Craft Room Tour

It has been less than a year since I moved into my new craft space, though it feels like longer. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years, and my craft room has been in three different rooms. This is the second time I’ve had my craft room in this room! Before moving into this room, I shared a space with my husband. We had a Craft Room/Man Cave combo. Which is like a sewing room with a flat screen TV and an extra desk. But as I’ve done more and more blogging (and more and more crafting), it became apparent that I needed my own dedicated space. Space where I could close the door to keep children away from projects in progress. And a room where my husband didn’t have to constantly see the mess that projects in progress look like! So, I moved into this room, and have been getting settled ever since.

Always Expect Moore Craft Room Tour

Several months ago, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage asked some blogging friends if we’d like to join her in a big craft room tour. I thought it was the perfect excuse to get my craft room done. Because nothing helps to get work completed like a looming deadline, right? And since the deadline was MONTHS away, I had plenty of time, right? I did get some work done each month, and although the room isn’t perfect (I don’t know if it ever will be?) it is presentable, and that’s really what I was shooting for.

So, if you’re on the Craft Room Tour, and you popped in from the last stop over at Mad In Crafts, Welcome! If this is your first stop, you can go to the beginning of the tour, or you can enjoy this post and click on the link at the end to go to the next stop on the tour.

So, ready to take a peek into my space? Let’s get started! When you first walk into the room, you’ll see my main crafting area right in the middle.

crafting area

This is a dining room table I bought at a furniture outlet. It is super sturdy, and gives me plenty of room for my large cutting mat. It is more-or-less centered underneath the large window. If you go back and look at the first picture, you’ll see that the window has a very… um… interesting valence. The valence that is there is the old sports-themed valence from when this was my son’s room. I have plans to switch it out. It is covered by the blinds, which are tucked up. That’s because my son cut the cord from the blinds, so they no longer function properly. Instead of blinds, I have a plain piece of cotton covering the window. This does a great job of diffusing the light when I take craft photos in this room on bright days. On cloudy days, I just flip it up over the valence, and out of the way.

sewing machine

On one side of the craft table is my sewing machine. This is a Bernina 710, and she is brand new. I’m loving playing with this new machine! On the sewing side of the table is a tall unit with small bins that hold various projects in progress. On top of it is a fabric bin that currently holds two quilts that need quilting.

On the other side of the table is my laptop. That’s where I’m sitting right now as I write this!

large shelving in craft room

You might notice that I have aprons tied to both my chairs. I love both these aprons, but never wear them – this way they get a little use, I can enjoy them, and they are close at hand if I ever need them!

Behind the sewing machine is a large shelving unit that I bought at IKEA about a decade ago. I love this shelving unit! It is sturdy enough to have made it through several moves, and has been used in lots of different ways. Currently, it holds lots and lots of craft supplies! On top of this unit are a bunch of wreaths, and two smaller units filled with scrapbooking supplies.

large shelving unit

The cubbies are somewhat organized. The far right cubby holds all my adhesives and glues, the next has kids’ crafting supplies (like pom poms and pipecleaners) in the wipes box, and the last two hold books and binders.

baskets in craft shelving unit

The bottom cubbies have baskets filled with supplies. From back to front: Duck Tape, Therm-o-Web, and Mason Jars.

The other side of the room is just as stuffed!

quilt wall

I have a large rod with batting hung on it. Right now the batting is all tucked up, but when I need it, I unpin it from the top, and spread it out to make a design wall for quilting. To the right of the batting is a mini quilt I made, and to the left are my paint storage racks. Jessica from Mad in Crafts had paint storage racks like these that her dad made for her. I showed the post to my mom, and asked her to make me some! I love how it frees up drawer space, and adds color to the walls!

Over on the right you’ll see another tall shelving unit.

cabinet

Inside are various sewing notions, buttons, ribbons, and more. It looks nice and neat when the doors are closed.

Next to that is my ironing board.

ironing board

The ironing board never comes down. The mechanism for holding it up broke, so I tied it in place with a shoelace (true story). Now it stays up permanently. Which is fine – it gets a lot of use.

Behind it is a quilt rack. It is actually a piece from the crib we no longer use, and the slats are perfect for hanging quilts. Most of these are waiting for something – borders or quilting.

