Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Printable Victorian Children's Color-Cut-Paste Christmas Tree

My young daughter and I finished this today. Black and white templates here. Free and in public domain. The ornaments and tree are on separate pages. We used water colors and glitter glue from the Dollar Tree.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vintage Reindeer Coloring Page

This high quality black and white reindeer image printed out beautifully using the 8x10 cropped to fit page setting with Google's Picasa image editor. The image was a freebie offered at The Graphics Fairy, and was painted with brown water colors.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creative Gift Wrap - Recycled

 See here from the Country Living magazine.

We are using fabric bags as gift wrap this year. I found a good number of them ready-made at the thrift store this week! Someone had donated a bucket full of drawstring gift bags made from vintage sheets and fabric.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feast of Saint Lucia(Sweden) Unit Study Freebies

"Saint Lucia, with her bright shining candles, reminds us to be the light in the darkness. And her offerings of food and drink remind us to be giving and kind to others. The white gown symbolizes the young woman's purity and the red reminds us of her martyrdom." See the "Ultimate Saint Lucia Day Post" at The Paper Dali with a paper doll, history, and a unit study(Sweden).

I had a childhood friend whose father was Swedish, and we were always invited over to their home for the Saint Lucia Day festivities. It's quite beautiful, and I loved to watch her father beam with joy when his eldest daughter wore the candles and white dress, singing traditional song with cakes in hand.

"Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means 'light' so this is a very appropriate name.
December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old 'Julian' Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. (Normally electric candles are used for safety!) The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung." Read more here.

"A newer theory, requiring more research is that St. Birgitta (1303-1373), during her stay in Rome (1349-1373) in her effort to get papal approval of the Bridgittine Order for women, probably wrote home to Sweden telling of the Lucia legend which was widely known in Italy. As Lucia Day comes at the darkest time of year, the candies of the ministering Santa Lucia portend and witness to the True Light-the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the morning of the thirteenth of December, the strains of 'Santa Lucia' are heard everywhere in Sweden as the white-robed maiden comes out of the night with her burning crown of candies dispelling the darkness. In honor of her martyrdom, It has long been the custom to donate money on Lucia Day to institutions working for the blind." Read more here.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Printable Early Elementary Short Story: The Legend of Saint Christopher and the Christ Child

From Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks, Ginn & Co., 1890. Free and in public domain.

Copy and paste to your own word processor, or print here. I've added it to Google Documents. Image is from Wikipedia Commons.

Saint Christopher wished to do something to serve the King of earth and heaven ; and he went to the cave of a good hermit, who said : —
" Knowest thou a certain river, stony, and wide, and deep, and often swollen by the rains, so that many people perish who attempt to pass over ? ",
And Saint Christopher answered, "I know it."
Then said the hermit, "Go to that river, and use thy strength to aid and to save those who struggle with the stream, and those who are about to perish." To which Christopher replied joyfully, —
"This I can do."
So he went as the hermit had directed, and he dwelt by the side of the river; and having rooted up a palm-tree from the forest, — so strong he was, and tall, — he used it for a staff to support and guide his steps; and he aided those who were about to sink, and the weak he carried on his shoulders across the stream; and by day and by night he was always ready for his task, and failed not, and was never wearied of helping those who needed help.
Christopher one night heard a voice which called to him from the shore; it was the plaintive voice of a child, and it seemed to say, " Christopher, come forth and carry me over!"
And he rose and looked out, but he saw nothing : then he lay down again ; but the voice called to him in the same words a second and a third time; and the third time he sought round about with a lantern; and at length he beheld a little child sitting on the bank, who entreated him, saying,—
" Christopher, carry me over this night."
And Christopher lifted the child on his strong shoulders, and took his staff and entered the stream.
And the waters rose higher and higher; and the waves roared, and the wind blew; and the infant on his shoulders became heavier and heavier, till it seemed to him that he must sink under the great weight; and he began to fear. But nevertheless, taking courage, and staying his tottering steps with his palm-staff, he at length reached the opposite bank; and when he had laid the child down, safely and gently, he looked upon him with astonishment, and he said, —
"Who art thou, child, that hath placed me in such peril ? Had I carried the whole world on my shoulder the burden had not been heavier! "
And the child replied : —
" Wonder not, good Christopher; for thou hast not only borne the world, but Him who made the world, upon thy shoulders. Me wouldst thou serve in this work of charity ; and, behold, I have accepted thy service and thee; plant , thy staff in the ground, and it shall put forth leaves and fruit."
Christopher did so, and the dry staff flourished as a palm-tree in the season, and was covered with clusters of fruit; but the Christ Child had vanished from sight.

Printable Chinese Paper Dolls and Homeschool Curricula Giveaway

Jimmie at Jimmie's Collage is giving away some interesting China homeschool resources from Currclick as a part of the Christmas Around the World Series. The giveaway closes on 12/12/10. I thought I'd post these cute Chinese paper dolls which I found a while back. Click on images to enlarge and save. Originals here and here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mary Queen of Scots Paper Doll

Since today is Mary Queen of Scots's birthday, I'll share this paper doll of the queen which I happened upon some months ago. See here to download free, an 1890's McLaughlin Coffee freebie.

From Wikipedia:
Mary was born on 8 December 1542 at Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, Scotland to King James V of Scotland and his French second wife, Mary of Guise. She was the only legitimate child of James to survive him, and she was said to have been born prematurely. A popular legend, written by John Knox, states that James, hearing on his deathbed that his wife had given birth to a daughter, ruefully exclaimed, "It came with a lass, it will pass with a lass!"

The House of Stewart, which originated in Brittany, had gained the throne of Scotland by the marriage of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce, to Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland. James thus felt that since the crown came with a woman, a woman would be responsible for the loss of the crown from their family. This legendary statement came true much later, but not through Mary, whose son in fact became King of England. Eventually Sophia of Hanover, daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, became the heir to Anne of Great Britain and with her son George Louis of Hanover becoming King of Great Britain, replacing the House of Stuart in England.

Jean Plaidy wrote an interesting historical fiction series which covers the women of the House of Stuart, and King George's exiled wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

How to Make a Super-Simple Recycled Quilt

Repost from May 2010.

Check out this super tutorial for a fast and easy quilt using flat sheets. This is how I make quilts, only I use light batting(it never gets that cold here).

If you want to tuft it, here are easy directions for tied quilts.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Vintage 1909 December Children's Calendar/Blackboard Drawing

Click on image to enlarge and save. Free and in public domain. We print them out and use them as "classroom" calendars.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Ugh, I am still being plagued with incorrect charges on my store purchases. It has gotten much worse lately. Check your receipts. The past two weeks have been full of double charges, missed coupons, or phantom charges. I think it's a reflection of overworked, underpaid, stressed-out cashiers.

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: