Category: Christmas

my first December Daily scrapbook: the title page

December Daily title page

In my head, I’m a scrapbooker. In reality? Not so much.

I’ve taken tons of photos, bought a few Project Life kits, and jotted down some quotes from my kids that I want to remember. But when I try to pull it all together into a scrapbook, I feel totally stuck and can’t seem to create what I’ve imagined. In the past two years, all I’ve made are two decent title pages (2013 and 2014) and half a dozen layouts that are just OK.

So I have decided to jumpstart my scrapbooking aspirations with a smaller, more focused project. December Daily is a memory keeping project developed by Ali Edwards, and this year I’m going to join in the fun.

December Daily title page

Throughout the month of December, I’m going to capture some of the images and stories of the Christmas season and compile it all in a small album. December is such a special time of year with unique decorations, food, celebrations, music, activities, traditions, and togetherness, and I want to record some of those memories.

The album I’m using is the 6×8″ faux leather album by Simple Stories, and I’m using photo pocket pages by Becky Higgins (Project Life) and Simple Stories. I’m not using Ali Edwards’ December Daily kit, but I have gathered some supplies that fit my clean and simple aesthetic, and will design the rest myself. I’ve also gathered lots of inspiration on my December Daily board on Pinterest.

December Daily title page

I cut out the word “december,” the numbers, and the white frame with my Silhouette Cameo. The cursive font is Wendy LP, and the numbers are Open Sans Condensed. The background paper with white snowflakes is actually wrapping paper that I recently found at HomeGoods, and I added a few little white snowflake punches. I love white on kraft, and especially like the hand drawn look of the snowflakes.

December Daily title page

I’ve learned that a lot of people prepare their pages in advance by putting in papers and embellishments ahead of time, and then add the stories and photos throughout the month. As an inexperienced scrapbooker, I find it impossible to anticipate how I will want each page to be laid out, so I’m just going to create the scrapbook as I go.

If creating a scrapbook during the month of December sounds crazy to you, let me assure you — it sounds crazy to me too! If I don’t finish it before January, that won’t bother me at all. (I’ve seen some people online recently talking about needing to finish up last year’s December album before this December begins!) I’m going to try not to feel pressure to change what we do just to make our life look good for a scrapbook. However… if this project helps to make the Christmas season more meaningful, and encourages me to live with more intention, more joy, and more gratitude, that will be a wonderful added bonus.

Note: Links may be affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I will make a tiny commission if you make a purchase.

saving and organizing your Christmas card photos

Christmas card photos in Project Life album

What are you planning to do with all of the Christmas card photos you received throughout the month of December? Will you stuff them in a box of photos? Save them in some organized way? Or have you already thrown them away?!

I used to just save them haphazardly in photo boxes, but last year after the holidays were over, I punched two holes in each photo from that year and held them together with book rings. They were pretty easy to flip through, but the dimensions and orientation of the photos weren’t uniform. It worked, but I didn’t love it.

Then in November, I watched a 3-day online workshop by Becky Higgins on Scrapbooking with Project Life. (The class was free to stream live, but it would be expensive to access it now.) Becky suggested trimming your Christmas card photos and slipping them into Project Life photo pocket pages. Of course! So smart!

Christmas card photos in Project Life album

On New Year’s Day, I spent some time gathering and organizing the Christmas card photos we’ve kept since 2009, the year Tim and I met. I don’t know what went wrong in 2011, because I could only find three photo cards from that year, but otherwise, our collection was pretty much intact — in several different boxes of photos.

Christmas card photos in Project Life album

I trimmed most of the photos to either 3×4″ or 4×6″, but a few were smaller, so I just attached them to cardstock with washi tape. Then I slipped them in the pockets. At the beginning of each year’s photos, I added a simple card that I designed and printed with the year on it. I didn’t worry about starting a new year on a new page. That graphic card with high contrast will make it obvious where a new year begins.

