A Winter Themed Wreath

I love making wreaths.  I love how you can make them out of just about anything and with any theme you can imagine.

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Last Christmas season, a friend of mine shared with me a DIY video for these adorable mini hats made from yarn and toilet paper rolls.  I just loved the tutorial and created many many versions of that little hat last year that I put on gift tags, cards, and even gave one away to all the office staff in my husband’s practice.

I can’t find the original video anymore but I have included a simple tutorial below to make your own version of this adorable little hat.  You can also search on Pinterest for some wonderful and thorough tutorials and images to create similar hats.

I made so many of these little hats last year that I have plenty of yarn and toilet paper rolls left over for a new project for this year.  My color inspiration for this wreath was from a project I completed last winter for my side entrance.

Winter Themed Pallet Sign

Winter Themed Pallet Sign

Last year I created a decorative pallet sign for my side entrance and plan to display it again this year all winter.  You can read the post here.

Using the same color pallet as I used for this sign, I decided to create a Winter Themed Wreath for my side entrance to display all winter instead of creating a Christmas themed wreath for the entrance.  I also decided that those adorable little hats were a perfect addition to the display.

To create these adorable little hats and the winter themed wreath you will need:

  • Yarn in the colors of your choice
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • White wreath from JoAnn’s (I got this for only $3.49 on Black Friday)
  • Ribbon in a design of your choice
  • Floral ties to create a bow from the ribbon and to attach to the wreath form

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First, measure and cut the toilet paper rolls into 1/4″ rings.

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Using the ruler as a measure, cut lengths of the yarn in 10″ to 12″ pieces.  Then start tying the lengths of yarn around the toilet paper ring as shown below.  Continue this step until you have completely covered the entire ring.

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Your little hat project will now look like this image below.

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Next, you need to reverse the string through the inside of the ring to create the cuff of the hat.

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Using another length of yarn, tie all the strings together to finish creating the shape of the hat. This piece of string then gets tied off at the end to create a hanger for the hat to be hung like an ornament.  Then you just need to trim off the excess ends of the yarn to finish the pom pom shape for the top of the hat.

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The finished hat will look like this.

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Since I wanted this wreath to coordinate with the colors in the winter themed pallet, I found ribbon at JoAnn’s with shades of blue, silver, gold and white and created a bow for my white wreath form.  I attached a bow to the side of the wreath and using the loop of yarn for hanging the little hats like an ornament, I wrapped the loops around branches of the wreath and just hung them on the wreath.

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My side entrance is ready for a long winter.

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“Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough.”  Luke 2:7

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Things to Stop Doing for Your House Guests

Funny title I know, but let me explain…

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A few weekends ago, my husband and I got to practice hospitality to a couple of complete strangers.  Our church was having a weekend Church Renewal Event and guest speakers and small group leaders were coming from 10 different states to lead our congregation in a weekend of prayer, conversations, and lots of eating.  Since we now have an empty basement with two bedrooms, we were asked to host two different couples for the weekend.

Of course we said yes, but it mentally sent me into a panic with thoughts of my house isn’t pretty enough yet, or the basement hasn’t been remodeled yet, and what could we accomplished before our guests even arrive to make the house look fabulous!

This was entirely the wrong thoughts, but I have the excuse of being a Professional Interior Designer in my defense.  My home is my showcase and my portfolio, and let’s be honest, no one really cares about that part as much as I ever will.  So I took a deep breath and reminded myself that hospitality is so much more about the heart than the actual home.

After working on the house and cleaning for days (aka wearing myself out)  I came up with a list of 10 things we should all stop doing for our house guests.

  1.  Stop thinking that your house has to be perfect before inviting guests over.

Hospitality is NOT about your house or the food you serve, but about connecting with family and friends and fellowship.  You need to realize that for most of us, none of our houses are perfect with the perfect furnishings and the perfect accessories and with no clutter.  That is a fantasy the magazines want us to believe.

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source: BH&G My idea of a clean comfortable living room.

Hospitality is about people and shared moments, not how the table is set, or the decorations.

2.  Stop thinking you need to impress your guests.

Again, your guests are coming to spend time with you and if they are true friends and loved family members, then they don’t need impressing with the latest gadget or the prettiest designer fabrics.

Stop trying to impress your guests with your home style and furnishings.  They will remember the fellowship and kindness.

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3. Stop trying so hard.

Do what you need to do for visiting guests like cleaning the house, clearing the extra clutter, washing the bedding, and putting out the fresh towels.  Most of the time your guests won’t know the difference in the extra things you think you  need to do like repairing and repainting the stairwell. (Yes I’m guilty of that one)

4.  Stop thinking you need to plan elaborate meals.

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source: BH&G

For the weekend of our church event, we were required to serve them breakfast each morning.  I planned a full course breakfast for each morning but in the end decided that time would only allow for me to make two much smaller meals.  For the first morning, I made Breakfast Sliders with ham and eggs from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  It took less than 30 minutes to make and they were a hit!  I got requests for the recipe and when I served the leftovers again the next morning – along with cinnamon rolls – my guests went immediately for the sliders.  We had great conversation over sliders and hot coffee and no one knew that I had planned something more.

