Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Eve

This year we decorated a living Christmas tree.  Our backyard needs landscaping, so we decided to buy a tree we can replant in our garden.  It is a Colorado Blue Spruce.  It came in a red pot and it really does look so cute.  I had to choose our smaller ornaments and of course all the kids pictures adorned the tree.  Christopher's angel from Kindergarten was our tree topper this year. 

The kids are all ready to open presents.


Michael got a fun Capitals hat!


Matthew received an Ukulele.  He wants to use it in children's ministry. 

 Blue got his own stocking full of treats!  He was very attentive as Chris opened the bag. 
After church we took our family Christmas picture.  I made everyone wear a Santa hat this year, thanks guys! 
 Since Blue wasn't in our family picture, I had the kids cuddle around him for a picture.  
It was a fun day.  In my next post I will share our family game time.  My kids are great sports to play silly games with their parents each year.  Stay tuned........

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Night in DC

Next year the Capital dome will be covered in scaffolding.
 It is getting a face lift after 150 years. 
We spent an awesome evening with our sons and their beautiful wives.  We drove into DC and checked out some Christmas decorations.  

Our first stop was the Capital and the Botanical Gardens.  We went right around dusk so I was able to capture the wonderful evening blue sky.

The gardens were illuminated with sparkling lights and full of colorful poinsettias. 

We wandered around the gardens looking at all the displays of miniature buildings made from natural materials.  You can see all the pictures I took from the gardens by clicking HERE.

They are almost done taking the scaffolding off the Washington Monument 

There was a pretty sunset as we walked to dinner.  We enjoyed some yummy pizza at PI Pizza.

Then we walked down to the White House and checked out the National Tree.  It is covered with thousands of LED lights.  Around the tree are small trees from each of the states and US territories.  On each tree there were ornaments made by children of the state.

 We tried to get some pictures by the tree. It was hard with all the crowds and lack of good light.  If I had my tripod and remote I could have gotten better shots. 

This one is my favorite from the evening.  


This was my attempt at getting a shot of the White House. They have you so far away from the fence nowadays, it is hard to get a good picture.  You can barely see the garland and wreathes that decorate the house.
 On the way back to the car I captured the 
illumination of the Capital. 
It was a fun family evening.  
Next time, our family Christmas pictures.
Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Crafts

 Sorry I have been away for awhile.  I have been taking a break so I could enjoy the Christmas season with my family and friends.  
Today I want to share what I have made over the last few weeks.  I made this cute little tree I found on Pinterest.  All you need are some Thickers (letters) from Michael's, 1x2 board and some white paint.  

First cut your pieces of wood and sand them.  I made my base 2", the bottom word 8.5" and slowly made each level smaller as I went up.  
 The letters are sticky but I glued them down to make sure they were going to stay in place.  There are not enough E's so I cut some B's into E's to make it work.  That way you only need one package of letters.
I cut a heart from chip board and glued it on.  Then you paint it white.  It took a few good coats.  Then I glued it together with wood glue.  You don't have to do that, but my tree is sitting on a shelf that gets bumped.  So I didn't want to have to pick up all the pieces each time.   

Next up are some cute little felt hearts.  You can put them on your tree or hang them on knobs around your house.  They would also make cute Valentine decorations. 

 I also made some fun gift tags for the kids presents this year.  Yes, I found the idea on Pinterest. 
 I sure do like that site!

I printed off color copies of a couple of my favorite pictures from the past year and Mod Podged them onto very thin pieces of wood.  Let them dry over night and then rub the paper off the to with a wet cotton cloth.  I used my wood burning tool to add a cute heart and year to the back.  

The last thing I want to show you are the Christmas cards I made this year.  I usually make three different kinds and try to use only the supplies I have around my craft room. 

 I hope you had a fabulous time over this past 
Christmas holiday. I will be sharing our holiday pictures with you soon.  Have a blessed day. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

DIY Chalkboard Wall

My friend Kim made this cool chalkboard wall a few weeks ago.  I thought that was a real fun idea, so I decided to create one in my kitchen.  

I went to Lowes and bought some chalkboard paint, primer, and rollers.  I was thinking to make mine magnetic, but the paint did not get good reviews, so I stuck with plain chalkboard paint.  The paint was 9 bucks.  So if you have the other things in your garage, this would be an inexpensive project.  I like using disposable rollers, so I don't have to clean anything.  


Next I primed the surface with two coats of primer.  Then I put on three coats of chalkboard paint.  I waited four hours between coats to make sure it was really dry.  Then you have to wait 24 hours before you can write on the wall.

 The next step is IMPORTANT!  You have to prime the surface of the wall.  Rub chalk all over your wall.  I used the side of chalk and this went pretty quickly.    I was a bit dusty, but it wiped up real fast.  If you don't do this step you will get shadows left behind of everything you write on the board and will have to repaint the wall more often.  

Priming the wall gave it a real nice look.  It didn't look so stark black.  Can you tell the difference in the picture below?

   When you wipe it off, use a cotton piece of material.  I used an old t shirt.  This worked great.  Plus you can just rinse it out and throw it in the wash. 

Now comes the fun part.  You all know I am a doodler, so this was fun.  I can change out the art/doodles, notes, lists (I love lists!) all the time!

This project was a bit time consuming project.  It was sooooo hard to let it dry for 24 hours and NOT draw on it.  I love how it turned out.

Thanks for stopping by.
Have a blessed day!  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lighthouse Smash*book

Just a quick post to share my latest Smash*book pages.  
These pictures are from our trip to the Outer Banks, NC.
  If you want to read about our trip, you
 can go HERE and HERE.
 One our "hobbies" is visiting lighthouses.  Over the last decade we have seen 141 different lighthouses in the US and Canada.  That is a lot of stairs and awesome views.  
This layout is featured on the Life in Details Blog.
 They are having an "Anything Goes" challenge for the month of December.  If you smash or do Project Life pages, make sure to enter a project or page.  
 I made some pockets in my book so I can save the pamphlets from each of the lights.
Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day!