hello CUPCAKE!

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Because my large derriere was not planted in front of the computer screen yesterday I was able to be productive! I made these slumbering children cupcakes with Rebecca yesterday. I am so happy (as is Rebecca) with the end result. Hours of work will be devoured in a minute or two!

I got the idea from the book Hello Cupcake. If you love to bake and have children this book is an absolute MUST have in your cook book collection.

I will not be blogging tomorrow, January 21st as it is Rebecca’s 10th Birthday and we will be spending the day, celebrating together!

(I thank Mrs. B for letting Miss C. interrupt class to take this picture… and Miss C. thanks for taking them and emailing them to me since my computer is down!)

Elegant, Organic Holiday Centerpiece

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I made this last year with the help of my kids. I was decorating the front entranceway at my children’s school and needed something that was festive, attractive and inexpensive. Since the school works hard to conserve energy and recycle in as many ways as poossible, since the school tries so hard to be “green,” I thought my display ought to reflect the school’s philospohies. So I set out for branches and pine cones to start my project. I did not know where I was headed. I then sought out acorns. Of course I enlisted the aide of the children and we all three had such fun collecting these items. When I had them all in front of me I looked at them and thought they looked rather bland. Raw. Boring. They needed to be spruced up somehow. So I went to the paint store. In the back of my mind I was thinking Silver and Gold. So I bought some non-toxic, kid friendly poster paints. I bought white, silver and gold. And some Mod Podge, my favorite crafting partner. And some medium and large foam brushes. And some glitter. Silver and gold.  And the kids and I started paint and frosting and glueing and glittering. We painted the branches and pine cones and the acorns. These items were spruced up but still the centerpiece was bland. I found some really inexpensive small red plastic apple ornaments. We painted those in gold as well. My friend Susan tossed in a handful of small silver ornaments. And our final touch was a sprig or two of holly we cut off the bush outside the school’s main entrance. The display was spectacular and was dismantled during Christmas break. I kept the acorn/pinecone mixture and just came across it in the basement. I found a large oval ivory platter and my holiday centerpiece will look perfect for when my girlfriends come over on Tuesday evening!

(Suggested) Materials:
Acorns
Pinecones — these vary in shapes and sizes and if you can, try to get as many varying sizes as possible
Small rocks
Small silver or gold ornaments
Cranberries
Nuts, whole in shells — like chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc
Small plastic fruit ornaments
Small pine bough
Pieces of holly bush with berries
Large and medium foam brushes
Mod Podge
White, silver, gold poster paints
Silver, gold glitter
And anything else you desire!

 

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Decoupage Ornaments

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Here is another craft that is very family friendly. The end result is nothing less than spectacular. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You won’t be disappointed and everyone will marvel at your wonderful ornaments!

You’ll need:
a couple of large paint brushes — the disposable foam varieties work well too — one per person/child
styrofoam balls of varying sizes
Mod Podge or other lustre glue to serve as gluing agent as well as gloss
Tissue paper, origami paper, wrapping paper cut into squares — leftover remnants are perfect!
Note: for the younger children the tissue paper is much easier to use and much more pliable. If it tears not to worry you can still glue it onto the ball. There is no such thing as too much glue here!
You can also mix and match patters… I have no photos but they make very pretty ornaments that way too!
Sewing pins with the round ball
Ribbon of any type — we use inexpensive wrapping paper ribbon
and lots and lots of wet paper towels to clean off messy little (and big!) hands

First make sure you have some Christmas music on… it’s most important!

Start by painting your foam ball with the mod podge  then pasting small squares of paper onto the glue. Paint over with the glue. Repeat as necessary until the entire ball is covered. (If using origami or high quality wrapping papers that are stiffer you may need to use your hands to really get the paper to mold to and stick to the ornaments.

When the ornament is covered take a pin and place it into what you would like the top of the ornament to be.

Then take your ribbon and cut a selected amount, fold in half and remove the pin, place into the bottom of the ribbon and back into the ornament.

The ornaments could take up to 24 hours to dry, depending on how much glue was used. I hang them to dry so as to ensure that the ornaments will dry nicely and not stick to anything.

 

 

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The first and last ornaments were  made by Rebecca when she was 3… both used tissue paper. This one is her “Madeline ornament” and she made it because the tissue paper remind her of Madeline’s dress! 

We used these as place settings last year at Grandmas Christmas table. The children made different ornaments for everyone (8 adults, 5 kids) and everyone got to bring their ornament home.

Got buttons? Got a craft!

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Alexander was feeling rather crafty today. More specifically he wanted to use the glue. I’m low on lots of my basic supplies so we went hunting around for things we could glue… that’s when we found some buttons. Lost and lonely buttons. Perfect for gluing! I thought the buttons would make cute ornaments on a Christmas tree. So we made a paper tree. I got a piece of green (our last!) construction paper and folded in half and then cut out a triangle. Then I cut the divots to resemble branches. When the triangle was unfolded it looked like a Christmas tree indeed! We glued our tree on to a piece of black (Alexander’s choice) construction paper and then I let him glue the buttons (even a couple of pennies!) on to the tree. Our tree was missing something. It needed some snow! So I let Alexander paint some snowflakes on to the tree and background using Liquid Paper. He said the tree needed some presents. I found some stickers that looked like presents. He was very pleased with his picture!

