Tomorrow is Halloween and then all of this will be over, however, I found this wonderful shadow box pumpkin tutorial that I just had to share with you.  If you are quick, you can make one today and sit it on your outside table tomorrow night.

These look easy and quick and I wanted to share them with you.  I wish I had found this blog just a little earlier because my house would be full of these cuties!

Please read her blog and try these out if you can.  Post us some pictures of what yours look like if you make some, won’t you?



Once in a while I create a project that has me giddy with excitement when it’s done. That moment when I have what I *think* is a good idea and then it turns out better than I EVER expected. And this one of those projects. I just absolutely love how it turned out! It’s Shadow Box Pumpkins-a perfect Halloween decoration:

Shadow Box Pumpkins


They are pretty easy to make and so much fun. They look great in the day and then even better at night when you turn on the lights inside them.

Here’s a peek at what they look like in the day:



Then you pop a tea light in the back and turn it on at night and it makes a flickery, spooky, fun display:

DIY Shadow Box Jackolantern



Supplies Needed:

  • Carve-able craft pumpkins (these came from Michael’s)
  • Black card stock (orange or yellow as well if you want to make the witch in front of the moon)
  • Tea Lights (if you get the Halloween kind they will even flicker)
  • Clay
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Transparent thread
  • Hot Glue
  • Cutting Machine like a Cricut or Silhouette or scissors/exact knife


Read the instructions at this blog.

Posted in Blog posts, craft tutorials, Decorations, Halloween, Holiday, Tutorial | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can You Really Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?

Sunday is here and on Sunday we get to read about business.  Sometimes I post about my own personal businesses and other times I find relevant articles that inform and educate the reader on internet business–does it work, how do you do it, does it make any money, etc.  This time I am posting an article about affiliate marketing since I know many people who either don’t know what that is or who are confused about how it works.

This is an article I found at about Affiliate marketing and after reading it I decided to post it here for you to read.  This article is pretty basic and the author points out both the pros and cons of having an internet based or home based business.  It will always boil down to you and your commitment to making a success of your business.  The type of business is simply the vehicle you are driving to the bank in.  What makes money is your affiliate or internet business plan and just how well you are at doing what needs to be done in a timely manner.

Let’s face it.  Not everyone is cut out to work for themselves. Not everyone is cut out to work from home.  Not everyone is cut out to work alone all day.  Not everyone is willing to do the tasks required to make headway toward success in any business, let alone a business they own.  So it really will all boil down to you.

Take a good look at yourself and your habits both good and bad.  Can you see yourself working at home on the computer all day alone with no one to report to but yourself?  Do you see yourself as motivated to produce even on bad days?  Even when there is no one else expecting you to do so? Can you see yourself making phone calls to strangers about your business, doing internet marketing for your business, networking with other professionals in similar businesses?  If not, maybe the affiliate/internet business idea is just that–an idea you think about occasionally.

I hope you read this article and really take a hard look at yourself as these points are discussed.  If any of your thoughts are that you could never do that, then this business is not for you.  It is not for the faint of heart or the lazy person because business requires commitment, effort, money, and time.

Let me know what your thoughts are on this topic, won’t you?


  Can You Really Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?

The Truth About Affiliate Marketing

 Affiliate Marketing

Credit: pagadesign | Getty Images

Can you make money with affliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn a extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.

Affiliate marketing is an ideal home business because it doesn’t require much money to get started, and you don’t have produce, stock or ship product inventory, or deliver a service.

You’re essentially paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses.

The Reality of Affiliate Marketing

The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you’ve read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing (“Three clicks to rich!”). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.

The reality in affiliate marketing is much the same reality in other work-at-home ventures; there are a few who are filthy rich, a good number who are successful enough to meet their goals, and a ton who aren’t making anything. So, the question isn’t really whether or not affiliate marketing is a viable income option (it is), but whether or not you can make affiliate marketing work for you.

