Tutorial: How To Make a Sock Monkey

This is the little monkey I made this week. He looks just like the one I made for my daughter. I purposely placed the eyes and ears in the same spot to give him the same look.sock-monkey-on-bed

First of all, I suggest that you watch the how-to video by Professor Pin Cushion as you go. It will help show the details of sewing and cutting that I cannot show in a written post. The video is about 37 minutes. Depending on how fast you sew, the monkey could take anywhere from 3-8 hours from start to finish.

How to Make a Sock Monkey:

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Materials You Will Need to Make a Sock Monkey:

  1. Size Large Socks with Red Heel (Fox River sells two pairs for around $14.)
  2. Fabric Scissors
  3. Pins
  4. Ruler 
  5. Fabric Pen or Black Pen
  6. Sewing Machine with Matching Thread (Cream color works well)
  7. Stuffing (I got mine at Michael’s)
  8. Black Embroidery Thread
  9. Two Black Buttons for Eyes
  10. Red Yarn for Pom-Poms on Hat and Legs
  11. Ribbon to Tie Around the Monkey’s Neck

Sock 1: Body and Legs

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Draw Lines for Legs
Turn the socks inside out. The first sock will become the monkey’s head, body and legs. To mark where the legs will be, turn the sock inside out and fold so the heel is centered on top. Measure and mark a center point on the brown (2 in. from edge) and a center point on the cream (1.5 inches from edge). Draw a line through the points, horizontally, straight through the center of the sock, from heel to end. Then measure 1/4 inch above and 1/4 inch below that center line and draw two more horizontal lines. Draw another line 1/4 inch from the end of the sock. Draw a vertical line 3 inches from the heel. So you should have three horizontal lines and two vertical lines.

Sew on Machine
Starting at one edge of the cream end of the sock, stitch along the line and pivot at the 1/4 inch line. Continue to stitch, stopping at the 3-inch line. Backstitch both ends. Repeat on the other side. Do not stitch on the center line because that is the line you will cut to separate the two legs.

Cut
Using fabric scissors, cut along the center line up to the 3-inch line. Snip about 1 inch past the 3-inch line. You have a sock monkey body with a hole in the crotch.

Stuff
Turn the sock right-side out again. Stuff the head, body, and legs with stuffing.

Hand-Sew
Slip stitch the hole closed, adding stuffing as needed.

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Sock 2: Hat, Face, Arms, Tail, Earslines-for-arms-tail-hat

Hat
Turn sock inside out. Cut off the toe of the 2nd sock, leaving about 1/2 inch of brown on the end of the cream.

Tail
Measure a line for the tail 1-inch down from the top (shown above). Draw a line across the length of the sock. Round the white tip of the tail by drawing a curved line.

Arms
Draw a vertical line down the middle of the sock, about 1/4 inch away from the cream heel. Draw another horizontal line to mark two equal-sized arms. Curve the edges of the arms, leaving a seam allowance at the end of the sock.

Face
Leave about 1/4 inch of brown along the edge of the heel for the face.

Ears
The leftover brown rectangle is for the ears. Fold in half and pin the edge to hold in place. Draw two ears, a bit larger than you think they should be, because you will use 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Cut and Pin
Cut and pin tail, arms, and ears. The second arm will need to be the same as the first, so cut the second side that was folded and pin it. (Ears not shown).
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Sew on Machine
Leaving the brown end open, stitch around the pinned sides of arms and tail, using 1/4 inch seam allowance and removing pins as you get to them. Backstitch both ends. Sew around the individual ears, using 1/4 inch seam allowance and leaving one side open for stuffing.

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Stuff, Pin, and Hand-Sew
Tie the ribbon around the neck of the sock monkey to help you see where to pin the arms. Turn arms and tail right-side out. Stuff, using small pieces of stuffing. If necessary, use a clean chopstick or unsharpened pencil to push the stuffing into the tail and arms. When they are stuffed, pin them to the sock monkey body in their proper places and use a whip stitch to attach each piece to the sock monkey body. Whip stitch twice all the way around.

