Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Project #9- Advent Calendar Game *FREE DOWNLOAD

Can you believe December is here tomorrow!!? Wow. The countdown begins...
I have another cute advent project, this advent calendar idea comes from my sister. She has an 8 year old son and she made this bingo Advent calendar for him last year. I'll admit it took longer than expected, but it came out SO cute! I just loved this idea that I decided to make one of my own! I'll probably use this next year with Ethan. Supplies Needed:Tin tray, cookie sheet or sheet of metal (these trays cane be found at a dollar store).
Stickers -letters from MM falala collection
Red paint- cherry red
Ribbon
Bingo card (free download)
Embellishments (tags, rub-ons, chipboard, or buttons)
Button magnets
Empty jar - any jar of jam, honey, peanut butter etc...

Directions:I found this tray for $1 at the dollar store. I love sweet deals!! I made sure to take a magnet with me and checked to see if it was magnetic. I spray painted the tray with cherry red paint.
Using my crop-a-dile, I punched some holes at the top of the tray, and tied a bow.
I then printed the bingo card and sewed it onto a piece of pattern paper:
After, I glued that onto the tray. I wanted to keep this simple, so I painted some chipboard stars and added that to the tray along with buttons. The letters are from Making Memories-canvas falala.

For the magnets, I adhered some buttons, paper, stickers, brads (remove backs), & stickles to the tops.
I decorated the top of my empty jar with some ribbon, pattern paper and a Christmas Icon Tag.

How to Play:
The way the game is played is simple, have your child place a magnet onto the number corresponding with the day (example: Dec 1, place a magnet onto the number 1). Your child won't get a gift until he has completed a bingo (up, down, or across). The free space is last, because it's for the 25th of December- CHRISTMAS!!

Hope you enjoyed this idea as much as I did! Please feel free to link our blog on Twitter, Facebook, forums, your blog...there is no need to ask for permission to do so. We would love the exposure and WE THANK YOU!!! A giveaway is coming up tomorrow, make sure to come back. :) xoxo, Veronica

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Project #8 Advent Calendar

This is nothing new, in fact the first time I saw this was last year on Martha Stewart's website. She made one using primary colors. Then later I saw it on AE's blog.
So, this year I was determined to make one of my own. I started off collecting tons of little boxes. I found that JoAnn's or any craft store has really cheap boxes in the baking isle. These are made for small truffles or pastries. They are perfect, because they are cheap. lol I also found some at the dollar tree-again, cheap is KEY in my book. ;)
Then I bought 2 different paints a "leaf green" and a "cherry red" & I left some boxes white too. These matched perfect with all our advent numbers. I used some from each set: Advent circles, Advent squares & Vintage advent numbers.


On some boxes I glued a ribbon to the side for some added color. Then I tacked them to the wall.
I bought 7 small toys (a wind up toy horse, colored pencils, card game-Go fish, a small car, and a Thomas the train, stickers & stamps). Ethan is eager to find out what's in each box. Some days will have a fun activity or family outing too. Here is a list I have compiled for us:

attend Horton Hears a Holiday at the Met museum (Dec 3-free)
watch the Clovis Christmas parade (Dec 5)
bake gingerbread men & decoratewrap a toy and donate to a charity
walk to Starbucks for hot cocoa
watch a Christmas movie together-Polar Express (add yummy snacks).
walk Christmas tree lane-Dec 15 (light watching)
buy our tree at Cobb's Ranch
set up/decorate tree

make a handmade ornament for the tree
write a letter to Santa
make our gingerbread house
make a Christmas craft together
buy a Christmas book at Barnes&Noble
make gingerbread play dough together
Go to Hillcrest Farms for a train ride


I have another Advent project coming tomorrow for the older kids. My sister gave me the idea, I just switched it up a bit. :)
xoxo,
Veronica

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful


I'm going to take a break from our projects to reflect on everything that I am grateful for today. I can't explain in words how very blessed I feel.

I'm thankful for the blessings of being a stay at home mom. I love my crazy wild 4 year old. He is such a beautiful soul. Smart, witty, funny and just all around awesome.

I love that God has blessed me with another child. I am beyond excited to have a growing baby in the belly. It's such a beautiful thing.

I am blessed to have a wonderful supportive husband that truly cares for his family. He has loved me completely since the day we met. For that I am very thankful.
I am also VERY grateful to have YOU. Thank you for supporting us through this crazy journey. We never imagined the response we have received. We thank you for your friendship and support. We have the best customers, followers, fans, & readers EVER! Thank you! Thank you!
Now, go on...eat like there is no tomorrow. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
xoxo
veronica & albert

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Project #7- 12 Days of Christmas Countdown

Well hello there! Is anyone ready for Christmas!!? lol I am so glad that this year I have a bit of a head start. We should be in our house by Christmas. It's looking good. I can hardly wait for that day. Well, not the moving part...the enjoying a nice cup of cocoa in front of the fire place with this adorable countdown garland staring at me!!!
This project was super easy and pretty cheap. :)
This can also be made with fabric or felt. I used MORE paper scraps! YAY ME!!

