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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 12/26/12

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DIY WINE CHARMS!

This diy comes from www.centsationalgirl.com . What better way to give a gift  and it will also work to tell everyone's champagne or wine glasses apart too. Enjoy!


DIY Wine or Champagne Glass Charms


That time of year is here again – we’ve got guests visiting from all over just about every weekend until the end of the year. With all the festivities planned over the next few months, I wanted to make some wine glass charms to help keep everyone’s glass identified during all the celebrating.
I first found out about an embossing powder called Amazing Glaze that hardens to a resin from my friend Cathe, she had used it to to make a memory pet tag and decal penny pendant in the past and I really wanted to try it out! I ordered the powder, some pendant bases and earwires, then came up with several versions of DIY wine glass charms. The first are these blingy sparklers which will work for just about any occasion.


diy wine glass charms



With the right supplies, these are so easy to make! Find some earwires, pendant bases, and some Amazing Glaze, and you’re in business (my sources below).


amazing glaze and charms



The sparkling gem versions were made with simple colorful glitter from my stash that was layered along the bottom of the pendant base, then topped with a small amount of the powder glaze (seen below).


glitter and glaze


Using aluminum foil beneath, I simply baked the first layer of powder inside the pendants in a 350 degree oven for two minutes and allowed it to cool for 5 minutes. Then I applied two more thin layers following the same technique, 2 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the powder melts and turns clear.
It hardens into a resin to make these little gems for your wineglass!


diy sparkle wine glass charms


Next, I experimented with some round numbered stickers from the scrapbook section of my local craft store to create these numbered versions. I noticed anything using paper tends to get a little muddied, and I suspect if you used a home printer to create a design on paper, the ink may bleed. But these raised numbered stickers turned out to look pretty good with two layers of the Amazing Glaze powder turned resin on top.
Before:


numbered stickers


After:


diy numbered wine glass charms



I had some fun making a set of holiday charms too since we always throw a big Christmas party every year. Fine white glitter mixed with the Amazing Glaze powder forms the base. They’re topped with more vellum ornament and gift stickers and given another thick coat of the Glaze, kinda cute.


christmas wine glass charms



You can even skip the charms and use beads or vintage buttons or whatever you want. For the monogram charms below, I used some leftover metal button cover kits and paired them with some clear letter stickers. I made a small hole in the top with a nail, then melted a few thin coats of the Amazing Glaze powder over them in the oven.


monogram stickers

Hey, a tag for all my favorite drinkers!
*hiccup*


diy monogram wine glass charms



No need to use this method for just wine glass tags, it works just as well for making charms for necklaces or bracelets too.


christmas charms on necklace bracelet
glitter charms on bracelet


Yes it’s true, the blingy glitter versions are my most fave, and I think they’d be really fab in vivid colors. I found the pendant bases at Rubber Nation and the wine glass earwires at FeatherBoutique on Etsy. Amazing Glaze is available on Amazon, $10 for 2 ounces but I have well over an ounce left over after making all these wine glass charms. I imagine you could make several dozen with one 2 ounce jar.



diy wine glass charms cg


They’re a fun and useful holiday gift idea for your friends and family so get together with your pals and make a whole bunch of them, just make sure you invite me to your craft party cause I’ll bring the wine.
smiley_thumb6
xo,
cg kate signature

THE STORY OF THE CHRISTMAS CAKE!



The Christmas Cake as we know it today comes from two customs which became one around 1870 in Victorian England. Originally there was a porridge, the origins of which go back to the beginnings of Christianity. Then there was a fine cake made with the finest milled wheatflour, this was baked only in the Great Houses, as not many people had ovens back in the 14th century.

PLUM PORRIDGE

Originally people used to eat a sort of porridge on Christmas Eve. It was a dish to line the stomach after a day's fasting, which people used to observe for Christmas Eve, or the 'Vigil' as it was called long ago. Gradually, they began to put spices, dried fruits, honey etc in the porridge to make it a special dish for Christmas. Much later it was turned into a pudding, because it got to be so stiff with all the fruits and things, that they would tie it in a cloth, and dunk it into a large cauldron of boiling water and boil it for many hours. This turned into Christmas Pudding.




