Jul 31, 2010

Winner, Winner

Yep we have a winner! 

PS I am glad you are all smarter than I am and realized that the closing date
 I put was wrong....seriously my brain.

So the lucky winner of the Lily Lane gift certificate is 


 penny nelson said...

i like the children and family pictures.

Congrats Penny. Email me or leave a comment with your contact info.

Jul 30, 2010

Great Gift for Mom and Dad and In-laws

A couple of years ago I gave both my parents and hubbies' parents a gift that proved to be quite the sentimental hit.

We gave our parents a "The Kids Remember" book.
thanks sister o'mine for taking these pictures since I live way too far away 
from my sweet mom and dad

I emailed all the siblings and asked them for two things-

a list of "remember whens"
you know the little things that family folklore is made of, your own
 family's personal version of the dundees


a specific memory they had with each parent

Once everything was gathered...be patient with your siblings, remember you love them and you might want to give them an email every day for 2 months frequent friendly reminders...

I typed everything out.

I scrapped a cover together with a title and the date of the gift.

I assembled everything into page protectors and even did category title pages within. One for the specific memories, then put each typed up memory behind it. Another page was typed up for the "remember whens" with the list of "remember whens" following them. Then I put it all in a binder.

Seriously it was the best gift and the most fun to put together. I literally was belly laughing as I typed up my siblings "remember whens". It was also touching to read my siblings memories, many of which I had not remembered/known.

I know my parents read theirs all the time. Upon getting the gift and shortly after going through it, my mom put in an order for another one in a couple of years. 

It is going to sound super cheese, but putting this gift together helped me remember just exactly why my goofy, loving, tad-bit crazy, generous family is the BOMB.

Boy was growing up with them FUN.

Just for you...okay and me..here is just as snippet of my siblings "remember whens"

The boys parted their hair down the middle
We had Kenzie hide in a box and forget about her for half an hour...she never got out
Larissa dressed all three boys as girls
Greg got a boy Barbie for Christmas
Dad had a perm
Natalie thought guacamole was made from guacamoles
Dad would ask us to pull his finger
Andy and Rissa boxed, he knocked her in the head and she cried but wanted to get up and still fight
Mom read a book for Greg and wrote a 10 page paper
Andy power pounched Corey in the stomach
We told Kenzie she was marrying Billy Gilman because they both had snaggle teeth.
Mom loved stirrup stretch pants
Andy talked Natalie and Kenzie into going snipe hunting
Greg began chocking on a hotdog and fruit juice at Grey's Papaya and got unnecessarily upset at Andy for laughing at him.

I promise this gift will be a hit with your parents or in laws.

Jul 29, 2010

More Homemade Gift Ideas...by YOU

The last Christmas in July linky party has come and gone. I really hope that you guys have a ton of great gift ideas bookmarked now. There was some AHmazing stuff linked up. If you need another look at all that was linked up you can wander back here, here, here, OR here.

I had SO many favs from this last week. Seriously I don't know how people who have massive linky parties narrow it down. I had major woes just trying to narrowing it down. Thank you to EVERYONE who linked up.

Here are a few of the very many that caught my eye...

by Love Stitched
Wouldn't it be great to make the awesome women in your life a gorgeous homemade necklace?

by Sew Can Do
I know you have a little pirate that must have this...ps you should see what other wonderful creations she makes from felt.

by Greenbean's Crafterole
Cutest earrings and...

how cute is the way she packaged them!

by The Life of Jennifer Dawn
I think this would be an awesome gift to make with a group of youth for their moms. What a great easy thing to give that sewer you know.

by Pixies and Bears
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? These are about the CUTEST thing I have ever seen.

 I kind of want a million of them...goes back to my Girl Scout days.

Go and visit each one of these girlies and make their day even brighter by telling them how awesome they are.

For those of you were featured, grab a button and let people know that you are a master crafter and pretty much awesome.

<a href="http://zitzmanfam.blogspot.com"><img src="http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg174/rooandgoo/ChristmasFeaturedbutton-1.jpg" />

I would love to know what has been your favorite linked project, what is one your I am gonna make that list, or what is on your I wish I had the time to make that but I will just have to buy that list.

See you tomorrow for an idea from me!

Jul 28, 2010

Granola Recipe from Your Homebased Mom

I am SO excited that Leigh Anne is here today. Her site is FULL of mouthwatering recipes among a lot of other really fun things. Seriously I have already raved about her site here
So today on our last recipe Thursday of Christmas in July, we are lucky to get another great food gift idea.

