Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

My Beloved Is To Me A Cluster Of Henna Blossoms

Posted by infinitygoods on March 11, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.comFor more participants Spreading God’s Word with Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy Deanne at The 160 Acre Woods.”My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.” Song of Songs 1:14

This is the henna blossom which produces the temporary ink for the Middle Eastern and Indian body art tradition.

Henna Blossom temporary body art in henna by Jamie McAlpin with artist's permission

Henna blossom temporary body art by Jaimie McAlpin with artist's permission

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com. This fascinating plant is world wide known for the beautiful coloring dye that is used by the Orientals in coloring their hands and body. The Egyptians are said to have prepared both an oil and an ointment from the flowers for making the limbs supple. Egyptian Royalty were said to dye their hair with Henna leaves. Henna’s botanical name is Lawsonia Inermis,its common name is Jamaica Mignonette, Mendee, Egyptian privet, smooth Lawsonia. Its Arabic name is henna and the most popular Indian name is Mendhi.

The earliest civilizations that can be proved to have used henna include the Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumerians, Semites, Ugaritics and Canaanites. The leaves of the henna plant are the source of a red-brown dye widely used for body art, known as mendhi in South Asia. First used in the Near East and South Asia, henna art is now popular around the world.

There are numerous artifacts from Iraq, Palestine, Greece, Egypt, Crete and Rome from 1400 BCE to 1AD that show women with henna patterns on their hands. The early center of the use of henna as a woman’s adornment seems to have been in the eastern Mediterranean, where it grows wild. It was used by the Canaanite women in pre-biblical times The Canaanites spread their traditions, including the use of henna, across North Africa between 1700 and 600 BCE, specifically establishing the Berber traditions of henna in Morocco.

Henna was used in Palestine from the earliest historical period, and there are Roman records of henna being used by Jewish people living in Jerusalem during the historical period of the birth of Christ.

When Islam began in the 6-7th centuries AD, henna was incorporated into the customs of Muslims from the western Middle Eastern women’s henna traditions that were widespread and long established. As Islam expanded quickly into other countries, the use of henna went with it. All of the countries that were part of the Islamic world have used henna at some time, most frequently as part of wedding celebrations. Most of them continued to celebrate the “Night of the Henna” and regard henna as a beautiful and suitable ornament for women until present day.

Since 1890 it has been widely used in Europe for tinting the hair, usually in the form of a shampoo, many shades being obtainable by mixing with the leaves of other plants, such as indigo. As a dye for the skin or nails the powder may be mixed with lemon juice, made into a paste with hot water, and spread on the part to be dyed, being allowed to remain for one night.

The parts used are the leaves that are dried and then crushed to form a dark green powder. The flowers and also the fruit are also used. Flowers are numerous, small, white or rose coloured and fragrant. The plant lives scarcely in dry decidious forests, widely cultivated as a hedge plant. It is mostly found in Egypt, India, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria.

It is widely cultivated in tropical countries but probably native to North Africa and Asia. It is widely naturalized in the West Indies and Mexico where it is known as “mignonette.” Its leaves produce the henna or alhenna of the Arabs (cyprus of the ancients), a yellow die which is used in Egypt and elsewhere by women to color their nails, and by men to die their beards, and for other similar uses including horses manes and tails. It is known in the West Indies as “Egyptian privet”, and sometimes as “reseda”.

The small, white and yellow, heavy, sweet-smelling flowers are borne on dwarf shrubs 8 to 10 feet high and reaching a height of up to 6 meters, the plant has fragrant white or rose-red flowers.

Henna is planted today primarily as an ornamental hedge, but is probably best known for the dried, ground leaves traditionally used to produce colorfast orange, red, and brown dyes.

The constituents of Henna is found in it in a brown substance of a resinoid fracture, having the chemical properties which characterize the tannins, and therefore named hennotannic acid. Dried, powdered leaves of henna contain about 0.5 to 1.5 percent lawsone, the chief constituent responsible for the dyeing properties of the plant. Henna also contains mannite, tannic acid, 2-hydroxy-1:4-naphthoquinone resin mucilage, gallic acid, glucose, mannitol,fat, resin and mucilage are also present.The colouring matter is the quinone .and napthaquinone.

