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A night for clothespin nativity ornaments

So I have a pretty nice gig at my church.  I get to work with the Activity Days Girls.  They’re all the girls in the congregation ages 8-11.  On the first and third Tuesday of every month we get together and play, usually doing a craft or learning a new talent.  Well, last night we decided to make some ornaments.  I had a bunch of supplies leftover from some Nativity ornaments I made as neighbor gifts a few years ago so we decided to give those a try.  And they’re so simple it was perfect for the girls.

CLothespin Nativity Ornament - MissyDear

It was a total blast.  I planned to take some pictures of the ornament making process but since it was late and we were in a pretty dark room none of the pictures turned out very well.  So I decided to take some better pictures this morning.

These ornaments are so easy to put together.  It’s pretty self explanatory, but I’ll share the steps anyway.  First you need to gather the supplies:

Clothespin Nativity Ornament supplies

(I got all these supplies – other than the glue gun and twine – in the wood craft isle at the craft store)
2 clothespins
1 star
Mushroom top (what are those things really called?)
Balsa wood strip (I bought the $.99 cent one at Joann and cut it into 1.5 in strips)
Ribbon or twine
Glue Gun

Now it’s just a simple 4 step process:

Clothespin Nativity Ornament step by step

1 – Glue the 2 clothespins together.
2 – Glue the pair of clothespins to the star.
3 – Glue the mushroom top to the balsa wood.
4 – Glue the balsa wood to the pair of clothespins.

And done!  Well, I guess there is one more step.  You should probably glue the ribbon/twine to the back if you plan on actually using it as an ornament :).

The girls loved putting them together and getting to use the glue guns on their own (under close supervision, don’t worry).  Since it was so quick and easy we had a little time at the end to decorate some gingerbread houses.  That inevitably lead to squeezing frosting directly into their mouths and sneaking the candy to eat rather than decorate.  So all in all I’d say it was a pretty fantastic night.

Nursery Pillow and a Leather Key Chain

A few weeks ago, when I realized that my sewing machine was going to be in storage for maybe close to a month, I got a little bee in my bonnet.  I made 2 skirts, a dress for Abi, a few pillows and a key chain.  Here are two of the little projects I made.

Lion Nursery pillow 1

I got this pillow panel from Purl Soho while I was in New York.  Isn’t it so darling?  It’s a print on a tea towel by British designer Sarah Young.  She also has 5 other prints (all equally awesome).  This one is Clarence the lion.  He’s very dashing don’t you think?

Lion Nursery pillow 2

After I saw how great this little guy turned out I decided to finally cut into some of the delicious leather I picked up from Mood.  I was so nervous about it.  I didn’t want to waste even a tiny little scrape of it.

Leather keychain 2

I have needed a new key chain for a few months.  I’ve had the same big, hot pink letter M for the past 10ish years and it was starting to get a little rough around the edges.  So I cut out a rectangle about an inch wide and 7ish inches wide, grabbed some fantastic orange chambray ribbon (from Purl Soho – really wish I had bought more) and decided to try out one of the decorative stitches on my machine.

Leather keychain 1

One row of stitching down the center, another to stitch the strip into a loop around the key ring and we’re good as gold.  I’m a fan, are you?

Here’s my house!

In the 7 years of my marriage we have moved 8 times, including 4 different states.  That’s a lot of moving.  This stay in Boston was going to be a long term deal. And it has been the longest stay so far – 17 months.  But a few weeks ago my husband was on a business trip and called me with some big news.  We’re moving again – this time to St. Louis Missouri.

I had plans to share pictures of our apartment when I got it all finished (which you thing would have happened after 17 months) but I’m just not there yet.  However, since we’re moving I thought I would share the pictures of what I have done.  That way it’s at least documented right?

These are the pictures I took to list the apartment for sublease so there aren’t any good close ups or glamour shots.  I thought I would take more later and add them.  But right now the entire house house is covered in boxes.  Both filled and empty.  It’s a little bit chaotic and stressful, but I should be used to it by now right? :)

Lets start at the front door.  Well, not the exact front door because that’s only a closet and the washer/dryer, but right around the corner.

entry

^^ This is the little hallway between the entry and the living spaces.  I started refinishing that dresser months and months ago, and I still haven’t made anymore progress on it.  I bought the stuff to finish it a few weeks ago, but once I found out we were moving I decided to wait.  I don’t want to scratch the new paint job in a moving truck.

