Tag Archives: christmas centerpieces

A Major Move for the New Year

I have decided to take down my art website (originals by hi-d . com)  and move it over here to the blog. Not sure if it’s a good idea yet or not. I’m definitely feeling a bit apprehensive about it, but it’s done now. No turning back.

If anyone has any ideas on how to put tags on those pages… let me know. I haven’t figured that out yet.

I am hoping that you all will give me honest feedback as to whether this is working on here or not. If you wouldn’t mind heading over to Originals by hi-d (tab at the top) and then clicking on the various mediums and scroll through the photos.

If it’s  hard or cumbersome to get around – or if you can’t see the photos well enough, please let me know so that I can possibly change it up. I am hoping to have everything all in one place on here and be able to update it as I wish.

Thanks ahead of time for your help!




Filed under Art Projects, In The News

Wheewh… It’s Over!

I make it sound like a root canal, don’t I? But no… it was just Truly Christmas! And just to be clear… I LOVE Truly Christmas! It’s just a lot of work. And now I’m tired!

It was a wonderful evening and went very well. Errrr, except for the part where I dumped an entire container of cream all over the front of me! No really!! I was mortified! It is the hostess of each table’s responsibility to provide the cream and sugar for their guests. I had filled one of my tables cream pitcher, and went to fill the second one. I thought there might be some glitter in the little pitcher from setting up the centerpiece the night before, so I tipped it out first before filling it. Unbeknownst to me… some sweet soul had already filled that one! 😦 I had cream all down the front of my pants and all over my shoes, the floor, and two chairs. 😦 I was stunned and frozen in an “oh $&*@” position. Help came and we cleaned it up fine – just in time. Leave it to me.

My two middle boys and husband help serve the dinner. This will be their 5th or 6th time at it. And I think we figured out that this is my eighth year as a hostess. I have decided that I need to dig out all my photos from every year that I’ve done a table and get them organized in a little “Truly Christmas” album. I’ll get right on that.

Oh, for those of you that don’t know what “Truly Christmas” is… let me give you a brief synopsis of it. Twelve years ago a lady in our church started this – I know that other churches do similar events – but she wanted to do something for the community during the Christmas season, and try to turn people’s attentions to helping others rather than the hustle and bustle of what this time of year has become. So she, along with some of her friends and family, invited some ladies from their neighborhoods and work places to come and have a nice dinner, hear some Christmas songs & stories, and the proceeds of the evening would go to a local charity. That first year there were eight tables in the basement of our little church.

Over the last twelve years it has grown to between 35-40 tables and we now hold it in the gymnasium. The programs have gotten better and we have been able to raise a lot of money for local charities. Not only that… it is meant to put us ladies in the right holiday spirit for this (hectic) season.

Here are my three tables this year. I didn’t make any new centerpieces – due to those mice – but used ones I’ve already made in past years.

The mosaic tree – with my friend Sandy’s beautiful dishes. You can’t tell very well in this photo, but the tree lights up.

The critter tree – this one I made two years ago. See about that here. And you’ll see a photo of the boys and Dave like the one above… it’s amazing how much they can grow in two short years!

And this vase with clear marbles and snowflakes. I kind of through this one together at the last-minute when there was a need for another table. It turned out nice with the silver and white.

JJ and Guy helped me set up Saturday night. They were such a big help. After carrying in all the boxes of dishes and decorations for me, they actually got into helping me set the tables and decorate. They were treated to a Fratista Freeze (at Taco Bell) after all that! 🙂

Since the theme of the event this year was “An Old Fashioned Christmas”, we had one of our church members who collects old cars, bring in this 1958 (? I think that’s what I heard.) Chevy.

In the lobby was my old window with the painting, I did last week, in it. Dave spent a good part of that day trying to figure out how to light it up. The three (battery) candles that I planned on being enough light – weren’t. It turned out pretty good I think.

Now, the little white spots in it are from the Christmas trees that were across from it. Here is a shot with flash to show what the painting  looks like.

And here is a photo that a guy took for one of my friends on her cell phone for her. I just love it!

Wish I had taken it with a good camera. It’s a bit blurry – but so sweet!

I was so happy that all the ladies showed up for my tables and seemed to enjoy themselves. I don’t know for sure how much money we made for the two charities, but every little bit helps these days, so I know that they will be grateful.

Thank you ladies. And a big thank you to Sandy, and her mom Julia, for inviting their friends too!

Oh, and the little mice were a big hit. One lady (I didn’t know) came up and gave me a big hug and said that she collected magnets and she just loved this one! Another lady hugged me and thanked me for the time I took to make them and that she truly appreciated it. That was so nice! The fact that the ladies liked them makes it all worthwhile.

However, I’ve told everyone that I could, that I won’t be making 300 of anything next year! For all the money I’ve spent on the chiropractor, I could  have bought everyone a real nice ornament!