5. Stop over-cleaning your house.

Okay – this one may throw some of you but let me explain.

You do need to clean the house.  A clean house for guests is very important!  But don’t waste extra time cleaning out the master bedroom closet when no one is going to go in there except you.  Spend your cleaning time and efforts on the common spaces of the house and the rooms they will be staying in.  If they are not going to see an area, just shut the door and concentrate on the areas they will see.

Besides making sure you have a clean house, make sure it smells nice too.  Your house should smell fresh but not overpowering.  A few small air fresheners will do the trick.  I have also learned that if you will put those fabulous Downy Upstoppables pellets in a small mason jar it not only freshens up a room but looks decorative as well tied with a little raffia.

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6.  Stop shopping for new accessories and decor before they arrive.

I am so guilty of having lists of things I want or need for each room and then when company is coming go into a panic trying to figure out how to buy it all at once.  This gets you into trouble on two different levels.  If you buy accessories or decor items just for the sake of buying it now, you end up with things you don’t really like or need in the long run.  Second, if you don’t have the funds available at the time, you end up running up credit charges.  Both of these things lead to frustration and decor envy with ideas of the perfect rooms.

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source: BH&G

Instead, use what you have.  Move a lamp from the Master Bedroom to the Guest Bedroom for the weekend.  Move accessories you already have to the guest spaces.  You can even change art around to refresh a room.

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Your guest just really need a comfortable place to sleep, a reading lamp, a night light, a place to drop lose change or rings, an extra blanket if needed and a bottle of water for the bedside.

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7.  Stop stressing over the small things.

Did you forget to buy decaf coffee?  Are you afraid that you guest will notice where the puppy chewed the end of the chair cushion?  Those things are just a part of life, move on and enjoy the visit.

8.  Stop losing sleep worrying about what you haven’t finished on your to-do list.

I am a list maker.  I make lists for shopping, house cleaning, and most definitely for home repairs and maintenance.  If you allow yourself to worry about what you haven’t gotten done on your house yet, it will drive you crazy and cause you to lose sleep.  And a tired hostess is not a fun hostess.

The best way to handle your nagging to do list about your house, is to embrace it and explain to your guests that life is a work in progress.

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9.  Stop apologizing for what you feel your home is lacking or any work that is going on.

I am very guilty of this part.  Especially in the last year after the tree fell on our house and we spent over six months in construction and repairs.  I was constantly trying to explain the mess or lack of progress or over talk the “future” plans to hopefully distract anyone from the mess, chaos, and unfinished projects.

Last year I had a close friend who was in the process of building a new home and had to move in before everything was done.  Instead of waiting to invite our coffee group over for breakfast until it was all done, she graciously invited us to her unfinished house complete with sawdust and unpainted walls.  We still had a fabulous time!

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Our own work-in-progress room.

No us really cared about what was not done or the fact that some of the walls were unpainted or even just studs.  We loved hearing about her plans for what it would look like and just enjoyed spending time together in a new home.

Don’t apologize for making progress in your home plans, even if it takes baby steps to get there.  People will appreciate the honestly and enthusiasm for your home improvements more.

10.  Stop working and sit down to chat and enjoy time spent with your guests.

This is an important one.  Stop working, cleaning, cooking, dusting, whatever you are doing, while your guests are there.  They will long remember the conversations you had over how much you worked to make sure the dishes were done quickly or the countertops were cleared.

The holidays will be here in just a week, and I hope these no nonsense tips help you relax and enjoy time with your guests.

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“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  1 Peter 4:9

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Custom Cross Stitch Locket Necklace

If you have read more than one post from me you will know that one of my favorite hobbies is cross stitching. The more complex the pattern the more I love it!

I recently made a one of a kind gift for a close friend for her birthday out of custom cross stitch patterns I created.  She loves all things Disney so I made her a cross stitch pendant necklace to wear on her upcoming trips. Home made gifts for birthdays and Christmas are a tradition with us, so this one was perfect.

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The first thing I had to find was a locket or pendant that I could insert the fabric into. I was lucky to find this version from Bead Landing at Michael’s for only $4.99.  Of course I used a coupon for this.  I was also able to find a chain in a 3-pack for only $3.99.

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I knew what type of cross stitch pattern I wanted to put in the locket, and an extensive search on Pinterest uncovered many great ideas, but none that would fit in the locket even using 22-count cloth.

The only thing left to do was to create my own.

With some graft paper and a general idea I what I wanted to create, I sketched out two different options for Mickey themed charms for the locket.

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Color Chart:

Pumpkin:   742 Orange, 703 Green (for leaf), 610 Brown (for stem), 310 Black(for ears)

Mickey:  666 Red, 310 Black, White (for buttons)

Harry Potter Glasses:  310 Black, 973 Gold (for lightning bolt)

Sorry for the slightly fuzzy images but graph paper is hard to scan. If I ever create custom charts again I will use a more sophisticated software. I hope you can at least see the patterns and understand them if you are a stitcher.  And to be honest, I actually had to stitch the pumpkin twice just to get it to look right and adjust the pattern.  So, these are the final patterns you see in the finished products.

