Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Drum Roll Please!!

Our contest came to an end last night at mid-night. Thank you Samantha Hang, Cindy Harper and AJackson1213 for participating! We do have our winner and you can check to see if it is you below. If you did not win the contest I have something else for you. 

Use my code: STMMMS29585 and receive a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store- $20 value!!
*My code is ONLY good for My Memories Suite V3


Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh, yes, she said GIVEAWAY!!

Hey there crafty readers! This is the BIG SURPRISE blog I have been talking about on my Twitter, Facebook & Google+ pages.
I was recently introduced to a (new to me) digital scrapbooking software.I have been having so much fun creating everything from Christmas Card ideas, page layouts for Brea's scrapbook and a cute paper that I printed out to embellish a Christmas gift for Braydyn and Brea's Teachers.
I love that I can do so much more than just scrapbook albums. Just look at some of the things I have made with the My Memories Suite software.

Here are just a few of the things I have made using the scrapbook software.

For my Son's 1st grade Teacher
I chose a background paper  for the "lined paper"
added the individual "block letters" and
the "apple". The "Mrs." and "A+" were created
with the "Word Art" that comes with the scrapbook software.
Best of all, it was very easy and quick to create!!!

Originally made ^^^paper^^^ for my Daughter's Kindergarten Teacher and turned it into this:
After printing, I had my daughter
write the sweet descriptions of her
Teacher with the letters in her name.
Then I used Mod Podge to glue it to
the wooden board. Her handwriting
is forever saved with Fabric paint. The
Scissors, Ruler, Pencil, Crayon, "ABC",
"2011"and "123" are painted on with
Apple Barrel paints. 

The background paper, journaling card,
Christmas Ornament, snow flake, ribbons,
holly berries, "love JOY peace" and "Brea,
Santa & Braydyn" were all chosen from the
My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking
You guessed it. This is where it starts getting really exciting! Now that I have shown you a few different things I have made with the My Memories software, I will let you in on the surprise :)

I was given the opportunity to hold a CONTEST/GIVEAWAY for the MY MEMORIES SUITE V3  SOFTWARE!!! And you could be the lucky WINNER!!

All you have to do to enter the contest is:

  1. Become a Follower of my Blog, Crafty At Heart (the blog you are reading!!) 
  2. Visit the My Memories website via the link(s) provide throughout this blog or go to your web browser and type
  3. Check out the site. Browse the digital paper packs or layouts and choose a favorite. Then, come back and leave a comment on this blog telling me which one you chose! Along with your Name and e-mail address (used for contacting you after the winner has been chosen ONLY) 
**1-3 will get you ONE (1) entry into the contest**

If you would like, you can follow My Memories on the sites listed below for !!EXTRA ENTRIES!!

Follow My Memories

Blog = 1 ENTRY
Facebook = 1 ENTRY
Twitter = 1 ENTRY
YouTube = 1 ENTRY


There will only be ONE (1) winner for this contest. I will be using a program that chooses a name from a list at random.

The contest will begin as soon as this blog, "Oh, yes, she said GIVEAWAY!!" is posted (12-14-2011) and I will be accepting entries until MID-NIGHT (12:00AM) on Tue. 12-27-2011. The winner will be announced the following day (Wed. Dec. 28, 2011).

Thank you and Good Luck!!

Happy Crafting :)
Amber~ Crafty At Heart

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last Thanksgiving as an Active Duty Army Family??

Today is another full day of cleaning and cooking/baking in an attempt to get ready for tomorrow.

This is the first year that we are cooking a Turkey (my Russ will be taking on this task!). We haven't had Thanksgiving by ourselves since we were stationed at Fort Bragg. Which has been three or four years ago.

We didn't do anything special for this holiday last year because we had literally just moved to Colorado, where we are stationed now.

Last year, my Husband was sent home early from deployment. Last year he was going back and forth to doctors for his back.

After 4 deployments, that back of his just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

He is now on Med. Board status and in the final stages of that. We are just patiently waiting for those "you're outa here" orders.

So for this years Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be spending another Turkey Day as an Active Duty Army Wife, my Husband and our amazing kiddos, my Family & Friends, the brave Hero's that are deployed and missing their families, the brave Families that are missing their Hero's. But most of all, I am thankful for those Hero's who made the ultimate sacrifice and the Families that have loved and missed them every day.

May you and your's have a very wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and many things to be Thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Amber ~Crafty At Heart~

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stepping Away from Crafty...

Hello everyone! I have something exciting to share with you that I hope you will enjoy reading about.

You see, though I have a huge space in my heart for crafting, there is another love that holds just as much of my heart.

