Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lilly's Preschool Christmas Program

Lilly had her Christmas program today. I talked with her teacher who said Lilly is, and I quote, "such a quiet little girl." What did she just say? Are you sure you have the right Lilly? There are two in the class you know. So I found out today that Lilly is quiet, shy and prefers to play alone at school. I am making an appointment tomorrow to have her tested for multiple personality disorder.

I took a couple of pictures with the two kids in her class that she says she likes.
This is Lilly and Lily K. This is the only kid she claims to play with.This is Giovonni. This is the little boy that Lilly loves. He is a naughty boy. Who would have guessed that my little girl would go for the naughty boy.

Here is the proof of her multiple personalities. video

Christmas Frame "Wreath"

Do you remember the frame wreath I wrote about? Blue Cricket Design featured this a few weeks ago and I knew I had to try it. However, life got in the way and I never got around to making the ornaments.
I stopped at Hobby Lobby this week and they have 50% off all of their Christmas decorations. I found some that are plastic and will not break when they hit the door. I also found some floral picks that I thought would look nice. I dressed it with some fun ribbon and this is what I came up with.
Now all I need to do is dig out one of my wreath hangers and get it on to the front door.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Family Christmas Card

I sent out my cards so I think it is safe to post about them.
Kelly Braman took some excellent pictures of my girls and they made for a great card. I designed it in PhotoShop and had it printed by Color Inc. If you have never used Color Inc for your printing, you are missing out. They do beautiful work and are very reasonably prices. You even get free shipping if your order is over $15.These were printed as a 5x7 flat double sided card in a matte finish. Be sure to stop by the Color Inc site and look at all of their great products and specials. They do a great job with Gallery Wrapped Canvases as well.

New Christmas Decor

Remember these, well here is the Jen versionVery easy to make. I think they are absolutely wonderful! I think we are going to use them as the centerpiece for Courteney's Christmas Party that she has with her friends.
Remember the party we did last year? No, well check it out!

I have been in love with the decorations that Starbucks used a couple of years ago. They involved a lot of yarn and doves.Here is my version

I have it hanging in my office. I didn't want to make enough of the yarn balls to cover a whole wire wreath form, so I repurposed a wreath I had in the basement. I also added my favorite pair of wooden knitting needles. I will remove them for storage, but I will not be knitting any time soon with all of the sewing I have to do.

What new items have you added to your home or office this year?

BTW, Ann Wood has a free gift tag download on her site. She does fantastic work. Be sure to get this one.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tis the Season...

I have been so busy lately, I don't even know where to begin. Between my full-time job, my mom job, my wife job, and by Handbags by Jen job, I am getting a little overwhelmed.
That being said, there are still several things on my agenda.

1. April and I will be at the Lowell Christmas Craft Show on Saturday. The whole town is transformed to a craft show, food booths and general Christmas goodness.

2. I am planning a Christmas party for Coco and her friends again this year. I have a couple of weeks to get it together.

3. I have a few things to whip out this weekend to finish Christmas orders.

4. Here are a few things on my want to do for Christmas list:
Pretty Ditty has these great trees on her blog and I love them. I picked up the stuff to make them at Hobby Lobby last night.

Design Sponge shows how to make these awesome canvas bags using a paper doily and some fabric paint. How easy is that!

iDIY has a free template to make these Mini Photo Calendars. You need to use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to insert you own photos into the calendar, but how cute are they?

Rachel loves Bob is selling some great pieces made with buttons. What a great use for a button stash! Art!

Patty Young and MODKIDS are coming out with doll clothes patterns that are designed to use her fabrics and match her little girl outfits! LOVE THESE!

Needless to say, not all of these things will be attempted before Christmas, but I do have some time off after the holiday. Maybe then....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for all of the many blessings God has given to me and my family.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Pictures of the Girls


A few weeks ago I started thinking about our Christmas card. I have taken the picture for our card the last few years. They have been fine, but I can only keep the girls attention for a short period of time. I shot Kelly Braman an email to see if she could work us into her schedule.
Needless to say, I am thrilled! The shots are fantastic and the personality of each of them shines through.I am not spilling the images that I used for the card. You will just have to wait patiently for those. Thanks again Kelly.

all photos by Kelly Braman Photography

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas List

If you plan on making gifts for your family and friends this year, you better start crackin'. Here are a couple of things on my list.

