Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Celebrating Family With Personalized Art Work

Today, I'm going to give you
a sneak-peek into
my house.

This is my favorite wall
in my family room.

We recently rearranged our
family room
to make it more
family (user) friendly.

By mixing things up
it keeps life a bit more interesting
since we spend so much time at home.

It also gave us more room
for playing trains,
Wii,
puzzles,
pillow forts, etc.

It also gave us a
big blank wall
that
needed some
art work.

I prefer to
use what we have
when it comes to decorating.

I happened to have three canvases in my
art studio
with a half finished painting
I didn't like.

I gessoed over the painting
with black gesso
(for you non-artist folks,
it works like a primer on canvas)

Bonus: It's a wrapped canvas so I just painted
the sides black = no need to frame!

Then, I enlisted the Frog Princess
to help me paint
the canvases with fun
bold brush strokes
in acrylic craft paint.

We painted one canvas in shades of Red and Orange.
The second one in Yellows and Greens.
The third in Blues and Violet.

Then I printed a collection
of favorite family photos
on photo paper
(with our computer printer)
from the past few years.

The girls helped me sort the photos
into categories by their main colors,

(if you're not sure, just squint
to see what the dominate color-scheme is...)

I played with the photos
on the dry painted canvases
with scraps of various papers
from my ephemera collection....

Once I had everything where I liked it,
I just started Modge-Podging (yes it's a verb)
the papers and photos
to the canvas with
Matte finish Mod Podge
and a foam craft brush.

We also raided my stash
of hardware store
paint samples.

I cut out flower shapes
from the paint samples
with my Ellison press
and used small
scrap-booking grommets
to attach them to the canvas
(just poke a tiny hole with an exacto-knife)

I love this little metal bookmark
the Frog Princess made me
with a scrap of embossing foil
when we did this project
last year.

I just used a little grommet to attach
it to the canvas.

I just love it,
it makes me smile every time
I look at it.

Color your walls
and your family
with LOVE
in the New Year.

* * This project was featured on Mod Podge Rocks! * *
Thanks so much Amy : )

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Homemade Christmas Crafts: Easy Ornaments with Craft Supplies on Hand


I used to love making ornaments
like these when I was a little girl.

My own little girls like making them too!



Just fold some lace "accordian style"
string it on pipe cleaners with some beads
and you've got festive little
wreaths and candy canes to hang on the tree or in a sunny window!


When the weather outside is frightful...
we craft.


We've been making
pushpin and bead ornaments

and


Pom-pom and
rainbow yarn
garland for the trees.

Some
simple crafts
for these quiet days
before Christmas.

I will be taking a blogging break
for a few days to enjoy
the holidays with my little family.

Wishing you all a very safe
and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Re-cycled Christmas Wrapping Paper Fashion Show!

Some of you Super Greenies
out there won't have any
paper gift wrap
this holiday season...

But,
this post is
for the rest of us.


"Shades of Red and Peppermint Ball Gown"

Those of us who are recipients from
generous grandparents.

Those of us who have children
attending public schools
with a major annual
gift wrap sales fundraiser
(clogging our closets and under bed boxes with
rolls of fun two-sided prints)

WE will have
a bit of paper leftover on
Christmas morning.

Before you haul it off to the
recycling bin,

Give your kids some tape
and staplers.

Get your camera ready.

Crank up the
Wookies and Cats Meowing Jingle Bells

and...
have yourself a
Merry Little
Fashion Show!


"Chickadee Print Mermaid-Style Gown"

Moms, dads, and grandparents
are welcome participants!

Homemade Christmas Crafts: Drinking Straw and Bead Stars


I saw this fun craft idea
in a parenting magazine and showed it to the girls.

The best part was it was a craft
that we could all do.

Mini-Saurus and I teamed up on the "Rainbow Star"
and the Frog Princess made hers all by herself.



Just lay out 5 pipe cleaners
and start stringing beads
and bits of cut up straws on them.

Once you finish stringing them...
It is easier if you lay
the straws on your table
in a star shape before you
try to connect them.

Just twist the ends
of the pipe cleaners together
(to connect them)
at each point of the star.

NOTE: For better stability,
I recommend twisting the pipe cleaners
together where they overlap on the star.


They make me happy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Homemade Christmas Crafts: Christmas Tree Sewing Lesson




and couldn't wait to make trees
with my girls.


First we cut out symmetrical trees
from a piece of folded over felt.

Then, we pinned them to
the center of our fabric.


You could have the child sew the tree
to the fabric by hand,
but since I was doing this with
younger children,
I sewed the tree to the fabric
with my sewing machine.

Stretch your fabric
in an embroidery hoop.

