Turkey, Turkey!

I have been itching to do some sort of craft for so long now! My lack of crafting/posting is mostly because of the busy wedding season (my husband and I own and run a photography business). We just finished our last wedding of the year last weekend. So, I am looking forward to finishing up all the editing so I can get my hands back into the crafts.

I have been working on some ideas for Christmas projects, which I will start posting after Thanksgiving, and made my daughter a hair clip for Thanksgiving.

Isn't it adorable? I found some tutorials online (there all over the place) and tweaked them a bit to make this. We love it!


"Green" Gift Wrap

I HATE spending a ton of money on gift wrap, just for it to be thrown away. At the same time, I like the presents to look beautiful under the tree. No cheesy Christmas wrap for me! In Leui of my husband being out of work for the last 6 months, some creativity is definitely in order this year!

I have a bunch of cheap and pretty wrapping ideas this year. Here are a few that you can try with Newspaper of all things! These ideas all came from a friend of mine, Melissa. She is our creative activities director for our MOPS group. I think you will enjoy these as much as I do.

Idea number 1!

First wrap your gift with newspaper.

Then fold a few sheets of newspaper accordion style. Use three or more sheets, depending how full you want your flower to be. Then cut enough ribbon for each fold you have at the length of your newspaper.

Place one piece of ribbon in each fold.

Pinch in the center and tie with a ribbon.

Separate your layers and tape to your gift.

You could use black ribbon to maintain the black and white or use a color for a little pop. Both are gorgeous!

Idea number 2! (this is my favorite)

Fold a sheet of newspaper in half.

Starting at the unfolded edge, cut strips all the way across, but not all the way through. Don't make them too thick... about an inch.

Roll it up so it looks like this:

Here's my favorite part: CURL IT!!! (Who knew newspaper could curl?)

Tape it to your present!


Idea number 3!

If you're any thing like me, you hate wrapping bottles. Even more than that, you HATE using gift bags. Here is the perfect solution.

Lay your bottle at the bottom edge of a sheet of newspaper.

Roll it up and tape it down.

Start cutting 1 inch strips down to the neck of the bottle.

Tie a ribbon around the neck.


How fun is this?

Have fun with your wrapping this year but maybe try to keep it cheap. I was even told that you can go to your local newspaper and ask for their end bolts. They just throw them away. It's blank newspaper. Have your kids color it or just use it the same as above.


Simple Christmas Garland

Did you ever learn to finger knit when you were young? If you have, here is a simple idea to do with your little ones or even by your self for that little bit of nostalgia. The other day I pulled out some cheap red yarn from my stash and started finger knitting a garland for Christmas.

It's a fun and easy project I'm teaching Alanna. She loves all things crafty so this was a perfect project for us. For those of you who don't know how to finger knit, here is a link.


Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars have come a long way. It is an old German tradition. But they started far different than what we now use. Families used to make a chalk line each day until Christmas. Now we can find or make all kinds of elaborate advent calendars.

Here is one antique Advent Calendar that I found online.

My mom used to buy the cardboard ones that you popped open and ate a piece of chocolate each day.

It was one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I know... an advent calendar of all things!

our goal this year is to GIVE not to get. So a lot of our Christmas traditions will be altered to accomplish this.

This year we are going to be using our new advent calendar differently. Instead of finding candy or gifts inside, my children will be finding a little note and maybe something to go along with it. It won't be something for them, but something for them to do for someone else. My children are young so the concepts will be pretty easy. Here are a few of the examples I have come up with so far:

1. Make a Christmas card for someone you love (maybe a special token or picture to use on the card)
2. Do something kind for one of your siblings.
3. Help mom and dad shovel the neighbors driveway.
4. Bring hot cocoa to your teacher (a little hot cocoa packet in the box)

Over the last couple of days, Alanna and I made a new calendar. It is simply icicle boxes with the numbers 1-24 on them.

Here is the template I used to make these. (Although, I wish I had used this one) I did not print the template on the back of the paper we used because I had 12x12 paper. I knew I could fit more than one each piece! So, I traced the template 3 times on each sheet of paper. Then, I used the template as a guide to fold them correctly. I didn't cut the handle out, but just used a hole punch instead. You can do either. Alanna and I picked out a bunch of branches from the backyard to stick in a vase. Then we hung the boxes. I'm not sure if I will leave these on the sticks, though. Maybe just on the Christmas tree. Either way, they're coming down until December :)


I'm back

With the insane amount of work I have been doing for the business, I haven't had time to even think about crafting. So sad!!! Well, I feel inclined to share some thing with you that has been on my heart - something Dan and I fully intend to do with and for our family. I hope that you will also be inspired!

It's almost that time of year!

Do you constantly find yourself stressed? Is your goal just to survive the season? Do you hate the long lines, greedy shoppers, and bogus sales?

Let me introduce you to a new way to celebrate Christmas...

What is the advent conspiracy? In a nut shell, the idea is to spend less and give more. Americans spend 4 BILLION on Christmas EVERY YEAR!!! And you wonder why the stores are already putting up Christmas displays. We buy useless things that the recipient doesn't even care about. The idea here is to put time into gifts that build relationships. Maybe it's a date night for your brother and sister-in-law while you babysit their little ones. Maybe it's a family outing. A handmade gift. The possibilities are endless. It's about getting back to the basics and away from the consumerism of Christmas.

If you want more in depth info on what the advent conspiracy is, check out www.adventconspiracy.org

So, why am I bringing this up? Because my husband, children and I are implementing this. Our goal is to build relationships and bless those around us. So, get ready for some great crafts, recipes, and tips for Christmas. There will be ideas from all over the place.

The kids and I will be making our first project tonight! So, get ready!

I hope you will be inspired.