Festive Festivities Recap

I went through my Instagrams so I could do a round up of our holidays. We are trying to get back into some semblance of a routine before school starts on Monday, just to ease us in.

Since I last updated, we did a bit more decorating…

modfrugal holiday disco 2012

From 1:30-3:30ish in the afternoon is when the disco magic starts in the kitchen…I bust out the sparkly platforms and get my boogie on…just kidding, not really. My windows are DIRTY.

modfrugal holiday 2012

modfrugal holiday 2012

I made another strand of wooden baubles with bigger spheres, since I ended up draping the first one on the white tree.

baubles on the table

We made candy! Dark chocolate crunchy and creamy peanut butter bites. Reese’s are our favorite, so it was a logical choice to start us off.

home made candy

We made our own Christmas crackers this year. We followed the tutorial here.

christmas crackers DIY

DIY crackers done

We knocked out a couple of screenprinted Minecraft T-shirts for gifts.

DIY Minecraft T

Speaking of screen printing, we also made our own wrapping paper at the Watkins College of Art Open House. These were the most fun to unwrap..I wish I had pictures of all the different patterns we made.

DIY wrapping paper

We went down to the Country Music Hall of Fame to make T-shirts with Hatch Show Print. They didn’t have as many of their vintage printing blocks as last year, but we still got fun shirts out of it.

DIY hatch show t shirts

We had a whirlwind trip to my parents for a few days…a party, presents, food, family and fun, until we had to leave to come back home on Christmas Eve.


Back home, we scurried and prepared and cooked for the next day, just in time to reveal the last figure of the Star Wars Lego advent calendar…..we call him SantaMaul.


modfrugal holiday

We made our first batch of homemade donuts and donut holes that morning…a lot of trouble, but very tasty. We used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. One problem. She doesn’t tell you where to add the shortening and after reading 100 comments, not ONE person seemed to mention it, so rather than read through another 100 comments to see if it gets resolved, I went to the gold standard of Alton Brown for his recipe to find out it gets incorporated with the warm milk and yeast. Their recipes are very similar and Alton has never led me astray.

donut holes

Otto was very pleased with the treats in his stocking. He is eagerly watching a bag of them being opened here….

Otto xmas

It was a big day for him too.

tuckered out Otto

The CC was so excited about his Christmas present, he had to cut into the walls within hours. AS YOU DO.

christmas holes for speakers

He crawled under the house running wire, and by bedtime, we had music in the living room. Camouflaging art gallery wall hijinks coming soon.

LR speakers

Our new tradition for a more formal holiday meal is to make a nice boxing day dinner. None of us want to bother with cooking a big dinner on Christmas, and everyone was happy…except that I overcooked the Beef Wellington. Boooooo. It was still very tasty, but over done for me.


boxing day dinner

cracker jokes

We went down to the Rutherford county line to get some fancy sparklers for New Year’s Eve. Fireworks are banned in Davidson county, and the park rangers are always out in our neighborhood, so we have to buy quiet pyrotechnics.


NYE also happens to be Thing One’s birthday…who is now a TEENAGER. Gulp.

13 years old!

The slumber party with 13 year olds and sparklers was exhausting…..

sparkler chaos

sparklers, not lightening

…and by New Year’s Day, we felt like Otto’s new nutcracker toy.

mangled nutcracker

Time to take down the decorations and get back to normal life.

We have spent some of our time off hatching the next renovation plan, so I’ll be back with that very soon. I hope everyone had a nice holiday, whatever you got up to!


TARDIS and Dalek

The CC made the kids TARDIS and Dalek ornaments this year. Dr. Who fans know what this means. I told you guys he went all out this year!!

If you want to see how he did it, head over to his Instructable for the TARDIS HERE, and the Dalek HERE.


Crafty Time: Holiday Projects Edition

We are geeky crafters. We are not ashamed of it…although, there was a period in our youth it seemed like a dirty secret…. 20 somethings with no kids who were home making things instead of..I dunno, doing whatever the hipsters were doing=Decidedly Not Cool. We got over it and decided to embrace the craftiness, since it typically yields things we like. Funny how that can happen.

I’ve rounded up a few projects from past years for your holiday pleasure.

Airplane and Helicopter Ornaments

Wood Veneer Ornaments

Every Year, The CC makes the kids an ornament, and every year, he frets about running out of ideas, but he always pulls it out in the end. Can I just say, he outdid himself this year and I can’t wait to show you. Dr. Who fans will enjoy them.

