Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Gift Giving is All About...

Gift giving is all about finding something your friend will really love... even if you have to hide it from your War Eagle hubby!!! Haha!
 Seriously, the title of this post could never be "Roll Tide!!"
If you have never experienced college football in the South then this post probably doesn't seem like it's that interesting but believe me - it can be major!! We are a house divided anyway without bringing Alabama in to it.
I am lucky enough to be included in the Secret Santa exchange that the teachers at our Preschool host and I drew a Bama lovin' girls name and I knew this is what I wanted to do for her. She will LOVE it.
I also knew that I didn't want to give my husband heart failure so I just painted it while he was out of town and removed all evidence asap!!
So in the spirit of "Peace On Earth" for this holiday season,
 I just say, "Go Team!!!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet Little Ornaments...

The children made the sweetest little ornaments for their tree at church ... I did an awful job of photographing them, though.  I wish the pictures were better because the ornaments are so simple and precious.

We used Crayola Model magic in white, rubber stamps and a black Staz On stamp pad ( This is the most amazing stamp pad ever!! It's like Sharpie in a stamp pad- just be careful because it is permanent. Like forever.)
All we did was to roll out the Model Magic to about 1/4 inch thickness on a square of wax paper. Then we simply used the Staz On and stamped our designs on the Model Magic - just be careful not to get ink on the edges of the stamp. Then we used circle cutters and plastic knives to cut out around the stamped image. We used a straw to punch a hole in our ornament and that was it. Let it dry, add a ribbon and hang it on the tree.

That's all it takes to make sweet and simple ornaments!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!!

This is a quick but very cute little project for the kiddos to get creative with. Just put the supplies out and let them have fun. It costs basically nothing!
I had the little clay pots left over from earlier projects but they are 4/$1.00 at Dollar Tree or 29 cents each at Hobby Lobby.
 We cut two triangles out of scrap cardboard ( good "green" craft project). This one looks a little like it should be in a Dr. Seuss Christmas story!
We used Tacky Glue to glue a jumbo craft stick in between the two cardboard triangles.  You can see from the side view below.

We painted the pots and added polka dots, painted the tree with green glitter paint and painted the trunk brown.
Let all that dry and then glue on some buttons for ornaments. Then we added jingle bells or a glittery star to the top - whatever you like!
After everything was dry we put a small ball of air dry clay in the clay pot and inserted the trunk. We topped it off with some cotton ball snow. These were a lot of fun and a great project to allow for creative expression - just put paints, glitter, buttons, bells, stickers - anything you have out there and let them decorate away!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snippets of Christmas....

... around our house.

Linking up at:

The Snowman rut *...

I seem to have a lot of snowman posts all of a sudden. Especially for a warm weather gal... and it is balmy and warm in Atlanta this week :) People are shopping in flip flops and capris! Niiiiiice!!
 I started with 16 x 20 canvasses ( from Dick Blick) and used mixing bowls to trace my snowman shapes with chalk.
I painted the outside of the snowman outline - in this case, one turqouisey blue and one black. After that dried I used my Spouncers ( see earlier post!) to add eyes, mouths and polka dots on my carrot noses. ( I am doing this project in January in Art Camp - great shape and biggest to littlest lesson. Also, positive and negative space.) I also used the Spouncers dipped in white paint to add a blizzard of snowflakes!! I let that dry and then, the fun really started!!
I painted my snowman with Mod Podge - just the white parts- and then sprinkled the wet Mod Podge with clear crystal glitter!! It's awesome.
Then I dipped my Spouncers in Mod Podge and dotted all my snowflakes again. I sprinkled them with glitter, too.
Then I gently shook off the excess glitter and gave the whole canvas a little spatter of white paint.


Ta-da!!! Really sparkly, wintry snowmen.

* the Snowman rut, not unlike the Candy Corn rut!

** These sparkly snow gentlemen were created as part of a table scape for a reception following the Children's Christmas Cantata at church. Everything was white, orange and turquoise. We had melted Snowman punch that was delicious, snowman noses in melty snow ( carrot sticks in little clear palstic cups with ranch dressing in the bottom - individual dippers for each child makes for a less germy dip experience), snowman cupcakes and more. The table had cotton ball snowballs and bubble wrap as a table runner and the snowman paintings pulled it all together. it was super fun and I have not one picture because 3 times as many people showed up as expected and it was crazeeeee- fun, but crazy!!

Linking up:

Fun Stuff Fridays

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hey, Mr. Sandman....