Now that the charm “insert” bug had count on for me, I also decided to make a Harry Potter themed insert for her locket as well.  Again, I turned to Pinterest for ideas.  The first one, the Harry Potter glasses and lighting bolt scar were not available to purhase anymore but oh so easy for me to recreate a similar pattern.  Definitely not trying to steal from someone else as in I don’t think my design is an exact replica of someone else’s, but if it is, it was not intentional.

My final search on Pinterest found this wonderful site by Alicia Sivert and you can find her post on her custom designed Hogwart’s House buttons here.  You will have to translate her site to be able to actually read it, but the patterns are pretty self explanatory.  Thanks Alicia for offering such a great project!

These Mini-Hogwart’s House Buttons fit perfectly in the locket.

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I used the small round cut photo that came with the locket as a template to cut these out to the right size.  The locket is actually two sided but the Aida fabric was too thick to use two of the inserts at the same time.

I hope you enjoy these and please visit Alicia’s site for even more great Harry Potter themed cross stitch patterns.

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“If you…who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your fathers in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11

 

 

 

 

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed Wood Sign

Last week I was asked to donate something from my business to a silent auction event for a scholarship fund at one of our local universities.  Considering that I am currently working on designing a new craft room in my home, my supplies are scattered everywhere, and I didn’t have a lot of time to invest in the project, I went with something simple, quick, and easy but very popular to make – a harvest themed wood sign.

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I know there are oodles of tutorials on Pinterest on how to paint wood signs, so in this post I will just share photos of where I started and how the final project came out.

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I started this project with a leftover board from our old pool deck.  (You know I couldn’t just throw these out or burn them).  After cleaning up the board, I applied a thin layer of Pure & Original Chalk Paint in Old Linen in a dry brush technique.

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I printed out a template for the words for the sign on my computer and positioned it on the wood.

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Then I just painted the letters in black and orange.  I decided the sign needed a little more character so I added on painted fall leaves and some distressing.

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And that was it.  This project took me about 3 hours to complete, and free supplies I already had on hand.  The best part, it helps a college student with scholarship funds.  A win, win in my book.

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”       1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

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How To Make A Chevron Pattern For DIY Projects

Chevron patterns can be found just about anywhere these days.  I don’t think we are going to get tired of them anytime soon.  I know I love putting chevron patterns on all kinds of craft projects and even furniture.

Liking chevron patterns and knowing how to make one can be two different things unfortunately.    After a few trials and errors, I finally found an easy way to create a simple grid to make a perfectly spaced and aligned chevron pattern.

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Disclaimer:  This tutorial contains affiliate links but all opinions and reviews are my own.

I will use one of my most recent projects as an example.

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When we moved into our current home, our daughter’s room had these custom built, and very deep shelves, in one corner beside the window seat. The shelves were built floor to ceiling and were just too deep for her to use.  Imagine seven custom shelves that she could have crawled into and slept on they were so wide and deep.  So we removed them but I certainly didn’t throw them away.  For years they have been in a basement closet while I figured out how to reuse and recycle them.

My husband cut this one in down for me to use as a backdrop for my fall display.  The wood is not actually wood but veneer.  My board measured 19″ wide by 27″ long.

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The first thing I did was to apply several coats of chalk paint by Pure & Original Paints in Old Linen.  Pure & Original paints go on so smoothly and covers any surface with ease.  I knew with a veneer surface on the board that Pure & Original paint would work the best.

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Once the paint was dry, I drew a block grid on the surface with a pencil to create the chevron pattern.  Chalk paint not only allows you to write on the surface, but the pencil marks can be erased afterwards.

For my pattern, I decided to draw the grid with 4 equal sections on the short side, and 6 equal sections on the long side of the board.  The number of blocks you create for the grid depends on how many V-shapes you want in your project. This is easy to do with a yard stick or straight edge.

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After creating the block grid in pencil, I started the chevron pattern by drawing a diagonal line from one corner to the next in the first block of the grid.

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Then I drew a second line in the next block of the grid in the opposite direction, and continued this pattern across the top row of blocks. (You can draw the pattern either vertical or horizontal).

20161008_101001For the next rows of blocks, copy the same pattern as the first row until you have completed the entire grid.

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Since the grid lines and blocks were drawn with a pencil, you can easily erase the lines around the new chevron pattern.  A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders as well.

Now you can easily paint or decorate the chevron pattern you just created.

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Mine is shown here in orange and white that I used as a backdrop for my Fall side entrance display.  I will tell you another secret…I actually painted both sides of my board to use for another holiday.  Be on the lookout for it later this year.

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“In Him we live and move and exist”  Acts 17:28

To find even more fabulous paint products, visit Pure & Original Paints below.

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