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Friday, November 30, 2012

Random Printables

So, these are not in any kind of fabulous format, but I was working on ornament ideas for a friend.  She wanted Christ-centered Christmas ornaments for her kids at church.  These were my options.  You can download this print for free with dropbox HERE :0)

This one I just finished too.  I needed more mints for my order boxes and I could not find the file.  Mysterious things are happening!  Just Kidding.  I needed to make a new one anyway. 
 I print this file out on cardstock, cut the cards apart, then have Emmalee help me hot glue mint balls to the cards.  We had a ton of fun doing it too.  

You see, I needed more thank you cards because...

drumroll please!

I finished a Huge Hugely annoying order of clippies!
Don't know what clippies are?  Well, you can check the clippie subject in my Labels cloud, or just wait a bit and I will get the pictures posted!!!

I have been smiling all day long from ear to ear.  Emmalee and I even had a "scream for joy" screaming fest a few moments ago after we taped the box shut.

Phew!  I think I need some chocolate.






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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Gift of Thanksgiving

Man, Thanksgiving was so fun this year!
We normally have a great time with my Aunt and Uncle in Yuma, Arizona, but this year, we go to spend the holiday with the "Rest" of the family :0)
I was in total heaven.  Who would have guessed we would leave that family get-together with so much joy in our hearts.

Now that we live in South Dakota, a mere 2hr drive from our Minnesota family, they might as well get used to being on the blog ;0)

Sorry Mom.  She is gonna hate me for putting that picture in here, but that is what you get for trying to duck out of the way instead of being a good little subject and smiling for the camera.

That fabulous lady in the purple...or is it blue...I think it is purple...anyway, she is my mom.  There are those that would call her my step-mom, but since she is no longer married to my dad...she is simply the woman that cared for me from the time I was three, was my best friend all through high school, and is one of two women I call Mom.  

I have long skated around the crazy relationships I have with both of my moms, but I am becoming a loose cannon as I get older and I no longer care to keep things like this inside.  The sweet woman who gave me birth, I saw for the last time when I was seven.  Years later my older brother tracked me down, my senior year of high school as a matter of fact, and I finally got to see my mommy again.  We never forgot or stopped loving each other, just as I simply cannot stop loving my step-mom mom that raised me.

Don't try to keep track.  Some times I will say my mom in Utah or my mom in Minnesota, but most of the time I don't bother explaining which mom I am talking about.  I just say mom and expect my friends to just know which "Mom" I am referencing.  I love them both with my whole entire heart, much like I love each one of my children with my whole entire heart too :0)  Isn't the human heart amazing!?!

Back to this particular fabulous family...
The crazy thing about this insane bunch is that I have very little, and in most instances, no blood relation.  Yet, they welcome myself, my husband and my children with hugs and love, making us as at home as any other relative.

I am so blessed!

The lovely lady in the red is my grandma.  I guess we can say my Minnesota Grandma just to keep things straight.  Auntie is the cutie in the purple.  She is Grandma's sister.  They would be SO embarrassed to know their picture is on the internet.  With the three days they spent cooking our fabulous meal there was no way I would leave them out of my Thanksgiving post.

This is my favorite apple pie ever.  Madison {my 14 yr old} makes it for me when I say, "Pretty Please!!!"

Just for kicks and giggles, I have included the recipe.

It is called Topsy-Turvey Apple Pie and the recipe was found HERE.


I totally love it!  I am trying to think of how to get MORE brown sugar and pecans in the thing :0)

We celebrate our family Thanksgiving on Saturday after the holiday so that everyone is free to go where they need to on the real Thanksgiving.  Saturday morning I took all the {teenage} girls over to my mom's house to make hair flowers and try hairstyles from Pinterest while Madison made my pie.

We came back to Grandma's and hung out before "dinner" was served.  {I say "dinner" because here in Minnesota, dinner is actually lunch.  They say Supper when they are talking about Dinner.  Understand?  Don't bother.  Those Minnesotans are CRAZY!}

This lovely lady is my younger brother's fiance!  Yep, fresh blood to torture {note all the nephews surrounding her}  :0)
I have to say, I didn't think she would be able to handle our wild bunch of relatives, but apparently, she fits right in.  

