side of the apron, turn down and sew until you reach the bottom edge of the top band, turn and head diagonally up to the starting point, straighten needle and continue up to seal the binding}
*Note - if there is a belt loop in your way, use your seam ripper to remove it.

Finish sewing the neck tie ends on the short end (that was previously tucked in).  Repeat with other neck tie.

Step 9 -  sew top and bottom apron pieces together
After neck ties are connected, sew the top and bottom pieces of the apron by following the top seam on the waistband.

You will have to do each side separately.  In this picture the left side is sewn and the right is not.  I sewed the right until it just overlapped the left.  
I left the button and zipper alone...I'm thinking I'll turn the zipper into an extra pocket.  Surprise, surprise!  

Step 10 -  make your waist ties
Cut your two 3 1/2"x44" pieces.  Right sides together, sew a short and the long end together.  Flip right sides out and iron flat.  
Sew around both long sides and the tucked in finished end with your machine.  I think this gives a very finished look to your ties and keeps them stronger.
Lay your waist tie, with raw edges lined up, at the end of the waist band.  Sew 1/2" in from the end.  

Fold over so the waist tie points away from your apron, sew along the edge of the apron to secure the tie.
Leave all other edges raw (the sides and bottom of the bottom half)
You're done!  (with the basic jean apron...continue reading for more ideas)

Step 11 - So I couldn't stop there.  I added some ruffles in a coordinating color, securing with matching fabric from the ties.

Then I decided the top needed something, too.  I traced a flower pattern on a piece of felt, cut out the petals, pinned the coordinating fabric to the back of the felt, and sewed around the petal outlines.  Then I sewed around the edge of the felt and fabric, securing them together.  I wanted the top pocket to be usable, so I pinned and hand sewed the swatch on, following the line around the edge I had just sewn.  I made a felt flower for the center and hand sewed that on as well.
Also, I sewed some buttons onto the pockets.  Since the jeans were worn, the front of each leg was a little billowy.  So I wanted to make it look like it was done on purpose.  I tucked each of the pockets in, enough to create a cute gather, pinned, and sewed.  Love it.
I love how it turned out and I'm so excited to get some good use out of it.  For more aprons, go to my apron list.  You too could look down and see this.

Thank you so much for your fabulous tutorial Bonnie!  I always end up with jeans I can no longer use as nice jeans (ok...I get holes in the knees...) and I have too many holey-jeans to keep...but I can't seem to throw them away...what a great solution!

Thank you so much Bonnie!  Be sure to check out her super cute site here for other great ideas and tutorials!

(P.S. - I have totally boughten into the turquoise color-of-the-year thing too and I am so glad to know I am not the only one!)

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WHOA! What just happened?!?!?! A Blog Make-Over!

I want you to meet my new friend, Laura.

Laura is my new blogland friend, sounding board and my hero.

I imagine, in her mind, I am a blonde, indecisive, crazy woman who writes rambling nonsensical emails and expects her to decipher them.

Hm. I totally have the better end of this deal, don't I!

Why do I love Laura, you ask?

Because she is the creator of my FABULOUS NEW BLOG!!! (did you notice the new fabulousness!?  hope the new look didn't throw you off!)

Wow! She has been super hard at work, designing and creating my new blog look. And she has had to deal with me and my craziness! For that alone, she deserves a medal!

So check out my new blog, my new look, my new buttons (please update your button on your site or grab one to put on your site if you don't have one sure is pretty!) Isn't she so talented!?!?

After you look around my new digs, please go check out Laura's sites. Not only is she amazingly talented at reading my mind, she also excells in interior design, graphic design, blog design, and is an amazingly talented photographer!  Seriously.  You have to check out her photography!  (I really wish I lived closer to her so I could have a family portrait taken by her.)

So go check out her Photography Blog and her Photography Website!  Both of which are A.MAZ.ING!

And if you want a make-over for your blog too, contact her!!  She is incredible to work with and she is extremely talented!

So I want to hear from you, do you love the new look?

