4.30.2010

Banning Happy Meal Toys - Feedback Friday


My friend Craig from The Constant Complainer brought to light a current issue that caused me to preempt my prom post till...closer to the prom. You understand, right?

It seems the La Times broke a story about lawmakers in Santa Clara County proposing to ban toys that are given away with fast food meals for children with a calorie count over 485 calories, such as Happy Meals.

Their reasoning is that these toys cause children to make poor dietary choices and will force restaurants to offer more nutritious options. Lawmakers believe this ban will help curb the rising crisis of childhood obesity by making fast food meals marketed to children less appealing.

It's Feedback Friday, so tell me:

What do you think of a bill banning Happy Meal toys to force children into more healthful food choices?

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4.29.2010

Stuff I Learned - Tutorial Tuesday Wrap Up

Well, I learned a lot this week (again!) and here are a few faves:

Simply Modern Mom made this adorable Pillowcase Dress after scoring a pillowcase for less than $1 at the thrift store!



I fell in love with this Mother's Day Collage assembled by Live Laugh Make Something. It really captures the spirit of "boy" and made me smile.



And I was astounded by this Etched Window that At Second Street made! You have to read this tutorial, it's so doable and makes a huge impact!



Sarah, from Welcome to the Good Life, was back with an awesome Molly Hannah Inspired Necklace that is prettier than the original.

Janet taught all us non-knitters (say that 3 times fast!) to use old wool sweaters to get the job done on this Wrist Warmer Tutorial.

DebbieDoos wowed me again with the cutest ever Teacup Bird Feeders! I'm on a teacup hunt now!

And Fairies, French Fries, and Baby Kisses won me over with her blog name AND the recipe for these Potstickers! Let's make them for dinner this week!

And finally, the winner of the fun and funky camera strap from VM Jess is a commenter this week! The winner is....drum roll please... Lindsay! Congrats to you, a new visitor, I'll be contacting you shortly.

To learn more about VM Jess, you can visit her shop or her blog. Her camera straps could make a fantastic Mother's Day or even Father's Day gift. Tell her Juniper sent you!

Join me back here tomorrow for Feedback Friday to give your 2 cents. I'll give you an hint as to the topic...it begins with a "P" and ends with a "rom".

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4.28.2010

Spark Creativity!

This is my kitchen table...



I love to have little things around, easily accessible to my kids (and myself) to spark creativity at any second...



A cookie jar of crayons has been my centerpiece for this table for the last year or so and I love that it encourages them (and me) to draw, color, or doodle whenever inspiration strikes...



Try it, you might like it!

You still have one more day to link up for Tutorial Tuesday for a chance to win a fun and funky custom camera strap! Click here to check it out!

4.26.2010

Tutorial Tuesday with VM Jess


If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Just link up below so we can all pop over to learn something new. (My weekly tutorial is a Space Saving Closet Hanger . You can also find one of my projects and many others in this free Mother's Day E-Book from FaveCrafts).

Let's meet our sponsor...shall we?



VM Jess is your go to spot for fun and funky camera straps on the web. Ironically, her etsy shop was born after she learned how to jazz up the strap she got with her new Mother's Day camera several years ago. She had just learned to sew - A girl after our own heart!

She deconstructed the ugly strap the camera came with and made herself a fun new one. Business grew as family and friends saw her fun strap and requested one of their own. 2000+ straps later, she has a successful business. This is my favorite kind of story!

I love fun and funky anything, and these straps are both. Just look at the amazing fabrics and color combinations!



And I loooove this red scroll:



Do you have a small point and shoot? No worries, she's got it covered with cute little wristlets:



Valerie is offering any one strap from VM Jess to one lucky winner this week! Want to win?

Either link up with our party (rules are below)

OR

Comment below and tell me about your favorite VM Jess design. Easy peasy, right?

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




Space Saving Closet Hanger Tutorial

I have had the following project on the back burner since this winter - I'm slow, but I never forget a project!

So here is a tutorial I saw on Little Birdie Secrets for a Space Saving Hanging System for your clothes.

Supplies:

Sturdy Ribbon (about 10 inches)
D Rings
Sewing Machine




(Tip: Burn the ends of your ribbon to keep it from fraying before you begin)

This is so simple! Simply slide your D ring onto your ribbon - Beginning at the end.



Double your ribbon back



And sew into place! Repeat this as many times as you'd like (4 rings should be sufficient for each hanger)



Slide the first ring over the neck of a hanger and add additional hangers to each ring, moving down the ribbon.



Tada! 4 (wrinkled) skirts hung in the space of one!



Do you have a great tutorial? Well, you can teach me stuff tomorrow for fun and prizes! Grab a button now and meet me back here tonight to link up:

Hope Studios



DIY Day @ ASPTL

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4.25.2010

Sunday Funny



Not funny? Well, look a little closer...to the right...and down...

