If you've been reading this blog very long, you might have noticed that we make kind of a big deal about Christmas. Okay, a really big deal. We celebrate Jesus, coming to earth for us. And we roll into that a lot of family tradition that is fun, but not necessarily sacred. We can talk about that, but it's not where I'm going today :D
With a new baby coming, I'm offering some of that heritage to my SIL, starting with this:
Leah knew right away it looked Christmassy :D And it is. But - darn it! - I still can't load a picture of the whole thing!
My Nana made Candy Strips for us when we were kids, and I've made them for ours. Here's a pic to give you the general idea, though the baby's looks a bit different.
Think of it as a vertical advent calendar, with a row of little candies tied on. (I think a couple were already missing in the photo above!) Even before our kids could count to twenty-four, they could see Christmas approaching.
There's a little poem at the top, that goes like this,
December first 'til Christmas
is the longest time of year,
seems as though old Santa
never will appear.
How many more days 'til Christmas
it's so mighty hard to count,
so this little candy ribbon
will tell you the exact amount.
Untie a candy every night
when the Sandman casts his spell,
and Christmas Eve will be here
by the time you reach the bell!
So this, along with a Christmas book, A Night the Stars Danced For Joy, went to the baby from their cousins :D
And, bonus! If this looks like something you'd like to try, let me assure you, IT'S EASY. I used felt, which is stiffer than regular fabric and doesn't ravel, which means you don't have to finish or hem the edges.
Here's how I did it, though I don't have pics.
1. Cut a red piece of felt for the strip and angle the bottom so it came to a point. Mine is about 30 inches, because I used a strip from a one yard piece of felt, but trimmed off what I didn't need.
2. OPTIONAL: I decorated this candy strip with white circles. I had in mind to do snowflakes, but honestly did not have the patience for that! I'm hoping the white circles kind of bring snow to mind ;D When I made the boys', I used Christmas cookie cutters to cut shapes of colored felt and sewed them on. Again, easy-squeazy because the felt need not be hemmed.
3.. Starting at the bottom, use a tape measure to mark where each ribbon will go. I spaced mine about an inch apart and marked the felt with chalk.
4. I used one spool of cheap (fifty cents!) ribbon from Michaels. Yarn works too. It's a pain to thread it into a (large!) needle, so I only threaded it once and poked the needle through each place I wanted the ribbon, (pulling it through, like a big shoelace as I went), and then cut each tie about the same length. If this doesn't make sense, don't worry about it!
5. I printed out the little poem in a font I liked, on white paper, and then covered it with contact paper. This isn't going to be going through the wash so paper is fine. Though if you want to print it onto fabric, knock yourself out.
6. I sewed this on right above the ribbons.
7. I turned down an inch or two at the top and sewed a little tube to hang it by. Alternately, you could just attach ribbon or yarn at the top. But you will want something to stiffen the top or it will kind of roll together when you hang it - especially when it's all heavy with candy. You can see what I mean in the photo of the boys' strips. I inserted a piece of doweling rod, but it doesn't quite fix it.
We have bamboo growing in the back yard and that was a perfect solution. Kerry (or one of the boys?) cut me a little piece of bamboo, which is hollow. I sewed the little sleeve to just fit the bamboo and then threaded some ribbon through it and it hangs quite nicely.
So there ya go ;D