I went to a neighborhood ornament exchange last night....
and survived to tell you all about it!
These social things can cause me a lot of stress!
1. Do you go kitschy or fancy?
2. Do you wrap or leave unwrapped?
3. Do you use your name or go anonymous?
What do you wear????
Well, in the end, I wore all black. I went Kitschy (and was the only one!), wrapped and named. In fact, I even wrote a note about calling me if you need something because I thought it was cute with the telephone ornament.
I punched some glitter polk dots from our Adhesive Glitter Sheets.
I tied it up with some Shimmer Trims and added a couple tags and yep, those brand-new, soon-to-be-released Wood Charms!
Everyone loved the box, the ornament, well, I'm not so sure. Oh well, I know for next year right?!?!
There is frost on the roof tops this morning in Austin which is the whitest we have seen the rooftops since our move here.
School started two hours late because of ice on the roads. (Yes, all us Northern Utah transplants found this funny!)
But, our home was cozy, the coffee was hot and the extra two hours made for a nice morning hanging out together by the Christmas tree lights.
Since I'm trying to find beauty in my everyday world, I thought I would share these paper ornaments with you all. I made them from the Simple Surface paper deck and love how the light shines through both the vellum and carstock papers. I also love the little bits of sparkle from the glitter!
Happy December my friends.
If you weren't aware yet, I love mason jars. Glass is so beautiful and I have nostalgic memories of late summer days spent bottling. Now Cosmo Cricket is coming out with the above triple jar sconce and I'm really excited. They should start shipping late January.
Until then, check out these fun mason jar DIY's by Elizabeth Dillow.
Do you know someone that would love Nutcraker tickets, because this Nutcracker jar is the cutest way I've ever seen of giving them!!!
Here's a fun idea for family togetherness over the holiday. Elizabeth printed out strips of paper with conversation starters to get her kids to focus on the spirit of the season.
And I'm starting to wonder if we have a cocoa jar competition going on? My friends keep showing up my cocoa jar! This one is amazing.
My favorite thing about this project is the glittered frame. I am doing this!!! I love the idea of caroling votives, but gold glitter is my kryptonite!
Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas with us!
Nicole from Crafts Direct sent us two fun holiday ideas with our Show Toppers jar lids.
I love her addition of marshmallows with the cocoa and wish I had thought to do that when I made my cocoa jars! And I think I'll copy her idea of wrapping the adhesive glitter around the rim too.
This Christmas Tree Jar is just too cute! I think these would make darling ornaments.
Thanks for sending us your projects Nicole!
I am in love with the trend of natural elements mixed with metallics! These ornaments capture that trend beautifully. If you want to make some, here's what you'll need.
Adhesive Glitter, shimmer trims, wood (we used a 1 x 2, but we want to get a 1 x 4 and make some really big stars too!), a chop saw, a drill, scissors, paint brushes, paint and sand paper.
To cut our diamonds, we used a chop saw. If you don't have one, see if you can find a friend or dad who does! You want to set your saw to cut 72 degree angles. After making your first cut, measure the cut edge and mark that distance along your board. That will be where you want to make your next cut. This distance will be the same everytime, so to make it quick and simple, use a "stop" so that you only have to measure the distance once. Then just chop away. You'll have a bowl full of diamonds in no time.
Cover them in glitter, glue them into larger diamonds or stars, white wash them or paint them with metallic paints. Whatever you think looks good will be perfect! We liked some of everything.
My girls had fun making these with me! Kate started with paint, Abby with glitter.
When you have them finished, drill holes and thread with Shimmer Trims to add just a little more metallic sparkle to your tree.
Our edges aren't too perfect, but we don't really care! If you do, you may want to be a little more careful.
What are you still doing here? Off with you! You should be cutting some diamonds already!
I was at the store over the weekend where I could have bought a poorly painted and kitschy Christmas village for $25. It only included a school and fire station, which I thought was odd since there were figurines of Santa and a family. Maybe due to the whole Santa chimney thing, firestations are more important at Christmastime than I realized?!?!
A Simple Surface Deck
Adhesive Glitter Sheets
A paper trimmer, adhesive and this pattern.
Make up some houses, decorate them for the season with your adhesive glitter, put LED candles underneath and make up a pretty scene! The light flickering through the vellum is very pretty!
I'm always sad when people are lonely or depressed over the holidays, especially if it's me! Here are 25 ways to feel grateful, joyful and find the spirit of the season.
1. Look for beauty. You won't have to look far. A careful eye can find it in a family member, the landscape or even a bowl of fruit on the dining table.
2. Forget what is worrying you and make a list of good things that will likely happen. Imagine these every chance you get and when they do happen, remind yourself that your life is good.
3. Try something new; something you've never done before. Go skiing, get a massage, volunteer at a food bank. If you bring your significant other along with you, it may make you feel quite romantic, like when you first met.
