Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Make Greek Worry Beads

How to Make Greek Worry Beads

HOW TO MAKE WORRY BEADS (KOMBOLOI)

Komboloi or worry beads are a string of beads used as a form of stress management similar to squeeze balls (only you can’t squeeze them). The word “Komboloi” comes from the Greek word “kombos” or “knot” and “logio” meaning “collection”. Worry beads are also used to simply idle away the time.

Worry beads are similar to prayer ropes (“komboskini” which uses the Greek word “kombos” for “knot” and “skini” which means “rope”) but have no religious significance. Like prayer ropes, they consist of an odd number of beads because odd numbers can not be evenly divided and are considered good luck.

Although many cultures use worry beads, they have been used in Greece and Cyprus for centuries. In recent years, worry beads made of materials other than the traditional amber or amber resin are popular.

Materials:

 

Odd number of pony beads in different colors (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. I used 17 and 21)

One bead larger than the other beads preferably in another color or contrasting material;add more pony beads in different sizes

Scissors

Wide-eyed needle (optional)

Cordage such as string or nylon twine or even yarn about 24” with more yardage for adding tassel

Tassel (homemade or store-bought)

Ruler or measuring tape

Instructions:

1.      Cut cordage and string beads through it

2.      Thread both ends of the cordage through the large bead and tie a knot at the end

3.      Attach the tassel by tying extra cordage around it and knotting it. Or attach four smaller pony beads about a    half-inch below the knot.

4.      Tie a knot and trim excess cordage or fray it like a tassel.

5.      Extend four fingers keeping them together and the thumb upright. Twirl worry beads under and over the hand. Or twirl the worry beads over and under the forefinger.

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How to Make an Iridescent Angel Ornament for the Holidays

How to Make an Iridescent Angel Ornament for the Holidays

Iridescent Angel

*MATERIALS:
Wood knob or ball
18” long pink or white ribbon
clay pot
Flesh, brown, black and white paint
2 more colors of choice
1 11/2” brass ring
Moss
1(1/2 oz.) crystal iridescent glitter
2 jars or bowls for water
Brushes
Scissors
White glue
Plastic baggie
2 wood hearts

 

1. Paint the bottom and sides of the clay pot with two coats of white paint. Set aside to dry between the first and second coats.
2. Fill half a small plastic bag with glitter. Paint the two wooden hearts with white acrylic  paint. Place the wooden hearts in the plastic bag, tie it with a twist tie and shake. Be sure that the hearts are totally covered on the one side with the glitter. Remove the hearts and let them dry. These will be the angel’s wings.
3. The wooden knob is head of the angel. Paint it flesh or brown or black. Let it dry.
4. Paint the clay pot with dabs of different colors: pink and silver or any other color combination
5. While it is still wet, place the pot into the baggie filled with glitter. Shake well and cover the entire pot with glitter. Remove and let it dry.
6. Cut the moss. Roll the back of the angel’s head in tacky glue and then roll the head in the moss. This is the hair of the angel. Trim excess “hair” with scissors.
8. Cut a long piece of ribbon and fold it in half. Pull the loop through the clay pot and position it. Tie the ends in a large double knot and pull the ribbon completely through the hole in the clay pot.
9. Glue the brass ring on top of the angel’s head. Glue the head to the pot. Glue the hearts to the back of the pot with the glittery side facing you.
10. Enjoy the iridescent angel for the holidays!

Recycle materials: Cut pieces of paper (for example, leftover tissue, rice or wrapping paper) and glue them to the pot, overlapping the pieces so the different colors and patterns show through the layers
Other ideas: Instead of a clay pot, use a spool of thread once the thread has been used up.
Replace the moss with scraps of yarn or ribbon for the hair
Do you have leftover clay? Roll it into a ball, let it harden and use it for the angel’s head

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Kid’s Crafts: Halloween Banner

Kid’s Crafts: Halloween Banner
Copy this design or create yur own following the tutorial.

