Click on Through to the Other Side

Hey you. Yeah you. The one that is reading this in their feed reader. I have a new masthead up for December. So be a doll and click on through.

Won’t you?

And then leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Thanks. You are fabulous!

One more reason I love my bone folder

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, I’m hosting dinner for 10 and I have yet to buy a single item. Hell, I have yet to figure out how big of a turkey I need to feed 10 people. Plus, I have absolutely no room in my freezer for a large bird. Not when it is stuffed full of blueberry waffles, ice cream, and soft pretzels. Mmm…soft pretzels. I have however spent a ridiculous amount of time cutting out and assembling these little paper Thanksgiving characters. So far I have assembled a turkey, a pumpkin, a little Pilgrim boy, and a Native American girl.

I still have the Pilgrim girl and the Native American boy to cut out and assemble along with the Thanksgiving dinner table. Cutting the flat pieces out is a completely tedious task but they are so freakin’ cute when put together that I just can’t stop myself.

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Maybe I should get started on the Christmas ones soon. Want to make your own? You can download the flats from Macula. Just don’t forget your exacto knife and glue stick.

It’s Captain Featherhands

Wait…no, it’s just a little turkey G-tot and I made this afternoon. Isn’t he cute?

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Want to know how we made it?

Supplies: 3 or 4 sheets of construction paper for the feathers (we used 1 each of red, orange, and yellow) & 1 sheet for the body (I had a tan sheet laying around but you could use white and have your child color in the body), glue stick, googly eyes are optional (I just happened to have a pair on hand)

  1. Trace your each of your child’s hands on a single sheet of construction paper.
  2. Stack the other papers you are using for the feather underneath and cut out the hand shapes.
  3. Trace your child’s foot on the paper you are using for the body and cut it out.
  4. Glue the hands (feathers) to the body (foot) from the back.
  5. Fold a scrap of orange construction paper in half and cut out a small triangle (with the bottom of the triangle on the fold). Glue to the body for the beak.
  6. Add googly eyes or use a marker to draw two eyes above the beak.
  7. You could also cut out a waddle from a small scrap of red construction paper and glue it under the beak if you would like.

Voilá! Instant turkey and a nice memory of the size of your child’s hands and feet if you hang on to it after Thanksgiving.

Quite possibly the best unintentional Play-Doh sculpture ever

About a year or so ago G-tot got his first tub of Play-Doh. I had forgotten how much fun that squishy dough with the distinct smell could be. I love playing with it almost as much as G-tot does. So does JQ.

One of my favorite things to do with the Play-Doh is roll it out like pie dough and cut various shapes and strips out of it. The last time we played as a family I did just that and made a stack out of the diamond shapes I had been cutting out. Left behind was a lattice-like piece of dough. To use up the dough I draped the leftover piece on top of the stacked shapes and topped it with a tiny piece I rolled into a ball.

By some awesome act of chance this happened.

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Please tell me JQ (who noticed it first) and I aren’t the only ones that see a child running into the arms of a kneeling adult figure.

It’s like nature’s shag carpet

I love moss.

I don’t know what it is that attracts me to it so much—but my love for moss is undeniable. Every time I pass a patch of it growing in some shady spot I smile. Most would try to eliminate it from their landscape—I welcome its growth. I want to bend down close to it and run my fingers over the soft terrain. I’m fascinated by the fact that a small patch of moss is actually made up of hundreds of little plants. I love how some of those little plants go wild and grow high above the surface of its neighbors.

So today I made a terrarium to bring a bit of that moss I adore inside. I grabbed a big mason jar from the garage and scooped a small pile of rocks into the bottom for drainage. I topped that with a bit of soil and then with G-tot’s tiny shovel—I couldn’t be bothered to find mine—I dug up a bit of moss from a shady spot in the backyard and carefully arranged it in the mason jar. Really simple, but in my opinion, quite lovely. What do you think?

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Dinosaur Party

This past Sunday we threw a party for G-tot’s 2nd birthday and the theme was dinosaurs. A few weeks before I decided to throw a party, G-tot, JQ, and I went to visit my mom and stepdad in Rockford, Illinois. In Rockford is a quaint little museum called the Burpee Museum of Natural History. There in the Burpee museum is a 21 foot restored skeleton of Jane the tyrannosaurus rex. It is the centerpiece of the museum and G-tot was quite taken with it. Since our visit there has been lots of talk about the dinosaurs he saw with Grandpa and G-Gi. G-tot LOVED the dinosaur. So, when I decided at the last minute to throw a party, a dinosaur theme seemed like a natural fit.

As an artist and a glutton for punishment I couldn’t just go out and buy invitations and decorations. No, no, no…I had to make them all myself. All within a two week time period. I threw together the invitations the morning I needed to get them into the mail and starting plotting the rest of the dino related goodness that afternoon. The ideas were plentiful but my budget was near obsolete so I had to be extra crafty in my execution.

It all started with crafting the dinosaur coloring books and didn’t stop until the night before the party when I thought of making signs that related to the food. I was out of control! It was fantastic and the details did not go unnoticed by my guests. I had so much fun planning and creating for the party. Next year I think I’ll start a little earlier. Shall we have a look at all the party goodness?

