Archives for November 2013

Richie our Elf Returns!!

Thanksgiving night we found a mysterious package on our door step from the North Pole.  When we opened it up, it was Richie our Elf!!!  The box was full of goodies for a Hot Cocoa party: Three Christmas mugs, hot chocolate, ginger cookies, shortbread cookies, marshmallows, peppermint candies, chocolate santas, Christmas plates, and best of all Richie!

We were all so excited to see him!  I can’t believe he is back & I can’t wait to see what he’s up to all month!!

Amanda

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It is so nice to gather around the table and offer thanks to God for the abundance we have and to talk with each other and share our gratitude for our many blessings.
My new table’s first thanksgiving!  It was fun to be able to spread out and have lots of room for lots of plates!
Our menu:
Roast turkey stuffed with butter and herbs – it was one of the best turkeys yet!
Traditional Stuffing
Mashed potatoes with cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, cream & butter
Rolls – Secret Family Recipe
Brown Eyed Baker’s Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Homemade Strawberry Jam
Thanksgiving fruit salad – family recipe
Shrimp cocktail – family recipe
Fresh Strawberry pie – my friend’s award winning recipe
Banana Cream pie – secret family recipe
Black Berry Pie (Claim Jumper – I have to cut corners somewhere)
Pumpkin Pie (Claim Jumper also)
We gathered with family and friends and ate and ate and ate!
Marbles even had his little sweater on for dinner.

 Marbles is the strangest Bangle cat – he won’t eat meat.  Instead he sits at the table and begs for bites of roll.  What a weird-o!!!

 My little “photo boomer”.  The kids were super silly after dinner!  All that waiting around to eat!!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is over and December begins on Sunday!!!  How fast the time flies!

Amanda

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

I love our Elf on the Shelf, Ritchie!  We look forward to when Richie arrivies and we cry when he leaves!   Here are a few of our Ritchie’s antics! Follow my Elf on the Shelf Pinterest Board HERE

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Richie arrived at our home in a sealed Santa’s Workshop Lego set. We were all so surprised and we didn’t know he was inside for quite a while!

We found Richie and his reindeer in a roll of TP

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Richie is somewhat of a card shark, sporting a full house in this game of Tripoley.

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Richie gathered all the stuffed cats in the house an placed them on the stairs. He was found reading my “Think Like A Cat” book.

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Sugar Angles

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Hanging in the bathroom

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This one was a little questionable 🙂

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Bows all over the kitchen and stuck to any solid surface!

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Hot Hot cocoa date with Anna

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A little mischief with Snowflake Sally’s non-magical girl elf

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Helping out with St. Nicholas Day

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Chillin’ in the freezer with some North Pole Fat Boys!

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Setting the table and serving everyone gingerbread men for breakfast.

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Peppermint cotton candy for breakfast

IMG_2505On Christmas Eve Ritchie has extra magic so the children can hug him good bye….pass the kleenex!

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Richie & Rapunzel sharing a bottle of syrup

Of course the toilet papering of the Christmas Tree!

The M&M bath

Crusin’ around with Merida in the back of the truck

Chillin’ in the freezer

Sleeping in

The underwear display

Epic game of Battleship with Rudolph

Dry erase marker on the school pictures

Crape paper barricade

Elf-size tea party

Red marker Rudolph Noses on the children

Again – hangin’ with Rapunzel

Popcorn party gone out of control

Good advice

Jokes are a hit with the 9 year old crowd!

Lego mini figures feeling neglected

Just fishin’

Richie loves his princesses!

Hanging by a stocking

Hiding in the wreath

Playing with the Vinylmation collection

Buckled up in the car

The day before Richie had to go back to the North Pole (December 24th) Richie was granted extra magic which meant we were able to hold him – but only that day.  This was such a thrill to my little girl – this was the most special day ever.

 
Amanda
 

Rustic Farm Table Reveal

It’s finally here – the day I have been waiting for!  My rustic farm table is finally finished!!  This project all started when I got the crazy idea to sell my dining room set to my friend and use the money to purchase reclaimed lumber and have my husband build me a table!  It all started in February…..

