Archive for the ‘A’ Category

A is for Art by Ann

My friend Ann makes these amazing water colored and wire pictures insp(w)ired (sorry couldn’t resist) by Biblical verses. They are simply beautiful.

The piece on the left was a gift to our younger daughter for her 2nd birthday.  The Christmas wreath on the right will be for sale at the craft fair on Saturday.  Please come check out her work.

She also does commissioned pieces, perfect for all occasions  including Christmas, Mother’s Day, and sacraments such as Baptisms, First Communion, Confirmation, and Marriage.


A portion of Ann’s profits will benefit Feed Zambia.

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A is for Artist Tote

This Artist Tote is a great gift for your aspiring artist.  Filled with drawing paper and colored pencils, your artistic loved one can take this little tote wherever they go, especially great for waiting rooms and long car rides.

I am selling them for $18. If you contact me via email – meganmmc@yahoo.com or Facebook to purchase this item, you will receive a 10% discount.

As with all Pearl Girl items, 10% of my profit benefits a mission trip for Haite Teen Challenge.

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From now until Christmas, I plan to post  projects that I will be selling at craft fairs or local stores.  Today I am featuring the American Girl sleeping bag and pillow set.

It comes rolled up just like your sleeping bag and is perfect for camping out and sleep overs. They are made with a soft fleece material and have flowers embroidered onto them. I am selling them for $18.

If you contact me via email – meganmmc@yahoo.com or facebook to purchase this item, you will receive a 10% discount.

As with all Pearl Girl items, 10% of my profit benefits a mission trip for Haite Teen Challenge.

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The end of summer is quickly approaching and this week in particular flew by.   We kicked off the week by inviting our cousin Katie (who will be going into 3rd grade although she is just six weeks older than Maddie, that’s what you get when you have an August and a September birthday!) over for a sleepover.  She was a total angel and even played “First Communion” to get Maddie excited for her upcoming sacrament.  We treated Katie and ourselves to a little Jamba Juice action then walked around Centennial Lakes and jumped ahead to next week when we sat in the Gazebo.  Katie in particular really liked the place and said she enjoyed how calm it was with the classical music playing and thanked us for taking her there, like I said, a real angel. However, she is an angel who sleeps like nobody’s business.  The morning after the sleepover we were scheduled to have a new gas line put in to replace our old one and they moved the gas meter from inside the house to outside (oh the joy of living in an old house!).  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when they pulled the tractor right into my precious green grass and tore it right up. I had been seeding and watering the lawn for at least five week.  The words I used under my breath were not in the least bit kind. I am glad that I kept them to myself and didn’t say them aloud given the fact that these men were working with our gas line!!!!

Back to Katie, the kid slept so hard that she didn’t even awake to the jack hammering right outside the window.  I tried to wake her up so I could bring the kids to Perkins for breakfast. Even though they said the work was perfectly safe, I just thought I’d feel better not being there, what with at least three gas related explosions within 5 miles of our house over the past two years and all….but Katie slept and there were no problem. I guess the angels heard my prayers and protected us that and we had a really competent crew doing the work. Maybe they were the angels, you never know about these things.

I canceled next week’s craft camp because it was scheduled during our school orientation time so this week’s was the very last craft camp of 2011.  We had only 2 kids and 1 helper show up, most folks were AWOL at the State Fair which was fine by me because it was kind of nice to have it be a low key event.The kids worked on kindness coins based on our trip to Tucson, Arizona.  While we were visiting my Uncle Tom at his darling ooo! store right next to the University of Arizona, we stumbled upon this wonderful little courtyard with a blue water fountain and painting stations set up for anyone passing by to paint bells for wind chimes that are handed out every April to unsuspecting folks around town.  The idea is to pay homage to a little boy named Ben who died at a very young age.  The organization is called Ben’s Bells.  If you are the recipient of such a kind act you are simply asked to spread as much kindness as you possibly can.  Ben’s Bells also sells ceramic “Kindness Coins” which you’re supposed to spend when you see someone doing something kind. You give them the coin and tell them that you saw them doing something kind and now it’s there turn to pass it on when they see someone doing something kind.

Using Pluffy clay, the kids rolled it out and used cookie cutters in the shape of a little flower or a heart then we pushed the end of a straw into the middle of it to give it a hole to place a ribbon to connect a piece of paper that said, “I saw you do something kind. Please pass this coin on when you see someone do something kind.”  Then at the bottom of the paper was a quote like this one:  “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” ~James Matthew Barrie and this blog address. I baked the shapes for 15 minutes at 250 degrees and then they painted them after they cooled.

While we waited for the coins to bake, we prepared for the Smiley Face party by filling dozens of yellow water balloons.  It was tricky to tie them off, but I finally got the hang of it.  It was a big watery mess and the kids loved it!

The girls also worked on Goofy Glittery Glasses to honor next week’s letter “G”.  This craft was fun to do but was a total flop and the glasses didn’t work to well other than everyone looked like Elton John.

