Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How I Made the "Paper Trees"

When I volunteered to make the tree to put the gift cards for Blake's teachers under I had no intention of making anything other than a flat tree with ornaments (circles) on it and writing the kids names in the ornaments. As I laid out the design in cricut design studio I wasn't convinced or feeling it. I just wanted it to look better than that. I mean these two women work hard teaching our kids and loving on them while they are with them. I immediately started searching the internet for something paper that I thought I could do. I found the idea here. She doesn't have step by step instructions but I was able to figure it out. I will share my process pictures with you so that way you can make one if you want!

The materials you will need are: 
                                  styrofoam cone
                                  strips of paper 1/2" by 6" long
                                  straight pins
                                  pins with colored round heads                                       
                                  something to top the tree with (I used and an ornament)
                                  something to set the tree on (I used cork squares)

The first thing I did was cut my paper into strips. I started with 12 X 12 scrap-booking paper. I used my "fancy" paper cutter not scissors! Make sure that whatever paper you choose is double sided since you will be rolling the paper. I rolled the strips around a pencil just like mentioned in the original blog post. I found that it was easier to just roll the entire strip around the pencil and then stretch it out to the length I wanted it when I placed it one the cone.

If you are a perfectionist and want he paper curls to all be the exact same distance apart on the cone measure it out. If not just wing it like I did. It's not obvious that I didn't measure because I played with the paper curls enough to hide it. When attaching the paper I used a straight pen at the top and then rolled the paper down to meet the top of the layer under it before placing a pin with a colored end on it. I didn't paint my cone but again if you are a perfectionist you might want to paint your cone green or red because there are a few places it shows through but not enough to bother me.

After I attached each section I would cup my hands around the loops and press them tight against the tree. It helped make sure there were none hanging lower or looking terribly out of place. I literally jammed the bottom of the star into the top of the cone to make the topper stay. I wrapped a piece of paper around the top to cover the pins in the top layer and added a colored pin to secure it. 
Finished trees before I placed the gift cards
Then I placed the tree on top of the cork squares. I attached it with glue and wrote the kids names all around the cork. I wrapped the gift cards in scrap-booking tape to make them look more like gifts.
This is the picture I sent to the other moms before writing the kids names.
Here it is the final product! I am very happy with how they turned out. I really hope his teachers love them!

These little trees do take some time to make but I finished both of them in an evening while watching TV. If you make one let me know how it goes!

Happy Holidays!

My Christmas Crafts

I started out the holiday season by making a few christmas crafts. It just doesn't seem right to start decorating for christmas without making something cute to decorate with. Let's be honest I am still doing christmas crafts! I will put the finishing touches on a few tonight and also do a new one with a friend! Crafting is fun!

I made two banners mostly because I couldn't decided which one I wanted to make. I wanted one that said "believe" but also one that said "let it snow". I decorate for christmas with snowmen so the "let it snow" banner seemed more fitting. The colors didn't match my stockings though so the "believe" banner became a must. I wasn't in love with the "believe" banner at first but the longer it has hung on the fire place the more it has grown on me. Not to mention the many many compliments I got on it during our cookie decorating party. I have no details on how to make the banners but I used my cricut to cut everything out. I individually glittered the stockings on the "believe" banner but used glittered card stock on the "let it snow" banner.
let it snow

My mom and I painted a reindeer on canvas. We found one that we liked from those wine and canvas places and just copied it. It never seems to work out that we are able to actually go to the wine and canvas painting places to paint. I'm just glad that we are capable of recreating things that we see! I didn't copy the one exactly. I left out things that I thought would mess up the look of my painting if I did them!

I also made the grandparents "mistletoes" canvases. I did just Blake's feet on one for my MIL and Blake and Chloe's feet on one for my parents. As with every craft I would have done this a little different if I did it again but it looks fine!
Mistletoes #1

I made our christmas cards this year. I was going to make all of them using the cute reindeer from my cricut cartridge but ran out of patience. (I think the fact that we all had a stomach bug played a big part in that.) I cleaned everything up and sanitized everything before I was actually finished cutting out all my pieces and I just didn't have the energy after being sick to get it all back out. I am so thankful for people who have the skills to make images on the computer and that share them for free for us non image savvy people! I used a free printable Delia created over at DeliaCreates. I love the way the cards turned out and love even more that I was able to put a picture in them that people can keep and frame if they want! 
The front of one of our Christmas cards. 
I ended up not writing Happy Holidays on all of the reindeer cards because I liked the way it looked without the writing better. As soon as I get to my parents house I will take a picture of an actual completed reindeer card to share since I forgot to take one before I mailed them all out!

The final christmas craft I did was make these cute christmas trees. I found the idea on the internet because lets face it I could have never come up with this on my own. I made them for Blake's teachers and will place the gift cards we (as a class) got them under the trees like gifts. I actually love these and would use them as decorations.  

Tonight I am going to paint another canvas with a friend. We are making one that we wanted to go paint today but couldn't because she is working and I am too! Being a stay at home mom is work!

Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Four Days of Family Fun

We spent four days with our family for Thanksgiving. We packed so many activities into our four days that when we finally got back home none of us wanted to do anything but sit around. Worth it though, completely!

