Gifts in a jar revisited; or, a fool returns to the same well twice


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Well hello, blog.  Between the holidays, a birthday and life in general, I am surprised I remember my username and password.  Yet here I am, with an after the fact post about ornaments.  Keep in mind, this idea could be used as a more snow-globey concept, using different decorative elements in the jar based on the occasion or the season (Sand and shells in summer time.  Grass and flowers in spring.  Etc.)

When we last left, I was in the throes of the holidays, searching for a modest teacher’s gift kind of at the last minute.  My last post was gifts in a jar, and all that writing and thinking about gifts in a jar evidently made it impossible to do anything else for teachers’ gifts this year.  The final product, an ornament made out of a baby food jar, was a hybrid of photos in a jar, snow globe in a jar, and ornament in a jar.  It was a photo ornament in a jar.  I gathered:

  • baby food jars
  • picture of the boys
  • cotton balls
  • small presents or holly berries (not the actress)
  • glue
  • tweezers

First I bought baby food in jars.  I was hoping for carrots or sweet potatoes, which I could later use in a muffin batter and not feel wasteful, but all they had was Chicken and Noodle dinner.  Imagine how appetizing that looks pureed.  Oh yes, it looks like vomit.  I washed them, peeled off the label and used steel wool for any leftover residue.  I spray painted the caps red, then realized I should have punched holes first in the cap, then painted it.  So I had to be very careful not to inadvertently somehow crack the paint, and used the hammer and nail like i was one of Santa’s elves.  Once they were dry I looped some twine throughout the top and knotted it inside the cap.

I had a photo of the brothers in a 1990’s Kid n’ Play pose, back to back with their arms crossed.  “Oh la oh la a-a-a . . . rollin rollin rollin with Kid N’ Play now”  That’s all I remember from Kid N’ Play.  Anyway, I cut out a photo of each monster angel child separately.  I eyeballed from the outside if I need to cut them off at the knees so to speak to get the proportions right and get them to fit in the jar.  Once that was done I set the pictures aside.

I dribbled some glue in the bottom of the jar and gently pulled apart a cotton ball to increase its diameter so it looked more like a nest or snow drift than a cotton ball plopped in the bottom of a jar.  I then dribbled more glue and using the tweezers placed the picture in the “snow” and glue, making sure there was enough cotton piled up behind the picture to give it something to rest on.  I dribbled more glue in the jar where I wanted to stack the presents (little Christmas decorations found at Michaels) behind the picture to 1) cover up the back of the picture; and 2) hopefully make the ornament pleasing from another angle.  Fortunately the gifts were very light so they stacked well and at precarious angles that something heavier couldn’t have achieved.  I screwed on the top, and once dry, I used a Sharpie to write on the bottom “To: Ms. Teacher — Please Tell School District to Abandon Common Core Curriculum Because a First Grader Shouldn’t Be Doing Word Problems And Algebra.”   Oops, did I just write that?  Freudian slip. No,it really all fit on the bottom of the jar.  Really.


The only thing I didn’t count on was the weight of the ornament.  It was heavy, bordering on too heavy for the tree.  It would have to be on a substantial branch or be a truly decorative ornament that sits on a shelf or mantel or desk.  They turned out really cute, however, but in retrospect making all 4 first and then testing them for weight was . . . foolhardy.

Hopefully I will get back on schedule and post my height chart soon.  All I have to do is make it.  You know, the essentials.  Also, I have a bunch of friends turning 40 this year, and we can’t let that go without a little sumpin’ sumpin’, and the ideas are a churnin’.  Well right now there is a 3.5 year old trying to rub my feet in an attempt to get out of time out, so maybe I can work this into a foot massage.  Ta ta!