Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 Days of Christmas continued... done and done!

It was important to me this year to have a nice decorative holiday without breaking the bank. So I used my existing craft supplies and a Michael's/ Hobby Lobby coupons to liven things up here for our first Christmas in Texas.

Day 4 project - Remembering the reason for the season!! I was quite touched when my 9 year old son handed me a letter to God and asked me to please deliver it. We had a wonderful time going over the Christmas story in the bible and remembering the reason for the season!!

Day 5 project - Pottery Barn knock-off time!! Make a NOEL sign similar to Pottery Barn - but much much much cheaper... I grabbed these antiqued gold letters at The Hobby Lobby at 50% off - which made all 4 letters a whopping $20. Which is a far cry from the $149 that I really wanted to spend for the NOEL sign in their catalog... I used the E6000 adhesive and broke apart a paint brush to help hold it together... It dried overnight and turned out very lovely!! I actually like the gold for the holidays much better than the original brown wood anyway...

Day 6 - Make and send out cards...

I usually go very elaborate with hand stamped cards for the holidays... but with all of these projects going on - I used the same kit from the ornaments in my previous post to put together cards for the family. Easy to assemble and very pretty...

Day 7 - Decorate a nice.... fake... tree..

This is the first year in my whole life that we have had to have an artificial tree for the holidays. Living in Texas brings many challenges, and obtaining and maintaining a nice and real tree is no small or inexpensive feat... So my hunny traipsed down to the local Home Depot on Black Friday to get us an inexpensive tree for our first year. We figure we can buy a bigger and nicer one when they go on even better sales.... I am really into the Pottery Barn decor this year - but won't be paying for an all new Pottery Barn holiday wardrobe anytime soon... so I grabbed some upholstery webbing online and went to town..


I was fortunate enough to have some dollar store ornaments left from our move, and my mother in law sent us some of her beloved ornaments to keep our tree from being bare... I was also happy to have saved a small box of the children's memory type ornaments from the years
past.... thank the Lord!!!

Day 8 -
Make your own ornament wreath. I saw this pinned so many t
imes and I thought I would attempt it myself. "All" you have to do is string your orna
ments on a wire clothes hanger that you have made into the shape of a wreath.... yah - mine had to be strung individually with wire since the ornament holes were so small.... It took a very long time and a whole lot of ornaments - but I am happy to be able to say that I made one in my lifetime... cross it off t
he bucket list - but I probably won't attempt this again... kind of frustrating for me!!

Day 9 - Deck the Halls!!! Here are a few pics from my decorations this year - I continued the Pottery Barn knock off theme with the banister as well and so glad I got my upholstery webbing for less than 50 cents per yard - instead of the crazy $25 for 24 inches or something like that they wanted for that stuff in their catalog...

With no fireplace no fireplace or mantel to decorate here in Texas - The stockings were hung at the dinner table with care :-)

Day 10 - It's a sign!!! Make a sign from cheap supplies from the craft store and your stash...

Day 11 - Make a count down or advent calendar... My advent calendar is packed away but I did save pics of our count down chalk board style plates. I grabbed these plates at the dollar store and cut down some chalkboard vinyl to fit in the middle. I used a white paint pen to write the permanent plates and the chalk doesn't show up too well on the numbered plate - but in person it looked just fine... Very easy and cheap project if you already have chalkboard paint or labels laying around...

Day 12 - Make your gingerbread house... and eat it too :-) I let the boys devour our little candy house as soon as they made it this year so that they could consume as little dust as possible...

Well I hope you are all inspired to have a home spun holiday season on a craft budget next year. It was a goal of mine to have a fabulous home and not take away from the present funds - so I feel accomplished in that regard. I look forward to pulling out my Christmas pretties next year and having far less on the to do list - that's for sure!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

12 Days of Crafty Christmas... days one through three...

Hello again crafty ladies!!
Since our big move, we really have minimal Christmas holiday decorations compared to the lovelies that I have posted in the past... boohoo... okay enough crying over that.... So it is with great necessity that I make my Christmas decor this year with minimal Michael's intervention and whatever I have on hand in my crafty stash... which is pretty huge :-) Not gonna lie :-)

The first project I made was this wreath for my front door featuring my family here in Texas. I had purchased a grapevine wreath at the Goodwill and I found these decorative frames in the $1 bin at my local Michael's. I printed the photos myself and used ribbon from my stash. The berries were on super sale plus coupon at Michael's (I won't pay full price for anything these days :-) Here are photos of my supplies and the finished product:

These are more $1 bin frames that I decorated with 3 layer stickers from an Anna Griffin Christmas card making kit I purchased earlier in the year off one of the shopping networks... I am going to string some satin ribbon through the backs to hang them on the tree...

