1.28.2016

Three Ways to Use Icon Stickers in your Planner

I have probably claimed another sticker as my favorite sticker, but for today's post - icon stickers are my favorite type of sticker.  They are very versatile (obviously) and I'm hoping I'm not sharing with you something that is so blatantly obvious that you navigate to another page, but I've got three ways I use icon stickers to add a bit of dynamic design to my planner layouts.

The biggest part of a weekly spread for me is the design element.  I like a well balanced design, complimentary colors, well designed patterns....it's weird, but it gives me all the feels.  All the aesthetically pleasing feels!

Over an icon label you won't use
There are always some icon labels that won't be used so put I usually cover whatever icon is on the label with an icon sticker.  It adds a bit of dimension if you use two different colors and makes the label more prominent because of the contrast.  I like to use this in the middle of my vertical columns and not at the bottom where I put my little things as the contrast created adds emphasis and takes away from the sleekness at the bottom of my vertical column.  But that is purely an aesthetic thing.
Over a tear drop or flag sticker for emphasis
In my editorial planner (and in regular every day life) I use an icon over a tear drop sticker as a section break.  Placing the icon up higher on the tear drop will allow for a bit of room to write and identify what the icon may stand for.  Things may be obvious like barbells mean work out, but for me a filming slate may mean to film or to upload that day.  It depends on the icons provided in the kit I'm using or if I just don't have any of a certain type of sticker.
As a header/title label
This is one where I thought I was super creative!  When I was home for the holiday I conveniently didn't bring any of my header stickers - like YouTube, Blog, Shopping, etc.  so I improvised with an icon sticker.  I use a circle sticker from a Simple Stories washi set and then another icon from a Simple Stories icon set to create my headers.  So a camera denoted what to film, a cart was what to buy, etc.  It was a very visual week for me that week!

Sometimes using stickers can be blatantly obvious, but sometimes we can get a little be creative.  (Just a little bit!) I hope this post wasn't too 'duh!' for you and maybe helped with a little bit of inspiration.  Using icon stickers in a consistent way - like one of the three above - gives a little bit more of a cohesive look to a design that may lack unison.  So if all you're icons are on tear drops, no matter the size or style of the icon, you're overall spread will look more put together.  It's all about the balance!!

What is your favorite sticker?  How do you use stickers in a new way?  How do they work best for you?

xoxo, Moe

1.26.2016

Trend Tuesday // CoverGirl TruNaked Palettes Swatches

I can't get over the amount of nude inspired drugstore eye shadow palettes that are hitting the shelves right now.  First we had the Maybelline palettes (reviews/first impressions here & here), the it was one from L'Oreal (see it featured here), then Revlon (GRWM video here), now.....we've got CoverGirl.  
CoverGirl release at the beginning of 2016 the TruNaked Eyeshadow Palettes and I have to say they are the bomb!  I only have two to swatch for you today because for the life of me I can't get my hands on the Nudes shade - every where is sold out!  Each time I come upon an empty display my heart get's broken a little more.  
These palettes are so much more compact than their earlier counter parts - much smaller than the L'Oreal La Palette Nude, the Revlon ColorStay Not Just Nudes palettes, and the Maybeline The Nudes palettes.  And they have much better quality - in order of preference I'd say CoverGirl, L'Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline.  On the lid of the product it even says 'shades like a leading $50 palette'!  While I don't have any of the Naked palettes, I do believe you can achieve the same look.
If you're down for the rosey pinks of the Naked 3, totally pick up the TruNaked Roses palette.  There are three matte pinky-mauve shades.  The lightest one is Almond and a mid-tone one is Baby, and the deeper one is Copper Rose . Oh yeah, these palettes also have shade names!!!  There is no matte highlight shade in this palette only an extremely glittery/shimmery pale, pale pink.  All other shades are very shimmery/glittery yet I haven't notices too much fall out.  The colors are all very unique to each other - nothing seems overly similar - even the deepest shades have something unique about them to differentiate them from each other.
If you have more bronze skin, I think the Goldens palette would be great.  This one features two matte shades again - one for the crease/transition is a soft, midtone brown and one as a matte highlight/browbone shade.  The rest, again, are all shimmery/glittery.  I love the bronzes, golds, and olive greens in this palette and think this one can actually create a more dynamic look that the Roses palette.  You can get a golden, a bronze, and an olive eye look distinctly from this palette.  From the Roses palette I see only variations on the rosey eye look, nothing too standout-ish from each other (if that makes sense.
The texture on these is wonderful.  It's what you'd like a drugstore palette to perform like!  I want to say they aren't as soft as the Lorac shadows, but I don't have the Naked palettes so I can't compare texture there!  Each shade applies and blends well.  And I've noticed that they stay on well into the day.  A super plus!

