Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Note to self

for next Advent and Christmas...

Take Advent box down on Martinmas.  After years of waiting until the weekend after Thanksgiving to get my advent box down it occurred to me this year that just a bit earlier would help me plan in advance and finish more homemade items.  Maybe I'll even finish my Jesse Tree ornaments that I started two years ago!  Four down, twenty more to go!

Compile Advent play list. This year's favorites for Advent were "Gabriel's Message" (surprisingly I really like the version by Sting) and "Adam Lay ybounden". 

Order pearlized paper for stars.  At a small workshop over a year ago at the Fiber Craft Studio I learned to make Moravian Stars.  For our homeschooling group I offered to bring supplies and show others.  And then I couldn't find my directions.  This video helped me the most but there are many others.  I did manage to get back in the groove and walked a small group through their first star.  The ones Aidan and I made we brought to Hannah for her very first Christmas tree.  Once you get the hang of them they are very soothing and satisfying to make.  My paper strips were a mat color but I think a pearlized color would look great on the tree.
These will make a pretty garland for January.

Collect aluminum cans early to make these.  What a pretty garland these would make!

Buy wrapping paper and tape early!!  I did okay on wrapping paper but when you discover that the grocery store is completely out of tape on Dec. 23rd and you have to have your daughter go out to find tape..let's just not do that again.

Pay more attention to the evergreens.  Our Advent wreath worked so well this year - I picked up a plain wreath from a local garden stand and this variety dried so nicely - it stayed the same nice green but I had hardly any needles fall.   I will also have Aidan make another little beeswax man - he made one this year for no particular reason but the little guy was so joyful looking that he took the place of honor by the fourth candle.
I also thought the rose candle that Katie brought back from Europe added a nice touch. 
"Furrows be glad, though Earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there,
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish,
People look East and sing today!
Love the rose, is on the way!"

But my choice of Christmas tree did not work so well.  I think it was a white pine - I was looking for something soft after years of getting pricked from our usual choice of a blue spruce.  But our tree this year was a little too soft -
No matter how I tried I just could not get my candles to stand up straight consistently.  This was the first year in many that we did not light the candles on the tree.  So it may be back to blue spruce next year.

Bake!  We made a Yule log for my birthday cake this year - great gluten free cake.  We tried one recipe with cocoa powder which had a slightly bitter taste - but it may have been our cocoa and then one with melted semi-sweet chips - so good with a mocha whipped cream.  I'd like to meringue mushrooms to go with it next year.  And these almost look like little acorns.

Until next year.....

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