Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hand-crafted cards made easy ..

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(warning .. EXTREMELY picture-heavy post)
When I knew it was time to make our cards this year, the idea seemed like such a simple one.
hand-made Christmas cards ...
I mean really - how difficult could it be ? :)

Anytime you ask yourself that - you should ALWAYS know it's a precursor to terror.

ok, honestly it wasn't so much difficult as it was tedious and painstakingly time-consuming. But, in the end I managed to create almost 4 dozen cards; 90% of them unique + 100% created with scrap booking supplies & our little hands. :)

In the beginning - I tried to make each card totally different from the last.

ribbon cut at an angle in descending sizes
buttons hot glued on as ornaments

scrapbook paper cut to the length of the card
ribbon hot glued on top & bottom border

I laid my buttons on the card in a tree shape
lifted the buttons one at a time- placing them back onto hot glue

hot glued ribbon on top for 'tree star'

2 pieces of contrasting scrapbook paper cut to length of card and hot glued in place
ribbon cut to same length and hot glued over 'seaming' both papers together
stamped 'happy holidays' onto cardstock, then cut out and hot glued onto card

cut scrapbook paper and ribbon to fit card width
added scrap book candy cane embellishment + buttons and then stamped

Friday, December 23, 2011

multiple rudolphs spotted!!

OOOoohhhhh !! It's the 'day before the day before Christmas!'

I just can't WAAAAAIIIIIT !!
..... but they say I have to (frowny face).

So, today to pass some time - mission : Christmas treats for friends & neighbors.

the star was definitely the 'pinspired' Rudolphs

They're simply sugar cookies in a gingerbread man shape, turned upside down and painted awesomely .. by my super-amazing, excellent icing piper husband ;)

By the time these were ready to be beautified, I was so baked out, carded out and shopped out; I couldn't see straight. I merely showed him the picture and he happily went to town ... one more reason I love him so.

The final product was a dozen or so friends and family trays ... yum-o.

Just a few of our family's traditional Christmas treats, ever since I can remember.

Happy Holidays and try to do something nice for someone who has less than you .. pay it forward.

(left to right, clockwise) chocolate cherry cheese squares, walnut walkaways, peanut butter cookies, Gramma Kitty's sugar cookies, and brownies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

oh my .. the Christmas cards !

I can't believe I did it .. but I did.

43 hand-made Christmas cards !!

More pictures to come .. but this is the pile .. I'm exhausted and still have to address / stamp / send off in the next 12 hours ! AAARRGGHHHH !!!

I just have to keep reminding myself ...
I love Christmas .. I love Christmas .. I love Christmas ...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I have no TIME to be sick..

but for some reason - I am!

I have cards to make, a Christmas letter to write, cookies and other goodies to make, stuff envelopes .....

that very sentence made my face hurt - I'm going to bed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

love for teacher


Third grade has, so far, been a year of change. Since kindergarten our daughter has consistently shared a classroom with her 'very besties.' Much to her disappointment, she was not placed with her close inner circle when it came time to assign classrooms this year. In fact - she got placed with a, shall I say, less-than-compassionate teacher.

Long story short - an anonymous donor afforded our small school enough money for 1 extra 3rd grade teacher. When it came time to reassign 5 kids from each class .. we made it clear we would love (with a capital L) for her to be able to change. we did a happy dance when she did :)

She's had nothing but straight A's and nice things to say about her teacher .. I'm so glad. I remember third grade being such a 'transition' for our oldest. Cursive and multiplication and all that .. *phew*

Anyway .. /end rambling :)) She was very excited to make her teacher a gift for the upcoming holiday.

of course .. finding myself pinspired - "we" chose to make her our own style of one of these types of 'picture frame jewelry displays.'

I thought it would be as simple as discard the glass - cut & glue together a piece of cardboard - glue on a layer of cork board - cover with fabric - then attach screws in hooks, ribbons, embellishments.. etc. done. hehehe .. no.

First .. it didn't really need the cork. It needs wood in order to really secure the hooks for necklaces.

Second .. it didn't fit the 'hanging back' after I glued all the pieces in. (it worked this time, though - because she got to sign a little Merry Christmas on the back, with her name/school year, etc. ... the teach can figure out how to hang it :P )

Third .. there was going to be NO hand-screwing of hooks into the frame. There was just too much pressed wood .. :/ ouch.

Fourth .. trying to eyeball a straight line, while screwing into cork .. isn't a good idea.

Despite the hurdles .. we managed to get 'er done.

When/if I do this again, I'll be going with separate frames for each type of jewelry. It would be a cool feature on a wall to line up three 5x7 matching background frames - one for long stem earrings, one for backed earrings, and one with nothing but big hooks for necklaces. :) I smell another prrrooojeecctt ! :P But for now .. here's the one I've been rambling about.

