Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Gifts: DIY Tile Coasters, Bookmarks, DIY Initial Jewelry, Magnets, Picture Frames & Alphabet Photography

Why buy gifts when you can make them??? Of course money definitely goes into crafts, but they're so much more meaningful (in my opinion) when they're handmade. Here are some crafts that I gave as Christmas gifts!

First, homemade coasters!! I got this idea on Pinterest, of course. The link, for some reason, isn't working right now, but here's how I did it.
You'll need plain tiles (found these for 13 cents each at The Home Depot), Mod Podge, clear spray coat, scrapbook paper, felt, and E-6000 glue.

First, cut out the paper to fit the tiles and mod podge them to the surface of each tile. Let it dry and repeat 3-4 times.

After the last coat of Mod Podge is added, cut out a square pieces of felt and glue each one to the bottom of the tiles with E-6000 glue. Let it dry.

Lastly, once everything is dry, spray a thin coat of the clear spray coating on top of the mod podged surface to protect it from water damage.

Voila!! Wrap it up with a cute bow and you're finished and you have a cute handmade gift!

Next, I made these bookmarks. These were...wait for it...FREE!! Here's the link to where I found it, but mine are a little different:
Here's a little picture tutorial, although it's kind of self explanatory.

These were nice stocking suffers.
Next, I made these initial neclaces. Here's the link:

I looked at Michaels, Home Depot, and Hobby Lobby for the clear tiles and coudn't find them to save my life. Then, when I looked back at the link above I saw that you can order them. THEY'RE SO CHEAP!! I ordered 20 of the squares and 20 of the rectangles and I think my total order was $13 (including shipping). I added scrapbook sticker letters as initials before I glued the paper to the tiles. I got the little doodads that you glue to the titles to hang it from the ribbon at Michaels in the jewelry aisle.  Here are a few pics of the final product. They're also good stocking stuffers.

Lastly, using the same method I made little magnets. I used little clear glass pebbles that I found at Michaels. After I glued the paper to the back, I glued magnets to the back with E-6000 glue. I got the magnets at Hobby Lobby. I made a lot of different kinds, but this is the best picture.

Here are some other things that I made to give to people as their main gift from us! Check out my website ( or find me on Facebook if you're interested in purchasing something :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas GOODIES: Sopapilla Cheesecake & Homemade Gelato

How could I have a segment on Christmas crafties but not Christmas goodies?? I couldn't....that is why I'm here now. I was feeling Christmasy the other day while Matt was at work and I decided to make some delicious looking things I saw on no other than Pinterest. I had one dud of a goodie, but that didn't stop me! There always has to be at least one dud with me...Without further adieu, here are some of my Christmas goodies!

First, I made a Sopapilla Cheesecake! I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce it so I just call it a Sopajsdlfjwesdf cheesecake and people seem to know what I'm talking about...or at least I like to think they do. I got the recipe here:
I think I overcooked it a little (I cooked it about 23 minutes) but it still tastes delicious! Here are some pictures of my process:

Next I made...GELATO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know why the meer sight of the word makes me all warm and tingly inside. This recipe does call for an ice cream maker...which is something that I actually own. I got the recipe here:
I used the 2nd recipe with the cocoa powder. You have to make the gelato then let it chill overnight...I didn't read that before and was very upset that I had to let my urge to eat all of it right then subside. I let the mixture chill overnight and I didn't waste any time getting to it the next day. I poured that baby into my ice cream maker and voila! It was a little icier than I expected but it's still delicious! Here, of course, are some pictures.

Excuse my foul language, but it kinda looks like poo...don't let that discourage you!! Come to think of it, so many delicious goodies look like poo...interesting.

Lastly...was my dud. I am ashamed...I tried to make donuts. After this failed attempt I've decided to let Gibsons remain my main donut provider because I will not be attempting this again. Here's the link...maybe you will have better luck than me!

LIES!!!...sorry. Anyways, I'd show you pics but I'm too's that bad.

So what did we learn here?

1.  Don't overcook delicious goodies
2.  Just because something looks like poo doesn't mean it tastes like poo
3. If it doesn't work the first time...give up

So...that is terrible advice, but I'm not known for my incredible insight.

On another note, my in-laws came to visit tonight and my sister-in-law brought a GINGERBREAD HOUSE!!!! I think I jumped up and down when I saw her bring the box in. Anyhoo, here is our lovely house

Now THAT is a Christmas goodie that doesn't look like poo but tastes like poo.

Having that said, none of those things (except the Gingerbread house) were really Christmas goodies, but they are goodies made at Christmas time so they will now forever be known as Christmas goodies in my book.

