Pinterest inspired: felt Christmas tree

Since our move got postponed yet again, and I am not about to be the Grinch on the 3rd big holiday this year with the decorating and such we are doing Christmas as usual and if we get to move before Christmas day we will just take it all down and move it with us!  And since I was home alone with laryngitis and didn’t feel like doing much it seemed like the perfect time to catch up on my dvr recordings and make one of those cute little felt trees that I have been seeing all over Pinterest  (and here and here and here I think you get the point – it is everywhere!)

I started with 1 yard of green felt from Walmart ( $3.97)

3 sheets of felt ( $0.23/ each) and left over felt from Halloween costumes.

It was super simple to do!  First fold your green tree felt in half long ways, then I free-handed the tree cut out using this as a template .

Template for tree

I like this look better than the big triangle.  I added a tree stump by hot glueing a square of brown to the bottom of it and attached it to the wall with velcro squares.

Then I started working on the ornaments, I decided to limit the amount of colors so it didn’t get to crazy to 5 and went with a christmas ball of each color, 2 lights of each color and then a random shape of each color and used an alternate color to accent everything.

Overall it took me about 2 hours for this project, and soon as the kids realized that it could be re arranged when they got home from school they have been at it ever since!

TIPS:  If you have a dog do NOT do this on  the floor ( or a cat for that matter) the felt is a magnet to their hair.  Put the animals outside, clean the floor, then get started

TIP 2: While it is really cute on the kitchen wall behind the table,  it is quickly becoming a pain in the but!  This is something everyone else seemed to realize instinctively , If  the tree is higher than your little one can reach you will have to help them constantly!  My older ones were having a good time playing with #5 all afternoon but now that everyone is at school and it’s pre-schools off day I have been playing tree decorating all morning – she can only reach halfway up the tree on her own!

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How NOT to make your Thanksgiving pies

The plan, to make a pumpkin and an apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, today.

step 1 – Procrastinate: Wake up intend to make pies at lunch time.  At lunch time be so busy working and keeping the peace with the handful decide to wait till the afternoon, in the afternoon decide it is to hot from cooking all day and decide to wait till the kids go to bed, play on Facebook and not actually get started on any pie sort of prep till after 8 (when all the stores closed till Friday).  Try to convince Grandma she wants to make the pies, she does not.  Sigh, and get started.

Step 2 – Hardware:  Discover that you only have 1 pie pan that is accessible and the other 4 are all packed away in a box somewhere or other…  So you can only make 1 pie, unless of course you would use a bread or cake pan to make a pie – this idea is vetoed by Grandmother repeatedly.  So decide that you will make a pumpkin pie and serve sliced cinnamon apples  as a side instead of in an apple pie for dessert.  Also decide you will make an apple pie next week for #1 who is going to wake up very disappointed to find no apple pie!

Step 3 – Filling Ingredients: Pull out the can of pumpkin pie mix and read instructions, look for the can of evaporated milk that the can says you need only to discover that you don’t have any, but you do have not 1 but 3 cans of condensed milk.  Consult the internet, no they are not  the same and can not be substituted for one another.  Consult the internet and look for evaporated milk substitutions find buttermilk (which will give finished pie a tangy flavor), half and half (for a rich pie) and all sorts of options using other items you don’t have – powdered milk, soy milk, almond milk, decide to just mix whipping cream and milk and see how it goes.  Realize you have no idea where the mixing bowls are and use a cooking pot instead.

Step 4 – Pie crust recipe: Remember that all the cook books are packed.  Also remember that Tall Man is picky with pie crusts and the only one you have ever made that he truly liked was your great-grandmothers recipe. Ask Grandma for the recipe – shocker she did not bring a copy of it cross-country with her for her visit.  Search email for recipe, finally find it under pie dough (really Grandma?  Dough?  Not crust?).  

Step 5 – Pie crust assembly:  I have all the ingredients, woo hoo!  While opening the can of shorting Tall Man rubs some of it on your nose,  go to retaliate and get scolded by Grandma for bothering him when he’s not feeling well…  Again use a pot to mix the “dough” in.  Realize the pastry cutter is also packed and grab a fork.  Pull out the cutting board to roll out the crust and realize you also have no rolling pin and grab a McDonalds  Shrek drinking glass for the job.  It looks a mess, but it will have to do!!!

Step 6 – Baking: Put the misshapen pie crust in the lone pie pan, dump the filling on the crust – making sure to splash it all down your shirt in the process, and throw it in the oven praying that in 55 minutes you will have a pumpkin pie that looks good enough to eat and tastes good to boot!  (at least you know that the pie crust passes Tall Mans taste test!)

Great Grandmothers pie crust recipe

 

The great stocking challenge of 2012

So a few days before Halloween after all of the costumes were done, I decided that this was the year I was going to make new Christmas stockings, specifically Bucilla felt applique stockings like the one I had as a child.  I told myself it would be no problem to get 7 or 8 of them done before Christmas eve, that I would work on them 1 at a time for a few hours each evening while the Tall Man played video games, or we watched some TV, maybe for a few minutes here or there during #5’s naptime or at Pre-school…  and probably do about 1 a week.

