What’s in your box?

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Hello lovely people….

Wanted to take the opportunity to give a big shout out to the folks at UMBA box.  If you haven’t heard of this concept…well, you should listen up.

Two gals….one bright idea…sort of the wine of the month club meets crafty-artisans and cool stuff kinda thing.  If you click on their web site  here or down on the lower right hand side of this page…you will be introduced to a subscription based company that will send you  the most ADORABLE box of crafty items each month.  It makes a great gift and definitely a super surprise each month for those of us who appreciate hand made goodies.

I upcycled the above coasters (they have a letter pressed calendar on the opposite side) which was part of the December Umba box in 2012.  They are from Sugar Cube Press--they do an amazing line of hand pressed stationary and calendars.

Anyway…check them out and tell them the Highnote sent you!

dcb

 

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Advent Calendar Ideas–Countdown “Coupons”

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It is a whopping 10 degrees here in Colorado….a good time to stay in and put up holiday decor….

This smiley Santa has been in my family for years…I grew up with it.   My mom crafted him from simple felt and sewed mini pockets on his body to represent the days of Advent….or the twenty-four days until Christmas.

Traditionally, Advent Calendars entice the children to “open something”(usually candy) each day on the countdown to Christmas.  This calendar growing up and with my own children has not been much different, but I decided to do something a bit different this year.

For each day, I made a “coupon”….child specific and involving an act of service from Mom or Dad.  We all know how materialistic this time of year can become, so I decided a good way to prepare our families’  heart for the season is to show examples of true giving.

So, when it is their day (each pocket has a tag with their name on it inside) one of my kiddos opens their coupon.  When I told them this is what I was doing….you could hear grumbling and groaning about not getting candy.

However, when the first few coupons were for “an early dismissal from school for no reason”  or ” a day off from piano practice” or a “trip with Dad (alone) to get an Icee”….their tune changed to that of sweet, caroling angels.

Other coupons include:

Extra media time

Day off from chores

Starbucks with Mom

A week of Mom tidying their room (that was a big one)

An hour basketball game with Dad

Lunch out on a school day

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The point is to be child specific and thoughtful and of course…..SIMPLE.  The example of true giving hopefully will rub off on the children….

Or…perhaps while giving of yourself to your children, your own heart will be full of cheer and the Joy that comes with the true meaning of the season.

Stay warm.  dub

 

Is there a Thanksgiving “Season”? Three ways to make the most out of November.

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We are busy.

I was corrected the other day when I exclaimed, “I can’t believe it is November already!”

The woman within earshot of my comment quickly jumped in and touted, “No, you can’t believe it is Christmas already…”

It is true.  The time between Halloween and Christmas goes quick.  We stop only for a brief moment to take a day off, stuff ourselves with Turkey and now, unfortunately, use the day to trample over our neighbor  to get the deal on the big screen TV.

Not for me.  Not the way our family rolls.

Why not take the time to prepare for Thanksgiving?

Just like for Advent/Christmas, I think the busy weeks heading up to Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reassess family and personal goals, list blessings, think about the needs of others and truly get ready to come together and “give thanks”.

How?

Here are  a couple of ideas you can do at home.

1.  The Family Mission Statement

Our family did this some years ago, but it has been a life saver for us.  It is a way to give our family purpose and above all helps me explain to our children why we do the things we do…..”it is a part of our mission”.

Over dinner have each person answer these three simple questions:

 *When people describe our family what do you think they say?

      *If we were a famous family what would be most known for doing?

       *Say three words that describe our family

These questions will get the conversation going.  Write down the results and then try and come up with a catchy sentence that can serve as your overall mission statement.   Then, hang that baby up on the wall! family mission  statement

This statement encompassed a bunch of things for us….how we treat each other, how we treat others, hospitality, neatness, faith, fun and so on.  This took ten minutes to make and an old frame…..

