Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last day of 2009. I looked out the window this morning and IT'S SNOWING!! Not sure where this white stuff came from b/c it certainly wasn't a very big possibility in the weather forecast. So I'm not quite sure what our New Year's plans will entail now that our condo parking lot is covered in snow and probably won't get plowed until tomorrow.

Anywho, if you want a chance to win a scrapbook prize, head over to Red Oak Lines and leave a comment on what you plan to do tonight! Deadline is 11:59 TONIGHT! So get on it!

Alright, back to scrapbooking...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Time Off = Scrapbooking!

Ah, Christmas. A time of giving and sharing and... time off from work! I have to go back to work tomorrow, but I've had a very nice holiday weekend. Opening presents. Eating candy. Blowing out birthday candles (with my brother in law, whose birthday is on Christmas).

I've also had time to do a lot of scrapbooking. Thank goodness because I am completely behind. I'm not even close to being done with my wedding scrapbook or my honeymoon scrapbook. Not to mention all the more recent pictures that need to be done, along with my friend Danae's pictures to scrap. Phew!

Today I received some inspiration from Ideas for Scrapbookers - to use shaped photo templates. I had a lot of fun experimenting with these and I must say, they've added quite a new look to my scrapbook pages. Check out what I did below using the Circles and Curves template.

The template was so easy to use! Try it out while you've (hopefully) got time off from work for the holidays. I plan on getting even more scrapbooking done over New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Stay crafty!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comfort Food

Okay, I admit it doesn't look like much from that picture (I'm working on my food photography skills) but American Shepherd's Pie is AMAZING. I had never made it before, but many years ago I found the recipe for it on AllRecipes.com. I loved shepherd's pie as a kid (why I didn't just get the recipe from my mom, I don't know) and had been wanting to make it ever since. Well, this month, I finally did!

I'm not sure what makes it "American" because it turns out very similar to the shepherd's pie I once had at an Irish pub. Cheesy mashed potatoes on top and a soupy vegetable and beef filling underneath. I would say that my mom's recipe could qualify as "American" because hers isn't soupy. I'll have to get the recipe from her and make it some time. Until then...

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 10.5-ounce can condensed vegetable soup (I actually bought a chunky veggie soup and just added some water to it b/c all the condensed veggie soup contained pasta noodles or barley...)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups mashed cooked potatoes
1 cup shredded Colby longhorn cheese (but I assume you could use cheddar if you wanted)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir and cook ground beef, onion (optional), and celery until juices run clear. Drain. Pour mixture into baking dish with vegetable soup and thyme. Stir well. Spread mashed potatoes on top.

3. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake 5 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.



Now doesn't that look like the face of someone happy to eat this meal? Okay, so it's my face and a bit bias, but I was happy about this and it tasted so good! It's a very easy and very filling meal to make.

Tonight, however, it's all about the german meatballs and rice. I'm making it in honor of my birthday (which is in three days) and I can't wait! What are you making tonight? For the holidays? Whatever it is, enjoy it and stay crafty!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three Days!

According to my Advent calendar, it's time to open up door 22. That means there are three days until Christmas!! And four days until my birthday!!

Happy holidays and stay crafty!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Get Your Biscotti On


My husband's grandma (my grandma-in-law?) is kind of hard to shop for. It seems that she already has everything she could possibly want! So last year, my contribution to her Christmas present was a gift of food. I made raspberry pinwheels and packaged them in a festive glass jar. (Real Simple and The Container Store have the recipe here.)

This year I wanted to make something different and when I saw this recipe for Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti in the December Real Simple, I knew it was the perfect thing to make. My grandma-in-law is OBSESSED with biscotti right now thanks to Trader Joe's almond biscotti (which is pretty good).

Before I go any further, I didn't use pistachios when making my biscotti. So technically, my biscotti should be called Cranberry Almond Biscotti because of the almond extract. I just figured, my grandma-in-law likes an almond biscotti that has no nuts so let's try sticking to something similar to what she likes. If you use pistachios in yours, let me know how it turns out!

