Thrift Store Swap Wreath

Thrift Store Swap Wreath

Hi everybody! Welcome to my first ever thrift store swap experience! Let me start off by saying this was such a fabulous event to be apart of. You know me. I love anything crafty, especially the chance to revamp something outdated into something fantastic! If you’ve never heard of a thrift store swap, keep reading. Enough chit chat. Let’s head down to the good stuff.

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Welcome to the 4th edition of the Thrift Store Swap!

If you are unfamiliar with this swap, organized by Lyn at MidMichiganMom, here are the basics. 14 crafty bloggers commit to buying and repurposing 2 thrift store items. For this edition, one item must be a wreath and both items must cost under $10. .

Sounds easy right? There’s a catch…they are not buying for themselves! Each blogger is surprised with what they must repurpose. So what happens when the unknown challenges 14 crafty ladies?

You get some out of the box tutorials!

All right? Everyone up to speed? Excellent! Let’s dig in to my fabulous items!

I was talking to  Lynn over at Mid Michigan Mom, who sent me a message a while back asking if I’d like to participate in their exchange. A crafting challenge with a wreath and a secret item to upcycle sent by another crafty blogger?!? Yes please! I immediately agreed and off I went to grab my items to send to my crafty blogger, Brittany over at DIY Just Cuz (you should click on her link and check out what she did with the items I sent her!). Not long after I sent my gifts, I received my own from Erlene over at MyPinterventures (oh and P.S. you should totally check out Erlene’s awesomeness)!  Here they are.

Thrift store items

How cute is that wreath already? It’s definitely Fall themed, but adorable. I almost felt bad for tearing it apart…almost.  Along with my wreath I was given three plain clipboards.  I brainstormed for a while deciding on my plan of attack. I had a vague idea for my wreath, and no idea for my clipboards.

Before wreath

After finally formulating plan I made an excursion to JoAnne’s Fabric to purchase the flowers I’d need for my wreath overhaul. I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful choices they had for silk flowers, plus they were half off, which is always a huge win in my book.  Here’s my final transformation.

After wreath

Eek! I absolutely love how it came out!  A little spray paint, a few gorgeous flowers, and a needle and thread, and voila! I toyed around with several ideas for the sparkly ribbon and finally decided on the banner, and added a few beads for the final touch.

After wreath 2

Here’s how I did it (P.S. It was really simple to do and you should totally give it a whirl).

Supplies:

  1. Small grapevine wreath
  2. Ribbon
  3. Silk Flowers
  4. Berries and Stars
  5. Wire
  6. Spray Paint
  7. Beads
  8. Needle and Thread
  9. Fray Check (It’s a glue)

How To:

1. First I disassembled the wreath’s adornments until I was back to the bare grapevine. Cutting off that beautiful sparkly ribbon almost killed me, but I had to press on.

disassemble wreath

2. I had decided I wanted a white wreath to brighten things up and make my flower colors pop. I had a bottle of white spray paint lying around from other various projects and set to work. Spray painting a wreath is fairly simple. A few coats on either side and I was finished. I have to admit, however, that I began to panic a little after the paint was applied because I wasn’t sure I liked it yet. I even called my sister to ask her opinion. She assured me all was well with my decision so I pressed on.

spray paint wreath

3. I played around with the placement of the orange and white berries and stars. After several different arrangements I concluded that I liked the original layout best and put them back where they belonged and secured them with wire.

place berriessecure berries

4. After a speedy and very productive trip to JoAnne’s Fabric (flowers were 1/2 off! Yay!!) I began my floral arrangements. This took a while. I love playing with flowers and color, but you’ve got to keep it balanced and the colors flowing. After I had arranged a rough draft of my layout I plugged in my glue gun and set to work. Gluing took some creativity. My flowers had to lay a certain way, but still adhere to the vines and berries. A little trial and error with a few of the smaller flowers, and I had it down.

glue flowers

5. I couldn’t let this beautiful wreath walk away without at least some of that beautiful  ribbon to adorn it. I’ve always loved the little flags I’ve seen on other wreaths and thought it would be the perfect crowning piece. I made a small triangle template and cut out several triangles from the ribbon. I put fray check on all the edges to ensure they would remain intact.

cut triangles

6. After the glue dried I grabbed my huge stash of beads and got to work sewing my little banner.  I wanted to make sure the banner had a little weight so it would lay nicely once put on the wreath. I simply put my beads, pierced the top two ends of the triangles, and repeated until I had my desired length.

