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Wayfair Homemakers
Thursday
Oct232014

Snowflake toppers 

Even though we're in the throws of October and fall, I wanted to show you a super cute gift topper that can transition us right to the winter holidays. As a part of this month's Cricut Design Space Star challenge, along with my Lucky 13 Team Members, I set out to create some Holiday decor and gifts that show off sparkle.

You need to click around to their posts and see some of the great creations this month, from window clings to pallet creations to Advent calendars and party hats.

1. The Sweet Escape Glitter Cut Out Card
2. Pretty Providence Nativity Board
3. Petit a Petit + Family Winter Wonderland
4. Andrea's Notebook Advent Countdown
5. Simply Sadie Jane Corn Tassel Banner
6. Pars Caeli Snowflake Toppers
7. East Coast Creative Geometric Christmas Ornament

8. Suburban Bitches Let It Snow
9. That Girl Katie Party Hats
10. Sew Creative Let It Snow Recycled Pallet

Since I love the art and process of paper snowflakes (remember these snowflakes that adorned the tree last year?), I wanted to create a project that utilized some of the amazing images that Cricut has in their design space. You don't need to recreate the wheel when there's beauty before you. These ornate snowflakes are even made to be three dimensional.

I used glitter paper, some wood beads that I'd painted gold, pinecones, and twine to blend Holiday Sparkle with the natural beauty of the season.

You only need one 12"x12" paper for a set of six three-dimensional snowflakes. It's amazing the detail that the Cricut can handle. These are really mini works of art when complete.

They make a fun banner strung with the wooden beads. And the metallic tones add a fresh touch to the traditional holiday decor.

Cricut recently something really fun for the Cricut Explore! You can now Print and Cut. Print any image on your printer and then cut it with your Cricut Explore. Oodles of possibilities!

xoxo, MJ

**I did receive a Cricut machine for free and may receive prizes in exchange for winning projects. I am under consideration for a prize with Cricut Design Space Star. All opinions are my own.

Friday
Oct172014

Halloween Games and Crafts

'Tis the season for ghoulish delights and ghastly scares. But sometimes children (and adults) enjoy the light-hearted festivties rather than the fear-inducing elements of Halloween. We celebrated my 5-year old son's birthday, and I put together a few hours of crafts and games that are easy and sure to delight! The beauty of all of these is that they are simple, use mostly what you have around the house, and your kids can even help to create them.

A twist on a classic - Halloween Bingo! Try using candy corn to mark off the Halloween objects and characters. Even the children that don't shout Bingo when with their extra treats on the board! My favorite Halloween printable board is from The Artsy Fartsy Mama. It has beautiful illustrations, and it's easy enough for our 5 and under crowd to understand!

How about a retake on the classic ring toss? Sometimes Creative had the best idea to use witch's hats! Since this was an afternoon celebration, the room was dark enough to show off our glowstick rings that made the tossing even more fun (and not dangerous for any by-standers). This would be really fun using glow in the dark (sorry, we are all about it these days) paint or tape on the hats, too, and playing it as a night-time game with the older set!

The easiest jack o'lantern treat bags can be made with an orange sack, a hole punch, some black paper, and a green pipe cleaner for the curly stem. We stuffed ours with candy, Halloween stickers, and a special ghostly flashlight! I used the same face shapes for all of the bags so it was a quick assembly line of glue to get them all in order.

An easy craft for little hands to master? Bat sitters. These are construction paper, paint, pipe cleaners, and a tp tube. Buggy and Buddy made these adorable hanging bats, and we used the same process! To make the creation go easier for the children, I painted the tubes beforehand. I also glued on the eyes and cut out the wings. So, it was their job to attach the wings, and thread through the bat legs for a final winged character.

Talk about using items found around your house... how about a little pumpkin and ghost bowling with toilet paper? I saw these all over Pinterest and had to give it a try. Helpful hint here: have a real pumpkin with some weight to it to toss at the ghosts because that solid three-wide stack of toilet paper is a pretty solid force to knock down. We changed the game to a throw rather than a bowl so we could watch the the tower come down.

Hanging ghosts and jack o'lantern clementines and cuties are fun to have around (party or not). I've found myself drawing on our oranges even days after the party as a fun way to add the joy of the Halloween to the kids' lunches. In fact, I even got this from my 5-year old:

"Mommy, are you really going to draw on everything?"

"Yes. Yes, I am."

And why should the fun stop when the party ends? We needed some fun thank you cards after the celebration, and I thought these black cats from Parents Magazine were so clever. We made one the way the free printable (!) shows you and the other, we turned its head so that it could easily fit into an envelope. These are so fun to sit around on tables and shelves. If you run out of googly eyes (like we did) use foam stickers to make your cat have glowing eyes!

