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Making the World Cuter: November 2010

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Busy little Elf

I've been busy helping out a friend of mine getting some unfinished projects done this last week. I'm excited to be all done with that, because now I can start on the pile of stuff I've been needing to get to.
Here are the things I did this last week though...
Some file folder games-these you can make with any picture-just print 2 of them so that you can cut pieces out to stick to the folder. Use contact paper to laminate the folder and the pieces, and use either magnets or velcro to attach them.
A whole slew of these muffin tin advent calendars using my Cricut to cut out the hundreds of circles, stamps for the numbers and contact paper again for the laminating with magnets on the back. She wanted one for each of her kids and now my kids think that is the greatest idea ever...looks like I have 4 more to make!
And finally just some clipboards for her girls using good old Mod Podge and scrapbook paper.
This week I am working on eye spy bean bags, playmats and puppets-we'll see how far I get on those with school, photo shoots, editing and being a mommy-Christmas is coming too quick, but I can't wait!



Making the World Cuter Monday

Happy Monday everyone!
Are you all still eating leftovers?
Did you get everything you waited in line for on Friday?
Do you have anything to share with us that made the world a cuter place to be?
I can't wait to see!

First-Just a little shout out to a good friend of mine-who has a super cute cape shop-for that little Super Hero in your life's most favorite Christmas present under the tree....Hi Jaime!'s time for the show and tell!

Make the world cuter, and me happier....


Check out these other Linky Parties too!

Disclaimer: Anything posted may be used in an upcoming feature including pictures, (linked back to original owner of course). If you don't want me to use your pictures, please don't link up.
Thanks! :)



The Frost Queen

Can I just tell you how I feel about the snow?


For some reason we were dumped on this last week.
My kids couldn't be happier.
And me? I will not take a step out the door, unless I absolutely have to...
...even if that means the only pictures of my kids in the snow I get this year have my car and my garbage can in the background.

At least my feet stayed dry and warm.

Stinking snow.



Son of a Nutcracker!

Are you kidding me? You must enter this contest...and if you win, give me the prizes! :)

Kidding, but oh how I would love to win...Santa are you listening?

Tiffany's Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

To get at least one thing on their lists, and to be able to get through all of December without frostbite! It is already so frigid cold here!

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?

I am more excited than the kids and end up waking them up to come down and see what Santa brought. Then we usually head to my moms house to do it all over again.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

I would wish for a hundred thousand dollars, so that we could pay off school loans, and our other debts and live okay without my husband having to work while he finishes school. I miss him being home with us.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

We cuddle up and watch Christmas movies with the kids with hot chocolate and popcorn, or cookies or any other treat-almost nightly in December.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

We played a lot of Monopoly-which made me pretty darn good at the game and maybe a little too competitive! :)

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

Christmas eve jammies for everyone, and making sugar cookies for Santa.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

Probably Utah to spend with Chad's family, we go to Portland every year after our Christmas morning, but if we could afford it, we would make our way to Utah.

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

First my son REALLY wants a DSi for Christmas...the only way he'll get one is if Santa helps out, because mom and dad are strapped this year! Second my daughter loves to dance, and would LOVE this Wii dance game. And third-because I am a giant nerd-I would love to get my karaoke on with the cast of Glee with this Wii game.

Okay Santa, now you know what I want! Wouldn't it be easiest to knock out my whole families wish list with one easy stop-just let me win this prize pack! I'm all about making it easy on you big guy! :)



Baked Brie Appetizer

This is one of the yummiest things I have ever put in my mouth.
It is one of my mom's go to appetizers, and is one of our favorites.
It is super easy to make, so whip one up before your next holiday party...or even make one to munch on while you are waiting for that turkey to finish tomorrow!
What you need is a wheel of Brie...I don't like the rind, so I cut it off-but you don't have to if you don't mind the taste.
Then just put the brie onto a piece of thawed puff pastry.
This is the yummy and customizable part-spread your favorite preserves on top of the brie-I used strawberry on this one, for a sweet and savory combo and on another the hot pepper jelly for a spicy kick.Then just wrap your puff pastry around the brie like a Hershey kiss.
Try to make sure there are no holes or else the brie will ooze out while you are baking it and then it will go a little flat-I know from experience... :)

Then just pop it in the oven at 350 on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown and flaky.
Serve alone or with toasted baguette slices or fancy crackers.




Burlap Stocking Advent Calendar Sale!

