Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Holidays 2010, Part 1

I have a lot of different projects that I want to share with you, and the best way I know how to do this is to split them up a bit as to not overwhelm either you or myself.  The next couple of posts will highlight some of the projects that I have been feverishly working on for this past Christmas.

If you remember from October, I shared with you that I was super excited to find Italian fabric for Stephen's Sicilian Noni.  I decided to make her a reversible apron for Christmas out of this fabric and it turned out great (obviously my mom helped me!)!  I used a Simplicity pattern, number 2091 - you can more than likely find this pattern at any craft store that sells fabric.
 Here she is translating her apron into English for us :). Even Stephen's dad enjoyed reading the words on the fabric.
 Proud of her Italian heritage and happy with her new apron!
And here is the other side of her reversible apron - she loved it!


The next project that I tackled was one that I found in September.  I had to plan for weeks before Christmas to start on it as it involved growing time.  I decided to plant paperwhites as a gift for Stephen's Nana (his other Grandma) and for some friends.  I was inspired by this post at Young House Love and I followed their tutorial on how to do it.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased the glass holders and rocks/marbles (the holders were 50% off and I used a coupon for the rocks/marbles). I ordered my paperwhites from this seller on amazon.  I started planting 2 out of 3 of my pots the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  I started them straight up, just as the tutorial told me to.  I gave them as gifts the 3rd week in December and they were just getting ready to bloom, as you can see from the pictures.
Paperwhites get really tall, and because of this they take a long time to bloom as they spend most of their early growth time gaining height.  I planted the 3rd pot (for Stephen's Nana) a little late and I decided to try and stunt it's growth.  I had read on the post from Young House Love that this was possible using alcohol (I used rubbing alcohol) and because I started the bulbs for her late, I knew I needed to speed up the process of the bloom.  I figured that if I stunted their growth, they'd bloom faster - it worked.  I followed this tutorial to properly keep Nana's paperwhites from growing really tall.

 Here are the paperwhites that I planted for friends.  They were taller than Nana's and they continued to grow even taller after they bloomed.  The picture on the right shows the start of a bloom.

 Here are Nana's paperwhites.  The stunting technique worked like a charm.  These paperwhites didn't grow as tall and they started to bloom much sooner because of it!  Another thing I noticed with the stunted bulbs is that more growth grew evenly out of each bulb (if that makes any sense).
  This was an EASY and neat gift to give to anyone.  It was inexpensive and different, although it did involve planning time (starting the bulbs in time for them to be close to blooming by the time they are given).  When I do these as a gift again, I am definitely going to stunt their growth as I loved the way the stunted paperwhites looked.

Another thing that I love about paperwhites both to grow and to give as a gift is that they're very low maintenance.  All you have to do is keep their water level (I used a mixture of water and alcohol for the stunted ones) at the very bottom of the bulbs - that's it.  Because they don't require a lot of water, you really only need to give them attention every 3-4 days - ANYONE can grow and care for them!

I hope I've somewhat inspired you to start thinking about what you can make for Christmas, 2011!  More ideas and inspirations to come!

1 comment:

  1. they are so cute! I'll have to give them a try. how long do they last for?


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