Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some of my favorite things...

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I love being able to focus on my Savior's birth and celebrate it with loved ones. The aura of giving, happiness, childhood, sweets, and love is all around, and I can't get enough of it! That being said, I just love decorating for Christmas. Here are some of my favorite things.

My entry way makes me happy. Next year I am going to frame some vintage prints for the shelf.
Here's a close-up of the stair railing
My beloved candy themed tree



My favorite Nativity Scene

<*> Jackie

Don't forget to check out the "Party Central" tab to see what parties we love linking up to every week!

Christmas Confections

This year, I decided to make caramel candy for our neighborhood Christmas gifts. I found an awesome recipe online here and got to work. This recipe is definitely going to be my go-to caramel recipe. Her tip about checking your thermometer with boiling water saved my caramel too--my candy thermometer was off by 6 degrees! After cutting and wrapping 80 pieces, I decided my lovely neighbors could cut their own. The blocks of caramel were way easier to prepare and looked super cute (though I truly adore the skinny wrapped caramel look).

If I do say so myself, I think it turned out pretty great. I just need to get it out of the house before I eat it all.

I just love the old fashioned look of these wrapped candiesThese are 4X4 inch squares topped with melted Ghirardelli chocolate
Here's the finished product. Each square is wrapped in wax paper, topped with a custom Christmas label, and tied together with a ribbon. There's nothing like homemade caramel!



Don't forget to check out the "Party Central" tab to see what parties we love linking up to every week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Name is not Martha Stewart, however....

I think I could be a useful part of her team ;). I was rather over zealous when I took a liking to her satin ribbon poinsetta wreath (found here).

Oh my, oh my, oh my! The whole wire thing, bad idea. WHAT were Martha's minions thinking on this one? Maybe I am bad about following directions. Maybe.

SO, if you would like to make one of these pretties....a few minor adjusments.

Don't even try to wire these puppies together. It's a nightmare. Sure, you can try if you'd like, but by the time you've 'mastered' the wire trick, you're a basket case.

Instead, cut your 4 (not 3 like Martha says) diamonds of ribbon (oh, and something I didn't do, but will need to, take a lighter and LIGHTLY melt the cut egdes of the ribbon, to avoid major fray out):

Now, Martha's mob will tell you to fold them long ways and stagger them, pinning and then wiring all together in the end. Ha ha ha. Let me know when you get the hang of that. The century ought to be about half over by then. Instead, invest in a needle and matching thread, or don't match, it won't show.

Still fold longways, I found a threefold to be easiest and then pinch together in half, like so:

Sew the pinch together, be certain to get all layers passed through twice and knot off. Repeat 3 more times with your remaining diamonds. Now for some good ole craft cheating, well more of it anyway, go out and buy some 2 inch corsage pins....yep, we are not gluing down a 100+ little stamen beads. It's the best $3 box you'll EVER buy....EVER.
In fact, I bought two, to be sure I had enough pins, since I tried Martha's minions "idea"about a third a way around the wreath. 7 hours of that kind of torture will tell you, "You know, $85 for one of these babies, not a half bad deal, really. Wonder how Hobby Lobby will feel about me throwing my half baked wreath at the return desk, with all my opened spools of ribbon? Surely, they'd work me some kind of deal, right?" Ugh.....I was stuck with my crazy idea of poinsetta wreaths hung beautifully from white satin ribbon on either side of the Christmas tree, in the windows.

Thankfully, with my new technique and corsage pins, the rest of this project flew by. Pin each little "v" with a corsage pin:

Create tons of beautiful poinsettas in half the time of Martha's menacing little minions:

Not quite as full yet. But soon my pretties, very soon. I kicked the bucket at 1:45 AM. Work was far to close at hand to continue filling in my blank spots.


Oh and here's our very, very first Christmas tree! I got a steal online at Target....a tree on CLEARANCE two WHOLE weeks before Christmas!! I borrowed ornaments from a good friend to fill her out. Even on clearance, there wasn't much room in the budget for ornaments. What very, very sweet and wonderful friends I have! (Thanks P!)

Don't forget to check out the "Party Central" tab to see what parties we love linking up to every week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Layered Crib Skirt

After searching for a crib set for a little girl, I found one I wanted but it was ridculously priced. I decided making one would be the way to go. Then I found a bumper on ebay that I loved and decided that would be less labor intensive than making my own. For the crib skirt, I combined the styles from both of my inspiration crib sets and decided to make a layered ruffled crib skirt using vintage fabrics.

For the base of the crib skirt, I just used an old sheet. For the ruffles, you'll need about a yard each of three different fabrics. I only did three sides, so if you would like to do all four sides in ruffles, you'll need 1.5 yards of each fabric.

Measure your crib on the inside and cut a large square out of your sheet adding 1/4 inch extra for hemming for the base of the skirt. Then cut your three (or four) sides from the sheet. I used a 14 inch drop for my crib skirt, but you can customize yours to fit your crib. Hem the sides of your side pieces leaving the top unhemmed. I also hemmed the back of my base layer at this time.

For the fabric ruffles, I cut the fabric almost three times the width of my crib (I had to sew a few pieces together) and six inches long. I think cutting it 2 times the length would be sufficient. Hem the sides of the ruffles, leaving the top edge unhemmed.