This tray is a hybrid of two examples that I saw and wanted to make this year - one was from Katie Watson's blog, and the other was a painted try found in Country Woman magazine. The tray was originally a dollar store plain silver tray - I actually found it at Goodwill so apparently I paid too much for it (found the dollar store sticker on the back a little too late :-( Anyway - I spray painted it white first then I used chalkboard paint to line the inside. I used glue dots to hold the berries in place - not sure how long they will last... I might have to hot glue it but I don't know if hot glue will hold up to painted surfaces or pull the paint off.... I started out with chalk on this but it wasn't showing up very well - so I ended up making it permanent wording with a sharpie paint pen. Pops a lot more now... I will place it on an easel for Christmas day....

The ugly before...... yucko!! But potential :-)

I'll post more projects as I go and maybe you all will be inspired to have a hand made Christmas and skip the Pottery Barn catalog this year :-) Seriously... you don't know how much I wanted to whip out the credit card and order everything in that catalog for Christmas this year!!! I am sure no one would fault me since my worldly Christmas possessions were spread out on my driveway in Washington and given away to strangers.... but I am trying not to be bitter, and I am trying not to go into debt replacing things:-)

Hugs and I hope everyone has a nice warm meal and reflects on their thankfulness on this glorious Thanksgiving 2011!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday pretties...

Here are a few projects that I made for Halloween gifts this year...

Hybrid digi project from Rhonna Farrer that I made to fill with goodies for the teachers this year:

These are hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works that I made a little holder for and decorated for a friendly goody swap... I found the tutorial here.

These are candy bars decorated by my friend Steph that were included in the goody swap... so pretty!! The fan folds are so popular right now and they really added something pretty to the candy...

This is the sign that we had to put out on the porch on Halloween night - the flu had taken over the household... boohoo...

Hope your Halloween was to fun to be spooky!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Protesting Turkeys, Birthdays, and Other Stuff...

Well - I am managing this Texas thing better than I thought I was going to - and I am finding more and more time to get crafty... I had purchased the cutest Turkey image last November from a dear friend's site - Fresh Brewed Designs and I have finally had time before Thanksgiving to play with it and make this card... I did a lot of paper piecing with this one and colored with markers as well. I don't have more than a couple of Copics - so it is hard for me to pull off coloring - but I made it work okay... Since this is a digi image - it was hard for me to keep the ink from my printer from bleeding in... I decided as soon as I saw this guy - that he looked like he was on a coffee break - and then I thought of the "eat chicken" theme and went all out. I am not sure if I am going to send this one out as I had originally planned - he is just too cute :-) tough decision!!!

Here is a peek of my holiday decorating for Halloween... my entryway and laundry room here in Texas... it's still weird for me to say Texas... but it has finally cooled off here to below 90 some days - so I consider this a blessing and at least bearable for every day life. And yes, I said laundry room... I even decorate there too :-)

Look who turned 9!!!! Seriously!!!! 9?!?!?! My twin baby boys are growing so fast! They had a super party at our local pizza buffet/ video gamery joint. Complete with face painting and prizes - it was a fantastic night! This is the first year that any kids invited from class even showed up - so we were so grateful to have our friends there to celebrate with!!

As soon as the Halloween decor comes down, I will be going all out Fall in here... and I am finishing up some home decor projects that I can share soon as well... Funny how I hate to decorate - but I keep messing with this house trying to get it to look better and more "me"... Its hard to go from an 80 year old cottage home to a dated tiled floored debacle we now call home. But I am bound and determined to make it look fabulous!! And I will! Blessings and hugs to all!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ch... Ch.. Ch... Changes.....

