Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Traveling Nativity Christmas Countdown

Grace is finally old enough this year that she is getting really excited about Christmas activities. She even helped decorate the Christmas tree, hanging three cupcake ornaments on one branch and four donut ornaments on another. Because she's having so much fun, I wanted an activity we could do everyday for her to look forward to. I considered an Advent calendar with small activities each day or Elf on the Shelf. But to be honest, both sounded like too much work.

Then I remember something my mom did for a few years when I was growing up. Instead of setting up our entire nativity scene at the beginning of the holidays, she just set up the stable and the animals. Then, we moved Mary and Joseph around the window sills in our house on their "journey" to Bethlehem. On Christmas Eve, we added baby Jesus and the shepherds. And a few days after Christmas, we added the three wise men. 

I purchased a wooden nativity set that is perfect for Grace to move each day. By perfect, I mean she can't break it! Last year, she was fascinated with the sheep from the nativity in our living room. She grabbed it one night, along with the nearby garland, sending baby Jesus flying across the room and breaking a poor shepherd in half. The nativity set is from Mary & Martha for those that are interested!

I however do not have as many windows in my house as we had growing up, so I had to think of a few other places Mary and Joseph might visit on their journey. I created a FREE printable to help plan Mary and Joseph's journey through my home. Feel free to download it and try your own traveling nativity this year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Flight Attendant Costume and Pillbox Hat Tutorial

I haven't outgrown my love of dressing up for Halloween. Every year, I look for some excuse to dress up. This year, I planned a date night for Blake and I that included a trolley tour to haunted places around town, and the tour company encouraged costumes!

As much as I love dressing up, I'm not a fan of spending a lot on something I'm going to wear for a few short hours. So, I usually try to pull together a costume made mainly of things I already down. This year that costume was a flight attendant. I had the dress, the shoes and the aircrew pin (thank you husband who once flew around in helicopters for a living!). What I needed was a scarf (super cheap to buy) and a hat (not so cheap to buy). I decided to see if I could make one.

It wouldn't have passed Pan Am uniform inspection, but it did impress a couple of ladies on the tour with us, so I'm considering it a success! Oh, and it only cost $5 to make.

Here's what I needed to make it:
  • 1 piece of foam that is 18 inches long
  •  2 pieces of felt in the color you want your hat to be
  • Tacky Glue
  • Thread in the color of your hat
  • Thick elastic
  • Button for embellishment 

Step 1: Cut a strip of foam that is 18 inches long and 2 1/2 include wide. Connect the ends together with a piece of elastic. I fitted it to my head to get the elastic the right size for me and would stay on my head. I then stapled it to the foam.

Step 2: Cut pieces of felt that is 18 1/2 inches long and 3 1/2 includes wide. A couple of notes: 1) I actually used two pieces of felt that were about 10 inches long. I had them overlap on the sides. 2) If I did it again, I would make the felt wider to make it easier to glue. I think four inches would be about right. Using Tacky Glue, glue the foam pieces to the middle of your felt. Let it set to dry.

Step 4: Fold the felt over the edge of the foam and glue it into place. I used clothes pins to keep it in place while it dried and worked in sections instead of doing it all at once.

Step 5: Next came making the top. I laid the hat in the middle of a piece of felt and traced around it, making a circle that was about an 1 inch wider than the hat. I put it inside the hat and glued it in just a few places to hold it in place. Once dry, I stitched around the edge between the top and sides of the hat. It was just a quick, messy whip stitch.

 Step 6: I sewed a button on one of the seams from the overlapping pieces of felt for a little embellishment.


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