Confetti Moon Valentines…

DSC_5704 DSC_5587 DSC_5596 DSC_5600 DSC_5609 DSC_5617 DSC_5647 DSC_5657 DSC_5668 DSC_5670 DSC_5681 DSC_5736 DSC_5729 DSC_5728 I had forgotten just how much goes into a tutorial blog post, but was quickly reminded when I started this one. I love looking back on all our projects. It’s like an online scrapbook. I don’t so much like all the prep and the work involved. I know it must look like I just pull out my camera and start shooting, but not so. There is a lot of prep work before I even get to that part of the process. Then there is set up, taking lots of pictures, stopping between pictures for more set up, taking more pictures…this time with paint all over my hands, up and down on a ladder, move ladder out of shot, making sure I captured all stages of the project, clean up project, download and edit photos, and finally, write a blog post. Of course, all of this had to be done while my 20 month old is napping or down for the night. Which coincidentally, doesn’t happen until about 10:30 at night. But, I really do love looking back and remembering how much fun we had, minus all the work of course.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know I’m big on handmade valentines. I just love them! I feel like they add such a personal, crafted touch. Also, you might know that we love confetti! We have been making handmade confetti for a few years now and it’s still one of our favorite crafts to do. These confetti moon valentines are the perfect combination of both!

For this project you’ll need:

Apple packing boards (I’m not sure of the official name, but they use them when packing apples for shipment. Ask someone in the produce department of your local grocery store. They will know what you are talking about!)
Acrylic paints (white and gray)
Sponges (for painting) 
Glue stick
Scissors
Tissue paper
Confetti 
Paper (for writing messages)
Black cardstock
White ink pen
Envelopes

First, cut out your individual moon shapes from the apple packing boards. Trim them up as best you can, to maintain circular shape. They might be a little bit wonky, but it still works! Next, using the moon as a guide, take a small square of tissue paper and cut around the moon, leaving a 1/4 inch edge all the way around.  Write out your messages (we wrote, “To the moon and back”.) and stuff inside moon with a little confetti. Don’t overstuff or it will become difficult to seal up. Grab tissue paper you just cut and cover the confetti. While holding the paper in place, flip moon over and apply glue along the perimeter. Then, fold up edge of tissue paper on top of moon, making sure all is glued down.

Once your moon is assembled, you can begin painting. Sponge on white all over the moon, then sponge on a little gray. Try not to overdo the paint…or the colors just blend. Set aside to dry. Next prepare your cards however you like. We added a little “lift off” tab, so our recipients would know to pull moon off of card. If you want to do this, just add glue to the tab and secure to the back of the moon. Then add glue only to the back of the tab and secure it to your card. You’ll need to hold it in place for about 10 secs to get it to adhere. It won’t be a strong attachment, but enough to keep it in place. Finally, stuff your valentines inside envelopes. 

Jacks wasn’t much into this, sigh, he’s too cool now. Well, he told me he would help make them, but he wasn’t handing them out. But, Savannah and Annie were completely on board and are super excited to hand them out to their friends! Happy Valentine’s 2017!

A Hike in the Woods…

dsc_4885-2 dsc_4894-2 dsc_4900 Yesterday, before Savannah’s riding lesson, we stopped for an impromptu hike in the woods. It was absolutely refreshing. We didn’t have much time, but it was enough to recharge us all, especially me. I used to complain A LOT about the lack of nature where we live in south Florida. My biggest complaint were the lack of trees. It can be depressing seeing land developed all the time. But these little patches of untouched nature are there, you just have to seek them out. 

This last year, we kind of got into a rut. Things got harder with a growing toddler and it was just easier to stay close, unless my husband was with us. I started to lock myself into being stuck at home, because Wyatt needed to nap. Mind you, I never did this with any of my other kids. They adapted to our lifestyle and napped wherever they could. But, we hit a rough patch with Wyatt sleeping through the night. By rough patch, I mean he doesn’t sleep through the night, STILL. He never has. Oh my gosh, will he ever? He’ll be 2 in June and he wakes anywhere from 2-4 times night. Because of this, mornings would drag on slowly. I am the type of person that does not like to slept in. I can’t stand to see daylight wasted. I also like to have early, quiet mornings all to myself. But with all his sleep issues, I just couldn’t make it out of bed at my normal time. Mornings would drag on slowly and we weren’t really starting our day until about noon. That just didn’t sit well with me and really affected my mood. It was clear he was not going to sleep through the night just yet, so I just had to adapt. And I did. For now, my body has learned to survive on about 6 hours of interrupted sleep. 

