Pretty Handy Girl 2012 Year in Review

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2012 was a jam packed year. It was filled with adventures, triumphs, and destruction. But, overall it was filled with a mass of accomplished projects. I shared some great tutorials with you and these are just a few of the best from 2012!

One of my favorite transformation tools is paint. Whether it be spray paint, craft paint or glazes, the changes can be amazing. These are my favorite paint transformations from 2012: [Read more...]

A Christmas Gift

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I have to share something that happened to me on Friday. It’s long so pull up a chair and a cup of peppermint hot cocoa (a yummy recipe from Tauni at SNAP!)

A few weeks ago Pretty Handsome Guy made up some bags for homeless people with our 8 year old for a Y Guides service project. The bags had warm gloves, water, snacks, canned meat, socks, etc. He put two in my car and said we should give them to homeless people we saw. Living in suburbia, I don’t see many homeless—except this one man who I always see at the same time everyday as I drive to pick up my boys from school. He is always walking on the road carrying three large bags (two big army sized duffle bags and a backpack.) You can tell he’s hauling around all his possessions (including a ratty tarp that I saw peaking out of the hole of one bag.) [Read more...]

A Gift to Make You Laugh – Pretty Handy Girl Blooper Videos

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How are y’all holding up in this holiday rush? The boys and I ventured to the mall to see Santa on Friday. The 2.5 hour wait quickly helped us decide to skip the big guy’s lap route and attempt a last minute letter to his greatness. The boys were a bit crestfallen, but I told them that they could see Santa from the fence and wave to him. As luck would have it, a family was just getting off his lap and he happened to look our way. I nudged the boys and told them, “Go ahead and wave.” They snapped out of their shock at seeing the Big Jolly Fella and gave a wave (which of course he returned.) CHECK!

Next order of business was to secure that gift for Handy Boy #2, who decided at the last minute he wanted a Build-a-Bear. As we entered the store and I shooed the kids to the back, I turned around and assessed the 15 person line being attended to by one (count that, ONE!) cashier. Nope…not gonna happen. I quickly got an answer from the employee, who was busy stuffing the innards into the dead lifeless animal skins to make them real for the little girl eagerly clutching the plastic heart for her animal. “Yes, you can buy an e-gift certificate online.” CHECK! We were out of there faster than my boys could say, “Look Mom! I want that…..”

We made it safely out of the parking lot without a scratch or fender bender (a Christmas miracle, I know!)

After we left the insanity of the mall a little something happened to us. I will share it with you tomorrow. Today, it’s all about the laughs. Enjoy this video I made for you! You do open one gift before Christmas morning right? Well, if not, it will be our little secret.

If you can’t see the video, you are probably reading this post in your email. You can view the video directly on YouTube.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Bottle Cap Magnet Flowers

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I hope you all enjoyed the 10 Days of 15 Minute Gift Ideas. I really wanted to include this gift idea because they are adorable and were well received last year, but they take more than 15 minutes. But, they cost next to nothing to make. So, if you find  yourself with a little extra time (LOL, who am I kidding.) I hope you enjoy making these bottle cap flower magnets, complete with smiling faces of the ones you love. Here’s the tutorial: [Read more...]

Round Up of DIY Gift Ideas

It’s the homestretch before Christmas. With less than a week away, those procrastinators amongst us (ahem, me) need to get crackin’.

These were a few of my favorites from the DIY Gift Idea link party.

DIY Instagram Necklace by Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Photo Ornaments by Making Lemonade Blog

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers by Practically Functional

DIY Map Coasters by The Country Chic Cottage

3 Ingredient Lemon Salt Scrub by Eclectically Vintage 

You’re So Hot! DIY Potholder by Flamingo Toes

Christmas Light Canvas by Ask Anna Moseley

DIY Wine Gift Basket by Bonfires and Wine

Chalk Painted Thrift Store Bucket to Gift Basket by Thrift Diving

I hope you have some more inspirations for those last minute gift idea! Good luck.

 

Silence

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Sometimes there are no words and silence is golden.

From my Instagram feed Friday night. Click the photo if you wish to see the original and read my thoughts that night.

“By not talking too much about it. Silence is sometimes the best thing to do, holding a hand, hugging somebody.”
- Reverend Eugene Peterson, an except from this interview on Spiritual Strength in Times of Great Need

 

 

Warm & Cozy Chocolate Gift Basket {DIY Gift Link Party}

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I love making my own gift baskets. They cost less than a store bought version. Plus, they don’t need to be wrapped!

A pair of Goodwill pants and an ugly tin bucket get the royal treatment in this spa themed gift basket:

Lavendar Spa Gift Bucket

I seriously seek out the opportunity to make one whenever I can. Nothing is safe from a gift basket. A simple gift certificate for a round of golf? An old wire basket, come Craig’s List golf balls and—BAM—Now it’s a gift basket. [Read more...]

Patina Hook Frame

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This little key hook frame was incredibly easy to make and would make a great gift for a new homeowner or that college student who is moving into a new apartment. (Or for that special someone who is always losing their keys.) [Read more...]

Twig Star Decorations

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I love nature and her beautiful palette, even as winter sets in she showcases a beautiful white, green and red color theme in honor of the impending holidays. With these colors in mind, I decided to bring a little of this beauty indoors with these twig star ornaments.

[Read more...]

Tea Towel Calendar

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2013 is right around the corner! Do you have your new calendar? I bet several people on your gift list don’t either. That’s why I think these tea towel calendars from Spoonflower would make a great gift.

