Grinch Ornaments for Giacomo’s 1st Birthday

It’s crazy to believe a whole year has gone by since my Mr. Man came into the world. I always say that the day he was born it felt like an explosion, that my heart grew 3 sizes that day like the Grinch. So for his first birthday, we had a Grinch themed party. Giacomo had such fun playing with his cousins, family, and friends.

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I would have just had pizza and subs, but my sisters and mom took over and insisted on cooking a feast of antipasto salad (Truffula Salad), chicken cutlets (Roast Beast), sausage and peppers, kielbasa, pierogies, baked beans, pasta, potatoes and peas (Who Hash), and a 6 foot sub.  For I took over and went crazy.I couldn’t have done any of this without their help. I definately have the best family!

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For dessert nieces made chocolate dipped marshmallows and decorated sugar cookies, while I went nuts making cupcakes, chocolate pretzels, Rolo pretzels, Oreo balls, pumpkin cheesecake, Rice Krispie Treats,  a regular cake and a smash cake for Jack, and Who Pudding. The kids even enjoyed a Hot Cocoa bar.

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To thank everyone for celebrating, I made Christmas ornaments of the Grinch and his heart.

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For the Grinch ornaments, I swirled green paint inside the ornaments and left them upside down to dry. After two days I had to recoat. I let them dry about a week before adding the Grinch face.

Grinch

I layered yellow vinyl over black vinyl cuts for the ornament. Using the Cricut Explore, I cut the Grinch face by uploading  as a simple image. (I uploaded it twice, once for the face and once for the eyes). grinch clipart

I’ve made glitter ornaments with Glitter-It in the past, but I finally decided to try the mop & Glo method I’ve seen on craft sites and Pinterest. It does work, and it’s super quick! Just swirl the M&G in the ornament, drain out the excess, add in glitter, shake it up to coat, and tap out the extra glitter. Glitter-It works great, but so does M&G, and the giant bottle is way cheaper.

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I feel like the heart ornaments went with my whole year’s theme. All year I’ve been writing about the joys of the heart as well as heartache. The year started with my heart growing with Jack’s birth, and since then I’ve written about the joys of being a mom, the heartache of leaving baby, The Mighty Quinn’s Heart surgery, my dad’s heart attack, and now again, the joys of being a Mom.

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I was driving home from the party, I was thinking how it was the first time I did something really “Mom,” and it was the first time I felt like Mom. Feeling like mom is subtly different than feeling like a mother or a mommy, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but giving my son a fun birthday made me feel like a Mom, and I loved it.

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Love Letters

I love decorating for each holiday, especially because it gives me a reason to be crafty. The love letters are the easiest Valentine’s Day decorations you could possibly make. They are very similar to the Noel letters I made for Christmas.

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Here, I used a sequence heart for the O in LOVE, and Mod Podged scrap book paper to the other letters. I also added some embellishments to the letter: felt hearts on the L, “pearl” beads on the music notes of the V, and purple and pink rhinestones on the E. I also used different sized letters for a whimsical look.

Most of my Valentine decor is pink and purple, but my friend Sara made her letters in more neutral colors with red accents. Same idea with a totally different look!

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I put my “L-O-V-E”  at my entryway table with pictures of my adorable Valentines, my nieces and nephew.

 

 

I’m also on a penguin kick. I just painted some ceramic penguins and decided they are my new, unofficial mascots of Valentine’s day. How could you look at adorable penguins and not feel love? 

 

 I’m not an overly mushy, romantic person, but I do love Valentine’s Day.I think the idea of celebrating love is a wonderful thing. Many people don’t like Valentine’s Day because it can be superficial, materialistic, cliche, just a reason to spend money, all of the above. But I think we should look at Valentine’s day a bit differently. I know Valentine’s Day is a couples holiday, and I’ll certainly be spending it with my Cheese, but even before then when I didn’t have a boyfriend I’d find ways to celebrate. My Dad would always give me a card and me and my friends would buy each other chocolates. Last year my friend Meg and I hosted a root beer float social at work with pretty heart straws and paper goods.  I’ll bring in some cupcakes this year. I’ll probably pick up some special treats for my pets and some flowers for my Mama.

There are all different kinds of love, and maybe if we focused less on “romance” (and the commercialism attached to it) and more on real, actual LOVE, people would appreciate Valentine’s Day more. Be sure to show the people in your life how much you love them, that goes for your significant other and your friends, family pets, and anyone else lucky enough to have your love. 

 To quote the amazing Jane Austen: 
“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Wreaths

I’m trying to keep to my new year’s wreath resolution with a Valentina’s day wreath. Usually, I just have a branch heart wreath on the door, but that isn’t as fun as making something. I made two different wreaths, the first is a topsy, turvey owl frame.

