A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: November 2013

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29 November 2013

Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Tree Ornaments

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After making baking soda clay ornaments with the kids, I stumbled upon another simple ornament recipe.
Two ingredients -- no baking.



Simply add one cup of applesauce to 2 cups of cinnamon (very gently) and stir.
Be VERY gentle measuring out the cinnamon and stirring.  It will blow up in your face.


Once the cinnamon and applesauce are COMPLETELY mixed (takes about 5 minutes of stirring and then 2 min. kneading),
roll the dough out onto a cinnamon dusted surface.  Dough should be about 1/4"-1/2" thick.
Cut out your ornaments with cookie cutters, poke a hole in the top and bake at 200 degrees to dry.


Need more detailed instructions?  Check out my baking soda ornaments post HERE!

Need cheap cinnamon?  Kirklands (Costco brand) has a two pack HERE.  
I get mine in bulk at Ollies for a couple dollars, or you can check your local dollar store!

 Merry Christmas!
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 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!


27 November 2013

Jump Into Jewelry with Aki || Ornament Hook Earrings

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Welcome back Aki today with a fun and clever Christmas earring idea.  Yup, you read that title right. 
 These stunners are made out of ORNAMENT hooks!  Read on for the technique!

Aki says:  I just love it when I see something and repurpose it into something else. Like these ornament hooks that can
 be easily repurposed into jewelry. Am I crazy? Maybe. But in my opinion, I do think they turned out cute!

Supplies:


  • Curly S-shaped ornament hooks - pictured below, I got these at Dollar Tree
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Earring hooks
  • Beads and other embellishments


These were the hooks I used. There are 40 of them in a pack, so if you want to, you can make 20 pairs of earrings!


Get your wire cutter out and cut the hook part. It depends on you how low you want to go, 
but it's good to start pretty high up so if you're not satisfied you can always cut more.


Now take your round nose pliers and curl the end you just cut.  


At this point, you can leave it plain or embellish it any way you like. 
You can wire-wrap some tiny beads onto it like I did on the photo above, 
or thread bigger beads onto it (before doing the step before this) to make a statement.


For the other earring, I just flattened some clam-shell type bead caps and sandwiched the wire between 
them. Other options include adding chains, dangles and whatever else you can think of to embellish your 
earrings. I did want to add some chain but I didn't have gold chain on hand when I was making these. 


Don't forget to twist your curl to the side so your earrings would hang normally.
 Skip this step if you intend to use a jump ring to attach your earring hook to the main part of your earring.


When you're done embellishing, just add your earring hooks and you are done! 
All that's left is to rock your earrings and strut about. Or...maybe give them away to friends. 
Use this earring card I made if you're planning to gift them! Download them here.


Just pierce the white part (wherever you want to hang the earring) with a pin. 
I didn't add a marker where you can pierce it because the earrings you make may be sized differently!


Voila! Now to just wrap them. See you guys again next month!

Thanks Aki!!  I am loving these and the FREE PRINTABLE is fab!!  Thanks girl!  
Hey readers, if YOU are loving Aki's jewelry projects,go say hi on her blog Minted Strawberry for more!




Visit Aki's {amazing and OH so cute} blog at Minted Strawberry, then go give her a little love on facebook or pinterest



Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

Jump Into Jewelry with Aki || Ornament Hook Earrings

Pin It

Welcome back Aki today with a fun and clever Christmas earring idea.  Yup, you read that title right. 
 These stunners are made out of ORNAMENT hooks!  Read on for the technique!

Aki says:  I just love it when I see something and repurpose it into something else. Like these ornament hooks that can
 be easily repurposed into jewelry. Am I crazy? Maybe. But in my opinion, I do think they turned out cute!

26 November 2013

Winter Fairy Scavenger Hunt

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This is a sponsored post by Crayola.  Portions of this post have been seen previously on Crafts Unleashed

In our neck of the woods, winter is creeping in fast (like super super fast - there is a storm coming!), and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Today we are going to celebrate the passing of fall into winter with a fun fairy hunt craft and some inspiring Thanksgiving crafts from Crayola!

Thanksgiving is a holiday centered so strongly around family and I love the idea of breaking out the crayons, markers, construction paper and crafting together!  Particularly if you have a lot going on in the kitchen, a good craft can keep the kids out of there, entertained and bonding with the cousins!




