BlogHer Topic - DIY - Editor's Picks http://www.blogher.com/user/32418/feed/32418 en Wino! DIY Coaster Made From Wine Corks http://www.blogher.com/wino-diy-coaster-1 <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/DIY-Wine-Cork-COaster.jpg" alt="DIY Wine Cork Coasters" /></center></p> <p>Having a husband in the wine industry means we have A LOT of corks lying around. No, it's not from all the wine we drink (I promise), but it is pretty cool. I mean, think of all the project possibilities! I even have a full pinboard dedicated to cork projects. But as with most things on Pinterest, I say, "Ooohh, how cute," pin it … and then forget it.</p> <p>Today, though, we actually attempted our first cork project, and I will say these coasters came out pretty cute! So if you want to give it a try (I am sure you have some corks lying around, right?), here is how we did it.</p> <h2>What You Need:</h2> <ul> <li>Wine corks (We used about four per coaster)</li> <li>Plain coasters (We used old ones that needed some sprucing up)</li> <li>Steamer</li> <li>Serrated knife</li> <li>Glue gun</li> <li>A level (did you know <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slate.com%2Fblogs%2Ffuture_tense%2F2013%2F09%2F21%2Fios7_tips_compass_app_secretly_has_a_level_and_it_s_addictive.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">you have a level on your iPhone</a>?)</li> </ul> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Corks-in-colander.jpg" alt="corks in steamer" /></center></p> <p>For your first step, you want to steam your corks for about five minutes. This will make them softer to cut and work with. (This step lets you be able to really use any knife. I just used a kitchen knife.)</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Cutting-corks.jpg" alt="corks laid out to cut" /></center></p> <p>Once you have softened your corks and cut them in half, place them on your coaster in the design you want before gluing. Then you can make sure the corks are level and steady, so your drinks won't come crashing down. (Okay, with two kids and a pup, my drinks <em>always</em> come crashing down. But let's pretend, for the sake of the project, that the house is quiet, classical music is playing, and you are curled up with a good book and your Merlot. )</p> <p>Once you have cut your corks evenly and made sure they are the same height, it's time for the fun part: GLUE! (I've been around a toddler for too long, getting so excited about glue and all.) </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Cork-coaster.jpg" alt="corks coaster" /></center></p> <p>After you have glued your coasters and let them dry thoroughly, it's time for the hard part: putting your coaster to work. We love these so much already because the glasses (be they water, wine, or sippy cups) don't slide. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Coaster-with-glass.jpg" alt="coaster with wine glass" /></center></p> <p>There you have it! Now, get busy...while I search for more ways I can glue corks together.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Drinks Food DIY coasters Corks DIY Craft Tutorials http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-360649.jpg Thu, 25 Dec 2014 23:08:15 +0000 stephanievalponi 1676034 at http://www.blogher.com 4 Super Simple Tips To Clean Up The Holiday Clutter http://www.blogher.com/4-simple-tips-clear-holiday-clutter <!--paging_filter--><p>Merry Christmas! Now that you've unwrapped all the presents you carefully chose and purchased over a series of months, you get the joy of... <em>cleaning it up</em>. Yay?</p> <p>Don't fret. The following simple tips will help you organize the mess in quick fashion, leaving you with more time to sit and enjoy the rest of your holiday. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/holiday-clutter.jpg" title="" alt="" /><br /><em><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-180293351/stock-photo-wrapping-paper.html?src=l5h2rGQqxk3knUenS-aDJQ-1-73" target="_blank" class="external-link">Wrapping paper photo</a> via Shutterstock.</em></center></p> <p>The first three are most helpful when completed as early as possible on Christmas day. The last tip depends on you and your family traditions.</p> <p><strong>1. Make a laundry pile.</strong></p> <p>Instead of shuttling boxes of clothes back to bedrooms, take all new pieces of clothes straight to the laundry room. If any clothing sizes look suspect, ask the children to come <em>to</em> the laundry room to try them on first. Take off and throw away tags in the garbage pail. Start a load immediately.</p> <p><strong>2. De-box everything IMMEDIATELY.</strong></p> <p>Instead of opening boxes every half hour for the next four days, take everything out now. Take all the little pieces out of every toy. Undo every single wire. Cut tags. Make it easy for your kids to access their toys and you'll have a slightly quieter Christmas break. Slightly.</p> <p>Caveat: If you see a good project toy that will take up most of an afternoon, consider leaving it in the box and pulling it out on a snow day, a scheduled day off school, or setting them down with it tomorrow while you sip some tea.</p> <p><strong>3. Make other room/shelf piles. And then actually deliver them to the rooms!</strong></p> <p>Put the books in a bookshelf pile. Put the playroom toys in a pile. Put anything that heads off to kitchens or bedrooms in their own pile. Then have each family member deliver their own piles to their appropriate spaces <em>and</em> put them away. Neatly. </p> <p>If you find yourself in a "too much stuff for the space available" situation, take a half hour per room and either adjust space by moving things around or start a pile for donation. If you end up with a donation pile, make sure to box it up (in one of the boxes you just received presents in!) and place it next to the front door or in the garage. You don't want to walk around a donation pile for weeks. Make a plan to deliver it in the next day or two.</p> <p><strong>4. When it comes time to de-decorate, place every family member on a specific task.</strong></p> <p>It can feel daunting to take down all of the decorations that took you a month to place in the perfect spot. Put each family member, adult and child alike, on a specific type of decoration. Send one child after all of the snowman and place them on the dining room table. One child can put all of the Christmas cards in a pile. An adult can grab the wreaths, and so on.</p> <p>When you work together, the process takes less time. You also control who touches breakables, thus resulting in less "oops" moments with family heirloom decorations. Smart!</p> <p>Of note: When you de-decorate depends on your unique family traditions. Whether it's today, this weekend, on New Year's Eve or Day, January 6th, or sometime in February, it doesn't matter. Just make sure to ask the family for their help&mdash;making <em>that</em> a tradition will be one you'll cherish for all time.</p> <p>Now if you'll excuse me, I hear my couch calling. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>BlogHer Editor Jenna Hatfield (<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://twitter.com/FireMom" class="external-link">@FireMom</a>) blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstopdropandblog.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Stop, Drop and Blog</a>.</em></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> DIY Family Organizing http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-3222.jpg Thu, 25 Dec 2014 21:29:15 +0000 JennaHatfield 1901156 at http://www.blogher.com 6 Hacks for Gift Wrapping http://www.blogher.com/hacks-gift-wrapping <!--paging_filter--><p>It doesn't take much time on Pinterest to find works of art when it comes to gift wrap. You'll see beautiful bows, magically coordinated papers, and perfectly folded corners. As much as I love to ogle these gorgeously wrapped presents, gifts look a little different under our tree. Family interests (superheroes, pirates, Tinkerbell) determine our paper choices, not the latest Pinterest trends. Our corners usually aren't perfect. And usually, we don't even have bows! </p><!--break--> <p>I have always struggled to wrap presents. Some of my efforts look pretty good, and others look like my 4-year-old wrapped them blindfolded. I don't need perfectly wrapped presents, but I do like to make the process as painless as possible. In the last couple of years, I've implemented a few hacks to lower the frustration level while wrapping gifts.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsimplehacksliving.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F12%2FGift-Wrapping-Hacks.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Gift-Wrapping-Hacks-550.jpg" alt="Gift Wrapping Hacks" /></a></center></p> <br /> <p><center><h1>HACKS FOR GIFT WRAPPING</h1></center></p> <p><center><h2> 1. HEAVY PAPER</h2></center></p> <p>Paper really matters! Cheap paper tears WAY too easily, and can make the whole wrapping job ten times harder. You don't have to get the most expensive paper, but you do need to get a nice, thick paper. Cheap paper isn't cheaper if it rips and you are forced to use twice as much.</p> <p><center><h2> 2. MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE</h2></center></p> <p>If it is true for building a house, then it should be true for wrapping a present. I cannot tell you how many times I have quickly cut paper, only to figure out that I was half an inch short. Then I had to make the awful choice of cutting out a whole new piece of paper, or cutting scrap paper to try to artfully fill in the gap. </p> <p>If you want to save yourself frustration, go ahead and take the ten extra seconds to make sure you have measured correctly. <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcorinnawraps.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F01%2F31%2Fhow-to-properly-measure-paper-for-wrapping%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Check out these tips on how to accurately measure</a> from Corinna Wraps.</p> <p><center><h2> 3. PRINT MATTERS</h2></center></p> <p>If your wrapping skills are less than stellar, then you need to stick to small or medium-sized, repetitive prints—or solid paper. Find yourself reaching for that super-cute striped paper? PUT IT DOWN NOW! Those cute little stripes will just highlight your mistakes!</p> <p><center><h2> 4. FLAT SURFACE</h2></center></p> <p>Clear off the table or the floor! You need a completely flat surface with plenty of room to unroll paper, measure, cut, and fold.</p> <p><center><h2> 5. BOX IT OR BAG IT</h2></center></p> <p>There is nothing like an oddly-shaped present to turn your attitude from angelic to Scrooge! For the non-square stuff, you have two easy choices: Fit it inside a big box, or bag it! </p> <p>If your gift is going to be too difficult to wrap, just get a bag. If you're in the store today, check the birthday present section for gift bags. You can usually purchase a solid-colored bag in this aisle for significantly less than the holiday-themed bags in with the Christmas wrap. </p> <p>Got a present too big for a bag or box? Don't bother wrapping at all. Last, year my son got a bike. We ended up bringing it out on Christmas Eve and covering it with a blanket. It was not beautiful … but that blanket didn't take away any of his excitement.</p> <p><center><h2>6. HIDE YOUR MISTAKES</h2></center></p> <p>Ready to put those lovely presents under the tree? Why not put your best foot forward? I always turn presents so that their best-wrapped side is showing, and put the most prettily wrapped presents in front. There's nothing wrong with hiding those few blemishes! </p> <p>Please let us know what you think of our hacks in the comments below. We would also love to hear your wrapping, tips, tricks, and hacks too.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> DIY Family #christmas #presents #tips BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-393996.jpg Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:32:30 +0000 simplehacksliving 1892859 at http://www.blogher.com Revamped and Restyled Retro Christmas Village http://www.blogher.com/revamped-and-restyled-retro-christmas-village <!--paging_filter--><p>My mother recently gave me her old Christmas village. These little snow-capped ceramic homes decorated my parents' house all through my teenage years. My three-year-old son is slightly obsessed with the miniature "winter wonderland" displays at our local craft store, and Mom still had all the pieces of her village boxed up to pass on for Baxter to enjoy. </p> <p>The catch: I was not in love. I'm a Kitschmas kind of gal, and this village was way too traditional for my taste. Lucky for me, there is nothing a can of spray paint and some glitter can't fix. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-on-display.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village - before" /></center></p> <p>First things first: Decide on a color. I went with the obvious choice of neon pink. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-materials.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village - materials" /></center></p> <p>The key to spray painting (besides outside, clean, dry) is several light coats. Your paint job is not going to look opaque and amazing on round one. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/spraypainting.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village - painting" /></center></p> <p>Let your spray paint dry between your light coats. It took me two cans to get the shade of florescent pink I wanted.</p> <p>Once my village was completely dry, those snow-capped roofs begged for glitter. Who was I to deny them? </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-in-progress.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village- glitter" /></center></p> <p>Using glue, I followed the designs already on the houses, and even added a little extra snow here and there. While the glue is wet, sprinkle your glitter. Go heavy: The more glitter, the better.</p> <p>Besides snowy roofs, I also glittered trees, doors, and occasionally signs, using the same method. Blow off excess glitter. </p> <p>If you are looking for some additional snowball action for your village, might I suggest a vintage snowman?</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-with-Snowman_0.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village- snowman" /></center></p> <p>An oversized vintage elf never hurt anyone, either.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-with-Elf_0.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village- elf" /></center></p> <p>Ahh, that is much better. Neon pink snow villages are much more my speed. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Village-on-display_0.jpg" alt="Neon Pink Christmas Village- display" /></center></p> <p>I still have the family heirloom, but I made it fit my style. </p> <p>Check out more from Jen on her blog, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jenniferperkins.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.jenniferperkins.com</a></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY Christmas DIY neon DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:04:09 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1858450 at http://www.blogher.com The Easiest Christmas Mason Jar Candles You Can Make http://www.blogher.com/diy-christmas-mason-jar-candles <!--paging_filter--><p>I created some simple and cheap mason jar Christmas candles that anyone can make in minutes. (Pssst … the candles are battery operated, so on days when my kids are keeping me busy and I forget to turn them off, no worries.)</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Mason-Jar-Holiday-Candles.jpg" alt="Mason jar holiday candles" /></center></p> <p>Mason jars have made a huge comeback in the past few years. I think they have a homemade, back-to-basics feel. They take me back to the days of my childhood, when our house would be filled with the comforting smell of tomato butter simmering in pots on the stove.Tomato butter was my mom's specialty!</p> <p>I created some simple and cheap mason jar Christmas candles that anyone can make in minutes. (Pssst … the candles are battery operated, so on days when my kids are keeping me busy and I forget to turn them off, no worries.)</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Mason-Jar.jpg" alt="mason jars" /></center></p> <p>To create a variety in height to my candles, I used a couple of tall pasta sauce jars. I bought the short mason jars at a local dollar store. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Candle-and-Snow.jpg" alt="candle and snow" /></center></p> <p>Place the battery-operated votive candles in the jars. Using paper as a funnel, pour the shredded snow around the votive candles. </p> <p>I got the candles and snow at a dollar store. <em>The slightly larger votive candles work better than tea lights, because you can fit more snow in the jar.</em></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Pine-Cone.jpg" alt="pine cone ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Choose some small ornaments to decorate the jar. Make sure each ornament has a string attached so you can hang it on the jar. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Twine.jpg" alt="twine" /></center></p> <p>Take some twine and simply tie the ornaments around the neck of the jar, finishing with a bow. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Final-Mason-Jar-Holiday-Candles.jpg" alt="finished candles" /></center></p> <p>This collection of candles would look fantastic on a mantel or table. I like to keep mine on a shelf in a hutch, because this craft creates the illusion of candles glowing, but is safe and tidy.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY Christmas decorations Christmas mason jar DIY Mason Jars DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-346300.jpg Fri, 12 Dec 2014 23:49:35 +0000 NestingStory 1882218 at http://www.blogher.com The Best Coloring Books for Grown-Ups http://www.blogher.com/best-coloring-books-grown-ups <!--paging_filter--><p>I remember when I was about 10 or so and I received a very grown-up coloring book and a brand new set of colored pencils. I was thrilled by both as coloring pencils were not something I had very often and the coloring book was extra cool because it only had an image on one side. To me, that was a sign of a grown-up coloring book and it was awesome. If you have a similar memory from your childhood, then this post is for you. Or, if you still love the smell of a brand new box of 64 Crayola Crayons. Or, if you love nothing better than a gorgeous box of brand new colored pencils or markers. Coloring books aren't just for kids and here are my favorites. Order one for yourself and enjoy. You won't regret it, I swear.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/coloringbookscollage.jpg" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/amazinganimals.jpg" width=300 /></center></p> <p>I have to kick things off with a nod to that childhood coloring book. I'm pretty sure it was from the Dover Press Nature series. Something very much like this <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.doverpublications.com%2F0486420612.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Amazing Animals coloring book</a>. If animals aren't your thing -- Dover Press has so many to choose from. <a href="http://store.doverpublications.com/0486439984.html>Godey's Fashions</a>, <a href="http://store.doverpublications.com/by-subject-coloring-books-stained-glass-coloring.html">Stained Glass Coloring Books</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.doverpublications.com%2F0486448126.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Classic Movie Posters</a> are good places to start but go surf their catalog, you'll find something you love. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/unicorns.jpg" width="300" /></center></p> <p>I ordered <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnicolelorenz.com%2F2012%2F08%2F30%2Funicorns-are-jerks-now-a-real-coloring-book-you-can-buy%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Unicorns Are Jerks</a> and every time I look at it, I start to giggle. You need this coloring book. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Hillary.jpg" width="300" /></center></p> <p>I got a review copy of <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fulyssespress.com%2F%3Fbooks%3Dhillary" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Hillary The Coloring Book</a> and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to watch closely or one of my adult children will steal it when they are home for the holidays. All the pantsuits for me to color, it doesn't get any better than that. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/animalmandalas.jpg" width="300" /></center></p> <p>I'm probably the only person I know who doesn't love mandalas or tessellations. I like them, I just don't love them. But there are some great coloring books for both and you should absolutely check them out, if that's your thing. Besides <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.doverpublications.com%2Fby-subject-coloring-books-design-coloring.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">anything by Dover</a>, (I own the North American Indian Design book because my kids all used it for school projects years ago), my people recommend <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wendypiersall.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Coloring Animal Mandalas</a> by Wendy Piersall. Wendy has a flower mandalas book coming next year and it looks pretty great. I might have to dip my watercolors back into mandalas next year... </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/ancientsymbols.jpg" /></center></p> <p>I find all coloring to be meditative, well maybe not when coloring in Unicorns are Jerks because I'm too busy laughing, but you might be interested in the line of spiritual <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmeditativecoloring.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">meditative coloring books</a> from Sacred Imprints. Here's a link to the entire <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/Aliyah-Schick/e/B0052XTN80/" class="external-link">series on Amazon</a>.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/artofnature.jpg" /></center></p> <p>Some of the coloring books for adults are just beautiful. Truly beautiful, whether you've colored them or not. High on my wish list are <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shopterrain.com%2Fproduct%2Fthe-art-of-nature-coloring-book" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Art of Nature</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.laurenceking.com%2Fus%2Fsecret-garden-an-inky-treasure-hunt-and-colouring-book" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Secret Garden</a>. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/TwinPeaks.jpg" width="300" /></center></p> <p>TV and Movie fans will have fun with <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/173144956/twin-peaks-colouring-book-by-danadamki?ref=shop_home_active_3" class="external-link">Twin Peaks</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/TeamArt" class="external-link">Mad Men, and Game of Thrones</a> coloring books. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/paris.jpg" /></center></p> <p>Travelers will enjoy <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chroniclebooks.com%2Ftitles%2Flife-style%2Ftravel%2Fcolor-this-book-new-york-city.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">New York</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fammobooks.com%2Fcollections%2Fkids%2Fproducts%2Fpariscoloringbook" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Paris</a>, or <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anthropologie.com%2Fanthro%2Fproduct%2F33504895.jsp" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Italy</a> coloring books. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/RosieFlo.jpg" /></center></p> <p>I've fallen a little in love with <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chroniclebooks.com%2Ftitles%2Frosie-flo-s-kitchen-coloring-book.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Rosie Flo's Kitchen Coloring Book</a>. The parchment paper is a nice touch. <!--pagebreak--> </p><p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/zooanimals.jpg" width="300" /></center></p> <p>Did I mention I really like animal coloring books? Or, that I have a thing for flamingos? I do and I do. I am trying very hard not to put this <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/87503527/zoo-colouring-book" class="external-link">Zoo Animals Colouring Book</a> into my Etsy cart. Or the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/198503883/mid-century-modern-animals-coloring-book" class="external-link">Mid-Century Modern Animals</a>. Both are calling my name. </p> <p>There are so many great coloring books for adults out there -- go search, I bet you'll find one you love. Probably more than one. If you've already got some great coloring books at home, share your favorites in the comments. </p> <p><strong>~Denise</strong><br /> <strong>BlogHer Community Manager</strong><br /> <a href=http://www.flamingohouse.net>Flamingo House Happenings</a><br /></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY coloring books Gift Guides BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/pictures/picture-22.jpg Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:55:43 +0000 Denise 1877241 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Adorable DIY Ornament Ideas for Untraditional Christmas Trees http://www.blogher.com/5-nontraditional-ornament-ideas-nontraditional-christmas-trees <!--paging_filter--><p>As someone with her own private tinsel tree forest, I tend to have a hard time finding Christmas ornaments that not only curl my kitsch-loving toes, but also match my colorful trees. Traditional ornaments just won't work on an eight-foot-tall, hot pink tree. </p><!--break--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/supercute.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Most times, I turn to vintage ornaments. Those ladies of yesteryear knew how to get their holiday craft on. However, the holidays bring out the crafter in people. Why not try making your own Christmas ornaments? Get the kids involved, make it into a ladies' night party, or start a tradition of one handmade ornament a year. The only rule when making untraditional ornaments is to not follow any rules. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>1. Christmas in an Ice Cream Cone</h2></center></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Ice-Cream-Ornaments.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments - ice cream cones" /></center></p> <p>If you thought ice cream cones only came in tan, then you probably also thought Christmas trees could only be green. Fake trees can come in almost any color of the rainbow, and so can ice cream cones. These adorable pink ones seemed too cute to eat, so I turned them into an ornament. </p> <p> Attach a shatterproof ornament to an ice cream cone with craft glue, and presto! Use glitter, glue, and gemstones to take things up a notch. </p> <p> If you have a tree in your kitchen or dining room, these are super fun. Might I also suggest a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fyarn-wrapped-cupcake-christmas-ornament-tutorial%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">cupcake variation with yarn</a>?</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Ice-Cream-Cone.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>2. Festive Felt Stencils</h2></center></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Felt-Stencils.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Felt is such a fun craft medium. It comes in so many delicious colors, something about the texture is so comforting, and you can do almost anything to it.</p> <p>When it comes to Christmas ornaments, a pile of felt has endless possibilities. You can decorate your tree in felt from head to toe with everything from <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fkitschy-felt-christmas-tree-diy%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">tree skirts</a> to <a href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fciburbanity.com%2F2014%2F11%2F25%2Ffelt-christmas-tree-garland%2F&amp;_back=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogher.com%2Fsearch%2Fapachesolr_search%2Ffelt%2520christmas">garlands</a> to <a href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwestcoastmama.net%2Fmid-century-modern-felt-ornaments%2F%3Futm_source%3Dfeedburner%26utm_medium%3Dfeed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed%253A%2BWestCoastMama%2B%2528West%2BCoast%2BMama%2529&amp;_back=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogher.com%2Fsearch%2Fapachesolr_search%2Ffelt%2520christmas">ornaments</a>. You can stitch it, paint it, layer it—or, like I did, all of the above. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Felt-Stenciling.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Using my friend <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stencil1.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Ed Roth's Stencil1 stencils</a>, I created a whole slew of felt ornaments this year. I embellished them all with pompoms and embroidery. I love the way these turned out, and how they look on my tree.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Felt-Stencil-Ornament.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>3. Beaded Beauties</h2></center></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Beaded-Ornaments-on-Tree.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>To me, nothing says "kitschy Christmas" like a handmade beaded ornament. There is something so tacky, yet amazing, about these. Alone, they look like you went to a craft swap at your local church; in a group, they look like sparkly Christmas heaven. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Beaded-Ornament-Wreath.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>If you are lucky enough to find vintage beaded ornaments, they can be pricey—and they're not always in the colors you'd like. That's why I decided to make my own, using vintage Hawaiian muumuu scraps, chartreuse green barkcloth, and silver tinsel. All you need is a foam ball, fabric scraps, sequins, and <em>lots</em> of sequin pins. <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fvintage-inspired-kitschy-sequin-ornament-diy%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Check out my full tutorial here</a>.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>4. Feliz Navidad Piñata Tree</h2></center></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Feliz-Navidad-Tree.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>When you decide to have a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2014%2F12%2Fwin-your-own-white-christmas-tree%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Feliz Navidad tree</a>, you need to make your own ornaments. You can find a handful of piñata-shaped ornaments ready-made at the stores, but hand-making them is so much more fun.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Feliz-Navidad-Ornaments.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Craft stores sell blank ornaments begging for a paint job in every shape you can imagine. I opted for diamond shapes, as they seemed the most piñata-like. Using crepe party streamers and gold tissue paper, I cut slits in the streamers and glued them to my ornament base. You just want to take a wee little stick to this wee little piñata and see what's inside, don't you?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>5. Painted Ladies</h2></center></p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Painted-Lady-ornament.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>If you are an artist, nothing says you must only paint paper and canvases. Small pieces of wood, blank craft ornaments, or even shatterproof ornament balls are your Christmas canvas.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Painted-Ladies.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>Use craft paint to make these ornaments anything your little heart desires. Don't forget the cardinal rule: Pompom fringe and glitter make everything better, especially Christmas ornaments.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Painted-Ladies-Final.jpg" alt="untraditional Christmas tree ornaments" /></center></p> <p>So what kind of ornaments are you going to make for your tree? Seems a shame to just run to the store and buy some boring red and green balls, when you could get your Christmas craft on instead and make your very own customized holiday tree.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:00:55 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1879166 at http://www.blogher.com 10 Fun Reindeer Crafts to Make for Christmas http://www.blogher.com/10-reindeer-crafts-christmas-decorating <!--paging_filter--><p>When I was a kid my father lived near a reindeer farm. When I was really little I thought they were Santa's reindeer, which basically meant I thought about Christmas all year round. There was something magical about them, and I hope you can find a little bit of that magic in these 10 reindeer Christmas crafts.</p> <!--break--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeercrafts.jpg" alt="10 Fun Reindeer Crafts to Make for Christmas" /><BR /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shutterstock.com%2Fpic-119631139%2Fstock-photo-fabric-christmas-deer-on-wooden-background.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Christmas reindeer</a>, Shutterstock</em></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wellnourishednest.com%2F2014%2F11%2F14%2Fchristmas-craft-ideas-reindeer%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeereggcarton.jpg" alt="Egg Carton Reindeer Sleigh" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wellnourishednest.com%2F2014%2F11%2F14%2Fchristmas-craft-ideas-reindeer%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Well Nourished Nest </a></em></center></p> <p>I sometimes forget how awesome egg carton crafts can be. Ashlee's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wellnourishednest.com%2F2014%2F11%2F14%2Fchristmas-craft-ideas-reindeer%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">egg carton reindeer sleigh</a> is <em>totally</em> awesome.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/WoodSliceReindeer.jpg" alt="wood slice reindeer ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theshabbycreekcottage.com%2F2013%2F11%2Freindeer-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Shabby Creek Cottage</a></em></center></p> <p>I think I like wooden reindeer ornaments more than any other kind of ornament made out of wood. Wood and reindeer just go together in my mind. Just look at Gina's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theshabbycreekcottage.com%2F2013%2F11%2Freindeer-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">wood slice reindeer ornaments</a>. I <em>need</em> a Rudolph one. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeer-hat.jpg" alt="reindeer hat made from sweater craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.makeit-loveit.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowmanreindeerelf-christmas-hats-made-from-old-sweaters.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Make It and Love It</a></em></center></p> <p>I can't believe that Ashley turned an old brown sweater into a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.makeit-loveit.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowmanreindeerelf-christmas-hats-made-from-old-sweaters.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">reindeer hat</a>. She also made snowman and elf hats using the same method.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeerhandpainted.jpg" alt="reindeer handswirled ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2012%2F12%2Frudolph-and-santa-hand-swirled-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Lines Across</a></em></center></p> <p>I recently stocked up on some clear glass ornaments but I'm kicking myself for not buying craft paint. If I had, I'd be making one of these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2012%2F12%2Frudolph-and-santa-hand-swirled-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">reindeer hand swirled ornaments</a> that Rachel featured on her blog. You can make Santas too! </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeerpillow.jpg" alt="reindeer appliqued pillow sewing craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2011%2F11%2Fproject-reindeer-appliqued-pillow%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Just Crafty Enough</a></em></center></p> <p>I like sewing projects that are simple enough even I -- with my limited sewing skills -- can do. Kat's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2011%2F11%2Fproject-reindeer-appliqued-pillow%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">appliquéd reindeer pillow</a> is one of those projects. You don't even need a sewing machine!