Saturday, January 5, 2019

Christmas Crafty

During my December month's hiatus from the blog world, I spent some time making some cross-stitched ornaments I was thinking of hanging on our Christmas tree.  (More on that in a future post.)

Another little thing I did was to make a pomander ball.  It was something I've thought about doing for several years and finally got around to it this year.

I had actually thought of making a few of them as gifts.  However, I now know and can positively say that won't be happening.  What a lot of work!  And how hard on the fingers pushing those whole cloves into the orange even after making preliminary holes through the skin with a nail.

I had truly envisioned totally covering this first experimental pomander ball with cloves but it didn't take me long to decide not to pursue that idea. The Internet shows all kinds of designs one can make with the cloves but I stuck with straight (sort of) lines from one end to the other.

One set of directions I found (after I had made mine) said that after putting cloves in the orange, you should roll it in a mixture of equal parts orris root, ground cinnamon and allspice, then wrap in tissue paper and store in a dark place for four weeks.  (Oops, guess I was a little late for that.)

After four weeks, the article said, shake off any surplus powder and tie a pretty ribbon around the orange.

Another oops.  Again, I read this after I had rolled mine in pumpkin pie spice which is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.  I shook off the excess ground spices, tied a ribbon around it and hung it in a doorway.  Supposedly, if you followed the directions (which I obviously failed to do), the pomander ball would emit it's nostalgic fragrance for months, even years.  Mine has a nice fragrance but only if your nose gets up close and personal with it.

Also, the pumpkin pie spice so coated the orange skin that my ball has a muddy brown color, not an attractive orange.

Here's another picture of it after hanging in the doorway for a week.  (Why does it remind me of a shrunken head?)

All in all, this experiment would have turned out much better if I had taken the time to research making a pomander ball before diving in rather blindly.

Here's my pomander ball attempt with the readjusted ribbon.  Slightly attractive or just plan ugly, I'm glad I finally took the time to give it a try.  Rest assured, I won't be giving Ms. Stewart any competition . . . or doing it again soon.


Sam I Am...... said...

You are too funny and you attack projects the way I do....just 'get er done' and then go back and read the directions when it doesn't turn out as envisioned! LOL! My daughter did those and she told me not to try it as it is hard on your hands and I already have RA so I just light candles. But yours is really're too hard on yourself and I just wish I could tie a pretty bow like that....another skill I do not possess.
I just ordered a new cross stitch yesterday...'A Year in Hawk run Hollow'...I've been drooling over it for months. I'll post a picture when I get it. Show yours when you get a chance. Stay warm!

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - What got me when I read the articles on making pomander balls on the Internet is that so many of them said it was a great project to do with kids. For one thing, it took a LOT of time (more than most youngsters could/would hang in there) and also, as your daughter discovered, it was very hard on the hands!

I've been doing a bit of cross-stitch work lately (it just feels right!), and am wondering if it's "coming back" (super-big in the 70s, no?) or if I'm just really behind the trend. Good to hear you're into it, too. Birds of a feather . . . ;o} Looking forward to your new endeavor!

wyomingheart said...

Mama Pea, you are very crafty! That pomander project is something I have always wanted to try, put just never did. I think you did a superb on it, and thank you for letting me realize that the long ago desire to make one can stay in the long!

wisps of words said...

I'm sure it was lovely.....

And you did it! That's a plus. I never did.

But grin, yes, "read instructions" first. Does anyone do this?

Hope you got that ice demolished! Before more snow.

Hugs... ✨✨✨✨✨

Mama Pea said...

wyomingheart - Methinks you've made a wise pomander ball decision! (Now you're really gonna think I'm out of my mind when I write about making several of them next October to give away! Actually, please stop me before I forget this year and think it's a good idea.)

Wisps of words - Bottom line, even if we fail, I think it's a good thing to try something new. But, yes, "read instructions" first would be a very good thing! :o]

Yep, we did succeed in getting all the ice cleared away (thanks to the sunshine and warm day yesterday). Whew. But now they are saying we're going to get 12-15" more tomorrow night into Monday morning. Which wouldn't be so bad BUT the temps are supposed to be right around freezing AGAIN during the snow. Grrrrr!

Kristina said...

I bet those smelled wonderful though. Yep. Looks like a lot of work though.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I'm sure mine would have smelled much better had I followed directions!

The Wykeham Observer said...

It's still nice. I like rustic decorations that aren't full of plastic and lights.

SmartAlex said...

One year I made dried orange slice ornaments with star anise glued to the center, which were beautiful, but also fairly pricey and definitely time consuming

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - That's one I'm not aware of. Interesting. Shall have to look it up!

Leigh said...

I've wondered about those things! Never made one myself, and happily your experience is enough for me. :)

The Liberty Belle said...

Your post made me chuckle. I thought your pomander ball was rather cute. I have contemplated making them myself but that's never come to fruition.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Mama Pea,
Next time use fewer cloves.I found a metal skewer and garden gloves work just dandy! I wouldn't do it with bare fingers. Cloves are too sharp. To refresh your ball, stick the skewer in deeper in a couple of spots and hang it over a steaming kettle for a few minutes. It will rehydrate your orange skin. I alternate rows with broken cinnamon sticks. Mine lasts for months by doing this.

Vera said...

I made a pomander ball years ago, sticking the cloves randomly in the orange. I hung it in my wardrobe and it lasted a long time. I think they are well worth making because they do smell nice!

Susan said...

Shrunken head (snort!) Better you than I, my friend. I tried one years ago and learned my lesson. However, yours looks a great deal purtier than mine did - and I love the ribbons. Does the aroma intensify as it dries?

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Come on, you really need to experience it all yourself! ;o} Gotta admit someone gave me a Pomander Ball many years ago and it DID retain a lovely holiday fragrance for a couple of years. (Please stop me if I forget and try to make one the right way next year, okay?)

The Liberty Belle - It's curious how many of us have thought about making one . . . but have been really slow in getting around to it. My doesn't have much of a fragrance now (still hanging in the doorway) but I wonder if I store it in a drawer, the aroma would be noticeable? Thanks for commenting!

Cockeyed Homestead - Hey, good to hear from you in that you know what you're talking about! Thank you! IF I ever make the attempt again, you've shared good info. Thanks.

Vera - Yes, I had good luck with that one I was given years ago. I put it in a tote box where I stored "good" bags I thought I might use again from fabric purchases and to this day (after removing the pomander ball a couple of years ago) I still get a fragrant whiff. Lovely.

Susan - Well, from my experience from that one I was given years ago, I'd have to say it surely holds the fragrance for a long time. The jury is still out on how mine will end up.

Anonymous said...

I made a few of these years ago and I agree, more trouble than they are worth. I usually grab a small orange, stick a few cloves into it and set it in a bowl by my bed or chair. Grab it for a quick sniff when I need a pick-me-up.