Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

I’ll be taking a break until the end of the year to enjoy the holidays with my family. I'll be back in the new year... I have a bunch of ideas floating around my head and can't wait to try them out and share them with you.

When I started this blog in August, I had no expectations. I just wanted to get myself creating again. Blogging has been an experience beyond anything I could have imagined. I am so thankful to have met the wonderful people who visit my blog and who keep me motivated to create. Thank you all!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a safe and Happy New Year! Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That: Christmas Edition

I've got a few little Christmas projects and some decorating that I want to share with you, so I've combined it all into one big post.

First up is the Christmas card display wreath that I made following Jess's tutorial from Haul Out the Holly. I love this wreath. And I loved the red and white polka dot ribbon that Jess used so much that I used the same ribbon.


The wreath is now overflowing with cards, so we are limiting it to cards with pictures of our friends and family. I love having a way to display the cards we receive. They used to sit piled up in a little basket.

Next are two different Christmas garlands that I made this year. The first is a flag garland made from scrapbook paper. I just cut out triangles and glued them onto a piece of twine. On some of the triangles I used the Martha Stewart decorative tape from Michael's that Anna introduced me to with her printable advent calendar activity cards. Love this tape! I used it to make some nice Christmas tags, too.


This garland hangs between the windows over my Christmas card display wreath...


The other garland I made is a felt circle and gingerbread garland. I used my Sizzix Big Kick die cutter to punch out all of the shapes, then I just sent them through the sewing machine one right after the other. This garland hangs between two windows in my daughters' playroom.


Next is something I've been doing for several years now... I have a big glass jar that I use to display my grandmother's red plastic Christmas cookie cutters. It sits on my kitchen counter. I fill the jar with silver Christmas balls, then carefully place the cookie cutters here and there around the outside. It's a nice memory of my grandmother. There's a little flour and dough still stuck in the tiny spaces in these cutters. I'll never wash that away, though.


On to some of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments. Of course I have some acorn ornaments!


This tiny wreath was made by my husband when he was in Kindergarten...


This glass ornament belonged to my husband's great-grandmother...


I made this snowman ornament out of clay about 10 years ago...


I love this painted fabric Santa ornament. My husband and I picked this out on a trip to Austria. It reminds me of my life BK (before kids:)...


And finally, here's the mantel in my living room. I love this fireplace. It may have been the entire reason why we bought this house. All I could think about was Christmas the first time I saw it. This is the highest place in the house to display anything, so my Christmas village sits up there away from curious fingers and a crazy cat. Beware of the purple people eater in the bottom right corner...


The stockings on the far left and far right are made out of felt. I made them about 9 years ago. I think they are due for an update next year. The two stockings in the middle belong to my girls. A friend of the family makes stockings as baby gifts (great idea, by the way), so she made one after each of my girls was born.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'm still working on making Christmas gifts and probably will be right up until the last minute. Like everyone else, I say this every year, but I've got to start earlier next year. Good luck to everyone still working away on their projects!

I'm linking up...
Show and Tell Green

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cutest Thing Ever: Soda Bottle Penguins

It has been quite a while since I've written a Cutest Thing Ever post. When I saw this project, I knew it was time. I emailed Lucy over at Craftberry Bush to ask if I could share it with you. Warning: The cuteness you are about to witness will cause you to squeal with delight. I'm not kidding...


Are these not super adorable?!?! I am in love with them! I just want to pick them up and squeeze them.


Seriously, does it get any cuter than this? And guess what? They're made out of 2 liter soda bottles! Want one (or two, or three, or fifteen) of your own? Check out the how-to pictures over on Lucy's blog.


And while you are over at Craftberry Bush, take a look at Lucy's amazing clay jar toppers and her adorable children's advent calendar. This woman is seriously talented.

Thanks, Lucy, for letting me share your incredibly cute penguins! Want to see more "Cutest Thing Ever" posts? Click here.

P.S. Lucy gets extra cuteness points for the simple fact that she created a penguin project. We always called my grandmother "penguin", and the little guys have a special place in the hearts of my family.

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Holiday Wall Art and a Printable

Remember back in November when I put together a bunch of fall printables that I found around blogland to create a nice display on the wall in my hallway? Well, squirrels and acorns weren't going to cut it in December. I changed out the pictures in the frames to create a new display for the holidays...


Since I already hung the frames at Thanksgiving time, this was a quick change out and a great way to change up my decor. Here's where you can find each piece...

The subway art comes from eighteen25. I love the colors on this. There were so many great Christmas subway art printables out there to choose from, but this was my favorite!


The Noel printable comes from my friend Kristin over at Betty Crocker Wannabe. She also made one in green, but I love the gray. Unfortunately this printable was only offered for a limited time and is not available on her blog. Sorry!


I found the picture of the little girl baking by doing a Google Images search for "vintage Christmas baking."

source for image of girl

I also wanted an iconic Santa Clause image. Another Google Images search for "vintage Santa" eventually brought me to this...
source for image of Santa

I was then left with my 5" square frame and no idea what to put in it. I tried searching for an image of a vintage ornament or a reindeer, but nothing really fit in with all the other frames. So, I took matters into my own hands and made this...


Really plain and simple, but I love it! And, in case you love it, too, you can download it here...



I made it 5" x 7" since this is a popular frame size. If you happen to have a 5" square frame like I do, just cut an inch off the top and the bottom of the printable.

Now my wall is all set for the holidays. The only problem is that I'm going to have to change it again in a couple of weeks, but it's actually a lot of fun to find new printables and ideas to fill the frames with. I'll probably go with a winter theme next.


Thanks for stopping by today! Christmas is creeping closer and closer. I was feeling a little more calm after the weekend, but I'm starting to get stressed again. 'Tis the season!


I'm linking up...

mmm button

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Advent Calendar

I made this advent calendar last year before I was blogging, but I love it so much that I want to share it with you guys.


The basic construction came from an advent calendar in the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine from 2008. For some reason I just couldn't get excited about making it. It took me about a year and a half to get it finished, but I'm so happy I didn't give up.


The BHG calendar was done almost entirely in red and white with several blank pockets, but I decided that I wanted mine to be a little more colorful and that I wanted something on every pocket.

Here are the top three rows of pockets...


And here are the bottom two rows...


I used pieces from several different projects in several different books and the original magazine in order to come up with a different pocket for each day. The books I used were the Family Circle Big Book of Christmas volumes 1, 2, and 3 and the Gooseberry Patch Christmas books volumes 3, 4, and 5. If anyone is interested in more information on a specific pocket, please email me because I can probably dig through and figure out where it came from, although a couple of the pockets are my own designs.

Here are a few of my favorite pockets. You may recognize this tree from my Haul Out the Holly blog button...


I believe this heart design came from a pattern for making slippers...




Lately I've been drawn to checking out other bloggers' embroidery projects. I had completely forgotten about this little elf pocket. I would really like to try some more embroidery projects in the coming year...


You may recognize this holly from my Haul Out the Holly posts...



I love the little tiny rusty jingle bells I added to this pocket...



This is one of the pockets I designed myself...



I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's advent calendars this holiday season. There are so many different styles and mediums used. It's pretty amazing!


Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my advent calendar today! I can't believe that Christmas is a week from tomorrow!!! I sense a major freak-out coming this weekend...

I'm linking up...
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