Sunday, September 11

Busy--Where Did That Come From?

My husband and I have been quite busy lately.  It's been hard to keep up, and the coming days don't appear to be any less busy.  Let me tell you about our adventures lately!

That was the reason for heading up to Michigan to visit my sister Labor Day weekend--a surprise 30th birthday party.  We headed up the day of the party and stealthily avoided my sister all day.  When arriving at the restaurant where the party was being held, we helped decorate and waited for all of her friends to arrive, then waited for her to arrive.  She was so surprised when she walked in and saw so many of her family and friends waiting to celebrate her birthday!  What made it even more of a surprise was that it wasn't actually her birthday--it was a week ahead of time.  She was appropriately surprised, and we had fun surprising her!

Fall Is Coming...
I'm sure of it.  We had some teasingly cool temps last week, and it's beginning to trigger the color change in a few trees in the area.  I'm looking forward to getting my fall decor out--I already have the tote box down, but haven't had the time yet to get things out.  I will need to make time for decorating, because fall will have to come once I have the house set up that way!

Gotta Get Away!
I have been so busy, and it has been resulting in a lot of extra stress lately.  I think I was stressing my husband out too, because he agreed to a long weekend away from home and all of the trials therein.  We booked a room at a beautiful bed and breakfast (more about that in another post) and spent two and a half days in the Indianapolis area, just relaxing and enjoying a very low-tech trip.  We got back Saturday early evening, had a living history program Sunday, and have Monday off as a rest day.  I feel much better, and a bit more clear-headed.  It was a desperately-needed trip that was a great time.  Like I said, I will have a separate post solely devoted to our trip and the b&b we stayed in.  Check back soon!

Christmas Trees
Do you remember in a recent post the Christmas trees I saw in another blog?  Well, I made them, and they turned out so cute!  Below are a few pictures and simple instructions.  I hope you give these a won't be disappointed!
Start with two fabrics of your choice, a quarter of a yard of each.  Also purchase the round bases, half stars, dowel rod and paint of your choice (I got all of this at Hobby Lobby for around $7.50).
Measure and cut each fabric piece into strips about 3/4" wide.  After the strips are cut, cut each strip into lengths that get smaller--I cut them into 9", 8" & 7" lengths.  Divide each length into two equal piles.  Now you have cut enough strips for two trees!
Now, it's time for a little assembly: Cut the dowel rod into 12" lengths (you should get three out of one rod), and take a sharp knife or box cutter and make a few slices into one end of the dowel rod to create a taper.  Then, take an awl or similar tool and punch a small hole, carefully, through one part of the star. 
Insert the tapered end carefully into the hole just made in the star.  It will be snug, but that's okay--you want it that way!

Now paint--I used a copper shimmer color with fine green glitter.  Also paint the bases now, and if you want, add glitter to those as well.  Then take a power drill with a bit the size of the dowel rod and drill a hole into the base.  Insert the other end of the dowel rod into the base, and if slightly loose, spread a little wood glue around the dowel rod.  If you used glue, allow it to dry overnight.
Now, begin tying the strips onto the dowel rod, starting with the 9" strips and eventually getting down to the 7" strips at the top.  Don't worry about looks yet; you'll rearrange them once all of the strips are tied on.
Do this to both dowel rods, then rearrange the strips so that they are evenly spaced and don't have any visible gaps.  And voila, you have two finished trees, ready to be set out and enjoyed!

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