Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ribbon key chain tutorial!

Now that Christmas is over I can share how I made several of the gifts and stocking stuffers. I think all the recipients read this blog, so sharing before Christmas would ruin the surprise.

One thing everyone got in their stocking was a ribbon key chain. Sissy got me one from a fancy gift store for my birthday a year ago. They retail for about $10. I made mine for less than $3.

To start, cut a piece of ribbon about 10" long, and singe the ends with a lighter or put some fray-check on.
Cut fusible interfacing ( I used lightweight, but heavyweight would be better) slightly shorter and narrower than the length of your ribbon, and iron it on.
Take a D ring, and loop the ribbon over it. Sew, using your zipper foot, as close as possible to the D ring. You will want to go back and forth several times to make sure it's secure.
When you're done, it will look like this:
At your ironing board, press the non-D ring end down, just 1/4". You're just making sure you have a pretty end.
Then fold the ribbon in half,  and press.
Back at your sewing machine, sew along the D ring again to secure your ribbon
Then sew down the sides  of the ribbon to close it. Go slowly and stay as close to the edge as possible.
The finished closure
The finished product!

If you'd like, you can add a design using embroidery or freezer paper stencils before you start sewing.

If you've got a spring or summer wedding coming up, this might be a cute gift for your bridesmaids, done in your wedding colors with their initial on it.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with family and friends, good food, fun times, and most importantly love.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ornament for Ornament Swap!

Kendra hosted an annual ornament swap party. And I couldn't just show up empty handed. So I  took this opportunity to make several homemade ornaments.

First, I made a cute little JOY ornament
I got the ornament at Michaels', along with some porcelaine markers, but you could just use regular paint pens. I've been looking for an excuse to buy the porcelaine, so there you go.

Now, to create your design:
Using your computer and any word processing software or desktop publishing, create your design. I simply printed "noel" in a variety of fonts and sizes, along with a holly clip art.
Take your printed paper, and rub pencil all over the back.
Flip it printed side up, center your design on your ornament, and trace the printing to transfer graphite to the surface of the ornament.  You just made transfer paper.

Color in your design using markers.
If using the porcelaine, bake according to package directions.
Hang and enjoy!

A garland wrapped ball:

Take a styrafoam ball. I recommend lightly spray painting or craft painting it first.
starting at one end, hot glue mardi-gras beads on your ball.
 Keep going, trying to make sure your beads squish together.
 Ta da! You can then glue a ribbon hanger on the top, or wrap it all the way around and then glue a hanger.

And this pieceware ornament  inspired by Martha Stewart. 

Roll out polymer clay
 Cut out a circle shape (Hopefully your sister has not absconded with all your round cookie cutters)
 Clean up any edges
 Stamp your design
 I then added smaller "dots" using the end of a compass.
Let dry, then bake according to package directions. Hang and enjoy!

After making all of these, I ended up taking one I purchased because I wasn't happy with how mine turned out.  However, the ones I made are gracing my tree this year.

I love how these can be personalized to be unique for each year.

After Christmas, I'll be sharing some of the gifts I made. I am so anxious to share them with you!

Hope you are ready for the holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Christmas decor!

I got more holiday stuff put out, just in time for my gingerbread party!

Here are some pictures of the additional decor, and some more pictures of my tree.
This pretty pedestal from Southern Living is on the table by my front door.

My "Charlie Brown" tree in the kitchen window. The wood tree was my grandmother's.

This train was made by my grandfather. Behind it is my Christmas cactus I can't make bloom.

A few ornaments in a wine caddy for the powder room.
 Some up close views of my mantle. The mercury glass candlesticks were a gift from Mom last year.
 My hand made stockings out of "designer" fabric.
 The ornament wreath. Check out how I made it here.

 An up close view of my beaded garland ball
 I love the colors and shape of this ornament. Plus, it's dog-proof.
 My tree skirts (burlap, tulle, and sparkly burlap), with a few presents
The pretty glass drops and mercury glass ornaments (more gifts!)
 These beautiful mercury glass inspired robins egg ornaments were also a gift. I filled in the tree with  gold "English crackers" made by wrapping toilet paper tubes in gold floral wrap.
 The whole tree again
The full mantle again

And I got these beautiful flowers from Janet as a hostess gift for my gingerbread house party. Her daughter Kara is an amazing florist!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

This past weekend, I had my annual Gingerbread House decorating party.

This is a tradition we started way back when I was a child. Mom would make graham cracker houses, and my entire class would come over to decorate.

This year, a few good friends came over for decorating fun. Everyone was given a basic house to decorate, expand, or renovate as they wished. We had both royal icing and melted chocolate for "glue".

I think we had some pretty good results:

The finished products!
We had a hot tub from Kris

And a doghouse (center right)

 Prince Charming won for most construction on his lot- with a picket fence, carport (with car!), and a shed.

 Leslie had the cutest snowman in a celery sled!

 Kristen got into the spirit with a red and green theme:

Here's mine:

The front of Kristen's and a little bit of Janet's

I think they look so great! I can't wait for next year!


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