Let's get those ingredients together! You will need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, (and in a separate bowl) beat the butter and sugar until just smooth. One at a time beat in the eggs. Mix in the almond extract. Add the flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Mix in the cranberries (and pistachios, if using).

4. Divide the dough in half and shape into two 10-inch by 2-inch logs. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Because of bad weather, I was unable to get to the grocery store for parchment paper, so I went without. No problems.)

5. Bake until just golden around the edges and firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.

6. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until dry and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes per side.

7. Package in a super cute container, like this one that I picked up at The Container Store. (LOVE that place and the people I meet there - had a super funny conversation with other people in line and then the salesgirl ringing me up was so friendly and asking all sorts of questions about why I was using the container and what I was making.)


These taste divine and the kitchen smelled of cranberries and almonds for days afterward. Delicious! Enjoy your weekend (we got almost a foot of snow) and stay crafty!

Friday, December 18, 2009

RAK Giveaway!

This one is for all the scrapbookers out there! There is a giveaway happening over at Sarah de Guzman's blog! If you don't know her work, you need to get to know her work. She is one of my favorite scrapbookers over at Scrapbook.com. Go to her blog to see her amazing work and get entered in this fun giveaway!

Stay crafty!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting Carded


I've recently been trying my hand at cardmaking, aside from my Christmas cards. Most of my card inspiration comes from the owner of Classy Coordinates who came up with the bright idea (why didn't I think of this?) to use scrapbook scraps to make cards! I subscribe to the Classy Coordinates scrapbook club, which means that every month I get enough coordinating supplies to make six pages, and so I've started using my scraps from the Classy Coordinates packs to create cards. It's a good way to get the most out of your supplies AND grow a stash of cards that you have on hand whenever you need one!

Cardmaking for me has been a tough learning process, though, because I'm so used to creating a 12x12 scrapbook page using photos as the focal point. But thanks to card design inspiration from Classy Coordinates, I think I'm getting the hang of it. Of course, my Christmas cards always have a photo, so those are a little easier to do. But I still used scraps from last year to make this year's cards! Very economical!
And the "Make Your Spirits Bright. Wish" cardboard element? The coffee cup sleeves from Starbucks. I told you there was a good reason behind my hoarding!

I've already sent out my Christmas cards so hopefully everyone has received them! What are you doing for Christmas cards this year? December's Real Simple suggested post cards instead of actual cards - the postage is cheaper and so are the postcards! If I didn't enjoy making my Christmas cards so much, I'd consider doing post cards. Maybe next year? I also saw some really cute embroidered holiday cards. The technique would also be cute for use on some type of party favor or place settings. (Much thanks to Kara for sharing that on Google Reader!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Decorating



While I wait for some goodies to bake, I thought I would share with you some of my Christmas decorations. I love the Christmas season because I love decorating for it! From the lights to the cinnamon-scented candles (seriously, go get one at Bath & Body Works!), this time of the year is just so festive and pretty.

Last year I received inspiration for a mantelpiece display/Christmas card holder from Real Simple magazine. (One of these days I will break down and subscribe.) Because we don't have a fireplace or mantel, I used the top of our entertainment center. You can see above how it looks this year. This is a really easy way to decorate because you might already own some of the pieces! And if you don't, you can go out and buy them for cheap and possibly reuse them in other ways throughout the rest of the year.

The sparkly red berry stalks I found at Michael's (they have them not sparkly, too) and they were on sale last year. Good deal!

The vases I got at Target. Actually, they are not vases; they are candle holders. I couldn't find what I wanted in the vase aisle at any store so I happened to walk down the candle aisle at Target and I saw these. The candle holder part was removable, so it was super easy for me to turn these candle holders into vases. And they were cheaper than any of the real vases.

I also got the red jingle bells at Target.

