Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trying to start up again again again

So this is like the 14th time I've started up my blog again, but only the 3rd new name? 

I'm still playing around with backgrounds and banners.  Graphics Fairy and Background Fairy have some really wonderful and free stuff to play around I'm off to play! 

See you all soon (Is anyone left?)!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Advent of Advent

Time for the Holiday Fun to begin!  I'm just starting to set out my Christmas decorations--being very slow at that.  The one item Addie insisted on having up on time...

The Advent Calendar!

I bought ours at Costco several years ago and I just love it.  If you don't already have one you can head on over to Skip To My Lou for a Last Minute Advent CalendarCrafty Crow's line-up of homemade Advent Calendar Links, or One Crafty Mumma's Links. 

Each year I put a little envelope it's appropriately numbered door--The first year I just wrote the activity out, second year I gave some written clues and had the girls guess, and last year I actually had bags with the "ingredients" and made them guess.  Addie said she REALLY likes to guess what the activity will be so this year I'm going with miniature clues.  This could end up biting me in the end, but...what's new.

Tonight's Clue!

Results Tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Advent Ideas

I have a few more advent ideas to add to my list...
  1. Go get the tree!  We've decided to switch to a REAL tree this year--Christmas tree farms are good for the environment, they're planted as a crop (that is a carbon neutral footprint) and can be used as compost if they aren't sprayed with fake snow.  So we need to hike up and get one!
  2. Borax Crystal Snowflakes-- Super easy to make, you just need some borax and pipecleaners.  They are very pretty and the kids get a chemistry lesson without even knowing they're doing it.
  3. Rock Candy--Along the same lines as the snowflakes, but edible.  Easy to make--little ones need grown-up help--and can be given out as gifts to friends.
  4. Personalized Clip board idea from Michaels:  Might be a good gift idea for a certain big sister who's now a swim coach hint hint.
  5. Candles.  Easy idea for embellishing at Gingerbread Snowflakes.
  6. Still investigating...I'll share as I find.
I also have some past ideas for you!...
  1. Paint Swirl Ornaments--Michaels  here.  Even the little one can create a super cool ornament.
  2. Birdseed Birdhouse:  My own idea (believe it or not) after I saw one for sale in Williams Sonoma for $30.  Buy wooden birdhouses at the dollar store, smear with peanut butter or shortening if you have allergies in the household, then decorate with birdseed mix, oatmeal, nuts and dried fruits.  They look absolutely adorable, the birds wents "nuts" over them, and they can be re-smeared and studded once they've been cleaned by the birds.
  3. Matchbook Notepads.  Very easy to make.   We used christmas themed cardstock and scrapbooking embellishments.  Project instructions from Design Sponge.

Pattiwack Ideas (craft designer Patti Donham) that we've successfully done...
  1. Snazzy Soaps: These are super easy even for the little ones.  To make the project a bit more interesting for older kids have them melt and mould their own soaps.
  2. Beaded Candle Bobeches: Really cool and they are quite displayable.
  3. Coffee Cup Christmas Card Holders:  this one was a favorite.  I bought the mugs at Goodwill for 25cents each.  My oldest, Alyssa, embellished the top of the plaster of paris with glue and coffee beans which I thought was super cool.  The little ones can do this too if you help them with the wire shaping.
  4. Comfort Pillows: Everyone needs one of these and since it involves only sewing in a straight line (or as close as you can get) it's a fun project for beginning sewers.  We used rice, not corn though.
  5. Umbrella Charms:  Can also be used for cell phones.  Gotta have at least one Shrinky Dink project!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Advent Ideas

Christmas season is getting nearer and while I think it is still a little soon to be decorating, it is time for me to start gathering ideas and supplies for our Advent activities.

I've found that my girls like making things--a few presents here and there, but also things for them.

  1. Make doggie biscuits for family pet presents. Very popular last year!  Daily Drool has some great recipes.
  2. Decorate a gingerbread house--I must confess that I purchased a kit at the grocery store AND I construct the house with a hot glue gun.  Let's be real, they're not gonna eat the gingerbread and hot glue holds better than frosting when you're talking structural gingerbread.
  3. Food Bank shopping day~Each girl gets and envelope with money to spend on food items to give to a local charity.  
  4.  Make scented sugar scrub for either ourselves or as part of a spa gift. Martha has a customizable recipe and labels here.  I'm also eager to try Brown Sugar Scrub from Domino Sugar.
  5. Make bath fizzies for ourselves or as a gift. Martha--AGAIN!
  6. Peppermint Fudge.  Just found an easy recipe from Martha that I think the kids will enjoy doing. 
  7. Treats for school friends.  An easy recipe like chocolate dipped pretzels, Chex Muddy Buddies or microwave caramel corn.
  8. Decorate the tree.  Has to be done--make it a family activity with Christmas music.
  9. Cookie decorating!  Make the dough ahead of time, so time can be spent cutting out and decorating.
  10. Fancy Hot Cocoa day!  Make some old fashioned cocoa and be sure to have whipped cream, candy cane stirrers, and sprinkles (try out some of those cookies too)
  11. Make gift tags.  Get out the cardstock, Holiday stamps, glitter, and ribbon.  Let the kids make the tags this year instead of purchasing at the store.
  12. Wrap presents for teachers and friends.  Time to put bows around the teacher's Starbucks Coffee and their friends goodie bags.
  13. Stepping stones.  Use hard plastic bakery containers or purchase a mould at the craft store.  Embellish the stones with broken tiles, glass bobbles and beads for one-of -a-kind present.
  14. Star of the concert days!  We have at least 2 holiday concerts this year--let the star of the concert pick dessert and bring home to celebrate.
  15. ... I need to do some more idea researching!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


11 Little snowpeople lined up for detailing

...and, of course, one little helper,

8 tea towels that need their final embellishing ala Sew4Home,

1 paper-pieced quilt that needs requilting (yes, I tore out ALL the old because I was unhappy with it),

1 shelf that needs some knobs attached and eventually needs to be hung

And don't forget the box of felted sweaters needed for the Felt & Stitch Holiday Workshop!

Lots to do!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday For You

Busy, busy, busy with my Holiday Felt & Stitch Workshop.  Betz White is so fun and creative! 

My brain is starting to get a bit crazy with all the Christmas gifts I want to make!  Sew, Mama, Sew is featuring handmade gifts each day (even weekends!), Craftzine's blog has some great ideas, Sew4Home has some bright and festive handmade things to make, and then there are all the great ideas I see featured on all the wonderful blogs I have listed on the sidebar. 
Here's a couple little happy holiday images for to use.  Out thrifting this weekend I found some vintage cards for only 5cents each!

Little Popeye skating?

Double click on either image to copy it.  For personal use only--Thanks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wool on the Brain & Yum

European style dark hot chocolate mix + a jigger of Bailey's Irish Creme + a big squirt of whip cream= the perfect late night, Baby it's cold outside, mommy drink.  AHHH...

At the same time I've had to drag out my stash of felted wool sweaters for my latest Betz White's Holiday Felt & Stitch Workshop (sorry can't share any pictures--class rules).  What to my wondering eyes should appear?

A Mug Cozy!

All this requires is the straight part of a sleeve from a felted wool sweater.  1)Cut to the size of the mug--being sure to leave at least a little space from the cups rim to drink,  2)Cut a slit big enough for the mug handle at the sweater SEAM,

3) Put a nice little blanket stitch around the handle opening and the top and bottom edges (my isn't very neat--I was so excited about this idea at the time that I sped through the steps),

4) Stretch over your mug and fill with a yummy, hot drink that even your cat would love

Just beware the after affects of above cuddliness and warmth...