Wednesday, August 3, 2011

future family photographer

(Elle's Doll Family Picture July 2011)

When we were at my parent's house in June, we had family pictures taken. I'm guessing that's why I keep finding Elle's dolls strategically positioned in portrait poses around the house and doll family pics on my iPhone. Love it!

(Mellor Family Picture - June 2011)

Friday, July 29, 2011

playing around with iMovie...

Wanting to learn how to make video tutorials equals...

- shooting video on my iPhone late at night...tried earlier in the day but was impossible with kids
- wishing for a great lighting kit so shooting video at night would actually look ok
- jimmy rigging my iphone to a kids table on top of my craft table to get an overhead shot
- wishing for a really nice camera...
- thinking I'd like the Canon 5D for photos and video...anybody have suggestions?
- trying to figure out how to use iMovie
- trying to figure out how to export a movie so that the quality still looks ok but the file isn't ginormous...still not sure
- signing up for a youtube account
- staying up way too late and not getting any necessary things done like laundry and the dishes
- thinking tomorrow morning is not going to be fun...I hate waking up to a messy house - do you?
- wishing I hadn't woken up to a messy house all week - oh, laundry and the dishes why don't I like you?

So here's my first attempt...thinking attempt 2 will go much better.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Martha Stewart Wedding and the L Letterpress

Martha Stewart has always been a favorite of mine so I was excited to see the L Letterpress featured in Martha Stewart Weddings! Here's the online version.

"We're all about personal touches, but penning a hundred save-the-dates seems excessive, even to us (save that energy for your thank-you notes!). Instead, write your message once, scan it, and send the PDF to Print Icon to have it made into a photopolymer plate. Then replicate it with the L Letterpress machine"

ebb and flow

lately, my lack of posts and attention to this blog has been bothering me. i can only describe it as an "ache" to get back to formalizing and documenting the creativity in my life. i miss the structure it creates and the memories it documents.

so while i know the reality of will probably continue to result in inconsistency, for now i'm going to attempt to catch up on some of the things i don't want to forget...and someday hope to have the time to create the blog i dream about. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

our valentine dinner

For our Valentine dinner, we decorated the table with pop-up love napkin rings (created with this Lifestyle Crafts die) and ate heart-shaped mini pizzas with heart-shaped pepperonis and heart-shaped parmesan breadsticks with red (marina) and pink (creamy marina) dipping sauces. If it can be dipped, Liv will eat it.

Then after dinner for FHE, Adam gave the girls books, iTunes gift cards and jelly bean jars...which were really just my excuse for buying the large container of JellyBellys from Costco. And now after consuming more jelly beans than anyone should, I'm remembering why I tell myself the large container of mixed flavors is never a good idea. I end up eating them all when in reality I only really like a few of the flavors. Adam, stop me next time I'm flashing the $4 off coupon and remind me it's not worth it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day

lifestyle crafts valentine party post

Below is the post I did on the Lifestyle Crafts blog showing some of the projects we created for Elle's Valentine Party. Visit the Lifestyle Crafts blog for more great ideas....

Hello! This is Michelle from Product Development, and I'm so excited to show you some of the projects I made for my little girl's Valentine party yesterday! I'll be honest when I was younger I hated this holiday. I specifically remember faking sick on Valentine's Day in fourth grade just to avoid any awkward moments with boys...boys were scary (and I'm hoping my girls inherited this sentiment - at least until they are much, much older)! But now, I can't get enough of the red and pink, the hearts, the cute projects and I decided to plan a party with Elle - my 3-year-old party planner in the making.

One of my favorite things about dies is how easy and simple it is to make any project look professional. With just a few of the Love release dies, we created several projects that made our party a success. It was easy, fast and if I would have started sooner (we made most projects the night before the party) we could have created several more things to enhance the detail of the event.

Happy Valentine's Day!


At the party each child was asked to bring valentines for a card exchange. For Elle's we used Mini Valentine (DC0044) and Banners and Bows (DC0046).

