Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Apples, Schmapples...

Here's a quick family night treat. My friend Melissa taught me how to make caramel-apple-pie apples. They are so yummy! Melt the caramels in a bowl with high sides. A wide one will take too much caramel to fill up high.
Dip them and let them set up a bit.

Hold your apple up high. Shake a little and the calories will fall right off. Okay...not.

Jaren was still finishing some dinner. But he needed a picture too!

I could've eaten them just like this.....but waiting made them even better.

We let everyone make their own creation. But to make the Apple Pie flavor:

Melt some white chocolate with a teaspoon of shortening to make it smooth.
Roll your already carameled apple into the white chocolate for the second layer.
Then sprinkle with Cinnamon-and-Sugar.

Sounds different....but wait till you try it. Yumm-O!!
Thanks, Melissa!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Time!

Wanna learn how to make these cuties?

We made these turkeys one year with Grandma and Grandpa S. for Thanksgiving. Now it is Tradition! Every year we make new ones to decorate the house. This year they were one of our homeschool art projects. Fun, fun!

Ariana is displaying her mini-pumpkin. We get these right around Halloween/Thanksgiving each year at the grocery store. They are only about 35-40 cents. Get one for each of your little turkeys!! :) Pun intended.

Then grab a stem of the fake-fall-leaves that Holly is holding. You can find them at your local fake-fall-leaves store. (I think ours was guessed it......JoAnn's. But you can get them at Walmart too. ) Don'tcha just love Jaren's face in this picture?!?! He was quite put-out that Holly got to hold the leaves and not him. So, later I got one of him painting. You'll has lots of extra "Cheeeeeeeeese" in it. This boy LOVES the camera!

For each Turkey pull off three leaves from your stem of "fake-fall-leaves" and hot glue them together to fan out for the turkey tail. Here is Ryan demonstrating so thoroughly for us. Think he has enough glue??

Now hot glue the tail to the back side of your mini-punkin! (No, that isn't a typo, we prefer to call them punkins.) Ariana is demonstrating how to hold the leaves on tight while the glue dries. Make sure to get the glue to the very edges. It will stay on better. Just don't burn your fingers.

And here's what it will look like. (Nice shot of my kitchen sink, eh? least it was shiny!)

Ryan is here reminding us that it is quite stylish to make the middle leaf/feather stick up a bit higher than the others. Looks good, Buddy B!

This is what his head will look like. A wooden craft ball, some brown paint, two googly eyes, and some chenille sticks. (I still call 'em pipe cleaners!) Notice the red pipe cleaner wraps around to the top of the beak just like a real turkey.

These are just round, wooden craft balls. You can get them anywhere that has a wooden section to the craft store. Sometimes by the dowels.

They should be flat on the bottom with a little hole drilled in the middle. I think most of them come this way to be attached to things. This is important for the little guy's face.

Next, paint your I meant paint the TURKEY's Head. (Don't make that mistake and think kids will know what you really meant!) Notice Jaren's "Cheeeeeeeeeese" face? It looks like he knows that he is now the center of attention.

I had to add this one in because Ariana was having so much fun squeezing the paint. She asked and asked before we started. "Can I squeeze the paint? Can I squeeze the paint?!" I guess there is just something in the way is splurts out that she adores. Look at that face she is pulling! :)

When sister is done squirting......grab your brush with those chunky little fingers and paint away! Ignore the mess. Memories matter!

When they dry (ours took about 10 minutes because we got impatient and used the blowdryer) go ahead and glue on the eyes, beak, and waddle. (Is that what it's really called?) This picture shows you a closer view of how to twist the pipe cleaners and then stuff them into the hole in the wood. Fold the beak over double to make it thicker and then twist the red one till it looks wobbly like a turkey wobbler. Wrap it up and around the beak to hold the two layers together. Then add a dob of hot glue to the hole just before you push them in. Make sure the two pointy parts to the beak are going IN the hole. Not out --like you might think for an open beak. It really is better to not have pokey wires on these, as they WILL get played with.

Now add gobs and gobs of glue to the bottom of the head. It will need a lot to ooze down into the punkin dimples and hold the head on tight. The more glue the better.

Then press it onto the punkin on the opposite side of the tail. (Obvious, I know.) But I need to say this and show you that it is good to let the head rest back a bit on the little stem of the punkin. That way it glues to two surfaces. Really-- it is hard to get that head to stay on. Ours always fall off after a few days if they don't get anchored on the right way. This really helps if it is glued between the two points. 1- lots of glue to seep down into the dimples (curves....whatever) and 2-also some glue on that stem.
Again with the "cheeeeeeeeese"! Jaren is all done!

All finished, Momma!! Holly got a pink waddle.

Now take lots of pictures with your cute turkeys and name them.

My turkeys are named Ryan, Ariana, Holly, and Jaren. You'll have to ask them what they named THEIR turkeys. Hee hee!