My husband and I bought the fake snow at Michael's last year to use in someone's Christmas present but we had left overs. So I broke out the bag this year and used up what was left to make a snowscape. Also, because the entertainment center is kind of big, there was still a lot of empty, open space up there, so I added two mini Christmas trees that my husband had bought for a party two years ago.

The branch in the middle of the vases was actually free. Yep, if you go outside and see what the trees have dropped, you can find a lot of cheap and crafty supplies. (This tip came from the Real Simple article, but you could also buy something at Michael's or tie twine between the vases or whatever you can think of!)

To attach the cards to the branch, I bought clothespins (took me forever to find them, too) and then hot glued Christmas tags (that I bought last year at Walmart on sale after Christmas) to make them festive and not so plain.

I would love to see pictures or read about how you are decorating for the holidays!

I think I hear the timer going off! Stay crafty!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On a Cookie Kick



Maybe it was baking cookies over the weekend or the cover of Food Network magazine featuring 50 holiday cookie recipes. Whatever the reason, I'm on a cookie kick! Bad news for the waistline... or is it?

As we near the end of the year, many of you might be making New Year's Resolutions and some of those resolutions might involve diets. I'm not a good dieter by any means and I've been so bad about exercising this year. Like, REALLY bad. (And that was one of my resolutions for 2009! I guess I'll put it back on the list for 2010.) But just because you're going on a diet doesn't mean you can't enjoy dessert! Especially when you make the dessert in a healthy way.

Last year I found this recipe for healthy chocolate chip cookies in Fitness magazine. No, it doesn't involve mashing up carrots and watermelon and creating a dough. (Does anyone else find those juicer commercials really gross? Watermelon and cucumber and carrot and broccoli? Tasty!) By using canola oil in place of butter, you're saving yourself a lot of unnecessary fats and calories. Make these for a holiday party if you want to start your diet early or just wait until January 1 to make them. :)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.


3. In another bowl, beat oil, sugars, and vanilla until creamy.


4. Beat in eggs.
5. Gradually add flour mixture. (Don't pour the whole bowl of flour mixture in there. Do it in three steps.)

6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (which are optional).


7. Roll into small balls (I use a spoon to help me there) and flatten slightly (or not - I like big cookies) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.


8. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
9. Lick the batter. Yum!


And here they are! I like these cookies (and so does the husband) but if you are expecting super soft cookies, be warned: these cookies turn out more on the crunchy side. I guess it's because of the lack of butter, but hey. A cookie is a cookie is a cookie. Delicious!


These might be fun to bake this weekend, huh? I'll be doing some experimental baking myself. Check back soon to see how it went! Stay crafty!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cookies for Kyle



It snowed today! Our first snow of the winter season. Fun to look at, not so much to drive in. But I was driving in it because my friend Lauren invited people over to bake cookies for deployed military men and women. Lauren read about the organization, Baking GALS, through Taste of Home magazine and you can read the article here. GALS stands for Give a Little Support and the goal is to send a taste of home to soldiers who are far away from home. Each soldier is "hosted" by a blogger and potential bakers are "recruited" from the blogger's own site and from the Baking GALS website. Each host recruits up to 20 bakers, meaning Lauren and I were not the only bakers making tons of cookies for our military man, Kyle. Kyle is going to be bombarded with delicious cookies! Woo hoo!


As you can see, Lauren and I had a good time making chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip walnut cookies, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip/white chocolate chip/cranberry cookies. (And don't we look cute in our aprons? Mine is brand new - a Christmas present from Mom and Dad!)


If baking is your thing, check out the Baking GALS website! If you know someone in the military, you can even submit their name and have people send them cookies! If you don't like to bake, but you still want to do something nice for our troops, check out Operation Write Home (formerly Cards for Heroes). The aim of this organization is to provide deployed troops with homemade cards that the troops can use to write letters home. You can make birthday cards, thank you cards, holiday cards, general cards - whatever theme you want. (Your talent level doesn't have to be on par with Hallmark, fyi.) Check out the website for mailing locations, card deadline dates, and general guidelines (for example, don't use glitter on the cards - it can make the troops stand out at night). I've been meaning to host a card-making party but haven't gotten around to it! Lauren's baking party definitely got me thinking about making cards for the troops again, and I'm making it a priority in 2010!

