Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your family in 2014!

I am also celebrating my third anniversary today!  Getting married on New Years Eve was amazing.  I loved every minute of it and it was so magical.  What I like most about NYE, is that it represents new beginnings and the promise of changes in the future.  I also love that I got to be creative with the theme of my wedding.  My favorite craft from my wedding was hands down my centerpieces.  They were easy and beautiful!

I purchased oversized martini and champagne glasses at the Christmas Tree Shop.  The store has everything NOT JUST CHRISTMAS STUFF.   If you haven't heard of this store before, they are affiliated with Bed, Bath and Beyond.  So I got the glasses there and right after Christmas, the year before my wedding, I purchased silver and blue ornaments in different shapes and sizes.  I arranged them the most interesting way I could and then stuck all sorts of (what do you call those things anyway?  craft sticks?  no...) well I got them at a craft store anyway.  All the items were on clearance!  Super clearance!  A box of Christmas ornaments were pennies at the time I bought them!  These are way cheaper than paying a florist, so much better for guests that like keeping centerpieces, and they are not clogging the view across the table to the other guests!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Spy with my Little Eye... Christmas! DIY Ornament Tutorial

 Today we are going to talk about making an I Spy ornament for children. I made a few of these for my daughter and nephews and they love them. For the younger kids, they like shaking the mix to see what pops up and the big kids like the challenge of the game.

What will you fill your ornaments with?

Here are the supplies I picked up at the store. All Christmas is 70% off in most craft stores so now is the time to buy!
You will need:
- Decorative Filler. I used small clear beads sold in the floral section of the craft store
- Clear Christmas Ball with removable lid
- Christmas items
- Spoon
- Tag for labeling
- Pen
- Super Glue

1. Start by opening up the ornament and filling it half way with the decorative filler. Use a funnel or a rolled up piece of paper to help make pouring easier. If you are making these with children helping, I recommended using the spoon as a shovel to help full up the balls.

2. Add in your Christmas items. As you are filling, write down what the kids should be seeking so you have that list-- you'll forget what you put in there, I swear! I like to add in extra items that are not listed for fun and to make it more challenging. Depending on how old the recipient is, you decide what items they should look for!

3. Finish filling the ball until there is a little space at the top. Remember, you will want to leave some space so the kids can shake up the filler and uncover the items.

4. Super glue the lid to the ball. This step is very important as these lids are designed to be removed typically. You don't want a huge explosion with filler all over the place.  Tie the tag you have made to the top of the ball. I used sparkly yarn but you can use whatever you like.

5. Now test your creation! Give it a shake. What do you see?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DIY Ornaments

This has been a hectic week of Christmas shopping, Christmas Parties, and activities getting ready for the upcoming Holiday. In my free time, I was able to make a few ornaments and I wanted to share. 

The first ornament I made was a glass ornament with acrylic paint. I dripped the paint inside the ornament and tapped the sides until it covered everything. I ended up with a cool blue marble look. So easy!

This ornament is an easy one for kids to make. It is Rudolf with popsicle sticks! I used a glue dot to put the red pom pom nose on and those eyes are actually brads, but you could easily use googley eyes, too.

For this ornament, I grabbed some gold and black glitter scrapbook paper and a few sizes of star punches. I stuffed them all into the ornament for a pretty cool look. 

This ornament was super easy. All I did was feed some gold ribbon into the ball and I like how festive it looks. 

This ornament was made with a 6x6 scrapbook paper pad and a popsicle stick. I cut different sizes and lined them up on the popsicle stick to make a Christmas Tree

I love how this melted crayon ornament turned out. I put the tiny green crayon piece and a large gold crayon and used a hair dryer to melt. I turned the ball around and got this cool look. I did end up breaking one of these accidentally when the hair dryer was too strong! You've been warned.

These are my favorite. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornaments. I dripped green acrylic paint inside the balls, then painted a line around each ball using more acrylic paint and a paintbrush on the outside. After a few coats, I added googley eyes with glue dots. 

This has been all over pinterest lately, so I wanted to try it. I got some fake snow at the craft store and added a tree. simple and festive.

I love these simple candy canes. We used to have them on our tree when I was little. My son helped me make some with pipe cleaners and beads. 

