Book Advent: Day 13 {Santa Belt Candle}

A new day, a new story at our house!  Little Man is getting really quick at spotting the books under the tree and tearing them open.  He loves just about ALL of the books we've read so far, and has them stashed in his crib because he begs to read them to fall asleep to.  (He reads books for 30-45 minutes to fall to sleep each night... never tears a page!)  Today's featured story was another one of my vintage Christmas favorites:
Poor Santa wishes he had more time to play with all of the toys he makes... he devises a clever plan to make time to play!
Today I was craving a "Mommy" project.  So during nap time, I created this Santa belt candle.  Well, at least it started out as a Santa belt.  I decide to make it a ruffle belt, so I think it looks more like Mrs. Claus than Santa Claus!  But that's fine with me!
For this project:
* I bought a red candle at the dollar store.  You can't get any cheaper than the dollar store!
* I wrapped the candle first in white felt.  I love all of my felt scraps left over from my quiet book!
* I tore a long strip of black fabric.  I created a ruffle and then sewed the ruffle in place.  I hot-glued the ruffle over the white felt.
* Next, I just added a gold button in the center.
  
It really brightens up my kitchen window ledge.

I love an easy project!

Book Advent: Days 10 & 11 {Photo Bookmarks}

Today I have a fun tutorial to share with you, so read on to find out how to make a piece-of-cake stocking stuffer!


I like to take it easy on the weekends!  For yesterday's book, we read If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.  It may not sound Christmas-ey, but it is full of holiday charm!  Plus, my Little Man is literally obsessed with the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series, so this book was definitely magical for him!  For our activity, we watched a movie and popped popcorn.  You could take it a step farther and make popcorn garlands, but I think we'll wait a year or two for that!
We are HUGE Mercer Mayer fans at our house, so today's book was a hit!  We read Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad... the story of a little critter who tries awfully hard to do nice things for his parents for Christmas!
Today I am sharing an easy gift for your kids to give to Grandma, Grandpa, or even Mom and Dad!  I shared these photo bookmarks at The Scrap Shoppe's Handmade Christmas last week.  
Time is very short this holiday season, so I love a short-and-sweet project!!  After getting Little Man's new photos, we decided to make a photo bookmark to give his grandparents.  Trust me--this project was easy!  Come see!
I was thrilled when I discovered a package of these cardstock bookmarks at Michael's.  I immediately knew that they would make the perfect stocking stuffers.  I think they cost me a $1.  You will also need:
* Photo's of your little guy or doll.  (I had Costco print a few sheets of wallets.)
* Scrapbook paper.
* Mod podge.
* Scissors.
* Distressing ink.
* Ribbon.
* Photo corners.
* Any other fun embellishments!
I have a new craft pal.  This Fiskar's scallop punch is my new best friend!  After cutting strips of coordinating scrapbook papers, I dressed up some of the strips with scalloped edges.
I used mod podge and layered all the scrapbook strips to create a little collage.  I tied a fun glittery Christmas ribbon through the hole at the top.  The new My Mind's Eye Christmas pack was the star of the this project!  I love this collection!
Now for the fun part!  I wanted to make 4 bookmarks (one for each grandparent), so I decorated the front side of each bookmark a little differently.  I distressed the edges just a bit, and then cut the photos down to size.  I used some photo corners to really show off the pictures.  Let's be honest--that's the best part about the whole project!
I think this little stocking stuffer will be sure to please!  In fact, I wouldn't mind making a few more photo bookmarks so I can keep one for myself!  Here are a few more pictures of the final product:
I think his grandparents will melt.  At least I hope so!

Happy crafting!
And happy weekend!

