Friday, December 9, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #49

It was a busy week.  We took the MIL out for lunch and shopping for her Christmas gift.  We weren't sure if it was something she liked doing or not but she requested it when she emailed the Mr about something so I'm glad I suggested starting this with her.

I'm running around in a Christmas frenzy.  I've got cookies to drop off to a friend this weekend and mah cookies are what he lives for every year so they have to be perfect!

But enough of my edge of sanity, let's get to...



The 7 Best Upper-Body Exercises for People Who Hate Push-Ups  (I certainly have the upper body part down now, that's for sure!)

Why You Really Shouldn’t Ignore a Flexible Spending Account  (We're doing one for the first time this coming year since I'm in a constant state of broken, at least our deductibles can be tax free)

10 Beautiful Snowy Red Barn Photos to Celebrate the Season  (Oh my heart!  I could just squee!)

12 Vintage Christmas Decorations We Wish Would Come Back  (There is just NOTHING like incandescent bulbs.  We just ordered 3 more sets from Target of ours. I refuse to convert on the tree.  I remember my paternal grandma's tree had those huge C9's on a real tree.  So pretty!)

10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Like Our Grandparents Did  (Grandma and Grandpa knew how to do it right!)

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Your Cookie Cutters  (Some good stuff right thar!  I use the pancakes trick a lot!)

16 Christmas Charts To Help You Survive The Holidays  (We need all the help we can get!)

10 Clever Ways to Display All Your Holiday Cards This Year  (Ahhh... so cute!  I might just do the "existing shelf" one but one my kitchen pass thru)

This Adorable Newborn Puppy Photo Shoot Will Make Your Heart Melt  (Holy crap cakes!  This even made the Mr make squee faces!!!)

This Dog Couldn't Contain Her Joy When She Met Santa In Real Life  (Now that is one happy pup!)

Turns Out, Meeting Bill Murray on a Flight Is Just as Awesome as You’d Expect  (I would give anything!)

If you have a cookie baking day coming up, consider this hack!

Holiday shipping deadlines for UPS, FedEx and major retailers  (Getting all of my stuff ready to send next week!)

As you can see, I had Christmas on the brain this week!

Remember today is the LAST DAY to turn in your pics to share your Christmas decorations. Facebook message/email me one picture with the name you want used by midnight tonight to be included in the Christmas week post.  I've got a few, now just waiting on you!  :-)

What are you guys up to this weekend?

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Elsewhere: Jelly Jar Silhouette Candle

I thought about something similar to this a few Christmas seasons ago but I'm no good at freehand so I ditched that thought.  Well thankfully this lady did a great tutorial for such things and it was back on my radar!  I wanted to use this as a night light (we're taking an LED tea light) but with the silhouette of the town we were staying in to leave for the hosts as a thank you gift.  Instead of using a mason jar, I love the look of the Bonne Maman strawberry preserve jars so I decided to use that.  Upcycling people!


Here's what you'll need

Jelly Jar
Paper with your chosen hometown skyline
Black paint
Small paint brushes
Tealight or LED tealight
Paper clip
Tape
Epsom Salt
Mod Podge  (optional but good idea to use it)


After I found the skyline I wanted to use, I printed it like a 4x6 picture and then cut it out and taped it to the inside of the jar.


It didn't wind all the way around the inside but I wanted to put a one horse open sleigh in there so it worked out.  Just make sure you tape both sides so it doesn't move around in there.


Paint the outside of the jar over the city cutout.  I did two coats so it was completely opaque.


I can't believe I was able to paint the horse and sleigh.  (I went back and cleaned it up a bit after it dried)  To paint the blades or whatever you call them on the sleigh, I used a paper clip because there's no way I was going to be able to paint something that tiny.


Time to pull out the taped cityscape inside.



To hold the tealight in place and give that snowy look, you can add some epsom salts.  Totally optional.


Like this...


I wanted to make the windows and such in the church and a few buildings so it was time to start scraping the paint with scissors.  Be very careful so you don't tear the paint as you scrape in places you didn't intend to remove.


I even etched a few trees in there where I wanted something other than windows.


This little Christmas tree was my favorite.


I even added the harness and mane to the horsey.


Here's a look at it lit at night from all sides.


I love the way it looks with the jelly jar lid!


Not a fan of having the expiration date visible?


Just wrap it with a festive ribbon or holiday themed washi tape!


A reminder to always blow out your candle when you're done!  ;-)


I can't wait to use this as our night light while we're spending the holidays out of town.  It'll be a fun way to not have to wake the Mr if I need to get up for a midnight bathroom break and not trip over myself in a dark, unfamiliar house.  I hope the hosts love it as much as I loved making it!

