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I am a stay at home mom who finds little snippets of time to craft and create.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas, traditions, and gifts on a budget

Hamman Family 2010
My boys

Tayrien and momma

Santa baby

Ben age 2

Nathan and Benjamin

Making cookies for Santa


I did not have time to post this before Christmas, so maybe you can all tuck the ideas away for next year.

Gifts for Jesus is an idea I came up with so we can appreciate the Savior more during this holiday season. I wanted a way to give Jesus a gift, since it is His birthday! So I started with an old oatmeal container and I drew some labels and cards up. If you want a copy of the label and name plates just leave your email in the comments and I can put your names in and email it back so you can print it out.
First I wrapped the oatmeal container with wrapping paper and then cut out and affixed the label with photo tabs. Then I cut out the name plates and mounted them on colored card stock. I will place a huge bow on top of the container and the name plates are put inside. On Christmas day you pull out the cards and write the year and what you are going to "give" Jesus this year. An example is reading your scriptures every day or sharing with your siblings. I made the cards big enough so you can probably get a decade on one card and then make new ones. This way you can always see what you gave Jesus!




Because we do not have a chimney for Santa to climb down, we have a special Santa key that we hang on our front door Christmas Eve so he can deliver gifts! I made a bag to house it during the off season and the key hangs on the tree up until the day!

Another new tradition I started this year was the Christmas Cracker. You do not eat it, it is a gift in the shape of a tube and when pulled it snaps and treats are revealed. I used sanitized toilet paper rolls to support my tubes. I cut the right amount of wrapping paper to go around the tube and enough to make ties on the ends.
I couldn't find the crackers anywhere here so I ordered them on-line. I just googled Christmas Cracker and picked the one I liked. Next you place the cracker -strip of skinny cardboard- in tube and tape one end to the wrapping paper. Tie that end with string and then place treats inside. Tie other end closed and trim the remaining cracker ends off. I also googled the Christmas cracker story and read it to the family before they opened them. You have to firmly grasp the ends and pull slowly to have a successful pop. They were a big hit!


The gifts I gave my children this year were either hand me downs, bought on garage sales, or bought the day after Thanksgiving. I started buying gifts on garage sales this summer. Here is the break down:
Ben
Radio flyer tricycle: $7 and a little cleaning
Mickey mouse painting easel with supplies: $0 hand me down
Candy land game: $4 black Friday
Tool belt with tools: $0 hand me down tools, hand made tool belt wit left over fabric
Total: $11

Tayrien

two sets of stackable bowl - one for tub, one for play: $0 hand me down
Total $0

Boys stocking stuffers

Ice age #1 and #2 : $4 black Friday
3 land before time movies: $6 black Friday
Total: $10
Subtotal: $21

Christmas was a success! I can't wait till next year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Year 26

I love Christmas time and all that comes with it! One downside for me has been that my birthday is exactly one week before Christmas. So I was generally gipped, ignored or combined, not by my family, but everyone else. Ok off my soap box, I received some really great gifts this year for my birthday and I would like to share them with you.

The first one Daniel gave to me and hands down it is the best gift I have ever received for my birthday! He was reading a magazine called "FastCompany" and there was anarticle about this lady Leslie Ligon and her company At First Sight Braille Jewelry. She was given an award for her design of her Braille jewellery. Her story is very touching and she is such a cute person. I was so touched that Daniel had thought of me when he read the article. He got in touch with this lady and put a rush order on my bracelet since my birthday was so soon. Oh course Daniel can never wait to give me my gift on my birthday so he told me a week early and I received the bracelet in the mail yesterday. It is so beautiful. It has the whole Braille alphabet on it. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for hearing and visually impaired and I am very proud to represent something special like this. Here is her blog and you should read her story, you will cry. I did.
The second gift I chose myself with birthday money. I had family pictures taken shortly after Tayrien was born by My good friend Lori at Branson Photo. She has been the photographer for all the major events in my life: Wedding, Ben's birth and his growth and now Tayrien's. I finally got them printed. I think that family pictures are better when they are bigger so I bought the biggest picture EVER! It is 24in. x 36 in. I found a frame for $40 at Bed Bath and Beyond (which is a huge steal if you have ever framed anything custom) and today I put it up on my wall. It is fabulous and I am in love!

Thank you to family who gave me wonderful cards! I love them!
I totally thought I was turning 25 this year. I totally am not.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eczema


About a week ago this rash appeared on Tayrien's forehead. I thought it was baby acne or cradle cap related since it was right on his hair line, so I didn't think much of it until it started getting worse and spreading. So I asked my mom what she thought and she said to ask my sister in law Aliona. Her little girl Alexa had it during her first year. She said it looked exactly like it and to go to the doctor as soon as possible because it will only get worse. So I made an appointment promptly and we went to the doctor. He told me some really interesting things that I thought I would share.

My doctor is phenomenal and I LOVE him. He is very sweet and observant as well as informational. Ok so back to problem...when the doctor came in I showed him all the places where I thought he had it and he concurred.

