XIA-XIA Giveaway #1!

In a couple of weeks we will be having a slumber party. Our guests of honor will be the XIA-XIA pets! My daughter was so excited that we get to review them! I let her play with one early so we could figure them all out and these little crabs are DARLING! Rumour is, that the XIA-XIA's are going to be the hot new toy this Christmas! It doesn't seem to be one of those toys she plays with and tosses aside, she really plays with it ALL the time.

The Xia Xia pets crabs, pronounced Sha Sha pets are set to be the most popular toy of the year. Already there has been a massive amount of interest in Xia Xia hermit crabs with many retailers building up a huge inventory of these little pet crabs in the anticipated rush.
FROM THE SITE: They either sell out entirely or as stock gets low they become excessively expensive. See the Xia Xia Pets Store for more information and to buy from our recommended supplier.
We love these little Xia Xia hermit crabs for sale at a (currently) low price so we don’t want anyone to miss out
To start the week out right, I'm going to give one of the XIA-XIA's away a little early!
Random winner will be picked by randomizer on 11-11-12. This giveaway is for the blue crab.

Ways To Enter (add a comment for each entry you've made):

1. comment on this post and tell me who you'd give your xia-xia to :)
2. Follow this blog
3. Follow I SEE AMAZING on Facebook.

4. Follow I SEE AMAZING on Twitter.

5. Follow XIA-XIA pets on Facebook.

Lots of ways to enter! If you don't win this time around I will be doing a larger one after the slumber party. I want to see which ones they love the most!

Winner announced 11-11-12 via Facebook!

UPDATE: THE WINNER IS HEIDI!! Congratulations!
If you'd like to try again for your chance to win more Xia-Xia, stay tuned!


My Secret Obsession - PICK YOUR PLUM

Each morning, I roll out of bed, get my daughter off to school and then I run to my laptop.
Wait, it's not weird yet.
Then I go to this one site....and I push refresh OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
I see the new beautiful craft they have to offer for the day and my mind goes CRAZY thinking about all of the wonderful things I will make!! Tiny clothespins?? They will look darling holding up an advent item! Wooden tags?? I can paint them and give them out in Christmas cards!!
My husband has come to terms with the fact that he can't talk to me until after I've scored the loot. I'm like a crazy woman...I just DON'T WANNA MISS OUT!!
If you're the crafty type...the 'I can make that!' and never come out of hobby lobby empty handed, you must check the site out!
Here is just a small example of the booty I have received from there. You can get customized ribbon, custom vinyl, diy earrings, bookmarks, chalkboard, the site really offers a lot of variation.
The 'catch' to this site is that the product is only available for the day (m-f). And there are a LOT more people like me that just can't get enough, so the product goes FAST! A lot of the time everything goes in a couple of hours. If you need to be reminded when they stock you can join their facebook page. Let 'em know I sent ya.....but don't tell your husband it was me!
Want even more craftiness? VeryJane.com and GroopDealz.com also offer crafty goods for a short amount of time at a discounted price. These sites are great for customized gifts also.



No Halloween at the Halls...

Every year when October rolls around my stomach gets a little queasy. We do not celebrate Halloween. In the small town I live in, you'd think it was the biggest sin ever. In a world that is becoming more accepting of everything, you'd think that people could care less wether I dress my child up and get loads of candy. But it seems that it bothers them. A LOT.
I just don't like it. For my own reasons. Perhaps if the holiday were more pink, like Valentine's day, I would be a little more into it. But I'm not. Each year my kids have told their classmates that they do not 'do' Halloween and each year they are made fun of because of it. When the class parties come around I will let my daughter skip school and we will go shopping or just have a mom/daughter day. Our town is so small that we never have trick-or-treaters so we just hang out and watch a movie. My 9 year old is just not in to candy...she'd rather have an apple or a mango instead of a candy bar anyway....I'd love the candy but I certainly do not need the temptation in the house. My 17 year old daughter does what she wants regarding Halloween, and that's okay. She didn't go trick-or-treating a single time, and besides the kids being down-right mean, I think she's gonna live.
It has been my experience in the past 17 years, that some people refuse to just let it go. Some like to try to humiliate me in front of others by asking me why I don't celebrate in front of others. Mostly I feel sorry for my daughter when this happens. I just don't think I should have to justify myself.  Never have I seen a child get harrased so much over such a ridiculous thing. Can a person just live life, and if my life doesn't COPY theirs, does it have to be such a big deal?? Should I ask them why they don't go to the gym, or why they don't make whiffle every Christmas like I DO???
I've never talked about it before or explained it to anyone....so what better than a public blog to just let it all out. I'm not hurting anyone, my daughter will NOT suffer because she didn't get a pumpkin full of candy and life will still go on.....


