Crafting With Gladness: Christmas Paper Chains

It’s Christmas Craft Day on Gazette665. We’re continuing with projects related to short stories in With Gladness: A Christmas Story Collection. The first craft of December 3, 2016, features decorations mentioned in the California Rancho story.Christmas Paper ChainFive-year-old Margarite laughed at Barbara’s distracted attempts to finish the long paper chains to hang around the windows. (From “A Light In The Window” in With Gladness, page 41) Continue reading

Crafting With Gladness: Map Ornaments

Last Christmas craft blog post for today – watch for another craft day later in the holiday season!

Christmas Map Ornaments

“It’s because we’re farther north. Far from home,” Grandfather sighed. (East To West – short story in With Gladness, page 33).

Do you have a loved one far from home this year? Or perhaps a favorite hometown or vacation spot? How about a favorite historical map? Continue reading

Crafting With Gladness: Popsicle Stick Winter Photo Frame

Second of three craft blog posts on November 19, 2016

Christmas Historical Photo Frames

For our Revolutionary War story-themed craft, I was at a loss for ideas. At first I thought I’d tell you how to make hardtack and enjoy it with hot wassail…but you have to really, really like historical stuff to enjoy hardtack. There wasn’t much crafting or holiday decorating at Valley Forge, and not everybody loves to knit stockings.

Then I thought of a favorite craft that my mom did with us kids when we were little. Popsicle Photo Frames. They’re cute on the tree, on a bulletin board, as large magnets (just add a magnet strip), and they make great gifts for grandparents if you use photos of grandkids. Continue reading

“Crafting” With Gladness: Colonial Clove-Decorated Fruit

Today is a Christmas Craft Day on Gazette665. And this is the first of three blog posts in one day!

We have three special projects prepared for you…and – best of all – they are related to the first three stories in With Gladness! (Watch for two more craft days later in the holiday season…)

Christmas Clove Decorated Fruit

A wonderful old-fashion Christmas decoration is clove decorated fruit. It was featured in Colonial Era decorations and remained popular for many decades. In the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (post-Civil War) clove apples are mentioned as simple gifts.

So what is clove fruit? It’s fruits – usually apples or citrus – decorated with whole cloves. They were used in wreaths, fruit pyramids, centerpieces, or just set on their own in a room. Clove fruit smells amazing – sweet and spicy! Continue reading

March 2016: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History & Craft: March 2016

Spring is here (or coming)! Did you know the first day of spring is actually March 20?

Holiday (Seasonal) History

Spring is the season in the northern hemisphere when the world “awakens” from winter. Does it snow in your area? We don’t get much snow where I live, but we’ve had some rainstorms during the winter. The cold weather of winter prepares the plants and the fields for spring.

The weather starts to warm up as spring comes. The trees start to get little green leaves. Flowers come up (or we plant them) and the garden bursts with color. I particularly enjoy seeing the trees blossom and get their new leaves.

Once upon a time a music composer named Vivaldi wrote a song about spring, trying to capture the warmth, brightness, and newness of spring. Maybe you would like to listen to it:


Want to make a craft celebrating the coming of spring? How about a tree that’s blossoming and getting new green leaves? Let’s get started…

Holiday History & Craft: March 2016What You’ll Need



Felt Pens (Markers)

Colored Pencils

Tissue Paper (I used greens and pinks in several different shades)


Paper Plate


Wax Paper

Holiday History & Craft: March 2016Begin by laying out a sheet of wax paper to protect the table.

Next, use the pencil to sketch the trunk and branches of a tree. Outline with brown felt pen. You can add some grass at the bottom of the page if you like. The colored pencils can be used to color the tree trunk and grass.

Cut the tissue paper into small squares. (1 1/2 inches – 2 inch squares is about right, but there’s no reason to be extreme precise)

Holiday History & Craft: March 2016Squeeze some glue onto the paper plate. Then take a tissue paper square and wrap it about the eraser end of the pencil. Dip the paper wrapped end in the glue and stick the paper on a tree branch. Repeat until your tree is full of “blossoms” and “leaves.”



6Let your artwork dry thoroughly, then display and enjoy!

Happy Spring