Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Gifts (for friends and neighbors)

I realize that I am a little late in sharing Christmas gift ideas, but I've been told it's "better late than never." So here goes!

This year, I used the power of the internet to make some simple, but yummy gifts for some of our friends and neighbors. 

I found this recipe at Me and My Pink Mixer for Cinnamon Honey Butter. 
I already owned the glass jars and I was lucky because butter went on sale at my local supermarket. 

My supplies: 
Small Glass Jars
Scrapbook paper
Card Stock
Cute little snowmen gift bags

I downloaded this adorable printable from the girls at eighteen25. I'll never be able to pay them back for all the amazing work they do. I also printed out a copy of the recipe that I glued to the back of the note. That way, the recipient a) knows what she is about to eat and b) can replicate it in the future. 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Wonderful New Year. Thank you for all of your support and kindness in 2011. I plan to be back in full blogging mode in 2012. (We may even be having a giveaway to celebrate 50 followers...)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Decor

As I promised Chance, the Halloween decor was put away before he got home from work on November 1st. I have a stockpile of Thanksgiving stuff. I didn't need to make or buy anything.

I continued the use of my Toilet Paper Pumpkins. Though, if I don't make a trip to the store pretty soon one of them make get sent back to the bathroom. :)

You'll also notice the Pilgrims and Native American Indians that I have on either side of the entertainment center.

I have been searching for this lovely couple for YEARS!! Finally, in mid-September I found them waiting for me at HomeGoods. Aren't they beautiful?!

I got my amazing Pilgrims at THE Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. We went there for Thanksgiving in 2009. I loved it.

A couple of years ago I got to make this Give Thanks display at a church activity. I LOVE it.
I got the male N.A. Indian at HomeGoods in October of last year, but his wife was no where to be found. :( I waited too long.

I got the Harvest sign at (drum roll please) HomeGoods on clearance after Thanksgiving last year. The delightful Pilgrim couple was a gift from TMJ and Tervlon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Well Hello...

I know I have been completely blog negligent as of late. I'm kind of in a rut. I don't feel like I have done anything worth blogging about.

Well, that isn't totally true. I am currently working on the most time consuming Christmas gift ever. In fact, I have already spent over 40 hours on it. I'm still only about 30% done. But, alas, my darling mother-in-law follows this blog, so I can't divulge any of it. Rest assured though, you'll see it eventually. Chance takes a picture of it every night before we go to bed so we can chronicle that day's progress. Keep in mind that I have other projects to work on (like a special request from my Mom...) so this gift may end up a Christmas 2012 surprise, though I sincerely hope not.

I am, yet again, organizing the guest room. After Bryan moved out I thought I would be in there 24/7 crafting and sewing. But I walked in and felt immediately overwhelmed. We had been hiding miscellaneous stuff, like cases of water, all over our apartment for three months. So, when our spare room opened up again we put it all in there. The rest of our house was blissfully uncluttered, however, that meant our craft room was a hot mess. I had the strong desire to go in there and throw everything away. There were some tears. At one point I think I got in bed and pulled the covers over my head. I determined to stop following craft blogs because they give me too many cute ideas and I don't have enough storage for any of it. Chance tenderly talked me down from the ledge but I haven't gotten back into the swing of blogging yet.

As for the craft room, I've decided to condense our spare linens into space bags. The bags have been purchased and the linens washed. I have plans to spend a few hours at a local laundromat in order to wash our large quilts and comforters. Then the real organizing can begin. I have already collected two garbage bags full of stuff to take to Goodwill.

Madigan Made posted the other day about her UFOs Unfinished and Forgotten Objects and projects. Oh my gosh. Its like she gets me. I told Chance that I have enough stuff around here to do projects for months. I am committing to using up my old stuff before I buy any new. (With the exception of one sewing notion IF I get to the finishing stage of my MIL's Christmas gift.)

