Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Sunday Funnies

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Funnies

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Ornaments for my Memory Wreath

I have written before about my Christmas Memory Wreath, here and here.

In short, it's a large 36" diameter wreath that I started many years ago and it contains ornaments given to me or ornaments I created. Just about every ornament on this tree holds a memory for me, some sad, some funny, some nostalgic.  So every year when I bring this out I spend more than a minute to think sweet thoughts of good people and good times. I was lucky to have some new ornaments to add this year.

A few years back I got to know a group of local artists and five of us kind of gravitated together and have shared some fun outings, lots of good dinners, and lots - and lots - of good wine!  I knew they all liked Polish food, so this year I had them over for a traditional Polish dinner as I used to have with my family.  I told them of some of the traditions I grew up with, such as the sharing of the Oplatek and Wigilia.  We ate Pierogi, Kielbasa, Kapusta, Kruschiki - so good, so good!

 Of course, we can't be serious all the time, especially after a few glasses of wine.  I set the timer on my camera so we got a little silly!
I asked them to bring an ornament for my memory wreath, the only stipulation being that it must be something that will always remind me of that person.

 The cross on the left is from Ellen, who is as Irish as they come. The cross is the sign of St. Bridget, one of the patron saints of Ireland.  (Of course, later I had to Google it, and learned that the cross is a reproduction of a cross originally made from straw (or rushes) and it's a tradition to make the cross and hang it in the home to protect it from fire and evil.) 

Love the Wine You're With ornament was given to me by Patty, who is one of the funniest and most upbeat people I know, especially after a few glasses of wine!  Spend an evening with Patty and you know you will laugh a lot. 

Pam knitted the little Christmas stocking for me.  Knitting is what she does and she does beautiful work - I may commission her for a larger version of this one day!  

The plaque was given to me by Marsha, and she knows me well - I DO refuse to be average. Marsha is also most certainly not average - an accomplished and long-time artist, she's always inspiring.

We had a wonderful evening, and I was honored to hang these ornaments on my memory wreath. Thanks, guuurrrrlllllls!!!

A few days later, I also invited my friend Leigh over for a Polish lunch.  We worked together at the same company before I retired and she now works not far away from me, which makes it convenient for us to meet for lunch every so often.  We'll be friends forever, I hope, and she brought the absolutely perfect ornament for my wreath.  We both graduated from Michigan State University - GO GREEN!!!! - so this Spartan ornament is so dear to me. Thanks, lady! 

My memory wreath is getting a little bogged down and heavy, so I think I will rework it before I put it away.  Never fear, the only ornaments that will be removed are duplicates of ones that I made. Everything else stays forever!!!!

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Friends with Pinecone Crafts

 My most popular post on this blog, by far, has been my Pine Cone Wreath Tutorial, especially at this time of year.  Here's the tutorial:

It generates lots of comments, and often readers will say they are going to try to make their own pine cone wreath. I always suggest they send a photo when they've finished so I can see it, but they seldom send them along.  Well, recently I got lucky. Two people sent me photos of their wreaths and I was thrilled!

This first wreath was sent in by Janet from Omaha, NE.  She created the wreath when she was living in Missouri and gathered the cones while driving down the back roads.  The amazing thing about this wreath is that it is 43 years old!  She obviously didn't need my instructions to create her wreath. 

Isn't it amazing?!  You'll notice that unlike my wreath tutorial, she turned the cones in the center so that their backsides are showing.  I like the effect - I may try that on one of my wreaths.  Thank you for sending this, Janet. 

The second wreath, sent in by Kathy, was created following my tutorial.  As you can see, however, she has added her own creative touches with moss and berries.  I LOVE that effect - it reminds me of a woodland scene.

Kathy also sent along a photo of another pine cone project that fooled me when I first looked at it. I thought it was full size trees with gifts underneath. 

It wasn't until I zoomed in on the photo that I realized those are pine cones!  Kathy explained that the pine cones are about 9-10 inches tall. She painted them green, added rice lights, garland, and beads. For the "gifts" in front Kathy covered small blocks and anything else she could find that was small enough. This has given me some ideas for next year - how about a mini winter fairy garden??

Congratulations, ladies! You both did beautiful work and I really appreciate your sharing them with us.

I too have some of those large pine cones I collected when I was in Big Bear, CA.  I took a little different tack with some of them this year.  I painted and glittered .... painted and glittered ....
I also used some scrap wood to create little houses.   These are not the best photos - the color isn't quite right.  I'm hoping it's sunny tomorrow so I can use some natural light to try again.  Something like this might work for that winter fairy garden. What do you think?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

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