Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Products!

Two posts in one day?!  It must be Spring Break! 

New Products for the Shop!!

The Chelsea Headband... Only $8!!

The Nancy Hair Pin... Only $5!!


Oh Lord.. It's happened again!  My newest obsession... 

So inspiring!  I literally just spent two and a half hours looking at the blog.  Get ready for some new products in the shop like poms, luggage tags, and scarves!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homemade Gifts & My New Shop

As promised.. Here are some pictures of the projects I worked on last week. I only got a picture of one of the stationary orders, BUT Jamie’s were very similar to these as well. Jonathan (my roommate Megan’s boyfriend) ordered these for his little sister Mallory’s 12th birthday! Isn’t he a sweet big brother?!

Everything you see I made—the portfolio, the envelopes (lined btw), obvio the cards, the initial stickers, and the note pad. The going rate is $8 for a set of 6, but that includes the portfolio, the cards, matching lined envelopes, initial (or monogram) stickers, and I will probably throw in a note pad just because they’re fun to make!

Here is my recent predicament. I am on a self-imposed budget CRUNCH! I know that after my last paycheck on July 31st, I will be working out of my savings for the next year and a half, so its my goal to have as much $$ in there as possible. I have a magic number that I’m shooting for, but I know that its going to take a lot of effort to get to that number. I’ve already cut back by drastically on my spending (which wasn’t much before) and I am really tracking my spending. Not only do I have a move to Europe to fund, but lots of weddings this summer (and showers this spring) and hopefully, kids to take to nationals! Why does everyone need my money?! =)

Jamie’s bridal shower was this weekend I am saying all that to say that I don’t really have a million dollars (or even $20) in my budget to go buy a gift and that is exactly how much it would take to buy a substantial enough gift to convey my love to Jamie (jk). Anyway, instead of buying a gift I opted to make her one instead. Does anyone have a strong opinion about homemade gifts? Positive or negative I’d love some feedback. I have lots more showers coming up this spring and I want to know if it’s a major faux pas to give homemade gifts.

I designed and made her a set of 6 note cards (with a portfolio—the whole shebang) and a magnetic notepad that said ‘Jamie and Jeff’ on it. It was pretty cute if I do say so myself. I also made her this wreath. I figured that it was neutral enough to go with any color scheme, but I had to add a little yellow.

I got the idea here, but obvio I didn’t use that material or put a birds nest on it.. Really, I just liked the ruffle. It was my first time making fabric rosettes. I really like the way they look and it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be!

All this was really just to wet y’alls appetite.. In an effort to reach my magic ‘Move to Europe’ number, I’m adding a new section to the blog.. A SHOP! Since everything is custom I’m not doing a shopping cart or anything like that. I’m going to have pictures up of the products I’m offering. If you are interested in any of it, email me the specifics (how many, what colors, etc.) and I will create it especially for you! If you are in the Athens or Bremen area there is not a shipping cost because I can deliver it to you personally (really that is just an excuse to get to see your face!) If you are further away, shipping will be $3. So head on over to the shop, browse, and BUY SOMETHING!! Please?!

I would also like to add that I'm currently in the market for a flexible summer job.  I would prefer a nannying job in the Bremen area, but beggars can't be choosers.  Just putting it out there in case any of y'all out in blog world know someone in the market for a summer nanny!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stationary is NOT World of Warcraft

Hi. My name is Lauren Elizabeth, and I have a problem. I'm OBSESSED with craft blogs. I discovered this site while searching for an envelope template for a project I'm working on.


Love it! I've literally spent the last 2 hours looking at it and making a to do list that is going to keep me busy for weeks!

After seeing this, I think I'm going to have to help Mama and Daddy spruce up their mail box, now that their entrance is all fancy now. 

I love that she just uses the random things that she collects like curtain hooks to make this.

I am also in love, love, love with this website. 

I want to make a living with my handwriting!!  If only it were this cute!!

I think I should have gone into graphic design.  When I think about graphic design, I think of nerdy, artsy kids who sit in the dark and design web pages or video games.. Obviously, my conception of what all graphic design entails was incorrect.  I would love to design stationary, make invitations, and do crafts for a living!  I have always said that whenever I have kids I want to stay home with them, but I definitely see trying to supplement Mr. Right's income by selling my skills.. 

I decided to try my hand at it using what I have learned from all my blog research (read: stalking).  My friend's bridal shower is coming up so I decided to make her a note pad and a set of note cards.  I'll let y'all know how they turn out..

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dropping the Bomb

(I understand that given the recent happenings in Africa—Megan, you should be proud.. I watched the news—this is probs not the most politically correct title, but it got your attention didn't it?!)

