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Help for Christmas gifts [Dec. 9th, 2008|01:06 pm]
Two questions for the LJ hivemind...

Does anyone know of a good (well, decent) page magnifier, or other magnifier that is useful for cookbooks (especially)?

I don't care if it's a magnifying glass, or a page magnifier, or whatever it is that works, but it should be something easy to use and easily cleanable.

Second: does anyone know of a good way to make Christmas ornaments with a third-fourth grader that can be done with the assistance of a clumsy-but-careful uncle? And/or any good bead stores in Renton?

(Wish I had more time, and more to say - I'm coming off a nasty infection that might still be tickling my throat a bit, and I'm busy as heck at work.)

[User Picture]From: lissamc
2008-12-09 09:22 pm (UTC)

ornaments with kids

Red & white plastic pony beads + pipe cleaners = candy canes to hang on the tree. Buttons + wire + ribbons = wreath ornaments. Sticks or popsicle sticks + yarn = gods eyes. (School picture glued to the center optional.) Pinecones + glitter glue + ribbons + sequins + yarn = cute ornaments as well. Metal round ends from frozen juice + an awl = tin punch ornaments. Embellish with paint pens as chosen.

Air dry clay that you cut out with cookie cutters breaks after a couple of years of use.
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2008-12-09 09:26 pm (UTC)
Do you want permanent ornaments, or would gingerbread men do? The Dudes and I made gingerbread men together every year from childhood through when they left home -- it was a big part of our Christmas ritual, and I miss it.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-12-09 10:03 pm (UTC)
Oooh... hangable gingerbread men would be perfect. (It might bring the entire family together, not just me and Eva.)

(I mean, if the gingerbread men can be made into ornaments that can be put on a tree. We're not planning any gingerbread executions. Unless one of the gingerbread men turns murderous. Which has been known to happen from time to time, but it's really quite rare.)
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2008-12-09 10:14 pm (UTC)
Well, there was the year that I forgot to grease the pan and all their little limbs snapped off, and the Dudes, undaunted, got out the red food coloring (for blood) and white icing (for bandages) and we had a treeful of amputee gingerbread men. But no actual executions.
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[User Picture]From: phinnia
2008-12-09 10:15 pm (UTC)
There's a native american craft called 'god's eyes' which requires yarn, popsiclesticks, and glue; you glue the popsicle sticks together in a plus-sign fashion, then weave the yarn tightly around all four sticks, changing colours periodically. directions here. (they have it gluing stuff on the ends of the sticks, which you can do or not as you choose.)
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[User Picture]From: nolly
2008-12-09 10:21 pm (UTC)
We did punched copper ornaments in 5th grade -- copper + hammer + nail + pattern, but I"m not sure I'd recommend it.

We made various beaded ornaments in Scouts; I bet there's some patterns/directions online.

Clay + cookie cutters + clear spray paint/glaze/lacquer as a fixative can work; I was young enough that I don't recall the details, alas.

Foam spheres + sequins/beads + pins + glue + ribbon has much potential.
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[User Picture]From: 98
2008-12-09 10:59 pm (UTC)
I have used a page-sized, plastic fresnel lens.

Not for ornament making, you understand.
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[User Picture]From: pernishus
2008-12-10 02:23 am (UTC)
Do sweet gum trees grow where you are? We used to paint them (the seed pods, i mean) gold and use them as ornaments. Also tea strainers, which we also glued sequins and glitter to, and put a cotton batting inside soaked in wintergreen oil.

Edited at 2008-12-10 02:23 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: greenman65
2008-12-10 08:19 am (UTC)
Ginger biscuits which then become edible decorations are very easy to make and great fun (and taste good too).

Lots of recipes online including http://www.bbc.co.uk/norfolk/kids/christmas_makes/edible_decorations/edible_decorations.shtml
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From: kightp
2008-12-10 11:25 pm (UTC)
I suspect red-and-green construction paper chains would be a bit too elementary for your niece, but maybe paper snowflakes? This guy has some *really* cool patterns, including simpler ones for kids. Gobs more snowflake crafts here, too.

As for magnifiers, this kind would work well with cookbooks. It's one of the plastic fresnel lenses, so optical quality won't be the best, but the stand would make it more useful than the kind you have to hold a few inches above the page.

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