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The MaMade Diaries

The MaMade Diaries

Sunday, September 1, 2013

6 things I've learned in my first week of blogging

In my very first post, I said "Who knew that starting a blog would be so much work?! Whew that was exhausting!" I can't help but laugh, because I now know that setting my blog up the way I did, was really the easy part! And to think, that was only a week ago!
1. I seriously had no idea what I was really getting myself into starting a blog. Not. One. Tiny. Bit. If you're just posting a blog for family and a few friends to read, once you have your blog set up, it's simple. But if, like me, you hope to gain a lot of readers and make new "bloggy" friends, then you really have a lot of work to do. And a lot more after that.
2. I really should have done more research before just setting my blog up and starting it right away! I began on blogger, but I've read so many raving reviews from other bloggers that self hosted wordpress is really the way to go. I've decided I need to make the big switch. Luckily for me, I'm finding this out still really early in, so the switch won't be as hard as it would be if I were say, a year or more into it.
3. Wait, I need to learn basic coding? Everything isn't just point and click and it's done for me? Ha! Again, I was naive about how easy a nice looking and functioning blog would be. Especially, since I'm so darn picky! I'm going to be making an overhaul with my look along with my upcoming change to wordpress. I really have my work cut out for me.
4. What in the world is a blog hop or linky party?? Obviously since I wasn't a blogger, I had no idea what these were. It's a way for bloggers to join up together in one place and follow each other's blogs and other social media sites. Joining in the blogging community is a MUST. Especially if you hope to get anywhere besides your handful of family and friends who you basically have to beg to even look at your blog! There are TONS of these parties out there, I have some posted on the left side of my page so come link up!! :)
5. Social media is my new best friend. Use every platform you can! I've said for years that I would never sign up for twitter, and I didn't actually use my Google+ account. I just didn't get the point of it, especially with Facebook. Well...guess what I did this week! It's pretty much a must in the blogger world. You can follow me using the icons on the top right of my page :).
6. It's going to take a lot longer than I ever thought it would, to get anywhere near where I want to be. And it's going to take a lot of work, more than you'd ever think. But honestly, I'm excited. I know there are going to be days where I'll end up frustrated,and wonder why the heck I'm doing this, but no matter if I get there or not, I'm going to make sure I have fun doing it.
  • What is something you learned in your first week, month, or even year of blogging?
  • Do you participate in blog hops and linky parties? If it's one I don't have posted, leave a link! I'd love to join :).
  • Do you use Blogger or Wordpress for you blog? What are your thoughts on the platform you use?
Thanks for stopping by!
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Upcoming crafting plans!

So my little guy is going to be 2 next month, and while I'm loving watching him learn new things, and being able to do lots of new fun stuff with him, I'm still sad and missing him being a little baby. It all goes by so incredibly fast!

Today I picked up a few of the craft supplies I'm giving him as a part of his birthday gift from me. I am so incredibly excited to do all of the different ideas and crafts that I have planned! When I say things I have planned...I'm in no way expecting them to actually GO as planned, but oh is it going to be tons of fun anyway!
I still have a few more items I want to get him that we'll need for some of escapades in crafting. But I am having the most difficult time waiting to actually give them to him! I was seriously ready to bust them out in the middle of Target (and Walmart) and start crafting right there in the middle of the store! So how in the world am I suppose to wait almost an entire month??

I'll tell you using some of the other ideas I have! Tonight I am going to be printing out more of the flashcards I want to make him, that I posted about here. I also have a few other printables I'm going to print off and making games with, so make sure you keep an eye out because I'll definitely be posting them! 
I can't wait to put my laminating machine to good use again! Can we say excitement?? I'm in LOVE with that machine!

I also have some ideas of bucket lists printables I want to make, and possibly some custom social media icons! Once I get those completed I'll be posting them as free downloads! 
So be sure to follow along with me and watch for the upcoming posts! There are going to be some great crafts, and very possibly some very funny crafting "mishaps" haha.
  • Do you have any fun or interesting craft plans/ideas you're going to be doing soon?
  • Are there any crafts that you've done and I should check out for inspiration?
  • Have you had any funny crafting mishaps with your kids? Share the stories I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Backpacks, Speech Therapy and a Promocode!

