Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Print Projects

I've been pretty scarce around here the last couple months. I've been up to my elbows (literally) in paint, while we've been doing a little home improvement. Besides being generally busy with kids and life, I've also worked on a lot of fun print projects lately. One of those is below. I present to you our sensationally late holiday greeting of 2013.

With our holiday card, I ventured into very uncomfortable near-newsletter territory. Something I vowed I'd never do. Maybe one of these years we'll go for something more traditional and actually take a family picture. That'll happen the same year our cards make it out before Christmas. And it will be delivered by a flying pig.

Here's a New Year's Eve project I had the pleasure of working on for my hometown's 150th NYE Party. My lifelong friend, Emily, created the logo (bottom right corner) for the Sesquicentennial Celebration, and it was fun to collaborate with her on the project. 

Have you got your party shoes ready? How 'bout those New Year's resolutions?
I'm not sure what 2014 will bring, but I'm excited. I've got some great projects in the works, and loads of DIYs coming your way for the new year. I'm even stepping waaaay out of my comfort zone by attending Alt Summit later on this month. I'm excited and nervous at the same time.  

Whatever you're doing tonight, I wish you a happy, healthy and exciting 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pearl Wreath Show and Tell

I've been scheming this project for several years now. But this year, with the help of my trusty sister/sidekick, we made it happen. Hooray! 

Do me a favor and ignore that scrawny red bow. I needed something so I could snap a quick photo before I sent these babies (I made two of them) onto their final destination, and the red was the best I could do. But the finished product actually has a beautiful wide, white bow at the top, so just use your imagination.  

If you'd like to make a pearl wreath of your own, just wrap a foam wreath form with grosgrain ribbon, and start gluing pearls onto it. Keep going till it's done. That's about it. 

Here are a couple helpful tidbits for you:
  • Do NOT use one of those sissy, craft store glue guns. You'll have pearls bouncing all over your kitchen if you don't get yourself a serious tough-girl glue gun. It was well worth the twelve bucks I paid at the hardware store for a dual temperature, hot melt glue gun. 
  • These wreaths are 18"--the biggest I could find. It took about 5 hours for one wreath. This is not a quick, simple DIY. It's a real labor of love. But still fun if you're looking for a longish project.
  • I used an assortment of glass pearls ranging in size from 4mm - 16mm. Start with the big ones to cover ground, and then fill in the gaps with the smaller sizes.
  • Working in 1"-2" square sections worked best for me. Squeeze glue onto the wreath form, and stick the pearls into the glue blob. Keep going.
Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Peppermint Popcorn

I like to have a couple tricks up my sleeve this time of year for easy entertaining or quick neighbor gifts. This is one of my favorite holiday tricks. I keep the three ingredients for this easy peppermint popcorn on hand so I can whip up a fabulous snack at a moment's notice. 

Popcorn (2 bags microwave; about 3/4 C. kernels if you're using a hot air popper)
White chocolate chips (1-2 bags)
Candy Canes, crushed

Get to work:
Start by unwrapping and crushing the candy canes. (My kids love to help with this step).
Pop the popcorn and put it in a big bowl.
Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, add a little vegetable oil to smooth out the chocolate as it melts. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds. 
When the chocolate is melted, pour over the popcorn and toss to coat. (Use the second bag of chocolate chips if necessary).
While the chocolate is still melted, pour in the peppermint pieces and stir.

Spread the popcorn out on waxed paper until the chocolate sets up.
When the chocolate is dry, put it in a festive bowl and enjoy!

This recipe is easy, fast, and inexpensive. But the finished product looks impressive and festive. Box it up cute and deliver it to teachers and neighbors, or whip up a batch as your cousins are headed over. Happy Holidays!