To the left of the ironing board is another shelving unit.

craft shelf

On top are some mason jars filled with pens, pencils, and paintbrushes. And a bowl filled with more odds and ends. In the unit are all kinds of things – clay, styrofoam balls, dowels, maps, flower stems… even some mini pizza boxes! Most of the items in here are things that I hope to use in a craft project one day. It is like a mini hoarding unit. At the bottom you’ll see my serger tucked away.

To the left of that is my comfy chair.

sitting chair

I bought this chair about 15 years ago at a thrift shop. It was covered in yellow velvet, and all the wood was painted black. I stripped off the paint, and re-upholstered it. On the chair are a couple pillows. I made the one on the left as a child. The one on the right was a gift at my Modern Quilt Guild Meeting. Under the chair are a few bags of fabric – all the fabric in these bags has deadlines. There is a quilt, and some projects for upcoming classes at the quilt shop.

Behind the chair is a large bolt of batting, and a bolt of upholstery fabric. Also bags and embroidery hoops hanging from a mirror. To the left of the chair are two more storage bins. The one on the bottom holds embroidery and yarn. The top holds denim squares for a jeans quilt I want to make. Someday.

That brings us to the closet. I’ve been quilting since I was 12, so I have a decent fabric stash. That needs some organization. Ugh! Above the fabric, on the shelves, are boxes filled with stamping supplies.

right side of closet

On the left side of the closet are boxes with UFOs (that is Un-Finished Objects for you non-quilters) on the bottom, and bins with jewelry making supplies on the top, and a bin with my glue guns on top of that.  Also hanging in the closet are more quilt tops. Some need quilting, some just need binding.

left side of closet

Above the closet I have two long dowels of ribbon. I used to have my ribbon in a giant, messy box. This makes it so much easier to find the ribbon I need for a project.

storage solutions

On the right you’ll see a similar solution for washi tape, and underneath the washi tape holder, my scissors pocket storage, which was one of my early blogging tutorials, and I still love.

Partially in front of the closet is a small rolling table. On top is my Silhouette, and a bin of supplies for upcoming projects – reviews for Craft Test Dummies and some more Easter crafting I’m hoping to get done. The top of this table is often used for craft projects. One side is white, and the other side is black chalkboard. I can just flip over the table top if I want a different background.

craft cart

All that leaves us is the area over by the door that we came in!

behind the door

Behind the door are a few mini quilts – the top one uses the Laser Cut Applique, and the bottom one is from the improv piecing class I took. To the left is a ribbon-crossed black bulletin board. I made this for my wedding, and it held all the seating cards. Now it holds all kinds of little treasures! On the left is a tall brown cabinet, on top of which is my AccuQuilt Go! and a rack with my quilting rulers. The drawers hold extra paint, RIT dye, fabric, and other odds and ends. To the right of the cabinet, leaning up against it, are canvases, extra cutting mats, and trays that I use as backgrounds when taking tutorial photos. Leaning up against the wall is extra cardboard for crafting.

WHEW! We made it all around the room… almost! There’s one spot we haven’t looked yet!

under table storage

This is under my table! I have shelves that hold projects, binders, and all my fat quarters of fabric. It keeps them accessible, but away from the sun that might make the fabric fade. To the left of this unit are my two older sewing machines. They are no longer used on a regular basis – but I like to have them handy.

I cram a whole lot of stuff into a relatively small space. That’s what happens when you’ve been crafting and sewing for as long as I have… and when you hate letting things go! While getting this room all spiffed up to show you, I did manage to fill one large box with craft supplies that I’ll be mailing off to a family member. I can’t keep everything forever… it is good to purge every now and then! … just don’t tell my husband I said that, or he’ll encourage me to purge a lot more often. I’m not sure I’m ready for that…

Thanks for joining in today! To continue on to the next crafty space on the tour, go check out Amy at The Idea Room.

Easter Tree

spring table decor

I made an Easter Tree. My husband has never heard of an Easter Tree, and my son thinks that an Easter Tree should look a lot more like a Christmas Tree… but I forged ahead. When I grew up, we had an Easter Tree on the table at Easter breakfast. I remember putting all the tiny wooden ornaments on the white branches of the little tree. So when I was at a lunch over at The Pinning Mama‘s house, and saw that she had a branch that had been cut off her tree, ready to be thrown away, I did what any crafty blogger would do. I asked if I could have it.

