Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super easy leaf garland tutorial

For a while I have been wishing I had a garland of some kind to hang on the mantle.  I thought of making one out of paper or fabric but I wasn't really loving those ideas.  Then a few days ago I realized a garland with leaves would be perfect.  With no money to spend on a real looking fake one I looked to the dollar store to see if I could get away with a cheap one.  But I was disappointed with the leaves the dollar store had.  Then my daughter brought an armful of maple leaves into the house to make fairy stuff and it hit me, I could make one with real leaves.  That sounds so stupid like I hadn't ever though of that, I did, but because real leaves are so fragile and easily torn I was stumped.  Then the inspiration came to use straws! It sounds strange but you'll see what I mean.
fall leaf garland
This is a great last minute project, I made it in about twenty minutes. It turned out so pretty and adds that final touch the mantle really needed. I love it! If it lasts long enough I think I'll leave it up till Thanksgiving. The tutorial is below. :)
Here is what you need:
  • straws
  • leaves
  • string
  • tape
  • scissors
The steps are pictured bellow.
how to make a leaf garland
here is is again
  1.  cut straws into 3/4 inch pieces
  2. tape straws onto back of leaves
  3. run a string through straws
I told you it was super easy! :) This might even work with hot glue instead of tape, that way you can get the straw as high as possible on the leaf so they hang more vertical. My leaves tilt forward a tiny bit, I am still very happy with the way it turned out.
With two Halloween parties to prep (one at church and one here) I will probably not be posting till after Halloween. Witch is sad because I wanted to have shared my kids' Halloween costumes by now. Oh well, I'll post them in November I guess. Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone! :)

Edit: Today my leaf garland is very sad looking.  All of my leaves have curled up from drying out.  I thought that being hug up would make them stay fairly flat but no such luck. Unless you make it the day of your party, you will probably want to press your leaves before making this garland.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween decorations

Welcome! Come on in, have a sip of cider, and take a look around at this years Halloween decorations.

My Halloween banner in the entryway greets all guests. The feather wreath I purchased at Christmas time last year is a perfect touch. I say perfect because is is perfect for this spot and also because it was 50 cents.
 Notice the hand crocheted spiderweb and the accumulation of figurines.  I had no idea I had so many.  Good thing I have a nook with exactly five spots. :)
The pedestal bowl filled with pumpkins and gourds is a favorite of mine. The mantle was unfinished till I added that. The masked busts are ready for a spooky party to be sure. Black beads adorn the chandelier and a dollar store crow makes it its perch.
Lastly I share the haunted mansion that my super talented girlfriend created from cereal boxes and masking tape. What a treasure.  I am so lucky to have it.

 Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tribute to Fall

Gone are the warm autumn days where you sit outside all day.  It is supposed to snow tonight, and it has been raining all weekend.  Hopefully there still a few warm days left this year but I'm not counting on it.

This photo collage is my tribute to those warm autumn days.  I took all of these right from my front porch. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

a fascination with fairies

If you walked by my house in the morning or late afternoon you would see a blonde little girl either lying in the grass staring at bark or taping leaves together. Her love for all things Harry Potter is not trumped, but put on the shelf for awhile while fairies consume her every free moment. When I have to put home-school on hold while I nurse the baby, she can be found building a fairyland in her room or drawing fairies in her sketchbook.
Pictured above are some of the things I have found lying around the yard.  The other day I found a pixie dust basket filled with glitter, made with leaves and washi tape.  It was so amazingly constructed, but sadly it was not around to be photographed. I assume it dried out and was crushed into dust. (Pixie dust perhaps?!) :(  It looked just like a real basket and if I were a fairy I so would have used that basket!  
When I was little I would lay down and stare into the grass looking at the world like a tiny fairy would have.  I would tape leaves to my dolls for clothes and I would even put the sprinkler on mist for an added effect. How fun it is to see her doing the same things I did as a kid. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Handmade Halloween invitations

