Sunday, December 22, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Ornament

In an effort to save some cash this Christmas, I've decided to make many of my gifts using crafting supplies I have on hand, including this glamper ornament.

Do you like? It's a fun one to make. Here's how:

1. Spray paint a mini embroidery hoop using glittery gold paint.

I love Glitter Dust from Therm O Web. It dries quickly and doesn't leave glittery hitchhikers on everything. It's what I used to paint my embroidery hoop. 

2. Position piece of printed burlap in the painted hoop. (I purchased the white polka dot burlap from the Hob Lob [Hobby Lobby].)

Instead of the usual embroidery-hoop backing of cotton or felt, opt for burlap for a fun, textured twist. 

3. Cut an oval from felt. Cut a second piece that fits the bottom half of the oval, scalloping the top.

I adore my Wool Felt Squares from Kata Golda. They're sturdy and come in stunning colors--just the ticket for this project! 

4. Cut a window and a door from coordinating felt. Cut space from bottom half of camper where door will be position. Adhere cut felt pieces together using a bit of fabric glue.

5. Attach felt glamper to burlap using embroidery floss and a sewing needle. Don't forget detailing around the window and door.

6. Attach jute to top of hoop and secure bits of fabric to the jute using fabric glue to create the banner.

I have a serious crush on Kokka Fabrics, which I purchased at Purl in Soho. The fabric is from Japan, is light weight, and absolutely lovely--just the material to make some cute banner business! 

7. Attach an adorable Fancy Pants Designs Christmas tree (Love these!) and a Bella Blvd. button "tire" to the ornament using jute and a sewing needle.

8. Write "joy" using embroidery floss and needle. I freehanded this, but you could also write a word directly on the burlap with invisible ink and follow the word with your needle and floss for a more guided approach.

9. Finish things off by attaching a scrap of fabric to the top of the ornament so you have something to attach it to the tree with.

10. Give the glamper and make someone a very happy camper!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 easy gift ideas to show how much you love thy neighbor!

Show thy neighbor a little love with any one of these easy ideas! Starting at $1, you're sure to find something in your price range, whether you want to shower everyone on your street with gifts or you have a special someone (Sunday School teach, coworker, friend, mailman, etc.) whose day you want to make merry and bright! I loved putting these 12 gifts together and hope at least one of them will inspire you! (See these ideas in action on my latest Studio 5 segment here.)

Soap ($1)
This pretty bottle is only $1 at JoAnn. $1! And, inspired by an adorable idea I found on Pinterest, created by Kendra of Kendra's Creative Corner, I used a paint swatch for the Christmas tree tag, which was $free.99 (we're thinking of painting our front door this color, so I had one on hand). 

Framed Flip Calendar ($1)
The standing frame seen here is only $1 at IKEA. That's right, folks, another $1 idea! I did spray paint it, but you can always leave it white. Or, why not wrap it with fabric or ribbon for a fun twist?

Download this cute calendar template here

Throw ($1)
Offer your neighbors Warm Winter Wishes by wrapping an inexpensive throw with a piece of paper and a tag. Another score, I got this blanket for $1 at IKEA on Black Friday. They're now $2, which is still an amazing deal! 

Reindeer Games ($5)
Don't be an elitist like those pesky reindeer were to poor ol' Rudolph. Instead, invite your neighbors to Join in Many Reindeer Games with a game caddy. 

I picked up this case at Target and filled it with holiday BINGO cards from Jenni Bowlin Studio. And, of course, some M&M game markers. BINGO!

Christmas Morning Breakfast ($20+ [because of the towel and spoon])
Give the gift of a delightful meal. Simply add the fixin's for tasty morning treat, such as pancake mix, syrup and juice. Make the eats stand out by selecting a more festive assortment than the basic pancake-mix-in-a-box variety. I grabbed most of my delights from World Market, including the adorable Gingerbread Man Syrup, the tasty mango drink, the yum-diddly-um banana caramel pancake mix, and the awesome silicon spoon. 

For an added dose of love, add a pretty dish towel (Target), which is something that can be used all year.

Candles ($1)
Give the gift of Love & Light with washi tape-wrapped tea lights. I filled a fun, squatty jar with a few candles. I picked up a 100-pack of candles at IKEA for $5, so this is one gift you can give to many neighbors for next to nothing. Especially if you already have a jar and tape on hand. 

Olive the Other Reindeer ($9)
Give something your neighbors will use all year through, like this lovely bottle of olive oil from World Market. It was already wrapped in gold foil, making it so pretty. I simply added the googley eyes, the nose, the hair bow, and the antlers to transform her into Olive, the other reindeer. 

Framed Sentiment ($4)
Add a little decor to someone's home by framing a pretty saying. You can download these for free online. Check out my Christmas Pinterest board for several lovely examples. I simply printed the saying on basic printer paper (nothing fancy) and added it to the $4 frame I picked up at IKEA. Done and done!
Download this beautiful, free printable here

Hot Chocolate ($10)
Why give a basic can of hot chocolate when you can now get the mix in a pretty milk jar, like this one, which I picked up at Harmons (our local grocer)? I love the shape of this glass and think it's so sweet all by itself, but I couldn't resist adding some peppermint sticks to complete the look. These twisty sticks are from Orson Gygi, at $6 for a pack of six. Oh, and don't forget the paper straws to finish the look. 

Gift Wrap Pack ($10+)
You've likely done your shopping. Now it's time to get those gifts wrapped. Give the gift of an all-in-one gift-wrap caddy by filling a carrying box with a few rolls of paper (mine are from Target), some tags (from Office Max),  ribbon (from American Crafts), twine (from Whisker Graphics) and tape. 