This was a felt reindeer kit by Nicole Crafts that got me thinking you could make so much with felt! Loved how easy it was using just glue dots.

This was another kit by Darice Crafts. It uses a bell, foam balls, springs, and felt to make a cute reindeer. The possibilities of making ornaments with bells are endless.

And another kit by Nicole Crafts this time made of foam. The gingerbread man also includes a bell. Again, all I needed were glue dots. 

Lastly, I made my first beaded project! This is a beaded ornament kit from Nicole Crafts that was difficult for me at first, I will admit. I've never worked with wires and beads before. But I think I got the hang of it and the instructions were easy to follow.

The four kits all cost me .88 each on sale at A.C.Moore. They were fun and easy! 

Have you made any ornaments lately? Please share! We love to see friends getting crafty.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Card Time!

It is that time of year for sending and receiving Christmas Cards!  I am surprised I haven't received any yet, but I know they are coming soon. 

 My son, Dylan, opened his 4th envelope of Christmas Activites this morning and in it was blank Christmas Cards!  He was really excited! 

 Kids love to send and receive mail.  Little does he know, I was tricking him into practicing his writing and how to write a letter :)  I am slick that way. 

I went to Target and in that mini aisle near the registers, they have small Christmas Crafts for kids.  I bought Dylan a pack of four christmas cards to color, write and mail for just $1.00!!

I love watching kids be creative and get excited about being creative!  He was super excited to be able to make his cousin, Christopher, his very own Christmas Card.

Do you send Christmas Cards every year?  Do you make them yourselves?  Do you always send a new family photo?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Kicking off the Christmas Season - Gift in a Jar Ideas

The Christmas Season has officially arrived! I hope everyone has been taking advantage of great ideas and deals for their gift lists. I am happy to report it is already feeling like Christmas here with the daily Christmas books, music, and activities. So far, so good!

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite DIY Jar Gift ideas that I've found around the internet. There are so many amazing ideas for DIY Gifts and the Jar Gifts are simple, quick, and fun!

    Here is a great idea for women of all ages. Grab your jar and add nail polish, soaps, nail clippers, wash clothes, lip balm, hand sanitizers, etc.

A jar full of small household items for someone with a new home. That can include cleaner, washcloths, bag clips, magnets, kitchen tools, batteries, etc.

I love this idea for friends who work long or late hours. Fill a jar with coffee/tea packets, nuts, chocolate, energy bars, etc.

Know anyone who sews or likes to craft? Make them a sewing kit! This idea makes me think of all sorts of crafts to make jars for!

Yum- ingredients for hot chocolate. Add a mug and I'm good to go!

This idea is so cute for kids- especially when their parents tell you they have enough toys! Make your own playdough and decorate the jar for the kids.

I've seen this idea pop up all over pinterest this year, and I love it! Make your own snow globe, personalize for your loved one!

This one is simple. Put an apron in a jar and add your favorite recipe!

This idea is great for kids! Paint the jars and use a sharpie to make them look like Lego Heads. Add some legos inside and bask in glory.

Sometimes the most meaningful present you can give to your partner is one that expresses exactly how you feel and costs next to nothing. Share each of your reasons in a jar and give to your loved one.

Make your own bubbles and give them out to the kids. Fun!

I love S'mores. They are delicious! Here is a yummy recipe for a S'more Jar.

Lastly, the Cookie Mix jar. There are a ton of recipes out there and they are so creative. Here's a cute one for Cowgirl Cookies. There are pink candies and oats and chocolate chips. YUM.

Stay tuned for more great gift and craft ideas all month long!  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Book Countdown and Activity Advent Calendar

I'm excited to share some things I'm doing this year for the Holiday Season. In the past few years I've noticed that Christmastime wasn't the same as when I was young. It feels like Christmas sneaks up on me and I'm thinking, "is Christmas seriously this week? Definitely doesn't feel like it!" Then I feel panic and stress trying to cram traditions and shopping all in one week. This year I have a plan. I am going to make every day special by making some advent calendars! I've planned a Book Countdown and an Activity Advent Calendar. I'm also doing Elf on the Shelf for the first time this year.  I'm going to photograph everything and make a scrapbook album of the holiday season. 