Ears can be the last thing you stuff and sew, after you attach the face. That way you can see where you want to place the ears.

Some people place the tail above the red, and some people place it in the middle of the red. I chose to attach it to the middle.

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Embroider and Sew Face
Using a backstitch and black embroidery thread, stitch a line straight across the red mouth for the sock monkey. For the nostrils, make a mark where you want them to go and make 5-6 stitches in a horizontal stack.

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Pin the sock monkey face to the head, tucking the brown seam under the cream line. Whip stitch the face to the head, leaving the top open. Stuff with stuffing and continue to stitch all the way around. 
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Eyes
I used black buttons for the sock monkey eyes, attaching them above the face. You can also choose to embroider the eyes the same way you did the nostrils.

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Ears
I pinned the ears to the sock monkey head and stitched them last.

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Red Pom-Poms
Pom-poms are really easy. Wrap red yarn around two fingers about twenty times. Remove from fingers. Tie another piece of yarn around the middle of the loops. Snip the loops and you have a cute pom pom! These red pom-poms inspired the decorations for my daughter’s 9th birthday: a sock monkey theme (shown in my last post). I used the pom-poms on the favor bags, centerpieces and birthday banner.

Tack one pom pom to the sock monkey hat and tie two more around the legs.

sock-monkey-on-bed-2Isn’t he cute? I love him! Enjoy your new sock monkey friend!

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Sock Monkey Birthday Party Pics (from March)

We celebrated our nine-year-old’s birthday at the park in March (before my morning sickness kicked in.) So here are the very belated pics from her party, which was an easy “bikes and scooters at the park” party. She chose the sock monkey birthday party theme, which was a big hit.

Here is the birthday girl with her favorite cupcakes: angel food cake with whip cream and strawberries. I let the kids spray the whip cream and decorate the cupcakes right before we served them.

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Andy took some cute pictures of the decorations, painting activities, and favors. Here is the sock monkey I made for my daughter. I love him! He turned out so cute!

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Here’s my handsome husband and son. ♥ Andy says he looks like he just took his allergy medicine. I think he looks cute.

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It was the beginning of spring, so we chose red tulips as center pieces, to go with the red sock monkey pom-pom. When they opened they had brown in the center. The birthday girl thought that was perfect.

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I found these sock monkey coloring sheets for free online at Birthday in a Box (I’m sorry I didn’t add the link. I have to figure out why my links aren’t working.) and my sweet sister Vanessa printed them and brought them for the kids to paint when they took a break from riding their scooters. We also had some brown bags to decorate with stickers, and fruit loop necklaces.

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When I got home, I hung the birthday banner at my house and changed it a little bit. It might sound weird, or maybe you’ve done this before, but once I saw it hanging I realized that it needed a pom pom on each letter, not just on the sides. So when I hung it up at home, I tried it and this is how it turned out.

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I took a few more pics of the table decorations, which were just glass jars from Trader Joe’s applesauce and peach/pear halves. I tied a pom-pom made of classic red yarn around each jar.

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The pom-poms are super easy. You just wrap some yarn around two fingers, maybe twenty times, and then take if off your fingers and tie another piece of yarn around the center of the bunch. Then you snip the loops and you have a cute pom-pom.

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The table runner was wrapping paper from Target that cost $1 per roll. It works well with the sock monkey birthday party theme. The thank you tags are cream card stock punched with a one-inch circle punch, hand written with gray Sharpie.

I had the idea of cutting fringe on the bottom of the banner but I wasn’t brave enough to do it until I got home. I think it turned out cute, and we left it up for the month of March. My lettering isn’t the best but I was too lazy to print out anything. So I just did it by hand.

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Happy birthday Eliana! The name, the feminine form of Elijah, means “My God has answered me.”

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Book Reviews for Goodnight to My Thoughts of You

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So encouraging and exciting to come across these great book reviews for Goodnight to My Thoughts of You this week while I was at Gleanings for the Hungry with my family.