When my printer stopped working earlier this month I was a little freaked out.  I'd had my heart set on printing out a bunch of my free printable ghost invitations I designed.  I thought and thought of what I could do instead but it was like my imagination was broken. All I could think of was ...beef...stew. (5 points to whoever knows that reference.)  Anyway, I wracked my brain and I just couldn't let go of the adorable idea of ghosts holding a flag banner.  So I went to my craft room got out my stamps, paint and paper and went to work.  What do you think?
halloween invitations2
halloween invitations
I used my sewing machine to put it all together.
I am super happy with how they turned out. :)

I like to link up with these link parties.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Favorite gifts to give and get

Hi everyone! I was asked by Amberlee to participate in a post about my favorite gifts on Giverslog. If you haven't been to her blog yet get on over there. It is a great place to get inspiration on gift giving, pretty wrapping, or to just look at all the eye candy she posts!
origami boxes
 These boxes are made from re-purposed paper grocery bags and 12x12 scrapbook paper.  If you want to learn how to make one just watch my origami box tutorial video here.

What is my favorite gift to give or receive? I have to say hands down it's a handmade gift!  A handmade gift says, I am willing to spend the time, whether it's time wrapping it beautifully, time planing out what the gift is, or time making the gift itself.  My most recent favorite gift to receive was a skull and crossbones blanket my mother made for my son.  I love it because my son is obsessed with skeletons, & I love it because my mom went outside her own craft style just for him. (She's not the scull and crossbones type at all.) :) I also love it because every night when I tuck him in, he is reminded his grandma loves him.
Thanks mom!

 One tradition that I do is I make a plush food toy for each of my kids every year for Christmas. As a kid I loved to play store or pretend cook. My kids are the same. My daughter loves pretend cooking. At three years old she professed the desire to be a chef, now at 6 years old she still plays with the food toys I make. Throughout the years here is some of what I have made, a 3 layered cake, brownies, chocolate cookies, pizza, spaghetti, and a popsicle. (I may be forgetting some.)

Pictured  below are the food toys I made last

Wrapping the gift, for me, is just as fun as making it. A wile ago I fell in love with the cute packaging I was seeing at the craft stores.  But I was unwilling to buy them, I was bent on figuring out some way to do it myself!  And I guess I finally did. This simple origami box has changed my take on wrapping and gift giving. I am obsessed! (Yesterday I even tried to make one out of a 3x3 ft piece of canvas... it didn't work.)
Pictured at the very top are of some of the first origami boxes I made. 
 Here is what I love about giving handmade gifts:
  • planning 
  • creating
  • wrapping
  • scheming
  • sneaking around
  • surprising
  • creating a gift that matches their personality
  • creating a keepsake or heirloom gift
  • giving something totally unique

     Here is what I love about receiving handmade gifts:

    •  the flaws of a child's handmade gift
    • remembering the giver when looking at the gift
    • the fact the no one else has one like it
    •  the time & effort they spent on it
    What was your favorite gift to give or get?
    I like to link up with these link parties.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Free Halloween Challenge {more free printables and a Link Party!}

    For today's Free Halloween Challenge I have a few more free printables. :)  Also, the link party starts today! If you want to add a link just go to the bottom of this post and click "click here to enter".

    Sadly my printer is broken so I have no photos of these lovelies actually made. :(   I have a free printable of some treat bags and a few more of Halloween cards. :) I hope you as much fun using all of these as I did making them!  Here you go.

    Terms of use: 
    for personal use, not for profit!
    Don't post large image on your blog,
    post a small one and link it back to me. :)

    click images to view larger and save.

    How to make the treat bags:
    1. Print image on regular printer paper (not card stock)
    2. fold bag in half 
    3. fold bottom and side tabs in and glue to other side of bag
    4. fill bag with goodies
    5. fold and glue(or staple) top tab if you want a closed envelope look.
    If you have any questions just let me know. :)


    Now on to the link party!!  

    Post a button on your blog to link everyone here. (button code is on my side bar-->)
    You don't have to add only your blog posts, if you find a post by some one else that inspires you, add it.  

    People will be directed straight to that post so they are still getting the credit. Just leave them an comment letting them know you linked it here. (I plan on adding a few myself.)

