Christmas · Cricut

Floating Christmas Bulbs with Cricut

Last week  saw a tutorial for Christmas Ornaments that didn’t require using glitter or polyurethane or waiting and I made a mental note to play around with the idea.  Here is what I came up with.

Please note: This is NOT my original idea.  I could not find the original tutorial.  In an effort to explain how it works to my Facebook Group: “Cricut Newbies and Pros”, I slapped together this tutorial.

I apologize for the rush job, but it is just before Thanksgiving and I’ve got a million things to do.

So here is a Floating Glittery Christmas Ornament and it was made–on the cheap–with my Cricut Explore and a few, easy to find materials.

Materials needed:

  • 3″ plastic craft ornaments <–do get plastic as it makes this project very “kid friendly” and reduces the chance of breakage, available at Michael’s
  • Transparent acetate OR the cover to your Cricut mat!
  • Glitter vinyl
  • Glitter or ribbon, if desired

In Cricut Design Space, place a 2.5″ circle and a one half inch square together and weld together.  Here’s a screen shot of my project to show you what I mean:



Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.51.10 PM

Cut this shape with acetate or your Cricut cutting mat using Custom Settings, Magnet Medium. I’m so sorry this picture is hard to see…

Design your image.  Put whatever you want.  I happened to have these designs from somewhere, so I used them.  Only “rule” is you need to keep your design within the shape of the acetate.  I used glitter vinyl to cut out my designs and then weeded it. I am not a big fan of weeding…

After weeding, adher your glitter to the acetate making sure the image does not overlap on your acetate. You may want to use transfer tape.

Next careful roll your design in a tube like so:

Make sure the square part is “last in” so it will be at the opening of the ornament.

Release the roll inside the ornament.  The acetate will unfurl, but you may want to use tweezers or another tool to adjust it so it is right in the middle of the ball.  That’s the “floating” part.

Replace ornament top or you can add glitter for more effect. Add a bow if you’d like, too!

And that’s it folks!  Super easy!!  Kid friendly and very inexpensive to make, too!  I hope you try it and let me know what you think.



My Little Fat Corgi

I’m a big fan of corgis.

You know?  Those short dogs. The ones that look like midget dogs?  The ones that the Queen has?

Right!! Those dogs!

Yes, that’s as tall as they are going to get.  Yes, it’s completely normal.

Yes, sometimes they have tails and sometimes they don’t.  The ones with the tails are called Cardigans and the ones without are called Pembroke.  Most of the tail-less ones are born that way, but sometimes they have nubs.  And it doesn’t make any difference to me if they have a tail or not!

I love corgis of all kinds, colors, tail or no tail. I adore anything corgi related.  I tweet “corgi alerts”. I search Target for corgi ornaments.  I own corgi socks, and pillows, and shirts and even an umbrella.  I even have make corgi bumper stickers.

Corgis are a “thing” on the internet these days.

Of course, they should be.

If you haven’t ever known one, I know you are probably saying I’m just being a breed snob or something, but I am really not.

To coin a phrase: “Once you go corgi, you never go back!”  Well.  It’s the truth.  I’m just pointing it out.

It’s so important to me that you know, too, that I was into corgis before they were an “internet sensation”.  I’ve been living with corgis since before the millennium.

So, ya, a long time.

But for those of you that are sort of new to the breed, please don’t call my corgi “fat”!

It’s like openly calling a person’s child fat, which I’m sure you don’t do. Right?

I know some people can’t help themselves.  I know some mean it in a loving way, like my neighbor did.  Some people even prefer their corgis fat.

But it really hurts my feelings when I’m walking my weight-challenged corgi, Odie, and someone points out how HUGE he is.  Or maybe they compare him to my corgi puppy, Ted E. Bear, who is gorgeous and sleek and perfectly shaped. Or they see how he really does waddle like a penguin.

It hurts my feelings, because some people don’t know Odie’s story.

They don’t know how Odie couldn’t even walk up stairs when he first arrived.  Or how hard it has been trying to get him to take a walk with me.

Most don’t know Odie was dropped off here severely overweight for “just a few months”.  But then the few months became 9 months.  Then a year.  Then maybe not until 2016.  So…basically abandoned.

Until I couldn’t watch him struggle anymore and asked my friends from Corgi Nation for help. Together with Faith Bark, Corgi Nation came through for me as they do for hundreds of other corgis.  Through Faith Bark’s “Bandit’s Band-aid” program, many friends of Corgi Nation contributed so I could have Odie get medical attention.

Yes, those are really groups.  Corgi Nation–or CN, for short–is as big and weird and fun and sometimes even a little coarse as the beloved Red Sox Nation.  Dare I say it?  Maybe even stronger?

We corgi lovers are a varied but vast team of people that live across the nation and around the world.

We send hundreds of Christmas cards to each other each year…with our corgis pictures on them, of course!

Yes, Corgi Nation is probably responsible for keeping the USPS afloat these past five years or so.

And, yes, I am being completely serious!

Except for my friends in Corgi Nation and a few select other “real life people” (hate that…having to separate my friends into online or “real life” status) most people don’t know a few other key details.

They don’t know that, only a few months after Odie came to visit, I lost my sweetest friend, Ollie, a corgi (of course).  A rescued corgi, too, with medical issues.  Oliver…my “dandy” with the glamour coat.  The corgi that gave Master Owen his official “Master” status.

Then–only four months later in March of this year–I lost my girl, Beatrice.  Yes, of course, she was a corgi, too.

