Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas!

Well it's finally here- somehow Christmas always comes sooner than we feel like it will! I just finished my shopping today- yikes. I always have that goal to finish in November but it never happens. Maybe next year!

I'm looking forward to a holiday filled with good food, gifts, and my wonderful family. Can't wait! 

With that I'm wishing you a 

See you in 2011 {ooh I like how that looks}!

Monday, December 20, 2010

cameras and such


I'm still unable to pull the pictures off the camera, I'm so sorry about the tutorial this week. Please accept my apologies, I will be posting it but unfortunately not by Christmas.


So I couldn't go too much longer without apologizing for my un-extraordinary photos... the fact is our digital camera broke a few months back and all I have to take pictures is this lovely {non-smart} flash-less phone. 

Since most of my pictures are taken at night {after girlies are in bed} the pictures don't turn out as I would like. 

But there is hope.

I am hoping/praying for the following: 

No. 1:
 a new phone that can take much better photos and video {obviously a necessity for a mama}
I'm looking at getting the iPhone when it comes to Verizon- thoughts? I'm a Mac girl after-all.

No. 2 :
a digital SLR- for pretty pictures for the blog {and the kiddos of course} 
I've wanted one for years, but saved for it? That's another story. Oh how I want one though.
Opinions on brands? 


With all that said, the pictures for the tutorial are trapped on a borrowed broken camera. Bummer. I will try and find a way to get them off soon, so sorry!

I can't wait for a decent camera!


In the mean time I'm hanging out at my mom and dad's {aka grandma and grandpa's} house and having fun relaxing with the girls, studying genealogy {my whole family is from this area}, and enjoying the house I grew up in.

Happy Christmas {week}.

favorite toys

We decided to have the girls open some presents since we had some family in town. Since it's prime Christmas toy buying time, I thought I'd share some of my very favorite toys.

I love toys that are educational and promote creative thinking.

Ok confession: this is actually MY favorite toy! Zuriah got some {along with Tinker Toys} for Christmas from Nana- I played with them for hours!
How fun is this wooden puzzle? I couldn't find the company that made it, but if you Google "snail wooden puzzle" you can find it to buy.

We discovered Calico Critters when we were in Colorado at a little toy boutique. Zuriah LOVES them. She always pretends to be little animals so I thought they were perfect- they have all different animals from bunnies to elephants. 

I love the food by Melissa and Doug. They are so pretty and you can cut them open {they have velcro connecting them} There are all different types of food as well- I love the birthday cakes!

Pretty toy kitchens... what child is without? I love this one because of the colors and the laundry! {by Little Tykes}

This is the doll house we got for Z for Christmas- it comes with all the furniture and was pretty affordable online. {Considering most doll houses you need to furnish yourself} Doll houses are great because girls learn how to play family.

Construction blocks are wonderful- Zuriah will play hours with simple blocks like these making cities, castles, caves, she loves them. 


We are at home in Iowa for the week, it's so nice to be 'home.' I'll be posting a tutorial tomorrow on the recipe book I talked about last week {a bit of camera difficulty today unfortunately}. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas week!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a present and christmas cards

I've mentioned before that I just adore my mom's group. We just had a wonderful Christmas party {turkey dinner included} and handmade gift exchange. So here's what I made:

A handmade recipe book 

And some sheet music garland. Happily it went to my friend who had been looking for a recipe book just like this. I love it when that happens. I received beautiful handmade cards. I love handmade cards! {Well I just love handmade anything!}


In other news all my Christmas cards are complete! I designed two cards I'll share with you:

but failed to get them printed in time... sad. Had to rely on Walgreens this year:

Still pretty {and two minutes to make and an hour to print} just not my design.

but addressed and ready.

Christmas is coming!

Monday, December 13, 2010

craft room: go!

We're about to add a bedroom downstairs that will be a guest bedroom/office. Really it will be MY office which means it will be crafting paradise! I'm beyond excited as you can imagine. {Especially since right now my 'craft room' is my dining room and my storage space is behind the chair in the living room and in other random spots around the house- blah!}

So as I embark on designing a craft room from scratch I thought I'd share with you some of my inspiration so far. {Keep in mind I'm working with limited space, our room is 7 1/2' x 10 1/2'}

I LOVE this desk! Look how big the top is! Perfect for cutting fabric or doing big projects.
PS... I would totally make mine from this plan off

Look at this storage amazingness from Smashed Peas and Carrots
MINI FABRIC BOLTS! Can you say genius!? 

