Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Sneak Peeks

Hi Everyone.  Are you all sick of turkey yet?  I've said it before but I will say it again, I LOVE this time of year.  It was been one productive weekend for this family.  We got the tree up and decorated and surprisingly my son enjoyed helping with the lights and ornaments. 

It is hard to believe but this tree only cost us $15 and it is PERFECT.  There isn't a thing wrong with it.  It is so perfect in fact, that my husband is convinced it will be dead before Christmas (because he can't find anything else wrong with it).  That happened once when I was growing up, our tree died before Christmas came but my mom and dad made the best of it by making a Christmas tree out of strings of lights on our wall.  Christmas wasn't ruined then and it won't be ruined now.  I'm hoping when Santa comes to drop off presents this year that he finds time to patch all those holes in my walls....I have my doubts.

My husband has been working hard this weekend so I rewarded him with some pumpkin cheesecake made in muffin cups. I made up the recipe after I couldn't find one that I liked on the web.  I put a Nilla Waffer on the bottom of each cup and filled them with a cream cheese layer and a pumpkin layer and swirled the layers with a toothpick.  They tasted delicious but a graham cracker crust would have tasted better...or a ginger snap bottom would have been great. 

Of course I found a few minutes (wink) to work on some crafts.  I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  I'm working on planning my favorite card class of the year.  The December card class has traditionally become the month where we make small gifts for others.  This year is no exception.  Here are a few sneak peaks of what I have planned for those that attend.

Here is a cute way to gift hot cocoa to someone in your life.  I cut off the top of a clear box and used tacky tape to line it up with ribbon.  I added this die cut snowflake to the outside.  Inside the box you will find fixings for a great cup of cocoa including Starbucks hot chocolate, a bag of marshmallows, and a candy cane.  This makes a simple and inexpensive gift for a teacher, coworker, or friend.

This next sneak peak is a beautiful gift card holder.  I really love this.  I like most things that I make but this item I just really love.  It is so pretty.  I used grey cardstock as the base.  The poinsettia is made with vellum paper.  It is a simple and beautiful way to give way a gift card.

I'm also working on a clay ornament as well but I don't have all the details of this gift worked out yet.  A quick picture of it {in progress} is at the top of this post.

I hope you love my sneak peaks.  I hope you love them so much you will think about checking out my etsy shop: Furloughed Time and possibly buy them because this weekend I got my husband to agree to this crazy idea that I can buy an ipad once I make enough money from my crafts (after accounting for expenses).  He agreed to this because he knows just how much I spend on my crafts each month but for those of you that know me, you know just how stubborn and determined I can be.  This situation is no exception.  I am determined to make this goal in 2012, it will be tough, but I am determined.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Less Stress

 I promised myself that this holiday season will be different then the last.  Last year I was so overwhelmed and stressed that by the time the holidays were over I felt exhausted and defeated by the whole season of giving.

I'm doing several things different this year in the hopes that I will have more time for family and friends and spend less time feeling anxious about what still needs to get done.  One of my solutions to creating a less stressed holiday season (notice I didn't say no stress) is to be better organized this year.  Is there a better way to feel more organized than with this cute little Holiday Planner?  I don't think it could be possible.

 This book will be my saving grace, the end to my stress filled fights with my hubby, my "little black book" with all the answers.  Maybe I can get it to wash the dishes for me too!  Now seriously folks, don't you just wish for once that life could become just a little bit easier?   I certainly do.  I guess that is what I'm hoping this Holiday Planner can do for me.

I made three A2 envelopes using the Martha Stewart's Scoring Board and cut off all but 1/2 inch on two of the flaps and left the third envelope whole.  I glued the flaps to the back side of each envelope and created an accordion fold out of the three envelopes.  I decorated the envelopes with patterned paper and die cut a few shapes to each.

There is an envelope for "to do" lists, "to buy" lists, and "to bake" lists.  Those are my essential categories during every holiday season.  Of course this is versatile enough to fit any need.  It conveniently fit inside a purse so I can easily travel with it EVERYWHERE.

If you love this as much as I do, let me make one for you!  Head on over to my etsy shop for details.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Christmas Cards Already?

Sleigh Bells ring...are you listening.  Yeah, you know the holidays are right around the corner when local radio stations start playing their Christmas music.  While it might be a tad too early to start listening to Christmas music, it isn't too early to start crafting cards for the season.  

I have designed all my holiday cards for my card class to be held later this month and I got to tell you, it feels great to be ahead of the game for once. Here are five very different card ideas for this holiday season.

