Cupcake wrappers – Free Silhouette Download!

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I realize I’ve been sitting here with all these files on my computer, and I haven’t bothered sharing them! I’ll be a little bit better about that in the future. ;) Here you go, two different kinds of cupcake wrappers! They’re sized to fit standard cupcakes. If you need them for larger or smaller cupcakes, you can resize.

Download Scalloped Cupcake Liner

Download Scalloped Lacey Liner

Silhouette Cameo Tutorial: How to Trace an Image

I’ve had a few requests to make cutable files for my readers because they’re not sure how to do it themselves. Usually I just search around the internet a bit and send them whatever tutorial I can find on it, but I figured I may as well make one of my own! This is my first tutorial of this kind, so I hope it’s easy enough to follow along! If you have any suggestions for Silhouette Cameo tutorials, please let me know in the comment section so I can make one for you.

Go to Google or you favorite search engine, and search for whatever it is you’re looking for. I decided to use a cupcake for my example.

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Click on “images” to do an image search.

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Find the image you want to trace, right click, and save.

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Open your image in Silhouette Studio.

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Zoom in so it fills your screen. Depending on what size the image is when you open it, you may need to resize.

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Click on the tracing tool in the upper right hand portion of the screen.

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Click the button to activate the tool.

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Draw a box around the item you want to trace.

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You can mess with the threshold and see how it affects your image, and decide what numbers to keep it at.

Now you have two options. You can either trace around the outside of the object, or do a full trace, which will catch the detail on the inner portion of the object.

Here is an outer trace.

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And here is a full trace.

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And that’s how you trace an image! Next I’ll show you how to edit a traced image to clean it up, make modifications, and much more! I hope this was helpful.

If you have an tips or requests, please leave them in the comments!

The big Facebook debate (and why aren’t people seeing my posts?)

Facebook is a fantastic way of monitoring blog fans, sharing posts with fans, and seeing posts from other blogs and businesses I like. Well, it used to be. Did you know that you’re not seeing tons of posts from pages that you’ve liked? How would you know that you’re not seeing them, you don’t even miss them!

Facebook has a handy little spot on each one of my pages to see who I’m reaching. The most recent post that I made on Facebook was only seen by 135 people. 135 out of the 1591 people who have liked my blog page. That’s less than 10 percent! Now what is the point of liking a page if you’re probably not going to see the posts. Most of the time that I “like” a page is when I’m reading through a blog and love it, so I click the “like” page on the side of the blog, so that I can see future posts. I then navigate away from the page, and there is a huge chance that I’m never going to see a post from them.

Now you might be wondering why Facebook is doing this. On my end, I can see it quite clearly. There is a big button that says “advertise this post”. It tells me how much I can spend, and how many people I will reach with each chunk of cash. I can advertise the post to people who haven’t like my page at all (yeah, that would be all the random businesses that show up in your newsfeed, and you think, hey, I didn’t like this page!) It seems to be about bringing in money. (A little off topic, but have you recently tried sending a message to someone not on your friends list? A notification pops up telling you that it will automatically go into their “other” folder unless you pay $1 for it to go into their inbox. Who checks their other folder?)

So far with all my googling, I haven’t found a fix for this. The best solution I have for you is this. Add my page to your “interests” list. Here’s how.

Go to my page. If you’re one of the lucky 8.5% of my readers, this post will pop up in your newsfeed and you can work from there. If not, just go to my Facebook page here. Hover over the name.

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Hover over “liked” and select “new list” (unless you already have a list, in which case you can add it to an existing list)

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Choose a name for your new list

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And click done. This should now show up on the left side of your newsfeed, down near the bottom under “Interests”.

I have no idea if the pages you add to your interests actually show up in your newsfeed, but you can click on your list to see all the pages you add to it. I suggest going through all the pages you have liked (you can access that from your profile) and adding them to your interest list. That way on a daily or weekly basis, you can browse through all the new posts from all of your liked pages.

And if anyone has tips on getting these pages to show up in your newsfeed, PLEASE leave suggestions in the comments!

(also, whatever happened to the whole “subscribe” thing? I can’t seem to find an option to subscribe to posts from pages I already “like”)

Another way to see posts from me is to Follow me on Pinterest (the button is on the right side of my blog). I post all of my recipes to my “Crafty Mama Food” board, along with tons of other stuff! You can pick and choose which boards to follow, so that you don’t get weighed down with tons of things that you don’t want to see. Now, this is no substitute for seeing my posts in your newsfeed (especially if I’m only posting something random, like a did a few days ago, instead of a recipe that can be pinned). But I hope it helps!

Wash Your Hands Vinyl Decal – Free Silhouette Cameo Download!

