Tuesday, December 31, 2013

charge into the new year with the paper antler party cracker - a tutorial

this is it
the very single last final caboose day of 2013
can you believe it

i give one final raised glass to this year
by presenting a tutorial inspired by the symbol of the year
the antler

here is a quick diy to allow your New Year's Eve party to go out with a bang
and to charge into the new year
the paper antler party cracker
designed for the Paper Crepe Company challenge mentioned here in my previous posts
merry and bright christmas and
hipster baby boy's first birthday

new year's eve paper antler party cracker tutorial


{all decorative supplies provided by the Paper Crepe}
tp tube
9" crinkle or thin textured paper
glitter paper
high quality patterned paper
adhesive or hot glue
small prizes and candies

party cracker form


cut your crinkle or thin texture paper to approx 9" x 9" 
place tp tube on the inside centered
apply adhesive
since my cracker was made for a company party display and not to be opened it was not filled with special prizes
to create a functional pop-able cracker add just a couple more steps found here on this tutorial by

tie up party cracker with twine


carefully gather up each end and tie the ends

soften paper by crinkling


here comes the fun part!
remember when you were a kid and you made your own leather by crinkling up paper brown bags until it became so soft
that is the same concept here
this is why you need a high high quality paper so it will crinkle and mold in your hand and not tear
crinkle away
it starts off rough but just keep going
crinkle and crinkle some more until it becomes soft and pliable

cut triangle for party cracker


do not try to flatten the crumpled paper
fold over a corner to form an elongated triangle approx 4" x 2"
and snip

antler branch form


to form a branched antler cut an 1 1/2 to 2" slit starting at the shortest side of triangle toward the folded side of the triangle at an angle

twist to form double branched antler


start twisting the paper to form your antler shape
twist and twist
don't be afraid to twist tightly if you have some serious high quality paper
you want it tight to hold its shape
use adhesives or hot glue to finish off your antlers

party cracker wrapper


cut your wrapper from glitter paper approx 3 1/4" x 6 1/2 "
adhere paper centered on cracker
wrap paper around cracker and then overlap and apply with adhesive or hot glue

mounting antlers on paper cracker


cut a chevron arrow shape out of patterned paper approx 2 3/4" x 1 1/2"
adhere shape to center of glitter paper
glue antlers in the center of the chevron shape

new year's eve paper antler party cracker tutorial diy

and there you have it
the paper antler party cracker

enjoy your New Year's Eve friends
look back with gratitude on the blessings of this past year
and charge forward with conviction to make this next year one with no regrets 
as you love more 
find more courage to those things which will bring the greatest joy for yourself and those around you
and dare to dream and act upon it

here's to living life with passion and conviction

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry and bright christmas: simple last minute touches to your holiday table decor

merry and bright christmas simple last minute holiday decor ideas

although the countdown to Christmas is nearly over
there is plenty of time to add those final touches to your holiday table decor

here are a few ideas i designed for The Paper Crepe challenge
last month in collaboration with Amy from Commona My House
as we were hired to create displays for their party tour which hit Sacramento, Dallas, and Chicago
read more about the parameters for the challenge here on my 'hipster baby boy's first birthday' post

so here are some simple last minute decor ideas:
antler party cracker {watch for tutorial coming just in time for your New Year's Eve bash}
3D Christmas tree
triangle trees
glitter paper chain
tissue tassel bunting {here's a great tutorial on green wedding shoes}
two tone glitter pine cones

merry and bright christmas simple last minute holiday decor ideas

may your days be merry and bright
from a gal who's christmas has become very white

merry merry christmas to you all

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

my Christmas wish

as the list of things that i should be doing are adding up in my mind
i am drawn at this time to reflect on some quiet moments that have transpired in our life the past little while
i have missed writing
for this is how i truly am able to reflect on the goodness in my life

as many of you know mike has begun treatments for his MS up here in utah where we have moved for a variety of reasons
but mainly to be close to a specialist we feel confident in and have easy access to
due to the nature of the progression of mike’s disease
some days, lots of days are just plain hard
in my mind and i think in the minds of others 
making this huge change in our life must have equated to the lessening of daily difficulty
if not for that
then why would we have moved
well the truth is that we have seen many moments of illumination that have shown us that indeed this is the place we need to be
we have already seen blessings in various aspects of our life
we know that a path of tremendous growth and hope is before us
but the weight of what remains the same and even the weight of what has changed 
lies heavy

what remains the same

mike continues to struggle in a very big way
physically, emotionally, and mentally
it is a daily battle
hearing him laugh and seeing the relaxation of his face when the pain has lessened are two of my favorite things right now
the humility and gratitude i see in him makes me love him more and more
i feel a tremendous honor to be his wife

