Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saving Christmas Link Party - Week #6

I was very excited when I ran across this cute ornament on a blog and I ran and made it right away.  I almost always add projects I do or want to do to my favorites list, so I can give the person a shout out about it.  I cannot find the original blogger on this one!  I apologize, but please comment below if you know where it came from, so I can give a proper thank you to her!  She had a wonderful step-by-step tutorial too!For my gift this week, I made an ornament to put on the Apple Pie Fillings that I made.  Wal-mart has metal baskets to carry canning jars in both the small size and the large size for between $8-$12.  I wrapped the jars and and a box of pie crust and put them in each basket and then topped it with my paper ornament. 

This ornament was simple and free.  I used strips of left-over Christmas paper from last year and folded them back and forth like a fan.  Then put two circles of papers that match on both sides of it and hot glued a button on top.  The great thing is that I did this to both sides, so the ornament is double sided.

So here it is, the Saving Christmas Linky Party.  Please link directly to your link and then link back to mine.  Also, be sure that they are ways that you are saving money for Christmas presents this year!  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saving Christmas - Week #5

This week's Saving Christmas gift idea is full of nostolgia!  I ran across this and thought it was a little crazy to even try because it seems like it is tedious, but then I thought it might be fun to share with my kids.  After we made them, we thought they were so fun, that we would make some for those on our Christmas list!  So, here they are: Button Candy!My daughter actually piped all of these for me - she said next time, I'll have to help her.  (To my credit, I told my daughter to make a single batch, but she insisted on a second batch!)  Believe me, a single batch is plenty.  We found the tutorial to make these on What Allie's Making Now.  She has a wonderful blog with beautiful pictures and directions. 

A couple of notes that we learned from making these, besides don't do a double batch was that you use regular copy paper for the buttons.  Also, it needs to be a sort of runny consistency, or it's really difficult to pipe it.  We also just used a small cut in the tip of the bag instead of small tip for piping and it worked real slick.  I think if you used a ziplock bag, it would work wonderfully. 

There you go - I plan to bag these up with a couple of other treats for Christmas for each family we give to. 

Time for you to link up your ideas for Saving money for Christmas this year.  Please keep your posts to Christmas ideas only!  Be sure the link goes directly to the post and then mention my post back.  I can't wait to see what you have!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saving Christmas - Week #4

I've been enjoying all the people that have linked up to my other three weeks of posts!   It's so fun to see what people are doing for their handmade Christmas gifts and saving money doing it.
So, this week, I was busy again at the sewing machine.  I've been wanting to make monograms on something with cloth this year, but just haven't gotten around to it.  (I know, I have so much free time with 5 kids! lol)  I made these kitchen towels to go with the Apple Pie filling that I'm giving for a gift.  I'm hoping this will be enough to give, since we just don't have a lot of time left until Thanksgiving to get them ready! 

I actually found kitchen towels at the Dollar Store!  I was so excited, because I really like these for my brother & his wife because they have blues throughout there house (at least they did last time I was there!)I started with this "N".  I cut out a 4 inch N pattern on my Cricut.  Well, this is when I realized that I didn't have the right thing, Wonder Under to apply it to the towel!  Of course, I was doing this at 11pm and had to get it done right away!  Well, I had some of that hem tape on hand and used that to iron on the letter and then used the button hole stitch all the way around the letter. 

To finish it off, I made a rose to sew on the "N" by folding a 2 inch material, running a basting stitch down the rough edge and then gathering it up.  I wound it around itself to make the rose, hand stitching it in place.  I then hand stitched it onto the towel.

To make the bird, I got the Wonder Under and cut a small piece of it into a rectangle.  I stuck it into my Cricut and cut out the bird parts on the Cricut and then ironed it to the back of the two different materials and cut around them.  I ironed them to the towel and then stitched around the bird parts.  To add a touch to the bird, I used DMC Floss to sew the button on for the eye.
I think they turned out cute for costing under $3 for both towels.  Let me know what you think and link up your handmade gift ideas and ways that you are saving your Christmas this year!

