Monday, December 31, 2007

100th Post Winner and Hogmanay

Sweet Leslie of Abiding is the winner of my 100th post giveaway drawing. Please send me an email (link in the right-hand column) with your mailing address, Leslie, and I’ll mail your bird ornaments to you.

I am so touched by everyone’s gracious, thoughtful, and encouraging comments. Thank you to each and every one of you for making me feel welcome in the blogging world.

The Scottish celebration of the last day of the year is called Hogmanay. Since we can’t attend the parties held in Scotland, I thought it would be fun to celebrate by making Scottish Black Bun, a treat often included in their celebrations. You make it ahead of time so it can mature; I made ours on Dec. 16 in preparation for tonight.

Recipe here.

Tonight we’re celebrating with friends at their house. I made this hot pad yesterday as our hostess gift to take along with the Scottish Black Bun. The fabric I used for the back of the hot pad is the background fabric in the picture.

I found a free graphic to use with a quote from Coleridge about friendship. I utilized Microsoft Word to lay it all out and then printed the result on a piece of printable linen fabric from The Vintage Workshop.

The printed graphic and quote would have been fine on their own but I decided to embroider it before sewing it into its final hot pad form.

A guid New Year to ane an' a' and mony may ye see!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Origami Greeting Card Box Tutorial

As we are about to close out this year and move into the next, most of us are thinking of tidying up and putting away the Christmas decorations. Now, what to do with all those greeting cards we received over the holidays?

Kari and Kijsa, hosts of the amazing Ask Kari & Kijsa blog saw my recent Origami card box post and requested that I provide a tutorial. So here is a way to recycle your holiday cards.

Once you make just one box, the process will go very quickly for making more. You can use them for small gifts or treats, or maybe even as little advent boxes for next Christmas.

If you prefer a PDF version, please click on the link in the Junie Moon Tutorials in the right-hand column.

Note: your end-result box size is essentially determined by your greeting card size.


  • Old (or new) greeting card—we will use a rectangular card for this tutorial
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tape or glue
Step 1

Cut the front of the card away from the back section.

Put the back (inside message) part of your card to the side for now. We will work with the card front first.

Step 2

Lightly draw a line from one corner on the back of the front cover of the card. I’ve made my lines dark so you can see them.

See where the lines cross in the middle? I’ve made a heavy dot in the middle so you can see it.

Step 3

Fold each long side of your card piece towards the middle point but not on it. Then unfold.

Repeat the same instructions for the short ends of your card.

Step 4

On the short ends of each side, mark and then cut up to where the line runs diagonally across and meets the fold as illustrated below.

It should look like this.

Step 5

Fold each short-end side tab up and in towards each other like this. Tape or glue in place.

Perform this step for both box ends.

Step 6

Now fold the remaining short-end tab up and over the two side tabs you just secured. Tape or glue in place.

Do the same for the other box end.

You now have the top of your box completed; set it aside and make the box bottom.

Step 7

Using the reserved card piece, repeat Step 2.

Step 8

Now repeat Steps 3 and 4 except fold the ends up to the middle point as illustrated below.

Step 9

Now repeat Steps 5 and 6 to finish your box bottom.

The Result

You now have a box top and bottom—fill it with something scrumptious.

Note: You can erase your lightly-penciled guidelines if you so desire.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Waffling Around

At the beginning of November, I was reading Deb’s post at Homespun Living about the wonderful waffle-knit dishcloths she’d knitted. I have been thinking about her project ever since and finally had a chance to make some this week.

Deb used Lion-brand cotton for her cloths. When I couldn’t find any in stock in the colors I wanted at Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s, I went to Purls. They suggested a yarn from Norway called Paris in the two colors I wanted. The label says it is “100% Kjemmet bomuli” which the ladies at Purls tell me means cotton.

While I absolutely love the silky smoothness of this yarn, it’s way too expensive for dishcloths as it works out to about $7.50 per cloth—outrageous in my opinion.

I hope my dishes magically turn into solid gold overnight to justify being washed with these cloths. Since that won’t happen, I photographed them with one of my gold charger plates to remind me of my insanity.

