Dec 22, 2014
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OK.  I have been the laziest maker this season.  I have been working SO MUCH lately, I have no left over time to get my projects out the door.

 

I bought a plain wooden nutcracker and Christmas tree a few weeks ago with high hopes of doing something really mind-blowing.  The weeks went by and here we are on December 22nd and I hadn’t executed my mind-blowing ideas.  Crap!

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I had plenty of Mod Podge and glitter lying around, so I went with the old stand by of a glitter/Mod Podge combo and sparkled my little heart out.  Now, I have glue under my fingernails and glitter EVERYWHERE.  AGAIN.

 

Whoops!  But I feel like I accomplished something with my finds and once again, I waited until the last minute but was pleasantly surprised by the ease of it.

 

Here is a quick breakdown of what you need and how to do it.

 

Get some basic wooden figures at the craft store.  I also picked up some white spray paint/primer because I didn’t want the wood to show through at all.  Spray all angles and let dry, preferably overnight.

miwschristmasprojects_002Now it’s time to grab your Mod Podge, a junky paint brush, and glitter of your liking.  I used Martha Stewart gold tinsel glitter for the tree and purple sapphire fine glitter for the nutcracker.  Her glitter line is really nice and has a cool variety of glitter types.  Check it out.

 

I started at the top of each and painted the Mod Podge in a thin coat in stages.  There were a lot of nooks and crannies on the nutcracker and it was more time consuming than the tree.  Painting the glue on in stages is smart because if you paint on all of the glue at once, the spot where you started will dry before you even get to unleash that glitter.  I didn’t shoot any pics while I was painting on the glue and sprinkling glitter because I had a good old fashioned mess going on.  Here was a small sample of the glitter carnage…

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After all of the glue had dried, I touched up the spots that were missed or the glitter was on too thin.  Then I let everything dry again and give your pieces a good couple of shakes to get that loose glitter off.

 

Once you are done glittering, get out that fantastic Mod Podge Hi-Gloss acrylic spray.  That is what keeps all of the glitter on and lets the sparkle shine through without dulling your hardwork.  Spray a light coat everywhere there is glitter and it will seal your project.

Here is my finished gold tree:

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And here is my cool purple-silver nutcracker:

miwschristmasprojects_006Great last minute decor for your home, or for a gift!  And since I am the queen of last minute, I should know!  😉

Dec 16, 2014
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So you want to make a Tom and Jerry?  All of the cool kids are doing it!  Here is how:

 

Tom and Jerry Batter:

This recipe makes enough batter for about 6 drinks.

 

3 eggs, separated

1 cup of sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

 

Other ingredients:

mug

1/2 cup of hot water/milk

brandy

 

Separate the eggs.  Put egg whites into mixer, start mixing slowly until the eggs become foamy.  Add 1/4 cup of the sugar at this point.  Once eggs are foamy, add another 1/4 cup of sugar and switch mixer to high speed.  You want the eggs to take on a lot of air and become “stiff peaks”.  Add another 1/4 cup of sugar at this point.  Once you pull the mixer out and the eggs don’t loose their shape, they are done.  Congratulations on your “stiff peaks”.

 

Next beat the yolks in a separate bowl.  Add the 1/8-1/4 cup of remaining sugar, depending on your taste.  Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla and beat these into the yolks until well mixed.  Next, add yolks to egg whites gently.  Use a rubber spatula and fold the yolks into the whites.  Don’t over mix.  Now the batter is done.

 

Get a mug and add 2 scoops of the batter to the mug.  Next, add 1/2 cup of hot water or milk to the mug.  (During my testing phase, I did an all-milk batch and an all-water batch.  Next time I make this, I will do a mix of milk and water.  The all-water was too dull and the all-milk was very rich.)  Then add 1 ounce of brandy to the mug and give everything a good stir.  Drink while hot.   Feel happy.

 

Dec 10, 2014
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This Christmas, I want to make SO MANY THINGS.

 

But with a business to run, kids to nurture, dogs to exercise, and a house to run–WHAT.  That reminds me, I could use a nap.

