Friday, December 23, 2011

Cheery Christmas song!

Just in case you still have a to-do list a mile long, sick kiddos, presents to wrap, food to make, a house to clean or packing yet to do, here's a song to lighten the mood. I was feeling a little "out of the spirit" this morning and maybe even a touch irritated. It's kinda hard to not lose the joy of Jesus in the busyness but this song will certainly help restore it. Born is our King! It's Christmas! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY: Snowy Star Ornament craft for kids

Or sweet little cousins came around the corner to our house for a little Christmas playdate this week. We had such a great time. They played, yelled, sang, watched My friend Rabbit and then we made this easy little ornament craft.  You can make one too. :)
Here's what you need: 
*Card board ( i used clothing gift boxes) cut into stars
*Face pictures
*Fake snowflakes and glitter
*Lots of little kids who love to get messy!                                

 I put the glue into bowls with paint brushes and the 6 little people glued their picture onto the star
 Then they smooshed the plastic snowflakes into the glue. Then.....we got out the glitter.

 Now for a backstory. Last week i attempted a Christmas craft with my kids. We were going to simply make gift tags. I thought glitter would be fun but it ended up being a horrible experience. because of me. I got SO frustrated with the kids, they weren't putting the glue on right, they weren't shaking the glitter softly enough. they kept tapping the extra glitter onto the floor, everything was completely driving me CRAZY. I felt so irritated at them and at me for feeling that way. Especially when the whole thing was my idea.

So, one might think it might just be good to leave glitter alone for awhile and that is what i had planned on but the kids and their cousins were so cute during this star craft and the snow looked a little sparse so i thought we should give it another try- for my own sake! :) Anyway, we had a great time. It was a great opportunity to value the process more than the product and to just have fun regardless of the mess.

Are they cute or what?? While was taking a picture of my nephew and the pile of glitter he had just poured out, his sister picked up the same bottle and poured out the remainder before i even noticed.
Then they both just sat there and looked at it for several minutes. it was adorable.
 And here are the finished products!
yay for GLITTER! Yay for fun! ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decorating the tree 2011

So, we decorated the tree. The tree my inlaws lovingly took the kids up into the mountains on a day that barely reached 18 degrees to cut down. Handy Andy was flying and i was quite happy to stay home with the other babies (ben and my nephew).
 So, even though these pictures kinda look the same each year, i was just reading Jami Nato talk about the importance of  telling your story. I certainly wouldn't want the kids to grow up wondering if we did or didn't decorate in 2011. ;)
Anyone have any tips to convince a 6yr old that his shirt is not a tasty treat??
Madeline's favorite ornament this year was a little glass bunny from grandma
And Sophie's was her new glass wiener doggie...IN a bun. completely made her christmas. :)

This is a picture of me and my most-ugly childhood ornament. I find it amazing that this ornament has made it all these years...probably just to taunt me. I think i was 3 and going through the most awkward stage in my life...well, 18 was actually an extremely awkward age too...Anyway, I had just cut my own hair the day before this preschool picture was taken and i was honestly kinda hideous. My Sister had her picture taken the same day. We coordinated with our lovely brown dresses except she looked absolutely adorable. Long, curled hair, sweet little smiling face. No "marshmallow" cheeks as EVERYONE called them and no "grumpy bear" attitude.
Here's another true story for you: One of my mom's best friends made us adorable CareBear ornaments that same year because like any good 80's kid we loved CareBears. Well, this awkward age of mine went hand in hand with my grumpy phase. So, what bear did she make me?  "GrumpyBear" of course and for Sister, she made "Love Bear" or something like that. Sooo, anyway, back to the tree.

Hot Chocolate treat after all their hard work
One of my favorite ornaments when Handy and i were just babies and only had one little kiddo. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Here are two lovely ladies all ready to be shipped to 2 little twin baby girls in Pennsylvania. I had such fun creating two unique yet coordinating dollies. 
 Grace is on the left and Lily is on the right. :)

In other news, i finally added some dolls to my shop. Beware, 2 out of the 3 have green hair. I know its kinda edgy...apparently too edgy for Greeley as they came back home with me from the craft show...but honestly i wasn't too sad about that. They are my all-time favorite dollies and i wasn't quite ready to let them go a month ago...But now i am. Aren't you glad? haha :)
Here are a couple sneak peeks...
CLICK HERE to take a look

Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY: Christmas Pillowcases

I've always thought Christmas pillowcases would be so fun and festive for kids to enjoy all season. The problem is that so many of the ones you can buy this time of year are 1) expensive and 2) kinda ugly.
So, i found this soft green flannel at walmart for $2.50/yd. Then i just used scrap felt and trimmings to personalize them.

Sophie's was, of course, a doggie. Wiener doggies are her favorite. I was going to print a doggie out and then trace it but i can't figure out how to enlarge clipart once i've copied it onto TextEdit. (this is a not so subtle request for some technical advice!) ;) Anyway, free-handing it was easy enough.

Madeline's was a bunny....of course.

