Tuesday, December 25, 2012

See you in the new year!!

I wish wonderful and happiness-filled holidays to all this year and in the coming year! I have decided to take a break for the remaining week in 2012 and will return to you all in 2013. I'll have to share my blogging goals soon! 
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Feather on a Stick Kitty Toy DIY

While Taylor is on vacation this week, I got the "Pleasure" (my hands are covered in scratches and any food I have is not safe!) of watching Sisko, her cat. ;) He's not all bad, but he is a kitten so he attacks everything.

I made this "Feather on a Stick" toy for him to play with. One end of it has feathers (which are his favorite toy ever!) and on the other end I attached one of his toys that jingles. 
So, this stick has feather and it makes noise. Perfect!
 Supplies: Wooden Dowel, Feathers, Twine, Hot Glue, Jingle Ball Toy Thingy (haha)
 1. Tie one end of your twine to the toy ball.
2. wrap the short end around and secure with glue.
 3. Cut it to your desired length and tie the other end to the end of the wooden dowel.
4. Wrap the end around the dowel and secure with glue.
 4. Take a short (5 inches) piece of twine and tie/glue one end to a feather and tie the other end to your first piece of twine, down close to the ball.
 5. On the opposite end of the dowel, Glue feather to the end. Wrap twine around the ends of the feathers.
 6. To finish it off, I decorated the dowel with sharpies.
He. Loves. It. Success!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Art Journaling

 Hey everyone, Katie here. I just thought I'd "Blog-Bomb" Taylor's blog while she's on vacation this week. I made this art journal page the other day and I'm sharing my process here.
 Supplies: Patterned Paper, Paint, Markers
1. Tear your patterned papers into strips and glue onto your page.
 2. Go around the edges with white paint.
 3. Embellish as you wish- I chose to paint on a girl wearing a santa hat and journaled in a thought bubble.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Vacation!

I'm on vacation this week, going off the grid, but check back for guest blog posts! See you all next week! -Taylor
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Decorating: DIY Christmas Art Wall

Just wanted to share my art wall, holiday-style. The moose is always up, but it's been Rudolph-bombed :) I also included my snowman wreath, (click here for tutorial!), Katie's Christmas light art (tutorial), and a piece that I made with scrapbooking papers and pieces. 

I made this by piecing together blocks of red scrapbook papers onto a canvas, and then taking green strips and trimming the ends to look like ribbons. This was a super-fast project and could easily be translated onto holiday cards or gift tags. I think it's a pretty bold statement piece when combined with the other pieces on my art wall. All in all, I'm thrilled to have this display for Christmas!
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Decorating: Photo Gift Tags

I just finished my gift tags for holiday gifts and I am so excited to share them with you all. I had been flipping through the Nov/DEC issue of Creating Keepsakes and saw a beautiful two-page photo of Christmas presents topped with photos. This totally inspired me to create gift tags that instead of the classic "to:, from:" are addressed to each person through a photo of me and them. For example, gifts for my dad have a picture of me with my dad. 

These pictures are also of my Christmas display. Having a kitten makes decorating difficult, so I'm super happy with my little bit of holiday magic that is generally cat-proof. Does anyone else have an alternative tree this year?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Light Art DIY

My sis Katie created this amazing mixed-media art canvas. I l-o-v-e the bright colors against a tone-on-tone white background. Below is an easy tutorial to make or gift one of your own! If you haven't already, throw some quick and festive art up on your walls for the holidays!
 Supplies: Patterned Paper, Scissors, Marker, Other Embellishments
 1. On the back of your patterned paper sketch out a Christmas light shape.
 2. Cut it out.
 3. From brown patterned paper, cut out a small rectangle and glue it to the top of the light.
 4. Cut as many as you like.
5. Glue them to a canvas, and embellish!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last Minute Gift Idea- Color Blocked Tote Bags

Katie and I whipped up these amazing tote bags in just one afternoon. You can find blank tote bags at Michaels, JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, etc, and we used acrylic paint which works very well on fabric. Simply tape off a design and paint! We used washi tape as it peels off very easily. Also, be sure to place paper or cardboard inside the tote bag while painting so it doesn't bleed through. I love how they turned out!

What kind of last minute holiday gifts are you making?

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quick and Easy Mini Wreath

This wreath seriously takes 10 minutes to make and it's that quirky kind of cute. It uses an embroidery hoop, I think mine was around 8 inches, but you could use any size. You'll also need white tissue paper, black and orange felt, buttons, and ribbons. These supplies are easy to find and you probably already have them lying around. I could see so many cute variations on this-Santa, Reindeer, Gingerbread Man, etc! This wreath is also kid-friendly, (use a low-temp glue gun!) and would be a fun project for kiddos who are out of school for the holiday break. Anyway, enjoy the DIY!

1. Using strips of tissue paper, about 8-9 inches wide, wrap your embroidery hoop.

2. Cut from black felt a top hat, form orange felt a carrot nose, and choose two black buttons for eyes.

3. Tie a ribbon around the top of the hoop to hang the wreath from.

4. Glue the top hat over the top of the embroidery hoop where the ribbon is tied. 

5. On the side, place the eyes and nose.

6. Add a ribbon to the bottom!

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Making things...

Today I could be cleaning my apartment, etc, but instead I'm making things. Christmas things. Stay tuned for pretties!

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Easy Afternoon Project: Restyled Dresser

So, about this dresser...it was free from a friend, and hey I'm a poor graduate student so free furniture is fantastic. Apparently this dresser just keeps getting passed from grad student to grad student. Anyway, it ranked pretty high up on the garish scale with a weird green top and pink and orange stripes all over it. 

The end result now ranks much much lower on the scale, but I'm not really convinced it has made it to 'cute' yet. That would require a total paint job I think :) Anyway, the top is recovered in fabric and we got rid of all that awful pink and orange-ness. It's not so bad now...


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monochromatic Holiday Cards

I made these cards today, I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. As usual, inspired by Christmas things seen on Pinterest. If you haven't jumped on the pin-ALL-the-things bandwagon, you're missing a lot of recipes, crafts, holiday things, etc. Anyway...I'm not sure who these cards are going to, but I wanted to play around with stamping in all one color. What do you think?


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Holiday Baking: Lemon Pie Cookies

These cookies are amazing. They taste exactly like lemon pie and they're best fresh out of the oven. Enjoy the recipe. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tsp lemon extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 powdered sugar

1. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in vanilla, lemon extract, and egg. Stir in all dry ingredients. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again. Chill dough for two hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll into powdered sugar. Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are no longer shiny. Cool 3 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack. 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Baking~Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick baking spray. Beat butter for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add brown sugar, spice, and salt. Gradually beat in flour.
2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls (no bigger!). Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Coat a cookie stamp with non-stick spray and then dust in white granulated sugar. Stamp each ball, flattening it. 
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Do not look for brownness, if they are brown they will be overbaked and very hard. This is shortbread, so they dough is already fairly firm. Test by touching a cookie for firmness. It should still be mostly firm,slightly soft, but not soft like raw cookie dough.

I found the original recipe on Better Homes & Gardens, but my recipe has some slight modifications. Find the original here. These cookies freeze really well, so I'm excited to just take them out and serve when my family visits for the holidays.

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