I’m Back with a Giveaway from Minted.com

I’m ba-ack! Yes, for real (I think), I’m back. It’s been a long year and our family has been through a lot. We sold the old house, moved to a temp house while our new house was being built, had a baby and FINALLY moved into our new house (one week after baby). Wait, back up. Had a baby? Yes, I did. I know many of you probably never even knew I was pregnant. I never mentioned it here on the blog. I thought about it, I really did. But I just never did it. Let me introduce you to my sweet little girl.

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My feelings about continuing this blog have been like a tug of war over the past year. There were days that I thought about shutting it down but those days were often followed by days of missing “Blogland” and feeling I needed to share something. I tried to update the house as much as I could but obviously that didn’t go so well. Yes, the house is finished (Well, sort of. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.), and I promise I will post pictures soon. But first, I have something better. . .

The other night I got an itch. An itch to start blogging again. Totally different than the wishy-washy feelings I’d been having for the past year. Something was telling me it was time to come back. So here I am. And what better way to make a comeback than with a giveaway to jump start it?!!!

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I was looking for birth announcements for my sweet Lucy girl and stumbled upon Minted.com. Have you been there? It just might be the best stationary site online! Tons (and really I mean tons) of designs, shapes and color choices. And of course you can customize your cards with your photos and message. Here is what I am creating for Lucy’s birth announcement.

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It’s a birth announcement book! Each page has a different photo or photos and your own personal story.

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You know it’s about that time to start thinking about holiday cards! Who am I kidding, I don’t start thinking about them until Thanksgiving. And even worse, I don’t usually order them until December! But this year I’m getting a head start! I’m ordering through Minted.com

Here are two that I created using minted.com. I think it says it all about how blessed we have been this past year.

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Check out their other holiday designs minted.com/photo-christmas-cards. They have something for everyone! Here are just a few more cuties.

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So are you ready for the giveaway? Minted.com is offering a $75 credit to one of Scissors & Spatulas’ readers! Hooray! What do you have to do? Simply leave a comment below. I will use random.org to pick the winner this Friday.

Happy holidays a little early from Minted.com!

Disclaimer: Winner will be chosen at random. Deadline for entries is 11:59pm on October 4, 2013. Winner will be announced October 6, 2013 and will have 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is drawn. Minted.com is responsible for awarding the prize.

From Our House to Yours

I hope that you all have a safe, happy holiday! Thank you all for reading Scissors & Spatulas! Thank you even more for all the kind words you have shared with me! 
I never knew how much I would enjoy blogging. I never realized what doors this blog would open up for me. I never realized the friends I would make across the miles. Some that I have met in person, others that I have not. The truth is that this blog has had a very positive effect on my life. It is time consuming, and I do feel more flustered and unorganized than ever, but it’s somehow worth it! It’s worth it because you tell me it’s worth it! You tell me that I inspire you, but actually, you inspire me! I’ve always enjoyed decorating, crafting and cooking. But somehow I feel like this blog has expanded my creativity. In a way, it’s forced me to continue to come up with creative ideas. However, when I say “forced,” I don’t mean it an a negative way. In order to continue writing Scissors & Spatulas, I have to keep creating, designing and cooking, all things I am passionate about. These are the things I love doing. And when I read all of your awesome comments, they drive me to continue coming up with ideas to share with you. And for that, my friends, I am grateful! 
I’d like to say thank you! Thank you so much for inspiring me get my craft on! And thank you for inspiring me to write about them! You’ve brought more joy over the past year than you can imagine! Happy holidays to you and your family! 

The Stockings Were Hung. . .

I shared this tutorial over at Seamingly Smitten last week, but wanted to share it again just in case you missed it. After my post about my trip to Cline’s JunkyardI had a lot of questions about what I would do with these. . .



I had a handful of old rusty door knobs that I picked up along with some other rusty hardware. I didn’t really have a clue what I was going to do with them, but I knew I could use them for something. And I was right! So I started wit a piece of scrap wood from the garage {I have a huge pile of scrap wood in my garage. you name it, I got it!} and my four rusty old door knobs. 



This first step was fun. The wood was too perfect, so I took a hammer to it. What a great stress reliever! I just banged it up a bit to round the corners and rough up the surface. 

Next I used a dark stain in these crevices and around the edges. This is because I plan on distressing the paint I’m about to apply and the dark stain looks better than the light wood.

A light coat of primer spray paint and one heavy coat of white latex paint. 



