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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Elf on the Shelf

Has your elf arrived yet?
Ours (Blake) seems to be taking his time. errrrr Not sure what is up with that ;) AHEM!

So, tell me. Does your elf sit on the shelf?
Remember when they used to do that? lol

Here's a little MCAL rewind for ya :)

Inspired by that silly little elf






Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel for more bow tutorials.

Mommy Crafts A lot -Youtube
Mommy Crafts A lot - Facebook

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hot Christmas toys for 2014

Ho Ho Ho!

This year has went by so fast. I can not believe that we are hanging stockings and sipping egg nog right now. Have you started your shopping yet? I know a few of you have already finished.

What's on your kids wish list?

Is it one of these toys that we have reviewed? Some of my favorites from this past year are the Lalaloopsy girls, anything from the Monster High collection (lol), Shopkins Season 2 and Frozen (which seems to still being going strong!). I have posted some of these videos on the other blog. Feel free to check them out if you are considering some of these toys for your little ones :)

Of course, you can see all the toys that we have reviewed on the kids youtube channel, Silly Noggins.

This one is our recent favorite. We can not wait to get more of Season 2 Shopkins! They are adorable.




Here's the ones that we think are HOT this year: Hottest toys for 2014 (Christmas ideas)


Boutique Bow (design idea) Queen of Hearts ribbon collection by Ribbonology

I am in love with the Queen of Hearts ribbon collection by Ribbonology. I know I have mentioned it before ;) It simply is perfect in every way.

I thought I would start something NEW here on the blog. I'll post some design ideas for ya. Of course, if you love this ribbon you can always order some of your own at Ribbonology.

First let me show you the final product :) I kind of like it. A LOT!


Aren't the ribbons just amazing?




The bow parts I used for this hair bow:

I used two surround a bows with 7/8 inch ribbon. Surround a bow tutorials can be found HERE on my youtube channel.


For the larger surround a bow, I used 32 inches of the ribbon above. (Divided into 2 pieces)


For the smaller surround a bow, I used 28 inches of the ribbon above. (Divided into 2 pieces)


For my spikes I used the ribbon in the photo above. (All measures 7/8" in width)
Each strip measures 7 inches and I used a total of 12 strips. Tutorial for the spikes is right HERE.

I also used a Twister bow for my topper (I went a little OLD SCHOOL!) Find the tutorial here.
18 inches of 7/8" ribbon for each piece and I double layered (So, you will need TWO pieces of 18 inch ribbon. I used the white heart and the black heart print.)



Also used for this bow:
A pinwheel base bow using 36 inches of 1.5" ribbon Pinwheel hairbow tutorial HERE
A ribbon flower part
Tulle (tulle puff) Tutorial can be found HERE


a few sequin glittery buttons



Of course, you will also need your ribbon covered barrette :)


Now we are ready to start assembling the parts :) Grab your glue gun.

We are going to start with the pinwheel base. Your spikes will go on top. (So, add a bit of glue and press the spikes on top of your base bow. You can then go around the pieces with some embroidery floss for more stability *optional*.



Now add a bit more glue and add your BIGGER surround a bow on top of the spikes.


Do the exact same thing with the smaller surround a bow :)


Now this is important (to me, anyway) Since this is a BIG heavy bow with a lot of parts I like to secure my bow with more than just glue. After the glue dries on all pieces take some embroidery floss or upholstery thread and wrap the middle a few times. PULL TIGHT AS YOU GO! No one wants a wobbly bow ;)


Now we are going to add our Twister topper.
Same as before (GLUE, PRESS)


As you can see above after I added my Twister Topper I went ahead and added the bow to it's clip with 3/8" ribbon. I always wrap my 3/8" ribbon around twice.

(back of bow)

Ok, the bow is finished and honestly you could stop here if you wanted to. We won't stop here though. We like to add THE KITCHEN SINK to our bows ;)

Now I'm going to add that tulle puff I made earlier and the ribbon flower as EXTRA embellishment.





 I'm putting my tulle puff right at the top middle of this bow.


Just press the felt (with hot glue) to the top spikes and press down.

Next I am adding that ribbon flower piece. I'm going to add it to the bottom right corner (or LOOP) right behind the loop with a little glue.



See?


Remember the sequin/glittery buttons? Now I'm just going to add them around my bow *with glue.





Bam! That's what's up :) This bow is complete.




It measures right at 5 1/2-6 inches wide *Like I said, BIG BOW!


Now who's ready to go buy some Queen of Hearts ribbon?
Find her on facebook as well, Ribbonology.



Don't forget to click on all the tutorial links above.

Visit me :


If you make a bow using these ribbons please visit me on facebook and post your creation!


Burst the bubble! Get yourself out there

I thought I would sit down and put pen to paper (Actually fingers to keys, in my case here).
Over the past few years I have been asked quite a few questions and not just the ones coming from my children.

You all know those, right? They usually begin with the three letters W, H and Y.

