When sending out Christmas packages to your grown children this year, instead of using bubble wrap, use their old stuffed animals. As a friend of mine mentioned, it’s an eco-friendly way to tell your children, “It’s time for you to get your junk out of my house. Mom wants a craft room!”
I’m not entirely certain that this wreath is a winner. This might be an example of one of those situations where you try to re-create something you’ve seen only for it to morph into something entirely unexpected.
I’ve seen several rosette wreaths over the past few years and it seems like all of them have been made with slightly different techniques and styles. I was feeling pretty confident that I could easily create my own with my own unique spin.
But once I hung it on the door, I had to scratch my head and wonder. I had wanted my wreath to have a lot of texture, so I cut the strips with pinking shears, but now I looked at it and thought, Is the texture too busy? I also hadn’t been particularly careful about making the strips even because I thought the variety might be appealing, but now I wondered, Does it just look sloppy?
Even though I’m not overly thrilled with this creation, it will hang on our door throughout this season nevertheless. I feel like it says to visitors, “Welcome. Come on in. Relax and be yourself. We don’t expect perfection here!” And you know, I have a feeling that’s a pretty worthwhile sentiment for me to keep in the coming month.
7 ¾” x 1 ¾” x ¾” Styrofoam wreath form
1 yard of 1 ½” wide red satin ribbon
2 12″ x 18″ pieces of green craft felt
4″ of red craft felt (72″ wide), divided into four pieces each 4″ x 18″
7″ of green craft felt (72″ wide), divided into four pieces each 7″ x 18″
Tacky glue for attaching fabric to fabric
- Trace the Styrofoam wreath form onto each 12″ x 18″ piece of green felt. On one piece, cut along both the inner and outer circle lines, set aside.
- Cut the other piece into a circle that is about 4″ larger than the wreath form, using the outer circle line you traced as a guide. Fold this circle in half and clip a hole in the center. Open the circle back up. Cut eight lines out from the center hole that you clipped to about 1/4″ from the inner circle line. Cut from the outer edge of the green felt to the outer circle line to form eight equal parts on the outside too.
- Place the Styrofoam wreath form in the center of this circle. Pull up on a triangle of felt from the inner circle and lay it flat on the back of the Styrofoam. Pull up a piece from the outer circle and lay it on top of the triangle piece. Pin through both pieces into the Styrofoam. Repeat all the way around the wreath, making sure that all the Styrofoam on the front and sides is covered.
- Hot glue the green felt circle with the hole in the center to the back of the wreath form to cover it.
- Wrap the ribbon around the wreath and hot glue it to the wreath form.
- Cut the red felt into 1″ strips, alternately using scissors and pinking shears, so that one side of each piece is jagged and one side is straight. You will have 16 strips of red felt.
- Repeat with the green felt. Then take each strip of green felt and cut it in half so that each strip is now 9″ long. You will have 56 strips of green felt.
- Roll up all the strips of red and green felt and secure each end with tacky glue.
- Attach the flat side of each rosette to the wreath form using the hot glue, alternating placement of red and green rosettes. Depending on how tight you make them, you may end up with a few leftover rosettes.
- Hang wreath from your door knocker or wreath holder by tying the ribbon in a bow. Finish the bow’s ends with the pinking shears.
My husband and I made our very first turkey pizza a decade ago, when we both had to work on Thanksgiving day and didn’t have time to make the traditional dinner. Since then, it’s become a beloved tradition we sometimes honor on the day after Thanksgiving to make use of leftovers. I’m quite certain your family will love it too… at least more than turkey noodle soup!
Start by spreading gravy over a pre-baked pizza crust (we usually use Boboli). Add a layer of stuffing on top of the gravy. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese next, and cover with shredded turkey. Consider adding a drizzle of additional gravy, some corn niblets, cranberry sauce, or whatever sounds good to you. We used to start with a layer of mashed potatoes, but it makes the pizza really heavy and doesn’t add much flavor—but if you’ve got some killer mashed potatoes, go ahead and give it a try! Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is completely done and the cheese is melted.
