Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Calendar

Last year we did the cutest little Advent Calendar.  Each day Elijah opened up an envelope and there was a little figure for him to add to his snow scene.  It was lots of fun and he loved it, but it didn't lend much to the true meaning of Christmas.  I was searching online the other night looking for something different and more meaningful when I found this!  It is perfect!  It teaches the true meaning of Christmas AND it involves crafts!  Yay!  This is an ebook titled "Truth in the Tinsel."

Each day it gives you a scripture to read, followed by step-by-step instructions on how to make an ornament to go along with the scripture.  It also has a printable paper chain that you can clip a link off of each day leading up to Christmas.  I was really excited when I found this, but discouraged that I might not have time to prep for the activities.  We just moved and I still have boxes everywhere!  If you are reading this, you may be feeling the same way, but let me assure you, it can be done!

I printed the entire book and put it into a binder, but that isn't totally necessary.  If you really want to get off to a quick start, then just print off the paper chain and the clue cards in the back of the book.  Here is our paper chain after it was printed, assembled, and hung from our light fixture.  Each link has the main subject of the scripture you will read that day printed on it. If you don't have a printer, you could even just cut strips of paper and write the words on them!

The next thing I did was to cut out the clue cards and clip them to a brown paper sack and hang them from a ribbon.  My plan is to put each day's ornament materials into the bag for easy access.  Have I done this yet?  No! ha ha.  So far we have clipped the first two links of the chain and read and talked about the scripture and we will do the ornaments as we have time and review the scripture as we make them.  Do what fits for your family!  Don't stress about it being perfect!  This is hard for me, because ideally I would have a much cuter set up for this, but the important thing is, my child is learning about the true meaning of Christmas while we spend meaningful time together each day and he will remember this always!  These are the materials sacks that I will fill as I have time.  I truly hope and plan to fill them all this weekend.  The first couple crafts in the book are fairly easy and can be done with things anyone would have on hand, so it's very easy to "wing" the first couple of days!

Here is the link where you can purchase the ebook "Truth in the Tinsel"."  It's not too late to start!  Next year I hope to have a swap party of sorts so everyone can pitch in and help one another get all the activities together, but this year we are just going to do the best we can and have fun doing it!


*This post contains an affiliate link.






Thursday, July 9, 2015

Exciting News: Craft Classes are Here!

I have been planning for a long while to hold various crafting and wreath making workshops.  Unfortunately, things just haven't lined up, until now!  I am so excited to finally announce that I will be holding my very first wreath making class on July 24th, 2015!  We have had a rental property for almost 12 years that is located in the downtown Durant area and I have always thought it would be perfect for my crafting business and classes with its open layout and large windows.

I have had a lot of inquiries about the class, so I thought I would post a little more information.  First off, spots are limited!  When you go to register, it appears that there are 20 spots, but there are actually only 10 spots available.  If you are interested, please don't delay in registering!

When you go to register, you will notice there are two different tickets you can purchase.  There is a $45 ticket and a $55 ticket.  The $45 ticket allows you to create a wreath of approximately 22" wide and the $55 ticket allows you to create a wreath that is approximately 28" wide.  The picture below illustrates the size difference between the two wreaths. *Note, the wreath pictured is not the wreath we will be making at this class.


That brings us to what we will be creating at this class!  We will be creating a base from real, natural colored burlap.  On that base we will be attaching ribbon in the following colors and prints.

Then, each person will get to choose the color ribbon (red, coral, or turquoise) that they want to add from the options below.  I just absolutely LOVE that coral color! I will contact you after registration for you choice of color.

Lastly, we will be adding a custom made wooden sign that coordinates with your ribbon color choice.  Our centerpiece will be similar to what is pictured below.

I am so very excited about this new endeavor and can't wait so see each of you there!  Feel free to contact me with any further questions you may have!  My email is fostercreativity@hotmail.com

Registration is going on now and end July 15, 2015.  The class takes place July 24, 2015 from 6-8 pm.  Hope to see ya there!  You can click to link below to register.





Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pallet Flag Tutorial

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to turn a regular shipping pallet into a Patriotic masterpiece!  

I started with a rather large shipping pallet that I picked up behind a local home improvement store.  It probably measures about 3'x4'.  I really wanted one with the slats closer together, but after looking several places I realized that those are nearly impossible to come by!  Therefore, I also bought some 6' fir fence planks from the home improvement store as a solution to that problem!
Materials needed:
  • shipping pallet
  • fir fence planks
  • red white and blue paint
  • nails
  • hammer
  • paint brushes
  • yard stick
  • ruler
  • marker
  • star template (I searched "star coloring pages" and printed off a few stars and cut them out)
  • table saw


I found pre-mixed Krylon paint in red, white and blue at Walmart.  It was very inexpensive and I didn't have to wait for someone to mix it!  The small cans were also the perfect amount and it covered really well!

