It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day 12

The final day of this year's 12 Days of Christmas is here. I always use day 12 for something that relates to the real reason for Christmas - the birth of the Savior. And this year, it's the baby Himself. I saw a cute ornament on Pinterest, but didn't pin it, I guess, because I can't find it. Anyway, it was a little baby Jesus cradled in a candy cane, and I really liked it. So that's our finishing project this year.

I made my baby like the ones I make to put in my paper mangers, here. They are really easy to make. The easiest way is to cut the finger off a new pair of white cotton work gloves. But if you don't have any and can't find them (I had to go to Harbor Freight because other places only sell them in gardening season, I guess.), then you can take a piece of muslin and cut 2 rectangles about 2" wide and 4" long and round one end for the head. Sew the 2 pieces together, leaving the square end open for stuffing. Turn it right side out and stuff lightly. You can put a face on Him using a permanent fine-point marker, or just leave it blank.

Here are some ideas for faces, or you can just put 2 little dots, like I did. Glue a little hair on the top of the head and use a piece of flannel or cotton batting to swaddle Him in. Tie some jute around the swaddling and He's done!

As you can see, my baby Jesus will NOT fit in one candy cane without looking like He's going to drop at any moment, so I decided to use two. The only problem was the ribbon wouldn't stay in place! It wanted to slip up and off the top, and when I hot glued it, it looked kind of dumb because there was a big space between the candy canes. I thought to myself, if I could bend them, it would be better, and then a light went on in my sometimes thick head, and I thought heat gun!!!

 And it worked! Take your heat gun and hold it really close to the candy cane and turn the candy cane as you heat it. Watch it as you do, because it will start to look like it's been left in the sun too long, and all of a sudden you will be able to bend it. Bend it just a little. If it's not far enough, you can always do it again after you get them both done.


When I first put the baby in the hanger, He looked like He was going to fall out because I had Him turned too far to the front, so I turned Him more face upwards. You can position Him any way you like. Tie a bow around the candy canes at the bend. I tied a second bow and hot glued it on top of the first one to give it a little more oomph! Hook an ornament hanger through the ribbon at the back and hang Him on your tree. Or do what I did - my tree isn't big enough to accommodate and ornament that size, so I leaned it up against something. And there you have it!

Well, that's the end of this year's 12 Days of Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back again. In the words of author Taylor Caldwell, "This is the message of Christmas: we are never alone." May the good Lord bless you all this Christmas season, and may the miracle of Christmas fill your hearts with joy!  Merry Christmas and love to all,

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day Eleven

Well, I;m sitting on a bed in a motel room in St. George, Utah, after celebrating our birthdays with dinner and a movie, so this is a quick and easy project. I don't want my hubby to start complaining!

 It only takes a piece of cardstock 8 1/2" x 3 1/2" and 4 or 5 sheets of copy paper cut into 7" x 3 1/4" strips. Fold up 1" of the cardstock on one end and tuck the paper strips into the fold. Make sure you catch the papers and staple about 1/2" above the fold in two spots.

Take the top edge of the paper and tuck it into the fold like a matchbook and fold the whole booklet.. Now all you nave to do is decorate it! Now, you might see that the one above is NOT cardstock, and you would be right. It's a punch card for a time clock, or a time card. It's actually the perfect size. This one was made for me by a friend, but I made the one below, and I thought you might like to see it, because I carry it in my purse all the time. It's a little dog-eared from use, but still useful.

I made them for stocking stuffers a few years ago. I used old-fashioned paper and little tags that read Grandma's Grocery List and they were very popular!

 I made these little lists to go inside because I thought they might be helpful, but, at least for me, they are not. They aren't specific enough for me and they take up room I need to write what I really DO need. That's why I just use blank paper now. Much handier.    


When I use up all my papers, I'll just take out the staples and put a new batch in. How easy is that? I will soon use up all those list pages and go to blank!

That's it! A really fast little gift or stocking stuffer that most women will really like! Have fun and share the love. And try to remember this Christmas season that love weighs more than gold. Love to all,

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day Ten

Day 10 is here and so is my hubby's birthday! He's getting soooooo old. Wait, we're  the same age, so that means I'm getting old, too! Dang it! I was hoping to stay young forever. Haha

Well. today we have for your crafting cork trees! Now, I'm a Mormon and I don't drink wine, so you're probably asking yourself right about now, "How does a non-drinker Mormon have so may wine corks? Ha! I have about 200 of them! My hubby and I were at a yard sale last year in Elko, and there was this HUGE bag of wine corks. He picked it up and showed it to me and asked me if I wanted them. Well, first I had to lift my jaw off the ground because he was actually offering to add to my craft stash, but then I blurted out a big YES before he changed his mind. It was a steal at $5 but now I have all these blasted wine corks! This will be the first of many wine cork projects.