Anyway, it was a nice evening, but I’m very glad it’s behind me! Today was spent doing a whole lot of dishes and putting them away! Before I could get that finished I had a chiropractor appointment, and then piano lessons for JJ and Harris… and when I got home from those I found that Gerrit was sick. 😦 (Darren was already home sick from work.) So… guess how we’ll spend our Thanksgiving? LOL. It’s all good… tis the season!

Here are a couple of other photos that I really like.

The boys and their Miss Sandy!! Love it!

And the boys with me, just as we were leaving to head over. They had complained SO much about having to wear a tie and tuck in their shirts! You’d think they could handle it one day a year!! But after it was over they both said it was good and it went quick. They said it wasn’t near as bad as they had remembered!!

And this shot… after their dad said “hey, do you have a vest to go with this tie?” something from the Napoleon Dynamite movie. And he said it in the perfect voice!

I sure wish I had listened to my child and done my hair different. 😦 Too late. He was right though. It was just “weird”! I guess this shows you how “fashion” challenged I am… taking advice (or not) from a nine-year old… boy! All I knew is that I wanted it up out of my face for the night. I didn’t want to keep having to take it out of my mouth! It did look better in the back though.

 Hopefully, I will be able to make some new centerpeices for next year. I already have more ideas than time… and have half of the materials for three of them! Time. Just time. That’s all I need.





Filed under Christmas Time

Truly Christmas

Well, this years big event is behind me once again. Time to start thinking about next years centerpiece! (Kidding… kind’a.)

For those of you who don’t know about my “handcrafted centerpiece obsession”… let me tell you what I do it for. Our church has a wonderful dinner for the ladies of our community to start off the Christmas season in the most possitive and peaceful spirit possible. It’s every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  We provide dinner and a program and all the proceeds go to a local charity. (We actually collected for four charity’s this year.) And the women in the church – who want to – host a table (or two or three) and decorate it real nice, set the table with their own dishes and decorations. Then they are in charge of getting the table(s) they host filled with ladies.

I only did one table this year because of making all the favors for the almost 300 women in attendance. (See about my angel magnets here.)

This year I did something I’ve never done before… I made a fondant cake. Or a cake with fondant. Or is it a cake and fondant? I don’t know. And actually, there was no cake at all. It was rice krispy treats! WAY better than cake anyway. And a lot easier to carve shape create “turn into” something!

So, here it is… the process of my angel cake.

I bought a doll at the craft store. I wrapped her in plastic wrap, and tied up her hair. (to keep it clean and out of the way.)

Then I made some yummy rice krispy treats. Three batches actually!

I began packing it around her… and yes, I left her undies on… it just didn’t seem right for an angel to go camando. I don’t know…


Anyway, I molded and shaped it until I had it about the way I  wanted her dress to be. (Note to self…give her a waist next time!)

Then, I made the fondant.

It is a marshmallow fondant that my friend Sandy directed me to. She’s made it more than once and said that it is much easier than most of the regular fondant recipes. Plus this one tastes good!

Just look at those “yummy white cushions of love” as my son JJ calls them, melting with some real butter!

I didn’t get any photos of me rolling out the fondant or putting it on my doll form – because… well,  my hands were busy! But just trust me that you too could make this fondant too! It was actually pretty fun!

I had made paper patterns of what I needed to cut out of the fondant for the dress. It was like dressmaking 101 the other day. Me with a pencil stuck in my hair – trying to do with two hands what really requires four – wrapping and cutting and marking the paper to make the dress pattern!

Well, I was at least close! A few minor adjustments, but it came out close to what I wanted.

One of my frustrations was the fact that I couldn’t get her to hold the banner like I wanted. (she just wouldn’t cooperate!) I didn’t think of this in time, but if I were to do it again, I’d rip off her arms and glue them back on her in the position that I wanted them. You’d have never known! But… that thought came just a bit too late.

Her banner says “THE KING IS BORN”.

And here she is with her halo.

This is her on the table at the Truly Christmas event.

This is the first time ever that my boys and Dave helped me set up the table. Of course, they were there because I made them show up to help the men of the church set up all the tables and chairs! But they did – and did a good job. Then they wanted me to hurry and get done with my table so we could leave and go to a movie!! But I don’t care so much why they were there helping me… it was just nice to have them there putting thier two cents worth in. 🙂

You won’t believe this, but I forgot my camera that night. Well, it was in the car… but we have to park at the church down the road a bit to make room in our parking lot for our guests, and it was raining. I’d have had to take the bus back over to the other church and run through the rain to get it – so I just asked our pastors wife to send me some copies of her shots. Thank you Debbie.

But since I didn’t have my camera, I didn’t think to have her get a picture of Dave and my two middle boys that were there that night as servers. They looked so good all spiffed up with their Christmas ties and all! And they did an incredible job of helping (the rest of the men in our church) to serve nearly 300 women that night.

It was a wonderful night. Good friends, good program, good food, and good times!

Oh, and for those of you back home that haven’t seem me for a while… I’m a brunette now!