7. I attached my small banner by tying it on.

Voila! One beautiful spring wreath! I absolutely love how this wreath turned out. It’s one of my favorites.

After wreath 3

After my wreath was finished I moved on to my clipboards. I tinkered around with a few ideas, but in the end I decided on something sweet, simple, and colorful. Tune in next week to see my clipboard reveal!

PicsArt_1462240727985

Overall I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the exchange. I would encourage any of you who are thinking of trying something like a swap to go for it. It’s such a fun way to challenge your creativity, meet other fabulous people, and have fun. You guys know me. I’m always up for anything fun and crafty.

COPENHAGEN (1)

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Here are the geniuses behind these DIY Tutorials. Make sure to check out each one!

Made in a Day

  ReDo It Yourself Inspirations

DIY Just Cuz

5 Kids, a Dog and a Blog

One Crazy Ride

Crazy Organized


 

Read more

Another Renaissance Fair to Remember

Another Renaissance Fair to Remember

The Renaissance Fair. That glorious conglomeration of old world charm, antique costumes, and antiquated speech patterns intermingled with modern day cameras, clothing styles, and people made yet another year of fantastic moments and memories for our crazy little family.

This year’s trip was met with great anticipation. The day of the fair arrived and we dove into this crazy, brilliant, and chaotic world with zeal, and it did not disappoint.  All the classic characters were there: the town crier, the cardinal in scarlet robes awaiting your confession, the jester, the roaming gypsies with their brightly hued musical coin skirts dancing, and a myriad of mythical creatures adorned in glitter greeted us as we meandered through the dusty streets and perused the shops housed in castles and taverns.

faun lady

We had only made our way through the gates a few steps when we chanced an encounter with a pair of highly skilled hammered dulcimer players setting up shop on a small stage. We had met them the year before and sat down to enjoy another rendition of their beautiful melodies. This year, along with their enchanting tunes, they supplied the children with a small wooden puppet who danced a jig to the beat while the children giggled from their seats. Their years of practice together were evident as they expertly executed their individual parts with skilled timing. They were wonderful, and it was the perfect beginning to our day.

After the small concert we made our way through the crowds toward the food. If there is one thing about my family you should know it is that we all love food. My love of food comes in a close second to my love for people watching (no storm troopers this year, dang it). That’s probably why I adore the renaissance fair. It is the best of both worlds.

The food at the fair so darn delicious. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere, the constant aromas wafting through the streets, or the vast displays of people thoroughly enjoying their goodies that provokes us to dash to the nearest establishment and dig in. Whatever the reason, that’s exactly what we did.

Turkey legs as big as your arm, giant crisp pickles, gooey caramel apples, home made nut bars with a creamy center, frozen lemonade, bread bowls brimming with creamy broccoli and cheddar soup, the list goes on and on my dear friends.  Needless to say, we were a group of well/overly fed  people by the day’s end. We basically rolled out the castle doors when the time to go home arrived.

me eating caramel appleEthan and his turkey leg

After our first batch of goodies (trust me when I say we ate the ENTIRE time) we heard the call for the beginning of a fire whip show. Did we want to witness someone crack ridiculously long whips that were set on fire? Absolutley yes we did!

The show itself was brilliant. Our resident whip master was funny, engaging, and quite impressive with his ability to manipulate his whips into a frenzy of cracks that whirled about his head at dizzying rates. He cracked soda bottles in half, cracked rhythms to songs (ok one song, but still impressive), whipped a small cap off the top of his own head, and popped a balloon between a volunteers legs (which was met with bouts of laughter from the crowd as our whip master teased the poor enlisted man about a free vasectomy). The finale of his show had us all wide eyed as he doused a whip in lighter fluid, lit it on fire, and began thrashing the whip around causing intense orange flames to shoot off the whip each time a crack sounded.  This was my favorite performance of the day, hands down.

fire whip and me

After a quick snack (caramel apples this time) a face painting station caught my eye. I hustled the girls over to the little booth and had them choose a pattern.  We waited in line for 15 minutes or so until it was our turn. The artist was quick and skilled and in minutes the girls were covered in bright paint and glitter. They looked adorable and loved their new accessories.

