Category Archives: Crafts

Weekend Update

Since it’s been forever since my last post (and I have good reason, an 11 pound, now nearly 2 month old good reason) I thought it was time to jump back in the saddle.  Nobody told me it would take nearly 2 months until I had some semblance of a routine with a newborn but hey, who’s complaining when you get to look at this face everyday.

What I’ve been up to lately:

Reading: Just finished The Farming of Bones – very depressing but extremely well written and it was a great read for book club, lots to discuss.  When I’m not trying to finish a fiction novel I am currently digesting piles of baby books.  This one is my current favorite.

Cooking: White Chicken Chili – yum!

Baking: These for Finny and Donk’s Craft-Along.  They were so yummy, my women’s group loved them!  I also made this but it wasn’t great.  I have to make something with the pounds and pounds of lemons hanging off the tree in my backyard.

Listening To: Podcasts by this man – love everything he has to say.  Also jamming to her and these guys.

Browsing:  Loving this site, already posted and requested a few books.  Also loving this site for new recipes and gotta love all the pictures.

Watching: I seriously contemplated naming my son Jack Bauer Taylor because I love this show so much but we liked Tripp better.  Another show I am so glad is back after the holiday hiatus is Grey‘s although am I the only one that is annoyed with the whole Denny/Izzie dead guy scenario?

Crafting: This scarflet is slow going because I usually have a little one in my arms.  Not sure how much longer I’ll need it here in Spain but I can’t wait until it’s finished.  I’m using a brown wool and turquoise worsted together, I’ll post pics when it’s off the needles.  I also made one of these with a beautiful asian silk to carry my little guy around in.  Since he loves the sling so much I have 3 different ways to carry him now – the Baby Bjorn, the Ultimate Baby Wrap and a handmade ring sling.

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Curled Paper Christmas Tree – Tutorial

Next week I’m selling some things at a craft/bake sale on base.  I’ve been creating a few things for my table including these cute and simple Curled Paper Christmas Trees.

You will need:

1) Fiberboard or cardboard cone  (You could also use a foam florist cone but then you would need to use pins to secure the curls instead of hot glue).  My cones are 8″ tall.
2) Approximately 2 – 3 sheets of double sided pattered paper. One 8″ cone takes about two 12″x12″ sheets.
3) A pencil or pen to roll the paper strips.
4) Hot glue gun and glue sticks, or pins (if you are using floral foam)


1) Cut your double sided paper into strips approximately 3/4″ wide and 3″ long. 

2) Using your pencil curl the paper strips about 3/4 of the way to the end.  You can make your curls loose or tight, whichever you prefer.  You can also loosen up the curls once your tree is completed.

3) Gather your paper curls together with your cone and your glue gun and glue sticks.

4) Start gluing your paper curls to the bottom of the cone in a ring.

5) Continue to glue on paper curls in layers or rings moving up the cone.  My rings are about 1/2″ to 3/4″ apart, meaning when I finish one ring I leave a gap of about 3/4″ inch of cone in between so my curls are not tightly glued together.  You can leave more or less room, as you like.  Try to alternate your rings so that your curls overlap like scales.

6) Once you get to the top of the cone, you can add an embellishment to the top.  I used snowflake shaped brads  punched through a small circled of paper but you could use buttons, chipboard shapes, rhinestones, etc.

You could make these for any occasion or season.  All sorts of papers or themes can be used and different papers will create different looks. 

From left to right: the first 2 trees are made with 1 sheet of red patterned paper and 1 sheet of green each, the 3rd (purple) tree is made with 2 sheets of purple pattered paper, the 4th tree is made with 2 sheets of patterned paper with stripes on one side and polka dots on the other and the red tree is made with 2 sheets of red natural textured paper with tiny gold dots (the curls on this tree didn’t stay as stiff and look really feathery).  The last two trees do not have embellishments on the top yet, I am still deciding what would look the best on these trees.

If you make a Curled Paper Christmas Tree please send me a link, I would love to see some other variations.

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Thankful Thursday

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Tastespotting, a new website that I think I want to marry!

2 friends who just had baby boys and one who just found out she is pregnant with a little boy!

Getting ready for an upcoming craft fair.  I’m just making a few things for my table, hoping to sell some holiday items and take some Stampin’ Up! orders.

Curled Paper Christmas Trees

Decoupaged gift boxes – empty and ready to be sold and filled with Christmas trinkets.

A new study we started in women’s group.  If you’ve never done any of Gary Smalley’s marriage studies, I highly recommend them. 

A great deal on Ebay for an artificial Christmas tree.  My little guy is due on Dec. 1st so my plan is to have the house decorated in all it’s holiday goodness well before Thanksgiving this year.  I kind of wish this nesting thing would last well past my baby’s birth, it’s come in quite handy in satiating my inner Martha Stewart.

November is right around the corner, the firewood is stockpiled in the backyard, the rocking chair is set up next to the fireplace and there are brand new canisters of Chai tea and hot chocolate next the the stove.  I’m ready!

