DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This comes from www.sewmanyways.blogspot.com.

Hello and welcome to Tool Time Tuesday. For the next few weeks or more, I am going to gear these TTT posts towards Christmas...maybe do some decorating posts or maybe gift giving ideas. I know it may seem early, but we all know those nights of making or decorating at the last minute. So why don't you join me in doing one or two crafts a week, so you can actually enjoy the holidays without all the rushing around.

Here is the first project for the holidays....A Santa Can. Make one this week for yourself and then make another one for gift giving. It's perfect and practically FREE!

Do you remember the post I did showing flower arrangements for a school fundraiser. I went to local restaurants and pizza places and asked them for their large metal cans that tomatoes come in. They were happy to give them to me for free. They are the big ones...7 inches high and 6 inches across at the top.(note: Lowes or Home Depot have unused paint cans of different sizes you could probably use also)

That's one in the picture below. You will also need red spray paint, something to make a black belt and a belt buckle. Pictures on this next...

Here are some ideas for Santa's black belt. Old leather belts that don't fit any more (I don't want to talk about the not fitting part) or elastic belts that you can adjust to fit.

How about an old strap from a camera or bag that you aren't using any more.

You can also cut black fabric and fold the raw edges into the middle...no sewing! You can also use trim, satin ribbon or ric rac too.

If you aren't using an actual belt, you'll need a buckle. You can cut one off an old belt or use 2 D rings. D rings are the things you find on a belt most of the time made with ribbon or a scarf. Another idea to make a shiny belt buckle is to cut open a soda can, trace a template of a buckle on the inside metal and cut it out with tin snips. Actually, the can is so soft, I cut it with a small pair of scissors.

Just find a picture of a buckle and draw it out on card board.

Then trace it on the inside of the can.

The next step is to spray the can. I sprayed it upside down so the paint won't get inside the can.

Now for the ideas...
a place to hold all the Christmas cards you receive over the holidays.

Add some evergreens cut fresh from outside for the scent of the holidays.

Add some berries for a beautiful centerpiece. These were some fake berries I already had, but real ones from your yard would be beautiful too.

Then add a little HO HO HO sign for the perfect greeting at your front door. I bought this sign after Christmas for 10 cents. You can easily make one by printing the words out on your computer, tracing it on cardboard...a little paint and glitter and you're done!

These large cans would be great for centerpieces, but wouldn't a little vegetable can or those tiny tomato paste cans be cute decorated the same way, but used for place card holders at the dinner table. Ohh, I need to make one of those!! I'll show you if I do! Add that to the list of "To Do's"

Here's a little break down of the cost:
  • cans...free
  • belt...free (because it doesn't fit...wahhh!)
  • evergreen...free
  • berries...I had them, but maybe $2.00 if you had to buy a bunch)
  • Ho Ho Ho...10 cents or free if you make one
  • red spray paint...I had it, but $3.00 for the can if you need to buy it
I'm thinking of 2 words...CUTE and CHEAP!

Have a great Tuesday,




Bring joy to any holiday gathering with this simple, colorful and edible cookie display. These would be the perfect sugar cookies for your holiday potluck, party or even for a cookie exchange party — everyone will be excited to take one home!

Colorful 3D Christmas tree cookies

Planted atop candy bar tree trunks and nestled in snowdrifts of sugar, Christmas cookies never looked so sweetly spectacular.

Colorful 3D Christmas tree cookies

This recipe will yield approximately 94 cookies of graduating size, which will create 12 complete Christmas trees with about 8 cookies in each tree.


  • 1 cup sugar (even more for displaying your cookies)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon, almond or raspberry extract (whatever you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Snickers candy bars
  • Your favorite frosting (to secure cookies to Snickers tree trunks)
  • Lemon Starburst candies (optional for stars on top)
  • Food coloring

We used a brand of all-natural vegetable colorants. The colors are much more muted than regular gel food colors, and the dough will require a lot more of the natural colorants to get the colors this dark. These three bottles of red, blue and yellow cost $15, and this recipe will require every drop. You can get brighter colors with less colorant using regular gel food color.




