Advent Ideas (+ my advent calendar)

If you’re here for the Silhouette Portrait giveaway, it’s one post down.  If you’re here for advent activity ideas, you’re in the right place.  Open-mouthed smile

When the nice folks at Silhouette asked me if I wanted to check out their 2012 Limited Edition Advent Calendar, I jumped at the chance.  I’d seen some pictures and knew it was darling and something I could switch around and leave up all year long.  (Seriously…click on that link and check out the one where they’ve printed and hung Instagram pics…I’m so doing that!)

For my Christmas version, I wanted something non-traditional.  You know, since I basically never do anything traditional.  I started with some ribbons I picked up at the American Crafts warehouse sale.

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(Tangent:  If you are in the SLC area you MUST swing by the sale.  It’s in Jordan Landing in the old Petsmart.  I’ve already been twice and I don’t even like paper crafting.)

And then I dug through my washi tape until I found some that coordinated.

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I busted out my Silhouette Portrait and cut out the shapes (from the download card included with the advent calendar).  I used one 12 X 12 sheet of each color of cardstock: white, gray, pink, lime, teal, and purple. I cut all the cards out of the white and then punched a hole and tied the tops with a 4” piece of ribbon.  For the colored card stock, I cut off a 4 X 12 strip from each piece and used that to cut the embellishments.  The chevron zig zags, the word “joy”, the large number 6 and the gray ornament on day 12 are the only things not included on the download card.  I cut the envelopes from the 8 X 12 piece.

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Cute right?

Now we just need to figure out what activities to put in each one!

SOME IDEAS FOR ADVENT ACTIVITIES

Put up the tree
Make an ornament
Have hot chocolate
Have a snowball (or sock ball if you don’t have snow) fight
Sing a Christmas song
Send Christmas cards
Build a snowman (out of marshmallows, if necessary)
Wrap presents
Make gift tags
Read a Christmas story
Read the Christmas story from the Bible
Do something nice for a family member
Do something nice for a stranger
Shop for Sub for Santa or an Angel Tree or Toys for Tots
Deliver treats to a neighbor
Watch a holiday movie
Make cookies
Go see the lights
Make paper snowflakes
Go sledding
Go see Santa
Take a Christmas picture (Santa hats and reindeer antlers optional but encouraged)
Go ice skating
Color pictures from a Christmas coloring book
Write letters to Santa
Hang a wreath on the front door
Put up a nativity/crèche
Mail a package to someone
Make your own wrapping paper (stamps or markers and a roll of craft paper)
Make a gingerbread house
Wear a Christmas sweater
Hang some mistletoe
Have reindeer pancakes
Eat a candy cane
Go caroling
String popcorn for the tree
Buy a poinsettia
Make paper poinsettias
Drink eggnog
Go see the Christmas decorations at the mall or in your town
Attend a local junior high/high school choir performance
Attend a local junior high/high school band or orchestra performance
Attend a dance recital
Call grandma and grandpa
Read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Make luminaries
Go Christmas shopping
Wear something red and/or green
Buy Christmas jammies
Make Christmas candy
Shovel snow
Light a holiday scented candle
Volunteer at a food bank
Serve a meal at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter
Visit a rest home
Make a holiday mix tape (or CD Winking smile)
Look at Christmas pictures from years past
Watch/read/listen to A Christmas Carol (may I recommend the Muppet version?)
Tie jingle bells to your shoe laces
Make a snow angel
Hang stockings
Make a paper chain for the tree
Eat something covered in red and green sprinkles

Please, please, PLEASE feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!

Giveaway: Silhouette Portrait

Have you heard the news?

Silhouette (you know ‘em, you love ‘em) has a new addition to their electronic personal cutter line, the Portrait.

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The Portrait does all the same stuff as the CAMEO, just on smaller scale (3.5 lbs…perfect to take with you) and at a lower price point.  Nice, right?  I’ve had a chance to play with one over the last few days and it’s fantastic!

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The controls are nice and accessible.

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Want to see the Silhouette Portrait in action?  You can check out this Silhouette Portrait Video.

The nice folks at SIlhouette are giving one lucky Crap I’ve Made reader his/her very own Silhouette Portrait (plus the software, blade, mat, cables, download card, etc.)

Score!

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

Follow Silhouette on Pinterest. Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST saying that you did.

Follow the Silhouette blog.  Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying that you did.

