Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snowflake Event!

(Image above from:

We have been having fun around here making paper snowflakes. It can become addictive! We have a tree done entirely in snowflakes, and have been arranging them and adding to them to get them just right. Here was our first round of snowflakes:

Some of the snowflakes are made out of photocopied sheet music:
Here is the tree after another paper snow-fall!

Several of the snowflakes came from free patterns online (links below) and the rest were made up "free-form" by the crew around here.

This tree was so much fun to decorate, The Pleasant Times would like to give you some free snowflake patterns, and to host our own Snowflake Blogging event the week of December the 12th! This event is open to all ages!

You can:
Make your own patterns for paper snowflakes to show on your blog (design blank below),
Show photos of your paper snowflake decorations (whether your own or one from another pattern)
Show photos of other snowflake crafts, be they
and more
You can also:
Share photos of real snow around your area,
Share your favorite snowflake-related links,
Share any of your home-schooling activities that are snow-related,
Show off your snow-flake shaped sugar cookies on your grandmother's snowflake themed china,
Show your holiday dresses made from sparkly snowflake fabric,
Or whatever is related!

If you have something with snowflakes in your etsy shop, or want to remind folks of an old post you had up on snowflakes, please feel free to share!

In the mean time, The Pleasant Times staff will:
Try to figure out the link gadget thing usually used at these kinds of events,
Come up with some really neat snowflake pattern for you,
And try to glitter on the snowflakes on the tree!

This will not be a contest, and there will be no prizes, but we hope you will have a flurry of fun with your family making snowflakes and sharing them with others!

You will have a week to put your snowflake posts up, and feel to do more than one.

Here are some of our own paper snowflakes to get you started:
(You will have to fold and cut them yourself to see what the whole design looks like!)
Click on each one to enlarge (I know they are hard to see, sorry! They are really there-- ) , then print on fast print. Fold in half, then in fourths, then in thirds along the lines. Cut and then carefully unfold. With the bird below, you will want to make sure that you leave the beaks connected!

Below is one from one of our staff members:

And below is a design blank for you to experiment with your own snowflake designs!

And now for those promised links:

There are a treasure trove of snowflakes and snow crystal photos here- a great family study for school:

Some of the snowflakes on the tree came from this site:

And a few from this site:

The tree topper in the lower photos is a twisted star, from this link:
http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2006/12/lacy-snowflake-tutorial.html  Use the suggestion from one of the comments and fold up your square to make your cuts, unless you enjoy using an exacto knife. Here is how I did it:
 Fold square in half to make a triangle;
 fold triangle in half again as shown;
 make a long cut from the bottom edge to about 1/2 from opposite edge.
Make about 5 of these cuts, and you will end up with the square as shown. Then follow directions from the site to finish.

Be sure to check back in later this week for recycled-paper paper chains!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Decorated Fellowship Hall for Thanksgiving

When there are such events at a church building such as a potluck or special meal around holiday time, it is nice to have the fellowship area decorated to suit the occasion. This is not easy to do in every case! These kinds of rooms are often very big, decorations and materials for such rooms hard to find, and always there is something one has to "make do" with.

Some of the staff here at The Pleasant Times helped decorate this fellowship room/kitchen for a Thanksgiving themed dinner.

One creative lady did the decorating, with long leafy "vines" in autumn hues. The vines were placed along the windows, the backs of pews, and down the center of the tables.

Some of our "interns" helped us with the buffet tables. The tables were covered in wide paper, taped underneath, and rubber stamped with autumn leaf and pumpkin stamps in autumn colors. This paper table cover was fun to write on: we drew a circle for the punch bowl placement, wrote "desserts" where they were to be placed, etc.

All the tables were placed together "family-style" because of the occasion, and it created a lot of space in the room, so that we were able to have more room to get around the buffet tables. There were not enough tablecloths to cover every table, so in putting the tables together we were able to get them all covered & matching.
Each place had cutlery wrapped in napkins and tied simply with ribbon. 
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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Quebe Effect

Here at The Pleasant Times offices, we frequently suffer from The Quebe Effect. That is where someone starts a tune-- maybe just a couple measures-- of one of the songs that the Quebe Sisters sing, and that is all it takes for it to take over everyone's brain. Nothing will stop it but another dose of the Quebes on youtube or itunes.

This has happened to us with other tunes/singers as well, but we have never had a name for this effect before. Since it has been happening so often with this particular group, we will name it in their honor.

Here's another dose of the Quebes, just in case it's been happening to you, too:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Little Bits

Lady Looking at Drawings, 1894

Lady Looking at Drawings, 1894

Giclee Print
Belimbau, Adolfo

Buy  at AllPosters.com

(You ought to see this painting framed with a gold frame and light pink mat! It's beautiful!)

Little Bits of News and Various Thoughts
By The Pleasant Times Reporter, L.

The other day I awoke to the news that there is to be a Royal Wedding. Since the entire world is going to put a lot of pressure on Miss Middleton to live up to their expectations, The Pleasant Times will hop on board: let's hope she starts a new trend for wedding dresses (and a modest one). We are getting so tired of the current style, which has been around too long.