Emma mirror face artAlisynne face artEmma face art

As we stepped down from the face painting platform Joe (my husband) emerged with our son who was now donning a brand new wooden sword and bright red tunic with a golden lion emblem emblazoned on the front. Ethan stood in the middle of the a shaded area, unsheathed his sword from his belt, held it high, and stood 10 feet tall beaming with pride as we all exclaimed our joy over his new outfit. He was the happiest little boy at the entire fair! His confidence and joy only grew as renaissance patrons addressed him as “young sir knight” whenever he crossed their paths. Honestly, it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Knight Ethan

Not to be left out of the festivities myself, I made my way over to the Henna Tattoo tent. The last few times we’ve come I missed getting a design and was determined to get one this year. I perused the design book, chose my favorite and waited for an artist to free up. When my name was called I met with my artist, showed her my design pick, then gave her free reign to embellish however she’d like. I loved the end result. Beautiful swirls, cascading dots, and an elegant flower adorned my hand, fingers, and wrist for about a week. I only wish it had lasted longer, but that’s my fault for putting a beautiful temporary piece on a place that is constantly in water and soap. If you’ve never gotten a henna tattoo,  I completely recommend you try one.

henna artist and mefinished henna

We wandered the dusty streets of the renaissance fair perusing the local wares, admiring jewelry and hand crafted mugs, musing about the uses the “fairy dust”, applaud a few intricate costumes, and simply savored our time together. The children thoroughly enjoyed the chance to go on a few rides (all are mechanized with man power), eat more treats (of course), and openly play. The end of the day was nearing. A few last rides, a quick to stop to purchase my daughters a coin skirt like mine, and one last treat had us tuckered out. By the way, if you ever want to witness the most adorable thing ever simply wrap a brightly colored coin skirt around a 5 and 3 year old and watch them wiggle their hips in an attempt to make their skirts jingle. You will be met with cascades of giggles and little faces beaming with amusement. Exhausted but thoroughly entertained we exited our time portal to the past and trudged our way to our mini van with arms full of renaissance wares,  ready for a bath and a warm bed.

The Best Advice I Ever Received as a New Mother

The Best Advice I Ever Received as a New Mother

It’s 3:45 am. The babies are finally fed and asleep… again. I am exhausted. Hopefully I can fall asleep and get a solid two hours before one of them wakes again. I haven’t slept at all tonight. Tomorrow’s going to be brutal. I’ll just try to settle myself. I’m sure I’ll fall asleep soon. Wait. It’s too quiet. I don’t think I can hear anyone breathing. Are they breathing? They should’ve at least stirred a little. Neither of them has moved. Was that a small breath I heard? I can’t be sure. I’d better check. Ok. They’re fine. They’re both breathing just fine. I seriously need to sleep. It’s been two weeks of this insanity. I can’t function if I don’t sleep. Hold on a sec. I can’t remember if I propped them up enough. What if they spit up and choke because they’re flat on their backs? No, I’m sure they’re ok. I barely checked  on them… but I can’t remember for sure. I’d better check again.”

The best advice I ever received as a new mother to my infant twins came from my father and it might not be what you’d expect. Before I divulge this particular piece of advice let me give you a little background as to what was happening in my life during this time.

I was 29 weeks pregnant with the twins when my husband was deployed overseas to Afghanistan for a year. My 18 month old daughter and I hugged him goodbye outside our front door and he left. “Ok. I can do this” I thought. What choice did I have really? Giving up simply wasn’t an option, so I pushed forward the best way I knew how. I called my Mom.

When we first found out my husband was to deploy I reached out to my parents.  “Mom?” I asked. “I know this is a huge favor, but is there any chance I can move back home with Alisynne?” Without a moments hesitation on the other end of the phone I heard, “Of course sweetheart! We’ll get the basement ready for you.” This was HUGE for me. Without the help of my family I don’t know if I would’ve fared as well as I did in the long run. So, the very next day after my husband left my father came to collect my very pregnant self and my daughter and drove us and a small trailer of gear back to my childhood home for the year.

newborn 2

Six weeks later the twins were born. They did well considering they were 5 weeks early, but still had to do 2 weeks in the NICU. On the day they were both released they were so tiny. It was frightening. It was exciting. It was overwhelming. The days back at home were great. I had tons of help from my parents, sisters, and brothers, who were all home during the summer. I felt great during the day. Nights were a different story.

