Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

November Show

Posted on: November 12th, 2013 by ssteinruck No Comments

Last weekend I showcased my Personalized Gifts & Decor at an open house, and it was a great success! Thank you to my pal Kelly for hosting, and to my mom and sister for being there too. Julie (my lil sis!) even had a table of her own bag collections for sale. I'll be featuring her in a post soon!

It was a holiday weekend, so I know a lot of people were away. If you missed it or need to take another look, I will have open studio hours this Friday and Saturday from 9-1. (By "studio" I mean my dining room.) If you're local, feel free to stop by and look through this season's items - lots of gift ideas for everyone on your list!

Here are pics from the show...

Custom Signs on Canvas, Wood, or Slate

Barnwood signs, hooks, and vases

Customize these magnet boards with names or monograms. Fabric magnet boards can be any size with a fabric of your choice! My kids have these instead of cork boards - I'd much rather step on a stray magnet than a fallen thumbtack!

Designer clothespins with magnetic strip on the back. Perfect for teacher appreciation gifts!

Lots of choices for teacher gifts - custom clipboards & post-it note holders, glass magnets, binder clips, magnetic clothespins & matching desk sets too!

These gift baskets are perfect for anyone's desk! These include a tissue pocket, note cards, binder clips, coaster, magnet board, glass magnets, and pen holder...all in an adorable wire basket with a chalkboard label. Gift baskets can be totally customized to suit your needs!

Choose your design and add an initial to make an easy gift for any occasion! Do a set using a map of a favorite spot too!

Personalized glass ornaments and handmade knit ornaments.

I do silhouettes and all kinds of vinyl lettering and designs. Laptop skins, monogram on your car window or phone, words on your wall, buckets, jars, trays - you name it!

Cute tins and wire baskets! I can personalize it and create a great gift basket!

Great for labeling baskets,  dishes at potlucks, place cards at holiday meals or weddings! These chalkboard clips can stand up on their own too!

Decorative baskets and bottles. Four shapes of paperweights to customize too!

I can personalize these paperweights with quotes, monograms, maps, or pictures.

Custom made hair accessories for the princesses in your life! I can also make you a bow holder to coordinate with her bedroom!

Personalized snack bags and tissue pockets return this year. A new item - a travel toiletry roll - can also be monogrammed! Perfect for toothbrushes - throw it in the wash when you get home! No more messy wet baggies!

Our clearance sale of all our knit hats and baby blankets - not taking orders for these, but still have a few left in stock!

See anything you like? Don't forget to stop by my studio later this week. You can always contact me with questions or orders as well. Thanks! I'm off to create lots of custom items for some of my favorite people!

 

 

 

Home show this Friday!

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by ssteinruck No Comments

Please come check out my handmade personalized gifts & decor at my open-house style home show this Friday, November 30 from 7-9:30! Contact me for details. Can't come on Friday and want to purchase something from the ShopContact me to place an order.

Thanks so much for your amazing support and encouragement!

Christmas Recap

Posted on: December 30th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Did you miss me? I thought since the kids were off school for Christmas, I'd take a break too. So here's a quick recap of part of our Christmas morning. The kids were too busy to pose for us in front of the tree, but I'll take what I can get.

The big kids got those craft loops to use with looms and make potholders. I think I have a drawer full of them now. They've been busy!

Bud got a cool remote control truck. The dog loves that. And so far, it's not broken. Amazing! The big kids also got IPod Shuffles (as shown in the back of the truck.) So now, they can listen to music that we approved. I'm not sure the headphones will come off for a few days, until the novelty wears off. (It's been so quiet at our house!)

One of my favorite traditions that I married into is the Christmas Morning Danish Kringle. We only ordered 2, but by the miracle of Christmas, we were shipped 4. Cherry, Apple, Cream Cheese, and - my all time favorite - Raspberry.

See that? Is your mouth watering? Here's a picture of the package, in case you'd like to start the tradition in your family.