  • we removed/ discarded the glass
  • cut out an identical piece of cardboard as well as cork to fit the frame
  • hot glued fabric to cover the front
  • hot glued the hanging ribbon, to the back
  • hot glued the entire piece into the frame
  • screwed a (not so straight) line of hooks along bottom
  • screwed in hooks with wire attached between, up top
  • high five the kid .... then mentally scrutinize all the things I'd do better, next time
  • done ! :P

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

shmelty melty crayola fun

One of the very first things that made me screech with excitement while Pinteresting; was all the melted crayon art. When I called over and showed my tiny humans the examples .. there was a squeal of equal or greater excitement. :)

An attractive feature of this craft was the simplicity. Don't get me wrong - I'm down for a challenge; but I'm one who also enjoys the easy peasy stuff from time to time, too.

If you skim through this video it'll be simple.

cool picture of the night award goes to ^__^
The first thing we did was paint our canvases with dark acrylic. White just seemed like such a boring background for the fun color project. The little one and I went with black - while the hubby chose a dark purple.

After we let it dry, we figured out the arrangement we wanted our crayons to be, on the canvas. LoL 'let it dry' sounds so patient ... we totally used my hair dryer. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

dear snow ..

I only conceded to your visits, 1 day a year ... that day is Christmas.
12 is the number of days you are early.
I fail to see the humor in your appearance, tonight.
go on now ... shoo !

and in the a.m. the Volvo didn't look all too impressed with it, either

Sunday, December 4, 2011

the pine cones are coming! the pine cones are coming!

No matter which way you walk up - you cannot miss the 40 foot white pine that towers over our home. Outside of the annoying roof scraping in a windstorm & loudly dropping pine cones; it's kinda pretty.

I've forever been fond of pine cones and their little 'bug apartment layers.' (that's what I thought when I was 6..) They're neat, complex little bits of proof that nature is pretty damned majestic.

When it's time to clean up ... the pine cones are annoying.
When it's time to craft .. the pine cones are made of awesome sauce. :)

In line with my simple/budget friendly Christmas theme - I decided to make use of the little buggers. Despite the 30 degree weather - we slapped on coats, gloves & hats to brave the cold and gather our 'supplies.' ( By "we" .. I mean everyone minus the teenager. She was on a really good chapter and couldn't be bothered. *insert semi-eye roll here* )

After we grabbed what I thought to be sufficient pine cones; we laid down newspaper on the back deck & spread the cones out to be 'Christmasified!'

"Let's paint!"

Friday, December 2, 2011

simple + budget friendly x-mas decor

If you were to ask me what my favorite season is, I'd answer with a resounding "Christmas!"
If you were puzzled and looked at me, asking "ya mean winter?"
I would look back at you, just as puzzled & throw a snowball at the side of your head.

I think Christmas should have it's own official season. It's already shoved down our throat the day after Thanksgiving; in essence, it gets it's own month. *insert shrug, here*

As magical and wonderful as the season may be .. it's financially straining, stressful, chaotic, and the constant music makes my ears bleed on the inside. *insert disapproving headshake, here*

I only meant to whine about the money & chaos, but I went off on a little tangent. At my work, they've been blasting Christmas songs 24 hours a day for the last 8 days. I'm ready to jingle bell someone right across their one horse open sleigh. :)

I digress !! EEK !

Searching through pinterest and stalking friend's pictures of their own decorations on Facebook, I decided I needed to take a trip to the local thrift store. I spent $20 on a bunch of
  • lights
  • bulb ornaments
  • colored bells
  • big and small glass containers
  • strands of beads

Thursday, December 1, 2011

we'd like to buy a vowel ..

It's Thanksgiving and we're at Wal-mart ... the only place open in town. *insert terrified face, here.*

I'd already managed to elbow my way through tons of rowdy teens and pushy seniors. Ignored the yowling babies and acted like people weren't already lining up for midnight sales .. but they were.

Each person who disregarded my children, as they pushed rudely by them to save a few dollars; was met with a loud "EXCUUUUSE US!" and an appropriate crusty look.

My brain was already frazzled with the stress and all the other details that are involved with any trip to 'the city.' It's our 5th trip to the evil department store empire in 36 hours.

By the time we got to the crafty section; I'd have paid to be anywhere but under the blue-glow fluorescent lights of that God forsaken place.

In a split second decision, I grabbed our initials and got the Hell out of dodge.

we each designed and decorated our own letter, of course.

So .. even though this wasn't the initial idea I had (har har) ... I really like 'em. :))