Top 10 Posts of 2011

Since today's the last day of 2011, we thought we'd share our favorite posts from this year. Since we've only been blogging since April 2011, these posts are our favorite of all time =)

Mom/Diana is up first, since she's always last =)

Mom said I think the pillow turned out really well...not wayward at all.
WGC said: She's totally right! This pillow looks so pretty and totally a part of the bedroom set.

Mom said: Mrs. Pigg loved it!
WGC said: We just think this quilt is so adorable! Mom showed us how to curl grosgrain ribbon and use freezer paper applique in this quilt. 

Next we have Jasmine's favorites:

Jasmine said: My love for Harry Potter lead me to make my very own HP craft
WGC said: We all really love Harry Potter. I'm not sure who loves HP the most--Probably Jasmine since she did an HP craft!

Jasmine said: This was so fun to make with Brooke! 
WGC said: Those popcorn kernels are so cute! What a clever idea for all those movie tickets we all save. 

Brave Brooke's two favorites are:

Brooke saidThe reason I love this post so much because I literally use this everyday. It has made getting out the door, which is sometimes the hardest thing, that much easier. People ask me about it everywhere I go and I'm proud that I made it.
WGC said: This may be one of the most useful sewing projects from our blog!

Brooke saidI liked this post because I felt confident wearing these shirts and they were super simple. I think twice about throwing out clothes now!
WGC said: Man for someone who says they're a sewing novice, Brooke sure does a lot of sewing! And she's good at it too!

Just Jaime's two favorites are here:

Jaime said: I loved this shower. It was my first time throwing one and I put all I had into it. I LOVED what we (me, Brooke, my mom, and my best friend) created!
WGC said: There is so much to see in this post! That's a lot of hard work!

Jaime said: I love this chair. I love the deal I got on the fabric, and I loved working on it with my friend, Anne. It makes me happy when I look at it and sit on it.
WGC said: Yay for crafty friends and staple guns!

Finally, we have Jordan's two favorite crafts from 2011:

Jordan said: Because they were really tasty! I was quite proud of them
WGC said: Um, we'd like a bite!!

Jordan said: I was really proud of how this came out. It's been very useful for our family.
WGC said: This is so impressive! Couldn't we all use a command center?!

Thank you all so much for a successful 2011! We are so thankful for our followers, the comments and for the fun we've had on this blog. We look forward to 2012 and lots more projects! 

PJ Party

I didn't make a lot of my gifts like my girls did, but I did make lots of pj pants for the grandkids. There was so much fun flannel on sale, I just got overexcited!
Here is what I made:

That's right, 14 pairs of pants. I also  embroidered some T-shirts to wear with them for the older children.

Here's how they looked:

The red and green frogs were for Christmas Eve.

I have a tried and true pattern I have used for 6 years, but this year I bought a bigger size. Alas, it was not as easy as my old one. So... I taped the front and back leg pattern pieces together and got a pattern that looked something like this:

Overlap the seam allowances.

You have fewer seams and pieces this way, and the pants sew up very quickly. Cut two of the pattern, then sew each leg seam up to the crotch seam. (Finish the seam edges now, if desired.) Turn one leg right side out and tuck it inside the other leg. Right sides will be together. Sew the crotch seam and voila: the pants are formed! Ready for waist band and hemming!

Recovering Buttons

Project redo my room is still a work in progress. My mom and I made buttons to add to the headboard we are also redoing. It has been quite a busy week after Christmas so far! Because the half-ball cover buttons were expensive, we just bought shank buttons the size we wanted and fabric that matched the new paint job.

To cover the buttons, cut a circle of fabric about 1/2-1 inch larger than the diameter of the button. Next, sew a running stitch around the edge at about 1/4". Don't back stitch and leave the end of the threads long enough to pull.

Now, pull the threads tight encasing the button. If there are wrinkles in the fabric pull it tighter or hand stitch it some. Tie the ends all together. Make sure it's all tight. Since you really don't need that much fabric (depending on how many buttons your probably only need 1/8 of a yard or a scrap if you have one) and the buttons could be ugly and cheap, it's an inexpensive and quick way to make matching buttons!

What I Gave part 2

Like Jaime I made a lot of my gifts for Christmas for our siblings and parents this year. I was really inspired by things I saw on Pinterest. I made two things in particular that I was really proud of. The first I made 9 pairs of were hand warmers.

Hand warmers
Fleece (with the 18 I made I didn't even use a full yard)
Some sort of funnel- I used a piece of cereal box.
Scrap paper

I first made a template out of some scrap paper. I sewed around the edges with right sides together leaving a space to turn them right side out. I turned them right side out and sewed around the edges. I used my funnel to fill them and I tucked the edges of the opening and sewed them shut.

When I gave them I gave the instructions which are to microwave them for 30 seconds. I think you can experiment with more so that they stay warmer longer.

4"x4" tiles
Scrapbooking paper
Mod podge
Acrylic Spray

I made two sets of coasters that had 6 tiles each. I picked out papers and accents that went with my mom and my mother-in-law's living rooms. I cut out and arranged and mod podged each layer. Leave time in between layers for drying. I put 5 coats of mod podge on the tiles making sure the accents were pressed down each time. I then put on the acrylic spray using 4 layers waiting in between for drying time. The jury is still out about final drying time. On the can it says wait 15 minutes between coats and we did that and they had not fully hardened a couple days later. I would wait a few weeks before using them.

My mother-in-law's. The embellishments are glitter :)

My mom's

Christmas Gift Show Off: What I Gave Handmade

This Christmas I decided to make as many gifts as possible. I made gifts for the women in my family which ended up being quite a few! Some people haven’t gotten to open theirs yet so I can’t share them, but here are a few things I can share:

The jewelry making bug has bitten me again. I made these earrings as well as a few other pairs (5?) with other beads. I used a tutorial from here a blog I found on Stumble Upon. By the way, let’s be Stumble Friends! JustJaimeWGC

I made a tank for my sister in law who loves her half marathons (thus the joke). I used the same method as before. This time I did it in my hotel which was a little crazy BUT I think it was pretty cool!

I made this necklace for Brooke. I loved it A LOT and wanted to keep it. Sadly, I had to give away ;) Beneath that is an infinity scarf I also made for Brooke.

I had to model it of course. I really apologize for these pictures. I have a nice DSLR camera, and yet I took all of these with my phone?!

The handmade gifts were so fun. I really tried hard to figure out things that were my family’s style. I learned so much in making these gifts. I’m so excited for next Christmas =)

Making your holiday decorations go the extra mile

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! We certainly did.

I'm going to sound like Scrooge here, but one part of Christmas that I don't particularly care for is decorating. I like having Christmas decor up, and trimming the tree together is fun, but hauling box after box of decor out and moving around everything that's already in our home to make room is a lot of effort to me—especially when I know I'm going to have to turn around and pack everything back up in a month or less (because heaven forbid we enjoy our Christmas decorations after the presents are unwrapped!).

So when I saw an article in last Sunday's paper about getting the most out of your holiday decorations—how to make them more useful year-round and how to save money, too—I fell in love. Here are a few awesome things I learned:

  • For quick changes, get large clear vases.
You can change out the contents by season (or month) to help give your home a holiday feeling. The best fillers are often free: leaves in the fall, Christmas/Valentine's/Easter/Halloween candies you're buying anyway (especially when separated by color), ornaments you already own, etc. I'm pretty sure some of the other Wayward Girls use this trick already!
Source: via Janet on Pinterest

And speaking of cheap:
  • Sometimes the best decor is free—just waiting for you to go outside and pick it up.
Natural decorations are almost always seasonal. We already do this in a big way during Christmas time with evergreen trees and wreaths (real or fake; I don't judge!).

In the winter, pine boughs, pine cones, and white-bark tree branches like birch and aspen, look timeless and chic throughout the season. Nothing says spring like flowers. Fall leaves, acorns and the like are really the hallmark of the season. And all these can go great with the first suggestion ;) .

If you don't have these things around, you can often find them for cheap at craft stores. Jaime found a bag of red and yellow fall leaves at the dollar store this year. While it doesn't sound as cool as actual items from nature, one plus to fakes: you don't have to go looking for them every year (and they don't turn brown and crunchy!).

Source: via Diana on Pinterest

You can also incorporate this principal in other ways. One person in the article said she used a red cardinal theme in her Christmas decorations. The birds last through at least Valentine's day without looking like she forgot to take down her Christmas stuff!

  • Candles are quick change artists.
Using candles in the colors (and scents!) of the season is a quick way to change the look of your home. You can also make more seasonal candles like these awesome Wayward Girls' crafts:

If the plates and holders are neutrals (including neutral colors, white, clear, or metal), you don't even have to change them!

Possibly best of all, candles are small and easy to store. Three small boxes of candles (for the three seasons of the year we're not in right now) take up probably less room than my current Christmas decorations.
Source: via Abegaile on Pinterest
  • Love to entertain? The most versatile colors for plates are clear (one person loved to use scrapbook paper beneath them for a really custom look), white, and red.

Red might be a bit of a surprise, but a quick search of Pinterest proves red plates are festive all year:
Source: via Maria on Pinterest
Source: via Kristin on Pinterest

Source: via Susan on Pinterest
Now, I'm not getting rid of any Christmas decorations yet. But for 2012, I'm going to look for some of these things and think about how I can incorporate them into my home—and maybe I'll stop resenting decorating quite so much and start actually doing it a little more!

The best gifts

It is December 23. It is likely that lots of us are under a lot of stress right now trying to make sure our family has the perfect Christmas. For many years, I would be have been totally stressed out today, but instead this year I gave myself a great gift-- I let myself off the hook. Right after Thanksgiving I felt totally overwhelmed at everything I had to get done. I won't go into the list of all the expectations I had for myself, but trust me, it was a lot. I just decided I didn't have to be in charge of making sure that everything is perfect for everyone. I let some things go. When I start feeling stress, I just remember think about this gift I gave myself and I feel better immediately. So give yourself a gift... if everything isn't perfect and you are still frantic--- reevaluate what you really want Christmas to be about. For me, it is really about sharing the joy that the first Christmas brought into the world.

