Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 12 for 2012

What a great year 2012 was!
A busy year (we both moved, Jaime had a baby, both of our husband's graduated from school, etc. etc.), but a great year.
We also had lots of fun here at Everyday Art.
Here are our Top 12 Posts Posted in 2012 (based on viewership).

What a fun year!
We're looking forward to sharing more great things with you in 2013! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Neighbor Gift Idea: Granola in a jar

Now, I love sweets as much as the next gal (probably even more when it comes to cookies and pies. and ice cream. and chocolate. ooo and cobblers and crisps. and....)
That being said, I get a little "sugar-ed out" around the holidays.
By the time I do all my own baking, which is usually quite a hefty amount, plus get the usual extra treats from the neighbors, plus get the extra treats from all the parties and gingerbread house decorating and such, I'm kind of ready to NOT have something so sweet. Enter my neighbor gift for this year--some good ol' granola.
Now truth be told, this granola isn't exactly healthy and it can be pretty sweet by the time you eat enough of it, BUT it is less sweet than a bunch of divinity (not that that take much). ANYWAY, I decided that perhaps my neighbors would appreciate it too, so that's what we did.
To make it extra cute and appealing, my girls and I put it into canning jars and then put wrapping papper on top (between the actual lid and the ring). Then, we wrapped the top with yarn and made some pom-poms for the top and voila! Cute and fun and yummy and not toooooo sweet. :)
Click here for my granola recipe.
Hope you are enjoying your holiday prep!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Glitter-glue Ornaments

A week or two ago my son came home from pre-school and announced that they had used glitter, it was awsome, and I needed to buy some. "Just go and buy it next school day when I'm at school and I then I'll show you." (He HATES going to the store and so always reminds me to run errands while he's in class so he doesn't have to come... which I usually do because who doesn't want one less kid in the grocery store?

He told me all about how you put the glue on the paper, poor on the glitter, and shake the extra off.
I was seriously having nightmares about the possible messes. A 5 year old is one thing, but he also has an almost-2 year old sister.

Luckily at the store a found a pack with 5 colors of glitter-glue for only $2. That, I figured we could handle. No dumping, shaking, vacuuming, crying... involved. Then at home I rounded up some old dollar store plastic (I mean "shatter-proof") ornaments and let him go to town.
For the next 3 afternoons, during his sister's naptime, I was the coolest mom ever!!!!
LOVE when that happens!
Actually, the glitter dried really pretty. I was afraid it would be bubbly, kinda like puff-paints, since that's how it looks when it's wet, but it totally dried nice and flat and looked great.
Maybe next year I'll get some for me and jazz up some other plain ornaments!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rudolf Cupcakes

Cute AND yummy. What more could you want?
I had signed up to bring treat to our church Christmas party this year and just couldn't resist making something fun. Lucky for me they were easy too.

I just used a box cake mix, whipped up some cream cheese frosting, and added a few decorations.

Actually, I put the frosting on and my 5 year old added the decorations (with a little supervision).
We used a small marshmallow cut in half for the eyes with a chocolate chip on each (stuck on with frosting). Than a gum drop nose and pretzel antlers.
(Actually I accidentatly bought SPICE drops instead of GUM drops and so the noses were cinnamon. Which had my son totally worried that all the kids would think they were too hot, and they would eat them and have to spit them out and no one would like his cupcakes. I tried to reassure him by telling him that they didn't have to eat the nose and could just pick it off, but even on the way in to the party he was telling me, "I'm not so sure about this Mom. Those noses.... ".
Oh, and his Rudolf had a yellow nose. After taste-testing all the colors he decided yellow would work best because it wasn't hot, but still looked shiney. Seriously,where did I get this kid.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gift-Wrapped Cookies

Do you every get tierd of the old paper plate with tin foil look?
Or if you're me, you're out of foil and try to use plastic wrap.
But of course it doesn't stay in place, so you try to tape the bottom, but it's a mess and looks tacky.
Then maybe you think it will be cute to wrap the plastic under the plate and tie in a bunch on top with some cute ribbon... but its really not so cute.

So I ditched the foil and plastic and even the plate this time and went for wax paper.
Just stack the cookies, roll them up, and tie the ends.

ahh, so much better.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Basic Bag, version #4

This "Basic Bag" could also be called our "go-to" bag or simply "THE" bag. It's such a good, easy pattern and very easy to adjust the size on.
This time when I made it, I was making new "church bags" for my two oldest girls so they could carry all there coloring books, etc. I used the same fabric inside and out, but mixed things up a bit with the handles and ribbons.