Anywho, I have a fun Saturday coming up with my friend the Playful Professional. I will definitely be tweeting and blogging about that.

I decorated for Thanksgiving on November 1st just like I promised I would. Pictures are forthcoming.

I think I'll find ways to talk more about my MIL's gift. You know. To drive her a little crazy. :) Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Oh my gosh you guys. I just made an amazing dessert. I didn't take any pictures because I was just trying something I saw on Pinterest. 

I saw this Sticky Bun recipe on All Thing Delicious. I borrowed one of her pictures to show you the awesomeness. It was one of the easiest recipes I have ever made.You'll have to go to her website for the recipe though! Let me know if you try it!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet Tea Social

Today I had the awesome opportunity to drive down to Richmond to meet a group of other Virginia area bloggers. Allison from A Glimpse Inside and Michelle from Dream Home DIY put together a fun-filled day of eating, socializing, and shopping!

Sweet Tea Social

We spent some time lamenting the fact that much of the blogosphere is centered out West. It is a lot more difficult for us East Coast girls to meet one another!

I'll spare you the awful details of our two hour drive down to Richmond. Suffice it to say, I-95 never fails to be a miserable experience. 

The day started at The Cheesecake Factory where we got to sit around a chat casually. Sometimes we would quietly chat with those next to us, while other times we were yelling across the table. Conversation topics included Geography, Photography, and Pinterest. Lots of Pinterest

The party then moved to the nearby Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately, not everyone joined in the shopping. Here is a picture of the five of us who made the trek. From left to right: Me, Kristol from The Magic of Ordinary Things, Allison from A Glimpse Inside, Michelle from Dream Home DIY, and Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous

It was Linda's first time in a Hobby Lobby and we were all excited to join her. Allison and Michelle hosted a HL gift card giveaway at the restaurant, and the stars aligned so that Linda won. It was meant to be!

Anyway, I am so grateful to Allison and Michelle for taking the time to put this together. I had a ton of fun getting to know some awesome people in real life! Makes me want to host a get-together closer to home!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Go-To Pumpkin Update

I'm just so excited about this that I can't take it!
I got some new suggestions for how to...spice up the T.P. Pumpkins.
1. My brother, Bret, suggested using cinnamon sticks for the stems to add a little scent to the decor. Brilliant!
2. A new follower, Janelle, decided to make some toilet paper pumpkins and I LOVE what she did.
She used scrap fabrics, her stems were made out of empty toilet paper rolls, and her leaves were made from ribbon rather than scrap fabric! I love that she added twine too. She even sent me some pictures!! Check it out while I go buy some twine to add to my pumpkins.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Post at Everyday is a Celebration!

Come on over to Everyday is a Celebration and see my tips for decorating around a Halloween Hater!

My Go-To Pumpkin Decor

I love fall.
Winter is too cold which means my knee hurts all the time.
Spring allergies have me scratching my eyes out.
Summer gets too hot and mosquitoes treat me like a buffet.
Fall, better yet, Autumn is my favorite season.

That being said it probably comes as no surprise that I have an over abundance of autumnal decor.
I don't want to overwhelm you with all the cool stuff I have around right now, so I'll share just one of my favorites.

Toilet Paper Pumpkins.

That's right. You heard me. (Well, not technically since you're reading this...) You read me!

Here's what you need:
Toilet paper
A square of fabric roughly 14x14
A scrap of green fabric (mine are 2"x3.5")
Something brown (a scrap of a brown paper bag, a toilet paper roll, brown cardstock...)

Place the fabric right side down
Put the tp on the fabric

Pull a corner of the fabric up and tuck it into the tp roll.
(Here is where I stop and think, "Maybe I should have done this on the table so my legs and adorable socks wouldn't be making a cameo in these pictures.)