In that light--- here are a couple traditions that we have had in our family that help us feel that joy.

First, starting on December 1st, we change our evening scripture study to a focus on Christmas. We have a notebook with a scripture, song, and story for every day until Christmas day. The stories are hokey-- but at least one of us is brought to tears almost every night. Tonight we will be reading our favorite one, sure to make us cry.

We also have a basket that has some of the symbols of Christmas and a scroll with their meaning. (Note: I realize these reasons were created to fit things that are symbolic of Christmas rather than the other way around, but that's ok.) We go through the basket and talk about the symbols.
They are:

 The candle: A mirror of starlight reflecting our thanks for the Star of Bethlehem.
The bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.
The gift bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
The color red: The first color of Christmas symbolizing the Savior's sacrifice for all.
The Candy cane: The shepherd's crook used to bring lambs back to the fold. A reminder we are our brother's keeper.
The fir tree: Evergreen-- The second color of Christmas showing everlasting life. The needles point heavenward.
The star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long ago-- the shining hope of mankind.
The wreath: The symbol of never ending the eternal nature of love, having no beginning and no end.

Finally, my favorite tradition of all. On Christmas Eve,  family members gather at our house for dinner and fun. After dinner, we exchange "Gifts from the Heart." We draw names in November and then each of us works on a special gift from the heart. It is really touching and fun! Then we read the Christmas story from Luke. Next we sing every carol ever written. Finally, my brother reads "A Cajun Night Before Christmas" (you have to find this book!) and we eat the lovely cookies we have made. (We are about to make them right now.)
After everyone else leaves, the kids open 1 gift (new PJs) and we take pictures. Then we go to bed and wait for Santa to come.

SO... give yourself a gift and let go of things that don't matter too much, remember why we have Christmas, and try to share time with family.

Merry Christmas!

Applesauce Ornaments

In kindergarten we made applesauce ornaments. I LOVED these 2 little gingerbread people I made. They smelled oh-so-good! I put them on the tree every year. A few years ago, we brought down the boxes of ornaments to decorate the tree. When I opened my box of ornaments, I found my ornaments on top. I also found that they looked very different. I was so upset when I discovered some vermin ATE most of my 10+ year old applesauce ornaments. So I decided to make more this year. It's not the same of course but I'm sure they'll smell just as good.

To make applesauce ornaments you need applesauce and cinnamon. Mix together equal parts applesauce and cinnamon gradually adding the cinnamon in. About 1 cup of each will make a small batch.

The dough will be pretty soft and gooey. Simply roll out the dough (don't roll out too thin, they might break!) on wax paper or parchment and use cookie cutters to create fun ornaments. Be sure to poke a hole in them somewhere if you want to add a ribbon or ornament hook to it, you could also glue a ribbon on the back after it's dried.

Lay them on a cookie sheet and let dry for a few days or bake in the oven at around 200 degrees for about an hour. Keep an eye on them in the oven and make sure it's on a low heat. After they are completely dry, you can decorate them or just let them stay that cinnamon color. Mmmm I can almost smell them by just thinking about them on the tree. Merry Christmas!

Alternative Uses for Ornaments

As my mom mentioned last week for our wedding four years ago we used ornaments as our favors at the reception. They are purple and have 2007 written on them in silver with tags. We used them as the centerpieces with LED candles in the bottom of glass bowls. It was beautiful! Afterward we got the lefts overs which was about 100- literally. One day we will have a tree for just these ornaments and the beautiful tree skirt Jordan gave us that is purple and beaded and beautiful. We have to be creative with them for now around the house. 

Here are some ideas we've had:
On a garland. I can take no credit for this. It was all my husband's idea P.S. This mirror was an old bathroom mirror we glued stained molding to.
In baskets. There is a basket of potpourri, one of purple ornaments, and one of silver ornaments.

On all our cabinet pulls we have ornaments in the kitchen. I like the idea of decorating all aspects of your house.
I also have a large purple glass vase that holds silver ornaments in our guest bathroom.

Here are some ideas other people have done:

Do you have any other ideas? 
Are you ready for Christmas? I still have quite a few things on the list but we're checking them off!

Elf Yourself WGC Style

 This year I actually did elf myself for a friend's "festive" Christmas party:

I won the most festive outfit. Probably because I added a red undershirt and necklace to this get up. I made the hat out of stiffened felt, and the skirt is a basic tu-tu skirt with ribbons added. I wore a green skirt underneath as to not be nekkid.

But for a real laugh, watch these videos Jasmine puts together for us. She does it every year and we just seem to get better at dancing!

Click the terrible phone pictures to go to the videos!

Which one is your favorite? I’m partial to the first myself.
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