Each child also had a mailbox with their name to put all of their valentines (thank you dollar bin at Target!). To label we just die cut the smallest heart from Nesting Hearts (DC0042), wrote their name and adhered to the front of the mailbox.


We wanted something to give each of the kids when they arrived at the party. For the girls, we made sequin heart clips for their hair. For the boys, we made felt heart pins to wear on their shirts.

To make the sequin hair clip:

Step 1: Die cut 2 hearts from felt for each hair clip. We used the smallest heart from Nesting Hearts (DC0042).
Step 2: Glue strand of sequins to one felt heart starting at the outside edge. Hot glue works best.
Step 3: Cut small slit at the base of remaining felt heart and insert bobby pin or clip. Glue that felt heart to the back of the felt sequin heart.

To make felt pin:

Step 1: Die cut heart and banner from felt. We used the second smallest heart from Nesting Hearst (DC0042) and
Step 2: Stitch I (heart) Mom on banner with black embroidery thread.
Step 3: Glue banner to heart. Glue pin to back of heart.


At the party we also had each child get their picture taken in front of our chalkboard wall. We die cut several hearts in different sizes from Nesting Hearts (DC0042) then taped them to the wall. Because we were using a chalkboard wall, we just drew white chalk designs around the hearts leaving a space in the middle where the child would stand. If you don't have a chalkboard wall, you could easily create this on a large piece of butcher paper and hang up or simply attach die cut hearts and shapes to a wall or door where a child could stand for a photo.


I've seen these felt heart wreaths popping up on several blogs. I'd been wanting to make one but never seemed to find the time to go look for a stryofoam or metal heart wreath form so I figured I'd try to create one myself completely from die cuts.

To make the heart wreath:
(I used felt, but you could also use fabric or paper)

Step 1:
Nest the two largest dies from Nesting Hearts (DC0042) on your Epic platform and die cut.
Step 2: Die cut several circles of felt. I used Nesting Circles (L-CC-001)
Step 3: Place a small dot of hot glue in the center of a felt circle and fold in half. Fold in half again to make a triangle shape and glue to hold in place. Repeat with all felt circles.
Step 4: Attach the folded circles to the die cut frame. I alternated the direction of each circle.


It seems like we make some type of die cut garland for every season/holiday in our house. It is such an easy project for kids. Elle made this heart garland all by herself which brings me to a quick "kid tip". The Revolution is the perfect tool for kids to use by themselves. They're back for a limited time, so if you have kids and don't own a Revolution I'd snatch one up before they're gone! It's used almost daily at my house.

valentine's party

Last Thursday, Elle threw a Valentine party. While it was definitely filled with chaos, I think everyone also had fun! (thanks to Laura for the photos)

10 3-year-olds
9 moms
6 younger siblings
2 older siblings

Photos on the chalkboard wall with sequin heart hair clips (girls) and felt heart pins (boys)
We taped die cut hearts to the chalkboard wall and drew white chalk designs around the hearts. Each child got a hair clip or pin to wear and their picture taken in front of the wall.

Musical Hearts
We put several die cut hearts on the floor and played music while they danced and moved around. Once the music stopped, they had to find a heart. Each time we took away hearts until we had a winner.

Valentine Exchange
Each child brought valentines to give away. We found metal mailboxes at Target in the dollar section for everyone to collect their valentines.

It was mid-morning so we wanted a healthy snack. Heart shaped granola bars with fruit leather embellishments, grapes, apples, yogurt and a mini bottle of water.

Decorating Cookies
We rolled out sugar cookie dough on sheets of parchment paper for each child to cut out heart shaped cookies. We baked their cookies while they molded and played with the remaining dough. After the cookies cooled, the frosted and decorated their cookies to take home.

We bought mini 6" heart shaped balloons and filled with helium for the guests to take home.

3-year-olds (minus Ayden and Nate who came a little later)

Chalkboard wall photos.

Musical hearts.

Passing out valentines for the valentine exchange.

Align Center
Collecting all of the valentines.

