November 13, 2012
Hi! Some news — I’m so happy to announce that I’m a new DIY contributor to Project Wedding! My first project is a modern backdrop constructed out of plain white poster board. While it’s a lot simpler than it looks, cutting out the pieces can take some time! It’s the kind of project you may want to enlist friends or family members to help with if you’re planning for a wedding and/or you’re wanting to do a much larger version. Visit Project Wedding for complete instructions.
I didn’t have the heart to disassemble and stow away the backdrop (and probably lose it among boxes of old craft projects), so now it fills a once-lonely void behind my workspace.
November 9, 2012
My boys have gotten so big! A couple weeks ago, Dax and Kai turned 5 and 7 respectively. Still can’t get over having a 7-year-old. That’s only three years away from 10, and once you hit the double digits, there’s no going back!
How I love my hilarious, creative, and energetic boys to pieces. It was after a particularly trying day earlier this week, the kind filled with sass and brotherly infighting, that I was reminded of the hearts of gold at the center of my boys. Kai gave our family prayer that night, filling it with small requests that matter to a child in a big way. Like praying to receive a happy face scribble in his agenda at the end of the school day from his teacher, and also asking for help with being a better listener. And Dax…oh Dax! He’s been trying his best to navigate the choppy waters of middle-siblinghood. He’ll have great days, but other days involve acts of passion in defense of his toys being stolen by big brother. Just when I think the mellow, unconditionally loving little boy has matured into someone a little more angsty, he’d come back with his sunny jokes and state that he’s my best friend forever. These boys and their pure, pure hearts.
We had a low-fuss Lego/Halloween mashup party for both boys since their birthdays are only three days apart. I enjoyed the easy way out by using Evites and Domino’s delivery and got only slightly crafty by making some Lego-colored ghost toppers (inspiration) for the cake I frosted so nicely in ten minutes or less.
Our first party game was a balloon pop, one of those 11th hour ideas loosely based off stuff I’ve seen on Pinterest. I didn’t take pictures of this game, but Ryan and Kai had attached balloons filled with Halloween jokes to the same sheet of pegboard we used for our homemade marble ramp. The kids took turns popping a balloon with a push pin, then reading the joke aloud. This went over really well, cheesy jokes and all because pretty much anything is ha-larious to a group of excited, giddy kids.
To burn some energy and time before food arrived, we went on a Lego man search, looking for 8 numbered paper cutouts of Lego guys hidden around the outside of our house. The search ended at a basket filled with small bags of Lego pieces. Each child was given a bag, and we did a sort of group build. Going around in a circle, each child would add one of their Lego pieces to the growing structure. In the end, most of the kids determined the very abstract creation to be some sort of factory, though there were a couple detractors that argued it was a loading crane instead (source for game).
We sent guests home with small favor boxes filled with crayons shaped into Lego Minifigures and cheap ephemera kids reliably get excited over like plastic yo-yos, erasers, and stickers. The favor packaging is actually from a Halloween box template designed by Mini-eco. I thought the boxes looked so much like Lego guy faces, I printed them onto yellow cardstock.
Two birthdays down, one more to go; little Mara gets her turn in just one more week.
October 31, 2012
Hope you have a happy Halloween! It’ll be our chilliest trick-or-treating experience ever, but we’re glad for the good fortune of even getting out tonight. Much like Irene of last year, Sandy didn’t reach inland NC. So be of calm heart my California friends that sent concerned texts and phone calls! Our thoughts go out those recovering from devastation and loss and also to all aid and rescue workers.
And this little Olivia…a very cute, albeit unlikely companion to my two ninjas don’t you think? As my kids have always been of the headstrong sort, I figured this would be the one year to foist my Halloween vision of a costume onto Mara. The oppression! I commissioned the talented Miranda to make an infant version of her popular Olivia the Pig costume. If you’re already thinking ahead to 2013, Miranda booked up pretty quickly around September and October FYI.
October 26, 2012
You will need:
12 gauge gold jewelry wire
Sticky-back felt to cover up plier teeth
E-6000 Clear Craft and Jewelry Glue
Step 1: Measure size of your child’s head.
Step 2: Gently straighten a length of wire sized to your child’s head. Add in an extra 1/2 inch for the ends. Cut with wire cutters. This will be the crown base.
Step 3 (optional): If you’re using non-jewelry pliers like me, you may want to stick some felt over the teeth. Jewelry wire is exceptionally malleable and your plier will leave unsightly teeth marks.
Step 4: Form the crown base into a circle with your long piece of wire you just cut out. With pliers, twist the ends together. Set aside.
Step 5: Gently straighten out some fresh wire from off the roll. Cut off 5 inches.
Step 6: Bend this metal in half (I used my ruler to get the exact middle) against your thumb fingernail.
Step 7: With pliers, bend the ends up about a 1/4 inch and spread out the point ends about 2 inches apart. This is your finished crown point. Make 12 or so more pieces just like this.
Step 8: Attach crown points to base by hooking the bent ends under the base. With pliers, squeeze the bent ends around the base. Repeat with remaining crownpoints, going all the way around the crown, adjusting the width and spacing between points as you’re going along. Depending on the size of your child’s head, you may need more or less than the number of points on my crown.
Step 9: Lastly, dab some clear E-6000 where the crown points hook around the crown base. This is to keep the points from getting loose. Let dry overnight.
October 21, 2012
“Gurrrrl…I’ve got this pumpkin.”
A weekend of fall activities and camping was exactly what our family needed this weekend. It felt so good to break out from my usual stay-at-home routine of, well, staying home all the time. Lately I’ve been getting so hung up in the insignificant details of parenthood and somewhere along the line I’ve become a mixed bag of boring and stress (never know what you’re gonna get!). But the kids’ excitement over corn mazes, pumpkins and anything Halloween has been so infectious and uncontainable, there has been plenty of enthusiasm (to put it lightly) to go around. Speaking of excitement, the boys deviated from conventional orange and picked out white pumpkins this year. Rebels.
Update: Congrats to Erin and Kelli for winning the Tad Carpenter giveaway!