If you are having a mild Thanksgiving, this winter fairy hunt is the PERFECT little activity to keep the kiddos from going stir crazy.  Let them RUN and get all that energy out as they search for the fairy doors!  Perhaps each little door could hold a new craft idea, a message for the kids, scavenger hunt clues or whatever idea YOU can dream up!  Here are the basics:

Supplies needed:


The first step was to create the little jingle bell "garlands".  They are simple and easy enough for the "craft challenged" to complete!

Directions:

1. Cut burlap into wide strips (about 1")
2. Measure out about 12-18 inches of jute and tie a jingle bell to the end
3. Move up several inches and add a bow of burlap.
4.  Tie a second jingle bell onto the jute directly above the bow (the bow will hold the bell in place).
5.  Continue with as many bows and bells as you want!


6. Back the entire arrangement with a few sprigs of evergreens cut from the backyard or purchased from the florist.
7.  Secure the sprigs with jute and cover the knots with a final burlap bow.
8. Attach fairy doors to trees and various other hiding spots around the backyard.
9. Hang a garland above or near each fairy door.

Once the doors and garlands are in place, invite the kids outside to play.  They simply listen for the jingle bells and take off once they here the magical tinkling.


Once they find the fairy doors, they open it to find their next clue, 
a drawing of a fairy, craft idea or whatever you would like to place inside!



For a few bucks and 30 minutes of effort, the kids were thrilled and engaged, 
using those last bits of winter sunlight to get some exercise searching for the jingle bell "fairies."


This winter fairy hunt is only one of the many activities on our advent weekly calendar this year!  
Need some Thanksgiving Craft Inspiration to hide in the fairy doors??  Got you covered!


Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Pin It

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!


25 November 2013

Advent Calendar with Activities, Crafts, Gifts, Baking, Books and MORE!

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Advent Calendars can be a pain in your bum.  Every day you have to come up with SOMETHING new for the kids -- either a gift a day or some long thought-out activity.  It can be overwhelming!   I love the idea of peeking into a little bag every day, building excitement as we get closer and closer to celebrating Jesus' birth.  The stress though?  I could live without that!

So this year, I adjusted our advent calendar a little to reflect OUR life and now it fits in pretty seamlessly.  Here is how it works:

Our calendar is a WEEKLY calendar and as the Mommy and advent calendar chief, I get to CHOOSE which thing we do everyday!  Basically, I write down all of the activities, crafts, baking and such below on little tags and have the boys put them into random little burlap bags on the garland. Having them stock the bags adds SOME element of surprise, but I still have a choice over which little tag we do that day.  What that means is on a CRAZY day, I can choose to just make hot chocolate instead of whipping up a full fledged craft.  .....AND I can breathe again.  The advent calendar becomes a joy again instead of just another chore to complete each day.


See those little burlap bags?  There are six of them with little construction paper tags.


I used some leftover bulk burlap for a couple, but the remainder were made 
by cutting up a Jasmine rice bag from Costco.  (FREE BURLAP!)
Some I left inside out (above) while others I let the letters show (below).  
simply sew up three sides close to the edge and leave the seam exposed!



Once the little advent garland was hung, I added some evergreens, lights, and burlap framed holly to properly deck the hall.


My husband (!!!) picked up those burlap frames for a song on clearance at Walmart for me.  I KNOW.


Another addition to the calendar this year are Christmas Bible verses.  There are six -- one for each day other than Sunday and each day throughout the month we read and try to memorize that verse.  On Sundays, we go to church!  Here are the verses we are using this year for a 7,5 and 3 year old:
  1. Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
  2. Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given.
  3. Luke 2:2 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
  4. Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy.
  5. Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among those with whom he is pleased.
  6. 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

A couple notes on prepping:  When I prepare for our Christmas activities, I begin by rounding up all of our "Stuff" in the Christmas boxes and breaking it down into little bits.  I always shop the clearances at Target after Christmas and snag any fun little activities I can find for 90% off.  Those work for 4-5 of the days for something quick and easy (like attaching window clings in their rooms).  I also pick up some super cheap foamies from Consumer Crafts to round out more involved projects and activities.  Some things naturally go hand in hand (Frosty the snowman book and the movie or making foam candy canes(below) then "planting" candy canes). Here are the activities, crafts, gifts, baking, books and decorating that we will do this year!

