Dec 29, 2011

2011 in photos

I made this collage on Christmas day! I took one photo from each month that I thought sort of told the story from that month. Here's my list! (I used a collage in Picnik to create this one.)

1. January - vacation to California
2. February - Valentines Day swap
3. March - picnics at the park
4. April - sharing Hot Chocolate on colder mornings
5. May - Easter weekend at the ranch nearby
6. June - Peonie season
7. July - the 4th
8. August - wildflowers
9. September - Grandmas vintage jewelry
10. October - Disneyland vacation
11. November - Fall crafts
12. December - decorating for the Holidays

I'm working on the biggest custom order and as soon as I finish up today I can get back to posting some scrapbook stuff. I'm guest designing with Cocoa Daisy this month and wanted to share all the projects I made for them! See you soon!

Dec 25, 2011

the day after

*this is not one of those sappy - guess what I got for Christmas posts.... well sorta and there is a point to this post - promise!*

I have a confession to make tonight. I hate writing and I hate the part of blogging where I have to write. Ironic since a blog is an online journal but it's true. Maybe you can tell, maybe not but I like the idea of not having to write too much. I almost view my blog as an extension of my home, my craft room and sometimes my closet, kitchen or backyard. I like to post photos and I like things to be simple and easy on my blog and in real life. I think simple doesn't require alot of explaining.

There's actually very few things that I feel strongly enough to want to talk in detail about. I'm not a big fan of drama so I tend to steer clear of those topics that I have a strong opinion about. So what does that leave me to talk about on my blog? The mundane details of my crafting adventures, what I did today and how I made something. If you get bored with those topics you're not alone because I do to! Don't get me wrong, I love to make things and I love to take photos! Because being creative is very much a part of my everyday. But photos don't get you into trouble where as writing can.

Back to avoiding drama - I'm not of fan of message boards, never have been.... because of said drama. (I'm raising a 7 yr. old girl, I deal with enough of it at home.) Two weeks ago, for whatever reason, I pulled up twopeasinabucket and clicked on the top 10 popular posts. (I know, I was going fishing for drama at that point! :)) I found a thread title that simply read:

"I feel like the worst parent ever."

It caught my attention, I opened it, read it, and immediately felt the need to respond, not to the thread, but to the poster. It was a young mom who didn't get the job she thought she would have before Christmas and didn't have a way now to provide presents for her 2 young kids. It went on to explain that she was too late to add her kids to any of the charity gift lists and to please give her ideas of where else to try in the area she lived. Some of the replies were less than helpful or positive. Yes the post was made under an anonymous name but for good reason.... it is Two peas after all, a site known for less than caring message boards. As a mom I can only think of a few things worse than the feeling of not being able to provide for your own children - especially during Christmas.

and it is Christmas the season of giving and hope and a time for children to be excited. I'm willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt and reach out to help because it's the right thing to do.

I emailed, or pea-mailed rather, the poster and asked for an address and the age of her son. Nothing else... no back story, no I hope things change for you in time... just an address. As it turned out, her kids are really close in age to Alaina and Chase. I'm a girl, I love to shop, I love sales and I usually have extra toys hiding around the house especially this time of year - so I was able to get everything ready quickly. I wrapped up a couple gifts for her 6 year old daughter and a gift for her little 1 year old son, gathered everything into a couple boxes and got them ready for the post office. Chase and I waited for Alaina to come home from school so we could mail everything off together before the post office closed for the day.

While up at the post office waiting in line, Alaina wanted to know who I was sending the boxes to. She's a nosy one - that child of mine. How much do you explain to a 7yr. old? Alaina understands alot, she likes to think that she's a teenager but I don't always want to tell her the truth. I'd rather her think the world is perfect right now. I ended up telling her the truth and adding a little sugar to it. I explained to her that "a mommy in Texas wasn't able to buy presents for her kids, so we're sending the presents to her. In a way it's almost like being Santa Claus."

I wish I could have taken a photo of Alaina's face right then. Her eyes were huge and her little mouth dropped open, I think it shocked her a little that I had compared her to Santa ("the one person I love the most" - she wrote that to him this year.)

She asked me who the mom was and if I knew her. I told her no, that it was just a mommy on the computer that needed some extra help this year. Still, Alaina wasn't satisfied with my simple explanations so she poked around for more answers, asking me about the daughter, her name, age, where they lived. Maybe she thought I was lying to her? I have no idea but I tried to answer her questions as best I could on the limited info I had received from 1 peamail.

