What’s harder than finding a gift for a boy that is handmade? Figuring out a project for a 9 year old boy that will sit still and complete it!
I saw this craft in one of the many books I brought home from the library and thought it was brilliant. I just went to the unpainted wood section of my craft store and found all of the components. Simon did the rest…
Clearly Simon looks thrilled. But after attempting to photograph him trying to get the dang ball in the wooden cup- I cheated and made him pose. Thanks, Si, you make me proud.
I better start posting more before I run out of time! We’ve had a few sickies around here and I swear the chorus of coughs I hear regularly makes me nervous I will catch something…that is not even allowed.
We have been plowing away with our first semester homeschooling. Usually on Friday we have an art lesson and project. To make things easier on me, I’ve turned Fridays into project days (gotta love the freedom of homeschooling!). Each of the kids have worked on gifts for various cousins that they never get to see…We are fortunate to see my side of the family fairly often, but my husband’s is all spread out and there are MANY of them.
It’s a challenge to think of gifts that kids can help make and actually be used! I found this wooden tree puzzle at Michaels and Penny did such a great job painting! One will go to a cousin in Germany- a great way to feel connected.
Of course, I liked the way the draw string bag looked when I packed up this gift and I ended up making 20. Am I nuts? Yes. But I DO have a 12 year old willing to help me with stitching at least HALF of the bags. Not bad. And a day dedicated to “Santa’s Workshop” is really quite a luxury…I feel a bit guilty!
Tomorrow I’ll share what Simon made…
I really enjoy the tradition we started a few years back to make handmade caramels. We send them to family and friends each year…and all 5 of us can testify that they are WONDERFUL. Perfect amount of molasses, ginger and cinnamon.
Another tradition Nathan and I have started is making the caramel wrapping part a party. We set up our “candy station”, make some popcorn, grab a beverage (this year, a few ciders that he fermented in the basement) and watch something on TV (this year, Pillars of the Earth).
After 3 episodes, 3 ciders each (WHOA.), and a whole lot of cutting candy papers, we managed to wrap over 350 caramels! My first batch was a slight failure because I interpreted my new thermometer incorrectly. No need to fret, teacher gifts were not needed this year so I decided to make my first batch into caramel sauce. I know plenty of ice cream lovers out there that will appreciate a slightly different version this year!
You can find the recipe here…
I certainly do not stop with making caramels. Obviously, with my job we are producing all sorts of fun things. I like to do a bit of baking at home and continue the tradition with my kids…especially frosted cut out cookies, buckeyes and this year rum balls (just bought the rum today!).
Speaking of traditions, a long time ago my mom had me create a candy wreath for her foyer. I think I was 9 and had all the time in the world to tie pieces of candy to a wired wreath. Apparently this weekend she thought I was up for it again! We were at her house helping her decorate her tree and she gave Simon and I this project! Cute, huh? I think this would be such a fun teacher gift or a to a family. Will I be making more? Nope, but you should!
Your mama was not joking when she told you to leave your hat on while walking to the bus stop!!
Living in the cold midwest, I have become totally attached to my hats. I don’t go outside without one on my head and don’t really care if I have hat head…thank goodness for a no fuss hair style!
I love all the fun hats you see everyone wearing and thought I would try my hand at creating some fun gifts. Unfortunately, I don’t knit so I needed to figure out how I could use my sewing machine.
The hats pictured above were so easy to make! I bought a few inexpensive knit hats at Target ($1each!) and used my fabric scrap pile to create a daisy chain. I used interfacing or some sort of applique stuff I had in my stash to give the fabric flowers a bit more structure. For the “rainbow flower hat”, it was even easier using some wool felt that needed to be used (this one is for Penelope…shhh.).
I found this muffler/hood idea in a craft book we were perusing for gift ideas. I love how they turned out!
The only thing I did differently was sew the right-sided pieces together, leaving a section open so you can turn out the scarf. Then, you fold the scarf in half and sew an approximate 9″ seam. Oh- I cut 2 pieces of fabric (light wool, flannel, something warm!), measuring 10-12′x52″…I used a 10″ wide piece of fabric, it fit a little one’s face better!
I’ll be back tomorrow with some sweet treat ideas.
Sorry for not posting on Friday, I had a slight catastrophe with a overflowing toilet (THAT WOULD NOT STOP).
