Category Archives: Holidays

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017 (now that we are both Irish)!

“If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.”

Our mantra has always been that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. This year, we have found out that it is actually true for us. Kevin is Irish and is named for his Irish roots. Recent new family DNA testing reveals that Roy is 13 percent Irish! Erin go Bragh!

TASTY GREEN ICE CREAM

We love our new ice cream maker and have been experimenting with different flavors. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s Andes Candies Green! We made a standard vanilla ice cream, added some drops of green food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract. Five minutes before the ice cream was done, some chopped Andes Candies were added to the mix. Fittingly green, minty, and festive!

If you have an ice cream maker, follow your directions for vanilla ice cream and add the last three ingredients listed below.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 drops green food coloring*
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract*
  • 1/2 cup chopped Andes candies*

Source: Cuisinart ice cream maker recipe booklet

*These are ingredients we added to the recipe.

SHAMROCK DECORATION

Place a small pot of shamrocks (ours were bought at Stop and Shop for $2.99) in a holiday pot picked up at a party store. Attach chocolate gold coins around the edge using double stick tape. A rainbow wall decoration adds the perfect background for our “pot at the end of the rainbow”. This works well for a party, but for a more permanent decoration, use plastic gold coins and attach them with craft glue.

Work in Progress

We have been learning to create signs with stencils and stamps. Here is a work in progress for St. Patrick’s Day:

Some of the materials used: acrylic paints, stencils, stamps, old boards.

Here is a sign we created for St. Valentine’s Day based on a quote by Broadway’s “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

“Love is love is love is love is love…”

A TRIO OF IRISH JOKES

What’s Irish and stays out all night? Paddy O’furniture!

How is a best friend like a 4-leaf clover? Because they are hard to find and lucky to have.

Never iron a 4-leaf clover because you don’t want to press your luck!

Source for all jokes : Jokes4us.com

THE BEARS

The bears followed the rainbow to the Pot o’ Shamrocks!

Slainte!!!

Roy and Kevin

 

Wreath is the Word!!!

 

Happy Holidays! This week, our miniblog is about creating simple, beautiful wreaths, using Christmas ornaments and collectibles. Every year, most of the tables in our home are filled with holiday-themed vignettes – Santas, nutcrackers, snowmen, etc. Creating wreaths is a great way to free up some table space!

Using coupons (of course), we bought a variety of plain wreaths and wreath forms at Michael’s and Joann’s.

dscf4735-2

NUTCRACKER WREATH

These nutcrackers make a festive wreath. They were gifts from Kevin’s mother, Irene, who presented her children with a special ornament or decoration, the “family gift”, every Christmas. Kevin attached them to the white wreath with Christmas tree hooks or wire depending on the weight of the ornament. It’s a great way to showcase this collection.

dscf4741-2  dscf4763

 

dscf4760-2

SANTA WREATH

Our Santa figurine collection has grown over the years. Ho Ho Ho!!!

Here’s a Santa vignette decorating one of our desks last Christmas.

DSCF1917 (2)

This year, we created a Santa wreath and saved some valuable counter space.

dscf4751-3

The Santas were attached with green twist ties and final product is the featured image above.

MORE ABOUT THE FAMILY GIFT

For many years, Kevin’s mom, Irene, gave what she called, “The Family Gift”. Each year, usually with the a special assist from daughter Christine, Irene selected a special Christmas decoration and gave that to her seven children. An angel, Santa, snowman, nutcracker or set of nutcrackers, or some other treasure was given each year. All of the nutcrackers on the wreath featured above were family gifts.

Irene chose each family gift with a lot of love (and an eye to finding seven of the same item!), and we have borrowed the idea, continuing the family gift tradition for Kevin’s family each Christmas. We lost Irene in 2014, but these wonderful ornaments are a reminder of her love for her family and the holidays.

The bears are back to get in on the wreath fun!!!

dscf4818-2

Peace.

Roy and Kevin

 

 

 

 

Pine Cones 102 – Not So Itsy-Bitsy Spider!

No living thing is ugly in this world. Even a tarantula considers itself beautiful.”

– Munia Khan (poet) Source: Goodreads

For our second mini-blog, we created a spider out of pine cones and mini pumpkins. A fun project to do with your kids. Perfect for Halloween!

