DIY: Festive Book Page Trees

 
by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
November 26, 2016
 

Goodwill DIY: Book Page Trees

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we can decorate for Christmas, right? Tune into our blog for the next few weeks to see some of our favorite, simple, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects for this holiday season.

These festive book page trees are a perfect holiday craft for while you’re enjoying your favorite Christmas movie or binge watching Netflix.

Here’s what you need:

  • A book that is at least as tall as the trees you want to make.
  • An X-acto knife
  • A ruler
  • Hot glue and a hot glue gun

I chose an old book in black and white with heavy, aging pages, and a mix of words and sheet music—but you can seriously alter the look of your trees by choosing a different type of book. If I were to do it again, I would grab a book with gold edging on the page!

Step One: Cut the pages out of the book.
Using your ruler as a guide, cut all of the pages out of the book. To make two full trees, I used about 120 pages. If you want to trim the margin off—do it before you cut the pages from the book. It’ll be easier to keep the lines straight. I cut the top 1” margin off of my pages so the text/music would go all the way to the top of my trees.

Step Two: Fold each page in half vertically.
Be sure to get the bottom edge even on the fold, as these will make the base of your tree. As my kindergarten teacher told us, fold “hot dog style,” not “hamburger style”—your folded pages should be long and narrow.

Step Three: Measure your next cut.
For your inner geometry buff, we’re aiming for a scalene right triangle—with base being the short side, and the fold being the middle side. (If we’re going with Pythagoras, side A= the base/short side, B=the folded side, and C=open/cut side.) Your measurements will depend on the size of your pages—and the size you want your final tree to be—but I went with marking 3” from the fold on the short side, and 7” from the base on the folded side.

Step Four: Cut
Using your ruler as a guide, cut from your measured mark on the folded side, to your measured mark on the base.

Fold, Measure, Cut

Step Five: Group and glue
Gather groups of your new triangles, and glue them together along the folded side, like book binding. See the photo below for an example. I went with groups of eight pages each.

Step Six: Glue the groups
Glue all of your groups together in a stack, using minimal glue to prevent buckling of the pages.

Book Page Trees: GlueingStep Seven: Complete the circle!
The final step is more or less the same as step six—but connecting the page at the bottom of your stack to the page at the top of your stack. Be sure to get the “spine” of each page to align as best as possible.

Now you have a set of lovely trees that can be part of your table centerpiece, part of your mantle décor, or just a countertop decoration to add a little literary flavor to your in-home holiday look. Craft supplies—and books—are an easy find at all of our stores!

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Baking with Goodwill: Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

 
by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
November 21, 2016
 

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
Thanksgiving is this week, and nothing quite says “Turkey Day” like a homemade pumpkin pie and some homemade whipped cream to top it with. This recipe is easy, quick in terms of preparation timeand is delicious.

This recipe will make two 8” pies—with a little leftover filling. Tip: Bake the leftover filling in a ramekin or a small dish for your gluten-free friends!

Ingredients for the pie:

  • 2 Pillsbury Pie Crusts
  • 30 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups raw sugar
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 3 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 oz. bourbon whiskey

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie IngredientsStart with following the instructions on the pie crust. Most unfrozen, premade pie crusts will have you warm them to room temperature, roll them out into your pie dish, and bake them for about 10 minutes at 450°. Be sure to poke them with a fork on the bottom and sides so they bake evenly and don’t bubble. Once they’re golden brown, let them cool completely before filling them.

While your pie crusts are in the oven, make the filling.

Start by whisking the eggs until they’re well-combined, but not frothy. Then—add the rest of the ingredients—and mix until they’re all incorporated, and smooth. I used local distillery Heritage Distilling Company’s Brown Sugar Bourbon for this recipe—and it was the perfect choice!

Pour the filling into the cooled crusts.

Bake the pies on the center rack at 425° for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350° and bake for another 40-50 minutes. You can tell when the pie is done if you can poke a fork into it, and have the fork come out clean. Allow the pie to cool for an hour or two before serving.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie in the ovenWhile the pies are in the oven, make the whipped cream topping.

Ingredients for a spiced bourbon whipped cream:

  • 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • ~ ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 oz. bourbon whiskey

Use a stand mixer to whip the whipped cream until it is firm and peaks—don’t over whip!

Using a spatula, mix in the confectioner’s sugar—make it as sweet as you feel necessary! Then, add the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and bourbon whiskey—and use the spatula to mix until it’s well incorporated. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve!

If you’re finding your short on kitchen supplies—like a stand mixer, pie dishes, baking sheets, or serving utensils—for the holiday season, Goodwill is an excellent place to find quality kitchen supplies at low prices.

Note: The bourbon cooks out of the pie—so the pie itself is non-alcoholic, but it doesn’t cook out of the whipped cream! If you’re serving to people who should not have alcohol, we recommend leaving it out of the whipped cream. 

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Sparkle Sale Preview

 
by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
November 20, 2016
 

If you didn't get enough glitter during Glitter Sale this year, be sure to join us online for #SparkleSale! We collected hundreds of sparkle-inspired vintage, designer, and unique jewelry—and are listing them on eBay November 22-30. Whether you’re hunting for yourself—for that perfect holiday party accent—or you’re hunting for a loved one for a holiday gift, we’ve got you covered.

New pieces will be listed every day of the sale—and all items tagged #SparkleSale in our eBay store will ship for free!

Here are some of the sparkly items you’ll find starting Tuesday.                

Sparkle Sale 2016Sparkle Sale 2016: BroochSparkle Sale 2016: Christmas Tree BroochSparkle Sale: Gold Leave NecklaceSparkle Sale 2016: Bow BroochSparkle Sale: NecklaceSparkle Sale: Vintage NecklaceSparkle Sale 2016: NecklaceSparkle Sale: Cuff Bracelet Sparkle Sale 2016: Pendant Necklace

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5 things to look for when shopping Goodwill's brooches

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
November 18, 2016
 

Joan Rivers BroochOnce used as a functional tool to secure heavy wool or leather cloaks together, these days brooches come in a variety of styles and sizes and can make a bold or subtle fashion statement, depending on your personality, of course.

Think back to some of the most notable movies or shows depicting Grecian and Roman empires. Those large, gaudy bronze-forged pendants often encrusted with gem stones adorned to a garment were the ensemble’s focal point. Brooches have evolved through the years and today are worn for a variety of occasions.

And fortunately, Goodwill has a number of brooches available on its online store ranging from costume jewelry to some high-end pieces.

But why are some brooches $4.99 while others may cost upwards of $100? Here are some tips to take into account while shopping brooches:

  1. Name matters: When determining value, it’s always a good idea to check the brand name attached to the piece of jewelry. Naturally, a Tiffany & Co. piece is going to cost more than something more mass produced. Juliana brooches are also often high value. A Schiaparelli piece can go for hundreds or even thousands.
  2. Open backs: If you are looking for a quality brooch, then you want to find one with an open back so the stone is visible on the bottom and the top. Cheaper brooches will be closed on the bottom or glued shut.
  3. Quality control: Semi-precious stones such as garnet, peridot, amethyst, citrine, blue topaz and turquoise will increase value and cubic zirconia is always better than glass. Of course, a diamond, ruby, emerald or sapphire holds more value than a semi-precious stone.
  4. Foil beware: Look out for brooches with foil backs. They have a tendency to become damaged, unless you are very careful. If they get damp, they can start to peel. Or if you use hair spray, you can ruin the front of the brooch and the spray can sink into the back and affect stones, giving them a dead look.
  5. Determine metal type: Brooches come in all forms from silver tone, gold tone, sterling silver, gold or even platinum. The majority of costume jewelry is going to be gold tone and silver tone. The type of metal will certainly affect the piece’s value.

Goodwill’s online stores—eBay, ShopGoodwill and Etsy—are all great places to find the perfect brooch, and be sure to check out our Sparkle Sale November 22 - 30 in our online stores!

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Goodwill Faces: Donald, Brycen, Shawnteal & Farida

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
November 17, 2016
 

Recently, we started an ongoing social media series called “Goodwill Faces” that highlights our students, staff, and volunteers involved with Seattle Goodwill. You can tune into our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to follow our weekly #GoodwillFaces series!