Hello! I'm Leigh Anne, also known as Your Homebased Mom. Over at Your Homebased Mom we are all about finding the pretty and delicious. I love sharing my continuing quest for both. I enjoy blogging about all the things I love -favorite recipes, fun party and entertaining ideas, gardening tips, craft tutorials and yes, even my family! I am the mother of four and have been married for almost 30 years - to the same cute guy. Come on over and visit!

I love giving gifts, so obviously one of my favorite parts of the holidays is deciding what I am going to give everyone. Because I am such a foodie, giving food gifts is just a natural for me. At our house during the holidays there seems to be an unending parade of candy and cookies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE candy and cookies and I make plenty myself but sometimes I crave something just a little less sweet, something a little crunchy and maybe just a tad bit healthier.

How about granola?!

Granola is quick and easy to put together and you can easily personalize it and make your own unique version. Just mix it up in a bowl, spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake. I like my granola nice and crunchy so I let it get nice and golden brown.


Nuts are a great addition to granola. I personally prefer pecans but you can use almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts or just about any nut you can think of.

The other thing I love to add to my granola is dried fruit. Again - you decide! My two favorites are dried cranberries and blueberries. Not only do they taste yummy but they add a nice color to the granola and make it a bit prettier. It's all about the pretty!


The next part is sometimes the most fun. Deciding what kind of container you are going to put the granola in - of course it must be pretty. It's all in the presentation you know!

I keep an eye out all year round for fun containers. Some of my favorite places to pick them up are Target and Home Goods. Another great internet site is Garnish. They have all kinds of fun containers. For the granola, I decided to use their white paper bowl that holds 2 cups. At $1.10 a piece they are a great deal.
I filled some clear cellophane bags with the granola, tied it off with a pretty ribbon and then popped it into the white container. We jazzed up the container up with a little holiday scrapbooking paper. Just a piece of tape in the back holds it in place.


I got out some of my stamps and punches from Stampin Up and made a little gift tag for the lid.


My favorite way to eat granola is with yogurt so in addition to the cute container of granola I like to give a carton of yogurt too!


Now they are ready for breakfast or a fun snack. My favorite two kinds of yogurt are Nancy's Natural yogurt and Tillamook Vanilla Bean.


Have fun making up your own "granola recipe."

Holiday Granola
7 C rolled oats
2 C pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts or a combination
1/2 lb butter, unsalted
2/3 C honey
1 ¼ C brown sugar
1 t. nutmeg, ground
1 t. cinnamon, ground
6 oz. dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a very large bowl. Melt together the next 5 ingredients while stirring. Let it just come to a boil. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until all oats and nuts are coated. Spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring and turning the mixture several times during baking. Stir after 15 minutes, cook 3 more minutes and stir, cook one more minute and remove from oven. Granola should just begin to brown. It will get darker as it sits. Don’t overcook it will still be good but too hard. Remove from oven and let it cool on the counter. After it is cooled add in the dried fruit and put into a container. Keep air tight.

Thank you Leigh Anne. I wish I had a big bowl of this right now.

Jul 27, 2010

Photograph Sentiments with Running with Scissors

Yay! Jessica is here today, with a super sweet and sentimental gift idea. 
This is totally on my list of things to do now.

I love Christmas, and I'm excited to be visiting here for Christmas in July! 

I'm Jessica from Running With Scissors, and I have a gift idea that is affordable, meaningful, and meant to please the family member that is hard to shop for.

This gift was inspired initially for my own mother-in-law, who is always the person person I have the most difficulty shopping for.

Of everything I've given to my mother-in-law either purchased or handmade, this has been the best.
All it takes is gathering wedding photos from the family and framing them together.
This is why it's good we're here in July, since this gift may take some time getting the photos from relatives.

Below is my favorite wedding photo:
Lilac and Earl Holman, my mother-in-law's parents.
They were married in October 1929 a week before the stock-market crash--the beginning of The Great Depression.
I love her flapper wedding gown, and she kept the bouquet and wedding shoes all her life.  

So a simple photograph can be such a meaningful gift.

So to get it all together:

1. Collect photos
For me this was the greatest challenge, as my husbands grandparents have all passed away and I had to get some photos from aunts.

2. Scan them on quality scanner
I didn't have one at home, so I went to a photo kiosk scanner and bought the images on the disk.  I think I went to Walmart.  There is also Kinkos for high quality scans.

3. Print your photos
I used http://www.winkflash.com/--  I like the fact you can choose the white border and matte finish.
My parents were married recent enough, their wedding photo was in color, so I was able to edit all the photos to be black and white.

