I love these and have been using them on everything! They have letters or words on one side and patterns on the other side. There are tons of them in a pack too (83 pieces) so you can spell lots of different things. Then just flip over any of the unused letters like J's or Q's and you have darling pattern-filled chipboard banners.
Seeing all the cute little Elf on the Shelf photos around was enough to almost make me purchase one. However, there was at least one problem. I was afraid that the little guy would freak my kids out. Who really likes a tattle-tell anyway?!?!
Wanting to try something fun, we came up with our own version of Elf on the Shelf. First, we just used a stuffed animal we already owned to be our elf. Then we changed the rules. Our elf does indeed watch you (I was clear with all my kids that it's just pretend) and if you don't want to be watched, you must get rid of it. To get rid of our elf, you have to do something nice for someone else, but not get caught. It has to look like the elf did the good deed. Then you leave the elf behind so she can watch and tattle on that person. Yesterday, the elf made my bed. Today she cleaned up Jack's toys. I'm pretty sure that once he finds out, he'll be doing something nice for his nemisis, Abby. That's the really great thing about our game. Since we added this "hot potato" element, our kids usually choose to do nice things for the sibling they clash with most as a way to "get" them. In "getting" them, it seems they may have actually started liking them. But don't tell, nobody likes a tattle-tell, remember!!!
When Santa visits to the Comstocks, he doesn't wrap his present. This is a tradition that comes from my side of the family.... the skeptical side of the family. If Santa were to wrap his gifts, one may notice the wrapping. This could result in having to hide long tube like shapes at all costs. So, to make it simple, our Santa does not wrap.
By age five, I had noticed that Santas are in more than one location at a time. On our way home from visiting Santa at the department store, I saw another Santa outside a different store with a long line of children waiting to sit on his lap. I asked my mom about it. She replied that Santa can't be everywhere and he needed helper Santas. I asked if I had met the real Santa or just a helper Santa. I told her I didn't think it was fair that some kids get to meet the real one while others just get a big elf. I wanted to know if I had been duped. Needless to say my magical believing Santa years were short.
The Comstocks however, are believers. They don't doubt, they don't question, they have FAITH! With that personality, I have helped all my kids believe for substantially longer than myself. Sometimes I feel guilt for the great lengths to which we have gone. In the fifth grade, Kate told her whole class that Santa was real and she could prove it. That was the year Santa gave her a 1960's yard-sale Bernina sewing machine that "wasn't even being made anymore, so it had to be one of his elves." (OK, I cringe admitting that!)
Jack is our last believer since Abby didn't hold out quite as long as Kate. Living in Austin with so much more diversity I don't know how long Jack will last, this could be our final year with a true believer in the house. But, it sure has been fun while it's lasted.
It's 12 | 12 | 12 and my world didn't end, so let's celebrate with some tips for using glitter! 'Tis the season for sparkle afterall.
I love glitter, but I hate how messy it can be. So follow my glitter tricks, and I promise a much less messy experience!
First, ditch the wet glue! I hate using wet glue with glitter. It is hard to get level, can make your glitter lumpy and you have to wait for it to dry. Besides, I always end up getting glitter into the glue bottle ruining it for future projects. Instead, opt for dry adhesive options like tapes, stickers and Glubers.
I love backing stickers, especially chipboard ones, with glitter. You can then glue down the printed side, or use both sides by making it into a charm or tag like I did with our Jolly Days chipboard Christmas tree. If you don't have a sticker in the shape you like, recycle a cereal box by drawing your shape onto it. Before you cut it out, coat the whole area with adhesive tape. I am using an AT gun, but any tape runner with solid adhesive will work. After it's coated, cut it out and glitter it up. A few tips on how to "glitter it up." First, work directly over a garbage can. I am using Vintage Sparkle Glitter, that came with a little mini spoon (think doll house sized) for scooping it out of the bottle. I love it! If you don't have this, I really recommend dumping the entire bottle of glitter into a plastic container with a wide opening. That way you can just drop your item into the glitter and lift out with tweezers.
After you've got glitter all over your piece, tap it lightly over the garbage can. Then use another of my favorite tricks... a paintbrush. A soft paintbrush will sweep off all the extra glitter. Trust me, if you blow it off, it will be everywhere. If you only tap it off, the extras that don't fall, and there will be extras, will eventually end up all over your home. If you brush it off, you will get every loose piece.
My last trick is to just use Gluber dots or strips. I really love this because it's so easy and gives perfect results. You just stick them where you want and coat with glitter using the above tips. I hope this helps you all add a little sparkle to your holidays. If you end up getting some glitz on yourself, no worries. It just means you're awesome!
I love packages wrapped in Kraft paper. For my kids, I must choose something bright and whimsical, but for my friends this the look! There's something so beautiful about the simple, drab brown color when it is dressed up for the holidays.
