Thursday, December 27, 2012


In THIS post, a friend of mine was making necklaces for her Christmas gifts. Here are all of them completed!

Post Holiday Picture Reel

What a packed few days! We had such a blessed season and we're so thankful for everyone we got to see this year. I got a few good shots but first, some blablabla...

We spent the eve visiting with Alex's dad and step mom. They all went out to meet more family for dinner while I went to church to play for the Christmas eve cantata. It was a beautiful service as always. I really enjoy spending Christmas eve with my church family every year. We ended the night with lots of laughter at a close friend's house. Really wish I would have brought my camera for that one.. :)

Christmas morning was spent at my parents' house. Christmas breakfast, a zillion presents, and lovelovelove. After a little mid day nap, we had our own little Christmas at home opening gifts from each other. (including stockings for each of our pets.. I'm not the only one!!) The evening was spent at Alex's Grandpa's house where we all ate a LOT and opened gifts. By the end of the night I was so full of happy feelings. This was a really good year.

I want to start with a couple of pictures from our church Christmas party last weekend. I didn't bring my camera and have a really substandard phone so sorry for the terrible quality!

So much love for the people in this room.
The kids chanting for Santa to come out :)
A ridiculous "no hands" cookie game that I would guess was more fun to watch than play!
 Christmas at the Brodsky's

Christmas dinner at Grandpa's

Flippin' peas in the kitchen before a BIG dinner including Grandpa's roast and sweet potatoes.

 I hope everyone is recovering from the chaos! I'll be here in bed with my theraflu :/

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

We may or may not have been doing some holiday baking...

This year Alex got asked to make the desserts for Christmas dinner at Grandpa's house. Holiday Pix! He feels totally honored (as he should) and has been a baking machine for the last 3 days.

Pumpkin cheesecake and plain cheesecake 
(he's got that strawberry goop stuff for the top)

 Brownies and fudge!

Alex's sugar free chocolate pie (that's a link to the recipe) and more brownies. He made a huge pineapple upside down cake (that he wrapped up and put away before I could get a picture of it) and with the left over batter he made mini cakes for my pal Rachel and I to munch on yesterday (WE ATE THEM ALL)

Speaking of Rachel, can we all just agree that hand made gifts are the best?! I was only able to find time to make one person a hand made gift this year (it was a little 5 inch "R" for her place and some incense) and she made me something too!

I love it so much! It is just the prettiest thing and the perfect color. It came wrapped in a paper bag that was all fancy folded and when you opened it up, it said...

Cute, right? And a sweet reminder of Jesus' birth.
After we exchanged gifts, we hung out and watched Christmas movies while she made gifts for all her other lovelies! They all turned out perfect. All beautiful. All different. She took a picture of all of them when they were done. 

THIS is a blog I like that has a lot of neat hand made gift ideas (it's never too late, right?!) 

Last year almost everyone on my list got hand made gifts. Frames, art, scarves, more art.. I don't really think that hand made stuff is for everyone. Some people just like everything to be from a store. But hand made is sometimes not only the most personal gift to give but is also sometimes the only affordable gift to give. That was totally the case last year and even though it was tight this year, I feel very blessed to be done shopping and feeling good about everything I got for my loved ones.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Piano makeover!

Mostly everyone knows that I play music. I play piano, guitar and ukulele. I have a few guitars, a few ukuleles and recently got a new beautiful ukulele that I lo0o0ove but keyboards are really expensive (even for the cheapest non weighted keys, mono audio junk) and pianos are even more.. usually :)

I got this baby about 4 years ago for $99 plus $54 to rent a truck to move it home.. and I did the reinvention almost a year ago but it's too good not to share. Here is the "before".

This picture was taken at least a year after I bought it and after we had already moved once. But in the original state, it was simply FULL of spider webs, bugs, yucky stuff.. It's hard to tell in the picture but it had a TERRIBLE stain to the wood that someone had failed miserably at, that was drippy and uneven. Not to mention several permanent sticky spots that I can only assume was from old/gross stain? I don't want to know! PLUS a bunch of white paint had been splattered up in the under belly part. The cover wasn't attached and it had a missing knob. Really ugly/nasty/smelly fabric on the bench and let's be honest.. it's not a steinway.

