diy: vintage inspired hanging birds on ABM

hanging birds hanging birds I made these trio of birds inspired by this vintage set. Get the template and instructions on how to make this sweet little hanging over at the A Beautiful Mess blog!


i’m sentimental and crazy

the girls the girls We broke down our crib and gave it away. Glow never slept in it (she’s in the play yard) and she refuses to, so it was time to move it on. I kept meaning to put all the girls in it to get one last picture, but Ben started taking it apart before I got to do that. Once I realized what he was doing, I told him to pause so we could at least get one last picture. He took enough parts off that it was going to take work to get it back together, so while the frame was still together and the bottom was the part the piece that was no longer attached, we figured out a way to still get a picture taken… I kinda held it up using my arms and knees, all the girls went in, Ben quickly snapped a picture (I did the holding up because he has an injured rotator cuff), and then we quickly took them all out. Times like these make me thankful for the early morning workouts I do alongside Ben.

As you can tell by Glow’s face, she didn’t like to be in it, and she probably didn’t need to be in the picture since she never used it like the 3 bigger girls, but I still wanted to stick her in. This crib has been with us since True was born. It’s given us lots of memories and it’s where our three big girls have learned to put themselves to sleep. It’s weird getting past the baby stage as I feel like we’ve been here for years, but I’m looking forward to it. Nervous about how time fast will fly, but I’m trying to be present in the moment. Trying is the word; it’s hard sometimes.

I will admit, these past few weeks have made me crazy mama getting ready for the holidays, battling sickness, and keeping up with the girls. This week I have been especially cranky (could be because it is that time of the month for me), but I feel so bad as the girls bear the brunt of my craziness. True even left Ben a note by the front door to see when he got home and it said, “Papi, mommy is yelling again. And she called me a brat.” For the record, she was acting like a brat. Obviously, this week was a whole lot of not being present in the moment, but with school done for the year and everything set for the holidays, I think these next couple weeks should Lord willing be much better. Ben’s off for the holidays, so having him around helps keep me sane and sharing the load with him is so much better. Plus, we will be with family, so there will lots of extra and willing hands to help with the girls. We’re off from dance and swim classes, school won’t need to be done, and it will just be lots of enjoying the season together as a family.

Despite me being crazy, the girls are still as sweet as ever and I better cherish that now because one day they’re going to know how to give me attitude back (and they probably will have learned it from me unfortunately). Anyone else feeling crazy lately?


diy: simple dowel christmas tree

dowel christmas tree Simple Dowel Christmas Tree

Simple Dowel Christmas Tree diagram
12″ x 12″ x 1″ wooden board (I bought a 24″ x 12″ 1″ wooden plank and sawed it in half)
1″ x 48″ poplar dowel
4 – 3/8″ x 48″ poplar dowels
1″ bit
3/8″ bit
Measuring tape
Sandpaper (optional)
Wood glue (optional)

diy: wooden tree diy: wooden tree diy: wooden tree diy: wooden tree diy: wooden tree wooden tree Directions:
1. Measure and mark the center of your wooden base. Using a 1″ drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the wooden base (drill all the way through the board). Note: I bought a 24″ x 12″ x 1″ wooden plank and cut that in half to get the size I needed for my wooden base.
2. Measure and mark the holes for your 1″ x 48″ dowel; this is the main “trunk” of the tree. Starting 4″ from the top, mark your top hole, then proceed to mark the remaining 9 holes every 4″ apart, while at the same time, moving your hole 90 degrees from the previous hole, so that alternating dowels would go in opposite directions (see diagram). There will be 10 dowel slots total with the last hole 8″ from the bottom of the 1″ x 48″ dowel. Once you have all your holes measured, using the 3/8″ drill bit, drill a hole on each mark all the way through the dowel.
3. Measure and cut the four 3/8″ x 48″dowels to these lengths: 8″, 10″, 12″, 13″, 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″, and 24″. There will be a couple excess pieces, which you can toss or save for another project! If any of your cuts come out a little rough, lightly sandpaper them.
4. Insert the 48″ dowel into the hole in the wooden base, then proceed to insert the remaining dowels into the slots with the shortest length at the top continuing to the longest length through the bottom hole. Note: My dowel fit pretty snug into the wooden base, but if you need to (or would like to) add some wood glue to join the two pieces together to stabilize (or add a strip of washi tape to the bottom of the dowel, so that it fits into the hole snuggly). The diagram will help clarify the steps, so be sure to use that as a guide when making your tree.