You will need:

  • Six 5-inch pine cones
  • One 3-inch mini pumpkin
  • One 4-inch mini pumpkin
  • Black spray paint (Satin finish)
  • 1 black chenille stem (we used Jumbo Fuzzy Sticks from Target) cut to 5 inches
  • Craft glue
  • Two 1/2-inch googly eyes
  • One 14-inch platter

How to create your spider:

  • In a ventilated area, spray paint pumpkins and pine cones thoroughly. Use newspapers to protect surfaces.

dscf4298-3 dscf4300-3

  • Allow to dry.
  • Place 3-inch pumpkin upside down below and in front of the 4-inch pumpkin on the platter or whatever you choose as a base.

dscf4331-2

  • Add googly eyes with craft glue. (Some come with adhesive backs, use those if you have them.)

dscf4335-2

  • Decide which pine cones go where. We used larger pine cones as the back legs.
  • Place 3 legs on each side.
  • Bend chenille stem to create feelers and position under spider head.

dscf4321-2

Watch the bugs (and some people) disappear in fear!

Hint 1: This display is temporary because we will be using the parts for future holiday decor. Stay tuned! For more permanence, attach spider parts to platter with double stick tape.

Hint 2: If paint comes off pumpkins during assembly, touch up with quick drying, matching acrylic paint.

Be creative with your spiders! Use colorful googly eyes, make a purple spider or whatever you favorite spider color is, add stickers and designs. We’d love to see pictures of your creations!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

 

‘Tis the season for holiday crafting!!!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”                                – Albert Einstein Source: Goodreads

We love making holiday crafts, but always seem to be doing them last-minute. Never will forget finishing handmade family Christmas ornaments in the car one Christmas Eve! (Sometimes having a 2-hour drive is a good thing.) This year, we are starting our holiday crafting early and thought we’d do a few “mini-blogs”, short posts featuring some of our favorite holiday craft ideas.

This week, we offer some ideas to make the crafting process easier and less expensive. Here are a few things we do to get ready:

BRAINSTORM

Write down any and all ideas you may have for holiday crafting. At this point, no thought should be discarded! The next day, re-visit your master list and factor in time and price constraints to develop your final craft plans for the season. If you are crafting with a partner, toss ideas back and forth. Very often, you’ll come up with good ideas which evolve into even better ones when two or more people are working together.

FIND INSPIRATION

Crafting ideas can come from anywhere. Check out crafting websites, borrow books and magazines from the library, watch craft segments on television, take a walk in your local park, or look at the decorations in stores and see if you can create your own versions.

HAVE A REALISTIC PLAN

Do you want to make things for every holiday that’s coming, or maybe just for one holiday? Do you have time to do what you would like to do? Keep your schedule in mind and be realistic about what you can accomplish. If you are following instructions, read them thoroughly before starting your craft.

GATHER MATERIALS

dscf4205-2

Before you start work on your creations, gather what you need in one spot and make sure you have everything you need. Check lists work great!

NATURAL MATERIALS

dscf4213-2

If your projects involve working with materials you’ve gathered in nature, do your research about how to clean them.

We have several large pine trees on our property and gathered a bunch of pine cones for this year’s first craft project. They needed to be prepared before using. The website below offers how-to’s if you are working with fresh pine cones. Check out our next mini-blog for some pine cone craft ideas that will take you from Halloween through New Year’s!

http://tipnut.com/how-to-prepare-preserve-pinecones/

COUPONS

dscf4212-2

Don’t forget that money-saving coupons for craft stores are available on-line or in your local newspaper. This time of year, the stores are battling for your craft dollar, so there are some great coupons. Take a look before you shop. We ask that you do not shop at Hobby Lobby – their corporate philosophy is not socially responsible.

HAVE FUN!!!

Remember to have fun and enjoy the process!

Enjoy

Roy & Kevin

September’s Bounty!!!

This week’s blog highlights a new (for us) kitchen gadget, a classic tomato salad, a garden update, and of course, the bears! Plus, we are announcing an exciting venture for the holidays!

SPIRALIZER

We just bought a spiralizer, a cool gadget that makes noodles out of vegetables.

DSCF4091 (2)

Our new Oxo spiralizer is easy to operate and clean. If you get one, read the instructions and handle with care because the blades are sharp.

The first time we used it was with a combination of zucchini and yellow squash. We sautéed our “noodles”  with olive oil, salt and pepper. Next, an English cucumber got spiralized. We tossed the cucumber noodles with vinaigrette and served it cold.

Both dishes were delicious! We highly recommend this kitchen tool. It is easy to use and makes healthy eating fun!

