Got Magazines?

As many of you know I have a small addiction to magazines.  Actually, we both do.  Our list of monthly subscriptions includes Style at Home, Todays Parent, Toronto Life, Glamour, Self, Bike, Explore, Car and Driver (supposedly for Will), Prevention, Canadian Family, Economist, Canadian Business, Money Sense, and Canadian House and Home (or at least I am hoping - hint hint Mom!)  Needless to say that means we are personally responsible for the clear-cutting in all of BC.  To assuage my guilt, I bookmarked these clever ideas for recycling magazines (and newspapers) into stylish Christmas accessories.

The above stars were posted on Linaloo, along the this beautiful wreath.  They are made from German stars, or Frobel Stern, and could be used for garland or ornaments as well.

I also came across these bows on How About Orange, and they look easy enough even for me to try.

ANd like the stars above, they could really be made out of anything, including maps.

And lastly (and indeed leastly) is this Christmas tree, which would use up some magazines and looks nice, if you had room for it!  Actually, 3 in different heights wouldn't be a bad centrepiece?

The instructions can be found on Reader's Digest.  And of course, magazines can be use to wrap presents (did you know that most gift wrap cannot be recycled and ends up in a land fill?).  So there are at least a couple of paths to redemption for me, right?

Holiday Mad Libs Newsletter

On Apartment Therapy, I learned of this fun site The Merry Newsinator where you enter in names and adjectives a la Mad Libs to create a holiday newsletter.  It is too late for our holiday cards this year, and would probably confuse many of its recipients, but it is still fun to road test.  :)  It also sports some pretty fun designs - try it out yourselves!

That time of year...

I really, really love Ricky Gervais, and it is the season of giving, so I thought I would pass on this important public appeal.  I urge you to watch the whole thing, it is especially touching towards the end.

More Advent!

OK one more advent calendar idea that I like - this one from a 2006 post on Julie Ree.  She made what were originally truffle boxes using a template from Brownie Girl, made them look more like Christmas trees, and strung them up.  Inside were delicious chocolates... mmm....

Also, Kendra sent me the photo of last year's craft calendar - ingenious AND beautiful!

The advent of advent

I posted earlier about a free downloadable advent calendar, but have also come across a few that could be made and reused every year.  I realize I am a little behind the ball on this one (so what else is new?) but here are some fun ideas for advent calendars:

From Odeedoh I found this blog by Rachel Denbow, who illustrates how to make this lovely felt calendar:

It is quite simple, but I like simple!  I also like that the gifts aren't THINGS necessarily, but activities to do together.  And the colours are lovely.

Along the same lines is this one from Linaloo (I also quite like her blog):

In response to the question of whether it was worth it to go to the trouble to make one, she said she overheard her daughter telling a friend "My mom MADE mine, it is way cooler."  :)

For something a little more out of the ordinary, I REALLY love this one by Elsie Marley, who includes a whole tutorial on her blog.

Then there is this one from Life With Little Ones. She uses little envelopes and arranges them differently each year:

There are some labels on etsy that would be fun to use for a project like this:

I also loved my friend Kendra's craft calendar - a blank calendar drawn on a piece of bristol board.  Every day Alex gets to make a craft to be glued on to the space for that day.  Send a pic Kenj and I will put it up!  Do you keep them from year to year?

In honour of Felix

There are a few things I would like to pick up for wee Felix:

This stuffed Giraffe from tinywarbler...

or this cute crocheted toy from whiskersdesigns...
For the wall, I could get these decals from honeybunch in Etobicoke...

or this adorable print from sarahjanestudios...

or this one from creativethursday (I really love her stuff)...

 To promote dexterity I should maybe get him a vintage thumb puppet from intothewoods?...
or this lovely wooden pull toy from jalutoys...?

What do you think? There are so many possibilities... can't wait to meet you Little Felix!!

Ingenious Tops

Northumbria University graduate Jack Bresnahan exhibited a series of biodegradable, plastic lids for turning used tin cans into household containers at graduate show New Designers in London in June.  There are 9 plastic lids in the set, which turn the cans into objects including a vase, soap dispenser, sugar caster, tea and coffee canisters, toothbrush holder, money box and desk tidy.  Having just made lasagna and staring at the empty tomato sauce can, I wish I had one - or all of them!

So cool.  He also did a series for re-using jars.

Found on Shelterrific.  For more info, see here.

Free Calendars

As it is December 1st, I am a little late in posting this, but I did want to pass on this lovely and free advent poster by Mibo Studio, as found on How About Orange (one of my favourite blogs - check it out!)

Also, I just saw on Apartment Therapy this lovely (free!) Matryoshka printable calendar by Yasmine Surovec that can be used over and over as the dates are omitted. It can be downloaded from her blog A Print A Day.   She also has this cool carnivorous plants calendar.  It is kind of a cool idea to do for yourself if you are at all artistic or even have some fun photos or images you want to put together in a non-iphoto calendar (not that I don't love me my iphoto calendar!)