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I love technology.  I really do.  To think I can connect with people all over the world by just pressing a few keys continually boggles my mind.  The thing is, it's easy to press those buttons without thinking, isn't it?  To just randomly send a photo or a :) or an lol just because we can.  It's not that those texts don't mean anything.  They do.  But there is something very special about a handwritten note.
wink emoticon mini notecard
To me, writing a note by hand is different.  It takes thought.  It's very intentional.  Even if it is just a few words, it takes effort.  We have some handwritten love notes scattered around our home that have been in the same place for years.  House guests passing through probably think we're weird, but that wrinkled, toothpaste-stained note stuck on our bathroom mirror always makes me smile.  My Hubby took the time to dig up paper, a stamp, and inkpad, and a pen to write a few sweet words to me.  That is more meaningful to me than a million texts I have saved on my phone.
handmade mini notecards
I thought it would be fun to make a few mini notecards for when texting just isn't enough.  The characters were cut with my Cricut machine.  The cards, envelopes, and box I cut and folded by hand.
handmade mini notecards
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As a kid, my best friend Lauren lived two streets away.  When we first met, she lived right around the corner, but then my family moved...two whole streets away.

Both of us were kind of dorky and a little bit nerdy.  I leaned more closely to the dorky side.  She leaned more closely to the nerdy side.  She might disagree, but I promise it's the truth.  We both had pretty huge glasses throughout our elementary school years, which probably helped enhance our dorky nerdy side.  Somehow, Lauren managed to escape braces and really bad perms.  I was not so fortunate.

We felt that we were far too creative to play board games like other kids.  (To be honest, that's what Lauren thought, but I had too much fun being creative to argue.)  Instead, we spent a huge bulk of our down time together on two activities.

1. Making yarn bugs.
2. Playing mailbox.

Lauren's Mom had this yarn stash that we were given access to one day.  We discovered that we could cut small pieces and tie them in colorful multi-legged knots or rub little pieces between our fingers to make fuzz balls.  These were our bugs.  We took our yarn bugs very seriously.  Our bugs lived in special jars.  Hours were spent creating a million variations and trading them.  This phase went on longer than you could imagine.

Playing mailbox was our other favorite indoor activity.  Our mailboxes were emptied Band-aid tins.  (Remember when Band-aids came in little tins instead of cardboard boxes?)  Using any supplies we could find, we would create mini-catalogs to send each other.  We offered inches of yarn or embroidery floss, placing tiny samples and color choices next to rows of check boxes.  We offered original artwork, or stickers created from cut-up magazines.  Boxes would get checked, catalogs were sent back, and orders were received.  We spent countless afternoons playing, and it never seemed to get old.  Actually, I not-so-secretly wouldn't mind another afternoon of playing mailbox. 

An activity that occupied much of our time outside our homes, was dance lessons.  Lauren took just about every dance class available.  I was only enrolled in tap and ballet classes.  For a few years, we took semi-private tap lessons together.  It was so much fun. All of our steps were written down in little notebooks, and we would practice in her basement.  One year, our theme for the final dance recital was the Irish Jig.  We each had a big sequined shamrock that sat on top of our heads and a cute white tutu-ed costume trimmed in green and more shamrocks.  A photo of us in those costumes has become quite legendary in our families.  We even recreated the pose for another photo more than twenty years later.

Today is Lauren's birthday.  To celebrate, I just had to make her a card that pays tribute to that special dance we did and our many years of friendship.  Judging from my glitter job, I was also channeling my inner 8-year-old. :)
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When I was in sixth grade, I discovered puffy paint.  Maybe that's when it was invented.  I don't know.  One thing I know is that I NEEDED it.  I can't remember if I bought two or three colors. I do know that one was a glittery aqua color.  I know this because I had a puffy paint incident.  The results of that incident can still be seen on the ceiling of my parents t.v. area.  Everyone has a story like that, right?  Right?

I had purchased some one or two dollar pale pink sneakers to paint.  Except I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, so they were tennis shoes.  Thinking I was super cool (even though I was pretty much the opposite), I painted faces on the toes of my shoes to give them...character.  (Turns out I'm still pretty much the opposite of cool.)  I loved those shoes so much I wore them until the sole was separating from the top.  To me, this added to the cool factor because they were separating at the toe.  Now the mouth of my shoes could really move!

I managed to keep my mouth-flapping shoes a hidden from my parents until one of our weekend trips out of town.  My Dad was not happy that his daughter was walking around in shoes that were falling apart.  My mother and I were immediately sent to the mall to get me a new pair of shoes.  Funny how I didn't appreciate that at the time. 