Hello blog world! Sorry for my absence. STAR Events happened.
But now Region is behind us…the marathon is over. 4 of my 5 teams advanced to State and the one that isn’t advancing still got a gold ranking which pretty much means that my kids are the shit! One of my groups even got a PERFECT SCORE!!! All we have to do before state is a little bit of tweaking. I had to resist the urge to post the pictures that I have of their projects. I’m so proud of their projects that I want y’all to see them, but us FCCLA advisors are a competitive bunch and I didn’t want to reveal our secret weapon before it was unveiled. Now that it’s been seen I can share the pictures I have, but I don’t have many =(

This is our Chapter Service Project Display. My FCCLA and my 8th grade classes have been making dresses to send to the organization Little Dresses for Africa. You can find more information about them here! The doors were our secret weapon, but it doesn't really matter now anyway since this is the one that didn't advance =(

One of my groups planned a wedding for their project, so for their visuals we made a lemon cake with blackberry filling. Then we covered it in fondant and decorated it with ribbon and a flower!

This is for the wedding project too. This is one of the bouquets. Its made out of fabric, pearls, floral wire, and ribbon.

And now that the STAR Events marathon is over, I can drop the bomb…

I’m moving to Germany!!!
in November to take care of this little squirt...

Here are the most frequently asked questions when I tell people this and my answers.

Why not?! I’m 22, unattached, and apart from my current job and my dog, have no responsibilities tying me to Athens, Madison County, or really even Bremen. Also, I have always said that all I want in life is to be a mommy.  What better way to find out if that is true?!  I get to be a mommy for my job and if I decide at the end of the year that it isn't really what I want then I'm not stuck with the responsibility for 17 more years.. SMART..

What about your job? Why on earth would you leave a perfectly good job in this economy?!
Please don’t misunderstand…I love my job! I really do! As much as I vent about FCCLA and dumb kids, all the bad stuff is canceled out ten-fold by the precious kids that are excited to see me every day. I realize that I am incredibly blessed to have gotten such a great job right out of college. That said, it was never my intention to stay in Madison County or Athens forever. It kind of freaked me out at the end of last year when I realized that, IF I were ready to be settled in one place, I could do this year after year and have an amazing amount of job satisfaction, BUT I’M NOT!! Zac Brown puts it best.. I’ve “got a gypsy soul to blame, and [I] was born for leaving”. I’ve not always been that way, but that’s a long story best saved for another time. Another contributing factor is that I am also currently working ridiculously long hours. Between cheerleading and FCCLA, I am normally at the school until like 5:30 every day. Not to mention the 30 minute commute each way. I’m away from home like 11 hours a day!! I miss my dog! And I’m just tired.. My new job is an adventure and has much better hours!

What about the Doolster?
She’s going with me!! And no, she will not have to be quarantined.

What will you be doing?
I am going to be an au pair! Think Sound of Music (minus 7 kids and the hooking up with the Captain part.. I think the wife would be pretty pissed), Nanny McPhee (minus 7 kids and magic), and Mary Poppins. I will be taking care of one little boy named Bennet. I already introduced him here but I couldn’t spill the beans yet! His dad is in the German Air Force, but has been stationed in Texas for the last 5 years doing NATO training. His mom is a speech therapist who was an au pair herself during her gap year between high school and college. I will be living with them and taking care of Bennet, who will be 13 months when I start taking care of him, for 30 hours a week (beats the heck out of my current 50 hour weeks).

Isn’t that a big pay cut?
Yes, but when you take into account that I will be living with the family (no rent or utilities), eating most meals with the family (no grocery bill) and that the family provides health insurance, has offered a car, to pay for language classes, and a gym membership if I want one, what’s left to spend money on?! Germany has pretty strict regulations on the au pair industry so the family can only pay me 260 Euros a month (a little more than $350). Obviously I will be spending money on Dooley’s food, eating out, and gas. Hopefully I will be spending some money on traveling, but I am also prepared to dip into my savings for that. That is what I was saving that money for anyway!

How long will you be gone for?
I will be moving to Texas in September 2011 and then Germany in November 2011. I will be over there for a year, so I’ll be back in November 2012.

What if you don’t like it?
Then I grin and bear it for a year… I’m prepared to be homesick—its inevitable. BUT I’m just going to have to remind myself that I’m living in EUROPE! So I guess I’ll just have to suck it and go enjoy Europe!

Why Germany?
Well, according to everyone I’ve told about it, their first reaction is usually ‘you look German!’ so we could go with the whole I’ll fit in thing, but at some point I’m going to have to open my mouth. I don’t think Germans have a southern drawl. By heritage, I am German (well Prussian), so maybe that’s why I feel drawn to Germany. Germany is very dog friendly country and Dooley wouldn’t have to be quarantined. Also, I did my study abroad in Austria, so I have confidence that I can survive in a German speaking country. During study abroad we were going through Munich pretty much every weekend and I loved it! LOVED IT!

Do you even speak German?
Not well. I took German while I was on study aboard but as Frau DiBella and Mary Claire can attest, I wasn’t too hot at it. BUT I did learn the grammar rules and some vocab. I have Rosetta Stone, and have done this intro and its going pretty good! I have confidence! My goal by Nov 2012 is to be on my way to being fluent.

What do your parents think?
They are being super supportive! Of course it is going to be hard, but, as they put it, they have raised me this way, so they have to be okay with the results! They aren’t too upset that they are going to have to come to Germany to visit!
I had to add just one more.  Isn't he presh!?!