Sometimes it can be fun to work outside your usual crafting arena. It’s always good to include kids to expand their little minds (while taxing or losing yours). So I thought I’d do a Thanksgiving Craft Project with our 4 year old grandson.. Something we’d never done before. Something he’d like and be able to participate in. It would be colorful and messy but create a good memory for both of us. I wanted to use simple supplies; mostly items we already had on hand. The reason for this was to emphasize that it’s possible to scrape together a good craft without forking out lots of money for random parts and pieces you might not use in another project..ever. Sooo~ what we needed for our family get-together was a colorful Thanksgiving Craft project that would contribute to the dining room table for our meal together.
I chose to decorate a pumpkin. To really make it show up better, a white pumpkin would be preferable. So I began the hunt for the perfect small, white pumpkin. This was harder than I thought it should be. What I found were those little white (gourd) mini-pumpkins at the Farmer’s Market. This wouldn’t be enough surface to decorate for our Thanksgiving Craft Project. I really wanted something bigger than that. Then I found some heirloom-type “Ghost” pumpkins at a farm stand; but they were odd dimensions (flat ones or mis-shapen; what I call, “Oops”) and strangely colored (greenish/orange, brownish/cream, orange/grey). Finally, at Walmart I found an old-fashioned, round, clean, white pumpkin to use :)
Here are the supplies needed to decorate a white pumpkin (our grandson calls this list a “menu”):
one pumpkin; your choice of size, shape and color
assorted crayons (great for using those broken, odd leftover ones)
glue gun with glue stick
1~ glue crayon pieces to the top edge of pumpkin
2~ aim hair dryer at them til they melt/drip down
That’s it ! Simple, right ? Easy enough for a 4 year old. The perfect Thanksgiving Craft project.
Here is my helper, ready to go. We have covered the coffee table with white butcher paper (because you just never know..). We gathered our supplies and everything is in place to begin. (Yes, for safety reasons, he decided he needed to wear a fireman hat..)
Firstly, in order to glue crayons onto the crown of the pumpkin, they must be unwrapped from their paper labels. This set us back several minutes but allowed the glue gun to warm up nicely. Our grandson made neat little piles of shredded paper. On finding a sharpener in the crayon box, he decided to sharpen a few of the crayons before glue-ing..
Next, we glued pieces to the top of the pumpkin. No particular pattern; random colors and sizes, randomly placed. I applied glue and we took turns putting on crayons. Basically, make a puddle with glue, then hold a crayon in it til it sticks. Don’t worry; you won’t see the excess glue after the melting is done :)
Next step: turn on the hair dryer and point it at the crayons. HOWEVER: just a gentle warning, you probably want to remove the torn paper label bits and pieces of crayon sharpenings FIRST. We did not. When I pointed the hair dryer at the pumpkin, all the trash detritus was instantly blown off the table and under the couch. We had a chuckle over that. Good way to clear the table. Also, if you look carefully, you can see tiny splash spots (photo below). These were splattered off the pumpkin onto the table covering. It got messy quickly. Suggestion: either do this outside or place the pumpkin in a box at this stage of the project !
We placed the pumpkin in a box and continued with the hair dryer. It took a long time (maybe 15 minutes ?) to get these crayons to really melt ! Later I was told my hair dryer doesn’t get that hot :( But it’s still possible if you keep going..
Of course you could choose a narrower color scheme: Fall shades or just Orange and Black, etc. But I let our grandson pick colors he wanted to use and we carefully placed them to his preference. I love CoLoR so this was fine with me ! And here’s a few pics of the table decor…
I was happy with the process and our grandson was thrilled to create a
mess lovely decor item for the Thanksgiving meal. Would I do it again ? Yes ! I love working with kids and crafts; this was a good Thanksgiving craft project, even for a 4 year old. He loved doing every step. It was fun to see him recognize his finished project on the dining room table a couple days later.
Total Cost: $2 for the grocery store pumpkin.
Total Time: about an hour, start to finish (plus another 15 minutes sweeping crayon bits out from under the couch).
