A crafty approach

Valchloesmall
Anne here, with Chloe-dog, wishing all of you in the USA, happy thanksgiving, and everyone else happy weekend. Since the holiday period's starting up (shriek!) I thought I'd go with the holiday theme and suggest some simple pastimes and decorations to make – particularly for kids, and mostly using paper.

In the past, making decorations and finding creative ways to pass the time, especially in the evenings, were part of the pleasurable build-up to the holiday season. The suggestions below are historical  only  in spirit, I'm afraid. Most of the historical decorations I know about are quite complicated, but for this blog I'm pointing you at projects any child or beginner can do.

My mother was a whizz at this stuff — years of being an elementary school teacher meant that she could keep kids happily and fairly quietly occupied for hours on end. So whether you have little ones in need of some creative distraction, or if you're like me and enjoy this stuff, (even though I'm not very good at it) I hope you'll try some of these simple, fun projects.

Printable animal dominoes
Dominoes is a fun, multigenerational game. We used to make dominoes out of cardboard, using pictures from magazines, painting them ourselves or using stickers. A simpler choice is to go to this site, print off the animal domino patterns, hand the kids the scissors and let them go… And get ready to play when they're finished.Animaldominoes It's  a French site, but it's not too hard to navigate.
http://www.tomlitoo.com/mimprime/dominoferme/
Then click in the blue box on the left of the screen
planche 1   planche 2  planche 3

Paper dress-up dolls
I wasn't ever much of a doll person when I was a kid. I preferred real animals, and my most beloved toy was my teddy. But one Christmas I was given some paper dolls and I remember the fun of cutting them out and dressing them on wet afternoons.Sunbonnet
When I was doing some research for this blog (ahem, it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)I came across some fabulous free paper doll sites. You can just print the dolls and hand them to the kids to start cutting.

Printable paper dolls. All kinds of dolls to print and cutout and play with — enough to last a wet week
http://www.origamibears.com/PaperDolls1/paperdolls1.html
On the left is a very sweet little paper doll found at
http://www.treasuresforlittlechildren.com/sunbonnet.jpg

Catladydoll

And for some really spectacular downloadable animal paper dolls, try these:   http://tinyurl.com/5s6fd4

Making decorations:

When I was small we made decorations every year. Some of those decorations lasted and were put out year after year, and some were fragile and temporary, but for me, the making was the fun part. I remember endless paper chains, simply strips of paper glued into a chain, easy for the smallest hands, if a touch messy. But here's a more complicated chain that's stunning and involves no glue, only paper and scissors. http://tinyurl.com/6q7qwx

Paperchains

For easy and elegant hanging decorations – http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
They're just straight strips of paper with the ends glued or stapled. It's all in the measurement. Once you get the idea you can experiment, as I did here.

A Victorian Paper Swag
This is a very easy and effective swag decoration. Make several and join them together. 
http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/craft5-2000-1.htm

Popuptreecard

Making cards:
Home made cards are always lovely to send and receive. Here's a very doable pop up tree card. It would be great to do the tree in green and then decorate it afterward.
http://robertsabuda.com/popmaketreepiece.html
And here's a colored pop-up card all ready to print and assemble:
http://es.geocities.com/garridomaria/xtree.html

Annesangel

Paper Angel
Finally, here's the little paper angel my mother showed me how to make when I was a child. So simple, it's made of one piece of paper. No glue. All you need is a pair of scissors. Instructions (home-made in a hurry) are here:
http://www.annegracie.com/anne/angel.htm

Do you have favorite holiday preparation activities? Did you make things as a child? Do you make them now? Or does the prospect of holiday season loom horribly?
(And if you try any of these projects, let us know how it went. If you send me a pic, I'll put it on website)

95 thoughts on “A crafty approach”

  1. Lovely post, Anne.
    When my kids were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was always a “craft day”, when we’d make new Christmas tree ornaments, something different every year. I’ll freely admit that this was originally because I was desperate to devise an entertainment for small children home from school and already in a pre-Christmas frenzy, but over time it became a firmly established family tradition, and we have a whole range of ornaments to prove it (not to mention the glitter that’s permanently glued onto the kitchen table.*g*)

    Reply
  2. Lovely post, Anne.
    When my kids were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was always a “craft day”, when we’d make new Christmas tree ornaments, something different every year. I’ll freely admit that this was originally because I was desperate to devise an entertainment for small children home from school and already in a pre-Christmas frenzy, but over time it became a firmly established family tradition, and we have a whole range of ornaments to prove it (not to mention the glitter that’s permanently glued onto the kitchen table.*g*)

    Reply
  3. Lovely post, Anne.
    When my kids were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was always a “craft day”, when we’d make new Christmas tree ornaments, something different every year. I’ll freely admit that this was originally because I was desperate to devise an entertainment for small children home from school and already in a pre-Christmas frenzy, but over time it became a firmly established family tradition, and we have a whole range of ornaments to prove it (not to mention the glitter that’s permanently glued onto the kitchen table.*g*)

    Reply
  4. Lovely post, Anne.
    When my kids were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was always a “craft day”, when we’d make new Christmas tree ornaments, something different every year. I’ll freely admit that this was originally because I was desperate to devise an entertainment for small children home from school and already in a pre-Christmas frenzy, but over time it became a firmly established family tradition, and we have a whole range of ornaments to prove it (not to mention the glitter that’s permanently glued onto the kitchen table.*g*)

    Reply
  5. Lovely post, Anne.
    When my kids were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was always a “craft day”, when we’d make new Christmas tree ornaments, something different every year. I’ll freely admit that this was originally because I was desperate to devise an entertainment for small children home from school and already in a pre-Christmas frenzy, but over time it became a firmly established family tradition, and we have a whole range of ornaments to prove it (not to mention the glitter that’s permanently glued onto the kitchen table.*g*)

    Reply
  6. I loved paper dolls when I was a kid, even though I always cut the tabs badly.
    I loaned most of my Christmas ornaments to my oldest daughter last year (years and years worth of mostly hand-crafted things with a story behind each one), as she had her first Christmas in her new house with her new baby. She ‘forgot’ to return them, but that’s okay—she’s cooking Christmas dinner this year too. It means we’ll be treeless again, but I have loads of other stuff I put out.
    When my kids were little, we made Christmas cookies for grandpa, along with flour-dusted instamatic photos so he could see the chaos for himself.

