How to Make Punched "Tin" Light Shields

 

Punched "tin" light shields catch, reflect and amplify the lights on trees and garlands.

Design possibilities are endless and making them is a very simple process. If you need inspiration for designs, check out these Mexican tin ornaments offered through La Fuente; but basic star, or flower cookie cutters about 3" diameter work great as patterns.

Amazing Advent Calendars

A very short post! Not everyone is into making their own advent calendars. Here are a couple sites that offer really wonderful calendars to bring out the child in anyone. I just ordered and received the one pictured above. I just couldn't resist it!! And I really can't wait for December 1st. So hard not to peak.

The Vermont Christmas Company offers so many calendars I have yet to see them all which, now that I think about it, is probably a very good thing.  Another site offering a smaller but equally beautiful collection of advent calendars is one of Martha Stewart's favorites Blumchen.com. The link will take you directly to the advent calendar page.

You have just enough time to order one. December 1st is only 2 weeks away.

Getting Acquainted with Wheat Weaving

 

This wheat spiral has been on my tree over 35 years and the star and snowflake almost that long. OUCH!;

My eyes and heart fell in love with wheat weaving a long time ago. So...this past Spring I decided that now that I have the whole internet world at my finger tips, I would learn more about it and maybe try my hand at making a few simple ornaments. And here are two of them.

How to Make Japanese-Inspired Ornaments

These pretty decorations are based on an ancient Japanese craft known as Temari. They begin with a styrofoam ball, wrapped in thread. This forms a beautiful and functional base for embroidery.

Here's a picture of some traditional Temari. They can be a little complicated to make, so they're really best learned from a book or a live class. However, this tutorial will teach you to make the thread-wrapped ball, and then decorate it in some simpler ways.

Beautiful Snowflakes

This is a photo of a real snow flake!

And here is another!  And here is a link to Snowcrystals.com one of my very favorite sites. The photographs of the snow crystals make my eyes happy and my spirits soar.   The link will take you directly to the first page of the gallery of amazing photographs taken by Kenneth  G. Libbrecht of Caltech.  You can click on each one to make it larger and I suggest you do exactly that!

Danish Aebleskivers

The best version of pancakes ever! Legend has it that Aebleskivers were first made by Viking warriors on thier battle pitted shields.  However they came to be, don't be intimidated by the pan or the process.  Just jump in and make them a family favorite.  I promise kids of all ages love them, and it is doubtful you will ever have leftovers.

Season of Giving

Crafters are so generous with their time and talent - making blankets, quilts, baby items and clothing items for people in need. Although projects take place all year long, the spirit of giving seems to be especially strong during the holiday season.

This "bootie tree" stands in a lovely little yarn shop, 'It's A Crewel World" located in Camas, Washington. Donna Jensen, the proprietor hopes to cover two trees with hand-knitted or crocheted booties to be delivered on December 6th.

She will deliver one tree to Southwest Memorial Hospital in Vancouver, WA and the booties will be given to babies born in December to wear home.

The other tree, if she receives enough donations to cover two trees, will be delivered to the Pregnancy Crisis Center in Camas.

I hope some of you will undertake to knit or crochet a pair of booties and help her fill up the branches of her trees. Send booties to this address so they reach Donna by December 5th. You can e-mail her at knitter@pacifier.com for more information.

Below are listed other very worthy projects you may wish to participate in this season:

Care Wear collects handmade baby items and donates them to hospitals

Warm Up America! collects handmade blankets and clothing for donation to shelters, hospitals and hospices

afghans for Afghans collects handmade knit and crocheted items for refugees from the war in Afghanistan

Chemo Caps collects handmade caps for chemo patients

Link Roundup: Making an Advent Calendar

If you have dreams of making an advent calendar for yourself or your family, now's the time to get started! They're great fun to make, and a lovely tradition year after year. (If you've ever wondered where the advent calendar comes from, Wikipedia has an interesting article.)

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If you have kids, here are some advent calendar designs they can help make:

Christmas trees for every season

 

Christmas trees and christmas tree ornaments are my absolute favorite symbols of the season, and packing away all of my ornaments is the saddest part of the holiday.

Over the past 35 years I have collected a LOT of ornaments. And even after giving my children all of those that were theirs, I have way too many for my tree. Five years ago I found a very happy solution for both problems. A "Seasonal Tree" - a 4 foot tall artifical tree that takes up just a little bit of space next to my fireplace.

Winter Village

When I was growing up, Christmas seemed to take FOREVER to arrive; and now that I am an adult, it seems to be over before I know it. I prolong the holiday season by putting up a winter village on November 1st.

A village never even entered my mind until my little sister gave me this horse and carriage and the "pub" as a gift 10 years ago.

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