While the paint dried I pulled out my brand spankin’ new Silhouette Cameo to use for the very first time. Sigh, it’s amazing! You gotta get one of these! I used red vinyl for this project.



If you are not familiar with the Silhouette or any other digital cutting tool, you create an image on your computer and then let the machine do the rest. 



The best way to transfer vinyl is to use contact paper. Once the image is cut, place the sticky side of the contact paper on top of the vinyl while it is still on the mat. Peel the contact paper away from the sheet of vinyl and only your cut letters should stick to the contact paper. (Unfortunately the insides of the letters also stuck. I removed them with a tweezers after I adhered it to the wood.)

When the paint was dry I used some low grit sandpaper to give it a distressed finish.

My sweet hubby drilled holes in the wood to just large enough to fit the knobs.
And then he squeezed them in. I thought we would have to use wood glue to hold them, but they stayed just fine without it.
And because I can’t leave anything alone, I used my distress ink to make it look more worn. To do this you just take the ink pad and brush it across the edges and corners and in small spots along the surface.

Now back to the vinyl. Place the contact paper gently on the board. Once it’s in place, where you want it, you can press down on it to keep it in place. Use a scraper or other flat edge to smooth over the vinyl, eliminating any wrinkles or bubbles. Then peel back the contact paper slowly.
The contact paper removed some of the paint, but was okay with me! I love a distressed look!

I wrapped and tied a fat grosgrain ribbon on one side and then hung our stockings. I’m thinking about either adding an initial to the knobs or writing our names in black just above the knobs. But that will be another day. Like I said, I can’t leave anything alone!

But for now it’s perfect! You know I love to brag about how little I spend on my projects so. . .
This one cost about two bucks! Actually, it was free for me to make that day since everything I used, I already had lying around. But if you want to count the purchase of the knobs, this project cost me only $2! Even if you don’t have a digital cutting machine, you can use a stencil to paint the letters. Inexpensive hooks can be purchased in place of the door knobs if rusty junk isn’t your style.

How can Christmas be in just ten days? The stockings may be hung, but I’m not sure Santa has what is supposed to go in them!

Todays Creative Blog

Last Minute Semi-homemade Gift Ideas

Can you believe there is just two days left until Christmas Break? That means only two more days to put together your child’s {children’s} teachers’ gifts. Buying teachers’ gifts can be expensive, especially if you have more than one child who may have more than one teacher. But teachers love getting gifts {remember, I was once a teacher} and they totally deserve them! But you don’t have to spend a fortune. Just get a little creative! Give them something homemade! Or better yet – semi-homemade! Here is what my boys’ teachers are getting. {I hope they haven’t stumbled upon my blog yet!}
These cute little buckets filled with homemade white chocolate popcorn mix and a personalized ornament. The total for each gift ended up being about $10. 
I found these cute “paint” buckets at Hobby Lobby. At 50% off,  I think they were $3. 
I decided to fill them with my yummy white chocolate popcorn mix. This recipe isn’t new. I’ve posted it before when I shared my “Ready to Pop” baby shower favors. Actually, I make this mix all the time and modify the colors and ingredients to match the occasion. I’ve found that I really like the addition of pretzels. If you are making it for kids, marshmallows are good in it as well.

Ingredients: popcorn, mini pretzels, premier white chocolate morsels, M&Ms. 
Melt white chocolate in microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, just until melted. Do NOT burn!

Add popcorn, pretzels and candy to a very large bowl.
 Pour about 1/4 cup melted white chocolate over the popcorn and stir. 


Repeat two more times until popcorn is generously coated in chocolate. Be sure to save some to drizzle over the top.


Pour popcorn mix on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon drizzle remaining melted chocolate over popcorn.

At the last minute I decided to add red and green sprinkles to give it a little more holiday flare! Allow the popcorn mix to cool and harden for about an hour and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

I love to buy these food and bread bags to use for Christmas goodies. They are perfect for packing up homemade goodies and fit nicely into any size container. So I lined the bucket with the bag. . .

and filled it up with the popcorn mix.
This cute personalized ornament serves as a gift and gift tag! It was just $5. I tied the ornament on with some coordinating ribbons that I had in my craft supplies. And that was it! 

White Chocolate Popcorn Mix Recipe
3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
3 cups mini pretzels
1 – 12 oz. packages premier white chocolate morsels
1 – 12.6 oz. bags chocolate coated candies (such as M&Ms)

Mix popcorn, pretzels and candy in a large bowl. Melt white chocolate morsels in microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. CAREFUL NOT TO BURN!!! Drizzle a small amount {about 1/4 cup} of chocolate over popcorn and stir to coat. Continue adding chocolate, a little at a time, until popcorn mix is fully coated. You will use about 2/3 of the white chocolate. 

