Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snow pictures, '05 and '08

My, how he has grown!! Age three weeks to age three years old! Next year, his brother will be in the sleigh! :)

DIYP: Initial Ornaments

This is what I made for my nephews, niece and favorite kids for Christmas but they're so fun and easy, I think I'll be making a lot more of them, especially to attach to a gift for a new baby! They can certainly be Christmas ornaments but I could also attach a small hook to the back and just attach a ribbon for hanging.

Here's the super-simple tutorial (materials used are in bold):

1. Purchase letters at a craft store. I had the best luck at Michael's, with these white, script letters. There are also cursive styles and wood letters out there. I'd recommend sanding and priming the wood ones first.

2. Using acrylic paint in the color of your choice, give two coats to each side, allowing them to dry in-between. I used a foam brush but for the more intricate letters, you'll need a small paint brush to reach all the nooks and crannies.

3. Using a pencil eraser, choose a contrasting color paint and apply polka dots. A second dab may be necessary. Of course you can also paint stripes, curly-cues or whatever your heart desires!

4. Use a spray sealer, giving two coats to each side. I had better results with the spray than with a brush-on sealant, plus it's so easy to just spray it until you get the finish you want.

Here's the backs when I sealed it with Mod Podge. It was hard to get it smooth and it was still tacky, even days later. Yuck.

Here's the backs with the spray sealant. Much smoother and it dried super-fast.

5. Using a hot glue gun, attach a hanger or hook to the back (as shown above).

6. Tie on sheer ribbon (less bulky than satin) in a bow and adhere with a dab of hot glue so it doesn't twist around.

Here are my final results.

These are the ones I used spray sealant on--smooth and shiny!!

And while these were cute, the finish was messy and uneven with the Mod Podge.

Ta-da! Adorable AND personalized!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gearing up for Valentine's Day

With computer and camera issue galore, I completely missed Christmas in my Etsy shop! So I'm starting now with putting items in my shop for Valentine's Day!

Here's what I've whipped up so far. Check out my shop by visiting the link in the right hand sidebar or clicking below.

Proudgrits11 on Etsy

Handmade Christmas

While I didn't officially announce, "This year is going to be a handmade Christmas!" to my family (and frankly, I didn't follow this 'rule' myself!), three savvy female relatives "got it," anyway!!

Check these goodies out. Make a mental note: giving handmade gifts doesn't necessarily mean laboring over some super-complicated sewing or art project for months--it can take on many forms.

Example #1: My mom purchased this from a fundraiser craft show, benefiting the crisis pregnancy center where she volunteers. It's a handmade apron, named after women of the Bible and this one, featuring my current favorite color, happens to be "The Tabitha."

Here's the story, from the Bible in Acts 9:36. Yes, my mother named me after this woman and NOT Samantha's daughter on "Bewitched!"

Example #2: My sister-in-law (hubby's sis') knitted (crocheted??) this shawl during a car trip! We'd seen one like it in a boutique over Thanksgiving weekend so she duplicated it (she's quite talented, she is), right down to the over-sized buttons! It's perfect just to throw over your shoulders when you're chilled. I keep it by my favorite chair for those chilly mornings.

Example #3: My other sister-in-law (my brother's wife) gave the ladies in the family this jar, which includes the recipe for her grandmother's shortbread! Just add butter! I can't wait to try it!!

Pretty neat assortment, eh? It inspires me to REALLY go handmade in '09!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Can you relate?? (and pictures)

Check all that apply.

1. Your house looks like a bomb went off?? Or maybe more like Christmas threw up all over??

2. You're more than a little relieved that Christmas is over? Last night was the first night of decent sleep I've had in a while! My brain is just...emptier. Phew!

3. You're sick of Santas, snowmen and penguins and are actually looking forward to getting ready for Valentine's Day? Hearts, anyone??

4. You have no New Year's plans because you "just had to get through Christmas first?"

5. You now have more money in gift cards in your wallet than money in your checking account?

Mm-hmm. I thought so. I can't be the only one!!

Well, our computer is BACK "in da hoooooouse" and I had--no kidding--over 700 pictures to upload from December alone!!

Here's a bunch of highlight photos I picked out to re-cap December:

Drew and I at our church's staff/elder/leadership party.

And our motley crew, once we figured out how to use the self timer on my new camera!! These are some of our favorite people.

Here's The Belly when we got home--about 20 weeks. That's after we pigged out.

Drew and I, heading to my company's Christmas party.

Seriously, I look good in red. I gotta stop saving it for Christmas!

Our family at the Ho Ho Ho-down my mom hosted to celebrate my grandparents' visit from Florida!

There was a dance contest, too. Here's Andrew cutting a rug with Nana.

Here's my folks dancing. They've been married for 38 years now.

And my grandparents, who've been married for 62 years!!

This is my brother and his family. Aren't they spiffy?? They've been married 5 years and my nephew is two.

The winners were Andrew and my nephew, who boogied down to "At the Hop." Hilarious! And, yes, Andrew often goes around pants-less.

Hop, hop, hop...

Me and my boy at the park for our neighborhood Christmas party. I know I'll cherish these last several months of pictures, while his brother is still on the inside.

The munchkins got to ride the train. This is my favorite shot.

They had snow brought in, too. He was hesitant at first but eventually, he enjoyed it.

He even got his hands in there!

On The Big Ultrasound Day, my mom and grandmother surprised me when we got home with a rosemary Christmas tree, decked out in blue ornaments for our baby boy!! When my dad, grandfather, brother and SIL arrived for dinner later, we uncovered the tree with blue baby clothes underneath to announce that "It's a BOY"!

Here's me with my tree and, yes, I wore blue that day because I knew it was going to be a boy!!

After dinner, we all did a rousing rendition of Jingle Bells, which was one of my favorite Christmas moments this year!

And the long-awaited ultrasound pictures of our precious little son!!

The Christmas tree Christmas morning. The cocoa and popcorn were for me and the telescope was Drew's "big gift." I actually surprised him, too--he thought he was getting a karaoke machine! :)

The fam on Christmas day at my folks' house. My mom said, "I can't wait to see how another boy is going to fit into this picture next year!"

And that'll do it for now, thanks for re-capping with me! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ultrasound results!!

It's official!!

IT'S A BOY!! It was obvious to us and the tech said there's no doubt--definitely a boy!! He was not shy and let us have a good look!

We are beyond thrilled. Drew said that while he thought it was a girl, he wanted a boy. Two sons!! We're so excited!!

The scan went well and everything looked great--it was so cool to see the heart, spine, kidneys, the umbilical cord...truly amazing stuff.

We're just over the moon!

Please leave a comment--it'll make my day! :)