Out of the Box Sampler goodness

Next month I am going to be a sponsor for Out of the box sampler. If you haven't heard of of this, you are in for a TREAT! Each box is chock full of great samples from businesses all over the internet. Soaps, lotions, candles, jewelry...you just never know what you are going to get! It really feels like Christmas each time a new box arrives!
For the November box I made 100 jersey headbands. Each was cut out of recycled t-shirts and I even screenprinted a lot of them. (I still have a blister on my thumb from all that cutting!)
I will post on the facebook page as soon as the boxes are released. The Oct. boxes are available now if you want to see what it's all about!

Don't want to wait until next month to try out one of these cute but very useful bands out? I've stocked some in the 'ol shop!



Rural Women Rock!

Hello, my name is Lacey and until this moment, I have been a secret blogger. I realized this a few weeks ago when I started talking with my friend, Kasse. We have known each other since the wee days of grade school. After seeing her posts on facebook about an exciting venture she was starting, I immediately wanted to be a part of it. She posted her story about starting Rural Women Rock and the facebook page that accompanied it. I took a deep breath and posted my link. Then I hit enter before I chickened out.

For about a year I have been posting on this blog. I needed a place to journal everything going on in my life. It's easier for me to get things accomplished if I think someone is paying attention. The blog started about weight loss and then I started tossing in tutorials of the crafts I was making. Now it is sort of an addiction. Trying to get something posted at least once a week. The funny thing about the whole thing is that no one but my youngest daughter and my husband knew anything about it. But today is my stepping out day. People I know in real life will be able to have a direct line to my real struggles, obsessions and weird little quircks.
If you do not know me, let me share just a bit. I am a 36 year old christian mom, wife, nurse and all around crafty girl. I have lived in the same town my entire life (as a lot of rural people have). The first memory I have of farming was sitting at the top of the combine steps and riding with my dad in the hot sun. The fun part as a kid was dropping off the wheat at town so I could get a free soda. After my dad passed away 2 years ago, my  mom took over the entire farm.  The whole process of farming is more than I could have ever imagined. I don't think a lot of people really understand all of the work involved. Living rural gets a little lonely from time to time and I think that's how my crafting began. I love to sew and have an obsession for pretty fabrics. When my youngest daughter was born I started Stinkbug Designs. This gives me an outlet for all things creative.

After my dad passed away I decided that I needed to lose weight and live the healthiest, happiest life that I could. And so, the blog began. And then Kasse and her amazing idea came along. I am honored to be able to be featured on Rural Women Rock. I am stepping out and am hoping that YOU do too! If you don't have a blog, it is so easy to start. It takes ten minutes to sign up. If I can do it, anyone can! Post about the things you love, the things you create, the things you WANT to create. I cannot wait to see you as a future Rural Women Rock contributer very soon!



Dollar Store Subway Art (without a Cricut)

Subway Art has been popping up EVERYWHERE!! I tried finding the actual definition of the name. Some people collect the actual signs from subways. Usually these are directions, names of towns. They are super pricey but very beautiful in a living room. If you google 'subway art' you will find hundreds of pictures of beautiful pictures made by hand, and on the computer, that people have designed. Usually it is made on a canvas and the board has a central theme. A lot of the times the same font is used. I've been wanting to make one myself but I don't have a cricut yet, and the majority are made with one.
While wandering down the aisles of Dollar Tree I came upon the perfect canvas for my subway art. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Before I begin the tutorial, let me apologize and explain. This particular sign is for my husband. He is from Louisiana and misses it A LOT. After joining the Marines, he was moved around and finally landed in Oklahoma...where he met me. He has chosen to stay here but he is proud of where he came from and is Louisiana through and through. I apologize for the word 'Coonass' but it is a slang term which some cajun folk dislike greatly and others wear with a sign of pride. Hubby is the latter.

Here is the sign I found. They are the perfect size and are ready for hanging!

the ink is kind of blurry and raised, so I took a fine sandpaper and sanded it down so the paint wouldn't flake or show underneath. I put a huge piece of wax paper down before I began...I'm messy!

Now it's time to paint! For this particular board I would not recommend the AppleBarrel brand (from Walmart). I use it on a lot of products but this board just soaked it up and the black kept coming out. So I pulled out the big guns.

