Tag Archives: christmas

Felt Patronus Ornaments

Let’s be honest…we’ve all taken the Patronus Quiz on Pottermore, right?  Were ya’ll as bummed with your Patronus as I was?

I mean, I was really excited to find out what my Patronus was, considering my spirit animal is the unicorn (you can find your own here!), but I was slightly disappointed to discover that my Patronus was a cat.

Image result for disappointed cat, gif

My disappointment was 2-fold:

  1. What help would cats REALLY be against Dementors? A stag could charge it, a wolf or dog could attack it…but really what would my cat even do?  Scratch out its non-existent eyeballs?  Sit there quietly in judgement?  Chuck hairballs at it?
  2. I’m allergic to cats. I’d be allergic to my own Patronus.

But alas, I stand by the quiz…and I’m sure, somewhere deep, deep down, my Patronus makes perfect sense.

Of course that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming of having a wolf or dog Patronus…and that’s where today’s craft comes in!  Made using sparkling white felt (you could also use clay!), these Patronuses are great for hanging on gifts, on Christmas trees, or throwing at people who get you down!  Expecto your Patronus on their face!!

felt-patronus

To make the animal shapes, I just found animal silhouettes I liked online, then used them as a stencil to cut out my Patronuses.  You can use plain thin felt, but if you can find the thicker cut felt, that’s the best kind for making shapes like this…and sharp scissors…crazy sharp.

Finally, you can use glitter to add a touch of sparkle to your animals, since we all know Patronuses dance in sparkly lights and smoke.  The felt I found had sparkles already on it, so one step down, but you can always add your own sparkles with glitter or sparkle paint.

patronus-guide

To make them into ornaments, just glue a small string to the back of each animal and you’re good to go!

patronus-close-up

The perfect gift for any Potter fan, these felt Patronus Ornaments are sure to keep bad thoughts and dreams at bay!

*Sidenote, about halfway through this project, I decided NOT to make ornaments, but something else instead…stay tuned for how I put my Patronus collection to work!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Looking for a cute and easy gift idea for the bookworm in your life? Look no further, because these little book cover charms are just the most adorable thing in the universe.

harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments

Everyone loves a gift that’s meaningful and budget-friendly, and that’s exactly what this Harry Potter Book Cover Charms Set is…

Made using a template and Polymer clay, these little charms can be used as ornaments, gift tags, or even wine charms for a literary party (I’m talking to you, book clubbers!).

I’ve attached the template I created to make these Harry Potter books, but you could make charms with any book covers you’d like! How cute would these look hanging from a Christmas tree or birthday gift? I’m just in love with them!

harry-potter-book-charms-hand

I used regular printer paper to create these little charms, but if you can print on stiffer paper or cardstock, that might work better. The printer paper was a bit flimsy and didn’t really stick to the clay, but that’s nothing a little Mod Podge can’t fix! I’m gonna try cardstock next time and see if that works any better.

I literally can’t wait to create more of these little book charms! I might even make a garland that I can hang around my bookshelves or around my Christmas tree next year!

OK, I need to simmer down…

Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Materials:

  • Harry Potter book cover template
  • Scissors
  • Polymer clay, in color of your choice
  • Clay rolling pin
  • Craft knife
  • Mod Podge glue
  • Brush
  • Quick-Dry tacky glue
  • Baker’s twine

Instructions:

  1. Print out your book covers on thick paper or cardstock, if you can.  Regular paper will work, but the stiffer paper will work better.  Cut out your book covers.
  2. Roll out your clay to about 1/4 in. thickness.  Place your book covers on the clay and, using your clay roller, gently press the covers into the clay.  It won’t be a secure stick, but the paper will stick better as the charms bake.  Using the craft knife, cut out the covers.
  3. Using the leftover clay, create seven little discs, about the size of your pinky nail.  These will help secure the string to the back of the charm.
    harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments1
  4. Bake your covers and discs following package instructions.  Watch your clay, though.  It may bake a lot faster than you think!
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  6. Once cool, use a brush to add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of each book cover.  This will give your books a nice shine and will also help secure the paper to the clay.  Let dry.
    harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments4
  7. Turn your covers over and add a small amount of tacky glue to the back.  Cut a piece of baker’s twine, about 3 – 4 in. long.  Fold in half.  Place two ends in glue, making sure loop rises above your charm.  Secure twine with small clay disc.  Let dry completely.
    harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments5

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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9 Tasty Molasses Recipes

Well, another Christmas come and gone! The cookies are done, the baking is done, and finally kitchens across the world can breathe a sigh of relief!

