Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Candy Cane Heart Ornament

This is one of the easiest crafts you can every make!!!  Two candy canes, cut out a couple of holly leaves, and get some red berries.  Some hot glue and you're done!  

The leaves are cut out of some craft foam and the "berries" are these super light beads both of which I got at the dollar store.  So, you can make several of these ornaments for about $3.

Easy 2 Ingredient Fudge!

I found this recipe on Pinterest for a 2 ingredient fudge.  It's just 3 cups of chocolate chips and 1 can of evaporated milk.  That's it!  It's delicious!!!  I am making a ton of fudge this year of different types.  Here is my first batch of Candy Cane fudge.

I also did a batch of Crushed Pretzel fudge.  

I packaged them up in these cute little tins from the Dollar Store.  Now I have some great gifts!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Eve Boxes 2014

It's that time of year again!  Time to make up a special gift box for the little ones to open on Christmas Eve!  

I have to say, while this may not be the biggest gift or the one that "Wows" them, it is so much fun to do!  Plus, it's one of the first gifts they will open.  My kids always loved getting this box from my mom.  My mom just did the pajamas, I stepped my boxes up a bit.  

This year we have a new addition and, while he's only 8 months old, he's getting his very first Christmas Eve Box! 

So, let's go over what I put in it this year.

This one if for my 4 year old grandson.  I decided to skip the DVD since they can't really interrupt a Christmas Eve party to watch them and I went with a coloring book instead which is a nice quiet activity that they can do by themselves.  Don't forget to put some crayons in there too!  I put in some hot chocolate and popcorn.  Of course and nice cozy pair of Christmas pajamas is always in the box.

This is the one I did for my 8 month old grandson.  This one was a bit more difficult.  I put in the pajamas, a "Baby's First Christmas" bib, and then I bagged up some of his favorite baby treats in a festive bag.  Next year it will be easier to do one for him.

Then I just put the lids and labels and tie them up with my tulle.  

Stay tuned for my video tutorials on wrapping.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Snowman Tealights

I made the ones  on the top right last year and decided to try them again this year with my grandson. The twist this year was I used glue dots since my 4 year old grandson very much wanted to do it all by himself!!!  Therefore, the hot glue was not going to work!

So we used a tea light, a finger cut off of a glove, a few glue dots, and a Sharpie.  

The one on the far right is the one with the glue dots.  Can you tell the difference?

Really cute!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Pictures

So, you have a "good camera" and you think you can take photos like the ones above.  Maybe you can.  But it's not easy!  I have been working on this for years and I continue to get better at it all the time.  

First things first, you need to learn how to use your camera.  Confession, I still don't know mine well enough despite having taken several classes.  For whatever reason, when there are classes on DSLR cameras, they are almost always on Nikons, not Canons.  I have a Canon.  So I end up taking a class that doesn't apply to my camera.  I did take one really good class, but that isn't really enough.  I am still in need of more training. It's a process.  

Second, you will need a post production program of some type.  I use more than one.  I use Lightroom and Picmonkey.  They each do different things in an easier way for me.  Both are user friendly.  I have a lot of Presets on Lightroom that I either designed myself or bought or got for free.  I like Picmonkey for the airbrushing and other touch up techniques you can use.  Even the babies need these.  I whiten the eyes, add a little color to the eyes, cheeks, etc.  Maybe you need to get rid of some stray hairs, whatever.  

Now we can talk about the set up for the photos.

This prop is probably the cheapest one I have and it is one of the biggest ones both in size and impact.  I saved a large box from UPS and I got 4 rolls of wrapping paper and 2 packs of tissue paper (but only used 1) from the Dollar Tree.  I put a few pillows inside and there you have it!  Baby in a box!!!

Simply putting the boys in matching outfits sets the stage for a good photo.  The fact that it coordinated with the paper on the box also added to the effect.  

The back drop is one continuous run of white fleece I bought a few years ago.  I think it's about 10 yards.  I clipped it up on my frame that holds my back drops.  The snowflakes are from the Dollar Tree.  

Shooting little ones is a lot like herding cats!  It's organized chaos!!  I kept giving instructions and shooting.  "Hug your brother!"  "Peek over his shoulder!"  Stuff like that.  This was something I didn't see until I started post production.  So sweet!  

These are some plastic candy canes I got at Michael's.  They make a nice graphic addition on the white background.  For this shot I was on a step stool.

I hope these tips help you to get professional looking shots of your little (or big) ones.