Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tutorial: Christmas Tree Decor

I found an awesome project for kids online that I wanted to do with my daughter and never got around to it. The project was simply giving children objects, on person used buttons, to glue onto a piece of paper to make into a Christmas tree. I had tons of scratch paper left from making my Christmas wood blocks and decided to do something similar (making a tree shape on paper) but instead I used scrap paper and cut out 1 inch circles using my Silhouette die cut machine. Here are the quick and easy instructions.

Start with lots of circles

Start gluing your circles down from the bottom and work your way up making a tree shape
Very simple and basic but it really does pop and look best when you have different color papers and different patterns

All finished and framed

Our mantel


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tutorial: Christmas Paper Trees

I wanted to add a little something extra to my mantel so I decided to make these paper trees to match the blocks that I had made and the Christmas Tree Decor that was already on the mantel. Here is a quick tutorial to show you how to make them for yourself.

Big Tree: Circle cut outs of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 inches in diameter
Small Tree: Circle cut outs of 2, 3, 4 and 5 inches in diameter
Wood dowels
glue gun 
and something to use for a base 
(my husband just drilled me circles out of scrap wood)

Fold each circle in half 4 times

This is what they should look like when folded completely

Snip the tip off of all circles EXCEPT the smallest circle

Once you have folded them unfold the circles and begin to fold along the creases accordion style
Your circles should look like this picture above when done

Hot glue the smallest circle to the top of the wood dowel
Then begin to slide the remaining circles on from the bottom and glue them into place

Once you are down to the bottom slip on your base and cut your dowel to the length desired
Hot glue your dowel into your base

All done!! 

Our Christmas Mantel


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Thrift Store Finds

Totally random but I just had to share my thrift store finds from last week. If you do not shop at thrift stores this might encourage you to do so. I went to our local store and they had the whole store for 50% off so I did my first purchase, went home thought about some other things I could use and went back. Take a look:

In this purchase I got:
Scarecrow decor (used in my Fall Mantel)
2 pumpkins for decor (used in my Fall Mantel)
Picture frame (used in my Fall Mantel)
3 wooden items to paint (sled and 2 plaques)
Fall basket
Pumpkin shape baking dish
4th of July bucket
Sugar and Creamer light pink set
3 small Pyrex bowls
Set of 4 Pyrex mixing bowls
Christmas angel
5 items of clothing for my kids
4 bunches of fabric that were 1 yard or larger each

In this purchase I got:
Black and white fabric
5 picture frames
7 candle holders
1 vase
15 coffee cups (using for gift ideas)

See what I am saying? Pretty hard to resist when you get such great deals!


Guest Post at Love Grows Wild: S'mores Brownies

Hi everyone! Head over to Love Grows Wild to check out my guest post of my mouth watering S'mores Brownie recipe. Thank you to Liz for having me!

Is this tempting enough?... Go check it out!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Post: Meet Shaylee Ann From Mother {at} Heart

Happy Monday everyone! I would like to introduce you all to Shaylee Ann from Mother {at} Heart. She is here today to tell us a little bit about herself and her blog. Head over to visit her blog and say hi!

Mother {at} Heart

What 5 words best describe you?
Sentimental, short, sincere, slim, and spiritual. (I like alliterations.)
What inspired you to start your blog?
Peer pressure. That is how it began; but then, it became a way for me to share my religion, and my passion for life. :)
Tell us a little about your blog and your blogging goals?
I started it back when I was sixteen, intending for it to just be a simple, friend-and-family blog. I didn't post a whole lot, until one day, I felt that I should be more serious about my blogging. I wanted to be a sort of missionary and to let people see how I lived my religion every day. It really was a daunting task, and being young and, well, silly, I wasn't so sure if I wanted to write about real life. I prayed about it for a few days, and after feeling that this was a very good thing, and that it would help both myself and the people who followed me, I changed what was then Amo Vita (Latin for, "I love life", supposedly) to Simple Elegance, and so began my life as a "blogger". Then I decided to change it to really fit me, back in January of 2011, and now it is Mother {at} Heart.
What has been your favorite blogging moment?
That is a tough question, haha. I would have to say . . . the time when I wrote a rather lengthy and controversial post, and I actually got positive feedback on it. ;)
Who is your idol in life?
I personally don't really like the term "idol" when referring to someone I look up to. ;) But my hero is my mother. :) She truly is an angel, and she has a faith and strength that sometimes I can barely fathom. I hope to be even half as incredible at being a wife, mother, and saint as she is.