(P.S. - I realize some of my buttons don't link to anything yet...that is my job and I am slacking!  But stay tuned, they will all be up, running and working soon!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Site Construction

Simply Designing blog will be under construction starting this evening through mid-day Wednesday.

Be sure to check back on Wednesday to see what we've been up to :-) 

Ok.  I hate keeping secrets!  Come back Wednesday to see my BLOG MAKE-OVER BIG REVEAL!!!!  I am soooo excited, I can hardly wait!!!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Random Surprise Giveaway!

Welcome to my first Random Surprise Giveaway!  (Are we all sooooo excited!?!?!?!?)

Today I am choosing one of my followers to win a super cute bow holder!  It looks like this:

It is a cute brown and turquoise hair bow holder.  It is constructed of 2 grossgrain ribbons: the bottom one is brown with turquoise polka dots and the top one is solid turquoise. Both are attached to a d-ring for easy hanging.  It offers approximately 34" of hair bow hanging space!

So...who is the lucky winner?  I decided to randomly choose one of my followers to win this giveaway.  And the winner is...

Follower #88 who is...Blossoming Skillet!!  Congratulations!   If you are the Blossoming Skillet, please email me at by Friday with your mailing address and I will mail you your RANDOM GIVEAWAY PRIZE!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Announcement - Site Down

I wanted to let everyone know that beginning Tuesday evening through Wednesday of this week, my blog will be "under construction!"  Check back Wedneday to see what we've been up to! :-)

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Man I really love Friday's around here!  It is a great day to show off how creative you are! 

And, while I start the beginning of my journey, you are luck enough to be able to enter a GIVEAWAY!

Meet The Whites 306:

My husband and I just recently started up this shop a few months ago. We have always enjoyed working with our hands and making things and we had a few friends recommend the site. I enjoy crocheting, scrapbooking and cardmaking and my husband makes all of the wooden things). I really think he just likes staying in his workshop :) We have been married for 4 years and are expecting our first baby boy :) YAY!! 6 weeks left :P

Congrats on the upcoming baby!!!  So fun!

Oh and you need to check out their shop...they have some super cute stuff!

The Whites 306 have graciously offered to host a GIVEAWAY on our website!  And you actally get a choice!!  You can win one of these super cute 3-strand crocheted headbands (in any color you like): 

Or you can win a crocheted ball rattle (in your choice of color):

So what are you waiting for?!?!?!  Enter the GIVEAWAY!!

And be sure to also join me below for my LINK PARTY below!

On to the rules!

1. Post one comment for every entry that you earn below. Be sure to post your comments on this blog post for entry in this contest.

2. 1 comment = 1 entry (so be sure to post a separate comment for each entry you earn!)

3. Include all pertinent information in your comment including what you have done to earn that entry.

4. This giveaway will run until Friday June 25th, 11:59pm PST at which point 1 winner will be chosen at random using

5. Check back here Monday, June 28th to see if you have won! The winner will be posted in a blog post and they will have 3 days to claim their prize by contacting me at If the winner does not contact me in that time frame, they will forfeit their prize, and another winner will be chosen.

How to Earn Your Entries:

1 entry = head over to The Whites 306 shop check out their great shop! Come back here and leave a comment telling us what your favorite item is that they sell.

1 entry = go to the bottom of this post and enter my LINK PARTY! Come back here and leave 1 comment telling us what you linked up!

1 entry = blog about this giveaway on your blog! You must link to and/or use my button in your post! Encourage your readers to come and enter the giveaway! Come back here and leave 1 comment including the direct URL of your post where you tell your readers about this giveaway.

2 entries = become of Follower of Simply Designing (or if you are a follower already, just say so!)

2 entries = by an item from The Whites 306 shop.  Come back here and told us what you purchased. 

2 entries = add Simply Designing's button to your blog or webpage (include your URL where you added our button to your page please)

Remember to post a separate comment for each entry you earn.

If you do all of the above things, you can earn 9 entries!

