Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

A Better Gift from a Better You

When your family and friends gather around this Thanksgiving and Christmas, give a gift that is priceless and cannot be bought in any store: time spent with the loneliest person in the room. That’s usually the elderly, but it could be anyone.

Because when the tree has been taken down and the decorations are put away, the shine is off of the presents and you’ve forgotten what you got and what you gave, the gift of your time and attention will still be a warm memory to the recipient.

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Filed under Christmas, Doing the Right Thing, Family, Kindness, Thanksgiving

“Thank You for the food we eat”: a Dick and Jane Altered Book

Mother, Jane, Father, Sally, and Dick

Dick and Jane readers were a wonderful part of my childhood – I still get such a cozy feeling just looking at them. So, when my sister, Abby and I decided to exchange little handmade Thanksgiving books last year, I chose the Dick and Jane theme for the “We Give Thanks” book I made for Fran.

Dick, Jane and Sally

Thank you for the food we eat,

Spot, Tim and Puff

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Jane, Sally and Dick

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Mother, Dick, Sally and Tim

Thank you, God, for everything.

Jane

Amen.

First I photocopied illustrations from a Dick and Jane reprint that I’d bought a few years ago at Wal-Mart (these reprints were from the 1950s’ editions). I also have 2 copies of original editions, and I wish I had used them to copy because the pictures are much better. A copy of a copy is very often not a good thing. But anyway, I selected pictures that I thought would illustrate the prayer we learned in Kindergarten at Mingo School (before our schools became so God-less).

The title “We Give Thanks” is in keeping with the Dick and Jane series, for instance, “We Work and Play”,  “We Look and See”, “We Come and Go”, etc.

To give it the feel of a board book, I made my own chipboard pages from a Coca-Cola carton. I probably should’ve rounded the edges slightly.

The background layout for the illustrations were enlarged and photocopied prose pages from the Dick and Jane books.  The edges were distressed with blue ink; brown might’ve been better.

For the prayer itself, I photocopied a page of old penmanship-style scrapbook paper. Now I realize that I could’ve bought a whole tablet of that paper at Dollar General for about $1.00.  Anyway,to get the look of children’s printing, I used a pencil in my left hand (I am right-handed). As you can see from the “Thank you God for everything” page, I accidentally wrote “Lord”. I need to fix that.

To finish, I punched 3 holes on each page and used blue gingham ribbon to bind it. On the back I used a “Handmade by” stamp and signed my name.

Now I think I’ll make one to keep for myself.

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Filed under 1950s, Altered Books, Books, Children's, Cozy, Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Faith, Free, Mingo, Thanksgiving, Thrift

Thanksgiving Notes

Mayflower and Speedwell in Dartmouth Harbor by Wilcox



This post linked to Food on Fridays @ annkroeker

A few years ago I started making holiday notes – the day after. Just taking a few minutes to sit down and think about the celebration (whether Thanksgiving or Christmas) while it’s still fresh on my mind, then jotting down ideas that worked, ones that didn’t and other ideas I’ve picked up but haven’t tried yet. These are helpful to me the next year – if I can find where I placed them. Now I’ll have a Thanksgiving book to put them in.

When I was young I thought I could remember things from year to year. I couldn’t, but I thought I could. Now I know I have to make lists because I can’t rely on my memory.

Leading up to and the week before Thanksgiving:

*Reread: The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall & David Manuel.

*Reread: Mary of Plymouth by James Otis.

* Papercraft some interesting table decorations.

* Make Thanksgiving cards.

*Talk to sons and family about their plans.

* Keep the house tidy. It’s a killer to get up on Thanksgiving morning and do it before I start cooking.

* Get the laundry all caught up – not only washed but folded and put away or hung in the closet. For peace of mind.

* Eat up leftovers and clean out the refrigerator. We’ll need space for the leftovers and how nice it would be not to have to cram things in.

* Iron the tablecloth and hang it up to keep it wrinkle free.

* Clean kitchen thoroughly: Put extraneous things away. Dust the china cabinet. Clean kitchen window ledge. Mop. Make the sink sparkle. Clean windows by the table.

* Polish the silver.

Early Thanksgiving week:

*Mail Thanksgiving cards. This is not something that I do, but it’s something that I wish I did.

* Review menu requirements and make a shopping list. Because we have the same meal every year, I don’t have to plan the menu, but I do need to check our supplies and note what I’ll need to buy.

* Shop but resist the urge to buy a bunch of other stuff at the grocery store. It’s tiring to come home and have to put it all away, and the superfluous perishables take up too room in the refrigerator.

* Buy fresh, local pecans at the produce stand. They cost more but make a superior pie.

* Buy a small bouquet of flowers for the table or ask the grandchildren to pick up leaves and acorns for the centerpiece.

* Wash the china and serving pieces.

* Wash the roaster.

* Start reading a really good book – it will give me something enjoyable to do when I have to frequently sit down and rest.

*Have ready something comfortable to wear while cooking and something nice to change into for dinner.

