Sunday, January 1, 2012

Time to put away the Christmas decorations and start planning ....

Christmas 2011 is over.  It's now the new year, 2012.  Time to put up the old and make ready for the new.
I hope your New Year is full of fun and glorious gifts.

Now would be a good time to start planning for Christmas 2012--to make it even bigger and better than this last one!

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa's getting ready to fly!

He's ready, are you?  Better be on the "nice" list if you know what's good for you!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Icicle Ornaments From Plastic Bottles

Here's a really cute way to make icicles for the house or tree this year.  Use old plastic bottles!
This tutorial is from Cut Out and Keep.  Check out the site because there are several other versions of this tutorial there.  Maybe one of them will work just for you!

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Make icicle ornaments from plastic bottles
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Materials needed:
-plastic bottle
-candle
-scissors
-knife


(I made 36 icicles out of 2 bottles, and I'm not counting those first few that I threw away because they were warped or burned)

This is so easy, I can't believe there is no instruction on it yet :)
I had this idea last year, when I saw those expensive glass icicles in stores, and wondered if they make plastic ones too (so they'd be catproof =^.^=).
End of the story is, I looked on ebay, found they were either ugly (opaque white plastic with gold glitter, anyone? or maybe yellow glow-in-the-dark???) or expensive (15€ for some cheap cast plastic?!), and decided to make my own :P
You can hang them on a tree, or make a garland out of them. They could look great on a wire chandelier as well, AND they make great hairsticks! I even made some tiny ones as earrings.


1. remove the top and the bottom of the bottle and get rid of the label.
2. cut the bottle in thin strips (about 1-1.5cm at the wider end) that taper at one end (the shape of most bottles will do that automatically! You'll only have to trim the end so it's really pointy). Don't worry about any patterns and bumps in the plastic, they'll be barely noticable at the end.
3. starting from the tapered end (leave a piece unheated so you can hold it), heat (HEAT not melt or burn) the strips over a candle while moving and twisting them.
You have to pull a bit on both sides so they don't get warped and crooked.
4. when you reach the end, keep pulling it straight until it cools.
5. OPTIONAL: now you can either cut the thin non-twisted spike at the thin end, or leave it there.
you can also cut the top (the wider end) of the icicle to a rounded shape.
6. heat a needle or nail over the candle and poke a hole through the top of the icicle.
7. put a piece of thread or wire through the hole, make a knot, and hang it somewhere :)





tips:

PRACTICE! the first ones I made were so ugly I had to throw them away ^^
You'll soon find out at which temperature the plastic gets soft but doesn't melt and drip yet.
The candle should not smoke or flicker excessively, and there should be no "burned plastic" smell eiter. If the candle produces smoke or soot you should trim the wick.
If you make larger icicles (like, from 2 liter bottles), i suggest that you stop at the middle and let it cool first. Then you can hold it better to start again, so you can twist them in a more controlled way. But this takes practice too, as you have to reheat the plastic evenly.
It helps a lot if you've worked with glass before.

if you make a lot of them and want to keep the threads from getting tangled while you store them during the rest of the year, you can hold them together with a rubber band.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Time to enjoy the Christmas Lights!

Here are some videos of wonderful light shows this year for Christmas.  I don't recommend trying this yourself, unless you have plenty of money and lots of time to work on it.















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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Easy Christmas Snowflake Ornaments to make in minutes!

 Here's a quick and cute snowflake ornament you could probably make tonight with the kids and have them hanging on the tree.  This really is a cute ornament and I think I will get me some supplies and start making these myself.

I found this on  Craftster.com and you should hop over there to see all the other crafts they have for this holiday!

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happy holy-daze!
here's a little something to whip up for your tree (or to give away, or even assemble kits for).



you will need:
beads
beading wire or other fine gauge wire (i used 24 gauge)
wire snips
round nose pliers



1 cut 5 pieces of wire, each about 4-5 inches long.
2 holding them all together, tie a knot in the middle.


3 spread the wires out evenly around the knot.


4 slide your beads on one wire "arm", and finish with a spiral to hold the beads in place.  repeat with the other arms, then attatch fishing line or wire to hang.  how easy was that? 

you could even get really crazy and tie a whole bunch of wires together and spread them out to be a 3-d starburst.  or, as you can kind of see below, wrap the wires around something fun, like sea glass.  or make really tiny ones for earrings!  or make a bunch and hang them on a dead branch, like so:

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Lights: The Ultimate Way to Decorate Your Home

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...Image via Wikipedia


 

 
Christmas lightsImage via WikipediaChristmas lights; we have all seen them and most of us have used them before. When it comes to Christmas lights, we often associate those lights only with Christmas trees.  While Christmas lights are most commonly used to decorate Christmas trees, did you know that they can also be used for much more?  If you are planning on decorating this year, you should consider using your Christmas lights for decorating your entire home.

Although many people only put lights on their Christmas tree, there are other uses for them as well.  One of those uses is for decorating the outside of your home.  You can easily find Christmas lights that are designed for outside use, particular around a home. These type of lights are often referred to as outdoor Christmas lights.  One such type of light is the icicle Christmas lights that allow the lights to hang off the side of a house.  While it is possible to find multicolored outdoor Christmas lights, you will find that they are most commonly sold in the traditional white color.

In addition to decorating the outside of the outside of your home with Christmas lights, you can also decorate the trees outside of your home.  A number of homeowners, each year, decorate the trees outside their home, often exactly like their indoor Christmas tress.  Many times, these trees are relatively small in size; therefore, small outdoor Christmas lights are needed on an outdoor tree.  Decorating the small trees in your yard is a great way to bring a touch of Christmas to your neighborhood.

Some people like to hang Christmas lights along the top of their walls. This is a great way to bring extra Christmas spirit into the home. In fact, you can even use Christmas lights to decorate one of your home’s bedroom windows.  This idea is often loved by teenagers and other children; many enjoy the twinkling lights and colors. Decorating your home’s bedroom windows is a great way to bring the Christmas spirit into a room that you may have otherwise not decorated.

You may also want to decorate your office or your workspace. Unfortunately, not everyone celebrates Christmas.  This may pose a problem, when it comes to decorating your office workspace.  However, you can still, in many cases, use Christmas lights to decorate your office.  In most cases, you will find that it is the decorations that scream Christmas that cause the problems, not the lights themselves. Therefore, if you supervisors approve, you could easily hang Christmas lights around your office walls or along the sides of your work desk.

Isn’t it amazing all of the different ways that you can use Christmas lights to decorate your home or even your office? It really is amazing how just the addition of those colorful, twinkling lights can add so much spirit to your holiday cheer.

 
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Amazon Deals!

 
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