December 9, 2013
December 5, 2013
Just wanted to remind anyone out there that I have a great stocking pattern available! I used it for all the members of our family and it looks fantastic! Get the pattern and tutorial through this link!
December 4, 2013
My sister and I both have this strange condition where our finger tips loose circulation even in semi warm conditions. It's called Raynauld's Disease. We think we inherited it from our father who also seems to have it. This is what it can look like.
My hands often loose circulation in the middle of the summer if I'm shopping in a heavily air conditioned grocery store. So as you might imagine the winters in Pennsylvania are not kind to our fingers. Some say it's like "being allergic to coldess". I thought that was funny.
To help my sister I made these for a Christmas present and I'm going to include a box of Hot Hands (air activated) hand warmers with them. To make the glittens I bought a pair of touchscreen gloves from Walmart and added a fleece pocket to the back with her initials on it which I embroidered. She can put the warmer in the pocket and then pull the pocket over her fingers to keep her hands extra warm while she's driving, walking the dogs, going grocery shopping in the summer;-P.....whatever!!!!The pocket helps keep the warmer in place so it doesn't move all around the inside like it would inside a mitten. And if she needs to use her fingers she can just take off the pocket and let it hang.
Get the how-to below!
Matching Fleece Fabric 1/4" yard
Step 1: Place the middle of your glove at the bottom of your fleece. Trace around the glove. Leave about 1/2" inch on either side and an inch and a half above the glove. Cut SIX of these.
December 3, 2013
To present the gifts I filled clear plastic (not glass because they wouldn't last a day in our house) ornaments with hand made tissue paper confetti and placed the gifts in the center so they can't be seen. You can get fun with the confetti. Other color ideas are silver, green a mix of red green and gold....whatever! I used foam numbers dusted with glitter to indicate each day of the month leading up to Christmas. You can find the tutorial for the bulbs below.
By the end of the month the girls should each have 25 charms on their necklace. The below photo is the first charm Lily received, a teapot, because she and my mother love to have 'afternoon tea' like the Brits;-)
I bought the first few charms at AC Moore but they were kind of pricey at $3 a piece. That's $6 a day! That's $150 over the whole month. But I searched online for the exact same charms called "Charmtastic" which I bought at AC Moore and they are currently selling at Janlynn.com for only 75 CENTS a piece!!!! Hopefully this isn't a cyber Monday thing and they'll stay that low for the whole month if you're interested in doing the same thing. Get my tutorial on how I made the balls below!Materials:
Foam stick on numbers bought at a craft store
Clear plastic or glass ornaments (If you are putting larger items in the ornament you will need to buy the kind of plastic ornaments that open down the middle. Like these on Amazon.)
Step 1: Using your finger or a brush cover the top of your foam number with modpodge. At first, I tried to use a spray on glue but the glitter didn't adhere well and it made the sticky back less effective.
Step 2: Stick on number to ball.
November 28, 2013
Oh my gosh! I'm constantly looking for ways to keep our old stuffed animals. We just recently got rid of 1/3rd of our collection and it was so hard for the girls to do it. I understand. That's why I love this idea by Rafa Kids. Get the full how-to in their post! PS. This idea is great because you DON'T have to destroy the stuffed animals to do it. They stay completely in tact.
November 27, 2013
Did you ever have this situation?....You sew a beautiful chiffon dress that looks gorgeous but when you're hemming the bottom you stretch the fabric and the end result looks funky (and not in a good way). Here's an interesting way to seal the edges of your SYNTHETIC fabrics while cutting them at the same time. And don't skip using a metal edged object or ruler. It really makes ALL the difference in the crispness of your edge.
November 21, 2013
Have a box of nails laying around but no house numbers? Then use this genius idea from Lori and Jeromy via Apartment Therapy. Use flat nails to outline your house numbers on your front porch! How creative. Would also be a cute idea for a tree house. If you want a tutorial on how to do this check out Willard and May.
November 20, 2013
I loved this boot. It retails for $245 here. But with some stretch tweed and leather buckles you could make this yourself. Sort of like a sock covering an old boot. Here's some stretch tweed on etsy. And here are some leather buckles. If you wanted a more tailored look then just go with non-stretch tweed and sew to the shape of the boot.
November 19, 2013
If you're looking for Advent calendar present ideas I recommend checking out the major craft stores. Michaels, AC Moore and JoAnns. I can usually find a deluge of small knick knacks there. For me, with four kids (three of whom get Advent gifts) that can add up over 25 days! One idea is to buy one large thing and break it up into little pieces to dole out day by day. Some of these are neat because on the last day you have something you built together!
