Merry Christmas and a Christmas Vinyl DIY

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Decorating with Your Cricut or Silhouette

Merry Christmas everyone! I don't know if anyone will actually read this today, haha...but I promised I'd here I am! Actually, I wrote and scheduled this in advance, so I am actually enjoying hot cinnamon buns with my family and tearing into presents :)

Back when Cricut machines were relatively new, I bought one on Black Friday for an amazing price. Since then, Cricut has come out with bigger and better machines...and the amazing Silhouette machine has followed.

I would love to upgrade...but I am for now I am sticking with what I have :)

This DIY uses ready-made frames. Remove the back and insert a decorative piece of paper that fits your theme. Then close it back up.

Using your cutting machine, cut out your saying or monogram.

This took a little bit of trial and error for me because, although I have the Cricut Design Studio, it will only allow me to cut one style of font at a spacing was tricky.

Transfer paper is a MUST! It allows you to transfer the entire cutting onto your surface, without have to painstakingly stick it on, letter by letter. Transfer paper can be a bit tricky to work with as well, especially if your design is tiny. However, read the instructions, use a flat tool and you should be fine!

The vinyl is transferred directly onto the glass of your frame. It's a pretty 3D effect because you can see the paper behind it. You could even add some glitter or 'snow' sandwiched between your paper and your glass.

Embellishing the frame with ribbons, buttons, snowflakes, etc takes this DIY to the next level! This nativity-themed one has a sage green ribbon and lots of buttons.

Bright red velvet ribbon, gems and jingle bells are fitting embellishments for this fun, Santa-themed frame.

This one stays up all year in our home. I made it with our Monogram and a brown satin bow. You can't tell in the picture but the paper is off-white with glittered gold stripes. A vintage star brooch was the perfect extra touch!

Small frames make really pretty ornaments for your tree too!

This one has curled ribbon and glittered stacked snowflakes as well as white snowflake brads. I cut the backs off the brads to make it easier to glue them down.

That concludes my 12 straight days of sharing with you! I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm off to enjoy the Christmas break with my family, hopefully see some TN snow, bake some goodies, watch my favorite movies and relax!

I wish you the most blessed Christmas for you and your family, full of Peace, Hope and Joy!

Can't wait to see you right back here in 2014!

Sharing With:
 Feathered Nest Friday

Mason Jar Christmas Snow Globes

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Handcrafted Snow Globes

Don't you think our great-grandmothers would be astounded at the way we've elevated the status of the humble mason jar?

We've taken it from an object of simply function, to one of also form.

Mason jars have become the main attraction in wedding and home decor these days. Wow. Makes you wonder what our great grandchildren will be collecting, doesn't it?

Ever since Anthropologie came out with their Mason Jar Snow Globe a few years ago, every DIYer out there has been making these...and I've been no exception.

They are just so sweet to look at, and each one is unique.

It all depends on the type of trees you use as well as the way you embellish your jar.

I also found the trick was not to add too much 'snow'..just a little bit. A little goes a long way. And a good shake of silver and/or clear glitter adds wonderful sparkle to the jars and makes everything shimmer.

A jingle bell tied around the jar is sweet because when you shake the jar to 'make it snow', you hear a jingle at the same time :)

Attention to detail is one of my faults strengths...I went a step further and added a fun paper decoration to the top of some of the jars.

Little jars, big jars...they all look wonderful decorated in this way. Next year, I want to make a giant one. Target sells a jumbo mason jar that would be perfect for a snow village...maybe a tiny cottage nestled in amongst the trees...

Thank you so much for letting me share these past 11 days! Can you believe it's Christmas Eve? I hope it's snowy and white where you live...TN is a toss-up...we are hoping, but it has been in the high 50's this week, so it's not looking good for snow.

I have one more handcrafted DIY to share with you tomorrow...and then I'm going to take a much-needed break from blogging for a few days and enjoy time with my family. But I'll be back in the New Year and I hope you'll join me :)

Sharing With
 Feathered Nest Friday

Christmas Tablescape

Monday, December 23, 2013

Setting a Christmas Table

We don't have a formal dining room. Nope, we turned it into our Piano Room because it's too small to suit us as a dining room.

So our kitchen table is where we eat all our meals...where we entertain guests...formal and informal.

I like to have a centerpiece, but something that's not too fussy. I have kids, after all :)

I had a green check piece of fabric that was just the right size. I didn't hem it...or even iron it, haha. We are pretty casual around here and wrinkles are a part of life :) So are frayed edges!

I took a silver platter from the thrift store and added a footed candy dish from the same store. I filled the candy dish with silver glittered pine cones from Pottery Barn bought on clearance, poked in a few live Christmas tree stems and some ribbon loops. Perfect! The bottom of the tray got a ribbon coil and a couple cardinal ornaments.

Then I added a couple of my handmade trees, elevated on mercury glass candle sconces. My Pleated Drop Cloth tree and my Ruffled Crepe Paper Tree look so elegant on the sconces.

I don't have Christmas plates; I've never been able to find any that I think I'll like long term. I do have a set of Christmas salad plates. They look great mixed with my white ironstone dishes.

Holly water goblets passed down from my husband's grandmother, Grandma Kate, add the perfect extra dash of color to the table.

A couple of candles and it's complete. Simple. Nothing purchased, just borrowed from around my home :)

I love saving money!

