Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Crafting

I love that Jesse is getting old enough/coordinated enough to start making things with me, and I'm always on the lookout for projects we can do together.  So....to welcome Fall we've been making some fun kid-friendly crafts.  Here's our paper-mache pumpkin project that you can make with your little pumpkins.

We started with this project idea from Martha Stewart, but adjusted the directions to make the project more kid-friendly.  I did not take any pictures during the process because Jesse and I were both covered in glue, but we had so much fun together!  

Here is what you need:
Latex Balloons (we used medium-sized and found that blue and green balloons are easier because you can see where you need to cover the balloon better.)
Orange tissue paper
Wheatpaste (either buy from art supply store, or make your own.  It's super easy, and here's the recipe we used.  It made just enough for 2 medium pumpkins.)
Newspaper
Cup or mason jar
Clothesline or rope
Clothespins
Sharpie Marker or black paint
Green and brown Felt or wool roving

Here is what you do:
1) Make glue according to recipe.  Set aside and let cool.
2) Cut 1-2 inch wide strips of orange tissue paper.  Set aside.
3) Blow up balloons.  Cover your work surface with lots of newspaper.  
4) Martha's directions called for perfectly aligned strips, using a paintbrush to brush on the glue.  However, after attempting this for 2 seconds with a 5 year-old, we gave up, and smeared the glue on with our hands.  We smeared glue on the balloon, then placed the strips of tissue paper from the knot to the top of the balloon.  Smooth the strip down and smear glue on top of it.  The balloon will tend to want to roll, so balance the balloon on the cup or mason jar while you're working on it to prevent it from rolling all over the newspaper.
5) Place the next strip of paper slightly overlapping your first strip.  Continue this process, overlapping each strip slightly as you work your way around the balloon.  Make sure the entire balloon is covered.  Then, start another layer.  We made 3 layers of tissue paper for each balloon.
6)  When you're done, hang the balloon from the knot using a clothespin on a rope.  Our balloons took 24 hours to dry.  It may take longer if it's particularly humid where you live.
7)  When the paper is dry, pop the balloon while it's still hanging.  It took a few minutes for the balloon to deflate and release the pumpkin.  The paper pumpkin will crumple a little, but don't worry, you can fix that later.
8)  Add your finishing touches!  Draw or paint a face on your pumpkin to make him a jack-o-lantern.  (We used a black Sharpie marker.)  If the pumpkin crumples a bit, just blow into the open end, and it will puff back up.  I needle-felted a stem and leaf using some leftover roving, but you can just as easily roll up a rectangle of felt for the stem and cut a leaf from felt.  Stick both in the opening on top.

Jesse's pumpkin
Mommy's pumpkin
Happy crafting!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Friday!

We have a lot to do this weekend - a garage sale at Jesse's school, two birthday parties, tons of long-overdue lawn work...and I'm sure there's a ton more that I'm forgetting...  But today, I am going to slow down and just enjoy spending time with my sweet boys!  Because hey...it's Friday!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charlotte's a MOMMY!

It was my freshman year of college....

12 hours away from home, in a basement dorm room, with 3 other girls I didn't know, placed together by the college.  It was one of the craziest years of my life.  And the strangest part of it all, was Charlotte.  Charlotte was one of my 3 roommates, and she was definitely peculiar.  Oh, the stories I could tell!  OK...I'll just tell a couple...

We went to a very conservative Christian college, and here is this girl, who would run to the shower naked, using her towel as a cape, shouting, "SUPER CHARLOTTE!"  She used to prank call this poor boy, Bob, every time she got a cold because she sounded like a crazy old man, but she called it her "sexy voice."  And she had this stuffed Ernie (you know...like Bert and Ernie) doll that would suspiciously start singing at 3:00 am.  (((Needless to say, Ernie had some surgery to remove his batteries pretty early in the semester!)))  HAHAHA!  I can laugh about it now, but really, we could barely stand each other then.

I don't know how it happened, but after we left school, we became pretty close, talking on the phone a couple times a month.  She was a single, wild-child radio DJ, professing her undying love for every musician she met (HA!), while I was busy getting married, becoming a nurse, and having kids.  But, despite our differences, and her crazy radio DJ lifestyle, big moves to California, Arkansas, then Florida, we have kept in touch.  And this girl who used to drive me crazy, became one of my dearest friends!

Then, in just two short years, Charlotte lost her job, moved back home, broke up with her boyfriend, reconnected with her high school sweetheart, went back to school, got married, bought a house, and got pregnant.  (I told you...she's crazy!  HA!)  She didn't want to know the sex of the baby, so she called the baby "Wilbur" from Charlotte's Web, and decorated the nursery with pages from the book, and black white, and baby blue.  And in late July, Charlotte and her husband, Justin, welcomed Andrew into their family.