4. Frame photos
For my mother-in-law, I just bought a simple frame that was already matted for three 8x10 photos.
For the black border on each photograph, I actually just used electric tape for a thin border, rather than paying for/ making another mat for each photo.

I arranged this gift to my in-laws with their wedding photo in the center,
then on the right the bride's (my mother-in-law) parents wedding,
and on the left the groom's (my father-in-law) parents wedding
Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law loved this, showing their own wedding and each of their parents.
My husband's other siblings also wanted one for their homes, and I think a lot of the grandkids thought it was cool to see all the weddings in the family together.

If you have access to farm windows, which are becoming popular and therefore expensive, (I found mine on the side of the road on a junk pile in Missouri), it's another cool way to display the photos.
For myself, I did both sides of the family.

So the top row is my husband's parents and grandparents.

The bottom row shows my parents and grandparents.

I repainted my window and attached the photos with black electrical tape from the back.  You just have to scrape the tape to get any air bubbles out so it looks like a perfect black line and you can't even tell your photos are taped to the glass!


Well I hope this helps someone have an idea for their hard-to-shop-for family member.

Merry Christmas!

Okay, so how stinking beautiful is she??? What a lovely idea and
 I know some of my own family members who just added this to their Christmas wish lists.

Thank you Jessica!

Jul 26, 2010

Freezer Paper Tote Bags with Erin from Lemon Tree Creations

Erin from Lemon tree is ALWAYS full of great ideas. 
I am excited she is sharing this great gift idea with us today.

Hello everyone at Just Another Day in Paradise! My name is Erin and I'm a weekly contributor over at Lemon Tree Creations. I was so excited when Larissa contacted me to participate in Christmas in July, so here goes!
Today I'm going to share a project that I used for everyone last Christmas and went over really well, these freezer paper spray paint

I saw a great tutorial on V & Co a few months ago on making wheat pillows with freezer paper and spray paint, and I loved the idea. Unfortunately I didn’t really have a need for pillows, so I decided to see if it would work on these tote bags, and it was perfect!!
I printed this wheat stencil from Vanessa’s site, traced it onto some freezer paper and cut out the leaves.
I arranged the leaves on the bag and ironed them down. Luckily, they peeled off easily and could be re-ironed on if I changed my mind about spacing or layout.
I taped off an inch at the top of the bag because I wanted to keep a beige rim, and then spray painted it with two light coats of paint.

When it was dry, I just peeled off the freezer paper and was done!
It turned out so great! The freezer paper bonded really well to the bags so the paint didn’t
at all, and the stencil lines looked really sharp.

Once I saw how well this turned out I had to make more! For this brown bag I followed the same steps as for the blue one, and just spray painted the whole bag, including the handles. It turned out great, but took forever to do the entire thing and used most of a can of spray paint. But I still really like it.

I thought that a quicker way to make a bag like the one above would be to just start with a brown bag and spray paint the stencil area white, but this didn’t work. The paint just soaked into the bag and didn’t show up at all. So I used a few
leftover scraps of linen, taped off little squares, cut out leaf and tree stencils with the freezer paper and spray painted those.
I then went against my no-sew policy and hand stitched them onto the bag. I was reminded why I don't like to hand sew-it took forever! But the end result was perfect and I was really happy with it. The spray paint did bleed a little on the linen, but it wasn't that noticeable and still looked good.

Everyone loved their bags and I just made a summer version for myself last month. I used a perfect summer blue, and went for a big flower design instead. It
turned out just how I had wanted (a rare thing around here), and I can't wait to take it to the beach!!

Once I made this one I had so many ideas for other fun bags. You
could do cute stripes, circles, letters, or numbers. For kids you could use any fun shape that you are willing to cut out of freezer paper: boats, trucks, stars, flowers, the customization options are endless!!

I hope you like these totes and have found a little inspiration for one (or more) of your Christmas gifts!! Happy present making and stop by to see me every Mondays at Lemon Tree Creations!
Thanks for having me Larissa!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these bags. They would make awesome 
gifts...I mean really who wouldn't want one of these??? 

Thanks a ton Erin!

Jul 25, 2010

Lily Lane Pendant Giveaway

I am excited to have this giveaway offer for you today. Our giveaway is from this sweet company--

Their stuff is SO beautiful and personal. GREAT for a meaningful gift.

Here is a little about this great site...

Lily Lane Custom Pendants was started two years ago as a way for two stay at home moms, Sarah and Anna, to both earn a little extra money (both of theirhusbands were on the long road of graduate school) as well as enable them to use up some creative juices. We love making unique, one of a kind custom pieces for our clients. Our huge objective when starting this business was to enable folks to be able to AFFORD a custom, unique item.

