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MAGAZINE issue three


DIY Gifts & Crafts ● ●

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Crochet Snowflakes by Tanya of Accessodium Rose & Rosemary Solid Shampoo Bars by Ashley Pahl Woodburned Birch Ornaments by Ashley Pahl Tea Dyed Gift Bags by Ashley Pahl DIY Memory Jar by Moriah Macdonald Printable DIY Project Organizer

recipes ● ● ●

Pumpkin Pie Candied Almonds by Ashley Pahl Painted Fondant Sugar Cookies by Ashley Pahl Mini Jammer Pies by Cat Morley

Holiday Fashion & Beauty ●

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4 Holiday Makeup and Fashion Looks with May of La Vie en May DIY Lunar Phase Earrings by Ashley Pahl DIY Knit Headband by Vilma of Yarn Expression

Entertaining & family ● ●

New Year's Eve 2014: Handmade Edition 3 Thanksgiving Conversation Starters by Ashley Pahl Keeping the Magic Alive by Teena Stewart

Buy Handmade: gift guide ● ● ●

Printable Gift Organizer by Ashley Pahl 2014 Handmade Gift Guide Shopping For & Celebrating with Pets by Ashley Pahl 5 Ways to Gift Wrap in a Pinchby Butterfly

Holiday home decor ●

Decorating With Neutrals for the Holidays by Ashley Pahl DIY Honeycomb Ornaments by Krist Soto of Tulips & Zombies

Letter from the editor

▲ That's not snow – it's ice!

I've always depended on the holiday season to save me in a way. No matter how bad a year I've had, or how much stress I experience on a day-to-day basis, I would take comfort in the thought that for one or two weeks at the end of the year, everything would be alright again. Family would get together, mom would make her amazing sugar cookies, and our cares would melt away with a warm fire and a cup of spiked cocoa. Christmas 2013 was to be particularly special for us. It was to be the first Christmas Eve in our own home as our own family of four. Because we used to travel to see family every Christmas, this would be the first time the kids would wake in their own beds on Christmas morning, and come out to see what Santa brought them. Three days before Christmas we woke to find the world had frozen all around us. A nasty storm the night before left every surface coated in ice. Outside the world was silent, but every minute or two a snap and a boom would echo around the neighborhood as trees cracked in two and limbs came crashing to the ground. I was making the morning coffee when a limb from our maple tree came down on our roof and disconnected the electricity line to our house. We might havewaited it out, but with two small children and temperature lows in the teens we headed out to a hotel for the night. It ended up being 10 nights without power. All the preparation I had done for the holidays was for naught. But you know what? We ended up spending the holidays with our families, and created memories that were even more memorable than they might have been otherwise.


This holiday season as you make your plans, make them with care, but be ready to go with the flow when things fall apart. Enjoy every minute of this short, warm, and kind season with the people you love the most. Cheers, Ashley Pahl, editor


Written and photographed by Ashley Pahl

Wood burned ornaments are a very easy and inexpensive way to make a custom keepsake ornament for newlywed couples, growing families, or your best friend. Although it seems like an intimidating process, if you can write, you can woodburn. Here's what you'll need: ● Birch wood (or another wood) slices ● A drill ● A pencil ● A woodburning tool ● Fine or calligraphy woodburning tips ● String or twine of your choice To get started, drill small holes in the front/top area of your wood slice. You can always free-hand your woodburning design with the tool, but beginners may find it easier to lightly pencil in a design first.

Test your tool on the wood to find out how quickly it burns before you start on your design. When you're ready, start tracing your penciled design with the woodburning tool (or go free-hand!). I used a fine point tip attachment. Don't leave the tool in contact with the wood in one spot too long, as the wood can quickly burn and ruin the design. When woodburning is done, finish by working string through hole, and tie to complete!

Sponsor Spotlight: Studio 255

Studio255 is a husband and wife-owned stationery studio specializing in rubber stamps, cards, custom wedding stationery and seasonal holiday cards. What inspires you as designers? Sydney: Making real world practicality lovely. The majority of our product designs actually started out as things that we made for ourselves that we fell in love with. We enjoy using the products that we sell in our day-to-day lives. Mike: Clean lines, excellent layout, and easy to read text. What was your most popular product in 2014? Sydney: Year after year our classic wedding address stamp tops the list. It's incredibly popular with not only brides, but couples who live together but don't share a last name. What would make an excellent gift from Studio 255? Sydney: Our bookplate stamps make excellent little gifts - they are the perfect size to be stocking stuffers for adults and children alike, they make thoughtful hostess gifts, and teachers love them. Mike: Happy. Everything. Cards. They are good for literally all occasions. â?Š Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

DIY: Crochet Snowflakes By Tanya Volkova

The snowflake represents the traditional White Christmas. During this period it is quite popular to make paper or crochet snowflakes. Snowflakes form in a wide variety of intricate shapes, leading to the popular expression that "no two are alike". To make a crochet snowflake you will need a fine cotton yarn and the appropriate crochet hook. More thin and soft yarn you will choose more delicate your snowflake will be. Size of the snowflake will also vary depending on yarn thickness you will choose.

To make the process easier, I created the crochet chart and step by step instructions for you. You can download a copy HERE for easier viewing. I used two colors for this crochet chart to separate the rounds for easy understanding of pattern. Red color represents odd rounds (1st,3rd, 5th), black represents even rounds (2nd, 4th) There are only five rounds in this pattern.

Round 1 (red color on the chart): Ch7, ss in beginning of chain to form a circle Round 2 (black color on the chart): Ch1, * sc in the chain ring, ch10, sc in the chain ring * rep 6 times to form six petals.

All petals connect with sc by inserting the hook inside the ch7 ring: Insert the hook inside the chain ring (see pic.), YO, draw the yarn ( there are two loops on the hook at this point ), YO and draw through the two loops to form sc. Repeat for all six ch10 petals. You will have 6 petal flower at the end of the second round.

