Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Candy Topiary

Hey friends!  I hope you all are having a fantastic Tuesday.  I think I have something here that will make you all very happy.  I've got something here that makes me happy.  Esp. with my whole candy Christmas theme I've got going on this year.  Well I was going to replace my decorative balls with candy balls but they turned out bigger than I thought.  No sweat.  I'll just turn it into this instead...

Fabulous huh?

Super easy.  And cheap.  This is how.

You need:

Styrofoam ball - I was surprised at how much they were $5 for 2 at Joann's -- bring a 40% of f coupon -- they also take Hobby Lobby coupons.
Candy - I went to the dollar store and got these hard candies.  I also made one in peppermints and gumdrops.  {I ran out of candy so I have to make a trip and then I will post them all together. Ahhh can't wait!}
Hot glue/glue gun
Playdoh x 2 {I'm sure you could use something else ... something that was made for crafts but I used what I had at the house and when I thought about dumping plaster in I thought waaaaay to heavy}
Wooden spoon {again -- a wooden dowel - a thick one - would work.  Got the spoons - a 3 pack of different lengths - at the dollar store as well...and they work}

Step 1.  Glue the candy on the ball.

Step 2. Before you have it all covered make your hole.  Obviously don't go all the way through but you want it pretty deep to make sure it is stable.

Step 3. Paint your pot and spoon.

Step 4. Insert spoon into play doh.  {Except, have spoon painted and I used 1 1/2 things of Playdoh just to make sure it was stable.}  Put in sun and let it dry out.

Step 5.  Cut a felt circle.

Step 6.  Add some tissues for poofiness.  Cover with felt.

Step 7.  Put ball of candy on top.  Ta Da!

Repeat with more candy.  You have a candy forest.

Another thing I like about this besides that it is cheap?  {Total cost: $5 each}

You can totally bring these bad boys back out for Valentine's Day.  Candy hearts?  Ohhh yeah.

See you next Tuesday!!


P.S. As soon as I get more candy and it all set up inside I'll have to update w/ some new pictures! :)

Tis the season --- I heart Christmas. {That's a lot of love people}

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free Christmas Countdown & Buttons

The world has officially turned into a blur of excitement of Christmas! As my gift to you, here are some buttons to help you get your blog ready for Christmas too :)

Okay, so I just have to share a fun little Christmas memory from my childhood with you as I introduce this countdown button :)

Christmas countdowns have been so fun
for me ever since I was little. Well, you
know how in elementary school
the kids get to make a chain countdown
out of paper? Well, my sister made one
of those one year and had it hanging in
her room. Even my little brother who
was probably around three years old
knew what that was all about. Everyone
was counting down till Christmas! Well,
one day we were hitting a volleyball
around in her room (I'm pretty sure
that my mom told us a few times not
to hit it around in the house...sorry Mom). One
hit sent the ball careening straight into
the Christmas chain and a few other
valuables, and the chains on the countdown
all broke off. Next thing we know, my
little brother comes running into the
room because of the ruckus. He looked
up at the countdown that no longer had any
more chains/days left and squealed
with delight, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!"

So in honor of the excitement of Christmas I have made a countdown for you! Just insert it on your blog like any other button. It's one that won't break like those paper chain ones and get you all confused as to when Christmas is ;) But I do have to warn you that my countdown button is still not perfect. I am changing it manually each day. You don't have to do anything--just pretend it is a regular button. When I manually change the image, your button will automatically be updated. That means that it's not going to change at the exact same time everyday. I'm on MST and I'll try to get it changed before 8 AM my time each day, but there is no guarantee. You never know. And please forgive me if I get caught in a blizzard during my holiday travels without access to the internet! (I'm highly doubting that will happen.) So if you aren't bothered by its imperfections, this button is for you!

And I have to give credit to Karen over at The Graphics Fairy for the real vintage image that I changed up to make this countdown button. Check it out--she posts some really cool images that are public domain because they really are that old.

Ta dah! Here it is!

