Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here are some more links of Christmas gifts to make and decorations for your home.

Handmade Napkins

Pet Gifts

Round Casserole Tote

Honey Cuticle Cream

"Plastic Bag" Lunch Sack

Candy Cane Cozy (Crochet)

Christmas Card Luminaries

Snowmen Patterns for assorted crafts (must purchase patterns)

Christmas Tree Hair bows

Congrats Tara & Ryne!!!

My sister got married this weekend!! They decided to go down to Gatlinburg, TN by themselves and have a little wedding. The got married in Cupid's Chapel O' Love, of all places! They got back in town today and we had a small party at my grandmother's house for them.

I made the cake and it had a small lean to it, so I just put more icing on that side!

Duct Tape Ornament

My sister got married this weekend and for wedding presents the family decided to get them Christmas ornaments. Her husband, Ryne, has an obsession with duct tape! For Christmas every year, we get him so kind of duct tape themed gift. So, I couldn't let him have a tree without a duct tape ornament!! My cost on this was nothing because I had all the supplies already on hand! I found the instructions here to make these.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oven Mitts for Little Hands

This is the Christmas project on my list today. I am making oven mitts for Jaiden and Arya to use in their play kitchen. The regular adult sizes are huge for their little hands so, I scaled them down to size. These are fairly quick and easy to make!

You'll need:
Approx. 2 12" squares of pre-quilted fabric
Approx. 2 12" squares of coordinating fabric
regular sized oven mitt (for pattern)
Approx. 2 6" pieces of bias tape

1. Using your oven mitt as a pattern, scale it down and mark on wrong side of pre-quilted material.

2. Cut out 2 out of the pre-quilted material and 2 from cotton fabric. Layer in the following order: cotton, pre-quilted right side up, pre-quilted wrong side up, and cotton. Use lots of pins to hold together.

3. Sew quilt binding to bottom edges of the oven mitt. Be sure to allow a little to hang over the sides. Make sure to catch both the cotton and pre-quilted fabric.

4. Sew oven mitt together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn right side out.

Here is the oven mitt in proportion to the regular size one:

Just as a note: These are in no way intended to be used in conjunction with a real oven.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Project Links

So much going on here in the Red Mommy household!! I am currently in the middle of a huge project to be able to put my Christmas tree up on Friday! Plus, Jaiden is on Thanksgiving break so we got a full week of plans.

I've got some Christmas presents to work on so, here's some links out of my favorites collection until I can get some more of my own projects up:

American Prim - tons of tutorials on Christmas and winter primitive crafts

Make Stuff - tons of crafts like decorating ideas, ornaments, recipes, wreaths, and tips

Of Worth - lots of recipes for bath salts, lotions, and other toiletries

Recipe Gold Mine - Gifts to make from A to Z

Heart Felt Holidays - tons of gag like gifts for Christmas like melted snowmen, Grinch poop, and Santa keys

Better Homes - really pretty candy centerpieces

Embroidery Library - very pretty Christmas tree skirt

Fun Christmas Gift Tags

When I made these gift tags, my original project was miles away! Ryan and I went to Walmart and saw some very cute Christmas shirts for the girls. They had puffy vinyl Christmas decorations on them. I thought, I could make those. What never occurred to me at the time, my creative juices were flowing, is yes I can make them but, I could never wash them! So, I had vinyl, thread, and glitter, what to do? I sew with vinyl all of the time do I started playing. I ended up with gift tags. I thought they would look so cute as an added something to a gift bag or box. Or, even a fun necklace for the girls to wear!

You'll need:
vinyl (black backing paper)
cookie sprinkles
wax paper*

1. Make sure you vinyl is cut straight after buying it. I like to take my ruler and a sharpie and outline the edges so I can see where they are.

2. Cut a rectangle out of the vinyl to 5 3/4x 3 1/2. Fold in half and cut on crease to create 2 rectangles.

3. Place wax paper on vinyl and use a zig zag stitch to stitch 3 sides.

4. Peel off the wax paper. Your tag should now look like this:

5. Fill the tag with the goodies you have chosen. Stitch bag along the top to close. About a presser foot away from stitching, stitch again. Using a hole punch, punch a hole in the center top of the tag. (Black dot in picture)

6. Run a ribbon through tag and attach to package.

* You might or might not need the wax paper. My machine sews fine with vinyl on the bottom but, will not sew with vinyl on the top. With the wax paper, the sewing machine works just fine. If you have never sewn with vinyl, test out to see how you machine handles it the best.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gifts From the Christmas Kitchen

This is a really great book to have! I bought it several years ago when the office that I worked for was having a book fair. So many great ideas inside!!