“A fantastic read! … it’s interesting to see the coming of age journey Miriam goes through, what with her love of Paul and her later relationship with Charlie. Charlie. Let’s talk about him. The short, but extremely likable musician. He had his character flaws and weaknesses, but it didn’t take away from the character. When I got to part two of the novel, I was happy to see Miriam ending up with a guy close to her age, and kind to her. :D In the end, it was a great read with good values and messages, and I’d recommend to all, even those who aren’t very religious”
– Kay, Goodreads Review

“I learned so much from this book. I really, REALLY love it! Can’t wait for the second book! I’m not a youth leader but I’m an 18 years old girl who really appreciates this kind of book =)!”
–Andrea, Goodreads Review

“What a great book! It is so wonderful, and a great path for her to follow. She needed to learn those things, to become a better person. She and her husband have a great path ahead!”
–Anonymous, Barnes & Noble Review

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With well over 1,000 downloads so far, I am so very thankful (and relieved!) to know that girls are enjoying my book. In just two months, I have reached 10% of my goal to give away 10,000 free ebooks! More importantly, girls have contacted me and told me that this book has been a blessing in their lives. That is the best reward any author could ask for. Thank you Jesus!!!

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Transitioning to Gluten Free

Most likely by now you know someone who is gluten free. I had my doubts about this fad for years, mostly because, hello, what could be wrong with bread, the most basic component of our American diet?

But one of my close friends recently became gluten and sugar free and told me it helped her in her effort to go off of her OCD medicine. Since I have known her for years, I knew that this was a big deal. Now this “fad” had my attention.

I spoke with my friend this past January, and the next day I overheard a woman on her phone at the elementary school, saying, “Yeah! So the doctor told him to go off of gluten, and he did, and then it went away. So I guess it worked. That was that.” I didn’t even know what she was talking about, but going off of gluten healed someone of something, and that got my attention again. Then I heard the same thing two or three more times from different people with different symptoms. What the heck was going on with gluten?

What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is what makes dough stretchy and sauces glue-y.

One doctor writes, “Gluten as a protein is indigestible due to its odd composition of high amounts of the amino acids proline and glutamine. The composition or sequencing of these amino acids literally is unrecognizable to our enzymes such that we (all humans, not just those of us who are intolerant to gluten) are unable to digest it properly”Vikki Petersen, Ph.D.

So the reason it could cause problems with our health is because, since it cannot be digested, gluten can leak out of our intestines into other parts of our bodies. This can cause headaches, migraines, food allergies, auto-immune disease, cancer, stroke, and so many other things. See this post for more info.

I decided to give gluten-free a try. At first, it was merely because I wanted to feel more energetic, get better sleep, and live longer. I wanted to keep my family healthy. But then, God gave me a better reason to try going gluten free. I got pregnant. Again. And I hoped and prayed that staying off of gluten would help me with my insane morning sickness.

It helped a lot. This is the first pregnancy that I have not felt like I’ve been poisoned. I remember the last two pregnancies, I stayed awake most of the night during the first trimester, feeling like I had poison in my stomach. The second pregnancy I threw up so much throughout the night that I had to go on anti-vomiting medicine. My first pregnancy I threw up every day of the pregnancy and probably about ten times during labor and delivery.

It could be because this is my fifth pregnancy. It does get easier each time. But I had a piece of a pretzel yesterday, just to see what would happen, and almost instantly, I had a terrible stomachache that lasted for hours.

So far, transitioning to gluten free has been so much easier than I thought!

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This avocado salad from El Pollo Loco has been a really yummy, quick, gluten-free lunch this pregnancy!

Salads, meats, fish, eggs, oatmeal, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, rice, potatoes, quinoa, soup, corn tortillas, ice cream, chocolate-covered strawberries–we could still eat mostly every single thing on our regular menu. The only foods I needed to buy “gluten free” were pasta noodles, pancake mix, brownie mix, and cold cereal. The gluten-free versions contain rice, oats, soy, or corn instead of wheat.