Two more days, can you believe it? Two days and the plump, jolly old man will be squeezing down our chimney! Are you ready?

Sharing with
  Christmas DIY party The Scoop

Five-Minute Ornament

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This simple little ornament is so cute and charming...and it really did take me just 5 minutes to create! I printed out the postcard from Shabby Lane Shops. They have a section of free holiday items. Just click on the link to go to their free section. I used cardstock so that I'd have a sturdy ornament.

Remember pinking shears? They used to be just for fabric...they kept the edges from fraying. You may remember your grandmother using them. Well, they make wonderful edges on paper too, and add a perfect vintage touch!

After cutting my postcard out, I glued it onto a piece of ivory felt, leaving about an inch around each edge. I then cut around the felt with my pinking shears again.

A couple of pearl stickers, a wire holder and a gingham bow and it's D.O.N.E.!

I love how it looks so much I think I'll make a few more.

For such a simple ornament, it makes a big impact!

If you have the supplies on hand, I hope you'll consider making a few as well :)

Sharing with

The Scoop

Pink Milk Glass on a Dime

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jeannette Pink

If you know me at all, then you know that pink is one of my favorite colors!

And if you really know me :) you know I like to collect milk glass (strictly from thrift stores).

So....what could be better than PINK MILK GLASS from the thrift store????

Yes, the gods were smiling on me this day...just kidding :)

I was shopping at my local "thrift-store-that-starts-with-a-G" in SW FL where we lived. It was one of those hit-or-miss stores. I never really found anything good there. The best thing I'd ever found to date had been a couple of armchairs with cane seat backs.

So imagine my delight when I came around a corner and spotted this...

And this...

And this...

I know what you're there anything this woman doesn't collect?? And I am the first to confess that I have a rather, cough, broad addiction to pretty things. But...I will also tell you that they A.L.L. came from either the above mentioned thrift store or other thrift stores and were dirt cheap! So there ;)

I will admit my heart started beating rapidly as I snatched these beautiful pale pink pieces immediately and put them into my cart. Oh my SWOON...the detail is to die for! 

Yes yes, the candy dish is missing it's lid...but for $2.99, I wasn't going to quibble. And there are only two water glasses. But at only $1.99 for both, I was willing to live with that! The cake plate - oh  my has this diamond pattern on the top that is exquisite. And it was only $6.99!

Nothing has a scratch or a chip :)

I went online when I got home and found out I got an incredible bargain because these pieces are worth a LOT more than what I paid.

Now hush...don't tell the good folks at the "thrift-store-that-starts-with-a-G"! I wouldn't want them to start raising their prices...actually, since that day 2 years ago, I've noticed their prices have started going up considerably and I know I probably will never find another bargain like this one. 

I am so glad I decided to stop in that day, just to browse! Now I have these vintage treasures that I get to display, decorate with and use as often as I like!

What is the very BEST thing that you've discovered at a thrift store? I have another really good one to share, but I'll save it for another day :)

Christmas DIY party

Fast Food at Home - Tacos

Friday, December 20, 2013

This is the most wonderful time of the year! It's also the busiest time of the year!

I know you are busy. I'm busy. My kids and my husband are busy and I know yours are too. There are school programs and church programs, Christmas parties and other seasonal activities to attend.

Stopping at the drive-through is a real temptation.

But too much of that is not healthy, and it's hard on the wallet!

This meal tastes just like your favorite fast-food taco place. But it's homemade, so you know what's in it, and it's fresh! These tacos are fast and easy. And what makes them "fast-food" fantastic is the meat and the taco shells.

There's a little trick to cooking the meat so that it's really fine put an 8 oz can of tomato sauce in with the 1 lb of raw hamburger before it starts to cook! I know, sounds weird.

1 lb raw lean hamburger mixed with 8 oz tomato sauce
Cook over Medium heat until cooked through (about 10 min)
But what this accomplishes is the meat absorbs all the tomato sauce and breaks down into little bitty pieces....very, very similar to fast food tacos. You want to be sure to purchase lean ground beef because it's very difficult to remove the grease. After it's all cooked thoroughly, I add my taco seasonings and then let it simmer for about 15 minute while I get the rest of my ingredients ready. Don't add any extra water or other liquid with your taco seasonings.

Taco meat cooked, seasoned and ready to eat!
My kids are crazy about the shells that I started making. I saw this somewhere online...but I can't remember where... and have been doing it ever since.

It works really well with either flour or corn. My family is partial to flour tortilla shells so that's what I use for them; I like corn, so I use a couple of those for me :)

Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. When oven is heated, use tongs and position tortillas over rack in oven as shown. (Make sure that you have first separated the two oven racks so that you have room to work without getting burnt).

Lay lightly greased tortilla shells over racks in oven. They will cook for just a few minutes and form a "crispy" shell.
It only takes about 5 minutes for them to lightly brown. If you are using corn tortillas, they will take about twice as long. Remove them from oven with tongs and lay them somewhere to cool. They will harden further as they cool. The really neat thing is they now have a nice flat bottom, perfect for holding all your taco fillings! They're crispy, but not so crisp that they break apart with the first bite like the ones you buy. They are more chewy/crispy. We love them!

Ready to fill!

I think I enjoy tacos as much as my kids...they are so yummy :) Fill them up with your meat, cheese and other ingredients and enjoy!

Oh, and even though they hold quite a bit...

You might still need a fork :)