From the post office the kids and I drove down the hill to meet with our realtor to look at one more home for the week - it was already late on a Friday evening. (Oh yeah, we're moving in a couple of weeks - but that's a whole other post!) I think Alaina and I put the post office conversation in the back of our minds as we walked through yet another weird old house.

Fast forward to Christmas afternoon, I went back yesterday to look at that thread that was posted 2 weeks ago on Twopeas. Again some of the replies to this mom were doubting the sincerity of her initial post and was it a post and run thread?

I was thinking about this yesterday as I went about cleaning up the mess of my house after opening presents, that whether or not the post was real, I got so much more out of this than the money I spent on a stranger. Let's face it, our kids don't want to and aren't going to listen to what we say as their parents but they are paying attention to what we do. I believe in showing kids what a good example is - not just telling them. Lead by example, that's my parenting philosophy.

I had the opportunity, that day at the post office, to show my kids that you don't have to know someone in order to help them. I believe you will get back in life what you give out to others and I still have faith that there will continue to be people out there who would be willing to help others without letting the feelings of doubt or disbelief stop them.

I know this because I'm raising 2 of them right now.

- Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~Author Unknown
Merry Christmas to you and your family today!

The kids are still playing with their new toys, Peter is taking a nap and as for me, there's a wrapping paper disaster scattered around the living room to clean up. Hope your holiday was a magical and fun one!

Dec 24, 2011

8 things I love: Saturday


Today has felt like a Sunday. All day infact! Peter never has Saturday's off, so today both of us kept correcting the other regarding what day of the week it really was. :) So tonight, before it really is Sunday, I'm posting my list!

my 8 things list:

1. white t-shirts
2. faded blue jeans
3. cozy grey sweater
4. stripe scarf
5. white ballet flats
6. red plaid bag
7 & 8. coral and gold jewelry (quite possibly my favorite combination, it's an unexpected color choice but I like that it stands out!)

This morning we took the kids to see Santa..... exciting right? Yeah, not so much. Only one was excited to see him, apparently my youngest had better things to do with his morning. It never fails either. I think every Santa photo is of Alaina smiling and Chase either crying, not in the photo at all, or staring off into space. Good times.

Alright, I have milk, cookies and a frozen pizza to put out for Santa tonight. Yep, that's right I said frozen pizza. Alaina was concerned about Santa having too much dessert and not enough dinner. Pizza, to a 7 year old, seemed like a practical choice because after all, who doesn't like pizza?

Happy Christmas Eve!

Dec 23, 2011

photo post

I got sick right before Christmas too ~ wouldn't you know it! While I sit here on the couch I thought I might as well try to get caught up on photos. Time is quickly running out!

Last week or maybe 2 weeks now, I created a series of Holiday Frames for a Crate Paper blog post. I found a group of frames at thrift stores and used Crates Peppermint to make these.

I took these photos at the beginning of the month. I keep meaning to go back and take better ones ~ I'll have to put it on the to-do list. I decorated our living room with Silver and Gold, white poinsettias and glittery reindeer.

I put this tree into my craft room. I wanted one old-world tree so I could use all those vintage bulbs I had collected. It's especially pretty at night! I've stashed all of the presents under this tree so it doesn't look quite as bare underneath.

We added a little tree to one of Chase's cars and placed it in between collections of pink and red glass bulbs and vintage candle sticks on the kitchen table.

I think it's time for some more tea and maybe another nap tonight. I need to get better in a hurry!

Dec 22, 2011

Homemade Ornament Party

Last weekend Alaina and I held a little ornament making party. A few of her friends were invited, one of my good friends came to help so it was like a girls craft day with the addition of one little boy. Chase loves to paint - so painting ornaments with a group of girls didn't phase him one bit.

I set out silver trays filled with craft supplies for each ornament, jars of paint brushes, a muffin tin filled with small tubs of paint and buckets of glitter and glue. I put down lots of newspaper to cover the table incase of spilled paint (which happened more than once) oh but what fun we had and what an incredible mess we created!

{Alaina's ornaments - the kids got a tiny bit carried away with the puff paint and glitter!}

We made my cinnamon cutout ornaments decorated with white puff paint and glitter, mini frosted cupcakes and large frosted/glittered cupcakes, Clay lollipop ornaments (the idea came from Creature Comforts blog - I altered the ornaments a little by using a glue gun and thinner clay) and beaded candy canes.

I could really see this becoming a yearly tradition for us. What's amazing is that the kids stay entertained for over 6 hours creating their own ornaments. Needless to say, I was wiped out but the homemade ornament party was a huge hit!

