Changes.

This past weekend I made a trip up to my parents house to hang out.  I have been going through a lot lately both in and out of work and it is so nice to have the comfort of your family and friends to help support you.  I truly am lucky to have such a supporting and loving family who will keep me company when things are pretty crappy.

Anyways, when I got to my parents house I noticed that my Dad had a stack of old fence wood on the garbage bin outside. “WHYYYYY are you throwing this away, do you know me at all??!!?” The garbage stack quickly turned into my Dad helping me cut the wood to sign size (oh the perks of being an only child)

After my stack of fresh distressed/weathered wood emerged, I began to think of the possibilities of what I could make.  After a talk with my dad, he said focus on you.  Start doing things that make YOU happy.  I never actually made a sign for myself and to be honest, for the past 5 years I really haven’t done anything for ME.  It was always pleasing other people, being overly nice and accommodating to other people.  I guess I sort of lost sight in the fact that the person I should care about the most is me.  I wouldn’t go to the gym because I needed to make macaroni and cheese for people, I stressed myself out taking on projects I know I can’t handle just to make people happy and to be honest I AM DONE.

The sign I decided to make was for my new art/craft room.  Crafting makes me happy and I needed someone extra special to accompany my new craft room.  Here is the finished product:

life-is-art-paint-your-dreams

“Life is art, paint you dreams”  It seemed fitting to my life right now.  Although this is not where I expected to be at age 25, life has thrown me a new adventure.  I begin a new job in one week and also will be moving into a new place.  I am focusing on myself and doing things I love for ME.  In the words of Bell Hooks, “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.  When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”

p.s – how AWESOME is that chest in the picture?!?! I bought it at the Hobby Lobby this past weekend.  I plan on using it for all my craft items and writing on the chalkboard what is in each drawer.  I can’t wait to show you once things start coming together!!

P.P.S – I am writing this from Starbucks while Bob Marley’s – “Don’t Worry About A Thing” is playing.  AMAZING.

Stay Fancy~

-Jess

 

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A Mother’s Love

Part of what I love the most about being a crafter is being tasked with new design challenges. Recently one of my friends on Facebook reached out to me regarding making a sign for her friend’s baby shower (thanks Lauren!) After some research we came up with a cute idea for a sign to be hung in a Baby’s nursery. Behold the “Mother’s Love” sign: Mother's Love Sign

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It took me a while to figure out how the heck I was going to do this. I usually free hand paint my signs but for this one the words were a bit smaller so I wanted to be more precise. I want to give my Dad a HUGE shout out on this one, we worked on many different techniques to make this sign come to life. I first designed the sign within Illustrator then mirrored the image so all of the words were backwards. We then printed on clear transfer paper to iron them on the painted sign=FAIL.

What I ended up doing was printing the image onto the clear transfer paper, coating the sign the mod podge, and while it was still wet, placed the transfer paper on top while rubbing the letters with a Popsicle stick.

It took some time, and patience, but I am happy with the result. I plan I putting these up to my Etsy Site soon – once I get back from my best friend’s Vegas Bachelorette of course.

Stay tuned for some fun bridal shower updates and some crazy pictures from Vegas (of course I have a few creative tricks up my sleeve for that trip)

Cheers!

-Jess

Little Black Dress Invites

Wow. What craziness I have been up to lately. Now that I finally have some time to breath, I can catch you up on some updates.

With my best friend’s wedding vastly approaching I cannot believe her shower was last weekend! I will update everyone with the details of her shower in the next post but wanted to share the invitations I designed and made.

I definieitly wanted to make something different and creative for the invite. Back in High School I can remember taking a creative writing class (aka scrapbooking 101) Throughout college and high school I was EXTREMELY into scrapbooking, I even would teach classes at A.C MOORE in college. Yes, it’s true I worked at AC Moore in college, mainly to get the employee discount, and because I was/am OBSESSED with DIY. Anyways, within the class we had to make a timeline in which I made everything removable with velcro and the idea came to mind for these invites. “Why not make a velcro removable dress on the invite and turn it into a raffle ticket from everyone to bring in”.

It was my friend’s idea to have a “Little Black Dress” night time shower to shake things up a bit, and I just played off of her idea. Here is what the invites ended up looking like:

Little Black Dress Shower Invite

I used the cricut machine to cut out the dresses and used sticky velcro so the dress was able to be removed.

