Monday, December 19, 2011

Neighbor Gifts- Hot Chocolate

This was easy to put together and very fun! If you need something to throw together this week, this is it!
Hot Chocolate in a Jar (layered for pretty look)
and Chocolate Peppermint Stirring Sticks. This was fun and the kids loved it! You can find the recipe for the hot chocolate HERE.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baking Gifts

I made these gifts for some ladies I work with every week at church. It's not expected and I just wanted to do a little something so they knew I was thinking of them. I found the recipe and an adorable free printable for Oreo Truffles!!
Here's the link! They are so easy and look and taste so good!
I loved how they turned out so much, I'm going to make another batch for some teacher gifts and a few more friends. The boxes came from the dollar store, but I don't think they looked it. Have fun making these!! Thanks TomKat Studios for sharing!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Favorite Things- Holiday Edition

I LOVE my friends Favorite Things party! This year it was hard to decide what to bring. I ended up with this:
A Big Huge Fat Cinnamon Roll and a bottle of Martinelli's (Apple Cider)! I kept thinking of Christmas. We always have Martinelli's on Christmas Eve and Cinnamon Rolls Christmas morning! These are definitely some of my favorite things!!
Here's a link to the recipe if you're looking for a good one. This one is amazing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Knit Scarf

Here is a really fun and simple gift idea. I made this for my sister-in-law who loves Anthropology and those types of stores. This is loosely based on this tutorial. Knit is so great to work with. And to keep it Anthro-inspired, it's great to leave everything with raw edges.
I love the little ruffle and flower details. And I just love this knit fabric in general. I think she liked it! And thanks to my friend for modeling for me :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Countdown- Books

I had some big hopes of finishing this heirloom-hand stitched-amazing-very time consuming advent calendar for this Christmas! But when I found out I had started in a wrong order and it would take me longer to complete, I decided this year it was not meant to be. I'm going to work on it enjoyably through the year for next Christmas and not stress! So I needed a backup interactive advent calendar for the kids! I decided to go with the book countdown and I LOVE it!
(Book Advent: You wrap up 25 (or whatever number) Christmas/Holiday books and have them numbered. They get to open one each day till Christmas!)
I think we're going to do this every year and I'll tie it into my new amazing advent wall hanging I'll have done for next year. I ended up ordering 8 new Christmas books this year and doing only a 20 day book countdown. I'll keep adding more fun new books each year.
My kids LOVE it! It's our special time each night to read their stories and they are loving getting to "open presents" early! I highly recommend this for anyone thinking of trying it for the the 12 days till Christmas or for next year. Next year I'll also wrap them cuter :-) Getting the cold and flu the first week of December was not helpful! At least we should be immune and healthy for Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Decoration

I have seen these jars all over blog land and I even looked them up to buy on Etsy! They wanted almost $50 for a set of 3 and I didn't like that all 3 would be matching. I wanted different heights and different shapes, etc. So I decided it was time to make these for myself. They are super easy.
I'm sure there's some great tutorials out there for this but I kinda thought it looked self explanatory so I just winged it :-)
The bottoms are various candle holders. The tops are various jars or glass containers.
To Make: Simple paint the candle holders and any lids. I went with black as I wanted it to be versatile for all seasons. I also had to use a primer to get the paint to stick to the glass. Once it's dry, use your E6000 Glue to attach the glass to the candle holder. I held mine in place for a few minutes since it sits a little precariously on the little candle holder. Depending on your lid, you might need to glue the canning jar lid to to the ring so it all comes off together. And that's it! Now add some candy and bows and you're done!
I finally had to get pictures of these before all the candy was gone :-) Happy Holiday Decorating!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Handmade Gift Exchange 2011 Complete

Yeah! I got it in on the last day but I got it in :-) Here's what I sent my partner Cora!
A striped Christmas runner and 8 coordinating fabric napkins and
an everyday Monogrammed Table runner on 100% organic cotton.

I've loved getting to know Cora and her adorable family! I love doing the gift exchange! Big thanks to Linda for organizing all of this! Check out Craftaholics Anonymous for all the gifts!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Ruffle Table Runner

Here's a fun tutorial I did for Thanksgiving/November and shared on Cherished Bliss this past weekend:

Now that Halloween is behind us, I really wanted to update my table runner for November and Thanksgiving. I wanted something that was Thanksgiving inspired but not "in your face" Thanksgiving so I could use it for more things. (I have another turkey table topper coming up next week :-)
What do you think??? I love the burlap inspired, organic cotton I used for the center. I love the texture from the ruffles, and I love, love, love how the painted letters turned out!
It was pretty easy to make but I put together a few steps if you want to make you're own.