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I finally broke out my Cameo. It’s been packed up since we moved here. Right now we’re sleeping in the room that will be our office, since we’ll start remodeling the attic soon to be our bedroom. It’s driving me nuts not having an office! But I couldn’t wait that long to break out my Cameo and get it set up. Here is the first of many vinyl decals!

Download

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Blogging etiquette: sharing photos, recipes, and blog posts

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I would like to address an issue that most of us bloggers deal with. Having our photos stolen and improperly used. This is a huge issue among bloggers lately. Most of it is due to ignorance, laziness, or people just not caring. So I want to contribute to the cause and EDUCATE people on how to properly share a recipe or photo from a blog. I can almost hear my fellow bloggers saying “AMEN!”

I was once a new blogger myself. I remember posting a recipe to my blog, along with the instructions and my own photos. I later received a strongly worded e-mail from the originator of the recipe about me not giving her credit. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing was incorrect, but I certainly started giving credit afterward! We all start somewhere, and we all make mistakes. The important part is righting our wrongs and changing our ways. Today I am taking a stand, and making my own efforts at educating people on how to give proper credit where credit is due.

Now, of course you must know, there’s a story behind this. In August I made a post about my camouflage cupcakes, along with step by step pictures on how to do it. I pinned it to Pinterest, posted it to Reddit, and before I knew it, it was huge. I’ve see my Camo cupcakes pinned all over pinterest! I love coming across one of my blog posts. Whenever someone links to my post, WordPress gives me a little notice that someone linked to it, and I can go check out their page. Unfortunately, when someone posts my photos, but no link back, I have no clue that they’ve done it. But thanks to some of my lovely followers, it was brought to my attention. Twice this week, I had someone e-mail me about my photo being shared with no link back, no mention of my name, nothing.

One was posted to the Duck Dynasty Facebook page. The person (who I will leave unnamed) posted my photo, along with pasting my entire blog post underneath. Plagiarism at it’s finest. I brushed it off, thinking it was just a little mistake, a case of someone not knowing how to properly share things. But then I saw that it had been shared nearly 34,000 times! Are you kidding me?! If she would have only posted the link to my page, rather than my photo, those 34,000 hits would have been to my page. Ouch.

But I understand, people don’t always understand proper etiquette for sharing.

The other incident was much less forgiving. A person (I will also leave her unnamed, but a large part of me wants to post a link straight to her page so she can receive all the anger I’m feeling right now!) took my photos, saved them to her computer, made a fancy little collage out of them, and then slapped her watermark on it. She then posted the edited photo, along with an exact copy of my recipe and instructions, to her facebook page. One of my valued readers brought it to my attention today. I messaged her, and informed her (in a rather strongly worded fashion, channeling my inner Bree VanDeKamp) that it is NOT okay to take someone’s photos and put your mark on them. I kindly asked her to remove them from her page. She replied in the most dramatic way, saying I was attacking her, it was an honest mistake, and then refusing to take them down and saying “she just doesn’t care”. REALLY?? I can understand making the mistake, I can understand feeling bad about it, but to then refuse to take it down? To not change your ways afterward? THIS IS NOT OKAY. And the sad thing, is that this is happening far too often! Not just with my photos, but tons of photos all over the place! So I will attempt to inform my dear readers, how to properly give credit, and what NOT to do.

What to do:

-If you are making someone else’s recipe, you state where you got it, and post a direct link to the recipe. To get the direct link, go to the post you want, right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”. Paste it somewhere in your post. It’s always polite to call the blog by name, but it’s also acceptable to just add the link to the original source.

-If you are making a craft or recipe from another blog, please, post your own photos, along with the recipe and instructions, and a link to where you found it. It’s great to share your own individual experience with the recipe, and note what changes you made or what you’d like to do different.

-If you are NOT making the recipe (or craft), but just want to share it, there are a couple options.

-If you’re sharing it in a blog post, you can post a photo from the original blog, along with a link on where to find the recipe. Please, do not post the photo, along with the recipe and directions. Because then people will come to your blog to get something that isn’t yours, and they have no reason to continue on to the original post. It also gives the impression that it is your own work, and you are sharing it with a LOT of people. Please, just point them in the direction of the original blog. Blog hits are a very important thing to some bloggers! Especially those who are making money off blogging.

-If you are sharing on Facebook or Twitter, post a link to the blog post (right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”). This will post a thumbnail of what they’re about to click on, along with the first few words of the post.

-When sharing a link to a specific post, make sure you’re actually in the blog post, not just the blog’s main page. If you share the main page, and someone comes to see the specific post that you thought you linked to, it will be buried under days, weeks, or months of other posts.

