24 December 2010

merry Christmas

‎"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."- Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas

22 December 2010

more Christmas printables

Just a quick post... As I'm sure it is with many of you, we have relatives coming in for the holidays, so things here are a bit BUSY to say the least :) But I wanted to stop in and share a few new printables with you- perfect for your Holiday Planner! The links to download them can be found at the end of the post!

Christmas Project Tracker & Gift Lists

Thank-You Card Tracker & Christmas Shopping List

-- links to download --

17 December 2010

Advent calendar

This is the Advent calendar I actually made last year. I filled each container with M&Ms and mailed it to my DH who was deployed in Iraq at the time. We still have yet to determine if it made it home or not with him, so it wasn't used for this year, but I wanted to share it anyways because I really really love how it turned out! :)

Christmas is such a special time isn't it? The birth of our Saviour Lord Jesus! Really, what better and more joyous time of year is there?

The basic supplies were...
  • a styrafoam circle covered in fabric, adhered with hot glue
  • tiny tins by Wilton and run ~$20 for a bucket of 30 at Michaels. Again, the tins were also attached with hot glue!
  • I used my nestabilities to cut out the circles adhered to the inside of many of the tins' covers.
  • Most of the DP is from a DCWV stack from JoAnns
  • many of the stickers and rub-ons are from Michaels by K&Co and Pooch & Sweetheart {$1 bin}.
  • You can't see it well, but around the outside rim of the base runs a strip of dark green ribbon, I think from the clearance bin at Michaels. It helped cover up some of the fabric puckering around the edge!

.: linking up at :.
The DIY Show Off
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots and Jello
Show & Tell Saturdays @ be different act normal

yummy frugal gifts for foodies

Here are three great gifts for the foodies on your list! Not only are they themselves frugal homemade gift ideas, but they also feature some great frugal gift wrapping ideas! Here we go...

.: gift :.
Here's some homemade trailmix that I made for my dad- any local bulk food store makes this a real economical gift as you can make a huge bag of this mix and get quite a few gifts out of it {or keep some for yourself!}. Many grocery stores these days even have a section where you can buy dried fruit and nuts in bulk. In our mix we used- coconut, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts. I frequently also add craisins and peanut M&Ms.
.: wrapping :.
For the wrapping I simply cut a piece of an old paper bag, stamped it, crumpled up then inked the edges, and then wrapped with twine!

.: gift :.
Here's a simple 16 Bean Soup mix... what's included is just the beans {less than $1} and a bay leaf. Not pictured here is the recipe card I made up and tucked on top underneath the wrapping. The plastic container was leftover from some candies we'd bought.
.: wrapping :.
To wrap it I cut a strip from an old paper bag, then cut some tulle and wrapped it around. I used this same fabric for making ornaments {photos coming soon!} and had this frayed edge of the fabric left over. I thought it was perfect for this, so I wrapped that around the tulle layer!

.: gift :.
Here is your standard cookies-in-a-jar gift. Not gonna lie- I always love these!! Here's a link to the recipe I used {Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies}. This gift is going to my MIL and I already know she loves these cookies but doesn't have the recipe {until now!}. I left out all of the wet ingredients {of course!} and I packaged the brown sugar {well I used sucanat} in a little baggie right at the top of the mix, since that needs to be mixed separately. I know the recipe calls for adding the chips and craisins in last, but it's ok if they get mixed in with the rest of the dry ingredients.
.: wrapping :.
Another super simple one- I cut out a rough circle from some felt scraps, tied some twine and raffia around, added a snowflake button, and stamped a few snowflakes on the top of the felt. Done! :)

.: linking up at :.
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Holly Bloggy Christmas Party @ Tatertots and Jello
Show & Tell Saturdays @ be different act normal
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots and Jello
Handmade Christmas @ Someday Crafts
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Christmas card display

Here's our Christmas card display area! I knew something was missing from our living area- I really wanted to do garland down the stairs, but I'd already used it up on the front porch and kitchen... then I found an old clip out from a magazine of boxes strung up around a bedroom and i KNEW that was what I wanted to do along the stairs! I also didn't have a place to hang up Christmas cards yet, so I figured I'd combine the two :) It's a pretty cheap display to make too!

.: materials :.
scrapbooking paper
thick ribbon {to hang everything from}
little boxes

.: directions :.
I started with some big red ribbon that I had left over from our wedding and hung that up at the top end of the stairs, tied onto a little clear 3M hook. I had lots of little boxes stashed away {I keep everything... just in case I could use it for a crafty project later, hehe!} so I wrapped the boxes in leftover Christmas scrapbooking paper- you could use regular wrapping paper too, or kraft paper, even tissue paper, maybe stamp on the kraft or tissue paper and make your own designer wrapping paper ;) Then I added a few bows and strung them up on the big red ribbon. I added a few 3M wire holder hooks along the railing {you can see one in the below picture} because otherwise the ribbon would be too heavy and sag a bit. Then I added some coordinating scrapbook paper to the front of some clothespins and clipped those in between each gift on the ribbon. Each time I get a new Christmas card in the mail, I punch a hole in the inside/back and string some twine through it, tie a bow, and clip it up with the clothespins! From far away, it kinda looks like the clothespins are holding up the gift boxes, which I'm ok with, it's a neat effect :)
.: linking up at :.
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots and Jello
handmade projects

16 December 2010

Simple Frugal Sports Gift

My mom is a HUGE Yankees fan- seasons tickets, all the paraphernalia, the whole bit. So when I found these great vintage stamps on eBay, I knew I had to make something with them for her! So this is a great gift that you could easily customize for many sports, teams, or causes- the Post Office seems to have a few special stamps each month, and you can find vintage ones at a variety of places.

