Monday, December 31, 2012

Counting Down...

Good afternoon! We hope everyone is having a super last-day-of-2012. It's kind of hard to believe so much has happened this year. And the year ends with a newly fallen snow here.
Anyway, in honor of New Year's Eve, and what everyone does is count down to the New Year. Our layout is title just that:
Like yesterday's project, we were planning on starting with a simple monochromatic scheme, using black, with some blue. It turned out that we had some "champagne"-colored shimmery paper, which was a perfect touch for a New Year's layout. And, of course, we added some flourish:
 And it's a little hard to tell, but the white photo mats are cut from recycled paper, so it kind of looks like confetti.
Thanks for stopping by. We hope everyone has a fun, fantastic, and safe New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ringing in the New Year

Good afternoon! Or, well, it's more evening. We hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. It's hard to imagine that this is the last Sunday in 2012. The year has gone by so fast. So, today's project is another New Year's project. This is a quick card we threw together:
How cute is the little baby?! (Although it looks like the diaper is a little full...) Originally it was supposed to be a black and white card, with a pop of color, so we chose the blue paper. But our sparkled paper didn't match, and what's a New Year's card without some glam? That's where the yellow sparkle came from.
On a side note, this card reminds me of the race we used to run on New Year's morning. Once in a while, there was a guy (an older, bigger fella) who used to dress as the New Year's baby. Enough said.
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cupcake Saturday

Welcome to another Cupcake Saturday! (So it's a little late for some of our readers, but it's still Saturday here...) We hope that everyone is having a wonderful week and are enjoying the remainder of the holidays. We are aware that it's been a while, but we have been enjoying our Winter Break, and haven't been doing to much, other than relaxing. Now that it's almost over (unfortunately) we're going to try to get back on track. And what better day, and theme, than the Saturday before the New Year??
This weekend's cupcake is one of our more-extravagant cupcake creations:
These cupcakes are white chocolate cake with a champagne buttercream frosting. What's a New Year celebration without some bubbly?? We had some champagne left over from the mimosas we made on Christmas morning (why not induldge?) and decided to use it in this frosting. We used just enough to taste, but not overpowering. And we still have more for our New Year's celebrating!
(I would also like to take this time to say that we are aware that we made a wine-flavored cupcake a  few weeks ago. We are not lushes ;o) )
Thanks for stopping by! Join us again tomorrow for another quick New Year's project!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and
I feel like a little kid again, waking up before sunrise on Christmas morning. I guess it's kind of easy to do when sunrise isn't until 8:00. It's been a while since we posted regularly, but figured today would be a good day to start again. It's been pretty busy around here, getting things together, working, etc., so we haven't been able to do much crafting for the blog without giving away some of the presents we gave this year. We will be posting those pictures soon. Anyway, we hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with family and memories!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kards for Kiddos

As you know, we have family and friends who teach and live in Newtown, the sight on the horrific event that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Yesterday, we posted some links to websites that are collecting donations to help the families that were affected. While the monetary donations will help families pay for the unexpected costs, as well as provide counseling assistance, we want to do something for the students and staff. When they go back to school in their borrowed space, it won't be home. In order to make the time a little easier and calmer, we want to send them love and good wishes from all over, so they know that they aren't alone.

Since the pain and memories won't go away in a week or two, we plan on continuing this project through the rest of the school year. You can sign your cards if you'd like, or just “sending you love and good wishes from Washington” type of messages. We want to send them good thoughts.

Everyone enjoys getting mail, and what better way to brighten up their days than by seeing how much they are loved from around the country. The cards can have anything on it that kids would enjoy: sports, animals, characters, basically anything. We do ask that they aren't religious in nature, since there is a wide variety of faiths in town.

If you're like us and make cards for challenges or daily posts, and don't know what to do with all of them, other than keep them in a box for “some time when I might need them,” this would be a great way to help clean a little. Or a great group project for youth groups or classrooms to help them connect with other kids their age.

If you'd like to help us spread some cheer to these children, you can send your cards to us, and we'll help spread love and good wishes. Please send us a message if you are interested in helping out, and we'll give you more details! Thank you so much!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

27 New Angels

We've been sitting at the computer, almost all day, trying to figure out what is going on at home. We have family, friends, and former classmates and teammates who live and work in Newtown. There are so many questions that may never get answered. You think, “How could this ever happen here?” Maybe the biggest question is “Why?” It's so difficult to see and hear about places we grew up near on national television- that darn flagpole, and the $2 movie theater, and the diner everyone went to when ours closed- and then listening to the President talking about, and knowing where, Newtown, CT is.