Don't forget to check out all the blogs in the right column that I link to regularly!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Cards

This week, I'm sharing my Thankful cards with you.  I have had a lot of thank-yous lately with a new baby being born, so I have been trying to keep up.  I know, such a problem to have!I was determined to use my Cricut for these cards, so here is what you'll need:
  • Pre-made card & envelope
  • Tape Runner*
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Cheerful National Scrapbook Day borders*
  • Cricut
  • Cheerful Season Cricut Cartridge*
  • Decorative Paper*
  • Caulking Ink*
*Items that are exclusive to Creative Memories (I'm an independent Consultant)
Here's what I did:
  1. Using my Cricut, I cut out the phrase Thankful (this Creative Memories Cartridge has the phrase pre-programmed so you don't have to type out each letter.) and the bird and bird shadow in 2" size.  I flipped the shadow, so I could used the other side of the decorative paper for the bird parts.
  2. Glue a piece of ribbon across the bottom of the card with the Elmer's.  I've found Elmer's to work the best with the ribbon.  Tape runner doesn't hold well and pen adhesive is too messy for my taste.
  3. Use Tape runner to adhere the Cheerful border on the left side of the card front. 
  4. Caulk the edges of the bird parts in brown
  5. Adhere the bird overlapping the ribbon and the border.
Let me know what you think!  I'm getting better at this each week, don't you think?  I'm linking up to:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saving Christmas - Week #3 Link Party

Well, here's this week's Saving Christmas.  I am very excited about this gift and am really glad my family is giving gifts at Thanksgiving, because I can't wait to give them to my nephews.  I found a great tutorial on Homemade by Jill that you can follow step-by-step.  It is a wonderful tutorial, so I won't go into all the details.  It is a car cozy and it didn't cost me anything (I even had cars I got on sale for $.39 last year on hand to give to the boys!).
Here's what it looks like on the inside.  This would be wonderful in the car because it limits the amount of cars they can take and they even have a little road made out of felt that they can drive around!

I made three - one for each of two nephews and one for my own son.  To tell them apart, I made them 3 different colors.  I thought about putting an initial or a name on it, but like these as they are.

 The one thing I did do different than Homemade by Jill did, was I made my own strap by using matching material and made a tube, turned it right side out and then top stitched it.  I also used the Velcro for the window on the car, so you don't realize the use of it.
This, I did want to show you that was different from Jill's version.  I used my Cricut to cut the freezer paper numbers out.  Then I ironed them on, as shown in this last picture, and painted in the voids.  Then peeled the paper off, and voila!  I have nearly perfect numbers painted on.  I used acrylic paint, as it is permanent and looks great!

Let me know what you think!  Make sure to link up your own ways that you are saving for Christmas this year for gifts giving.  Please link directly to the post and then link back to mine!

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I'm excited to see your projects this week!  Read the list of blogs that "I love to Link Up To on the side bar to the right!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Card

Don't forget to link up your Christmas Present ideas to my Saving Christmas Link Party.

Well, I am on to making baby cards!  A couple of friends are expecting, so I had to figure out a card for their gifts.  This one, I was trying to come up with a card that utilized Creative Memories' new Creative Cuts tool that has a template to cut out the alphabet and numbers and then can also cut out shapes!  I love this new tool!  It's so easy to use (it takes me way less time than to figure out how to get things cut out on my Cricut!
Here's what you will need to make this card:
  • Creative Cuts Tool & Alphabet Pattern (on sale this month!)*
  • Scrap Papers
  • Custom Cutting System Circle Templates*
  • Pre-made card & envelope
  • Personal Trimmer*
  • Ribbon
  • Tape Runner*
  • Pen
  • Foam Adhesive
  • Hole Puncher
*Can be found on my website: here

What to do:
  1. Cut scrap of gingham paper slightly smaller than front of card & adhere to front with tape runner and scraps of coordinating triangles behind it.
  2. Cut out circles of different sizes to go behind the letters & adhere.
  3. Cut out B-A-B-Y letters with Creative Cuts Tools & adhere.
  4. Cut out small tag & punch a hole in one end.  Write "For the Little One" on tag.  Tie a small ribbon through hole & adhere using foam adhesive.
I hope you enjoy my baby card for this week's card idea!