Round 3 (red color): Ss one in each of the 4 chains of the petal (to climb up the petal chain). Do it only once in the beginning of the round

Ss in ch10 ring of the petal, ch3 (counts as first tr), 3tr inside of ch10 ring, ch5, 4tr in the same space; * ch1, 4tr in next ch10 ring, ch5, 4tr in the same space * rep 5 times. Ss in the top of ch3 to finish the round.

Round 4 (black color): Ss in next 2 tr of the previous round, (ss in ch5 space, ch3 (counts as a first tr), 4tr, ch3, 3tr, ch8, 3tr, ch3, 5tr) in the same space. Work by inserting the hook in ch5 space from the previous round.

* Sc in next ch1 space, 5rt in next ch5 space, ch3, 3tr in the same space, ch8, 3tr in the same space, ch3, 5tr in the same space * rep 5 times around, sc in last ch1 rem space, ss in the top of ch3 to finish the round.

Round 5 (red color): Ss one in each of the 4 tr of previous round (ss in ch3 space, ch3, tr, ch3, ss) in the same space; ss in next two tr * ss in ch8 space, ch3, tr in the same space, ch3, ss in the same space* rep 5 times in the same ch8 space; ss in next two tr, (ss in ch3 space, ch3, tr, ch3, ss) in the same ch3 space. We have formed only first petal out of 6.

* ss in ten next sts, (ss in the next ch3 space, ch3, tr , ch3, ss) in the same ch3 space, 2ss, * ss in the next ch8 space, ch3, tr in the same space, ch3, ss in the same space* rep 5 times in the same ch8 space; ss in next two tr, (ss in next ch3 space, ch3, tr , ch3, ss) in same ch3 space* rep 5 times*; 5ss. Fasten off, pull the thread through the last loop and secure the yarn. Your snowflake is completed!

Now you need to stiffen your snowflake. You can use either corn or potato starch. Add 3 cups of cold water and ~ ⅓ (little less) cup of starch in an oven-proof container. Mix carefully: starch has to dissolve completely. This amount of mixture will be enough to harden approx. 710 snowflakes. Use one cup of water to 1.5 tbsp of starch for just one snowflake.

Take a bigger pot, fill it with water ⅓ rd of water and bring to boil, then turn the heat to medium. Put a paper towel on the bottom of the pot and place the container with starch inside. Heat for 10-15 minutes, while stirring all the time. The mixture has to become thick and transparent. If you see the mixture getting too thick add some hot water.

When starch is ready dip snowflake(s) into stiffening solution, mix carefully to cover whole snowflake(s) with starch. Leave them to soak for 10-15 minutes, then take them out with spoon and place on a plate, if they are hot wait for a few minutes, then squeeze carefully each snowflake to remove the excess of liquid.

Use big towel, gently pulling each ‘arm’ of the snowflake out into the right position, place your snowflake on the towel and carefully press with a hot iron through dry cotton cloth ( do not press directly on the snowflake! ). Do it only for 30sec - to 1min, to fix the starch. Leave them to dry overnight.

If you use pins to keep your snowflake in position while drying, start from the center and pin each ‘arm’ gently pulling to the side, leave to dry overnight. Press them again, when they are completely dry. When dry, add white thread to hang your snowflakes, or use a pin to pin them directly on the wall.

About the author Tanya Volkova is owner and designer of Accessodium, a knit and crochet shop on Etsy. Originally from Ukraine, Tanya now lives in Maryland with her family as a part-time yoga instructor and creator of handspun wool, fiber accessories, & Instructional patterns


GIFT GUIDE top handmade gift ideas from Etsy and beyond

$10 and Under Fox Brooch Silk Purse Sow's Ear

Travel journal & Gold foil pencil set Happy Dappy Bits

Mini Clothespin Magnets Pretty French Things

Lavender bath salts Lizzy Lane Farm

Mini Soap Variety Sampler Intrepid Soap

$25 and Under Word Hard, Be Kind mug Sarah Moore Shop

Triangles Tea Towel Shapes & Colors Textiles

Bamboo Salad Server Set Designer Dwellings

Personalized Stationery Flat Notes IDesignThat

Saturn Modern Space Archival Print LunaReef

Best Friend Gifts Beaded Boho Bracelet Felt Like Paper

I hope you feel beautiful today Wall art Modern Pink Paper

Mint iPad Mini Envelope Bertie's Closet

Crochet Tub Earrings Vanessa Handmade

Gourmet Hot Chocolate FezziwigsTradingCo

Gifts for Mothers & Sisters

This page: Gauze cropped jacket By NaliniShop Opposite page: Floral iPhone case By JoyMerrymanStore Teal Photo Set By SemiSweetStudios Oxblood Necklace By LyraLyra Floral Ring By TreasureAM Red iPad cover By DutchDaisyDesign Flowering Tea Gift Set By FineFoodSpecialist Ombre Recipe Cards By SummerRaine

Bath & Body

Above: Eucalyptus Mint Vegan Soap from Comfort and Joy Soap Co

Left: French Lavender and Lilac Body Butter from Sugamommy Detoxifying Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask from Ayelet Naturals Dead Writers Perfume Oil from Sweet Tea Apothecary Soap Gift Basket from Tree for Naturals Oat and Honey Facial Polish from Glory Boon

Delicious Gifts Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark KerryCan

Organic Dried Herb Sachet The Kirk Estate

Honey Almond Caramels Bertie's Closet

Candied Ginger Gift Crate Ranch House Rooster

Iced Sugar Squirrel Cookies FezziwigsTradingCo

Hard-to-buy-for Guys Above: Fingerless Gloves from Nothing But String Right: Minimal Leather Wallet from Mr. Lentz Super Duper Spicy Rosemary Nuts from Super Duper Mary Cooper Modern Letterpress Flat Notes from Seaborn Press Beanie Hat in black from Grizzlie Yunomi, 3 mugs no handles from Emburr Oxblood leather necktie from Cyberoptix Coffee mug cozy from Amy C. Lund, Handweaver

