Christmas 2017 {Gifts + Adventures}

Heyyyy, dears! I hope you guys had a lovely Christmas – I sure did! There was so much fun, family, and food… it was wonderful. ūüôā And of course it was great fun to give and receive presents! One of the best parts about giving presents is seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they open the gift, and there were some pretty great expressions –¬†especially the uncontrollable laughs. XD

I absolutely loved the gifts I received as well! If you gave me a gift or Christmas card… THANK YOU SO MUCH. ‚ô•

Anyway, I decided to do a little Christmas haul post for you guys! And nope, I am by no means trying to brag by posting about my presents, and I don’t think I’ve never read a haul post that was… I just wanted to post this because I love reading Christmas haul posts, (though I despise the term “Christmas haul,” heh heh). What ’bout you?

~ Selected Gifts ~

Just¬†a note: these gifts are in random order, not by how much I like them or anything.¬†Pretty much¬†by how they came up on the computer. XD AHEM. Let’s begin.

#1: Sealing Wax

This stuff is so neat! Basically you light a candle, put a piece of wax in the spoon, and hold the spoon over the flame until the wax melts, after which you pour it onto the area to be sealed. I tried it out and it worked pretty well, although there were a few bubbles and I waited too long to press the design in so it didn’t show up.¬†It also made the spoon really black, but you can just wipe that away with a paper towel. Perhaps my sealing techniques need polishing too. HA.

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#2: Macro Lens Extension Tube Kit

EEK I’m so excited about these! When you attach them to your DSLR lens, they let you take super close up pictures, almost like a mini microscope! The lenses are stackable, meaning you can choose how many layers¬†to attach¬†depending on the zoom you want.

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Why do I love this picture??

Honestly I still haven’t quite got the hang of using them, but I can tell it’s going to be tons of fun once I do. ūüėČ Here are two test pictures I got so far, and I’m sure there will be lots more in the future! Let me know if you guys want a more in-depth review.

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Behold… my pajama pants.
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There must be some dirt on the lens or something. Tsk tsk.

#3: Stuffed Hedgehog

LOOK IT’S SO ADORABLE AND SQUISHABLE. Sweet Laura sent me this for Christmas and I love it! HOW COULD YOU NOT? ‚ô• It’s so soft and fuzzy and fun to hold. ūüôā

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#4: The Julia Rothman Book Series

I LOVE these books. I discovered them at a friend’s house and so enjoyed the charming illustrations and fun informative writing that I decided to put them on my list! My favorite thing about these books might be how pretty they are. XD The illustrations are beautiful and whimsical, not to mention the books are like mini encyclopedias bursting with entertaining and interesting facts. They’d be great coffee table books.

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This particular boxed set is excellent, especially since it comes with 10 (I think) framable prints from the books! Here’s a selection of my favorites…

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#5: Micron Pen Set

THESE ARE AMAZING. (I say that about everything, don’t I? XD) But seriously, I am SO happy with these pens so far! They come in a large variety of tip sizes, ranging from 1.0 mm to 0.15 mm, not counting the brush pen which can be different sizes depending on how hard you press. Guys, the smallest pen (a 003) has SUCH a fine tip, it’s barely visible! Okay, maybe not that fine, but you know…

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I made these two ATCs to test out the Microns.¬†I also used¬†watercolors¬†and¬†a brush pen¬†we’ll address shortly…

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Here’s another test page, with lots of different vines in descending order of the Micron pen sizes, and labels for future reference. Look how thin the lines go!

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#6: Black Velvet Brush

I don’t have many good quality brushes, so I was super excited to get this one! The great thing about this paintbrush is that it can hold a fair amount of paint and works for both good-sized areas (like behind the “hello”), and tiny spaces. Usually brushes don’t hold their point very well but this one really does! That’s my favorite part about it – the superfine tip. (As you can tell, I like fine-tip things because I love making and drawing tiny details.) I also used this brush in the watercolor pieces above.

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#7: Black Brush Pen (Sakura)

Brush pens are so much fun, and I use the black one I already had a lot. This one is better quality than the one I have now, plus it comes with a refill! It’s also super fun to use and the ink is very opaque. (I used this for the “hello” word and outlines on the ATC.)