Christmas card photos in Project Life album

I’m not ready to tuck the most recent photos into an album yet, but I’m prepped for the day when it’s time to put the 2013 cards away.

Christmas card photos in Project Life album

Becky Higgins wrote a great blog post on New Years Day about saving and organizing your cards in this way, so I’d recommend checking it out if you’re considering doing this.

I’m planning to dedicate one album to Christmas card photos so that we can pull it out each year in December and look at how much our friends — especially the kids! — have changed from year to year.

Also, I’m considering making the year cards available as a printable. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments.

the story of Zippy, our Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf: paper chain countdown

There’s a story that unfolds at our house each December. It’s the story of Zippy, our Elf on the Shelf. This is Zippy’s third year with us, and he showed up right on time on December 1. The best thing about his arrival this year is that he brought along the tiniest little paper chain to count down the days until Christmas!

The next morning we found him hiding in the silverware drawer. Good thing there were a few serving spoons in the dishwasher! Even though I knew he was in there, he surprised me every time I opened the drawer.

Elf on the Shelf in the silverware drawer

On Tuesday morning,  Hayden found it a bit challenging to get out of his bedroom. Fortunately, Zippy had been kind to me and didn’t put the streamers TOO low…

Elf on the Shelf tapes streamers across the door

Elf on the Shelf hangs streamers

When the kids were getting their breakfast on Wednesday morning, they found Zippy in the pantry, poking his head out of a cereal box. He looks taller than the girl beside him, but it’s probably just the hat.

Elf on the Shelf measures his height on the cereal box

This one is my fault. I’ve been making chocolate covered pretzels, and last night I left the nonpareils on the counter where Zippy could reach them. That’ll teach me!

Elf on the Shelf makes snow angels in nonpareils

The kids have been wondering what kinds of things Zippy will help me with this year. They remember that one year he wrapped a gift, and one time he baked some tiny cookies. So Zippy, if you’re reading this, there’s a huge pile of laundry that needs to be folded…

our Elf on the Shelf wraps up another season

Our Elf on the Shelf, Zippy, is currently spending his last day on the shelf before he heads back to the North Pole ’til next December. This is what he’s been up to since the last update.

The kids made some gifts for Zippy, so I whipped up some custom letterhead so our elf could properly thank them for the hat and gloves he received.

Elf on the Shelf: thanks for the gifts

Good thing Zippy is always very careful not to knock things over. We found him in the china cabinet on Thursday.

Elf on the Shelf: china cabinet

On Friday, Zippy watched the characters in the nativity all day, but nobody moved a muscle.

Elf on the Shelf: nativity

Ethan’s bedroom isn’t quite finished yet, so Zippy checked out the construction zone over the weekend. He’s lucky he got out of there before the drywallers trapped him inside the wall.

Elf on the Shelf: construction zone

Arrr. Zippy the Bathtub Pirate!

Elf on the Shelf: bathtub pirate

Z is for Zippy! See you next year, little elf.

Elf on the Shelf: letter Z

a week of Elf on the Shelf antics

I can’t be sure what our Elf on the Shelf was up to while I was in the hospital for six days, but Zippy has been his usual mischievous self since I returned home with little Ethan last week.

Our elf must not be afraid of heights, because one morning we found him swinging on the Moravian star…

Elf on the Shelf: Moravian star

… and the next morning he was tangled up in a white pitcher above our kitchen cabinets.

Elf on the Shelf: white pitcher

On Thursday morning Zippy was on our mantel, convinced he was an angel. (We know better.)

Elf on the Shelf: wooden star

On Friday he spent the whole day with Ethan, our glow-in-the-dark baby (thanks to a bili light to improve his jaundice).

Elf on the Shelf: new baby

On Saturday morning we found him competing in an air hockey tournament. His opponent was a sweet girl from Idaho. I wanted Zippy to ask her whether she knew any famous foosball players from Idaho, but he was too shy.