Living in California, reclaimed lumber is hard to find and it is expensive!  I called and researched places that sold reclaimed wood.  There wasn’t too many to pick from in the LA metro area.  We ended up driving out to the valley where this guy had a huge garage/yard full of lumber.  We choose Michigan Oak that was used in a subfloor of a barn.  I am guessing its 60 to 80 years old.  For the price of my dining room table & 8 chairs – I got a truck load of lumber.  Seems reasonable!!

Oh the projects we could make!!!!

The wood sat in our back yard for about 6 months while we gathered the right tools, additional lumbar, etc….and while my husband came up with a plan for the construction.  Then, one day in September, it happened, the table started coming together.

We constructed it in 2 sections.

I am not going to write too much detail on the construction.   If you want to build one, leave me a comment, and I can send more detailed instructions 🙂

These are the pedestals for the table.
Here it is all finished.  It took 3 men to get it into the house!  It is super heavy!  I wasn’t sure what type of protective finish to put on the top.  I didn’t want a shiny or thick polyurethane.  I looked into linseed oil, but didn’t feel good about that choice.  I went with Minwax finishing wax.  I have used it before and it turned out to be the perfect finish for the table.  It still feels like the original wood and will repel moisture.
The chairs are mismatched: some are chairs I had and others are from my adventures garage sailing!  They are white, antique white, heirloom white, and ivory. 

 I love that the table seats 14 people!  5 on each side and 2 on each end.

This photo really shows all the different tones in the wood – I love that darker piece.

I bought a new chandelier to go over the table – that was a project in itself.  I ordered it from Amazon.  I really like it – it just took a long time to rewire everything because the wire it came with was way to short.  It is really bright and sparkly!  This is me adding each crystal one at a time!

Marbles also loves the table!!
 

Amanda

Blue Jars, Bottle Brush Trees & Old Cars

These cute bottle brush trees in mason jars are everywhere in blog land!  I had to jump in and assemble a few for myself!  
My trees started out too green.  I sprayed a little Heirloom White spray paint on them and now they look like they’ve been lightly dusted with snow.
You can use fake snow for the snow, I used sugar.  Then place your little trees inside the jars.
I love vintage cars.  I didn’t want to spend $$$ on a replica car.  I was thrilled when I found this one in the ornament section of Target for only $3!

I bought these smaller trees at Michael’s in a package for about $1.  Use wire cutters to snip off the base.  Then place in your truck!

 I love it!!!  Makes me feel happy inside when I look at this nostalgic scene!

Amanda

Charming & Thankful Holiday Table Quilt Tutorial

 I can’t believe it’s November 14th already!  I am sharing my tutorial for my Thankful Table Quilt over on the Therm O Web Blog today.  It’s a fun little project using just 1 charm pack and the word “Thankful” appliquéd.  It sews up really quick! I just love these fall colors!  The charm pack I used is Posh Pumpkins by Moda.

Amanda

Deer Friends, Christmas Deer Throw Pillow Tutorials

Do you like my new chairs?  I just ordered them from Amazon and they came in 2 days!  It was totally risky of me to just push a button and have chairs sent to my house, sight unseen!  But, I LOVE them!  They are exactly what I wanted and they are even comfortable!!!  The whole reason to buy new chairs is to sew new pillows, right?  I am obsessed with deer!  Deer throw pillows my chairs do need (a little Yoda verbiage!)
My friend and I got together and the children played and we sewed!!  An entire herd of deer throw pillows!
Here’s how to make the appliqué deer pillow: My pillow form is a 20″ square down pillow.  Down is a bit “squishy” so the pillows have a more casual feel. 
Appliqué Pattern, download HERE.  Print 2 of these and reverse one of the images.  The image is on 2 pages because it is larger than a piece of paper.
Print out the pattern and tape it together.  Trace the pattern onto Heat n Bond Lite fusible appliqué.  I used a wool blend fabric for the gray deer.  You can use any type of fabric.
Cut the chevron fabric 21″
Iron the deer to the center of the fabric and stitch around the deer.
I wanted a bit of an accent on the back of the pillow, so I put the zipper on the back with a decorative flap over the zipper….sounds hard but is super easy!!
To make the flap, cut your accent fabric 5″ x 20″ and press in half lengthwise.  
Cut your back pieces 4.5″x20″ and 16″x20.
Lay them out like this with your zipper placed as so (NOT invisible zipper)
I promise I ironed my pieces!!
Layer the top piece of the pillow back, the folded flap, and the zipper so all the raw edges align, like this:
Using your zipper foot, sew along the zipper.  For the other side with out the flap, sew the backing fabric to the zipper just as you would normally sew in a zipper.  Press the flap down to cover the zipper – super easy!!! Pin the pillow front and back with right sides together.  Make sure to open zipper so you can turn it.  Sew a generous 1/4″ seam around the entire pillow!

