To tie into our 2nd Commandment lesson, my S.S. class made frog hair clips with pipe cleaners (I'm on a new kick with these I think!).
Hope you had a happy Halloween. Ours was lots of fun, and thankfully, the cold and rain held off until right when we were all ready to go in anyway.
This year, I only made one costume, since my daughter only needed a thrifted dress for her “diva” outfit. Our son, seven, wanted to be a bald eagle. He has a thing for birds of prey. At one point it seemed his visions were never going to match up to reality, but in the end, both of us were happy with how it turned out.
It’s made from four thrifted items: brown jammy pants (unaltered), long-sleeved brown T-shirt (sized down), brown henley shirt (cut open and scalloped for the wings), and the cut-off top of a fleece hoodie (sized down and scalloped for feathers). My son made talons made of yellow foam and cardboard. He also made the foam beak, which he attached to a pre-bought plain white eye mask. I tried to convince him to just attach a beak to the hood, but he was having none of that.
I thought he did a great job making eagle poses here. For more semi-homemade costumes from previous years, click here.
Meanwhile, I’ve been slog, slog, slogging through my novel rewrite. Also, enjoying the fact that Bletchley Circle has new episodes. Woo!
If your kids would like to give their family and friends a home-made and unique gift for the holidays, why not try this simple and economical one: necklaces made from metal washers. When I first spotted this on PINTEREST, I couldn’t believe how simple and clever an idea it was. Assemble an assortment of washers (you can get them at LOWE’S, HOME DEPOT, SEARS, or any hardware store. I actually found mine on the sidewalk. Then paint them with nail polish in desired colors. You can use several coats and colors, but let each layer dry thoroughly before adding a second coat. Then tie a ribbon or yarn through the washer to hang. For mine, I added the smaller inner washer with a piece of jewelry wire. You can also sprinkle glitter, add tiny sequins or whatever catches your eye. These are so easy and cheap to make, you can give them as party favors or to friends/neighbors as a “thank you”.
For more ways to decorate these washers, visit the washer jewelry pages on PINTEREST. http://www.pinterest.com
Oh, dear friends (and Friends), the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting Craft Fair approaches. (Oct. 18th) I should be planning the arrangements of all the tables, setting out yard signs, contacting the crafters and making sure they all show up, sending emails to all the bake sale donors and volunteers. But instead I want to:
- play the accordion, or the piano, or the kazoo
- bake muffins for me and mine and NOT for strangers
- write another adventure of the Advent Avenger, or the Halloween Hero, or the Thanksgiving Titan; (Titan?? where did that come from?)
- do 6 or 10 or 15 sudoku puzzles and a few crosswords
- take down the wash
- make supper
ANYTHING!!! ANYTHING but what I should be doing. It is an affliction - this tendency of mine to ignore my responsibilities and just fritter. Puttering is guilt-free. Frittering is fraught...just totally fraught.
Anyway, if you are in Bethlehem, PA on October 18th - stop by the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting and spend money. I will be the heavyset flustered woman in the weird hat. You will have fun.
It’s time for the yearly round-up of costumes, in case you need some ideas. What are you dressing up as? Last year, I was the Prancercise Lady, but it’s going to be hard to top that one. The kids want to be a diva (10 year old) and a bald eagle (7 year old). We’ll probably get started on costumes this week. This always starts with a trip to the thrift store. Our costumes are of the slapdash variety—-altered rather than sewn from scratch, with not too much (okay, almost no) emphasis on perfection.
Here are a few from years past:
Anastasia Romanov (Russian princess)
So glad to get my copy of the Budget Bytes cookbook the other day. If you haven’t yet discovered the Budget Bytes blog, you’re in for a treat. The recipes are on the simple side—weeknight friendly, for the most part, but not boring in the least. As the title suggests, the recipes are wallet-wise, but beyond that, they’re just appealing, and in many cases, less-meatarian, which I love. Also many are gluten-free or easily adaptable to GF. I checked the book out from the library and liked it so much I had to buy my own.