I have to get my hands on the Nudes version of this palette!  I think it will be the perfect go to look for me because I've been super lazy recently.  Man, these swatches really get me!

Have you tried the TruNaked palettes?  Any tips?

xoxo, Moe

1.25.2016

Make It Monday // Fricken' Easy Marbled Mint Fudge

During the holidays one of my favorite sweet treats is fudge.  I'd picked up dark chocolate & mint chips from the store sometime in December because I just couldn't resist them, but never got around to actually making the fudge until right now.  Here's my excuse - 1 bag was not enough to make the recipe I'd found and I just never picked any more up.  The other day I did find some more chips at the store so I thought I'd try my hand at making what I'd meant to make.
And since I just can't do things easy right off the bat I decided to divide my chips - they were dark chocolate & mint after all - and create a marbled look.  Let me tell you, this recipe is super, super easy.  If you have a sweet tooth like me you'll totally be making all the fudge all the time.  I used this 3 ingredient recipe and halved it to create my marbled fudge.

Ingredients :: 3 cups (two 10oz bags) chips, 1/4 cup butter, on 14oz can sweetened condensed milk.

I started by dividing the dark chocolate chips from the mint chips into two separate  bowls.  Two 10 oz bags gives you just a little bit more than you need - 1.5 cups of the dark mint and 1.5 cups of the mint chips.  Halve the butter and the condensed milk and add each to each bowl.  

Microwave each bowl until the chips melt, giving them a stir once or twice.  I found a fork works the best to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Once each set of chips is melted, begin to pour the mixture (one at a time) into a well greased 8x8 pan.  I lined my pan with foil to make the removal process easier.  The dark chocolate chips maintained a thicker consistency while the mint chips got more runny when heated, so I used the dark chocolate as the base - meaning I poured that one into the pan first.

Using a spoon, spread the chocolate around the bottom of the pan.  Once it is as evenly distributed as possible, top with the melted mint chips.  Since these were more runny it was easier to take my spoon and create an S design running back and forth with in the chocolate.  To get the best marbled effect, don't be afraid to really get in there with the spoon and stir things up.  Don't go too far though or you'll get a weird color if you mix it too well.  I do suggest using a spoon - at first I tried a toothpick but it wasn't sturdy enough to get a good mix going.  You may need the toothpick to pop any air bubbles that form while creating the marbled effect.  The tiny pinpricks did leave little holes when I popped the bubbles - but that obviously doesn't affect the taste!!

If you can't find the premade bags of chips, two 10oz bags of complimentary chips works too.  It will probably be easier since you don't have to divide them by hand!!

I can't wait to enjoy these little treats all year round - it will be fun to try my own little fudge combinations!

What is your favorite sweet treat?

xoxo, Moe

1.21.2016

Word of 2016 // FORWARD

On every single international flight I take, there are two movies I'm guaranteed to watch - the Incredibles and 500 Days of Summer.  The fact that these two movies are both about moving forward went over my head until just recently when I was researching a quote to go with my word of the year.   I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.  That is the quote I've chosen to go with my word for the year FORWARD.