Fun bonus! I got the caddy for $free.99 from IKEA. They offer them when you purchase glasses there, and it's a great one to repurpose for just such a gift. I simply wrapped the front of it with a little wrapping paper to make it a bit more festive.

Include a jar full of holiday ribbon in your gift-wrap caddy.

Gift tags are a must. I punched a few star tags from kraft cardstock. The remaining tags are simply shipping tags I purchased at a local office supply store. Oh, and I added some baker's twine to the tags to make them a bit more festive.

Love this jar lid I purchased at Zurchers (a local party store). It makes accessing twine a snap. 
For the ribbon jar, I actually added a dowel to the center of the lid so I'd have something to thread the spools onto. Here's how it's done!

1. Punch hole in center of lid.

2. Cut slits (approximately 1" in length) in straw.

3. Thread straw through hole in lid and spread out slits.

4. Cover straw with large (2") Glue Dot or other adhesive.

5. Cover with patterned paper.

6. Thread ribbon spools on straw.

New Years Cheers ($2 per person) 
Don't have time to get neighbor gifts together before Christmas? No problem! Ring in the New Year with a special cheers by giving these adorable mini Martinellis cider bottles. I got a six pack of them at Harmons for $7. Throw in a couple of champagne flutes ($1 at Target) to complete the bundle and make those...ahem, spirits bright! 

Studio 5
I'd like to thank my friends at Studio 5 for providing me with this topic for my Dec. 19 segment. I loved putting these together and hope they'll inspire you. You can watch the segment here

Free Downloads
As I've mentioned, I've done the searching for you and pinned MANY cute holiday-themed downloads. Check out my "Christmas" Pinterest board for a selection $free.99 sentiments (i.e. free downloads). 

Merry Christmas!
Thanks for reading my blog and leaving your notes. It always means so much to me that you stop by. And an extra thanks to those of you who follow my blog (click the follow button on the side). What a compliment to me! I appreciate you and am happy we can connect in this way. Happy holidays, friends!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Giveaway + Pretty Little Studio Blog Hop

It's a holiday hop! So happy you've stopped in today. I have a couple of Pretty Little Studio projects I've created in celebration of this hop.

Woodland Christmas
I was delighted to receive pieces from this darling collection and put them to work on a few holly jolly projects.

Since Mr. Claus himself will be visiting in less than a month, I decided to help Maggie prepare her wish list. To do this, I created a pocket by stitching two of the Twas the Night Bookmark Tags together.

Before stitching, I added a few decorative embellishments to the pocket, including a slice of doily, a strip of washi tape, a sequin, and one of the Pretty Little Studio Balsam Fir Paper Ribbon.

To make sure this works as a pocket, I didn't stitch across the top. I left it open so a tag could be slipped inside for Santa.

I made sure to wrap part of the embellishment cluster around back, creating a quick front/back embellishment approach. To complete the back, I added Maggie's name, using stickers from BasicGrey, and sprinkled on a few small toppings (heart and star).

For Maggie's wish list, I simply noted a few things I knew she'd love using a Shipping Tag from Pretty Little Studio and my typewriter.

I then inserted the tag into my stitched pocket. Top things off with a little homemade popcorn ball and, of course, a glass of milk, and you've got a gift the big man in red will cherish.

My Layout
Now, time to go back in time to last Christmas. I'm so happy to finally have a layout done about that joyous time in our lives. This line was just the ticket for completing such a project.

I was immediately drawn to the various stars in this line and knew I wanted to incorporate them throughout. Since Maggie is our own little star, it only made sense that the page be about her. And no time shines quite like Christmas time, so it was a perfect pairing.

I cut strips from the 8x8 star paper to create the border on the left side of the page.

I used this same paper on one of my grid pieces, as well as a slice of doily and this darling Pretty Little Studio flair.

As fun as a good banner can be, I decided to turn one of these cute Spruce Pine Bunting Flags on its head instead, making it a Christmas tree.

The ornaments are dots to letter Is in my Making Memories sticker sheet. The trunk is a letter T from the same set.

These fun file-folder tabs offer much creative potential. Unfortunately, they were a bit large for my grid purposes. No problem. I simply altered them a bit to dress up a few of my pictures.

On a layout where I want to include as many photos as possible, I'm all for space-saving solutions when it comes to journaling, which is why I created this flip tag.

To create the journaling flap, I simply stitched one of the sassy Twas the Night Bookmark Tags to one of the Shipping Tags (similar to the tags shown below). By scoring along the seam before stitching, it created an easy-to-open door.

Finally, I added a little twinkle twinkle by punching a star from my cardstock, adding a few of the Woodgrain Star Stickers around the negative shape (area where I punched), and topping it with tracing paper. From there, I added a couple of stars on top of the tracing paper to complete this grid square.

Hop to shop! 
From this hop, you'll want to shop. The Pretty Little Studio shop has so much to choose from, and much of it is under $5, so this prize of five buckaroos will hook you up with a ticket to some new delights. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post between now and Friday, Dec. 6.

Hey, kid, hop and roll; hop on!
Great news! Every hop stop has a giveaway attached, so you'll want to visit each of the sites and leave a love note at each stop along the way for more chances to win.

Next hop stop on the list: the incredible Maggie Holmes. Tell her I said hello while you're there, okay? :)

For a complete list of hopper bloggers, check out the Pretty Little Studio blog.

And don't forget to visit Pretty Little Studio for complete information on all the happiness happening today with their fabulous Cyber Monday sale. It's only a two-day event, so you'll want to act fast!

Thanks so much for visiting today! I always love hearing from you and appreciate your support!