***3 possible entries per person***

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Thursday, October 22th at 10pm MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

I’m coming on to announce the winner at midnight EST on Thanksgiving.  I’ll also be posting the details on all the Silhouette Black Friday promotions at that time.  (No details yet, but trust me…they’re good.)  As always, code “CRAP” will get you the promotional prices.

Want to see what I’ve been working on with my Portrait?

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That’s this year’s Silhouette Limited Edition Advent Calendar.  Details (along with advent ideas) tomorrow!

Here are some other gals giving away a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait this week too:

Infarrantly Creative

All Things Thrifty

I Heart Naptime

The Idea Room

Sawdust and Paperscraps

Southern Hospitality

Beneath my Heart

Today’s Creative Blog

Positively Splendid

Home Stories A to Z

Makely School for Girls

The DIY Show Off

Not Just a Housewife

Whipperberry

Decorchick

Pizzazzerie

Little Miss Momma

Make and Takes

Tip Junkie

Craft Gossip

Ali Edwards

My Repurposed Life

Craftaholics Anonymous

Our Best Bites

Simply Kierste

Petite Party Studio

Kevin and Amanda

Homemade by Jill

Vintage Revivals

Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Wreath

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When I was at Lowe’s last week, I spotted this cute little green linen wreath in their Christmas decorations.

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I liked it, but I thought I might like it even more with some fall color.

I cut out a bunch of small leaves out of decorative papers with my Silhouette CAMEO.  They’re about 1.5”.  You could use a punch or die or cut them by hand as well.

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Then I cut some 4” long pieces of 16 gauge wire (also from Lowe’s) and hot glued the leaves to the ends.

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And then I stuck the wires into the grapevine portion of the wreath…no glue necessary because the wires were long enough.

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That was good news, because I’d already had a run in with the gun.

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Plus, now I can pull them back out and replace them with something else festive when Fall is over.  Berries for Christmas, maybe?

*Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to purchase supplies for this project as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team. All opinions and statements are mine.  Don’t forget to head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Too Small Linen Closet Solution + $100 Lowe’s Giveaway

This month’s Lowes Creative Ideas Blog team member challenge was blogger’s choice.  The pressure!  This basically meant that Lowes Creative Ideas was giving us free reign.  My house has been a disaster zone for the last several weeks (insert long story about carpet and closet doors and broken beds and sleeping on the floor here) and so I needed something that wouldn’t contribute to the chaos.  I thought about making over my sister’s dining area, but finally decided to fix something in my own space.

We all have things about our houses that drive us nuts, right?  You know…stuff you didn’t realize was going to be an issue until you actually moved in.  For example, at my house there’s nowhere to put your broom.  It has to go in the garage, and that annoys me.  Another thing that drives me nuts?  My linen closet.

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(And I’m not just talking about that hole from the doorstop up top courtesy of one of the boy children that lives here.)

Don’t get me wrong…my house is a nice size for the six of us and I’m grateful for it every day.  But that linen closet?  Ugh.  WAY.  TOO.  SMALL.  My house is a 2 story with all the bedrooms upstairs.  This is the only storage space upstairs.  We have some under porch storage in the basement, but that’s way way way not convenient.  There’s no way you can fit towels and sheets for six in that closet, let alone the “extra” stuff (deodorant, hairspray, light bulbs, etc.) that needs to be stored upstairs.  So, I needed a solution.

I picked up this cabinet several (like nine) years ago.  It was very country red and very much no longer my style, but I knew it had some potential, so I decided to make it over.  I put Keller and a friend to work removing the hinges and knobs.

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And then I went nuts with 2 of my favorites:

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Valspar spray paint in Exotic Sea Gloss and Minwax stain in Provincial.

Spray paint tip:  Start with your piece upside down.  Get all the parts that you won’t be able to see/reach once it’s right side up and then flip it over so you don’t have to try to maneuver it when the whole thing is sticky and covered in wet paint.

I did one really good coat of spray paint and then touched up a couple of spots that looked a little on the red side.

Because the wood was not smooth and because my boys make everything look roughed up even when it’s not, I decided to rough it up a bit.

I let the paint dry for 2 or 3 days just to make sure it was really dry and not at all tacky, and then I took my power sander to it.  Once I liked the amount of paint I had taken off, I wiped the whole thing down with a tack cloth and then I applied some stain with a rag. I applied and wiped and applied and wiped until I liked the look.  I put on some new knobs and…

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Pretty, right?

Then I went back to Lowe’s and headed to the organization section and picked up some of these baskets.

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They’re under $15 for the set of 3 and I LOVE them because they’re super narrow and fit on any shelf.  I have some in my basement bathroom as well.

