Thursday, November 10, 2011

Decoration: Paper Christmas Tree

I saw this Christmas Tree in a magazine. It was just in the background (like a prop), but it caught my eye. I knew I had to try to make one. This is how I did it...

At Hobby Lobby I bought styrofoam cones (there are lots of different sizes - I think I will make several and have a small forest of Christmas trees). You can get white cones in the craft section or green ones in the floral section. I paid $4.50 for a pack of 2 small cones. The other supplies were some old books (you can get these cheap from Goodwill or yard/garage sales) that I didn't mind tearing up, scissors, a pencil and glue (I really liked the Aleen's with the brush - I felt I had a little more control).

I tore out several pages out of one of the books.

I traced the bottom of the cone on one of the pages and then cut it out a little larger than the circle that I had traced.

Then I cut small slits from the edge to the drawn circle. Then fold them up (it will make the next step easier).

Brush the bottom and the little flaps with glue and set the cone in the center of the circle that you had previously traced, then fold up the slits. You can use a rubber band to hold them in place. Note: The glue will not stick to the styrofoam very well, but it will work out in the end.

Then take one of your other pages and wrap it around the cone (my page was big enough to over lap some - you really want this). Since the glue will not adhere to the styrofoam very well, you need the paper to over lap so you can glue the paper back onto itself.

Trim off any extra.

Do the top the same way that you did the bottom (you can also do this the same time that you do the bottom - I did not think far enough ahead and had to do it in this step). Continue wrapping the cone with pages until it is completely covered. You want it covered so the styrofoam won't show through (especially if you use styrofoam (green) that is a different color than your pages).

Here it is covered...

Now, take your pages and fold them in half lengthwise (do not crease), and glue the long edges together. Hopefully you can see my glue at the top edge of the page before folding.

Then you cut slits up to the glue line (every 1/2 inch or so).

Wrap that around the cone somewhere near the bottom.

There will be places that will gap at the glued edge (this is due to the cone shape), cut a small slit at the gap and over lap, seal with glue.

If it does not meet (and that strictly depends on the size of your paper and the size of your cone), you can piece it.

Repeat with the next row, this time a little higher than the last row (the closer they are together, the fuller your tree will be, I wish I had spaced mine a little bit further apart so my tree wasn't quite as full - maybe next time).

Continue until you reach the top and you are finished.

Now you have a paper Christmas tree. I like it just the way it is, but you could spray paint it (green and then flock it with white to look like snow, or gold, silver, or whatever your color scheme is). You could also use construction paper or pretty scrapbook papers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jeff Bates

If you read my short post yesterday, you heard of Jeff Bates (you may have already heard of him, if not you have missed out).

I think he has the deepest, sexiest voice. I first became a fan when I heard this song. It is an amazing song.

Here are some of my favorite Jeff Bates songs...

I Wanna make you cry

One Second Chance

He's got many more.

Yarn Fun

A friend of mine was cleaning out her yarn stash this past summer and let me have A LOT of it (I was tickled pink). She is a knitter and I am a crocheter and a learning-to-knitter.

When I first received the yarn, I wasn't able to crochet or knit much this summer (due to time constraints and such). Now that the weather is getting cooler the autumn colors are beautiful, the leaves are falling and the air is crisp I am really in the mood to crochet and knit, so I am making time.

Here are a few scarves that I have crocheted this week. (I am slower at knitting since I am still new at it, so if I want to see results fast - I'll crochet. Also, knitting requires me to concentrate more, so I am unable to do it as often - with 4 boys around, my concentration seems to get broken a lot.)

Pink lattice scarf with white trim.

This yarn was a medium blue and white twisted together so when crocheted together it resembles faded denim to me. [Hard to tell in the picture, but very pretty.]

This is a multi-colored skinny scarf. I really like the colors in it.

I have loved working with these yarns and making these scarves. Now, do I give them as gifts (X-mas and such) or keep them to myself?????????????

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I shed tears today...