With my husband gone the care of my three children was solely mine. Every diaper to be changed, baby to be fed, and toddler to comfort rested squarely on my shoulders, and I was keenly aware of it.

newborn 1

Fear. Exhaustion. Worry. Anxiety. These emotions are very typical for a new mom. I’ve talked to many mothers out there and most would agree that these feelings are all part of infancy, along with unadulterated joy, ridiculous amounts of love, and elation.

During those first few weeks of my twins being home fear would grab me at night and refuse to relent. Fear of my babies dying while I slept. This particular fear is a common one. Many women have confessed to feeling this way. You may have experienced it yourself. I also endured this fear with my first daughter. Perhaps it was the fact that I was the sole caretaker, or that my twins were still so tiny, or the stress of a deployment in general. For whatever reason this fear became amplified.

I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to, desperately, but couldn’t. My brain wouldn’t stop tormenting me. Even through the fog of exhaustion I could come up with several ways my children might not survive til morning. I would be up and down several times in the night checking and rechecking my babies. Each time they were completely safe, but I wouldn’t believe it. My body couldn’t rest nor could my mind. You can imagine the toll this takes on a new mother. If, by some miracle, I  did finally fall asleep one of the babies would wake. It was a vicious, horrible cycle.

I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on. It felt absolutely ridiculous. Here I was, welcomed back into my childhood home with open arms, with several younger siblings helping me daily, and I couldn’t get my act together. Not at night anyway. I wasn’t afraid to tell. I was embarrassed at the level my fear and anxiety had gotten to.

Several weeks of this mental torment continued until one morning my father entered the kitchen.

The end of a particularly bad night found me crying into a bowl of cereal. My father, with his tan briefcase in hand,  was on his way out the door to work. He spotted me at the kitchen counter and sat down next to me. As any dutiful and loving father would do, he asked me what was wrong. With tear streaked eyes and an exhausted soul I told my dad everything. I layed out all of my fears and unloaded all of my worry. He hugged me tight for a moment then let me go. He turned to me and gave me this counsel that I’ll never forget.

“Heather. If Heavenly Father decides it’s time to take your babies there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. No amount of worrying or stressing can change that if it’s meant to be. He has entrusted you with three beautiful children to take care of and raise. You cannot do that if you do not sleep. He needs you to sleep. You can only do the best you can. The rest is left to Him.”

Simple. Honest. Truthful. Powerful.

At first the idea seemed a little shocking.  Morbid even. What do you mean there’s nothing I can do?! I’m their mother! It’s my job to protect them, but as I dwelled on what my father had said the truth of his statement hit me right in the heart. He was right.

I was not as in control as I wanted to believe. The only thing I truly had control over were my actions in how I take care of and raise my children, and I was truly doing the best I could. The rest is left entirely up to our Heavenly Father.

There is a quote that I love by a man named Boyd K. Packer, which states, “Fear is the opposite of Faith.” I have come to cherish this counsel as well. I had let a runaway imagination and fear grab hold of me at night. I had completely forgotten to have faith.  Where there is faith, fear cannot be.

As odd as it may sound, this simple piece of counsel gave me permission to calm my thoughts, permission to breathe, and  permission to sleep, which I finally did. My fears were still in the back of my mind, but they ceased their torment. They no longer stole what I needed the most, peace of mind.

To you expecting, new, or seasoned mothers and fathers out there I hope if you find yourself in this very same position, or one similar,  you take a moment to consider what my father said. You too have a great responsibility to do your best with your precious gifts that have been entrusted to you and leave the rest for Him to shoulder. Have faith in yourself. You are marvelous. Don’t let fear strip you of your god-given strength to handle all the challenges and joys new babies bring. After all, you are His child too, which basically makes you amazing.

