Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sneak Peeks

I'm slowly, but surely, getting the house decorated for Christmas.  Wrangling 18-gallon totes down pull-down stairs to the attic while seven months pregnant isn't the simplest thing I've ever done.  The Christmas tree has been up since the day after Thanksgiving, but I've yet to decorate it. 

In between the holiday chaos, I've also been working on something for the "shared room".  Hence the constant whining about sanding, priming and painting.

I thought I'd give you a couple sneak peeks, just so you don't think I'm slackin' over here.  :o)

This is the third year of having a mantel at Christmas time.  One of the main reasons for building the fake fireplace was so I could have someplace to hang our stockings.  That sounds a bit excessive now that I say it out loud.  The first year I did a very symmetrical setup with matching containers of cyclamen on either end and candles in the middle.  This year, I pretty much did the exact same thing as last year, because I loved it so much.

Here's a teaser for ya:

Other than the tree, I came pretty close to finishing up with the decorating today.
I'll post pictures of everything once it's all done.

As for the other time sucker in my life right now, here's a glimpse of that:

Oh yeah, and this:

Those pieces are primed now, by the way.

And let's not forget these two:

They look pretty needy, don't they?

Baby Belly: 29 Weeks

If everything goes according to plan, I'm only 10 weeks out.  Holy mother.  I'm 7 months pregnant and I still randomly find myself just out of the blue thinking, Holy crap, I'm having a baby! 

I know my baby belly pictures aren't some super creative, fancy set-up that I see ideas for all the time, but they're more keepsakes for me than anything.  I didn't do any belly pictures of The Kid and The Girl, other than at the hospital, and I regret it.  I'm pretty sure the photos will be far less with round 3 than they were with round 1 (50 a day), so at least this one will have something that the other two don't. 

Okay, enough blabbing. 

Here's Baby at 29 weeks:

My shirts appear to be shrinking.
I'll need to speak to the laundry personnel about that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Felt Ornaments

Unauthorized readers, please move along.
This post is not to be viewed by immediate family.

I've been posting my DIY gifts on Saturdays, but in case you haven't counted, there are only three left until Christmas Eve, so I figured I had better step it up a bit before I run out of time.  

Like the homemade Christmas cards, my mom has made ornaments every year since I was born.  Crazy woman.  I entered the land of crazy the year The Kid was born.  I haven't decorated our tree yet, but when I do, I'll share the ornaments I've made in previous years.

I got this year's idea off of Pinterest.  There were hundreds of ideas to choose from, but I thought these would be fun for the kids.  The link on Pinterest is to an Etsy shop, so once again, I'm ripping off someone's idea.  She has ton's of different ones, so you should pop on in for more ideas, or to actually buy some.  I also made two more that are similar, and there is a link to a tutorial for those, so you can see how they come together.  I figured they were pretty self explanatory, so I'll just tell you how I did it, minus the photo tutorial.

Click here to see the originals.

You'll need:

Embroidery Floss
Poly Stuffing

I used three different sizes of circle cookie cutters to trace for the snowmen, then cut two layers of felt at a time so the front and back would match up.
To the front piece of felt, I sewed on the beads and used black floss to make knotted eyes.
I cut out arms from brown felt.
I started stitching the back and front together at the bottom and left a big enough hole to cram the stuffing in.
Then I stitched the rest up.
I cut out a scarf shape and glued it on with Tacky glue.
 I forgot to buy orange felt, so I dug into the kids' project bin and found orange craft foam for the nose and glued that on as well.
I used more embroidery floss to make a hanger.
Easy peasy.

For the trees, I did the same thing.  
I cut two tree shapes and a trunk.
Sewed the beads on first and then stitched the back and front together with some stuffing.

I plan to have more finished projects posted thoughout the week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Think Christmas

I picked up a free Christmas book at a garage sale this summer that was published in 1970.  I opened it up for the first time last week and it is AWESOME.  I've laughed out loud on numerous occasions and I've only gotten halfway through it.  It has craft projects, gift and decorating ideas, and recipes.  Let me remind you of the year it was published.  1970.  The pictures are drawings and the descriptions are witty.

The best part of the whole book is the introduction.  It's too perfect not to share.