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#8: Travelogue Sketchbook

A new sketchbook, EEP! I’m quite excited about this one as the pages are thicker and better quality than my current sketchbook’s, so it works better for mediums like watercolor. I used this for the vine picture, by the way, and it didn’t buckle that much – woop woop! It’s quite a bit smaller than my current sketchbook, but I like drawing small anyway, so that’s fine. ūüėČ I cannot wait to fill it with drawings!

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#9: Lined Notebook

This is SO pretty and classy, don’t you agree? Clara sent it to me for Christmas and I love it! Thank you so much, my friend. ‚ô• The padded cover is light pink with gold accents and bookmark, and the clasp is magnetic. The paper is lined, with a fun border. ūüôā

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#10: Micromagnets

And last but not least, we have these super neat micromagnets! They are SO fun and addicting to play with, hee hee! Micromagnets are tiny magnet balls that you can build and mess around with to your heart’s content. ūüôā They’re super strong, but still flexible, almost like magnetic cloth or something. It’s kind of hard to explain what they’re like, but they’re amazingly weird and fun. XD Look up micromagnets and see if you can find a video maybe?

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And that’s the end of the gifts! That wasn’t all of them, but it¬†would be way too long of¬†a post if I included all the delicious candy and snacks and fuzzy socks too. So I’ll spare you the details. XD

~ Select Christmas Adventures ~

  • My brother got a sticky bug toy¬†that climbs down the wall, and he, uh, threw it a little too high and it stuck. XD He got out his new fishing pole and tried to poke it down, and then¬†Grandaddy got his enormously long bamboo pole and after much prodding and laughing, he got it. XD XD

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  • We had some rather interesting food in our¬†several Christmas celebrations so far. For instance…
    • Tripe: pickled cow’s stomach. IT TASTES LIKE RUBBERY VINEGAR BUT WORSE.
    • Divinity: a¬†sweet marshmallowy macaroon type thing. Yum.
    • Scrapple: basically the leftovers from butchering a pig made into a sort of meat pudding and then fried. It’s actually quite good if you don’t think about what it’s made of…
    • Hominy: corn without the hull, so it’s soft and tender. Quite yummy; tastes similar to potatoes.
    • Baklava: a Greek dessert with delicate, super flaky pastry and honey and nuts. DELICIOUS.

Have you had any of those?

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  • My¬†brother got a drum for Christmas. -_- *covers ears*¬† XD He’s actually pretty good at it, it’s just REALLY LOUD. HELP.

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  • Carmen got a beta fish, and she’s still undecided about the name. Which do you think is better, Gilbert or Bobo? (Hint: PLEASE PICK GILBERT. XD)

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  • We always measure the grandchildren at my grandparents’ (on my Dad’s side) Christmas, and this year I was 5′ 10.5.” O.o¬†I think I’m done growing now, heh heh. I hope so, because it’s almost impossible to find clothes that fit as it is. Oh dear… XD

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Annnnd that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed reading this (rather large) post as much as I enjoyed making it! ūüėÄ Thanks once again to everyone who gave me those lovely gifts. ūüôā

How was your Christmas? What was your favorite gift?

Thanks for bearing with me through all these Christmas posts, dears. I believe this is the last one, so congratulations on surviving the overload! *applause*

***Allison***

P. S. I doubt anyone will notice, but just in case, I wanted to let you know that I¬†may¬†post a bit irregularly over¬†the next two months,¬†since we’re pretty busy fixing up the new house(s) for when we move. ūüėȬ†AHH I’M SO EXCITED.

{Little Drummer} A Story + Christmas Photography

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“Come,” they told me, “a newborn King to see.”

The journey was long, but we were strong.

“Our finest gifts we bring… to lay before the King.”

Blankets and wool against the cool.

“So to honor him… when we come.”

Kneel down, creaking sounds; bow low, down we go.

My father and the other shepherds knelt¬†beside the manger¬†in awe, but I stood back.¬†I had come to see a king, and here was a¬†child wrapped in dirty rags and laid in a feeding trough.¬†I had come to see a palace, and here was a¬†drafty stable shed. I¬†had come to honor him, but he didn’t even¬†look at¬†me.¬†The baby’s¬†eyes were closed and he slept silently.