No more real bread for our sandwiches. No more flour tortillas. No more croutons. No more bread bowls. No more buns with our burgers. No more couscous. No more cake, cookies, etc. (unless they are made with gluten-free flour.) No more easy pizza! That’s going to be a hard one.

So it’s been really good and the kids have been fine with it. I still let them have cupcakes at parties; I don’t obsess, since they don’t have any allergic reaction to gluten.  Right now I am just trying it out, taking notes, seeing if it’s feasible, and, for the most part, loving the results.

Are you gluten free? Why or why not? What is your opinion on whether or not a gluten free diet will make a difference? Please leave a comment and please share your best gluten-free recipes with me!

Look at what I just found: Gluten-free pizza crust recipe. This looks yummy!

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe

You want your pizza batter to be a thick batter – about the same as a good pancake recipe. You can add more coconut flour to thicken it up, and more water to thin it down. You can use one large (9-12 inch) cast iron skillet, or like me, use a small pan (I used both my 6 inch and my 7 inch pans) to make individual sized pizzas. It makes about 1 large pizza, or three small pizzas.

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of water warm
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kombucha vinegar or other live culture addition
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (not homemade flour)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Heat safe oil or fat of choice (I used ghee) for pan
1. 12-24 hours before baking, combine the quinoa, warm water, and live culture addition. Cover, and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees, placing the cast iron pan (or pans) in the oven in the top third of the oven to preheat as well.
3. Drain the quinoa well in a fine sieve and then rinse well (this helps remove any bitterness from the quinoa). Combine in a blender with the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil. Blend until very well combined. Add the oil and blend just enough to combine.
4. Take the pans out of the oven and drop enough fat or oil in the pan to completely coat the bottom. Add some (or all) of the batter, depending on size of pan. Spread out with a heat safe utensil, evenly. Place back in oven. Cook for about 7 minutes for smaller size crust, or ten minutes for larger, or until the bottom of the crust is browned. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes.
5. Remove pans from ovens * and put desired toppings on. Return to oven to heat through (and melt cheese).
6. Serve right away.
* At this point, you can also save the crusts to use later.

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Everything is Going to Be Okay

2everything-is-going-to-be-okayAbout a year ago I told Andy there was one thing I couldn’t handle. One thing that would make me go crazy.

I was in a mode of great productivity. I had been feeling really good about starting a blog, finishing the last edit of my book, and moving forward with many of my goals. I was done nursing my fourth baby, I was back to ballet class once a week, and I was feeling great. The house was tidy. Dinner was ready at 5:30 almost every night. I was researching homeschooling options to start teaching my oldest daughter at home for the first time.

So the one thing that would mess me up, the one thing that would take away that feeling of being on top of things and feeling together and whole and ready for anything would be if I got pregnant again.

I should never have said it out loud, right? I should never have said that was the one thing I couldn’t handle. Because that is the thing that happened in February. The same week I was going to launch my first book, I found out I was pregnant. For the fifth time.

Don’t get me wrong, we are happy about it. We know it is a blessing and it must be God’s will. I trust God’s timing more than anything. But with the kind of morning sickness I get, could the timing have been any crazier?

And for those of you who haven’t been to our house, it’s kinda small at 888 square feet. Yup. I didn’t leave out any numbers there. And there will soon be seven of us. Seven human beings in two bedrooms.

So these past few weeks I’ve been asking myself, as I’m running to the bathroom with my hand over my mouth, waking up in the middle of the night gagging, or explaining to my kids why I can’t do everything I usually do:  How am I going to do it? What are we going to do? And secretly, deep down, I began to believe that I was a mess. I was a total and complete mess and I was falling apart. And that meant that I was failing. I was failing in my faith in God, failing my family, failing my dreams. My book would be a failure because I had no energy to market it. My blog would fail because I hadn’t posted in a month. My first year homeschooling was a failure because we didn’t finish everything in the curriculum. I was failing as a mom and wife because all I wanted to do all day was sleep and I could barely order take-out and get it on the table for dinner. The kids’ clean laundry has been on the rocking chair in the living room for a week, and my husband just told me he is out of clean underwear.

