Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season!

I love my tree this year, but then I love it every year.  If you noticed that the manger is sitting in a massive amount of fake snow, I take no responsibility for it.   The kids helped me decorate this year. The youngest is about to turn 21 next month, and, still, they manage to act like, well, children.  The only difference is that they now bring their mates to join in their shenanigans.

Wishing You a Exciting Holiday Season
and New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Newest Apron

I've finally got some sewing finished.  This is a late birthday gift for the younger son's girlfriend--only a little late, though.
Kelsey is in culinary school, hence the culinary queen.  I had to go look up my own apron tutorial created when I made my other son's fiance's apron.  So nice to have a blog to keep all these things.  It's a quick and easy project if you want to try one.  The tutorial is here.

We also got Kelsey a bead for her Pandora bracelet.  That's what is tucked in the little pocket. It's the ladybug bead in red.  Pandora has made my life so much easier.  I can always find a new bead for the girls to add to their collections.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Stuffed Animal Tree Skirt

Wondering what to do with all those stuffed animals and dolls that the kids have outgrown?  You might want to pack them away.  They make a great tree skirt.  I packed away the stuffies and dolls that my kids especially loved and, at some point, started putting them under the tree at Christmas. There is nothing better during the holidays than listening to my kids reminisce about them.

Keegan's beloved Jeremy Fisher frog,

Kiefer's Bunny and Julia for whom I had to make up countless stories for bedtime,

And Kyle's cowbunnies that I made during his cowboy phase are all part of the collection.  The cowbunnie hats didn't survive but they still have their bandit scarves.  These were bad cowbunnies complete with black hats.

Who remembers Lamb Chop? There is a well-worn puppet version and one from Macy's (obviously with the name right on the hat!) under our tree.

There are couples under there:

And this menage a trois that resulted from a misunderstanding about who was buying what.  Now that I have seen Sister Wives, I refer to this set as Brother Husbands.

As the collection grew, I realized the tree skirt was wasted--you couldn't see it at all.  The toys became the tree skirt.    They all squash down nicely in a plastic box for storage taking up surprisingly little space, too.  Besides, the original tree skirt while nice,  never stirred up fond memories and got everyone talking.

What are all those holiday tins under the tree?  I started using the too-cute-to-discard holiday tins to store delicate ornaments before packing them into the big boxes.  The ornaments get unpacked and hung,  the tins are scattered in with the stuffies, and they are right under the tree when it's time to put ornaments away.   I know I could refill them with home-made treats to give others.  However, I love baking about as much as I love cleaning toilets.  No, I'd rather clean toilets really.  Holiday baking just ain't happenin' in my house.  Now that I've said that I am reminded that I promised to make another gingerbread house this year.  Why do I do these things?  Must get back to work.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Experimenting with Glitter Ornaments

How cool is that!
I've been filling clear glass and plastic ornaments with glitter using Mop & Glo floor wax as the adhesive.  I bought a giant pack of Martha Stewart's glitter.  This one to be exact:

I like the solid colored balls such as these:

but I decided to try mixing it up as I did with the painted balls such as this on in previous years.

Here are some of the results.
This is with two colors dropped in carefully on each side before
shaking.    I used a funnel at first as most tutorials suggest,
 but found that the glitter drops in pretty neatly with the bottle
 top off.

This had  a number of colors placed in separately.
 I like the swirl that resulted.

This had much more of the purple with another color.
Again.  I put them in separately.

Then I took the bottles with just a bit of glitter left and shook them together in a bottle before putting the glitter in to see how that would work.  Here are a few of those:

These look much better than they appear in the pics.  Some of these are just two colors.  Others are a mix of four or five that show clearly up close.

I was a bit worried about doing this with the plastic balls, but they worked out great.  They have some give when you press on them, but the glitter stays on perfectly.  

Some tips:  
  • Mop & Glo works great!  I found that rolling the wax around for a minute, draining it completely, and putting the glitter in  immediately provided much better adhesiveness than letting the wax sit even for a short time. 
  • Very fine glitter works best.  I'm sure it doesn't need to be Martha's.  Martha does, however, have the best color choices.  Michael's and Joann's carry it.  With their coupons, you can get it for a great price. Of course, if someone knows of another company with 24 colors including lapis lazuli, peridot, yellow barite, and fire opal, I'd love to know about it.
  • I found that letting the finished balls sit for a half an hour before putting the tops on  carefully was sufficient.  I didn't have one incident of glitter being scratched off.  
I'm feeling a need to get back to making more sock creatures now.  Hopefully I will be able to  post about that soon!