I took it home and spray painted it white. I used Krylon Matte paint. My branch was large – it took a whole can.

spray paint branch

When you spray paint a branch, match your strokes so they are parallel to the branch. Going up and down to paint across a vertical branch wastes a lot of paint.

I supported my branch on a couple tomato cages so that it wasn’t in the dirt. I waited about 30 minutes for the paint to dry a little, flipped it over, then painted the other side.

To display my Easter Tree, I shoved a block of Styrofoam into a large yogurt container. Then I shoved the branch into the middle of the styrofoam. The yogurt container was put inside my large glass vase, then the shredded paper was packed firmly all around that. The tree is VERY top-heavy, so I needed a lot to support the base. Instead of shredded paper, stones or glass pebbles would be a great idea to add more weight.

Now I’m in the process of making ornaments to put on the tree. I’m looking forward to coming up with lots of fun ways to decorate it!

spring decor

Behind the tree you can see my Spring Banister decor.

Spring Staircase Decor

Spring Banister

I don’t have a mantel. I don’t mind not having a fireplace, but not having a mantel does bug me. Especially when I see so many adorable mantels done up. My next house will need a fireplace, just so I can have a mantel. In the meantime, I’ve come up with some mantel substitutes. I used to use my banister to hang stockings. After we bought our china hutch, it made the perfect place to hang stockings. Though I still love banister decor.

This year, I’m having fun bringing spring into the house, so I thought that a Springy staircase would be fun! It was super simple to put together, and it adds just a little bit of color. If you pick brighter birdhouses or flowers, you could add a whole lot of color!

supplies for banister

To decorate your banister like this, you need:

Wide Burlap Ribbon
Large Gerber Daises
Mini Clothespins
Krazy Glue
Mini Birdhouses – WITH LOOPS (I had mine already painted)
Ribbon

 

 

Start by prepping the daisies. I pulled them off the stems, pulled up the green bit, added a little Krazy glue, and stuck my clothespin between the petals and green.

glue clothespins

They were done in no time.

attach clothespins

While they dried, I wrapped the bannister in burlap.

wrap burlap around banister

Twice. Just big loops around the railing. Nothing fancy.

wrap banister

To add a little color, and tie it all together a bit, I criss-crossed ribbon down and back up the bannister.

wrap ribbon around

Then I tied on the birdhouses. I used about 8″ of ribbon, and just tied them on the railing, threading the ribbon through the loop at the top of the birdhouse. If your birdhouses don’t have loops, glue the ribbon on.

add birdhouses

By now, my daises were dry, so I clipped them on the burlap.

simple spring banister

They make a great backdrop to my Easter Tree – that I haven’t shared here yet!

spring decor

Are you having fun decorating your house for Spring?

Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging

Quilt based on Oh the Places Youll Go by Dr Seuss

Last year I made a quilted wallhanging using a simplified version of one of the last images in my favorite Dr. Seuss Book – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I think the Dr Seuss Quilt is one of my favorite things I’ve made, and now it has a companion in a second Dr Seuss Quilt. I love the quote from the book. I love the whimsy of the image, and I love that it is the first thing I ever free-motion quilted. I decided to make a companion piece this year, using the same techniques, but a different image from the same book. My hope is to make another one next year so that I can have the three hanging side-by-side in the playroom. Here are the two I have so far.

Seuss Wallhangings in Playroom

I used basically the same technique I did last year. I started by drawing out the image, and picking fabrics. I labeled my drawing so that I would know what color each part would be.

draw out and pick colors

Then I created Printable versions of each part, fused them onto the right color fabric, and fused those onto the background. I used the dark orange as a background color, cut it to 18″ square before fusing on all the pieces.

Fuse pieces in place

Then I started stitching. Using the image from the book as a reference, I spent about  4 hours quilting, which adds all the beautiful detail. I love that it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the less perfect, the better! Here it is quilted, but not bound.

quilted and not bound

I did make one change from last year. I painted in the lettering. Last year I took the time to cut out each individual letter, then press it, and stitch it in place. Since I was doing four lines of text this year, and they were going to be smaller, I decided that painting them in was the best choice. It was tedious, but so much better than cutting and stitching!

After quilting, I trimmed everything down, and bound the quilt, adding pockets in the corner so I could easily add a rod for hanging.

