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brown paper packages: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{ticking pillow ornaments}

I love to make new ornaments to add to my tree each year, so when Waverly asked me to be one of their 12 Bloggers of Christmas and create an ornament using their products, I jumped at the chance. 

Since I'm currently obsessed with ticking, I chose Waverly Fabric in both a classic red and an adorable chocolate brown ticking. I combined it with some of my other favorite things--burlap, twine, and Waverly paint to make darling ticking pillow ornaments.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{felt bow and flower headbands}

Hair accessories are a way of life around here. Having twin girls turned this sporty tomboy into a {more-girly-than-she-thought-she-could-ever-be} mom that now requires some kind of bow in their hair every day. The result is that I'm always on the lookout for darling ideas (for me too!).

Today I want to share a couple of my very favorites--oldies, but goodies. They made the top of the list because they are simple and quick to make, easy on the pocketbook, and SO adorable!

This first one has been around simply forever--just a basic flower made out of wool felt. I've also made them out of knit jersey, and it's a totally different look that I love too. Pin them on a cardi, tee, bag or purse, coat, or add them to a headband...they are just so versatile and can dress up any outfit!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

{peanut butter fudge and easy recycled packaging}

I love making (and eating) Christmas candy--toffee, fudge, caramels, chocolates, and more.  One of my favorite recipes is for peanut butter fudge that comes from my grandmother, who was a fabulous Southern cook. I'm excited to share with you this yummy recipe, along with a super cute (and cheap) way to package any holiday treat!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{HOT black friday deals} silhouette and more!

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Whether or not you brave the cold and crowds in the early morning hours or not, there are some deals you simply CANNOT miss out on.  Plus, you can do it all from your own cozy house, in your cozy pajamas.  :)

  I'm here to give you the scoop on some downright AMAZING discounts!



Are you ready for this?  How about 40% off of everything? That's an extra 10% off from the 30% you may have already heard about!
(excluding the Cameo, downloads, and gift cards) 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{twine and rag ball ornaments}

You've probably seen darling twine and  rag ball ornaments around, and probably even fallen in love with them like I have.  I'm an old-fashioned girl, and I adore the way they look, and think they will be perfect on my tree!  If you love them too, today is your lucky day, because I'm going to show you how to make your own--and save a bundle in the process. They are simple, adorable, cost-effective, and make really fun gifts. 

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Friday, November 18, 2011

{photo gift tags}

Honestly, I cannot believe that it's November!  CRAZY.

Miracle of miracles, I am *almost* done with my Christmas shopping (yay!), which means it's time for the wrapping to begin! Often times it's just small and simple touches that gives gifts that extra little*something* that can make such a huge difference.

One of my favorite things to do is use photo gift tags. Kids love to see themselves in pictures, and to have it attached to a present and know that it belongs to them? So exciting!  It's just a really fun way to both give and receive. Instead of having the picture of who the present is for, how about switching it around and using a picture of who it's from?  Grandparents would love getting a gift with a darling photo gift tag of their children and grandchildren!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{photography with lei} what to wear?

So what's the hardest part of getting a good family photo?  Picking the right date is tough.  Location - also tough.  But the real difficulty usually lies in what to wear.  Some people plan months ahead by making their appointment and pouring over location options.  And then start to think about their wardrobe the week before.  *insert wrong answer buzzer from annoying game show here*

It's not likely that many families can afford a makeover just for family photos.  So it's easy to procrastinate this very important step. The ideas I am sharing with you today are pulled from a variety of popular online stores (J Crew, Downeast Outfitters, Piperlime, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap).  Some of them pricey, yes.  But they will give you an idea of how far outside (or inside) the box you can think when it comes to color.  I have some general rules of thumb for those that plan on sticking to their closets for inspiration as well.  And a few pictures of my own family and color combos we've chosen over the years.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{faux frames}

I love keeping individual pictures of my kids in our family room, and for a long time they hung on a darling iron rod that was perfect...until I had my boys.  It only fit three portrait frames, and now with five kids, it just wasn't enough.

  Frames can be quite expensive, especially large ones, and when you're buying five of them, the cost really adds up.  So...I decided to make my own! I loved the look of the iron rod, so I continued the look using a  curtain rod instead--which was plenty long enough for all of my frames. The bulldog clips also mean that I can easily switch out the pictures without taking the frames and ribbon down. I'm sure you're shocked that I added their names in vinyl at the bottom, lol, but I love the finished touch it gives.

Want to make your own?  Here's how I did it!
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{lifestyle crafts new release} just for you tags

Lifestyle Crafts has released a new line of die cuts called Just For You, and I was lucky enough to receive one of the dies to try-- an alpha set called "High Rise".

This die is on the smaller size--the whole alphabet fits on the 4x4 die--which is perfect for tags of all kinds. I don't know about you, but this time of year is always calling for some kind of cute tag for a gift or bag of treats!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

{fun kids' thanksgiving tables}

I'm really excited about Thanksgiving this year.  My parents, and my sister and her family are coming to our house, and my kids are thrilled about seeing their cousins.  Since we don't see them often, this will be an extra special holiday.  I've been trying to decide how to decorate the kids' table (6 kids 5 and under--has to have plenty of things to do), and I thought I would share some of the great ideas I've come across.


My favorite part of the this table is the pilgrim hat crayon holder.  Easy, inexpensive, and sure to please.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

{favorite fonts} second edition

I haven't been able to post as much the last week or so, due to my own craft craziness. I'm in charge of our church's annual craft day (along with my good friend), appropriately named Fabulous Friday, and it's tomorrow night!  It's one of my favorite days of the year--lots of projects, friends, yummy food--I love it.  It just makes for a busy week or two ahead of time, cutting wood, sorting, etc. Can't wait!

Today I want to share with you even more of my favorite fonts.  Changing up the font is easy to do, and really can make all the difference in your projects. These are all free fonts, just click on the link below the font to download! 
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{chocolate peppermint roll}

 One of my favorite combinations is chocolate and peppermint, and this recipe is an especially delectable way to enjoy it.  The presentation is absolutely beautiful, and it's perfect for any holiday party or table--and for showing off your baking skills!

The richness of the chocolate cake is perfectly paired with the light creaminess of the peppermint filling, and who can resist a delicious chocolate glaze?   I don't always make desserts that are as involved as this one--it's not hard, but it does take a little more time than the usual recipe.  It is ABSOLUTELY worth it.  If you're short on time, consider serving them as brownies instead--frost the cake with the filling, then spread the glaze on top. (You might want to double the glaze.)

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

{mini pumpkin place cards}

Place cards a really fun way to dress up a table and personalize it for you and your guests.  Mini pumpkins are ideal for a Thanksgiving table--they are warm, cozy, and bring the perfect touch of fall.

These mini pumpkin place ards are so simple to make, plus they're easy on a budget! I am going with a brown and white theme, so I painted mine brown--I just love the contrast against the white plates. Setting them on a small square of burlap brings it all together, along with simple un-hemmed muslin napkins tied with twine.

I {love} how they turned out, and can't wait to use them on my Thanksgiving table!

  • mini pumpkins
  • spray primer (optional)
  • spray paint
  • twine
  • cardstock
  • distress ink

1.  Tape off the stems with painter's tape. The surface of these small pumpkins is naturally a little slick, so I prefer to spray them with a light coat of primer first.  This is an optional step, but I think you'll find that your paint will stick much better, and you'll have a smoother coat of paint. Once the primer is dry, spray your pumpkins with your desired color.  Let dry completely. Or...leave them orange if you like!

2.  Create your text (fonts = century gothic and my own topher), and print on textured cardstock.  Cut, distress the edges, and mat on coordinating cardstock.  

3.  Tie your tag to the stem of the pumpkin using twine.

That's it--so simple, but darling!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

{photography with lei} holiday photos

Hey friends!  How was your Halloween?  Did any great picture taking happen for you?  I hope my ideas from a few weeks ago came in handy!  I have to share one darling photo sent to me by Camille:

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{lds quiet books...revisited}

Back in February I posted some darling lds quiet book printables by Simply Fresh Designs.  Heather eventually removed them from her site (you can find her explanation HERE), and I can't tell you the number of e-mails I have received requesting information about them.

Well, I have some great news!  She is now posting the books (she has two up already) without the images, so you can download them, then add your own images.  Here are the two she has up now:

If you continue to watch her blog, you will be able to download any other image-free quiet books she shares.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{month of thanksgiving} blessing tree & more...

 November is the month of Thanksgiving, where we make that extra effort to show how thankful we are for how much we have been given--counting our blessings.  During the month I love to have a visual reminder of these blessings, and have a way that my kids can get involved with the process.  

We live far away from any family, and so often times we will get together with close friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  A few years ago this was the case, and we planned weeks in advance who was to bring what.  I was excited, because not only did it lessen my cooking for the day, but I was going to be able to spend it with such wonderful people. The day came, and that morning we received a call that the host family (the entire family) had come down with the flu. We all rallied together, packaged our individual food offerings, and delivered them to each family. My dear friend Brook had also made the most darling "blessing trees" for each family, and as we sat around the table as a family talking about how much we had been blessed with, this little tree was the perfect centerpiece.

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{silhouette advent calendar}

Are you looking for a super cute advent calendar?  

The calendar is a 15" wood shadowbox which includes a special download card redeemable for 25 boxes and drawers from the Silhouette Online Store. Each box and drawer template is downloaded automatically into My Library and is pre-sized and labeled for each compartment of your shadowbox advent calendar. Fill each box or drawer with a holiday message or a little treat and enjoy the holiday season. 
Use the code BPP at checkout, and save $10--only $29.99!!!