A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: December 2012

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22 December 2012

Let's Wrap it UP! | Golden Gift Bags 3 Ways

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Thursday, I gave you a quick little primer for making luminaries.  Today, we are chatting about what to do with all those paper bags once the party is over!  Some might be beat up and ruined, in which case you can toss them directly into the compost, but many of them will be perfectly fine and ready for some upcycling!  Good thing it is Christmas time!

The easiest way to utilize the bag is to simply use them as is!  The addition of a little wooden snowman with a baker's twine scarf is enough to bring some holiday cheer to a smaller gift.


Smaller gifts are doable too!
   Simply pile them into the bottom of the bag, fold a crisp fold 1/3 of the way down the bag and 
secure with a clothespin.  I added little wooden tags and bows to complete the look.


If you were wondering, the little wood tag above says "Woof"!  
This is why...



If you have a long, flat object that peeks out of the top of a normal sandwich bag, slide it into one bag 
and then slide the whole thing into a second bag. Add a ribbon or bow to finish!


Ran out of bags?  No problem! 

Plain white tissue paper is a nice foil to the shiny gold bags and wrapped with the same orange polka-dot ribbon, 
a nice set of coordinated gifts is born.  Now get wrapping!


Have a very. VERY Merry Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May your days be blessed and your heart be joyful!
See you in 2013!



Let's Wrap it UP! | Golden Gift Bags 3 Ways

Pin It


Thursday, I gave you a quick little primer for making luminaries.  Today, we are chatting about what to do with all those paper bags once the party is over!  Some might be beat up and ruined, in which case you can toss them directly into the compost, but many of them will be perfectly fine and ready for some upcycling!  Good thing it is Christmas time!

The easiest way to utilize the bag is to simply use them as is!  The addition of a little wooden snowman with a baker's twine scarf is enough to bring some holiday cheer to a smaller gift.


Smaller gifts are doable too!
   Simply pile them into the bottom of the bag, fold a crisp fold 1/3 of the way down the bag and 
secure with a clothespin.  I added little wooden tags and bows to complete the look.


If you were wondering, the little wood tag above says "Woof"!  
This is why...



If you have a long, flat object that peeks out of the top of a normal sandwich bag, slide it into one bag 
and then slide the whole thing into a second bag. Add a ribbon or bow to finish!


Ran out of bags?  No problem! 

Plain white tissue paper is a nice foil to the shiny gold bags and wrapped with the same orange polka-dot ribbon, 
a nice set of coordinated gifts is born.  Now get wrapping!


Have a very. VERY Merry Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May your days be blessed and your heart be joyful!
See you in 2013!


21 December 2012

Troubleshooting DIY Snowglobes | DAY 5 Made by Hand

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Everyone's been making them. They are all over the place. They aren't original.
No really -- just check out what happens when you type "DIY Snowglobes" into pinterest.  Told ya.

...but as unoriginal as they are, they are still FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!


Most of the time, I shy away from projects like this that everyone and their mother are doing, but once in awhile, one captures my imagination and I remember that truly there is nothing new under the sun, so why not join the happy train once in awhile and do something unoriginal?!?  You with me!?  All right -- let's go!


So today, instead of giving you a full on tutorial -- I'm going to give you some tricks I've learned creating these snowglobes, for they can DEFINITELY end up being a PIN-FAIL.  Seriously.

So here goes!

1. The first mistake I made was not dunking the trees before using them.  SOAK the trees at least 24 hours to get rid of some of the dye.  Otherwise the water in the snowglobe will turn GREEN.  PIN-FAIL

2. Hot glue the trees to the little can lids at least 24 hours AFTER soaking and 24 hours BEFORE adding the trees to water again.  They must be dry completely or else they will FALL OFF in the snowglobe.  PIN-FAIL.

3.  Add various kinds of glue and glitter - not just 1!  Wax snow is beautiful and flaky, but it floats too well.  Glitter is beautiful and sparkly, but it sinks too well.   True Snow is great for brushing on snow detail to the trees, but does nothing for the water around it.  A drop of glycerin helps the magical snow falling.  Avoid a PIN-FAIL and use ALL these ingredients for a beautiful looking snow globe.  Otherwise?  PIN-FAIL

4. Hot glue a little bit of the wax snow to the bottom of the lid.  Otherwise, it floats and you can see ugly can bottom in the snowglobe.  Simply lay down a layer of glue (when the lid is DRY) and sprinkle snow over it.  I did all of this outside, otherwise it could be a definite PIN-FAIL.