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I painted a laser cut wood frame and heart for the main elements, and tied the two pieces with pink ribbon so the heart dangled in the middle of the frame. I tied another ribbon at the top of the frame for hanging. I then dressed up the piece by hot gluing a sparkly pink her, ribbon, crystals, paper flowers, and a wooden owl ornament. It was really simple and came out really cute!

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You don’t have to make the frame crooked, and having the inner heart centered more traditionally is just as sweet.

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It turned out that I liked the owl frame better on the wall than on the door, so I decided to fix up the branch heart wrath I already had. It was very simple and only took a few minutes.

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I first wrapped the wreath in heart tinsel garland, and then with beaded garland. I adjusted she beads so they all faced the front of the wreath. I then hot glued some felt owls and hearts to the front. How stinking adorable!

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Sara’s wreath is very similar, but instead of wrapping her wrath in beaded garland, she glued on some beaded bushels. Quick, easy, and pretty!

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My Wreath Resolution

I already started my wreath goal with the help of team punctuation. We made burlap rose wreaths. They were pretty easy (right ;?) but making all the roses is time consuming. There are about 6-7 large roses and 8-9 small roses on each wreath. I had to hold Alexis hostage so she could help us make roses to get them finished faster.

We painted and cut our burlap. You can also buy colored burlap that is already 3″-4″ wide from Michael’s. Of course we discovered this too late, but at least our wreaths are 100% customized. Start by cutting burlap strips: 24″ for small roses, and 36″ for large roses. If you are cutting from a sheet of burlap, the strips can be anywhere from 2″-5″ in width. Fold each strip in half and iron to keep the fold. If you are painting your roses, paint them after you iron.

Make a long stitches alone the open ends of the burlap strips. Don’t tie a knot at the end of your stitches, just a leave long trail of thread on both ends.

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When you’re finished stitching, hold one end of the burlap and  push the other end of the strip towards the end you’re holding. The burlap will bunch and gather to form the rose.

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You can also bunch the burlap as you stitch.

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Tie the ends of the thread to hold the rose together.

We embellished the roses by hot gluing beads, buttons, and little leather flowers we got from Michael’s to the center of the roses. I also made little burlap leaves. Cut the burlap into a square, fold over to make a triangle,  then fold the 2 corners to meet in the middle corner to make a leaf.

Hot glue the roses and leaves to a twig wreath. My wreath was more oval shaped, and Sarah’s was round.

I love how the wreaths were made in the same style and at the same time, yet they look totally different.

Last Minute Gift: Lottery Ticket Tree

Lottery Ticket Tree

 I wrapped all my gifts this weekend with the help of my friends Sara and Meg. We painted, stamped, and ribboned the massive amounts of brown paper I have for some really pretty wrapping paper.

The last person on my list was Dad. Nothing like waiting for the last minute! My Dad insisted he didn’t need or want anything for Christmas. I wasn’t totally stumped, though. He LOVES his scratch off, so I knew they’d be a perfect gift for him. I didn’t want to just stuff the gifts in a bag with some tissue paper when I wrapped everyone else’s so so beautifully. I picked up a foam cone and some sewing pins from Micheal’s and made a ticket tree!

All you need for a lottery ticket tree

This was super easy. Just wrap the tops of the tickets around the cone and pin the corners down. Overlap and flare out all the tickets to add texture until you get to the top of the tree.

How to make a lottery ticket tree

I topped the tree off with a bow, and I also pinned on a moose ornament (my Dad’s nickname is Moose). Simple, quick, and cute!

Lottery Ticket Tree

Deck the Halls!

My parents just came back from Disney with my nieces and nephew, and their Disney trip gave us some early holiday cheer that warmed all our hearts. They take the kids to Disney every year. Usually they go during the summer, but this year the trip was postponed to the Christmas season. They always drive down, and as they passed through Virginia they stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. When they asked for their check, the waitress told them their bill was anonymously paid for by another customer, with just a simple message to be passed along: “God bless you and your well behaved grandchildren.”  What a wonderful way to start a trip! It’s so nice to know that there are still sweet people out there.

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They brought me back this ornament, which I think is the cutest thing ever! I love Alice, tea, and Christmas ornaments; this was the most awesome souvenir I have ever received! Matt and I decorated for Christmas this past weekend. Lights are up, the village is out, tree is decorated, and halls are officially decked for Christmas!

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This year I also got pretty crafty with my friend Sara. We each and created a Noel feature using wooden wall letters N, E, and L and a wreath/wreath ball as the O in Noel.Image

We painted the letters and decorated them with my Cricut machine.

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Sara used a wreath and accented it with a horse cutout from the Cricut Quilted Christmas Cartridge. I used the wreath ball and fed some lights through the inside of the ball.

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You could also fill the ball with tinsel, garland, holly leaves, small ornaments, or small holiday figurines.

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 I think they’re adorable, if I do say so myself! Sara was also thinking that we could vary the wreath displays (using words like Joy, Love, or Mom).

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Texas Craft House

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