Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fourth Grade Halloween Fun!

This blog entry is brought to you by the letter “P.”  It was a perfectly beautiful day for an outdoors Halloween party.  The pupils played dress up games, potato sack races, wheelbarrow races, picked a number to guess how many pieces of candy are in a jar, poked their hand in a bag feel gross things, passed the plate of snacks and poured a cup witches brew.  Of course, they loved winning prizes for all of their hard work!  The 4th grade party could not have been pulled off without the help of all the parents who volunteered their time or goods to make it all happen!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coke Can Votive Tutorial

Here’s a fun and free craft decoration for you to try when you have nothing better to do!  All you need are aluminum cans, an X-acto  knife, sharp scissors and your imagination.  I made these for votive containers for a fundraiser, but there are so many ways to use them…and, if you’re a nerd like me, they are fun to make!


Start with a rinsed out can and use your X-acto knife to puncture a horizontal slit in the middle of the can about an inch long.  Then cut the can in half with your scissors into two equal parts.  Be careful with sharp edges.  And yes, I am in my car waiting for the afternoon carpool…a particularly productive part of my day!


Using your scissors, start experimenting with cuts…this is a simple crown cut using diagonal cuts.


It may not look like much now, but once you drop a tea light candle in here and group a few of these together, they are unique and unexpected.


Here’s another look…cut 1 1/2” slits vertically down around the perimeter of the can…these are about 3/4” wide.  Using a pen, curl the cut edges away from the can by applying pressure to the aluminum…you can make these curls loose or tight.


Be sure that you push down the tab opening so that the surface is flush and the candle will rest on a flat surface.


Make sure to flatten the concave bottoms of the can by using a flat bottomed cup, glass or whatever you have on hand.


It doesn’t have to look pretty, but the tea light candle needs to lay flat when burning.


Let your imagination run wild by cutting strips thin, very thin, on an angle, etc. 


These look so pretty when the candlelight reflects off of the many cuts.


Here’s a side shot for more detail.  These are going to be perfect for the “recycled” or “green” look of our fundraiser.  You could paint the sides of the cans before cutting to cover up the graphics.  Have fun with this! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Pays to B*$&h!

Oh dear…yesterday I blogged (tongue in cheek) that the dining room was a mess and my husband had let me know he was sick of it.  That and the garage…


Well, a new day had dawned and with it, again he reminded me how sick he was of it.  So, you know, wives being wives,

ADHD crafty girls being – whatever we are, I was gonna show him!

I cleaned out all of the party decorations that were piled everywhere and took them up to the school. 

I found things I haven’t seen in a few weeks under that mess on the table and am glad to get it out of here.  It’s a long way from perfect, but at least now I can see the table and floor!  I guess the fussin’ really paid off for my husband!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Funny…and NOT FUNNY!

I’ve been busy getting ready for the “Hillbilly Hoedown” fundraiser that my son’s school is hosting on Nov. 6th.  We are having a “photo booth” (one we are making ourselves since our small town doesn’t have any to rent.)  Everybody is dressing up in country, hunting or hillbilly fashion…so the pictures ought to be funny to start out!  Knowing that moustache props in the photo booths are all the rage these days, I decided we needed to have a few props besides the hillbilly hat and corncob pipe I ordered.   DSCF4126

Beards, lips, snaggle teeth and moustaches are ready to go. 

DSCF4114My youngest was asked to model for me…he thought it was funny until he saw that I was posting the pictures here. DSCF4116


That’s not so funny after all!  And another thing that isn’t exactly getting rave reviews around here…


My husband does not find the state of our dining room a funny matter.  True, we do have a garage to store things in…


But it’s already packed with painted backdrops and other things for the party.  It’s no laughing matter…Set up day won’t get here fast enough!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Love Me A Gloomy Saturday!


Here’s the scene at our house today…my husband stayed home from the golf course this morning and started whipping up a pot of shrimp etouffee early.  I could smell the vegetables sautéing across the house before I could smell the coffee. When I walk into the den, I notice that all of a sudden, there are lot of leaves on the ground! Could it be it might possibly start feeling like fall around here?  I’m sick of this Indian summer weather! 

