After a year of hanging in the sun, my magazine leaf wreath was starting to look worse for wear. (see photo below) And, while I still really like this wreath, it’s colors have faded and it’s petals have flattened.

wreathcomparison

So, with Christmas fast approaching, I set out to make a new, holiday themed wreath.

Many hours of grueling pinterest searches led me to several possibilities:

holiday wreath options

top left / bottom left / right

I really liked each of these, but had some reservations. The space where I wanted to hang the wreath is quite narrow – between our main door and the outer storm door. I was afraid that the ornaments would be crushed, so that idea was out. I love the peppermint idea, but wasn’t sure how long it would last – I definitely didn’t want to have mints falling off every time I opened the door (I’m sure that depends mainly on what glue you use, but there again, I didn’t want to have to go buy special glue. We are going for beautiful and cheap – cheap is key.)

That left the snowflake option – it took about an hour to complete (which was probably longer than it should have, but there was some trial and error involved)

snowwreath

I purchased 2 packs of glittered snowflakes from Walmart and one stand alone larger snowflake/flower thing. I already had the “joy” ornament, glue gun, glue sticks, and Styrofoam sheet.

To make I first layered the snowflakes, gluing them together to form a circle. My wreath is probably 3 layers thick – I just added until I felt it was sturdy enough and looked full enough. I used every snowflake I had.

Once glued together I found that the wreath was still not able to hold its shape for any length of time. That’s when I busted out the sheet of foam, cut a simple, thin, totally not perfect circle out of the foam and glued the wreath to it, shaping and securing as I went. If you look closely between the snowflakes, you can just see the hint of the foam. Normally that would bother me, but at this point, I’m way past perfection.

I played around with the idea of hanging it from ribbon, but since I had red and silver snowflakes, and the larger ornament thing at the bottom right, the ribbon looked out of place. Plus, I already had a nail in the door from previous wreaths and didn’t feel like having to put another one in higher up to make up for the length of the ribbon. In the end, I hung the “joy” ornament from the nail I had and then positioned the finished wreath on top of that using the same nail.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and will definitely be using it in our holiday decorations for years to come.

How about you, have you made any fun decorations this year?

If you are anything like me you’re an avid Pinterest Pinner. (Yes? Awesome! Why don’t you take a second and follow my boards while I explain Pinterest to the non-pinners out there :)  but be sure to jump back over here for an exciting announcement when you’re finished)

If, by chance, you are not familiar with pinterest, let me explain:

Pinterest is, essentially, a giant, online bulletin board system where you can create boards and then ‘pin’ things to the boards. For example: you might create a food board and then pin a recipe that you found online. Or, you might create a holiday board and pin ideas for decorating your house. The possibilities are endless and the inspiration you can find there rivals no other!

To create a pinterest account and start pinning, click here. Be warned though, it is VERY addictive – in the best kind of way :)

Anyway, I tell you all of that to say this, Compassion International, my favorite organization, is sponsoring a Pinterest Contest where the winners get financial gift-cards to send to their sponsored children or the child’s family!

To enter, you have to

  1. create a Pinterest Board called “My Sponsored Child.” You can see my board in the photo below:
  2. Upload the image provided by Compassion to your “My Sponsored Child” board
  3. Upload a photo of you with your sponsored child’s photo or letters from your sponsor child (add the tag: #mysponsoredchild to this photo)
  4. Fill out the form on the bottom of Compassion’s Announcement page telling them you’ve added the board and photos

That’s it! Super easy and a great way to promote Compassion to your friends and family.

Plus, did I mention the winners (that’s right winnerS as in there will be 15!) get gift certificates to send to their sponsored child or the child’s family!

What are you waiting for?! Get pinning!

For complete details regarding this contest, click here.

 

Pin It

Each Tuesday I join ohamanda and post a top ten list. The list might be tips, crafts, hints, favorites, or anything that sparks my interest. Enjoy!

I’ve been battling a sinus and allergy cold since Sunday. No fun. But, in-between NyQuil induced naps and Kleenex runs, I’ve found some really yummy sounding recipes that would be perfect for anyone feeling under the weather. Just click on the image or title to get more info.

(All recipes found through Pinterest, because, seriously, I’m an addict)

1. Curry Noodle Soup because I want something I’m going to be able to taste even with a stopped up nose. Plus, the seasonings and spices in curry are good natural decongestants.   2. Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup: because it’s soup, and who doesn’t like a good soup when they’re sick? Plus, again, garlic = great decongestant!