Good Luck!

Now, on to this week's LINK PARTY!!!!  (P.S. - I really hope you take the time to visit at least one link on my link party and leave some comment love!  Thanks!)

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am MIA today, sorry.  I am moving.  Literally, right now.  As I speak type there are movers in my house packing and soon-to-be loading. 

So it's a bit of a crazy day! 

I hope to rejoin you tomorrow.  But if not, know that I am ok and PLEASE come back on Friday where my regularly scheduled LINK PARTY will continue as usual!

(ooohhh...and I feel a random givaway coming up soon!!!)

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Announcing - Random Surprise Giveaways Coming Soon!!

I'm happy to announce my NEW SURPRISE RANDOM GIVEAWAYS.

Occasionally, I will randomly choose either a follower or a comment to win a surprise giveaway!! (How much fun is that!! A giveaway that you don't have to "enter!!")

So if you don't already follow, be sure to sign up! Keep the comment love coming, and be sure to check back here never know when you could be chosen for a surprise giveaway!!

Happy Designing!

I participate in the link parties found here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A WINNER & A Guest Blogger - The Modern Brady Bunch

We have a winner!  Thanks to all who entered my giveaway!  The winner of the cute pearl earrings and necklace is:

Comment #13 is from MSGottfredson who said:  "I love to follow this blog!!"  (aw! so sweet!)

Be sure to email me a by Thursday in order to claim your prize!

Now...on to our fabulous guest blogger of the day!

Hi everyone! I am so must be able to see my hands shaking, right? This is my first guest post on anyone else's blog. I mean, if I mess up on my own's my blog- but I so want to make sure that I make no mistakes on someone else's blog. Oh well, here's my disclaimer: If I make any mistakes or offend anyone....don't blame Ashley! :) Now...on to the good stuff......HI!!!! I am Amanda and I usually blog at my little family blog,


You can find it here. I know, you probably think...another blended family story- how boring. I probably would. But it's not always like that. I married my next door neighbor. We have six kids. I have three sisters. Six nieces, one nephew, one great-niece, and one great-nephew. How could life be boring? Chaos-yes. Boring-no. In all my spare time, I love to craft! I am sure you are thinking to yourself….what kind of crafts? I know you are…I am part mind reader, too. Well, I love paper crafts.. This past year, I handmade all of our Christmas Cards! It was a big undertaking…and it really narrowed the Christmas Card list….I sent out 20. I also have made a few paper collages. I actually love this. There is a lot to be said for the stress relief that comes from tearing up paper.

I also love to sew. In a big way. There is something great about being able to make things that can be worn and used by others. I love it. Sitting at my sewing machine, planning what I am going to make, buying the fabric (I have a love affair with it), and making the project, knowing someone will be able to use it- it makes my heart happy.
 The outfit above I made for a friend's daughter. Isnt' it fun? The picture below is a diaper changing pad. I saw a tutorial on a craft blog and tried it. I love it!

Another thing we love to do around our house is bake. Okay- with six kids we do a lot of cooking, baking, microwaving, sandwich name it-we do it. Feeding these animals, er a tough job and takes a deep wallet! A few weeks ago we tried these cupcakes:
They turned out so cute! The kids did most of the work, after I gave them a tutorial on how to make each animal!
So-this is what happens on our little blog, along with pictures of family outings and musings from a crazy working mom that sometimes likes her kids and sometimes thinks that one of them should be voted off the island. :) Before you go- can I pick your brain? I am thinking of opening an Etsy store to sell my handmade children's items. (I already have a store that I share with my sister-but right now there is nothing on it....) Will you take the time to answer some of the questions below....I would heart you forever-seriously! (Not that I don't already-because I know Ashley's readers are fabulous!)

Be sure to stop by my blog and visit sometime! Thanks, Ashley for allowing me to guest post!

Thanks so much for the super cute guest post Amanda!  Be sure to check out her cute blog and take her quiz!  (gotta figure out how she made that I am impressed!)

Happy Designing!