Archive | December, 2011

Last Minute Gift Idea

22 Dec

So there are only 3 days or to be technical…2 sleeps, 7 hours, 20 minutes & 47 seconds! I also only have one more craft to share with you all until I complete my first 12 Crafts of Christmas; exciting isn’t it? Like others I’m sure, I feel like I am running out of time so I am going to share a craft with you that I have done previous to this blog. I think this craft would be a great stocking stuffer or gift for that person who has everything!

I think I may have originally found these on Pinterest in my early days of pinning and decided to make them to sell at the Springfield Farmers Market. They were a big hit! Who doesn’t love a fun MAGNET! Yes that’s right, magnets. You only need 4 things to make these awesome little devils. They are so easy you could do them in your sleep (ok maybe not but it is easy).

Supplies:
Flat Glass Decorative Stones
Old Magazines
Super Glue
Magnets (strong enough to hold the stone)

First find a picture or pattern of something you like in your magazine. I think it helps to slide the stone over the page to see how it would look on there. Then cut out your magazine page to size. Put 2-3 drops of super glue on the surface of your image (rightside up). It doesn’t take much glue. Then push and hold the flat part of the magnet onto the glued image. I hold it for a few seconds to make sure it stays on. Let that dry, maybe 5-10 minutes then attach a magnet on the back the same way. Now I use super glue for this so that the magnet doesn’t fall apart when m0ving around on fridge, metal, etc…

Ta Da! How much easier can it get! These are just a few examples of the ones I made for the market. I have tried printing pictures from the computer and found that the ink runs pretty badly. It might help if it was a slick paper, but with regular ol’ computer paper it didn’t work. Also I was able to find the stones at the Dollar Tree, so check around before you buy at the craft stores!

There are endless possibilities to what you can do with these. Add words, letters, faces, just have fun with it and gift a personalized gift!

Amy Marie

 

Dog Gone Good!

21 Dec

Last week when I was making Christmas goodies to give to my friends, I was also making some goodies for furry friends. I had seen this recipe online, on Pinterest (of course!), for Frosty Paws. They are a delicious frozen treat for dogs. I just couldn’t wait til summer so I made them now! Here is the tutorial for Home made Frosty Paws.

It was a really simple recipe with 4 ingredients, all of which a human can consume without cringing. I made mine in ice cube trays then put them into a baggy with some dog scrapbook paper.

These treats are Moose approved and I’m sure he will enjoy them even more in the hot, dog days (pun intended) of summer!

Amy Marie

Tag, you’re it!

20 Dec

Well the days until Christmas are fading away and I still have some crafts to finish up for my faithful readers! First I should admit something…I think I might be addicted to the Dollar Tree. I went there tonight to pick up a tray for some cookies I am giving to a coworker and left with $13 worth of stuff. Some I needed and some, well I wanted. I did get some stuff I need to wrap Christmas presents with but for crafting some things there are too good to pass up!

Tonight I was thinking back to Pinterest to get some inspiration for wrapping presents when I came across this gem.

On Pinterest this link doesn’t take you anywhere so I decided to come up with my own directions. This wasn’t too hard to figure out and I’m sure there are easier ways than what I did.

Need:
Card board or card stock
Brown paper (if using card stock)
White Buttons
Ribbon

Instructions:

First I cut down my card stock to the size tag I wanted. It helps to lay out your buttons on the stock to get an idea. Then I glued on brown paper to my card stock (it was actually an old x-mas card). Then using some sort of adhesive, I used double stick tape, add your buttons and bow. This is a great tutorial for making small bows with a fork. Last, punch a whole and tie to package!

See how easy that was! The picture kinda stinks, but its from my phone, too lazy for good camera tonight. I know that this wasn’t the most complex craft but its all I got in the craft department for now. I still have to wrap almost all the presents we have bought and I want to try and make some more treats…we’ll see if that happens.

Amy Marie 

P.S. I promise I didn’t forget about the dog treats…

Christmas Goodies

16 Dec

Every year I usually spend a day or two baking Christmas goodies with my mother, aunt, grandma and sisters. We would make everything from sugar cookies to caramels! This year was a little different since December has been busier than usual. With people moving, Family #2’s Christmas, etc… I didn’t make it home to bake. The past couple nights however, Kyle and I have been making some Christmas goodies of our own!

We made a fan favorite, Buckeyes, and also peppermint bark, which is new for me. It was Kyle’s idea to make it so I obliged and we made it! It was a lot easier than I expected it to be and turned out really good. I looked at a couple different recipes online just to see what they said but all included two main ingredients…white chocolate and peppermint pieces (go figure!). Those two are the only things we used too!

