x-mas countdown!


 

this morning i was out and about when i overheard someone say “NOVEMBER 25th” and my heart almost stopped. gasp!

is it really ONLY

a month until christmas?!?!?!?!

i don’t feel as panicked about the holidays this year, but truth be told i think i’m in denial. we are still doing renovations in the kitchen (c’mon IKEA deliver our cabinets already!), which has really thrown me off my game. my days are filled with pockets of time where i paint ceilings, or folds laundry, or clean away the drywall dust that is snowing at my house! i am not quite ready in my mind, and i’d love to pull out some decorations to get us in the mood, but with all the drywall dust that is snowing at my house it’s just not realistic… YET!

quote2

source: painted pattern

as always, i have lots of ideas of what i’d like to paint, felt, sew or craft for gifts; i have projects i’d like to create with the boys, but there really aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in a week! bah!

that being said, i am cutting myself some slack this year.

and, i’m not just saying that. i really am.

no, honestly!

i get caught up in the to do list forgetting to enjoy things more. this year i really want to enjoy things… who cares if we end up buying x-mas cards instead of making them? does that make me bad mum? i don’t think so. i am the only one who sets these impossibly high standards for myself and sometimes it’s ok to do things differently!

quote3

get this free printable from upcycled treasures!

so, bring it on, the countdown on… here’s what my to do list looks like this week. hoping to paint tonight, tomorrow after lion’s school trip to the grocery store i will check my gift drawer for advent calender items for the kids.

to do list

 

i will leave you with this silly…

 

quote4

print by: stacy rajab

 

hope you are feeling on the ball this season! feel free to share your tip and tricks for staying organized!

happy counting down, friends!

xo, mama lola

DIY felted bowls!

i’ve always loved felt products, the texture and colours they hold are beautiful. this holiday season i’ve decided to make lovely felt bowls from roving wool. last year i made felted soaps, which were my first efforts working with roving wool. i immediately fell in love. there is something so simple about felt, but the surprise colour combinations and patterns you get from wet felting is wonderful.

felted bowls, felt crafts, christmas crafts

you don’t need any special supplies except for the roving wool. i found mine in packages with 4 different colours for $14.99 from michael’s craft stores, which fits in perfectly with the budget of $25 or less for a homemade holiday event i joined. see details at the bottom of this post on that!

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

roving wool

balloons

panty hose (any colour)

scissors

hot water source

dish soap

bowl/ cup

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. blow up your balloon. if this is your first time working with roving wool i recommend starting smaller. my balloon was about 20 cm’s in diameter.

 

2. choose which colours of roving wool you want to work with.

 

3. in a bucket or kitchen sink cover your balloon with warm water and dish soap. make sure you lather up the rounded side and not the knotted end. the soap makes it easier to get the felted wool off of your balloon. once lathered set in your bowl or cup with the knotted end down.

 

4. this is where the fun starts! start layering the roving wool on to your balloon. whatever colours you lay on first will be the inside of your bowl. i recommend using different thickness’s and lengths of the wool, and make sure you lay it all directions…. horizontal, diagonal, wavy, vertical. this ensures beautiful textures, colour combinations and better coverage.

felted bowls, felt crafts, crafts

5. the roving wool will be loose and resemble a fro, so it’s a bit confusing to imagine how it will shrink into a gorgeous bowl! but, it WILL! you will want to layer more rather than less, so just keep at it!

 

6. once you are satisfied with your layering, take your panty hose cut a section from the waste area wide enough to fit over your balloon. tie a know at one end super tight, then stretch the hose over your wooly balloon, trying not to move the layers. this part is tricky, so if you can get an assistant then do it! you want your balloon to look like the photo below. *

DSC_0460b

7. now, place your panty hose covered balloon in your kitchen sink, gently add hot water and lather with mild dish soap. rub your hands all over the balloon to create gereat lather. do this for a long time. the friction is what causes the felting. you can turn the water off so as not to scold your hands. i found a rhythm… water, soap, rubbing, water off…. water, soap, rubbing… again, it’s better to felt longer, because then it will create a tighter bind. * in the above picture the roving wool left a loose edge to the bowl, so i just pushed it down while rubbing to create a more defined edge.

 

8. remove panty hose (undo knot or cut off). then roll ot off your bowl. do this very slowly and gently. i found that my wool and entwined into the hose, but with gentle pulling it came apart. pop the balloon to remove from felted bowl. now you want to rinse your bowl very well in cold water to ensure all of the soap is rinsed out and to finish the felting action.

felted bowls

9.  gently squeeze dry  and use a hair dryer to get it mostly dry. let sit over night before gifting.

felted bowls, roving wool crafts, felt crafts, christmas crafts

after making three bowls i still have some roving left over and i have a few ideas of what to make with it.

felt bowl, felted bowl, felt crafts, roving wool

roving wool crafts, christmas crafts, felt crafts, felted bowls

these beautiful bowls are a great homemade gift, with such minimal cost, but with HUGE impact…THEY’RE GORGEOUS!

they are made with love, consideration and creativity.

 

these sweet bowls can be used as flower pots, for example, or just as decorative pieces.

felted bowls, DIY felt crafts, christmas crafts, roving wool crafts

i just love the way the felted bowls turned out! one of my best projects if i do dare brag a little!

follow this hashtag >>>  ‪#‎CDNHandmadeHoliday‬  <<< and find other awesome homemade gift ideas for under $25! i can guarantee that the projects will be AWESOME as they are from super creative, super smart and SUPER AWESOME CANADIAN BLOGGERS!

 

happy felting!

xo, mama lola

homemade stocking stuffers!


 

tis the season for getting crafty and creative! making little stocking stuffers for the people you adore is a wonderful way to share some homemade goodness in a time of intense spending!

 

stocking stuffer ideas

ok, so drum roll please….

here we go with my top 10 stocking stuffer ideas (in no particular order) for this holiday season! these ideas aren’t particularly “christmassy”, but perfect none-the-less as stocking stuffers… there’s something for everyone on your lists here! promise!

 


 

i made these felted soaps last year for people. they were very well received and enjoyed! and, i had my then three year old help me, which was totally fun and adorable!

DSC_0892b

 bear & lion


 

look at these colourful homemade crayons from it’s gravy baby! this is a great gift idea you can get the kids to help with, even the little ones can do their part! and who wouldn’t love to get creative with these awesome multi-coloured tokens of love?!

stocking stuffers1

it’s gravy baby


don’t these sugar scrub cubes look good enough to eat? well, they look delicious and i’m sure your skin would enjoy a nice scrub in the tub with these! lovely idea for any tired, hard working body… hey, so that could be anyone! thanks for the idea hello natural!

stocking stuffers2

hello natural


i used to collect keychains as a kid! i love these sewn keychains from living with punks, and i especially adore the little buttons embellishments, how cute are they?! you could use fabric from old torn clothes like your favourite pair of jeans of concert t-shirt… i love using old things for new projects!

stocking stuffers3

living with punks


anything jersey and i love it! this grey jersey bowls with the neon stitching is amazing! excellent tutorial from the red thread on how to make your own! you could easily fold a bowl to fir your stocking… haha! these wee things are perfect for odds n’ ends that need a place.

stocking stuffers4

the red thread 


this memory game  from dear lizzy is so wonderful! i think that hardest part for me would be picking and choosing the photograph’s i’d like to use! this is a great idea for little people who might live far away from extended family or friends. so sweet!

stocking stuffers

dear lizzy


these little hand warmers are a great idea from holly dolly! quick and easy to make, but something practical to share with those you love during the freezing winter months! LOVE!

stocking stuffers7

holly dolly


this sewing kit in a jar is a delightful stocking stuffer for any novice sewer you know. the paper mama has included lovely photo’s and a complete list of what to include in your jar. i actually have a very specific person in mind for this gift, someone who was born less than 10 years ago!

