Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blog Button!

If you're reading this post and you shift your eyes to the will see my new blog button.  After noticing numerous buttons on other blogs, I thought I could make one for my blog, proudly advertising my denomination.  It was a piece.of.cake to create too.  Here's what I did:

1)  Go to
2)  Click on 'upload a photo'
3)  Use an existing photo, or surf the web for a background (like my snowflakes) you like and save it to your computer.
4)  Follow picnik's instructions to create your picture (button).  Start by re-sizing the photo (picnik automatically sizes one of the sides, so if you pick '250' as your height, it will automatically adjust the width to be proportionate).  250 or roughly there is a good button size.
5)  Add your text in the box on the top left of picnik.  On the top right, you can change the font, and size and direction of your wording by playing around with it - it's all right there on the screen for you.
6)  Click on 'save photo' and save your picture to your computer.
7)  Open your blog and add a gadget (choose 'add photo' as your gadget).
8)  Click on 'image' and select the photo you just created in picnik.

There you go!  It's a lot simpler than my instructions make it seem!  You now have a button!  What a great way to advertise something about yourself, something you love, or an Etsy shop (if you have one :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bows and Bands and Bags oh my!

After searching high and low for perfect inexpensive, yet cute, headbands to coordinate with the girls' Christmas outfits, I finally gave up and decided to make my own.
I did purchase the basic headband.  In fact, it came in a pack of 6 with only 1 white one in the pack, so I had to purchase TWO packs.  But I only paid $5.00 for all twelve bands.  One store wanted to charge me $9 for a so-so headband that was a bit shopworn.  Pfffft!

I followed the tutorial shown here and it was pretty easy.  In fact, making the bow was the simple part.  Attaching it to the headband?  Not so much.  I pondered a variety of ideas, such as velcro, but none of them seemed to be exactly what I wanted.  I even considered hot gluing the bow to the band, but I'm cheap frugal and I thought I might want to use the headbands again.  So after much thought, I wound some embroidery floss through the bow and simply tied it to the headband.  Since the bow itself is all stitched together, I can just snip through the embroidery floss to remove the bow, thereby preserving both the bow and the headband.  Genius!

After this I think I'll invest in some clips that I can permanently attach the bows to, and then I can trade them out to match various outfits.  Oh who am I kidding?  My kids hate hair accessories.  In fact, I'm not even sure how I talked them into wearing them on Christmas.  But I did.  And that's the point!
Finally, I made the girls matching tote bags to carry on Sunday.  I plan to pack them with  fun, girlie things like lip gloss, tissues, notepads, knick knacks and of course money, because what fun is a bag without money?!   So now, their outfits are complete and matching from head to toe.

Merry 'Matching' Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Clothes!

This afternoon I made the girls Christmas outfits.  After buying matching red tops, they each picked out the fabric for the skirt, and the Christmas tree applique on the shirt.  These were SO easy to make.  It took me about 3 hours from start to finish.  They can't wait to wear them to their grandparents on Friday night, then again to church on Christmas morning.

Each tree is the same, and contains fabric from Autumn's skirt, but I needed all the fabric to make Cayla's skirt, so her skirt fabric didn't make it onto the tree :(  I thought they coordinated really well though.
Here's a close-up of the tree.  Using the various fabrics, I applied Heat 'n Bond before cutting out the tree pattern.  Once cut, I ironed it on and top-stitched around the edges.  I finished it with a white bow tree-topper.  Sweet and simple.....just the way we like it!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Getting Organized!

 Last fall my father in law offered me a large sized shutter after I expressed interest in one for a project.  I knew I wanted to paint it and use it to hold Christmas cards.  Behold:

I began by painting it red, but the red spray paint I bought was cheap.  It's worth the extra couple of dollars to buy Krylon or Rustoleum.  And while I definitely didn't set out to paint it gold, I happened to have some Krylon metallic gold on hand because I used it to paint the crowns for the Wise men to wear during the children's music at church :)  One quick, coat and my card holder was reborn.