Make the dough

Cream sugars with butter. Beat in eggs. Add oil. Combine dry ingredients together, and then gradually add them to the sugar-butter mixture. Mix in vanilla and extract flavor.
(NOTE: This dough will seem very oily. That's normal — it uses a cup of butter and a cup of oil. But don't worry — they bake up crispy and sweet.)

Color the dough

Split dough into 6, even-sized balls. Add food coloring to each of the dough balls until desired color is achieved.

Color the dough


Roll the dough balls

Tip: You don't have to have an exact number of cookies per color or exact sizes of cookies or trees. You can mix and match as you assemble them. Some trees can be shorter and some can be taller — just like a real forest. And the color patterns don't have to match either. In fact, it's more interesting if they're random.
From each color of dough, break off two small pieces to form 2, 2-inch dough balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Then, roll another set of smaller colored dough balls, and keep doing this until you have about 16 dough balls of each color, in several varying sizes. Dough ball sizes should range from 2 inches to 1/2-inch. Any leftover dough can be used to make extra cookies of any size, allowing for a few taller trees.
Roll the dough balls


Flatten dough balls

Tip: Use a shot glass for the smaller cookies.
Dip the bottom of a glass into granulated sugar, and press the dough balls flat with the bottom of the glass.

Flatten dough balls


Bake the cookies

Start baking your largest cookies at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. When they are done, put your next size batch in for 10 minutes, and then your smallest batch in for 8 minutes.
(NOTE: This is because as you get smaller, your cooking time will decrease.)
Let them cool while you make your tree trunks.

Bake the cookies


Make your tree trunks and stack cookies

Cut a full-sized Snickers candy bar in half and wiggle into a pile of granulated sugar on a platter or in a jar. Add a dollop of frosting on top of the candy bar to secure the bottom cookie. For more stable trees, add another small dollop of frosting in between each cookie layer as you stack them. Stack the cookies with the largest cookies on the bottom, graduating to the smallest size on the top.

Stack cookies

If you want to forgo the trunks, just stack the cookies on top of the granulated sugar without the candy bars.

Stack cookies

To make the star on top, use lemon Starburst candies and a star-shaped cookie cutter. Again, another small dollop of frosting on the bottom of each star will secure it in place.

add star


Create a festive display

To make these into an adorable and festive edible Christmas centerpiece, place them into a glass jar filled with granulated sugar.

Colorful 3D Christmas tree cookies


Poster for the 87th annual Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the largest celebration of its kind. Over 3.5 million people watch the parade along the parade route in Manhattan and another 50 million watch at home on television. For many there is no substitute for seeing the floats, enormous balloons and marching bands in person. If you’re planning to view the parade in person from the streets of New York City, this is your insider guide for making the most of it. This year, Hello Kitty and Papa Smurf will be among those making an appearance in Midtown.
   The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Paradeoften shortened to Macy's Day Paradeis an annual parade presented by the U.S. chain store business Macy's. The tradition started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States along with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, with both parades four years younger than the 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. The three-hour event is held in New York City starting at 9:00 a.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Elf on a Shelf, Another new Balloon for 2012


    In the 1920s, many of Macy's department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States parade of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.   In 1924, the parade (originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade and later the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade  was staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes.  There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.  At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade sinceSanta Claus was welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy's balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then "crowned" "King of the Kiddies."  With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy's declared it would become an annual event.  Anthony "Tony" Frederick Sarg loved to work with marionettes from an early age. After moving to London to start his own marionette business, Sarg moved to New York City to perform with his puppets on the street. Macy's heard about Sarg's talents and asked him to design a window display of a parade for the store.   Sarg's large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals in 1927 when the Felix the Cat balloon made its debut. Felix was filled with air, but by the next year, helium was used to fill the expanding cast of balloons.In the 1920s, many of Macy's department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States parade of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.

