Introduction to Magic The Gathering {by K}

I’m proud to introduce you to my first guest blogger: our oldest son! Since we always talk about writing about what you love, here he is explaining his favorite card game, Magic The Gathering. And without further ado, I give you K…

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I am here to teach you how to play my favorite card game Magic The Gathering. I first learned how to play from one of my friends at school. First, I will teach you about creatures. Creatures are the cards that represent your army. In the picture below, it shows the top of a creature card. On the top left is the name of the creature card and on the top right is the amount lands or mana the card costs to cast to the battlefield.

Above it shows the middle part of a land card. Lands are the cards you use to cast creatures, and almost any other type of card in Magic The Gathering. On any card in Magic other than lands there is a mana cost you need to pay in order to cast that card. The mana cost is either a ball with a number in it or a symbol, a fireball, a water drop, a tree, a sun, or a skull or it is combination of both . If it is a ball with a number in it you can use any type of land to pay it or if it is a symbol then use the the land the symbol stands for. Fireball=mountain, water drop=island, tree=forest, sun=plains, and skull=swamp.When you use mana you tap or turn sideways the land card.Tapped cards can not be used.

Below is a picture of the bottom of a creature card in Magic the Gathering. On the bottom of a creature card there is the creature’s power and toughness. Power is the amount of damage a creature can do in combat. Toughness is the amount of damage a creature can absorb. Right now I am going to teach you how to battle. Creatures cannot attack on the turn they are cast unless they have haste. At the beginning of your battle phase if it is your turn you will choose if you want to attack or not if you want to choose which creatures you want to attack with. After you have told your opponent which creatures you are attacking with your opponent will choose what he want to block what. In battle creatures both deal their power to each others toughness. Example:A 1/1 fought a 2/2 the 2/2 would win because 2 power beats 1 toughness and 1 power does not beat 2 toughness. If a creature attacked it becomes tapped if it does not have vigilance. Tapped creatures can not block. Blocking does not cause creatures to tap.

Here is the middle and bottom of a instant. Instants can empower your creatures,weaken your enemies creatures,and can do almost anything you can think of. Instants can be played during your turn or your opponents turn. Instants are considered spells.

Below is a picture of the lower portion of a sorcery card in Magic. A sorcery is the same as a instant except you can only cast them during your turn.


Above are two different types of enchantments. The first enchantment is a enchantment that affects something on the field. The second type which is called a aura affects one creature. Enchantments can only be cast on your turn.

Below is a artifact. There are two types of artifacts one type is not shown. Like enchantments the first one affects the field and the second type is called a equipment and affects one creature. Artifacts can only be cast during your turn.

Below it shows a card called a planeswalker. Like all other cards in Magic they have a mana cost. At the bottom are it’s loyalty counters. In the middle section are some actions it can do +1 means you add 1 to it’s loyalty. If you do not want to take damage a planeswalker on your side can take the damage for you by removing loyalty counters equivalent to the damage. If a planeswalker’s loyalty falls to 0 or less put it into the discard pile. SETUP

Each player starts with 20 life, a 40-60 card deck, and a 6 card hand.

TURN SEQUENCE

Untap Phase: Untap all of your cards.

Draw Phase: Draw 1 card

Upkeep Phase: Activate any cards that say during the upkeep

Main Phase 1: Play lands, sorceries, instants, and cast creatures

Battle Phase: Attack and block( Instants may be played during battle phase)

Main Phase 2: Do anything you could do in main phase 1 except play a land card

End Phase: Activate cards that say during your end phase

SPECIAL POWERS

Trample: Battle damage done by a creature with trample not absorbed by a blocker’s toughness is dealt to the defending player.

Vigilance: Creatures with vigilance do not tap after attacking.

Flying: Creatures with flying can only be blocked by creatures with flying and creatures with reach.

Reach: Creatures with reach can block creatures flying.

Morbid: Creatures and spells with morbid get stronger if a creature died the turn it was cast.

Exalted: Creatures that attack alone get +1/+1 until end of turn

War Cry: If a creature with war cry attack and then creatures attack after them the creatures that attacked after the creature with war cry get a bonus.

Clothespin Wreath Advent Calendar

My brain has been whirling with all the creative advent calendar ideas out there. I grew up with a beautiful felt advent calendar my mom made, and I want to recreate something like that for our boys. While I’m still mulling over all the options for the long term, it is the end of November, so for this year, I’ve decided to make a clothespin wreath using Christmas wrapping paper and scrapbook papers to hold 24 cards with activities we can do together through the month.