Shower Invite 3

The dress then became a raffle ticket for all the guests to bring in for a drawing.

Shower Invite 2

We had the bride pick 6 winners for the door prize. We also supplied extra dresses for tickets at the shower, just in case anyone forgot. But for the most part everyone brought their ticket in! So what did we give away for the door prizes?? Little Black Dress wine of course!

Of course, you can always make the dresses white for a bridal gown! I plan on adding these to my Etsy shop soon. Be sure to check it out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFancyStanton

Finally

There are many meanings behind this “Finally” post. First, I FINALLY did it, I opened up my own Etsy shop featuring an engagement sign I made for my very best friend Jessica. I am so happy to say that on May 26th, 2013 I will be right by her side as her maid of honor which she FINALLY marries her MIDDLE SCHOOL sweetheart. Yes, you heard me – they have been together since they were 12 and are finally getting hitched (hence why I made them the “Finally” sign for their engagement shoot.) I simply cannot wait until their big day as I have seen their relationship grow from the very beginning. (I am already crying over the speech I have to make)

Here are a few beautiful pictures of my very best friend and the sign I made for them. Photos 1,3 and 4 below were taken by Hanlon Photography of Woodbury, Connecticut http://www.hanlonphotography.com/

The Finally Sign can be found at my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/listing/117474810/finally-sign-for-a-wedding-engagment

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Finally Getting Married SignFinally_Sign_1

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Kiss

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Give Thanks For Cupcakes

Holidays are always days of festivity, recreation, family, fun and a diabetic nightmare for myself. Being a type one diabetic it is very hard to hold back on the sweet treats spread over the entire table. It’s tough to LOVE to decorate cupcakes and bake knowing you cannot have any of it. I throughly enjoy watching people enjoy what I make and become impressed through my creations but have a great disapointment knowing that I cannot enjoy it the same way they can.

This year I decided to make 2 desserts for my family’s Thanksgiving. One being the cupcakes I love to make and the other being a special dessert for myself to enjoy. I’ll start with my Sugar and Fat Free Pumpkin Trifle and end with the sweet Thanksgiving cupcakes 🙂 

Diabetic Pumpkin Trifle:
I adapted the recipe from TasteOfHome.com but added my own diabettic twist to it.
As I mentioned this recipe is both fat free and sugar free (about 10 carbs per serving)

    • 1-1/4 cups water
    • 1 egg
    • 4 cups cold fat-free milk
    • 4 packages (1 ounce each) sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
    • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

For the gingerbread cake, I made my own cake from scratch using this recipe.  I substituted the sugar with splenda.

  • Bake cake usiging recipe in link above.
  • In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended.
  • In a trifle bowl or 3-1/2-qt. glass serving bowl, layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half of the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved cake crumbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. 

YUM  – So good, guilt free AND not a lot of insulin required for this one!

Now on to the non-diabetic friendly portion of Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving cupcakes!
My family loves Funfetti, so I just used the box as opposed to making them from scratch as I did in the previous recipe.  I baked 2 dozen cupcakes per the recipe on the box, let them cool then let the fun being.  My favorite has got to be the mashed potato cupcake:

This one is easy.  For the vanilla frosting that I created a “volcano” making the outsides of the cupcake taller and the middle dip in.  I just took a butter knife and dabbed the outside to create the thick consistency of the mashed potato.  I then filled the center with caramel sauce letting it drip down the side to look like gravy.  The “butter” is a yellow Starburst that I warmed up in the microwave for 5 seconds so I could press it down to create the butter look.

Here are a few pictures of the other Thanksgiving cupcakes I made using Pilsbury Chocolate and Vanilla frosting, Wilton Gel Dyes, red piping gel, Wilton Boxed Fondant and my hands to mold everything.

So in conclusion, yes it is hard to maintain and healthy lifestyle during the holidays but it IS do-able.  Do you do anything to maintain a healthy lifestyle during Thanksgiving, or do you use one of your “cheat” days?

Cheers!

