Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Blessings

Hi, dear friends! I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed time with family and friends! My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and blessings and I just have to spill over a few!

Saturday, Emily and I were invited to a Happy Birthday Jesus party! Collectively, we adopted a family to buy Christmas gifts for and were assigned what to bring based on our last name. I had forgotten until that morning. But, this is how God provides...earlier in the week, I had gone to use a $10 certificate at Penney's and had found some adorable little girl clothes size 4T. With my coupon, they ended up being 0.67 each. Saturday morning when I read the invitation again, I realized we were assigned to bring a clothing gift for a size 4 little girl! Isn't that amazing?! I was so excited at God's great provision! I found some new socks and hair bows in what we already had and it wrapped up to be a cute and fun gift, I hope! I am still smiling at God's faithful provisions not only for us, but also for others through us.

The party was so cute! They acted out the nativity (about 30 kids) and had a cake for Jesus' birthday. This cake was so neat! It was made by my friend, Angie. It had black, red and green layers and each thing about the cake symbolized part of Jesus' birth and life!

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve also! We had our traditional cheese fondue dinner and drove around and looked at Christmas lights - Emily loved it!

Christmas morning was so fun because Emily is actually getting into all the Christmas things this year! We gave her a little kitchen and she LOVED it! It was so fun to watch her enjoying it!

My sweet husband knows that I miss snow (from living in CO) and gave me a box with paper snowflakes and pictures of snow with a certificate for a family trip to the southern mountains to experience the snow as a family! I am SO excited about this! And, even more, I am touched by his creativity and thoughtfulness!

My Mom out-did herself this year! She made me the above card to explain a gift of a new blog design! This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, but I am SO EXCITED to receive this great gift and am busy thinking about how I want this space to look! Yay!

She also gave us a Simpich doll. Now, that probably doesn't mean a whole lot to most of you. But, here is why it is special to me. The Simpich family lives in Colorado Springs and this business started out of their need to create gifts to give their family when they were newlyweds and didn't have a big gift budget! It turned into a thriving business that is well-known in that area. Well, they have been in business for years, allowing people to come into their shop and view the dolls being made, painted, and dressed. I have so many memories of going there to see this and seeing their puppet shows! After 54 years, they have decided to close their shop ~ and my Mom got us one of their special creations to remember being raised in CO and visiting their shop. I was SO touched that I cried! I will treasure this sweet gift for years to come.

I will be sporadic about posting this week as we are planning lots of family time, but just had to share some treasures from my weekend!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my dear friends! I'll be away from my blog now until after Christmas. I thought I'd share with you a sonnet I wrote for my senior British Lit class. Enjoy...

A king was born in Bethlehem one day
The animals were there and heard His cry
This baby came to give His life away
For all our sins so that we would not die.
Time passed and He grew to be a young man.
Lots of people came to know of His deeds
He learned and taught and lived His Father's plan.
And this God knew would plant so many seeds.
The apostles would spread what they had known
The love tht had been shown to them Divine.
They would tell all men, of God on His throne
In hopes they'd also say ~ "this love is mine."
Jesus was a human like you and I
But, willing to give up His life and die.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Dinner: Place Cards

Martha's idea for Tree Place Cards is just the kind of idea I love!

You can get the ends of Christmas trees that have been trimmed free at Lowe's. When you go to get some free greens, scoop up a few of the little slices of wood as well.

Now, pull off all the spindly branches or twigs and any needles. Bake in a 350 oven on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil for about 30-45 minutes. It will harden the sap so they are not sticky and will give your home a delicious smell!

After creating a small hole in the center, just hot glue on the "tree" and star!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Gift: Neighbors

I loved this idea I saw in the December Country Living - cookie dough wrapped up in waxed paper! It is ready to pop in the freezer and be used whenever the recipient chooses. Often at this time of year we can end up with too many baked goodies - so I liked this idea because it can be saved for another time when they need and would enjoy it so much more.

Each roll of dough is 1/2 batch of the following recipe which is included under the wrapper.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Yield: about 6 dozen.

Inspiring Freebie!

I can keep this to myself no longer! One of the style editors for Country Home, Matthew Mead, has come out with his own magazine FILLED with great inspirations for Christmas and beyond. I have found LOTS of great ideas in here and have been inspired to host another fun theme party in January (keep watching) that was inspired by the snowman pages!