Luxury Gifts Vespertina Solid Natural Perfume in Round Compact Illuminated Perfume

Stone Phone Stand Sevenstone

Lux Divine Natural Crystal Wrap Gemstone Bracelet Lux Divine

Pampering Body Care Gift Set Mullein and Sparrow

Retronaut Brass Desk Lamp Dylan Grey

Don't forget the stockings

Stuff the stockings with something different this year! These seven alternatives to the common drugstore picks are sure to delight even those with particular tastes. Start with the stockings (below): this set of three felt stockings from Modern Classic Designs will compliment any fireplace style. Beautiful! Opposite page: Name Crayons from KagesKrayons | Wish Bracelet from VerseShop | Gift Favor Set from BotanicalBars | Scrooge Coal Soap from TheCharmingFrog | Nail polish in Silver Bells from Lillian Eve | Pretty Little Pouch from CandiedCottons | Geometric Moleskine Journal from SouthernCrossStudio

Trim the Tree By Ashley Pahl

Each year, we take out a box of ornaments, and trim the tree with little memories. Ornaments make a

Porcelain and Gold Leaf Feather Ornament By Redraven Studios

wonderful keepsake gift –one thatprovides tradition and leaves a lasting legacy that can pass from one generation to the next. Handmade ornaments, such as my top six picks featured here, are favored for their inherently unique nature, and attention to detail.

Rustic Scandinavian Style Fabric Ornaments by Sew Celebrate

Ribbed Bell Ornament By Pigeon Toe Ceramics

Personalized ornament by MRC Wood Products

Decoupage ornaments By Dabbling Delights

Feather Pine Cone Ornament By The Flirty Feather

Sponsor Spotlight: Romeo's Factory

Tell us a bit about Romeo's Factory: I've started Romeo's Factory because I had a hard time findings jewelry I liked. I believe my style reflects in the jewelry I create. I love unique and colorful things as well as very dark tones. I also do differents kinds of upcycled jewelry or decorations. Romeo's Factory style is young, colorful and dark at the same time, with a touch of edgy! Which design is most enjoyable for you to make? I absolutely love working with brass and stones! Any designs with that material are my favorite to do! When I start design one, I can draw a collection very easily. I am very inspired by brass, geometry and any stones. What has been the best seller at Romeo's Factory in 2014? I don't really have a best seller, I usually don't reproduce an item more than 5x.

Which item from Romeo's Factory would make a great gift? I particularly like my bohemian purple crystal stones spikes nec , it would make a great gift! It can also be customized by using different stones, spikes and chains. It is a beautiful bold piece of jewelry to wear with a lot of different styles. â?Š Etsy | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

DIY: Rose-y Rosemary Shampoo Bars

By Ashley Pahl Solid shampoo bars are an interesting alternative to gift-giving handmade soaps. They're unexpected, very useful, and can be customized to fit the tastes of each individual.

What you'll need: ● Solid shampoo melt and pour base - this one is from Stephenson Personal Care ● 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary ● ¼ cup dried organic rose petals ● A microwave-safe bowl ● A rubber or silicone spatula ● Soap molds- I used a mini muffin non-stick tin to get this shape ● Optional: a coffee grinder or small food processor

Start with 8 ounces of solid shampoo base (half a 1 lb package). Cut into smaller, cubed chunks. Prepare your rosemary. Grind about 1 tablespoon

rosemary into a fine powder. Leave 1-2 tablespoons of rosemary leaves intact. You may rip your rose petals into smaller pieces, if you wish.

Microwave your shampoo base in 30 powder, dried rosemary, and rose second intervals until it is completely petals. Stir to incorporate, and melted, stirring well each time. Once pour into soap molds. it is melted, add the rosemary

Tip: lightly spray soap with rubbing alcohol after you pour it into the mold to get rid of the air bubbles. Bubbles are a cosmetic issue, so doing this is optional. You can also sprinle a few rose petals to the exposed melted mixture before it solidifies, just to pretty it up a bit. Let sit for 2-3 hours, until the soap is completely solidified, and packaged as soon as possible. If you used a muffin tin like I did, you can pop the tray in the freezer for ~10 minutes, which can help the soaps come out of the tray. Tip: use tea-dyed cloth bags to package these lovely soaps, or wrap in kraft packaging paper!

DIY: Tea-Dyed Gift Bags By Ashley Pahl

Spruce up your average muslin cloth bags with a little color! Tea dying is an old technique, but easy to do. Different types of teas will produce different results. Green teas will make lightly stained bags, while fruity teas, like my blueberry and cherry teas, will create lovely shades of reds, pinks, and purples.

Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, and add 3-5 tea bags, steeping for a minute or two. Remove from heat, and immediately add muslin cloth bags. Allow the bags to soak for 20-30 minutes. Remove, then dry. Tip: Leave the top part of the bag out of the tea for a dip-dyed effect!