Our mom sent us a text yesterday morning, as she was shopping in Newtown, asking us if we had heard about a shooting at an elementary school. This was right before I left to go into a 4th grade classroom, here in Olympia, for the day. At lunch, another teacher asked if I had heard about it. At that point, I didn't realize the massiveness of the event, and spent the rest of the time trying to comprehend what had happened.

As I sat in a classroom on the other side of the country, all I could think about was those children who will never get a chance to grow up. They won't go out on their first date, have a first kiss, or, get married and have children of their own. They'll never get the chance to score the winning goal, have another first day of school, make the honor roll or go to college. There are parents who will never see their children open up those Christmas presents. They won't see them grow up into beautiful young men and women. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the children and their families and friends.

As teachers, we go through the drills, just in case. You hope and pray that nothing will ever happen like that in your school. We practiced an earthquake drill out here in Washington yesterday, and all I could think of was, this could be so much different. What would I do if this was real? I'd like to think that I would do exactly as the teachers at Sandy Hook did: protect the children, no matter what, and be able to help those students who were sad and confused. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of all of the adults who were true heroes yesterday.

As much as you want to hate the man who did this, you also need to remember that the family also lost their mother. They're in our thoughts as well.

Growing up one town over, Newtown was always our biggest rival. Our schools had the “7-Mile Challenge” and the football teams play every Thanksgiving Eve. Now, we have to forget our differences and come together to help the community. We may not have the best things to say about Connecticut, but it will always be home. It makes us proud to see how the people of Monroe and the rest of Connecticut, and the country, are rallying together to try to help make this time a little easier for their neighbors.

Ways to Help:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cupcake Saturday!

It's finally the weekend! All week, it's felt like it should be the next day. Oh well. So, today brings us another Cupcake Saturday. Today's mini cake is a little different than what we normally do. We decided to make jingle bell cake pops:

We saw this idea as we were perusing the internet (probably Pinterest). The lady who is famous for her cake pops, Bakerella, does such an amazing job on her cake pops. Well, ours are not so hot, but the idea was so adorable that we had to try it. Here are our version of the Jingle Bell Pops.

This was the inspiration...
(See how awesome they look?!)

And this is what ours came out looking like.
(Totally from the same batch, right?!)

Ok, so we've tried cake pops once before and those were a total nightmare. They looked awful and wouldn't stay on the sticks, no matter what we tried. These came out slightly better, but still not quite so good. I think next time, we'll spend some more time crumbling the cake up. Knowing what I know now about the whole cake pop process, I will also use a lighter color cake mix. I thought, "Oh, red velvet, that will look really Christmas-y." I suppose I should've known to use white cake, just in case it did show up under the layers. Oh well, they still taste really good, no matter how lumpy they look!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bell Still Rings

Happy Thursday! It is definitely one of those weeks that just crawls on by. It feels like it should be Friday. Almost there....
Today's projects are 'Polar Express'-themed party decorations we made. There are two of them. The first is a multi-use place-card holder.
These place cards are designed to look like bells. (They are actually cut from a cupcake box) The criss-crossing of the top worked out rather nicely, as they are positioned in just the right spot for the slits in the bell. They were added with black marker, but you can't see it in the picture. Since they are boxes, they open up and are perfect to give away as a little party favor. We added a real bell to the top, so when they were moved, they jingle! (And we're fully aware the 'd' is lower case. Capital 'd's are just ugly letters....)
Our second project today is another favor box:
These favors are a little bigger than the bells, measuring about 4x4x4" boxes. They were decorated to look like train cars. You can always add more riding cars to match the number of favors needed. The cars are lit up, just like in the movie. This would also serve as a cute centerpiece for a small gathering (too many and it might take up the whole table!)
Join us tomorrow for a sweet project that's perfect for young children to help with!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Just Believe- #2