what has changed

mike is no longer able to work due to a dramatic decline in his cognition
we have been sustained by the benevolent generosity of family
and i have been giving all i’ve got to my Nerium business
with full confidence that soon it will be able to put us on a path of independence
mike is my biggest champion
as i am my own worst enemy some days
i admire moms who have worked while raising their children
i admire men and women who have the fire of confidence with the skills of communication and the ability to inspire
i admire those who work with laser focus on what they want for the good of their family and don’t let rejection or obstacles get in their way

i tell you i am being stretched and molded into a woman i never knew i could become
one that never would have been uncovered had the need for me to rise not have been there
one who has had to rely heavily on the Lord
as well as newly acquired knowledge though good books of all varieties
and persons of great influence and motivation
all lending to the building up of a woman of greater courage and drive
but along this path of digging for deeper conviction and leadership capabilities
those qualities that need to be attended to most have been widely exposed
and sometimes for a vast public to see
those deeply rooted insecurities or inadequacies are paraded in front of my eyes and in front of so many others
a long line of them
i have put myself out there for all to witness not only my successes but my struggles
but as you see me pick myself up over and over and over
i hope that above all you will see that as i lift my head up again and again 
that my gaze 
my step 
my direction 
continues to be drawn toward what it is i must do and who i must do it for
at times i hope i will glance down to see who it is that is carrying me and give much thanks

two such moments i would like to share with you

a few nights ago
was one of those moments when the weight just seemed so great
one of those times in which the heaviness of what you carry causes the strength in your legs to give out
i found myself flat on my knees alone in our front room 
only the light of the Christmas tree to illuminate the tears running down my cheeks
no one else to hear the gasping cries escaping my lips in bursts of sound
so i thought
i looked up to see Owen standing in the doorway gazing down on me
without word he quickly came to my side 
knelt down next to me
not as i had, flat to my knees
but kneeling tall so that when he wrapped his arm around me at my side he was taller than i
he simply asked me, ‘are you missing grandpa?’ 
to which i replied ‘yes’...i kept the array of other looming thoughts to myself
i looked over at my son and felt his arm around me
not as a child but as a man who had come to comfort and rescue his mother
i felt of his strength
i felt of his faith
and i felt of the love he had for me
and indeed i felt rescued

i knew i had to write this down 
for i never want to forget that moment of tenderness between us

then last night as i came home late
i looked upon our counter to find a lovely basket of food and something peculiar in the center
a mason jar
at first i didn’t comprehend what was inside
could it be, no
a jar full of change and bills
there was a note accompanying it and i quickly reached for it looking to discover the bearer of such a gift
waves of tears overcame me as i read the sweet poem attached 
which in part reads:
we collected all year our dollars and dimes
and hoped we could save enough just in time
we prayed to know who to give this jar to
Heavenly Father’s answer said it was you
we hope you will feel the Savior’s Love
and know that this gift is from Heaven above
this family whoever they are filled their year with the intent to bless the lives of others at just this moment
and God himself knew of our need and directed their sweet hearts to our doorstep
i shook with gratitude and felt the warmth of my Savior’s love

in church this past week
i had the opportunity to address our congregation on a topic that i have been thinking much about
not only believing in Christ, in who He is, but believe Christ, believe His words
believing He will do what He said He would do
to not merely be an advisor or a champion or a counselor
but be our actual Savior, our Redeemer
to trust in His care and heeding His simple admonitions

‘let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ *
‘doubt not, fear not’ *
‘be of good cheer, for I will lead you along’ *

when i truly understand what He has done for me
i am happy
i shine forth
i carry myself with a perfect brightness of hope
i let the promises i have made to Him shine through my face 
even in times of difficulty and distress

this is my Christmas wish
to let this Child who was Born unto Us
enter as the Prince of Peace into my heart and life
that with the lifting of my heart and the lightening of my step
the joy returns to my countenance 
and my soul is filled with His redeeming love

Merry Christmas to you my sweet friends
may this Prince of Peace enter into your heart and life
this Christmas season and throughout your coming year

Friday, December 06, 2013

blue christmas blog hop: moments frozen in time

i am so happy to have been able to participate in this year's 
blue christmas blog hop 
with some fabulous bloggers
krista @ The Happy Housie
amber @ Averie Lane
rachel @ Maison de Pax

this week's feature is trees
be sure to check out previous weeks posts

since our tree has yet to be purchased
{can Christmas really be coming so soon}
i decided to highlight some of my favorite Christmas moments from last year
i am so happy that these are frozen in time
since our lives have changed so drastically since then

the giddiness of gifts received
my decision to wrap pretty with homemade touches so that opening presents was pretty too 
it was so worth it
the awe of Legos
the gift from a friend of our tree

homemade cards and presents exchanged amongst the boys
homeruns on mike's gifts

love my little family of six
the attention and careful protection of brothers to sister
little toes venturing on her own

wishing you all a Christmas full of moments worthy of being frozen in time
it was a delight to meet you new readers
i hope you will venture back soon


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