The Christmas music is on. I haven't listened to the news in weeks now and I feel guilty by this decision. There is incredible suffering in the world. There is incredible inequality. I think about war. I think about the children who must endure it, forever trapped in a labyrinth of pain and fear. I shift my focus to own children. And it is times like this: Christmas music on, softly floating snow, faces of excitement for the changing season and a craft on our table, to focus our ever shifting minds. It is times like these; I can see just how wonderful life can be.
Crafting allows us to focus our sometimes chaotic minds into a more organized and productive place. We can think through a process and see the results of our efforts. Crafting with our families provides the same benefits yet with the added (and arguably more important) bonus of togetherness, learning and memory making. We can find a sense of peace in this space if we allow for it. Perhaps this holiday season, you will take time to sit around a table with your children and create something. Anything. Just do it together.
And if you'd like to create these Dehydrated Orange Ornaments, read on.
*Dehydrated orange slices (See tutorial for dehydration instructions)
To dehydrate the oranges:
1. Cut the ends of the oranges off. Cut the remaining orange into about 1/4 inch slices. Place the oranges into a dehydrator on medium setting for 12 or so hours. Check them periodically. I like to leave a tiny bit of moisture in the slice. This will make it easier to work with. If they are too dehydrated they may crumble with needle insertion. They will continue to dehydrate as they hang on the tree. You can complete this process in the oven as well. Set oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oranges in the oven for 12 hours or so. Check every so often for doneness.
For the ornaments:
1. Cut a piece of ribbon about three times the circumference or outer circle of the orange slice.
2. Thread the needle with desired ribbon. Pull ribbon through the orange leaving a 3 inch tail.
He's working SO HARD on threading that needle!
3. Add a bead or three (use your artistic license!) and bring the needle up through the orange on the opposite side.
4. Repeat until you have come back to the tail. Pull the needle off and double tie the two tails together. Tie another knot at the top of the two tails to create a loop for hanging.
5. Hang your ornament! Enjoy the subtle scent and the beauty that nature provides.
I hope you and your family find time to craft together this holiday season. May you find a place of peace in doing so. Happy Holidays from our family to yours! Much Love!