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PINE CONE TREES
Styrofoam Tree forms
Cardboard or foam core board
Hot glue (low-temperature is best)
Gold and Silver Spray Paint (optional)
Seasonal Bow (optional)
Styrofoam tree forms are available in your local craft store and come in various heights and sizes. If you are not fortunate enough to have tiny pinecones in your yard, they are available through craft stores as well. Using either cardboard or foam core, cut out a circle ¼ inch larger than the base of the tree form. Glue this to the bottom of the form creating a tree base.
Using the low temperature glue, attach each pinecone, one at a time while working in a circular motion from the bottom to the top. Once you have attached all the pinecones the trees are ready to be painted. Depending on your seasonal décor, you may wish to leave them natural. If so, fill in any gaps with raffia, and add a raffia bow for a completed look. These tiny trees are lovely and elegant when painted in either gold or silver metallic.
The smaller trees look best when clustered in odd numbers; the larger trees can be used in pairs or as a stand-alone for a Holiday Centerpiece.
PAINTED WRAPPING PAPER
Brown mailing paper (or paper grocery bags flattened)
Craft and/or spray paint
Cut paper slightly larger than the package size. Crumple paper tightly and then unfold. Using your hands, press the paper open. In a well-ventilated area, hold the paper at arm’s length and apply spray paint. Allow paper to dry thoroughly.
You may find that spraying the paint at an angle gives a subtler look. Other options include crumpling the paper, painting two colors (lightest color first) and then wiping off part of the top color to reveal the paler background. This technique gives the illusion of a leather texture.
For your own distinctive look, crumpled paper can be sponge painted,
stamped or stenciled using your favorite colors.
NOTE: This is a great way to recycle those brown bags from your local food store. But, if you use grocery bags for this project, be sure to use the inside of the bag for painting. Any grocery store advertising that may appear on the bag will then be on the under-side of your finished wrapping paper.
By stacking the two inverted saucers together, you achieve the perfect oven for preparing two heads of garlic. The baked garlic is terrific when served with piping hot bread, and is not only low fat; it’s good for the system! This is also an excellent addition to mashed potatoes, and everyone loves garlic-mashed potatoes!
2 Clay saucers (10 inch diameter)
Roasted Garlic Recipe (on a personalized recipe card)
1 wooden knob (or 2 two-inch tiles)
E6000 glue (not hot glue)
Attach the wooden knob in the center of the 'bottom side' of the saucer (what WOULD be the bottom if you were using it for its intended purpose underneath a clay pot) with the E6000 glue. This will serve as the handle for the garlic roaster. If you prefer to use the two-inch tiles, stack them at opposite angles to form a handle, gluing one atop the other in the center of the saucer.
After the glue has set, you may wish to paint or stencil something decorative on the exterior of the roaster, or you may just want to paint one of the two pieces. Be sure to 'sign' your name on the bottom of the roaster - after all, you created it!
A needed caution: be sure to use paint that is specifically designed for use on dishes and tableware. These paints are available at your local craft store and become dishwasher safe after baking. Read the labels, and always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
Assembly is easy - just enclose your fresh garlic along with the recipe then tie with a decorative ribbon or cording!
RECIPE: ROASTED GARLIC
2 whole heads of garlic
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
Using a sharp knife cut off the top one-fourth of each garlic head. Gently score the head around its middle, cutting through a few layers of the papery skin. Pull off any loose skin from the top half of the head, trying not to remove every shred. (This will make it easier to squeeze out the cooked cloves later.) Tightly wrap each head in a piece of aluminum foil and place inside your garlic roaster.
Bake until the garlic is soft when pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Using your fingers, squeeze the soft garlic pulp into a small bowl. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes about 2 tablespoons.
Great on hot bread or in mashed potatoes!