Archive for the ‘Arts & Crafts’ Category

Nevemind that it was still 36 degrees this morning when one of  my children noticing nothing but the sun zipped outside in his underwear to pedal his bike. 

By which time he came in and asked for gloves. 

And nevermind that the sun–all by itself–makes us actually want to live again.  And say we’re sorry for touching all the cookies and licking two before finally nabbing the biggest one.  And hug each other without explanation.  And plan a picnic, with napkins even. And slap some hotdogs on the grill.  And…

and pick a few flowers…

Only to realize there aren’t any.  But since the sun is shining, by golly there should be.  Flowers, that is.

Which was when we got crackin’ on the tissue paper and made our own.

Here we just unfolded a couple rainbows worth of tissue paper and then marked off a 5 x 7  inch rectangle.  It only looks like we got serious with that ruler.  Heh.  Don’t be fooled.

Then using the first cut stack as a guide, we made rectangles out of all the paper.  If they weren’t quite 5 x 7, we used ’em anyway.  Our flowers certainly weren’t going to care.

Then because I couldn’t help myself, I separated all the colors into piles by, uh, color.  It just seemed the right thing to do.

Then my son who wanted to participate by hogging all one color to himself, did that.  And my daughter and I picked out 15  colored rectangles apiece and each made a stack. 

Here are my fifteen sheets.

And here’s my son not about to have the sparkly green paper pried out of his paws.

Which makes for a non-flower.

Only he wanted a flower–

Which means he then parted with a few of the green ones.

But anyway…

Taking the long side of the rectangles, we folded the tissue paper up like a fan–back and forth–back and forth–until it looked fairly unspectacular like this.

 Here’s my daughter’s fan about ready to jump from the table.

Then– trust me on this step–we pinched the middle of our fans and then took the top part of  a pipe cleaner and wrapped it around the center of the fan, so the rest of the pipe cleaner would hang down like a stem.

At this point there was nothing cool about the flower.


as soon we started pulling each piece of tissue paper gently toward the center–like separating a napkin–the flower came alive. 

Here’s the first side of my son’s flower.  I’m still gripping it in the middle where the pipe cleaner is wrapped around.  But I’ll flip the flower around in a second and pull the other petals toward the center.

My daughter pulled her petals up from both sides alternately.

Which worked just as well.

Here’s one finished flower.

And here’s another.

They ain’t be the real thing.  But for today…

they be a little hope of heaven.  They be sunshine in our hands.


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That my son has a thing for scissors is like mentioning Santa Claus wears red.  Ain’t no reason to state the obvious.

But then I walked in on the ‘obvious’ hard at work…

And, beheld…

the real reason for craft scissors.

That was until I was told to ‘stick ’em up’ in the kitchen.

By which time it occurred to me to confiscate the craft scissors.

Only they rode off in the back of a large plastic truck down the hallway, and I reasoned, “how bad could that be?”

Me thinks I’ll find out soon.

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If it’s all right, I’d like to shout from my sweatpants here that my son, the guy in the yellow shirt beside his sister, did not get out of his bed last night and thereby did not make me get out of my bed either.  That is until his tummy kicked him at seven thirty and told him it was ready to growl.  By which time he had to tell me.

Which bears another announcement.  I am a much friendlier person today. Heh heh…Try me.

That I did not inhale and forget to exhale while my children built a pyramid with my spice jars was also better for my health.  Gah….spice jars…who cares?

But forget the spices.  Forget the jars.

Friend, just don’t forget your underwear.

‘Cuz per the house rule–established out of necessity in 2010, no one paints in the buff.  Not him.

And not her. 

Though she tends to care a bit more about where her paintbrush lands.

Which is why her paintings actually look like what she says they are.

Sunset, anyone?


Only the guy who thought he’d fiddle with the wet sunset after he was told, “Don’t touch the wet sunset”, ended up on the stairs still in his underwear to contemplate his impulsivity of touching, sigh…the wet sunset.

But clearly the only contemplating going on was, “I wonder how I’d look with my sister’s yellow sundress on backwards, and my mom’s white tennis shoes.”

By which time I contemplated whether there was ever such thing as…

enough sleep.

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Without meaning to we laughed our hineys off this morning. 

The stack of Better Homes and Gardens and the three pairs of scissors seemed completely innocent before we started.  But then we got to cutting.  And by the time my daughter tried on a new pair of lips, and my son, a pair of eyes, well, that was it.  We kissed composure goodbye.

Here’s my daughter with her new burgundy smackers.

And my son with glasses.  Large ones.

Here’s about the time I let out my first guffaw…

As there was something way too special about my daughter with her new eyeballs…

And about my son…

who just might look like this in eighty-five years.

May he have more teeth.

And this.  Whoa.

May I, uh, recover from seeing this.