Here are our first four #GoodwillFaces: 

#GoodwillFaces - Donald

Donald first began pursuing his GED in 1976 when he was 25 years old. He didn’t finish, but in 2005 he renewed his mission, and 11 years later, with the help of Goodwill Job Training & Education instructors, he earned his High School 21 Plus diploma June 23, 2016, during Renton Technical College's graduation ceremony.

“Everything that I’ve sought to acquire in life—everything—if things didn’t work out, I’d quit. Job, if it didn’t work out, I was out of there. I’d quit. Married, marriage didn’t work out and things became complicated, I’d quit. I was just known in my own eyes as a quitter. I decided at this point that I wanted to get this GED. I don’t care how long it takes. So I started once again in 2005. Here it is 2016. Until the High School 21 program came along, I would have been doing this until I was 76 years old. I just got tired of viewing myself as a quitter, so I decided I wanted to stick with it.”
- Donald


 

#GoodwillFaces - Brycen

Brycen moved to Washington from California when he was a sophomore in high school largely to remove himself from a troubling home situation. He joined Seattle Goodwill’s Youth Aerospace Program as a senior at Snohomish High School and is enrolled at Everett Community College where he’s working toward a career in machine manufacturing.

“My dad was a drug addict, and my birth mom was a drug addict. As you can just imagine, there was a few complications with all of that. (Moving) wasn’t to get away from them, but rather it was to get a new start in life, because from day one it’s been like all-the-odds-against-us kind of thing. With it being an unhealthy atmosphere in California, people weren’t always the nicest, especially myself. I know how I was. Like I said, I’m a man of faith, and I really believe it was God that brought us up here, because of all the random places to pick. To come to Washington and have it working out and stuff and to find Goodwill, it’s like that’s got to be from someone who knows what he is doing... I wouldn’t be where I am now without Goodwill. I wouldn’t be in college. Just the financial steps you have to take just to get into college, I didn’t understand any of them. My mom, single parent, didn’t have any money. She wasn’t very familiar with the next step after high school either. It’s been a really interesting ride.”
- Brycen


 

#GoodwillFaces - ShawntealShawnteal came to Goodwill at 21 years old without a job, a high school diploma or a sense of direction in her life. She joined Seattle Goodwill’s Green Corps program, earned her High School 21 Plus diploma during an internship at Goodwill and now three years later she mentors Goodwill’s youth program participants working full time as a Youth Program Assistant. 

“When I was young I was a terrible kid. My first time going to juvenile was 10. By the time I was 13, I spent my 13th birthday in juvenile and did two-and-half years in Echo Glen. I got out not caring about myself, not caring whether I lived or died the next day or whatever. I was doing what I wanted to do, whatever I wanted to do. My dad was really abusive, so my mom would try to be more like a friend than a parent. She figured that we already went through enough with my dad, so she was like ‘I don’t really want to put you through too much.’ She was trying to be more like a friend. She wasn’t a bad parent. She just wasn’t strict, so I had a lot of freedom for whatever I wanted to do. So I ended up making bad decisions, hanging with the bad people. From the time I was 21 I was looking like I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have a diploma. I didn’t have anything and then I came here. … Somebody saved me. Somebody came and said, “Listen Shawne, you need to snap out of whatever it is your going through and get this together because you have these opportunities. You’re smart. You’re a leader.’ Somebody came to me and saved me and helped me out, so I feel like I’m obligated to help others and to pay it forward.” - Shawnteal


 

#GoodwillFaces - Farida

A year ago Farida immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in order to live with her husband of five years. Farida immediately went to Goodwill, completed Job Training and Education classes and now works as a cashier at Seattle Goodwill’s Dearborn location.

“I came to the U.S. one year ago. When I came here, the next day I went to Goodwill and I took ESOL Class Level 2. I completed the course successfully. I applied for many jobs, and I got four offers at the same time. But all the time I liked Goodwill, so I chose Goodwill. I worked in a school (in Bangladesh). After five years of teaching, I got a principal position. This is my goal. I love teaching. In my country I completed a Master’s degree, and I hope when I get the chance, I can start education (here).” - Farida

 

 

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