Cork snowmen ornaments (or wine charms or cute decor!)

Can you believe that Christmas is this week? I certainly can’t. The past four months — well, year, really — have flown by. We did manage to get Michael’s first Santa photo in, and we’ll hopefully visit two more Santas this week. Of course I’ll share the photos soon.

Last week I shared yarn ball ornaments. I have another super easy ornament to share with you: Snowmen wine cork ornaments!

As you know, I enjoy a good wine. As a result, I often have a cork or two on-hand for crafting purposes. (Sometimes I have hundreds of corks on-hand, when I want to make a cork wreath or something.) These little guys are so cute and so easy.

Wine cork snowmen!

Wine cork snowmen!

Gather your supplies:

  • Cork(s)
  • A block of orange Fimo or Sculpey modeling clay from your local craft store (The only difference that I’m aware of is that Fimo used to be hard before you warmed it up by sculpting with it. Sculpey has always been soft from the get go. Now they’re pretty much the same.)
  • Screw eye (also available at your local crafts store — in the jewelry-making section — or at your local Home Depot of Lowe’s.) These are one per ornament, so buy the appropriate amount.
  • Black Sharpie pen or black paint pen
  • Super glue (possibly already on-hand from your Thanksgiving appetizer platter making!?)
  • Toothpick
  • Ribbon (optional)

Instructions:

1. First, roll out the carrot noses. Mold the clay with your fingers to the appropriate size. Mine are approximately 1/2″ long and 1/8″ thick. I roll mine a little wider on the base, to look more like a carrot. I also use the toothpick or my fingernail to add some lines. I sculpt the base of the carrot against the pad of my finger, so it’s a little rounded, matching the curvature of the cork. (This will help with the gluing in step 3.)

Sculpt the noses

Sculpt the noses

 

"Carrot" lines

“Carrot” lines

2. Bake the noses per the instructions on the clay. I overcooked my first batch, so watch them carefully and err on the side of under cooking them. They will burn, turn color, and stink up your house for days if cooked too long.

3. Once the clay has cooled, add a dab of super glue to the base of the “carrot” and attach to the cork. You’ll need to hold it there for 10 seconds or so, to secure it.

4. Use the Sharpie to draw on the eyes and mouth of your snowman. You don’t need mad drawing skills for this as you’re drawing circles. (Like I said, so easy!)

Snowmen in process

Snowmen in process

5. Screw the screw eye into the top of the cork.

6. Add a decorative ribbon if you’d like. Your new cork snowman can double as an ornament or as an accessory to a bottle of wine you’re gifting friends or family. Or, you can just set them out since they’re so dang cute.

The possibilities are endless with these cuties. You can omit screw eyes and instead slice the top of the cork and turn these into place card holders! (Be sure to slice at an angle, which I didn’t do.)

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Now, open a bottle of wine so you have a cork for this fun project!

I hope you have a great week! Now I’m off to brainstorm 2016 resolutions. Anyone have any ideas for me? Please share!

 

Yarn ball Christmas ornaments

With Christmas in only 10 days (!!!) I’m excited to share a Christmas ornament that is so easy, so cute and so perfect for anyone who knits or crochets or has a love of yarn. As I type this, my mind is going crazy with ideas about how to make this more cat-centric, it could even be a gift for the crazy cat ladies in your life too. (No judgment, I’ve been a proud crazy cat lady for 10+ years!)  I made four of these last year, and found the idea on Pinterest. (I love Pinterest!)

Yarn ball ornaments

Yarn ball ornaments

First, gather your supplies. A trip to Michael’s or JoAnn’s Crafts will set you up perfectly for this for pretty cheap. Depending on the value of coupons, this could be less than $5 total!

All the supplies you'll need for the yarn ball ornaments

All the supplies you’ll need for the yarn ball ornaments

  • A skein of the yarn of your choice (Yes, I looked up what that was called!)
  • A package of the ornaments you want to cover
  • Wood beads
  • Skewers (any size 6” or longer)
  • Super glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors

For the needles

  1. Select pairs of wood beads that are similar colors.
  2. Cut sets of skewers (if necessary) in similar lengths
  3. Apply super glue to the inside of the wood bead. You could probably also use hot glue, but the hot glue might get everywhere. If you do use super glue, be very careful about applying the glue and having it unknowingly seep drip through the beads and onto your fingers. It glues very securely and very quickly! (Yes, I speak from experience!)
  4. Hold the end of the skewer flush with the outside of the wood bead, to make it look like a knitting needle.

 

Yarn ball ornament "needles"

Yarn ball ornament “needles”

For the yarn balls

  1. Start the yarn ball by taking the gold or silver “topper” off of the ornament. (It’ll be returned once the yarn has been applied)
  2. Take a piece of tape and tape the end of the yarn onto the ornament.
  3. Start wrapping the yarn around the ornament. And keep wrapping…and wrapping…and wrapping…and wrapping… But seriously, switch up the direction from time to time and wrap the ornament until all of the glass is covered and it looks like a ball of yarn.
  4. When you’re nearing the end, simply cut the yarn and tuck it into a previously-wrapped section.
  5. Put the topper back on, lace the “needle” through the yarn and your finished product is ready!
First thing first. Starting the ornament.