Anyway, they are allowing viewers to download this issue for free by signing in to their website. Click here to log in and experience the inspiration for yourself! Ok, it gets even better ~ visit Matthew Mead's website and you can download patterns, templates, fun papers, gift tags, etc... Check out the Bonus section for past goodies and ideas as well!

Have fun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Gift: Cookie Decorating Kit

Here is a fun idea that could be used for a number of different people. I once took one of these to a family where the husband was recovering from surgery and the mom was working full time. They had two elementary age daughters and I thought they might not have time to bake - but that this could be a fun family activity for them to do together.

Bake sugar cookies either from homemade or store bought - it is the thought that counts here! Mix white frosting in desired colors - I used store bought as I had a coupon for a free container. Then I put plastic wrap between the colors so I only had to part with one container. I found the sprinkles on sale for 0.39 at Walgreens recently when their spices were on sale and put some peppermint sticks in a small plastic bag. Put all the "ingredients" into a cute gift bag and deliver!

This decorating kit was delivered to our local children's shelter for children who are removed from their homes when it is unsafe.

A small investment of time and certainly inexpensive, this is a great way to reach out to those around us at a time of year where not everyone has time or resources to do this on their own!

Oh, and if you open your cabinet to find that when you last put the red food coloring away there was only one drop and it has dried: add a few drops of water and shake - the color won't be as strong but it got me out of a pinch!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Gift: Church Nursery & Class Teachers

This year for nursery workers and Sunday School teachers, I decided to come up with something a little different. I decorated this basket and filled it with eight gifts (should be more than enough, but I don't want to run out!). Included are two of these, two of these, two sets of these and two envelope books all that I made.

I also made bookmarks (blue) out of cardstock with a photo of our girls and a thank you note letting them know how much we appreciate their faithful service. I printed out a tag on the computer and it explains that they can each select their own gift and a card from us!

I may decide to adopt this as an annual tradition for them - letting them choose from a small variety of homemade inexpensive gifts.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Home Tour

Remember the Blogging Tour of Homes from this summer? Well, it is back and in Christmas fashion! Welcome to my home, dear friends! Please come in ~ we have a cozy fire and peppermint hot chocolate ready, let's sit and visit for a while! Click the button above to visit the list of other holiday homes!

Our Christmas Tree - a live one! We have enjoyed this tree so much, it is so beautiful and apparently some birds thought so too as we found a nest in the branches! We decorate with family ornaments that we have collected through the years - it always brings back so many memories to unpack the ornaments and decorate the tree!

Now, go ahead and relax in front of the cozy fire...

... and remember the real reason we are celebrating Christmas!

Here's your hot chocolate! This recipe is from Everyday Food

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 quart milk
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
7 peppermint sticks; 3 crushed (1/4 c.), 4 left while
pinch of salt

Place cocoa in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk until cocoa has dissolved. Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint; simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and peppermint have melted, 8-10 minutes. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Add salt. Ladle into mugs; serve each with a peppermint stick! Serves 4.

Oh, don't forget to add one of these to the top when you're done! Yummy!

Here are our porch and front door decorations!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You Are Loved Little One!

I have been enjoying seeing Christmas through Emily's little eyes this year - she is noticing Christmas for the first time and is so full of wonder and excitement. It has reminded me of this song:

She sat by the fireside 'til her eyes became too heavy,
and she wandered off in dreams with elves at play.
Daddy found her sleepin' and took her up to bed,
where she would spend the night in Santa's flying sleigh.
Christmas was a whisper in her ear
Sounds that only children's hearts can hear.

Little one, in the morning when you waken
You'll find your every dream has taken form
There'll be joy...
Christmas day will come to life because of you
you are loved, little one!

Mary lay and pondered until her eyes became too heavy
and she finally found the rest she'd struggled for.
Joseph sat in silence, watched the baby sleeping
wondered what the future held in store.
Angel voices whispered in his ear
Reaching down, he drew the baby near.

Little one, in the morning when you waken
the world will find that God has taken form.
They'll be joy...
And the earth will have new life because of you
You are loved, little one.

Written by Shirley Watson
Recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys
Listen to a clip here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Biting the Bullet...

