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January 18, 2011

Pretty Paper Cones: Good Living Magazine Project 3

I know paper cones are not necessarily something new but I love making them. 
Maybe they are new to some of you?
For me personally...I always like to find out how to make things that seem simple but I can not quite figure them out until I see it step by step.
And there is something so endearing to me about pretty paper becoming a functional object or container.  And I love containers. Madly.

Once, I was in a group of people and we were all introducing ourselves and part of the intro was to say one thing about ourselves. My one thing?  Hi, I am Jessica and I like containers
Yes, I did. 
Fortunately, people laughed but I totally revealed the geek I am.  

Okidokes. Let's find out how to make these cones...
 You need 3 sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper, glue gun and ribbon (optional)
 Turn the paper so it is in a diamond shape and begin rolling the corner facing you into a tube.
 As you roll, keep the end to the left tighter while allowing the paper to open a bit on the right on the tube.
 Keep the left as tight as you can but don't allow the top of the cone on the right to get too loose.  Then it will lose its shape.
 When you are finished play with it until you like the shape.
 Use glue to seal it off and glue another open seams.
 Wait until it is dry.
 There you have some pretty cones to dress up a flower arrangement.
 You could even wrap a ribbon around it to give it a nice finish.
I just love how the red roses look with the ivory and black stripes.
 These cones are great for cotton candy, Valentine treats, favors, or whatever else your creative mind can come up with.
Here is another fun idea...bless someone with a flower arrangement on their door and leave it anonymously! Here, I hung the flowers by putting them through a heart cookie cutter and tied off a ribbon on the cookie cutter. You could even use napkin rings or even soup cans and mason jars tied off with twine or wire. 
A fun Secret Valentine gift or even one for a neighbor.
The end. :)

So the heart garland, the secret cookie messages and these paper cones are my 3 projects for the latest Good Living Magazine issue.  Hope you like the projects and when I get the online version of the magazine, I will post it on my sidebar.   
Actually, I have not even seen it yet so I am excited to know how it will turn out. 

Now I am off to get to read a book and get over this flu that has turned into me walking a fine line between bronchitis and pneumonia.
That will keep for another post.


Giveaway Winner!!!

 I am excited to announce the WINNER for the Read and Share Bible!  
Know that I have been praying for you and the child(ren) who will receive this precious gift. 

The winner left this comment...
"This bible would be for my two sons who are 3 and 1 right now. This would make reading the bible to them a lot easier! :) Love it and love this giveaway."

And was selected through True Random Number Generator...

 Congratulations Callie!
Email me so I can give you the details!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

January 16, 2011

Cookie Messages: Good Living Magazine Project 2

This has been an idea in my head that I just had to see it through.  
How fun would it be to get a box of cookies that were shaped like letters and have a secret message to spell out?  
 I KNOW!  
SO FUN, right????
First get cute packaging.
I got these cute candy boxes (3/pack)at Joann's.
Figure out your message and bake your cookies.
I used alphabet cookie cutters but you can also do circle cookies and ice them with letters.  I was on a deadline for these, so I rushed and they came out puffier then I would like.  
Icing them made them unreadable and I have to say the simplicity of just a sugar cookie appealed to me.  
I should have dusted them with coarse sugar so they sparkled with edible bling or something.
Be simple or creative with your message.
Now you need some pretty ribbon or twine.
And make a fun label with hints to figure out the message.
I made this simple label in MS Word and printed it out on cardstock, and punched a hole in the top.  
Easy peasy.
Did you figure these out from my cookie messages above?
The one on the left is "I'm Pregnant" and the one on the right is "Marry Me."

Other message ideas...

Forgive me?
Happy Anniversary
It's a Boy! (or girl)
I really don't like your cooking but I really love you.
I spent last night in the pokey.
I dented the car but eat these cookies before you look at it.
Really.  I could go on forever.