I saw some wine cork trees on Pinterest a while back and decided I wanted to try one. My problem was that because I'm a Mormon, and other Mormons come into my home and I don't want them to think I'm a closet alcoholic, I have to cover the trademarks. So I got out some green paper, measured the wine corks and cut strips of paper that size.

Then I curled them just as you would curling ribbon, using a dowel instead of scissors and being careful not to tear them. 

When I had enough strips cut and curled, I got out my handy-dandy Tacky glue....

...and glued the green paper around all the corks. Well, not all of them, obviously, because some of then have holly paper. ;)  Then I put a stripe of glue where the paper overlaps, and glued the corks together to form tree shapes.

After they were glued into trees, I glued ribbons around them. Notice that on one tree I started on the top and on the other I started on the bottom.

This one will have a bow at the top, so I centered the ribbon at the bottom of the tree and only put glue where the ribbon and tree would touch. The excess on the ends will make the bow.

This one will have a star on top instead of a bow, so I centered the ribbon at the top of the tree, and it is only the length it needs to be to overlap a little.

I used my handy little saw to cut another cork with a v-shape to fit around the curve of the cork at the bottom center of the tree, and glued it in place. I cut the other half in a v for the other tree,

I cut a slice of yet another cork and drew a star on it. I cut the star out using an X-acto knife and glued it to the top of the tree. Tree number one done!

I tied the other ribbon in a bow and tree number two was done!

I decided I didn't like the star the natural cork color, so I carefully painted it gold, but forgot to take pictures. I know you can picture it in your mind, though. And there you have it....two little wine cork trees. Have fun! And if you need wine corks, just let me know. I'll send you some!

As the days the days shorter, so does the time until Christmas. I'm madly trying to get things ready to mail, including my cards. I hope you're ahead of me in your preparations, for in the words of Alexander Smith, "Christmas is the day that holds all time together."  Love to all,

Friday, December 9, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day Nine

Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! I spent the day yesterday baking with my youngest daughter, who is having back surgery on Monday, and who needs to get her holiday stuff done before then! We'll be baking some more tomorrow morning before her dad and I head to St. George, Utah, to celebrate our birthdays. His is tomorrow and mine is Monday. We'll both be 62 years old, and we are both starting to feel every year of that! But Christmas is a time to feel young again, at least for a little while, so that's what we're going to do. 

Day 9 is kind of a continuation of day 6, only different. It's a holiday hanging, but this time it's made with cork coasters. They are inexpensive to buy, and easy to use. I have a lot of scrapbook paper, so I didn't have to buy paper and I also keep a stash of ribbon on hand, so I had that too! What I don't have is a Cricket or Silhouette or one of those fancy-shmansy machines, so I do all my lettering freehand. I started with bubble letters when I was a kid and I've just never stopped. I've added to my repertoire, though.

You need to pick out your papers first. This is a totally subjective thing. If you are of the red and green for Christmas philosophy, then you'll want red and green. But if you are of the pink or purple or blue or ANY color but red and green, go for it! After you choose your papers, you need to trace your coasters on the back, and be sure to keep each coaster with the paper you traced it on, because they are not all the same sometimes. Cut out your papers and glue them to their coasters. You can have just one layer or multiple layers. You can also use a gold leaf pen, like I did here, to frame your coasters.

I used sheet music on mine, but you can use all different papers. So, I traced the coaster and used it to make my letters the right size. I had this lovely candy cane sparkly stripe and I thought it would look so cute for the letters. and it does except for one thing....if  all your letters are red, then all the decorations have to be green!

So I choose to decorate them all with holly. Except the O. And I had this pretty snowflake that I got last year at the Dollar Tree and I thought it would make a really cool decoration for the O. The circle for the O is made from chipboard, and I wanted the snowflake to stand out a little more, so I used a nice, bright Christmas stripe.

I glued them all to green grossgrain ribbon, leaving a loop at the top to hang it. Such an easy project! And if you don't have or can't find cork coasters, all the backers can be made from chipboard. Here are some more examples of these holiday hangings, or whatever you want to call them.

I wish I had used a red candy cane,
but I didn't have one at the time.

Lots of ideas, lots of fun. You can spell out whatever message you like and go mad! These would be great gifts for kids to give grandparents, teachers, etc. They're easy enough for even small children to make with a little help. 