I've been putting off and putting off switching to the new Blogger - but after all the comment troubles, I decided to go ahead and do it today. So, bear with me as I'm learning the new deal here. If you have any suggestions on this transition, I'd appreciate hearing from you! Thank you!


Is anyone else having trouble posting comments? I've tried to post on several other blogs in the past couple of days and it will not allow me to...any ideas?

Tinseled Glass Place Cards

I made these place cards several years ago, so I cannot tell you what they cost to make though I do remember it was more expensive than most of my cheap ideas. But, it is an old-fashioned craft called tinseled glass. I have used a dry-erase marker to personalize so that they can be re-used! You simply use 2x3 or 3x4 inch pieces of glass that are painted on the back. You then crumple foil and put that between the glass and a cardboard backing and seal with copper foil tape.

This idea was from Country Living, December 1998.

I'll be sharing another placecard idea in the next week or so!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stockings, Part Two

Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions and ideas on stocking stuffers. I have continued to have this urging to make the stocking something more meaningful. So, after perusing my local dollar store and dollar bins elsewhere - here is what I came up with. I will print out these verses and add them to each item to be read as the item is opened. I'll only list the things for Emily's stocking here: (some of these are more of a stretch than others, but use your imagination!)

Toothbrush: Psalm 51:7, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

Candy Cane Headband: Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Pony: Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Animal Crackers: Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Paper: Proverbs 7:2-3, “Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Apple: Proverbs 25:11, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Donation: Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Necklace: 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”

Ice Cream Cards: Isaiah 55:1, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

If you're interested in finding verses to go with your stocking stuffers - try a site like this to search by word or phrase in multiple translations.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Diaper Deals

I don't know if any of you have checked out Baby Cheapskate - but, Angie brings us ideas day after day of how to diaper, feed and entertain the little ones in our lives on the cheap! Her ideas are sometimes Atlanta based, but a lot of it is universal!

She e-mailed me today to share a post on diaper deals that we thought you might enjoy. And, if you want my two cents - I use Target brand exclusively. They are the cheapest (even with a coupon on a better brand) and I have been pleased with the quality.

Thanks, Angie for compiling all this info and sharing it with us all year!

Homespun Wrapping

This has turned into my signature gift wrap and I love it because I am not trying to store a bunch of rolls of wrapping paper and figuring out what goes with what. Instead, I start with two great basics (that are cheap, need I mention?) and then get creative from there.

These basics are brown paper (Walgreens often has this on sale for buy-one-get-one free or 99 cents a roll) and brown twine (available at the Dollar Store, Big-Lots or Wal-Mart).

I like to decorate mine with a magazine photo (I know, you are so surprised to hear this!) and a cute tag. I either tie on the tag or use a mini clothespin (available at craft stores or sometimes the Dollar Store). The rusty tin snowflakes were a great find on the after-Christmas-clearance last year. I love their primitive look!

You can adapt this to anyone by simply choosing a photo that reflects them or an interest of theirs. Catalogs and magazines provide lots of options for pictures to be clipped! You could also use photos of your family or cut up Christmas cards that you've received to make the pictures or tags.

One thing I've learned: regular Scotch tape will not cut it at holding this paper together. You have to use packing tape - I like the Scotch clear packing tape that Walgreens puts on sale every so often.

This bag is a simple brown kraft paper gift bag. I gathered a few sprigs of evergreen and tied with torn fabric. You simply staple one branch of the greens to the bag and voila!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I was tagged by Tessa to complete this, so here goes!

Three Things

*Scare me: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs (Did I mention I am scared of bugs?!)

*I love: God, family, friends, and if I may add a fourth - home and all it stands for.

*I hate: Evil, my own inadequacies, and injustice.

*I don't understand: why common sense isn't so common any more, why people rely so heavily on the government, why anyone would hurt someone else.

*Things on my desk: DVD remote, clipboard, David's mug of sweet tea

*I'm doing right now: Before completing this: I made recipe cards while watching taped episodes of Martha and started working on my to-do for this week.

*I want to do before I die: Make a difference, see my daughters come to know the Lord, and appreciate each day that I do have.

*I can do: Crafty things, smile, and hum!

*I can't do: Drive a stick shift vehicle, draw, make crispy southern fried chicken.

*I think you should listen to: Here I will simply insert Phil. 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

*You should NEVER listen to: If it doesn't fit with the above.

