For the past six years, I’ve had the pleasure of freelancing regularly for both HGTV and DIY Network, creating crafts, sharing chicken and bee wisdom and gardening galore. This week, my daughter and I were given the task of putting a new twist on the traditional advent calendar. I had considered creating a new calendar. It dawned on me that it would be fun to create a Christmas paper village advent calendar. It could light up as each new evening arrived. As a little girl, some of my fondest memories were of my Mother’s Christmas village.
Summer nights make me think of crickets, warm breezes, sleeping with the window open, and of course catching fireflies. One of the things I look forward to come summertime, is spending time with my kids. They’re growing up so quickly. I share lots of memories from when I was a little girls with them and catching fireflies was one of them. Sadly, I’ve been wondering why we don’t have as many fireflies as when I was little, so we changed things up. This past week, I worked with my daughter on creating this firefly lantern from a mason jar and clearance miniature LED lights that I picked up on clearance from the after Christmas sales at one of our local crafting stores. Here’s what we did.
I’m such a lover of frozen fruit. Have you ever tried freezing grapes, melon and bananas? They are a fave around here and this past week, I wanted to create a delicious, healthier, summer treat for the kids. Instead of calorie-filled ice cream, these frozen chocolate banana pops were a breeze to make. When I was little my Mom used to freeze the bananas that were on the edge of tossing. Later, she’d give them to us frozen or use them for banana bread. Nothing ever went to waste in our household. Last week, my daughter had a sleepover with her friend, little did she know that I had popped in some bananas the night before. While they slept the bananas were freezing.
I was on assignment for DIY Network this past week. We’re celebrating Pet Love and what better way to show you care than to create a gorgeous pet silhouette of my editor’s pug. I’ve worked the past 6 years with the same editor at Scripps Network. She is amazing and super fun and has the most darling dog named Oskar. I wanted to surprise her with a keepsake. So, I asked here what were her favorite colors and got to work. Of course, she had to know what I was up to when I asked for a profile photo.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is growing bulbs indoors. I do this for both Christmas and Easter. There is something about growing flowers indoors during the chilly winter months. During Christmastime, I especially love growing paperwhites. This is a fail-proof project for even those with a brown thumb. If you have grown paper whites in the past, I can bet that one of your biggest pet peeves and mine too is that when they grow tall they often flop over from gravity. Sure, there are ways to add things to the water to stunt their growth, but why harm the bulb? This year, I wanted to show you a simple and easy way to grow paperwhites without them falling over. I love to give these as gifts. They are simple and stunning and I’m going to show you how to make them!
I love celebrating Halloween with my kids. Both of my kids do not enjoy being spooked with scary masks or things that go bump in the night, but rather they enjoy the more whimsical side of Halloween. This year, we were especially lucky that my editor at DIY Network had kid-friendly Halloween crafts in mind and our friends at Shari’s Berries sent along a treat to top off our day of crafting. It was a fun day filled with tricks and treats.
This past week I presented at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA. Each year, one of my favorite things to do is meet up with the kids attending the fair. I love to get kids excited about art and put on a workshop just for them. This past year we did bookmarks and this year I decided to inspire the kids’ creativity with paper chicken friends.
Last month, we quietly slipped away for a family vacation. It had been so long since we had taken a really big vacation. Off we went, even the kiddos, to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. We had such a blast exploring. We hiked to waterfalls, rode horses, swam in the most amazing lagoons with sea turtles, snorkeled, sailed, and peered into a sleeping volcano. Of course it is never long enough and I knew it was a complete success when my kids asked me when we could return. As I was unpacking the bags, I realized that the kids had picked up maps, brochures and oodles of pamphlets. To me, holding onto these meant something to them. So instead of putting them away in a box to collect dust, I scooped them up and decided to turn them into this vacation shadowbox.
I used to love making pom poms as a little girls with my Mom. We would sit there for hours making them and putting them on hats, scarves and afghans that she knitted throughout the year. I was always intrigued with the “magic” of how the pom poms and tassels would come together. I’d watch her intensely, committing the techniques to memory in my seven year old mind. I can still “see” her working the yarn in her hands and fingers if I close my eyes. This past week, I decided to share my love of pom poms with my daughter. She absolutely adores strawberries. So with that as our inspiration, we turned her favorite fruit into a sweet fluffy, bouncy ball of red and green strawberry pom pom for her backpack. I created a cardboard template that worked well with with her small hands and in no time we ended up with a dotted red pom pom ready for quite a hair cut.
I love celebrating the 4th of July with my family on Cape Cod. I have fond memories as a little girl playing with sparklers. In fact, we looked forward to them each year. Unfortunately, fireworks, and yes-sadly sparklers, are illegal in the state of Massachusetts. This year I thought that it would be fun to make some sparklers out of glitter bombed tulle fabric from my local fabric store. With a little bit of help from the kiddos and bit in ingenuity, we were able to make these sparkler beauties to bring the the local parade.