Last year my word was EXPLORE and the quote I chose to go with that word was An artist is an explorer.  (read last year's post here, and 2014's post here)  I chose that phrase and that word because I'd thought I'd lost track of what it meant to be an artist.  I feel like I should have that title as I did complete a Fine Arts degree but I haven't created anything that I thought could be labeled as art in ages.  When I found that quote, I knew that it was time for me to explore what art could be.  When you Google what is art a definition is returned and the first half of that definition is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.  Art can be problem solving, art can be creating something, art can be the care it takes to create something so everyday that it is essentially forgotten.  Art is design, art is feeling, art is creativity.  Art is anything - as long as you are understanding the process.

Art isn't happenstance - it is a process, it is dedication, it is repeated results.  Art is experimentation and science.  Art is creative problem solving.  Art is looking at something in a different way and thus solving a problem differently.  Art is creative thinking.

Art can be in the boardroom, in the garage, in a design program.  Art is creative problem solving.

EXPLORE also taught me that I am not prepared to head in the direction of the creative goals I laid out for 2015.  But that doesn't mean I wasn't creative.  I jumped more into the planning community and love the creativity I've seen there.  Designing stickers and inserts really gets my creative juices flowing in to productivity - and I love that.

EXPLORE taught me that I really like planner videos and I like filming planner videos.  EXPLORE also taught me how to take control of my life by exploring different planning styles.  I've finally found planner peace and it took a lot of exploring and a lot of planning to get me here.

EXPLORE taught me about traavel.  Zach and I explored Seoul, South Korea while he was there for work.  EXPLORE taught me about traveling by myself and traveling in a totally foreign country.  EXPLORE also taught me that Michigan is beautiful and about the settlements at Mackinaw.

All of that is what EXPLORE taught me last year.

So what will FORWARD bring for me this year?  No clue!  I don't have it figured out but I want to keep momentum going.  I want to move in the direction I'm being pushed and I just want to keep making, keep creating, and keep problem solving.  I love the challenge. 

I don't have anything too lofty to set this year because I've learned that you can plan life out, but life will happen.  I just want to be aware and to move FORWARD.  I don't want to look back.

FORWARD doesn't have much to do with career goals this year - though I would love to drop everything and be able to travel with Zach.  But I can't figure out how that would work financially yet (plus I've got a pup that I promised a home and I'm not about to give that up).

FORWARD motion.  FORWARD.  Just keep going.

I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.

What is your word for the year?  Any special goals?

xoxo, Moe

1.20.2016

Wednesday Decor // Incorporating the 3 Waves Cleaning Method

Oh goodness, another cleaning related post.  Whoooo Hoooo!  I've recently found something referred to as the Three Waves Cleaning method in this blog post on Clean My Space.  That blog post really spoke to me, mainly because of the 'get in the right head space' rule listed.  That is the only way I'm able to clean - to have a plan and be in the right mindset.  The more I make myself do it, the more likely I am to be able to convince myself to do it!

Anyway, recently I've incorporated this 3 Waves method to get myself prepped for cleaning.  I will lay on the couch all evening if I let myself, so this really prepares me mentally for getting stuff done. It's like a warm up routine for me that guides me into the rest of the routine.  Plus, if I'm in a hurry I can stop after each step and feel that I have gotten something accomplished.

Here is how I define the Three Waves for my cleaning routine - I clean a room/section of my home a night for 30 minutes (read about how I created my perfect cleaning list here) :

Wave One - Garbage & Gather
In this wave I grab a new garbage bag for random garbage/trash, a new garbage bag for the trash can in that area, and a basket I got from the Dollar Tree for random items that need to be moved to other rooms where they belong.  This wave means I just start throwing away things that have cluttered up over the week in the certain room/area I'm working in.  I'll be going through this using our down stairs area of the house which I've lumped into one 'room' to clean on Monday nights  (see our first floor layout here & here).  I start in the living room area and work into the office and then into the spare room by picking up any trash - receipts, junk mail, a left over fast food cup, etc - as I go a long.  This is what the first trash bag is for.  I also put a basket in a central area to catch things that don't belong so I can move them into their homes later.  This first bag will also be used to catch the dirt when I empty the vacuum.  I pull the trash bag from the trash can in the office and set it by the door and place the second trash bag in it so it's fresh.