2. List Blessings

Ok.  The most thinking that goes on in my house is well….

in the bathroom.

The picture doesn’t show the exact location of this, but a simple board and pen where family members can list what they are thankful for can help slow things down and remind us of the abundant gifts we enjoy in our daily lives.

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It is also a way for other family members to read the list and feel cherished.

And in my house, it makes potty time a bit more cerebral…..

3. Of course, do a Thanksgiving Craft.

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For this cute place card I downloaded an image of a Turkey (or you could do the ol’ trace the kiddo’s hand turkey cut out), covered a clothespin with scrapbook paper and viola….a  template to write notes of thanks.

Now here is the secret…

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THANKSGIVING DAY TO DO THIS….! Have these at your family table now, so that on Thanksgiving Day you will all have a complete “Thanking Turkey” to adorn your table.

Wishing you a very mindful Thanksgiving Season….dcb

Happy Post-Halloween—Colorado License Plate Costume

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Colorado License Plate Costume

Nursing a sugar hangover this morning….

Middle child came up with the idea of dressing as a license plate this Halloween……

What happened to the days of easy-store-bought costumes?

Thankfully a recent online purchase afforded me this perfect box….the rest was a bit of spray paint, acryllic paint and printing out letters on the computer at 950%.

I added actual bolts in the corners for effect….

Have a wonderful day after….and hey, it is after all, All Saints Day!

dcb

Spanish Olive Oil Press Mat—a Re-use

Hello sweet people….or should I say, “Hola”……travels to the Catalonia region of Spain have brought many wonderful memories, artifacts and of course…..craft ideas back to insert in my little blog to share with you all.

If I had any international business acumen, I would figure out a way to import these little beauties I found while staying in the countryside of Eastern Spain….olive oil country….rich with generations of olive oil production and traditional methods of oil making.

The press above, lies virtually untouched after many years of retirement in the garage of our friends who so graciously let us stay in their home in a small village named Gandesa.  Their “garage” was filled with many artifacts that American antique lovers would have swooned over.

I notice these “mats” everywhere….similar to a wicker rug….that were used to press the olives and separate the solids from the liquids.  They were washed and dried and apparently left for someone like me to think they were worth crafting with.  In their pure form they looked like this:

A few were generously gifted to me and stuffed in to my already overloaded suitcase.

Of course, there are many practical non-olive-oil-pressing uses for these babies.  A small rug, a centerpiece placemat, a garden mat….or,

a wall hanging……

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A bit of ribbon and ribbon-covered clothes pins and I had a neat way to display some of my pictures from the adventure to Spain.

Enjoy!

Upcycle clothing tags and button envelopes

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A good Tuesday to you….

I’m not sure about you, but it is very hard for me to throw away the often large and decorated little button envelopes that come with a new piece of clothing.   I have had a growing collection of the little beauties until recently when I began upcycling them to use on my hand made cards.

And those high end tags!  The “now-I-know-why-this-was-so-expensive” tags….

Nope.

Can’t throw those away either.  

My Montana gal pal,  Lesliann, knows this about me and often sends me extra tags from the boutique she works in…and I love her for it….

So…don’t throw those tags and envelopes away!  Here are just a few upcycling ideas!

Scrapbooking:

Use the button envelope to:

*a place to put special momentos on your page

* Baby’s first tooth, or lock of hair

* Ticket stubs from a memorable event

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Labels/Tags

*Backpack, luggage, lunchbox, sportbag tags for your kiddos

Buy the metal fasteners at your local hobby store (in the leather making section). Usually they cost around $2.00 for a pack of 50.  I would laminate any tags used for luggage to make them wear better and last longer!  I used a regular label maker to print out the label to cover the brand name on the tag.

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Card Making:

*Cut off brand name and embellish to use on front of a card

*Use button envelope to hold gift card or money and affix to the front of a card

*Decorate the outside of button envelope and stick a special note inside.  Tuck in your husband’s briefcase/sportbag or in your child’s lunch box.

