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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/21/11

Monday, November 21, 2011

CHRISTMAS TREE MOBILE HOW TO!

   This comes form www.notmartha.org .  This looks retro for someone who like a non traditional christmas tree.

Christmas tree ornament mobile, how-to



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile
Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


Here is how I made my Christmas tree ornament mobile, it was easier than it looks, promise.

 

The Supplies



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


  • a 17″ steamer rack from a restaurant supply store
  • about 5 feet of lightweight jack chain
  • a small carabiner
  • 100 basic ornament hooks
  • one roll, 500 feet, monofilament jewelry string (not the stretchy sort)
  • 200 jewelry crimp beads or tubes
  • jewelry crimping tool
  • 100 lanyard hooks
  • 100 ornaments


Note: In the photo above I show earring wire instead of ornament hooks. I changed that later as I found ornament hooks made it far easier to move ornaments around after they’d been hung. Also, my supplies are based on a 4 foot tall mobile using almost 100 ornaments, you’ll need to adjust amounts if you make one larger or smaller.


Creating the Mobile Frame

Creating the frame for my ornament tree mobile turned out to be fairly simple. I used a lot of hooks to allow for easy adjustment and additions as the mobile was being assembled. I gathered materials from a restaurant supply store, a hardware store and the jewelry section of a craft store.


Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile



For the top of the mobile I needed something that would allow me to easily secure a lot of hanging points without them sliding around too much. The perfect thing turned out to be a 17-inch steamer rack bought for about $6 from a restaurant supply store (I found mine at Encore Restaurant Equipment in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle). The rack comes with folding feet attached that were easy to pop out with a little bending.



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


Turn the rack upside down and the spots where the legs were secured neatly become four hanging points.



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


I bought some inexpensive jack chain to use for hanging. You can open and close the links in the chain with needle nose pliers so there isn’t any need for heavy duty wire cutters. I separated four lengths of chain, attached them to the points using lanyard hooks found in the jewelry supply section of a craft store.



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


I joined the chains using another lanyard hook, and put that on a little carabiner which hung from the hook in the ceiling.
Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


Notes: Why so many hooks and bits? Because it makes it is simple to adjust and shorten the chain and can later be disassembled and reassembled with very little effort and without needing tools. I kept the same thing in mind when creating the lines that the ornaments were suspended from. This added a bit of visual clutter but made the entire thing mobile easy to adjust and reuse in another year.

Suspending the Ornaments



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


I used jewelry monofilament secured with crimp tubes to hold the ornaments. I simply created loops at both ends. I made a bunch of different lengths (details on that below). I secured each line to points in the rack grid using lanyard hooks, and hung a basic wire ornament hook at the bottom ends. The lanyard hooks at the top are strong enough to hold heavier ornaments, and because they close they won’t fall off if the mobile is bumped. The basic ornament hooks allow one to easily move ornaments around from one spot to another. My tip to you: Keep the lines as separate as possible while you’re working with them. I spent more time untangling clear threads than doing anything else on this project. It was maddening. After I discovered just how maddening I started hanging them in groups by length from a curtain rod and weighing them down with an ornament to keep them separated, doing this made the hanging of the ornaments go quickly.
Notes: The use of ornament hooks allows for ornaments to easily be moved around. It does add visual clutter, though. If you want to create a mobile that would only be used once securing the monofilament line directly to the ornaments would look much tidier. I initially planned to use earring wire hooks that closed to hang the ornaments but quickly found that they were frustrating to fiddle with every time I wanted to move an ornament from one spot to another. They were prettier, though, and because those close as well would hold ornaments more securely if the mobile is moved around. (Which I don’t suggest as it tangles the lines horribly. So horribly.) Crimp tools come in three sizes Micro, Regular and Mighty (large). I used the regular size. I did try to use nylon sewing thread but found that the crimps didn’t secure it well enough. I did consider using nylon sewing thread with micro crimp beads and the micro crimping tool but think one would need a lot of patience and really great lighting to get all that done. The monofilament jewelry string is pretty stiff and easy to work with.

