Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring

This Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring is an easy craft that either kids or adults can do. I made these and used them for napkin rings one Christmas. Later, we used them as ornaments on the tree.

Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Supplies:

1″ wooden ball with hole*     

1″ tall wooden flower-pot with hole

Black  & White acrylic paint

Permanent Marker – 1 black and 1 orange (or use a dab of orange paint)

12″ of raffia for each ornament or ribbon    (be sure to use a ribbon that will make a knot big enough so the ball doesn’t slide through)

 *To use a larger ball, adjust the size of the wooden pot accordingly. It should just rest on top of the ball. Use a thicker and longer piece of raffia, too.

Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring  grandparentsplus.com

 

Directions:

Fold raffia in half and tie a knot approx. 2/3 of the way down from the loop

Paint the flower-pot black

Paint the ball white

Add face by making little dots with a permanent marker

Add eyes and an orange nose  (Color the end of a toothpick orange and then cut off and glue on for the nose.  It is easier, however,  to use an orange marker and draw a triangle)

Push the loop end through the ball from bottom to top

Push through the pot the same way. 

Push the ball and flower-pot down to the knot and you’re done! So easy! You can use this as a napkin ring and then hang on your tree.

Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring   grandparentsplus.com

 

Your guests will be delighted to find these at their place!

Enjoy! 

Phyllis

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Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3

Thank you for stopping by to look at Christmas Idea House Part 3! If you missed the first two posts, you can check them out at the end.

Again, this is a tour through an Idea House decorated entirely for Christmas by several decorators  It is open by ticket reservation to tour and see all the decor ideas. I am sharing them with you to see the creative and beautiful ways the rooms are decorated. You’ll find many ideas that you can do in your own home. Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

Today we’ll tour 3 bedrooms, hallway and a game room. Here we go……

  

First stop is a bedroom done in a rustic, woodsy feel. Notice the painted border that surrounds the room!  It is placed at eye level so you see the detail. Christmas decorations showcase silver with a bit of woodsy, natural accents.,

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

On top of the desk are silver, burlap and birch bark decorations. 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

A stately silver buck stands next to a sphere filled with pinecones. As a diy alternative, fill a fishbowl with pinecones and small lights!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

In the second bedroom, a rod holds coordinating Christmas decorations above the bed. 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

I like the nice rustic detail used for tiebacks on the curtains….

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 An antler tree acts as a jewelry holder. Copper and wood decorative items mix nicely together on this distressed vintage dresser.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 Here’s the game room! A large baker’s pie shelf holds many game choices. Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 In keeping with the game motif, large painted wooden squares are made to look like scrabble pieces and hung as wall art.

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

 

The bottom of the curtains have “playing card fabric” attached! Nice touch, don’t you think?

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

Now, this is what you call “playing your cards right”! What a great conversation piece for a game room!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

The game table chairs are vintage outdoor pieces, but notice the seat covers. The attention to every detail in this room is so fun! 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

On the wall is a display of old game boards. Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

Stepping into the hall…..

The same concept of anchoring wall hangings with a painted square makes a grouping much more interesting and cohesive.

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 A teen’s bedroom is the last peek into this Idea House.

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

 

Have any sweaters that you’re ready to give away? Instead, stitch up a whimsical Christmas Tree! 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

Three of the same tables stacked together become interesting shelving!   The highlight for me is the Christmas display in a vintage suitcase! 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

Take a closer look at this winter village all lit up!  Now, this is one of my favorite ideas! I’ll be looking for a cute vintage suitcase. How about you? 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 3  grandparentsplus.com

 

Sad to say, this is the last post of the Christmas Idea House 2014! Here are the first two posts in case you missed them….

Christmas Idea House 2014

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2

Thanks for stopping by! 

Phyllis

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Merry Cherry Bars

If you want a quick, easy, colorful and delicious cookie bar, this is for you! The Merry Cherry Bars are an old recipe of my mom’s that I changed a bit. They look so colorful on a Christmas cookie plate! No need to drop or roll cookies, but simply bake them in a pan, ice, and cut!

Merry Cherry Bars   grandparentsplus.com

 

These bars are crisp like a cookie, but you bake them like a bar.They are so simple!

