Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas I find it hard to relax and enjoy all the things you have spent time making, baking, wrapping, crafting...or whatever it is you like to do to celebrate the holidays. So I try to snap photos as I go long so when I have the free time I can sit back, relax and enjoy the memories we have created with our family and friends.

As my kids get older I fear they will loose their excitement and Christmas spirit ... but so far I've been proven wrong (again)...

Christmas Morning...

Memories to be cherished forever!

Our House Decorated Outside for Christmas ...

This year our neighborhood civic association had a Christmas Light contest ... you probably all know I LOVE outside lighting so I was delighted to participate...Guess what - We WON!
Our house was one of the three winners this year!

We decorated the front of the house, side and back so it's really hard to get the full effect in photos.

Our Christmas Tree...
My daughter & son did all the decorating .. they did a wonderful job!

Some of our favorite ornaments...

Cookies ....

For more details on our Holiday Baking you can check out my cookie recipes here (I'll be back soon with recipes here)
Butter Cookies, Kolache, Apricot & Raspberry Pastries, Peppermint Bark, Homemade Marshmallow (Chocolate Cherry, Peppermint, Vanilla, and Toasted Cocounut)

My Family ...
Wishing you A Happy Holiday Season
An Awesome New Year to All !!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Tree

Every year since my son was born I've told myself this is the year I'll make an advent calender. Finally after 13 years I've actually done it..except I made an "Advent Tree"...

I was inspired by Anders Ruff (once again) with their printable Advent Calendar Treat Cones. I purchased them along with their printable Classic Holiday Collection from Etsy and made these cute little advent treat cones.

I wasn't sure what to do with them so I headed out shopping for ideas and came home with a small white pre-light Christmas tree that would fit perfectly in my kitchen (my husband will disagree with it's placement..hee hee) and some sparkly red and green ornaments that would just go perfect with this green, red and white theme.

I just love these Dragonfly & Merry Christmas ornaments!!

I made clips to hang the advent treat cones on the Christmas tree out of clothespins, ribbon and made use of the Classic Holiday printables to decorate the clothes pins. I think they came out adorable! It's my favorite decoration in the house!! I've made a tutorial on how to make these cute clothespin clips.


I plan to fill each cone with goodies such as candies and little notes with surprises (such as open a small gift, coupons for a family activity, etc.)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paper Covered Clothespin Tutorial

Paper Covered Clothespin Tutorial

This tutorial shows you how to make paper covered clothespins to be used to clip Anders Ruff Advent Calendar Treat Cones to an Advent tree, garland, calender, etc.

Note: This tutorial could be used to make any paper covered clothespin clip with scrapbook paper, decorative card stock, printable paper, or any type decorative heavy weight paper.

I like to work in assembly line .. Here is my workspace laid out to make the first set of Advent Cones and paper covered clothespin clips.

You will need:
Wooden clothespins
Decorative paper (I prefer heavy weight or cardstock)
Craft/Scrapbook tape-runner adhesive
1/8 or 1/4 inch ribbon

For each clothespin, cut out a 3 inch by 1 inch piece of cardstock or heavy weight decorative paper. I found that each Anders Ruff water bottle printable image worked perfect to make four strips for four clothespins.

Next, you will attach the 3 inch x 1 inch strip of decorative card stock paper to the clothespin using an all-purpose scrapbook/craft tape-runner adhesive. On the back side of the paper strip, place a strip of adhesive down the middle(longways).

Note: You could glue or decoupage to do the paper to clothespin(s). I was short on time and found this to be quick and the craft tape-runner adhered quite while.

Place your clothespin on top of the adhesive that you just placed down the back side of decorative paper strip.

At this point press firmly so that the paper adheres well to the clothespin...

I know, the paper strip is wider than the clothespin. You are going to take care of that now but doing some trimming ...

Turn the clothespin upside down so that the decorative paper side is facing down. Now with an X-acto knife, razor blade, mini rotary cutter, or any utility knife, trim the paper close to the edge of the clothespin.

See...A nice smooth cut and the paper fits perfectly

Don't worry that it doesn't cover the top of the clothespin .. you will be covering this up later. If you wish to not decorate the top of the clothespin you will want to cut the strip longer (such as 4 inches) in the previous step.

Next, cut one of the circles from the Classic Holiday collection printabales (you can use the circles on the water bottle printables or any of the cards in this collection).

Next, place a strip of adhesive down the middle on the backside of the cut out circle.

Place the circle on the center top of the clothespin...make sure to press firmly so that the circle cut out sticks well to the clothespin.

Next, cut a 12 inch piece of ribbon (i used 1/8 inch grosgrain ribbon) and tie it around the top side of the clothespin.

Make a bow

Trim the ribbon ...

Get your Advent treat cone and clip on your finished paper covered clothespin to the cone ...

Your done! It's that easy!!

Here are some finished paper covered clothespin clips with their Advent Cones ....

I used Anders Ruff Advent Treat Cones and embellished clothespins to make an Advent Tree.