Elf on the Shelf: air hockey

Fortunately, the officials didn’t notice that he was blocking his goal with his left hand.

Elf on the Shelf: air hockey

Zippy must have decided that the basement was a pretty great place to spend the weekend. On Sunday morning we found him playing Pac Man on Tim’s Atari. (Yes, we have an Atari; no, we do not have a Wii.)

Elf on the Shelf: Atari

Yesterday we found him in the bathroom again. This time he put a little photo of himself in a picture frame on the shelf. (This morning the kids checked to see whether it was still there, then wondered aloud where it went.)

Elf on the Shelf: Best Elf Ever

Last night Zippy did something he’s been wanting to do ever since he first arrived at our house last December. He strung up a zipline across our living room and is now dangling above our heads.

Elf on the Shelf: zipline

Elves have all the fun.

candy cane Hershey Kisses

Elf on the Shelf candy cane Hershey Kisses

Last week I discovered candy cane Hershey Kisses — and last night, Zippy did. Our Elf on the Shelf stuffed his little hands down into the candy jar to grab an armload of candy cane kisses, which may help us keep OUR fingers out of the candy jar today.

(Am I the last one to find out about candy cane Hershey Kisses? Why didn’t someone tell me about them sooner?!)

making himself at home

Our Elf on the Shelf returned to our house on Saturday morning, and after being gone for 11 months, Zippy seems to be feeling right at home again. On Saturday our family went to a local Christmas tree farm and picked out the perfect best tree. During the night, Zippy climbed up and sat near the top of the tree. I guess he was jealous of the other ornaments.

Elf on the Shelf sitting in the Christmas tree

Good thing we have more than one bathroom at our house. This morning Zippy had claimed one all for himself. Selfish little elf!

Elf on the Shelf bathroom sign - ELVES ONLY

By the way, if you have an Elf on the Shelf and haven’t yet added wire to his arms and legs, I highly recommend it. I followed this tutorial last year after the second day of trying to position our elf just right, and it’s the only way Zippy is able do fun things like hang from doorknobs and pretend to be a monkey.

our Elf on the Shelf returns

Elf on the Shelf returns

The kids came running into our bedroom at 7:12 this morning to tell us that Zippy is back! And he wrote a message with Scrabble tiles! I’m generally not a big fan of people waking me up to tell me about something I did last night, but they were so excited about the return of our Elf on the Shelf that I didn’t mind too much.

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? If so, I’d love to hear about your elf’s return — or debut, if this is your first year with an elf. Last year our elf showed up late; turns out he made a wrong turn on the way from the North Pole.

To see more of Zippy’s antics from last year, check out all of my Elf on the Shelf pictures here. (My favorite was the night he baked peanut butter blossoms. Here’s hoping he does that again this year!)

Zippy says goodbye

Last night Zippy (our Elf on the Shelf) returned to the North Pole, but not before he got into our pantry, spilled some pasta, and wrote out a little message.

Farewell, little friend.

Zippy makes a friend

My mom emailed recently to say that Zippy seems quite busy, and wondered whether he had found any friends to talk with at night. Well, he’s an elf of few words, so I haven’t heard him mention anyone, but it looks like he’s made at least one new friend here in Pennsylvania. This morning we found him down in the basement playing foosball with a chubby guy from Idaho.

(Did you notice the score? That’s our Zippy!)

little paper snowflakes

I don’t know what I was thinking when I threw away all of the paper snowflakes I made last December. I must have assumed that I would be equally inspired this year, but unfortunately I haven’t found time to cut any paper snowflakes.

Fortunately, Zippy (our Elf on the Shelf) took pity on me and cut out a bunch of snowflakes last night while I was catching up on my sleep. Thanks, Zippy!

Zippy’s Photo Enhancement

Zippy, our Elf on the Shelf, must have thought that the photo we sent out with our Christmas letter was too boring. This morning we found that he had, uh, enhanced a framed copy of the photo. Good thing he didn’t use a Sharpie!

Zippy the artist

Last night Zippy got into a brand new packet of velvet art stickers that I had just given the kids last evening. Don’t you think he did a nice job coloring in the Christmas tree?

Hayden knew that the velvet art was in his room last night, and wondered how Zippy got into his room while he was sleeping! That Zippy sure is stealthy…

Zippy joins in the Reindeer Games

Over the weekend, I hosted the First Annual Reindeer Games at our family Christmas celebration. We divided into two teams and played nine games — one for each member of Santa’s reindeer team, of course. One of the games we played was Vixen’s Snowball Toss, in which the players tossed regular-sized marshmallows into one of three containers of different sizes to earn points. The smaller the container, the more points the team earned.

Unfortunately, Zippy wasn’t able to participate in any of our Reindeer Games, but this morning we found him playing his own game of Vixen’s Snowball Toss on our kitchen counter. And he was even wearing reindeer antlers like we did!

Let’s see a close-up shot of those antlers.

Zippy’s apparently pretty handy with a white pipe cleaner and a brown Crayola marker…

our sELFish photographer

Now that I have a digital SLR camera, Zippy apparently thinks my trusty old point-and-shoot camera belongs to him! What a sELFish little photographer.

Zippy takes the plunge

Hey, Zippy’s just keeping it real around here. December isn’t just for cookies and Christmas shopping and trips to Grandma’s house, y’know…

to Grandmother’s house we go

I thought the kids were pretty eager to celebrate Christmas at Nana’s house today, but it turns out Zippy was even more excited. In fact, our little Elf on the Shelf was so impatient that he was already waiting in the van with his seatbelt buckled when we got up this morning! Thank goodness he had a booster pillow to sit on. Safety first!

Wasn’t it so thoughtful of him to bring a gift?

zippy+paper: an elf’s Etsy shop

Zippy must have read my announcement last night about free shipping on all {rachel+paper} orders today. While we were sleeping, he set up a little paper goods shop of his own with free shipping to the North Pole.

So if your elf needs any gift tags or garlands for their holiday celebrations, be sure to tell them to stop by {zippy+paper} today!

more fun than a barrel of monkeys

After Zippy’s surgery last night, I thought maybe we’d find him relaxing on the couch with a movie this morning, but he seems to have recuperated just fine.

Zippy’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

While we were sleeping last night, Zippy (our Elf on the Shelf) baked some cookies. Unfortunately, he made a terrible mess, but we’ll forgive him since the mini peanut butter blossoms are so soft and delicious.

The kids and I baked peanut butter blossoms together after school on Monday, so Zippy used some of the dough that I had secretly tucked away in the fridge. When Hayden saw Zippy’s tiny cookies this morning, he said, “He shrunk them!”

If your family has an Elf on the Shelf, perhaps you could pass along this recipe to your little elf.

ZIPPY’S PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS

1 stick butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
granulated sugar
chocolate chips

Cream together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and milk, beating well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Shape dough into balls the size of a large marble. Roll in granulated sugar to coat. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350° for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Since the cookies are so small and oven temperatures can vary, watch your cookies carefully to be sure you don’t overbake them. Remove from oven and push a chocolate chip into the top of each cookie.

Enjoy!

meet Zippy, our Elf on the Shelf

Hi, everyone. I’d like to introduce you to Zippy, our Elf on the Shelf.

The Elf on the Shelf is a fun Christmas tradition that I just discovered a few weeks ago when I started seeing Elf on the Shelf pictures pop up on Pinterest. The idea is that the elf spends the month of December in your home, making nightly trips to the North Pole to report to Santa on whether the children have been bad or good. But while your children are sleeping, the elf also tends to get into mischief, and each morning the kids get to look for the elf to see where he or she ended up.

Even though I’m a couple weeks late, I recently purchased an elf (and the explanatory book) at Hallmark, and he made his debut late last night. After watching An Elf’s Story last evening, Hayden wished that WE had an Elf on the Shelf. And this morning, magically, we do.

