Thanksgiving is over and the next set of holidays are barreling down on us. 11 days until Hanukkah starts, 25 days until Christmas Eve, and 27 days to Kwanzaa. The Winter Solstice is 22 days away and New Year’s Eve is in a month. All of these holidays have different meanings to different groups of people. However, they all make us think about family, our future, relationships we have with others in our communities, and giving of ourselves.
This year has been one full of unexpected paths. I think everyone has been affected in some way. We have all also been effected in many ways. Many people needed help with basics needs due to shutdowns from the pandemic. Many never expected to need help, many were and are fortunate to not need help. Help has been given and received very differently by most of us and may be the ongoing norm for a while. How and where we gather changes daily. Large family gatherings, large parties, large anything were not and are not recommended. As much as I want to see my family, I don't want to expose or be exposed to this virus. I will take the vaccine when it is available to me and hope this will get this virus under control. I would like to see the world return to what we considered "normal" a year ago, maybe. Maybe we can change the world and it will be better because of all of this. I want my grandchildren and their children to have a clean, healthy, vibrant world to live in.
This past weekend was much quieter in the shopping world, in stores and on-line. Black Friday sales have been going on all month, so the crowds were smaller. Today is the day for online specials. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Which day will see the most spending this year? My hope is for tomorrow.
Giving this year may be different along with everything else. For those of you at home, with or without company (children, other relatives and/or house mates), making something may be a nice choice of things to do.
Ornaments can be made from cinnamon and applesauce. Start with about ½ cup of applesauce. Mix in about ¾ cup of ground cinnamon until it forms a non-sticky dough. Roll out so it’s about ¼” thick and cut out shapes. You may want to cover your surface with cinnamon to help keep the dough from sticking to it. Once cut, make a hole at the top with a pencil point, straw, or chopstick. It needs to be big enough for a piece of yarn to thread through for hanging. You can oven dry (low temp) or air dry them. You can use cookie sheets to dry the ornaments in the oven. Wax paper works well for air drying. You may need to turn them over at some point if you air dry the ornaments.These are great to put on kitchen cabinet doors. The cinnamon smell will be there every time you open and close the cabinet door.
Baking soda & cornstarch dough makes ornaments that are bright and sparkly white.
- 2 cups Baking soda
- 1 cup Cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.Stir in cool water and mix completely. Set pan over medium heat and stir constantly.At about 5-7 minutes, mixture will begin to turn slightly golden or toasted,then it will begin to bubble. Continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes as it thickens and comes together. Transfer to a glass bowl. Cover with a damp cloth.Let mixture cool for at least one hour.
- Knead cooled dough until smooth. You can add food coloring/paste at this point if you want your dough a specific color. Divide the dough and do several colors. Roll out to desired thickness, using more cornstarch if needed to keep it from sticking. Stamp or press rolled dough if desired (stamps, cookie stamps, or found items). Cut with cutters, being sure to cut out a hole for hanging. I used a chopstick, but a drinking straw will also work.
- Let ornaments dry for 24 hours. You can paint the ornaments at this point if you choose.
QA is having a few classes this month to help you finish and make some quick projects. Click here to sign up for any class.
This Thursday we are doing a binding basics class at 5:30 pm.
Saturday morning (Dec. 5th at 10:30am) we are doing a pop-up class. You can stay and sew for the afternoon. After you make the first one, repeating the process is easy and quick. The pop-ups nest inside each other, so they are also space saving! These make great wrappings for presents and can be used for many things – laundry baskets, toy baskets, scrap/trash baskets to put on desks or take to sewing retreats (when we can do this again!).
Saturday, Dec. 12th at 10:30, we are doing a class on microwave safe bowls. You can make one in class and stay to make more for the day. Just like the pop-ups, you can’t make just one.
We look forward to seeing your finished projects this month. We’re trying to keep batting in for you. Also, we can help figure out how much fabric you will need for backing and batting. Remember the back is the back and can be its own second side. :0)
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend and we look forward to seeing you this month.
Phyllis and the QA Staff