Christmas Creations

Now that Christmas is over I can show you a few  projects I created for my family for gifts as well as some that I crafted up for others.

I realized right before Christmas that I never posted about my Christmas / Happy Birthday Jesus Countdown calendars.  A wonderful customer asked me to create one of these for her and then I just kept making them.  They were a hit at craft fairs and sold really well on my Facebook page.  I had a few extras so I gave them away as gifts for the boys teachers (their homeschool supervising teacher, preschool teachers, and piano teacher).

Christmas Countdown

This year, we did a drawing for Christmas gifts this year with my hubby’s side of the family.  That was great since his family is getting to be SO big (he has 5 sisters, 4 brother-in-laws, and 7 nieces and nephews!).  I got my sister-in-law Darla and we both share a love for Harry Potter.  So when I saw THIS pin on Pinterest, I knew it would be a great jumping off point for a gift.  I thought a nice tote bag would be a great place to slap some vinyl, I mean – who doesn’t need a bag???

Harry Potter bag

For the next gift, it was one that was requested by a friend.  She wanted tiles made for her mom and mother-in-law for Christmas.  She texted me a picture and then I came up with the design (quite close to the picture she sent).  I haven’t heard whether or not they liked them, but as it goes with all grandparents- if your grandkids names are on it, it will be loved!

Nana Tile

Next, I worked on a few projects for my family.  First, as is Christmas tradition – PJs for the family.  In the past I have bought the boys jammies.  Have you SEEN the price of PJs lately!?!?!  It is crazy! Multiply that by 4 and you will see why I made our own.  I was going to make them all match but upon arriving at JoAnn’s one day I found that all the flannel was like 60% off.  SCORE!  The whole family was with me on this occasion so we all picked our own jammie flannel.  We usually take a family picture of us all in our jammies before we open our presents on Christmas Eve but for whatever reason we didn’t this year.  So this is the best I have…  a picture of 4 of the PJ bottoms after I had finished them.

Christmas PJs

This was probably one of my boys’ favorite gifts this year.  Lego Ninjago is really popular right now among young boys and mine are no exception.  So when I found a tutorial on Pinterest with pattern pieces to make the Ninjago mask on a pillowcase I was ALL over it!  For those that don’t know… I am a bit OCD in the organizing department and with 4 boys I need all the help I can get.  Each of my boys have “assigned” colors so that when I buy things in multiples I try to buy them in their colors. This way I know that the blue towel left on the floor is my oldest’s or the red flashlight in the kitchen is boy #3′s.  Well those colors have become their favorite colors and there just so happen to be Ninjas in those colors as well.  So naturally, those ninjas are their favorites (There is no yellow ninja for boy #4 since Legos are already yellow so I substituted white for him).

Colorful Ninjas

 

As you can see from the pictures from Christmas Eve, they LOVED their pillows and have been sleeping on them each night since!

Ninjago Pillowcase

Pillowcase

 

For my mother in law and grandma in law I made these scarves from some extra t-shirts that I receieved in a T-shirt order one time (they sent 10 extra shirts that were all 4x in size – guess they were getting rid of extra inventory – win win for us both!)  I pinned lots of different t-shirt refashioning projects in hopes of turning these huge shirts into something fun.  They were super easy and turned out SO cute!  I still have more t-shirts so I will definitely be making more soon.

 

I still have a couple more gifts that I made but my mom was sick all during Christmas so her present is still a secret!  More to come once she opens them.

Celebrating Fun: January 2013

Happy New Year!!!  Where did 2012 go?!?!  I can’t believe another year has already come and gone.  This year will bring birthdays where my boys will turn 8, 6, 4, and 2; my business will officially turn one; and I’m sure LOTS more fun to celebrate!

 

January Holidays

1 – New Year’s Day (we don’t usually do much on New Year’s Day, but New Year’s Eve is lots of fun!)

8- Bubble Bath Day – fun for the kiddos and relaxing for mamas!

16 – Appreciate a Dragon Day – Think we might just have to watch “How to Train Your Dragon”

18 – Winnie the Pooh Day

19 – Popcorn Day

20 – Camcorder Day – make a movie of your kiddos!  They grow up WAY too fast!

21 – National Hugging Day

23 – National Pie Day – HMMMM, what kind shall I bake?

24 – National Compliment Day / National Peanut Butter Day

28 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation – there are oh so many things that the boys could do with bubble wrap!

29 – World Puzzle Day

31 – Man Day – Oh geez!  With 4 boys and a hubby every day around here is “man” day! haha

So there you have them! Lots of days to celebrate fun with your family and friends!