    Reply
  7. I loved paper dolls when I was a kid, even though I always cut the tabs badly.
    I loaned most of my Christmas ornaments to my oldest daughter last year (years and years worth of mostly hand-crafted things with a story behind each one), as she had her first Christmas in her new house with her new baby. She ‘forgot’ to return them, but that’s okay—she’s cooking Christmas dinner this year too. It means we’ll be treeless again, but I have loads of other stuff I put out.
    When my kids were little, we made Christmas cookies for grandpa, along with flour-dusted instamatic photos so he could see the chaos for himself.

    Reply
  8. I loved paper dolls when I was a kid, even though I always cut the tabs badly.
    I loaned most of my Christmas ornaments to my oldest daughter last year (years and years worth of mostly hand-crafted things with a story behind each one), as she had her first Christmas in her new house with her new baby. She ‘forgot’ to return them, but that’s okay—she’s cooking Christmas dinner this year too. It means we’ll be treeless again, but I have loads of other stuff I put out.
    When my kids were little, we made Christmas cookies for grandpa, along with flour-dusted instamatic photos so he could see the chaos for himself.

    Reply
  9. I loved paper dolls when I was a kid, even though I always cut the tabs badly.
    I loaned most of my Christmas ornaments to my oldest daughter last year (years and years worth of mostly hand-crafted things with a story behind each one), as she had her first Christmas in her new house with her new baby. She ‘forgot’ to return them, but that’s okay—she’s cooking Christmas dinner this year too. It means we’ll be treeless again, but I have loads of other stuff I put out.
    When my kids were little, we made Christmas cookies for grandpa, along with flour-dusted instamatic photos so he could see the chaos for himself.

    Reply
  10. I loved paper dolls when I was a kid, even though I always cut the tabs badly.
    I loaned most of my Christmas ornaments to my oldest daughter last year (years and years worth of mostly hand-crafted things with a story behind each one), as she had her first Christmas in her new house with her new baby. She ‘forgot’ to return them, but that’s okay—she’s cooking Christmas dinner this year too. It means we’ll be treeless again, but I have loads of other stuff I put out.
    When my kids were little, we made Christmas cookies for grandpa, along with flour-dusted instamatic photos so he could see the chaos for himself.

    Reply
  11. Lovely post Anne
    When my children were little we always made Chrissy decorations and to this day they are still hung up when the tree goes up and they always decorated the tree let me say our tree would never have graced the cover of a magazine but I always loved it,they are all adults now but I have two grandchildren Jayden who will be 3 in January and Hayley who is 16 months and they will be helping decorate the tree this year and I am so looking forward to it.
    I will be checking out the web sites as soon as I get time and may very well have a go at some of them although I am not very crafty I do love finding things that the children can help me do.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  12. Lovely post Anne
    When my children were little we always made Chrissy decorations and to this day they are still hung up when the tree goes up and they always decorated the tree let me say our tree would never have graced the cover of a magazine but I always loved it,they are all adults now but I have two grandchildren Jayden who will be 3 in January and Hayley who is 16 months and they will be helping decorate the tree this year and I am so looking forward to it.
    I will be checking out the web sites as soon as I get time and may very well have a go at some of them although I am not very crafty I do love finding things that the children can help me do.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  13. Lovely post Anne
    When my children were little we always made Chrissy decorations and to this day they are still hung up when the tree goes up and they always decorated the tree let me say our tree would never have graced the cover of a magazine but I always loved it,they are all adults now but I have two grandchildren Jayden who will be 3 in January and Hayley who is 16 months and they will be helping decorate the tree this year and I am so looking forward to it.
    I will be checking out the web sites as soon as I get time and may very well have a go at some of them although I am not very crafty I do love finding things that the children can help me do.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  14. Lovely post Anne
    When my children were little we always made Chrissy decorations and to this day they are still hung up when the tree goes up and they always decorated the tree let me say our tree would never have graced the cover of a magazine but I always loved it,they are all adults now but I have two grandchildren Jayden who will be 3 in January and Hayley who is 16 months and they will be helping decorate the tree this year and I am so looking forward to it.
    I will be checking out the web sites as soon as I get time and may very well have a go at some of them although I am not very crafty I do love finding things that the children can help me do.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  15. Lovely post Anne
    When my children were little we always made Chrissy decorations and to this day they are still hung up when the tree goes up and they always decorated the tree let me say our tree would never have graced the cover of a magazine but I always loved it,they are all adults now but I have two grandchildren Jayden who will be 3 in January and Hayley who is 16 months and they will be helping decorate the tree this year and I am so looking forward to it.
    I will be checking out the web sites as soon as I get time and may very well have a go at some of them although I am not very crafty I do love finding things that the children can help me do.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  16. Susan S, I’m sure my mother had exactly the same idea as you — keep the kids quiet and occupied, but they did become special times, and it’s lovely family time. In my family, any ornament that survived the many years since, are cherished.
    I’m sorry about the links — Typepad must have eaten too much turkey yesterday, because it wouldn’t let me make any live links, so I had to put in the actual urls, which clutter the post up some.