I’ll stick with the mundane cheaper cotton yarn in future and have since found Deb’s more reasonable choices. Sometimes I’m too impatient to start and finish a project—a lesson learned.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Linda Ann Tarango-Griess

I volunteered to do some stitching for The Mother’s Day Project, an effort to honor women who sacrificed their lives in the Iraq war.

A name pre-stamped on fabric was sent to me that I embroidered and mailed back last week. The end result will be made into a tote and sent to me to use for a while before passing it on to the next person—to remind us of the women who have died in the Iraq war.

The name I received is Linda Ann Tarango-Griess, 33, of Sutton, Nebraska. Linda was killed on Sunday, July 11, 2004 when an improvised roadside bomb exploded near her convoy in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Source: U.S. Military Times

Whether I agree with the war or not, I sit here writing this post in the relative safety of my home because, throughout history, someone has fought and died to give me the blessing of feeling secure. The Mother's Day Project helps me be mindful of the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families.

Source: York County Historical

This is my finished embroidered piece for Linda; her name was printed on some tape and adhered to the fabric, I just had to stitch over it.

photo by Dub Scroggin

Two months before her death, Linda wrote an email to her cousin apologizing for not being able to make his wedding that day. This is an excerpt that just touched my heart so deeply:

I am sorry I can't be there to share in your day, but here I am in hopes that one day, these people will have the chance to be as happy as you. Just know that I AM with you...just close your eyes, place your hands on your heart, and you will feel me there.”

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Celebrating 100

Today I’m celebrating my 100th post!

By its nature, a blog is a very public venue. A blogger shares his/her thoughts, ideas, and oftentimes bits of their personal life. Out of the millions of people searching the Internet for something that interests them, only a very few will discover your blog. They read it and come back for more—or they don’t. It’s an act of finding a common ground of interest and it’s important for the blog writer to know whether what is shared has some meaning to others.

To thank you for being with me during this amazing adventure in the world of blogging, I’m offering a gift of a set of three painted metal bird ornaments I found recently. Amongst other symbolic meanings, birds represent ideas and the world of shared communication—pretty much evocative of what I want my blog to convey.

Please leave a comment on this post telling me what you like—or even dislike—about the Junie Moon blog. I’ll keep the give-away open until midnight on December 30 and will draw the winning name on December 31.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Day After Christmas

Hooray, my laptop is now repaired—I’m so relieved. Now I can catch up on my blog reading—I’ve missed all of you so much!

My Party Hat Tutorial PDF document link is now posted in my tutorial section (right-hand column). This tutorial, featured at Whipup this past October, can be used to make any themed decorative hats you want. Also posted are knitting and crochet instructions for the Junie Moon Bandage Brigade project.

Here are my gifts for my friends at my Christmas Crafting Party. My theme was Redwork, similar to what I used for the tea party thank-you gift. I used vintage-looking Santa-toile boxes found at Home Goods. I’ve been crazy over those boxes this season.

photo by Dub Scroggin

I filled each box with goodies including a pincushion I made using Heather Bailey’s Pin Presence pattern from the September 2007 issue of Quilts and More magazine. If you missed that issue, Better Homes and Gardens is temporarily offering it as a free

photo by Dub Scroggin

My husband photographed the pincushion on the cactus--his sense of humor makes me laugh.

In addition to the pincushion, the box held a history of Redwork, embroidery stitch guide, a white flour sack towel, needles, embroidery thread, water-erasable pen, transfer pen, embroidery scissors, hoop, a little house Christmas tree ornament, thank-you note, and a few embroidery designs.

photo by Dub Scroggin

Monday, December 24, 2007

Be Very Blessed

This is the last day of my Better Homes and Gardens healthy Christmas countdown project. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and learned much in savoring this special season.

We are asked to take a few minutes this Christmas Eve to write down the people and things for which we are grateful.

Better Homes and Gardens quotes Richard Olson, a retired Lutheran pastor, “Remembering those who have blessed us is to be renewed and restored in the meaning of life.”

Amongst my huge list of blessings, I am grateful for you. Your comments amuse, delight, commiserate, celebrate, share, and make each day extra special for me—I am truly appreciative of the fact that you share your time and thoughts with me.