Know of any other organizations that support the troops in crafty and delicious ways? Send me your cookie recipes so that I can pass them on to Lauren for her next baking party! I really want to try these vampire cookies - wonder how well they would ship.

Have a great (and possibly snowy) weekend and stay crafty!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Even More Thankfulness!

So I know that Thanksgiving was two days ago, but I'm still thankful for a lot of things! The condo is clean! The hubby and I are going to see Fantastic Mr. Fox today! I got to spend a few days with my parents (which only happens about three times a year thanks to me moving 1,000 miles away)!

My parents drove out to visit us for Thanksgiving this year and we celebrated the holiday at my in-laws' home. When we weren't eating loads of turkey and pie, I took my parents to see some sights and eat some food that they hadn't seen/eaten before in New York and New Jersey. Our first stop was the Intrepid Museum. We had a lot of fun having our pictures taken on stuff:


We even convinced my dad to join in on the fun:


We had a lot of fun exploring other places and eating lots of good food (John's Pizzeria, anyone?), but the fun had to come to an end. My parents left early this morning to start the drive back to the Midwest. I'll miss them, but I will look forward to visiting them next year over Easter!

And that brings me to one of the Christmas presents that I gave my parents. The other day I posted a link to another blog that featured some really cute homemade Christmas ornaments. But today, I'm featuring some different ornaments — that I made, thanks to inspiration from a Vera Bradley catalog.

First you need some cookie cutters. I have to say, finding a bunch of holiday-themed cookie cutters that you can buy individually was REALLY hard, especially because I was looking for snowmen cookie cutters. (My parents' Christmas tree is strictly snowmen ornaments.) Most stores and online retail sites sold big sets of cookie cutters that only featured one snowman cookie cutter, if that, and I wasn't about to buy multiple sets just so I could get more than one snowman cookie cutter. But if you aren't particular about the shapes of the ornaments, a set like this one from Crate and Barrel might work or Target and a variety of other stores sell holiday-themed sets as well.

I ended up buying my cookie cutters from a Kansas City, Missouri store that specializes in cookie cutters! The online store is called Off the Beaten Path and sells a variety of shapes and sizes, including snowmen. I was really pleased with the prices of the individual cookie cutters and shipping, as well as the shipping time. I ordered my cookie cutters on a Tuesday and received them that Friday. The company also emailed me a tracking number so that I would know where my package was along the way. (Although USPS hasn't exactly been on the ball lately with its package tracking.)

Aside from cookie cutters, you'll also need some string or yarn, Elmer's glue, toothpicks (optional), and photos. Now, you can try this with regular photos, but the Vera Bradley catalog's instructions said photocopies. I think this is because regular paper will adhere better to the cookie cutter than photo paper. I just printed out my photos (3x5 size, but it might differ depending on the size of your cookie cutter) on regular printer paper.

Okay, let's get started!
1. Lay out some newspaper on your workspace so that you don't get glue everywhere. (You'll notice in my photos a lack of newspaper. I'm dangerous like that!)

2. Once you have your photo printed, lay the cookie cutter on top of the photo and trace around the cookie cutter. Then, cut out the photo.

3. Tie the string or yarn around the top of the cookie cutter so that it will be ready to hang once you have adhered the photo to it.


4. Using a toothpick (I opted not to do this because I found it was easier not to), spread a thin line of Elmer's glue around the edge of the photo. Then place the cookie cutter on top, press down a bit, and wait for it to dry.

5. Then, voila! You have a cute cookie cutter ornament with a fun picture inside!



Tip: Because printer paper is a little flimsy, I reinforced mine by gluing some white cardstock to the back of the photo. Just trace the cookie cutter onto the cardstock, cut out, and glue. I probably could have avoided this step if I had just printed my picture onto white cardstock in the first place, so maybe that is something to keep in mind as you embark on this crafty endeavor!