Halloween Banner Design Sample

                                                                            HALLOWEEN: A VERY BRIEF HISTORY

            Halloween began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts lived in western and central Europe as early as 800 B.C. They followed a religion called Druidism, named after their priests who were known as the Druids. The Druids celebrated Samhain, the festival of the harvest, because it marked the end of one year and the beginning of the next. The Druids also used Samhain to predict the important events of the coming year.

            The Druids believed that the spirits of the dead visited their families before the first day of winter. They taught their followers to light bonfires on sacred hilltops so that these spirits could find their way to their former homes on earth.

            By the end of the first century A.D. the Romans had conquered the lands of the Celts. They mixed the Celts’ traditions and early Christian customs with their own.

            Later on, most of the inhabitants of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Britain converted to Christianity and no longer celebrated Samhain. These converts used the old rituals and traditions as part of their Christian worship but cleansed them of their pagan meaning.

            However, not everyone changed their religion. During the Middle Ages, pagan priests and their followers turned to the practice of witchcraft. Witches flew to their Sabbaths, or meetings, on broomsticks with their black cats as companions. One of their most important Sabbaths was held on October 31st, which is today’s Halloween.   

            In Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Britain, local inhabitants continued to light bonfires. Pranks and tricks became common. In Ireland, groups of people would go door-to-door demanding food and other gifts in preparation for Halloween. If the visitors were refused a treat, the party-goers would play a trick on the residents of the house.

            Halloween did not become a popular secular holiday in the U. S. until the 1880’s. Black cats, carved pumpkins, witches, candles and masks became popular symbols of the holiday. By then, most Americans considered Halloween a holiday for children.

 

HALLOWEEN BANNER

Ages: 5 – 12 years    Time: ½ hour – one hour

MATERIALS:

Black fun foam                              (2) 10 mm wiggle eyes

White Fun Foam                            excelsior (or moss or raffia)

Yellow Fun Foam                          Dark blue felt 36”x 36”

Green Fun Foam                           (3) ½” green or dark blue pompom

Orange Fun Foam                          Patterns provided below

Measure and trim dark blue felt to 14” x 20”.  Place felt piece vertically. Measure and fold a 1” seam at the top. Iron. Fold a second 1” seam.

Iron and glue the second fold.  (You will be inserting the dowel rod through this.)

As this is drying, trace and cut the patterns provided (enlarge patterns as needed):

Cut the pumpkin out of the orange Fun Foam

Cut the pumpkin stem out of the green Fun Foam

Cut the witch out of the black Fun Foam

Cut the moon out of the white Fun Foam

Cut the scarecrow’s face out of orange Fun Foam

Cut the scarecrow’s jacket and hat out of yellow Fun Foam

Cut the scarecrow’s nose and mouth out of white Fun Foam

Cut the stars out of white Fun Foam

Apply tacky glue to Fun Foam pieces with a Popsicle stick and adhere them to dark blue felt background. Use the photo of the completed banner above as a guide.

Place a small amount of glue around the scarecrow’s neck. Add excelsior. Press and let dry.

Glue wiggle eyes to the scarecrow’s face. Glue pompom to the jacket.

Or using the patterns provided, cut eyes out of Black Fun Foam and buttons out of Green Fun Foam. Glue nose and mouth to scarecrow’s face. Let all the pieces dry.

Glue the pumpkin pieces to the pumpkin’s face. Glue the green stem.

Insert dowel rod through the loop at the top of the dark blue felt background. Measure and cut a piece of string 22” x 36”.  Tie the string to each end of the dowel rod.

Enjoy your Halloween Banner!

VARIATION: The Halloween Banner design was inspired by these traditional symbols.  However, you can substitute your own Frankenstein, Dracula, witch or ghost design.

 

Patterns for Halloween Banner

Patterns for Halloween Banner

Patterns for Halloween Banner

Patterns for Halloween Banner

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