The first thing I did was measure the spaces between the slats of my pallets and cut the fir fence planks to size to fill in the gaps.  I was able to use only 3 planks.  I first trimmed the width to 2 1/2 inches wide and then cut them in half to 3 feet long for each one.

I then nailed the fir planks between the slats of the pallet to fill in the gaps!

I totally apologize for how messy the above graphic is, but I wanted to be able to show step by step how I marked off my lines before painting.  The first step was to make a box in the top left corner for the stars to go in.  The next step is where you see the "white" lines.  I used my yard stick to mark off 6" x 6" squares on the rest of the flag.  Next, is where you see the "red" lines.  I used my ruler to draw from the bottom corner of one square to the top corner of the adjoining square in order to create a chevron pattern.  Last, I used a star template to draw some stars in the top left corner.  For the star template I just googled star coloring pages and printed some stars off, then I cut them out and traced around them on the pallet.


Above, you can see the black lines all drawn in on the pallet.

Lastly, it was time for painting.  I painted the white first, then I used a smaller artist brush to fill in the red and blue.  I still need to do a little more touch up on my blue and my stars once it is finished drying, but overall I think it is an amazing statement piece on my front porch!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Toddler Tuesday: Creating Fresh Baby Food

We welcomed Miss Adleigh into our world on September 9th and time has just flown by and now it's time for baby food!  I am by no means a health nut (far from it actually) but I try to abide by the rule that I won't feed anything to my children that I wouldn't eat myself.  Processed baby food is no exception!  We played a "Guess that Baby Food" game with jar baby food at my baby shower, and that stuff tastes awful!  If you don't believe me just try some for yourself!  I made all of Elijah's baby food and it really was so simple I knew I would do the same for Adleigh.  I also received tons of requests for info on how I did it with both Elijah and Adleigh, so I thought I would pen a quick blog post on the process and tools that I used.

First, I started with fresh food!  You can use organic if you wish, but that's not always an option at our store!  We hope to have a garden this summer!



I peeled and diced the carrots, then I placed them on this steamer basket thing I found at Wal-Mart.  I then placed the steamer basket over my pot and covered it with a lid.  The steamer basket doesn't quite fit my pot, but it still gets the job done!  Your pot needs to be filled about halfway full with water.  Watch to make sure the water doesn't evaporate out completely during the steaming process.   This happened to me during my second batch of carrots because I got preoccupied with the children and it ruined the whole batch, stunk up the whole house and almost ruined my pan!  If you don't have a way to steam your food you can totally just boil it!  I did that with all of Elijah's and I can't tell a huge difference in the quality of the food.


Check the food that is being steamed from time to time and remove it when it becomes fork tender.  Don't throw out the water that you used to steam the vegetables.  The next step can be done a variety of ways.  I had a Baby Bullet with Elijah and I loved it, but it has since suffered an untimely death.  I had an immersion blender on hand, so that is what I used.  You could also use a regular blender or food processor.  Whatever you have on hand will be fine!  Put all your food into a container or blender of your choice and begin blending.  



It will be really thick without any liquid added, which would be fine for older babies, but babies just starting out will need it thinned out a bit.  I used the water in which the vegetables were steamed in.  I came up a little short so I added in tap water as well.  You could also use breast milk or formula.  We don't use formula for the reason that I think it tastes just awful!  But if you and your baby like it, then go for it:)  Just keep adding liquid until its the consistency that you want.  Once it is to the consistency you want, then you can start dividing it up.  I keep about 3 days worth of food in the fridge and then I freeze the rest.  I used just regular ice cube trays with Elijah, but I have since found these that are specifically for baby food and I love that they have locking lids!  Had I not burned the second batch of carrots, this would have made a lot more!


After its frozen I pop it out into zip lock baggies for storage.  These are the sweet potatoes we made last week.




To some this may seem like a hassle, but I promise you it really is so easy!  You probably cook for the rest of your family, so why not baby too?  If you make just one batch a week and freeze, then you will have a ton stored in no time.  If you use the small cubes its really easy to mix and match flavors later.  Doesn't this sweet smile make it all worth it?



If I left anything out or you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!  Here is a list of some great supplies available on Amazon.com to get you started if you need them!





If you also make your little ones' baby food comment below with their favorite combo!  Both of my kiddos' favorite was sweet potatoes hands down!