But¬†then I remembered what the angels said, and a thrill of fear pierced me again at the thought of their thundering voices¬†and blindingly bright¬†faces, faces¬†that had seen God Himself and yet deigned to appear to us, the lowest of the low. Shepherds. They had said, “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,”¬†and¬†at the thought,¬†they had been filled with such ecstasy that they poured out the most beautiful and terrible song I had ever heard, with a thundering, pulsing beat that made my heart ache in reply. And they were right. There you were, sleeping¬†among¬†the stiff rags and coarse hay.

Remembering this, I knelt¬†–¬†out of obedience at first.¬†But when you opened your eyes and looked straight into mine, I knew that you were no ordinary King: you were our Messiah, our Savior, the long awaited perfect Lamb, better¬†than any unblemished sheep we raised for the temple. For in your new-opened¬†eyes I saw the wisdom of eternity, and a love¬†more beautiful and terrible than the song of the angels. Love¬†for me, a¬†lowly shepherd boy, a little drummer.

I longed to give you a gift then, a gift worthy of such a King. But I had nothing.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give the King.

I looked down at my feet in shame and there was my drum. The only thing I possessed. It would not do much good to give it to you, but maybe… I raised my eyes humbly to your mother who was watching you with worship on her calm and tired face. I asked her if I could play for you. My father held out a hand to stop me, but¬†your mother¬†smiled and nodded.

The night was silent then. Silent but for the rhythms in my memory, the precious stones I had collected on our journey until I had a chance to drop them one by one onto my drum. Now I let them go.

Tha-THUM. Pa-RUM. Tha-THUM. Pa-RUM. The piece started slowly and softly, to the deep beat of my own heart. Rip, strip; rip, strip. I added the comfortable beat of sheep chewing up grass.

The song was gaining strength, but it was still hungry. I¬†fed it more rhythms, dropped more stones: The heartbeat quickened and pounded as the angels appeared,¬†then the¬†tempo scattered and broke into the complicated, powerful¬†roll of the angels’ hymn that had¬†nearly ripped my heart out when I listened. Finally the¬†heartbeat slowed again, accompanied by the¬†slap of our footsteps traveling to meet you.¬†And then¬†everything sped up and¬†crashed¬†together¬†at the moment when¬†you looked at me and I saw a Redeemer in your eyes.

I thought I¬†was finished, but¬†the¬†rhythm took hold of me and I played a song I did not know, a song I had never learned. The¬†staccato tempo¬†of the donkey’s feet¬†carrying your mother here. The cries of pain as she brought joy into the world. The first breath of a new life and yet a life¬†that had always been. The sound of a thousand thousand hearts beating in unison,¬†aching with¬†longing for a King, a Savior to heal¬†up the¬†cracks where sin seeps through.¬†And the shivering bleat of a perfect, unblemished¬†little lamb¬†who¬†held deep power inside.

The song swelled and grew as I added each new rhythm, flying upwards and outwards until it blended with the billowing, whirling wind outside. The pulses crept under my closed eyelids and traveled with a delicious tingle down my cheeks and into my mouth, where they piled so high that the corners of my lips stretched up to hold them all. Still they kept seeping in until at last they overflowed and burst out my mouth in a jumble.

The laugh bounced off the drum with the rest of the precious stones, then followed them over the side, single file, until the only stone left was the soft, deep thump of my heartbeat. At last, it too danced off the drum and the world was silent once again. I sighed, satisfied, my gift completed.

I opened my eyes and looked at you. And you smiled at me.

**************

Well, that was fun!¬†Maybe not¬†the best thing I’ve written, but something I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I know, I just posted a Christmas story… sorry ’bout that. :/ (I promise I will cut down on the writing and Christmas-themed posts and get back to normal after December. XD)

But I just love the Little Drummer Boy song. It’s such a sweet and powerful reminder that we, too, have nothing fit to give our King – and yet he laid down his life for us. Though we crown him with thorns, yet he smiles at us.¬†The least we can do is play our¬†life song to him in gratitude. ‚ô•

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the little story and Christmasy pictures. ūüôā And MERRY CHRISTMAS, GUYS! I hope you have an absolutely stupendous one. ‚ô•

***Allison***

Birthday Harvest

HA HA¬†do you like my title? XD I don’t really like the term “birthday haul” because it seems kind of greedy or something, but that’s just my weird opinion. So anyway, I looked up synonyms for “haul” and found “harvest.” ūüėõ And there you have the story of my title.