^^ That painting is in the top 5 favorite items in our house.  It was painted by my Aunt and I was always told it was of my grandma as a child.

living

^^ Next up are the living areas.  I love me some Ikea bookcases and frames.  I also love a good faux bois pillow.

hallway

^^ Then, down the hallway.  The room straight ahead is Abi’s, the right is the office and the left (just past the bathroom) is the master.  That piano is another one in the top 5 best objects.  It was also my grandmas.  I wish I had taken the towel off the seat.  I have it there so that the amazing needlework seat cover she made doesn’t’ get hurt.

office

^^ Now we’ll move on to the office area.  one of the first things we purchased when we got into this apartment were all those bookshelves.  We got 5 of them. And I bet you can’t figure out which one is my desk :)

abi's room

^^ Then Abi’s room.  This is the room I wish I had spent more time on it.  I had such great plans for it.  The most I was able to get to was the paint the bed that I thrifted for $20, and the Ikea shelves (that was an adventure) with toy bins.  I’ll have to do a post about that little doll house under the window.  My husband made that out of a cardboard box for Abi, then they painted it together. So fun.

master

^^ And now we’ll just end off with the worst room in the house shall we?  The master bedroom is the one that I have done NOTHING to. I dream about new bedding.  Someday I’ll get to it.

So how was the little house tour?  I’m excited to someday get settled so I can really go at it.

Easy Fathers Day Gift {that just keeps giving}

This year for Fathers Day the main man in our life will be out of town (in fact he’s out of town for the whole month of June. booo) so I can’t surprise him with some grand gesture*.  It has to be something small.  Something simple. Something that fits easily in the mail.  So what’s a girl to do?  Surf Pinterest of course. And that’s where I found this brilliant idea by the ladies over at The Dating Divas then got right to work.

easy fathers day gift main

Isn’t it so great?  Just grab a little 7 day pill box and some treats and you’re set!  Instead of one grand gesture he gets seven small, heart felt ones spread out over a week.

I made a few changes to their version though.  Since I would be mailing it I didn’t want to put any candy in it that could melt.  And I also wanted it to be handwritten notes (they have a printable available) so that Abi could help out a little and make it even more personal.  I really want to make sure he understands how much we love and appreciate him.

easy fathers day gift

Abi also helped me set up for the shot.  I was extremely impressed with her restraint with all that candy in front of her.  But then I got behind the camera and most of the pictures turned out like this.

easy fathers day gift outtake

The little sneak couldn’t keep away! Silly girl.

*like buying him at a date auction

The Many Meanings of Cross Stitching

For most of my life my mom was sick. She spent all of her time in the chair in her bedroom or the sun room. Until her hands got too weak, she spent her days cross stitching. Our house was full of all the wonderful images she had created. That is one of the things I remember most about my mom. I wanted nothing to do with cross stitching at the time, but as I’ve gotten older and I now have her things hanging in my own house I’ve come to better appreciate it.
There is a talk from the 2008 annual general conference of my church called “Happiness, Your Heritage” and I’m sure all of you have run into a least a little bit of it out in crafty blog-land. In it Elder Uchtdorf says,

“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty…As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you”.

Whenever I start a new cross stitch I become almost obsessed. I can’t take a break until it’s done. I love watching the blank cloth turn into a beautiful piece of art that often shows things that mean so much to me. It’s the perfect escape from the stresses of life. The perfect time to “zone out” and think.

I’m so thankful for the unknowing example my mom showed me by spending endless hours doing something I would come to love so much.

DIY Apothecary Jar Filler {an easy tutorial}

tall deer

I love apothecary jars (and who doesn’t?).  But I had one problem with them.  I hatewhen they are empty.  I can never find exactly what I want to fill them, or if I do I have had to shell out a good $100 to fill my large jar.  So they just sit empty most of the time.

Then one day at the grocery store I had a brilliant idea (and right in time for Valentines Day!).  Bags of dry white beans were on sale for 70 cents.  And I had a can of pink spray pain on a shelf at home.  So what did I do?  I DIY’d my own Apothecary Jar Filler!  And here’s how I did it in four easy steps.

 steps

1 – Gather supplies – a cardboard box (make sure all seems on the bottom are sealed so now pant can sneak out), dry beans & spray paint.

2 – Pour beans into cardboard box.

3 – Spray beans with paint, shake box.  Repeat until beans are coated.

4 – Pour beans out onto parchment paper and let dry. When dry break the beans apart (the paint will make them stick to each other a little) then pour them into the jar.

And now you’re done!  It took me four bags of beans to fill my large jar.  So what is that, $2.80?  Not too shabby, I’d say.

So what’s your favorite jar filler?

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