Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stove Top Potpourri Gift Bags...


I'd like to start this post with a quick "thank you" to all those who made such kind comments on my blog post and through emails when they requested my Crossbody Owl Purse Pattern & Tutorial. On Saturday my little girl owly purse was featured on the blog "Sew Can She", which has resulted in hundreds of requests of that pattern. I haven't been able to respond to every comment or every email {other than sending the requested pattern}, but I'd like you to know that I appreciated your kind words. Thank you! Your encouragement fuels my creativity!

Now for today's post...   The holidays are definitely a treat for the senses. We indulge in deletable sweets, we listen to meaningful Christmas carols, and, of course, we enjoy the twinkling lights and decorations that are a feast for our eyes. However, if you haven't considered filling your home with the sweet scent of fresh citrus and spices, you might be missing out.

This year my daughter inspired me to make gift bags of Stove Top Potpourri to give to friends. She is "great with child" this Christmas, so this was the perfect {simple} gift for her to make for her friends. I borrowed her idea because I think it's going to be an ideal treat for my friends too.


I began by making a simple tag with brief instructions for the recipient. {The source for this free downloadable laurel frame is Star Sunflower Studio.} Feel free to go here to view and make copies of the document I created.


After making some copies of the document on card-stock paper, I used a fine-tipped red felt pen to add a little color and make little berries around the leaf frame.


Place this potpourri on your stove in a saucepan, heat to boiling and then turn the stove way down and simmer for a short period of time. Never leave the potpourri on the stove unattended. A good time to heat it up is while you are in the kitchen preparing meals. It can be reheated over and over again. Just add water to refresh as needed. The ingredients below are merely suggestions. For my home use, I often add an apple or pineapple to the mix. If I don't have any ginger or nutmeg -- no problem. I just make a potpourri of what I've got on hand and it always works!



Now it's time to build your Potpourri Gift Bags...

Items Needed
  • approximately 11.5 inch x 5 inch open-end cellophane bags {craft stores carry cellophane bags}
  • approximately 3 x 4.5 inch seal-lock cellophane bags

Ingredients
  • 1 orange, 2 tangerines, or 2 Clementines (Cuties)
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of fresh cranberries
  • about 1 tsp. of whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Directions 

Put granulated sugar and ground spices in the 3 x 4.5 inch seal lock cellophane bag. Add orange to large bag, along with cinnamon stick, fresh cranberries and whole cloves, then include the smaller sugar and spice bag to the ingredients in the larger bag.


Attach the label to the cellophane bag with twine or ribbon...


And... you're done.


Not exactly exhausting, was it?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beautiful Nativity...

If you only watch only one Christmas video this year, this should be the one you watch. It is so beautiful, and joyous, and inspiring and will surely bring the true meaning of Christmas into your life.



"The previous record for the world’s largest live nativity scene, with 898 people, took place last year in the United Kingdom. That record was recently broken when 1,039 people dressed as wise men, shepherds, angels, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, participated in a huge production to re-create the Savior's birth as part of a larger movement for sharing the gift of Christ.

The event took place at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, Utah and was witnessed by Guinness World Record judge Michael Empric. The new world record resulted in a video collaboration of “Angels, from the Realms of Glory,” which included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Piano Guys, David Archuleta, Peter Hollens, and many other Utah YouTubers, filmed by Devin Graham. The Organizers said that breaking the world record was secondary to highlighting religious faith over materialism." (source)

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday's Fabulous Finds...


I spy with my Etsy eye a... 
woodland Christmas.


Clockwise, starting top left:

Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Need Ideas for Christmas Presents for Men...


The house is decorated and last evening the hubs and I mailed off the last of the Christmas presents to family. That feels sooo good.  The sewing machine was packed away yesterday afternoon. The only presents I have left to buy are for my husband. I assured him last night that he wasn't the last on my list because of any reason other than we had to mail the other presents to far-flung places. I'm not sure he believed me. I'm not sure I believed myself.


I often have a hard time finding a gift for the hubs. In my mind he should be the easiest one to purchase for, but after 37 years of marriage I feel like I've exhausted all my "good" ideas.


That's where you come in. 
I need suggestions.


Do you have any ideas for a Christmas present for a man? Something that you've given in the past that was appreciated?  Funny ideas would be acceptable too {nothing crude, please}.


He's a private pilot, so any ideas of a "piloty" nature would be great.
He also loves to read.


I'd appreciate your help! The poor man has a drawer full of socks and a closet full of ties, so something more unusual would, I'm sure, be appreciated.