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup margarine

1 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

Generous 1/2  cup chopped red candied cherries  (you buy these in the baking aisle) You can also use maraschino cherries. Be sure to pat completely dry with a paper towel before adding to your dough…

Generous 2/3 cup chopped red and green M&M’s

 

Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and 5-6 tsp. warm water

 

Directions:

Mix sugar, margarine, almond extract, and egg.

Stir in flour and salt

Add chopped Candied Cherries to the batter

Press into an ungreased jelly pan. (a bit of flour on your hands keeps the dough from sticking to you)

 

Merry Cherry Bars  grandparentsplus.com

Press dough into ungreased pan.

 

Chop M&M’s and sprinkle over the top and press into dough.

Merry Cherry Bars  grandparentsplus.com

Press chopped M&M’s into the dough.

 

Bake at 300 degrees for 27-30 minutes.

Cool slightly. While warm, cut the bars, but do not remove. Cool completely in the pan.

When completely cooled, drizzle with glaze consisting of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 5-6 tsp. of warm water. Glaze should be runny enough to drizzle over the bars.

When frosting is set, remove bars.

Using a spatula, lift bars from pan.

I cut the bars on a diagonal. This looks pretty, but you do lose some small triangles along the edges. My family, however, gobbles those up and I serve the pretty diamond shapes to guests!

Merry Cherry Bars  grandparentsplus.com

Now, I need to share a story about my baking Christmas cookies when my kids were in Jr. High and High school. I would always bake cookies early and freeze them for Christmas time. My kids would find them in the freezer (whenever I left the house) and soon they were gone! One year, they couldn’t find them. At Christmas, I brought out the full containers of cookies and they asked, “where were the cookies? We couldn’t find them!”

My secret was to place the containers in the trunk of my car. When I left home, I smiled to myself as the cookies were safely with me. I could just imagine my kids hunting all over. We live in a northern climate so they stayed frozen the entire time. We had a good laugh at Christmas when I brought them out! I was able to outsmart my teenage kids!

 

Merry Cherry Bars  grandparentsplus.com

 

These Merry Cherry Bars freeze well, too! (you might want to place them in the trunk of your car – HA!)

Enjoy! 

Phyllis

 

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Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2

I’m back with more Christmas inspiration from the Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2. Hope you’re ready for more Christmas decorating ideas! There are lots of vintage finds used throughout the house by the decorators. You’ll see how some are used in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom in unique ways. Decorators collaborate on the designs throughout the house to make a cohesive look from room to room. If you missed the first post, be sure to check it out, too!  Go to…..  Christmas Idea House 2014

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Walking in from the porch, your eyes quickly notice this beautiful arrangement.

Christmas Idea House 2014  part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

Next, the dining room is visibly all decked out for entertaining. The candles are wrapped with ribbon and embellished with upholstery tacks. On the tabletop is a burlap runner along with a muted green plaid one.  Trees are decorated with red twine and lights.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 A green plaid runner sits on top of the burlap and matching napkins accent the place-setting.

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Pillow- wrap in burlap with”Merry Christmas” circles the dining room chairs and greets each guest. 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

  In the kitchen, the windows are decorated with a lit garland, red and white striped ribbon and special ornaments. Did you know that  NOEL  “is a French name meaning “Christmas”. It is actually derived from the Latin word natalis, a word which refers to Nativity, or the birth of Christ. ” according to answers.com
Christmas Idea House 2014 grandparentsplus.com

  Isn’t this an eye-catching arrangement using lots of vintage pieces? The sign is so fun!

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 Here’s another idea using a small vintage cupboard door . Turn it into a clock! Make the hour pieces changeable with the season.

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

By using red, white, and green dishes, no other decorations are needed with this colorful display! 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 Bathroom curtains made from kitchen towels are clipped to a wire with snowflake-tipped clothespins. 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

I’ve never seen a vintage metal sled before, but this looks so good accented with mirrors! 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Hide those ugly pipes with a burlap skirt adorned with snowflakes.

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

In the living room, above the couch, a wreath is layered on top of a vintage stained glass window. Along side of the couch, salvaged metal frames make unique hanging lamps. The white sofa with red and white pillows brings lots of Christmas cheer into the living room.

