Saturday, October 29, 2011

[make] mini-mummies and sticky ghosts

Super easy and super quick, there's no need to stray too far from the classics.

Mummies and Mini-Mummies:

Directions:  Glue the end of some white crepe paper to the candy bar wrapper (I used Hershey Bars) and simply wrap.  Wrap the crepe paper around until it's all covered and then tear the paper and glue the end to the bar's wrapper.  Glue on some google eyes and move on to the next one.

Blow-Pop Ghosties:

Directions: Take a single tissue and center the sucker in the middle.  Fold the tissue around the pop part and tie off with a ribbon.  I opted to go with black yarn to tie secure the tissue to keep it retro. Use a black marker to may eyes and a mouth if you'd like.

The great part about both of these - the kiddies can help you assemble and make the faces.  Especially if you are trying to put 50+ of each together!  Add them to a clear bag with a fruit roll-up and a ribbon and ready to give.

Friday, October 28, 2011

[learn] happy haunted halloween

It's so convenient that the next letter is 'H'!

There are more crafts and less materials this week but here are some links all the same.

1 - It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
2 - Halloween Coloring Book
3 - Cotton Swab Skeleton
4 - Pumpkin Candy Toss

Stayed tuned for more spooky crafts and snacks.

[make] scary fun

Nothing like waiting to the last minute.   Some Halloween inspiration:

All the images and ideas along with lots of others can be found on my Scary Fun board via Pinterest.  Do you have holiday boards full of so many ideas that you would never be able to do all of them?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

[learn] green grass and growing caterpillars

Here is a little break from the pumpkin barrage.  We squeezed in a little learning in all our fall fun and it was all about the letter 'G'.  That and cutting up things.  We started with  The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

The girls loved the story and were excited making their own pom pom caterpillars and paper leaves for them to eat inspired by these invites via Pottery Barn Kids.  

Next we started on our What's Growing in the Grass activity sheet.  Jack took right to the cutting, the girls weren't quite as effective.  It was more of an earth's crust being forced out from under the girls bugs rather than hiding in the nice tall grass.  

Last but not least, butterflies to fly above our grass cupcakes.  Maddie never lets me get a photo of the cupcakes before she digs in so use your imagination.  They were inspired by these found via Pinterest.  

Now for the next lesson on the letter 'H'.  Oh, and isn't it convenient that it's just about Halloween? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[make] plump pumpkiny success

I love my new pumpkins.  LOVE them.  They are soft and warm and completely perfect for fall.  I wish you could hold them and hug them and love them like I do, but you can make your very own to love.  I will tell you how.

First you need sweaters.  Mine are thrifted for a whole $3.75 a piece.  I got three in the biggest sizes I could find in the colors I wanted.  Then cut them to pieces. Sorry very nice, and at one time very expensive, red cable knit sweater.  I also chose different knits, tight knit, ribbed, and cable for a little more interest.

1 - Now for the circles.  I used a serving bowl for my pattern on the smaller one and then just kind of eyed it for the larger circles.  I use the term circle loosely obviously.  My smallest pumpkin's circle was about 12" in diameter with my largest being nearly 24".

2 - Time for the embroidery thread.  I just find that with gathering and pulling things really tight, I prefer the heaviest thing I can find.  Plus I have lots of colors.  So pick a matching thread, and start a running stitch around the edge.   You can fold the edges over if you'd like, but I found that just added to the bulk when I gathered.  My sweaters didn't unravel at all, so I ended up just going straight around the edges.

3 - Once you get your running stitch all the way around start gathering.  Don't cut your thread though, you'll need it. When you are mostly gathered, time to stuff.  I started with polyfill and then added rice for some weight and then more polyfill.

4 - Time to finish the gathering, pull it super tight and tie off your thread.  Don't cut it yet!

5 - At this point if you will most likely still be able to see a great deal of polyfill.  Start sewing the hole together and tucking the raw edges down into the body of the pumpkin.  At this point you can start shaping the pumpkin a little too.  Tie off your thread nice and tight but once again, don't cut it.

6 - Now it's time to really give your pumpkin some shape.  Take the thread around the outside of the pumpkin and push your needle straight up through the bottom center  until you can get it out of the top center and pull it a little taunt.  This is your first "crease".  Run your thread around the opposite side of your pumpkin, coming back up through the bottom to the top of your pumpkin.

