Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeing Santa

The first time he saw Santa, Graham was so calm that he was asleep!   This year, however, that was not the case.  I'm not sure if he was actually afraid of Santa or scared we were leaving him with Santa but either way you slice it, he did not enjoy seeing Santa this year.  Here's hoping he enjoys next year better! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family & One-Year Pictures!

The Christmas cards have been delivered so I can now share with you our family photos/Graham's one-year photos.  Kelsey Tice Photography was our photographer and she was amazing!  She was incredibly patient with our runny-nosed toddler and rambunctious lab and, due to her gracious patience, we ended up with wonderful photos. 

I really cannot say enough about Kelsey.  I plan to use her for all professional photos we take from now on and would recommend her to anyone and everyone.  She is not only a great photographer but her services are very reasonably priced when compared to other photographers of her caliber.  I've said enough about Kelsey, so now I'll let her work say the rest.  

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Craftiness

Wow, it has been a whole month since I last wrote a blog post!  Well, after reading this one, you may understand why.  Since it is after Christmas and most of the gifts I made have been given, I wanted to share them with you.  I am the least crafty person you'll meet so, hopefully, this will inspire someone reading that you too can make gifts that people will enjoy.  I am omitting one gift and may include it in a future post, because I haven't yet distributed that gift to everyone I made it for.  Here it goes!  (By the way, all of my ideas came from Pinterest so they may look familiar to you.... I am in no way taking credit for the original idea.) 

First, I made all my siblings coasters.  I bought tile and different designs of scrapbook paper for each of them and mod podged the scrapbook paper onto the tile, glued cork onto the bottom of the tile, and sprayed the tops of the coasters with sealer so that they won't be ruined if they get wet.  A couple of pictures from the process: 

They turned out pretty cute if you ask me!

For my parents, I made a customized plant pot.  They tend to keep a lot of plants around the house so I thought this would be good.  I printed off a bunch of pictures from our recent photo shoot, mod podged them onto the pot (yes, mod podge has become my best friend), used that sealer spray again, and hot glued a ribbon around the top (how cute is that mustard chevron ribbon?!).  I think they liked it.  It'll be cool to see a plant in there next time we visit!

Next, I made a Movie Night In A Bottle for my niece.  I cut a window opening in the back of a cleaned out soda bottle (I drank the soda, because I really sacrifice during my gift giving) and put in tons of candy and several bags of popcorn.  I then taped it shut and glued a sign a printed onto it.   

Not too shabby if you ask me. And, of course, I got her a movie to go along with it.  I think that is the most excited I've seen her for ANY present I've given her, so I'd have to say this was a success! 

Excuse the messy pictures, but these next gifts were just plain messy to make.  They are bird feeders for the grandparents from Graham.  I mixed together Knox gelatine, water and bird seed and put it into cookie cutters to get shapes! 

I had to peel around the edges to get the shapes perfect, but the end product was not bad!

Next, I made 3 bags of Christmas gifts for Graham's teachers at his part-time daycare program.  Earlier in the year, they had filled out surveys about their favorite things so this Pinterest idea was perfect! 

For another niece, I made plastic bottle bowling.  I used acrylic paints to coat the inside of the bottles and dried them out and bought a ball to play with.  It looked like something I would've enjoyed as a kid so I thought it might be a fun gift.   

Last, but certainly not least, was the homemade salted caramel sauce I made for loved ones.  It was a true labor of love.  Before anyone is too impressed, let me just say that making caramel sauce is not easy!  I messed up quite a few batches before getting some I could actually use.  I don't plan on making it again, at least not with the recipe I used.  I've had other recipes offered to me that may be easier and, someday, if I get up the desire again, I may try one of those.  Until then, this is all you've got:

I hope you've enjoyed my homemade Christmas gift post!  I definitely plan to make more gifts from now on (though I may not set the lofty goal of making ALL Christmas gifts again).  It was fun and I really felt like my gifts meant more than they would have if I had gone out and bought random things for people, not knowing what they really wanted or needed.

Until next time,