Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Project 22

I did quite a bit of sewing for gifting this year.  I found this and this adorable puppet theater on Pintrest. 

I am all about imaginative play and knew my kids needed one.  It was so easy for me to put together I actually made a second for my nephew.

Doorway Puppet Theater

I used a combination of new and on hand fabrics and trims.  I then picked up a couple of tension rods.

Now all we need are some puppets…  though my kids are pretty entertaining without them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Project 21

OOMPH.  It’s been a crazy week.  I think the house is fully disinfected, my daughter is well again and we somehow made it through Christmas fully intact.

I’ve got 10 Christmas projects left to share and I’ll be doing so over the coming days.

After discovering how easy it is to make comfy pants at Halloween, I’ve been cranking them out like it’s going out of style.  My kids are loving their custom made pants.

I found some cute little striped flannel fabric and thought it was perfect for some Christmas morning pants.

I attempted to get smiles from my sick daughter and stubborn son.

Christmas Jammy Pants

Then the horsing around ensued and the photo session was over as quickly as it began.

 Christmas Jammy Pants 2

My poor little girl got sick all over her pants before I got a picture of them under the tree together.  Maybe before  the tree comes down we can make another attempt….

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

30 Days of Christmas


Saved Frosty

Between technical difficulties and sick children, I’ve got to give in and say I can’t get my series done before Christmas.  I know my limits and I’ve officially hit a wall this week with too much on my plate.

I do still have more projects to share and will do so next week.  After I’m done disinfecting the house, getting 1 or 2 full nights of sleep and enjoying time with my family.

Check back next week for the final 10 projects. 

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 20

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

There are lots of great ideas online for classmate gifts.  Last year, we brought reindeer food, cookies and hot cocoa mix.  This year, I wanted to do something different.

I found this cute idea on Pintrest but definitely needed to tweak it.  I can’t very well send in glass jars to a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds – and I kind of hog my glass jars because we do so much food preserving.

Peppermint Play Dough

After some thought and a little research, I decided to go to my local deli and ask to buy some clear soup containers.  I found a printable label here to dress up the containers a little.  The kids and I then got to work making the play dough, which was a super fun project in itself.

 Peppermint Play Dough 2

The dough was really easy to throw together.

The peppermint smell is perfectly potent.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 19

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

Monkey’s classroom also has a teacher’s aide.  We surely can’t leave her unloved this holiday season.

A perusal through my shamefully vast fabric stash had me finding just what I needed to make her a tote as well.  I kept this one fairly simple because the fabric has a lot of personality on it’s own.


Pardon the terrible lighting.  It’s “work after the kids go to bed” night again. 

I lined the maroon fabric with a plain brown and included a few pockets for organization. 

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it when I first started working on it, but I really like the finished product.  I may need to make another one of these!

30 Days of Christmas – Day 18

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

I shared yesterday the fabulous shabby chic bag I made for Monkey’s teacher.  We also found a tutorial on pintrest (which I can’t find now) for making your own personalized notepads using your printer and rubber cement.

Huh.  I can handle that.  Monkey chose the scrapbook paper for the cover.  Then we designed the notes themselves to say “a note from Mrs XYZ.”

Cut down to size, hold notepad together with binder clips and spread rubber cement on the binding liberally.  After it’s dry, remove the clips and tie your notepads together with a pretty bow.

Homemade Personalized Notepad

I did try using GOOP when I was having no luck to find rubber cement.  It held great but didn’t go on smoothly so it created a literal goopy mess on the binding.  (I just trimmed it down and re-glued after finding rubber cement)

 Personalized Homemade Notepads 2

I tucked them in the tote with a handmade card from Monkey, a few packs of baby wipes (she loves them for cleaning up the kiddos hands – can’t blame her!) and a gift card to help out with school supplies.

I hope we were able to show her how much we appreciate all of her hard work. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 17

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

I introduced you to Alphie, our Elf on a Shelf, last year.  He was residing in our Charlie Brown Christmas tree that particular day.

Alphie in a tree

There are lots of families out there who’s elves get into all sorts of Elf Shenanigans.  Many even blog their Elf Shenanigans.

