Halloween paper bag pumpkins

I had the pleasure of being the substitute teacher for 8 (EIGHT!) two-year-olds yesterday. Being the day before Halloween, we read books about pumpkins and made pumpkins to take home.

Super easy folks, especially for the age group I had. I drew the faces, let the kids have fun coloring then stuffed the bags with newspaper (3 sheets was a good number for fullness). Twist the top, add a green pipe cleaner and leaves if you want. You're done. 

This would also be a cute way to send lunch to school.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween masks in snap

Making cupcakes for the school Halloween party? Trying to find the missing piece to the costume your kid's been wearing for two weeks and can't go trick-or-treating without? Kids bugging you about what you're going to dress-up as? 

Or is that just my Halloween? Never fear, you still have time to come up with something, anything to make the kids happy as you run down the street with them. Plug in the printer and embrace the spirit of the day! (Click on the picture to take you to DIY instructions and PDF files)

Wee Alphas

Design House Digital

Cut and Fold Costumes via How About Orange

Mr. Printables

or you could be like this momma — grab the nearest milk jug and cut away.

Happy Halloween!


A beautiful butterfly

Look! It's a beautiful butterfly! A Gulf Fritillary to be exact. 
I'm really glad he didn't die after deciding to stay with us awhile.

Of course, our favorite butterfly book is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. 
Do you have a favorite butterfly book? Or had success growing butterflies?


Under the tent

You can't really see in these wonderful pictures what I was actually selling at Art in Avondale Park so here are a few closeups ...

Painted wooden beads topped with a real
acorn cap.

I've made bird nest pendants before. These I
nestled in real acorn caps.

More "acorns" — beads topped with real acorn caps.
A store in my neighborhood will be carrying these soon.


Ghost cupcakes

As soon as I opened my October 2012 "Family Fun" magazine, I knew the pull-apart ghost cupcake cake would be perfect for the Halloween party at Joseph's school. Cupcakes are just the right size for the pint-sized kids and don't require knives to cut and forks to eat. A problem for me was the magazine just had a picture, not instructions ... what I would have liked is a picture of what the ghost looked like under the icing. So I took pictures of my ghost-in-progress in case I'm not the only one. 

I think it turned out pretty cute. I made two ghosts for the school party and both disappeared very quickly. Now, if you would like to see how a professional makes this treat, visit Lindsay Ann at Dollhouse Bake Shoppe. (I didn't see her naked ghost until writing this post. I wish "Family Fun" had directed me to her Web site.) 

Happy Halloween!


Craft show success

Clark Scott
My lovely friend and neighbor Laura checking out the vintage suitcase 
full of necklaces.

Clark Scott
Colorful vases full of button flowers drew folks (and lots of photographers)
into the booth. That's my head way in the back.

I did it. I survived my first art/craft show, the 9th Annual Art in Avondale Park. The weather was beautiful. The crowd was steady and appreciative of my goods on the table. I did better than I ever expected to, but yes, I wasn't expecting a lot. I sold half of what I brought ... mostly due to the generosity of my friends who came by. I hope they are enjoying their purchases with the knowledge that I tried really hard to craft something special. (Being a Virgo worrywart, I am worried someone out there is unhappy ... that their necklace broke or buyer's remorse. I really hope not.)

I truly could have not done the show without my friends. About two months ago I sent out an
e-mail asking folks to check their closets and yards for supplies I could use. Their response and support was fast and much appreciated. Much appreciated!

Clark Scott
Joseph had a good time observing the lake and playing with lots of friends 
at the playground while momma tended the booth. Chances are if you
stopped by, Joseph shared a Frito with you.

I also appreciate Clark Scott for letting me share his wonderful professional photographs of the event. Much better than the ones I took!


Best sand pies in town

Let me introduce you to a great little diner hidden in my part of town, Chez Tutor. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive with tons of repeat customers. Little folks come from around the block to make pizza and ice cream and pies, lots of pies. 

Inspiration from here and here*
Most materials, if not all, thrifted or repurposed.

*Okay, that last link is really eye candy for momma. 


Please turn into a beautiful butterfly!

It's hard to see there — We have a new pet. I think it's a Gulf fritillary butterfly. I picked up this cool-looking orange caterpillar with black spiky things to show the boys. I was going to let him go afterwards but he decided the mason jar was as good a place as any to hunker down in his cocoon. I'm really, really hoping he turns into a beautiful butterfly! (Because if he doesn't, that means I killed him with my interference. Come on little guy, live!)


Acorns everywhere!

Not that I didn't have enough to do — house is a mess with dishes and laundry piled high, my new part-time job working the nursery at Joseph's school, woefully behind on the 2012 St. Rose yearbook — I decided to have a booth at the Art in Avondale Park fall festival. It's a crazy idea. So crazy that I enlisted a partner in crime because I wasn't sure I would have enough stuff . 

The festival itself is great. The main goal is to get kids creating. Lots of hands-on activities and music — just a good community spirit. It will be a good place for my first booth. Very out-of-the-box for me and I'm feeling a tad nervous. I've debated backing out but no, I should do this. It'll be fun. And I'm having a lot of fun stretching my creative muscles the last two months. 

So why the picture of the acorns? They are my main crafting component! Along with wire, beads and pilers OH MY. I'm making several types of pendants with acorn caps and button bouquets and play dough (okay, the play dough is a weird choice but I wanted to have something small and affordable that kids could purchase.) Will wanted to contribute so he's making acorn jewels

One of the main problems I'm having is finding the right time to craft. When inspiration hits, I usually should be making dinner instead. My second problem is getting distracted by all the possibilities. I love crafting with acorns — the textures, the feel, the colors. First I was just making one type of pendant, now I'm up to four and I'm trying to resist another design. I saw a picture of mini-acorn cap candles and immediately wanted to make a few dozen. It's hard to keep myself on track and making just what I decided to make for the fest. My third problem is booth design. I need to keep it simple but boy, could I have fun with some burlap and shutters and I'm definitely making a twig tree to hang the necklaces. Again, got to keep on track.

Pictures of the booth and art fest to follow. It's exciting. Did I mention I was nervous?!


This month's featured artist

I love every piece of paper my boys scribble on. I don't keep every piece of paper, but I do keep enough to embarrass them in high school. The frig was an okay space to display but I wanted something more "artsy" plus I had a large blank space on which to play. Our walls are paper-thin so I wasn't keen to use nails and string and things. Some sticky velcro tabs were just right for attaching clip boards and old school slates (hot glued with mini wooden clothespins) to the dining room wall. I found the huge frame on the side of the road already painted red — sweet! I'm happy with the results. And so are the boys. 

(The mini-poster in the middle is hard to read. It says "Good Moms Have Sticky Floors, Dirty Ovens and Happy Kids." Awesome! It's a free printable from Paper Coterie — double awesome!)