Which I have. 

Because I just can’t stop being happy with this mouth grinning at me.

Or with these lips pouting on her…

and him.

Or with these eyes looking into my soul.

And these ones half way to heaven.

Nope.  Gonna have to smile today.

Even if I have to borrow these lips to do it for me.

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My Picasso

That our kitchen smells like milk gone bad has little to do with, uh… milk… and a bit more to do with a little boy whose yogurt leaped out of his hands… and who graciously got down to ‘cleaning’ it up himself by using six dry dish towels and rubbing them across the spill…and then leaving the rest of us to guess who puked. 

Lord have mercy.

That it stills smell like urp and not full-blown upchuck is, well, progress.

But nevermind that.

What I wanted to say was this guy, the one who got out of bed no less than six times last night, and who has melted into a heap of tears no less than six times this afternoon, drew a picture of what he was thankful for.


His mommy.

That I would have wowed over his picture even if he’d told me he’d drawn a toilet with turd in it is sort of where we’re at these days.  Kid draws.  I praise.

But to see myself on paper through the eyes of my little boy…I don’t know.  I wasn’t aware I was so colorful.  Or so thin…heh.

Or so…

so loved.

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That the craft didn’t involve scissors, glue or paint was a perk I noted.  That it mentioned glitter, the stuff you can oops-a daisily shake all over the house was a perk my kids noted.  And then ran to grab, while my intestines wrung themselves a little tighter.

Here’s what we needed.  Three sheets of construction paper in a single color.  Except we wanted green and didn’t have it.  Which was when my daughter came back carrying both blue and yellow sheets, so we could mix the two to make green. Um…yes.  I was, uh, clearly not the person who should be in charge.

The paper had to be torn into little squares and then put into the blender. Time enough for me to change the laundry and check on the fridge a couple times.

Here’s our paper pile.

On the table.

On its way to the blender.

And in the blender.  Which–yowsers–appears to need a serious scrub.

Then came the hot water poured right onto the paper, where it sat for five minutes.  Long enough for one child to run to the bathroom and smear lotion in the carpet and the other to pound out ‘Jingle Bells’ on the piano.  Twice.

Then because watching paper return to pulp is, well,  mesmerizing…

we all stood there without breathing and paid homage to the blender…

‘Cause it turned paper into this.  Something that looked just how it felt.  Only depending on your take, that’s either regurgitated green oatmeal.  Or someone’s cold gone real bad.

What we had to do next was push the water out of the pulp.  And what worked best was just dabbin’ the glop with a rag we didn’t care about.  As it’s green now, too.

Then with a towel folded on a plate and a napkin on top of the towel–both to suck up the extra water–we pushed the pulp into a cookie cutter. 

This is my son’s hand pattin’ in his pulp.  I think that snowman sticker is part of his skin.

Here are his little fingers pressin’ the pulp in the cracks.

And here’s the pulp all packed into the cutter.

Here it is on the cookie sheet still resembling a tree, by golly.

Then, the same thing again.

These are my daughter’s hands fillin’ the cutter with pulp.

And pushing it to all the corners.

These are both trees doused in glitter and ready for the oven…


where they baked at 200 degrees for two hours.

And then come out looking the same as they did when they went in.  Only less soggy.

Here are the finished trees and the four hands that couldn’t wait to hold ’em.

‘Cause glitter brings them glee.

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That it started this morning with a G-rated turkey craft and two kids in their underwear…

And ended tonight like this…just means…uh, something.

But I have no idea what.

I guess I’ll start with what I remember.

I, uh, remember pulling out the paint…

And then noticing my son’s eye for color.  As well as his knowledge about what colors tukeys might actually be.  Uh…or not be.  Those be the turkey’s feathers.

And here are my daughter’s feathers.  Completely compliant with Fall.

These are my son’s hands.  And those are his turkeys.  I can only say that he poured a lot of love into those feathers.

And earned himself an “A” for concentration on the black paint.


Here we are an hour later fattening our turkeys.

And here, after way too much time on a single craft and after a complete meltdown by the one in pajamas, are our turkeys. 

Apparently looking suspect–to, uh, something.  As later this evening, my husband called out from the kitchen, “come here, quick.  You gotta see this.”

Only I couldn’t tell you what I was expecting.

I just know it wasn’t this.

And which is why I’m tellin’ ya.  Ain’t nothin’ safe around here. 

Especially not a lunch-bag turkey with blue and black feathers some twelve feet away.

Or its cousin.

And since picking off paper turkeys on the ledge of the living room is the kind of fun you can’t keep to yourself, here’s my son taking aim at a turkey.

Only he’s maimed the thing and has to reload.

And my goodness, there it goes. 

Which calls for a momentary restock.

Because everybody needs a turn…

To feel the power.

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