New Years Resolutions

I read a great idea for creating family resolutions at Kristen’s Raw Blog, that we’re going to try this year. Instead of having just 1 forgotten resolution, we’re going to go all out with a variety of different resolutions covering different aspects of our lives.

So far on my list:

stay enrolled in at least 1 art class all year (I’ve already signed up for a class that starts mon. night, the same night as the OSU bowl game but less TV is also on the list)

lose weight by changing my eating habits and exercising, walking everyday (unless it’s raining) & changing a portion of my daily intake into raw foods (this one I’m really excited about, I still need to do a lot of learning but I’ve found a few resources. If anyone has any favorite raw resources please pass them on.) This past year we’ve quit buying any foods (well sometimes we slip up) with High Fructose corn syrup, MSG, hydrogenated oils & preservatives. We’ve also tried to buy as much local organic food as possible. We’ll continue with those rules going into 2009 and continue to eliminate those unwanted foods that sneak bad things in (like Helluvagood Dip, damn MSG’s.) I’m also going to try to cut back our sugar intake without anyone really noticing. This is where the raw desserts come into play.

less TV & less time at the computer

participate in an art show, Beth and I would love to make a bunch of different things and try to sell them in an art show. We were motivated by all the gifts we made at Xmas and the couple art shows we visited. I don’t know how to register for an art show or how many items you should have or really anything about doing it but it’s on my list to figure out. Plus the time Beth & I spend together making our stuff is worth more than any amount of money we could ever make at the show (just don’t tell her that, she’s really excited about making some money) To have enough supplies for a show we would love to have some friends join us selling their handmade art stuff at our booth. So keep that in mind if you have something that you love to do.

clothing- I want to find companies that don’t use slave labor in making their products. This is something that I really need to become more educated about.

buying less- we need to use what we have and not just buy something when we think we need it. So I will think twice before purchasing any new items.

natural cleaning products- I would like to get rid of all the toxic cleaning products in my house and just use natural alternatives.

natural body products- I would like to transition over to all natural body products, I expect this to be a slow transition as we have quite a stockpile of body products already. But as we need to buy new items I will look for natural alternatives.

OK I think that is all for now. New Years Day we will be decorating poster boards with all of our New Year’s resolutions on them. Then we will hang the boards where we will see them everyday to help keep us on track throughout the year!

Our Xmas week

Normally on the Eve of Xmas Eve we go to our friend Rick’s Restaurant, La Tavola for a private family and friends party with tons of scrumptious food and lots of fun. Unfortunately, this year they’re not able to have the party so we are going there for a family dinner instead. Daniel’s girlfriend, Audrey and her mom are also joining us.

Beth and I have spent, what feels like, a 1000 hours making gifts for everyone (you would think that would mean I wouldn’t spend as much buying gifts, but no.) We ended up making 250 magnets, about 6 journals and Beth made 14 necklaces for her friends.

She also spent about 6 hours working on my apron (I haven’t seen it but I’ve been blindfolded for a few fittings) that I asked her to make me for Xmas. Beth and Thomas made more beaded candy canes for gift bags. Today, Beth & Dan will be making chocolate candies. They did that a few years ago when Beth wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to work with. There were many tantrums during that chocolate making adventure. This time around should be much more pleasant. Beth also has plans to make some stuffed snow man dolls for her 4 younger girl cousins.

Then tomorrow is Xmas Eve, we’ll finish up wrapping and gathering all of our gifts then head to my mom’s house around 2 when she gets home from work. Aunt Pauline will be meeting us over there. Mom has a few gift giving games planned that we include Shauna and kids in thanks to the computer and a web-cam. Plus we always try to play a few board games with the kids. Then George and Melissa will be coming over to visit, eat dinner and do a gift exchange. Dan and Thomas will be leaving at some point to go to Mass with Dan’s parents. Santa Claus used to come visit us, bring the kids each one present and stay for pictures. But ever since the population has increased he just doesn’t have time for all of that. Now he just drops off the presents at the door, rings his bell, then heads off to the next house.

Then we spend the night at moms so we can get up super duper early Xmas morning to open presents! Aunt Pauline is going to go home this year so she can sleep in her bed and not be stuck on the couch. Hopefully, she’ll wake up early and make it back before the kids all wake up. As they have gotten older we have started opening presents a bit later. Instead of everyone being up at 4:30 it’s more like 6:30 now.

As for Xmas Day we stay at moms until about noon. Then we make a quick pit stop at home to drop off all our goodies and grab our gifts for Dan’s family. The kids are not allowed into the living room when we’re at home so they can’t see what Santa has brought for them to our house. Then we head over to Joe and Marilyn’s for Xmas with all of Dan’s family, all 26 of us (if Carol is in town.) Everyone meets at Dan’ parents around 2:00. We do the huge family gift exchange first then we all eat dinner.

We’re usually the first to leave since we haven’t been home yet to open our gifts. So around 5 we head home to finally see what Santa has brought us. After we’re done with all the gift giving we watch a new movie together (where I promptly fall asleep.) After the movie Dan will head to bed and I will stay up to attempt to clean up the house and put away some of the new toys that have by this point over taken the house.

