Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Exchange Present

I participated in Craftaholics Anonymous' Handmade Gift Exchange...again. I loved it last time and I loved it this time as well!

I was partnered with Katie from Sweet Rose Studios and she is AH-mazing. She told me that she pre-ordered a Kindle Fire (lucky!) and she wanted a case for it. She also informed me that she liked the more romantic, shabby chic, "Pride & Prejudice-y" look better than a modern look. Done and done. 

I got some pretty fabric and added some lace...









I was happy with the look. I haven't heard from her yet (hopefully she's received it!) but I'm really hoping she loves it. I also made her a little matching keychain...


I had fun with it! In return,  she made some printables for my baby girl's first birthday party! They are oh-so-cute and I can't wait until March to use them!!

Thanks Linda for hosting and thanks Katie for the awesome printables!!


Linking up: 36th Avenue, Fireflies & Jellybeans, Katie's Nesting Spot, At the Picket Fence, BabyBerry, 30 Handmade Days, Tatertots & Jello, Lolly Jane, Be Different, Act Normal, Family Ever After, Positively Splendid,






Thanks for dropping by!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Calendar Ideas



Christmas is here! Christmas is here!!

I'm so excited. I LOVE Christmas time! Not only is it a special, sparkly time of year, but it's also the time when we celebrate the birth of the greatest man to walk on earth. I just love Christmas time.

One thing that I started last year and will continue this year is using an advent calendar to make the countdown to Christmas especially fun. 

And can I say I really love my advent calendar. I made it with my friend in Texas. It's so super adorable. And really easy to make.


But that's not the purpose of this post. I wanted to give you some ideas for your advent calendar!



Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

Drink hot chocolate and dance to Christmas songs 

Write Santa a letter 
 
Go see the big Christmas tree at the mall 
 
Learn about nativity (Christ’s birth) 
 
Make and eat sugar cookies 
 
Learn what other countries do for Christmas 
 
Watch Polar Express 
 
Eat candy canes/hang them on the tree 
 
Have a slumber party in living room 
 
Go see Santa at the mall 
 
Sing Christmas songs to family on Skype 
 
Have red & green pancakes for dinner 
 
Go to story time at library & bring home Christmas books 
 
Make an indoor snowman (with marshmallows) 
 
Go look at Christmas lights 
 
Have popcorn & watch Christmas movie
 
Make graham cracker houses 
 
Make a Christmas ornament  
 
Make & deliver gingerbread men 
 
Eat at Chick-fil-A and get a Peppermint Choc. Chip Shake 
 
Read Polar Express by the Christmas tree 
 
Eat red & green M&Ms and play a game 
 
Read Christmas story from Bible 
 
Open one present & make cookies for Santa 

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake

For Thanksgiving my family and I went to my husband's uncle's house. I wanted to contribute so I made chocolate chip cookies (per my husband's request) and I had my eyes on this recipe

From Pinterest

For the most part they turned out really tasty. And they looked amazing when you bit into it



However, I thought they were a little too rich for my taste. And I LOVE cheesecake and Oreos. I couldn't taste the pumpkin at all. If I were to make these again, I would take the top off of the bottom Oreo so that it was just a cookie and the cream. Or I would just do the top Oreo. Two Oreos for such a little cheesecake is a bit much.







But they were super tasty. I just didn't want any pie after I ate one of these guys because it was so rich! I have to think about the waistline, ya know.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Shower Caddy Storage

While at Ross the other day, I noticed their shower caddies. And inspiration struck.


I thought, "Hey! I need more storage. Why not use a shower caddy?"

I spray painted it gray, added a couple fabric rosettes (those make everything cuter) and BAM

More storage!


I also added some ruffle sold by the yard for some added cuteness.


You can find lots of storage solutions in places/things you would have never thought of! Happy storing!


Linking Up: Making the World Cuter, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, The Girl Creative, Becolorful, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Reasons to Skip The Housework, Not JUST a Housewife, Mommy by Day...Crafter by Night,



Thanks for stopping in!




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fabulous Fall: Themed Word Art

Sad: Today is the last day of Fabulous Fall. Happy: Today we have Shannon from Life with these 3 Kids sharing with us about themed word art! And it sounds like something you could do quickly...like, before a kid wakes up from a nap! That's my kind of craft.
Take it away, Shannon!

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Hi! My name is Shannon, and I am a Mama who loves to craft! I have a poor, neglected blog over at Life with these 3 Kids.  I am hoping that maybe posting for Kathryn will help me get my groove back! If only I could blog from my phone...(anyone know a good app for that?). Ha!

