It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

beginning-to-look-like-christmas

Deck the halls with boughs of holly! I loooove Christmastime. It’s so festive. Currently the grounds around my area of life are laden with snow. My mum and I even built a snowman, a smidge taller than I am (and I’m 5′ 6″)! I’m in the midst of getting presents around and ready, singing Christmas carols, and thinking about what I’m going to make and bake for Christmas at Gram’s house. That all being said, I thought I’d dedicate a post to some crafts, recipes, and songs, all fit for Christmas. Ready?

One thing that I really enjoy doing at Christmastime is making gifts and cards. Under certain circumstances I buy them (i.e. lack of time or ability to make, or even occasionally, motivation), but there’s something really special about making stuff by hand. Here are some of the cards I made this year. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to get creative!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

All the cards I started with a white cardstock card and used scrapbook paper, markers and stickers to achieve the look I was going for. On some of the cards I didn’t get very elaborate at all, because I was sort of on a time crunch. I found some pretty paper, slapped it on, and found a coordinating sticker. I think they turned out to be some of my best!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

The Santa Claus card is definitely my favorite, and was relatively easy. I cut a piece of red cardstock to the width of the card, and then scalloped the edges so when I put it against the white card, it would look like the white puffy stuff on Santa’s hat. I did the same thing for Santa’s skin tone, scalloping the top the same way so it finished out his hat brim, and then scalloping the bottom so it looked like he had a beard. To bring it all together, I outlined everything in black, and drew his eyes, nose, and mouth. Ho, ho, ho!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

Okay, so, I don’t know about you guys, but food is a huge part of Christmas in my family. It’s just delicious. There’s always an abundance of food, so you don’t need to worry about going hungry. The first thing on our Christmas menu is bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. It has bacon, so, need we say more? We always make a big batch of these this time of year, because they have the tendency to be eaten in heaping amounts at a time. It’s also good to have helpers, because if you’re making a lot…well, you’ll see why.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Recipe

photo credit to Food.com!!!
photo credit to Food.com!!!

Ingredients:

3 cans water chestnuts

1-1/2 lbs bacon (cut the strips in half)

1 cup ketchup

1 cup sugar (white or brown)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain water chestnuts. Wrap each one with a 1/2 strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (Here is where help is a good idea if you’re making enough for a small army.) Place in a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes. In a mixing bowl, mix sugar and ketchup together. Pour mixture over water chestnuts and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until they carmelize and crisp up. Enjoy!

Extra tidbit:

You will want to drain the bacon grease before adding the sauce.


Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies Recipe

photo credit to Food Network.com!!
photo credit to Food Network.com!!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond flavor

2 cups flour

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Sugar to sprinkle

1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 teaspoons water

1-1/2 teaspoon almond flavor

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon almond flavor. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer,, then stir in rest of flour by hand. Use cookie scoop (1-inch size) and place on ungreased baking sheet. Use thumb to press indentation into center of ball. Spoon in 1/2 teaspoon jam then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon almond flavor. Add enough water to make drizzling consistency. Drizzle the cookies with icing.

Extra tidbit:

If you like blueberries, what about using blueberry jam? I haven’t actually tried this, but I am going to this year. Or peach jam, or apricot? Oh the possibilities. An array of fruit thumbprint cookies. And I believe we got about 36 cookies out of this recipe.

(Have you heard of seafoam candy? Oh my land, delicious. I did a post about it a year or so ago that you can find here!)


The final stop on our Christmas excursion is in the music department. What is Christmas without music?

A very non-melodic Christmas, that’s what.

Anyways, here is one of my favorite “silly” Christmas songs, sung by Gayla Peevy: I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas. I discovered it about four years ago and sang it non-stop. My family loves it. (No, I’m totally not being sarcastic, hahahahaha…) Last year, my Grandma asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Because I like to talk in song lyrics occasionally, I told her I wanted a hippopotamus.

Guess what my Grandma got me for Christmas? A stuffed hippo. It was awesome. Hippa the Hippo is one of my favorite Christmas gifts. So if you haven’t heard this song before, here you are!