This cute little card is called "Season's Greetings".  This card is for those of you that appreciate simple design. The "season's greetings" is embossed with red glitter.  There is an image of a reindeer, penguin, and snowman all with a red accent.  The outside reads: "Season's Greetings".  The inside reads: "Wishing you the happiest of holidays filled with more joy & happiness than your heart can hold".

This card is called "Christmas Poinsettia".  Poinsettias are so pretty, I think this one is no exception. There is a lot of die cutting to this card but it creates a lovely finished look.  The outside reads:  "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear".  The inside reads: "Wishing you the happiest of holidays".

This card is called "Sleigh Ride".  It features a cute winter scene.  There is glitter that lines the tip of the snowdrifts.  The outside reads:  "Sending Holiday Cheer".  The inside reads: "Have a very merry Christmas with family, friends & everyone you hold close to your heart".

 This card is called "Bold Snowflake".  It uses two die cut snowflakes laid on top of one another with every other tip being frosted with glass crystals.  The outside reads: "Sending Christmas Cheer. Dec. 25th. photo no."  The inside reads: "May the holiday season bring happiness & joy to you and your loved ones".

 This last card is titled, "Happy Holidays".  This is a tri-fold card that is perfect for displaying a family photo.  The outside reads "best wishes for a happy holiday and a wonderful new year".   The inside panel reads: "Merry Christmas" and gives you a space to write in the date of the picture.  The other inside panel reads: "Peace Joy & Love". Yet another inside panel reads: "Merry & bright. happy holidays. sweetest holiday wishes. love peace joy. believe".

All cards are made with Papertrey Ink Stamps.   The blank tri-fold cards can also be found on PTI's website.

Contact me if you are interested in buying some of these lovely little gems.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

So another Halloween has come and gone.  My son went as a rocket man this year.  I made the costume from two liter soda bottles that were spray painted silver.  I used crepe paper as the "flames".  I saw the original idea on Pinterest via Sewing in No Man's Land.

 I love making his Halloween costumes each year.  I like this one because it isn't a licensed cartoon character that belongs to some else.  This one gets to the heart of imagination.  I can see him using this for dress up in the future.

Trick or Treat day was terrible rainy mess here in Wisconsin.  We attempted to take my son to Grandma and Grandpa's house but the weather was just not cooperating.  Grandma and Grandpa offered a better alternative, "Let's just take him to Wal-Mart and we'll buy him a big bag a candy and call it a day."  DONE, DONE, AND DONE.  When he went to the bathroom he pumpkin was filled with candy, when he saw all the candy his eyes nearly popped out of his hear, needless to say, he was one happy little boy.

Yeah, I know, going to a store and filling up is cheating, but it was 40 degrees outside and raining!  This is the first year we've been rained out.  I've had him dress up since he was a baby.  I've made all of his costumes so far.  Here are the others:

He was Charlie Brown (with a hat because it was really cold).  This was inspired by his bald head.  This was a no-sew outfit. I cut out the chevron strip from black felt and secured it to a cheap yellow sweatshirt using fusible web. Fusible web is a non-sewer's dream come true.  You just iron it on and it fuses the two fabrics together (probably not long term but for a Halloween costumes that will only get worn a couple of times, no problem).   

When he was one year's old, he went as a dinosaur. This one was inspired by his love for, duh... dinosaurs.  This was another no-sew outfit.  I used green scour pads, cut them in half and hot glued them onto his hat, vest, and tail.  The tail was made from a piece of brown felt.  The most expensive part of this outfit was the brown vest from Old Navy for $10 (double my normal clothing rule of $5) but it was really an essential piece of this outfit so I made an exception to my clothing rule.  

Last year, he went as an airplane.  I used a cardboard box for all the parts (and a red plastic cup for the propeller) and spray painted the whole thing silver.  I added two shoestrings to the top so he could keep the costume on but I got to tell you: he hated it.  For most of that day my sister walked around wearing the costume for him.

She makes a cute airplane, doesn't she?  People were really nice and understanding about the whole, "I'm two, I want candy, and no I won't wear a stupid costume for you."  Oh the joy of two year olds :)


Well, we're on to a new month already, I don't know where the months go.  This is my favorite time of year.  I know you don't want to hear this but Christmas is only a short 7.5 weeks away and I am busy planning for the holidays.  We have a busy month in this household including our first family vacation and Johnathan's first airplane ride.  I'll be back in a few days with some more craft projects, until then:  find some time to craft!