</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeerfootprints.jpg" alt="reindeer glitter footprints art craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcraftcrazymom.com%2Fglitter-reindeer-art%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craft Crazy Mom</a></em></center></p> <p>When it comes to Christmas crafts, I've decided that glitter makes everything better. Sure, you <em>could</em> make Maria's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcraftcrazymom.com%2Fglitter-reindeer-art%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glitter footprint reindeer</a> with brown paint but just look at how awesome they look with glitter! <!--pagebreak--> </p><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/logreindeer.jpg" alt="reindeer log wood craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bliss-ranch.com%2F2013%2F07%2Flog-reindeerin-july.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Bliss Ranch</a></em></center></p> <p>Bliss has some serious advanced planning skills. She made this <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bliss-ranch.com%2F2013%2F07%2Flog-reindeerin-july.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">log reindeer</a> in July! Luckily for those of us who are not quite so organized, wood is available year round so nothing is preventing us from making one right now.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Reindeertowel.jpg" alt="reindeer hooded towel sewing craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2012%2F12%2Freindeer-hooded-towel.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Crazy Little Projects</a></em></center></p> <p>I know you know a kid who <em>needs</em> one of Amber's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2012%2F12%2Freindeer-hooded-towel.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">reindeer hooded towels</a>. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/reindeerornament.jpg" alt="reindeer glitter ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthegraphicsfairy.com%2Fhomemade-christmas-ornaments-glitter-reindeer%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Graphics Fairy</a></em></center></p> <p>You know how you can buy those pre-cut wooden shapes in craft stores? I always look at them and think that I don't possess the painting skills to do anything fun with them. I've been schooled by The Graphics Fairy. Paint them all in one color and then cover in glitter to make these sparkly <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthegraphicsfairy.com%2Fhomemade-christmas-ornaments-glitter-reindeer%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glitter reindeer ornaments</a>.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Reindeedgiftbag.jpg" alt="reindeer paper gift bag craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2012%2F11%2Freindeer-brown-paper-bag.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Lines Across</a></em></center></p> <p>Rachel's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2012%2F11%2Freindeer-brown-paper-bag.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">reindeer bags</a> are super cute. You could use them as treat bags or as gift bags. </p> <p><strong>What's your favorite reindeer craft?</strong></p> <p><em>Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our <a href="https://www.blogher.com/12-days-holiday-crafts">12 days of Holiday Crafts</a> series.</em></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY reindeer crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Tue, 09 Dec 2014 21:24:59 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429699 at http://www.blogher.com Winter Craft Time! 10 Cute Snowmen You Can Make http://www.blogher.com/10-cute-snowman-crafts <!--paging_filter--><p>When we get the first big snowfall of the year, I always wonder if it is good snowman snow. What's the point of having a bunch of snow if you can't make a snowman with it? I don't always get to make a snowman outdoors before Christmas, but I can always have one indoors with these snowmen crafts. No mittens required! </p> <!--break--> <p><center><Img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowmanmakelarge.jpg" alt="10 Cute Snowmen You Can Make" /><BR /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/8234189639 " class="external-link">Kevin Dooley</a></em></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/claysnowman.jpg" alt="clay snowman charm" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftpassion.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fsnowman-clay-charm.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craft Passion</a></em></center></p> <p>When I make snowmen outside they tend to be a little off-kilter. I love that Joanne purposely made her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftpassion.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fsnowman-clay-charm.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">clay snowman charm</a> that way. While she added a keychain to hers, I would like to have a trio of them sitting on my Christmas mantle.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/felt_snowman.jpg" alt="cute felt snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.remodelandolacasa.com%2F2012%2F11%2Ffelt-snowman.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Remodelando la Casa</a></em></center></p> <p>Christina's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.remodelandolacasa.com%2F2012%2F11%2Ffelt-snowman.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">felt snowmen</a> are the ones I picture in my head when anyone mentions snowman crafts. They are absolutely adorable and I really might need to make these.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/feltsnowman.jpg" alt="felt snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmallworldland.blogspot.ca%2F2013%2F11%2Ffelt-fold-up-snowman-toy.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Small World Land</a></em></center></p> <p>With all their different pieces and potential accessories, snowman can make great quiet time toys. Make a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmallworldland.blogspot.ca%2F2013%2F11%2Ffelt-fold-up-snowman-toy.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">felt fold-up snowman toy</a> like Sarah's and pull it out on your holiday road trip. Surprise! You'll have some happy -- and hopefully quiet -- kids. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/feltfrostytin.jpg" alt="Mr. Frosty tin snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.peekaboopatternshop.com%2F2012%2F11%2F12-days-of-christmas-mr-frosty-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop</a></em></center></p> <p>Amy's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.peekaboopatternshop.com%2F2012%2F11%2F12-days-of-christmas-mr-frosty-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Mr. Frosty tin</a> is another excellent quiet time toy. You could even glue some small magnets to the back of the snowman pieces.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/socksnowpeople.jpg" alt="no sew sock snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a href="http://www.blogher.com/diy-no-sew-sock-snowmen">Suzannejdean</a></em></center></p> <p>Can't sew? No problem! All you need is some socks, glue, and rubber bands to make BlogHer member Suzanne's <a href="http://www.blogher.com/diy-no-sew-sock-snowmen">easy no-sew sock snowmen</a>. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowmancandy.jpg" alt="snowman wrapped candy craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.makeit-loveit.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowman-wrapped-candy-gifts.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Make It and Love It</a></em></center></p> <p>Ashley's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.makeit-loveit.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowman-wrapped-candy-gifts.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowman wrapped candies</a> aren't just crafts -- they also make delicious gifts. What kind of candy would you wrap?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowmanapplique.jpg" alt="applique snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fso-sew-easy.com%2Fsnowman-applique%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">So Sew Easy</a></em></center></p> <p>It you can sew and have little ones in your life, put Deby's adorable <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fso-sew-easy.com%2Fsnowman-applique%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">applique snowman</a> on list of things to make. It's a great way to turn a plain shirt into something special and seasonal. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/magneticsnowman.jpg" alt="magnetic snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ucreatewithkids.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fdiy-build-snowman-magnets.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Ucreate with Kids</a></em></center></p> <p>If you are hosting a children's party during the holidays you'll want to check out Sarah's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ucreatewithkids.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fdiy-build-snowman-magnets.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">DIY magnetic snowman</a>. Blindfold the kids and have them decorate the snowman!</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/roll-a-snowman.jpg" alt="dice game snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.somewhatsimple.com%2Fsnowman-dice-game%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Somewhat Simple</a></em></center></p> <p>I love dice games and I want to play Stephanie's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.somewhatsimple.com%2Fsnowman-dice-game%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowman dice game</a>. Cut out a bunch of snowman pieces and get ready to have fun with the whole family.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/coffeefiltersnowman.jpg" alt="coffee filter snowman craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcherishedbliss.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fcoffee-filter-snowman-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Cherished Bliss</a></em></center></p> <p>Looking for a great snowman craft for little kids? Hop on over to Cherished Bliss and check out her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcherishedbliss.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fcoffee-filter-snowman-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">coffee filter snowmen</a>. </p> <p><strong>Are you making any snowmen crafts this year? </strong></p> <p><em>Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our <a href="https://www.blogher.com/12-days-holiday-crafts">12 days of Holiday Crafts</a> series.</em></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY snowman crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:15:23 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429686 at http://www.blogher.com 10 Christmas Ornaments You Can Make http://www.blogher.com/christmas-ornaments-you-can-make <!--paging_filter--><p>Christmas makes me feel crafty. I love making Christmas ornaments. It makes me happy to see homemade ornaments I make every year when I hang them on my tree. They are also some of my favorite things to make for gifts, knowing that my friends can have the same happy feeling when they put them on their own trees. Here are 10 homemade Christmas ornaments that I'd like to make this year.</p> <p><center><Img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/ornaments_make.jpg" alt="10 Christmas Ornaments You Can Make" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/korosirego/5306521706" class="external-link">Rego Korosi</a></em></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/paperstars.jpg" alt="DIY Book Page or Map Paper Star Ornament" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthediymommy.com%2Fdiy-christmas-ornament-book-page-or-map-paper-star%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The DIY Mommy</a></em></center></p> <p>I donate books to my local library whenever I can, but there are usually a few that are falling apart and in no shape to be donated. I try to keep a couple of those around at all times for projects like Christina's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthediymommy.com%2Fdiy-christmas-ornament-book-page-or-map-paper-star%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">book page paper star ornament</a>. I also really love the idea of making these using maps of places your family has visited. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/MasonJarLid.jpg" alt="Mason Jar Lid Ornament" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fmason-jar-lid-chalkboard-ornament.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Thrifty and Chic</a></em></center></p> <p>I really like projects that don't require a run to the craft store. (So does my bank account.) I have lots of mason jar lids in the house and I have some chalkboard paint left over my chalkboard wall project. Alicia's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fmason-jar-lid-chalkboard-ornament.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">mason jar lid ornaments</a> will be a snap to make. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/ChristmasSoldierOrnaments.jpg" alt="Popsicle Stick Soldiers" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.remodelandolacasa.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fmwrnc.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Remodelando la Casa</a></em></center></p> <p>You know how sometimes you see a picture of something and you think there is no way you could make it? And then you see the instructions and are shocked by how easy it is? Let me point you to Christina's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.remodelandolacasa.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fmwrnc.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">wooden stick soldier</a>. They look amazing and I'm stunned by how simple they are to make.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Melted-Snowman.jpg" alt="melted snowman christmas ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turnstylevogue.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fdiy-melted-snowman-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Turnstyle Vogue</a></em></center></p> <p>Shari's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turnstylevogue.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fdiy-melted-snowman-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">melted snowman ornaments</a> make me laugh every time I look at them. I love them. I need them. I think all my friends need at least one.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/mitten-ornament.jpg" alt="mini mitten christmas ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cremedelacraft.com%2F2013%2F11%2FDIY-Make-Sweater-Christmas-Ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Crème de la Craft</a></em></center></p> <p>Do you have a sweater that has seen better days? But you just can't quite part with it? Turn it into some of Natalie's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cremedelacraft.com%2F2013%2F11%2FDIY-Make-Sweater-Christmas-Ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">mini mitten ornaments</a>. Hang them on the tree. Use them instead of bows on presents. Use them to wrap a gift cards. Basically, make these teeny mittens and use them for everything. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/octopus.jpg" alt="Octopus Ornament" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fadvent-calendar-project-14-week-20%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Just Crafty Enough</a></em></center></p> <p>For reasons I can't really explain, I have a fondess for octopuses. I like to joke that the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgiphy.com%2Fgifs%2Fscared-no-nope-6h4z4b3v6XWxO" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">#nopeoctopus</a> is my spirit animal. Kat's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fadvent-calendar-project-14-week-20%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">octopus-topped ornament</a> is so very me. It even involves glitter. I love glitter!</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/christmas-vignette.jpg" alt="vignette christmas ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F10%2Fnuo2013-christmas-vignette-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">My Very Educated Mother</a></em></center></p> <p>I have oodles of small jewelry boxes collecting dust in a closet because, you know, <em>they might be useful one day</em>. I've found a use for them! You can use jewelry boxes to make Erin's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F10%2Fnuo2013-christmas-vignette-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Christmas vignette ornaments</a>. I love the tree she used in hers and the presents are gift-wrapped Legos! Look around your house to see what small items you could use in yours -- I bet you'll surprise yourself with what you find!</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/glitterowl.jpg" alt="glitter owl christmas ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fproject-glitter-owl-christmas-ornament%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Just Crafty Enough</a></em></center></p> <p>I feel like birds just belong on my Christmas tree and so my tree has several of them. It is sadly -- and shockingly -- lacking in owls. I love owls! And sparkles! I think that makes Kat's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justcraftyenough.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fproject-glitter-owl-christmas-ornament%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glitter owl Christmas ornament</a> pretty much perfect. I have friends who would love to have some owls to add to their tree.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/christmas-candy-decorations.jpg" alt="christmas candy ornament craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjaderbomb.com%2F2012%2F11%2F25%2Fchristmas-candy-decorations%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Jaderbomb</a></em></center></p> <p>We are big fans of Christmas crackers and that's exactly what Jade's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjaderbomb.com%2F2012%2F11%2F25%2Fchristmas-candy-decorations%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Christmas candy decorations</a> look like to me. When you have finished, nestle them in the branches of your tree. If you don't mind seeing your hard work undone, you could even slip some treats inside them. Or clues to a Christmas scavenger hunt! </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/monogrammed-ornaments.jpg" alt="hand-painted wooden monogrammed christmas ornaments craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prettyhandygirl.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fhand-painted-monogrammed-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Pretty Handy Girl</a></em></center></p> <p>There's nothing quite like a personalized ornament. I really like Jaime's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prettyhandygirl.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fhand-painted-monogrammed-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">hand-painted monogrammed ornaments</a>. I'd like to make some for myself but I think they'd also make really lovely gifts. Your toughest decision will be choosing which font to use because they'd all look awesome. </p> <p><strong>Are you making Christmas ornaments? Will you be giving any as gifts?</strong></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p> <span class="swoop_ignore_page" style="display:none"></span><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY Christmas ornaments crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Tue, 02 Dec 2014 21:45:22 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429678 at http://www.blogher.com 10 Fun Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make http://www.blogher.com/christmas-ornaments-kids-can-make <!--paging_filter--><p>In my experience making Christmas ornaments with kids involves patience, a good sense of humor and the grim acceptance that you will be finding random pieces of glitter right up until your children are in college. It also means giggles, big smiles and moments you'll remember every year when you put those decorations on your Christmas tree. We've collected 10 ornaments you can make with children this holiday season.</p> <!--break--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/thumbprintsnowmen.jpg" alt="clay polymer thumbprint snowman christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fclay-thumbprint-snowman-ornament.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Lines Across</a></em></center></p> <p>I am completely smitten with Rachel's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linesacross.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fclay-thumbprint-snowman-ornament.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">clay thumbprint snowmen</a>. Kids may need a bit of help shaping the clay, and an adult must be nearby to do oven duty, but the end result is so worth it. I need at least a half dozen of them… and so do your kids. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Washi-Snowflakes.jpg" alt="clay polymer thumbprint snowman christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwashitapecrafts.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fwashi-tape-diy-christmas-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Washi Tape Crafts</a></em></center></p> <p>If you haven't discovered washi tape yet, it's easy for kids to use and creates very little mess. There's a whole lot of love about that. I love Amy's washi tape crafts, like these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwashitapecrafts.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fwashi-tape-diy-christmas-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">washi snowflake ornaments ornaments</a>. Kids will need a bit of help, but not much.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/cookie-cutter-ornaments.jpg" alt="clay polymer thumbprint snowman christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itallstartedwithpaint.com%2Fcookie-cutter-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">It All Started With Paint</a></em></center></p> <p>Have too many Christmas cookie cutters? While I'm sure your kids would rather you made cookies with them, Linda has a great tutorial for turning them into fun <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itallstartedwithpaint.com%2Fcookie-cutter-ornaments%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">cookie cutter ornaments</a>. Easy and great for kids! <!--pagebreak--> </p><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/AcornOrnaments.jpg" alt="painted acorn christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fnuo2013-painted-acorn-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">My Very Educated Mother</a></em></center></p> <p>There are certain ornaments that just take me back to my childhood and Erin's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fnuo2013-painted-acorn-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">painted acorn ornaments</a> do just that. I remember making ones just like them and getting my fingers covered in paint. I bet your kids will remember it too. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/dinosaur-ornament.jpg" alt="glitter dinosaur christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpintester.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fpintester-movement-ho-ho-ho%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Pintester</a></em></center></p> <p>You know what your tree is probably missing but really needs? <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpintester.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fpintester-movement-ho-ho-ho%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Glitter dinosaur ornaments</a>. Sonja used spray glitter but with kids you're going to want to put out the Mod Podge, bowls of glitter and just accept that you'll still be finding glitter under the table in April. That's a small trade-off for happy kiddos and a tree full of dinosaurs. Rawr! </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowmanornaments.jpg" alt="baby jar snowmen christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowman-ornaments-for-christmas.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Crazy Little Projects</a></em></center></p> <p>If you've got some baby food jars -- or even some of those tiny sample-sized jam jars -- kicking around this is a craft for you. You can turn those jars into <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fsnowman-ornaments-for-christmas.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">adorable snowman ornaments</a> like Amber did. If you are hosting a large group of kids you could speed things along by painting them all white in advance and setting out a buffet of paint, glue, and decorations. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Christmastreeornaments.jpg" alt="paper christmas tree ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.michelemademe.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fmerry-little-christmas-ornament-4.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Michele Made Me</a></em></center></p> <p>I love an ornament that really looks like a child made it. Michele's son designed and constructed these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.michelemademe.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fmerry-little-christmas-ornament-4.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Christmas tree ornament</a>, and as she says, they are simple, beautiful and innocent. They will make your heart melt so go gather up your supplies and see what masterpieces your children can create. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/jarlidornament.jpg" alt="jar lid Christmas tree ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdebbie-debbiedoos.com%2F2012%2F12%2Frecycled-jar-lids-diy-christmas-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Debbiedoo's</a></em></center></p> <p>Does it seem like you have an unusual number of jar lids that don't match any jars kicking around? Me too! Debbie has a great idea for turning them into <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdebbie-debbiedoos.com%2F2012%2F12%2Frecycled-jar-lids-diy-christmas-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">jar lid Christmas ornaments</a>. Debbie spray painted hers to get a solid background but you could let the kids paint their own or cut out colored paper circles and glue them. Put out a pile of stickers and ribbons and get ready to exclaim over the awesome ornaments your kids will create. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/saltdoughornaments.jpg" alt="salt dough Christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fnuo2013-salt-dough-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">My Very Educated Mother</a></em></center></p> <p>Is there anything more classically Christmas than <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myveryeducatedmother.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fnuo2013-salt-dough-ornaments.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">salt dough ornaments</a>? I made them and I am guessing most of you did as well. It's an awesome memory to pass along to your children. You can press designs into them, as Erin did, or you can paint them. Or both! The only limit is your child's imagination. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/beadedornament.jpg" alt="beaded Christmas ornaments kids craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Image credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com%2Fdiy-beaded-ornaments" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia</a></em></center></p> <p>This one is for the bigger kids because it involves hot glue. Even if your kids say they don't like crafts and they think they absolutely don't like sparkles and beads, I've found that when presented with the opportunity to use a hot glue gun they get on board pretty quick. So, get out the glue, the beads and get your big kids going on Kristin's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com%2Fdiy-beaded-ornaments" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">DIY beaded ornaments</a>. They'll have a blast. </p> <p><strong>Are you making ornaments with your children this year?</strong></p> <p><em>Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our <a href="https://www.blogher.com/12-days-holiday-crafts">12 days of Holiday Crafts</a> series.</em></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY Family Christmas ornaments crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:39:45 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429676 at http://www.blogher.com Fantastic & Fun Ideas for Your Hunger Games Party http://www.blogher.com/hunger-games-party-ideas <!--paging_filter--><p>With the release of <em>Mockingjay</em> I decided it was a great time to repost about the <em>Hunger Games</em> party we had in 2012. David (BEN!'s brother) is visiting and planning to go see it while he is here. Me? I love pretty much any kind of themed party.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbakersdozenandapolloxiv.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2Fhunger-games-image.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-1.jpg?1417190723" /></a></center></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-2.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>To throw a great themed party, you want every detail to fit. For a Hunger Games party, be sure to welcome your guests with a Hunger Games poster and sign-in. We had each guest put their name on the a ticket for The Reaping which would take place at the end of our evening. We had separate jars for the boys and girls.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Hunger Games Costume Ideas:</strong></p> <p>Hunger Games costumes are fun, easy and even cheap with a little creativity!</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-3.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>This Capital Citizen costume was made with a wig with spray-in dye added. Some eye make-up, thrift store beads, and necklace complete the look.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbakersdozenandapolloxiv.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2F051812_2674-blog-copy.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-4.jpg?1417190723" /></a></center></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbakersdozenandapolloxiv.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2F051812_2633-blog-copy.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-5.jpg?1417190724" /></a></center></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-6.jpg?1417190724" /></center></p> <p>For a tribute, pick a dark-colored shirt and add some blood. So easy!</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-7.jpg?1417190724" /></center></p> <p>A Primrose Everdeen costume is simple with a floral dress, cardigan and braided hair.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Hunger Games Party Food:</strong></p> <p>The possibilities here are endless, but let me share with your some of our favorites. We divided the table into Districts, each reflecting the food that particular district would have provided.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-8.jpg?1417190724" /></center></p> <p>*Thresh and Rue’s Fresh Picked Fruit<br />*Gale’s Squirrel on a Stick (meatballs)<br />*Katniss’ Goat Cheese Snacks<br />*Peeta Bread<br />*Pickle Spears<br />*Cornucopia Crescent Rolls</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-9.jpg?1417190724" /></center></p> <p>* Girl on Fire cupcakes<br />*Peeta’s Cheesy buns<br />* Capital Spirits (punch)<br />* Nightlock (fresh blueberries)<br />* Finnick’s Sugar Cubes<br />* Finnick’s Fish (Goldfish Crackers)</p> <p>I didn't get a good photo, but on the right you see a Tracker Jacker Nest (Cheerio Treats formed into a wasp nest shape, with paper wasps that Tilly drew).</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-10.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Games for a Hunger Games Party:</strong></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-11.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>Judah, Tilly and Enoch came up with an awesome obstacle course (training for the Hunger Games, of course). Everyone who finished received a chocolate bar <em>and</em> got their name put in for The Reaping one more time.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-12.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>Here are some of he younger kids ready for the obstacle course.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-13.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>We set up a Training Center where the guests could sword fight (with swords made out of pool noodles) and practice archery. Everyone who participated got their name put for The Reaping in <em>one more time</em> for each game they played. This was a great way to encourage everyone to join in.</p> <p>The very last activity was the Reaping. My mom drew a name out of each jar (one for the boys and one for the girls).</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-14.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>This was Devon's priceless reaction when she was chosen as Tribute.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/images/batch/hunger-games-15.jpg?1417190723" /></center></p> <p>Kalina (knowing the prize wasn't a trip to the Arena, but a gift card) yelled out, “I volunteer as Tribute!”</p> <p>So I handed her the gift card, which we of course, gave back to Devon.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Movies & Television DIY Family Entertainment #hungergames #mockingjay #partyideas http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-289290.jpg Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:17:54 +0000 LittleEarthling 1861595 at http://www.blogher.com 10 Christmas Wreaths You Can Make http://www.blogher.com/10-christmas-wreaths-you-can-make <!--paging_filter--><P>When I think of Christmas wreaths I tend to think of evergreen boughs with ribbons and pine cones. They are the ones I buy almost every year and every year I think how I really could make my own. I went looking for homemade wreaths and I found that many of you already make your own. What really surprised me was how I fell in love with these 10 less traditional wreaths. There will always be a place for evergreen boughs, but I may need to work one of these wreaths into my holiday decor. </p> <!--break--> <P><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/christmaswreaths.jpg" alt="10 Christmas Wreaths You Can Make" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Embossed Foil Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fembossed-foil-wreath-diy.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/goldfoilwreath.jpg" alt="Embossed Foil Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fembossed-foil-wreath-diy.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craftberry Bush</a></em></center></p> <P>I am a huge fan of shiny things and there's not better time than the holidays to highlight all things shiny. Lucy's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fembossed-foil-wreath-diy.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">embossed foil wreath</a> will bring lots of shine to any room this holiday season.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Cookie Cutter Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldenboysandme.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fchristmas-cookie-cutter-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/cookiewreath.jpg" alt="Cookie Cutter Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldenboysandme.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fchristmas-cookie-cutter-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Golden Boys and Me</a></em></center></p> <p>I always stop and look at Christmas cookie cutters but I rarely buy them. Courtney's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldenboysandme.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fchristmas-cookie-cutter-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">cookie cutter wreath</a> makes me want to buy all the cookie cutters. This wreath is adorable. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/flufflydusterwreath.jpg" alt="fluffy duster Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2013%2F10%2Fbrilliant-or-crazy-christmas-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craftberry Bush</a></em></center></p> <p>When Lucy posted her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2013%2F10%2Fbrilliant-or-crazy-christmas-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">duster Christmas wreath</a> she asked if it was brilliant or crazy. I'm totally saying brilliant. It looks soft and fluffy. Don't you just want to reach out and touch it? </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Twig_Wreath.jpg" alt="white twig Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thistlewoodfarms.com%2Fwinter-twig-wreath" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Thistlewood Farm</a></em></center></p> <p>You don't have to turn to greenery to add a touch of nature to your wreaths. KariAnne took a pile of twigs and turned them into a pretty <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thistlewoodfarms.com%2Fwinter-twig-wreath" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">winter white twig wreath</a>. She added in some small pine cones and a subdued ribbon but some red berries and a bold red ribbon would really pop. <!--pagebreak--> </p><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/boxwoodwreath.jpg" alt="boxwood Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fanyonecandecorate.blogspot.ca%2F2012%2F12%2Fdiy-boxwood-christmas-greenery-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Anyone Can Decorate</a></em></center></p> <p>Making your own wreath doesn't need to involve buying a lot of supplies. Use what you have or what you can find outdoors. Diana was in her yard when she realized she could take some clippings and make a fabulous <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fanyonecandecorate.blogspot.ca%2F2012%2F12%2Fdiy-boxwood-christmas-greenery-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">boxwood wreath</a>. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/pineconewreath.jpg" alt="diy pine cone Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdoityourselfdivas.blogspot.ca%2F2012%2F11%2Fdiy-pinecone-wreath-practically-free.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Do It Yourself Divas</a></em></center></p> <p>We were recently shopping in a craft store when my husband looked around at everything and said, "Wow! Crafts can get expensive really fast, can't they?" Yes, they can but inexpensive homemade wreaths can look positively stunning. I love Megan's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdoityourselfdivas.blogspot.ca%2F2012%2F11%2Fdiy-pinecone-wreath-practically-free.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">practically free pine cone wreath</a>. If you can gather your own pine cones and have a wire hanger, this will cost you next to nothing and it's absolutely lovely. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/fairy-wreath.jpg" alt="frost fairy Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthecharmofhome.blogspot.ca%2F2013%2F01%2Fa-winter-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Charm of Home</a></em></center></p> <p>When I saw Sherry's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthecharmofhome.blogspot.ca%2F2013%2F01%2Fa-winter-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">frost fairy wreath</a> I thought of all my friends with fairy gardens. While it's certainly not on the same size scale as their gardens, is does have that same touch of whimsy. It you want a wreath that can take you through the holidays and beyond, this a great choice. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/pep-monogram-wreath.jpg" alt="peppermint monogram Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twotwentyone.net%2F2013%2F11%2Fpeppermint-monogram-wreath" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Two Twenty One</a></em></center></p> <p>Not every wreath must be a circle. You can make squares, stars, and yes, even initials. I've seen peppermint wreaths before but I really like Chelsea's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twotwentyone.net%2F2013%2F11%2Fpeppermint-monogram-wreath%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">peppermint monogram wreath</a>. It will only take you about an hour to make but it will look like you spent much, much longer on it.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/tufted-wool-wreath.jpg" alt="tufted wool Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itsoverflowing.com%2F2012%2F11%2Ftufted-wool-wreath%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">It's Overflowing</a></em></center></p> <p>This is another yarn wrapped method but Aimee's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itsoverflowing.com%2F2012%2F11%2Ftufted-wool-wreath%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">tufted wool wreath</a> looks very different from the previous one. She was inspired by an Anthropologie wreath. I love her version and this is one of those time where I think the homemade version is better than the original.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/jeweledwreath.jpg" alt="mini jeweled Christmas wreath" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwhipperberry.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fjeweled-mini-christmas-wreath-with-styled-by-tori.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Whipperberry</a></em></center></p> <p>I saved what might be my favorite wreath for last. Heather's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwhipperberry.com%2F2012%2F11%2Fjeweled-mini-christmas-wreath-with-styled-by-tori.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">jeweled mini Christmas wreath</a> is stunning. Heather used necklace pendants but I think broaches would work equally well and I'm always finding broaches in thrift stores. These would make excellent gifts for the sparkly-loving people on your list. </p> <p><strong>What kind of wreath are you making for the holidays?</strong></p> <p><em>Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our <a href="https://www.blogher.com/12-days-holiday-crafts">12 days of Holiday Crafts</a> series.</em></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY christmas wreaths crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:40:16 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429681 at http://www.blogher.com How to Make Ugly Holiday Sweater Hama Bead Coasters http://www.blogher.com/ugly-holiday-sweater-hama-bead-coasters <!--paging_filter--><p>Perler beads, hama beads, melty beads: These wee little tubes of plastic go by many names. Traditionally thought of as a children’s toy, one quick look at Pinterest will clue you in that plenty of crafty adults have caught melty bead fever.</p><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Hama_Bead_Sweaters.gif" alt="hama beads" /><br /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lawriecate/3146441945" class="external-link">Lawrie Cate via Flickr Creative Commons</a></em></center></p><p>The premise is this: Tiny tubes of plastic lie on a studded tray to make a design. Once your image is complete, you cover said design with a special sheet of paper and iron until everything fuses together. Nifty, huh? </p><p>You can buy whole kits of this stuff and make them as elaborate and intricate as you want.</p><p>This holiday season, I thought, "Why let my kids have all the Perler bead fun? I want to play, too."</p><p>That is when I came up with yet another variation of the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” concept. I set out to make ugly hama bead sweaters.</p><p> After a long evening of squinting, I reached my goal. I took things a step farther and decided to make my sweaters a set of coasters for holiday cocktails!</p> <p><h2><center>How to Make Ugly Christmas Sweater Hama Bead Coasters</center></h2></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Decide how large you want your coasters. I used a standard wine glass as my guide.</p><p>Next I made the outline of a sweater in white beads. I kept the white outline uniform throughout my four coasters.</p><p>Time to play fashion designer with your melty beads! Think dreidels, reindeer and snowmen. Use designs that are easy to create in small, fairly crude form.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/uglysweateroutline.jpg" alt="ugly sweater coaster outline" /> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Once you have your design laid out CAREFULLY, head over to the iron. Nothing is more frustrating than bumping a complete coaster and knocking the beads everywhere. </p><p>Trust me, I speak from experience. </p><p>Follow the package instructions for ironing and covering your design with the paper included in your kit to protect your iron.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/uglysweateriron.jpg" alt="ugly sweater coaster" /> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Let your coaster cool and remove it from the grid. Another word to the wise: Don’t over-iron. Your design can start to get wonky. </p><p>I decided mine just looked like an even worse holiday sweater. You also don’t want to under-iron and not completely fuse your beads. Doing so makes the "coaster" part of this project null and void.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/4uglysweaterscoasters.jpg" alt="ugly sweater coaster" /> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Now, the next ugly holiday sweater party you get invited to, use these as a hostess gift! If you're doing the hosting, these make a great activity for the guests. Oh, and nothing says they're coasters! They make great ornaments, too! Go crazy.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/uglysweatercoasters.jpg" alt="ugly sweater coaster" /></center></p></center></p></center></p></center></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Style DIY DIY christmas sweater coaster hama bead BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:05:02 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1854199 at http://www.blogher.com 10 Fun Snowflake Crafts You Can Make http://www.blogher.com/10-snowflake-crafts <!--paging_filter--><p>The thought that there are no two snowflakes that are exactly like has always amazed me. You know what that means for crafts? When yours don't turn out perfectly it means you are doing it right. Your snowflakes are just behaving the way snowflakes are supposed to behave. But we don't think you'll have problems with these 10 snowflake crafts.</p> <!--break--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakehero.jpg" alt="10 Fun Snowflake Crafts You Can Make" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Clothespin Snowflake</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsewmanyways.blogspot.ca%2F2014%2F11%2Feasy-handmade-clothespin-snowflake.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/clothespinsnowflake.jpg" alt="ClothespinSnowflake" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsewmanyways.blogspot.ca%2F2014%2F11%2Feasy-handmade-clothespin-snowflake.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sew Many Ways</a></em></center></p> <p>Karen used clothespins to make <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsewmanyways.blogspot.ca%2F2014%2F11%2Feasy-handmade-clothespin-snowflake.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">clothespin snowflakes</a>. Aren't they pretty? I love her suggestion to paint them white and sprinkle with glitter.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Snowflake Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fsnowflake-ornament-christmas-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/SnowFlakeChristmasWreath.jpg" alt="Snowflake Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fsnowflake-ornament-christmas-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Thrifty and Chic</a></em></center></p> <p>The thing I love about <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fsnowflake-ornament-christmas-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowflake wreaths</a> is how they take you through the Christmas season and beyond. Sure, they look festive at Christmas but no one should be looking at you sideways for still having it up in February either. Plus they tend to have lots of glitter and sparkle. I love glitter and sparkle.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakecrown.jpg" alt="snowflake crown photo prop craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcherishedbliss.com%2F2012%2F10%2Fsnowflake-crown-photo-prop.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Cherished Bliss</a></em></center></p> <p>I love photo props and these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcherishedbliss.com%2F2012%2F10%2Fsnowflake-crown-photo-prop.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowflake crowns</a> from Cherished Bliss are fabulous. Make enough for the whole family!</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/crochet-snowflake.jpg" alt="crocheted coaster snowflake craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftpassion.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fcrochet-snowflakes-coasters.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craft Passion</a></em></center></p> <p>These <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftpassion.com%2F2013%2F11%2Fcrochet-snowflakes-coasters.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">crocheted snowflake coasters</a> from Craft Passion are lovely. I love the white and red, but if you wanted to use them all winter long you could try white on blue.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakeplates.jpg" alt="snowflake plates craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com%2Fdiy-painted-snowflake-plate" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia</a></em></center></p> <p>One of my friends would love these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com%2Fdiy-painted-snowflake-plate" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">DIY painted snowflake plates</a>. I bet you have a friend who would love to receive them as a gift.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/3d-snowflakes.jpg" alt="3-d paper snowflakes craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prettyhandygirl.com%2F2013%2F11%2F3-d-snowflake-tutorial-remodelaholic.html%0A" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Pretty Handy Girl</a></em></center></p> <p>Do you remember making paper snowflakes as a kid? Have you ever made <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prettyhandygirl.com%2F2013%2F11%2F3-d-snowflake-tutorial-remodelaholic.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">3-D snowflakes</a>? I think I'm going to string some of these in my living room.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakeballerinas.jpg" alt="paper snowflake ballerinas lamp craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bedifferentactnormal.com%2F2013%2F02%2Fpaper-snowflake-ballerinas.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Be Different… Act Normal</a></em></center></p> <p>Here's another twist on classic paper snowflakes -- <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bedifferentactnormal.com%2F2013%2F02%2Fpaper-snowflake-ballerinas.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">ballerina snowflakes</a>. If you really want to get into the spirit, listen to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite while you make them. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakehandtowels.jpg" alt="snowflake hand towels craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2013%2F01%2Fsnowflake-hand-towels.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Crazy Little Projects</a></em></center></p> <p>Amber's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2F2013%2F01%2Fsnowflake-hand-towels.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowflake hand towels</a> are lovely. They'd make an excellent hostess gift.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakebanner.jpg" alt="snowflake Noel banned craft" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.creativelylivingblog.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fchristmas-snowflake-banner.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Creatively Living Blog</a></em></center></p> <p>Katie's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.creativelylivingblog.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fchristmas-snowflake-banner.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowflake Noel banner</a> would be pretty strung across an archway or a mirror. Katie used snowflakes from a dollar store or you could make your own.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/snowflakenapkin.jpg" alt="snowflake napkin fold" /></center></p> <p><center><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turnstylevogue.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fhow-to-do-a-snowflake-napkin-fold-and-others-too%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Turnstyle Vogue</a></em></center></p> I think I might need to try this <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turnstylevogue.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fhow-to-do-a-snowflake-napkin-fold-and-others-too" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snowflake napkin fold</a> for Christmas dinner. Isn't it pretty? <p><strong>What snowflake crafts are you making this season?</strong></p> <p><em>Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our <a href="https://www.blogher.com/12-days-holiday-crafts">12 days of Holiday Crafts</a> series.</em></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY snowflake crafts 12 Days of Holiday Crafts http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:58:01 +0000 Karen Ballum 1429688 at http://www.blogher.com Top 10+ Gifts for Artists http://www.blogher.com/top-10-gifts-artists <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-full-image"> <div class="field-label">Full Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_full_image" width="298" height="255" alt="" src="http://www.blogher.com/files/artgiftthumb.jpg?1416874252" /> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>I love writing the artist gift guide every year. It's like window shopping for all of the things I'd love to find under my tree. So many cool things to make. So many pretty things to look at. So much awesome art. Scroll through some of my favorites this year. I hope my favorites help you find the perfect gift for the artist or art lover in your life.</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/artgiftthumb.jpg" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/sketchbook.jpg" width="350" /></center></p> <p>I love these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/phonoboy?ref=l2-shopheader-name" class="external-link">sketch books made from albums</a> -- not album covers, from the actual vinyl. So cool and they have photo albums, too. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/drawntomusic.jpg" width="350" /></center></p> <p>Speaking of albums, I received a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fknockknockstuff.com%2Fproduct%2Fplumb-drawn-to-music%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Drawn to Music journal</a> from Plumb and OMG it's wonderful. I absolutely love this journal. Listen to music, feel inspiration strike, draw or paint and then note on the bottom of the page which music you were listening to. It's brilliant.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/zendoodle.jpg" width=425 /></center></p> <p>I'm a big fan of Zentangle so when I was offered a review copy of <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Zen-Doodles-Inspiration-Relaxation/dp/1612433596 " class="external-link">Daily Zen Doodles</a>, I yelled "YES, PLEASE!" and it's an awesome book. So awesome that I've bought another one to give to a family member. Shhh, don't tell. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/artsnacks.jpg" /></center></p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.artsnacks.co%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Art Snacks subscription box</a> is the perfect subscription box for people who love to try new art products but don't want to spend a fortune on supplies that they might not love. I hope someone in my family reads this and gifts me with a subscription. Pretty please, I've been good this year. (Sort of.) </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/gameofsculpture.jpg" width="250" /></center></p> <p><a href=" http://www.amazon.com/Herv%C3%A9-Tullet-Giant-Game-Sculpture/dp/0714868000">The Giant Game of Sculpture</a> looks like fun for teens and adults alike. I can see my entire family having fun with this. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/lifebook.jpg" width=425 /></center></p> <p>How about an <a href=" http://www.moma.org/learn/courses/online#courses">Online Art Class at MoMA</a> or gifting a year of mixed media art journaling classes with <a href=http://www.willowing.org/life-book-2015/ >Lifebook 2015</a>? I am very sure your favorite artist would love a <a href="http://www.shopalisaburke.com/collections/retreats-and-classes">Retreat with Alisa Burke</a>, I know I would. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z_n7wtqcQ8M?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center></p><p>So much art and what a pain to hang it -- not if you have an <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgallerysystem.com%2Flpp%2Fspecial-holiday-offer%2F+" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Gallery Art Hanging System</a>. This is really awesome -- for your artwork, your kids' artwork, artwork you buy or artwork you're selling. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/washi.jpg" /></center></p> <p>Everyone loves Washi and even if your artist has a bunch of it, trust me when I say you can always use more and can never have enough. Try the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cutetape.com%2Fshop%2Fmaste-washi-masking-tape.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">washi tape starter set</a> or the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/Washi-Tape-Dispenser-Memory-Keepers/dp/B00GA8N9IG/" class="external-link">Memory Keepers Washi Tape Dispenser.</a> And I promise you can't go wrong with a cool <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/207207383/" class="external-link">washi tape holder</a> like this one. I have so much washi that I could probably use three of these.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/painting.jpg" width="350" /></center></p> <p>A great print would look fabulous in the craft room or studio. Something like this great <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/201333660/art-photograph-11x14-paint-brushes" class="external-link">paint brush photograph</a>, maybe?</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/clock2.jpg" width="350" /></center></p> <p>Or how about this <a href=" https://www.etsy.com/listing/177300575/late-tells-time-and-makes-a-comment">cool clock</a>? </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/venusmug.jpg" width=425 /></center></p> <p>I absolutely love these <a href=" https://www.etsy.com/listing/126468810/sale-2-two-aphrodite-venus-de-milo?ref=shop_home_active_9">cups</a> -- I want a whole set, don't you?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/bisquestamps.jpg" width=425 /></center></p> <p>I could quickly become addicted to <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/59439632/bisque-stamps-for-pottery-polymer-pmc" class="external-link">bisque stamps</a> -- you can do so many things with them, ya know? </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4bZj06VSeyw?list=UUOqHvWrTlqauZwch8LpF5HQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center></p> <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myboogieboard.com%2Fna%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">A Boogie Board e-writer</a> would be a great gift for a teen or an adult. Take notes, doodle, create beautiful works of art -- save or erase, upload and share. <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myboogieboard.com%2Fna%2Fcommunities%2Fcreative%2Fboogie-board-instagram-fans.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Looks like fun</a>, doesn't it? <p><center><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fMji6yYssac?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center></p> <p>The <a href=" http://www.ecojot.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=287">EcoJot Connect</a> is a little bit like the Evernote Molskine but better, I think. You draw in the journal and then use the app to upload your artwork. Then, you can digitally improve, alter, and share it. Totally cool. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><iframe width="500" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hqviDHRkQn0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center></p> <p>Last but not least, the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthe3doodler.com%2Fstore%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">3Doodler</a>. You know this one's got to be good since it also made its way into Rita's <a href="http://www.blogher.com/what-you-can-get-your-picky-tween-holiday-season">gift guide for picky tweens</a>. (And no, we didn't know we'd both put this on our lists until I read her post last week.) </p> <p>Have you found any great gifts for artists that we should know about? Share them in the comments, please.</p> <p><strong>~Denise</strong><br /> <strong>BlogHer Community Manager</strong><br /> <a href=http://www.flamingohouse.net>Flamingo House Happenings</a><br /></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> DIY Gift Guides http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/pictures/picture-22.jpg Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:27:55 +0000 Denise 1426921 at http://www.blogher.com How to Make Your Own Unique Christmas Countdown http://www.blogher.com/not-your-average-christmas-countdown-diy <!--paging_filter--><p>When I was growing up, my family had a Christmas countdown made out of beads. Every day I made sure to move a bead until it was Christmas. </p><!--break--><p>I have looked everywhere for a countdown like the one we had growing up. Sadly, I never found one. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I made one myself.</p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-r79nViTp-BY/VFsQXoUyWZI/AAAAAAAAA08/IqaCmWx7sVo/s1600/IMG_20141105_220837.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="1600" height="1600" /></center></p><!--pagebreak--><p>Here are the materials you will need to make this Christmas countdown. Everything can be found at a craft or hardware store.</p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-XVc3HyKYjHY/VEgytFz_rEI/AAAAAAAAAsI/HgUB9P2lUOc/s1600/2014-10-22%25252014.45.14.jpg" alt="christmascountodwn" width="1600" height="900" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-qa0Ggl-9zOg/VE17U69nxyI/AAAAAAAAAtk/lqTp8lMGSXU/s640/20141026_140119.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="360" height="640" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-XuvTj81E-dI/VFa0vjKJMGI/AAAAAAAAAv8/fkPWHx_PX00/s640/20141031_152306.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="360" height="640" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-IBHUvAk-JA0/VF3OzWb9bbI/AAAAAAAAA2Y/rWbREaCqm4g/s1600/20141107_143902-1.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="1169" height="1600" /></center></p><p><ol><li>Wood platform from the craft store</li><li>Beads. I used two different kinds, red regular craft beads and clear jewelry beads.</li><li>Wire. (I used 18-gauge copper wire.) I found this wire at Home Depot. It was small enough to thread jewelry beads but also sturdy enough to hold its shape.</li><li>Christmas buttons. (I used Christmas light shapes, which I found at Michaels.)</li><li>Centerpiece. I searched and searched for the perfect piece. I finally found the Christmas tree at Hobby Lobby. You could use anything you want, like ornaments, small figurines, a snow globe, a wrapped Christmas present, a picture frame, etc.</li><li>Thread.(I used gold.)</li></ol><!--pagebreak--></p><p>All of these materials create this unique countdown. You can save it and use it every year. Learn how to create the beautiful Christmas countdown craft for your home this Christmas. The full tutorial is on the blog: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.heatherhessathome.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fdiy-christmas-countdown-tutorial.html" title="http://www.heatherhessathome.com/2014/11/diy-christmas-countdown-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">http://www.heatherhessathome.com/2014/11/diy-christmas-countdown-tutoria...</a></p><p>Happy Holidays!</p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/--qPzRwHgtFc/VFqpwyjlsBI/AAAAAAAAAyQ/gfRZYi9G8Tk/s640/IMG_20141105_131423.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="640" height="360" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-S09r2CrEmTc/VFqp1Fg0A9I/AAAAAAAAAy4/DVxstxNrdNM/s1600/IMG_20141105_130002.jpg" alt="christmascountodwn" width="900" height="1600" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-vHfskeuG8KY/VFqpyAyz2NI/AAAAAAAAAyg/KgF4MWqHVn0/s640/IMG_20141105_130912-2.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="381" height="640" /></center></p><p><center><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-JglsuYkb5o0/VGRhI52R9GI/AAAAAAAAA7U/NbCX9T_DjF8/s640/ABM_1415227007.jpg" alt="christmascountdown" width="640" height="640" /></center></p><p>Heather Hess</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.heatherhessathome.com" title="www.heatherhessathome.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.heatherhessathome.com</a></p><p><a href="mailto:heatherhessathome@gmail.com" class="mailto-link">heatherhessathome@gmail.com</a></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY Craft Tutorials BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-398723.jpg Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:59:29 +0000 heatherhess 1856606 at http://www.blogher.com How to Make Simple and Beautiful Fall Table Place Cards http://www.blogher.com/printable-fall-place-cards <!--paging_filter--><p>Whether you're hosting rap stars or just family, these place cards will definitely liven up your table. The simple version is perfect all alone. I am weak when it comes to glitter and couldn't resist. Here we go.</p><!--break--><p><center><a href="//3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZZQCewwn2xA/VGJgDjsMnHI/AAAAAAAAHOE/Ye9lbImVsNY/s1600/Simple%2BFall%2BPlace%2BCards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.jpg"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZZQCewwn2xA/VGJgDjsMnHI/AAAAAAAAHOE/Ye9lbImVsNY/s320/Simple%2BFall%2BPlace%2BCards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="298" border="0" /></a></center></p><p><center><a href="//4.bp.blogspot.com/-rOcBGVv4J5Q/VGJgH_ijQgI/AAAAAAAAHOM/9AUE6VxR3SA/s1600/fancy%2Bfall%2Bplace%2Bcards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.com.jpg"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rOcBGVv4J5Q/VGJgH_ijQgI/AAAAAAAAHOM/9AUE6VxR3SA/s320/fancy%2Bfall%2Bplace%2Bcards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.com.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="296" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>First, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Ffile%2Fd%2F0Byof17oXqs01Q2lydHpQVU1pa2c%2Fview%3Fusp%3Dsharing" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">CLICK HERE</a> to download the handmade printable. Print it out onto paper of your choice. Cut the place cards out.</p><p><a href="http://www.blogher.com/printable-fall-place-cards?page=0,1"></a></p><!--pagebreak--> <p><center><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byof17oXqs01Q2lydHpQVU1pa2c/view?usp=sharing" target="_blank" class="external-link"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1ChYPZ7u-x4/VGJiDnIhWOI/AAAAAAAAHPg/ntV_WE9TU8c/s320/Fall-Place-Cards-CharisaDarling.com.jpg" alt="" width="247" height="320" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>Second, fold each one in half. Only press down on the edges, not in the middle where the picture is. (Press where my fingers are in the picture and then repeat on other side.)</p><p> This is how the picture will stand up on its own.</p> <p><center><a href="//1.bp.blogspot.com/-F9tej2BcOlE/VGJgePWkJdI/AAAAAAAAHOY/UEwbLFTAdAk/s1600/IMG_3590.jpg"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F9tej2BcOlE/VGJgePWkJdI/AAAAAAAAHOY/UEwbLFTAdAk/s320/IMG_3590.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="316" border="0" /></a></center></p><p><a href="http://www.blogher.com/printable-fall-place-cards?page=0,2"></a></p><!--pagebreak--><p>Third, unfold and cut by following the lines above the fold to make your cut.</p><p><center><a href="//1.bp.blogspot.com/-6_yBh3E2lho/VGJgfZxKK4I/AAAAAAAAHOk/hbQ3xx_hQTc/s1600/IMG_3591.jpg"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6_yBh3E2lho/VGJgfZxKK4I/AAAAAAAAHOk/hbQ3xx_hQTc/s320/IMG_3591.jpg" alt="" width="240" height="320" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>Bonus tip! If your cut leaves a visible white edge and it bothers you, just run a black marker around the edge to make it disappear.</p><p> I put the card against the blue so you can see the white line on the left of the acorn. </p> <p><center><a href="//4.bp.blogspot.com/-i4ufckr-zLw/VGJggktYk7I/AAAAAAAAHOs/Gc4vFO6dnG0/s1600/IMG_3594.jpg"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-i4ufckr-zLw/VGJggktYk7I/AAAAAAAAHOs/Gc4vFO6dnG0/s200/IMG_3594.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="200" border="0" /></a><a href="//1.bp.blogspot.com/-99yRToVaci4/VGJgg8-sW1I/AAAAAAAAHOw/5YaB0mtBZUA/s1600/IMG_3595.JPG"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-99yRToVaci4/VGJgg8-sW1I/AAAAAAAAHOw/5YaB0mtBZUA/s200/IMG_3595.JPG" alt="" width="200" height="200" border="0" /></a></center></p><p><a href="http://www.blogher.com/printable-fall-place-cards?page=0,3"></a></p><!--pagebreak--><p>If you're opting for the simple version, write your guests' names on the cards. You're done! You're ready for Thanksgiving or any other fall gathering.</p> <p><center><a href="//3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZZQCewwn2xA/VGJgDjsMnHI/AAAAAAAAHOE/Ye9lbImVsNY/s1600/Simple%2BFall%2BPlace%2BCards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.jpg"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZZQCewwn2xA/VGJgDjsMnHI/AAAAAAAAHOE/Ye9lbImVsNY/s320/Simple%2BFall%2BPlace%2BCards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="298" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>To apply the glitter, I dipped a cheap paintbrush into a bottle of white glue and spread a thin layer where I wanted the glitter to stick.</p><p><center><a href="//4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZSz3OFBrbvs/VGJglLcfmXI/AAAAAAAAHPA/WnWJWlJyfPs/s1600/IMG_3606.jpg"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZSz3OFBrbvs/VGJglLcfmXI/AAAAAAAAHPA/WnWJWlJyfPs/s320/IMG_3606.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="320" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>Sprinkle glitter onto the wet glue and shake the excess off. I did try a few pumpkins with only the top glittered. They looked cute, too.</p> <p><center><a href="//2.bp.blogspot.com/-RarXtkvqOmE/VGJgoY2ZDEI/AAAAAAAAHPE/oIC4jg7hEkk/s1600/IMG_3607.jpg"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RarXtkvqOmE/VGJgoY2ZDEI/AAAAAAAAHPE/oIC4jg7hEkk/s320/IMG_3607.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="320" border="0" /></a></center></p><p class="separator">&nbsp;</p><p><center><a href="//4.bp.blogspot.com/-rOcBGVv4J5Q/VGJgH_ijQgI/AAAAAAAAHOM/9AUE6VxR3SA/s1600/fancy%2Bfall%2Bplace%2Bcards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.com.jpg"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rOcBGVv4J5Q/VGJgH_ijQgI/AAAAAAAAHOM/9AUE6VxR3SA/s320/fancy%2Bfall%2Bplace%2Bcards%2Bfrom%2BCharisaDarling.com.jpg" alt="" width="320" height="296" border="0" /></a></center></p><p>Happy Crafting!</p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY dinner place cards Thanksgiving http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-9931.jpg Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:04:19 +0000 Charisa Darling 1840581 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Creative Thanksgiving Table Ideas http://www.blogher.com/what-type-thanksgiving-table-are-you-5-ways-set-table <!--paging_filter--><p>Christmas is all about the tree, Easter celebrates Pinterest-perfect eggs, but at Thanksgiving, your table needs to be a thing to behold (okay, and maybe Instagram a little). After all, most of the holiday is just sitting, enjoying the company of others, eating, and taking in the table scenery. Give them something to look at.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/5-Creative-Thanksgiving-Tables.