This handsome guy is my younger brother Chris.  Isn't he cute playing blocks with the little girls???  What a good uncle.

OK, so after our fabulous meal was over and cleaned up, we had crafting time!
It was awesome.  Grandma's house is just a little thing and to see so many people crowded around her table having fun crafting together, it's no wonder I couldn't stop smiling the whole 2 hr. drive home.

Do note the cute hair and hair flowers the girls are sporting!

The lovely red head in the purple...pink...whatever, is my little sister Kallie.  She is surrounded by her family all busy working on their set of presents.

I have one other sister that belongs to this family, but she is working the Renaissance Fair circuit and could not get home in time for Thanksgiving.  Did I mention that we were a very colorful bunch?  No family would be complete without a hippie renaissance carny :0)

I could not leave my other little brother out.  The only picture I have is blurry, but meet David.  He would say hi, but he is comatosed by the turkey at this moment.

Above, fiance, cousin and Aunt Mary all hard at work on their wooden presents.

Even the boys were excited to craft!  Good job cousin!  
Did I mention we are making Snowmen at our Christmas feast???

Don't worry Uncle Ed.  I managed to squeeze you into the picture with your fabulous wife Amy ;0) 

After a whole lot of noise, mess, and laughter, we ended up with some really fun Christmas decorations.

You may remember this project from last year.  I cheated a little and decided to do the presents again this year because they are easy to cut out.

Don't you just love how each set turned out totally different!?!

After we were done crafting, I finally remembered we were going to get some pictures of the newly engaged couple.  It was already pitch black outside, but we went out anyway.  Keep that in mind when you look at these...it was black...black, black, black.

Awe...do you think they like each other?
I totally love the look on Chris's face.  It reminds me of when he was a little kid.  I have missed that smile.  Sister-in-law-to-be, I don't actually remember him looking so happy and in love EVER.

I don't think I mentioned the temperature.  It was 18F degrees outside.  Between the darkness and the temp, we only got a couple shots.


This is me giving up on a noise-free picture and just going vintage with it.  I love it, don't know if anyone else does, but I love me a vintage print!


Fun, fun, fun.  Now, I need you two to come to Sioux Falls during the day so I can get some GOOD pictures!

So there you have it, the fabulous Thanksgiving celebration of 2012.  I am normally a sentimental, grateful person.  But to get to spend three days {starting with a wild Black Friday shopping trip in Mankato} with family after so many years of living far away in the desert, my heart was filled to the brim with gratitude for all of my family.  I missed the ones that were not here, but thoroughly enjoyed the family I got to spend time with.  This Thanksgiving truly was a gift to me, better than I could have dreamed of.  

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It'sTurkey Time

I finished one!  These turkeys have been waiting patiently in my closet, for like three years, to be finished.  I made them as centerpieces for my Super Saturday table, but when I ran out of time to finish them, they were tossed aside and a faster project took their place.

I had purchase this pattern from my favorite lady, Heidi Markish.  I didn't really like the feathers, so after busting my brain for days, I came up with the following instead.  Sadly, by the time I figured everything out it was just too late to do the work.

Basically, I gathered a bunch of fall colored scraps, cut them at different widths, but all were the same length.  I sewed them all together, then gathered one end and sewed it to a circle. 

I layered the feathers with 1-the pieced scrappy feather piece facing up, then layered a piece of cream muslin on top of it, and on top of that was a layer of warm and natural batting.

I pinned the fabric sandwich together and headed to the sewing machine.

You can see by the arrows above the pattern of how I sewed the feather tips.  I did not trace the pattern, I just sewed out to a point near the center of each feather piece, then back down towards the next seam.

If I turned the piece over it looked like this...I drew the purple line with my photoshop to help you see the white stitch a little better :0)

I trimmed the feathers about 1/8" from the stitching, turned the thing inside out, and then used a BBQ skewer to poke the feather tips out all the way.  