PLUMCAKE

Later, around the 16th century, it became popular to add butter, replace the oatmeal with wheatflour, add eggs to hold it together better. This became boiled plumcake. So boiled plum pudding and boiled fruitcake existed side by side depending on which ingredients the housewife used.
Only big houseS had proper ovens to bake in. In the castles and fine homes, people would make a special cake for Easter, which was a rich fruitcake recipe with a topping of what we now call marzipan or almond paste. A similar cake was baked for the Christmas festivities, but whereas the Easter one was a plain cake with almonds, the Christmas one had dried fruits in season and spices. These represented the exotic spices of the East, and the gifts of the Wise Men . Such things were first brought to Europe and Britain particularly, by the Crusaders coming back from the wars in the Holy Land in the 12th century.



TWELFTH NIGHT CAKE

But it was not a Christmas cake, but a Twelfth Night Cake. Twelfth night is on the 5th January, and has been for centuries the traditional last day of the Christmas season.. It was a time for having a great feast, and the cake was an essential part of the festivities. This was slightly different in different countries, and also at different social levels.
In the GREAT HOUSES, into the cake was baked a dried Bean and a Pea. one in one half and the other in the other half. The cake was decorated with sugar, like our icing, but not so dense, and ornamentation. As the visitors arrived, they were given a piece of the cake, ladies from the left, gentlemen from the right side. Whoever got the bean became King of the Revels for the night, and eveyone had to do as he said. The lady was his Queen for the evening.
In smaller homes, the cake was a simple fruitcake, with a bean in it, which was given to guests during the twelve days of Christmas. Whoever got the bean was supposed to be a kind of guardian angel for that family for the year, so it was an important task, and usually, it was arranged that a senior member of the family would get the bean! This was observed until recently in Poland in fact.
In Britain the cake was baked as part of the refreshments offered to the priest and his entpourage who would visit on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6th, to bless each house in the parish. this custom died out after the Reformation in the late 16th century.. In Mallorca, the main island of the Spanish Balearics Islands, they have a similar custom which takes place at Easter.
The festive cake in Britain was revived at the end of the 17th century, and became very much part of the Twelfth night partying again. It is recorded In royal households, that the cakes became extravagantly large, and the guests divided into two side could have a battle with models on the cake! One battle was a sea battle, and there were minature water canon on the cake which really worked!





TWELFTH NIGHT

This is the Church festival of Ephiphany. The traditional day when Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi or Three Kings at Bethlehem. It used to be the time when people exchanged their Christmas gifts. The feast was marked, as were all the old feasts, by some kind of religious observance. A visit to the church, a service or some kind, and then a folk observance which was tightly wrapped up as part of the Church activities. As we have seen, Twelve Day (the day following Twelfth Night) entailed the blessing of the home, and in some countries is still observed. But after the Reformation, these customs of the Church were banned by the Puritans, and fell into disuse. Without its religious overtones, Twelfth Night became a time of mischief and over indulgence. By 1870, Britains Queen Victoria announced that she felt it was inappropriate to hold such an unchristian festival, and Twelfth Night was banned as a feastday.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE CHRISTMAS CAKE

The confectioners who made the cakes were left with boxes full of figurines and models for Twelfth Cakes, and also had lost revenue by the banning of the feast. So they began to bake a fruitcake and decorate it with snowy scenes, or even flower gardens and Italian romantic ruins. These they sold not for the 5th January, but for December Christmas parties. And it was thus that we developed the Christmas cake.



BOILED PLUM CAKE FOR THE COLONIES

People in Britain began to make the boiled fruitcake to send to their families who had gone to the new world colonies - in Australia, Canada, etc. and to send to those who worked on the missions. The boiled cakes lasted bestter than the baked ones, and in those days of the 19th century, they could take many weeks or months even to cross the world by ship. These cakes were usually sent as part of a Christmas Hamper of food and presents, and this way the tradition of Christmas cake, often eaten with a piece of cheese or apple pie, became known all over the world.
The Americans in turn were getting cakes sent from all parts of Europe by relatives in the 'Old Country'. Then in the 1890's a German immigrant opened a cake bakery in a small town, and began to bake cakes which the Americans in turn would send to their relatives back in Europe. This cake was based on a traditional Christmas cake, but contained many of the fruits which were grown in the Americas. This cake is now sent out to countries all over the world by the bakery, and is probably the most popular Christmas Cake today!