I purchased the vanilla flavored Almond Bark from Wal Mart(WM), it was significantly cheaper than buying Bakers Chocolate or Vanilla Chocolate Chips. I also bought the WM brand peppermint candies instead of buying candy canes. 1. Because I couldn’t find normal candy canes and 2. they were cheaper!

All you have to do to make the peppermint bark is melt the chocolate and add peppermint pieces. I used a double-boiler for this because I used the whole 1lb brick of Almond Bark. It also helps to cut your chocolate up into slivers so it melts easier. Sometimes I am impatient and have the tendency to burn chocolate in the microwave, so this way was much more effective.

I also melted half then added in the other half just so I didn’t crowd the bowl with a bunch of pieces. Once most of the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and keep stirring! Add in the crushed peppermint pieces, stir and spread on a metal baking sheet covered with wax paper.

I reserved some of the bigger pieces of crushed peppermint to put on top of the bark just to make it look a little fancier. Let it cool for a good half hour in the fridge or until completely hard. Then comes the fun part of breaking it all up. I kept mine in about 2 in x 2 in pieces. Some looked better than others, some are triangles, some are just weird shaped.

I had some left over chocolate from dipping buckeyes and some crushed peppermint so I made some milk chocolate peppermint bark. It wasn’t bad but I think I like it with white chocolate better.

This is the perfect gift to give friends, co-workers, hair dressers, mailman, the list goes on and on! You can put it in a decorative tin, pretty Christmas plate or just in a snack baggy with some ribbon.

Amy Marie

P.S. Coming soon…A present for the dog in your life!

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

15 Dec

Last night I was bound and determined to be productive…and I was! I cleaned the kitchen, made buckeyes and also tried out a vanilla sugar scrub. I found directions for it on Pinterest, of all places, and thought it would be the perfect filler for some presents.

I modified my recipe a little bit but I think it still worked out perfectly! This was one of the fasted gifts I have ever made.

Ingredients:

3 cups Sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine all three ingredients, yup that’s it! Super easy I tell ya. Now if you want a stronger scent of vanilla you can add more in. It also depends on your brand of vanilla because I think some are a little more concentrated than others. The original post I saw called for essential oil but I didn’t really feel like going to the store to buy some. I did a little research and found that vanilla is safe to use, and some people even use it daily for hair and body wash!

After mixing just place it in a pretty jar and make a little label. I had some old jam jars laying around and put it in there with some x-mas fabric on top! I also used the left overs myself and my hands were silky smooth 🙂

Amy Marie

P.S. Only 4 more crafts to go! Thinking about adding in some candy recipes, do those count as crafts??

P.S.S. I will post a picture of the scrub after work today!

Sources:
Sugar Scrub
Vanilla Uses

FREE COOK BOOK For All you Kindle Folks

13 Dec

So this is just going to be a quick post, but I wanted to let you all know about an awesome deal I found through Budget Saving Mom! You can get a free digital edition of the Gooseberry Patch Christmas with Family & Friends Cookbook!!

Follow the link connected to the cook book title and it takes you to amazon.com. Even if you don’t have a Kindle there is Kindle app’s for PC, iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry. Amazon will help you get those app’s if you don’t have them.

I guess Amazon does this every once and a while without warning and there is no telling how long it may last. So go now and get it!

Thought this was too good not to share! Enjoy!

Amy Marie

Weekend Update

12 Dec

What a boring post title but it’s all I got today. This morning was one of those morning where I pushed the snooze button a million times; I just didn’t want to get up! This weekend was pretty busy though.

We woke up bright and early Saturday to move the rest of my stuff from Columbus to  Kyles, which I need to start referring to as ours I suppose. If you have ever lived in an apartment complex you know that you must clean, clean, clean before you move out so you get your security deposit back. Luckily my parents came down to help with the moving and cleaning. It only took one 12 ft trailer and a mini van (no seats) to get all my stuff home.

Since the weather has been crappy in terms of harvesting weather, Kyle and  his family still have about 300 acres to go. For those of you not in farming, you normally harvest corn in October-Early November. This year however many farmers still have crops in the field. In order to get them out we have had to wait until the ground freezes. Since its coldest at night, Kyle and his dad started farming about 10pm on Saturday. The plan was to farm through the night and well into Sunday. Unfortunately about 4:15 am I got a call that the combine broke and then caught on fire! EEK! I was worried but I guess it was small and everyone was ok.

Sunday was literally a day of rest. But I did get to do some crafting with Alisia and also got some grocery and Christmas shopping done. I am planning to get a few more of those 12 Crafts of Christmas posted this week so stay tuned!

Amy Marie

Make it With Yarn!