Clothespin wreath advent calendar with an activity for each day {Jewels at Home}

Clothespin wreath advent calendar with an activity for each day.

The instructions for the wreath are detailed in the previous post. The only changes were that I made this wreath a bit bigger (13″ diameter) to accomodate 24 pins, and I added numbers to the pins for each day. The numbers are stickers on punched out circles, and I used removable tape to stick them on the clothespins, in case we use this wreath for pictures or cards in the future.

Clothespin wreath for Christmas makes a lovely advent calendar or card display {Jewels at Home}

Clothespin wreath for Christmas makes a lovely advent calendar or card display.

Numbers for a clothespin advent calendar {Jewels at Home}

Numbers for a clothespin advent calendar

Clothespin wreath advent calendar {Jewels at Home}

For the activity cards, I printed 2″x4″ shipping labels with 24 different activities, one for each day. There are lots of options – here are some I thought would be fun to do with the kids this year. I’d love to hear what you are planning, too!

  • Get a Christmas tree
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Write Christmas wish list
  • Make ornaments
  • Holiday Faire at school
  • Make a gift for a friend or family member
  • Give a homemade gift
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Go see Christmas lights
  • Wrap presents
  • Make snowflakes
  • Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Read The Polar Express
  • Prepare Christmas “thank you” cards
  • Donate food
  • Donate toys
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Visit reindeer at the zoo
  • Watch “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”
  • Watch “Frosty the Snowman”
  • Make a snowman pizza
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Write cards for teachers
  • Deliver gifts to teachers
  • Family game night
  • Snowman pancakes for breakfast
  • Mail Christmas cards
  • Brunch with Santa (like family photos, this is a strange torture I cannot resist!)
  • Call relatives and sing carols to them
  • Movie night (this is a Christmas Eve tradition for us)

I stuck the labels on cardstock in Christmas colors and patterns and then clipped them to the wreath, with the labels facing the back. We can turn over one each day!

Clothespin wreath advent calendar with a special activity for each day {Jewels at Home}

Clothespin wreath advent calendar with a special activity for each day.

Maybe I’ll come up with a new advent calendar next year, or maybe this wreath will become our tradition. I think I’m at least as excited as the boys for the countdown to Christmas!

“Jewels”

I shared this project at:
Somewhat Simple

Felt Christmas Trees

Here is the second group of Christmas trees I made for our mantel this year.

I haven’t put up any of the trees yet – I love Christmas, and I’m definitely catching myself singing along to the carols in stores, but I’m trying to enforce a little discipline at home. Besides, we’ve had some warm spells this November, so I might as well finish soaking up fall before celebrating winter!

I was originally inspired to make a Christmas forest by the exquisite handmade Christmas trees by Shauna Mailloux, and for today’s trees, I found inspiration from the charming felt trees made by Rebecca at the Crafted Sparrow.

DIY forest of felt Christmas trees from Jewels at Home.

Just to remind you, here’s a picture of the first decorative Christmas trees I made. They were all quick projects created by winding yarn or trim around the cone.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees. Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!

For the felt trees, I also used homemade tree bases formed by rolling used cardboard boxes into cones of varying sizes.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

As predicted, this second group of trees did take longer to make, but they were still very doable projects and absolutely worth the effort!

Felt triangle trees
These trees were the ones inspired by the felt trees made by Rebecca at the Crafted Sparrow.

I made the first tree using 3 full sheets of felt for a 14.5″ tall cone. I started by cutting two inch strips of felt and then cutting those into triangles (top left picture below). I saved a little felt to hide the cardboard under the first row and a small circle to finish off the top.

Because this tree sat flat on the ground, rather than on a trunk, I wrapped some strips of felt around the bottom 2 inches of the tree, so the cardboard wouldn’t show under the first row of triangles (top right picture below). I then glued triangles, overlapping slightly, in a row around the cone (bottom left picture below). Hot glue worked better than white glue, which just got absorbed into the felt. I worked the same way all the up the tree and capped off the top with a small circle of felt.

DIY felt Christmas tree tutorial.  From Jewels at Home.

A pretty tree, and I love this dark blue-grey color of felt.

DIY felt Christmas tree.  From Jewels at Home.

DIY felt Christmas tree.

The second felt triangle tree sits up on a glass bottle for a trunk. I’m thinking of filling it with some silver and grey beads. This tree was made the same way, except the first row of triangles hangs off the bottom of the cone (left picture below), since there is a trunk. For some variety, I made a narrower shaped cone for the white tree, and I added also some small pearl beads I had in my craft stash (right picture below). The cone for this tree is 13″ tall and used just over two sheets of felt.

