Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh 2013...

This Christmas in Ohio, someone pulled out a box of old family pictures. We all sat on the floor and sifted through the faded images, laughing at the hair and clothes, reminiscing about the ones who were no longer there to share the moment. That cardboard box held 70 years of memories inside. 70 years that went by far too quickly if my short 24 years so far are any indication. 

With my Sister on the family Christmas card. 1992, maybe?

Is it just me, or does 2014 sound like an unrealistic year? Shouldn't we have hover cars and robots by now? Isn't that what everyone expected of the future? And now that future is here. We may not have hover cars, but we have phones that require zero cords or cables plus they can do just about anything you may need at any time. Are you lost? NOPE. Have a song stuck in your head that you can't wait to hear? NOPE. Bored? NOPE. Are you wishing you remembered your camera to take a nice picture of events unfolding? NOPE NOPE. It's cellular magic.

Now that 2013 is just about over, I've become nostalgic just like the rest of humanity. For starters, this little blog was born in 2013! I have loved coming up with fun things to share, "meeting" new creatively inspiring people of blogland, and (perhaps most importantly) had a great project to keep me out of trouble! In the coming months, I plan to overhaul the archive sections so it will be much easier to find past projects or just browse. I also plan to go back to a regular posting schedule and stop tricking everyone. Slowly but surely, good things are coming this way.

Also in 2013, I finished my term as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader and moved to Greenville, SC to start working at what just might be the most perfect job I could have asked for. I love the city, I love the work and the people. I'm excited to have more than just a year in this place after so many short stays!

There were some slightly less good things about 2013 as well. I had a lot of lingering worries and emotional struggles after my accident in 2012 that I had been trying to ignore. Once I acknowledged the effect it was having on my life and my happiness, I could begin the process of addressing it. Life is short and uncertain; why should I spend it worrying about things beyond my control?

I don't have any resolutions for the New Year yet. I was trying to think of some to list but they all seemed so forced. What are your resolutions? Maybe I'll steal some of your ideas :)

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve! (Last minute Ideas)

It's snowing! IT'S SNOWING!

Not in Greenville, but in Ohio where I am right now with family. I can smell the delicious dishes being prepared in the kitchen while Gram's big dog snores in front of me comfortably on the carpet. I'm still rocking pjs and slippers. In short, it's the perfect way to start Christmas Eve day. But I realized there are so many projects I'd been working on that never got posted in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If you're looking for a few last minute details, one of these ideas might be just the trick. Most take very little time and use things that are probably around your house anyway.

1. Christmas Cookies

Here's a few of my favorite recipes:
Molasses Spice Cookies
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Handmade Ornaments

Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments (I used the extras of these to make a garland)
Salt Dough Ornaments (these would be cute as gift tags too)

3. Felt Table Runner

You will Need:
Felt long enough to hang over the edge of your table and about 12" wide
Puffy paint
glitter (optional)

Tie the ends of the felt on each side of the table and use your puffy to draw on details like snowflakes. I accidentally got glitter all over it since I used glitter ribbon and ended up liking it better. Also, since I used remnants my felt wasn't quite long enough to hang over the edges so I sewed an extra 18" on either end. That means there's a seam at the edge of the table which at first I didn't like but that's grown on me as well. Basically, it's impossible to mess this up.

Whatever you've made, or not made, bought or not bought, eaten or not eaten, I hope it's all part of the magic that make your Christmas a happy and bright one filled with love and happiness :) More important than any of it is enjoying the time with family and friends. I'm off to go help Gram make corn flake cookies!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simple Glass Ornaments


Seriously, how is it already the 11th? I feel like Thanksgiving tricked me this year by being so late. Oops. If you're like me and feeling desperately behind, I have an easy project suggestion that would be great as a stocking stuffer or simple, elegant gift.

It's pretty simple, especially if you're comfortable with free-handed drawing. All it takes is plain glass ornaments, puffy paint, ribbons, candy and a dry erase marker if you want to sketch out your drawings before using the puffy paint.

 We wanted each one to be unique so we used about 16 different Christmas images: star, a strand of lights, a fire place, stockings, Santa hat, silver bells, candy cane, gingerbread man, ornaments, Christmas tree,  wreath, snow man, snowflakes, holly, and then a few logos of the organizations receiving gifts.

After the paint dried overnight, we filled them with M&Ms and put a ribbon on top to finish them. We then realized the candy made them VERY heavy and also easier to break. Instead, we used the candy as a layer of protection around the ornaments when we put them in the gift bags. Functional and tasty, 2 things I love. 

The dry erase marker is particularly helpful for detailed projects, like this Pensacola Beach sign. If you use the dry erase maker then just use a dry paint brush to wipe off any extra after the paint dries. It's kind of fun to do. I would find myself using the marker even when I didn't need an outline just because I enjoyed brushing it off later... Is that weird? Don't judge me.

Pretty simple, but fun to make and seemed to be very well received by the people they were given to (it was actually a work project, I wish I had this many gifts finished for friends!).

So you have any handmade ornaments on your tree? Have you spent a lot of time mastering the beast that is puffy paint? I'd love to know!


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