Advent Shadowbox 2012: Day 1, Have a Tree Trimming Party, Make Cinnamon Glitter Ornaments & Favourite Photo Ornaments
Technically, it’s the day before Advent Begins….well, unless you go to Saturday night mass, as my grandmother would have said. Let’s just say we’re taking my granmother’s advice….
This morning, the kids woke up and ran downstairs to see if I had gotten their Advent Shadowbox out of storage. They found the image above in the frame.
Today, we’ll be having our annual family tree trimming party, and we’ll be making two types of ornaments with which to adorn our tree:
We’ll be making the 2012 edition of Our Favourite Photo Ornaments
and we’ll be whipping up a brand new recipe
a batch of heaven-scented, non-edible Cinnamon Glitter Ornaments
[you'll find the DIY directly below.]
1 Cup Cinnamon [get it at the bulk store!]
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves or allspice
.5 c glue
.3+ c glitter
.5+ Cup Applesauce
A Drinking Straw
Thin Ribbon [we used metallic elastic ribbon]
Heat oven to 200 F.
In a medium bowl, mix Cinnamon, Spices, Glue and Glitter with a spoon.
Add Applesauce by the quarter cup until a thick, somewhat tough dough forms.
[If the dough becomes a deep dark brown and wet, you've added too much applesauce, add more additional cinnamon to compensate.]
Add additional glitter if you think you’d like more sparkle.
Divide the dough into 2-3 sections.
Roll out each section on parchment paper.
Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters and use a straw to punch a hole for hanging towards the top.
Place ornaments onto a parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 2.5 hours and let cool on a wire rack.
Run a thin ribbon or piece of elastic through the holes in the ornaments to hang.
This year’s Favourite Photo Ornaments
December 14, 2011
18th Day of Advent
11 Days ’til Christmas
Turn an orange into a scented ornament
by plunging cloves in festive patterns
all over the orange’s rind.
Then, wrap it in ribbons
and hang it in a doorway
or place it on the mantle by the fire.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Clove Oranges. Each year when I was a little girl, my mother and I would spend an hour or so punching whole cloves into the sides of oranges in tight rows or loose swirls. For one of my first “grown-up holiday dinner parties,” I used cloves to punch each guest’s monogram into an orange, and I placed these delights on the table as place-markers. It’s time to show the kids how this is done…I’ve loaded up on whole cloves from the bulk store, ribbons from the dollar store, and oranges from the grocer. We might have a few sore fingers when we’re done, but it will be worth it!!!
Here’s how today’s insert looks:
Here’s how the Advent Shadowbox looks from afar:
Oranges, Whole Cloves, Washable (or Dry Erase) Markers, Wooden Skewers, Ribbons
Draw a pattern or image on the outside of an orange with marker. [optional]
Punch a hole or a series of holes into the orange in that pattern.[optional]
Press the sharp tips of the whole cloves into the orange.
Wrap ribbons around the orange and create a hanger by tying a bow [optional]
Tonight’s Success Story in Pictures
Getting Filled In
December 10, 2011 14th Day of Advent 15 Days ’til Christmas
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Table Salt
1 Cup Water
Acrylic or Tempera Paints
Glitter and Glue
Permanent Markers or Fancy Pens
Combine Flour and Salt in a Bowl
Gradually Add Water
Let Dough Sit for 20 Minutes
Option: Add Food Colouring to Dough (all or part)
Roll Dough ¼-½in Thick And Cut w/Cookie Cutters
Shape Dough into Christmassy Shapes
Make a Hole At the Tops of the Ornaments with a Straw
Let Dough Dry on a Pan for 48 Hours
Heat in 200-250 Degree Oven for 2-4 Hours
Paint with Acrylic Paints
Paint with Glue and Dust with Glitter
Write Messages or Draw Images with Markers
When I was a little girl, I was always jealous of a certain ornament that my brother had made in his Kindergarten class and which he always hung with pride on the family Christmas tree. Not that my own contributions to the family ornament collection were any less important… I just really loved the candy cane my brother had made by twisting and shaping lengths of red and white salt dough. Every time I saw it, I wanted to make one of my own. Today’s the day I finally get to try my hand at it with the kids!
Here’s how today’s Advent Shadowbox Insert looks:
And here’s how it looks from afar:
I’ll post pictures of the finished product on this page in a few days, so do check back with us!
UPDATE #1: 10:30am. The kids just realized that we could make these with their Star Wars™ Heroes & Villains Cookie Cutters, and with the Star Wars™ Vehicle Cookie Cutters, and Marvel™ Hero Cookie Cutter Set my mom just sent them! Our collection of ornaments might be forever transformed!!!!!
MAKING THE CUTOUTS
THE FINISHED GROUP
OUR FOUR FAVE ORNAMENTS
December 3, 2011
It’s Tree Trimming Day…
Time to make the Favourite Photo Ornaments
It has become a tradition in our house. Each year, we browse through our photos and find our absolute favourite photo of each of the kids. And we use these to make simple black and white photo ornaments for the tree.
To keep things consistent, we bought supplies in bulk. Several years ago, we picked up spools of silver ribbon and a heap of clear plastic frames at the dollar store. [For $30, I think we must have gotten enough product to make 2 ornaments a year for the next 18-20 years!] We keep our supplies in a small ziploc bag which gets nestled in the holiday storage box with all of our other Christmas ornaments. Each year, we take a pair of frames and a bit of ribbon out of this box, and we add to the growing collection.
Clear Plastic Frames (we use 6cm x 9cm)
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Photo Paper (plain will do in a pinch)
Computer & Printer
- Let ‘er rip!: Our frames came packaged as “magnetic” photo frames, so our first step is to rip the magnet off of the back of each of the frames. It’s easier than removing a bandaid, and there’s no one screaming back.
- Cut and paste: Next, we cut a 10in/25cm strip of ribbon, and hot glue both loose ends of the ribbon to the back of the frame so as to form a hanger or loop for the ornament.
- Workshop: After we browse our photo files for our favourite shots [btw, we tend to limit ourselves to portrait shots, as opposed to landscape], we use our favourite photo editing software to turn the pictures into black and white shots, to round the corners of each photo, and to add text [the year the photo was taken] below or towards the bottom of the photo.This year, using http://www.picnick.com, we added a little pizzazz by using a funky font for the year and by printing it in red rather than our traditional black…
- Size & Print: Using photo editing software or simply by inserting a photograph into a document in MSWord, we resize the photo with added text to fit into our 6cm x 9cm frame. And we print the photos on glossy photo paper. (One could just as easily print an all black and white photo on plain paper. It woud be hard to tell the difference.)
- Display: Since we have so many of these ornaments now, we hang them at the end of our decorating party – (call them the photographic equivalent of tinsel?). I try to get the kids to hang the photos from the top to the bottom of the tree so that the baby photos are near the tippy top and the later photos are further down.