*I'd like to learn: How to make rag rugs, old fashioned handwriting, and successful vegetable gardening.

*Favorite foods: Broccoli, M & M's, and homemade bread!

*I drink regularly: Water, milk, and Coke!

*Shows I watched as a kid: The Cosby Show, Brady Bunch, and (my favorite for a while) Punky Brewster! (I even wrote a letter to the TV station asking them not to take it off the air when I was 8? years old...)

If you want to play, consider yourself tagged!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Homespun Wrapping: Gift Cards

The idea for these little cuties was born one afternoon this week after my first idea did not work! I had determined NOT to spend anything to create wrappings for a few gift cards I am giving as gifts. So, I scrounged some felt scraps and got out my sewing machine! I experimented with different stiches, some have stitches showing and some were sewn and turned right side out. On one, the sewing machine decided to switch stitches mid-stream, but I left it and just decided to say, "it adds character!" I attached little bows and tags with a small safety pin.

To make:
Cut two pieces of felt scraps about 1/4 inch larger all around than gift card.
Cut a small shape or initial out of a contrasting color felt scrap.
Stitch straight down the middle of the shape onto the front of one piece of felt.
Stitch pieces together as desired leaving one edge open.
Make a bow and attach it and a tag with a small safety pin.
Cost: FREE! (Or, if you did choose to purchase the felt, they come in sheets at craft stores or Wal-Mart for 20 cents a sheet.)

Merry Christmas, Martha!

You all know by now how many great ideas and inspirations I receive from Martha Stewart! I love the emphasis she puts on home and enjoying home to the fullest. Keeping it clean, organized, decorated, and full of yummy smells from the kitchen. In one of her recent magazine letters - she shared Christmas card ideas and asked her readers to send her a sample of what they made. So, as a little Christmas gift to her in thanks for the ideas she so freely shares all year long, here is what I made:

Thursday, December 07, 2006


My Mom made us stocking when we were little, and I loved mine so much that I decided to keep the felt appliqued theme and make this kind for my family.

Here is mine:

Here are the ones I've made in the past few years:

This year I'm having a hard time with stocking stuffer ideas. We always make a donation to Samaritan's Purse in each of the girls names and put a card in their stocking noting that. But, I'd love to hear your ideas on other *cheap* and *fun* gifties!

My Mom read this poem in Victoria magazine years ago which we have adapted for our gift-giving. Maybe I'll adopt this for stockings instead.

Something to eat,
Something to read,
Something to play with,
Something you need.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tree Skirt

Well, this has turned into the tree skirt that wasn't...but, I still have hope that it may turn out. I told you I was working on it and this is what I tried:

I cut the fabric in 1 inch strips and tied them together and wound it all together to make a ball. I had two fabrics and did this for both. Here's where I went wrong - the plaid fabric is thick - it doesn't have enough give to crochet. Lesson learned: use soft cotton fabric and it should work much better. I was then crocheting it into a tree skirt, in a circular pattern, but with a slit so it could be laid around the tree. It was getting so tight that it was turning into a bowl! So, I ripped all that out. Above you will see what I had started after I had ripped out half of it, I decided I should take a picture to remember what I had done so far.

But, I don't want to waste all the fabric I have, so - I am trying a new method. I used two strips of plaid and one strip of green fabric to create lengths and lengths of braid. Now I am going to sew the braids together like a rag rug to form the tree skirt. I hope this will work. In theory, it is something like these ornaments.

In the mean time, I offer you Grace's cute idea - which is to drape homespun fabric around the base of the tree. Oh, the simplicity. My ideas tend to be complicated. So, what do you use for a tree skirt?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trim the Tree Meal

I am starting a new tradition this year. We usually purchase our tree on a Friday night, let it sit overnight - and decorate it Saturday morning. So, after being inspired by a photo in a magazine, I decided to implement this traditional breakfast for this morning that we trim the tree! However, for a change this year, we decorated our tree at night - so I just served this for dinner!

Make your favorite French Toast recipe. Diagonally cut slices of bread into triangles. Lay three triangles of toast to create a "tree". Sprinkle with green sugar. Make a trunk out of sausage links - serve this festive meal on Christmas plates if you have them and play Christmas music in the background!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hanging of the Greens

Yesterday afternoon, I did one of my favorite traditions in decorating! Hanging the greens and decorating our porch! We always purchase our Christmas tree at Lowe's and I take advantage of their free trimmings pile - this is so wonderful! They are going to throw these away, and you don't have to purchase anything to take some.

