Hanging with My Kiwi Friends

Did you know Dr. Pepper is harder to find half way around the world....in fact most places in New Zealand don't offer fountain soda at all. Then there is the issue of ice...apparently not a big thing down here. Water is typically served out of the tap in a glass.

Not that I am complaining, but who would have thought ice and fountain drinks would be what I miss the most...aside from my family and a good Internet connection.

Here is a couple of quick observations about new Zealand...

1. The people (aka Kiwis) are so nice...polite, patient and kind!
2. Driving on the left looks hard....even the escalators are opposite of ours in the US and even had a hard time navigating those too.
3. Barefoot is OK. It is very common here for the Maori people here to walk around in public without shoes. Oh and flip flops are called "jandles".
4. Many things here are priced very high...especially scrapbook supplies, shoes and food...all the things I love. I am sure its the price the kiwis pay for living on a beautiful island half way around the world. But here are a few comparisons to the US:
-Cricut Expression is $800....in US you can find a deal on this for under $200
-Imaginisce I-rock is $34.50...in US it's only $12.99
-Glass of Coke for dinner is $5.00 (no refills or ice)....and in US we are talking $1.10 for a big gulp or $2.50/3.00 for unlimited refills
5. Such a diversity here that I absolutely love! Especially since I love to watch people. People of every shape and size and color! it is amazing to me and I love that I feel like I fit in....where I am not completely sure...but I am accepted. Oh and apparently I have a cool accent too!


Airplanes....making my way to New Zealand

I have never been a big fan of airplanes...but flying half way around the world is a new experience all of it's own. I think I slept for about 7 hours but I feel like I barely closed my eyes and then woke up to the lady in front of my laughing loudly as she watched her tv or was it the baby crying...oh wait it was the bathroom door opening and shutting for the fiftieth time (did I mention that we are sitting right by the bathroom?)

Time stands still on the ride that should take us about 13 hours....that doesn't count the seven hours our first leg of the trip took. Right now my iPad says it's 11:20am....but 11:20 where? The little tv monitor says we have less then 3 hours before we arrive. I think I am hungry but my internal clock is so whacked out considering e border this flight in LA at about midnight and they fed us dinner about 2am...why did we eat that late? I think my mom and I were worried they wouldn't feed us again. Which they will but it won't be for almost 9-10 hours later.

I know they do feed you a meal on a flight this long, something I thought the airlines had long abandoned. However for those of you that were wondering...the food isn't that great. I did love the key lime pie in a cup though.

As for Qantas...aside from this being the biggest plane I have ever been on....it is by far the nicest! I thought we would have to rely on my iPad for entertainment...but not so. The have individual tv sets and you can pick from movie, games, tv hows and music. I just finished watching The Adjustment bueura and now I am listening to Adele's cd.

Well...I will try to update you all soon. Can't wait to share pictures of New Zealand!


The Bead Farm - Great Place to "Bead" for Girls Night Out

Ever wonder what to do on a Friday night? Grab a few of our girl friends and head to a darling shopping spot in Salt Lake City called Gardner Village. It's a unique village of boutique style shops that range from Sassy Babies, baby couture style products to ready-made quilts at The Village Quilt Shop or quilting supplies at Pine Needles. Of course it's one of the best locations to find unique and great home decor items in the valley at Down to Earth or Country Furniture.  

But what I love best about Gardner Village is a cute little bead shop called "The Bead Farm". We happened upon it one weekend after having dinner at the delicious Archibald's Restaurant there at the village. We learned that the cute owner Callie, offered free beading classes if you schedule "table time" and purchase your supplies at her shop. So we planned another weekend there and it's one of my favorite things to do with my friends. 

One of our favorite things to create when we go is to create yummy bead "clusters" that we can swap out on a necklace and I've made a few. Here's some we made this visit: 

Check out how cute The Bead Farm shop looks....for someone like me, the colors in all the mason jars makes this a happy place to hang out. 

You would think that you'd get into trouble beading in a shop...but in the two hours we're there the supplies to make the clusters typically runs us about $7.00 a cluster or less. Last time we even tried making our own "wire wrapped rings" and boy did those turn out cute!! 

My friend Jen and Bead Farm owner, Callie
Remember, The Bead Farm is a "great place to bead" for a Girls Night Out!! 
So call Callie at 801-938-1995 to reserve your "table time". 
Be sure to let her know you read about her cute shop from my blog!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Since I planned on blogging about The Bead Farm when we were there last Friday, I quickly made a cute beaded bookmark to giveaway to one of my readers. Just leave a comment and I'll select a winner by Sunday evening. Thanks for stopping by! 