Since this first wave is little, mini tidy session, if I'm in a hurry I can just complete this step and feel accomplished because things are tidy.  This type of situation changes for each room too - in the bathroom or kitchen, for example, this first wave would also include changing the towels.

Wave Two - Swish & Swipe
I get my cleaning tools ready. Pro tip: keep the tools you need in each room/area - I have two vacuums (because my boyfriend came with one lol).  One stays downstairs and one stays upstairs.  I keep a Swiffer Duster in the closet with the vacuum and then some Clorox wipes under the sink in the downstairs bathroom.  This means I have all the tools I need in one place.  I don't have to keep running around, back and forth, to find the tools I need to get the job done.  In each bathroom is Windex and paper towels so I don't have to run upstairs to clean the downstairs bathroom.  It is all at my finger tips.

This second wave is dusting and wiping.  I get my Swiffer Duster and start with the tops of our bookshelves and work my way down, and around, the downstairs.  I also take a Clorox wipe to wipe down door handles, the coffee table, the top of my craft table, remotes, etc.  This is a quick swish and swipe session that is made easier because everything is moved off of the surfaces it shouldn't be on.  The Swiffer duster makes everything so much easier!  I even have one of the long ones to dust our fans (which I have to admit most of the time doesn't get done!)

I can also finish after this step because the room looks even more put together than after the first step.

Wave Three - Suck it Up & Take it Out
This is the final phase - vacuuming & taking the trash out.  Vacuuming is one of my favorite chores and I really have zero idea why.  I do two passes with the vacuum in our living room (dog =  shedding), one pass in the guest room, and the use my Swiffer Sweeper on the laminate wood flooring and tile in our entry way and office area.  That thing can suck up some pet hair, let me tell you.

I empty the vacuum bin into one of the trash bags and take each trash bag out to the garbage bin.  I also do a quick put away of any of the items that end up in the basket used to corral odd items that don't belong.

This is the final step!  Our downstairs area often takes either the whole 30 minute time or more because it is such a big area.  I star with this one on Monday evenings because it is the most lived in area and gets the most cluttered/dirty - especially after the weekend.  It is nice to know that I can move through the rest of the week with a clean space to relax and come home to after a hard days work.

These three waves really helped me to break down my chore into something more manageable.  It made the whole thing seem easily accomplished rather than staring at a room wondering where the heck to start.  It helps me come at the room with a plan.  Each wave slowly builds up and I know it's really not that much just to tidy up a bit with the first wave, and that generally warms me up in to the second wave, and then because I'm 2/3 of the way done might as well finish out the third wave.

I hope this helped you out a little in developing a small cleaning routine or at least figuring out how to tackle a room.  If you want to read about how I tackle a really, really messy room, read this post.  You can also find all my cleaning related posts here.

How do you clean?  Do you break it into small steps?  Any other tips?

xoxo, Moe

1.18.2016

Make it Monday // Easy on-the-go Washi Storage

Over the Christmas holiday I put together a little kit to take with me that included some planning essentials that I would really need to have when I sat down to plan my week.  For the week of the Christmas holiday, I was home with my family.  There really wasn't too much to plan, I just sort of filled in as the days went by with some stickers, label boxes, and washi.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

When it came time to plan the week after, though, I was glad I'd brought a little bit of coordinating washi with me!  I found these card stock tags at Hobby Lobby a while ago and had no idea what to do with them and when the time came for me to figure out how to store some washi on the go, I had a brilliant idea.
Supplies :: card stock tags, small, 3 mil laminating pouches (the 3x5 size is used here), laminator, paper trimmer/craft knife, scissors, washi tape, binder ring

I never really cared for those little, plastic embroidery thread bobbins that hold washi incredibly well.  While totally functional, they weren't that pretty.  And I didn't want to have this bulky ring of plastic bobbins and washi if I wanted to carry multiple designs.  These little card stock tags are perfect for storing coordinating washi - and if you don't have a lot you need to carry with you as whole week's spread can easily fit on one tag (about 3-4 washis depending on the width of each).
Start by trimming the laminating pouches down so that only the bottom part of the tag will be covered by the pouch.  This measurement may vary depending on the tag size used - I trimmed min pouches down to measure 2.25 inches from the sealed end of the pouch.