 

 

 

 

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Mummascribbles

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Crayon Heart Valentine and Free Printable

Crayon Heart Valentine and  Free Printable

 

horizontal valentine

free valentine printalbeWell you guys, Valentines day is just a week away! I thought I’d show you what we decided to do for Alisynne’s class this year, crayon heart valentines! These darling hearts turned out even better than I’d expected, and talk about easy.  I had all three kiddos involved in this project and they loved it.  Emma came bounding down the stairs the very next morning after making these wanting to do another batch! Melted crayon heart valentines are an excellent option for those of you who need to find a non candy valentine.  Added bonus – you can get rid of that giant box of broken crayons you’ve got stashed in the closet.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop at the crayons. I had to make a darling printable to go along with it, cause you know, I’m me. Make sure you download it too and have your child (ok, it’ll probably be you) put together some charming valentines.

Color to crayon 4

Click Here To Download Valentine Printable

I cannot stress how easy this is to do.  Let’s get right into it.

Supplies:

  1. Crayons
  2. Silicon Heart Mold
  3. Clear Bags (I bought and used the transparent archival bags that are 3inX4in from Michaels in the party section)
  4. Double Sided Sticky Tape

How To:

  1. Peel and break apart a bunch of crayons                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        peel and break crayons
  2. Fill Mold                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fill mold
  3. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 mins                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bake crayons
  4. Cool and pop out of mold                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cool and pop out
  5. Put in Baggies and adhere printable with double sided tape on the inside of each flap

TA DA! Come on, how cute did these turn out?! So Cute!

Crayon Heart valentine 1:1

Bonus Tips:

  1. If you find your crayon wrappers are ridiculously hard to get off, simply cut down the middle with a box cutter or exacto knife. Voila, easy peeling!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             use box cutter
  2. After you pop out your crayons you may find that some of the wax is still stuck to your silicon mold. Just pop it back into the oven and bake for 2 minutes and wipe with a paper towel while still warm. Super fast cleanup.

baked on waxwipe with towel

A Bit Of Everything

Mummascribbles

Welcome Home Wednesdays

1 Year Bloggiversary = 1 Awesome Giveaway

1 Year Bloggiversary = 1 Awesome Giveaway

One year you guys! I have been writing, compiling, creating, and complaining on this wonderful little blog for an entire year! Just launching this thing onto the internet took more research and trial and error than I’ve had to do in a very long time, but boy was it worth it. I’m sure you’ve witnessed several crazy mistakes I’ve made (like the time all you could see was part of an elbow for my featured image, or the time I published a post about 4 times in a row on accident, or how about the time I accidentally hit Publish instead of save on this very post!), but you never left and for that I am incredibly grateful.

It’s been so much fun to see what you guys have liked the most. I took a gander at my stats and here are the top three posts you guys loved.

  1. Shopping with Toddlers is Like Being a Contestant on a Terrible Game Show
  2. Heaven Did you Know
  3. Adults With Braces

You guys are pretty much awesome. Enough with all that, lets get to the good stuff!

I am so excited. SO EXCITED! To say thank you to all 10 of you who have stuck with me,  I’d like to do my first ever giveaway! If you follow me on instagram (we should totally be friends) you may have noticed a picture or two of me donning some awesome power tools.  Well, this is the end result!

Love Always pallet sign

I would be thrilled to give this to one of you!

Angled love always pallet sign

Let me tell you a little about this project. This Love Always sign was repurposed from an old pallet so it has a rustic feel, but is also very clean. I hand painted the design and the “always” with a beautiful white acrylic. There are some subtle hints of gold in the design to accent the large gold panel. What I love most about this sign is the fact that it could be hung all year round. It isn’t necessarily a Valentines Day decoration (though you’re totally welcome to use it as such. It is your sign after all.) Let this simple yet charming piece adorn your bedroom, mantle, or living room wall.

Hung love always sign

The sign is  19 1/2×33 1/4″ and can be hung or propped up. I’ll post how I made this sign a little later too, in case you’re feeling like revving up a few power tools of your own (seriously, they’re so much fun).

Here area few ways you can gain more entries into my awesome giveaway:

  1. If you haven’t already, like me on either Facebook or Instagram, or heck both! I’d love to get to know you more.
  2. Share this post with others.
  3. leave me a comment on my blog

Make sure to log into the rafflecopter box below and click your entries! If you click to enter and it says “fill in the box” simply write in which site you shared to or liked, then it will accept.  That’s it my dear friends. Thank you for being so awesome. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Valentine’s Day Wreath

Valentine’s Day Wreath

 

 

vertical valentines wreathWreaths!! You guys, I absolutely love assembling a beautiful and simple wreath. They add so much pop and festivity to your doors or walls and are fairly simple to assemble (at least this version!). A valentines day wreath is just the ticket if you’re needing a little something more to add some color and adorableness to celebrate the day (or week, or heck, the entire month). Mine is already up.

