Category Archives: crafts & activities

Felt Rosette Pomander

While going through my felt for this project, I discovered some red felt in my stash and couldn’t help making a bunch of flowers with it.  I got out a styrofoam ball I had on hand and decided to see how long it would take me to cover it with red felt rosettes.   This was a fun and easy project.

Here’s what you need to make one:

Mine was a four inch diameter ball.  I used about a quarter yard of felt, or approximately 45 rosettes to cover my ball.  The circles I started with (using this tutorial) were about 2.5 to 3 inches across.  In addition to the ball, felt, and a glue gun, I also used a length of ribbon to hang it, four little faux suede leaves cut from May Arts ribbon (you can find some here if you’re interested), a straight pin and some little pearl beads.

To begin, I arranged the four leaves and the ribbon to attach to the top of the ball:

Then I stuck a straight pin through all of it.

A drop of hot glue on the foam ball and then I stuck the pin down into it to hold the ribbon and leaves in place.  My reason for adding the leaves was to have more than just a white ribbon sticking out of the top of the ball.

Then simply start rolling up the flowers (again, you can find a tutorial for that here) and gluing them to the ball.  I started by attaching the first rosettes right next to the ribbon.

The first four flowers surrounded the ribbon, creating the top I wanted.  I love how the green leaves stick up like the top of a strawberry.

Just keep rolling and gluing until the ball is covered with flowers.

Then, if you wish, glue a small pearl in the center of each flower.

This ball ended up being about 6 inches in diameter when I finished it, so it’s a good-sized ornament or decoration.  It’s also my first Christmas project of 2011, and I’m excited to decorate!

Tell me, do you decorate for Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend, before Thanksgiving, or do you wait till December to deck the halls?

Have a great day!
Jennifer

Velvet Pumpkins!

Early in the week I posted this giveaway which also included a link to a second giveaway I’m offering over at Sisterview for some velvet pumpkins I made.  Well, it doesn’t stop there.  You see, it seems that in some things I’m great at moderation and in others I’m not.  This would be one when I’m not.  I’ve spent the week with a pot simmering on the stove with various colors of fabric dye and velvet in it.

Did I have time for it?  No.  Should I have been doing other things instead?  Yes.  did I get some interesting looks from my almost 13 year old daughter?  Yup.  But was it fun?  Absolutely!  And I learned some new things.  A week ago I’d never tried to dye fabric, and now I’ve done it at least a dozen times.  It’s healthy to try new things, and I’m finally using my stash of pumpkin stems as well!

I think they’re beautiful:  deep navy blues, teal, aqua, burgundy, plum, lavender and a gorgeous dark gray.  No orange in this batch!  Seeing them sitting there together brings a smile to my face and I’m enjoying the unexpected colors as much as I like the traditional ones.

Once again, I’d like to share some.  I’m going to send a lucky someone a set of four velvet pumpkins in various colors and sizes.  The giveaway will close at midnight Tuesday November 15th and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.  I know that’s getting close to Thanksgiving, but I hope you can still enjoy them or at least enjoy packing them away until next Halloween!

Here’s how to enter:  Leave me a comment telling me how you feel about using non-traditional colors in holiday decor/celebrations.  I’m curious to see what you think.

I typically stick with traditional colors, although the hue changes as color tones come and go.  I also find as the years go by that I yearn for more white in all of my holiday decorating.  I’ve also let some aqua creep into my Christmas decor in the last few years.  But every once in a while there is something I want in every possible color, and these velvet pumpkins would certainly be it.  Somehow it’s the variety of colors that draws my eye to notice each one, compare and contrast, and savor the composition they create together.  So while all my Thanksgiving decor is in browns, oranges and other earthy tones, this year I’m loving the little surprise of colorful pumpkins here and there.  (And I have three or four mostly white projects I’d love to tackle if there’s time.)

Good luck!  And don’t forget you have until midnight Friday to enter other giveaways here and here.

Jennifer
P.S.  Are you keeping a gratitude list this year?  I am.  And color, velvet, and pumpkins are all on it.  (Along with much more important things, of course.)

Musical Bells

I went back and forth in my mind over purchasing this bell set for my children.  It sold out in our local toy store, but I found it online and decided to buy them for Christmas.

I’m SO glad I did.  We love them.

The bells go from middle C up an octave to C.  On the end of each handle is a sticker that says what note that bell plays, and they came with a music page that has each note written in the same color as the corresponding bell.

The color coding makes it easy for young children to easily play songs they recognize, like Jingle Bells and Old MacDonald had a Farm.  We got them out in Denver and had a bunch of us gathered around the card, each holding a separate bell.

It’s also been fun to watch two of my daughters play the bells alone, lining them up in order and picking up each bell when it’s needed.  I’ve enjoyed seeing my younger children who aren’t currently taking music lessons enjoy these bells and begin to learn about notes and how they work.

I found that the bells make a very pleasant sound.  I don’t mind hearing them, which is a plus!  It’s been a great indoor activity for the past week, with the exception of moments like this:

Why?  Why do teenage boys enjoy things like this so much?

As for me, I love the rainbow of colors.  If you’re interested, I purchased mine here.  I plan to use them a lot with my preschoolers this winter.

On a happier note, the children decided to use these bells to ring in the New Year instead of banging pots and pans.  Happy pandemonium.

Hope your day is great!

HH

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