7 - Continue doing this until you have 6 to 8 thread creases running around your pumpkin.  Tie your thread off and NOW you can cut it if you haven't already had to re-thread and start over.

8 - Now make more!

Oh yeah, the stem.  I explored lots of different options including sticks, shells, burlap, and felt but landed on the more simple real deal.  A little hot glue and all done.

They are perfect, warm, fuzzy, and pumpkin.  The rice gives it such a nice weight and feel, too.  AND I have leftover sweater for a Christmas project maybe?  Or more pumpkins! Let me know what you think, if you try it, and any ideas for the leftover knits!

Thanks to SherryKatieErin and Ana for hosting the fall edition!  AND, thanks to Rachel at One Pretty Thing for featuring this post!

Monday, October 24, 2011

[make] velvety

There are many blogs I stalk, but I never miss a post on Amy's blog, Sadie Priss.  Why?  Mostly because it's a really cool blog with crafts and recipes that I'm always interested in but also because she happens to be a very good friend.  My latest craft crush on her site, velvet pumpkins.  These little darlings are just precious, not to mention her colors and styling!

Check out her tutorial and post for the full details and some sassy cream versions perfect for her dining room. Oh, and note she uses rice to give them weight.  Very smart!    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

[make] metal = art

More often than not I see something I like and say, oh I can make that.  This is something I can't make. It's metal and it's art and it's completely out of my league.  In keeping with my latest pumpkin obsession, check out these 3D wonders ...

Oh, and they have a hole in the bottom to put a candle or lights in, too. But my favorites are the pumpkins.  This one has a rusted finished and it's 20" in diameter!

Angelia and Scott Sills from Mud Pro Metal Works form these awesome creations out of metal. The couple don't just do pumpkins but since it's Fall and all, let's ask Angelia some questions.

How did you start doing metal work?
Scott bought a plasma cutter for industrial parts and it came with a video on how to use [it] and other applications.  Other applications showed art work, so then my wheels started turning and I got excited about all the stuff we could make.

What's with the name?
Mud comes from his [Scott's] nickname.  Everyone used to call him Muddy1 when he was big time into 4-wheeling.  The more mud you used to could find the better.  He first started building bumpers for off road vehicles and called his business Mud Pro.  Now since we have several metal items for vehicles and the art side it turned into Mudpro Metalworks.

What inspires your designs?
Everyday life inspires our designs. I see a piece of jewelry or a sign, maybe artwork that I can incorporate into our metalwork.  I usually draw all of our designs on the computer and he [Scott] cuts and welds.

And your 3D art?
Scott was messing one day after cutting some stuff and the scrap left over from the sheet metal had some interesting looking pieces.  So he starts messing around building and welding together this scrap stuff and ends up with an alligator (right).  He says I guess you really can make something out of nothing.  What looked like nothing but scrap became his 3D art forms.  

All of Scott and Angelia's pieces are custom designed and made to order.  Orders take from 7 to 10 days and there is still time to order your Jack-O-Lantern before Halloween and add that pumpkin to your front porch for the rest of fall.  Check out their Etsy shop, Mudpro Metalworks for all of the incredible designs. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[make] pumpkins

A couple of years ago I made these sweet little pumpkins with a really neat stuffing alternative, plastic grocery bags.

After a few seasons of pumpkin tossing by my little ones, I am forced to disassembled the little beauties to recycle their stuffing and fabric.  Now to decide what will take their place ...

and start sewing.

Images (counter clockwise):  aka design; the charm of home - love the seashell stem; classy columbus designs;; polkadot bungalow

Check out more images on my Scary Fun board.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[celebrate] murrays mill harvest folk festival

The annual Harvest Folk Festival is held the last Saturday and Sunday of September every year.  It's one of the festivals we build our fall calendar around.  You park in a field, pay $5 per adult at the gate and get to step back in time for a bit on the site that holds the 1913 Murray's Mill.