I couldn’t just have 2 deer pillows – I needed more.  This one is super quick!  It is for a 18″ pillow.

Cut the center deer fabric 10 1/2″ x 19″
Cut the aqua snowflake fabric (2) 4 1/4″ x 19″
Sew them in this order using 1/4″ seams

 I had this pretty light gray lace I top-stitched over the seams.  Now, cut the back of your pillow 19″ square and finish as desired.  I put an invisible zipper in the bottom.

Deer pillow #3 – this fabric doesn’t exactly have deer on it, but it has antlers atop the Cuckoo clocks!  And it’s teal!!!  Another quick pillow!!  This pillow form is 20″ but it is pretty floppy, so I decided to cut my pillow cover at 20″ so it would fit better.

Cut the teal print 15″ x 20″
Cut the gray dot 5 1/2″ x 20″
Sew using 1/4″ seams
Cut the back piece 20″ square.

Top stitch lace along seam.  Finish as desired – again another invisible zipper – those things are totally AWESOME!!!

Here are my friend’s cute deer pillows – she used a bolder chevron and a brown deer on an 18″ firm pillow.

I am so loving the zipper flap!
Sewing deer pillows makes me happy 🙂

Amanda

O Come Let Us Adore Him Printable

I am thinking about getting ready for Christmas!  I made this printable to put in my living room.  I thought I would share it!!  I think the Christmas decoration boxes are coming down on Tuesday!  I can’t believe how fast the time goes by!!
Click HERE for the PDF
Click HERE for the PNG

Amanda

Outdoor Table Re-Do

My friend gave me her mother’s kitchen table.  It’s not your average kitchen table…..It’s HUGE and ROUND!!!  I think the table originally cost $$$$.  It was in bad shape when I got it.  The mom had caught a floral arrangement on fire and burned part of the table.  Then she cleaned it with some harsh cleaner and it reacted with the finish, turning it into a sticky mess!  Of course we’ll take the table!!!
I didn’t get a good before picture – but this is it after hubby took it apart.  I just love power tools!!!  We plained it down pretty good – it took the burn mark right.  Then finished with light sanding to get it really smooth.  I didn’t bother sanding the base – it is getting paint!
Meet my new favorite stain – Rust-Oleum’s “Driftwood”.  That’s exactly what it looks like!  It’s perfect for this project because it will be living outside!
That’s me!!  Of course I do all my DIY projects in tie-dye!!
We took out the rotten fake wood inlays and prepared the surface for tile!!
And here it is with super cute 1″ tiles.  It makes me think of the ocean!!  Don’t you love the Lazy Suzan on top!  My kids LOVE this – we’ve never had one before!
I sealed it with Rust-Oleum’s Ultimate Spar Varnish.  It has maximum weather protection!!
I love that it can seat 10 people comfortably!

I couldn’t resist painting the base a bright turquoise color!  Spray paint, of course!!

It’s pretty bright, but the outdoors can handle it!!

 

I love how it turned out – it’s totally me!!

Amanda

Time to Vote

AmysCreativeSide

It’s time to vote for your favorite quilts in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side!  There are so many AMAZING quilts!!!
To vote for my daughter, Ella’s, Fish Throw Quilt, click HERE.  She is #68.
If you want to vote for my baby quilt, click HERE.  I am # 80.

Thanks so much 🙂

Amanda