    Reply
  17. Susan S, I’m sure my mother had exactly the same idea as you — keep the kids quiet and occupied, but they did become special times, and it’s lovely family time. In my family, any ornament that survived the many years since, are cherished.
    I’m sorry about the links — Typepad must have eaten too much turkey yesterday, because it wouldn’t let me make any live links, so I had to put in the actual urls, which clutter the post up some.

    Reply
  18. Susan S, I’m sure my mother had exactly the same idea as you — keep the kids quiet and occupied, but they did become special times, and it’s lovely family time. In my family, any ornament that survived the many years since, are cherished.
    I’m sorry about the links — Typepad must have eaten too much turkey yesterday, because it wouldn’t let me make any live links, so I had to put in the actual urls, which clutter the post up some.

    Reply
  19. Susan S, I’m sure my mother had exactly the same idea as you — keep the kids quiet and occupied, but they did become special times, and it’s lovely family time. In my family, any ornament that survived the many years since, are cherished.
    I’m sorry about the links — Typepad must have eaten too much turkey yesterday, because it wouldn’t let me make any live links, so I had to put in the actual urls, which clutter the post up some.

    Reply
  20. Susan S, I’m sure my mother had exactly the same idea as you — keep the kids quiet and occupied, but they did become special times, and it’s lovely family time. In my family, any ornament that survived the many years since, are cherished.
    I’m sorry about the links — Typepad must have eaten too much turkey yesterday, because it wouldn’t let me make any live links, so I had to put in the actual urls, which clutter the post up some.

    Reply
  21. Maggie, last Christmas I did a mininal Christmas decoration — Apart from some hanging Chinese tassels and a wreath on the door, all I did was decorate the dresser in the living room with a few of my favorite things.
    When I finished, I was so pleased. But then a friend came around and said, “Hmm, I see you’ve made an altar to your air conditioner, Anne.” — and it really did look like that. LOL.

    Reply
  22. Maggie, last Christmas I did a mininal Christmas decoration — Apart from some hanging Chinese tassels and a wreath on the door, all I did was decorate the dresser in the living room with a few of my favorite things.
    When I finished, I was so pleased. But then a friend came around and said, “Hmm, I see you’ve made an altar to your air conditioner, Anne.” — and it really did look like that. LOL.

    Reply
  23. Maggie, last Christmas I did a mininal Christmas decoration — Apart from some hanging Chinese tassels and a wreath on the door, all I did was decorate the dresser in the living room with a few of my favorite things.
    When I finished, I was so pleased. But then a friend came around and said, “Hmm, I see you’ve made an altar to your air conditioner, Anne.” — and it really did look like that. LOL.

    Reply
  24. Maggie, last Christmas I did a mininal Christmas decoration — Apart from some hanging Chinese tassels and a wreath on the door, all I did was decorate the dresser in the living room with a few of my favorite things.
    When I finished, I was so pleased. But then a friend came around and said, “Hmm, I see you’ve made an altar to your air conditioner, Anne.” — and it really did look like that. LOL.

    Reply
  25. Maggie, last Christmas I did a mininal Christmas decoration — Apart from some hanging Chinese tassels and a wreath on the door, all I did was decorate the dresser in the living room with a few of my favorite things.
    When I finished, I was so pleased. But then a friend came around and said, “Hmm, I see you’ve made an altar to your air conditioner, Anne.” — and it really did look like that. LOL.

    Reply
  26. Helen, do try these things — I deliberately chose really easy things to do, but ones that also look good. You don’t need to be crafty — look at my angels and you’ll know I am the slapdash sort of craft person– but with these projects, the results are worth it.

    Reply
  27. Helen, do try these things — I deliberately chose really easy things to do, but ones that also look good. You don’t need to be crafty — look at my angels and you’ll know I am the slapdash sort of craft person– but with these projects, the results are worth it.

    Reply
  28. Helen, do try these things — I deliberately chose really easy things to do, but ones that also look good. You don’t need to be crafty — look at my angels and you’ll know I am the slapdash sort of craft person– but with these projects, the results are worth it.

    Reply
  29. Helen, do try these things — I deliberately chose really easy things to do, but ones that also look good. You don’t need to be crafty — look at my angels and you’ll know I am the slapdash sort of craft person– but with these projects, the results are worth it.

    Reply
  30. Helen, do try these things — I deliberately chose really easy things to do, but ones that also look good. You don’t need to be crafty — look at my angels and you’ll know I am the slapdash sort of craft person– but with these projects, the results are worth it.

    Reply
  31. We already have our Christmas tree up, and I’m sitting here now looking at the tree and spotting ornaments the boys made and ones they chose. Memory is a dear gift.
    Anne, I’m not a crafter, but I’ll try the angel when the nine-year-old grand visits next. She will love making them.
    My almost-life-long best friend and I were talking just last week about why we preferred paperdolls to dolls when we were kids. We decided that the paperdolls fired our imaginations more. Whether we were playing with American Family paperdolls or celebrity paperdolls, we wove great, detailed adventures for them. And Betsy McCall! Did anyone else wait for your mom to finish the magazine so that you could cut out the month’s Betsy and her outfit? 🙂

    Reply
  32. We already have our Christmas tree up, and I’m sitting here now looking at the tree and spotting ornaments the boys made and ones they chose. Memory is a dear gift.
    Anne, I’m not a crafter, but I’ll try the angel when the nine-year-old grand visits next. She will love making them.
    My almost-life-long best friend and I were talking just last week about why we preferred paperdolls to dolls when we were kids. We decided that the paperdolls fired our imaginations more. Whether we were playing with American Family paperdolls or celebrity paperdolls, we wove great, detailed adventures for them. And Betsy McCall! Did anyone else wait for your mom to finish the magazine so that you could cut out the month’s Betsy and her outfit? 🙂