Aha! Funny, no? Thanks, Awkward Family Photos!

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Smiles - I Heart Faces

Can you see anything but smiles in this picture?




4.24.2010

Hope Studios - Saturday Wrap Up

What a whirlwind week! So much is in the works - I've got many orders I am working on for Mother's Day, so that is filling all my spare time.

The Big Guy brought home flowers this week, and he wasn't even in trouble for anything! Don't you just love him for not going with easy, boring roses?



I was featured on I Heart Faces again this week for my Collage contribution. I didn't get into the Top 10, but I caught Angie and Amy's eye and that's just as good for me! I submitted a self portrait collage, see if you can find my entry here at I Heart Faces.

I'm working on a post for the recipe to this fantastic Peach Cobbler I made this week (and ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!)



And finally, the Big Guy is away on a weekend long fishing trip sooooo...when the Big Guy's away, Juniper will play! What do I have planned? I'm going to try to sew a slipcover for this love seat in my bedroom since I've been on a bedroom re-do for the past 2 weeks. Wish me luck!



Have a great weekend, and I'll see you here tomorrow for my Sunday Funny!

Oops, I forgot to mention I am booking Tutorial Tuesday Sponsors for May 25th or later. See details here!

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4.23.2010

Baseball Blues - Feedback Friday



See that cute kid on the right? He's 9 years old. He loves baseball.

At the age of 9, the kids play "Kid Pitch" ball. Anyone who has raised children knows that kid pitch games are notoriously long and tedious. Long. Tedious.

The league just sent us the baseball game schedule for the season. About 50% of his games are to begin at 8 pm. Almost all of those late games are scheduled for school nights.

Let's review:

Kid pitch = loooong games
Player = 9 years old
Bedtime = 9 pm
Game time = 8 pm (the league stipulates that the games should last 1 3/4 hours)

Thoughts, comments, questions?

Feedback Friday - How late is too late when it comes to kid's sports?

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4.22.2010

Stuff I Learned - Tutorial Tuesday Wrap Up

I fell in love with the yellow patio chairs from Debbie-Debbie Doos. Sometimes you just have to take a risk, and if that risk involves yellow spray paint? I'm in!



Jay n Sarah reworked a Target dress into an Anthropologie knock-off that would fool any fashionista. I've decided I need to stalk her and be her friend so I can bring over Target clothes and end up with couture!



You know how you sometimes see an idea and it makes you want to bonk yourself on the head and say "Doh!" Well, that is what I did when I saw Kimbo's Crafts pretty cord ties! They are cute - waaay cuter than the rubber bands and twist ties that are currently taming my cords!



Dahlia Lane included some awesome "recipes" for natural cleaning supplies she uses to keep her pad clean and green. Oh, it saves her a BUNCH of cash, too!

Whew, I learned a lot this week! Thanks for joining us again this Tuesday. Now, go make yourself Amy New Nostalgia's Teriyaki Bowtie Spinach Salad for dinner...

What are you waiting for? Oh, you want to know the winner of this week's giveaway to T's Etc. shop? Well, I don't blame you. If you are Gina from the Cannary Family Blog, this is your lucky day! I will be contacting you soon.

Still want more T's Etc? You can find her at her Etsy shop or her Blog. Tell her Juniper says hi!

Come on back tomorrow to weigh in on this week's Feedback Friday topic!

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Advertising Opportunities



Want to promote your shop or blog here at Hope Studios? Let me give you the low down.

You want details? I got details...

I started this little blog as an extension of my own Etsy business. I wanted to get readers here and direct business there and you know what? It worked! As time went on, I saw there was a whole world of inspiration out there to talk about that other people were interested in reading. Who knew? This little blog has taken on a life of it's own and I want to offer advertising space for other businesses and blogs who want more exposure.

You want stats? I got stats...

I'm still growing: Last month I had over 89,000 views from 113 different countries. (I'm big in Turkey, but the U.S. still won out with the most visitors. Again - Who knew?)


50% of that number shows new readers each month.

I host Tutorial Tuesday each week to bring in readers and feature you. Tuesdays are my most viewed day of the month.

I, myself, have been featured on several blogs and am a regular contributor to the online craft mag. FaveCrafts. Oh, and did I mention I tweet? I tweet. What does this mean to you? More exposure for me equals more exposure for you. Yep. You're welcome.

I post 6-7 times per week to keep my readers interested and entertained.

You want details? I got details...

120x120 ad block (I can recommend someone really cool to make this for you)

Located in the top right hand portion of the screen. I've researched it - the right side rules.

$15.00 for 30 days, billed at the beginning of the month.

