String Art Valentines for Kids (and Adults too!)

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Connor and I had such fun making these string art hearts which look so cute on our front door! I cut out the hearts and he punched the holes around the border. Then I let him use my huge (not sharp) quilting needle to pull the strings through. Great fine motor activity and precious time spent with my true love. 🙂 Looking forward to spoiling my family this weekend for Valentines Day!

Cozy Cottage Christmas

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The hard part is over, so now all that’s left to do is wait…and bake…and bake some more! I’ll most likely be spending quite a few evenings this week curled up on the couch with cookies, coffee & some holiday tunes while I enjoy the view…before it all gets torn to shreds. Ha ha. I’ve always admired the look of a potted tree, but could never find a container large enough for my artificial tree’s base. So, this year I decided to see how it looked if I put my presents in baskets and metal buckets around it. Love!!! Plus it’s super-easy to move them out of the way when little ones come to visit. 😉

DIY Pine Bough, Ribbon & Jingle Bell Swags

Real Pine Bough Swags for Front Porch with Silver Ribbon and Rustic Jingle Bells. Country cottage style Christmas & holiday outdoor decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

What do you do when a big storm leaves a pile of fallen pine branches in your front yard? Make festive holiday swags for your front porch of course! After clipping off some smaller segments, I bound them together with yarn & tied them to my railings. Sparkly silver ribbon and a rustic jingle bell on each add just the right touch of Christmas curb appeal.

Christmas Cards and a Cozy Cottage in the Woods

Cottage style Christmas mantel decor with a green tinsel tree in a white pot, mini lighted paper house , a red & black fabric bird, and a wood snowflake ornament. Rustic country style holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

The magic is in the details! I love how cozy my little cardboard cottage in the ‘woods’ looks at night when I flip the switch on the led tea light inside. Overhead, my collection of Christmas cards is steadily growing. Holiday cheer is in the air!

Collect Moments Not Things Inspirational Quote

Collect Moments Not Things Quote by @itscathariss on Instagram. Live in the moment. Daily encouragement. Inspirational, motivational quote.

Beautiful thought from @itscatharriss on Instagram I had to share. The only things that last forever are our memories. Take some time out from the whirlwind of activity to just be and to savor every precious moment with your loved ones. For me this week, it was being asked to dance by my 4 year old son when Michael Buble singing White Christmas came on Pandora…as we slow danced together around the living room, all I could think about was how no present in the world would never mean as much to me as that oh so special moment.

DIY Christmas Star Stained Glass Ornament Craft For Kids

Kids Christmas diy paper star ornament craft uses crayons & wax paper for a faux stained glass hanging that will look amazing in any window. Preschool art project. Make a fun & easy suncatcher for the holidays. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

What a fun weekend project this was & the perfect way to spend some extra time with my little helper! First we used pencil sharpeners to spread crayon shavings over a piece of wax paper I’d taped to the counter (with card stock underneath), then we placed another piece of wax paper (topped with more card stock) on top & mommy ran an iron over it on a ‘low’ setting to melt the colors together, giving them that lovely stained glass look. After the paper had cooled, we traced star shapes with a cookie cutter & I cut them out with my exacto knife (which I found produced cleaner edges than scissors). They are truly show-stopping when the sunlight is streaming through the window! And we even have enough left over to decorate his teachers’ Christmas gifts.

Wood Block Nativity Advent Calendar

DIY Nativity scene advent calendar. Black graphics on weathered wood blocks, individually wrapped to count down the days til Christmas. Country cottage style rustic holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

Day 4 of December and all 3 wise men are now on their way to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus! This is the first year I’ve done an advent calendar with my 4-yr old son, Connor and I wanted it to be a fun way to teach him about our faith, so I decided to make a 25-piece nativity set and wrap each one individually (Connor LOVES having a little present to open each day!). My husband kindly cut the wood blocks for me out of old garden fencing and then I designed the images (pasted on with Elmer’s glue) to look like they had been printed on weathered wood. The whole set will be centered under an antique wood frame I keep on the mantel, over which I have hung a rustic wood star. Stay tuned for more pics, as we get closer to Christmas!