DSCF4083 (2)DSCF4097 (2)

CAPRESE SALAD

DSCF4098 (2)

In Rhode Island, it has been a GREAT year for native tomatoes! They are delicious with a sprinkle of sea salt or in salads, but with our basil plant thriving, this year’s tomatoes called for Caprese salad.

Caprese salad is made with tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar (hint: warm vinegar for a few minutes – it will thicken and sweeten), sea salt and ground pepper to taste.

GARDEN UPDATE

“I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend.”                                  C.Z. Guest – Actress/designer (Source: Quote Garden)

Sea grass we planted years ago has returned. The bee looks bee-fuddled!

dscf4138-2 dscf4142-2

BONUS PHOTO:

We had a visitor on the top of our patio fence. (This grasshopper is much smaller than it appears here, thank goodness!)

dscf4118-2

VEG ART

This year’s edibles – a great crop!

Another version of the picture at the top of the blog with our 2 types of peppers, tomatoes, oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, and thyme. (Surprisingly, the parsley didn’t make it!)

dscf4159-2

JOKE OF THE WEEK:  “Gardeners know all the dirt.” (Source Bing.com /images)

THE BEARS

The Bears feel like stars, because this week, on September 9th, they celebrate Teddy Bear Day!

dscf4166-2

ANNOUNCING: HOLIDAY CRAFTING MINIBLOGS

IMG_2671 (2)IMG_2803 (3)

It is never too early to begin holiday crafting. This fall and winter, in addition to our regular posts, look for our weekly holiday crafting mini-blogs. These mini-blogs will offer some of our favorite craft and decorating ideas for the upcoming holiday season.

Check out the blogs which feature the decorations shown above:

https://funclesarts.com/2014/10/29/halloween-blog-3-the-final-chapter/

https://funclesarts.com/2014/12/06/the-christmas-season-is-here/

 

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Happy Birthday, America!!!

 

Where liberty dwells – there is my country. – Benjamin Franklin*

As we celebrate the founding of America this 4th of July, it is important to remember that we are a nation of immigrants. In this time of turmoil, we think our future is best served by building bridges, not walls.

This week, we feature gifts for kids, a patriotic dessert, garden update, and, of course, the bears!

GIFTS FOR KIDS

DSCF3605 (2)

Children love getting mail, and we love sending packages to our great nieces and nephews. This year’s 4th of July mailing included holiday-themed pencils and erasers, toy cars, silly straws, hair clips, necklaces, bracelets, candy, cookie cutters (for the parents) and, of course, American flags.

DESSERT

DSCF3668 (2)

Patriotic ice cream sandwich sundae

Here is a delicious sundae you can make with ice cream sandwiches.

DSCF3369

You will need:

  • ice cream sandwiches
  • fresh strawberries, cut in fan shape
  • fresh blueberries, frozen
  • strawberry jelly, microwaved in jar (no lid) for 20-30 seconds
  • whipped cream

In the photo above, we pressed frozen blueberries into the sides of the ice cream sandwiches and topped with strawberries, whipped cream and a drizzle of warmed jelly. Even though the fruit was frozen and the plates were cold, during assembly, the ice cream sandwiches began to melt, especially when we drizzled with the strawberry jelly. Delicious, but messy. New thought: Simplify!

To make a simpler 4th of July ice cream sandwich:

  • Microwave 1/4 cup strawberry jelly for 20 seconds.
  • Place ice cream sandwich on a plate.
  • Top with frozen berries and whipped cream.
  • Drizzle with warm strawberry jelly.
  • Enjoy!

More good stuff:

Last years 4th of July post:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/07/02/lets-be-independent-together/

GARDEN UPDATE

Summer has finally arrived, and our patio garden is thriving! Our crop already includes seven tomatoes and two peppers. Here are a few photos:

The whole thing!

DSCF3685 (2)

Another angle!

DSCF3688 (2)

The bee is fond of the pink Impatiens!

DSCF3690 (2)

Peppers and tomatoes!

DSCF3673 (2) DSCF3674 (2) DSCF3675 (2)DSCF3676 (2)

Blooming beautiful!

DSCF3677 (2) DSCF3652 (2)

FOOD ART

Be fruitful!

DSCF3693 (2)

 

A TRIO OF HOLIDAY RIB (not BBQ) TICKLERS!

What did one flag say to the other flag? Nothing – it just waved!

What is red, white, blue and green? A patriotic pickle!

Why did the duck say “bang!”? He was a fire quacker!