   In 1924, the parade (originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade and later the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade  was staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes.  There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade since,Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy's balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then "crowned" "King of the Kiddies."With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy's declared it would become an annual event.
   At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky where they unexpectedly burst. The following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days.  Address labels were sewn into them, so that whoever found and mailed back the discarded balloon received a gift from Macy's.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2012
Balloon  handlers limbering up for their task at hand

   Through the 1930s, the Parade continued to grow, with crowds of over 1 million lining the parade route in 1933. The first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade in 1934. The annual festivities were broadcast on local New York radio from 1932 through 1941, and resumed in 1945 through 1951.
   The parade was suspended 1942–1944 during World War II, owing to the need for rubber and helium in the war effort.  The parade resumed in 1945 using the route that it followed until 2008. The parade became a permanent part of American culture after being prominently featured in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street, which shows actual footage of the 1946 festivities. The event was first broadcast on network television in 1948.  By this point the event, and Macy's sponsorship of it, were sufficiently well-known to give rise to the colloquialism "Macy's Day Parade".

Hello Kitty Aviator balloon to join 40 others balloons in 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  >
Hello Kitty Balloon new for 2012

   Since 1984, the balloons have been made by Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, SD. 
   Macy's also sponsors the smaller Celebrate the Season Parade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, held two days after the main event. Other cities in the US also have parades on Thanksgiving, but they are not run by Macy's. The nation's oldest Thanksgiving parade (the Gimbels parade, now known as 6abc-IKEA) was first held in Philadelphia in 1920. Other cities include the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade of Chicago, Illinois and parades in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington;Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Fountain Hills, Arizona. A parade is also held at the two U.S. Disney theme parks. There is even a 2nd Thanksgiving balloon parade within the New York metropolitan area, the UBS balloon parade in Stamford, CT, 30 miles away. This parade is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving to not compete with the New York parade and usually does not duplicate any balloon characters.
   The classic "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" logo (seen on right) was, with one exception, last used in 2005. For 2006 a special variant of the logo was used. Every year since a new logo has been used for each parade. The logos however are seen rarely, if at all, on television as NBC has used its own logo with the word "Macy's" in script and "Thanksgiving Day Parade" in a bold font. The logos are assumed to be for Macy's use only, such as on the Grandstand tickets and the ID badges worn by parade staff. The Jackets worn by parade staff still bear the original classic parade logo, this being the only place where that logo can be found.

Balloon tidbits before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tune-in

   New safety measures were incorporated in 2006 to prevent accidents and balloon related injuries. One measure taken was installation of wind measurement devices to alert parade organizers to any unsafe conditions that could cause the balloons to behave erratically. Also, parade officials implemented a measure to keep the balloons closer to the ground during windy conditions. If wind speeds are forecast to be higher than 34 miles per hour, all balloons are removed from the parade.[11]
In 2007, the journal Puppetry International published a first person account of being a balloon handler.

Balloon Introductions

   The balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade come in three varieties. The first and oldest is the novelty balloon class, consisting of smaller balloons, some of which fit on the heads of the performers. The second, and most famous, is the full-size balloon class, primarily consisting of licensed pop-culture characters. The third and most recent is the "Blue Sky Gallery," in which the works of contemporary artists are transformed into full-size balloons.
   The following is a list of balloons that have, over the years, been featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, sorted by their first year in the lineup.

KAWS Companion balloon new for 2012

Macy's Parade 1931

Macy's Balloon 1952, the "Space Man"

Getting There

   Parking in Manhattan is always tight, but Thanksgiving Day it’s nearly impossible. From Westchester & Connecticut, your best bet is taking a Metro-North train to Grand Central Station. It’s an easy walk west from Grand Central to the parade route on 6th Avenue and 42nd Street. From Long Island take the LIRR to Penn Station. From there you can head due east to the parade route one block to Macy’s – or head north first to get to a better viewing spot on 7th Ave in the 40s.If you must drive, consider coming in to the city around 6:00am in order to get a spot in nearby lots on the Upper West Side or near Lincoln Center where garages abound.