These days I say sneakers instead of tennis shoes.  (Makes me a little sad too.)  I also will accept any excuse to purchase a new pair of shoes.  Not everything changes.  I still have a favorite pair of sneakers that I have worn to the ground.  (Though the soles have not separated yet!)  And I don't use puffy paint so much, but I still love glitter.

Here are the shoes.:
blue girl presents: old sneakers
They have visited three different continents, and technically I have replaced them with a new pair.  I just wasn't ready to get rid of them completely.  So keeping in mind that the Fourth of July is tomorrow.  I glittered my shoes.  They were beat up, so I had nothing to lose.
diy glittered shoes
I love them!

The fact they they look more like shoes for a grade school kid or a cheerleader will not prevent me from wearing them proudly and grinning from ear to ear.  I didn't even get any glitter on the ceiling.  Hooray!
Have a Happy Fourth of July!!!
Want to glitter your own shoes?  I simply mixed up one part glitter with two parts Modge Podge.  Then I painted the mixture on to my shoes with a paintbrush.  I used premade glitter glue for the stars, and replaced the shoelaces with ribbon. 
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blue girl presents: quilled sheep greeting card
Wanting to experiment more with quilling, I took inspiration from my Mr. and Mrs. Lamb card.

quilled sheep greeting card
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Having always been fascinated with the art of quilling, I decided it was time to try it myself.  It turned out to be quite simple, fun, and rewarding. 

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stamped lamb sheep wedding card
Once upon a time, a Young Miss and a Big Mister fell in love.  They got married and became Mr. & Mrs. Lamb.

I serendipitously found the sheep stamp right as I was pondering what kind of wedding card to create for the happy couple.  It was from a Noah's ark set in my stash that I had forgotten about.

The addition of a little bow tie and a little veil makes it obvious those Lambs just got married!

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My dear friend Rachel is getting married.  One of her most favorite movies is Disney Pixar's "UP."  She has a dating story and an engagement story that involve the movie.  So when it came time to throw her a Bridal shower, it was only natural that it would be an "UP" themed shower.  Rachel's sister Sarah was the main host.  She opened up her home, bought dozens of balloons, and organized all of the wonderful food.  I got to have fun with most of the crafty things.
blue girl presents:up theme party signs
My Sister-in-law surprised me with a Cricut machine this past Christmas.  I am in love with it.  I was dreaming about making little signs for the shower, and even borrowed cartridges from my Sister-in-law to make it happen. 

The shower was being held relatively near my parents house.  So, I arranged to leave a few days early so that I could spend time with them. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to create the signs before leaving.  No worries.  I just packed up my Cricut machine and brought it with me.  But alas, the night before the shower, I discovered that I had forgotten the cord for my machine! 

I still couldn't stop thinking about how cute these signs would be, so I woke up early the morning of the shower and created them without the machine.

My Dad was teasing me for asking to borrow his big paper cutter and a cutting blade.  "I don't know what kind of plot you're hatching," he said.  "First you ask me for a guillotine, then a knife.  You might as well ask for a chainsaw next.  I have several for you to choose from!"

blue girl presents: diy wilderness explorer bridal sash
I got it in my head that I wanted to create a Wilderness Explorer Bridal Sash for the Bride.  I thought about making it out of felt, and then decided that might be crazy...

Until I found this:
Wilderness Explorer Sash on

Making the patches turned out to be incredibly fun. 

For some of the badges, I looked to the ones from the movie.
Some badges were inspired by ones created for the movie but not used. 
A lot of badges were specifically created for the bride.

White seemed the appropriate color for a bridal sash.  Using white fabric that was already in my stash, I sewed a simple sash.  (By hand...because it has been so long since I have used my sewing machine, I couldn't find the cord... I seem to have a problem with misplacing cords...)

blue girl presents: diy wilderness explorer bridal sash with felt badges
I was too excited to get a great photo of the final product.  But here is a photo that I took with my phone. 

The desserts were AMAZING.  (Click the photos for a larger view and more info.)
blue girl presents: macarons jean-marc chatellier's french bakery
Melt-in-your-mouth delicious macarons from Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery.
blue girl presents: up theme party
Setting up the food table.
adventure book ellie's badge up theme party favor
I was inspired by My Own Road to create my own "Ellie Badge" for the favors.  Jen has a great tutorial, though I didn't follow it exactly.

I ordered bottle caps and resin from Annie Howes The resin made the pins more durable, and it was very easy to use.  Special punches made cutting out the soda circles and making holes in the caps a breeze.

Creating the mini adventure book was just a matter of cutting, scoring, folding, and punching.  I loved the result.

The message inside was based on the quote from the following video.

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