Quick, Easy & Beautiful!

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Sometimes, when I am browsing my favorite blogs, Pinterest or Etsy, I come across some cool stuff I would love to be able to own. But, with me being a stay at home mom, money is tight – especially around Christmas. So, I do without.

One of the things I immediately fell in love with were lovely little “bird’s nest” pendants. They had beads or pearls in the middle of a wire bird’s nest. They are usually sold for mothers, with the number of beads equaling the number of kids a mom has. I would look at them for the longest time, longing for one of my own. And then I found this post on Pinterest! I was so darn excited and had to run to Michael’s right away! And then remembered I didn’t get jump rings and had to go back! LOL! The hardest part of this project was picking the perfect beads. I thought about pink and blue (for my kids) but I don’t wear pastels. I searched and searched, until I came across an assortment from Michael’s, simply called Autumn. They were perfect!!

I ended up using 22 gauge gold wire since it was all I could find. I had the tools and have worked with jewelry making before so didn’t need to buy anything beyond the basic supplies, but you definitely need a wire cutter at least to make these. I strung two beads of my choosing and proceeded to have a sweet little nest made in just minutes. I added a jump ring, put it on a gold chain (purchased at Michael’s) and added a clasp. I will say my clasp is too big for my liking, but that is easy enough to correct.

After all was said and done, I am THRILLED with what I have! See???

I wore it today for the first time and LOVE it! It is so lightweight I can barely tell I have it on! And I think it cost me under $10 to make it, too! Beats paying $15 – $20 and not getting to personalize it exactly the way I want! I highly recommend trying this one yourself! It’s a great intro to jewelry making!

Christmas Is Coming!

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OK, I love Christmas! No, I LOOOOOVE Christmas! This is my favorite time of year, hands down. I love the cold weather, the lights, the decorations, the music, the gift buying and giving (although I don’t like wrapping!), the crafting, the baking and cooking, the times with family and friends, and the whole meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate. So, I usually start early in the year thinking of new things for my house or for gifts. I already showed some needle felted snowmen I made. And I have more!

In August (on my birthday!), Knitpicks had a big warehouse sale. I am lucky enough to life 30 minutes away, so I dropped the kids off with my Dad and Stepmom (who live 3 minutes away!) and headed over for the craziness. I actually went for the yarn, but ended up enjoying it more for the fabric (from their sister site, Connecting Threads.) While I was standing in the long line to pay, I happened to see a fabric kit that caught my eye. It was in Christmas colors and, although I couldn’t see what it was, there was a pattern included. I grabbed it and was THRILLED! It was my favorite find of the whole trip! I can’t tell you how much I paid because you paid for fabric and yarn by the pound, but I am sure it was ridiculously little for the actual kit. I couldn’t wait to dive in!

I finally got a chance to do some crafting recently – and found the inspiration! The kit I bought was a wall hanging. It included everything except the thread and the batting, so it was easy to do. I appliques on the lettering and the rest was pretty straight quilting stuff. I even hand-sewed the binding on, which I have discovered it one of my all time favorite things! And this is the little gem I ended up with:

I LOVE IT! I love snowmen and snow anyway. The letters and snowflakes are all hand sewn, as is the snowman’s face. It took me just a few days with an hour or two a day to get it all finished. Can’t wait to decorate for Christmas now!

Oh, and because I had lots of scraps left over, and I didn’t want them to go to waste, I made a cute little scrappy wreath. It was super simple and easy. I had it done in about an hour. I got the idea from here for the wreath, but used some wire I already had since we don’t keep metal hangers on hand. I ended up using a double circle of wire so I could get it extra fluffy with scraps. This is what I ended up with:

I’ll add some red ribbon to hang it from the wall. It is really lightweight, but so cute! It is going to be perfect for the season! Super simple! And it was a bit cathartic, too! Instead of cutting all of the strips, I just cut small notches in the fabric and ripped it the rest of the way. Very easy to do, but that ripping of fabric sure felt good! LOL!

By the way, if you haven’t discovered it yet, I highly recommend you check out Pinterest. I am so addicted! It is an amazing site and more and more people are signing up every day. I love it because I can find a recipe or a craft or anything else I am interested in, pin it to my board and no longer will I have to sort through my bookmarks to find something I once saw online. Now, I have pictures and categories. And you can make friends, follow other boards, pin and like other things people post, and lots more. I love to use it to keep track of everything I want to do and wish I could do. You can find me here. And if you sign up, feel free to follow my boards or leave me a note on my blog or on Pinterest to say hello! Hope to see you pinning soon!