Sponsor Spotlight: Kreativ Case What's new with Kreativ Case in 2014? 2014 has been a very exciting year for Kreativ Case! After last year's holiday season, the store really picked up and I have been a busy bee. I have created a lot of new designs this year. We have also moved our shop off of and onto our own website which I am very excited about. What has been the best seller so far this year? Surprisingly our best seller this year has been a pretty simple case. It has a thick mint stripe with lots of thin gold stripes underneath and is monogrammed with the customer's initials. Mint is a big color this year! Which case from Kreativ Case would make a great holiday gift? Any of the personalized cases would be the best holiday gift. When you personalize a gift for someone, they know that you took a little extra time and a little extra effort with their gift, and they appreciate it. Our personalized phone cases are great way to get a custom gift for someone without breaking the bank! What trends are you predicting for phone cases in 2015? I see patterns continuing to be a trend in 2015 along with popular colors like mint, coral, and gold. â?Š Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Whether you're following a wishlist, shopping Small Business Saturday, or taking the handmade pledge, these two free, printable worksheets will help you keep your gift-giving in order. The Holiday Gift Organizer helps you track your recipients, budget, what you want to give them, and whether or not you purchased and wrapped it. The Holiday DIY Organizer allows you to sort each project by the supplies and ingredients you'll need. Click here to download yours!

Holiday Fashion & Beauty With fashion & beauty blogger May of La Vie en May

Classic Black Dress Look Black never goes out of style. It’s a timeless color that’s always chic and fashionable. Plus, it's slimming qualities don’t hurt either!

For this look, I suggest a bold pink lip and soft eyes. It’s all about the pinks this year. Don’t be afraid to make it pop!

Products used: em waterliner in ‘chocolate dream’ & ‘bronze kiss’, E. Mott Smooth Shadow in ‘pearl’, and Urban Decay Glide-On Lip Pencil in ‘Adrenaline.’

Red Dress Look Red is an iconic color for the holidays and it looks fabulous on anyone. Stand out with a bright red or tone it down with a darker hue. A red dress goes well with neutral tones. To complement the dress, wear a muted, dark red lip. The palette shown is the em cosmetics Day Life Palette.

The Monochrome Look Who says you always need to wear a dress to a holiday party? Pants can look just as sexy and stylish. Personally, I love a white & black combo. It’s best when combined with a bold red lip and gold glitter liner! Products used: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in ‘F-Bomb’, em cosmetics Chiaroscuro stick in ‘Light’, em waterliner in ‘black night’ & ‘chocolate dream’, UD Glitter Liner in ‘Midnight Cowboy’.

Ugly Sweater Look

It’s not a holiday party without an ugly sweater! It’s a tradition in my family. Keep your makeup simple and muted. You want your sweater to do the talking! Products used: em cosmetics shade play cheek palette in ‘blush a bye pink,’ C3 Warm White Highlighter, em waterliner in ‘bronze kiss’ & ‘chocolate dream’, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in ‘Lovelight.’ About May May is a fashion, beauty & DIY blogger from New Jersey who loves sharing her passion for style, makeup, nail art and all things beautiful. In her spare time, she loves reading, drinking coffee and exploring new places. Facebook | G+ | Twitter Instagram | Pinterest | Blog

Sponsor Spotlight: Davis Main Tell us a bit about Davis Main. Davis Main is an online bath and body shop specializing in small batch handmade soaps, perfumes, lip balms, and luxurious body creams and oils. What inspires you most in your work? My inspiration comes from the things I smell everyday. I absolutely love tea. Whenever I'm drinking a new tea that smells amazing, I wonder if it will translate into a fragrance. What is your favorite product in shop? My favorite has to be the body oils. They are new to the shop, but I've used this recipe for a good while now, and I love that I can keep my skin moisturized and scented all in one go. What is the most popular scent at Davis Main? The most popular scent, hands down, is Earl Grey! Which item from Davis Main would make a great stocking stuffer? The Coffee & Tea Mini Soap Sampler makes a great stocking stuffer. â?Š Facebook | Instagram

DIY: Knit Headband

By Vilma of Yarn Expression Cable knitting is always in fashion! It can be a perfect Christmas gift for young and old. What will you need? ● This printable knitting pattern PDF chart. Click here to download ● Medium thick yarn, such as fisherman wool, Wool-Easy , acrylic or whatever you choose: You’ll need less than half of the regular new skein of 197 yards . You can use leftover yarn from other projects. ● Knitting needles: you can choose needle size according to yarn nstructions, however I prefer smaller size needles – that way headband holds its shape better. ● Stitch holders come in different shapes, and you also can use double pointed needle if you don’t have a stitch holder. ● Needles for seaming knits: These needles are bigger and ball pointed.

The inspiration for this headband came from looking at chains and modifying cable. What will you need to know? ● How to cast on stitches: you will need to cast 26 stitches for this project. If you don’t know how to cast, you can find instructions on ● Knit stitch/ stockinet stitch: Knit right side, purl wrong side ● Purl/ reverse stockinet stitch: Purl right side, knit wrong side ● Cable/cross stitches

A. Slip three stitches to cable needle and hold to front of work, purl three, then knit three from cable needle. (involves 6 stitches).

B. Slip three stitches to cable needle and hold to front of work, knit three, then knit three from cable needle. (Involves 6 stitches).

C. Slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in front of work, purl 1, then knit 3 stitches from cable (involves 4 stitches)

D. Slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in back of work, knit 3 stitches, then purl 1 from cable (involves 4 stitches)

E. Binding off or other method you choose. If you don’t know how to finish, you can find instructions on

F. Seam both edges together and make sure that stitches on both ends match.

About the author

Hi, my name is Vilma. I learned knitting in fourth grade. After losing my corporate job, I used knitting to relax and calm my nerves down until it turned it into my biggest passion. I strive to produce simple, cost efficient, utility driven, but stylish items. Sharing my ideas with others brings me joy and satisfaction. I hope that you like my items and will find it easy to complete.I also just opened my Yarn Expression store on Etsy. You’re very welcome to visit and contact me if you have any questions or requests.