Place two tags into the pouch with space between them and around the outside.  Allow the laminator to heat up, then run the pouches + tags through with the sealed edge of the pouch down.  This may take some practice to ensure every thing loads straight  Run the same pouch and tags through 2 or 3 times to ensure that the laminate is sealed well to the card stock.  Repeat for as many tags as desired.
Using scissors, trim down the laminate right at the edge of each tag.  Run each individual tag through the laminator a few times ensures that the laminate is adhered to the card stock making it less likely to peel off.  
Once each of the laminated tags is trimmed to the end, begin to wrap the chosen washi around the laminated end.  Keep it as straight as possible and be sure to maximize the real estate by placing the washi close to the laminated edges of the tag.  Repeat the wrapping on all tags.  I found that about 15 wraps is a good sample to use in my personal size, week on four page spread.
Now that all the laminated tags are covered with washi, corral them together with a binder ring.  These were found back in the scrapbooking department of Hobby Lobby but I've also seen them in the dollar tree.
This washi storage is great for on the go planning (I hope to go to a planner meet up sometime soon!) or for giving samples.  Personally, I think they are more aesthetically pleasing than little bobbins!  They also look great in planner pockets - my Carpe Diem planner by Simple Stories is the only planner I have right now with pockets!  The personal sized Filofax Original has very few pockets but I love them so!

How do you store on-the-go planner supplies?  Do you plan weeks that include travel?  What about holiday weeks?

xoxo, Moe

1.14.2016

A Post About Sweetie B // How a Dog Gets a Name

As you probably, most definitely know by now, I have an amazing little dog named Sweetie B.  After our little corgi Emrys passed so suddenly back in April it was very, very, very hard for me to move on with out a dog.  I'd tried waiting to find another corgi - because I just love them so - but I was super lonely.  Zach was gone in Korea at the time.  He wasn't even home with our poor beeb left us and he got to come home to a brand new dog.  I'm sure that was really weird for him.
The total time that passed between losing Emrys and adopting Sweetie was about 2 or 3 weeks.  It wasn't that long but to me it felt like a life time.  I had no intentions to adopt a dog (read more about pet adoption here) because I really did want another corgi.  I'd gone to a few shelters but all the dogs available seemed too much for me to handle.  Until one day I said "Ok, I'll take a look" and found the cutest little blonde girl ever.

This isn't here adoption story - is that a thing for dogs? - this is the story of her name.  I feel like some people think her name is crazy.  Sweetie.  What kind of name is that??  And why the B?  So here's the reasoning behind the name Sweetie B:

My best friend's maiden name started with a B, I guess other people called her this too, but I called her Katie B.  So I always liked that kind of Name + Initial thing.

Zach's last name starts with a B, so that is Sweetie's middle initial.

I'm a huge Doctor Who fan so now I get to say 'Hello Sweetie' all the time.

I'm from the south and love Sweet Tea

My mom calls us all sweetie all the time and she also says 'sleep sweet'.

And the first day I met the little nugget she was the sweetest thing I'd ever run into.

Originally I had other plans for dog names.  If I got another dog and he was a boy I was going to name him Calder.  If the next dog turned out to be a girl I'd name her Sandy.  One of my favorite artists is Alexander Calder so I wanted to be cool and name my dog after him (Alexander Calder also went by 'Sandy')  But when I decided Sweetie just had to come home with me I quickly nixed the Sandy part because I thought that was too obvious - she was a sandy color.  When we first met I kept calling her girl so that was also in the running!

