Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Craft. Christmas Jar lanterns.

Need a great gift for Teachers?  Neighbors?  Babysitters? 
Found this on one of my favorite blogs and loved how they turned out!!
You will need:
tissue paper, torn into 1 inch strips
Modge Podge
die-cuts (or hand drawn pics for front of jar)

Now don't ask me why I didn't photograph my steps knowing FULL WELL that I was going to blog about it.  I honestly don't know what got into me.  I think I was having so much fun doing this that I forgot all about photographs!!!  So I will show you the photos I could find.
First, you will Modge Podge the strips of tissue to the jar.  I put my hand in the jar and starting the strip of tissue at the bottom, Modge'd it up to the top of the jar.  The top is nearly impossible to do with that same strip (it ends up tearing from all the Modge Podge) so we'll worry about that later - just come as close at you can to the top and don't worry about any tears or holes around the top for now. 
While this is drying, you can work on your die-cuts.  I used my Cricut Expression - Christmas Cheer cartridge to cut out these images.  However, you can freestyle some snowmen and that's cute too - see!
Once you get the die-cuts together, you can Modge Podge them right onto the front of the jar.  Now is when you want to see if there are any spots you missed and to finish the top of the jar.  My tops turned out well and here's what I did.  I took a strip of tissue and wrapped it around the top of the jar horizontally.  That way, it covered the whole top in one swoop!
Tie some ribbon around them, add a tag (I added the candy cane reindeer instead), pop a tealight in that baby and you're ready for gift giving!!  Hint:  If you can find them on sale, the battery operated tealights are really fabulous!!  These actually flicker like flames (I found mine on sale at Hobby Lobby)!!
 Look for another post soon to show what else I filled these treat jars with!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Food Craft. Cupcake in a Jar.

I wanted to make something small and cute for my Church preschool committee gals so this is what I came up with - taken from this great blog!

Although I did make homemade cream cheese icing ...

...I did cheat and use store-bought red velvet cake mix.  Sorry ladies.  I tasted a cupcake though and it was really yummy.  MMMMMmmmmmmm......

I put one whole cupcake in the bottom of the 1/2 pint wide-mouth jar, then a layer of homemade cream cheese icing.  After that, another cupcake (yes, I realize this is more than one cupcake but hey - who's counting!!) then topped with a fancy swirl of icing with sprinkles.

For the lid, I punched a circle from red card-stock using my 3" circle punch.  Then used my Cricut Expression to cut the letters for the lid (1/4", Cricut Classic Font), and a few brads to jazz up the word. 

I Modge Podge'd the circle to the lid - tied on the plastic spoons with Christmas ribbon...
...and Voila!  A cute single-serve Cupcake in a Jar!  Hope they like it!!

I know I liked it!  Hee hee.
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Story. Christmas Tree Farm.

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.  ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

It's become an annual tradition that we cut down our own Christmas tree every year from a local tree farm.  I did this as a kid growing up, so we started the same tradition for my family.  It's not always an easy thing to do with two young boys, but we give it our best shot! 


So on Thanksgiving weekend we visted Hensler Tree Farm to get our Christmas tree.  It was a super windy day and the threat of rain was always near, but also unusually balmy for this time of year (close to 60 degrees!).

We rode the wagon out to the fields, walked up and down the isles of many trees, and finally settled on one that Logan spied.  He helped Papi cut it down - sometimes Deklen helped too. 

Then we loaded it unto the cart and headed back to our pickup spot to get it wrapped and measured.

Then it was off to visit Santa, and grab some hot cocoa and some munchies before heading back home.  We look forward to coming back next year!

Our tree in all its glory!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Story. Deklen's First day of Preschool.

Monday...his first day of school...including Kindergarden, only 17 more years to go.  It was sad for me, knowing he's starting down the path to adulthood.  That first day of school represents a loss of innocence, moving from "my baby" to "my boy".  When he returned home that day, his first words were "Mami, I thought about you guys today."  Awwwww....
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Story. Our Elf on the Shelf Bob.

