Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday traditions

Been busy as usual with the usuals, but wanted to share a few photos.

The Elephant and I decided to make some goodie bags to give to the people who adopt kitties from the shelter where we volunteer. Another volunteer had been doing this, but switched locations. I thought I'd start pretty small and see how they go:)

These are the finished eight. It was a pretty quick craft. I pulled some brown paper bags outta a drawer, grabbed some coordinating papers, washi tape, yarn, brads, eyelets and a cute stamp.

I stamped the little tag with a gift package design, and adhered one side to the bag via eyelets and brads. I also added a strategically placed strip of washi tape. One thing to note -- I left the tops of the paper longer, so they folded over the top of the bags, acting as a seal.

My sister's kitty was veeeerrrrry interested, probably because of the contents:)

I added a toy, a can of food and a little felt-wrapped catnip-filled square that I sewed. No need for perfection here -- the kitties will have these chewed up in no time!

We've been spending time doing our traditional Christmas activities. There's a wonderful display at a lake near our house that we always go to.

It's never, ever crowded, and always beautiful.

Here's Elephant.

And here's Butterfly; can you find her?

Found an awesome Sugar Cookie Workshop kit from Trader Joe's. What a lot of fun for 4 bucks! It has everything you need, save butter and an egg. It even came with three cookie cutters:)

Ahhh, cooperation!!

And the reward? Cookie dough. (Please don't leave comments about letting my kids eat raw egg. It's like a bazillionth of a percentage ... Plus I obviously survived a childhood of eating cookie dough, lol.)

And to the victors go the spoils! Yum!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A banner day, part 2

Remember this? Um, yeah ... you're suppose to click that link to refresh your memory 'cause it's been so freaking long since part one that I know you forgot.

I almost did, after all:)

So anyway, I left off with all of the triangles cut out and the dread thought that there would be a lot of sewing ahead. Guess what? I cheated. There's this nifty invention out there called fabric glue. Why not use it?

I did, after all:)

I glued all but a small opening on each side of the top of the triangle. I then lined up all of the right-sided-out triangles to ensure I liked how the colors played off of each other, etc.

I strung the banners on a huge old length of nice ribbon, threading the ribbon through the left-open tops. See how they all slide into each other, though? Not to worry! That's where the buttons came in handy.

Not only did the buttons hold the individual flags in place,

they also looked pretty cute while hiding the unglued part. And yes, I admit I sewed the buttons on -- 50 of them, to be exact. Whew!

The banana buttons were specifically FOR my little monkey -- er, I mean Butterfly. She did pick them out, after all.

A bit of artful arranging on the previously mentioned blank slate curtain canvas ...

See the open spaces in the curtains, just outside? Yup, that was SNOW. Blech.

This is Harry, one half of my dad's cats. Isn't he gorgeous, especially in the sunshine? His brother, Houdini (Dad is obsessed with a certain magician), is equally beautiful, with orange points instead of black/grey.

Now if we could only keep him from unwrapping Christmas presents!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tag, this is it

Another quick Christmas craft: A holiday tag banner.

I cut out a bunch of white tags using my Cricut, then border punched the bottoms of a couple of them.

I also used washi tape to attach each tag to a long strand of red and white baker's twine.

I pulled apart an old "Frosty" book, using a bit of the text in this one, above.

Made paper medallions and used felt flowers on another.

This is just some cute vintage Christmas-themed paper.

Here, I used part of a picture from the "Frosty" book.

The Elephant and the Butterfly sent off their letters to Santa a week ago or so. Much better than their mama, who has yet to do more than assemble the bits to make Christmas cards. This year, I'm only sending cards to people who send them to me. It's much more rewarding.

More to come (or t/k, for those of you in the know.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Advent of an idea

Every year I go looking for an Advent calendar, and every year I seem to just miss buying the last one. So I end up coming up with my own idea, which, of course, now gives me something to blog about.

Because the Elephant and the Butterfly -- actually let's be honest it's Butterfly -- aren't so great with the sharing, I made separate "calendars" this year. Pretty simple idea, too: I cut out 48 circle tags using my Cricut. Half were green (Elephant's) and the other half red (for Butterfly).

I also used the Cricut to cut out a bunch of numbers. Used a medallion punch to give a contrasting background to mount the numbers, added some red twine and white yarn, and voila!

I hit a party store for half of the little doodads -- tops, bubbles, figures and such -- and Winco's bulk foods for a variety of Christmas chocolates.

I simply taped the items to the backs, making sure the popular items would match on a given day. For example, I knew if I put the gummy bears on Elephant's but not on Butterfly's for the same day, she'd never leave the poor guy alone;)

I hung them up all over the tree and so far the kids are seriously happy with the idea. Elephant helps Butterfly find her number as he's looking for his.

We also finished our gingerbread house this evening. One hint: Don't forget that it takes a couple of hours for the basic structure to set. That's why this evening was actually a part two.

Look at Elephant concentrating SO hard!

This is what he made: A little snowman in the front yard;)

Here's a view of the finished project ...

... and here's how Butterfly helped out. Hmm. Wonder why she had such a hard time getting to sleep tonight?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Too dang busy

Argh. Work takes too much time! I've been trying to slip some creativity into the free spaces, so I'm hopeful I'll soon have something original to share. In the meantime, here are my adorable kids, tee hee. Think I might be biased? Butterfly plunked in next to Elephant to watch a movie then picked up his hand to hold ... much to his (obvious) surprise:)