3. Carmelitas: um hello, did you look at that photo? Gotta LOVE some oozing caramel!

4. Crock-pot BBQ Chicken: easy meal without all the fuss. Perfect for when you’re not feeling up to par.

5. Cheesy Quinoa Bites: Yummy Goodness in Bite Size!

 

6. Broccoli Cheddar SoupCan we just pause a moment and admire the deliciousness that is cheesy soup?

 

7. Coffee Milkshake: so I know that if you’re running a fever, you should avoid dairy products, but this coffee milkshake sounds sooooooo good right now!

8. Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken: so easy! so good!

9. Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Pancetta: because I’m craving summer foods and fresh tomatoes…

10. BLT Bites: again, all the goodness in a tiny little bite – give me a whole tray and get out of my way!

What about you, do you have any recipes that you love when you’re sick?

Hello blog world. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve talked to you!

I’ll be honest, I got a bit burnt-out with trying to write interesting, motivating, magical, and entertaining blog posts, and I had to take a step back.

Refocus, and have some ‘me’ time away from my computer.

What did my me-time look like? Well, a lot like this:

I’ve had a this stash of fabric for probably a year waiting to make a quilt for my bed. I finally got the motivation found a pattern that I LOVE (from Pinterest of course – where else do you find amazing inspiration?) and set to work. Here’s a few close-ups of my fun fabric:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you just love the little elephants? Most of the colored fabric came from FabricWorm or FatQuarterShop (with some of the yellow coming from leftover fabric I had from a previous project). I got the white fabric from my local Hancock’s. I used 10″ blocks that I squared to 9″ – each chevron takes 20 blocks. There are 5 colored chevrons and a total of 100 blocks, which will make a quilt to fit my full-sized bed perfectly.

I have 3 cheverons stitched together so far and I’m hoping to finish the other two this afternoon. If all goes to plan *fingers crossed* I’ll be able to take the complete quilt top to a local shop tomorrow to have it quilted. (My little machine is just too small to handle quilting something this large.)

I’ve got some other projects that I’m excited to share early next week. AND I’ve got a nice freebie for you tomorrow, as a thanks for staying with me through my ‘me-time.’ SO, be sure to follow me on twitter (@elefantgrace) to get the latest heads-up on what’s happening here in my small corner of the world.

Have you done anything crafty lately?

*Also, Don’t forget, if you haven’t entered to win some FREE greeting cards or a card organizer from DaySpring, there’s still time! Just Click Here for details.

 

 

Today we celebrate a much needed, but little known holiday, the Festival of Sleep! According to Wikipedia (the most reliable source of information on the web ;) )

The Festival of Sleep Day is a national day celebrated annually on the eve of January 3. It is unclear how this obscure holiday started or who is responsible for creating it, but the day provides a chance for people to catch up on their slumber. It is not yet a federal or well-known holiday in the U.S., but the Festival of Sleep Day is gaining more attention.”

And frankly, I don’t think it could have come at a better time – with all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season and the late night ringing in the New Year, it’s high time we all caught up on our rest.

So, to make time for celebration, please excuse me as a simply post a round-up of my top 10 favorite posts I’ve shared so far. Enjoy and don’t forget to share in the celebration and get some sleep!

10. Gifts to Give

9. S’more Snowmen, Please!

8. A Few of My Favorite Things: A Letter Template for Sponsors

7. 10 Compassion Sponsorship Tips

6. Color

5. If I Ran the World

4. Poverty Tells Many Stories

3. Remember

2. A Place in My Heart

1. 5 ways Compassion Could Help You Survive a Zombie Outbreak

Another Pinterest Project Complete!

Smore Snowman

I found these cute little guys here, and with a few simple ingredients and slight modifications I had a super cute and oh so yummy treat for my Awana leaders.

Items needed:

  • halved graham crackers (1/2 cracker per snowman)
  • large marshmallows (1 per snowman)
  • halved Hersey’s chocolate bars (1/2 bar per snowman)
  • white chocolate chips
  • orange food coloring
  • toothpick
  • fruit roll snacks (to form the scarves)
  • pizza cutter
  • double boiler (I used a pot of boiling water with a bowl on top of it. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the top bowl, though)

Instructions:

  • lay halved graham crackers out on a cookie sheet or serving platter
  • melt white chocolate chips
  • put a drop of white chocolate onto the graham crackers and secure the halved Hersey’s bar onto the cracker. It doesn’t take much white chocolate, and you could omit this step. BUT I wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t slip or slide off when you picked them up.
  • drop a dollop of melted chocolate on the top of the Hershey’s bar (maybe a teaspoon or just under)
  • place the marshmallow in the melted chocolate and gently spin it to spread the white chocolate (makes it look like the snowman’s melting and helps to secure the marshmallow)
  • cut fruit roll snacks into strips using a pizza cutter (about 1/2 inch wide and 4-5 inches long – just eyeball it)
  • wrap one strip of fruit snack around each marshmallow, securing it in the melted chocolate puddle
  • once you’ve secured all marshmallows and wrapped each one in a fruit roll ‘scarf,’ mix a couple of drops of orange food coloring into the remaining melted white chocolate.
  • Use a toothpick to form orange carrot noses on the marshmallows with the orange white chocolate
  • melt a small bit of left-over Hershey’s bar, and using the tip of a toothpick, form the eyes and mouth of each snowman my dotting the marshmallows with the melted chocolate
  • Place cookie sheet or serving platter in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set the chocolate
  • Share and Eat!

