The Christmas 2011 DIY Advent Calendar [FREE Printables] & MY Christmas Miracle!!

Tis the Season :]

This year is Andrew and I’s first year of being married and as I’ve said many times before- funds are low!! It’s rare to see a newly wed couple who has all the income they need streaming in, and we of course are no exception.  SO, we had talked about it and and agreed that we weren’t going to be able to spend extra money on a Christmas tree and Holiday cards…

I knew it HAD to be done this way, but I am a decorator!! I’m imaginative!! I need outlets, and the holidays are perfect for just that!! So I Photoshopped us a holiday card and being eco friendly, just posted it on facebook & here.  One down.  Then I was at Trader Joe’s a week ago and saw these mini little Rosemary bushes that had been cut into Christmas tree shapes!! I picked up one of those for $6!! The house still didn’t seem very Christmasy… So I decided to make Cinnamon ornaments [TUTORIAL FOR THESE WILL BE OUT SOON!!] for our little Rosemary trees, and the house now smells AMAZINGLY like Christmas!! I then also thought that we could use an Advent Calendar, and so I DIYed that as well [TUTORIAL FOR THIS WILL BE OUT SOON!!].

Our little flat was coing along nicely when… my Dad decided that he and my mom were going to buy us a Christmas Tree!!!  He took me to Home-Depot and I picked out a 3 foot tree that is PERFECT for our little flat!!  ANNND I had completely forgot that Andrew’s family last year pulled out all of their Christmas decor that they weren’t using anymore [about a million homes worth] and all the kids got to riffle through it for whatever they wanted!!  We went to their parents home to pick up whatever we had previously picked out- and we have 5 boxes worth!!

Thank the Lord we have family who have made this holiday come to our home!!

Us in Morocco

Us after Andrew’s grandpa passed away & we were

recreating a picture of his grandparents in front of their car.

Our wedding day

Andrew in Europe for the first time- and in London no less!

Our first New Years Eve together and he had to work.

So when he came over around 11:30 I had decorated my room with

bunches of x-mas lights all around my room & I covered

a cherry-ball with them to be the NYC Ball :]

Our tree colour theme this year is comprised of golds, cremes, whites, and cranberry reds.

We’re so thankful for our Christmasy home!!

The DIY Cheap & Easy Advent Calendar

Apparently my husband had never heard of Advent calendars….  And so when he came home and I showed him- he had not a clue why I had strung up candy canes…

So for all of you unfamiliar with this Christmas tradition:

Advent Calendar:  a large card with a brightly coloured sometimes tinselled design on it that contains small numbered doors for children to open on each of the days of Advent, revealing pictures beneath them

And usually in the US we have chocolates behind the doors…  but and Advent Calendar is just a fun wat to count down the days of Christmas!!  So I decided a cheap way to do it, that is way more festive and decorative than a large card :]

DIY INSTRUCTIONS:

This is so easy- you really don’t need a step by step picture… So:

-Buy a box of candycanes

-have a piece of ribbon on hand, or I had 2 pieces of twine and 1 piece of bakers string [black and white] which I braided

-nail the ribbon or twine to the wall [not too tight because you want to create a dip]

-print out the mini cards on each candy cane [PRINTABLE & PRINTABLE]

-write out the remaining number of days till christmas [one day per card]

-hot glue the card to a candy cane & then hang the candy canes on the ribbon or braided twine!

-and print out the “ADVENT CALENDAR SIGN” [PRINTABLE] and print the sign below as well.

-Hot glue or double stick tape those signs to the wall & c’est fin!! Very easy, festive, and cost effective!!

Merry Holidays Everyone!! My Families Holiday Card & a PHENOMENAL Place to Get Yours!!

London’s Holiday Card:

Hey everyone!! This holiday season, say “Happy Holiday’s” is a different way!!  I love vintage prints that still say “Christmas”.  I decided this year to go with red, cream, and gray!!  It is our first Christmas as a “married couple” and so naturally we are too broke to send out cards…  BUT thanks to the social network- friends,  family, and readers get the point by just a digital image.

I created this card based off of a card I spotted on a website- I’m semi handy with Photoshop, so luckily I could make it happen.  HOWEVER…

If you are not handy with Photoshop or Quirk, I know one of the BEST places to get a unique looking Christmas card- without all the cheese-factor!!

ETSY!!

