Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Handprint T-Shirts

Mom,  if you are reading this, it is your own fault if you see your Christmas present early. I already warned you! Check your texts.

I gave my sister a shirt that Griffey and I made for her birthday.  We got a shirt from Ross and painted it to look like this owl.  It was so cute and she wears it all the time.

Well, my mom was super jealous of that shirt and looks at it mournfully when she sees it.  She really wants one.  So Griff and I made her giraffe one for Christmas.  I got both handprint ideas off of Pinterest, but I also searched on Google and there are a ton of different handprint craft ideas.

We used fabric paint from Michaels and a t-shirt from Target.  This is a great gift idea if you are looking for something meaningful and inexpensive.

Hex Nut Bracelets

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30 Hexnuts (I used the brass/gold ones) (either size 6-32 or 8-32, mine are 6-32 because I got more in a pack for the same price.  They are a little smaller.) These are 5-10 cents each at Home Depot and Jerrys

Twine (whatever kind you want.  I used a smoother white kind which looks nice but does not hold a knot very well because it is slippery.) Maybe $4 at Jerrys for way more than enough for five

Clasps (2.99 for 5 sets at Michaels) Jewelry Essentials Findings: Toggle Clasps Item JC11856-102

Crimps (2.99 for 150 pieces at Michaels) Bead Landing Crimps.  I just bought the largest ones I cold find because they hold six pieces of twine.
 I copied these bracelets from this brilliant blog and adapted them slightly.

Firstly, Cut three 2 ft pieces of twine and tie a knot at the end.  Leave a few inches to put the clasp on later.

Braid the three strands about two inches.  This is easiest by taping the knotted end to a table while braiding.  On the link I have provided there are great pictures of the process which make it very easy to understand. 

When it is time to braid the leftmost strand over the middle one, thread a hex nut onto the ledft strand and push it up the the braid.  The hex nut should be at an angle with the outside part higher than the inside part.  In this direction ( \ ).  After the hex nut is pushed up to the top, then braid the left strand over the middle like usual.  Pull it tight.

Now do the same thing with the rightmost strand.  Push a hex nut up to the braid at this angle ( / ) and braid the right strand over the middle.  You will notice that you are doing a regular braid and just beading on a nex nut before you braid over the strand. 

Continue this process with the number of hex nuts you prefer.  I used 18 on my first one and then decided to do 30 on the rest.  It depends on the look you want. 

After you have put on all your hex nuts, continue braiding normally for another 8-10 inches, depending on your wrist size.  Also, this depends on how many hex nuts you put on and the size of the hex nuts. 

The bracelet I made is designed to wrap around your wrist twice.  You can also make this bracelet shorter, with less braid if you want it to only wrap one time.

Tie a knot to finish it off.

I wore mine like this and tied the ends, but since my twine was so smooth, it kept coming unknotted.  I decided to add a clasp to mine, which the other blog did not do. 

To add the clasp, string the strands onto one half of the clasp and fold back toward the knot.  Wrap a crimp bead around the three strands and the other three strands that were folded back (6 strands total).

Crimp it tight and do the same thing on the other end of the bracelet.

This bracelet is a unique way of making everyday objects into something beautiful and unique.  The hex nuts can be arranged differently after it is made, which makes the bracelet have multiple looks.


O Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas party was on December 3rd and I wanted to have a Christmas tree up before then, which meant going to get one during finals week.  Since it was such a busy time, we went less than a mile away to the lot in the Walgreens parking lot {so Christmasy, I know. Maybe we'll make it to a tree farm next year.  It seems like we should considering we live in Oregon}

Griffey got a free candy cane from a dirty lumberjack Santa and accidentally dropped it on the ground.  He put it back in his mouth and when I tried to fish it out, Griffey wasn't about to give up his candy cane, but he did spit out about three pine needles. Oh well. It's fiber, right?

 Griffey was really interested in helping Adam with the ropes.  I usually help, but I wanted to photograph instead.

 Griffey loved unwrapping the ornaments and putting them all on the tree.  As you can see, he had a favorite spot.

 I think I accidentally overtrained Griffey.  When I ask him to smile, this is the face I get.
Ta-Da!  I like our tree because it is a story of us.  I don't like the idea of having a kid's tree and a nice tree because the tree represents who we are as a family.  There are craft projects from when I was a kid on there, ornaments we got the year we were married, and ornaments with pictures of when Adam came home from Iraq. 

One tradtion that my family had when we were little was to watch It's a Wonderful Life  while decorating the tree, which is something we all looked forward to.  Since we don't have that movie yet, we carried the tradition on by watching another Christmas movie while decorating the tree.

Christmas Cookies

I think activities are more fun if they have cool names.  For instance, Adam and I are in the middle of Winter Workout Madness {see what I mean?!}.  So, last night I announced it was Christmas Family Fun Night and the activities would include decorating sugar cookies and reading "A Night Before Christmas" which we just checked out at the library.
We decorated them right before dinner, so Griffey was waiting patiently until he could eat one.  Adam and I frosted while Griffey put the mini m&m's on them. 

Since Griffey decided not to eat dinner {which was lasagna, who doesn't like lasagna??}, he didn't get to have a cookie.  When he woke up I really wanted to give him a cookie, but Adam said to wait.  I finally broke down around 9.
Making these cookies reminded me of frosting sugar cookies as a kid because I made the frosting how my mom used to--by mixing powdered sugar, water, and vanilla together, then dividing it up and coloring it.  Also, when we were all done, I put the extra frosting in a container in the freezer, which reminded me of how my sisters and I used to sneak it out of the freezer and put it on graham crackers.

Christmas Cross Stitch

Tis the season for....cross stitching!

I got the package for this little gem at Goodwill and thought it was the perfect Christmas craft project for the free time I had this week.  It only took a couple days and it is actually really relaxing and to do.  This was my first attempt and it is very sloppy on the back, but no one will ever know!
 I recommend cross stitching to all because, while it is very much an old lady thing to do, it is also very fun and relaxing and cheap {especially because there are loads of kits of them at Goodwill}.  Plus, once you are done, you can add it to your list of talents and impress everyone.  LIke your grandma! That's who this lovely ornament is for.
Good luck!