If ever there was a craft that was the epitome of "20 minute crafter" this is it! This craft is so easy but SO cute! These could easily be made for all of your friends, teachers neighbors....all in ONE evening! Change the theme to make it for a teacher to use year round...make it love themed for Valentines...St. Patricks, etc! The sky is the limit and you won't spend a fortune either!!
How seriously cute is this?!!
Here is everything you need:
embroidery hoop (this one is 12in and cost about $3)
clothes pins (you can get a huge pack for about $4)
strips of fabric or ribbon (free from my stash)
Start by wrapping your hoop...I like to start with the tail pulled between the fastener at the top of the hoop, leave enough tail to be able to tie it at the end.
Add a dab of hot glue before you start wrapping to hold it in place...
...when you get to the end of the first strip just tack it in place with glue, do the same with the next strip and keep going...
And this is what you get! Cute already, right?!
Now you will start gluing the clothespins (pinchy parts facing OUT) all around the hoop, held in place by hot glue! I start by spacing them in quarters, then one in between each of those...etc.
...like so...you can stop whenever you feel like you have enough.
Then just add your bow, or other decoration at the top and you are done!!!
How seriously cute is this? It will hold lots of cards and love from your friends and family!
Bells and deer? Oh my!
I just love this craft and can't wait to make a bunch as gifts! Hope you loved it too!!
I just completed my first ever pair of hand knitted socks!!! I had tried several times before and failed miserably and decided that I would try one last time, using every resource available to me and if it didn't work this time, I was going to give it up forever!
I'm happy to say that my last try was a success! I have a pair of socks, that I knit, that are pretty much the same size as one another! They fit well and they feel great! Woo hoo, right!!??
Now, I am no where near a pro at this. They took me a long time, I started in September and finished in August BUT I only really worked on these while I was waiting for something (the boys to get out of school or at the doctors office or during church and the occasional Saturday afternoon). I went into the process with no expectations to finish quickly but seized every opportunity to knit a row or two.
And even though I am still learning a lot (waiting on my next yarn order to come in the mail!) I thought I would compile a little list of to-do as you start.
I asked questions (of real people and Google). A lot of questions. I went to an actual yarn store and told the lady my mission and asked for her help in getting started. And you know what? She was actually REALLY helpful!
At Amanda's recommendation I bought and used this book. It reads easily, makes sense and gives you lots of different options for starting, the heel, stopping and the process. You can read several ways of doing things and choose the one that makes sense to you. I did find that if I just DID what the directions said, it made sense after I did it. You know, instead of it making sense by just reading it. I found this on Amazon.
These needles were my favorites. I had two pair, one for each sock. I have a bamboo pair that I didn't like as much. It's personal preference really but I found that the yarn really flowed nicely over the metal versus the wood. I bought these in the local knitting shop.
The yarn I used was a yarn I found at a local knitting store. I asked for the sock yarns and picked the prettiest yarn I could find. I find that the various colors helped keep my attention a little better than a solid would.
I bought some fancy soap for washing my socks that I worked so hard on. I found this on Amazon.
I thought pretty sock blockers would help me be motivated as well. Couldn't hurt right? I found these on Ebay.
That's it. Just add a heap of patience and you can do it too! I hope you have fun trying, or trying to talk yourself into it!
Leave any helpful resources you have in the comments for others to use!
The holidays are here. Within just a few days we will all be surrounded by the undeniable presence of Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Year and whatever other holidays you happen to celebrate this time of year. To me it's a time to slow down, make days special and JOY abundant as we celebrate the fact that God came down to save us.
Sadly, this time of year also seems to bring out the ugliest in some of us. I've been immersed in social media for enough years now to know that it is coming. The nasty, judgmental posts and tweets and facebook and IG rants that tear apart someone who dares to celebrate "too much". Women especially seem to get extra defensive this time of year about what "others" are doing.
In fact, this time last year I was asked to participate in a live discussion on a very popular news network about how my family goes all out to do "elf on the shelf". I was SO EXCITED. This network is a huge deal and I felt especially honored to be asked to be a part of it. Long story short, I didn't get to participate (divine intervention for sure) and the interview ended up being a mom that loves doing the elf versus a panel of people that essentially berated her for twenty minutes because of it. They called her a show off, said that she was making THEIR lives harder for them and was setting the standards too high for others and that it just wasn't fair. I watched with my mouth open. The poor woman (who would have been me) took a good verbal beating. I was so thankful that God spared me because the ugly cry would have come out.
