Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas Wreath Craft

Last night was craft night... yaaay!!
I love craft night (or craft afternoon, or craft morning... you get the point)

The thing that separates craft night from any other crafting session is that husband and I are both working on crafts. He makes these amazing dioramas (mostly of Star Wars  scenes.... MAN we're sounding cooler and cooler...)
Anyway, it's fun because we're spending time together that doesn't involve tv or video games, and we can show each other how we're doing with our projects - just like little kids - "Look what I made!!!"

Last night I made a Christmas wreath - it was the cheapest, easiest thing EVER! (like under $10.00 cheap!!)

Here's how I did it...

Pair of scissors
Glue gun
Duct tape

(pretty easy so far right? No fancy supplies needed - just stuff that pretty much everyone has around the house)

I bought all of this stuff from the Dollar Store.

Christmas bells $1.25
Silver acorns $1.00
Silver bird $1.00
Blue ribbon $1.00
Silver ribbon $1.00 (I didn't even end up using the silver ribbon)
Dollar Store total: $5.25 + tax

Foam insulation stuff from Kent Building Supplies

Also from Kent, fake greenery stuff (please don't be intimidated by my technical terms.. just 'try' to follow along.. hehe!)

I used two of these, they were $1.99 each

Kent total: $4.33 + tax

Grand Total (drum roll please): $9.58 + tax
Ok, so it ended up being a little more than $10.00 after taxes BUT I didn't need the silver ribbon, so I think it will even out if you decide to make this. :)

 Step 1. 
Use the duct tape to secure the ends of the foam.
 I got this tip from Pinterest, (MAN I love Pinterest!! You should all join, and if you follow my boards, I'll follow yours! :) 
It's sooo much cheaper to buy this stuff than it is to buy Styrofoam wreath things from craft stores.

 Step 2.
Wrap the greenery around the frame.

Literally just wrap it, you don't have to be fussy and you don't have to fasten it or anything.
I just tucked the end under the wrapped wire next to it.

 I used 2 packs of greenery, and again, I just tucked the end under the wire next to it.
Super easy - only takes about 10 or 15 minutes (depending on how many cats you have and how intent they are on playing with, catching, and eating the greenery - if you don't have cats... this will take under 5 minutes...)

Once you're finished wrapping, just fluff it up a bit.
Cover any gaps there might be & arrange the branches.
I did mine so that it was flat-ish on the bottom & so that there weren't many going towards the middle because it's kind of a small hole in the middle so I didn't want to make it look any smaller.

 Step 3.
Make a bow
I used pretty much the whole spool of ribbon (not a whole lot comes on the spool anyway.

I did save a little bit of it to hang the wreath though, it only has to be as long as half of one of the bow ends.

 If you want to have 'fancy' ends on your bow
Fold the ribbon (lengthwise) and cut from the bottom corner of he open side, on an angle towards the closed side.
Like so.
OooOoohhh fancy!

Step 4.
Glue the bow on with the glue gun.

I also glued the ends of the ribbon, so that they "look" like they're hanging naturally-ish, but they're not hanging straight down.
(I should clarify - by 'ends' of the ribbon, I mean the parts that aren't the bow... I don't mean that I actually glued the bottom that we cut. I glued somewhere closer to the middle)

 Step 5.
Add the pretty, silver, dollar store bird.  lol

 Just pop it in there and glue it where every you want.

I chose the bottom inside of the wreath, so it looks as though it's perching there.

 Step 6.
Glue everything else.

You don't have to use it all.
Just keep placing and gluing until you're happy with the look.
 Step 7.
Add a piece of ribbon to hang it with.

I just used some left over ribbon from the bow & tied each end around the foam at the top then rearranged the branches to cover the small knots.

Ok, it's not the best picture - but I have a bad camera, bad lighting and no photographic skill to speak of. So this is the best I could come up with. LOL
It's simple, but I think it's pretty and it's CHEAP so that makes it so much better! lol
I think I'll try another one with red & gold.

Hope this inspired you to make some inexpensive crafts of your own, and if anyone tries this out, I'd love to see some pics of your version!

Happy crafting!! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

#6 - Try one new recipe every month - October

I was really looking forward to this one, because we sometimes get into a rut with our meals - so it's really nice to try new things.

I used the AMAZING cookbook Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.
This book was a gift from two of my good friends April & Pam when husband and I became vegan - and it's one of the best cookbooks I've used! (Thanks again friends!)

Here's what to look for if you decide to get this book

Ok, back to the meal.

I made leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits on page 172 of the book (translation, leek & bean stew with dumplings for those of you who, like me, aren't fancy... lol)
This was fun, because I've never used a leek before... in fact, I didn't even know what a leek looked like until I went in search of one.

I'm not going to go into all of the instructions (because I don't want to get sued by the authors... hahaha... but seriously...) now you'll just have to buy the book! ha!

Here are the ingredients for the stew

The measuring cup has some beans that I just happened to have in the freezer

Here are the ingredents for the biscuts

Here's some "action" shots of the cooking process...

First (ish) Step

Adding some 'flava'

Add MORE veggies you say? OKAY!

Final Product

This was so delicious! Husband loved it too.
It was hot and comforting - I can't wait to make it again!

October's new recipe = a success!!
And that makes me happy!

# 1 - Buy myself flowers once a month - October

So I started tackling some of the things on my list of 30 things to do before I'm 30 - I decided to go wild and start with #1... I know, I know... I'm livin' on the edge.

But #1 was to buy myself flowers once a month - FUN!
So, at the end of October I bought myself a little bouquet of flowers, nothing too fancy but that's ok, I figured I would start out small.
It made me really happy to do something for myself though... and my kitties loved them! haha

Here are some pictures.
(Please excuse the crummy pictures, I've lost the charger for my camera so I've been using my video camera and it doesn't take the best pictures {not that I took great pictures to begin with - so this is just extra bad!})

These are my October flowers - they're so pretty and bright!

Gabby had to check them out too

Einstein enjoying the flowers


So that's it, I've started my list.
 #1 for October - check!
Only 11 more months to go... plus 29 other things to do; but so far it's making me happy!  :)