Christmas Countdown

We love a good Christmas countdown in our house...we do 3, every night, all through December...next year we may have to do 4 to give Ollie a turn.  We rotate who gets to do what: spin the number of days down on our Santa countdown, move a snowflake to the next day on a stocking calendar & up until this year we opened a wrapped book, kept under the tree every night & read it together as a family.  It may be a little much, but the kids LOVE it :)

This year we are doing this:
Each day a bag is picked that has a special little "gift" inside.
It's SUPER easy to put together...

You need:
*glassine (wax paper) bags {I found mine here}
*patterned paper
*wooden clothes pins
*small gifts to fill bags 

1. cut your patterned paper so it is about an 1/4 to 1/8 less wide and double the length plus and inch or two.  {My paper was cut to 2 3/4 x 12 for my 5.5 x 3 inch bags}

2. fold over one end leaving extra for a tab along the top of the bag...see pictures :)

3. Slide paper into bag & fold over extra tab

4. Fill with little gifts and Christmas candies--some of the things I used: holiday stickers, wrapped candies or gumfun shaped erasers, dollar section finds,tiny Christmas ornaments,a wooden ornament for each to paint...use your imagination & have fun shopping :)
5. Hang ribbon or garland on the wall and clip each bag on with a wooden clothes pin. {Mine are hanging on pompom garland I made by stringing store-bought red & white pompoms on green yarn with an extra-large needle}

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Back Open For Business!

I've been debating, long and hard, all summer... whether or not to re-open See Anna Sew.  So after coming up with new designs & reworking patterns I've decided to open back up again!

This will give me chance to switch back and forth between fabric and paper...keeping me from hitting a creative block :)

Items are now starting to be listed, you can see some of what's for sale on my side bar------>

and...hint, hint...
watch for a Grand Re-Opening Sale soon 
{as soon as I get more items listed}


Happy Halloween!

Here's a little Halloween Inspiration from KayC (my mom <3) 



...didn't she do an awesome job?
(Her house always looks great)
Thanks for sharing Mom!



This year our decorations are a little scarce...but don't worry--I'll have a guest blogger soon--KayC from Anna Clo't & Me {who just happens to also be my mom} She has some fantastic Halloween decorating ideas to share with you :)

Here's a little of my house {scroll down for a easy Halloween cooking craft too!}


Marshmallow Fondant

4 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
Food coloring and/or flavoring (opt)
4 cups powdered sugar + extra for rolling

1.           Measure marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl.  Add water and microwave for 1 minute.
2.           Remove from microwave and stir until completely smooth.  If any lumps remain, microwave for an additional 30-45 seconds, then stir again.
3.           Stir in any colorings or flavorings you would like.
4.           Stir in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you can no longer stir by hand.
5.           Turn fondant out onto a clean surface, generously dusted with powdered sugar.  Knead until smooth, adding additional powdered sugar as needed.
6.           Thinly rolled-out fondant works best.  Cut or shape into shapes to decorate cupcakes or use to cover thinly frosted layer cakes.
7.           If not using right away, store fondant a tightly closed storage bag in a cool room or refrigerator.  Knead fondant to warm up before using.

**For frosted cakes apply fondant at the last possible moment for best results.**

To make Fondant Lollipops {pictured above}, sandwich a lollipop stick between two thin circles of fondant.  Use a tiny, TINY bit of water on one side to adhere the circles together.  Top with a Halloween cut-out also adhering with a tiny bit of water.  For best results, let the fondant dry overnight so that it hardens up a bit.

Make a fun flat cupcake topper by just using the top layer {only use one circle decorated with a Halloween cut-out}. Lay it flat atop your frosted cupcake.


 Looking for some Halloween Goodies from Anticipation?  You're in luck! All Halloween items are now 20% off...plus enter coupon code SPOOKY and receive free shipping {U.S. addresses only}

Happy Haunting!
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A Little Autumn Inspiration

Are you ready for fall? and Halloween? and the Holiday Season?  I am!

The Halloween decorations are getting broke out this weekend...so watch for some great holiday decorating tips (& to see what I come up with this year).  Until then here's what it looked like last year & the year before...and if you need a little more inspiration, check out my two fall Etsy Treasuries on the side bar-->
(or here and here)

Happy Autumn!


Back in the swing of things...

I know...the posts have been few and far between this year...it's been a busy, busy year.  But that's about to change (well the posting part anyway).  I'm ready to get back to crafting & party planing and sharing all my ideas with you.

Here's a little of what has been happening in our life:

Summer vacation FLEW by--it seemed it was over before it begun, which I guess tends to happen when you welcome a new baby to your family right in the middle of it.  Baby Ollie (nicknamed so you won't confuse him with big brother O) joined our family July 29...we are all thrilled!