 

I love weird and unique ornaments, but the last few years, everything is so mass-produced it makes me want to barf.  Or if you come across a really great find–mucho dinero.  So, we come back full circle to the MIWS mantra, why buy it if you can make it?!?!  They are fairly easy, you just need to take a little time to ensure straight lines.  I made these in about 2 hours (with paint drying time).MIWSornaments_007

 

I picked up some basic paper mache ornaments.  You can order them online or go to your favorite crafty store and pick some up, they are stocked up this time of year.  I also bought some copper acrylic paint to add to my collection at home.  The color scheme in my head was going to be copper, white, black and the natural paper color.

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Then came the design…what the hell was I going to do so it didn’t look like a toddler grabbed a brush and went to town??  I found my other collection of washi tape and started taping down lines.  My first thought was to use painters tape, but it was so thick it was going to be a hassle to trim down the tape strips.  Washi tape is removeable and comes in many widths, so problem solved.

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Now the biggest issue you could run into here is the paint bleeding underneath the tape, so make sure your lines are straight and that the tape is pushed down tight so no paint can sneak underneath and ruin your awesome design.  I made crosses out of tape for one ornament, a mix of straight and diagonal lines on another, then some triangles and other geometric shapes followed by some polka dots made with the eraser end of a pencil.  I had to work in stages when using multiple colors on each ornament, letting one color dry so I could remove the tape and add a new tape design in a different color.  There really are no rules here.  Do whatever you want.  Get crazy.  Get simple.  Just make sure you make it you.

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After all of the paint had dried, the tape removed and I was happy with my designs, I put the ornaments on a pole, took them outside and gave the entire surface area of each ornament a spray of Mod Podge Super Hi-Gloss Acrylic Sealer.  That way, the paint won’t chip off as easy and its a nice finishing spray to add a little sheen.

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I let everything dry overnight and hot damn, these are some sharp looking ornaments.  I love that they are all related but different styles.  I love the colors and I really love the shine from the Mod Podge.

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And now that my masterpieces are finished, I want to give them away to a lucky reader!  Will it be you?  You can keep them for yourself, or give them as a gift!  Who doesn’t want a little MIWS magic hanging on their tree (GROSS)?

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All you have to do is comment on this post and you are entered. WOW.  So easy!  But if you are bored and want to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can do that too…just to make sure you catch all of the MIWS magic (HA!).

The contest closes December 14th, 2014 at midnight and I will announce the winner Monday the 15th, 2014 on Facebook.  DO IT ALREADY!

 

 

Dec 07, 2014
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During this time of year, you are busy.  You need to shop, bake, make and all with a smile.  You want to be crafty, but who has time?

 

I just came up with the World’s Easiest Holiday Bunting.  Yes.  As in, you can make this little guy in 5 minutes, world record time, my friends!  And it’s stylish and affordable too!

 

In my dining room, I have a cute little area above my buffet for hanging a little garland/bunting/swaggy thing.  I had my Thanksgiving Glitter Garland hanging there, but Turkey Day is over and I needed something to fit the season.  I have a million things going on in my life right now, I just didn’t have time for another messy project.  I went to the Michael’s (yes, again) and stumbled upon these big, bold, laser-cut felt place mats in a snowflake or pointsettia design.  I was drawn to the red to brighten up the dining room so I grabbed 5 pointsettia placemats and found a spool of red sparkly ribbon.  Now, you don’t have to go to Michael’s to find this exact style if you don’t like it.  Google “laser cut felt place mats” and you will see that they are pretty easy to find.  I like these from World Market.

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What is nice about these place mats is they are really thick, so the chance of ripping through the felt is pretty slim.  And they are all cut identical so they look really nice laid out next to each other.  I thought about adding glitter, but remember, this is the WORLD’S EASIEST HOLIDAY BUNTING!  Glitter would only add to my list of crap I have to clean for the upcoming holiday so I axed the glitter.

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So far, so good, right?

Then I just wrapped the ribbon through a pre-cut hole in the flower and left enough space before attaching the next place mat.

pointsettiabunting_004Wrap the ribbon through each flower.  And your done.  DONE, I TELL YOU.

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This literally took me 5 minutes to do, maybe 6 if you count the time making sure the flowers were even.  Then I hung it over the buffet.  Then I cracked a beer for all of the hard work I had just done.  Just kidding, I cracked one for the hubby too.  Cuz I’m a bomb ass lady.  WINK.