 

Year in Review: Top Posts of 2012

 

Well here it is the end of 2012.  Can you believe it?  I sure can’t!!!  Where did 2012 go?!?!

It has been a busy year.  One in which I starting {trying} to keep my blog more updated, began my business and started making my creations for you, participating in a few craft fairs, and continued on with homeschooling and my life with my 4 boys.

My goal for this next year is to be more on top of my posts (which means much more preplanning and getting projects done EARLY!).  Crafting is always going on over here it just doesn’t always get photographed and written about.

So here is my year in review: my top 4 posts and a few categories on my blog that are visited quite a bit.  Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my posts and can only hope that they have helped you make your own beautiful creations!

Mom’s Busy Crafting

Top 4 Posts of 2012

Top4Posts

1. Candy Cane Wreath Tutorial

I would have to say this project probably got the most talk on my Facebook page so I am not surprised that this post was the most popular.

2.  Crayon Roll Tutorial

These quick and easy project is perfect for just about anything and everything: birthdays, stocking stuffers, party favors.

3. Burlap Wreath

Love this versatile wreath and how it can be dressed up or down for any and every holiday!

4. Pillowcase Dress Tutorial: Simple Version

If you have a little girl in your life these are perfect for them!!!  And since they only take about an hour to whip out you can make LOTS of them ;)

Some popular categories that were searched quite a bit were my tutorials, my iron-on vinyl posts, and my Cricut category!

I’m looking forward to all that 2013 will bring!  Not sure what the future holds but I do know it will be full of fun with my boys, my hectic and wonderful life, and LOTS and LOTS of crafting!

Happy New Year!

Polar Express Party

My boys LOVE the movie Polar Express! To them How the Grinch Stole Christmas is scary and they are still to young for Elf so this has become our go to Christmas movie.  So when I saw the idea of having a Polar Express party on Pinterest I just knew that was the perfect way to have some Holiday fun with the boys.

Mom's Busy Crafting: Polar Express Party

All Aboard the Polar Express

After searching for some ways to make the night even more fun I found this pin for making train tracks leading up to the front door.  I showed my hubby and he immediately volunteered to “lay some tracks” for the party.  A bit of black tape and voila!

Train tracks leading up to the door

Once on “board” the kiddos, all dressed in their jammies, patiently waited for the cookie decorating to begin (ok, honestly with 10 boys and 3 girls it was more like WWE and Risky Business while waiting- footie jammies and tile floors make for lots of fun).  Once all the guests had arrived the sugar fest began!  My husband made red velvet cupcakes complete with a peppermint stick for the “North Pole”.  They were supposed to look like this, but I ran out of time.  They were still VERY festive!

Sweets, Lots of Sweets

Both my kitchen table and dining room table were needed to decorate so I had 2 cupcake trays (another idea I saw on Pinterest somewhere) FULL of colorful sprinkles.  I for some reason have a HUGE sprinkle collection so don’t worry, I am still WELL stocked in the sprinkle department.

Sprinkles

 

Here are some pictures of my boys decorating their cookies (didn’t include other party guests as I didn’t want anyone upset that their child’s pictures are on a site).  Ethan was grumpy so I didn’t get a picture of him :(

 

Decorating cookies Icing! More frosting than cookie

Once my floors the cookies were covered in sprinkles, all the kiddos sat down with their blankets and pillows to watch the movie.  Their “tickets” were passed out (Thanks again to my wonderful hubby for making and printing them!) and the movie began.

At precisely the right moment, their hot chocolate was delivered by dancing waiters (ok, by me, but I was dancing a bit).  I found a SUPER SWEET recipe that could be made in the crockpot.  Boy was it SWEET!  After a taste test before the party started, I added in about 3 more cups of milk to make it a bit more drinkable.

Hot Chocolate

Last but not least, no movie would be complete without popcorn.  All too soon, the movie was over and the train was ready to deliver it’s passengers back to their homes.  Although I didn’t have the time to do EVERYTHING I had wanted to, we had a magical time and I definitely will be doing this again next year.
Popcorn and Hot Cocoa

Merry Christmas

and remember “The Bell Still Rings for All Who Truly Believe!”

Sugar, Aprons, and Christmas Lights

Tis the season to bake!  As is tradition on my husband’s side of the family, we all got together this past Sunday and had an afternoon of making goodies to give to friends and neighbors.  This is mostly handled by my mother-in-law and all my sisters-in-law while the kiddos play and the hubbies watch sports.  Since rolled cookies take a lot of time and there isn’t a whole lot of space in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, I volunteered to bring the sugar cookies (aka teacakes as we call them in my family) for the children to decorate. After a couple days of mixing, chilling, and rolling out dough and many cookie sheets full of cookies, the teacakes and gingerbread cookies were ready for decorating.