The table of contents includes:
Gift giving tips
Sensational seasonal tips
Glorious gifts in a jar
Yuletide breads and muffins
Cookie tin express
Visions of sugarplums

Some of the gifts in a jar include, Rib Tickling BBQ Sauce, Chocolate Cherry Chutney, Cranberry Peach Freezer Jam, Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce, and Mocha Espresso Mix. Just jam packed with recipes!!

From the back of the book, "The holiday season is the time to show the special people in your life just how much you care. Avoid the crowded mall and spend the time at home whipping up unique snack mixes, savory mustard's or sweet preserves. Baskets of freshly baked bread and muffins will warm the hearts of friends and neighbors. Don't forget the chocoholic on your list with a tin of deliciously decant cookies and candies. Spread lots of holiday cheer with homemade gifts."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Indian Corn

I think this is so neat!!! Jaiden's teacher at school made Indian corn to put in their activity table. I think the table is actually called a sand and water table but her class puts all kinds of neat stuff in there. Jaiden's teacher, Mrs. Donner bought big bags of popcorn kernels at GFS (bulk store) and used food coloring to get the different colors. She said she poured the popcorn in 4 different tubs. She used red on one tub, left one tub regular, One tub was red and yellow mixed, and used a mix of green and blue to get the brown like color.

The kids were having such a fun time playing with this yesterday! They love to stick their hands in it and pour it into different containers. She had already switched the table over to Christmas when I came to pick Jaiden up. I wished I could have got a picture of it in the table!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Word Art

This is a really neat site that allows you to make all kinds of word art; Wordle!! You type in words and them you can decide on layout, font, and color. After you make your word art, you can either print it out on card stock and put it in a pretty frame or you could print it and put it into your graphic program and make T-shits. Would be really nice for different groups; IE. church, scouts, or a family function.

This is mine: (Amber's). I could not get the picture to post! I had a lot of fun with this!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Magic Christmas Pillowcases

These "magic" pillowcases are to help your little one get to sleep on Christmas Eve while anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. I have seen them for sale on Ebay, ETSY, and other web sites for over $10.00!! They are so easy to make, why pay for them??? I have $2.50 and less than a half hour invested in each one! I am planning to give these to Jaiden's classmates for Christmas. There is no way I could fill nice looking treat bags for $2.50!!

If you can sew a straight stitch, then you can make these!! So very simple!

You'll need:
27"x40" of Christmas or Holiday print
6 ½"x40" strip of coordinating fabric
Thread matching coordinating fabric
card stock

1. With wrong sides together, sew strip to one long end of Christmas fabric.
2. Press seams towards Christmas fabric.

3. Lay fabric wrong side up. Fold down edge of coordinating fabric down to seam line and pin. Iron fold to get a nice crease.

4. On right side of fabric and with matching thread, top stitch where strip and Christmas fabric meet. This will catch the raw edge on the other side, forming the top of the pillowcase.

5. Fold the pillowcase wrong side out matching edges to form the actual pillowcase. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Go back and stitch again 1/4" away from seam line.

6. Turn right side out and iron flat.

7. Print out poem on card stock. (I used Publisher to make my poem. Any word program will do if you do not have Publisher.)

December is a magical time
With all sorts of colors, ribbons, and rhymes.

Sugarplum fairies will dance in your head,
If you put this special pillowcase on your bed.

The reason is special
As you will see

It's that it has been dusted
With Christmas Fantasy.

Visions of candy canes, Santa and treasures
Will fill each dream with sweetness and pleasures.

When the time comes for it to be washed,
Do it quickly so no magic is lost!

-Author Unknown

I know there are a lot of creative ways to package this together better than how I did!! That is just not my "speciality"!! I am very open to ideas!! If you make some, please share how you packaged them!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Strawberries & Cream Fudge

I couldn't help myself! Yes, it's another fudge recipe!! This is quickly becoming my new favorite. It smells so good and looks so pretty!

Strawberries & Cream Fudge

You'll need:
White Chocolate Fudge Recipe
Strawberry Syrup (kind you add to milk)

1. Make white chocolate fudge and pour into 9x13 pan.
2. Pour small amounts of syrup on top of fudge and swirl with a fork.
3. Refrigerate fudge for 1-2 hours before cutting or removing from wax paper.