Popeye in 1968

   Your best bet within the city is to stick to the subway. You can download the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app by clicking here. The iPhone or Android app will allow spectators to interact with the parade in real time. Plus, it has a real-time Santa Tracker, so you’ll be sure to stake out a good spot for the main attraction.

The Night Before

Balloon Inflation 3 p.m. -10 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21st
   What started out as an event that only locals knew about, the pre-Thanksgiving balloon inflationhas turned into its own must-see Thanksgiving event. See Abby Cadabby, Snoopy and all the gigantic Macy’s parade balloons come to life as they inflate on the streets near the American Museum of Natural History on 77th and 81st Streets between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.

Route Changes For 2012

   Widening pedestrian plazas and other factors have made it necessary for Macy’s to slightly alter the Thanksgiving day parade route this year. The parade will kick off early Thursday at 77th and Central Park West as usual. It will head down along CPW to Columbus Circle, before making a left and heading along Central Park South to 6th Avenue. Once at 6th Avenue, the parade will continue south until 34th Street, where it will make a right and head to Macy’s at Herald Square.

Parade 1973, Linus the Lion

Where to Watch

   Plan to arrive at 6 a.m. to get a prime viewing spot. While many choose to watch from Central Park West, that tends to be the windiest and shadiest part of the route. Instead head to 42nd Street around 6th Avenue and the path along 6th Avenue to 34th Street. The sidewalks are wider and less-crowded there. You’re also more likely to find food in delis and nearby coffee shops in this area


Tips, Tricks And Things To Remember

   Bathrooms are scarce. Hotels around the route are your best bet as well as at The Time Warner Center.Coming with little kids? Here are some other things to keep in mind:
   Leave the stroller at home, or plan on bringing one that folds easily and can be carried. Trying to get through the crowds with a stroller can be impossible – not to mention scary for your kid. Instead think light and easy to carry for your child and the stroller.
   Pack snacks! While delis and Duane Reade stores are usually open along the route waiting around for hours is a long time, especially for little ones. Avoid meltdowns by supplying your own treats.
Dress warm and in layers. Even if it’s milder than usual on Turkey Day standing outside for 6 hours can get pretty cold. Hats and gloves will keep you and your parade watching family happy and warm.

Betty Boop, 1995

Six Best Places To Watch The Parade
   If you’re hoping to see Santa Claus’ red and white suit in the flesh or want to swoon at your favorite performers, then check out our top spots for viewing the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Don’t forget your layers! Stay with 1010 WINS, the official radio station of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, for all the latest coverage. Keep in mind that the parade will take a slightly different route this year.
 The 6 Best Spots to Watch The 2012 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Central Park West

West side of street from 70th to Columbus Circle
East side of street from 70th to 65th
   The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 22, but you should head to whichever spot you pick at 6:30 a.m. If you choose the beginning of the route, head there early so you can see the floats, balloons and performance groups enter as soon as the show starts.

 The 6 Best Spots to Watch The 2012 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Columbus Circle

West side of the street
The parade then heads to Columbus Circle before turning onto Central Park South. This part of the route offers a wide view of the street since it’s an open circle, making it easy to spot famous faces on top of floats. If you get tired, cold, or hungry, just pop into the Columbus Shops – how convenient!

 The 6 Best Spots to Watch The 2012 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

42nd Street

From Seventh to Sixth Avenues
   At this point, you’ll see the parade route turn from Seventh Avenue onto 42nd Street. Watch as the Thanksgiving Day entertainers take a break from walking down New York City avenues and march down world-famous 42nd Street. Wave to Kermit the Frog or Spongebob Squarepants, who will both be balloons in this year’s parade.