Determining Placement and Lengths


Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


Figuring out where to put the hanging points on the rack involved a bit of math, most all of which I abandoned. I’ll do my best to describe what I did.
I decided to create rings on the rack, with the longer threads hanging on the outside rings to create the cone tree shape. Actually it creates tiers, think a tall skinny wedding cake. I figured that my ornaments were usually about 2 or 3 inches in diameter so I needed to space the rings a little more than 1 inch apart so that the ornaments would have room to hang without being crowded by the longer threads around them. I spaced the rings about 1.5 inches apart. This gave me a center point and 6 rings to work with, with the last ring being the outer edge of the rack, like so:


Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

I determined I wanted my tree to be about four feet in total height from the top ornament to the bottom. I made the first ornament, the center point, hang 3.5 inches, and added length from there. For my needs, each set of string needed to be 1.75 inches longer than the last. Each ring on the hanging rack held for different lengths of string. I added 2 inches to the length of string I actually cut to allow for the loops.
To figure out how many ornaments per ring I, well, completely made it up. I decided the first ring should hold seven ornaments and went up by four from there. So the number of ornaments went: 1, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27. I divided the four lengths of string between those, giving the longest length more ornaments to help the triangle effect. Whew. So I cut this many at these lengths for these rings:


  • For the Center Point: 5.5″
  • For Ring 1: one at 7.25″, one at 9.0″, two at 10.75″, three at 12.5″
  • For Ring 2: two at 14.25″, two at 16.0″, three at 17.75″, four at 19.5″
  • For Ring 3: three at 21.25″, three at 23.0″, four at 24.75″, five at 26.5″
  • For Ring 4: four at 28.25″, four at 30.0″, five at 31.75″, six at 33.5″
  • For Ring 5: five at 35.25″, five at 37.0″, six at 38.75″, seven at 40.5″
  • For Ring 6: six at 42.25″, six at 44.0″, seven at 45.75″, eight at 47.5″


Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


In order to make the measuring a cutting go as quickly as possible I taped a cloth measuring tape to a tabletop and marked each length with the number I needed to cut with sticky notes. So all it took was to stretch some string out and clip at the needed point. Keep these in groups at this point forward, it will make it far easier later. I looped and crimped the ends, then hung them in groups on a curtain rod weighted down by an ornament.


Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


To figure out where my rings would fall on the rack I tied a cotton string to my center point and marked it at 1.5 inch intervals. Then I swung the string around and put as many hooks as I needed on each given ring. I usually put them on the X and Y axis first, then filled in the quadrants. It went faster than it sounds, promise. I spaced the hooks, aka the hanging points, like so:



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


Looking up at the mobile from below you can sort of see the rings emerging:



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile


And after this I attached a hook into my ceiling and hung the rack. I found the best way to hang everything is to work from the center out, hang each set of lengths of monofilament string spacing it around it’s designated ring as evenly as possible, then hang ornaments before moving on to the next set of lengths of string. By weighing the strings down as you go along it will help them from getting tangled as you work. You can add or move string, and move ornaments around if needed. I didn’t worry too much about getting everything just perfect and I think it worked to my advantage, the slightly controlled randomness gives it a nicely organic look. At least I hope so.



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile



If I were to do it again I would make my tree taller and more dramatic. I think I would try to squeeze in one more ring and stagger the ornaments with even more lengths of string, maybe in increments by the inch. As it was I found that there are lots of spots where two of the same length are side by side. If I had more money to devote I would buy glass ornaments that don’t have a metal cap, just a glass loop at the top, and would skip the ornament hooks to make it look tidier.



Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile



I’m growing more and more fond of the mobile with clear glass ornaments.


update:
Here is a photo of the mobile taken apart and ready for storage, the ornament hooks in a bag and each set of lengths of string committed to it’s own numbered envelope. The envelopes were orphans from previous years of Christmas cards that I had saved (reuse!). I left the hanging hooks on the rack so when I return to put it up again next year it will be very quick and easy.

6ABC DUNKIN DONUTS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA!

