Tag Archives: Christmas

Craft Project: Vintage Photo Book

uncle ed

I have a box full of old black and white photographs of family.  They go back in time to my grandmother as a girl (early 1900s) to as recent as me as a baby (1964).  I plan to make a photo book with the best pictures and share names and things I remember about the family members.  I plan to make one book for me and a copy each for my brother and sister for Christmas.

First I chose the pictures I wanted in the book.  The next step is scanning the pictures.  That is not my favorite step but it is highly important.

Next I will upload to Shutterfly, choose a book format, and arrange in a book.

I am excited about the project because it involves craft, history and family.

Oh Holy Night


Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope you enjoy Celine Dion’s O Holy Night.

Magic Cookie Bars


I like the idea of signature dishes.  You know, that dish that everyone associates with you.  My new signature Christmas sweet dish is Magic Bars.  My grandmother used to make them.  They are sooooo good.

How can you go wrong with graham crackers, butter, coconut, nuts, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate?

The key: resist the urge to add more than the amount called for.  If you do, your bars will fall apart.  Trust me on that.

Click here for the recipe.



Getting ready for Christmas: Wrapping


I am starting to wrap gifts to send and put under the tree.  I appreciate all the ideas for simply beautiful ways to wrap presents.

Make Up Your Mantel for Thanksgiving!

Source: 52mantels.com via Karyl on Pinterest


I’ve always been enamored with holidays.  And holiday decorations. My favorite new thing to do is to decorate the mantel.  There’s even a blog called 52 Mantels!  We don’t actually have a mantel so I decorate our buffet.  I like how it makes my decorating efforts compact and concentrated.  That way you don’t need to have, or store, tons of stuff!

A few tips for decorating your mantel:

1) Use what you have. You probably already have a supply of holiday decorations.  This is a good starting point.  I have always decorated for Halloween but not for Thanksgiving. Although the jack-o-lanterns didn’t seem right, the paper mache pumpkin my son made in Kindergarten was perfect.  So was the scarecrow.  Also, look for thing that are just lying around.  I went searching for things that were orange and brown and found two soup bowls in the kitchen cabinet in those colors hat even had turkeys on them.  Who knew!

2) Add seasonal flowers or plants.  For Christmas there are poinsettias, pine wreaths, and holly. For Valentine’s Day, roses.  I also choose plants and flowers for their colors.  For example, red roses are great for Valentine’s Day but they could work for Christmas and the 4th of July.  I plan to use the pumpkin on the porch and fill it with flowers for our Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Nice idea from Inspiring Pretty.


3) Use free printables.  I love free printables!  They are free!  I found the idea and free template for my Give Thanks Banner from At Second Street. Speaking of giving thanks, thanks Kalleen At Second Street!

4) Subway art. These are those cute prints that you can just frame for instant decoration.  Simple Crafter has some great ones.  They are also all over Pinterest.


5) Make it your own.  Decorate in your own style.  Add family pictures.  You can get ideas from other people but always own it!

6) Keep it fresh.  You don’t have to use every single item every single time.  Change it up and don’t over do it.

Happy decorating!

Christmas Card Idea

I was planning on making cards by hand this year.  I love homemade cards.  They are fun to receive and fun to make.  In past years I’ve done photo cards but didn’t have a photo in mind.  Then I had an idea.  I took a photo of our house last year at Christmas time:

Although I like the photo, I didn’t like it for a card.  Recently I discovered a free app on Facebook called PhotoMania.  I experimented with a few effects like this one called Coal Sketch:

Although I liked the texture, it was not quite festive enough, nor can you see the wreaths clearly.  The one I liked the best was called Coloring Book.  It looks a bit mystical and fairytalelandish, don’t you think?  Here it is:

If you can’t afford or don’t want the expense of commissioning an artist to paint your house, this might do the trick.  I put a brown border on it at Shutterfly and made a cute card.  The inside says “Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!”