I like the look of top stitching, so I HAD to top stitch this piece.  Really, I did have to.  My plan was not to stitch the feathers to the turkey body, so I had no choice but to stitch the feathers together.  When I turned the piece right-side-out, it looked a little rough.  I took each feather tip at a time and pulled it straight out.  Then I stitched along the outside edge.

Next, I started at one end of the inner circle stitched along the bottom of a feather, up the side and back down to the circle.  The only reason I did not just end and snip the threads after each feather side was my total laziness and hatred for snipping threads after a project is sewn.  Lame, I know, but look how cute it can be if you go a little crazy with a curvy line???

Halfway through this set of feathers I decided I didn't want to go straight and tried out curvy lines.  Much better!  The above picture shows both techniques.

Finally, I free-handed a stipple in the center of the circle.  Again, because my plan was to hot glue the feathers instead of stitching them to the turkey, I had to stitch all the layers together first.

If I turned it over it looked like this.

Now, here is my turkey body I made those many years ago.  You can see I just sewed around the whole turkey body, cut a slit in the back to stuff him, then did a real sloppy whip stitch to close the hole.  Since the feathers will cover the whole thing, I didn't worry too much about how it looked.

p.s. sorry about all the loose threads everywhere!  It is crazy what you don't see when you are in the middle of a project that jumps out of pictures later ;0)

OK, here is my body after I glued it to the feathers.  Next was to give him a face!

I have been working on eyes since my little mishap with the pilgrims.  I think I made some progress...

Here is my recipe for cute eyes...
Big white dots, rather close together
Black dots, smaller and positioned at the bottom of the white circles.
Then paint the eyelid in a crescent-like shape at the top of the white circle, just above the black.
Finally, line the eyelid at the bottom with a thin black line.  

Here is an even better looking set...
I tried a sharpie for the black line, but it did not look good.  Finally, I just went for it with my black paint and a very thin paint brush.  Fabulous!
If the eyelashes on the side look a little too girly for you, just leave those off, but I would still line the bottom of the eyelids.

***Very important!  Wait for each layer of paint to dry before applying the next.  The eyes take a while to dry, but you really can not rush them.***

Also, I experimented with how to position the black dots.  If you put them in the middle {like I did on the pilgrims a few days ago} and then paint on eye lids, the eyes look half asleep.  You can put the dots in the middle, but then you get a crazy person look.  That is great if you are doing a monster for Halloween or something, but if you are making a cute little turkey for your Thanksgiving table, I would probably not go for the crazy eyes.

Here is my turkey...or the turkey Minnesota Grandma and I made together ;0)
I have six turkeys left.  Guess I better finish them all and find homes for them.

I finally found my fall berries in the endless pit also known as my garage.  They will be cute on the turkeys too.

I hope you are getting to do a little crafting this holiday season!  I am going to have to head back down to the basement and make one of these for me.  

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone :0)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stuck

Now that YW in Excellence is over *Whew* I am coming too and realizing that I have stuff all over that needs to be done!  Dishes are piled...laundry is clean, but piled...and I have a couple projects that I need to finish!

Here is where Madison's furniture lies after our painting party.  I am very anxious to get out in the garage and start distressing.  I can see being finished with the furniture by the end of today :)  

The dishes....not so much.

I am kinda embarrassed to put these little pilgrims on the blog.  They are in bad shape.  I finally got a moment to paint a week ago or so.  I worked and worked on these wood projects for a couple nights...and I do not like them!  I tried to do realistic eyes....I guess the eyes are ok.  I think it is the rest of the face that makes them kinda creepy....or maybe they need hair?  I just don't know. 

I think I have decided the nose needs to be smaller and the mouth higher, closer to the eyes.  Maybe.  Or maybe I just need to go back to "country style" dot-dot eyes and mouths.

Still thinking.

Mr. turkey....or I guess it looks more like Mrs. Turkey, I love.  I have to finish the little peg legs and then I can put her shoes on.  