If you’re interested in making your own, here is what you’ll need:
OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO QUILT
(finished size 21″x26″)

Fat Quarter Dark Orange fabric, cut to 18″ square.
1/2 yard green fabric (for borders – cut two pieces each 2″x18″ and two pieces 4.5″x21″)
1 1/2 yards black fabric (binding, backing)
Black thread
Small pieces (I used Fat Quarters) of the following colors: Orange, Light Orange, Light Yellow, Medium Yellow, Green, Light Gray (for the child’s hands and face)
Applique pattern pieces printed onto Jenny Haskins Web Magic (printable fusable for applique) – found at quilt shops that cater to machine embroidery
Basting Spray
Batting
Mechanical Pencil

Here are the pattern pieces:
Green 1 Fusible
Green 2 Fusible
Medium Yellow Fusible
Orange 1 Fusible
Orange 2 Fusible
Seuss Light Yellow Fusible

Even in my messy playroom, I love the way these look on my wall!

messy playroom

Please note: These instructions are for personal use only. The pattern and quilt are not for sale. The pattern is intended for personal use only. If you’re interested in purchasing Dr Seuss fabric, Robert Kaufman has awesome Seuss Fabrics.

Pieced Heart Pillow

Pieced heart pillow tutorial

I love decorating for Valentine’s Day. After taking down the Christmas decor, the house feels a little stark. It feels good for a little while – everything has been cleaned up and put away. But after a couple weeks I start to get antsy for some cheery colors and fun decor. Which makes these Valentine’s Day pillows perfect.

I actually made three different kinds of pillows. I’ll be sharing the others with you later in February.

pillows for Valentine's Day

To make the pieced heart pillow fronts, you need (enough for both pillows):
6 fat quarters of patterned fabric (my fabrics are all from “Scrumptious” by Bonnie and Camille for Moda)
1 fat quarter of background fabric (I used Kona Snow)

If you want to finish the pillows you need 1.5 yards backing fabric (that’s enough for both pillows), and about 4″ of velcro. You’ll also need a 20×20″ pillow form for each pillow.

I started by cutting my fabric. For each pillow you need:
From the patterned fabric:
70 – 2″ squares (assorted)
4 – 3″ squares of the same fabric (for cornerstones)

From the background fabric:
4 – 2 x 2″ squares
4 – 3.5 x 2″ strips
3 – 5 x 2″ strips
2 – 6.5 x 2″ strips
2 – 8 x 2″ strips

Lay out all the pieces. I like to lay them out on a piece of batting. The batting helps keep them in place a little bit, so a toddler running by is less likely to destroy my work. I put the pieces in a random order to get a very scrappy look.

lay out pieces

R1: 3.5″ background, 2 squares, 5″ background, 2 squares, 3.5″ background
R2: background square, 4 squares, background square, 4 squares, background square
R3: 11 squares
R4: 11 squares
R5: 11 squares
R6: background square, 9 squares, background square
R7: 3.5″ background, 7 squares, 3.5″ background
R8: 5″ background, 5 squares, 5″ background
R9: 6.5″ background, 3 squares, 6.5″ background
R10: 8″ background, 1 squares, 8″ background

I like to strip piece, so to mark my rows as I’m piecing, I use different colored pins.

mark rows when piecing

Here are all the rows pieced:

pieced into rows

I press the seams in alternate directions on the back. One row to the left, the next to the right, the next to the left… this reduces the bulk and also makes the points match up easier.

iron seams different ways

To finish the top, I measured the top and bottom, took the average of the two, and cut 3″ wide border pieces this length. I then measured the sides, took the average, cut 3″ wide border pieces this length. I added the 3″ squares to the side pieces, added the top and bottom borders, pressed, and then added the side borders. Top complete.

pieced pillow front

Quilting the pillow gives it more depth, and helps keep all that stitching in place. I layered a piece of muslin, batting, and my pillow top, and spray basted (we can have the discussion of pin basting vs. thread basting vs spray basting, but spray basting is just so much faster, so I often go with just spray basting things).

layer to quilt

You can quilt your pillow however you like. I did stitch-in-the-ditch around the border, and around the heart. Then I did a cross-hatch in the heart.

pieced heart pillows

To finish the back of the pillow, I measured my finished pillow, and cut 2 backing pieces. Each piece was the height of the pillow by 1/2 the width + 4″.

