Monday, November 19, 2012

How To-zday for the Holidays~*

It was a busy weekend here at Cecilia! Friday, I mailed off Christina's owl {Priority, so it should arrive no later than today!} and finished Kaitlyn's...

...which was sent out  yesterday~*

I am involved in two giveaways, one on Yours Truly, & another on the wonderfully sweet Becky's blog, Beauty for Ashes~*
As on Yours Truly, I'm offering up winner's choice of a foxy gentleman or cutie hootie...



...& there are a gazillion other smashing grand prizes.  Use the rafflecopter below to enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I also got going on my holiday craft to-do list.  Yay!  I love fresh supplies lol


As I mentioned before, our menu for this year's Christmas Eve extravaganza is Russian, so I'm focusing on a vaguely eastern European theme for decorations.  I remembered these dried fruit ornaments that were popular back when I was a kid {& which are a piece of cake to make}.  I thought they'd be a nice twist on the standard "background" ornaments we have {you know, the fillers-- typically metallic balls in a solid color-- knowwhaddimean?}
First supply?  Fruit.  We had some apples & limes that were on their last legs-- & later on I added some oranges & lemons.



Slice them up, relatively thin.  You want to have the rind/peel/skin in tact around each slice.  The thinner you can make them, the easier & more translucent they dry.  They look really  pretty in front of fairy lights...


Lay them out, single layer, on a cookie sheet.


You do the above for any/all citrus fruits.  For apples, slice them similarly thin & remove the seeds.  Lay them out on a rack, instead of a sheet.  Squeeze the citrus ends {any citrus works} over both sides of the apples to minimize browning.  You can also sprinkle them with cinnamon and nutmeg at this point --though it will effect the finished appearance, it makes them smell heavenly!


Preheat your oven to 175, and be prepared to be patient.  I strongly suggest starting this in the morning-- how long it takes to dry out the fruits varies, but its going to take AT LEAST 4 hours.  The batch pictured took about 6 & the oranges and lemons took even longer.  Every hour and half or so, flip the fruit over to get even drying.


The apples will curl up a bit on the edges.  The rack prevents them from curling up ridiculous amounts, and gives them a lovely scalloped edge appearance.


When the fruit feels dry to the touch {trust me, you'll be able to tell}, remove them from the oven and let them lay out over night.  Then they are ready!


They look really beautiful as is, particularly with light shining behind them.


You could stop here for a really natural look & skip down to where I added the string to hang them by...


-- we are going kinda Faberge egg shiny though, so we press on!  I decided to "sugar" the fruit, to crank up the sparkle factor.
For this bit, you'll need spray glue, clear glitter & bay leaves.  If you are going to work outside, you are good to go.  We, however, were having a bit of Tennessee mountain wind gusting through, so I constructed a simple "glue box" with a piece of Styrofoam board & a coca cola box.  I used low odor glue, but I didn't want my table coated with glue, so the box prevented overspray.  The bay leaves just add another level to the ornament, as you'll see.




Spray the fruit & bay leaves with the glue, then sprinkle on the glitter.  Easy peasy~*




I used embroidery thread for the string to hang the ornament.  I just fed it through with a large needle, then tied a knot.  Again, really simple.  On some of the ornaments, I stitched through the fruit, then added a bay leaf, then tied the knot.



To store them until the day after Thanksgiving {when we decorate for the holidays}, I hung the ornaments up on a wooden pants hanger.



I've still got a ton left to hang.  As I'm typing this, the 2nd batch of oranges & lemons is finishing off in the oven!

I have so many crafts left to show you!  Starting in December, I'm thinking I'll change up my usual weekly events to incorporate two craft posts per week, and make Wednesdays gift ideas & other goodies...what are your thoughts?