Sunday, December 23, 2012

Creating Christmas Ornaments.

This year I saw plenty of clear glass ornaments on sale at the craft stores for a pretty decent price. I couldn't buy glass ornaments that inexpensive from a department store and the only thing I had to do is fill them, but with what? 


I just Love Pinterest. I found a few pointers on how to make a beautiful, expensive looking glitter ornaments from the clear glass ones. You just need the clear glass ornament,  glitter and something to make the glitter stick. I have seen two suggestions to make the glitter adhere to the glass: Mod Podge and floor wax. (Click here for video) Since this isn't 1950, I don't own floor wax and wasn't about to go out and get some for a glitter ornament project. What I did have was Pledge, Mod Podge and Mop and Glo multi-surface floor cleaner. I decided to do an experiment.

The Mod Podge and the Pledge were a total flop, don't even bother trying it. You couldn't get the stuff inside of the glass ball, nor could you spread it around the inside of the ball. The final product looked uneven when completed. I did have success with the multi-surface floor cleaner!! The final product was amazing!!!


I had a bag of feathers left over from one of my kid's school projects. They are brightly colored and very exciting. I separated them into piles of similar colors, filled the balls with the feathers, used the back of a pencil to position them inside the ball, and wow did they turn out great looking!!! They have a sort of smoky/ swirling effect and it is not very apparent they are feathers until you really stare at them. I actually liked the look of these more than the glitter ornaments  The only problem was, while I was separating the feathers on the kitchen counter top, my son decided to start up his tiny remote control helicopter at the exact same time right next to me. He has an entire house to fly this thing in, but he had to do it right next to a pile of feathers. Keep in mind, he hasn't looked at this toy for months until the second I dumped the bag of feathers on the counter. Needless to say, I'm still finding feathers all over the house. Ugh, KIDS!


FRUSTRATION LEVEL: MODERATE (Must keep kids away to minimize mess)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Cards

Its easier to take photos of your own children if you have an assistant. My sister and I decided we would team up every year to take photos of our kids. I have the good camera and she has the good ideas so how could this go wrong? Tammy came up with this WONDERFUL idea from Pinterest: go to the dollar store, get 20 red and green balloons each, take her giant basket to the park, put the kids in the basket and take a wonderful Christmas picture. Great idea, but not in 20 MPH winds.

We couldn't even get the balloons out of our car let alone on a windy park hill.  My nephew was very concerned that he would blow away with the balloons, and I think that was a realistic concern. 

Not wanting to give up on 18 dollars worth of balloons,  we tried to take the basket with balloons on my covered porch outside. But after getting hit in the face with popping balloons and getting tangled by string, we decided this was not the day for outside picture taking. 

I tried to take the picture in my garage but it not work out. I had to plug in a giant flood light to make it brighter and it looked like we were in a garage and the balloons were still blowing around.

It was especially difficult to do this picture in the garage because my kids got out their scooters and decided to play ring around the photographer while I tried to take a picture of my nephew. They were running over the extension cord for my lighting and getting in my shot. They did finally calm down and I was able to get my son's picture with his favorite chicken, Rosebud, so I can't consider it a total loss.

Disappointed, we were brain storming for other ideas because we had to get this done soon so we could order Christmas cards online with a coupon she received for Shutterfly. Normally, I would NOT recommend this site for photo cards. The website is painfully slow and not easy to navigate. Not exactly what you want to deal with after your kids just danced on your last nerve during a long painful photo shoot. I usually use CVS photo because I can do it right in the store, someone can help you if you have a problem and you don't have to pay shipping charges.

Since our last pictures were a flop, a professional photographer friend of mine, Julie, suggested how to set up the next shoot with the kids wrapped in ribbon.

So the next day, we started all over again with 3 very rammy kids. My sister suggested we just go with angry faces . 

Apparently, my daughter thinks that an angry human looks like a duck. After several shots of her duck face, I decided to have her smile in the picture instead.  My daughter has a very beautiful smile, unfortunately  on this day, she couldn't manage to keep her eyes open and her mouth shut. So my choice was,  gaping mouth, eyes closed or duck face.

I am very persistent and I was not giving up on this day too, I already had wasted one day and I sure as heck wasn't wasting another one. My son had lost his patience with the entire process 10 minutes into it. Eventually, I was able to get her smiling and a genuine 'annoyed as heck' face from him. He actually looks as though he is plotting revenge.

'Tis the season of giving

My sister came up with that caption for the picture. Not only does my sister have a knack for captions, she also sure does know her son. He got his picture right the first time.

I was tickled when I got the photo cards in the mail. Shutterfly did a really great job. The pictures were bright and good quality, better than CVS, so I may just put up with their lousy site to get a quality product in the end.

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