DIY: Lunar Phase Earrings By Ashley Pahl

It's hard to believe these gorgeous, gold “dipped” moon earrings are so easy to make! I'm giving these away as a gift to family member, but they would be a gorgeous project for your holiday party outfit. All you need is: ● White polymer clay ● Liquid gold leaf ● Thin painter's craft tape, or washi tape ● A strong adhesive glue that can stick to metal ● Blank earring posts of your choice ● A clay rolling pin or flat-bottomed glass ● A small, round fondant or clay cutter ● Cutting board ● Baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper Begin by rolling a piece of clay into a ball, and using a flatbottomed glass or rolling pin to press it flay. The flat disc should be 1/4” thick.

Use your round cutter to create two perfect circles. Decide on the phases of the moon you want to portray. I chose a third quarter (half moon) and a waning crescent moon. Place clay moons in an oven pre-heated to

the temperature stated on your brand of clay's package, and bake as recommended. When cool, place tape across middle of moon, and paint gold foil on one half. Let dry completely.

When dry, place a small dot of glue Allow to dry completely before on each earring post, and press into wrapping. Enjoy! back of moon. I placed my earring posts on the top third of each moon.

Sponsor Spotlight: Accessodium What inspired you to start Accessodium? My friends and my family inspired me to open my shop. Every time I was knitting or crocheting my friends told me, it is so beautiful, you have to sell it, open a business or sell online. Which product do you most enjoy making? Actual I like to spin yarn. It is very expensive to buy a really good fiber and spin a really good yarn, it takes a lot of time, but it is a lot of fun too. So, I enjoy to knit and crochet from hand spun yarn, and I have some items in my shop made from handspun yarn. Which product was most popular in 2014? I think it was chunky pom pom beanies in white color, they are really cute. The idea came like lightning, and in few hours I saw it with my own eyes. I like this magic of creation! Later I wrote pattern for this hat. What item would make a great holiday gift? Leg ankle warmers with deer ornament would be a great holiday gifts for a women. With this traditional seasonal motif symbol used around the Christmas period. â?Š Pinterest | Facebook

Gift Wrap In a Pinch By Butterfly Looking for creative ways to wrap presents this year? Or, perhaps you're in a pinch and need a quick gift wrap solution? Here are 5 easy ideas that anyone can do! 1. Tissue Box: Don't throw out old tissue boxes: reuse them! Remove the plastic and sanitize with Lysol or the equivalent. Pop your present in and add some tissue paper to the top. 2. Don't have decorative boxes in the right size? Take an old shipping box and cover it in pretty paint. Add a bow and you're good to go! 3. Out of tissue paper? Use tulle instead! It gives packages a very floaty, pretty feel! 4. Don't throw away your fabric scraps! You can use tail ends of fabric to wrap up smaller gifts into cute little bundles. 5. Wrap small stocking stuffers in ribbon; add cute accents like beads,a contrasting thinner ribbon, or twine. Butterfly has been creating for as long as she can remember. Starting with doll dresses and crocheting scarves at a young age, Butterfly now enjoys sewing clothing for herself as well as finding creative ways to reuse items..Cosplayer & DIYer, Butterfly has a blog, Twitter, and Facebook she updates with her crafts, outfits, and other creations.

What Are You Thankful For? By Ashley Pahl

Here are three ways to create conversation at the Thanksgiving table - or any other family gathering- this holiday season. To begin: give everyone at the table a flat note and envelope, asking them to write down what they're most thankful for. While it may be tempting to write down the usual (a good job, a warm home, food on the table), encourage guests to be more specific with their answers. 1. Year-by-year: Seal the envelopes, label them, and return them to the original authors a year later. Every year, read last year's responses. 2. Collect everyone's responses, and keep them in a family photo album. Bring the album out every year, and include pictures if possible. 3. Make a game out of it: Have guests place their responses in blank envelopes, returning to the host. The host will read the responses, and the guests will take turns guessing who is most thankful for what.

Flat notes work best for this family activity. Get a new set of flat notes each year, like this handmade set of 8 Christmas Owl flat notes by SparrowFalls Designs. Opposite page: “So Thankful� paper cut card by Ashley Pahl on Etsy.

Sponsor Spotlight: Sylvia Stremming Designs

Tell us a bit about Sylvia Stremming Designs: Sylvia Stremming Designs (formerly {via}vacious Designs) is a stationery shop that wholeheartedly celebrates all of life's beautiful occasions with pretty paper designs and unique handmade gifts. I strive to find something to celebrate everyday and want to help others do the same. If you don't find what you're looking for, I love custom orders! What types of products will Sylvia Stremming Designs be offering in 2015? Sylvia Stremming Designs will be offering printed invitations, and digital files will also be available in the shop if you prefer to print yourself. A line of handmade gifts and entertainment items such as personalized wine glasses, travel cups, and notepads will be added so you don't have to wait for a special occasion to visit the online shop. Which product are you most excited about? It might just be the new personalized wine tumblers. You can find one in my office right now! Any design trends you predict for 2015? Personalization is a classic trend that is here to stay - a monogram is a girl's best friend! Also, gold foil is here for a while. You can expect to see more rose gold and bronze foil, too. â?Š Etsy | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Holiday Home Decor: go neutral

Burlap and Antique Door Wreath By Wild Ridge Design

Is bold color not your cup of tea? Do you prefer holiday decorations that compliment your current home décor? There are plenty of options out there! These are my top handmade picks in neutral brown and modern black. Below: Polish Porcupine Ball Ornament by kissadesign | Pine Cone Pillow Cover by CrystalGaylePhoto | Damask Velvet Christmas Stocking by MeredithRosePetal | Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree by Peachwik Reclaimed Wood Art by BooneCreekLoft

© kissa design

Black Ball for Christmas Tree by submicrocosm Geometric Wood Candle Holders by FactoryTwentyOne

