Top Projects of 2011

Now that the year is coming to end, I thought it would be fun to look back at 2011. This year, with your support, my blog really took off. I made a lot of fun crafts, did a ton of DIY, and met so many new crafty friends. So based on 'Google Stats' here are my top posts from the year.

 Lil Pumpkin Party- When my Maisy turned two in October, we celebrated with a big party on at our local pumpkin patch. Check out the post for details on how to create your own invites, pumpkin cupcakes, and lots of fun party details.

 Transforming Goodwill Furniture: Have you ever found a chair on the side of the road? I have! Read the post for tips and tricks for turning a "garage sale find" into a statement piece.

 Coffee Bag Pillows: You never know where inspiration will hit- even in your local coffee shop. Transform a $5 coffee bag into a unique throw pillow.

Bathroom Redo: What started as a simple coat of paint turned into a major renovation. My husband loves his sledgehammer!

 Painted Curtains: Love the bold look of stripes but can't find the right fabric at the right price? Make your own!

Playroom Re-do: Just because it is home to Barbies and baby dolls doesn't mean it can't be well-designed. Find out how to turn your play area into a room that you can be proud of.

 Funky Camera Strap: Do you sew? Have you ever tried? Take a chance and create this super simple camera strap cover. Perfect for gifts or keep it for yourself :)

 Creating a Unique Home: Learn to love your home! It might not be perfect, but nothing good ever is. Read my post to find out how I have transformed my house into a beautiful, comfy place that we are happy to call home.

 Fit for a Princess: Upcycled Headband Holder: Do you live with royalty? I have one princess and one queen under my roof. So hair accessories are literally everywhere! Use an old oatmeal can to create a chic holder for all your 'pretty things'.

 Rapunzel Party: Tangled is a favorite in my house, so when my girl turned 5 I knew that Rapunzel would be the theme of the party. We created a fun and easy party- complete with a tower cake, lots of free printables, and of course one long braid!

 The Ruffled Lamp Shade: In an effort to bring more neutrals into my home, I had to think of a way to disguise my bright red lampshades. And thus the ruffled lamp shade was born. You can never have too many ruffles!

 And don't forget all the fun holiday decor!

Special thanks to the following sites for referring their readers to Crafty Texas Girls:
-The Nester
-Centsational Girl
-Family Fun Go
-Thrifty Decor Chick
-Home Stories A to Z
-The Crafting Chicks
-I Love That

To those of you who comment on my posts, follow me on facebook, subscribe to my emails, and pin my ideas-- just know that none of it goes unnoticed. I am truly amazed by the amount of people who take the time each day to spread the word about my little hobby.   

I can't wait to see what 2012 will bring. I appreciate the support from all of you, my dedicated, caring, crafty readers. And of course I couldn't do it without my amazing sponsors. These small businesses are run by women just like me- moms who are finding a way to balance family and passion. If you know someone who would enjoy sharing in the "Crafty Texas Girls" journey, please feel free to pass it along. Crafting is more fun with friends!

 I am thrilled at the success of Crafty Texas Girls and my esty shop "Samantha Conner Designs".
I can't wait to continue crafting, creating, and designing. You- my friends and family- are my inspiration!  Happy New Year!

Sharing here:
tatertots and jello, southern hospitality , serenity now, 
bubbly nature creations


Crafty How To: New Year's 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had several fun days full of family time and relaxation. The girls were thrilled with their gifts and I feel like we had some really great 'memory making moments'.

 Can you believe we are a week away from a new year? I feel like we just rang in 2000! And now we are onto 2012. Where does the time go?  How do you celebrate New Year's Eve? Do you dress up in your finest and stay out all night?

Or are you more like me and stay home with a few cheap party blowers and some yummy champagne?

I love the idea of a really special New Year's Eve. The clothes, the food, the promise of a new start...

I love it all!

This year we will undoubtedly stay home. Now that we have our sweet girls, some things are just best enjoyed under the comfort of our own roof. 

Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest

But that doesn't mean I can't celebrate! I've been daydreaming on Pinterest about having a little NYE soiree.

In fact, I even made a super simple "New Year" platter just in case some friends do show up at my door on December 31st.

Inspiration found here!