 

Second up on the favorite list this year is a brand-new one put out by one of my favorite singers, Beckah Shae. It’s called Smile. I love it because, like Buddy the Elf, smiling’s my favorite.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Love Emma xoxoxox

 

 

 

 

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DIY Tissue Paper Chrysanthemum Flower Tutorial

tissue-paper-chrysanthemum-tutorial-majestic-adventures

Back in February I showed a friend of mine a bouquet of tissue paper chrysanthemums that I made for my grandma. “You should make a blog tutorial so I can learn how to do that!” she told me. I made a mental note to do that sometime. And after eight months, ha, today is sometime. So sorry it took so long, but better late than never, right? 🙂

My dad taught me how to make these a few years ago, and now here I am to pass along the knowledge. They’re very easy to make and quick.

What You’ll Need…

How to Make Tissue Paper Chrysanthemums | Majestic AdventuresTissue Paper ~ Whatever color you prefer. You can even mix colors to create variegated chrysanthemums!

Scissors

Floral Wire or Pipe Cleaners

 

What To Do…

Cut your tissue paper into squares. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways) that the bigger your squares, the bigger your flower will be, so it’s really personal preference here. I made my squares roughly 4×4 inches and came out with a flower that was 2-1/2 inches in diameter. I eyeball the measurements.

For a flower this size (4×4″ squares) you’ll only need eight squares. Stack them on top of each other and fold “accordion style”. The bigger the flower, the more sheets you’ll need. You want to have a full flower! Mix up the color squares if you want a multi-colored flower. After this, wrap some floral wire/pipe cleaner around your tissue paper and twist it together to hold it in place.

tissue-paper-chrysanthemum-tutorial-majestic-adventures

Pull the two ends of the tissue paper out so it resembles a bow tie. On one side find the first layer of tissue paper and gently pull it up to the middle. Do this on the opposite side and keep repeating until all the layers have been pulled to the center.

tissue-paper-chrysanthemum-tutorial-majestic-adventures

That’s it! Use your scissors to trim the flower to make all the petals even and round them out if you desire. Now that your flower is done you can make more to create a bouquet or you can attach some ribbon to it and tie it around a present, or whatever else you’d care to do with it!

tissue-paper-chrysanthemum-tutorial-majestic-adventures

Do you think you’ll try to make some flowers? Do you know how to make any other flowers or cool things out of tissue paper? What’s your favorite flower?

 

 

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Duck Tape Bag Tutorial

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

Hello!! Today I thought I would show you guys how I make a Duck Tape Bag! I love Duck Tape and crafting stuff with it. This took me two hours to do (including taking the pictures and writing down what I was doing so I wouldn’t forget). This bag is 18-1/2 inches wide by 12 inches deep. If you want it smaller you can just scale down the width and length of your Duck Tape sheets.

Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get started on how to make it, eh? 😀


What You Need:

 

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

~Duck Tape! I used Electric Blue and Peacock. Partly because I liked the color scheme, but mostly because they were two rolls that I had enough to make a bag with. 😉

~Scissors

~X-Acto Knife (if you don’t own one, it’s not a big deal because scissors work just fine. I just like to use it because if you have to make a close cut, you don’t have to worry as much about over-cutting and snipping your bag)

~Craft cutting board (or something to measure and stick your Duck Tape strips to)

~Ruler/Measuring Tape (or your eyeball if you prefer to skip measuring and just wanna wing it)


What To Do:

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

First step is to make a large Duck Tape sheet, which will be the base of your bag. I made my DT sheet to measure 18 inches wide by 24 inches long. Lay your DT strips down one at a time, slightly overlapping one another so they stick, until you reach your desired size.

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

Keep in mind that however deep you want your bag to be, you need to make the DT sheet’s length double that, because this sheet gets folded in half later. So if you want your bag to be 10 inches deep, make your DT sheet 20 inches! 🙂 Your width still stays the same though, so just change the length!

