Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Craftiness

I often get the crafting bug and see so many little things I'd like to do.  The bug is especially common around holidays.  I've gotten better lately about actually gathering the supplies and taking the time to do the crafts and I truly enjoy this "me" time.  I get a good dose of happiness when inspecting a finished project and the "I did it myself!" pride from toddler hood just doesn't fade.  Becoming a Mommy has opened lots of avenues for creativity and I have to thank Pinterest for inspiring me.  I love doing little projects, but coming up with them myself is another story.  I have enjoyed starting with one person's idea and making it my own.  I've made sensory and fine motor "toys" for Becker by recycling items around the house.  I made birthday decorations, holiday gifts and special keepsakes.

I wouldn't say I could tackle building a shelf out of crates or sewing a quiet book just yet (both things I'd love to be able to do), but I'm into a certain level of DIY.  The paint and hot glue gun level as opposed to the drill and sewing machine level.  My projects have to be fairly quick to complete because let's be honest, time is not something I have a whole lot of just laying around waiting to be filled.  I also do not have space for an ongoing project to remain ongoing, so I take on the smaller set of projects that can be completed in one or two evenings.


Ever since we got married I wanted to hang mistletoe at Christmas.  There was something about getting kissed under the mistletoe from all of those songs and stories that I just wanted NEEDED.  Seven years in and I never found any.  This year I saw a post on Pinterest and knew it would solve my mistletoe dilemma.  Felt mistletoe I can use year after year!  And it's super cute.  I used this lovely tutorial and made four mistletoes in one evening.  One for us, and three to give as gifts.  Score!  I love how it turned out and now I get to experience getting kissed under the mistletoe every day.  Becker thinks it's fun.

Salt Dough Ornaments:
Some crafts end up being "we" time and that totally rocks.  Last year we made these glitter hand print ornaments to give everyone as gifts.  They turned out great and I wanted to find another craft we could do together this year. 

2011: 10 month Becker hand.

Becker can participate so much more this year so there are more options.  Pinterest inspired me once again and I decided I had to make these salt dough hand prints to preserve Becker's hand print before it gets any bigger.  The recipe said it made 12 hand prints so I thought it was the perfect activity to prepare for our turn to host playgroup.  The four kiddos each made 2 hand prints as that was the extent of their interest with the pumpkin muffins and wood trucks beckoning from the other room.  I had a lot of dough left over so I rolled it out and used some heart and circle cookie cutters to make ornaments during Becker's nap.

Growing up, we had a whole shirt box of painted salt dough ornaments the three of us had made in preschool. These were the ornaments we could touch and hang ourselves.  Everything I hung on our tree at his level is not breakable, but I thought it would be fun for him to make some ornaments himself.  I was going to wait a few days and tackle the painting when I had a whole afternoon to devote to it, but as luck would have it an opportunity presented itself when I got home from work the next day.  Becker was interested in the bowl of baked "cookies" and I asked him if he wanted to paint them.  He gave an enthusiastic "yes!" so I taped some newspaper to the counter, grabbed my art box of acrylic paints from college and let him go to town.

This is probably his third time using paint brushes and he liked the sponge brush best.  He also enjoyed using his hands and fingers to paint as well as spreading paint with a toothpick sword.  I had expected to need to do this in two or three separate sittings because there were several ornaments to paint, but his interest stuck and he painted all of the ornaments.  He went back and added paint to some after they were done and wanted his hands or the brushes washed a few times to start fresh.  I loved watching his focused, artistic side come out during this activity.  He didn't even need a bath afterwards!  Just a good handwashing.

While he was sleeping I sealed the ornaments with Modge Podge and added silver ribbon.  We put a few on our tree and decided the rest will make perfect gift adornments for grandparents and family members.  I am really happy with the new additions to our tree.

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