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DIY felt and bead Christmas tree with a glass base from Jewels at Home.

DIY felt and bead Christmas tree with a glass base.

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Felt circle tree

My friend and partner in crafting (crime), Ari, spotted these sweet felt trees from Land of Nod (and let’s be honest, what isn’t sweet at Land of Nod?!). The circles were not so hard to cut out – I used a Sharpie to trace a spool on a sheet of felt (top left picture below) and then pinned it to a second one, to cut out two sheets at once (top right picture below). This little tree used just over two sheets of felt.

Because the tree sat up on a base, I glued the first row of circles hanging just off the bottom of the cone (bottom left picture below). The cone was wider than the others, to change things up, and I decided to put a base on it, which was a large tin can wrapped in brown felt (bottom left picture below).

DIY felt circle Christmas tree inspired by Land of Nod.  From Jewels at Home.

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Another cutie to add to the forest!

DIY felt circle Christmas tree inspired by Land of Nod.  From Jewels at Home.

DIY felt circle Christmas tree inspired by Land of Nod.

Here are some more pictures of the new felt trees and some of their old friends:

 

 

 

 

DIY felt Christmas trees by Jewels at Home.

DIY felt, feather, and yarn Christmas trees by Jewels at Home.

DIY felt Christmas trees by Jewels at Home.

I am hoping to get around some more trees this season, but we’ll see how things go, with some stockings and teacher gifts still on the to-do list. I’m enjoying getting warmed up for the season!

“Jewels”

I shared this project at:

Centsational Girl’s holiday Link Party

Make Your Own Decorative Christmas Trees

Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much love craft projects just for the joy of making something with my own hands. But, to be honest, there are DIY projects that look just like you DIY’ed them, those that turn out as well as something you would buy, and then there are those that turn out to be truly beautiful, unique pieces of art. When I saw these handmade Christmas trees by Shauna Mailloux, I knew they fell into the last category, and I couldn’t wait to try them myself.

There are a hundred ways you could customize these trees. I used a few of Shauna’s ideas and came up with some of my own, browsing the craft store and my own odds and ends. I encourage you to try making your own unique holiday creations!

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees. Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!

Like Shauna, I made my own tree bases by rolling cardboard boxes into cones of varying sizes.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Here are the first few trees I made. (With some luck,) I’ll add more later. I call these the “instant gratification” trees, because they were quick and easy. The “blood, sweat, and tears” trees will take a little longer…

Feather boa tree
This is my absolutely favorite of Shauna’s trees. It has a great funky elegance. When i was looking for supplies, I wasn’t sure about the quantities of materials needed, so I’ll list what I used to help you with your sourcing.

For this tree, I used 4ft of feather boa for a 14″ tall tree. It was simple to tuck one end of the boa in the top of the cone and wind it around, securing it with some hot glue once in a while. You can leave quite a bit of space between the rows, since the boa is so fluffy. I used a white cardboard cone, in case any cardboard showed in between the rows.

Make your own decorative Christmas tree from a feather boa.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

White feather boa Christmas tree.

Eyelash yarn tree
I loved the look of the white boa, but all the other boas at the craft store came in rather non-Christmasy colors. Luckily, this glitter eyelash yarn gives a very similar look!

Use glitter eyelash yarn to make your own decorative Christmas tree.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

One ball (0.88oz ; 39 yards) of glitter eyelash yarn covered a 12″ tree. I used two strands (pulled the yarn from both ends) twisted together, as it’s actually very fine yarn.  The technique is the same – tuck the end in the top and wind the yarn around, but since the yarn is so fine, I used the toothpick end of my tree topper to help push it inside the cone.

I absolutely love this one, too!  The tinsel strands reflect light and make it sparkle.  I’ll show how to make the little beaded tree topper below.

Use glitter eyelash yarn to make your own decorative Christmas tree.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Glitter eyelash yarn Christmas tree with a beaded topper.

And then, there were two!

Use eyelash yarn or a feather boa to make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

The fluffy ones! Feather boa tree and glitter eyelash tree.

Cording and braid trees

Not just for Marie Antoinette’s curtains, the trim section of our local craft store had some more great finds.  I found some cord in red and also these green and gold braids. Because of the lacy edges of the green and gold braid, I spray-painted the cardboard cones to match first. The rest is the same as the others, sticking the end in the top of the cone and winding around, with hot glue applied along the way.

