Saturday, November 25, 2006

Making Snowballs...

I know that there are bunches of patterns being sold for these. But I thought I'd share my way of making them....well, not really MY way as it was published in an Country Home mag many years ago. I've since lost the original so I'm unable to give credit but I do thank you. :o)

Snowball how-to
12-gauge wire; wire cutters; plastic foam balls in assorted sizes; needle-nose pliers; plaster mix; old spoon; pearlescent white spray paint; white glitter.
Cut a length of wire and insert it almost all the way through a foam ball. Using pliers, twist the wire into a curlicue or curl it around a pencil to form a spiral.
Mix the plaster according to directions until it's the consistency of thick frosting. (as you work, keep adding water to maintain proper consistency.)
Dip the ball into the plaster; use a spoon to spread the plaster evenly over the ball.
Hang the ball to dry; suspending it on a string stretched between two chairs; spread newspaper below to catch any drips. After 24 hours, spray the balls with paint, sprinkle with glitter and let dry.
That's it. I do hope you enjoy making these. Oh...a tree covered in tiny snowballs looks WONDERFUL!!
Till next time, be crafty!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Holiday Checklist!

If your like me...starting on Thanksgiving day until New Years..your days all run into one, and your crazy with all the running your doing.
Well, some years ago I found a 'list' that I use to organize myself for the upcoming holidays. Over the years, I've added my own things, so maybe some of these won't fit your lifestyle, but there are many basics and I do hope you keep it, and add your own.
I always sit down with this list a week before Thanksgiving and go over it. I check my house for items that I already have, and add the 'needfuls' to my Thanksgiving shopping list. Killing 2 birds with one stone.
1. Hot chocolate
2. Coffee, regular and decaf
3. Coffee filters
4. Tea, regular, decaf and herbal
5. Milk
6. Creamer
7. Sugar substitute
8. Eggnog
9. Juice
10. Beer, regular and nonalcoholic
11. Champagne
12. Wine, red and white
13. Soft drinks
14. Seltzer and bottled water
15. Lemons, limes, olives
16. Cheese
17. Crackers
18. Christmas cookies
19. Fresh vegetables
20. Dip
21. Honey baked ham or turkey
22. Sliced deli meats
23. Pasta
24. Sauce
25. Fresh bread
26. Fresh fruit ( for snaking or for a simple centerpiece)
27. Chocolates
28. Baking essentials ( eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking soda, vanilla)
29. Bags of ice
30. Nuts
31. Apple Cider
32. Cinnamon sticks
33. Candy canes

34. Boxes, all sizes
35. Ribbon and bows
36. Gift bags, including bags for wine giving
37. Tissue paper
38. Colored foil
39. Glitter pens
40. Scotch tape
41. Gift tags
42. Scissors
43. Gift Wrap
44. Craft paper
45. Markers
46. Stapler and staples
47. Packing tape
48. Mailers
49. Labels
50. Glue

51. Candles
52. Greens, holly and mistletoe
53. Extra strand of tree lights
54. Garlands
55. Christmas music
56. Poinsettias
57. Fresh flowers
58. Road salt
59. Snow shovel
60. Ice scraper
61. Extra chairs
62. Holiday table linens
63. Paper napkins
64. Tissues
65. Doormats
66. Tree stand
67. Ornaments and hangers
68. Carpet Stain remover
69. Extra extension cords
70. Paper plates and cups
71. Coasters
72. Games
73. Guest towels and soap
74. Aluminum foil
75. Food storage bags
76. Plastic wrap

77. Hostess gifts
78. Extra child's gift
79. Greeting and Thank you cards
80. Clean sheets, towels and blankets for overnight guests
81. Extra toothbrush
82. Film and Blank video tapes
83. Camera or camcorder
84. Step stool
84. Season scented potpourri
85. Christmas movies
86. Vases
87. Floral oasis
88. New Years noisemakers, party hats, and confetti
89. Firewood and kindling
90. Matches
91. Batteries
92. Flashlight
93. Light bulbs

Hopefully this will help take some of the stress from your holidays. There is nothing worse then NOT having an extra gift for the unexpected visitor, or no batteries for your child's Christmas gift! Please print this out, and use it with my blessings. :o)

Until next time.....TRY to stay organized.

I actually did it............!!

After all these years of having the enjoyment of bundling up like little snow people and waddling through the tree farm looking for that perfect tree to call ours.....I went out and bought a ......(gasp)....FAKE ONE!!
Yes..I know (my head hangs in shame)'ve heard me swear that I'd NEVER "give into that lazy artificial act of putting up a nonflammable tree"!
(long pause...) my defence, there are a few reasons as to WHY I bought it!
1. Did a little research and found a tree that looks SO even has pine cones on it! Heck..the birds would even think it's real tree and would happily build their future homes in it!
2. It come in 3 sections...AND....the limbs are all hinged, which means you just touch them and they fall into place!
3. I no longer have to worry about getting this big butt under the tree to water it!(that should be number 1 on my list).
4. I can leave and forget to unplug the lights without worrying that I'm going to come home to firetrucks blocking my driveway...and all those hunky..wet...partially dressed...tanned...muscle bound firefighters...........(pant, pant.......give me a minute here....sorry about that. I'll save that fantasy for later) ........!
5 COMES with all the lights I could ever need! ALREADY attached to the tree!!!! (doing a happy dance here) There is nothing worse then having to put 10,000 lights on a tree all by yourself...AND.....not letting the cords show!! HATE THAT!!

