Gifts That Give Back PLUS A Giveaway

There is nothing better than a gift that does double-duty. You can gift something to your loved one and know that there is a gift that will be given to someone in need as well. Pretty sure you can't go wrong! A little hope goes a long way and generosity multiplies so why not give a gift that gives this holiday season. 
noonday, world vision, one world play project with soccer balls for giving in India, Africa and around the globe

Sheet music wreath

Easy to Make Sheet Music Wreath Tutorial

On Monday, I shared with you how I made my sheet music Christmas trees.
Today, I will be sharing with you how I made my rolled sheet music wreath.
Isn't it beautiful?!

I started with a large piece of sheet music.
Roll the sheet music lengthwise.
I always knew I had a good roll when I would end up with a triangle in the middle of my cone.
Glue the end of the paper in place with your glue gun.

I used a Styrofoam circle from the Dollar Store.
You all know how much I love the Dollar Store!
I marked the center with a dot, but I don't think it really matters one way or another.

Once I rolled a fair amount of cones, I was ready to start gluing them on to the Styrofoam circle.
I made a large cone pattern to start off with,

then slowly starting to fill in the spaces as equally as possible.

Once I finished gluing the cones on as full as I could, this is what it looks like from the front.

I did the same thing to the front of the wreath filling in the Styrofoam with cones until I was pleased with the fullness of it.  The center needed to be finished off with something, so I decided to attempt to make a sheet music fan for the center.

I took 3 sheets of 2 inch wide paper for the big fan
and one sheet of one inch wide paper for the small fan

Small fan tutorial
1. fold the small paper accordion style
2. glue one end to the other end and place on it's side
3. carefully gather and pinch the end pushing down in the center to make a flower.  Place a small piece of glue in the center to hold it together.

Large fan tutorial 

1. fold the three sheets accordion style
2. glue each end to one another
3. form a circle with the paper
4. pinch and glue the inside together 

 I glued the big fan and the small fan together, and then glued it to the center of the wreath.
You could also glitter the edges of the fan if you wanted to.

 That's it!
Glue a ribbon to the back and hang your wreath in your favorite spot!

As you can see, I really love sheet music.
Have you made anything beautiful with sheet music?

Comparing Two Holiday Gift Catalogs

Ask most little girls what is on their Christmas wish list and they won't hesitate to tell you an American Girl doll. My daughter was the same way for years. Every Christmas she would flip through the American Girl catalog and earmark the new dolls and accessories she was pining after. As a kid, I loved dolls. As a mom, I love a company that addresses the fact that while our girls are getting older younger, they are striving to save girlhood.

For some reason, I'm still on the catalog's mailing list even though my daughter is old enough to legally drive a vehicle. Every year around this time, I get two catalogs in my mailbox - an American Girl holiday gift guide and the World Vision Gift Catalog - and every year my mind starts churning. 

You see, I've been to some pretty hard places and seen some pretty hard things. I've met girls who wished they could have a childhood but instead they were busy struggling to survive. I met a girl in Zambia who thought she was going blind, but it turns out she was allergic to the dogs that she shared her water source with - so much so that it blurred her vision and made her eyes swell shut. 

Another young girl named Nerott walks more than 9 miles each way just to go to school, a walk that takes her nearly three hours. She tries to walk with a friend because she lives in an area that is at high risk for child sacrifice and kidnappings, but because of poor water conditions her friend is often sick, leaving her to make the long walk alone and vulnerable. 

So what do these two girls have to do with the American Girl catalog? I'm glad you asked.


Cyber Monday Deals for Everyone on Your List

The biggest Cyber Monday fans I know are those that will avoid the stores at all costs this holiday season in an attempt to effortlessly shop from the comfort of their own home. Usually completing their whole shopping list while in pajamas. Correct me if I am wrong. I'm here to help you easily get everything you need with the click of a few buttons. Are you ready?