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas" /></center></p> <p>I've come up with five ways to think about your table, along with suggestions for getting creative and adding that little extra something-something.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <h1>Use Fall Colors … With a Twist</h1> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Fall-colors-1.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>Fall colors are as obvious a Thanksgiving table theme as the turkey itself, but there's no denying that the, browns and mustard yellows are beautiful. A gorgeous tablecloth, some small pumpkins and succulents, and maybe a couple of festive Thanksgiving figurines, and your table is set. I even had chairs to match!</p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Fall-colors-2.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> Raid your craft closet when setting your Thanksgiving table. The small flags in the pumpkins added a little something extra special to the table, with very little work. It's all about the details when trying to wow guests. These flags were part of my part of my scrapbook stash, but they look perfect on my Thanksgiving table.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <h1>Go Literal and Traditional … With a Turkey</h1> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Literal-1.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>Okay, not everyone has access to a taxidermy turkey like my mother. But people always walk away from her Thanksgiving meal remembering not what the turkey tasted like, but what the turkey centerpiece looked like. That is not a bad thing (especially if you're not a master turkey cook). </p> <p>If you go traditional, any turkey will work. Turkey props are found at most big box stores, and even some thrift stores if you get lucky. </p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> Though this centerpiece is spectacular, it is big. Really, really big. Remember that you don't want a centerpiece to be so large that people can't see over it. It should not be a dividing wall that prohibits conversation, but an amazing conversation starter.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <h1>Make Friendsgiving Your Theme</h1> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Friendsgiving-3.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>Recently, I <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Faustin.twcnews.com%2Fcontent%2Flifestyles%2Fhouse_proud%2F306180%2Fthrowing-a-fantastic-friendsgiving%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">got to host a mock Friendsgiving</a> with <em><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Faustin.twcnews.com%2Fcontent%2Flifestyles%2Fhouse_proud%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Austin's House Proud</a></em> host Amy Hadley. We discussed so many upsides to having a Friendsgiving if you aren't able to celebrate with family.</p> <p>If you don't know the proper way to set the table, it's okay, because your friends probably don't either. There are no rules, so express yourself! I like to wow my friends with other aspects on your table like easy-to-make "Mohawk clementines" with sage, decorative wrapping paper as a table runner, and plenty of fresh flowers. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Friendsgiving-2.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> Friendsgiving is an event for "orphans," which likely means a group of friends who all are saving plane ticket money. Keep costs down by enlisting those friends to help, and make this event a potluck.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <h1>Go Eclectic</h1> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Eclectic-2.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>My entire home is eclectic, so why would I set a Thanksgiving table any differently? The nice thing about going this route with your table is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Eclectic-1.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>Use mix-matched chairs; the more, the merrier. Don't have a tablecloth? A large piece of fabric works fine, too. Pull in things from around your house, like tribal baskets, bouquets of arrows, and more. With the eclectic look, it is completely acceptable to mix '50s dishes, paper napkins, and retro plastic plate chargers. </p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> Up the funk factor if you go this route. Just a few mix-matched items will look out of place. To pull this look together, go all or nothing. Make the juxtaposition as obvious as your turkey is juicy.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <h1>Let Nature do the Talking</h1> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Nature---1.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>A hike in nature can serve as inspiration for your Thanksgiving table. Smooth stones painted and labeled with guests' names are an easy 10-minute detail to add. Painted twigs and branches in a vase, instead of flowers, looks just as beautiful. </p> <p><center><img src="/files/images/batch/Nature-2.jpg" alt="5 Creative Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas That Won't Break the Bank" /></center></p> <p>My favorite craft project as of late is this table runner I made by laminating fall leaves. Some are from my own yard and others are brought back from a fall trip to Ohio. The lamination protects the leaves and makes them sturdy enough to set a giant bowl of mashed potatoes on. </p><p><strong>TIP:</strong> If you don't live near pinecones or acorns, try visiting your local craft store. Most have a section with all kinds of fall foliage real and fake.</p> <p>So what kind of Thanksgiving table are you going to set? </p> <p>Check out more fun by <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Jennifer Perkins</a> on her blog. </p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden Food Special Occasion DIY table setting Thanksgiving Holiday Parties Holiday Style Holiday Food DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:38:17 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1854005 at http://www.blogher.com Thankful Bucket Garland...A Thanksgiving Family Tradition http://www.blogher.com/thankful-bucket-garlanda-thanksgiving-family-tradition <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2657" rel="attachment wp-att-2657" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Bucket Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Bucket-Garland-1-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket Garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>What a perfect way to celebrate autumn! Your family can fill each little bucket with little notes about what you're thankful for.</p><!--pagebreak--><h2>Supplies</h2><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2655" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-garland-Supplies-465.jpg" alt="Thankful bucket garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><ul><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fbrowse%2Fcatalog%2Fbasics-glue-guns-glue-sticks-and-accessories" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Glue gun and glue sticks</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fbrowse%2Fcatalog%2Ffloral-wire" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Floral wire</a></li><li>Adhesive hooks</li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Ffloral-grapevine%2F2825-90" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">2 9-foot twig garlands</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fseasonal-fall-and-halloween-floral%2Fdc-3856" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">2 6-foot oak leaf garlands</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fscrapbooking-die-cut-embellishments%2F1208-72" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Chipboard alphabet letters</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fscrapbooking-glitter-embellishments%2Famc27324" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Chocolate-brown extra-fine glitter</a></li><li>Martha Stewart glitter glue</li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fbasics-wood-craft-sticks-and-clothes-pins%2F9151-05" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Wood spring clothespins</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fdecor-home-metal-galvanized-tin%2F6546" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">8 small metal buckets</a></li><li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fseasonal-fall-and-halloween-floral%2F1620-98" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Faux maple leaves</a> <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumercrafts.com%2Fstore%2Fdetails%2Fcatalog%2Fseasonal-fall-and-halloween-home-decor%2F3102-668" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Burlap</a></li></ul><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2658" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Garland-Step-1-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket Garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Stretch out your two twig garlands and attach to your mantel. We used adhesive hooks. You will need to play around with the loops in the garland to get the look you want. We wired some of the loops together to get it to hang the way we wanted.</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2659" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-garland-step-2-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Take your two leaf garlands and wind them through the twig garlands. Don't worry about bare spaces; we will take care of that in another step.</p><!--pagebreak--><p>Apply the glitter to your chipboard letters to spell the word "THANKFUL," using the glitter glue; allow to dry. While your letters are drying, trace some leaf shapes or use a die cut machine to cut out leaf shapes out of your burlap. Glue the burlap leaf shapes to the front of the buckets with your glue gun.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2660" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Garland-Step-3-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket Garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2661" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful garland Buckets " src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-garland-Buckets-wm-465.jpg" alt="" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Look how sweet all your buckets are after you've attached all the letters with your glue gun!</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2656" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Garland-Step-4-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket Garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Next, attach the buckets to the garland with the clothespins.</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2662" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Garland-4-wm-465.jpg" alt="thankful bucket garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Attach leaves with your glue gun where you have some bare spots on the twig garland. This is the fun part, where you can make it your own! We added a few burlap leaves to the garland, as well.</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2665" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Garland-1-wm-465.jpg" alt="Thankful bucket garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Now, your mantel is ready for Thanksgiving. What a special way to celebrate with your family!</p><!--pagebreak--><p>&nbsp;</p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D2657" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="Thankful Bucket Garland" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thankful-Bucket-Garland-1-465.jpg" alt="Thankful Bucket Garland" /></a></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I hope you can start some new family traditions this year. Did you catch our family's other new tradition—our "<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2Fthanksgiving-family-traditions-to-start-this-year%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><em>Thankful Turkey</em></a>?"</p><p>Stop by and visit us at <strong><em><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Uncommon Designs</a></em></strong>!</p><center></center><center><center></center></center><center><p><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/both-signature.png" alt="" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>We would love to have you follow along with us!</p></center><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uncommondesignsonline.com%2Ffeed%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/rss.png" alt="" /></a><a href="mailto:mailto:uncommondesigns@yahoo.com" class="mailto-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/email.png" alt="" /></a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/#%21/pages/Uncommon-Designs/230596840284698" class="external-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/facebook.png" alt="" /></a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://twitter.com/#%21/UncommonDesigns" class="external-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/twitter.png" alt="" /></a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/107032891117664609990/posts" class="external-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/google-plus.png" alt="" /></a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://pinterest.com/uncommondesigns/" class="external-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/pinterest.png" alt="" /></a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stumbleupon.com%2Fstumbler%2Funcommondesigns" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/stumble-upon.png" alt="" /></a><a title="Instagram" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instagram.com/uncommondesigns" class="external-link"><img src="http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/instagram.png" alt="" /></a><center></center></center><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY family life BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220841.jpg Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:41:55 +0000 uncommondesigns 931419 at http://www.blogher.com The Amazing Moments We're Not Photographing http://www.blogher.com/things-were-not-taking-pictures <!--paging_filter--><p>My husband and I honeymooned at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. It. Was. Awesome. I mean, come on. There was a soft-serve ice cream machine on the beach. Dream come true.</p><!--break--><p>I need to go back. Sigh …</p><p><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Pictures-of.jpg" width="550" alt="The Things we're not taking pictures of" /></p><p>We loved so much about Jamaica and our resort, but one thing drove us crazy: <em>the photographers.</em> They appeared everywhere, trying to capture all of the fun vacation moments for their guests.</p><p>While kayaking on that gorgeous, clear water and rowing back to shore, lo and behold, out pops a photographer waiting in the sand, taking our pictures. He asked us to get out of our kayaks and pose and smile. Okay, now leave us alone.</p><p>While standing outside waiting to eat dinner at one of the restaurants, wouldn’t you know it: Photo op! They wanted to see all smiles, beaches and sunshine.</p><p>We swam in the ocean one day; I put my feet down in the water so I could stand, but instead of feeling sand, I felt piercing pain in my foot. I started yelling and ever-so-gracefully thrashing back to the beach, trying not to cry, but it hurt so bad.</p><p>Cue the photographer.</p><p>As I hobbled and bumbled, crying and wincing with my face contorted in pain, he snapped photos to capture the moment. Look at the crazy lady coming out of the ocean!</p><p><em>"I'm HURT!" I said. "Stop taking pictures! I'm really hurt!"</em></p><p>It took him a while to realize that we didn't need for him to capture this moment. I stepped on a sea urchin, and my foot was full of black, spiny needles. Good times. The shutter-happy photographer stopped shooting and graciously took us to the first aid station.</p><div id="attachment_850" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi0.wp.com%2Fwww.itallmattersmom.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F10%2FIMG_2097.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="wp-image-850" src="http://i0.wp.com/www.itallmattersmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2097.jpg?resize=460%2C613" alt="The things we're not taking pictures of" width="460" height="613" data-jpibfi-indexer="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Me and my sea urchin boo-boo and my tan (yes, that's tan for me).</p></div><p>But he didn't take photos of my sweet, new husband carrying me in his arms to safety.</p><p>That incident got me thinking: <em>What things don't we photograph? What about those not-so-pretty moments — especially when it comes to parenting?</em></p><p>After having kids, you'd better believe I’ve gone shutter crazy (I mean, have you <em>seen</em> my kids?). I want to capture all of the sweet moments with them. I want them to look back and remember these fleeting days of:</p><ul><li>Swinging outside</li><li>Taking their first steps</li><li>Wearing ridiculous dress-up clothes</li><li>Sleeping in bizarre positions</li><li>Playing peek-a-boo with their dad</li></ul><p><em>Are those the only things they'll remember though? Will they only remember things from photographs — only the sweet, happy stuff? Is that all that matters?</em></p><p>I think some of the most important things our spouses and children will cherish are the things not photographed.</p><p>As I rocked my little one to sleep the other night, I thought, “No one is taking pictures of me rocking her to sleep with a towel draped across my lap and a big ice cream bucket at my side so if she vomits again, I'll be ready. We won't document this, but it matters. This is the behind-the scenes stuff we don't ever see."</p><p> That's not the picture for Facebook, and it's not the one we put in the frame to display.</p><h2>What We Don't Photograph</h2><ul><li>Cleaning up vomit for the third time in half an hour</li><li>Standing over our children's beds praying for them</li><li>Crying when we've had a long day, but it's worth it</li><li>Giving kisses to ouchies when they've skinned their knees</li><li>Taking deep breaths as we wait out their tantrums</li><li>Going through piles of paperwork for their adoption</li><li>Staying up late to plan lessons for homeschooling</li><li>Waiting and praying for years to conceive</li><li>Getting the phone call that the fertility treatment worked</li><li>Taking their temperatures, giving them medicine and holding them when they're sick</li><li>Coming home exhausted from the second or third job so you can provide for them</li><li>Holding their hand when they're scared at the doctor</li><li>Hugging them while they cry because someone was mean to them</li><li>Teaching them how to respect others</li><li>Having family devotion time</li><li>Teaching them to pray</li><li>Driving them all around to different activities</li><li>Cleaning out a carseat that is now holding what the diaper didn't</li><li>Praying for them. All of the time.</li><li>Looking at what the next steps are to help with their medical condition</li><li>Hurting for them as they experience heartbreak from the opposite sex</li><li>Trying to hold in the tears as they get on the bus for their first day of school</li><li>Walking out the door of our workplace for the last time so we can stay home with them</li><li>Putting our arms around them when they didn't make the cut at tryouts</li><li>Researching their culture so once they're adopted, we can help connect them with their heritage</li><li>Searching scriptures for answers</li><li>And finally, <em>no one takes pictures of the love we have for them.</em> It's like I've heard so many people say, "The picture just doesn't do it justice."<p> So maybe, just maybe, we don't need the picture.</p></li></ul><p>They'll remember love through actions and all the little (and big) things we're not photographing.</p><p><em>What&nbsp;moments do you see in your life that are being “missed” by the camera?</em></p><p>- See more at: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itallmattersmom.com%2Fthings-arent-taking-pictures%2F%23sthash.8fH5FrqN.dpuf" title="http://www.itallmattersmom.com/things-arent-taking-pictures/#sthash.8fH5FrqN.dpuf" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">http://www.itallmattersmom.com/things-arent-taking-pictures/#sthash.8fH5...</a></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Photography DIY Family memories moments pictures http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-390442.jpg Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:20:47 +0000 It All Matters Mom 1807374 at http://www.blogher.com 6 Craft Blogs to Follow for Fabulous Thanksgiving Ideas http://www.blogher.com/6-craft-blogs-follow-fabulous-thanksgiving-ideas <!--paging_filter--><p>Whether you're looking for kids' crafts, tablescapes, or Thanksgiving decor, these blogs are a treasure trove of DIY holiday help.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/MFM.jpg" alt="Must-Follow Monday" /></center></p> <h2>CRAFTS: SOUTHERN STATE OF MIND</h2> <p>Heather's blog is always full of gorgeous home ideas. Head to her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.southernstateofmindblog.com%2F2014%2F11%2F30-days-in-holiday-state-of-mind-series.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">30 Days in a Holiday State of Mind</a> series to get quick-and-easy projects every day this month. Start with a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.southernstateofmindblog.com%2F2014%2F11%2F15-minute-magnolia-leaf-wreath-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">cute magnolia wreath</a> that takes 15 minutes and costs only $1.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/1727535/bhpn">Follow Southern State of Mind on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.pinterest.com/hewmetz/" class="external-link">Follow Southern State of Mind on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/SouthernMind?ref=tn_tnmn" class="external-link">Follow Southern State of Mind on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/SSOM_Heather" class="external-link">Follow Southern State of Mind on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/southernheather" class="external-link">Follow Southern State of Mind on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>CRAFTS: THE STITCHIN' MOMMY</h2> <p>If you crochet, you need to follow Amy's blog. She's got incredibly cute projects that will take you through December, like these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthestitchinmommy.com%2F2014%2F11%2Flet-snow-10-snow-inspired-patterns.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">snow-inspired patterns that include an Olaf-ish snowman hat. This week, though, stop everything you're doing and make this adorbs </a><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthestitchinmommy.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fcrochet-turkey-hat-more-sizes-now-available.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">turkey hat for kids</a>. </p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/1678411/bhpn">Follow The Stitchin' Mommy on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.pinterest.com/stitchinmommy/" class="external-link">Follow The Stitchin' Mommy on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/thestitchinmommy" class="external-link">Follow The Stitchin' Mommy on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/stitchin_mommy" class="external-link">Follow The Stitchin' Mommy on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/amyliciouss" class="external-link">Follow The Stitchin' Mommy on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>CENTERPIECES: CREATIVE CAIN CABIN</h2> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Thanksgiving-table.jpg" alt="Creative Cain Cabin Thanksgiving centerpiece" /><br /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcreativecaincabin.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Creative Cain Cabin</a></em></center></p> <p>Dawn's blog is a fantastic source for all kinds of fall-winter décor and crafts (like <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcreativecaincabin.com%2F2014%2F11%2Ffingerless-gloves%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">How to Make Fingerless Gloves From an Old Sweater</a>. But this week, her tutorial on <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcreativecaincabin.com%2F2014%2F11%2Flayer-thanksgiving-centerpiece%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">How to Layer a Thanksgiving Centerpiece</a> is a go-to resource. Bookmark it and follow its tips, and you're sure of a lovely holiday table.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/800015/bhpn">Follow Creative Cain Cabin on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.pinterest.com/dawncain/" class="external-link">Follow Creative Cain Cabin on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/creativecaincabin" class="external-link">Follow Creative Cain Cabin on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/CCainCabin" class="external-link">Follow Creative Cain Cabin on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/dawncain" class="external-link">Follow Creative Cain Cabin on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>CENTERPIECES: BLESS'ER HOUSE</h2> <p>Lauren's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblesserhouse.blogspot.com%2Fp%2Fproject-gallery.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">rustic-eclectic cottage</a> is always a décor inspiration. But her true genius is getting it all done on a budget. Just check out her gorgeous <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblesserhouse.blogspot.com%2F2014%2F11%2Fdollar-store-thanksgiving-tablescape.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">dollar store Thanksgiving tablescape</a> and you'll be in awe, too.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/1679408/bhpn">Follow Bless'er House on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.pinterest.com/blesserhouse/" class="external-link">Follow Bless'er House on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/blesserhouse" class="external-link">Follow Bless'er House on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/blesserhouse" class="external-link">Follow Bless'er House on Twitter</a></li> </ul> <h2>KIDS' CRAFTS: COFFEE CUPS AND CRAYONS</h2> <p>Megan's blog is full of fun year-round science experiments and crafts for kids. What better time to start following her excellent projects than the holidays? Start a tradition with what might be the world's cutest <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coffeecupsandcrayons.com%2Fpaper-roll-pattern-turkey-craft%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">turkey paper craft</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/1578716/bhpn">Follow Coffee Cups and Crayons on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a href=" https://www.pinterest.com/megan_sheakoski/">Follow Coffee Cups and Crayons on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/coffeecupsandcrayons" class="external-link">Follow Coffee Cups and Crayons on Facebook</a></li> <li><a href=" https://twitter.com/CoffeeandCrayon">Follow Coffee Cups and Crayons on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/user/MeganSheakoski" class="external-link">Follow Coffee Cups and Crayons on YouTube</a></li> </ul> <h2>KIDS' CRAFTS: HANDS ON AS WE GROW</h2> <p>Jamie has dedicated her blog to learning activities with her three boys that help family bonding AND fine motor skills. Check out her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhandsonaswegrow.com%2Fcreate-with-kids%2Fholidays%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Holiday Fun</a> section for everything from <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhandsonaswegrow.com%2Fnon-turkey-thanksgiving-crafts-kids%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">non-turkey craft ideas</a> to <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhandsonaswegrow.com%2F15-fall-activities-crafts-kids%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">15 fall activities and crafts with kids.</a></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/800453/bhpn">Follow Hands On As We Grow on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.pinterest.com/handsonaswegrow/" class="external-link">Follow Hands On As We Grow on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/handsonaswegrow" class="external-link">Follow Hands On As We Grow n on Facebook</a></li> </ul> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden Knitting, Crochet & Sewing DIY Holiday Parties DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays Must-Follow Mondays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-38434.jpg Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:03:29 +0000 Julie Ross Godar 1838283 at http://www.blogher.com How To Take Visually Interesting Photographs http://www.blogher.com/how-take-visually-interesting-photographs <!--paging_filter--><p>The thing I love most about photography is that it challenges me. It is a hobby that is always evolving, and always teaching me new ways of looking at everyday things. </p> <p>It's been 11 months of my love affair with my Nikon, and my photography is changing and growing every day. Three things have evolved the most: the way I <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fcategory%2Fchallenge%2Fphotography-challenge%2Fdslr-photo-challenge" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">take photos</a>, how I <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fphoto-composition%2F05%2F2014" title="Photo Composition" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">compose them</a>, and how I <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2F4-tips-efficient-editing-adobe-lightroom%2F09%2F2014" title="4 Tips For Efficient Editing with Adobe Lightroom" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">edit them</a>.</p> <p>Today, I'm going to focus on how I compose my photos. It is one of the most important parts of photography, because without it, your photos will have no visual interest whatsoever. But you can do a few simple things do to bump up the beauty on all of your photos, and make the subjects more interesting to photograph.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs7-copy" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs7-copy.jpg " alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Tell a Story</h2> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs8" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs8.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <p>Some of my favorite photographs have a story to tell. Each story is unique to the person viewing the photo, and your interpretation won't necessarily be what everyone else's is. In the top photograph, I really wanted to focus on the blue fairy, because her facial expression could mean so many different things. Is she happy? Sad? Pensive? It's completely up to you!</p> <p>In the bottom picture, I saw an opportunity to use the doors to my advantage. Personally, I immediately thought of <em>The Secret Garden</em> (one of my favorite books as a child), and saw the doors as welcoming me into this peaceful and beautiful Chinese garden.</p> <p><center><a a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs4" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs4.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Get Creative with Composition</h2> <p>Photography comes with <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2F5-rules-of-photography-composition%2F05%2F2014" title="5 Rules of Photography Composition" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">rules of composition</a>, but I have always looked at them as mere suggestions. What works for one photo will not always work for another. Play around with how you place your subject in your frame, and do what you think looks best.</p> <p>This photo was a happy accident. I didn't realize how out of focus the flowers in the front of the photo were until I uploaded it to my computer later that night. Normally, I would've done the opposite and shot with the bench out of focus instead, but this photo really works.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs1" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs1.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Look Up</h2> <p>I love lying on the ground (as long as it's not gross) and tilting the camera up to take a photo. You can make large statues look like they're looming over you if you lay on the ground in just the right place. I like the center, so I can get all of them in the picture! It gives you a completely different perspective on what you're photographing than you have when you're standing directly in front of your subject.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs3" <img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs3.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Focus on the Detail</h2> <p>I love drawing attention to parts of an object you might otherwise walk past without giving a second thought to. Like, when you're in a gazebo, how often do you look up to gaze at the woodwork? I do all the time, because I love the colors and the distressed pieces.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs2" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com /files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs2.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Implement the Rule of Thirds</h2> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs6" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs6.jpg" alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <p>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fguest-post-photo-compositon%2F03%2F2014" title="Guest Post: Photo Compositon" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">rule of thirds</a> is a general rule of photography. While I truly believe some rules are made to be broken, I do think that this one works well from time to time. </p> <p>The rule of thirds breaks up an image into three equal sections, and says that photographs are most interesting when a subject takes up one to two thirds of the frame. The rule works for both of these photos because it isolates the subject and (since both have such vibrant colors) draws your attention to them&mdash;which is the goal.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftywife.com%2Fvisually-interesting-photographs%2F10%2F2014%2Fhow-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs5" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="http://www.blogher.com/files/images/How-to-take-visually-interesting-photographs5.jpg " alt="How to take visually interesting photographs" /></a></center></p> <p>Implementing each of these tips should result in better looking photos. I shoot solely in manual mode and love that I can control all the settings when taking a photo. I do realize, though, that not everyone is a control freak like me, and you may prefer shooting in Auto instead. That's okay! These rules will work no matter what mode you shoot in.</p> <p>What do you think? Do you implement any of these tips when you're out taking photos? Which one is your favorite?.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Photography DIY photography tips and tricks tutorials Pro Photography Tips http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-393857.jpg Wed, 05 Nov 2014 00:04:06 +0000 craftywife 1825441 at http://www.blogher.com 3 Things You Must Know Before Starting a DIY Pallet Project http://www.blogher.com/must-know-pallet-precautions <!--paging_filter--><p>3 Things You Must Know Before Starting a DIY Pallet Project</p><p>Building and creating home decor from pallet wood is <em>hot</em> right now.</p><p>Pallets are probably the most readily available source of inexpensive, and often free, wood, and if you are reading this right now you have probably pinned at least one or two (or 20) "DIY pallet projects."</p><p>I have a whole <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/lovelyweeds/scrap-pile-projects/" class="external-link">Pinterest board </a>devoted to things I can do with pallets and scraps! Whether you have taken on the famous shipping material or are still thinking about it, here are a few words of advice from someone who tends to learn best the hard way.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><center><img src=" https://www.blogher.com/files/Pallet-Lessons.jpg" alt="Must Know Pallet Tips" /></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>1. Not all pallets want to be taken apart.</h2><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Some are stubborn. Think "toddler in a 'me do it' moment" stubborn. You can crowbar, hammer, and stomp (guilty) to your heart's content, but they will not budge without a blade and 18 volts.