To gather the ruffles, I learned an awesome trick from my cousin Alicia. I had tried and tried gathering fabric with my machine with no luck when I made my curtains. I finally ended up doing a basting stich by hand to make the ruffles. It was a nightmare. She told me to use fishing line and do a zigzag stich over it. Then you can just pull it tight. Instant ruffles and no breakage! Awesome! First, I tied the fishing line to a spool of thread so it wouldn't slip out of the zigzags. Then I simply went over the thread and pulled it tight. At first I had to go slow, but as I got used to it soon I was zooming along. I found that holding the thread up and in the center of the presser foot kept it within the zigzags without a lot of hassle.

Then I arranged, pinned and sewed the ruffle to the side pieces.I did this three times. To keep the ruffles straight, I jus measured from the bottom up every couple of inches or so and pinned it in place. Here's what each side should look like.Then pin the top of your ruffled side to their corresponsding base layer side, right sides together. Do this with all three sides.Ta da! Your ruffled crib skirt is now finished!

Don't forget to check out the "Party Central" tab to see what parties we love linking up to every week!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The things some people will put in the trash...

A few weeks ago I got an awesome voicemail. My friend Kristen called, and she said, "Hey Lindy--I was driving down the road and I saw this old door in the trash. I thought you might want it..."

Wooohooo!!! I was soooo excited. This was a Sunday afternoon, and Cory had just fallen asleep. I was sure that the possibility of obtaining an awesome old trash door would wake him up with no problem....for some reason the news didn't fill him with the same rush of adrenalin that coursed through my entire body. Needless to say, I set off on Mission Retrieve Trash Door all by self.

About 5 minutes later, target located, loaded into the back of my car, and safely arrived in our guest/study/craft room. 

I basically told every person I know about it. Once they got over the confusion about why I was picking stuff up out of other people's trash, they always asked, "So, what are you going to do with it?"

My answer, "I could make a corner shelf, or a head board, or a towel rack, or just prop it up behind some stuff....What do you think?"

All of these awesome ideas!!! Unfortunately, we already have a headboard. And we don't have a place for a corner shelf. And we only use two towels, and they already have a rack...

Buuuuut...I have this problem.  I like shoes. A lot. My friend Lara gave me a handy little contraption to help with this, and it really saves the closet floor space:

Trouble is, this is the only door we can put it on in our house. And it makes it so the door to the room only opens up half way.

So far its been a minor inconvenience, and we've put up with it. But now that we actually do have a spare door, we think we might combine the two.

So, what do you think? Should I hold out for something awesomely creative to do with our trash door, or regain full use of the door to the 2nd bedroom? 


Linking up to Look What I Found Friday @ Vintage Revivals, and Finding Fabulous.

Craftmas 2010

I'm so excited to show everyone what we've been working so hard on for the past few weeks! Decorating the house for our first Christmas has been so much fun, and we can't wait to spend it together. We're not exactly making the big bucks, so to keep costs down we used a lot of paper, hot glue, and Black Friday deals. Just a few touches of Christmas added into our everyday stuff seemed to make a pretty big difference. Bonus of living in a tiny ghetto apartment I suppose. Lucky us!

The house was looking pretty clean last night, after about a week of grossness, so it seemed like an excellent time to snap a few pictures. Wanna see?

This is the general setup. Stockings hung from the window with care, and some sugar cookie candles making the house smell delicious make for a niiice night.

Our table got a little touch of Christmas for pennies. A stray ornament, a few glittery letters and some peppermint do the trick nicely. Wanna closeup? Don't mind if I do...

I was all about getting a real tree for our first Christmas...until I saw these doorbuster Alpines at Micheal's. Three pre-lit allpines for $15.00? Yes please.

Twine, hot glue and glitter letters: Where have you been all my life?

See the giant jewels? Leftovers from a Breakfast at Tiffany's  Bridal shower  1.5 years ago.
I had a 20% off coupon, gift cards and the overwhelming urge to buy these adorable sock monkeys about 3 weeks ago. They are our official "First ornaments".

I had five nutcrackers from the 10 for $10.00 bin at Michaels (aka the 5 for $5.00 bin.) I put them all over the house and then timed Cory while he tried to find them...

Here in balmy Florida our hopes of a white Christmas are low. Here's to hoping.

I used this easy tutorial to make some 3D paper snowflakes.Copy paper, scissors and hot glue is all it takes.

Dollar Tree ornaments (1.00 for 15 ornaments?! ) and some fishing line are magical.

I switched out our regular pictures for wrapping paper, christmas cards and a print out of Norman Rockwell's Santa. Total cost: Zero dollars!

The ONLY card I could find.

I love that fat Santa. Thank goodness there is a color printer at Cory's office.

I just had to use the new cricut for something. So, we got some personalized stockings.

 Christmas even made an appearance in our room! The last nutcracker matched perfectly, so he gets to spend some quality time with my hair straightener.

And, this is mostly a shot of our bed. I made it! But there are also some floating ornaments in the corner.

So, that's it! Our first Christmas in the making. Any tips for making our first Christmas awesome?


I'm linking up to Finding Fabulous--Check out the other awesome links there!
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