I’ve seen marshmallow baths.  I’ve seen snowball fights and snow angels.  I’ve seen budding artists (I’ve actually considered the Rudolph one because my kids would love it).

Well, Alphie isn’t a trouble maker.  He’s very well behaved.  This year, he’s had a thing for candy canes and we keep finding him either in the real ones or hanging out with decorative ones.  If he’s helping himself to any, he’s been cleaning up after himself even.  Yup.  No shenanigans here, thank you.

Instead, he tries to find the trickiest hiding spaces.  Monkey & Little Man LOVE  to play hide and seek.  Alphie is more than happy to oblige.

He found the ultimate hiding space last night.  He’s hiding in the grate between the 1st and 2nd floor of the house.  He left his feet dangling from down below to help them find him, but the little buggers found him from above!

Sneaky Elf

Alphie needs to work a little harder at hiding before he leaves us for another year.

30 Days of Christmas – Day 16

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

I had fully intended to list a few items in my etsy store this month for the Christmas season.  Enter laptop malfunctions and life and I never did get around to creating the listings.

I did, however, make some fully lined festive stockings that will end up sitting in my office until next year.  Or I’ll add them for an after Christmas sale if I don’t have Christmas burnout in the meantime.  ;-)

Christmas Stockings

I’d almost like to keep them for myself but T’s sister had personalized stockings knit for us two years ago.  I can only hang so many stockings before Santa says I’m being selfish and stuffs them all with coal!

Christmas Stockings 2


30 Days of Christmas – Day 15

(My laptop charger AND battery died simultaneously forcing me to play catch up for much of this series.)

I saw this bag months ago and fell in love – which is really odd for a woman like myself.  I rarely carry a bag other than Little Man’s backpack full of diapers (which isn’t a major requirement for outings anymore).

I pinned it with the full intention of recreating it for myself.

Instead, I’ve gone and made my own rendition of it for Monkey to give to her teacher for Christmas (hopefully with a few goodies inside).

 Ruffled Burlap Tote

The lining is red striped ticking.  I included a few pockets for more organized storage.  I also used the lining fabric on the outside of the handles to add more color interest.  I decided to leave off the flower because it competed for attention against the handles and ruffles.  I also treated the edges of the ruffles with Mod Podge to prevent the fraying from going from Perfectly Rustic to Falling Apart after a bit of use.

I still love the bag and still think I need one of my own.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 14

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

Part of our Advent Calendar Activities was to make cookies to deliver to our neighbors.  I needed some containers to deliver the cookies in that I don’t care if they get returned or not.

My kids love Clementine oranges.  I had purchased a box of them last week – and the kids had already emptied said box.  So here I have this empty box sitting on my counter, waiting to go out to the trash.

Trash to Treasure cookie box

I got a bright idea when I saw it next to my stacks of cookies.

Enter Mod Podge and scrapbook paper.

Trash to Treasure cookie box 2

I tucked tissue paper inside – under, around and over the cookies.

Christmas Cookies


30 Days of Christmas – Day 13

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

My card wall needed some love.  It was just pretty boring with the small smattering of cards we’ve received.  I saw this garland on Pintrest and thought it was just the thing I needed.

Paper Circle Garland

It ended up being a project to share with Monkey.  She quite enjoyed using the hole punch.  Little Man helped me with the sewing by handing me the circles as I stitched them together.

Paper Circle Garland 2

Much better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 12

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

Our Christmas cards have started to filter in in the mail.  I’ve been looking for a simple way to display them.  I also had a large section of wall needing some Christmas-fying. 

Simple Card Display 

A length of twine stretched across two pins, some clothespins and I’m done.

Simple Card Display 2

The large expanse above the cards still needs something. 

I have something in mind already!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 11

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

I was perusing blogs one morning with my coffee.  Monkey likes to come look at the pretty pictures with me and pointed this pillow out to me.  She wanted to make it.  So we did!

Felt Tree & Burlap pillow

Monkey wanted to learn how to use my sewing machine so I gave her a simple lesson.  I did the majority of the sewing while she sat on my lap and helped guide the fabric through the feed.  The lumpy filling?  Both Monkey and Little Man had to take part in stuffing.

