Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nifty and Thrifty:

Through various trial and errors I've learned the ins and outs of

What's that you say, never heard of it?!?! Basically it is a website that specializes in anything printed or customized for businesses or families. Everything from custom invitations, thank you cards, t-shirts, totes, business cards, post cards, etc.

It is awesome if you are planning parties and want custom items for cheap (but still pretty good quality), custom Christmas/Holiday cards, Custom gifts (t-shirts, hats, mugs, mouse pads, pens, etc) for friends and family members for birthday's or holidays, or if you have a business that you are trying to get off the ground!!

As you guys know, Nick and I are planning for our wedding for November 2012, and I'm a thrifty grad student with some extra time on my hands and money that needs to be saved.

I just want to give you my current tally of Vistaprint purchases so you can get an idea of how amazing they are.

Through 8 separate orders, I bought the following:

  • 2 "Just Married" Car magnets
  • 10 Custom Tote Bags
  • 100 Folded Note Cards (Thank you cards)
  • 280 Address Labels
  • 1 Grooms shirt
  • 25 Kiddo Activity Brochures. 
  • 10 Pages of Matching Letter Head
  • 100 Custom "Save The Date" Postcards
  • 2 Pens
  • 2 Sticky Notes Pads
  • 2 Note Pads
  • 2 Notebooks

Normally all of this would have cost about $480
But I only paid $76.94

Awesome right?!?!

Here are a few pictures of the items

Okay so you want to know how I did it right??

Everything I bought was free, I just had to pay shipping and handling. Okay, yes I know you don't believe me, but I promise it is true!!

First I went to this website -- a fellow blogging bride, and learned some tips and tricks from her.  She has a "sample email" page that has a bunch of links to vistaprint for free stuff.

Then I figured out a few tips of my own:

You can "buy" multiple free things per order (ie 1 free tote bag + 10 free note cards + 1 free car magnet)

If you want to buy two of the same thing (ie 2 tote bags) but you don't want to pay S&H twice, design one through the "Business" section, and another through the "Home & Family" section, they have different product numbers, but they are the same product.

Set up an account with them, and leave several items in your cart at all times, they will send you money saving coupons to your email reminding you of the items in your cart

If you buy several orders within a day or two of each other, they will put them all in one box, so if you need it fast pay for express shipping for one order, then standard or slow shipping for the rest -- they will combine the slow ship items into the fast ship box.

Design your own logos and images for a truly custom product (Nick's Groom shirt I designed via Google images and Microsoft publisher).  Save the logo as an image, and you can upload it (most of the time for free).  If you are unsure about how to save a file as an image you can always take a "screen shot" of it (PC users = windows logo + "S") it automatically puts it into Microsoft OneNote, you can then save the image as a photo.

I've notice that if I design multiple free items that are all in my cart, after a few days they go back to original price -- to fix this "remove" items from your cart, then go to your portfolio under my account, and "order" them again.  This usually restores the prices back to "free"

You can also close the window, and re-open vistaprint through this web address:

I'll keep you guys updated on any other awesome vistaprint deals I find!!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am a procrastinator!

What can I say? Nearly a month in between blog posts is kinda sad and pathetic. I promise I am trying!!

As promised here is my Aunts big fuzzy blanket I made (like 2 weeks ago?)

(Sorry the picture is kinda crappy)

I didn't take pictures of the process, but it was pretty simple and I think I can talk you through it.

You need:
4 fuzzy blankets (cheap as you can find, I found them at the grocery store for $5 a piece)
Sewing machine
Measuring tape/ruler

First: Wash and dry your blankets!! Cheap material tends to shrink a lot, and not exactly uniformly.

Now take two blankets that will make up the front, and put them face to face making sure they are nearly the same size. Pin, and sew 1/4 -1/2 inch seam.

Do the same for the other side of the large blanket.

Now put your two large blankets face to face, pin all along the edge except for a 2 foot space at the bottom.

Sew all the way around, turn the blanket right side out

Sew the opening close, using a straight, small stitch as close to the edge as you can.

Now pin 1-2 inches from the edge of the blanket to make the "border" all the way around. Sew the edges to keep the blanket from folding funny.

If you wish you can quilt this to make it a little more sturdy.  These fuzzy blankets are incredibly warm, and this one is just shy of the twin size.

I promise to post again soon!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just another day

Good morning Blogger land,

Nothing fun to show you today, I have to do boring stuff, like tailor some ($11) dress pants I got while home in Houston AND study for my pharmacology exam that is in 6 days (eek!)

However I do want to share this little tidbit with you...especially for all you coffee drinkers.
I found this a while back and just had to share!

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, I'm going to attempt to recreate my Grandpa's "big and tall" blanket for my Aunt...perhaps I'll remember to take pictures so I can share!
Also on the horizon
  • More studying 
  • Big and Tall fuzzy blanket tutorial
  • Bringing back Medical Mystery Mondays 
  • Spring quilted purse tutorial
  • Re-stock Etsy shop
  • Knit more squares for the orphans
Now that I told you guys my ideas....I'm committed!! I must overcome the procrastination!!

Stay Crafty!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wedding Inspiration

If you are anti-wedding, turn away now because there is about to be a wedding explosion!