SUPPLIES:paper scraps (Christmas MM)
thread (sewing machine)
Vintage Advent Numbers from our shop
mini clothes pins (Michaels-$3 a bag)
ribbon (AC-Here comes Santa)
I cut some mittens from pattern paper and sewed them together (my sewing is awful, but I got the job done). These mitten make the perfect pocket! I plan on putting little daily notes inside for Ethan. I also have an advent calendar- I'll share real soon. ;)

I used mini clothes pins and hung them from ribbon. (The light outside is awful! sorry for the dark pictures).
Here is a close up of that cute ribbon!! It's American Crafts, found at Michaels for .99. All ribbon is 50% off right now.Hope you have fun creating your own! I would like to say thank you to all the wonderful people who leave us comments or send us emails. You truly make the sharing worth it. :) Thank you for sharing your creations as well! I love seeing them.


xoxo, Veronica

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Project #6- Cookie Cutter Ornament

Whew. Sorry for the delay. I lost this post. It was saved and scheduled. :( I will re-type as quickly as possible.
I love making handmade ornaments for our tree. Last year I made several. Thought I would share one for today.

Supplies need:
cookie cutter (found at Michaels for .79)
picture
glue
ribbon

Tools:
Cropodile
pen
Using a pen trace around your picture and glue the picture to your cookie cutter. Use your cropadile to punch holes on top. Tie ribbon through holes and tada!! Put this bad boy on the tree! I have 5 other quick and easy ornaments to share. Can't wait!
That simple! You can tie these around gifts too! I think my parents would love a picture of us! ;)
xoxo, Veronica

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Project #5- Homemade Play Dough

We must not forget the children....NO, they will gnaw at our legs if we do. lol Here is the perfect gift for any child!
My son is a play dough addict. One year, I asked everyone in our family to buy him play dough for Christmas, that's all. After investing thousands in Play-doh (should have bought stock) lol, I decided I would use that preschool teacher brain of mine and make my own. No more store bought for us! Homemade play dough washes out way better than store bought and it's VERY cheap.

I plan on giving these to Ethan's cousins (along with 2 other handmade gifts) this Christmas. These are perfect for your child's classmates too!! You can get a lot for your money. Lets get started shall we?

Supplies:
small plastic container (ziploc has some-6 for $2)
label or stickers (print your own or use the freebies to the left)
Cellophane bags (found mine for $1.50 for 20)
ribbon
play dough (see recipe)
cookie cutter (optional-but they can be found 6 for $1 @TARGET)

A while back, I was frantically searching for some kid crafts for my son and I found this website: the Crafty Crow . This place is a lifesaver! This is where I found the recipe for chocolate play dough. Yes, I said chocolate!! Ever since, that is all my son will ask for. It makes your house smell delish- so, I really don't mind!
My son is old enough to refrain from eating it.... If the child you plan to give this to can't, please substitute the cocoa for food coloring of your choice. We use what ever we have on hand...like organic wheat flour and expensive Whole Foods cocoa...grrr! I encourage you to use what you have. ;)____________________________________

RECIPES

Chocolate Play Dough
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Mix dry ingredients in a medium size pot. Add wet ingredients and stir together over low heat until a ball of dough forms. Remove play dough from pot and knead by hand until dough is smooth and evenly colored. Store in airtight container.

Gingerbread Play Dough
SAME recipe as above-omit the cocoa powder and add 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon ginger.

Easy as pie! Okay, I will be back on Monday with the continuation of our Christmas workshop. Hope you enjoy your weekend. Oh, and if you are on Facebook, we just opened a Facebook fan page. Come say hello!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Project #4- Christmas Music Cards

If you are like me, then you are not very fond of making cards. In fact, I stink at it. lol I think anyone who has received a handmade card from me should feel very special. Really, they are just not my thing. So needless to say, I take HOURS on cards and they still look like poo. :)
So, one year, I decided I would distract my recipients. lol I made Christmas cards with a Christmas CD. Here is what I did this year:

Supplies:
Christmas pattern paper
red and green shades of cardstock
ribbon
tags (Greeting)
CD (download 12-14 favorite Christmas songs onto your CD)
pop up dots

Tools:
sewing machine (red thread)
embossing (heat gun)
embossing powder & stamp

I cut a 5.5 X 11" piece of cardstock. You can use any color to match your pattern paper. I then cut two strips of paper and stitched them together.
I glued them to the front of my cards, glued a ribbon. To add some texture, I stamped 2 holy leaves with embossing ink and used a heat tool. I used a pop up dot for the tag.