Family traditions are blessings, too. Each Christmas Eve we host a family pajama dinner party after which we venture out with mugs of hot cocoa to view the Christmas lights festooning our neighbors’ houses. This is a tradition my parents started when we were wee children. We opened one gift on Christmas Eve and it was always new pajamas from our grandmother in Louisiana.

For the past nine years we’ve made Magic Reindeer Feed for our grandchildren and neighborhood children to sprinkle on their lawns on Christmas Eve. Here’s a source for the recipe and printable labels.

We are blessed with great neighbors. Since many are hosting open houses tonight (and are used to us showing up in our pajamas and robes), this will be a lovely time to deliver our little Christmas treats to them along with the Magic Reindeer Feed as our token of continued friendship.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wander and Wonder

The demands placed on us during the holidays make it hard for us to find time for a healthy workout. I am working on improving my health so I’m paying attention to things like this.

Today Better Homes and Gardens suggests we combine a bit of exercise with getting a closer look at our neighborhood’s Christmas decorations. Walk instead of drive.

After lunch, we’re going for a walk to see how everyone’s decorations look in the daytime. I need to walk a lot lately with all the holiday foods tempting me.

photo by June Scroggin

In addition to the Yule Bread made yesterday, I also made a Meyer’s Lemon Cake for dessert last night to represent our returning sunshine—not so healthy but ever so yummy. So walking will ease my conscience a bit.

I forgot to show you my little thank-you gift for the hostess of the delectable Christmas Tea Party I recently attended. I love putting little gifts together.

photo by Dub Scroggin

A little bag of peppermint bark, a red/white teacup Christmas ornament, and a package of blank Victorian Christmas recipe cards were tucked into a small fabric-covered box along with my thank-you note.

photo by June Scroggin

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saving Face

I am still without email access. My apologies if you’ve sent an email and are wondering why I’ve not responded. My blog posts are made via someone else’s computer. Getting my laptop repaired during Christmas season is proving problematic. I really miss reading everyone’s blogs.

Today’s countdown task is about recovering gracefully if you realize you’ve left someone off your Christmas card list and you know they’re not going to let you forget about it.

Better Homes and Gardens advises us not to stress about it, just send an e-card which will get to your recipient almost instantly. They suggest the free cards offered by web sites like Blue Mountain.

If you still plan to snail-mail your cards, you could consider adding a drop of any holiday blend essential oil like orange and cinnamon or an evergreen blend on the inside corner of each card as a special treat to diminish the sting of it being late. Source: Aroma Thyme.

Last week I attended a class in origami at Tucson Botanical Gardens to learn to make boxes from old greeting cards. As I’ve saved every Christmas card we’ve received since we got married, I had plenty from which to choose.

photo by Dub Scroggin

It’s fun to recycle materials in such a pretty and useful way.

Today is Solstice so I’m baking Yule Bread this morning for a picnic lunch at the park.

photo by Dub Scroggin

We’re using yesterday’s countdown task suggestion and walking to the park near us. It’s cold even here in Tucson so I’m packing thermal mugs of hot cocoa.

photo by June Scroggin

My husband wanted traditional Scottish Shortbread cookies. I made a batch using a cute Scottish terrier cookie cutter. I’m packing them for our picnic in the origami Christmas card boxes I made.

photo by Dub Scroggin

Tonight we light our Yule log. My dad made the reindeer planter on the left and the little reindeer on the right in the picture below.

photo by Dub Scroggin

Happy Solstice to you and your family!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Light the Night

Here we are on the eve of Yule Solstice (Dec. 22 this year in the U.S.). The winter solstice is the moment when the northern hemisphere is most inclined away from the sun, causing the shortest day.

The Better Homes and Gardens healthy Christmas countdown task today is to make our homes as bright as possible using extra candles and Christmas lights. The diminished sun can trigger gloomy thoughts and we need to cheer ourselves up a bit.

They also suggest a walk outside at noon when the sun is at its peak. So we’re planning a walk to the park tomorrow to have a solstice picnic.

Last night we attended the holiday show "Tis the Season" at the Flandrau Planetarium at the University of Arizona Science Center. We learned about winter solstice and the astronomical history of this holiday season. Afterwards we were able to look through the UA Observatory’s 16-inch telescope—the night sky is truly amazing.

Here are the shining lights emanating from my Bavarian Christmas village to brighten the dark.