Located on Balls Creek, it's a great site which comes alive during the Festival.   Sugar cane is milled and cooked down into molasses. Homemade butter churns next to the hominy cooked in a dutch over a fire. Bees are on display with beekeepers working them in a giant enclosure.  Apples are pressed for fresh cider.    The blacksmiths are busy while  kids get to hand dip candles.  That doesn't figure in all the antique tractors, cars, crafts and food vendor after food vendor.  There are horses and buggies and civil war re-enactors.  Add to that a whole list of musical acts singing gospel and bluegrass outside the old mill.  The list goes on and on.

As for our family highlights, the girls broke in the hay maze and loved running through the fields.

We saw a capybara up close and personal and Jack and I decided we want one for a pet, which is just a bad idea.  We did opt to eliminate the camel from our one day farm, it does in fact spit.

The girls checked out a very lazy cow.

Jack got to work at the boy scouts tent and help kids build wooden tool boxes, stools and birdhouses while the girls rode ponies for the first time.

There was a ranger who had a HUGE Smokey the Bear inflatable and gave the twins a very pink frisbee ring.  We ate fried fish and cheeseburgers made by a local church with a funnel cake for dessert.  All in all, it made for a great Saturday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

[learn] green grass growing

The letter G is up next and despite the touch of winter in the air, green grass growing seems like a fun place to start.  Oh and giraffe's eat grass, right?

And the materials for this lesson ...

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2. Planting a Rainbow
3. Giraffe Coloring Sheet
4. What's in the Grass?
5. G is for Giraffe

Now to learn about G!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

[celebrate] historic morganton festival

3My first trip to the Historic Morganton Festival was when my husband and I were dating which take it from me, was a WHILE ago.  It's a great festival.  Rides, crafts, music, and lots of festival food.  I've been to more than my fair share of festivals, on both side of the fence - vendor and visitor.  Morganton always does it well and it's I've never been disappointed.

This year I got a chance to shop the crafts a little bit more than I have in years past as it's also a great opportunity for JuJu to show off her grandbabies.

My first stop was a booth for Cranberry's and Lace located in Marion, North Carolina.

How cute is this snowman made out of an old chenille bedspread?

Then a few more handmade finds at some booths down the way with some neat and simple country patterns.

There were tons more but honestly, I got stuck on Cranberry's where I scored these cute little candy corn plushies ...

and these ohhhh so precious burlap mice and candy canes. I try to fight the country with mod, but it's a battle I'm currently losing. 

And while I perused crafts from red dirt shirts, garden hose wreaths, and hair bow after hair bow, the kiddies enjoyed the other side of the festival, the RIDES!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

[learn] too many f's

Week 4 was all about the letter 'F' and Fall has definitely caught up with me.  Sorry for the delay and lack of posts but hopefully all the fall fun won't get the best of me again.  Now back to the Week 4.

We started with the idea of frogs and football but soon realized too many fun things start with the letter 'F'. Enter flowers ...

The girls LOVED their flower head bands.  They sat happily and quietly while we learned about the letter 'f' and read a book about foxes called, My Lucky Day.  We learned that fans, flowers, fish, and footballs start with f and colored some great sheets from

Next came a fish pond.  A terracotta saucer made our pond, some blue glass beads our water, and some modeling clay became fish and flowers and even a little lily pad.  A clay frog was in the works, but little hands dealt a lot better with the fish. Frogs like football better anyway.  (Thanks to the Dollar Store, three ponds complete with water beads and clay were all under $5.)

The froggy football was a simple sewing project finished at one our dinosaur park visits and made from some extra green felt left over from last Christmas.  You will need two football sized ovals, four half circles and two smaller still white circles for eyes.

Add some green and black embroidery thread and stuffing of your choice and you are ready to get started.  Use the black thread and a satin stitch to make two black circles on each of the white circles which are placed on the two of the green half ovals - no sense in sewing them twice. The black thread also forms a crooked little smile on one of the ovals.  Use an overcast/whip stitch to sew the two green eye pieces together and add a bit of stuffing to make sure the eyes stand up straight.  Next sew the ovals together, with the eyes inserted  a bit to the side, again with a whip stitch.  I did add a straight stitch where the eyes met the ovals.  Stuff the football as full as you can get it and then stitch him close. Time for a game of froggy football!

Week 4 was all finished up!  Now onto Week 5 and the letter 'G'!