One question that comes up more than any other is "How do I get my shop noticed?" (in the same category is "How do I get more "likes" on my page?", "Where is the best place to sell?") There are others but I thought we would focus on these right now.

As many of you have noticed over the past year or so, Facebook has changed :/ BIG BOOOOOO!
Gone are the days of your "fans" actually seeing what you post (all the time). Heck, I don't get updates on some of the pages that I follow EVER!

There have been posts popping up during the past year. When these posts get viewed a lot of vendors/businesses get worried (as they should). You can usually find group chat on the subject and there is usually banter back and forth on WHAT TO DO. Months roll by and the chatter dies down until the NEXT post pops up and then it's the same cycle all over again.

First thing, We need to stop TALKING and START DOING! Facebook has made it known that they are NOT going back to the "good ole' days" anytime soon. If you are still holding on and putting all of your "eggs" in the facebook basket then you could very well be missing out on SALES.

DO NOT COUNT ON FACEBOOK ALONE to make sales.

Before I dive into this subject and offer my "opinions" let me first give you a little History lesson on.... Well, on ME!

I have not always been "Mommy Crafts A lot". I actually started out making and selling bows on Ebay. I was under a totally different name (ribbonrockstar). HOLLA! to my OLD SCHOOL ebay pals :) I was selling when the Custom Boutique Children's clothing community was HUGE. It was awesome. Just like there are groups on facebook (design groups) there were so many on ebay back then. *That's actually where they got started. Anyway, I began on ebay and surrounded myself with a "community". I got to know many others in the same business as well as made connections with mommas that loved to buy clothes and bows :)

From ebay I ventured on to my own website. I also dabbled on Etsy but not ask much...Making NEW connections as I went.

When my Reagan was about 2, I decided it was time to stop. I had way too much going on to keep up. I was chasing a 2 and 3 year old while homeschooling my oldest.

I continued to sell on etsy but it was just for my hairbow instruction ebook. Bows were pushed to the backburner and to be honest I was a little "burnt" out.

I took up blogging! I started a blog and shared my daily life with the 4 people that read daily. LOL!
Actually, blogging allowed me to make even more connections. This time I was connecting with the MOMMY BLOGGING community. I joined forums, message boards and became really good friends with so many different women.

See, where I'm going here? I'm still making connections.



Vlogging came next. My first youtube channel (no longer active) was where I put my thoughts to video. I would chat about anything and everything. I became involved with the YOUTUBE community (Where I Still belong and LOVE!) I met other moms and families doing the same thing I was doing. **Yes, I still connect with them to this day!

AND THEN we get to Mommy Crafts A lot....I wanted a separate channel just for my crafts. I've connected with even more youtubers (just youtubers with a different niche than vlogging). I've also become more involved with a "Crafting" community and even jumped back into the "bow community" on facebook.

Why on earth did I just ramble? It's to make a point. ALWAYS MAKE CONNECTIONS! The more connections you make, the more your NAME gets out there. Don't just stand in ONE spot. MOVE AROUND!

We don't just have to worry about "word of mouth" anymore. If you have a phone or a computer then you have everything you need.



What would I do?

If you are not already on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. JOIN!
Some of you find them obnoxious but honestly they are great tools for advertising your business.

Try to post on each one daily (be consistent). Also, interact with others! *even if it's nothing more than saying THANKS to someone that gave you a thumbs up or re-tweet.



Start a blog! (whether it be a personal blog or just a place for your business) Blogging is a great way to connect with others. It will also give you a platform to share your items! Slap up a banner right there on the side bar. Remind others to check out your website.
Again, you will have to be consistent with your posts. The best way to gain an audience blogging is to visit other blogs with the same "niche" and show support with comments. Bloggers/Blog visitors read comments and who knows they may just click on your link to see what YOU are all about :)

Join some forums, groups and message boards. *I suggest joining up with some fellow MOMMY GROUPS. Mommies like to shop ;) If they know you make a certain item then word will get around, believe me.

The chat groups within the same NICHE are great on facebook. However, just think about it. They are all making and selling the same items as you are. They share their items and chat about supplies or How to's. I'm not going to say you will NOT get a customer from these but you would have a bigger chance of reaching potential customers in other groups (not doing the exact same thing as you are).

Add your website links to emails that you send out. Drop business cards in your packages! You want return customers? Make it easy for them to find you again.

These are just a few suggestions. My main goal here was to tell you NOT to sit back and expect people to find you on accident. Jump into some NEW areas. Make new connections! New connections could turn into NEW buyers. Buyers are everywhere.....and it's going to be easier to find them if you are in more than one place.

Yes, I know that it stinks starting anything. It is miserable being at (0) but believe me you can't build something and EXPECT people just to come. You have to nurture it, maintain it and KEEP AT IT!



So, my suggestions are GET OUT THERE on Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, Youtube, Instagram and any other group, forum and message board. Start today! Help people find you because we all know Facebook is NOT helping people find you :)

:breathe:

Now, that was a lot of typing :)

Tell me: Do you sell on facebook alone? Do you have a website/blog? How has facebook sales been for you over the past year?


