Climb a Tree

10 Ways to Feel Light as a Feather

Was reading the Free People blog today and found this list of 10 ways to feel light as a feather.

I do sing a lot (louder than I should) and do a lot of dancing (especially when I’m singing) and I certainly go barefoot whenever I have the chance (sometimes in public), but it has been far too long since I’ve climbed a tree.

Years, in fact.

I was a climber when I was a kid.  Used to get yelled at by my mom for climbing trees in dresses.

Sometimes we let our childhood go in ways that we shouldn’t.  We let our childhood go by forgetting who we really are and what we really want in life.  What a terrible way to exist.

My kids know who they are.  If they wanted to climb a tree, they’d climb it.

Sometimes I think adults need to imitate children a little more often.

I’m going to go find my tree.

And I hope you find yours.

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Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Our next Christmas craft this year was a felt Christmas tree that was bigger than my girls.

It’s a similar concept to our Halloween felt board, but much, much bigger.

And more fashionable.

I had actually intended on doing a more traditional-looking felt Christmas tree, kind of like this tree that I saw last year.

But then I came across these amazing felt sheets:

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Score!

With these printed felt pieces I could make a delightfully girly Christmas tree instead!  :)

Found them at Walmart, of all places.  And I bought a yard of dark green felt from their fabric department, for the tree.  I thought about getting some dark purple or a paisley patterned piece heavy with lime green (they sell precut pieces like these at Michaels), but I decided to stick with the green.  I liked how it looked.

And I was going to cut a star from one of the pieces I had, but then I came across those adorable pink felt star ornaments on sale at Michaels.  For forty cents, I couldn’t pass them up.  Especially since they matched the felt I already had.

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Because I didn’t want to screw up the tree while cutting, I folded my yard of fabric in half, lengthwise, and drew a tree pattern on it with chalk, instead of just cutting it out by hand, like I do most things.

Then I cut out the ornaments.  I cut rough squares and then cut circles out of them.  I cut a dozen ornaments from the two with zebra stripes, but only six from the other two patterns, to give them some variation of size.

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Then I had to decide where to hang it.  I tried using tape, even packing tape, but it was kind of heavy, so I didn’t consider the tape sturdy enough.

I tried sticking the felt directly to the stucco wall on the porch, thinking it would stick like felt does to brick, but the stucco was too smooth because of the paint.

I wound up going with Command Strips (pictured above).   The picture hanging ones come with a texture similar to Velcro, so, instead of using the 8 pieces as a set of 4 hangers, I stuck the rough side of the strips right on the felt tree.  Then I peeled off the sticky backing and stuck it on the wall.

The main reason I used the Strips is because I can adjust the tree.  With a gentle pull, the felt comes right off of the rough side of the strips.  And, when it’s time to pack up the Christmas decorations, I can gently pull the Strips off the wall.  (But always follow the directions – if you do, they won’t harm your wall, but if you don’t, they’ll take the paint right off.)

Although, if you prefer, you could just leave the tree on the floor and let your kids play with it that way.  But I think they have more fun with it if it’s hanging up.  Like this:

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

I love the felt for playing.  It’s great for both my preschooler and my toddler.  They can put the ornaments on the tree, take them off, rearrange them, make patterns, and then do it all over again.

And I love that I found these fancy felt sheets.  I was prepared to do the tree in traditional colors, but I love this concept.  It’s so easy to change up the colors.  Like, you could do a white Christmas tree instead.  Or blue.  Or green, but with just gold ornaments.  Or whatever colors you’ve used to decorate your home for Christmas.  What a great way to personalize an interactive toy for your kids!

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Have fun with it!

And please share if you’ve made your own!  :)

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Crystal Snowmen

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Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies

Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies

December can be dangerous.

Especially when I find myself inspired to make things like chocolate Christmas trees that perch on sprinkle-coated brownies.

And it all started because I was hungry when I walked past the candy melts in the grocery store.  Never shop hungry.

Anyway, the result was these adorable chocolate Christmas trees, which I placed on top of little, square brownies that represent crunchy Christmas presents.  :)

Making Chocolate Christmas Trees

Before baking the brownies, I coated the top with nonpareils.  While the brownies were baking, I melted the green candy in a baggy in the microwave (at 50% power).

Once the chocolate was melted, I snipped off a very small point on the corner of the baggy, and squeezed out the chocolate onto waxed paper in the pattern of a Christmas tree.

To make the trees, I went back and forth, tracing out a triangle shape.  Make sure the lines are thick enough and enough of them are touching each other.  If the lines are too thin and too far apart, the trees will probably break.  Also, be sure to draw a “trunk” at the bottom of the tree, so that you can stick it into the brownies.

As soon as you draw a tree, stick a flower or star-shaped large sprinkle at the top, preferably in yellow to represent the tree star, and sprinkle nonpareils over the rest of the tree, to represent the ornaments.

I used Christmas colored nonpareils, but you could also use the normal multicolored ones.  I used the same nonpareils for the brownies and trees.  And for the tree star, I used flower sprinkles that are available year round.  Those are easy to reuse for other holidays, since all I needed were a handful of the yellow ones.

Chocolate Christmas Trees

Let the trees completely cool and harden.  A couple hours is best.  You could also draw them on a cookie sheet that you place in the fridge if you’re in a hurry.

Once the brownies and trees are both completely cooled, cut the brownies into squares.  In the center of each brownie, use your knife or a toothpick to break through the shell of sprinkles and make a little hole for the trees.

The chocolate trees are fragile, so you don’t want to have to put much pressure on them to get them into the brownie.  Gently, but securely, insert the trunk of the tree into the hole in the brownie while holding the tree as close to the bottom of the “branches” as possible, instead of pushing it from the top.

Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies

You don’t need a whole bag of candy melts to make trees for one tray of brownies.  About half should do it.

But I made extras because these chocolate trees will keep fresh in a container for, well, at least the rest of the season.  I’m saving my extras for the cookie trays.  :)