Yesterday, after a few minutes of prayer and desperate thoughts, I started my day worrying that it would be another day of losing everything I tried to eat and achieving nothing on my to-do list. Worrying. Worrying. I was almost panicking. In the rational part of my mind, I knew that panic would only make me sicker. I knew I had to calm down.

Then suddenly, I remembered the advice that I would always give the high school girls in my Bible study: “Tell yourself, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’” Because that is sometimes the one thing we need to hear. And even if no one else says it to you, you can always tell yourself: Everything is going to be okay.

Like a fresh breeze coming in through the window, peace came over my body and something settled inside my stomach. Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay. I knew it was true.

It doesn’t sound very profound, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.

I needed to take my own advice and remember that everything was going to be okay. It’s easy to tell someone who is worrying about what prom dress to buy and what their grade will be in Spanish class, “Everything is going to be okay.” But it’s harder to tell someone who is older and has something serious in front of them, like ______ (fill in the blank with your most serious problem.) But sometimes it’s exactly what we need to hear.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”  –Luke 12:25

Maybe the one thing I couldn’t handle was exactly what I needed to make me humble and remind me that I need God now more than ever.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”  –2 Corinthians 12:9

♥  Chelsea

Happy Mother’s Day

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Help Me Give Away 10,000 Free Ebooks

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*Edited post to include the following information: Available as epub, mobi, pdf, and more. Available at Smashwords and Amazon.

Help Me Give Away 10,000 Ebooks for Free!

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It’s finally ready. The project I’ve been working on for over five years. Before it could be ready for you to read, it went through a dozen readers, including one of my favorite professors from Azusa Pacific University, who said this about my book:

I loved the book!!! Once I finally opened the document, I couldn’t stop reading. I almost finished the “Paul” section in one sitting … Your book gave me a new appreciation of what’s going on in the youth culture.      –Dr. Emily Griesinger, Professor of English, Azusa Pacific University

and another reader-friend wrote,

I have lost sleep with this book! I loved it!!! … It is such a clear reveal of a teen girl’s heart and mind, and what the consequences will be for those decisions that so many girls have to make.     –Aimee Piersma

I believe God has called me to give away 10,000 copies of my ebook for free. Will you help me achieve this goal? Just tell anyone at your church who works with teen girls or college age girls. Anyone can download the ebook for free now and read it whenever they have time.

I truly believe that there are young girls out there who need to read this story. It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness in the search for “the right one.”

Accept this gift of a free ebook. And please share with your church leaders, friends, and family.

In just 24 hours, my book Goodnight to My Thoughts of You had 100 downloads on the indie publisher Smashwords. It is already up to almost 400 downloads. Don’t miss out! Be sure to get your copy while it is still free! Also available on Amazon for 99 cents.

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Thank you, and God bless you!

xo, Chelsea

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My Book Cover

(Scroll to the end of the post to see the cover I chose!)

In my last post, I wrote about how I tried and tried to come up with a great book cover on my own. I spent hours taking photos and creating text, trying to make it look professional. Finally, after a couple dozen mediocre book covers, I admitted to myself that I needed to hire a professional. I found Danielle Maait on Joel Friedlander’s site. Within 24 hours she gave me four starter covers to choose from.

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#4

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At first, I was absolutely positive I wanted cover #4. It was the closest one to what I had imagined the cover would be. I also loved cover #2. But the text on both covers was not exactly what I wanted. I had researched the title treatment for ebooks, and I knew that the title had to stretch across the entire cover and be as large as possible in order to be seen at thumbnail size, which is not a concern for books in print, which can have more subtle titles with lots of padding, much like the titles on Danielle’s originals.

I decided to go with cover #2 when I got an overwhelmingly unanimous response from the females I showed the covers to. “I love cover #2!”