Discovered another new-to-me podcast for children’s and YA lit enthusiasts. It’s called First Draft, and it’s interviews Sarah Enni conducted with authors during a cross-country road trip. Good stuff, food for thought.
What about you? Discover anything good lately?
Hello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurimi Patterns for Sanrio Friends
Nothing will prepare you for the cuteness of this blog post, so if you think it might hurt you, please look away. If, on the other hand, you love Hello Kitty, and you love to make adorable crafts, then keep reading!
Hello Kitty Crochet, by Mei Li Lee, is a new book that teaches you how to crochet Hello Kitty, her friends, her family, and lots of other characters. There are instructions for making over 20 cute and cuddly crocheted characters. And each one is seriously adorable!
What do you think? Are you crying from the cuteness? Leave a Comment!
Sonja, STACKS StafferAdd a Comment
Marilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper.
Her popular website, www.thetoymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things. She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymaker’s Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymaker’s Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers).
On top all of this…..Marilyn is also my co-author and co-creator of the upcoming children’s book A Year in the Secret Garden.
I have known Marilyn for almost years now and these last three years have been a delight. It started in September of 2011 when I went to St. Paul Minnesota to attend The Creative Connection Conference. I was sitting in a hotel lounge writing in my notebook when this very cheerful woman came up to me and said, “Oh you have a moleskin. Can I pull up a chair and sit down?” Never would I say no to such a request. As she sat down she said,” Hi I’m Marilyn from California.”
The post A Year in the Secret Garden: CoAuthor Marilyn Scott-Waters Interview appeared first on Jump Into A Book.Add a Comment
... I had a life.
|Ignore my fat hand. Haha|
|Ronan Lynch - The Raven Boys|
|That's a wreath, folks|
Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects: easy to pick up, hard to put down Sophie Maletsky Zest Books. 2014 ISBN: 9781936976546 The publisher sent me a copy of the book to review. All ages. We are pleased to take part in the Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects summer blog tour. Teens + duct tape = fun Whenever the Teen Advisory Board at my library hosts events, duct tapeAdd a Comment
One of my favorite summer activities is being out on the water in a boat, enjoying the afternoon sunshine as the boat – any boat – glides through the water. Even if you can’t take a ride in a people-sized boat, you and your kids can make an amazing flotilla of boats using all kinds of recycled materials. And, best of all, they all float! So save your egg cartons, margarine tubs, seashells, and sponges and get ready to have a boat race in your pool or even in the bathtub. Don’t forget to take a video of the event and who knows, it may become an annual tradition.
Check out the model boats at: http://www.redtedart/2013/06/08/boat-craft-ideas-for-summer
Did you know that duct tape was used in World War II to repair trucks and was even used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge? Now the heavy-duty fabric tape has gone from a fix-all to a creative medium for some seriously cool crafts.
If you’re looking for a fun, new project and some cool ideas, check out these crafts!
Do you have your own idea for a Duck Tape® craft? Share it in the Comments below!Add a Comment
I actually have three patchwork projects going now. Yes, three. Yes, I have a problem.
Hopefully more about the others soon. But this one started in the most irresistible way. I was making a bed cover for my daughter (10) when my son (7) declared he wanted a quilt, too. I told him he could look at some of my quilting books for inspiration, and he sat down and thumbed through them. He liked the Gee’s Bend book the best (is this kid good at getting brownie points or what? Gee’s Bend is my inspiration for all things quilty). Then he set about arranging my scraps into patterns.
It’s been so fun to see what he comes up with. He’s very particular. Also fun to see what surprises come together as the patchwork grows. The way the deep orange pops, the way the blues and greens begin to blend together, the way the prints dance and change character according to their placement and size.
All of these fabrics have a story. They’re bits from friends and family or pieces of other projects, some reeeeeally old.
He seems to want it to be a lap quilt. For more of my patchwork projects, click here.
Finished Call the Midwife (the book). It was very good. I especially love the stories about the nuns. Fascinating people.