I’d love to see photos of your holiday projects ! You can email them to me at: Cheri@OodlesofPincushions.com
When I receive enough photos, I will feature them in Reader-enhanced blog post :)
~~~ Happy Crafting to You ~~~
A Sale and a Saga~
Oh. My. Goodness. First, the Summer Sewing Saga…
~Where did July and August go ? I usually spend the Summer sewing. However, I’ve had some real challenges this past month. It’s been a very wet Summer with rainy and stormy days in our area. While I love the sound and refreshing feeling of the rain, the fluctuations of weather triggers migraines for me. What does this mean for someone who sews ? Well, it means my sleep is interrupted, my eyes don’t function well, and my concentration is compromised. Then pain arrives for a day or so at a time Luckily, I have a medication that does help and after the pain there is usually a day or two of ‘recovery’. It takes me some time to get back into sewing projects that were put on hold. I have to remember where I was and what I was doing.. There are often gaps in my hazy memory throughout the week. The Summer rain slowed down my Summer sewing~
In addition to the ongoing migraine/recovery cycle this month, I did something quite odd; something I’d never done before. I slammed the car door on my hand. As ‘luck’ would have it, this was my dominant hand. This happened halfway through my hosting a local kids Pirate Camp with crafts, games and activities through the Parks and Rec. Department. Thankfully, a talented and capable family member pitched in and became (literally) my right hand for some of those events. Suddenly Summer sewing became a distant memory~
Then (more luck), I suddenly had several orders in the Etsy shop ! Some of the orders were for custom sewing (not ready-made items). Several were orders for personalized, hand-written letters. *gulp* Pre-injury, my handwriting was quite legible I have enjoyed writing out messages for folks who don’t like to write. I like feeling I’m a tiny part of an evolving friendship or romance by putting their words or thoughts physically onto paper for recording tangible evidence that’s lasting. Being part of the making of someone’s story and history in an enduring way..enabling memories Such an incredible honor ! At that moment though, I could barely grip a pen. What to do ? I negotiated a later ship-date, gave myself some time to heal a bit, then wrote slowly and carefully, a little at a time.
That same week, (will the fun never end ?) we received a lovely wholesale order for the Finger Pincushions we create. Awesome ! Scary~ Intimidating and Challenging. Fortunately, we have a wonderful sewing lady/friend who provides us with stitching help as needed when she’s available. Suddenly our ‘back up’ became our front-runner and we were thankful for her help. Summer sewing has never been so complicated for me !
And the hand ? Well, x-rays revealed it wasn’t broken, just beat up and swollen. Urgent Care cradled me in ice, medicated me, wrapped me like a package and sent me home to let it heal in its own time. My hand went through a rainbow of colors ! Now, several weeks away from that, I still tire easily when gripping things (sewing, cutting, typing, writing..). Almost all the aching and swelling is gone. I guess these things just take time~ I’m slowly picking up Summer sewing projects again. I’m slower than usual but mending. I think by the end of Summer, sewing will be back up to speed.
I hope you never get your hand caught in the car door. I wish you happy, healthy days to finish out the Summer !
And the SALE ?
Etsy is hosting a Labor Day Sale ! There are tons of sellers participating and you can find really good deals in all categories :) Some shops have started already but the majority will be selling at reduced rates August 31-Sept. 4.
Both of our shops are set for 10% off all purchases during the sale. If you’re looking to do some early Christmas shopping, now is a good time to check out some deals. Here are the links for our shops (clicking on the links will open in a new window):
Hubby and I have been passively looking for a new bed. Actually, what I really mean is an old but new-to-us bed frame (we already have a mattress and box-spring). We love Antiques and naturally are drawn to them. Our house is over 100 years old, as is a lot of our furnishings so it makes sense that we would look for an Antique Bed. We want a queen sized bed frame to accommodate our queen mattress :) The trouble is, most actual Antique beds we see are Full/Double size or 3/4 length mattress sized. But we keep our eyes open..
We currently are sleeping on a box-spring and mattress, well two mattresses that sit on the box-spring now that I think about it. We do not have a bed frame. We just haven’t found one we liked. We shopped for a new bed at the usual furniture stores, but the quality wasn’t as high as the prices. There were a few styles for sale that kind of reminded us of vintage furniture, but still they really tend to look like a shiny, new bed. So we quit actively looking.
Our newest creation and latest addition to our Etsy Shop, Bedtime Sleep Masks ! These are fun and addicting to create, easy and addicting to use :) Quality 100% cotton prints are lined with a slim batting for light-blocking properties. These first sleep masks have a plush, soft backing that cushions and pampers. I will be making some with satin backing soon so buyers can have a choice. I’m using soft lingerie elastic for a comfy fit. Read the rest of this entry
I survived my presentation of my Pirate and Princess Camp to the Parks and Rec. folks. Our meeting went well (whew!). The Camp proposals were presented and approved at the next council meeting (yeah !). Then I got word that I ‘passed muster’ personally (this included references and background check) (so officially I’m not as crazy as my kids may think).
Here’s my morning of Pirate woes…. Woke too early with coughing; sore throat and congestion. Drank tea with lemon and honey. Went back to blessed sleep :)
Late morning, got up, took shower, got dressed for the day. Opened the front door to warmer weather than anticipated. Upstairs to rethink outfit. Changed shirt. Changed into nice pair of lightweight jeans. Jeans too long (have avoided hemming prior~). Took off jeans, cut off hem, turned up twice, sewed new hem :)
Ate light lunch in anticipation of noon meeting. I’m to present details of a week-long Summer Pirate Camp I intend to teach at the Parks and Rec. Department. I love kids, I love pirates; win-win situation :)
Cleaning up my dishes, I manage to splash the front area of my newly hemmed pants (okay, crotch actually). Arrrrrr~ Thinking it might look bad for the meeting I go upstairs to re-rethink outfit. Too cool out for a skirt, too warm for heavier jeans. Can’t go naked, so resigned to use hair dryer on the worst of it. Use of hair dryer in close contact creates hot flash and red face :( Do not wish to appear for interview red-faced. or wet. or the appearance of embarrassed red face due to appearing to having just wet, if you follow.