What is your favorite time of the year?
Hmm. That changes every year, but this year, it has definitely been Autumn. My Summer was like a proverbial winter storm, so the refreshing warm and cool breezes of Autumn, and all of the transition, has been marvelous.
What are your hobbies?
Blogging! :) I also design blogs on the side, read birth books, play the piano, write pretty much anything, and I am also beginning to learn Russian!
Thank you for having me on your blog, Nichole! :)

Thank you Shaylee Ann! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tutorial: Sensory Glitter Bottles

When my daughter hit the worst part of her "terrible two's" stage I looked into anything and everything I could do to help her, help us and how to take her mind away from the situation and get her concentrating on something else. I have heard people talk about using sensory type bottles on times outs, when potty training, in car rides etc. to keep their child calm, to change their mind set and to have a fun new toys to play with. I was pretty desperate for some ideas for time outs so I gave these Glitter Sensory Bottles a try and they were a huge hit! She would actually sit on her time out somewhat calm and pay attention to these bottles. Once she was over them for time outs we used them to help on the potty and they were a success in that department as well. I have had many friends asking how to make them so I decided I would share it with you all. Enjoy:

The supplies you will need: Empty water bottle, cheap clear hair gel, glitter glue, glitter, hot glue gun and HOT water. (most supplies I got from the local dollar store: Gel, glitter glue and glitter)

These directions and amounts are for using a 1 pint size water bottle (16.9 fl oz)
Fill your water bottle about 3/4 of the way full with very HOT water
Add about 2 Tablespoons of the hair gel and 2 Tablespoons glitter glue
Close the lid and shake vigorously
Once the mixture looks mixed well add about 2 teaspoons of glitter
Close the lid and shake vigorously again
I would then recommend leaving the bottle to set for awhile as there is probably a lot of bubbles that have formed. Once it has set determine if it is the flow and consistency that you want. 
You can always add more glitter, do less, add more water to make it flow faster etc. 
Just play with it until it is perfect for you.
Once you are done hot glue the lid on the bottle.
I hope you enjoy them!

My bottle once it settled

Getting it to mix

Once it was all mixed and flowing :)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jesse's Girl: November Sponsor Giveaway.. Go enter!!

Head on over to Jesse's Girl for the start of her November Sponsor giveaway! Included in the awesome prizes is a $15 credit to my Etsy Shop. So head over and join in the fun! Good luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tutorial: Thanksgiving Burlap Banner

This year I made a burlap banner to go with my Fall/Thanksgiving mantel. Lucky for you I made a tutorial along the way to share with everyone, hope you enjoy!

Supplies you will need: 
Burlap type fabric, scissors, needles (if you want, not necessary), ribbon, ruffles, hot glue gun, Mod Podge(not pictured, sorry), extra fabric for accents if you would like, stencil for the burlap shape and font of some sort. 
You can paint letters on as well or use die cut letters like. 

Start by cutting out your banner shapes.
(this is where you could use the needles to hold down the stencil)

Once you have your shapes cut out I recommend using Mod Podge on the BACK of the fabric to stiffen it and to stop the fabric from fraying. 
I want to have the banner last for many years so that is why I really think this is important. 

I focused the most around the edges to stop the fraying then from there filled in the Mod Podge into the rest of the pieces.

Let the pieces dry. 
This took a few hours to get completely dry.

Take your ribbon of choice and hot glue it to the BACK of your burlap.

I just hot glued right along the top.

Measure out a piece of ruffled lace then hot glue that down to the top of the burlap.

This is what you should have

Continue these steps for the rest of your banner. 
I did about a 1 inch gap between the two burlap pieces.

This is the bottom "Thanks" section to my banner.

I then hot glued my letters onto the burlap.
I cut these out using my Silhouette machine.

Here you have it! 

I did have some fabric that matched my decorations so I cut strips and made flowers out of them.
You can add any type of accent that you would like. Felt flowers, ribbon flowers, bows etc. 
They would all look cute! 

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Here are some pictures of the finished product: 


Fun Thanksgiving Art Projects

This year my daughter is at the age where art projects are a huge hit with her. So I decided to share with you all the projects we did for Thanksgiving this year and how you can do them as well for your children.

Pretty basic I used white card stock paper, acrylic paints and a paint brush. 

First up we did a tree painting using her hand and finger prints. 
I painted her hand and used her hand print as the branches and the start of the trunk.
I then painted the rest of the trunk of the tree with the brush. 

The next step was to use her thumb print and just go crazy with leaves. 
We used yellow, orange and red for the leaves. 

Then of course since it turned out really nice I framed it :)

Our next painting project was making turkeys out of her hands.
Very easy: use their hand print for the body, then use their finger to make feet, grass and the other accents on its body. 

Here is Hailey making a "bunch of leaves" as she said :)

My last project was a really fun project. 
I made a turkey using scrap paper literally by eyeballing it, so it isn't perfect. 
I then wanted to fill each feather with what she told me she was thankful for.
First I had to explain to her what Thankful even meant. 
But once she got it she was on a roll.. A pretty funny roll too.. The washer machine? Her crown? and Money? What an imagination she has! 

I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I did!


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