Though you may be done with baking all your holiday treats, chances are you still have a ton of ingredients left over taking up space in your cabinets…at least I do! I have stuff I only use around this time of year…and now my leftover corn syrup, molasses, and bags and bags of chocolate are taking up space where I SHOULD have actual adult food.  Boo to adult food.

tasty-molassas-recipes

While most of this stuff will actually keep for quite a while, I still don’t like having it around when I could be using that space for something else…so, time to purge!

I’m starting with molasses. I use molasses only for gingerbread cookies, but I don’t need that much per batch, so I’m left with a good amount at the end of my baking. Since I’m so burnt out on cookies, I’m looking to use it on something else…maybe even some savory dishes??

So I did some Googling and found nine excellent ideas for using up that leftover molasses. From side dishes to treats for Fido, these recipes are a great solution to helping you clean out your baking cabinet for the new year!

9 Tasty Molasses Recipes

Brown Molasses Bread
itsalwaysautumn.com
molasses-bread

Molasses Spice Energy Bites
veggieprimer.com
molasses-energy-bites

Homemade BBQ Sauce
chef-in-training.com
molasses-bbq-sauce

Ginger Molasses Carrots
thecompletesavorist.com
molasses-carrots

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans
momontimeout.com
molasses-sausage-and-bean-chili

Gingersnap Pecans
taketwotapas.com
molasses-pecans

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham
sweetcsdesigns.com
molasses-ham

Pumpkin and Molasses Homemade Dog Treats
betsylife.com
molasses-dog-treats

Molasses Scones with Candied Ginger
thekitchenpaper.com
molasses-scones

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Merry Christmas!

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24 Fun Facts About A Christmas Story

Let’s face facts…by now you’ve probably seen A Christmas Story at least 100 times.  It’s on a continual loop around the holiday season and almost every Christmas-loving family owns a copy of this cult classic…but I bet there are at least a few things you may NOT know about this movie we’ve all seen a bijillion times.

Filmed mainly in Cleveland and Toronto, A Christmas Story opened on November 18, 1983 and starred Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, Melinda Dillon as Mrs. Parker, and Darren McGavin as Mr. Parker.  Based on the book, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd, A Christmas Story tells the tale of a little boy who will stop at nothing to get his Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Air Rifle with a Compass in the Stock and this Thing Which Tells Time!

fun-facts-about-a-christmas-story

Filled with memorable scenes, quotes, and characters, A Christmas Story has become a holiday favorite and can be seen airing on TV for 24 hours the day before Christmas.  You may know the lines…you may know the scenes…hell, you may have even visited the museum (if you haven’t, you must!  A truly amazing experience for any fan!), but there are lots of other fun facts that you may not have known about this holiday classic!

To help get you in the Christmas spirit (and to help you impress your friends and family with movie trivia as you watch this flick for the 100th time), here are 24 Fun Facts about A Christmas Story!

Curious where the cast ended up?  Check out A Christmas Story: Where Are They Now? for an update!

24 Fun Facts about A Christmas Story

Jack Nicholson was originally interested in the role of The Old Man, but the film’s budget was too small to afford him.

jack nicholson the shining

Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie, was the first child to audition for the part.  Director Bob Clark didn’t want to cast the first kid he saw, so he auditioned thousands more before deciding to cast Billingsley anyway.

Image result for peter billingsley, a christmas story

One of the actors who auditioned for Ralphie was a young Sean Astin, who would go on to star in The Goonies.

Image result for Sean Astin then and now

A Christmas Story is based on Jean Shepherd’s 1966 book, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.  The book started as a series of short stories published in Playboy magazine.

Image result for in god we trust book

Author Jean Shepherd was also the narrator of the film and made a brief cameo in the movie as the man who told Ralphie and Randy where the back of the line was while visiting Santa.  The woman in the photo is also his wife.

Image result for Jean Shepherd, a christmas story

In the scene when Ralphie is shooting bandits outside his window chewing tobacco, he actually is chewing tobacco.  Billingsley said he started getting dizzy and his lips started burning.

a christmas story

Jon Favreau had Billingsley sign a Red Ryder BB Gun for him when they worked together on the set of Swingers.

