Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Easy Inexpensive Ornament Storage

If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive way to store your ornaments, I have it!!  One of my hubbies favorite things every Christmas season is buying himself a tin of popcorn to snack on.  :) One year, many moons ago, I got a wild notion that these would be perfect containers for our ornaments.  And, every since then that's exactly what we have used.  It works out perfectly since every year I seem to add a few ornaments, and every year he purchases a new tin!!  I like that they are small, so I don't tend to cram them full, and things don't seem to shift around much in there.

My method is simple and basic, using only the tins and plastic shopping bags.

I start by lining the bottom of the tin with a bag, and then I start layering.  For the ornaments that aren't breakable I simple lay them in the tin separating each layer with a plastic bag.  

For the ornaments that are more fragile, they get wrapped.  I use the plastic shopping bags for these as well.  

And again, layered, gently on top of each other.  As I said, I have been doing this for years with no casualties!!  Easy and inexpensive, especially if you have someone in your family who likes popcorn!!  :)


Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Ten Posts of 2013 {Reader's Choice}

I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with family and friends.  We had some wonderful times visiting and just hanging out, and we are looking forward to a little more before the kids go back to school.  

As the year comes to an end I have been looking back over the projects on the blog this year.  Looking back is always a blessing to me.  Because, even in the midst of the ups and downs, the memories that hold are the ups and the good times spent with the people we love.  Just in case you are new and you missed one or two of these posts, here are the top 10 posts of the year based on your viewership.

Feeling very accomplished after looking over all these posts and all the ones in between!!  Thanks so much to all of you for stopping by and following along our little corner of the world.  I hope that you have been inspired and encouraged by what you have read.  

Blessings to you and yours!!

Linking up with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

From our family to yours!!

photo courtesy of Angela Maze Photography

May your Christmas, and the coming new year, be filled with the Joy of our Savior Jesus Christ!!  
Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Creative Christmas Packaging With Re-purposed Tins

{That's a tongue-twister title huh?} I spent a couple of days this week making candies and cookies to share with our family at Christmas.  I told my hubby that I have been doing this for so many years, I think if I ever took a year off people might riot.  :) When the kiddos were little we would make and decorate sugar cookies, but over the past few years I have branched out and tried some new things.  The contents are never exactly the same, and every year I try at least one new recipe.  It's fun to keep my grandma's recipes alive and to mix them with the new ones.  But, really today's post is more about the packaging then the recipes.  I am a container collector.  When I get containers, I have a hard time getting rid of them - I just know I might use them at some point.  

So, I started out with these from my collection along with some spray paint (also from my collection).  

And ended up with these!!

For packing purposes I started by lining the bottoms of the tins with waxed paper.  It's fairly easy to manipulate and nothing will stick to it.  

Then, I went searching around my kitchen for something I could use in between the layers of goodies, and to separate goodies.  And I found these.

Coffee filters and paper cupcake liners.  Again, easy to manipulate and perfect for separating and dividing, and the best part is - no cutting.  (I have used tissue paper in the past, but then you have to got through the trouble of cutting it down to size.)

Here is a peak at the variety of goodies going in the tins this year.

And here is what it looks like all packed up.

And yes, you guessed it I painted the lids with chalkboard paint.  This is a great way to easily label the containers!!  I used a chalk marker to write the names on the top.  If you haven't seen these, they are fabulous. I use them on all my chalkboard labels, because they are a lot harder to wipe off.  

To finish off the packaging, I simply tied a bow around each tin with some red tulle ribbon.  Another favorite of mine - tulle ribbon.  It looks so fluffy and pretty with very little effort, and if you are traveling with presents - these will stay put and will not squish!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Friday {Anticipation}

Christmas is coming soon!!  We are all looking forward to it, and we can't wait!!  There are so many good things coming in the next week and we are anticipating them all.  But, are we anticipating the arrival of the most precious gift of the season - the birth of our Savior, Jesus?  Just a gentle reminder to be intentional about including Jesus in your celebrations.  After all, it is His birthday :).  You can read here a few simple things our family likes to do to keep Christ in the center of our celebration on Christmas.  And I would love to hear what you do to make this day special for Jesus.  

You will most likely not hear much from me over the next couple of weeks, as I will be spending time with the kiddos over Christmas break.  I leave you today with this wonderful message.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I have been enjoying so much of the eye candy floating around the blog world lately with everyones lovely Christmas decor, so I decided I would join in on the fun.  If you are here for the first time, welcome!!  I'm glad you stopped by :).

Although I decorate for Christmas more than any other season or holiday, I still have to say that I don't always do a ton.  I try to make sure every room at least has a touch of the season.  Also, it's never exactly the same. A lot of the same elements are used, but maybe in a new place or in a new way - ya know, just to keep it interesting!!

I'm gonna just let the pictures do the talking!!  Welcome to our home, come on in!!

I hope you enjoyed the tour!!  Merry Christmas!!

Here are a few past posts with details on some of our decor

Also, you can visit our Christmas Tour from 2012 here

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sheet Music Christmas Tree Craft

I'm so excited to say that after a 5 day weekend - 3 snow days people - my kids finally went back to school today, my house is picked-up and I feel a little more ready to face the day.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the first few days of being snowed in and sharing time together, but then the gift wore out and the kids started fighting and this mommy was done.  

Today I wanted to share a fun and relatively easy craft I did to dress up my piano for Christmas.  

I started with these basic supplies - two styrofoam cones, one a little smaller than the other, and some sheet music I printed from the internet.  

You wouldn't necessarily have to use Christmas music, but I thought these were pretty and I wanted to use them :).

First step is to cover the top and the bottom.

Super simple, no measuring required.  Simply place the bottom of the cone on top of the paper (flip it over so you don't have to worry about seeing your marks when you are done), draw a circle a little bigger than the bottom, and cut it out.  Next, in order to get it to fit around the bottom, you will need to cut slits around the edge.  Then, simply fold up and glue.  {I know hot glue melts styrofoam, but I used a low temp gun, and it's paper so it doesn't need a lot to hold.}

Repeat same idea with the top of the cone to get this.

Determine how wide you want your strips or "fringe" to be and start cutting.  

I have to be honest and say I didn't measure this either, I really just let the music be my guide, and it really was fine that they weren't all exactly the same size.

Then, you will need to cut slits in your paper strips about halfway up.  Again, how far apart the strips are is up to you and doesn't have to be equal.

(Bad photo and bad nails - ugh).  Then, using a pencil I lightly 'curled' the edges of the paper where I had cut the slits.

After you have cut the slits in all your strips of paper, you are ready to create your tree!!  Starting at the bottom, glue your strips around the tree.  Cutting pieces to fit as necessary.

You will have to fold the paper in places as the cone gets smaller towards the top in order for it to lay down correctly, but you will cover that up with another strip, so it won't be seen.  For the last couple of pieces at the top, you will want to cut shorter pieces, so you don't have any of these folds.

Then, you can 'fluff' out your tree with your fingers until you get it looking the way you like it.

Lovely!!  Now, repeat for tree number two.  If you notice in the first photo there were wood bases under the trees.  

When I put the trees in their place, they seemed a little short, so I dug in my shed and found a already chopped off landscape timber - perfect size for the base, and my sweet hubby cut it in half for me.  Those just got hot glued on to the bottom of the trees.  

Simple and a fun musical addition to the decor on my piano!!  :)  Now, off to do some more cleaning!!

Blessings friends!!