Wednesday, November 29, 2017


This comes from www.larkandlola.blogspot.com .  I thought these were really neat and very inventive. Enjoy making a few of these to go on that special tree or even give them to friends and family.  They will enjoy them on their three for years to come.

Today I made these decorative rosettes! They're ornaments. They are fairly easy to make and super charming. Here's how I did it...

I picked up some scrapbooking embellishments at Joann's. Michael's also carries this brand, K & Co.

And grabbed one of the old music books I buy on eBay all the time for $1 or so.

Tore out some pages. {No, I don't feel bad doing this at all. It's not worth anything and no one is going to sit down and play music from the 50s. I'm giving it new life!}

Trimmed each page down to a 4" x 8" piece.

Like so. {Don't mind my weathered self-healing mat. It's been with me through a million & one craft projects. Christmas gift hint?}

Totally optional, but I like the effect of scalloping the 8" edges. Zig zag shears work really well, too.

With a pencil, on one side only, I marked each 1/2 inch.

Use those marks as your guide to fold every 1/2 inch, accordion style. You don't want to use paper that is too old, I have some from the 1850s and it just fell apart when I folded it.

When you're done folding, your ends should both be folded in the same direction. The side they end on will be the back of the rosette.

Now, crease it in the middle by folding the strip in half both ways.

Should look like this. Now, it's time to glues the sides together.

Be gentle and take care not to rip the paper. I use Mod Podge to adhere the sides because, well, I use Mod Podge for pretty much everything... and pinch it together with mini-binder clips for 5-10 minutes, or longer if you want.

Not too hard, right?

Now is the fun part, decorating the rosette. Get creative. I simply glued on the embellishments. They are adhesive already, but I wanted a super strong hold so I used a little hot glue to get them to really stick.

Another option I love is to punch out scalloped circles from glitter paper.

And attach small embellishments to it...

and then attach that to your rosette! I love the sparkle!

These are so much fun to make, you can do them a million different ways.

Now you can add a bow with your ribbon hang by punching some small holes through your rosette and stringing ribbon through and securing it in front with a bow. But this is riskier and you're more likely to tear, so...

There's also this option, tie a knot to make a ribbon loop and simply hot glue it to the back.

They will look lovely on a Christmas tree but also just around the house, adding pretty to your decor.

OR attach one to each Christmas present to your friends & family! It would look lovely on a gift and they can also take it home and treasure it themselves.

I made 10 in a jiffy... now I'm off to make more...



Is that you? Santa Claus?

Who is Santa Claus? Where did his story begin? Why does he have so many different names? As a company that specializes in online education, we felt it was our duty to learn and share.
Below the infographic, you’ll find a more detailed timeline of some additional Santa-related events. Do you have more to add to the story? What are your Christmas traditions? We’d love to hear in our comments below.

The Santa Timeline

1Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, and the gift-giving began as a remembrance of the 3 wise kings who came from the east to give gifts to the Christ child. To this day, many Catholic countries celebrate 3 Kings Day in the beginning of January as their primary gift-giving day.
280Saint Nicholas is born. He did not live in North Pole, but was a Greek bishop in present-day Turkey. He was known for many miracles and for his generosity, particularly to children. In one story, he visited a poor man at night, and anonymously threw 3 purses of gold in his window.
900Catholic church canonizes Saint Nicholas (he becomes an official Saint). Over the years he had become the symbolic “gift giver” of winter celebrations.
1600sAfter the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther’s followers declared that Saint Nicholas was detracting from the true meaning of Christmas. They soon adopted their own “gift-giving” figure called the Kristkindt (Christ Child), an angelic child who went from house to house quizzing kids on their bible knowledge. Fun, huh? Mothers declared that the Kristkindt was too young to travel alone, so they brought back Saint Nicholas.
1600sDutch Immigrants brought with them the legend of Sinterklaas, a figure who rides the roof tops upon a white horse, has a long beard, and visits houses with his mischevious black-faced helpers. Children would place boots filled with carrots or sugar (treats for the horse) near the chimney.
1770sAfter the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870
1809in his book “A History of New York,” Washington Irving wrote about Saint Nicholas riding into town on a horse. 3 years later, he revised the book to include Nicholas riding over the trees in a wagon.
1822Clement Clarke Moore writes “The Night Before Christmas” in which Saint Nick is portrayed as an elf with a miniature sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer.
1860From the 1860s through the 1890s, reknowned illustrator Thomas Nast created Santa images for Harper’s Magazine. He also created posters of Santa sitting with Union soldiers during the Civil War, which demoralized the Confederate army.
1920sThe image of Santa has been standardized to what we still picture today — a bearded, overweight, jolly man dressed in a red suit.
1931Haddon Sundblom illustrated a series of Santa images to advertise Coca-Cola. Coke Christmas ads continue to this day.
1939Writer Robert L. May created a poem about Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, who was teased by the other reindeer because of his slight build and shiny nose. 10 years later Johnny Marks wrote the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which became one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time.


