Showing posts with label holiday crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday crafts. Show all posts

8 Months to Christmas! Kick into Gear!

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With the start of the summer, comes outdoor activities, less crafting time and more heat!  Smaller projects are a virtue during the summer, so that you don't overheat.  This is the time of the year to make hats, mittens, socks, and all those other small projects!  That isn't saying that you shouldn't work on blankets, especially if you live somewhere that you have cool nights!  I myself have switched to working motifs for blankets since it's getting warmer!
Well, without further ado, welcome to May!  May should be a big time for finalizing portions of your list and knocking out a couple of projects!  Trust me, you'll feel better if you do!  Time to review our lists!

Here's how mine looks after April's work:

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/snowflake  
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food/hotpads/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket/snowflake
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket/snowflake
MIL - snowflake/hotpads/socks{blanket 2012}
SIL - cowl/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Linney – socks/mittens/snowflake(something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket/sampler style?

Would like to craft for:
Aud - snowflake/hotpads (something knit)
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - mittens/cardi?
Shep - hat?
V -  snowflake/horse something?
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket/club covers?
STLM - club covers? {blanket 2013}
GGJ- Snowflake/hotpads
Soo- Snowflake/hotpads

In Progress:
club covers
sock testing
cowl for SIL
Testing for socks and mittens
Testing for blanket designs for the girls

Designs to do:

All snowflakes for misc people

All of the items that are stricken out are finished, the blue highlighted items are in progress, the green highlighted items are ones that I have something in mind and the yellow highlighted items are in the planning phase.  As you can see, I've finished some of the bulk work that I wanted to do and have made some headway on both testing and work on projects for people.  I've also worked on refining my list to pinpoint people that I have figured out or ones that I need to work on ideas for them.  This month, my goal is to finish off the two projects that I currently have in progress and work towards the designs for several others.  

Goals for May: 

Pin down the final designs for all remaining people that you haven't started projects for.
Finish at least one small project and work on a larger project.
Be able to cross at least one person off your list!

As a bonus, here are some quick and easy projects that you can try to cross some people off your crafting list!

Lace Scallop Hat (Knit)

Unforgettable Hat (Crochet)

Sifu Soap Sachet and Scrubbie

Soft and Sweet Heart Sachet
Bulky Stacked Shell Cowl
Luxe Cowl

There's some quick and easy projects to get you started.  Here is hoping you can finish a project or two this month!!!  

(Oh and hey, shouldn't I get props for being on time this month??  *bows*)

Halloween Look Book 2012

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It's September, and in my world, that means it's almost holiday season!  It's time to start planning what crafts we'll be doing, when we'll fit them into our busy schedules and for me to judge how much energy I have for making Halloween costumes and Christmas gifts.  Last year, for Halloween, we made Shrunken Apple Heads and Decoupage Jar Candles.  For Christmas, we went all out and made a ton of "Food in a Jar", along with a Naughty and Nice themed Christmas that featured said food in a jar, a homemade washcloth or potholder (crochet) and some had some nice bath items, like Sugar Scrubs.

This year, I've already got a strong start on Christmas presents, with a list of 13 "Must Craft For" people, 11 "potential simple project" people, and 8 "would like to craft for" children.  (I know I have a funny list, but when I'm thinking about crafting for this many people, I have to have some point where I can say, no, I'm too stressed out and this part I can drop and just pick them up something they'll enjoy equally)

I already have three projects for the "Must Craft For" people started, and ideas for another 7 of those, and just three people who I don't know what I'm making for yet.  I'm sure it will come to me during my planning.

As for crafts, I've been pinning like mad, finding great treats and ideas to implement when the time comes.  Here's a few of my favorites that I've found (not that I'm doing all or any of these, but a girl can look, can't she?):

For Halloween:

While this first one isn't something that I would actually wear, I do find it incredibly witty.  First, it's crocheted.  Second, you're a burger! It's now got me thinking... what else could I crochet to be a wonderful halloween costume, something that would make everyone say "Wow!  You made that?"
More to come on this thought later, I'm sure.

For the girls, I am LOVING the look of these long tulle dresses.  They're adorable!

And why couldn't mom have a big fancy skirt too?  I could play the evil queen or something :)

 I love crafting for these holidays.  I always try to involve my children so that the crafts have more meaning, and I add something new and homemade and fun to our collection every year.  These are just a few of the things that I've been dreaming of for Halloween decor. :)

 For treats, I found some spookilicious ones!

