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

Monday, December 23, 2013

12 Days of Christmas 2013 - Day Twelve

Today is day 12! Christmas is 2 days away! Yikes! No, really, I'm good. I have only 2 projects to finish, a head for a monkey and a remote holder, and I'm done!!!!

I always try to make the last day's project about the birth of the Savior, so our project today is a banner that proclaims "NOEL" to everyone who sees it. It take a little time, but it's very easy to make and very rewarding to display or give.

You will need at least 4 or 5 different 12" x 12" pieces of cardstock. You can use Christmas designs, or solid colors, whatever you like. Or mix and match!

The pennants are 6" wide and 7" long. Cut a strip of cardstock 7" x12". Mark the middle, at 6" , on one long side. On the other long side, make marks at 3" and 9". Now draw lines from the 6" mark to the 3" mark and the 9" mark, and from the 3" mark to the corner and from the 9" mark to the other corner. That will give you three pennant shapes.  Out of the scrap triangles, cut 2" circles. I used my flower punch to do this.

For each medallion, you will need 2 strips of cardstock 12" x 2 1/2". Fold them in half the long way, one with the printed side out and one with the white side out. Now fold the ends into the middle.

Then to the middle again.

Then again. Then open up all your folds and fold them again into an accordion.

You will have one accordion with ends that go up and make a valley and one with ends that go down and make a mountain. Place glue on the very last section of the valley and place the mountain over it and glue them together. Do the same on the other end. This will give you an accordion folded circle.

Now, put some glue on the front of your pennant and on the back of one of the circles. Flip one edge of the accordion folded circle up to make a flat medallion and glue it to the pennant. Glue the 2" circle on top.

Do 3 more of these in colors and patterns that compliment one another. Cut your letters and glue them on. On these I used gold glittery paper, on others I made I used black paper, and on some of the black letters I used red glitter glue to make a letter on each lack letter. It's your swag, so it's your call. I like to add a little extra something, so I put holly or a snowflake in the O..

And lastly, you can either punch holes in the corners of the pennants and string them on some cord o twine, or you can use tiny clothespins to pin them to the cord or twine. Personally, like the clothespins, because you can take it all apart to pack it away.

You can see that on some of them, I didn't put the little circle on top, and it looks good that way, too, but you have to be sure your letters are glued down really well, so that the medallion doesn't pop up in the middle. Place a weight on it, like a small book or a plate, until the letter is stuck really good!

Last of all, when I make something that is kind of fragile to pack away, I like to give the packaging with it, so I went to the deli in my local supermarket and got some clamshells used to package the turnovers, and they were the perfect size! Tied up with some jute and a cute tag, it makes a nice gift.

There you go.....the 12 Days of Christmas. I hope you enjoyed the projects and will make at least a few, if not this year, then in the future.

"And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him is swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger,,,,,,and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." That was the first Noel.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and I wish you all the blessings you deserve for the coming year. Love to you all,

12 Days of Christmas - Day Eleven

Day 11 - I don't usually blog on Sunday, but I make an exception every year for the 12 Days of Christmas. You can't really skip a day and have it work out. Today's project is puzzle piece ornaments. You can get puzzles with pieces that range from very tiny to extremely large, so the size is totally up to you. I pick them up at yard sales and thrift stores, because you never know if they have all their pieces, so it doesn't matter if you  use them for something else. All I have with me are some rather small ones, but back in Oregon, I have a floor puzzle, with pieces that would make great tree size ornaments.

Pick a few pieces that you like the shape of and sand them lightly to take off the shiny finish. Give them 2 or 3 coats of paint, letting them dry in between coats. White for the angels and snowman and the color of your choice for presents and candy. The angels need some flesh color for their faces and feet, if your puzzle piece has "feet".
I used a little light blue to add some definition to the angels and snowman.
I used something called a rose stick to decorate the angels' dresses. You can see one in the photo above - it's a piece of dowel with one end pointed and the other end has sanded edges so it's kind of rounded. You put out two shades of the same color of paint, like light and dark blue, or pink and red, etc. Using the rounded end, dip one half in the dark and one half in the light and gently press the paint onto the puzzle piece like you are making a large dot. Now take the pointed end and use it to swirl the paint to mix the 2 colors. Don't swirl too much, or you will mix the colors totally and have no light and dark. Add a few little leaf shapes in green and you have a little rose.

The smaller puzzle pieces are just perfect for adding to tags! You can use purchased tags, like I did for the snowman, or make your own tags out of cute scrapbook paper. They make a plain old tag into something cute and special.
This is a really fun project for the whole family. You would be surprised at what kids can come up with to make out of a simple puzzle piece. Have fun and enjoy the together time. This is the best time of the year, and now that school is out, this will help take up some of that "Mom, what can we do?" time.
See you again soon,

12 Days of Christmas - Day Ten

Day 10 is another lost day, but I have pictures! Yesterday was my grandson, Cyric's baptism. He was so excited and there were a lot of people there to support him. Including my oldest daughter, Deseret, from Elko! I knew she was coming, but her sister did not, and boy was she surprised! I had to give a talk, along with his other grandma, and I wound up having to lead the music, too.