Want to add a bit of metallic shine to your home? It's the perfect addition for a New Year's party or just to help you through the lull of January. All you need is:

-a charger, plate or tray from a craft store
- contact paper
-spray paint
-acrylic sealer

 I cut out my chevron pattern through trial an error. What ended up working for me was cutting the contact paper into strips and then folding it like an accordian. This way when I cut, the angles were uniform. I repeated these steps 4 times. I peeled off the contact paper and stuck them as evenly as possible to the plate.

Then I took a little extra time to really press down the contact paper. You don't want any paint leaking under the paper. I spray painted and waited. Ideally, give yourself time for several coats and then let it sit to 'cure' to the plate for at least 24 hours. And when you peel it off... 

I finished the project with some acrylic sealer to keep the paint from chipping. I think this is a fun, inexpensive way to bring some sparkle to your New Year. Or you could do this on a red plate and fill it with Valentine cookies next month. As for me---well hopefully I will be using it as inspiration to host a little party like this...

What are you planning to do on NYE this year?

Linking up here:
-Home Stories A to Z
-Tatertots and Jello
-Serenity Now
-Under the Table Dreaming
-Tidy Mom


Merry Christmas

Today kicks off our Christmas weekend, from now until Monday we are all about family, cooking, baking and celebrating the birth of Jesus. I hope you have a Christmas filled with love, laughter, and joy.

Below I have included my girls' favorite video this season- a children's version of the Christmas Story. But it is a delight for all ages "little ones" to those of us who claim to be all "grown up". If you are reading this post in an email, be sure to click over to the blog to see it. You won't be disappointed ;)

 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying Glory to God in highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards man. Luke 2:13-14


Wrapping Up Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas? I can say (with some confidence) that we are as ready as we'll ever be! My girl is out of school and we have been busy painting ornaments, biking to the park, building gingerbread houses, and roaming through the Dallas Aquarium. It's been fun to operate without a "school schedule". 

Of course I still have a few last minute gifts to wrap. And I really want to bake a really good batch of sugar cookies. But overall, I am ready. Ready to relax with friends and family and
just bask in the glow of Christmas.

So before I head off to the kitchen, I wanted to share one last crafty tutorial. And because I know I am not the only one with a few presents that still need to get under the tree- I thought it would be fun to look at a few inspired ways to wrap those gifts.

 When it comes to wrapping, I like the idea of making the outside special. After all, you've spent a long time planning and shopping for the gift. Why not 'present' it in a beautiful way? And beautiful wrapping doesn't have to be expensive or overly time-consuming.
You can actually use what you have around the house.

So let's start with the bows- find some ribbon and get going! My favorite is a really good satin ribbon.
It looks beautiful when tied in an easy bow like this....

Or if you've got a bit more ribbon to work with, then try this... 

Measure out enough ribbon to make 4-5 loops, each one 6 inches long. 
Pinch the middle and tie it with a snippet of ribbon.

Then fan out the loops. And attach it to your gift!

Still needing a few more ideas? Look no farther than your kitchen or craft bin for supplies.

Brown Paper Bags and Lunch Sacks:

Use Scrapbook Paper to create a "Monogram":

Be eco-friendly, wrap in fabric or burlap:

Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest

Attach some Fancy Tape: 

Reuse that Newspaper: 

Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest

Don't buy gift tags, simply print them, for free, at home: 

Add something unexpected to the bow- candy, light bulbs, or even flowers

Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest

Any of these ideas are easy to create and won't cost much if anything at all.
I hope you are feeling motivated to tackle those gifts now! 

PS- If you are drooling over my leopard ribbon... well that came from Thirty Seven West
In fact all the beautiful used in my bow tutorials is from the amazing Thirty Seven West. 
The company creates gorgeous satin ribbon- which is key for a good bow on any craft. 
Thirty Seven West also offers personalized printed ribbon. 
I love having ribbon with our name on it. 

Personalized ribbon comes in handy for holiday gift giving. 
And throughout the year it adds a bit of luxury to hostess gifts, birthday treats, 
or even sweet Valentines.  
It looks great wrapped around a bottle of wine or a bouquet flowers! 
Stop by and check them out-- on facebook or at http://www.thirtysevenwest.com/
for coupon codes, great sales, and to see all that gorgeous ribbon.
Be sure to let them know a Crafty Girl sent you :)

Sharing my crafts here: Home Stories A to Z
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