This is a great book for the quilter looking to bring something new to their craft. Zentangle is a style of doodling taken to an art form, and its practitioners are passionate about their repetitive pattern drawing. Tangle Stitches combines this art with quilting, a perfect fit as the doodles are very similar to common [...]Add a Comment
Hi again folks. What have you been up to? I hope it’s getting warm and green wherever you are.
Here in Charlotte it’s very warm now, too warm, but it’s been exciting to see all the flowers make an appearance, and inevitably, there are lots of weeds popping up, too. Lately I’ve been thinking about the things my friends and I used to do with various weeds when we were kids.
Know any others?
I’ve been so focused on my writing goals that I haven’t been doing a lot of crafts and (interesting) cooking, though I do have a few things l’d like to share in the coming weeks. Our last day of school is today, which means my schedule will be quite a bit different from here until the end of August.
I’ll try to be here as much as I can, but you may find me more frequently on Twitter and Instagram, since those are easy for quick snippets. My Twitter handle is @emilysmithpearc and I’m on Instagram as Emily Smith Pearce.
Good news! I reached the goals I set for myself with both my nonfiction and YA novel manuscripts. This is big. So much writing done this year, though it’s easy to wish I had gotten even more done.
This is one of my favorite sewing projects ever. It’s simple, was really fun to sew, and my daughter’s face just glowed when she put it on the first time. It’s just so her, but I love it, too.
As I’ve mentioned before, she pretty much refuses to wear anything but knits. I’m always trying to find knit play dresses, and I fell in love with some from a certain British catalog that rhymes with Odin. I’m sure they would rather me write “catalogue,” am I right? Their prices are pretty steep for such simple dresses, though, and I thought, hey, I could make that! I’m kind of famous for saying that, but in this case, I actually did it.
From the catalog, we borrowed the idea of mixing patterns (which is also a big part of my daughter’s style) and went to the half-yard clearance section on Girl Charlee. Little Miss picked out the fabrics. I tried to get her to go with a contrasting color mix, but that was a non-starter. She specified no sleeves and a higher waistline with a full skirt.
For the bodice I traced another dress’s bodice. The skirt part is just a gathered rectangle. I used to be so scared of sewing with knits, but really, it’s not so bad once you get the hang of it. I definitely do better with slightly weightier knits. I used a regular machine (not a serger) and used zig zag, serger-ish-like, and triple stitches, depending on the seam/ application.
This time, there are no booty issues (like here).
For more of my sewing adventures, click here.
This was another little experiment playing around with pattern mashups. I traced a favorite T-shirt to make a pattern, then played around with the shoulder width (the original shirt had sleeves) until it felt right. I finished the arm and neck holes with a banded treatment. I especially like the floral edging with the stripey part.
I’m pretty happy with the results, though there are plenty of imperfections. I’d like to try another using a walking foot on my machine. I think I can get a smoother finish that way.
Unfortunately the color didn’t come out so great on these photos, so I don’t think they quite do it justice, but what can I say? There are only so many hours in a day a girl can spend on modeling, am I right?
My nine-year-old wants to steal this shirt, so that makes me feel pretty successful. The fabrics are once again from Girl Charlee, and I love their softness and fun prints, but I’d also love to see more fabrics that are over 90% natural fibers and am willing to pay. It gets too hot so quickly around here to be wearing fabrics with a fair amount of poly. My two cents.
Okay, back to work. I have to prepare a presentation I’m doing with some fifth graders next week about writing an early reader.
Hope you have a great weekend. I finally have plans to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yippeee!
If you want to see more of my sewing adventures/ experiments, click here.