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a great week so far! I know, not a clever post title at all. Especially since we've already had one the week with the same title. That just seems to be that kind of week. 
All this talk about being able to hear bells is starting to get to me. This morning, I was listening to Christmas music while getting ready for work, and the first song I heard started off really quiet, with some bells tinkling in the distance. Somehow I forgot that my phone was in my pocket, and all I heard were the bells. At first I thought the bell project from yesterday made the noise, but realized no one was near it.  So, logically, my next thought was that Santa was coming, of course! I only figured out it was the music when the singing began. Oh well. It would have been a little too early for the Big Guy anyway.
So, continuing on with today's project. We have another quick home decor project to share today.  We have a pretty big mirror hanging over our fireplace and decided that it needed to be spruced up a bit:
We cut out the word 'believe' in  super fun sparkly red vinyl. The shooting star was cut out in a silver an a gold vinyl. We wanted to make it big enough to take up a good chunk of room, but not to make it look too silly. It is about 1/3 the width of  the mirror. It's a little hard to tell, but any other picture would have gotten us in the reflection. We surrounded it with some greenery, as well. The mirror looks much better now that it has some pizzazz to it!
Thank you for stopping by. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jingle All the Way

We hope everyone is having a good morning. It seems as if this is going to be another slow week. It feels like it should be at least Wednesday. Although who can complain when you get to watch 'Toy Story' and 'Finding Nemo' all day?! Hopefully everyone else's day will be just as good!
For today's project, we have a craft that would cheer up any space. These 'wreaths' can be found at any craft store, but we made this one on the cheap- $6.00 for the entire thing.
In order to make this, all we used was some jewelry wire we had hanging around. Ours is the size of a large coffee can, but you can make it any size you want. We recommend using thick wire (or even a metal coat hanger, if you have any more of those) so the shape stays better. Ours was kind of thin, so the small size worked well. Then, all you take are some jingle bells and string them onto the wire. (The bells are on sale this week at Micheal's, for like $2.99) We used two different sizes, but you can pretty much design it however you want. Once they're all strung, you can form the wire into the shape you want and wa-la! A quick project. We added a little bell in the middle, tied with a cute gold bow!
In 'The Polar Express' if you believe in the magic of the holiday, you can hear the bell jingle. There is no way you can't hear these bells jingle!
This would be a quick little gift for a holiday grab bag, maybe, or something to make and give to yourself!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Believe!

Good morning! We hope everyone had a great weekend. We spent yesterday up in Bellevue, which is up near Seattle. We went for some paper and came back with more than we bargained for. Funny how that tends to happen. Unfortunately we didn't get any holiday shopping done, so sorry guys- nothing for you this year!
Continuing with this week's theme, we have a layout that would be perfect for a holiday train ride. Or a 'Polar Express' party, of course!
This layout features the magical train that's headed to the North Pole. And the only way to get on is to have your ticket:
The word "believe" was designed to look like it was hole-punched. In the movie, the Conductor is mighty talented when it comes to punching the kids' tickets. We also added some bells to the layout, which happens to be more than just the first present of Christmas (and it doesn't go to the boy known as Know-It-All).
Thanks for stopping by! Come back tomorrow for a quick and fun home decor project!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All Aboard!

Happy Sunday! We hope you are all having a fantastic weekend, filled with holiday decorating and tree-trimming! It's another raining day here (surprise!) but we're filling it with holiday cheer. This week's theme is based off of the classic holiday book and movie, "The Polar Express", the story about a little boy who learns how to believe in the magic of the holiday. During our Christmas Movies in July week, we made these peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes. It's such a cute movie! So, today's project is an invitation to a Polar Express party:
The invitation is relatively simple, kind of like the movie itself. It's a "quiet" movie, if that makes any sense. We chose to make it navy blue because the story takes place on Christmas Eve. We also made a train ticket #1225, good for one trip to and from the North Pole.
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cupcake Saturday!

Wow! It's already December! Where has the year gone?? Today's cupcake doesn't quite fit with this week's winter woodland theme, but it does if you decide to sit by the fireplace with  glass of wine on a cold, winter night. We all know that this is can be a hectic month, filled with parties, holidays, and everything else. It is perfect for those days when you want to relax, or for a special holiday party. We have made these Moscato cupcakes:
We came up with this idea a few months ago, when our friend Cari introduced us to this wine. If you haven't tried it, and you enjoy a delicious, fruity wine, we highly recommend it. It has become our go-to wine. The cupcake is a white cupcake flavored with the wine. The frosting is a Moscato buttercream. The lady at the store was a little surprised when we told her the wine was going in the cupcakes. It is totally worth it. But, pouring the wine into a glass is quicker and cheaper, so... This cupcake is definitely "wine-y", so it is only recommended for the adults at the party :)
Thanks for stopping by today! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!