Here's one for a more contemporary look to wish your visitors "Happy Holidays!"


And we all know it is the season of giving...comments that is :)


These next two buttons are for all you Buddy the Elf fans. I heart Buddy the Elf. Those of you who have not seen Elf are missing out! Remember in Elf when he makes a list on an Etch-A-Sketch of what to do with his dad? Here it is!


And let's not forget about the elves' diet. It's definitely one that a lot of us adhere to during this season! My little boy really does think that these are the main food groups.


These next two, if your viewer clicks on either of them, the buttons will take them HERE to a little Nativity Christmas movie on YouTube.

This one is my very first ever animated button!



So there you go. I hope you enjoy them!
And note to self: I think I may be addicted to making buttons.

If any of you don't know how to add these to your blog, here is a quick how to:
1. Copy the code in the box from below the button you want
2. In your "Design" tab of your blog, click on "Page Elements"
3. Click on "Add a Gadget" and select "HTML/Javascript"
4. Paste the code
5. After you have saved your new gadget, drag it to where you want on your page elements layout :)

Linked up with:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Help My Mom Out For Chance to Win a Michaels Gift Card! (giveaway closed)


I'd love for you to please take a just minute of your time to fill out the survey even if you do not want to be entered into the giveaway, so that my mom can get enough information for her research assignment. It is very much appreciated! Thanks!

Here is a chance to win a Michaels $20 gift card and help my mom out with an assignment for her Folklore on the Internet class!

All you need to do to be entered to win is to:
  • fill out this short survey and click on submit at the end of the survey
  • leave a comment on this post telling us that you filled out the survey
That's it!

Deadline for entry is December 5, 2010 11:59 MST.

Anyone can fill out the survey, but you must be a follower to be eligible for the prize.

***If you get a friend to fill out the survey, you can leave us another comment on this post indicating that you've done so, one comment for each friend you get to fill out the survey. This will give you additional entries in the giveaway. Your friend MUST be familiar with creative blogs in order for the results to be accurate.

Winner will be randomly selected from the comments on this post and announced on December 6th.

This survey is just to collect information for my mom's assignment. It does not require any contact information to be given.

Thanks for taking your time to fill out the survey!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Tree Bows

My mom and grandmother decorated their Christmas trees with gorgeous bows and I felt the need to carry on the tradition. I have two sets of bows to accommodate different color schemes: white/silver/blue and sage/maroon/gold. They are super easy (just a bit time consuming) and make the tree look all sorts of fancy!Materials:
  • ribbon
  • floral wire (22-26 gauge works well)
  • craft scissors
Step 1: Cut 10-12 inch piece of wire and have it ready.
Step 2: Leave 6-10 inches for one of the "tails" and then twist the ribbon 180 degrees. Pinch it tightly
Step 3: Loop the ribbon and then twist the ribbon 180 degrees again, bringing the twisted/pinched parts together. The "right" side of the ribbon should make a pretty loop.
Step 4: Take the piece of cut wire and wrap it around the twisted/pinched area.
Step 5: Make two more loops by twisting the ribbon like before, but lengthen the loop a bit so it sits to the left and then the right side of the original loop.
Step 6: Pull the wire around the new twists and wrap it around itself a few times to secure it.
Step 7: Continue making loops--remembering to twist the ribbon 180 degrees to keep the "right" side of the ribbon facing outward.
Step 8: When you're satisfied with the look and size of your bow, twist the ribbon off in the back.
Step 9: Then, cut the ribbon at an angle to add a pretty look to the tails.
Step 10: Secure the ribbon to a branch of your Christmas tree with a simple "criss-cross" of the wire (as shown secured to my finger). The easy part--they pull right off the tree when you un-decorate, but the wire holds it firmly in place.
  • Use different widths and colors of ribbon to add more dimension to your decor.
  • Ribbon with wired edges works best because after they are stored for a year, they are easy to form back to a "pretty" state rather than just looking smashed.
  • Use green floral wire so the wire ends blend with your Christmas tree's bristles.
  • Make the bows both large and small because the smaller bows look better toward the top where branches are smaller/shorter.
  • Experiment with the length of the tails; long ones look really pretty dangling between branches.
  • Make some extras to use on your gifts so the ribbons on the presents UNDER your tree match the ribbons ON your tree (just keep track of them when the unwrapping madness begins so they don't get thrown out).
Here are photos of my 2009 and 2008 Christmas trees (respectively):
2009, I used the white/silver/blue bows with white lights and 2008, I used the sage/maroon/gold ribbons with multi-colored lights. And yes, I also "wire" teddy bears to the more empty spots in my tree to cover up the lights' wires.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kitchen Remodel