He told me his degree is in Chemistry and so he knew a lot about soap. He said that soap is a wetting agent, this means soap makes water wetter, and doesn't remove all the bacteria from our skin, but leaves a film behind. The example he gave was that doctors scrub for 5 minuets for surgery. If soap removed all bacteria then they would preform surgery with their bare hands. Of course they don't, they use gloves.

He also said that models who have flawless skin NEVER use soap on their face and that is why their skin is fabulous. They use petroleum jelly or noxema to wash their faces. So last night I washed my face with noxema and it felt fantastic afterwards and I didn't have to apply lotion either! It is also awesome on sun burns.

So anyway, he said that blue eyed people have more sensitive skin than brown eyed people, that is true with my family. So when I use soap to clean my baby it leaves that film and it cracks and causes irritation. He said that if a person were to take a shower and only use water and a wash rag, they would be the same amount of clean as if they used soap, but they wouldn't have a film left over.

So I am on strict orders to wash my baby with just water. I found all of this so interesting. Don't get me wrong, I am still going to use soap and most important anti-bacterial soap, it just makes me feel good for the end of the world when I can't make any!

He gave me a prescription for when it gets bad- which is now- and gave me some lotion brands that I can use: Eucerin or Nivea. The prescription is working really well so far and as soon as it is under control I will start using one of the other lotions.

P.S. Don't Google image eczema- very gross.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WearItRaw


My sweet cousin Charly and her genius husband Jeff started a new business called WearItRaw active wear. Their concept was so unique to me and I wanted to share this with all my friends! I asked Jeff a few questions about the business and after you are all done reading them you need to visit their website and see for yourself!


Brittany: What inspired the direction of your t-shirt?

Jeff: People that never quit. People that lay it all on the line. People that work hard and are committed to their pursuit.


Why do you just do black?

There’s just something about white text/designs on a black shirt. It grabs your attention. I can’t explain it other than there is a feeling, thought, emotion,etc. that surfaces when you have the right words/designs on a black background. A yellow background with white print doesn’t have much punch and doesn’t say attitude does it?


What is the fabric content?

It’s a blended shirt (cotton and polyester). It took me a couple of months to find the perfect blend for the look and feel I was after. The ratio of the blend makes the shirt ultra-soft and gives the shirt an ultra-light feel. Many of our customers have commented on the fit and feel of the fabric. It’s a fitted shirt. It breathes and moves with you. Great shirt for physical activity or just relaxing. It will easily become your favourite shirt.

What is this "Attitude"?

What do we mean by attitude?
We don't mean the hand in your face type of negative attitude that seems to be everywhere these days.
We're talking about the attitude you put into whatever you're passionate about.
Attitude affects how you pursue your hobby, sport, occupation, or life.
Attitude is what creates the desire, the drive, and the dedication to be the best.

To Be The Best You Need The Right Attitude
ATTITUDE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!


Would you ever expand into other clothing?

Possibility. We have head wear (hats and beanies) coming in the next few weeks. We originally were not going to do a women’s line, but we received so many requests we decided it had to be done. We’re very much about listening to our customers. We’re always open to suggestions.


If you could have any person in the world wear your shirt for free advertising, who would you choose?

Jillian Michaels. Enough said.

I love it! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us! I can't wait to try one out myself so look for a WearItRaw part two!


WearItRaw site


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas fun





I thought I would share some of our Holiday fun that we have done. Last year I received a Christmas journal and loved it. I write the activities we did, when we decorated, how we spent the holiday and include the letter to and from Santa.
This year I found a really cute template for a letter to Santa. Since Ben can't really write this was a great way to solve that. I filled it out and had Ben color and sign it. I couldn't get it to rotates, so the photo is sideways.Last year I found this great idea where your kid can get a letter mailed from the North pole from Santa. You as a parent write a response to the letter your child wrote and place it into a stamped envelope addressed to your child . Place that envelope into a larger envelope and mail before December 15th to:

North Pole Christmas Cancellation
Postmaster
5400 Mail Trail
Fairbanks, AK 99709-9998


This year I have passed the torch onto my dad who lives in Arizona. This way he can be apart of our Christmas from so far away. Here is the website if you want the info.

http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/localnews/oh/oh_2008_1119a.htm

This is Ben's letter last year.
Every year I wanted to make a new ornament for the kids. I am making them now, until They are a little older. Last year was the silhouette of Ben and this year I made photo blocks of the boys. They each have their own.

