December 16, 2014

Woodburned Wooden Spoons: Teacher Gift

I think it's nice to show appreciation to teachers at the holidays, and I have enjoyed making small gifts over the years.  The school supplies clock, first aid kit and personalized clip boards have been some of my favorites.  

This year, I decided to combine homemade and store bought by woodburning a wooden spoon and wooden fork set, and putting them inside an oven mitt along with some yummy shortbread cookies.  I think they turned out awesome, and the kids are excited to give them to their teachers!

The plain wooden spoon/fork come from IKEA, and they are ideal for woodburning.  I started by sketching some mendhi designs in pencil, and then using a flat edged tool, carefully woodburned over my pencil lines. 

Other than the dots, and the simple shading, I used that one tool for all the detail work.  I got better as I went along, and all together, these gifts didn't take all too long to make.

The main design is on the back, but I put a little design on the front as well...

It is really fun to be creative with the design.  I've seen these done with simple arrows, or dots too, and simple designs also look really neat when they are burned into the wood.

My sister sells custom wood burned wooden spoons in her etsy shop if you wanted to purchase these, and she is very good at it!  I picked her brain for a while before starting this project :)  And even though mine aren't as detailed as some of hers, I'm very happy with the way they turned out!

The nice thing about woodburning, is that the design really won't fade and doesn't affect the ability to use these utensils.  They can be washed like normal, and look darling displayed in a utensil bowl on the counter, or used in a salad or casserole at a family meal.

Haven't ever tried woodburning before?  Use a coupon and buy yourself an inexpensive kit at the craft store, and give it a try!  I've woodburned picture frames, clocks, plaques, shelves, all sorts of things!  It is really fun, and not difficult or expensive to get started.   And woodburned spoons make really great gifts!

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December 8, 2014

Book Page Christmas Tree Decorations

For the first time ever (well, for my kids), we actually have a real Christmas tree to decorate!  We went to Grandma and Grandpa's favorite place, and picked out a gorgeous, fragrant tree (and got to pretend we were reindeer with the branches...)
Then, I got to Youtube how to wrap a tree in Christmas lights ;)

Since all of our Christmas decorations are in storage, we had to get creative with the ornaments, and it's still a work in progress.  But I wanted to show you some of the cute things the girls and I have done so far...

One thing we have plenty of (and is easy to get for cheap at the thrift store) is book pages.  I have a big old thesaurus that I've used for many a book page project.  These ornaments, above, were really easy to make, and I love how big and elaborate they look.  I found a tutorial here, and simplified it a little bit.  
I used my circle punch to create 2" circles, which we formed into a cone and hot glued shut.  When placed side by side and hot glued they make a great flower shape!  Instead of making a double layer, my daughter made accordion fans that I put in the middle, along with a button.  Then, some red rick-rac glued to the back for hanging was all I needed to complete it.  I'm loving the red against the book page pattern!

Another book page project was inspired by this adorable Little Golden Book I found at the thrift store. This thing must be from the 60s, and the pictures are so classic, and the colors are amazing...I love it!  I was thinking of making gift tags from the pages, which I may still do, but for the tree, I decided to make a garland.  I made some color copies onto cardstock, and then used a 3" triangle pattern to trace sections of each page and cut them out.

I hot glued the triangles onto green ribbon (which would have been red if I'd had any on hand ;) ) and strung it across the tree a couple times.  It makes me so happy!  I don't know if you can see some of the little details, but the children's faces, the little cat, the darling stockings and little elves...every picture is so fun!

Not to mention some great drawings of Santa and Mrs. Claus...

I interspersed a few red vintage glass ornaments that I found at the thrift store - sticking with the red theme.  I'm thinking I'll grab some cranberries at the store tomorrow and make a cranberry garland with the girls to add in.  Even a popcorn garland would be fun!  We're being all old fashioned with this tree :)  <3 p="">

Mostly, I love the smell that wafts through the house, and because the tree is near all these big windows, at night the twinkle lights reflect 5 trees back at us, and it is so beautiful!  
Hope you are enjoying decorating your home for the holidays!
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November 27, 2014

BIC Merry Marking: Slushy Drink with DIY Drink Stirrers

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC®. All opinions are 100% mine.

The holidays are so exciting, and it is so much fun to plan all the little details of holiday meals and decorations.  This year, I'm making our family's traditional "Slushy Drink" recipe for our holiday meal, and BIC Mark-It permanent markers came in awfully handy for making some festive and personalized drink stirrers to go along with!
This slushy drink recipe is so simple, and so delicious, and comes from my grandma, who made it when I was a kid!  It really jazzes up a party, and looks pretty on the table.  It makes a large batch, perfect for a large gathering - but you can certainly half the recipe for smaller groups.
Mix 6 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar together in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once the mixture has boiled, remove from the head and let it cool.
Add to the cooled mixture 1 can of orange juice concentrate1 large can of pineapple juice, and the juice of 2 lemons.  Stir until incorporated and then pour into a freezer safe container to freeze overnight.