I have 5 of these babies left after the craft fair this weekend, and thought I'd offer them up for sale here for anyone who wanted one.
You will get 24 handmade burlap stockings, adorned with various ribbon, buttons and jingle bells, a piece of jute to hang them all on, and 24 numbered clothes pins for hanging. (Each stocking is approx. 4 1/2 inches tall).

All for $25 plus shipping! (United States only).

EDIT: I will mail them out at noon today, so that you get them in plenty of time to start counting down the days until Christmas! I only have four left, and I'm not making any more this year, so get them fast, and get them for gifts! Super cute, if I do say so myself! :)

Note: The ribbon on the ones for sale are a little different, but equally cute, and the only other difference is that the craft store didn't have enough round wooden circles, so the round numbers are glued to wooden squares instead, again-equally cute. :)



Making the World Cuter Monday

I'm excited for this week! Kids are on break from school, I just finished up a really time consuming class, and I just spent the last 4 glorious days with my family for an early Thanksgiving celebration. My spirits are up, and I'm in the mood to get to work on some cute stuff for Christmas!

I also get to do another review for CSN stores, and start a little Christmas shopping! I have no idea what to get for my mom, maybe some bar tables and stools?

Also I have a few Burlap Stocking Advent Calendars left over from a craft fair this weekend if you would like one-or more-you can go to the post above, or just click here and I will make sure you get it in plenty of time to start counting down to the Holiday.

I also can't wait to see what everyone is up to, now that I am in full crafting mode and ready to get going on gifts-I always get my best ideas from you!

So show us what you've got!

You know the drill....


Check out these other Linky Parties too!

Disclaimer: Anything posted may be used in an upcoming feature including pictures, (linked back to original owner of course). If you don't want me to use your pictures, please don't link up.
Thanks! :)



Friendly Friday-The City Cradle

Hope you are all having a fantastic Friday! :) It's time to meet a new friend and see one of her cute projects! (If you would like to be featured here on a friendly Friday contact me).

Hi, I am Victoria Hudgins an event stylist with a passion for handcrafted design. I am so glad to be here today since Tiffany's blog is all about handcrafting beautiful things! I author The City Cradle where I share my own event designs, inspiration from others, and the many handcrafted projects that go into every celebration I style.

The holiday season is a big one for me, along with hosting a big DIY contest, I also have three separate celebrations that will be posted throughout the next month. Today I am sharing one of the projects that went into my Celebrate Joy holiday design.

A paper tree made from magazine and tissue paper. It is a very easy project that is also good catharsis for those pages of perfectly styled homes out of your grasp.

The materials: Pages from a catalog, magazine or newspaper, bight tissue paper in your color of choice, a small metal rod or thick floral wire for the center, and something pretty to top it off.

The process of making a paper tree:

Step one- Cut or tear out squares from both your tissue paper and your magazines. You will want to cut squares in varying sizes. I did some as 1/8 a page, quarter page, 1/2 page and a few bottoms at almost a full page.

Step two: This is the fun step! After seeing all those perfect pieces and heafty price tags begin crumpling up your magazine papers and tissue papers, being sure to crumple each paper individually.

Step three: Using your center rod poke a hole into the center of your papers and begin piling them on, small squares towards the top and bigger towards the bottom. For my tree I had about one magazine page for every 2-3 tissue pages, to ensure the tree had good color to it.

Step four: Fan out the edges of your tree and re-crumple where needed to get a good shape. Top the tree with something pretty and step back to enjoy your not-so-expensive and very beautiful creation!

*PS. My magazines seemed weighty enough to hold my tree up but if you'd prefer you could use a small circle of cardboard right at the bottom to ensure your paper tree will not fall over.

Thanks for letting me share today & blessings for the upcoming holiday season.



Eggnog Cupcakes

Eggnog has hit the stores and from that first day, my fridge has not been without it.
My husband and kids drink it like it is going to disappear at any moment-so they must stock up and they must drown themselves in it.
Me...not so much.
This is the ONLY way I enjoy eggnog.
And then, I enjoy it very much.
Maybe a little too much.
This is the recipe I came up with last year when I was on a cupcake making spree-
these are alcohol free and kid friendly.
Waistline friendly...well not even a little bit.
  • 4 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar

Mix these ingredients together with a whisk in one bowl and then in another bowl combine the following ingredients.

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine wet and dry ingredients and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 TBS eggnog
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

Mix it up and frost I sprinkled mine with a cinnamon/sugar mix and stuck a cinnamon stick in for garnish-but not necessary. Eggnog fanatics, and those like me who are happy to see it go, love these cupcakes.

Simply Delish!



