November 2012Occasionally Crafty: November 2012

Friday, November 30

Greeting Cards

Sometimes I forget just how much I love paper crafting. I started my craft journey with scrapbooking, and my Silhouette made so many things possible not just in the scrapbooking world, but in the craft universe. So when I have the occasion to make some greeting cards it's sort of like coming home again. I just wanted to share a few cards I've made recently.
The top card was for my Dad's birthday, and he loves all things nautical. The bottom one was for a friend who just had a beautiful baby girl. I love getting all glitzy and glam for the girls!
Next on my list are the Christmas cards! I love making my own cards every year, and I think I've nailed down the design I'm going to use. I can't wait to share it with you!
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Wednesday, November 28

Scrappin' Wednesday- What are You Playing For?

Thank you Playing For Keeps for sponsoring my post. Be sure to check out the romantic comedy of the holiday season - In Theaters December 7.
Click here to see the Playing For Keeps trailer, featuring an all-star cast including Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid. This holiday season, what are you playing for?

Okay, so the toy catalogs have been out for a few weeks now.  My kids are going crazy over them- convinced that they will die without THAT toy.  My 7 year old tells me she's "dying for" an Easy Bake Oven.

I, on the other hand, want something a little less tangible, and a little more meaningful this holiday season.  For the first time in many years, my brother, sister, and I were able to spend Thanksgiving together.  And my mom was able to join us!  My parents are divorced, and as you know, Laura's been in Korea for a few years, so finally being able to be in the same place was wonderful!  The only way to have the day complete would have been to have my dad there with the family, but you know, divorce makes holiday gatherings difficult to juggle sometimes.

Here's a scrapbook layout I put together for our time together.  We had so much fun just being together!  These pictures were taken at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

This holiday season, I want to connect more with my family.  I love having my sister in the states where I can call her whenever I want to talk.  I love being able to talk to my parents on a lazy Sunday, and having the kids blabber on to them about their day.  I've gotten a lot of presents over the years, and I'm hard pressed to remember any of them.  I do remember the love and fun we had as a family.  I hope I am recapturing that feeling as my own little family shares in the fun traditions of the holidays. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I need to remember what's important:  the celebration of the birth of Christ, and time with my family.

One tradition we always did growing up was to go see a movie on Christmas Day.  Maybe a good choice this year would be to go see "Playing for Keeps", which opens in theaters on December 7th.  This movie will be the romantic comedy event of the holiday season, featuring an all-star cast including Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid.  I LOVE Dennis Quaid- that smile gets me every time!  (If my husband is reading this- your smile is even better, and I love you even more!)

You can watch the preview here.  What do you think?

Have a great week, everyone.

*Disclaimer*  I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Monday, November 26

Seven Layer Cookies and a Guest Post at Love Grows Wild


Valerie is Guest Posting today over at Love Grows Wild as part of the 12 Crafty Days of Christmas.

Love Grows Wild

She's got a free Silhouette shape for you to download, so go check it out!  Here's a little preview.....

Now, on to my post:
Uh oh, I might just be letting a family secret out in the open. See, this is the sort of treat that you make and bring to a potluck and since it doesn't necessarily look amazing it gets passed by. You might even get to take some home and indulge! Let me introduce the Seven Layer Cookies (AKA my husband's favorite food ever).

Seven Layer Cookies
7 plain graham crackers
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Heat oven to 325 with the stick of butter in your baking pan. It will melt as you crush your 7 graham crackers into a fine dust. [I usually just put them in a ziploc bag and let the kids have it with a rolling pin.]
When your oven is preheated pull out the baking dish and evenly distribute your graham cracker crumbs to form a great crust.
Add the next 5 ingredients in order, being careful not to let the condensed milk gather in the corners since it won't cook well and tastes kinda... interesting. If you have a hard time pouring your condensed milk, stick the whole can in a cup of hot water while you're preparing and it will be easy to pour over your creation.
Cook for 30 minutes and voila!

I promise, even though they aren't winning a beauty contest, everyone we've gotten to try them hasn't been able to stop eating them!

We are linking these up this week- come party with us!


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Friday, November 23

Happy Thanksgiving!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope you did too!  We're too full of turkey and assorted deliciousness to share a new craft with you, so today we are sharing what our finished Thanksgiving tables looked like.

First, here's our finished kids table.  The kids had a great time coloring and breaking open their drumsticks.

And here is the adult table.  It was simple, with china and a tablecloth supplied by Mom Occasionally Crafty. It's a fun mix of crafty additions to traditional elements we remember from our childhood- just like we like it!

We'll see you next week, when we can get back to our usual crafting.  Have a great weekend!


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Wednesday, November 21

Scrappin' Wednesday- A Birthday Layout


Hi everyone!  I hope you're having a great time preparing for Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to spend some time with my family (pictures to come!)

I did want to share with you a quick little page I whipped up this week for Scrappin' Wednesday.

My husband's birthday is a short three days after Christmas.  We try hard to make sure the two don't blend together.  Another fun fact:  It's kind of a running joke in our family that I am older than my husband.

By a whopping six months.

Here's what I put together:

Online, it looks kind of funny because the background is white.  Don't mind that..... :)

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Monday, November 19

Thanksgiving crafting FAIL!

Alright fellow readers, I have to admit something to you. One thing that kinda bugs me about the blogging world is that it is very easy to get caught up in what I call the blogging race. You feel like you have to keep up with what everyone else is doing, and what they are doing seems SO perfect.  They're doing Halloween crafts when you're still celebrating the 4th of July.  Their recipes always look and turn out amazingly, and they have 10,000 followers supporting them all the way. 