On the inside I kept it very simple, I used another scrap of pattern paper and sewed it onto the cardstock to make a pocket. Like so:You can also send your family a DVD of pictures. I thought this would be a great idea for those living away from family.
Here is a glimpse of 2007's card:I decorated my CD with stamps. This year we are getting SUPER fancy and we will be lightscribing a picture onto our CD.
I am in search of new Christmas music. If you have an absolute favorite song...please share!That's my Christmas CD card. Have fun creating your own! :)
xoxo, Veronica

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Project #3- Cocoa and Cookies

Okay, so I am a huge fan of baked goods. Well, my mouth loves them...my thighs....not so much! lol SO, I say, this holiday season, share the calories! :)
Here is a wonderful quick gift idea. Make some homemade cocoa. There are several ways you can display these bad boys!
1. Use a mason Jar.
2. Use a muslin bag.
3. Make a paper package.
4. Use a cellophane bag and place in a mug.
Supplies:
1/2 quart Mason Jars, cellophane bag, or creative paper bag
ribbon
tag or stamp

Homemade Cocoa Ingredients:
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
1/8 tsp. salt

Mini-marshmallows (at the top or in it's own bag).
Candy Cane sticks

(Makes 4 cups of cocoa)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until evenly blended. Portion into gift packages as desired, and top each with a handful of mini-marshmallows. You can also tie some candy cane sticks.

If you are feeling VERY crafty, there is a second part! Stack six of your favorite homemade cookies in a bag tie a ribbon & the recipe to your home baked cookies!

Cocoa & cookies!!! YUM-O!! Have a very MERRY Christmas in deed! lol I think this is also a perfect gift for a teacher or neighbor!
*** Download some free recipe cards. We had originally made these to sell and we got so busy we decided to share them with you for free!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Project #2- Paper Garlands

I love decorating our house with garland. This year I decided to make 2 paper garlands using my scraps. I know you scrappers have tons! Just bust them out. :)
Supplies Needed:
1.75" circle punch or a 1.25" circle punch. (I bought both punches from Michaels with a 40% coupon).
Christmas scraps of paper (I also used some Christmas Icons).
ribbon
thread & sewing machine
For the first garland I used 1.75" circles and sewed along the middle with red thread (very festive). I think this is the easiest garland ever!! Very simple! You can make it as long or as short as you like. You can also hand cut felt or fabric circles.

The second garland takes more time. I punched 6 circles for each ball. I also alternated sizes.
Directions:
Fold your circles in half, like little tacos. Can you tell I'm a hungry pregnant woman? lol If you are using double sided paper, you want the "favorite" side on the inside. Glue each circle half to the next, when you have 3 glued, squeeze in the ribbon. Continue this pattern until you have your desired length. If I make no sense, ;) which is often...please watch the video:


Christmas Garland from veronica milan on Vimeo.
Yay! We repurposed our scraps!
See you tomorrow with a free download and another crafty gift idea. :)
xoxo Veronica

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Project #1- Cookie Jars

I worked for a daycare for 7 years before I went back to school and started a family. It was during those years that I learned to really appreciate handmade gifts. One year, I received a cookie jar for Christmas. The kind with all the ingredients, you had to bake them yourself. It was a yummy gift indeed! So, imagine my surprise when I found the recipe for these jars on Bakerella.
It is the perfect gift for a neighbor, a friend, teacher or for yourself, because really, who doesn't love cookies!!!? You can customize your jars with organic ingredients, or gluten free flour. It really is the perfect gift.

Supplies Needed:
Fabric (I found very cheap Christmas fabric at Joanns).
Ribbon (3 yards for 99 cents at Michaels)
1 quart Mason Jar
Greeting Tag (I used one from our Greetings set).

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup m&ms (Christmas)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans
_______________________________________________________________
Here is the order that the ingredients should be in (see picture),
First: (mix in a bowl) flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt- that is your bottom layer.
Second: oats
Third: m&ms
Fourth: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: white sugar
Seventh: chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
You will need to type or hand write on a tag the directions:
Add:
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Makes 26-28 cookies. ENJOY!!
Make sure your ingredients are packed super tight. I pushed down on each ingredient to make room for the next. Once you have all your ingredients in, close the jar tightly. Try not to shake your jar, because the ingredients will blend a bit.
Next, I cut a square piece of fabric with my pinking scissors to add a cute border to the fabric. I tied the fabric on with a piece of ribbon and attached a tag to the jar. Add your tag with the note at the top of the jar or you can get fancy and wrap it with the ribbon. :)
These are simple and useful gifts for anyone! Have fun creating!! :) Cookies..yum!
See you tomorrow!
xoxo, Veronica

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Guest Designer- Dina Wakley

We are so excited to have the awesome Dina join us this month. The first time I saw her art, I was in awe. She sews & paints like no other!! Lets get to know her better, shall we?