Let It Snow pillow by BellaBellaShoppe

Vintage and burlap wall dĂŠcor by BluffPointFolkArt

Black Christmas Wreath by WreathsByRebeccaB

Sponsor Spotlight: Everybody Loves Pineapples

Where did the name Everybody Loves Pineapples come from? Over the years, I have come to realize that artists selling products are very serious about trends. Following trends has never been the way that I create or design. I create what I love and hope that people enjoy it. If it happens to be on trend, that's a bonus. 2014 was the summer of the pineapple. Blogs were featuring pineapples, the front page of Etsy was filled with them and just about every shop that I visited had a new pineapple product. I found myself fascinated by the thought of it, and quite frankly, a little cracked up. So, my blog name is a bit of a parody on trends. I just couldn't resist. What do you enjoy the most about blogging? I have blogged before, but I love blogging with the intent of simply sharing what I enjoy. In the past, I have only blogged about my work - which is fun, but I am more than just what I create. I actually find what inspires me to keep creating more interesting. It is my goal to share creative people, happy spaces and unique styles with my readers. I want to encourage them to surround themselves with people and things that make them happy and keep them positive. If you could pick 3 words to describe Everybody Loves Pineapples, what would they be? Happy, Creative, Life What will we see more of on Everybody Loves Pineapples in 2015? My plans for 2015 are to continue to focus on encouraging my readers to work creativity into their lives. It is important to me that people find ways to free their spirit. Whatever makes them happy. â?Š Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

DIY: Honeycomb Ornaments Whether you're just starting out with your first tree, or you want to add a little something new to your traditional Christmas tree, these 100% custom, fabric honeycomb ornaments are the perfect way to make your tree your own. Choose beautiful fabrics in coordinating colors and pattens to create a set that is pretty enough to give, and very tempting to keep for your own! Designer Kristi Soto takes us through the step-by-step process of sewing your own honeycomb ornaments, from start to finish.

Materials: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

1⁄4 yard of fabric sewing machine 8 inches of ribbon scissors iron hot glue gun pen or fabric marker wide mouthed jar pins

Directions: Place right sides of fabric together. You may choose to use the same fabric and just fold it together. I’ve used two different patterns just to give it a little funky twist. Whichever you choose, just make sure the printed sides are together before you begin.

1. Place pins around the edge of fabric so it doesn’t shift while you are working with it. This is especially useful if you are using two different cuts of fabric.

2. Use the mouth of the jar to draw nine circles. Keep at least half an inch between the circles for cutting them out in the next steps.

3. Sew directly on the circles you’ve just drawn.

4. Cut your circles out just outside of where you’ve sewn. Careful not to cut your lines.

5. Cut an incision in the middle of your circle. This should be wide enough to turn your circles inside out. Only cut through one layer of fabric.

6. Turn your circles inside out. You should now be able to see the right sides of the fabric.

7. Press circles with an iron to smooth them out.

8. Use the hot glue gun to attach the ribbon to one of the circles.This will be the center circle in your ornament.

9. Take one of the other circles and draw a line of glue down the center and place it on top of your main center circle.

10. Repeat this three more times.

11. Flip over your ornament and glue the remaining circles to your finished product.

12. Your ornament should look similar to this by this step.

13. Now we will start creating the honeycomb look of the ornament. To do that, first take the top layer, fold it in half and place a dab of glue in the center of that edge.

14. Now take the next layer and place a dab of glue between the middle and the top.

15. Do the same to the other side on this layer. Repeat these steps around the ornament, alternating between the center and outsides. You should start to see the honeycomb taking shape.

16. Voila! You now have a unique and beautiful tree ornament!

â?Š Kristi Soto is owner

and designer at Tulips & Zombies on Etsy, a handmade fabric headband shop. You can also connect with Kristi on Instagram and Twitter.

Home for the Holidays: Keeping the Magic Alive

By Teena Stewart Spicy aromas waft through the house carrying memories of holidays past, and expectations for the present and future. We wait all year for this season believing the celebration should be "magic." But pressures we put on ourselves to create something special can keep us from enjoying the season. Here are some suggestions for making your holiday season more enjoyable. Don't let extended family pressures squelch your joy. Extended family members can pressure us to commit to rushing from one set of relatives to another. Somewhere in the process, the joy of celebration gets squashed. Reduce this pressure by setting boundaries. Explain to relatives that your own family time is important. Tell them when and how long you’ll be available. They may protest, but will eventually learn to respect your decision.

Start your own traditions. The first weekend after Thanksgiving we set up our Christmas tree, a tradition we began as newlyweds. Decorating took our minds off separation from extended family. A few years back we dropped a longstanding tradition of making Moravian Molasses Cookies. I fondly remember my grandmother's glass cookie jar filled with these aromatic rolled cookies. They were cut out, and backbreaking to make, but were my favorites. One year I was surprised to learn my children didn't really like them. It was painful to give up making them because of the memories they held, but we have developed our own favorite cookie recipes. Traditions should be maintained because you enjoy them not because you’re obligated to keep them alive. Accept differences in family members. I come from a family of five. When our clan gathers it’s boisterous and intimidating to quiet outsiders.

Make efforts to accommodate them. Embrace their uniqueness, include them in activities without criticizing differences. Expect plan deviations. During one family visit my children got a stomach virus. As I wearily traveled from one sickbed to another, I battled angry "this is not supposed to happen on vacation," feelings, focused on the immediate situation. By morning, the ordeal was over. I crossed ice skating off our day's list of planned activities and adopted a "wait and see attitude." By evening, everyone felt well enough to attend a movie. Stuff happens, even during the holidays and the more flexible we are the less ruffled we'll be when changes occur. Participate in a gift exchange. It became more and more of a financial burden for our extended families to buy gifts for each other. Finally, one-year, family members agreed to draw names. Though the name exchange was reluctantly implemented, participating family members agree that the system has made holiday shopping much more bearable and enjoyable.

