Friday, December 9, 2011

Keep it Together

On a recent trip to the craft store, I had a breakthrough. I keep buying variations of the same stuff...just ever so slightly different than what I've got in my stash. So I decided in an attempt to simplify the holidays this year, I'm going to use stuff I all ready have. Duh! But at the time it felt like a moment of brilliance. The last thing I need around here are more patterned papers or clips, another shade of glitter, or different types of glue.

I needed something to hold together the 2012 calendars I showed you earlier. So I came up with these spiffy little binder clips. I first tried covering them with fabric, but I think the paper worked better.

I kind of went overboard (are you surprised?) and covered every single binder clip we have in this house. And that's an embarrassing amount of binder clips.

But don't they look nice holding together a calendar? So much cuter than a cold, sad naked binder clip.

It's not much of a tutorial, but here's how I did it:

Step 1: Make a paper template that will fold around the surface of the binder clip.
Step 2: Coat the black part (not the rolled sides, though) with a THIN layer of mod podge. I tried both the matte and the glossy, and I liked the matte a little better. (See what I mean about not needing anything new? I've got all the varieties of mod podge, for crying out loud!)
Step 3: Stick the paper to the glue-covered clip. Hold the paper in place until it sticks.
Step 4: Spread a thin layer of mod podge over the paper to seal it.

Use these little puppies to hold together all the important and not-so-important papers in your life. Or package them up in a cute little box as a fun stocking stuffer. OOH! Or customize them with names or funny sayings for an even more personalized approach.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Updates + A Winner

Remember that strawberry lip treatment of Charlotte's? Well, it was so popular with her clients that she's expanded her lineup of treatments. Her latest offerings include the following:

Dry Skin/Hair Masque: This treatment is most effective when done moments before dashing off to the airport for a very important trip. She will use the 4 oz. or less lotion from your carry on, and completely saturate your hair, skin and nails (and quite possibly your clothes) in a very efficient manner. Have any lotion left over? Not to worry. Charlotte employs "green" practices at her spa. All leftover product will be used as a handy furniture polish. You're welcome.

And the Thanksgiving-inspired Deep Conditioning treatment. This one involves a very complicated mixture of mashed potatoes and gravy, jello and corn massaged gently, yet deeply into the roots of your hair. You'll come away smelling like Thanksgiving and your hair will have remarkable body and texture for days. Good thing she didn't take a liking to the cranberry sauce. :)

Now down to the REAL business of the day:

I'm so excited to announce the winner of last week's giveaway from The Land of Nod. Congratulations, comment #15, Adore by Nat. I'll contact you shortly to get the shipping info for your new goodies.

And thanks to everyone who entered, and a big thanks to the nice folks at The Land of Nod for providing such great toys for the giveaway!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Remember last year when I was trying to figure out a plan for a fun advent calendar the day before I needed it? Well, here's what I came up with. It actually turned out to be such a hit that we're using it again this year. 
We made these little bags out of holiday paper, printed a sticker for each day, filled the bags with little activity cards and pinned them up on the mantle.

I actually used my Cricut to cut the bags (they're on the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, in case you're wondering). And I had some mini clothespins that worked perfectly for pinning them up. Inside each bag is a fun (inexpensive) holiday activity that we can do together.

Here's a little peek at this year's activities:

Looking under the couch and in the closet are activities that reveal a fun surprise: this year, it's an Elf on the Shelf, and a gingerbread man kit. I also took to pinterest to find some inspiration for other fun activities. I can't wait for our indoor snowball fight and the snowman craft.

Don't look too close...I'm short a few clothespins. ;)
 And in case you're like me and do your best work at the last minute (or a bit on the late side), I've created some free printables for the number stickers and the activity cards. I think this would be so cute with little envelopes or tiny brown bags instead of the paper bags.