-No matter what you’re doing, or who you’re sharing it with, if you’re ever in doubt, post a link to the original post, along with the name of the blog. Trust me, bloggers REALLY appreciate it!

What NOT to do:

-Please, do not take a photo from someone else’s blog and repost without a link.

-Do not take a photo from a blog and post it along with the recipe. People will come to your blog and find the recipe, and they really have no reason to visit the original source after that. If you make the recipe or craft that you’re sharing, post your own photos, along with directions in your own words, sharing your specific experience with that particular craft or recipe. But please also include a link back to the original!

-Do NOT add your watermark to someone else’s photo. It doesn’t matter if you made a pretty little collage from their photos, they are NOT your photos. You have no claim to them, and you have no right to have your name tied to them.

-If you make a recipe or craft, and are inspired by someone else’s work, it’s always polite to link back to the original. It doesn’t matter if you made a few changes to it, it’s common courtesy! Please do not take someone else’s recipe and claim it for your own, especially when it is a unique recipe that you don’t see everywhere.

Bloggers and fellow Internet goers, please, learn from your mistakes! Make the extra effort to give credit to the people who are making these recipes, taking these photos, and sharing their craftiness. I cannot count the amount of times that I have clicked on a pin on Pinterest, only to have it take me to Tumbler or some other website, where there is NO source for the picture. It is maddening, I tell you! Do us all a favor and give credit where credit is due!

With all that said, I’m sure I’ve got plenty of mistakes in the past of my blog. I don’t have the time to go back through every post and track down who inspired it. I do try to give credit with every post, or at least link back to specific recipes. I’m only human, just like all the rest of you, and I’m sure there are times where I completely space out and forget to link back. Though when it is brought to my attention, I’m always happy to fix it.

 

Edit: I just wanted to add after a few comments I received, that you don’t need to worry about any of this if you stick to Pinterest! Pinterest is designed to take you to the original source, so when you pin or re-pin something on Pinterest, there’s no need to link back or to name the blog. Lots of blogs actually have it autofill the pin description with the post’s title and their blog name.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope yours were as good as ours!

Our Santa finally grew his beard. Emma absolutely loved gluing cotton balls on each number every day! (See original post here)

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The kids got some seriously awesome gifts this year. A certain far away Aunt ordered the kids a bounce house. A FULL size bounce house. It’s meant for outdoors, but since it’s winter, we set it up in the house! I think this summer we’ll be the most popular house on the block!

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For Christmas I made the kids a dress up box. I made some super hero masks (I found templates here), a tutu, and bought a few cheapies from the dollar store (cowboy hat, firemat hat, pirate kit, doctor’s kit, fairy wings). The kids absolutely love it! Emma likes to pile on as many things as she can. Here she is looking like Carl from the Walking Dead.

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Soon afterward she donned a pirate eye patch and hook, Wolverine mask, and bandana.

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For my goodie bags I gave out, I made salted caramel hot chocolate (here) and Chocolate Peppermint popcorn mix (here).

Of course I made enough so that I could sample it, too! Both were soooo good! The hot chocolate mix was so rich, it has real ground up chocolate and caramel in it, not to mention milk powder. I made it with whole milk, it was amazing!

I also made Oatmeal Cream Pies to send into work with Ben. It was hard to let them go! (Recipe here).

Needless to say, there was much baking and crafting going on in my house in December! I also found about a million more recipes via Pinterest that I want to make.

And we have some BIG news. But I can’t share it yet. I should be able to make a post about it within the next 2-3 weeks though!

Mini snow globe

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I saw this idea a while ago on Pinterest (isn’t that how almost all of my posts start?) You can really do anything you like with these, trees, little figurines, snowflake confetti. I had an assortment of beads sitting in my craft room from broken necklaces and other craft projects.

To make the snowman, I used 3 assorted size white beads, hot glued together. The hat was a black button an a small black bead. His little scarf is a snippet of sparkly ribbon. Everything is held together with hot glue (I figure it won’t dissolve in water) and I added glitter for snow. The snowman is glued to the lid of a baby food jar. I think my little snowmen turned out pretty cute!

It’s such a cute little craft! My kids are still a little young to help with this (with a hot glue gun involved) but I think it would be a lot of fun for kids ages 4 and up.

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Santa Advent Calendar – Free Silhouette Download!

I found this adorable Santa Advent Calendar printable through Pinterst, and decided to give it a little pizzaz. I worked a little magic with Silhouette Studio and made it to be cut with my Silhouette! Enjoy!

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You can also snag the printable version of this at her blog.

The words that go with it:

“Santa’s beard is very bare

On his chin, there is no hair

So each day add a puff of white

And when it’s full, he’ll come that night.”

You add a cotton ball on each number as they days go by, ending on Christmas Eve.

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