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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013

2013 is coming to a close. I was looking back at the post this year and we had an array of favorite posts. I have to agree with my fans choices.


Let's start at the top of the list. 2012 I was covered in bug bites and was determined to keep those biters under control by planting herbs and flowers. My tower of herbs was a winner on our deck and on pinterest. Did you know Parsley will still grow below freezing?






















Monday, December 30, 2013

Refrigerator Organization





 

2014 is almost here and it's time for a fresh start. Why not start with the refrigerator.  You are what you eat right? So let's find out what that mystery item is, clean those shelves and organize.


Stockpile organization




The last few months we have stocked up on several items: gravy, broth, pineapple and protein bars. It's become a little difficult to see what are the canned goods. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Claypot characters

These frugal and easy crafts make wonderful teacher and grandparent gifts!


Here are some fun-tastic clay pot crafts for you and your family! I wanted to be different. The first image that pops in people's minds when you mention Christmas is Jesus or Santa. We all know Frosty comes in 2nd. What about the elves, reindeer, angels and gingerbread people!

I had so much fun painting these and researching the cutest smiles for the heads. I used real buttons for the Ginger person. I added clear glue and glitter. I later found a pack of 100 wooden buttons-yay for no more coloring and size matching.
 
For the elf and reindeer I drew the antlers and hat freehand. The elf hat is two pieces of felt stitched together. I measured the head and made sure one layer covered just a bit more than half the head. I added a bell to the tip with some snow. He looked a little bare so I added a scallop collar using my cuttlebug - Scallop die cut. Textured snow paint finishes the bottom.



The reindeer antlers were a bit tricky. You could use pipe cleaners instead of the felt. After staring at a few billion antlers online they started to look like two Y's connected. ;-) (I was chanting Y Y Y when I discovered this which concerned the husband).


Felt alone was too flimsy so I applied a coat of Mod Podge and they stiffened up. Use a small layer b/c too much will make them too stiff. If you make them thick enough to stitch two together I would recommend putting floral wire inside. You need them just right for them to stay on. My first batch was too stiff and they broke right off. I touched up the paint, hot glued again and added moss as hair. It will mask the hot glue marks around the antlers.

I went back and added ribbon bows on the gingergirls heads and neckbows for the gingerboys.

Frosty is my favorite! The snowball pot is 1.5 from ACMoore. The trees came in a three pack from HobbyLobby.com when I made the tree globes at $1.99. The felt hat I tried to create but it was proving to be difficult to stiffen into shape. I bought the hats at factorydirectcraft.com for $1.99.
 
All the character pots are 2.25 inch pot. The heads are 1 1/2 inches. I used fusion glue to adhere the pieces to the 6 inch saucer. Pots were bought at 50% at ACMoore this past summer or $1 for 3 at Dollar Tree. The heads (knobs) were bought online at caseyswood.com

Some of these beauties are gifts while others are part of our own decorations. You can visit my pinterest board for more ideas. Next year I want to try the village!


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

These are the animals that will DIE because of SB310!


Humans kill humans everyday. Maybe we should ban ALL human breeding! Round the kids up in cages to end the violence! Doesn't matter if they are angels or devils. Just cage them all. That's what is happening in OHIO. These humans are caring for animals the way we all should. Respect and love. Yet someone feels they all should be banned and removed from their loving homes. What in the world has happened to the human race.

WW-Snowflakes & visitors

It's seems as though snowflakes weren't the only surprise visitors last week!


 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Clearance & Crafts

For the last three years I have been collecting clearance odds and ends at the craft store and the local drug store. I never had a plan for the pieces when I make the purchase, until today.


This frugal holiday craft cost under $3 max. 

The greenery was a craft store find two years. The pine cones were found locally on the ground! The berries and tiny wreath were found three years ago at the local drug store.

I decorated the planter and painted it black for Halloween and fall. We had a broken "Happy Holiday" stake that I placed in the pot. Tonight I sat down without a plan but had floral wire and all these items. The pot had a bare spot from the cabbage plant. I just weaved the wire on the greenery to the wreath. I had no real plan. The planter had an odd bare space so it didn't have to be perfect or any set shape. I added some sno-texture to the cones and glitter.

Update! It has snowed a few times and it looks wonderful with a dusting!

Sometimes you need open eyes and mind and the rest will fall into place. My inspiration Bing photo below!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift Guide Hair Accessories little girls



Three great head accessories for little girls.

Crochet Hats & Crochet Headbands are soft and stretch. Add a Flexi Clips in Mini or a bow. These fit perfectly in stockings too!


You can also find handmade crochet items at craft and vendor shows. Look around for a Lilla Rose consultant too!



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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Family Craft: Garland

DIY garland is not just popcorn. This is a great way to re-purpose your kids paper art into Holiday decorations!

 





Toilet paper roll garland. You can paint these before or after cutting. You want to cut open then squish it in half length wise. Cut every quarter to one inch in size. Interlock the chains once painted and glue closed. You can use close pins to hold them together as the glue dries.  Great craft for toddlers.






Punch out garland-tree shaped. I used my distress inks to color and design my paper first. As the ink dries the lines from the sponge on the blending tool. You can stamp a design or background and then use embossing powder. I used gold for the white paper and iridescent for the green and red. Punch out your desired shape.