--I love cereal, sometimes I eat it twice a day.
--Right now I have about 150 layouts that I need to sort and put in binders.
--I made 90 art journal pages in one month for one of my online art journaling classes.
--I adore my 3 boys & husband.
--I am allergic to dust, so I use that as excuse to make my boys do the dusting...hee hee.

I used to be a night person, but the older I get the harder it is for me to stay up late and be creative. So now I'm most creative between 10 a.m and 5:00 p.m....and I try to get most of my work done when my kids are at school.
I started scrapbooking in December 1995. For Christmas that year, my mom gave me a binder, a black Zig pen, a package of cardstock, and some Mrs. Grossman's stickers.
My favorite memory is being on my Grandma & Grandpa Maxfield's farm in Altonah, Utah. That farm was like a little piece of heaven to me...and we got to herd the sheep and feed the cows and climb the haystack. I loved it there.
Ink, ink, ink. I adore spray ink and acrylic paint!
My favorite song right now is "Bend Before it Breaks" by Brandi Carlile. My favorite TV show is Top Chef.
A great big thanks to Dina! I was so inspired to use mists and inks after seeing her beautiful art work! If you haven't seen her blog, please do so! She is such a talented scrapbooker! Now on to her pages. You will not believe her awesome-ness, well, yes, you will....lol
Tags Used: Vintage Artisan Notes
Tags Used: Vintage Autumn Journal Tags & a tab from Thanksgiving Journaling.
Tags Used: Mini Fall Favorites Icons, Fall Double Scalloped, & Vintage Months of Fall Tags.


Wow! Right? I love it! Thanks again Dina!
Please bookmark your calendar...tomorrow our workshop starts! See you here.

xoxo,

Veronica

Friday, November 13, 2009

Have Yourself A Very Vintage Christmas Workshop!

I decided to start on my Christmas presents a bit early. Although I will be buying some gifts, most will be handmade. Lots of baking and lots of creating! While I was creating each gift, I decided to make it into a quick FREE workshop for you guys. Please come join me! I will be sharing 12 projects starting on November 16-December 4! I'm still working on my handmade Christmas cards. I've been slacking, last year I sent out a Costco picture card. Oh, and did I hear it from friends and family... I think they consider me their Martha Stewart. lol The shame in sending an ol' picture card! They all expected a handmade one. lol (By the way, there is no shame, my family is spoiled! Besides, I was busy!) :)

So, you can expect to find some quick & wonderful handmade gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors and children. I'll have some card, ornaments, baked good ideas and a Christmas Journal to help document your memories this holiday season! I am so excited to share all my projects.
Hope you can join the fun! There will be FREE downloads for recipe cards, a desktop calendar & of course GIVEAWAYS!!!
I'm working on the last couple of projects. So far I've created 9 of the 12 projects. whew!

I have officially left my creative funk in the dust! lol No worries family and friends, I'm back. ;) lol


xoxo, Veronica

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A December Journal


So delighted to have a head start on my Christmas projects. I made a very simple journal to document all our wonderful Christmas memories. I went with a vintage theme this year because it went so well with all our tags. lol
Like I said before, it is not a daily album, but just a mini. I will focus on our traditions (tree buying, decorating, baking, Santa visiting) all the fun stuff. I love Christmas....I can't wait!
I'll be back with a fun announcement and next week a wonderful guest designer. :)
xoxo, Veronica

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking Forward

A couple of weeks ago I was at the store and picked up this wonderful magazine: Hello beautiful tags. :) A great BIG thanks to Maria for choosing our tags as her pick. We are so happy that she metioned our shop. She captured why we are so unique-we have so many different styles, sizes and shapes. We have had so many wholesale requests too. YAY!! We were very excited to be chosen as her pick! :)
This quickly got me into the Christmas spirit and soon after I started planning my December journal. I will not create a day to day album, only because I was a wee bit overwhelmed last year with the shop & all the family traditions. I decided this year I would remove the pressure of taking a daily picture.
I started gathering supplies and making my cover last week...but we have so many orders that I put a stop to my process.I plan on making another Christmas CD & journaling more than anything! It will be our last Christmas as a family of THREE. So, I really want to capture our December traditions for Ethan. I'm sure things will change.
I made my own embellishments using some vintage sheets of music! I found some pretty vintage lace in my stash and stamped a tag with the words Merry Christmas...I will also be using tons of tags from our December Daily Album Kit. I have tons of supplies left over, I plan on putting them up in my etsy later this week.
It's just like my creativity & energy to make a comeback when I am SUPER busy! pssshh!

I'll be back with my album, once the rush of orders slow down a bit.
xoxo, Veronica