January 15, 2011

Heart Specimen Art

 I wish I could take credit for this simple and completely beautiful heart specimen art frame but my BFF made it for me as a house warming gift when we moved into our new house.  I just love it!
I was excited to bring it out of my book shelf (where curious hands can not get to it) to decorate for Valentine's day. And I love the simplicity that anyone can do it. 
Just cut or punch out several different kinds of scrapbook paper into tiny hearts, glue them to simple or decorative paper, and put it in a frame!  So easy!
 And I love that she used the initials for everyone in my family placed randomly on the hearts. 
And I especially love how it matches my decor.  
And how funny is it that I did not want my reflection in the frame so instead you can see my arm as I stretched it out to the side to take the photo. Typical. :)

A fun and easy project for you this weekend!

January 12, 2011

Valentine Heart Garland: Good Living Magazine Project 1

Bam...and then...Smack!
Yep...that was me falling out of my chair because not only am I posting twice in one week but I actually have a crafty one for ya.  Just shocking. But Valentines Day is approaching and in the last few years this has become one of my absolute favorite crafty holidays.  It may just be because I have 2 girls and maybe a smidge of a romantic heart.

But I can get wordy (as you know) and I got a LOT of photos here so I am going to stop being chatty and tell you about this fun garland which is one of the projects I did for the January/February issue of Good Living Magazine. It has been so fun being the Craft Writer for a local magazine I really love and support.
This garland is an upcycled wonder of goodness made from cereal boxes, old sweaters, scrap fabric, and even a pair of snuggly socks. It is pretty easy to do and you can get crazy resourceful with different materials.  As a lot of you know, I like to use what I have on hand and not lose coin on all my crafty endeavors.
Here's how I did it...
I used a cookie cutter as my template and cut out about 15 hearts from a cereal box.
I roughly cut out another heart slightly larger than my template with the plain cardboard side facing down.
I then pulled the fabric (in this case an old sweater) taught and hot glued it around as I went. Now I have to tell you I use hot glue for everything because it is fast... but I burn myself constantly.  
Fabric glue like Fabritac works great but it dries FAST so you gotta work quickly.
This is what they look like done.  Here I used burlap, an old sweater, and some red ticking.
Sooo pretty and I love the different textures!
I glued a length of twine that I pre-measured beforehand to the length of all my hearts leaving excess on either end for hanging.
If I was thinking, I would have glued these higher across the widest part of the heart so that they would not flip when you hung them.  I plan on hanging them against a door or wall so I am not too worried about it.
I then cut our several hearts from felt using the same cookie cutter as a template but cutting them out slightly smaller.
I glued them to the backs to cover up all the ugly stuff. :)
And there you have a pretty garland.

There you have it!
I will post about the other 2 projects that are simple and appropriate for your sweetie, a family member or a good friend.

L.O.V.E. and Hugs to you all!

crafty links

January 11, 2011

Giveaway: Read and Share Bible

 I am so ecstatic to be doing this giveaway!

I had heard about this bible after seeing a trailer for the Read and Share DVD Bible from one of the GiGi videos my girls watch, but never got my hands on it to see it for myself. When a wonderful representative from Tommy Nelson Publishing contacted me to do a review and giveaway, I was giddy with excitement.

I loved the idea of actually sharing with you my experience with this bible and them passing it along to you.
I was in for a completely exceeded my expectations.

The girls have had several kind of bibles that are age appropriate. Some were lift the flap, or stories with an illustration of a bible character.  But the Read and Share Bible is by far the best bible we have used with our kids for a few reasons...

1.  The discussion starter questions that accompany each story make for simple and very fruitful devotion time.
I am amazed at the response from my girls.  They LOVED the illustrations and the thought provoking questions actually made them think and respond.  They are age appropriate and it made them want to hear more.  After the first time using this bible, they both woke up in the morning asking to read it again as a family.

2.  The illustrations are nothing short of spectacular!
When you first see them, they are bright and not at all busy.  But it is the content of the illustration that is so amazing.  They literally tell the story in a way that a child can understand and then engage themselves in the story. For example, in the creation story, when God makes man, you see this large hand fashioning a man and it makes it understandable for a child that our Big and Mighty God made us. 

Below is the story of Noah so you can see for yourself.  The illustration of the flood covering the land is just brilliant and so easy to understand in the little mind of a child. I will stop typing so you can start reading...The Story of Noah from the Read and Share Children's Bible

Just awesome, right? Here's the scoop on entering...