Christmas Idea House Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

The fireplace mantel is filled with birch wrapped candles, colorful balls, greenery and birch bark Christmas trees. Above the mantel, the light-up “Peace” sign is layered on top of an old weathered picket fence. Did you know that “Peace” on earth refers not to wars, etc., but only to the Peace that knowing Jesus as Savior  gives to each of us. Jesus is the Prince of Peace!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 A multitude of LED candles light up the fireplace!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 Another lovely arrangement sits on top of the coffee table.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 This is not your normal coffee table. Instead, it is a vintage child’s bed covered with a piece of glass. Inside, ornaments and greenery add additional interest and color.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

This covered glass dish filled with candy adds more color!  

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Another vintage window… The glass is replaced with mirrors and reflects the candles and colorful ornaments on the tree.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 2   grandparenstplus.com

 This is an unusual tree made from narrow graduated-sized wood pieces all connected together. 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Which idea did you like the best?  

Again, there are more ideas to come so don’t miss the next post  – Part 3! 

Happy Decorating! 

Phyllis

 

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Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder

 

Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder   grandparentsplus.com

For my grandchildren at the Christmas table, I like to have something special at their place-setting. This Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder is a cute and easy detail to add to your Christmas table. Slip a lollipop into it and set it along side of their place. You might want to add a little more “greenery” by placing a dollar inside along with the lollipop! In fact, use this as a money holder for an adult gift, too! Either way, it will delight the recipient.

Materials for the Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder:

Felt ( the stiffer, the better) sparkle felt, if you like

Gold and green thread

Gold glitter paint writer

1 sheet of gold glitter fun-foam (or pre-cut gold glittery stars)

Brown felt (for trunk)

 

Directions:

Start with Two triangles 4 1/2 inches across the base and 4 1/2 inches in height. (keep pinned together)

Cut the sides to look like branches.

Cut a trunk from brown felt  1 -1/4 inch by 3/4 inch

Start by stitching across the bottom of the Christmas Tree to include the trunk piece. Stitch only the front piece!

  Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder   grandparentsplus.com

 

 When you get to the left corner, add the back piece and stitch them together around to the beginning.

Use the Glitter Paint Writer to add the tree balls. Let dry overnight!

Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder   grandparentsplus.com

Add a foam glitter star on top!

 

 

Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder  grandparentsplus.com

This Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder is easy, isn’t it?

 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Christmas Idea House 2014

The Christmas Idea House 2014 is ready! The question is, are you ready for tons of decorating ideas for the Christmas season? As usual, there are vintage finds used as well as new items.  You’ll see a lot of natural outdoor accents like salvaged wood, pinecones, birch sleeves, decorative birds throughout the home.

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

I enjoy decorating for Christmas! While I do some of the same things each year, I always try to update and incorporate something new! The inspiration for new ideas is unlimited in this Christmas Idea House 2014! I found some new ideas to add and so will you!

This is a fun idea for the outside of your home! Six branches of varying sizes and some rope is all it takes! Add a spotlight and you’ve got an eye-catching show-piece! If you have access to a wooded area, you’ve got most of the materials for free!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

If you have a sleigh or cart, this is a fun idea…….

 

Christmas Idea House 2014    grandparentsplus.com

 

 

 

A beautiful container display for Christmas!  More materials from the woods with some additional decorations make this outstanding!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Beautiful window boxes with rolled birch bark and pine cones.

Christmas Idea House 2014  grandparentsplus.com

 

This old house has a front porch. It is all decorated in red and white! The vintage table is covered with burlap. Small textured rugs become placemats. The chairs are tied with red and white winter scarves!  Easy ideas to do on your own!

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

The centerpiece is a red globe lantern with an artificial candle. The globe is circled with evergreen and red and white roping wraps in and out of the greenery.

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

The same red and white roping wraps around the silverware in a slip knot along with a fresh spring of pine. Simple to do!

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

The porch window valance is burlap tied up with red twine. Artificial greenery hangs down with red decorative ornaments interspersed at different levels.

 

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

In the corner are birch branches at different heights decorated with artificial pines and tiny lights. It goes with the woodland theme nicely. 

Christmas Idea House  2014  grandparentsplus.com

 

A wreath with red flowers, plaid ribbon, and highlighted with dried wheat tuffs circles the small lit lantern. It gives a cozy welcome to the home. 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

Around the light hangs 3- dimensional paper lanterns clustered together. 

