Dear Helen Hartman,
I am trying very hard to keep Thanksgiving from being overwhelmed by Christmas so I have avoided all those magazine photo spreads and malls already playing Christmas music. I didn’t think of this when I promised my kids we’d try some homemade Christmas decorations this year, so now I realize I should have been working on this like… last July! Help! I need some fast, cheap and easy projects. Send a little Christmas craft love my way!
Dear Fast, Cheap and Easy Loved One,
Stick your fingers in your ears, Helen is about to serenade you with the Christmas song whirling around in her head today. "I’m dreaming of a white… statuette of the Madonna in a canned ham tin…"
|I have a Madonna that glows in the dark but she's pretty small, do you think I can make a version of this using a kippered herring tin or would that just be tacky?|
No, YOU’RE not dreaming. It’s true. Today we’re delving into the wonderful world of Styrofoam, spray paint, egg cartons and something call milkweed pods! In no time your whole family will be creating beautiful holiday art with things you have handy around the house.
My whole family? Even my husband Stan?
|The footrest on my recliner seems to have dropped again, Martha. When you finish hanging that dry wall, will you come put it back up for me?|
No, I said things that are HANDY around the house.
But otherwise can just anyone do these projects, you ask. Will I end up with pretty decorations for my holiday home, you ask. Where could you have come up with such a wonderful resource, you ask. You ask a lot of questions, did anyone ever tell you that? Now, pipe down and fix your peepers on this amazing little instruction booklet.
I know it’s an instruction booklet because it says - “with complete instructions, easy to make… step by step instructions”. So if you were hoping for some half-assessed, leaving some steps out because they’re boring, non-instructional deal here, then you better look elsewhere, pal.
This booklet is so durned instructional, in fact, the first 2 pages explain spray paint. I mean it. What it is and that if you want to use it on Styrofoam you need the kind that says it’s for Styrofoam. 2 pages. Then it starts detailing the kinds of egg cartons one might use in these projects.
Hang on, Helen is going to need a drink just to find the strength to approach page 4.
Just a soda, I promise, to give me a moment to regroup.
No, I swear, no alcohol was involved in the making of this post… though I cannot swear the same for THIS:
No year on this booklet but from the price and crafts I’m guessing it was published in the early 60s… people did acid in the 60’s right? There has to be some explanation for this:
|The instructions for this begin by instructing us to 'obtain many kinds of macaroni from your Italian grocer'. Obtain? Leaving themselves some wiggle room for the housewife who has some kind of barter system worked out with her grocer I guess.|
|I didn't know angels lived in teepees, did you? I knew they lived in pink glitter structures, of course, but teepees? Did not remember learning that in Sunday school.|
And… no, there is NO explanation or excuse for this:
|Dreaming? More like nightmares... with visions of milkweed pods dripping glitter dancing in my head.|
So don’t worry you’ve left it to too late, grab some glue, macaroni and spray paint (if you don’t know what that is, I have a booklet that lays it all out in simple terms) and have fun. And take heart. It may look like a big old craptastic mess glossed over with gold paint to the uninstructed eye
|Fabric, yarn, Styrofoam and coat hanger figures spray painted gold from the booklet.|
but to you… it’s a memory.
|A cheesecloth and Styrofoam angel that my daughter made 20 years ago that comes out year after year to help us celebrate the season.|