    The point is that we all have access to great tutorials and affordable Halloween crafts. :)
    Just check and see if the one you are adding hasn't already been added.  I am leaving this link party open all month so come back and add as many as you want.
    Remember to link to specific posts not the main page.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Free Halloween challenge {fave tutorials from the web}

    Today for the Free Halloween Challenge I am posting a few of the great tutorials from others on the web.  These are the posts I keep going back to again and again. Enjoy. :)
    great Halloween tutorials from around the web
    1}The best fabric pumpkin I have seen by Daniell Thompson. (Love her blog, seriously)

    2} Lovely twigg wreath by Delia Creates. (really lovely blogger who also happens to be from Logan...Lets get together sometime Delia!)

    3}Super cute and affordable wreath from katydid (so awesome and so cheap!)

    4}Super cute fall bunting by jdavis. (I love felt it is so cheap!)

    5}A super cute fall rosette wreath by Along for the ride. (love those rosettes, they look a lot like mine made from old t-shirts)

    6}A paper pumpkin from Two peas in a bucket. (I have seen this type of thing done with those free paint strips too)

    7}Another awesome wreath from Nancy. (Love these crepe paper wreaths they are so cute! And the silhouette detail is lovely.)


    Aren't these so inspiring?!
    Keep coming back because I still haven't posted all my printables. This Friday I am going to have a link party at the end of it all allowing you all to to link to your stuff.

    Do you want to participate?

     Here is what to do:
    1. Post a Halloween tutorial or, free printable on your blog.
    2. Place a button on your blog to let people know about it, 
    3. Link it up Friday Oct 8th!!
    I will leave the link list open all month long so you can add your stuff later too.
    Well, I'm off to make some fabric pumpkins and a wreath or two. :)

    grab a button and share the wealth

    button blog

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Free Halloween challenge {a round up of my fave freebies}

    Today for the Free Halloween Challenge I am sharing some stuff from around the web. Over the years these great printable goodies have been marked in my bookmarks and now it is time to share them.

    1} Lovely printable iron on bag decals from Love, Obsess, Inspire.

     2}Awesome free Halloween downloads from Mathew Mead  (There is seriously tons of great stuff on this page!)

    3} More lovely printable Halloween crafts from Mathew Mead - found via armelle blog

    4}Cute little printable tags from Love, Obsess, Inspire.

    5}More great printable tags from She's kinda crafty.

    6}A super awesome printable Halloween garland from allsorts. I love her blog! (Been flowing it since I knew what a blog was.)

    7}A great printable owl invitation from Martha Stewart. Love the vintage look they have, and the movable wings, how awesome!:)

    8}A lovely printable halloween card from The Black Apple.  Love her little drawings and dollies.

    Keep checking back for more great Free Halloween stuff later this week, I am going to post your tutorials and free printable stuff!
    Do you want to participate?  Post a Halloween tutorial or free printable and just let me know so I can link to your post.  Also if you would place a button on your blog to let people know about it that would be great! :)

    grab a button and share the wealth
    button blog

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Free Halloween challenge { Free printable party invitation }

    Today's Free Halloween Challenge freebie is a party invitation I drew for you.  It turned out looking so cute.  Just look at those little ghosts holding the orange flag banner! 

    The download is for a folded card but if you want yours to look like mine just cut the back off your card and glue the front to orange card-stock.
    Terms of use: 
    for personal use, not for profit!
    Don't post large image on your blog,
    post a small one and link it back to me. :)

    click on image to view larger and save
    Next week some time I am going to post about your tutorials and free printable stuff.
    Do you want to participate?  Post a Halloween tutorial or free printable and just let me know so I can link to your post.  Also if you would place a button on your blog to let people know about it that would be great! :)

    grab a button and share the wealth
    button blog

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Free Halloween Challenge Oct 1st-7th {free printable cupcake toppers}

    Here is my first post for the Free Halloween Challenge.  Today I am posting some free printable ghost cupcake toppers.

    ghost cupcake topper

    What a fun time I had making these cuties!
    Also here are some different ways these can be used:
    Print them on sticker paper for spooky ghost stickers.
    Punch holes in the top of each one and string up as a garland.
    Use scalloped scissors for added whimsy.
    Or attach to a cute little package.
     ghost package decoration 

    Terms of use: 
    for personal use, not for profit!
    Don't post large image on your blog,
    post a small one and link it back to me. :)
    Click on image to view larger and save.

      grab a button and share the wealth
      button blog

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