Wednesday

* Make pies. I’m not a do-ahead cook because I really like things really fresh, but the truth is, the pumpkin pies are actually better the next day.

* Make cornbread for the dressing.

* Chop onion, celery and carrots and store in refrigerator.

* Clear off countertops to make plenty of space for cooking.

* Take a nap.

Thanksgiving Day

* Eat breakfast. It’s a mistake to ignore this one.

* Start cooking.

* Enjoy the family.

* Remind them of the traditional Trivial Pursuit game.

But above all, reflect on the goodness of God

and Thank Him.

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Filed under Autumn, Faith, Family, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Altered Books

Fran's book

(All the pictures in this post are of Fran’s book. Right now, we’re having computer problems, so I can’t download photos from our camera, but I can scan things in. Hopefully soon I can post the photos and will update this post when I do.)

My sister, our friend Abby (The Paper Engineer) and I made altered Thanksgiving books. The ones I made were for Fran and Abby; Fran’s were for Abby and me, and of course, Abby’s were for Fran and me.

(Click on the photos for a bigger view. I’ve found that posting them as thumbnails takes a fraction of the time to upload.)


The only rule was that they were to be books about giving thanks. Fran’s book for me is completely different from the ones I made and I really like it. (We weren’t able to get together to exchange with Abby yet so I can’t describe hers now – I haven’t seen it.) She made her cover out of cardboard and covered it with brown toile fabric. She used orange rings for binding it together and tied pieces of ribbon onto the rings.

Stella Edens Thanksgiving poem, circa 1956


The story behind the poem is that when my sister was waiting for the bus to come, she told my mother that she was supposed to take a Thanksgiving poem to school – that day.  So, my mother the poet wrote one just like that.

Two of the pages in this book were from orange file folders that she cut in half.  These will really come in handy for tucking in Thanksgiving recipes, clippings,  memories, etc.


Then she took fall leaves and laminated them, punched holes for the binding and attached topaz (my birthstone) rhinestones on the pages.  There are several pages of the laminated leaves and she placed the rhinestones so they could all be viewed at once when looking at the first page.

For Abby’s book,  I used an Altoids tin and sponged gold paint all over it, then lined the edges with dictionary pages, cut with a deckle-edged pair of scissors.  For the message, I accordion folded brown paper, glued it to the bottom inside and listed on each fold something for which I am thankful for. /p>  On the top side I glued a piece of autumn looking alcohol inked paper and stamped ears of corn and the words:  Give Thanks.  The bottom of the tin has another piece of the dictionary page glued on.  The embellishments were cutouts of leaves, pumpkins and rubber stampings.

For my sister’s book,  I wanted to do something different.  Fran and I both like Dick and Jane books – very pleasant memories there. My theme for her book was the child’s prayer “Thank You for the Food We Eat”.

I photocopied illustrations that I could use for each line of the prayer from a Dick and Jane reader (alas, not an original. They are $90.00 at the antique mall. This was a reproduction I bought at Wall-Mart). It’s too difficult to cut them out exactly, so I left a border of white as I cut them out and distressed them with a yellow chalk pad. Then I enlarged the wording from the reader on the copier, and printed off a couple of pages, distressed them with the yellow chalk and a blue ink pad. Using a glue stick, I attached them to cardboard squares cut from a Coke carton to duplicate chipboard, then punched 3 holes along the side of each one for to lace the ribbon for binding.  Then using the glue stick, I attached the illustrating pictures to the enlarged wording.

Remember the old tablets we used when learning to print – the ones with the solid and blue dashed lines? I had a piece of that from a scrapbook store that my sister had given me, but I’ve never seen any in a store and didn’t want to use it as an original. In my stash I had some regular copy paper that I had tea-dyed. So I photocopied the penmanship paper onto the tea-dyed. It may be hard to see the blue lines on the photos, but they are there. I cut squares of this paper and used the glue stick to attach it to the cardboard for pages to face the illustration.

It would’ve been better to have had my grandson write the prayer out for me, but I didn’t plan far enough ahead. Somewhere I had read that you can duplicate a young child’s printing by using your left hand, so that’s what I did using a pencil.

For binding I used blue gingham ribbon.  The colors of this book were not the autumn earth tones, but I think it’ll be more versatile this way, and the blue was one of the main colors in both the illustrations and the penmanship paper.

I really like making the chipboard pages, it gives the book a nice heft and feel.  Also, just a few pages are thick enough for it to stand alone.  A few weeks ago on a craft blog (I’ll insert link when I can remember where I first saw it), the author had made a Christmas book using scraps of paper and embellishments on one of those black and white speckled notebooks.

Building upon her idea, I decided to make myself one.  But since I really liked the chipboard feel, I’ve used that concept.  I’ll keep recipes,  card lists,  a gift list and all sorts of Christmasy things in it.  When we get our photos to load, I’ll post them.

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Filed under Altered Books, Autumn, Crafts - Paper, Thanksgiving