I folded the long end over 1″, then folded it over again and pressed. I selected a fun decorative stitch (no particular reason… just why not?), and stitched it down. I did the same with the other side. I added velcro to the center of each. Then I connected them using the velcro, put the whole thing right-sides-together with my pillow top, stitched all the way around, clipped, and turned right side out. There are lots of ways you can finish a pillow. This is called the “envelope” method, and I find it is one of the easiest.

back of pillow

I do like adding about 2″ of velcro to the center. Otherwise the middle tends to balloon out. Much prettier with everything all tucked in.

velcro closure

Organizing Holiday Cards: Christmas Card Book

Holiday Card Storage Book

Every year as I take down my holiday decorations, I take down the display of Christmas Cards, put them in a pile, and want to DO something with them. I love getting Christmas Cards each year (and I love sending them out, too), but after the season is over, I have no way to store them… until now! Several years ago I saw a similar idea to bind Christmas Cards into a book that can be enjoyed for years… and thanks to the inspiration brought on by this week of cleaning and organizing that I’m hosting with Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Gina from the Shabby Creek Cottage, I have my First Annual* Christmas Card Book!

Holiday Cards

chipboard book coversTo make your own Christmas Card Book you need:
Chipboard Covers (with rings)
Mod Podge Hard Coat
Washi Tape (optional)
Scissors
Paintbrush
Hole Punch
Pen or Pencil
Ribbons (optional)
All your Holiday cards from this year
The Card you sent out this year
Your holiday letter (optional) shrunk down to size

I started by Mod Podging my card to the front cover. It was a little bigger than the cover size I chose. I could always go with a bigger cover, but I liked this size. After Mod Podging the card on, I just trimmed off the excess.

Mod Podge onto Chipboard

I had some of the chipboard showing over on the side where the holes were. I could have just left that part plain, but it felt… well… too plain. So I covered it up with some Washi Tape. Then I put Mod Podge over the washi tape to really secure it – Washi Tape has a habit of becoming un-stuck over time, and I want this book to really last.

Washi Tape and Mod Podge

I used the back cover as a template to mark where the holes needed to go on the cards.

Use cover as template

Then punched holes in the cards. I had fun with this part. I knew some of the cards were going to stick out – so I embraced it. I let cards stick out on the top, bottom, and right. Not all the cards are perfectly centered. I think it adds to the fun.

punch holes in card

I always think it is a shame that I don’t store a copy of our holiday letter somewhere. Sure, I could look it up on the computer, but what fun is that? I shrunk down our holiday letter to 60% so that it would fit on the back cover, then Mod Podged it in place. I used Mod Podge Hard Coat because I find it dries less tacky, and that will keep it from sticking to the cards as it goes into storage for the next 11 months or so.

Christmas Letter shrunk down

Once my covers were dry, I put it all together. For a little extra flair, I tied ribbons to the rings.

Store and Organize Christmas Cards in a cute book

I’m looking forward to keeping up this tradition each year, creating volumes of Christmas Cards from all of our family and friends that we can look back at.

 

*Yes, I know “First Annual” isn’t an actual “thing”. But I’m ok with that.

Most Popular Projects of 2013

Top Posts for 2013 on Always Expect Moore

I had a lot of fun blogging this year! I blogged here, over at 30 Minute Crafts, CraftSnark, CraftyHangouts, Answers.com and contributed at Craft Test Dummies. So… lots of fun posts, projects, and roundups this year. I thought I’d share with you the most popular projects here at Always Expect Moore this year. Here goes…

10. Whimsical Holiday Entertaining Recipes
One of two sponsored posts to make this year’s top 10 list… this post was so fun to create! I hung out with my husband to come up with some delicious adult beverages, and whipped up some other fun treats as well. Perfect for holiday entertaining… or just entertaining yourself!
Holiday Entertaining with Smart & Final

9. How to Make a Wizard Costume
I love that so many of the top posts were favorites of mine as well! This tutorial on making a Wizard Costume was so much fun to make, and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed it too.
Wizard Costume

8. Fabric Fest Quilts
Teaching at Fabric Fest was one of the high points of 2013, and I loved sharing all my different fast quilts with you… if you’re one that enjoyed this post stay tuned… I have more fun fast quilting to share in 2014!
three jelly roll race quilts

7. Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower
A shower I put together for my Sister in Law last year, this was a fun project. I enjoyed sharing how the theme came together, and the little (and big) ways I incorporated Pooh into this simple shower.
Winnie the Pooh Shower Invitation