After dropping the kids off at school, on my drive home this song came on the radio. I had never heard it before. Before the first stanza was over I was crying and by the end of the song I was weeping. As soon as I was home I looked it up and wanted to share it with you.

I hope you enjoy it...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Late Halloween Craft

Since I didn't have a camera, I almost forgot about this.

I don't normally decorate for Halloween, just fall. (That way it lasts a lot longer and I love fall - the colors, leaves, etc.) But, when I saw this, it was just too cute to resist.

This was on You Can Make This in their free section. Yes, you read it correctly. The pattern and instructions for this project were free. I already had the fabric (it's not that big, so a larger scrap piece will suffice), and the embroidery thread. I just had to purchase the black rhinestones (used 40% off coupon - it was more expensive than I expected it to be but not too bad with coupon), picture frame (Hobby Lobby $10 and then 1/2 off sale - $5) and the sheer ribbon (again 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby - don't remember the price). This project was really reasonable.

I could take it out of the frame and store with my fall stuff and use the picture frame all year (black frame goes with everything - especially black and white photos which I absolutely adore) or I could store it as is. Either way, I loved this project. It was quick and easy to make and it looked cute on the coffee table or book shelf.

You really need to check out You Can Make This. I love that website!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thank You, God, for Blessing Me - Book Review

I love reading and I love passing down that love for reading to my children. Thank You, God, for Blessing Me by Max Lucado is a great book for toddlers and pre-schoolers. I read it to my younger two boys and they liked it, but they are almost too old for it.

My boys are fans of Max Lucado's Hermie and Wormie and this book has a young Hermie as the main character. The story flows with an easy reading rhythm and with wonderful rhymes to catch and keep a little one's attention.

The artwork is colorful with lots to see, but not so detailed that a toddler might loose interest.

If you want to pass on your love of reading to your child and your love of God even more, I suggest you read this book to your toddler.

I highly recommend this book for toddlers and preschoolers. This would be an excellent book to read to a toddler class at church or preschool and even better for a mom to read to a child sitting in her lap.

I received this book for free from Book Sneeze for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

Firewood Carrier

We have gas heat. When gas prices started to rise a few years ago we began to talk about a wood stove. Last year, someone in poor health gave us his wood stove. I love it! I can keep the house so much warmer than I would ever dream about with gas heat (I can't afford to keep it as warm as I would like with gas heat).

In the November 2011 Issue of Country Living Magazine (page 55), it showed how to make this cute firewood carrier. I just had to make it. Frank usually brings in a load of wood in a wheelbarrow for me, but sometimes (because I keep it so warm and toasty) I run out of wood before he gets home and can get another load in for me. I thought this would be perfect for me to carry just a small amount in to keep the fire good and warm until he gets home.

The directions called for faux bois oilcloth (Country Living Magazine said you could get it here). I used vinyl laminated cotton instead (for several reasons - it's really cute and there wasn't a big selection of oilcloth here and I wanted to make it now). I don't know if it will hold up as well as oilcloth (only time will tell).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living in Love - Book Review

Living in Love by James & Betty Robison was a little bit of a let down. The book was not what I was expecting. While it had some valuable information in the book, I feel that it should have been titled Communication is the Key to Living in Love.

The majority of the book was about communication. I do feel that communication in a marriage relationship is important, however, there are other factors that can contribute to a successful marriage. Expecting the book to address several of those factors instead of just one should not be too much to ask.

Had they titled the book differently, I might feel more favorably toward the book, but I was not really wanting a book just about communication. Each chapter of the book attempted to address different factors that affect marriage, but ended up discussing communication.

Living in Love is a well written book. The book was written clearly and concisely and it gave equal time to both James and Betty's opinions, but by not covering a wide range of topics important in a marriage (I feel the Robisons made an attempt to do that, but fell short) it left me wanting more.

If you are wanting a book that deals with communication in marriage, this just might be the book for you. If you are wanting a book that deals with a variety of marriage topics, keep looking.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books, but the review and opinions are my own.

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