Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of Those Days

You're looking at what use to be a pumpkin pie. The hard work of 2 diligent and helpful little kids and their mommy in an effort to feed the missionaries. It was all done and beginning to cool when this mommy felt that is wasn't quite "set" yet. So, it'd be a good idea to pop in back in the oven for a few, right? WRONG!

Now I'm not the most graceful creatures as it is, but seriously, pregnancy releases the Urkel beast in me. I wish I could blame it on say extra weight, or change in center of gravity, etc. but the truth is clumsiness strikes right from the get go. Its rather annoying... Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade for the Holidays: Monogramming

Ok, so this one is not a task that kids will likely be participating in, but I'd recommend doing it for kids! Kids love stuff "personalized". Here's a basic fabric to fabric monogramming method (someday I'd love to get a machine that embroiders, but I like the look of this too). I'm sure there are tutorials all over the internet for this, but here is how I did it.


*Object you'd like to monogram- be it a tote, pillow, shirt, stocking... anything fabric can be sewn to.
Scrap of fabric for letter(s)
Heat bond iron-on adhesive

*If you are making the object you are monogramming, make sure you put the letter on before finishing the object if necessary. For example, for a tote you'd want to sew the monogram on the outside fabric before sewing the lining in. If not, or if you purchased the whatever it is you are monogramming, just make sure you're okay with being able to see the stitching on the underside

Get Started:

Get the object you are monogramming ready. Make sure its clean and pressed. Decide where you'd like your monogram and how big you'd like it.

You can free hand the letter if you'd like, but if you don't trust yourself and/or have terrible handwriting, like myself, type the letter, pick a font and size and print it instead. I'm also cheap, so to save on ink select "outline" for you letter (especially if its large).
Cut a piece of the heat bond adhesive big enough to cover your letter. Turn your printed letter over so that it is inverted. With textured side down, place the adhesive over inverted letter. Trace letter onto adhesive. If you can't see the letter well enough, either trace it out on the paper first or I just put it up to the window and trace it that way. The textured side of the adhesive will attach to the wrong side of your letter fabric so that's why you want it inverted. (I'd also suggest just printing the letter already inverted)Place the adhesive with textured side to the wrong side of you letter fabric and iron on medium heat, no steam (or follow manufacturer's instructions).
Cut the letter out carefully. Then, peel off the paper backing of the adhesive.
Place the letter where you want it on your object and iron on. (don't "glide" the iron over the letter, just press down and lift and repeat until the whole letter is securely attached).
Prepare your sewing machine with coordination thread and select what type of stitch, stitch length, etc. you'd like. I'd recommend testing this out on a scrap of fabric before going at it with the letter. Stitch letter to object. - I used a small zig-zag, which was fine, but I must have been glutting for punishment by choosing a lower case "E"... all those stinkin' curves!
Clip threads and Viola! You're done.

~Merry Christmas~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy St. Lucy's Day

Alright, so, we don't have a ton of Scandanavian ancestory, but we thought it'd be fun to observe a little tradition from St. Lucy's Day (today December 13th) all the same. I mean who wouldn't want sweets delivered to them by a Lucia girl? Granted we did replaced the crown of candles on our Lucia girl for obvious reasons :).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homemade for the Holidays: Wrapping Paper

We've been having some fun around here making gifts, decorations, and goodies for Christmas and thought we'd share some of the fun stuff we're doing this year. Most of it is kid-friendly, but I might just throw in some "How-To's" of a few of things I've been working on.

Up first: Wrapping Paper

My kids are still a bit too young to make a gift (without mom ending up doing most of it), but we still wanted an element of "made with love, from the kids" for some of our gifts this year. So, they decorated their own wrapping paper instead.

Really for simplicity you could just use the wrong (white) side of existing wrapping paper and give the kids some crayons and markers and have them color away, like we often do. But if you want something with little more flare and more fun for the kids, here's an idea:

- Paint
-Christmas stamps (cookie cutters could work well too)
-Butcher paper or freezer paper
- Glitter (optional)
-a willing child or two (or more :))
-Christmas music

How we did it:

Since we are lacking in the stamp department we first made potato stamps by cutting potatoes in half (red potatoes in our case). Draw out the pattern/shape you want and cut it about 1/4 inch deep. Then carefully cut out around your pattern to form stamp. If you have time and aren't lazy like we are, allow potato to dry out. If I had them on hand, I think I would have preferred making sponges into stamps.

K, then get the kiddies ready. Smocks/grubby T's on and put on some Christmas music.
Roll out how much paper you have ambitions to decorate. If your using Freezer paper, make sure you have the waxy side down and work on the other side.
Prepare paint on paper plates. Hand off stamps to the kids and go to town. If you are really begging for a mess like we were, sprinkle glitter over the paper while paint is still wet. Shake off excess.
Clean up and allow paint to thoroughly dry (overnight) and its ready to use for wrapping.

~Merry Christmas~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crook Family Sealing

I don't think I have a very wide blog audience, but for those that may not know, I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And a central belief of ours is that families are forever. That through righteous living we can have our family with us always, through this life and the next into the eternities. The first step is being sealed to our spouse in our Temples. On December 5th, we were able to go up to Washington to see my sister Stephanie and her husband, Scott, be sealed together and to their children, Kaytee (9) and Dawson (7). It was incredibly special that ALL of my siblings (thanks Jacob for surprising us :)) and parents were there in that sealing room together for the first time ever. It was also a neat opportunity to explain to Elyette what was going on. That she and Jack (and her baby sister to-be, as Elyette pointed out) were born sealed to mom and dad and now Kaytee and Dawson get to be sealed to their mommy and daddy.
I've had the honor of attending a few sealing ceremony. Most of them being ceremonies where the couple was just newly getting married too. Its always sweet to see a newlywed couple there, but seeing Stephanie and Scott, taking this step together on their 11th anniversary was different. There was a strong love and bond shared by a couple that has been through so many ups and downs together already. I can't really explain it, but it was very cool. Another element that really choked us all up was when they brought Kaytee and Dawson in to be sealed to their parents. It just felt complete with their presence. Ah, what can I say, we love those Crooks :)! Congrats guys! Here's to Eternity!
(haha, this is the closest we got to a family pic. Cracks me up. Anyone else have a good one?)