Because here is the thing: we have the honor and privilege of living in a FREE world where we can choose to celebrate ANYTHING the way we want to and ONLY the way we want to. Those people chose to degrade someone else because of their own "perceived" shortcomings. They were measuring THEIR success with someone elses measuring stick and then beating the person with it. THAT is what is not fair.
It does not matter one bit what your neighbor is doing for Christmas, or what your sister is making for Thanksgiving. It does not matter that Mary down the street makes all of her Christmas gifts from clay she digs out of the ground herself or that Sally from work bakes cookies from ingredients she grew herself. It doesn't matter if Susan buys all of her gifts from Macys/DollarTree/Walmart/Target/yardsales/Goodwill/Etc. It doesn't matter if the person you share a duplex with celebrates Christmas AND Kwanza. It doesn't matter if someone does Elf on the shelf year round or not at all. It doesn't matter if your best friend gives her kids 20 gifts each or none. Some people choose to work at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving, some eat all day long, it doesn't matter. Some people get up at the crack of dawn to go shop like crazy people on Black Friday and some do it all from home, it doesn't matter.
And do we know why it doesn't matter? Because it is none of our damn business.
Do you know what it? What we do. And only what we do.
If we let what someone else does effect how WE FEEL about ourselves that has everything to do with ourselves and nothing to do with the other person. Even if they ARE being a show off (still NONE of our business).
OK? I am convinced that we could all have a wonderful, stress-less holiday season if we stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. If we just take a moment and find our OWN measuring sticks and promise only to use them on ourselves (beating ourselves is necessary when we start to have wandering eyes again).
Because you know what? Time spent freaking out over what everyone else is doing is time that is gone from you. That is less time with your kids, your husband, baking, making, shopping, etc. And is there a bigger waste of time than that?
So all together now.
Let us take an oath that will help to bring about the best Christmas season ever!! Ready?
Raise your right hand and repeat after me:
I, (insert your name), promise to mind my own damn business this holiday season. I promise to focus on bringing JOY to those around me and not judgment. *I promise to help Mary get those clay stains out of her hands and to help Sally weed her garden in the Spring and tell them both that I am so proud of their hard work. (*may be changed to suit your needs). I promise to build others UP this season and not bring them DOWN. I promise to not compare what I am doing to what others are doing, NO MATTER WHAT. I promise to think before speaking and think twice as long before acting. I will keep in mind that words can be very damaging and can easily steal someone elses joy. I will be confident in my own traditions, expectations and holidays festivities. I will bless others as far as I am able and be thankful for the opportunity. I will use my time wisely and not waste it on jealousy or misguided thoughts. I will make this the best holiday season ever.
Ok? Are we ready? Can we do it? I totally think we can. Social media drives the way you steer it! So steer it good!!
This is probably one of my favorite giveaways every year. Not only is it a great giveaway (who doesn't need Christmas cards?!) but Sara and I have known each other since way back when we both started out on Etsy. It has been so fun to see her business flourish and grow. She is amazing and fast and sets the standards high for the rest of us.
She has amazing card designs and is willing to work with you to get your cards just right! We have loved every single one we have gotten from her.
Her designs are simple and beautiful, letting your photos shine through.
Sara has offered up a card design + 50 free 5 x 7 cards and envelopes to one lucky winner!
All you have to do to be entered is to go to Sara's Etsy shop and pin your favorite design to your Pinterest board! (you can also tweet it or facebook it). Please come back here and leave your link!
I could not believe that this recipe was not on the blog already!! I have loved these for years!! I found the recipe in an issue of Family Fun magazine from eight or nine years ago and have enjoyed them ever since! They are all the things I love: easy to make, fast and delicious!
Want to make some?!
Pumpkin Pie Tarts
2 cups of whipped topping (plus more for topping)
1 box of cheesecake flavored jello pudding mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
3 boxes of 15 of mini fillo shells, defrosted (I found these at Kroger near the pie crusts in the freezer)
Whisk together the whipped topping and the pudding mix.
Add the pumpkin and spice until well blended.
See? Well blended. :)
You can scoop it all into a plastic back and snip a hole in the corner to fill your shells with or you can go all fancy and use a frosting bag with a fancy tip to fill the shells. Or you could scoop it in with a spoon.
Just before serving top with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and you are done! See? Easy right??
Have fun making some! Perfect for Thanksgiving!!!
***while you are here don't forget to enter to win a