Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

So my advent calendar is getting very full, and my countdown is down to single digits.  I can't believe Christmas is just 4 days away!  Yikes!  I hope you are ready...I am close...very, very close.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a peak at my Christmas decor:

Mantel #1
Coat Hanger/Shelf:
 Simple circle garland {scrapbook paper, inked edges, sewn together}
 Advent Calendar {Even my 1-yr old LOVES when it is her turn to pick the magnet for the day}
 Mangel #2
 Little yarn pom-pom garland:
 The stockings were hung...
A little closer look at my newest sign for the year:
I am loving it!  I just love this time of year!  Merry, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little Birdie Ornaments

I wanted to make some ornaments to hand out with Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors, and since I seem to have a thing for birds, I knew this Pinterest find was PERFECT!
You want to make some of your own?  They were actually pretty easy!  Grab some burlap & contrasting fabric scraps, pick some ribbon or jute, find a bird template online & get started!

It is pretty self explanatory, so my instructions will be simple:

1--Cut bird shaper out of 2 layers of burlap
2--Cut a wing out of contrasting fabric
3--Stamp Christmas words (joy, love, noel, wish) onto the wings.  I used a metal stamp set and just used regular ink and it worked just fine.
4--Sew wing onto one layer of bird.

5--Place birds right-sides together, inserting a little ribbon in-between the layers to act as the hanger.
Done and done!  Don't you just love easy little projects!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Delicious Chunky Wheat Bread {RECIPE}

I thought I would quickly share the recipe I used for my homemade bread from yesterday's post.  I seriously LOVE this bread.  It is the perfect mix of crunchy goodness and soft chewy bread.  Oh, and spread honey on top...OH MY GOODNESS GOOD!

It is great with all wheat flour, or a combination of wheat flour and regular white flour.  However, I do use white wheat flour--I just think it is a lot less dense than regular wheat flour.

12 Grain Bread

5 c. very warm water
1/2 c. honey
Add the following ingredients, mixing one in at a time:
6 c. flour
3 T. yeast
3/4 c. gluten
2 c. 9 grain cracked cereal (or just cracked wheat)
2 T. salt
1/2 c. millet
1/2 c. Sunflower seeds
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (or just use 1 c. sunflower seeds)
1/2 c. sesame seeds
2 T. lecithin (This can be replaced with oil)

At this point, add more flour a little at a time  (aprox. 6 more cups).  Once it gets too shaggy and sticky to use a spoon, start kneading. (if mixing by hand).  Knead about 200 times or about 10 minutes.  If using a bread mixer, knead about 4-5 minutes after the flour is mixed in and the dough tends to be one mass.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Divide into loaf pans--makes 3-4 loafs.  Let rise again for 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

***If some of those ingredients are new to you, they can be found in health food stores!
I hope you try it!  It is delicious!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Day of Christmas {EASY & Do-able}

I am so excited.  Every year growing up, my family selected another family to do the 12 Days of Christmas.  Basically, each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas we delivered a fun little gift.  The gifts aren't anything crazy or big--very do-able, but it was such a fun way to spread the Christmas spirit in December.

So this year will be the FIRST year that my little family will do our own 12 Days of Christmas.  I think it will be so fun to have my kids involved--Helping with the gifts, knocking, running, and hopefully not getting caught!  I am hoping they will start to learn the true meaning of Christmas and how much fun it is to do the GIVING!

Anyway, I made simple little tags that I will glue onto cuter Christmas paper.  But, I wanted to share so you too can start this fun & easy tradition!

Here is a link to download the file!

And just to give you a quick look, here is page one of the two-page document:
First Delivery...success!!!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry & Bright I-Phone Wallpaper

Here is a new I-Phone Wallpaper for the Christmas season for anyone interested!  I hope you like it!
Here are the quick steps:
1--Save the image
2--If on your computer, email the file to yourself so you can access the image on your phone
3--Open the email on your phone.  Click on the little arrow button on the bottom (2nd from right)
4--Select "Save Image"
5--Open up your Photo Album, and select the new image
6--Click on the bottom left arrow button
7--Click on "Use as Wallpaper"
8--Stretch to fit your phone
9--Select to have it for your home page, lock screen, or both.  I just use it as my lock screen.

Done and Done!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

5 Favorite Things

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a "5 FAVORITE THINGS PARTY."  For those of you who may not know what that is, here is a little description:

Each person brings 5 of the same item (something that they love or that represents them).  Everybody keeps the items under a certain price range.  For my party, we kept it under $4 per item.  Then at the party, each person has her name on 5 pieces of paper.  All of the names go in a bowl.   Going around the room each person explains what they brought and why it is one of her favorite things and then draws 5 names out of the bowl to give her items to.  So in the end, you go home with 5 different "Favorite Things."  Totally fun!  To make things even better, everybody brings a fun snack or treat to share.  Such a fun evening.

