Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cards

Something I’ve been super excited about since getting married is being able to FINALLY send out Christmas Cards! I was going to originally hand make them like I do everything else, but I decided this year to leave it to the pros, and finally give myself a break for once. Besides, if I did decide to do them, they would probably get put on the back burner and never even get sent out! (How do I know this??? Because it took me 3 months to mail out our wedding “Thank you” cards : ) )

So, I was delighted to find out that Shutterfly has their own line of Christmas cards. I’ve always ordered prints through their website, and have always had such a positive experience with their services!

I've had a chance to look through quite a few of the pages (there's over 800 cards to choose from), and there are soooo many amazing choices. I still can't decide.... but I've narrowed it down to three...

1) The Peppermint Pink Christmas Card

It's pink!! Need I say more?!? I also love it because we could put multiple pictures from our wedding on the card, and maybe even some of the engagements...

2) Starlight Joy

This one is just so classic. I've always been a fan of full size pictures, and I'm a sucker for cursive!

and finally...
3) Vintage Lace Frame Card

I love this one.... Throughout the year and for my wedding, I had a whole "vintage lace" theme.. and I absolutely love how the picture is framed with the polka dots in the background...

So I am completely torn.... I can't decide which one to choose! But regardless, I'm super excited to have Christmas cards this year, and to know that any card I choose is going to look amazing!

Click here, and you'll see for yourself all the cards Shutterfly has to offer!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Wreath

I have had this wreath in my mind forever, and this past week, I was finally able to work on it. Thank goodness for long weekends!

I first started out with a Styrofoam wreath (I don't remember what size it is, but it's the second biggest one that Michael's carried). Then I ripped pages out of a old book and folded them loosely in fourths going "the hot dog way". There's numerous ways on how you can place the pages on, but I found the best recommendation out there in blog land is to fold the bottom of the page and then stick in on with straight pins. By folding the pages at the bottom, it helps give the pages some body. I ended up doing about 3 layers of pages, then simply folded and pinned pages on to cover exposed Styrofoam on the top..

Then it was time to bust out these ladies... I've kept them in my craft room for the past month, and have been DIEING to use them! I bought was seemed to be about a gazillion, but only needed 7 for the wreath (I put the rest on the tree)...

I snipped off the wire stem, then simply took straight pins and pinned them on top of the wreath

Then added a cute bow, and walla.... The easiest, prettiest, cheapest wreath project EVER!!....
We have this super (huge) awesome mirror that fills up space in our entryway, and I just could not resist wiring it on top of the mirror... This week, I'll be adding some temporary shelves on each side of the mirror to make a type of "make shift" mantle for our stockings (which have yet to be made!).

Don't you love it when things turn out exactly how you hoped they would in your head?!?

Christmas Christmas Christmas!!!

I can't believe it's finally here.... After a couple of months of buying supplies, decorations, ornaments, glitter, paint, fabric, etc. etc. etc, it is finally time to decorate! I was too excited to wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving, so I decided to start putting our tree together at almost 9:00 at night on Thanksgiving :)

I'm not sure I mentioned this on the blog yet, but I scored this 12 foot tree from a super nice old lady off of Craigslist for $50. It's my find of the century!! It didn't come with lights, but it was in practically perfect condition, and you honestly can't beat that price... Craigslist is the best!

This was when I was testing out my "candle" lights, but I couldn't resist showing how Mr. Husband contributed to this project... He left me alone :) It really was for the best. It's like there was a glitter storm while he was sleeping, and he would have probably had an anxiety attack if he knew what was really going on...

For the past four weeks, I had been getting about 10 ornaments a week (total) from Hobby lobby, Target, Michael's, and sometimes Crate and barrel. I'm so glad I did because I pretty much underestimated how many we were going to need to fill up this tree...
Here are the candles I was talking about... Next year I'm going to put glitter on the wax drippings, but these came from Hobby Lobby. I first got the idea when watching Little Women. One of the first scenes in the movie is when their singing Christmas Carol's and apparently back in the 19th century, they thought it was okay to put candles on their Christmas tree's (instead of having our modern day lights). Well, I liked the idea so much that I wanted to try and replicate it. They sell this lights in packs of 10 and they come in white. I wasn't to crazy about the white (it kind of stuck out like a sore thumb), so I painted a light coat of gold-ish paint on them, then took Rub and Buff, and used my finger to apply it to the wax drippings...

I also wanted a bunch of music note ornaments, but they were going to be pretty expensive. They had wood cut out ornaments at hobby lobby, and after the discount, I think they were only about .60 cents. So I grabbed a whole bunch of them, painted on glue and dumped lots and lots of glitter on them :)

And I of course had to make my own bows :)

Then lastly, I couldn't find a tree topper that I liked, so I took a whole bunch of ribbon that I had and made a bunch of swirls, and gripped them down at the bottom with a rubber band. Then I simply just let it rest on top of the tree and stuck a few swirl twigs in at the top. For now, it will work :)

And here she is!! I finally feel relieved to have gotten this out of the way :)

p.s. I never new how hard it was to pick up massive amounts of glitter off of tile. So here is your warning : )

Thanksgiving 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wasn't going to post this, because it really has nothing to do with crafting, but I just had to get the word out about Alton Brown's Turkey recipe.

