Saturday, December 31, 2011

Storing Holiday Decorations

Its that time of year again, time to put away the glitter and bows and brace yourself for the eventual Credit Card bills. Here are a few tips and tricks for putting away all of your merriment.

Don't toss loads of wrapping paper and other packaging materials. 
Instead of throwing away used gift wrap and tissue paper, run it through a paper shredder and use the fluffy strips as packing filler when you're putting away your decorations.



Maybe you don't have the space to store all your trimmings?
Evaluate your decorations annually, and keep only what you are really going to use. If an item is damaged or has lost its color, get rid of it. Give yourself permission to let some of that stuff go. And consider using natural accents―nuts, pinecones, and fresh greenery or flowers―that you can toss after the New Year.

Problem: Plastic lawn ornaments take up too much space when boxed. 
Hot Tip: Save the zippered garment bags you get when you buy a new suit or dress, and use them to protect bulky plastic figures, such as sleighs and reindeer. Then hang the bags in a closet or on a nail in your attic.


Have you perfected your decorating scheme, and don't want to forget it? 
Hot Tip: Take a few snaps of the finished product and print the photos out and tape to the outside of the box. You will know exactly how it looked last year. (no fuzzy memories or confusion) Its also helpful to label each string of lights, segment of garland, or ball of mistletoe with a marker and masking tape as you take it down so you'll always know which item to hang in the entryway and which is just the right size for the mantel. 

Do you need to store your decorations in the basement, which is always damp?
Trick: Use plastic storage containers with tight seals, and place them up off the floor on shelves or palettes, in case of flooding. If you have some of those Gel silica packs from old shoe boxes, throw them into the mix. Works for new products why not old?


Friday, December 30, 2011

Pretty Wall Cubes

Create fun three-dimensional wall art with simple display cubbies and wallpaper (Or scrapbook paper). Select three same-size square sturdy cardboard boxes or use wood cubes. Can you say dollar store??
Trace a box side onto decorative paper; repeat the tracing five times for each box for a total of 15; cut out. Using a paintbrush, spread a thin layer of adhesive on five sides of each box. Adhere the paper to the box sides, using your hand and a straight edge to smooth each side (I used a credit card, it worked well). Finish with a coat of polyurethane if desired.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paint Store Art

Gather paint chips in your favorite color palette from the home center or paint store. Trim them so just the paint colors show and arrange them in a pleasing display, placing lighter colors next to darker shades and rotating the chips to fit. Use double-stick tape to hold the paint chips in place on the cardboard backing piece from the frame. Place mat on top and frame.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DIY Retro Artwork

With a little paint and some foam-core board, nine fun cards form a spiffy piece of artwork. 


Choose a boldly patterned card then use spray adhesive to mount onto same-size pieces of foam-core board. Attach the squares to the painted square with double-sided carpet tape, and voila! 


For an extra touch paint a large square in a contrasting color to make your art work pop off your walls.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mobile Pet Bed

Does your furry friend stress out when it comes time for a trip in the car?
Check out the award winning Sleepypod, it's more than a bed, it's a lifestyle. It's your pet's personal space, designed to fit his or her individual needs.

It morphs from a snugly cat/dog bed into a carrier. So your pet is already comfortable with the space. Just look at these happy customers: 






Gowalla App Art

I downloaded the Gowalla app a few weeks ago, and I have to admit, I'm not even really sure what it does, because every time i open it i find myself mesmerized by the illustrations. Ooohhh Ahhh.


The National Geographic ones have got to be my favorite. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simple Apple tea-lights

Ingredients

Apples
Tea Lights


Directions 
Core apple to fit tea light candle.
Light and enjoy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Scrapbook Leftover Crafts

Use a little punch to create this wreath card

Make with scrapbook paper or ribbon.

Use christmas colors for a seasonal theme.

10 Simple Christmas Decorating Ideas


No time for Christmas Decorating? Limited Budget? 
or Last Minute Party Prep? These simple and easy ideas will have you decking the halls in no time!


Candles + peanuts + bobbles = instant centrepiece.
Use what your have on hand, Hazelnuts pebbles and some kind of glitter would look great too.


Use a simple white tabletop tree and some bright red ornaments for a dramatic effect. Don't have a little white tree?
Put one together with some fuzzy pipe cleaners and a stick from outside painted white.


So cute, and so easy. Tree trimmings and paper snowflakes.

Bead Garland and ornaments spruce up these day to day curtains.

Crystal Swirl. Stunning tree frame from Ikea.

Add a few decorations in your usual colour palette.
This will tie in your every day decorations  saving you taking them down and replacing them with more decorations.


Inviting Table display with ribbon and ornaments picked up from the local box store or dollar store.

Use a string of white lights and some sheer fabric to create curtains fit for a snow princess.

Need a large focal piece?
Use some double sided tape around a glass jar/paint can/coffee tin and line with christmas balls. 

Bring the outdoors in. Use an old ladder and blue ribbon to create this simple look.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY - Fruit Bouquet



Ingredients
Wooden skewers
Assorted fruit: grapes, pineapples, kiwis, strawberries, oranges, berries and melons


Directions 
Cut fruit into small chunks and place on skewers. 
use cookie cutters for interesting effects.
Arrange skewers in vase.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Satirical Waxing

So I'm just minding my own business, reading the local newspaper over my lunch break and Blammo!

"Show her you care with hair"

What. The. Duck? Is this all about??

well the fine print says something about, If this is your idea of romance you got it all wrong, buy tickets to Romeo and Juliet at the theater, etc etc.

I gotta say. They got my attention! ha ha, Good One!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Laundry

Laundry - You're doing it wrong.