This fudge will be a little sticky. But, it has great flavor!


What most of you call peanut butter balls, we call buckeyes here in Ohio. This is a good recipe given to me by my grandmother's sister. Just make sure to make more that what you need because they disappear fast!


2 lbs. powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, very soft, almost melted
2 lbs. peanut butter
2 c. Rice Crispies (I use generic)
12 oz. chocolate chips
3/4 block of paraffin wax

1. Mix all ingredients except for chocolate and wax very well.
2. With your hands, form mixture into small balls.
3.Chop wax into small pieces and melt in small sauce pan.
4. Add chocolate chips and continue to stir. When chocolate is completed melted, remove from heat.
5. Using a fork, dip balls into chocolate, leaving a bare spot on the top. (This creates the eye of the buckeye)
6. Put on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to harden. Place in freezer for about 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden and set.

Makes about 125 Buckeyes

Here are my tips for making these:
1. Use your hands to mix the peanut butter, sugar, and butter. You will know it is well mixed when you cannot see the powdered sugar.
2.Make sure to chop the wax into small pieces so it will melt faster.
3. I do not use a double boiler to melt my wax and chocolate. (I do not own one) I just use a medium low heat and watch it carefully.

4.Some people like to use a toothpick to dip the balls into the chocolate. I do not like to do this because you can see the toothpick hole when you are finished.

Monday, November 17, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

I found this really neat blog for any stampers of paper crafters out there. You all know my abilities, or lack there of, but I know that there are a lot of you out there with these talents! The blog counts down the 12 days of Christmas with a different project to make each day.

1st Day -Chocolate Kisses Pail
2nd Day -Treat Bag
3rd Day -Christmas Lunch Box
4th Day -Gourmet Cocoa Cones
5th Day- Candy Box
6th Day -Cookie Bags
7th Day -Secret Santa Gift
8th Day -Cookie Exchange Gift Set
9th Day -Gift Card Holders
10th Day -Hostess Gift
11th Day -Christmas Ornaments
12th Day -Christmas Cards

Here is the main page of the blog: Polished to Perfection

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ring Twirlers

I made this for Jaiden this past summer. Jaiden loves to play princess and liked to play with her magic wand. All I could see was Arya getting poked in the eye or Jaiden falling on it. I told Jaiden that this was only for very special princesses; they are magic princess ring twirlers. She loves to hold one in each hand and twirl around the room.

Very easy to make and very inexpensive!! I got a metal rings (I found them at Hobby Lobby) and knotted strips of tulle around the ring.

Perfect for any princess!

$4 Pretty Candle Holder

I think this is so pretty and would make a nice centerpiece for a table. Would also look nice for two of them on each side of a mantle. I got all of my supplies at the dollar store.

You'll need:
candle stick
round mirror
large candle votive holder
E600 glue

Glue upside down candle holder to mirror and let dry. Glue votive holder to bottom of candle stick. Let dry overnight for maximum hold. Add candle and light.

You could even add some Christmas greenery to the bottom for a very festive look!

Thanksgiving Snack Mix

This is what I am giving Jaiden's teachers for a Thanksgiving gift this year. Really easy to make! It is equal portions of candy corn to peanuts and half portion of raisins. I got the containers at the Thrift Store for a big $0.29!!

They are really festive and they make a nice, inexpensive gift for teachers!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Santa Ornaments

These have got to be the cutest Santa ornaments I have ever seen!!! A BIG THANKS to "Shaun" at Garden Web Crafts Forum for allowing me to post this on my blog!!!


Hot Glue Gun
Glass Balls
Red Felt
Wiggly Eyes
Red Balls for noses
Craft Boa
wide (12mm) white pipe cleaners
1" white pom poms

Cut felt to resemble a b-day hat. Hot glue edges together and then turn inside out. Looks like a dunce cap.

1. Glue pipe cleaner around base of hat; glue pom pom on tip of hat.

2. Glue Hat to Glass Ball (not too far down)

3. Glue Eyes on Ball

4. Glue Nose on Ball

5. Glue or push glasses (ends of frames) under the hat letting the lenses rest on nose.

6. Bend pipe cleaner into a V shape, glue the V part under nose then bend the ends up over cheeks and glue end to edge of hat. Cut off any extra little piece.