6. Hexagon Fabric Bracelet
I remember the night that I was inspired to create the first of these Hexagon Bracelets. I stayed up most of the night stitching them together, I was so excited by this idea!
Hexagon Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

5. Monsters University Juice Box Printables
The second sponsored post to make this list, these juice box printables were so fun to create. I especially loved this project because it was a chance to get my boys involved in crafting.
Monsters University Juice Setup

4. Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging
This might be my favorite project of the year. I loved everything about it, and will have a hard time coming up with an encore in 2014.
Dr Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go Quilt Wallhanging

3. How to Write a Thank You Note
This post became very popular on Pinterest… which makes me so happy! I’m glad that the world wants to know how to write a good Thank You note. It is such a simple but vitally important thing to know… and I’m glad I could share this tidbit with y’all.
How to Write a Thank You Note

2. Three Printable Boy Baby Shower Games
All three of my SILs had babies in the last 14 months, these printables were created for a shower I was unable to attend, but wanted to help out with. Since they were so much fun, I shared them online.
three printble boy baby shower games - just print, grab pens, and you're all set!

1. Fast and Easy Baby Shower Games
With the popularity of Baby Shower posts, I’m guessing lots of babies were born in 2013! These were three easy to whip together games for a last-minute shower.
Super Easy Baby Shower Games

So there you have it! The top posts for 2013… I can’t wait to start 2014… I have so many fun and exciting projects and posts in store for you!

 

Holiday Home Tour

Well hello there! I thought I’d take you on a little tour of the front room, decked out for the holidays. Not the entire house… because you don’t want to see my disaster of a wrapping station, or the front room that’s looking particularly lived-in after the entire family has come down with the flu (it was a rough weekend). But I’ll give you a little peek into the mostly-un-photoshopped parts of the house that have been decorated for the holidays.

If you want to see some other bloggers’ Holiday spaces, check out this post over at Denise Designed for details on the holiday home tour.

First, our front door. I made the Ornament Bricks this year. The wreath I made years and years ago – just a simple store-bought garland wreath that I wrapped with a string of bells. I love that it jingles whenever we open the door!

The Santa mat was a gift… I love that it adds a little extra holiday ho-ho-ho!

Holiday Doorway

view of the front room

Inside the door is our Christmas tree. We move around the couches at Christmastime to fit the tree. The two rockers belong to my kiddos – they were first birthday gifts from my in-laws. My MIL also made the Santa that stands to the right of the tree. Behind Santa is an Advent Calendar that I stitched up from a fabric panel years ago – but we’ve never actually used it to count down the days to Christmas! On the back of the door is the wreath I made this year.

tree and ornaments

At the top of the tree is a simple star (my 5-year old was super excited to put the star on top of the tree this year), and just below the star are my two turtle doves. I love my doves, I’ve had them as part of my holiday decor for years.

two turtle doves

You can also see the ornaments that hang from the valences. I have ornaments from all the downstairs valences. A simple way to add decor throughout the house.

holiday decor

Hanging from the mirror is the elongated wreath I made last year, and next to it a fun sign…

small table runner

On the coffee table between the tree and the sofa is a table runner that I made back in 2010. It is a simple quilt-as-you-go runner made with strips of holiday fabric. On the runner are my Santa Candlesticks.

dancing snowglobes

Also on the coffee table are my little dancing Hallmark snowless snowglobes. I’m not sure what these are called, but Hallmark sold them years ago, with a new one coming out every week or so. I wasn’t dedicated enough to get the whole collection, but someday need to go on Ebay to get more of the set. I love these guys, and so do my kids.

You can see on the couch is a Christmas Quilt, this one made by my husband’s Auntie. She’s an avid quilter, and made this flannel quilt for us years ago. I love snuggling under it during the holidays.

end table

Between the sofas is a little endtable. I have a beaded mat, some holiday coasters, my Mason Jar with Light-up tree, and this year’s photo of the kiddos with Santa. I’m loving Viv from the V Spot’s holiday tradition of framed holiday photos that come out every year, and want to start that tradition with my boys. Although I doubt I’ll be re-painting the frames each year.

living room

Next is the china hutch. We don’t have a fireplace, so the china hutch is where we hang our stockings. Before we had the hutch, we hung our stockings from the banister.

stockings on the china hutch

I hung my simple silver ball garland between the stockings.

stockings hanging

I made the stockings 4 years ago. The names are cross-stitched by hand. The snowman image and the cross-stiched name are machine appliqued onto the stocking, which has a furry cuff.

mom and dad stocking

Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie have stockings that match ours, because they joined us for Christmas that year. The baby’s stocking was made last year to match. The fabric is a white-on-white print that doesn’t show up in the photos, but gives some subtle contrast on the fabric.

banister

Past the dining room is the banister and a snowflake hanging from the stairs that holds Christmas cards. I have decor up in the rest of the house, but I’ll save that for another day… or maybe another year.