Once the mixture is frozen, put chunks into each cup, and pour Sprite or 7-up over the top.  Then.... use these adorable stirrers to mix it all together as the "slushy" part melts.  It is delicious!

And these stirrers are really simple too.  I got white, oven-bake clay and rolled it out flat.  Then, using small cookie and biscuit cutters I cut out little festive shapes and baked them according to the package directions.

Once they were cool, I used my BIC Mark-It permanent markers to draw little designs right onto the clay!  These permanent markers come in a pack of 36 colors for fine and ultra fine tip sizes - which means that there are tons of great colors to choose from!  The colors are bold, vibrant and low odor, which makes it nice when working with them, and family friendly.

Once I was done coloring the clay to my heart's delight, I carefully hot glued matching pieces back to back on the top of plastic stir sticks, which left a little slit at the top to add in a little piece of cardstock.

I used the #MargaritaGreen BIC Mark-It permanent marker to write the names of our guests on mine (so they also double as drink markers!) but you could write little holiday messages, or whatever you'd like to personalize your stir sticks!  With another dab of hot glue, I glued the paper in between the clay.

BIC is offering a coupon to save $1.00, and has a booklet with other  #BICMerryMarking ideas to make your holidays colorful! This is the sort of project my mom, two sisters and I love doing together - so I nominate them each, and all of you readers, to go get the booklet of merry marking and a coupon to start marking, and enjoy!

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October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! From the Frozen Family 2014

Happy Halloween, friends!

Here we are, in all our costumed glory...!
The girls are all excited to go trick-or-treating, and hubs was a good sport to let me dress him up as Kristoff.  I made a quick costume for him out of fleece and faux fur (heaven help me).  We live with a great big Newfoundland dog right now, who we've affectionately been calling Sven.  We might even take him trick or treating with us!  Wouldn't that be the sight??

The girls decided I should be a rock troll, and since the only other suggestion was the big snow monster, I decided rock troll was a bit more manageable!  I have to stick with the fam though, because otherwise, someone asked if I was mother nature ;)  A green cape, leaf necklace and some glow sticks for "fire crystals" are about all that distinguish a rock troll though - plus a little bit of green hairspray, cause...why not?

So there you have it!  Our Frozen Family.  Sans a baby smile.  But honestly, I was lucky to finally get a family picture.  Today was the first time we've been together, in the daylight, with no rain to go outside and snap one!  But Olaf was tired, and did NOT want any warm hugs ;)  Here's hoping a little nap will make trick-or-treating bearable.  

Happy Haunting all!

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October 15, 2014

Felt Trick-or-Treat Bags: Frozen!

For years now, I've been making trick or treat bags for my girls to go along with their outfits.  I really enjoy coming up with a fun design to compliment their costumes, and they turn out so great!  They are a perfect size for their candy, and they get a lot of compliments on the whole ensemble.  

Above are their last year's Mario Brothers bags, and below are the Harry Potter versions from two years ago.

 This year, they chose Frozen!  These bags are constructed almost entirely with felt - and the tutorial can be found on my original post from years ago, here.  All of the embellishment is done before the bag is sewn together, and after that it comes together really quickly.

I have to admit, Anna was tough.  There wasn't a really obvious accessory that came to mind, but I think it turned out great.  Above is the design on the front of her dress.  I simply cut out all the little pieces from felt and sewed them down with coordinating thread.

Below are the things she gives to Kristoff and Sven for them to help her up the North Mountain.  A bit of a stretch? ;)

Elsa needed an Ice Castle, and for the back I got the fancy swirly felt, and made a little cape and gloves flying away in the wind.

Olaf was a no brainer. SUMMER!  Have you noticed that in the move, the ice in Olaf's cup is in the shape of him?  I liked putting that on the bag.

And of course, bees will buzz, so I used little black pom-poms, glued a strip of yellow felt around them, and glued them to some wings which I had already sewn down in the middle (so the edges are free to flap!).  The zig-zag stitch shows the bees buzzing around.  And I used white thread to sew dandelion fuzz, just like the song.

Here are my pretty princesses in their costumes!  Costco pulled through this year with some great Elsa and Anna costumes.

And of course, baby Olaf.  I love it!

So, be sure to check out the easy bag tutorial, and embellish your own felt trick-or-treat bags.  We've kept all of ours, and it is really fun to use them in the dress up box after Halloween.  
Happy Trick-or-Treating!

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