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Holiday Creating

Joe’s been gone this week so I have taken over the dining room table.  Here’s what came about:

Two fall themed collages – 1 is up in my shop.

A chipboard wreath inspired by this beautiful wreath.  I love these colors together, the light greens and blues.  I think I may make one or two more for a craft fair I am participating in on base in a few weeks.  This is a great project to make if you want to recycle old cardboard from cereal boxes, etc.  Just cover with paper, cut some circles, and embellish accordingly.

The last thing I finished this week were some decorated wooden blocks.  I picked these up at Michael’s when I was home in the States in August and had an idea about how to use them.





Some 2″ x 2″ pieces of patterned paper, some chipboard letters and some inexpensive wooden blocks really brightens up a shelf on my antique china cabinet.

Thankful Thursdays

Joe has been gone this week, he had a weather conference in Germany.  It seems like when he is gone I am twice as busy so I have been running all over the place all week.  I am thankful he is coming back on Saturday, I hate when he goes away, even if it’s only 1 week.

It’s rare that my two cats get along so this week I am very thankful they were cuddling so well on the bed.

I am thankful for my fall themed mantel every time I walk by.  I’m not sure if it’s the apple cider candle, the warm terra cotta painted walls or the new thankful bunting and fall-themed collage I just made.

I am very grateful for these girls.  Lori and Allison are two Air Force reservists who are stationed at our tiny base for a mere 2 months.  Typically when reservists come to Moron Air Base they keep to themselves, eat at the dining hall, and generally don’t get too involved in the tight-knit community here.  Lori and Allison, on the other hand, jumped right into life here.  They immediately came to chapel, met as many people as possible, frequently venture off base with many of us and this week they hosted a dorm dinner.  Dorm dinners are something our chapel tries to do every few months when new transient personnel come to the base.  Basically a big, themed potluck held at the community center on base for the people who are living in the dorms and typically only enjoy the mediocre chow hall food.  Lori and Allison jumped at the chance to plan this month’s Hawaiian themed dinner for people who they may not even know.  These girls are A+!

Hula Boy, my friend’s one year old, never ceases to put a smile on my face.  And until Dec. 1st (give or take a week) he is my favorite male baby.  Scootin’ around the community center chasing balloons in his metallic blue hula skirt I couldn’t stop giggling.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes – I’ve made these about 3 times already and will be bringing a batch to chapel on Sunday.  Yummy!

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Thankful Banner Tutorial

I’ve had an idea in my head for a while for a simple fall banner for my fireplace.  I took a few different ideas and melded them together into the following simple, cute decoration.  I was quite pleased with the outcome and this banner took me hardly anytime at all.  You can make this for any holiday or with any word.  It would be adorable for a birthday banner as well.  Here is what I did:

Supplies Needed:
Fat quarter of fall fabric
1 – 12″ x 12″ piece of fall patterned paper
Package of double fold bias tape or long length of ribbon
Fabric strip scraps
Scrapbooking stickers or die cut letters

1. Cut your fat quarter into as many triangles as you need.  My triangles are cut 5″ a 7″.  You may choose to cut your triangles with pinking shears for an even cuter effect.

2. Cut your scrapbook paper into as many 2.5″ squares as you need.

3. Sew your scrapbook paper onto your fabric triangle with a long straight stitch.

4. Lay out your triangles and pin into your double fold bias tape.  Sew along the length of your bias tape, securing your triangles onto the bias tape.

5. Take your scrapbook or die cut letters and place them onto the center of each scrapbook paper square.  My letters came on a sheet with tiny rhinestone embellishments so I added those for effect as well.

6. Hang your banner anywhere you would like it.

7. Take your fabric scrap strips and tie them in between each letter, trimming them shorter if needed.

Voila, a spruced up fall fireplace mantel ready for an apple cider scented candle and a vase full of fall leaves.

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Thankful Thursdays – We’re Back!

This apple crisp recipe but made with steel cut Scottish oats for a little more crunch.  Your whole house will smell like heaven when you’re baking this.

Finishing up washing dozens of loads of baby clothes and sorting them all into space saver bags.

Saving money by making dinner at home EVERY night this week.

These fun and cheap fall paper pumpkin decorations.

An impromptu Wednesday lunch with a friend and her two adorable little girls.

The beautiful fall weather that I never thought would get here during the 112 degree summer we had.

Trees in my backyard bursting with pomegranates and persimmons.  (I’ll probably make some of this).

Oh and where have I been you ask!  Well, summer was busy with a lot of traveling.  I went to the States for 1 month to visit friends and family in the NE while Joe was at a 6-week course in Germany.  Then 3 days after we returned to Spain we had to head back to the U.S. when Joe’s grandmother passed away.  Too much traveling this late in pregnancy so now I am home nesting, baking fattening desserts and decorating a nursery that is very much boyish!

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