Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jane Austen Ornament Tutorial

I love Jane Austen's books, and thought
I needed to give her a place
on my new Christmas tree.
 (The black on white version.)

(The white on blue version.)
Would you like to make one?
First, you'll need clear glass ornaments from a craft store, extra fine glitter, and Pledge Floor Care with Future Shine.
 ( This bottle at Walmart was about $6.00.  A little goes a long way with this project.  If you've got a craft-loving friend, maybe they'll split the cost with you for half of the Future Shine product.)
1.  Remove the metal ornament cap.
2.  Pour the Pledge Floor Care liquid into the glass ornament (about 1 Tbsp.)
3.  Cover the ornament hole with your thumb and shake the ornament gently until the entire inside of the glass is coated with the Pledge Floor Care.
4.  Pour any excess Floor Care back into the bottle.
5.  With a small funnel (I made one out of a 3X 5 card), pour in a generous amount of extra fine glitter.
6.  Cover the ornament's hole with your thumb and shake gently until the glitter has coated all of the inside of the glass.
7.  Still covering the ornament hole with your thumb, rinse off any Floor Care product and glitter that may have attached to the outside of the ornament.
8.  After drying, replace the ornament caps.
9.  Copy and paste the Jane Austen silhouette to a Word Document or art program such as Publisher.
(Even in Word, you can control the size of the silhouette
by clicking on the image you've pasted. 
 Once the thin-lined box appears
around the pasted image, reduce or enlarge it
by clicking and dragging one of the corner edges.)
10.   Print the image on regular copy paper and cut out the silhouette. 
For the white Jane Austen silhouette, I simply traced a cut image onto the white copy paper.  The image was embellished with a silver-inked snowflake stamp.
11.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre to the front of the ornament.
12.  Carefully position the cut silhouette onto the Mod Podge.
13.  Cover over the silhouette with Mod Podge to seal the paper.
14.  Finish your ornament with buttons or crystals and coordinating ribbons.
Here are a few lessons I learned along the way.  Do one ornament at a time.  The Pledge Floor Care dries too quickly to try to do more than one at a time.  Once you've added glitter, trying to add more Floor Care to cover a missed spot doesn't work well.  Stick to extra fine glitter for best results.
What do you think?
Jane Austen's popular silhouette has a story all its own.
This famous small image was discovered inside
a second edition of Mansfield Park.
Above the pasted image was a reference to "Jane."
( See Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury by Rebecca Dickson, Metro Books, 2008.)
Hmmm . . . do you think it's her?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The glorious armies of the sky
To Thee, Almighty King
Triumphant anthems consecrate
And hallelujahs sing.

But still their most exalted flights
Fall vastly short of Thee:
How distant then must human praise
From Thy perfections be!

Yet how, my God, shall I refrain
When to my ravished sense
Each creature everywhere around
Displays Thy excellence!
The active lights that shine above,
In their eternal dance,
Reveal their skillful Maker's praise
With silent elegance.
The blushes of the morn confess
That Thou art still more fair,
When in the east its beams revive,
To gild the fields of air.

The fragrant, the refreshing breeze
Of ev'ry flowery bloom
In balmy whispers own, from Thee
Their pleasing odors come.
The singing birds, the warbling winds,
and waters murmuring fall
To praise the first Almighty Cause
With different voices call.
Thy numerous works exalt thee thus,
And shall I silent be?
No, rather let me cease to breathe,
Than cease from praising Thee!
Elizabeth Rowe

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Cereal Embroidery Kits

About a week ago, my mother gave me a
finished embroidery piece
that once belonged to my grandmother.
My grandmother loved covered bridges.
My mother couldn't remember whether or not
 she stitched this piece for my grandmother.
(Grandma also sewed occasionally. 
 It's possible that she stitched the piece.)
I believe my mother stitched it. 
 I recognize her neat taped edges on the fabric's cut sides.

While searching for some embroidery on Etsy,
I discovered the history behind this little piece.
During the late 60's and early 70's,
Post Cereal advertised mail order embroidery
 kits on the back of their cereal boxes.
 The clipping above mentions Kits A through I.
Apparently, there were at least nine different kits offered.

It isn't clear from the box clipping that survived
 if the buyer had to send in box tops
or a proof of purchase with  their order.

Katrina from KatsVintagePassions
kindly gave me permission to use the Etsy photographs
of her 6 Post Cereal Kits.

As of this post, she has two left for sale.
(Very reasonably priced!)


 I couldn't find any additional information about
the other Post Cereal Embroidery Kits.
The instructions that are still with my
covered bridge has a "Minuet Company"
listed as the kit's manufactuer.
If Katrina's kits hadn't been still packaged with
 the cardboard cereal box clipping,
 this is one interesting story that may have been lost!
Thanks Katrina, for the great information.
Here's another grocery store item
 that also sold a mail order embroidery kit.
It's a good thing Blue Bonnet and Post Cereal
 no longer offer these buying incentives.
 My family would be wondering
why I was bringing so much butter
and cereal home from the store!

Please leave a comment if you have any memories
or information regarding grocery store products with mail order
sewing kits.
I love hearing these stories.

I sure do miss you, Grandma.
Wishing you many blessings,