We are all about the tropical, beachy Christmas at our house. A couple of our friends are almost as beachy as we are so it was time to make a snowman into a sandman.
I bought the long, thin canvasses at Wal Mart, 2 for $5.99. They are 7 x 14. It's a very cool size. I traced around some cups and bowls to get an outline for my sandmen. I painted around the outline with a carribean blue. Two coats. I left my sandman interior white - the natural canvas- but I wish I had painted it a very light sand color. It would have made the next step a bit easier. I painted the "snowman" shape with Mod Podge and then sprinkled it with course beach sand and shook off the excess. I let that dry completely. Then I coated the entire "snowman" shape with Mod Podge again and sprinkled a second coat of sand over it. I definitely had to do 2 coats with the white underneath. I might could have done 1 coat if I had painted the shape a light sand color. I will do the next ones with the tan paint base coat for sure. I let that dry completely and then painted a top coat of Mod Podge to seal the whole thing. I wanted to be sure the sand would stay on the picture!
Then I went through my stash of collected shells and chose the right shapes for the nose and buttons. I added a Sand Dollar to the circle under the face. I used a clear "super glue" type glue to hold these on.
I also added a little tiny starfish in the sky.
A few little aquariaum gravel rocks for the eyes and mouth and this guy is finished and full of personality!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Wreath!

It was a bit of an "Advent-ure" getting this project from start to finish but worth it. The kids loved it because it was big, fun and easy to paint, and it ended up in an important place when they got it home. Most families put it in the middle of the dining room table or in the entry way and it made them so happy. :)
 Again, just like the Nativity made from pavers a few post back, I was worried about breakage and the weight of the clay saucer if it landed on someone's foot. We worked on the floor on a cardboard square and lots of adult volunteers made it all happen uneventfully.

We painted the bottom of the clay saucer to look like an evergreen wreath. I had them sponge two or three green paints together as the base of the wreath. Then we used a sponge cut into the shape of a holly leaf and mistletoe. We also used a scrap of sponge to make sprigs of pine. We used a pencil eraser to dot the white mistletoe berries and the red holly berries.
We used small clay pots as the "candleholders." We painted 3 purple, 1 pink, and one white. We also painted a toilet paper tube "candle' in those colors. The adults glued the pots on after they were painted and completely dry. We used Liquid Nails
We put the  toilet paper tube "candles" in the flower pots. We tore strips of tissue paper to use as flames so they could "light" the candles.
The great thing about this wreath is that it is very cute and child-friendly with the toilet paper tube candles and tissue paper flames but with adult supervision you could use real candles because it is made from terra cotta pots!
** This wreath was made using a 12 inch saucer and clay pots that were about 3 or 4 inches tall. We wanted it to be a big, exciting project but you could adjust the size by simply buying smaller pots and saucer. I don't think I'd go much bigger because of the weight of the combined clay pots!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Snow Guys!!

Remember the Pumpkin Totems back in October?? People kept asking, " What are you doing for Christmas??" Well, here they are!! The Snow Guys. And they aren't just for Christmas - they are good all Winter long!!
They are popular guys!! I know better pics or even a family shot would have been nice but these guys are flying out the door as quickly as I can get the glitter on them! They are headed to parties and a homes tour this weekend and one is going North for Christmas!! Like I said, popular guys!!
They are all a little different and mine is in a galvanized bucket because I love galvanized anything :)

Like the Pumpkin Totems they are firmly planted in a bucket and are made up of found items and Dollar Tree finds. I made the first Pumpkin Totems out of found and repurposed items because I like "green" crafting but now I'm actually having to purchase some of the "parts" because of the quantity!

They all have polka dotted noses and large polka dots on their bodies. They are a variety of colors and the polka dots on my snowguy, Mr. Winter, are crystal glitter. I just dabbed my spouncer ( remember those from a previous post?) into Mod Podge and then pressed it on the pans. Then I sprinkled crystal glitter on the mod podge circle. Easy as that and very sparkly and wintry.

Linking up :

The Gingerbread Man !

One more post on recyclables on a post - haha!! After seeing the Pumpkins on a post ( or Pumpkin Totems ) a friend asked if I could make something gingerbread themed so she could surprise her mom. Her parents host a large, swanky Christmas party each year at their farm (weekend home!) and every year her mother themes it and decorates the entire place in that theme. You guessed it , gingerbread men this year. This one gave me a little trouble to start with because I knew I didn't want three brown cookie faces stacked up.

