Wednesday, October 27, 2010

trick or treat! (craft)

We have been entertaining ourselves for the past few days by working on these paper mache trick or treat buckets. Here is a simple how to:

bowl or wide mouth jar
one recipe paper mache goop*
a couple sheets of newspaper

Start by ripping the newspaper into strips that are about 1.5 inches wide, then tear those so they are about 5 inches long. Next, blow up your ballon and set the knot end of the balloon down into the bowl or jar. This just makes a nice stand so that we can cover the whole balloon (except for the part in the jar) with paper mache.

 Now take one strip and dip it into the goo, you want it to be coated but not too drippy. I like to run it between my first two fingers to squeegee off any excess. Then lay the strip across the balloon. Continue doing this until you have a  nice layer of newspaper around the whole exposed portion of the balloon.  

Allow this to dry for a few hours (we left ours overnight), and then apply another layer, and then another (we only did two layers, because I'm impatient). Basically, the more layers you do, the stronger your bucket will be.

When you are happy with the strength of your bucket, and your last layer is dry, pry your balloon off the bowl and pop it with a pin! Peel the balloon out, and trim the edge of your bucket with scissors. 

Then paint and decorate any way you wanna. You could do the whole thing with paint, or get super creative and add fabric, pom poms, Ric Rac, pipe cleaners, or anything else you think of (little ones are really good and imagining up items to use!).

These would make cute Easter baskets, too, I'll bet. Decorated differently, of course.



* There are all kinds of recipes for paper mache "goo" but what we like best is 1c water + 2c warm water + a few Tbs Elmer's Glue. Just mix it all up in a bowl until the smooth. You can cover tightly and keep in the fridge for a few days, just stir it again before use, the glue and flour will settle at the bottom.

Start today so that it will be done by Halloween!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as we did. Ours was rainy, cozy, fun-filled, busy, and yet oddly productive.


Friday, October 22, 2010

this moment.

I am playing along with SouleMama's "this moment" posts.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

sewing for the girl.

While Maxi got to sport some new pants fresh from under Mama's new machine, Mad got a dress. I made the Prairie Blouse from the book, Seams to Me, and added some extra length since I knew my girl would love another dress. Who knew a recycled ivory bed sheet could look so pretty with a little bit of floral bias strip binding?! The fabric I made the binding with was a pretty cotton I found in the remnant section at Joann, which means the total cost of this dress was about $3, since I had to buy a new package of elastic as well. And about that book, I am slowly gaining confidence in my sewing skills, and plan to make just about every project in it. They are all so lovely.

of course, i do feel like she needs cowgirl boots and a floral head wreath to complete the outfit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

maxi pants.

Now that I think about it, the title of this post is a little awkward.

I'm so happy with my new sewing machine. I feel like I can sew superfast!! In fact, I was able to whip up these little pants in just over an hour (after I had the fabrics all cut out). I was inspired by the little pants in Anna Maria Horner's (go ahead and follow that link, there is SO MUCH inspiration on her blog!!) book, Handmade Beginnings, which I still hope to someday acquire. Instead, I made the pants from this book, which I already had, and just kind of improvised making them reversible. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, but the pattern I used didn't leave much room in the rise for diapers and they definitely would not fit if we were still using our cloth diapers (which Maxi has outgrown!!).

 It seems to me that these little legs were specially designed to run crazyfast through deep pea gravel, whereas mommy legs were not.


Monday, October 18, 2010

christmas in october?!

I have some neat sewing projects finally in the works! I haven't sewn much since my old machine finally bit the dust. My mom let me borrow hers (oh, the advantages of living next door to your mother!) in order to finish what I was working on, but she decided she wants hers back, and you'll never guess what she did! Ok, you'll probably guess. But even if you don't, I'll tell you. She replaced it!! She (in a team effort with Grandpa Jack, I'm told) got me a Janome Magnolia 7318. It's pretty basic--not computerized, and doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, which is precisely what I wanted in a machine! Basically, I didn't want a machine that has a bunch of stuff that can go wrong, and the way I see it, anything a sewing machine doesn't do, I can (and enjoy) do by hand. Oh, and it's WAY more quiet than my last machine, which means I can finally sew while the babes are sleeping!

Thank you Mom and Grandpa Jack!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

fun with face paint!

 a few weeks ago i bought some face paint crayons at joann. i bought them partly because they were 50% off, partly because halloween is coming up, and partly because i wanted to help satisfy madelynn's current obsession with makeup in a away that didn't actually have her wearing makeup. well, not "real" makeup anyway. you see, i'd rather her running around looking like a tiger or butterfly, than have her running around looking like she belongs on toddlers and tiaras. that show is hideous and just the thought of it makes me shudder. and cringe. i'm still hoping that even though it's classified as reality television, it's not real. anyway, i had completely forgotten about the face paint, which i had placed on top of the fridge, until just last week when our national geographic for kids magazine came and had a tutorial on tiger face paint. to my pleasant surprise, once i got it out, it kept us entertained for  hours, days even.
 madee the tiger.

 max getting facepaint on the go.

 artist hard at work.

and something about the combination of tears and face paint cracks me up. am i terrible? i'm positive that looking like a butterfly makes tantrums easier for mama to deal with.


thanks again, grandma!!

grandma ione sent us some sweet toys recently, and i can assure you they are being well played with. the set of tiny unicorns has been everywhere with us for the last few weeks, and the blocks have been transformed into everything from multiple car garages to miniature dinosaur caves. thank you!!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

my soup's unfortunate appearance

i'm not even going to post a picture of this. it's that bad. luckily, it smelled so amazingly delicious that i didn't hesitate to eat it. all of it. it was, in fact, amazingly delicious. i recently found this blog, which is written by the author of this book, and i after reading her post i immediately made the recipe she has for lentil soup. i was so excited because i thought i had everything needed to make it on hand. random unmarked bag of lentils, check. other delectable ingredients, check. my mistake, however, was to use the lentils i had. they were brown. the recipe clearly calls for red lentils, which cook up to a beautiful golden color. i didn't realize that there was no magic behind the color of my lentils, which started out brown, and in fact cooked up to a brown color. this led to the rather unfortunate appearance of my soup. next time i'm at the grocery store, i'm definitely going to look for some RED lentils so that next time i make this soup my kids will actually taste it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

before bed.

Madelynn:: (calling from bed) MOMMMMMM!

Me: (rushing in to see what the "emergency" is) Yes, dear?

Madelynn: I NEED Mike!

Me: Honey, he can't sleep with you tonight because he has flea medicine on.

Madelynn: Oh. Mom (catching me as I am nearly out of hearing distance), what are fleas?

Me: (returning to her bedside) Those little bugs that make you itchy. Goodnight.

Madelynn: Oh no! I have fleas! Scratch my back!!!!

Me: (scratching her back, and by this time Daddy has come in to my rescue) No, Honey. You don't have fleas. Now go to sleep.

Daddy leans in for a kiss on the cheek!

Madelyn: (panicked!) Daddy!!!
                              You have fleas on your face!!
                                         It itched me!!

Karl: No, that's just my beard.

Madelynn: Daddy? I think you have fleas in your beard.