First thing first. Starting the ornament.

Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Wrap, wrap, wrap.

More last-minute Christmas present ideas to come! Have a great rest of the week!

Thanksgiving {2015}

With the excitement of the holidays and a newborn who isn’t fond of napping, my posts are a little delayed these days. But, without further ado, some photos from this year’s Thanksgiving extravaganza.

First, we’ll start with our little turkey. Michael sported a Babies ‘R Us onesie and was a champ. He met my extended family, in town from California, and even decided to nap a wee fit, obviously exhausted from the festivities.

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Not knowing how much time we’d have to prep a dish for the celebrations, we brought appetizers. I was able to find the time (no more than an hour required!) to prep not one but two platters.

I took inspiration from my platters from 2013 and 2014 and created an antipasti tray and vegetable platter.

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

The “turkey heads” are easy to make. Start with a smallish lemon with a bit of a stem nub. Then, whittle a carrot beak and glue it, a “hat” and some candy eyes onto the turkey with super glue. Hats can be anything from a radish top, broccoli, cauliflower, or something inedible too! Once you have your hat, make sure both of the surfaces are dried off, to the best of your ability. This will help the glue stick.

Thanksgiving platter turkey "heads"

Thanksgiving platter turkey “heads”

The trays are easy to create as well. A quick trip to the store a couple of days before the holiday will suffice, with about an hour of “construction” time the morning of the holiday:

The antipasti platter: 

  • Cured meat three-pack from Costco
  • ~1 lb Beecher’s Flagship cheddar cheese (Costco)
  • A wheel of brie (Costco)
  • Trader Joe’s new four-olive medley
  • Marinated mushrooms (Trader Joe’s)
  • ~1 lb of reduced fat smoked gouda (Trader Joe’s)

The vegetable tray: 

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 cans of whole baby corn
  • 1 can of asparagus
  • 1 heart of celery
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • Not pictured: Fat-free sour cream with the Hidden Valley Ranch powder packet mixed in. (My favorite veggie dip!)

Here is a photo of the table, with my Aunt capturing the spread from a different angle. It was fun having such a large group (19 people!) to celebrate the holiday!

Our Thanksgiving set up

Our Thanksgiving set up

I also put my new modern calligraphy skills to use (did I tell you that I recently took a class with some girlfriends and discovered a new talent!?) and made place cards for the dinner. Don’t they look nice? I’m so impressed with myself– and clearly very humble!

Place cards by me!

Place cards by me!

I hope these inspire you to make a meat and cheese or veggie platter next Thanksgiving. Now I’m off to help Christmas explode all over our house! Photos to follow!

{Halloween 2015} BOOze bags and ghost onesies

Last year I wrote about BOOzing people. It was a great idea that I promptly forgot following the drafting of that blog post. Whoops.

However, I re-discovered the idea as I was perusing Pinterest recently. (Thanks, middle-of-the-night feeding for Baby M!) BOOze bags would be the perfect treat for the University of Washington tailgate that we hosted with our friends Parker and Stephanie on Halloween: booze as they walk to the game and snacks for the route or inside the stadium.

I also pinned this pin and thought nothing of it (I pin a lot of images!) until Stephanie asked if I was planning on making a costume for my little guy. With that comment, an idea blossomed!

My onesie inspiration

My onesie inspiration

I decided that I would use the above image as a guide to make some super cute ghost onesies for our little guys. (Stephanie and Parker’s son was born in June and while they’re not friends yet, he and Michael will be BFFs before too long!)

I had the onesies on-hand and spent a whopping $2 on fabric puff paint. Using the above images, I freehand outlined the ghost faces with an ultra-thin point Sharpie and filled it in with high-gloss puff paint. I pre-washed the onesies, but have not (and may not) wash them again, as I’m not sure how the puff paint will launder. I’m sure there is some guidance somewhere on the internet!

Ghost onesies for the boys

Ghost onesies for the boys

Since we were co-hosting the Halloween tailgate, ghost onesies would be perfect for an appearance at the tailgate and some of our own “BOOze bags.” (Unfortunately with an 8 p.m. kickoff — 8 P.M.!!!! — the boys were not able to show up in their costumes.) However, they still wore their new onesies and we still made the BOOze bags!

BFFs in their spooky outfits

BFFs in their spooky outfits

I found mini bottles of Jim Bean “Ghost” Whiskey (on sale!) and Fireball (also on sale!) and put them in cellophane bags with orange Kit Kats (my favorites!), fun size Snickers, mini Reese’s cups, Starbursts, and suckers!

Voila!

The finished product: BOOze bags!

The finished product: BOOze bags!

Pin this for next Halloween and don’t forget about BOOze bags like I did!

 

 

Michael’s 1st Halloween {2015}

Baby Michael was born just in time to celebrate his first Halloween in style!