I have always, since a very young age, loved making up stories. Even when I didn't know how to write the words, my Mom and I would make up bed time stories of our own.

Since then, if I wasn't thinking up stories and turning them into books of my own, I wrote poetry. And when I wasn't writing at all, I was definitely reading.

I have not written in a few years and I really missed it. My Husband, being my biggest fan, challenged me last night.

He told me that he wanted me to write a Children's Book, to be completed by Friday.

After thinking about for only a few minutes, the wheels were already turning as he spoke, I decided to take him up on his challenge.

I got started on it immediately and finished it this afternoon. The book I wrote is meant to become a series. I have already started on book #2.

I don't have any plans or a set amount for this series but I am really excited.

I don't even know that it will ever become a published book. And if not, that's ok too. I will have them and so will my Children.

It would be extremely awesome if I was able to get them published. What a dream come true that would be!

Well, this is the adventure I am embarking on and I can't wait to see where the road traveled takes me!

Until next time...
Happy crafting and using those imaginations!

Take care,
Amber H. ~Crafty At Heart~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bloggy Fail

Hello all! I hope this Bloggy finds you well. I apologize for my lack of posting on here. My goal was to keep up with my posting as I completed each new project but have obviously failed to do so. I joined a few new sites such as Pinterest and the newest one this evening, Tumblr. You can follow me on both if you would like.

I have also been dabbling with plushies and think I have found the best way to complete them. I drew up a basic teddy bear pattern and made two out of my Husband's ACU's that he no longer wears. Using embroidery floss, I created the face and added little saying on the tummy's of the bears. I hand stitched around the edges, leaving a small amount of the bear open in order to stuff it with fibber fill and then continued stitching until I got it closed completely.

The finished products came out looking pretty cute. I was not completely satisfied with my first attempt at hand stitching my Daughters bear so I tried a different type of stitch for my Sons.

Here are the ACU Daddy Bears.

My first attempt at making a
Teddy Bear plushy. I am not
thrilled with this one as there
were some gaps in it, which
allows some of the stuffing
to poke out. 

Though the picture shows it unfinished, I am much more
pleased with the way this one turned out. I plan on making
more for sale. I have already had a few requests from Mom's
at my kiddo's School!!

I also turned an old purse that I like, into a "new" purse that I love! If you have read my blog before, maybe you remember the hand embroidered Hello Kitty motif that I did a few months back?! Well, not sure what I was going to do with it, really, I decided it would look great on this...

I love Hello Kitty and I really liked this purse. So what better
thing to do with both of them than to put them together!!
I also decided to add my "Love Is..." to a shopping bag for a very sweet woman that I recently met. She loved it and I was glad to give it to her :)

I used one of my cloth shopping
bags, attached the "Love Is.."
with Stitch Witchery and decorated
with fabric paints. Turned out really
adorable, I think!

Close Up :)
Well, that just about catches us up on all of my crafting over the last few weeks! I hope you have enjoyed them and please share anything that you have made and are proud of :) Don't forget to follow so we can keep in touch!

Thank you for reading my Bloggy!

Take care and happy crafting,
Amber H. ~Crafty At Heart~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monkey's Jungle

Hello again! My apologies for the lack of bloggies. Due to a move and trying to get everything unpacked, and settling into public school life, well, it has been chaotic to say the least, and I have missed a lot of time with my crafts :( .

In the last bloggy, I talked about painting some wall-letters for a friend of mine. After over a month of not being able to get to them, I am excited to announce that I have finally finished them! I delivered them last night! I must say, there was a lot of excitement around these letters.

As I have only ever made them for my two little ones, having someone else ask me to make some for them was a joy! I love making people happy. I love to see them smile. It just does something for my soul when I know that people are excited and happy because of something I have done.

So, without further adieu, here are the "Monkey's Jungle" wall-letters!...

I used Apple Barrel's Grass Green and Mango paints for the solid colors.
Apple Barrel's Christmas Green, Chocolate Bar and Khaki were used for the
vines and the monkeys.
 I really do like how everything turned out with these letters but the monkeys are my favorite. I hope to have the privilege of creating more of these wall-letters  for others as time goes on. Crafting for me is very relaxing but it is also the encouragement of my imagination that makes it so enjoyable for me.

I hope you enjoy these and will look forward to the many other bloggies I will post in the future! Until then...

Take Care and Happy Crafting!
Amber~Crafty At Heart <3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Side Tracked... Oooh Shiny Object!!!

First off let me start by saying the following... Oh bloggy, how I have missed you! Ok, I'm done. Back to my crafts.