West 34th Street - New York, NY - Mar 3, 2011 - Photo: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880

34th Street

South side of street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue
   After traveling through Times Square, the parade turns east onto Sixth Avenue and heads down to Macy’s at 34th Street and Herald Square. While there’s no public viewing in front of the iconic department giant on Broadway from 34th to 38th Street, head to the south side of the street for prime viewing. You might even be able to get a glimpse of the acts before they head onto the main performance stage!

 The 6 Best Spots to Watch The 2012 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Trump International Hotel & Tower

   Though hotel rooms (especially the ones with optimal view of the parade route) are booked way in advance, it doesn’t hurt to ask around and see if friends or family have planned ahead and secured a room in a key spot. Trump International gives you a front row seat at the beginning of the parade. You’ll probably see fellow parade-viewers mingling in the lobby as well.One Central Park West

 The 6 Best Spots to Watch The 2012 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Crowne Plaza Manhattan

   The Crown Plaza in Times Square is another best bet for great parade route views. You get to see the procession come down the legendary Seventh Avenue before turning onto 42nd Street, all from the comfort of your hotel room. The best part is that you’re already in the heart of Manhattan and can just take the elevator downstairs to join in the festivities outside.

Fun Facts About Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • The first parade in 1924 was called the "Macy's Christmas Day Parade" although it took place on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Live animals including camels, goats, elephants, and donkeys, were a part of the parade that inaugural year.
  • The original parade route was from 145th Street and Convent Avenue to 34th Street and Herald Square.
  • The floats were pulled by horses. In the first parade a white steed that was to aid in the Ben-Hur float disappeared at the last minute before the start of the parade.
  •  In 1925 and 1926, bears, lions, and tigers were added to the live animals used, but the use of these animals had to be discontinued because they scared children.
  •  In 1927, Macy's introduces the world famous giant helium balloons. The first balloons included Felix the Cat and Toy Soldier
  • 1928 saw the first release of the giant balloons into the air at the end of the line of march. The balloons promptly exploded after reaching a certain altitude.
  • The balloons were redesigned and again released. Equipped with a return address label, Macy's offered a prize for their return.

  • In 1932, Clarence Chamberlain, an aviator flying above New York City, catches the Pig Balloon in mid air in order to claim the prize money.
  • Santa Claus has ended the parade every year except 1933, the only year in which he led the parade.
  • The parade was cancelled in 1942, 1943, and 1944 due to World War II.
  • In 1955, the parade telecast returns to NBC after a two year tun on CBS.
  • Due to a helium shortage in 1958, the balloons are brought down Broadway on cranes.
  • In 1969 the Macy's Parade Studio moves to its current home in Hoboken, New Jersey in a former Tootsie Roll factory.
  • The Dino the Dinosaur balloon was inducted into the American Museum of Natural History in 1975 as an honorary member.
  • In 1977, the "Parade Lady" Jean McFaddin takes the helm of the parade, which she leads for the next 24 years.
  • In the 1980s, the smaller "novelty" balloons were introduced, including the Macy's stars and the 30 foot triple-scoop ice cream cone. "Falloons" were also introduced at this time. A combination of float and cold air balloon, this is a highlight of the creativity of the Macy's Parade Studio.
  • In 1989, the parade marches on through its very first snowstorm.
  • The 1990s saw the parade balloons adding new characters from the internet, video games, and contemporary cartoons. Sonic the Hedgehog, Ask Jeeves, and the Rugrats were just a few of these balloons.

  • The parade has attracted a sea of celebrities. The years have seen Harpo Marx, Jackie Gleason, Diana Ross, Sammy Davis, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, NSYNC, Shania Twain, and Christina Aguilera.
  • Macy's is the world's second largest consumer of helium. The United States government is the first.
  • If you laid every parade balloon since 1927 end to end they would stretch from Battery Park City to the Cloisters.
  • More than 50,000 clowns have delighted millions of children along the parade route.