Limited space? No worries! 
And you can hide it all when you're done! 

although would require much more space... lovely.

Yes please. I love the LABEL pulls. Aren't labels wonderful??

I want that kind of paper storage- for that pesky 12"x12" scrapbooking paper that fits no where!

Can't say enough about this perfect space from inspiration headquarters, Pottery Barn

I love the shabby look of tis room- and the separate table for cutting or projects.

And of course what craft room isn't complete without a vast array of thread - organized perfectly. And don't forget the ribbon! {Putting ribbon on a spindle like this is the only way to store it... I've found}


The most important things to remember when designing YOUR craft room are:

*LOVE your space*
Pick colors and furniture you love and makes you happy- you will want to be in a room that makes you happy!

You won't want to return to a space that is cluttered and crazy, so organize on the front end so you don't ever get to that point: that means no 'etc. drawers'. Have a jar for buttons, pegs for thread, shelves for paper, mini drawers for zippers, and magnets. You get the idea. Everything has a place and everything having a place is bliss!

For ours so far I'm leaning toward that first table/cubby system because it's compact and useful. I think I'll do shelves on the wall with lots of jars! I also want a day bed like this one so our room can double as a guest room {always useful} plus, those extra storage compartments could come in handy:

{this Pottery Barn plan is also found on ana-white} 


I love redesigning rooms! Hope you're inspired to make your own craft room too!

Friday, December 10, 2010

christmas centerpiece tutorial {a few dollars & 10 min}

What you need:

Pinecones {I found mine at a park!}
Candles {I already had these}
Glitter stem from Hobby Lobby floral section {at half price it's $1 something}
Wire cutters
Spray paint {$.97 from Wal-Mart} 
Silver glitter {optional}


First I spray painted the pinecones- it took NO time at all, it took less than a minute to spray and a few minutes to dry. If you want to add glitter to the pinecones, do it while the paint is still wet.

Then I cut off the little leaves from the glitter stem using wire cutters

Set the candles in the middle of the tray {I had this tray, but you can use anything, even a plate}

The filled it with pinecones then the leaves


And so pretty!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the wonders of die-cutting

A few weeks ago I made an impulse investment purchase on a die-cut* machine. I was at Archiver's and just happened to buy the Big Shot on super sale {that is I was given a coupon}. I must say after buying it I don't regret it AT ALL. I'm SO excited about all the possibilities with this thing!

First of all, the Big Shot is not the Cricut or Silhouette machine. It's not computerized in any way {which I'm kind of glad for, I'd rather it just be manual, I feel like less could break that way and it's less complicated, oh and it's less expensive!}. And it's really versatile. I can use practically any brand of letterpress, die-cutting, or embossing products with it. 

*If you're like me a few weeks ago, you have no clue what "die-cutting" means. It's simply a machine that will cut all kinds of intricate shapes and patterns for all sorts of materials: paper, cardstock, fabric, chipboard etc.

Look at all the fun stuff I can make!

pretty envelopes!

notice the embossing as well 


How fun! Here's where you have to be careful though, the machine it self is about $60 or $70 with a coupon from Archiver's, but to use it you'll need to buy embossing folders, die-cuts, letterpress supplies... you could really go crazy. I'm starting to in fact. I'm glad Christmas is right around the corner, I'm hoping to get lots of this extra stuff so I can begin making pretty cards and invitations! I've also seen all that stuff on Craigslist too, you can keep an eye out if you want to get in to it.

Anyway, you can see I'm excited, I hope you're inspired! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

it's christmas {party} time! {and our silhouettes winner!}

Planning a holiday party this year? I just love get togethers, for any reason, but especially for CHRISTMAS!

Take a look through these beautiful party ideas and be inspired!

Party No. 1 

Vintage Rudolf 

Party No. 2

Traditional Christmas 

Party No. 3

Red and Aqua Sweet Snoflake

Party No. 4 

Gingerbread Playdate
by Savvy Mom's Guide

Party No. 5

Silver White and Red Dessert Table


Announcing the Silhouettes winner!

Didn't win? I'd still love to make you some silhouettes! Visit my shop and shoot me an email.


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