Temporary insanity

Something about the Christmas season makes me believe that I’m crafty. I’m not, particularly, but I get it in my head that I should be doing a whole bunch of Fun! Awesome! Christmas crafts with the kids. Last year I picked up some stuff at after-Christmas clearance sales to make ornaments. The clear ball type that you put stuff in. I was so pleased with myself for remembering to put away the craft stuff separate from the Christmas decorations (first time I’ve remembered that.) Anyway, I got all the stuff out last week for some fun ornament making with the kids!

First kind I was planning on having them do were these little kits I bought (uh, a long time ago) that make your ornament light up different colors with an LED light. Fun yeah? Except then I read the directions and turns out you need a soldering iron. Do you have a soldering iron? We do NOT. So next! Next I had little trees & deer & fluff to make winter scenes. But the type of ornaments I bought were the kind where you put stuff in through the top, instead of the kind that come apart into halves. Aaaaaand none of my cute stuff fit through the top. Okay, the fluff did but that’s not really enough for a winter scene. I *DID* manage to get a tiny bottle brush tree through the top (with a lot of shoving) but not with the base on, so then they just fell over. Despite my best efforts with pliers & tweezers & various kind of glue it was all just a hot mess.

In the end the kids filled a some with pompoms and tinsel and glitter. Then Lydia broke a couple, because no craft session is complete without broken stuff. Will this teach me a lesson? Probably not. I’ll still come up with some “great” idea next year, I’m sure.

I don’t do this during the rest of the year! The rest of the year I know my limitations! 😂 But THIS episode of shenanigans won’t even keep me from doing more crafts before Christmas! I still have cranberries and marshmallows to string, since that has gone so well in past years. Or something. Anyway. I plead temporary Christmas insanity. That’s a thing, right?

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Ornaments

I joined a felt ornament swap again this year, set on making some adorable Grinch face ornaments I saw on Pinterest.

Side note, I think the Grinch is a little misunderstood. He just wants a quiet Christmas morning! 

I feel ya buddy. 

Anyway, I made the ornaments and missed the mailing deadline (Thursday) and went to mail them today, but HEY! It’s Veterns Day! So the post office is closed. I’ll mail them Monday (SORRY JANET!)

But the point is, they turned out pretty cute, right? 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

How about an ornament tutorial? Great. 

I signed up for a felt ornament swap this year and decided to make snowflakes. And of course the ones I really liked (found on Pinterest, obviously) were just pictures, no instructions on how to make them, so I just guessed! Fun times.

I like how they turned out though!


So here’s what I did. Instead of cutting 6 individual points I cut 3 on the fold, like so:  

I cut one out as a patten, but I wasn’t super picky about symmetry or measuring (as you can see.)

Next I put a line of hot glue down the center of the narrow part. 

Then folded that in half and bent it at an angle. 

So you end up with 3 pieces that look like this: 

Then I cut out a very precise (no) circle to glue those 3 pieces on to. Here’s the front & back after gluing. 

The cutting on the points was just freehand, a SHARP pair of scissors is key to this projects. Seriously. If you try to do this with regular scissors you’ll just end up hating yourself. (I have fabric scissors that I hide from the family. Regular scissors in the kitchen for everyone, fabric scissors ONLY FOR ME.)

I tried a few things with the beads, this was the way I liked them best. The clear beads hold two points together to help the snowflake hold its shape, but it’d be fine without them. Blue beads are purely decorative. (Also, they are sewn on, but you could probably hot glue them too.) Then I glued on a loop of embroidery thread on the back to hang it from. 
Anyway, VOILA! Here’s the same picture I put at the start. 

Cute, right?

Kalena’s birthday

Kalena turned 5 on Saturday. FIVE! I find it hard to believe that I’ve been doing this parenting thing for five years. It’s like I’m a real mom or something. Anyway, we didn’t do a party (again. I have yet to throw a birthday party for any of my children) but I think this is the last year we’re going to get away with that, because she definitely asked us about a party ON her birthday. Fortunately she wasn’t heartbroken to hear that it was just lunch, cake, and gifts with the family.

A while back she saw that we have a winnie the pooh cake pan, so she asked me to make her that cake. I confirmed a couple times that she didn’t want something else, but no, she was set on winnie the pooh. So I did all the tedious star work (and holy hell was it tedious. I switched to a bigger star tip after the first HOUR OR SO of decorating.) I thought it turned out nicely.

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I did NOT put actual honey on the cake anywhere (directions want you to put it in the honey pot and on the hand by his mouth) because NO. Cake needs ice cream, not honey.

I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go when I first started thinking about her gift, but then Brian mentioned that she’d liked some of the art kits at Hobby Lobby. She LOVES doing “crafts” aka anything involving paint, glue, scissors, construction paper and the like, so that sounded like a great idea to me. However, every art kit that’s pre-packaged is either a single craft kit, or a set of watercolors/colored pencils/markers/crayons. We already own watercolors, colored pencils, markers, and crayons so I didn’t want one of those and I wanted something more creative than just a single craft. I was a little disappointed at first that I couldn’t find what I was looking for until I realized that, DUH, I could just buy the pieces and put together my own craft kit for her. So that’s what I did! I also bought a large-ish container to keep it all in and some small containers to keep various pieces. Here’s the finished product:

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And here’s everything that went in:

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For those of you taking notes at home that’s:

pompoms (one container of regular, one of sparkly)

glitter glue (6 colors)

ribbons

sequins

feathers

poster paints

pipe cleaners

a container of scraps of pretty paper (from my scrapbook stash)

and a WHOLE BUNCH of paint brushes (they all came together in a package.)

Of all that Kalena has probably been the most excited about the paint brushes. I sort of expected that, which is why I put them in there to being with.

This gift, you guys. It has been AWESOME. Her birthday was Saturday and she’s already spent hours crafting. I printed out paper doll templates for her to decorate (she’s done a ton of those) and we made butterflies with construction paper wings and toilet paper roll bodies, and she’s always asking what she can make next. Plus I figure now that we have the whole set up it’ll be easy to replenish things as they run out or add new things to the mix. And, extra awesome for me, this isn’t another toy cluttering up the house! Not that crafts aren’t messy, but it’s more contained, and we’ve been pretty strict about making her put everything away as soon as she’s done.

All in all an excellent birthday.

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Pinterest win!

The other day I realized I needed to create a whole new Pinterest board just for cake. I pin that many cake items. I ALSO realized that I’ve actually made more of those pins than any of my other boards. What can I say? I love cake.

Anyway, I pinned these bad boys about a month ago, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make them since then. Fortunately for me, my nephew had a birthday recently and we celebrated today. Perfect! (Brian also had a birthday recently, but he wanted brownies.) I spent most of the day baking, but the assembly is actually pretty easy.

So cute right?! Cupcake “bun” brownie “patty” sugar cookie “french fries” and frosting “burger toppings.”

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Had to put a candle in one for the birthday boy.

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Bonus: any spit only gets on his!

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Kalena enjoying her “fries.”

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Have you had any great luck with Pinterest lately?

Thanksgiving crafts

I remember growing up we would make turkeys out of apples and gumdrops every Thanksgiving. We always thought it was lots of fun and my mom had some cute little turkey story that she told before hand. Anyway, we decided that the kids were old enough to enjoy it this year, so we tried it out. We didn’t do the turkey story, just made the turkeys. It took about 4 minutes and mostly the kids liked the gumdrops.

This was, sadly, the best picture I got.

 

We’ll probably do it again next year 🙂