Anyway, I made some fun little thank-you boards for Thanksgiving, but they can also be used for other things throughout the year.  Take a look:

I originally got this idea from Whipperberry.  She has a great tutorial.  I did things slightly different, but hopefully they will both help you make your own!

Start by finding a frame. I found mine at Goodwill.  They weren't especially pretty--but it's amazing what a bit of paint can do!  After painting my frames, I also sanded them down a bit and stained over them to give them a more antiqued look.

To string the jute I marked down the side of the frame on the back every 2 inches, but alternated the sides by one inch to make a zig-zag pattern.  Then I used staples to hold the jute or twine in place.  Once the twine was in place and tight I simply tied little knots to finish it off.
To make my sign, I simply printed the wording.  I used "Oh so Thankful."  Then I mounted it onto some cute paper, and then mounted that to a piece of cardboard just to add a little dimension and stability. 
 I wanted to make the sign easy to take on and off, so I hot-glued a piece of pipe cleaner (about a half of a piece) to the back.  Then this can be attached and wrapped around the frame easily.
Then during the month of November, I have each member in my family write things they are thankful for on little cards and use clothes-pins to attach it to the twine.  Simple.  My kind of project!
So, in the end it looks a bit more like this:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give Thanks IPhone Wallpaper

I made a new little wallpaper for my IPhone yesterday to celebrate the month of Thanksgiving.  And...I thought I might share it with any of you interested:
 Doesn't it look cute!
Here are instructions:
1--Right click on the above image and save document.  If using a computer, you will have to transfer this photo to your phone.  The easiest way I found to do this is simply email it to yourself.
2--Open up the document on your phone and save it to your Photo Roll
3--Open it up inside your Photo Roll.  Click on the bottom left arrow.
4--Tap use as wallpaper.
5--From there you can scale and move it to the correct position.
6--Select if you want it as your home screen or lock screen or both. (I just chose my lock screen).
That's it.  Easy and festive!
Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Halloween

I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween and are enjoying a little chocolate!  I thought I'd share a quick picture of my skeleton, Ariel, and chicken.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Burlap Banners

Happy Fall!  I keep waiting for life to slow down a bit, but it just isn't happening.  I am squeezing in some time for crafting.  The hard part just seems to be posting it to my blog.  But, here is a SIMPLE little project that I did recently:
They were super fun and super easy.  They are pretty self-explanatory, but here are some pictures of the steps along the way:

**I didn't show a pictures of this, but I made a triangle template out of a cereal box.  It made for quick fabric cutting and ensured all of my triangles were the same size and shape. (Well, the best you can get when you are working with burlap!)

Once my triangles were cut out, I printed out my letters, cut them out, and then traced them onto the burlap with a regular Sharpie marker.  I even used a brown marker to outline the letters that I painted white and orange and it turned out fine.
 Next, I simply painted in the letters with regular craft paint--nothing fancy.  I did find that it worked best to kind of blot the paint as I went to fill in the little squares.
Then I just decorated the triangles.  To make the circles, I just dipped the end of a sponge brush in paint and then dabbed it onto the burlap--re-dipping in the paint for each dot.  Easy.
Next, I just sewed on a strip of ribbon to connect all the triangle pieces.  I did overlap the corners just barely, and I used a zig-zag stitch.

Lastly, I sprayed them (especially the edges) with a clear sealer.  I am hoping this will keep them from fraying.

I had so much fun making these!  You should give it a try!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Redo {Headboard & Dresser}

This is a project I have been wanting to do for oh, about 3 years now.  So what has been holding me back--a little FEAR.  I was totally overwhelmed, but finally I decided this was the time.  I dragged my husband in for a lot of help.  Seriously, he was VERY opposed to the project.  He kept asking me if there was another project I could get really excited about.  He also let me before we got started that he thought it was a bad idea--that way, if it turned out horrible, I was 100% to blame.  But, he was a champ!  I couldn't have done it without his help.
So you want to see the before/after pics??? (forgive my bad pictures.  VERY BRIGHT SUN=Bad pictures)
 So, the result-I absolutely LOVE them.  Seriously!  I have to thank my friend Jessica for talking me into painting the headboard a fun color.  I was going to use cream for both pieces.  SO glad I went with the tealish/blue.  It makes me excited to finish my bedroom decorating (it has been highly neglected over the years)!

Do you have your own furniture you want to redo?  Here are a few tips.

