Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lotte's Advent Calendar

I did a guest post over at GLUESTICKS on Friday.  I was going to wait awhile to post this here, but it is dated material, if you will.  I told you about it in my thankful post, but if you didn't take the jump and see it, here it is....

Lotte is 2 and a half and it is the first Christmas she is able to understand the magic of it all.  So I wanted to give her a calendar of her own to help countdown until the big day!

This cute little guy is in her room above her bookcase.

I didn't want it to be too expensive or too heavy to hang so I made it out of Balsa board.  It is only $3.00 from the craft store, and it can be found in the modeling section.

I used Martha Stewart glitter paint (AMAZING STUFF) on clothespins that I already had in my stash.  Everything is hot-glued together in a sort of random fashion.  The circles where cut from my Cricut and I hand drew the numbers on.

I couldn't find the "perfect ornaments" so I picked up a bag of vase filler from the craft store ($4.99 with a 40% off coupon!).  I made them into ornaments with a straight pin, some glue and ribbon.  If you have ornaments around those would work too, or making them out of felt would add a great touch.

Every day in December she will wake up and put a new ornament on her mini Christmas tree.

This advent calendar is something we will have for years to come and I can't wait for the many Christmases filled with wonder and excitement!

Linking my advent calendar up to these jolly good hostesses!
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
DIY Under $5 @ A Little Tipsy
12 Days of Christmas @ Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive, 365

Friday, November 25, 2011

Guest Post...Post Thanksgiving

I hope you had an EXCELLENT Thanksgiving!

Before I get into my thanksgiving thankful list, I want to share something that I am sooo grateful for...

I'm doing a guest post at GLUESTICKS today!  Come and check out Lotte's Advent Calendar over at Brandy's Homemade Advent Calendar Week!

It turned out EXACTLY like I wanted it to, and I'll give you the how-to over there!

Here are half a dozen things that I'm thankful for this weekend and EVERY day!
1.  Health:  I thank God that I'm healthy and that I have healthy children.  I don't take that for granted.  I'm thankful that my family is healthy, including my step Dad.  Almost exactly 3 years ago he was diagnosed with a mean form of cancer.  He has been healthy for just about 2 years now, and I pray that he continues to stay that way.

2.  Family:  I think it goes without saying that my family is incredibly supportive of my husband, myself and our children.  I wouldn't be able to make it without them.

3.  My job:  There are too many people who do not have work right now to not be thankful for my job.  I'm thankful that I have a boss who helps support me and my family by keeping me employed.  In this time of economic hardship I am more than thankful that my employer has done all that he can to keep me employed and that he has gone above and beyond thinking of my family and not just his budget.

4.  My husband:  He does more during a day than I do, and for that I'm ever grateful because I couldn't do everything without him.

5.  My children:  They are incredible.  They are both special in their own way and I'm so thankful that they are who they are and I can't wait to see who they become.

6.  My blog:  This blog has given me something to do for myself.  It has made me a better person.  It has made me more accountable to my dreams and my aspirations, and most of all it has been a motivator for me to be a more productive person!  Thank you so much for reading and following me on my creative journeys!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Garden Update???

Look what we pulled out of our sadly neglected garden.

We honestly didn't think the carrots would ever come in.  Nearly six months and 4 or 5 good frosts later, my husband pulled out 8 fully formed but small carrots.  Out of a garden that I haven't been out to in months!


Acorn Cookies

Here are some easy additions to your fall cookie plates or your desert spread.

I originally saw these in Family Fun magazine.  I followed their recipe...

Unwrapped Hershey Kisses
Chocolate Frosting
Mini Nilla Waffers
Pretzel Sticks

Put a dab of frosting on the bottom of the Nilla Waffer and attach the Hershey Kiss.  After they have dried for a bit add a smaller dab of frosting to the top and attach a 1/4 inch piece of pretzel.  I let mine sit over night for the icing to "harden" so that it was sure to hold.

But mine needed just a little something extra, so I drizzled melted chocolate over the tops.

I made about 4 dozen in less than 20 minutes...super duper easy!

No Nonsense November--Let the CRAFTING begin

My list is nailed down.

My budget is set.

Let the CRAFTING begin.

I'm going to start by showing off THE. GREATEST. YARD. SALE. FIND. EVER.

Here is one of Lotte's {and I guess eventually Brother too} Christmas gifts.

It was on the side of the highway at a Ghhheeetooooeeee yard sale.

I made the Mister turn the car around immediately.

It is real wood, handmade and in EXCELLENT condition.

{sink with movable faucet and "dog dish" sink}

The man said he is asking $140 for all three pieces.  I said "No, but we could do $100."

{stove with plexi glass on oven and microwave, turning knobs and shelf inside oven}

He said, "SOLD!"

{I started taking the fridge apart to paint before my "before" picture...but it also has 2 shelves inside}

With a little A LOT of help from my mom we were able to take it home.

So I have worked a bit this weekend and will continue this week to doll this beauty up to its full potential.

HERE is my Pinterest Board "Pimped Play Kitchen" that I have started in order to gather some of my ideas for all of the kitchen goodies.  Do you have anything I should add?  I LOVE good kitchen finds!

Making life simple! Cutting tulle the FAST way!

So I recently have made two tutus!  One for an order and one for Lotte's Halloween costume.

For the Halloween costume, I bought tulle off of the bolt.  It is so much cheaper, and for Lotte, it's okay if it isn't perfectly cut.  I went to youtube and searched "cutting tulle from bolt"  there was a super great video tutorial HERE and I LOVE this lady because she saved me a BUNCH of time and effort.