Up Yours Reality


Lose yourself in a book.... 
and lose that shitty job, 
overbearing boss, 
piece of crap car, 
annoying neighbor, 
useless leach of a cousin..... 

Yes, YES, thats it!
Get LOST in a book!

Monster Madness

Well I think it has been a good ten years or so since I've tried to crochet anything and to be honest, i didn't miss it. I wasn't sitting around on friday nights thinking about yarn..... until I came across this Crafty is Cool blog post to make monsters. 


Here's the Inspiration:


 And Here's my 5 monsters. I ended up hanging them on my christmas tree. Even monsters enjoy the Christmas season. 
They aren't perfect and i think the red one is crying on the inside, but I like them and it was fun to try my hand at following a pattern. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

DIY - Candy Cane Napkin Holder


Ingredients
Two candy canes
Raffia/ribbon
Holiday greenery
Decorative cranberries

Directions
Arrange greenery and cranberries on a dinner napkin.
Place candy canes around napkin in a heart pattern.
Tie with raffia/ribbon.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Techniques

You'll need:
food coloring
colored sparkling sugar
paint brush
disposable pastry bags and tips
modeling tweezers
toothpicks
seedless raspberry jam


Christmas Light Technique
Spoon icing onto cookie, make sure the sides are iced and let the excess drip off
Spoon on sparkling sugar over glaze while still wet
Place on drying rack

Christmas Tree Technique
Take previously glazed Christmas tree cookie and outline tree with white royal icing using a pastry bag and tip
Add white sparkling sugar to royal icing
Make garland on tree using royal icing in the pastry bag
Add candy holly and berries with tweezers

Ornament Technique
Completely glaze ornament cookie
With a different color glaze in a pasty bag, draw stripes across the cookie
Drag a toothpick across opposite direction of stripes to make interesting design on cookie
Let dry on drying rack

Linzer Technique
Take a cookie with a hole cut in the middle and decorate the top 
Spread thin layer of jam on a bottom cookie with no hole in it and place other cookie on top

Tip: repair a break in the icing with a wet paint brush

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cookie Decorating Tools

For successful cookie decorating one must gather their "weapons". Here is a list of things that come in handy when decorating cookies. 



Tools:
disposable pastry bags and tips
paint brushes
modeling tweezers
modeling spoons
offset spatula
food safe markers
colored sugars
demitasse spoons
water color palette
toothpicks
cotton swabs
bead container
paring knife
drying rack
parchment paper

Beautiful Berry & Lime Centerpiece


Ingredients

Limes
Wooden skewers
Hypericum berries from the Floral department at your grocery store
(could substitute berries from outside, or cranberries)


Directions

Anchor 5 limes together in a circle using wooden skewers. Cut or break skewers as needed.
Use more skewer pieces to anchor 3 more limes on top, then top with 1 lime.
Add sprigs of hypericum berries.

Note: Keep display out of reach of children; berries can be toxic. 



How to: Cookie Swap

Celebrate the holidays with a fun, affordable get together that will load you up with cookies for holiday entertaining. 
Here's how it works:

Send an invitation to your friends and request that each of them pick one cookie to bake for the party.

Once you know how many people are attending, follow up with your guests and let them know how many cookies they each need to make. Typically, each person makes 6-12 cookies for each of the party attendees.

Suggest they bring their cookies in nice packaging like tins, chinese food boxes or even paper lunch bags with festive holiday stickers.

On the day of the Cookie Swap, have a nice long table set up for people to set out their cookies on. 
Swap & Enjoy!

DIY - Sushi Candy


Ingredients


Bakery pound cake
Powdered mini donuts
Marshmallows
Fruit Streamers
Fruit Roll-Ups 
Swedish Fish


Directions


Cut pound cake and mini donuts into sushi-sized pieces. Separate Streamers and make into a "roll." Wrap with Fruit Roll-Ups. Top with Fruit Snacks and Swedish Fish.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Succulent Brick Planters

Natural and durable, a stash of used bricks provides a wonderful contrast to elegant succulent plants. Created by Christopher and Kelly Harris, the display looks great alone or paired with a votive and becomes a star centerpiece in any living space--indoors or out. Full Instructions at ReadyMade. Or Skip the elbow grease and order bricks via Succulent Love Designs.

Variations:

Use blocks of reclaimed wood instead of bricks (but be careful with your candles and perhaps consider going with LED tea lights).
Try another low-maintenance and slow-growing plant, such as a cactus.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY - Christmas Ornaments

Craft sections and dollar stores always have a selection of chipboard cutouts. Lay the cut out on the backside of some interesting scrapbook paper, then use glue or Modge Podge to cover the ornament with the scrapbook paper. Adorn with various embellishments for visual interest. 



Faux Ribbon Ornament:
Glue some striped ribbon to a sold red ribbon, then take a needle and thread and a few beads and sew in a zig zag type pattern as pictured below. Its pretty easy and will last year after year.



Memory Frame Ornament 
Frame a favorite photo with Christmas themed Scrapbook paper and trims. For a touch of nostalgia, use a black-and-white photo, which will stand out against the colorful embellishments.


Button, Button

New year, new themes. This year the theme I`m seeing again and again? Buttons. Most of these Items you can make yourself, with some patience and a glue gun almost anything is possible.  
Vintage frame and buttons. Very cute.

Foam cone + stick pins & buttons. 

Holiday Button wreath

Texture galore on this holiday pillow!

Another Button + Frame option.

Use last years xmas cards to make these cute trees.
Decorate with contrasting color buttons.

Easiest to make napkin holders.

posh