According to the book, as soon as he makes his arrival, the family that adopts him needs to name him. So over oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and toast, we decided on a name.

Meet Zippy.

twelve by 2012

I love projects, goals, and lists, so when I found this twelve by 2012 project on the oh, hello friend blog recently, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Never mind that it started two months ago and wraps up at the end of 2011. The goal is simply to make a list of 12 things you’d like to accomplish by 2012… and then do them! With less than three weeks to go, I kept my list very realistic — and completely focused on the holidays.

Here’s to achieving 12 goals by 2012!

a sparkly christmas carol

While watching Little Women last night, I cut, painted, and strung up sparkly paper letters that together make up a line from one of my favorite Christmas carols. I laid white lights on top of our kitchen cabinets and filled in the empty space with the words “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”

I printed the outline of the letters onto white cardstock using just the basic Tahoma font (280-pt). Then I cut out the 18 letters and painted each one with a couple coats of silver glitter paint. I punched two tiny holes in each letter, strung them up with monofilament fishing line, and taped the ends of the line to the ceiling with regular masking tape.

O come, let us adore Him.

refrigerator snowman

Last night I added a touch of wintry whimsy to our home by turning our white refrigerator into a snowman.

I can’t take any credit for the idea, as I pretty much copied this refrigerator snowman that I discovered via Pinterest. Thanks, Tami!

paper onion Christmas ornaments

I’ve been wanting to make my own version of these retro paper onion Christmas decorations ever since I stumbled across this tutorial a few weeks ago.

Aren’t they fun? And don’t they look super easy to make? I thought so too.

Somehow I didn’t get around to making my own until this afternoon, but Christmas isn’t ’til tomorrow, so I figured it wasn’t too late. Fortunately, the process was as quick and easy as I expected, so it didn’t take me much time at all to make three ornaments.

The hardest part was deciding where to hang them.

You’ll notice that I stapled mine together, since I don’t have either grommets or the patience to wait for glue to dry. I made the blue one first, and cut the strips to the lengths specified on the tutorial. For the others, I cut the center strip first (to determine how tall the ornament would be), cut the outside strips next (to determine how wide and curvy it would be), and then cut the other strips last at a length that would put them halfway between the outer strip and the center strip. I didn’t do any fancy calculations or anything — I just eyeballed it.

My strips of cardstock are 1-in. wide, and the lengths are as follows:

[white] 11″, 10″, 9.5″
[blue] 12″, 10″, 8.75″
[red] 7.5″, 6.5″, 6″

If you’re looking for additional inspiration for your own paper onion Christmas ornaments, here are a few more fun ornaments I found on other sites.

These ornaments from Design*Sponge feature several colors in each ornament.

Bookity used maps to make her ornaments. She also made some heart ornaments that I want to remember when Valentine’s Day rolls around.

And these ornaments from ferm LIVING are actually made of wood!

I also found some other paper onion Christmas ornaments that were made in a very different way.

These ornaments from DaWanda look like they were stitched together and then folded.

And finally, West Elm sells these mini onion ornaments. I’d like to try making that kind sometime, just to see if I can do it, because they look a lot like the 3D paper snowflakes that are all over the internet.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

advent day 20: play Pin the Nose on Rudolph

After the kids went to bed on Sunday night, I grabbed my green Sharpie and wrote “play Pin the Nose on Rudolph” on the back of the advent calendar tag for day #20. I thought it would be a fun game for the kids to play with their cousins who were coming over for dinner last evening — but even after I committed the idea to paper, I didn’t quite know how I was going to put it across.

Finally, around 4:00 yesterday, I grabbed some supplies and got to work. I don’t feel like I do my greatest work when I’m in a hurry, but I’m not sure that time would have improved my outcome for this project. I used a pencil to quickly draw an outline of a reindeer’s head, ears, and antlers onto a brown paper grocery bag, then cut it out and glued it onto a sheet of white poster board. The eyes were drawn on a white sheet of paper and glued to the face.