But it evolved nicely! The middle is a cookie sheet painted with chalkboard paint so she can write any message she wants on it. I painted a Gingerbread Man cookie on the cookie sheet to "cute it up!" ( that's one of my constant companions to the left!)

The bottom pan in the stack - a big pizza pan- got the peppermint candy treatment because she is using red and white ribbon and some candy accents. Perfect!
And of course, lots of glitter spray paint and crystal glitter to give this guy some bling!

I finished him off with sparkly tulle and ribbon. I even had some ribbon with gingerbread men on it. And again, he was out the door so quickly yesterday to head on up to the farm that these are the best pics I had time for!!
Run, Run, Gingerbread Man.
 Off to the party as fast as you can!!

Be sure to check out the latest on this guy!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner??

Well, no one. Because this is what the dish drainer looks like. And don't let the big mixing bowl fool you into thinking I baked something. Oh no, that's my tracer for a nice big snowman painting!
And the kitchen table? Covered! And you can't even see the layer of glitter on everything. That would add a nice crunch to a meal! Ha.

Ok, well if not dinner, maybe a muffin for breakfast???... Nope, those muffin tins are busy as ornament holders. ( Hope ornaments for the Breast Cancer Support Group at church!)
It would be pretty tough to get any food out of this craft workroom   kitchen this week.
I'm about to send the last of the special orders out the door and finish up gifts for our friends but just in case....

Dear Santa,
Please bring a California Pizza Kitchen gift card!!!
Thank you!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Littlest Nativity!

This is a little bitty Nativity. It is so sweet.
Here's a little size reference for you!
 It is made with a very small grapevine wreath. About 1 1/2 inches across. I buy these at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. They are about a dollar for 4 or 5 in a bundle. The "hay" is some straw like packaging stuff from something that was shipped to us. You can buy it at the craft stores as well or snip up some raffia and glue it in there. Whatever you have.
Baby Jesus is a scrap of cross stitch fabric  but I have used muslin and white burlap. Just a scrap of natural looking fabric. His little head is a small wooden "plug" used for wood working. I can't rememmber exactly what they are called but I buy mine at Lowe's in the department with shelves and screw on wooden legs - that kind of stuff. You get a bunch in a bag for just a couple of dollars. I give him little pink cheeks and two Sharpie dots for eyes. That's it. I glue him in the fabric scrap, bundle it up and tie a little raffia around him to hold it all together.
The star and the wire are the hanger if you want to put it on the tree or it will just sit flat on a table. The little wooden star is sponge painted a yellow ochre color and hot glued to a 6 inch length of pretty stiff wire. I curl it around a pencil or dowel and bend it into shape. You just slide it through the wreath and add a dab of glue to keep it in place.
That's it. Quick and precious! I have made literally hundreds of these over the years - College Girl was two when I made the first one. I have done this with children and Senior Adults - everyone loves it. I have used them as package toppers on gifts wrapped in brown kraft paper.
It's just sweet and simple.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quick and Cute Outdoor Nativity!

 This Nativity is quick, cute, can be used outdoors and is heavy?? What is it made of??? Look familiar?? It's made from interlocking concrete landscape pavers. Every time I looked at one ( all Summer long) I kept thinking they looked like people and would make a cool Nativity for outside. I also kept thinking, "Am I crazy to do this with children?? They are heavy!" I could envision broken toes or something.
Well, we went for it. I gave them a talk about not moving the blocks, only adults could do it, and we put them on cardboard drink flats on the floor and painted away. We used exterior house paint and kept our details simple. They have an almost primitive look. We did these for the first time 5 Christmases ago and they still look great! 
From time to time I will see a set on someone's front porch or in their yard this time of year :) I wish I had pictures of their sweet Nativities and of them spread out on the floor painting away!! But it was before blogging so this is all I have.
It is no small undertaking with a group, though. I advertised the class and ended up having to haul almost 80 of those blocks to church ( thank you, husband!!) the first time.
If you have a strong back this is an inexpensive but "big impact" Nativity. The pavers were just over $1.00 at Lowes ( something like $1.32 or close to that and they had the tan colored ones but if you had to use gray/natural concrete color it would be fine. It's the shape that matters) Since I ended up with such a big group I had to buy some house paint but you can use whatever colors you have on hand. And baby Jesus has some twine wrapped around him to look like he's wrapped up in swaddling clothes. So, if you have paint, this Nativity can cost as little as $5.00.
PS. After some of the Seniors at church saw these drying in my office they wanted to do a set. So it appeals to all ages!! I did it with one of our Senior Adults who went on to make 5 sets for her family.