1861: “Extremely Ornamental”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsNovember 1861

Hanging Pincushion and Needle-book

Godey's MagazineThis little article is extremely ornamental when completed, and possesses the advantage of being also useful. A little case, like a book-cover, is cut out in cardboard; a similar shaped piece of velvet or silk, a little larger, is also required, on which is worked the sprig given in the illustration. This may be done in white beads, or embroidered in colored silks, or worked in gold thread. This is then stretched over the cardboard, brought over the edge, and gummed [glued] down. 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

January 2016: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016Okay…so I totally failed. I did something I’ve never done before and hope I’ll never do again. I failed to meet a blog post deadline – and now I’m two weeks late. I’m sorry. But today’s the actual day, so you’re getting January’s Holiday History and Craft now and for the rest of the year I’ll go back to being faithful to post on first Monday of each month.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Usually referred to as MLKJ Day, I never quite grasped what it celebrated/memorialized when I was a kid. My parents did try to educate me – we read about M.L. King, Jr. in the encyclopedia, but it wasn’t until I was formally studying U.S. History that I understood. Let me see if I can make this easy to understand and not too long-winded…and then we’ll do a craft! Continue reading

December 2015: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath Painted

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! (Who really needs more Christmas crafts? We do!) December is one of my favorite months of the year because I love the Christmas holiday. Today we’ll talk a little about the history of Christmas and then make a wreath with a fork, paint, and sequins.

Nativity PaintingHistory

We usually describe the first Christmas as the event in the City of Bethlehem when Jesus – God’s Son – was born. Fulfilling Biblical Old Testament prophecy, Jesus came to earth as a baby, was born in a Bethlehem stables, and laid in a manger. Angels announced His birth to nearby shepherds, and later wise men from the east came to see Him. (Luke 2, Matthew 2) But it wasn’t until a long while after Christ’s birth that His birthday started to be celebrated…and His birthday probably wasn’t even in December.

December became the month of celebration because some of the religious folks decided to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. You see, the Romans had a feast for one of their false gods in December; it was called Saturnalia and was celebrated with gift giving and red and green decorations. The Roman Church eventually took some of the Saturnalia traditions and combined them with some religious beliefs and called it “Christmas” – trying to make Christ’s birth the focus of their new holiday.

christmas-treeSome of our favorite Christmas traditions also have roots from the past. Did you know that Martin Luther – the Protestant reformer – was said to have cut one of the first Christmas trees for his children? And a few centuries later Queen Victoria of England popularized Christmas trees in England and America. Do you like the poinsettia flowers? Those were traditionally used in Mexican celebrations of Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a wreath. Wreaths have been used for centuries to display the beautiful, natural woodland plants and to welcome guests for celebrations. Today, I’ll share an idea for making a wreath of your own!

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedCraft

What You’ll Need:

White Cardstock

Green Paint (Washable)

A Fork (make sure it’s okay to get paint on it)

Wet Glue

Sequins (I used gold, silver, and red)

Ribbon (I used gold)

The Lid From A Pot


Paper Plate

Wax Paper

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedBegin by tracing around the pot’s lid on your cardstock to make a perfect circle.

Spread some wax paper to keep the table clean.

Next, put some green paint on the paper plat and dip the flat part of the fork in the paint. Press the fork onto the paper, using the circle to guide you. (See photo).

Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath PaintedContinue “fork painting” until your wreath is full and even.

Let the paint dry for a few hours.





Holiday History & Craft December 2015 Christmas Wreath Painted

Tie the ribbon into a pretty bow and decide how it will be placed on the wreath. I put mine at the top, but it really could go anywhere you like. Glue in place.

Glue sequins on the “greenery” of your wreath. Let it dry for a while.

Your wreath is finished. Let the decorating begin…

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

July 2015: Holiday History & Craft

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsFourth of July is next weekend, and if I delayed this post ’til next Monday, the holiday we’re celebrating will have come and gone. So here’s the post a few days early!

Today, we’ll explore the history of Fourth of July and make a new craft! (This article and craft is designed for children and is written accordingly.)


The_Declaration_of_Independence_July_4_1776_by_John_TrumbullLet’s play trivia.

We celebrate Fourth of July because:

A) George Washington became president

B) The Civil War ended

C) The Declaration of Independence was approved

If you guessed C, you’re correct! Now, here’s a little more history you should know. It was actually on July 2, 1776,  when the Continental Congress voted to separate America from Great Britain. (You see, back then, England was in charge of America and could tell us what to do…we didn’t like that very much and voted to be independent.)

Thomas Jeffeson

Thomas Jeffeson

After the vote to become a separate nation, the Founding Fathers decided they needed to put it in writing. (Smart men!) So Thomas Jefferson (who would later be our third president) drafted The Declaration of Independence, declaring the reasons America would be its own country. Jefferson’s document was approved and read on July Fourth, and there was a BIG celebration.

Through the years, Americans have always had a “national birthday party” on July Fourth to celebration our country’s independence. Many cities have parades; there are barbeques and fireworks. What’s your favorite thing about Fourth of July?