So, I knew that I needed to make Andrew (a.k.a. Wilbur) some piggy love for his nursery.  I scoured the web for a cute piggy picture that I could embroider, and found the cutest little piglet drawn by illustrator,  Aaron Zenz.  (Check out his newest book - Chuckling Duckling.  It's so cute!)

Welcome to the world, Andrew!!!!


(((P.S.  Thanks to Aaron Zenz for allowing me to borrow his sketch to make this gift for my sweet friend!)))

Friday, September 9, 2011

And the winner is....

Congratulations, Lizzy!  (I had Jesse draw the winner out of a bowl so it would be fair.)  I hope you enjoy your little felted Fall goodies! 

It's not too late....

Hey, all!  It's not too late to enter your name into the drawing for some hand felted Fall decorations.  Just leave your name and email address on a post from this week, and you'll be entered to win!  Entries close at noon today, and I'll post the winner later this evening!  Good luck!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Made for you - a little gnome

I finished my first gnome order last night, and he will be shipped off to his new home today.  Here he is:


And don't forget to leave a comment with your email address on this blog before Friday at noon to be entered into the giveaway drawing!  Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thanks, Megan....giveaway extended

Hello friends!  My sister, Megan, in all of her vast wisdom, suggested that since it was a holiday weekend, and that people were out having fun, and not hanging around reading blogs and surfing the internet, that I should extend the giveaway for a couple more days.

OK, Megan, I'll give it a couple more days.  I was just really excited to set up my shop, that maybe I made the giveaway deadline a little too short.  How about Friday?  Would that suit you, smarty-pants Megan!?  :o)  OK, then Friday it is!

Just leave a message on this or any post this week (just one please) with your email address so that I can get a hold of you if you win and I'll randomly draw a name by noon on Friday.  So, come on, folks!  Leave a comment for a chance to win some lovely hanging acorns and three Fall leaves...and make Megan happy!


Oh, and since you're back from your long weekend, and you'll need something to do during your long work day, please check out my shop, too.  :o)  Thanks!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shop update...TODAY!!!! (and a giveaway!)







I've been working really hard on getting my etsy shop up and running again...and today's the day!  Come on over and check it out!  Thanks for taking a look!

And to celebrate, I'm giving away a set of 6 hanging acorns, and 3 fall leaves!


 Just leave a comment and your email address here by the end of the day, and I'll randomly draw a name tonight.  The winner will be announced here tomorrow (September 6th).  Good luck!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Felting, sewing, and a shop update (in the very near future!)

I've been a busy little bee around here lately - sewing and felting deep into the night (and sometimes morning) hours, and when the Bean is napping.  Here are some of the things I've made in the last couple of weeks...
A cute little bib tucked inside....
a little diaper cake for a special little girl,
a fabric beach ball using this tutorial for a much-overdue birthday gift, 
bibs for the shop (modeled by the cutest one-year-old in the planet), 
some wool felted owls, leaves, pumpkins, and mushrooms, for my etsy shop, 
(((the pumpkins)))
and a couple of handfulls of  felted acorns for display, and some for hanging.
Which brings me to a little announcement....SHOP UPDATE THIS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH!  WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to school...

School is in full swing here at the Plew household!  My sweet Jesse just started his third week of Kindergarten!  Can you believe it?!?  He really loves it.  Mommy, however, has been a bit of a mess.  I'm a little sad about him growing up so fast.  It seems like yesterday when he arrived at our home, declaring it was his, in his squeaky adorable 2 1/2 year-old little voice.  It feels like I haven't spent enough time with him to prepare him for real life, and here he is, jumping into it head-first.
Pumpkin pancakes before his first day of school.  He's a bit excited!
Micah doesn't see what all of the fuss is about...
All ready for school in his uniform
Mommy and her big Kindergartener!
Walking to school with Daddy and Micah
He chatted the whole way to school.
Walking down the long hall to his classroom 
Meeting his teacher - Ms. Gump.
Micah likes Ms. Gump too.
Here we go.... Day #1
My little shrimp, next to a 1st-grader
I'm also a bit scared for him.  His school is tough-as-nails, and he is such a free spirit.  Since I've been home with him for a few weeks (prior to school), I've noticed that his lack of listening (that I thought was him being tired at the end of the day) actually happens all day.  He doesn't listen at all.  And Back to School Night confirmed that we have a little problem.  You never want to hear that your child is struggling, but he is.  His sweet teacher said she'd keep an eye on him, and make sure he's adjusting.  They checked his hearing, which is fine, and now we just have to see if he'll adjust to the schedule and new environment on his own... and in the meantime, we're trusting God to give us the wisdom and patience to know how we can help our little guy do his very best.