With the holiday season being upon us, and time being scarce, I have been pondering some changes for next year that will help with the time problem:
  Have an earlier Thanksgiving. It is too close to December and makes the Christmas preparations rushed. To my mind, they are two distinct holidays, and we need more time between them. Perhaps we could move Thanksgiving closer to harvest, and not wait until the garden is dead to have a feast.       
  Abolish Daylight Savings Time. People do not like their sleep patterns messed up. (Someone recently told me that when we lost an hour this Autumn when we "fell back" from DST, that he wants the lost hour, to divide up as he pleases: 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there, as he needs it.)

Australians should celebrate Christmas in their Wintertime. Why do they have to go along with our time schedule for it? The holiday is best celebrated in the dark, dull, damp winter. No one knows the exact day that Jesus was born, after all.

If you have a fake Christmas tree this year, remember to fluff it up, says our Craft editor Miss Paste. Look at real fir trees and try to imitate the shape with the fake ones. Top branches point up, middle ones out, and bottom ones downward. She advises that you quench the eager desire to decorate, and take the time to fix the tree so that it does not look like it is still crushed up from a box.

If you haven't yet noticed, the Editor has a put a Google Reader feature on the sidebar to note posts that are of interest to her.

There are a few things planned for The Pleasant Times in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


By The Pleasant Times Sewing Room Editor Miss Thread

A quick, fun craft are these mini "snowballs."
They are simply yo-yo's that are stuffed. These are doll-sized snowballs, using the instructions here, only starting with very small circles (I used a juice-can lid, about 3" across, to trace my circles). I was able to sew about 2 dozen in one evening.
The scrap bag supplied white fabric for this project in sparkled, tone-on-tone, and textured variations. White felt and an overlay of sparkly net on plain muslin were also used. It was a great way to use small pieces of material that I just didn't want to throw away!
Thinking of the icy blues of glaciers, I did some in blue.

And just for fun, a couple in pink sparkly fabric.

I'm thinking that a few of these strung together to make a garland would be cute around a mini-Christmas tree!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Sentenced to Death

You wonder why things like this don't make your national news.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas Tree Inspiration

Every year, a local home improvement store puts up a grand Christmas tree display. Their trees are chock-full of ornaments (because of course they are trying to sell them!) and loaded with fun things.  I like to go and look at the unusual items that they put in the trees: "the more you look, the more you see!" I was so impressed with last year's display, and wished I could have taken pictures. This year I plucked up the courage to ask if I may take some photos, and was graciously given permission.
I don't have the best camera, and had a limited amount of time the day I did this, so please pardon any blurry pictures!
Scroll down to see just some of the themed trees that are on display there. There's an "at the lake" tree towards the end of the post, too!

 This tree is striking: full of sparkling snowflakes, dripping with icy snowflakes, and touches of blue. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a black tree (the first time I have ever seen one). It provides a contrast and really sets off the ornaments.

This tree is full of soft red-and-white felt ornaments

 This tree is a full of plaid ornaments and set in a terrific sleigh for display!
 I'm partial to plaids. This tree had beautiful blown-glass ornaments, both sparkly and shiny,  glittering lanterns, golden bells and bows, and poinsettias at the top.

I like the new take on the candy cane stripes!

 A "Nutcracker" tree with the traditional nutcracker and all his relatives.
Meet Mr. Nutcracker's cousin, an astronaut from the US, and his other cousin, a sailor.

 A fashionable white tree done in a pink and black "girly" theme. I like the patterned ribbon cascading down the tree.  The tree is full of fashion tags and signs and "fashion doll" ornaments.

 A gleeful "Snowman" tree has something that looks like fourth-of-July sparklers amongst the fabulous bow at the top. Along with mini ice-skates, snowy pine cones, and shiny glass ornaments, are dozens of snowmen of all kinds.

 This red-and-silver tree was interesting, because of all the BIG things in it. GIANT snowflakes, large glittery reindeer, and wreaths are things I would not have thought to put in my tree!

 A music-themed tree is always a favorite, wherever I happen to see one. This one is full of instruments. Something was making music as I walked past, it may have been one of the ornaments!

The Cowboy themed tree in front, and behind it the Sportsman's tree (with a fishing net for the tree skirt).
It was on the Cowboy tree last year that I realized that I could do whatever I wanted when I decorated my tree, even use furniture; they had little wooden step-stools tucked into the tree all around, with horses painted on them, I believe.
Signs are used a lot in these trees, and they fill in the spaces quite well . Some are framed and some not; some have warm sentiments and some amusing sayings. Plain pine cones, big and small, dotting the tree  also make them "authentic."
A little horse-shoe tree sat by the Cowboy tree. 

 The "Welcome to the Lake" tree. I liked this one a lot. The top of the tree sports oars and ribbon; little boats and oars are all around the tree, along with woodland creatures, pine cones, and snowflakes. There are little pairs of snowshoes and even birdhouses tucked in this tree. The wide red ribbon twirls through it all.
One could spend a lot of time looking at all the details of these trees.
Big and small pine cones are behind this eagle ornament.
One of the little snow-shoes.
I liked this glitter bear!
A small camper sits under this tree. Perhaps it is for the mice to sleep in, so they will not stir on Christmas Eve!