Monday, November 30, 2009

Trim the tree: Tree Skirts

As I'm getting ready for the holidays, I ran across this adorable tree skirt from Amy Butler Designs. You can download free sewing instructions here. And check out another blogger's journey in making this tree skirt. It's too cute not to try yourself!

Don't have the sewing skills or time? Check out these precious skirts I found online


Friday, November 27, 2009

Football Fare

Check out all these fancy football treats. You can never go wrong with a football-shaped cheese ball. (Well, maybe you can...)

Sweet-Spicy Deviled Eggs from Southern Living

No party is complete without a tray full of Pigs-in-a-Blanket. Check out Martha's take on the classic.

These Mini-Cheeseburgers from Southern Living are too cute to resist -- and perfect snacking size!

Like I said, no football party is complete without a Cheesy Football. This is a good one from Kraft.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This Auburn picture frame from cmg05 at Etsy is too cute! It's perfect (and at a perfect price) for future Auburn students, current students or just die-hard fans.

And War Eagle!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Got a houndstooth for a cookie?

Perfect for the Alabama fans: Houndstooth cookies from SweetAmbs.

Also, check out her other amazing cookies on her blog. She's tres talented!

Giving Thanks

Just in time for Thanksgiving... cards.

I used stickers from Paper Source, a circle punch to make the circles, and some felt borders I found on clearance at Michael's after Halloween.

on the inside: for you.

on the inside: I give a "hoot!" about you.

Photos by Josh Rutledge.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cute Keychains

I have been carrying my Auburn keychain around for a few years. I love it, and like-hearted fans always notice it and ask where I found it.

But these great keychains from littlehappys on Etsy caught my eye. They'd make great gifts for the football fan on your list this holiday season.

Shopper's Alert: Stephanie at Little Happys is offering attempting creative readers a 20 percent discount on any one item per transaction! Just be sure to mention this blog in the "to seller" section at checkout. And be sure to give her positive feedback when your keychains arrive!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Let the games begin!

As my Alabama readers will know, this week is Thanksgiving. But more importantly, this week is the IRON BOWL!!!!

So in honor, this week at attempting creative is dedicated to football.

For the scrapbookers among us, adorable die cuts of your little fans from ScrapHouseDesigns over at Etsy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Envious Invites

Step one for a Thanksgiving party would obviously be the invites, and I just noticed these precious invitations on

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Favors has some excellent ideas for fall "favors." Of course, these are listed as wedding favors, but they can also be used for your Thanksgiving Day dinner as a parting gift to guests.

Their suggestion: Adorn bags of berry-and-almond trail mix with ribbons. Tag and display them in a wooden tray. Tuck Mason jars filled with vanilla-and-peach preserves into baskets for yummy wedding favors.

Other ideas from me: Fill Mason jars with dry ingredients from a spice cake or apple pie. Tie off with a beautiful ribbon and include your grandmother's Apple Pie recipe.

Fill antique spice containers with one of the spices from your stuffing. Include your recipe on a notecard.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nifty Napkin Rings

When I was younger, the general store in my hometown had a massive bucket of buttons. All kinds of buttons. All shades, all sizes. I loved running my hands through them just to watch it all fall through my little fingers.

That's why this project caught my eye. It would be easy to do with kids, but you could also really make it something special. Use all yellow buttons (in different sizes and shapes of course). Coordinate the colors with your Thanksgiving decorations or your china. If you don't want the light color of the wooden popsicle sticks, you could easily paint these with a dark brown or gray tempera paint (spray paint even).

[I get that these are supposed to look like corn, but it would be neat done without that intention.]

Be sure to check out the step-by-step instructions.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leafy Placemats

Leafy Placemats made with felt.

Such a cute idea from Woman's Day! Gets lots of ages involved and can be reused over and over again.

Contact paper can be flimsy, so I might suggest laminating if you have access to a machine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Sometimes Martha just does it best.

She's using this idea as a decorative element on a table or buffet, but it could also be a centerpiece.

She's chosen all silver, but you could do gold, red, brown, hunter green or anything that coordinates with your other fall decorations.

Or take another style with these pumpkins from Lowe's Creative Ideas.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

This idea from Store & Style is perfect. Create a Thanksgiving Countdown Calendar much like an Advent calendar during the Christmas season. And on each day, write something your family is thankful for.

A fun way to remember what Thanksgiving is really about.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Acorn-y Cute!