USES

Medicinal Action and Uses

As a medicinal plant, henna has been used as an astringent, antihemorrhagic, intestinal antineoplastic, cardio-inhibitory, hypotensive, and a sedative. It has been employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. The fruit is thought to have emmenagogue properties.

It has also been used as a folk remedy against amoebiasis, headache, jaundice, ranging from beriberi to burns and bruises ans leprosy.Henna extracts show antibacterial, antifungal, and ultraviolet light screening activity. Henna has exhibited antifertility activity in animals and may induce menstruation.

Henna has been used as medical treatment for wide range of ailments to cure almost anything from headache to leprosy and other skin disorders. It is used to create an instant ‘Scab’ on large areas & is believed to have antiseptic properties. As a cooling agent it is used for burning of skin. It also has great dandruff fighting ability.

Henna is also used for rheumatic and arthritic pains. Alcoholic extract of the leaves showed mild anti- bacterial activity against Staph aureus and E. coli’. Antibacterial and antifungal activities have been confirmed .The antihaemorrhagic properties are attributed to lawsone. The naphthoquinone has emmenogogue and oxytocic actions.

The dried leaf and petiole of henna are generally recognized as safe when used as a color additive for hair. A distilled water prepared from them is used as a cosmetic, and the powdered leaves have been in use from the most ancient times in Eastern countries for dyeing the hair and the nails a reddish-yellow. Traditionally henna is used to decorate hands and feet during weddings and other ceremonies.

Henna features in the Siddha system of medicine. Siddha physicians consider parts of henna to be astringent, detergent, deodorant, cooling and a sedative. Fresh leaves mixed with vinegar or lime juice are bandaged onto the soles of the feet to treat ‘burning feet’, a symptom of beriberi. Ground leaves are applied to sore joints to ease rheumatism. The juice of the plant can be applied to the skin for headaches, and the oil is applied to hair to prevent it from going grey.

Its flower oil relieves muscular pains, while its seeds are used as a deodorant and to regulate menstruation. Henna flowers induce sleep, cure headaches and bruises. Leprosy has been treated by henna bark, as well as by an extract of leaves, flowers and shoots. The bark has also been used to treat symptoms of jaundice and enlargement of the liver and spleen. It can be applied to the skin to treat eczema, scabies, fungal infections and burns.

The Ayurvedic system uses the henna leaves to treat vitiligo (pale patches on the skin where pigment is lost), and the seeds are used to cure fever. Fruit oil is a folk remedy used in disorders causing hardening of the liver and diaphragm, and an ointment made from young fruit is used to prevent itching.

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com.

Advertisements

Posted in art, Arts and Crafts, bible, Blogroll, carnival, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, God's Word, Health, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Islam, Jewish, Judaism, life, reading, religion, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, women, Word Filled Wednesday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Psalm 65:7 You Set Up The Mountains By Your Might

Posted by infinitygoods on February 20, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.com

7 You are robed in power, you set up the mountains by your might.
This is a shot of the mountains above my home. I am always in awe at how they are set up or arranged like giant boulders stacked up on top of each other. According to the historical and geological societies in the area, this type of geological formation is only seen in Southern California at the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and no where else in the world.

Posted in America, art, Arts and Crafts, bible, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, carnival, Christian, Christianity, Faith, Family, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Photography, Psalm, Spreading God's Word, U.S., United States, USA, Word Filled Wednesday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Get Free Photography Magazines

Posted by infinitygoods on February 19, 2008

Rangefinder and After Capture are two photography magazines which are distributed free to photographers, artists, or anyone who routinely publishes photographs such as for a photography blog or a blog which makes heavy use of photography.  All you have to do is follow the links and fill out the short forms where you’ll find details to see if you qualify.  There is no catch.  The magazines are paid for by the advertisers.  There are no more than the average number in any magazine which makes you wonder why all magazines are not free if these magazines are able to do it.  You will not be added to a zillion mailing lists.  I have been receiving these magazines for a couple years and have only received one annual photography catalog in addition to the magazines, no other unsolicited mail.