7. Glue boa just at the bottom of the pipe cleaner, going around his face up to the edge of hat.

8. Bend tip of hat over and glue to side.

Add little ornaments to front of cap.

Using ice pick, poke hole into top of hat and push thin ribbon thru then tie a knot. This is so you can hang it.

I think that's it.

Hope I explained it well enough! Good Luck!!

Thanks Again "Shaun"!!! Wouldn't these be such a nice gift at an ornament exchange????

Christmas Lights & Singing Houses

It is a house in Mason, Ohio, about 15 minutes east of me. Last year or the year before, he was ordered by the city to take down the display. Mr. Williams' house of lights was featured on a Bud Light commercial last Christmas.

When is enough an enough?

Another singing house!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife

This book was so good!! When Claire was 6 years old she firsts sees Henry in the woods by her house. Henry tells Claire that he is a time traveler and they will become involved in the future; Henry cannot control where or to when he time travels. Claire continues to see Henry through her childhood until one day, Henry tells Claire that she will not see him again to she is an adult. Claire does run into Henry when she is about 18 or 19 and he does not remember her because what was Claire's past is Henry's future. The book continues on flashing back between present, past and future and how Claire and Henry interact.

This book does not have a lot of science fiction in it. I am not a science fiction fan but, this book has the right amount. The only science fiction about it is the time traveling. It kind of reminds me of the show Quantum Leap without the different body leaps.

I read this book in 2 nights because it was such a good read!! Ryan even read it after me! And, we never agree on books!! This is one of the greatest love stories in a long time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Cards

I call these Christmas cards for the paper challenged! I am not a paper or card crafter. I own scissors and that's about it for paper crafting.

Jaiden came home with a flier from ballet class that requests that all parents make homemade cards to send to the troops for Christmas. I didn't know what I was going to do!

I bought Jaiden a big box of greeting cards at a garage sale that she uses to make for family. I thought I could make the cards like Jaiden does but with an adult touch. (Jaiden glues them to construction paper) I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some Christmas paper and some card stock. I cut out the front of an old card and glued it to paper then to card stock.

Not bad, I don't think, for my first time. I did, however, discover that this is not a craft for me! I'll stick to my sewing machine!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's on your Thanksgiving Menu?

I have been planing our Thanksgiving menu with the girls the last few days. We are going to be having our own dinner Friday after lunch with the family on Thursday. Everyone likes different things so this is a great challenge to find something we can all agree on.

So far, our menu is as follows:
Grilled turkey - cooking on a grill is far better than in the oven!
Mashed potatoes
Pizza - for Jaiden
Baked Beans
Sweet potato casserole - for Arya and myself
Jello - for Ryan and Jaiden
Cauliflower salad - for myself
Pecan Pie

I lose my sweet potato casserole every year. If you have one to share, it would be appreciated!

Here's the recipe for cauliflower salad:

Cauliflower Salad

1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 head lettuce, chopped

Mix in large bowl.

2 c. mayo
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (powdered kind)

Mix together.

1 lb. bacon, crumbled

When ready to serve, mix cauliflower with mayo mixture. Add bacon on top.

This salad does not taste good overnight after it has been mixed with the mayo.

Cookie Gift Sacks

If you are looking for some pretty ways to give a few cookies this Christmas, be sure to check out these links.

Beautiful Cookie Gift Bags

Cookie Box

Bakery Gift Bag

Cookie Gift Wrap

Very Pretty Cookie Box

Cookie Package Ideas

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pretty Ornaments

These were so easy and inexpensive to make! I used the flat, clear glass ornaments from Micahels. I got a sheet of rub ons and rubbed them onto the glass ornaments. That's it! I don't think it gets any easier!

To make them a nice gift, run a pretty ribbon through the loop and tie it into a bow.

PVC Pipe as a Gift???

This is another one of those "your going to think I am crazy posts". Ryan and I made chairs for sale out of PVC pipe. One time, we left the pipe laying out in the floor. The girls discovered this and began to play with it. They have had the best time playing with this PVC pipe. They love to build all sorts of stuff! It really encourages them to use their imagination.

We buy the 3/4" pipe. It comes in 10 foot sections for $1.56 at Lowes. The Ts and the elbows also come from Lowes and run about $0.30 each. You will also need a drywall sanding sponge (in picture)to clean the pipe. This sponge will take off any dirt, black marks, and the company logo.