We made HUGE progress this week on ALL of our outdoor projects and I’m filled with joy to announce that we are all done with the garage and driveway as it was approved by the city inspector.  The porchio (patio + porch: thanks Jen B. for the name) was finished thanks in great part to all of the help of neighbor boy Brandon and our buddy Fletcher who both had previous experience with patio pavers.  Our friend Aly came over and stained the inside of the swing set and kept an eye on the baby while I ran a few errands.  I thanked the kids by buying them all lunch from Jimmy Johns.

One of my errands was to return eight pieces of particle boards to Menard’s. Speaking of Menard’s I made great friends with Ashinta at the Customer Service return desk, Justin, and Kevin who helped me haul all the crap I bought and returned.  I must have looked like a real jack ass carrying them in the van. Every time I stopped they pushed the back door open. I could only drive 15 miles an hour and had to cling to the stupid OSB.  Luckily I was able to take side streets nearly the who way there and only had to stop five times to push it back in. Of course, I found our rope and bungie cords later in the week in the basement where many of the contents of our garage have been stored all summer.

Speaking of storage, we finally moved all of our junk out of our neighbor Katie’s garage. She and her husband Paul were so kind to allow us to put so much of our crap in their garage nearly all summer long.  It’s been really nice to finally have all of our stuff in our own garage and to finally start biking around town.  The baby finally got to use her little red Radio Flyer bike that we gave her for Christmas.  She loves it and loves to zip up and down the driveway.

We finally made it to Sebastian Joe’s which is one of my favorite ice cream places.  I wanted to go during our “S” week but never got a chance. We went to the Linden Hills location and despite her lactose sensitivity, I gave in and let the baby eat a whole cone by herself.  The next day is never pretty but it was worth it in her eyes.  There was a lady sitting at the table next to us who looked at Angie and said, “She is doing justice to the ice cream cone, justice.”  I thought that was pretty funny.

After we finished our cones and hosed off the baby, we walked down to the Bibelot (where I used to sell my Meal Magnets) and Creative Kid’s Stuff in search of a new umbrella for those rainy days at the bus stop.  We found rainbow colored umbrellas (in honor of next week…at the end Alphabet Summer the whole thing turns into a big mish mash of letters as we’re trying to get it all done kind of like the grand finale of a fireworks show).  So now we’re all set for those worm filled street days coming up.

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A is for Art Apron

For sale now at Bellies to Babies size 2-5.

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A is for Art Hanger

I was inspired by Amanda Soule’s Handmade Home book to make this Art Hanger for Maddy’s play area.  I purchased a curtain from Goodwill and sewed four rows of bias tape. I used a tree branch we found on one of our nature hikes as a pole.  Tied it with brown ribbon at the top and used colorful clothes hangers to hang the actual art work and voila She has her own mini art gallery.

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The Kid was home sick from school last Monday and she begged me to pull out the Christmas decorations. She looked so miserable, so I decided to acquiesce just to cheer her up.  This is an very unique Advent calendar we made that is quite a bit different than your traditional calendar with little windows to open.

Using a black marker we wrote a fun activity or tradition we like to do before Christmas on each of the stockings. Then we punched a hole in each stocking and laced ribbon through each of them and tied them onto one really long piece of ribbon that was taped to the fireplace. I had to use a lot of tape and conceded that I may need to repaint the mantel at some point if the paint chips off. The beauty of this advent calendar is that you don’t have to do it in order. Initially I thought it would be great to figure what activities we like to do and in what order but it’s to difficult to plan our time that way.  It works best when at the end of the day we would look at the stockings and find the thing we did and then cut it off until there were no stockings left (that means Santa’s on his way and it’s time to hang his stockings!)  I added several “cushion” stockings with things like listened to Christmas music, watched a Christmas movie, or read Christmas books.  Other activities included:

  1. Set up Advent wreath and candles, lit the first on on the first Sunday of Advent and said a prayer
  2. Lit the second candle of Advent and said a prayer
  3. Lit the third candle of Advent and said a prayer
  4. Lit the fourth candle of Advent and said a prayer
  5. Set up Christmas tree
  6. Decorated the Christmas tree
  7. Set up the nativity scene and figurines
  8. Decorated the house for Christmas
  9. Set up snow globe collection on top of fireplace mantel
  10. Wrote a note to thank Santa for all the gifts and glad tidings he’s brought to me in years past and wouldn’t it be wonderful if you brought me ________this year (then put your shoe out in the front foyer with the letter for Santa) on St. Nicholas Day
  11. Made Christmas hot chocolate mugs and brought them to the neighbors (I’ll post this craft later)
  12. Went through toys and books and picked out some to donate to charity
  13. Bought a brand new toy to give to Toys for Tots
  14. Visited Santa (or these days it’s usually one of Santa’s elves) at the mall
  15. Wrapped presents for cousins and placed under the tree
  16. Sent Christmas cards
  17. Invited a friend over to make Christmas crafts
  18. Baked gingerbread cookies and decorate them (give some to the neighbors and keep some for Santa)
  19. Listened to Christmas music
  20. Read Christmas books
  21. Read Christmas books
  22. Watched Christmas movies
  23. Watched Christmas movies
  24. Pack suitcase for grandma’s house
  25. Leave out milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer

Cost: $6.95 for red, green, and white foam stockings and silver gift wrapping ribbon at Michael’s.  Stockings were on sale and used 40% off coupons for ribbon.

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