12/27/11

be back soon!

fyi...

I suppose I am taking a little unplanned break along with a lot of other bloggers. I think with Christmas and upturned schedules and illnesses, I am off my game. Among the many things I am doing:

-writing thank you cards (I used these free printable ones)
-putting away Christmas decor
-enjoying a little time off work (not enough)
-planning away for next year, but kind of not knowing what to plan
-eating leftover Christmas cookies and not feeling any guilt
-playing lots of video games with Anderson

All very important things, of course. I think my mind needs a creative break. I'll be back next week with pictures and posts and crafts and all sorts of good things. 

Hope you all are enjoying your holiday!

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12/24/11

very merry!

Happy Christmas Eve! 

I was doing so good this week with my blogging, sharing Christmas gifts and projects we had been working on. Then Thursday came around. oh Thursday.... I came home from work (I managed to stay the whole day - can you say workaholic?) feeling really sick to my stomach. I chalked it up to not eating enough or eating too much or too many sweets or too much soda. I don't know what, but I refused to be sick. A couple hours later and a few dates with the toilet, I had to admit I was sick. I called in the reinforcements - my sister and husband - who took care of me and Sawyer and the house. Thank goodness for family to help! 

So here, I am, two days later, feeling much better, but dreadfully behind. Our house is a mess, I still have Christmas gifts to put together/wrap, and I have not even taken a shower today. tmi? 

So, here is one big mash up post of all the things I was going to share on Thursday, Friday, and today. 


I made some of these lovely waterless snow globes I have seen floating around Pinterest. I used the tutorial found {here} by Tidy Mom. I went on a mad hunt one week before Christmas to find those tiny trees and snowmen and that messy fake snow. The stores are wiped out! I did find some, and I stocked up on the trees for next year - they are just so darn cute. 


I also made some ornaments using the same small trees. 


I love these even more than the little snow globes. I used the tutorial found {here} at Jame (the tutorial is by delia creates). They were a bit finicky to get just right, but I managed. They are so pretty and wintry (I spell checked wintry but it doesn't look right). I would definitely recommend filing this one away for next year's Christmas projects. 

I was also going to share something I made two years ago, long before I was blogging. 


My son's stocking that I laboriously slaved over stitched. It's one of those admittedly tacky kits from Hobby Lobby. I know some people hate these, but I love them for purely sentimental reasons. My sister and I each had our own growing up, and I have such great memories of sneaking out of bed early to get our stockings. Don't worry! It was allowed. We would open up our little treats and sit by the heater vent to wait for the time when we could wake up mom and dad. I remember studying our stockings and all the little sequins and details and stitching. 

I don't know if it will be the same for Sawyer, but I knew before he was even born I wanted to make him one. 


 I spent the last couple months of my pregnancy working on this. I thought I wouldn't be done in time, but alas, I did not have Sawyer on his due date or really anywhere close. No, no. I went through 42 weeks of pregnancy. So while I anxiously waited for labor to start, I sewed on sequin and bead after sequin and bead, cutting and stitching and stuffing.


Pretty much I will never have another child again because then I will have to make another one of these. (joking!)

So there is a couple days of posts and projects all in one. I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful couple days of family and friends and gifts and surprises. 

Merry Christmas!

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12/21/11

non-diy gifts

I don't make most of the gifts I give. Is anyone else in this boat with me? I am kind of weird, but I get all embarrassed and vulnerable when I give someone something I made. If they don't like something I bought from the store, who cares? If they don't like something that I hand made, I cry every night for a month straight. Kidding. I only cry for a week.

Seriously though, I do have a hard time giving handmade things. Don't worry - this is not a self discovery post where I write about how I overcame my issues thanks to blogging or inspirational quotes on pinterest. I bought gifts from the store and then handmade a disposable portion of the gift. I don't even think that is progress. "I made part of this gift for you, but only the part that you throw away."


 Original, I know. Lotion. 


I cut and stamped the tags and tied them on with baker's twine. I let the packaging on the lotion do all the talking. It's already shiny and festive, so my work was done.


These are for some of my coworkers, so I figured a bottle of lotion to keep at their desks is a nice little gift.

And we can't forget about those handmade gift tags. Feel free to throw them away.  

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12/20/11

sentimental ornaments

We had so much fun doing Christmas stuff this weekend. We made a gingerbread house, watched Frosty, and even made some ornaments for the grandparents.