If pizza’s on your list of things you’re thankful for, you must try this one. It probably won’t be as pretty as your Thanksgiving day spread, but I’m willing to bet it’ll be just as tasty.
Today I am thankful for my friends and family, of course, but I’m also thankful for creativity and imagination… which at times have helped me to deal with and even escape the other two.
Anyone else just getting started on their Thanksgiving plans? Thank goodness for free printables. Amanda’s Parties to Go is offering some really cute printable banners, table decorations, and place settings this year. Just follow the instructions on her blog at Amanda’s Parties TO GO: FREE Thanksgiving Printables! Basically once you Like her Facebook page and click on “Click Here” for the Thanksgiving Freebie, you’ll be offered the free download as a thank-you, and you’ll be ready to roll! I wish preparing the meal were this easy.
Please note: I promise that the next food article will be about something sinfully decadent to compensate for the healthfulness of this one!
This breakfast idea is for those of us who have just enough time in the average morning to scoop something into a bowl and eat it, but who also want that something to be nutritious and easily modified so we don’t get bored. That something, my friends, is surprisingly quinoa.
I discovered quinoa for breakfast when I got tired of having oatmeal every day. It was last Sunday, and I was looking ahead to the busy week and trying to plan some sort of menu. On a whim and because I had a ton of it that I needed to use, I made 1 cup of quinoa (3 cups cooked) and thought about what ingredients I would like to try with it. I ended up buying a variety of additions so that every morning throughout the week I could just heat a 1/2-cup serving of the quinoa in a microwave, mix in a little dairy and sweetener to taste, throw a few fixins on top and have a fast, satisfying, and completely healthy breakfast. I was so pleased to find that every combination I tried tasted great!
Here are the added ingredients that I experimented with. Mix and match your way through your week, and like me, you might find yourself actually looking forward to breakfast. I’ve found I like plain yogurt, honey, pecans, bananas, and cinnamon. What combination do you like best?
When my friend Diana asked me if I would make a turkey hat she’d seen online for her 11-month-old son, Jack, I admit that at first I wondered why a mom would want to dress her son up like a roast turkey. But after checking out the turkey hats on toddlers across the web, I had to agree that this idea is nothing but cute! I can just see little Jack wearing this adorable hat in his seat at the Thanksgiving table. I was on board and ready to take on the challenge of re-creating it for them. The best part of this project though is that it really wasn’t much of a challenge at all. Even beginning crocheters should have no problem. Continue Reading →
As you can probably tell from my squirrelly banner here, I’m a fan of dioramas. As a kid, I had to make them for class, but I remember making them for fun too. I’m glad I still haven’t outgrown them. One of my favorite diorama websites is Cuddles and Rage. The small-scale scenes by creators Liz and Jimmy feature the evil yet cute adventures of food (and sometimes animals). They recently found out that their diorama of a fox in a pumpkin patch is a finalist in the DeviantArt diorama contest. Way to go!
Every year my aunt and uncle host a Christmas fiesta on their ranch in Longmont, Colorado. The festivities begin as the family gathers around the island in the kitchen to sample appetizers while Aunt Mary mashes refried beans and keeps a watchful eye on the pressure cooker stuffed full of the much-anticipated tamales. Attending this fiesta for the first time almost a decade ago was my introduction into my husband’s warm and loving family. It was an honor to attend then and it means just as much to me today.
This year, I felt especially honored when Aunt Mary offered to teach my sister-in-law, Cindy, and me how to make these tamales using a family recipe that she has worked hard to preserve over the years. Mary told us how her mother, like many family cooks from older generations, never really measured ingredients and didn’t have many written recipes for the traditional foods. She explained that when you’ve made them so many times, they become committed to memory and your eyes and hands naturally intuit the measurements.
That’s why this recipe is so special to the family and why Cindy and I jumped at the opportunity to join Mary in her kitchen on a sunny day in early November to receive her instruction. Continue Reading →