It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

I love Christmas.  I think it’s safe to say I love EVERYTHING about Christmas.  The shopping, the baking, but most of all, the decorating of course.

I don’t have any events coming up, so I  finally get to use my gorgeous canisters for my very own decorating!  🙂

I think they turned out quite lovely.

I just love aqua and red together!

My $7 hand-made FRESH garland. (Sorry about the horrible picture.  The lighting was terrible.)  I’ve never made a garland before, so I’m pretty proud of this one (considering I almost spent $40 for a pre-made, fake one!)  It makes the house smell so Christmas-y!

There’s much more to come, as we have LOTS of fun things to make this year.

Have you started  your Christmas decorating yet?!

Hot Apple Cider

There is nothing better on a cold, snowy  rainy night  than a nice hot mug of apple cider.  (We don’t get snow here in southern California 😦 )  I searched online but couldn’t find a recipe that I loved.  They were either too sweet, not sweet enough or just not  cider-y enough.  So I played around with some ingredients and made up my own.   It’s super easy and the perfect addition to this holiday season.

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon Allspice

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

2 3inch Cinnamon Sticks, halved

Caramel sauce (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)

Spiced Rum (optional)

64 oz apple cider or apple juice ( I prefer the cider)

Stir all ingredients into a large stock pot and heat just until simmering.  Do not boil.  Turn off heat and let the spices steep for at least 20 minutes.  Strain spices and pour into mugs.  If you’d like to add a little more decadence, add a drizzle of caramel sauce and top with whipped cream.   If you want to make an adult version, add 1 oz of spiced rum.  Either way, it is absolutely delicious!   Now go cozy up on the couch and ENJOY!

Anthropologie inspired Ruffle Lamp

I saw this lamp on pinterest and fell in love.

And after reading this fabulous tutorial  from mama says sew, I said “I can do that!”

So I did.

Isn’t it gorgeous!  I just love how it turned out.

I did a few things differently so here’s my breakdown.

Materials

  • lamp base
  • drum shade
  • 1.5 – 2 yards burlap
  • iron
  • glue gun

I found my original lamp bases (I made two of these lamps) at a garage sale.  Aren’t they ugly  pretty!

I primed them first


and then used Krylon Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze (Michaels).

Oh what a can of spray pain can do!  They already look 100 x’s better, dontcha think?

Now for the shades.  In my quest to find some cheap re-purposeful drum shades, I scoured our little town from one side to the other.  And by scoured I mean I went to approximately 400 garage sales, thrift stores, Goodwills and Salvation Armys over a period of 3 days,  just to come back empty handed (ugh).  So instead of waiting patiently and adding this project to my “to be finished later” pile, I went to target.  In the tutorial from mama says sew, she covers her lamp shade with burlap, which I was planning to do.  However when I arrived at the happiest place on earth, low and behold, they had a 2 burlap wrapped drum shades just waiting for me!  Hey, I was either going to spend $13 on a plain white drum shade and cover it myself or pay $13 on a drum shade already wrapped in burlap.   Nuff said.

Now the fun part begins.  After you wrap your shade (or buy one) you will need to cup your remaining burlap into strips.  I used about 60 strips.  Cut them double the width you want them to stick out on your shade and 1.5 x’s the height of your shade.   I cut mine about 3 inches wide and about 15 inches long (my shade was 10″ in height)

After you have all of your strips cut, fold them in half and iron them.

I wanted to add a little more ruffle to my shade.  To do this, unfold your strip and find the center thread.  Pull it so the strip cinches.  And please do not make fun of my thumbs! 😛

Tie the thread in a knot at the base of your cinch.  This will help to keep the cinch in place as you glue.

Should look like this when you’re finished

Now it’s time to glue.  Take your ruffle strip and place a strip of hot glue  along the folded edge, about half way down.   Quickly place it on your shade.  Glue the remaining side down as you go.

I made it so the edges of my strips curled down at the top and bottom of the shade.  To me, it looks a little more “finished” this way but you can do it however you choose.

I spaced my strips about 4 inches apart all the way around and then filled in the spaces as I went.

Almost finished

I wanted my shade to look really full,so I filled it in until I couldn’t fit another strip anywhere!

2 hours and 865 glue gun burns later, Ta-Da!

*Side note – no you’re eyes are not deceiving you, that IS a completely different lamp base.  After putting the shade on the other lamp base, I thought it might look a little too busy.  SO I went to my “to be finished later” pile (remember that?) and found this lamp base which just happen to be the perfect size and shape I was looking for.  I primed it and spray painted it exactly like the other lamp base.  Makes me wonder why I even needed to buy the other lamp base to begin with… oh well, NEW project!  🙂

My Cost Breakdown

  • Shades – $2-3 at a thrift store if you can find the right shape, size, etc.  If you’re impatient like me, $13 at Target
  • Burlap – I had mine left over from some table runners but it’s usually only about $2.99/yard at Joanne’s (don’t forget your coupon!)
  • Lamp Base – $10 for 2 at a garage sale
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint – $2.99 with 40% coupon at Michael’s

Total: $21 for a gorgeous, custom made lamp.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.  🙂

**Blog Disclosure**

As you may have already read about in my “Hi there” intro, I’m fairly new to the crafting/DIY world.  I mean, I guess you could say I’ve always enjoyed being creative.  However since having my two little munchkins, I’ve taken on a whole new love for creating lovely things.  Things that inspire me and make me smile.  Things that make my boys smile.  Things that make my husband say “you made that?!”

On that note, I hate to write.  In fact, this blog is my first shot at writing anything that the public eye will see (other than facebook status updates, which totally don’t count).  I never know the right words to say or even if what I’m saying is making any sense to anyone else but me.  I worry about spelling, punctuation and sounding ridiculous. I have a serious problem with writing extremely looooooong run-on sentences (if you haven’t already noticed).  AND it take me FOR-EVER  to get it just so (going on 2 hours for this little post, geez!)

So why a blog?

I asked myself the same thing.   I’m not really sure but I’m hoping that this blog will inspire just one person and make them smile.  The way thousands of fabulous bloggers out there have done for me.

One run-on sentence at a time.

Give Thanks Gratitude Board

A few weeks ago, I was scouring blogland for some fun but thought provoking Thanksgiving activities.  I was looking for something that I could use to teach the boys (well Braden anyway) about what it means to be thankful.  I came across this adorable Give Thanks Gratitude Board from Karly at Jellybean Junkyard.  I pretty much followed her directions exactly so I didn’t take any step-by-step pics.  Here is my version.

I just love it!  Every night at the dinner table we are going to pull a card out of the slot and write something that we are thankful for.  The best part is, next year we can just flip the card over and write on the back!  It will be so fun to look back and see what we wrote year after year.   But for now, I can’t wait to see all the sweet and funny things the boys come up with.  Happy November!