Ok so it's a kitchen remodel for a 2 year old but still!
Check out this cute little kitchen from the 1964
Sears Christmas catalog.
So cute right?!
Well fast forward to 2010 and that same kitchen
looks a little more like this:
NOT so cute!
I found the set at a thrift store a while back,
and after doing my research and realizing that
it was at one time SO cute, I decided I would try
to bring it back to life. I couldn't beat the $15
price tag, especially because it retailed for $27.99
almost 50 years ago!
Here it is, cleaned up, and about 6 or so cans of spray
paint later. The fridge needs to be stocked, and
cooking supplies need to be purchased, but I think
Santa will be taking care of that this year!
Linking up to Frugal Friday

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nursery Bird Lamp

I love that birds are being used more in home decor lately! This particular project was inspired by Serena & Lily's Sarah Bird Lamp.  

A friend of mine was due to have a baby girl and we had a fun time discussing the bird theme of her nursery. When I saw this lamp I totally thought of her. But...I didn't have $398 to spend on my friend, as much as I do like her. Another thing was that the bedding she had picked out had different pastel colored birds. So, I did my own twist from this on the bird lamp so that it would match the nursery better.  

I only have these two pictures to help you out with because I took only two pictures of it with just my point and shoot camera before I gave the lamp away to my friend. I have tried to zoom into these pictures and add some close-up pictures to help you understand what to do with some of the steps. Hope it helps!

You will need:
functioning lamp base
plain lamp shade
Mod Podge
a bunch of paper (the color you want
your tree trunk to be) or you can use newspaper... 
but you'll need to spray paint it the right color later
at least 1" wide ribbon, if you want in around the trunk base
thick ric-rac, for around the lamp shade
real sticks, the size you want your branches
hot glue gun and glue/ super glue
a pre made Styrofoam bird (I've seen them at Michaels, and Walmart)...
 OR 3" styrofoam sphere

I started out with a white lamp base that I got at a thrift store. It can be any color because you are going to cover the base up. But, the bottom of my lamp base was left exposed because I liked it white. I bought a lampshade at Walmart; I think it wasn't over ten dollars for both. One suggestion that I have is to get a lamp base that is straight, without a bunch of curves. I didn't, and I had to work hard to make it look smooth. 

1. First off, hot glue your sticks in the places that you want your branches to come out. You might have to build up some glue beneath the spots so it will hold it in place better by letting some glue dry, then putting more hot glue around that, etc. Super glue wouldn't hurt either. It can look as messy and unprofessional as you can handle because you are going to cover this up.

2. (Optional) One thing that I might do, if I made this lamp again, would be to add leaves. You could use false leaves with wires from the floral department at a craft store, or you could make your own. I would then hot glue the leaf wires to the sticks I just glued on, placing the leaves where I want them.

3. Here is the fun and messy part. I used pieces of newspaper and Mod Podge to decoupage around the lamp base to make a tree "trunk" shape. You just cover the piece of paper with the Mod Podge and stick it on there and repeat with the next piece. You put on your first layer, covering even the sticks, then wait for it to dry. (See step 4, for something to do while it's drying). Repeat. If any of you have ever made a pinata before, you know what I am talking about. For the easy way, use just a bunch of pieces of paper that are the color that you want your tree trunk to be, then you won't have to spray paint it later like I did. Funny, the people that do the project after me, always end up with the easy way to do things! 