I grouped stuff in them, like deodorant or light bulbs or Scentsy melts (yes, I have a problem) and put them in the cabinet.

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So, here’s hoping that the unused space at the end of the hall helps me not have linen closet rage!

Lowe’s is also giving one lucky Crap I’ve Made reader a $100 gift card!

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d use the gift card for.  That’s it.  Quick and easy!

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Friday, November 2nd at noon MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

And while you’re waiting to see if you won, head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Or, check out the Lowe’s Creative Idea’s app (also free)!  I have it on my iPhone and it’s delightful!

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*Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to purchase supplies for this project as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  All opinions and statements are mine.

Giveaway: Silhouette CAMEO™ + vinyl bundle!

I teased this giveaway last night on Facebook…and then I fell asleep.  Oops!

So, to get your Sunday started off right, I’ve got a CAMEO plus the vinyl bundle (1 roll black premium vinyl (9 inches x 10 feet), 1 roll orange premium vinyl (9 inches x 10 feet), 1 roll transfer paper, 1 Silhouette hook) up for grabs!

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That’s a $350+ value, in case you’re keeping track at home.

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

Follow Silhouette on Pinterest. Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST saying that you did.

Follow the Silhouette blog.  Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying that you did.

***3 possible entries per person***

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Wednesday, October 24th at noon MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

In the mean time, don’t forget to head on over to Silhouette and check out all the promotions they’ve got going right now.

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Go HERE and use code “CRAP” to get the promotional price.

Giveaway: $75 of awesome from Pick Your Plum

You’re all familiar with Pick Your Plum, right?

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If you’re not, here’s the short version:  Every (weekday) morning at 7:00 Mountain time, they have something awesome up for grabs at a phenomenal price with flat rate shipping.  Sometimes it’s crafty, sometimes it’s home décor-y, sometimes it’s fashion-y, sometimes it’s food-y.  Like today, for example…

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shirts and cardis!  Head on over and grab one (some Winking smile) and then come back to enter the giveaway.  This can wait, but the supplies over at Pick Your Plum are limited.

Let’s say you’re a nudist and shirts and cardis aren’t your thing…no problem!  Just check back tomorrow!  Tomorrow it could be thread and buttons (which a nudist may also not need)

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or burlap baskets

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or cupcake stands

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or personalized stamps

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or metal letters

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or tags.

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You get the picture, right?

Pick Your Plum is offering one lucky Crap I’ve Made reader a box chock full of $75 worth of PYP goodness.  What’s in the box will be a surprise, but I promise it will be awesome.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 and older only.
Entries must be via the Rafflecopter gadget below.
Giveaway closes Wednesday the 24th at midnight MST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Silhouette Promotions (a plethora of them)

In case you don’t follow along on Facebook, I’m currently in carpet installation hell.  My family room looks like this:

The install was finished yesterday, but that was just the beginning of the crap.  2 beds (ours and Keller’s) were ruined.  2 sets of closet doors were broken as well (including one that hit me in the face when I attempted to open it).  So, I slept on the floor last night and I’m delightful this morning.  Blah.

So, whilst I try to locate my shoes, I’ve got some Silhouette deals for you!

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Do you need a machine?

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Do you need some vinyl?

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Do you need some heat transfer?

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Do you need some adhesive cardstock and/or sketch pens?

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A little something for everyone, right???

Use code “CRAP” to take advantage of any of the promotions between now and the end of the month!

Look forward to a heat transfer project from me in the next little bit (you know…when I can walk through my family room to get to my CAMEO again).  In the mean time, Here are some of my favorite Halloween-y projects I’ve made with Silhouette vinyl!

Spooky Soap Dispensers

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Batty (and temporary) Chandelier Makeover

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Bats on EVERYTHING

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(I forgot how much I loved those vinyl candelabras…I should probably cut a new set this year!)

Arrow of Light award + Silhouette cut file

BC is one of the Webelos leaders in our pack.  Troop?  Herd of scouts?  Whatever…you get what I mean, right?

This means that the responsibility for making some sort of plaque for the boys receiving this award has become mine.  The pack/troop/herd gives the boys an arrow along with this award.  It was previously tied on with twine, but during my extensive Google searching, I saw some with cup hooks, which I liked MUCH better.  So, here’s what the boys are now receiving:

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(Last name blurred for bloggy purposes)

BC has a crate shop at work and therefore TONS of 1X4 scraps.  This is a 12” board.  I painted it a scouty blue (cheap acrylic craft paint) and then applied the Arrow of Light vinyl.  I’ve uploaded the Silhouette Studio cut file I created for you here.