    Reply
  33. We already have our Christmas tree up, and I’m sitting here now looking at the tree and spotting ornaments the boys made and ones they chose. Memory is a dear gift.
    Anne, I’m not a crafter, but I’ll try the angel when the nine-year-old grand visits next. She will love making them.
    My almost-life-long best friend and I were talking just last week about why we preferred paperdolls to dolls when we were kids. We decided that the paperdolls fired our imaginations more. Whether we were playing with American Family paperdolls or celebrity paperdolls, we wove great, detailed adventures for them. And Betsy McCall! Did anyone else wait for your mom to finish the magazine so that you could cut out the month’s Betsy and her outfit? 🙂

    Reply
  34. We already have our Christmas tree up, and I’m sitting here now looking at the tree and spotting ornaments the boys made and ones they chose. Memory is a dear gift.
    Anne, I’m not a crafter, but I’ll try the angel when the nine-year-old grand visits next. She will love making them.
    My almost-life-long best friend and I were talking just last week about why we preferred paperdolls to dolls when we were kids. We decided that the paperdolls fired our imaginations more. Whether we were playing with American Family paperdolls or celebrity paperdolls, we wove great, detailed adventures for them. And Betsy McCall! Did anyone else wait for your mom to finish the magazine so that you could cut out the month’s Betsy and her outfit? 🙂

    Reply
  35. We already have our Christmas tree up, and I’m sitting here now looking at the tree and spotting ornaments the boys made and ones they chose. Memory is a dear gift.
    Anne, I’m not a crafter, but I’ll try the angel when the nine-year-old grand visits next. She will love making them.
    My almost-life-long best friend and I were talking just last week about why we preferred paperdolls to dolls when we were kids. We decided that the paperdolls fired our imaginations more. Whether we were playing with American Family paperdolls or celebrity paperdolls, we wove great, detailed adventures for them. And Betsy McCall! Did anyone else wait for your mom to finish the magazine so that you could cut out the month’s Betsy and her outfit? 🙂

    Reply
  36. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for those ideas. Love the angels. I’m going to try them with some fabulous craft papers. Made large with rice papers and a candle at the base they would be gorgeous in a window.
    Louise Reynolds

    Reply
  37. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for those ideas. Love the angels. I’m going to try them with some fabulous craft papers. Made large with rice papers and a candle at the base they would be gorgeous in a window.
    Louise Reynolds

    Reply
  38. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for those ideas. Love the angels. I’m going to try them with some fabulous craft papers. Made large with rice papers and a candle at the base they would be gorgeous in a window.
    Louise Reynolds

    Reply
  39. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for those ideas. Love the angels. I’m going to try them with some fabulous craft papers. Made large with rice papers and a candle at the base they would be gorgeous in a window.
    Louise Reynolds

    Reply
  40. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for those ideas. Love the angels. I’m going to try them with some fabulous craft papers. Made large with rice papers and a candle at the base they would be gorgeous in a window.
    Louise Reynolds

    Reply
  41. Great post. Handmade ornaments are so special! I still have, and still hang every year, the construction paper stocking made by my first grade teacher- it is 50 years old this Christmas!
    Thanks for some great links!

    Reply
  42. Great post. Handmade ornaments are so special! I still have, and still hang every year, the construction paper stocking made by my first grade teacher- it is 50 years old this Christmas!
    Thanks for some great links!

    Reply
  43. Great post. Handmade ornaments are so special! I still have, and still hang every year, the construction paper stocking made by my first grade teacher- it is 50 years old this Christmas!
    Thanks for some great links!

    Reply
  44. Great post. Handmade ornaments are so special! I still have, and still hang every year, the construction paper stocking made by my first grade teacher- it is 50 years old this Christmas!
    Thanks for some great links!

    Reply
  45. Great post. Handmade ornaments are so special! I still have, and still hang every year, the construction paper stocking made by my first grade teacher- it is 50 years old this Christmas!
    Thanks for some great links!

    Reply
  46. Anne, I love these and I bet my girls (teen and tween) will, too. Thinking about your “altar to the air conditioner”–in your part of the world it’s getting hot, isn’t it? I remember in college (as the snow piled up to the windows) one of my professors reminisced about her African girlhood and told us, “It just wasn’t Christmas unless we went swimming at the beach!”
    Holiday customs are very dependent on place, aren’t they? Up here in the Pacific Northwest where it gets dark very early, EVERYONE puts up lights on their houses (and bushes, and trees) and many people leave them up until spring–very different from my Southern (Virginia) childhood where such extravagant displays were considered tacky, and the only “Christmas lights” I ever saw in my neighborhood were candles in the windows. . .

    Reply
  47. Anne, I love these and I bet my girls (teen and tween) will, too. Thinking about your “altar to the air conditioner”–in your part of the world it’s getting hot, isn’t it? I remember in college (as the snow piled up to the windows) one of my professors reminisced about her African girlhood and told us, “It just wasn’t Christmas unless we went swimming at the beach!”
    Holiday customs are very dependent on place, aren’t they? Up here in the Pacific Northwest where it gets dark very early, EVERYONE puts up lights on their houses (and bushes, and trees) and many people leave them up until spring–very different from my Southern (Virginia) childhood where such extravagant displays were considered tacky, and the only “Christmas lights” I ever saw in my neighborhood were candles in the windows. . .

    Reply
  48. Anne, I love these and I bet my girls (teen and tween) will, too. Thinking about your “altar to the air conditioner”–in your part of the world it’s getting hot, isn’t it? I remember in college (as the snow piled up to the windows) one of my professors reminisced about her African girlhood and told us, “It just wasn’t Christmas unless we went swimming at the beach!”
    Holiday customs are very dependent on place, aren’t they? Up here in the Pacific Northwest where it gets dark very early, EVERYONE puts up lights on their houses (and bushes, and trees) and many people leave them up until spring–very different from my Southern (Virginia) childhood where such extravagant displays were considered tacky, and the only “Christmas lights” I ever saw in my neighborhood were candles in the windows. . .

