Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Pom Pom Wreaths

Does anyone remember making these...

I made them as a child and my mom still has them hanging in the house at Christmas time! It's a really simple and fun project for the kids...
Here's how they're made:

You will need red yarn, green yarn, a piece of cardboard, and a plastic lid (approx. 4 inches in diameter). You begin by wrapping the green yarn around the cardboard in one direction about 100 times (although we tried wrapping a couple of them about 150x and they came out really nice and full!)...
The cardboard needs to be about 3 inches square- then you can wrap on either side...
Be sure to wrap in the same direction for at least 100x...
Then cut the yarn...
And carefully slide the bundle off the cardboard while holding the yarn firmly...
Find the center of the bundle...
Cut a long piece of red string (about 12 inches) and lay it in the center, under the bundle...
Tie the red yarn into a tight knot...

Now it's time to cut your ball into a pom pom! Cut the loops that have been formed by the red yarn- starting at one side and working slowly to the other side...
Then do the second side- be sure to get all the loops and don't cut your red yarn. Once cut, shake your pom pom to fluff it...
Now trim your pom pom so that all the strings are approximately the same length...
And there's your pom pom! Now, you need to make a total of 8 green pom poms for the main part of the wreath, and 2 red pom poms to hang from the bottom.
We had a nice assembly line going!
Next, take your lid...
And make a hole in the center. Then begin to cut the top of the lid so that you have a total of 8 even slits from the center...
Here's how it should look when finished...
Next, cut the tips off of the wedges so that your lid will fit over your door knob- start small and then you can trim as needed.
Be sure to check how it's fitting on your door knob as you go...Next, take one of the pom poms and use the red yarn that is in the center of the pom pom to tie it onto the lid on the back side- be sure to tie it in a knot...
Then bring the yarn around the pom pom so that you tie it in a second knot on the front side of the wreath- this will give you your little "berries" once you cut the yarn...
Another shot of the assembly line!
Tie all 8 of the pom poms onto the wreath and clip the red yarn in each pom pom after it has been tied through the front (about the same length as the green yarn)...
Here's how it should look when all 8 pom poms are attatched...
Go ahead and give it a final trim if needed! Then take the 2 red pom poms that you have made...
You're going to attatch them to the wreath with a braided string of yarn. (My mom used to crochet hers, but braiding works just as well!) You'll need 3 strings of yarn (about 3 feet each). Tie them together at the top and braid to the bottom...
Once braided, tie off the second end of the braid in a knot and then tie the ends of the braids around the pom poms so it's all one piece...
Finally, hang the red pom pom string through the center of the wreath (there are several ways you can do it- you can simply pull one side through or you can loop it into the lid from the front side- you'll figure something out!!)...
You may want to adjust the lenth so that one side hangs a little longer than the other. You can do this by simply pulling on one end of the string.

You can also add bells to the red pom poms if you have them! One final suggestion would be to make the red pom poms slightly bigger since they hang by themselves- you can do this by wrapping the yarn around the cardboard about 150 times (instead of 100x like the green poms).

Well, that's it! Hope you try this fun project! Let me know how it goes or if you have any questions ;-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ice skating in a ghost town!

My parents are fortunate to live in an area full of history, beauty and recreation. About 20 minutes down the road from their house is an historic old ghost town called Bannack- now a national park that has been preserved but not commercialized. The park is open for touring, camping, and (in the winter) ice skating- which is just what we did a couple of days ago with some friends from Kansas! Here's Matthew- he fell asleep on the way to the park, so Zack put him on the table while we all found skates that fit!
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And here's the Gang at the pond getting ready to skate...
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The skating rink is simply a frozen pond and it sits in a beautiful location- right at the base of several mountains...
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We had gorgeous (but cold!) weather!
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This is Sophie and her friend Lauryn (our neighbor in Kansas) on the pond...
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Couldn't resist this shot of Emily in front of the mountain and bright blue sky!
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Josh enjoyed the skating!
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Oh look... here comes gramma!!
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Our gorgeous Sophie Grace!
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And my handsome hubby!!
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Jacob loved having his daddy skate around with him!
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YES, the pacifier is going AS SOON as we get back home!!!
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The Gang and their friends...
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Can you tell I was loving the light?!
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Our great friends (and neighbors!) (and parents of the kids' friends as well as Allie's boyfriend!!!) from Kansas who came to spend a few days with us after they spent a week skiing at Big Sky, MT...
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After skating, we decided to walk through the historic part of town...
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Most of the buildings are open to go in- this is the church...
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Here are all the kids (minus Allie- she had a migraine!)...
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The photographer in me got the best of me!!
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We've been to Bannack many times now, but normally in the summer, so it was fun to see it covered in snow!
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I loved the reflection in this window plus the ice crystals that had formed on the glass...
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We left just as the sun began to drop behind the mountains and it started to get really cold! It was a great day!!
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