Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gabriel's gift

In the midst of all my gift-making for family and friends, I received a special hand-made gift from my nephew, Gabriel. He's been getting really creative with a certain type of craft, which you'll see below. I think it's great!

From the moment we arrived that day at his house, he kept mentioning that he was still working on a gift and that I was not to go into a certain part of the house. Then, after a long day of playing and hanging out, it was time to open presents. Gabriel's eagerness could not hold out any longer, so I was the first one to receive a gift--his gift of love.

He did some wood burning on a frame, and I love it!

On it, it says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart," Proverbs 3:5. This is one of my favorite verses.

Thank-you, Gabriel...I will treasure this gift always!

He also made some ornaments for a few others, including this one for Quentin. Isn't it awesome?

Coming last gift I made for each family...I can't believe I forgot about is SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Abigail's scarf

There's somewhat of a craze right now with repurposing items into other things, and it's fascinating to me. Not too long ago, I learned how to make a t-shirt scarf (a picture of that one will be coming next month because I'm doing it for a M.O.P.S. craft). Anyway, there was another style that my sister-in-law and I really liked but had not yet learned how to do. I found the link to a video tutorial here and I learned how to make it. It was so much fun! 

In fact, I made one before I made Abigail's for a M.O.P.S. Christmas party. We had an accessory exchange for one of our games that night. My scarf was exchanged three times and all three gals who "owned" it loved it a lot!:) The last gal got to really keep it, but I've thought about making one for the other two ladies some time. I know they would be so surprised. 

Abigail really likes navy blue, so that's the color I used. I also made a felt flower pin for it if she'd like to pin it to the side. You really must check out the link above as it shows how it drapes so beautifully on a person. I have got to make one for myself one of these days, too! It's a simple craft that gives instant gratification to the maker and receiver. 

Not only did Abigail love it, but her kids seemed to like it as well. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Peek-a-boo house

When I saw the idea for this baby toy, I knew I had to make this for my nephew, Jedidiah. It is so fun and adorable and I enjoyed every minute making it. I actually made it on the day we spent with he and his family, and while I worked two of his older brothers watched. They are really into crafting, too.

This craft uses scraps of felt and recycled materials like cardboard and flip-top lids from wipies! Take a look below....

Isn't that such a novel idea? Behind each large window and door, I taped on pictures of his brothers and sister and his cousins on the Johnson side of the family.

To protect the pictures, I used packaging tape instead of regular tape. The rest of the house was constructed using hot glue. I knew that little hands are eager to pull things, so I wanted to make sure nothing would fall apart (or at least I hope it doesn't right away!).

Most of the kids gathered around Jedidiah showing him how to play with the toy.  We all had a blast watching him...isn't he just the cutest little guy?

Kit's box and nightie

I love surprises, don't you? I think I actually like being the one who surprises more than the one who is surprised. Alyzza has been wanting pajamas for her doll, Kit, but because I was already planning on making her one for Christmas, I down-played it any time she brought it up. And what better way to present this gift than to put it in a special box where all of the other doll clothes and accessories would go in, too.

And boy, was she sooo surprised when she opened up the box!

It's hard to see, but I hand-painted the top of the box with her initials and on the inside, lined it with felt.

Look at that look of surprise....

....and a hug for Mom!

She totally loves it, don't you think?:)

Here she is with her cousin, Annalina, who has another American Girl doll, Kaya. The girls enjoyed playing with their dolls together during Christmas break. And there's Kit with her nightie on--so cute!

This makes my heart smile.:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Handprint t-shirt

Little S and I made a gift for Daddy, using materials we already had. We grabbed one of his t-shirts and paint to create this special memory.

I painted her hands with white craft paint. Then, using fabric paint, wrote, "I Love you, Dad....then her name with the year.

Super cute and easy! I love memory-type crafts, don't you? 

Framed Christmas Carol Print

This gift was fun to give to a couple of gals this year! You can find the free printable here, then print on card stock and frame it however you choose. I decided to put a red border around it by gluing the print onto red card stock. The frame and star (it was an ornament; just used some glue to keep it in place) were both from the Dollar Tree, so not only is this decoration so pretty, it's pretty affordable, too! 

Bird Nest Necklace

Don't you love Pinterest? It's a great place to find lots of ideas! When I was looking for ideas for M.O.P.S. crafts, I came across this beautiful bird nest necklace. I knew it would be too difficult to do in a large group setting, so I did it with the steering committee at our retreat. It was a huge hit! 

So....since then, I've made one for my sister-in-law, myself and the other ladies in the family. For Christmas, my sisters, Raquel and Sonia, my mom, and mother-in-law, all received this personalized handmade gift. My mother-in-law chose the colors she wanted while we were together in Tennessee, but for the others, I chose colors and the amount of beads to represent each of their children. Not only did this make a great Christmas gift, but it could be made for Mother's Day as well.