    Reply
  49. Anne, I love these and I bet my girls (teen and tween) will, too. Thinking about your “altar to the air conditioner”–in your part of the world it’s getting hot, isn’t it? I remember in college (as the snow piled up to the windows) one of my professors reminisced about her African girlhood and told us, “It just wasn’t Christmas unless we went swimming at the beach!”
    Holiday customs are very dependent on place, aren’t they? Up here in the Pacific Northwest where it gets dark very early, EVERYONE puts up lights on their houses (and bushes, and trees) and many people leave them up until spring–very different from my Southern (Virginia) childhood where such extravagant displays were considered tacky, and the only “Christmas lights” I ever saw in my neighborhood were candles in the windows. . .

    Reply
  50. Anne, I love these and I bet my girls (teen and tween) will, too. Thinking about your “altar to the air conditioner”–in your part of the world it’s getting hot, isn’t it? I remember in college (as the snow piled up to the windows) one of my professors reminisced about her African girlhood and told us, “It just wasn’t Christmas unless we went swimming at the beach!”
    Holiday customs are very dependent on place, aren’t they? Up here in the Pacific Northwest where it gets dark very early, EVERYONE puts up lights on their houses (and bushes, and trees) and many people leave them up until spring–very different from my Southern (Virginia) childhood where such extravagant displays were considered tacky, and the only “Christmas lights” I ever saw in my neighborhood were candles in the windows. . .

    Reply
  51. Thank you so much, Anne, for mentioning the paper dolls. As a wartime child the only dolls we had were ones our mother made out of calico, with weird faces, and non-detachable clothes. So when someone gave me a book of paper dolls I adored them. Cutting out the clothes, making sure to cut around the little tabs that kept the dresses on. They came complete with underclothes and hats and good clothes for Sunday School and play clothes for Saturdays. In fact, I think I’d be quite happy playing with them now . . .

    Reply
  52. Thank you so much, Anne, for mentioning the paper dolls. As a wartime child the only dolls we had were ones our mother made out of calico, with weird faces, and non-detachable clothes. So when someone gave me a book of paper dolls I adored them. Cutting out the clothes, making sure to cut around the little tabs that kept the dresses on. They came complete with underclothes and hats and good clothes for Sunday School and play clothes for Saturdays. In fact, I think I’d be quite happy playing with them now . . .

    Reply
  53. Thank you so much, Anne, for mentioning the paper dolls. As a wartime child the only dolls we had were ones our mother made out of calico, with weird faces, and non-detachable clothes. So when someone gave me a book of paper dolls I adored them. Cutting out the clothes, making sure to cut around the little tabs that kept the dresses on. They came complete with underclothes and hats and good clothes for Sunday School and play clothes for Saturdays. In fact, I think I’d be quite happy playing with them now . . .

    Reply
  54. Thank you so much, Anne, for mentioning the paper dolls. As a wartime child the only dolls we had were ones our mother made out of calico, with weird faces, and non-detachable clothes. So when someone gave me a book of paper dolls I adored them. Cutting out the clothes, making sure to cut around the little tabs that kept the dresses on. They came complete with underclothes and hats and good clothes for Sunday School and play clothes for Saturdays. In fact, I think I’d be quite happy playing with them now . . .

    Reply
  55. Thank you so much, Anne, for mentioning the paper dolls. As a wartime child the only dolls we had were ones our mother made out of calico, with weird faces, and non-detachable clothes. So when someone gave me a book of paper dolls I adored them. Cutting out the clothes, making sure to cut around the little tabs that kept the dresses on. They came complete with underclothes and hats and good clothes for Sunday School and play clothes for Saturdays. In fact, I think I’d be quite happy playing with them now . . .

    Reply
  56. Janga, I love Christmas trees. I always have a real tree — for me the scent of cut pine is the scent of Christmas, and brings back memories of heading out to cut a tree when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the nine-year-old will have fun with the angels. I remember one session with some kidlets where they got right into making tiny ones, using coins and egg-cups for a template for the outer circle. We ended up with dozens of tiny angels, which looked so cute.
    The other decoration project that’s classy and dead easy is here: http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
    I made some with green and red wrapping ribbon (which is what I had in the box) and they turned out so pretty. I meant to put the pic up, but I was having trouble with a very s-l-o-w typepad and forgot, but I’ll put it on my website with the angels.

    Reply
  57. Janga, I love Christmas trees. I always have a real tree — for me the scent of cut pine is the scent of Christmas, and brings back memories of heading out to cut a tree when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the nine-year-old will have fun with the angels. I remember one session with some kidlets where they got right into making tiny ones, using coins and egg-cups for a template for the outer circle. We ended up with dozens of tiny angels, which looked so cute.
    The other decoration project that’s classy and dead easy is here: http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
    I made some with green and red wrapping ribbon (which is what I had in the box) and they turned out so pretty. I meant to put the pic up, but I was having trouble with a very s-l-o-w typepad and forgot, but I’ll put it on my website with the angels.

    Reply
  58. Janga, I love Christmas trees. I always have a real tree — for me the scent of cut pine is the scent of Christmas, and brings back memories of heading out to cut a tree when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the nine-year-old will have fun with the angels. I remember one session with some kidlets where they got right into making tiny ones, using coins and egg-cups for a template for the outer circle. We ended up with dozens of tiny angels, which looked so cute.
    The other decoration project that’s classy and dead easy is here: http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
    I made some with green and red wrapping ribbon (which is what I had in the box) and they turned out so pretty. I meant to put the pic up, but I was having trouble with a very s-l-o-w typepad and forgot, but I’ll put it on my website with the angels.

