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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sugar Skull SVG **Updated**

I just felt like making one. This is basically a template. It's up to you to create the designs on the skull. I included some of the flourishes and flowers in the SVG for your pleasure. I'm sure it will look really nice with some rhinestones on it! Glitter papers/glue, whatever strikes your fancy.
Have fun!!!
**UPDATED** I have been getting reports that this SVG isn't showing up in SCAL, and I just tested it out and it isn't showing up on mine either. I tweaked it and if you downloaded it before 3/30/14, please delete and download this again. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring! Baby Chick in Egg SVG

Happy first day of Spring!
I saw this coloring page and liked it that I converted it to SVG for your pleasure. Have fun crafting!

Note: Image may or may not be from Google Images Coloring Pages. Copyrighted, for personal use only. Use at your own discretion.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bunny With Paws SVG

We bought a new computer few weeks ago! It's a touch screen all-in-one, and we are really enjoying it. Especially my kids--- of course, the screen is all smudged with fingerprints every single day.

I used to create SVGs on our laptop and it was fine, but few months ago, it started acting up and gotten so slow that I would avoid it altogether. I felt guilty for neglecting my blog.

There are few things I've learned in life:
1. If it's easy, then it's more accessible and even more fun to do.
2. If it's easy AND available, then I'd be more likely to use it.

Like for example, I got a pasta machine (the cranking kind) for Christmas few years ago. I loved making pasta because the machine made it so easy to do. I would make pasta at least once a week. Then the gears inside got worn down, and now it isn't very easy to do. Cranking is hard, it would make a terrible rattling sound every time I crank. I no longer have the desire to make fresh pasta once a week, (maybe once a month at best). I miss making fresh pasta. Se how #1 and #2 applies here.
On my wish list is a new pasta machine that attaches to my KitchenAid mixer. :-)

Our old laptop was in a very small corner of our living room and yet, not that accessible (small cramped space).

So, when we got our new computer, we changed desks, and moved it to a bigger room, and wow, it sure made a big difference! I feel like I got more room, and it's a clean slate for me. So, here's my first SVG created on our new computer. I hope you will like it, since it's useful in many ways.

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Keurig K-Cup Holder

I'm sure quite few of you got a new Keurig coffee machine recently! So did I, and I love it. My kids love it because they can also make hot chocolate, oatmeal, or cup o' noodles with it (without mommy's help!).

I have those k-cups of coffee and I had them in their boxes. Or sometimes I'd get a free sample in the mail and I just throw those into the box. Every morning, when I want coffee, I have to ransack through the box to find what I'm in the mood for. I wanted a better way of seeing what I have. I don't want to spend $30-40 on a "carousal" and take up my precious space on the counter. I thought about those drawers that go underneath the machine, but those are also pricey and I don't think it may work very well because I'd need to pull the whole thing out for water access. So, I went right to work to figure what I can do. You can see by the pictures below and it's pretty much easy to follow, if you'd like to make one yourself, go for it!!!! :-)


Here is the SVG for the template of the k-cup holders. The circles are nice and snug that the k-cups don't fall out too easily. Keurig Cup Holder Cutouts SVG

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Wonderland Glitter Houses Are Finished!

Hi everybody, as some of you know from my earlier post last month about working on those Winter Wonderland Glitter Houses. I managed to finish four of them, with my kids' "much needed" help...

My kids really wanted to help, so I let them decorate the houses, and trying to keep them from destroying them! I have to say, they turned out pretty good. My youngest found one little house at a thrift shop so she added it here. The small log house pictured here is actually my husband's incense burner, the smoke comes out of its chimney. We love using balsam fir incense cones in there.

Here's the pictures! You can click on the pictures to see them in bigger format.

Holiday Pictures

Finally, carved time out of my day, and I only have twenty minutes. I couldn't believe how busy it can get around here during the holidays.

My oldest is now in the local city's Nutcracker production, and her rehearsals have been crazy. She is a mouse in the fighting scene, and she's loving it! She wants to do it again, and again every year. I'm her taxi driver. (sighs).... I should teach her how to take the bus when she's older.

Here's a pic of her... sorry for the overexposure, I tried to fix it but no such luck!
Isn't the background pretty?

Here are few snapshots around our house to show some Holiday spirit! 

We have a tradition: I would put kids' picture in an ornament each year, and when the move out, they'll get those ornaments, they will have 18 (or more, depending WHEN they'll move out) ornaments for their own tree. And I hope they will carry the same tradition with their own kids. 

