Monday, December 8, 2014

CHRISTMAS CRAFT BAZAAR .....

For the past 3 years, our community has hosted a Christmas Bazaar. Last years was cancelled, as we were all iced in ...... we were having the worst ice storm North Texas had seen in many years.
Yesterday was lovely and mild though, and it was Christmas Bazaar Day !!!!
I'm going to be honest .... it was a little disappointing .... the turnout was not great, and the number of vendors was well down on the last one. There are 2 main factors that contributed to this I think ..... The tables were a little pricey (it is a community event after all), and the advertising of it was not great. Hopefully they take this information constructively, and rework it for next year.
I took a table with a friend of mine ....


I love how our little space looked ....
These are a few of the goodies I had for sale. The Snowman, Grinch and Santa all sold out :-)


Frosty the York Peppermint Patty Snowman ....


 You're a mean one, Mr Heath Bar Grinch, and his buddy Rolo Santa ...


Santa Cone - he was filled with a mini Twix, KitKat, Andes Mint and Holiday flavored Lollipop...
I found my inspiration HERE. I dont have the die for this, like was used in the original, but I fiddled around and drew it out, until I had the shape and process worked out.


Mini crackers, filled with 2 Hershey Miniatures...
These I saw HERE, and loved them. The envelope punch board, is one of my absolute favorite tools, I use it ALL the time :-)

I then made these candy baskets, and wrapped them up all nicely with cellophane and a bow ....
The little bow is made using the envelope punch board too.....HERE is a tutorial if you'd like to give it a try.



Then I had some fun with my scrapbooking supplies ....


These are just legal notepads (you buy 6 in a pack from Walmart for under $2). I wrapped scrapbook paper along the header and round the back. I adhered a piece of matching ribbon around the top. I decided to decorate the tops with little sculpey embellishments. I have some sculpey molds (strawberry, butterfly, owl, flowers, to name a few), so I molded a few of these. They're hard once they're baked, and I just glued them to the top, with strong glue. The topper will stay good all the way through, because the legal pads are perforated where you tear the sheets of paper off.
To finish the set off, I made some sculpey pens ...... This was a learning process for sure !!! I followed THIS TUTORIAL, but didn't pay close enough attention to the type of pens she used. My first attempt was made using those clear Bic pens .... oh no .... BIG mistake!!! I had a big melty mess !!! You need to use those white plastic pens (also Bic, but even cheaper).
I really like these sets ......


This turned out to be one of my favorites ..... this wreath form and stand, were about to be thrown out after an event at our Church, but a friend of mine saw it and rescued it for me, hoping that I could use it for something. It made the perfect gift tag display. I wound crepe paper around the form, made a big green bow, and there it was ...... my Christmas Tag display wreath.

So while it wasn't a fantastically successful Bazaar, I had so much fun creating my goodies. There were some new things I tried, which I'll definately use again.

Now onto the last few things I want to make for my own little family ...... fingers crossed I get it all done !!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HOT WATER BOTTLE COVERS .....

It's always a little bit of a challenge when it comes to deciding on  gifts for my In Laws. They're of the age now, where they prefer something useful as opposed to ornamental ....
This year I decided to make matching His and Hers gifts. Something that will hopefully help keep them snuggly and warm during the long, cold, wet, grey ........ English winter.


Good old fashioned hot water bottle covers .......
For me they bring back memories of boarding school. My brother, sister and I went to boarding school for most of our school careers. High School was spent in a little town, that got bitterly cold in winter. There was no heating, and electric heaters of any kind were an absolute no no, so we had to rely on hot water bottles to keep warm in winter.

I found THIS FREE PATTERN on Pinterest. It was quick and easy. The pattern didn't call for the ribbon tie around the neck of the bottle, however I felt the neck was too loose without it, and I like the decorative effect it gives. I used yarn that was a blend of acrylic and alpaca ...... in the process I learned that I'll have to strike  alpacas off my "Pets To Have" list .......... that yarn made my nose itch, until I thought I might loose it !!!!

I'm quite chuffed to have those gifts finished already ..... I popped them, together with all my other overseas gifts into the mail today .... Yes, they will all arrive in time for Christmas (today was the final day for mailing, where they'll guarantee delivery in time for Christmas :-)

I'm taking part in a Craft Market on Sunday, so I'm busy.... busy.... busy preparing for that. Once that's done, then I can start work on the last few local gifts I want to make .... Whew, it is certainly a busy season ....... I do make a concerted effort though, to stop at some point in every day, and remember the real reason we celebrate this season.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful, blessed Christmas season.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CHRISTMAS IS COMING ......

.... and the first thing completed on my Christmas "To Do" list, are these Christmas cards, which will be on their way to my In Laws tomorrow.
I did 5 of each card.





When I went in search of goodies to use on the cards this year, I was really spoilt for choice ...... so many cute, ready made embellishments, at great prices. I got all of mine at Hobby Lobby, who seem to have had all of their Christmas craft goodies marked 50% off for weeks now. The trees, penguins, and snowflakes are all stickers. I did add the bling to the center of each snowflake for a little pizzazz !!!
All of the ideas were found on Pinterest ...... I'm a firm believer in not recreating the wheel, if I don't have too :-)

I have a few other Christmas gifts under way ....... Top Secret Stuff, you know !!!!

Ill be busy this week, preparing for our Community Craft Bazaar, which is next Sunday .... fingers crossed for this one :-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

MAGNIFICENT .....