Anyway, I thought I'd just do a little post for posterity on the reasoning behind the name Sweetie B.

xoxo, Moe

1.12.2016

Two Things I'll do for Myself This Year

It the time of year where all the blog post surface of 10 Things to Focus on This Year, 5 Ways to make 2016 the Best Year Yet, and the like.  This post may be one of those kinds of posts.  But this post is mostly for me, and only a little bit for you.

I have resolved to do two things this year.  These resolutions aren't things where there is a clear end result...and I think that's perfectly fine.  The thing that will be measurable though, is how I feel in the end.  

I've resolved to give more compliments and apologize for myself less.

Complement Others More

Compliments are great.  I like to give them and I like to receive them.  This year I want to change the way I give compliments and in turn give more of them.  I don't know about you, but usually a compliment I receive or give is something a long the lines of 'I like your sweatshirt'.  This year, I want to give more compliments that focus less on how I feel and focus more on building the other person up.  It shouldn't matter if I like the sweatshirt - what should matter is that the sweatshirt looks good on you.  I want to give more compliments that focus less on how I feel and more on how I see you feeling (does that make sense?).  I want to acknowledge that the other person should be the focus of the compliment and I should leave the word 'I' out of it.  

That shirt looks great on you.     Your hair color/style is beautiful.
That lip color is awesome on you.     Those shoes are really stylish.

Apologize Less

Apologizing for myself less goes hand in hand with this.  I will not downplay myself when I am given a compliment.  I also won't apologize for certain characteristics about me - I'm loud, I laugh a lot, I take things seriously, and I see the problem from many sides.  I'm often told to be quiet, that things aren't that funny, that I really should just chill out, and that I'm causing problems by bringing up various points.  (I really like to hash out things so that anything that can go wrong is already planned for...believe me, I'm pretty sure that is helpful.)  Zach has never told me I'm too loud.....and I love that. I've been told my whole life that I talk too loud.  That is one comment that bugs the heck out of me.  I will not apologize for the things about myself that have been that way for 28 years.  I will also stop belittling myself when something positive is said to me, about me.  I will not downplay the compliment by taking jabs at myself.  I will stop apologizing for being awesome and for having a few quirks!

These are just two of a few things I've resolved to do this year.  My word of the year is Forward and I just want to keep growing.  I still need to do a reflection post on my word of 2015 which was Explore and I still need to find a little quote to go with my current word.  Those posts are in the works but I just haven't formed words for them yet!

What are some small things you're doing for yourself this year?

xoxo, Moe

1.08.2016

Free Printable Social Media Tracking Stickers

One of the things I want to focus on in this new year is my social media presence.  I don't count stats.  I don't care how many followers I have - I care that my content is relevant and presented well.....so that it will be shared.  With the advent of hashtags, any post you make is searchable - as long as you tag it well!!  I will say, I'm no social media maven....I'm average at best.  But I know that in order to be seen you have to be active.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

I plan on trying to post to each platform uniquely and to share quality content on each platform as well as promote my own endeavors.  I use Networked Blogs to post to my Facebook page & Twitter every time a blog post goes live.  I also use the integrated platforms in Instagram to post to Twitter & Facebook each time I post a photo.  Instagram is my favorite social media platform!  I want to use HootSuite more to schedule tweets and Facebook posts of not only old blog content but also unique content and content that followers might like.  

In order to track my social media endeavors, I've implemented a checklist at the bottom of my daily pages but I think specific tracking boxes to use in weekly spreads may help too.  So I wanted to share them with you today!!
These are free PDF downloads - and if you're savvy, they also fit with in the margins of a Silhouette document so you can add cutlines if you wish.  Please remember that these are free for personal use and can not be sold, redistributed, or shared via file sharing.  If you wish to direct someone to these printables, please direct them to this blog post.

