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Old 11-30-2004, 07:05 PM
 
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I asked them if there was a charity or organization that they supported that I could donate some money to, and they both basically laughed at me.
How evil!

On that topic, last Christmas, my step-mother decided that she didn't want gifts. Instead, she wanted goats, pigs, and cows.....for third world countries. There is a charity (the name evades me atm) that you send money to, a certain amount per animal, and have animals donated to needy families in third world countries. So we all pitched in, and bought several animals in her name. I felt kind of odd saying I bought her a pig for Christmas, but it was such a neat idea.

As for ideas:

-for out of town children, that don't get to see family often, you could make picture books of the family. I was thinking of doing something like this for my younger siblings, and my niece. Just gather up photos of your family, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc, and paste them onto cardstock, one per page. You can bind the book however you like, or could laminate it for extra durability.

-I'd recommend heading into a craft store and browsing their instruction books for ideas. One year I made fantastic tree ornaments, that looked store bought, just from seeing a picture of them in a book.

-One year my mother bought clear, glass christmas balls, and made "family ornaments" for everyone. She cut photos of us all into circles, rolled them and tucked them into the balls, and let them uncurl. They were pretty neat.

-I had a pattern for teddy bears, and made Christmas bears for everyone in the family one year, out of Christmas fabric I had laying around. They were a big hit, and everyone still brings them out at Christmas. They were also suprisingly simple to make.

This thread has been a great motivation for me. I think I'll actually get started tonight!
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Nikki~

On that topic, last Christmas, my step-mother decided that she didn't want gifts. Instead, she wanted goats, pigs, and cows.....for third world countries. There is a charity (the name evades me atm) that you send money to, a certain amount per animal, and have animals donated to needy families in third world countries. So we all pitched in, and bought several animals in her name. I felt kind of odd saying I bought her a pig for Christmas, but it was such a neat idea.
Heifer Project
http://www.heifer.org/


Here are two things we did today-

Candle Rings
You need 7 red beads and 7 green felt leaves in proportional size. Thread on elastic thread, bead then leaf, bead then leaf, and tie off in a circle when you're done. They wrap around the bottom of a candle.

Heart and Hands Ornament
We talked about the Shaker saying "Hans to Work, Hearts to God"
Then I traced the kids hands on felt, cut out a heart in a contrasting color, and the kids glued the heart to the center of the hand. I'll probably finish them off with a blanket stitch around the heart/

Annette

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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Old 11-30-2004, 07:56 PM
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Ok, you ladies have really inspired me!

I am making chocolate baskets for a bunch of people. There is going to be some homemade cocoa mix, chocolate truffles, and either peanut brittle (thanks Christy!) or almond bark.

My 3.5 year old is making books for the grandparents. We wrote a story today. She dictated and I typed. It was a very sweet story about her sister. We then went looking through our digital pictures and found pics that were appropriate to the story. I'm printing it now on photo paper we had lying around the house. I think I'll go to Hobby Lobby or the dollar store and see what kind of book I can find.

I've got a few things to buy for the kids and a couple of other gifts that will be purchased, but I think I've cut my holiday spending at least in half this year!

Maybe next year I'll work on more! My biggest limiting factor this year is time.


Bec

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shelley4
my best friend is getting a set of curtains that i'm making .. she doesn't have any curtains in her bedroom
YES!!! May I copy you? *My* best friend doesn't have curtains in her bedroom, either. This is so cool, I was having trouble thinking of anything.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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Oh, did I mention I hate sewing? In the next 2-3 months, I am now doing a balaclava, mittens, curtains for our kitchen, curtains for my best friend, 12 pairs of AIO-type pants, more fleece diaper pants, and a fleece jacket for our newborn (March deadline). And dh keeps wanting to know why we can't just throw out the ironing board, since we never use it. Please let me get some kind of huge nesting urge to sew soon.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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Heifer is my favorite charity. It's not just third world countries though. They also help out people in the US and Canada (and many other countries around the world). It's also not just animals. You can buy a gift of bees or even tree seedlings.
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Nikki~
-I had a pattern for teddy bears, and made Christmas bears for everyone in the family one year, out of Christmas fabric I had laying around. They were a big hit, and everyone still brings them out at Christmas. They were also suprisingly simple to make.
I did this one year, too. I used some brown shaggy fabric and embroidered eyes and they turned out really well.

We finished the board games for my nephews and I completed a painting for my mom.

I'm knitting up a bunch of stuff and we did the salt dough ornaments.

I am going to block print cards as soon as I carve the safety-cut. Last year we gave stationery sets I printed this way.

Any other ornament ideas that I can make out of stuff around the house?

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:42 AM
 
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I just found this tread and I love it!!
DH is laidoff and I'm a SAHM. I've been fretting over the holidays.
This gives me some great ideas.
Thank you!