    Reply
  59. Janga, I love Christmas trees. I always have a real tree — for me the scent of cut pine is the scent of Christmas, and brings back memories of heading out to cut a tree when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the nine-year-old will have fun with the angels. I remember one session with some kidlets where they got right into making tiny ones, using coins and egg-cups for a template for the outer circle. We ended up with dozens of tiny angels, which looked so cute.
    The other decoration project that’s classy and dead easy is here: http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
    I made some with green and red wrapping ribbon (which is what I had in the box) and they turned out so pretty. I meant to put the pic up, but I was having trouble with a very s-l-o-w typepad and forgot, but I’ll put it on my website with the angels.

    Reply
  60. Janga, I love Christmas trees. I always have a real tree — for me the scent of cut pine is the scent of Christmas, and brings back memories of heading out to cut a tree when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the nine-year-old will have fun with the angels. I remember one session with some kidlets where they got right into making tiny ones, using coins and egg-cups for a template for the outer circle. We ended up with dozens of tiny angels, which looked so cute.
    The other decoration project that’s classy and dead easy is here: http://tinyurl.com/5rxadg
    I made some with green and red wrapping ribbon (which is what I had in the box) and they turned out so pretty. I meant to put the pic up, but I was having trouble with a very s-l-o-w typepad and forgot, but I’ll put it on my website with the angels.

    Reply
  61. LadyDoc, what a wonderful tribute to your old teacher. I think it’s one of the special rituals, unpacking the decorations and remembering the associations.
    Unfortunately I have none from my chidhood, as thieves stole all my mother’s decorations, along with many other antiques. But I have the memory of them and my own decorations have some lovely associations.
    One is a tiny Greek bouzouki sent to me by a Greek exchange student who attended the school I taught at. After she went home, we corresponded for some years, but eventually it petered out. Still, each year I hang the bouzouki on the tree I think of Effie, with a smile.

    Reply
  62. LadyDoc, what a wonderful tribute to your old teacher. I think it’s one of the special rituals, unpacking the decorations and remembering the associations.
    Unfortunately I have none from my chidhood, as thieves stole all my mother’s decorations, along with many other antiques. But I have the memory of them and my own decorations have some lovely associations.
    One is a tiny Greek bouzouki sent to me by a Greek exchange student who attended the school I taught at. After she went home, we corresponded for some years, but eventually it petered out. Still, each year I hang the bouzouki on the tree I think of Effie, with a smile.

    Reply
  63. LadyDoc, what a wonderful tribute to your old teacher. I think it’s one of the special rituals, unpacking the decorations and remembering the associations.
    Unfortunately I have none from my chidhood, as thieves stole all my mother’s decorations, along with many other antiques. But I have the memory of them and my own decorations have some lovely associations.
    One is a tiny Greek bouzouki sent to me by a Greek exchange student who attended the school I taught at. After she went home, we corresponded for some years, but eventually it petered out. Still, each year I hang the bouzouki on the tree I think of Effie, with a smile.

    Reply
  64. LadyDoc, what a wonderful tribute to your old teacher. I think it’s one of the special rituals, unpacking the decorations and remembering the associations.
    Unfortunately I have none from my chidhood, as thieves stole all my mother’s decorations, along with many other antiques. But I have the memory of them and my own decorations have some lovely associations.
    One is a tiny Greek bouzouki sent to me by a Greek exchange student who attended the school I taught at. After she went home, we corresponded for some years, but eventually it petered out. Still, each year I hang the bouzouki on the tree I think of Effie, with a smile.

    Reply
  65. LadyDoc, what a wonderful tribute to your old teacher. I think it’s one of the special rituals, unpacking the decorations and remembering the associations.
    Unfortunately I have none from my chidhood, as thieves stole all my mother’s decorations, along with many other antiques. But I have the memory of them and my own decorations have some lovely associations.
    One is a tiny Greek bouzouki sent to me by a Greek exchange student who attended the school I taught at. After she went home, we corresponded for some years, but eventually it petered out. Still, each year I hang the bouzouki on the tree I think of Effie, with a smile.

    Reply
  66. Louise, I love the sound of the rice paper angels. When I was trawling the web, looking for good links, a historical one spoke of hanging candles in wooden or metal hoops. I liked the sound of that, too – though I’m always wary of the danger of fire.
    RevMelinda, yes, Christmas is the beginning of summer here, and also the end of the school year and the beginning of the long summer holidays, so it brings its own flavor.
    I grew up with a candle in the window, or the Christmas tree lights showing through the window sort of idea, and one of the fun things we kids used to do when we moved into a town was to spot the Christmas trees.
    Now more and more people are putting decorations outside, inspired by movies, I suspect, and because flashing light decorations are cheap and easily available.

    Reply
  67. Louise, I love the sound of the rice paper angels. When I was trawling the web, looking for good links, a historical one spoke of hanging candles in wooden or metal hoops. I liked the sound of that, too – though I’m always wary of the danger of fire.
    RevMelinda, yes, Christmas is the beginning of summer here, and also the end of the school year and the beginning of the long summer holidays, so it brings its own flavor.
    I grew up with a candle in the window, or the Christmas tree lights showing through the window sort of idea, and one of the fun things we kids used to do when we moved into a town was to spot the Christmas trees.
    Now more and more people are putting decorations outside, inspired by movies, I suspect, and because flashing light decorations are cheap and easily available.