Bea was also a rescue.  She was so sassy we had to give her the title of “The Queen Bea”, which she embodied until the day she died. Complications from an infection, which she got because she had diabetes.  Diabetes that took her sight and made me give her insulin for several years.

Yes, The Queen Bea was mostly blind in the end and, yes, fat.  But she was so sassy and royal, it hardly bothered me when people would say so.  She wore her fatness like the crown she was born to wear.

Anyway…I digress.

I’m not sure why it hurts so much when folks call Odie “fat”.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had too many losses the past couple of years. Maybe I feel bad for him. Maybe I wonder how anyone would ever abandon a corgi…ever.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been working so hard with him.

You know, he is making progress.  Today he lifted his leg to pee on a hydrant.  Today he walked a little further.

Maybe folks don’t see it.  Maybe they just see a waddling, short dog and think it’s funny.

I don’t.

I see a dog that had the rug pulled out from under him and is still trying to work on his problems anyway.

I see a dog who gets up every day–even if he is sore and super hungry and tired of eating green beans with his quarter cup of kibble–and tries to be better.  Tries not to eat the puppy’s leftovers.  Looks at me with adoring eyes, because he knows I understand.

Maybe, just maybe, I see myself in my little, fat corgi…



How exactly do we “support” our troops?


Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our military personnel and their families!

Thank you–most sincerely–for your service!

If you are a veteran, there’s all sorts of freebies out there for you today, which I think is wonderful! Please, vets, take advantage of a free meal or an extra discount!  I think it is the least we–as a country–can do for our military personnel, both past and present.

I love it when I see that companies extend discounts to our military personnel; just a little extra “thanks” that shows a certain amount of class.

But for a while now I’ve been ruminating on the “Support Our Troops” campaign.  How can I–one citizen–offer support and thanks to our military personnel.  Furthermore, how exactly does someone “support our troops”?  I guess the meaning of this is lost on me.

Curious person that I am, I have tried to research ways that I can personally lend a hand in my daily life.

I followed links to volunteer my service, but they led no where.  I reached out to my local congressman–a veteran himself–to find out how I could somehow help the cause, but received no response.  Together with my son, I’ve cleaned up cemeteries and righted every fallen flag I’ve seen. I’ve asked vets about some of the campaigns I’ve noticed, but nothing has ever panned out. Going straight to the VA hasn’t even worked.

I’ve not served in the armed forces.  I chose, instead, to go to college. I am grateful that I had the choice.

In many countries, military service is a requirement, not a choice.  I’m truly grateful for those who have given their time, and in many cases their lives, for the freedom I enjoy every day.

And, believe me, I DO indeed enjoy my freedom!  The important issue of freedom has not been lost on me.   I have never taken for granted my freedom, which was won and has continued to be defended time and again for over 200 years now.

I love that I can be free!  I really do!!  I love that I can read or think or speak about issues and not be censored.  I love that I can worship any way I please.  I’ve always appreciated the phrase “and the pursuit of happiness”.  No guarantees, but always free to try and reach that goal of happiness.

But…I want to show my support!  I want to thank every veteran I meet for their service…not just today, but every day.  I want to help and be a part of being an American.

But, honestly, I’m beginning to feel like the only thing I can do is pay “lip service” to the cause.

What more can I do to help?  This is an honest question.  Where can I be of service for real?

I am full of questions and I’m longing for some answers.

Have you got some advice for me?

Have you struggled with the same issues?

Please, let’s discuss!


Ditch the Canned Pumpkin!

Today I thought I’d take a little break from all the deep thoughts, politics and family dramas and do a little DIY (Do It Yourself) project.  This is a super easy one and a fun seasonal project for the kids, too!

Ever wonder how they get those huge pumpkins into those small cans?  I have, especially after hearing reports of bad pumpkin seasons and noticing the rising price of the canned goodness.  Perhaps you don’t think about it too much, because you may only use pumpkin once or twice a year, but I’ve always been a pumpkin fan so I find different ways to use it year round.

A couple of years ago, I tried experimenting with some rogue pumpkins that grew in my yard after I discarded a jack of lantern for mulch in my hydrangeas.  My tiny crop yielded a half dozen small pumpkins, so I decided to experiment with them.  Learn from my mistakes…if you want to get edible pumpkin flesh follow my easy and perfected tutorial.

Sugar Pumpkin

Start with small pumpkins that are often named “sugar pumpkins”.  This year, I got two medium sized ones at Costco for 3 or 4 dollars.  (Unfortunately no free pumpkins this year after the horrific winter we had!)

Remove the stems and cut them in half lengthwise.

Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds and the membranes, which you can save for later.

.Scooped out

Place the scooped fruit (yes, pumpkins are fruits…actually berries!) cut side down on a baking sheet.  I was able all four halves on my sheet.  Oh, by the way, no need to grease the pan or season the flesh.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cover the entire sheet with tinfoil.  Pop those babies in the oven for an hour and a half then remove and allow to cool.

Covered for baking

Once cool enough to touch, use your trusty spoon to remove the flesh from the peel and you’ve got pumpkin!!

Pumpkin–although absolutely delicious used in a pie–is so versatile.  It can be served just as you would serve squash, used to make pasta sauce and, of course, used to stuff ravioli!  But my favorite way to serve it is to my chubby doggies!

Yup! You heard me!  Corgis have a tendency to pack on the pounds if they are not out all day herding sheep or otherwise working for their supper.  A spoonful of pumpkin in the kibble is like caviar to dogs and helps their digestion, too!  It can also be mixed with yogurt and a dab of peanut butter for a frozen summer treat!

Don’t forget to keep those pumpkin seeds and roast them up…or for next year’s crop!