Ahem. Let’s move on, shall we? Oh wait, before we start, I must say that I just really wanted to brag about my presents and how many I got and how great they were and… I’M JUST KIDDING I’M JUST KIDDING! Goodness, don’t look so shocked. XD Heh heh, but no, I am not trying to do the aforementioned, just in case you were wondering. I’m posting this because¬†I personally like reading birthday posts myself and because I¬†thought you¬†guys might enjoy¬†one too. ūüôā

Okay, now we can start! ūüėÄ By the way, these gifts are in no particular order. I just put them all on the table and grabbed what was handy first. XD

Ooh look! It’s a bullet journal! My mom and dad¬†gave me this and it’s so pretty! I’ve actually only heard about them recently, but I thought¬†a BuJo¬†would be quite helpful. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I really like it so far! I think it’s more of a system than a thing, which is nice because you can customize it pretty much however you want. Do you think I should do a bullet journal post sometime?

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My friend (who has a blog here) gave me a bag of luscious chocolate truffles. OHHHH YUMMINESS! Enough said. XD

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My cousins gave me these lovely¬†watercolor brush pens. They’re so neat!¬†They’re kind of like a marker but with a paintbrush tip.¬†They actually color more like ink than watercolor, but if you use the waterbrush that comes with it (see it there on the¬†right side?) you can get a¬†more watercolor-y effect. What I really¬†like about these is how fine the tips are.

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I thought maybe I should show you an example of how they work…

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My¬†Grammy and Grandaddy¬†gave me this wonderful sketchbook. I love it! It has 128 nice, thick pages. I used the watercolor brush pens on it and they didn’t bleed through, although you could kind of see the drawing on the other side. I can’t wait to fill it up! ūüėÄ

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Another thing I really like about the sketchbook is how flat it is when I open it. Some sketchbooks are always wanting to close up on you, but this one doesn’t!

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This thingy came along with the sketchbook. It’s rather¬†neat and pretty, but I have no clue what it is. XD It’s obviously a ruler, but it looks like it’s meant to be something else too. I thought maybe a letter opener, but Dad says it’s too blunt on the end. Guesses, anyone?

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My sister Megan and my grandparents both got me several skeins (is it skeins? balls? fluffy squishy things?) of beautiful felting wool. Have you heard of needle felting? You should look it up online or on Etsy. People make absolutely amazing things from felting wool! A sweet lady at church recently gave me a felting kit and I’m having fun experimenting. I’m sure felted things will show up in a later post. ūüėČ

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Two of my friends gave me Hobby Lobby gift cards. YAYAYAY I LOVE HOBBY LOBBY! *Happy sigh* I think I’ll buy a tri-fold poster board so I have a better photo background for things like this. Heh heh. And¬†I can’t wait to see what other fun things I find!

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Awww! My littlest sister Carmen gave me a rock she had found and quite a few coupons for setting the table. ‚ô• It was so funny, but so sweet! (Don’t you just love little kids’ spelling and handwriting?)

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AHHHHH YAY! My parents got me a pack of¬†72 Prismacolor colored pencils! I am SO excited because I only had 24 before and I absolutely love Prismacolor brand colored pencils. They color so smoothly and with such rich, brilliant pigment. I’ll definitely¬†show you some of the drawings I’ve made with them in my next art post. ūüėÄ

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Okay, I spent WAY too long arranging the pencils in rainbow order and then trying to get a good overhead shot of them all lined up. XD But it was worth it, right? Ahhh, they look so pretty. ūüôā

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My grandparents gave me these helpful little colorless blender pencils. They’re for blending the Prismacolor colored pencils, and they work brilliantly!

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My Grandpa and Grandma gave me these gorgeous ferns. ♥ Ohhhh I love plants in general and ferns especially!

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And last but not least, Grammy and Grandaddy gave me a renewal of¬†PicMonkey Royale. (Which I don’t have a picture of – sorry!) I really love the PicMonkey photo editor and Royale gives you access to tons of extra features, so I’m quite happy about that!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this fun¬†little post. ūüôā Do you like Birthday Haul *ahem* Birthday Harvest posts?