And remember, these ornaments don't have to look perfect. Any imperfections only make them more endearing and the recipient will simply appreciate the time and effort you put into making the gift.

Stay crafty!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all enjoying your Turkey Day. We have good ole Abe Lincoln to thank for giving us this day to eat lots of good food with (hopefully) enjoyable people, watch giant balloons and football, and not go to work!

In honor of the holiday, the founder of Ideas for Scrapbookers posted a "thankful" challenge on Scrapbook.com. Here is the layout I submitted:

These are pictures of me and my husband and some friends at Medieval Times a few months ago. I want to do a similar layout using the pictures I took at Early Thanksgiving two weekends ago with some other friends, but I haven't gotten those pictures printed yet. Here are a few shots from that fun night:


We played a game called The Game of Things and it was hysterical!




We also ate a lot of really yummy food.




Happiness!

One of the many things I'm thankful for this year (aside from the sour milk smell in our bedroom closet going away) is friends! My husband and I have a lot of good friends out here who enjoy just hanging out, playing some board games, and eating freakishly huge sandwiches. The thing that I love the most is just how funny and witty everybody is! At Early Thanksgiving, there were moments when tears streamed down my face because I was laughing so hard. I love to laugh and so I love being around my funny friends. The only bad thing is that nobody lives down the street from us. Everyone lives anywhere between 10 minutes to two hours away! So it's often hard to get together with them on a whim. But the distance just makes it all the more special when we do get together with everybody.

What are you thankful for?

Stay crafty!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My favorite holiday cookies

Has anyone else noticed the holiday coffee cup sleeves from Starbucks? I just love them!



Why do I have so many of these coffee cup sleeves? Well, I'm going to be making something with them. Oh, how I wish I could share with you now, but you'll just have to wait and see! I'm so excited about this, but it's still a little early and I don't want to spoil the surprise for some people. (Just so you know, I did not drink tons of coffee to get all of these sleeves. Some of them were extras that I picked up along with the one that came with my drink—loving the Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulee Latte—and some of them came from my co-workers who have been kind enough to give me their cup sleeves and not tell me how my request for coffee cup sleeves was totally weird.)

However, I do have something that I can share with you — this recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I found this recipe on the food blog YumSugar last year and when I made it, I knew it had to become one of my must-bake holiday recipes! The cookies don't have the same texture as regular cookies (I think it's because of the pumpkin) so don't be alarmed if your cookies taste and feel almost spongy. That's how they should taste and feel, as well as tasting delicious! This is a great recipe if you are a fan of pumpkin-flavored things and/or are going to a holiday party and want to bring something different from the standard pumpkin pie. I baked a batch for my book club this month and they were a hit!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
15 oz can of pumpkin
1-2 cups of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Set aside.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar together in large bowl.
4. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Add egg and beat well.
6. Gradually (in 3 steps) beat in flour mixture.
7. Stir in chocolate chips.
8. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets.
9. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for two minutes on baking sheet.
10. Move to wire rack to cool completely.


Don't they look divine? Yum!

Well, that's all I've got for you today. Have a great weekend and stay crafty!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Get Gifting!

Hello again! I don't know about you, but I've already started my Christmas shopping. I sort of had to because this year my husband and I are spending Christmas with his parents, and because his parents and my parents live in two different states, this means that I won't get to see my parents at all for Christmas. So my husband and I will be exchanging presents with my parents when they come to visit us over Thanksgiving. And that's next week already!

If you're like me and need to buy presents early, or if you're just in the beginning stages of looking for some nifty gift ideas, then read on! (And stay tuned to this blog in the coming days/weeks for more cool ideas!)