   Decorating Christmas trees became popular in America in the early 1800s as immigrants from Germany brought hand-made ornaments to America with them. In 1880, Woolworth stores began carrying ornaments although Mr. Woolworth was not too sure about the prospect of selling ornaments. Within 10 years, his stores were selling $25 million dollars worth of five and ten cent ornaments.
    It was around 1973 when Hallmark decided to try their hand at the ornament business. It all started with some yarn ornaments and six glass bulbs. Hallmark now has more than 100 ornament series in addition to approximately 3,000 other ornaments that they have introduced over the years.
    The Hallmark ornament designers are true artisans and design ornaments with subjects that have special meaning to them. Many Hallmark artists design ornaments that bring back heartwarming Christmas memories or design something current they love. Therefore, the consumer can relate to many of these charming Hallmark ornaments.

Image result for hallmark christmas ornaments

If you have ever seen a Hallmark ornament, you will agree that they have exquisite craftsmanship and the quality of the ornament is great. The small detail in Hallmark ornaments is amazing and contributes to their uniqueness and ability to capture unforgettable moments. There are ornaments for special occasions such as First Christmas Together, Baby's First Christmas, Mom-To-Be and New House. There are ornaments that are dated making them great keepsakes. In fact, Hallmark calls their ornaments Keepsake Ornaments.
   Hallmark ornaments quickly reached collector status and collectors rush to their favorite Hallmark store in July of every year when the new collection premiers. Then in October the rest of the line comes out to keep collectors coming back. Hallmark has an Ornament Collectors Club that you can join for a reasonable fee. Your membership entitles you to choose two free ornaments that are collector-club-only ornaments. There are usually four and Club members have the option of buying the other two. All ornaments are coded so that collectors know by the symbol on them what year they came out.

Image result for hallmark christmas ornaments

    Besides decorating the tree, Hallmark ornaments can be used as gifts. There is so much variety in the over-all collection that you ought to be able to find an ornament for anyone on your gift list.
    Another use of ornaments is as decorations. Ornaments are cute added to a ribbon that is tied around the napkins or just as part of your centerpiece. You can set a pretty round ornament on top of a glass candlestick holder and it makes a lovely table setting. You also can hang them on a wreath for decoration. In fact, several years ago, Hallmark came out with a wreath that had hooks already on it to make it easy for you to decorate your wreath with ornaments.
    Not all of the ornaments are Christmas related so you can use them as decorations or use them in shadow boxes all year round. Many of the ornaments are child-related so you can use them as decorations in your child's room. Themes such as Thomas the Train, Winnie the Pooh, Super Heroes, Athletes, Trains, Star Trek or Barbie are just a few of the selections you can make. They are not toys, though, and may have small parts. You may also find an ornament relating to different professions among the Hallmark collection.

Image result for hallmark christmas ornaments
    Of course, you could not have Christmas without Nativity ornaments, creches, angels and other religious ornaments to commemorate the Christmas season. They, too, are lovingly crafted and wonderful reminders of the true meaning of Christmas. If you have never seen a Hallmark ornament, you might want to check them out. They will surely bring a smile to your face.


  Every year, New York City department stores transform their standard window displays for wintry holiday themed showcases.  They usually start unveiling these windows around the middle of November.  These window displays become a feast for the eyes with portrayals of the winter holidays.  Either showcasing one of our favorite stories or movies when we were children or some kind of glittery modern extravaganza.  The holiday windows for the 2017 season have already proven to be a hit with window shoppers. 

  I hope you enjoy this peek at the new holiday windows for 2017!