The magazines are both of above average quality and full-color.  To get a feel for them check their websites.  They cover all sorts of photography such as sports, wedding, portrait, commercial, and fine art.  As I do photography and art, these magazines work for me for inspiration , education, and entertainment.  They are great magazines and you can’t beat free!

wfmwbluebanner.jpg

For more Works For Me Wednesday participants, please visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Don’t miss my other Works For Me Wednesday posts on my Household Tips page and Organizing Tips page.

Posted in America, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, consumers, culture, education, entertainment, Family, film, Flickr, free, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Photography, Photojournalism, publishing, Tips, U.S., United States, USA, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | 8 Comments »

I Am Not A Number! But Still A Prisoner At Spam Village

Posted by infinitygoods on February 1, 2008

I’m a huge fan of “The Prisoner,” a British tele series from the late 1960s which I watched when I was a toddler. I was probably too young for that matter, as it has marked me for life. “I am not a number!” was a favorite quote of mine throughout childhood and I still use it from time to time. It came to mind as I was reading all the numbers I have been assigned by a spam e-mail which wormed its way out of the bulk mail filters and into my inbox. The nerve of these spam e-mails, really!

I have been assigned a reference number, a ticket number, a lucky number (oooh, lucky me!) and a serial number. There’s also an international number to call! But I don’t think I’ll be calling it. They want INFORMATION! INFORMATION! But who is their Number 1? That would be telling! Who is Number 2?

I AM NOT A NUMBER! I am a free woman! I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, NUMBERED OR SPAMMED!

Here’s the series introduction:

When the prisoner wakes up, he finds himself in The Village.

Here’s The Village and its architectural history as documented by “The Antiques Road Show”:

If you’re interested in the DVD boxed set of the complete 17-episode series, it’s available here.

Be seeing you! 😉

Posted in America, art, Arts and Crafts, Britain, British, Car, celebrities, crafts, culture, Documentary, DVDs, education, england, entertainment, film, free, Freedom, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, movies, television, travel, U.S., United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flickr Delivers Library Of Congress’ Historical Eye Candy

Posted by infinitygoods on January 18, 2008

Woman Aircraft Workermain-church-altar-trampas-nm.jpgSunsetlocomotive-driver-wheel.jpgInstructor and Students Studying Map, Meacham Field, Ft. Worth, Texas

The United States Library of Congress pilot program launched on Flickr just two days ago has Web viewers entranced with its display of 3,115 images from the library’s extensive photo collection and clamoring for more.

Last night’s statistics from just one day on Flickr reveals the following:Girl Next To Barn With Chicken

• 392,000 views on the photostream;
• 650,000 views of photos;
• Adding in set and collection page views, there were about 1.1 million total views on their account;
• All 3,100+ photos have been viewed;
• 420 of the photos have comments;
• 1,200 of the photos have been favorited.

The Library has struck a chord with the people of the Internet. Matt Raymond, the author of the Library’s 9 month old blog and director of communications says, “The response to the Library’s pilot project with Flickr has been nothing short of astounding. You always hope for a positive reaction to something like this, but it has been utterly off the charts—from the Flickr community, from the blogosphere, from the news media—it is nothing short of amazing.”

And we all want more photos. The most frequently asked question on both the Flickr and the blog comments is asking when the library will upload even more photos. There are more than 1 million photos on the library’s Web site and some are easily viewable as sample images, but the great majority of these images can only be accessed through search words. If you want to see the images in say their Daguerreotype collection youA-20 Bomber Being Riveted By Woman Worker, Douglas Aircraft Co., Long Beach, California have to type in specific search words, and there my friends is where the Library of Congress’ Web site went totally wrong and where the Flickr project went totally right, because if you don’t know what to search for or you just want to see what’s available, you are facing a computer screen full of daunting type and not one single beautiful image; no eye candy, no mesmerizing piece of history, no emotionally stirring art.