So, here are my free decorations put to good use:

When my parents were here for Thanksgiving, my Mom and I went to this great store looking at all their Christmas decorations. I saw a door swag that I loved for $68! So, we looked closely and I made the above (very similar) version for zero! I used a wire hanger for the base, wired on evergreen branches and made a homespun bow from my fabric stash. Then I hot glued on some pinecones that I picked up while at Grace's house (actually SHE picked them up - thank you, Grace!) and wired on the old red lantern. I love how it turned out and especially that it was free. Around the door frame, I hung an evergreen garland (not out of real greens) and twisted white lights through it! So welcoming and inviting!

I always love to tie some greens to the two rocking chairs we have on our porch - just lay out the greens and tie on with twine. The red pillows work perfectly, though they are there all year!

This little maple syrup bucket is easy to fill with sprigs of greens and tie a bow around! I love it's greeting at the front door and have another bucket inside the house filled as well! Smells great too!

I also always put greens on both sides of our mailbox. Tie on with twine and make a cute fabric bow from scraps! When I was out there doing this, I was hoping it would cheer our sweet mail lady!

This picture is dark - but, I also tied a few greens to Emily's red wagon! So, when we're out for a walk she will be festive too!

Looking forward to reading all of your ideas as well!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blogger White Elephant!

I received a box today from Aubrey which included three very wonderful White Elephant gifts!

Here they are:

Emily will adore this soap and I will enjoy the notepad!

Emily will also enjoy this ornament which plays music and has a couple dancing on it!

And last, but certainly not least, we received our very own complete set of costume false teeth!

Thank you, Aubrey - what a fun box!

Thank you, Megan for such a fun idea!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

We're back home - and had a GREAT visit with Grace and Brianna! Grace, I hope you know what a blessing your friendship is to me! Emily talked about you and Brianna off and on all day yesterday! :) Here are a few pix of the girls having fun! Thank you all for your comments this week, I'm looking forward to getting into more Christmas ideas next week! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spool Garland

Yes, it is that time of year when I'm feeling very crafty - so here's yet another idea. This one comes via my mother-in-law. She saw something similar to this garland in a gift shop for something like $30! So, she bought me the wooden beads and spools instead for several dollars to make it myself. Here's how...

Spray paint one package of small wooden beads ($1.97 for 66 beads at Wal-Mart) red. How I did this was to unwind a wire coat hanger, thread all the beads on and poke one end of the hanger into the ground outside - then just walk around and spray. Very easy.

Glue homespun/calico fabrics around wooden spools ($1.97 for 15 at Wal-Mart). I also decided to wrap twine around some as shown in the base of the Christmas Tree craft below.

Thread beads and spools onto twine into desired length. Tie bows in between to stretch the wooden items. Hang!

Note: two packages of spools and one package of beads made this length, plus two smaller ones that would equal this much again.

December 13, 2005

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cranberry Evergreen Jars

Well, the Christmas party was a great success and everyone seemed to have a great time! The jar shown above is one of my traditional ways to decorate at Christmas! It is very easy and inexpensive to make.

Use one pint size canning jar (not the wide mouth) and one glass votive holder (3/$1 at Michael's). The votive holder should be shaped like a flower pot or have enough of a lip to sit on the top of the canning jar steadily.

Place sprigs of evergreen in the jar. Fill about 3/4 with water. Top with fresh cranberries.

Place votive holder with candle in the top! So pretty and festive.

When you're done, you can dry off the berries, freeze them and save for next year. The above berries were purchased last year.

