Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year!  I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season, and so does Jack:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dare to Deck the Halls

It's already the 4th week of Dare to DIY and this week is the Dare to Deck the Halls challenge hosted by Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

Although by Deck the Halls will look a bit like entertaining...I still think it works!

We have a lot of decorations and homemade ornaments here.  I have a tree full of all kinds of unique and craft ornaments.  Nothing matches and I love it that way.  What I did not have was some cute holiday dishware.

For the first time, my husband and I will be hosting Christmas dinner with my in laws.  I'm super excited to be cooking a big meal and sharing the day with my family....while in slippers.  Now, I love my fiestaware dishes - they are pretty much my favorite. But they are blue, yellow, and turquoise and I really wanted to do a traditional Christmas color table this year.  Plus I found some cute napkins and tablecloth at Kohl's for a suuuuuper discount, so I wanted to work around them.

So what to do?  I turned to pinterest for some inspiration.  I found these Halloween plates a while ago and loved them.  While searchng for Christmas ideas, I thought maybe I could come up with something that would be a similar approach to drawing on dishes.

With an idea in mind, I set off to Christmas Tree Shops to find some cheap white plates.  I found the ones I ended up using for like a buck a piece.  Then I found some paints that would work on the plates.  I know people have used Sharpie and had success, but I got nervous and ended up going with something that said it was non-toxic and would 'hopefully' go through the dishwasher.  I found these Martha Stewart Glass Paints at Michaels:

I ended up doing the writing freehand, but I did search through some fonts online and tried to copy one I liked as best I could.  I decided on using Christmas word 'pairs' to decorate the dinner plate and the salad plate.  I was going to add a border, but I decided against it.  I think the simple words spoke for themselves.  The pairs I chose were: Merry & Bright, Silver & Gold, Holly & Jolly, and Comfort & Joy.  I made enough for 8 settings, so each pair was used twice.

After you write on the plates, they need to sit about an hour.  Then you put them in a COLD oven and turn it on to 350.  They 'bake' for 30 minutes and then you turn the heat off and let the plates cool in the oven.

The plates then need to sit for a few days before washing, which was perfect since I got busy and kind of forgot about them for a few days.  From there they got a quick wash and they were ready to be set on the table.

 I really like how the plates came out.  In the future I could use other decorations around them in different colors, but for now I am loving them with the classic red and green.

Do you see the candle holders as the centerpiece?  My step dad made them forever ago and they are my favorite.  I think they added the prefect finishing touch to the table.

Jack really wanted to be a part of the photoshoot :)

I have had so much fun being a part of these DIY challenges.  They kept me crafting and gave me a lot of inspiration for projects!  Thank you Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dare to Give Handmade

It's the 3rd week of Dare to DIY and this week is the Dare to Give Homemade challenge hosted by Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

I really tried to get my handmade gift done in time for this, but I'm still a bit behind.  I'm going to show what I've done at this point so you can see where I am going with it.

I decided when my husband and I got married almost three years ago that I wanted to make Christmas stockings for us.  As a child, my mom made homemade stockings for all of us, so I never had 'store bought' Christmas stockings.  Now don't get me wrong, there are some suuuuuper cute ones out there, but I wanted to carry on the tradition my mom started with making homemade stockings. The plan is to make the two stockings for us now, and should little ones appear over the next few years I will make stockings for them too!

So this gift is kind of for me, but kind of also for my husband, and a someday gift for our possible future kiddos.

Here is what I have so far... almost completed pile of stockings.

The red stocking is nearly finished.  I just need to tack in the liner and stitch on the buttons.  I used this pattern from Berroco which I found on Ravelry.

Speaking of buttons -how cute are these?  My Nana saved buttons off of everything and had jars and jars of them.  My mom now has most of them and whenever I need buttons for something, I go digging.  Some of them are really old, some a bit newer, but I love the idea of reusing buttons and giving them a new purpose.  It also helps that older buttons are really cute and fun!

The original stocking didn't call for a lining.  I ended up using an acrylic/wool blend yarn and the stocking is REALLY stretching.  Awesome for over-stuffing, but not so awesome overtime.  I want the stockings to last, so I picked up this cute fabric at Joann's to line both stockings.

 Here is the grey stocking in progress.  I am nearly there!  I should have them both done by this weekend and will post some pictures of them in their rightful place hanging in our living room.

Again, how cute are these red buttons!

Stockings are pretty much my favorite part of Christmas morning.  Finding all the little trinkets and candy (and toothbrushes) was something we all looked forward to.  It is a tradition that I love continuing with my husband.  Now I just need to finish them up in time to be filled by Santa :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Birthday Surprise!

So the plan this weekend was to enjoy a night out with two of our dear friends that recently had a baby.  My husband got the day off from work and I was really excited about a chance to catch up with our friends.

As I started getting ready, my husband gently suggested we dress up for dinner.  We were going to a restaurant we hadn't been to before with friends that hadn't had a night out in a while, so I went with it.  We don't dress up much on the weekends so it was a nice treat.

We left early and made a stop at a shop on the way for some Christmas shopping and then headed to our friends' in the early afternoon.  We hung out with them and their daughter for a few hours...their baby sitter arrived and the 4 of us carpooled to dinner.

When we arrived to the restaurant, it was freezing out.  I was so focused on the cold, I never even looked into the huge windows at the front of the restaurant...well if I had....

I would have seen a wonderful group of friends and family waiting for me to celebrate my 30th birthday!  I turned the corner in the restaurant and there they all were, smiling and laughing.

It was such a wonderful surprise and I tried so hard not to cry, but a few tears fell...

I'm a Christmas baby.  It's one of those birthdays that when anyone finds out they always think it must be terrible!  But it never was!  I always had a wonderful birthday as a kid.  My parents never 'forgot' my birthday....they always made it a very special day for me.

It did however make it hard to have birthday parties on or even near my birthday!  December is a busy month for everyone, so as a kid I often had half birthday parties in the summer!  Having this party now was perfect.  It was early enough that most people could make it, but it was still my birthday month. 

Christmas is probably my favorite holiday and I love that I get to celebrate and share my birthday with family and friends every year!  Not many people can say that as they get older, they still get to celebrate their birthday with family and friends every year.

I am so blessed - not just with a great birthday, but with a wonderful life full of amazing people.  I have friends that I consider family and family that are my bestest of friends.  When I saw all those smiling faces at the restaurant, I was overwhelmed by the love I have in my life!

My husband did good!  I had mentioned to him that I might want to do something for my birthday this year since 30 seems like kind of a big deal (heehee)  But money has been tight and I know the holidays get crazy, so I stopped thinking about it.

But he didn't!  He got in contact with friends and family and got them on board to help him make this happen for me.  One of my friends even found a groupon that helped them decide on a restaurant!  Thank you groupon!

And thank you my husband, family and friends.  I know I have said it over and over again in this blog, but I am SOOOOOOO lucky to have the people in my life that I do!  They do so much for me, and I hope I am able to give them as much!

Back to the real world tomorrow, but with wonderful memories of an amazing birthday surprise...