Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Recap

As things are winding down for the holiday season, I thought I’d share a few snippets of our Christmas…

My daughter’s first letter to Santa… (she got most of what she asked for thanks to St. Nick!)  And no, Santa does not have a hook arm – that’s a candy cane ;.  Gotta love first grader art, right?

Aforementioned first grader in the giant coloring castle that has taken over my office!

Homemade Marshmallows for the neighbors, made with this recipe from the Brownie Points Blog.

Christmas morning breakfast of homemade waffles and fresh fruit (and hot cocoa with colored marshmallows, of course).

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And the girls in the Christmas outfits they wore for about, oh, five minutes.  Grrrr.  (I made them Santa shirts and red satin circle skirts with Dana’s tutorial, btw.)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas – can you believe it’s almost 2012??!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Estate Sale Console Makeover

I sort of revealed my red console in my Christmas Cookie party post, but what furniture makeover is complete without a post completely dedicated to it, right?!  Right.
My sister found this console in an estate sale held at the home next to her:
As you can tell, it was in excellent condition.  Whoever had it either never used it or took very good care of it – score for me either way.  Oh, and did I mention it was only 50 bucks?  Super score!
I know what you’re thinking… why make over a piece that doesn’t have anything wrong with it?  Believe me, Mr. home.made. would agree with you.  He just couldn’t understand why I’d want to paint “perfectly good wood”;  honestly, I thought about keeping it as-is for a very brief second for that same reason.
But then I realized – it’s great as-is, but I wanted to make it mine, to make it more home.made.  Plus, I have a lot of dark wood in my home between furniture and wood floors and wood plantation shutters, so more dark wood is not what I had in mind.
Enter Glidden’s Red Delicious paint.
Rather than sanding, I decided to simply prime this piece.  I ran out of my foam rollers, so I used a textured wall roller for the larger areas – not a good idea if you’re looking for smooth, even coverage, mind you.  I however, like the stippled effect it left – after applying the red paint, the stippled primer coverage gave the paint the effect of an old piece of enamelware – it was a happy accident!
I wanted a hand-painted look, so I brushed two coats of the paint on with my trusty Purdy brushes.  Once dry, I brushed on a dark umber glaze made by mixing tintable glaze with dark umber craft paint.  I then wiped it off with scrap t-shirt rags, leaving more of the glaze in the natural nooks and crannies of the wood to enhance the patina.
I finished it off with a coat of Annie Sloan soft furniture wax, buffed to a soft sheen.
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I painted over the original hardware with some chalkboard paint to give them a matte finish, leaving a little of the gold peeking through for a worn look.
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I did a little bit of sanding to distress the edges just enough to show the white layer from the primer.
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This console has been a perfect addition to my dining area.  It’s already been put to use as a buffet during our cookie decorating party and was a perfect complement to my cherry pie and vintage Rosepoint China on Christmas Eve. 
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And I’m happy to say, it even won the approval of Mr. home.made.
Turns out that “perfectly good wood” is sometimes perfectly good to paint.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Source: via Lila on Pinterest

Warmest holiday wishes from my family to yours!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Skirt Roundup

So it's only, what, four days until Christmas and I have yet to make my girls' Christmas outfits! Never fear - the fabric and notions are purchased and waiting and I have an idea of what I'm going to put together, but a little Pinspiration never hurts, does it? Here are some of my fave ideas...

The little girl's couture skirt is divine.

You can't go wrong with pink AND tulle, can you?

A circle wrap skirt that looks easy peasy to make!

What girl (young or old) doesn't like a pettiskirt?

The utilitarian skirt, complete with pockets!

Simple circle skirt with an elastic waistband.

Yet another circle skirt... sensing a theme? One of these skirts is what I plan on making my girls for part of their Christmas outfits, but I won't tell you now... I'll show you once they're done! Hopefully I'll have make time to finish the special accessory I have in mind...

Are you making any wearables this holiday season?

Have you finished them yet?  Please say you're still working on them like me!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kid-Friendly Craft: Cinnamon Ornaments

School's out for the holidays.

For those of you that are parents, that signals just the beginning of the "I'm Bored" and "There's Nothing to Do!" doldrums...

I have a Christmas craft for you that will make something beautiful for your home (that smells amazing!) and give those idle hands something to do: Cinnamon Ornaments.

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What You’ll Need:

3/4 c applesauce

4.12 oz. ground cinnamon (large bottle)

bamboo skewer or drinking straw


How to:

This is so simple, I’m just going to give you instructions and let you run with it, k?

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.) Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

2. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

3. Insert string/ribbon through holes and tie to hang.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party!

Christmas cookies have always had a special place in my heart.  Growing up, we would invite some of my cousins over during the holidays to decorate cookies.  (Back then, it was pretty much just sprinkles and colored sugar, but we had fun nonetheless.)  My mom would assemble Christmas platters every year for our elderly neighbors – there’d be an apple strudel in the middle surrounded by those cookies and a smattering of Hershey kisses.  *sigh*  Good times.