1.  Leave me a comment letting me know 2 things...(This is required)
           Who would this bible be for?
           What do you like about the Read and Share bible?
2.  You may get a second entry if you post this on your blog. Leave me a comment that you did this with a link back to your blog post.
3.  You do NOT have to become a follower of my blog but it would bless me if you did. :)
If you do, you may have a third entry. If you are already a follower, leave me a separate comment letting me know that you are.

Thanks for entering!
Giveaway CLOSED

January 4, 2011

Some Cute Shots and My Word of the Year

It has taken me FOREVER to get back to life, our schedule, normalcy, and finally...this blog.  We had a whirlwind Christmas of unexpected changes in plans and an 11 hour road trip back to my old hood...NORTH CAROLINA.  Oh, how I have missed that place.  As many of you know, the Hubs is from NC and is true blue Tar Heel.  I went to college in NC too and that state has been in my heart ever since.

We had not been back in 4 years and we were so excited to be there for Christmas.  According to the girls, Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house ROCKS!

Sadly, ever since Christmas, we have been up and down with sickness with all the weather changes for our humidity adapted bodies. And then last night Ella cracked her chin open jumping in the bathtub (after telling her to stop for the 3rd time...sigh) sending us to an after hours clinic to get her sealed up. I about fell out on the floor seeing my child's fatty tissue inside a gaping hole under her chin but that story can be for another day...yet I think that picture in your mind should suffice. So that is a sum up of the last few weeks.

Here are some highlights from our Christmas...
 Bikes for the girls!
We were loaded up with suitcases (and bikes) with 5 hours into the trip to NC.
We had our first ever Christmas Eve dinner at McDonald's and then got into jammies.  
It was a surreal moment when I ordered a Number 1 meal on Christmas Eve.
 We don't have many leaf piles in FL so Ella was beyond excited to jump in a huge pile on our first day there.
I also thought you all would appreciate some Ella smiles.
It does not happen often in front of a camera.
 "My Paw Paw is so silly in his hat."
 This face melts my heart.
 This one too. :)
Cati is a true blue animal lover. 
 I love how Cati is looking at her Paw Paw in this pic.  
The girls are just crazy about their Grandparents.
 Cati loooooooooooooves the snow.
 This was Ella's first time ever playing in the snow. So magical and precious.
No, I did not get her right between the eyes with a snowball.  
She did that when trying to lick the snow by bending over.  Oh, my Ella.
 Daddy is so cool to pull Cati on this sled!
 He even sprints to make it go fast!
 Family pic in the snow!  
We Floridians had our 2nd White Christmas as a family. YAY!
(2 years ago we did in NJ where my Dad lives)
 Paw Paw collected some snow from outside and made...
 My FIL (Paw Paw) is a dentist so the girls wanted to visit his office and sit in his fun yellow chair.
Then it was back home to play with the goods.
Cati taught herself to hula hoop in a day.  So cool.
 How funny that we were in snow a few days before and in shorts and t-shirts a few days later?

Now for my WORD.

I confess that I never make New Year's resolutions but I am completely digging this one word that people come up with to be a theme for the new year.  At first I thought it was going to be HEALTHY.  I really am not as health conscious as I used to be and being smack dab in my mid thirties, I need that to change.  But I needed to broaden that word a little and I realized the word I was seeking for my theme in 2011 is NURTURE.

Here are some synonyms...grow, develop, feed, educate, train, cultivate, nourish, the act or process of raising or promoting the development of...

I want to nurture my family, my marriage, my girls, my extended family.  I want to eat healthy, train for another 5K and actually do it, be a godly wife and mother, teacher, and most of all a woman who seeks the heart of God.  This word fits all these categories so perfectly and it is my hope that this year is one where I nurture the life I have and all that God has given me.

If you had a theme what would it be?  I smile every time I think of mine.  It just fits and I pray your New year is filled with new beginnings too.  Seriously.  I just prayed for you.  For reals. :)

P.S.  I have a new giveaway coming up. Just got it in the mail after being asked to do a little review.  One for me and one for one of YOU!