FIRST OFF, this post is in no way supposed to make ANYONE feel guilty for NOT making their children a baby book. I have just “guilted” myself for many years and finally HAD to come to terms with…make each kid a book of their first year and then organize the remaining photos in boxes. WHEW!
SECOND, I am not a scrapbooker and if I was, I’d still be figuring out what paper to use! There are so many choices, you could go nuts! Instead I kept is simple and just wrote in the book…no computer generated text, just my jaggedy handwriting.
Anyway, I am pleased to share Penelope’s book. Since she is my last, I am even more pleased that I no longer have to make such a book again!
Here she is finally learning what my secret project was all about. She loved her book and especially loved that it was pink. The other kids have black, I guess there is some truth with the youngest getting what they want…ahem.
It started from the beginning, from when she first was born and was just seconds old…
to when her brother and sister first met her…
to sweet quiet moments captured at home (*sigh*)…
to treasured photos with those that are no longer here with us on earth…
to JOYOUS occassions of Penelope’s baptism and chrismation…
to visits with relatives in California and another treasured photo of my kids with their great-grandparents and cousins…
to photos with grandparents that live overseas…and a photo of “Poppy” with his siblings that are hard to keep straight amongst my kids…
to family photos that remind me how much work Nathan and I have done in raising 3 kids…they have grown so quickly…
to reminding me of Penny’s first birthday and all that was celebrated…
to the bitter reality that this baby is no longer a baby, but a school girl ready to make life her own…and I’m ready for her too!
Of course, it made me smile as I watched Penny share her book with one of her best pals. Her enthusiasm made all my guilt go away!
Every year I love the challenge of coming up with creative Valentines. Sometimes it’s just cut out hearts with large amounts of glitter poured upon them. Other years we make “shrinky dink” necklaces or paper airlplanes made from maps. I know this year Ellie will probably forgo the school valentines (I don’t think middle schoolers can handle it?!) and Simon will be up for anything…maybe a comic he creates.
But my key victim is Penelope Tess. She is willing to take my ideas/control and make it her own! I figure I have about 6 solid years still of Valentine making and I’m up for the challenge to come up with something every year!
Her problem? The concentration to create 30+ valentines. We have time! I can help! Hurrah for a crafter in the making!!
Before the holidays even began, a friend asked if I could make her a birthday themed “table dot”. I was flattered she wanted one and was willing to wait after the Christmas season. It was perfect to jump into a craft project- I think this is my favorite one so far. I aimed to keep it simple and concentrate on using wool felt and use “heat and bond” with fabric I had from my stash.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of time to set up shots of the completed dot. The weather is crappy and we haven’t seen sun in days, so the prospect of a nice shoot is “zero”. But I managed to take sections and photographed them so I can remember for next time…I think I may make a few to sell at my sister’s specialty shop and maybe on Etsy. What do you think?
Oh, and the rick and rack is a new element that I totally adore. Note to self: make one for yourself.
No matter how old a person turns, a couple dozen of their favorite cookies is the perfect gift!
Awhile back, one of our friends turned 11. Although I’m sure we could have found a book he liked or game, I’m pretty sure he was thrilled to have his own treat all to himself…it was up to him to share!
What were the cookies? SNICKERDOODLES!
Next Page »
…last day of school photo with the beginning of the year alongside…I now have a middleschooler, a 3rd grader, and a *gulp* kindergartner! What a great school year- wonderful teachers, no divisive and cliquey girls, lots of learning and one last year I had with my baby! And time marches on…
We are in full blown summer vacation around here and it’s nice to have a different routine… and maybe not so fun to hear more squabbling, but we are working on it and I’m working on ignoring the conflicts!
One thing I am determined to accomplish this summer is to work on projects together. Enjoy the time we have and scrap my “to do” list. My kids are at such fun ages that it’s my goal to be totally present with them. I am such a focused kind of gal that I’m afraid that I may allow time to “slip by” before I know it.
First thing: a handmade beach blanket for my sister’s birthday. The kids all designed their own block and took about a day to stitch. It was so fun to sit in the living room and just work together- it wasn’t all peaceful (especially since there were lots of tangled floss ), but it was time I could tell the older kids really appreciated.
Didn’t it turn out cute?