It’s a genetic thing, I think.  My mom’s mom had a thing for Christmas cookies too.  She’d start making batches a couple of months out, freezing them in decorative tins until it was time for Christmas.  I can’t even tell you how many varieties I sampled while I lived with my grandparents during college.  I can tell you that icebox cookies taste just as good frozen as they do freshly baked.

*sigh* More good times.

With all this baking in my blood, it was just a matter of time before the tradition made its way to my home, and this past Sunday, we had our inaugural Christmas Cookie Decorating Party!  HUGE shout out to my big sis who rolled and baked cookies like they were going out of style while I was cleaning up the aftermath of a week as a hunting widow.  (Those of you who know that term can feel my pain, right?!)

The cookies were piled high – there were multiple holiday shapes of sugar cookies for the kiddos to decorate as well as the traditional gingerbread man.  Cupcake liners held assorted candies, sprinkles, etc..

Yes, these are before photos.  You’ll see the rest of the story in a bit…

I haven’t officially revealed it, but this delicious red baby is my $50 estate sale console!  It was perfect for my snack table.  I added a mirror and this free printable banner from TomKat Studios’ feature for HGTV, then adorned with some candy cane trees and festive reindeer party ware from my second home Hobby Lobby.  (Who can resist 50% off?)

Another view, with my red country Christmas tree in the background.  In the mirror’s reflection, you can see the pompom garland we hung from the transom windows and the cookie cutters added in as part of the décor as well.

But let’s get to the real reason we’re here, shall we?

Decorating cookies!

We provided squeeze bottles of icing in white, red, blue, and green, and the kids were all. about. the. icing.  If you’re thinking of having one of these parties yourself, let me just share this with you: the icing will be everywhere, as will all of the teensy weensy sprinkles...

But that’s what makes it fun, right?!

When the party was over, we transferred each child’s cookies to their own bakery box so they could enjoy the sweets they prepared.  Then, we gave them each a keepsake ornament to remind them of the day.  Remember these little guys?

It was a fun day… the beginning of what I hope to be many Christmas cookie memories for my children and for their friends, and perhaps a tradition my own daughters will one day carry on.

Perhaps one day their children will sneak away with the candy while their mama’s setting up a photo?!

Hope you’re having a joyous holiday season so far!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{Sunday Spotlight} Christmas Cookies!

Today, we will be hosting our first annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party for my daughters and some of their friends.  The cookies are made, the frosting is ready, the tablescapes are set, and the excitement is in the air.  While we await the sticky mess that is sure to come, here are some creative Christmas Cookie ideas just for you!

What's not to love about red~aqua~green color combos?

The pastel snowflakes are too pretty to eat!

This takes the classic gingerbread up a notch!

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

These would be so gorgeous on a cookie tree, don't you think?

Or perhaps a cookie tree puzzle?  Love.

And just for some reality... this is probably what we'll have going on around here later...

Source: via Shar on Pinterest

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!
14 days til Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Printables!

You can catch me over at A Simply Klassic Home today, sharing my latest free printable just for you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

100 Followers Giveaway!

We are now up to 80 followers of my little creative space… I am so excited that you guys are part of the home.made. family!  Only twenty more to go until the big 100, and to celebrate, I’ll be giving away some of these to one lucky winner!

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Handmade clay tags, anyone?

When we hit 100 followers, all of those who belong to that group will be entered to win a set of six clay tags, handmade by yours truly.  The winner gets to choose the type of tag… plain round, stamped, lace-embossed, special initials, whatever!

Maybe you’d like some like these little guys, which I made tonight for our first annual Christmas Cookie Decorating party this weekend!

The choice is yours…

Thank you so much friends, for reading, for commenting, for making this small town girl feel, well, not so small.

Okay then… get to following!!

I've Been Featured!!

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sheet Music Bells Wreath

As my previous post alluded, I sort of have a crush on sheet music.  Appropriately, I’ve decided to use it in my Christmas décor this year.  I’m working on a tutorial for my burlap sheet music ornament shown in this post,  I’ve got a couple of glass ornaments filled with shredded sheet music on my tree, and now my front door is wearing this:
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I reused the wreath form from last year’s BHG knockoff yarn wreath, and added some sheet music-decoupaged bells.
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The bells are plastic silver bells purchased from Hobby Lobby during their Black Friday madness.  I used my scalloped circle punch to cut out the sheet music, and layered the circles over one another as I applied with Mod Podge.  I gave the circles a good coat of Mod Podge on top to help them mold to the curved shape.
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I then hot glued some lace trim around the edges to add a sweet vintage flair.
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As I was working on the bells, I had a certain song in my head…

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day,

their old familiar carols play…

And mild and sweet their songs repeat,

of peace on earth, good will to men.”

I thought that Peace on Earth is a perfect sentiment for the celebration of Christ’s birth – so I added some glittered word banners expressing the message.

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“Till, ringing singing, on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,

Of peace on earth, good will to men!”

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