Seriously... hands down amazing. I started the brine two nights before the big day and it made our house smell amazing! P.S., I am now a huge fan of vegetable stock... It has such an amazing flavor that in my opinion, you don't get in just regular chicken stock...

and BAM! My picture perfect turkey :) I should probably start counting my lucky stars, because I have no idea how this turkey turned out so pretty... Those stars weren't with me when baking that pie though :(

I think we stared at the turkey for quite a while before we even started carving it. We couldn't believe how perfect it turned out... and it tasted even better than it looked. If you're looking for a good turkey recipe you have to try Alton's!! Thanks Alton!

Then, I don't know how I did it, but I convinced Mr. Husband to take a break from Football to start doing this.... I don't know if any of you have ever seen those poles with clips to hang up the lights, but it worked so well for us, and the lights are still up :) The pole is a little cheap, but it certainly did the job...

And I just had to capture Mr. Husband's first time on a roof... I don't know what was funnier... Him being concerned about being on the roof, or being concerned that the lights are going to burn the house

His mom is probably going to kill me when she see's this post :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music Wreath Ornament

This was my first weekend of Chistmas preparation. Mr.Husband and I will be busy one of the weekends between now and Thanksgiving, which means I only have 2 weekends left to get prepared!

I was also reminded this weekend when going to Hobby Lobby. The Christmas ornaments were already getting cleaned out, so I'm glad I've gotten mine taken care of, or started at least. I'm super glad I started early because last week I found a 12 foot Christmas tree off of Craig's list for $50.... can you believe that?!?!? I was sqeading all the way to nice old lady's house (who really took care of the tree... it was in perfect condition, and she said she had really only used it twice!).

The tallest tree I've ever had is 7 ft. tall, so needless to say, we're going to need quite a bit of ornaments this year! With that being said, I decided I was going to make some of the ornaments this year. I'm jumping on the "music sheet" bandwagon, as they seem to be so popular this year... I've seen music ornaments all over the place when ornament shopping! Perhaps it appeals so much to me because I have played the piano for about 20 years, and the tree will be right next to the piano in our home :)

I attempted numerous versions of a small wreath, and here is what came to be my favorite...

First, I started off with these plastic pearls from Michaels... They're a staple in my craft collection, and they're only $2.99. They will get you about 9 wreaths...

Then find a super old hymn book from your thrift store... I picked mine up for $1... You know when you have a good find when the book was printed in 1952, and smells extremely musty :)

For my particular book, I would rip out a few pages at a time, and cut them in to strips (the "hot dog" way). I got about 5 per page at about 5 inches each. Then I took 5 strips and glued them together like this:

I then cut some beading wire about the 15 inches long. At one end I made a loop... this is where you will tie your string or ornament hanger for it to hang off the tree.

I would then string the wire through the paper, add a pearl, then through the paper, then add a pearl, and so one and so on. I included a picture below (you can't see but there are also pearls on the other side of the paper as it alternates):

When you're finished, wrap the wire around the loop you made, and it should end up like this...

She's looking super cute, but I needed to make her cuter :) From Hobby lobby, I grabbed this stuff called Diamond Dust. It's not glitter, and looks a bit more like ice crystals.

Because Diamond Dust isn't glitter, I mixed it together with super fine glitter "dust" in a tupperware bowl to make it super sparkly...

Then with a paint brush, I painted on craft glue over the sides of the wreath....

Then dipped it in to the diamond/glitter mixture...

Then while the side already down is marinating in glitter, I painted the top.. and you end up with this!

But she still needs a bow! So I made a simple bow and rhinestoned the middle...

Then hot glued it on to the wreath, added a gold ribbon for it to hang from, and here is what I got!

I am absolutely in love with it... and so is Mr. Husband :) Now, hopefully I have the patience to make 10 - 15 more!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Backyard is finished!

If it seems like I haven't been a good blog poster lately it's because I haven't.... and it kills me to say that!! But I know it was worth it, because we finally finished our backyard! We finished last weekend, and laying the sod was the hardest part (in my opinion) of the entire process.... (go here to see where we started!)

They delivered the sod the night before, and it looked so innocent just hanging out in our drive way... but little did we know that each of these were going to weigh in excess of 30 pounds!

It was awful, but we're so happy with the final result! By the way... This grass will stay this way ALL winter... one of the many advantages of living in Arizona :)

I planted these all by myself : ) Geraniums and Mums...

Now I can finally get back to crafting!