For the kids, Brain Cakes in a jar, or apples, peanut butter and marshmallows as a snack.

Who says mommy can't have something fun too?  Vampire Blood Cocktail :)

Oh and love love love this window display.

I think that's all for now.  What sort of things are you dreaming of for the upcoming holidays?  I'd love to hear about things you've done or dream about!

Link up your projects, past or future for all to enjoy!

Love Bug Cupcakes {Recipe}

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A couple of months ago we made little Love Bug Cupcakes in honor of Valentine's Day. I thought they were so cute, took pictures of them, promptly lost them somewhere on my hard drive and then found them again and decided to write a post on how to make them! They were so cute, and so easy!

Start with a box of cake mix, the frosting of your preference, a bag of marshmallows, pull and peel twizzlers, red sugar crystals, and something for the eyes. We used Silver Dragees, even though you're not supposed to. It was what I had in my kitchen at the time.

 Make the cupcakes according to the boxed directions,and let them cool.  While they're cooling, go ahead and decorate the Marshmallows.  To do this, pour some of the red sugar crystals onto a plate.  Wet the marshmallow with water, then roll it in the red sugar crystals.  Then, just set them aside to dry.

While those are drying, you can go ahead and frost your cupcakes:

I didn't want to make them all into love bugs, so what I did was took a heart shaped cookie cutter, set it on top of the frosted cupcake, and sprinkled some red sugar crystals into the bounds of the cookie cutter.  Tip the cupcake from left to right to coat and then tip upside down to remove extra.

By now, your marshmallows should be dry.  Pull apart the Twizzlers, and cut them into small pieces for the antennae, and larger pieces for the wings.  All you do is stick them into the marshmallow.  Do the same for the eyes and the bug is done!  Now, stick a toothpick into the bottom of the bug, and then onto the cupcake.  Voila!  You have some beautiful love bugs!

My daughter just loved how cute they were!

I liked how they looked in groups alternating with the hearts.   I just thought they were adorable!  

Do you have any holiday crafts that you haven't posted?  Perhaps you should post them now!!!

I'm linking up here: 

St. Patrick's Day Crafts: Leprechaun Traps {Craft Tutorial}

This is our first year making leprechaun traps, and let me just say that Lily has been super excited to do this from the moment that we started gathering pebbles to make up our fake gold, to her drawing a schematic of what she wanted the trap to look like, to helping me design the trap.

We took up inspiration from several places, such as:

Root's and Wing's Leprechaun Traps
A Holiday Haven's: Leprechaun Traps that Work
A Holiday Haven's: How to Catch a Leprechaun
Disney Family Fun: To Catch a Leprechaun
Leprechaun Trap Photos

First, we started by talking about leprechauns.  I did a little bit of research ahead of time and picked and chose what our leprechauns would be like.   According to most Leprechaun folklore, any leprechaun, if ever captured by a human, the leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their release.  I decided this would be our reasoning why we should catch a leprechaun.  But why would the leprechaun be coming to our house anyway?

Well, Saint Patrick's day is an Irish holiday, and a darn good reason to dye rivers green, imho.  And while we're dying rivers green, why not invite the leprechauns in to our homes to steal our precious  gold?  Sounds like a great idea.  My four year old has been asking these sorts of questions, and I simply tell her that leprechauns are tricky like that.  So immediately, of course, she was on board with making the leprechaun traps.

First, we set out making a schematic for our trap:

Ok.  This was a great start.  It engaged her for a while, helped her practice her writing, and she had fun explaining what everything was.

We found a box that was perfect for the trap and she set about painting that while I prepped the stuff to paint our fake gold.  We had gathered some pebbles on our trip to the park the other day, I brought these home, washed them and they were ready to go.

I dumped them in a clean dry cottage cheese container that I had been saving to reuse in some craft projects.  Then I added a few drops of gold paint...

Then we shook them up, and dumped them on some aluminum foil to dry.

We built a simple cage made out of popsicle sticks and glued some poly fib*r*fill to the outside, and glued the rainbow on top of that.  We tied a string to the top of our cage so that the trap would actually work.

You can't really see the cage in this picture, and that's the point.  You don't want to give the trap away to the leprechaun, do you?

Overall, she and I both had fun with this project, and we both had fun making a working trap.  She thought it was hilarious that it actually worked when I made her take the gold and test it.

It will also be fun when we set it up on St. Patrick's day and see if we catch a leprechaun, or if he gets away and leaves us a special treat.  (Either way it will be cool!)