The AMSTERDAM brand works great, it's thick and goes on really well. It's a little more expensive but worth it. This tube came from Hobby Lobby. Paint on at least two coats and allow to dry overnight. (this is the hard part!)

After the sign has dried, turn it over and trace it onto a piece of wax paper.

Add the wording that you want with stickers. The stickers can be found at the dollar store, Walmart, Target, just about anywhere. Usually in the scrapbooking section. At Lowe's they have some by the mailboxes. Stick the stickers onto the wax paper so that you can change the layout if you need to and don't have to worry about pulling up paint. The stickers easily come off of the wax paper so you can move it all around until you like it. When you are satisfied, move the stickers to the painted board. I used a ruler to make sure the words were straight. Once you are happy with it all, use your finger to push down each and every letter making sure they are all on tight.

Next, take it outside and spray paint! I used three coats and made sure each coat was dry in between. If your letters are not pressed down well, the paint will bleed inside. (if this happens, just go over it with a tiny paintbrush).

The Krylon textured shimmer is my favorite! It kind of looks glittery. It says it's for plastic but I've used it for everything and it works swell.
After drying, remove each letter carefully. I used an X-acto knife. I then sanded the entire picture down using fine sandpaper to give it a vintage look. I rubbed harder in some places and around the edges.

When it's all sanded and complete, spray a couple of layers of clear coat on. I had so much fun with this and am now One gift down for Christmas! I hope I explained everything clearly, always let me know if you need help!



Flea Market with Tips & Tricks!

This is one of those great events that you count down to. I waited for months for this flea market, asked for the day off a month in advance and every day got a little more excited. The Elk City flea market is a bona fide 'dig through boxes and bargain big' kind of flea market. My husband even asked for it off. I hate to admit it, but I let my daughter play hookie to go with us. At first she was disappointed because she didn't want to miss school but I assured here there would be someone selling rocks, so she decided it would be okay.

If you've never been to a flea market/ townwide yard sale before, here are a few things that work for me

1.as you think of projects you want to make, or elements you are wanting to add to your yard or house, write it down (preferably on your phone). This way when you get there, you don't forget all of the things you were going for in the first place. I think it's easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with all the STUFF.

2. Make a quick once-around. About a million times I've taken my sweet time while I watch person after person walk past me with big marvelous things that would look perfect in my home/yard/as a gift. When you arrive, force yourself to walk quickly past each booth and look at all the BIG stuff. It's easy to miss the big beautiful piece in the corner when you are digging through the little boxes.

3. Take several large bags. Fold one inside the other until you need it. Luckily, I usually have Ryan to take my stuff to our vehicle when my hands get full. Sometimes I don't, though, and it's nice to not have to keep making trips and just putting everything in my bags. I've seen some people take little wagons, and that would work too.

4. Pack a lunch. I don't want to be starving and the only options be cheesecake on a stick.

5. Keep larger bills in a different pocket. I used to keep all my money in one pocket and unroll it all out to pay. When you do this, the big bills can fall out and will be lost forever. This also looks bad when you ask the seller if they will take five dollars and you pull a bunch of twenties out of your pocket when paying.

6. If you want it, GET IT. If there's something that is original, you can't get on ebay or the local store, and you LOOOVEEE it, buy it. Chances are, if you wait until you come back through, it will be in somene elses hands. And that's just no fun.

7. My biggest tip is to SMILE and be nice to everyone. The vendors sit there for hours and hours and are usually hot, tired and have worked very hard to set the whole thing up. My big pet peeve is people who point out a flaw in something and then ask to take less. If you want to offer a few dollars less, that's great, but don't be rude and make them feel bad because their product doesn't meet your standards. I see the guys on 'Pickers' do this all the time. They try to make the 'ol guy feel bad because his bike is rusted then they go home and sell it for a couple thousand.

Lucky for me, a rock booth was one of the first we came across! All of the vendors are SO nice and helpful! Breckin came home with some rocks that she didn't have. A rock that held a votive was also a new part of her collection. So pretty at night!

At the end of the day I am tired, we have all found beautiful treasures that we can't live without...and my little nature girl didn't spend a single dime for her favorite find.....

Going to a flea market or yard sale isn't really all about buying for me. The fun lies in finding a piece that someone is considering throwing out. I love teaching my daughter that when you dust something off and show it a little love, that anything can be beautiful. Something that someone once treasured is given a special place in our home and given another chance.