DIY Handmade Gifts that Don't Suck

I love a good handmade gift, but it seems like sometimes I'm the only one. I hear people grumble as soon as you say something about gifting homemade gifts, but the amount of time and effort that goes into those gifts seem far better to me than just plucking up the first thing you see on an end cap at Target or clicking "buy this" on Amazon. I've gathered up some pretty great DIY handmade gifts from some of my favorite bloggers. Seriously, I don't think you could go wrong gifting any of these gifts. Some are more labor intensive, and others can be made in no time at all. Why not gather up some friends and have a Christmas craft day together? Or spend a weekend crafting before the holidays. I know just seeing these handmade gifts will have you inspired to create.


Antique Fireplace Mantle Update Using Chalk Paint

I do love a good fireplace don't you? I don't know if it's because I grew up in a historic home where every room had a fireplace, but that may have something to do with it. I've watched my share of House Hunters. I get that a fireplace is on a lot of people's wish list, but not every home has one. I want to show you how easy it is to create a faux fireplace mantle that you can decorate and enjoy for every season. 

Christmas mantle decorated


8 Winter Energy-Saving Tips to Save You Money

This post is brought to you by Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own.

Winter is just around the corner and I'm sure by now that you have felt the chill in the air. I'm not quite sure when our furnace fired up for the first time, but I'm so glad that it did because there is nothing I like more than a warm cozy home. It's never a convenient time to have something like your HVAC on the fritz, so making sure it's in good working order is important, especially during the holiday season when all you really want to do is snuggle up inside with friends and family. Not only do you want your HVAC to be working, you also want it to be working well. Using these 8 energy-saving tips will make sure it does just that and as an added bonus, it can save you money!

Sears home services for HVAC


How to Style a HolidayTool Box

I do love a good challenge, so when Wayfair contacted me about participating in a tool box challenge, I was excited to jump on board. I had an idea in mind before I even selected the toolbox I was going to use in this challenge. I like to purchase pieces that can be used in a variety of ways and I can see being able to use this tool box during all the seasons. I styled it for the upcoming Christmas season and I want to show you how and included some other ideas so that you can start getting your creative juices flowing!


Salted Caramel Popcorn Gift with Free Printable Gift Tags

This post is written by me in partnership with G.H. Cretors. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Every year I have to remind myself to get a jump start on the holiday season. Not this year! I had my Christmas cards ordered by October and I have most of my Christmas shopping done. I'd really like to do my best to not feel so rushed and busy and overwhelmed during the holidays, but instead enjoy that time with family and friends. Planning ahead is how I'm going to try to do that. That even means not waiting until the first neighbor rings my doorbell holding a gift. 

In years past I sheepishly took the gift from their hands knowing I hadn't even thought about the kid upstairs, not to mention the guy next door. I'm doing you all a solid and giving you a leg up on this holiday season and offering up a fun and easy gift idea with a printable that will not only be a welcomed holiday gift, but will have your neighbors asking for seconds and looking forward to this becoming a new tradition. 

a great inexpensive gift to give to your family and friends

Easy chalkboard typography art tutorial

Easy chalkboard typography art tutorial

Remember this summer when I told you about how I met a new friend in the construction business?
Jose was gutting a house a few doors down and had piles of vintage windows in the trash pile.
I salvaged them and made some into chalkboards to sell at a local craft bazaar.

I didn't want to just sell the window plain, so I jumped on the chalkboard typography bandwagon and spruced them up a bit before I listed them for sale.

I had been thinking of borrowing a friends overhead transparency projector but didn't get around to asking her in time, so I went with plan B.  Which was much easier than I expected.
Here's the tutorial for you because I hate to keep a good thing to myself.

First, find an image that you want to use.
I googled images and found a few that I liked then cut and pasted them in word.
I enlarged this one and printed it off.
This one was larger than the others and needed to be taped together.

 Next, chalk the heck out of the back of the page.
Rub the whole thing down doing your best to not miss any spots.
Also be aware of where your hand is when you rub the chalk down. 
You don't want your hand to take away chalk that you rubbed on.

Turn your image over and place it where you want it on your chalkboard.
Use a sharp pencil and trace over your image.

When you have traced the entire image, remove the paper.
This is what it will look like.

Now use your chalk and fill in the image.
Blow off the extra chalk dust and wipe around the image to remove as much of the extra chalk as you can.

I sprayed my chalk art with hairspray to help it stay in place.

