Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I hope all of you have had a wonderful and magical Holiday season, and are gearing up to ring in 2011 this weekend.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be away for a short time. My husband and I (are pretty much crazy) decided four days before Christmas, to put our house up for sale. So, after putting Christmas away on Sunday, we have been frantically getting our house ready to be listed. I promise, once that task has been completed, I'll be back to share with you how we staged our home for a (hopefully) quick sale.

See you again soon... Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Don't you just love how your creativity is at it's greatest when your pocketbook is at it's lightest? A lack of funds ALWAYS pumps my creative juices.

And this was the case at Christmas time some twenty years ago. The year was 1990, and it was my first Christmas after graduating college and moving out on my own. Somehow I was surviving on minimum wage, so money for Christmas gifts for family was non-existent. From this serious absence of cash flow, one of the Greatest Christmas presents ever (in my opinion) was Created.

For my parents, I made this model of the house I grew up in - entirely out of paper.
I don't recall what kind of paper I used, but it was probably drawing or watercolor paper. Either of those would have been what I would have had on hand. I constructed the shape of our 1970's tri-level home, and used glue (probably rubber cement) to hold it all together. Then, using colored pencils, I added as many details as possible. To give the entire vignette a feel of depth and dimension, I also added landscaping. I cut out shapes, colored them accordingly, and glued them on, independent of the house structure, to really give it a 3-D look.
Some of the details on the front of house I captured were our three window wood front door with the painted red concrete planter next to it, in which Mom always grew red geraniums. Even though it's not visible in this photo, there is also the watering hose that hung on a rack to the right of the garage door.
And if you could look down from above, you could see the sidewalk that is behind the row of yellow hyacinth - complete with the imprints of mine and my sister's hands.
The East side of our house was the garage and had an all bricked exterior. At the front corner, there was a large flower bed, built up on railroad ties, where our flagpole was located.
This is also the side of the house where Mom and Dad cultivated their beautiful red rose bushes.
The back of the house was probably my favorite. It showed a lot of important details, like the sliding glass door, which lead out from the Dining room. We NEVER used this door which is probably why a deck or patio was never built - there were just the stacked cinder blocks for the steps to the ground.
Probably the most important detail was the dinner bell, which was atop a pole at the back corner of the back stoop. In the warm weather months, this bell was rung pretty much every evening, to let my sister and I know, from wherever we were in the neighborhood, that it was time to come home for dinner.
The West side of our house was pretty plain, but in the Blizzard of 1976, we had a snowdrift as high as those second story windows.
I lived in this house from the time I was a toddler until my parents sold it my Sophomore year of college, and I have many, many, many Wonderful Memories from growing up there.

Since receiving this inexpensive, but Special Christmas Gift from me twenty years ago, my parents have had a plexiglass box made. In this box it is stored and displayed, and kept on a bookshelf in their living room.

Thank you Mom, for taking the time yesterday to take these pictures of it for me.

I'm linking up here... be sure to go there to check out all the other awesome projects.
Catch a Glimpse ButtonJoin  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up     party!UndertheTableandDreamingmmm buttongiveaways

This project was Featured here...

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Little sets of "cone" Christmas Trees are ALL OVER the blogging world this holiday season, and I've been wanting to make a set for myself. There have been paper ones, yarn wrapped ones, tissue paper ones, coffee filter ones, felt ones, candy covered ones... needless to say, there is quite a variety out there. I originally was going to do mine using curled paper strips, but today, the idea of cottonballs came to me. Easy, cheap, and NO hot glue needed. Yay for no burnt fingertips.

Introducing my Cottonball Christmas Tree Trio.
Since it was so quick and easy, I thought I would do a tutorial on it. Honestly, it's pretty self explanatory, but I felt like showing a step-by-step for those of you craftily challenged.

So let's get started!!
The supplies you will need are -
(2) sheets of posterboard (I'm too cheap to buy tree forms)
approx. 200 cottonballs
twine, string or yarn
ruler (not shown)
push pin
decorative toppers

I'm showing you how I made the tallest tree.
Follow these same steps for the two smaller trees (obviously).

First, cut a piece of twine about 15" long
(note, I'm using Kitchen Shears because I was
too lazy to run upstairs for scissors after I started doing the project)

Tie the twine around your pen.

Starting from the pen, measure the length of the
radius of a semi-circle.
(note again, I'm using a measuring tape, because still too lazy to run upstairs for a ruler)
My largest tree had a radius of about 10-3/4".
Be sure to pull the twine taught (I obviously didn't do that, but trying to do this AND take the picture was nearly impossible)
Once you have the length you need, put a push pin in the twine.

Find the center point of the width of your poster board, and then measure down that same distance from the end. My poster board was 22" wide, so the center point was at 11" - I then measured down 11" from the end.
I put a cork trivet under the poster board and stuck the push pin
into the poster board at the marked point.

Pull your pen tight and start drawing a semi-circle.
If you have something large enough to trace a circle, go for it... it would definitely be easier.

It took me a couple of tries, but honestly, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Draw a straight line across the diameter of your semi-circle.

Cut out the semi-circle.

SIDE NOTE: My use of kitchen shears and a measuring tape were not really because of laziness, but because I was trying to do and photograph this quick tutorial while my two little boys were eating their lunch not inches from this project.
I'm amazed, food was not thrown into the photo shots.
This is my youngest, Grey.
Please ignore his snot crusted upper lip,
but do note,
the piece of grilled cheese sandwich on his right shoulder.

I digress...
OK, back to the tutorial.
After you have your semi-circle cut out, roll it into a cone shape.

Secure with staples.

There you go... said cone.
For the two smaller cones, I went about 2" less (per cone) on the radius.
The medium cone has a radius of about 8-3/4".
The smallest has a radius of 6-3/8".

Starting at the bottom of the cone, run a line of glue all the way around.

Start adding your cottonballs, and work your way up the cone.

If you pay attention and position the cottonballs with the rolled end out, they look like little fluffy rosettes. I didn't do this with the two smaller cones because at that point, I was just whipping them together to see if my idea would work.

Work your way to the top.

Glue on your decorative topper.
I used a little ornament.
(wow, do my cuticles need some serious maintenance)

And there you go.
Cottonball Christmas Tree Trio.

I sat mine on a large square platter and filled in the negative space
with little glass balls and ornaments.

It's going to be my Christmas Table Centerpiece.

Question... Should I sprinkle them with glitter?

I'm linking up here... be sure to go check them out to see all the other awesome projects.
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up    party!UndertheTableandDreaming mmm button

This project was Featured here...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Since I have 20 little fingers that like to touch EVERYTHING, I don't put decorations out on low surfaces. So, I have to go high and work with what I've got on the walls. This year, I thought I would add a little festiveness to our TV area.
I've had these PB wall mount glass vases for years. I used some peppermint candies in the bottom of the glass to support the fresh holly. Then I added some Christmas ribbon, twine, and a silver ornament.
The pictures of my three boys hang on these burgandy canvases year round. All I did was add the twine bow to hold the silver ornaments. That's my firstborn when he was 3 months old.
I have this little wooden sign that I always hang over a door handle, but this year I hung it from a wreath hook and am using it (along with some clothespins) to display our Christmas Cards.

All we have left to do is the tree. We bought it Saturday morning, and put it up in the house on Sunday afternoon. Sunday night we added the lights.

Hopefully, one night this week, my husband will get home early enough so we can add the ornaments.
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