We loved having our friends over to create and play! It's a wonderful way to celebrate Halloween. You can put all this together for a playdate this weekend!

Our costumes are ready. We have a ninja turtle, a Harry Potter character, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and lucky me is Glenda the good witch this year. How will you be celebrating Halloween this year?

xoxo, MJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct152014

Halloween Hanging Ghosts

Ready for a really easy Halloween decor with high impact? Let's make some Halloween Hanging Ghosts. These are an awesome addition to your party and interior decorations for the season.

Inspired by these twirling spiral ghosts, I created these ghoulish creatures that are now hanging from chandeliers and pendants all over our house.

I love how simple they are to create from cardstock, scrapbook paper, or posterboard. You need something that will give you extra weight so that gravity can do its thing.

You can cut the design with scissors or upload this ghost file on to your Cricut Explore. I mass produced these ghosts so that we could have some hanging from the chandelier in the dining room and the kitchen pendants. These were created from 12" x 12" white scrapbook paper.

This swirl can be transformed into candy corn stripes or the twirly stem of a pumpkin, too! The best part about hanging ghosts is that they catch the wind easily and spin in the air. I attached ours to the ceiling lights with invisible beading string for a fun "magic" appearance.

Have you decked out your home for Halloween yet?

XOXO, MJ

Tuesday
Oct142014

The Great Pumpkin Round-Up and a Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkin

Pumpkin decoration has become a hobby unto itself. Between painting and carving and dyeing and covering, the pumpkin shape is quite the autumnal muse.

This year we purchased our pumpkins early, and before we carve them, we're having some glow-in-the-dark fun with sllly expressions. These faces have the jack-o-lantern charm. I love how they add the festive fun of Halloween during the daylight and some of the freaky during the dark.

I'm over at Classic Play showing you how to make these glowing faces as well as giving you only the best of the best for The Great Pumpking Round-Up.

How are you decorating your pumpkin this year?

XOXO, MJ

Thursday
Oct092014

3 Steps to Create an Art Caddy for Kids

 

 

Sometimes you run across a loved object and know that it's just perfect. But, you can't quite put your finger on what it is or what it will be perfect for...

This is.... a chicken feeder, used on farms, and it's seen a lot of good use and has an interesting patina to it.

So, I picked it up at a bargain price.

And we have repurposed it for the perfect art caddy for the kids! It fits in so well with my goal to live in every room.

In every room of our house (save the bathrooms), we have art supplies. We also, of course, have an art room where all major art projects happen. Sometimes my adventurous children want all of the supplies wherever they may be, inside or out.

We've always enjoyed the joy of spontaneous and mobile creation. I have many happy memories of bobbling toddlers and determined preschoolers walking around with buckets of crayons, as my daughters or my son would decide to plop anywhere and draw.

Now we have a chicken feeder converted to art caddy extraordinaire. Here's what every great caddy needs:

1. Portability:

Whether it's a bucket or a shelved unit like ours, a great caddy needs to be easily handled in small hands. Sturdy buckets with strong handles work well indoors and out. Ours is a big piece so the handle bar at the top is helpful, as well as felt pads under the caddy to allow even small people to push this one easily from room to room on our floors.

I love seeing one of my kids creating, with the caddy pulled up right alongside.

2. Select the best of the best supplies:

When children are young artists, they may focus on one medium more than another. Until preschool, my kids were all about crayons. Now everyone has their sophisticated choices for what they want to use.

Our caddy currently holds:

  • Scissors with many different edges
  • Hole punches of various shapes
  • Glue sticks and white glue
  • Tape
  • A ruler
  • A bucket of colored pencils
  • A pencil sharpener
  • A stack of small notepads (always ready to be doodled upon)
  • Three crayon buckets (now that everyone is older, we sort them by primary colors for learning and ease of use)
  • A pack of markers
  • 3 small packs of crayons (great to grab if you're headed to the car)
  • Finger paints
  • Stapler and staple remover

We rotate the caddy supplies in and out as favorites come and go.  What's most used in your house? Make sure your caddy is well stocked for a great invitation to create.

3. Make storage within the storage.

The dollar section at Target or any dollar store have great options for small storage. Keep old Easter baskets, sturdy gift boxes, and even plastic containers to help your caddy stay clear of clutter.

It also allows for easy sharing. One child can grab the bucket of gluesticks and basket of scissors to create out of construction paper, while another takes the box of markers and a hole punch for a birthday card.

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Such a beautiful and clutter-free caddy might just inspire the grown-ups in the house to create and to bring that sense of spontaneous art making anywhere you go!

xoxo, MJ