I knew I wanted to make a keepsake type of ornament. I am pretty sure my mom and grandmas would much rather receive something made by Sawyer than something bought from a store. But making something just wasn't enough - I wanted to add in a picture of their sweet grandson along with it.


There is no tutorial needed for these. I bought a 5 page chipboard album in the $1 section at Michaels. It's precut, thick cardboard and already has a hole punched to string a ribbon. One dollar for five ornaments? I'll take it. 

Then I got out some white paint and let Sawyer work while I took pictures. After they dried, he decorated them with snowflake stickers (or in his words, "seekos"). 

That's where I took over. I printed the picture of him painting the ornament and traced the tree shape onto the picture. Cut out, glue down, and add a ribbon for a hanger. I also added the date at the top. 

An ornament, a picture, a 2 year old's masterpiece. Perfect!

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12/19/11

gingerbread house

We started a holiday tradition last year - decorating a gingerbread house together. And by together, I mean Anderson and I. So far, we have left Sawyer out. Candy, icing, cookies, and a perfectionist mom do not mix. Eventually, Sawyer will get to help out but for now Anderson and I have enjoyed doing this together, just us. 


This is one of those gingerbread house kits from Target, along with some extra candy I picked up at Walgreens. 


The roof is made of Necco wafers. I sampled all of the candy, of course, including these. What the what?! People actually eat these on purpose? They are SO disgusting and now I feel like all of my teeth are going to fall out. Let me just give you an idea of what these taste like. Petrified tums-flavored chalk. I would rather eat Tums than these, and Tums gag me. Sorry Necco wafers - cute roof shingles though. 


These are my favorite part! I used gummy lifesavers to make little wreaths.  I just cut wedges from a red lifesaver and used icing to secure them down to make a bow. 


Mini Charleston Chews make up the bricks for the walkway.


The fence is made from the hook parts of mini candy canes. It was Anderson's idea. 
I told him "That's a really good idea." 
He said "I know."


It was a fun afternoon. Maybe one day I will make my own gingerbread... How likely is that? Probably about as likely as me eating Necco wafers again. 
Just for fun, here is last year's house: 


What are some of your holiday traditions?

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12/16/11

five things friday: last minute gift ideas

9 days until Christmas! I have all of my shopping done, but I still have a couple of things on my "to-make" list. Maybe you still need a couple of last minute gift ideas? Here are five projects that are easy and cheap to make. Maybe you even have the supplies on hand... 

1. Tie on dish towels by Trey and Lucy. I have had these on my to do list for myself for a looong time. My dog likes to pull down dish towels and then chew the corners off, so these would be handy. You could customize these to the recipient with different color towels and fabric - I think they would be perfect for just about anyone.



2. Circle zip earbud pouch tutorial by dog under my desk.  Most everyone has earbuds and this would be so handy to have. What a perfect stocking stuffer for teens!



3. Felt flashcard memory game by Sew Much Ado. An easy project for the littles, and great for a last minute stocking stuffer. Plus it's a portable, lightweight, quiet learning toy. I am always looking for church toys, and this fits the bill. I think I have just convinced myself to make this. How long do you think this would take?



4. Chocolate party spoons by Delicious Delicious Delicious. Package these up with a hot chocolate packet and you have a sweet gift for coworkers and friends. I love the sprinkles and candies - so pretty!



5. Felt bird ornament by delia creates guest posting on Jame. These are made with plastic ball ornaments, sticks, and felt. Aren't they sweet?



There you have it. Five easy and cheap last minute gifts. I selfishly want to make all of these things for myself. That's the spirit, huh? 

If you love these ideas as much as I do and want to pin them, please click on the photo or link to pin them directly from the source. I want these ladies to have all the credit for their beautiful work!

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12/12/11

a gift for you!

I am over at 30 days again, doing my needle arts guest posting thing. You didn't know about that? I have been posting on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month over at Mique's fab blog. She even made me official. Here's a picture to prove it: 

In my past guest posts, I have talked about getting getting started in embroidery, the back stitch, chain stitch, and stem stitch.

Today I am sharing something toootally awesome. You'll have to go check it out so see...


glitter, embroidery, and a red and turquoise color combo. Are you intrigued?

p.s. there may be a free pattern involved...

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this and that

I have a few things I want to share with you guys, just bits and pieces. Sorry, no tutorial or project. With all the holiday craziness and work picking up, crafty things are being back burnered right now. I have a couple things up my sleeve though, so keep an eye out. 