So my dears, there you have it. WHY I bought a fake tree. Now, the kids kind of moaned a bit, but they do agree that it looks real...and hubby did a bit of whining "it doesn't have that fresh tree smell". AAHHHAA!! I whipped out a 'Fresh Pine' candle, lighted it, and called it good! After a bit, the whole house smelled like a tree farm. With just a hint of cinnamon somewhere.
I did have to give in...and announce that we would all be able to dress like snow people and drive to our favorite tree farm, as I was going to cut down a SMALL tree to put on the harvest table on the porch. There was a large 'YIPPEE' that floated to the heavens...and all was well again. Smiles where all around,.....our 17 year old daughter come home from work last night and announced as she flew open the front door...'WHY is there a Christmas tree...with lights on, in the middle of our living room'??'s not even Thanksgiving yet!' I did stand up for myself, and say that Thanksgiving was only a week away, and we ALWAYS decorated for Christmas on Thanksgiving evening....and that I would be able to take my time now and decorate it SLOWLY'
As she ran up to her room..I did hear a mumbling from her, but I couldn't quite make out what it was she had said.
I then proceeded in calling the herd to the family room for yet another announcement! WE were NOT going to be having Thanksgiving dinner. THAT one hit like a brick wall. Mouths open....crickets chirping....dead silence! Then a meek little voice could be heard...'but always make a big Thanksgiving dinner.....does this mean we aren't celebrating Thanksgiving at all...?' my little boy says with tears welling up in his eyes. Dad takes over...'no sweetie, we are going to be going out to eat. Mom just doesn't want the headache of cooking a huge meal this year. It'll be a good thing..i promise' Then you hear the 17 year old yell...'WWWOOOHHOOOO..........NO DISHES!!!!!' there where high 5's all around and then son asked...are we going to celebrate Christmas?' Why yes I said, I'll cook a HUGE dinner for Christmas'! Joy came to his eyes, and he ran to hug me.
Aaahhhhh....I say to myself. 'It's good to be the King!!!! (wink)'.

So, till next something fake! :o)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Making Firestarters..

Well girls..there's a chill in the air..and the billowing of smoke is on the horizon from the wood stoves and fireplaces. Nothing is better then a warm fire to sit
Let's have some fun today!! We will be making my version of fire starters. These are very easy and they make great gifts as well.

Here's what you'll need:
Medium sized and small pine cones - I find mine in the woods..but I do believe you can buy these at Walmart and at some of the home centers
Wax - I use old candles..but you can buy wax at Hobby Lobby.
Old Crayons - Better get digging in your child's toy box for these. Be don't know what you'll find in there.
Large tin coffee Can or wax pot- you can buy the wax burner at hobby Lobby
Tongs - to grab your cones with
Wax coated wicks - You may buy these at hobby Lobby
Cardboard egg cartons - beg these off your neighbors and friends
Cinnamon oil - used to scent your fire starters
Crushed bits of potpourri - I always use up the old stuff laying around. Make sure you crush it up pretty small.


1. Melt your wax in your coffee can in a pot of boiling water on the stove.
2. Add your crayons for color (I love red for mine) and your cinnamon oil.
3. Lower the don't want this really hot!!(too hot of wax will seep through the egg cartons)
4. Cut your wick in 4" sections. Lay a wick in the bottom of each egg carton.
5. Pour your wax about 1/4 of the way up in your egg cartons.
6. Sprinkle just a bit of your crushed potpourri into the wax.
7. Carefully push your pine cone into the wax, making sure your wick is sticking out. This is what you'll light the fire starter with.
8. If you need to, carefully pour a bit more wax over the pine cones till the wax covers the bottoms of the pine cones.
9. Let these cool.
10. After they have cooled, cut each egg carton apart. Toss them into a big cello bag tie a bit of raffia the top, and you have a nice gift.
11. To use, lay one under your kindling that your use to start your fire with, light the wick and add your wood. The starter should burn for about 8 min. long enough to get a good burn going.

I do hope you enjoy making these. Have fun making different colors and scents. PLEASE be very careful using the wax. It is very hot and you can get burned.

Till next something fun!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Christmas is coming................

Well girls, now that Halloween is officially over, I can now jump straight into Christmas... maybe even bypass Thanksgiving altogether. HHmmmm....I wonder what my family would do if I plopped down a Turkey TV dinner in front of them on that sacred of all Holidays..

I've been sewing up a storm. I love making my 'Barn Baby's the most. It surprises me how much people adore these sweet creatures that I create. I must admit that they are a total labor of love for me. They each have such personality's that just scream 'Love me'!! I've been working on a Mouse 'Barn Baby' and a Reindeer.I also have some Santa's...Winter ladies..mice..oh I do love this season the most.

If I could give each new crafter one bit of advice....I'd tell them, do what you love. Not what everybody else loves. It's only when you can find your true passion can you really LOVE your work..and when you love your work, it will show. When you find that one true craft that you love doing, be it painting, sewing, writing....give it your whole heart. For when you put your heart in it.... can people see it...I mean really see it, and see the love and the passion that you've put into it. Don't do what everybody else is doing only because you THINK it might what you love to do....your true passion...let it scream 'here I am...I'm awesome and whether you like me or not.. I here'!! It might not happen over night...but it WILL happen. I promise that.
Just a few things going on at the website I need to mention.
Our Gift Certificate's are on sale all month long. Get a $50.00 certificate for $45.00!! No Limit!!
And we've LOWERED Our SHIPPING FEES!! heard me right....just for you. ;o)
Well..I'm off to sew some eyeballs onto a Santa.
Till next time.....give whatever you do today passion!!!