1. Charm necklace or bracelet.
But don't give it all at once. For Day 1 give the bracelet. Then give a charm for each day after. 25 charms seems like too much for a bracelet but a necklace might do. Or just do 12 days and then switch to something else. Places that have charms are AC Moore. Janlynn. Etsy.
2. Lego House Replica
Buy all the bricks needed to replicate your house. Then divide them by 25 days and slowly build the house each day! Brick Link is the best place for buying legos by the brick. You wouldn't have to do your house. Pick anything and let it be a surprise as the structure slowly comes together.
Plain 'ol money could be fun too! But do it in a cute way. Give them a piggy bank on the first day and then each day after give them various sums that they have to save in the bank. Sometimes give 50 cents, sometimes $1. Maybe give them a $20 on the last day! Maybe even fold the dollar bills in cute shapes and let them unfold to see what the amount is. Here are some cute ways to fold money.
November 18, 2013
On Thursday I finally became fed up with my disgusting berber carpet in my dining room. It was so stained and gross and I never ever liked it even when it was new. While lifting the floor register when we first moved in I noticed that there was hardwood underneath. It had always been a fantasy of mine to pull up the carpet and refinish the floors but since the carpet was brand new at the time I couldn't bring myself to do it. Six years and six hundred stains later, I waned.
It was so sudden. I announced I was going to do it then took out a box cutter and 15 minutes later it was gone. All of this I did completely ALONE. I wanted it to be a surprise when Brian got home from work and I started after I came back from a Zumba class at the gym. So don't feel like you can't do this if you're a single gal. I did and I did it in just a few hours. When I had finally pulled up the carpet and the "stinky" pad what I found underneath was not....pretty (which I was totally prepared for). I had seen a lot of white paint spatters on the floor by the heating register. I didn't know if they covered the ENTIRE floor so that fact that it only ran along the walls (including a giant spill in the center of the room) actually gave me some relief.
The hardest part was pulling up the carpet tacking along the walls. Oh my gosh! They really wanted those to stay in place. I thought a hammer and screw driver would suffice but I had to go onto YouTube and look up the proper way to remove carpet tack with a chisel. Also, there were tiny staples all over the floor with disgusting old carpet padding stuck to them. After about 3 hours I was done! I stepped back to look at my hard work. Not very encouraging I must say. But I had hope!
After I picked the girls up from school. I ran down to the Home Depot to rent an orbital sander. I know a drum sander would have been best but I didn't know if I could handle one of those on my own. And judging from how unruly the orbital sander was I think I made the right choice. I also bought a jug of water based polyurethane (to hasten dry time), heating grates, wood transition strips and quarter round moulding.
Fortunately Brian had to work late so I got home and immediately began sanding. I was hoping to get this project 90% complete before he got home so the shock wouldn't kill him. After about 30 minutes of sanding I was done. It wasn't a perfect finish but I was exhausted, covered in an inch of dust and figured it would have to do. Anyway ANYTHING would look better than the old carpet.
I cleaned the surface with about three rolls of paper towels and water, let dry, then applied one coat of the water based polyurethane. Surprisingly it was good enough to walk on within two hours. I was then able to measure out the moulding and cut accordingly.
By the time Brian got home the floor had one coat of poly, new heating grates, moulding cut and placed in front of the baseboards (though not yet nailed in). The next day I put on two more layers of poly, (one every four hours) nailed the moulding in place, stained and screwed in the transition strips. Here is the finished look! To treat myself for all my hard work I also bought a new pendant lamp bought here from Lowes that I had been eyeing for YEARS. For mostly a days work I think I'm satisfied. It's not perfect but I kind of like how it looks a little rustic and flawed. And I think anyone can agree that it looks so much better than the stained, smelly, ugly carpet that resided here prior. I only wish I had taken before photos of that mess. Now I feel proud having guests see it as the first thing when they walk through my door.
November 12, 2013
I saw this on You Are My Fave and decided that it is THE BEST Thanksgiving place setting idea ever. Pie crust place markers! I've been known to make pie crust without the pie just to snack on so if anyone was going to recommend this idea I would be the first! Get the how to here. What a yummy way to instruct people where they will be enjoying more yummy things to follow;-)
November 6, 2013
Are you into looking stylish around the house but also being optimally comfortable? Check out these T-Strap crocheted slippers. I swear if I weren't looking closely I wouldn't even know they were slippers. You can buy the pattern here for $5.50 and make several for Christmas gifts. She also makes these cute shoe/slipper patterns below!