Every year, Santa will ride a firetruck and go through local neighborhoods and give out little candy canes. My kids always look forward to this! Unfortunately, my oldest missed it this year because she was at her Nutcracker rehearsal. I owe her a big candy cane.

Here is our mantle, waiting for Santa.....!
Have a great Holiday, everybody!
Amanda W.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Youngest has "Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis"

This is a personal blog article about my daughter, she's only 5 years old, and she recently was diagnosed with "Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis."

Let me back up a little bit. I enrolled her in preschool gymnastics in September 2012. She really enjoyed it. I noticed she wasn't as flexible as other kids, but I just assumed she'll eventually "catch up" in time. She was only 4. The instructor came up to me and said she seems to be having a hard time with her right wrist. She cannot bend it 90 degrees. She showed me, if you "pray" and lift your elbows up, your hands should still be touching. Like this:

She couldn't. Only her fingers can touch but not the bottom part of her hands. I kept her feedback in my head. I figured, she's only 4... no gymnastics prior, so maybe this class will help her!

So, here came April 2013, I took her to her annual check up, near her 5th birthday. I mentioned what the gymnastic instructor told me. Her doctor looked over her wrist, and noticed that she does have a problem. She looked it up, and told me she assumed, it could be a case of "Madelung's Deformity," but she'd like to have her wrists x-ray to make sure. We went next door to get xrays done. And scheduled an appointment with a orthopedist, and waited several months for an appointment. We finally came in, and the specialist looked over her xrays and confirmed that it is NOT Madelung's Deformity. She agrees that there is
something wrong with her wrist, so she referred us to a rheumatologist that is an hour and half drive away. So, we made another appointment immediately. That was last Thursday. 

We got there late because of a huge accident on the freeway, but they were understanding. The specialist asked me 1000 questions, mostly about family history, current history, etc. And she looked over the xrays, and examined my daughter, and confirmed it is "Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis." She explained, that it can fall into many different categories. My daughter is in the oligoarticular group. And it's not THAT serious, it's like a hiccup in her life. She never had an injury, or never gotten really sick. "An unfortunate combination of these unknown factors in certain genetically susceptible children leads to an abnormal and overactive immune system that results in painful, swollen joints."

Wow. I stared at the doctor like a deer in the headlights. I had a hard time wrapping it in my head.  First of all, I never even heard of it. And I thought only old people gets arthritis. She's only 5... She's still a baby.

The doctor gave me a thick red folder full of information about arthritis in children. And scheduled another appointment, for a follow-up and occupational therapy. I also had to make another appointment for ophthalmology.  She will have to have an eye exam every three months for the next several years. Wow...

We walked out and I was still trying to comprehend it. Do we have a long battle with it ahead of us? Is it just a short term thing? I was utterly clueless. 

That same night, I must have done three to four hours of reading about it online on my ipad. The more I read, the more scared for her I get. I had to breathe and take a step back and remind myself, that it's not all that serious like the doctor told me. Yes, there are scary stories about kids with arthritis. 

I am searching for some kind of support group. I thought I found several on Facebook, and asked to join, but I haven't been accepted into the group yet. I am actually going crazy, because I do want to find support for my daughter. Will she get worse? Will the medications and therapy help? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Will she remember this when she's 15? I had more questions than answers.

I wrote this blog to help raise awareness about JIA, and if you do know anyone, or anybody who happens to have JIA, I would love to hear from you. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter Wonderland Glitter Houses

I went to a nice gift shop, and saw these cute little glitter houses, light in color, light pink, light green, all with glitter sparkling. Snow capped houses. It was a village of whimsical houses with white twinkling lights all around them. I liked it, and I want to recreate it on our fireplace mantle for Christmas.

Here is my inspiration:

I am having fun, and I know I'm very far away from being finished. It's still November, so I think I still have some time. :-) I will certainly post after I'm done setting up the mantle. 

If you'd like to find out where I got the house templates, here is some of the links I used:

Can you identify this snowman?

I love to browse through thrift stores. It's either a hit or a miss every time I go there. I am very thrifty and even if a small thing costs $3.99, I still would put it back. Anyway, yesterday, I looked and saw this adorable snowman. First of all, I love anything vintage, retro, or whimsical.