   They collaborated with artists Simon and Nikolai Haas of The Haas Brothers on its winter window display, titled "Haas for the Holidays." The Haas Brothers typically explore aesthetic themes relating to nature in their work, thus the luxury retailer's Madison Avenue displays create an imaginative universe using Haas animations and characters coexisting through eras from the beginning of the earth to the distant future. "We were thrilled to collaborate with the Haas Brothers to tackle complicated themes through a unique lens of playful environments and characters," said Matthew Mazzucca, Creative Director of Barneys New York. "The result is a fun and engaging concept that celebrates individuality, inclusiveness and love."


   This holiday season, the windows at Bergdorf Goodman are a series of glass-contained love letters to seven cultural institutions in New York City: The American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Museum of the Moving Image, The New York Botanical Garden, New York Philharmonic, New-York Historical Society and UrbanGlass. Entitled "To New York With Love," David Hoey, the mastermind behind the department store's visuals, captures the city's appreciation for the arts by creating fantastical renderings of the various institutions' subject matter — see Swarovski crystal-encrusted dinosaur skeletons, papier-mâché New Yorkers, a neon orchestra and dancing mannequins. 


   Henri Bendel celebrates fearless creators through its playful holiday setup made in partnership with 3D greeting card company Lovepop. "It has been a pleasure working with the Lovepop team on the flagship holiday installation this year," said Henri Bendel creative cirector Pina Ferlisi. "As disruptor's in their industry, Lovepop is an incredible group of risk takers. We love their more is more approach to surprise and delight their customers, something we believe in when speaking to our own Bendel girls." Together, the two delight Bendel's holiday shoppers with a stunning interior display of over 30,000 butterflies fluttering from the ceiling and enchant Fifth Avenue passerbys with a whimsical window display of paper-made flora and fauna bursting out of the retailer’s signature hat box.


    Lord and Taylors 80th annual holiday windows are filled with graciously lit classic wintry and Christmas scenes to go along with its theme: "The Best and The Brightest." The Fifth Avenue windows take visitors on a whimsical journey, as seen through the lens of enchanted snow globes. In addition to the Fifth Avenue display, Lord & Taylor partnered with the Hallmark Channel to line its windows on 38th Street with special animations that celebrate "Countdown to Christmas," the network's programming event.


   Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with Disney to retell the story of Snow White in each of its 14 Fifth Avenue-facing windows. The floral, light-filled window vignettes bring the classic fairytale to life, through animated depictions of different scenes from the film: There's a twirling Snow White, a group of heigh-hoing dwarfs, a Wicked Queen with a ripe-as-ever poisonous apple and a magic mirror. But for the ultimate holiday treat, the luxury retailer also tasked four designers — Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa — to fill its 49th and 50th street windows with one-of-a-kind princess gowns fit for a modern-day Snow White, which are set amidst a lush backdrop of real moss and gold-painted furniture. 


  Yes, Virginia, Macy's has once again outdone itself on its annual holiday window displays.The flagship store on 34th Street Herald Square is a must-see for New Yorkers and out-of-towners during the holiday season.   This year's window theme is "The Perfect Gift Brings People Together." The store unveiled its windows Thursday night with much fanfare, including a fireworks display. The windows will remain through Jan. 1.

Macy's Herald Square unveils their holiday window displayed

Macy's Herald Square unveils their holiday window displayed
Macy's Herald Square unveils their holiday window displayed
Macy's Herald Square unveils their holiday window displayed
  Bloomingdale's and Swarovski partnered with 20th Century Fox Film’s The Greatest Showman on the 2017 holiday windows.
Bloomingdale's 2017: Holiday Window Unveiling
Bloomingdale's 2017: Holiday Window Unveiling
Bloomingdale's 2017: Holiday Window Unveiling
   This year's windows feature the famed Tiffany Blue Box. Designed by Gene Moore, the displays find wooden drawing figures ice fishing, sculpting ice, and more
Tiffany & Co.: “The Tiffany Blue Box”
Tiffany & Co.: “The Tiffany Blue Box”
Tiffany & Co.: “The Tiffany Blue Box”
Tiffany & Co.: “The Tiffany Blue Box”
The display features skating on ice, a panther sliding down a hill, a rotating Ferris wheel, and more.