Every time I complete something, I take a picture of it and post it for all my internet-lovies to marvel at on FB and Twitter. And then, something occurred to me, I haven't posted much about my painted works on here. I'm not talking canvas paintings so much as I am wooden letters and porcelain projects that you buy from the store. I haven't braved putting a brush near canvas yet, though I would love to, I am just not secure enough in it at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, I think (my opinion) that I am decent enough at it. I just haven't found my... artistic side abilities as of yet. So anyway, here are just some of the things I have painted. What do you think?

My Princess loves Hello Kitty. Looking at a bunch of pics
of the Hello Kitty Characters, I drew these characters out by
hand and then painted them with acrylic paints. 
Finished with some ribbon I bought for
Valentines day.

B-Dog has been into trains since his 2nd Birthday when
someone gave him a few of the trains and a track set. He
really liked the train and farm scene. Also painted with
acrylic paints.
B-Dogs finished wall letters. The ribbon here is a chocolate
brown and I finished the letters with a gloss (Puzzle Saver).
I used that to see what it would look like and also used the
Puzzle Saver to attach the ribbon on to the back of the
letters. The hanger isn't actually what they are hanging on now
just thought it was cute. 

There you go, some of my past projects (long before my interest in embroidery)!

*insert shiny object <-- HERE -->
I have been working on my Son's, we shall call him B-Dog for the sake of not having to continuously call him "my Son", anyway... I have done a bit of painting on B-Dog's crafty piece. While breaking from painting, I checked my emails and noticed an awesome message. Someone wondering "How much something like this (B-Dogs wall letters) would cost?". Exciting BTW!

I have always wanted to make things like this and sell them. What better way to make money than by doing what you love! Right? Since it was a request from a friend for her son who is turning One very soon, I decided the wall letters should be a gift. I will always have time to work on those sweet little things for my Children, but it's not every day, at least in my case, that some one requests something for them selves.

I am truly excited about this. She wants a monkey/jungle scene. I got the letters yesterday and really can't wait to get started on them!

I hope you all have a wonderful, exciting and craft-filled day!

Take Care and Happy Crafting!
Amber~Crafty At Heart <3

Friday, September 09, 2011

For Love project #4

Here is the completed "For Love", Embroidery Project#4, piece. I used "Quick Cuts" 18 in. x 21 in Material and cut a 6 1/2 in. x 6 in. square. Embroidering with contrasting threads (Orange, Light Blue, Red, Light Pink, Yellow, Purple, Pink, Blue, Light Green, Green). I used the Back Stitch on all words except for "Patient", I used the Split Stitch there. Back Stitch was also used for the Stick People. 

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud." Taken from 1 Corinthians 13:4

I used three strands for all the words and the out-line of the Stick People and Heart. Two strands were used in the strike-through in "envy", as well as for the eyes and mouths. 

 I took my time with this one because it is the first time I have embroidered with words. I wasn't really sure how it was going to look once it was completed. I had originally decided to embroider the words only. At the last minute I decided to add the cute little stick figures holding a heart. 

I made this piece to show why I do the things that I love to do. My Family, Friends, spending precious time with my two little ones and my Husband, my crafts, and just using my imagination to create things like this... It all means so much to me. I am blessed to be able to do it all. 

I am not sure what I will end up doing with this embroidered square, though. I have had a few ideas. I will either frame it or maybe make some more embroidered squares and attempt to make it into a quilt, or just iron it on to a tote bag. Who knows? The possibilities are endless!!

This piece was a lot of fun to make. I thoroughly enjoyed using all the different colors and am very pleased with my choice of adding the two little people at the last minute. I am surprised though, at how well the words came out. I didn't think they would look as good as they do. I also learned something from this piece; when you are doing something that you get great enjoyment and relaxation from, patients comes easy.

 Like everything else that I do, embroidery is calming for me. Being an Army Wife, calm is not normal, so when you can find it it is pure bliss. To be able to just sit in silence, working on a new craft or working to finish one, is amazing. I would really like to create a few more squares that represent the things and people in my life, that I cherish so much, and make a quilt... if only I knew how to make a quilt. 

This thought brings back a fond memory of a Summer spent with my Grandparents at their home in Brownwood, Texas. They had emptied their living room to set up their quilt ring. I never did get to see how they got the quilt started, but my Papaw taught me and my Grandma how to make it. The three of us woke up every morning, had breakfast together and after the dishes were cleaned up, we all sat around, what later would become my Christmas gift from them, that quilt. I learned how to stitch by hand from my Papaw. I can still tell where my stitches are on that quilt. They are the ones that are crooked and a little all over the place :)

I hope you enjoy reading about this as much as I enjoy telling it! I will be taking a small break from embroidery to get back to my painting. I am working on something cute for my little boy this week. Once it is complete, I will post it!