The first PDF has 12 multi colored stickers designed to fit in the your side bar measuring 1.5 inches wide.  They fit perfectly in the ECLP side bar or the MAMBI Happy Planner sidebar (as pictured above).  This is a weekly tracker labeled Monday through Sunday with checkboxes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  The second PDF has an assortment of smaller boxes with a place to write your post name and then mark of where that post has been shared.  These boxes feature a place to check off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blog/RSS, and YouTube.  Each box is also 1.5 inches wide so you can stack them in your sidebar or put them in the daily squares.  I plan on using these to mark off either a blog post or YouTube video that I will share.  These will also fit in the week on four page spread for personal size planners here in my shop.  (Don't forget to shop through Ebates on Etsy to get a little cash back!)

Download the weekly tracker here.  Download the daily tracking boxes here.

Do you have a social media plan for this year?  Let me know!  I'm looking for ideas too!

xoxo, Moe

1.07.2016

Free Design Resources // Patterns + Icons

My original idea for this post was to share resources to use to create planner stickers.  However, all of these resources can apply to general graphic design as well.  The goal for this post is to promote the idea of proper credit and educate others on copyright when it comes to digital patterns and icons.  These resources all have various degrees of attribution and proper use....but I hope to share with you ways to use freely designs created both for personal and for commercial use.  The planner community is passionate about copyright.....so this post is geared towards that, however, if you're a designer looking for patterns and icons to experiment with, please continue to read!

One of the most fun things when it comes to planning is having a matching set of stickers to plan with. You may not be like me, but I love having a full set to plan with. It is often hard to find pre made printable sets that you like, and even harder to find some that are free in the design you're going for.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
Today I want to share with you three resources for free patterns and icons to create fun sticker sets for yourself or any other graphic design work you may be experimenting with. If you haven't see my video on how to make planner stickers using the Cricut Explore, check it out here - you can totally use the resources below to make your own fun & functional sticker sets.

This website is a great resource not only for patterns but for icons to use in making functional stickers. If you search your term in the search bar then click the icon label you'll find hundreds of icons available for download in a variety of formats. Download either the SVG or the PNG to use in your Cricut Design Space platform (or just the PNG if you're going to use something like Word or a photo program to design your stickers)
You can choose the color and size you'd like to download the PNG - I suggest the largest size - but also sign up for a freepik account so that you can add this icon to your favorites. (You won't loose it if you want to download a different color next time.) If you download the SVG you can change the color in Design Space and use it as a cut file. An SVG means that the image is scalable to a multitude of sizes, where as the PNG will be maxed at the largest size you download. Otherwise you risk a pixelated image.

If you spend a little bit of time on Pinterest you can find some free for personal use digital scrapbooking papers and embellishments. I love finding new blogs that offer things for free! Be sure to read the designer's terms of use to make sure that you aren't violating their copyright if you decide to use the digital papers in a certain way. Most of the time (but not all) the designer just requires attribution or a link back if you share what you make with the digital files.
I suggest contacting the designer through an email or reach out using social media to make sure you'll be crediting them properly. If you tag the shops/stickers/elements you use in your layouts on your own social media platforms tag the designer as well.

There are also designers that offer free papers for commercial use without attribution. Be sure you're checking the terms of use as well as contacting the designer with any questions (or visit their FAQ section).

This has been my go to site forever for patterns. A new feature to Design Space is the ability to upload fill patterns for use in print then cut designs. I can't wait to test this feature out! How exciting is it that you can now create those popular full box stickers that everyone uses?
Again, most of the patterns on ColourLovers must be used only for personal use. If you recolor a pattern that already exists, most of the time you'll need to share it with the same license the creator shared. However, this is my favorite site for patterns because you can recolor existing patterns to match whatever spread you're working on. You can also create color palettes (or use existing ones) to inspire your theme.

This marketplace is a division of ColourLovers where designers sell there awesome wares.  However, if you make an account you will get a weekly email with designs offered for free for that week.  These designs often include fonts but sometimes you'll get a nice hand drawn graphic to work with.  As with any of these resources, the designs come with their own terms of use.  So be sure you've read and agreed to them before you start your project.
I love to check out the email every week to see what awesomeness may await me!

