December 29, 2011

Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt (Inspiration)

It's four days after Christmas, and I know that the Blogging M.O. is to start talking about New Year's, but every Christmas has the same effect on me:  I start thinking about NEXT Christmas.  Somehow, sitting amidst flying wrapping paper, children 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing', family singing carols, and dogs jumping into piles of ripped paper, I can much more easily think of the perfect gift.

I'm always more ambitious in my planning when Christmas is so far away, probably because I think I have so much time ahead of me to finish getting ready (like, a year.)  This year, a particularly brilliant idea occurred to me as we sat around my mother-in-law's tree and I gazed at the old quilt wrapped around the tree base:  "She needs a tree skirt!"

At the first inconspicuous opportunity, I brought up the idea to my sister-in-law, who also quilts, and we agreed to make that our present to her next year.  Since she raised two boys, it's particularly fun to give her girly gifts, as they seem more special coming from her daughters-in-law. We intend to make her tree skirt extra-special by quilting a family tree onto it with all of our names (and room for more, of course.)  (gosh, I hope she still hasn't found my blog.) :)

Anyways.   I Googled combinations of words like "quilted family tree," "family tree Christmas tree skirt," etc, etc., and I found some amazing ideas.  Thought I'd share some of my favorites.  Opinions, please????




Patchwork Pottery (I think...)
There are aspects of all of these that I really liked, but I believe my favorite may be the last one.  I'm a sucker for curly-cues.  :)

Have a safe and wonderful New Year!!

~ Sarah

PS -- Don't forget to leave opinions!!

December 25, 2011

December 22, 2011

Dollar Store Spa Baskets

Three days until Christmas!!  On a scale of happy and merry to panic, where are you in your preparations?  I'm not quite finished, but it doesn't seem to be bothering me as much this year as in Christmases past.  I must be dialed in to that peace on earth thing.  ;)

We had our Christmas party for our church girls' group last night, and it went alright.  Anarchy and chaos, especially with my lost voice, but still a good time.  The club that I teach has between 10-12 girls every week, and we wanted to give them something special for Christmas.  Special, but not too expensive (let's face it... $10 per girl for 12 girls adds up very quickly!)  So we came up with these spa baskets.  Perfect, really, since two months ago we had a spa night, and the girls loved it.

Most of the items in the baskets were from the dollar store (manicure set, lotion, bath roses, loofahs, and beauty blotters.)  We did find good deals on nail polish and lip glosses at Party City, and in the end, we spent roughly $6 per girl, and the baskets were far nicer than anything we found online or in the other stores.  I wrapped them in tissue paper, then cellophane, so they looked much more professional than they actually were (oops - forgot to take a picture of the wrapped baskets.)

I tried to make the baskets color-themed (like blue and pink, or pink and purple, etc), and then the girls traded the items they received with each other for the colors they wanted.  They all loved them (one girl said, "Yes!  I got lady things!")  What great gift ideas do you have that are also budget-friendly?

Happy December 22nd!


~ Sarah

December 15, 2011

A Magical Hallway

Everyone knows that feeling... you walk into a room that makes your eyes light up, your breath catch, and childhood come flooding back, even for a brief moment.  Two nights ago, we went to the Dietrich Theater (a/k/a the Wyoming County Cultural Center) for their annual gift to the community, a free showing of "It's a Wonderful Life."  And as we walked in... just look at what we saw!

A spectacular display of lights, ribbons, and ornaments!
It's impossible to get the magical feeling from a photograph, but perhaps you can tell a little.  It was a very simple idea... ornaments dangling from ribbons tied to strands of Christmas light.  Absolutely delightful!

Of course, the movie was magical, too... as always.  I never fail to cry at the very end.  :-)

May you experience something magical this Christmas, too!

~ Sarah

December 13, 2011

A Dozen Roses & an Empty Attic

Happy Tuesday (Monday?)  I'm getting the days mixed up this week... probably because I took Monday off, and therefore had an extra Saturday.  :)

A wonderful event happened this weekend.  Some of the girls at our church completed all of the requirements to be 'crowned' (which is a ceremony in which we celebrate the wonderful work they've done and they receive tiaras while wearing beautiful dresses.)  And, as with all things, I never do a ceremony half-way.  I agreed to do the church decorations so that I could make sure the background was fabulous, there were slideshows of the girls growing up (which brought tears to many eyes), and a lovely time of fellowship afterwards, complete with custom cupcakes made by my amazingly talented friend, Katie.

And then, a surprise.  There were six girls in all, and at the end of the ceremony, they each gave myself and the other club leader two roses, so that we both received a dozen.  I was moved almost to tears at their thoughtfulness.  Aren't the roses beautiful?

I have been concentrating on so many things for the crowning lately that many of my posts have been rather useless other than to remind you that I'm still here.  But a project is still underway -- remember all those months ago I announced that we were remodeling my STUDIO??  Well, the garage idea wound up being a bust... there was just no way to make it work.  But we've turned our attention to our full attic.  It's a waste of space right now, being used only for one or two storage boxes.  So Jayson asked if I wanted it.  {Perhaps he's tired of tripping over boxes in the hallway in the middle of the night... boxes that won't fit in the current studio.}  I've asked for the new studio as my Christmas present, and he seems to think that this is a possibility.  Pictures to follow, of course.

Love to all of you!

~ Sarah

December 9, 2011

Cupcake Liners - Beyond the Muffin Tray

Pinsomnia: the inability to sleep because you keep hitting 'see more pins' one more time.

I can't seem to stop pinning!  I caught myself under the covers last night (so the light from my phone wouldn't wake Jayson and Remi), scrolling and continually hitting 'repin'.  It was 2 a.m... and yes, the dark circles under my eyes are frightening people.  God bless my coffee cup.  But I'm not just doing it for me (so I keep telling myself); I am pinning to give YOU ideas, too, my LwYH readers. <3 <3

I'm completely taken with the cupcake liner movement... it's amazing what you can do with these darling little things.  There are some resourceful and creative people out there!  I thought I'd share some of my absolute faves with you.  As always, I'll include my source where possible. 

I think that these pom poms are incredible.  I don't think they'd take that much time, either!  I included two pictures of color schemes I particularly liked. 

This is cute for a cake-decorating party (wish I'd thought of it when I did mine over the summer!!)


 For those of you who like a bit of danger with every party...

 And finally, since it's Christmas....


What cupcake liner ideas have you found?  (I haven't represented them all by any means... again, just the ones I personally liked.)

~ Sarah

December 8, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It's WINTER!!  Christmas is a little over two weeks away (confession: I have yet to decorate my house, although I helped to decorate our church.)  Truly, I've been a pingpong ball for some time.

And last night, we had SNOW!!!  If I am to believe Facebook, most of my friends would rather not have snow at all.  My first instinctive response to anti-snow comments is to un-friend the speaker.  My second is to sarcastically comment, "So move somewhere else and leave the snow to those who appreciate it."  And thankfully, I've managed to resist both urges, and consequently maintain my friend tally.

Well, anyways.  We've had such a consistently warm winter thus far that snow hasn't even been a thought (except for one freak storm in October.)  I've missed it, and started to sadly think we would be having a green and brown Christmas.  So I was quite excited, even more so than normal, to see the lovely white flurries begin to swirl about.

Here are some photographs.  It's nothing compared to the more Northerly places, of course, but to someone in Florida I'm sure it's quite shocking. 

My new iPhone takes wonderful pictures, even at night. 
I thought there was something magical about this one.

I always think these trees look like they're wearing white gloves.

Remington taking his time this morning.  Who
cares about business when there's fun to be had?

What are your Christmas busies, and snow stories?

~ Sarah