11 Dec

A few weeks ago my soon to be sister-in-law sent me an invite online to a group craft day, unfortunately I couldn’t go but really wanted to make the craft. Since I couldn’t go she was nice enough to hold off and make the craft with me (she’s so sweet!). So this afternoon after grocery shopping and feeding my farmer (who was up all night and battles a combine fire) I headed over to have some fun.

The craft we made was a Yarn Wrapped Wreath. These things are all over Pinterest and Etsy! Prices on Etsy range from $12 – $60+, and we were able to make ours for under $5 each. Now both of us did have yarn on hand and extra decorations on hand but at any craft store you can find wreath forms for a couple bucks.

Supplies:
Styrofoam or straw wreath
1 bundle of yarn
Hot Glue (optional)
Decorations for wreath

This is a simple but somewhat time consuming craft. To start off just tie your yarn in a knot around the wreath. You can hot glue it to help hold in place, we found that this was helpful. Then wrap until your whole wreath is covered, it took us almost 1 hour to wrap. Once wrapped you tie another knot to hold in place. Last step is adding decoration; endless possibilities! I added on gold snowflakes to a green wreath to match our gold/green christmas tree. This is my way of making the fiance think that its a John Deere tree 🙂 I’m sneaky like that…ok not really.

We found that if you use a straw wreath it appears a little more rustic and bumpy (for lack of a better word). I think if I make another one I will try it that way.
Just when you thought I was done for the night…craft #7 of the 12 Crafts of Christmas!

After coming home from wreath making I was inspired to do something with a styrofoam cone that I found at Kyle’s grandmothers house. Then it came to me…wrap it in yarn! So I did and I know have a beautiful tree to match my wreath. I pretty much followed the same steps but wrapped from top to bottom. I also secured the bottom with some wire (think u shaped) and inserted it into the form. Almost like a staple to hold it in place.

I’m not crazy about the snowflake at the top, but I also think it needs some friends! Its a lonely tree, but pretty none the less!

Well with 7 crafts down there are only 5 more crafts to go! I hope you have been inspired to make some Christmas crafts of your own!

Amy Marie

P.S. A week update coming tomorrow 🙂

On the Third Day of Christmas…

8 Dec

That’s right, its Christmas craft #3 (4 and 5). I haven’t decided weather or not tonight’s post will count as one craft or three. I guess it really depends on time (whether or not I run out before 12 crafts). But tonight I am sharing with you three things to do with wire and beads. I have seen things like these before, but usually in a fancy boutique for $30 a pop!

Tonight I made a mason jar luminary, beaded spoon and wine glass. All three of these would make a perfect gift for any holiday party you are attending. The directions are about the same for all three, just working with different objects, so I’m not going to repeat the directions three times (besides, you don’t wanna read that much anyways).

Supplies:
18 or 20 gauge wire
Assorted beads
pliers, needed nosed if available

First step is to cut your wire to nesecary length. The bigger the object the more wire needed.  For the the spoon and the jar I used about 2.5-3 feet. About 2 feet for the glass. Secure one end of the wire by wrapping tightly around the object like a twist tie on bread (best way I can think to describe it). It should be fairly tight and not move around on you. Now string the beads! See the two methods below

There are two ways to attack these projects.

1. You can string your beads onto the wire before you wrap (if doing this, leave enough wire to secure to object.)
2. String your beads as you go along

Both ways work fine, with the spoon #1 seemed easier but for the wine glass I found it easier to add beads as I went. Either way you do it just make sure you leave enough wire to wrap the whole length. Once you get it wrapped around I like to take a plain piece of wire to wrap back to the starting point. It gives it a little more security and decoration.

You can get the wire and beads in the jewelry section of almost any craft store including Wal Mart! You could also use floral wire if that’s what you have on hand.


And there you have it! Three great wire wrapped gift ideas. Can’t you imagine a dinner party with the mason jars as centerpieces, everyone drinking out of their unique wine glass and serving food with decorated flat ware! Ok, well maybe that vision is just in my head but I think it would be a lot of fun!

Amy Marie

Brand Spankin’ New?

7 Dec

Is there really a craft out there that no one has done?? Ok I’m sure there is one somewhere but even still that craft has to draw inspiration from some where. I recently stumbled upon a blog looking for feature bloggers. I thought it would be really fun, but at this point I’m struggling to f ind something completely original (requirement). In college my wise and amazing professor told me that no design is original, that things have been done before. She said that everything we come up with is just an old design revamped. I feel the same way about crafts.

I was trying to think through all the idea/things that I want to do here at Kyles  our house. Every thing I came up with someone else, some where out there, has done! To me, even pulling inspiration or recreating something from a more expensive store is to original. What are your thoughts on original crafts? I would love to heard what you guys have come up with or made!

Amy Marie

P.S. I got my ring cleaned tonight and it looks brand spankin’ new!! I couldn’t believe that it was just as sparkly as before 🙂