So, this is not anything crafty and you can't buy it or make it for a friend, parent, etc., but it is gift-related! JCPenney and The Salvation Army teamed up this year for an online giving tree where you can sign up to "adopt an angel" and buy Christmas presents for someone in need. Just go here to sign up and pick a child, teenager, or senior citizen to help out this holiday season. (If you order your gifts through JCPenney.com, you get free shipping!) What I really like about this giving tree collaboration is that you can choose to help someone right in your community by typing in your zip code! How awesome is that? I had a lot of fun shopping for my 4-year-old girl. I swear, I could have bought her everything in the store if I'd been able to, but alas, I do have a budget to follow. Anyway, I urge you to sign up and "adopt an angel". It will really make someone's Christmas brighter, perhaps even yours!

Now onto a crafty gift! A few weeks ago, a fellow scrapbooker over at Scrapbook.com posted a picture of some really cute ornaments — that she made! And now you can too because she's posted instructions on her new craft-focused blog. (I just love that there are so many of us getting crafty out there in blogland!) Go take a look and check out some of the other crafty things she's done. And if you're an avid scrapbooker like me, this is a great blog for getting some scrapbook inspiration! I'll be subscribing to her blog on my Google Reader! Know of any other cool blogs worthy of a Google Reader subscription?

Stay crafty, everybody!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Get crafty with me!

Welcome to my blog! For those of you who may have followed me from my days at LiveJournal, it's so good to see you again. For any newbies, hello and I'm glad you're here.

I wanted to start a blog that had more of a theme and because most of my free time is spent cooking, scrapbooking, and doing crafts, I thought that a blog about those three things (and more!) would be perfect. On this blog I'll be sharing with you really cool ideas for easy-to-do craft projects and paper creations, recipes, and other do-it-yourself projects. I hope this blog serves as an inspiration to aspiring DIYers out there, and I can't wait to be inspired by things that you guys do, as well!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching, I've already gotten started on making my holiday decorations, as well as some very cool and inexpensive homemade gifts. The first project I worked on was a Christmas wreath inspired by those cute yarn ball wreaths that you might have seen in Starbucks last year (can't wait to see what they do this year!). Well, a fellow blogger decided to make her own yarn ball wreath last year and posted instructions on her blog. I was completely inspired to try my hand at this myself, so a few weeks ago, I broke out the hot glue gun and the supplies I had purchased after Christmas last year (everything was on sale!), laid some newspaper on the floor and got started!

First, if you don't have a hot glue gun and glue sticks, go out and buy some! I got mine at Michael's. (I get everything at Michael's and they frequently give you coupons with your receipt so you can go back and get something else really fabulous for 40% or 20% off!) While you're there, go to the floral section and pick up a wire wreath form. Michael's offered two sizes and I picked the larger size because it looked more like a regular wreath size.

You are also going to need styrofoam balls. You can use varying sizes or all the same size. I used 10 of the same size styrofoam balls.

At Walmart, I picked up two packages of yarn - red and white. I like those colors together for Christmas, but you can do red and green or green and white or whatever combination you want!

The next supplies are what you might want to buy AFTER Christmas to take advantage of sales. That's what I did. I went to Walmart and bought two boxes of cheapo ornament balls in red and silver.

Alright, so let's get started:
1. Wrap the yarn over the styrofoam balls. A tip: you want the yarn to go in different directions so it looks yarn ball-esque. I sort of had trouble with this, but in the end, they don't have to look perfect. Tuck any loose ends under a strand of yarn already around the ball. Do this with both colors of yarn. Because I used 10 balls, 5 were red and 5 were white.



2. On a newspaper-covered surface, lay out the wire wreath form and begin to hot glue the yarn balls to it. Like this:3. Start gluing in the ornaments. I put mine on the inside of the wreath, on the top between the yarn balls, and on the outside between the yarn balls. Make sure you don't skimp on the hot glue. You want these suckers to stick on! The end result is something like this:




4. Hang and admire! Woo hoo! I'm using mine as a door wreath, but you can put yours inside if you want.

So that's that! If you have any questions, let me know! If you have other neat wreath ideas, I'd love to see/hear about them! Stay crafty, everybody!