Most of the decor in the house is up-high, or very kid friendly. With two little guys, I want them to feel like they can touch, play with, and be part of the holiday decorations. Christmas is for the kids, after all, and they shouldn’t be afraid of interacting with it… right?

Make sure you check out Denise Designed for the list of home tours, and you can also check out the Everything Christmas Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

Christmas Home Tour 2013

“Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger

Gone to the Beach door hanger

As winter settles in, forcing me to trade in my flip-flops for socks and sneakers, I long for the beach. Warm days with toes in the sand, watching the waves chase the kiddos. Although I can’t transport myself beach-side… I can pretend. With the help of my “Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger.

This door hanger is simple to make, I use a few supplies that make it even easier. Here’s what you need to make your own:
Wooden Door Hanger
White Paint
Paintbrush
Seashells
Shell Glue
Paint Pen
Beach Sand
Mod Podge

Start by painting the wooden door hanger. I added a single coat of white paint to give it a white-washed look.

doorhanger

Once the paint has dried, I wrote my saying on the door hanger. You can write whatever saying you like… I went with the classic “Gone to the Beach”.

write on phrase

Start gluing on your shells. I placed my shells on the door hanger without gluing first to get the placement, then glued them down using shell glue. Just put the glue on the parts of the shell that will be touching something – either the wood or another shell.

use shell glue

You want to keep in mind the balance of the door hanger – if you put too much weight on one side, your door hanger won’t hang straight when it is finished.

 

glue shells in place

I wanted to add some more to my door hanger, so I wrapped one side of the hole with baker’s twine, then tied a shell to each end of the twine. This is optional, but I thought it added some more beachy color.

add baker's twine

I was going to leave it, but it seemed… incomplete. I knew exactly what it needed. I mixed beach sand with Mod Podge to create a thick paste. Do this in a container that you are fine tossing when you’re done – you don’t want to rinse beach sand down the drain of your sink if you can help it.

make sand paste

Apply the paste with a paintbrush around, over, and between the shells. I put thick globs in some areas, and brushed the sand lightly over shells in other areas.

put sand paste in place

Once the Mod Podge dries, your door hanger is complete!

close up of shell doorhanger

 

Holiday Crafty Goodness at Consumer Crafts!

This post is sponsored by the lovely folks at Consumer Crafts, who fuel my crafting addiction on a regular basis. Refer a friend and see what I’m talking about.

So often I get asked WHERE I get all my craft supplies. I live fairly close to a craft store, and so some of it comes from there… but honestly, they’re not open at 2am when my crafty brain is really going. So I hop online to Consumer Crafts, and start clicking away… their site is super easy to use, and I always end up with a basket full of craft supplies that I can’t wait to use! They ship them in a big box right to my door. It is like the pizza delivery of craft supplies! Everything from big machines to basics like glue and markers, they’ve got it all…

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Consumer Crafts Refer a Friend

Did I mention that their prices are insanely good? Yup. I’m not saying that I’ve stood in my craft store considering the purchase of a big machine… and hopped onto the Consumer Crafts site with my handy smart phone, then seen that the item was cheaper at Consumer Crafts. But I totally could. Because that happened. So, if you’re one of the 6 lucky winners… let me tell you that that $250 will get you quite a bit!

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I recently used their supplies to make this wreath (tutorial to come)…

all holly leaves in place

And a bunch of these snow ornaments… and even though I bought two packs of these glass ornaments… not a single one broke in shipping!

Snow Writing Ornament

Enough with my Consumer Crafts Love fest… go Refer a friend and see what I’m talking about.

Oh… and if you need some inspiration, check out all these great places you can connect with Consumer Crafts:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ConsumerCrafts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Consumer_Crafts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/consumercrafts/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/consumercrafts
Blog: http://www.craftsunleashed.com/