Monday, December 16, 2013

What Matters Most! Merry Christmas!


Nine days until Christmas! Are you ready! Do you have presents for Mom and Dad? Presents for the kids? The Grandkids? The Aunts and Uncles? I hope you are one of those highly prepared and organized souls, just sipping hot cocoa and watching the clock click down until Christmas. I believe there are a few of you out there. Sadly, I am not one of them. 

I tell myself every year I am not going to lose focus on what matters most (Christ, Family, Service...Family, Christ, Service). I am going to be prepared and organized. And about every year around this time I have an emotional breakdown with my husband and kids. "I say things like, "Why don't you care? Are you going to get a bonus? I have all these fun things to do and projects to do and no one will help. If I'm the only one who cares, I'm only signing my name on the gift." Goodness I sound a bit like the grinch. Really I just want everyone to be happy and if everyone did what I wanted them too, I'm sure they would be happy. . . Ummm. . .

Well after my annual breakdown I did a bit of Christmas study and I found this perfect quote below, and video above to share. Maybe it will help you find joy in your family, Christ, and Christmas as it has mine!

"If we notice that planning for parties and scrambling for presents begin to detract from the peaceable message of Jesus Christ and distance us from the gospel He preached, let us take a step back, slow down a little, and reconsider what matters most.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Wreaths: Family Fun!

Crafting always brings a bit of extra cheer to my family. Making homemade trinkets is fun family time! I call this the merry ripping wreath. It's something I learned how to do from my mom when I was young.

If you want to save time just buy a wire wreath at a craft store. If you don't want to spend the money you can make your own wire wreath using metal hangers. I used four hangers. Two for each circle. Clip off the top of the hanger with a wire cutter and set aside. Bend the two large pieces of wire and connect them to each other by twisting the wires together and then form it into a circle. One larger and one smaller. (If you want to simplify just make one circle instead of two. It will probably hold up just as well. I was going to put fabric on both rings to make it more full but I didn't have enough fabric)

Take another hanger and clip 12 -2 inch pieces and hot glue them between the two circles to hold them together. It looks kind of like a clock.

Take some thin wire and wrap it around the two circles in four areas just for extra security. We don't want your wreath falling apart.
Now for the fabric. I chose 4 different but coordinating fabrics. Each fabric is 1/2 yard. You can choose whatever colors you want. If you want just one color just get 2 yards of fabric. I did end up with a little extra. 1 1/2 yards would likely be just fine.

It's not called the ripping wreath fro nothing. It's time to start ripping your fabric.

Find the selvage end (this is the end that looks finished not fuzzy) and clip it about every 1 1/4 inches depending on how fat you want your ties to be. (If you want to put fabric on both rings buy at least 3 yards)

Then simply rip the fabric into long strips. Then cut those strips into shorter lengths. I cut my strips 8 inches long.

Then take your 8 inch strips and tie them onto the inner circle of your wire wreath. It is done by tying a square not. Then repeat in whatever order or pattern you desire. Make sure to push your fabric pieces as close together as possible. The closer the fabric knots are, the more volume your wreath will have. And here is your finished product. As with any wreath you can always embellish. Mine might end up with a big Christmas bow. 

Pretty cute, Pretty fun, pretty easy. You could have your kids help. They love ripping fabric and tying knots. While I made my ripping wreath, my kids made their own wreaths out of sparkly foam from the dollar store.
This wreath was made with sparkly foam cut into thin strips and tied in knots onto pipe cleaners that had been formed into a circle.  It is the same idea as the rip wreath. It was embellished with pom-poms and bows made from ribbon.

This wreath was made by tracing different hand signs (you're number one, I love you, peace, etc) onto sparkly dollar store foam and then cutting them out and hot glueing them onto construction paper cut in the shape of a wreath. Embellished with lots of ribbons tied together to form a bow.

Happy Wreathing!