I found a few ideas on the internet too.

1)Fill an unfinished wooden box with paints, brushes,
crayons, and a ream of paper. Budding child artists can paint
and decorate the box and create an art caddy for their
supplies.

2) What about a picture-perfect present? Wrap a disposable
camera, a trendy picture frame and a small photo album for
under $20.

3)5. For the gardener in your life, buy a terra cotta plant pot.
Decorate the pot with paints. Fill with a small trowel,
gardening gloves, seed packets, bug spray, and plant food.

Good luck to everyone! You've all certainly inspired me!!
Chrissy

Spiral Chrissy, loving my life treehugger.gifread.gifhippie.gif, Mama to DS bouncy.gif (8/6/03), wife to DH guitar.gif, and hoping for another little bean dust.gifnamaste.gif
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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thought I would post this pattern here for those needing baby/toddler ideas
http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/4703/

I am making a bunch for gifts

so far we have only spent $ on kids gifts. I am going to try to spend nothing (or very little) on the adults gifts though

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by monnie
Any other ornament ideas that I can make out of stuff around the house?
We are making candle ornaments for the tree by gluing a clothespin (spring-type) to a tongue depressor, then painting and/or gluing glitter and adding an orange flame cut from tag board. Ours are a simple white paint and white glitter, but maybe we'll venture out into other colors! Very cute, and fun for even small kids. I have a weird interest in ornaments that clip onto the branch rather than hang.

I want also to say thanks to everyone for the great ideas! Some I'm filing away for the future - just too many great projects and too little time. But, I did make some I Spy bags! I finished them by laminating (at school supply store for cheap) the list of items and using a binder ring to fasten it to the bag through a grommet. (Yes, I had these on hand too!)

I also finished the clothespin doll kits I wanted to make, and I really think they look fun!
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Old 12-03-2004, 04:39 PM
 
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BUMP!!!
We are getting right into the thick of things now!! how is everyone holding up?
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:49 PM
 
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We had a festival in my town yesterday and they had 2 great ideas for kids or grown-ups to make for gifts. One was an angel made of beads and the other was a cookie dry mix that looked like santa- so cute!

I have photos and steps, but I have to up load!
Got to get the girl out of the shower right now, so I will do it in a bit! So cute, check back in, worth making!

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:58 PM
 
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I just made some scarves out of some velvet/velour like cloth I had. Just sewed two long strips together, added some seed bead fringe at the end & hopefully people will wear em Can't wait to start baking!
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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Okay here is a link to the photos of what Rainey made yesterday

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/angbir...75.jpg&.src=ph

Frist there is the angel, you take beads and a long piece of wire and string them on to make a hoop for the body- then warp the wire so it makes a "O" then you will have 2 long pieces above the body and place a set of wings there and wrap the wire to make them stay- I think you can get wings at the store- so then with the two wires bring them up and put a large bead at the top for the head and then with the wire left make a hoop and tuck it in the bead hole then use the other wire to wrap it all together and make a halo and then tuck the rest of that wire in the hole too. It is so cute and will take about 1 min to make! Anyone would love these- and if your kids help make them any grandparent would die over them- they are so cute!


Then the santa- OMG- this is so cute! First at Wal-Mart they sell plastic bags in a "V" shape, get those and then cut a recipe for Choc. Chip Oats Cookies in half- then start with the darker colored ingredients (sp) The Oats, the Choc. Chips then the brown sugar, and then add the light colors like sugar, flower and such.

Then staple the bottom and add some foam cut-outs for the eyes and nose and put a little fur ball at the top of the point to make the hat. Then type up the cooking directions include the wet things needed on the directions.

This is SOOOO CUTE! I cant even tell you...


[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by boysrus
BUMP!!!
We are getting right into the thick of things now!! how is everyone holding up?
I have 3 batches of sugar cookie dough in the freezer, and my bath salts are 'curing' (I mixed them together with the lavendar buds and oil, now I'm letting it soak up the scent). I have most of the supplies I will need to get my projects done, and have started on my gnomes.

I was so bummed, the other day I went to Michael's and after it took me 30 minutes to find parking they were completely out of the one thing I had come for (M&P soap base)! I was so peeved! So I'm not sure if i'll be doing soaps this year after all... also I'm really wanting to make some felt balls but I haven't had a chance to go by the weaving store to get roving.

I still need to make several more batches of cookie dough, send out Christmas cards, and get on all the rest of my projects lol... I just found the feet to my sewing machines the other day, so now I can start on those projects. It's been hard to find time to work on anything with Mike working 2 FT jobs right now (started a new job, but staying on at the old one for a few more weeks).

