12.24.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Christmas Sheep:


Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream:


20 DIY Ornaments:



Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios



12.23.2013

Annual Soul Sister's Ornament Exchange!


It was another fun night of good food, laughter, waitress name guessing, and ornament exchanging again this year!  I'm not sure if anyone else in the place had as much fun as we did, but we had enough fun for everyone.

Marzipan went first and gave a sweet, beaded curly wire Christmas Tree that stores flat in the box then springs into action when you pull on the ribbon to hang it on the tree.


See it sparkle by the light of the tree?


Treat Girl went next and gave this sweet little Claus couple she made in her ceramics class that we teased her about endlessly!


Look at the shy expression on Mrs. Clause and the eyes are amazingly full of life!


Joy was inspired by the magazine article she is holding up that used cut branches to make a huge art installation:


She gathered each tiny twig and cut it and glued it into a star-shaped cookie cutter. She covered the cutter with this sweet candy cane striped ribbon and some tiny jingle bells!


Megan went after her and gave us these amazing balls filled with feathers from her backyard guinea hens!


The feathers are naturally beautiful and glow in the lights of the tree.  Check out the perfect polka dots made by nature!


I went last and gave my Melted Snowman ornament I taught you how to make last week:


Some kids' clay and a few more supplies helped these snowmen come together quickly.


Have a great Christmas Eve Eve!

12.20.2013

Re-gifting - Feedback Friday






This morning, as I packaged up a box of candy I received from a friend earlier this month along with a free $10 gift card I got in the mail for my new (compromised) Target Card into a reused Christmas bag, The Big Guy shook his head. I handed the bag to my son to give to his 5th grade teacher with a "What?!?" look on my face and I knew what he was thinking.

"There she goes again."  I'm a compulsive re-gifter. When I received the box of candy my kids lunged for it when I got home.  "I wouldn't open that if I were you!" I heard The Big Guy say "Mom probably has a plan for that."  Come on, it was so fancy and pretty and already boxed up so nice!  It would be a great re-gift!

I have a whole cabinet in the basement filled with little re-gift selections. It's like shopping from home!

It's Feedback Friday...

Please tell me I'm not the only one who re-gifts!

12.17.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Ornament Wreath:



10 Ways to Use Candy Canes:


Peppermint Sugar:



Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios



12.16.2013

Quick S'mores Cookies


We had a last minute football bonfire to attend a few weeks ago and I was supposed to bring cookies...I realized 30 minutes before the event.

What could I whip up that met the following criteria:

*Had do use stuff I already had on hand
*Had to be ready in under 15 minutes
*Had to serve a lot
*Had to appeal to kids
*Had to look cute

I rifled around and found my ingredients:

Graham Crackers
Marshmallows
Hershey's kisses

Line up your crackers that you have broken into squares.

Unwrap your kisses now because you will have to move quickly in the following steps.

Place a marshmallow on top (I liked sideways best)

Place under the broiler and watch them like a hawk.  I left the door open a little and never took my eyes off them!  After about 5 minutes or so the marshmallows will start to puff up and get a little brown on top.

Remove the tray and immediately press a kiss into the top of each marshmallow.

Drive to football bonfire. Be happy that 50+ kids are NOT running around with sharp flaming sticks yet still get to eat s'mores.



12.13.2013

Favorite Christmas Movie?






This time of year, my kids are hooked on ABCFamily for the Christmas movies every night.  Though they try to act "big" most of the time, they will watch any Christmas movie, no matter how juvenile it looks!

This week they are airing MY favorite Christmas movie...Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase!

It's Feedback Friday...

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

12.12.2013

I'm Mellllltinnnnnggggg...


The Soul Sisters get together every year to exchange ornaments at Christmas time - and today is that day!

There are a few rules...

The ornaments must be hand made
The supplies to make the ornaments must cost under $20.

Ready to learn how to make this year's Soul Sister's Ornament, Melting Snowman?

This year's ornament was inspired by this cute little  cookie that has been making it's way around Pinterest for the past year or so:


Supplies:

Crayola Model Magic (I used two 4 oz. packages to make 6 ornaments)
Red felt
Orange paint or orange marker
Black Sharpie marker
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Twigs or sticks from the yard
Drinking Straw
Blue Acrylic Paint
Tiny Buttons (I found them at JoAnn's behind the button section in a tiny bag)

Roll your model magic clay into 3 balls, each a size smaller than the last.

Press the clay balls into a flattened circle.  You could use a rolling pin, but I liked the look of using my fingers to flatten and make the circles not perfectly round.

My largest circle is about 3 inches in diameter, but you can make your snowman any size.


Next, I used a watered down blue acrylic paint and applied it to the edges of the circles with my fingers (you will see I tend to to this a lot in projects!)