1) Quilts for my girls - I know they will not be done before Christmas, but I will be sure to finish them during my Christmas break. I am using this fabric and it comes in panels that are already squares. I am then adding fabric to cover the words (because they are dumb) and then quilting the squares.
2. Notepads with drawings by the kids - This would be a great gift for teachers, grandparents, or the kids' friends. There are easy instructions here. Craft Apple happens to be a great blog and when I ordered one of her patterns last year we discovered we have a college connection as well. Amazing what a small world!3. Make your own I Spy book. Brassy Apple has a great tutorial. The best part is that you have everything you need in your house. You could make this into a bound book with Shutterfly or Snapfish, or you could just use a cheap photo album from the dollar store.

4. Design your own stuffie. I am going to have my girls draw a picture of a stuffed animal that they would like to bring to life. There are a couple of companies that do this, but they are quite pricey. I plan to use felt and fleece so that they are easy to sew.
All of this and I still have orders to fill for Christmas. This is what I plan on getting done this weekend:
1. Kara's Diaper Bag and Hooter Hider (I have never made one of these so I will have to see how it goes)
2. Stacy's Jade Diaper Bag (She lives in Canada and I need to get this to her before her little one arrives)
3. Library bag for Krista (I already have her other stuff done.)

Hopefully this will catch me up enough to start working on a pillow I want to try.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let the gift giving begin

Tonight are parent teacher conferences at Claire's school. A couple of weeks ago we gave the teachers mason jars of "Friendship Soup." Tonight they are getting Home Made Hot Chocolate mix. It is so easy and you can make a ton with the recipe.
4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. If a finer consistency is desired, you can pour the mix into a blender or food processor and run it through that. Store in an airtight container. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on your cocoa preference) of the mix to an 8 ounce mug of boiling water.

I added marshmallows to the top, made sticky labels and tied on the instructions. I got all of the ingredients at Aldi which means it was really cheap. About $2.50 for the large jar size.

Then I made cookies. (Yes. I know. I was motivated.)
1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
semi-sweet chocolate chips - 1 cup more or less

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Mix up the first three ingredients, and then stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough in small palls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes.

I hope that the teachers enjoy their pick me up after meeting with all of the parents tonight.

These would also be great gifts for Sunday School teachers, bus drivers, piano teachers... Just remember that Handmade and Heartfelt is the way to go this gift giving season.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Everyone should check out this great documentary about 3 senior citizens in Maine who have welcomed home over 1 million troops who they don't even know. Their mission to make everyone of our soldiers feel appreciated and loved should be our mission as well.

The Way We Get By - Trailer from The Way We Get By on Vimeo.



Thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Craft Show Update


So...I have some stuff left over from the craft show. I have some bags in each print in the photo above. I also have several Eye Spy pillows.
The bags are $45. I have some set up for stroller straps and some with the snap closure in the middle of the bag.
If you are interested in anything, please let me know.

The school also sold Pigs in a Blanket and have lots left. They are $8.00 a dozen and are well worth it. You can let me know if you want any of those and I'll get them for you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

If you have kids who love music, you need this

While reading my blogroll on Friday, I came across this post by Cool Mom Picks. I was interested and went to the link to listen. I was immediately intrigued by the songs. I ran the album in the background while I worked and liked most of the songs, which is more than I can say for most of the kids music CD's out there.
I stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up the new Jimmies CD/DVD combo. Retail is $19.99, but we have a membership there so it was just over $14 for the pack.
I must say that my girls have listened to it over and over. Watching the videos and doing karaoke at home and listening to the CD in the car. Coco is even putting some of it on her ipod.
Claire cried after listening to Taddy for the first time. She is ok with the song now. She asked for a Jimmies Tshirt for Christmas, but they don't have any in her size listed on the website. So, I had to write an email to them tonight from Claire.

Dear Jimmies:
I love your music. I love your videos. I am your biggest fan. I went to your website tonight to look at the Tshirts, but you don't have any in my size. I am 7 years old, but your Tshirts only go to a size 6. Do you make a shirt to fit me? Can you make me one with your picture on it?
Your biggest fan,
Claire

I will see what response I get, but if they don't have a shirt for her, I think I will be making a Jimmies shirt for her. She was singing the songs while laying in bed tonight. She may very well be there biggest fan at the moment.

If you need a Christmas gift idea, or just need something to occupy your kids for awhile, this is great! Check it out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Night

Our celebration started early with Mummy Dogs for lunch. Then we were off to the Bos' for Seth's birthday party.