Dec 20, 2011


The little elves around here have been busy wrapping up gifts this week! I always choose a color combination to wrap my gifts and for this grouping it was red-pink-yellow-silver and kraft. It's an interesting combination but I kind of like it!

I still need to wrap the kids' gifts, it's going to be a very gift-wrapping week!

Dec 19, 2011

twinkly lights

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." ~Norman Vincent Peale

I found this quote last night and thought it matched the photo pretty well. I was taking some photos the other day when, without warning, my camera started getting fussy with me. It didn't want to focus on anything in particular and instead blurred some of my photos. Somehow, I think it's even lovelier this way!

Candy Holiday Shadow Box ~ Crate Paper

So last week sometime, Christine and I were on the phone discussing projects that we could do together for the Crate Paper blog. We thought about making ornaments and then the idea of a Christmas shadow box was brought up and we just had to decide on how large to make the boxes. Because I think good things come in small packages, the smaller the box - the better. Christine mentioned using Jello Boxes for our project which meant a shallower box.... but I'm always up for a challenge!

After a couple of "rass-a-frassa's & who's idea was this again?" My shadow box came together really quickly. I completed it - from start to finish- in one evening even while being distracted by the Home Alone 2 movie that the littles were watching for the 879th time this month. ;)

The outside of my box is covered with Crate's Peppermint Collection Papers. I painted the inside of the box a warm shimmering gold color.

I used a crop-a-dile to punch a hole through the back of the box, just big enough to fit a light through. The gold paint on the inside gives my little box scene a warm glow.

I'm not sure how I did it but I managed to fit 8 pieces of Peppermint chipboard into this little box. To make them secure, I covered the bottom of the box with white modeling clay. This way, I just pushed in each of the chipboard pieces into the clay and they stayed put! To cover the clay, I used a hot glue gun, some sparkly "snow" and a few pearls for added texture.

If you visit the Crate Paper blog you'll get to see Christine's box too and she even created a tutorial to help you in creating your own mini box! I think this project would also be alot of fun to create with kids.... especially over that long Winter break that's fast approaching! I have all sorts of projects to post this week. Christmas is just around the corner!

Dec 17, 2011

Holiday Snowflakes- photo tutorial

In my house everything has the possibility to be transformed into something else! I'm pretty confident that given enough time, I can find a second use for just about anything. Neck ties are sewn into necklaces, t-shirts make really cute scrapbook flowers and coffee filters are perfect for holiday snowflakes!

Alaina and I love to use coffee filters, they're already round and super light weight so when we created a garland with them, they almost appeared to floating in the window-sill!

I photographed the steps for making one last week!

Hope you are doing something fun this weekend! I have a little crafty get-together with friends planned for tomorrow but first I think a wee bit of scrapbooking may be in order for today! happy Saturday!

8 things I love: Saturday

1. ruffly neutral top
2. Black Velvet Jacket
3. Dark boot cut jeans
4. Black boots
5. Betsey Johnson bag (I have this one!! It's one of my favs ever!)
6. thin long necklace
7. sparkly rhinestone ring
8. cute polka dot scarf

Dec 15, 2011

Doily Envelope- Tutorial

Here's the tutorial! I made a much smaller envelope this time and it's the perfect size to tuck a gift card into. Pretty appropriate for this time of year! With just a couple of supplies and a few steps - you can whip one up in no time - let's get started!

the supply list:

1 round doily
thread and needle

Step 1. Place the gift card in the middle of the doily as a measuring guide. (You'll want the doily, when folded up at the bottom, to cover about 3/4 of the giftcard.) Cut the bottom of the doily off.

Step 2. Fold the bottom of the doily up covering most of the giftcard and cut the edge of the doily, leaving about a 1/4 inch of doily on either edge.

Step 3. The edges of the doily are going to be sewn, because the doily that I'm using is a loosely crocheted pattern, I used a pin to hold the edge together. The pin will help stop the doily from shifting too much during the sewing process!

Step 4. Sew the edge of the doily. I went back and forth, about 3 times, sewing down the edge of the doily and then back up again to make sure I had sewn the edge completely closed.

Step 5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the opposite side of the doily.

Step 6. Using a needle and thread, sew a button onto the top front of the doily.

* To crease the edges of the doily use a hot iron and press along the edges. Just be careful to not touch the iron to the button!

The size of your envelope will depend on the doily size but I have to admit that the smaller envelope was my fav. It makes giving a gift card this holiday season a little more exciting!