Recyclables Turned Christmas Accents

November 26, 2011

Sometimes it pays not to recycle!  Well, I suppose it really only pays not to recycle if you are going to find a new purpose for said recyclables.  Reduce, reuse, recycle!  We are a "go green" family and proud!

I had set aside a few empty, glass bottles over the last week in hopes of coming up with a brilliantly crafty way to use them.  I wanted color and texture in different shapes and sizes and that is what I got!  I love my new Christmas accent candy!

These are simple to make, but a little time consuming {perfect for an evening with a glass of red wine and your favorite movie playing in the background}.  I spent about an hour on the aqua bottle and the snowman {to DIE for - use an unopened bottle of wine and this baby is a great holiday party host gift or neighbor gift!} and I'm not sure how long on the red, must have been at least two hours {I had a lot of distractions during that one - kids...}.

I love picture tutorials and I am certain you must too {?}.  Would you like to learn how to make these handy photo collages?  Check out Kendra's easy peasy step-by-step tutorial over at Key Lime Digital Designs.  I am a collage fiend now!  Someone stop me!

I love when my projects turn out even better than I had hoped!

Check back tomorrow for the unveiling of my re-purposed, baby food jar, candle chandelier!

Homemade Gift Ideas

Ariana's Sweet Shoppe Birthday {A Little Something to Entertain Until I Return From the Mountains on Sunday}

November 25, 2011

In October my sister put together a sweet shoppe birthday party for my darling niece, Ariana.

It was a big hit with the kiddos {and the grown-ups, but don't tell anybody}, I mean, look at all this loot!

And you HAVE to love this cake that I made for my sweet little Bia.  My sister sent me a link of what she wanted it to look like {check it out here} and I delivered!

We did have one minor candle blowing incident...

My daughter, Maia, is to Ariana's right and as you can see here the candles are being blown out by her, not the birthday girl.  This put a damper on the spirits of the birthday girl.  She finally emerged from her bedroom...

... but her candle blow out was a little bit "ho hum."  As you can see Maia is in glumsville because she got in trouble for blowing out Miss Ariana's candles.  Oh, birthday drama!

Here are a few other shots of the birthday set-up.  

What a great party it was!  Birthday parties around here are done big and require complete family cooperation.  Put us all together and we do a great job!

We love us some Ariana!

The Thanksgiving Decor Train is Leaving the Station! All Aboard!

November 23, 2011

This is it folks, last stop on the Thanksgiving craft train! Choo choo!

Part of my crafting goal on Monday was to create a low key Thanksgiving centerpiece for our Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday afternoon.  Ella Bella cooperated enough to allow me to start the centerpiece on Monday and this afternoon I was able to finish it off while my gingersnap cookies baked {for our evening Thanksgiving I was assigned the pumpkin cheesecake from this month's Bon Appetit - YUM - and it has a gingersnap cookie crust - YUM again!}.

I used one of our long, wooden serving trays that we received as a wedding gift {Thanks Amanda!} and filled it with river rocks that I bought at Dollar Tree {I used half of one bag of small and half of one bag of large rocks}.  I topped the river rocks with the three mini pumpkins that I've kept around since Halloween, and that was as far as I got on Monday.

Today I created the ADORABLE bunting, reading "thanks" on one side and "giving" on the other using scraps of muslin and my favorite Sharpie oil-based paint markers. I will probably add a few tealight candles around it for the big day.

For this year's intimate gathering this sprinkling of pizazz will do just the trick. 

Next year we are hoping to host a bigger Thanksgiving to-do and I cannot wait to go all out!

I hope you and yours have a truly blessed day tomorrow {and every day thereafter}!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I'm a winner! I'm a winner!

Jen over at Tatertots & Jello puts together some awesome giveaways!  Last week she had a whole gaggle {yes, a gaggle} of giveaways and I {drumroll please} won one!  

**cue happy happy smile dance**

I was dragging my feet this morning {as usual} and just could not bring myself to exit my cozy bed and enter the real world of children and cleaning for tomorrow's festivities.  I laid there with one eye open, skimming TT&J to see if the winners to her most recent giveaways were posted.  As I scrolled down the list of lucky folks I got more and more anxious, and then ...


I jumped out of bed so fast that I almost fell into the dresser!

The FABULOUS Kendra of Key Lime Digital Designs will be transforming my blog into the next big thing come January!  I could not be more excited!  I had just been telling my husband last night about how desperately I wanted to win the blog re-design.  I must be doing something right in life because my prayers were answered!

During this season of thanks I just want to give a quick shout out to Jen and Kendra - Thank you so much for doing what you do and bringing a smile to my face {and so many others!}!

**Watch for my last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece later today.**

A Last Minute Attempt at a Thanksgiving Wreath

November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving week is here!  Yikes, it comes so fast!  

We will be hosting an intimate Thanksgiving lunch in our home for my side of the family and joining my husband's side of the family at his aunt's home in the evening.  This is the first time we have hosted a Thanksgiving meal and we are really looking forward to it {finally we will be the ones with all the yummy leftovers for days!}.

Today I am making some last minute efforts to add a little more Thanksgiving cheer to our humble abode.

During Tiny's morning snooze I was able to whip up a Thanksgiving wreath for the door and my goal for her afternoon siesta is a low key table centerpiece {hopefully Ella cooperates}.

Here is what I came up with this morning:


1.  Select your pinecones and lay out your design.

2.  I found that it was easier to glue the pinecones securely together if I pushed the tip of the pinecone apart to create a deeper, wider opening.

Fill the space you've created with hot glue.

Repeat until the wreath base is complete.

3.  Select an assortment of Fall fabrics to create your festive bunting.

4.  Stamp your selected words on the fabric.

5.  On the back of the fabric {so as not to leave any visible marks}, trace a circle around each stamped letter and cut out the circles.

6.  Pin the circles onto your Fall fabrics and cut out a square around the circle.

7.  Using Liquid Stitch, glue the circles onto the squares.

8.  Using hot glue, glue a stick across the width of your wreath base and attach a ribbon to the wreath's top for hanging.

9.  Using hot glue, glue the squares on your wreath.  My bunting reads "give thanks" so I glued "give" across the center and "thanks" along the right side of my wreath.

10.  Hang and enjoy!

I cannot wait to enjoy two amazing meals with two amazing families!

I hope your last minute preparations are going as smoothly as mine!  

**This project is linked at Skip to my LouSumos Sweet Stuff, Measured by the Heart and
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