If you like history or photography, or better yet, like me you like both, you will be spending hours pouring over your LOC Flickr screen, so be forewarned, this may be a whole new addiction which might even spawn further interests you will just HAVE to research.

  • A note on the high quality of these historical photographs: “The scans are not color corrected or adjusted to create an optimized view of the photographic scene, rather they represent the qualities of the images as they exist in the collection at the time they are scanned.”
Carpenter, Douglas Dam, TenesseStacks Of Home Canned FoodPutting Finishing Touches On B-17F Navy Bomber

Filling Station And Garage At Pie Town, New MexicoJim Norris Homesteader, Pie Town, New Mexico
  • For an article about Pie Town, New Mexico and Russell Lee, the photographer who chronicled its homesteaders, visit this Smithsonian article.

Posted in America, American History, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, eggs, Family, film, Flickr, government agencies, history, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Journalism, Library Of Congress, life, manufacturers, nature, News, reading, technology, Tips, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Adopt The Tradition of the Feast Of The Magi And The French Galette Des Rois Recipe

Posted by infinitygoods on January 4, 2008

galettedesroispostedonflickrby-tn-fnn.jpg French families have an Epiphany tradition to celebrate the Magi each January 6. Even non-religious families celebrate because they have such fond childhood memories and the galette, a covered almond tart or pie, is so good that they just can’t leave it only to the Christians.

I think you should adopt it too because your children will love the game (adults enjoy it too) and all your taste buds will rejoice. The recipe is easy and fast too if you don’t have a French bakery near you.

You’ll have to “draw a king.” After a fancy holiday dinner, everyone eats the Galette Des Rois (Mages). Inside the covered pie is a “feve” or a small ceramic figure or even just a fava bean or button. The figures are traditionally of the Baby Jesus, but can be of any of the nativity pieces, of a champagne bottle, a lucky clover, a horseshoe or anything symbolizing good luck for the New Year.

The mother or hostess cuts and serves the pie pieces while the youngest child gets under the table or simply closes his eyes to tell the server to whom each piece should go to without being able to peek at the little hidden figure.

When someone finds the figure, they are crowned King or Queen and everyone toasts to them with Champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider, and none will prevent you from drinking soda or milk if you prefer. Each time the King drinks everyone says “The King drinks!”

Then that person discretely places the figure in the glass of someone of the opposite sex so that the King has a Queen or vice versa. Everyone waits for the Queen to find her figure in her glass and when she drinks, everyone says “The Queen drinks!” The King and Queen wear their crowns all evening.

When children are participating, the mother strategically makes sure that one of the children gets the treasured figure. Should a parent accidentally become King, that parent should make a child the Queen (or King or Prince), NOT his spouse.

The game is rigged, but the gullible children have no idea and believe that each year they are just the luckiest kids in the whole wide world and it makes them quite happy and excited. It also boosts their self-esteem in a safe manner. You could crown all the children or even everyone present too.

When the game is played only among adults, it is often agreed upon that the King or Queen will host the Feast of the Magi the following year or bring next year’s galette or pie to the party, and everyone looks forward to more good times among good friends or family.

Whether children or adults, the King and the Queen are supposed to have good luck all year long!

You will need 2 crowns. Your children can easily make them out of paper and decorate them by drawing jewels or using stickers or gluing plastic jewels or sequins. It’s an easy and fun craft. Otherwise you can find crowns from the most basic paper to fancy gold plastic or even velvet ones at a party or costume store.

Nativity with  “feves” or little figures collected from year to year from the galettes des rois each Epiphany

For the figure you can use a bean or a button. Be sure to warn everyone so there is no tragic chocking! If you decide to play each year, you can even buy tiny figures on-line like the ones in the photo or even outside France at some French bakeries. E-Bay also auctions them as they have become collectibles.

Here’s the recipe:

Galette Des Rois
For 4-6 people

  • 2 circles of store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 1/2 cup of powdered almonds
  • 1 1/2 stick of butter (melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 heaping cup of granulated sugar
  • Natural flavoring to taste such as orange flower water, rose water, pure vanilla extract, rum, Amaretto or Grand Marnier

Mix the sugar, butter, 2 eggs, almonds and your chosen flavoring. Evenly spread the mixture on one of the puff pastry circles. Insert your “feve” or a button or bean, and cover with the second circle. Make a pleasant design on the top with the tip of a knife and paint with 1 egg yolk. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden at 325-350 degrees F. depending on your oven.