</p><p>The good news? Once you do get the wood apart, you will have solid boards that are just begging to be made into something beautiful.</p><p>For these pallets, I suggest using either a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails holding the boards together, or a cordless circular saw to just zip right through the boards. A few weeks ago, I posted this picture to <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/thelovelyweeds" class="external-link">Instagram </a> showing a very simple method of cutting pallet wood when you don't need long boards.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Pallet-2.jpg" alt="Must Know Pallet Tips" /></center><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>2. Pallets will try to wound you.</h2><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Splinters, smashed fingers, nails in the foot ... pallets can be cruel sometimes. I got a firsthand reminder of this a couple weeks ago. I was in the zone cutting pallets for some signs, when I stepped on THREE nails at once. Ouch. Let's just say it took some effort to pry my foot up.</p><p>I was lucky—the nails went into the outside of my foot, and not the instep. (Nice image, I know. Cringing yet?) I had to get a tetanus shot, which hurt almost as bad and for as long as the actual injury, and I hobbled around on a foot and a half for a couple weeks. It was an effective reminder to slow down, pay attention, and be careful.</p><p>So wear gloves, wear boots (or at least not flip flops), and work smart.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>3. All pallets are not created equal.</h2><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Some are nasty. Some are rotten. Some have questionable histories. I love free lumber, but make a point to learn about your pallet's past and take that into consideration before digging in—especially if you are planning to bring it into your home.</p><p>Most of my pallets come from local hardware or feed stores, so I know exactly what they are used for. If I don't know the specific history of a pallet, I don't bring it in my home and I don't use it for resale projects.</p><p>Of course, this post is in no way meant to discourage the use of pallets! I work with pallet wood on an almost daily basis. It's just about being smart. DIY is no fun when your reward is a long needle and a week with a dead arm.</p><p>For <em>many</em> more posts on working with pallet and scrap wood, check out my blog, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lovelyweeds.com%2F2014%2F10%2F3-must-know-facts-about-pallets.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Lovely Weeds</a>!</p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden DIY pallet Safety wood http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-385923.jpg Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:53:46 +0000 lovelyweeds 1819208 at http://www.blogher.com Fabulously Crafty Day of the Dead Necklace http://www.blogher.com/diy-day-dead-jewelry <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Day-of-the-Dead-Necklace.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>I have seriously crafty friends. My pals <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhandmadehappyhour.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza</a> just came out with a new product line called Jewel Pop Shop. Cathie is one of our very own BlogHer bloggers (check out <a href="http://www.blogher.com/interview-cathie-filian-craft-wars-producer-creative-juice-host-author-more">the interview</a> I did with her). </p> <p>My other friend, and past BlogHer DIY Editor, Kathy Cano-Murillo also just recently launched a new product line through her brand <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftychica.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Crafty Chica</a>. I was so excited to get my hands on products from both talented groups that I just had to make something extra fabulous. Kathy specializes in Day of the Dead imagery, so a Dia de Los Muertos-themed Jewel Pop Shop necklace seemed perfect!</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Supplies2.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>Jewel Pop Shop is just what the name implies, jewelry supplies. There are funky pendants, plastic flowers in juicy colors, beaded chains waiting for charms, and more: so many jewelry-making possibilities. The Crafty Chica line has a strong Day of the Dead theme, with that special Kathy Cano-Murillo twist (like skulls with cupcakes). There are patches that I have made into <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fdia-de-los-muertos-planters-and-faux-rock-cactus-diy%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">planters</a>, rub-on tattoos I converted into <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Filovetocreateblog.blogspot.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fday-of-dead-string-lights.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">string lights</a> and now small appliques that I am working into jewelry. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Plain-necklace.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>The first thing I did was paint my Jewel Pop Shop pendant white. These pendants would also be fabulous with Crafty Chica paper decoupaged on them, by the way. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Painting-skull.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>I love painting sugar skulls too, so I painted two wood beads white so I could adorn them later. I like to paint beads by sitting them on a paintbrush pushed into some Styrofoam. This way, you don't have to handle your bead as you paint it. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Necklace.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>Using craft glue, I attached the sugar skull appliques to the painted white pendant. I also added some Jewel Pop Shop flowers into the skulls' hair. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Necklace2.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>For good measure, the entire pendant got a once-over with some puffy paint to add more color and texture. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Necklace-skulls.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>Using craft paint and gel pens, I made my two small wood beads look like skulls to match the rest of the necklace. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/necklace3.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>All that was left, once the paint and glue was dry, was to attach all my parts. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Jen-necklace.jpg" alt="Day of the Dead necklace" /></center></p> <p>I had so much fun making this necklace that I decided to do my makeup to match. </p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDay_of_the_Dead" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Dia de los Muertos</a> is a rich and beautiful tradition from Mexico. I encourage you to read all about it and learn what those sugar skulls mean.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Style DIY DIY day of the dead Jewelry sugar skull Craft Tutorials BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:10:02 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1812590 at http://www.blogher.com How to Make Your Own Maternity Jeans http://www.blogher.com/diy-maternity-jeans <!--paging_filter--><p>Almost two years ago, I broke the zipper on a pair of my jeans (I've never done this before or since, happily), and I thought, "WHAT could you possibly do with a pair of jeans with a broken zipper?"</p> <p>And then I remembered that I'd made myself <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.everyday-reading.com%2F2010%2F04%2Fcrafty.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">a pair of maternity jeans</a> once upon a time, and this pair might be a chance for me to do it again, now that I knew a little better what I was doing.</p> <p>So I stashed them away for many many months until I was pregnant again.</p><!--break--> <p>And then after I made them, I bought a pair of maternity jeans from Old Navy for a whopping $13 and they came and I loved them and I thought, "Who would ever choose maternity pants with a panel that goes over your stomach when the low elastic waistband is so much better?"</p> <p>I'll tell you who -- <b>me.</b> Because although I loved that low waistband, by the last eight weeks of pregnancy, I was carrying so low that my stomach was constantly pushing my pants down AND it was hard to find shirts long enough to cover my stomach, so I suddenly found myself turning to my previously unloved homemade panel maternity jeans.</p> <p>Whew, why do I always have so much to say before I get to the actual point? Do I think anyone REALLY needs that much back-story (no, but I can't help myself).</p> <p>Either way, it was really pretty simple to make these and since I already had the jeans AND a hole-y tank top, it cost me about $2 for elastic and nothing else. Beat THAT, Old Navy.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-OLC7dPC9KdE%2FUPXR7gmYkQI%2FAAAAAAAALto%2FWBk0O1CCeI8%2Fs1600%2FJanssen_EverydayReading.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--1.jpg" width="480" /></a></center></p> <p>Supplies needed:</p> <ul><li>Jeans</li> <li>Stretchy t-shirt or tank top (the stretchier and thicker the better). </li> <li>Elastic (I used one about 1.5 inches thick)</li> <li>Your usual sewing supplies: sewing machine, thread, pins, scissors</li> </ul> <p><i>Note: </i>I struggled with my <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.everyday-reading.com%2F2010%2F04%2Fcrafty.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">first pair of homemade maternity jeans</a> because they kept slipping down. I did two things to counteract that on this pair. First, I didn't cut the back at all&mdash;I left the entire back waistband intact. Second, I put elastic at the top of the stretchy fabric to help hold them up. Full-length denim is just too heavy for the jersey to keep up on its own.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Lay out your jeans out flat. This is a very difficult step. . .</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-iP1wGp1Oe9I%2FUPXTulmPVxI%2FAAAAAAAALuM%2Ffa58UPAe8qo%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0273-001.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--2.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Carefully cut a half circle that gets rid of most of the zipper, the metal rivets at the top of the pockets (I didn't do this last time and broke my needle when it hit one of them), and the front belt loops. Don't cut any lower than you have to, because the lower you go, the longer the shirt you'll need to cover your stretchy fabric.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-lMXSR1521fs%2FUPXTudsoaMI%2FAAAAAAAALuE%2FXPkw0_Rinl4%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0274-001.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--3.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Turn your shirt or tank top inside out and slide it down over the top of your jeans (so your jeans are inside the tank-top) as far as it will go.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Qw2qp2o70rA%2FUPXVD2jvE1I%2FAAAAAAAALuo%2FncSNKJwgtFo%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0284.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--4.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Pin the tank top along the half-circle cut out you made on your jeans.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-UnhzZBmEFtw%2FUPXVEJh1q-I%2FAAAAAAAALus%2FWgJuu8ELD8g%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0285.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--5.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Cut away the top of the tank or shirt so that it lines up with the edge of your jeans all the way around.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-UcVuq8s45Xo%2FUPXVELtvJUI%2FAAAAAAAALuw%2FE2z0wL7vBvA%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0286.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--6.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Using a tight zig-zag, sew the two pieces together all the way around the opening (where you've pinned and then around the backside too).</p> <p>Remove your pins and ta-da! Maternity jeans.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>But maternity jeans that will probably slide down every ten seconds. Very bad. Let's add some elastic.</p> <p>Try your jeans on and pull the tank/shirt part up as far as it goes. Mark about two inches above where you want them to hit on your stomach (if you're making them early in your pregnancy, be a bit generous).</p> <p>Take the jeans back off, and carefully cut off the top off the shirt where you marked. Turn your pants inside out.</p> <p>Fold the top edge of the shirt over about 1.75 inches (if you're doing 1.5 inch elastic; if you're using a different thickness, adjust appropriately).</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-R_Q3t-4XNUA%2FUPXZkh9itnI%2FAAAAAAAALvw%2FZzQH-roQmEg%2Fs1600%2FIMG_2405.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--7.jpg" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p>Pin it in place, and carefully sew shut with a small zig-zag stick all the way around, leaving a three inch opening on one side so you can insert the elastic.</p> <p>Wrap your elastic around the top of your stomach and cut to your desired length, leaving an extra inch.</p> <p>Pin one end of the elastic at the opening, thread the elastic through and then overlap the two ends and sew them securely together.</p> <p>Sew shut the opening and trim any loose threads.</p> <p>Ta-da for real!</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-dLRSg_FSiuU%2FUPXaRGKt-8I%2FAAAAAAAALv4%2FrF3T-KemaeQ%2Fs1600%2FIMG_0302-001.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/diy--maternity--8.jpg" /></a></center></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Fashion Knitting, Crochet & Sewing Pregnancy Money DIY Family http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-151894.jpg Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:10:06 +0000 janssen.everyday 1023722 at http://www.blogher.com Mad Scientist Specimen Jar DIY http://www.blogher.com/mad-scientist-specimen-jar-diy <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p>Every year for my annual Halloween party, I like to change my decorations around. No mantel, centerpiece, or vignette is ever the same from one party to the next. This year, I decided to give my wet bar a "mad scientist" theme. I picked up beakers at the thrift store, displayed a Frankenstein head between bar glasses, and had fun making the final touch: specimen jars.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Mad-Scientist-Bar-title.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>You'll need some large pickle jars. (Since my husband and son are pickleholics, this was not a difficult project!) Rinse your jars and paint the lids black. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Black-lids.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p> I made two different types of fillings for my jars. For the first set of jars, I used "growing toys" that I found at the store. These are toys that when they sit in water long enough expand way beyond their original size. I happened to find some that were skeletons and bloody severed limbs. Perfect for my mad scientist lab.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/growing-toy-skull.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Growing-toy-foot.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>In the other pickle jars, I added green coloring to my water and inserted some cheap plastic Halloween masks. I love the way these look, and am thinking I will add glow sticks to them on Halloween.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Green-mask.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>I wanted to make a set of personalized specimen jars as well. I found small bottles at the store that I adored with washi tape and streamers in Halloween colors. Inside the jars, I placed extreme close-up pictures of my husband and daughter. These are easy to take and print, mine just happened to be from Chuck E. Cheese.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Personalized-specimen-jar-art.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Personalized-specimen-jars-in-progress.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Personalized-specimen-jars---final.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>I think the bar is shaping up nicely. I just need fog machine, strobe light, and dry ice in the sink, and all that is left to do is shout, <em>"It’s aliiiiiiiiive!"</em></p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/bar-with-Frankenstein.jpg" alt="Mad Scientist Specimen Jars" /></center></p> <p>Check out <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jenniferperkins.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.jenniferperkins.com</a> for more crafty fun.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY Halloween Holiday Parties BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:23:52 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1797807 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Easy and Fun Last-Minute Halloween Crafts http://www.blogher.com/easy-halloween-crafts <!--paging_filter--><p>I know people who start their Halloween crafts in September. I applaud their obviously superior organization skills, because that is so not the way things roll for me. The way it works in my house: I look at the calendar, realize Halloween is a few days away, and then I say, "GAH!" So here's a list of crafts for the BlogHers like me out there who need fun Halloween crafts they can whip together quickly. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloweencrafts.jpg" alt="5 Easy Halloween Crafts You Can Make" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>No-Sew Monster Trick-or-Treat Bags </h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmakingtheworldcuter.com%2F2014%2F10%2Ftrick-or-treat-bags%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/monstertreatbags.jpg" alt="No Sew Monster Trick or Treat Bags" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmakingtheworldcuter.com%2F2014%2F10%2Ftrick-or-treat-bags%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Making the World Cuter</a></em></center></p> <p>My first thought when I saw Tiffany's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmakingtheworldcuter.com%2F2014%2F10%2Ftrick-or-treat-bags%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">no-sew monster trick-or-treat bags</a> was that I wanted one. Upon further reflection I've decide that is not true. I want at least three. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Pine Cone Spiders </h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.firefliesandmudpies.com%2F2014%2F10%2F04%2Fpine-cone-spiders-halloween-nature-craft-for-kids%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/pineconespider.jpg" alt="Pine Cone Spiders" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.firefliesandmudpies.com%2F2014%2F10%2F04%2Fpine-cone-spiders-halloween-nature-craft-for-kids%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Fireflies and Mud Pies</a></em></center></p> <p>I love a good pine cone craft. They are usually used to make adorable things. I don't think you can deny Melissa's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.firefliesandmudpies.com%2F2014%2F10%2F04%2Fpine-cone-spiders-halloween-nature-craft-for-kids" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">pine cone spiders</a> are both cute and creepy. It's all about the eyes. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><H2>Halloween Mason Jar Creatures</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyesterdayontuesday.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhalloween-mason-jar-creatures" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Mason-Jar-Creatures.jpg" alt="Mason Jar Creatures" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyesterdayontuesday.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhalloween-mason-jar-creatures" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Yesterday On Tuesday</a></em></center></p> <p>I am one of those people who have oodles of Mason jars around their house. Most of them do get used for canning or storing food but I bring the others into service as needed. I think these <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyesterdayontuesday.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhalloween-mason-jar-creatures%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Mason jar creatures</a> are a need. If you don't want to fill them with candy, colourful art supplies like pom-poms would work.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Glow in the Dark Terror-arium</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-terror-arium%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/terror-arium.jpg" alt="Glow in the Dark Terror-arium" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-terror-arium%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Babble Dabble Do</a></em></center></p> <p>I generally scurry in the opposite direction of terrariums: No matter how foolproof they are, I am confident in my ability to kill whatever lies inside. Ana's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-terror-arium%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glow in the dark terror-arium</a> has very little in it I can kill&mdash;just moss&mdash;and is totally spooky. Admit it, you want one.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Ghost Bird Feeder</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coffeecupsandcrayons.com%2Fghost-bird-feeder-halloween-craft%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/ghostbirdfeeder.jpg" alt="Ghost Bird Feeder " /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coffeecupsandcrayons.com%2Fghost-bird-feeder-halloween-craft%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Coffee Cups and Crayons</a></em></center></p> <p>Milk carton bird feeders are a classic and I love how Megan's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coffeecupsandcrayons.com%2Fghost-bird-feeder-halloween-craft%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">ghost bird feeder</a> looks like it is saying one long, "Boooooooo!" </p> <p><strong>What Halloween crafts are you making this year?</strong></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:05:53 +0000 Karen Ballum 1813198 at http://www.blogher.com How to Make a Haunted Halloween Playhouse for Kids http://www.blogher.com/haunted-halloween-playhouse-kids-how <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p>I love Halloween. I love being that annoying person that goes completely overkill with baking, décor, and parties. I love taking Halloween to the next level, and I love taking my kids along for the ride.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Haunted-House.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>I'm not saying I came up with the original idea of spray-painting an old playhouse to transform it into a spooky house—but I am saying that I added a few new funky spins on this Halloween classic I am pretty smitten with. Oh yeah, and the mini Halloween lovers in my house love it, too.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Playhouse-in-truck.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>First things first: These playhouses can be pricey. If you are going to make one of these seasonal, consider buying it second-hand. I found mine on Craigslist for $60. Needless to say, you will need a truck to pick it up. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Playhouse-before.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>Once you have the playhouse home, decide on a color theme. (Black was an obvious choice for Halloween.) You will need spray paint specific for plastic. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Black-paint-drying.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>Tape off the areas you do not want to paint, and get your Banksy on. After the black paint had dried, I went back in with house paint and did the windows and the door orange. I had white house paint that I added orange craft paint to. <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.epa.gov%2Fiaq%2Fvoc.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Low-VOC paint</a>, of course.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Interior-paint.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>Don't forget the inside of the house! I painted the inside with chalkboard paint.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Boo-spiderweb.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>This paint is super easy to use, and the kids loved adding details to the inside (and outside) of the house.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Playhouse-with-chair.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>I wanted to set the yard up around the house, so I threw in some plastic pumpkins, a small chair, and a throw pillow. The roof and neighboring trees were draped with spiderwebs.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Living-room.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>I had my annual Halloween party this weekend, and at some point I saw almost every child in that house. </p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Finished-side-angle.jpg" alt="DIY Spooky Halloween Playhouse" /></center></p> <p>Needless to say, it was a big hit. I'm already thinking of painting it into a gingerbread house for Christmas!</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY Family Halloween kids playhouse BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:30:15 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1806800 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Easy Ways to Decorate Pumpkins This Fall http://www.blogher.com/decorate-pumpkins-easy <!--paging_filter--><p>I love walking through my neighbourhood and checking out the fall decorations. I will always have a fondness for the traditional Jack-o'-lanterns I see perched on people's front steps, but I've never been a very good pumpkin carver. Luckily, pretty decorated pumpkins are completely within in my reach. I've seen some stunning decorated pumpkins online and what continues to surprise me is how easy they are to make. Here are five easy and pretty ways to decorate pumpkins.</p> <p><h2>No-Mess Sprinkle Pumpkins</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cheekykitchen.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhow-to-decorate-a-pumpkin-without-making-a-mess.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/sprinkle-pumpkins.jpg" alt="No-Mess Sprinkle Pumpkins" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cheekykitchen.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhow-to-decorate-a-pumpkin-without-making-a-mess.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Cheeky Kitchen</a></em></center></p> <p>Brooke's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cheekykitchen.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fhow-to-decorate-a-pumpkin-without-making-a-mess.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">no-mess sprinkle pumpkins</a> are absolutely adorable. Just think of all the silly faces you and your children can make. And when you finish decorating you can eat the leftover sprinkles! </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Gilded Pumpkins</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenwoodhouse.com%2Fblog%2F2014%2F09%2F12%2Fgilded-pumpkins%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/gilded-pumpkins.jpg" alt="Gilded Pumpkins" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenwoodhouse.com%2Fblog%2F2014%2F09%2F12%2Fgilded-pumpkins%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The House of Wood</a></em></center></p> <p>I'm a big fan of shiny things. Jen's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenwoodhouse.com%2Fblog%2F2014%2F09%2F12%2Fgilded-pumpkins%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">gilded pumpkins</a> are definitely shiny and I love them. They also super easy and what's not to about love that?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Fabric Tape Pumpkins</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fupcycledtreasures.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-fabric-tape-pumpkins" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/fabrictapepumpkins.jpg" alt="Fabric Tape Pumpkins" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fupcycledtreasures.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-fabric-tape-pumpkins" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Upcycled Treasures</a></em></center></p> <p>I can't decide if I like Katie's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fupcycledtreasures.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-fabric-tape-pumpkins" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">fabric tape pumpkin</a> or her mason jar pumpkin better. They are both fabulous. Don't have fabric tape? Use washi tape. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Stacked Pumpkin Topiary</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmashedpeasandcarrots.com%2Fboo-tiful-stacked-pumpkin-topiary" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/boo-pumpkin-topiary.jpg" alt="Stacked Pumpkin Topiary" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmashedpeasandcarrots.com%2Fboo-tiful-stacked-pumpkin-topiary" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Smashed Peas and Carrots</a></em></center></p> <p>Maggie uses hollow foam pumpkins for her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmashedpeasandcarrots.com%2Fboo-tiful-stacked-pumpkin-topiary" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">stacked pumpkin topiary</a>. Do you think stacking pumpkins looks tricky? I promise it's really easy.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Washi Tape Pumpkins </h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fwashi-tape-pumpkins-and-halloween.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/washitapepumpkins.jpg" alt="Washi Tape Pumpkins " /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fwashi-tape-pumpkins-and-halloween.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Thrifty and Chic</a></em></center></p> <p>How easy are washi tape pumpkins? Pop on over to Alicia's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thriftyandchic.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fwashi-tape-pumpkins-and-halloween.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">washi tape pumpkins</a> post to really see how easy they are. And to look at her pretty, pretty pictures.</p> <p><strong>Are you decorating pumpkins this year? </strong></p> <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> DIY http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:58:08 +0000 Karen Ballum 1802042 at http://www.blogher.com DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family http://www.blogher.com/diy-budget-conscious-halloween-costumes-inspired-star-wars <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdsc_1178watermarked.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/star_wars_costumes_1.jpg" title="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" alt="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" /></a> </center></p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>When my dad was in town towards the end of September, we participated in a favorite Halloween tradition: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We've gone every year since 2011 (recaps <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2011%2F11%2F09%2Fmickeys-n%2Cot-so-scary%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">here</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2012%2F10%2F10%2Fhoosier-momma-moments-fall-disney-tips%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">here</a>,&nbsp;<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2013%2F10%2F01%2F2013-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">here</a>, and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F09%2F29%2F2014-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">here</a>) and let me tell you, when it comes to our costumes, the struggle has been REAL.</p> <p>Our costumes have always been homemade. The problem with homemade costumes when you're me is this: I have absolutely no sewing skills. Sure, I can re-affix a button to a shirt, but there have been several times my sweet, talented sister Jenny (<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F08%2F31%2Ffree-printables-captain-america-labor-day-party%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">who is a gifted genius at this sewing thing</a>) has attempted to teach me how to use a sewing machine and I've almost killed both of us. Multiple times.</p> <p>One time, I was sewing a blanket through a sewing machine <em>horizontally</em>. I'll never forget the look on Jenny's face when she looked at me and said "That defies all natural laws. The machines are designed so you don't do that."<em> Eesh...</em></p> <p>So I don't sew, but I'm wicked with a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun (and occasionally a roll of duct tape and a stapler) but I digress.</p> <p>When we were thinking of Halloween costumes this year, Justin and I reflected on the incredibly nerdy year we've had thus far (<del>Falling in love with</del> <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F07%2F04%2Fan-independence-day-greeting-from-an-americas-hero%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">meeting Captain America</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F07%2F02%2Fjustins-star-wars-birthday-breakfast%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Breakfast with Boba Fett &amp; Darth</a>, <del>falling in love with</del> <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F08%2F26%2Fvillians-unleashed-at-disneys-hollywood-studios%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">seeing Boba again at Villians Unleashed</a>), and we decided to keep this year's nerdy theme going strong. We were going to be Han and Leia from the Star Wars saga.</p> <p>That left us thinking about little Maisy, and what she would be. Immediately we decided on an Ewok, thus forcing Justin and I to alter our costumes from the traditional "A New Hope" style, to reflect our characters apparel on Endor in <em>Return of the Jedi</em>.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/star_wars_costumes_2.jpg" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Han Solo:</strong></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdsc_1279.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/star_wars_costumes_3.jpg" title="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" alt="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" /></a></center></p> <p>Justin's costume was the easiest. It is almost entirely made from things we bought on clearance at Target. His vest was a XXL short-sleeved button up that was on clearance for 9 dollars. I cut the sleeves off and trimmed it along the bottom so it sat right where Han's vest did. The shirt I bought full price, but thought it was nice enough that he would wear it again. We used a belt, pants, and boots he already owned and made the holster and pant squares out of duct tape.</p> <p>Total Cost: $26</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Ewok:</strong></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdsc_1272.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/star_wars_costumes_4.jpg" title="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" alt="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" /></a></center></p> <p>Maisy's costume took a little finagling, but it turned out so cute. I bought a two-pack of bright orange pillowcases on sale at Target with all the Back-to-College supplies. I cut one into her hood by cutting ear holes for a cheap pair of monkey ears on a headband, I then cut a hole for her face, I made sure this was really rough because Ewoks are pretty rough little guys. The second pillow case I cut into a bandanna for her neck. I glued some Velcro across the sides so it sat bib-style around her neck. Her shirt is another pillow case that came with a sheet set I used for my costume. I purchased a sheet of brown felt for her fuzzy tummy.</p> <p>Total Cost: $19</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>Leia:</strong></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdsc_1276.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/star_wars_costumes_5.jpg" title="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" alt="DIY Budget-Friendly Star Wars Halloween Costumes for the Family" /></a></center></p> <p>And there there was my costume. In hindsight, I would have made the helmet, but we threw these costumes together in an afternoon, so I was fine with not having one. My poncho was made from a large fitted sheet. I took a little extra fabric and made it into an infinity scarf to look like Leia's hood. I used a purchased a sheet set from Target (Back-to-College sale again) that I spray painted with forest green spray paint to look a bit like camouflage. I purchased a large brown belt from Marshalls and made a blaster holster out of brown duct tape. I had a pair of brown riding boots, an old watch of Justin's, and gray skinnies that I wore with a little yellow duct tape down the legs to match Leia's in the movie.</p> <p>Total Cost: $38</p> <p>So there you have it, three costumes under $100, not an easy feat during these crazy Halloween times.</p> <p>Our costumes seemed to be a big hit at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallyjeanblog.com%2F2014%2F09%2F29%2F2014-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">check out our full recap here.</a> Happy Halloween!</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Style DIY DIY Family Costumes family Halloween http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-283189.png Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:11:26 +0000 AllyJeanBlog 1794838 at http://www.blogher.com Halloween Spider Wreath http://www.blogher.com/halloween-spider-wreath-0 <!--paging_filter--><p>Today, I was able to finish up the Halloween spider wreath I'd been working on in between coats of paint in my office. It ended up quite a bit different than how I pictured it when I began (does that ever happen to you?), but I'm pretty happy with the final version.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-rHLrGIsHVzg%2FTn_jmLo_zFI%2FAAAAAAAABu0%2FzDFtmwc8Zkc%2Fs1600%2F033_edited-1.JPG" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Spider-wreath-1.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween spider wreath" /></a></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>The wreath form is a natural straw form that I found at Hobby Lobby. I loved the natural straw, and thought it would be a perfect background for my Halloween wreath idea. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the straw did not get along so well with my sensitive skin! My arms were so red and itchy that I moved on to plan B (okay, I didn't really have a plan B, but I made one pretty quickly): I wrapped the form with some aqua grosgrain ribbon ('cause I didn't have orange or black or purple or any of the Halloween colors, k?). My skin was so thankful for the change that the color didn't matter.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Spider-wreath-2.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween spider wreath" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>I then added a spiderweb constructed from some <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/Red-Heart-Shimmer-Yarn-Black/dp/B003T5PVPC" class="external-link">shimmery black yarn</a>, straight pins, and memories of web-making from grade school. (I think we did ours with nails on a block of wood back then; do you remember doing those?) </p> <p>The "BOO" letters were found in the wood crafts department at Hobby Lobby, and then lovingly adorned with some orange glitter left over from my <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhome---made.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F09%2Ftutorial-glittered-acorns.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glitter Acorns</a>. You can see how to make your own Spidey with my <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhome---made.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F09%2Ftutorial-pom-pom-spider.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Pom Pom Spider tutorial.</a></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-J93bfOb6Hew%2FTn_jbeDESQI%2FAAAAAAAABuw%2Fp2WpTRQGD3k%2Fs1600%2F026_edited-1.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/spider-wreath-3.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween spider wreath" /></a></center></p> <p>I used some scrap fabric for the little rolled flowers... and my new wreath was complete!</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>I love how it matches my door.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-jiQ5Bv7s2kE%2FTn_kKL8YV6I%2FAAAAAAAABu8%2FZBpyX6VtcaY%2Fs1600%2Fboo1.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Spider-wreath-4.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween spider wreath" /></a></center></p> <p>I'm slowly getting the entire front entry ready for fall. The Halloween lights are on the ivy planters, the grapevine pumpkins have been rescued from the attic, and I've added some fall mums just waiting to bloom (I'm hoping they can survive the final hot days of the season). I'll show more pics once it's really ready.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>But back to that wreath, right?</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-t2qA6BTPkp8%2FTn_r_5PkuiI%2FAAAAAAAABvA%2FfairgDphkgY%2Fs1600%2F034.JPG" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Spider-wreath-5.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween spider wreath" /></a></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY Halloween spider wreath Halloween DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-198868.jpg Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:43:47 +0000 good2bhomemade 577429 at http://www.blogher.com DIY Halloween Chalkboard Flower Pots http://www.blogher.com/diy-halloween-chalkboard-flower-pots <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2FDIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/DIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween Chalkboard Pots - Chalkboard Flower Pots" /></a></center></p> <p>I know exactly what you're thinking. You think I've gone completely gaga over chalkboard paint. Well, my friend, you're right on the money! I've done a <a title="Chalkboard Spice Rack" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fdiyorbuy%2Fmagneticspicerack" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">chalkboard spice rack</a>, <a title="Chalkboard Napkin Rings" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fcrafts%2Fchalkboard-napkin-rings" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">chalkboard napkin rings</a>, <a title="Chalkboard Invitation Charms" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fcrafts%2Fmason-jar-invitations-chalkboard-tags" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">chalkboard invitation charms</a>, and now I'm taking my love for all things chalkboard into Halloween decor.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2FDIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots-Chalkboard-Paint.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img title="DIY Halloween Chalkboard Pots - Chalkboard Flower Pots - Chalkboard Paint" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/DIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots-Chalkboard-Paint.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween Chalkboard Pots - Chalkboard Flower Pots - Chalkboard Paint" /></a></center></p> <p>To make chalkboard pots, you only need three items: </p> <ol> <li>flower pot</li> <li><a title="Chalkboard Spray Paint" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DJ1VCS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001DJ1VCS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=newlywpilgri-20" class="external-link">chalkboard spray paint</a> </li> <li><a title="Liquid Chalk Marker" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MARSJM/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002MARSJM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=newlywpilgri-20" class="external-link">liquid chalk marker</a></li> </ol> <p>Spray the pot and let it dry for a few hours. You only need one coat! Use your chalk marker to write a Halloween message. You can freehand it, or use stencils as shown in my <a title="Spring Flower Pot Art" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fkids-crafts%2Fflower-pot-permanent-markers" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">spring flower pot art</a>. Using the liquid chalk marker allows you to place the pot outside.</p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2FDIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Spooky-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/DIY-Halloween-Chalkboard-Pots-Spooky-Chalkboard-Flower-Pots.jpg" alt="DIY Halloween Chalkboard Pots - Spooky Chalkboard Flower Pots" /></a></center></p> <p>When Halloween is over, you can wipe away the chalk with water and a paper towel and write or draw something else. This is the craft that keeps on giving, and trick-or-treaters will surely appreciate your front porch creativity.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2FThe-Newlywed-Pilgrimage.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-4418" src="http://www.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The-Newlywed-Pilgrimage.jpg" alt="The Newlywed Pilgrimage" width="151" height="71" /></a></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY #Gardening chalkboard crafts Halloween Halloween DIY Holiday BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-269963.jpg Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:27:15 +0000 jennpilgrim 1394110 at http://www.blogher.com 8 Blogs With Awesome Halloween Crafts http://www.blogher.com/blogs-awesome-halloween-crafts <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, these DIY and craft blogs are going creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky … <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKEz_1C9U7Y" class="external-link">altogether ooky</a>, in fact. Follow them for inspiration for everything from costumes to parties to a thousand ideas for Halloween pumpkins.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/MFM.jpg" alt="Must-Follow Monday" /></center></p> <p>8 Blogs With Awesome Halloween Crafts</p> <h2>JENNIFER PERKINS</h2> <p><a href="http://www.blogher.com/myprofile/jennifer-perkins">BlogHer's DIY Contributing Editor Jennifer Perkins</a> loves Halloween, and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjenniferperkins.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fmy-top-tips-for-throwing-the-perfect-party%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">always throws killer Halloween parties. Check out her </a><a href="https://www.blogher.com/diy-pumpkin-planters">easy ideas for pumpkin planters on BlogHer</a>, then scroll through all the <a href=" http://jenniferperkins.com/?cat=12">retro-kitschy-cute Halloween ideas</a> on her blog.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/myprofile/jennifer-perkins">Follow Jennifer Perkins on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/iamjenperkins/" class="external-link">Follow Jennifer Perkins on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.perkins.771" class="external-link">Follow Jennifer Perkins on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/jenniferperkins" class="external-link">Follow Jennifer Perkins on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/jenniferperkins" class="external-link">Follow Jennifer Perkins on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>DOUBLE THE FUN PARTIES</h2> <p>If you're throwing a spooky party this year, go to Jennifer Needham's blog for inspiration. Start with her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdoublefunparties.com%2F2014%2F10%2F07%2Fmy-parties-black-and-white-halloween-party-with-rats%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">black-and-white Halloween party</a>, complete with a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdoublefunparties.com%2F2014%2F10%2F13%2Ftutorial-3-d-black-rat-halloween-art%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">3-D black rat tutorial</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdoublefunparties.com%2F2014%2F10%2F08%2Ftutorial-orange-and-black-halloween-fabric-bunting-just-4-steps%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">easy DIY Halloween bunting</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/961691/bhpn">Follow Double the Fun Parties on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/DoubleFunParty/" class="external-link">Follow Double the Fun Parties on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/DoubleTheFunParties" class="external-link">Follow Double the Fun Parties on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/DoubleFunParty" class="external-link">Follow Double the Fun Parties on Twitter</a></li> </ul> <h2>BABBLE DABBLE DO</h2> <p>Ana Dziengel's blog is stuffed with adorable, inventive crafts like <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Flast-minute-halloween-costumes-box-monsters%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">last-minute box monster costumes</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-haunted-mini-mansions%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">haunted mini-mansions</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-giant-kirigami-spider-webs%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">giant kirigami spiderwebs</a>, a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbabbledabbledo.com%2Fhalloween-crafts-terror-arium%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">glow-in-the-dark "terror-arium"</a>, and the amazing <a href="">mutant toys</a> pictured here. So. Cute. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-crafts-Babble-Dabble-Do.jpg" alt="Babble Dabble Do Halloween Mutant Toys" /></center></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/799976/bhpn">Follow Babble Dabble Do on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/babbledabbledo/" class="external-link">Follow Babble Dabble Do on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/babbledabbledo" class="external-link">Follow Babble Dabble Do on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/BabbleDabbleDo" class="external-link">Follow Babble Dabble Do on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/anadziengel" class="external-link">Follow Ana Dziengel on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>MADE</h2> <p>Dana Willard's incredibly gorgeous blog is dang near a library of craft projects. Start by oohing and aahing at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.danamadeit.com%2F2014%2F09%2F8-years-of-halloween-costumes.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">8 years of her handmade kids' costumes</a>, then check out her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.danamadeit.com%2F%3Fs%3DHalloween" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">archive of Halloween ideas</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/798291/bhpn">Follow MADE on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/danawillard/" class="external-link">Follow Dana Willard on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/MADE-page/166896896674287" class="external-link">Follow MADE on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/danawillard" class="external-link">Follow Dana Willard on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkuJY1dJ6SCWxPcAVvdVpPg" class="external-link">Follow on YouTube</a></li> </ul> <h2>CONFESSIONS OF A PLATE ADDICT</h2> <p>Country French meets Halloween at Debbie's blog each fall. Try out rustic and easy crafts like a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fconfessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fpottery-barn-inspired-halloween-crow.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">crow pillow</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fconfessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com%2F2012%2F09%2Feasy-sweater-pumpkins.html%23" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">sweater pumpkins</a>, and a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fconfessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fmy-farmhouse-fall-mantel.html+" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">classic fall mantel</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/799803/bhpn">Follow Confessions of a Plate Addict on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/plateaddict" class="external-link">Follow Confessions of a Plate Addict on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/Confessions.of.a.Plate.Addict" class="external-link">Follow Confessions of a Plate Addict on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/plateaddict" class="external-link">Follow Confessions of a Plate Addict on Twitter</a></li> </ul> <h2>CANARY STREET CRAFTS</h2> <p>Mother-daughter duo Vicki and Amy rounded up a beautiful collection of <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcanarystreetcrafts.com%2F12-spooktacular-halloween-party-ideas%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">12 party ideas</a> (including her own adorable <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcanarystreetcrafts.com%2Fpumpkin-pouch-goodie-bags%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">pumpkin goodie bags</a>), and a no-mess <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcanarystreetcrafts.com%2Fdiy-vinyl-decal-pumpkin%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">DIY vinyl decal pumpkin</a> that's graphic and cool.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/1749048/bhpn">Follow Canary Street Crafts on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/canarystcrafts/" class="external-link">Follow Canary Street Crafts on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/canarystcrafts" class="external-link">Follow Canary Street Crafts on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/CanaryStCrafts" class="external-link">Follow Canary Street Crafts on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/canarystreetcrafts" class="external-link">Follow Canary Street Crafts on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>SIMPLE SIMON &amp; COMPANY</h2> <p>If you seek crafts and décor kids will love, go no further than Liz and Elizabeth's lovely blog for <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.simplesimonandco.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fnightmare-christmas-inspired-halloween-decorations.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><em>Nightmare Before Christmas</em>-inspired Halloween decorations</a>, a list of <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.simplesimonandco.com%2F2014%2F10%2F23-halloween-movies-watch-family.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Halloween movies to watch with the family</a>, and some <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.simplesimonandco.com%2F2014%2F10%2F12-treats-halloween-class-parties.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">easy Halloween class party treats</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/799352/bhpn">Follow Simple Simon and Company on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/simplesimonco/" class="external-link">Follow Simple Simon and Company on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/simplesimonandco" class="external-link">Follow Simple Simon and Company on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQcLEUqIYDtBf1znkhpxVg" class="external-link">Follow Simple Simon and Company on YouTube</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/simplesimonandco" class="external-link">Follow Simple Simon and Company on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <h2>TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS</h2> <p>Kim has just enough time on her hands to come up with really cute Halloween ideas, such as <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftoo-much-time.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fspooky-halloween-chalkboard-art.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">witchy chalkboard art</a>, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftoo-much-time.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fmain-ingredient-monday-20-halloween-paper-crafts.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">20 Halloween papercraft projects</a>, and a "<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftoo-much-time.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fblinged-out-turquoise-faux-pumpkin.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">blinged-out" turquoise pumpkin</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.blogher.com/node/818383/bhpn">Follow Too Much Time on My Hands on BlogHer</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/kimtoomuchtime/" class="external-link">Follow Too Much Time on My Hands on Pinterest</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/TooMuchTimeOnMyHandsBlog?sk=wall" class="external-link">Follow Too Much Time on My Hands on Facebook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://twitter.com/kimtoomuchtime" class="external-link">Follow Too Much Time on My Hands on Twitter</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://instagram.com/kimtoomuchtime" class="external-link">Follow Too Much Time on My Hands on Instagram</a></li> </ul> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Blogging & Social Media Crafts DIY Halloween BlogHer Holidays Must-Follow Mondays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-38434.jpg Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:27:58 +0000 Julie Ross Godar 1795906 at http://www.blogher.com DIY Pumpkin Planters http://www.blogher.com/diy-pumpkin-planters <!--paging_filter--><p>Pumpkins are good for more than just carving and pie. Around my house, they make great planters, too. Plastic or real, tabletop or hanging—almost any pumpkin can easily be converted into a gorgeous seasonal planter.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/DIY.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/hanging-pumpkin-2.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>Recently, I decided I needed some fresh fall hanging baskets for my patio. A bottle of black dye for my jute planters and a funkin (faux pumpkin) was all I needed.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Funkin.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>The nice thing about using foam pumpkins is they won’t rot. All you have to do is remove the top with a craft knife; they are already hollow. Fill them with dirt and plants. As with any hanging basket, make sure your plants get plenty of water, as they will dry out quicker than most.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Succulents.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>Live plants and flowers always had a chic touch to a party or decor. Save yourself the trouble of handcrafting an arrangement and buy one ready-made, like these succulents I found. I planted the arrangement inside of a live pumpkin, so I will have to change pots in a week or so. You could easily do the same thing using a foam pumpkin that will last much longer.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Jack-O-Lantern-flowers.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>Chrysanthemums are a dime a dozen in the fall—even the grocery store has them for sale. There is nothing easier than sticking a cheap pot of mums inside a plastic jack-o-lantern.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Jacks-with-flowers.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>Hit the thrift stores and see if you can find some jacks with different style faces and maybe even some in different sizes.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Centerpiece.jpg" alt="Halloween pumpkin planters" /></center></p> <p>The more pumpkins the merrier, I always say. Same goes for making a fall table arrangement. Use one pumpkin carved hollow as your vase, then surround the bouquet with smaller pumpkins. Throw in a few heirloom pumpkins as well for added dimension.</p> <p>So before you think about carving a snaggletooth grin into that pumpkin you just picked up, ask yourself: Would you rather have a bouquet? Plants in pumpkins are easy, cute, festive and a lot cheaper than a Waterford crystal vase.</p> <p>Check out more Halloween ideas on <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jenniferperkins.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.jenniferperkins.com</a>.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Home & Garden DIY Halloween BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-220319.jpg Mon, 13 Oct 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Perkins 1792996 at http://www.blogher.com Candy Corn Popcorn Bags http://www.blogher.com/candy-corn-popcorn-bags <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn1.jpg" alt="Candy Corn Popcorn Bags" /></center></p> <p>Have you traded your microwave popcorn packs for <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwehaveaars.com%2Fthanks-martha-brown-bag-popcorn%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">brown bag popcorn</a> yet? If not, you should!</p> <p>Martha Stewart turned me on to brown bag popcorn a few years ago. And ever since, it's the only way we make it.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>Just fill one brown paper bag with a quarter cup of kernels, crumple (pretty sure that's the official term) the top to seal the bag and put in the microwave for one minute. You'll have the best-tasting, fluffiest popcorn you've ever tasted.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn.jpg" alt="Candy Corn Popcorn Bags" /></center></p> <p>So simple, and SO much better for you.</p> <p>I decided to add a fun twist to our brown bag tradition, just in time for Halloween…</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><h2>Candy Corn Popcorn Bags!</h2> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn4.jpg" alt="Candy Corn Popcorn Bags" /></center></p> <p>So easy to make they almost don't need a tutorial…</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><strong>You'll need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Tempera paint in yellow, orange, and white.</li> <li>A medium sized paint brush</li> <li>Brown paper bags (as many as you want to make)</li> <li>Popcorn kernels</li> <li>String</li> <li>Gift tags (if desired)</li> </ul> <p>Lie your paper bags side-by-side and paint one color stripe at a time (yellow on bottom, orange in the middle, and white on top). I kept each stripe the width of my paint brush, to make it easier.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn2.jpg" alt="Candy Corn Popcorn Bags" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>Let dry, fill each bag with a quarter cup of kernels, then tie off with the string. And you're done.</p> <p>Aren't they the cutest?</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn5.jpg" alt="Candy Corn Popcorn Bags" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p>Perfect for healthy Halloween treats, party favors, or even gifts for teachers and friends.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/CandyCorn3.jpg" alt" /></center></p> <p>Happy popping!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Alli Aars (You Have Your Blog, We Have Aars)</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wehaveaars.com" title="www.wehaveaars.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.wehaveaars.com</a></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Food Quick and Easy Special Occasion DIY #crafts #halloween #recipe Halloween BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-282853.jpg Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:22:13 +0000 Alli Aars 1791154 at http://www.blogher.com What Do You Want? The Day We (Literally) Bought the Farm http://www.blogher.com/we-wanted-little-space-and-maybe-tractor <!--paging_filter--><p>About this time last year, my husband and I started discussing the future. What did we want out of life? What did we want to do with our time? Did we want to live where we did? Did we want to go somewhere else?</p><!--break--><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3215" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2866-624x467.jpg" alt="IMG_2866" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>I wanted space to garden. My husband wanted enough space to warrant a tractor&mdash;maybe 7-10 acres. We live in farm country now, and we wanted to be near farms wherever we went. We wanted good schools, local businesses, and that certain feel that you know only when you ... well ... feel it. Though wonderful, we weren't sure the town we are in is the town we want to stay in forever.</p><p>The more we discussed, the more we realized a change might be in order. And with my stepson graduating from high school next spring and our toddler not yet in first grade, the time to make a change might be approaching quickly.</p><p>Throughout the spring and the summer we drove around. A lot. We looked at listings online during the week and spent our weekends driving by them, exploring different cities. We needed to stay in the vicinity of my husband's business, but that still opened up a lot of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania as options.</p><p>We searched north and south, near the river and away from it. We saw properties that were immediate nos, some maybes, some if-onlys. We said yes to one that was nearly perfect, but at 17 acres was a bit bigger than we planned on. Then we lost it because of a prior promise. We thought we'd never find anything that good again.</p><p>Then we found something better and significantly bigger in a slightly scary way at 50 acres. We said yes to that, only to have it whisked out from under us by a higher offer while we were awaiting the contract. We stopped looking for a few weeks thinking maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Surely we'd never find anything that good in our price range again.</p><p>Crazy thing ... toward the end of the summer we found a better one in south Jersey. And we got it. It's ours.</p><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3219" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2833-500x375.jpg" alt="IMG_2833" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>It's taken me a while to share this on the blog. Part of the reason is I needed to wait until it was a for-sure, locked-in, couldn't-be-taken-away deal. Part of the reason is I wasn't sure how to tell this story. Sometimes the bigger the impact something has on us, the harder it is to explain to others. Still another part of the reason is that we still have so much to do there, so in a way, there's not much to tell yet.</p><p>We now own 76 acres (did you notice how those numbers keep getting higher?) of former tree nursery without a single building on it. We'll need barns, sheds, tractors, organic compost, clean fill dirt, a house ... nothing major. Just EVERYTHING.</p><p>We are starting from scratch. We are building from nothing. We aren't just building structures, we are building a life. A whole new lifestyle.</p><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3215" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2951-500x375.jpg" alt="IMG_2951" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>On weekends we go visit our farm. Sometimes we bring tromping boots to explore (because with 76 acres, we still haven't seen every nook and cranny yet). Sometimes we bring a pop-up tent and picnic lunch. Sometimes we simply drive around on it with jaws dropped.</p><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3218" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2884-500x375.jpg" alt="IMG_2884" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>This land is so beautiful. A lot of it is open fields, some of it is wooded, but all of it is magical. It's tranquil.</p><p>From our current home an hour away, we get caught up in the stress of what we need to do to our home before we can sell it and planning our future home and worrying that the ground might freeze before we can get the foundation poured. There are decisions to be made, phone numbers to be called, questions to answer, permits, loans, an endless list of to-dos ... .</p><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3216" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2958-500x375.jpg" alt="IMG_2958" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>But when we get to the farm, I feel peace. Everything it will take to get there doesn't seem so bad when compared to the ultimate reward of being there.</p><p>There is a lot of big, hard work ahead of us. We will have to learn a lot. Luckily, so far all of the people we've met down there have been friendly and helpful. I feel supported in this new adventure already.</p><p>Who knows whether we will succeed or fail, (hopefully the former), or if we will be able to see even half our ideas to fruition. One thing is certain: We will be able to say we went for it.</p><!--pagebreak--><p><center><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-3214" src="http://www.livewonderstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_3079-500x375.jpg" alt="IMG_3079" width="500" height="375" /></center></p><p>P.S. That is not our tractor. While we work on building our house, we are renting the land to a local farmer.</p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden Finding Balance DIY Work/Life #athome #farming #moving http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-12015.jpg Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:36:52 +0000 smhutchins 1786787 at http://www.blogher.com 7 Super Habits to Change Your Life http://www.blogher.com/52-weeks-chaos-week-1-7-super-habits <!--paging_filter--><p>This week we're going to talk about 7 Super Habits that are going to change your life. I know because they've already made a huge difference in mine.</p><!--break--><div align="center">&nbsp;</div><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Feepurl.com%2F17Zy9" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class=" wp-image-181 aligncenter" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/52-weeks-button.jpg?w=300" alt="52 weeks button" width="439" height="439" /></a></p><p>Welcome to Week One of <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.com%2Fplan%2Fc-h-a-o-s%2F" title="52 Weeks of C.H.a.O.S." class="external-link elf-add-back-link">52 Weeks of C.H.a.O.S</a>! </p><p>If you’re new to C.H.a.O.S., make sure to read <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F08%2F30%2F52-weeks-of-c-h-a-o-s-an-introduction%2F" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">last week's post</a>&nbsp;for an explanation. The short version is that it stands for "Complete Home Overhaul System." This is a program for the extremely right-brained. Like me! We're going to whip our homes (and our lives) into shape over the next year. And we're going to do it our way. Click the button above to get an email reminder of next week's post and your copy of the free 23-page C.H.a.O.S. Binder Quick Start Guide.</p><center><h2>The 7 Super Habits</h2></center><p>For those of us who were born disorganized and right-brained, long lists of things that we're supposed to do can leave us looking like a deer in headlights.</p><p>Once we recover, the guilt sets in. Other people can have clean houses and have color-coordinated children and a balanced checkbook, all at the same time. They never, ever get that horrible, sinking feeling that comes when you remember what you forgot just as you're falling asleep. There must be something wrong with me. Right? It sure feels that way sometimes. I mean, am I the only one who loves the creative aspect of setting up these complicated systems, but then completely loses interest in actually implementing them?</p><p>Here’s the thing. If I need your system to help me get myself together enough to keep my house clean and decluttered, I'm really not likely to be the type of person to manage a complicated system for doing that.</p><p>I just happen to be a very, very right-brained girl. Trying to follow a plan designed by and for people who were born organized will never work for me. I need to come at this stuff from a different direction. Each day for the next week, we’re going to add a habit. By the end of the week, we’ll be doing all seven of them&mdash;five every day and two once a week. I promise that these are so easy and will have such a positive effect on your life. It will be easier to keep doing them than to quit.</p><p>The first three habits are tricky little household tasks that give you way more bang than their buck calls for. The second three are about starting to get control of time management. The last is more like a head-start than a habit.</p><p>I made you a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2F7-habit-jumpstart1.pdf" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Jump Start Guide </a>you can print out to help you remember the habits this week.</p><p>Okay&mdash;here we go!</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F09%2F7-super-habits1.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone wp-image-560" src="http://goingreno.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/7-super-habits1-1001x1024.jpg" alt="These 7 Super Habits are so simple, but they'll make a huge difference in your life. They only take about 15 minutes, twice a day! " width="500" height="511" /></a></p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit One: Shine Your Sink</strong></h2></center> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Kitchen_Sink.gif" alt="kitchen sink" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/zionfiction/9148168704" class="external-link">r. nial bradshaw via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>This habit comes to you via Pam Young and Peggy Jones, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/Sidetracked-Home-Executives-TM-Paradise/dp/0446677671/ref=pd_sim_b_7?ie=UTF8&amp;refRID=1X68FJ3PH1T8C2EYMQ1P" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link">the Sidetracked Sisters</a> and from their predecessor, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flylady.net%2F" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Fly Lady</a>. It's simple. Just make sure your dishes are done before you go to bed. Dry the sink (I usually use the damp towel to wipe the counters down. Easy peasy.) Declare your kitchen closed for the night.</p><p>There is something psychologically blah about waking up to yesterday's mess. Obviously, if you're thinking about a home overhaul, you probably aren't one of those born-organized folks and you might have yesterday's (and the last decade's) mess all over the place, but if your sink is empty and clean it <em>feels</em> like a fresh start every day. I unload the dishwasher while Ruby's eating breakfast. Or I delegate that chore to one of my kids.</p><p>Just a note of warning. I’ve linked to the Fly Lady site and included a post to read about shining your sink in the action plan below, but don't let yourself get overwhelmed. If you sign up there, you're going to get dozens of reminder emails a day, and if you're anything like me, that's just way too much pressure.</p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit Two: Do a Load of Laundry</strong></h2></center> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Clothes_Pins2.jpg" alt="clothespins" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/free-stock/6827885614" class="external-link">Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>Start a load of laundry before you go to bed. Put it in the dryer in the morning, then fold it and put it away. Done.</p><p>Here's my secret to this habit. <em>You’re the laundry manager, not the laundry machine.</em> You only need to make sure that a load of laundry gets washed, dried, and put away every day. You don't have to do it yourself. Delegate it if you can. If all of your kids are small this might all fall on you for now, but switching the laundry to the dryer in the morning is a great chore for older kids. In fact, if you have any kids who are older than say nine or ten, you can assign each of them a day to start their own load of laundry at night, put it in the dryer in the morning, and put it away after school. That totally counts, and you didn't even have to do anything! Teaching your big kids do their own laundry means that even if you have a large family, you never have to manage more than one load a day.</p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit Three: Keep your Entry Neat</strong></h2></center> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Mud_Room.gif" alt="mudroom" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tbwb/7578737828" class="external-link">Unskinny Boppy via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>This is the last tricky habit. If your house is anything like my house, the entry is the place where shoes, backpacks, mail, and just about everything else gets dumped by everyone on their way in. If you keep this area of your house picked up, not only will people knocking on your door believe your house is clean, you'll get a boost out of it, too. Just take a minute when you're locking up at night and put away anything that needs putting away. If you do this every day, it shouldn't ever take you more than a few minutes. If someone has left more than a few minutes worth of mess, it's time for a family meeting!</p><p>In fact, I bet keeping your entry neat is going to make you very aware of just who is dumping all of their stuff and leaving it there, right inside the front door. Sometimes when the whole house is in need of a major overhaul, it's hard to narrow it down to one thing (like put your backpack on a hook, dude, not on the floor.) Focusing in on just one small area helps.</p><!--pagebreak--><strong>A Note About the First Three Habits:</strong><p>These first three super habits basically break down to about 15 minutes before you go to bed at night (load your dishwasher, start a load of laundry or make sure someone else does, and straighten up your entryway) and 15 minutes in the morning (unload the dishwasher, make sure that load of laundry is dried and put away.) Maybe even 10 minutes. That takes care of three things that can really build up on you during the week &mdash;dishes, laundry, and the place where everyone dumps everything when they come in the front door. Nice, right?</p><center><h2><strong>Habit Four: Dump Your Brain</strong></h2></center><p>No, really. Dumping your brain is a great way to make sure all that head clutter doesn't stop up the works. I have two brain dumps. One is a 4"X6" yellow legal pad from the Dollar Tree for my desk. The other is a hipster PDA for my purse.</p><center><h3>BRAIN DUMP #1</h3></center><p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fbrain-dump-2.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone wp-image-542" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/brain-dump-2.jpg" alt="brain dump 2" width="361" height="361" /></a></center></p><p>I keep a the yellow pad above on my desk. I write down whatever thoughts, ideas, lists, plans, reminders, come to mind. If it's in my head, it goes on my pad. Any notes I need to take during a telephone call go in this pad. When the grocery ads come in Tuesday's mail, I write the loss leaders on a page in my brain dump. If I come across something online that I want to research, in it goes. I also keep a running page for any spending I do from my desk. I actually have a notebook dedicated to story ideas, because it's important to me not to have them all in one place, but otherwise everything else goes in this notebook until I can deal with it. I like it because the pages are big enough for me to hole punch and add to my binder if I want or need to.</p><center><h3>BRAIN DUMP #2</h3></center><p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fhipster-pda-1.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-543" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/hipster-pda-1.jpg" alt="hipster pda 1" width="640" height="359" /></a>&nbsp;<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fhipster-pda-2.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-544" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/hipster-pda-2.jpg" alt="Hipster pda 2" width="640" height="359" /></a></center></p><p>I've struggled with how to manage a brain dump away from my desk. I tried a little notebook, but it went completely ignored because it was never where I needed it, when I needed it. Finally, I remembered reading a few years ago about the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.43folders.com%2F2004%2F09%2F03%2Fintroducing-the-hipster-pda" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">hipster PDA (HPDA)</a> &mdash;just a bunch of index cards and a binder clip. Perfect! I think, anyway. I'm just starting to use it. I'll update you about it in a few weeks when I have a better idea of how and whether it's going to work. My HPDA has: A brain dump card on top, then a shopping list card for things that I want to keep an eye out for while I'm out and about, 8 or 10 blank cards, a little stapled holder for restaurant coupons (what good are those going to do me on my desk? None! I always end up paying full price), and a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pocketmod.com%2F" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">PocketMod</a> for keeping track of spending (which nearly always happens outside the house.) I keep the PocketMod folded so that today's date is on the outside. That way I can write on the brain dump card or write down a purchase without shuffling.</p><p>My PocketMod, for what it's worth, is a weekly thing. I use the "This Week" page as the front page on the template, then the "Checkbook" template for the other seven pages. I don't really use the weekly calendar, except to date the spending tracker.</p><p>I keep my HDPA in my wallet. It's worked perfectly so far. Especially for writing down spending, which has been difficult for me, since I see it when I pay for something. I've seen people trick out their HPDAs to the point that they look like works of rainbow-color-coordinated, inventive-template-heaven pieces of art. I'm not kidding &mdash;there are sundials and star charts and miniature Battleship boards. Don't let yourself get caught up in the fun of setting up something like that and wind up with something that you will never use.</p><p>All you really need are a few index cards and a binder clip.</p><center><h3>HOW TO BRAIN DUMP</h3></center><p>Pick the system that you think will work for you. Experiment. You want something that you barely have to think about &mdash;you just automatically grab your brain dump whenever you have something to dump. It's okay if it takes some getting used to and some time to find what works for you. Remember, you're looking for something that's so effortless, it's more work for you not to use it. Next week we'll talk about what to do with the information you dumped out of your brain. For now, just revel in having it out of your head!</p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit Five: Use a Ta-Da Book</strong></h2></center><p>A ta-da book is really just a to-do list, in book form, with a funny name that makes my 9-year-old laugh. Plus, there really is magic in writing your to-do list down. Ta-da! Things get done.</p><p>Get a little notebook. I like the kind you can buy two for a buck at Staples. Use one page per day to keep a to-do list. I start mine at night when I look at my calendar for the next day, and finish it in the morning.</p><p>I keep my ta-da book on my desk. If I have something that needs to come with me (for instance, directions to an appointment or a complicated list of things to do outside the house on a certain day), I write that on an index card and put it in my HPDA. My suggestion, though, is not to get too uptight about your to-do list. Don't beat yourself up if something doesn't get done. It can be transferred to tomorrow's list.</p><p>Here's the inside of my ta-da book. As you can see, I just put the date and the day on the top line and start listing in no particular order. I list my writing goals, any calls I need to make, my blog post for the day, any housework I want to make sure to do, appointments, Ruby's soccer practice and games, errands to run, anywhere I need to be that day. I don't write down things that are automatic (take a shower, get dressed, brush my teeth, drive Ruby to school, etc.)</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.com%2F2014%2F09%2F16%2Fthe-three-bs-binder-brain-dump-bullet-journal%2F" title="The Three Bs: Binder, Brain Dump, Bullet Journal" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">You can read more about my Three Bs (binder, bullet journal, and brain dump) here.</a></p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fto-do-book.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone wp-image-200" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/to-do-book.jpg" alt="to do book" width="390" height="390" /></a></p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit Six: Make a Menu Plan</strong></h2></center><p>I'm going to give you one printable today. It's an easy <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fmenu-planner.pdf" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">weekly menu plan</a>. Just write in what you plan on cooking (or if you have other plans for dinner) each day. We'll talk more about meal planning another week. For now, just print out the printable (double-sided if you can. Otherwise, only print the first page.) Since you don't have a binder yet, you can do what my grandma always did. Clip it to a clipboard, stick a push pin into the inside of a cupboard door, and hang it up. Voila.</p><Center><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fmenu-planner.pdf" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/menu-planner1.jpg" alt="menu planner" width="640" height="649" /></a></p></center><p>You can <del>probably </del>definitely find prettier printables out there. Here's the thing, though. I don't like to waste ink (especially color ink) , so you won't find pictures or shaded boxes or coordinated colors here. Remember, our goal is SIMPLE. And also cheap. Mine are so simple that you could just whip one up with a pen and paper.</p><p>Here's one of mine filled out. The note reminds me to get out my second slow cooker for Friday night. The star on the meal means that I'll be taking pictures to share with you guys. Here's a tip for you that I actually learned with this particular meal plan. Write in the meals with pencil, or you will very likely wind up having to start fresh when you have so many cross outs and arrows that you don't know what you're supposed to cook.</p><p>If making a menu plan is something that eludes you, don't worry. I'm still getting used to it, too. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl! You can check out <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tkqlhce.com%2Fclick-7646170-11202613" target="_top" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">eMeals</a><img style="display: none !important;" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-7646170-11202613" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> and sign up for a free two-week trial. They'll send you a meal plan once a week, complete with shopping list, that's coordinated to the sales at your local grocery store. I saved the $20 I spent on a three-month plan in the first week.</p><p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fmenu-planner.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone wp-image-203" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/menu-planner.jpg?w=576" alt="menu planner" width="454" height="807" /></a></center></p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2><strong>Habit Seven: Get 25 Things Out of Your House</strong></h2></center> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Good_Will.gif" alt="Goodwill center" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcarole/4920200525" class="external-link">Jennifer Carole via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>You know all those grocery bags you have clogging up a corner of your hall closet/pantry/junk drawer? Grab a couple and pick a place in your house that needs some serious decluttering. Find 25 things that you can get out of there. I'm not talking about things to put away or regular old garbage to throw away. I mean THINGS. Put them in the grocery bags, put the grocery bags in your trunk. Drop them off next time you're near a thrift store. Find 25 things in one day, or maybe six things a day every day &mdash;that's 28 things. Bonus! If your entryway is cluttered, maybe start there. I'm going to start in my hall closet, which is in that area of my house.</p><p>My advice is not to get over confident and decide you're going to do 25 things every day. You don't want to burn out. Good places to start are junk drawers, hall closets, anyone's clothes, books, kitchen cupboards. You get the idea.</p><!--pagebreak--><center><h2>Day-by-Day breakdown</h2></center><p><strong>MONDAY</strong>: Shine your sink before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>TUESDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>WEDNESDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry AND pick up your entryway before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>THURSDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Dry last night's laundry and put it away. Throughout the day, dump your brain into a little notebook. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry AND pick up your entryway before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>FRIDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Dry last night's laundry and put it away. Write your to-do list in your to-do book. Throughout the day, dump your brain into a little notebook. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry AND pick up your entryway before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>SATURDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Dry last night's laundry and put it away. Write your to-do list in your to-do book. Throughout the day, dump your brain into a little notebook. Make a menu for next week. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry AND pick up your entryway before you go to bed.</p><p><strong>SUNDAY</strong>: Unload the dishwasher. Dry last night's laundry and put it away. Write your to-do list in your to-do book. Throughout the day, dump your brain into a little notebook. Find 25 things to get out of your house. Shine your sink AND start a load of laundry AND pick up your entryway before you go to bed.</p><p>Pay special attention to Friday's list. That's pretty much what you'll be doing every day. You only need to get rid of 25 things and make a menu once a week. There's a Jump Start Guide in the Action Plan below that might help you.</p><h2>That’s it!</h2><p>Don't beat yourself up if it takes more than a week for all of these to become real habits for you. Do the best you can, and just keep going. I'd love to know how this week goes for you if you want to send me a note at <a href="mailto:shauntagrimes@gmail.com" class="mailto-link">shauntagrimes@gmail.com</a>!</p><h2>Action Plan</h2><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fweek-one-action-plan.pdf" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Click here</a>&nbsp;for a printable action plan.</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftumblr.us4.list-manage.com%2Fsubscribe%3Fu%3D34dc5132814738edbc8d54294%26amp%3Bid%3D0bacac65ea" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sign up&nbsp;</a>to get a notice of next week’s C.H.a.O.S. post in your email. (And your free C.H.a.O.S. Binder Quick Start Guide.)</p><h3><strong>GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES FOR THIS WEEK:</strong></h3><p>Two little notebooks. I like the kind you can get two for a buck at Staples. Little spiral-bound notebooks work well, too. (Or one notebook and some index cards and a binder clip if you want to try the HPDA.)</p><p>A clipboard for your menu plan. You can keep your jump start guide on it as well. You can&nbsp;<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.classroomdiy.com%2F2012%2F06%2Fdiy-mini-clipboards.html" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">make a cute one yourself&nbsp;</a>with cardboard and a binder clip if you don’t own one already.</p><h3><strong>7 SUPER HABITS:</strong></h3><p>Print out the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2F7-habit-jumpstart1.pdf" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">7 Super Habits &nbsp;Jump Start Guide</a>.</p><p>Start implimenting the 7 Super Habits.</p><h3><strong>BRAIN DUMP:</strong></h3><p>Put a pad of paper on your desk and use it to write down all the thoughts, ideas, notes, and plans that come to mind during the day.</p><p>Get a notebook or put together a Hipster PDA to use as a brain dump for your purse.</p><h3><strong>MEAL PLAN:</strong></h3><p>Print out your menu planning worksheet. Remember, only print both pages if you can print double sided. If your printer only does single sided, only print the first page. You might want to print up four or five to get you through the next month.</p><!--pagebreak--><p>Put your filled out meal plan on a clipboard and hang it somewhere easily accessible, like inside a cupboard in your kitchen.</p><p>Use the code SCHOOL to get a 20 percent off discount on&nbsp;<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tkqlhce.com%2Fclick-7646170-11202613" target="_top" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">eMeals</a><img style="display: none !important;" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-7646170-11202613" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" />.</p><h3><strong>GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES FOR NEXT WEEK. YOU’RE GOING TO NEED:</strong></h3><p>For next week, you’ll need a 1 inch three-ring binder, a set of 8 dividers, a three-hole punch, and notebook paper.</p><h3><strong>READ:</strong></h3><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flylady.net%2Fd%2Fgetting-started%2Fflying-lessons%2Fshine-sink%2F" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Fly Lady’s post about shining your sink</a>.</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.43folders.com%2F2004%2F09%2F03%2Fintroducing-the-hipster-pda" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Introducing the Hipster PDA.</a></p><p>See you next week! We’re going to start building our binders.</p><p>* * *</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgoingreno.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fquick-start-button.jpg" rel="external nofollow" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-982" src="http://goingreno.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/quick-start-button.jpg?w=300" alt="Subscribe to Going Reno to get your free 23-page C.H.a.O.S. Binder Quick Start Guide" width="300" height="300" /></a></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> SAHMs Working Moms Home & Garden Food Finding Balance DIY Work/Life Family http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-391739.jpg Wed, 08 Oct 2014 21:21:07 +0000 Going Reno 1786046 at http://www.blogher.com How to Throw a Spooky Halloween Party http://www.blogher.com/how-throw-spooky-halloween-party <!--paging_filter--><p>When it comes to Halloween, atmosphere is key grounds for spooking. It's the one holiday where a very hostile, uncomfortable and creepy environment is encouraged. Set up your own haunted house with the following to make this year's Halloween party all the scare.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-Party.jpg" alt="How to Throw a Spooky Halloween Party" /></center></p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><br /> <h2>DECORATE FOR THE DEAD</h2> <p></p></center></p> <ul> <li>Illuminate rooms with black lights and strobe lights. Then, mask the entire room in fake spider webs to create an extra-freaky factor.</li> <li>Invest in a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.partycity.com%2Fcategory%2Fhalloween%2Bcostumes%2Fdecorations%2Bparty%2Bsupplies%2Ffog%2Bmachines.do" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">fog machine</a> to compliment the glow lighting you have going. Party attendees will feel like they're walking through a dark, scary forest in the middle of nowhere.</li> </ul> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-Party-fog-machine.jpg" alt="spooky fog machine" /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/22032337@N02/8348405188" class="external-link">Steve Garner via Flickr Creative Commons</a></em></center></p> <ul> <li>Give a good first impression by placing <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fkylyssa.hubpages.com%2Fhub%2Fdo-it-yourself-bloody-handprint-window-clings" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">DIY bloody handprint window clings</a> on the windows near the entrance. This mixture of glue and red dye is cheap and easy to create—and the payoff is highly rewarding when you see faces go white in terror as guests enter.</li> </ul> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-Party-Handprints.jpg" alt="handprint cling" /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemaegan/5128695265/in/photolist-nyJm81-8PcUqr-5ytTH1-5wjELF-3KyzAb-rcNwq-3YsakL" class="external-link">Maegan Tintari via Flickr Creative Commons</a></em></center></p> <ul> <li>The walking dead isn't just for TV. Have family members dress up as "dead" people, and have them hide their hands inside sleeves to authenticate the whole bloody handprint thing. They can walk around the party basically mute but sporadically putting on outbursts of screams or crying to really drill home that scary movie type of vibe.</li> </ul> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><br /> <h2>TRICK WITH TREATS</h2> <p></p></center></p> <ul> <li>Grab a cider on the rocks with a twist, brewed in a cauldron. Mix warm apple cider with Captain Morgan rum in a punch bowl and place inside a caldron that's lined with dry ice on the bottom. The combo of UV lights work perfectly to outline the smoke coming up from the pot.</li> </ul> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-Party-Cauldron.jpg" alt="cauldron cider" /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shutterstock.com%2Fpic-5410975%2Fstock-photo-spooky-cauldron-with-spiders-and-bats.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Spooky Cauldron, Shutterstock</a></em></center></p> <li>Torment already-spooked guests further by serving Jiggler Hands. This Halloween treat from <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kraftrecipes.com%2Frecipes%2Fholidays-and-entertaining%2Fholidays%2Fhalloween%2Fhalloween-treats.aspx" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Kraft</a> is all too easy – just mix three parts grape flavor to one part orange-flavor Jell-O mix with boiling water, let gelatinize in the fridge and cut into the shape of hands. J-E-L-L-O… it's alive!</li> <li>Putting a face to your food gets a whole new meaning with the slithering snakebite calzone. Roll up shredded mozzarella and ricotta cheese in a pepperoni-lined rectangular dough. Brush the S-shaped critter with some egg white tinted with yellow and green food coloring, poke in olives for the eyes, and attach a pepperoni tongue. Once it's baked, serve the snake with some pizza sauce. It's a surefire crowd pleaser—so good it'll give you goose bumps.</li> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p><center><br /> <h2>SOUNDS TO SPOOK</h2> <p></p></center></p> <ul> <li>Build a frightening ambience by hooking <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2F8tracks.com%2Fexplore%2Fhalloween_music" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">8tracks.com</a> up with your sound system for free Halloween-themed music. Play the “Blood and Bones” playlist to really drive that eerie, deserted feeling home.</li> <li>In your haunted house getup, designate a room with a human scarecrow. Arm the straw man with a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.perpetualkid.com%2Fhorror-sound-machine.aspx" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Horror Sound Machine</a> and have him press the sound effect buttons for blood-curdling shrieks. It's a great way to remind those who dare to enter that they are not alone in the room. And not in a comforting way.</li> </ul> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Halloween-Party-Horror-Sound.jpg" alt="Horror Sound Machine" </center /></center></p> <p>Are you ready to send chills down spines? With these suggestions, you'll have one, very spooky Halloween party and a wicked good time.</p> <p>---</p> <p>Jessica Oaks</p> <p>@TechyJessy</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> DIY Halloween BlogHer Holidays http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-373097.jpg Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:49:10 +0000 JOaks 1789104 at http://www.blogher.com Hiring a Handyman: How to Get the Job Done Right the First Time http://www.blogher.com/hiring-handyman-how-get-job-done-right-first-time <!--paging_filter--><p>Your patience and ingenuity with that funky self-assembly bookcase was, by all accounts, astonishing. People were talking about it for days afterward, and the bookcase in question is still standing.</p><!--break--><p>But now you have another major project — one that doesn’t come flat-packed and requires tools you didn’t even know existed. You need a handyman … or handyperson.</p> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Handy_Man.gif" alt="handyman truck with flat tire" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_b/3390262128" class="external-link">Derek Bridges via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>Unfortunately, hiring a handyman to attack your walls with a power drill is pretty risky. You don’t want to spend half your life trying to explain why the door should open the <em>other</em> way or invest a small fortune correcting the mistake.</p><p>To avoid a long and painful relationship with a second-rate handyman, use this guide to help you find the perfect person for the job.</p><p><strong>Step 1: The Search</strong></p><p>Finding a handyman isn’t as simple as flipping through the phone book and calling the first person listed. You’re inviting someone into your home and asking him or her to make major repairs, so you need someone you can trust. Here are a few helpful resources:</p><ul><li><strong>Friends and family.</strong> The best way to ensure you’re getting a reliable handyman is to follow the recommendations of people you trust. Get in touch with friends or family members who have recently had work done, and ask whom they hired and what their experience was like.</li><li><strong>Bulletin boards.</strong> Notice boards outside churches, the local chamber of commerce, and other public places can be great sources for finding professional handymen in your community. Once you find a few good candidates, ask around to find out who does the best work. &nbsp;</li><li><strong>Online tools. </strong>Websites such as <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.angieslist.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Angie’s List</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homeadvisor.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">HomeAdvisor</a> are perfect for harnessing the wisdom of the crowd to find quality handymen. Along with a list of contractors and contact information, you can investigate references from previous customers and browse reviews of their skills.</li></ul><p><strong>Step 2: The Hire</strong></p><p>Doing business with someone new can be intimidating — especially if you’ve never worked with a handyman before. Here are a few pointers to ensure you get a fair deal:</p><ul><li><strong>Have a predetermined budget.</strong> Set a budget for the work, and be firm with yourself about not overspending. This will narrow your search to the most affordable options for your task.</li><li><strong>Explain specifics.</strong> It’s your responsibility to create a thorough brief for your project and let the potential contractors know exactly what they would be dealing with if hired.</li><li><strong>Get multiple quotes.</strong> Interview several contractors with the specific skill set you need, and check out their previous projects. One contractor may be a little cheaper, but if another has a passion for your type of project, he’ll be less likely to leave it half done.</li><li><strong>Get itemized quotes.</strong> If possible, request quotes that are itemized according to each task you need the contractor to perform. If you are buying the products that need to be installed, you should know their hourly or daily rates to make sure the cost of the work won’t exceed your budget.</li><li><strong>Check for insurance and licensing.</strong> Keep in mind that there are some projects your average handyman may not be able to perform (such as rewiring your home). Specialized trades require a license, and each state has specific requirements. If you’re hiring a regular handyman, make sure the person you hire has contractors insurance. Otherwise, you could be held responsible for any injuries he sustains.</li></ul><p><strong>Step 3: The Job</strong></p><p>Once you find the perfect person for the job, you aren’t done yet. You still need to get your ducks in a row to ensure the project meets your expectations.</p><ul><li><strong>Get a contract.</strong> To protect yourself (and your property) from mistakes and set expectations with your contractor, draw up a contract detailing every aspect of the project if the contractor doesn’t provide one. Include conditions for if things go wrong so you don’t get any nasty surprises. For example, incorporate a provision that requests permission before the contractor does any work above the scope of the contract or for any unforeseen situations.</li><li><strong>Set up a review date.</strong> By setting a date to review the project about three to six months after completion, the handyman is more likely to treat the work with care. If he seems uninterested in setting up a review, he might not be the quality craftsman you’re looking for.</li><li><strong>Document and photograph.</strong> You might feel a little bit like a detective photographing the scene, but taking some photos before, during, and after the project is done will offer some protection against unreliable handymen. Plus, it’ll reveal the contractor’s skill level and serve as a record of your project experience.</li></ul><p>Hiring a handyman can be a bit overwhelming, but there are plenty of committed and reliable ones out there who do great work. To find those true craftsmen, you should hire carefully and set very clear expectations. That way, when the work is complete, you’ll be able to show off your home with pride.</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/edodson" class="external-link"><em>Elizabeth Dodson</em></a><em> is the co-founder of&nbsp;</em><em>HomeZada</em><em>, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, property information, and property value.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden Money DIY Work/Life #homeimprovement advice home http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-385233.jpg Tue, 07 Oct 2014 20:01:21 +0000 elizabethdodson 1780551 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Fall Wreaths and a Banner You Can Make. It's Easy! http://www.blogher.com/fall-wreaths-you-can-make <!--paging_filter--><!--break--> <p>Now that it's October I can no longer ignore that fall is here. The leaves have turned shades of red, orange, and yellow. We'll soon be raking. It's time for trips to apple orchards and picking pumpkins. It's time to put up our fall wreath.</p> <p>Not all that many years ago, I pretty much ignored seasonal wreaths. I knew they existed but since I didn't really have anywhere to display them inside or outside my previous homes, I didn't give them much thought. When we moved into our house we found ourselves marking the change of the seasons by the decorations on our front porch and, when I actually get my act together, our fireplace mantle. Those decorations center around the seasonal wreath. It sets the tone and color scheme.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/fallwreathscollage.jpg" alt="Fall Wreaths and Banners You Can Make. It's Easy!" /></center></p> <p>It's easy to buy a wreath, but they are actually one of the easier decorations to make. I found five fall wreaths and a banner I would love to make and that can be made even by people, like me, who are not so very crafty. Some are best for inside while others will fare just fine hanging on your front door. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Paper Feather Fall Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fpaper-feather-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/paperfeatherwreath.jpg" alt="Paper Feather FallWreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fpaper-feather-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Craftberry Bush</a></em></center></p> <p>I loved the sneak peak of Lucy's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fpaper-feather-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">paper feather fall wreath</a> and was thrilled when she post a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craftberrybush.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fpaper-feather-wreath-tutorial.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">full tutorial</a>. She used a printed card stock to make her feathers, but I have some falling-apart books that are in such bad condition they can't be donated. They'd be perfect for this project.</p> <!--pagebreak--> Fall Wreaths <p><h2>Paper and Glitter Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twelveoeightblog.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fpaper-glitter-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/glitterfallwreath.jpg" alt="Paper Feather Fall Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twelveoeightblog.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fpaper-glitter-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Twelve O Eight</a></em></center></p> <p>I know there's a whole legion of people out in the world who cannot stand glitter. I unabashedly love it. Tanya's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twelveoeightblog.com%2F2014%2F08%2Fpaper-glitter-fall-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">paper and glitter fall wreath</a> is really easy to make and if you don't want to use glitter you will still end up with a very pretty wreath. But use the glitter. We all need a little sparkle in our lives.</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Scrapbook Paper Fall Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Facultivatednest.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fscrapbook-paper-fall-wreath-moving-update" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/scrapbookpaperwreath.jpg" alt="Scrapbook Paper Fall Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Facultivatednest.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fscrapbook-paper-fall-wreath-moving-update" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">A Cultivated Nest</a></em></center></p> <p>I, like crafters, tend to have a lot of bits and bobs lying around, and tons of paper leftover from previous projects. If you do, Manuela's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Facultivatednest.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fscrapbook-paper-fall-wreath-moving-update" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">scrapbook paper fall wreath</a> will be easy for you to make. You don't need a lot of anything, it just all needs to coordinate. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Easy Acorn Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thelittlefarmdiary.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-easy-fall-acorn-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/acornwreath.jpg" alt="Easy Acorn Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thelittlefarmdiary.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-easy-fall-acorn-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Little Farm Diary</a></em></center></p> <p>You know those acorns that keep falling from trees, hitting your house, and making you grumble? Gather up a bunch to make Amy's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thelittlefarmdiary.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fdiy-easy-fall-acorn-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">easy acorn wreath</a>. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Hello Fall Sign and Wreath</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sisterswhat.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fhello-fall-sign-and-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/hellofallwreath.jpg" alt="Hello Fall Sign and Wreath" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sisterswhat.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fhello-fall-sign-and-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sisters, What!</a></em></center></p> <p>Havalah's also used supplies she had around her house to make her <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sisterswhat.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fhello-fall-sign-and-wreath.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">fall sign and wreath</a>. It's easy to make and will look like you spent way more time making it than you actually did. </p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><h2>Fall Banner</h2></p> <p><center><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.andersonandgrant.com%2F2014%2F09%2Ffall-banner.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link"><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/fallbanner.jpg" alt="Fall Banner" /></a><br /><em>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.andersonandgrant.com%2F2014%2F09%2Ffall-banner.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Anderson + Grant</a></em></center></p> <p>This last project isn't a wreath but it's every bit as festive. If you always put up a wreath, maybe you'd like to try a banner instead? I think Jamie's <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.andersonandgrant.com%2F2014%2F09%2Ffall-banner.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">fall banner</a> is probably the easiest project in this post. Once again, I'm all about the glitter but you don't have to glitter your letters.</p> <p><Strong>Have you put up a fall wreath? <p><em>Karen Ballum is a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. She also blogs at <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkey.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey</a> and <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsassymonkeyreads.ca" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Sassymonkey Reads</a>.</em></p></strong></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts DIY http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-142.jpg Mon, 06 Oct 2014 18:45:12 +0000 Karen Ballum 1784262 at http://www.blogher.com 3 Ways to Improve Your DSLR Photography http://www.blogher.com/3-ways-improve-your-dslr-photography <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p>If you've been following me, either here or on Sass &amp; Spice, you know that I recently purchased a beautiful Canon DSLR. I cannot seem to put it down. Suffice it to say: I'm in love. The men in my life have some serious competition now. *tips hat* Good luck, boys.</p> <p>I learned a few things right off the bat in my time with Loretta. (That's my camera's name, after Loretta Lynn.) I thought I'd share, so you can enter into DSLR World with a head full of knowledge! It can be rough, turning on the camera for the first time, seeing all those buttons and thinking, <em>but I just wanna take photos!</em></p> <h2><strong>1. USE THE PROPER SETTING.</strong></h2> <p>Each camera comes with different settings for different lighting and situational needs. Here are mine:</p> <ul> <li> Video</li> <li> Night Portrait</li> <li> Sports</li> <li> Close-Up</li> <li> Landscape</li> <li> Portrait</li> <li> Creative Auto</li> <li> Flash Off</li> <li> Scene Intelligent Auto</li> <li> Program AE</li> <li> Shutter priority AE</li> <li> Aperture priority AE</li> <li> Manual Exposure</li> <li> Auto Depth-of-Field AE</li> </ul> <p>In addition to all these strange settings, there are awkward buttons all over the body of the camera, just waiting to be bumped or pushed—explored by inquiring minds. The best course of action here is to READ YOUR MANUAL. </p> <p>Of course, that can seem overwhelming as well, so what I did was pick up my manual, Loretta, and a comfy sweater, and took to the outdoors. I walked up to a flower and thought, <em>what if I use *this* setting?</em> So I used it. Then I looked at the photograph on the screen. I noticed how in certain parts of the picture, the light around the flowers was darker than I'd like. So I switched settings. Each time I switched, I'd study that particular setting in the manual. I'm STILL getting through them, but this real-life experiment has helped a heck of a lot.</p> <h2>2. USE NATURAL LIGHT.</h2> <p>I hate fake lighting. I know that "if you do it right," it looks just like the outdoors, but there's something about the glow of the sunlight that just grabs at my heart and pushes me forward. When <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.withaheartindanger.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F09%2Fsusan1.jpg" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Susie, the cat, lies in the sunlight</a>, I'm taken aback by the beauty of the light setting flames to her fur and bouncing off her eyes.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/susan_2.jpg" alt="Susie the cat" /></center></p> <p>There is a golden hour, just before the sun disappears behind the hills/mountains, when, if you position your object or person just right, the backlight is literally magic.</p> <h2>3. GET A DUMB TRIPOD.</h2> <p>At first I was like, <em>pah, I don't need one of those. I have a brilliantly steady hand!</em> I'm an artist, and I used to shoot guns all the time, and you need a constantly streamlined touch to do both. However, the art of photography is a completely different ballgame. Sometimes, the shutter speed will be a little slow, or you'll be startled, or something silly will happen (like a hiccup), and your picture will be ruined. If you wish to take high-class selfies, you can even get a remote for your camera, so you can set it up on the tripod and photograph yourself at the same time. <img class="wp-smiley" src="http://www.withaheartindanger.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" /></p> <p>I hope these little tips help you in your journey toward DSLR awesomeness! Have a brilliant day … and blessings from Alaska!</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Blogging & Social Media Tips, Tricks & Tools Photography DIY # blogging #photography #photoshop Pro Photography Tips http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-392931.jpg Fri, 03 Oct 2014 20:54:26 +0000 AlexandraDobrov 1781409 at http://www.blogher.com 13 Ways to Make Halloween Decorating Cheaper http://www.blogher.com/lights-candles-action-green-halloween-decorating-tips <!--paging_filter--><p>For some people, it’s all about the candy. For others, the costumes. I love Halloween decorations. Why? They’re fun. They’re kitschy. They make me feel like a little kid all over again. </p> <p>That’s why pumpkins have already shown up on my porch, I’ve hauled out the candy plates shaped like witches and goblins, and I’ve brought out my special cookie cutters to make shortbread ghosts and bats.</p><!--break--> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/green_halloween.jpg" alt="awesome jack-o-lantern" /><em>Image: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/2941787498/sizes/m/in/photolist-5tXqW7-5vis8g-5vnMyJ-5wbwez-5wcAfu-5wjRwE-5xg9gC-5xhuMg-5xsdBL-5xsdHj-5xGVhA-5y4Gcf-5yFNeX-638J6h-6d7omp-79UZDg-7a9YXd-7asc89-7aJzKF-7b95Pz-7bePen-7biBjN-7bYZYR-7c1aah-7c52JL-7cekQ8-7sAYMZ-b8956T-aAEFcp-8xmXik-aszSoD-axBSba-8o4mKa-aADLJB-axCh78-8QCL54-cfotCL-8QFN9q-8LwTZm-8QFSZ3-8PDCiH-aAJEzH-8KJPmF-8Mc97E-8P3Lgu-aAyzfH-aAr3hu-dpvzKW-8QFMGJ-8QCLjR-8QCHAX/" class="external-link">Ginnerobot on Flickr</a></em></center></p> <p>But Halloween can get expensive -- and wasteful! Here's how I square my spooky holiday with <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biggreenpurse.com%2Findex.php%3FItemid%3D255" title="Green Halloween" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">my desire to make my Halloween green</a>.</p> <h1>I Invest in Smart Decorations</h1> <p><strong>LED Lights:</strong> In our neighborhood, people have started lighting up their homes and landscapes the way they do at Christmas, though they use orange and white lights rather than red and green. I have <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fastore.amazon.com%2Fbiggrepur-20%2Fdetail%2FB005HSOG32" title="green Halloween, LED Halloween lights" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR-certified energy-saving lights</a> I string up the stairs to our porch -- primarily as a safety precaution, but also because they’re so festive. You can get them shaped like pumpkins or ghosts, or just twinkly lights.</p> <p><strong>Paper Cut-outs:</strong> When the kids were little, we got recycled construction paper and cut out our own bats, ghosts, and pumpkins to hang on the front door and windows. The few commercial decorations I did buy were made from sturdy cardboard and have lasted for ages. </p> <p><strong>Straw Bales:</strong> Bales of straw are useful for propping up pumpkins and stuffing scarecrows (wearing recycled clothes, of course). A day or two after Halloween, I put the straw down on my garden as winter compost. </p> <p><strong>Soy and Beeswax Candles:</strong> Once we carve our pumpkins, we use non-paraffin candles to light them. I prefer <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fastore.amazon.com%2Fbiggrepur-20%2Fdetail%2FB001B4AY50" title="green Halloween, beeswax candles," class="external-link elf-add-back-link">beeswax</a> over soy, but either is better than paraffin or candles made with other petroleum products. Tea light candles work perfectly to illuminate a carved pumpkin.</p> <p><strong>Local and Organic:</strong> I’m lucky to have a farmer’s market in my neighborhood on Sunday mornings, which right now is brimming with pumpkins grown both locally and organically. That’s good, because the day after Halloween, my vegetable decorations are getting cooked (more on that later).</p> <p><strong>Music:</strong> What’s Halloween without a scary soundtrack? Years ago, I bought a CD full of eerie sounds that I put into a CD player and hide under a chair on the porch. I’ve used the same CD over and over again for years; it’s probably lasted because I only play it one night a year! </p> <h1>I Make Easy, DIY Décor</h1> <p><strong>Leaves, Branches, Twigs:</strong> For super-easy and fun Halloween centerpieces, I fill shallow bowls with a mixture of colorful leaves gathered from my yard. On the porch, my urns brim with twigs and thin branches, dried hydrangea flowers, and pretty much anything else that will look spooky in the dark. </p> <p><strong>Orange and Black Streamers:</strong> I used to buy orange and black crepe paper to wrap around the porch rails, but if it rained, the paper would become a soggy mess, and it was so frail it never lasted beyond one holiday season. It makes more sense to go to a fabric store and buy a few yards of orange and black cotton fabric. Cut the fabric into long strips that you can use for streamers -– and re-use over and over again.</p> <p><strong>Spiderwebs:</strong> I generally don’t buy the phony stretchy synthetic spider webs that many people get for one night and then throw away. Years ago, I cut an old white sheet into thin strips that can hang around the porch in web-like fashion. No expense, no trash. However, if you want something that looks like a genuine web, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fastore.amazon.com%2Fbiggrepur-20%2Fdetail%2FB002MF3CZG" title="reusable spider web, Green Halloween," class="external-link elf-add-back-link">here’s one that’s reusable, and good for indoors or out.</a></p> <p><strong>Scary Pumpkin Holders:</strong> -– If you just don’t have time to carve a pumpkin, paint it with white and black paint, or any other colors that will stand out against orange. Or get a set of reusable pumpkin holders that will turn pumpkins big and small into spiders and owls. I’ve also bought a couple of terra cotta carved pumpkins that I’ve used year after year. All I need on the night of October 31 is a new candle.</p> <h1>I Get the Most Out of Leftover Pumpkins </h1> <p><strong>Roast the Seeds:</strong> (lightly oil a cookie sheet; spread the seeds in a single layer (let the kids do this -- it’s a mess, and they’ll love it). Put them in a low-heat oven for a couple of hours. When you remove them, salt lightly with coarse salt.</p> <p><strong>Eat the Flesh:</strong> After Halloween, cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the top layer of the pulp, which might have wax on it or a few bugs, into the compost pile. Then I put the two halves cut side down into a baking pan about two inches deep and filled with enough water to cover at least part of the rind. I put the pumpkin in a 350-degree oven, checking occasionally to make sure there is always water in the pan. Depending on the thickness of the pumpkin, it will take at least one hour and maybe two for the hot water to cook the pumpkin. You know it’s done when you can pierce the skin of the pumpkin easily with a fork. Pull the pumpkin out, and use a spoon to scoop the pulp out from the rind. Use the pulp for pies, soup, stew, bread, or stock.</p><!--pagebreak--> <p><strong> Compost:</strong> Whatever is left of the pumpkin stem and the rind, I compost. Both will disintegrate pretty quickly in the garden. In fact, if this all sounds like too much work, but you hate to throw a perfectly good pumpkin away, just put it in some out of the way place in your garden. The squirrels will nibble on it, and it will disintegrate pretty quickly.</p> <p><b>How do you decorate for Halloween? </b>Please share your ideas for making this orange holiday green! And we have more tips for you here, on <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.biggreenpurse.com%2Fbiggreenpurse%2F2009%2F10%2Fmake-your-own-green-halloween-face-paint-.html" title="green Halloween," class="external-link elf-add-back-link">making your own non-toxic Halloween face paint</a>, and on <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.biggreenpurse.com%2Fbiggreenpurse%2F2013%2F10%2Fgreen-halloween-costumes-swap-before-you-shop.html" title="green Halloween," class="external-link elf-add-back-link">holiday costumes</a>. <br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Diane MacEachern <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biggreenpurse.com" title="www.biggreenpurse.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">www.biggreenpurse.com</a> <a href="mailto:Diane@biggreenpurse.com" class="mailto-link">Diane@biggreenpurse.com</a></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Crafts Food DIY Work/Life Family Halloween http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/pictures/picture-11565.jpg Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:20:54 +0000 Diane MacEachern 1382725 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Easy Ways To Add Fall Decor Into Your Home http://www.blogher.com/5-easy-ways-add-fall-decor-your-home <!--paging_filter--><p>Last week was the official start of fall. I started to feel excited about the smells, the sienna-colored trees, and the seasonal celebrations. All these things create a beautiful atmosphere in my own house, but <strong><em>how do I incorporate the fall colors and smells into my home without breaking the bank?</em></strong></p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/FallDecor_LiveColorful.jpg" alt="Fall Decor ideas" /></center></p> <p>I'm a summer girl, but I have to admit that there is something special about fall that I’m happy to see each year. First, it’s an amazing crafty season. And second (and best), it has the yummiest smells ever: hot cocoa, pumpkin spice lattes, apple cinnamon pies, and tons of candy.</p> <p>Last week was the official start of fall. I started to feel excited about the smells, the sienna-colored trees, and the seasonal celebrations. All these things create a beautiful atmosphere in my own house, but <strong><em>how do I incorporate the fall colors and smells into my home without breaking the bank?</em></strong></p> <p>Well, I have some tricks and tips that will help you create that special atmosphere.</p> <p>1. <strong>Add lots of candles.</strong> Go for the seasonal ones, apple and cinnamon are my favorite fall smells. Candles also add subtle touches of color. Red, orange, sienna, brown: Buy one on each color and throw them around your home.</p> <p>2. <strong>Bring the outdoors indoors, literally!</strong> Collect pine cones, dried leaves, acorns, or dry branches, and create something clever like a garland or a centerpiece for your home.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/FallDecorandColors_LiveColorful.jpg" alt="Fall Decor and Colors for Your Home" /></center></p> <p>3. <strong>New pillows.</strong> You can buy or <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Flivecolorful.com%2F2013%2F07%2Fdiy-how-to-make-pillow-covers%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">make new covers </a>for your throw pillows . You can also throw a red or orange blanket over your favorite chair or cover your sofa with it—any color that makes you happy this season.</p> <p>4. <strong>Buy one or two pieces of art with images that remind you of fall.</strong> You can look in secondhand stores, or print an interesting and refreshing quote. You can also change some of the family photos for others from past fall adventures. Seeing a different landscape can help to create a warm atmosphere.</p> <p>5. <strong>Invest in a fall wreath or a fall welcome rug</strong>, something that makes you remember fall every time you come and go from the house. It will make you smile; you’ll see.</p> <p><em>Is there anything you would add?</em></p> <p>Happy start of fall! I hope you enjoy lots of pumpkin cheesecakes and hot cocoa!</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden DIY decor DIY fall http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-380186.jpg Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:30:42 +0000 elba valverde 1777746 at http://www.blogher.com How Often Do You Change Your Towels (& Other Important Questions) http://www.blogher.com/how-often-do-you-change-your-towels-other-important-questions <!--paging_filter--><p>People sure have a lot of opinions about washcloths, towels and sheets: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slate.com%2Fblogs%2Fentertaining%2F2013%2F09%2F16%2Fslate_s_entertaining_rules_no_washcloths.html" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">whether to use them</a>, how often to change them, when to replace them, how nice they should be, and on and on. What do you think? Let's talk linens.</p><!--break--> <p><center><h2>Towels</h2></center></p> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Hanging_Towel.jpg" alt="towel" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ihardlyflickr/470318061" class="external-link">Mason Bryant via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>I myself am lazy about towels. I do not worry if I still have hair product on my head or foundation on my hands when I use a towel. As such, all of my towels are either bleached or stained. I have also not ever figured out how to safely put bleach in my front-loading, high-efficiency washing machine. I am terrified of breaking this magnificent appliance. You know what this means: My towels are so not cute! They look like things people use to dry other things. We use the same towels for our hair and for our bodies in the Arens household, and the rule is you have to use the towel at least twice. If hotels can suggest it, so can I. Do you use different towels for your hair and your body? How about for guests or for family members? Can anyone assure me I can put bleach in my washing machine and the world will not end?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>Washcloths</h2></center></p> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Washcloth_Soap.gif" alt="washcloth" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/49333775@N00/1806263055" class="external-link">The Shopping Sherpa via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>Some people swear by washcloths. Others insist on loofahs or what can be described as a "bath poof." Some daredevils eschew anything but soap and water (or bath gel, which is a whole other thing that can contribute to the washcloth decision). I grew up using washcloths (as a blanket in the bathtub when the temperature started to drop, as well as for cleaning myself), but I don't use them as an adult. The reason is not what you might think. My current house, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurrenderdorothy.typepad.com%2Fsurrender_dorothy%2Fhousehold_fun%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Chateau Travolta</a>, is a bank foreclosure we bought in 2007 and have been paintstakingly renovating since then, one room at a tiny, fueled-by-cash-and-elbow-grease-as-much-as-possible time. The main areas came first, because people can see them. Nobody goes in my master bath besides family members. Therefore, the shower door is in desperate need of replacing as it is literally flaking apart, leaving nowhere good to hang a washcloth. I use a bunch of different soaps that come in squeeze form and a shower poof that I never need to be dry. Do you use a washcloth?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>Sheets</h2></center></p> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Pretty_Sheets.jpg" alt="pretty sheets" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/4814495567" class="external-link">Roger H. Goun via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>Do you sleep on a satin pillowcase? Do your sheets match? Are you a high-threadcount woman? Do you wrap yourself in flannel come winter? How many sets of sheets are floating around your house? I remember fondly the day when we bought a second set (!) of sheets for our queen-sized bed. It felt so luxurious not having to wash the sheets IMMEDIATELY in order to have a complete bed by nightfall. That was, um, probably ten years ago, and we still have two sets of sheets, neither a particularly high threadcount but one is from Pottery Barn, so whatever is acceptable by their standards. My daughter's bed has three sets, two flannel and one normal. Of course, when we transitioned her to a big-girl bed, she was still in Pull-Ups, so there was, well, a <i>need</i> for always-ready back-ups. Our guest bed has one set. We have one spare set that fits our queen-sized air mattress, and we have one spare set that fits my daughter's trundle bed. When extended family come to stay, as they do nearly once a month in summer, all of those sheets get used. I wouldn't necessarily buy more, though, because when the normal amount are in use, that's all that fits in the linen closet on that shelf. What's your sheet personality?</p> <!--pagebreak--> <p><center><h2>Favorite Linen</h2></center></p> <p><center><img style="" src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Beach_Towels.jpg" alt="hanging towels" width="465" height="287" /></center></p><p><center>Credit: <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/5873046068" class="external-link">Ginny via Flickr Creative Commons</a></center></p> <p>All this linen discussion (the BlogHer editorial team analyzed these issues for a while this morning, all in the interest of research) made me realize that how you spend your linen budget is really interesting (provided, of course, that there is a budget in the first place). I have never thought so much about what my threadcount might or might not say about me as a person as I did this morning. At first I thought to myself <i>there must be something wrong with me that I don't care about my sheets, bath towels and washcloths at all</i>. Then I realized <i>I am a real sucker for a high-absorbancy, extra-long beach towel</i>. Then I reminded myself that <b>comparison is the thief of joy</b>. Own your linen closet, whatever it may look like.</p> <p><b>What's your favorite linen? Do you have any linen rules at your house?</b></p><p><em>Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel <i><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.indiebound.org%2Fbook%2F9780985656287" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">The Obvious Game</a></i> & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com.</em></p><div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden DIY Work/Life http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-566.jpg Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:31:09 +0000 Rita Arens 1781093 at http://www.blogher.com DIY: Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter http://www.blogher.com/healthy-living-diy-whipped-coconut-oil-body-butter <!--paging_filter--><p> I try to live a healthy lifestyle, making small choices that really make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. I try to think about what I put in my body and on my body, and the things we use around the house. One of those little steps is making my own all-natural lotion. This project even ended up saving me money, so I think it's definitely worth a try. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Whipped-Coconut-Body-Butter.jpg" alt="Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter" /></center></p> <p>I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I know it's not something I talk too much about, but it really is a part of my everyday living. I try to make small choices that really make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. I try to think about what I put in my body and on my body, and the things we use around the house. But of course it's a balancing act, and I do crave my Burger King chicken strips in my moments of weakness :) </p> <p>One of those little steps is making my own all-natural lotion. This project even ended up saving me money, so I think it's definitely worth a try. Now don't be intimidated! This is really the easiest first step to healthy living.</p> <p>Now if you're like us, you live with a giant Costco-sized container of coconut oil in our house. We use it for so many things, and this is no exception (I'll have to tell you all about those things in a later post).</p> <h2>Ingredients:</h2> <ul> <li>Coconut oil</li> <li>Essential oil (optional)</li> </ul> <p>Yep, you read right! Only two ingredients, and one is optional.</p> <h2>Steps:</h2> <p>Place coconut oil in a bowl (if it is really hard, put it in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until slightly soft).</p> <p>Blend until smooth and "whipped." I use my immersion blender, but you can do this with a hand-held or regular blender.</p> <p>Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil, if you would like, and mix into whipped coconut oil.</p> <p>Place in a cute jar with a lid, and use as much as possible!</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/Body-Butter-in-hand.jpg" alt="Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter" /></center></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Kendra @ <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.openspacesblog.com" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Open Spaces</a></p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Home & Garden DIY Style coconut oil DIY healthyliving http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-356212.jpg Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:41:07 +0000 Kendra Castillo 1777399 at http://www.blogher.com 5 Tips for Taking a Great Headshot With Just Your iPhone http://www.blogher.com/take-professional-headshots-your-iphone-1 <!--paging_filter--><!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/headshot_1_0.jpg" alt="headshot 1" /></center></p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>See this photo of me at the top of the page? I took it. And while I love my Nikon, and I know I can take amazing photos with it, I took that headshot with my iPhone. I swear. One day, I know I'm going to call <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jodymackphotography.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Jody Mack</a>, my very favorite local photographer and have her take "real" headshot pictures of me to go in my sidebar and on <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Finthenext30days.net%2Fabout%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">my About page</a>. (They probably be so good that I'll even want them on my business cards.) But in the meantime, bloggers need to know that you can take a headshot with just your iPhone (or any smart phone) and get quality professional results.</p> <p>I found this pin called <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186758715773055254/" class="external-link">Pro Selfie Tips from a Pro Photographer</a> on Pinterest from <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbyregina.com%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">By Regina</a> and was equal parts excited and intrigued. If a professional photographer thinks I can take a selfie like a pro, then maybe I can. And I love the advice in this post. There are great tips on setting up your camera, knowing your settings, paying attention to the background and some apps for editing. It's a great place to get started. But I wanted to take it one step further. I went outside into the natural light (as Rodnesha Green, the professional photographer in the pinned article suggests). I was thinking about background, and I set up this elaborate and quite silly looking make-shift tripod in front of my husband's garage. That's two folding side tables stacked on top of each other with my daughter's plastic and toddler size chair on top.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/headshot_2_0.jpg" alt="headshot 2" /></center></p> <p>I sat on a chair in front of this rig and propped my phone up at eye-level. (And yes. The headphones are important. Keep reading to find out why.) Here's the beautiful thing about taking your headshot with an iPhone. You can actually see the photo you're taking. So click away, and delete what you don't want. Try out poses. Skinny arm out, chin up, head tilted, tooth-showing smile, in bright light, in shade, with different backgrounds, try it. Sometimes your out-takes will surprise you.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/headshot_3_0.jpg" alt="headshot 3" /></center> </p> <p>Some of these are much better than others. Some make me wonder what I was thinking. And here's my finished result that I pretty much love.</p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/headshot_4_0.jpg" alt="headshot 4" /></center></p> <p>But here's the thing. I was able to take these million photos in order to find one that I really like and love the look of. And in the process, I learned somethings that I hope will help you as you work on your own iPhone shots. </p> <p><center><img src="https://www.blogher.com/files/headshot_5_0.jpg" alt="headshot 5" /></center></p> <p> <h1>Use your iPhone headphones as a remote shutter button</h1> </p> <p>I love this tip. You know you can use the volume controls as the shutter buttons in camera mode on your iPhone. Well, this works with the headphones that come with your iPhone too. The volume controls work as a shutter release. This means you can take a selfie farther away from the camera, and you don't have to have the arm-exteneded look.</p> <p> <h1>Look at the camera, not the screen.</h1> </p> <p>If you're using the camera on the same side as your iPhone screen, then make sure you look into the camera (the small circle above the screen) and not at your own face on the screen. Think of it this way, if a photographer was taking your photo, you wouldn't look below the lens, would you? Now, if you're going for that off-in-the-distance glance, then that's another story.</p> <p> <h1>Think of this as a professional headshot.</h1> </p> <p>Put some time into your clothes, make up, hair. Think about how you want to look. You wouldn't wear your pajamas to a professional photo shoot, so don't expect to be able to get away with that here. Wear clothes you would want in your sidebar. Take some time on your make up. Brush your hair. For my shot, I even dyed my roots because I didn't want grays in the shot. And my orange tank, it matches the colors on my blog. Yep. I thought it that far through.</p> <p> <h1>Think about your branding.</h1> </p> <p>When it comes to blogging, you are your brand. Your readers want to know you, see you. So you need to think about that before you take your photo. If you're a craft blogger, you might want to picture yourself with something you've made. If you blog about travel, then use a photo of yourself in an amazing and beautiful destination. More than just my matching shirt, I wanted my headshot to represent that I take on challenges straight on, simply. Let your headshot extend your branding.</p> <!--pagebreak--><!--pagebreak--><p> <h1>Edit. You're allowed.</h1> </p> <p>A professional photographer would open your picture in Photoshop or Lightroom and edit until it was perfect. You're allowed to do that too. Even if you don't have fancy photo-editing software, look to <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Finthenext30days.net%2Fpinterest-day-16-creating-pinnable-images-picmonkey%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">PicMonkey</a> or apps like <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=https%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fapp%2Fafterlight%2Fid573116090%3Fmt%3D8" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">Afterlight</a> can help to add the polishing or finishing touches on any graphic. But here's the tightrope you have to walk. You still want to look like yourself. Don't use this as a chance to drop those 15 lbs you were meaning to loose or to make yourself tan. You're beautiful how you are, own it. </p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Finthenext30days.net%2F" class="external-link elf-add-back-link">In The Next 30 Days</a> is a personal challenge blog established to help Anna Hartman make her life brighter, shinier, and happier while making a positive difference in herself and the world around her.</p> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Blogging & Social Media Tips, Tricks & Tools Photography blogging iphone photography http://www.blogher.com/files/imagecache/user_small/user_pictures/picture-291781.jpg Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:58:24 +0000 annamh 1765991 at http://www.blogher.com