Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays are filled with joy.  I will be back in the new year with a big, exciting announcement!  See you then!  :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas All Around the House

I thought I'd show you a few of our Christmas decorations.  We haven't even gotten everything out of the attic yet; at this point, I'm not sure we will.  But this is what I've done so far, so here's a bit of a tour.  Above is the mantle over our fireplace.   This is essentially the same as last year.  I added an additional ball garland, but otherwise it's the same as before.  I made the wreath last year to match; it's still one of my favorites!

The fun gnome and mushroom ornaments I told you about previously are now residing on a feather tree in the kitchen.  Also in the kitchen is our Mickey Mouse gingerbread cookie advent calendar:

I love this advent calendar!  I got this as a gift from my parents after we took a huge, multi-generational trip to Disney World during Christmas time.  This was in the window of a store there, and I just about had a heart attack when I saw it.  I'm so glad that Mom got it for me; every time I see it I think of that trip and how magical it was to be at Disney surrounded by Christmas decorations and music.



Above is the entry way.  I love the pink/gold glitter trees!  I found the tablecloth on Ebay (I have it folded in half to drape over the console table) -- the workmanship on this tablecloth is amazing to me:


I made a wreath to go with this grouping, but I'm still not sure that I like it.  I think it looks kind of like a sea urchin:

 Finally, I have a weakness for vintage felt Christmas things, so we've got them all over the house:


Our Elf on the Shelf (who the girls have named "Minty") ended up here yesterday morning:

That's just a little bit of what Christmas looks like around here this year!  I hope that you are having a joyful holiday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cuteness Alert!

Those of you who have been following my blog may know that I have a thing (a recent, kind of inexplicable thing) for gnomes and mushrooms. So, while searching "gnome" today on Etsy (instead of doing the gazillion things on my to-do list) I happened upon the most adorable shop: A Little Sweetness.  Be still my beating heart: there are girly gnomes (hooray!) and mushrooms, and even Little Red Riding Hood!

These are all embroidery patterns, but there are also prints and notecards, and other lovely things made from shop owner Tasha's delightful artwork.  You simply must go check it out!

I think once I'm done with my 25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong, I'm going to treat myself to a few of her darling embroidery patterns!

I hope your holidays are going well.  Things are crazy around here, but festive, too!  Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stitching Update

The 25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong is moving along!  I'm trying hard to stay caught-up with a square a day, but I admit that it's hard during the crush of Christmas.  I've really enjoyed getting back to stitching; it's very relaxing for me, and the Christmas theme is fun.

It's not too late to join in the fun!  Check out my other blog to join in on the fun!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong: Ladies, Start Your Stitching!

It's finally here!  Today's the first day of the 25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong!   Here's my first square.  Follow along with the fun on my other blog, and be sure to leave a comment with your blog address if you'd like to join in!  It's not too late to get in on the fun.  I can't wait to see what everyone is stitching.  :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nutcracker Cupcakes

For one of our Thanksgiving desserts this year, I made these cupcakes, with special picks to celebrate the fact that my daughter is dancing in the Nutcracker.  I found the kit with these darling Nutcracker picks at Williams-Sonoma.  Aren't they fab? The ballerinas even have tulle added to their skirts!



For the cupcakes, I wanted to make something "salted" because lately I've been obsessed with salted dark chocolate.  So I made spice cupcakes (from a mix -- easy, peasy), and then made the icing from scratch: a salted caramel buttercream.  I wasn't using a recipe, so I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants.  But I thought they were super-yummy, and there were no complaints at the dinner table.


I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any other pictures at Thanksgiving!  I was too busy cooking, and then cleaning, and then giving in to my turkey coma....  I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Glitter-Palooza!

Happy Monday everyone!  I'm so excited that it is a short week and that Thanksgiving is almost here.  I've done my grocery shopping and I am ready to cook.  How about you?

Today I've got not one but TWO fun glitter projects to show you!  The first one is glittered clothespins: a quick, easy, cheap, and fun project brought to you by my friend Kari.  She came up with this project for our girls (10 year-olds) to do together for teacher's gifts for Christmas.  All you need are some clothespins from the dollar store, an assortment of glitters, some glue, and you are good to go!


 Just brush on the glue (to one side of the clothespins only), glitter, and let dry.



Kari cut strips of cute paper and clipped the finished clothespins onto the paper, and then put then into bunches in plastic gift bags.

I just need to add ribbons and tags and we are done!  How easy is that?  The girls had a great time doing these, and I think it's great that Chloe can give her teachers something that she made herself.

The second glitter project was also very easy and fun.  I found these large plain snowflakes at Target:

I was excited about the idea of making them into glitter snowflakes.  I found this cool tinsel glitter at Michael's:

(Thank you, Martha, for yet another cool glitter product!)  Anyway, after that this project was pretty standard: cover snowflakes with glue, cover with glitter:

And ta da!  Glitter snowflake!

