Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mitten Tree Day December 6, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Mitten Tree Day

Mittens, we have all used them in our lives, some of us probably still do. They are our favorite things to use when making snowballs or making a snowman. They keep our hands warm from the cold and crunchy snow that we pick up and throw at each other, and are a good way to make sure our hands are colorful against the bright whiteness of the snowy ground. We are here today to learn about a day just for these little colorful, fuzzy, and soft hand covers, a day called Mitten Tree Day!


Created by school teachers as a way to have a fun Christmastime activity for the children to make while they were in school. Others would claim that the holiday was created because of a book with the title “The Mitten Tree” which was written by author Candace Christiansen, in the book the main character Sarah is bundling up to walk through the cold winter weather, and on her trek she sees a group of children placing their mittens on a small dead tree.

No matter where the origin for the holiday came from, children will always enjoy making little mitten trees. But what about mittens? Where do they come from? Well, Mitten is derived from the Old French word mitaine which was an old pet name for a cat, because back then mittens were made of animal fur. The earliest mittens known to man date back to around the year 1000 A.D. and originally were used as sheaths for gloves since mittens did not have any separate finger openings to allow finger mobility. They were believed to have been made out of wool due to the discovery of a woolen mitten found in the harbor area of Dorestad in the Netherlands, determined to be from the 8th or 9th century AD based on surrounding archaeological evidence.

In order to celebrate this holiday, the best thing to do is have a bunch of mittens ready, and set them on our Christmas tree, one per each branch until we either run out of branches to use for holding the mittens, or we run out of mittens to put on the branches of the tree. Then when we’re ready we can take our best set of mittens off the tree and head on out to enjoy the wintertime fun!

Word of the Day


Definition: (noun) A person who shoes horses.
Usage:The farrier took a look at the limping horse and declared that a badly fitted horseshoe was the culprit.

Idiom of the Day

have no time for (someone or something)

To have no respect for, interest in, or approval of someone or something and thus have no desire to be involved with him, her, or it.


The Washington Monument Is Completed (1884)

In 1783, Congress passed a resolution approving an equestrian statue of George Washington. Plans were made to erect it at the site of the present Washington Monument, but Washington objected to the idea. After his death in 1799, plans for a memorial were discussed but none was adopted until 1832, when blocks of stone began to be collected from each state, some foreign countries, and private individuals.

Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898)


Widely considered the father of photojournalism, Eisenstaedt began creating photo essays in Berlin during the 1920s. He emigrated to the US in 1935 and joined the original photography staff at Life magazine. Soon Eisenstaedt came to epitomize the magazine's style with his topically important and beautifully composed photographs and his candid portraits of the great and the anonymous. His most famous photograph is of the joyous Times Square kiss of a sailor and a nurse.

Parkinson's Linked to Bacteria in the Gut

For the first time, researchers have found a functional link between the bacteria in the gut and the onset of Parkinson's disease, one of the world's most common debilitating brain disorders.
 Coronal view of a human brain in Parkinson's disease


 1790 - The U.S. Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.


 1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.


 1883 - "Ladies' Home Journal" was published for the first time.

1923 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to give a presidential address that was broadcast on radio.


 1947 - Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by U.S. President Truman.


 1973 - Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the vice-president of the United States after vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned.


If You Were Born Today, December 6
You are always searching for truths in this life time, and you love to explore and learn. In fact, you are thirsty for knowledge. There is a flair for the dramatic in you, although you do come across as straightforward, personable, and frank. You make snap decisions. For the most part, you are able to complete what you start, and when you don't, it stems from over-estimating your human capabilities, not from lack of follow-through! You require intellectual stimulation in order to hold your interest in relationships, as you are restless and desirous of change. Famous people born today: Ira Gershwin, Charles Hall, Steven Wright, Peter Buck.

a celebration of DIY spirit 
This Fair will be held outdoors rain or shine!
December 10 - 11, 2016, 10AM - 5PM

Grand Park
200 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA

FREE - Leashed pets are allowed to join in on the fun!
This Fair will be held outdoors rain or shine!