In terms of supplies,

  • the red cord tree used 2.5 yards for a 9.5″ tall cone
  • 3 yards of the green covered a 9.5″ high cone, with a few inches to spare
  • the gold is a bit narrower, and I used 4 yards to cover a 12″ tree, with some space between the rows, as shown

 

DIY Christmas trees made with braided trims.  Easy and elegant Christmas decor.  From Jewels at Home.

DIY Christmas trees made with braided trims.

Beaded tree-topper

I also got this idea from Shauna’s trees, though she didn’t explain exactly how she made it, so here’s what I did.

  • Glue a large bead onto the end of a toothpick (top left picture below)
  • Spread tacky glue over the surface of your large bead (top right picture below)
  • Dip your glue-y tree topper into a bowl of small beads (bottom left picture below)
  • Insert the toothpick into the top of your tree.  Ta-da! (bottom right picture below)

Beaded topper for a small Christmas tree.  From Jewels at Home.

I have some ideas for more tree toppers, though I think that many of the trees look great on their own, too.

 

DIY Christmas trees.  Easy and elegant Christmas decor.  From Jewels at Home.

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

“Jewels”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids’ Art Gallery Frames

My kids’ art projects tend to accumulate in (not so) little plies all over our house. I’m implementing a new system to organize all of it, but more on that later. I would love to have more of their creations up on display, but I get around to it so seldom that the few pieces that are hung are completely outdated. I’ve been looking for a solution that makes it easy to change our our display, and I knew I had found it when I spied these frames with clips from Shanty 2 Chic.

I decided to make mine with fabric, rather than paper, backgrounds. The fabric matches these DIY picture mattes I made. I’ll show you how to make your own!

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

Materials:

  • frames – I used NYTTJA frames from Ikea, which are perfect, because the front is plastic that has a protective film on it for packaging. I left the film on, so that if I ever want to use these are regular frames, it will be easy to peel off the fabric.
  • fabric or decorative paper
  • magnetic bulldog clips

Instructions:

  • Take apart your frame and spray the glass (or in this case the plastic) with spray adhesive. I think you could also use a glue stick, if you spread it thinly. (top left picture below)
  • Cut out a piece of fabric (or paper) about 1.5″ wider than your glass in all directions. Lay the glass, adhesive side down, on the back side of the fabric. Cut the corners diagonally, to reduce bulk. (top right picture below)
  • Fold over the fabric and tape it in place securely. (bottom left picture below)
  • Reassemble your frame. (bottom right picture below)

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

  • The last steps are to hot glue the bulldog clips in place and add your art! (pictured below)

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

Here is the kids’ new art gallery in their room. I can tell already that I will be using these frames a lot! Also pictured are the DIY travel-themed pencil tins I made for them.

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

Kids' gallery wall with DIY initials and frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}

DIY  frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}

 

Next up: I’m getting started on some projects for Christmas!

“Jewels”

DIY Fabric-covered Picture Mattes

Little details like art pieces are what bring personalty to a room and make it feel complete. Sometimes, it seems like I’m so busy battling piles of laundry and other basic necessities, that I will never get around to all these little details, but I’m always rewarded when I do! I finally put up the travel art for the boys’ room.

I decided to try making my own picture mattes by wrapping cardboard with fabric. You could do it with a large sheet of art or wrapping paper, too. One caveat is that cardboard can be acidic and could damage valuable art or photos, so this is not a project for your heirlooms. I turned the coated side of my cardboard towards the back, hoping that would protect the art a bit. This project turned out to be pretty easy, and I like how it looks. I’m also glad, because I have some other plans for this fabric in the room, and now it will all coordinate!

DIY fabric-covered picture mattes with tutorial.  Jewels at Home.

Materials:

  • light or medium weight cardboard, like cereal boxes or toy boxes. I think regular corrugated cardboard would be too thick and bumpy.
  • fabric or paper to cover your board
  • glue (glue stick and tacky or white glue) and scissors

Instructions:

  • Cut the cardboard to the size of your frame’s glass, and cut an inner shape to fit your art – you don’t have to do a simple rectangle or square; how about an oval? You also don’t have to center your opening; western-style mattes look great when the bottom area is slightly taller than the top, grounding your piece. Asian art is often centered with the top area slightly taller, representing the sky. (top left picture below)
  • Cut a piece of fabric about an inch wider than your cardboard in all directions. Use the glue stick lightly on the front to stick the cardboard onto the fabric. Instead of glue, you could also use Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive (top right picture below)
  • Fold the fabric around the cardboard, and use the white or tacky glue to hold it in place, clipping the corners. Do the outside first, and then the center. (bottom left picture below)
  • Ta-da! (bottom right picture below)
DIY fabric-covered picture mattes with tutorial.  Jewels at Home.

