I wanted to do something similar, though a little more traditional for my family. (I apologize for the so-so photos - I was trying to do this quickly before I had to wrap them up, and I didn't have much time).
I used parts of Beth's instructions and just kind of winged the rest. I did search a bit for tutorials, but most of them dealt with how to create a silhouette in photoshop. Since this wasn't what I was looking to do, I just followed Beth's tutorial and improvised the rest.
Since I was making silhouettes of three kids, I wanted to include each child's initials, as well as the year. I tried a bunch of different methods - and was becoming very frustrated with the results - (stamping, stenciling, transfers, stickers, etc.) before finally giving embossing a try. It was so easy - and I really love the look of embossing.
Once I figured out my method, this was actually quite a simple project.
If there's any interest in a tutorial, let me know - I'll be happy to put one together. After all, I still have to create one of these for our home.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the result. And hopefully, we'll have a few very happy grandmothers.
We both had so much fun with this. My favorite part was that Thea could actually spin the disk and squeeze the paint all by herself. I'm pretty sure that was her favorite part too. (As a side note, I didn't experience the problems stated in the reviews. Our spinner worked just fine, and while the box does get a little soggy, the paint didn't really last that long. These may have been bigger issues for an older kid, but it worked out pretty well for my pre-schooler's somewhat limited attention span. And I never really expected this to be a long-lasting toy/art tool, though I may try to come up with another type of box to make it work after this one is done).
I'm a little bit embarassed to admit this, but when our paint ran out, I knew we should be able to refill the little paint tubes, but, since there was no screw top, I wasn't exactly sure how. It took me a little bit to figure it out. Again, I'm sure this is a no-brainer for most, but I thought I'd share how I did it. I hope you at least get a little laugh.
I started with tempera paint and an empty cup. This is actually the top for my laundry detergent.
I used about a teaspoon of paint.
And added about a tablespoon of water.
Stir well (I used the paint tube).
Mine ended up fairly watery - maybe a tad thicker than the original paint.
Squeeze out the air from the tube and put the tip into the paint. Release, the pressure, which will allow the tube to suck up paint. My tube only filled up about 1/3 of the way. Turn the tube so that the tip points up, and slowly squeeze out the air. Insert the tip of the tube into the paint and then release again. Repeat until your tube is filled.
And you're done.
I know, I know, so easy! I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner. :)
Before we move too far away from this Christmas season, I wanted to make a few notes about how I packaged and wrapped our gifts - mostly so that I remember for next year.
For most of our gifts, I used recycled paper bags that my mother and step-father saved for me. One of our local grocery stores had festive holiday bags covered with bright red ornaments. I used packing tape (I learned last year that regular tape doesn't stick very well.) For some of the gifts, I used plain brown paper bags and brown craft paper that I also use to wrap up books I sell online.
I wrapped each package several times with red and white baker's twine (pictured above). I purchased a large spool of it a couple years ago, and I use it for all kinds of projects. For tags, I punched circles of holiday cardstock left over from another project.
I made quite a bit of vegan caramel corn, and packaged it up in mason jars with festive ribbons and tags.
I also made a big batch of peppermint bark, and wrapped it up in handmade paper boxes.
Our holiday was wonderful and exhausting and snowy, and it couldn't have been better. Mostly, I am grateful to have had so many days at home together as a family. And, I am so thankful that we figured out how to do face-time on our iphones so that we could feel a little closer to my brother and his family, who spent the holiday at their home in North Carolina.
Thea leaving a note and cookies for Santa.
On Christmas morning, my mother and step-father and John's mom all come over early for breakfast and present-opening with Thea. It's a tradition we started at Thea's first Christmas three years ago, and one we all enjoy. I love being able to linger at home for a while before we begin our busy day.
We enjoyed a big Christmas lunch at John's mom's house with both of his sisters and their families. With seven adults and six kids, it makes for a very full house. It is so heartwarming for me to see the way that Thea's older cousins are so sweet with her. Her cousin Trevor gave her a little brown bear that hasn't left her side since she recieved it.
We rushed home for a much-needed nap, and then it was off for dinner at my mom's house.
It began snowing in the late afternoon, and made for a magical evening.
We spent the rest of the weekend playing in the snow, sipping hot chocolate, and exploring new treasures. My favorite gifts were from my husband - a 2011 calendar with days marked in each month for him to take off of work to ensure that we have some quality time together. He always comes up with the perfect thing, every single time.
My heart is full. I'm hoping yours feels that way too.
(ornament by my amazingly talented, inspiring, and loving friend Casey. it's my favorite one of the season)
On this night, I'm wishing you joy and peace, especially if your heart needs a little (or a lot) of tender care.
Tonight, my heart is full of both sadness and joy. I am remembering my stepbrother, who passed alway suddenly just over four years ago. Yet, I am also celebrating meeting my love for the very first time - eight years ago on this very night.
Oh, how life stretches our hearts far and wide.
No matter where you are, I hope some sparkle finds you tonight.
For a while now, Thea has been asking me to make her a tutu. I decided to suprise her with one for Christmas.
I chose blue, as she has been obsessed with a "blue tutu dancing skirt" since she saw one in a neighbor's fantastic dress-up box.
This was so easy to make!
I started with a length of 1 inch elastic, cut to measure around Thea's waist (19 inches), and sewn together with a simple zig-zag stitch (this could also be hand-sewn).
I used about 8 yards of tulle, cut from a bolt (I used 2 shades of blue, so 4 yds from each bolt). I was a bit suprised that I actually used that much, but it seemed the perfect amount for a toddler-sized tutu. I kept the tulle folded in half and cut 5-6 inch strips with my rotary cutter and mat. You want your strips to be 5-6 inches in width and twice as long as your desired length.
I had read a while ago (but I can't remember where) that the easiest way to do the tying was to pull the elastic up around your thigh and sit while knotting. I tied all the strips around the elastic, alternating the colors.
To finish it up, I randomly cut some of the strips a couple inches shorter to give it more depth and texture.
In all of my cutting, I didn't worry too much about making straight cuts. I think the randomness of the cuts adds to the charm.
As I said, a super-easy and fast project. It took me less than 45 minutes, start to finish. (and I later discovered that they sell tulle in 6-inch width rolls, which would have made this go even faster).
If you make one, I'd love to see how yours turns out.
I'll post a photo of Thea sometime after Christmas day.