It is best served warm. You can also serve at room temperature.

Bon Appetit and Bonne Fete Des Rois!!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, Caring, Children, Children's games, children's stories, Christianity, Christmas, consumers, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, entertainment, Epiphany, fairy tale, Faith, Family, Food, food flavoring, food products, France, Friendship, galette des rois, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, New Year, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, Party, Recipe, religion, royal family, royals, royalty, spirituality, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Thirteen #12 — Organized In The New Year

Posted by infinitygoods on December 26, 2007

thursdaybannerchristmaswreath.jpg

Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! With the New Year resolutions looming in the near future, I am sharing with you 13 ways to remain organized in 2008 and for years to come. Click on the links for more details.

  1. Desk Calendar: I hide a large desk calendar inside my guest closet;
  2. Notebooks: Never again lose notes jotted on a scrap of paper. I have a tiny one in my purse for notes on the go; a small one near every phone and especially near the answering machine, just the right size for a name and phone number; regular school notebooks for projects, ideas, my blog, journals, etc.;
  3. Binders: I keep regular school binders by category such as my household binder;
  4. Flash Drives: I’m so excited flash drives were invented and have so drastically dropped down in price. I back up just about everything by category on flash drives. These days, you can even buy them in packs of 10! I have one for my photos, one for my blog, one for my recipes, one for my documents, etc.
  5. Easy Zipper Bags: These are not relegated to just the refrigerator. I use them in just about every room. They are particularly good to help children store and easily find their toys;
  6. Bread Bag Close Tabs: I use these in the freezer!
  7. Kitchen Colander: Really, I’m not crazy, and a colander does keep me organized — in the bathtub!!
  8. Plastic Grocery Bags: Paper or plastic? Plastic for me because they get reused in a whole slew of ways before finding themselves in the landfill;
  9. Trading Card Storage: Our son has lots of game and trading cards, and like his friends and their parents, we were having a hard time finding a good way to organize them at any price until I thought of using this free box.
  10. Keeping Our Bookcases From Breaking: My husband, our son and I are all avid readers so our bookcases are always bulging despite using the library. I recently found this solution and so far it seems to be working as it should. If any of you do this too, let all of us know how it’s working for you. 🙂
  11. Letter Writing Containers: I like to write short notes and thank yous to make someone’s day. I found it’s a lot more likely to get done if I’m organized. I have a zippered binder in my car where I seem to spend too much time waiting. The binder is within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat and I keep it stocked with small blank notes, thank you cards, some stamps, pens and colored pencils, Post Its, paper clips, a small ruler, pencil sharpener, pretty stickers and address labels for both myself and the people I write to most often, an address book, and a calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. I keep a pretty container stocked with the same items near my easy chair and by my bedside.
  12. Lazy Susans: I have no idea why they call Susan lazy when she’s so smart, but she keeps the hard-to-reach back corners of my deep kitchen cabinets stocked with my mugs on one shelf and my glasses on another;
  13. Diaper Bag/Grown Boy or Girl Bag: Our son has outgrown diaper bags, but I used to keep one large bag in each car with extra supplies so that I would never run out of anything. I carried a small, light one everywhere we went on foot, but the big, heavy one remained in the car with everything a baby could possibly need because if you don’t have it, that’s when you’ll need it. Today, I still keep a bag with non-spoiling munchies, water, spare socks, a blanket, drawing supplies, one or two toys, wipes, Kleenexes, picnic supplies and plastic grocery bags. Because we live far away from civilization, I’m ready for wasted time in waiting rooms or traffic jams, we can have an impromptu picnic at the park, and having had to run for our lives on several occasions because of California fires, I’d rather be ready like the Scouts.

