Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handmade Holidays 2011: Advent Calendar

Two pins on Pinterest caught my eye this fall....
LOVED the idea of Christmas "experiences" to count down to the big day, versus getting candy or just a random something or other, or just flipping open a flap. And then I saw this:
And thought what a cute way to display an advent calendar. I also happened to have some Christmas scrapbook paper laying around I was going to use for something else. I decided not to do that project this year, so the paper would be perfect for this. Pink Suede Shoe has a whole tutorial for making these trees. I altered it a bit and made my own template because my paper was smaller.

I stuck little pieces of paper with the day's activity or statement in the cone before adding a paper circle to the bottom. I did put candy in one cone and little Christmas erasers in another. I just used four glue dots on the bottom of each cone to adhere the white circles. Then, the kids can easily remove the white bottom and hopefully we can reuse the cones from year to year.
We displayed our cones on a bookshelf. Here they are waiting for December 1st to open the first one.
My cutie wanted to pose in a photo as well, so how could I not post that one too. ;-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Craft Project: Super Easy Beaded Bracelets

Mt. Vernon, Iowa is a fun little town about 25 minutes from my mom's house. The girls like to go there when we visit because there are a couple cute little shops, including an antique store that also sells beads to make jewelry.
They had this very cool coiled wire to use instead of some sort of elastic or other type of string. We spent maybe $11 and got enough supplies for the girls to each make two bracelets.
I used a needle-nosed pliers and bent the end of the wire so the beads would stay on:
The wire was pretty easy for the girls to thread the beads onto, though you had to be a little careful about it snapping back if you let it go.
The finished product:

Craft Project: Fall Leaves

I grew up in the Midwest which can have gorgeous Fall weather. I moved to Texas and California where Fall simply does not exist. I missed it so much! The changing of the leaves, sweater weather, the last few days of mid-range temps before winter sets in. One of the things I LOVE about living back in the Midwest is FALL!

And my girls love it too! We visited my mom down in Iowa a few weeks ago and my girls started a secret project out in the backyard. They needed tape. Hmmm....they were out there for awhile and they were working so nicely together! When they were finished, they presented this wonderful leaf wreath to me. :-)
I actually don't have a picture what it looked like when they brought it to me. We put it in a ziploc bag with an apple slice (so the leaves wouldn't dry out) to bring it home. When I went to pull it out, I realized the moisture from the apple slice made the tape they used lose its adhesive. So I very carefully pulled it out and threw some Glue-all under the different layers and then mod podged it. The glue would be the white you see in the photo. All that glue and mod podge seemed to do the trick and here it is hanging in my kitchen. :-)
I also collected a few leaves from my mom's yard and brought them home. We just have pine trees in our yard, so it's a novelty for us to walk out the back door and find a ton of leaves on the ground.I mod podged my leaves and made a leaf garland out of it to decorate our dining room for Thanksgiving. The mod podge seals the leaf preserving it. It keeps its color AND doesn't dry out.