Nick and I are getting married 11.3.12, and in Texas the Fall isn't really a big deal, we don't have fall color changes in the trees, everything just kinda turns brown and falls off

Our colors are fall colors with an emphasis on Maroon (We are Aggies of course we are going to have a maroon wedding!). We decided to go with a "Live Oak" themed wedding because at Texas A&M University we have a Century Tree, that is believed to be well over 100 years old. It is just beautiful and it is a common Aggie tradition to walk under the tree with one you love and you will be with them for of course Nick and I visited the Century Tree

The following are "inspiration collages" for our wedding


Ceremony Decor

Wedding Favors, and Gift bags for out of town guests

This is a snap shot of the inspiration we liked best 
(also sneak peek of our save the date)

I promise I wont blog about wedding stuff again for is just so exciting!!!  Back to crafting!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Cute Custom Onesies Tut

Good morning everyone! Happy Martin Luther King Jr day!!

Here are a few pictures of some custom onesies I made for a close friend of mine who had her handsome little bundle of joy over the summer. His name is Weston, and I made three long sleeved 6-9 mos onesies, and three 9-12 mos onesies so he could wear some now and later on when he gets a bit bigger.

By far my most favorite!! 

His Daddy is an airtraffic controller so I thought an airplane would be just perfect!

Here is the little guy modeling his new fancy tie onesie!! Isn't he just the cutest?!

Here is another one of Weston ***NOTE***No music was playing in the headphones

So these onesies were pretty straight forward, I didn't take any pictures of the process but I think I can talk you through it!

  • Onesies (duh)
  • Computer/printer/paper to print off pictures
  • Light weight interfacing
  • Fabric scraps
  • Iron
  • Pinking shears
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching Thread
  • 2-3 hours 

How to:
  • First find some "clip art" style pictures by googling images you are interested in, such as Tiara, Cat, Train, Car, Tie, etc.  Be sure there aren't too many skinny parts in the picture or intricate turns that may be hard to do on a standard sewing machine
  • Print pictures off, estimate if it is the right size for the onesies (this may take a couple tries)
  • Take similar size scrap of material and interface it FIRST
  • Then trace pattern, and cut with pinking shears to prevent major fraying
  • Pin on onesie, making sure it is centered
  • Sew using a medium sized straight stitch, making sure to lock your stitches.
  • You can add detail by zig-zagging (see airplane above)

To make a truly custom baby gift, make a small blanket, quilt, burp rags, or nursing cover using the same material!  Quick and easy to throw together! 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!!! More to come!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Off to work-n-work-out bag

My Mom is in better shape than I am. I will freely admit it!  She goes to boot camp, zumba, cardiokick boxing, abs classes, and personal trainer classes 2-3 times a week.....EVERY WEEK for almost 2 years now!

I give her major kudos!  So for Christmas I wanted to make her a tote she could take to work, that would hold a lunch sack, as well as work out clothes/shoes.

Here is my creation.....Vere Bradly inspired much??

 Quilted "Brown bag" lunch sack, with insulation, velcro closure, and flat bottom

 Tote bag, lined with interfacing and batting, quilted in a similar "Vera Bradly" style. One large pocket inside, magnetic closure, gusset bottom, with 30" straps. 

Mom posing with her new tote bag! She was VERY excited!

Inside View, Easily large enough for lunch sack, and water/tea with room to spare!!

Check back for Cute Custom Onesies!!

Stay Crafty!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog Hiatus

Wow guys that was quite a blog hiatus!!  My last post was September 22nd!! Gah, shame on me!!

Well here is a lightning speed catch up

My Grandpa (My mom's dad) had a Stroke at the end of October. No worries, he is recovering very well, and is projected to make a complete recovery (but we were all very worried for the first few weeks). I was going to make him this blanket for Christmas, but finished it early and sent it to him just a few days after his stroke. It is a "big and tall" blanket with pockets for his hands and feet to keep them warm. This is a picture of him trying out the blanket for the first time, He said he loved it! 

After my semester was over I traveled to Michigan to visit my grandparents, help out, and spend some much needed quality time with him. This is just 57 days after his stroke, pretty amazing huh? We went out for a walk nearly everyday I was there. I am amazed at his recovery process, and my Grandma's amazing patience.  Many people often focus on family members that maybe ill, but we must never forget the people that care for them everyday. My grandma is an amazing women, with an amazing heart!

December 23rd, Nick and I have been engaged for 2 years today

Christmas! This is my Mom, she was so excited to get a new fart fan for their bathroom, I'm being serious guys. My mom is not the typical "I want jewelry" mom!!

Girls day downtown with two of my besties from undergrad Kato and Kim!

Spent New Years eve/day with Nick, we stayed in and watched netflix all night

Aunt and Uncle came into town and drove all over to see the sights

January 8th, BOOKED THE VENUE FOR THE WEDDING!!! WHOO-HOO!!! Set the official date for the wedding 11.3.12 (yes still 1 year and 9 months away!) This is the view of the chapel, isn't is just GORGEOUS?!

Keep an eye out for my next few posts, I've got lots of crafts to show you!!! 

Stay crafty!!

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