They know how to make Christmas morning wonderful.

Neighbor Gifts

Posted on: December 24th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

We are so blessed to live in a neighborhood where we actually know (and love!) our neighbors. Our street pretty much rocks. We are those people who are always having cul-de-sac parties in the summer. I've borrowed eggs and rang doorbells late at night knowing we'd be welcomed with open arms. So I like to do a little something for each of my fabulous neighbors at Christmas.

This year we made chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles. The Bear and I worked together and made 9 little goody bags. I made a simple tag and the girls walked from house to house delivering the treats.

In years past, I've done jars of Christmas Tea, Gingerbread Men, and Peppermint Bark. We have received everything from sampler cookie plates and hot chocolate, to sparkling apple juice. What do you do for your neighbors?

 

Three Little Bakers

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

On the first day of Christmas break my three loves helped me bake gingerbread men.

They got silly and mostly played with the dough while I attempted to work with what ended up being very dry crumbly dough. (Where did I go wrong - more molasses maybe?) They liked getting messy and sneaking nibbles of dough - which by the way, does not have eggs, so it's ok to eat raw, in case you wondered. It's actually quite good, and if we hadn't baked today we might not have had any dough left in the fridge!

After struggling to roll it out smooth and cut out the little men, I gave up and we just started making gingerbread blobs and squares instead. Bud wanted to make a dog. Girly wanted to make a girl. And the Bear just wanted me to keep sprinkling "sugar" on her little pile, which was really flour. (She calls most white things that can sprinkle sugar - like Parmesan cheese and salt.) They totally didn't care how it looked, and neither did I.

When the gingerbread men came out of the oven and onto the cookie rack, they looked like they had just returned from battle. Some of them just plain didn't make it. Limbs were missing. Some heads too. And any that were actually in tact were dry and cracked like mud baked in the sun.

But. They still tasted great. Just like the dough. Only warm! Obviously, I am not a stickler for perfection, especially when it comes to doing anything with my kids. Why set myself up for failure?

But I have yet to celebrate a Christmas without gingerbread men - or gingerbread whatever.

 

 

Snowflakes

Posted on: December 21st, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

No, it's definitely not snowing here in the south. But there are a lot of snowflakes in my house!

Every year my parents get our kids a silver snowflake ornament with their name and the year engraved on it. I have a mini tree that I put up in our entryway that I've been decorating with these snowflakes for years. Given that my kids are 7, 6, and 3, we have quite a collection.

I think I'm going to need a bigger tree!

Christmas vacation has officially started for my kids - we did the school parties today and they are all hopped up on candy canes. I'm thinking we need to do some serious Christmas crafting to pass the time create memories this week.

And Mr. Helpful pointed out our shortage of Christmas cookies. We've all been so sick, no one wanted to bake. Now he has the flu so the kids and I will step up to the plate. And fill it with cookies. (Wow. That was cheesy.) Coming soon: cookie-making pics, and hopefully some kid-friendly craftiness too!

Christmas Traditions

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

It's funny how the family traditions we grow up with carry over into our own families - or morph into some new version that incorporates the traditions of your spouse's childhood. And then there are the new traditions that we start - whether on purpose or by accident.

One of my favorite traditions growing up was reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas with my brother and sister. My brother was always the reader, and he read every word in the book - right down to the publishing information. There were songs in the back of our book, and he read those lyrics too. Fa la la la la...la la la la. We didn't sing it. We read it. It was a silly thing he started that just stuck. Now, we still try to read it on Christmas Eve if we are together. We've even done it over the phone when we are not!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Decking the Halls

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

With Christmas less than a week away, I thought I'd show you some Christmas decorations around our home. With 3 young kids we don't do anything terribly elaborate or breakable. Just about everything we have out gets handled by little hands, so if there's something I'd but upset about breaking, I don't use it. That's probably why my fine china has been kept safely in the cabinet for 10 years.