When Kathryn asked me to guest post I was flattered beyond all reason! And then I was freaked out! I mean, sure I can re-create with the best of them, but to actually make something on my own, without seeing it on Pinterest/blogs/magazines/TV? Not always the easiest thing! When I craft I like things quick and simple. Being a Mama sometimes it's hard to find time to do anything super involved, unless I do it when the kids are in bed, and sometimes I just don't want to sacrifice my sleep (or my veg-on-the-couch-and-watch-my-junk time)!

The other day I got the bright idea to organize my craft supplies (seriously, what was I thinking??). As I was going through my embarrassing stash of paper crafting supplies inspiration hit! So many of us have paper crafting things left over from the days before a cricut or silhouette could cut out any letter or shape we need at the touch of a button. And while I use them occasionally, my piles of cute paper, adorable stickers and fun embellishments are mostly just gathering dust. Enter an easy way to make themed word art. Create a pictureless scrapbook page and stick it in a frame. Voila! An easy, cute craft that I could finish before the next child needed fed/changed/kissed/etc. I love decorating for fall, and I love any excuse to remind my kids the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving. It's not just turkey and football! It's so much more. So I gathered up some cute fall paper, dug through my stack of alphabet stickers and chipboard and started thinking.
Using an empty IKEA frame I had stashed away, I mixed and matched and tried different paper/sticker combos till I got it just how I wanted it! To make aligning easier, I taped my paper of choice to the back of the mat and then stuck the stickers onto the paper. This helped me get the words just how I wanted with relation to the frame and mat. I love the way it turned out. Simple and to the point. Of course, now I want to make a million more, and when I have more time I want to get more creative with it. Layering papers, adding embellishments, getting those creative juices flowing again. I hope you can take this simple idea and really run with it to make it your own!
Here is another similar example that I have in my home. I found the gaudiest picture frame at a garage sale and spray painted it white. I covered the existing mat in one of my favorite fabrics, put in some white card stock, added my word of choice and I have a simple, one of a kind piece of art for my craft room.
I hope I have inspired you a bit to use up some of your scrapbook supplies, and to create a fun piece of art for your home! Thanks again Kathryn for inviting me to share here on your adorable blog! ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Check out Shannon's etsy shop: www.bitsorbobbins.etsy.com

Thanks Shannon for a nifty idea on how to use up all those leftover scraps of paper. Such a cute idea! 
And I'd like to thank allll of the guest bloggers this week who participated! It was seriously so much fun!


Miss a guest post from Fabulous Fall? Find them all here:

Thanks for dropping in!!


Fabulous Fall: Photography Tips


I can't believe Fabulous Fall Week is almost over! We still have two days left, so let's make the most of it! Next up we have Katie from Sweet Rose Studio and I'm so excited for what she's sharing... Photography Tips for the holidays! Woot! I just bought a Rebel recently, so I'm really psyched about this. 
Take it away, Katie!
(P.S. There was a little glitch in the HTML, so don't mind the extra numbers...oops!)

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Hello Destination: Craft readers! My name is Katie and you can regularly find me at Sweet Rose Studio blogging about all things pictures, parties, planning, and pretties {that means basically anything I want to blog about ;)}. I was lucky enough to recently be paired with sweet Kathryn as part of a Handmade Gift Exchange and I can already tell that she is incredibly awesome; I mean, we both have sons named Luke. How cool is that? Since I am a photographer by trade, Kathryn invited me to share some of my fave tips to get the perfect picture of your family and I am super excited to let you in on a few tips and tricks that I've found to work for me. Some of these may work when you're having your portrait taken by a professional, some will work when you're attempting to take pictures of your own precious kidlets, and some can work for both. Let's get started!
  1. Wear what you are comfortable in, just a little nicer. I can't say enough how much this plays a role in getting the perfect picture. Imagine you are a jeans and t-shirt kind of family and you try to get your daughter to wear a dress with itchy tulle underneath. If she isn't used to it, it will be written all over her poor face -- and your pictures -- forever. Along those same lines, think about the mood or feeling you’d like your pictures to convey and have your clothing match that. It doesn’t usually make sense to wear jeans and a t-shirt for a romantic, more formal type shoot and vice versa. 
  2. Don't feel the need to all wear the exact.same.thing. Don’t be matchy-matchy with your clothing. It is okay to have color variations, pattern variations, and lots of texture! It actually is a more visually-interesting photo that way! Some of the best pictures I've taken are ones that involve layers and bright colors. Have fun with your wardrobe! I have a board on Pinterest dedicated solely to what to wear for a photo shoot. Feel free to check it out if this isn't your area of expertise and need a little extra help. I won't tell anyone. ;)
  3. Time is of the essence. I would be hard pressed to find any person that would enjoy being woken up at 3am and then be asked to be happy-go-lucky and ready to listen and follow directions of someone you've probably never met. Right? Same theory applies to your little ones. Don't schedule your portraits to be taken smack dab in the middle of nap time. In that same line of thinking, make sure your kids take a solid nap (or as best as they'll take) before you go. Seriously, trust me on this one.
  4. Food for thought: feed the animals. Another easy way to make sure that your kids will cooperate better is to make sure they have full tummies prior to the beginning of your photo shoot and I'm not one to look down on small food bribes while pictures are being taken. I've taken more than one adorable picture with a lollipop in a kid's mouth. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have smiles with a lollipop in hand versus a screaming toddler flailing on the ground. You choose.
  5. Life isn't 100% posed, your pictures shouldn't be either. Unless you have an angel baby (and then I might be super jealous), most kids don't -- and won't -- sit still for all of your picture requests. Take what experiences you can and you might be surprised how much you like how they turn out. And I know it might go against much of what you think, but not everyone has to always be looking at the camera. Promise.
  6. Have fun and feel free to try something out of the box. Random chair in a field or in front of a dirty brick wall? Yes. Sitting on top of a ladder to get a different perspective of a picture? Sure. Taking out an umbrella in the middle of a dry summer day? Why not? Climbing through a corn field, stepping on bugs? Absolutely.
  7. Get a dose of fresh perspective. I often come home from photo shoots covered in dirt and very stinky. I lay on the ground, jump all over the place, climb walls to get a better vantage point. To get a variety of good pictures, you'll never stand in the same spot asking for the same pose. Kids are lower to the ground; get down on their level. Taking a picture from a higher angle is more flattering for everyone, especially those who are worried about the extra skin under the chin. Just sayin'.
I hope you've enjoyed all the helpful tips I've rounded up for you! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to find me over at the blog and I'll answer them the best I can. Thank you again Kathryn for having me! You rock!