I originally wanted him to be a Cookie Monster, but there weren’t costumes in the itty bitty size that I needed. (We did end up receiving a toddler-sized one as a gift, so be on the look out for our Cookie Monster next year!)

Late night breastfeeding is conducive to lots of Pinterest browsing and I found this adorable glow-in-the-dark skeleton outfit on sale. $8 for a costume? Done.

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

I also made this ghost onesie for Michael. (More on that in a future post; hopefully this week)

BOO! It's Michael!

BOO! It’s Michael!

You’ve also already seen Michael’s pumpkin bib. It was a gift and was perfect for Halloween and his six-week Facebook photos.

Michael's 6-week photo shoot

Michael’s six-week photo shoot

Finally, his Waldo outfit came together by happenstance. I was going through Michael’s outfits, saw the red and white striped onesie and his blue pants and voila! I added a red electrical tape stripe to his hat from the hospital, along with a yarn puff. The only item I needed to purchase were pipe cleaners for his glasses. $1 total. Cheapest– and cutest– costume yet!

Where's Waldo... er... Michael!? I found him!

Where’s Waldo… er… Michael!? I found him!

Look at those specs!

Look at those specs!

Which costume is your favorite? I like them all!

We tried putting Michael in an actual pumpkin too, something I’ve always wanted to do with a baby, and it was an extreme failure. We were all laughing as much as my sister was. Everyone except Michael. Maybe next year?

This looks so easy on Pinterest...

This looks so easy on Pinterest…

 

DIY clay animal busts

A few months ago I received a large rhino head by accident from Zulily. (It was supposed to be pair of raven bookends for my Dad’s birthday…)

Maddie isn't sure what to do with this surprise delivery

Maddie isn’t sure what to do with this surprise delivery

Of course I wanted to spray paint the head white and the horn gold and hang it in the nursery, but Brandon put the kibosh on it pretty quickly. (He likes the natural coloring of the rhino.) I’ve kept my eyes peeled for an additional rhino or other animal busts on my trips to Marshall’s and HomeGoods, but never found anything that I had to have.

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Etsy and stumbled across several great items, but they were all more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to make my own!

I looked everywhere for Crayola Model Magic, which apparently doesn’t exist anymore. So, after intense staffmember consultation and debate, I landed on DAS modeling clay from the University Bookstore. I also bought several unfinished plaques from JoAnn’s (similar to this one, the in-store selection is hit or miss and I lucked out).

The sculpting reminded me of my childhood and high school art classes and I really enjoyed it. Some of the ideas came from my head, while some came from the internet. I sculpted the busts around foil balls (so they were lighter when hung) and followed the instructions and let them air dry for several weeks. (Mainly out of laziness.)

Once they were dry I spray painted them a glossy white and Brandon used leftover stain to make the plaques a uniform color. I used ample hot glue to adhere the busts to the plaques– and voila! they were beautiful! I originally tried to adhere them with super glue and that didn’t work out. Hot glue was the way to go.

My clay animal busts

My clay animal busts

To finish off the projects, I hot glued a “D” hook on each plaque.

Hanging the busts

Hanging the busts

Here they are in relation to the nursery wall. I’m really pleased with how the nursery turned out. And look at that little two-week old Michael! He’s grown so much since then!

Michael and his friends, showing off his clay animal busts. (Sort of)

Michael and his friends, showing off his clay animal busts. (Sort of)

Happy crafting!

 

 

It’s football time!

‘Tis the season to get ready for football season! I’ve been gearing up on Pinterest and have compiled some of my football favorites here for you. We even went to a preseason faceoff between our hometown Seattle Seahawks and Brandon’s beloved Denver Broncos. (The Broncos won~ Go Broncos!) Baby-dependent, Brandon will be heading to the first home Husky game of the season on Saturday. I’ll be at home cooking something delicious. Maybe these ‘chos? {Better yet: pineapple and pork are supposed to induce labor!}

Since the season is long and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to share our tailgate and game day eats, I’m focusing on football crafts today. Specifically, AstroTurf crafts.

I had a lot of fun with AstroTurf last year, with my debut on Q13’s morning show.

Looked good on TV!

Looked good on TV!

I made koozies, coasters, platters, wine tags, “wreaths,” and more. {Full blog post and tutorial here} But those were so 2014.

Beer koozies

Beer koozies

AstroTurf platters: works with any size tile!

AstroTurf platters: works with any size tile!

AstroTurf wine tags

AstroTurf wine tags

One of my most favorite crafts to date: An AstroTurf W!

One of my most favorite crafts to date: An AstroTurf W!

For the 2015-16 season, I’ve purchased a new roll of AstroTurf rug and found some new ideas:

An upgrade on my coaster idea: circles!

An upgrade on my coaster idea: circles!

This AstroTurf table is pretty amazing

This AstroTurf table is pretty amazing

An AstroTurf bulletin board

An AstroTurf bulletin board

I have several ideas swirling in my mind right now, and potentially a couple more weeks of free time to act upon them, so check back for my new 2015 AstroTurf ideas! Happy football season to you! Go Huskies, Broncos and Seahawks!