Repeat with all the corners
Tuck extra fabric until you think it looks pretty

Center your green scrap over the top and tuck it in part way, these are your leaves

Roll up your small piece of brown whatever and place it in the top as your stem

My favorite part of this project is the amount of space I need to store it when the season is over. I put the TP back in the linen closet and I am left with a few scraps of fabric and paper. Woo Hoo!

I like that I get to use those irresistible fall fabrics without having to sew anything!
This same idea can be used for apples in September, snowmen in January, don't get me started on Paper towels!

I hope you love this idea as much as I do!

Friday, September 16, 2011

This is in the Bag!

Chance and I were lucky enough to be able to go to the Congressional Baseball Game. It is a game in which Democrat Congressmen play Republican Congressmen in a charity baseball game. 

When we walked in all kinds of companies started handing us free merchandise (SWAG!)
C-SPAN (the channel on which you can watch what is happening on the floor of the House) gave us these messenger bags. 

We're going on a vacation soon and I think the messenger bag is the fanny packs cooler, younger brother. So I really think these could come in handy. Sorry, C-SPAN, I don't really want to advertise for you! So I placed thick cardboard under the logo and used plain ol' masking tape around the edge. 

I painted two coats of white acrylic paint over the logo to get a nice base. I mixed the white with a Textile Medium, which is just a liquid you can mix with acrylic paint to help it bond to fabric and become washable.Then I went crazy with aqua paint. I painted one whole box aqua and then part of the second box.

I decided to go with monograms. I just eyeballed it because I'm kinda lazy and I like immediate results. :)
I made mine a black cursive and Chance's a blue Arial type font.

When I took the tape off I saw that I had a little leakage. Not surprising really since I used masking tape...*hangs head in shame*

Anywho, I just touched up the edges with black.

Here's our end result! Maybe not show room perfect, but it was FREE! And it allowed us to carry stuff on our vacation without a purse or a heavy backpack or heaven forbid an actual fanny pack.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Great Big Thank You

You might remember that I won a giveaway at eighteen25. Well, last week my beautiful purse arrived, and I absolutely LOVE it!! I wanted to get a picture with it, but I also wanted to look cute. Strangely, that took a while to happen! At any rate, we went at saw a 9/11 Memorial performance of the Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. As usual the Chanceman was taking loads of pictures. I went ahead and jumped into one since I had my hair done. I'm pretty happy with the result. 

Thanks to Jamie, Jen, and Jodie for an amazing purse and the little rush of winning something! Check out their blog. It is one of the absolute BEST!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember...

Ten years ago I was a senior in high school.

It was six days before my 18th birthday.

As I stopped at my locker to begin my day I peeked in my History teacher's classroom. I saw a fire in the World Trade Center.

I sat in my first period English class and watched the reporters fumble for information as the second tower was hit. I remember holding my classmate, Lindsey, as she cried.

Then she returned the favor as I burst into tears as the first tower fell.

Over the course of the next few hours, days, and years we learned what happened. We've worked to make sense of it. We got the people responsible.

And President Bush's words have come true, "This country will define our times, not be defined by them."

Here is a picture of my journal from that day. I started keeping it on the 9th. I have never been good a journaling. But I'll never forget the importance of my journaling from that day. I was at work on the 20th when President Bush gave a speech. I was so touched by the above quote that I wrote it on a napkin to insert in my journal later on.
I am so grateful for all the men and women who serve our country in the military, fire, police, and EMT departments. These people, and their families, are truly heroes.

Here are a few pictures of the mementos I have saved from that day.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I crack myself up

So Chance worked as an assistant photographer at a wedding today. He had me go with him mostly because he wouldn't get there in time without using the HOV lane. :P

Anyway, I was sitting at a table chatting with guests when Chance came up and asked how I was and then gave me a kiss. After he walked away, I looked around at the other people at the table and said, "I don't know him..."

I got the best laugh from the whole group! Then one guy says, "You should pursue it. Looks like there could be potential."

I think I'll take his advice. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I've been Pinspired

I saw this fun DIY menu board on Pinterest. It is from A Creative Momma.