On that note, I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Christmas celebrating the birth of our precious baby Jesus. He's more important than anything that could be sitting under that tree.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Crafties: Wreaths, Trees, Card Display, & Homemade Ornaments may have taken a little time to get around to, but it's here like I promised! CHRISTMAS CRAFTS! Possibly the most joyful of the crafts. There are so many more that I'd like to embark on, but time gets away so fast these days. The Christmas craft ideas are ENDLESS!! I get almost as excited about Christmas crafts as I do about delicious goodies...and that's saying a lot. Here are just a few that I've created between last Christmas and this Christmas.

First, my beaded wire tree. This was surprisingly easy to do and turned out really cool looking.

I made this last Christmas and I honestly can't remember where I got the idea. First, you get a piece of carboard or really thick paper of sorts and cut it into a triangle (the size of the triangle should be the size that you want your tree to be). Next, go crazy!! Start wrapping wire and whatever you else you can find around the triangle until it looks like you want it to. I got a package of wire from Michaels that had all different colors of wire in it. I also got some wire of different thicknesses to add a more unique texture. To add more color, I threw in a few beaded strands with the occasional button. Lastly, add the star. I found this little wooden star at Michaels and painted it gold with acrylic paint. I then wrapped it in gold wire and attached it to the top of my tree with more wire. Once you're finished with that, carefully lift your beaded creation off of the cardboard triangle. Isn't it lovely? Next, get a dowel. I think I got this one at Hobby Lobby. I painted it brown and cut it to the length that I wanted it. I placed the tree on the wire. I got the wooden cube at Michaels and painted it green then sanded it down to give it a more rustic feel. I then...I take that back...I got my brother to drill a hole in the cube that was the same width as the dowel. Put the dowel with the Christmas tree on it into the hole in the cube and voila!!! Pretty cool!!

I made this Christmas wreath this past summer. What else was I supposed to do when my husband was at work and I was home alone?? I got the idea in a magazine. Here's the link to the directions:

I'm not gunna lie...wrapping this foam wreath in yarn took like 2 straight days. I was so happy when I finished. I got all of the supplies at Hobby Lobby. The pick with the berries was amongst the Christmas supplies. It is now hanging on my carport door and I love it. It's so much more fun to make things than to buy them, in my opinion. People just have the best ideas these days...too good to pass up!

Next I made this Christmas card holder

I came up with this idea myself. It's amazing how inspired you can be while standing alone in Michaels staring at endless amounts of craft supplies. Side note...I practically live in the Michaels near my it's embarassing how much I go there. Two visits ago when I was checking out and ready to leave, the cashier told me "see you in a few days"...I didn't know whether to laugh or be really is embarassing...they know me here. That didn't stop me though! I still go there all the time (however, now I'm careful to avoid that employee who ALWAYS seems to be there when I go). I'm pretty sure I'm their main source of income so they should love me. Anyways, I bought this frame in the wood aisle and painted it lime green with white polka dots. After that, I sanded it a little to make it look different. Then I got some cute red ribbon and hot glued and gorilla taped it to the back of the frame so that it hangs down. I also put some ribbon at the top so that I could hang it. I attached the Christmas cards to the long ribbon hanging down with clothes hangers. To top it off, I added a picture of Matty and me in front of the Opryland Christmas tree.

These don't have directions...they're just a few canvases/hanging signs that I've made over the years

This I painted on a scrap piece of wood that I found at my dad's garage:

Last Christmas I also made this little felt owl friend. I didn't really follow any sort of directions for this. If know how to use a needle and thread, you can make this. I've decided that I'm going to make a felt ornament every year from now on...just for fun :)

Here's a little picture tutorial of this year's felt ornament:

These last 2 things I got from Pinterest.

First, I made this keepsake ornament from our wedding.

This was so simple! I got a clear ornament from Michaels that cost about $1. I then got a spare wedding invitation and cut it up and put it in the ornament. I had some leftover ribbon from the wedding that I added as well. I also used the ribbon to tie a little bow at the top. To finish it off, I added some clear seed beads to sit at the bottom. Just like that you have a new ornament that you will treasure forever!!

Lastly, I made a time capsule ornament.

I got this clear ornament at Michaels that cost $1, as well. It comes apart so that you can easily put whatever you want into it. I decided that I'm going to make one of these every year as well with our Christmas card and another photo. I printed these pictures at in the wallet size...perfect! I printed a mini Christmas card and the same picture of us in front of the huge tree. I also wrote 2011 on the tree picture (you can see it above). To finish it off, I put some red and lime green ribbon in it to fill up space and tied a red/green/white cord in a bow at the top. You can add whatever trinkets you like to it! Anything that represents the year. It'll be so neat in the future to have one for every year that we can look back on and remember the good ole days.

Anyhoo, this concludes my segment on Christmas crafts! Hope yall enjoy and have a very merry Christmas!