They've loved their bright, colorful bags and I've loved that they carry their own stuff now! :)
Here is a link to our tutorial for this great bag!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Handmade Christmas Ornaments: Fabric Balls

As a Christmas tradition and craft, every year we pick a few handmade ornaments to make for our own tree.
We made several this year, but these fabric balls were my favorite. Easy enough for kids to do (with some help) but pretty enough for the grown-ups to appreciate. :)
I love their slightly rustic charm.
I also love how versatile they are. I suppose they could have any sort of "feeling" to them depending on the fabric you use--anything from whimsical to Victorian.
Here's our simple step-by-step tutorial:
1) First, gather your supplies. You'll need the following:
*styrofoam balls (check your local dollar store)
*a good all-purpose craft glue (Elmer's was a bit too runny, but would work in a bind)
*a sharpened pencil or knitting needle
*a few coordinating fabrics (bonus if you can use your scraps!)
*rotary cutter and mat
2) Secondly, cut your fabrics into squares. We experimented with 1 1/2-inch squares and 1 1/4-inch squares, and we all prefered the 1 1/4-inch squares. The larger squares to make a "fuller" look, but there was something nice and neat about having more compact fluffs of fabric.  

We didn't bother in any way about being precise with this craft--sometimes we cut too many squares and had leftovers, sometimes not enough and we had to cut more. No worries. Just cut some squares.
3) Next you'll take each square of fabric and wrap it around the end of your pencil. We preferred to put the "right" side of the fabric next to the pencil, but either way worked great.  
4) Then dip the tip of the fabric in your glue.

5) And finally, poke the fabric into your styrofoam ball.

And your done. :)
We had lots of fun using different color combos (I liked the red and white or the red, white and green ones best--I guess I'm a traditonalist). The blue and white ones were pretty as were the gold and maroon ones.
We also played around with patterns--swirls, stripes, chevrons and just "random." You can't go wrong!! :)
 Have fun making ornaments with your friends and family this year!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

What to do with your Christmas cards?

I always like getting cards this time of year from friends and family. It's fun to see some recent pictures, get caught up a little bit, and basically know you are thought of.
Buuut, I must admit I never really known what to do with them. I've seen lots of clever ways of displaying and keeping the cards, and I've tried a couple, but this is one of my favorites. It's quick, easy, and the kids love helping make a "Christmas tree" out of all the cards you get.
Hope your holidays are shaping up to be fun and meaningful,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wire and Bead Ornaments

I wanted some new decorations for our Christmas Tree this year, but really didn't want to pay for any. I had inherited a bunch of miss-match glass beads from a friend and decided it was time to put them to good use. Enter 'free' wire and bead ornaments!

One of the best parts about making these was that my 5 year old could help! Stringing beads on wire is really cool when you're 5. Especially when you can pick any crazy beads you want. I used similar colors for mine (all reds, greens or white...) but David liked to pick the 'cool' beads. He said I was missing out and in the end he may have been right. His looked pretty cool, especially on the tree.
So here's how to make your own...

1.String about 2 1/2 feet of beads onto wire.  Don't cut the wire at this time. I used 24 gauge painted floral wire. (I tried 22 gauge too and it worked but not as well.) It helps to have some beads that are a little bit bigger. They keep the wire slipping and uncoiling when it's done.

 2. blow-up a balloon and tie off to the size you want. Mine were a bit bigger than your average glass ball ornament. Leave a 3-4 inch tail and start wraping the balloon, moving the beads down the wire and placing them as you go. When you cross the top were your tail is, twist the wire together and continue wraping another direction. (Don't wrap so tight that you squish the balloon, but make sure it's snug.)
 3. continue wrapping, moving the beads into place and twisting when you cross the top every so often.
 4. When all your beads are on the balloon, cut your wire with about 3 feet extra. Continue wrapping the wire around the balloon, lacing it through some of the larger beads. This helps everything stay in place and not uncoil when you pop the balloon.
 5. Finish wrapping and loop the wire up and down a couple times to make a hook at the top. (I like to loop the tail end under the whole mess of wire at the top and twist to hook them together. If it still feels a little flimsy you can cut another few feet of wire and wrap some more.
 6. Pop the balloon and you're done!
Now just hang them on your tree and watch them sparkle!
Merry Christmas!