A very Minted Christmas

December 12th, 2013

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As a graphic designer, I have this complex of wanting to design everything myself… because, well, I have the skills. But last year I finally came to terms with the fact that I just don’t have time to design everything. So the next best thing of course is Minted.com . I’ve been a fan of Minted for a long time, they have gorgeous award-winning designs and even design competitions for graphic designers like me (maybe one day I’ll take the time to enter too).

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Last Christmas, we had a new baby, and I really wanted to send our birth announcement/Christmas card, but again that no-time thing (x10 because of the new baby). I’m not sure where I heard about it, but I heard that minted does address printing on your envelopes FOR FREE. My ears perked up and that was the end of any need to have to design my own card. I love sending out cards, but man it’s a lot of work to print, stuff, (find your addresses), address, stamp, and mail them.

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But with pre-printed addresses, matching return address labels, and everything shipped to my door, I really didn’t have much of an excuse. I mean really, how much work is it to upload a photo, change some text, and order the cards? And a few days later, I got all these lovely cards at my door (have I mentioned I hate leaving the house?). theprojectgirl_minted_christmas

All I had to do was stuff them (while catching up on a new BONES episode), and stick on the return address stickers and stamps. I didn’t even make it through the whole episode.

Anyway, I just have to say that I couldn’t be more pleased with the process. Even their online design customization works so incredibly well. I was able to drop in this photo, input my text, and update all my SAVED addresses from last year in less than 45 minutes. All from my cozy work chair. Thanks Minted.com for being so awesome!theprojectgirl_minted_christmas_card

A special thanks to Michelle of Clover + Mustard for the beautiful family photos that she took this summer. And also Annalisa Photography for our fall photos that I was able to show-off on the back of the card:
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It’s so wonderful to have one part of my holiday season simplified, and checked off my list. You still have time to do this. Right now! It won’t take very long, and you can have it checked off your list! You can even send Happy New Year cards AFTER Christmas (I totally did this one year). Lets keep the tradition of beautiful stationary alive even if it’s just one time a year.

Disclosure: post contains affiliate links. But seriously Minted.com is amazing.

Chalk Art Christmas Cover Photo Image – Free Download

December 10th, 2013

The holiday season is upon us. This year we are in transitional housing with all of our decorations packed away. We’ll be moving into our new home in a few weeks, and I just don’t have the motivation to decorate. So in an attempt to feel Christmas-y, I created a cute chalk art “Cover Photo” for my Facebook page. It’s a small thing, but I feel a little bit more Christmas spirit already!

You can download this image FREE for your own Facebook Cover Photo!

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Click on the image below to take you to the full-sized image. Once you see it, just right-click the image and download to your computer.

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 Or you can Click on this link - Merry Christmas Facebook Cover Photo and once you see the full-size image, right-click to download.

Please pin and share so that lots of people can find this free download too :) If you share on your blog, be sure to link back to this page for the actual download.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful holiday season!

The downloadable file in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany any images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this image or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS.

Our Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween – Muno, DJ Lance, Plex, & Foofa

November 3rd, 2013

Growing up my mom always made our costumes. I don’t think I even knew you could get costumes at the store until I was grown up. So I guess thats just where my mind goes when it comes to halloween. I’d love to just buy costumes and be done with it, but for me, making the costumes is part of the fun and challenge of halloween.

I don’t think I’ve posted pictures from the past two years – I’m all about the experience first and the photo taking second, so excuse these poor photos (I don’t even know how people get their kids to hold still for photos?!?). Anyway when ollie was 7 months old I decided he would be the cutest little gnome (we love gnomes in this house). Ollie always loved wearing hats so I was pretty sure he could pull off wearing a hat as the main part of his costume. He did not disappoint and kept the hat (and beard) on all night long. Here he is *not* looking at the camera.

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Because this was my first time making a costume, I kept it pretty simple.  A felt hat just rolled into a cone with a button sewed on for decoration. I used some pillow/drapery fringe trim for the  beard which was sewed into the inside of the hat.

I sewed the blue felt shirt using one of his shirts as a guide for a pattern, and then made a quick belt with some black elastic and a belt buckle. I also attempted to sew some pointy pleather shoes which looked cool but didn’t really stay on.

Here he is trying the hat/beard on as I was making it. Isn’t he just scrumptious?

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Such a cute little baby! Look at those kissable cheeks and lips.