Only you can decide that. But to help, here are some tips.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

As already mentioned, there are several aspects of affiliate marketing that make it a good home business option including:

  • Low cost to get started. Most affiliate programs are free to join, so your costs are usually related to your referral/marketing methods.
  • No need to create a product or service.
  • Don’t have to stock or ship products.
  • Work anytime and from anywhere as long as you have Internet access.
  • Passive income potential, depending on how you market your affiliates programs.
  • Can be added on to current home business to create an additional income stream.It’s ideal for bloggers, coaches, information entrepreneurs, and anyone who has a website.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing

There are challenges to making money from affiliate marketing, such as:

Read the rest of this article here.

Posted in affiliate marketing, Blog posts, Business, E-Commerce, home business | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Día de los Muertos Calavera Collage

Since Halloween is just a few days away, that means it is also time for the Day of the Dead and all the festivities associated with it! (In spanish, el Dia de los muertos)

I found this wonderful blog tutorial and had to share it here.  I just love her approach to making this collage.  I hope you read the entire tutorial and then gather the supplies and go to town making your own version with your children.  I know they will love it and the memory will stay with them forever.


Día de los Muertos Calavera Collage

dia de los muertos or day of the dead

Dia de los Muertos season is here.

With so many Day of the Dead festivities happening, I thought I would create a collage that incorporates two things I love: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and Dia de los Muertos. If you don’t know what a collage is, it is simply a cut paper assemblage. What I love about collage is, you can do anything with some colored paper and scissors. No wonder Henri Matisse called it painting with scissors!

I have bins and bins filled with multi-colored cardstock, paper and tissue paper. Most of it is scraps from other collages I’ve done. I just hate to throw anything away. But really, any cut paper that is left over is perfect to be used again in another collage.

I decided to try this collage with my 11-year-old  son. It started out as a couple of skeletons, or calaveras, but somewhere down the line it changed to Frida Kahlo (my muse) and her beloved Diego Rivera. Frida is easily recognizable in almost any art medium but Diego was a bit more of a challenge since his most recognizable trait, his large body, can’t really be duplicated on a skeleton!

What you need:

  • 8.5 x 11 Card Stock, Colorful Assortment
  • Elmer’s Washable All-Purpose School Glue Stick
  • Poster Board
  • Fiskars school scissors
  • Elmers No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement (for more experienced students)
  • Sharpie Permanent Markers, black
  • Optional: Cricut Tools Craft Tweezers

Read the rest of this tutorial here.

Posted in Blog posts, Collage, Halloween, Holidays, Holidays and Special Days | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

7 Simple Steps to Developing Creativity in Your Life

So another Thursday and a chance to talk to you about developing creativity.  I found this short article about 7 simple steps to developing creativity in your life at and decided I would share it here.  If you read this article, you may think that his answers are superficial or just too easy, but if you reflect on what he is saying you will see that these 7 simple steps can and will help you develop your own creativity over time.

There are good and bad things to be said about being “creative” in today’s world.  Some will say that a creative person has their head in the clouds and does not understand the real world.  Some will say that the creative person is ahead of his time and is thus a game-changer for everyone.  Neither one is right or wrong.  Being a creative person is just keeping your eyes and ears open to new things, being willing to learn, being curious about how things go together, and having child-like imagination.

I hope you read this article and then reflect on each step and the benefit that step could bring into your life.  We all could use help in some area of our lives and this is just one person’s attempt to help us in developing creativity.

Please go here to read this article.


7 Simple Steps to Developing Creativity in Your Life

“Innovation is often given complex definitions. We prefer the simple one: ‘New Ideas that Work.’” — Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts

Do you think you are a creative person? If yes, you should know most people never benefit from being creative. True creative people have a developed ability to use and observe all of their resources, senses, and knowledge to help them succeed. So take the time to “sharpen your blade,” because there is a long road ahead.

There are two hindrances that can stop your creativity. They are your external and internal barriers. Things that limit your imagination or inspiration are internal barriers and examples of external obstacles are weak expression or presentation skills.

This article includes some simple steps to increase your creativity. So, let’s begin!