Over the years, we've been given various pieces of the Willow Tree Nativity. It's probably my favorite thing to put out each year. I started to put in on our sofa table, but then I had visions of the dog grabbing a wise man and chewing him to pieces. So the Nativity went on top of the TV cabinet, safe from the dog and kids. Mr. Helpful designed, built, and crackle-painted a custom creche a few years ago. We put lights behind it so the cut out star actually "shines".

I just realized that the 3rd wise man is hidden behind the 2nd wise man. He's back there.

The mantel is often the focal point of the room. Ours is pretty basic. A large mirror leans against the wall. Maybe someday we will actually hang it on the wall, but for now, it's leaning. Two mini-trees laced with cranberry beads cap off the ends. My mother-in-law made each of the stockings with our names embroidered on them. The stocking holders spell PEACE, which is ironic since there's not usually much peace to be found with kids' excitement for Christmas! But it was the only word I found with 5 letters. They should make one that says CRAZY. It's not very Christmasy, but it definitely describes my house this time of year. My only complaint about them is that they fall with the slightest pull on the stocking. So once Santa fills them, they will likely need to lay on the floor.

The tree sits in the corner with all kinds of non-coordinating ornaments. My family gave us an ornament shower when we got engaged, which gave us a great start to our collection. Many are handmade by our kids - some made by me when I was a kid!

In the other corner of the room I have wrapped presents that are really just empty boxes that I wrapped for decoration several years ago. But every year, the kids want to open them. Go figure. Some presents need to be replaced - they moved with us and spend most of the year packed up in the garage. They sit on top of our very classy piece of furniture: the dog crate. I made a custom cover for it, so it's not as bad as it once was. It's tucked in the corner out of the way, but I've never been real sure how to incorporate it into the room when it's not Christmas.

And that's our family room. All decked out. More Christmas stuff coming up this week! Have a great Monday!

Christmas Cone Trees

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Whew! What a couple of weeks! I think, as of this very moment anyway, we are all on the way to good health....several trips to the doctor and multiple antibiotics later. I finally feel like maybe - just maybe - I can get my craft on once again. So here's a quick, easy, and inexpensive Christmas craft that even the kids could do.

Cone Trees. You've seen them. On Pinterest. Right? The styrofoam cones wrapped in yarn or with sparkly goodness glued on them? Yes, those. Well, I am trying not to spend money (perfect time of year for it, right?!) but I really wanted to try one of these trees. So I got creative and went digging through our recycle bin.

Cheerios. Fruity Cheerios. The kids' favorite.  And I guess because it's "Cheerios" it seems healthier than Fruit Loops. (?) A few cuts and folds of the cereal box and some bright orange ductape, and I had 3 cone trees ready to be wrapped.

In keeping with my free project goal, I went to my stash of yarn and found this fuzzy white yarn that would be fun. It's actually a little hard to knit with - it sheds - so I had no problem using it for this project. And with my love for jute, I had to try a tree with the all-natural-earthy look too. I used hot glue for the beginning and the end. I don't think it really matters, but I started at the top and worked my way down. For the white trees, I went from top to bottom back to top, to fill in and make it look fluffy and snowy.

You like?! I got 3 trees from one cereal box. I just might have to do some more. Easy. And free. For me - since I eat cereal and have a stash of yarn and jute.

Here's hoping no one in our house gets sick over the weekend! Is all your shopping done? I'm done and ready to start wrapping! Ho ho ho!

Teacher Gifts

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 by ssteinruck 3 Comments

This year when brainstorming for gifts for my kids' teachers, I went to the best source around. You guessed it: Pinterest. There are so many creative and inexpensive gift ideas out there - it was tough to pick one. The Post-It Present, from Paper Wings, stood out to me as being both useful and cute, not to mention easy and inexpensive. I have done gift cards in the past, but now with everyone in school with 2 teachers each, it's just too expensive.