stocking stuffers8

the paper mama


aren’t these dancing family cut-outs from sweet paul hilarious?! what a wonderful stocking stuffer idea for your grumpy grandpa or your mischievous little nephew! i know my boys would have such fun with these!

stocking stuffers9

sweet paul


how lovely are these monogrammed mugs from pine gate road? what a great way to personalize a gift. i especially love the gold sharpie here, makes the mug look fancier, so fantastic!

stocking stuffers10

pine gate road


i’ve definitely been busy pinning these ideas and more on pinterest! there are so many unique and beautiful ideas out there to be made!

if you don’t already, come and follow me on pinterest!

let me know which stocking stuffer idea you’re going to give a whirl!

xo, mama lola

dried orange slices for christmas.


 

are you looking for a easy christmas project? these dried orange and lime slices are easy, although theu do take a while to bake.but, once they are done they make for lovely decorations, gifts, wreath accents, or whatever!

dried orange slices 2

first i sliced my oranges and limes. then i placed them on a cookie sheet and baked them for about 5 hours at 170F. some people suggest using a cooking rack to bake them on, but mine is packed away because of the reno. i did flip the citrus slices every so often ensuring even drying and sprinkled some clover into them. my house smelled AMAZING!

DSC_0346b DSC_0356b DSC_0391b

DSC_0398b

 

here are some beautiful ideas from other’s to show how use the dried slices creatively.

 

i love the look of the oranges with the greens here in a garland by buckets of burlap. this garland could be hung outside on railingor around a window. simple, but gorgeous!

orange garland_thumb

 

this jar of simmering spices is a wonderful gift idea! sheryl of the lady behind the curtain suggest offering it as a hostess gift, which i think is a great idea!

Simmering-Spices-Lady-Behind-The-Curtain-1

 

i just love the look of this lovely wreath using dried fruits and other natural pieces from crafts 2 cherish. the textures and colours are beautiful!

wreath

 

if you do decide to make dried citrus slices, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time!

enjoy!

xo, mama lola

green christmas inspiration.


i realize it’s only november, but let’s be real here, everyone is already thinking about the holidays.

 

here is a visual aid to help when shopping for various green branches this holiday season. it’s helpful to know the names of the different varieties nurseries use. my favourites include pine branches and cedar.

 

christmas greens 1

flores del sol

 

look at these lovely GREEN christmas ideas. they are so simple, but beautiful none the less. sometimes keeping things simple is better!

 

christmas greens 2

odessa may society

 

christmas greens 4

little things bring smiles

 

christmas greens 3

frolic

 

christmas greens 5

vintage house

i am working on posts for red, silver and gold christmas inspiration as well! check back for those holiday posts!

are you as inspired as i am to go clip a few branches and get creative?

happy crafting!

xo, mama lola

good-bye 2013, hello 2014.

i realize my pictures late, but i wanted to share them anyway! we had a glorious new year’s up at the cottage with friends.

here is a montage of the fun…

DSC_0347b DSC_0375b DSC_0381 DSC_0394b DSC_0397b DSC_0437b

DSC_0433 DSC_0461b DSC_0463b DSC_0472b

new years collage

we had so much fun with are amazing friends, tobogganing, playing in the snow, playing games, dancing, singing, and hanging out by the fire. it was very, very cold (-20c) which made trips to the outhouse exhilarating! haha!

xo, mama lola

christmas is all about love and family.

i realize this is a little late, but we’ve been on the go this past week with birthday celebrations and an adventure up north at the cottage for new years! we had a wonderful christmas. there were some unexpected twists and turns, forcing us to be flexible, testing our patience, but after all was said and done, it was  a wonderful christmas in the end. it was one that reminded all of us of what really matter in life, and how fortunate we all really are just because we live in canada. the 24th of december is traditionally when finnish families celebrate christmas. so, typically the boys, dear hubby and i head to my parent’s house for a beautiful christmas meal and evening. my mum decorates the house so nicely and she works hard to prepare traditional finnish foods for us to enjoy. it is very special. but, this year toronto and much of southern ontario was hit by a terrible ice storm. lots of people were without power for many days, my folks included. so, on christmas eve my parents drove about an hour to join us at out house. but, i didn’t have time to prepare much, because honestly we were all expecting the power to be restored more quickly than it was. this is where that flexibility and patience came into play; dear hubby baked some yummy treats and i made some quick appetizers with smoked salmon, baked a yummy gnocchi (recipe coming soon here) and we bought several delicious cheese; it wasn’t the kind of christmas meal my mum would make.