I actually thought about creating holiday cards, birthday invites, bridal shower cards, birth announcements, ect… and posting them to Etsy.com!!  Etsy has BEAUTIFUL Christmas Cards for you to pick from!!  The way it works is that you pay anywhere from $2 to $12 for a card to insert your picture into or even just a holiday card without a picture of your family if that’s the way you wish it to be- you pay the one time fee, and then they send you that image which you then have the rights to! Your picture is inserted into the card- and then you send it to whatever printing company you prefer.  There are many to choose from: Costco, Snapfish, Shutterfly, ect…

Just a Few Inspirational Ideas-

all of which can be found on Etsy.com :]

Last, LAST Minute DIY Thanksgiving Day/Fall Vegetable Centerpieces… I Promise!!

DIY Project for Thanksgiving 2011 That is INCREDIBLY Last, LAST Minute

Hey everyone, so it is houuuurs before Thanksgiving 2011 dinner is about to beging and I have one last DIY project for you all if you need something else last minute & decided the citrus candles were going to take too long… Here is something much more simple & quick.

Squash Vases

White Pumpkin Vase

Bell Pepper Vase

DIY Thanksgiving Day/Fall Vegetable Centerpieces

 

The Before…

And the After…

Anthropologie Style Decorating, Decorating: the DIY Hanging Light Bulb Vase

Anthropologie Love

I have said this over and over again…  Walking into an Anthropologie store is like walking into a unique Wonderland, except YOU are Alice and instead of having tea with a door mouse and crazy ol’ hatter you are encouraged to buy simply chic over priced items.  Now… I love Anthropologie- but if we are honest, most of you would have to admit that the reason you are tempted to buy all of their items is because the atmosphere of “Anthro-land” is intoxicating!!  What mostly draws me in, are all the things that are not for sale.  I always want to buy their teacup installation, or mason jar light fixtures…  The beautiful setting of the store leaves you feeling like if you buy this $298 light fixture of basic light bulbs dangling off it’s brass base- then you will have a home just as divine as Anthroplogie.

Decorating, Decorating:

for the DIY Home & a DIY Wedding

What I love about DIY projects [Do It Yourself] is that you can create a similar gorgeous item without paying for the Anrtho-land prices.  This projects is WONDERFUL for a DIY wedding, hanging in front of a window, out on the porch next to the garden, ect… The ideas are limitless when it comes to this inspirational GREEN do it yourself craft!

 

The DIY Hanging Light Bulb Vase

What you need: A light bulb (any shape or size will work!), pliers and gardening wire.

Step One: First you need to remove the little silver layer on the bottom of the light bulb.  Work the pliers under the layer to create a little lip, and then you should be able to peel it right off with the pliers.

Step Two: Now you have to remove the black cap from the bottom of the light bulb. This was the most difficult part for me – you DEFINITELY want to wear safety goggles and be extremely careful, as it is glass.  Some sites suggest using a hammer to crack the black glass but this didn’t work for me – with some time, I was able to work the pliers into the hole left after you remove the silver cap, and snap the glass.  I used the pliers to tap the rest of the black glass off the bulb.  Do this outdoors or over a hard surface so you can sweep up the bits of glass.

Step Three: Once the black glass was removed it was really easy to get the little glass tube and wiring on the inside of the bulb out – I simply tapped it with the pliers and it broke right off.

And now you have your empty lightbulb! I didn’t like how the metal part looked so you can cover it with a little piece of fabric

Step Four: Add flowers and water, and hang with the gardening wire!


So this is a really simple craft to do that gives an Anthropologie-unique feel to any room in a house, any back yard setting, or any gorgeous DIY wedding :]  This would look especially sweet hanging off chairs that go down the aisle or a row of these vases hanging in different lengths over or behind the cake/dessert table!  Be creative with it, and take pride in the fact that you are making life beautiful!!

 

DIY Bows & Petals Shoe Clips- Reinvent Your Old Heels!!

Inventing a Wardrobe versus Reinventing One!!

There are certainly times in life where I can go INTO my closet [yes in our teeny-tiny 600 square foot flat we do have the luxury of a walk-in….], and feel as if I am looking at a bunch of rags…  Feeling like my colourful rags don’t inspire me at all…  We also have the wonderfully-cursed luxury of being newly weds!!  Which means we are rich in passion and broke in finances…  So, it is either time to become a nudist and leave the closet door shut for a while; only entering back into it once I have forgotten about all of the lovely pieces hanging in there, which will no longer be called “rags” in my mind, but “splendid garments”… OR it is time to get creative!!