Walmart had 5x7 plastic frames for 97 cents. I picked up some pretty scrapbook paper and cut two 5x7 pieces out of each for my six frames. I had ribbon to go with each design, and I purchased a pack of colorful post-it notes. I actually took a scrap of each paper with me to see if I could coordinate colors. I had trouble keeping the post-it notes on the frame with just the sticky part of the post-it. So I used some double-sided tape and that seems to be holding.

Teacher gifts. Check!

 

I'm linking up to

 

Feather Boa Wreath

Posted on: December 5th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

So I saw this idea on Pinterest. Don't you love when I start like that? Hey, at least I'm trying to make the things I see on there.

Christmas wreaths have traditionally been made up of some sort of greenery. But I wanted to try something different this year. So I went with the white feather boa and foam pipe insulation. The foam stuff is cheap (found mine at HD) and you can create any size you want. But the first time I tried a wreath with the foam, it ended up bending and kinking and looking not-so-circular.

Then I found the solution. On Pinterest. (No, I'm not getting paid to promote Pinterest. I just love it!) (But if you'd like to pay me, please contact me!) Ha!

The foam insulation has a slit down one side that you can pull/cut open. The genius of Gail at Gail Made realized that if you open up that slit, and tuck one side into the other, it allows the diameter of the inside of the circle to be less than that of the outside, since the slit lets the foam slide a little to...um...make it work. Whatever. It works!

Because my boa is white, I needed to cover the grey foam so it wouldn't show through. So I took a long sleeve white shirt that had been retired, and used the sleeves to make sleeves for the foam. It took three tube sleeves to cover the grey entirely.

Then I used clear packing tape to secure the ends of the foam together to form a circle.

I positioned the white sleeves around and overlapped them slightly so grey would not show through. I taped the overlaps to hold it in place.

The boa was easy to wrap around. I used two six-foot long boas from Michaels. I could have used more, but I only had 2, so I made it work. This is where the white sleeves came in real handy since there are some gaps in the feathers. But you'd never know it since it's white underneath too.

Once I had it wrapped all around, I showed Mr. Helpful. His first comment was that it looked like something from Victoria Secret. Nice honey. Not at all what I was going for.

So in an effort to make the wreath less...um...sexy...and more festive for Christmas, I added some red ornaments that I had in our ornament box. I just poked the wire through and stuck it into the foam.

He doesn't like it. His hesitation to comment said it all. Oh well. I like it. I think it's cute and fun and something totally unlike most of our more traditional holiday decor.

I should totally put a feather boa in Mr. Helpful's stocking. Wink wink, honey.

 

Christmas Wish Lists

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

It seems like once the turkey is off the table and the parade has passed, there's a race to Christmas. Most of our neighbors have Christmas decorations up. We still have pumpkins on our porch. Keeping up with the Jones' is tough. No, really, the Jones family lives on the corner and they are already fully decorated for Christmas. I heard they hired people to do it for them - cheaters. (Just kidding Jones family - you guys are great!)

Best Christmas movie ever!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both passed and I have yet to purchase a single gift. I need to have my kids get serious about their Christmas Wish Lists without letting their expectations soar. They are WISH lists, after all.

So have I missed out on all the deals? I doubt it. Am I too late to have things ship in time? No way. My goal this year is to order online. Anything I can order online and have arrive on my front porch sounds good to me. I'm not a shopper. I don't like crowds, lines, or parking spaces a mile from the store entrance. Not to mention that I have 3 kids, and finding time to go shopping alone is not easy.

And my hope is that by shopping online, I can stay on task and on budget, and not purchase extra items that might tempt me in the store. Wish me luck!

 

About Susan

Susan I am a stay-at-home mom with three great kids, a fabulous husband, a cat, and a dog. I enjoy making things (but not cooking), painting, rearranging furniture (that one is genetic), organizing, purging, and most things DIY. Thanks for stopping by! More »