Since the circles are not dry, you can stack the middle sized circle right on top of the largest circle and they will stick to each other!

Cut your felt into a small scarf, fringe the ends with the scissors then, fold the scarf in half and hot glue to the middle circle like this:


Hot glue the smallest "head circle" on top of the scarf like this:


Now, roll a tiny carrot nose and color it with orange paint or an orange marker.  You can make little lines in it by pressing into the top with a toothpick.  Hot glue into place. (it's starting to look snowman-ish!)

Hot glue tiny buttons into place. (love these tiny buttons, but I have NO idea what I'll do with the rest of them!)


At some point, you will use the drinking straw to poke a hole into the clay so you can hang your ornament:


Using a marker or paint pen, simply dot the eyes and mouth onto the head of the snowman:


Now slide a string or ribbon through the hole and run outside in your slippers to get a picture on the tree in the back yard while your neighbors watch out the window shaking their heads...again...


I'll show the rest of the ornaments the girls made after our party!

12.11.2013

Last Minute Christmas Cards

Juniper Christmas Card 2013

Did  you forget to order your Christmas cards again?  Don't worry!  It's not too late!  I can have cards in your hands in an hour!

Wait...what?!?

1. Chose your favorite photo.

2. Open it in your favorite editor (I like PicMonkey)

3. Write your holiday sentiment and names using the text tools.

4. Save to your computer.

5. Upload photo and order 5x10 prints at any 1 hour photo developing place - Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc...

6. Run to store to pick up blank envelopes (a little larger than 5x7 - I found mine at Staples)

7. Pick up your "cards" at the photo processing spot.

8. Send Juniper a Christmas card

You're Welcome. :)

12.10.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Reindeer Chow:


Free Printable Gift Tags:

 


Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios



12.09.2013

Snow Storm!

Every year we cut snowflakes after Thanksgiving for our Christmas decorations and this year was no different!  Here is this year's Snowflake display in all it's sparkly glory!

Every year our display looks a little different but it's twinkly and magical and one of my favorite Christmas decorations every year.  As the kids get older the snowflakes become more and more intricate.  I save some of the best specimens from year to year, but most of them are cut fresh for the season.

I've talked about our snowflakes before here and here and here and reminded you how to make them here and even taught you How To Make Giant Snowflakes there.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to cutting!

12.05.2013

$10 Christmas Tree


I had a spot in the corner of my living room that was not looking very Christmas-y, but I wasn't willing to invest in another tree for my home.  I needed something that made a big impact as guests walked through the door, but it still had to be simple and be able to be stored easily...oh, and it had to be cheap!

I roamed around my local Lowe's and found "Treated 1x4x6 Top Choice" boards for under $4 apiece.  I snagged two of them and headed home all skippy with my find.

Once I got home, I sawed the first board into a 4 foot section, leaving a 2 foot section.

The second board I sawed into 4 pieces measuring 26 inches, 20 inches, 16 inches, and 10 inches.

*If you don't like to get all wood shop at your house, you can take these measurements with you to the store and ask for your boards be be cut for you.  There is a giant saw at the end of the lumber aisle they can use to help you out*

If you intend to hang this tree, I would suggest attaching your hanger to the back of the longest board now.  I did it later and ended up with several holes in the wall I'm currently hiding from the Big Guy... I used a simple saw toothed hanger like this:


At this point you can assemble then paint or paint then assemble.  I assembled first...probably would have painted first if I wasn't all gung ho with cutting wood and ready to screw stuff using electric tools that made me feel all tough.


 I drilled pilot holes then used screws but it's just as easy to use nails and or wood glue.  I tilted the boards to get that wonky/whimsical look I was after.  My top board split and I almost switched it out, but then I started to love it.  Here is my tree assembled:


Next, I applied a wash over the whole tree (watered down paint) with a cheap chip brush then wiped it off using an old rag:


*Now, let me take a minute here in case my husband is reading this, that although it might look like I painted this tree on the kitchen table, I would never do that...mostly never...right, so let's move on.*

Now, using some watered down dark brown acrylic paint, apply to the edges and corners of the boards to get the age and depth of old wood.  See?


Okay, you can hang or prop your tree up as-is OR you can hang crap on it!  Let's hang crap on it!

Using some small finishing nails (or you could use cup hooks) I created some hanging spots:


You can hang some cool retro balls:


Or Christmas Cards:


Or turn it into an Advent Tree by hanging numbered envelopes with small treats or notes inside:


But, I like the frosted, retro balls best, it looks kind of Charlie Brown-ish to me...


Send me a picture of your $10 tree if you make one so I can share!

**I've posted 3 days in a row, people!**

Your Skin Fix, December Edition