I do NOT charge for giveaways for my sponsors. Tip: My readers L.O.V.E. giveaways. Just sayin'

Want to sponsor Tutorial Tuesday without committing to a month of advertising? We can do that too.

Sound good? Let's talk. jsneill@zoominternet.net

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4.21.2010

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Just in time for strawberry season, I wanted to share one of my favorite summer recipes. I bring it to almost every party I attend in the summer for as long as I can get good berries.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

ingredients:

1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
8 oz block cream cheese (non-fat is okay, but I'm personally against low fat desserts)
1 cup marshmallow fluff
cinnamon graham crackers
vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Step 1

Cut the end from the strawberry (save these ends for a garnish), so it will stand on a plate, and remove the top. Angle your knife to create a hole for the filling.



Step 2

Mix together the filling - softened cream cheese and marshmallow fluff, a few drops of vanilla or almond extract will jazz it up, if you desire.



Step 3

Pipe the filling into your strawberries. You can use a pastry bag or cut the corner from a Ziploc baggie. I use this little Pampered Chef contraption.



Step 3

Crumble the graham crackers and sprinkle over the top of the filling and around the plate for garnish. Cut slivers from the leftover ends of the strawberries for additional garnish.



This filling can also be placed in a dish and used as fruit dip if you don't have time, just remember the half and half ratio of fluff to cream cheese and you're good to go. It's super yummy with apples, grapes, and pretzels too!

You still have one more day to enter the Tutorial Tuesday Link Party for a chance to win a gift certificate for some beautiful jewelry. Come teach me some stuff!


Photobucket



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4.19.2010

Tutorial Tuesday With T's Etc.

If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Just link up below so we can all pop over to learn something new. (My weekly tutorial is this Recycled T-Shirt Necklace). Let's meet our sponsor...shall we?

Teri, from T's Etc. has been a regular here for quite some time, and I'm so excited she is sponsoring Tutorial Tuesday this week with her new-ish Etsy shop today.

It all started with 4 sisters and a plan for matching bracelets...since then Teri has expanded to share her jewelry with all! Look at the colors and stone combinations she incorporates into her pieces. I could wear this necklace, Fall by the Sea Every. Day.



A friend that routinely travels to China, keeps Teri stocked in beautiful beads full time. When I saw this Burgundy Bauble cluster necklace I fell in love - Look at the rich color of the burgundy pearls!



And the combo of purple agate and ceramic stones in this Purple Passion necklace called my name..."Oh Juniper...come buy me..."



Teri is offering a $30 gift certificate to one lucky winner this week! Want to win?

Either link up with our party (rules are below)

OR

Comment below and tell me why you need beautiful, beaded jewelry. Easy peasy, right?

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




4.18.2010

Easy T-Shirt Necklace Tutorial



I cleaned out my closets this weekend, and before I could get rid of the extra bag of clothes I planned to take to Goodwill, I saw this fun necklace while watching Martha. Needless to say, I dove right back into the bags to pull out some of the t-shirts from the donation bags for this week's project. I tried to get rid of some stuff, but it's Martha, people! It was meant to be!

Want to make this fun necklace? (I like to think of it as Spring's answer to the scarf.) Get to work cleaning your closets and save some old t-shirts and you will have "shopped" for all the supplies you will need.

Fun T-Shirt Necklace

Supplies:

100% Cotton T-Shirts

Scissors

** I chose coordinating colors, I thought the faded blues and browns made it feel beachy. Martha kept it monochromatic**

Instructions:

Remove the hem from the bottom of your t-shirts, then cut 1 inch wide strips from the bottom of the shirts.



I worked with 15 strips for this project, you can adjust this according to how thick you'd like the necklace to be. (The strips are actually rings since you are cutting the bottom through both layers.) You will eventually double these rings, so 15 strips turns into 30.



Once you have cut all your strips, S-T-R-R-R-E-E-E-T-C-H each one. This will cause them to roll on the sides and elongate them to twice the length.

After stretching, lay them one on top of the other. Try to stack with the seams together.



Holding your rings with the seams in each hand, twist (in a figure 8 kind of shape) to double the rings. Now the seams from both ends will all be together and the necklace will be half as long and twice as thick.

Using an extra strip of t-shirt, wrap the section where the seams have come together, as shown here, to bind the whole stack. Like this:



Pull it over your head...

See how cute? How inexpensive? How customizable? The sky is the limit on the color combinations and thickness!



Want a matching bracelet? Cut up the sleeves, using the same method:



Now, shoo! Go cut up some t-shirts!

See you back here tomorrow for more Tutorial Tuesday for prizes! Pick up a button here to get you started and come back to link up beginning around 10 pm tonight.

Hope Studios




DIY Day @ ASPTL

 

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