I’m not sure my creature bore much resemblance to Rudolph, but Tim did say that it looked more like Rudolph than Olive the Other Reindeer.

Who is a dog.

So that’s good.

I drew a red circle on the spot where the kids were supposed to attach their Rudolph noses, then cut out some circles from a red piece of paper and wrote one kid’s name on each circle. All I had to do was attach the poster to the wall and we were ready for our reindeer game (although it was probably not the kind that poor Rudolph wasn’t allowed to join in).

This is what Rudolph looked like before the kids made their blindfolded attempts.

This is what Rudolph would have looked like if they had all been perfectly successful.

And this is what Rudolph actually looked like after four kids tried to stick a nose on him.

The winner (who was the youngest, actually!) received a tube of Rudolph chapstick, and everyone else got chocolate as a consolation prize. Fun times.

advent day 10: make Christmas gift tags

A few weeks ago I bought a tool that punches out paper in the shape of a neat little gift tag. It made its debut in my original post about the advent calendar I made that we’re using each day as Christmas approaches, but I was also looking forward to using the punch for its primary purpose — punching out gift tags.

So last Friday I sat down at our dining table with my creative supplies and got to work. With the exception of the watercolor tags, I made only one of each tag. It took longer than I expected, but as always, coming up with the idea and deciding what to do is the most time-consuming part of the creative process. Making multiples of the tags would take much less time per tag than the very first tags.

I enjoyed using a variety of techniques with tools and supplies I already had on hand. Unless otherwise noted, I used white or kraft cardstock. Also, numbers 1 and 2 are top-left and top-right, and numbers 3 and 4 are bottom-left and bottom-right.

EMBOSSED: I placed my paper on the back side of a metal embossing plate and held it up to the window so I could see what I was doing. (A lightbox would have been easier, but I don’t have one.) I then used my embossing stylus to press out each of the letters.

[1] JOY
[2] NOEL
[3] HO HO HO
[4] FA LA LA

POLKA DOTS: These polka dots were painted with a q-tip dipped in acrylic paint.

[1] green and white
[2] red and white
[3] red and silver
[4] green and silver

CHRISTMAS TREES: I found a little Christmas tree template among my supplies that I must have made years ago, so I took a variety of approaches.

[1] green sharpie and white crayon
[2] silver marker
[3] silver marker and glittery green acrylic paint
[4] green cardstock with glittery silver acrylic paint

JOY: Like the Christmas trees tags, these feature a common motif with a variety of techniques.

[1] white acrylic paint applied with a q-tip
[2] shiny green origami paper with shiny green and silver pens
[3] red sharpie with glitter on Elmer’s glue
[4] silver marker

WATERCOLOR: I used watercolor paper and a regular set of kids’ watercolors. These tags turned out brighter than I expected, and they’re my least favorite.

OTHER: These are just one-of-a-kind tags that aren’t part of any set.

[1] Santa – made out of red cardstock and black and silver paper. {100% inspired by a very similar Christmas card by Handmade by Amy}
[2] Christmas tree – acrylic paint polka dots applied with a q-tip

Of course, now that I’ve made these gift tags, I just want to keep them and not use them! I know, that’s totally silly, since I can easily make more whenever I want. So I’ll try to make myself attach them to gifts this year, but I will probably NOT be using these special tags on the packages for my kids and my nieces and nephews. Well, maybe I’ll make one Santa tag for each of them, but otherwise, they’ll probably just get plain tags with their names scribbled on them. And since none of the kids are over the age of seven, I doubt they will notice anything about the tags except their names!

advent day 8: guess the number of Hershey’s Kisses

The activity for the 8th day of our advent calendar was probably the quickest and easiest one of all. Back in October, I filled a pint jar with candy corn and had the kids guess how many pieces of candy were in the jar. They loved it, so I just made a few tweaks to make it a winter activity this time.