Because he is past the age of 8 (he turned 9 in September) it was considered a convert baptism, and he had to take the missionary lessons first. This is him with Elder Olive' (pronounced oh-lee-vay), who baptised him. Those of you who are LDS know that the baptism has to be word perfect, and Elder Olive' forgot to say Amen, so he had to do it all over again!
All the kids gathered round the font to see.
Then, because it was a convert baptism, he had to be confirmed in Sacrament meeting, and Elder Reyes forgot to say "Receive ye the Holy Ghost", and so after the whole confirmation prayer, he had to do it over, too! I said we should call him "Two-time Cyric'!
Elder Olive' Cyric, and Elder Stockett
After the baptism, we all came back to our motor home and had sandwiches and chips. Then the kids started complaining about having nothing to do, so Dez got out some gingerbread train kits she brought and the kids all made those. Now, if you've never made gingerbread houses,or trains in this case, with your kids or grandkids, you are missing out!!! We put them together in teams, gave them a few pointers, showed them how they went together, and turned them lose! They had so much fun. So, I decided that this would be today's project! Kill two birds with one stone! There won't need to be any instructions, just photos of all the fun. We happen to be in Southern Nevada right now, so we took advantage of that and had them do them outside! Clean-up was a breeze.


And here are the finished masterpieces.....

And when they were done, we let them demolish them and eat the candy!

Like I said, it was well worth the cost of the kits and all the mess.  This will be remembered as one of the most fun things we did this year! Try one....I think your family will have a blast!
Until tomorrow,

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Days of Christmas - Day Nine

It's day 9 already! Can you believe there are only 5 more days  'til Christmas? Oh, my goodness! I am almost done with my gifts, which is a miracle, because I'm always working right up until the last moment. I still have a monkey to make a head for and some more snowballs to cut, but that's it! Oh, and my daughter asked me YESTERDAY to make a scripture carrier for my grandson, who is getting baptized TOMORROW!!!! I told her I would do my best, but maybe not by Christmas. I really will do my best, though. It's taken him a year to decide he wants to be baptized, and I am so very proud of him, so by gum, that carrier will be done if there's any way!

OK, enough of that. Today's project is ribbon poinsettias. This project has plagued me, because nothing has gone right with it from the very start. First, I couldn't find the ribbon I needed, so I had to get pink instead of red (which is okay, I guess, because it's one of "the colors" of today), then I couldn't get it in the really wide size I wanted, then I couldn't find the gold beads in the right size! Oh well, punt, right? So my poinsettias, instead of going into a nice big arrangement, became adornments for pine cone ornaments.

Start with floral ribbon, which is that kind of ribbon florists use that is not fabric and will tear down the length if you need it to. Mine is a lovely shade of bright pink. Cut diamonds from the ribbon by cutting at a slant. You will need 8 diamonds for each poinsettia.
Take a diamond between your thumb and forefinger and gather it up. Place another diamond next to it and gather it up too. Make sure they are not on top of each other but side by side. Do this until you have 4 diamonds all gathered up, then wrap twice with a piece of wire about 6" long and twist like a bread tie. Cut another piece of wire about 12" long, gather up your 4 other diamonds and wrap and twist. Spread the wires on both bunches of petals. Spread the petals on the short-wired bunch at the halfway mark and slip the long wires in the spaces and twist again.
This will give you w flower with two layers of petals. Twist the short wires around the other layer also, because this will help make your flower more stable.
Now you're going to take the long wires, which I should have said at the beginning should be gold, (ooops!) and wind them around something small, like a skewer, to form two small "springs".
Stretch the springs a little and curve them into a circle. Press the end of one spring over the end of the other to make them attach to each other. Voila! A poinsettia! When my mother made her large ones, she used the gold beads like you can get on a string for decoration and cut them apart and glued them in the middle, but I couldn't find any gold beads small enough, so we have "springs" instead. And they look just fine. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I put some sparkly glitter on the ends of the pine cone "leaves." If you want to make an arrangment, you can use floral tape to wrap the short wires to a skewer or piece of heavy wire for a stem.
A small pine cone with one poinsettia on the top.

A larger pine cone with two poinsettias back to back.
And there we have it.....ribbon poinsettias. I forgot to tell you - mom also made them look almost real when made out of velvet ribbon! Really beautiful.
Well, now I have to go write a talk on baptism for tomorrow.  This is going to be a special day, for him and for his family.
See you next time.
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