December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Potential for a Christmas Craft Project

Hi everyone.

Macy's is having a winter sale -- I opened one of their emails this evening and out of curiosity started looking around.  I came across these two items that I found highly desirable.  They are not exactly my style-- they are rustic and cottage-y or country-ish.  Then again, these days, I've no idea actually, what my style is anymore.  My tastes have changed so much -- but I am constrained by budgetary considerations (few of us aren't, these days) and generally I am still pretty happy with the way my house looks, even if the downstairs powder room is pea-green and purple and hasn't been touched in nearly 10 years, LOL!  Oh, it still has sponging on the walls too!!!  Quel horreurs!

This photograph does not do this wreath justice!  The white frosted branches are covered in a sort of white glittery snow that is just gorgeous on close-up!  This is the Winward Wreath, Twig Cone, Web ID 713770.  I was shocked to see a full retail price on this 17" diameter wreath of $100!  I mean - what????  On sale at 50% off, $50 - plus another 10% - through December 24th, I guess lots of other people agreed with me!  It is made out of wood, polyester, and plastic -- oh, and no doubt lots and lots of Super Glu to (although the description does not mention Super Glu...)

But I'm thinking hmmmm, look at that.  If I had a hot glue gun and some patience (and a supply of branches, and some of that gorgeous glitter, along with some pine cones) -- I COULD MAKE THIS!

Well, I crashed and burned trying to make a simple tied together star out of twigs -- EPIC FAIL!  So what on earth would I be like set loose with a hot glue gun, I ask you.  Oh, my, Goddess.  But I wouldn't pay $45 for this on sale either, cool as it is.  So...

And here is a companion piece, which I equally liked:

This is the Winwood Holiday Candle Holder, Twig Cone Votive, Web ID 713772.  Full price is $90, on sale for $45 plus another 10% off.  Too expensive!  Okay, maybe I'm being a little unfair, because according to the description online, this measures 13" by 13" - so perhaps it's not quite a votive holder?

I can easily visualize the wreath above and the votives on my mantle/mantel...

I know every crafter starts out somewhere, but without some directions, I don't think I can cut creating something like this by myself!

That's not to say, though, that perhaps someone else (or many someone elses) saw these pieces, or something similar, and being braver than I with their glue guns, set to work.  Well, to be fair, I don't own a glue gun, so I can't even pretend to be brave with one...

From Adele's website (

How to make a stick Christmas wreath
2 Dec 2012

An interesting idea - using the old metal coat-hanger forced into a circle trick (what I did last year to make my ornament wreath).  These branches are much longer than the inspiration piece, and it entailed using thin wire to bind the branches on to the metal "frame" to get it to work.  Hot glue probably wouldn't work on this form of stick Christmas wreath.

From the How Stuff Works blog:

Craft Stick Projects
(from late November, 2011 -- maybe I'm blind, but I couldn't find an exact date for the original post).

This website gave me a crucial clue how to start a base and build upon it -- no coat hanger necessary. Well, it uses something like popsicle sticks, but I think the principal is sound -- right? Right?  Think - five sides -- a pentagon!

But maybe an octagon would work better (be larger, in other words...)

Well, I'm tired tonight and I'm watching The Voice Grand Finale -- so if I find something else I'll add it here or do another post.  And I think I have to get me one of those hot glue guns...

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