Yep.  I am totally obsessed with shoes and have made them even for my turkey.  It is kinda funny since I currently own two pairs of shoes myself.  One pair of sneakers and one pair of black flip-flops.  I think it is time to go shoe shopping.  My toes were ready to walk off in protest when we went to church on Sunday.  I think it was 10 degrees with the wind.  Not flip-flop weather!

I finally got to work on my Frankenstein.  I am thinking the eyelashes are not universal.  It definitely makes them girls.  So, I guess, I need to name her Frannystein.  Regardless, I was going to put bolts on the side of her head...but now I am thinking of cutting flat ones out of 1/8" wood and just gluing them to the sides of the front of her face. I think I needed to make the eyes bigger.  Again, just trying out eyes in hopes of nailing the technique and not using googly eyes for everything :0)

Looks like we need a little more practice.

More to come...updates will be posted...eventually.


Our Daughters Shine

We had our Young Women In Excellent night last night.  It was so fun.
Our girls are so amazing.  They are just so strong and ready to fight all that the world throws at them.  

We based the night around this year's theme, Arise and Shine Forth.

The girls wrote their testimonies and framed them.  They also made the little easel name markers out of colored tongue depressors {Hobby Lobby} for their name tags to sit on.

Here is the printable I made for the name tags.  Nothing special, but they are in the rainbow value colors {minus Gold}.  You can download it HERE for free with Dropbox.

I mentioned the mini versions of my Arise and Shine Forth craft a few days ago.   I posted the patterns and printables for that HERE.  I made up 24 of them in all the rainbow colors also.  We used three different colored blocks in the center of each table, then let the girls all pick one to take home.

We still wanted to incorporate light, as well as the colors white and gold in the centerpieces.  Hobby Lobby had their battery operated led light candles 50% off this week, but they were still like $7 a piece.  We had 8 tables to decorate, so we just couldn't swing that.   

Instead, I made these candles.  


Um...I figure either they are really neat, or really, really lame.  Either way, they didn't turn out quite like I had planned, but I do kinda like them.  I bought one landscaping beam from Lowes {$3}, 4 4-packs of the tea lights from Hobby Lobby {$3 for the four pack from Hobby Lobby 50% off}, then used paint and glue I had sitting around.  That made two candles for each table, the candles less than $1 each.

Not bad.

We set up tables around the room, one for each girl, so they could display value projects they had worked on this last year.  

How fun to see all that these busy girls have done!

Everything from music to sports...
Artwork, sewing projects, and hobbies.  I loved seeing a couple of them celebrating their school grades.  It is really hard to do well in school with so much going on.  They should be proud of good grades :0)

For the program, one of our councilors spoke about the beginning of the personal progress program.  It began as a value immersion program, where the girls totally embraced one value for several months, searching for anything that made them think of that value.

The values are:
Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity
Virtue
She spoke about how each value is important and it is important to study each value in order.
In those first days, they started with Faith and would contribute any life experiences, scriptures, stories or anything they came upon or thought of that was about or developed that value.  After several months, they would start on the next value. 

 I think it is a fabulous way to utilize the Personal Progress program.  It takes it from a book of goals to just check off, to a program that teaches how to live each value.  It takes this program from an activity to do, to a way to be.  Love it!!!

 
After that, we had a parent of each girl come up one at a time and share what kind of light they are.  This is kinda an abstract way to think, but the parent's comments were so very heartfelt, many of them choked up and fighting tears as they shared how they feel about their girls.  What a fabulous night. 
You know what the crazy thing was, out of the 16+ girls we had in attendance, only one or two parents had come up with the same light source.  It just really impressed upon me how unique and amazing each girl is all by herself.

I forgot to get pictures of the refreshments when we got them out.  We did a carmel apple bar.  Basicly it consisted of cut apples, three dips{almond bark, fudge, and caramel}, then a variety of toppings from nuts to candies.

You know the craziest part of the night???

Our church looked like this!
They are adding a little space onto the side and remodeling... apparently everywhere :0)
But our program went on anyway!
Nothing could keep us from celebrating our beautiful girls.
It is such a blessing to be involved in the Young Women organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints :0)