To add to my already long list of things that need to be done by Christmas, I got the bright idea on a trip to JoAnn’s (the Thursday before the cookie baking, I might add) to make all the nieces and nephews matching aprons.  That meant 4 for my boys, 3 for Shannon’s kiddos, 3 for Angie’s (newly adopted!!! YAY) little ones, 1 for Kim’s little man, and then 2 tiny aprons of for sister in law’s baby (she is due in March so she was already busy “baking” her little girl, but next year she will join in the baking fun!) and one for my sweet friend, Kayla’s little guy.  That is a grand total of 12 aprons that needed to be made in about 48 hours!  My excitement got me through a couple late nights and I got all the aprons done by Saturday evening!

I was so excited to have the little ones open their baking treats.  Most of them immediately put them on and began decorating the 1 or 2 cookies they selected.  The thrill was over quickly and off they all went to play again, but I know the aprons will get well used for years to come!  {I am terribly sad, however, that we didn’t get a group picture!}

Baby Mills decorating cookies

Z and C with their new aprons

Cookie decorating

C decorating like a pro

After all the treat making was finished, the whole family headed to a neighborhood here in So Cal that is always overly decked out with Christmas lights.  Talk about a “winter wonderland” as my 5 yr old would say!  We walk up and down the street admiring all the shining lights and yard decorations and enjoy making memories and taking pictures.  It is a yearly tradition that I have come to love and I know it is something my boys will always remember!

Family pic looking at lights

I am trying to be better about taking more family shots when we have these sort of outings so I made sure we got one!

Tuesday Tutorial: Christmas Canvas

OK, So this will NOT be the best tutorial ever!  I didn’t take very good step by step pictures along the way.  1) I just was really excited to get this done and 2) It was around 11pm in the evening when I STARTED working on this!

So here you go!  I’m going to give you the run down of what I did.

 

Christmas Canvas Tutorial

Materials:

- artist canvas – mine was a 22″ x 28″ canvas from JoAnn’s that I snagged for 60% off!

- black acrylic paint

- foam brush

- white indoor vinyl (I get ALL my vinyl from Expressions Vinyl)

I started by painting my entire canvas with my black.

Wait for it to try and then paint on a thin layer of Mod Podge over the paint.  A pin on Pinterest said that this would help the vinyl to adhere to the canvas easier.  This was NOT the case for me.  It *might* have had something to do with the fact that I was dying to get this project finished and didn’t allow it to dry overnight!

While the paint was drying, I cut the vinyl on my Cricut.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and that was the inspiration for this project.  For the vinyl, I used the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge for the stable, the Opposites Attract cartridge for the ADORE, and then Lyrical Letters for all the other lettering.  I can’t remember which cartridge I found the star on.

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas materials

Since I didn’t wait for the Mod Podge to fully dry I had to fight with the vinyl a lot to make it get onto the canvas.  Almost wished I hadn’t put the layer of Mod Podge on.

Here is the final product, all lit up by my Christmas tree.  I am in LOVE with how it turned out!

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas close up

Tuesday Tutorial: Candy Cane Yarn Wreath

We all love Pinterest for holiday decorating ideas.  Since I was now in need of TWO wreaths for my front door I started searching for wreath ideas.  That is when I found this wreath!

Source: etsy.com via Allison

Isn’t it beautiful!  It looked super simple and easy so with my Pinterest App on my iphone in hand, off to JoAnns I went in search of the wreath form, yarn, and the sprigs to add for decoration.  Much to my dismay,  I found the yarn and the perfect sprigs but NO wreath form large enough.  I have two very TALL front doors to two little 12 inch straw wreaths weren’t going to do it.

Again, being a big fan of Pinterest, I had seen MANY times over the pin about using pipe insulation from the hardware store (or a pool noodle – not easy to come by in November!) as a wreath form.  I was trying to save some money and still get a HUGE wreaths for my front door (remember I need TWO now).

I bought some pipe insulation at the hardware store and with the help of a friend’s hubby (I was crafting at her house for a wreath making night and came TOTALLY unprepared – mama just needed to get out of the house ASAP! haha) shaped the circle.  All was good, I was happily wrapping the red and white yarn while chatting with friends.  I didn’t have enough white to start on my next wreath so I decided to leave with at least one finished.  I had bought an assortment of decorations to add to the side of the wreath so with my friend’s help I added a bow and the sprigs I purchased.  THEN the problem was discovered…  the weight from the decorations was totally making the very light foam and yarn wreath hang completely crooked! Notice in the picture that my son’s hand is holding the up the right way.  OPPS!