5.  Once the lids are completely dry, fill the jar way way way to the top with water.  (Leaving any gap at the top looks silly!)  Dunk the lid onto the jar and slowly turn shot.  It will drip -- that is ok.  Turn the whole thing upside down and you are almost done!

6. Leave the jars as is and they look like mason jars with trees and snow in them.  Give them a few more minutes of care and they look a LOT more intentional.  I added a base of burlap to cover up the silver can lids.  I simply cut a strip of burlap, frayed the top and attached them with a dot of glue and a cinch of baker's twine.

How do you fray burlap?


Simple.  Just pull 1-4 strings off the top of the fabric and it will fray nicely. 
 Don't pull off too many strings, or again, everyone say it out loud, YOU WILL HAVE A PIN FAIL.


...and there you go!  
Drifty beautiful snow in a classic mason jar -- perfect!



For those of you that asked for the supply source -- here you go!



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Have you noticed that the ads are GONE from the top of the blog as well as any ads that pop up ANYWHERE on the nest? I have taken off my most profitable ads in response to reader complaints. To help support this blog, I ask that you click on my amazon links (any of them!) when you need to purchase items. From giftcards to diapers -- books to electronics -- IT ALL COUNTS! Please support A Nest for All Seasons by clicking HERE to go to amazon and forever say goodbye to intrusive ads!


Did you miss a day in the series?  No biggie!  Just click on the photos below!


DAY 1 | Microwave Soaps              DAY 2 | Fern Canvases           DAY 3 | Crafty Jars           DAY 4 | Luminaries          DAY 5 | DIY Snowglobe tips lavender soap 2 christmas_thumb[3]ferns smalljars smallluminarie smallsnowglobe small


20 December 2012

When the world changes and the landscape is broken…

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I wrote this a few days ago in response to the "doomsday" predictions looming.   Since then, the tragedy unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  I've been silent on the subject because I literally can't find the words.  I've been in shock and now grief for the families and victims and haven't quite been able to put words to my thoughts.  I still can't. ...but I remembered what I had written a few days before and while the "end of the world" hasn't come, surely this tragedy is worse.  Do I know where I am clinging?
grasses at sunset amy renea a nest for all seasons




I was driving home one evening when something seemed wrong.  I almost tapped the brakes a little because something simply felt off. I didn’t see anything out of place – no deer jumping the double yellow – no weaving car ahead of me.  What was it?

Then I noticed that there was a mountain.  No literally, there was a mountain range behind the landscape that I know so well.  Day in and day out I drive this road and there is always open sky behind those fields and that cemetery and that old white church steeple.  That steeple is backlit by white or blue, not by a dark navy blackness that hovers like a mighty fortress.  WHAT was going on.  Am I dreaming?

I kept driving towards the mountain thinking that I must be seeing things.  …or maybe I just never noticed it?  I mean, it looked cloudy the way the blue ridge mountains do.  A haze of deep blue that stretches from left to ride and nestles up against the towns in the valley.  Is that where that mountain range is?  Is it possible I never noticed?

Then it clicked…


CONTINUE reading


They were clouds.  A weird cloud that was low to the ground and the deepest of blue, stretching as far as I could see from left to right with just the tiniest bit of break way off in the corner.  That was how I could tell, because otherwise, I truly thought mountains might have just appeared out of nowhere.

These days I could believe it.  I could believe that mountains could pop up and the whole Earth could change.  I keep hearing that the poles are going to shift and the world will be flooded in just a few days.  Well, I do know God won’t flood the whole Earth again (ala Noah), but perhaps the poles could shift?  I don’t know.  I don’t know that much about the sun and it’s solar flares and how the world might drastically change.  I know I have three bags of jasmine rice and 17 cans of chickpeas.  Will that get us through the poles shifting?  Who knows?

What I do know is that I wouldn’t be surprised if God upended things, but I won’t be surprised if the doomsday of the Mayans comes and goes without a second thought.  I know I will rest a teensy bit easier once the calendar clicks over to 2013, but why?  Superstition? Fear?

In any case, when the world changes, I know that the only thing that matters is clinging to those babies of mine and clinging to the God that made me.  That is the only thing that has any shred of hope for the future when the mountains start to move.
money shot lake amy renea a nest for all seasons


Do you know where you are clinging?