So I bought my little guy a backpack finally. It arrived last week and he is completely obsessed with it. And I'm really happy about that lol. It's nice to not have to carry his diapers around anymore, now he does it himself ;)! (I soooo can't wait until he's ready for potty training!)

I got him a Yo Gabba Gabba backpack, because he is completely obsessed with them. He gets so excited and shows it off to everyone that hasn't seen it yet, sometimes even if they have ;). He won't even let me carry it, he has to wear it and carry it himself! Thank you Zumiez Kids!

So we have speech therapy twice a week. Once of those days we have to go to a local library for it. This was my cool dude with his backpack on the way there yesterday!
He did well both times this week. Still no real words, and not enough sounds. But we're getting there. He's doing well learning different signs and he is so excited about the flashcards that I made him and posted about here.

The speech therapist and I were talking again yesterday about how a lot of the things he has been doing are big signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). But we still need to have our evaluation with the developmental pediatrician to see what their thoughts are. I'm waiting very (im)patiently for that appointment to come around.

Next week we have an evaluation to see if he qualifies for occupational therapy or not, because he does have some sensory issues as well as not talking yet. I really don't know if he will qualify for that or not, but that would be great to help him out more as well.

So wish us luck with all of that! If you or anyone in your family has any experience with CAS or delayed speech and sensory issues I'd love to hear from you! 

If you're looking for an easy way to keep up and follow my blog and other things I may post, I made a new Facebook fan page for my blog! Check it out here. And I've also joined Twitter! I've refused for years to join, but finally got sucked in and did that today! Follow my tweets @MaMadeCreations. 

Now....everyone do a little happy dance! ;)

I've made a promocode for my Etsy shop, offering 10% off your order. The 10% savings is good between now and September 30, 2013! When you place your order use the code MaMadeDiaries on the checkout page in order to receive your savings.
For those of you that haven't seen my shop yet I make customized crochet hats, blankets and housewares items (swiffer covers, dish scrubbies, etc). I've also started doing digital invitations and party supplies. I take custom requests! So if there's something that you're looking for, but I don't have posted, or haven't made yet, just send me an e-mail or message on Facebook or Etsy and we'll try to figure something out!
  • Do you have any fun plans for the upcoming weekend?
  • What is your favorite craft for toddlers and kids?
  • What's your child's favorite cartoon character?
Thanks for stopping by! :)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Popsicle stick puzzles!

Who doesn't love Pinterest? When I first heard of it I didn't understand what all the hype was about, and just didn't see the point of it all. Then one day I decided to join and give it a shot, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made!!! Seriously, if you haven't joined yet, go do it once you're done reading this! :)

After hours and hours of scouring different pins and the internet and filling up my pin boards with basically everything under the sun...I'm starting to actually DO some of them now. Pinterest is actually where I got the idea to start crocheting (Thanks Pinterest!), which in turn lead to me opening my craft business, and eventually lead to me starting this blog!

Today I'm going to show you the popsicle stick puzzles I recently made. I originally got the idea for these from FlipChick Designs tutorial on the puzzles she made for her niece. After seeing her post on Pinterest I just kept brainstorming what puzzles I was going to make for my little guy. Photos of friends and family, holidays, cartoons, you name it, I've thought of it!
In the process of getting more inspiration, I came across another tutorial from Impress Your Kids which used family photos which is one thing I wanted to do as well. She also had a great tip to use tape to tape the sticks together once they're all lined up to keep them where they need to be!

So I printed off some 4x6 photos of family, friends and some of Eli's favorite characters, gathered up the rest of my supplies, and got to work!
Mod Podge
Paint sponge
4x6 photos
Razor knife
Jumbo craft sticks
I was visiting my mom for the day, so I also grabbed some old sales flyers to use as a work space so I wouldn't get glue all over her tables!
Once I had my work space all set up I started by lining up enough sticks to fit the 4x6 photos on (I didn't cut the photos down so I used 9 sticks for each photo). I was having trouble getting them all to line up strait, and stay that way, so I taped two sticks together to use as a guide for the bottom, and used another stick to straiten the puzzle pieces against it. Once I was happy with their arrangement I used long pieces of tape on the top and bottom to hold the sticks together while the photo was applied.

