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Holidays

Deck the Halls – Living Room

The halls are decked. The presents are still getting purchased and wrapped – shh, don’t tell! Come on in and grab a cup of cocoa and sit a spell… today we’re decorating the living room at my house with a little new and old.

Maybe you’d like to sit by the fireplace in the living room? We normally put our tree in the front window in the music room, but I couldn’t live without the sparkle in the living room so I added another tree here. Nature rules in this room with its large windows so I interspersed mercury glass ornaments with wood, burlap, and tiny grapevine wreaths.

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I love to customize the fireplace decor every year and I’m still loving my old window so why not hang a wreath, put out a little woodland menagerie, bottle brush miniatures and some candlelight.

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Vintage treasures include an old pair of child’s wooden skis that I love!
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And this old truck can easily carry a sisal tree home, complete with shiny bulbs!
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I think I’ll just sip my cocoa in here a bit before moving on to the next room. Happy Holidays!

12 Days of Projects – Day 12 DIY Advent Calendar

And we are here – Day 12 of the 12 Days of Projects – Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I started this venture on November 16 wanting to really commit to getting some craft projects done for myself, gifts for others, or things for selling at my friend’s shop, Moonstruck CLE. Thank you so much for coming along and sharing this mini journey. I have had a great time and got in gear for the holidays. Today I get to relax and eat turkey and pumpkin pie. Tomorrow I can move on to decorating for Christmas!

Today I’m sharing a project I actually made last year but it takes us so perfectly into the Christmas season, a DIY Advent Calendar, I wanted to share. The origins of advent calendars have to do with anticipating Christmas, the largest Christian holiday of the year. The days are Dec 1 – 24 and are marked off one by one with maybe a small bible verse (if solely religious) or treat (to mix in a little secular) to build the anticipation for the ultimate day, December 25.

Materials:
Kraft small envelopes
Rhinestone stickers
Round cardstock paper pieces (I bought round tags at the craft store)
Mini clothespins
Glue
Twine
Mini cards
Screw eyes (these are screws with a round “eye” at the top – I needed these as I wanted to hang my advent calendar on a wall under trim).
Photo Nov 26, 12 12 24 PM
Instructions:
This project is really simple, it’s just a little time-consuming…
1. Glue the round tags to the Kraft envelopes.
2. Stick the rhinestone stickers at the top of the round cardstock (over the holes in my case).
3. Cut two pieces of twine to accommodate your envelopes.
4. Screw the two screw eyes tightly into the angle of the trim and wall.
5. Thread the twine through each side and tie tightly.
6. Attach all the envelopes using the clothespins.
Photo Nov 26, 12 20 49 PM
And now we get to fill the envelopes! Because it’s just my husband and me in our household, we decided to alternate days to give each other advent gifts. And our “gifts” were notes written on cards (with maybe a small piece of candy or trinket) with one of two themes: (1) a favorite memory from the current year; or (2) an idea for an outing or date in the new year. I really enjoyed this addition to our holiday season and how it encouraged us to reflect on the current year and make plans for the new year. Have fun with it and create your own traditions. 🙂
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And thanks again for hanging out with me on my 12 Days of Projects! I hope you were inspired to do some creating yourself or at least enjoyed seeing some fun things. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and blessed holiday season. Talk to you again soon. 🙂

12 Days of Projects – Day 9 Cocoa Gift Mugs

After yesterday’s “giant” project of figuring out every option possible for printing on fabric (phew!), I’m super taking it down a notch for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Projects. Today I’m making cute and simple (with infinite variations possible!) Cocoa Gift Mug sets… or coffee or tea or or or…

Materials:
Mugs (or tea cups/saucers, wine glasses, anything!)
Cocoa (or coffee or tea, you get the idea. If you’re an over-achiever, make your own hot cocoa mix. There are tons of recipes on the interwebs – I just went with Starbucks cocoa packets for these.)
Ornaments, candy canes (or spoons or marshmallows or…)
Twine (or ribbon or wire or…)
Cellophane bags
Gift basket filler
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Instructions:
Open cellophane bag, insert cocoa and candy canes.
Tie bag shut with twine.
Hook ornament onto twine.
Fill mug with gift basket filler. Badabing, badaboom! Could not be easier.
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These are great as small gifts for a Christmas exchange, teachers, mailman, etc. Have fun creating, my friends!

12 Days of Projects – Day 5 Decoupage Coasters

Day 5 of “12 Days of Projects” and I am onto decoupaging! Some of the projects I’ve tackled are definitely easier/harder than others and I must admit, decoupaging has been a challenge for me at times. I suppose it’s not a challenge for a fun little art project that uses strips of paper and is very freeform like we all did in grade school. But it becomes a bear more when I want to do something precise, like round glass coasters. And I want the image or pattern to appear through the other side. I definitely have not perfected it, but will have fun trying. 🙂 I saw this cute Christmasy plaid paper and thought these would be a nifty little holiday project…here we go!

Materials:
Decoupage glue like ModPodge
Brush (I used a cheap foam craft brush)
Scissors
Paper (I used decorative paper)
Coasters (I got these from Ikea)
Xacto knife
Sandpaper (I used 220 grit)
Sharpie/black paint pen
Felt
Spray adhesive

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Instructions:
Step 1. Make a template or just cut the paper into circles around your glass coasters. It helps to get as close to the size you’ll want for your piece but we can do some trimming later, too.
Step 2. Brush a light layer of ModPodge on the underside of the coaster and on the pattern side of the paper. Lay the paper down on the glass, glue sides together, and position it before the glue sets (sorry for blurry pic, no time for a retake!)
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Step 3. Use some type of flat tool (i.e., a credit card or a Pampered Chef scraper or a plant marker) to “push” out any excess ModPodge from the center to the edge of the paper. This is where I have varying success and the art to decoupaging really comes in. If you push too hard, you can get streaks where you remove too much glue. If you get shiny spots, apparently that means too much glue. I’m sure if I did this every day I might get it right?!
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Step 4. Now comes the easy/hard part – let it dry for 15-20 minutes minimum. Set your timer and go pour another cup of coffee, get on some time-wasting social media site, etc. 🙂
Step 5. With the first layer of glue set, now you can trim the edges with an xacto knife (make sure it’s sharp or you will get tears in your paper). Then sand the piece lightly and perpendicular to the edges so that you won’t have any broken seams of the paper to the glass. Wipe off thoroughly.
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Step 6. Apply another thin layer of ModPodge to the underside of the coaster as a finishing coat. Let dry completely (15-20 min) and then lightly sand again.
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Step 7. Because I want to use these as drink coasters where they might be on a wood coffee table, I decided to protect the underside with black felt. I cut circles a little smaller than the coasters and then covered the white underside of the paper edges with Sharpie marker. I used spray adhesive to adhere the felt to the back of the coasters.
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Et voilÃ¥, glass coasters with a fun Christmasy plaid background! And hey, if you haven’t already, take a gander at the projects under the ‘ol belt so far…