Happy (belated) New Year

Did you do anything special to ring in the new year?

Mr. Aitch and I had a relaxing evening at home. We toasted in the new year then went to bed shortly after midnight.  We are such party animals.  NOT!

I did finally get a Holiday project finished right in time for the new year… 3-d Moravian stars.

I bought this kit that makes two 20-point stars several years ago and thought it would be a fun thing to do with the grands.  And then decided I would make them myself.

Good thing, too as the limited instructions were very difficult for me to understand without going online for help.

But I soldiered on and finished both stars.

I hung them in the dormer windows in the two front bedrooms Monday evening.

We live on a hill and it’s hard to get a picture of our house from the street but here is a shot of the front.  You might be able to make out the stars in the half-round windows.

I just might leave them there all year.

Gift Wrapping 101

We’re probably all finished or at least down to the wire with gift buying and are ready to wrap (pun intended) it all up!

When I working in retail many, many years ago (20), gift bags were not the way to go.  One of my tasks working in the display department was to wrap empty boxes for displays and do the gift-wrap wall so customers would gladly pay for a “professionally” wrapped gift.  Trust me.  I was good at gift-wrapping.  And I learned a few things along the way.

Believe it of not, 99.7%* of gift recipients prefer to unwrap a gift instead of pull it out of a tissue-paper-filled bag.

What do you prefer to do? Unwrap or dig-for-your gift?

I thought so. You prefer to unwrap a gift.  Who wants to dig for their gift unless you are an archeologist?

So, here are my (ergonomically correct) thoughts on gift wrapping.

  1. Decide now if you want to wrap all of “John’s or Jane’s” gifts in the same paper/ribbon color or if you want to use whatever paper you have on hand.  If you decide on one particular paper pattern/color per recipient, you will need at least one roll of said pattern/color of paper devoted to each recipient.  Or specific color of ribbon.  I love the two-sided wrapping paper!
  2. Do NOT wrap gifts at the dining room/ kitchen table.  The typical table height of 29-30 inches is not high enough and you will hurt your back.  Do wrap at a 35-38 inch tall counter.  Your back will thank you.
  3. Gather ALL your wrapping supplies together: paper, tape, scissors, ribbons/bows, tags, and/or any other embellishments you wish/have on hand.
  4. Write out the tags BEFORE you wrap any thing.
  5. Wrap the BIG gifts first so you can use any scraps of left over paper for the smaller gifts.
  6. Tag each gift as soon as you finish wrapping it.  Seriously, you will forget even if you have a specific color/pattern of paper for each recipient.
  7.  Attach ribbons/baker’s twine/premade bows/embellishments to the package.
  8. Stack gifts under the tree OR hide gifts.

Good luck with your gift wrapping.

I actually do all of these things before I wrap any gifts.  I have learned the hard way to not trust my memory. And my back thanks me every year.

BTW, Mr. Aitch either gifts with gift bags or has the gift sent already wrapped.  Some people just don’t have the confidence with paper wrapping and that’s ok.

*made up factoid

Christmas Wishes 2016

Before we get to the meat of this post, I want to thank all our veterans for serving and defending the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.  Thank you so much.

Well, I’m really going against MY rules about posting something about Christmas before Thanksgiving in the US but I’m posting this now those of you who wanted/needed a reminder early enough so you can do this, too, if you want.

Christmas Wishes or an Advent calendar of sorts.  A small gift, Words of encouragement, activity suggestion, simple craft, or treat is opened each day before Christmas. For more details, read this.

In the beginning I used brown paper lunch-sized bags.  Then one year I wrapped each “gift” and quickly learned that I wasn’t doing that again!  Finally I made those sour cream packets since I was using small items and the lunch bags were just too large.

I used card stock this year and glue sticks.  The double-sided tape works better but is more expensive.  Plus I didn’t have much tape.

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I printed out the numbers and cut them out with a large hole punch.  Paper sizes were 4×5, 4×6, and 6×6.  A paper cutter works great but so does a rotary cutter.

The mini ornaments and no candy.

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The card stock was sturdier than what I used in the past so I held the ends together with spring clips until the glue dried.  I won’t lie, this took longer than using the double-sided tape but I needed to take breaks anyway.

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If the end wouldn’t stay shut, I had to use the tape.

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The completed packets can be hung from a ribbon, tree branch, dowel, or curtain rod.

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Day 24 included some surprises for the entire family so it was wrapped in a larger box.

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Ready to send!

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Do you do anything for Advent or a countdown for Christmas?

Budding beauties

The twins spent the weekend before Mother’s Day with us while our daughter and son-in-law went away for the weekend.  I thought I’d help the girls make cards for Mother’s Day.

I took photos of them pointing to their eyes, a paper heart taped to their chests and the camera.  Then I made an accordion card and added some text and headless flowers.

The card wasn’t ready for them to take home (and I didn’t want them to know everything about it as one of them can’t keep a surprise) so I mailed it to our son-in-law.  I had to talk to him first so he knew what to do with it when he got it.

I included various flower and bug stickers for them to use to decorate the cards.

I think they did a wonderful job!  Their mom was so surprised!