I made the lady bug tutu before and didn't think about youtube-ing of googling the fast way to cut tulle from the spool.  So I think I'm pretty GENIUS for coming up with this.

I wanted an 8 inch tutu for a one year old.  So I cut a piece of cardboard 16 inches long {doubled}.  I made sure that it was wider than 6 inches.

I started the tulle at the very top of the cardboard and just simply flipped it around and around and around until the entire spool was wrapped around the cardboard.

I then took scissors and cut through all the layers of tulle at both the top and the bottom of the board.

I removed the board and had a beautiful and neat stack of tulle the exact length that I needed it for my tutu.

This made it super easy to keep the tulle really straight and "fresh".  I didn't want to send it out all rumply and crumply.

I hope this helps you shave time and hassle off of your tutu endeavors!

I'm linking up to these awesome hostesses this week!  Thank you ladies!!
Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas Organizer & Make Your Own Tabs

This year I have printed out and am going to be using the Organized Christmas planner.

They have over 40 different printables that help you organize your Christmas Planner.

Some examples include:
Party Planners
Weekly Planners
Ornament Journal (My favorite...keep track of yearly additions!)
Decor Planner/Inventory/Storage
Gift Ideas and Master Gift List
Card List
Black Friday Planner
Meal Planners

I put all of my planners into a 1/2 inch binder and made a little cover page.

On the inside I separated my planner into 6 different sections.
Lists-all of my to do lists
Mail-card mailing lists
Food-baking and menu planning
Home-decorations and home chores
Journal-ornament and traditions

I am in love with how organized my Christmas is going to be.  It makes me feel relaxed and happy.

Do you like my tabs for my organizer?  I made them myself...sorry for the terrible pictures!  It was LATE!

Here is how I made them...I cut circles from my card stock and folded them in half.

I measured and drew a straight line where I wanted the tab.
Then I used my exacto-knife to cut that line.

Slip the circle into the cut line.  I used zots to secure the folded circle together.  Quick, Easy and perfect for my organizer!

I'm linking my Christmas Organizer to these LOVELY and GRACIOUS hostesses!
Get Your Craft on @ Today's Creative Blog
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kid Gifts

I have a few things for my kids that I am going to be making.  The first up on my list is our new play kitchen.  We re-loved an old used one last year.  Lotte has been playing with it all year.  But last week we scored the biggest yard sale find EVER!  It's a new 3 piece wooden handmade kitchen.  I'll do a whole separate post and reveal later!

Here are some of the things that I have found around the internet that I plan on making as well.

Lotte LOVES to use a pop up tent in the living room for "movie night".
This one is compact, easy to make and adorable to boot!

This guy is going to be super easy to make.  I know that we will have lots of fun, especially now that Lotte is really using her imagination.  If this is as easy as I'm thinking, we might make one for a friend's daughter too!
THIS is from a series Skip to my Lou is doing.  You should check out the rest of her gift ideas!

These are too easy not to make.
Here is how Stitching in the Dark made hers.

This is going to be for my 2 older nieces.
HERE is the tutorial for what it all includes.

I also see some felt food in my future as my niece is getting our "old" kitchen for Christmas, and Lotte's bestie is getting a kitchen too.  There are sooo many patterns and coolness out there for felt food.

I'm sure as I spend the next day or two hammering out my list my gifts will get more narrowed down, and I'll maybe find some new ones.

What are you making for the kids?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

*Spoiler Alert* Friend Gifts

If you are a close real-life friend or family member...PLEASE avert your eyes!  I'm going to be posting some of my favorite ideas for gifts and you might find out what you are getting.

I have a friend or two who would like this gift.
You Can Make This has a free pattern for this darling apron!

This one is for my adult girly cousins.
HERE is an awesome tutorial for making a braided scarf from t-shirts!

I definitely need to make a cute pincushion and personalized pins for my crafty friends.
HERE is a free pattern.
And No Big Dill has a tutorial on personalized push pins.

Co-worker gifts.  So easy and useful.
Here is a free tutorial.
These will be for some of my friend couples.
Everything Etsy has a cute roundup of embroidery hoop art.

Well if you are a "real-life friend" and read through this anyway, do you have any requests?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No Nonsense November

Are you tired of not getting everything finished on your Christmas list?

Are you like me and always scrambling to get it all done?

Are you spending the last weeks running around instead of with your family?

Well, I invite you to take the NO NONSENSE NOVEMBER PLEDGE with me!


1. That I will not wait to make my Christmas list.  Staying organized is key to having a well oiled Christmas machine. I will finish my lists within the next week.

2. That I will make as many homemade Christmas gifts as possible.  There are so many advantages to making your Christmas presents.  It can save money, it gives the receiver something that they can't go out and get themselves, and I believe that it is enriching to know that someone is getting a gift that you personalized just for them.   I will give a majority of handmade gifts this year.

3. That I will not wait to begin my gift buying and making.  My biggest deterrent to giving homemade gifts is that I wait too long and it all piles up to an impossible mountain of unfinished work.  I will start making and doing NOW.

4. That I will take the time to enjoy my holiday season.  With the hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to focus on all that needs to be done and not spend enough time enjoying family and the season.  I will spend each day doing something fun with my family to celebrate and commemorate this time of year.

5. I will document through photos and journaling all of our family fun and traditions this year.  Last year I fell out of my regular December journaling habit {being hugely pregnant and running after a toddler isn't an excuse}.  I will write everything down, photograph as much as possible and keep up with family traditions.

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