November2012 134
I really hate glue guns.
Really hate them.
As in, if I had an arch nemesis, all they would have to do is brandish a glue gun as a weapon and I would be forever vanquished.
However, glue guns serve their purposes quite well,
and make my life much much easier when it comes to crafting………..
and since I have been doing A LOT OF CRAFTING the last week
I am determined to be thankful for glue guns,
and suck my fingers privately where no one else can see me. 🙂
Are you excited? It is the grand kickoff of our month of December and 
A HomeSpun Christmas 
here on The Welcoming House!
I couldnt be MORE excited than I am at this point, because I am of the blessed privilege to KNOW what is coming in the next three weeks, to have lined it all up,
sampled all the cookies,
tested all the recipes,
created some of the crafts,
ooohed and aaahed at all the giveaways,
and so I know that by the end of next week
are going to be super thankful that you decided to participate this year by hanging out with us!

So get out your santa party hats and lets get this party started RIGHT NOW!

I am QUITE sure many of you are aware that our first birthday is only one single month away.
SO I am starting this party with the intention of ending it at Christmas, 
 and starting a whole new one only a short time later!
But one of the things I really really REALLY want to see happen ishitting 1000 members over at the Welcoming House FaceBook Page. We are close, only 150 people, which even in every day Facebook life, is do-able. But you know me, I want to go into our first birthday on January 1st with a splash, so I am asking you, please share, tweet, like, etc, all of our posts. Put us on Pinterest. Talk about us on Google +1 and chat about us with family and friends. There is one super giveaway happening when we hit that magic number over there, so step up and support the House, would you?
Well, let me give you a short heads up of what we will be tackling here in the next week!
Today I am going to be sharing with you a simple tutorial on how to make that amazing wreath up there at the top of the post. 
It seriously, couldnt be simpler unless you wanted to buy it……
…but we will get to that in a minute.
Monday, we will be covering fun and simple ideas to celebrate the advent days with your kids–and boy have I found some fun and EASY (read cheap and easy to make) ideas for you all!
 Tuesday we will be linking up with Kelly Nale from the Empty Nest Farm Blog as we share six to die for recipes for simple Christmas cookies you can make at home for gifts or cookie platters (or munching at the computer when the kids are asleep, but who would do that?)
Wednesday I am sharing a GORGEOUS tutorial that has something to do with candles,
buttons, and lots of creativity,
Thursday we have my friend Cindy Wagner sharing how to make some precious homemade ornaments for gifts and decorating the home.
And that is all on top of two giveaways of home-crafted items from small businesses that will be participating in our Homespun Christmas Giveaway Celebration!
Now, lets talk about that wreath.

 You want to talk simple, here is how easy it was.


You need 1/2 yard of any fabric you choose, but make sure to go with something that has more polyester than cotton so you can seal the edges, much like you do with ribbons when crafting with them. I used a gorgeous fabric that was given to me in a stash from a friend when she was decluttering her fabric area.  
You know the saying: 
“One man’s stash is another man’s wreath, right”? 🙂
I purchased a straw wreath from Walmart in the clearance section for $1 (yes, you read that right),and a holiday pick with greenery and berries for just under $2. I had the ribbon on hand, because it is handmade eyelet lace I have been working on crocheting to use up the thread I was given by another friend who can no longer do thread crochet. You can purchase a wreath in the craft section of your local Walmart for under $5, so dont panic that you cant find any straw wreaths for super cheap. A roll of ribbon is less than $5, so you can easily make this wreath for under $10, probably even for under $6 if you watch for sales.
Or learn to crochet. 🙂
Taking your fabric, cut it into strips that are about 3-4″ wide, and long enough that  you can tie the strips around the wreath, doing a square knot, and yet leaving a small amount sitting on top, like my wreath. I ended up using about 60 strips of fabric because I am fussy and wanted no part of the wreath showing at all–just scrunched fabric. You can do more or less according to your taste.


Knot all the way around the wreath until it is covered. Bend your pick to follow the curve of your wreath, and insert the long stem with wire underneath the knots you have made until it is completely covered up.
Get out your hot glue gun, and after bending it so that it will press INTO the wreath, not off to the side,gently pull it up and glue gun that baby so there is not a chance it is going anywhere.


I then made my crocheted eyelet lace into a ribbon, and hot glued that around the end of the step,and made sure that there were no stray edges to get caught on anything.
I think it took me about 30 minutes? to make this wreath, and look at how gorgeous it is!!!! I plan on making more in the future, but with everything I have had on my plate, I have to set this one aside for a while and come back to it possibly this Spring for ideas.

See–super simple, and so easy my 12 year old could do it (and helped a lot!).I heat sealed the ends of the strips of fabric as I went, by holding them close to a flame that just melted the cut edges. be very careful when you are doing this–and THIS is why you must use a fabric that has more polyester than anything, because it will melt. Cotton will simply catch on fire, and then, well, then you will be running out the door with your wreath on fire.

Not a pretty picture. 🙂
So………are you ready for the Huge Announcement???
It has a lot to do with what we have been talking about!
A lot.
In fact, you can find the wreath over there if someone really wants to buy it.
Drum roll please……………..
I just opened The Welcoming House’s Etsy Store this morning about an hour ago.
Desiring to see more children added to this family, but knowing an adoption financially is a stretch for us, I have prayed about it and stepped out in faith to lay this before the Lord and see what he does with it. There are so many items over there that we have been working on all week, and we will continue to add more and more to it over the next week or so as things get completed and ready to go to their new homes. There is something over there for everyone and within even the smallest budget. As I teach you to  make things over here, I will be placing them for sale over there, knowing that the people will come to purchase them that will help to fund our next adoption and in giving another child a forever home.
Best of all, many of those items are unique and one of a kind, some are geared specifically towards children, and a couple on there today, AND that we are adding this week, are specifically to add savings directly to the Adoption Fund for the REAL Welcoming House family—us!
So I want to encourage you to head over there and check things out, and to do that,
 we are going to have a FABULOUS giveaway.
Someone is going to win a beautiful ceramic plate that I hand decorated with a nativity scene and the word “Believe” on it. You can see it over at the Etsy shop listed as a special order. I will also be putting up pictures of it throughout the weekend here and over on the Welcoming House FaceBook Page as we get closer to Sunday evening. SO Bop on over there and check it out! Here is the direct Link to the page:“Believe” Nativity Plate
I have the only other one in existence, and it decorates my home each and every Christmas. This is food safe, but can not go into the microwave or be scrubbed with a scrubby as it will damage the art on it. The entries will be closed on Sunday evening and I will announce the first giveaway winner on Monday morning here on the Blog.
To enter, you need to do two things.
One–head over to the Welcoming House Etsy Store, and check it out, then come back here and comment on what your most favorite thing was.
Two— if you are not signed up as a reader either here, or over on the Facebook Page, you must be on one or the other. Both are required for participating in the “Believe” Plate Giveaway. I dont want someone to win just to find out they were not qualified to win, and have to do it all over again.
So here are your links:
and/or Facebook Page
Merry MERRY Christmas to you and yours,
See you on Monday
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