This is a stray away from my usual crafty post, but this event was too special not to share with y'all.
While loading the washer this morning, I looked up and out the window to see this magnificent Red Shouldered Hawk sitting on the fence ...... the really special part, was that he had prey in his talons.
I sat mesmerized for the next 20 minutes, while I watched him devour this Blue Jay. He was pretty efficient, and nothing went to waste ..... It was pretty spectacular to witness.
I was really excited about the photos I managed to get (truth be told, I took about 45 photos in that short time ..... some were rubbish, but others I really love :-)










Sunday, November 16, 2014

FROGS, AND SNAILS, AND PUPPY DOG TAILS ......

That's what little boys are made of .... and it couldn't be more true in reference to Richard !!!
The not so little anymore, young man in our house turned 14 today !!! Wow, where has the time gone !!!!
It doesn't seem that long ago, that we were sleep deprived parents .... let me just add here, that he didn't sleep a night through for the first 5 years of his life !!!!
It doesn't seem that long ago, that we cheered his first little toddler steps (he was an early walker), and celebrated his first words (and a late talker). Or shed a few tears as we sent him off to school for the first time.

This sweet boy of ours has had his challenges, but this past year, has seen him grow into a young man, with such a sweet, kind heart. He has showed so much determination, and the will to work really hard, in order to achieve his goals. The good times have certainly far out weighed the difficult ones this year.



His choice of restaurant for dinner last night ...... Razzoo's (Cajun Cuisine). I swear this kiddo would be at his happiest on the bayou :-) He's our adventurous eater .... last year he wanted frogs legs, and this year he wanted Gator !!!


I have to say, it was delicious, and VERY tender. I think we'll go back there at some point .... it had such a fun, festive atmosphere, and the food was great.
Birthdays are never complete without a birthday cake ..... his request this year .... A Frog Cake, but it had to be in the shape of a frog, and not just have frogs stuck on it (I guess last years cake was a fail then :-p)Enter Pinterest, to gather some ideas .....


I made it half chocolate and half vanilla ....... Brittany hates vanilla cake, Andy hates chocolate cake, and he wanted to make sure that there was a little something for everyone. I made 2 cakepops for Mr Frogs eyes, and his legs, nose, mouth and spots were made of fondant. He's covered in buttercream icing (let's be honest, fondant tastes yukky !!!!). I added some chocolate rocks for the "pondy" effect. This cake was a declared perfect by the birthday boy himself !!!!

It was a great day ..... we even had our first snow fall this evening (can you believe it, in Texas) .... Richard declared it, his Birthday Miracle !!!

Happy Birthday Big Guy ........ You make us so proud to be your parents ..... Dont ever loose your sense of adventure .... We love you to the moon and back again :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

GNOMES .....

Well Hello .... Hello !!!
Yes, it has been a while hasn't it .... y'all know how it is. It's that time of year when days just pass by too quickly, and before you know it, you're nearly a month down the line.

Have your thoughts turned to Christmas decorating yet ....
My friend VAL, once again hosted her Annual Christmas Ornament Swap. This swap is always so much fun, and it's amazing to see just how creative people are. The theme this year was woodland/traditional .... Hmmm, interesting !!! Well, me being me, it was a no brainer ...... woodland it was going to be !!!!

I did get some help from Pinterest (I know, y'all are REALLY surprised to hear that :-) I found a few images that I thought were cute, took elements from each of those images, and created my gnomes :-)


I do love how they turned out ..... they look like 5 little grumpy gnomes all in a row, in this picture :-)
I went back to basics for these - nothing fancy - just felt, buttons, stuffing and my trusty needle ...... simple is always therapeutic.


So what are your decorating plans for Christmas 2014 !!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

OUR HALLOWEEN MANTLE .....

I've had a lot of fun over the past week, decorating our mantle for Halloween.
My friend Val has a Zombie Patch that she puts out at Halloween, and I love it .... so .... I decided to create a patch for us this year too.
I have my zombie dolls ... each one, a precious work of art, created by some of the talented ladies in our swap group. I had a few pumpkins, but not nearly enough, and I didn't have a sign ..... Oh yes, I needed a sign !!!
It's been a busy week .... "growing" pumpkins !!!! Thanks to THIS AWESOME PUMPKIN TUTORIAL, it was easy and fun. I wanted fabrics that would let my pumpkins stay out past Halloween and into Thanksgiving, so the fabrics I used were autumnal, rather than Halloween. I plan on swapping out the Zombie Dolls for scarecrows and pilgrims, once Halloween is over.

So let me share my mantle with you .....


I covered the mantle with some scary fabric (the technical term Walmart use for it :-)


For my sign, I painted the wood white. I then stuck on stickers that spelled out "Zombie Patch", before painting over the white, with black. Once the black paint was dry, I peeled off the stickers. Some red paint, cheesecloth, modge podge, and a zombie head, and the sign was complete :-)
The Queen of Hearts, and poor Alice :-)


The White Rabbit, and his companions ....


Jack Skellington, and The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe ...... minus all of her children !!!!



I love that each pumpkin is so different, despite being made from the same pattern (I just changed the sizes of the pattern pieces). Some have felt leaves, while others have silk leaves. The stems are all made from rolled up felt, except for the stem on the daisy pumpkin - that one is made of Sculpey.

So how have you decorated your mantle .....