Danielle and I worked back and forth–over 50 emails in a week–to try out a few different fonts and sizes for the text. I am so incredibly happy with what she and I came up with. Here is my book cover:

My Book Cover Goodnight to My Thoughts of You

When you are self publishing, there is a ton to learn and a ton of choices to make. The hardest part, perhaps, is mustering up the confidence to go for it. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me, read drafts, pushed me along, and prayed for me. It’s almost done, and I promise I will let you know how you and your friends can get it for free.

xo, Chelsea

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Book Cover Design for Self Publishing: DIY or Hire a Pro?

A Post About the Covers that Didn’t Make the Cut–and the One Cover We Chose

The process of choosing a book cover for my book Goodnight to My Thoughts of You was an interesting, crazy challenge. At first, I was convinced that Andy and I could come up with a cover by ourselves. And we did. This was our first attempt at a book cover. We made this cover about a year ago.

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What we wanted it to say: love, music, spirituality, the beach. We knew it wasn’t quite right. It needed some professional design help. Some more font ideas. Some layers. Some coloring. But we had no idea how to make it look professional.

As I was hanging out with some high school girls at my church, we chatted about my book and came up with new design ideas every week. Here are a few of the designs we came up with:

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What we wanted it to say: love, teen, hope

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Love, poetry, journaling, bedtime, cozy

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Love, poetry, journaling, teen, pretty

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Love, thoughts about love

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My designs were getting indifferent responses from Andy and mostly everyone else I showed them to. Everyone was supportive, but not really enthusiastic. The covers were OK, but not great.

I tried a few more on my own:

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Finally I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Even though I knew all along that thebookdesigner.com insisted on hiring a professional BOOK COVER graphic designer for the cover, I had hoped in my heart that I could do it all myself. But I just couldn’t. It wasn’t working. I didn’t have the skills or the knowledge or the time. I was wasting time. I had to find a good fit. I prayed. I looked at the award-winning book covers on Joel Friedlander’s cover design contest winners. And I found this designer: Danielle Maait.

She is amazing.

Within 24 hours of sending her the synopsis of my book and main characters, Danielle made four starter covers for me to choose from.

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so much better, right? PROFESSIONAL

So we worked together, back and forth from California to Australia, for a week and landed on a cover that I absolutely love. COME BACK NEXT WEEK to see the cover we chose!

A HUGE thank you to Danielle Maait and her God-given talent, hard work, diligence, devotion, and reasonable pricing!

Book cover design for self publishing is so challenging. But if I had hired a professional from the start, I would have saved myself hours and hours of time.

Do I dare ask ? … which cover is your favorite?

Goodnight to My Thoughts of You … available soon. Just a few more details to work out, and it will be ready to go!

Please visit this site again next week to see the cover we chose for Chelsea’s debut novel, Goodnight to My Thoughts of You.

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Sock Monkey

sock-monkey-arms-crossedMy 9-year-old daughter decided she wanted a sock monkey birthday party this year. Since we didn’t even own a sock monkey, I decided to look online and see if I could make her one. I found this amazing video that made it really easy and fun. It took me about three hours to make him, and we love him. He has officially been adopted into the family. Meet the newest Rotunno!

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Want a sock monkey of your own? Click Here. Sock monkeys are great baby shower gifts or first birthday gifts. In fact, they are great for all ages.handmade-sock-monkey-cutest

It was surprisingly easy to make. My daughter helped with stuffing the doll and making the pom-poms.

We ended up making about 50 red pom-poms for her birthday party. We tied them on the glass jars that held red tulips, used them for embellishments for the handmade Happy Birthday banner, and tied them around each of the treat bags.

I thought about making a sock monkey for each child to take home as a party favor, but I just couldn’t do it. We had 25 kids at the party.

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However, based on how much fun this doll has brought to our home, I decided that every family should have a sock monkey. I’m going to make a bunch for the local elementary school fundraiser and see how it goes. If you don’t have a sock monkey in your family, and you would love to adopt one, click here.

If you’d rather make one yourself, keep in touch and I will write up a tutorial for how to make one at home.


sock-monkey-face-closeup-1Hope you have a great day today!

