Friday, November 26, 2010

And now it begins!

Don't get me wrong - I love Thanksgiving. I love the turkey and the gravy. I love the potatoes and the rolls. My sister's stuffing and sweet potatoes were fabulous! And the desserts! Don't even get me started on the desserts! Most of all, I love the time we have to reflect on all our blessings and realize how much we truly have to be thankful for! I DO love Thanksgiving - I really do... But I love Christmas even more! And now, for me, the Christmas season begins!

Christmas is full of traditions. I kept alot of the traditions I grew up with when I got married - but we have adapted them to suit our family and we have even added some new traditions. One of the traditions I had while growing up was having an Advent Calendar hanging on the wall. When I was growing up, our advent calendar had a felt tree and felt ornaments tucked into felt pockets. Each day we would take turns hanging an ornament on the tree with the little hooks and eyes that were sewn on to each little piece. I loved seeing the tree fill with ornaments over the days and weeks while counting down until Christmas - but I wanted my kids to have something a little more meaningful. We tweaked that old tradition of just counting down the days until Christmas into a new tradition of having a craft, activity, or event for each day of December until the big day. I just tuck a little slip of paper into each pocket (or whatever) that describes that day's activity and, after our morning December Devotional (more about that in a future post), my kids take turns reading aloud what we are going to do that day.

Since starting my own family, I have made a few Advent Calendars over the years - but I ended up not liking them for whatever reason..... until this year. I combined 3 different ideas I found online and turned it into my most favorite Advent Calendar ever! I am so pleased with the way it turned out. Now all I have to do is tuck those little slips of paper into each little tin and we're ready to go!!!
Here's what I did: I used this idea and this idea for the general look, and this idea for the method of crafting it. I started with an 18" by 24" canvas. I then glued on 2.75" circles of scrapbook paper layered with 3" circles of black cardstock in a tree shape onto the canvas. I lined the inside of each party favor tin lid with 2" circles of scrapbook paper layered with 1.25"circles of white cardstock with the number stamped on. I used a glue ink pad and glitter for my numbers to match the glitter details on my scrapbook paper. I used sticky-back velcro to attach the tins to the paper circles on the canvas. The Christmas tree stand is a design I found online and then tweaked to suit my purposes and then I cut it with my Cricut. I used my glue ink pad all over the Christmas tree stand and then used black glitter to cover it. After that dried, I used a spray-on acrylic sealer so the glitter wouldn't rub off all over the place and then glued it onto the canvas. Last of all, I glued a wired ribbon bow to top off my tree, and voila! My new Advent Calendar!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The yummiest acorns I've ever seen!

My dear friend Jenny is the one who inspired me to start blogging. I love keeping up on all her baking and crafty projects. Here is her newest one for you to enjoy:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Will I have time?

I absolutely love Heather Bailey. Her fabric designs are so gorgeous and she is crafty too! Today, I discovered a little treasure in my e-mail inbox - a link to a free tutorial for her Autumn Napkin Rings. They are so wonderfully autumn-y, with rich colors of felt crafted into beautiful embroidered leaves and cute little acorns. Amazing thing is: I have all the materials to make them. Only question is: will I have time?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Cookies

I love celebrating the holidays with special family traditions. For some reason, most of my favorite traditions revolve around food. One year, when we were living in Orlando, my friend Gabby invited us over for a Thanksgiving "snacktivity". We made these adorable turkey cookies. Little did Gabby know at the time that this was to become a big Thanksgiving tradition at our house. Over the next few months, as we celebrate some of my favorite holidays, I will tell y'all more about my favorite family traditions. What are some of your favorite traditions?