CROCHETED CANDY CANES

Tis the season!  Once again we are decorating not just a tree but our home, packages and entryways as well. I saw this video that I’d like to share with you. I actually have made these many years ago and they turned out very nice. I did make them TRI- colored though ( green red and white. The white had to go between the green and the red so I just doubled the length for the white). I experimented with the pattern and made some smaller ( using 25 stitches) and they were small enough to hang on a tree and decorate a package with. If you’d like them thinner just use a smaller crochet hook.Hope you’ll give it a try. Fun for children too, if you’re trying to teach your child to crochet. This is an easy one. I wish a Merry Christmas to all of you.

HOMEMADE POTPORRI: GIFT IN A JAR

HOMEMADE POTPORRI (photo will be posted soon)

During the holidays we are frequently invited to spur -of -the- moment dinners at friends homes. Not wanting to show up empty handed, we usually stop at the store and get a dessert. This is a lovely gift you can make many of in advance and keep on hand just for these occasions. Making them just before Thanksgiving assures they will be ready at a moments notice. Just grab and go. These warming scents also warm the hearts of the people you give them to.  Who doesn’t love a homemade gift?

You will need:

Star anise

Apples

A few oranges

Cinnamon sticks

Cloves

Vanilla beans cut open and air dried

Old fabric pieces that you have no use for

Raffia

Card stock

Hole puncher

Sharp scissors or pinking shears

Recycled wide mouth jars or mason jars

Glue stick (optional)

Piece of chalk  or pencil

Directions:

1.Take oranges and apples and slice extremely thin.

2. Place them single layered with sides not touching, into a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven on a cookie sheet for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (be sure to check every half hour or so as you do not want them to burn).

3. Once completely dried,  open a few vanilla beans  and allow the oranges apples and vanilla bean to dry overnight in air.

4. The next day add Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise stars to the dried mixture.

5.Take a few pieces of each item and place in a glass jar.

6. Using your glass jar lid as a guide, trace the lid with chalk.

7. Cut your fabric a quarter inch larger than the lid  all the way around.

8. Take a slightly dampened napkin or paper towel and ease the chalk mark. If you have used pencil to trace your lid, be sure it is face down on the lid.

9.  Place lid on jar and center your fabric on lid. If you have difficulty keeping fabric centered you can run a glue stick over the lid and prevent fabric from sliding.

10. Cut length of Raffia long enough to tie into a bow.

11. Handwrite or type directions for use onto card stock  that you have punched a hole in.

12. Place raffia through hole on card stock and tie into a nice bow.

DIRECTIONS: Simmer in 2 quarts of water or leave in jar with lid off to give a lovely  holiday scent to your home.

NOTE:  You can print labels to stick on face of jar writing message of your choice.  ie: from Jeanette’s kitchen, Holiday  Scents , Made  with love from our home to yours, etc.

VARIATIONS:  You can tie jingle bells on raffia or hot glue a poinsettia or pine cone to the top. Be creative. Have fun!

SKI PEOPLE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Cute little guys to hang on your tree. Children can do all the painting however, I recommend Mom or Dad do the hot gluing and prune shear cutting to avoid injury.

 

 

 

 

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Round topped wooden clothespins ( can find in local dollar store, Walmart or craft store

Bag of Popsicle craft sticks

Ruler

Wooden skewers

Pruning shears to cut Popsicle sticks

Assorted paints

Flesh color for hands and face

Black or silver for skis

Whatever color you wish for ski persons pants and shirt

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Decorative thin cord or ribbon to hang your ornament

Kitchen Twine of any color for scarf ( Dollar Tree stores have bag of three colors each in children’s craft section all year round)

Old wire cake cooling rack  ( this is my all time favorite thing to dry crafts on when you paint both sides at once)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Paint head of clothespin with flesh color.

2.Paint skier’s shirt front and back and set on rack to dry.

3. Once dry, paint skiers pants. and set on rack to dry.

4. Can paint boots if you wish to . I did not.

5. Paint some Popsicle sticks , front and back, the  color you wish the shirt to be and set aside to dry. These will later become the arms.

6. Once dry, measure  how long you need arms to be and cut that length off Popsicle stick with pruning shears. ( PARENTS PLEASE DO THIS PART TO AVOID INJURY) . Touch up with chosen colored paint.

7.  Paint flesh colored tips onto both sides of ends of arms to represent skiers hands. Set aside to dry.

8. Round off corners of  flat part of the Popsicle stick with pruning shears. This part will become skiers shoulders. Touch up exposed wood and set aside to dry.

9. Paint Popsicle sticks front and back black or silver and set on cooling rack to dry. These will become the skis.

10.  Using pruning shears, cut Popsicle  sticks in half. You will need one Popsicle  stick for each pair of skis. Touch up with paint where the exposed wood is and set aside to dry.

