December 15, 2013

Moss Covered Letters and a Ward Christmas Party

 Our ward has fantastic Christmas parties, almost exclusively due to the vision of one very talented lady.  Luckily for all of us, she loves to do this kind of thing and I know everyone looks forward to it each year.  Luckily for me, I was asked to help with a portion of the decorations; a sign for the theme of our party.  The whole evening was based on the book "The Tale of Three Trees".  

I was planning on doing something with forest green cardstock and maybe some gold glitter, but at the last second I stumbled across THIS idea from Uncommon Designs.  I knew that's what we needed to do!

 I printed out each letter on copy paper and then cut them out to make stencils.  I traced each stencil onto cardboard to give the moss some sturdiness.  Last, I traced the cardboard letters onto the back of the moss sheets, cut out the moss, and hot glued it to the cardboard.  Lots of tracing and cutting, but well worth it, I love the way it turned out.  I had 20+ letters to make, each letter was about 10.5 inches tall, so buying the nice wood ones from the craft store was not in the budget.  The cardboard worked great and is a nice alternative if you need more than just a few letters.  

I used coupons to buy the moss sheets (from Hobby Lobby in the floral section) and just used some cardboard boxes that were in my garage.  The whole project cost me about $23 dollars, with some leftover moss to spare.

 The party was wonderful and I think everyone had a great time.  The food was fabulous and the decorations were amazing.  We had a short presentation for the kids including reading the book together and singing some Christmas songs.  Santa came and passed out candy canes.  The rest of the time was spent stuffing ourselves silly with yummy breakfast foods and talking with friends.  A perfect night...can't wait until next year!

 We had several real Christmas trees donated and then given away to families in need after the party.  The whole room smelled like an evergreen forest....mixed with french toast and bacon.

 Hot Chocolate Stand with all the fixings

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 14, 2013

Missionary Tag Christmas Tree

 A few months ago, my Grandma had a brilliant idea for her Christmas tree.  She wanted missionary tag ornaments, one tag for each mission served.  We brainstormed a bit and finally came up with the final project above.  So far, we have 31 missions served on six continents, literally all over the world.  These missionary tags include those who have married into the family, couples missions, and missionary presidency callings.  I think about half of my cousins are still in high school or younger, so we have many more tags to make over the years.  We will keep adding to it and watch it grow.  I loved working on this project and am so grateful that my Grandma asked me to participate.

 Each tag was printed on photo paper and made using Photoshop, measuring about 2.5 by 3.5 inches.  I saved my files, so as new missionaries serve, I just have to edit the text and print more of them out.  I cut each tag and mounted them on some thick cardstock using a thin layer of Modge Podge to adhere and seal the top of the tag.  The silver twine is attached with a dab of hot glue on the back.

 The family's first mission was served in 1899.

Scanned photos of my Grandma's finished tree.  I love how it turned out!  

When I mailed off the tags to my Grandma, I added a gold starburst (seen on the right hand side of the picture above) to represent my aunt, Mary Ann, who passed away unexpectedly this year.  We know that she is serving her own mission now, one that knows no country or city boundaries.  A bittersweet Christmas without her here, but we know she would love this tree.

November 13, 2013

Book Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Blackmoore: A Proper RomanceBlackmoore: A Proper Romance by Julianne Donaldson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kate longs to escape her embarrassing family and run off to India with her single aunt.  Her one wish before she leaves is to stay at Blackmoore, the country house of her two best friends.  An opportunity to visit arises at last, but with a terrible cost.  She must secure and refuse three proposals while visiting in order to travel onto India.  It's a hard task considering Kate has no idea how to flirt and there is one man at Blackmoore that she would rather say yes to than refuse....

I give this book 3.5 stars.  I would have given it a much higher rating, but I was unsatisfied with the ending.  Normally that isn't  such a big deal to me, but knowing her other books and how well she summed them up, I expected the same for this one.  It wasn't a bad ending, just lacking in information.  The book is fun, clean, and romantic.  A good "get away from it all" read.  I will definitely read and probably purchase more books from this author.

View all my reviews

November 1, 2013

One Year Old!

 One year ago today, my dear friend had a baby girl.  I can't believe how fast that year has flown by!  It seems like yesterday, I was making this quilt for her.

 Her family is having a little party for her tonight and I got to make the smash cake for little Avery to demolish.  Just a simple white cake, two six-inch rounds stacked on top of each other, frosted with buttercream.  I printed out a large "1" on my computer, put it on top of the cake, and sprinkled the top to death.  Make sure to push the sprinkles down a little with your hand, ensuring they stick to the frosting.  Peel off your paper number, fix any frosting disturbances, and you can call that cake DONE!

I'm bummed that I can't make the party to take pictures of this in all it's messy glory, but I'm hoping Mom will get some good shots for me to see later.

Happy 1st Birthday Avery!

October 12, 2013

Grandma's Kitchen

 My mom finally got all of her kids out of her house....and was able to remodel the kitchen.  It was a major undertaking, including moving appliances and walls around.  It looks amazing though and both of my parents love it.  If you have any questions about specific items or finishes, leave me a comment and I can find out for you.

 Under cabinet lighting and a small TV, with which my mom watches the Food Network and my dad watches football and baseball.

 One of my mom's favorite features in the new kitchen is this fabulous, deep stainless steel sink.

 Because they bumped the kitchen out, they had to redo the entryway as well.  This actually used to be my old bedroom, then a guest room, then an office/storage space.

 New flooring.  Tile in the kitchen and hardwood in then entry/dining/hallway.

 New matching china cabinets in the dining room.

My dad did a lot of the renovation himself, including all of doors, moldings, and baseboards.  I'm probably going to copy a lot of their ideas when we are able to renovate.  There are still little things here and there to finish up (there always are, right?) and then they need to move onto exterior of the house, particularly the front porch since they moved the position of the front door.  Keep up the good work, I love to see all of the transformations every time we come for a visit.

October 11, 2013

First Home

 My brother and his wife are building a house, should be finished this month!  These pictures are for documentation.  I can't wait to take some of the finished product.

 Leading into the master bedroom



 Master bath

 Bedroom #1

 Bedroom #2


 Opposite view


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