Then let the kids decide their favorite spot to display them. We have them all over the house and are enjoying them alot.
P.S. We keep them around for a couple weeks. When we are ready to toss them---here's a tip: Pull off the head and the feathers/tail. Put them in your holidays box and store them for next year. Then you can just buy the punkins and glue them together again. No more mess. The older ones love to re-use their heads/tails from last year. Or give them away and make new ones again. Either way the accessories are quite salvageable for more uses!

Friday, November 20, 2009

♪♫..Shining, Shimmering, Spendid...♪♫

This year a little birdie told her grandma that she has wanted to be "Jasmine" for a very long time. Have you ever looked for a pattern or a costume for Jasmin? The immodesty is a turn-off for this momma! So, this little birdie has never been Jasmine. Well, Grandma cooked up an idea that solved all of Holly's wos. I had a Genie costume as a child that she made for me. It is a pajama pattern that she converted to be a little bit more fancy. She took that same pattern and made a costume for Holly. Take a look at the adorable results!!

As you can see from Holly's smile....she was in seventh heaven. She had her daddy in snapsville with the camera.
The legs are oh-so-cute. The elastic in the bottom makes them poof out just right.

Holly did get to pick out the headband and we put it together the week before Halloween. She chose the gold and jeweled button on the front. I didn't think it would work, but as you can tell....I let the kids do the choosing. They have so much fun, how can you resist letting them use their imaginations.

We got some wide sequined band and put the turquoise sequins in the middle that Grandma sent with the costume. It was a perfect match. Thanks, Mom!

I rolled Holly's hair upward on the sides and then around the headband to hold it in place. It made her hair lay around her face just like Jasmine's hair.

I love her little feet sticking up in this picture above. She was absolutely giddy. She wore the costume everyday for two weeks before Halloween. I started to wonder if she would wear it out before the big day came.

She saw the "fancy eyes" on her sister in the school play. She said that she wanted that too. So, she got to wear eyeliner. (Every little girls dream. Well, this little girl.)

The costume is one piece with pink material sewn into the mid-section. It turned out so cute and it was modest!

One more pose and lots more smiles!! Thanks Mom/Grandma for making Holly's day. She is still wearing it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

♪♫..I am the Pirate King....Hurrah for the Pirate King..♪♫

This year, Ryan knew EXACTLY what he wanted to be for months before Halloween. He designed his costume and even stayed up late (very late) one night to help me make it. We had good times together, just the two of us.
Have you seen the game "Wizard 101"? This costume is the character "Skeletal Pirate" from the game. Ryan plays it with some of his friends. I must admit, he did a good job replicating the little guy. He even got the accessories just right. Here is a picture of the little pirate:

Here is Ryan's attempt at looking like a mean pirate.......

.......but we all know he is just a goofy-lover-of-all-things-sparkly!!

The loot!!! (He made this wooden chest at Scout Camp last year.)

Being a pirate DOES have its drawbacks! Words of Warning: Don't try to scratch your nose when you're not used-to your new hook!

The Pirate Mug-shot

I had to add this one so you can see the full length. We took a black workout suit and painted the bones on. My Mom did this for my baby brother years and years ago for him to be a skeleton for a school Halloween party.
We used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. (again with JoAnn's--we love that store. I should buy stock!) Ryan stayed up late-late to help painting the bones. He even helped me look up pictures to get it to look right. Then we woke up the next morning very early and painted the back side of the suit so it could start drying before little fingers got up to touch or smear it. It looked so real! I didn't want him to wear the ragged shorts that would cover it up............but he had to be exactly like the picture!! Okay, okay!

And finally, I MADE him smile for this one. Afterall, he is my little boy and not just a scary pirate. I told him, "You have to have ONE with a smile. This one will be for your Grandmas." That got him to smile. So, there you have it! A smile for you, Grandma!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Medieval Princess

Ariana went to JoAnn's with me one day in October and found a pattern for a Medieval Princess. All it took was seeing that she would get to make a hoop skirt and she was SOLD. (Actually, Daddy got to make the hoop skirt. But that is another story.)

You can see all the material in this shot. It took 12 yards of fabric for this dress. Phew....glad it is done.

What would a princess be if not a little "snobbish". Here Ana gave Daddy her best snooty face.

Here is a good shot of the sleeves. Those babies took me all night and 5 3/4 yards of fabric to make. They hang all the way to the ground and ruffle around her skirts.

Pretty Princess!

Goodness, they grow up fast. She looks so much older when she is all dolled up.

For credit where it is due: Timothy made a skirt from flexible PVC pipe to go under the dress. I bought 15 yards of boning at JoAnn's, but that stuff couldn't hold up much more than tissue paper. I stopped at the hardware store on the way home hoping to buy some vinyl covered cable to make the skirt. While I was there the PVC piping caught my eye. It worked perfect!! Thanks, saved the day!