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!