We didn't carve our pumpkins this year. Instead, I cut templates out for a pirate, skeleton, and spider out of sticky felt and just stuck them on. It worked great and our pumpkins will last awhile. I plan on removing the sticky stuff and making a harvest display.The girls ended up trick or treating in the Bos' neighborhood. Thanks to Mr. Nathan for taking them. They had a great time and were totally wiped out by the end of the night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween is upon us

As you know, I love to get creative when it comes to Halloween costumes. Last year the girls were peacocks. It worked out great. The weather was warm and beautiful.
This year I had a plan to be birds. I bought the masks and crepe paper and was really excited. Then I heard the weather forecast. Wet and cold. We could handle the cold, but you all know what happens to wet crepe paper. What a mess!
So this weekend, I raided my fabric stash and made these beauties! I found a tutorial here, but you really don't need one. Lilly has a party at preschool, so she has to be able to sit in hers. I swapped out the cardboard "wrapper" for a skirt. I just made inverted pleats every so often to look like a cupcake wrapper. If I were more picky I'd measure, but I just did it by sight.
Now, they can wear sweatshirts and pants under the costume and stay nice and warm. I think I'll add a berry to the top of the hats just to top them off. The girls love them. Lilly wanted to sleep in hers and wear it for picture day today.

No excuses this time

I know that I haven't posted pictures like I said I would. I am not going to make excuses. All I am going to say is it isn't as easy as you'd think.

I am going to share a few pics of my day away with the little girls, my sister, Jack and my mom. We took a couple of days an met in Michigan City, IN. Leah and Jack took the train in and we picked them up at the "station." This was really a 12x12 covered bus shelter. Good thing we were both on time.
We made our way over to the hotel and hit the pool. The girls enjoyed the pool a lot because they could both touch in the shallow end. It was a little cool for Jack so he only stayed in for a little bit, but the hot tub was like a bath. He liked it in there!
After dinner, we came home and had a "birthday party" for my mom. Notice how the frosting melted on the cupcakes and how they look so delicious!
Later, I enjoyed a horrible nights sleep on a pull out couch with both Claire and Lilly, while my mom and Leah slept in a King size bed. Who got the short end of that stick?
The next morning the girls swam again while we packed up and after some shopping, it was back to catch the train.
It was a fast, but fun visit. I think we should do it again soon (minus the bed part) :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You may think I am insane, but I LOVE these!

I called Coco over to look at these when I came across them yesterday. She thinks they are too much, but I say you can never have to much when it comes to jewelry.
These wonderful necklaces are made by Idea Farm Designs on etsy.
I cannot afford to buy one right now, but they are definitely going on my favorite seller list.
If anyone has some vintage necklaces, cameos, metal broaches, or other "stuff" you could try combining them into one of these beauties. If they are not your thing, you can send your stuff to me and I'll try it!

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

I cannot even begin to describe the detail and beauty in these halloween costumes by Grosgrain. I am sure that there will be thousands of entries to win these, but I have to take a shot at it.
Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I know...I know...

I have been getting not so subtle hints from my mother that I have not been keeping up with my photo a day. I am well aware of this fact, but if you have been anywhere near me you know why. I have been working my "real" job, working for In Any Event for all of the ArtPrize parties, and trying to get ready for the LCS craft show. I am also trying to keep my house in some sense of order and spend some time with my family so that they do not forget me.
Anyway, I will be trying to do a better job in the coming weeks.

I have always hated school pictures. Claire always seems to have hair all over and she fake smiles. Claire had her school pictures taken last week. I ordered one for her memory book, but I took pictures for her to hand out to everyone. While I was at it, I did Lilly's too.
I sent them off to Color Inc and got wallets for their class. Total cost: $16. Not bad.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Bag

I can post the bag I made for Amy's birthday because I gave it to her today. I know that she checks this blog on occasion and I had to wait until I gave it to her before I could show you.
So, here it is....
Introducing the Amy bag. I needed something easy and quick to make up for craft shows and this is what I came up with. I designed, cut and sewed this one in less than an hour. It turned out great! I love it. Hopefully everyone else will too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trip to the Circus

We made our first family trip to the circus last week. I had the standard "we are not going to buy any of the crap they sell" chat with the girls before we left, but that lasted a whole 5 minutes before Jim bought them each a $10 bag of cotton candy. Anyway, the circus was great fun. Here are a couple of shots.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

ArtPrize 2009

Those of you who I talk to on a regular basis already know that In Any Event has been working for ArtPrize. We had the public and private opening events last Wednesday and have several more in the next couple of weeks. I had already seen some of the great artwork downtown, but the rest of my family had not.
On Friday, we went downtown for the circus (another very exciting story I'll share later) and we got down rather early. We decided to walk over to the BOB to kill some time. The kids ate it up! They loved looking at each piece and ran from one exhibit to the next. So, we decided to go back down on Saturday night. This time I gave Claire a camera and let her take pictures of what she liked.
Here is our tour:this moose is made entirely of rusty nails

balloon art


the giving tree. this burned down 10 days before the start of the contest and his hometown helped to rebuild it.

can you guess what these are?

they were used to make these awesome portraits!

recycled tires