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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

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Entries in paper crafts (5)



As you may know, I have three kids.  You probably also know that kids like to be entertained.  So it follows, then, that I spend a lot of my time trying to keep my kids entertained.  Here's one of my party-tricks, let's call it.  I wouldn't exactly say it's the gateway to being a super-cool-mom-to-kids (especially boys).  But if you did, I wouldn't argue. 

I am talking about paper airplanes. 

A bit ago, we received a kit from my fabo Uncle and Aunt.  It came with fun printed papers and a cool book of directions on how to fold different types of airplanes.  Many designs are very involved, requiring me to do the folding, as the boys hang on my elbows. 

But for our every day planes (yes, every day, at least in the winter) I use these instructions--it makes one of our favorite styles and is pretty durable if you reinforce it with tape.  If you memorize it, I can assure you, your fan-base will go nuts.  Don't do it at large playgroups, though...unless that's all you want to do.



Gonna dress you up in my love.

I know it's a little forced here, but I've wanted to use an 80's Madonna song as a post title for quite some time.  And this isn't about what you may think.  There's no sewing going on.  It's just a little tidbit related to showing someone you care.  While also managing some OCD (but I'm sure that's just me).

I'm a big fan of saving half gallon containers to freeze my homemade broth in.  And I've also found they make the perfect container for homemade soup deliveries when a friend is feeling under the weather.  But whenever I've dropped off a container, it confuses the recipient for a half-second, as they wonder why on earth I'm delivering milk. 

And, truth be told, I'm a stickler for details.  So for the latest 'hope you feel better' basket, I grabbed a couple of plain brown paper bags...

cut off both bottoms (then cut those bottom into triangles); folded one bag in half, and scalloped its edges; and cut the other bag open...

then used double stick tape to wrap up the container...

I added a little door with a tiny note...

This took all of five minutes.  But now it looks much better nestled into a simple basket, filled with dry noodles (to add to the soup) and some natural VitC...

No more strange for me.  For more tips, check out Works For Me Wednesdays over at We are THAT Family.



Coffee filter flowers.

I was cleaning out the cupboard and came across some coffee filters.  We don't really need coffee filters these days, not since the Keurig came into our lives (love that machine). 

I've seen all sorts of paper flowers made out of coffee filters on various crafty blogs.  But lots of them required cutting petals and wiring and some other stuff I wasn't in the mood to bother with.  So instead, I just started smooshing. 

Guess what?  It totally works well enough for my purposes (in that it sort of looks like a flower).  So much so that the next thing I know, the older boys are clamoring to make a couple.  Love that.  And to Charlie who is checking in from work to see what his boys are up to--because his trial is still going and he hasn't seen them in days--yes honey, they are making paper flowers.  You should come home now before we move on to making lip gloss.

The how-to, though it's pretty self explanatory:

Find a stack of filters--I used about five for each bloom.

 Cut off the bottoms...

 Smoosh, smoosh, smoosh...

Place filters inside one another, continuing to smoosh and adjust, until you like how your flower looks.  Continue to say smoosh because you like how that word sounds...

I twisted the bottoms and used some floral tape I have on hand.  But a twist tie or regular tape would work just as well. 

We decided to paint ours with water colors--again, because it's what we had out and we're all about spontaneous crafting around here.  We found that the colors go on pretty stark, so after we painted the flowers, I completely drenched them under the faucet, then gently squeezed out the excess water and laid them out to dry.  Getting them wet really made the water colors blend nicely.  Next time, however, I think I'll let the boys paint the filters while they are flat and then build the flowers with the colored paper--we may like those results more.

After the flowers dried and we fluffed up the petals a bit, the boys were very happy with their creations, as was I considering the ease of the process.  These will top some packages we're sending out.  I think we'll add some felt leaves and they'll be good to go.



and mine...

I have a few foam wreath forms and think they would look lovely with mounds of these affixed.  Hmm, I guess we need more coffee filters after all.





More burpers and laptime sewing.

More burpers for a sweet baby Charlotte:

I have several more sets to make--one for a charity auction that close friends are organizing, and two more sets for friends.  I'm thinking about switching from embellishing cloth diapers to constructing the entire burper myself.  I have a ton of fabric odds and ends that would make cute patchwork burpers.

Whenever I use my machine to embroider, Will is fascinated as the machine whirrs and stitches, seemingly, by magic.  He insists on crawling up on the chair for a better looksee/grabsee, so I have to pull it away from the table.  Which makes him screech and makes it loads of fun.  To appease him, and because I'm a big ole softie whenever I see tears on his chubber cheeks, I decided to see what I could make with him on my lap.  Results?  Lopsided scrappy heart hangtags for Valentine's Day packages--we decorate cookies every year.  The cards were inspired by Dana over at Made.  Hers are so lovely.  I think I'll try this again without a 22-month old on my lap.  Though I did get a sweet hug from Will during our crafting.  Until it was over, that is, and the protest by screeching resumed.

Since Charlie is still working up a storm, I have more time than normal in the evening for crafting.  I look forward to Craft Hope opening up for donations again as I'd like to donate something.  Be sure to check out their site and read about their amazing efforts--and also shop the Craft Hope Etsy shop (all items are donated by crafters and 100% of the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders). 




Quickie upcycled craft, winetag.

We live in a neighborhood filled with great families.  The kind of folks you would choose to live by if you could, somehow, choose your neighbors.  (And by the way, I know I'm constantly gushing on and on about my family, my in-laws, my friends, my folks, now this...but, sorry, nice people abound in my life.  And it's good because it makes me try to be a better person to deserve them.)

It is not at all uncommon for the phone to ring on Saturday morning with a casual invite from this or that household, asking if we are free for supper later that day.  Somehow the invite always seems to fall on a day that I could especially use a night off from cooking. "Bring the kids" they'll say, knowing that a babysitter can wreck our solo-income budget. 

We try to reciprocate hosting but are way, way, behind.  And because I know our various neighbors well enough to know (and appreciate) that they will continue to have us over many more times before we could ever settle the score, I wanted to have some wine tags ready--we try to at least bring over some decent wine...and a dessert, too, if I'm allowed.

I found some hang tags in my stash of things to upcycle--I think they came off of some flip flops from last year.  I thought they were super cute so I mod podged some decorative paper to the backs and brushed on a few layers of chalkboard paint on the fronts.  There.  Done.  Quick, easy, no fuss allowed--just like these neighborhood dinners.  And as an added bonus, the tag can be wiped clean and reused by our neighbors when they're inevitably invited up the street...