Crafts

Crafts for you and the kids.

Do I Know You? On Funerals and Cake Fails

Dear Kids,

I’ve been MIA on the blog-front lately. Apologies. I just got back from my aunt’s funeral in Portland. It was beautiful.

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My Mom and I cleaned out her room and set aside some things for loved ones. I selected a stuffed elephant for Kitten and a policeman nesting doll for Buddy. For myself, well I was most taken with the photos.

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My grandparents with their first born. Such sweet, naive kids...

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My grandfather (the only one not looking at the camera) and his 5 brothers

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My beautiful grandmother

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The kids! Neighbors and siblings at play. I'm related to a handful of them.

Anyhow, enough of the sentimental. Let’s get to the embarrassing stuff, shall we?

So, it was Buddy’s birthday recently. There was much rejoicing and much cake.

There were cupcakes at school, icecream cake at Chuck E. Cheese, and cake for your actual party. Yikes! (We like to stretch out our birthdays around here)

For your party I decided I would make your cake myself. I have friends with these skills. Friends who actually make money with their cake skills. Surely I can apply icing to a cake, right? Mothers have been doing so for years!

I should have hired one of my friends.

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It's a Starwars cake. Light side & dark side, get it?

Apparently I cannot apply icing to cake. Cake hates me.

Here’s the cake I made under extreme supervision for Kitten’s 5th bday:

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Beautiful, right? And back to Buddy’s 5th bday cake:

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It's a Starwars cake. Light side & dark side, get it?

It looks like I took an egg beater to it.  Maliciously. [Sigh]

Thankfully, I was able to consult with one of those aforementioned cake-savy friends and redeem myself:

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You see that? That, my friends, is 3 cans of blue icing. It was, I’m told, delicious. I don’t care, as long as he liked it:

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And he did 🙂

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Papa performs

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Bounce house BEFORE cake. No vomiting, please.

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Birthday spoils: stormtrooper masks and pool noodle light sabers

Homemade Starwars birthday party. Nailed it! 😉

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Categories: Crafts, DIY, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Dear Shutterfly,

This isn’t working out. I know we’ve had a great run, but this isn’t a healthy relationship. In fact, I might actually be stalking you.

Ya, I see those new deals you’ve got going on. They look nice. Reeeeal nice.

You keep me up late at night. When my husband gives me “the sign” and heads up to bed, I linger with you – losing a whole hour sometimes – just so I can finish up one last project before a coupon expires.

I think we might be having an affair. I know my husband doesn’t appreciate it.

But who could appreciate you like I can? We’ve logged over 20 photo books, years of Christmas cards, and dozens of magnets, notecards, and random household crap.

I put a photo on a pillow and a table runner. I am not ashamed.

You hold my children’s milestones, whole scanned family photo albums from the 80s, and my epic honeymoon. When my wedding album was lost, there you were carefully holding all my photos like a stalwart guardian of my memories.

I love you.

That’s the problem. The line between devotion and obsession is thin and easily blurred. I have taken a good look at our relationship and decided that I should see other programs. I hear there are lots of nice programs out there…I’m sure they’re very…nice.

What am I thinking?? Just one more photobook? Please! I need magnets!

Don’t ever leave me.

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Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Down the Crafting Rabbit Hole; Or, What You Can Make Out of One Twin Top Sheet

Dear Kids,

Yesterday I went down the crafting rabbit hole. Today was no different.

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Behold! What you can make out of ONE twin-sized flat sheet…

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1) Lining for a Darth Vader cave

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2) Skirt

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3) Three scarves

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4) Pillow

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5) Cape

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6) Ewok poncho for teddy bear

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7) Purse

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Thanks to my mom for rocking the Star Wars skirt and teaching me the ways of the sewing machine 🙂

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Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Obsessive Crown Making and Other Renaissance Festival-Related Neurosis

Dear Kids,

At the Renaissance Festival recently we saw these super-cute flower crowns (no pictures allowed…poop). They were $26 a piece, and after I started breathing again (I am the cheapest of cheapskates), I told my darling daughter that we’d make one ourselves and it could be any colors she wanted.