Felt Tree & Burlap Pillow 2

She’s extremely pleased with her first sewing project (even if Mommy did most of the work ;-).

My children can’t help themselves when we set up for photos.  They just love to sneak in!

Felt Tree & Burlap Pillow 3

Strike a pose.

Felt Tree & Burlap Pillow 4

If you couldn’t guess, Monkey has claimed this pillow as her own and it’s now living on her bed.

I do believe I’ll need to start making multiples when sewing pillows if I ever want some to land on my couch.

30 Days of Christmas – Day 10

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

I’ve seen them done a hundred times (at least!) and decided it was time to add some of this cozy goodness to my winter decor.

I found myself a plain old sweater at Goodwill for $1.  I got myself two wide pillows plus scraps for something else out of it.

 Sweater Pillows

I backed them with a green fabric from  my fabric stash.

Sweater Pillow

This is what happens when you try to do a photo shoot in this house:

Photo bombed

My son has claimed them for his own and keeps taking them upstairs to his bed.  Little stinker.  He was seconds from stealing them here.

I think I need to find myself some more old sweaters.

30 Days of Christmas – Day 9

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

I’ve been saving all sorts of inspiration for an advent calendar but still couldn’t decide what I wanted to make for the kids.  I started looking through the craft stash and STILL couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.

One afternoon, we pulled out our Christmas wrapping supplies to wrap our community service Secret Santa gifts.  I found a slew of glitter gift tags I’d picked up on clearance last year and my light bulb went off. 

Here’s what we came up with:

Advent Activity Calendar

I got the numbers printable here.

Advent Tags

I got the activities printable here – though they ended up being too big for my tags so I had to cut them down.  A lot.  I used blank ones as well to fill in some of our own activities.

Advent Tags 2

The tags are just pinned to the backing with push pins we hot glued some little jewels to. 

The beauty of this calendar is I’ll be able to take the tags and pins off after Christmas and reuse the frame for something else.

Activity du jour?  Make a Christmas craft.  Should be fun!

Monday, December 5, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 8

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

Remember our Jack O’Lantern fridge?

Jack O Lantern Fridge

Today, we turned our fridge into a snowman.

Snowman Fridge

Monkey loves practicing her scissor work, so I drew the pieces out on the back sides of the papers and let her have at it.  Little Man helped me place the pieces on the fridge with some plain scotch tape on the back to hold in place.



His mouth has since been straightened out.  ;-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 7

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

It’s just not Christmas in this house if there’s no baking involved.

My Country Living magazine finally arrived in the mail this week.  The Christmas edition is always much anticipated by me!

I found a recipe for Chocolate Whoopie Pies in one of the articles.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies?  What’s so Christmas special about those? 

The peppermint filling, my friends.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies w/Peppermint Filling

Of course, the whole point of Christmas baking is doing it with little helpers.  This little helper was quite pleased with his taste testing.

Momma's Little Baker 

Oooh..  Nom.

 Chocolate Whoopie Pies Peppermint Filling

I did deviate from the original recipe a teeny tiny bit.  I rolled the edges in crushed candy canes for a little extra added love.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies Peppermint Filling Crushed Candy Canes


Have I sad that yet?

30 Days of Christmas – Day 6

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

I was playing outside with the family in the dusting of snow we had on the ground.  I walked by my front porch and decided I really needed to add another pop of color.

Winter Front Entrance 

I then realized I’ve had this pile of red twigs on my deck for a few weeks, trying to figure out what I was going to do with them.  I needed to deal with them before T decided to get rid of them.

A stroll through the garage and I found a big clay pot filled with dirt.  I just started shoving twigs in, still not sure what I was going to do with it even after it was finished.

Winter Garden Vignette

A second stroll through the garage found me pulling out things I’d put away for winter months ago!  I also found an old rusted star we’d taken off the house left by the previous owners.  I told T not to throw it away at the time and now I’m glad I held onto it!  A hit of red spray paint and it was good as new.

You don’t need to look far to find inspiration.  Sometimes all it takes is a stroll through the garage.