Pregnant in Heels- When you still want sexy, just minus the pain….

My girlfriend watches Bravo all the time, and Pregnant in Heels with Rosie Pope happens to be a favourite show of hers.  Now- reinventing clothes is one thing… you can cut, stich, pin, dye, add on, take off, ect…  But Pregnant in Heels got me thinking about… well,  HIGH HEELS!!  When you get knocked up [or for the more PC crowd… “given the gift of life”] your body expands from every angle, or so I’ve observed… Never actually going through the process myself.  But this means going out and buying all new clothes [obviously], AND shoes because your feet get HUGE!!  And I may not know about “the gift of life”… but I do know about life’s other gifts- SHOES AND ACCESSORIES!!  And Jimmy Choo’s don’t look so cute in a size 11….  Plus, you’re already forking out so much money on your new baby [the kid, not the shoes] that you wouldn’t be able to afford Choo’s anyways!! Which makes us come full circle to most women being linked by the longing for better/newer high heels, but with no means of purchasing them…  

So my gift to you ladies, which was gift to me by Green Wedding Shoes- yet again, is the DIY instructions for reinventing boring shoes into a brand new pair of heels that are JUST what you wanted!!

 

 

 

Step 1:  First you will need to cut the ribbon. You will need the following:
• Two strips: 8 inches, Two strips: 7 inches, Two strips: 4 ¼ inches, Two strips: 2 ½ inches

Step 2: Put the 4 ¼ inch and 2 ½ inch strip to the side for now.

Step 3: Hot glue the two ends of each 8 inch and 7 inch strip together, so that you have four hoops. Stand each hoop up, so you can look through it. Put a dot of hot glue on the inside middle of each hoop, and push the top and bottom together so it makes a symmetrical eight shape.

Step 4: Take the 4 ¼ inch strips and cut small triangles out of all four ends.

Step 5: Make two stacks. Each stack should have the 4 ¼ inch flat ribbon at the bottom, with a larger hoop in the middle and the smaller hoop on top. Put a small glue dot in the middle of the ribbons to keep them together.

Step 6: Wrap your 2 ½ in ribbon around the middle of your stack and glue it together at the bottom to make a really easy and pretty bow.

Step 7: Cut two nickel sized circles out of felt, and hot glue the felt circles onto the flat tops of the shoe clips. Apply glue to the bottom of the bow and glue your bow to the felt on the shoe clip.

Tada! Now you are done, and you can clip your shoe clip to the front, side or heel of any flats or heel!

Or perhaps you are a women who prefers the trills and frills of a “petally” flower, giving your heels some cute dimension!!

 

Step 1: Print the template provided and trace the outline of the template on your fabric until you have 20 traced flowers. Cut out your flowers.

Step 2: Divide the 20 petals into two stacks of 10. Intentionally stagger each flower on top of one another in it’s stack.

Step 3: Thread your needle and stitch an ‘X’ in the center of one of your stacks of flowers.

Step 4: Fold your stack in half from top to bottom, and put in a few stitches around the fold so the fold will hold. Fold your stack again, so that it is now ¼ of it’s original size. Stitch 4-6 stitches along the open fold, so it securely remains folded. Once your done with this step you can kind of manipulate the way the petals lay and fold out by hand. Repeat these instructions for the second flower.

Step 5: Cut two nickel sized circles out of felt, and hot glue the felt circles onto the flat tops of the shoe clips. Apply glue to the bottom of the fabric flower and glue your flower to the felt on the shoe clip. Your flower probably has a pretty pointy corner from where you’ve folded it twice, so you’ll want to push the flower down very hard on the felt. This will help it open up, look more full and lay flatter.

You are done and can clip your shoe clip to the front, side or heel of any flats or high heels!

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Have fun reinventing your shoe collection ladies- and this is a good trick to keep in mind for brides as well!!  If you are looking for some places to cut costs, designing your own heels is not only more meaningful and spot on for what you would want your heels [or flats] to look like, but you can go to Ross or Marshals and pick out a cute cut, but more or less pain-jane heel and dress it up all for under $30!!  Most brides spend over $100 on heels, so and extra $70 in another part of the budget would look pretty nice!!

P.S. And for all of you who say the DIY Rope Words post, here is my sweet little welcome sign in our front door way underneath our chalkboard :] sweet and simple- just what I wanted!!