As always, thanks for reading, my dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

Christmas Things, 2016

I suppose you could say this is a Christmas haul post, but for some reason I don’t like the sound of “Christmas haul.” I don’t know why, really… I kind of have weird opinions. XD Anyway, I know I have fun looking at other blogger’s posts like this, so I decided to make one myself. ūüôā But it’s not only going to be a “haul” post: I wanted to show you the gifts I made as well as the ones¬†I received. ūüôā

Are you ready? Let’s do the former first and the latter later, shall we? Wow, that was fun to say.

~ Giving ~

I guess I’ll go youngest to oldest. For Carmen, my littlest sister, I didn’t¬†exactly make her a gift. She got an American girl doll for Christmas, because to our delight and surprise, Megan won Maddi‘s amazing giveaway which Megan entered specifically with¬†Carmen in mind!! (And yes, Carmen loves¬†the Maryellen doll we chose for¬†her. ‚ô•)¬†So my present to Carmen was letting her use any of my AG doll things she wanted. ūüôā

For my brother Jeff, Megan and I picked out this hilarious book at Books-A-Million. XD He’s always a little… hmm, how shall I put it… rowdy with our cats, with the result being they kind of hate him, ( XD )¬†so Megan and I thought he would get a kick out of this book – and he did:

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For my sister Megan, she asked me to make her some clip-art for her blog design “business” since she prefers the computer part to the drawing part. ūüėČ So I¬†put together this binder for her.

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For my brother Logan and my Dad (and actually for my aunt and uncle too), I made some candied pecans¬†using this recipe. Our whole family loves them, and I don’t make them very often, so I like to use them as gifts. They are seriously SO GOOD! And super easy too! I wrapped them up in a decorative paper cone thingy for¬†all¬†of them, but unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the wrapping. ūüė¶

For Mom, the four older kids gave her a coupon for 4 meals made by us, which she loved because she doesn’t enjoy cooking all that much. XD Annnd I didn’t get a picture of that either.¬†ūüė¶

For my grandparents, my siblings, my two cousins, and I drew them a calendar. Megan, Jeff, and Logan did that last year and they loved it, so we thought we’d do it again with all¬†their grandchildren. ūüôā

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Cover by me. ūüôā
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January by Jeff.
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February by Logan.
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March by my cousin Leisha.
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April by Megan.
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May by Carmen. Isn’t it so cute? She’s actually a really good artist for her age.
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June by my cousin Jianna. I LOVE THIS ONE!
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July by Logan.
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August by Yours Truly.
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September by Leisha. So pretty!
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October by Megan. I really like this one too!
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November by me again. This is definitely my favorite of mine.
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December by Jianna. Wow. Just wow. Everyone was amazed by this – isn’t it gorgeous?! She’s such an artist!

For my two cousins, I made them each little clinging earrings to look like their cats, Trixie and Roxy respectively. ūüėÄ

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Sorry about the bad picture. ūüė¶ Anyway, this is Trixie…
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And these are Roxys. ūüôā

 

~ Receiving ~

Now for the “haul” part! ūüėÄ

My parents gave me an amazing Windsor and Newton watercolor set, Pentel waterbrushes, and Arches watercolor paper! I’m sooo excited to use it all! I’ve used the watercolor set and brushes just a tiny bit so far, and I’m really¬†happy with them. ūüėÄ It’s especially nice to have good quality, fine tip brushes.

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I really like this picture for some reason. ūüôā This set is really neat because each little cake of paint is in a removable compartment, so if you run out of one color, you can replace just that instead of the whole set! It also comes with a¬†paintbrush and an¬†expandable palette that you cans store in the container.

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My aunt and uncle and cousins gave me this pretty washi tape! ‚ô•

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I love the lighting for this picture! My aunt figured out how to get my camera off auto-ISO, and now I can truly be on the Maunual setting! Hooray!

My grandparents gave me this handy camera bag. It’s really neat because the compartments are attached with Velcro, so you can readjust them however you like!