I took a glass jar with snowflakes on it and filled it with Hershey’s Kisses, being sure to count how many I was putting in the jar.

I then cut a piece of paper into smaller pieces for the kids (and Tim!) to each write their guesses, and placed a pen and an empty glass jar next to the Hershey’s Kisses. When the kids got up in the morning and checked the advent calendar, the jars were right in front of them, along with a few instructions.

I asked Magen to help Hayden write his guesses, since he’s only four. I also told them in the instructions that they could each make four guesses. When we did this with the candy corn, Magen wanted to make a whole bunch of guesses! I decided four would be a good limit this time. Oh, and I also told them that the number was less than 150.

The kids each put their four guesses into the jar, and later on, Tim did too. One of Magen’s guesses was closest to the correct number of 91, but she assured Hayden that they both won because we’re all going to eat the Hershey’s Kisses.

I think I might be the only person who has eaten any so far. Oops.

a moment in the spotlight

Last Wednesday was an exciting day here in my little corner of the blogosphere. After I dropped Hayden off at preschool, I came home to discover that my little handmade advent calendar was featured on Apartment Therapy, a very popular home design/decor/inspiration blog. (And by popular, I mean that Apartment Therapy has more than 47,000 readers via Google Reader alone, which is always my tool for comparing the popularity of various blogs.)

I noticed that my blog was suddenly getting a lot of traffic via a particular post on Apartment Therapy, so I clicked through and found MY advent calendar in a post along with advent calendars by Martha Stewart and Porsche Design. It was a complete surprise to me — and one that I was thrilled about!

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at the spike in my blog traffic that day compared to more typical days.

I’m just a small-time blogger, so appearing on Apartment Therapy and getting 455 hits in one day felt like big-time excitement. My wonderful husband even suggested that we go out to dinner that evening to celebrate, which we did. I love that man!

But as you can see, blog traffic is back to normal again, and we’ll be eating leftover chili for supper tonight. Oh, and we’re continuing to use that little advent calendar to do various activities while we count down to Christmas. Ten days!

advent day 7: cut paper snowflakes

One of things I’ve always wanted to be able to do is cut a nice six-pointed paper snowflake. When I was a kid, my snowflakes were always squares or rectangles because I always folded the paper in half, then in quarters, and then maybe in eighths. But somehow I never really figured out how to cut a paper snowflake that looks more like a real snowflake with six points.

So when I started developing my life list back in October, I included “cut a six-pointed paper snowflake” as one of the things I’d really like to do. And when I wrote “cut paper snowflakes” as the activity for day #7 on our advent calendar, I knew that my day had come.

When Magen got home from school, she and I sat down with some scissors and white paper. Right away, she folded her paper and started cutting. She wondered what was taking me so long. Seriously, I think she might have finished cutting her first snowflake before I had even started cutting mine.

I had done a little googling earlier in the day to figure out how to make a nice six-pointed snowflake, and I wanted to get mine just right. Hahaha. You will never see a picture of my first snowflake — or the second or third ones. They were so dorky. I finally realized what I was doing wrong, and my snowflakes improved dramatically.

When Magen was finished making her snowflakes, she taped them to the area around our advent calendar.

My goal, on the other hand, was to make enough six-pointed snowflakes to fill the skinny vertical window next to our front door. I didn’t make all of my snowflakes on Tuesday, so this morning I finally finished cutting my snowflakes, ironed them, and taped them to the window. And then I discovered just how difficult it is to take photos of paper snowflakes taped to the window.

Here are some closer shots (left to right = top to bottom):

I know they look blue from the inside, but they’re made out of plain white paper. See, here’s a shot from the outside.

I recently found a picture online of this cool paper snowflake Christmas card with the Volkswagen logo.

So of course I tried to make my own this morning. I realized too late that I made mine twice as complicated… and just plain wrong. Plus, without the circle, it doesn’t really look like the VW logo. But it was fun to try!