Then I printed off even more images and used this technique on every chalked surface I could find!
It was that easy!

At the craft bazaar it was something that would draw people in to look in my booth.
It was so much easier than I thought it would be and made such a big impact.
Think you will try it?

How To Stain Stamped Concrete: You Can Do It Yourself!

There are some DIY projects that just seem so overwhelming that you just want to hire it out. Staining a worn-out stamped concrete driveway was one of those projects. My dear friend and old neighbor and I met up one day for a super spontaneous lunch. Over lunch we were catching up and she asked me what I was working on. I told her about a project with my favorite paint sprayer and she told me that the lack of a paint sprayer was what was holding her back from this DIY project she wanted to do. Really, it was almost more of an excuse because this project was going to take some time and seemed like something that should be left for the pros. But for some reason, that afternoon, we put our heads together and decided to try to tackle this concrete project together because what could go wrong? There is something about getting two women together that makes you think that you can conquer the world...or at least a big DIY project. 

The stamped concrete driveway leading up to her beautiful waterfront home had seen better days. At one point it had been stained but now it was looking pale and worn down. The stain seemed to have all come off. The project had been on her to-do list, but it seemed so overwhelming, so it kept getting pushed back.

We decided to tackle it together and I can't believe what a difference it made! What seemed like a job for a professional, was done by two women coming together to tackle a DIY project that really wasn't that difficult. It was kind of one of those, where do I start projects, which is why I'm sharing with you the how to, so that you can stain concrete like a pro!

before and after of unstained stamped concrete and how to stain it yourself

White Pumpkin Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Forgive the dark and moody photos, but I've been dark and moody lately. I have no idea where October went. I swear we just started school a heartbeat ago but alas, it's time to move on and prepare for the next holiday. It's always kind of a weird transition for me from Halloween to Thanksgiving, but it wasn't that difficult this year. I had a fairly neutral decorating palate this year probably because I really dig white pumpkins. I always have. I wanted to help transition from pumpkins for Halloween to pumpkins for Thanksgiving and I think I came up with a way.

I created some pumpkin leaves, some with sayings, some without, and printed and cut them on my Silhouette machine. I'm sharing the cut file with you so that you can create some too. Come check it out!


Farmhouse Style DIY Projects

It's no secret that you guys are Fixer Upper fans. Anytime I post about the HGTV hit show, you guys gobble it up! This post alone has had more than 2 MILLION page views! The whole Fixer Upper craze has even come with it's own style. Every week as I look at the projects linked up to our Create Link Inspire party, I see at least a few Farmhouse style DIY projects in there. I thought I call some of them out this week and share them with you.


Help Make HIV History

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here

I've always dreamed of being a midwife in sub-Saharan Africa but since I pass out when my dog gets a vaccination, I realized that maybe that wasn't my God given calling. However, that doesn't change the fact that I am drawn to and love the women and children in this land. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to shadow an overworked nurse in a rural health clinic in Zambia when I was traveling with the NGO World Vision. She had at least 50 patients lined up to see her before she opened at 9 am. Many of the women in line had walked upwards of four hours just to be seen at the health clinic. Many of those women and children in line were HIV positive.

Nurse Bertha was the only nurse on staff and she worked quickly but listened well as patient after patient would walk through her door. I walked out of the exam room briefly to speak to the women and children who were waiting on the bench outside to be seen. When I returned to Bertha, she was speaking with a woman I will never forget. 


Faux Enamel Mug with Vinyl

It's never to early too start about crafting holiday gifts. Just ask Hobby Lobby. They've had their Christmas crafting supplies up since July! I digress...It's a great time to start thinking about those handmade gifts you want to make for the loved ones on your list. Who doesn't need a good mug? I found this faux enamel mug at TJ Maxx for a few dollars and it was screaming for some vinyl. I will say, it's hard to find plain mugs now days. When you do, it's like finding a unicorn! OK, maybe not that rare, but for all the crafty folks who want to make and create their own design, when you find them, you better stock up!

So what do you do once you find that elusive blank mug? I've got all the details for how you can create your own design and what kind of vinyl you should be using to make that design last.  Are you ready?

Powered by Blogger.