Friday, December 30, 2011

Shower Curtain Ring Craft

 I am my youngest son's room mom this year. This was not my first time being in charge but for some reason this year has been more difficult than others. So, I was put in charge of coming up with Christmas party ideas and making sure they all came together. I tried REALLY hard not to panic and managed to get a couple of parents to help even. I ALMOST succeeded! lol. Let me elaborate... We had a cookie decorating station, a Christmas Bingo station, a snack station, and a wreath ornament/gift station. Bingo, snacks, and cookies went well! I had hoped the craft would have also- that it would be something simple that all first graders would have an easy time doing. I helped my son do a mock-up of the whole craft and timed him. 15 minutes seemed like it would be perfect! Or so I thought...
I never even imagined that I would have a hard time appropriately explaining how to wrap chenille stems around a shower curtain ring. Never. Go ahead, I dare you! Try to simply explain to a 6 or 7 year old, how to wrap the circle with the stem and keep it tight, how to scoot the stem around so that the ends aren't showing, how to find a good spot to put the pre-tied bow, find a grown up to hot glue the bow in place, how to attach the hanging loop, sign the pre-stamped tag, and then attach it to the bag- all while a room of 1st graders asks you for more supplies because they can't find theirs or needs more help wrapping because they only have 2 hands, or they need you to help them spell "grandma" for their tag or their clear bag disappeared, or they like "Johnnie's" better or can they just have mine because I have enough already... etc. You get my drift. I am thinking I may have overestimated my ability to manage a room full of first grade crafters. lol. 3rd grade, maybe, but 1st grader is a whole different ballgame. I should have stuck with those foamie shapes covered door hangers. Oh well, their "wreaths" turned out cute. I guess you could call them wreaths. Unfortunately, most of them just looked like random shower curtain rings with some fuzzy green stuff barely covering half of the circle, and a bow sitting at the bottom of a bag because they ran out of time to get it glued in place. hahahaha. Lesson learned. Know your audience. I just smiled calmly, (multiple times and chuckled to myself) and reminded them that Grandma/Daddy/Auntie/Brother would love and appreciate their effort. It was the least I could do. Good thing I am not a perfectionist or that would have been the end of me.

Winter Pickle Jar

Ever been to Costco or Sam's Club and seen those big pickle jars and wonder who the heck would eat all those pickles? Well, I am raising my hand. Yep. Just call me pickle fiend. Haha. Needless to say, I have a bunch of pickle jars on hand usually and am always trying to find new ways to use them. I had seen an idea recently on Pinterest that made snow globes out of mason jars and thought I could give the large pickle jar some similar life.
<--- This is what I came up with.
I ended up putting it with my Christmas decorations with about 3 days to spare. Bummer I couldn't have made it earlier in the season. But... I am remedying the situation by calling it appropriate for "winter" and leaving it up for awhile with the rest of my "winter" (A.K.A. too-cute-to-put-away-so-early) decorations.
All I did was spray paint the lid black and added fake snow, random berries and a pinecone that I had on hand and some dollar store mini trees, then tied a bow to match the other "winter" stuff still on the mantel.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Elf named Leon

It was only a matter of time before my kids discovered the awesomeness that is the Elf on the Shelf. My kids received early monetary Christmas gifts and decided that they wanted a new tradition and couldn't wait any longer, so we headed out to Target and purchased our family's elf. We brought him home and named him Leon, because when you reverse his name, he is Noel. Get it?! ;-) My kids thought that was the most clever name on the face of the planet and so Leon it is! They had me read the story and then quickly went to bed so that Leon might have his first adventure. (This has got to be the most fun tradition that we ever start!) I am going to have to plan things waaaaaaaay earlier next year. I just didn't know that we would be getting our very own elf this year! So, 4 nights left and I think I can handle this. We shall see! His first adventure is being a weathervane-riding cowboy. Wish I had a tiny cowboy hat, but at least he has a lasso. lol. I am sure they will love seeing him in the morning. This is going to be so much fun! Yay!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hand Santa-tizer

Thanks go out, yet again, to Pinterest for helping me find the super cute idea to re-label a hand sanitizer bottle and make it into an adorable Santa-tizer for my kids teachers. 

I am hoping they think it is as cute as I do! I used vinyl and cut the shapes with my paper trimmer and letter stickers that I had on hand for the wording. 

Total cost = $1.50. Hope they don't think I am too cheap. lol. Actually, I don't mind if they think I am cheap. I am also crafty and that trumps cheapness. ;-)

Linking to:

Today's Creative Blog - Holiday Projects

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cards 2011

I always make Christmas cards by hand. I am a Stampin'Up demonstrator and have been selling and collecting stamping goodies for nearly ten years now. It would just be ridiculous if I didn't put my collected stash to use at least once a year! So... I make anywhere from 30 to 50 cards and send them to people that I think might appreciate them. It is a nice tradition that I am happy to keep. It just wouldn't feel like Christmas without handmade cards! Here are my main selections from this year. I made 16 of each and a couple other designs so that I would have some to choose from. I have had good feedback so far and have sent out a total of 42 so far this year. Not that I am into guilt or anything, but... I have only received 2 Christmas cards this year. Guess it is a dying custom. What a shame... ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Ornament time!!

 Found a link to this one on Pinterest. Super Easy to make! Just took a little patience. I bought a clear plastic ornament from Hobby Lobby, filled it with a little bit of fake snow, and painted it with some acrylic paint. When it dried, I sealed it with Mod Podge. Then, I embellished it with rhinestones and ribbons and tulle. I love my little "J" and want to make more for my family. If only I had more time, that would be fabulous! Can you do something about that for me? I would appreciate it. ;-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yummy Pumpkin Muffins

A long time ago I had this brilliant idea to start a blog. My husband encouraged me to do it and so I did. It was 3 short posts and they were all recipes. I didn't have a camera that I knew how to use to upload any photos and I had young children at the time so it failed. The other day I was thinking about these muffins and couldn't find my recipe until I remembered the long lost blog!! And there it was. Floating in cyberspace on a defunct page. I thought I would share the recipe even without a photo just because it is that good. I know it is kind of late in the season to be sharing a pumpkin recipe, but, better late than never. Hope you will try these. :)

The Most Yummy Pumpkin Muffin Recipe Ever!
from the kitchen of Jen

1 1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I used a combination of cloves, ginger and nutmeg because that is what I had)
1 cup pumpkin puree (from a 15 oz can. There will be wasted pumpkin if you buy the big one.)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 lg. eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients. Combine the contents of the two bowls and mix them together until the ingredients are well combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter or you will toughen the muffins. Fill paper lined muffin tins, 2/3 full and bake for 23-27 minutes.  Allow to cool on wire rack for a second and then eat them all really quickly before your family can get to them. (just kidding.) Makes about 20 or so. Hope you give them a try!
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