Candy Cane Wreath FAIL

So back to the drawing board I went.  After sadly pouting over my wreath for a couple of weeks, I finally went to Michael’s in search of two larger straw wreaths (since JoAnns is apparently agains having large straw wreaths in stock).  That evening while my hubby sat beside me watching his “man” shows as I call them, I sat for several hours unwrapping the pipe insulation and rewrapping my  18″ straw wreaths.  Every so often my husband, who loves me dearly and smiles at my crafty quirks, would look over at the and say, “That looks boring.”  Well thanks Babe ;)

After about 3 hours, my wreath was complete.  This time with a much heavier weight to hold the decorations I have added to the side.  Now to complete one more.  This time I took pictures along the way so you could make one too if you like!

Candy Cane Yarn Wreath Tutorial

Candy Cane Yarn Wreath Supplies

Materials Needed:

- straw wreath

-red and white yarn (I made mine into balls so it would be easier to wrap them around and around)

- ribbon

-picks and sprigs for decoration

- zip ties

To begin, I just took the yarn and began wrapping it around the wreath.  There was no need for a knot, I just wrapped over where I began to hold it in place.  I wrapped about 4 inch sections at a time moving all over the section (You could wrap it super tight and make all the strands line up next to each other, but I wanted it to look more “rustic”).  When I would finish a section I would just tuck that color against the back of the wreath and wrap over that yarn with the next color.  By doing this I didn’t have to keep cutting my yarn, I just had a really long piece.

Wrapping the yarn

This part will take you an hour or two so make sure to settle down on your couch with your favorite Christmas movie or TV show while you work!

Once your wreath is done, just decide on where you want to place your decorations.  I wanted mine on the sides like the one I pinned from Pinterest.  I found some berries and snowflakes that were just perfect and then I was given some fun ribbon by my friend to use to hide where all the picks were placed into the yarn (I just shoved them all in!).  To hold them in place I used zip ties.  These babies are amazing and I found them at Dollar Tree in a pack of 60!!!

Zip ties

Sprigs zip tied on

Then it was all finished!  Time to hang it up (and finish the other one – I ran out of white yarn! opps)  LOVE the way these turned out and I can’t wait to hang them up year after year!

Mom's Busy Crafting - Candy Cane Wreath Tutorial

Celebrating Fun: December 2012

December Holidays

4th – Santa List Day – have the kiddos sit down and write out their Christmas lists for Santa.  Even better use this printable from Somewhat Simple I found on Pinterest!
Source: somewhatsimple.com on Pinterest

Then take their lists and make these cute ornaments to have a keepsake of their lists each year!

6th – St. Nicolas Day – Learn about the man that started the tradition of Santa by watching the Veggies Tales St. Nick movie or the Christmas What’s in the Bible? DVD

7th – Letter Writing Day – write some heartfelt notes to family that is far away this holiday season.

8th – Brownie Making Day – make some brownies and deliver them to friends and neighbors!

18th – Bake Cookies Day –  This is something we have done every year since my mom and dad moved to So Cal.  It might not always be the 18th but it is sometime in December.  I pack up the boys, lots of tupperware containers, and some ingredients and head to my mom’s house where we spend most of the day baking away.  The boys help roll out and decorate cookies and then when they are done we turn on some movies for them and really get to work.  By the end of the day we have LOTS of yummy cookies to make into trays or tins to give away.  

Cookie Decorating 1

 

Cookie Decorating 3

25th – Christmas Day – spent with family and a day of remembering the birth of Christ, the TRUE reason for the season!

 

Our Christmas Family Traditions

Family Gingerbread House Competition

My husband and boys are big fans of the Food Network and all their competition shows.  Each year we send the boys to play, get the table all set up with TONS of candy treats  and preassembled house structures (because there is NO way the boys would sit while they dry!).  Then we spend the evening decorating our house while munching on sweets and sipping hot chocolate and rocking out to Christmas songs on Pandora!

Family Gingerbread House Competition

2011 Gingerbread Houses

Looking at Christmas Lights

We do this a few times during the month.  Usually we drive around one night as a family.  Our local newspaper puts out a map for our city with all the best places to see lights and we get the boys in their jammies and drive through Starbucks before driving around. 

My husband’s side of the family also gets together and we all go to a street in Rancho Cucamonga, CA called Throughbred.  The ENTIRE neighborhood goes all out and has some fabulous lights.  We park and all walk together taking pictures and having fun.  It is something we look forward to each year.  