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They also gave me… The Keeper of the Lost Cities series! YAYAYAYAY! ūüėÄ (Well actually Megan got half and I got half.) I’ve¬†finished the first three so far, and they’re sooo exciting! Thank you, Clara, for introducing them to us. ūüôā

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And they gave me this cute little blank journal for Bible journaling. (I wrote the words with my erasable gel pen – more on that later.)

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My cousins gave me even more lovely watercolor paper! (The Arches pad is from my parents, and the rest are from my cousins.) It’s so nice to have good watercolor paper to work with. *Happy sigh*

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These next two things are from my stocking: One¬†is this pair of¬†cozy Cabin socks. My friend also gave me some fuzzy socks, and I am quite pleased. ūüėÄ I LOVE FUZZY THINGS!

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Purple + Fuzzy = ‚ô• Oh, and the cozy pajamas are from my parents too. ūüėČ

The other is a couple of erasable gel pens I showed you in this post. And guess what? They really do work! It’s pretty amazing. See?

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It does leave a little bit of a mark behind if you press down hard. But when you just write with it lightly, it erases almost perfectly!

Phew, that was quite a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it! What was your favorite thing you got for Christmas? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmastime enjoying being with your family and opening gifts and thanking God for the greatest gift of all: Jesus. ♥

***Allison***

P. S. Be watching for my end-of-the-year post! I hope to schedule it for 12:00 tomorrow night. ūüôā I can’t believe it’s almost 2017!!

10+ Creative Gift Ideas for Girls

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Halloo, everyone! ūüėÄ

Since the holiday season coming up (SO SOON, right?!), I decided to make a gift guide, just for fun. ūüôā I wanted this to be more of a creative, unique gift guide, not¬†just your ordinary¬†bath bombs and bracelets, you know? I¬†organized¬†each section into¬†related gifts – so you¬†can give a book lover the whole¬†package or just pick a few things.¬†Also, you can click on¬†each picture to go to its listing for more information. Are you ready?

Bath & Beauty

A pretty bar of soap is nice, but not very unique, right? Enter Soap Rocks! These beautiful gem-like soaps would make a great small gift or stocking-stuffer.

Soap Rocks Black Opal

This is not your run-of-the-mill necklace: how cute is the real-live succulent pendant? Yep, there’s an actual plant growing in there!

Little Gemstone Live Terrarium Necklace / Nature Jewelry / Girlfriend Gift / Succulent Plant

Clinging earrings are so fun Рand adorable too! You can also break out the polymer clay and DIY them if you want.

Cute Siamese Clinging Earrings

Books

Instead of just giving them a book, get creative and pair the book(s) on their wishlist with these fun add-ons:

A funny-but-true “Book Dragon” mug + their favorite hot drink (a package of coffee, a sampler of tea, or a hot chocolate mix)

Book Lover Mug \ Mugs With Quotes by Vitazi Kitchenware, 11 oz Ceramic Coffee Mug - I Am a Book Dragon Not a Worm - Bookworm Gift (Black)

And a super-fuzzy blanket for maximum coziness while reading.

Floral Embossed Sherpa Throw Blanket 50" x 60" Reversible Textured Fuzzy Soft Purple

If they love books but don’t know what to read next, here are a few suggestions: (search for them on Amazon)

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart – one of my favorite series! Four kids embark on a mysterious mission to save the world that involves tricky riddles, quirky characters, and lots of suspense! (That was a lousy summary – trust me, you just need to read the books. XD )
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities¬†Series¬†by Shannon Messenger – now I have to say that so far I’ve only read the first book, but I really enjoyed it! At the age of five Sophie Foster discovers she can hear other people’s thoughts, and she has no idea why. One day she meets a boy who explains everything – and from then on Sophie’s life is turned upside down. She uncovers bits of her surprising past and works hard to save the future while struggling to keep up in a world that is in many ways the opposite of her own – a land¬†populated with¬†elves, where magic is as real as the danger that threatens them all.
  • The Green Ember by¬†S. D. Smith – I’ve heard great things about this book, and I really want to read it! I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t know in depth what it’s about (other than rabbits and adventure), but the Amazon listing and reviews should give you an idea. ūüėČ

Photography

Camera strap scarves come in myriads of designs. Shop around for one that fits her style!