To do this you will need:

Construction paper, two pieces (any color)
A handful of odd buttons
Some Elmer’s Glue
A jar of liquid paper (or other correction fluid) — white paint will do, of course!
Stickers if desired
And anything else your child would like to add to his picture!

Make your own Holiday Gift Tags…

Or, What to do With Leftover Paint!

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To tell you the truth I hate when the kids want to paint! It takes about 20 hours to set them up to have them paint for 20 minute (tops) and be done with it. Not to mention all the leftover paint that I hate to waste. So I came up with this idea. I happened to have had some (like hundreds!) of 3×5 in. index cards. I placed a card in the paint face down and held down for a second or so. I placed the card on a flat surface to dry. It did curl a little but I was able to flatten out after it had dried. I made about 10 or so cards. Then I got this fabulous idea! I turned the cards in to gift tags. I simply cut the corners off and punched a hole in the middle. Then I threaded a bit of thin grosgrain ribbon through the hole. Rebecca didn’t like the pattern I chose so we’ll play around with the patters. She wants to make her own to use as place settings at Grandma’s Christmas table!

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Spectacular Painted Pumpkins

I am reposting this because I do not think that the last post and photos did any justice

Here are her directions!

For the glittered pumpkins at school, I used Martha’s glitters in Green Agate, Copper and Antique Silver. Honestly, the glitter pumpkins are easy and fast. I did 1/2, let it dry, then the other half. Once they were dry, I finished it with the Glaze so it wouldn’t “shed” glitter too badly. My tips would be to do them in a box and on sheets of wax paper so you can re-claim and re-use your glitter. It can get messy otherwise. I never actually watched Martha’s video, so I’m not sure how she did it. I used a wax sheet as a funnel and worked between 2 sheets per pumpkin with the pumpkin set in the box.For the painted ones, I used Delta Ceramcoat in Light Ivory for the pumpkin, Folk Art Acrylic paints in Asphaltum for the handles, Metallic Peridot and Metallic Antique Copper for the stenciling. I then finished them with Folk Art Clearcote Hi-Shine Glaze in the Brilliant Finish (it’s an aerosol can). I also played around with the combo of colors, but only used what is listed above. The metallic green body pumpkin was the same paint I used for stenciling on the others. The painted pumpkins take about 2 days because you need drying time and the final glaze really needs 24 hours to cure. But, there is room to be a little more creative. I did find that since the pumpkin is curved and grooved, using an actual stencil was difficult. (I tried brushes, sponges, etc) but could never really get good sharp edges. I ended up copying the stencil in pencil onto the pumpkin and then basically going over that with the paint. Some of them were just easier to freehand. to Kim’s Spectacular Painted Pumpkins. I am reposting better pictures… same directions!

Nature in Art

My Not So Artisitc One made these wonderful pictures using simply the twigs and sticks from our back yard. His brother and sister were busilly Crafting at the table and he came up with and created these. He randomly placed the sticks on the white paper and painted and glued them to the paper with Mod Podge (the same product I used for the pumpkin luminaries). The only things missing are a couple of frames!

This craft is so super easy and can be done by anyone. These pictures would also make lovely gifts at Christmastime for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles!

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Fun Halloween Craft for all ages!




I love this craft. It’s fun, simple, different and the end result is spectacular. What’s best is that children of all ages (2+) will delight in making their own Jack-O-Lantern Luminary.

You can find most of the necessary tools in your home, and if not at your local arts and crafts store, drug store and florist.

You’ll need one small and inexpensive floral vase. Check your basements and attics. These are the kinds that Teleflora send their smaller floral bouquets in. You may find that you have dozens of these!

You’ll need a large paint brush. I actually prefer the foam variety for this craft.

You’ll need some orange tissue paper that you will cut up into squares and some black construction paper cut into three triangles.

Finally you will need some Mod Podge or other craft glue that dries clear and acts as a glue as well as a varnish.

Directions:

Using your brush paint a section of the vase with your craft glue. Paste the cut out pieces of orange tissue over the glue making sure that there is no clear glass showing through. It is fine for the tissue paper to overlap. It makes a really pretty effect. Paint over all the tissue paper again with the glue. When the vase is covered with tissue paper and glue apply the three black triangles so that they resemble two eyes and a mouth. Paint over those as well. Let dry overnight.

When your luminary is dried you can either place a small tea light in the center or a battery operated votive.

Note: Your fingers will get dirty and glue-y and sticky. This is fine. This is perfect to ensure that every piece of tissue paper is properly covered. Your younger child (2 or 3 year old) may only have the patience to cover half of the vase so you may want to finish it up for him.
Happy Hauntings!