First up, who is on Instagram? It is a pretty fab iphone ap that lets you take pictures, pretty them up with filters, and share them with friends. 


oh-so-pretty! It makes even the lamest of us (me) look trendy and cool. My instagram name is allisonmaestri if you would like to add me on there. I will add you back - I just looove looking at people's photos. I am nosey, I will admit it. 

Next up, I discovered one of the funniest blogs. It is called Handmade Ryan Gosling. I can't really explain it - let me just show you. 



Ryan Gosling, crafts, poking a bit of fun at all of the crazy things we crafters do - a winning combination! Check it out {here}, you will not be disappointed! (Photos used with permission from the blog author).

Last thing - I would like to do a little shout out to all of you lovely ladies who have made some of my projects.  I have gotten several emails and comments that you all are making things inspired by some of my tutorials. If you are, I would love to see and possibly feature you in an upcoming post. So, if you have pictures, you can leave a link in the comments or send me an email at littleloveliesbyallison (at) gmail (dot) com. Sharing is caring!

Random enough for you? I hope so. Have a great week everyone. Mine will be full of work, work, work, some Christmas shopping and wrapping, finishing some work-in-progress projects, catching up on housework, and maybe about three hours of sleep.

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12/11/11

december giveaway winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered December's follower giveaway! I had so much fun reading through your entries - especially your jokes and funny stories!

Chosen by random.org, the winner is:

 Congrats Jody! I will be contacting you about getting your prize. 

Thanks again to all of your for entering! It was such a fun giveaway and I look forward to next month's! I'll have to think of something good...

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12/9/11

five things friday: christmas movies

I love Christmas movies so so much! I even like those totally lame ones they play on ABC family and Lifetime. Then again, I am always game for a trashy Lifetime movie. Throw in a Christmas tree and it's so bad it's good.

So let's talk Christmas movies. Sorry Lifetime, there is no room on my list for your fantastically terrible movies. These holiday movies are the best of the best.

1. Elf. Seriously, duh. I can't not laugh when I watch this one. 


Favorite scene: I guess it's not a scene, but I seriously almost peed my pants the first time I watched this and Buddy got slammed by the taxi in the middle of the street. So I guess that tells you something about me. In the midst of all the funny quotes and clever comedy, my favorite is someone getting hurt. Merry Christmas!

2. White Christmas. I love the music and singing and dancing and costumes. It is so festive and heart warming. 

Favorite scene: The "Sisters" song that Betty and Judy sing. Then again the war scene where they sing "White Christmas" is also fantastic. Just watch it.

3. Home Alone. As a 90's child, I would be doing my generation a disservice if I didn't have this on my list. My sister and I would watch this movie over and over when we would visit my grandparents. It reminds me of my grandpa (he thought it was hilarious when the robbers got hurt - maybe that is why I think people getting hurt is so darn funny), so besides being a really good Christmas movie, it holds a special place in my heart. 


Favorite scene: Too many. The whole movie. My post, my rules - so my favorite scene is the whole movie.

4. Little Women. I don't know if this is really a Christmas movie, but there is a great holiday scene where the girls - ahem, little women - take their Christmas breakfast to a needy family. Mainly I just love this movie because it reminds me of watching it with my sister when we were little. I probably forced her to watch it, but it was for her own good, so I don't feel bad. 


Favorite scene: I don't know - I just love the whole movie - the costumes and the sets and the acting and the story. Two in a row that the whole movie is my favorite scene. 

5. The Santa Clause. Another classic around here. Nothing clever to say about this one - I just like it. 


Favorite scene - I like when Scott visits the North Pole for the first time - it is just magical!

What about you? What are your favorite holiday movies?

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12/8/11

snowflake mobile

I am so in love with winter I can hardly stand it. All you summer lovers can hate all you want, but winter is the best. There is snow, hot chocolate, boots, scarves, hats, Christmas, Elf, and a million other things that are just so cozy and wonderful.

To celebrate my love for winter (and a mighty good deal I got on Martha Stewart punches), I made a little snowflake mobile to hang above my desk in my craft room. 


 It was a quick project that added a little cheer. 


Punch out lots of snowflakes.


Make a snowflake, glue, string, snowflake sandwich. 


Place them close together or far apart. Make long strands or short. Whatever you want. 




Tie your snowflake strings to an embroidery hoop and hang. 



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