Book Countdown:

Beginning Thanksgiving night, we are going to read a holiday book each day until Christmas. I gathered all of my Christmas books and went to the dollar store to purchase a few more. 
I wrapped all of the books and using a paper punch and some extra Thickers (alphabet stickers), I made tags so you can clearly see which books go with each day. I then put all of the books on an empty book shelf in the living room where the tree will go in December. I think my son (4 yrs) will really enjoy it and he's already been staring at the packages wondering which book will be first! 

Here is the list of books I have for this Book Advent Calendar: 

1. Elf on the Shelf
2. Thomas' Night Before Christmas
3. The Polar Bear Express
4. Sesame Street Snowy Day
5. The Sweet Smell Of Christmas
6. Frosty the Snowman
7. Un Nino Dios 
8. Woody's White Christmas
9. Disney's Christmas Dreams
10. The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas
11. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
12. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- Santa's Big Day
13. Land of Snow and Ice
14. Dora's Christmas Carol 
15. The Little Christmas Elf
16. King of the North Pole
17. Jingle Wheels
18. Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner?
19. The Animals' Christmas Eve
20. Dora's Counting Christmas
21. Elmo's Night Before Christmas
22. Beauty on Ice
23. The Christmas Story
24. I've Seen Santa! 
25. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Rudolph Helps Out
26. Dinosaur VS Santa
27. The Night Before Christmas

For the Activity Advent Calendar, I used a ton of my Christmas Scrapbook Stash that has been sitting around begging to be used. I also used a lot of envelopes. Basically, I came up with different activities that we can do throughout December, starting on the first. Some of the activities are small, free, and don't require leaving the house. Others are events that we've planned or places to go. I'm excited to give this a try and really make it feel like Christmas all month long!

Here is the list of Activities:

12/1- Decorate the House and Make a Decoration
12/2- Write a Letter to Santa using the Mega Monkey Mash Printable
12/3- Take a Family Photo
12/4- Make/Order Christmas Cards 

12/5- Hot Chocolate Day
12/6- Make a Christmas Craft 
12/7- Visit Santa at the Mall
12/8- String Lights Outside

12/9- Christmas Family Game Night
12/10- Watch Christmas Movie
12/11- Dinner Date 
12/12- Go Ice Skating

12/13- See the light show at the farm
12/14- Decorate Tree (we get a real tree so we do this in the middle of the month)
12/15- Bake Cookies
12/16- Check out the Lights in the Neighborhood

12/17- Watch Elf
12/18- City Date 
12/19- Christmas Carols and Dance Party
12/20- Decorate Gingerbread House

12/21- Winter Walk in the Park 
12/22- Make a New Ornament for the tree
12/23- Wrap Gifts
12/24- Cookies and Milk for Santa

I hope this gives you some ideas to make your holiday special this year! Do you have any holiday traditions? 

The Day of the Doctor: Roundup!

Greetings, Whovians! I, like so many others, will be tuning into the BBC tonight to view the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special and kick off to the final episodes of Number 11 (Matt Smith; tears).

In honor of the mad man in the blue box, I did a Doctor Who Crafty Round Up!

Do you cross stitch? This is a wonderful combo of Mad Men and the Eleventh Doctor! I'm geeking out!

Here we go-- one you can make with the kids! Crayon art has been seen all over the internet and I have still yet to try it! I probably would give it a go for my very own Tardis in the house...

The Fourth Doctor was famous for his long knit scarf. See how cute it is in knee-sock form?

Oh, how posh! A Tardis card Tutorial!! You can make your very own blue box that is bigger on the inside. I'm going to have to try my hand at this one.

Perler Beads can be used to make some awesome Christmas tree ornaments! In fact, she has a WHOLE WHO-TREE featured on her blog! Fantastic!

Ahhhhhh! And my mind is melting!! Also on Doodle Crafts, Natalie has made a family of Doctor Who stockings!! There is even tutorials so please head on over there if you are looking to celebrate the holidays, Doctor Who style!

For the crochetting set, there are a ton of versions of the Doctor and his feidnish Foes.

You can even convert your hook into a sonic screwdriver or a Tardis!

And this is just a taste of what is out there! Go forth and craft in honor of the man that has saved the Earth a hundred times over for 50 years, The Doctor!