10. Cut off point of skewer and paint skewers the color you chose for skis and set aside to dry.

11. Paint hair on your skier.

12. With the end of a skewer dipped into paint, dot eyes and make smile.

13. When clothespin is totally dried, hot glue the clothespin to the skis. Be sure rounded part of ski is used for front of skis.

14. Glue arms on with arms partially extended ( see photo).

15.  Take your black or silver skewers and cut to make the poles the skier will hold. DO NOT CUT THESE FIRST. Depending on how far you extended your skiers arms will determine the length you will need to glue to side of hand facing skiers body and then to side of skiers pant leg near ski.

16. When gluing on poles to hands and skis I took hot glue and placed with skewer to avoid large area of glue.

17. Now, if you wish, you can braid colored kitchen twine to make a scarf. Place dab of hot glue on back of neck and attach hanging ribbon or cord and this will also hold scarf in place. Glue scarf to side of skiers shirt near arm to hold in place.

You will create memories for your child each Christmas when you bring them out to place on tree.

CHRISTMAS ROCKS

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snow scene
Click on image to enlarge

I am a firm believer in keeping it simple.  I do  love Christmas.  As most of us know, Christmas is a very busy, and depending on the size of your family, can be a quite costly time of year.  This is why, any chance I get,  I make things to give as gifts for Christmas to friends, family and co-workers. As you might imagine, I am wrapping Christmas gifts all year. Some of my friends laugh and say, ” You’re thinking of Christmas already? ”

click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge
CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE
CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

However, when Christmas finally arrives, my expenses and workload are minimal because I have most of my homemade gifts already made. I recently decided to try my hand at rock painting. Wouldn’t you know it? After painting a few I thought, ” Oh, maybe I could make some for Christmas!”. So here are a few of my designs for Christmas Rocks. What would you do with them, you ask? I have no idea. But I’ll tell you what I plan to do with mine. Stocking stuffers that can be brought out and placed on a table or desk every year, refrigerator magnets, shelf decorations. You are limited only by your imagination. Most people love homemade gifts. This is one that can have people thinking of you each time they see it.

Have a blessed day!

REINDEER FLOWER POTS

 photo to be downloaded soon

MATERIALS:
1.SMALL CLAY FLOWER POTS
2. WHITE ACRYLIC CRAFT PAINT (glossy or flat your choice)
3. RED ACRYLIC CRAFT PAINT (or what color you wish your scarf to  be but remember, you will  need red for reindeer tongue if you choose to have open mouthed smile).
4. BLACK ACRYLIC CRAFT PAINT (for eyes )
5. TAN OR LIGHT BROWN ACRYLIC PAINT
6. SMALL PAINT BRUSH ( I used 1/4 inch angular shader brush)
7. LARGER HANDLED PAINT BRUSH (to make eyes) OPTIONAL
8. TOOTHPICK OR WOODEN SKEWER ( for eyebrows and dotting eyes)
9. GLUE GUN AND GLUE STICKS ( you can use regular household glue but I find it messy and takes longer to dry. ) CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE HOT GLUE TO AVOID BURNS. 10. POM POMS ( the color of your choice for ear muffs)
11. PIPECLEANERS  the color of your ear muff Pom Poms. (May use black if you don’t have ones the same color )
12. RED OR BLACK POM POM (for reindeer nose)
13. DARK BROWN PIPECLEANERS (for reindeer antlers.
14. PAPER OR OLD PLASTIC LID (for putting paint on)
15. GOOGLE EYES (optional)
 DIRECTIONS:
1. Take clean clay flower pot and paint tan or brown on top and sides to the rim of flower pot. Do not worry if you get some on the rim as you will be painting that a different color.( I personally prefer a lighter shade of brown so that reindeer antlers are a better contrast)

2. After you are satisfied with the coverage of the coats of tan paint, let dry.

3.  Begin  painting the scarf color on the rim .(I found it easier to hold my other hand inside flower pot and turn as I painted). Paint till you have the coverage that you like .

4. Turn the flower pot upside down and set down as you would a normal flower pot, so you can paint the very edge of the rim with the scarf color and let dry.

5. Put a little white paint on a piece of paper or old plastic lid  and dot the back of  small paintbrush handle into paint then dot scarf  all the way around . If you want scarf to have hearts rather than dots,  you put two dots side by side and pull down with brush handle to connect dots at bottom to form hearts. Set pot aside to let dry thoroughly.( If you are not sure you can evenly space, start with entire front first then sides. This will ensure any uneven spacing will be in the back and not visible.)

