Sunday, December 26

last year, we began an advent calendar. we celebrate each of the days of december leading up to christmas with an activity. these activities are done as a family and include serving others, making gifts and decorations, and spending time together.

decorating our tree actually occurs on thanksgiving day while we watch the macy's thanksgiving day parade, but here are a few pictures anyway . . .

breakfast with santa . . . we were planning to attend breakfast with santa as a family until i was stricken with the first bout of strep throat. (yes, i said first. i had strep throat twice in december. it definitely altered my original plans for the season. oh well.)
but, josh was so sweet and took them by himself to the most disorganized event since the easter egg hunt. he even put himself in this photo rather than miss out on this classic memory.

and, when he asked on the way home, they all said they had fun and that is all that matters.

writing letters to santa . . .

peter, i mean miller, wrote . . . dear santa, i have been a good boy. for christmas i want: lego R2D2 watch (the one with the little guy).

and, miller made sure to tell santa that was what he wanted at each visit. i hope santa was listening!

zoo lights with friends . . .

painting coffee mugs for family gifts . . .

snowman doughnuts for breakfast . . .

making graham cracker gingerbread houses . . .
we used a glue gun to adhere them together before the fun began.

everyone thought their house was fabulous . . .
but only one thought it looked good enough to eat!

the enchanted forest . . .

and even meme came along for this outing.

and lots and lots of crafts . . .

we made glitter bells and stacking trees and cardboard trees. we used mostly recycled items to make our crafts. next year, i will have to start earlier. and, i would love to tie more of the crafts in with our books. maybe next year i will be more organized . . . maybe ;)

merry christmas


Saturday, December 25

a little holiday tour


Wednesday, December 22

these are just a few of the things that make it feel a little bit more like christmas at our house . . .

christmas cards and one of our favorite christmas movie quotes

our annual holiday cards and pictures with santa displayed together

tinsel and glitter

stockings hung by the chimney with care (i love that we can do this now!)

my vintage ornaments on a white tree

star lights

glitter bells made from egg cartons

and, a sweet, handmade angel i found at an estate sale. 

because fabric makes everything better


Monday, December 20

okay, first things first, thank you so much for all the sweet comments reassuring me that i am not the only one who second guesses myself when i am making a gift for someone else!

when making gifts for others, my first rule is it has to be something i would want. and, well, some would say i am finicky. (and, some might say picky, but i prefer the former as it sounds nicer ;) this year, i just couldn't find any inspiration in catalogs or the blog world, so i turned to my stash. i found several magnet strips from ikea i bought a couple of years ago with good intentions to make cute for my kids artwork. then, i found two big ikea boards (similar to this). but, i had 5 teachers and 4 co-workers who needed gifts. so, i searched for a similar board and found nothing. then, while wandering through hobby lobby, i stumbled upon this:
they call it wall decor. it met all my requirements: metal, substantial in size and weight, and 50% off. really, no one should pay full price for anything from there.

i bought 5. one for 4 of the teachers and one for myself because i was starting to get excited about the project. and, collected my supplies.

now, if you own this and it hangs on your wall as is, please do not be offended because that is not the intention. but, the next thing i did was paint a thin coat of acrylic paint over the print.

then, after it dried, i flipped it over and trimmed my fabric so i had about an inch border all the way around. i used a simple linen colored cotton, but it would also be cute in a fun print.

i painted it with a coat of mod podge.

and flipped it face down making sure to smooth out any wrinkles.

 then, i cut the corners like so  . . .

 and mod podged all around the edges tucking the fabric under the already attached hooks.

for the finished product, i added some cute ribbon, 4 magnets and our christmas card.

for the magnets: i used 7/8" covered buttons and fabric scraps like you see in the back ground above (i may have a fabric addiction). i added magnets with hot glue because e6000 is not my friend (or maybe i am impatient, or maybe it was already 2 a.m.). and, made some adorable-y cute, mismatched magnets which may or may not be the entire reason i made this gift.

i thought this would be a cute way to display notes or photos or bits of inspiration or whatever. what would you do with it?

a confession or two


Saturday, December 18

in the last few years, i have discovered something about myself. i like to make things. and, i like to make things for other people. both of these are confessions. why?

well, when you make something, it is like wearing your heart on your sleeve. (or, at least i think it is . . . i am very bad at understanding old phrasing.) a compliment or criticism can make or break you. example: as a girl, if you buy a shirt on sale and while wearing it, someone comments on how cute it is, then it validates that you got a steal and almost makes the shirt even cuter than it was just minutes before. when i make something, if someone comments that they like it, it tells me maybe it is possible to make something and make it cute. it gives me a little more confidence to try something else. am i the only one who feels this way??

then, i see something i think someone would like. even better, i think i can make this something. at first, i get really excited. i collect all my supplies. i start creating and, another confession, i start to doubt that what i am making would be appreciated by someone else. i start to wonder if they will be sad that they received it. i think, will they want this gift or will they throw it away wondering why i didn't just buy them something . . .

but, when you make something for someone and they like it . . . or they even love it . . . words cannot express how much it makes my heart smile. and, if they find out i made it, and still like it and don't feel like i gipped them out of a real gift . . . well, then i might just make another gift because it feels good to create something for someone else. really good.

so, i confess. and, i wonder am i the only one who feels this way? (oh, good night, people. i really just put myself out there. if you know me, you know i am not so lay-it-all-out about my feelings. abusive punctuation-yes, sharing my fears-no.)

i hope not. and, i hope to share a quick and easy gift tutorial, too.

i'm back and ready to craft!


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