Dec 29, 2010

My top favs of 2010

I know I'm a little early, but I'm not going to have any Internet for a couple of days! (gasp!! I hope I can make it!) Last year on New Years I posted this post, of a little collection of my favorite paper projects from the past year.

If you want to play along and post your favorites you can use Picnik or Big huge labs to create a collage in any size! Happy New Years!!

Dec 22, 2010

Presents & Sugar cookies

Just when I think I'm doing a good job at checking things off of my massive to-do list, I just find some more things to add to it..... Oh-well, Tis' the Season to be rushed! I did however find time to make a new scrapbook page last night. (Even I'm impressed with that small feat!) I'll save that page for next weeks post. :)

This morning I set aside some of my cleaning time to wrap a few more gifts. There's a job that seems never ending. (I'm not sure where I keep finding more gifts to wrap. They just show up every morning!) I totally cheated and used store purchased wrapping paper. I couldn't resist the cute colors for little kids. - To be a kid again at Christmas would be divine.-

I had a good friend come over this afternoon to make sweet treats for Santa and some for us of course! Rice Krispie Treats were made and Sugar Cookies were baked and decorated. I still love decorating cookies.... and eating the frosting. Something that I've, no doubt, passed onto Alaina. :)) She wanted me to post a photo of her cookies that she decorated. She was sooo proud of them!!

here's a few of mine...

Tomorrow one of my very favorite people in the entire world is coming over for a visit. I can't wait to see Danielle! I love the holidays because of the people that it brings through our doors!

Dec 18, 2010

a gift-wrap Guest Artist

I was asked to be a guest artist this week, but as a gift-wrapping guest artist! Fun right!! I wanted to post part of my guest post on my own blog, since gift-wrapping ideas have been my most asked question lately.

Here's a few of my tips & ideas for holiday gift wrapping:

*decide on a color scheme to use for your gift-wrap

* Instead of ribbon, try using a long strand of handmade paper garland.

* Use a handmade pom-pom in place of a bow.

* Use Glue Dots Craft Dots to attach your layers together, they're small and very sticky!

* To make a quick and simple gift box, use a natural Kraft box and add a small white paper doily to the top. Next, take 3 or 4 various lengths of ribbon, lace and or trim, and layer one on top of the other. Sew down the center of the ribbons to secure. Place the ribbon bundle on top of the gift and add a plastic snowflake on top, followed by a large handmade pom-pom. Use the yarn from the pom-pom to wrap and tie all around the gift.

* Look for non-traditional items to use for gift-wrapping, like flocked wall paper, clothing pattern tissue, large hand cut butterflies, rolled silk flowers, cards of buttons and my favorite, small clothes pins!!

To see the rest of the interview and guest post, check out this blog post. I still have just a few more gifts to wrap this weekend!!

Dec 15, 2010

Cinnamon Ornament- tutorial

This is one of my favorite holiday crafts to do!! I remember making these in 1st grade and now I have a little 1st grader who loves to make these ornaments with me. Plus, any excuse to bake with lots of cinnamon is right up my alley!

There are so many variations of this recipe, but this one is the one that works for me. Here's my tutorial for holiday Cinnamon Ornaments:

1/2 cup ground cinnamon
1/3 cup applesauce (I use one of the kids' containers of applesauce, it's just the right amount)
2 Tbls. white glue (I'm using Aleene's Tacky Glue)
rolling pin & cookie cutters
*things for decorating: white paint, glitter, small beads or pearls, and string to hang with

1. Mix the cinnamon, applesauce and glue, in a bowl until it has the consistency of dough (I use my hands to really mix everything together, it's a little messy though!)

**If the dough is too wet, add a little cinnamon, if it's too dry, add a little applesauce.**

2. Roll out dough, on a covered surface, to about a 1/4 inch thick.

3. Use cookie cutters to cut out ornaments, and transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Use a tooth pick to make a hole at the top of each ornament.

5. Bake ornaments at 170 F. for 40 mins. Remove from oven and flip ornaments over. Return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes at 170 F. Remove from oven and let cool overnight.

**Use this time to admire the wonderful cinnamon smell that has filled your home.**

6. Decorate the ornaments with paint and glitter, and use a string to hang from the tree.

Have fun with the ornaments!! and remember no eating them, only smelling is allowed! xo ~ t

Dec 13, 2010

Time to explore

One of the great things about living in the desert is the weather. Even now, in mid-December, we're experiencing record heat, with day time temps. right around 85 degrees. Nice yes, Christmasy.... not so much.

However, anytime us desert-locals want to see 4 season weather, it's only a 2 hour drive North! I packed a pretty Christmas picnic basket yesterday and we braved the chilly air in hopes of seeing something that resembled winter. There was actually snow up there!! ** This is the same hike I did in Oct. when the leaves were changing colors. Those photo's are in this post.**

Every time we visit Sedona I wished we lived a little closer to the mountains!! :)


Since my mom is visiting I've had some extra me-time to finish a couple of projects I've had on my to-do list! I love having company!! This week I have:

organized my closet for winter (even though it's still in the 80's here)

I'm going to attempt to try and organize some of my scrapbooks with the newer layouts. (This layout was for Entre Artistes magazine.)