Wow............ No one told me how different living in Texas would be. Of course, if they had - I am not sure if I would have been on board with moving at all.... Sooooooo different from our soggy, cloudy life in the PacNW. I have traded my sweats, bulky sweatshirts, and furry boots for flip flops, shorts, and tank tops on a daily basis. I don't think it has been under 90 degrees since we arrived here. Of course - everything is different here. Food, driving, people, climate, stores, brands, how you plan your day, schools, pet ownership, the houses, the insects, snakes, and NO rain!! I didn't know that virtually everything that I experience on a daily basis would drastically change. It is very hard to adapt for this Northwest girl!!

Here are a few projects that I have been working on and that will soon go out in the mail...

Made this sundae card from punches for a dear friend that
has been ill rec
ently. Super fast and easy
to put together. All circles and an oval punch for
the banana.

Made this sign for a friend who lives in my home away from home in Washington. She c
an either put it on an easel to display, or she can punch grommets and string some ribbon
to hang on the wall... It would be cute to cu
t out black and white figures of the family and place on there as well... Getting this one in the mail this week - I promise Chelsea!!

This card went out to my dear mother who is celebrating her 25th year anniversary of being CANCER FREE!!! We are so fortunate to have had her in our lives for 25 years since her diagnosis - and we look forward to at least 25 more!!

Let me tell you a little something about living in Texas.... there certa
inly are clouds here... but these my friend are severe thunder clouds. I have never seen the likes of such electrical storms until I moved here. Crazy lightning, thunder rocking the house, and inches of rain in like 30 minutes... so awesome but scary at the same time!!

We did get a chance to visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas together as a family and this pic shows our "winnings" from the games booths. The twins are still learning that most of those games are designed to take your money and not give you prizes - so the grown-ups had to step in and win them some prizes.... and yes... those are squids on their heads :-)

Taking some time out to make home made bubbles and get some outside time. It is 96 degrees outside in this pic - and the boys are really trying to play outside... poor guys - most of their outside time is done after 8:00 pm now... you just can't take much more than that here right now.... can't believe I am saying this - but I can't wait until winter!!!!!! oh man.........

I am missing my baby girl who is attending college in Oregon on the West Coast right now... I hope she gets a chance to visit soon.... Well - most of my time right now is consisting of improving our home that we have moved in to here in Texas. The houses here are not really my style - very builder generic and tile floors everywhere... Since I am really into "granny chic" right now - I am having a hard time incorporating any vintage elements into this house.... we'll see how things turn out and I will post pics of some things I have done here in a bit......

Have a crafty day "ya'll"....... yah - I went there :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Big Changes, little projects....

Well as evidenced by my silent blog for the past few months, my family and I have spent the first part of this year relocating 2000 miles away from home. My husband's job has taken us to Texas and you cannot imagine what type of planning and work goes into something of this nature. However - my craft room is finally up and running (amazingly enough) and I have made a couple of projects over the last week that really delight me and help me feel more at home here...
The first is a shadow box that I altered using the Echo Park Sweet Summertime line. I found the shadow box at Goodwill - it has some hiddeously painted pieces glued in each window and the frame was very dirty and scratched up. I took it apart and painted the frame. I then designed each window as part of a summer time theme (which will get used a lot around here since it has been over a hundred several times since we got here already). I have a feeling it will feel like summer most of the year here :-) Anyway - here are the pics - I love how fun and happy it turned out. All I used was the Echo Park Sweet Summertime kit, some SU! Real Red cardstock, some bakers twine, and misc buttons....

The second is a fan folded fairy wand made for a friend's daughter's birthday. I was giving her a gift card (because what girl doesn't like to shop?) and I wanted to make it a bit more special of a presentation... I just used some random papers and embellishments and a doily from the dollar store. You can find the dowels for this project in the craft section at Walmart - or at hardware stores. They have all different widths of them so you could go really big with this type of thing. The trick to getting it right is to use at least 3 pieces of your paper, all the same size. Score and fold them then fold each one in half and glue in a circle together. A glue gun will ensure proper adhesion on this type of thing - trust me - you don't want to fool around with a tape runner on this one...

I am having a hard time with getting my new home together - making it look homey. We had to get rid of many of our belongings in order to trek across the USA 2000 miles, and now it just feels like everything is so "without character" and builder generic in our home. I am setting my sights on decorating this house room by room and I will try to post some pictures of my organizing and solicit ideas from everyone out there in blogger land - I need as much help as I can get to make this house a home :-)
Have a Happy Day All!!!!!!!