With spring finally here, and Easter and Passover right around the corner, there are lots of ways to celebrate the season with crafts and egg decorating. Some of the easiest and festive kids crafts can be found on the RED TED ART sight. There are 40 Easter crafts using eggs, pompom balls, and readily available materials. http://www.redtedart.com
When I was a kid, we died eggs by dipping them into cups of colored water. You can still do that, but now there are many other ways to decorate eggs for the holiday. You can use non-toxic water color paints to create works of art. Try paint daubers to make dots, Crayola or other non-toxic markers to draw designs. The Red TED sight has many other ideas for egg decorating. If you wish to try the Polish art of PISANKY egg dying, you can order your own kit from: http://www.chinaberry.com
Here’s a unique way to give out chocolate treats for the holiday: Create egg-shaped baskets out of balloons and dazzle family and friends with your talent. Check out the how-tos for MAGIC BALLOON TREATS at: http://www.thewhoot.com.au
Happy Easter and Happy crafting!
Well hello again! I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. It’s been a very busy month with not much promise of getting less busy anytime soon. Is it the same for you? I’m betting yes.
I’ve decided that the end of April through May is really just December all over again, with better weather. All the end-of-year events, school testing, gift-buying
obligations opportunities, etc. etc. etc. General nuttiness. With that in mind, I’m trying to give myself permission to buy some ready-to-eat meals, to not bargain-shop every last little thing, to split infinitives, and to volunteer at the school only sometimes and not for every single event.
That said, I do love the weather, the flowers coming up, the outdoor meals, and time with extended family. Our daughter also (10) had her theatrical debut in a full-length play at our church, which was so, so fun to see. My most recent sewing project was tree costumes for the play. In the rush I forgot to take a photo of the finished costumes, but the photo above gives you an idea of the look.
Meanwhile, I’ve been very serious about moving forward my nonfiction book and my YA novel. Nose still to grindstone! Both are going well, but I’ve got a few more goals to reach before school lets out. Wish me luck.
Currently reading Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart. Such an interesting and funny read with a quirky, wry voice that I love. It’s a memoir detailing the author’s move from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in 1978, when he was a child. Thanks, Christina, for the loan!
Also, listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts and now All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts.
If you’re a kidlit person, maybe you followed the uproar over the lack of diversity at BookCon and the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign that followed on Twitter and Tumblr. One of the coolest things to come out of it was a lot of buzz for a forthcoming book by Varian Johnson, The Great Greene Heist. Billed as Ocean’s Eleven meets middle grade, it sounds like such a fun read and *bonus* has a diverse cast of characters. So excited for Varian, who is a fellow Florence, SC native (though we’ve never met in person, only virtually). I’ve read one of his previous books (My Life as a Rhombus) and was very impressed. If you want to diversify your shelves, join the #greatgreenechallenge and pre-order Varian’s book from your local bookstore.
Hope to see you here again soon before long.
My daughter wanted a horse piñata* for her party, and I decided I wasn’t spending $25 for a tiny unfilled horse-shaped one from Party City. I thought I was making things simple by making a balloon-shaped pinata with a horse on it, but of course it all ended up taking a lot more effort than I realized.
Still, though, I loved the thing while it lasted. I started with the instructions here, but somewhere along the way I went off script and in the end, the mechanics didn’t really work. It was too heavy, and there was no way to hang it, so I wedged it into the v-shaped crux of our neighbor’s tree trunk. It worked, what can I say?
Drawing the horse on the balloon shape turned out to be the hardest part since I couldn’t see the whole animal at once and had to keep rolling it back and forth to look at the different parts. I followed the drawing guidelines in Sachiko Umoto’s Let’s Draw Cute Animals. Such a fun drawing book, btw, for kids or adults.
Speaking of drawing and painting, my new neighbor came over for the party with all her polish paraphernalia and painted nails for any of the girls who wanted it. Wow! There was also a round of Pass-the-Parcel and Tap-the-Pot. Lots o’ prizes.
My boy (6) has recently gotten turned on to reading via sister’s recommendation of early reader versions of The Boxcar Children. Mind you, not fabulous literature, but boy is it fun to see those “I love this book!” sparks fly. I always loved the Boxcar children myself.