Steps to Develop Creativity

1. Stop depending on others.

Start learning to use your own resources. Look around for what you do have and how you can make the best use of those resources. This will be a little tough in the beginning, but with time, you will adjust.

This doesn’t mean you will be alone and that you may disobey superiors. This just means you can build a learning capacity — learning from others. It means making proper interactions and creating your own resources.

2. Dream, think, and create.

You have to believe you have an amazing mind full of thoughts and ideas. You need to express them. Tell them to others and see what they say. …Read the rest of this article here.

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Making clay ornaments–polymer clay owls

So I finally was able to get into the craft room and do some crafting.  I found my box of old polymer clay (probably 6-7 years old) and decided to see if it was still any good.  To my surprise, it was!  So, I started making clay ornaments for the Christmas tree.

clay owls



Here are pictures of the three little owl ornaments that I made after looking for hours on Pinterest for inspiration.  The first owl is the little brown one.  He looks sad, I think.  His body

clay owl

and his wings are textured, which doesn’t show up in the picture.  The second clay ornament is the brown little girl with the pink ribbon on her head.  Then I made the light tan owl with the flower on his abdomen.  I think they turned out really great and they are only about an inch or so long.

clay owl


The clay had to be warmed with the pasta machine for quite a long time since it was so old, but once warm, it became pliable and easy to work with.  I was really surprised that this clay was usable at all.

clay ornaments


Overall, I had a great time and am looking forward to making many more of these cute little owls.  Clay ornaments make great gifts for the family, so I better get busy.  I hope to make Santas, Angels, Trees, and Stars also.

clay ornaments

Have you ever used polymer clay?  If so, what was your experience with it?  What do you think of my little owl clay ornaments?  I’d love to hear from you.


Posted in Bird, Blog posts, crafting, Holidays, homemade gifts, Polymer Clay | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Amazon Affiliate Website: The Ultimate Guide & 17 PROFITABLE Examples

On Sunday, I post about business.  I wanted to post this article from Niche Site Project about starting an Amazon affiliate website.  I know many people who have thought about doing this but don’t because they don’t know how.

I like this article in particular because the author starts at the very beginning and then takes the reader step by step through the process.  He does not leave anything to chance.  I know there are a myriad of articles online about starting a niche site, but my experience has been that they either start in the middle (so you don’t have the ground laid out yet) or they skip around and somehow you miss steps that are vital to your site’s success.

I hope you take the time to really read and study this article because if you can master what he is saying, you will definitely master making an Amazon affiliate website.   Won’t you let me know if this was helpful to you and if you put up a website, let me know about that too, please.


Amazon Affiliate Website: The Ultimate Guide & 17 PROFITABLE Examples

UPDATED: May 9, 2017

NSP-process-Header-575W.jpegHow to Build a Profitable Amazon Affiliate Website

This is the roadmap that you have been looking for…

This resource is for people that are new to Niche Site Project – and even for the long time veterans out there that don’t know where to find all the outstanding content. It’s divided into TWO main sections:

  1. The Niche Site Process – A 7 Step Guide for building a successful Amazon Affiliate site, keep scrolling…
  2. Amazon Affiliate Website Examples (Click here to see the examples)- Complete with traffic and keyword data

This is the Definitive Guide to Create Successful Amazon Niche Sites

It’s a roadmap of sorts that will help you navigate your way to a Niche Site. (See some examples of Amazon Affiliate sites here to get in the mood…)

There is a ridiculous amount of information out there about niche sites. A lot of it is really old and out of date. This page is up to date and I take the time to make changes as time goes on and things change. (I actually got started by following Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel – the first one – a full 3 years after it started! Whoops!)

It’s different from other guides because I use Project Management Best Practices to continuously improve the process. (I’m a certified Project Management Professional – recognized by PMI.)

This page is here to help you locate the resources you need to master this niche site stuff.

And by “stuff” I mean…

The Niche Site Process

This is the same process that Pat Flynn & Spencer Haws use to build out their niche sites, like Security Guard Training HQ and The Best Survival Knife Guide. It works for Adsense, Amazon, or other affiliate based niche sites.