Visit me:
MommyCraftsAlot on Twitter
MommyCraftsAlot on Youtube
MommyCraftsAlot on Facebook
MommyCraftsAlot on Pinterest




Ok, no more turkey UNLESS it's one of THESE dishes

To be honest, I'm not the biggest TURKEY fan out there. I always prefer ham over turkey but I do give in on that ONE DAY out of every year ~The day known as Thanksgiving :)~ However, after about two days of seeing the leftovers in the fridge.....IT HAS TO GO!

Of course, we still have quite a bit left. Now just because I despise seeing it in TURKEY FORM right before my eyes when I open the "fridge" it would still bug me to waste it.

What to do? What to do?

PINTEREST has answers, of course ;)

Here's some of the recipes that use leftover turkey. Not in the mood for turkey ANYTHING right now? That's ok. Just freeze it!

Turkey Noodle Soup via Ready Set Eat



Turkey and Waffles hmm I'm curious via Real Food by Dad


Thanksgiving leftovers Nachos via Girl versus Dough



Leftover turkey pot pie by damn delicious



See? There's so much more you can do with that turkey. There's only so many turkey sandwiches that a girl can eat. Click the links to view all recipes. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Get your GOBBLE ON, YO :) Turkey headband tutorial

Well, it is now MONDAY. Thanksgiving is on THURSDAY. Guess how many bows I have made? If you guessed one or more then you are W-R-O-N-G! I've been a slacker.

(0)

There's still time to make one though. Have you got a special clip for your lil cutie to wear? This one is pretty simple to make. Why don't you give it a go?

FuNkY Turkey hair bow tutorial (found on my Youtube channel, Mommy Crafts A lot)




Friday, November 21, 2014

Hairbow tutorials/ How to make hairbows


Find all my hair bow tutorials on the youtube channel, Mommy Crafts A lot.

Visit me on facebook too, Mommy Crafts A lot 

Put a fork in me, I'm done! This is just too cute

Tiny Hamsters eating a tiny turkey?
OH MY GOODNESS

Be sure to check out the other videos too. There are tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos. Nope, I am not even kidding. This is too stinkin' cute!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

I love Snowmen! Check out this ornament idea

I've always been quite partial to the round guy ;) I'm not even sure why? It's not like we see a lot of the "white" stuff around here. Snowmen are just CUTE. I actually have a board on Pinterest just for snowmen. Hey, I've also got one for Nutella. I am completely normal.

Do you like snowmen?
Check out this snowman ornament diy from Joy BoBo.com


I'm going to see if my kiddos would like to try their "hand" (Get it?) at this!

You can browse my snowmen pinterest board too. *Ya know, if you want to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Round-Up *Pinterest finds

Can you believe it? Next week is Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is upon us.
Christmas will be here soon.
WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?

I better go ahead and share some of my favorite Thanksgiving "Pinterest Finds" with you before it's too late.



Turkey pudding cups via Party Pinching


(looks so easy!)

DIY Cornucopia (WHAT?!!) via lilyshop


Reese's Turkeys via Inside Bru Crew Life (Go ahead and hop right into my mouth!)
"GOBBLE"





Bubble Wrap TURKEY fun via Crafty Morning



Alright, that's my favorites for THANKSGIVING (found on Pinterest). 

Now tell me what's on your Thanksgiving Menu?

Mickey/Minnie Mouse inspired hair bow tutorial

Here's a tutorial that is not on the youtube channel. I did this one as a guest spot on the I like big bows blog.

This is the tutorial that I shared on her page :

Mickey Mouse Minnie Mouse hair bow tutorial

Stacy's blog: I like big bows



If you decide to make one please be sure to share with me! Post your photo on my facebook wall or tag me :) MOMMYCRAFTSALOT

Tag me on Instagram too :) #mommycraftsalot

SQUARE bow tutorial

Because we all need a SQUARE BOW every now and again, right?

Hey, I get bored with the same ol' same. It was time to change it up :)



DIY MOLDS (Review on EASY MOLD kit by Castin' Craft)

I purchased this mold kit awhile back and just got around to testing it out :)


Twisted Boutique Bow tutorial (THE EASY WAY!)

Are you still struggling with the Twisted Boutique bow?

Here's a way that may just help you out. It's the easiest way in my opinion.



Other methods to try:

Twisted Boutique bow how to (first tutorial) 

Lalaloopsy Tinies hair bow (How to make a lalaloopsy hair bow)

We love lalaloopsy around here ;)





So the latest lalaloopsy bow we made has the NEW lalaloopsy tinies on top!

Here's how we did it :)


The other photos up there?
We used Lalaloopsy pencil toppers as the pendant and topper. (Found at our local Toys R Us store) 

USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING ANY EMBELLISHMENTS TO YOUR CREATIONS especially if little hands are going to be grabbing them.
ADULT SUPERVISION!