Looking at Christmas Lights

Birthday Cake for Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus Cake

On Christmas Eve it is tradition to make Jesus a birthday cake that we eat after we open presents on Christmas Eve.  The boys each help me make the cake.  I seriously have pictures of Christopher as a toddler sitting next to my mixer as we make a cake for Jesus (they are just backed up right now so they are NOT on my computer! boo)

Last year I found a pin on Pinterest that made this tradition even better.  It was detailing how to make a layer cake with different colored layers to represent different things to basically present the gospel in cake!  

Happy Birthday Jesus Cake

The chocolate layer reminds us that we are sinful.

The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed his blood for our sins.

The white frosting reminds us that Jesus has given us a clean heart.

The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ.

The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.

The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the World.

 Christmas Eve Family Photo

Before opening presents on Christmas Eve we always get the boys in their jammies, make hot chocolate and take a family picture.  We don’t often get pictures of all of us so I love looking at these!  It shows me the blessings that God has put into my life and how each year our family has grown and changed!  I also take pictures of the boys all decked out before we head to Christmas Eve service.  

Christmas Eve Family Picture

Christmas Brunch

Christmas Brunch

I have a lovely set of Christmas china that I have collected (thanks in great part to my mom) since we got married.  I LOVE using these all December long, but especially on Christmas Day.  That is the day I get to host brunch for my mom and dad.  I always make Caramel Sticky Buns (thanks to Betty Crocker’s cookbook) the night before and then set them out to rise before the boys wake up.  Then into the oven they go and we sit together and enjoy a nice breakfast before heading to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s side of the family.

There are so many more little things we do this time of year to focus on the real meaning of the season but I will have to save those for another post.

For more ideas of things to Celebrate Fun in December, check out my CHRISTMAS CHEER board on Pinterest!

I’m still crafting… just been busy

Have you been wondering where I have been?  Blogging has had to be pushed to the side thanks to life getting a bit hectic.  I have been working on orders, getting fabrics cut and ready for orders and for my own Christmas presents that need to be created, and just trying to stay on top of homeschooling (one of my sons got a bit behind).

I have still been creating some projects for you.  Here is one that I am STILL working on thanks to a major FAIL.

Foam Wreath FAIL

I have a couple other recent projects to show you but you will have to wait until I can write a post about them!

December will be here on Saturday so stay turned for  my December Celebrating Fun post!!!

Tuesday Tutorial: Crayon Roll

Crayon Roll Tutorial

Mom's Busy Crafting- Crayon Roll

Materials needed:

Materials needed

  •  3 pieces of farbric cut to 13″ x 5″ (I used two pieces of the main fabric and one piece of solid fabric)
  • 1 piece of fusible interfacing cut to 13″ x 5″
  • coordinating thread
  • elastic hair tie
  • ruler
  • disappearing fabric marker or chalk marker
Directions:
1. Iron the interfacing to the inside piece of fabric that will be BEHIND the pocket. This will help stabilize the fabric when you sew all the pockets for the crayons.

Apply interfacing to inside back piece

2. Fold the piece that will be the crayon pockets in half with the folded edge at the top. Fold pocket piece in half and iron

3. Place the pocket along the bottom edge of the inside fabric lining up raw edges on the bottom.Put pocket piece on inside fabric

4. Mark lines for the crayon pocket using a disappearing ink marker or chalk lines.  The first and last marks should be at 1 1/4 inches.  All other marks should be 3/4″ apart.  These will be the lines where you will sew.  Mark lines for crayon pockets

4. Sew along marked lines.  This is great practice for beginners since you are just sewing TONS of straight lines.  Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each line to keep the pockets from ripping apart.

Sew along marked lines

5. Here is what the crayon roll will look like when all your rows are sewn.  Clip threads.Finished lines - front

Backside of rows

6. Attach the elastic hair tie to the left side of the crayon roll where the pocket and back meet.  Sew into place backstitching over it a few times!

Attach elastic band

7. Place right sides of back piece and pocket piece together and sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Make sure to leave a 2″ opening for turning.Sew around edge

8. Turn right side out and push the corners out.  Press to that it lays flat.Turn the crayon roll right sides out

Pressed crayon roll

9. Top stitch around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Make sure you close the hole where you turned the roll.

Topstitch around crayon roll

10.  Now fill it will crayons, roll it up, and you’re ready to go!

Finished roll

Crayon Roll, rolled up

 

These are GREAT gifts for birthdays with a coloring book or two.  Also they are perfect for stocking stuffers.  Once you have it down, you will be able to crank these out in about 20 mins!

Happy Sewing!