And so, we did…

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And then I made another…

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And then…well, clearly I have a problem…

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Even when I ran out of flowers I didn’t stop…

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And when I was done with the crowns, I looked down and realized…we had wands!

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I went down the crafting rabbit hole, folks. Send snacks.

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

To Braid or Knot to Braid

Dear Kids,

Last night I gave you both your first lesson on how to braid!

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Kitten's attempt

With varying levels of success…

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Buddy's attempt

Friendship bracelets for everyone! As long as you don’t mind just wrapping the string around your wrist a dozen times. Might need another lesson or two…

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Card Making Extravaganza

Dear Kids,

On Valentine’s Day last month, I got a little crafty at work. Turns out, making handmade valentine’s cards is still a lot of fun! (And free when you have a very generous boss and a lot of red printer paper that everyone hates.)

Here’s your card, Kitten:

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Buddy, here’s yours:

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Here’s Daddy’s (Inside it says: I dig you. I know, I’m a dork.)

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And, just for good measure, a birthday card for a friend:

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Okay, back to work!!

Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girls Gone (Bead) Wild

Dear Kitten,

For your birthday you got a bead melting kit thingy from your Aunt Bethie. At first it was cute…

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…and then…well, I kind of got carried away. Before I knew it I was beading alone. And then you were beading alone. It was clear we both had a problem…

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So, what do you do when you realize you have a problem?

You bring in reinforcements!

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…ya, it turns out they have a beading problem too…

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Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Shaving Cream: Because Messy Is Fun

Dear Kids,

I tried something yesterday that I’d wanted to try for awhile now (since I’d seen it on Pinterest last winter): shaving cream balloons!

The dollar bins at Target provided the motivation: a cheap bag of water balloons. Score.

The first balloon shot off the shaving cream nozzle like a mini green rocket. The second one didn’t inflate more than a table spoon. The third time I figured out you have to push the whole neck of the balloon on to the nozzle so the cream can shoot straight into the wide part of the balloon and expand. We’re in business!

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I made about 8 of them off my very used can of shaving cream, but even the underfilled ones did not disappoint. They did not pop when we threw them at each other (which is just as well since you kids always aim for the head), but they made a very satisfing pop/plop sound when they bounced off us and burst on the grass. We were left with a blob of shaving cream on the lawn:

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…and then the fun began…

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The bonus? It’ll wash of in the next rain, it won’t hurry the grass, and the dog wouldn’t go near it. Parenting win!

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Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Pinecone Bird Feeder

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Kitten read about these in her kid’s nature magazine and has had her eyes out for pinecones ever since. Lo and behold, the pine tree in our neighbor’s yard yielded more than enough supplies for our project. Score!

I tied a string on each pinecone then smeared them with peanut butter. Kitten then rolled them in birdseed. We chose a nice low tree in the front yard where we could watch the birds from the window seat.

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It was a fun project and should have worked in concept. But…we forgot to figure on the squirrels. Ya, these are more like Pinecone Squirrel Feeders. They loved them. It was kind of amusing to watch them tug at them to get them off the tree. They failed a lot, but in the end they got them all. Ah well! We had fun no matter who ate them in the end 🙂

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Rosaries

Dear Kids,

After the passing of my Aunt Anne, I was honored to receive the rosary that was wrapped around her wrist when she became ill and remained there until she passed away. This particular rosary has even more significance because it belonged to Anne’s mother, my grandmother Emmie.

Some time ago another rosary came in to my possession; one that had belonged to my father’s mother, my grandmother Bebe. When I realized that I had the rosaries from both of my grandmothers I knew that I needed to create something special with them.

And so I did…

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Grandma Bebe (L) and Grandma Emmie (R)

I found these frames with concave mats which allowed me to drop in the rosaries in front of the pictures. I popped in some photos of my grandmothers at about the age of mid-thirties – the same age I am now.

I like these photos a lot. Obviously Bebe is laughing, which I love. What you can’t tell from this view of Emmie’s photo is that she’s sticking out her tongue. I just love that I have these silly, joyful moments from both ladies memorialized with mementos that they each held dear. When I see them it reminds me to be silly and joyful as well 🙂

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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