It plays beautifully. It's not in tune but it is in tune with itself which makes for a cool sound. And I knew it had the potential to be reborn! I had seen a lot of piano makeovers on different blogs and websites but I always thought that painting a piano would never look better than the wood would (hehe)and the whole thing seemed like too big of a project for me.. 
But when I found this enamel paint for half off in just the color I had imagined the piano to be?? It was a sign from above.
SO to spruce it up, I cleaned it, painted it and covered the bench.

I'm not going to pretend it was easy. It was super hard to get it painted with no brush strokes. I used small foam brushes for all the crevices and tight spots and a small roller for the top, sides and belly. 2 coats and a touch up coat. I let it dry for 24/48 hours (I don't remember) and then got to work with the polyurethane. I used the same technique as I did when painting. 1 coat on the whole thing and 2 extra coats on the top and everywhere that gets touched a lot. Another 48 hours or so of drying time and I put it all together! (and painted the room)

 I just stapled the fabric over the top piece of the bench but there's room inside of it to store music books so I plan to put some hinges on the top and change the fabric. One thing at a time. :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

The neverending scrapbook

I have been creating scrapbooks since I was about sixteen or so. My older sister made one in her senior year and after seeing how fun it can be to do and how much it really adds to the experience when looking through them, like most crafts, I was hooked.
Scrapbooking, though, is unlike a lot of crafts because there is almost no direction to it. That can make it more fun or provide more pressure depending on personality. The thing that bugs me about it is that it's never ending. It's gotten much easier through the years to get good at making quick decisions and getting the pages done in a reasonable amount of time BUT it's not exactly as easy as slipping pictures into plastic sheets either. And as soon as you have your picture pile down to the last page, a new set of pictures is done and waiting to be printed.. still, worth it.
I went through some of my more recent books and while I can't really say much as far as instructions, maybe these pages can give some inspiration!

I try to keep things other than pictures to scrap. FYI though, receipts fade and pretty much anything that isn't flat paper will either warp the page it's on or the page it's behind.

A wedding invitation, a glittery heart cut out from a gift tag and tickets to an aquarium we went to on our honeymoon <3

I like to use this positioning with the pictures when doing 12X12 scrapbooks.

All in a row pictures create a slide show feel and make for a sharp looking page.

Covering the page with pictures is good when all the pictures are full of action and all go together

Simple pages look good. Going crazy with pictures and stickers looks good too! Like I said, scrapbooking is a big free for all.

NEVER underestimate the power of cutting and pasting. I have had this book made for over a year and even though in one picture Tiffany has hands protruding from her shoulders, no one has ever noticed.

 And let's not forget about the huge mess of crap and crafts that it takes to immortalize these memories!

Happy Monday! And if you have any kids in your life, squeeze them tight today 
(and everyday)
Love to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Decorating!

Let's not kid ourselves, I took my Christmas decorations out the day after Thanksgiving like everyone else. (ok, not everyone else.) We got our first real tree last year and I am pleased to say that a real one this year has been just as wonderful! There is definitely a part of me that wishes I could keep Christmas decorations up all year. If only it were socially acceptable!

Christmas Town!

 Both the knitted angel and cross ornament are from my mom :)

Candle wreaths from Margo (thank you!)
We got those flameless candles from Alex's sweet step mom last year for Christmas. They're from Nate Berkus, made of real wax, they have a remote control and are obviously baller.

Trying to prove "anyone can do it". fail.

 I would be watching how the Grinch stole Christmas but I recently had a nightmare that the Grinch was a real 7 foot tall monster. He saw me from across the room at a bar and I spent the rest of the dream running from him. He was filthy and evil and I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.. So instead I'm watching Poltergeist and crafting all day long. Pretty much the best 12/12/12 I could have hoped for. :)