30 Days of Christmas – Day 5

(My laptop charger AND battery died.  I’ll be playing a little catch up over the next few days now I’m back up and running.)

Remember Monkey’s fabulous curtain hangers at the old house?

Curtain Knobs

The old barn boards with glass knobs were a favorite, however the layout of windows in her new bedroom does not offer the opportunity to re-use them.  The two boards have been sitting on the breezeway for nearly a year, waiting for a new use.

I found the perfect use for one of them this weekend.

Christmas Stocking Hanger

I painted “THE STOCKINGS WERE HUNG…” on,  hot glued a twiggy star ornament to it and I was done.

Christmas Stocking Hanger 2

I love it.  The kids love it.  The husband tolerates it (as is true with most of my projects. ;) )


Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 4

A Scene from a Christmas Horror Movie…

It’s what I walked into when I came home one day last week.

*cue horror music*

Christmas Horror

This would be a 3 foot tall styrofoam snowman my grandmother gave me.  You can call him retro, I suppose.  I call him in sad scary shape.

His paint is faded, his snow is dingy, he lost the present he used to hold – and his hat…  oh, his hat.  My grandmother tried giving him a facelift before with some spray paint.  The paint ate the foam – hence the addition of the lovely knit beanie.

He’s definitely seen his better days.

Lucky for Frosty, he was dropped on the right doorstep.  I was not to be deterred nor to be intimidated (much to my husband’s dismay, of course). 

Off came his bow, his hat and his mitten.  I ripped off whatever it is he’s holding and got to work.

Look at him now!

 Frosty Remade 

He got a fresh coat of paint (acrylics!) and a new scarf from an old scrap of burlap.  I then hot glued scraps of an old wool skirt to his hat and hands.  A strip of remnant fabrics made nice mitten cuffs and ribbon for his hat.  A red sharpie worked great to replace the string that was once his mouth.  I finished him off by hot gluing a frame where the present once was filled with a printable (found here – note that printing it in a smaller size did cut the edges off ever so slightly).

While he may still be a 3 foot tall styrofoam snowman, Frosty was given a new lease on life. 

After many years gracing my grandparents front porch, Frosty will spend at least a few more greeting visitors on mine.

Welcoming Frosty

(Because I did not dare spray him with sealant for fear of more foam melting, this Frosty will be spending his winter days protected from the elements).

Don’t you just love a happy ending?


Linking up here:

The Shabby Nest

30 Days of Christmas – Day 3

My little trees on the front porch are still in need of some sparkle.  I’ve been waiting a little because I’ve had them out there for near a month now – that’s a little early even for me to do Christmas decorating.  :-)

(Please ignore my chipped front door.  I didn’t get to it this year but it’s top of the list for next!)

Boring Christmas Trees

I dug out the last two boxes of vintage lights and some twine.

Vintage Light Garland

I’m not sold on it, but it’s cute enough and works for now.

They can’t all be a win, I guess.

You haven’t seen the last of these bulbs yet.  I have one more project lined up for them this week.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Christmas – Day 2

Here’s another project from the Pinspiration Files.

Isn’t this Santa Can adorable?

santa bucket 022[1] 


Come on!  How easy is this to do yourself?

After a quick jaunt to the thrift store for a couple belts, I gathered my supplies:

Santa Can Supplies

Ok, so 38F is a little chilly for spray paint, but I couldn’t help myself.

I first took the belts and fit them around the cans to find where I’d need to punch new holes in them.  I used a hammer and a nail to punch through the leather.  I then took my two cans into the garage and quickly sprayed them both.  While we patiently waited for the paint to dry, the kids and I went off for a nature hike to cut some greens.

Then we assembled.  Wrap belt around can, dump some dirt into can, tuck greens and colorful branches in using the dirt to anchor and……


Santa Cans

I dug up the little trees for the planters.  Now we’ve added our Santa Cans.  Our front door still needs a wreath and I’d like to add a little more sparkle to the front steps, but I think we’re off to a good start!

  Santa Can Left Santa Can Right

Total cost is $1.00 for the belts.

Ho Ho Ho!

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