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21  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Pomander balls with tutorial on: December 05, 2013 05:46:04 AM
FIY:  This time around, I used less cloves than I have in the past, since a few instructions I saw said the number of cloves doesn't matter.  It didn't sound right to me, but I put on less, anyway.  Apparently it does matter, since one of them rotted.  The others are fine.  I'm going to try orris root or talcum for the next batch.  But also be aware that where I live, it's very, very humid and things rot easily.
22  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Pomander balls with tutorial on: December 04, 2013 11:09:30 AM
I have made a few of these over the past few years but found some of them turned mouldy rather than drying out.  No reason why some did and some didn't but then I started to roll them in talcum powder and that seems to stop them moulding. I currently have one sitting on top of my dehumidifyer and the house smells gorgeous.

I've heard you can also use orris root, but haven't tried it myself.
23  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Pomander balls with tutorial on: December 04, 2013 05:33:14 AM
Tell me, how does the spice mixture 'stick' to the pomander?

A little of it just naturally sticks to the skin, but much of it gets embedded in the ball end of the cloves.
24  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: 2013 Christmas Tree Along! on: December 01, 2013 03:39:08 PM
Ooh, I love Christmas tree photos!  We have an artificial tree (which in my opinion aren't nearly as pretty, but the husband hates real ones for some reason).  It's up and on, but I'm going to be doing some Doctor Who ornaments and a felt garland before posting.

The fun thing is that parts of our tree is like a scrap book.  When we take a trip, we always pick up an ornament and write the year on it.
25  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Pine Cone Wreath with Tutorial on: November 27, 2013 09:37:15 AM
Thanks, everyone!  I really need to take a photo on a day where there is some sun.
26  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Creepy-Cute White Rabbit Plushie (Zombified Alice's BFF) on: November 27, 2013 06:19:36 AM
I know it's supposed to be creepy, but it's also soooo adorable!
27  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Re: Coach inspired bag on: November 27, 2013 06:18:34 AM
So cute!
28  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: 10th and 11th Doctor Owl Ornaments on: November 26, 2013 12:51:27 PM
EEEE!  I love it!!!
29  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Pine Cone Wreath with Tutorial on: November 26, 2013 08:05:31 AM
I made this wreath last year, but after so many door openings and closings, and being moved around when I stored the Christmas decorations, some of the pine cones fell off and others settled so what used to be a full wreath had tons of room.  I made some new pine cones to fill it out for this year, and figured this would be a good time for a tutorial on how I did it.

What you'll need:
Lots-o-pine cones
spray paint and sealer
hot glue
wire coat hanger
wire, craft rings, paper clips, or other bits you can make into a small circle
ribbon and bow to finish

I took the kids to gather pine cones along a nature path (only fallen ones, of course).  But, since we live in a very sandy area, every pine cone is covered with sand.  I rinsed them off, laid them out to air dry for a few hours, then oven dried them for a bit longer on a low temperature to remove the rest of the moisture and kill any bugs.  I used a really, really low temperature, around the 150F mark.  If you oven dry, make sure you use a low temperature and don't leave it.  You don't want an oven fire.

After the pine cones are dry, spray paint them, follow with a sealer, and allow to dry.  You will have to turn the pine cones at some point, and don't forget the underside.

Next, take your craft rings or bits of wire and hot glue them onto the tops of the pine cones.  It doesn't matter if you get them centered.  They'll just lay differently on the wreath.  Don't be stingy with the glue, especially if you intend on using the wreath on your front door.  It will see a lot of shaking and needs to hold up to that.

Take a wire coat hanger, form it into a circle, and untwist the top.  Thread the pine cones onto the coat hanger through the loops in the top.

Arrange the pine cones as you go.  It takes more than you'd think.  When you can't get any more on, close the top of the hanger, make a final arrangement on the pine cones, and wrap the top and hook in a decorative ribbon.  Add a bow.

Ta-da!  If after a few days you notice the pine cones are moving around too much with the door opening and closing, you can add a bit of glue at different points to hold the pine cones in place.

30  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Pomander balls with tutorial on: November 25, 2013 04:14:43 PM
I'm glad you guys are going to give them a try.  They are so fun and easy.  My dining room already smells awesome, and I just did them between yesterday and today.
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