DIY Agate Slice Ornaments

agate in light

Heat embossed gift wrap

bag graphic detail

Map stenciled gift wrap


I mix up the decor every year. I like trying to find new ways to use my decorations each year to keep it fresh. I can’t imagine having to put everything in the same place, put together the same way, every year. Is that weird?

On a general decor note, most of this stuff, and the food gifts and projects just end up on Instagram, but a few had posts….might need to be better about that? Posts like this and this.

BTW, ditched Followgram now that Instagram finally has static pages for users, so the IG link above and in the sidebar will now take you to my page on Instagram instead of a 3rd party site.

The disco balls have been making our holidays sparkly for a couple of years now…


Bucky gets into the spirit.


Last year was the too wide taper caper for the brass deer….

And then there’s that damn elf. Don’t EVEN get me started.

I’m slowly getting this year’s vibe going…far from done, more to come!

Crafty Time: Bauble Edition

I made a garland of wooden baubles. Why?

Once upon a time, when people only read magazines made on paper, I tore out an image from Real Simple. Since then, it has made its way to all the digital formats like Pinterest etc.. and I still like it after all this time, so maybe this is the year I actually do something about it? OK, then.

Here are the original shots, back when Hable Construction textiles (see the napkins) were all the rage.

The simplicity and crispness of this styling still works for me and I wanted to make that wooden garland the minute I saw it. When everyone was going ape about the Ferm Living candleholder, I remembered this tablescape and knew it was time.


So, I braved Michael’s during the holidays to gather my supplies.

Instead of red string, I decided to try this red suede cord. The larger balls were not drilled, so I had to do that myself. Luckily the CC has a drill press he lets me play with now and then.

Without a vise, I had to hold the balls in place and hope I could stay on center.

Then, I strung them all up on the cord very loosely.  I don’t know yet how I will arrange the table for Christmas, so I decided to err on the side of caution. I can always tighten, but can’t add length once it is cut.

It was super simple and quick to put together. I might have to go to the woodcrafters shop and look for other woods. I’d also like to see if I can find even bigger spheres since the biggest ones at Michael’s are still smaller than the RS balls, but if I don’t have time for all that, I’m still happy knowing I can add on and tweak later.

You can see above that the red suede is creating a dust, but I’m hoping that’s just a temporary settling in thing. It might be a problem for someone using a white tablecloth.

Holidays Insta-dump

I didn’t blog much over the Holidays since I’ve become such a fan of Instagram.  It doesn’t mean I won’t ever be back here, but it has definitely changed the way I share.  Being able to snap on the go minus all the time required for a blog post=more time for family and friends=good thing.  I’m switching the link on the side to Followgram over Instagrid since I think it’s more comprehensive.  Anyway, here’s what we’ve been up to.

There were Ninjabread Men…..

and Star Wars Pancakes….. (Thanks LBJ and JJ!)

We made our very first Gingerbread house!  It’s never been my thing, but after seeing an A-Frame at Trader Joes, I couldn’t resist.  We had a blast making it.  Next year we might try again, baking all the pieces ourselves…The CC thinks we should make a mini treehouse!

and there was daily Elfing…..

A road trip…..

…and back home in time for Christmas.

The first signs of doubt…heartbreaking.  Hoping this wasn’t our last year for the magic…but if it was, I like to think we made the most of it.

Of course, there were gratuitous puppy shots…..

On New Year’s Eve, we hosted a slumber party with an art project…the ubiquitous crayon melting project.

This was mine……

and here’s the gallery of the kids’ creations….

I showed them photos from here and here in order to give them more ideas with different styles.  I loved how everyone made something unique, and they had such a good time.  There was (outside) doubt about whether boys would get into such a project, and when they were done and so proud of their creations, I felt quite pleased that maybe all my ideas aren’t so bad after all!

For what it’s worth, here’s my take on this project.  I found that the embossing heat gun (white one above) was the best tool.  The hair dryer puts out too much air, so we tended to use that to create splatter patterns and not so much for melting.  A tea light flame isn’t quite strong enough and gets extinguished easily, so we subbed out a taper candle.

Time to start packing up the decorations and get organized.  We haven’t printed out the annual list yet, so lots to do to ring in 2012…Happy New Year!


UPDATE: Hung the yellow piece in the bedroom. Things are still deciding where to hang theirs.


Holiday Disco Redux

The holiday disco balls are back, and I’m feeling the need for a little extra sumtin’.  Last year, I went for the bare and spare look, letting the sparklys take center stage, but for 2011, I’m wanting a more cozy feel.  Previous posts on the disco balls are here and here.

This year’s version looks more Charlie Brown than ever.