Our fun started Wednesday as we drove down to OKC. I got to kick off my holiday weekend with a haircut. My friend Kacia cut my hair and I love it! I think I might get my hair cut 3 times a year so I was in serious need. She gave it shape without chopping it off! Perfect! And she curled it for me so it looked awesome for our ice skating adventure!
As soon as I was finished we headed to meet family at the outdoor ice rink Downtown. Blake and Claire (the youngest cousins minus Chloe) skated with everyones help. I skated with my cousins Whitney and Alyssa. I must admit that I was a little mad that we had to pay $12 for Blake to skate but when he loved it so much it didn't matter anymore. It was so fun to watch him try to balance on the skates. He kept holding his arms out to his sides as Andrew pushed him along. The smile on his face never faded, even when he fell. I think he may have gone around more times than I did! Three is a fun age to try a lot of new things! I can't wait to take him again here. The day started out beautiful but when we were skating it felt so cold. Actually perfect for ice skating. I wanted to go shop the little shops that were close by but they closed before we were finished skating.

See my hair looked good for skating!
After skating we went to Aunt Lane and Uncle Randy's house for pizza.
A selfie at Kohl's while shopping with mom to show off  my outfit. Andrew asked me if I got a new wardrobe before we left.
Thanksgiving Day! I woke up at 6:00am to go run the OKC Turkey Trot at Hefner Lake. I really would like to start doing that every year. It was COLD but I survived. I ran a 5K in 32 minutes in 29* weather not my fastest but not my slowest either. I'm not disappointed in that time at all. I am so glad this nice lady ran up beside me at about mile 1 though because we paced each other throughout the entire race!
Martha and I after the run!
After the run I went back showered and got ready to head to Thanksgiving number 1 of the day at my Nana's house. I am a little sad that I didn't even take one picture during that time. I mean we took some on our good camera for some family pictures but not like the normal ones of my cousins and I that I would get. Ugh. I did get to see my cousin who just joined the Navy. I was so fun to hear him talk about bootcamp and A-school. I am excited for him and his journey. (He is headed to his ship next week and will be out in the Persian Gulf for about 6 months.) We had a delicious meal of fried turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, ham, rolls, chicken and dumplings, jalapeno poppers, mac-n-cheese, broccoli cheese casserole, dressing, and mashed potatoes. I'm sure something else too but I can't remember. For dessert I only ate chocolate delight that they were calling chocolate lasagna. It was SO good. We also had pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie. The "big" boys took a nap and Blake gave them all a ticket and tried very hard to wake them up before giving up and turning out the lights and shutting the door on them. It was pretty funny to watch. Once we had everything all cleaned up it was time to head to Thanksgiving number 2 of the day. This time we went to The Ross' house. (my aunt and uncle) This is the first time we have ever had Thanksgiving at their house and not at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was nice having the space with all of us there. I really didn't eat much this time because I ate like a pig at my first meal since I was having a post run hunger! There was turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and lots of snacks. For dessert we had pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie. I can't believe I never ate a slice of pumpkin pie all week. I don't love it but I normally eat just a small slice. It was so great to visit with everyone and really get a chance to talk about life things with my cousins that I don't chat with often enough. I also got to know my cousins fiancee a little better which was great too! 
Our Thanksgiving family photo.
I curled my own hair I'll get the hang of it.
Black Friday. Well it was really just Friday for us. We did get up and go to the liquor store and stood outside for 10 or so minutes before it opened to get a beer. It is only released on Black Friday every year. Want to know which beer it was? So do I! I can't remember what it was called and I still haven't gotten to drink it. Good thing the liquor store opened at 10 and I didn't have to get up super early to get it. After the beer adventure we went to have Thanksgiving with Andrew's family. We had all the same yummy food we had twice the day before, turkey, dressing, broccoli and cheese, spinach dip (seriously delicious), hummus, veggies, brussel sprouts, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and rolls. It was great sitting around talking to everyone and seeing how big the kids have gotten. I even got to take a little nap after we ate. That is until I woke up coughing my head off. Ugh it ruined my awesome nap! Andrew's cousins schooled me on the process of a ct-scan because I am having one done Wednesday. They warned me of how strange the meds are going to make me feel. (I'll let everyone know how it goes.) When we left Andrew's aunts house we went to his moms house and hung out there for the rest of the night. Blake had so much fun playing with his Grandma I'm pretty sure he forgot Andrew and I were there. We did do some online shopping at Gap for Blake. Everything was 50% off which is an even better deal than their cyber Monday sale they had today. 

Saturday morning we got up and met the Texas group (my aunt, uncle and cousins) at their hotel and ate donuts. We made them late for their original departure time but I'm sure they didn't mind. Blake was busy entertaining them with his stories about Rescue Bots Transformers. (I'm serious that is all the kid talked about ALL week and ALL the time!) When we left them we went to Bass Pro to visit Santa. Blake was so excited to tell Santa that he wanted an Optimus Prime with a trailer. He told him he wanted that plus Bumblebee and he was almost in tears when he realized that he forgot to tell Santa he wanted a bike too. (Good thing momma and daddy know Santa so well!) I promised him we could write a letter to Santa to make sure that he knew everything Blake wanted. Crisis diverted. We had lunch with a group from my family before we headed to take our family (just the 3 of us) pictures. I'm pretty sure they turned out good because Blake was mostly cooperative and the wind didn't blow my hair in my face for every picture. Not to mention that our photographer is pretty awesome! He sent me this sneak peek today! I love it!
From the wonderful Kelly Fry with Kelly Fry Photography 

I love spending time with family but there is no place like home!