Spread popcorn mixture on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon, drizzle remaining white chocolate over popcorn. Allow to cool for 1 hour before breaking popcorn mix into large chunks.

Here are a few other handmade ideas for you. These are items I made in Stamp Club made from Stampin’ Up products, but you can use any materials you have.
Stocking gift card holder. A few great giftcards for teachers: Target, the bookstore, Dollar Store, restaurants. Those were always my favorite. 

This cute little goodie sack is made from a paper lunch bag and scrapbook paper. 

A cute little box with a removable rosette flower. Everyone loves rosettes! You could even attach a pin back to it.
You probably shouldn’t send wine to school, but this tag could be used for any bottled drink. It would fit nicely on a bottle of Monin syrup accompanied by a bag of coffee.
These also are fantastic gifts for co-workers, bosses, neighbors, service people, etc. And they are so easy to throw together at the last minute. But because they are semi-homemade, the recipients will think you put a lot of time and effort into making them!

On the Menu and Tinsel & Twig

Creamy White Chicken Chili
I’m a huge fan of white chili. I have several different versions that I typically make. Some with shredded chicken and another with ground turkey. But I must say, this is my new favorite! I found the recipe on Pinterest and made it that night! It was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly but I think I added extra seasoning to suit my taste. I can never get enough cumin! Anyway, give it a try on a chilly day. It’s soooo good!
I just wanted to share with you a few other things I’ve been up to. These are items that are in my holiday shop Tinsel & Twig. This is a shop that I started last year where I sold my handmade Christmas wreaths, garlands and centerpieces. This year I’ve added a few paper items. A couple have been sold, but I can make more if you see something you like. I really would have liked to add more, but I’ve not had as much time as I would have liked and the holidays are coming so quickly! Anyway, I just wanted to show you a few things I’ve made that are for sale.
Santa’s Key
These days Santa can’t always drop down the chimney to deliver the goodies! Having a hard time explaining to your child how Santa will get in? Try this! Santa’s special key! Hang it inside as a decoration until Christmas Eve when you hang it outside on the front door. The poem reads: 


“This key is very special, you see. 
It will not work for you or me… 
Hang it just outside your door. 
And go to sleep, worry no more… 
Close your eyes and close them tight. 
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!”

Santa’s Little Book
This is Santa’s secret book of names, listing those who’ve been naughty and nice! An adorable Christmas decoration to remind your little ones that Santa is watching!

 Stop by Tinsel & Twig to see my other items. I know I’ve been promising and promising, but the Scissors & Spatulas shop will be opening soon!

Tour of My Home at Christmas

 Hi! Welcome to my home, decorated for Christmas, of course! I will confess that I have two large pencil trees that I didn’t put up this year. {frowny face} Because I re-decorated so many rooms this year, I had to modify my tree decor which added some time to my decorating. Oh well! You’ll notice that I ove Christmas decor! I pack up most of my everyday decorations and replace them with lights, garlands, ornaments and trees. I LOVE the modd that is set with white Christmas lights! I wish I could leave them up all year! 
Welcome! Have a look around. I hope you’ll see something you like!

 {This tree is special. It is decorated with keepsake ornaments that my grandma has given me every year since I was born.}

And there ya have it! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ’round here! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Monogrammed Jingle Bell Shirt

Over the weekend the moms from our MOPS table got together for some laid back girl time. Of course there was a craft involved! Our group leader, Angie, came up with this adorable monogrammed t-shirt to make for the kids. Whether you are crafty or not, this one is SO easy, I promise! 
Not to mention, adorable! Don’t you think?
You’ll start with the fabric of your choice and an iron-on adhesive. This Christmas polka dot fabric is from Hobby Lobby. Cut just enough adhesive to cover the area you need for your letter or letters. Lay the shiny side of the paper on the back of the fabric. Run over the paper with a hot iron until is is attached to the fabric.

Cut out the letter or letters needed. You can do this a number of different ways: by hand {you can print out a letter on paper and then use it as a stencil}, using an electronic cutting machine or a die cut tool. Angie used the Ellison Die Cut from her daughter’s school. 

Peel away the backing of the adhesive and place your letter on the shirt where you’d like it. 