Snack time.

Heart shaped granola bars with fruit leather embellishments. We made homemade granola bars and then cut them out with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Yogurt with wooden spoon and fruit for dipping. We put vanilla in first and dropped spoonfuls of strawberry yogurt on top to make a heart.

Cutting out sugar cookies.

Frosting sugar cookies.

Playing with balloons.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

happy birthday

Happy Birthday Adam! I love you, and I'm so glad we get to create this life together!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

fall/holiday projects

Obviously the preceding posts should have been posted months ago...but in an effort to not forget about them, I'm finally posting them now.

christmas kick off party

Last year I heard about a family who let their kids sleep under the Christmas tree the night they put it up. I thought it sounded like such a fun tradition so this year I decided to start our family's annual Christmas Kick-Off Party. My hope was to create an event just for our little family that
- gave us time to be together before the start of such a busy season with friends and extended family
- let us talk about our plans for the season and how we wanted to make it special for ourselves and others
- gave us a chance to learn and remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas

Overall, I loved how the party turned out and can't wait to continue the tradition. (i only took video of the party so don't have many pictures - these are just images saved from the video file.)

This year for the party:
- Elle and I made invitations for everyone in our family, and she passed them out to everyone at Family Home Evening a week before the party.
- We planned the party for the day after Thanksgiving so we'd have the day to put up Christmas decorations. We spent that Friday putting up and decorating our tree and setting out other basic Christmas decorations.
- For food, we ate appetizers: sourdough and pumpernickel bread with hot artichoke dip, veggies and dip, sparkling cider and cranberry juice
- During the party, we ate, planned, read the story of Jesus' birth from the scriptures, and opened up one present (pajamas - traditionally my family always opens pajamas on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to use pajamas as part of our kick-off. For Christmas Eve, the girls got to open a book which we read before bed.)
- After the girls put their pajamas on, we all watched a Christmas movie together. This year it was old Christmas cartoon classics.

Other things I envision for party but didn't incorporate this year:
- Sleeping out under the tree
- Hot chocolate/popcorn during the movie
- Talking about memories/looking atphotos from past Christmases
- Writing letters to Santa

Here's a few pics of our Christmas decor - thanks again to my sis-in-law Julie.

Thanksgiving menus/placecards

This year I wasn't very motivated about creating the Thanksgiving table decor so instead of focusing on the entire table, I just created the Thanksgiving menus for each place setting. (Thanks to my sis-in-law Julie for taking these pictures!)

I designed and printed the menu on Lettra paper in dark brown and orange. I also printed the name of each guest and then used an oval die cut to cut out each name with my Epic Six. The die cut name was adhered to the menu with foam tape for dimension.

On the top third of the paper, I printed Happy Thanksgiving and folded the paper so the menu/placecard would sit off the plate and the guest sitting across the table would have something visually interesting to look at.

We also used the traditional "go around the table and say what you're thankful for" as a fun way to announce to everyone that we're having a boy. Adam went first and said he was thankful for his girls. I went next and said I was thankful for our girls too but also thankful for little boys!

turkey cookies

Elle and I made these turkey cookies for the kids Thanksgiving table. You can find a variety of how-to's and images online. For ours, we used oreos, fudge stripe cookies, candy corns, reeses peanut butter cups and chocolate frosting.

pie crust handprint turkeys

Elle and Liv both had a great time making and eating these. I think it would also be fun to make decorated pie crust leaves. You could use leaf cookie cutters or collect and trace leaves from outside.

Trace outline of hand on piece of paper and cut out with scissors. Place on piece of rolled out pie crust. Use knife to cut around hand template.

Color sanding sugar in desired colors with food coloring. Simply drop a few drops of food coloring into a bowl of sugar and stir until color is evenly distributed. We made red, yellow and orange.

Spread melted butter on top of each handprint pie crust and decorate with sanding sugar.

Take obligatory photo for mom with handprints ready to bake. Bake pie crusts in oven until lightly brown. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of the final product.