I am linking up to:
Saturday Night Special - Funky Junk
Weekend Wrap-Up - Tatertots & Jello
Craft Catwalk - Embellishing Life Everyday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays - Coastal Charms

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Closet!

Make sure to link up your Christmas gift ideas to my Saving Christmas Link Party.

We have been slowly, but surely finishing our basement as we have the cash to pay for it.  We got our kids room together so they are functional for them, but the list of things yet to do seems endless.  They have painted walls and doors, but everything else needs to be completed, although it is mostly decorative, such as all the trip and doors on closets, etc. 

This last weekend, there was a lone rummage sale around the corner from our house, so I just had to stop when I was running an errand.  I saw some bi-fold doors for a closet for $35 and thought they would be the perfect thing for my son's room!  I had to do my errands first, so went back about an hour later with my husband to look at them.Here is the closet before.  I made these wonderful curtains and a set to match on his windows, but as boys usually are, the rod got yanked on and it looks sort of messy with that rod all bent up!  Boys!  I knew when I hung these that this would happen, but this was all we could afford at the time.

One of the things that wasn't done was the trim around the opening to hold the hardware, so we put in plain pine boards for that.  We were trying to keep costs down on this project, so spent $30 at Menards for hardware, track, and pine boards.  We figured the pine would work, since I plan to eventually paint everything white somewhere down the road.  (When we have money for the white paint!)

Here are the doors after they are installed!  I offered the lady $20 for them and she didn't hesitate to take it!  I am so proud of this great fix up, as the doors alone would have been over $230 in Menards for new!   One of these days, we'll do the trim and then paint everything, but for now, what a difference bi-fold doors make!

Let me know what you think!

I am linking up to:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saving Christmas - Week #2

For this week's Saving Christmas idea, I am sharing our favorite: Apple Pie Filling.  I was going to give everyone jams & jellies, and then my brother and his family requested our jellies early because they love it so much.  Well, I couldn't give them a couple more jars of what they already have from us recently!  So, the more I thought about it, I thought that they might enjoy our Apple Pie Filling with a box of pie crust.  So here's our recipe:

Apple Pie Filling
from Better Home and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book
  •  4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 or 3 drops yellow food coloring
  • 5 1/2 to 6 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
In large saucepan blend first 4 ingredients and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir in 10 cups water; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Add lemon juice and food coloring.
Look at all that yummy goodness!

 Pack the apples into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. 

We have found a local orchard that sells utility apples for $3.75 a half bushel, so we usually puck up 4 bushels of apples to make our pie filling and applesauce for the year.  I pick up three different kinds of apples
and mix them so we have a rounded taste.

Fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. (use spatulat to help distribute syrup.)  Adjust lids.  Process in boiling water bath (pints) 15 minutes; (quarts) 20 minutes.  Makes 6 quarts.

Before serving:  Prepare pastry for a 2-crust 8- or 9-inch pie.  Line pie plate with pastry; add 1 quart apple pie filling.  Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal.  Bake 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

Some notes:
  • We love to use a favorite crumb topping for apple crisp instead of the top crust. 
  • Jiffy pie crust mix is the best crust if not using a homemade crust.  This is what we will include with the Apple Pie Filling for our Christmas gifts.
  • We will put a pretty tag and square of material on the jar to give it as a gift.
That's it!  Hope you enjoy this great idea to save money for Christmas this year!  I can't wait to hear what you have to share this week for your "Saving Christmas" ideas.  Please only include ideas for ways to save for Christmas only.  Make sure you link directly to your idea and refer back to my posts.

I am linking up to:
2nd Time Around - A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words
Take-A-Look-Tuesday - Sugar Bee
Penny Pinching Party - The Thrifty Home
Creative Share - Trendy Treehouse
Transformation Thursday - The Shabby Chic Cottage
Making it With Allie - What Allie's Making Now
Thrifty Thursday - Tales from Bloggeritaville
Frugalicious Friday - Finding Fabulous
Frugal Friday - The Shabby Nest