I don’t have time for Pirate woes !
Idea: Meeting is close enough to walk :)
Bad Idea: Don’t wish to walk red-faced and wet through neighborhood. School holiday, kids playing outside…
New Idea: Wait a bit longer, do a few jumping jacks, drive with air conditioner on and arrive on time, mostly dry.
Wish me luck !
P.S. The photo above is not myself. Don’t you just love her ? She does not look like she’s got Pirate woes !
P.P.S. I invite you to visit our two Etsy shops, nothing Pirate-y at the moment, but you never know.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OodlesOfWhimsy > Sewing Goodies, Pincushions, Crafty Fun
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OodlesOfVintage > Antique and Vintage Goodies
I just want to be left in peace to sew..and then to write about what I sew or to write about what I read about sewing. I like sewing. I think there are other people who also like sewing and reading about sewing. It’s who we are, what we do :)
So imagine my surprise when I started blogging and receiving messages from people who don’t care about sewing. They spam me with info that will “change your life” and “make your blog profitable”. They offer amazing writing help with low-cost options such as the services of a proof-reader (I already have spell-check for free, Thanks). They want me to sign up with their bot-service so it will ‘beef up’ my readership (real people actually read this already). I’m offered tips on how to improve my writing with messages full of typos and broken English (I’m fluent in English). I get promises of time-saving apps I should be using (and spend precious time deleting the spam). Web builders push their services (our son, who builds websites, created our amazing business website).
Anytime you put yourself out in public, you open yourself up to the trials and tribulations of the public. If you are timid, this will startle and scare you. If you are a seasoned Grandma-lady, you know you must let it roll of your back and move on :) Lots of people want to tell you what you’re doing wrong. They will attempt to show you/share their opinion about what you need to improve. You can try to remain your usual polite-self and spend time responding to those who ‘know better’ or you can ignore them and push forward, doing your own thing :)
Yes, I put spam filters in place. And no, I don’t get bogged down by bots. Nor do I spend a lot of time on spam-mail and bogus comments.
I just want to say, I’ve met the nicest people online. Real kindred spirits. People who create awesome things with their bare hands. I’m awed and impressed. THAT’S who I respond to :) Those are the folks I connect with and enjoy. They are inspiring to me ! I love to read about what they are up to and see what sparks their creativity. I’m in awe to read about moms of young kids who carve out enough time daily/weekly to run a business while donating time to their favorite charity. You go, Girl ! I don’t know how you manage it, but Kudos to you for doing it :)
So now that you’ve read thus far, here’s my “Call to Crafters“… I know you’re out there, toiling away on your projects. ~Making messes and creating crafty things. I’d love to hear from you ! I’d be honored to share some stories of crafters; what inspires you, what frustrates you, what challenges you to continue. Do you have any tips of the trade to share with others ? Do you like what you do or is it simply what helps pay bills ? How do you store your supplies ? Where do you show or sell items ? Does your family understand or are you alone in your passion ? I’d love to see some photos of your creations :) Please leave a message here or email me some info and let’s schedule a time to chat ! Cheri@OodlesofPincushions.com Thank you.
Thanksgiving has recently passed, I realize. But I thought I would take this post to share a little bit about our “traditional” Thanksgiving meal. Most families have hand-me-down recipes from previous generations that are brought out, prepared and celebrated at Thanksgiving.
Memory or Keepsake Pillow to Sew
Christmas is coming :) Here is a great gift to consider for a family member; a Memory or Keepsake Pillow. Both terms are for the same type of craft but come from different angles. Typically a “Memory Pillow” refers to someone or something from the past. Perhaps a family member has died. This project is a nice way to honor that person by using an article of clothing or other textile they once owned and used. Maybe you have one of Grandpa’s favorite fishing shirts or Great Aunt Bessie’s famous Thanksgiving Apron. It could be you want to save a section of a relative’s antique wedding dress or tattered heirloom quilt.
A “Keepsake Pillow” is a usually a way to preserve something often connected to an event. Items such as a sports jersey, Scout’s uniform, band jacket, beloved baby blankie or epic concert t-shirt can be used to make a pillow. It could also be a combination of pieces or graphics from several items in a patchwork design to accommodate more than one sports jersey or concert t-shirt.
The possibilities are endless. Lots of themes, patterns, designs, color-matching may be involved. Upcycle a garment or several, into a fun accent pillow !