Source: academictips.org

THE BEARS

The bears had a visitor in honor of the 4th of July and Pride! #Orlandostrong

 

DSCF3661 (2)

“Then join hand in hand brave Americans all, by uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!”                   – John Dickinson, founding father of the U.S.*

*Quote source: ibtimes.com

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Memorial Day and More!

QUOTE FOR MEMORIAL DAY:

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”  – Arthur Ashe

Source : inspirational quotes and quotations.com

This week, we offer some picnic food ideas, a garden update, thoughts on Memorial Day and, of course, the bears.

PICNIC FOODS

Memorial Day starts the picnic season and even though we can’t grill outdoors at our home, we enjoy grilling indoors on our grill pan. Here’s a nutritious twist on bacon-wrapped hot dogs which still offers great grilled taste.

Zucchini Wrapped Hot Dogs

Skip the bacon and add some vegetable goodness to your hot dog!

DSCF3392 (2)

DSCF3394 (2)

 

 

 

 

DSCF3399 (2)

Hot Dog Wrap

You will need:

  • Your favorite hot dogs – turkey, beef, whatever you like. (Tofu?)
  • Medium zucchini, washed
  • Vegetable spray for grill pan

How to prepare:

  • Using a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into strips.
  • Place zucchini strips on oiled grill pan.
  • Grill zucchini for 1 minute on each side.
  • Wrap one or more grilled zucchini strips around each hot dog.
  • Grill zucchini-wrapped hot dogs to your preferred level of doneness. (Double grilling the zucchini gives it a meatier flavor.)
  • Serve with your favorite toppings. (See below for one of our new go-to relishes.)

Giardiniera Relish

Giardiniera is a spicy mix of pickled vegetables. We saw this tip on Rachael Ray’s show and decided to give it a try. It is delicious!

DSCF3400 (2)

Place the contents of a drained 16 oz. jar of giardiniera in the food processor. Pulse until consistency of pickle relish. It’s a delicious topping for hot dogs or your favorite sandwich. Also great as a topping for chicken or fish.

DSCF3402 (2)DSCF3406 (2)

LOOK BACK

Check out last year’s blog for more ideas:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/05/24/memorial-day-weekend/

GARDEN UPDATE

It’s been a cold spring, and we are just beginning to put our garden together. Last weekend, we bought a cherry tomato plant, 2 pepper plants (one hot, one sweet) and 2 trays of Impatiens.

DSCF3334 (2)

 

DSCF3344 (2)

Kevin enjoyed starting the planting. He planted the red Impatiens below the hummingbird feeder because the hummingbirds are attracted to the color red.

DSCF3363 (2)

Memorial Garden Decorations

In our garden, some of our ornamental items are in memory of loved ones no longer with us.

Our garden bee is in memory of our niece and dear friend, Christine, who was, among many things, an avid gardener and beekeeper. The flamingo watering can is in memory of our beloved friend, Sondra, who always had flamingos in her beautiful garden.

The angel below is in memory of Kevin’s mom, Irene, who had a special relationship with angels. It sits on a shelf created by Roy’s late father, Bill, who also owned the wind chimes pictured to the right. We think these mementos, coupled with a garden of flowers and vegetables, make a beautiful tribute to life and those we love.

DSCF3416 (2)

Plant Stands? Perhaps!

We are planning to use these two ladders as plant stands. The bears want to paint them.   (Hmm – not sure how that will work out!)

DSCF3433 (2)

GROWING GREEN ONIONS 

Kevin’s sister, Christine, told us about this fun idea.

Buy a bunch of organic green onions from your local grocery store. Put in a glass of water, root side down. Trim onions as needed for your favorite recipe. The onions will grow back remarkably quickly. Change the water as needed. Could not be easier!

Here is our plant and some pictures of the growth after cutting the three stalks on left:

DSCF3326 DSCF3320 (2)

1 day’s growth after an initial trim:

DSCF3366 (2)

2 day’s growth:

DSCF3388 (2)

3 day’s growth:

DSCF3418 (2)

4 day’s growth:

DSCF3456 (2)

Amazing, instant success – great for kids!!!

Food Art: PEPPER PETALS

DSCF3423 (2)

The Bears

Our furry friends were successful! With a quick coat of paint, the small old ladder makes a great plant stand!

DSCF3474 (2)

OUR HEROES:

Last, but not by no means least, we salute our fathers, both of whom served our country during World War II.

pop navy uniform

Roy’s father, William J. Drew, Jr.

Kevins parents wedding pics (2)

Kevin’s father, Warren Wollschlager, shown with new bride, Irene.