    Reply
  68. Louise, I love the sound of the rice paper angels. When I was trawling the web, looking for good links, a historical one spoke of hanging candles in wooden or metal hoops. I liked the sound of that, too – though I’m always wary of the danger of fire.
    RevMelinda, yes, Christmas is the beginning of summer here, and also the end of the school year and the beginning of the long summer holidays, so it brings its own flavor.
    I grew up with a candle in the window, or the Christmas tree lights showing through the window sort of idea, and one of the fun things we kids used to do when we moved into a town was to spot the Christmas trees.
    Now more and more people are putting decorations outside, inspired by movies, I suspect, and because flashing light decorations are cheap and easily available.

    Reply
  69. Louise, I love the sound of the rice paper angels. When I was trawling the web, looking for good links, a historical one spoke of hanging candles in wooden or metal hoops. I liked the sound of that, too – though I’m always wary of the danger of fire.
    RevMelinda, yes, Christmas is the beginning of summer here, and also the end of the school year and the beginning of the long summer holidays, so it brings its own flavor.
    I grew up with a candle in the window, or the Christmas tree lights showing through the window sort of idea, and one of the fun things we kids used to do when we moved into a town was to spot the Christmas trees.
    Now more and more people are putting decorations outside, inspired by movies, I suspect, and because flashing light decorations are cheap and easily available.

    Reply
  70. Louise, I love the sound of the rice paper angels. When I was trawling the web, looking for good links, a historical one spoke of hanging candles in wooden or metal hoops. I liked the sound of that, too – though I’m always wary of the danger of fire.
    RevMelinda, yes, Christmas is the beginning of summer here, and also the end of the school year and the beginning of the long summer holidays, so it brings its own flavor.
    I grew up with a candle in the window, or the Christmas tree lights showing through the window sort of idea, and one of the fun things we kids used to do when we moved into a town was to spot the Christmas trees.
    Now more and more people are putting decorations outside, inspired by movies, I suspect, and because flashing light decorations are cheap and easily available.

    Reply
  71. From Sherrie:
    Anne, I live alone and it seems too much trouble to do a tree each year. I just arrange all my Christmas cards in a nice location and drape red tinsel swags on the front porch. I also have a small tabletop Christmas tree (fake) already decorated.
    I remember the year I dragged out all my ornaments for Christmas and was appalled when I came across the gingerbread man a friend had made out of flour & water, etc., and hardened in the oven, then painted with acrylic paints. Apparently the gingerbread man had gotten damp during storage, resulting in him swelling up grotesquely, distorting his body and facial features into something quite ghastly and evil looking. It was a real shock opening the shoebox and seeing that horrible visage leering up at me from the depths. Scared the daylights out of me!

    Reply
  72. From Sherrie:
    Anne, I live alone and it seems too much trouble to do a tree each year. I just arrange all my Christmas cards in a nice location and drape red tinsel swags on the front porch. I also have a small tabletop Christmas tree (fake) already decorated.
    I remember the year I dragged out all my ornaments for Christmas and was appalled when I came across the gingerbread man a friend had made out of flour & water, etc., and hardened in the oven, then painted with acrylic paints. Apparently the gingerbread man had gotten damp during storage, resulting in him swelling up grotesquely, distorting his body and facial features into something quite ghastly and evil looking. It was a real shock opening the shoebox and seeing that horrible visage leering up at me from the depths. Scared the daylights out of me!

    Reply
  73. From Sherrie:
    Anne, I live alone and it seems too much trouble to do a tree each year. I just arrange all my Christmas cards in a nice location and drape red tinsel swags on the front porch. I also have a small tabletop Christmas tree (fake) already decorated.
    I remember the year I dragged out all my ornaments for Christmas and was appalled when I came across the gingerbread man a friend had made out of flour & water, etc., and hardened in the oven, then painted with acrylic paints. Apparently the gingerbread man had gotten damp during storage, resulting in him swelling up grotesquely, distorting his body and facial features into something quite ghastly and evil looking. It was a real shock opening the shoebox and seeing that horrible visage leering up at me from the depths. Scared the daylights out of me!

    Reply
  74. From Sherrie:
    Anne, I live alone and it seems too much trouble to do a tree each year. I just arrange all my Christmas cards in a nice location and drape red tinsel swags on the front porch. I also have a small tabletop Christmas tree (fake) already decorated.
    I remember the year I dragged out all my ornaments for Christmas and was appalled when I came across the gingerbread man a friend had made out of flour & water, etc., and hardened in the oven, then painted with acrylic paints. Apparently the gingerbread man had gotten damp during storage, resulting in him swelling up grotesquely, distorting his body and facial features into something quite ghastly and evil looking. It was a real shock opening the shoebox and seeing that horrible visage leering up at me from the depths. Scared the daylights out of me!

    Reply
  75. From Sherrie:
    Anne, I live alone and it seems too much trouble to do a tree each year. I just arrange all my Christmas cards in a nice location and drape red tinsel swags on the front porch. I also have a small tabletop Christmas tree (fake) already decorated.
    I remember the year I dragged out all my ornaments for Christmas and was appalled when I came across the gingerbread man a friend had made out of flour & water, etc., and hardened in the oven, then painted with acrylic paints. Apparently the gingerbread man had gotten damp during storage, resulting in him swelling up grotesquely, distorting his body and facial features into something quite ghastly and evil looking. It was a real shock opening the shoebox and seeing that horrible visage leering up at me from the depths. Scared the daylights out of me!

    Reply
  76. Great ideas – though we just don’t seem to decorate anymore for Christmas. I think we overloaded when I was growing up. But I do like the idea of making things yourself and now my godson is starting to get really crafty at school, so we now draw, colour in together and work on making cards. So having some fresh ideas will indeed help. Thanks Anne.