Just as a note: I found that the glue/glitter did not stick very well to these snowflakes.  I did 2 (and even 3) layers of glue and glitter to get the coverage I wanted.  I do love this tinsel glitter -- it has a very cool effect and is super shiny!

I did 3 of these, 2 in blue and 1 in white.  When I was done, I hung them in my kitchen window.



[See that lovely -- not -- blue square tile in the picture?  If I'm a really lucky girl, that blue tile is going to be going bye-bye in January.  Fingers crossed!]

Anyway, once the glitter snowflakes were hung I thought, why not go ahead and start decorating for Christmas?  So I did.  I'm rushing the season a bit, but that's okay.  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

I threw all the entries (and double-entries) into the hat (or actually, a bowl in this case), and picked a name!  The lucky winner of the lace giveaway is.... drumroll please....

Peggy!

Congrats Peggy!  If you'll drop me an email at ajcreed[at]comcast.net with your address, I will get this lace in the mail to you.

Thanks for entering, everyone!  This was fun, so stay tuned -- I think I'll need to do another giveaway soon. 

TGIF!  I don't know about you, but I've had a long week.  I'm ready for a margarita (or 3).  Have a great weekend! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lace Giveaway!



I hit another personal Etsy milestone this weekend - I had my 2000th sale!  WOO HOO!  To celebrate, let's have a lace giveaway, shall we?  There are 10 separate bundles of lace here, with a little bit of everything: some crochet, some Irish crochet, some filet lace, some chemical lace, all sorts of delightful things! 

If you'd like to enter for a chance to win this lace assortment, just leave a comment here.  If you link back to my blog and mention this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, tell me about it in the comment and I'll throw your name in a second time for the drawing.  Enter by this Friday, November 19th at noon, Central Time.  Friday afternoon I'll randomly select and announce the winner.

Good luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Special Baby Journal

This week I've been hard at work on this little altered journal.  A friend of mine is about to have a baby girl, and so I decided to make her a journal for a baby shower present.  This is the most elaborate/complicated journal I've ever done, and it was quite a process!  I started by wrapping a composition book with burlap.  I'm not sure why I chose to do that, to be honest, but I wanted a fabric starting point (not paper).  I think the burlap is good starting layer to work with, but a couple of things to note: it frays (a lot!) and it's kind of see-through.

After that, I started on the front cover, and layered an old doily with a tatted lace edge, paper, another doily, several layers of trim, and some chipboard until I got to this point:

Then I went to work on the inside covers.  Here's the front inside cover:

I covered the page with my all-time favorite scrapbooking paper.  Then I used another small rectangular doily, added part of a hanky to it, and glued it down on three sides to make a pocket.  Then I added some trims to the edge of the page.

For the back inside cover, I kept things a bit more simple with just paper and trims.

Then I finished up by adding paper and trims to the back cover.

At this point, I think I'm done, though it's hard to know when to say when.  I feel like it may need a few more things here or there.....    Anyway, the shower is tomorrow so I need to be finished with it soon!

Hope you have a great weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with an exciting giveaway!  Also, it's not too late to join the 25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong -- the more the merrier!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blame it on the Burlap

So, it began innocently enough.  I needed to run into Hobby Lobby to buy some burlap for a new project I'm working on.  [This is very similar to something that happened last week, when I just needed to run into Target for packing tape....  But I digress.]  I noticed that Christmas ornaments were 50% off, as they often are, but I thought "I don't need any new ornaments.  I have too many ornaments as it is.  Hobby Lobby won't get me this time!"

But then I thought, maaaybe I should just take a little peek on the glass ornament aisle -- I always get my girls a special ornament each year, so no harm in looking now, right?  Wrong.  Twenty minutes later I emerged, blurry eyed, with a full shopping cart.  Here's some of what I came home with:


Gnomes on mushrooms, and clip-on mushrooms!  The gnomes have glitter accents, and the clip-on mushrooms have moss around the bottom!  Gack!  So cute!  Do any of these ornaments go with any theme of any kind that we have going on at Christmas, you might ask?  No, they most certainly do not!  Guess I'm going to need an additional tree....

I also couldn't resist this cool acorn ornament.  The back is an acorn (more glitter!):


and the front is this wonderful reindeer scene:

Now, I realize these aren't high end Christopher Radko pieces or anything.  But I think they're pretty cool, especially at 50% off.  So, if you're at HL, you might want to check them out.  But be careful, HL has a way of sucking you in -- it's almost as dangerous as the Target fugue state.  (Oh, and I did manage to remember to buy the burlap.)
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