We thank all those who serve to protect our freedom, past and present.

Enjoy

Roy & Kevin

Warming Up for St. Valentine’s Day

The northeast is bracing for bitter cold weather. Our hope is that you all find warmth with family and friends this St. Valentine’s Day weekend. Plus, it’s a great excuse to eat some chocolate! This week, we share our take on some delicious chocolate truffles, some ideas for using last week’s woven heart baskets, a plant update, and of course, the bears!

EASY TRUFFLES

DSCF2449 (2)

Ingredients:

DSCF2446 (2)

  • one 8 oz. package light cream cheese, softened
  • three cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • three cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • cocoa powder, chopped walnuts, coconut, dried fruit sprinkles

How to make:

  • Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in confectioners sugar.
  • Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Form into one inch balls.
  • Roll in toppings of your choice.

Varieties for truffles are almost endless. Chocolate and orange go great together, so replace the vanilla with same amount of orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest. We also stuffed truffles with dried fruit – tastes like a decadent “Chunky Bar”.

WOVEN PAPER HEARTS

Last week, we introduced this easy paper craft. Here are a couple of ways we used these hearts for St. Valentine’s Day this year.

Decorative Banner

Displayed “clothesline style” with photos and cards, attached to twine with painted clothes pins, they add great dimension to a holiday banner. We used a variety of different papers to make the hearts for a fun display.

DSCF2455 (2)

Gifts

DSCF2427 (2)

The woven hearts were mass-mailed to great-nieces and great-nephews filled with stickers, candy, hair clips and toy cars. We placed the filled hearts in treat bags secured with painted clothes pins adorned with heart stickers.

DSCF2429 (3)

Here is the link for how to create these paper baskets.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/Heartbasket.shtml

For more St. Valentine’s Day ideas, check out last year’s post:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/02/13/happy-st-valentines-day/

PLANT UPDATE

DSCF2462 (2)

Our Amaryllis is growing like crazy, and now requires a stake for support. A saleswoman at a big-box store gave us a great, money-saving idea on what to use for stakes. She suggested we buy marshmallow s’mores sticks, which cost 19 cents for a package of four. These wooden sticks are 31 inches long, easy to cut and they work great for a light-weight stalk! Helpful tip!

DSCF2482 (2)

FOOD ART

Last week’s tomato. Tomatoes are sometimes called love apples! Great for St. Valentine’s Day!

DSCF2435 (2)

DSCF2382 (3)

THE BEARS

The bears show their “light side” by playing with a strand of heart-shaped lights!

DSCF2463 (2)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities!” – Janos Arany

Enjoy!

Roy and Kevin

Fresh and Shiney New Year!!!

“Years end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that can instill in us. ” – Hal Borland (An author, not a character from TV’s, “Home Improvement”.)

Happy New Year! WOW!!! 2015 is almost over. It’s exciting to celebrate the beginning of a new year! This week, we offer our new dip recipe, which is full of fresh veggies. We also share our creative resolutions, give 2015’s last Patio Update, and, of course, check out the bears in their celebratory mode! As a bonus, we’ve included three more dip recipes from earlier blogs and instructions for our Happy New Year banner, featured with the bears above.

FRESH VEGGIE DIP

Everybody loves dip, but often they are made with powdered soup mixes, filled with dehydrated vegetables, salt and msg. Freshen things up with our easy and delicious veggie dip!

DSCF1986 (2) DSCF1958 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • one 16 oz. container fat-free sour cream
  • 4 oz. room temperature, low-fat cream cheese
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped and blanched for 2 minutes, then cooled in ice water
  • 3/4 cup carrots, boiled until tender and diced
  • two medium bell peppers, chopped (we like red and orange, but green is fine)
  • one tablespoon olive oil
  • one clove grated garlic
  • one teaspoon hot sauce
  • two tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  • Saute peppers and onion in olive oil for three minutes.
  • Sprinkle grated garlic over peppers/onion mixture and saute for one minute.
  • Combine the peppers and onions with prepared broccoli and carrots.
  • Chill all the vegetables.
  • Place cream cheese and sour cream in food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup of chilled vegetable combo.
  • Add remaining vegetables, lemon juice and hot sauce to food processor.
  • Pulse until smooth.
  • Add the reserved vegetables to food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times, leaving some chunks for texture.
  • Chill at least one hour.
  • Serve with chips, crackers or crudite.

DIP INTO THE PAST

Speaking of dips, one is never enough. Here are three other dip recipes we’ve shared in 2015!