If your the creative type and the planning type these three resources work great for designing stickers in Design Space for use with your Cricut Explore. I love that there are resources out there for those that are creative to explore their creative side without costing a million bucks. However, I can't stress enough to be sure you're following the copyright and terms of use set out by designers when you use these free resources though. Abiding by the rules not only protects the designer but protects you from any legal trouble!

If you haven't seen the Cricut How To Videos for sticker making, check out my growing playlist here!

How you do get creative using digital resources? Do you have any fun resource suggestions?

xoxo, Moe

1.05.2016

Trend Tuesday // Hotline Bling (Fun Phone Cases!)

I have to say I was totally inspired by Miss Kaelah of This Charming Life for this post.  She share some fun phone cases in this post....so I knew I had to shop around for some of my faves as well.  I just recently upgraded to the iPhone 6s and have to say I am in love.  Of course I got it in rose gold, if you wanted to know!  If there is one thing Zach and I don't see eye to eye on, it's technology.  I'm an Apple girl through and through, and he just isn't.  He's got Android phones and Windows computers and Android tablets and Windows tablets.  We just aren't the same tech wise.  I guess it's great that tech accessories don't a good relationship make!  Anyway....here are some pretty awesome phone cases just incase you need a new one.

view my set on Polyvore here

I am in love with the Corgi & the Donut one....that's like the definition of my life.  My MIL got me a corgi clock for Christmas and it sits on the wall right above the Corgi die cut calendar my best friend sent me for Christmas.  Love it all!

xoxo, Moe

1.04.2016

Make it Monday // Easy Mixed Metal Cluster Necklace

Every now and then I'll dig into a hobby I haven't done anything with in a long time.  Often that ends up being something jewelry related.  I haven't bought jewelry making supplies in a long, long time and when I recently did my crafty room destash, I gave a lot of it away.  Every now and then I get the bug to make something creative with wire, beads, chain, etc but it's always spur of the moment but not strong enough to go buy more supplies.  
this post contains affiliate links, please see my full disclosure here

I've been trying to work through my jewelry stash for a while so I've been big on the mixed metal train.  The last two jewelry DIY posts have been super easy (here & here) and this one will be easy as well!

Supplies :: head pins, large jump ring, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, clasp, two different chains, assorted beads
Once the beads are gathered begin to thread them onto the head pins.  Be sure to alternate the order the beads are put on the head pins.  An assortment of 3 bead styles will give enough variety to create this cluster look.
Trim the extra wire from the head pin using the wire cutters.  Leave a little over 1/4 of an inch to create a loop using the needle nose pliers.  Check out this post for how I gauge how much wire to trim.  Repeat for all the headpins.  
Gently open the large jump ring.  Grasp each side of the jump rings opening with a pair of pliers, pull the pliers in your right hand towards your body and push the pliers in your left hand away from your body.  Do not pull the ring apart, this will distort the ring.  Check out this post for more on the proper way to open a jump ring.
Thread the headpins onto the opened jump ring, then close the jump ring using the similar process to open in - pull the pliers in your left hand towards your body and push the pliers in your right hand away from your body until the ring is closed.
Using the same process, attach the two chains to each side of the clasp.  Measure the chain to a length you prefer.
Because the jump ring is large enough, the end of the chain with the smaller clasp should be able to thread through the jump ring holding the cluster of beaded head pins.  
This fun and simple piece of jewelry can be made super fancy - think crystals and pearls - or casual - think wooden and glass beads - or it can be a way to use up a variety of jewelry supplies currently in your stash.  I like that this necklace is simple to put together but has various interesting elements.  Like I said, I'm all about the mixed metals!

If you'd like to learn more about jewelry making, Crafsty offers a variety of online classes geared towards beginners.  This class seems to cover the basic jewelry making techniques.  If you like working with your hands and even if you're not super detailed oriented, there are still some beautiful jewelry pieces you can make!

How do you use up some of your craft supplies?  Are there any hobbies you pick back up after a while?

xoxo, Moe