She gives great, step-by-step instructions on how to create this for yourself. I was set on making one when I stumbled upon these on clearance ($4.00) at Target. Seriously, it might be the happiest place on Earth!
At any rate, I was able to buy a dry erase calendar and blank note board. They are both adhesive but re-positionable. The set also came with a marker and holder.

I couldn't decide which picture was less crappy. So you get with and without flash. :)

So thanks Creative Momma for opening my eyes even though I didn't use your tutorial.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Carrot Cake

So Bryan's birthday was yesterday. I didn't have the right candles so he turned 30 again. At any rate, he and his beautiful wife Emilie just moved out here from Utah and they aren't quite settled in. So I took on the task of making Bryan's birthday cake. 

When I asked what he wanted he surprised me by saying, "Carrot Cake."
Emilie said, "No one else likes it so this is the only time of year he has it."
Carrot Cake it is. 
But I'm stubborn. I wanted other people to like it. 
I bought a box mix as a back up plan, but then I went to the internet in search of a good recipe. 

I was able to make this beauty thanks to a recipe that I found at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy.

It was actually a hit. Even I liked it!

I have to tell you that I didn't use raisins. All the people who normally dislike carrot cake were so happy about the missing raisins! I don't like cooked raisins. Stay out of my cookies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls you grody little things! I'll take you straight out of the little red box or not at all!

I wanted to take pictures of the process but I didn't want to stop baking to get a photo op. 
I also didn't want to risk getting my grubby hands on a camera. :)

I actually had fun sending full size carrots through the food processor.  
Chance cut parchment paper for me. He was a huge help. He even did the annoying food processor dishes. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Day in Paradise

So, as I have been bemoaning all summer long, it has been so difficult to get any crafting done around my house for the last few months. I have nearly been going through withdrawals. I was, however, able to make time and space to do a new door hanging.

I started with a door sign that I got on clearance at Target.  I knew that they would be incredibly easy to revamp, but they sat next to my bed for about a month just waiting for inspiration to strike.

How much did I pay?  YEAH!! $2.68!! 

I covered it with a summery scrapbook paper that I previously used on my Summer Blocks. 

I layered the second scrapbook paper at an angle to emulate sunshine. I was lucky that it already contained the sun burst pattern.

After that, I headed across the parking lot to TMJ's place and used her silhouette. 
I cut out this adorable Palm tree and hammock set and the phrase, "Another Day in Paradise." (In case you don't know, my last name is Hammock. So we sort of love all things hammock related.)

I came home and used my Cricut tools to punch out all the intricate details that I cut with the Silhouette. Chance observed and photographed the Crafter in her natural habitat. 

Finally I Mod Podged all the tiny little pieces of paper to the board. Once it was all dry I MPed it all once more to give it a nice finish.

I threaded a ribbon through the pre-existing holes and hung her on the door.

Have you done anything creative lately? Have you been in a slump like me? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Time!

Yes indeed. I got out the blocks again. I don't regret it one bit!

TMJ pinned this:

From A Diamond in the Stuff. It made me feel inspired again. I had literally gone to AC Moore (a craft store) and capitalized on a sale just a few days prior to this pin. I just happened to have purchased some cute, summery scrapbook paper. So when I saw this all I had to do was cut the paper and the letters. I only have 4 Cricut Cartridges so you'll start to recognize my font choices. This particular font was also used for Valentine's Day.

I grabbed these two buckets that I picked up at Target around Easter for $2 each. (I hate lining up so many prepositional phrases. It throws off my groove!)*

Anywho. I gave our beloved lowboy a summer flair. I attacked the top of the entertainment center too but that will have to wait for another post!

*Because I am still a teacher at heart I will clarify the prepositional phrases. 
I grabbed these two buckets that I picked up at Target around Easter for $2 each
#1- at Target
#2- around Easter
#3- for $2 each


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