Saturday, December 28

Trimming the Tree & Their Favorite Things

Hey, remember me? I may have let the old blog slip a little in the midst of all the Christmassy-ness to be enjoyed. So you guys are in for a whole bunch of Christmas posts in January! You know, because I took all the pictures but none of them made it here yet. While I was not blogging, I found a new favorite phrase popping up on facebook - "sorry, not sorry." And you know what? I think it's true. Part of me feels like I should be sorry I didn't post, but most of me wouldn't trade the time spent decorating trees, making cookies, wrapping presents, and celebrating the birth of our Savior for anything. I'm learning more and more that time with my boys is precious and not worth wasting. So guys.... Sorry. Not Sorry.

Such a freeing phrase, huh? But I'm glad to be back, and excited to share some pics from trimming our tree and our traditional "favorite things" ornament for this year!

Of course, Big Brother picked a favorite spot to concentrate his ornaments.

And my favorite is his ornament-on-ornament technique.

Excellent clustering. This kid's a pro.

And this years "favorite thing" is.... a wooden train track! He plays with these almost every day, so we pulled a small piece from the set, and screwed a small eye hook into one side. We wrote his name and the year on the back.

It was a nice addition to his "pickle" from Christmas #1 and the monkey from year #2 (not homemade, but he was in a monkey phase). We're going to start the tradition for Baby Brother too, but haven't decided on the perfect thing yet. At this point he loves anything he can put in his mouth! I'm thinking maybe a spoon because he get's super excited when I give him my spoon at dinner.

Did you guys have a Merry Christmas? Do you do special ornaments for your kids (or yourself) every year?

Sunday, December 8

A Merry Christmas Giveaway!

It's finally giveaway time! I promised to giveaway the extras from my 31 Days of Handmade Gifts series, and today's the day! Let me help you check a few things off your Christmas list with a box of handmade goodies! Too many exclamations points? Sorry. I'm just excited! So let's go!

My little helpers and I divided the spoils into two boxes so we will have two winners in this giveaway! Here are said helpers... one coming after my camera saying "me take-a-one!" and the other burrowing into the blankets in the background. Thanks, boys! So, want to see what's up for grabs?

It's not too late to make your own gifts, too! You can click each item name to link to its tutorial, and you can check out the whole series here.

Wednesday, December 4

Faux Photo Canvas Tutorial

Guys! It's December!! So we've been channeling all our extra time & energy into the Christmas time festivities, which is more fun than ever with a 2 1/2 year old. Seriously. The clumps of ornaments around the bottom of the tree, the plastic frogs invading Bethlehem, and the little handprint ornaments. We're loving it. But I wanted to pop in with this fun and easy project we tackled a couple weeks ago that would make a great gift! 

I always love the look of canvas prints and have been wanting to get some large prints of family photos... but even waiting for a sale that had canvases 80% off... yes. 80%... it was still going to cost $120 with shipping. Ohmygoodness. So we ditched the real deal and made up our own the cheapest way we could. Which for us meant spending $22 total on the three "canvases!"

You only need a few things to make your own faux canvases:
  • poster-size prints of the images (we ordered ours from during a 50% off sale and spent just $22 on one 20 x 30 and two 11 x 14 prints, and snapfish has been having 50% off sales almost constantly the last couple weeks!)
  • thin plywood (ours was about 1/4" thick left over from another project, so that part didn't cost us anything. You can get a sheet at Lowe's for around $15, I believe)
  • mod podge
  • duct tape

Start by cutting your plywood down to size (most hardware stores will make the cuts for you for free or very cheap). You want it to be smaller than the size of the picture because you'll be wrapping the picture around the sides of the plywood. We wanted 1/2" overhang on each side, so we cut our plywood to 19 x 29" and 10 x 13". (Keep in mind that this will affect how your picture looks! You'll be losing 1/2" on each side so if you have anything really close to the edges it will be cropped out. I actually would leave a little more overhang if we did it again so it's easier to wrap. Probably 3/4 - 1" of overhand on each side.)