I haven't had a lot of experience with making jewelry, but the tutorial here was wonderful! I felt like I accomplished such a gorgeous piece without lots of hassle. Enjoy!

Alyzza's gift for her teacher

Here's Alyzza's gift for her teacher: a washer necklace. I've seen some tutorials on the web, but when I saw one in Family Fun Magazine, I knew it could be something Alyzza could make for her teacher. She loved it a lot and knew that Mrs. G. would love it, too!

She painted the washer with finger nail polish. After the paint dried, she did another coat of clear nail polish. She selected the ribbon, and I tied it onto the washer. She gave it to Mrs. G. during her class Christmas party. She said that her teacher really liked it--and I'm so glad!

Angel towels

This year for Christmas,  I wanted the girls to make something for their teachers. When I found this idea for angel towels, I knew this would be the perfect gift for Little S' nursery workers and M.O.P.S. teachers.

We had a lot of fun making these. In fact, it was our first real craft to do together. On a clean garbage bag, I put all of the towels (six in all) on top, ready for assembly-style crafting. We stamped a hand at a time, then her foot, all the while giving her an M&M as we completed each step. Then, I finished the angels by painting on their heads, halos and the phrase, "Angels we have heard on high." You could also write, "Hark, the herald angels sing."

Take a look....and by the way, we ended up making more towels for the grandparents and a set for us. The second time, we included Alyzza in the process, so now some of us have precious memories of both girls from Christmas 2012.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peppermint Brownies

For the last M.O.P.S. meeting of 2012, the gals put together brownie mixes. I had first planned on having them put together cookie mixes, but when I saw this idea, I knew I just had to do it. Sure, it was a splurge on the peppermint chips, but it was well worth it! They are soooo yummy (you can enjoy these any time of the year for sure!)

Instead of using canning jars, we used holiday treat bags that you can buy at Hobby Lobby, Target or Walmart. It was a great idea from one of the gals on the steering committee and I am thankful for it. It saved us a lot of money!

I found the tutorial for these here. It also includes the link to print out the labels. The front one that is shown above is super cute, isn't it? The second label is placed on the back and it includes the directions and further ingredients to put these yummy treats together.

These mixes make great gifts for a neighbor, teacher or friend. Enjoy!

Cupcake liner Christmas trees

Every year, our church has a Christmas party that my husband puts together. There's always great food, fun games, a gift exchange and lots of laughs! I've always enjoyed decorating for it each year as well. I like to pull in some help from others, and this year, it ended up being that Alyzza was my special helper. 

We made these super cute cupcake liner Christmas trees:

I bought cupcake liners at the Dollar Tree and Walmart and used styrofoam tree forms for the large ones and card stock to make the tree form for the small ones.

Some of the packages included cupcake toppers, so for some of the trees, I put those on the top. It took us a few hours to make fifteen or so of these, but it was a fun project I enjoyed doing with my big girl.:)

Wouldn't this be an awesome thing to do for a Valentine's Day event as well? You could use red and pink cupcake liners and still put some fluff around it to represent snow since it's a winter holiday.

For the step-by-step on how to make these go here. Have fun!:)

Christmas traditions, old and new

I love traditions, don't you? Here, I will share things that we've enjoyed doing the last couple of years, and then I'll share two new traditions we've begun with the girls during Christmas. I know this is kind of late, but with our trip to TN, and getting back into the swing of things, I'm now getting back into writing again. So, enjoy the next several posts with Christmas goodies and gifts we made. Perhaps you can tuck away the ideas and use them for other celebrations and next Christmas.:)

Last year, we began the tradition of having the girls choose out their own ornament for the year. Their name and year are written on each one, so that they'll have a collection of their own when they are grown. This year, we bought them at a thrift store for 99 cents each! Little S chose the horse and Alyzza chose the sparkly bunch of grapes (below).

Christmas lights around town are so much fun, aren't they? We went to Boulder to see this spectacular showcase of trees:

And now for the new ones...I heard about a "Journey to Bethlehem" event at one of my M.O.P.S. meetings and knew that we should go. It was held at the church where we have our meetings. I put it in as one of our advent calendar activities, too.

If you haven't been to something like this, search for one in your community. We experienced the story of Christmas, and the girls got to enjoy some fun things, too. Alyzza loved the headdress and the clay ornament she got to make!

This stocking was a fun idea that came together between me and Alyzza. It's called "Stocking Mail." We wrote notes to each other and passed them by placing them in the stocking and hanging it on each other's doorknob. It was always a great surprise!

What traditions do you enjoy with your family? I'd love to hear about them!