This is quick, frugal, and totally DIY! So I started with the stamps which were ~$1 each. I got this frame on sale for $5. Then I just added some scrapbooking paper and ribbon in Yankees colors, and bam! Instant sports memorabilia gift for under $10! After I photographed it I put the glass back in the frame- I just didn't want any glare ;)
.: linking up at :.
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Holly Bloggy Christmas Party @ Tatertots and Jello
Handmade Christmas @ Someday Crafts
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Christmas Branch Display

Do you have some extra branches after trimming up the tree? Don't want to just throw them away? Here's a great little Christmas display that's quick, frugal, and easy!!

Simply put the extra branches in a large vase, tie a ribbon around, and hang ornaments- instant Christmas decor! :) If you prefer a more vertical display, wrap some wire around the base of the branches or trim up the branches a bit after you put them in the vase. You could also add some decorative stones in the bottom of the vase if you wish. Oh! And don't forget to fill up the vase with water to keep those branches fresh!

.: linking up at :.
A Crafty Soiree @ Yesterday on Tuesday
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
The DIY Show Off

15 December 2010

Room Decor Planner printables

Here are two more planners for your holiday planner! These are to help remember and organize your decorations from this year and for next year. Record the theme and decor of your rooms this year and which bin you stored them in! I've included planners for this year and also next year- to record ideas for next year's room decors! Links to the printables are below the image if you'd like to download them for yourself!

Printable has a total of three pages to include each room in your house- if you'd like a customized version including any special rooms in your home, send me an email and I'll make one for you! :)

11 December 2010

frugal DIY Christmas wreath

So here's our Christmas wreath! It's probably the decor item that I'm most pleased with this holiday :) It was not only super simple, but pretty cheap too! Here's a lil DIY breakdown for ya...

.: materials :.

.: how to :.
(1) start off by trimming and arranging the branches how you'd like them.
(2) take some wire and wrap it in and around the top of the branches. You don't have to worry too much about whether the wire shows since the ribbon and ornaments will cover it!
(3) string your choice of ornaments on individual wires and wrap around branches. Some wires I wrapped around the top and some wires I actually weaved into the middle area of the branches in order to get the ornaments to lay how I wanted them.
(4) Top off your branches with a big bow!
(5) String some extra wire to the back of your arrangement and use this to attach to a hook for hanging.
(6) Step back and enjoy your beautiful wreath!

See! Super simple! And cheap too... the ornaments were left over from other arrangements I had done, but I got the big ones in a larger set for $5 and the smaller ones in a big set also for $5. The ribbon was left over from other bows I bought, but that roll was $5 at most. The branches were free {yay}... call them a "gift" with purchase of our Christmas tree ;) So for the amount of each product I used, the whole wreath couldn't have cost more than $10... and you'd pay at least twice that in most stores!

.: Frugal Tip of the Day :.
Most Christmas tree shops or nurseries have tons of extra branches lying around. If you ask nicely, they will likely be more than happy to let you take a few off their hands ;)

.: linked up at :.
Weekend Wrap-up Party @ tatertots and jello
Show and Tell Saturdays @ be different act normal
The DIY Show Off

10 December 2010

Etsy holiday special

I've just posted a few gift tag sets to my etsy store!! Feel free to check them out :) And I've extended my Cyber Monday sale through the whole month!

Orders placed in the month of December receive free gift with purchase! Every purchased set of holiday cards will include a free set of 10 handmade Christmas gift tags! Every purchased individual card {non-set cards} will include a free handmade bookmark! Every gift tag set purchased receives an extra 5 tags free with their set!

Menu planner printables

Here are two more menu planners for your holiday planner! Just like I said, here's the Thanksgiving menu and New Year's menu planners :) Links to the printables are below each image if you'd like to download them for yourself!

09 December 2010

Christmas Tour of Home- the tree

So here's our quaint little tree- our first tree! Last year was our first Christmas together, but DH was deployed so I didn't have a tree. In person it looks much more full of ornaments- it's hard to tell from the photo, but because of the way the branches are, we have many layers of ornaments as you get further in towards the trunk of the tree. I really like it, we both do! :) It's a blue spruce, which both of us love.

