Chocolate Covered Clementine Pumpkins…

dsc_3202 dsc_3088 dsc_3082 dsc_3104 dsc_3133 dsc_3114 dsc_3167 dsc_3150 dsc_3192-2 dsc_3227-2 Pumpkin season is upon us! Everything suddenly morphs into pumpkin flavor. Personally, I’m not a fan of pumpkin or pumpkin flavored anything. These little chocolate covered clementine pumpkins, are a different story. I’m fairly new to the whole chocolate and orange pairing. I never thought it would have tasted good. Not true at all! In fact, this has become my favorite fruit and chocolate combo! 

So we actually first made these last year, but I was knee deep in caring for a new baby, that a blog post was just not going to happen. This year, that new baby is 15 months old and takes nice long naps! That’s when we have our fun. I recruited just Annie to help me this year, because more than one child with a bowl of melted chocolate, while I’m trying to take pictures, is begging for catastrophe. 

For the chocolate covered clementine pumpkins, you’ll need:

Clementines
Melting chocolate
Coconut oil (for thinning the chocolate)
Celery sticks 
A fork

To start, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Next, cut a celery stick in half, lengthwise, then into 1 inch pieces. After that’s done, peel your clementines and set aside. Next, melt your chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly. I use two pots as a make shift double boiler and it works perfect every time. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil at a time, until chocolate has a slight liquid consistency, similar to buttermilk. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat. At this point, you can pour chocolate into a small cup or leave in pot. I poured ours into a teacup and it was the perfect size for the clementines.

Carefully insert fork into the top of a clementine and dunk into the chocolate. Make sure to leave a small portion at the top uncovered. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Once you have a full sheet, transfer to freezer to set the chocolate. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Finally, remove from freezer and insert the cut celery sticks. These are best enjoyed right away!

Painting…

DSC_1806 DSC_1785 DSC_1798 DSC_1797 DSC_1751 DSC_1799 DSC_1781 DSC_1776-2 DSC_1794 DSC_1778 DSC_1805-2 I bought some art canvas boards a while back and they’ve been painting like crazy, ever since. I love the boards so much more than the wrapped canvas. They don’t take up as much space and you have the option of framing them. As with all their art supplies, I keep them within their reach. They are free to set up studio and create until their hearts are content. And they do. I have amassed a huge collection of canvases. I told them that we have to start giving some away, because I just can’t keep them all. Besides, what fun is art if you are not sharing it? Savannah is working on a gift for a friend and Annie decided to paint giraffes. Their techniques are so different, but their subjects are almost always an animal. Depending on how they are feeling, sometimes their paintings are finished in a day, others come together over several days. Being a design-minded person myself, I just love that they love art. I hope they always do.

Giant Paper Mache Moon…

DSC_1654 DSC_1409 DSC_1422 DSC_1426 DSC_1432-2 DSC_1441 DSC_1476 DSC_1443 DSC_1485 DSC_1509 DSC_1609 DSC_1627 DSC_1636 DSC_1649 Recently, I had some giant pieces of cardboard laying around, that I just couldn’t part with. You know, it’s not everyday you have giant pieces of cardboard, so I asked Jacks, “Do you want to make a giant moon?” And that’s exactly what we did!

You’ll need the following supplies for this project:

Giant cardboard
Plastic grocery bags
Masking tape
Cereal boxes or other thin cardboard
Paper towels
Acrylic paint (Black, white, grey, glow in the dark)
Paintbrushes
Mirror hanging wire
Hot glue
Scissors
Newspaper
Paper mache paste (equal parts flour/water)

To start, draw a large circle on your giant cardboard and cut out. Next, begin shaping your moon by building layers of plastic grocery bags. Attach bags with masking tape. We started with a ring around the outer side of the circle and just kept building. We ran out of grocery bags, so we started using kraft packing paper, the kind that comes with your Amazon packages. I love that stuff and keep it always! Keep layering and building until you have a small hill. Make sure the entire moon is covered in masking tape. If you have any openings, then the paste will leak through and you could end up with mold issues. Keep taping!

I had Jacks look at pictures of the surface of the moon to get and idea where he wanted to put the craters. Cut think pieces of cardboard from cereal boxes and loosely form a circle. Attach to the surface of your moon with tape. Randomly place other sizes on the surface, until you have enough to your liking. Fill the craters with crumpled paper towels, then tape over the entire crater, so nothing is exposed.

Mix up a batch of paper mache paste and start adding layers of newspaper. We did about 3 layers total. You’ll need to let it dry thoroughly between layers. We placed it out in the sun and it was dry within 30 minutes.

Once all layers have dried, add the hanging wire. Poke two holes on the back side of the moon, then add the wire. I kept the tension pretty tight, because I didn’t want it to lean out from the wall. Once you have the correct tension, secure the wire by adding hot glue to the hole and the surrounding area. Leave to dry.

Now, it’s time to paint! First add a base coat of white paint. After that, there is no rhyme or reason to the paint method. Play around with mixing your colors. If you look at pictures of the surface of the moon, there are dark and light areas. Try to replicate that look. A good tip to pick up all the bumps and imperfections on your moon is to do a final dry brush coat, with whatever color you choose. For a final fun touch, we added dots of glow in the dark paint. It really does glow! Just have fun with it, no two moons are going to be the same! 

When everything has dried, hang your moon in your room!