Related image

In 2004, a man named Brian Jones bought the house in Cleveland where A Christmas Story was filmed for $150,000 on eBay.  He then spent $240,000 restoring the house into a near exact copy of the movie set.  It’s now a museum you can visit and explore!

Image result for christmas story house

In the scene when Flick freezes his tongue to the flagpole, the actor originally just put his tongue through a small hole in the pole; however, actor Scott Schwartz was such a prankster on set that the director decided to get back at him by adding a suction tube inside the pole to really make his tongue stick.  Schwartz freaked out and his reaction made it to the final cut of the film!

christmas christmas movies a christmas story

Actor Scott Schwartz has also appeared in several adult films under the name Scotty Schwartz.

Image result for Scott Schwartz

Three iconic leg lamps were made for filming, and all three were broken during production.

a christmas story

Billingsley owns the iconic pink bunny suit and BB gun, and the glasses that get broken after he “shoots his eye out” were also his own.

bunny costume a christmas story

The boy in the goggles who is waiting next to Ralphie in line to see Santa is not an actor.  He was a real kid in the department store and the director decided to use him in the scene.

Image result for a christmas story, boy with goggles

The snow in the movie was made using mashed potato flakes.

Image result for a christmas story, snow

Ralphie says he wants the Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the movie.

movie christmas a christmas story

The Wonder Years was semi-inspired by A Christmas Story.  In fact, Peter Billingsley appears as one of Kevin Arnold’s roommates in one of the last few episodes of The Wonder Years.

Image result for peter billingsley on the wonder years

Special versions of the BB gun had to be made for the film.  The Red Ryder BB Gun did exist at the time and was first made in 1938; however it lacked the compass and sundial that the movie version mentioned.

Image result for red ryder bb gun

Though it takes place in Indiana, the movie split its filming between locations in Cleveland and Toronto.

Image result for a christmas story, toronto

None of the actors get royalty payments when A Christmas Story airs on TV, making it basically free to show continually for 24 hours.

a christmas story

The villain, Scott Farkus, is meant to be a wolf, of sorts.  Farkus means “wolf” in Hungarian and his ‘theme song’ is Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

a christmas story

The leg lamp was inspired by an old soda pop ad for Nehi soda.

Image result for nehi soda, leg

Ralphie’s rant when he’s beating up Farkus was actually scripted word for word.

a christmas story

Similarly, the rants made by the Old Man were also scripted.

Image result for old man, a christmas story

The popular Chinese dinner scene was also unscripted.  Melinda Dillon had no idea they were going to chop off the head of the duck, inspiring this candid reaction!

a christmas story

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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How to Make an Origami Paper Star

Whether you need a last-minute Christmas decoration, a garland for New Year’s Eve, or you’re just looking for a cute way to decorate your bedroom or nursery, these adorable paper stars are a wonderful way to add style to your home.

You could gather them in a bowl, string them on a garland, hang them from a mobile, or just turn them into cute ornaments!  The possibilities are endless and you’ll love how super easy these little stars are to make.

origami-paper-star

Though I made white stars here, you could easily use colored paper to create a whole rainbow of designs.  And the width of your paper will also vary the size of your star…so if you want bigger stars, make your paper strips wider.  For smaller stars, make your strips thinner (you may also have to make them a bit shorter, too so they’re not too thick when you try to form the points).

One of these stars took about a minute to make, if that.  So as you learn the motion, you can power through a whole galaxy in no time!

 

How to Make Origami Paper Stars

Materials:

  • Piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut out two strips of paper, each measuring about 1 in. wide.  Tape them together for a strip measuring 1 in. wide and 22 in. long.
    paper-stars1
  2. On one end of the strip, make a ribbon, with the short end behind the long end.
    paper-stars2
  3. Insert the small tab through the hole and pull gently to form a knot.
    paper-stars3
    paper-stars4
    Oops, my paper ripped!  No worries, you won’t see it!
  4. Fold down the short end behind the piece.
    paper-stars5
  5. Then start folding the long strip up and around the piece, following the angles.
    paper-stars6
  6. Keep folding until you get to the end.
    paper-stars7
  7. Once you’re at the end, you’ll stick the end piece underneath these two folds.
    paper-stars8
  8. So you’ll have something like this.
    paper-stars9
  9. Then just push the side of the hexagon with your finger nail.
    paper-stars10
  10. Repeat on all sides for a star.
    paper-stars11

 

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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The True Meaning of Christmas

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Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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