But today is only the 5th... I feel like I've gotten a good start so far. I have 20 more days (well, 19 because we're doing the family thing Christmas Eve)... that's more then 2 weeks! I can make amazing things happen in two weeks! I think I'm going to try taking ds with me to work on those mirrors in the garage...
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Old 12-07-2004, 06:37 PM
 
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Bump.... How is everybody doing?

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:24 PM
 
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I have started on my gifts in a jar and bath salts are good to go. Gotta make some cookie dough to freeze (thanks XM for the reminder ). Also we are going to do the gradmother and great-grandmother's dishtowels this week.

We are taking floursack and stamping ds foot/handprints on in fabric paint.

will check back later..
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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Going great

I loved the Cindy's Porch advice to "shop at home first". I went into the attic this past weekend, briefly feeling sorry for myself that I had to shop at home for kid's gifts this year. While up there I found DESKS! Kid's school desks, complete with chair! (old fashioned wooden ones!) Oh, nothing special, just EXACTLY what my dd has been asking for for months now but we couldn't afford :LOL! I had no idea they were up there. Dh says we used them for end tables but I think *he* used them for end tables before we married because I don't remember them. So this weekend (when she's at Grandma's) we're going to take them down (there are 3!) figure out which is the best and pretty it up. I feel like I should be thanking someone for this find. It's just too perfect, yk?

I also found some black fake velvet material in my stash (from my late Grandmother) and am going to make both kids capes They'll be fastoned with big, gaudy gold toned buttons I already have. And my dd saw one of the scarves I made for someone else and asked me to make one for her. Phew! I *think* I can crochet that fast

Add in bean bags for a joint gift and a block set (handed down from someone else) for my son and I think we're set!

Oh, I did spend some money on books at the thrift store for both of them. And the rice for the bean bags will cost something :LOL So Christmas gifts for two kids - $8 and change!
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:49 PM
 
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Wow ShannonCC, I'm impressed! You'll be my role model next Christmas!
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:12 PM
 
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:LOL Thanks AnnMarie
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Old 12-09-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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This is an excellent site for ideas. You could make bookmarks for your kids' stockings or bingo game sets. This is also a great site to use year-round. I just made my daughter's birthday sleepover invitations and envelopes there. So cute!

http://www.dltk-cards.com/bookmarks/
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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Here's one of my favorite sites (even if they are run by The Mouse)

http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-cra...iday_gifts_ms/

Annette

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:10 PM
 
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Well I finally finished the balaclava, and wrote a story for dh to illustrate for dd ("Esmerelda and the Christmas Monster").

Now we want to make her a memory game -- the kind with the cards you lay out and turn over. But I can't think where to get stiff heavy material for the cards. I don't want to use foam, and I don't want to use cardstock (because I know dd will destroy anything bendable, surely if unintentionally). Any ideas?

Oye Yemaya oloto
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:35 PM
 
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Cardstock covered with clear contact paper?
Annette

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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Old 12-09-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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not sure if this was mentioned or not..
we saw on a kids show last night a neat craft idea..
to make juggling balls you need some balloons, some rice and some saran wrap

put about 1/3 of a cup of rice in to a small square of saran wrap, twist the ends up so it looks like a ball... cut the end off an unblown balloon and stretch it over the saran wrap ball of rice.. cut the end off another balloon and stretch it over the ball again to cover it.

They look great and were cheap and easy to make. we are giving them to my nephew for christmas.
here is a link with pictures

Tanja mama to Raven,Jakob,Ben and baby Maiya
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:44 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the links chellemarie, annettemarie, tanjarine, what great ideas I have now!

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eminer
But I can't think where to get stiff heavy material for the cards. I don't want to use foam, and I don't want to use cardstock (because I know dd will destroy anything bendable, surely if unintentionally). Any ideas?
Our local school supply store laminates for a cheap per foot price. (And I'm imagining index sized cards, which would not require many inches - even a whole set). I laminated the lists for my I spy bags and attached them with binder rings in the corner of the bag. They are very sturdy.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:00 AM
 
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i am hyper vigilant about balloons ever since we took an infant cpr class with our first and the instructor told us how hard it was to help a child who was choking on a balloon. it gets stuck and is much harder to dislodge than the odd bit of hotdog or grape. if y'all do the balloon balls (which look very cute btw) just be sure no little'uns can get to 'em, 'kay?

we're working on stuff here -- did some bread dough ornaments and picked up some cheap frames at joann to paint. hope to get to that soon. painted a tote bag for grammy's b-day at the end of nov and that went well...

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Old 12-10-2004, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I freak out about balloons too!!
For small lamination, I just using packing tape.
I found a piece of scrap fleece in the extra bin at Joanns. It had army trucks on it. It cost 85 cents and was the PERFECT length to make a scarf for my friends twleve yo ds. I grabbe dit bc I wanted to make a scarf for my 6 yo, but when I got it home, I noticed the army trucks and couldnt do it.
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