Book Advent: Day 9 {Snowmen at Christmas}

Today was one of my favorite days of our book advent so far! I don't think Little Man remembers snow, and we haven't had any here in Colorado this winter.  (Hey, I'm not complaining... I'm enjoying my 60 degrees weather right now!)  Anyway, I think Little Man is very intrigued with snowmen.
Our book today was Snowmen at Christmas.  This is one of my fav's!!!  I don't know what else to say about it but read it.  We were so caught up in the snowman spirit that we ended up watching the Frosty cartoon tonight.  Little Man soaked it all up!
Today we did some snowman art using shaving cream mixed with Elmer's glue!  When I told Little Man we were doing an art project, he immediately took off his shoes and socks. I think he anticipated another reindeer craft. He really enjoyed making "snowflakes" by doing little fingerprints all over the page.  (I definitely recommend doing this project just before bath time!)
For this project...
* Mix equal parts of shaving cream and Elmer's glue.  The mixture dries puffy just like this.
* Use your fingers to spread the shaving cream mixture and create your snowmen on blue cardstock.
* Add cardstock pieces to form the eyes, nose, mouth, hat, and arms.  (I used ribbon for the scarf.)
* I saw this adorable idea here at Homemaking Fun.
This was a last-minute idea, but we made little snowmen treats for dessert tonight.  I stuck a couple of donut holes together using frosting.  We used chocolate chips for eyes, pretzel sticks for arms, and a Hershey's mint truffle kiss (delicious!) for hat.  We tried to stack the donut holes three high, but they kept toppling over.
Do you think Little Man enjoyed it?
Maybe I should have saved this treat for just-before-bath time, too!
Happy Friday!

Book Advent: Day 8 {Baby Jesus Ornament}

I hope you are enjoying our little book advent this holiday season!  I love sharing my favorite Christmas books with you.  This is my way of sitting back, enjoying the holidays, and simplifying my crafts a bit and trying to make them more meaningful.  It's also been fun to enjoy more crafts with Little Man!
Today we read an adorable story that one of my readers recommended: Mortimer's Christmas Manger.  This is a sweet story about a mouse who wants to leave his dingy hole and decides to set up camp in the manger--right in Baby Jesus' bed!  As much as I love the Santa stories, I really love reminding Little Man *and me* about the real meaning of Christmas!
This Baby Jesus ornament is super easy to make.  Simple and sweet--perfect for me!  For this project...
* Start with a small craft basket.  You can find these at craft stores.
* Stuff the bottom of the basket with Spanish moss.  You won't need much. Now you have your manger.
* To make Baby Jesus' head, you just need a small wooden circle.  You can also find these at craft stores.  Add a face.
* Use a stronger glue to attach the head to a bundle of fleece or muslin, just wrapped in a tight little bundle.
* Wrap the body a couple of times with a gold cord.  We also wrapped the head once to add a touch of nobility.
Here is an up-close view.  This would also make an easy nativity piece.
A great way to remember the real meaning of Christmas!
Enjoy your day!!

Book Advent: Day 7 {Hand & Footprint Reindeer}

My friends... time is flying by entirely TOO fast!  I can't believe Christmas is just 2 1/2 weeks away.  I always have great intentions of getting my shopping finished ahead of time, but it was simply not possible this year.  I am starting to realize how much I have to do!  But I love our book and activity advent because it helps me see the magic of Christmas through Little Man's eyes.  It's a good reminder for me to stop and enjoy the season!
Today, we read a book that was new for me!  Olive, the Other Reindeer is a silly story about a dog who thinks she is a reindeer.  Little Man was laughing through the whole thing!  We watched the classic cartoon about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Little Man loved it!!  He kept saying, "Nose, nose" and pointing to all of our noses.
Here is our project of the day:
Can I just tell you how difficult it can be to get hand and foot prints from a toddler?!  Luckily, Mr. Oopsey Daisy was here to help tonight, and Little Man thought it was fun when I painted his toes!
For this project:
* Paint both hands.  Stamp at an angle (probably more than we did!) with thumbs pointed in.
* Paint one foot.  Stamp with heel overlapping the handprints.
* Add eyes and a red nose.
I wanted to make this something that would last, so we created our little reindeer on a canvas.  I want to hang this in Little Man's room every Christmas!  It would be fun to do a print each year to see how he has grown.
Thanks for reading!  You make my day!

Book Advent: Day 6 {Candy Cane Mouse}

Hello, my Oopsey pals!!  
I was a little behind today and didn't get today's book under the tree until this afternoon.  Little Man woke up from his nap, ran over to the tree, picked up his book and said, "Book! Book!"  He immediately ripped the paper off and wanted to read today's book!  It melted my heart that he's already figured out this routine and loves it!  I needed some of that affirmation.  It makes all of the legwork 100% worth it!
Today we read The Mouse Before Christmas by Michael Garland.  This book has stunning illustrations.  It is the story of a mouse who wants to meet Santa and ends up joining him in his travels across the world.  Very sweet.  
For our project today, we made candy cane mice!  We used to make these with my Mom as easy holiday favors.  I took one apart to use as my pattern, and it was so simple to re-create!
To make your own candy cane mouse....
* Cut an oval out of felt.
* Cut 2 slits in the center.
* Cut a long oval for the ears.  It should by wider than the length of the slits.
* Tuck the ears through the slits and just gather them like a bow.
* Slide a candy cane in between the ears and the body.
* Hot glue a pom pom nose and google eyes.
This is how the back will look.

 The candy cane is supposed to look like the mouse's tail.
We made one for Little Man plus Mom and Dad!  Little Man keeps carrying his around and comparing it to the mouse in the book.  Such a smarty pants! 
Thanks for reading Oopsey Daisy!

Book Advent: Days 4 and 5

Weekends at our house are NOT relaxing!  Usually Mr. Oopsey Daisy is only in town on the weekends, so we are crazy busy running errands, organizing, and just trying to get our "family stuff" done.  We kept our book advent going, but we did activities instead of crafts.
Day 4 - How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  Another genuine classic!  I love all things Dr. Seuss, so I snuck this book into our advent even though I didn't think Little Man would make it through the whole story.  Boy, was I wrong!!  He sat through the whole book and just soaked it up.  He loved it!  For our activity, we watched the movie of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and had a pajama party!
 
While we watched the movie, Little Man's Daddy was putting together a sage bench for me. (I am having way too much fun shopping online, although I think the hubs is getting sick of assembling all of my new furniture!)  Little Man sat in the drawers, called it a "choo-choo-train" and had a great seat for the movie!
Day 5 - How Santa Got His Job.  This is a darling book describing Santa's previous job experiences.  Very, very clever.
For our project, Little Man wrote his first letter to Santa!  Very exciting.  Granted I actually did the writing, but Little Man did hold the pen with me while I wrote!  That explains the messy writing--it's very difficult to write with a toddler's hand in the way!  But he liked helping.  We talked a lot about the gifts he hoped for (gifts that Santa may or may not have already prepared!).  
Isn't the Santa stationary adorable?!  You can download your own stationary at Stay and Play where Holly generously offered her printable!

We'll be back with more crafts tomorrow.
Are you enjoying your own book advent this year?

Book Advent: Day 3 {Christmas Trees}

It was another fun day in our book advent!  While I am waiting for my library books to come in, I have been relying on all of my own childhood favorites to get us started.  Today, we read The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree.  
I adore this story about the animals who decide to decorate the fir tree they live in to attract Santa's attention.  I had to pin down Little Man to listen at first, but he was quickly absorbed.  He was intrigued with the idea of the tree being a house, too.  
Today was all about Christmas trees! These stacking Christmas trees are so fun!  I made them out of paper, although I am imagining a super cute felt version (Someone please try it out and send me pictures!)  I found a pattern to make these here at The Small Object.
I am quite pleased!  These stacking trees are very age-appropriate. Little Man is really into building towers right now, and I have been teaching him about identifying the sizes of items in order to stack them.  He loved stacking the layers of the trees, and he was really concentrating on the task.  It was hard to STOP him when it was time to go to bed.  Of course Little Man found another use for these, too--he loves yelling into the cones!  (It's like a backwards megaphone!)
I actually became a little addicted to making these happy little trees.  I think I ended up with six.  I used all of the My Mind's Eye paper scraps I had left over from this project.
Just in case we didn't get enough Christmas trees today, I dreamed up these little cuties last minute!  I picked up some sugar cones, covered them in frosting, and decorated them with some of our favorite treats.  Little Man is OBSESSED with M&M's, so I know that little tree won't last long.  I will probably munch on the marshmallow tree all day long tomorrow as I unpack my craft room!  I can't wait for Little Man to wake up and discover his yummy M&M Christmas tree!
I am wondering about making these to go along with our gingerbread houses.  The possibilities of candies are endless!
 Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

