November 2008

  • How to Make a Simple Cardboard Base For an Advent Wreath

    Celebration of the Advent began as a time that Christians prepared for the coming of Christmas. There were two very familiar symbols to mark this period of time, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Both are from German tradition, and both are still used today - the Advent Wreath and Advent Calendar.

     

    November 30th is the first Sunday of Advent. Here is the Advent wreath I made to celebrate these Advent Sundays.

    HOW I MADE IT: (I like to keep it simple!)

  • Merry Marshmallow Men

    As promised! Here is a little how-to for those little Marshmallow Men you saw in the Gingerbread house post.

     

    Better Homes and Gardens, December 1960!! I have been hanging on to this clipping all that time! Better Homes and Gardens has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. It was one of two magazines my Mom subscribed to as I was growing up and I just couldn't wait for the holiday issues each year. All those crafty ideas for holiday decorations - I spent hours and hours pouring over those pages. And I look forward to my holiday issues just as much today!

  • How to Make Ojos de Dios (God's Eyes)

    Making God's Eyes

    God's Eyes (also known as Ojos De Dios) are colorful and very simple to make. They work well as ornaments on trees and garlands, as accents on gift-wrapped packages, or as the gift itself. And they are a great way to use up those little bits of yarn we all accumulate because they are just too pretty to throw away.

  • Making Holiday Baking Easier

    You have all heard the advice... bake ahead and freeze. Sound advice to be sure, but if you do that, you will miss all the heady smells of holiday baking when you are IN the holiday mood...right? I have a solution that might make your holiday baking easier and less stressful during the busy days right before Christmas.

     

    I schedule a day in late November to chop, toast, grind and measure the ingredients that I plan to prepare during December: nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, coconut, dry ingredients - anything that will not spoil or deteriorate.

  • How to Make Punched "Tin" Light Shields

     

    Punched "tin" light shields catch, reflect and amplify the lights on trees and garlands.

    Design possibilities are endless and making them is a very simple process. If you need inspiration for designs, check out these Mexican tin ornaments offered through La Fuente; but basic star, or flower cookie cutters about 3" diameter work great as patterns.

  • Getting Acquainted with Wheat Weaving

     

    This wheat spiral has been on my tree over 35 years and the star and snowflake almost that long. OUCH!;

    My eyes and heart fell in love with wheat weaving a long time ago. So...this past Spring I decided that now that I have the whole internet world at my finger tips, I would learn more about it and maybe try my hand at making a few simple ornaments. And here are two of them.

  • How to Make Japanese-Inspired Ornaments

    These pretty decorations are based on an ancient Japanese craft known as Temari. They begin with a styrofoam ball, wrapped in thread. This forms a beautiful and functional base for embroidery.

    Here's a picture of some traditional Temari. They can be a little complicated to make, so they're really best learned from a book or a live class. However, this tutorial will teach you to make the thread-wrapped ball, and then decorate it in some simpler ways.

  • Beautiful Snowflakes

    This is a photo of a real snow flake!

    And here is another!  And here is a link to Snowcrystals.com one of my very favorite sites. The photographs of the snow crystals make my eyes happy and my spirits soar.   The link will take you directly to the first page of the gallery of amazing photographs taken by Kenneth  G. Libbrecht of Caltech.  You can click on each one to make it larger and I suggest you do exactly that!

  • Danish Aebleskivers

    The best version of pancakes ever! Legend has it that Aebleskivers were first made by Viking warriors on thier battle pitted shields.  However they came to be, don't be intimidated by the pan or the process.  Just jump in and make them a family favorite.  I promise kids of all ages love them, and it is doubtful you will ever have leftovers.

  • The Beginning...

    Nothing captures my imagination and stirs my creative juices like the Holiday Season......the lights, decorations, trees and ornaments, carols, special foods and best of all the smell of cookies baking!

    I treasure the memories and traditions of my childhood, and have loved sharing them years later when I became a parent and grandparent. The season is rich with opportunities to make family memories and traditions. And in my opinion, there is no better time of the year to craft and bake and decorate!