When it comes to celebrating the Christmas holiday, you can always come away with a great idea for decorating by checking in with artist Michele Hofbauer. Here’s a fine artist who is known for her illustrations of children’s books, some of which she has written herself. A former teacher, she is also the President of the Fairfield County, Connecticut branch of the National League of American Pen Woman. Here are some of her smart ideas for quickly transforming your home into a holiday haven.
Get thee to a fabric store or department store where inexpensive fabric is being sold. Then purchase any type of red plaid fabric and bring it home. “Adding red plaid around the house immediately suggests the holiday,” said Hofbauer adding that you can make placemats and napkins, cover tables or even cover boxes with the design. Add gold or green ribbons and bows and the possibilities are endless.
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Idea #2: Place centerpieces in every room of your home. According to artist Hofbauer, she likes to fill vases with pine cones and red, green and gold ornaments. “Any color ornament will transform a glass bowl into a holiday centerpiece,” she said. Use lots of nature’s greenery. Make the most festive holiday arrangements by using pine tree branches, holly branches with red berries and the greenery from any of your shrubs. Tie them together with holiday ribbons and place in bowls or fill baskets with greens and ribbons. Nature is always a good guide when it comes to holiday decorating.
Idea #3: Make a snowman for inside the house. Michele Hofbauer likes to get different sized styrofoam balls for different snowpeople. She instructs to place a wooden dowel through the center of three and then decorate the snowmen with a theme. For instance, create a little fishing rod for your snowman or turn that snowman into a ballerina with a fancy tutu. Tie a scarf around its neck and give it some type of hat with a button nose and eyes. Choose favorite family themes.
Idea #4: Have fun making paper snowflakes. Cut a piece of paper into a round circle. Make the circles in different sizes to add contrast. Then fold the circle in half. Next, fold that semicircle into thirds. You must not cut the edges, although you can make notches in them. The edges hold the snowflake together. With a pair of sharply pointed scissors, cut various designs while moving towards the center, but don’t cut into the center. Then open and find a unique snowflake which can be hung on a holiday tree, on a window or used as package decorations.
Last but not least, artist Michele Hofbauer makes a new wreath every year. “These are incredible,” she said, “They end up looking like leaves.” Buy a styrofoam wreath and red and/or green cotton fabric. Cut the fabric into four-by-four inch squares. Then using a fingernail file, wrap the tip of the file with the center of the fabric and dip it in glue. Then poke the fabric-covered tip into the styrofoam wreathe. The rest of the fabric will fluff out and hang over the wreathe. Continue to do this until the wreathe is completely covered. The end product is guaranteed to win you compliments.
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Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.