Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's finally December!

We had a really great weekend despite me getting sick with a cold...thanks to Stu for bringing it home! *winks* 

Stu, Forrest, and I accompanied Bobbie, my mother-in-law, Spencer (brother-in-law), & Wally (his adorable girlfriend) to attend Dickens of Christmas at Ripon. I made sure that Forrest was completely bundled up in his little reindeer suit to ensure that he stayed warm. Sure enough, he stayed warm. Dickens of Christmas was slowing down when we arrived, and it was a good thing that we beat the bulk of the crowd. It was enjoyable to walk around in a nippy winter air, all bundled up in our winter clothes, and getting into Christmas spirit. Bobbie took a picture of us family, and I had to laugh my butt off. See why?

Yep, there you go. Our little guy was completely taken off guard by his grandma's camera flash! Funniest thing I have seen in a long while. I'm going to totally show this to his girlfriend one day, and embarrass Forrest. 

Now, here's a nice one of us family: 

On Saturday, while Stu was gone at his football banquet luncheon; I busied myself by creating our Russ Family Advent Calendar, and it turned out really awesome. I could not have been any more thrilled about how it had turned out. The best part was? Stu, and Forrest, in his own way, helped out with it. So it had pieces of family's touch to this. 

Advent Calendar Tutorial

I picked a bunch of festive looking sheets from scrapbook aisle at Hobby Lobby.
I measured the canvas and determined that 4x3 inches were going to work the best.
I ended up tracing squares on the back of each sheet.

After I completed cutting squares (pictured above this one),
I folded the edges and the bottom to create a pocket.
I used Tacky glue to make the edges and the bottom to stick together.
I left them to dry for about half hour. Then I used a Bronze Sharpie
to create numbers for the dates. I forgot to take a picture of that part, sorry!

I purchased about a foot of Burlap Fabric (kind of tough type of fabric).
I wanted a rustic look instead of it being ivory. I dyed the fabric with tea  and let it
soak in the pot of tea for about 2 hours to achieve that aged look. Here's tutorial to how
tea-stain fabrics! After it being completely dry from hanging, I measured it to fit the 11x14 canvas,
and cut it to fit.
Stu wanted to step in and help once he got home from the banquet. He took over and stapled the fabric onto the canvas. Sure thing, buddy!  We used the black school stapler instead of regular small stapler becausethe small regular stapler won't work at all. It doesn't have same power as the large black stapler does! 

You don't have to be fancy with the trimming.
It will be hidden from the view anyway!
Just make sure the fabric is fully secure.

Ta-Da. Now it's ready for the next step! 

You can buy 25 little tags at any craft store!
I wanted to achieve that aged look. Once again, I used
tea-staining process: Tutorial.

After it drying completely, Stu and I tied twine cords to the tags, and Forrest
might have drooled on some tags....and Layla chewed off an edge of a tag. We remedied that by
cutting off the chewed edge.... 

I used fine Sharpie marker and

scribbled an activity for each day! 
The end result! Our Advent calendar!
 I was so geeked with how it had turned out! The tags can be purchased again next year and recreated with different activities as Forrest grows older. That way, we can find appropriate activities for his age. And eventually  when we give Forrest a sibling or two; we can continue to edit, and change activities for the years yet to come. 

I am really excited to be starting some new and old traditions, carried on over from our families and our childhoods, for Forrest and our little family! 

I was in such crafting mood....that I ended up creating two more items:

Forrest's footprint from when he was 2 months old.
I used flour and salt then baked it at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
Then I just forgot about it until today. I decided to use bronze Sharpie and filled
in the print. It turned out really great!

My mom gave me this kit to create an ornament.
I tried to take Forrest's handprint, but he was not having any of it!
I ended up using his little foot to create a footprint. I filled in the
footprint with silver Sharpie marker to see the details better, and
dated it! 

Yes, it has been a really lovely weekend. Stu is away at a Packers football game with his coach buddies and colleagues. So it is just Forrest and me today. I am a lot better than I was yesterday with my cold. Nonetheless, I'm going to fire up my gas stove, and make a home-made Chicken soup! A perfect remedy for a cold, I tell you. Then either two things will happen or maybe both will happen, depending on how my little guy feels once he wakes up from his nap; we will decorate the house with Christmas stuff, or watch a Christmas movie that I bought for Forrest (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is coming to Town). If Forrest is too cranky, then Christmas decorations can wait until tomorrow, and we'll just bunker down to watch one of those movies I mentioned previously! 

I'm so excited that it's December! Are you?