I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Today I made two wire and fabric Christmas Wreaths

I wanted to replace my old wreaths that I hang up for Christmas this year.
Here is how they turned out.

A close up of one of them:

What you will need:
Two wire wreath frames (if you want to make two wreaths) from any craft store:

Fabric scraps:
My fabric shelf:
ZigZag scissors, or Pinking shears:

Christmas nick nacks:

1. Choose your fabric (how many fabric choices you decide on does not matter). I picked green and red this year. You can go with whatever colors fit your Christmas decore. The images or patterns on the fabric will not be seen, it is more about color:

2. Cut into about 11 inch strips:
I find it easiest to cut like seen in the below image:

Once it is cut horizontally, fold in half and cut. This will give you at least four strips in fewer cuts:

Don't forget to cut the ends off. The zigzag edge will not frey and the white edge is not attractive:

Regular scissors would leave fabric that would eventually frey without a hem. This Zig Zag edge will not frey:

3. Take your wire frame and fold your fabric strip over the first wire rung:
4. Now tie once, no need to knot it:

#1 wire ring. Beginning on wire one:
Decide on a pattern and repeat it. Use the horizontal wire to separate the sections, seen in the above photo. Use 7 fabric strips between these wires for the first ring.

Finished first ring:
#2 wire ring. Starting on wire two. Note the folded fabric strip on wire two in the photo above. Use 9 strips between the separated sections on the second hoop.

Wire hoop two completed, leaving two more rings left to do:

#3 ring. Now on the 3rd wire ring:
For the third ring, use ten strips between sections (as you get into larger wire hoops, there is more space to fill up):
Working on the third:
#4 ring. Just the forth ring left:

Finished one wreath:
I looked at it and thought it needed more "Christmas." I dug out some old fabric scraps of some festive candy striped fabric:

I cut about 10 strips of the striped and of the plain red a bit longer than the previous cut strips (about 16 inches) because I wanted these to stand out past the others. I just tied them onto the frame where I thought the wreath could use some spark. Kind of like highlighting our hair. ;0)
Now to do it all again.
I did all the above steps times two to the second wreath.

Now it is time to add our little Christmas nick nacks:


The wreaths are finished:
Side by side, two for double doors:
Merry Christmas! And Happy Holidays! ;-)

I’ve done three other blogs on wreaths, feel welcome to check them out too.
Suggestions for all kinds of different types and styles of wreaths:
A how to make an Autumn or Halloween wreath:

Now changing the autumn Halloween wreaths into Thanksgiving:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tiny doors w a small surprise. Painted Santa Advent Calendar.

This year I wanted to make a new Calendar to house goodies for the 24 days of December. Now Each child has one.

What you will need:

Purchased or woodworker homemade wood calander with small doors (see picture of the one I purchased at Michaels).
Acrylic Paints
A tray (I recycle produce trays)
Magazines or newspapers to protect your working surface
White Gesso (for Acrylic paints):

1. Take your wooden frame and paint with Gesso to prep surface for painting. Let this coat dry. (Acrylic dries fast).
It should look like this, a bit opaque white.
2. Once the Gesso dries, begin painting your image with the colors of acrylic paint that you desire.
This is the Santa I painted before I shaded the figure. However, you may not want to add shade and leave yours like this.

Shading added:
Ho, HO, hO... ;-D
3. Inside each little door, put some goodies for the kids to find each day:
Behind each door is a small surprise:
4. This year, I purchased three small trees (One for each child):
In their Advent Calander they will find not only candy and small toys, but tiny ornaments for their tree as well. ;-)I wanted to do something new and different and came up with this idea. ;0)

Above is the new Calendar with it's doors. Now each child has their own, so I do not have to cram three of each goodie into one calendar. Below are some calendars from last year:

And now our new one:
I just love the holidays. This time of year is so special. I am becoming more aware of how quickly the kids are growing up, so I am wanting to grab the fun before Kid-time ends, as they one by one leave the nest bound for college. ;-)

Happy Holidays, and a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My son and I made cookies: Oatmeal Coconut Raisin Cookies; Oatmeal Cranberry Nut Cookies, and Blue Cookies!

My youngest son and I decided to make cookies. He could put whatever he wanted in his, and I in mine. Boy, did we get some unusual cookies. ;-D

Here is his blue foodcoloring, oatmeal, raisin, coconut, mulitcolored sugar sprinked cookies:

My boring, much less exciting Adult cookies had two colors of raisins, coconut and nuts in the mix:
Here are our recipes:

Of course, start off with Oatmeal; you will need 3 Cups of old fashioned uncooked Oats:
1/2 Cup and 6 Tbsp of butter, softened. [That is one whole stick and another 6 Tbsp's marker on a partial stick.] ;-)
3/4 Cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 Cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tea of vanilla
1 1/2 Cups flour (all-purpose)
1 tea baking soda
1 tea ground cinnamon
1/2 tea salt

Optional: 1 Cup of raisins, or 1/2 Cup of golden and 1/2 Cup of brown raisins,
Go ahead, grab one! Umm...

Optional continued: or 1 Cup of cranberries, or a mix of cranberries and raisins, totaling 1 Cup, 1/2 Cup Wallnuts or Pecans, 1/2 Cup Coconut, you can add 1/2 Cup of white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips.
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies:
1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until creamy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla: beat well.
4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
5. Add oats and raisins; mix well:

6. Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets (I enjoy how easy using a small ice cream scoop is! The two spoon technique is fine too. Or, just use your hands and get dirty!):

7. Bake 8 minutes or until light golden brown.

(I set a timer and then watch them. Moist Chewy cookies cannot be overcooked, but you want a golden brown or they can look meally).
8. Move to wire rack:
Sometimes I just move them directly onto a plate. Usually, I am eager to get them off the cookie sheet to stop the cooking process a hot cookie sheet will continue to cook until they are off.

My Adult cookies, this baking time, had golden and brown raisins, pecans and coconut added to the oatmeal cookie mix:
Not as exciting as my son's blue cookies... Let the kids have fun with food coloring, colored sugar sprinkles and anything you can wrap your mind around! Just make sure your ratios are correct, you need some dough to hold the thing together! ;-)

Variations, so many choices, what do you put into your cookies at home?

Everything, but the kitchen sink in Big Cookies. ;-) (Some even like M&M's or Peanutbutter thrown into their Oatmeal Cookies). Cranberry is my personal fav. An easy way to put more fruit and nuts into our diet is in cookies, lol. Well, in moderation at least. ;-)

White Chocolate icing drizzle (Great idea during the holidays.)
Sandwhich cookies, filled with icecream, creamcheese icing, or even Cool Whip! We have even used our cookies as the cracker for Smores!
Here is my son with his cookies that he made. It is a great way to spend time with your kids. Have FuN... Play and experiment with your kids and Eat YummY Cookies together. ;0)