Or you could buy an actual camera! Isn’t this little¬†guy¬†a cutie?¬†Just a note: make sure to add some compatible film to your gift so she can actually use it. ūüėČ

Check out these cute photography tote bags to hold all the photo goodies! (There are a bunch of other designs on this site as well.)

Vintage Camera Set Tote Bag

Crafts

The listing says this sweet little sheep is a great needle felting kit for beginners. Is she not the cutest thing? ♥ I just want to squeeze her!

Sheep Felting Kit - Needle Felting Kit - DIY Kit - Craft Kit - Felting Supplies - DIY Craft Kit - Starter Kit - Needle Felted ‚Äď Beginner

I absolutely love creating fairy gardens! There are so many great kits to choose from, but here is just one¬†cute one I found. It’s also a lot of fun to put together your own fairy garden kit – craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels have¬†adorable miniatures, dried moss, and pretty containers to pick out.

Fairy Garden, Fairy Garden Kit, Fairy Garden Accessories, Fairy, Fairy Garden Door, Fairy Garden Birthday Party, Fairy Garden DIY, Planter

Art

This book is filled with super creative (and often hilarious) art prompts that will get you moving as well as drawing! There is tons of inspiration on Pinterest for this type of journal as well.

Coloring books are all the rage, and why not? It’s¬†both relaxing and satisfying to work on. But chances are, if she likes coloring, she already has an adult coloring book (or two or three), so a¬†coloring calendar is a fun¬†alternate option. She can¬†create art throughout the year while making something beautiful to hang on¬†her wall.

Writing

This writing journal is great for¬†busting that writer’s block. It’s chock full of creative writing prompts, from funny to thought-provoking.

Pair the writing prompt journal with these amazing erasable gel pens! Yep, you can actually erase the pen marks!

That was a lot of fun to put together, and I hope it gave you some ideas! Which of these things do you like the most?

***Allison***

P. S. As you’ve probably noticed by now, I changed my blog design! I got a new theme and drew¬†the new header. Do you like it? I have plans for the sidebar and pages as well. ūüėÄ

A Gift Made for Destroying!

(Sadly, this post does not have pictures, but you can just try to imagine it.)¬†For my brother Jeff’s ninth birthday, the kids got him a bag full of stuff especially for him to demolish.¬†¬† It had 6 rolls of toilet paper, 3 bars of ivory soap,¬†1 box of tissues, 1 tube of toothpaste, and 1 can of shaving cream in it.¬† He had a lot of fun with it, as you can imagine!

With the toilet paper, we wrapped¬†Jeff and his friend up and they ran around until they broke free of their super-strong bonds (ha ha!¬†‚ėļ).¬† We also wrapped each other to the tree and then broke free, and held the roll of toilet paper on the back of the 4-wheeler while driving it, which made the toilet paper stream out behind.

Jeff and his friend carved two bars of ivory soap (well, actually they cut it up into pieces instead of carving it), and the other one we exploded in the microwave.¬† Have you ever done that?¬† If you haven’t, you absolutely MUST DO IT.¬† All you have to do is get a bar of Ivory soap from the store (I think ones that are the most recently bought are supposed to work best), and put it on a paper towel covered plate, and turn the microwave on for about a minute.¬† If you watch through the window, you can see the soap puffing up into a huge cloud.¬† It has a very interesting texture: even though it looks soft, it’s actually hard and sort of crumbly.¬† (Note:¬†You have to use Ivory soap for this, not just a random brand)

Anyway, back to the gifts.¬† The tissues are just for pulling out because who doesn’t want to do that sort of thing, right?

The toothpaste was really cool.¬† We took it outside and put it on a piece of cardboard (which later proved rather ineffective) and Jeff took off the lid of the tube and stomped on it really hard.¬†¬†The¬†back of the tube¬†burst open and the toothpaste squirted several feet away onto our, he he, porch door – *oops!* (Don’t worry, I wiped it up.¬† Well, at least most of it ‚ėļ)

The shaving cream Jeff just squirted out all at once into a plastic tub and we had fun squishing it.

This was a fun and different sort of gift that left no toy behind that we had to try to fit into our stuffed toy cupboards.  Do you know someone who would like to get a demolition-gift-package?

***Allison***