(Note: you could paint the hoop
or let your child decorate it
with markers for more bling)

Help your child thread a needle
and sew beads,
buttons,
jingle bells
to the tree to decorate it.

The Frog Princess drew stars
with an orange sharpie on yellow felt
and cut them out as tree toppers.


Frog Princess loved it,
(she kept saying she was having sewing lessons
just like Felicity and Kirsten
from the AMG books)

Mini-Saurus quit on the second button
but she did like
picking out the bling
for the tree and having me sew it on
for her.

A sweet wall hanging
or ornament to showcase
a lovely first sewing lesson!

The perfect project to come inside
and warm up with
when your yard looks like this!

Happy Snow
Day
Week!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celebrating Christmas: St. Lucia Was Here


A scene from our house last weekend...
"Saint Lucia invites you to breakfast."

This is what happens when you read
"Kirsten's Surprise"
(from the American Girl Doll book series)
to your 6.5 year old.

She raided dad's white undershirts to make her "dress"

The silk scarves in the playroom for the
red sash and green wreath.

A wreath form from my art studio.

One of my battery operated votive candles
from the kitchen table centerpiece.

and...

Some of grandpa's yummy
blueberry orange bread
to serve on a play kitchen plate.

Pretty cute.

Good thing she didn't try to put
candles on her head!




Saturday, December 19, 2009

Homemade Christmas Gifts: Shrinky Dink Photo Ornaments


What could be more fun
and more personal
than Christmas Ornaments
with family photos?!

I was SO EXCITED
when I found ink jet printable
shrinky dink film
at our local craft store (Michaels).

I got to work making ornaments
for teachers, bus drivers,
grandmas, and myself!


The Mini-Saurus and her sassy self
in her red glitter shoes.
(made one for me
and one for grandma)

You have to read the directions
and adjust your printer
color settings
to dilute the color and crank up the contrast.

I trimmed my corners of my film
with my scrapbooking corner rounder punch.

I used a star shaped hole punch
for most of the ornaments.

After they baked in the oven,
I used gold craft wire,
needle nose wire pliers, and
assorted glass beads from my
collection to make the "hangers"


Teacher gift for Mini-Saurus'
preschool teacher
(photo of them on the first day of school)


The Frog Princess' Bus Driver.
(Bus Driver Gift)
remember the hand sanitizer
we made last year?


Another Teacher Gift
The Frog Princess and her teacher this year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Homemade Christmas Gifts: Stocking Stuffer Exchange


is hosting the
Handmade Stocking Swap 2009.
I had 14 kids to make goodies for
ranging in age from
10 months old to 6 years old!!


I made a Crinkle Fleece Star
for the 10 month old.


Felt pouches for each of the three
1 year-olds containing
my Rainbow



And finally...did you guess it?

for all of the big kids.


I saved mini plastic bottles
from drive-through chocolate milk
(thank you Burger King)
and small water bottles
to use as our rice bottles.

I made a big batch of rainbow rice
with the girls.

Then we added tiny goodies
to the rice and bottles:
birthday candles, paper clips,
pom-poms, mini toothpick flags,
beads, polly pocket shoes,
a shiny penny, feathers, etc.

I super-glued the lids
onto the bottles
so there won't be any spills!

What are you putting in
your stockings this year?!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homemade Christmas Gift: Stocking Stuffer Preview

I participated in the kid's stocking stuffer gift exchange

Any guesses about what I made for the big kids
in our stocking stuffer exchange?

I'll give you three hints:

One...


Two...


Three.


Okay...now guess.

If you know me and my blog
this won't be too hard!

* Homemade Christmas Crafts: Pine Cone Elves


I participated in the
and this year's theme was "Fairy Tales"


I don't know why, but for some reason the first thing
that came to my mind were pine cone elves when I heard this theme.


So, I embarked on a mini crafty journey
to make some little elf friends to spread some holiday cheer.
I used a small pine cone for the body
(yummy cinnamon scented ones swiped borrowed from a potpourri mix!)
and a wooden bead for the head (attached with glue gun)
The faces were drawn with permanent markers.

The arms and legs were made with brown pipe cleaners
trimmed and tucked into the pine cones.
(A dab of glue from the glue gun kept them from dismembering themselves.)


I hand-sewed the hatfrom felt, then added a dab of
glue to keep them in place.
Their scarves are scraps of my rainbow fleece.


The mittens and shoes were cut from felt scraps
and glued in place around the tips of the pipe cleaner appendages.


My elfy friends waving goodbye as they set off on their
cross-country adventures for the ornament swap!

I made a couple of extras for our tree but my kids stole them...
I think they're visiting Fairy Land.


A very sad photo of my elves when they were starting out!

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