Proud moment: he read while walking home from school. No injuries—I was right there with him and it was really just a moment until he finished the book he’d already started. I just ordered him several used Boxcar easy readers as an end-of-the-school-year present. And I’ll figure out some version of a similar gift for my daughter. We go to the public library a lot in the summer, but it’s always handy to have a large stash of used paperbacks for travels. Goodwill and the used bookstore are great for that. Anything to keep them feeling excited about reading, really. The school is doing a book exchange, too, so I’m hoping especially Little Miss will trade out some of her old fairy books or whatnot for some new-to-her stuff.
I’m still enjoying Gary Shteyngart’s Little Failure and just bought a copy of The Divorce Papers, which I’ve been told is in the vein of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (which I love love loved). What’s on your summer reading list?
*Sorry, folks, neither WordPress nor my keyboard will let me type a proper ñ in my title text box.
Make this simple paper book and enclose some of your favorite pictures and mementos. Or use it to highlight your poems, stories or other worthy endeavors. You can add extra pages by inserting plain card stock between each page. It makes a great home-made gift for mom, grandparents or teachers as well.
2. Place each folded half on top of one another and punch two holes through the folded side. Approximately 1 ½” down from the top and 1 ½” up from the bottom.
3. Bed over the folded side about ½” so it creases all four pages together.
4. From the bottom or back side, bring up each end of a ribbon cut 18” long, through each punched hole. Tie it together on front.
This is your book. Continue to decorate in your own personalized way
or follow the guidelines below to make it look like mine.
Inside front cover- cut a piece of decorative paper 1 ¾” x 4 ¼”. Glue on.
Page 3: -cut a piece of paper 4 ½” x 5 ½”. Notch the top like a file folder. Fold in half. Wrap a 12” piece of colored string around the right side of page, tie, and glue folded paper down.
Additionally, cut a small strip of paper ¾” x 4 ½” and glue. See photo.
Page 4- Cut two, 2 x 2 “ squares. Cutting on a diagonal, cut each square in half forming four triangles. Place one triangle in each corner of the page.
Page 5- Notch out the right side of page 5 like a file folder. Cut a strip of paper ¾” x 2” to glue inside the file folder notch. With a hole punch, punch three small holes along the right edge and string ribbon through each hole.
Page 6- Cut a small 2” x 2 ½” tag. Punch a hole and run a ribbon through it. Attach a paper clip to the top of the page. Attach another ribbon or bow, to that.
Inside Back Cover- Cut a piece of paper 4 ½” x 5”. Glue on.
All of the supplies used to make this darling book are from Close To My Heart. The paper products are exclusive and are only available through the month of May 2014.
Visit Shiela’s website: http://www.shielafuller.ctmh.com If you have any questions, please email her at : email@example.com.
How to win a prize from Shiela:
Sign up to receive updates from Darlene’s blog AND send an email to me telling me you are a new subscriber: firstname.lastname@example.org You will be entered into a drawing to win the My Reflections Free to be Me paper packet. Winner will be announced June 2, 2014. Contact me for any questions. I periodically send scrapbook workshop emails and a newsletter.
Here’s an easy craft for kids to make to celebrate Memorial Day or the 4th of July. All you need is a piece of stretchy elastic used for jewelry and an assortment of buttons in red, white and blue. You can find these at any craft store such as A C Moore, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby.
Cut a piece of elastic about two -three inches longer than your wrist.
Thread the buttons onto the elastic one at a time, alternating colors as you go. Don’t be afraid to push the buttons on top of one another. The elastic will stretch when you wear it, so the buttons will separate then.
You can also add beads in between the buttons if you wish for a different look. Add buttons until you reach the desired length for a comfortable fit on your wrist. Then tie off the ends using a double knot as shown below.
Why not try some red, white and blue food at the picnic as well to get into the patriotic spirit? Blueberries and strawberries are in season and taste great over vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
Give the bracelets away as prizes for anyone wearing the most red, white and blue clothing.
Happy Memorial Day, and remember all those who gave their lives for our freedom. Check out this short video that so thoughtfully reminds us of sacrifice.