-J

Grandma’s Collar

I have been a little MIA lately and it is all for good reason: I was away on a Disney vacation!  Granted I have been more than your average person, but I am slightly obsessed with Disney Vacations, it is the most magical place in the world after all.  Coming back from vacation I was not very well rested and broke, which is why I decided to take a peek into the local Goodwill upon my return to see if I could find any good fall pieces.  Luckily, I found a H&M Chambray (jean) shirt for $3.99!!!!! It was the perfect find, but it also needed a little bling to it.  That’s when I raided my grandmother’s button and old clip-on earring collection and voilà…..The grandma collar chambray shirt!

First I started with my $3.99 Goodwill Chambray shirt.  I then searched through my grandma’s buttons and clip-on earrings making sure I had two of each.

Because some of the buttons and clip-on earrings had backs allowing them not to lay flat, I had to use a small pair of clippers/shears to cut the backs off.

I then used Liquid Stitch, applied to the back of each button/earring, and placed them on the collar.  Make sure each side is symmetrical of the other side.

And there you have it!  I wore this with a pair of black leggins, tall tan boots and hand washed after I wore it. What do you think?  Do you think I should try this of different colored collared shirts?

Oh, and big shout out to my Grandma (Gaga) for donating her old buttons and earrings!  Isn’t she the cutest!?

10 Things I Love About You

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If you couldn’t tell I am slightly late for Valentine’s Day gift ideas however, this DIY is a great gift for really any occasion.  As you can see here I took 11 envelopes each with their own personal touch of 10 things I love about Evan.  I attached the envelopes together by gluing the sticky part of the envelope to the back of the previous one so they all folded out one by one when opening. (Apologies on not having a picture of the folded envelopes, still new at the blog thing)

I filled each envelope with small things allowing me to still fold them all up.  For larger items I inserted a tag with a number on it.  The number on the tag corresponded with the number on a bag which included a gift to open.  I provided you an example of that above.  I cut the hearts out using the Cricut Machine (I tool I literally cannot live without)

Here is what I filled each envelope with.  What are some small items or ideas you would add?

  • 10 Things I love About You – I wrote a note to Evan
  1. You’re Sweet – Small package of candy (Jolees Cupcake Stickers)
  2. Your Kisses – Chapstick
  3. You’re Style (I designed this using the paper from a bag from his favorite store) – I inserted a number for him to open up a shirt in a bag.
  4. You’re Fancy – The first words I said to Evan when I met him in his Police uniform.  I included a gift card to his favorite restaurant he eats at while working. (Jolees Police Officer Stickers)
  5. You Make Me Feel Lucky – Lotto Scratch-Offs
  6. You’re Cuddly  – PJ Pants (Jolees Pajama Party Stickers)
  7. You Are My Everything – A Picture of us
  8. You’re Hot – Boxer Shorts
  9. You’re Fun – A gift card to mini golf (Jolees Mini Golf Stickers)
  10. You’re Sexy – I’ll let you guess, but I utilized the bag from the store I bought it in.

Cheers! – J

Here Goes Nothing..

Well, after much anticipation I have FINALLY decided to start my blog!  Yes, in the past I have experimented with the blog space, but found it was very time consuming and back a year ago, time was of the essence for me.  Since then, I have met the most amazing man and moved in to a beautiful condo about a 3 minute bike ride from the shore line in Connecticut.  It truly is fascinating how much your life can change in one year.

Dating Evan has changed my life for the better in so many ways.  He is a wonderful man and a hard-working, remarkable police officer.  Living with a Police officer throws many challenges in your life.  You are constantly worried and with the late nights, overtime, and holiday schedules, it makes life a bit lonely at times.  I am fortunate enough to have a great support system of family and friends to keep me preoccupied when he is working and that’s why I have decided to pick up blogging during my down time.  I’m still trying to convince him to get a dog, time will tell 🙂

I designed Bete Lou to reflect my life as a diabetic and an avid crafter. Type One Diabetes  is a huge part of my every day life and many people frequently ask me what I eat and drink to manage it, so I figured I would share.  I am by all means NOT a professional cook but figuring out how to make yummy treats without all the carbs, calories and fat so I can eat them,  is fun and something I enjoy doing.  I will also showcase a lot of paperwork, invitations and cards I have designed for myself and for clients.  The goal will eventually start up a small side business and donate a portion of all profits to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  We’ll see how it goes.

So here goes nothing..the start of a new blog, a new life and new adventures!

Cheers! – J