DSC_0222b DSC_0226b we started the evening with a glöggi toast cheering our family and health. we ate, while my parents shared stories of christmases from their childhood, which the kids were fascinated by. then, it was time to open gifts. oh, the kids had fun, fun, FUN! at the end of our evening it was clear that christmas is really all about love, family and being together.  even though our plans were quite different, unexpected and even stressful leading up to christmas eve, we all still had lots to be thankful for. we had each other, we were safe, we had resources to get food, to drive and shelter (even if it was cold for some). eventually my parents layered up and headed back to their freezing house, deciding not to stay with us, as they had stayed with friends the night previous. they were worried about the house as a city owned tree was dropping branches right on their property. but, even though christmas wasn’t what we had wanted or planned, we were all grateful to be together and share in a warm, loving evening together.

DSC_0234b the 25th we spent together as a family of four. we went tobogganing with neighbourhood friends to test out the fancy snow runner the kids received from joulupukki (santa claus). it was a quiet day of fun, games and love. again, reminding me of the meaning of chistmas for our family. spending time together as foursome, without any distractions or obligations, was truly special. then, on the evening of the 25th my mum phoned to say their power had been restored and we all hooted and cheered! it was a small, belated, christmas miracle!

on the 26th we headed to see dear hubby’s family. first we had a small tea party with his folks. we used dear hubby’s grandmother’s fancy tea cups, which was fun and special. we opened gifts and had a chance to play before heading to visit with extended family.

DSC_0285b i’m not sure why, but i didn’t really take many pictures this christmas. i was more focused on being involved in all the special moments, i suppose. sometimes i feel like an outsider when i end up taking pictures from the periphery.

i hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family, celebrating whatever traditions matter to you.

i will share some wonderful pictures from our time up north soon!

xo, mama lola

christmas orange pomanders!

christmas pomanders are something i make every year. they are a wonderful gift for others and beautiful decorations in your own home.

they smell like christmas!

oranges 2

all you need to make these are oranges (or clementines)  and cloves. i have made pomanders with different patterns; spirals or hearts, so pretty! adding a ribbon is a nice touch as well, just remember to add it first. some people suggest placing a rubber band around the orange to guide in making a straight line. just take a clove and poke it through the rind. it can get painful for your index finger after a bit, but it’ll be s worth it in the end… trust me!

i made a pomender three years ago and it tried beautifully and still smells yummy!

xo, mama lola

candy cane treats! YUM!

candy cane treats, christmas treats

tis the season for candy canes! my kids are a bit little for just sitting and eating a cane; it tuns into a huge sticky mess, which i hate! so, instead i love to incorporate candy canes into all sorts of treats we like to eat. here is a round-up of super yummy candy cane treats of all sorts… from cookies to fudge to bark!

ENJOY!

candy cane bark, candy cane, christmas treatschocolate peppermint bark cookies from recipe girls

candy cane cookies, candy cane treats, christmas cookies, recipes

candy cane cookies from foodless

candy cane treats, candy cane recipes, christmas treats

candy cane hearts from glorious treats

candy cane cookies, candy cane treats, candy cane, christmas treats

candy cane joe joe’s from cake or death

candy cane marshmellows, candy cane treats, candy cane, xmas treats

candy cane marshmallow pops from liv life

 

which one is your favourite? which recipe will you be trying this season? 

the marshmallow treats look perfect for a cuppa hot chocolate, so i think i will make some when we head up north to the cottage for the new year!

xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives. 

DSC_0786b

please leave a link to your moment in the comments!

xo, mama lola
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...