I managed to get eight arrows on a 12 X 24 piece of vinyl, which runs about $2 where I get mine locally.

So far we’re in this free wood, paint I already had, plus 25 cents worth of vinyl.  The cup hooks come in a pack of 100 for just over $4, so another 10 cents there.  And then I add the boy’s name and the date in white vinyl at the bottom.  So far I’ve managed to just use scraps for this, but I’d guess you’re using 10 cents of vinyl for that as well.  Grand total?  45 CENTS.  Nice, right?

I mass produced them last week so I can just add names over the next little while:

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So, if you’re a Scouter in need of an Arrow of Light plaque, this is a quick and inexpensive one!

Giveaway: Downtown Tape!

Are you on the washi wagon yet?  Have you wanted to try the tape?  Already have some but think there’s no such thing as “too much”?

Today’s giveaway is for you!

Let me introduce you to Downtown Tape.

Embarrassing confession:  I have ordered from Downtown Tape before.  And, I may have purchased 17 rolls.  SEVENTEEN ROLLS!!!  But you want to know the best part?

That’s right…$1.99/roll and $2.95 flat rate shipping!  I triple dog dare you to find a better deal on washi tape.  Go on…I’ll wait.  Winking smile

They have dots and stripes and floral and chevron and everything in between.

I may have used this kind to tape a receipt to something I needed to return:

Excessive?  Probably.  Cute?  Definitely. Open-mouthed smile

And we embellished some cheap-o IKEA frames for Macy’s locker with washi tape, too.

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I love how the stuff with the music notes (Sounds Like Nashville) ties in her inner orchestra dork.  Too bad they didn’t have any with math equations on it….  Wait.  Maybe they did?  I’d better go look!  $1.99/roll and $2.95 flat rate shipping, remember?

So, do you want to win some?

Downtown Tape is offering TEN rolls of tape to THREE lucky winners!

You can enter below using Rafflecopter.  In fact, you MUST ENTER USING RAFFLECOPTER.  Comments on the post will not be counted as entries.

And remember…everything’s better with washi!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Use this Rafflecopter until the situation with the original one gets resolved:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stuff I’m Loving

Oh hey there!  I’m not dead!  And, if you follow along on Facebook or Instagram, you might have seen that I even made some stuff last week.  I KNOW, RIGHT?

So, while I work on some project posts (and a delightful giveaway tomorrow!), I thought I’d share with you some of the stuff I’m loving right now.  These are all my opinions and I have not been compensated in any way to share them.  Clicking on the green product name will take you to Amazon, if you’re interested.

 

HI-CHEW FRUIT CHEWS

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A kid in Macy’s class last year introduced her to these and now I can’t stop eating them.  My favorite flavors are Mango, Green Apple, and Peach…in that order.  They’re chewy, but not sticky and I seriously get a pack every time I go to the gas station.

 

MONKEY BALM

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It’s getting cold and dry ‘round these parts, which means that one or more of my kids are licking/sucking on their lips, leaving that big awful scabby situation.  Yuck.  I’ve tried everything from Aquaphor to Lanisnoh (yes, the stuff for nursing bosoms).  A mom of one of the boys on Keller’s team works for the Steal Network and mentioned they had featured Monkey Balm in the past and that it was magical.  She brought me a tube of this stuff on Saturday morning and Bennett’s face is as good as new.

 

APE CASE

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BC bought me a delightful new purse for my anniversary last month and I love it SO MUCH that sometimes I can’t bear to exchange it for my camera bag when I need to take pics.  So, I got an Ape Case.  My camera fits, even with my big daddy football game lens, and it’s well protected.  I throw the whole Ape Case in my bag and I’m good to go.

 

POP PHONE

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This is for sure the dorkiest product on the list.  I picked mine up on 50% off of clearance at Forever 21 for $7.  You plug it into your cell phone and talk on it.  (I kind of wish it had one of those giant 1980’s shoulder rests on it, just for comedic effect.)  I’m a giant klutz and my cell phone often gets dropped when I’m walking and talking.  Or my face hits the touch screen and does weird things.  And let’s face it…you can’t wedge a super slim cell phone between your shoulder and your face quite the way you could with an old telephone, right?  Winking smile

 

So, that’s what I’m loving right now.

What are you loving?

 

See you tomorrow with a giveaway of something else that I’m loving that I think you’ll love too!


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