Here are 8 different techniques to use when you wrap up your own packages. Our first trick is to use our new Gluber Strips to make ruffles from tissue paper. I used an old sewing pattern, with I think is lovely with the kraft paper. I wrapped over the center of the ruffle with heavy twine. In fact it was too thick to thread through my buttons, so our second technique is to split the ends of the twin, thread one half through each of the button holes and then knot. It made fun little bobble ends. (I used our Cheer Wooden Buttons.) Technique number three is stamping. I used dark brown ink paired with our Jolly Days stamps for with all my packages, but white, dark red, gold and dark green ink are all beautiful on kraft. As is obvious in the above photo, I worry little about making a perfect impression. I like stamping to look hand-done.
I think you could make lovely packages with just stamping alone, but I usually combine it with other techniques like number four, threading your buttons on the string you're tying your package with (with bigger packages, you can use buttons to make a garland or bunting effect). To add a little holiday bling, try technique five, coating Glubers with glitter. I used white Vintage Sparkle Glitter from Sulyn and according to Kate, it really looks like snow. The Gluber strips make lovely ribbons to hang button ornaments, while the circles are fun for polka dots or snowman building. We thought placing the twine so that it could double as the snowman's scarf was clever! Ribbon slides are one of my favorite ways to wrap things up and make our list at technique six. You can thread them with fabric, ribbon or even tissue paper. Tomorrow I'll show you step by step photos of how to knot them to wrap all four sides without using any adhesive, stitching or even any knots! (These are our Cheer Ribbon Slides and the fabric comes from our Dear Mr. Claus collection via Moda Fabrics.) I just love how this one turned out. Tip seven is to coil your twine onto a Gluber. I went from the outside in, but I think one could go either way depending on your outie to innie preference. A simple Cheer Canvas brad in the center completes the look. (And yes, that is my FAVORITE stamp!) We can't do a post using this many Glubers and not have some flowers made with them, can we. I think not! Ruffle some tissue paper, I'm using sewing pattern paper again, from the outside in to make a pretty gift topper for technique number eight. Place your Cheer Canvas brad through the center and stick the whole thing to your gift. Super easy and so cute! Technique number nine, (I know I said eight, this is a Holiday surprise!) combines our twine gluber technique with our glittered gluber tecnhique. This one is my personal favorite! The floating polka dots look like the kraft was torn and rolled back to reveal sparkle goodness underneath. To get the effect, just place your Glubers as desired, press twine around the edge and then fill the inside with glitter. For the glittery garland, cut some glubers in half and follow the same steps.
I think I could add even one more tip to round it out to ten, especially if you have little elves helping you with your wrapping. Consider a couple valium, maybe a strong drink or two and some holiday music. That way when one child knocks over the glitter and another child sits on a gluber, you won't mind so much. It will all just be sweet holiday memories!
Now, we must announce the winner of our $100 Gelaskins giveaway. A super-duper congratulations goes to Lillian. For the rest of us non-winners, I guess we can take the consolation prize of free shipping until tomorrow. Lillian, send me your info to julie at cosmocricket dot com and I'll send you your prize.
This has got to be the slickest, easiest tricks for making a pretty gift bow! You will need a ribbon slide, ribbon or a strip of fabric and a gift. If using fabric, your gift can't be huge, or your fabric won't be long enough, but for something the size of a book, DVD, etc, you'll have plenty.
Start by laying your ribbon or fabric, face down and placing your gift toward one end face up. Thread the short end through both openings on the slide. Now, loosen the threading so that you have space between the two openings of the slide. We are going to take our long end of the fabric down through that space. Just to be clear, or try to be anyway, you are looking at the front of the package, the slide is folded back toward the right so that you can see the backside of it. The fabric has been loosened and the other end is coming around and down through the little space we made when we loosened the slide. When we fold the slide back over and pull everything tight, our gift is well on its way to being beautified. Working with the long end of fabric still, bring it around the backside of the gift, over the top and down the front until it meets the slide again. This time, we will take the end of our fabric strip and thread it through the LEFT side only of the slide. You will have to fold the slide back again to do this. Hopefully the picture helps you see what I'm doing. Pull everything tight and trim your ends. The backside of your gift will be nice and flat. The front side of your gift will be lovely, having two flairing fabric accents to the left.
If you are decide to use different slides or ribbon, you will need to experiment a little on what it takes to get the right amount of pressure to hold the slide tightly.
I just got an email from a dear friend at Gelaskins. There latest cool thing is Cosmo Cricket art printed on a stretched canvas. I think I need to get one or two of these for myself and maybe a couple as gifts too. Sea Garden would be perfect for Abby's bright bedroom. I just love this pattern and think it must be awesome bigger and with the canvas texture. I think Kate would prefer Rose. She likes all things flowery and girly. And of course, they still have our patterns for all your favorite electronics!
Gelaskins is so nice and so generous, that they are offering one lucky fan a $100 gift certificate. I think that means you could get something for yourself and someone on your gift list! Leave a comment today to enter yourself.
And for those of you that prefer not wait to see if you won, they have free shipping for the next 5 days. Since we moved to Texas, I now realize just what a great perk that is!
Good luck everyone. We'll announce our winner Monday morning. Thanks!