11 December 2011

Gingerbread Houses

This year was our 2nd annual gingerbread house party (I was going to call it a gingerbread house making party, but Hubs said that was too wordy). It's pretty easy to put together and it's always fun to see what other people come up with when they're building. I was going to do a post about how to host one of these and give you all of my tips and tricks. I was also going to do that about a week and 1/2 ago. I'm just guessing no one is going to throw together a last minute gingerbread party in the 5 days until Christmas so instead I'll show you pictures of the houses we made and you can email me if you really want the details, ok? :)

Now before you think I'm crazy I spend an entire day making tons of gingerbread, let me tell you we use the term gingerbread house loosely. As in we don't use gingerbread. Graham crackers work great and require zero effort in the kitchen on my part (yay!).

We supply the "gingerbread" and glue/icing and ask each person to bring a bag of candy (or two). This way you don't have to buy pounds of candy and you end up with a good variety of stuff to work with. I made a big batch of royal icing for people to work with. This year the recipe I used wasn't so great and I broke my beaters. Oops. Thankfully it was mixed enough to hold things together. Here's another royal icing recipe I found (it should be better than the one I used since it has almost 5 stars after lots of reviews...I wish I used this one!). You can divide the icing into ziploc bags or disposable icing bags for each person/team.

And now for the pictures...
Um, not sure if this one had a name, but it wins for the tallest!

Grandma's Kitchen - complete with Grandma and pots on the stove

Beargraham Air Base - I think there's a little too much detail on this one for me to explain it all

Not just your standard "gingerbread" house - this one even has a balcony and an open garage door!

Our beach house - on stilts with a fish cooking on a fire out front

And that's our party in a nutshell! I would say I'm taking a little break for the holidays and I probably won't be posting as much, but then I realized I've kind of already been taking a little break and I haven't been posting very regularly the past month or so. So I guess I'm just trying to say don't hold your breath for a post in the next two weeks. We'll be having fun doing family things and I haven't gotten quite crazy enough to take my sewing machine with me on vacation yet! I hope you all have a great holiday!
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05 December 2011

Christmas Mantel

I'm finally here to update my poor neglected blog with a quick Christmas post!
I've seen some pretty sweet Christmas mantels out there lately. Unfortunately our current abode has no mantel or fireplace or anything cool to hang stuff on. I couldn't have our stockings just laying on the floor though so I had to come up with something.

Enter piece of a 2x4. Me and this piece of 2x4 go way back. It's been in the trunk of my car since I moved into my first apartment. My dad and I went to get some slats to put under the mattress on my bed and there were two pieces leftover about a foot and a half-ish in length. And just in case, I left them in my trunk for years. I mean you never know when a piece of 2x4 will come in handy, right?
I was going to spray paint it, but then it got all cold and rainy and I didn't want to go outside and paint. So I took about 30 seconds to sew up a 2x4 sock to slip over it (made of an old black tshirt). And now we have a pseudo-mantle. (Seriously not as cool as a real one over a fireplace but still much better than stockings sitting on the floor)
We also got a tree and decorated it last weekend so the house is feeling quite Christmasy.
Sorry I've been missing for a while, I had a great time with family at Thanksgiving and had so much fun that I managed to come away with only a blurry picture of my cousin (oops). I should have plenty to share with you after Christmas though since I can show you the handmade presents I've been keeping secret. Anybody else have to hang stockings up in a weird way creatively?
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18 November 2011

Gifts for guys

Ok, anybody else having trouble thinking of something to get for the guys in your life for Christmas? For some reason I seem to have more trouble coming up with gift ideas for guys than for girls. Actually here are some of the reasons I thought of:
  • I'm a girl, so naturally I have a better idea what a girl might want
  • Hubs is picky (that probably doesn't apply to everyone, but remind me to tell you the story of the chocolate vs. black dashboard sometime)
  • You can't apply mad crafting or sewing skills to most guy presents - I'm fairly certain my Dad does not want a cute headband and my uncle doesn't want a pretty clutch
  • Guys are weird
 Most of my guy relatives are pretty much maxed out on knives, multi-tools, etc. (although they would probably say you can never have too many) so I've been on the lookout for different guy gifts this year. I thought I'd share some ideas I've compiled after hours of browsing pinterest. Some are homemade and others are...uh...not.

1. Paracord bracelet - looks tough and could be useful in an emergency (you can unravel and use the 7-8 ft of paracord to hold stuff together or something)
 Tutorial here on my blog

2. Camera lens coffee mug - way more fun than a plain ole mug
$24-30 at Photojojo

3. Astronaut ice cream - how cool is that? (haha, get it? coool?? sorry, I couldn't help myself)
$3.99 at ThinkGeek

4. Turn a fat tie into a skinny tie - I'm keeping this in my back pocket for Hubs someday
 Tutorial at Design Mom

5. iPad case - although may I suggest a slightly more manly fabric and a magnetic snap closure instead of a bow...unless your guy is the bow-liking type
Tutorial at The Polkadot Chair
And for the little guy, I like:
6. Socktopus - cute and cuddly :) and not every kid on the block has one
 Guidelines here on my blog (no pattern, sorry!)

7. Car play mat - doesn't this look fun?? And from what I've seen you don't even have to sew them, just hot glue!

Hopefully that gave you some new ideas! Anybody else have brilliant guy gift ideas?
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09 November 2011

Gray Nails?

Anybody mind taking a break from crafts for the day? Oh good, no one objected (at least not while I was typing). I was reading through Real Simple and noticed some nail polish I liked. I've been wanting some new polish for a while, so I picked out a pretty gray color - stormy.
On a side note: I don't know why I haven't been buying quick drying polish all along. That's the only way to go! So I painted and luck must've been on my side because I didn't even mess up my right hand (yay!). I saw this on Pinterest the other day and could totally relate.
(from: this pin
I really like the color, but Hubs started cracking up when I showed him. I guess he doesn't "get" painting your nails gray...or something. I don't know, but he thinks its really funny. Maybe I should just be glad he doesn't hate it. :)
So have you ever painted your nails gray (or do you spell it grey, I go back and forth)? Is it cute or is it hilarious? (Please don't say hilarious.) What's your favorite nail color?
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