Before & After Keyboard Bench

My daughter started piano lessons a couple months ago. We haven't purchased a piano yet, we want to be sure this is something she wants to pursue, also-we need to wait until we have room and money to do so.

Until then she is using a keyboard to practice on.

Problem-storage for her books and no place for her to sit, unless she took a chair from the dining room table.
Solution-FREE sewing bench leftover from a friends yard sale. :)
The seat lifts up, and there is just enough room for her books in there. Perfect!
Except it wasn't very cute.
Here is the before....I spray painted the base with a couple good coats of black paint, and using a staple gun-took out some frustration on some fabric and the pad of the seat.
After-super bright and fun......and much more cute at the keyboard.



Making the World Cuter Monday

Here's your chance to show off what you have done to make the world cuter...

You know what to do....Making

Check out these other Linky Parties too!

Disclaimer: Anything posted may be used in an upcoming feature including pictures, (linked back to original owner of course). If you don't want me to use your pictures, please don't link up.
Thanks! :)



Friendly Friday-A Recovering Craft Hoarder

Hope you are all having a fantastic Friday! :) I have a fun new guest here today...Lyndee from A Recovering Craft Hoarder- I will let her introduce herself, then let you go over and check out her making new bloggy friends! (If you would like to be featured here on a friendly Friday contact me).

Hello! My name is Lyndee from A Recovering Craft Hoarder. I'm a mother of three, wife of one and I love to create with what I already have on hand. Sad for me, my craft budget is zero. That's when I got this great idea for a blog. My room dedicated to my crafting...well, it's not so inspirational.

I discovered that there was no need to go out and buy supplies; chances were, they were already in this room. SO, my challenge was and still is, since I just started, to clean this room all while creating fun, masterful pieces. Well, maybe not masterful, but at least fun. I gave myself a couple rules: I couldn't throw anything away. Yes, sounds a bit extreme, but it's all part of the challenge. Course, I was free to giveaway or recycle anything that applied. My second rule, I couldn't buy any supplies for my projects. Everything I made had to come from things already in my home. While I've just started on this journey, here are some projects I've already tackled:

A cuff made from a soda can, old fabric, old clothes, and ribbon trim.

Pint size versions.

A scout project (we had to make our own musical instruments). My daughter got in on the act, thus the pink dangling beads.

Recycled toy blocks and old calendar pictures.

I would love to feature some of your recycled projects so feel free to send them my way! Make sure to link up & leave me a comment letting me know you want to be featured!

Thanks for stopping by & make sure to follow me on my new crafting/cleaning/organizing adventure at:

Happy Crafting!




Burlap Stocking Advent Calender

Last year I made a burlap stocking advent calendar that I just LOVE! It turned out so darn cute and I can't wait to get it out and hang it up again this year.
My friend is doing a craft fair in a couple weeks and I thought I would make up a bunch and sell them there, and since that is what I am working on I thought I would share the tutorial that I shared last year, so that those of you who hadn't seen it, can see it now.
If you make one, I want to see it, they make me so happy! :)

First you will need a little more than a half yard of burlap.

I drew a stocking on a piece of paper and cut it out for a pattern. It is just a mini stocking, a little smaller than my hand.

I folded the burlap so that I could cut one whole stocking in one cut like this.Then I laid the stocking on the burlap and cut it out.
Then you will have something like this.

Then either by hand, machine (or glue gun for the non-sewer) stitch it up, leaving the top opened of course.It doesn't matter how good your sewing skills are, because you will just turn it inside out...It will turn out adorable...Then do that again 23 more times! It's not as bad as it sounds, it actually went by quite quickly.
Then if you want to embellish (and I think you do) choose some ribbon.
Use a glue gun and run a line of glue along the front of the stocking.
Then wrap your ribbon over and around your stocking and either make a loop, bow, or tie.

I did 6 of 4 different ribbons and styles...

...jingle bells
and bows.
After the stockings were complete, I took my Fiskars circle punch and punched a bunch of brown circles.Then I inked the edges.Then I stamped numbers on the brown circles-you could use stickers, stamps or your own handwriting, my friend lent me these cute stamps and I don't know who makes them.
I found these at Michaels for about $3, and they are the exact size of the circle punch :).
Then I mod podged the number to the wooden circle.Then do a light coat over the top of the number, and let dry.On the back of the wooden circle, they are self adhesive-so handy!
Stick the circles to a wooden clothes pin.
I had to do the twenties on two circles...
Then I clipped the stocking to some jute, that I hung from the mantle.....and you're done!
Ready to fill with little treats, surprises, little slips of paper with activities or whatever!
Love it!