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Shoebox: Holiday Ideas

There's no need to wait for the holidays to share some of Carol Duvall Show fans' festive holiday ideas.

Once again we decided there was no need to wait for the holidays to share some of your festive ideas sent to the Shoebox. There are always more ideas than there are holiday shows and we think these are good any time of the year.

We loved Theresa Lacy's (New Milford, NJ) version of the annual Christmas Letter that many of you send each year. Theresa started by borrowing an idea that she got from a segment Dee Gruenig did on our show when she stamped calendar pages and added photos and notes.

Theresa isn't a rubber stamper, but she does like to use her computer for graphics so she started by finding a clipart program that included some three hole notebook pages.

She reduced these in size, printed out one for each month, included a photograph of her little boy and made notations about his monthly progress. I think my favorite was the one for August that said, "Seventeen months. First time out for throwing potty seat down stairs." These she arranged and printed out on both sides of a piece of colored paper which she brightened up further by adding appropriate stickers.

As the years progressed and the family grew both in number and size, she continued the tradition with photos of both boys along with the wonderful notes.

Number two on our Show and Tell list today was a very cute snowman made over a chocolate milk bottle and sent in by Lois Weinmeister of Delta, Colo.

Lois put a wooden ball on the bottle for the snowman's head and drilled holes so she could put in the nose and a little pipe that she had made. But it was the buttons and the eyes and mouth that attracted us. They were made of honest-to-goodness pieces of coal that she collects from the railroad tracks and then puts in a bag and smashes with a hammer to get little tiny pieces. She also added earmuffs and a scarf which are a "must" on a cold winters day in Delta, Colo.

Some of you will remember the Holiday Workshop that we did some years ago when we showed some sock snowmen that had been made by 3- and 4-year-old pre-schoolers and then I demonstrated the step-outs with one of the teachers as my guide. Much to everybody's surprise this turned out to be one of our most popular segments and today we had yet a couple more letters about it. The first letter with accompanying photograph came from Theresa Decker who actually made all the snowmen herself but individualized them to represent different members of the family including the cats and dogs. Everybody loved them.

We also received a letter and snapshot from Stephanie Isaac of Flint, Mich., who wrote that she comes from a big Polish (Papoleck) family...70 strong...and that each Christmas Eve they rent a hall and get together. This past year one of the activities was for different members of the family children ranging in age from 2 to 16 to make the snowmen and though the glue, stuffing, buttons, sparkles and ribbons ended up on many of the merrymakers themselves she said they all had great fun making their wonderful mementos of that Christmas Eve. The enclosed photograph gave proof to her words.

This time we also had a snow lady in our shoebox which I think was a first. Sent in to us by Lupe Penyeda of South El Monte, Calif., she had of body made of one very small inverted clay pot painted white and topped with a wooden ball head. Her face was painted and she not only wore a charming pink felt hat but carried a pink purse to match. She was really adorable.

There were also some very nice ornaments in the shoebox today starting with several sent to us by Corrine Klein or Eureka, Calif. Corrine's ornaments each consisted of three pieces of white card stock cut into an egg shape and creased down the center lengthwise. The three pieces were then glued together back to back creating a three-dimensional ornament. This was a popular pattern some years ago using cut up Christmas cards but Corrine's ornaments were original and very different looking in that she added her own art work to the plain cardstock. On one she added embroidery done with silver thread and on another a gold sticker ballet dancer.

She also decorated each section on one with bells decorated with holly. The bells and the holly were quilled. All of the ornament edges were decorated with metallic rickrack.

Colorful fabric ornaments were sent in by Joanne Zabell of Gerald, Mo., that looked like two-inch yo-yos but they weren't...quite. Actually Joanne started by cutting fabric circles and stitching round the outside edge of each one but when she pulled the thread to gather the stitching she first inserted a two-inch cardboard circle. After knotting and cutting the thread she added a colorful sticker or decorated cardboard circle to cover the rough edges. They were very festive.

And last of all was a photograph that Sherry VanderVort of Vesto, N.Y., sent of the jeweled Christmas tree she made. Some years ago it was a popular thing to take your jewelry and glue beads and earrings, etc. onto a piece of felt or velvet into the shape of a tree or a wreath and then frame it. That's exactly what Sherry did but she did it so well. The tree was very pretty but not overdone. That's the secret...knowing when to stop. Sherry did.

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