Holiday Craft: Kids Table Bead Jars

Beading craft kits are a great way to keep kiddies entertained through holiday toasts and the long break between dinner and dessert.
They also act as cute name place markers.

Customize the beads to the holiday you celebrate.
Christmas: red, green, silver, gold or white
Hanukkah: blue and white (silver)
Kwanzaa: red, black, and green

Fill jars with beads, bells, chenille stems and lanyard.

I have been saving spice jars for this purpose.
You could use a gift bag or cellophane treat bag.

Decorate your jars with stickers.
I found this glitter snowflake set last year in the bargain bin.

Thread a bell onto a long length of ribbon.
Then thread beads on to both sides of the ribbon to hold bell on place.
Tie onto lip of container.

I save Christmas cards and reuse them as gift tags.
You can use a craft punch or pinking shears to cut them out.

The lids of the jars will be decorated with the child's name and some decorative paper.

Thanksgiving Craft: Plaid Online Pilgrim Hat

This craft came from Kids Craft Blog by Plaid Online.
Check out the tutorial.
It was so easy to turn this mini flower pot into a Pilgrim hat.
I switched up a bit by adding a felt and ribbon buckle/hat band.

I also added a bell.
I attached a bell to a safety pin.
I hot glued the safety pin to the inside (bottom) of the flower pot.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Taking the rest of the week off.
See you next week!

Thanksgiving Craft: Paper Tube Turkey

Optional: paint a paper towel tube

Flatten Tube.
Cut 7 skinny strips from tube.
Glue together at base.
Use a clip or clothes pin to hold together.

Cut out a wider strip (aprox. 1-2 inches)
Use this to cut into turkey body shape.
Cut open at bottom.
Cut another thin strip from main tube to use as legs.
Glue popsicle stick and legs to inside of turkey.
Glue entire turkey together hold together with clip or clothes pin while it dries.

Decorate your turkey !

Once back feathers are dry fluff open.

Using a fair amount of glue - glue back feathers to back of turkey.
Let dry overnight.

Nice parting shot!


Christmas Countdown Calender

Lu and I had fun stamping our hearts out yesterday.
We got the idea for this simple countdown/advent calender from Kids Craft Weekly.

Each day is represented by a small envelope. I did not get to number each envelope yet. I also plan on filling each envelope with a note and a sticker. The sticker they will stick to a yet to be designed picture. Eventually when they have all the stickers on their paper it will be Christmas. I am thinking something similar to a game Candy Land.
The envelopes are attached to the ribbon by a spiral paper clip.
All of these supplies I had on hand.

Each day the girls will find a small trinket in their stocking (I already picked up a bunch of stuff in the dollar bins at Michaels) and will take turns removing an envelope.
The stockings I got at Michaels in the $3 bin.
These are not the girls Christmas stockings. That will be another post.

It Is The Small Things In Life...

Who knew the few extra seconds it took me to arrange Lu's snack into a turkey would have made her day. I got the inspiration from this months Family Fun Magazine.

My turkey is much more simplified than the magazines - plus I used what I had on hand. Flower shaped sprinkles for the eyes and plane shaped Bachman Kidzels for the feet.

On a similar note.
This piece of cardboard came with a blanket I bought for Lu's bed.
Literally 2 minutes of cutting equaled hours of playing.

Alison Larkin: An English American

Picture from left (Mama King, Alison Larkin & LW. Alison is holding up not her book but her friend and fellow adoptee, Susan Cox's book, Voices From Another Place.)

Two weekends ago I spoke at the Let's Talk Adoption Conference hosted by the Concerned Person's For Adoption at Rutgers University. I moderated our topic, Conversations I Might Have Had: With My Adoptive Family and the second session, Conversations I Might Have Had: With My Birth Family. We had a great turn out and a lot of great questions and discussion.

The highlight of my day was meeting Alison Larkin, author and performer. She is the kind of woman you meet and instantly want to be best friends with! So warm and bubbly! Alison wrote, The English American: A Novel. A wonderful, humorous and, at times, touching story of reuniting with her birth parents. Although it is a novel, much of the story is based on her personal experiences. Her book is going to be made into a movie! If you read the book (and I highly recommend that you do) you will see instantly how it will make for a great movie. The English American makes for a great book club selection...I know because our mom's group chose it for their last book selection.

Sizzix Felt Dolls

I wanted to thank my girlfriend Krissy for watching the girls while I shuttle off to various doctor appointments. She has a three year old daughter, AC, who my girls adore just as much as I adore Krissy. Best friends in the making! I thought AC, being a girly girl, would love this little felt set.

Since I am on orders to take it easy - this was the perfect project. I got to break in my new Sizzix Bigkick (I know I am behind the times!) I got for my birthday. What fun! Lu had so much fun turning the crank and separating the pieces from the felt. Afterwards I just sat and had fun decorating the mini dresses. I found the dolls and the wigs to be a bit delicate so I glued two of each together. I made one wig "blond" on one side and "brunette" on the other. Before I glued the doll together I sewed on little bead eyes.

I lined a tie box with felt on both sides. Glued a ribbon around the box so it opens flat but the top is attached to the bottom. I allowed for a loop handle so she could carry it around. I decorated the front with felt flower. The box can be held closed with two pink hair elastics (not shown.)

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

(From the left) Emme's Choco, Lulu's Choco

A Mother for Choco is a wonderful children's book (regardless if your child is adopted or not) about a little bird looking for a mother that looks like him. In the end he discovers a mama bear who does not look like him but is the perfect mother. My girls LOVE this book. Even though my girls are not old enough to understand the concept of adoption they just think Choco is so cute and are happy for him when he finds mama bear. They were thrilled to make their very own Choco. I will be reading this book and doing this craft with Lulu's class to celebrate National Adoption Month. For all you Adoptive Mommies out there: Just ask your child's teacher if you can do something because most teachers will not think of doing anything unless they know someone who is adopted. Lu's teachers were more than happy to have me come in and do something.

A Mother for Choco (Paperstar) by Keiko Kasza (Paperback - Mar 19, 1996)
Buy new: $5.99

Multi Cultural Kids Craft: Romanian Horezu Rooster

This is the activity I have featured today over at Grown In My Heart.

Attention: Tom the Turkey would like you to meet his distant relative Horezu the Rooster. Tom is hoping some time out of the Thanksgiving spotlight might be to his advantage. He is afraid of a little thing called over exposure.

The Rooster is a popular traditional motif found on Romanian pottery, particularly in the town of Horezu, Romania. Using the template provided you can decorate your own Horezu Rooster.

Romanian Horezu Rooster
Download template

Color in using markers or paint

Dip a cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil in paint to decorate rooster

Open Ended Collage to the Rescue!

Thanks for all your kind words of support! It is really heartwarming to read your comments! I am not over the worst. I unfortunately discovered surgery is in my future... just before Christmas none the less... ho ho ho! I know you will all understand if I do not to go into detail but know that I am hopeful that this will bring much needed relief.

The girls are doing great and are full of energy. So what do you do with a toddler when all you can do is clutch a cup of tea and slump over on the table?

For Emme it was collage. This day was particularly difficult for me. Thank you Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot for the COLLAGE PACKET you had sent us a few weeks back! Emme sat for two hours straight gluing! She made eight cards to send to family and friends. We'll be sending one your way, Katie!

Emme loved the variety of materials and of course enjoyed wielding the glue bottle!


Just one of life's little medical dramas... We are all OK but just tuckered out. Not much craftiness going on here. Hope to be back next week.


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