Shorten your list of things to do. The more magic we try to breathe into our holiday season the longer our list of obligations grows. Ask yourself if something is absolutely necessary before adding it to your list. Can someone else do it? What will happen if you don't do it? Keep the real reason for the season in mind. In the hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget why we celebrate. It's not about things or perfection. It's about peace and love. Don't forget to celebrate this special gift and in the process "celebrate" those with whom you gather. About the Author

Teena Stewart, the artist/author behind Serendipitini, is an avid recycler who incorporates creative reuse into many of her handmade gifts. A graphic design major with a concentration in writing, she has three handmade shops: Gifts for pet lovers; recycled glass gifts; and mixed media art. â?Š Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

20% off any order $12+ 11/11/14 – 2/28/15 Use promo code SNOWEDIN2014


Holidays | Birthdays Valentines | Congratulations

Sponsor Spotlight: barnwood4u What inspires you most in your designs? The natural wood and character is what inspires me the most. Someone recently described my style as very rustic, that is probably very apt. Probably due to my wife's influence as she is also very rustic. What's new with Barnwood4U in 2014? My favorite new item is the 3" thick wood shelves. Just beautiful wood. What was your best seller this year? Frames continue to the best seller. Lots of wonderful fine art photo artists on Etsy that people need frames for. Which item would make a great holiday gift? I am going to say the best holiday gift would be one of my frames with a photo of the kids for the grandparents. What trends in woodworking do you see for 2015? I see natural wood as trending in 2015. Away from paints and varnishes, letting the natural beauty of the wood come through. â?Š Pinterest | Google + â?Š Wanelo | Facebook

DIY: Memory Jar

By Moriah Macdonald of Fuzzy Slippers Designs

It is so easy to get caught up in all the things that seem to go wrong each day throughout the year. This memory Jar is an easy way to record all the happy moments that get forgotten! My family and I have been filling a Memory Jar for a few years now. Each Sunday night we each write the date (we usually only write the month) on one or two circles and then on each circle we write one special something that made us happy during the week. The memories of the week aren’t always “big”. Some are just something simple such as seeing a beautiful snowfal, or actually eating dinner together at the table. On New Year’s Eve we dump the jar and begin reading the memories. We are reminded of all the smiles from the last 365 days. It is a beautiful way to say good-bye to the current year and get excited about what the year-to-be will bring.

Materials ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

A small glass jar with a somewhat large opening and a lid (a jelly jar or old salsa jar works fine) Scissors Double-sided tape Liquid glue 3-5 different pattern papers (I used 12x12 inch scrapbook paper) Several sheets of Kraft cardstock Assorted ribbon and tiny embellishments 3 inch circle punch Finepoint marker Rubber band Optional: Washi tape in coordinating color(s), 2 inch circle punch, alphabet stickers, paint

1. Cut one 3 inch circle from the Kraft cardstock (if you are like me, cut a couple extra just in case of an oops!). Set aside. From the remaining Kraft cardstock, cut 2 inch circles. You will need at least 52 for each person in the family. 2. Handwrite “Our Memory Jar” on your 3 inch circle. I encourage you to handwrite because this is about your personal memories. Your own handwriting is another piece that makes this personal. If you are giving this as a gift, and would rather not handwrite, you can always use some of the very nice & high quality alphabet stickers available at hobby stores, or print out the sentiment from the computer. 3. Depending on the size of your jar, cut a strip of pattern paper about 1 inch wide. This will be the band around your jar. To adhere it to the jar, apply double-stick tape to the jar and slowly wrap the paper around the jar. 4. Pick some embellishments to “bling up” your jar. A red banner was cut from scrapbook paper. Adhere everything with double-stick tape. I went a little extra blingy and added some flowers to the back just for fun. Remember this is your jar, give it as much bling as you like! *Tip for cutting banners- Make a small cut in the middle of the papers edge. From each corner cut towards the middle of the first cut. You’ll get even points on your banner this way. Wrap ribbons around the jar and tie a bow. Adhere 3 inch circle from Step One to top of lid with double-stick tape. Rubber band your 2 inch circles and put them in your jar so you don’t lose them. Each week you can pull a couple from the pile for each person in your family. This way the rubber banded blank circles won’t get mixed with your already completed circles. About the author: Moriah is owner and paper crafter extraordinaire at Fuzzy Slippers Designs on Etsy, as well as the writer behind the blog of the same name. ⏩ Bloglovin | Pinterest | Twitter

NYE 2014

Ring in the new year with a party full of handmade touches! ●

Pick a theme: my example is a party full of teal and gold handmade decorations. This page: Honeycomb Ball with Fringe by Paper Fox LA Opposite: Glitter Banner by PomJoyFun Triangle Confetti by AshleyPahl Send out invitations, and ask for RSVPs: This is one night of the year that people may have a lot party options. Know how many will attend your party so you know how much food and drink you'll need. Opposite page: New Year's Eve Party Invitation by LaLunaDesigns Gold Cocktail Rimming Sugar by DellCoveSpices (photo by Selena Vallejo Photography/Dell Cove Spice Co.) Set the mood: New Year's Eve is at the start of winter – warm the room up with plenty of candlelight. Opposite page: Caramel and Chocolate tea lights by MoodyWicks

Celebrating with Pets By Ashley Pahl May your days be hairy and bright...

For pet owners, our furry companions are as much a part of the family as the humans are. How we can ensure our pets enjoy this busy season? And more importantly, how can we keep them safe? I talked to 8 Etsy shop owners who specialize in items for pets or their people – here's what they had to say.

Karen of Handmade Mary Ellen says, “"A special ornament on your tree is a fun way to include your pets in your holiday celebration and will be a cherished heirloom for many years to come!"

Jodie of Curly Girl Crochet says, “Include your pets in your celebrations!” New toys like this Tumbleweed Catnip Ball will help keep your pet active and interested in their environment.