This last photo is of some of our nutcracker collection. These were given to us from family over a period of many years. I love them. The one closest to you in the photo was made by our son over Thanksgiving break when he was in 6th grade. I've dubbed him "Frito Bandito." I'm pretty sure he has something up his sleeve (note: shifty eyes), but I love him all the same and he's proud to be nestled amongst our collection every year.


Please leave "Christmas Gift Ideas for Men" below in a comment!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday's Fabulous Finds...


I spy with my Etsy eye some... 
winter blue. 


Clockwise, starting top left:
Canvas Tote
Original Owl Drawing
Lamp Shade
Pine Cone Wall Art
Swedish Magnets

Wishing you a beautiful winter weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Crossbody Girl's Messenger Bag....


Here's another version of the Girl's Messenger Bag I posted about yesterday. I absolutely love this pattern from the blog "No Time to Sew." Obvioulsy, she does have a little time to sew, and I'm grateful because this pattern and her tutorial are fabulous.


I made this bag for my 11 year old granddaughter for Christmas.


I love the long 40" strap that can be adjusted so she can wear the purse
off her shoulder or as a crossbody bag...


This bag fits iPads or Kindles perfectly, so it can be used
as a travel bag as well.


Its finished measurement is 11" x 9" x 3". 


I made the outside flap and lining out of contrasting fabric for a little pizzazzzz!


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Girl's Messenger Bag...

A couple of weeks ago I published a post about a little girl Crossbody Owl Purse.  That gift is perfect for girls ages 2 to 8ish, but I have two granddaughters that are nine and eleven and I wanted to make them a tote for Christmas that is a little more grown up. I decided on a messenger bag pattern from the blog "No Time to Sew." Fortunately for us, she offers the free pattern and an in-depth tutorial on her blog...


Although this pattern was made for an adult woman, its smaller size is perfect for the preteen and teen. Its finished measurement is 11" x 9" x 3" and has a 40 inch adjustable strap, so it can be worn off a shoulder or as a crossbody purse.


I used contrasting fabric for the flap, but otherwise I followed the pattern exactly...


Both my granddaughter's have i-Pads that will fit perfectly in this bag (not to mention kindles, etc), so it could be a great bag for traveling as well. One more gift checked off the list!



Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Fabulous Gift Ideas for Boys...


If you have a little boy who needs a Christmas gift this year, you are going to thank me for this post -- profusely. After birthing five boys and being blessed with seven grandsons I knows a thing or two about what makes little boys tick. Here are some fabulous gift ideas that are reasonably priced and perfect for the little boys in your life.

The Ultra Stomp Rocket is a huge hit for boys of all ages. Little ones as young as two years of age with adult supervision can learn to make the rocket fly by pouncing on the launcher. Older kids can sale the rocket into outer space. It is my recommendation that you buy one for the adults in your family so they don't confiscate this present for their own enjoyment. 


We bought the Air Strike Catapult for our five year old grandson this year. Most little boys love to hurl things through the air. We figure it might as well be nerf balls in a catapult. Although I'm fairly certain within minutes he'll figure out that rocks work just as well in this contraption. {Keepin' it real.} We bought "Ball Refills" with this item.


Light Up UFO is a gift that my sister suggested this year. I get a lot of my ideas from her. She's a pre-school teacher with lots of grandsons -- the perfect combination. She has her pulse on what boys love. This is a great gift for an older boy.


The Zing Air Hunterz Z-Curve Bow is one of my all-time favorite gift for boys and girls. We bought several of these last year and they were a huge hit. Again, I would suggest buying an extra if you have a crowd at your house, because adults will want to try their luck at hitting the bullseye too! I would suggest you buy a Bullseye Paper Target with this gift. Otherwise, moving objects (children, grandmothers, squirrels, etc.) take the brunt of these arrows. Just sayin'.


 
The Multi-Voice Changer is a fabulous gift for children who live far, far away from your home. Far, far away. We bought this gift for all our grandchildren last year for Christmas. Unfortunately, some of them were visiting at the time. It can get a little obnoxious, but it's a lot of fun. It amplifies voices and changes voices in a myriad of ways. Once again, both old and young loved it!

 
We have a couple of grandsons (ages 5 and 7) that love soccer. This Hover Ball might be the perfect gift for them. They have a huge basement where they play, and I can see this "ball" entertaining them for hours during the winter months when they are inside more than outside. It's a hover ball with soft sides that won't damage furniture or walls -- or so they say. These two will test that theory.

I hope these suggestions were helpful. My husband and I are so blessed to have many little ones in our lives. This time of year it's especially fun finding each one a gift that will give them hours of joy!