CREATE: advent calendar

i had big ideas for an advent calendar this year but, time got away from me and i settled on cheap, quick and easy.  i bought these small paper containers at walmart, they were 6 to a box for around $4 i believe.  then i printed off the number tags from a template over at ohhappyday.com.  i have a big open spot on the wall, next to our fireplace, which seemed like a good spot to string these guys up.  I used decorative thumbtacks to string up 5 rows of twine and ribbon - which i twisted together before tacking to the wall.  5 rows of 5 boxes for the 25 days of christmas...of course, this does take a little bit of measuring to make sure everything is somewhat equal and installed level.  

clothespins hold each box to the twine.  the boxes are all really small so it does limit you on what can be put inside each box.  channing is still pretty small so i had to select items that she would actually play with.  i did do a couple of very simple "clues" to help find a larger present hidden somewhere else around the house.  i hope to do more activities and scavenger hunts next year, instead of just gifts, when she is a little older and understands the concept a bit better.

after printing out the number template, i cut out each flag and hole punched the end.
after printing out the number template, i cut out each flag and hole punched the end.
i untied one end of each box in order to string on the number flag.  then retied it to the box. 

i untied one end of each box in order to string on the number flag.  then retied it to the box. 

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gifts for the advent include rock crayons, plan toys wooden fruits and cooking utensils, mud puppy finger puppets, balloons (for mama to blow up and for the bird to chase around), bubbles, hand puppets from ikea
gifts for the advent include rock crayons, plan toys wooden fruits and cooking utensils, mud puppy finger puppets, balloons (for mama to blow up and for the bird to chase around), bubbles, hand puppets from ikea
everything is wrapped in fabric and twine.

everything is wrapped in fabric and twine.

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ready to go!

ready to go!

CREATE: felt tree skirt

we decided to be a little different this year in our tree trimming. our old tree was falling about so, i decided on a white tree!  (i was a little nervous about it at first but honestly, i am really loving it.  i bought the pre-lit white tree at walmart for $39...can't beat that kind of a deal)  this also meant i needed a new tree skirt.  this is definitely a more contemporary look and i wanted a tree skirt that went with that idea.  this one is made from felt.  i originally wanted to sew the circles one but realized that was going to be way too time consuming.  aleene's tacky glue did the trick! 

i used an oatmeal felt for the base and actually just used my old tree skirt to trace the circle.  this is a 48" diameter circle so, purchasing 1 1/4 yards of felt would do the trick.  (this skirt turned out to be pretty large. you could definitely do with using 1 yard of fabric and making the skirt 36" in diameter.) then i used 3 sizes of cups to trace circles on sheets of various felt colors.  i cut some of the circles out with regular scissors and others with pinking shears to provide different textures. 

i used an oatmeal felt for the base and actually just used my old tree skirt to trace the circle.  this is a 48" diameter circle so, purchasing 1 1/4 yards of felt would do the trick.  (this skirt turned out to be pretty large. you could definitely do with using 1 yard of fabric and making the skirt 36" in diameter.) then i used 3 sizes of cups to trace circles on sheets of various felt colors.  i cut some of the circles out with regular scissors and others with pinking shears to provide different textures. 

i then randomly laid out the circles, layering some on top of others.  once i found a mix that i liked, i pinned everything down into place. 

i then randomly laid out the circles, layering some on top of others.  once i found a mix that i liked, i pinned everything down into place. 

using a foam brush, i lightly applied glue to the edges of my circles and laid them down in place. 
using a foam brush, i lightly applied glue to the edges of my circles and laid them down in place. 
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now all we need are presents! 

now all we need are presents! 

CREATE: lace dream catcher

i've had this project on my "to-do" list for quite awhile.  i am so excited about how it turned out.  i love the lace in the center, it makes it a little softer than the typical dream catchers you might have seen.  it takes just a bit of time to stitch the doily onto the hoop, and make sure that it stays centered.  but, this is a fun, easy and lovely project to work on!

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient

rocking chair

i love modge podge.  i especially love using it with fabric, as opposed to using it with paper.  the fabrics are more forgiving and allow you to work around curves and details a bit easier.  it also lets you move and stretch, where paper typically sticks and rips if you try to adjust it.  this little chair was one time consuming project, due to all of the nooks and crannies but, i am happy with it and channing seems thrilled to have her own chair for rocking!  i found the rocker at a yard sale for $3 and covered it with scraps from the fabric lines of amy butler and anna maria horner...two of my favorites.  in the past i have worked on dressers, mirror frames and table tops.  i included some images below and also have them up on my etsy shop as a custom listing.  the rocker though, is a keeper...but i would be willing to do another one if anyone has interest!

chair
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and a few other modge podge items:

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DFH_room2

CREATE: felt ball garland

i found these fantastic mini papel picado (traditional tissue paper art made by artists in mexico) and knew they would be perfect for hanging over the bird's new play spot (what was our coat closet).  i found them locally at poor richard's bookstore but also found an etsy shop where they can be purchased as well.  on the same day, i came across two bags of felt balls on clearance at hobby lobby.  you can also purchase them here. turning the felt balls into a fun, colorful garland is a very simple project to do...and fast!  i love the finished product and am excited for the bird to get from her nap to see her new special spot made just a little more colorful and special.

CREATE: t-shirt stuffy

i have several adorable little t-shirts of the bird's, that i have a tough time getting rid of when they get too small. i am sucker for anything with applique or embroidery.  so, i was thinking, some of them would make a cute little stuffed toy or "stuffy" as i am calling them.  it's quick, easy, doesn't cost a thing to make and just the right size for little hands to cuddle.  i tried my first one out with a pair of pj's that a now too small.  she LOVES these pj's because of the cute little applique monkey on them.  i used the shirt to make the front and fabric from the shorts to make the back.  in all, it took me about 30 minutes and honestly, you don't even really need a sewing machine.  it is small enough to sew completely by hand if you wanted to.  i hope you try it!  i plan on making a few more.

CREATE: easy baby blanket

i have to begin this post by reminding you that i am NOT a seamstress...i can function well enough on my sewing machine as long as it is simple and straight.  this also means i will do my best with the directions but i don't know all the correct sewing terminology.  this all began because i wanted to create a soft snuggly blanket for channing, without spending a lot of money or time but still having a little something special added to it.  this blanket fit the bill.  i purchased the minky fleece from hobby lobby (it is on sale at 30% off) and created the bird detail by finding a bird outline on google images.  simple design + straight lines + quick + affordable = a happy mamma & special treat for the baby.

artwork by little fingers

we are currently experiencing very high temperatures here in colorado springs, and we have a fire burning very close to our home.  this means we are kinda stuck in doors for the next few days...between the heat, the smoke and the ash in the air, it is best to stay inside.  so i decided it would be the perfect day for a little finger painting with the bird.  however, she makes a HUGE mess so we made the bathtub our art studio. our all natural clementine paints clean up very easily with just a little bit of water.  add an inexpensive little canvas and our new friend the owl decal from pop and lolli, we now have a cute addition to the art in the bird's nursery.  it was messy but fun, with lots of smiles and giggles...and she didn't mind the lovely bubble bath afterwards either!

(taken with my iPhone)