*Cover the brand name of a tag with stickers, stamp, and affix to the front of a card

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The possibilities are endless!

Don’t hold out on me if you have more ideas!  And, if you have tags/envelopes you don’t want to upcycle….don’t THROW THEM AWAY!  I will make sure and find a good home for them.

Happy Day.   –dcb

1 + 100 = a BIG thank you give away!

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The High Note is celebrating one year and over 100 followers!

A big thank you to all of you for supporting this fun adventure….

And as a very small token of my gratitude I am giving away a package of some of the goodies the High Note has done this year!

Shredded Antique Sheet Music

Custom Note Cards

and

a Music Wrapped Candle

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Like this post and/or leave a comment here to enter!

Winner will be announced Monday 4/22!

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Peeps!! DIY Easter centerpiece…

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Ok…so if you are an avid lover of Peeps….I am sorry for the apparent abuse of your beloved marshmallow buddies….

However, if you are like me and are looking for a consumption alternative for these sugary treats…here ya go.

It is simple….

*Line your square vase with jelly beans

*Insert a jelly jar or other small vase for your flowers

*Insert your Peeps of (bunny or chick variety you choose) around the inside of the vase.   They will naturally “stick” to the glass and stay in place on top of your jelly beans.

* Put your flowers in the vase and you have a cute table top decor for your Easter table.

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Check out aponytailkindofday  for her version as well!

Have a great day…..dcb

DIY Sheet Music Easter Eggs

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Hello fine people….it is snowing here in Colorado….hard to think about Spring and Easter eggs.

Here is a simple DIY to spruce up your Easter decor and/or tabletop this year.  As you know, upcycling antique music is my thang….but you could use pages from a child’s Easter book, dictionary pages from the letter “E” for Easter, or just about any thin wrap-able paper medium.

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You will need:

*blank craft grade Easter eggs (almost any craft store will have these)

*thin, wrap-able paper of choice

*Modge Podge or decoupage

*ribbon and embellishments

You will begin by ripping or cutting your paper in to strips.   Lightly coat  your egg with decoupage using a paint brush.  Apply your strips of paper covering the entire surface of the egg.   Using your brush, apply a second coat of decoupage over the paper covered egg to give it a nice sheen finish.   For a more complete tutorial on decoupaging paper click here.

Decorate with ribbon and embellish as you wish!  Modge Podge comes in a variety of hues—try this project using Modge Podge “sparkle” for an even brighter effect!

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have a great rest of your weekend!   dcb

The Friday How-2: #words

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#Friday, #happy, #blog….

No…I am not tweeting this post.

I am learning another language.  

For you tech heads this post will sound insanely preschool-ish to you, but for the rest of us swimming upstream in a river of social media….you will get my drift.

The hashtag.  A clever means to group ideas, sentiments, adjectives, verbs and even personality traits by using a simple #.  For myself as a parent, I see this as indicative of an entire generation experiencing fragmented and often disconnected means of communicating.  For myself as a blogger-crafter?

Well,  I see a bit of opportunity.

If the hashtag does in fact carry such weight for our young people to use words classify their sense of self and how they see the world….then positive words could go a long way in promoting a valued self image.

Enter The Hash “Tag” .    A little diddy I thought up during one of my sleepless “mom” nights when I lie awake worrying about my children.

Just words on cardstock..a “tag” with a personal element of a handwritten hash mark.  

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A tag that boasts many uses:

*bookmark

*wall or cork board decor

*locker decoration

*luggage or backpack tag

*gift tag

This can be a do-it-yourself project easily done with a printer, paper and some ribbon.  

I plan on giving them as gifts to the teens,  pre-teens and even post-teens in my life.  A reminder of the power of words and the specific, wonderful word that I believe can motivate and positively “classify” them.   

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Happy “hashtagging” to you all!  

#weekend, #wonderful, #dcb