Dec20090025  My youngest has his buddy over and they have been in and out of the house all day.  Hiking, playing Lego’s, playing X-Box and eating has kept them very busy.  The dog loves it when they are inside to keep him company.  Time for a little Wii action ‘cause it looks like it’s going to start raining any minute.  Dec20090031

Here’s what’s in the Dutch oven…etouffee simmering to perfection, with a big bowl of Gueydan, LA popcorn rice ready to soak up all the good juices…and some garlic bread on the side in case it doesn’t.

It’s going to be a great football game day and the house smells even better since I baked a fresh apple cake. Talk about sticky, moist and delicious!


Arkansas is playing Ole Miss with too many weather time delays…the game is already into it’s 5th hour!  That must mean the rain will start here soon…it’s getting darker and darker outside. 


LSU is playing Auburn, and it’s looking questionable. The rain has started outside and I couldn’t resist to light my girly smelly candles to add to my happiness.  My boys would usually say something like, “Mom!  Football by candlelight?  Really?”  But today, it just seems right. 


My oldest goes for his second piece of apple cake and it starts to thunder and lightening!  It’s so cozy in here and I am sure someone is going to be in a horizontal position very soon.


The game is tied 10-10 at the end of the first half, so I guess that means Daddy’s going to get another little bowl of goodness.  As predicted, my oldest is now asleep in the chair with a full tummy.    I’m just sitting back taking in the sights and sounds of this glorious, gloomy day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hillbilly Frame of Mind…

I’m working on another school fundraiser with a fun theme!  Hillbilly Hoedown!  Think country and mountain folk, C&W and blues music, beer and BBQ, cool weather and camo… and all that goes with that!

Coming up with decoration ideas hasn’t been difficult at all…it’s very handy if you live in between the Ozark and Ouchita mountain ranges of Arkansas!  Inspiration is everywhere…and I do mean everywhere! 

If you are local, please join us the night of Nov. 6th for a “hoot and hollerin” good time! 

Invitation brochure 

Jacobean Primer…in case you’re interested!

My friend Kade asked me to paint a table for her client.  Her client is her former babysitter, Amy, who has moved to Fayetteville to finish up her degree at the U of A.  Kade is decking out Amy’s room and wanted this little table to shout out. 

She wanted a red table. I knew there was a lot of black and white in the room and the fabric for the window treatments had a few more bright colors in it, so I pulled those out for the table top.  I knew just what I wanted to do with it…but first, a word about the design era that influenced me…


I love Jacobean design…you know, the wonderful patterns and prints from the late Elizabethan period through King James dating from the late 1500’s to 1600’s and Celtic Scotch in nature?  (What a nerd I am, but I can’t help it.)  It’s simple, yet intricate patterns and colors have always drawn my eyes.  It’s still a part of that black and white thing I love and a punch of color to set it off.

It’s predominate use of floral and faunas, geometric design and vivid color with black are easily identifiable in motifs using paisleys, thistles,  checkerboard, flowers and plaids.  Its classic design is simple, clean and timeless and is constantly revamped with a fresh approach for modern appeal.  Here are a few examples…

  518536863_ea164d2bd6trtn_scn2 black background_velvet2 Flora%20MacDonald Jacobean 3 Jacobean-Dining-Chairs

Here are forms of it in the 21st century…

il_570xN_143950390imgScoopNews061709  Jacobean-cushions-and-wallpaper2_  tn_98324 tn_99892_nf 612 76F L4L__SS384_

and now for Amy’s table…   

 Dec20090011   Dec20090013

Gotta Love the Little Goblins!


I pulled out our Halloween decorations boxes over the weekend.  Setting everything out is something I can usually depend on our boys to help out.  During this process, we reminisce with stories of Halloween past, what costumes they will wear this year and if we are going to start up the neighborhood “You’ve been Booed!” campaign. 

This year was clearly different.  I guess the boys are getting older and not as excited to notice every little treasure we have collected over the years.  No checking to see if I placed something in the bathroom, or to smell their pumpkin heads buckets to see if they can still smell last year’s candy.  I don’t really think they even noticed that the stuff was set out until I asked…it makes me sad…our boys are growing up and will be out of here well before we are ready to say goodbye.


There was a time when Michael would have run while holding his breath past the spooky display at the front door.  Did he even notice the cockroaches and spiders I set out for him?Dec20090019Dec20090017 

True, there is a lot to look at here, I guess I am just decorating for me these days.  They still make fun of me for putting froo froo feathers and glittery junk in the Christmas tree.  Ol’ mom has got to toughen up!