Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Mantel and Paper Pennant Banner

Along with a new front-door wreath, our Christmas decor needed some help on the mantel.
Earlier in the year, we swapped out some artwork in the living room and moved a big mirror from above the fireplace to the opposite side of the room, above the piano. In its place, we put an old window. But it looked a little sparse with the nativity set and other mantel decor.
I found a little piece of garland in my bin of Christmas decor extras. Bonus: it was the exact size I needed. No cutting needed. But it was still a little empty looking.
I decided to mkae a little pennant banner to dress it up. I hand cut the pennant bases because I only had a limited amount of paper and didn't want to attempt it with my Cricut.
Then I layered sheet music on the bases. Then I used "Junior" on Cricut's Extreme Fonts cartridge for the letters and their shadows. I used a marker to color the clothespins green to blend in better.

Supplies used:
Patterned paper: stripe and dot-unknown, blue and green-Studio Calico "Wonderland"
Cardstock: white-DCWV; brown-unknown
Ribbon: green jute-Celebrate It Occasions
Embellishments: mini clothespins-Michael's, papier mache cross-AC Moore, flower-Michael's

Monday, December 15, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Christmas Peek Through Tags

Today's cards are fun mini cards that could be used as a Christmas card, a gift tag, or little addition to a holiday hostess gift. I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to create the peek-through window.

Puppy card
cardstock: white (Georgia Pacific)
color: Burnt Umber ink (Palette), chalk (Pebbles Inc)
tools: circle cutters (Creative Memories)
stamps: Christmas Fun (image) and Winter Cheer (sentiment) (The Angel Company)
Ornament card
cardstock: white (Georgia Pacific)
embellishments: Stickles (diamond)
color: Noir ink (Palette), markers (Marvy)
tools: circle cutters (Creative Memories)
stamps: Winter Cheer (images and sentiment) (The Angel Company) 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Poinsettia Christmas Wreath with Sheet Music

 We had a few Christmas decor mishaps this year. Our formerly pre-lit tree stopped lighting completely, the mantel garland had to be completely re-adjusted so we could plug it in on the opposite end to accommodate the new tree, and our front door wreath took a tumble and broke.
Some easy fixes... we got a new tree with a great Black Friday deal. The garland took not-too-much time to tweak. And I spent ages on Pinterest looking for a new wreath idea.

I finally found one that spoke to me. Well, I found quite a few that spoke to me but one stood out as being copy-able without too much financial cost.
Here's my spin on Wonderwoman Creations wreath:
I followed her tutorial for the most part. I cut my cardboard circles using a cake base circle and one of my Creative Memories circle cutter templates. I used my ATG to stick the circles together and wrapped them with some cream ribbon I had on-hand, securing the ribbon end with hot glue.
I cut my sheet music (from an old Italian Aria book I had on-hand from an earlier Goodwill trip) to 5x7 and rolled them into cones. (I needed 32 cones for a 10" base.)
I reused the ribbon from the last wreath's bow, added the berry spray and the poinsettia. Lots of hot glue; lots and lots of hot glue.
The finishing touch... a line of Stickles Antique Linen around the top outside edge of each paper cone.
I reused a bit of floral wire to make a hook and then tied cream ribbon through the loop to hang the wreath on the door, using this Command hook trick. Maybe this method will keep the new wreath from falling.

Now I just need to do something about the sunflower welcome mat...

Linking up to some or all of these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming;
Monday: Inspire Me Monday at Sand and Sisal; Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z;
: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons

Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts; Thursday: It's Overflowing;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;
Categorically Crafting: Christmas at Someday Crafts; Christmas Spectacular at The Shabby Creek Cottage

Monday, December 8, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Snowflake Swirl

I was a demo for TAC for about five years. During that time I acquired a whole bunch of stamps and also bought their papers and embellishments to show at parties and to enter company contests. I had all of the TAC paper collections which I then had to use up. Each set came in six colors and had six patterns. The colors coordinated well with each other but I found that I liked using one color with the various patterns in a monochromatic scheme. This icy blue was perfect for a wintery card.

cardstock: white (Georgia Pacific)
patterned paper: Winterberry (The Angel Company)
embellishments: princess brad (The Angel Company), white Scrapper's Floss (Karen Davis Designs)
color: Starry Night ink (Palette)
stamps: Snowy Swirls (image) (The Angel Company), sentiment (unknown)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

School Summary - Cramming It In (India, Japan, China, and Ben Franklin)

A Summary of November 3-21
With the holidays (and company) coming plus some travel plans, we needed to cram a whole lot of school into an itty-bitty amount of time. I suppose we could have stretched it out but then we would have lost our planned Thanksgiving week break. There were a few tears but overall, the younglings wanted that week off as much as I did so we squashed it in.
Here's what we did:

Things that were scheduled:
Language Arts (Grammar, Reading, and Writing)
No big changes or differences just doubling up on lessons as much as they were able. Soprano drew what she envisioned The Island of the Blue Dolphins would look like.