This snowman, needed a home. I loved his warm eyes and smile. I loved the glitter all over. He's just too adorable, and he was only 99 cents! I tried to google up where he came from, so I can look at this artist or brand. I could not even find one remotely close. Can you help? Do you identify him, the maker or the brand name?  On the bottom, there's no information, it looked like someone ripped off the "felt" bottom, so it's plaster or paper mache.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Calendar Template SVGs

Hi there,
I got inspired by a Facebook group, someone was asking for calendar template SVGs. She couldn't find any. And I thought, it should be pretty simple to create those. I had fun though. Trying to think up different styles. I came up with three styles. If you have a specific style in mind, and would like me to create a calendar template, please email me. I think those may make a good 2014 calendar project, don't ya think? The number tab template may be pretty interesting to use. You can tear off the numbers when the day is over.  Have fun crafting!

And here's an example of the Number Calendar Template:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkins and Little Buggers

It has been an interesting month... We went to a pumpkin patch three weeks ago, and got two pumpkins. Two weeks ago, we carved it out, the first one is Ghoulia Yelps, a character from Monster High. My 8 year old loves Monster High anything!

My husband carved this one out, it was really challenging, and I think it looked good!

Then my youngest wanted "My Little Pony" on hers. I was quite taken back because she usually asks for Hello Kitty. Something new, I guess! So I carved this one for her. 

Then somehow we ended up with two extra pumpkins (free pumpkin here and there, etc.) and I didn't have the energy to carve.... So, I decided to try something out:

Yup, I melt crayons with a heat gun. I think I like the rainbow one the best. :-)

Sorry, this will be a long blog post, you can skip it if you want or read it later:

The other thing happened this month. I really hope it never happens to your family!!! If it did, then I sympathize deeply and understand how annoying it is.

What happened? 


It happened on September 30, at precisely 8:36 AM. My oldest daughter's hair was messy from sleeping so I decided to go brush her hair. I saw something on her scalp. I thought a fruit fly just landed there. I brushed it away with my hand. I looked closer. I see three of them. "How odd," I thought... Then it hit me like a mack truck - "HEAD LICE!!!!" I have never seen those before. OHMYGOSH! I just cannot believe it. HOW?!? WHERE did she get it from?  Of course, few expletive words went through my mind. I called her school to let them know she got head lice. So her class sent out letters to the kids' parents. 

My daughter and I went to Rite Aid to look for Lice killing shampoo kit. And also bought a metal comb because I read that it's much better than the free plastic ones the lice shampoo has in their boxes. Rushed home, and immediately doused her head with lice killing shampoo. 

Took all the sheets, pillows and blankets and threw them in the washing machine, ALL of our beds because we like to cuddle together every night in each bed. Our washing machine and dryer worked overtime.

Threw her bike helmet in the freezer, teddy bears, anything she had contact with in the last few days. It's funny, when we opened our chest freezer, there's a teddy bear eyes looking at you. Poor thing. There's more stuff than food in the freezer. Wiped down our car seats, vacuumed all the couches and chairs. 

I spent all day using the metal comb, combing every little hair on her precious little head. It took me nearly 3 hours. My hands were achy. She was annoyed because she had to sit for 3 hours. 

Next morning, I tried to take her to school (she missed one day already) and she wasn't allowed back in her class room until the nurse checks her hair. That's when I learned about the "No Nit Policy." Great. So, the nurse checked, and said she has to stay home. Still had some nits. Crap. So, back home, I combed through her hair for another 3 hours. 

Wednesday came... She still had maybe 5 or 6 nits, so she had to go back home. (Sighs!) I meticulously digged in her hair until I know 100% sure she had no nits. She finally got to go back to school on Thursday. She missed 3 days of school. 

My youngest remained clean..... Until last Wednesday. I took her to her swimming lessons, had her take a shower afterwards and I started combing her hair, and saw those little buggers. AUGHHHH. I was going to scream my head off right there, but I had to remain calm. Rushed back home, doused her head with lice killing shampoo. Sigh... stripped every bed again, washed them in hottest water possible, threw more stuffed animals in the freezer, especially Halloween costume since she was wearing that the day before. Our freezer was full!

The next day, I felt like I'm an expert on making sure there's no nits. Ha.... She was clean when she went to school on Thursday morning. I felt like it was a big accomplishment. A proud mommy.

Well, guess what? The following Saturday night... MY head started to itch. OH GREAT... I really hope it's all in my mind. I just have dry scalp. Yup, that's it. Dry, it's dry scalp. I tried to force myself believing it's just dry scalp that's making my hair itch. On Sunday morning, I asked my husband to check my hair, just in case... He looked for maybe 15 seconds and didn't see anything. Of course, I did not believe him. But I desperately wanted to. I decided to run the metal comb across my head, just to see. 