ACTIVITIES

Santa's Fairy Jingle Bell Hunt
Choo-choo time!  Make a track around the house and under the tree!
(Check your local listings too -- there are often fun and free train displays!)
"Plant" Candy Canes Seeds - SO super fun and easy!
Watch Charlie Brown's Christmas Special
Wake the kids up for star gazing at midnight (if we get a warm night)
Write letters to "Father Christmas" and take them to the mailbox at Hershey Park
Snowballs in the Bathtub (if we get snow!  Dye a couple snowballs with green food coloring and toss in hot bath)

CRAFTS

Let's light up the window with sticky window clings! (Target clearance)
Candy Cane Foamie Crafts (Consumer Crafts) along with Candy Cane Baking!
Gingerbread Foamie Crafts (Consumer Crafts) along with Gingerbread Baking!
Snowman Kit time!  These marshmallow snowmen are adorable and really easy!


GIFTS

Make hand stamped Gift Wrapping Paper (below)
OPEN one present from your stocking!
Make soaps for gifts like THIS ONE, THIS ONE or THIS ONE for the kids




BAKING

Cut the heads off the animals Christmas Cookies!
Gingerbread Houses with Nana
Hot Chocolate time!!  (and some MOCHAS for Mommy and Daddy!)
Santa Pancakes in our PJs for dinner! (with a bag full of the face decorations -- idea from HERE)
Go OUT for Hot Chocolate!
Stay IN for hot chocolate (yes again and again...we can't get enough HC around here!) -- kids choose mini marshmallows or giant 



BOOKS

The 12 Days of Christmas Book and Mini-Tree Decorating 
Read the Night Before Christmas and Hang our Stockings!
Frosty the Snowman and play melting top hats! (Watch the Movie too!)


DECORATING

Let's go cut down our tree!  (...or buy it at WalMart :)
Time to put candles in the windows!
Rope Lights up in the BOY's room!
Twinkle lights for the GIRLY nursery!
Light up the TREE!
Load it up with Ornaments!


...and Christmas Eve will be here by the time we are done...

Coming soon! 
 Last year's advent calendar with FREE printable, DIY baking soda clay ornaments and some quick and easy presents!!

24 November 2013

Gift in a Jar ::: 3 Minute, 3 Ingredient Pink Sugar Scrub

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This is a fantastic little gift for friends and family this Christmas!  I first saw a version of this recipe RIGHT HERE 
and adapted it with scent and color for the girls in my family.  Keep reading for the full recipe :)


The Ingredients



PINK Dawn Olay Hand Renewal Soap (NOT the white -- the pink makes it pretty!)
At least 2-3 cups of sugar
Essential oils (my favorite is grapefruit with this mix!)
Butter knife to mix (or any long, straight utensil)
Recycled glass jars or purchase Mason jars

THAT IS IT!

The Method:


Start with sugar.  Funnel in enough white sugar to fill 3/4 of your container.
Then start adding the soap little by little...

(Update:  After making many of these, it sometimes starts to add a small layer of soap on the bottom to get things mixing easier)




Add 5-6 drops of essential oil -- the Grapefruit oil in this mix is DIVINE.  Smells fresh, but not "springy".


Slowly....mix...


If your mixture is a little too "loose", you have too high a ratio of soap to sugar. Simply add in more sugar to tighten up the mix!

The soap "melts" the sugar a bit, so even if your jar is full, it will reduce.  
Add a little more sugar and a little more soap to fill the jar, mix again and repeat if necessary.




mmmm...smells delicious!

Perfect for those winter elbows and heels!


***One note of caution.  If you have very sensitive skin, any homemade concoction might irritate your skin.  Test a small portion before using on your skin.  Also, this is a sugar based product, so as with any sugar scrub, do not use on areas prone to yeast, namely between your toes and between your legs.  If you are prone to yeast infections, you might want to save this scrub for showers as opposed to baths.  All that said, I have used the scrub myself and love it!  No issues!
Pin It

If you liked this tutorial, then you might love 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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