Here is a close-up of the trunk:

4. One thing you can do while one layer is drying, is make your bird. I carved my bird out of a 3" styrofoam ball (I was feeling adventurous), but you can actually get a little bird pre made with feathers, etc. everything attached on it, if that is the look you are going for. You will want to decoupage your bird, if you didn't choose the pre made bird, just like you did to your lamp. I picked out cute little pastel scrapbook paper that matched my friend's nursery to use to for my bird. You only need enough layers to get the look you want.

5. When everything is dry and you are happy with the way your trunk looks, you can glue your bird on a branch. You can't afford to be messy here, so super glue may come in handier than hot glue. If you did use newspaper like I did instead of the color paper, don't put your bird on just yet! Do this first:
Tape off everything that you don't want sprayed the color of your trunk. Spray paint your trunk the color you want, and then let it dry. Then you can put your bird on.

6. Now take your ribbon and roll it horizontally and glue it around the bottom edge to give your trunk a finished look. Cut off any extra ribbon.
7. Now take your ric rac and glue it around the lamp shade. 
Add a lightbulb, attach the lampshade and Viola! A Nursery Bird Lamp!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FREE Apron Rack

Hey everyone!  I am so excited to have joined the team here at This and That Creative.  These girls are just fantastic and I hope I can keep up with them!

Tonight I was searching for the perfect project -- one that would be really quick (tonight was also Boy Scout night & wrestling) and easy.  And of course super cool.

Can you tell what it is?  {My pictures are kind of off here}

An apron rack for my kitchen made of spoons!  I'm kind of on a silverware kick here lately.

Here is a close up of the hooks.

You see I'm kind of obsessed with silverware after seeing this picture from Pottery Barn:

Isn't it great?  I think so.  Hubby doesn't.  He looked at it and said "it's a fork." 

Hello, and a spoon.

Anyways, he just doesn't get it.

But I have a confession.  I took my spoon today and set out to make something else.  I wanted napkin rings made out of silverware. 

I tried, but alas I am not Strong Women. And I could only bend the spoon so far. {Bending the spoon this far is pretty easy though.  Go impress your kids.  Mine didn't know what to think at my amazing trick}

And although a napkin could slip in there it was not the look that I was going for.  So something else had to be done.  Because I had already bent 3 spoons.  And my husband was saying "why did you ruin our spoons?"  I needed a solution - quick.

I had this board from another project that I was doing.  I had painted it to give it a slightly weathered appearance.  I grabbed and answered him -- making an apron holder.  {To paint: Sand first.  Then dilute black paint with water - 1 part each.  Paint.  Wipe.  Then paint over with white.  Sand.}

All I did was hot glue the flat parts of the spoons to the board. Ta da.

{The picture is slightly funny looking because it's not really hung on the wall.  I can use a glue gun, not tools.  And I don't think hot glueing it to the wall would have been a good idea.  So it was leaning waiting to be hung}

I tore threw boxes {we just recently moved} looking for my aprons to hang on them for a picture and what do you know.  They aren't in any boxes.  Go figure.  Guess what my next project is?  Gotta make an apron for my new apron rack!

P.S. While writing this post I searched for silverware napkin holders - having a hard time finding "my vision".  But I did find this.

A spoondelier.  Ha ha.  I loved it.  Woah expensive though.  Andy crushed my dreams of ever owning this spoondelier.  "That's stupid." Not sure if he just doesn't like the spoons or the fact that they were charging over $1900 for them....

Hold the phone!! So I just saw from One Pretty Thing that Adventure in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone had my napkin rings.  And a tutorial.  Look at them.  How stinking cool.
I love them.  And now I know why I couldn't make them..  Because no, I am not as strong as the tools needed. But don't tell my son - we just got back from Boy Scouts & Wrestling where he told all his friends that his mom bent a spoon in half.  And they were all amazed.  :)


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