You’re going to need two of these sheets, so now make another one! If you laid your strips down horizontally, make this sheet with the strips running vertically. I’ve found that it’s stronger because the seams run in opposite directions.

Okay, before you do anything else with the DT sheets, you’ve got to make your straps! Everyone’s different and depending on how low you want your bag to hang, the length of your straps will be different. For me, I made mine to measure 37-1/2 inches. (Oddball number I know; I usually just eyeball everything but figured in a tutorial I should be a little more organized.)

Pull out a looooooong strip of Duck Tape, however long you want your strap to be, but be careful not to let it twist and stick to itself! Once two sticky sides touch, nothing can get them apart. 😉 After you’ve done that, lay it sticky-side up and carefully fold one side into the middle.

I like to start from the middle and work out, and fold it in small increments because I’ve found I get less wrinkles this way. And while wrinkles aren’t the end of the world, it still looks best when it’s smooth. 🙂

Duck Tape Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

You’ve got your straps and both sides of your bag; now let’s assemble this thing! If you have a different pattern for the inside than the outside, lay the pattern you want to show on the outside sticky-side up. You’ll lay the other sheet on top of this one, but don’t do it yet unless you prefer strapless bags! 

Straps: On the 18 inch side, take your strap and place about 2 inches of it 1-1/4 inches away from the edge. (Measurements are fussy but tutorials require measurements I suppose, and this is how much I love you.) Do the same for the other end of the strap and make sure that it isn’t twisted! Repeat on the other side.

Duck Tape Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

Yay! Now it’s time for the tricky part: sticking the two DT sheets together. This part makes me nervous every time because if the pieces stick before you’re ready, well, they’re stuck. I’ve found that if I fold the sheet I’m placing down in half, sticky side out (being careful not to stick it to itself) that it works much better because it’s easier to handle. I can just unfold it and smooth it out. Make sure all your edges are lined up the best they can be, then go for it! No turning back once you do.

Duck Tape Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

As you can see by the picture, I do have a nice sized wrinkle in there. Aack, some things are just unavoidable. I’m not too worried about it since it will be on the inside of the bag. 🙂 My sides weren’t lined up perfectly either, but that’s okay because we can fix it later.

Time to tape the sides together. Make sure the inside of your bag is facing upwards. Cut two strips of Duck Tape, each one about the half the length of your bag, and tape like so:

Duck Tape Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

The reason one of them is peacock is because I ran out of blue. Ha! Anyways, starting on one side fold the tape back, hold, and then fold your bag up onto the tape. Do this with both sides and try your best to make sure that the top edges are lined up. 🙂

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

It’s really coming together!! Yay!! Now here’s the time we’ll add the trim and get rid of all those sticky tape strips that are still showing. If you have extra tape up at the top like I do, you can fold it over. We’ll still add trim on top of it, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

With that out of the way now, you can add trim to the sides. Because I ran out of blue and because it’s pretty, I chose to use the peacock to finish it off. I pulled a strip of peacock out, the same length as the side of my bag, and folded it over the edge on both sides. I did the same for the bottom, and the top. The top of the bag has those handles on it, and that makes it difficult to fold your trim tape over. Using your scissors or X-Acto knife, make little snips on either side of the straps and fold.

Duck Tape Bag Tutorial | Majestic Adventures

And now it’s finished! Here are two of my bags.

Duck Tape Bag Tutoria

As you can see, I didn’t add anything else onto my blue bag. Wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted, and it looks nice anyways, hehe! If you do want to add something extra, you can add another strip of Duck Tape or your name like on my Emma bag, or I’ve made small Duck Tape flowers and taped them on too. (I don’t have a picture of that one because I gave it away) You could add a bow, even–possibilities are limitless. 😀

Well, that’s all. I hope that you guys enjoyed this tutorial! And I hope it all made sense! If there’s anything that I can clarify, let me know! Or does anyone have any questions?? I’ll do my best to answer them for you! I’d love to hear what you guys think. 😀

Talk soon! Thanks for dropping by! Emma xo

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