Friday, February 15, 2013

At Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day here I thought I'd share my families new traditions but first, a little history.
I was surprised to find out that its the second most celebrated holiday in the world, behind New Years Day. Also, that it began with celebrating Christian Saints who died a little before 200 AD and the day had nothing to do with love until the 14th century when some dude wrote a poem. Here it is:
"for this was on St. Valentine's day
When every bird cometh there to choose his mate"
Actually 3 other dudes also wrote poems around this time about birds mating on Valentine's day but this one is from the most well known author, Chaucer, the same guy that wrote The Cantibury Tales.  Yep, that's what inspired our modern day V-day. Because mid February is when birds choose there mate in England :)

A little about my history with Valentine's Day; When I was a kid we'd celebrate Valentine's Day at school by giving everybody a Lisa Frank or CareBear cards with those chalky candy hearts, and doing your typical Elementary School Valentines Day party. At home we didn't do anything too special, maybe mom would give us a little chocolate heart and we would make cards for our parents.
When I got older I hated Valentines Day because I was always single. I really just saw it as a holiday promoted by the flower, chocolate and card industry that made people express their "love" for each other with ridiculousness expensive roses, $4.00 cards (I can buy a whole chicken for that price!) and a huge box of chocolates that will taste just as good (actually better!) when they go on sale after Valentines day is over!  The first time I wasn't single on Valentines Day I told my boyfriend that I never had a good valentines day. He surprised me by giving me a heart necklace from Zales!! He gave it to me early, right after he got it. It took me a while to realize it wasn't the exact date that mattered, only the thought and the reason behind it. Needless to say I married him! The next year he asked me what I wanted to do, and I said why don't we wait until the 17th to celebrate.  Things go on sale and it's not as busy in restaurants. He liked that idea so that's what we've done since then. Plus my husband is notorious for giving gifts right after he gets them. I used to hate it, ("Just wait to give it to me, Christmas/my birthday/mothers day/etc. is only 4 days away!") but now I see that he is just excited for me to get it and he's really bad at keeping things from me. Those are good things!

Last year with short stuff, (when she was 2) I think let her have some candy (probably left over from Christmas :) and gave her a book or something like that. This year though, she kept asking when it was, and on Valentine's, asked if she could have her card. (Her Grandma and great-grandma sent her one in the mail, so I think that's where she got her idea from.) I hadn't gotten her a card, or anything really, because I was waiting to capitalize on the sales. So, before I came home that night, I got her a card, a 24 piece puzzle, a little tiny heart box of chocolates, and some valentines cards to color. Since she is older now, I don't think I will be able to get away from celebrating late like I do with Hubby. I'll just have to get things on sale now and keep them for next year (non-chocolates of course) I might just start a tradition with the whole family that they will get a little something the day of (that I purchased the last year for 70% off :), and I will bake cookies or brownies and make them into heart shapes. Then, after the chocolate goes on sale, I'll get a big one for the whole family!

I'll be the first one to say that I'm cheap! If I wouldn't of found a 99¢ card, I would have made one for Shorts, because there is no way I'll pay $3.49 for a card. However, because I'm a working mom, there is a trade off for time/cost. That's why I bought her cards to color. If I was really cheap, I would have cut ones out for her to make herself. We might do that when she gets older, but that's a little too much work for me right now. 

Well, that's Momma's Best Shot! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 jewelry making

When I first saw this necklace on pinterest I loved it, especially the teal color. I decided to try to make it for my sister in law for Christmas. I found some white beads at Hobby Lobby (for half price of course!) and figured white would go with a lot of outfits my sister in law has.  Here's the original post, her instructions are good. I basically followed what she did without much changes.

I had no idea how long to make it, so I figured the longer the better! I had a hard time locating the bead tips because I wanted to use an antique gold chain. I could only find silver so I just went with that with a silver chain. Of course after I finally needed them I couldn't find them. I had some black ones so I just used those. I found them the next day in my coat pocket (I even looked in there but I guess I didn't feel them when I reached in there). My 3 year old so graciously opened them for me, so I put them in there so she wouldn't spill them everywhere. While I was doing this Short Stuff wanted to help, (one of the many things I love about her!) and for awhile she was good about giving me beads, but I couldn't keep up with her pace, "Here's more mom!" and she was starting to hinder my progress.  Usually if she does this all I have to do is find a different job for her and she is set for awhile.  I remembered I had some plastic beads for her and pipe cleaners. I got those out and had her make Christmas presents for people too!

She made two for me, I asked her if I could take a few beads off so I could wear it as a braclet, and in true 3 year old fashion, she said, "No." So I asked her if I could hang it up in my car, she liked that idea better. She was super excited when she saw it in my car the next day!

So here's how mine turned out.  I totally want to keep it for myself! But the next one I make I will make it so I can also wear it as a bracelet. Hoop on one end, hook on the other; of both the braid and chain. I did this with the button necklace/bracelet I made too.  I'm hoping to also put an extender on this one so she has some options as far as length. 


Well, that's Momma's best shot!

UPDATE: 1/2/13! I made another one! The beads I use are from Hobby Lobby, called bead treasures. They come in a pack for 4 bucks and I could probably do 2 necklaces with each pack. They were half price so I decided to do orange for my sister in law, she has MS and orange is the color of the MS ribbon. This one changes into a bracelet as well!
I learned a few more things as I was doing this one. It was helpful to put the clasps on both ends before starting so I just had to attach the hoop at the bottom. I had to re-do the braid, like 7 times before I was satisfied with it.  Just when I thought the braid was tight enough, I'd play with it a bit and I realized it wasn't.

I also decided to try to make just a bracelet for me using the braiding style. This time I did a 5 strand braid. I also used clear stretchy cord I got at Wal-Mart (the thicker stuff!) so its easier to put on! I made sure I had plenty of extra on the end so I could tie it all together! My other sister in law had this awesome vintage necklace from her great-grandma, and said she never wore it so she gave it to me and it just so happens to match this bracelet perfectly! Pretty sweet!

Anyways, I hope your holidays were great!