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Review: Doodlebug Storybook Albums (and video)

Here's some things I really love about these albums: 

  • 3-ring album - I don't scrapbook in order so post-bound albums are torture for me and I prefer to be able to move things around easily
  • Faux Leather inside & out - after having a kid drop a drink on previous cloth albums I know how important it is to be able to wipe down an album. Not all albums go to the expense and detail to add the same faux leather on the inside of the album...usually it's just paper.
  • D-ring album - these are non-slip interlocking rings so my pages to slip and fall out
  • Holds up to 150 (true) 12x12" pages or 900 photos (75 page protectors)
  • Colors - let's face it, who wouldn't want all these yummy colors on their book shelf
My first album...isn't it yummy!
Now my most recent scrapbooking has been using the 4x6 scrapbook method. I still like to scrapbook the typical 12x12 layout, but an entire theme in 12x12 format seems daunting at times. So I'm mixing it up a bit and I love it! Here's some of the page protectors Doodlebug is offering.....

If you really want to see the features of these beautiful Storybook Albums then watch this uStream feature of Cynthea, founder/owner of Doodlebug and my friends at Oh My Crafts. The attention to detail on the entire creation of these albums makes me want to own a whole room full. 

As for where to buy them...check your local scrapbook stores or many online retailers. I plan on buying mine from Oh My Crafts since they sell them for only $19.99/album. But you have to be fast, they sell out super quick!!
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Creative Ways to Use Vinyl for Home Decor (sneak peek of my craft room too)

So the other night I stayed up until 3:30am making a variety of vinyl cut-outs with my Cricut Expression 2 and Gyspy. I couldn't stop and I wasn't even tired, but decided for that I better go to bed and finish up the next day. 

I've always loved vinyl as a home decor option, but until recently I'd always ordered it created by someone else. But now with my Cricut Expression and a load of great vinyl by the sheet from Oh My Crafts I couldn't stop. And at the prodding of my friends, I decided to share creative ways to use vinyl in home decor and I'll give you'll a sneak peek at my new craft room.

The first project is a simply vinyl cut that I cut thanks to my 12x24 cutting mat and added just below a cork board that I spray painted black. I really like how this turned out. 

So this definition of scrapbooking I found one night on Pinterest and loved it...had to copy it!! I couldn't do this one without my 12x24" cutting mat either (invest on these if you're doing larger projects).  For those of you with a Gypsy, this one I will have the download for the Gypsy file at the end of this post. 

 Okay...you have to admit this is funny and yes it was created between 2:30-3:30am that night!!

Nothing in my office space was safe...I couldn't stop. This is a paper holder from Making Memories I thought needed a little EXTRA, so.....
I added this saying, but my husband thinks I should swap it around and say, "I craft-Therefore I am broke."

I have 18 of these iris little drawers on a shelf and of course they all had to be labeled. One of the best features of my Gypsy is the ability to "meld" letters together so they cut as one image...love this feature!!
Here's a close-up of the "meld" ability of the Gypsy.
Here's my next favorite quote I created with the help of my Gypsy and the Printing Press cartridge. I have this as my screen saver on my computer and love it... especially if you think about the fact I've waited the past 5 years for my "room" to finally be finished!!

I lied I really like how this one turned out too. Had a ball combining a variety of colors and fonts to create this quote. I was so excited to find the clock hands on the Gypsy Wanderings that comes loaded on the Gypsy. 
I even added an i-rock rhinestone in the center of the hands...yes girls, you can heat set it to the vinyl on your walls. Be careful holding it in place...maybe consider tweezers.

More plastic paper holders/organizers that didn't escape my vinyl escapades. I labeled each with the manufacturer's name on the paper holder they were found in. These in my closet...check out the next photo.
This is a longer shot of my closet. I found the metal hooks at Ikea one day and they were perfect for put the coordinating embellishments that go with various collections stored in the paper holders below. I tend to use more of the embellishments if I see them when I go to pull out paper. I use to have a peg board in my old office and this is a great organizing feature in my new space. Love it!! 

If you've always wanted to try making your own vinyl it's simple and my friends over at Oh My Crafts have a great video vinyl tutorial section on their website. 

Free Downloads for my Gypsy Friends: 

I'll be back soon with more pictures of my craft room (promise).


Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts

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