I've cleaned and rearranged my little art studio. It always feels so good to have everything back where it's suppose to be again!

I decided to hang up this banner that I made this past summer, it's in Chase's room now! :)

I made another mini to hold all of these little cards.

Today is going to be a super busy and hopefully productive day!! It seems as though no matter how much I check off my to-do list, I always find something else that needs to be done. Like some scrapbooking and maybe a little more gift wrapping. :))

Dec 11, 2010

my favorites

If you scrapbook or journal, you probably have at least one page like this one... a list of your favorite holiday memories. My mom and I were talking about our favorites, everything from cookies to music and movies for the holidays. I think a mini journal about my favorites would be a really cute idea!!

Here's my top 5 favorite movies:

1. White Christmas
2. Home Alone 1
3. the Santa Clause
4. A Christmas Story
5. The Holiday

I know I'm probably missing a couple of movies, I just can't think of them right now. :) I love all of the Burl Ives - cartoon Christmas shows. They are still so cute! I'm going to spend the afternoon putting together a couple of new holiday-ish tutorials for my blog and work on a guest artist post for next week. Happy Saturday afternoon!

Dec 8, 2010

Red, White & Pink

I'm here :) I've just been.... lurking... can I say that if it's my own blog? I kept meaning to pop in and say hello... but I've been a little rushed these past weeks. As much as I love the holidays, I kind of wish it could just slow down. This past weekend Peter and I started the tedious task of unpacking all of the Christmas boxes..... I've accumulated quite a bit of stuff, but I love it all!! Alaina helped me decorate our living room tree and Chase said "oh wow!" with each unwrapped ornament. I love how excited they are with the holidays.

This Christmas needed a little something different.... and I didn't want to do any shopping for new stuff. (I know, gasp!) So, I've decided to use different shades of pink mixed with my usual red and white. It's oh so lovely and yet still traditional.

I have most of the presents already wrapped, with the exception of a few ornaments. I love wrapping small box presents... so many possibilities with a small package!!

What have you already checked off of your to-do list? Decorating, shopping, wrapping? A little of each? Don't forget to slow down and have a cup of tea and a sugar cookie!!

Nov 25, 2010

Today I:

made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, sauteed peas with almonds, green bean casserole and fry bread with honey (which we're just finishing now.) It was just us this year, Alaina is sick and in an effort to contain the germs, we decided to stay home. The first time in.... actually I think it was the first time we didn't have company over for Thanksgiving, or spent the day with family. It was nice and quiet. Perfect.

This morning I woke up called the kids into bed with me and we watched the Macy's Day Parade... just like I use to as a kid at my grandparents house. Alot of today was spent remembering what the holiday meant to me as a child and I hope I can give my kids the same memories that I have.

I hope your Thanksgiving was memorable for all the right reasons!! Happy Thanksgiving. xo ~ Tara

*my shelf, decorated for today*

Nov 22, 2010

Cute & Easy Fabric/Ribbon Bandaids

Kids and ouchies seem to go hand in hand... or maybe that should be 'on knee & knees'? If you have children or have a child occasionally in your care, there's a really good chance that you have a small stash of boxes, with bandaids in different sizes and colors, ready to go at a moments notice! (Just ask Alaina's teacher!!)

Since I'm almost positive that my children see bandaids as removable body-art stickers, it was quickly becoming an expensive new hobby for us. With this simple idea, there's no need to purchase those neon shades or the cartoon character bandaids anymore. Now you can make your own cute fabric bandaids with just a few materials and only 3 quick steps!


Glue Dots - Craft
Fabric Adhesive Bandaids (I like the generic fabric bandaids)
ribbon or fabric scraps


1. Unwrap the bandaids from package and place 3 glue dots on the top of the bandaid

2. Add a small piece of fabric or ribbon on top.

3. Trim the excess fabric off from around the edges of the bandaid.

Alaina and I had alot of fun whipping up this cute little tutorial.. hope you like it!!

Nov 21, 2010

an Envelope Tutorial

It's dark & rainy here in the desert today, which means it's a good day to spend inside catching up on some house-work. I was taking a quick lunch break and looking through a couple of easy-peasy tutorials that I made but just hadn't posted yet. So, here is my envelope tutorial made with just 2 glue dots Glue Lines!!

With the holidays approaching, there are more reasons to give a card to your favorite teacher, a small envelope with a gift-card tucked inside to the best hair stylist, or just a quick thank you to a sweet friend. You'll be sure to find lots of reasons to pass out envelops with pretty cards this season, and what could be sweeter than handmade envelopes from vintage papers!

To make these envelopes extra simple, I've used an A4 envelope as my template. Unfold the envelope and trace onto the back of the paper you'd like to use for your envelope.

If you want to get extra fancy, cut a piece of scrapbook paper just slightly smaller than the inside of your envelope.

Use 2 Glue Dots - Glue Lines on the outer margins to secure your envelope's seams. Fold the bottom of the envelope inward, and fold the outer edges over the bottom part of the envelope.

Just add a cute handmade card and a postage stamp and you're ready to mail!

See how quick and easy that was!!