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!

 

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Napkin Pillows

In an effort to do a simple update to our family room decor, I have been on the hunt for new pillows for the couch.  The ones we have are VERY old and have been washed and rewashed hundreds of times.  Needless to say, they have seen better days.

However, in seaching for the perfect pillows I discovered a big problem!  The price of pillows is OUTRAGEOUS!  Seriously, $20 for a pillow, ONE???  Really?!?!  I don’t think so.  Even the “clearance” prices were not something I was willing to pay.  So I had to come up with a better solution.

By now I am sure you are all thinking, “Ummm, hello Allison!  You sew!  Make your own!”  Well, yes I could make some, but home decor fabric isn’t cheap (especially the ones I end up loving).  I do have some put away for Spring and Summer pillows but since it is currently fall, they just won’t work.

So when I came across an idea for making pillows from napkins I was thrilled.  After seeing this post on House of Smiths about using napkins to make simple and easy pillows, I was on the hunt for napkins that I could transform.  So one evening while strolling the aisles of Target I found these!  They went perfect with family room colors and were only $7!

Mom's Busy Crafting: Napkin Pillows

Napkin Pillows Tutorial

Materials needed:

  • napkins
  • coordinating thread
  • Poly-fil – for stuffing the pillow

Sew seams

I didn’t want to fight with the already hemmed edges on the pillow, I kinda liked the idea of the flat edges going all around the pillow, and I really don’t like hand sewing things closed.  So I simply pinned two of the napkins – wrong sides together – and sewed along the existing seam.  Make sure you leave about a 3″ opening so you can stuff your pillow.

Leave an opening to stuff your pillow

Now it was time to stuff!  I had almost a full bag of the poly-fil left over from a previous project so I used that.  It took up the entire bag which is why I only got one pillow done.  Will need to make another trip to the fabric store for more to make the second pillow!

Add stuffing

Pillow all stuffed

Once the pillow was stuffed, I sewed the opening closed.  Now I had to do something about the hemmed edges that I left exposed.  To make them lay flat as one piece I decided to sew them together with a zig zag stitch.  I made my stitches wide so the zig zags would look a bit more decorative.

Need to sew closed

Zig Zagged edges

And there you have it.  A quick and easy (not to mention CHEAP) way to liven up your couch in a matter of just a few minutes!  Can’t wait to get more stuffing and make the second pillow.  Now to keep hunting for home decor fabric to make winter / Christmas pillows!  Or maybe I will just find more napkins ;)

Finished pillow

Happy Sewing!!!

Celebrating Fun: November 2012

Can you believe it is already November?!?!  It definitely took me by surprise (which is part of why this post is a few days late!).  Between my entire family, including myself, being sick for the past month, Halloween last week and getting ready for the craft fair I participated in on Friday – I just didn’t get this post written!

Honestly, there aren’t too many “holiday” we celebrate in November other than Thanksgiving.  There are a few special dates and one that has become special to us this year in our extended family!

November Holidays

3rd – National Book Lovers Day – grab a book and READ!

3rd – Housewife’s Day!!!

3rd – Sandwich Day

11th – Vetran’s Day – thank any and all the service men and women that you know!!!

15th – Clean your Refrigerator Day – (I know I need to do this!!!)

16th – Have a Party with your Bear day – do something fun with the kiddos and have them bring their stuffed bears along!

17th – Homemade Bread Day – whip up some fresh bread!  Pumpkin Bread, Banana Bread, or even just some yummy rolls to go with dinner.

Cooking with mom

17th – National Adoption Day!!!  This is exciting for our family this year since my sister  in law and brother in law are getting ready to adopt 3 precious children!  They are having a shower on this day and I can’t wait to bless them as they prepare to become parents!!!

19th – Have a Bad Day Day – I really don’t think I want to celebrate this one ;)

20th – Beautiful Day – YES it is since the 20th is my birthday!!!! haha

22nd – Thanksgiving Day – take some time to give thanks for all the Lord has blessed you with (we do this all month long!!!)

23rd – Black Friday – Do you Black Friday shop?  I did last year with my sister in law and it was SO much fun!!!

26th – Shopping Reminder Day – only ONE MONTH until Christmas!!!  Get that shopping done!

In the past we have done a few other things in November to get us ready for Thanksgiving. Once year I made handprint turkey cards for all the grandparents and aunts and uncles.

You can make a Thankful Tree and each day a leave to it with something you are thankful for.  How beautiful would that be by Thanksgiving, branches COVERED in leaves of thanks!

November (around my birthday) is also the time of year we decorate for Christmas!

Tree Decorating 2010

Zach decorating the tree in 2010

Here is the calendar I have gone to for years to tell me what holidays are in each month!