Those Little Christmas Card Boxes

By popular demand (okay, one person asked for a picture but that’s popular enough for me) here’s how to make delightful little boxes from old used (or brand new if you don’t save old ones) greeting cards.

1. Find two Christmas Cards.

I used two cards, one for the top and one for the bottom of the box.  You can also cut a card in two and use the front for the top and the inside for the bottom.  It makes a smaller box. Both pieces have to be the same size and square.

2.  Making it Square

2. Making it Square

So fold a corner up to an edge so that the fold is the diagonal from one corner to the other and cut off the excess on the side.  This is so incredibly easy to do and so unbelievably confusing to put into words.  Make two same size square pieces.  I don’t really care how you do it.

3.  A Square with a diagonal fold.

3. A Square with a diagonal fold.

4.  Making the other diagonal fold

4. Making the other diagonal fold

Next make a diagonal fold between the other two corners.  Then fold every point into the centre where the two folds cross.

5.  Folding the points into the centre.

5. Folding the points into the centre.

Fold each flat side into the middle (and then back out), one at a time, so that when you open the whole thing up it’s completely covered in little scored squares.

6.  Folding the flat sides into the centre.

6. Folding the flat sides into the centre.

7.  The card is now a whole mess of little squares in every direction with triangles at the corners.

7. The card is now a whole mess of little squares in every direction with triangles at the corners.

The center four little squares are the bottom of the box.  Or the center of the lid, depending on which one you’re making, but they’re both the same so it doesn’t matter what you call them.

From opposite corners on either side of the little triangle, make a cut from the outer edge to the edge of that little four squared center.  So two corners, two triangles, four cuts in all.

8.  Making the four crucial cuts.  If you screw this up, I'm going to be so disappointed.

8. Making the four crucial cuts. If you screw this up, I’m going to be so disappointed.

Those two floppy pieces that you’ve just cut free from the square when folded in will be the two sides of the box that have flat edges and no points to fold in.  If that makes no sense, please ignore it and look at the picture.

Fold them towards the centre section by section, like rolling them up in folds.  Then do the same thing with the other sides.

9.  Folding the flat sides in to the centre.

9. Folding the flat sides in to the centre.

Then you turn the box so that you have a pointy ended side in each hand with the flat side in the middle.  Fold the points in until they meet or cross or whatever the hell it is they do, and then fold the flat side over top of them to hold them in place.

10.  Fold two pointy sides under the flat side.  Crap, even I don't really understand what happened in this picture.

10. Fold two pointy sides under the flat side. Crap, even I don’t really understand what happened in this picture.

Repeat that for the other side.

11. One side done, one to go. Folding the flat side over the overlapping pointy sides.

For some reason or other, if you’re aggressive enough and pinch the corners, the whole thing holds together.

12.  Yay!  If this is sort of what you ended up with, you're halfway there!

12. Yay! If this is sort of what you ended up with, you’re halfway there!

Don’t even think about stopping until it looks like this.  And then you get to start over and make another one exactly the same.  Gawd, are we having fun yet?  Then you use what’s left of your aggression to fit the two pieces together to form a cute little box.

13.  Top plus bottom equals box.

13. Top plus bottom equals box.

Ta Da!!

14.  Right side up

14. Right side up

15.  Upside down.

15. Upside down.

I don’t know about you, but now I need a drink.  These little boxes are a perfect size for jewelry or lip gloss or hair accessories.  Or you can just decorate with them, by placing about six empty ones under your tree as a joke.

But do trust me on this one – little girls love these little boxes almost as much as they love little purses.  You might have to make a couple dozen for all the tiny treasures they’re going to want to stash away inside them.

Pictures From Moms Kitchen (Part Four)

This was the most special of occasions, because it was the only time we ever celebrated our daughters July birthday at the farm.  Our son has his birthday in February and we were never off to Ontario at that time of year.  But you don’t have to be the guest of honor to have a good time.

I’m just here for the hat and the food.

Make a wish! Ask for one of these awesome Gretzky shirts!

Hanging out on my birthday with my baby cousin and the headless man.

Oh. My. Gawd. Getting money for your birthday is the Best. Thing. Ever.

Time marches on, the kids keep growing up, the bricks days are numbered and will be coming down.  Yes, sadly, no longer will we pose in front of the faux brick background.  The wallpaper gets replaced, along with the orange curtains and the orange back splash.  On to a lighter and brighter tomorrow.

The great meals and the card games continued, but our family showed up less and less often – that’s what happens when you live far away. The rest of the family was nice enough to send us photos.  And nice enough NOT to say look at all the fun we’re having without you.













Mom and Dad loved to play cards, and UNO was a game that even the littlest guy could play. (In that last picture, does he not look like he’s never had quite so much fun ever before in his entire life?)  When there were so many people around the table and so many skips and reverses, you could stare off into space or take a quick nap before the play ever came around to you again.   These get togethers and card games went on until finally there were those among us who grew wise enough to win against grandpa.  Well, sometimes, anyway.

There was a new house, a new location, a new kitchen, but the games went on.  There are some things you never want to outgrow.

