Monday, July 25, 2016

Pretty pine cone and jingle bell ornament

Photo from Fox Hollow Cottage
Isn't the above ornament from Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage just so pretty? I would not necessarily have thought of pairing a jingle bell (especially a shiny jingle bell) with pine cones and twine, but it all works together beautifully.  I have all the materials on hand and would love to make some of these,  as they look to be quite simple.  Find the tutorial here: rustic jingle bell pine cone ornament.

If you vacation or hike this summer at a place where many pine cones have fallen, you may like to snag a few for this project.  When you get them home, be sure to bake them in a 300ยบ oven for half an hour to kill any insects, before crafting with them.

Today is Rudolph Day -- what a perfect time to craft a simple ornament and get ahead of the game for Christmas!  These would also be very pretty tied to a package or tucked into a gift basket.

Happy Rudolph Day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ideas for making a Christmas tree skirt

This shows a segment of my own tree skirt ... a candlewicking kit from the 1980s
 I've found a few fun ideas for making Christmas tree skirts.  and thought I would share my finds for Christmas in July.

Photo from The Paper Mama
This Happy  Christmas tree skirt is a fun idea.  From Chelsey at The Paper Mama, it's  made from felt with pompoms trimming the edge and sequin trim spelling out a saying.  She chose "Happy Christmas", but you could do "Merry Christmas", "Let it Snow", or any other Christmasy saying of suitable length to fit on the skirt.

Photo by Homey Home Design
Above, I also found this Pottery Barn style tree skirt -- an elegant idea from Jody at Homey Home Design.  It's made from a painter's drop cloth and trimmed with gray felt leaves.  She then trimmed the leaves with white pompoms.  I think pearls might be even prettier!

My own tree skirt (seen above and at the top of the post) is candlewicking, a very 1970s-1980s revival of a much older craft technique.  You can read about my tree skirt here: candlewicking tree skirt.  This was made from a kit which my parents had given me many years ago.  I looked on eBay and saw a few similar kits, but nothing just the same.  They are pricey.

I keep thinking I would like to make a new one.  I've seen some lovely patchwork ideas, and some  cross-stitch ones which are especially beautiful.  But then, we usually place a lighted village beneath our tree, so not much of the tree skirt is seen anyway!

Hope you've enjoyed these ideas!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One last doll giveaway at Pixie Faire!

Photo from Pixie Faire
There is one last giveaway going on right now for one of the Wellie Wishers dolls by American Girl®, sponsored by Pixie Faire and Liberty Jane.  By the process of elimination, I deduced that this giveaway will be for the adorable Emerson doll.  With her sweet face and perky black ponytails, she is cute as a button! To enter the giveaway, go here: Emerson Doll Giveaway and enter using the Rafflecopter provided. 

Remember, the Wellie Wishers dolls are 14.5 inches tall, rather than the 18-inch size of American Girl® dolls. They are so cute and I know several little girls who would love one.  It's a long shot to win one of these giveaways, as there are thousands of entries.  Still, someone has to win, and I hope it's one of you (or me)!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Christmas cloches

Photo from Craftberry Bush
 Here is a really nice decorating idea from Lucy at Craftberry Bush. She made a pretty Christmas cloche out of a repurposed thrift store clock and a terra-cotta plant pot saucer.  I'm not sure how easy to find those clocks would be, but her ideas for what to put inside would work with a purchased cloche as well.  The ornament on a snowy base as seen above is so pretty.

And here's another of Lucy's ideas:
Photo from Craftberry Bush

The pine cone in snow is so simple, yet lovely.  

I don't own a cloche and haven't yet found any clocks to repurpose.  I do have a small cake dome that I got at Marshalls for $5 years ago, and I have had fun using that in a cloche-like manner. 
With berries, and miniature Christmas teawares from my friend LJ
With a glittery house and bottle brush tree
Whether you repurpose a clock as Lucy did, improvise with a cake dome as I have done, or even if you own an actual cloche, have fun with these ideas!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

Photo from Cookies and Cups

I'm always on the lookout for more great Christmas cookie recipes, as evidenced by the fact of my Christmas Cookie Exchange! Pinterest board. 

Recently I came upon this great-looking recipe: Cranberry Bliss Cookies  from Shelly at Cookies and Cups.  I promptly pinned the recipe to my board and will look forward to trying it out.

These cookies look SO yummy.  The white chocolate drizzle is optional, but I would definitely add it if I was gifting these cookies or taking them to a cookie swap.

Now, if we would only get some more cool weather (it's been a heat/humidity wave here lately),  I would bake up a batch of these for testing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Color themed gift baskets

Here is a great gift idea for almost anyone.  We made one of these for our 8-year-old grandson's birthday, and it was a gigantic hit!  His favorite color is green and he was so excited to open everything in this green gift basket, even making sure to ask if he could keep the basket, too.

I didn't set out to do a color-themed gift.  I had seen these two wonderful ideas: Lego-Themed Gift Basket and Star Wars-Themed Gift Basket suggested by Kim at Not Consumed and I thought a themed basket would be so much fun to do.  My plan was to use either a superhero theme or a Minecraft theme.  But as I began looking around Walmart, I just found it too confusing, as a grandma, to sort it all out.  Kim's ideas are great, but they would work best if one planned ahead.  And I was definitely putting it all together at the last minute.

Then I had the thought of going with the theme of Josiah's favorite color.  The idea is not original with me.  I had enjoyed reading these wonderful posts: Orange You Glad It’s Almost Summer gift idea
Photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots
  and Hello Sunshine gift idea

Photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots
by Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots.  And, although Maggie's fantastic ideas were simply for gifts to be packaged and sent through the mail, my mind jumped to getting more items and making a green gift basket.

What a great idea it turned out to be!  Our shopping trip turned into a scavenger hunt for green items throughout the store!  We got everything from a green t-shirt to a green frisbee and Granny Smith apples.  (Had I planned ahead, I would also have added in some handmade green gift items.)

You can see some of the items (prior to wrapping) in the photo above.  I wrapped them individually in different shades of green tissue paper.  Then I plopped the entire basket into a gift-basket bag from the dollar store and tied it with a green ribbon.  And he had SO much fun opening everything!

Later, I also found this post: Color Themed Gift Baskets from Karen Ehman, so I figured I would link to that as well.

Have fun with this creative gift idea!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Snowmen rice crispy treats

Photo from Love Create Celebrate
I was sure I had already written this post, but it seems to have disappeared, so I'll try again!  This is a sweet treat that would be fun for any winter occasion, not just Christmas.  The idea is from Lindi at Love Create Celebrate and you can find the link to the recipe and instructions here:  Rice Krispie Snowman Treats.

Basically, you make rice krispie treats pretty much as usual, then cut them into circle shapes.  Then you coat them in melted white chocolate and decorate with candies and chocolate chips.  Lindi made some of her snowmen with earmuffs, and some without.  They are cute either way!

A plateful of snowmen faces at any winter or Christmas gathering would be adorable.  And I think these would also be nice gifts for teachers, classmates, co-workers or friends, especially if the treats were packaged in those individual cookie packages.  They might make a cute stocking stuffer, too, if the stockings were hung somewhere away from a heat source so the white chocolate wouldn't melt.

Have fun with this idea!