And since Will isn't particular about any one species of animal,  i chose his favorite Christmas icon instead. The nutcracker. He took a little more detailed investment than i was planning on, but again, it only took a couple tv show episodes and the whole project was completed. :)
Next year i might add their initials...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Mantle: only what i love

I had two goals in decorating my house this year. The first was to use only what i love, and the second was to not spend any money. 
 The first goal was prompted by the shameful fact that i can be a compulsive buyer. Especially when it comes to buying stuff that is on clearance. Junky stuff that is dirt cheap is still junky stuff. :)

I usually want to decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving but this year i realized i wasn't looking forward to putting up my decorations because of this reason as well as the fact that handy andy and i have had 7 Christmases together and my style has changed over the years...
So, i made sure i went through my stash at night so my junky decoration-loving kids wouldn't see what i was ditching this year so i was able to only bring up things i love or i thought i could work with.
(Now, truth be told, my oldest has an amazing memory and is also extremely sentimental. So i did allow him to retrieve a couple specific things that i would have been happy to permanently retire! oh well.)
Then i found stuff like this big star that i had bought (on clearance!) at Marshalls several years ago and wasn't even in my Christmas pile but i do love it and knew it would work. 

 After i set out the decorations i love, i gathered supplies to try and make a few things that would pull the rest together. I knew i had a bunch of muslin, cream canvas and burlap, so used those things for my color theme. First i wrapped an old junky wreath with muslin and canvas for my mantle centerpiece. Added some burlap ruffles and flowers and some old berries.
 Then i made this little banner.  I LOVE looking at the merry message. And these are so quick and easy. I sewed the letters on because i already had red thread in my machine but you could easily use hot glue for the whole project.
 Well, that's all for the mantle. :)

linking up to southern hospitality's mantle party. I'm sure you can find more mantle inspiration there than you'll ever need. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

monogrammed knitted stockings

A good friend commissioned me to put initials on each of her families' stockings this year. 
Since they are knitted stockings the traditional thread monograms wouldn't work as well so she thought i could come up with something. 

Felt worked great.

I used some wool/poly blend, my fabulous sharp little fiskars, a print out of all their initials in a font i liked. (I thought tracing would take too long but since i had super sharp scissors, eye-balling the letters worked just fine.) Then i hand-stitched around the letters. 
It took about 4 episodes of our current favorite netflix tv show to get all 4 stockings done. :)

Now to get some decorating done in my own house!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

whole wheat blondies are GOOD for you

At least that's what i tell myself!
Well, hope everyone out there is doing well. I realize i've kinda fallen out of touch with my blog this month...i've been tired and know, the feelings that are most common with moms of young kids. But anyway, i thought i'd share my stand-by dessert recipe with you. I made these on Sunday when some good friends came over and since they are so quick and easy i thought you should make some too! I've added to and changed several things about the original recipe that i now claim it as my own. :)

Whole Wheat Blondies

2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4- 1/2 semi sweet chocolate OR 1 square unsweetened chocolate chopped up

1. Grease a 13x9 baking pan. In a medium sauce pan melt the butter, brown sugar and coffee on med. heat. stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and melted. Take off heat and let cool slightly before adding eggs. Add eggs one at a tine, stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in half of the white and dark chocolate pieces and stir gently. They will melt and swirl
2. Spread into baking pan and then sprinkle with remaining chocolate pieces. 
3. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven. I always check it around 18 to make sure it doesn't get too cooked. You want to take it out when the center is just set. Cool and cut into squares. 
If you don't over bake these, they have the perfect texture to be cut into shapes if desired. Stars or holly cut-outs maybe?

So, enjoy! I have big ideas to make and post, but for now they are just ideas in my head, so we'll see if they come to anything. Oh, and thank you for all your very nice words about my craft show. You all are so nice. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

craft show

Here are a few pictures from the craft show on saturday.  handy andy and i (bless his heart for wanting to hang out with me) had a great time, sold quite a bit and had the pleasure of being around some really fantastic local art and meeting some equally great artsy people. This gal and this gal were two of my favorites.The first one also happened to be the organizer of this event.
Well, anyway, here's my table. Lots of thanks goes to handy andy for the structural stability of the bunting dowels, meg + andy chalkboard and shutter display that held the mini chalkboards- all his ideas and all fabulous. :)

dollies galore
With all the tons and tons of snow our part of Colorado got in the last couple of weeks, there was also an abundance of fallen tree limbs. While it was very sad to see so many of our cities trees damaged or destroyed, i was pretty happy to go branch scavenging. Some of which i used to make this little hair clip tree.

These little owls were a new edition this year. They provided such a quick and creative outlet for me after making so many dollies...
Here's handy andy's handiwork- both the display and the chalkboards. Didn't they turn out great?! 

Thanks to our wonderful grandparents for watching all the kids so handy andy could hang out with me for over 1/2 the day! so fun.

oh, and i thought i'd give a little close-up of this lovely lady. Greta, if you're reading, i'd like to introduce you to your namesake. ;) Do you all read picnics in the park ? Because you should. She's one of my favorite destinations these days for inspiration in almost every department- style, motherhood, homeschool, authentic everyday living. Very refreshing.

Well, anyway, we had a great day at the show and since not everything sold, i'll be filling up my little shop here soon. Now to go tackle the ginormous mountain of folded, but yet to be put away laundry. :(