Book Advent: Day 2 {Jingle Bell bracelets}

Hello, my friends!  Thanks so much for your kind feedback about my Christmas book advent.  I also appreciated the tips for Christmas books, too!  I take your advice seriously, and I've quickly tried to reserve all of your recommendations through my library. Here is our book for Day 2:

Jingle Bells... can you get any more classic than that?!  I actually grew up reading this same Jingle Bells golden book, so it was exciting for me to enjoy this with Little Man now.

To celebrate the story, we made Jingle Bell bracelets.  Mr. Oopsey Daisy gets a little squirmy at the term 'bracelet' for his son... so if he asks, these were musical instruments!  After reading the story, we definitely needed to sing the song.  These jingle bell bracelets added the perfect "jingley" touch!
I saw the idea for these bracelets here at Family Fun.  They are fast and simple to make (just what I needed on a crazy day like today!)  
* Take one piece of pipe cleaner and slide jingle bells along it.  You could add beads, too, for an extra special touch.
* Then take a coordinating piece of pipe cleaner and simply wrap it around the first piece like a snake. 
* Twist your two ends together, and you're all done!  Simple and sweet.
Happy Friday!

Christmas Book Advent: Day 1 {Santa Beard Countdown}

Welcome to Day 1 of our Book & Activity Advent!  It took me all day long to get this little advent rolling, but we made it!!  Our first book ended up being Little Man's bedtime story.  He loved it so much that he insisted on reading it twice and wanted to take it to bed with him.  Success!
Here Comes Santa Claus is a song book--Little Man's favorite!  The words are the lyrics to the popular song "Here Comes Santa Claus", and the illustrations are gorgeous!  I thought this would be a good way to introduce Santa to Little Man.  Even though my singing voice was atrocious, he must have loved it because he demanded an encore!
What better way to begin our book advent than with a little countdown made just for Little Man?!  This activity is something I did each year with my first grade students.  I taught year-round school, and we were off track during the month of December.  This activity was something they completed at home with their families to anticipate Christmas.
Say hello to a less-hairy Santa.  But don't worry, he won't be beardless for long because every day during the month of December, we will be adding a cotton ball to his face to form a fluffy, white beard!
For this project:
* I created this little poem in Photoshop using this Echo Park Paper kit.
* I found a cute Santa face here at Vector Jungle.  I just cut off the beard when I printed it out.
* I mounted all of it on a couple of pieces of green cardstock joined with coordinating scrapbook paper.
* Santa is looking jolly on our refrigerator.
EDITED TO ADD:
If you are having trouble printing the Santa, here are some tips:  Download the entire Christmas clip art pack.  In photo editing software, clip just the Santa face. Then insert into a Microsoft Word document.  Adjust size as needed and print!  I hope this helps!
Little Man loved putting the first cotton ball on Santa's beard tonight with his Daddy.  I have a feeling he will grow to love this even more as the days go on.  Little Man loves his routines!  We have plenty of advents around this house... lots of way to look forward to Christmas!
Come back later for a book and activity for Day 2!
Thanks for reading!
Edited to add:
Of course I would LOVE to share this Santa and the poem with you.  However, the Santa graphic is under copyright at Vector Jungle, and the digital papers that I used for the poem are copyrighted by Echo Park Paper.  I have received several comments from readers creating their own downloads for this activity.  Please be sure you are following the appropriate terms of usage!  We all need to be following copyright laws.  This is why I directed you to the link of the Santa clip rather than offering it as a printable.  Thanks for understanding!
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