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Clean Up the House in 2 Weeks: A Workbook

Clean Up the House in 2 Weeks:  A Workbook

Occasionally, on very special days, you will not find messes in my house. This usually happens around the holidays when we have people over more often.

However, if you are like me, you might have the usual messes in your house:

A corner of the kids’ room piled with stuffed animals and toys;

A bookshelf with things other than books on the shelf;

Piles of kids’ schoolwork, papers, projects;

Half-finished crafts or art projects on the kitchen counter;

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Bins of Barbie dolls that seem to magically multiply;

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Bags of outgrown baby clothes;

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And, new to me this year, boxes of homeschool curriculum.

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My worst secret is that I hide things on Andy’s side of the bed in the corner because it’s totally invisible from the doorway of our room. Please don’t tell anyone.

I grew up in a home that was—let’s just say—a little disorganized. My mom is an artist who sees everything as a medium for a future art project. Because I grew up keeping everything, (I wasn’t even allowed to throw things away when I was done with them), I just didn’t have the skill of getting rid of stuff I didn’t need. I still don’t have this skill. But I have gotten better.

My mom taught me, “Don’t worry about the mess. If people are coming over, clean up so they will be comfortable. If they show up unexpectedly, apologize for the mess and welcome them in.” It’s a nice philosophy, I guess.

But my in-laws have set the example of a perfect house—I mean perfect—like if someone shows up at any moment of the day they will find everything spic and span. No dishes in the sink. No toys on the floor. No pillows out of place. No dead plants in the garden.

I used to laugh at the idea that some people could manage to keep their home like that. Like, really, who really keeps their house that neat? Um, my in-laws do. Do you know anyone like that? Maybe you are like that. I so envy you people! You call yourselves OCD and it just makes me wish I was OCD too! Well, sort of.

So this whole “keep your house perfect” thing is so new and difficult for me.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven … a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,6).

In my spiritual life, I have found it to be true that God loves order and design. He loves harmony and cleanliness, as well as a clean heart and a humble, forgiving spirit.

I am not saying that our houses are a reflection of our spiritual lives. Definitely not. I am not saying that I believe that “cleanliness is next to godliness.” But I do think that a clean and orderly home is good for my family and me, while disorder and messes make us more tense.

Because I am an innately messy person who has learned to be quite neat when I need to be, you might believe me when I say I have figured out a routine for how to clean up my messy house in 2 weeks.

I’m going to try something crazy. I am going to offer a pdf of a little workbook I’ve created:

In Two Weeks I Will Have a Clean House

A Workbook By Chelsea Rotunno

It includes these 10 categories:

#1 Motivation and a Deadline

#2 Help

#3 Laundry

#4 Toy Clutter

#5 Paper Clutter

#6 Other Clutter

#7 Dinner Plan

#8 Projects

#9 Horizontal Surfaces

#10 Flowers and Dinner

For the “amazing low price” of $1.99, you will receive this easy 12-page workbook that you can print out and use as many times as you need to.

Why am I charging for this?

If you pay a little bit for some structure, it might give you extra incentive to actually do it.

This workbook is not for people who already have clean, orderly homes. It is for people who have decided it’s time to put some money and effort into making their living space peaceful and comfortable for their family and guests.

For a price less than a coffee, you can have my advice that has worked for me every time I need to get ready for guests. Of course, like you, I’d rather have a coffee than think about cleaning—but I need a clean house more than another coffee.

Click “Add to Cart” to receive the pdf. It’s quick and easy.

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I hope and pray that you find it encouraging and useful.

If you have any other advice you would like to add for what works best for you, please let me know! I would love to hear it! I need all the help I can get.

xo,

Chelsea

Get ready for Easter!

In Two Weeks I Will Have a Clean House is only $1.99

Please share!

P.S. This workbook has absolutely nothing to do with the book I am publishing later this month. Stay tuned for my first ebook, a fiction novel called Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a story about the search for true love. I’m so excited to share it with you for free! Enter your email address to receive the details on how to get the book for free. Have a lovely day!

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