Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This year, the urge to decorate for Christmas returned to me. Er, I can't believe that I have all of this stuff, but evidently, I do. I decided not to buy a big tree because there really isn't room for one as you can see from the photo of my, very small living room.

But, I have a few, little trees like this mini one. It has the red, painted bowtie pasta ornaments that my niece and nephew made in pre-school. My niece painted hers very meticulously covering the entire pasta. My newphew's was painted with a few broad strokes. I'm sure he tolerated the pasta painting for just a few moments before running off to play with all the other little boys. That's him in the photo probably about the age he painted the pasta.

Here is a trio of trees with some of my favorite ornaments.

The round pottery ornaments were too precious to hang on the tree.

I seem to have a lot of santas.

A lot.

I wanted to have the ornaments out that would have hung on the tree. So I placed them here and there on platters or baskets. It made me feel very festive!

Here is another little western table with barbed wire trees and an overdresed coyote.

And, of course, the Holy Family with a few Magi. I enjoyed Christmas so far this year, so much so that I am really looking forward to next year. And, in between, I wish everyone a very, Merry Christmas and a hopeful next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finished magnets

These are the finished magnets. I think they turned out quite nice considering they are photos from a date book glued onto magnets that came with the phone book.

This is a magnet that I made from a panforte wrapper. Panforte is the Italian version of fruitcake. The wrapper was so pretty but I didn't really have any purpose for it before it got a second life as a frig magnet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Recycled goods

Last year, I received a beautiful, spiral bound datebook about my favorite love, Italy. The datebook was made of a wonderfully thick cardstock and although, it was lovely, I had my regular, monthly datebook in which I scribble all of the things I am supposed to do and things I have done. Still, I kept the Italy calendar on my desk, opened to the nearest photo page, so when I glanced over, I would see the photo and smile. So, as the year comes to a close, I hated the thought of throwing the datebook away but didn't really want to store last year's calendar for an indefinite amount of time. (Yes, I am one of the millions of viewers who have made A&E's TV show, Hoarders, a hit.) After all, I have my own photos of Italy neatly stored on digital media or in albums. So, I leafed through the calendar, tearing out my favorite photographs thinking that I would make a collage or maybe just put them up on my bulletin board with a stickpin holding them in place.

But then, I found these gentlmen stuck on the refrigerator. They were lovely 4 inch by 4 inch advertising refrigerator magnets that came with last year's phone book.

Last year, I made a bunch of these smaller refrigerator magnets from scrapbooking materials. But the photos from the calendar were much larger and I didn't think that the scale would work for the size of the magnet.

So, I took a piece of scrap paper, put the magnet on the paper and used a exacto blade to cut the area of the magnet from the paper. I could then move this template around the photo to choose what portion of the photo to use for the refrigerator magnet. I guess the size works.

Unfortunately, I have to choose between these two possibilities for this photo of St. Peter's Basilica.

As much as I love the dome, the one below is the one I decided on.

So, carefully mark the limits of the photo from the template and cut it down to size ( I prefer to use a large paper cutter rather than scissors or, ack!, my rotary cutter). You may want to leave the photo just a bit bigger than the magnet and trim off any excess photo after gluing. If you cut your photo short, no problem! Just trim the magnet down. Lay down some newspaper to protect your work surface and spray adhesive on the non-magnetized side of the magnet and press the cut out photo on it. If you get any air between the photo and magnet, try to smoothe them out. Trim any excess photo and voila! Beautiful refrigerator magnets from Italy! (Photos tomorrow!)