CHRISTMAS IN FINLAND!






    In Finland, Christmas is celebrated from 24th to 26th of December. Preparations for the festival begin from approximately a month ago with many Finnish people buying the Christmas tree, decorative items and gifts and goodies for the season. Houses are cleaned and special treats like gingerbread cookies and prune tarts prepared for the oncoming festive season. In Finland, Santa might also be known as Joulupukki!
    The first Sunday in December (also called the First Advent) starts the Finnish Christmas season. Christmas lights begin to appear in the stores along with gifts, goods and goodies for the festival. Children count the days to the festival making their own Christmas calendar with some great pictures related to the Christmas theme or even some chocolate caramel.











    In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Fir trees are felled, tied onto sleds, and taken home to be decorated beautifully with candies, paper flags, cotton, tinsel, apples and other fruits. Candles are used for lighting the trees. Many women make a visit to some local sauna to groom themselves for the occassion.
    Christmas here is replete with different homegrown customs. In Finnish rural areas, it is a popular tradition for farmers to tie a sheaf of grain, nuts and seeds on a pole and placing it in the garden for the birds to feed on. Only after birds eat their dinner, the farmers partake of their Christmas dinner.










    Christmas dinner traditionally begins in Finland with the appearance of the first star in the sky. Dinner is served between 5-7 pm, and consists usually of roasted pig or a roasted ham and vegetables. The main dish is boiled codfish, served white and fluffy, along with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. A week ahead of the dinner, the codfish is soaked in a lye solution to soften it. Once the dinner is complete, children head straight to bed while adults chat and drink coffee until about midnight. Other important traditions of the day consist of a visit to the Christmas mass. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember the dead and have porridge for lunch. Joyful carols and local Christmas songs also form an essential part of Christmas Eve festivities.
    On Christmas Day, church services start out early at six in the morning. Most people visit families and friends. Family get-togethers are the high point of this day. Christmas cards are being exchanged and everyone wishes another "Hyvaa Joulua", meaning "Merry Christmas" in Finnish.

DENMARK CHRSITMAS TRADITIONS!!!









   In the cobwebs and dust of old farmhouse loft in Denmark, it is reported that there lives a mischievous elf named Julenisse, or Nisse. He is said to wear gray wool clothing, a red bonnet, red stockings, and white clogs upon his feet. Though he is usually kind and helpful around the farm towards good children, he does love to play jokes.
    During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Danish celebrate Advent. Each Sunday in Advent, family and friends gather to light candles in the Advent crown. Refreshments of sweet fruit juices are served to the children, while adults drink a cocktail of red wine, raisins, and spices. Little fire-baked cakes sprinkled with sugar provide a tasty snack.












    On December 13th, Lucia processions are held at many hospitals, schools, and rest homes. Children's choirs perform a parade in honor of Lucia, "the saint of lights". The children dress in white, carry candles, and follow one child who is portrayed as the Lucia bride. She wears a wreath of fir and lit candles upon her head. The lights are dimmed as the procession winds its way down the aisles, singing the Lucia song.
    Danish families keep Nissse in mind when they are preparing to celebrate Christmas. It is a proud and joyful time as families share in the duties of making their own baubles and decorations from bright paper, straw, and scraps of wood. Writing Christmas cards to friends and relatives is popular in Denmark. It is a cherished tradition for most to send and receive wishes for a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"! After the decorations are made, the parents secretly decorate the Christmas tree. The children are not allowed to see the tree until Christmas Eve dinner, which consists of rice pudding (that holds a magic almond worth a prize for its finder), goose, red cabbage, and browned potatoes. At this time, the tree is lit, and the families gather near it to sing Christmas hymns and carols.









    After Christmas Eve dinner, the Christmas Eve, or Juelaften celebration, is the most popular and biggest event of the year. Friends gather for parties that last through the night, and continue to feast on goose, red cabbage, fried pastries, and rice pudding (also called grod). Grod plays an important role in Christmas celebrations in Denmark. The Christmas elves (Julenisse) are left an offering of rice pudding, in order to appease them and keep their pranks mild.
    For those looking for a Christmas experience a bit more quaint and old-fashioned, the Danish may have what you are looking for.