Here's to hoping you all have a fantastic week!

Take Care and Happy Crafting!
Amber~ Crafty At Heart <3

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crazy Balance

A little something I put together :)

I was really hoping to use this pic as a background for this blog. It may look a little busy to you but it is my perfect balance of all the crafts that I enjoy doing. Minus my sewing machine of course. 

I would love to say that there is a purpose for all of the crafts that I make. Like, each piece having some deep meaningful reason behind why I made it, for example. But honestly, I'm not sure that there is ever a specific reason other than I just love making things. 

All of the things I have ever painted, sewn, embroidered or tied together (no-sew blankets) were done for others never myself. Some of them have remained in my home and I am able to enjoy them because they were made for my Kiddo's or Hubby. Other pieces were made for Friends or Family Members.

So maybe that's my deep meaningful reason behind everything I make; LOVE :) Love for creating. Love for making something beautiful with my own hands. Love for the one I make that something for. 

So that will be my new project: "For Love"!!! 

Take Care and Happy Crafting!

Amber ~Crafty At Heart  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Prodotto finito

Here it is. Finally! This bib is the beginning of many embroidery pieces for me. Even though I did not use the normal essentials for embroidery, I am quite impressed with how this turned out. Taking me about three months to complete, I have a prodotto finito or finished product!

Front of the ACU bib. Black thread
 (not embroidery floss.. beginner's mistake),
 corisponding ribbon to match fabric.
Fabric applied to the back of the bib with
Stitch Witchery to keep the thread from unraveling.  I used
Polymark's Medium Gold Iridescent Fabric Paint
 along the edgesand "2011" and Green Iridescent Fabric Paint
 for the name.
It is thrilling to look at something that I have created and finished with my own two hands. My time and love were threaded into every letter. And better still was the look on the face of the Mommy I made it for :) Happy crafting and on to the next! Amber~Crafty At Heart

Hand Embroidered Hello Kitty

After completing the "My Daddy, My Hero" bib (if you missed my blog on that, you can view it at the title linked here >"Prodotto Finito"), I was looking for another embroidery project. I needed something fun that would give me room to practice various stitches but still look cute.

I got the picture itself from one of my daughters Hello Kitty coloring books. I have loved Hello Kitty since I was a little girl and am so proud that I get to share her with my little girl!

Once I found the picture, I taped my piece of white linen to the paper and traced it out in pencil *commence embroidery!

Embroidery all hand stitched on white linen. This was a picture
that I traced from my little girls coloring book. I'm pretty sure that
it will wash out but I tented the cars and the duck with colored
map pencils. This project was a lot of fun and took about a week
and two days to complete :) 

I chose the color scheme partly of my own accord as well as my daughters favorite colors (hence Hello Kitty's purple and pink car).

I am pleased that in using the proper embroidery materials, this project took, roughly estimating, 1 week and two days. Which is thrilling to me considering the bib took about 3 full months to complete.

Once all stitches were complete, I ironed on Stitch Witchery to the back of my finished piece to ensure that none of it became unraveled. My plan now, is to find either a pull-over hoody or a sweatshirt to iron it onto for my little Princes.

Who, the whole time I was making this, whether frustrated with it or not, would make sure to check in on me from time to time just to let me know I was "doing a wonderful job, Mommy!"

Stitches used: Back Stitch, Fly Stitch, French Knots Split Stitch, Bokhara Couching, Trellis or Jacobean Couching, Seeding, Spider Web Filling Stitch and the Satin Stitch. I got a lot of great practice on this piece!

All that said....
Happy Crafting!
Amber~Crafty At Heart!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Literally Erika

Hey any and everyone that reads my blogy stuffs :D

I haven't blogged here in a few days and was really trying to think of something interesting to talk about... after burning out a few of the wheels in my head... LOL I finally got a fantabulous idea!

Aside from really loving crafts, I also really enjoy a great piece of art. A friend of mine, who I think is extremely witty, creative and talented, has recently started up a web-site, Literally Erika. As well as a Facebook Page also called Literally Erika.

Her artistic abilities and imagination are mind blowing. The beautiful bright colors jump out at you and bring such great emotions out that truthfully, I never really knew were there.

The love she has for creating, naturally spills out onto the canvas and you can feel that. I absolutely love the warm fuzzy feeling that is left behind after taking a look at a new picture she has posted.