This particular wreath I love because it’s incredibly easy to make all the pieces as well as adhere to the grape vines. I’ll walk you through the steps and before you know it you’ll have made a beautiful valentines day masterpiece! Let’s get started shall we?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies: 

wreath supplies

  1. Grapevine wreath
  2. Felt
  3. Scissors
  4. Pins
  5. Glue gun and glue
  6. Berries
  7. Ribbon (optional)
  8. Heat ‘N Bond iron on  fabric adhesive (optional)
  9. Grommets (optional)

All right! Let’s get cracking.

How to:

  1. Cut and assemble felt rosettes. If you need some patterns (they’re totally free!) or a quick tutorial on how to make them click here. I made all three sizes for my wreath.
  2. Place and wire your berries onto your wreath. I like to make a mock up first by placing all my flowers on to get a good visual before I lock my berries in place, but you can totally eyeball it too.                                      berries on wreath
  3. Start gluing your rosette with a hot glue gun. Begin in the center with your largest flowers then continue outward. Don’t be afraid to mix small and large flowers together. They help fill gaps and add dimension and interest.                                                                                                        glue on roses
  4. Wire or glue (depending on what you choose) your accent piece to the opposite side (I found this piece at JoAnne’s and dressed it up a bit).                                                                                                             wood heart
  5. Add Ribbon (optional). If you need a quick tutorial on how to hang your wreath with ribbon click here and scroll down a bit.

I just love this wreath!  My sister came by and made one too. If you need a little help with what to add onto your wreath take a look at what she did!

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St. Patrick’s day is headed our way (ok it’s only January, but still…) and I’m thinking something similar in shades of green. What do you think?

“>Mummascribbles

Welcome Home Wednesdays

DIY Felt Rosettes

DIY Felt Rosettes

These little flowers are fabulous! I absolutely adore felt rosettes! They are sweet, simple and fast to put together. For me, they’re a crafting basic that I’d like to share. If I’m ever in a bind over a project and need just a little something extra to make it all come together I’ll grab for my stash of felt and cut out a few.heart rosette

With valentines day coming up (ok, it’s still a month away, but still…) I thought I’d show you just how simple these flowers are, you know, just in case you need to add a little something more to your decor. You can use them in an array of projects; throw a few around the base of your flower vase, sprinkle a few on your mantle (one day I’ll have a proper mantle!) for a pop of color, glue some onto an old picture frame, etc. The possibilities for these little guys are endless! Plus, you can make them in any color that suits you.

I’ve made free printables of the patterns for your convenience, but feel free to free hand it (say that three times fast!) if you’re feeling daring!

large rosettemedium rosettesmall rosette

 

Download Large Rosette Pattern

Download Medium Rosette Pattern

Download Small Rosette Pattern

Supplies:

  1. Pattern
  2. Scissors
  3. Pins
  4. Felt
  5. Hot glue gun

Ready?? Here we go!

How to:

rosette1

rosette2

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rosette5

rosette6

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See! I told you it was simple! Get creative. Mix and match colors, double up, or switch colors halfway through!

Here’s another great idea for your new and fabulous flowers!

Twine wrapped bottles.                                                           Valentines Day Wreath     

twine wrapped wine bottlesValentines day wreath feature image

2015 We Came, We Saw, We Conquered!

2015 We Came, We Saw, We Conquered!

One Crazy Year

Joe and I were skimming through old photos the other day reminiscing about our past year. No deployments, no major health issues, a happy marriage, and three happy (generally speaking) healthy children. What more could you want from a year?!

Joe and I

This was the year Joe and I really came together as a couple. We fought, listened, cried, and laughed our way through the trials marriage and young children offer. Our greatest accomplishment?! Installing our water filter system by ourselves! We employed drills, faucets, swearing, and google. We only called our brother who’s a plumber 9 times! Seriously though, we’re super proud of that one.

Heather and joe

Alisynne

This little girl of mine has turned into one of my best helpers. We’ve turned a corner this year. She has taken on small responsibilities (like making her bed and helping the twins) and flourished with them. She graduated preschool and began kindergarten this year (which gave me a minor stroke), turned 5, started dance lessons, and continues to make friends with every person she comes in contact with.