Hold a hot iron on the letter for 8-10 seconds and then smooth over it a few times.
Your letter should now be attached to the shirt!
Now don’t get scared of this part. Yes, sewing is involved, but it’s really just an up and down sew and you can’t mess it up since it can’t even be seen. 
You’ll sew on the jingle bells, one at a time, but close together. Just two stitches to attach each bell to the shirt. 

 Then thread the needle through all the bells and pull tightly to create a cluster. Do this a few times until the bells are secured.

That’s it! 

If you are making girls’ shirts, you can also add a bow. Attach the ribbon with a few stitches in the center. After the ribbon is attached you can tie it in a bow. Use clear fingernail polish to keep the ends from fraying.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I’m participating in the Christmas Pajama-rama Contest at Blissful and Domestic!

Ruffled Christmas Trees

Can you believe that it’s December 1st?  Christmas is right around the corner! I’ve finally finished decorating my house, and I promise I will post pics soon! I love decorating my house for Christmas! I transform just about every room into a winter wonderland! I even have an entire attic for Christmas decor only! But I can never have enough Christmas decorations, so soon I may have to clean out a closet or two to hold more stuff! 
Example: A few months ago I found these cones at the thrift store. At first I walked on by, but I quickly took a few steps back and picked them up. Twenty-five cents each! What was I going to use them for? I dunno. I knew I could figure something out! And I did! 

I ruffled some fabric scraps and grabbed a couple of mismatched wooden candlesticks. {Also from the thrift store. I have a stockpile of these because they are usually fifty cents to a dollar a piece.}
And this is what I made! ruffled Christmas trees! 
How? Keep reading! 
I primed both candlesticks and painted one green and one red. Both were paint colors I had on hand. {Yes, the green one is hanging from a tree branch. I spray paint a lot of things this way to get even coverage all the way around.}
Then I scratched it up. If you’ve ever been on my blog, you know that I love to paint and I love to remove paint! I’m a bit of a distressing addict! It gives pieces character!
Starting at the bottom, I took my ruffled fabric and wrapped it around and up the cones, securing it with hot glue. 
I added an additional piece of fabric to the bottom of the cone and
 I attached the candlestick with hot glue.
To finish off the top, I added a big fat striped ribbon. 
And here they are! Two ruffled Christmas trees for under $2! Remember, the cones were twenty-five cents each and the candlesticks were fifty cents each. The fabric was leftover scraps and the paint I had in my garage. Even if you didn’t have all the materials it would probably cost less than $10!  

So what are you waiting for? Go make some Christmas trees! You can never have too much holiday decor!

Holiday Decorating Inspiration from the Southern Christmas Show

Every year, just before Thanksgiving, the Southern Christmas Show comes to Charlotte. It’s quite a big deal and people come from all over the Carolinas {and even other surrounding states} to shop, to eat and to get ideas for holiday decorating. 
It’s a tradition, I go every year with my mom for the shopping. Then the boys and I go back on a different day to visit Santa and the trains {and to do a little more shopping}.
Jackson was excited to see Santa! Parker was not so excited. He clung to me like a spider monkey. He was terrified!
Both boys love looking at the trains though.
This track is huge and the details are amazing!

Jackson, pretending to blow up the bridge. He is at that “blow everything up” stage.
Okay, now onto the really fun stuff! The decor! Christmas scenes are set up around the show with wonderful decorating ideas. 
Themed Christmas trees. . .
This was my favorite! It was a vintage tree from 1963.

Love it!

Decorated rooms. . .

I really like the grapevine wrapped around this tiny potted tree. It was part of one of my favorite room displays.

It was a peacock themed dining room.
I love the warmth of the browns and the pop of the peacock blue and green.
My other favorite room was an elegant dining room with birds and magnolias. Simple yet beautiful!
Front door displays. . .

I like the idea of using large presents as a decoration for the front doorstep.
Very pretty!
Fireplaces and mantles. . . 

Gorgeous red and green mantle.
I love this sleigh which holds presents next to the fireplace. 

A red and silver vintage fireplace.
Fun stuff, huh? I love going to the Southern Christmas Show to get ideas for decorating my house for the holidays! Speaking of decorating, have you started? I’m just about finished. I started Friday morning, worked all weekend, but still have a few more things to do. I’ll share some pics with you later this week! 
Today is the last day to take advantage of the Silhouette Black Friday deal! Just about everything is 40% off, all shapes are fifty cents and a new Silhouette Cameo is just $249! Just use the code SPATULA at checkout!

Put a Ribbon on It!

Christmas is the only time of year you can put a bow on anything and it’s considered acceptable. So if you’re looking for an easy way to add a little holiday spirit to your everyday decor, just put a ribbon on it! Seriously!
Check it out. . .

