Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


... in our home, at least. Outside? Not so much...

(*** still waiting for some snow ***)

It's been quiet over here for some time and will probably remain so unless I pop over for an Arkansas room makeover or have a sudden burst of inspiration.

My lumberjack "cut" down a tree after we searched for a locally grown tree and were sorely disappointed with the selection and outrageous prices. Instead, we settled on an imported Fraiser fur that I've always wanted and Love.

It's perfect.

(Thrifted vintage pom-pom tablecloth turned tree skirt!! Love it!)

A couple of poster-board-and old sheet music (and feathers and lace) trees and we're in business.

My parents have an enormous holly tree that we snagged several branches from to spruce up the faux foliage I have. 

 And I used Heat-n-Bond for the first time on this Christmas pillow cover and it is amazing stuff. Highly recommend!

I used fabric scraps for the cover and deer silhouette, yarn I had lying around for the tassels and bam! Cutest pillow in my house. Well, at least for now. And the bonus is that I can just take the cover off when I'm finished and store that flat in my Christmas box instead of an entire pillow. Genius, I know.

Merry Christmas to you!!

DIY etched glass Christmas ornaments


I love personalizing gifts. Especially if it's something fun, pretty and still inexpensive! 

For all 6 of my piano girls, I wanted to try etching their names onto plain glass Christmas ornaments. My inspiration came HERE and the one and same vinyl dealer, the amazing Dana, hooked me up with the gorgeous stencils for the etching.

But, first, I found some ornaments at the hobby store. 50% off, thank you very much. Dana told me that the etching cream wouldn't work if they were covered in glass varnish, so I crossed my fingers and hoped they weren't.

Supplies needed: 
set of flat plain glass ornaments, unvarnished
vinyl stencils
etching cream
sacrificial paint brush

I didn't choose the glass orbs, but ones that were flatter, hoping that the stencils would stick better. All those curves aren't ideal for flat stencils! It was a good choice, although I still had to really smooth down the edges near the letters so the etching cream wouldn't leak through.

 I carefully peeled away the backing and smoothed down any edges that came up.

Then, using my throw-away paint brush and gloves, I brushed on a thick coating of etching cream. It had a tendency to pull away from some of the letters, so I had to keep a close eye on them and brushing it back so all of the letters would be etched.

Not all of the letters were perfectly etched, but they were more than good enough! Then, I filled them with old, shredded sheet music and looped some red and white baker's twine to hang them from. And I think they girls will be thrilled.

What I especially love about this project is that the possibilities are endless! You could fill them with fake snow, pearls, sand, confetti, etc. I think I'd love to do an ornament-a-year for Ladybug or for us (etch a different year on each) and then fill it with something that represents the year for us.

(Oh, and while I was at it, I etched "fleurs" (French for flowers) in an old vinegar bottle I'd saved for that purpose. Simple and sweet.

... And sort of addicting. "What should I etch next?!")

What would you etch??

project(s) update: wreath with candy-striped plaque


Upcycled, recycled and reused.

This one is fun!

a mini {DIY} apron for Christmas


Remember when I mentioned a certain little lady needing a little apron? Well, here it is!

Mini apron time!

Since her head is still so big (and the rest of her so small!) I decided against a pull over loop and I didn't want to take the time to make adjustable straps. SO, instead I made a button-hole! Easy on and off and it works like a charm.

Functional little pockets with shabby little bows.

It technically is reversible, but I didn't add a pocket to the backside. I'm kind of kicking myself for that now. Oh well, live and learn.

Here it is - the basic shape and measurements I guessed after measuring Ladybug for widths and lengths. I sewed it all together inside out (with straps inside) and left both side straps open when I sewed to put it right side out. Then I went over it with a top stitch to make it look pretty and to toughen it up - it'll be subject to a 2-yr old you know...

I was going to do a ruffle at the bottom but then just rounded it off. Perfect. The straps are also made with opposite fabrics. (Jeremy helped me choose the floral fabric from the hobby store, the polka dot is vintage from my grandma and the green pockets was hand-me-down polyester that I didn't have to hem - woot!)