We offer our pendants at such an incredible price and our quality is amazing. As poor student's wives we could appreciate the feeling of wanting something fun and trendy but not being ablet o justify forking over the dough. The possibilities are endless when it comes to deciding what image to put in a Lily Lane pendant.
Art work (great way to display your child's art!), photos, quotes, and song lyrics are a few examples of images we can solder and all pendants are double sided.

Bridal pendants are becoming trendy as well. Brides hang one or more pendants on their bouquets with pictures of their grandparents, parents or even of herself and her groom. I've even done pendants for all the bridesmaids which double as the brides maid's gifts!

All in all, these pendants make great gifts for any occasion and will be cherished keepsakes for years to come. Each pendant is hand crafted from 100% lead free silver solder. Pendants are NOT water proof.

Seriously these are breathtaking! I love that they are custom made.

So what is the giveaway????

Lily Lane is giving away a $25 gift certificate towards the creation of a custom pendant.
Their pendants are so reasonably priced that $25 is HUGE.

To enter:

Visit their blog, come back here, leave a comment 
telling me what kind of pendant you would have them make for you.

Additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):

you can get an additional entry for each of the following-

become a follower, or let me know you already are

blog/tweet/fb about the giveaway

This giveaway will be closed at 11:59 pm est on Friday July 26th.

Good Luck!

Jul 24, 2010

Felt Fishing Set

First things first...we have a Blues and Branches winner...woohoo!

The winner is lucky #6

                                      Jen said... Without a doubt, the vintage blue dessert stand. 
                                                       It would look perfect in my living room.
Congrats Jen! Get your email address to me and I will send it on to Erin and we will get your new necklace to you.
Now on to my gift idea for the week. This week I chose to make something to give to the kiddos. Let me just say that already this toy has been a big hit in our house...to be honest it has already caused several "I want a turn!" fights. That's is always a sign of a good toy!

Felt Fishing Set Tutorial

You will need:

fishing set pattern click on picture below
felt in several colors for fish
scrap of coordinating fabric for scales, I used a fat quarter
black velcro
2 sheets of felt for fishing rod
gray felt for hook
dowel mine was 3 ft long
4 ft of black yarn
coordinating thread
poly fill 

To make:

Cut out pattern pieces. Cut out 2 pieces for each fish.

Use "scales" pattern and cut out 1 piece for each fish.

Cut out a little circle out of the velcro, one for each eye. Make sure to leave some velcro for the hook.

Place the scales piece on the same piece as the eye. Sew the front and back edge of the scales onto the fish with coordinating thread. Do NOT sew the top and bottom, those ends will be secure when you sew the fish together.

Place the two fish pieces together, with the front of the fish on the inside. Sew all of the edges EXCEPT the very end of the tail, like this...

Turn out your fish, very carefully and slowly. Patience young grasshopper. Use the end of a pencil, it will make tons easier.

Stuff your fish, just until the front part is full. Don't fill the tail with stuffing.

When your fish is lovely and fat, as my boys would say, sew the tail closed. Do this by sew "outlining" the entire tail. I sewed starting at the back of the scales all the way around the outside and back.

See...doing this will give the fishies great little flat fins.  Now you have your pile of fishy, but how are they going to catch them??

Let's make the fishing rod.

Using your hook pattern piece, cut out two hooks from gray felt. Also cut out a small piece of black velcro and place it on one hook.

Sew the hooks together with the velcro piece facing out. Do not sew the top closed.

Using a pencil, lightly fill the hook with poly fill, just to give it some umph.

Take your yarn and insert one end into the stuffed hook, make sure to insert several inches. Then sew the top closed. I also sewed and extra stitch across the top for more security.

For the handle I cut two 6x7 pieces of orange felt. I sewed them together and then I "quilted" lines every about 1/2 inch. This gave it a nice texture.

Glue one end of your dowel inside one edge of your felt square.

Roll, glue some more, and continue gluing.

Until you are done and then glue it closed.

Do the same exact process with a smaller 2x3 piece. Except when you glue it on the top of the dowel, make sure to insert the other end of your yarn.

Now you have a toy that your kids will play with for hours...my advice in hindsight....make more than one fishing pole...that might cut down on the fights!

The velcro on the hook will "catch" the fish on the felt itself as well as the velcro eye.

Linking up to these marvey parties:

Skip to my Lou- Made by you Mondays
The Girl Creative- Something I Whipped Up
Craftomaniac Mondays
Sumo's Sweet Stuff- Market Yourself Mondays
Today's Creative Blog- Get Your Craft on Tuesday


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