The day after Xmas was declared, by me many years ago, to be an official holiday. Where no one is allowed to leave the house so we can stay home all day to play with all our new toys. This year Daniel will be breaking tradition, by leaving us at 8am to go on vacation to North Carolina with Audrey and her family. That’s very sad for us but very exciting for him.

And that is our Xmas holiday in a nutshell. Man I’m tired just thinking about it!

Making magnets

Making these magnets has been one of the funnest Xmas projects we’ve done. They’re quick, inexpensive and easy for everyone to do.

You start with flat clear glass marbles (don’t use iridescent, they’re too reflective to work well) I found a great source at the Dollar General store at the corner of King & High. they come in a bag of about 30 large marbles for $1. If you can’t find the clear marbles on the shelf ask an employee to get you some out of the back, the manager said he has many, many cases of them and he encouraged me to buy lots. 🙂

We used catalogs for our pictures, we ended up with some fun themes; Xmas, candy, animals, and nostalgic toys. Just brush a strong glue (Elmer’s glue, craft glue or mod podge will also work) onto the back of the marble and press it onto your picture. After it dries a bit trim around the edge.

I then brushed another coat of glue over the back of the picture to seal it onto the marble. For this part you may want to use a stronger glue so the magnets stay attached. Then you just press the magnet on and let dry.

Star Beacon in Grandview has a good price on magnets. The smaller magnet on the left is a super magnet (it is VERY strong) they sell for $1.80 for a 10 pack. The magnet on the right sells for .75 for a 10 pack.

Thanks Pepper Paints for the great idea!

Making journals

Beth and I went to a fun art show at Junction Studios in Grandview awhile back and we were inspired to make these journals. Surprisingly, even Daniel joined us in making one. It’s amazing what a girlfriend will inspire him to do.

The process is very easy and lots of fun. First choose an old book that you don’t mind desecrating. 🙂 Thrift stores are a great place to find old inexpensive books. You want a book with a fun cover and good spine, that’s not falling apart. Also start with a smaller book, it can be a bit laborious if you choose too thick of a book!

Then go page by page covering the text with different types of paper. Don’t worry about it being perfect the fun of it is the jagged edges. Which is much harder for me than it is for the kids, I tend to want things to be neat and perfect

Don’t forget to personalize it with fun embellishments.

Then add a ribbon to keep it all together. I also made a drawstring bag to store it in so i could add a few fun pens for journaling, since that is the point. 🙂 Then I shipped it off to a couple lucky people in Seattle for Xmas. Hmmm… I wonder who?

This one turned out a little too fat so I removed a few pages to cut back on the bulk.

An early New Years Resolution

No, it’s not to lose weight, while that would be nice this is a little more attainable. 🙂 I have decided that I am going to try to stay continually enrolled in 1 art class throughout the next year. I look at different classes all the time but I have a problem committing to them. But not any more, I just signed up for my first session, starting Jan. 5 at the Cultural Arts Center (one of the few arts programs that wasn’t eliminated by city wide budget cuts.) And while my preferred art form revolves around glass, the CAC doesn’t have any glass classes. So I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something different:

Book & Paper Art Classes

“New bindings and surface design techniques will be introduced in each course, including non-adhesive bindings, traditional flat back, single sheet bindings and a variety of altered book forms. Students will also experiment with past papers, transfers, collage and printmaking processes.”

While the description says it’s a year long class, the session is really 6 weeks. At the end of the session I can decide if I want to continue with additional classes or try something new. I’m dying to do a glass fusion class so I think that will definitely be in my future.

17 year olds, ugh

It’s not often that you hear this: “Oh mom I forgot to tell you I got to fly a plane last week.” And yet that’s what I got while I was making breakfast this morning. Daniel has been doing an internship at OSU airport this past semester and we knew that he was supposed to fly a plane at some time. But since the semester is almost over and the weather has turned very cold and dreary I mistakenly assumed that wasn’t going to happen. Apparently, it did and he just forgot to mention it!

Xmas snowflakes

Years ago the kids and I made, what felt like, 100’s of these beaded snowflakes. Recently we got the beads out and amazingly I still had the instructions for these super easy snowflakes. Once you make one and get a feel for it you can alter the pattern so all of your snowflakes are different.

You’ll need pipe cleaners, paddle wheel beads, faceted beads, tri-beads, hot glue gun & Elmer’s glue:

Cut pipe cleaner so you have 3 even pieces (If you get the long pipe cleaners cut them in half) Twist the center so all 3 pipe cleaners are hooked together, then fan out each arm.

string beads on each arm in the following pattern (feel free to alter it for your own design)

* 1 faceted bead
* 1 tri-bead
* 1 faceted
* 1 tri-bead
* 1 paddle wheel
* 1 tri bead
* 1 faceted

put a spot of Elmer’s glue under the final bead on each arm. Then clip off the ends of the pipe cleaners.

After all the arms are completed, use hot glue to secure 1 paddle wheel bead in the center of each side then 1 faceted bead in the center of the paddle wheel.

use clear fishing line to hang your completed snowflakes.

Also you should check out Pepper Paints site she has a great Xmas gift idea that looks like lots of fun to make!