File:6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade.jpg

   The 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade  is an annual Thanksgiving Day Santa Claus parade held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, currently sponsored and aired by WPVI-TV. Its currently the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country. It was formerly known as the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 6abc Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and originally the Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade until Gimbels department store closed in 1987.

History

   Started in 1920, the Philadelphia parade is billed as the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country. Like other parades of its type, it features balloons, floats, high school marching bands, and celebrities. When the parade was begun, it was called the Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ellis Gimbel, one of the founders of Gimbels Department Stores, wanted his toyland to be the destination of holiday shoppers everywhere. He had more than 50 store employees dressed in costume and sent to walk in their first Thanksgiving Day parade. Another big part of the parade was seeing Santa Claus arrive. Gimbels created the Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States, and his example led to the founding of similar parades in other cities. The retail parade tradition continues today. When BATUS Inc. was unable to find a buyer for Gimbels in 1986, the department store chain was liquidated; the fate of the country's oldest parade was up in the air.




   Boscov's (a family-owned department store based in Reading, Pennsylvania) and WPVI (self-named "6abc" in its programs and promotions) took over sponsorship. They renamed the event as the 6abc Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
   In 2004, the parade celebrated its 85th anniversary with new balloons and floats. An opening number paid tribute to the celebrities who had participated in the parade during its history. In 2005 the parade had the most stars in the parade's history, as well as eight new balloons, more than ever before. In 2007, the parade presented the first parade float with an ice rink on it, used by Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour (WPVI and High School Musical are both owned by Disney).
   In August 2008, Boscov's Department Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and planned to close several stores, due to financial problems from the widespread recession. They gave up sponsorship of the parade. The Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA, whose North American home office and a major store are located in nearby Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, took over sponsorship until 2010.
In June 2011, it was announced that Dunkin' Donuts would sponsor the parade.



Television coverage

   Although the Parade is broadcast by WPVI, the parade is also syndicated to television stations throughout the United States and can be seen world wide on the station's website 6abc.com. Good Morning America, ABC's national morning show, sends a reporter to the parade each year and covers pre-parade festivities.
   The first people to host the parade were Jim O'Brien and Dave Roberts. After the sudden death of O'Brien in 1983, WPVI's Lisa Thomas-Laury "took the reins" as Roberts' co-host. They hosted the parade together for nearly 20 years until Thomas-Laury began to experience health problems in 2003. This led to WPVI weather anchor Cecily Tynan taking over for Thomas-Laury. In 2006, the parade was broadcast in high definition (HDTV) for the first time.
   Since her return to Action News, Thomas-Laury helped host the final portion of the parade in 2005 and in 2006. In 2009, the station announced that Roberts would retire from broadcasting on December 11 of that year. Thomas-Laury made a special appearance in the 2009 parade to celebrate Roberts's years as host. The current hosting team is Tynan and WPVI news anchor Rick Williams,  who replaced Roberts.



 Balloons

   Balloons have been created to represent a wide variety of characters from popular children's books, including folk tales; toys, comic books, animated movies (cartoons), TV series (such as Sesame Street), films and other genres. Increasingly over the years, the balloons have featured characters who have tie-in marketing of toys, games and accessories.



Stars, performers, and acts

   In addition to the well-known balloons and floats, the parade also features live music and other performances. High-school marching bands from across the country participate in the parade, and the television broadcasts feature performances by famous singers and bands. Since 1997, the parade has also featured a tap routine called "FanTAPulous", with more than 450 dancers from the East Coast. Other special guests include state and national beauty contest winners, cheerleaders of major sports teams, casts from musicals performing in Philadelphia, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.





 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Holiday Food Drive
   The parade sponsors also organize a related food drive, one of the largest in the nation. (In recent years, until 2006, it was called the 6abc/Boy Scouts Holiday Food Drive). The food drive distributes paper bags to residents' homes and collection boxes at local stores in the region. A few weeks later, they are picked up and sent to help those in need at Thanksgiving and the end of year holidays. The Boy Scouts also go to the parade route every year and collect food from spectators. The parade and food drive sponsors are generally the same.  It was announced in June 2011 that Dunkin' Donuts would also co-sponsor the food drive.

