Treasure Hunt

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Audrey and I made the drive to Milwaukee last weekend for a mini Christmas celebration with some of my family. The day after we got there 8″ of snow fell leaving us with a little extra time to spend indoors at my mom’s. THAT meant hunting through the basement to see what goodies were still stored away there from my childhood. I was able to come away with a few goodies: a Battleship game (before they made it with noises and lights), a couple of puzzles (not pictured is my coveted Duran Duran puzzle), some Snoopy comic books, my Spirograph drawing kit and my still-unsolved Rubiks cube (also not pictured)! Thanks for saving all my crap, Mom!

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‘Tis the Season

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In the past, to count down the days until Christmas I had a small wall hanging that looked like Santa with a long beard. It had a little wooden star that moved from pocket to pocket. Cute, but boring. This year, thanks to Pinterest, I made an advent calendar with small bags that held a little goody or activity card inside for each day. I found a free printable for the number stickers on Pinterest and the little bags were made with a Stampin’ Up trick I learned from my sister more than 15 years ago when she was a demonstrator. Why buy small paper bags when you can make them from envelopes you already have? Here’s what I came up with:

Envelopes in the red & green bushel basket that once held pine cones from Milwaukee with love.

Small paper bags in the red & green bushel basket that once held pine cones from Milwaukee…with love.

The 1st bag contained a card that said “Hug Mom and Dad.” Audrey was good and did what the card said and then exclaimed that it was the “worse card ever!” I think I would have to disagree with her!

Decorating Surprise

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I decided to make an Advent calendar for Audrey this year. My great idea had to take a little detour though, because I didn’t have a place to hang it. I did, however, have a green & red small bushel basket in the storage room that would do just fine (post coming soon). I dug out the basket and found a bunch of pine cones in it. There were come big pine cones on top from Jo-Ann’s which thankfully no longer wreaked of cinnamon. After taking those out of the basket, I found tons of itty bitty pine cones that I had used as basket filler one year. Ahh, the decorating that could be done when we didn’t have a cat…

Anyway, I quickly realized that these little pine cones were from when we lived in Milwaukee! I still remember bundling up in my winter coat and crouching under the giant tree on the front corner of our lot to gather as many non-crushed pine cones as I could. Of course now that these were uncovered, I had to find a nice place to put them on display!

pine cones

End Table Redo

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I bought this end table for $7 at Goodwill:
table-before

Then I got out the $5 paint sample I bought at Lowe’s for my footstool project, some leftover scrapbook paper, Mod Podge and spray polyurethane and turned it into this:
table-afterI love it!

As the Crow Flies

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I really wanted to put a Halloween wreath on our front door this year. Not a fall wreath, a Halloween one. I wasn’t sure when I was going to make it, though and I’m way too cheap to purchase one. At Jo-Ann’s on Saturday (to pick up drapery lining for a custom valance sewing job I thought I could handle) I thought I’d look and see if they had a plain grapevine wreath to make the wreath pictured below that I had pinned to my “Boo!” board on Pinterest. I was able to find one the perfect size and purchased it with my 50% off coupon! The plastic chain was from the temporary Spirit Halloween store in Iowa City – and probably the most expensive item on the wreath. Last but not least, a fake crow purchased several years ago when I was Tippie Hedron’s character from “The Birds.” Add in a little floral wire and I was done! A Halloween wreath in about 5 minutes! I love it!

wreaths

3 years, 70 hexagons and paint!

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This Tuesday it will be 3 years since my first trip to the What Cheer Flea Market in What Cheer, Iowa. I purchased the footstool pictured below for $10 with plans on making it MUCH cuter. Little did I realize that it was going to take me 3 years to do it!

stool before

Here’s the finished product! For the top, I sewed 70+ little 1 1/2″ fabric hexagons using the English Paper Piecing method with scraps from my fabric stash. I started sewing the little guys during our trip to northern Wisconsin this summer. For the base, I sanded, primed, painted with not-quite-white paint, and sealed with a nice coat of polyurethane. Those little color samples from the hardware store are my new favorite thing for craft projects!

stool after

I’m pretty happy with how this turned out and can’t wait to show the girls at the quilt shop! More hexagon projects coming. Stay tuned!

From Audrey to Zoey

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The Iowa Hawkeyes had their first home football game yesterday which meant Audrey’s job of letting our friend’s dog, Zoey, out in the afternoon started back up again – although I don’t know for how much longer she’ll be employed since they’re due to have their first baby in 2 weeks! Audrey loves dogs and babies so I’m not sure which she’s more excited about: seeing Zoey on Saturdays or going to visit the new baby!

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