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Every Thanksgiving since Logan was 3 we've had our Shelf Elf appear from the North Pole. Story goes that Bob (what Logan lovingly named him many years ago) comes from the North Pole to watch the kids every day until Christmas.  Every night he goes back to the North Pole through magic, and reports on how the kids behaved that day to Santa.  The next day you will find him somewhere else in your house - once he's returned from the North Pole.  On Christmas Eve, Santa will take him back to the North Pole once he's dropped our presents under the tree. 

The kids love trying to find where Bob is every morning!  Last year there were a few mornings where Bob was in the same spot (*GASP*) that he was in the night before.  When Logan and Deklen notified me of this, I calmly explained that Bob most certainly did go to the North Pole, however he must have liked that spot so much he came back to it again.  When he was in the same spot for a week straight (**DOUBLE GASP**) Logan said "Oh my gosh Mom!!!  He must REALLY like that spot!!!  Its been like 7 days!!".  Needless to say, Bob came back to a different spot in the house on day number eight ;-).

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Craft. Christmas Soldiers.

This past weekend was so beautiful that it inspried me to craft.  I have always liked the look of clay pot soldiers, and after seeing this blog post I just HAD to make my own!  I have yet to add the belt and the bottom, but I was so proud of my quick work that I just had to put them out now.

Here is what I used to make two soldiers:

  1. Ten S10 clay pots from Michaels
  2. Paints
  3. Gold ribbon
  4. Epoxy (for final assemby)

I used my countertop to do most of my painting - just put some Glad press and seal on my counter to protect it!  BTW...LOVE this stuff...I use it all the time in crafting...makes a great paint tray liner too!! 
OK, back to the soldiers!
I started by painting all my pots.  I'm not a big fan of primer so I did not prime them first which then took me more than one layer of color.  But really, it dried so quick that it was no big deal.  My paints were not glossy, but I wanted a shiny red coat so I bought some Martha Stewart gloss which worked well.  It went on super thick and clumpy so I was worried, but I got the shiny effect I wanted!  Woo hoo!

Now I was ready for the coat.  I could not find flat gold buttons that I could afford, so I spray painted some black and white flat buttons gold - whatever works right!  Then it was on to my face.

I knew I needed both faces to match, so I freehanded the eyes, nose and mouth on an old cereal box and cut them out as templates.  Worked perfect!

Once the face was done, I glued some ribbon for the hats (I am casually skipping over that part because it doesn't look so good.  Haha.  Note to self...next time use rick-rack instead of ribbon!). 
 Then I assembled all my pots for the final look!
 Ta da!!  Don't they look GRAND!!?? 

No, the angle of the photograph is not an illusion...I took these photos backing up and leaning around my landscaping to get both soldiers in, yet not get the blue pots in front of the soldiers in the picture!! 
I'll do better next time ;-)!!
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Story. Clowns.

Tonight my 4-year runs into the kitchen while I'm making dinner:
"Mami Mami!  Logan can juggle!!  He's a clown!!  Now he can join the circus!!"
Ahhh...the innocence.... 
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Food. Quick easy homemade dinner.

First, let me give a shout-out to Martha Stewart for this meal.  She mentioned it about a year or so ago at the end of her show and I was hooked.  This is my go-to dinner when I have no time to cook a homemade meal:  Homemade Fettuccini Alfredo.

And only three ingredients?  

You had me at Simple.

One box of fettuccini noodles. 
One stick of butter, cut into one inch squares. 
One block of parmesan cheese, freshly grated. 

Mix the cheese and butter so that it becomes a paste.
Throw in the hot noodles, and let all that rich, gooey goodness take over!  MMMMmmmmmm....Here's where you can fancy it up with shrimp, grilled, chicken, veggies - you name it. 

Yep, that's it...oh so yummy.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seen & Heard. Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate - make it at home!

I know, I know...I may be out of the loop (not the first time) but I just saw this at Jewel today - YUMMY!  This is my ultimate favorite drink when its cold outside, so now I can make it at home!  Yea!!
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Story. Pumpkin Carving Party 2011.

Another year...another Pumpkin Carving party - this year was our 13th year!! 
Hard to believe its been that many already!
I must say this year was awesome!!  Great food -

Great crafts -
 It was incredible to share the day with our friends and family. 

We are already starting to look forward to next year's party :-)

Let us not forget...the great Pumpkins!  Woo hoo - great job everyone!!

(My Hub's pumpkin...of course)
See you next year!
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