    Reply
  77. Great ideas – though we just don’t seem to decorate anymore for Christmas. I think we overloaded when I was growing up. But I do like the idea of making things yourself and now my godson is starting to get really crafty at school, so we now draw, colour in together and work on making cards. So having some fresh ideas will indeed help. Thanks Anne.

    Reply
  78. Great ideas – though we just don’t seem to decorate anymore for Christmas. I think we overloaded when I was growing up. But I do like the idea of making things yourself and now my godson is starting to get really crafty at school, so we now draw, colour in together and work on making cards. So having some fresh ideas will indeed help. Thanks Anne.

    Reply
  79. Great ideas – though we just don’t seem to decorate anymore for Christmas. I think we overloaded when I was growing up. But I do like the idea of making things yourself and now my godson is starting to get really crafty at school, so we now draw, colour in together and work on making cards. So having some fresh ideas will indeed help. Thanks Anne.

    Reply
  80. Great ideas – though we just don’t seem to decorate anymore for Christmas. I think we overloaded when I was growing up. But I do like the idea of making things yourself and now my godson is starting to get really crafty at school, so we now draw, colour in together and work on making cards. So having some fresh ideas will indeed help. Thanks Anne.

    Reply
  81. Anne, Thanks so much for the links to the paper dolls. I’m about to mind my granddaughter for a week (the one you know as the Blue Woad child ) and she’s the perfect age to enjoy these!
    Fabulous!!

    Reply
  82. Anne, Thanks so much for the links to the paper dolls. I’m about to mind my granddaughter for a week (the one you know as the Blue Woad child ) and she’s the perfect age to enjoy these!
    Fabulous!!

    Reply
  83. Anne, Thanks so much for the links to the paper dolls. I’m about to mind my granddaughter for a week (the one you know as the Blue Woad child ) and she’s the perfect age to enjoy these!
    Fabulous!!

    Reply
  84. Anne, Thanks so much for the links to the paper dolls. I’m about to mind my granddaughter for a week (the one you know as the Blue Woad child ) and she’s the perfect age to enjoy these!
    Fabulous!!

    Reply
  85. Anne, Thanks so much for the links to the paper dolls. I’m about to mind my granddaughter for a week (the one you know as the Blue Woad child ) and she’s the perfect age to enjoy these!
    Fabulous!!

    Reply
  86. Meredith, I think even as an adult, you might enjoy the paper dolls. I love the animal ones — there’s the cutest cat one.
    Sherrie, loved the story of your Scary Swollen gingerbread men. Reminds me of when I made a fimo necklace of fimo chocolate buddies covered with real hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles that go on cakes and cookies). They turned nasty after a while, too. Food as decoration — not a lasting concept. LOL

    Reply
  87. Meredith, I think even as an adult, you might enjoy the paper dolls. I love the animal ones — there’s the cutest cat one.
    Sherrie, loved the story of your Scary Swollen gingerbread men. Reminds me of when I made a fimo necklace of fimo chocolate buddies covered with real hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles that go on cakes and cookies). They turned nasty after a while, too. Food as decoration — not a lasting concept. LOL

    Reply
  88. Meredith, I think even as an adult, you might enjoy the paper dolls. I love the animal ones — there’s the cutest cat one.
    Sherrie, loved the story of your Scary Swollen gingerbread men. Reminds me of when I made a fimo necklace of fimo chocolate buddies covered with real hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles that go on cakes and cookies). They turned nasty after a while, too. Food as decoration — not a lasting concept. LOL

    Reply
  89. Meredith, I think even as an adult, you might enjoy the paper dolls. I love the animal ones — there’s the cutest cat one.
    Sherrie, loved the story of your Scary Swollen gingerbread men. Reminds me of when I made a fimo necklace of fimo chocolate buddies covered with real hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles that go on cakes and cookies). They turned nasty after a while, too. Food as decoration — not a lasting concept. LOL

    Reply
  90. Meredith, I think even as an adult, you might enjoy the paper dolls. I love the animal ones — there’s the cutest cat one.
    Sherrie, loved the story of your Scary Swollen gingerbread men. Reminds me of when I made a fimo necklace of fimo chocolate buddies covered with real hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles that go on cakes and cookies). They turned nasty after a while, too. Food as decoration — not a lasting concept. LOL

    Reply
  91. Eleni, the godson might also enjoy the paper building constructions on a couple of those sites.
    Barbara, I remember your gorgeous Blue Woad Child. (Barbara once shared a photo of this little girl smeared impressively with blue paint, and we promptly decided she was a warrior child in the making) I hope you and she have fun with the various projects

    Reply
  92. Eleni, the godson might also enjoy the paper building constructions on a couple of those sites.
    Barbara, I remember your gorgeous Blue Woad Child. (Barbara once shared a photo of this little girl smeared impressively with blue paint, and we promptly decided she was a warrior child in the making) I hope you and she have fun with the various projects

    Reply
  93. Eleni, the godson might also enjoy the paper building constructions on a couple of those sites.
    Barbara, I remember your gorgeous Blue Woad Child. (Barbara once shared a photo of this little girl smeared impressively with blue paint, and we promptly decided she was a warrior child in the making) I hope you and she have fun with the various projects

    Reply
  94. Eleni, the godson might also enjoy the paper building constructions on a couple of those sites.
    Barbara, I remember your gorgeous Blue Woad Child. (Barbara once shared a photo of this little girl smeared impressively with blue paint, and we promptly decided she was a warrior child in the making) I hope you and she have fun with the various projects

    Reply
  95. Eleni, the godson might also enjoy the paper building constructions on a couple of those sites.
    Barbara, I remember your gorgeous Blue Woad Child. (Barbara once shared a photo of this little girl smeared impressively with blue paint, and we promptly decided she was a warrior child in the making) I hope you and she have fun with the various projects

    Reply

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