Pictures of the day

 Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation (National Treasure No. 83)

The Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation is a gilt-bronze statue of what is believed to be the Maitreya, the future Buddha, in a semi-seated contemplative pose. The statue, which is thought to come from Silla, is 93.5 centimetres (36.8 in) in height. It is considered one of the finest Buddhist sculptures ever produced and now housed at the National Museum of Korea. Insured for an estimated 50 billion won, the statue is also the most expensive National Treasure of Korea.

Big Bird in Sweden

Picture of the Day: Big Bird in Sweden Street artist DALeast going big in BorĂ¥s, Sweden

 knit - christmas
Holiday Pillow with Stockings
Holiday Pillow with Stockings Knitting Pattern | Red Heart

thanks, judith

Winwick Mum: Split Mittens - free pattern and tutorial
Split mittens - mittens which will keep your hands warm but still allow you to use your fingers without taking your mittens off!

Preview by Yahoo

Pianissimo Keyboard Socks pattern by Lori Torrance
A Sideways Knitted Sock for the Music Enthusiast

Preview by Yahoo

knit - christmas

 crochet - christmas
Polka Dot Christmas Stocking pattern by Priscilla Hewitt
Materials: Worsted weight yarn in your choice of Christmas colors. You can use two or three colors…your choice. (If you use 2 colors, you’ll have rings inste...

Preview by Yahoo

thanks, bertha
Shark Mittens :: 10 Free #Crochet Mittens Patterns - sizes for the whole family included!
Crochet Patterns


thanks, clara

 crochet - christmas
Santa Coaster
by Rosemary Knitts
Materials: Worsted Weight Yarn 3 oz Off White, 2 oz Red, 2 
oz Peach, Small Amt of Black
Crochet Hook Size F
3" Wide Piece of Cardboard
Tapestry Needle

Size Approximately 8" x 8"

Coaster (make 4)
Row 1: With peach, ch 11, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each
ch across, turn. (10)

Rows 2-6: Ch 1, 2 sc in first st, sc in each st across with 2 sc 
in last st, turn, ending with 20 sc in last row.

Row 7-11: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. At end of last 
row, fasten off.

Row 12: Join off white with sc in first st, sc in each st across, 

Row 13-14: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 15: Ch 1, sc first 2 sts tog, sc in each st across to last 2 
sts, sc last 2 sts tog, turn. (18)

Row 16: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn, fasten off.

Row 17: With red, repeat row 12.

Rows 18-24: Repeat row 15, ending with 4 sc in last row.

Row 25: Ch 1, sc first 2 sts tog, sc last 2 sts tog, fasten off.

Rnd 1: Working in sts and ends of rows around outer edge, 
join red with sl st in end of row 17; spacing sts so edge lays 
flat, sc across to opposite end of row 17, changing to off 
white in last st made, sc around, join with sl st in fist sc, 
fasten off.

Row 2: With wrong side of rnd 1 facing you, join off white with
sc in st at end of row 12 on head, (sc, ch 8, sc) in next st, * 
sc in next st, (sc, ch 8, sc) in next st; repeat from * around to 
end of row 11 on opposite side, sc in row 12, turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, sl st in next st, 10 sc in next ch-8 sp, (sl st in 
each of next 3 sts, 10 sc in next ch-8 sp) across, sl st in each
of last 2 sts, fasten off.

1: With black, using satin st embroider eyes 2" apart over 
rows 8 and 9 as shown in pic.

2: With red, using fly st embroider mouth over rows 4 and 5.

3: For pom-pom, wrap off white around 3" cardboard 40 
times; slip loops off cardboard. Tie separate strand off white 
tightly around center of all loops; cut loops at each end. Trim 
to 1 3/4". Sew to tip of hat.