Yea… so were all my friends that came that night. Some of them had trouble finding me!

Oh, please… it’s just hair!




 ***OOOPS! I forgot to mention that you put a layer of buttercream frosting on the rice krispy treats before you lay the fondant on it. It acts as “the glue” and is a very important step! Sorry. 🙂


Filed under Art Projects, Something Special

I’m Back!!!

Wheeew! What an ordeal to be without ones computer. I don’t like it.

Well, I have it back, and although everything seems different, I am ever so grateful to have it!!


I am also done with my critters and the whole centerpiece titled “A Woodland Christmas”. It came out good and the event that it was made for was fantastic this year! I had a great time last night!


Truly Christmas is a fundraiser our church does every year for different charity’s in our community. Ladies in our congregation sign up to host a table for the event. That means that they supply the table settings, the decorations for that table and a small gift for each guest. Then they are also responsible for filling up the eight seats at their table. The tickets sell for 15 dollars apiece and the proceeds then go to whatever charity it is that year!

Oh, and the best part….the men of the church serve us!!

Check out these handsome waiters!

Dad and his boys

Gerrit (12), Dave, and JJ (11 next month)

This was taken just as they were heading over to the church to get their serving instructions.

The men did a good job of serving a huge room full ( about 250 ) of ladies!!

I got an offer on my centerpiece. I told the boys I wouldn’t sell this one…since they love the little animals on it… but I can make them more of those! I think I should sell it if the lady (who I don’t know) was for real about wanting it! And if she is willing to pay the asking price. (which I don’t know either!!!) This is the first year (in seven) that I didn’t want to sell my centerpiece… and sure enough… someone wants it! Go figure.

But really, if I can sell them… it makes my husband happy then I can keep making them! And that is the fun part! Look… I don’t have room for all of these! Awe, now don’t look at me like that…

Well, I’ll shut up now and show you some more photos of the “Woodland Christmas”.

I promised my dad I would have lots of pictures on here today… so don’t think it will hurt my feelings if you get bored and just move onto another blog… I won’t even know!!

start of treeIt starts off something like this…a seven dollar tree from Michael’s.

A not-so-perfect circle cut out of plywood. (Hey, he did it for me so I wasn’t going to fuss!)

Just messing around with what I have to see if I can even make it work. The pink there is builders foam. I love that stuff!!!!

Then it move on to something like this.Got the tree to stand upright!


critters in progressHere is the porcupine in progress. He’s a bald headed porcupine!!

porcupine in progressYes, he took the longest to make. No, I don’t know how long. Yes, those are toothpicks – quartered! And no, I did not know if it would work out or not before I spent countless hours poking them into his naked little body!  It is my own personal gambling habit! I’m addicted. I have an illness.

TC-aI apologize for all the mess in the background. I was so happy that I remembered to take pictures… it didn’t occur to me that I should have had a better background. Oops.

The ladder is made out of cinnamon sticks, the string of popcorn is out of Styrofoam pieces and red beads. I did not make the red cardinals on the tree. I did a  happy dance in the craft store when I found them, because I was totally dreading making that many of the same thing.


The orange hearts and stars on the tree are cookie cutter’ed out of an orange peel and dried.




This little bugger is what started it all. I was trying to come up with my centerpiece idea when my son JJ asked me to make him a couple of critters and seeing this turtle gave him the idea of having a bunch of them around a tree! Yes… he has the same illness!





tc-naked bearsAnd then you have the naked bears for the name place holders.

It was funny that each one of them kind’a had their own personality! The one in the front was my first one, and the boys insisted that I keep that one!

tc-name/place holders

And here they are holding their new owners name! The garland was not glued down on the bears so that the beads could be changed to say “peace”, “love”, or “joy”… or whatever they want.




JJ, Sandy, Debra, Emily, Annette, Me (at about 6’3″- with 3″ heels!!), and Gerrit

Thank you to my friends who came and helped support Truly Christmas this year!

All my ladies did not make it into this photo. I let three of them go before I realized that I didn’t get a group shot. :0( Sorry Dee, Diann and Julia.


And thank you to my boys for showing the love of Christ and giving of yourselves to help others who are less fortunate.

It was a good program and dinner. I always enjoy the evening, and all the work I do to get ready for this is all because I love to make things… not because I have to have a newly decorated table each year. Like I said, I am addicted to it… and this is a good excuse reason to tell the husband, for making a grand mess and spending hours upon hours in my studio every evening and weekend!!


Hope you enjoyed seeing what has kept me so busy over the last month, and if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section. The only thing I can not tell you is how long it took. Sorry, I know that is the one question everyone asks! But I choose not to keep track of my time because that makes it more like work! And I choose to think of it as “play”! (Plus the fact that I am up and down so much with this and that,  the kids, the phone… running in to stir something on the stove… I would need a tap stop watch or something!! (And that would be yucky.)

ta ta for now,



Filed under Art Projects, Real Life on My Planet