Give and receive love this holiday season and you will surely have a joyous Christmas!  Love to all,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day Eight

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree" Roy L.Smith I learned this from my mother and I firmly believe it. She practiced charity every day of her life. I used to watch, and help when I got older, as she spent hours and hours lovingly making items for the bazaar at church every November or December. She worked all year long so there would be enough items to sell to help with the church budget for the following year. Then we did things like leaving a Christmas tree on a friend's doorstep, ringing the doorbell and hiding as fast as we could! All the things she taught me are what makes Christmas so special for me.

This is our little tiny tree in our motor home.
This last weekend was the Festival of Trees here in Logandale at the historic old school building. There were locals selling candies and cookies and breads. There was an older man selling handmade wooden toys, ladies selling candles, and others selling handmade gift items. It's a fund raiser for the old school and it gets a lot of traffic. Any one who wants can decorate a tree to be auctioned off to help keep the old school up and running. And whenever I'm here, I always do a tree in memory of Madison. (If you haven't watched the video of Madison, its above, on the tab called Madison) She died of cancer when she was 2 years old. This year, we made paper angels to put on the tree, along with silver ribbon and little white doves.

So, day 8 is paper angels, with a peek at some of the beautiful trees that were there. The paper angels are all over Pinterest. They are made of sheet music and I absolutely adore them!  But I didn't have access to music on paper that was sturdy enough. I know, I know, they make scrapbooking cardstock with music on it, but I was on a very limited budget because it was right before payday, so I used what I had. I did buy just a few sheets to give more of a selection, but not many.

To make your angels, you will need sturdy paper or cardstock. You could copy music onto cardstock if you wanted, but I think its a lot more colorful the way we did it, and Maddy loved color! You can get 3 or 4 angels out of one sheet, depending on how big you make them..I traced the openkng of a large drinking glass for the body and then found a Tupperware lid about half that size for the sleeves. (I love my Tupperware!) You need one large circle and two small ones to make 2 angels. 

Trace and cut out your circles, and then cut them in half, one half circle for each body and two for the sleeves. Take a pencil or wooden spoon handle, something round, and run the paper between it and your thumb, kind of like the way you do curling ribbon. This makes a prettier curve when you glue them shut. Take your two corners and bring them together, making a little fold to mark the middle. Only fold the edge, not the whole thing!

Working one at a time, take a half circle and bring the corners together again, only this time you want to match up the edges, too, forming a cone. Glue the body cone by just overlapping the edges enough to glue into the cone shape. Put some glue along one edge and overlap the other edge. Use a clothespin to hold it while it dries, if you're using craft glue, or until it cools off if you're using hot glue. When you make the sleeves, you can overlap them like the body and have wide sleeves, or you can overlap the edges more to have narrower sleeves.

Roll and glue all your paper cones, then glue your arms to your body. Make sure you glue them down far enough to be able to put a head on her! My first one, the blue one below, I didn't take that into account, and I can't fit a head on her. Also, glue the arms a little bit toward the front instead of straight out the sides.

This is what they will look like from the bottom. This paper is double-sided
and really thick, so it was particularly hard to roll.

There are three different sizes in this picture. We mixed up the dresses and
sleeves on some of them.
For heads , you have a few choices. You can use styrofoam balls, ping-pong balls, big pearly beads.......or wood beads, like we did. That's because that's what I had and what we found at the thrift store. We didn't paint them and we didn't put hair or faces on them. That's the way we liked them.

Tie a little bow and glue it under her chin. For the wings, use lace that's about 4" or 4 1/5" wide and cut a piece 5 inches long. Gather it down the middle and tie it. Glue the wings to the back of angel just under the head. You can add lace or rick-rack to the bottom of the skirt or just leave it plain.

This angel is made from a Christmas card. I wanted to use as much of the
pretty border as I could, so I put the seam in the front instead of the back, and
I cut her sleeves at the corners. I really like the way it turned out.

Cut the straight edge of your half circle along the border.
We gave the topper angel a petticoat of lace to make her skirt longer.

While we were at the thrift store looking for heads, we found a bag of little doves that someone had already painted white! My hubby drilled holes down through them and I put them on pink ribbon along with a bead and a bell, and we hung those on the tree as well.

Now take a look at some of the beautiful trees that were auctioned off. I would have loved to have had every one of them!

There were quite a few and they were all beautiful, but I saved my favorite for last.

If any of you know me at all, you'll know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
red, white and blue! This tree was donated by Perkins Elementary
School in Moapa, Nevada.
So that's day 8! I hope you enjoyed it and will make some of these easy, cute angels. We can all benefit from having an angel or two in our homes. And remember......Christmas is all about love, family and children. It doesn't matter what we eat or what presents we get, as long as the holidays are spent with loved ones. Love to all,

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