Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of TBTL 2011

I've been seeing these posts around and I think they're a nice way to close out the year, so here is my Year In Review for The Beautiful Thrifty Life. Thanks to all of you who have made it a great year, and have stuck with me through the quieter times. I am looking forward to getting more organized (and therefore more crafty) in 2012!

January began with me sharing the lovely Princess Party decorations for Starlet's birthday gathering:

In February we celebrated Valentines Day with an Invasion of Love Bugs:

March was my most prolific month of posting, with lots of fun spring crafts, but my favorite had to be these lovely tissue paper peonies:

In April I celebrated Easter with my very own homemade Edible Arrangement!

In May I celebrated the women in my life by creating homemade soaps for Mothers' Day:

June was a big month for me because I opened my Etsy shop! (which is currently closed due to my inability to keep up with orders and keep up with my home! But I'm hoping to reopen it in 2012!)

In July I was living Appley Ever After with the abundance of apples from my apple tree. At least I got some great fruit leather out of it! Mmm...that looks really good...

In August I held my 300th post celebration giveaway in which I introduced you to my line of infinity scarf & flower clip sets (which were the items that ended up being such a huge hit on etsy!).

In September I splurged. And this scarf still makes me feel like a million bucks!

In October I shared our Family Circus Train costume along with some past family costumes we've done:

In November the Twilight madness hit and I joined in the fray with this decoupaged Twilight mirror- the paper flowers were my favorite part!

And it seems fitting that, as the year began with a party, so it should end. December brought a Winter Wonderland Party and my incorporation of several of my pins from Pinterest:

Whew! What a year it's been! I have learned and grown as a crafter, blogger, and writer, and I am looking forward to expanding and growing even more in 2012! (and that includes myself physically- much expanding happening around my waistline until July!)

Once again, thank you for your support and love- I will see in you 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Wonderland Party (and pretty snowflake ornaments!)

I just love how I don't notice things like wonky blinds until I'm reviewing and editing my photos after the fact. Nice.

A few weeks ago I hosted a Secret Santa reveal party for my friends. I decided to have some fun with the decorations and use the opportunity to finally do some of the things I've been pinning on Pinterest.

First, see that little cluster of ball ornaments at the very top of this photo? I found something similar on Pinterest and so I bought a container of ornaments at the Dollar Store and finagled a little "ornament chandelier". My kids said it looked like a big bunch of fat shiny grapes. Ha.

And notice those ornaments hanging from above (that are all conveniently turned sideways so you can't see them really well)? You'll never guess how I made them.

Toilet paper tubes! Did you know you can make really cool things from toilet paper tubes? Yep, just flatten 'em and cut 'em into little strips, then glue those together. Cool, right? Thanks, Pinterest.

Pinterest also inspired these:

Aren't they ghetto-fabulous? Ha, they didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped...the plan was to use some mini glass candleholders for the center "column" between the burner covers but they didn't have any at the Dollar Store, so I used plastic champagne glasses instead and hot glued them together. Like I said, not quite what I was going for...

And here's my lovely Goodwill-rescued Christmas tree! I remember when I found this beauty all mashed up and stuffed in a bin. All it needed was a little fluffing, some tinsel and sparkly snowflake ornaments.

This was a fun (and pretty easy!) little touch- I strung white lights between the table legs under the white tablecloth, which resulted in a really neat diffused sparkly effect. Yet another shout-out to Pinterest! ;-) Next time I think I'll iron the tablecloth first...did I mention I'm kind of lazy?

Hey, who is that under my table??

So, remember those toilet paper tube ornaments that I spray-painted white to hang from my ceiling fan? Well, I decided to take them a step further and embellish them with some sparkly glass beads. I cut a little circle out of white felt and then hot glued some beads on it in a circle (sorry this picture isn't great). Then I strung a few off the bottom and I added a white ribbon for hanging. They turned out really classy. Who'd have thunk toilet paper tubes were so stylish?

So that's the extent of my Christmas craftiness this year. Hope your holidays are lovely and bright as well! :-) Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Gift Ideas!

In years past I've done extensive posts about great ideas for homemade gifts, but this year I'm keeping it simple!

For my mom's birthday I loved all of the great horse photography on etsy, and I considered buying a photo for her from there, but then I got to thinking how much more personal and meaningful it would be if she had an artsy photo of one of her own horses.

So I took my little point-and-shoot Canon and did a little photo shoot in the barn and then picked my favorite photo and picnik-ed it! Here's the result:

(That's Chase. Isn't he a cutie?)

I purchased a nice but inexpensive frame and mat and had it all ready to go for her birthday. It's now hanging in her office.

Artsy photos are a great gift, and with great editing programs like Picnik, it's easier than ever to make something really cool.

Alida over at I Make Stuff had several great ideas for homemade gifts, thanks to Pinterest- click here to see how she's making 25 gifts for $39! (yes, that's $1.56 a gift!)

And for some oldies but goodies, be sure to check out some of my older posts for homemade gift ideas. :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big Mac, anyone?

I am not a big fast food eater, but every now and then when we're out and about we'll stop off at McD's and grab a quick lunch or dinner. Living Social has a great deal going today where you can get a voucher booklet for 10 big macs and 10 large fries for only $13!

If you'd like to get in on the deal, just click here.


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