I thought I would share my solution to keeping papers and tokens that Ben makes. We do alot of art projects and I like to keep track of them. This is a scrapbook page keeper that I found at Michaels. I decorate the front with something that is relevant with Ben at that age, and his name and age. The whole year that he is two I can put things in this folder. When the folder is full, I can go through and pick my favourites and pitch the rest. That way there will be a folder for every year of his life. When school comes around I can include grades and projects or photos of the projects. I also keep all the birthday cards that he received for his birthday. This year Ben is in love with horses, so I put a poem on the front that my mom sings to him about a horsey. So The folders are labelled as such: newborn to 1, age 1, and age 2.
I will keep you guys updated on our Holiday adventures!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mr.T

Here is an update on Tayrien. He is now 14lbs and has fat rolls under his diaper on his legs as well as a double chin. Ben did not have either so I am enjoying my chunkier, He already needs a hair cut and has to be bathed daily due to all the hair. His eyes are officially blue and keep getting lighter. The third day he was here I noticed a huge toe on his foot between his big and next toe, I put cream on it and about a week later I realized that it was a birth mark! It is bright red and keeps getting larger. I tried to take a photo of it, but he kept wiggling his toes.

He holds his head really well and sits in his bumbo chair . The other day he fell asleep in it. He has a shallow dimple in his right cheek and that keeps getting deeper the for fat he puts on. I don't know about the other side yet. He can lift his head and chest up when on the floor. He loves to sleep on his tummy, so he always wants to be held. He follows us when we walk by and is very entertained by his big brother. Ben loves Tayrien and there has been no jealousy issues, just love! When I walk into the room and say something, but don't pick up Tayrien he gets mad at me. He is such a mommas boy! He has started to coo and smile back at me. He has a really deep voice!

Tayrien will sleep for four hour stretches 75% during the night and the other 25% he sleeps longer. I LOVE it! I totally feel like I can handle two kids when I have enough sleep! I am adjusting to the two kids nicely. The only trouble I have is when Ben throws a fit and doesn't listen to me. This has happened maybe twice, so not that rough. Oh and potty training accidents become sticky with two kids.
video

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent calandars

I love advent calendars so it was one of the first decorations I bought for Christmas when I grew up and had kids. I keep seeing all these great ideas for making your own, so I thought I would share my favourites!









Service ideas for calendar HERE

Other ideas for calendar HERE

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Begining of a Beautiful Friendship

I eat, sleep, and breathe creativity.

It is how I define myself as a person.

If I could not create anything....I would die.

It brings me such joy to make things and to share that with people.

I have had such a great response with the tutorials that I have been posting and was thinking that I should share more with the world.

What do you guys think?

What areas would you guys be most interested in?
(example: building with wood, working with yarn, organizing children's keepsakes, sewing)

Eventually I would like to turn it into a full time thing with sponsers and advertisers, but mostly I want to just share my talents with those who can benefit from it.

Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Toy box Tutorial


I have been looking for a way to store toys in our living room in a way that it fit a grown up style, but would hold the day to day toys. I have a system now that consists of five totes that I rotate every week so he has new toys and doesn't get bored. I have just been using the totes in the living room, but I wanted a better look. So I saw this idea and made it my own. I thought I would share my experience with you in case you wanted on too!

I started with these materials.
1 bottom: 16x24 in
2 sides: 16x14 in
6 side rails: 3/4 in thick x 3 1/2 in wide x 24 in long
2 : one foot long pieces of rope
4 coaster wheels
16: bolts with nuts size MS-112 (wal-mart)
hammer
skinny nails
sandpaper
stencil letters
black paint
masking tape
fabric for inside

Step 1

Hammer side pieces to bottom at right angles, setting the side pieces on top of bottom. I used this tote to set the bottom on and leaned the side piece against it and then hammered. You probably want to buy nails appropriate for the thickness of wood you chose. You don't want the nails poking through. I did not use wood glue, but if I had to do it again I would. This just secures the pieces more. You just apply it to the seams before hammering.

Step 2
I attached the first side rail to the bottom first(pictured on the top in this picture) and put two nails in the side and five along the bottom. Then I placed the top slat (bottom of photo) and and put two nails on each end. Then I placed the center slat evenly between the other two and nailed two in each end. Repeat this on the other side!


Step
3
Drill two holes on either side of the crates for the handles. Thread them through and unwind the rope. Staple each thread to the side to secure.

Step 4
Turn the crate over and place coaster wheels about 1 inch from each side so you don't hit the seams you just hammered. Using a drill, drill holes according to holes. Thread bolts through and tighten with nuts. Repeat with remaining wheels. I used a rotating coaster so that you can move it in any direction and not just front to back.


Step 5
This is the decorating part now! I wanted to put some writing on it, because regular shipping crates have that, so I chose our family name. Line up your stencil with the bottom of the slat and lay out the word evenly across. Tape it down one letter at a time. I just lined up the seams of the letters as my guide.

Step
6
Sponge black paint in an up and down motion, like blotting, with not a lot of paint on the sponge. You don't want it to bleed.

Step
7
Next I used the sponge and VERY LITTLE PAINT, blot before you do this, and wipe the slat to age it. Quickly rub off the paint with a rag, paper towel or wipes. When it is dried, take sandpaper and go over slats and words to make them look aged and used.

I had more photos, but camera issues happened and I don't have them for the fabric process. I just made a square bag for the inside that would fold over the top. It is very snug so the boys can't pull it down.