Husbands Can't Win At Christmas Time
by Art Buchwald

     Washington - The American woman is probably the strongest, most sufficient, well-educated and well-balanced woman in the world.  The only thing she is unable to come to grips with is Christmas.
     Mention Christmas to an American wife and she'll immediately panic and start screaming hysterically and clawing the rug.  The holiday season seems to have the same effect on American women as LSD does.
     I think my mistake this year was unknowingly bringing the subject up.
     I came in the living room the other night singing:  "Deck the hall with boughs of holly," and my wife suddenly sat up and said, "My God, I forgot the holly."
     "Of course we need holly," she screamed.  "What are the children going to say if we don't have holly?"
     "They have a tree.  Isn't that enough?"
     "The tree's not tall enough.  I know it's not tall enough.  And the stand's no good.  I should have got a taller tree with a better stand."
     "I'm sure the tree will be just perfect," I said, kicking myself in the ankle.
     "Besides, the children are more concerned with what's under the tree than how high it is."
     "I know I didn't get them enough things," she cried.  "Jennifer has one more present than Connie.  But Connie has a bigger present, so if I got her the same number, Jennifer would feel cheated.  Now Connie will probably feel cheated.  Why didn't I use my head?"
     "IT DOESN'T MAKE any difference," I said, trying not to bite my tongue.  "Here, let's open our Christmas cards.  Now isn't this a beautiful card from Bill and Sarah Lewis?"
     "Oh, my God."  My wife jumped up.  "I forgot to send Bill and Sarah a Christmas card!  I knew I was working from the wrong list."
     "Well, there's no sense crying over spilled eggnog," I chortled.
     "Eggnog?  We have to go to the Trowbridges tomorrow night for eggnog, and I have to get to the hairdressers; and how can I get to the hairdressers if I don't find something for Joel; and I haven't bought anything for my mother, and even if I did I wouldn't be able to get near the post office to mail it; and I've got to buy Mary a present; and I haven't even ordered a turkey yet; and I've got to get to the dressmaker; and I haven't seen the kids in two days; and I haven't done a thing about the house bills and..."
     SHE WAS shaking.
     "It's all right, dear,"  I said, holding her tenderly.  "It will be over in a few days.  You have to be brave and remember that even Christmas goes away."
     "I guess I got carried away,"  she said.
     "It's all right.  Anybody can get carried away.  If you think you're in a state, you should see Kay Evans."
     My wife went white.  "Oh, my God.  We don't have anything for the Evanses."
     I started to bash my head against the wall.

Yes, the crazy spans the ages.
1970 or 2011, we women are NUTS!  
Happy Christmas planning!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Christmas Cards

If you are related to me by blood or marriage, please move along.
And that means ANYONE, not just immediate family.

Okay, so technically this isn't a gift, but it is homemade.  My mom has made her Christmas cards every year for as long as I can remember.  When my sister and I were young, I can remember being forced to help.  I swore I'd never take on yet another December to-do that I didn't find to be necessary.  Yeah well, famous last words.  I started making my own about three or four years ago.  Not for everyone on the mailing list, - yet - but I usually pump out about 25 or 30.  

I had planned on doing something completely different from what I actually did, but went with these only for the simple fact that I could make them without having to go to the store. I had everything I needed.  I'll save the other idea for next year.

All you need is blank cards or cardstock, scrapbook paper, paper cutter, scissors and glue.  The paper cutter isn't necessary, but it sure does save some time.

Cut out strips with the paper cutter, or scissors, that are about 1/2-inch wide.

Use your scissors to cut them into shorter lengths and glue them onto your cards to make trees.

Cut out a trunk and whatever shape you'd like for the topper.

Here's ours, and yes, I made the kids help, although, they're still young enough to enjoy it:

Now I need to write in them and get them in the mail!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Since I never had the chance to pop in and say Happy Thanksgiving yesterday, I thought I'd poke my head in today with some pictures of our feast.  Dinner was at my aunt's house and my contribution was Cauliflower Gratin, (which I'll share the recipe to in another post), and sugar cookies.

I hope everyone who celebrated, enjoyed the day with their families.

Here's a look at ours:

How did I forget to take a picture of my mom's pies!!??

I had a moment of insanity last night, which led to me leaving the house at 10pm to hit up a couple of the early bird sales.  
I didn't get home until 2:30am.  
I haven't been up that late since pre-kids.
Then The Kid woke me up at 6:30 this morning and I headed out to the stores again.
Yes, insanity.
This mom seriously needs a nap.
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