Table Talk and Some Questionable Lyrics

It’s been another long summer, living alone, trying to entertain myself.  Not that W. is that great an entertainer, but at least when he’s around I have a reason for talking out loud.  Unlike now.  I sometimes talk to my fish, but who knows if he hears anything from under water.  Maybe he reads lips. And I sometimes make disparaging remarks to my computers, which up to this point in time refuse to converse with each other.  They both want their own home groups, and neither will include the other.  Obviously, there’s some little thing I’m missing and they don’t read lips either.

Chapters, how do I love thee?  You reward me with little gems just for showing up and wandering around.  “Table Topics” is an all plexiglass lidded cube full of square cards.  Each card has a topic on it.  In a sane household the family would sit down for dinner, a card would be drawn, the topic read, and the various answers discussed in a lively and delightful manner.  Is ‘sane household’ an oxymoron?  Probably.

Here’s my plan.  On the days when Plinky “plonks” (i.e. asks something infuriatingly stupid) I’m going to draw a card from the box and blog about that!  My computer is on a table, so it should all work out.


the most beautiful

drive you’ve

ever taken

This is how the cards throw a topic at you.  They’re not big on capital letters or punctuation, so I find myself  imagining a monotone robot type voice getting the idea out there but not caring in the least what your answer is or even if you have one.  ….next…..card……please…..

Nope, I promised myself I’d answer whatever came up, no matter what.  So the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken has to be the one through the Atlantic provinces last fall with my sister, her husband, and W.  And all the stops along the way, of course.  The rocks, the sand, the fierce winds, the ocean’s roar, beautifully offset by the flaming fall colors.

I think it was when we were leaving Hopewell Rocks that we put one of our new cd’s on and were listening to Paddy Lay Back, and other pieces of uniquely maritime music;  ballads and reels about drunken sailors and phantom ships and rolling home and sailing away.

‘Twas a cold and dreary morning in December (December)
All of me money, it was spent, (Spent, spent)
Where it went to, Lord, I can’t remember (Remember)
So down to the shipping office I went (Went, went!)

Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in the slack,  (Take in the slack)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Take a turn around the capstan, Heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About ship’s stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
We’re bound for Valipariso ’round the Horn!

That day there was a great demand for sailors,
For the colonies, for ‘Frisco and for France.
So I shipped aboard a limey barque, the Hotspur,
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance.

Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm,
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’,
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.

Now some of our fellers had been drinkin’,
An’ I meself was heavy on the booze.
An’ I was on me ol’ sea-chest a’ thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.

I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
I knew I was outward bound again;
I hears a voice a-bawlin’ at the door,
“Lay aft, ye sods, an’ answer to yer names.”

‘Twas on the quarterdeck where I first saw ’em.
Such an ugly bunch I never seen before,
For there was a bum and stiff from every quarter,
(For the captain had shipped a shanghai crew of Dutchmen)
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick and sore.

There was Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrost from France.
An’ most of them could speak no word of English,
But answered to the name of `Month’s Advance!’

I wisht I was in the “Jolly Sailor,”
Along with Irish Kate a-drinkin’ beer,
An’ then I thought what jolly chaps were sailors,
An’ with me flipper I wiped away a tear.

I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ’twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.

So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox.

I felt that I should skip an’ join another,
‘Twas plain that I had joined a lousy bitch;
But the chances wuz that I might join a worser,
An’ we might git through the voyage without a hitch.

I axed the mate a-which a-watch was mine-O,
Says he, “I’ll soon pick out a-which is which,”
An’ he blowed me down an’ kicked me hard a stern-O,
Callin’ me a lousy, dirty son o’ a bitch.

Now we singled up an’ got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks an’ out to sea;
With half the crew a-pukin’ o’er the ship’s side,
An’ the bloody fun that started sickened me.

Although me poor ol’ head wuz all a-jumpin’,
We had to loose her rags the followin’ morn;
I dream the boardin’-master I was thumpin’,
When I found out he’d sent me around the Horn.

I swore I would become a beachie-comber,
An’ niver go to sea no ruddy more;
For niver did I want to be a roamer,
I’d shanghai the boardin’-master an’ stay ashore.

But when we got to bully ol’ Vallaparaiser,
In the Bay we dropped our mudhook far from shore;
The Ol’ Man he refused ter let us raise ‘er,
An’ he stopped the boardin’-masters comin’ aboard.

I quickly made me mind up that I’d jump ‘er,
I’d leave the beggar an’ git a job ashore;
I swum across the Bay an’ went an’ left ‘er,
An’ in the English Bar I found a whore.

But Jimmy the Wop he knew a thing or two, sir,
An’ soon he’d shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guanner,
An’ soon wuz I a-roarin’ this refrain.

So there was I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol’ ruddy business o’er again.
Oh, stamp the caps’n round an’ make some noise, boys,
An’ sing again this dear ol’ sweet refrain.

The beauty of these songs is that they go on forever and you can sing along to the refrain between every silly verse,  to the delight of youself and your sister and the dismay of your spouses who are trying to drive and navigate in the front seat.  Awesome drive.  Wish that IT could have gone on forever too.