31 October 2015


For my daughter's class we painted magnet rocks on Halloween Party day. I prepped the rocks by spray painting them first. White, Black and Orange. Then I superglue'd a magnet to the back of each. Each kid gets three rocks to paint. They painted whatever they wanted but I did offer a bit of ideas for each color on a tri-fold table topper. That's what you get when you have a designer mum in charge of the school craft. Table toppers.

They turned out super cute. I do have some lessons learned... the biggest being that I'm glad I brought acrylic paint as well as tempura. I had never painted on rocks before. Not for a craft that mattered. I wanted it to dry quickly because it was a half day of school. I also wanted it to stick to the rock without beading up. The tempura didn't stick. So I used acrylic and each child had a wipie to dab their paintbrush on... kind of dry it off before dipping it into the paint.

Spray Paint - White. Orange. Black
Rocks - (Smooth Pebbles) I got mine at the dollar store

Table Covering
Paper Plates
Baby Whipes
Paint Brushes - I used nice ones, not too fat. Small rocks need fine brushes
Paints - I used Black, White, Orange, Yellow, Green and Pink
Black Sharpies
Hot Glue Gun
Foam Core Strips* - Cut to 2.5" x 7.5"
White Pencil*
Plastic Spiders - I glued one to each of their boards for added fun.

*Each child has their own board with their name in white pencil. I hot glued their rocks to their board when they finished to keep them all organized and able to dry without getting messed up.
When the rocks are peeled off of the board the hot glue will stick to the magnet. I instructed them to peel off the glue from the magnet.

I did this craft again with my kids and some friends at home and they loved it. They started getting rocks from the yard and painting them. Smooth, rough... they don't care. They love that they have a magnet on them. But if the rock is too heavy, the magnet is useless. Be sure you choose rocks that maintain some sticking power. You also need a rock with a flat back that a magnet can stick to.

Happy Halloween to all you Spooky Ghouls & Gobblins!

27 October 2015


It doesn't get any simpler than this. Martha Stewart's test tube favors and some "scary beans" a.k.a. Peanut Butter M&Ms. Perfect for the neighbor kids or school room treat trading.

Happy Halloween!

12 October 2015


Autumn is truly one of my favorite seasons. Sure, I love Spring growth... the absence of schedules in Summer and a slow snowfall in the Wintertime... but Fall... what's not to love about cozy textures, warm colors, and the smell of pumpkin somethin' cooking in the kitchen... not to mention the crisp morning air. Thank goodness for seasons and the change that comes every few months. I embrace the variety and adore the opportunity to hunker down in the fall... it speaks to my soul.

After the hustle bustle of getting my kids back to school, Autumn brings a chance to slow my brain down and think for a minute. When I do that, I can't help but think of all the things that I love. My favorites... beyond my little family, home, community, and friends, there are the mountains that surround our city and our country that, while I have my personal frustrations, has always provided safety and freedom.

I'm reflecting a lot today, maybe it's the sense that Thanksgiving is around the corner and that brings on the warm fuzzy feelings. The long and short of it is that life is good. I have dreams and hopes and I can't help but make plans and plans and plans and more plans. Those are for speedier days. Today is a day of leisurely thoughts and gratitude.

With that... if I could decorate this feeling, what would it look like? Funny thing, it looks a lot like a dinner party in Autumn. Perhaps even a Thanksgiving dinner table. My favorite part is setting the table.

A mix of aged materials in subtle tones: Marble. Wood. Linen. Pewter. Silver.

Linens — Grey or White Linen Napkins. Grey Wool or Linen Runner.

Flatware — Mixed Vintage Silver (This could be a journey of vintage shopping to find your mix or just hit up Anthropologie)

Dinnerware —Pewter Pates (These are tough to find and quite spency, but the feeling could be pulled off with gray or aged scalloped chargers and white plates).

Glassware — Smokey Glasses or Goblets (herehere, and here)

Serveware — Mix of Wood and Marble bowls, pitchers, platters, cake stands and trays.

Centerpiece — Aged votives and tiny lights (Terrain), Cotton Stems or strands, Pewter Candlesticks (again, pewter can be tough to find, but worth the hunt. I like a lot of candles running down the table. If these are too hard to find, mix in wood and marble candlesticks) For added color, orange berries or mini pumpkins. To keep it monochromatic, you can add mini white pumpkins.

Furniture — Rugged wood table and benches with additional seating in black or linen (Anthropologie Fringe Chairs) For a soft touch add some fur to the benches.

05 October 2015


Halloween decorations at our house are not terribly frightening. We are a house of lightweights. Large spiders on the wall may bring a start... crows in the bushes might make us pause a little too long. And that's where it ends.

We like happy ghosts... smiling cats.... I do kinda like some creepy things. So I adopt in a skeleton when I can. As my kids get older our Halloween style will surely evolve, but honestly we've never really enjoyed body parts in the yard.

This is what we are, Halloween Ninnies. So our Halloween decorations lean toward the simple, modern and friendly. This year, this is how it is.

01 October 2015


Getting a jump on Halloween Crafting!

At first I made these with my daughters, aged 6 and 4. My six year old was able to tie knots and load the cello tubes. My 4 year old needed more help. With that trial, I decided to do these for the 1st grade Halloween Party craft.

THE REALITY: I actually needed a few more adults to help the kids as this was a SPEED craft session. I had 6 kids every 3 minutes! It was crazy. Their little fingers just couldn't go fast enough. So I don't really recommend it for school projects unless you've got time and helpers.

But for something fun to do with your kids at home, or Halloween gifts for neighbor friends and/or kids, this is super cute and so fun. My girls loved to wear these all around town as Halloween approached.

2"x10" Clear Cello Tubes - 3 per necklace (for a child size. For a larger head, use 4)
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
1/4" Ribbon
Fun Halloween Bits & Candies (I try to use more toys than candy... here. here. and here)

1. Hot Glue two cello tubes closed ends together and tie a 1/4" thick ribbon around that glued spot to hide it. Tie it in a knot.
2. Load one of the tube sides and tie off each section with string. Repeat until near the end, and hot glue the opening closed.
3. Repeat the same process for the other side of the tube.
4. Glue a third cello tube to one of the glued ends. Again, tie a 1/4" ribbon over the glued portion.
Load the third tube with each section tied off with string.
5. Connect the third tube end to create a closed necklace that can fit over head. If you need to keep going with a fourth tube, keep going. We only needed 3.

*Any rubber rats, or erasers may stick a bit and that's why I have a pencil on the supply list. Use the eraser end of a pencil to shove things in.

Happy October Everybody!