Step-by-step tutorial for fabric-covered picture mattes.

Here are the art posters up on the wall in the big boys’ room.

DIY fabric-covered picture mattes with tutorial.  Jewels at Home.

Kids' gallery wall with DIY initials and frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}

Kids' gallery wall with DIY initials and frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}

And here are the newly framed pictures next to the DIY cardboard initials I made. This display wall is slowly coming together – I’ve got one more project planned!

Now, hopefully this motivation will carry over to my own bedroom gallery wall!

“Jewels”

Forever Young Wall Art – Free Printable

“Forever Young” by Bob Dylan has been one of my favorite songs for ages, though I fell in love with it sung by The Pretenders. Since our first was born, I’ve been thinking the lyrics would make perfect decor for a nursery or play room, with their mix of affection and wisdom. So, it has taken me a while, but I finally typed up the lyrics and dressed them up with some fonts and colors for our kids’ playroom.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

If you’d like to print a copy, you can download the PDF of the “Forever Young” lyrics printable.. And here is what it looks like up close:

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.If you want to change things around and create your own version, the fonts I used were Gabriola and Felix Titling. The frames are NYTTJA frames from Ikea. They are nothing fancy, but the lightweight design (the fronts are plastic, not glass), work well, because the playroom walls are exterior stucco, and I have had no luck putting nails in it, so I used these trusty 3M Command Picture-Hanging Strips.  They are advertised as being able to hold a lot of weight, but I don’t like to challenge them!

I’d like to add some more art to this wall – thinking of some Instagram photos city scenes and cars, but I think these are a great start!

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Forevery Young lyrics free printable.  Jewels at Home.

Never too late to finish a project… only took 9 years from inspiration to implementation!

“Jewels”

Inspirations from Daily Life – October 2012

Oh, how I love to wander around Hayes Valley and drool over all the fabulous furniture stores. I loved the throw pillows in these two scenes from Quatrine and am keeping them as inspirations for our master bedroom.

Beautiful throw pillows spotted at Quatrine in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Beautiful throw pillows spotted at Quatrine in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. I especially like the grey pillows with the ribbon border in two colors and the round bolster with panels.

Beautiful grey embroidered pillows at Quatrine in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Beautiful grey embroidered pillows at Quatrine in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Just a few steps away from Hayes Street is this lovely parklet in Linden, across from the Blue Bottle kiosk.  I love the plantings, rock bench, and painted koi.

Pretty parklet with low stone bench, rock garden, and painted koi.

Pretty parklet with low stone bench, rock garden, and painted koi.

And back at home, I moved this tiered serving dish that I bought for the tea party up to our master bathroom, and I love the charm and organization it adds to the space.

A small tiered serving tray is a beautiful way to organize jewelry.  Jewels at Home.

A small tiered serving tray is a beautiful way to organize jewelry.

“Jewels”

Kids’ Reading Nook and Clubhouse

When we installed the Ikea Pax built-in closets, it created an alcove in the corner our boys’ room.  Some day, I think this might make a good place for a desk, but for now, it makes a cozy hideout for reading, games, and “K+L+J” club meetings.  This is an easy project, with a fun twist with its starry ceiling.

Materials:

  • 2 tension-mounted shower curtain rods
  • Tab-top curtain panels
  • String lights
  • Large floor cushions – we were lucky to inherit this great beanbag chair, part of our friend Victor’s bachelor decor that he had to part with when he moved in with Nicola 🙂
Great kids' reading nook with starry ceiling.  Jewels at Home.

Great kids’ reading nook with starry ceiling.

Great kids' reading nook with starry ceiling.  Jewels at Home.

To close off the alcove, I mounted one tension rod at the front, holding the curtain panels, and the other at the very back of the alcove.  For the starry ceiling, I wrapped the lights around the two rods, weaving between the curtain tabs.

Easy starry ceiling for a cozy reading nook.  Jewels at Home.

Easy starry ceiling for a cozy reading nook.

I’d like to add a few more things to the walls of the alcove, but for now, there’s a world map that fits with the other travel-themed decor in the room.  It looks like the boys are having a good time in their new space already!

Create a cozy kids' hangout with just a few simple materials.  Jewels at Home.

Create a cozy kids' hangout with just a few simple materials.  Jewels at Home.“Jewels”