So a little bit about our tree's decorations....
Theme:: one vintage Christmas combo is teal & silver, and I just happen to love teal so that's what I went with! Added a few pops of big black bulbs for accent- there's only 5 of them, but they definitely add a lil elegance in my opinion ;) the rest of the ornaments are muted rustic colors that blend nicely, as they don't detract color-wise from the general theme colors
Lights:: only bought one strand and used another short strand I already had- I could have used another strand to make the lights more full, but didn't want to have to buy yet another strand
DIY Topper:: so I didn't like any of the ones I saw in stores over the past year, so I just made two big bows for the top, with a few short ribbons streaming down... this upcoming year I plan to make a star topper for next Christmas :) I wish I could find the video where I learned how to make my bows, but this is essentially the same thing {here}
Frugal Ornaments:: most of them I got at 50% off after last Christmas, so they were mega cheap! The horses were all gifts from my mom, the only thing we splurged on were the Disney ornaments which we got during our second honeymoon at DisneyWorld
Tree Blanket:: so I realized after getting all the ornaments on that we had no blanket for under the tree! our local fabric shop isn't too good, so I decided to check my current stash of fabric first- I found this light teal fabric, cut it in half, and though not too large, at least for this year it covers up the ugly green plastic tree holder! :)

.: Frugal Tip of the Day :.
Many of you already know this, but buying Christmas decorations {or any holiday decorations} are the cheapest right after the holiday! You may not get the selection that you're looking for, but you'll save anywhere from 50-80%!! So plan ahead, and check out the selection at your local stores just after the holidays this year ;)

Here are a few close ups of some of my favorite ornaments...

.: linking up at :.
All Things Merry & Bright @ All Things Heart and Home
Holiday Open House @ A Glimpse Inside

07 December 2010

Christmas Menu Printable

Here's the second day of sharing my inserts for my holiday planner! They're also printables- you can download them at the end of each post or click the links in the right-hand column! If you have any problems, or would like a customized version for yourself, let me know and I can email it to you :)

.: Day Two :.
Christmas Menu
easily customizable to any holiday- Thanksgiving and New Years versions coming soon!

06 December 2010

Christmas Budget Printable

Here's the first day of sharing my inserts for my holiday planner! I've even made them printables- you can download them at the end of each post or click the links in the right-hand column! If you have any problems, or would like a customized version for yourself, let me know and I can email it to you :)

.: Day One :.
Christmas Budget
this could definitely be customized for any party as well!

03 December 2010

holiday planner

So here is my holiday planner! Pretty, huh? Well, I think so ;) I should have taken a photo before I put it into the cover.... overlooked that... but it was a slow process to get it wedged in there so I didn't wanna take it back out to photograph :-/ Some of the last photos here I had to adjust the coloring to reduce the glare, but all in all it photographed OK!

And I'll be updating this to post links to the insides here too! I've even made them printables so you can grab a copy for yourself if you'd like! So here we go....
Check back often because coming soon is...
Ornament Memory Journaling Squares
Holiday Cleaning List
Gift Giving Idea Planner
Christmas Card Planner
Gift Closet Inventory List

So this is the first of a few posts where I'll share my planner with you! I'll share the dividers and the charts and lists over the next week or two. Some things I'll post over on my {crafting blog} and leave a link on here for ya :) Anyhoo, on to the cover!

Started out with a binder I already had laying around. Love love LOVE my new PTI stamps, this is from their All Booked Up set. I'll have some more projects comin up soon using that set too, so keep an eye out ;) I love Christmas papers, and am always afraid of using them all up, so this was the perfect solution! I took scraps of some of my favorite papers and put them behind the planner label! Toped it off with some MS twine, Recollections gems, and another PTI stamp from their 2009 Holiday Tags. This planner is really for next year- it will run from Sept. through Dec. including Fall Harvest, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holidays {so as you can see, it's a bit late to be using for this year!}. Actually, I'll be able to use some of my lists as we're hosting Christmas for our families, which I'm wicked excited about!! Fun projects to come, no doubt, so keep an eye out for those coming soon too!! So anyhoo, the gems and general decor for the album tries to combine both fall and Christmas colors,

Here's the binding of the album... used up some more scraps, oh! And the great hunter green paper is SU! The gold shimmer paper is Making Memories :)

Here's a perfect example of blending the two major holiday seasons- fall and winter. I tried to transition the fall leaf punches into the snowflake punches {both MS, by the way} and added in a few Recollections gold pearls- perfect for both fall and Christmas.

Here's a close up of the verse in the corner- from PTI's Silent Night. Everything comes from the Lord and so every season holds something to be thankful to Him for- thus I thought this a wholly appropriate quote for the planner :)

Well, that about wraps up this post- if you're still with me, thanks for comin along for the tour of my planner cover ;) hehe. I'll be sharing the insides soon, so stay tuned!!

.:. linking up at .:.
Show and Tell Saturday @ be different act normal
We're Organized Wednesday @ Organize Your Stuff Now
A Crafty Soiree @ Yesterday on Tuesday
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Winter Holiday Link Party @ somewhat simple
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Visit thecsiproject.com The DIY Show Off