There you have it, a simple dowel Christmas tree! Make some decorations and hang them up on your creation…

dowel christmas tree dowel christmas tree Full disclosure: I’m no Rachel Denbow, so while Ben has taught me how to use the saw and drill, I save that job for him. I measured and marked everything, handed it to him, and he did the sawing and drilling (friends, make sure to always use safety first when dealing with those dangerous tools!). The entire project was done in 30 minutes and it took us longer to make the ornaments (see them here and I followed Rachel’s tutorial for the straw himmeli). You could definitely add more dowels to make the tree fuller. This would even be great to have in a classroom; I think it would be fun to display classroom ornaments on it! Or maybe make it for a kid room! It’s an easy tree to put together (and take apart) and it’s not too fancy, so it will be easy to store. You can even get fancy and paint yours fun colors! I really love our little wooden tree so much…

P.S. This isn’t our “main” tree, but I was tempted to have this take its place. It’s sitting in a corner of our family room to add more holiday cheer.


our little christmas makings

christmas decor christmas decor We made a wreath. Just used some tree scraps from Lowes that they let me have for free! Free is always nice.

christmas decor christmas decor christmas decor We made some little trees. Using those same free tree scraps and some vintage thread, the girls made trees for their own little forest.

christmas decor christmas decor We made little (toothpick) stars. Inspired by this pin.

christmas decor christmas decor We painted some pinecones. Took a few coats of spray paint (and let it air out for days).

These are just some simple little projects we have done for Christmas; they didn’t take too long, but satisfied that holiday making itch. I added a little strand of string to the pinecones and stars and they make perfect ornaments. There’s so much going on between the girls’ school, extra activities, getting ready for Christmas, baking for gifts, and life in general that this saying pretty much sums up what I’m feeling right about now. We have a couple more days until things calm down a bit, we are definitely ready for Christmas break!


diy: elf christmas stockings

elf christmas stocking Elf Christmas Stockings

1. Elf Christmas Stocking template (best to download it and save, and take into a print shop to print out, since it is larger than your average home printer).
2. 1 yard wool felt (and small coordinating wool felt scraps for the stocking toe cap and heel)
3. 1 – 2 yards of pom pom trim (depending on how many lines of pom pom you’d like to do)
4. Scissors
5. Embroidery floss
6. Embroidery needle
7. Yarn
8. Tissue paper (optional, this is for stuffing to provide stability to prevent the toe portion from flopping over)

elf christmas stocking Directions:
1. Using the Elf Christmas Stocking template, cut out your necessary pattern pieces: 2 pieces for main stocking (this includes the toe and heel on the main stocking body), 2 pieces for toe cap, 2 pieces for heel.

2. Place the wool felt toe cap and heel in its proper position (on top of stocking body, lining up the curved edges) on the right side of the stocking fabric, and attach onto the main stocking wool felt using a running stitch.

elf christmas stocking 3. Hand sew on the pom pom trim onto the top of the stocking using a running stitch to attach it. Measure and cut your trim as you work through each line, and double up the pom pom trim for some lines for some variety. I only did one side of the stocking, since only one side is really seen when hanging on our mantle, but you can most certainly add pom pom trim to both sides if you’d like.

elf christmas stocking elf christmas stocking 4. Place both stocking fabric pieces with their wrong sides together, and blanket stitch around the entire perimeter, except the top (make sure to leave that open for filling!).

elf christmas stocking 5. Add any additional trim you’d like. I had a wool felt ball and added it to the toe, and made a yarn pom pom of sorts and attached it to the top and sewed that onto the stocking. This gives it a loop for hanging. If omitting the large pom pom at the top, just cut off a 6″ piece of yarn, knot together, and sew onto the top corner of the stocking to allow for hanging.

elf christmas stocking 6. Add some tissue paper inside the stocking to fluff it up a bit and give the toe part some stability to prevent it from flopping. I take out the tissue paper when it’s time for filling the stocking up! Hang on your mantle and start plotting the goodies that will fill it up! Elf stockings aren’t as roomy as traditional stockings, but I put little goodies in ours, so it works perfectly for us.

elf christmas stocking elf christmas stocking I made my first set of elf stockings for True’s first Christmas. I loved the one Anthropologie had for sale that year, but could definitely not pay that price for something I knew I could make. Every time we added to our family, I kept making a new elf stocking. It’s kind of quirky and Dr. Seuss-ish, but they’re so fun and made with lots of love from mommy to her little babes. I love this recent Anthro stocking (they really come out with the best ones!) and decided to make this little project merging the elf style and the pom pom one together.

I’ve had readers in year past asked for a tutorial, but never get around to making one. Though I probably should have gotten this up earlier in the month (most of you probably already have stockings up!), but I’m mommy first, so getting things up for the blog always happen later than I originally plan, but better late than never, right?! So either you’ll be ready for next year’s stockings early, or you still have some free time to make this to get some elf stockings up!

This definitely could be made machine sewn, which would go faster, and if you want to do that, I’d just add an extra half inch all the way around to account for a 1/2″ seam allowance, and straight stitch the pom pom trim on before you sew your two body pieces together. If you have some old wool sweaters you’re wanting to give new life, you could most certainly use those for elf stockings too.

As you can see from our mantle above, there are many different ways to decorate your elf stocking. My parents filled our stockings with toothbrushes and fun little toys. I fill the girls’  stockings with yummy snacks and a disposable camera so they can take their own pictures on Christmas. What do you fill your stockings with?

p.s. nothing to do with elf stockings, but misha lulu is having a two day sale in her shop (maybe you still need stocking stuffers)!



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