Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Banner

I saw this cute banner over at Magnolia Manor and decided to try my hand at it. All it took was
  • a few sheets of scrapbook paper
  • one package of stickers
  • ribbon I had on hand
  • a few cuts using a borrowed Ellison machine. If you don't have access to a die-cut machine, you could always free hand your letters or just print, trace, and cut them out.
  • glue (I used glue dots.)
  • mini-clothespins
This should be easy to store - just unclip the cards and place in a ziplock with the ribbon and clothespins.
The inspiration banner used only the word thankful and I think that less letters would have been better than the longer version I created. I scored several sheets of scrapbooking paper, ribbon and stickers ALL at 50% off today at Hobby Lobby! To really make my money go even further, I am planning to use the same ribbon for several banners. The little rolls in the scrapbook supply aisle are the perfect length for shorter banners. They were only 50 cents today! I am already thinking about making one for several other seasons.....
"JOY" for December
"SNOW" for January
"LOVE" for Valentine's Day
"SPRING" or He is Risen" for April, depending on Easter falls.
"USA or AMERICA" could be used for several holidays.
Lots of possibilities, don't you think? I also forgot to mention that I was the winner of a contest sponsored by whiMSy love's etsy store. I used a portion of my gift certificate to purchase a special custom mini-banner that is so cute and cheery. (It says "celebrate") She is in the process of moving to another state right now, but you can contact her about purchasing a similar one here. Banners can take so many forms, but it is easy to get a ton of decorating bang for your buck. Have fun and let me know what you create.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Totally 100% Free Holiday Tip

Looking for a TOTALLY free holiday spirit idea that works for any special day? It's genius I tell you and totally cute if you have young children who speak clearly. Simply change the outgoing message on your phone. Last fall, the wee ones and I started switching ours up to coordinate with holidays and seasons. For our summer message "It's summer and we are probably working in the garden. Please leave a message" all Mr C got to say was "bye!".
In October, he graduated to saying "Happy Halloween" after Miss M leaves her bit. (You have reached the _______ family; no tricks and no treats - just leave a message.) This month he got to add "Happy Thanksgiving" after Miss M's introduction.
It only took about 5 takes to get it just perfect, except for the happy squeals you can overhear at the end because "we nailed it that time Mama".
One little suggestion: If your little ones can't or won't speak clearly, do your friends and family a favor and do not use this idea. As the coordinator of my MOPS group, I call lots of preschool families. If I am calling you for the first time, I want to hear either the name or number clearly so I know I am leaving a message at the right place! Have fun and let me know what messages you come up with! Gotta run now....it is a dark and rainy in my city today - a perfect day for baking pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Repurposed/Thrifted Purse

Miss M had a birthday party to attend today and I was excited to use this cute little purse I got at Salvation Army over the summer for a mere 25 cents to make a present for the birthday girl! This project used:
  • 25 cent, like new purse
  • ribbon left from another project
  • 2 odd buttons
  • two coordinating fabrics, one left from Miss M's Easter basket several years ago and the second found in my grandmother's scrap stash. You might remember it from the napkin rings at Miss M's 6th birthday tea party.
  • iron on fusible web There are several brand names. I used a package of "Wonder-Under" which is at least 20 years old because my mom still had it in her craft closet from several projects in years past. Namely, Christmas sweatshirts we thought were awesome at the time....they were awesome, just in the 90's, not today! Sorry I don't have any pics of them!
My camera batteries were dead, so I don't have pictures of the process, but just trace out your pattern on the paper side of the fusible web and then follow the manufacturer's directions on how to adhere it to your fabric and later to your project.

25 cent bag...cute but boring

I glammed it up with a cupcake pattern and a red button for the cherry. For a larger project, I might have used additional buttons for the sprinkles, but I didn't have enough that were small enough for this bag.
It still needed a little more, so I added the bow and hand-stitched a modified blanket stitch around the cupcake edge. I doubled pink thread, but would have used embroidery thread if I had it!
Miss M received several lip glosses and nail polishes for her birthday from various people, so we didn't open all of them and instead put a few in this cute little bag. All total, this gift was technically only 25 cents because I had all the other supplies on hand! I am so pleased with how this project turned out, I am on the lookout for other bags/totes/purses. If you like this idea, check out my buddy at whiMSy-love for my inspiration project. She used some of those promotional bags vendors give out....so cute and totally FREE!! we both did a little handstitching on our projects, but you could just use fabric glue and the fusible web. I am not a seamstress AT ALL....if you can sew a button you can do this!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fun Fall Frolics

Things are beginning to settle down in our home, now that October is over. It always seems like November is a time to recharge after the craziness of October and before the really hectic month of December begins. I will give you a little clue as to how to retain your sanity in December though - do what is important to your family THIS year. Don't worry about what you have always done in the past. I love traditions, but sometimes we keep them going past their prime. Besides, if you don't let go of past traditions there isn't room for new ones. With that being said, here are a few things that have been keeping us busy lately...
The weather and illness kept us from making our yearly visit to a local apple orchard, but we were still able to to squeeze in a trip to the pumpkin patch...
Mr C enjoying a ride on the horse swing
They both LOVED the tightrope this year
Miss M was brave enough to try the zip line again, and again and again! Mr C said "that's enough" after just one turn.I got to explore the tunnels with both wee ones this year. We made it up and through the biggest one...and I think my back is permanently stooped now from bending over. Mr C could clear all the braces and took off several times WITH the flashlight!

Big sliding fun
Through the fields on our tractor ride
Our final selection
Cupcake Daddy got in on the jack-o-lantern action this year...his Frankenstein interpretation.
I tried a new recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds this year - sugar and spice. I really like them better than the traditional salted variety. The recipe says "additional sugar, to taste". I added a lot of sugar for my taste! I also made a few caramel apples as well. A little apple smile (peanut butter with marshmallow teeth) makes a fun and healthy snack.
And finally, Halloween costumes! We made Miss M's mermaid outfit from Family Fun Magazine. Click here to see how we did it. Mr C wanted to be Kobe Bryant - his own idea! Never mind he had a great Lightening McQueen costume in his closet. Thankfully, he didn't notice that he looks nothing like Kobe and that his "costume" was entirely the wrong colors.You can't see his bag, but they both have matching stamped treat bags we made a few years ago.


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