RECIPE - pre christmas meal

Jamie's Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole - The Novice Housewife

SWEETS - christmas
thanks, sara
Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie


Image result for adult coloring

CRAFTS - christmas
Project: Disney Frozen Inspired Ornament

CHILDREN'S CORNER .. christmas


The past speaks to us in a thousand voices, warning and comforting, animating and stirring to action. - Felix Adler


CLEVER - christmas

Halloween deciration:

EYE OPENER - christmas

Pick a Secret Santa. This game is a classic. I mean, who doesn’t love a Secret Santa? I know my husband looks forward to his Secret Santa week at school each year. So why not move this tradition from the corporate world to the comfort of your own home and institute a minimalist, budget-friendly family Secret Santa exchange. By only giving one gift to a family member, and stipulating an amount that can be spent on each person, you can focus more on the gift-giving experience rather than spend money on several gifts that may or may not hit the mark with your loved ones.

Looking for an extra cool twist? Up the ante by asking family members to leave secret notes and treats for the person whose name they’ve drawn during the month of December!

Make a coupon book for family members. I love this idea because it’s personalized and can be a lot of fun depending on how creative you get. Think digital and personalized. Go for coupons like “Making Your Bed for a Week,” “Doing the Dishes for 1 Week,” or “Letting You Pick the TV Show We Watch on Saturday afternoons for a month.” Choose simple things that can make other family member’s life a little easier or a little more fun in the new year!

Set gift expectations early. It’s important to set gift expectation for kids early on. Let them know that even if they have a long wish list, only a few presents will show up under the tree. This can be made into a learning exercise by having your children prioritize which gifts they really want, even as part of a 4-Gift Christmas. Also, consider asking your kids to choose an equal amount of toys to donate as they are asking for during the holiday season. This will help instill a sense of charity in your kids and help keep clutter in their rooms and playrooms as bay.
Take a family trip. Instead of spending money on everyone’s presents, consider pooling your family resources and using the money to go on an outing, a staycation for the week before New Year’s Day, or even a small weekend trip away. Plus you’ll even be able to find some good deals during the week between Christmas and New Year’s while the kids are still on vacation from school. Even if you just travel to a nearby town or a local park, it’s the act of getting away as a family that matters.

Let your kids do the shopping. If your kiddos are old enough to safely shop on their own, or in pairs, give your kids a set amount of cash, and allow them time to search for deals and coupons online, and then let them shop for their own family gifts. This will get your kids geared towards the not so distant days in the future when they will need to plan for their own holiday spending. It’s never too early to gear kids into utilizing the cash-only holiday mindset!

Give back as a family. You can sponsor a family in need by making donation boxes as a family through your local Salvation ArmyFamilies First, Operation Christmas Child, Operation Shoebox, or Soldiers’ Angels, It’s a wonderful way to feel the real meaning of the holidays and do something budget-friendly as a family!
Trade favorite recipes. For extended family, have everyone make their favorite dish or dessert and attach hand-written recipe cards, one for every member of the family, when they bring their dishes to your home as part of a family meal swap in the week’s leading up Christmas. This can help everyone in the family can build their own family recipe book and have a few fewer meals to prepare too!

Share a family photo collage. Photos are one of the least expensive and most treasured gifts you can give. So why not build a family photo album together? Have each member of your family print up to 10 of their favorite photos from that year for each person in your family. Then, share your memories while enjoying time together. You can also have each family member bring an empty photo album with them to fill with the photos they receive so they can look back on their wonderful holiday experience next year.

Looking for a more zero-waste collage tradition? Have your family members create free collages online through Canva or Pic Monkey, and send to friends and family to give them an awesome digital photo keepsake or personalized holiday screen saver!

Create a family gratitude journal. Grab a beautiful journal or inexpensive notebook and set it in a public place where every member of the family has access to it. Starting on December 1, each person will write one thing they’re thankful for in the journal each day. At the end of the following year, and during your next holiday season, you can all look back on your thankful messages together!

So, everyone, those are my 9 Minimalist Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas. I hope you will all find them helpful as you plan for your remaining holiday shopping trips in the weeks to come. Now I have to ask, do you have any special or memorable Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them below!


  1. Remembering "The Mitten Tree"...and off to order the book up for the little grands this year. Now must get to knitting up those mittens:) Thanks for the prompt.

  2. Love picture of Santa and puppies ...

    Found a couple recipes that are on my "try soon" list
    thank you Diane for the great DC