Tag Archives: christmas

Merry Thriftmas!

17 Nov

My daughter with autism has 27 teachers, aides, therapists and bus drivers who interact with her on a daily basis. My son has 16 teachers from school, church and various activities. With Christmas around the corner, I’m trying to think of creative ways to stretchy my giving dollars so that everyone feels the appreciation they truly deserve.

Last week, I caught my dad chucking a bunch of old sheet music; his mother was a piano teacher and church organist. I snatched the weighty stack out of the recycle bin.

“What are you going to do with these?” he asked.

“I’ll think of something,” I said with a slight shrug.

Here’s the something thanks to google and the design guru behind the blog “Primp,” I have inspiration! Behold!!

Vintage Sheet Music Wreath Tutorial

I thought a vintage sheet music wreath would be a perfect addition to my evolving piano room. This one turned out similar to my first book page wreath. It was a very fun and addicting project, made with supplies purchased from either the dollar or thrift store. Total cost= $5!

Here’s what you need:

  • foam wreath
  • cream ribbon
  • glue gun
  • vintage sheet music
  • masking tape
  • a small cup

Let’s get started.

You could use any size foam wreath but the only one the dollar store had the day I went was this really wide one, so…

I just cut it right in half with a knife.

If you buy a thick one like me, just save the other half for when you want to make another book page wreath. Trust me you will–they’re addicting.

Wrap the wreath with a wide ribbon, glueing occasionally as you go. Or you could skip this whole step, especially if your wreath is white or cream.

This one was made out of florist foam and flaked every time I touched it so I definitely wanted to wrap it.

Now tear out about 50 pages of vintage sheet music. This is where it gets really fun. Once you get the idea of how to form each sheet into a cone shape it goes really quick.

This is how you do it:
Take a sheet and place your fingers on the two corners on the long side of the paper.

Keep your left hand still and with only your right hand wrap that corner around.

Continue to wrap in a forward motion.

Twist.

Twist.

Twist.

Keep twisting.

Now twist your left and right hands in opposite directions to tighten the cone.

You can twist a lot to make a skinnier cone or twist less and leave the cone opening bigger. Then secure with a small piece of masking tape.  I used a combination of skinny and big ones.

Once you have a big pile of these you are ready to glue.

Put your cup right in the middle.  This will help you get a nice size circle opening in the center.  You can vary the cup size depending on how big or small you want the opening to be.

Go all around the wreath hot gluing a single layer of cones to the wreath form.  Don’t worry if there are spaces or if it doesn’t look perfect, this layer will be covered up.  Continue with a second layer.

Hang using a piece of ribbon or fabric threaded around the back of the wreath form.  Right now my wreath hangs simply from a small nail but I envision it one day hanging in the middle of a shabby door or gate hung just above the piano.

Slow Down the Season…Please!

20 Dec

I’m having a near-panic attack this holiday season.  Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with shopping for the perfect gift.  (I’ve finished my shopping AND wrapping already, which is definitely a new record for me.  And it was no small feat – I have a LOT of people to buy for.)

My panic attack has to do with the fact that it feels like the season is slipping away too quickly, and I’m afraid I’m forgetting something.  I keep feeling like there’s more I should be feeling, more I should be squeezing out of this month.

Christmas is only days away, which has me worrying – what holiday-themed celebration have we missed?  What movies did we forget to watch?  What crafts did we neglect to do?  It’s almost too late!

Perhaps this is more of a general feeling I have about my life right now.  My kids, now 3 and 5, seem to be growing so fast I can’t hang onto anything.  Even my memories are hard to hang onto.  And today, my son is sporting his first loose tooth.  How did all of this happen before my very eyes?

Since my shopping obligations are complete, I plan to spend the rest of this week reveling in as much family time as I can get.  Let the housework go undone; let the laundry pile up.  I’m going to watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, and lay by the fire with my kids and husband.

And maybe by New Year’s we’ll have our first visit from the Tooth Fairy!

North Pole Express in Grapevine

16 Dec

This holiday season, check out the other great Christmas train – the North Pole Express in Grapevine.  For your train ticket, you get a fabulous holiday show, a stroll through the live Christmas tree maze, caroling, a reading of The Night Before Christmas, and a train ride with Santa himself.

While you’re there, check out the cool Fun Park, featuring a bounce house, concessions, a free ornament-making factory, and lots of holiday decorations.

Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas!

Riders 2 and up must purchase tickets.  Parking and shuttle are free from the Grapevine Public Library.  For dates and times, click here.

Ring in the Holidays!

16 Dec

Tonight from 6:00-7:30 pm, join the Bells of Celebration handbell group for a performance of holiday music at the Southwest Branch of the Arlington Public Library.

Hot chocolate, cookies, and a craft for the kids will also be provided.

Don’t forget to wear your pajamas!

The Southwest Branch is located at 3311 S.W. Green Oaks Boulevard.

Symphony Arlington Holiday Celebration

15 Dec

Join Symphony Arlington for a celebration of the holidays with music by Haydn, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, and more – plus the annual holiday sing-along!

Performance begins at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 16.

For tickets, visit www.symphonyarlington.org.

Holiday Bribery – Roundtable Discussion

13 Dec

Even though we do the whole “Santa thing” in our house, I really don’t like bribing my kids with presents in order to ensure their good behavior.  (I’m not saying that I’ve NEVER bribed my kids – I wish!  I remember months of my daughter demanding – and receiving – a lollipop every time she pooped on the potty.  I don’t care, it worked.)

For some reason, I just don’t like the idea of saying, “Hey, you need to behave or Santa won’t bring you any presents.”  Something about that rubs me the wrong way.  You shouldn’t refrain from hitting your brother just because you want a new bike!  So I basically try…and try…and try…to encourage good behavior simply because it’s the right thing to do.

And now, as many of you know, the world has been introduced to the Elf on the Shelf –  Santa’s little minion who hides around your house, spies on your kids, and then flies back to the North Pole every night to give behavior reports.  Good old-fashioned creepy Christmas fun!

So the kids are supposed to behave because the elf is taking notes, Santa is making a list, and they hope to get presents on Christmas morning.  While this may influence kids’ behavior in December, what about the rest of the year?

How do you handle your “holiday bribery”?  Do you push the Santa idea to keep your kids in line?  We’d love to hear from you!

Polar Express Pajama Party

10 Dec

The Fort Worth Science and History Museum is showing the IMAX version of The Polar Express again this holiday season.  And for even more fun, come join the Saturday Polar Pajama Parties!

The party starts at 9 am with hot chocolate and winter-related kids’ activities.  Kids (and grown-ups) are encouraged to attend in their jammies!  The museum mascot, Dynamo, will also be there, so be sure to bring your camera.  The movie begins at 10 am.

The morning of Saturday, December 11, is already sold out, but there are still seats available for the showing on Saturday, December 18.  Visit www.fwmuseum.org for more details.

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