Posts Tagged ‘holiday crafts’

Scarves for Homeless Rainbow lint covers every imaginable surface in my home. T-shirt scarves tagged and waiting to be bagged lie in yard-high heaps on my dining room table. 344 scarves to be exact, an amount that far exceeds my original goal of 100. These scarves and the two dozen t-shirt tote bags will go far to warm the bodies and hearts of the homeless. My right hand and wrist ache from all the repetitive cutting and pulling, but as I view the piled scarves, I am overwhelmed. Many thanks to all those who contributed t-shirts to my project and to my wonderful friends who shared part of their day to help me create some of the scarves. Start saving your clean and gently-worn t-shirts for me, because next year my project will be bigger and better!

#1 – Live Longer
Secrets to a Long Life Knowing the incredible feeling I get from helping others, I’m not surprised that number 13 of Secrets of a Long Life: 25 Simple and Surprising Tips to Help You Live to 100 is “Be helpful and lend a hand to others.” The article goes on to state that “A long-term US study found that people who volunteered regularly over a lifetime lived significantly longer than those who didn’t. Volunteers also experienced less depression, fewer pains and better general health.” Find a way to expand your heart and, perhaps, you’ll live longer.

#2 – One Second of Every Day
Time flies by. Hours become days, days become months, and months become years. How can we remember the many significant moments of our entire lives? Cesar Kuriyama talks in this TED video about his ongoing project of recording one second of his life everyday and why he does it.

#3 – Fall Fantasy
Japanese Garden at Royal Roads University in British Columbia Fall Fantasy is a photo collection that captures glorious fall images from around the world and pairs them with inspirational sayings. Autumn’s beauty is displayed at its height of splendor!

#4 – Christmas, Already?
25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas It’s only fall, so this entry may be jumping the gun. However, if you’re a DIY-type-of-person, the time to start holiday crafting is right now! There are so many cute and clever re-purposing ideas in 25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas, you’ll want to start a few projects today!

#5 – Relativity of Life

Strange is our situation here upon earth.
Each of us comes for a short visit,
not knowing why,
yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose.
From the standpoint of daily life, however,
there is one thing we do know:
That we are here for the sake of others,
for the countless unknown souls
to whose fate we are connected
by a bond of compassion. Many times a day, I realize
how much my outer and inner life
is built upon the labors of others,
both living and dead,
and how earnestly I must exert myself
in order to give in return as much as I have received.
– Albert Einstein

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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Fishbowl Snowman
Something’s fishy about this snowman. What is it? Look closely. He’s made out of fishbowls! But don’t overlook his other adorable snowman qualities: fluffy, white, cotton ball innards; a black top hat sprinkled with snow, coal-black button eyes; a cute, orange, golf tee nose; and a warm plaid scarf. A set of “Mr. and Mrs. Fishy the Snowman” will soon be ready for my son and daughter-in-law’s first Christmas together as a married couple. How appropriate for a couple who had a “fishy” wedding!

Some of the materials you’ll need:
Fishbowl snowman materials Cardboard
Black felt for hat
Ribbon for hat
Wired ribbon for scarf
2 Fishbowls – the neck of the smaller one must sit inside the opening of the larger one
Embellishments – buttons, golf tee, pony beads, Christmas decorations, etc.
Glitter paint
Cotton balls, marshmallows, or popcorn for filling

1. For top hat, cut one piece of cardboard 4 inches by approximately 12½ inches; roll and glue together to make a chimney. Glue felt on chimney. Cut both a piece of cardboard and a piece of black felt into a circle the diameter of the chimney. Glue felt circle to cardboard circle and then glue circle to top of chimney. I used black mat board for the brim and a heavy black card stock for the chimney portion of the hat. You can use a tin can as a guide to wrap the cardboard around when forming the chimney part of the hat and for tracing the top cover/circle of the chimney.

2. For the brim, cut out a round piece of cardboard with a 7¼-inch diameter; cover with felt on both sides. Glue chimney to brim. Let dry. Paint splotches of glitter paint to resemble patches of snow. Circle the hat with a length of ribbon; tie or glue the ends together. Decorate it with a Christmas pin or a holiday decoration.

3. Wash and dry the fish bowls. Glue the buttons on for the mouth, eyes, and the snowman’s buttons.

4. Glue on the golf tee nose. I did not have a short orange golf tee, so I lightly sanded a natural wood one and used a paint pen to color it orange. If you don’t have golf tees, you can also glue a stack of four orange-colored pony beads together to use as a nose.

5. Fill bowls with whatever stuffing material you are using. Place the small fishbowl on top of the large one. The necks of the fishbowls should fit inside each other well. If your set of fishbowls don’t nest securely, you can try using clear packing tape to temporarily adhere them together. I wouldn’t permanently glue them together, though, because at some point you may want to change out the stuffing.

6. Cut a length of wired ribbon and tie the scarf just as you would tie your own scarf. Arrange the ends of the scarf in a “flowing” manner.

7. Glue the hat to the snowman’s head.

Linnell’s Notes:
The fun thing about this snowman project is that there are many ways to personalize it. Decorate it anyway you want and fill it with whatever you want. Fishy the Snowman will bring holiday cheer to your home or to your dining table!

Update: Mrs. Snowman is finished. What a cute couple they make!
DIY Mr. and Mrs. Fishy Snowman

Happy Holidays!

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There’s nothing new about pomanders. As a matter of fact pomanders were used in the late Middle Ages through the 17th century to protect against infection and mask against bad smells. Today pomanders are primarily used as room fresheners. According to Wikipedia, the word pomander originates from the French “pomme d’ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris (whence the name), musk, or civet.”

Modern day pomanders are generally apples or citrus fruit studded with whole cloves. To spice up my life (Ha! Ha!) and get me in the mood for Christmas, I decided to make some citrus pomanders. I purchased oranges, lemons, limes and a jar of whole cloves. Costco is a good place to purchase these items in bulk and inexpensively. Because I didn’t want my home to smell like a dentist’s office, I decided not to follow tradition and chose not to cover the entire surface of the fruit. Hearts, stars, and patterns were more in line with my style.

I washed the fruit first and poured the cloves in a little bowl. If you are really a detail-type person, you could separate in advance the headless cloves from the head-still-intact ones. Unbelievably, I did not do this. Working on a plate, I selected the side of the fruit I wanted to highlight and used cookie cutters to outline the desired design. Holding the cookie cutter in place, I gently poked holes around the outside of the cookie cutter with a bamboo skewer. The cutter may have to be gently rocked from side to side to adequately work the design around the contour of the fruit. Space the holes about one-fourth inch apart, or for a denser-looking design, place them closer together. Push a whole clove into each of the holes.

Had I checked in with Martha Stewart first, I would have used rubber bands to create straight lines and would have shaken my pomanders in Orrisroot (available at health food stores) which is a perfume fixative. Live and learn!

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