Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Craft Party

This week my friend, Wendy, and I threw a Christmas Craft party at Wendy's house. I had been tossing around the idea ever since Jessica sent our her lovely invitation, but after seeing her posts about the outcome of her amazing "Christmas Crafternoon" I knew we had to do it.
So, with only one weeks time to plan, buy, thrift, craft, and invite people Wendy and I got busy!
Tuesday was our big night and it turned out so well. 10 ladies, 5 different crafts, and nonstop chatting!
Here is a little snapshot of our evening;

We had a great time coming up with ideas, and had way too many of course.
These are the 5 that we finally settled on:
1. Glittered Word Banner
2. Chai Concentrate
3. Vintage Cake Stand
4. Coconut Oil Body Scrub
5. Peace word blocks

Each craft turned out really well and everyone seemed really pleased with what they took home.
My favorite was the glittered word banners. I loved getting to see my friends covered in gold and silver glitter! And I now have one hanging over my bed and more ready to wrap around packages. (Inspiration from here, here, and here)

The Chai concentrate is (in Sadie-Rose's words) "du-nummy!" If you like chai tea or black tea, you really should try it! It would make an excellent teacher's gift with a box of black tea and a cute mug. (Inspiration from here)

The cake stands were so fun. Everyone loved making up their own combination.
(Inspiration here and here)

I'm in-love with the body scrub! Someone at the party said, "I want to eat it!" Well, you probably could! It's made from sugar, coconut oil, and a few drops of organic essential oil. So much goodness in one little jar! I made two varieties. One is Lavender, peppermint, sweet orange and the other is peppermint and tea tree. Both are destined for the shower, but they are super fast, easy, and the combination's are only limited by your selection of essential oils. (Inspiration here)

And last, but certainly not least, was the Peace word blocks. Wendy and I had made some a few weeks before Thanksgiving and they were so well liked on Facebook that we decided that we couldn't possibly do a craft night without them. Wendy, her husband, and her two teenagers spent a lot of hard work and time getting 15 sets of blocks cut, sanded, and painted as well as vinyl letters and scrapbook papers cut. In the end, I think everyone loved this project the best.
Wendy has several sets of block sets leftover(with vinyl letters and papers,) if you are interested in a set to make yourself, please let me know! (Inspiration found here)

I loved getting to decorate everyone's take home bags and all the instructional picture frames. I love those kinds of little details! (Inspiration for here)

We had so much fun putting all of this together and all of the little details that made it even more lovely. I was super tired the day after, but I can't complain because I loved every minute of it, so much so that I didn't get home until almost 1:30 am!
Sadly, I didn't take enough photos and so few have actual people in them. I also forget to take pictures of our delicious buffet of desserts and appetizers. Next time I'll make a list! :)

We had such a positive response and everyone was so excited (and we had so many more ideas!) that Wendy and I are going ahead and planning another one for March. We can hardly wait!

Happy St. Lucia's Day

The 13th was St. Lucia's Day. No, we aren't Catholic, and we aren't even celebrating Advent this year (much as I would love to.) But, this day has always had a special charm all it's own for me ever since I was a little girl, old enough to read the Kirsten books from American Girl. She was my doll, living in a period of history that I loved very much. I even got to dress up one year, with the help of my best friend who happened to be visiting us that week, and deliver cinnamon rolls and coffee to both of our sets of parents in bed. It is a good memory, though thankfully, the pictures have been buried for the time being. :)

When I woke up Monday and realized the date, I knew I wanted to do something special, albeit small, just for Olivia and I and Rose. So, I set about making up a quick recipe of sweet bread turned into a "special" St. Lucia's Day ring. I did a little google search and was totally inspired by this lady's post, even though it's from last year. We didn't do too much, some paper dolls, a cinnamon roll ring eaten by candle light (for lunch) and a little prayer. But seriously, it was so calm and peaceful. Something I haven't experienced much of this month sadly. It was just perfect.

An accidental happy mistake.
Heart shaped rolls.

It was a perfect day of quiet peacefulness in the morning
even though we accomplished a lot.
And then an afternoon spent running errands, but still at peace.
So amazing how a little thing, like a decision to have a peace-filled day,
can make all the difference.
I hope each one of you can find a quiet moment in your day -
in your week- to have the same.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Beginning to look like Christmas

Saturday morning we picked up our Christmas tree. Our live Christmas tree. We haven't had a live tree in over 4 years so this has been quite the experience for both of our girls and a refresher for me. :)
I had pulled out the boxes of decorations on Monday and so we had several big mixing bowls sitting around, full of un-wrapped ornaments. I think that was more temptation for the girls than if I has set out big bowls full of candy! Our feather tree was decorated and undecorated and redecorated umpteen times a day. Nerve wracking for this mommy.

After we unloaded the tree we stood it up on the porch until Mike and I could get our "tree-stand" ready. (It had been full of flowers all summer.) When I turned around I found Rosie decorating the bottom limbs of tree! She was very excited to get started.
We finally got the tree situated inside and Daddy escaped to the garage leaving the lights and decorating to the people who enjoy it the most. Several hours later we were down to just the balls and Daddy was all finished outside, so he came in and held the bowl of ornaments for us and tried to take pictures. (I probably won't be posting any of those! lol)

I had decided to stray from my usual silver and blue decorating this year as I have spent the past 2 years collecting vintage ornaments. Our tree this year is much smaller than our typical artificial tree so my collection was just the perfect amount along with a bag full of colorful aluminum light reflectors.

Our living room looks quite different and I'm struggling a bit to get the whole look to be cohesive but it's slowly coming together. I am very excited about something different though. 8 years of the same-ness is enough for me. Gotta mix it up a bit every once in a while. :)

Christmas music is being played on constant rotation on the record player and both computers upstairs and down. The Christmas books are generally spread all over the living room floor and the Christmas movies stacked up by the VCR and DVD players. Candles are burning and even the weather has turned down right cold here. We've pulled out piles of quilts and have a stack of fire logs by the fireplace. It's definitely starting to look (and feel) like Christmas here at our house.
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