Have you made any easy and cute Christmas treats?

Pin It

Before I get started let me give a few updates: 1) I must say that this week is taking an upswing compared to Monday. (It helps that we got our first snow of the season Monday night! – Really early for us, but very pretty, nonetheless!)

2) I’ve found that the weather greatly affects my mood. It was a gloomy, cold Monday and I was stuck in an office with no windows. Yesterday and today have been bright, sunny, and somewhat snowy days; and while I’ve been in and out of my office, it hasn’t seemed as bad.

Anyway, on to the real subject of this post: an awesome wreath I made via pinterest inspiration!

Over this past weekend I decided to finally attempt one of the many projects I’ve found on pinterest. I”m telling you, if you haven’t joined pinterest yet, you are missing out! But be forewarned though, you can easily lose hours looking at amazing ideas and creative posts!

But, like I was saying, I found this project (inspiration project has since been removed) on pinterest last week and decided to try it myself.. I have a ton of old magazines and newspapers and was super excited to be able to create an awesome wreath out of them instead of just throwing them away. Below is my short photo tutorial on how you can make one yourself. Enjoy!

Materials1) Gather Materials: I used 2 newspapers (left over from couponing), 3-4 magazines, a glue gun, several hot glue sticks, and some wide masking tape. My magazines ranged from junk catalogs that I get in the mail to old Weight Watchers Magazines that I had already pulled recipes from.

 

 

paper leaves2) Cut a bazillion leaves out of the magazines. I have no idea how many it takes, but it takes a lot. I cut leaves out of photos from at least 3 magazines, but I had quite a few left over. That being said, it’s better to have too many – that way you can be picky. I didn’t use a template when cutting out my leaves, so they are all different sizes and somewhat different shapes. But, you could use a template or a paper punch and the effect would be just as good. (this photo is actually of all of the leaves I had left-over….Like I said, I had a bit too many)

 

 

 

Cat for Scraps3) Find a cat to keep all of your scraps at bay. What you don’t have a cat handy? I guess you wouldn’t have  to follow this step, but it is a fun one…

*Side note: This is my Jäger, who, by the way, is still so not fond of the new kitten. He has a literal hissy fit when ever she approaches and has gotten so mad that he’s thrown-up a couple of times. (probably more information that you wanted…oops). Anyway, the kitten is not allowed upstairs so Jäger has his own space and slowly, but steadily, we’re working on getting him to at least tolerate her.

 

 

 

basic paper ring4) Form newspapers into a wreath shape. I rolled and wadded one paper into the general ring form, then bulked it up with the other paper.

bulked up ring

Once it’s the general shape you want, secure the paper with masking tape. I went around my form with tape a couple of times so that I could have a smooth, tape-y (totally not a word, but you get the idea) surface to glue my leaves to.

 

Taped RingLots of Tape Paper Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

leaves on wreath5) Start glueing leaves on. I glued mine all the way around the form, front to back, but, you could leave the back empty. It was just easier for me to cover the whole thing. I glued one horizontal row at a time, overlapping the leaves onto the row above. I glued most of the leaf down with a single line of glue down the center of the shape. If I do this again, I will glue less of the leaf shape and let it ‘flop out’ a bit more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

covered wreath6) Keep glueing.

 

7) Once you’ve covered the wreath, you have some options: leave it as is or embellish it. It looks cool as is, but I wanted a more embellished look. So, I took the extra leaves and made some flowers. (Sorry forgot to take photos of this part, I’ll try to explain as best I can – If you’re still confused and want to try it, comment me and I’ll explain further).

 

 

 

flowered wreathfor the flowers:

take your left-over leaves and make a flat flower shape by glueing several together at one tip – (for a big flower). For a small flower, stack the extra leaves in a flat flower shape and glue in the middle.

Once glued together, fold the flat flower shape in half, then in half again. You should end up with a sort of triangle. Then just bend the petals down and glue the previously glued edge to the wreath.

 

 

Here’s my finished product:

 

 

I really enjoyed making this, and will probably make a couple as Christmas Gifts. Keep a lookout for more pinterest projects – I’m thinking this is going to turn into a regular posting :)

 

Pin It