Read the rest of this article at the source here.

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Make Your Life and Work a Work of Art

Once again I am concentrating on creativity and what being creative means in your life.  I really liked this article about how to make your life and work a work of art.  I really like her approach.

I had never really thought much about how art and being artistic had affected my life up to now, but it has.  Through learning art and being “arty”, I have learned how to find my flow in many areas of my life.  I loved when she said to slow down and enjoy the process as a way to find your flow.  I know this to be absolutely true.

Please read this article, it’s not very long, and reflect on how art and creativity have affected your life as well.


Make Your Life and Work a Work of Art

Have you ever thought of your life as a work of art?

How we choose what we do, and how we approach it…will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Sometimes it seems that my life is a formless blur, especially when I lose my focus in a flurry of chaotic busyness, and I’m plagued by a steady stream of necessary yet unenjoyable tasks that don’t seem to get finished, stalling creative projects that would give me a lot more satisfaction…if only I could get to them. This isn’t art; this is a tedious mess! And worse, I’ve lost my flow!

Art for me is soul food. Art-making is meditation in action. It nourishes my craving for beauty, clarity and harmony. By beauty, I mean aesthetics, that is, the beauty of meaning-making, when all the parts come together to create a whole, or when clues are combined to solve a mystery. It’s about finding elegant solutions to problems we face. It’s the profound simplicity we discover on the other side of complexity, once we’ve dug through our messes.


One of my first influences in art was my grade school teacher Fritz Brandtner, a well-known and influential artist in Montreal who encouraged us to make abstract art. (Brandtner’s painting on the left was done in 1955)

Abstract art-making has taught me to distill the world around me into its essential components, and get to the heart of the matter. This has become an important problem-solving skill in business and life in general.

“A work of art is always a condensation of complex reality. So art can be a means through which one learns to perceive an intricate solution through a simplified image.”
—  Dr Thomas Bechtler, Director of Credit Suisse Group (ADR)

How can you bring more artistry into life and work?


Artists begin their work with intention and purpose. They have some idea about the end product they want to create, whether it is a song, a poem, a painting or a movie. A student filmmaker I know made the mistake of shooting a film with cast and crew before he had worked out his script. What happened? Endless re-shoots, wasted time and effort, and a mess of film to edit into some kind of cohesion. He learned clarity of purpose  keeps creativity on track.

Read the rest of this article here.

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What I have been up to for the last two weeks!

This is supposed to be the day I post my art and any craft I may be in the middle of; however, due to no control on my part, I have not had any time to do anything like that.  Let me explain.  Here’s what I have been up to.

On October 3, my sister had a total knee replacement and since we live together, I was the designated caretaker for her.  Since her surgery, I have been waiting on her hand and mouth since she is pretty limited in what she is able to do for herself.  Then on top of healing from surgery, she became deathly sick with a urinary tract infection. So I was busy carrying her back and forth to doctors and labs in addition to everything else.  So since October 3, I have not done one thing that I usually do.

What I have been up to

Then, as if that is not enough, my youngest, Carly, was scheduled for skin graft surgery on October 13.  This is an important event for her as it marks the end of this horrid trip we have been on for the last 2 years.  The skin graft will cover the very last part of her abdominal wound and make it so she can start exercising to rebuild strength in her core.  I had to be there for her this last time, so I got up at 3AM and drove to OKC and spent the morning with her at the hospital.  When she was moved to a room, I got her something decent to eat and a good snack for later, then I drove back to Tulsa to care for my sister.

It has been difficult to manage having two people that need care from me at a time, but we did it and it is over.  Carly’s surgery was beautiful and she is already feeling fine and talking about going to work again.  My sister was put on a heavy-duty antibiotic and is finally starting to feel better.  I am hoping that on the 23rd, when she goes for her follow-up with the surgeon, he will say she is released and able to care for herself again.


