Personalized tote bags made with Cricut Explore (and a breast story).

A few months ago I plugged the heck out of the new Cricut Explore machine.  I was honored to be amongst a group of very talented bloggers who were at the unveiling of this fabulous machine and were gifted a machine to play with and review.  You may have noticed that since that exciting announcement I have made no mention of my Cricut since…it’s been all crickets when it comes to the Cricut (no pun intended).  Let me take a short detour to explain before we get to the fun stuff.

Just a few weeks previous to Cricut unveiling I had found a lump in my armpit.  Great.  The doc immediately ordered an early mammogram to be done.  I did not one, but three separate rounds of mammograms, after which the tech and doctor did an ultrasound.   The doctor showed me several spots in my breast and said they would need to biopsy the area to see if they were cancerous.  It was a day filled with a lot of tears and fear…not my best day to say the least.  They took 8 samples from my breast (which resulted in a very uncomfortable recovery).  A couple days later I distracted myself with the Cricut unveiling while I waited for the results.

When the results finally came in it was revealed that I did not have cancer (phew)!  However, I had what are called Intraductal Papillomas which are best described as growths in the breast.  While at the time they were not cancerous they can develop into cancer down the road.  Um, no thank you.  I went to three doctors to get a 1st, 2nd and 3rd opinion.  Each one of them recommended having breast surgery.

During the surgery I had a large chunk of my breast  removed (no reconstruction).  Today I am superb and happy (and slightly fraternal as opposed to identical)  to have anything potentially cancerous out of my body.  You want to see where your faith is, go through that ordeal.  It was no picnic physically, emotionally or spiritually, but on the flip side I couldn’t be more grateful for the care I received (thank you Jake, mom and dad) and doctors who didn’t take the situation lightly.

That was heavy.  Time to switch gears…

Post surgery, I finally got around to taking my Cricut Explore out of the box and created my first ever project.

PicMonkey CollageUsing some vinyl iron-on matrial my Cricut cut a stock image I found online.  I then removed the negative space around it and ironed it on to a canvas bag.4men1lady 2No more loosing piano books between piano and home.  I had so much fun creating one bag for my son’s piano books I then decided to make more.

One of our downfalls is loosing library books.  They come home and next thing you know they’re under beds and mixed in with books on the shelf.

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Now, books come home in the bag, stay in the bag when they’re not being read and go back to the library in the bag.  No more lost library books (and expensive fines).

4men1lady 3Last but not least, the church bag.  Church is a lesson in patience and reverence for little kids (and most adults too).  Coloring books, crayons and quiet activities come to church with us every Sunday.  However, packing a bag every Sunday before church is time consuming.  Now we have a permanent bag that stays on the hook ready to go each Sunday.

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 As a mother I find if there is place for everything life is so much less stressful.  This pretty much sums up 90% of my day:

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I’m hoping my new organization bags knock that percentage down to 89%.

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I’ve reviewed a lot cool products in the past and I can tell this one is on my top 3 list.  This baby can draw and cut to your wildest imagination.  Check out this video:

I’ll be honest, part of the reason it took me so long to take it out of the box was 1) my little bump (or bumps) in the road and 2) I was pretty intimidated by the machine.  It looks complex and tricky but let me tell you…it is SOOOO user friendly.

I’m also taking part in the Cricut Design Space Star challenge team 7.  I didn’t participate last month but my team did awesome with an ice cream theme.  Once all our individual team member’s projects are up I’ll let you know what everyone came up with for our Geek Chick challenge.

Cricut-Design-Space-Star-250-copyIf you liked this project please like and follow me on Facebook Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Goodbye white sofas?

Have you noticed that through the years your decor choices follow your personality changes?
9 years ago when I had my first child I vowed to be that perfect wife, mother and woman. Dinner would be on the table at 5pm every night, I would raise children who had their hair in order, a clean face and certainly wouldn’t ever wear cartoon or superhero t-shirts.

Fast forward almost 10 years and that perfect life I thought was so important is completely unrealistic and ridiculous. (BTW, it was chips and salsa for dinner at 9pm).  I’ve somewhat grown up (certainly have a long ways to go) but I’m realizing more and more as I strive for that fairy tale of perfection I’m missing out on the beauty of imperfection.

That was a long story to announce after years and years of defending my two white sofa’s honor I’m thinking about replacing them with something else (see here and here). I will go to battle and continue to swear up and down that white slip-covered sofas are totally doable (and gorgeous), even with 4 men in the house, I’m just ready for a change. Something a bit more relaxed and less uppity. A sofa that doesn’t make people gasp then try and hide their shock that a women with 4 children would make such an insane decor choice.  Something you can lounge in and not be afraid to put your feet on.

Leather.

I realize leather sofas are on both ends of the spectrum.  Many are completely hideous (but oh so comfortable).  Leather is just sort of the yoga-istic place I’m at in my life.  Sort of a … “Surrender control,” “That which is meant to be will be,” “C’est la vie,” mindset.  That sounds more 70′s then Zen.  Before you think I’ve totally lost my decor-chic mind (and my sanity) let me give you some visuals…

California House Home Tour Cup of Jo Living Room 9Source.

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Sofa roundup 4men1lady1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Are you a fan? Favorites amongst the mix?

Throw Back Tuesday, Vintage Metal Carts

I tend to find something I like and then buy it up in excess, which my husband reminds me is also known as “hoarding”.
Case in point, when I went through a vintage school chairs phase.
Then there was that time I had 4 wingback chairs stock piled in my garage.
I also bought three dressers on Craigslist, not because I needed them, but because I thought they had great lines and I planned to refinish then sell them.
My name is Michelle and I have furniture hoarding tendencies.

Little by little I’m letting go of things.
I’m realizing I’m going to be an old lady one day surrounded, not by cats, but by 100 vintage school chairs.
Actually not that grim of vision if you ask me.

In order to clear out for my son’s bedroom makeover, I’m letting go of another item I have way too many of.
I love these vintage school metal carts. The more beat up, the better.

I’ve done almost every fathomable thing I can think to do with them.
I’ve repainted them and turned them in to bar carts…

PicMonkey Collage(See more here).

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(See more here).

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IMG_1852(See more here).

I’ve also made them kid friendly…

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(See more here and here).

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Tell you don’t want a vintage cart in every room in your house now.

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$35. gets you a green metal cart, with some vintage rust.  Acrylic protector for top included.  The paper top is removable.  Local pickup in SLC, UT only.
Who’s taking it? Email me at: smhinckley (at) yahoo (dot) com.