Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!
When we discovered this blogging decor world a few months ago, we thought we had found a goldmine.  My sister and I have been crafting for years and we were always searching for ideas to make for our homes and seasons.  We would get magazine after magazine looking for cute ideas and now we have it all at the touch of a button.  You all are making our homes cuter one project at a time.  Thanks for all the inspiration and the tutoring.  I've noticed that many of us have different styles and taste, but we are all creative people and we can all learn from each other and incoporate it into our own style. I love peeking around on all the different decor/create/design blogs, just to gleen knowledge from them.
Thank you to our little following- for taking interest in our crafty projects.  We are looking forward to many more. (I've got a garage full -ready and waiting-and Nicole's got a couple up her sleeve!)

We hope your new year is filled with much happiness!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Now that's a "P" I kept hinting to my sister that I wanted a pretty monogrammed P, cut out of wood,  to go on my shelves...because my last name starts with a P and I think they're really cool.  Nicole shows up the day before Christmas with a 3 ft...over the top....P!  She even silver leafed it. How's that for a great sister?  She is simply amazing on the saw. Wait until you see what she did for my son's birthday.
This thing is seriously huge!  She routered some keyholes on the back hang where I where on earth should I put it? :)  Any ideas?
I hope you all had a merry Christmas.  My kids were spoiled rotten...and we are stuffed to the brim with too many Christmas was a great Christmas in our house!

Linking Nicole's letter to:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

you a very
Merry Christmas!!!

We hope you enjoy your holiday with your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Worry Grandma...there's no reindeer in sight.....

As a child my favorite memories of visiting my Grandmother were all the wonderful smells that came from her kitchen. Fresh made scones drizzled with honey butter and especially what was kept in the refridgerator downstairs.  It was loaded with treats, huge tupperware containers of chocolate chips, small, medium, large, and the tastiest peanut butter rice crispie treats frosted with even more chocolate.  I don't think any of us complained when we were sent to the basement to play!

My Grandmother was an artisan of chocolates!  She attended a little candy demonstration at a local high school and picked up a few recipes she became famous for making. The little candy company doing the demonstration was See's.  She started making the treats at Christmas time for her friends and family. Eventually she had my Grandfather shipping in chocolate by freight truck.  One year they had about 2 tons of chocolate and popcorn delivered from San Fransisco.  As a kid my family lived in Korea for about 3 years and I can still remember quite vividly the precious package of her chocolates coming in the mail at Christmas time from America.  It was almost magical opening up that box and savoring every bit of the love from our Grandma.

The last two years I have gotten together with my own dear Mother and made her famous fudge and caramels.  Candace was stuck at home with some very sick little boys and was sorely missed.  We girls have so much fun together in the kitchen!  This year we perfected the scrumptious candy cane fudge and my little girl had a blast licking every last drop of the marshmallow creme from the jar.  I don't know which was sweeter, the fudge or the memories of a yummy tradition that has now been passed down to 4 generations!  I searched quite a bit tonight and finally found my favorite photo of my wonderful Grandma and a photo from a special book made for her by my Aunt about all the things we loved about her and Grandpa. 

So do you have a favorite sweet you make during the holidays?

Run, run, as fast as you can't catch me.....

Grandma Kathy's Gingerbread
(from a recipe given to her over 40 years ago)

1 C. butter
1 C. sugar
5 C. flour
1tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1TB. ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C. molasses
1 egg
2 TB. white vinegar

Bake 350 degrees for about 8 minutes
*For ornaments, add a little more flour,
 make a hole to string ribbon, and bake at 375 for a little bit longer.

My husband's mom bakes these yummy gingerbread every year. (The pictures are of mine I made..hers are much, much cuter, with red hots and ribbons.) She makes some to eat and some to hang on the tree.  When my husband was little she would find piles of ribbons behind the couch, where he would sneak them off the tree and eat them.....even the "stale" ones!  They are that good!
I found a delicious glace' icing from Best bites. It has powdered sugar, a little milk, and Karo Syrup to give it a great consistency.  Check it out to see what else they use it for.
I just had to add  my son's gingerbread man he made for his "Gingerbread Unit" in Kindergarten.  He was so proud.... he was snapping pictures of himself all over the house!  Mr. Gingerbread man was sent on a trip (like flat Stanley) to Grandma's house, where he helped put up her Christmas lights.
I found about 20 pictures on my camera of just him and the gingerbread man. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And a PARTRIDGE in a PEAR tree.....