With the new year approaching, I feel the need for some changes. These past few months, I’ve been working to clear our home and life of clutter. This is easier said than done, because my husband is not a fan of my purging lifestyle. Neither are my kids. But, I’m a happier person when I’m organized and can see the big picture. And trust me, for a person who is living on very little sleep, you want to keep her as happy as possible. Also, I’m implementing big changes into our homeschool. That’s another part of our life I wasn’t happy with, but I’ll save that for another post!

Enchanted Tree Stumps…

dsc_4102 dsc_3529 dsc_3542 dsc_3565 dsc_3601 dsc_3687 dsc_3697 dsc_3710 dsc_3814 dsc_3794 dsc_3877-2 dsc_3960 dsc_4149 dsc_4132 Finally, I’m sitting down to write up this post. Life has just been on the go lately. All of the kid’s extracurricular activities and sports have started back up. It seems we have somewhere to be everyday. Add in to that homeschooling, cooking, a very active 17 month old and, well there isn’t a whole lot of time left at the end of the day. What time I do find, I usually waste it doing things that don’t require much use of my brain. Needless to say, I’m a lot excited to be able to share this tutorial with you!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know I like to make use of things we have on hand. We have some resident ducks that we feed oats to from time to time and I’ve been saving the oat containers, as I’ve had this idea in my head for a few months. Normally, I will have the whole project planned out in my head. Depending on the complexity of it, I might even do an example, just to put my ideas to the test. Not this time. I decided just to wing it. It took a bit longer, because we ran into a couple of hiccups along the way. That’s okay, it worked out for the better, as my original idea was something more along the lines of a haunted tree stump for Halloween. 

For this project you’ll need the following:

Tree stumps
Oat containers – I used the small size, but large would be fun!
Brown packing paper – I save the packing material from all my Amazon packages.
Glue – we used both sticks, liquid and a low temp glue gun.
Scissors
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes
Mod Podge
Cardboard
Thin cardboard – like cereal box cardboard

Creatures
Plastic grocery bags
Masking tape
Thin cardboard
Pipe cleaners
Newspaper
Paper mache paste – I always use equal parts flour and water.
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes
Mod Podge

First thing you’ll do is cut your oat container in half and keep the half with the bottom. That will be the top of your tree stump. Mark where you want a door and cut 3/4 the way around, leaving   1/4 intact for a hinge. A window would be a fun addition, however I didn’t think to add one until we were too far into the project. Trace around the bottom of the tree stump on a piece of cardboard. Cut out and attach with the glue gun.

Next you are going to start covering the container with the brown packing paper. There really is no right or wrong way to do this. The only thing I would suggest is not using to big of a piece. It will add too much bulk and makes it hard to glue down. At this point, you are just covering around the stump, the top and the door. After that has set, you can make the roots by taking a length of packing paper and folding it over onto itself. Then twist it a little until you have a shape that resembles a root. Attach with glue.

After all the glue has dried, paint the tree stump. We added mushrooms made from twisted packing paper and circles cut from the cereal box cardboard. These are easily attached using a low temp glue gun. Now you can make the face for the door out of the same packing paper and paint. We did brows, eyes, a nose and a mouth, then attached with the glue gun. Once the entire stump is as you like it, give it a couple of coats of Mod Podge and leave to dry.

Now you are ready to make the creatures that will inhabit your enchanted tree stump. It was a lot of fun watching them come to life. They worked really hard and Momma helped out on a few. I had them look at pictures and use their Schleich animals as guides and inspiration. This really helps to get the basic shape of the animal. And by basic, I mean basic. I tell them to just look at the shapes of the animals and try to copy that. All details can be added later. There was a little bit of frustration from Annie, as there always is, but in the end she powered through with a tiny bit of help from me. We ended up with an Owl, a skunk, a flying squirrel and a snail from Jacks. Savannah made a jack-o-lantern, a snake, a bunny and a ruby-throated hummingbird. I helped Annie create her Monitor lizard (lol), Bear and mouse.

To start making the creatures, shape the pipe cleaners to the basic shape of your animal. To give the shape form, slowly add crumbled plastic grocery bags and attach those with masking tape. We used a similar method with these faux taxidermy animals we did last year. The cereal cardboard makes for nice ears and wings. Feet were easily made with rolled up masking tape. After you have the basic form completely taped up, you are ready to paper mache. We did two coats of paper mache, baking in the oven between coats. You can begin painting once they are completely dry. After, add a coat or two of Mod Podge.

We added some battery operated flickering tea lights for a enchanting glow within. Annie loves to make up shows and stories with all of them. I love when art is interactive!! These took some time, but were a lot of fun to make and I very much enjoyed watching them bring my idea to life!