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The next year I was feeling a bit more confident. We thought he would make a cute little Domo Kun and so I bought some fuzzy brown fabric and just went to town making a 3D rounded rectangle. It worked out great and he was so cute – although he still didn’t quite get the idea of Halloween. Pictures this year were even harder – this is the best one I have!

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This year – he totally got the concept of halloween. For the whole month of October he kept asking if we could “get in the car and go to halloween” haha. I kept asking him what he wanted to be for halloween, he didn’t really seem to have a preference, but when he watched Monsters Inc. for the first time, he immediately said that he wanted to be a “firefighter” (actually a CDA agent whom he calls fire fighters) for halloween. So I thought, hey cute… he can be a CDA guy and Leo can be Mike Wazowski and they’ll be super cute. So to go easy on myself, I ordered a yellow rain coat and pants, and figured I’d make a backpack with tubes etc. A few days later it comes in the mail and Ollie would NOT put it on. Not even get close to it. And now he did NOT want to be a “firefighter” not even a little bit.

So back to the drawing board. I kept asking him what he wanted to be and he would say random things/characters/people etc. But he always said a different thing every time.  So I never pulled the trigger on anything. About 2 weeks before halloween I asked him what he wanted to be and he said Muno! For a whole week he kept saying Muno (and added that he wanted daddy to be Plex and mommy to be Foofa). So I told him no changing his mind and I promptly went to the fabric store. I bought fabric for Muno, Foofa (for me), and Dj Lance (for Leo). For the Muno costume I googled Muno costumes (imagine that), and found someone who sewed an awesome Muno costume and had some basic instructions online. This helped me a lot in building my Muno costume though I did a lot differently than they did. The whole time I was cutting/sewing/glueing Ollie was so so so excited about being Muno. I finished the headpiece at night and the next morning when he woke up told him that his costume was done and he could try it on. He was like a kid at Christmas – practically jumping out of his skin and so happy to get to BE Muno.

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He kept dancing and saying “wiggle wiggle wiggle stop!” haha I should have taken video!! I did get a cute back-shot when he held still enough to look out the front door.
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The balls are styrofoam balls cut in half and covered in fabric and hot glued on.

When Halloween came 3 days later, he couldn’t wait to get his costume on that evening. Here he is posing and dancing. theprojectgirl-muno-costume-montage

And outside getting ready to go!

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Not to be too outdone I also threw together Leo’s DJ lance costume.

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For both costumes I purchased this simple halloween jumpsuit pattern:

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It was actually my first time ever sewing from a pattern (those things are HARD to read!), but the pattern was super simple and  the jumpsuit part of each of their costumes took less than an hour to sew.

Here they are both with Grandma who came over to see them and pass out candy while we took to the streets.
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Did I mention that Ollie wanted me to be Foofa and daddy to be Plex? So I bought pink fleece and put together a quick outfit (used pajama pants as a pattern, and then just made a bodice by measuring myself). Once Spencer saw all our awesome costumes, he wanted to dress up as well. So the day before Halloween, I ran to the store and bought stuff for his Plex costume and the morning of Halloween, started his costume and finished it a few hours later. It would have been nice to have a little more time to work out some of the details, but I think he turned out great, and the neighborhood kids LOVED seeing a big robot running around.

Here we all are together as an awesome Yo Gabba Gabba ensemble. I’m so glad we got a great group picture and everyone is actually LOOKING at the camera and HOLDING STILL!

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Here Spencer & I are in a quick selfie while trick-or-treating.

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And a quick shot at Muno and Plex.

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And I cant forget our very adorable DJ Lance! He did so great while we were out. Perfectly happy to be on a walk with the family and actually kept his hat on until the very end.

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After making those 4 costumes I feel practically like a pro! My sewing machine saw more hours than ever before, and I feel way less intimidated to sew anything including clothes. I also learned just how easy it is to sew pajama pants or comfy pants for kids, so I may just pick up some fleece and sew a bunch of elastic waist pants for the boys this winter and save (a lot) of money.

The whole night was magical and really just wonderful happy moments watching Ollie so confidently run up to doors, knock, say “trick or treat” pick a candy and say “thank you”. He was the absolute perfect age for such an event, and was grinning ear to ear and dancing all the way. We all had the most perfect evening and are already looking forward to Halloween next year, and planning how we could make our costumes even better.

Have you attempted sewing your own/your kid’s halloween costumes? Did your mom sew all of yours like mine did?