Feel free to leave me comments, and if you are participating in Thursday Thirteen too, let me know you came by so that my readers and I can come visit your blog as well. 😉

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Happy Thursday!!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Baby, Bath Time, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, Christmas, consumers, crafts, education, entertainment, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, Noel, Organizing, Photography, Plastic Grocery Bags, publishing, reading, Recipe, Recycle, Resolution, Reuse, technology, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, Toys, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

WFMW — Put Used Christmas Cards To Good Use

Posted by infinitygoods on December 18, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgBe sure to see my other Advent and Christmas ideas below too. I save some of my Christmas greeting cards because I’m the sentimental type, but here are some great uses for those who usually just discard them in the trash. These are some of the uses I find for the ones which do not hold special value to me. I love comments 😉 Also, if you have more ideas be sure to let all of us know what they are.

  1. Give them to a teacher (always ask first when giving). Many preschool, kindergarten and early grade teachers need these cards (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. too!) for their students to do paper crafts in class. Sometimes they use them to make collages to send cards to soldiers, senior citizens or the homeless. Some teachers will have their students use them to create a priceless gift to their parents. Some teachers will use them for their own bulletin boards to make the classroom more festive.
  2. Give them to a student artist or a professional artist. One of the professional artists at our church asks the office to save all the cards we receive for use as inspiration, models, etc. Some artists will separate the various colors and turn them into pulp for use as papier mache and handmade paper. Others use them as found objects for their art or even for installations.
  3. Give them to a church or senior group. When I was involved with our monthly Senior Luncheon group, the organizer would always be on the lookout for seasonal greeting cards to use as nametags, placecards, To/From tags and decorations. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day each senior would receive a card made from these used greeting cards. The card would be cut in half so that the side written on would be discarded. The picture side would either be folded in half or glued to a piece of paper and a personal message would be added for the senior. You have no idea how much joy it brought to some of these seniors. For some of them, this would be the only card anyone would give them. The church and the volunteers did not have a special card budget, so these recycled ones would be it or there would be nothing.
  4. Use them for scrapbooking. As we become more and more conscious of our environment, printers and card companies are using acid free paper and inks so they can be used to make some fancy frames, backgrounds, clip art, etc. for our photo albums and scrapbooks. Many cards today are even made by hand and have that three-dimensional effect that so many scrapbookers are looking for.
  5. Give them to your child for cutting. Younger children love to cut paper, and cardstock gives them a different texture to manipulate. Manipulatives are very important for a young child’s development and for fine motor skills. The ones with layers, ribbons, pop-ups, etc. can all be taken apart and possibly reconstructed by the child. Children can use the pictures to illustrate their own stories. Old magazines also work well for this.
  6. Save them until next year, and children can decorate their own small packages.
  7. Help your children make next year’s Advent calendar. You’ll need one card for the main scene in the front, from which you will cut out the 25 windows (cut three sides only, door-style). With a pencil, outline the windows on a piece of paper. You’ll need one or more cards for the back where you’ll glue the 25 mini-pictures to the outlines on the piece of paper. Then glue that paper to the back of the main scene with the 25 mini-pictures showing through the windows. Next year, you’ll bend back one window each day of Advent. If you do the craft this year, it will help your children transition from too much excitement during the pre-Christmas rush and too little excitement in the post-Christmas letdown and boredom before returning to school. This craft is not about making the prettiest, most professional-looking calendar (you can buy that at the store), it’s about letting your children practice gluing, cutting, aligning and using their creativity, while letting them do something more than just watch TV and boosting their self-esteem. If you put away the calendar(s) with the Christmas decorations, you will not lose them during the long year ahead. You can also elect to tuck in all your used cards with the decorations and they will be waiting for your children’s creative talents next Advent season.
  8. Another good child craft is to use cookie cutters (or a glass for a simple circle) to outline 25 scenes, cut them out with scissors, punch a small hole on either left/right or top/bottom and string them garland style. Your children can add bows in between each scene, or add beads, etc. Their creativity is the limit. You also have the option to add the numbers 1-25 on them. It will make a nice swag for across the mantle, a vertical garland to hang in their room or for the homeschool classroom for next year’s Advent.
  9. Frame them. Many cards are art reproductions of the Masters, and some may be from unknown artists at Hallmark or American Greetings but just as pretty, and will make cute holiday pictures to decorate your home. Get a few small frames from the dollar store (sometimes even two or three for $1) or insert them in frame ornaments for your tree, which have become so popular in recent years. There’s no law that says you must put in a family snapshot. You could put in a reproduction of the Holy Family or a cutesy teddy bear with a holly wreath if that’s more along your decorating theme (shop those after-Christmas sales for bargains).
  10. Our son, the future scientist, tells me the computer chip components from musical Christmas cards can be reused for scientific and robotic purposes.
  11. If you receive cards from Europe, they have a paper insert which is not glued to the card as they are here in the U.S., so you can just save/toss the insert and reuse the card as a brand new greeting card next year. All you’ll have to do is buy some envelopes.
  12. One senior citizen I used to know would cut away the written portion and send the picture portion as a Christmas postcard. On her tiny, fixed income, she would also save on postage, yet she was able to continue her social tradition of sending cards to everyone she knew. She said the ones which were not embossed worked best as it was more difficult to see that they were reused greeting cards.
  13. Save the written part of the card. Yes, you read that correctly. Professionals write these cards and say it better than most of us can, so save your favorite samples and incorporate them in your own greetings. Soon, even blank cards will be of no concern to you even if you are normally completely tongue tied. This works for birthday and especially sympathy cards.