THANKSGIVING HISTORY!






  The popular story is that the Plymouth Rock was the site of the original colony of the pilgrims. Contrary to this belief, however, Plymouth Rock was not the site of their original colony. The fact about the history of thanksgiving is that when the Pilgrims landed on the Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620 in search of fresh provisions, they were greeted with hostility by the natives in the immediate vicinity and put back out to sea almost at once.
   Then a little further south, the pilgrims came across Cape Cod, which was much more favorable anchorage as compared to the Plymouth Rock. And the positive thing about Cape Cod was that here the native population was more cordial in nature. Weary from their voyage and in no mood to hunt down the site mandated by their charter, which was considerably further down the coast and somewhere within the limits of the original grant of the Virginia Company of Plymouth, the Pilgrims decided to establish their colony within this friendly territory.




   That year the initial harsh Massachusetts winters killed approximately one-half of the original 102 pilgrims in the new territory. Whereas in the following Spring that is in 1621, the Indians, under the guidance of two brave persons named Samoset, of the Wampanoag Tribe and Squanto, of the Patuxtet Tribe, taught the survivors how to plant corn, called 'maize' by the natives, and how to catch alewives, a variety of the herring family, in order that the fish might be used as a fertilizer to growing pumpkins, beans and other crops. Samsoset and Squanto also instructed the Pilgrims in the arts of hunting and angling. That year by the summer season, despite poor crops of peas, wheat and barley, a good corn yield was expected and the pumpkin crop was bountiful.
   In early autumn in order to recognize the help offered to the pilgrims by the Indians and to give thanks for having survived, the Governor, William Bradford, arranged for a harvest festival. Four men were sent 'fowling' after ducks and geese. Turkey may or may not have been a part of the forthcoming meal because the term 'turkey' was used by the Pilgrims to mean any type of wild fowl.




   This harvest festival lasted three days. Governor William Bradford invited Massasoit, local sachem or chief of the Wampanoag to the festival. Massasoit attended the festival with 90 other Indians from the various Eastern Woodlands Tribes. And they all participated in the ceremony. There is again little doubt that the majority of the feast was most likely furnished by the indigenous population and not by the pilgrims. It is certain that they provided venison.
   The remainder of the meal, eaten outdoors around large tables, probably included the items such as fish, berries, boiled pumpkin, watercress, leeks, lobster, dried fruit, clams, wild plums and cornbread. The celebration of this first New England Thanksgiving is believed to have taken place sometime between September 21 and November 9.
   The event, however, was a one-time celebration. It was not repeated the following year, nor was it intended to be an annual festival. It was not until 55 years later than another Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed, when the Governing Council of Charlestown, Massachusetts convened on June 20, 1676 to weigh how to best express thanks for the good fortune that had secured the establishment of their community. By unanimous vote, Edward Rawson, the Clerk of the Council, was instructed to announce June 29 as a Day of Thanksgiving. Yet again, this proved to be only a one-time event.

CRANBERRY APPLE BAKE! MMMMMM!

   This recipe comes from www.mccormickgourmet.com.  Tired of the traditional pumpkin recipes.  Try this neat twist with cranberries and apples and all in single serving size, so everybody gets one of their own.





This elegant dessert tastes as good as it looks. A warm hint of allspice is the special secret ingredient.

Makes 8 servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Nutritional Information

For 1 serving
Calories: 323
Sodium: 133mg
Fat: 15g
Carbohydrates: 44g
Cholesterol: 56mg
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 3g


Cranberry-Apple Bake

Ingredients


3 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Allspice, Ground
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix apples, cranberries, walnuts, 2/3 cup of the sugar, raisins, orange peel and allspice in large bowl. Spread mixture evenly in bottom of buttered 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.

2. Place egg, flour, melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, extracts and salt in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spoon batter evenly over fruit mixture.

3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is brown and a toothpick inserted in center of topping comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.