What are you and your family doing for St. Patrick's Day Crafting activities?  I'd love to hear about them!

I'm linking up to these St. Patrick's Day linky parties!

Creations by Kara

Link up here if you did something cool for St. Patrick's Day!!

Very special gloves for a very special lady

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If you can't tell, I'm all about gifts of the homemade variety.  I always try to make something special or unique that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else and usually make it something that is unique to my gift receiver.  This year, I knit my very first pair of gloves.  I made them for my grandmother in-law who is one of the most wonderful women that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone being able to call family.  Many years ago, she worked for a factory.  One day, she had the misfortune of the machine clamping down on her hand and cutting off the fingers of her right hand.  They went straight to the hospital, with her fingers, but were unable to reattach them.  Ever since, she has lived, and done quite well with just one good hand.  (She cross-stitches, and she's amazing at it- a true inspiration)  
On one of my visits to my husbands' hometown, I was testing out a knitting pattern, trying to see if I could get the hang of it.  I finished off one fingerless mitt (wasn't really happy with it, and to this day, this particular mitt is still sitting in the bottom of my "to-finish" stack).  Well she tried it on, and made an offhand comment that she hadn't ever had a properly made pair of gloves.  She couldn't wear gloves because they didn't fit her bad hand, and fingerless mitts left her cold.  
I took it upon myself to try and find a pretty pattern, and to work making a pair of gloves that would serve her needs.  I made the left hand just as the pattern described, which was hard enough itself, as this was the first time that I had ever made fingers.  It took weeks of putting it down, picking it up, getting frustrated, getting over it and putting it back down again before I was finally done.  
Then, I left it alone for about week, wondering if I would ever be finished with them.  Then in a sudden burst of inspiration, I started and finished the second glove, which turned out to be much easier because instead of fingers, all I had to do was keep knitting and then close off as if for a mitten.  It worked great. 
Overall, not my finest work, the fingers were a wee bit funky, and the cuffs did this weird thing, probably because I didn't do a garter stitch for long enough, but the reaction was all worth it.  She laughed and hugged me and tried them on many times for everyone to see.  It is this sort of gifting that makes all of my crazy labor over the year worth while.

Why don't you try finding one truly unique thing you can make for someone this year?  You might be surprised at how it makes you feel!

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Colored Coal (M&M) Cookies in a Jar

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Here's a simple recipe for an M&M cookie mix in a jar!  We used the red and green m&m's for the holidays and the mix was very easy to put together.  My only wish was that we had saved the m&ms for the very last layer because they almost got lost in the layers of flour and sugar.

"Colored Coal Cookies"


  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. Layer ingredients in jar in order given in a 1 quart ''wide mouth'' canning jar. Add the flour mixture last. It will be a tight fit when you add the flour mixture so be sure to pack everything down firmly.
  3. Instructions to attach to jar:  
  M & M's Cookies. 
Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix. 
Add 1/2 cup margarine or butter softened at room temperature. Mix in 1 egg, slightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands. 
Shape into balls the size of walnuts and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to finish cooling. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

    Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Santa Sweat (Spiral) Soup in a Jar

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    I knew from the moment that I started the "Naughty and Nice" project that I wanted to do a spiral noodle soup in some form.  I did a lot of research into what jarred soups people had made and what recipes there were to choose from.  Armed with all of this knowledge, I used the basic form from a couple of different recipes to design my "Santa Sweat Soup" to be included in my "Naughty" packages.  Here is the way to make it, I hope you enjoy!

    Santa Sweat Soup (Spiral Soup) in a Jar

    Ingredients that you need for the jar:

    1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/3 cup beef boullion granules
    1/2 cup dried minced onion
    3-1/2 cups of tri-colored spiral pasta (or enough to fill the jar)

    Assembly Instructions:

    Mix all the powders together to blend, and add to the jar using a canning funnel.
    Add the Spiral pasta (for added fun, separate the colors and layer them for a unique look)

    Decorate the Jar with fabric, stickers, or tie a ribbon around the top.  Include cooking instructions and gift away!

    Cooking Instructions:

    8 c. Water
    2 c. Crushed or Diced Tomatoes
    1 Jar of Soup mix
    Optional:  Veggies of your choice

    Bring water and tomatoes (and veggies if desired) to boil in a soup pot.  Add the Jar of Soup mix and simmer for about 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Garnish with crackers or Parmesan cheese.