Posts tagged Christmas

Crafting with Gourds

Every year the harvest of Gourds begins in the fall and fills the groceries and natural food shops with fresh Squash, Cucumbers, Luffas and Melons. There are also the Calabash Squash, which is the most common Gourd. Luffas and Calabash Squash have to be harvested very young to be edible. If they are harvested after they have dried out, there is nothing to eat but their skins make fantastic containers, scrubbers and other tools. The Loofah or Plant Sponge is often used in sandal making and other crafts. You know it because you’ve seen in the bath section of the department store, where it’s sold as a body scrubber. Loofahs are also used to make the sponges you use in the kitchen and have been used in certain types of constuction.

The Calabash Squash is the one you are most familiar with when you think of Gourds. They are often called Bottle Gourds because the older, larger ones have been used as containers for generations. You are familiar with a form of Gourd use through the use of Pumpkins as decorations at Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are a form of Squash that has Gourd properties. You can scrape out the Pumpkin and eat the insides but use the thick skin as a container for candles and you can carve it out in designs, the most popular being a face. This is a form of Gourding.

However, in short time, your Pumpkin wilts and shrinks and collapses and ends up in the trash. You cannot get a long lasting decorative collectible this way. So I suggest sticking with the hard, inedible, bitter Melons and Squashs that are referred to as “Ornamental Gourds”. These are a distinctively different variety than the edible Squash you see in the stores and they are never edible. They are purely for ornamental use. You will find them in the grocery stores, in the vegetable stands, in the craft shops and health food stores during the fall and winter season. They are there right now. So read this article and get an idea of what kind of Gourd you want to use for what project and then scoot on out and get it. You will be amazed at how fun this is and you will end up doing every year from now on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off

May All Your Christmases be Green!

It’s almost that time of year again and this year is going to be hard. With the economy on a downward spiral, many of us out of work and the cost of goods rising daily, it does not seem to be a joyful time of year. But there are good ideas on how to get useful stuff for friends and family, keeping it green and save money at the same time. In fact, going green saves money no matter how you look at it. It’s our overly commercial, plasticized and technology driven lifestyle that costs a lot to maintain and robs the planet at the same time.

So let’s see if going green is feasible and affordable. I have done a previous post on how to give green gifts that will help you with the gifting choices. But a lot more goes into Christmas than just the presents. There is, of course, the tree and the decorations that go on it. There is the packaging for all those gifts; a pile of plastic store packages wrapped in gift wrap, all of which gets torn to shreds and tossed in the trash. Ouch. According to an article I saw on Associated Content, over 4.4 million tons of holiday gift wrap, shopping bags, and holiday catalogs are sent straight to the landfills each year. And then to all of this you have to add the gas you spend scooting through bumper to bumper traffic from store to store and mall to mall, searching for the right item at the right price. And don’t forget the extraneous stuff like the extra electricity it takes to power all those decorations, especially Rudolph and the Elves on the front lawn surrounded by 400 feet of flashing colored lights. So how do you stop spending and wasting? How do you do the planet the favor and go green? Here are some ideas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off

Green Up Merry Christmas

No, I’m not referring to Global Warming and the idea that it might not snow. I’m referring to great green ideas that will save you money and the planet, too, ensuring that it will continue to snow for years to come. And there’s a bonus: You won’t have a ton of credit card bills to weigh you down at the start of the New Year! Imagine that. Of course, a lot of us have already been hit really hard and the concept of a credit card with available credit is only a memory. For you, these ideas are even more intelligent and useful. And if you’re worried about the kids, that they won’t have the same experience and come away harmed in some way, then I’ve got ideas that will help you with that problem, too. The entire family can get in on Christmas in new and exciting ways which cannot help but tighten the family bonds and enhance the holiday experience. Believe me, these are worth a try. And you might not ever go back to the “old way” again.

When you finally wake up out of the consumerism “daze” and start living life outside that box, it can be a truly wonderful and exciting experience. It allows for great personal expression, creativity, spontaneity and offers unlimited chances to express love. You are creative in ways you never imagined and even if you aren’t, these ideas don’t take Picasso or Martha Stewart to make them work. I have easy step by step instructions that will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. And none of this stuff is nearly as hard as gassing up the car on a cold winters night and rushing off to a Mall full of crazy people. In fact, you can start doing some of it now, here and there, easy goes it and make the week before Christmas a time for baking cookies, reading to the kids and having dinner at home. Here are the 7 six easy steps you can start today:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off