November 12, 2013

Christmas Crafts!

Hello, Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?  Mine is SPARKLES!  Ok maybe I'm not that extreme, but I have no shame in getting started on Christmas things a bit earlier because 1. Momma has a busy schedule and 2. It was an excuse to have a few quiet hours with friends on a Saturday.

Fist up, a tasty but unfortunate looking pinstrosity in the form of an apple tart.  It had all things fall going for it, but with a phyllo dough crust it just didn't break up into squares well.  You know what would be fun and evil?  Putting out this beautiful dessert and letting your guests feel the guilt of massacring it.  Then you don't have to make any half-hearted attempts to say how pretty it was when it came out of the oven.

Before cutting.  Oooh, ahh, the beauty!

After cutting.  Why do you hate us?

Next up is the insanely simple and adorable batch of Christmas cards I made.  I found a pack of 50 blank cards at Michaels- already with a fold in place and envelops and everything!  I thought I was going to have to use raw card stock for these, and it was a happy surprise to find a kit all ready to go.  Drew on the cute lines and bows with thin sharpie, wrote Merry Christmas with a nice thick silver sharpie, and hot glued red and green ornaments all over the place.  Ta da- adorable and simple.

Last up was my wreath.  I made this wonderful candy corn wreath for Halloween, and really loved the technique.  I had a clear vision of a similar wreath, all in white, with these squares of shiny patterned snowflake fabric interspersed throughout.  A pretty red ribbon gives the idea of a candy cane without being precisely literal.  Now, I was only able to get about 1/3 of the squares pinned during the party.  The rest were done catching up on The Vampire Diaries, SNL, Big Bang Theory, and watching what was left of The Dark Knight Rises because I was too indifferent to channel surf much.  Anyway, end result is pretty adorbs.

And last up, this was a Sunday craft that I didn't get to during the Pinterest party.  Happy buttons hot glued over a foam ball, in a couple strategic layers to cover up the gaps.  That thing is heavy.  I could whack a burglar pretty hard and at least give him a black eye if he gets too close to my Christmas presents.  You know, once I have a tree and presents out.  Christmas ornament/mace: what every crafty mom needs.

Ok, time to put down the peppermint mocha.  This Christmas/winter-time post has gotten me too wound up!

November 3, 2013

Winter in a Jar

Ever since I made my creepy pumpkin diorama, I wanted to translate that idea to a wintry display.  I knew I wanted to use something with a lid, elevated (think cake stand), with fairy lights hiding in the lid to create a pretty glow.  I was momentarily tempted by this adorable idea involving scrapbook paper and kind of a pop up book arrangement, but didn't see any scrapbook paper that fit the bill.  Going back to my original idea, I didn't like any of the miniature figures I saw in the craft stores.  They looked plasticy and oddly painted and just not the feel I wanted.  I decided I wanted a cute cabin in the woods- simple and sweet.

I was all set on my plan, ordered the fairy lights from Amazon, and went to Michael's yesterday.  I couldn't find this dome on a stand thing I'd conjured in my head, and was starting to feel let down at the end of my excursion.  Then within about 5 minutes, it all started coming together.  I had to let go of the odd specifics I'd worked up in my head, and instead see possibilities in the materials I actually had at my disposal.  A footed jar with a dome could work, even if it didn't have a perfectly flat base.  A funny centerpiece with bottle brush trees could be cut down to size, as could a plain wooden bird house ornament to serve as my cabin.  Little Christmas light buttons could be glued to the cabin to look just right.  Yes- it was coming together!

Within a couple hours (to let things dry), and for less than $25, I ended up with this:

Success!  Also a 100% original creation, which impressed my husband and made me feel proud.  :)  I'm so excited to share it with everyone!  Please share pics if you make one.  I'd love to see what other people do with this idea.


  • Medium or large lidded jar
  • Cotton stuffed animal stuffing
  • 3 bottle brush trees, painted green with white snow, various sizes
  • Small cabin ornament, 3-d sticker, or even a tiny bird house
  • 1 popsicle stick
  • Elmer's glue
  • 1 pack of Christmas light buttons.  Sequins or plain buttons could also give the same impression in a different style.
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • 1 small strand of white fairy lights (like these)
  • Silver glitter
  • Glue
  • White paint or white spray paint
  • Paint brush
  • Small stick or velcro to secure fairy lights to lid
  • Optional: paint for cabin, if you buy a plain one (brown for walls; green or red for roof and windows)

Directions (pictures below)

  1. Tilt lid upside down, and paint the inside of the lid with glue.  I chose just to do a large splotch in the center, not the whole thing.  Pour on glitter and shake off excess.  Set aside to try.
  2. Break a popsicle stick in half, to be your cabin's chimney.  Place a little bit of cotton stuffing trailing past the top of one half, then glue the other half on top (wedging the stuffing in between but floating out the top of the sticks as the chimney's smoke).  Let dry.  Glue to back of cabin and let dry.
    • Alternative: paint a straw to be your chimney, add cotton "smoke," and glue to cabin.
  3. If necessary, paint cabin.  Set aside to dry.
  4. Paint rest of lid with white paint or spray with spray paint.  Set aside to dry.
  5. Hot glue the Christmas light buttons to the cabin.
  6. Twist the fairy lights inside the dried lid, taping in place as necessary so they won't pop down into your display (unless you want that!).  Secure the battery pack in place, switch still accessible, with a popsicle stick wedged in place or by affixing velcro to the lid and battery pack.
  7. Hot glue the cabin and trees to the bottom of the jar.  Place cotton snow around and under the pieces.
  8. Turn on your lights, put the lid on, and smile like a fool.  :)  Look what you did!
Glue and glitter on the lid.  This will look like happy snow when done!

Painted lid.  Spray paint may have been better, but I'm ok with this.  Wintry AND hiding the fairy lights: double win.

Cabin cut down to size, with popsicle stick chimney and cotton smoke, painted, and button lights glued in place.

Fairy lights twisted around so the whole lid is covered, and battery pack wedged in place.

Pieces hot glued to the jar and snow arranged around everything.  I even put some snow on the cabin.

Close up of the little happy scene.

This happy piece of winter looks great on the bookshelf, way out of reach of my 3-year-old.  :)