50 Button Crafts: idea #49 – cup cozy

knit cup cozy via Pinterest

Got a box or jar full of buttons carefully saved by your mother or grandmother? For 2015 I’m in search of great ways to put those buttons to use. Here is this week’s idea:

With all the cold weather that comes this time of year, I was drawn to the cup cozies I found on Pinterest this week. There are lots of ways to make them so I’ll share a few of those I found with buttons. This is a fun way to share some of the buttons from your stash along with stories of cold days and warm drinks from your life or an ancestor’s. I’m a huge hot chocolate or lemon and honey tea. Nothing warms me up when I get cold to the core like something hot to drink. In the winter hot chocolate and graham crackers was my favorite after school snack growing up.

crochet mug cozy from Hobbycraft.co.uk

felt coffee cozy from practicallyfunctional.com

custom sized mug cozy from Hazelnutgirl

It would be a good idea to document where the buttons for your project came from and any relevant stories or information about that person or family. If you are looking for more button crafts, check out my Pinterest board.


50 Jar Gifts: idea #48 – snowflake jar

snowflake jars from YourHomeBasedMom.com

This idea uses tissue paper, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge to dress up any jar. YourHomeBasedMom also used her Cricket cutter to make it easy to cut out the snowflakes. This idea is adaptable to any season or any theme. It would be pretty with a candle inside or even filled with a tasty treat. You could even cut silhouettes of an ancestor and then share that ancestor’s story. Lots of possibility with this idea.

I entered the world of computer controlled personal cutters this month to make my Christmas gifts. I bought my niece’s Silhouette Cameo when she bought the latest model on a great black Friday special. I look forward to playing around with it on future projects.

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos49

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #44 – Wool Jar Cozy

Red Wool Mug Hug from Wanderlust Small Goods on Etsy.com

Until just before Christmas we have had a surprisingly warm winter. Now we have snow and it sure feels cold. The thought of warm soup or hot chocolate sounds perfect right now and this wool jar cozy made by Wanderlust Small Goods and available on Etsy.com looks like the perfect solution to keep it warm. I love warm drinks and soup too, not just hot chocolate but hot lemon and honey and anything else I can think of. (Not a coffee drinker for religious reasons.) If you are handy with a sewing machine and have an old wool coat this would be a great project and a great opportunity to share memories of the original owner of the coat or of cold winter nights and warm things to eat or drink. No wool? I’m sure that fleece would make a suitable substitute.

I don’t have anything like this from my great-great-grandmother, Mary Taylor, but a cold snow night with a batch of wool jar cozies filled with something warm and comforting would be an effective time to talk about her experiences caught in the bitter cold and snow with the Martin Handcart Company in 1856. I’m guessing your family has a story about the hardships of winter too.

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos45

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #43 – Snowman Mason Jar

Snowman Mason Jar from polkadotchair.com

Here is another fun and simple idea from the polkadotchair.com. My plan was to post this on Monday but the week got away from me with finishing Christmas gifts for family and friends. Boy I am sure out of practice with getting posts done. But even though I didn’t get this posted before Christmas the snowman theme is good for at least a few more weeks. Does your family have some fun traditions centered around snow or making snowmen? This jar idea would be a great way to share a story or invite your family to a snow themed event. Several years ago when we were in the mountains cutting down our Christmas trees we found a huge snowball that someone had made. We had lots of fun climbing on it and taking some family photos.

Raelyn & Bill with Shadow & Ginger

Raelyn & Bill sitting on the giant snowball with Shadow & Ginger looking on

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos44

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

50 for 50 #46 – Cutting Down Our Christmas Tree

Bill getting our tree back to the parking lot – 2012

Today we did one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We drove up into the mountains past Kamas, past Frances and past Woodland, to cut down our own Christmas tree. We have been doing this for something like 20 years so it makes a perfect way to celebrate my 50th year this week.We get up really early in the morning the first weekend in November to get a tree permit and then after Thanksgiving we gather with my sister and her family to get our trees. Some times we have had other family members join us but the two of us have always gone.

I remember the first year we got a permit to cut down our own tree, it was so cold and the wind was blowing and we hiked up a really steep hill through deep snow. When I remember that year, it amazes me that we ever did it again. It has never been that cold since. Plus a few year later they built a parking area that makes it easier.

Bill buried in snow – 2000

Some years we have no snow. Some years we have several feet of snow. A few years are extra memorable. One year Bill fell into a pocket in the snow over a ravine and was buried up to his head. Another year someone made a huge snowball and we took family photos on and around it.The Christmas we spent in Brooklyn, New York it worked out for us to come back and get a Christmas tree to take back with us. It was nice to have a bit of Utah with us in New York.

Bill, Shadow, Ginger, Danny, Kim, Jacob, Noreen & Eric – 2003

This year there was almost no snow at the parking lot but as we got up into the trees there was still several inches from the big storm we had a couple of weeks ago. It was extra warm today so we only needed sweat shirts or light jackets. After getting our trees we gather in the parking lot for backed potatoes and with hot chocolate and treats. We all enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the mountains that for me signals the real start of the Christmas season.

Frosty Progress Report

Frosty in process

Somehow I haven’t gotten the time in on Frosty over the last couple of weeks that I wanted and needed to. This last week was a bit better but I’m behind. I focused this week on getting the front of his body covered with candy so at least it looks like I’ve made some good progress. My schedule this coming week doesn’t look too bad so I will focus hard on Frosty and get lots of work done. In a perfect world, I would be finishing Frosty up this coming week so I could start on the background the following week.

I have decided to wait on his hat the broom. They are good projects to work on inside as the weather get colder and the garage gets uncomfortable. I prefer working on Frosty in the garage because I’m using silicon caulk and it has a strong odor and needs good ventilation.

I may have to ditch my plans for putting a small village on the left side with small figures of children building Frosty and on the right side Frosty and some kids marching off into the hills. I hope that I can get them done. But if I have to leave them out no one will know that they are missing. I just like it when there are extra details to see when you get up close to the window.

Snow Troubles


We woke up to some snow this morning. Not much, maybe 1/2″ or so but it was cold enough that the drive way was covered for the first time this year. Well Yakira decided that when we went out to relieve she would rather eat snow than pee. Boy did I not handle it very well. I got impatient with her and we went back in without having any success. Well later in the morning while Yakira was playing with Bill she had an accident. So obviously she really did need to go when we went out and I should have been more patient. The newness of the snow meant that I needed to give her more time. We still had some struggles but we worked through it. She still likes to eat snow but I’m being more patient about it.

Candy Sculpture Class

Tonight I taught a class at the Gale Center. The purpose of the class was to expose potential candy artists to the basic principles of creating a sculpture out of candy. We ran into a couple of challenges. There was no requirement to register so we had no idea how many people would come. We prepared for 20 and about twice that showed up. The second was the kids. We had lots of kids show up. Actually most of the participants came as families. There was lots of scrambling to get the needed supplies and power to all of the glue guns but everyone seemed to have a good time. There was lots of chaos and all thoughts of teaching how to make the little snowman step by step disappeared after the first set of instructions. The students all seemed to have trouble with getting the snowflake sprinkles I had to cover the Styrofoam balls to stick. But they were all very creative in how they did their hats and other parts of the snowman. I think we will be doing more classes in the future but we will require registration and have separate classes for adults and kids/families.