Well, my sister and I really feel that we are just ordinary, stay- at- home moms who love to craft, and we use the blog as a way of sharing that with you. When Valerie asked me if I wanted to join her she emphasized that I should only create things that I want to create and share, not to make something just to make it. I always keep that in mind when selecting my projects.
SOOOO... I really wanted to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece for the adult's table. I mean, we spent so much time on the kid's table that ours just couldn't be plain! While wandering through Hobby Lobby looking for butcher paper and plastic wine glasses, I found this tree form that immediately screamed centerpiece to me.

Sorry, the picture's a little crooked
I knew right away that I wanted to add felt rosettes all around the top and then do something (i hadn't figured it out just yet) with the bottom. 
I quickly got to work cutting out what seemed like a million rosettes, rolling them, gluing them together, and then I was ready to plaster them allover the tree top. I got the first few on and was super pleased with how it was turning out until....
I didn't have enough rosettes! And what's worse, I got that felt in Korea so I wasn't going to be able to just buy some more. I had a complete mental block on the whole thing so I decided to work on the other part of the adult's table. 
This one was so simple that I could just get it done and get back to the centerpiece.
At least, I thought it was simple.

I picked up 8 candles from the dollar store to spell the word THANKFUL with some easy paper cutouts. I measured and cut 8 rectangles to make the bands to go around the candles, and then went to pick a font for my letters. Now, you have to know that I have hundreds of fonts that I have downloaded onto my computer. While scrolling through my choices I saw a nice bold font. I thought to myself, 'Hey! This font has some cool designs on the insides of the letters. I haven't been able to use it before and this will be the perfect project for it!'  I typed up the word THANKFUL, cut it out on some cute paper, and upon peeling it off of the mat it dawned on me what sort of design was really inside the letters.

Ummm....  yes, I am THANKFUL that I live in Colorado, but not THAT kind of thankful! Ack! I had completely failed on my two thanksgiving projects! My husband even joked about keeping the marijuana/weed letters as a way of welcoming Valerie's family to Colorado, but I knew they had to go.

So what does a true crafter do? Give up? I certainly wanted to. Time is a crunching and I had just wasted a whole day, and a lot of materials. So I drove over to Michael's for some more hot glue sticks and inspiration. Nothing. I came home still not sure what to do. The next day I pored over my felt stash and decided to add a few more colors and hope to keep the same color scheme and idea. I didn't want to use different textures of felt, but it wasn't going to happen any other way.

How do you think she turned out?

So this post isn't completely depressing, I'll give you a little tutorial if you want to make something similar.  First, cut out 3 inch circles of your desired fabric, and cut a spiral into them.

Roll them up starting with the smallest point, and use a hot glue gun on the bottom to hold it all together. It turns out I need about 75 of these, instead of the original 36.

Then just hot glue them all over your styrofoam ball.  I just put them on in whatever way pleased me, added some scrapbooking pearl stickers, painted the bottom with acrylic paint, and added a bow. I think it will compliment our Thanksgiving dinner spread nicely!

Oh, and I did come back and finish those candles with a 'simpler' font.

I guess I wanted to share all this with you because even us bloggers fail. I am human and still want to craft for you if you'll let me :)
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Friday, November 16

Thanksgiving Kids' Table

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE!  Head over to So You Think You're Crafty and vote for your favorite project.  We can't tell you which one Valerie made, but maybe you can tell which one is her style... And that leads us to....

Christmas may be just around the corner but Thanksgiving time is here! Since Valerie and I are getting together this year for Thanksgiving we knew we had to craft it up a little bit, and what better way to do that than to create a cute kid's Thanksgiving table?

Since we divided up the crafts and won't physically be together until the day before Thanksgiving, here are some individual shots of each project and a partially put together table. We'll be sure to post the finished product next week!

First off you need a great centerpiece. I stole inherited this cute turkey from our Mom, and have been nagging my hubby to help me spruce it up. I wanted him to drill holes in it so I could fill it with suckers. This must be my lucky year because here she is in all her candied glory!

We thought about doing a table cloth, even one with cute painted handprint turkeys on it, but in the end we decided to cover the kid's table in butcher paper. This provides a great fall color, something to catch food, and also something to color on (and it can just be recycled)! Valerie had the BEST idea to look for brown wrapping paper amongst all the holiday wrapping paper, since butcher paper can be expensive. I found a roll of brown gift wrap at Hobby Lobby for $3.99! And then I found the same thing, but a smaller roll, at the dollar store. Awesome!

Now that the table is covered, I came up with these great place mats for the kids using my Silhouette Cameo. I love that I can trade the blade for a pen and make magic happen. These will be great for the kids to color in!
Speaking of coloring, we just had to do something cute with the crayons. We can thank Eighteen25 (also posted on The Idea Room) for these cute and simple crayon holders.  They were meant to be utensil holders, and were originally WAY too big for crayons.  But Valerie just shrunk them down, and they fit four or five crayouns just perfectly!

Now to add something just for fun. While we were brainstorming, I came across THE cutest paper turkey legs and I just had to make them. This actually came from the Fiskars website, and it's nothing more than a paper bag, some white cardstock for a bone, and letters for their names!

I used my Silhoutte to cut the names out in their favorite colors, but you could use foam letters or even stickers! I also chose to fill them with some fruit snacks and a fruit roll-up for some stability, but you could just stuff them with paper.

Alright, here it is partially finished! Don't you think the kids will love it?

Be sure to check back in next week to see what I'm doing for the adult's table, and what Valerie came up with for activities for the kids. As much as I like to think they can occupy themselves, some special Thanksgiving activities can't hurt!
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