“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Brian Tracy

This post will take us back to Christmas! As I reflect on what a lovely holiday season it was, I am reminded how blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends! I gave only homemade gifts for Christmas this year. I enjoyed the anticipation of giving each gift that I experienced while I was making each one equally as much as I enjoyed watching loved ones open them.

Although none of the gifts I made are extravagant, they were made with love 🙂 I would like to publicly thank my dear mom for helping me, as without her help, I would not have finished my gifts on time. There is just something about the projects I discover on Pinterest that make them look a lot simpler than they actually are. You’d think after all the Pinterest inspired DIY projects I have completed that I would have figured this out by now. Maybe next time 🙂

Check out the pictures to see what each family member received!

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad. I also went in on a fishing themed gift with my siblings. I bought some fancy hot dogs for grilling when Dad and Mom go fishing. Jy got a mosquito re-pellant and Ja contributed a gift card for chicken livers and a license!

Rice Heat Pad for myself :)

Rice Heat Pad for myself 🙂

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Canvas Quote given to Mom

Canvas Quote given to Mom

I also made a blanket and a crayon art quote for a friend, but I forgot to take pictures of them! So will have to add an update if/when I remember to take a picture of them.

These gifts are nice, but of course, my presence was clearly the best gift of all 🙂 Hope that your holiday season was filled with joy and you were able to spend it with your loved ones!

That’s the point of working with one’s hands, you see. It gives the mind something else to do besides worry” Charles Todd

Well, tomorrow I head to Saint Joseph to get all settled in to what will be my new home for the next ?? however many years! I’ve been keeping myself busy while at home in northwest, Iowa. Partially due to the fact that I’ve had these projects in mind for quite some time and finally have some time to work on them, but partially to keep my mind from thinking too much about all the changes that are about to come my way! Here are some things that have kept me busy 🙂

1. Button Headband: My parents went to an estate sale a few months ago and ended up with a whole slew of buttons! All different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles so I figured why not take some of them and make a super stellar headband?!

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2. I also did a few home improvement projects in my room! I started with having Dad help me take down my loft and then repainted the walls. I painted three of the walls grey and the remaining wall white with the intent of stenciling it yellow and grey. Unfortunately the stencil I ordered did not come in time, so next time I am home I know what I will be doing! I also took some old shutters that my grandma gave me the go ahead to take out of an old garage at the farm in northeast Iowa and made a headboard out of them! Big shout out to my brother for helping me to assemble it! When I initially asked him for his engineering advice as to whether or not the way I was thinking of assembling it would work, his response was that I needed to not be so ambitious… after that though it was smooth sailing 🙂002 009 (2) 012

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3. This last project I made for my parents as a combined Mother’s/Father’s Day present! I got the idea from a friend in Indy (shout out to Jay!) who made one for a bridal shower for our great friend Jacqui with one of her engagement photos. I used a photo from my master’s hooding ceremony of my parents and myself and used deco pauge and resin to transfer portions of the photo into bottle caps fastened to a canvas. Big shout out to the guys who let me have their bottle caps so I could make this (you know who you all are!). Took a long time and I think I liked it better before filling the caps with resin, but such is life!! This picture doesn’t do the canvas justice, but because of the shine on the resin it was difficult to get a good photo. Hopefully you get the jist of it anyways 🙂

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“Being crafty is not a hobby, it is a way of life” Unknown

Once again I am a bit behind on blogging about my Day Zero Project. I completed some Pinterest inspired crafts while I was in Indianapolis, which wraps up Complete 10 Pinterest Projects. Yes, I just used the past tense!! I am writing this update from good ol’ northwest Iowa as I left Indy exactly two weeks ago today. Hard to believe that it has been two weeks! Definitely missing some of my Indy peeps already. You know who you are 🙂

When I left Indy on June 30th, I spent a few days with one of my college roommates in Grand Mound, Iowa (shout out to Alyssa!) and helped her with some crafts for her wedding. Was a lot of fun and I can already tell her wedding is going to be b-e-a-u-tiful in October! From there I went to visit another former roommate (shout out to Molly!) in Iowa City. We did some shopping and I got the grand tour of her new house. Yay for being a homeowner!!

Then I spent a day kayaking with an old college buddy before heading to spend the fourth of July and surrounding days with my lovely grandma! My aunt and her two daughters from Minneapolis came down for the 4th as well so I got to spend some quality time with my youngest cousins. Never a dull moment with them around, so fun!

I made the rest of the trek to Northwest Iowa on the 6th, which was a super exciting day as my brother also returned stateside from his adventures from being an appropriate technology developer with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic that day! To say my parents were excited to have us both return home,let alone on the same day, would be an understatement!

This last week has been filled with some fun projects around the farm (which I’ll be updating you on shortly, hopefully!) making up for lost time with my family, and trying to adjust to the fact that my time in Indy is done and that I wont be going back to my apartment there once my visit at home ends. Not quite sure it has hit me yet, but I’m sure it will on Wednesday though! That is my official move day!! I will be making the move to Minnesota and starting my new position at the College of Saint Benedict’s the following Monday!

Enough rambling though, here are the Pinterest inspired projects I worked on while still living in Indianapolis!

1. During the last few months of my time in Indy, my good friend Amy and I were on a streak of going to garage sales. Sometimes we got super stellar deals and sometimes we found nothing, either way we always had a lot of fun and always had experiences that made for great stories! These are corkboards that I bought at one of the garage sales we went to for only $0.75! I covered them with some scraps of fabric that I had laying around and they are going to make a great addition to my new office!

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2. Okay, so this isn’t Pinterest inspired, just a random Bath and Body Works box that I had from a Christmas present. I covered it in some cute fabric and walah I have a little keepsake box! 🙂

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3. This canvas idea actually came from Pinterest! Finally something that actually relates to what this blog post was suppose to be all about! haha!Spent a rainy afternoon punching out hearts. I punched a butt-ton (an actual amount!) out of scrap paper from my scrapbook and fixed them onto this canvas with raised foam stickies to give it some dimension. Turned out pretty good I think!

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4. This last project that was Pinterest inspired I entered into the first annual UIndy cook-off! They are corn-on-the-cob cupcakes and took FIRST PLACE in the Most Original category! They were super fun to make and turned out really well. They are a plain vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting topped with jelly beans and a yellow laffy taffy to resemble an ear of corn with butter! So fun 🙂

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Mad props to you if you made it all the way to the end of this entry! Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it! 🙂 Even though I have completed the 10 projects to meet the requriements to check it off of my Day Zero project list (click the Day Zero tab above for a refresher of my complete list!) I will probably still continue to post updates on the crafts/projects I complete!