Ali from Six Tails says, “ I Danielle & Jason of like to take time out from Squishies say, “It can be a the hectic holidays to very stressful time for RELAX at home with the pets, especially if you pets. It's a chaotic season have lot of visitors. It for them so I usually make helps to provide your pets a batch of their favorite pet a safe space to escape to, treats and spoil them a if they are feeling stressed little!” or uncomfortable.

Graceof Prints by Grace says, “Be careful during cold weather. Pets might have furry coats but they still get cold! Ensure dogs are okay before and after walks. For cats, make sure there isn't one snuggled on your tires before starting your car, as they tend to find warm areas to sleep on!”

Michele Maule says, “be aware of tinsel. Cats, more than dogs, can find tinsel very appealing to play with and eat. If ingested, it can cause serious damage and your pet will most likely need to have it surgically removed. No fun for you, or your pet friend.

Kara of Whimsical Woof says, “Include your pets in your festivities! They're part of your family, too!”Give them a gift to “open”, like this soft tug toy, which you can play with together.

Jim of Out of the Woods USA says, “After walking your dog in the snow and ice, inspect in between their toes for ice balls and/ice melt crystals. Both can hurt them.”

Recipe: Painted Sugar Cookies by Ashley Pahl

Painting fondant cakes is a growing trend, but is often overlooked when it comes to decorating sugar cookies. While it can be fun to frost pretty pictures with buttercream, painting fondant allows you to add fine detail, and stacks and stores easily as well. Ingredients* 2 sticks unsalted butter – softened ¼ c. milk 1 tsp. vanilla 3 eggs 2 cups sugar 4 cups flour *This recipe creates a flatter, denser (but still moist) sugar cookie. For a lighter, flufflier cookie, add 2 tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. baking soda to this recipe.

You'll also need: white fondant; gel food coloring; clear flavored extract (vanilla or almond) white chocolate OR premade buttercream frosting; Circle cookie or fondant cutters; paint brush; small dish. Preheat oven to 350' F. Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, followed by milk, stirring well. Add dry ingredients. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour before rolling and cutting cookies. For fluffier cookies, refrigerate dough overnight. Remove dough from refrigerator, and roll out onto floured surface. If you want thick and fluffy cookies, roll the dough to about 1/4" to 1/3"; if you want crispier cookies, roll it thinner. Use your circle cutter to cut the cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes depending on your oven and what you are cooking them on. Let cool before decorating. While dough is resting or cookies are baking, roll out your fondant. I use a sheet of wax paper dusted with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Roll the fondant to .125” to .25”, depending on how thick you want it. Use your circle cutter to cut the fondant. Arrange the fondant on cookie sheet to dry a bit while the cookies are baking and cooling. You may paint your fondant before or after securing the fondant to the cookie. To paint first, add a pinhead-sized amount of gel food coloring to a small dish. For a darker shade of color, add a little clear extract; for a lighter shade, add more. Play with the coloring a bit until you have the shade of “paint” you want. Use a nylon paint brush to paint your design on to the fondant. After the paint is dry, adhere the fondant to the sugar cookie with a light spreading of buttercream frosting, or a dab of melted chocolate (before it has hardened again on the cookie). Alternatively, you may attach the fondant with these methods before painting. These cookies will last about a week in an airtight container at room temperature, and longer if you freeze them.

Holidays by the Numbers The holidays are marked by special treats, sounds, and sights that only come once per year. Everyone has their favorites, but which holiday traditions are most popular? I asked readers of to put it to a vote. Here are their responses:

What is your favorite holiday treat?

Winner: Sugar cookies with 29% of votes! Reader Pien W. said, “The traditional holiday treats in my family were marzipan made to look like fruit, and "banketstaaf" a roll of feuilleton dough filled with what we called almond spice. These are still my favorites.” Reader A.C. said, “mince pies :)”

What was your favorite holiday TV special as a child?

Winner: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with 30%!

What is your favorite holiday movie?

Winners: White Christmas & Love Actually with 12% each

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Candied Almonds By Ashley Pahl Ingredients 8 ounces almonds 1 egg white, beaten Âź cup brown sugar 2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or any combination of ginger, allspice, nutmeg, or cloves In a large bowl, mix egg white and almonds together, until thoroughly coated. In a smaller bowl, mix spices. If your larger bowl has a lid, you can add the spices to the mixing bowl, secure the lid, and shake; otherwise, place eggcoated almonds and spices in a freezer bag, and shake until it's mixed evenly. Place almonds on a greased baking pan in a single layer. Bake at 300'F for 40 minutes, gently stirring halfway through. Let cool, and store in an airtight container for a week.

Recipe: Savory Mini Pies

By Cat Morley of Cut Out and Keep

Note from the editor: a popular British sweet biscuit, Jammy Dodgers are made with a shortbread base and traditionally, raspberry jam filling (source). These are savoury, Jammy Dodger-inspired pies with goats cheese & red onion chutney. I was trying to think up a cute recipe for a picnic when I had the idea for these. They look just as cute as the cookies and are super simple to make.

Ingredients ●

Preheat oven to 200'C (400'F). Roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin and cut two circles with a circle cookie cutter.

400 g (14 oz) Shortcrust Pastry 125 g (4.5 oz) Goats Cheese 100 g (3.5 oz) Red onion Chutney

Cut a heart out of the middle of one of the pastry circles with a mini heart cutter.

Spread the other pastry circle with goats cheese and top with red onion chutney.

Place the heart cut pastry circle on top and use a fork to press around the edges of the pie. Repeat for the remaining pies. Bake in an oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and then serve! About the author Cat Morley is known for her sites Cut Out + Keep and Snippets Zine; her crafty-superhero, Crafterella. She also plays a purple guitar, a heart-shaped bass, and collects squished pennies while traveling the world.

Visit She Makes a Home Today! Or keep in touch on Pinterest| Facebook Bloglovin'

Snowed in magazine 2014