Mama Sass is my best fan. You should count yourself extremely lucky if your mama loves you even half as much as mine loves me. And I love her right back. She's pretty wonderful. I inherited either by genetic means or by osmosis her love of home and comfort. She was always a crafty mom.
I remember when I was in high school and the high school art teacher thought she'd dazzle us all with this exotic new craft - batik. Yawn. My mom taught us how to batik in the basement the year before. We knew as much or more than the teacher. (I say 'us', because my sister is just one year older.)
Basket of Lighted Poinsettias
I used an old laundry basket - one that was given to me, so it has plenty of memories about that person.
(Here, I insert a personal note into Mama Sass's instructions. When I was about 14, my mother's best friend's grandmother - did you follow that? - was about 85. She'd fallen and broken her wrist. She lived independently, but it would be really hard for 6-8 weeks, so my mom volunteered me to go and live with her for a couple of months and help take care of her. I was not happy about it, but I was a pretty compliant kid and did it. It turned out to be a very good experience and gave me a lot of compassion for older folks - not something that every 14-year-old has. It was this old lady that owned this laundry basket. Sorry about the interruption. Back to Mama Sass.)
Fill the basket about 3/4 full of lightweight packing materials (not peanuts - use chunks of styrofoam, if possible. Otherwise, hit the dollar store and buy a bunch of floral foam).
Gather your supplies. You will need:
~red bump chenille (as shown in the pic, above);
~a set of red Christmas tree lights;
~floral or other lightweight wire;
~wooden floral picks; and
~ floral tape.
Divide the total number of your lights so that each flower will have the same number of lights. So, for instance, a set of 100 lights will yield 20 flowers with five lights apiece. Put a wooden flower pick (something like a slim green dowel) in the center, then gather the lights around it. Wire them together and cover your work by winding with floral tape.
For each flower, you will need 14 stems of red bump chenille. Bend two pieces together to make one petal. Pinch the tip together, flare the middle part of the petal, then pinch the base together. Put the lights into the center of a group of seven petals and wire them all together. Cover with floral tape again. After everything is secure, poke them into the styrofoam in the basket. Play with them until they have that wide petal stance that poinsettias have. If you have any empty space, add a little greenery.
It's really quite easy, and I've had a lot of good comments about my poinsettias!
Thanks so much, Mama Sass! Now, I'm off to find some bump chenille!