4. Offer at least one unsolicited compliment to someone everyday. I love to pick strangers like the girl at the checkout or the server at the coffee shop. Notice how it makes them light up.
5. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If a visiting relative says, "Hmmm, I wouldn't have used those dishes", ignore your pre-concieved notion of what she meant. Maybe she is thinking you had a great idea that she would like to copy.
6. Give gifts because you want to, not because you are obligated or you hope they'll give you something in return.
7. Write a note telling someone thanks for all they've done for you. Repeat as necessary.
8. Keep a gratitude journal. All you have to do is write three things you are grateful for that day. Don't ever repeat the things you list. This will keep you on the lookout for blessings in your life.
9. Get involved in a good cause. Collect donations for a food drive, raise funds for the Phillipines, visit the elderly.
10. Think of one person or several people who mean the world to you. Make a list of nice things they have done for you. Read these when you feel lonely to remind yourself how important you must be to that person.
11. Take pleasure in the fun, fattening and good things. Let yourself enjoy your favorite treats. Don't worry about acting silly at a party. Join in, have fun.
12. Live and let live. Don't try to polish your spouse for the season. Don't try to cover for your mother. Don't try to reform your children. Love them exactly as they are, focus on their best qualities, chalk up their quirks to "variety in life" and enjoy one more year with their company.
13. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. If you hate Aunt Marge's deviled eggs, tell her how much you love her sweater.
14. Reframe situations. When someone does something offensive, try to think of a scenario where their behaviour would be the right thing to do. For example, a rude driver cuts you off in traffic... well, maybe their wife just went into labor with their first baby. (PS: This is a game I have played for years and one time my crazy, made-up scenario turned out to be the truth!)
15. Exercise. If you're like me, you hate to hear that, but shoveling snow, sledding with the kids or, if you live in a nice warm climate, taking a walk are all great for curing cabin fever and reducing stress.
16. Deal with stress differently. When you start to feel anxious, tell yourself your body is gearing up to conquer the event. If your heart starts racing, it is just pumping your blood so that you're in top performance mode. If your breathing becomes rapid, you are getting more oxygen and your brain will be more alert. This type of self-talk has been shown to actually make stress good for you, like exercise.
17. Practice random acts of kindness everyday. Just one is enough.
18. Learn something new everyday. You can write this in your gratitude journal if you like. Did you know that cocoa contains more iron than beef. Well, now you do! Did you know that the largest known living organism is Pando, the Utah Aspen trees? They are connected by one root system and may be thousands of years old making them the oldest living organism too. Who knew? Well, now you do!
19. Get enough sleep. I don't even think Black Friday sales are worth shortening my eight hours!
20. Kids are greedy, it's OK. We all want our kids to be generous, charitable and focus on the giving side of the season. They are kids. They have moments of selflessness, interspersed with long wish lists. Don't project this to mean you have raised rotten children that will be greedy forever. I'll bet if you think back on it, you likely wrote a long list or two yourself.
21. Kids are amazing manipulators. As we know from #20, they are also greedy. Don't fall for the technique I call, "Christmas will be ruined if you don't buy be an expensive gift." I've already told Abby she will not be getting an Ipad. I'm not worried about it. She is still trying to talk me into it, but we both know, it's not happening. If your children are still Santa believers, like Jack, you can just tell them Santa OK's every present with parents first and you're not OK-ing that one. Yep, I can take the fall so Santa doesn't have to.
22. Find time for yourself. Put on a Christmas movie for the kids or schedule a sitter. Take a night off, even if it's just to enjoy a good book alone in your room.
23. Meditate. Take just ten minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing and calm your thoughts.
24. Focus on your strengths. When life gets overwhelming, don't think about what you need to get done, think about what you have gotten done already and the skills you have that helped you accomplish those things.
And the last way to find your holiday spirit is...
25. Spike the eggnog.
Thank you for sharing with us Stacey Schafer! These are beautiful.
Stacey used the Chalkboard Cheer mini deck papers in these cards. Check them out as well as these other Chalkboard Cheer projects.
Send your Cosmo Cricket projects to julie at cosmocricket dot com. You may just find yourself featured here and on our facebook page!
What's a girl to do with left-over, baked, sweet potatoes? Make them into adorable neighbor gifts of course!
Mix them up with tasty ingredients.
Scoop them into wide mouth mason jars until they are halfway full.
Bake them in a water bath.
While they are baking, type up the recipe and make a free download for your online friends. (Be sure to tell them your less sugar version is on the left, the real version is on the right. Also, let them know that a jar full, takes longer to bake... an hour or more. They will get these three jars plus on full tray of muffins from this recipe.)
Then, print these, and make cute jar lids for gifting.
Wow, a girl can get a lot done in an hour!
The very last thing a girl does with left over sweet potatoes is to eat a muffin herself!
(I love scooping them out of the jar.)