As I was preparing for Lydia’s 3rd Birthday, I spent a lot of time searching through Pinterest for party ideas and inspiration. She had been insistent on having a Hello Kitty party and because I knew we would have a small party at home, I wanted to have a lot of decorations that would be unique and created by me. And let me be honest, after 8 years of Thomas the Tank Engine, SpongeBob Squarepants, Angry Bird and Lego parties, I was ready to pinkafy a birthday!
I found many Hello Kitty party ideas on Pinterest and during one of my searches, discovered pom pom garlands. I am a big fan of pom poms, so much so that I even made a virtual board dedicated to all things pom pom! I have crafted with pom poms many times but had never made a garland. It was so simple and easy that I can’t believe that I hadn’t done it sooner! And as far as decorations go, it is quite inexpensive to make yourself.
You will need a bag of pom poms, a needle, and embroidery thread. I purchased a bag of 100 pink pom poms from Hancock Fabrics for $1.99. Many other craft stores sell bags of pom poms most of which contain muticolors and various sizes of balls. I knew that I wanted uniform sizes and colors and the only place I could find them was at Hancock Fabrics. I picked a fancy (i.e. more expensive) embroidery thread because I knew it would show on my garland and it matched the color of the pom poms best, but you can go with any type of embroidery thread. In fact, I bet fishing line would work if you were making garland and the balls all touched. I used a needle I had on hand but was sure to pick one with a sharp point and a large eye. It is very important to pick a needle with a sharp point. Making the garland did not take long because I didn’t need to struggle to thread the balls together.
Once you have your materials, determine how long you want your garland to be and cut your thread accordingly. Make a small knot on the tail end and trim the excess. Begin to add your pom poms by spearing each one in the center with the needle. Continue with each pom pom until your garland is the desired length and knot the end.
It was so simple and easy that I made two while watching TV in about a half hour.
How bad is it that my Christmas tree is still up?! A part of me (the child-like part) is reasonably happy and content to have the tree still up. She says that the tree is so pretty and should stay up all year. Besides, it was so much trouble to drag all that stuff down from the attic and will be even worse trying to put it away. Why is it that the decorations never go back into the boxes exactly the same way? The adult (anxiety-ridden) part of me is going crazy and won’t open any of the blinds for fear that the neighbors will see and know! We normally leave the tree up till Epiphany but that has come and gone, as has my excuse to keep the tree up.
But it is such a pretty tree and I am having a hard time parting with it. Right now, I am just consoling myself by telling myself and anyone else who looks at me askew when they notice or ask if my tree is still up that I am just breaking it in.
It is a new tree. I just bought it this November on Black Friday from Sears and it is fabulous! It is a 7.5 foot Sonoma Spruce Color Switch Plus with 800 pre-strung warm white and multi LED lights. The diameter is 54 inches at the base and a rotating tree stand although we did not make use of that feature. The kids however loved the remote control switch which allows for turning on the three functions, solid multi, solid white, or flashing back and forth from multi to white. Baby girl loved the remote so much that she hid it from her big brother in one of the compartments of the advent calendar. We were still able to turn the tree on and off at the switch underneath the tree but one gets spoiled with a remote control. My only wish for this tree is to have it twinkle white light only or multi light only as well. It has realistic branches that are soft plastic, not the rough, stringy pieces that you see on most artificial trees (note that the inside does have those for filler but the vast majority are the realistic branches). I think the bottle brush (2183 PE/PVC branch tips) look nicest. Overall, very happy with this tree but unfortunately, it will come down today!
Facebook is one of the universe’s newest conspiracies against my time management plan. I find that in those few moments that I have before running an errand or picking up the kids from school, I have a choice; fold the clothes that are rapidly turning into a mountain on my couch or pick up my iPhone and check on Facebook. Facebook usually wins. However, just before Christmas an ad popped up on my feed from Shutterfly; 20% off of Photo Cubes. I am a huge fan of Shutterfly and have been for years. I have bought photos, calendars, frames, and phone covers but never saw photo cubes before. Instantly intrigued, I hopped on over to their website and was so excited at what I found. The description said that you could take your photos and turn them into a 3 dimensional decorative wooden display. The example looked great and upon reading further, I saw that one can choose from several different designs.
The photo cube is 4×4 and allows for 5 photos . The coolest thing was that I could display 5 photos in a compact and unusual way! I finally had a wonderful display option for those incredibly expensive boutique photos that I had bought the digital images (and rights to reprint them, of course). It didn’t take long to upload my photos and assign them to a panel. In no time I had that bad boy in my cart and was ready to have it shipped.
When it arrived, well before Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised. The cube itself was a bit bigger than I had imagined. What I wasn’t expecting was the missing 6th panel. Remember back to your high school geometry class or if that is too traumatic remember your kids building blocks. For a true cube, there are six sides but the Shutterfly Photo Cube is missing the bottom plane. It is hollow which makes for a lighter product. Be aware that the wood is really more like MDF (no splinters, I guess) and the pictures have a photo effect on them that is pearlescent. Perhaps it serves as a protectant for the pictures or is simply an effect of the lamination process. Whatever the cause or reason for it the pictures tend to lose some sharpness from the originals. It isn’t unpleasant but just don’t expect really sharp pics on your cube.
The cubes are normally $29.99 plus tax and shipping but like in my case, Shutterfly is known to give discounts and even free shipping. If you have time to bargain shop before you need your cube, you can always check Shutterfly’s web site regularly to see what specials they have or like them on Facebook and see what specials pop up in your newsfeed.
I really like my Shutterfly Photo Cube. It was a great conversation starter during the holidays. I can see so many great gift ideas for this: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, to document a special birthday or event. Because mine turned out so lovely, many of my friends and relatives may get these for gifts this year! For once Facebook may have proven more fruitful than otherwise thought.