For the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my Advent and Christmas ideas, just click below.

If you missed any of my household tips, just click below. I also have these as a separate page you can access any time at the header on top.

Posted in Advent, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cards, Caring, carnival, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, Memories, Noel, Photography, Recycle, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, scrapbook, scrapbooking, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

holly-divider-bar.jpg

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

holly-divider-bar.jpg

Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Advent Calendar Chain — An Easy Children’s Craft

Posted by infinitygoods on December 2, 2007

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. If you forgot to buy an Advent Calendar or if you’re simply looking for a super easy craft for your children to make, you can show them how to make an Advent Calendar Chain.

It will save you from hearing all month long, sometimes even several times a day, “How many more days until Christmas?” It will help your children get a sense of the passage of time and days, and it will help them with small motor skills by cutting, gluing and perhaps even drawing.

All you need are paper, scissors, glue and if coloring either pencils or markers. You can also get more elaborate by adding ribbons, stickers, beads, or whatever strikes your children’s fancy.

Good paper choices include Christmas scrapbook sheets, Christmas wrapping paper, origami paper, colored construction paper or if your children are coloring their own, then plain white paper or brown shopping bags for a more country look.

The size of each strip can vary. About half an inch to 2 inches by 5 to 7 inches works well. The narrower strips will look more dainty. The younger the child, the longer the loop should be so they don’t get frustrated trying to get their inexperienced fingers to work the loops.

You’ll need 25 strips. If you use craft scissors with waves or zigzags, it will add some interest to your chain. Your children should number the strips 1 through 25.

You have the choice of going by the calendar year (Dec. 1) or the church year (1st. Sunday which this year is Dec. 2). If your child is too young to write, you can do it for them or give them numbered stickers to place on. This helps with early math sense as well.

Show your children how to cut the strips and how to glue them into interconnecting loops. Most children will use too much glue so show them that a little goes a long way. Explain to them that each day they will be removing one loop from the chain to represent one less day until Christmas.

Two good ways to display the chain are across the mantle or hanging down vertically on a wall. You can even use a Christmas stocking hook. If you hang the chain on the wall, you can have your children draw a picture of the nativity or use a Christmas card of a nativity to place at the top. You could also cutout a large paper Christmas star for the top of your chain.

If you turn on the Christmas lights on the tree, turn on the Christmas music, maybe even sing along, and help your children in a relaxed manner, then you will not only be creating pleasant family memories, but creating traditions that your children will treasure so much they will want to recreate them with their own children.

Don’t forget to praise your children and to take lots of photos. Your children will never be this age again, so enjoy each stage and every step of the way.

Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, religion, spirituality, Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »