Hello! Lots happening in Blondieville and for that I'm grateful. I've been stuck close to home with temps in the single digits and The Husband using my car (for long time followers, you know the situation of The Husband buying a sports car 6 years ago which you can't drive in cold wet weather, and he did that obviously, so enamored with said car that he failed to remember we live in the Midwest). More on that later. So...I was able to finish up some of those crafts I've been hinting at in my last few posts. The first is a Mason jar (in this case Kerr), filled with faux snow and a votive candle and then dressed up a bit for the holiday season. I want to thank Jennifer at Town And Country Living for the inspiration.
The fun in trying ideas you find on blogs or Pinterest is that you can fiddle and make them your own...I found this true with the embellishments. Some shiny snowflake garland and ball ornaments, some string in red, white and green.
Some hints from me: I find purchasing Mason jars in the summer and early fall to be the most economical way to do it. Especially at grocery stores, Walmart and some drugstores like Walgreen's and CVS. THE best prices around. If you can't do that, they are sold at Michael's and Hobby Lobby for just a bit more and a few more choices in size. Secondly, the votive candles were found at Michael's, 12 in a pack for around $8. Once they burn down, pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes and the old wax will poke out with a knife and you can then re~use them with another votive or a tea light candle. The artificial snow is from any craft shop as well. In a nutshell, or Mason jar, fill 3/4 with the faux snow. Tuck a votive candle jar in the center, pushing it down as far as possible. Using a teaspoon (or even a small funnel or handmade paper cone), fill in around the candle with the snow. Any excess that falls in the candle can be scooped out with a small spoon, yet I didn't find it to be flammable. But don't take chances. Since you don't want to mess up the "snow", use a long match stick or lighter. And you can just keep re~using these as much as you want!! :)
Another Mason jar idea came from Yvonne at Stone Gable. God knows I've gone through tons of Epsom salts in the bath with my bad back, but I never noticed the sparkle (maybe not through my pain!). So in this case, take your Mason (Kerr, empty pasta jar...no matter), and spread Mod Podge over it with a small spongy applicator or paint brush. MP is like a glue that dries clear. Spread it on evenly, not too thick yet not too thin. Pay careful attention to the very bottom of the jar which you might miss as it curves under. Go just up to the the top and not over the ridges near the lid. Fill a small bowl with the Epsom salts, hold that sticky jar by the rim over it and just spoon the salts over... covering evenly. Voila! Snow covered jars.
Then just drop one of those glass votive's in and start the fun part: adding ribbon, fabric, sparkle, you name it. Most of you girls know I'm a wanabee crafter. I do not have a craft room. I have a "craft basket", just a place good enough for some fabric, stencils, stamps, paint, ribbon and a few other random pieces from crafts of long ago. For these jars, I took apart a small berry wreath from last Christmas and wrapped pieces of that around the tops. Then made little ties with drop cloth ripped into strips. A miniature ornament makes them look Christmas~y.
A peek at one last thing I'm not going to reveal until I have my Christmas decorations up. I have a blogger friend who I love to pieces. I have to credit this whole idea to her. You might know that these little wood rounds are absolutely heavenly to play with...there's a multitude of things you can use them for. With the help of The Husband, who drilled small holes in a few for me, and the old reliable stamps, I have the makings of...well something, and I'll share that soon (along with the proper links).
Beside the crafting, I had a great light bulb moment in how to deal with my ever~expanding family...you may be in the same predicament and find my ideas useful. Be patient, at least for a week or so!!
I was able to hook up with a friend of my daughter in law's to paint our office and main bath. The Husband and I would rather clean the gutters than paint, although between this and the lakehouse, we've done our fair share over the years. You might remember me saying that the office was a beautiful shade of paint that should have been named "Canned Peas". I don't think I have a 'before'. It's a very tiny room, it only holds an "L" shaped glass desk and would benefit from some shelves or other type of storage, but to be honest...I want to keep it simple. A small (dinky) space for our computer and printer and a place for The Husband and Abigail to have privacy to work is just fine. I'm also adding a more "feminine" spin on it...more to come. The paint isn't even dry yet!! She did the bath also as I said, I have to put the finishing touches on that and I will share.
Life has been so chaotic. I wrote previously that my hair girl (also my DIL's sister) had baby Margot, October 25th. And what a doll she is! Anyway, Katie last did my highlights the first week of October and then took a maternity leave and I'm first on her appointment schedule December 6th. Ugh...talk about a head of brunette/gray roots! I've been wearing headbands and knitted caps when I go out. Do you know I'm covered in freckles? Must be all that Irish in me. And oh yeah...this is definitely a selfie of me trying to look glamorous! Ha. Not your everyday Jane!
With the crafts, you must think my feet are firmly planted in December. Before you put that Scarlet "C" on my sweater, know that I have The Turkey! For some reason, if I know the bird is in the house (or the ham for Easter), I rest easy. A short story:
This morning my son in law Mike stopped by and we all had coffee. He asked about the Thanksgiving plans. I said...well, I have the turkey. Abby bolted upright and said, "Where is it at?" As if I had it in the backyard...we all laughed. But The Husband and I know where this is coming from. His clients are very generous, especially at holidays. One year, when the kids were very small, one his clients, an older Illinois farmer, gifted us with two pheasants that he had hunted down (no, not a fan of that but I was gracious). Before a small pre~holiday gathering, I defrosted the tightly wrapped birds I had kept in our big freezer in the basement. Although I had made various types of fowl and game (and no, totally am not a fan of any of it now), I wasn't prepared for the feathers as I unwrapped the newspaper and then plastic. Yes, lots of feathers, adhered to the birds if you know what I mean. My little ankle biters heard my screams and then ran out of the kitchen in horror after seeing them. "What am I going to do?" I wailed to The Husband. He countered with, "We have to figure it out, Ed has to know we appreciated his gift!" So we did a little research on what was then a very ancient and limited Internet. Our choices were to do the boiling water method to pluck the feathers...or the hot wax method. Oh, dear God. So aware of wasting food when there are so many hungry people in the world, well, it was a hard decision. We had no choice but to dispose of the pheasants, and have a lovely lasagna for our dinner party. We wrote Ed a note that the pheasants were wonderful. Gorgeous feathers. Gulp. And that was that.
I may pop in before Thanksgiving. I'd like to show you how the bathroom and office turn out once I get them jazzed up. I hope you like the crafts. I'm all thumbs as you know, I just like to brag a little when I have the opportunity! :) I also want to introduce you to a blogger friend of mine that has the most exceptionally written posts and photography, and is now offering cards of all sorts that I think you would love to have a peek at. Can't wait to share that,
Joining Thoughts From Alice, Dwellings From The Heart Of The Home, Inspire Me Monday & Cozy Little House.