First, I used my Silhouette to cut freezer paper and make the template for the word, Thankful. I have to use the card stock settings due to the thick wax on the paper. But it does work.
Then get your fabric prepped. I cut a large rectangle for the center (mine was about 16 inches wide and about 30 inches long). I then cut strips for the border (I did 4 1/2 inches wide) and attached along each side. This is pretty quick.
The runner is now ready to paint on the lettering. Iron on the freezer paper in your desired location. I picked the bottom right hand corner. Iron it on, and then paint it. I used regular craft paint and then sprayed a little bit of sparkle on it. I used a burnt orange and mixed in a little brown.
While this is drying, you can prep your ruffling. I made all three ruffles and left them long, then measured it and cut it. I think it's hard to know exactly how well each fabric will ruffle up. There are a lot of great tutorials on making ruffling, so I'll skip that here. I did finish the edging of the ruffle so it wouldn't fray and also tucked the ends under when I attached each end so there would be no raw seams exposed.
Once your fabric is dry from the paint, find the perfect spot for your ruffles. I chose the left side of the runner. Pin them in place, then sew them down by sewing down the middle of each row.
The top of your runner is now complete. You can now hem the edges and be done, or if you want a little more "poof" in your runner, you can finish it like a quilt. This is what I chose to do. You lay the top of your runner face down against the fabric backing. The pretty sides of both the top and bottom should be facing each other. Then you sew the two pieces together around each side, leaving a whole about 6 inches.
You can now add batting if you'd like. Then flip the batting and the runner inside out through that small whole you left. Use your hand to pop everything out so it's all right sides out. Now iron everything flat. Sew up your hole where you flipped the runner. I also added some top-stitching along the inside of the border to secure my batting in place and make sure if wouldn't move around.
(This is where I sewed up the whole on the side. It's not very noticeable.)
(Here's a close-up of the top-stitching along the inside of the border.)

And Voila... the finished product

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guest Blogging- Cherished Bliss

Hey, go check out my new Thanksgiving Table Runner over on Cherished Bliss today!
More details here tomorrow. Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange Holiday 2011

Are you signed up yet??? Sign ups just opened up over at Craftaholics Anonymous. If you haven't participated before, here's the scoop: You sign up and are given a name of a person you make a craft for. They make a craft for you. You get to meet a cool new crafter somewhere in the world, get to make a cute craft, and receive a cool craft. How fun is that!!

Just shoot Linda an email to sign up. Here's the link. Click on the link that says, Sign Up Form.

Oh, and you don't need to have a blog or an etsy shop or anything. You just have to be able to make 1 craft for someone. That's it. It's so fun. I hope you'll join in!! Happy November!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful (Dry Erase) Place Mats

Happy November 1! Halloween was a blast but I'm excited to move on to Thanksgiving. I just love this holiday and especially all of the meaning behind it. Being thankful is so important, especially teaching this to our children. With that thought in mind, I came up with this fun craft, mostly for my children.
My kids love to draw, and unfortunately, sometimes it's on surfaces that are NOT meant to be drawn on. So, I thought it would be fun to make a place mat for them to use this entire month, that they could draw on to their hearts content!
These Thankful Dry Erase Place Mats are so fun. My kids have already been using them and loving them. They would be great year-round but especially perfect for this month. We will be using them all month long and teaching many lessons during dinner and while their waiting for dinner :-)

If you want to make your own place mats, here's the easy steps:


-Place Mats
-Plastic (you can buy it in big sheets at Walmart)
-Vinyl and cutting machine

I bought my place mats at Target. I wanted something light in color so you would be able to see all of my kids drawing and writing well. I think a light green or orange would be perfect too. You could also make your own place mat to use.
First, I cut my vinyl. I found a fun, kind of kid-ish font. Important step: Make sure you flip your image so it's reversed. You want the vinyl to stick to the plastic, not the fabric, so it will stick really good, and I wanted the vinyl to be sewn on the inside so my kids couldn't' pick it off. So you want the sticky part to be face up. To get this, you have to flip the image before printing. So use, whatever cutter, I used my silhouette to cut out my vinyl.
Next measure your place mat and figure out the area you want covered in plastic. My place mat had a seam bordering it's edge so I used this and just put the plastic in the middle. Cut your plastic so it's 1 large piece covering the area desired. I used a rotary cutter to cut the plastic. It was easier.
Now transfer your vinyl onto your plastic. Face down it should be reversed. Flip over the plastic and it should read perfectly.
Now place your plastic onto your place mat. You can pin it in place but I'd use only a few pins so it won't make a bunch of holes in the plastic. Now, using a coordinating fabric, sew along each side of the plastic.
That's it! Now, just make sure they use dry erase pens to color and you're all set!!
Have Fun!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Wow, what a fun, crazy month!! I have been crafting away but I feel like I still have so much to do. Here are my 2 final Halloween projects I got finished. (yes this picture is sideways but I can't figure out how to flip it in blogger!)
First is this adorable table topper! I love it! I got the pattern at a class at my local quilt shop. It was puzzle pattern piecing (I thought that was hard!) and applique. It was great for improving my technique but took me forever to finish. I'll be excited to pull this out next year and get to enjoy it all month long!
And my kids Halloween Costumes! They were pretty easy on me this year. They are the pirates from Jake and the Neverland Pirates cartoon. There's Jake and Izzy, and my baby is Cubby, but his costume wasn't much, just a bandana and the right color clothes. :-) My mom came to help me figure out how to make the cool vest and made a pattern for their boots. They are open on the bottom and have elastic that goes over their shoes. They are very cool. I love how it all turned out. Izzy needed a little necklace bag for her pixie dust. A few accessories to the shirts and things and we were ready to go. I love that they picked to be something all together! So cute!

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!! Check back for 2 super fun Thanksgiving/November projects this week :-)