The big kids went back to school...and the family back to a routine-

And then 2 days after school started hurricane Irene hit...which was a big mess of downed trees & power lines, the shed off the back of the house squashed by a huge oak tree (thankfully the house & car & more importantly our family were all okay), 3 days of no school, almost 6 days of no power (but a generator to use), a week and a half with no Internet & still no t.v. (I am seriously missing my Top Chef Desserts, Project Runway, & Design star). Thankfully we are on our way back to normal :)

 the shed...or what's left of it

a huge tree coming across the road into our yard...there were at least 4 huge trees crossing the road blocking access to our neighbors and us

downed power lines and a few broken branches from a larger tree

Thankfully through out our neighborhood there was only minimal damage done to houses even though there were A LOT of trees down.  We feel soooo blessed :)

Now we are ready to get back to normal...which means more blogging :) Watch for more posts coming to Faith & Air Dumplings too!


Crispy Rice "Cupcakes"

My oven isn't working quite right..the bottom heating element is broken, which means NOTHING cooks evenly. And with three birthdays comming up--it presented a problem.  I could have gone to the store and bought pre-made cupcakes, but I don't like it when my kids come home faces & clothes died bright blue, green, or pink :)
So here is our solution...Crispy Rice Cereal "Cupcakes"...I have to say they were a HUGE hit.  All the kids opened their's up, expecting the standard cupcake and exclaimed "Yeah! There are rice crispy treats in here!"  They loved them :)

Here is what you need:
(standard rice crispy treat ingredients)
1 pkg. mini marshmallows
4 TB butter
1 tsp. vanilla
6 cups crispy rice cereal

chocolate candy coating (or use colored candy melts)
paper cupcake liners

1. Make your rice crispy treats--follow package directions or...In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-medium low heat, add marshmallows stiring constantly until completely melted (you can remove mixture from heat if marshmallows start to brown).
Add vanilla and cereal, mixing well until everything is evenly coated with marshmallows.

2. Spray a standard size muffin tin, 1/2 cup measuring scoop & your hands with nonstick spray.  Measure out 1/2 cup of the cereal mixture for each muffin.  Mound the top & press treats in firmly so each resembles a cupcake.

3. Unmold your "cupcakes" and allow to cool & dry.  1 recipe made about 15 cupcakes. Meanwhile, melt candy coating per package directions, or over a double boiler (my prefered method).

 4. When you can easily handle the cupcakes..dip just the tops into the melted candy coating.  Sprinkle with sprinkles while still wet.

5. When dried, drop into paper liners & enjoy!

Looking for more portible birthday treats? You might like these.


Make Your Own Cake Topper

I'm sure you've seen these around (maybe even in my shop)...adorable cake toppers that add a fun and unique look to any birthday cake (or any other cake honestly)...and they are easy to make, here's how:

1. Cut two strips of paper 2 x 12 inches each.  Score at 1 inch and fold, using a bone folder to get a good edge.  Now you should have 2 strips of paper 1 x 12 inches each.

2. Make a triangle template out of scrap paper...mine  has sides of 1 1/8 inches and is 1 inch long from tip to center top.  You can make the triangle any size you like, as long as it is not larger than your strip of paper.

 3. Line the top of your triangle template along the fold of your strip of paper and start cutting out triangles.  You will have extra, non-folded triangles left over...save them for another project.

4. Stick two, 10 inch bamboo skewers (found in the kitchen utensil department of most stores) 8 inches apart into a piece of thick Styrofoam.  Tie strings across, making sure they are tight (but not too tight).  Wrapping the strings around the ends a few times  helps the strings stay secure (you will glue the strings in place in the final step).

5. Now to add our triangles...I like to use a glue dot roller, you can use whatever adhesive you have on hand though.  Add a little glue to the inside of your triangle flag, making sure to get some over the crease-this will keep it in place.  Fold the flag over the string and press into place.  Repeat with remaining triangles, spacing them as evenly as possible.

 6. Move your skewers so they are a little closer together and the strings drape a little.  Adjust the strings so that they are evenly spaced & you like how it looks.  Glue the knotted ends of the strings to the skewers with a little dab of super glue or other clear glue.  Let dry & remove skewers from Styrofoam.  Before decorating your cake, wash & dry the ends of the skewers that were in the Styrofoam.

Now that you have the basic idea...here's a few more ideas.  And if your not feeling crafty, you can find all these in the Cake Topper or Birthdays section of my shop (either alone or added to my new birthday party kits) & I'll do all the work for you :)
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