Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giving Thanks 2013

Today I am thankful for my family and for these six
healthy, happy, and active grandsons!

Thankful that the boys were able to fill their tummies
from our bountiful Thanksgiving buffet.

Out of all of the selections the only thing that made it on every
child's plate was my homemade dinner rolls.

One child feasted only on dinner rolls and plain jello. Another just turkey and a roll.
While others a big pile of mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls.

Thankful for a son who can make the best buttery and creamy mashed potatoes!

Thankful for a husband who is the best helper in the kitchen.
He baked the pumpkin pies this year, kept the pots and pans washed up, watched the rolls bake,
helped set the tables, and countless other things both little and big where he 
can see the need and always pitches in to get the job done.

Thankful for a son in law who is able and very willing to follow
through on Thanksgiving assignments and in the care for his three boys while 
my daughter spent her morning at urgent care and in 
bed the rest of the day with strep throat.

Thankful for my daughter who recently made us empty nesters 
(except we're not really empty nesters since we share our home
with my mother in law who has Alzheimer's.)
who spent Thanksgiving in another state. She texted her dad and told 
him that I needed to plan on her coming back home to help in 
decking our halls for Christmas.

Thankful for a daughter in law who loves family gatherings,
our family traditions, and who makes our family time a priority.

We made a plan on Thanksgiving to share in a leftovers feast on
Sunday. Two of my daughters who missed our
Thanksgiving feast are very happy about that and
will be here for our do-overs.
So very thankful for that too!

Thankful for Kabella, she was the only girl in the
bunch that could wear the Pilgrim Bonnet in our photo shoot.

So thankful for the fun and love that is shared in our family.
I missed those who were not with us but I am so thankful for
the gift of memories of the mind and heart.

Note to self: Must make fresh rolls for the do-over. You know why!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Benjamin Franklin Costume DIY

This is an idea for a do-it-yourself Benjamin Franklin costume.

My grandson was preparing for a wax museum program at school.

He called upon me, his grandma, to be his stylist!

Such an honor.

I made this costume for a total cost of $3.75 and the use of some supplies that I had on hand. Ben was able to supply the pants and shoes from his own clothing.

1st stop.... a good look in your own closets (because re-purposing is the best) or nearby thrift stores for a jacket. I found this one in a thrift store (my first stop....grandma magic you know!) that happened to be having a 50% off all items that day. What a bargain at just $2.75. It is a ladies small, black velvet, with a white satin lapel.  It had some beading on the front near the jacket closure that I removed. Papa was with me and questioned my selection but I could already vividly see where I was going with this little project.  After our first fitting, I turned the front of the jacket inward, tacked it down with hot glue and needle and thread to make the chest opening smaller and to bring in the waist to fit. I then hand stitched about six inches of the front of the jacket together at the waist.

I cut some length off of the sleeves and tacked them up with needle and thread for a custom fit! Not a hand sewer? Sure you could use hot glue.

For the chest "Dickie" I cut a piece of heavy white ribbon 1" wide to fit his neck and allowed an extra 5 inches for a 2 1/2 inch Velcro overlap in the back.

I used a scrap of white fabric to cut a rectangle of fabric two and a half times the length of his neck measurement and twice the length that would fill the entire chest opening of the jacket plus another 12 inches. The extra 12 inches is going to allow for an ample tuck into the jacket. Fold the rectangle in half by matching up the two neck lengths. Stitch or hot glue closed to create a 1/4 inch seam with all cut edges hidden on the inside.

Create two more white rectangles as above but cut at different lengths depending on the size of the costume. My Ben is about a size 12. I cut one at about 5 inches finished, and the next at 8 inches finished. (These are going to create more ruffle to the neckline.)

Hot glue or stitch 2 1/2 inches of Velcro to each end of the neck ribbon. Make sure to put it on the right sides so that when brought around the neck it will over lap and stick!

Stack all three finished rectangles. Longest on bottom, shortest on top. You can now add lengths of flat or gathered laces and trims if you choose by stitching or hot gluing into place.  Once you have it how you want it run a gathering / long  basting stitch to gather all three top edges together. Pull to gather so that it fits between the two pieces of Velcro.

Stich or hot glue the gathered fabric into place matching top edges with ribbon. That's it you're all done with the "Dickie".

(You could also add fabric and lace ruffles to a white crew neck t-shirt or purchase a thrift store ruffled shirt.)

Powdered Wig:

Purchase a painters hat  from your local building supply store. $1 at Home Depot. Cut off the brim. I placed a couple of stapled pleats on each side of the back to get a custom fit to Ben's head.