Thank you soooo much Katie! I know I learned new things that I'll be using this holiday season. Especially cause I have little kiddies!

Linking up: 36th Ave., Fireflies & Jellybeans, Katie's Nesting Spot


Thanks for dropping in!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fabulous Fall: Tissue Holder Tutorial


Day 3 of Fabulous Fall! Today I have an old friend showing us how to prepare for the flu season. Katie from Smile Like You Mean It is going to show us how to make a tissue holder...pretty essential when it comes to needing to wipe little runny noses. Okay Katie, take it away!

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Hi! I’m Katie and I’m the girl behind the blog Smile Like You Mean It. I blog about a myriad of things, but lately I’m a fan of super easy crafts and this is definitely on that list!
With Autumn comes colder weather, and in my case, that means more runny noses! I like to keep tissues in my bag anyway, but I use them a lot more when it’s chilly!! This little holder is super cute and really easy, It holds a travel pack of Kleenex perfectly. AND, it is also a great little gift idea!
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This tutorial is super easy! Especially if you use something like felt or fleece! I’m going to show you the easy felt way first and then give you a few tips if you want to use fabric instead.
1. First, cut out your pieces. You need a piece of felt that is about 7 inches long and 5 1/2 inches wideDSC_2498
2. Next, if you’d like to embellish your edges like I did in the finished picture, this is the time. On this one I sewed on a piece of ribbon along one edge. You could do ribbon on one edge,both edges, you could use ric-rac, or even just use pinking shears to give the edges a little something extra. Important: If you choose to add some ribbon, be sure to singe the edge where you cut it with a lighter so that it won’t fray!
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3. Then fold the short edges to the center. Pin it to help keep it in place as you sew. You want the two edges that will create the opening to be as close as possible.
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4. Sew the side edges
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That’s it!! Take the tissues out of the plastic and stuff them inside your holder!
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5. You can reinforce the opening if you are worried about it coming apart over time.DSC_2515
If you want to make one out of fabric, there a just a few adjustments you need to make and do differently.
First, you have to cut out your piece of fabric a bit bigger to allow for sewing finished seams. I added about an inch to each side making it about 8 x 6 1/2. It doesn’t have to be perfect, your tissues will still fit in your little holder if you make it smaller than it should be.
Fold the raw edge and then fold it again so the raw edge is inside. Sew the long edges first and then do the same for the short edges. When you are done sewing the finished piece should be pretty close to the original measurements of 7 x 5 1/2 inches. Something like this:DSC_2511
Then add embellishments to your short edges
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Then just repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 above to finish it off!
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If you have any questions, please email me at kdb.smilelikeyoumeanit {at} gmail.com.
Come on over to check out my free printables (that have been all over Pinterest lately!) and check out the other projects that I’m working on as I get myself and my house ready for baby boy #2! I will be kicking off a full week of handmade Christmas Ornament Tutorials on Monday (the 21st!) and I’d love for you to come join us!
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Thank you so much, Katie! I love going to her blog to see her adventures with her son (she also has a son Luke!) and all the crafty things she makes. 

Linking Up: Ginger Snap Crafts, Fabric Bows & More

Thanks for dropping by!