Typing, Greek (Tenor), Spanish (Tenor), Home Ec (Soprano)
We're still behind on Home Ec. lessons and have yet to start Spanish. Maybe after the holidays?
My Father's World Exploration to 1850
This was a good section of MFW to combine. There was slightly less scheduled as far as reading and activities so it was easy to double up days.

Bible: This year we're doing an in-depth study of the book of James and attempting to memorize the entire book. We continued to review chapter 1and learned chapter 2 through verse 16.
Science: We learned about myriapods (centipedes/millipedes), mollusks, cnidarians (jellyfish/coral/sea anemones), echidnoderms (spiny animals like starfish), sponges, worms, and the Kingdom Protista using AIG's The World of Animals.
We skipped the arthopod baseball activity and making myriapod models (ick!), but we did identify and classify shells
and demonstrated cephalopod propulsion. (no pics)
We did some sponge painting with real and synthetic sponges and skipped the worm activities.
We used a protozoa kit (from Home Science Tools) to observe various microscopic creatures and went on an anti-bacterial scavenger hunt around the house. A quiz and final test finished up the World of Animals book lessons.

History: We moved our focus onto the middle east and Asia, including India, Japan, and China. It always kind of throws me to realize that when one studies an era of American history that time did NOT stand still in the rest of the world. Major events were taking place in other parts of the world at the same time. One of the great things about using MFW is that it gives you an overview of everything that was occurring and how it all wove together.
We read about 3 big Indian conquerors and how they expanded the empire... and then lost a lot of it. And how they allowed the British to begin trading there which opened the door to becoming a British holding down the road.
We played pachisi

and made a sundial (SOTW activity book)
Then we turned to Japan and how they went the other direction and completely closed off the country to foreigners not even allowing them to enter the ports. 
We were going to try sumo wrestling but ended up just watching a youtube video instead. We read about China and how the country's dynamics were changing based on the ethnicity of the ruling leaders. We copied a Bible verse in Chinese
After that we returned to America to learn about Benjamin Franklin.

I added in some map work from Story of the World (The Indian Kingdom and China and Iemitsu's Japan).

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to pieces by Mendelssohn and read about him using The Young Scholar's Guide to Composers. We had a week reviewing "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" and then learned "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?. 
We also attended a concert by the music students of the college where Bass works. They performed Schubert's Mass in G.

Art: We read about Hogarth, Daumier, Blake, and Stubbs and tried our hands at art inspired by them.
You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for weeks 1-14.
Nudibranch at Answers in Genesis 
Ben Franklin's Words of Wisdom
Ben Franklin extras
Ben Franklin Comic
George Whitefield video
Animated Hero Classics: Ben Franklin by Nest Entertainment
Animated Hero Classics: Louis Pasteur by Nest Entertainment

Favorite Books: 
Coral Reefs by Sylvia Earle
Nur Jahan of India by Shirin Bridges
Star of the Sea by Janet Halfman
Starfish by Edith Hurd
A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin by David Adler
The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin by Aliki

Monday, December 1, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Celebrate the Season

A throwback Christmas card. Looking at it now, I think I might need to dress it up a bit. Maybe with some ribbon or eyelets.

cardstock: red and black (unknown), white (Georgia Pacific)
patterned paper: Winterberry polka dot (The Angel Company)
embellishments: brad (unknown)
color: Moulin Rouge ink (Palette)
tools: circle and scallop circle dies (Nestabilities)
stamps: So Many Scallops (Stampin Up!)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Crib Frame Picture Display

Our last house had a great wall in the basement-level family room that was perfect for a gallery of family pictures. 
Since moving (in 2010, cough, cough), we haven't really displayed any family pics because there wasn't a good space for all those frames.
I've been wanting to put pics up and finally came up with a solution that will also fill an empty corner in the living room!

My folks were cleaning out their basement and decided to finally let go of some old furniture. Including the crib my dad used as a baby. It was, of course, not really safe for use in a nursery anymore but could maybe be used for display or re-purposing. *lightbulb
We sold the wood frame pieces at a yard sale but I kept the metal frame. After a good scrubbing, Bass hung it in the living room, using existing holes in the frame.
I spray painted some less-than-sturdy clothespins from my laundry stash and added a few flowers from my extra fall decor. I'm planning to change out the extras with the seasons.
Next up, we'll use it for our Christmas card display!

Linking up to some or all of these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming;
Monday: Inspire Me Monday at Sand and Sisal; Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z;
: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;

Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts; Thursday: It's Overflowing;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;
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