Ring in the New Year with a festive hat

Posted Dec. 29, 2011, at 10:02 p.m.
Ring in 2012 with a festive party hat.
PHIL MASTURZO | MCT
Ring in 2012 with a festive party hat.

Traditionally, we usher out the old year and welcome in the new with the old Scots song “Auld Lang Syne.” At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, people gathered at parties to celebrate New Year’s Eve will sing the song, even if they don’t understand what the lyrics mean.

The title is an idiom, or style of speaking peculiar to a group of people, meaning “long, long, ago.” In the Scottish dialect, the words mean “old long ago,” and are derived from an 18th-century poem by Robert Burns partially compiled from an older song. “Old Long Syne,” printed in 1711 by James Watson, was set to the tune of an old folk song that predates the 16th century. In song and poetry, they all point to days gone by and advise that we should remember friendships and loves from the past.

Scots traditionally sang the song during their New Year’s Eve celebration called Hogmanay and the tradition soon spread to nearby countries. As Scots, Welsh, Irish and English people emigrated around the world, they took the song and the tradition with them.

Remembering the song today seems fitting. After more than 12 years, this is my final Kids’ Kraft column. I am putting away my sewing machine, closing down my craft room and dispensing with shelves filled with boxes of pipe cleaners and pompoms.

Thank you for sharing photos of your creations in your emails, phone calls and letters throughout the past dozen years. I have always enjoyed reading about your favorite projects. Hopefully, I have helped kids ages 6-12 express their creativity with the crafts we’ve shared.

But as they say, a closed door usually means a window opens somewhere else, and this is no exception. Not creating crafts each week will give me the opportunity to write about another one of my loves: the pets in our lives.

There is no doubt that as Americans, we love our pets. We own more than 78 million dogs and 86 million cats, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Others own pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, ferrets, birds and any number of other creatures.

Please use the email address at the end of this column to tell me about your pets, events and other ideas you may want to share. I can’t promise I will use them all, but I will enjoy hearing from you and will print as many as I am able.

For my final craft, I made a hat for First Night celebrations with just about the same supplies I used when I did my first Kids’ Kraft column in 1999. To create those pompom critters, I used many of the same kinds of supplies that adorn this festive hat I found at one of my favorite online sources, Family Fun. You can see the directions online at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/first-night-hats-661678.

Supplies you will need:

Metallic poster board

Scissors

Double-sided foam tape and duct tape

Pencil or pen

Thumbtack

Soft elastic thread

Pompoms, pipe cleaners and stickers

To make a cone-shaped hat, cut a semicircle with an 18-inch diameter from the poster board. Roll it into a cone, adjust its size to fit your head and secure it with double-sided foam tape.

To make a chin strap, use the thumbtack to poke a hole through each side of the hat near the bottom, thread one end of the elastic through each hole and knot a few times to secure it.

To decorate your hat, coil pipe cleaners around a pencil or pen to make spirals. Attach the spirals by poking a hole through the hat with a thumbtack, Push one inch of the pipe cleaner through the hole to the inside of the hat and duct-tape it down. Attach pompoms with double-sided foam tape. Randomly place stickers.

Contact Kathy Antoniotti at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron OH 44309-0640; 330-996-3565; or kantoniotti@thebeaconjournal.com.

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