February 2012


I thought I would try and play a little catch up.  We’re going way back to Christmas but hey, it’s never too early to start planning for next year, right?

Christmas was overall pretty craft-free this time around.  We were still in full adjustment mode and there wasn’t a whole lot of time to sit around and make things.  The three things I did make took forever because I couldn’t just sit down and finish like I used to.  But they were worth it and I love them.

First is my yarn-wrapped Santa wreath.  I saw a similar one from this blog on Pinterest and thought it would be a nice change for our forest green front door.  Traditional wreaths don’t really show up.  Besides, I was going for a more kid-friendly vibe with colored lights outside and fun touches where I could.  I came up with the idea of adding the Rudolph wreath and attached them using part of a jingle bell garland that I originally wanted to use to decorate the living room or Christmas tree.  Maybe next year.

The other major crafty thing was a Rapunzel wig for Ella, made from this tutorial.  It was the only thing she asked for for Christmas, so I had to deliver.  I think I finished it two days early. Whew!  This is not the best picture of it, but it will do.  It really did turn out cute.  I ended up sing a boucle yarn instead of eyelash and liked the substitution.  The only downside with the wig in general is that she has trouble getting it on herself.

 

It wouldn’t be Christmas without homemade treats. This year, I made this Santa Party Mix by Cookies and Cups.

I didn’t take a picture of it so I borrowed the one from the site because verbal description simply does not do it justice.  It is THE cutest ever.  The little Santa hats are so whimsical and fun to make.   I packaged it up in little windowed boxes from Hobby Lobby and made sure that the recipients could see a couple of the hats and some of the M&M’s through the window.  Super cute and it was really yummy, too.  Just the right mix of salty and sweet.  I wasn’t sure about the cranberries, but they were a perfect addition.  Festive and just a hint of chewy tartness.

And really… it IS almost time to start crafting for next Christmas.  Yikes!

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Before I really get going on this post, there are a few things I need to say.  This is for me, really, more than for you, but it just needs to be said.

Having 3 kids is very different from having 2.  Having a 2-year-old and an infant is a busy business.  Therefore, I do not currently have time/capacity for many things such as, but not limited to: perfection, tiptoeing into a sleeping baby’s room to hunt for the camera instead of my iPhone for pictures, sweet photo editing, wiping my table off a second time after the kids have a second go at breakfast, glue, craft supply runs, pretty much any sort of planning, or manicures.  I love to make things and I really love to post about them and share, but there have been lots of things getting in the way of that, largely my need for everything looking tip-top.  What it comes down to is that I would rather chronicle these fun times with my kids and the enjoyment I have gotten from my crafting than miss out on all of it because my pictures don’t look as good as the ones on someone else’s blog.

I feel better.  Thank you.

Now for the shamrocks.  Today is the first snow day of the year, which is complete madness in Michigan.  It is also my first snow day as an adult because I now work only in schools.  There was a combination of excitement and panic when I saw the name of my school for today pop up on the school closings list.  An extra day home with the kids – awesome…. or not.  What on earth will we do??

The baby was up super early, so he took an early nap.  After wowing the kids with the mystery of helping Mommy clean the kitchen with their very own magic erasers, I decided to take advantage of the relative calm and make a project that has been swimming in my head for a while.  A simple shamrock banner for the kitchen.

Our kitchen is the sunniest room in our home.  I love that room and I love the windows.  They make for a nice display area for banners and such, even if it makes for difficult photographing because the light basically only comes from one direction.

Here is a brief tutorial.  There are SO many ways to jazz this up.  I will mention a few as I go along.

I used green construction paper (that super cool glittery scrapbook paper from Michael’s would be great, too), scissors, a borrowed stapler (thank you, Jenni!), a needle and thread.

First, cut the construction paper along the short side to make 4 strips.  You will use 3 1/2 strips per shamrock.  My strips were about 1/2 – 3/4 inches wide.  The width didn’t matter much to me, nor did exact uniformity.  Depending on what you are doing with your shamrocks, you may want to consider this a bit more than I did.

You will be using three heart shapes to make each shamrock.  For each heart, take one strip, fold it in half and staple (or glue, tape, bubble gum… whatever works for you) about an inch up from the fold.  Repeat until all three hearts are started.

Now flip the unstapled ends of paper back on each side to create a heart.  You can either create three separate hearts and attach them later or just hang on a minute and use one staple for all three “leaves” and the stem.

Let’s take a break for a moment here to discuss my slowed cognitive processing, shall we?  Sluggish, let me tell you.  It has just occurred to me that folding the paper into a “v” and bending the two ends in to make the top and stapling there would probably be easier.  Duh.  Moving on…

To make the stem, I used one half strip of paper.  I grabbed the ends together and then sort of jauntily folded a stem shape.  Put all three leaves together and place the ends of the stem piece on either side of this grouping and staple to complete your shamrock.

I also made one four-leaf clover.  You know, for good luck and all.  ( :

Benjamin was watching me and insisted that I get out some orange paper.  Orange is his absolute favorite color.  Since orange is also a St. Patrick’s Day color, I just cut a few strips of it to make little swirls to put in between the shamrocks to offset them a bit.  I think little pom-poms would look super cute, too.  And this would be a fun project made from felt.  But cutting felt just seems more time-consuming and when that baby is sleeping, this Momma has to fly.

Once all of your shapes are complete, you can use a needle and thread to get them ready to display.  I just grabbed the end of a spool of white thread because the color will not show anyway where I hang the garland.  Fishing line or clear thread would also work well.  Thread the shapes onto the garland, hang it up and slide the shapes into place for display.

I’m not gonna lie.  I kind of think they look like broccoli.  But I conquered a craft and still like them… even if they are veggie-like.

If you make one, please let me see it so I can see what typical cognitive processing and perhaps a little planning ahead can produce. ( ;

Can you believe that I have a tutorial coming?  Well, believe it!  I just have to wait until the monkeys nap this afternoon to work on the pictures for the post.

Good times ahead!