My little helper now has a perfectly sized apron to keep her from (*mostly) getting messy. With about 2 hours of work and $3, here is a great little gift!

Pomegranate Tea


I found a use for pomegranates that I absolutely love. 

Pomegranate Tea (!) 
from Martha Stewart Living's Annual Recipes 2003

1 large pomegranate's seeds, mostly pulled away from the rind
4 cups cold water
a few tablespoons of honey
a few mint sprigs (optional)

Place pomegranate seeds in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat (add mint here if desired), and simmer until very fragrant and colorful, about 15 minutes. Stir in honey; strain tea and serve hot. 

Yum! Isn't it gorgeous? It's just as yummy to drink!

This one also looks amazing... 

Spiced Pomegranate Punch
Serves six; makes about 4 cups
taken from

5 pomegranates
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus strips of orange zest for garnish

Cut pomegranates in half. Extract juice from seeds with a citrus juicer or reamer. Strain into a medium saucepan. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups juice.) Add cider, 2 cups water, cinnamon stick, and ginger. Cook over high heat until simmering, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat; gently simmer 15 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon and ginger. Stir in orange juice. Serve warm, garnished with orange zest.

...and the rest of the holiday decor (plus a DIY Advent calendar!)


Hi friends! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Yay! (Now we just need some weather to go with it. We're staying home this year, so why not!?)

Here are a few holiday spots around our home this year...

... a front door wreath (that hangs on the inside because it won't fit between our screen door!)

... handmade stockings all hung on the bannister with care...

... and a gift from a few years ago that I love! I want it to be a coffee table/ottoman setting, but not with curious little fingers this year.

A festive tablescape complete with birthday flowers and pomegranates. Have any good pomegranate recipes? I got them for a great price!

I've officially completed the crafting part of the season (not that creativity is over - I still have lots of baking to do!) so our house can be merry and bright. I wanted to create a budget-friendly Advent calendar to use in years to come - and after several days of deliberating, here's what I came up with.

I used a second-hand red tablecloth for the background - I actually made a casing for some stabilizer and then top stitched around it.

Then I looped over the top for a dowel (or an unused spring-loaded curtain rod in our case) for stability at the top. A piece of yarn is holding it on the nail.

I really didn't want to spend the time to cut, iron and sew all of the corners of 25 squares for pockets, so I took the easy way out and used sheets of felt. I cut out a pattern piece and then followed it. I ran out of cream for all 25, so I used white and made an "X" pattern in the squares. Can you tell?

My biggest question was how to get the numbers on the calendar. Lots of ideas ran through my head, but I wanted it to be done as simply (and cost effective!) as possible.

I actually wanted to only use things I had, but my number drawing skills are lacking. So I went to the hobby store and grabbed a little stencil for about $2. Using black acrylic paint, I stippled the numbers right to the felt. Perfect.

You can see they are filled with candy this year - "num nums" is something my sweet girl can understand and be excited about! In years to come I hope to more effectively tell The Story through the calendar, but right now, I'm okay with this approach.

My calendar isn't perfect, but I really like it (although I may re-do the yellow star - it looks a little wonky, eh?) and I'm looking forward to counting down to the Christmas season with my family in years to come. And not bad for $2, huh?

Christmas gifts *handmade*


Several gifts were given over Thanksgiving weekend ... one day was Thanksgiving and the next, Christmas! :-)

I made a vignette for my sister and BIL's kitchen.

A distressed walnut hanger.

Chalkboard in barnwood frame (yikes! I didn't notice all of the fingerprints)...

And my first painting! A large (24"x36") abstract painting reminiscent of the seasons - spring to summer to fall to winter. Also parallels of life and its seasons. 

I painted a "Gone Fishin'" sign for my dad - distressed walnut with a green casual font - for those many more fishing trips he's going to take. :-)

Finally, I changed up my mom's kitchen vignette to reflect more of a wintry scape. 

A recycled antique book wreath and maple twigs.

Such fun. Can you see the influence the Market had on my gifts this year?