6.  Once it has completely dried, if you are not using google eyes,  put small amount of black paint onto paper or old plastic lid and take back of  small brush handle and dip into black paint to dot eyes. Then in a circular motion you draw eyes the circular size you wish them to be OR  use larger handled brush to make dots for eyes.
(It helps to tap onto paper or lid (one time only) if you have too much paint on handles end.  It will make perfect circles. Let eyes dry,  lying flower pot on its side flat. I achieved this by resting into an old crumpled towel to keep pot straight and avoid eyes from dripping.)

7. Once eyes are dry , dip end of small paint brush into black paint and  mark
where smile will end on each side. Then make a semicircle smile or make an open mouth to show tongue and/ or teeth. Let dry completely resting again on towel to keep straight while drying.

8. Paint nose red or black if you have no pompoms. (Pom poms look nicer though because they give dimension to your reindeer.)

9. Once eyes are completely dry, if you have not opted to use google eyes,  dip pointy end of toothpick into white paint  place dot or apostrophe shape ( ‘)  into eye in same place on each eye to mimic shine. Let dry.

10. Dip pointy end of skewer into black paint n draw eyebrows. Again, place onto towel to keep straight till dry.

11. Then take toothpick, dip into red paint and make tongue inside open mouth if you chose to have open mouth reindeer smile. Once that has been laid flat to dry, you can then add teeth if you so desire.

12. Insert 2 dark brown pipecleaners  into hole of pot  and bend inside of pot. Then pot some hot glue on end of skewer to place under bent pipecleaners so they may stick to pot. Bend antlers as desired.

13. Hot glue ear muff colored pipecleaner across top of flower pot hole and down side to where your Pom Pom earmuffs  will be.

14. Hot glue ear muffs where they should be.

15. Hot glue google eyes in place. I found it easier and less messy to put tiny glue dot or tiny dab of hot glue on back of  google eye and place onto pot. Remember, just tiny amount so that when you press google eye into place, no glue will be seeping out from around eyes .

 VARIATIONS :
You can personalize reindeer by dipping skewer into black paint and putting name or greeting  across front of scarf.
Have a blessed day!

REINDEER CLOTHESPIN ORNAMENTS

YOU WILL NEED:

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

1. Package of flat clothespins ( or two pkgs. depending on how many you wish to make. Each reindeer takes three clothespins.). each reindeer takes two clothespins. You can make with three clothespins if you wish side views to show back and front legs.
2. Brown or tan acrylic paint. (You can leave unpainted if you wish or mix dark brown paint with a bit of water to give a stained look)
3. Black acrylic craft paint
4. White acrylic craft paint
5. Red acrylic craft paint ( for reindeer tongue , if you wish open mouth smile)
5.Tiny red Pom Pom for Rudolph’s nose

6. Mini tree ornaments to hang on reindeers neck
7. Mini garland ( optional ) to make wreath

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

8. Paint brushes (0ne small handled brush and one slightly larger)
9. Old plastic lids ( one for each child if doing with children)
10. Jars or styrofoam cups for water to wash brushes
11. Paper towels
12. Shower curtain from dollar store to protect work surface if doing with children
13. Thin  Ribbon or wire for hanging
14. Hot glue gun and glue sticks (CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE GLUE GUN TO PREVENT BURNS. PARENTS CAN DO THIS STEP.)
15. Tiny google eyes ( optional)

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Inspect clothespins for uneven wood between clothespins. If you cannot brush out with dry paintbrush use a piece of sandpaper to smooth.

2. Paint both clothespins entirely with brown paint. Don’t forget the inside. Set aside . Allow to dry. ( I use a muffin cooling rack)

3. When clothespins are dry, take black paint to resemble hooves on bottom part of clothespin. Set aside to dry.

4. If you cannot find tiny google eyes (they ARE hard to find) Put a tiny amount of white paint onto plastic lid. Take the second clothespin and dip the back of a  larger paintbrush handle into white paint and make two white dots for beginnings of reindeer eyes. Set aside to dry.

5. When eyes are dry, take smaller brush handle and dip into black paint. Make black dot in center of white dot and set aside to dry.

6. Dip end of pointy toothpick into black paint and paint the reindeer’s smile. Leave enough space to glue on reindeer’s tiny pompom nose.

7. Have parent hot glue flat ends of two leg clothespins together then reverse the second clothespin so that open ends are facing up and appear as antlers, and hot glue to body portion of reindeer, putting ribbon or wire in between before gluing. Glue reindeer faced clothespin slightly higher than bottom clothespin so that reindeer has a chest area ( see photo before gluing).

8. Attach mini Christmas ornament and hot glue in place on chest or in back of neck area.

9. If making wreath to go around neck measure twisted garland and do not cut till you have measured size that looks best. Hot glue in place behind the neck area.

So lovely for Christmas tree ornament, a Grandma or teacher gift from children, or to decorate a gift.

Have a blessed day!