I bought this photo ornaments for $1 at Target (Old Navy had them last year, I bought several after Christmas for el cheapo). Tied a pretty glittering bow, hot glued it, used glitter stickers to add the year and WOW! A nice gift!

This is the one I made for my own tree last year. I think I’ll add the stickers for the year.

Tie ribbons that coordinate with your decor around each limb of your chandelier. Add some greenery and a few ornaments for added flair.


Thread a ribbon through a glass ball ornament and place them on a plate or charger to decorate your dining room table. You could also tie a place card to the ornament to use for a holiday dinner party.
A Mason Jar + a ribbon = a cute candy dish!

Another plain glass container. Add a ribbon and some M&Ms. Cute!
And by the way, candy dishes are a great way to add a little holiday flair to any table in your house. I have them all over mine. Not so good thing is that my hand reaches in each one every time I walk by!

A cute, but plain initial ornament purchased for 50 cents at a craft store. Tie a cute green glittering ribbon on it, add small Christmas ball, and it’s a great little gift!


Run some pretty ribbon through your garlands.

Tie a ribbon around an accent pillow.

So there  you have it! A few simple ideas to spruce up your home for the holidays.
Happy decorating!

Holiday Centerpiece Makeover on a BUDGET!

If you’re on a budget this year (most of us are) and think you can’t go buy new holiday decor, think again!

First of all, look and see what you already have. Any wreath, centerpiece, etc. can be taken apart and the pieces recycled. Next, check out discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Their Christmas decor is pretty nice (and pretty cheap). Third, look around for ideas. Use that little camera phone to snap photos of pieces at friends’ houses, stores, etc. 
Check this out. . .
When I saw this box at Wal-Mart, I knew that what was on the “cover” was not what the actual item in the box would look like. So I opened it up to take a look. It wasn’t bad. . .

In fact, this little piece actually had the potential to be something fabulous! Especially for only $10!!! 
So here is what the original looked like, and there really wasn’t anything wrong with it, It was just the Charlie Brown version of a centerpiece.

So here is what I pulled out of my stash. Mercury glass balls, 2 silver eucalyptus branches, 2 pine branches, and one small pine ring.

I started with the base that was included in the box and added my pine ring that I got from the Dollar Tree.
 

I wanted a larger hurricane, so I used one from my everyday table scape. This I got from IKEA for 12 bucks, I think. It fit perfectly inside the pine ring and base. I added the ornaments which I purchased at Hobby Lobby last year for a different centerpiece. I think they were about $2 each.
I decided not to let the ring that came with the original piece go to waste, so I cut off the pine needles and pine cones. And the berries? They went in my stash for another project! Then I cut the eucalyptus branches into smaller pieces. These branches were a couple bucks each from Micheal’s.

I placed the snow covered branches and pine cones around the pine ring and secured using a hot glue gun.

After experimenting with the eucalyptus in the greenery, I decided to stop here with this piece.
Pretty nice, huh? Similar to the original, but adding the extra greenery, ornaments and larger hurricane takes a $10 piece and makes it look more like a $30-40 piece. But I’m not finished yet. . .
I put one pine branch (purchased at Micheal’s for $3 each) on each side and added a few eucalyptus branches, securing with a hot glue gun. I then stuck my mercury glass candle sticks on each side of the hurricane. 
And there is the final product! A holiday centerpiece for about $20.
I had a few silver eucalyptus branches leftover, so . . .
 Before
I cut them into even smaller branches and stuck them in this little piece that I have on my counter (which, by the way, I bought at Target last year after Christmas for like, $4).

After. 
I know it’s not much different, but it just adds a little something extra and it now ties in with the centerpiece on the kitchen table.
You can do it too!

Oh Yeah, Eggnog Martini!


‘Tis the season for some great cocktails!
If you like eggnog, this is one you gotta try! I get so excited when I see eggnog on the shelves in late November. I love it! Love, love, love it! And I also love this. . .

 I’ve tried many different recipes that turn eggnog into a cocktail. I served this one at our last Christmas party and it was really yummy! 

Here is what you need.  You can adjust the measurements to suit your taste.
2 shots eggnog
1 shot Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)
1 shot vodka (regular or vanilla)
crushed ice

Pour liquids into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Give it a few good shakes and strain into a martini glass.
Add a little sprinkle of nutmeg on the top for added flair!

Delicioso!
This is a really great drink to serve at a holiday party. You can mix a full pitcher ahead of time so guests can help themselves.