1.  Use a good primer.  I used this Zinsser primer.  NO NEED FOR SANDING!!!!

2.  Spray on your paint.  We used a paint sprayer (yeah, the kind you would paint a house with).  If you don't have access to this, I would recommend using spray paint.  This primer also comes in spray form.
3.  Don't be afraid of glazing.  I am sure if somebody who actually knew what they were doing when it comes to glazing, they would probably laugh.  However, I love the depth it gives the furniture.  I found a few glazing video tutorials that were a great help.  Also, I just used craft or acrylic paint to mix with my glaze.  It seemed to work fine for me, however, I have never used latex paint to have a comparison.
5.  I also sprayed a protective finish on once I had finished the painting and glazing.
4.  Don't be afraid.  Just do it!!!
Happy Day!  It's finally done!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Love One Another

Well, the good news is that I FINALLY finished a craft to put on here!  The other good news is that school started TODAY (yesssssssss!).  I am hoping to have a little more time to get some crafting done!

Anyway, I saw the cutest sign quite a while on Pinterest.  Check it out here.  Then more recently I saw another similar sign here.  So then the other day I was out taking pictures of the cutest little 9 month old little boy.  We were in a field with an old little barn or shed.  Well, there was this old piece of wood lying on the ground, and I knew it was PERFECT!!!  So I took it.  I showed it to my husband to make sure he thought it was okay that I took it.  I mean, the field is for sale--not being used.  I'm sure most people would have just chucked it--right?  Well, I guess that's my justification for stealing it.  But I totally LOVE how it turned out.  Plus it got me to FINALLY take down my 4th of July decor....about time, I know!

So let me know what you think!
I'm loving the simplicity!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Pinwheel Pinata

Hello there!  I'm back.  Isn't summertime crazy?  I've been out of town for the past couple weeks.  Now that I am home though, I am hoping to get some good crafting done--I had so many plans for the summer, and my time is dwindling, so I better get busy.

Anyway--with my baby turning one, I had to come up with a pinata to follow in tradition with our family birthday parties.  I searched online for ideas for a pinwheel pinanta, and came up blank.  So I just put one together.
 So, I need to apologize.  I totally had step-by-step pictures, but they somehow got deleted...sad.  The good news though is that it was pretty easy, so I will just list what I did.

1-- Start out by making a simple paper-mache pinata.  I have a tutorial here. I wrapped the string around so it would hang from the center of the balloon instead of the blow-up end.
2--Once the pinata is done and stuffed with candy, paint it.  I just used regular craft paint.  I think I did two coats.
3--Take a sheet of poster board, cut off one end in order to make it square.
4--Paint a fun design on the poster.  I let my older kids help paint the circles.  They LOVED being involved.
5--Cut a circle in the center of the poster board.  The circumference needs to be the size of the center of the pinata.
6--Cut diagonal slits from each corner in toward the cut-out circle.  The slit needs to come stop just a few inches before reaching the cut-out circle.
7--Slide the poster onto the pinata.  With a glue gun, secure the back of the poster onto the pinata with a strip of glue all around the circle.
8--Fold every other edge up and tuck behind the balloon.  Glue this to secure into place.

That's it.  Hopefully this all made sense.
Oh, and just in case you wanted to see a picture of the cake, here it is:
(She LOVED the cake, by the way.  My baby girl definitely has a sweet tooth!)

Friday, June 29, 2012

ONE {DIY Birthday Shirt}

My baby girl is turning ONE in a week!  I can hardly believe it.  Time has gone by WAY too fast.  But, I must say, I am getting excited to celebrate, and to start things off, I made her this little birthday shirt.  I am going to do a "Pinwheel" theme party--so here is what I came up with for the shirt:
 Do you want to make one?  Here's what I did:
--Grab a shirt (I used a cute little tank from Old Navy)
--Print out your number & then cut it out.  Pin the pattern to your fabric, and cut your fabric out.
 --Iron some double-sided Wonder-Under to the fabric.  **Make sure you read the instructions and iron the right side, or you may iron the paper onto your ironing board (not that I would make that mistake personally-haha).
--Cut the shape out now with the Wonder-Under
--Peel the other side of the Wonder-Under off your shape.  
 --Place onto your shirt into place and iron on.
 --Now you are ready to applique it on.  I used a small zig-zag stitch all around the 1.
--For the pinwheel, I used this great tutorial.  I used a 2" square of fabric.  This was SUCH A FUN TUTORIAL!  I made SEVERAL that I will use for the party.  So cute!

Then, to finish things off, I made this fun matching headband.  I am hoping she will leave it on longer than 2 minutes (She has discovered that she can pull bows/flowers/ headbands off her head).  I made the headband like I made THESE.
I am so excited for her big day!  Happy Birthday baby girl!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My 4th of July Mantel

I know the 4th of July is coming up, so I thought I'd give you a quick peek at my Independence Day Mantel.
 Decorating with BEANS!!  Don't you love it!
 My sisters made me this fun banner.  Don't you love it!  I have the best sisters EVER!
Happy Independence Day!