Stack the punch outs together in groups of 5 and punch holes for the string. Add them in random order and hang on the tree ;-)

You may also like these decorating ideas or cupcake ornaments.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cupcake Ornament


Are you looking to update your Christmas Tree balls? Maybe give a set as a gift.

 

I had such a fun time making these as gifts last year. I discovered the cupcake ornament. Isn't it cute! There are several ways you can add the frosting. There are tips on you-tube on how to create a fake cupcake with foam material called gaps and cracks.

I bought a 6 pack of frosted glass ornaments from the craft store. I followed a video on you tube to paint the icing on the ball. You can view the video below. I did add some fake snow I had purchased many years ago at Kohl's. I used it as a glass filler however it's super messy and I didn't use it for many years later. If you find the paint isn't holding your glitter or fake snow just apply a layer of Mod Podge. Don't apply it too thick or the toppings will slide.

Hot glue doesn't last as long as Fusion clear glue. You do have to hold the "cherry" in place while it sets so be prepared not to move for at least 10-20 mins. Also try to use foil wrappers instead of paper. The foil will hold it's shape while the paper will spread out even with glue.


The 4 other balls I used clear embossing ink and powder with some stamps. I was experimenting with my new powder and ink and honestly didn't know it worked on glass. I loved how it removed the frosted look. Almost as if I frosted after the wording was added. I also used some ink pads to color the balls. Some did bleed and others dried permanently. Unfortunately I didn't take note of which ink stayed.

You can buy the clear ones and add mod podge with glitter or glitter paint. I haven't tried the wood polish trick. If it's not a green cleaning product, then I won't use it ;-)



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DIY Decorating

Are you looking to update your Holiday decorations on a tight budget? Check out these 3 super easy crafts.

  • Wrap cinnamon sticks around a votive or tealight glass holder. Don't use glue or adhesive with an open flame. Many adhesives are flammable and those that aren't will melt when the candle is lit for long periods of time. I used Jute to wrap my sticks and added pieces from an old centerpiece.
  • Fill a hurricane vase with water and plastic wrap. Add another glass candle holder in the middle. The plastic wrap will look like floating ice. You can add stickers to cutouts on the outside of the hurricane vase and place a wreath around it.
  • Do you save glass jars from condiments or sauces? Remove the label and add small ornaments or bottle brush trees to the lid. Make sure it fits inside the jar before gluing. I did have to adjust the sizes of the trees. Add textured snow or snow confetti to the base of your design. Set it on a table near light strands or add a battery operated tealight inside.
You can easily update your decorations on a tight budget using things you already have on hand. These also make great gifts.

2013 placement of my tree globe




Update! 2013 Fake ice vase is ready!







Sunday, December 1, 2013

Spa Gift Set


 

Did you know for a fraction of the cost you could make your very own spa gift set?

Here are a few recipes for you to try.

  • Sugar Scrub:  Glycerin 10%, sunflower oil 50%, Phenonip preservative 1%, Essential oils like tea tree, sage and lavender (20 drops max) and White sugar-fill to top. Heat the oil and then add preservative. Don't not use a glass container for use in the shower.
  • Lip Moisturizer: Beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, essential oil of choice-I like peppermint. Recipe found here.
  • Basic Salve: 2oz shea butter, 1 dry tablespoon of beeswax and up to 20 drops of essential oil of choice like lavender. Melt the beeswax and butter using the double boiling method. Once it melts mix and allow to cool. Before it becomes a solid but under 50C, add the essential oils.
  • Bath Bomb:2 cups baking soda, 1 cup citric acid, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 10 drops Essential Oil. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil then essential oil. Use a spray bottle filled with witch hazel a little at at time until the material comes together. Form into balls. Let the bath bombs air dry. Then, wrap them individually in small bags.
  • Bath Salts: 1 tablespoon of oil (Almond is nice) mixed 1 cup of salt-You may mix various salts like dead sea and espom salt. Best used in a warm, not hot bath. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil. I find lavender to be relaxing and orange is uplifting. Mints are strong and cause your skin to tingle, so go light.



Handmade Gifts

Scented Ornaments



Last year (2012) my son and I made scented ornaments. We used equal parts of powdered cinnamon and apple sauce & cookie cutters. Use a straw or skewer to create holes if you plan on hanging or stringing them.

I did add some essential oils (pine to the trees & cinnamon for gingerbread) therefore we let them air dry. It took 3 days to dry and then we painted them.

Instructions:
  • Mix equal parts of powdered cinnamon and apple sauce and flatten on a wax covered cookie sheet. 
  • Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Allow them to dry 3-4 days. 
  • Once dry add a few drops of Jovial on the front and back. 
  • Store in an air tight container until ready to hang or gift. 
  • Replenish as needed with 1-2 drops of Jovial.

 

This craft is great for kids and adults a like. 

The smell of coniferous fir trees will make you feel Christmas around you, and the aroma of Jovial will put you in just the right mood for the Christmas holidays. There is nothing better than the creation of the perfect atmosphere of warm spices and the scent of pine needles to relax everyone in the family.


You may also like Homemade gifts from last year and Spa gift set.

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