I guess I really caught the craft bug from all the projects we did for the wedding, cause I’ve still been creating.  Sometimes to more successful outcomes than others.

A recent quick and easy project was creating a fall wreath for our front door.  I bought a foam ring from Michael’s for less than a few dollars and gathered the rest of the supplies at home.

First, I cut burlap (left over from the wedding) into long strips while my glue gun warmed up.  Then, I wrapped the burlap around the ring, stopping to glue it down every few inches.  The only tricky part I encountered was finishing the last strip.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have purchased some tacks or pins to tack down the end of the last strip.  Instead, I went a little glue-happy and ended up with quite a blob of glue.  I just have to be cautious that the blob is at the bottom of the wreath (something I didn’t do at first – you’ll see in the pictures).  When my husband first saw the wreath he said, “That’s nice.  Is there supposed to be so much glue?”  Thanks, babe.

Three fall pom-poms.

Three fall pom-poms.

A bundle of wheat to accent the wreath.

A bundle of wheat to accent the wreath.

After the base of the wreath was prepped and drying, I got to work on the decorative items.  I selected three fall shades of yarn and made pom-poms.  I also wrapped some wheat stalks in excess burlap.  Finally, I used bobby pins to attach the decorative items to the folds in the wreath.  I found that the bobby pins actually held everything securely in place.

The final product.

The final product.

Once Thanksgiving was over, it was time for a Christmas wreath.  Instead of creating a whole new wreath (I just don’t have the storage space for that) I decided to update the fall wreath.  So, I removed the decorative items and replaced them with new ones.  Once again, I dug through items at home to see what was available.

Securing the ornaments with bobby pins.

Securing the ornaments with bobby pins.

First, I found a beautiful silver bow in our gift-wrapping pile.  I think this was recycled from my bridal shower.  Then, I selected a few Christmas tree ornaments that complimented the bow.  I once again used bobby pins to secure these items to the wreath.

The Christmas Wreath

The Christmas Wreath

I’m so happy with how versatile this wreath is turning out to be!  I’ve even gotten a compliment from a neighbor.  I’m already starting to contemplate what I’ll do once Christmas is over.

What do you think?  Do you have any recent quick and easy projects you want to share?


Dude, Christmas Totally Came Early

It’s no joke.  Santa stopped by our house a few weeks early this year.  Darrin and I decided to get each other skateboards for Christmas.  You read that right, skateboards.

Years ago, Darrin was a regular skater kid, riding his board back and forth to his first job washing dishes at a local restaurant.  The little punk.  Across town on the west side, I just dreamed of being able to ride the concrete waves.

This is a part of our lives that we are all too happy to merge together.  Darrin was very excited for an opportunity to get back to his roots and I was all too glad to have such a loving teacher.  He was great at helping me pick out a board that would work for me and helping me understand the difference between the various styles of wheels and trucks, etc.

A couple of weeks ago, our boards came in the mail.  Being adults, we felt we didn’t have to wait until Christmas to start playing with our new toys.  We took them out for our first ride a couple of weeks ago and it was a total blast!  Darrin, of course, looks like a total pro (and it’s quite sexy, if I do say so myself).  I’m proud to report that in a few days of riding, I’ve yet to fall.  I’m really great at jumping off the board just before I’m about to completely eat s*%t and I’ve gotten really good at chasing my board down.

Before, I go on any longer, feast your eyes on the newest additions to our family.  Darrin’s is the black hammerhead Hosoi board.  Mine is the purple Santa Cruz board with the Virigin Mary.  They are both reissues from boards originally released in the 80’s.

Our new babies, side by side.

A very happy kid with his new skateboard!

The best part of our new toys has been finding something new to do together that we both enjoy.  I can’t wait to get better at skating so I can keep up with Darrin a little better.  In the mean time, we’re totally having a blast being active in this new way together.

So, what about you?  What activities do you do with your partner/spouse that you find fun?  Tell us about it!

Empty Jars: Christmas Edition

As you may remember from this post, we’re saving up empty jars chez Jessen & Hiser for our wedding reception decor.  So far, I think the count is up to 30 – 35 (plus a hefty 50+ baby food jars donated by my good friend Jen – suhweet!).  In addition to saving us beaucoup dollars on decoration costs, I’m finding that having a bunch of empty jars hanging around the house is awesome.  Need somewhere to collect stray pencils and pens?  I’ve got a jar for that!  Need a new toothbrush/paste holder?  There’s a jar for that.  How about a fun candy dish for my desk at work?  You guessed it – jar.

A couple of weeks ago, I put up our Christmas tree and while unpacking everything from last year, I was pleased to find a box full of ornaments we bought in a post-Christmas sale.  Score!  It was like finding a dollar bill in a jacket you haven’t worn in a while.  I had completely forgot about these ornaments.  So, with the tree loaded with these “new” ornaments, I had some extras lying around.  I also found myself with some extra space on the mantel, having removed this DIYed Thanksgiving project.

Of course, I went straight to my reserve of extra jars.  I placed the extra ornaments (which happen to be a smaller size) in the jars and even hung a couple ornaments off the edge of the jars and lined them up on the mantel.  Then, I grabbed an extra string of lights and draped it over the mantel, letting it curl around the jars.  What do you think?

Santa hangs off a trusty jar.

A wider shot of the whole scene. It really warms up the space.

Another close-up of the goods.

The best part about this project is that is was F-R-E-E!  I already owned everything, from the lights, to the ornaments, to the jars.  Also, it only took about 10 – 15 minutes to whip-up and arrange to my liking.  Quite the perfect Christmas decoration, if you ask me.  Especially for a couple who have very little decorations to start.

So, what about you? Have you ever recycled old decorations to make something new? Are you looking to try a new holiday decor project? Share!