Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie of the Month - December

This month for my daughter's teacher, I decided to use some of the cookies from our Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza.  I selected 3 different types and tied them up in this cute little snowman bag I found in my stash.
This batch was given a bit later this month because my daughter's teacher was not in the classroom for the first week of December.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paint Storage Solution

It seems that everywhere I look, there are great ideas for paint storage.  My favorite storage idea was from Infarrantly Creative.  She used spice racks!  What a great idea, I wish I had thought of it.  As you know, I love to hit the garage sales, so with this new idea in mind, I started my search.  I didn't quite find spice racks, but I did find this...
 And this...
 The first unit was unfinished wood, so it only took a quick sand before it was ready for painting.  The second one, on the other hand, had quite a bit of clear coat on it, so it took longer.  Plus it has a very narrow groove on each of the shelves and an ugly gold nameplate on it.  All it took was a bit of elbow grease and a good coat of paint to make them beautiful! 

After my primer dried, I painted each of the pieces using a brush and some paint I had left over from another project.  They turned out VERY bland and boring, so I decided to paint a cute little flourish on each.  I used some "oops paint" I picked up a while ago.  I love the way they turned out.  I even love the fact that the designs are a bit rough and aren't perfect.
 The ugly gold plate on this rack was perfect for my little flourish!

Now to figure out a color to paint the wall so they really pop!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza

Every year, the women in my family get together between Thanksgiving and Christmas to have our Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza.  Each person brings 2 recipes and we spend the whole day baking, eating and enjoying each other's company.  Now that I live in a different state from the rest of my family, I don't always get to participate, however, while my mom was in town, we had our own Mini Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza.  I didn't get pictures of all we made, but here is a small sample of the yummy goodness...
Wintermint Wafers

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Cappuccino Crinkles

Sugar Free Chocolate Chip (especially for my Dad, who is diabetic)

Don't you just want to take a bite out of your computer screen?  I know I do!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hand Towel Angel

My mom bought a super cute Angel made out of kitchen towels at a craft fair she recently attended. They were so cute, we decided to make some of our own to give as gifts.

Here is what you will need:
Hand towel
Fingertip towel (if you can’t find one, a microfiber towel will also work)
Pot holder
Rubber bands
Thin wire
Small beads
Bunch of berries or other small item for angel to hold

Start by folding the hand towel using an accordion fold. Once it is folded, find the center and fold in half. Secure with a rubber band about 3 inches from the top. You may also want to temporarily secure the bottom to encourage the pleats to hold their shape.

Fold the fingertip towel in an accordion fold. Place a rubber band in the center of the towel and about ½ inch from the bottom of each end.
Bunch the potholder and slip through the center rubber band on the fingertip towel

Wrap the ends of the fingertip towel around the hand towel and secure the ends together.

Now that you have the basic shape of the Angel, it’s time to decorate her.

To create the halo, string beads on a wire and twist to make the circle shape.  Be sure to leave several inches to slip down through the rubber band at the neck. Tie ribbons around all the rubber bands to hide them. Feed the plastic hanger from the towels through the ribbon used to tie the wings and arms together as shown in the photo below.

This is a shot of her from the back

Slip the berries or similar item through the rubber band and the "wrist", or you can leave her "hands" empty.

Before wrapping or hanging in your own house, make sure to remove the rubber band on the bottom and, voila cute Towel Angel suitable for gift giving. This makes a great hostess gift or teacher gift.

Note: I forgot to take pictures while I was making my angel, so I used old towels to take the pictures for the tutorial. The folds are much harder to make with well worn towels, but it will still work.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Scented Soap

For Halloween, I colored our foaming soap orange.  Well I made too much, and we just finished using it all up.  This time, I made a smaller batch, so we won't be using it well into the new year *fingers crossed*.  I colored it red with 2 drops of food coloring, and added 1 drop of peppermint essential oil.  The whole bathroom smells yummy every time we wash our hands now.  The great thing about it is the smell does not stay on your hands for long, just a few minutes before it dissipates.  My daughter loves that the soap bubbles are pink when she pumps out the soap.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Calendar

Family Fun magazine had a great Cone-iferous Advent Calendar in their November magazine.  We have a fabric one that I bought several years ago, but this year I wanted to do something a little different for my daughter.  Using their template here, and paper from a holiday paper pack I purchased at Joann Fabrics, I created these little beauties:
Inside, I hid things my daughter loves the most:  Quarters, tattoos, gum, coupons to redeem for playing time on the iPod, 30 minutes of TV, a special dinner out at her choice of restaurants, and a few other goodies.  So far, every day has been a huge hit and she asks the moment she comes downstairs in the morning.  When we open each cone, we talk a bit about why we celebrate Christmas. 
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