Christmas Idea House 2014  grandparentsplus.com

On the other side of the porch is a simple, but beautiful display. Notice it is all contained in a commercial aluminum baking tray!  The fringed, red plaid blanket works perfectly to set everything off. 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

Another small birch tree in a pot is accented with a red and white paper medallion.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

 

Of course, there’s a bit of whimsy added with these cute red and white trolls on the little toboggan.

 

Christmas Idea House 2014   grandparentsplus.com

Did you find some new ideas to add to your decorating scheme this Christmas? Perhaps, it’s just a new way of displaying what you already have on hand.

Next time we’ll step into the main rooms for more inspiration!  Stay tuned ……

Hope you enjoyed the tour! 

Phyllis

 

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Snowman Gift Bag

This Snowman Gift Bag is a unique way of wrapping any small present. It’s a gift that will get noticed for sure! This DIY project is simple enough for kids to make, too! Use it as an art project in the classroom or a fun craft to do at home.

Snowman Gift Bag grandparentsplus.com

Do you give friends homemade candy at Christmas time? No need to buy those tins! Use these cute Snowman Gift Bags instead!

The materials are inexpensive and easy to find.

Materials:

White bakery bags or white lunch bags (I found these at Walmart next to the brown lunch bags – 50 bags for under $2.00)  The white lunch bags are slightly smaller than the bakery bags, but I’ll give you the adjusted sizes for each bag.

Orange and Black Fun Foam or Construction Paper (Fun Foam looks better, but either works)

2 black buttons

1  or 1  1/4 inch wide ribbon any color

1 small flower or yellow construction paper for a buckle (optional)

Permanent Marker or black crayon

 

Directions:

Fold the bakery bag down 3 1/2 inches. (Lunch bag size – fold down 3 inches) The top of the bag has one side that has a notch in it. Fold that notched side down so it is on the under side of the fold.

Snowman Gift Bag  grandparentsplus.com

Curve the folded bottom edge to look like the bottom half of a circle.

Snowman Gift Bag  grandparentsplus.com

For the hat, cut a black rectangle about 6  3/4 inches wide and  3  1/2 inches tall. (for the bakery bag)  For the lunch bag, make the rectangle about  5  3/4 inches by 3  1/2 inches.

Leave a brim of about 1  1/4 inch.  Cut in about an inch or so to form the top of the hat.

Add ribbon to the hat along with a flower or buckle.

Glue hat on top of the folded part of the bag.

Glue buttons on for eyes or draw black circles.

Add black dots with a permanent marker for the mouth.

Cut an orange triangle for a nose and add last.

Your bag is done!

Snowman Gift Bag  grandparentsplus.com

 

By making templates for the hat and nose, kids can easily handle this craft!  If using for a classroom project, drawing black circles for eyes cuts down on the cost of buttons.

Now, bag your homemade goodies in this cute Snowman Gift Bag and take to a neighbor or relative! These cute bags make great treat bags for a winter party or place a gift in it for a special child.  Whoever receives it, will be delighted!

Enjoy! 

Phyllis

 

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Tortellini and Sausage Soup

Sad to say, summer is gone and cold, chilly nights are upon us. This Tortellini and Sausage Soup really “hits the spot” and tastes so good on those dark, wintry nights. It’s quick and easy to put together, too. Leftovers, if you have any, freeze well for another time. This is one of my favorites!

 

Tortellini and Sausage Soup grandparentsplus.com

Tortellini and Sausage Soup
Recipe Type: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Serves 6
Wonderful combination of tortellini and sausage flavors in a tomato base.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. mild bulk Italian Sausage (or hot, if you like)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 cups beef broth
  • 1 qt. (28 oz. can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 3 carrots, slices
  • 1 pkg. cheese tortellini (9 oz.)
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage, onion and garlic together and drain.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until carrots are semi-tender.
  3. Add tortellini and boil gently 4-6 minutes

 

Tortellini and Sausage Soup grandparentsplus.com

 

I’m sure this will become one of your favorites, too!

Tortellini and Sausage Soup

 Enjoy!

 

Phyllis

 

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