Alisynne

Ethan

This little boy has grown this year! And not just in size. His vocabulary is fantastic (and full of great one liners), he’s very smart with shapes, letters, and numbers, and he is hilarious. This year I have seen his personality really shine through. He’s a sweetheart with a giggle that’s infectious and a knack for finding, acquiring, and devouring any treat I have in the house! He also started dance with his sisters, but I’m thinking he’s less enthusiastic about it than I originally thought. Just watch the video. You’ll see.

ethan

Emma

My most independent child. This little girls athleticism has skyrocketed through the year. She can scale most anything nowadays.  Emma is independent, smart, and just plain adorable. Her love of gluing random craft items to paper has also greatly increased. Seriously I can’t keep the googly eyes, pom poms, or posicle sticks stocked!

emma

Milestones

  1. You guys we’ve come so far! The twins are officially potty trained!! Do you realize what this means?! More laundry detergent!! Seriously though this is awesome especially considering we found out our local movie theater provides childcare while you watch a movie as long as they’re potty trained. BOOM! Game changer!
  2. My braces came off. Enough said.
  3. Joe began a new job, with another offer possibly coming in. Crazy times are ahead for us.
  4. I began this very blog!
  5. We ripped out our old carpet downstairs and put in hardwood (which we’ve since scuffed and scraped up pretty terribly)!

Adventures

We’ve had our fair share of adventures this year. We’ve taken several trips including Bear Lake Idaho, Albuquerque New Mexico, and Utah. We cannot forget the Renaissance Fair or the Balloon Festival.  I survived 6 weeks without Joe while he was receiving training in Fort Rucker, and somehow we all survived.

adventures 2015

2015 wasn’t necessarily easy. There were moments of strife, fatigue, stress, and unhappiness. There were also great triumphs, milestones, and lessons learned (like never wake Emma unless absolutely necessary, or always remember to put away the birthday cake unless you want a certain little boy testing things out on his own…before the birthday). Overall this year was a whopping success. We came, we saw, and we conquered 2015!  Let’s see what 2016 has in store for us!

Sweet and Simple Nativity

Sweet and Simple Nativity

I was perusing Pinterest (I’m fairly sure 90% of my craft posts begin this way) when I came across some simple craft nativities. My ability to focus on other things (like cooking and cleaning) went out the window. My brain wouldn’t quit designing until I came up with this sweet and simple nativity.

red nativity

I cannot stress how simple these were to make once the color choices were made (choosing colors is the hardest thing for me!). It is three steps you guys! Drill, paint, and glue. My three year old’s have also road tested the nativity and it has held up famously.

I’ll give you the sizes of everything I used, but feel free to embellish and make it your own! I got most of my supplies from Hobby Lobby, and the small star from Michaels. Let’s get started shall we?!

Materials:nativity materials

  1. Two wood people.
  2. Wood rectangle 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″
  3. Large star x 2. 1 1/2″
  4. Small star 1″x 3/16″
  5. Dowel Rod 3/16″
  6. Large popsicle stick
  7. Craft lettering 1 1/4″
  8. Small wood ball 1/2″

Supplies:nativity supplies

  1. Drill with bit 3/16
  2. Glue (a glue gun would also work fabulously)
  3. Paint. I used white  and blue spray paint, Acrylics: Midnight Garden, Violet Pansy (folk art brand), and Kings Gold (craft smart brand)
  4. Paint brushes

How To:

  1. Drill a hole for your dowel rod in the top 1/3 of your base                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            drill nativity
  2. Paint your little people, star, base, letters, and popsicle stick
  3. Cut dowel rod to a 5″ piece                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               cut nativity
  4. Cut end of popsicle stick to 1 1/4″
  5. Glue small wood ball to popsicle stick, and dowel rod to star.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     glue nativity
  6. Finish glueing your letters, stars, and baby Jesus to Mary.
  7. Assemble your Nativity!!

red nativity 2

TaDa!! Come on, how cute is that?! These make wonderful gifts to give anybody this Christmas season! Give it a try and show me what you’ve done!

If you’d like another great and simple Christmas craft try these popsicle stick snowflakes!