Thursday, November 8, 2012

Handmade Holidays

Don't have the time or the energy to make something and add some newness to your holiday decorations this year?! Pop over to Newlywife to see my latest post on a few of my favorite holiday homemade items to make your place more merry + bright!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Tree

Thanks to the amazing crafty search engine known as pinterest, I found this idea last year and knew I wanted to start it this year.

First thing, I rolled into my girlfriend's classroom with my roll of kraft paper to create the trunk base. An overhead projector, printed tree clip-art, and a pencil, I set to work outlining and cutting out my tree...while E looted some poor girl's desk and played with her pencil sharpener shavings and T ate random bits off the floor. Family effort involved here. Once home, I taped it up to our small wall space between our kitchen and eating area. It fit just perfectly. 
Then I added the "W+J" carving and thought I was done. E protested, asking, "Where's my letter?" so instead I added his and T's hand prints. Now, it was our family's Thankful Tree.

Next stop was my parents' house to make the leaves. I printed 60 leaves on my mom's cricut, using various colored and printed card stock. I added a piece of tape to the back of each and added the leaves to the bottom. My thinking was that W and I would share one leaf while E would have the other. Thus, having enough room to fit everyone's thanks for the entire 30 days in November. 
 Each dinner time this month, we'll take two leaves, add our gratitude, and put them among the branches of the tree. 
Even though this is such a simple exercise and really one I should be doing every day all year long, I already notice a change in perspective and attitude. I'm looking out for the blessings of every day. I'm appreciating the roles I have, the people I love, and things I already possess. It's been a great reminder that we already have more than enough. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gallery Shelves {DIY}

Our master bedroom has been a work in progress for what seems like FOREVER. It was re-painted well over a year ago, and every since, we've been slowly changing things out or updating them. The most recent addition has been some gallery shelves that W whipped up a few evenings ago. 

You can buy these from Pottery Barn for the hefty price of $55 but that would only get you one 4-foot ledge when I wanted two five-foot ones. Instead, we used Ana White's plans for these..she calls them the "$10 shelves" since that's how much the wood costs to make these. We just used pallet wood that we already had so they were free! Yay! Favorite price. They're basically just three pieces of wood nailed together. Super easy to make in a single night and very easily custom size-able.
So W built, I painted {high gloss white; 2 coats}, he hung, and I filled 'em with this and that from around the house/garage to have a look-see.

And so they sit above our yellow dresser,

where I can enjoy more memories from my bed! Yay for fewer blank walls!
Time for some more gushy, lovey dovey, romantic prints and pictures, no?!?!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wizard of Oz Gang {Halloween Recap}

Last year, the boys were MacGyver and his side-kick, the Swiss Army knife. This year I decided we should all be involved in the know, make it a family event. This may be the last time I really get away with "picking" since E is already shouting out opinions for next year...which all include a sword and shield.

So for one girl {albeit quite pregnant} and three boys, I went with the Wizard of Oz gang. I had originally planned to make/piece together all of the costumes in some form or fashion. But when my mom gave me a toddler lion costume that she bought from Costco, I didn't turn her away. Here's a bit of the break down for the rest of the gang...

The tin {toddler} man
 Much of his ensemble he already owned: shoes, hoodie {we went with a gray long sleeve for the actual day}, and pants. I made a heart out of red felt, embroidered "if i only had a..." on the front, stuffed it, and safety-pinned it to his top. I bought a huge funnel at a local hardware store along with some chrome spray paint. It originally was tied with jute string but kept falling off so I switched it out to thin elastic. That did the trick and he kept the hat on for the entire night. 

The axe is made from gray and brown felt and stuffed. I free-handed a pattern which worked great. The biggest problem came with making it stand up straight..that's where W came in. He added some cardboard and a skewer to reinforce the structure. Perfect...well, enough to hold up to a wild toddler hacking at air.

 I added a bit of silver face paint to boot.
{this was pre-elastic..he was pretty bummed that it kept falling off}

Knocked-up Dorothy
 I found a really simple and easy tutorial here {she's not the most UN-annoying person ever} which I just sewed instead of using the fabric glue she did. It's basically a skirt and a bib piece tucked into the skirt. I also used her glitter shoe tute in the video too. Since my gingham fabric was really see-through, I added a white lining. And I had zero petticoat luck at the thrift stores so I added some lace trim. 

I really wanted to add that red tulle underneath too and have it just peek out a little. But I didn't find a tutorial that was workable enough and simply ran out of time {and energy}.

I made an over-sized red bow with felt and leftover gingham since pigtails & pregnant felt way too wrong. ;) Threw on some of W's long socks, a red cardi and I was ready to roll.

The scarecrow

W already had everything but the hat and corn cob pipe. Both of which I picked up at the party store while getting face paint. My MIL had made the brown pants over ten years ago for a Renaissance fair and his shirt was thrifted for the same event. His was the easiest!

After pictures with my parents, we headed over to our friends' neighborhood for trick-or-treating. We did much better than the three houses from last year although we were up way past the boys' bedtime.
It really felt like E's first year this time. We practiced what to say each time and that kid said "Happy Halloween" or "Thank You" with so much gusto at every house. As he trotted back, he'd give me his candy and announce how many pieces he got. If he got more than two, he'd say, "It's because I'm a lucky, lucky, lucky little boy." A movie reference we use often with him. Love that boy so.

the whole gang!

until next year...