December 19, 2005

Christmas Tag

I was tagged by Lisa to do this little Christmas thing - so here you go!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely Hot Chocolate with lots of marshmallows on top!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Neither
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White outside and colored and white on the tree
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the day after Thanksgiving - this year, this weekend!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Playing the "Ornament Game" with my sister. It is a game we made up where we basically play 20 questions to guess which ornament the other has singled out in her mind!
8. How and When did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm not sure, my Mom did not pretend there was a Santa but taught us about St. Nicholas.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Ornaments collected throughout the years and some that were my Mom's. She always let us pick out one ornament from our vacations!
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love, love, love snow! It rarely snows where we live.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, I have been thinking of wanting to go again recently.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I always loved things that were rainbow-y. Hmmm, I would have to think about this more.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Tradition, family, and of course celebrating Jesus' birth.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Sugar Cookies
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Candlelight on Christmas Eve!
17. What tops your tree? Angel
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both - but, there is something so special about giving to others.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Come, O Come Emmanuel

If you want to play, you are tagged! Have fun!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yo-Yo Christmas Tree

This is always a popular idea! In fact, when I arrived at Grace's yesterday - there were here trees displayed for Christmas! So cute!

Well, the crafty ideas always seem to be a hit here - so I'll share another one of my favorites for Christmas! I first saw these cute trees here and at that price decided I could figure out how to make them.

So, here's how:

Using a compass, cut seven circles out of heavy paper. The circles should measure 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/4", 2 1/2", and 2 3/4". You need one pattern of each size. Next cut out one circle of each size from various green fabrics. (I only had three different ones pictured above.)

Sew each circle into a yo-yo. Here's how to make a yo-yo.

Use a wooden spool for the base - cover the part where the thread goes with Elmer's glue and wrap twine around. (If you don't have a wooden spool on hand, you can buy them in the Wal-Mart craft department, but this will slightly increase your cost per tree.)

Search your yard for a stick that will fit into the hole on top of the spool and is fairly straight. It doesn't matter if it is too tall, you can always shorten it.

Snip a small hole in the bottom of each yo-yo so that you can "thread" them onto the stick trunk. Stack them in size order.

Put some Elmer's glue around the hole in the top of the spool. Put stick trunk in and allow fabric from the bottom yo-yo to sit in the glue and stick.

Glue a tin star to the top of the stick and trim stick if necessary. (Note: the only place I've found to get these tin stars is Hobby Lobby. They are 0.99 for a package of 6 stars.)


December 12, 2005

Monday, November 27, 2006

We're Off!

Emily, Rachel and I are leaving this morning to visit my dear friend and kindred spirit, Grace and her sweet little Brianna! We will enjoy crafting, visiting, and admiring each other's little girls. I'm going to be working on a oh-so-homespun tree skirt and can't wait to show you how it turns out. While I am away, I will share a few vintage posts from last year's Christmas ideas! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful For You!

With Thanksgiving approaching, it seems there is a lot of emphasis on really contemplating what we are thankful for. And, while we should seek to cultivate a thankful heart at all times of the year, this is a great thing to emphasize!

I have mentioned before that I keep a Thankful Journal in which I note at least five things each day that I am thankful for. Often, my friends and family appear on that list. And, I often get even more specific by feeling thankful for my *blog* friends! You ladies are just wonderful and such a tremendous encouragement to me! I love getting your comments, e-mails, and hearing that you tried a recipe or craft mentioned here.

So, as we turn our hearts to thankfulness as a nation today, I just want to go on record as being thankful for YOU!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving: Centerpiece

Here is how my centerpiece and flowers on the light fixture turned out! (I plan to still add a few berries and some more ivy from the yard - but it is raining and was very dark and cold last night, so I'll get them today!)

Thankful for You: Breakfast

Last year I started a new Thanksgiving tradition. It is intented to be a practical way of showing thanks to someone who has been a blessing to our family over the past year. I prepare an extra batch of our Thanksgiving breakfast and pack it up festively to deliver to the recipient. I like the expression of doing something visible to say "thank you" to one of the many people who encourage us throughout the year.

I make little tags for each item naming what it is and if there are any specific heating instructions. Then you can package pancakes and sausage wrapped in waxed paper and tied with twine. Canning jars make great containers for syrup and nuts. Put them all in a pretty gift bag and deliver!

Our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast is:

Pumpkin Pancakes (cooked in a maple leaf shaped pancake mold)
Brown & Serve Sausage
Homemade Maple Syrup & Chopped nuts to top pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes (recipe from Martha Stewart Living)
Whisk 1 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves. (I use pumpkin pie spice) Mix 1 egg, 6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and 1 c. milk; fold into dry ingredients. Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 c. batter for each panckae. Cook about three minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes about 10 leaf shaped pancakes.