If you want to see her talent personally, you can check it out at Main Street Station, located in Grapevine, Texas. Though I am not in Texas at the moment, when we do go back, I will definitely make it a point to go visit Main Street Station so that I can view Literally Erika's work myself!

I really do hope that you will not only check out Literally Erika's work but that you will also find the joy and peace that I do in her works of fabulous art.

Take care and Happy Crafting!
Amber ~Crafty At Heart~

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Few of My Faves!

I got a request to include some of my favorite sites that I use for Ideas, product suggestions... So here are some links to those sites. I don't use many and am still continuously finding new ones. I will try to share them often.

This is one of the brands of paint that I use for my painted crafts.
Apple Barrel Craft Brand by Plaid Enterprises: "Fresh-bright-crisp, just like its name, Apple Barrel® Colors are crafters' choice for projects large and small. Made from the purest ingredients, Apple Barrel Colors provide premium performance on wood, Styrofoam, paper mache, tin, terra cotta, plaster and any porous surface."

Michaels has a "Projects" tab that gives you ideas as well as full directions and a list of the things you will need in order to make it.

Who doesn't love JOANN's? I know I do. I do get a little sad when I cannot find this store where ever we are living at the time. I believe we have one here in Colorado but I have not been able to partake in the magical wonders with in this amazing store *insert sad face here!*

Googly Eyes & Craft Supplies- if you are in the Irving, Texas area, I strongly suggest that you take a trip **MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME ON YOUR SIDE! If you are anything like me and my love for crafting, this store is like a candy store for crafters!!**

I have also recently used YouTube for tutorial videos on how to do "basic embroidery stitches" and any other tips on embroidery so here are a couple links to some of the ones that I have watched.

Kimberly Layton- there are only two videos, though I hope she adds more. They were really helpful!

Craftovision is another channel that I watch.

And just one more.... ThreadBanger!!!

I hope that you find these links helpful and enjoyable! I know I sure have! I love love love new craft ideas!

Happy Crafting <3
Amber~Crafty At Heart~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Love for Crafting

Hello All! As this is my first blog, maybe I should give a little more insight to who I am as a "crafter". I am by no means an expert in anything I do. I am running with the idea that all creative individuals start out the same way, inexperienced and everything is an experiment!?

 I have no formal training or experience. When it comes to sewing, I am terrible at it by hand and as far as the sewing machine goes, everything I can do which isn't much, I taught myself. It's all trial and error and a little bit of luck. (Note to self: pay attention to where you place you fingers as the machine will munch on them if you aren't careful! OUCH!!) LOL

My Mother in-law has taught me a few things that I had no idea about. No-Sew blankets was one of the first things she taught me how to make. I really enjoyed that lesson. It gave us a chance to really bond. She is very patient and happy to show me anything I am interested in. Just this last week I was visiting with her and she taught me how to use Stitch-Witchery (I apologize in advance for any miss-spellings). We made a shirt for my Daughter together. Her Daddy is in the Army so we created a cute design and cut out a few letters to spell out "My Daddy My Hero". It turned out beautiful!
Not the best image but this is the Stitch-Witchery shirt. (mentioned above)

I do not know how to follow patterns and am a little intimidated when I have tried. Some of the terminology used is like a foreign language to me. So most of the things I have made, I draw out on a piece of paper or just measure my kids and cut out material and start sewing. Using this method, I have made bags, an apron, and just recently I took a baby bib, traced it on a piece of card stock, cut it out and pinned it to the material I wanted to use and ta-da, I had a baby bib. I have not finished with it yet, as I decided that I was finally going to attempt embroidery.

Not knowing much about it or the items I would need... it is taking much longer than I expected. I am using regular sewing thread, not embroidery floss. Nor am I using an embroidery ring. I do now have those things but because my bib already has a backing and edging, lol I'm sure you can just imagine. I will practice the right way as soon as I finish this bib. I just hope the baby I am making it for isn't grown before that happens :)

I also paint on anything I can get my hands on. My favorite project so far with painting has to be the wooden picture frames and wall letters I have finished for my little ones. My Daughters is Hello Kitty inspired and my Son's is my own creation.
My Little Guys Wall Letters

I suppose that is as good as a first introduction can get. I will be adding new blogs and photos as the projects come along. I love doing all of these things and am always pleased with my outcome. I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished and being able to share this love of being creative with my Mother In-law is amazing. I am privileged to have her to show me the ropes!

I do hope that you enjoy my posts and that you come back often. 

Happy Crafting! 
Amber ~Crafty At Heart~