Anyway, I am praying that this is the end of the health saga and the beginning of having my life back to normal.  I miss going to my exercise class and I miss going to my new church.  I was just finally getting into a routine here in Tulsa and I miss it.

Posted in daughters, Family, Health, Health care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s How to Fix Your Facebook Ads When They’re Not Working

Sunday we talk about business.  As a network marketer, I am using social media to reach new target audiences all the time.  I use Facebook ads occasionally, but I find my results are pretty much hit-or-miss because I don’t think I really understand completely the dynamics of this platform.

All business, whether online or brick-and-mortar, depend on traffic. That is simply a fact.  So as a network marketer, you need to learn about and understand all the ways you can increase your traffic.  Facebook is by far the largest platform available to you, but not the only one.   Most of us decide to use Facebook ads because we are familiar with Facebook in general.  The problem is that Facebook for personal use and Facebook for business use are very different and require different approaches.

Below is an article I found on PostPlanner that is educational and informative about using Facebook ads and what to do if your ads are not working the way you want them to work.  Facebook as a platform is more involved than we think and there are a myriad of ways to “tweak” your ads to improve performance.

I found this article to be helpful in explaining what I was doing wrong and in telling me exactly what I needed to do to change my outcomes.  I hope you find the information useful, too.


Here’s How to Fix Your Facebook Ads When They’re Not Working

facebook ads


Peter Dulay is a conversion expert with over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and conversion. He has helped many startups and fortune 500 companies to boost their conversion by 400% and more.

With 2 billion worldwide users, and a robust advertising platform, Facebook presents a huge opportunity for marketers to reach a large audience in a targeted manner.

But, for those new to the platform, or who don’t have the knowledge to navigate the complicated system, advertising on Facebook can be a frustrating experience.

If your Facebook ads aren’t working, don’t sulk.  There is a way to fix your ads and increase the click-through rate (CTR), engagement, and conversions.

Before you throw good money after bad, take a moment to troubleshoot your strategy, and ad content to make sure your ads start delivering.

Here’s How to Fix Your Facebook Ads When They’re Not Working

1. Audience Selection Too Narrow Or Too Broad

Facebook advertising is supposed to be a marketer’s dream come true, with its vast database and the capability to segment your audience based not only on demographics, but also on interests, behaviors, preferences, and more.

However, it could also be your downfall if you aren’t careful with your audience selection.

When your audience selection is too narrow, you run the risk of exhausting the segment too quickly, and driving up your cost per click. Not to mention, you may omit key individuals by narrowing the location or demographics too much.

On the other hand, if your audience selection is too broad, you aren’t serving your ad to people who’d actually be interested in your offer. Again, you could drive up the cost per click because of a poor audience-message match, or you risk paying for clicks that won’t convert to leads or customers.

Read the rest of this article here.

Posted in Blog posts, E-Commerce, Education, Facebook, Facebook features, goal setting, My IM adventures | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Skull Candlesticks

It seems that I am enamored of crafting with “skulls” this year for Halloween.  I showed you my front door wreath with skull and now I am posting this tutorial for making your own Halloween decoration skull candlesticks.

What would we crafters do without The Dollar Store?  It seems that you can find the very best craft items there and for $1 each.  I love it.

Anyway, I hope you try this tutorial and post pictures of your results so we can all enjoy them!


Skull Candlesticks


These skull candlesticks are quick, easy and they look cool too! And the best part, they are super affordable!

From the Dollar Tree we have glitter skulls $1 each and a 2 pack of battery powered tealight candles $1 for the pack. The wooden candlesticks are from a thrift store and paid a whole 74 cents for the set!

Here’s how we did it! First painted the wooden candlesticks black with paint we already had. When dry we hot glued the glitter skulls to the candlesticks. Trace the tealight on top of the skull and carefully use a box cutter blade to cut it out! Take out pieces of skull to make way for your tealight. If you make a couple of X cuts in the area you want to remove the pieces come out easier.  (Read the rest of this tutorial here.)

Posted in Blog posts, craft tutorials, crafting, Crafts, Halloween, Tutorial | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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