Sunday, December 07, 2008

Simple Things.... snowflakes and bows

I've been snipping up a few new snowflakes this year and found a really nifty little tutorial for making a snowflake garland over at maya*made. She made her snowflakes from newspaper and I really like them, but I made mine from coffee filters, folded the same way as Maya did in her tutorial. It's a little tricky sewing them together, but slow, steady persistence works. Do read more about her grandfather's tradition of sending snowflakes to her as a child here.

Another friend, Ginger, shared a tutorial for making Christmas gift bows from magazine pages. I know, this sounds insane. Why would anyone make gift bows out of magazine pages? The better question is, "Who thinks this stuff up?" Not me. I just copy good ideas. But hey, it is one of the easiest projects ever, ever! I can visit with my daughter-in-love and Grandpeach and make a gob of these without even thinking. That's my kind of instant gratification. I really like the looks of these -- each an individual. I recycled an entire Fossil Christmas Catalog and made about 15-18 bows. Very thrifty, ay? Here are the instructions.

My tips for easier bows:

After you fold each "petal," put a little bit of scotch tape on the front and back center. When you go to put them together, they are much easier to assemble. The tape does not show at all.

I did not use brads to put my bows together. I stapled each bow in the center. Open the stapler wide -- all the way open, hold onto your bow with one hand and staple with the other. It takes a little bit of talent (not too much).

I used an old rotary cutter from my quilting supplies to cut 1" strips out of the pages. If you had a paper cutter, that would be even better. Scissors and a ruler works fine too.

About Advent.....

We always spend a little time each evening as a family doing a little Advent devotional. In the past we have used Handel's Messiah Family Advent Reader by Donna W. Payne and Fran Lenzo. This reader also includes a CD of selected songs from Messiah. We have done this devotional for several years and really, we never tire of it. It's excellent. But this year I decided it might be fun to go back to the days when our children were Littles and read a few of the old favorite poems, Bible stories, and Christmas legends and tales. So far we have read from the Book of Virtues by William Bennett these selections: St. Nicholas and the Golden Bars, Hannukkah Hymn, and The House by the Side of the Road. And we read a selection from Handel's too.

I had decided to make chocolate letters for St. Nicholas's Day, but the menfolk ate all the chocolate that I had planned to use. (Ahem) So instead, I made fudge letters using chocolate molds. Do not try this if you want nice results! They turned out quite rustic, to say the least, but tasty! (pretty is as pretty tastes) Mrs. St. Nick must remember to hide the chocolate next year.

Happy Second Sunday of Advent!


  1. I like your simple Christmas ideas, simple and fresh. And I'm enjoying your background music, "Give Me Jesus". That's what I want for Christmas - Jesus, a season of adoring Him.

  2. Hi Jody,

    I like that idea of using passages from Messiah as an advent devotional. We listen to Messiah all Christmas season long anyway, so that's simple! I like your going back to earlier days, too. Nothing like childhood favorites for a bit of cozy.

    We read the tutorial and cut some snowflakes yesterday, but will we get out the sewing machine? Who knows? Those grandpa snowflakes were something, though!

  3. Isn't it lovely to look around your home and see it decorated with things you made with your own hands. I just love that. Clarice

  4. Love your snowflakes!

    I found this very pretty ornament online (I forget how I found it...) It is so pretty -

    I'm going to see if I can find some lavender - if not I'll have to grow it next year. They would be nice to hang in your closet for the scent(you could use any type of ribbon instead of Christmas) as well as on the Christmas tree.

  5. Those bows are such a great idea! They appeal to my inner cheapskate, but also my idea that a present isn't properly wrapped unless it has a bow on it! Thanks for the link.


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