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.

  • Make a Gingerbread House!

    Today I am going to do my very best to convince you to add a gingerbread house project to your holiday celebrations. First, a little peek into my own gingerbread house history...

     

  • 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.

  • Link Roundup: Great Holiday Websites

    The web is, of course, a fabulous place to find holiday crafts and recipes. But just for fun, I thought I'd share some of my other favorite internet holiday resources:

    First, soundtrack your season at AccuHolidays, where you can find a wide array of seasonal music channels, from classical to rock to Latin to Reggae and more. (I'm listening to the Blue and White Christmas Channel as I write this post!)

    If you want to dig deeper into holiday traditions from around the world, you'll find these sites fascinating:

  • 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.

  • Amazing Advent Calendars

    A very short post! Not everyone is into making their own advent calendars. Here are a couple sites that offer really wonderful calendars to bring out the child in anyone. I just ordered and received the one pictured above. I just couldn't resist it!! And I really can't wait for December 1st. So hard not to peak.

    The Vermont Christmas Company offers so many calendars I have yet to see them all which, now that I think about it, is probably a very good thing.  Another site offering a smaller but equally beautiful collection of advent calendars is one of Martha Stewart's favorites Blumchen.com. The link will take you directly to the advent calendar page.

    You have just enough time to order one. December 1st is only 2 weeks away.

  • 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.