I love these Acorn Place Cards from Paper Source. My family hasn't used place cards maybe ever, but it looks like it's time to start a fun tradition. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kentucky in Pictures

This weekend I went to see my college roommate Claire in Lexington, KY. Her friend Laura drove up from Atlanta as well. It was a wonderful girls' weekend! We had a blast, saw some amazing places, tasted some interesting things, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was only too short.

Here, my weekend in pictures:

Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY -- Every drip is different. Every drop is the same.

Herb, our tour guide.

Not the best bottle dipper.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baby Bites and Flags

The highlight of the evening: baby bites from Pastry Art Bake Shoppe and cupcake flags from Laurenmakes.

Baby bites are little pieces of heaven. Small bites of cake wrapped in layers of decadent icing. Possible flavors: red velvet, chocolate, turtle, vanilla, strawberry, caramel, espresso, german chocolate, and many others. I dare you to only eat one.

Laurenmakes is a co-worker who makes amazing little flags for foods and cupcakes. She worked with me to match the purple on these mini flags to the purple I was using for the party.

Cocktail Napkins

Because I used crystal plates, I wanted a little color in the napkins. I went to a few local stores, but most of the offerings were limited. Online I found a plethora of cocktail napkins.

I landed at I know, the name seems a little, "This can't be for real," but it is. It's part of a larger entertaining supply company called Giftaria. They have web sites that are very specific to certain party needs, like baseball and elections, and in this case, cocktail napkins.

To keep the theme of the black/white damask, I found the Damask Black & White Beverage Napkin. And for the purple color, I found some Aubergine napkins. (They have since sold out.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Table Setting

It's simple to put all your food out on a table and call it done. It's not so easy to arrange everything and present the table in an interesting manner. I just don't have an eye for that sort of thing. Thankfully, my friend Eric came to my rescue. This table arrangement is quite possibly the easiest thing to set up. And in the end, the results are amazing.

First things first, clear the table.

Then, take bowls (I used mixing bowls and a stray pot or two) and turn them upside down.

Next, take a fitted bed sheet (yes, you heard me right--a fitted bed sheet) and cover all the bowls and most of the table top. Make sure the elastic is tucked gently under. (You don't want to give away your secret.)

Then take the flat sheet and rope it through your bowls. This is where your artistic eye gets a jump start. It really doesn't have to be anything grand. You're just adding volume.

If you happen to have other pieces of material (I had some black squares from an earlier party), scatter those around the table. Again, it's really only volume and a splash of color, not the focus.

Then, take your serving platters and perch them on top of the upside-down bowls. The varying heights of the bowls add the dimension to your platter arrangements. I gathered all the crystal serving pieces from family members. I also served on crystal salad plates to keep the theme going.

I found a few candles at the dollar store and positioned them here and there. The white roses were added for a bit of freshness, and to help party guests identify the foods, I made labels from left over invitation paper.

And that's it!

It really was one of the easiest things I've done. So thanks to Eric, I am no longer intimidated by table settings. I received quite a few compliments on the table. (And they had no idea it was my queen-sized bed sheets!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bucket o' Soda

In my post yesterday, I chose a cream and black damask pattern as my decorative paper for the invitations. I tried to run the damask pattern, as well as the colors of cream, purple, and black, throughout the party.

I wanted a bucket in which to corral drinks to keep people from opening the fridge numerous times. (Plus, my fridge is in a back corner of my kitchen, and the flow of traffic would cease if multiple people needed to sneak back there for a beverage.) And because it was super chilly the night of the party, I put the bucket outside where the cold air helped keep the drinks cool.

So, this was my solution:

I found the bucket at a costume supply store for $1.99. The buckets only came in Halloween colors (black, purple, and orange), but seeing as two of my colors were black and purple, I was in luck. Next, I went to a craft store and dug in the fabric and ribbon section until I found a one-inch-wide grosgrain ribbon with damask patten. It was 50-percent off that day, so I got one three-yard spool for $1.50. Finally, all I needed was some double-sided tape to help the ribbon stay in place.

I tied the ribbon around the bucket very haphazardly, just enough to keep it on while I worked. Then I began on one side, worked my way around taping the ribbon to the bucket. You'll have to do minor tucks and folds since the side of the bucket is sloped. When I got to the bow, I tied a square knot, taped the bow loops up just a bit, and I was ready to ice down my drinks.

For less than $5, it was a simple project with great results. Even better - it's completely reusable. And if the damask pattern doesn't match my next party, all I have to do is take it off and tape on another ribbon.

Here's a close-up of the bow.

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