Vintage hanging lantern lit with solar lights

I bought this hanging lantern a few years ago at an auction we went to. It was wired to hang from the ceiling(I’m pretty sure this is an old restaurant lantern) the wiring was old and made me nervous so I removed it.
I love this lantern, but my ceilings are really low in the house so there isn’t anywhere for me to hang it up right now. I thought about using it as a table lamp downstairs but I think the cats would be a little too interested in trying to climb into it. The panels are glass, so it has to be someplace safe. Plus this sucker is big.
I’m not sure how I want to wire it yet, but I want to enjoy it lit up. While I think about what the final plan for my lantern is going to be I decided to put some solar lights in it. These are Solar net lights. I bought two sets on clearance after Christmas. Originally I was going to put them in the garden this summer. I put them in the lantern tonight. It’s not perfect, they don’t light up the entire light. My husband says it looks like there are fireflies in it which I thought was great.

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Only one set of the lights is charged up so it’s not very bight right now, but I love that it is going to go off and on by itself. I put the solar charger panels in a nearby window and tucked the cords behind a picture frame.

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Cinnamon applesauce ornaments

I made cinnamon applesauce ornaments for the first time this morning. I have never heard of these before and was intrigued. I decided to give them a try and make one for each person in my family. I used a recipe from McCormick.

Some recipes I saw used a little bit of glue in the mix. This recipe did not have glue and that appealed to me. I love the idea of just using Cinnamon and applesauce to make a dough that will harden.

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Getting ready for the oven. 200 degrees for 2 1/2 hours

 

They came out great, although some things I learned are:

Don’t roll these out on parchment paper or plastic wrap. I know the recipe says to use plastic wrap, but when I did if there was any little wrinkle in the parchment paper or the plastic wrap it transfers to the dough. It’s easy enough to see wrinkles on the top but it was really frustrating to roll out the dough, cut out the shapes and then see creases on the underside.

I decided to roll out the dough on my countertop. This went well except when I thought I put enough cinnamon down on the counter to keep the dough from sticking. Luckily this is easily fixed by sprinkling more cinnamon down on your work surface. Check to make sure the  ornaments will come up from your surface before you cut out all your ornaments.

Also, the cheapest place I found to get cinnamon was at Walmart. They had bottles for 64cents.

 

Ikea Margareta tree fabric panel decorated-now with a new star

I am still very happy with my alternatree. I swapped out the white glitter paper star for one my husband picked and I love it.

We went from this
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Which didn’t look bad, but the star was hard to see.

To this:
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Much better! I let my husband go through all my craft paper and he picked out  an aqua blue glitter paper which I think looks great.

Easy knitted, felted soap cozy/sweater/saver whatever you want to call this thing

For a few years now I have been making felted soap covers. Some people call them soap savers, soap sweaters or something like that. Normally when I make them I use wool roving and wet felt them but sometimes that can be a pain and take a long time to get them to the point where they felt down and stay on the soap.
I was in the mood to do some knitting, but not in the mood to do something ambitious. I wanted a quick project to do while watching some episodes of Once Upon a Time. My last felted soap cozy wore out a while ago so I thought I would make up some new ones.

I like that these work as a built in wash cloth. They can be a little awkward to hold until they get felted down nice and tight. You could fix this by doing the felting before they go in the shower, but since these are sewn shut I figured why bother when after a couple of showers they will be felted down anyways.

I made them even easier to make by doing them on straight needles and not using double pointed needles. I used some of the first handspun that I ever made. It’s spun and plied really badly.  See how over AND underspun it is in spots? Plus I dyed it using KoolAid so it’s not the prettiest yarn. This is a perfect use for it. I have no idea what the roving was I used to make this I just know it’s 100% wool.

I cast on 20 stitches and knit until it it was approx. 3″ wide. Cast off, put the soap in and sew up the seams. All Done! You can get as fancy or as simple as you want with these.

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This is some of the first handspun yarn I ever made. It is both over AND underspun. Luckily I have gotten much better at spinning.

 

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Finished soap cozy after I sewed up the seams.

 

Ikea Margareta Fabric Panel Christmas tree (with lights and ornaments)

When my husband and I go to Ikea I always stop and look through the fabrics. Every time I saw the Margareta fabric I coveted it. A big Christmas tree printed on fabric?! What’s not to love. I finally bought some last year.
I pulled it from my fabric stash this year and thought about what to do with it. It was going to replace a regular Christmas tree this year so I knew I wanted to try and get lights and ornaments on it if possible.
The first thing I did was iron it using a heavy starch to make it stiff and flat. Then I sewed the bottom rough edge to keep it from fraying. I thought about how I wanted to hang it and decided to use a curtain rod. I sewed a curtain rod pocket onto the top on the back.

Ikea Margareta Fabric panel Christmas Tree

Ironed with starch, and hung from a curtain rod after I sewed a curtain rod pocket onto the back at the top.

I decided to hang it right above my baseboard. I debated having it rest on the floor but decided that was too low and more likely to get dirty/get the cats interest.  I tried a few stores to see if I could find battery operated lights as I thought those might work better. I couldn’t find anything that appealed to me so I gave up on that idea for now. I also considered putting grommets in the fabric and pushing lights in through the grommets from the back. I thought that would hide the light wires and make for a neater looking tree. (I may try this idea some other time).

I ended up using what I had at home which was some LED lights that have plastic bulbs on them on the ends. I used safety pins and attached them to the fabric by going in from the back of the fabric to hide the bulk of the safety pin. I ended up having to tack the fabric to the walls on the sides as the weight of the lights caused folds. My husband and I put on some Christmas music and decorated the tree with the unbreakable ornaments I got at Target, using small ornament hooks that we bent over the light wires.  The finishing touch was a star tree topper that I cut from glittery paper. I chose a silvery white paper but I think I am going to make a new one later tonight as you can hardly see this one.

Ikea Margareta Fabric panel Christmas Tree with lights and ornaments

Up close it looks a little messy with the light wires, from a few feet away it looks adorable and from outside with the lights on it looks like a regular Christmas tree. I’m going to make a new tree topper and dig out my pompom string garland. It needs some brighter colors on it, otherwise I think it looks great. I love that it looks like a real tree (just squint your eyes), I got my Christmas lights that I love and it only takes up wall space. (and the clean up is easy!)