Now, there are two different brands of pipe. Home Depot carries a brand named Charlotte and Lowes carries a brand named Silverline. You do NOT want Charlotte. Charlotte pipe is stamped with a red logo. When you go to try to remove it with the sanding sponge, it will turn the pipe pink. The logo on the Silverline comes right off.

You can compare the price: Lincoln Logs for $70.00 or PVC pipe for about $5.00 for hours of enjoyment. Sure, the Lincoln Logs look like a much nicer gift, but for little ones that will lose all the pieces anyways, PVC pipe makes a great substitute! Also great for anyone strapped for $$ like we are!!

Procrastination Challenge: November

For the second time, I have decided to take on the Procrastination Challenge at Virtually Organized. My personal challenge for November is to clean out and clean up Arya's room. She has the smallest room and has the most junk in it. Her room has been my storage room. She is getting to the age where she wants to play in her room. There is just not any room for her to play in her room.

So how does her room become my storage room?? Picture this; Hamilton, Ohio 2003 (Golden Girls reference). I am living by myself in a 3 bedroom house. I meet Ryan, Ryan moves in. I decide to make myself a craft room in the small bedroom. I get pregnant with Jaiden. The smallest room becomes Jaiden's room so all of the junk gets moved into the bigger spare room. I decide to move Jaiden into the bigger room and make the small room my sewing area, once again. I get pregnant with Arya. I lose my sewing room and my storage rooms.

Where does all of my precious junk go? In Arya's room. I have done really well with cutting down on the amount of junk I have. I still have a long way to go, but I have come a long way! There are numerous bags of clothes the girls have outgrown and other baby toys that I need to get rid of. I have "spare" furniture in her room also.

As most of you know, I live in an older house with no storage. I have no basement, and no closets for storage. The closest in the bedrooms are so small that you cannot close the door if you have a hanger hanging on the rod. I just need to get rid of everything instead of holding on to it!

My ultimate goal: Clean out Arya's room. Paint it (from the new windows we installed), carry all of the toys out of the family room into the girl's rooms, and put up my Christmas tree in the new space in my family room.

I need all of the support I can get!! Be sure to sign up for the November Procrastination Challenge!

My Favorite Holiday Movies

When the holidays begin to approach, I am gearing up to watch my favorite movies. Besides Christmas, we have a tradition of watching certain movies for Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Our Thanksgiving movie is Plane, Trains, & Automobiles with John Candy & Steve Martin

Our New Year's Day movie is Poseidon Adventure with Gene Hackman & Shelly Winters

My favorite Christmas movies are pretty traditional. I would have to say that The Christmas Story with Ralphie is my all time favorite. My other favorites are It's a Wonderful Life, and Rudolph.

Another one of my favorites is a made for TV movie called One Special Night with Julie Andrews & James Gardener. If you have never seen this movie, make sure to this season!! It is such a good, heartwarming movie!

Whar are some of your holiday favorites???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Frog & Lilly Pad

I decided to make this cute frog and lilly pad to give the girls a game they can play indoors. I really haven't thought up any rules for the game yet. I am just basically using the lilly pad as a target they can toss the frog onto. I see this as a fun game for the girls while they are tuning their motor skills.

For my frog pattern I used a dog toy from the dollar store. I just traced around it on my fabric. For the lilly pad, I just made a heart like pattern.

1. I traced around my frog onto green fabric and cut it out.

2. Stitch frog right sides together. turn right side out and iron flat.

3. Stuff the frog and hand stitch the opening closed.

4. Make lilly pad pattern and cut it out. Also, cut a layer of batting.

5. Stitch pad right sides together. Turn right side out and iron flat. Top stitch all around pad, closing the opening as you sew.

This would make a fun game for a boy or a girl. Nice for inside when it is too cold to go out and play.

$3 Fall Wreath

This is the wreath Jaiden made for our front door. I got all the supplies at the dollar store. Jaiden used her low temp glue gun to glue the leaves on. I made the bow for her on top. (I am not good at bows!)

This would be a great project to do with the kids. All you need is a wreath, ribbon, and silk type leaves. The leaves were packaged in a plastic bag that contained about 100. I have also seen the leaves at Walmart in the craft section.

FYI: We tried Elmer's glue, glue stick, and rubber cement. None of them worked! I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a mini low temp gun for her to use. I of course, had to help but, she handled it quite well.