Sunday, December 18, 2011

365 Project: Week 51 - Merry Christmas!!!

It's been rainy and surprisingly warm in Indiana this week... so, naturally the water level is 8 feet over flood stage and there are actually new green plants sprouting up - what happened to WHITE Christmas?!  :)

I've been working quite a bit taking lots of basketball, wrestling, and swimming photos at schools and working in the office getting those photos ready for print. I've also been organizing and finishing up some Christmas crafting and wrapping (which I think is finally done!) I'm trying my best to get everything organized and stored so that we can start thinking about how baby Olive's room is going to take shape. Right now, it's still kind of a mess, but it's much better than it was 2 weeks ago! We've decided to leave the walls the light blue color they were when we moved in - whether baby is a boy or a girl - but so far, that's really the only decisions we've made regarding that room - so stay tuned for details. 

I hope you're ready for Christmas! (it's exactly ONE WEEK from today!!) We'll be leaving next Friday for Wisconsin and are looking forward to seeing lots of family - including Justin's mom, who we haven't seen in FOREVER! (Seriously... not since our wedding 2.5 years ago!) AND our new niece, Rylee, who was born about 2 weeks ago! We're going to try to get a lot of family time in in the week that we're there! Happy travels to you if you're going to be out-and-about also!  Merry Christmas!!

Baby Olive is on the way!!

365 Project: Week 50 - Christmas Frenzy!!

This week, I've pretty much finished up all the 'Christmasification' in my house and am almost done wrapping and boxing up gifts to make the trip to Wisconsin next week! I've been swooning over how gorgeous our Christmas tree is (I want to keep it up all year!) and decided to take a few days this week and document some of my favorite ornaments. I've also spent lots of time watching Christmas movies while wrapping gifts! This really IS the most wonderful time of the year! (if only it really were a 'White' Christmas instead of a 50 degree, brown, rainy one!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

365 Project: Week 49: Deck the Halls! (with Christmas Craft Tutorials!)

It not only snowed outside this week (which has since all melted away, but was nice while it lasted!) but I spent most of the week decorating our house and crafting Christmas cards! (See a simple step-by-step on how I made them below!) We've also redesigned our over-cluttered and under-used loft area upstairs in our house - creating a very cozy media/entertainment space complete with a projector and screen! (Justin is in his glory! Although with the new sound system, we may all be deaf by summer...)

Christmas music has been playing and I've been cleaning up green and red fabric scraps all week! I love the Christmas season and all the magic that comes with it! :)  I was even inspired to make my own tree skirt from a tutorial I found on Pinterest! It is made of cheap white fabric,a canvas drop cloth, and a glue gun. It was SUPER EASY (just as the tutorial promised) and is a great accent to the tree!
The tutorial is here and my example is below. (I added a couple of rings of leftover red fabric I had and some of the scraps from the canvas drop cloth - which happened to be a lovely shade of burlap-looking tan - just to add a little color) Mine turned out a little more of a 'square' shape than a circle, but once it was draped around the tree, I didn't even notice! (You can see it under the tree in the 365 Project photo above)

Please excuse the bad-quality photo - I couldn't wait to see it under the tree so I just snapped a quick photo with my phone!

Cloth/Paper Sewn Christmas Tree Cards

1. Choose 3 contrasting fabrics in Christmas colors (I just used some leftovers I had - a patterned red/white, a green, and a tan canvas (actually some leftover canvas drop cloth that I used for my tree skirt)

2. Cut triangles out of fabric in 3 different sizes (I made templates out of thin cardboard to use so I didn't have to measure each one out.) You'll need 3 triangles for each card, one of each fabric, so cut as many as you'll need. I made 50 cards, so I cut 150 triangles total.

I mixed it up and used different fabrics for the large, medium, and small triangles, just to make each card different.

3. Cut card stock paper to the size you want your cards to be. My cards were 4" x 5 1/4" to fit the invitation envelopes I had on hand, but these would look great larger too, just make sure to cut your triangles to fit the front of the card. I used all green card stock because I had lots of it and it looked good with my fabric choices - I actually ended up using 4 different shades of green, which made each one even more unique.

4. Line up fabric triangles on front of card and sew a straight line. I used a sewing machine loaded with dark red thread and just held my triangles in place as I sewed. I started just above the tip of the largest triangle and sewed straight down and about 1" past the base of the triangles, to create a 'trunk'. (This step only took about 20 seconds per card!)

5. Trim any excess thread, add your own greeting inside and you're FINISHED! Feel free to add any embellishments you'd like - I kept mine just like this because I liked the simplicity of the shapes, but buttons and/or embroidery would look pretty great on them too! You may also want to try some other 'fancy' stitches on your machine, I tested a few but ended up liking just the straight stitch the best 

It didn't take me very long at all to make each one of these cards and the greatest part was: I didn't have to buy ANY materials to make these - I was able to draw from my 'craft arsenal' of materials and had everything from the fabric scraps to the envelopes! (I'm starting a new resolution for myself - STOP BUYING new materials until I use up some of the ones I have - and using what I had for this project was very satisfying!)

365 Project: Week 48: So Much to be Thankful For!

Instead of a lovely light snow, we battled a soaking RAIN while cutting our Christmas tree. Warmer? Yes. Messier? Absolutely.
This week was spent counting our blessings: Spending time traveling, eating, baking, and celebrating in Wisconsin with family, chopping down our first real Christmas tree together. We really have so much to be thankful for in our life and it's good to remind ourselves of these things this time of year! Have you decked your halls for Christmas yet?? I'm loving having a bigger space to decorate and am looking forward to wrapping some Christmas gifts!!