Have you heard of Spoonflower? It is a custom fabric printing company that allows you to upload your own fabric patterns to print. But, you can also browse other designers’ fabrics and purchase yardage too. A month ago I happened to be browsing their website when I stumbled across these award winning tea towel calendar designs. They were absolutely adorable and I knew they’d make great gifts for a few young nieces I know. I ordered a few fat quarters (one calendar fits on one fat quarter of fabric) and anxiously awaited their arrival. (If you want to make your own calendar, order ASAP as their guaranteed delivery date for the holidays is December 17th.)

The material comes with unfinished edges, so they need a little sewing magic, but it won’t take more than 15 minutes if you pre-cut everything and have your sewing machine pre-threaded. [Read more...]

Soap Snowballs with a Surprise Inside

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I cannot claim authorship of this DIY Gift Idea (Family Fun Magazine), but I can tell you that it is one heck of a fun way to entertain the kids for 15 minutes AND they make great gifts for the kids on your list. [Read more...]

HGTV Call for Single Parent Homeowners and Google+ Communities

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I got an email from a scouting agent with HGTV asking me to share this information with my readers. Just so you know, I asked her a bunch of questions before passing this on to you. I asked if this was a positive slant reality show (or is it a mockery style show?) She assured me that it was a positive show where the HGTV crew would come in and give the family a much needed makeover. She phrased it as a “rags to riches” style show.

Unfortunately it is open to US residents only. And there must be a teenager (ages 12 and up) living in the house.

Here is the information:

ATTENTION SINGLE PARENT HOMEOWNERS!!!
HGTV is searching NATIONWIDE for SINGLE PARENT homeowners with TEENAGE children to participate in a new TV show! 

Is your house cluttered, inefficient, and in a constant state of disrepair? Have you started renovation projects only to stop before they are finished? Are things constantly breaking down, making you and your kids feel overwhelmed with the state of your home?  Then we want to talk to you!

If you’re a single parent with TEENAGE children, and you own your home, then please contact us at  castingrenovation@gmail.com and tell us about it!  Let us know how the chaos in your house is affecting your quality of life as a family, and what needs to be improved.  DON’T FORGET to include photos of the HOME and FAMILY, and the best way for us to contact you! 

 

Definitely share this with any single parents you know that might be interested. It seems like a great chance for someone very deserving. And please let me know if you are chosen for the show so I can watch it! ;-).

Are you on Google+? If not, it is the newest social media experience. In the beginning I had my doubts, but as Google rolls our more features, I’m really liking the options for communicating. This week Google+ rolled out communities. I started two communities that I think you’re going to really like:

DIY Google+ Community – This is a place to share and learn from each other. A place we can post pictures of our projects. This is a great opportunity for those of you that have been busy completing your own DIY projects but haven’t had anyone to share them with (besides your spouse who will reply, “Oh that’s nice dear.”) Come join us and feel free to ask questions there too!  Nesbi recently shared her upcycling project where she turned trashed cookie sheets into a chalkboard for her kids to write one.

Tutorial Google+ Community – This is going to be the go to place to find all types of tutorials and instructions for completing your own project. You’ll find myself and a lot of other tutorial bloggers and experts here. This is also a safe place where you can ask questions and gain knowledge. Welcome to any and all!

Hope to see you on Google+ soon!

Stenciled Drop Cloth Table Runner

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I love a functional gift that will last beyond the holidays! These stenciled table runners are just the ticket for anybody who likes to host parties or just make their table look festive.

AND you could win a $75 Gift Card from Lowe’s which would pay for most of the supplies! (see the bottom of the post for more details.) [Read more...]

Log Tea Light Pillar Candles

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How much wood could a handy girl chuck if a handy girl could find wood? Ha, luckily I found a fallen tree in the woods behind our house. I brought a handsaw with me and cut it into into a manageable size that I could drag back to the house.

I’m really excited about this gift idea! These log pillar candles are the perfect accessory for anyone’s table or mantle this holiday season (and beyond the holidays.)

[Read more...]

Drawstring Gift Bag Tutorial

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Welcome back to another 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas! We’re on Day 3 and the gifts just keep comin’!

Sometimes the perfect present isn’t actually the gift itself. It’s how the gift is packaged. These quick and easy drawstring bags can be made to any size you want and can be filled with sweets, coffee or simply used instead of gift wrap. Best of all, the bag can be used long after the gift has been opened (and consumed!) [Read more...]

Wine Cork Reindeer – Quick. Cute. Holiday Craft.

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Welcome to Day Two of 10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas!

10 days of 15 minute DIY gift ideas

I have the quickest and easiest craft for you today. I literally made one of these while I was talking on the phone. I was doodling with some leftover wire from the Plumbing Parts Holiday Decor project and suddenly I was looking at a cute little stick reindeer. And then he asked me to make him some friends, so I did. [Read more...]

Quick & Easy Peppermint Oreo Recipe

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Welcome to Day One of 10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas!

Want a quick and easy holiday recipe you can make with the kids? When you don’t have time to bake, but you still want to give a homemade holiday treat, try this recipe for Peppermint Oreos! (Recipe adapted from Centsational Girl’s recipe for Chocolate Wafers with Peppermint Buttercream Filling.

Quick Peppermint Oreos

Only 3 ingredients: [Read more...]

10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas

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10 days of 15 minute DIY gift ideas

December is here! Ack!!! Anyone else feeling the pressure? Did you buy gifts for everyone? Have you decorated? GAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Well, I’m here to help take some stress off your wallet and your to do list. Over the next two weeks I’m going to share with you gifts you can make in 15 minutes or less. There’s sure to be something for almost everyone on your gift list.

Meet me back here on Monday for the first tutorial. And stick around for all ten days! On Friday, December 14th if you still haven’t found an idea you like, I’ll set up a link party for everyone to share their own quickie DIY gift ideas!

It should be fun, wanna come?