Now almost 4 weeks later, I have just finished the 1st stocking!  Oh, my goodness these things take so. much. time!  I would say I easily put in 80 hours on just one of these things and I wanted to get them all done, I must have been insane, the new goal is to get the boys done this year so Tall man has a stocking and the kids don’t feel left out that he got his first, and to do the girls for next year, so instead of 7, well 8 since everyone felt I needed to do one for Grandma too, the new goal is 3.  Maybe, maybe I can get that done.   But let me get back to telling you about the 1st one  (and the only 1 done so far) and probably the trickiest one to order!

I wanted to get a stocking that fit each persons personality and after finding the perfect stocking for #1, #2, #4 and #5, and Tall Man looking on and picking his own, I was struggling with #3’s, I wanted all the boys to have a Santa on theirs so no one felt left out or that it wasn’t fair, (this came about as I realized that Tall Man and #1 both had Santa’s) and I had seen a stocking that would have been perfect for #3 but couldn’t find it anywhere, everyone was out of stock.  Upon further investigation I found out just why everyone was out of stock, it had been discontinued in 2007…   Ebay however was my savior and I was able to get it.

I started eagerly on the stocking and then realized how long they were going to take.  So even though none of you will probably be doing this exact stocking a few things I realized along the way would be helpful regardless of which one you do.

1st thing is the VERY first thing you need to do is cut out the entire front of the stocking.  The instructions are extremely clear on not to cut out any pieces until it says to, but it never tells you to cut out the stocking front ( I have found this is true on the 2nd stocking I started as well)

The 2nd thing is that polyfill is NOT included, also at least with this one pipe cleaners would be helpful but also not included.

and the 3rd things are instructions specific to this I had an extra piece that I still have no idea where it went, I was never told to put Rudolfs nose on,  and I was short on black and blue embroidery floss ( by a lot  not just an inch or two…)  I used feet more than I was given…

Also it is good to know you are given plenty of sequins, I lost one the 1st night working on it and panicked that I would be short, I think Tall Man and I spent a half hour looking for it worried that the kit had included an exact amount.

Voila!  #3’s new stocking!!!

 

Love this type of stocking but don’t want to spend all your free time making one?  Etsy has a plethora available if you have the bucks…

DIY: Last minute thanksgiving decor

Thanksgiving must go on, even in the midst of our mess of a move!!!  Tall Man’s parents are coming, My mother has flown in from the other side of the country and the cooking has started!

So for a last minute super easy super quick wall decor we made a family turkey.  The cost for this project ( if you were to go and buy construction paper and a glue stick) would be under $3.  And I threw it together in less than 15 minutes.

1st make the feathers – Trace 1 hand of each household member using alternate colors of paper, fold paper in half and cut out 2 identical (but opposite hands).

Next make the turkeys body by cutting out a bowling pin/ butternut squash shape, use your glue stick to glue on a small triangle for the beak, a small circle for the eye, and the pilgrim hat (a square with a thin rectangle for the brim). 

Attach your turkey to the wall ( tacks, staples, tape, chewing gum – whatever you feel comfortable with I used a piece of tape on each side of the turkey where the feathers would cover it.

Now glue your Feather hands on to the turkey body using the glue stick, starting with the biggest set of hands and working down to the smallest.

   

And there you go!

 

The family Thanksgiving turkey!!!

 

 

On the bright side..

Well this has been a really horrible week, I was supposed to close on the farm on Tuesday and got a call as I was walking out the door that my loan for the new place wasn’t going to close on time – or at all…

I took my car into the shop from the Halloween deer indecent and was told it was a very good chance that it would be totalled out and I wouldn’t get it back…

I spent 8 hours driving what should have been 2…

And everything is a HUGE mess…

The whole house was packed I have no idea when or if the lender will fund my loan, and how I am going to come up with the cash for a new car and a new house at the same time!

But on the bright side the grown isn’t covered with snow yet, I get to drive a brand new 2013 this weekend while we await the fate of the car and my Mom will be here Monday morning for the thanksgiving holidays!

 

Always looking for the positive in life, yep that’s me!

My 11 year old is smarter than me…

 

Well, on some things he is.  #1’s mind is like a sponge, he reads constantly and seems to actually file it all away for later use.

The other day when we were heading to an appointment, he commented how he is weird, which led to a conversation about how everybody is weird in one way or another especially middle school kids, and examples of this.  That kids can be and are cruel, it’s just part of middle school life, how they call each other names and say mean things, and that in time it will stop, he just has to be strong and confident in who he is and not try to change for anyone.  I explained how I had tried changing for people and ultimately failed myself.  I explained how I use to care what others thought of me and would adjust my outward persona to accommodate my thoughts of what they wanted and how that sucked, and how I still catch myself doing it sometimes and shake my head and say ‘what am I doing?”, but now I’m just rambling and getting off point, so back to why he is smarter than I am.

I used examples of how I am weird and one of them was that I laugh when people get hurt…  Well what did he do?  He gave me a scientific explanation of why I do that!!!!  Something about the parietal cortex of the brain and how we humans think pain is funny when it is not to serious…  and here I was all these years just thinking it was a nervous reaction!