I caught five lice in my comb. I was ready to cry. I got lice. My hair was very long. It will take forever for me to clean my own hair with the comb. My husband does not have the patience to sit for three hours combing through my hair. I just had to find a way to do it myself. So, I went straight to a hair salon, and begged them to take me in immediately. I now am sporting a cute bob haircut. The metal comb goes through very nicely. I managed to get few more lice out, and been combing my hair two to five times a day, just to be sure I did get them all. I washed our sheets all over again. Yes. I hate it. I have a feeling we'll have to buy new sheets soon from all that damned washing. 

We did not have guests (other than immediate family) because we don't want anyone else to get lice. The kids gotten pretty lonely but we're still checking. I will allow anyone over when we have been lice free for one solid week.

Today is Wednesday, and we haven't seen a lice or nit since Sunday morning. So, crossing our fingers. It has been a month since we first discovered it. 

Few things I learned about lice:
Lice likes clean hair. 
8 out of 10 mommies get head lice from their kids.
The metal comb can't get the nits (eggs), so you'll have to really look and pull them from the hair strand with your fingernails or tweezers.
Only way to get rid of lice is to break their life cycle. 
Best way to "kill any lice" thats in your house is to leave the house for full 48 hours (easier said than done).
Freezer is good for the non-washables for killing lice and their nits. 
Or hot heat setting on your dryer for at least 20 minutes.
Lice can hold its breath under water. Shampooing doesn't kill them. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Frankenstein and Bride Head Silhouettes

I did some last year for Thanksgiving and I realized, hey....
Halloween's coming up, why not do some for this year?
I had fun creating those. I wasn't sure how high Frankenstein's forehead was supposed to be. LOL... Enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Grumpy Cat SVG

Here's a simple Grumpy Cat SVG, decorate him as much as you'd like to -- patchwork scrapping papers? Retro colors? Put a hat on him? Put on a birthday card, along with the words: "It's your birthday. You're old now. good!" It's up to your imagination! Have fun. :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Elmo Birthday Bag

Hi, we are going to a 2 year old birthday party this Saturday, and the mom told me her daughter is into Elmo. So, I whipped out my Cricut and SCAL and went right to work. Isn't this stinkin' cute?! I used puffy tape behind his pupils so they will 'pop' out. The Elmo peeking out of the bag is actually a card. I love to be able to dress up a boring old gift bag. I just wanted to share! :-) What's inside? I found Elmo Bathtub color tablets, Elmo bubble bath, and Crayola Bath Crayons. Make bathtime fun!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catching up

I just noticed my last post was from before Easter. Wow... Time sure flies. What happened? Well, first of all, we got a Roku. And I got addicted to it. Then my computer got and is still temperamental. I tried running a lot of anti-virus, spyware, etc etc etc. And I thought I got it all fixed but it's still as slow as a snail. I think we may need to buy a new computer sometime soon.

We decided to cut cable few months ago to save money since I'm not working. Our Comcast bill was about $160 per month, and on top of it, our land line phone (necessary for house security company) was $20, so total was $180 per month. After I paid one time of $100 for a Roku 3, and told Comcast to go away, and negotiated the Century Link to bundle our phone and internet (wifi) together. We now only pay $50 per month for internet and phone, then subscribe to Netflix and Hulu Plus That's $110 savings per month!!! I couldn't be any prouder. Our kids are now watching less TV. I also discovered that if I ran the cable line from our HDTV to the wall cable slot, we still can get basic channels. The cable companies doesn't want you to know that and only ofter "basic cable." 

As for new SVGs, I ran out of steam. Does anyone want something specific that I can easily put on my blog? It would have to be a non-copyright one. You can request something simple, like popcorn in a popcorn container, or a turtle in a small racing car, etc.

Other news is I learned a new craft project. My daughter's 8th birthday is coming up, and she wanted it to be an 'American Girl' theme. Her friends can bring their favorite dolls, and we'll have a doll party table. Serve finger foods, etc. And I brainstormed and came up with this. Instead of cheap (and crappy) favors, I decided to make non-edible slice of cake for each doll, than they can bring home. I watched several YouTube videos on how to make those, used my Cricut to make templates, and went right to work. I really liked how they turned out. The slices are about 2 inches by 2 inches. Here's a picture:
I also heard a good tip about using Mason jar lids (I found 12 lids for $1.26 at a grocery store), and prime sprayed and spray painted them dark red and put star stickers in the middle, as seen as below:

And I cannot express how much I love using ConTact paper (think shelf liner) with my Cricut to cut those stars and logo out and stuck them on our dining room walls (completely peelable). I found the SVG for American Girl here. And on top of this, we realized the wall color is just perfect!

When it's her party time, I will be sure to post pictures of the party!