Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
As a contributor to FamilyFun magazine, part of my job is bringing super fun projects home for my children to try out. I’m a lucky duck (and, so are my kids!). Right now, I’m working on a Messy Backyard Art feature where the gooey, gloppy, sticky, runny stuff rules. Needless to say, my children are thrilled.
These are some photographs from yesterday’s project: dribbly paint art with bright colors and lots of mess! Perfect for a summery hot afternoon. Oh, and YES!, my two wore their pajamas.
Categories: 5 Bright Spots, Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Outdoors, Seasonal | Tags: art, craft testing, FamilyFun, flower pots, magazine, messy, paint, rocks, summer
Monday, December 10th, 2012
Last year, our friends Kelly and Joe gave us decorations that made our hearts sing. Beautiful, dehydrated fruit ornaments for our trees±both inside and out! It is by far one of my favorite holiday gifts we’ve ever been given.
When I unwrapped and opened the box of oranges and pinks, I truly felt as if I was holding a box of natural jewels. The kiwi feels and looks almost like thin glass, the orange slices are leathery, and the white of the dried pear flesh against the thin layer of its skin is perfection—as if it was outlined with a steady hand. Our friends made sure that each ornament hangs on a loop of wool yarn, ready for hanging. The morning they arrived, the children placed some on our (then undecorated) holiday tree and bundled up to hang the rest outside on our bare birch and maple.
My favorites: the papayas and oranges
Kelly’s favorites: the star fruits and kiwis
My older daughter’s favorites: “If we choose a favorite then Kelly and Joe might feel badly about the ones we didn’t choose.”
The holiday season can feel like a burst of color and love that comes and goes quickly. When I watch these little guys swaying and dancing on the branches outside it reminds me of how far that burst of kindness and love can travel. From Kelly and Joe’s home to my eyes to my husband Tom’s eyes to our children’s eyes to the tree’s branches to the wind to the birds’ bellies and nests wherever they might be. It is a gift that spreads joy and love in the truest of ways. And, after the snow melted and mud season began, we found little bits of Kelly’s yarn in our grass, which made us a tiny bit wistful, but mostly happy.
Kelly told me that she sliced her fruit thinly with a mandoline, dried them in her dehydrator, poked little holes in the top, and tied little loops of yarn through. It would also work to dry them slowly in an oven (on low heat) or next to a wood stove or heater for a day or so. Don’t you feel like dehydrating fruit must be so simple since you always seem to find bits of dehydrated apple and pear under your kitchen table? Or, is that just me? Maybe I should sweep a bit more frequently. Ahem.
Categories: Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Holiday, Nature, Outdoors, Seasonal | Tags: beautiful, children, dried, FamilyFun, fruit, hanging, nature, ornament, tree, trees, yarn
Friday, December 7th, 2012
1. Lovely Jessica at Zakka Life posted this incredibly cute Packing Peanut Igloo craft last week, and I was instantly wild about it. The peanuts are fabulously re-purposed into an igloo that that lends itself to storytelling and play. We played with Insta-Snow at my daughter’s fifth birthday, and this adorable project would have fit in perfectly.
2. Homemade gift idea: herbal infused honey! Kristin of Banyan Moon Botanicals is a dear friend of mine and I trust all of her delicious and good-for-you creations.
3. Easy, Tiny Envelopes. LOVE!
4. Um, these homemade nesting dolls couldn’t be any cuter. And, they look so fun, satisfying, and simple to make.
5. These scenic stamp sets from Yellow Owl Workshop make so happy. Don’t you think these would make wonderful holiday gifts for kids who love to write letters? Add some blank cards and a nice pen and it would make a beautiful set!
What has made you smile this week?
Categories: 5 Bright Spots, Crafts, Everyday Fun, Food, Fun, Holiday, Literacy, Seasonal | Tags: cards, children, crafts, cute, diy, dolls, envelopes, FamilyFun, fun, gifts, handmade, honey, igloo, kids, repurpose, stamps, winter, writing