In each favor bag I put:

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A coloring book. Inside are 8 pages of dinosaur outlines for the kids to color. The pages are stitched along the spine with a small piece of hemp thread.Finished dimensions: 5.5 x 4.25 inches

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Four crayons tied with green, brown, and tan patterned ribbon.

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A package of 5 “dinosaur eggs”. The eggs are Cadbury mini eggs put in tiny 2 x 4 inch cellophane bags which I stapled the custom label to. The font is Baby Kruffy.

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A Grow a Dino capsule in a little bag with a custom label. I found the capsule in a package of 12 at the hobby shop for a couple of bucks and split them up into individual bags. The font I used for these is Bada Boom.

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A small plastic dinosaur—also found at the hobby shop in a larger package of 14.

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I put all of those items in large cellophane bags and shut them with the silver twist ties included with the baggies. Had the twist ties not been included I would have used the ribbon that I used to tie the crayons together.

I had several extra dinosaur egg packages that I put together for the older kids and the adults. I put all of the finished favor bags and the extra dino eggs in a basket that had some confetti made out of construction paper lining the bottom. I had originally planned on using the confetti in the bags but JQ pointed out what a huge mess that would be and in the end it didn’t add anything to the bags.

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For decorations I printed a bunch of small dinosaur tracks and a few large (between 2 and 3 feet) dinosaurs and hung them on the walls. G-tot didn’t know about these until the morning of his party and was fascinated with them when he woke up that morning and saw them hanging on the walls. With each one he noticed he would exclaim, “Another dinosaur!” When he saw that there weren’t any in the kitchen he turned to me with his arms in the air and said, “No dinosaurs in the kitchen.”

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While picking up supplies for the favor bags I found these wooden 3-D puzzle sculptures for a dollar. I picked up two but only the one got put together for the party. He stood watch over the food table (which I forgot to take a picture of with the actual food on it). I also made two signs at the last minute for the food table. One that said “Carnivores” that was put near the “meat” food and one that said “Herbivores” that was near the veggies and fruit. For those that are interested, that’s cilantro in the brown pot and parsley in the blue and cream pot.

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The week of the party I was out shopping and found the perfect shirt for G-tot to wear. The best part? It was only $4.99. Score!

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When I mentioned that I had decided to go with the dinosaur theme, my mom mailed me a Wilton dinosaur pan that she still had from when my brother was a toddler. It had to be around 16 years old and was still in perfect condition. I was a little nervous about unmolding the cake but it was easy as could be. A little awkward to frost, but I managed. I also made a 9 x 13 cake in another flavor to ensure we had enough. They were both delicious.

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Everybody had a good time and all the kids were really well behaved. My mom and stepdad even drove in from Rockford for the festivities. It was a packed house and when the last guest left I was as ready for a nap as G-tot was.

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The end.

Dinosaur eggs

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the items I’m putting in a little favor bag for G-tot’s party on Sunday. I don’t want to reveal everything before the party—I want my guests that read this blog to be surprised. But just this one won’t hurt.

The super spectacular chocolate dinosaur eggs. I had this ingenious idea to take Cadbury mini eggs and turn them into dinosaur eggs. They are speckled and matte finished and exactly what I wanted. No other time of year could I have pulled this off so easily. Genius I tell you.

I found the perfect sized 3 x 4 cellophane bags at the hobby center. In each bag I put 5 eggs, folded over a little flap and secured it with a small piece of scotch tape. I made up some labels in Illustrator to go along with the theme and stapled one to each little package.

I think they turned out pretty awesome. Did I mention that I’m a genius for thinking of this idea?

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Sorry about the picture quality. I blame Photo Booth.

So I decided to plan a party less than two weeks away

G-tot is going to be 2 next week and I decided at the last minute to throw a party. Nothing huge, but I do have a theme—dinosaurs. The color palette will be green, yellow, and the variations between. Here are the invites I made this morning after a killer headache kept me from making them last night.

ignore that black line—that’s me taking a crappy screen shot

blocked out the address and phone—you know, to thwart the stalkers

It’s an early party and I’m thinking finger foods and cake. I have a few ideas for little favors for the kids which I’m excited to put together. I would love to hear your suggestions for food, decor, or anything else. Keep in mind our budget is very small.

Mardi Gras masks

Last week for one of our afternoon art projects JQ, G-tot, and I made Mardi Gras masks. I printed out some blank paper masks I found online and we went to town on them with markers, cut paper, stickers, and glitter glue.

When the glue had set I cut out the eyes and punched holes for the string. You know what came next right?

Pictures!




We had a blast. JQ’s mask was the big hit. We all wore that one. How could you not want to put it on—with its cool yellow extension. Very fancy in a Roman Gladiator/Mexican Wrestler sort of way.

Why don’t we get that last post title pushed down the page a bit

In my defense, I was quoting a movie.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words from all of you yesterday. I’m feeling much better now. Just getting my rage out through the written word helped immensely. You guys helped even more. Thanks for being a part of my craziness.

Enough with the sappiness, how about some pictures of Valentine’s Day that I forgot to show you? Which may be sappy in their own right. More LOVE!

JQ made us heart shaped pancakes

colored pencils (we all wore the hearts sticker)

In the middle of a creative moment (you can see JQ’s hearts sticker).

all done