Happy Birthday Muga + Celebratory Garland

Monday, January 13, 2014

Today would have been my grandmother's 103rd birthday.  Muga, as we affectionately called her, was my mom's mother.  Parent to 3.  Grandmother to 11.  Sister to 15.  Muga was a truly remarkable person and did so much in her lifetime.

She was born before the Titanic sank and passed away after 9/11. 
Muga saw women get the right to vote, man walk on the moon and the civil rights movement.
The first car purchased in my hometown, spoiler alert, Muga!  
Lou Gehrig's Farewell Address, yup, she was there!  
The British Invasion, Madonna and CD players.  Present and accounted for!
Firsts included, microwaves, televisions and the internet.  

More than anything, she loved her family.  She taught all of us how to play card games {Rummy, Pinochle, solitaire}, made sure our Christmases were extremely special, and always made us great meals.  We all celebrate Muga in our own special way.  Be it Shirley Temples, Black Velvet Cocktails, Oxtail Soup, or getting Skunked, today we take time to remember Muga!
Photo Courtesy of the McIsaac Archives

Tonight, I will be sipping on a Shirley Temple  while finishing up my winter decorations.  I was able to use pieces I already owned, and, only added one new piece.  Paper garlands seem to be all the rage on Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy these days.  While I was tempted to order one online, none of the options I found had the color combination I was looking for.  Since my mom has a Cricut Cutter, it was very easy and inexpensive to pull this project together.  I went with the crisp white, emerald green, gold and silver motif.  Why?  Because, it is my personal obsession.



Celebratory Garland
24- 3" Circles cut from card stock or scrap booking paper
24-2" Circles cut from card stock or scrap booking paper
16' Twine
Packing Tape

Start by deciding what pattern you would like the circles to be in.  Play around with this before you get into the project. It will be harder to change.

Once you have established the pattern cut strips of tape.  It always helps to have the reserve of tape lined up on the table's edge.  Now, decide how much of a tail you will want for your garland.  Mine will be hanging on the fireplace so a long tail isn't necessary.  Think about how you will be securing the finished product.

Once you have decided where you would like the garland to begin center the string on the back of the circle.

And tape it down.  Pretty easy, yes?  This is a no sew, no glue, no hole punch kind of project.  Reduces the risk of injury.  

Be sure to rub the tape into the paper and around the twine.  Get in there with your resilient Vinylux nails. 

This is BAD!!!  Do you see all of those air bubbles?  Those circles will be falling off your twine faster than speed skaters in Sochi.

This is good!  No air bubbles.  A strong adhesion.  Forever bonded.  Just like John and Ann!  

Continue attaching the circles in the pattern you have decided on.  I spaced my circles 1.5-2" apart.  Again, think about where, and how, this will be displayed and what will look best.  

Lay out the garland to make sure it is long enough, before cutting the string, and to work out any kinks.  The above photo is 16' long, or, about 3 Mere's long.  Yes, instead of getting the ruler out I used myself to measure the garland.  Why?  No idea.  It was fun.

Now comes the tricky part, hanging the garland.  I had a very hard time attaching the string to my mantle without damaging the wood.  I settled on the trusty packing tape.  

From the left.

From the front.

From the right.

One more from the right.  For the sake of being artsy.  

All photos by Meredith Davison for Martha Chartreuse


  1. Thanks, Carolyn!!! It could be a really unique fundraising project for you. Maybe let people "sponsor a circle"?

  2. This is a great idea for Christmas/New Years! And you don't have to store it afterwards. Thanks for the idea!