 “No Tell” Queso Dip

https://funclesarts.com/2015/01/25/a-super-bowl-dip-lights-and-a-recycling-tip-now-thats-poetry/

Red Pepper/Chickpea Dip and Rosemary White Bean Dip

https://funclesarts.com/2015/07/02/lets-be-independent-together/

CREATIVE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016 

Our goal for this blog is to explore many creative avenues, and in doing so, to learn and have fun. Here are some of our creative resolutions for 2016:

Experiment with new foods and recipes.

See more plays, movies and concerts.

Learn to use our new guitar and camera.

Make more creative gifts.

Go to more galleries and art shows.

Meet more creative people.

Expand on the creative things we already do or have done.

Try new things.

Please share your creative resolutions for 2016!

PATIO UPDATE

This has been a wonderful year for our patio garden. We grew a few plants from seed and tried and succeeded at growing some new vegetables and herb plants. Our patio’s use was extended with real and artificial decorations into the holiday season and will continue to be a source of light and color this winter. Thank you for your continued interest in our patio updates. Looking forward to a green, colorful 2016!!!

This week brought the first snowfall (our favorite snowfall – didn’t have to shovel!) and it looked nice with the greenery on the patio.

DSCF1938 (2)

FOOD ART

FRESH YEAR!

DSCF1989 (2)

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress. – Charles Kettering

NEW YEAR’S BANNER

Check out the link below from last year’s blog to make the banner featured above. Easy to update with a quick change of year from 2015 to 2016!

https://funclesarts.com/2014/12/31/happy-new-year/

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS!

This link from History.com is the place to look for New Year’s facts and videos.

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years

THE BEARS

The bears (featured above) are polished and shining for their New Year’s celebration!!!

OUR WISH FOR YOU IN 2016

We wish you a happy, healthy, fun, creative and prosperous 2016!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin!

Cool Christmas!

Christmas is fast approaching and we are just about finished decorating.

This week, we feature pretty decorations using Christmas ornaments, an easy wreath project, a recycling craft, recipe ideas, a festive patio update, and of course, the bears!

SPARKLING DECORATIONS

DSCF1729 (2)

Fill clear glass vases and pitchers with Christmas balls. Keep it simple, one color per vessel. Add a string of holiday lights behind or around the vases. This technique makes a beautiful display! Really catches the light!

EASY AND SPECIAL WREATH

DSCF1697 (3)

Recycling was the inspiration for this wreath. We removed the original decorations and saved the metal form from an old wreath. Then, we wrapped it with the pretty piece of garland pictured below, which Kevin’s mom used to decorate her dining room chandelier during the holidays. The garland is not permanently attached and in future years, we can use it in other ways. Hmmm – maybe we’ll get a chandelier!

IMG_5976 (2)

GIFT TAGS FROM CHRISTMAS CARDS

Recycle your old Christmas cards into gift tags! Simply cut out your favorite images, hole punch the top, add a ribbon and you have these cute gift tags. Write the recipient’s name on the back. These also could be used as ornaments and even necklaces. This is a fun craft for kids!

DSCF1687 (3)DSCF1787 (3)

PATIO UPDATE

Evergreen cuttings trimmed from the large pine trees on our property add lush greenery to the patio. For additional color, we dotted them with faux poinsettia, unbreakable Christmas ornaments and pinecones.

DSCF1767 (2)

The tool box planter looks great filled with fresh pine cuttings. The bee and flamingo both seem to like it!

DSCF1761 (2)

We fashioned this swag by attaching a simple waterproof ribbon to an evergreen cutting and hanging it on the patio door. Cost: $1.25!

DSCF1752 (2)

Of course, we have our tomato cage trees again this year!

DSCF1774 (2)

Here is our post from last year with instructions on how to make these tomato cage trees.

https://funclesarts.com/2014/12/13/christmas-blog-2-the-celebration-continues/

SWEET HOLIDAY TREATS

All this decorating is making us hungry! Here are a few recipes for some easy holiday desserts.

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/desserts/easy-holiday-desserts

FOOD ART 

Our final harvest of garden tomatoes, which we picked green and ripened indoors in a paper bag for almost a month, are finally ready for their closeup!

DSCF1745 (2)

The tomatoes were roasted and served with baked fish – delicious!

JOKE OF THE WEEK

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? Claus-trophobia! Source:Theholidayspot.com

THE BEARS

The bears are hanging with some cool company this week!

DSCF1726 (2)

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin