Thoughtful Thursday History of the Christmas Tree

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For those of you celebrating Christmas, hopefully you’ve set up your tree by now. The tradition of Christmas trees began in Germany in the early 1600’s. When German and other European settlers immigrated to America in the early 19th century, they brought this beautiful tradition with them. Although Americans found this tradition a bit odd at first, it became popular.

The first trees were decorated with apples, candy canes, cookies and pastries in assorted shapes of flowers, hearts and stars. Dyed popcorn also became popular as pieces were strung together with nuts and berries into large strands and hung on the tree.

The trees were originally lighted with with candles but this presented problems like keeping the candles on the branches for starters, not to mention accidental fires. But in 1878, Frederick Artz invented a clip on candle holder. This worked well, but you still couldn’t leave the tree unattended or lit for a long time. Luckily with the introduction of electricity into homes, the candles were replaced with electric lights that could keep the trees glowing for days.

The first Christmas tree farm in America was opened in 1851 by a woodsman named Mark Carr. He cut down trees in the Catskill Mountains and sold them in New York City’s Washington Market.

This tradition of displaying and decorating a Christmas tree has grown in popularity over the years and has become a cherished tradition by many. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of history. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

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“Christmas is doing a little something extra for everyone.” ~ Charles Schulz

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Santa’s Workshop Tree Ornaments Angel of Hope and JOY

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I had to try and paint an angel ornament but wasn’t sure I could pull it off because this is the smallest one I’ve ever painted. Both of these ornaments are painted on 3×5 inch canvas panels with acrylic paint and accented with glitter for a little holiday magic. They’re ready to hang on your tree with 2 eyelets and ribbon and are available in my Etsy Shop.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Santa’s Workshop Joy to the World Christmas Wreath

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My latest canvas, Joy to the World Christmas Wreath. It’s painted on a 5×5 inch square canvas with acrylic paint and is accented with red glitter. It’s sealed with a matte finish and comes ready to hang.

Available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a super weekend!

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Santa’s Workshop Believe Mini Painting

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I was finally able to finish my whimsical mini Christmas ornament painting. It’s a 5 inch square canvas that’s 3/4″ inches thick and painted with acrylic paints.

It will be up for sale in my Etsy Shop shortly.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again. The weather has gotten a little cooler, thank goodness and the leaves are changing. But this is a time of warm gatherings and welcoming family and friends into our homes with lots of love. It’s a time to reflect back on the year and give thanks for all that we have.

More importantly it’s a time for you. This is the time to slow down and take in the beauty around you. Catch your breath and nestle in for the winter with warm soups and hot cocoa. Take time for yourself this season to recharge your energy. Find happiness in the simple, small everyday moments. Allow your soul to linger in the joy and peace of the season.

I want to extend a sincere heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you for your love and support. It’s greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F Kennedy

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Santa’s Workshop Let it Snow Mini Panel

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I’m having fun creating these cute mini paintings. This is a whimsical snowman painted with acrylic paints on a 4 x 6 inch panel. I added 2 eyelets in the top corners to hang with ribbon. He would look nice on a tree or just hung on a wall as holiday decoration.

It will be up for sale in my Etsy Shop soon.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Santa’s Workshop Joy Mini Painting

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This is a new mini whimsical painting I made for Christimas. It’s a 5 inch square canvas that’s 3/4″ inches thick and it’s painted with acrylic paints. It’s a little big to be an ornament but is great for some holiday cheer.

It will be up for sale in my Etsy Shop shortly.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Santa’s Workshop Mini Painting

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I took an online course from Jodi Ohl, Holiday Ornaments and was inspired with some fun ideas. This is a cute little whimsical painting that I made. It’s a 4 inch square canvas but it’s 3/4 inches thick so I’m not sure that I want to make this into an ornament. Although it still could be, but I think I’ll keep it as a mini painting.

It will be up for sale in my Etsy Shop later this week.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Thoughtful Thursday Halloween Decor

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I wanted to share with you some fun Halloween decorations that you can easily make. I love vintage images and had purchased these at a show I was at, but you can find tons online. Please read the instructions first before beginning so you have an idea of what you will be doing. The supply list is at the bottom of this post.

Instructions

  1. Decide how you want to hang your plaques. Based on the type of plaque you have you may want to attach a picture hook to the back or you can drill 2 small holes in the top corners and sand them if needed.
  2. Apply a good coat of gesso to each plaque, front and back.
  3. Find images online and print them on cardstock. Cut them out and set aside.
  4. Paint each plaque in a coordinating color. Let dry overnight. Sand edges for a worn look and wipe off dust.
  5. Steps 6, 7 and 8 are the instructions for hanging with wire. If you used a picture hook in the back of your plaque, skip steps 6, 7 and 8. Another alternative to the wire is to use a piece of fabric or yarn which you would also skip these 3 next steps.
  6. Cut 11 inches of the jewelry wire. From the back of the plaque, put one end through the hole, coming out of the front of the plaque and coil the end with the pliers to knot it.
  7. Slightly off center at the top of the wire, wrap the wire around a pencil, 3 times and slide the pencil out.
  8. Feed the other end of the wire through the second hole from the back of the plaque, coming out in the front. Cut off any excess wire and coil the end as in step 6.
  9. Glue your images on to the plaque with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.
  10. Add a piece of torn autumn fabric to the top of the wire and that’s it!

Supplies:

  • 3 Vintage Halloween Images
  • 3 Wood Plaques fitting your images
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paint: Black, Orange, Red or any of your choice
  • Black Copper Jewelry Wire
  • Drill for hanging
  • Picture hanging hook/bracket (optional)
  • Needle nose jewelry pliers
  • Harvest Fabric scraps
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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Thoughtful Thursday History of Labor Day

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In the late 1800’s, during the industrial revolution, workers were subject to some pretty fierce working conditions. The average adult worked everyday of the week for about 12 hours which gave them just enough for a mediocre life. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old also worked in the mills and factories but for a fraction of what the adults made.

The environment in the workplace was normally not safe nor did workers have sanitary conditions. Labor unions became more popular and more vocal as a result, and they organized workers to carry out strikes and protests. Some of these rallies became violent and sadly even led to death for some.

The first Labor Day parade was held on September 5, 1882. There were approximately 10,000 workers who marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. It caught the attention of industrial centers all over the United States and as a result, many states passed legislation recognizing the first Monday in September as the “Workingmen’s Holiday.” However, Congress did not legalize it as a holiday for another 12 years which was under President Grover Cleveland.

So take this coming Monday off and celebrate. Celebrate for you and for all those in your community who work so hard for the rest of us. Also, remember those who voiced their concerns over years to improve working conditions for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!

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“Success will always come down to this: Focus and effort, and we control both.” ~ Dwayne Johnson

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day-1

https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/resources/the-history-of-labor-day-in-the-united-states/