 About a month ago I saw a neat ornament/card hanger in church.  I liked it so much I tuned out a little and studied how to build it. I know bad!  I did mine a little different.  The original hanger was white with a star on it. I did mine in silver.
Autumn from Design Dump put the coolest picture of gold leafed pears sitting in a sterling silver cake platter with a partridge on top. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Sick..I know! I figured I could incorporate my ornament hanger with gold spray painted pears. Not sure if this is hokey or not? Autumn's picture was sooo much classier.
I found all my ornaments( except for the three gold & clear gittered) from a funny little store called Kings. I think I paid a couple of bucks for them and they had fake pears too!
You can find the most unusual things at Kings.....there's a lot of "Grandma" ornaments.  I found a couple that if I tipped them upside down...they could resemble pears!
I used Rust-Oleum's Metallic finish on the hanger and sprayed the pears with 24 KT Gold "brilliant finish:)" also found at Kings. My boys love Kings... for their large assortment of quirky toys, and their entire row devoted to FAKE weapons.
I picked up some dowels and attempted to drill holes.  It was pretty hard getting the holes straight.  Some of my intersecting dowels don't lay straight.
I glued two of these plaques back to back.  I drilled a hole afterwards to insert the large dowel.
The original hanger had little wood discs on the ends, but I couldn't find any at Home Depot and I was too tired to make a trip to the craft store.  I ended up putting some metal washers on the end with a thumb tack through them.  It kind of adds to the metallic look of it, and they were super cheap!:)

I distressed the silver with a little black paint. 
This can really be used for all sorts of things.  Pretty simple.
For the pears,
 I pulled out the original stem and inserted wire with hot glue on it, then bent to make a hook.
I can't remember the blog I saw where they spray painted their ornaments on a tree?  Very smart!
They looked so delicious on the tree outside...I was tempted to keep them out there!
Or...bring a real branch pretty!

I am losing my Christmas crafting wind....but determined to finish some of my projects. Almost done!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special     

     DIY Day @ ASPTL

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grubby Gingerbread Men

Nicole and I came across some ornaments where they dipped Salt Dough shapes in melted wax and coffee grounds to give them a primative, grungy, look.  I thought I'd give it a try.  I didn't put holes to string them, so I instead put these guys in a little basket with burlap.  Cute.  This was a lot of fun!

Here's the way I made them...through trial & ERROR!
Roll out and cut
find and OLD pan or metal can
find some coffee grounds
chop up ANY old candle
you can pre-dye your dough...or make a mistake and figure it out later and PAINT them instead!
BAKE 325 until hard
Mix melted wax on low heat on stove and add coffee grounds
DIP and dry! (I dipped more than once after wax set)

**Nicole informed me that the original grubby wax men were not made from salt dough, but rather real gingerbread.  I have seen some salt dough for ornaments made with spices and cloves that would naturally darken the dough?  Then there would be no painting involved.**
(If you want ornaments...I suggest using a straw to poke a hole into them BEFORE you cook them :))
BCD Show and tell

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sharing a bit of our Christmas.....

I've seen all these fun Christmas link tours and thought we'd join in before it's too late!  Over the years Nicole and I have had a lot of fun creating at Christmas time....I think that's what got us into all this crafty stuff...ORNAMENTS.  In our family...we decided  that instead of buying gifts for each member of our family...we would each "hand make" ornaments and exchange.  This is really special and it's fun to pull the ornaments out each year and reflect on years past.
I had Nicole send me a few of her favorite ornaments from our family exchange and from her yearly Christmas crafting and tell why they are special.
Nicole said....
"Newly married and poor, these stars were my version of some pretty
mirrored and grouted star ornaments I saw on tv. I broke up some
mirror and glued them onto a paper mache star. Yes, sad by themselves
but they reflect a lot of light and remind me of my humble beginnings
as a crafter."
~This year's baby Jesus, Avery hates that he has no eyes.
~My most popular ornament and Avery's favorite baby Jesus.
~Saw a idea of these several years ago and wanted to make my own version.
~Candy's gingerbread man she made for our first ornament exchange.
I loved each little one she made and was happy we had some no-shows
and I got to keep her cute creations!
~Prim Angel~First bazaar I ever did and made ornaments out of scrap wood that
Ace Hardware was throwing away. Only 30 people came into the bazaar
the entire 8 hours I was there. Needless to say, I have alot of these
on my tree!:)
~Mermaid in memory of our trip to the beach in South Carolina last summer.
~Japanese ornament~Brandy made these to represent their time stationed in Japan with
the Air Force, they were embossed onto velvet ribbon. Love them!
~First ornament exchange where I carefully stitched each heart.
Grubby Snowman~This was a pattern from last year I actually followed and learned
something from. It is made from muslin, painted, sanded, rubbed down
with coffee grounds and brown shoe polish, it was fun and cool to
make! I hid one away for myself and sold the others.
Mom/Dad ornament-love that it's them and that it was their wedding picture. This ornament celebrates 40 years together.
All time favorite, made by Avery last year at preschool for me!

Thanks Nicole!  Now we'll move onto some of my favorite decorations in my home (Candace:)
I love "pretty" mom always had beautiful decorations, sparkly..shimmery...golden things.  It wasn't until my husband and I spent our first Christmas with my mother-in-law that I discovered homespun, gingerbread men, tons of nativity scenes, giant knit stockings stuffed with goodies.......cozy Christmas. I loved it! She would make real gingerbread men and string ribbons through them to hang on the tree, and some to EAT! I think she may have at least 50 nativities tucked through out her home. She makes the most beautiful Christmas quilts too, AND, she's a legend in her neighborhood for outside light decorating!  She individually wraps each limb of her trees and ties them down with twisty ties!  It's brilliant! My mother in law took me to my first Christmas boutique...and I was hooked on crafting and creating!  Living near to her has influenced my Christmas style.... I love both pretty Christmas and Cozy Christmas!  I can have both!
 Here's a few pictures from around my home~
I love red berries!  I love using them in wreaths, garlands, the glass bowls.

My mother in law knits these AWESOME stalkings for everyone in the family and also puts their name on each one!  They are fun and boy do they ever hold a TON of stuff! They also have a tradition in their family of filling each other's stocking with kind notes through out the season.
I have several of Nicole's wood letters tucked on shelves in my home....I just love them!
My favorite thing to do is to raid my mother in law's stash of crafts and recreate them.  She had this great Nativity I fell in love with and this is our version of it!  Love it! I learned how to make my first miter cut on this!
My kids love this funny little moose...or is it a reindeer?
My mother in law also loves to give each family wonderful Nativities.  This one makes me laugh!:)
I love a pretty red poinsetta.
A few years ago, Nicole and I made our own version of the Pottery Barn advent calendar.  Treats don't last long in these pockets with my little ones!
This is my baby's new MIL is so fast at whipping these puppies out!
A couple of years ago my mother-in-law distributed pieces of cloth with drawn nativities for all the grandchildren to color with fabric markers.  She used some of the original pre-colored squares and some of the grandchildren's colored squares and then sewed them all into a Christmas quilt for EACH family.  She's amazing!  I love that my children made the sheep GREEN!
My MIL also makes each of us beautiful wall hangings.  I love this strand of ornaments!
  I picked these cute furry stars up at my first Christmas boutique with my MIL.
I put up a small tree for the kids and their fun ornaments. They needed some BLUE lights to make them happy.
I love the Willow Tree nativity!  I really love the (BUFFALO?) in it!  That's what you get when you have boys!:)
Here's my TREE.  I wanted a PRETTY tree this year.  I used lots of red berries, pinecones, glass balls stuffed with fake snow, and these pretty snowflake ornaments. I wrapped some extra burlap around the tree for a skirt.
Hope you enjoyed looking and Merry Christmas! :)

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

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