(Because we were traveling with ours, I sealed the outside of the jar with Mod Podge over the paint.  It dries clear so it won't ruin the picture.  If you think you may have it in a high traffic area or in a spot where it could get scratched, this might be a good final step to consider.)

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Elsewhere: Sheet Music Paper Ornaments

One of the biggest things I needed when deciding what kind of ornaments I wanted on our vacation tree was portability and they can't take up much room.  I came across all kinds of "3D" ornaments in different shapes and difficulties and thought something like that would work perfectly.  So here's my version of ...


Here's what you'll need:

Sheet Music (Derp!)
Stapler
Hole Punch
Cookie Cutters
Pen/Pencil
Bakers twine or string
Scissors (not pictured)
Mod Podge/Glue (optional)
Glitter (Optional)
Ink Pad (Optional - not pictured)



Whenever I see big sheet music books at garage sales or antique stores, I always get them.  They come in handy for a ton of crafty projects including this one!

Grab your sheet music and a cookie cutter.


Start tracing the outside of the cutter to fit as many as you can.


I got 8 out of this page.  Yes I did two sideways because the Mr does not care if two are sideways and neither do I!  :-)


Start a-cuttin'!


When you get them all cut, stack them on top of each other.


Staple twice in the middle.


Try to get as close to the same spot if you can.  As you can see, I kind of failed on that one.


Hole punch the top for the string.


Fold half of the pages up toward the staples at the front and the other half toward the staples in the back.


That will give you the 3D effect!


Time to get your twine on!


Slip it through the hole and tie it all purty.


How cute is that?


You can also do other shapes like this cute mitten (or state of Michigan if you prefer)


Or even a fun bell.


You could totally stop there and be done.  But lets say you want to give a colorful flair?  Here's what I did with a holly leaf cookie cutter.

Repeat the same steps...


Grab a paper towel, ink pad in the color of your choice and some TP or more paper towels to blot the ink.  Hold it in the ink and run it along the edges and slightly on the paper.


Then it was time to staple.

I have a bag of these little jingle bells so I thought this would be perfect to use as the berry.  I grabbed some red paint I had and gave the bell a little makeover.


Hole punch each end.  One for the string and one for the bell.


I tied a piece of thread through the bell and triple knotted it.  Then did the same when I got the correct length after running it through the bottom hole.


I ran the bakers twine through the top hole and it's all ready to hang!


What about when it's time to store them?  Depending on how many you make and if they have any extras dangling, you could easily keep them together with a binder clip.


Three ornaments take up hardly any space at all!


Or you could slip them in a normal letter sized envelope!  This would fit about 10 ornaments.



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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Elsewhere: Vintage Cardstock Ornaments

When you think of what you'll need to decorate a tree, obviously, the first thing you think of is ornaments.  I actually tracked these beautiful vintage images down almost a year ago and printed them out.  I already knew what I wanted to do with them and could only picture how beautiful they'd be on a real tree!
Here's what you'll need:

Card stock for printing
Red & White Baker's Twine, jute twine or 1/8" decorative ribbon of your choice
Hole punch
Mod Podge
Clear Glitter

A search on the web of public domain images brings up a lot of beautiful vintage Christmas images. Find some you like and print them to the size you think you'll need.  They don't all need to be the same size if some are a little bigger and smaller.



Add some Mod Podge (or glue stick if that's what you have on hand) around the edges or whatever part of the picture you want to highlight with sparkle.  On this particular one, I wanted to highlight the tree.



Before you start your glitter work, lay down a piece of scrap or wax paper for easier clean up.  While the sealer/glue is still wet, tap some glitter over it and let it sit for a minute.



Tap off the excess glitter and set aside to dry.



Repeat with other images.




Punch a hole where you want to hang the string.  You could do right in the middle if you want it to hang symmetrical or in a corner if you want something a little different.  Just make sure you leave enough room so the paper doesn't rip with the string through the hole.


When the glue is set, tie your twine or ribbon to a length you want it to hang from on the tree.



Take a paper clip and push the ribbon through the hole from the back.


Pull the ribbon through and cut off any excess.  (Maybe not as short as I did on this one.  LOL)


How easy was that?  (Did you read that in Ina Garten's voice?)  :)


When I get them ready for storage, I flip half with the ribbons coming off one end and then other coming off the other side so the pile is even.


A simple ornament idea that will travel easily since they fit in an envelope!  That's 15 ornaments in one regular envelope.


These babies won't be the only things gracing our tree Christmas Day, come back tomorrow for another adorable travel friendly Christmas ornament!

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