Now your are free to style your wig anyway you like. I used leftover quilt batting to first cover the entire hat. Nip, cut, trim, and hot glue as needed. Create curls and shape by rolling desired lengths of batting cut at approx. 1 1/2 inches wide and hot glue into place. I used a band made from the cut off velvet sleeve to hold his ponytail curls in the back. (Another student used cotton balls to create the curls. That worked well too!)

Pants, Socks, and Glasses:

Papa removed the lenses from a pair of his old glasses and donated them to Ben. His pants were a pair of sweats rolled up to length. White socks were added to cover his legs and pulled up under his pants.

Shoes and Buckles:

I made buckles for his shoes from textured black card stock with gold glittered buckles also cut from card stock scraps. I hot glued one side of a  large paper clip to the back of each buckle. Folded the paper clip back over so that the paper clip/buckles could be slid and held onto the tops of his black Sunday shoes.

He looked great don't you think? Best of all he could sit perfectly still just like a wax statue and he when he came to life to perform he knew his stuff!

We really enjoyed the wax museum presentation. Each student had a sticker on their hand. Once you pressed on the sticker the statues came to life and they each performed perfectly memorized speeches on the history of their amazing lives.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adorable Three Book Give-a-way

This give-away has ended!
Congratulations to Stacey A.
She wins this great little prize package!

 I received a copy of Munch! for product review. As a grandma I have to tell you that the little ones in my life will love having this book at grandma's house. It is an interactive book filled with different textures and durable moving parts that are sure to keep little minds and little hands busy and engaged in it's pages. The artwork is colorful, expressive, and fun.

I really like the size of the book. It could be tucked into a purse, a diaper bag, a child's tote, and even my grandma bag for visits to see the grands. The size is also perfect for little hands to manage and explore the extremely durable pages, tabs, and textures with ease.

Munch! will teach children the names of animals, some of the favorite foods of different animals, and behaviors and expressions all associated with the mouth. The critters in Munch! shows toddlers that mouths can do far more than just eating.

Munch! would make a great addition to your home library, as a gift, or of course for grandma's house!

I am hosting a give away and I would love for you to leave a comment telling me what are some of your favorite things to MUNCH on as your entry for a chance to win. One lucky winner will win a very nice prize package that includes all three books in the series. The winner will be picked randomly. Make sure to leave a way to be contacted for winner notification and mailing address. The winner will be chosen and published on August 28, 2013. Good Luck!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

You Gotta' Love It!

How cute is this?

Our focus on a recent trip to our family cabin was property clean up to create defensible space around our structures in case of a forest fire. While Canon's older brother, mother, papa and I were trimming, chopping, sawing, hauling, and raking the property Canon's thoughts were on the fire fighters who work to protect the forest and the mountain homes that so many families enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bird Nesting Craft

Last Spring we had a pair of birds that built their nest and raised their three youngsters in a floral arrangement that I had hanging on my front door. This year the floral arrangement isn't hanging on the door but what appears to be the same proud birdie parents have built their nest just outside our living room window (at perfect eye level) in a climbing rose vine.

It is very kind of Mother Nature to share this amazing lesson of devoted parenting and the nature of bird families to my grandchildren and I again this year. Last time we kept a spy cam on the nest so that we could enjoy a live feed on my computer screen anytime the grands wanted to watch the parents feeding and caring for their young. It was also fun to watch how quickly the babies grow! We even caught a glimpse of the babies flying from the nest.

This brings me to the Bird Nesting Craft that I created a few months ago. I now have proof that this bird nesting craft is appreciated and used by the birds! As I peeked into the nest above I saw multiple pieces of yarn, string, fabric strips, and shreds of batting tucked into the nesting materials.  So where did those supplies come from you ask?

It was me! I have watched the bird nesting supplies slowly disappear from this bird nesting craft so it was way fun to learn that they had actually gone to the birds! This would be a super fun and easy project to do with the kids. 

To make your own Bird Nesting Craft you could use:

String, yarn, twine, ribbon, thin strips of fabric, netting, and scraps of batting.

Cut the pieces into varied lengths and sizes.

I used some old wire cooling racks for the frame.
I used pipe cleaners to secure the racks together at the bottom.

You could use whatever you have on hand that would offer an
open frame work.

I loosely mixed up the variety of the scraps.

Then I loosely stuffed them into the frame. I used pipe cleaners
to wire the tops of the frame together.

Hang the finished "gift to nature" in a tree using twine or wire.
Maybe one day you will get a chance to find a nest
where your supplies have been used too. 

If not, you can be sure that your contribution to nature has gone
to two hard working parents and their hungry brood of babies!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

Home, sweet holiday home.

Grandkid's Christmas Camp 2012
My 10 little campers!

This future camper...

Number 11 
will be one week old on
Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!