Thursday, December 22, 2011

The New Look

So, some of you may have noticed that I gave the blog a bit of a makeover last week. If you're reading this in a reader, come on over and check it out. I wanted to take a quick minute and share with you how I made everything. Yes, you read that right, I made everything by my little ol' self, with the help of two incredibly talented ladies. 

I started out with some fantastic blogwear templates by Scrapping With Liz. Aren't they fantastic??
I've been a fan of Liz's digital scrapbook templates for years, and was super excited to have the chance to test out her new set of blogwear templates! Everything is high quality, and she includes step-by-step visual instructions if you are blog design challenged like me.

You can buy these templates here and check out Liz's blog here

Then I grabbed a new Christmas kit by Tracie Stroud.
Tracie is another digital scrapbooking designer that I have loved for ages. Her kits are always beautiful, and have a great vintage-y feel to them. 
Isn't this kit adorable?

You can buy this kit here, and check out Tracie's blog here.

Then all I had to do was put it all together. I do all my scrapbooking in Photoshop Elements 7. If you're thinking about digital scrapbooking, I highly recommend PSE. You can get a 30 day free trial at the Adobe website. The whole process from beginning to end took maybe an hour or so. was so simple!

If you're interested in digital scrapbooking, but don't know where to start, leave me a comment and I'll hook you up with some great tutorials!

I'm so in love with Tracie's kit, I used it to make our Christmas cards, too! 
So, here it is, from us to you...

Merry Christmas!

This post is linked up at SugarBee Crafts, Boerman Ramblings and The Girl Creative

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bakin' Cookies

So, when your tiny child points to your stand mixer and says "make!" what other choice do you have but to make cookies! We hadn't done any sugar cookies yet this year, so it seemed like a good time to bust out the cookie cutters. 

For my entire life, our go-to sugar cookie recipe has been from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. My mom has had her copy since before she got married, and let me tell you...this is one well loved cook book!

Abbey helped me with all the mixing...

Butter, sugar, eggs...


Now time for some flour...

We got a little messy. This stressed her out...she's not a fan of messy.

and of course, what's better than a little bit of dough eating?

...pause for naptime/cookie dough chillage...

Abbey also made an excellent cookie decorator (of course she did!)

This is the stuff that makes Christmas wonderful. In the midst of all the craziness, and shopping, and planning, and prepping, things like this are what keep me sane. Did the laundry get done this day? Nope. But I made cookies with my little girl.

Oh, and note to self...
Before giving the tiny child a shaker full of sprinkles, give it a test run first...

Now, go grab your kids and bake some cookies! 
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Deck the Halls!

What fun is Christmas decorating if you don't get the tiny children involved, huh? Last week I decided that a nice paper chain was a perfect project for Abbey. Lots of chances to help, and nothing too complicated. Sounds like a toddler craft dream!

We started out by decorating some paper:
A little marker...

A little glitter...

A little more glitter! Who doesn't love more glitter??

Then we took a nap-time break. Well, Abbey did anyway. I like projects like this that can be split up, because it gives me some good "first a nap, then ______" motivation. It also gave me a chance to do the next step of the project without Abbey losing interest.

While she was sleeping, I cut the paper into strips using my paper cutter (God bless that thing!)
Note #1: Construction paper divides evenly into 1 1/2 inch strips
Note #2: Elmers glue sticks (the purple ones) aren't very good at holding down glitter...just sayin.

After nap time, we started putting our chain together:




This is a great time to work on things like color recognition, and patterns.

So proud!

It looked a bit lonely at first...

But then Noni got out the Christmas decorations:
Much better! If you can believe it, this is only about a third of what will be going up there! 
Someday I'll have a collection like that...

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