The colors of the American flag are red, white, and blue, and these are the most popular colors for this holiday. Let’s make a pinwheel garland to decorate and celebrate Independence Day!


July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWhat You’ll Need:

Red, White, and Blue Paper (don’t use cardstock)





Two Prong Paper Fasteners


July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWith the ruler and pencil, measure and mark 5″ squares on the paper. (You can make as many pinwheels as you want and each square makes one pinwheel.) Cut out the squares.



July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsUse the ruler and pencil to mark diagonal lines from corner to corner on your paper square. Cut on the lines, coming toward the center and stopping about 1/4″ from where the lines cross (intersect). Cut carefully…oh, and remember scissors are SHARP!



July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsNow, see the photographs. Fold two opposite diagonals to the center and secure with a little tape. Fold the remaining diagonals and secure with a little piece of tape. Now, take the paper fastener and carefully push it through the center; turn over, and open the back prongs to secure it in place. Finished!

Follow the marking, cutting, and folding directions with all your paper squares.

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsJuly Holiday History and Craft Patriotic Pinwheels

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsTake all your pinwheels and arrange them in your preferred pattern. (I used R,W,B,R,W,B)

Now, turn them upside down. Cut string the length of your garland and leave a little extra. Thread the string under the open prongs and tape in place.


When you hang your garland, you may need to secure some of the pinwheels to the surface you’re hanging against. Some of my pinwheels wanted to turn the wrong way, so I just used a little piece of tape to hold them where I wanted. 🙂

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsHappy Fourth of July! Have a great week celebrating America’s independence.

May 2015: Holiday History & Craft

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder Did you ever wonder how Mother’s Day became a holiday? Or are you wondering what to make your mom for this special day? Well, here’s an answer and a gift idea!

(This is the fifth post in the monthly series “Holiday History & Crafts” which is written and designed for younger children.)

Holiday History

Contrary to some popular beliefs, Mother’s Day as we celebrate it here in the United States doesn’t have any historical roots in ancient pagan cultures. I suppose we could say it has ancient origins based on God’s command to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land…” (Exodus 20:12). Which brings me to this point: we should honor and bless our moms every day, not just on the official holiday. And, no, your mom did not pay me to say that. 🙂

Over 100 years ago –  in 1908 –  a lady named Anna Jarvis held a special ceremony to remember her mother. Anna’s mother had died a few years before, and Anna wanted to honor her by establishing an official day to celebrate mom’s and their care role in their children’s lives. West Virginia was the first state to make the celebration of Mother’s Day official, and, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day a United States’ holiday.

President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson proclaimed that Mother’s Day would always be on the 2nd Sunday of May. I think that’s a great time for the holiday because so many flowers are blooming and it’s easy to make pretty bouquets to decorate the house or bring to Mom!

A few years later Anna Jarvis became very upset and said that people weren’t celebrating the holiday properly. You see, Anna wanted to people to express gratitude (that’s a big word for “being thankful”) to their moms by making them something special or doing something to show how much they loved their mothers. Anna didn’t like that the stores were convincing people it was okay to buy cards and little gifts; she wanted the presents to be from the heart – in other words, something that we take time to create or plan to make special.

It’s certainly okay to buy a card or little gift for your mom, but it’s lots of fun to make them too! I think Anna Jarvis would approve of this gift you can make for your mom…and don’t forget to make a pretty card too. (You might need to get your dad, grandma, or older sibling to help you.)

 Craft – “Stained Glass” Candle Holder

Adult supervision recommended

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder You will need:


Colored tissue paper (Pick your mom’s favorite colors!)

Foam paint brush

Small disposable cup




Glass Jar (I used a Mason Jar; a small to medium size will work best)

Tea light candles


Place waxpaper on the table to protect the table from any messy glue.

Make sure the jar is clean and dry. Remove the lid; you won’t need it.

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder Cut the tissue paper into medium size shapes. (I made circles.) *Be careful – scissors are SHARP*

Squeeze some glue into the cup and mix with a little water to thin it down. Use the foam brush and paint the glue/water mixture on the jar, starting at the top. Don’t paint the whole jar at one time, just the section you’re working on.

Place the cut tissue paper on the glue and smooth the edges down. You can use a little of glue to help the edges stick. Make sure to overlap the paper edges. Work all the way around the jar. Some tissue paper colors may “bleed” if they get excess glue on them; it will probably be okay.

Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder When you get to the bottom of the jar, turn it upside down. Fold the extra tissue paper to the underside and plaster firmly in place with the glue mixture.

Allow to dry thoroughly. (My jar took about 4 hours.)

Tea light candles (the ones in a little holder) are best in the candle holder because the wax won’t stick to the bottom. *Always be careful when using candles and fire*



Find some tea light candles to include with your “Stained Glass” Candle Holder. Wrap and make a card. Mother’s Day gift is complete!Mother's Day Craft - "Stained Glass" Candle Holder