When the world changes and the landscape is broken…

Pin It

I wrote this a few days ago in response to the "doomsday" predictions looming.   Since then, the tragedy unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  I've been silent on the subject because I literally can't find the words.  I've been in shock and now grief for the families and victims and haven't quite been able to put words to my thoughts.  I still can't. ...but I remembered what I had written a few days before and while the "end of the world" hasn't come, surely this tragedy is worse.  Do I know where I am clinging?
grasses at sunset amy renea a nest for all seasons




I was driving home one evening when something seemed wrong.  I almost tapped the brakes a little because something simply felt off. I didn’t see anything out of place – no deer jumping the double yellow – no weaving car ahead of me.  What was it?

Then I noticed that there was a mountain.  No literally, there was a mountain range behind the landscape that I know so well.  Day in and day out I drive this road and there is always open sky behind those fields and that cemetery and that old white church steeple.  That steeple is backlit by white or blue, not by a dark navy blackness that hovers like a mighty fortress.  WHAT was going on.  Am I dreaming?

I kept driving towards the mountain thinking that I must be seeing things.  …or maybe I just never noticed it?  I mean, it looked cloudy the way the blue ridge mountains do.  A haze of deep blue that stretches from left to ride and nestles up against the towns in the valley.  Is that where that mountain range is?  Is it possible I never noticed?

Then it clicked…


CONTINUE reading

Cityscape Luminaries | Day 4 : Made by Hand

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Are you hosting a last-minute Christmas party?  Need a last-minute hostess gift?  
A last-minute decoration for your front walk? Got you covered!

last minute gifts tag

With nights getting earlier and the sunrise coming later, it sometimes seems like we are living in the dark! Instead of lamenting the lack of sun, let's celebrate it with some fun, new (and safe!) luminaries. I decided to go with golden bags for a true "glow" from within and the plaid edger punch for two different effects. The first is a simple plaid border cutout around the top of the bags, creating little pockets of light at the top of the luminaries and a glow from within. Secondly, I wanted to add a few "windows" to the corners of the luminaries to give an abstract vision of city window lights twinkling in the winter.  

First things first, grab some supplies and make sure you grab a bowl from the kitchen. It is essential!
*All supplies provided by Consumer Crafts and Crafts Unleashed

Materials:

Medium to Large Bowl



To create the border around the top of the bag, simply open the bag and punch the first pattern into the middle of the top. The second punch is where it gets a tiny bit tricky. You want the pattern to go around the bag seamlessly, so you have to be thoughtful when you move the punch. There is a guide on the punch to help you line up the pattern, but I found that the guide gives spacings between the punches and I wanted a continuous pattern.

With this particular punch, I simply moved the pattern a tiny bit to the right of where the guide told me.
See the darker grey on the guide? That is technically where the paper should be, but it is shifted just slightly.


The result? A plaid border around the bag without interruption in the pattern.

This pattern went all the way around the bag, but left a tiny bit of extra material.
I placed this on the corner where it was less noticeable.

Whether you are creating the plaid border or the windows, make sure to put a bowl under the punch!
Catch all those little gold pieces for insta-confetti!

Curious about the "windows"? They are super simple. Choose seams randomly and punch through the two layers at once.
Stack all your luminaries together and you now have a city block full of twinkling "windows".

Once you have the bags punched and open, drop in an LED tea light and switch it on for a realistic glow. These tea lights are seriously amazing, They last for up to 100 hours and give that great flickering candle look without any of the worry that you are going to burn the neighborhood down with your decorations. The bags are also better quality than I was expecting. They are nice and thick
with a matte finish -- perfect for this project!


Have you noticed that the ads are GONE from the top of the blog as well as any ads that pop up ANYWHERE on the nest? I have taken off my most profitable ads in response to reader complaints. To help support this blog, I ask that you click on my amazon links (any of them!) when you need to purchase items. From giftcards to diapers -- books to electronics -- IT ALL COUNTS! Please support A Nest for All Seasons by clicking HERE to go to amazon and forever say goodbye to intrusive ads!

Pin It


Did you miss a day in the series?  No biggie!  Just click on the photos below!


DAY 1 | Microwave Soaps              DAY 2 | Fern Canvases           DAY 3 | Crafty Jars           DAY 4 | Luminaries          DAY 5 | DIY Snowglobe tips lavender soap 2 christmas_thumb[3]ferns smalljars smallluminarie smallsnowglobe small

 If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and Walmart.com.  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!

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