Next I flipped the sticks over and got ready to apply the photo. I thought it was easier to apply the mod podge directly onto the back of the photo and then affix it to the craft sticks.

I added another layer of mod podge over and around the photo to get a good seal to make sure the photos don't peel up around the corners.

It goes on white, but dries clear! (I prefer the look of the matte mod podge when it's dry versus the glossy.)

I did the same for all of the puzzles I had picked out. Once they were all done I set them aside to dry.

Eli wanted to sit with me and draw while we were (im)patiently waiting!

Once they were dry I used a razor knife and an extra craft stick (as a guide to keep a strait line) to cut through the front of the photos. Then I placed each one in it's own snack size ziplock baggie.

Eli was SOOO excited when I showed him how to do the puzzles. He's a little young still to figure it out himself, so I need to help him out, but he'll get there. We had to do each puzzle at least twice, and anytime I get them out he gets really excited all over again. So these are a huge hit in our house and I can't wait to make more!

Thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

One busy mama!

I have been one very busy mama the past few weeks. And it's awesome! I've been working on orders for MaMade Creations, making Eli popsicle puzzles and flash cards, and starting my blog! And most importantly being mommy!

Eli has speech therapy twice a week right now. He'll be two next month but still doesn't say any words. He has some red flags for autism, or possibly childhood apraxia of speech. We have a few more evaluations to see if we can get an idea if he is diagnosed with either of those, or if they think he's just a late talker. These days I'm really thinking it's apraxia. The poor boy tries so hard to communicate with me, but he just can't get the words out or make the right sounds. So in addition to speech therapy I work with him throughout the day, everyday, trying to help teach him more signs and working on his sounds. He makes up his own signs too, and some of them I know, but lately he's been adding more and I just can't figure out what he's trying to say. So I decided to make him some flash cards to try and help with communication.

First of all, meet my new BEST FRIEND! I have so many pins or just ideas in my head of things that would be great laminated, so I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while. And let me tell you. IT'S AWESOME! I want to laminate everything in sight! I also got a package of binder rings so that I can hole punch the flash cards I planned to make and put them on there so we don't lose them anywhere and everywhere!

 So first, I came up with a few ideas of things I wanted to make flash cards of. Eli's favorite shows, foods he eats, foods he doesn't eat but I'm hoping he'll start to! Family and friends, and I plan to also add activities and just tons and tons of different cards as we go on. So I set out, and looked for images on our dear friend google! Once I had everything the way I wanted it I printed them out and started cutting them apart.

Eli was already excited at this point, and kept pointing to them and flapping his arms and making his excited noises. So I knew these were already going to be a success!

After I got them all cut out, I set out to laminate them all. I started with approximately 70, and still have more to go but figured that was way more than enough to start with.

At this point, Eli was over tired from refusing his nap, and was acting like I had him trapped behind the chair in baby jail or something!

Now I'm just working on cutting them all out and getting them hole punched and on the binder rings. Eli keeps showing me different ones telling me he wants things which is the whole point anyway. He asked for cookies for dinner tonight. Sorry buddy, cookies are not dinner. ;)

I am so excited to start using them! And he is as well which makes me really happy.

Tomorrow I'll post about the popsicle stick puzzles I made him, which were also a HUGE HIT! 
Thanks for stopping by!
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Who knew?!?

Who knew that starting a blog would be so much work?! Whew that was exhausting! But here I am, fresh on the blog scene, and a little late in the game. But hey, better late than never right?

For those of you that don't know me. I'm Michelle. Mom to an amazing little boy Eli who is going to be 2 in a month and I can't believe it's gone by that fast already! He is definitely my world and though life may be a little rough at the moment, I cherish every single second with him and love watching him grow.

I started a small craft business January 1, 2013. I make custom items, and am planning to continue adding different types of crafts as time goes on. Currently I make custom crochet items (hats, scarves, blankets, housewares, etc), and have just recently started doing custom invitations and decorations. I've always loved crafting and it's been keeping me busy and I'm loving every minute!

Well that's just a little about me. I'll be back tomorrow to share some of the crafts and projects I've been working on the past few days as well as any other day to day things that I feel like sharing ;).

So thanks for stopping by and in the meantime why don't you check out my MaMade Creations Facebook page or my etsy shop!

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