I'm honestly thinking of painting the backside Krylon red and using it during the year as decor in my living room, then flipping it to the gold side during the holidays.  Can't lose :)

I almost put a solid piece of wood behind the slats so the cards don't fall through, but OBVIOUSLY that won't work if I plan to use both sides alternately during the year.  I grabbed a couple of decorated clothespins to hold up Christmas card photos, and just slipped standard cards onto the slats.  Voila!  Organized and attractive (at least I think so).
My next organizing project was this purse organizer that I've been thinking about for some time now.  I have a darling Vera Bradley make up bag that I keep in my purse to hold various objects.  But they always manage to turn over, slip to the bottom and get lost in the great abyss.

Ta da!!!  I made pockets for each item, slipped the belongings in, rolled it up and tucked it into my make up bag.  It's SO nice.  Now when I reach for my nail file, it's up right, where I can find it, not laying down at the bottom, stabbing me as I try to grab it.  I love little things that bring me incredible joy :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Christmas Story!

I read it every year, usually several times.  It's beautiful, and I never tire of it.  Here it is for you to enjoy as well:

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child.

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 

14 “ Glory to God in the highest, 
      And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Luke 2:1-20 NKJV

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Last week I stitched up a couple of these little gems: Homemade Heating Pads.  Microwave for up to 2 minutes to soothe away aches and pains, and keep toes toasty.  Or, throw them in the freezer and you have an instant cold compress for bumps and bruises.  Each flannel bag contains extra clean deer corn combined with cinnamon to make them smell wonderful.  The bags are then slipped into a matching 'pillow case' to keep them clean.  Oils from the skin and less than meticulous microwaves can get the bags really dingy, and since they can't be washed, the pillow case makes a great barrier, which can be machine washed and dried prior to the next use.

My girls love them, and Autumn uses hers nearly every night.  I love to put mine under my feet while I watch TV!  Unlike rice, corn heats more evenly and retains heat longer.  At least, in my opinion it does :)

A couple of tips if you make one of your own; 1) Use extra-clean deer corn, which can be purchased at Wal-Mart of all places.  Anything less will be really dusty and dirty to work with.  2) I like the scent of cinnamon, but any essential oil can be added to make the bags smell terrific.  3)  Do not heat for more than 2 minutes at a time.  Longer heating times can result in burns to the skin, and scorching of the corn inside.  Then it won't matter what you've scented it with, it will smell burnt.  4)  Use 100% cotton fabric.  Polyester blends can catch fire.  Obviously I don't need to elaborate on this tip :)

This one is mine.  It's made from ultra soft flannel and it's wonderful on those nights where the mercury drops to arctic temperatures :)

This one was intended for Cayla, but Autumn saw it and, well, the rest is history.  Cayla didn't stand a chance :)

I joined the link party at:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glittered Christmas Lights!

Once again, Pinterest strikes.  This time with inspiration for Christmas.

Old style Christmas lights.......purchased at a church Christmas bazaar for $.50.
I have to confess....I hate glitter.  Well, I hate working with glitter, and I really hate when my kids want to use glitter.  But I love the results, so I stifled my glitter hatred and proceeded.  I wanted white or silver, super fine glitter, but I was too cheap to pay for it, so I kept searching.  I  found this 5-pack of colors on sale for $2.50 at a Craft Warehouse where my parents live.
Using a plastic cutting board as a work station, I covered the lights with Mod Podge and poured my glitter into a pinch pot so I could easily sprinkle it onto my lights.  Each light took about 30 seconds to create and I clipped them between clothes pins so they could dry.
I selected the most Christmassy (Yes it's a word.  It means anything pertaining to Christmas) looking colors to work with, but I think the blue is my favorite.  I know, I was surprised too because usually I gravitate towards all things pink!
Using some acrylic clear coat I sprayed the lights so the glitter wouldn't flake off and get on everything.  I think they turned out cute, and super festive.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go make some glitter lights!

I'm linked up: