Saturday, May 11, 2013
We made cookbooks for our mommies for Mother's Day! Not ordinary ones, of course! Who needs another one of those? The ones we made have pictures of us cute grandkiddies plastered all over the pages and the only recipes we included are ones we've made ourselves, here at grandma's, over the past year.
If you think baking is as fun as a pair of cute little monkeys, you came to the right place!
We also personalized with comments and inside jokes so there's no doubt who the authors are! Let me give you a few examples of that. We all know that once Sae commandeers the hand mixer he won't give it up easily! Thoroughly enjoys envisioning himself as a big-time rough and tough cement truck operator. Our instructions caution you about that hazard. And they correct bloopers, too. Yes. You read that correctly. Bloopers. In other peoples' cookbooks. That photo of the banana, along with Bree's favorite, "That don't go there!" quote is an example of some of the cautionary no-nos we feature. Goofy old recipe! Never mentioned peeling your bananas before you toss!
For a 12 page cookbook, front and back covers included, accordion fold an 8.5" x 12" sheet of scrapbook paper into 1/2" increments along the shorter side. Use a straightedge and folding tool for best results. This will be the spine.
Design pages on cardstock and/or scrapbook paper cut to 5.5" x 8.5" When complete, glue inside vertical edges to the pleats in the spine as shown.
We really liked the way our books turned out using this easy - and inexpensive - binding method. Father's Day gift books are in the works too. However, since the daddies in this family are better at eating cookies than making them, they will receive art collections instead of recipes. Wait'll you see the boys' books! They sport reference tabs for "monsters," for "race cars" and "dinosaurs," and we're working on covers with artists in jaunty little berets. Sooo much talent between the pages of our gift books for daddy! Promise you'll come back to see them?
Thanks for stopping by today, all you nice people! Happy (Grand) Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 4, 2013
One of the most fun things about being a grandma is conspiring with the kids to make gifts for their parents. Especially for Mother's Day. Most daddies are good at taking the kids out to buy something nice, but it's the rare one who can handle sitting down with them to make a coveted gift that will end up being a lifelong treasure. That's where grandmas shine!
But what to make? Lots of cute ideas out there these days! I have found a favorite spot for gathering ones I don't concoct myself. Ever stopped by Grandma Ideas? Oh my. She didn't just pull that blog name out of an idle dictionary. This author means what she says and invites you to come on over and poke around for lots and lots of fun things to do. (Young mommies welcome too! We both enjoy having you as readers!)
I love how Nina's suggestions cover home made gifts, activities for all of the holidays, and plenty of ordinary times in between. You'll find a wide range - ones requiring the quickest prep, such as cute print-color-and-cut project pages for Easter to those needing a bit more in materials and supervision like home made puffy paint pictures (cute grandparent gifts!) And easy and awesome glow jars would be fun presents to give to siblings. There are crafts for older kids too. How about a set of 3-D snowflakes for parents at Christmas? Space to work, paper, and basic instruction provided at grandma's house are all you'd have to add.
And Nina offers cute games to play -inside and out- during present-making breaks. Like this clever ball toss game and a wonderful masking tape road system idea. She'll also direct you to clear, easy instructions for lots of outside summer fun. I love the pop bottle sprinkler and I think kids would, too!
Yikes. At this point I wonder if I shouldn't just copy and paste that entire blog! Everything I see there is a real "keeper!" Recipes, too. Just a few, but quality over quantity. Ones that rate in kid-appeal - perfect and practical to make and enjoy at grandma's...like the peanut butter cheese ball. Yum! We're making that one for sure next time!
And finally! If you aspire to share top tech-learning-fun-and-games with the kids in your life, well that's all well researched and nicely covered at Grandma Ideas too."Digi-Gram" specializes in that area and if you think everything else on her site is cool - wait'll you see the fantastic resources she digs up and shares on a regular basis!
What a treasure trove lies buried at Grandma Ideas for each and every holiday, gifting occasion - and plenty - waaaaay plenty! - of ordinary times in between!
We made wrapping paper kits! That's right! How simple can you get? Or practical? I gave each child a thin 18" x 24" piece of white paper and a set of potato halves, tempera paint, and markers. They printed away, drawing features when dry, resulting in happy pages that crawled with personable bugs! All that remained was for grandma to match a coordinating sheet of tissue, roll them up together, tie with reusable ribbon, and attach a name tag punched from smaller water colored odds and ends. So how about that for user-friendliness? Mommy won't even have to unwrap her gift until the night before Father's Day, she won't need to buy paper, and daddy will be delighted to see what's not only inside his gift, but OUTSIDE as well! If carefully unwrapped, favorite sections can be saved and popped into frames for both parents to enjoy for years ahead....the ultimate gift that keeps on giving!
And that's a wrap!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Welcome to the world, Kaylee Rose!
My sixth grandchild - and fourth granddaughter - was born last week to our youngest daughter, Karen, and our wonderful son-in-law, "daddy." Already Kaylee soothes herself at the sound of his voice. Joe is a natural at his new job!
Eventually, we will have lots of sewing and crafting and baking to do together, but for the time being my wish to my new granddaughter is to just enjoy having everyone stop by to see that cute little face while snuggling in the warmth of loving parents. Don't be in any hurry to grow up, little sweetie! We love you just the way you are right now!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
It has been four and a half years and I'm still learning about little boys, studying them as if they were seven-legged, three-headed curiosities beneath a microscope. As one of three sisters who became a mother to three more, my experience in this area has been limited. When mother's friends brought their young sons along on a visit, my sisters and I would line up to simply stare at them. Approaching age ten, the stares turned to giggles. We didn't know how to talk to them, play with them or what to do with them. In a way, I still don't. But I'm getting there!
My present day twin grandsons have taken me by the hand and introduced me to the place where little boys happily dwell. Monsters live there. So do "bad guys." Anything with wheels shouts "vroooom" and crashes into things. Sofas are caves of upended cushions. Elevated hearths are where you stand to cast your line and go "fishing." And sticks? Well, over here, sticks rule! Yard sticks, backyard sticks, regular sticks...any old stick will do. The boys run to grab them, leaving me, once again, speechless and staring. What the heck is it about those darn sticks?
One day last week grandpa moved the yardsticks and panic ensued. Our sticks! Where are they? We need our STICKS! Relief arrived in quickly subbed wrapping paper tubes, and once again there were swords to wield, barricades to erect, laser beams to focus, poles to fish with, and pointers and pokers for every need.
But little boys are okay with plain-brown-wrapper sticks and grandmas are not. So we fixed that.
After that, this grandma no longer wonders about sticks. I have my own now and am very, very happy to share cushioned caves concealing monsters and mount vroooming trucks in pursuit of bad guys to poke with the pointer I decorated alongside two little boys who fully understand how to be themselves and don't mind inviting grandma along for the ride!
Saturday, April 6, 2013
What's small, round and cute, fits nicely into the palm of your little hand, is able-to-see-quite-well-thank-you-very-much through a pair of plastic wiggle eyes, lives in a box, swims in a puddle, climbs on the rocks, snaps at a mosquito, snaps at a flea, snaps at a minnow, snaps at me, and goes pokin' along on a string after being made at grandma's house on an afternoon full of sunshine and fun?
Pet turtles for everybody?
Pet turtles for everybody! YES!
|2013 version of my original creation|
Wish I still had the first one!
I also remember stringing together paper caps, ones diligently saved from glass bottles that delivered morning snack milk. Stupid white yarn! It snarled at me and tangled, and in frustration I tossed it beneath my table. The dark shadow that immediately appeared behind me was Sister Conrad. She called me a naughty girl and made me retrieve and complete it. Who in their right mind would ever want to wear the "belt" that bungled mess eventually became? Not me.
And those two projects - the very best and the very worst - are the only ones I remember from my inaugural year as a student.
In our family, everything's a cat toy! Bree's pet, Ted, thinks she made this one for him.
Draw a free hand turtle outline a bit larger than the walnut half on card stock and cut it out. Kids can paint the shell and draw features on the body. Cut a hole a bit smaller than a marble in the center of paper turtle. Place marble inside the shell and glue body in place over it. Pull a needle with a long length of heavy thread through the nose and knot to complete.
|Buttons? Glue? All gone?|
And you think I might know where they went?
*Vachel Lindsay wrote The Little Turtle poem for his niece in 1918, well before even I was born! (really!)
Monday, April 1, 2013
Okay, I've tolerated this cheap looking staircase in the entry of my house long enough! Do you think I should have it torn down? What about those tacky lamps? And the ugly carpeting? Oh, and the pots of greenery. What about those? Do you think I should put them out on the curb? Should I ask the servants to help me choose a new paint color too? Do you think that would help make this space a little bit classier? Do you think those tile floors are too shiny? What about that red velvet settee? And the planter that blocks my view of the three story conservatory? Do you think that should go too? Do you think this is really my house? Do you think maybe it's April Fool's Day and everybody else has posted something clever and funny and I'm hurrying too fast and trying too hard to compete even though everybody can see right through me and knows this is the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York and that's me about five years ago thinking I'm so cool acting like the lady of the house and suggesting the place needs a remodeling job?
Is that what everybody thinks? Really?
Is that what everybody thinks? Really?
Monday, March 25, 2013
Others scoff at days past when school girls learned domestic trade in "Home Ec" classes, leaving male counterparts to wrangle with and create bigger, braver things from table saws. Not me!
I'm glad my own grandmothers weren't out in the field, targets of a charging bull, or that I wasn't given a chance to saw off my own fingers. Had those gory events occurred, I wouldn't be here now, sewing away, anxious to pass this gentle skill to the four lovely young ladies I call granddaughters.
I think you can be satisfied that women are no longer bred for the purpose of keeping men in hand sewn britches and home made stew, yet still covet, for ourselves, the territory of learning to thread and pull a needle at the knee of an attentive grandmother. That is where I learned to sew and that is where my granddaughters will too. Some tasks simply are proprietary to women, and men have no business snooping around, attempting to probe the secrets of our sewing baskets! We carefully tuck them away between use because they hold not only what we need to create beauty right now, but also the expectation that someday our own will reach deep inside the same place to carry forward our legacy to a next generation.
I don't have a sewing basket that evokes nostalgic memory of me sitting fireside, mending an army of family socks. Wish I did. But don't. My stuff spills inside and out of cardboard shoe boxes, plastic bins and rusting tins. Here a needle, there a thread, everywhere a scissors and not a plan inside my head!
My gift to my granddaughters is a promise. In two parts. From pretty patches placed within, I will teach each one to sew. We'll fashion doll quilts first, finding threads and notions my own mother held and often used. The timeless jars belonged to their great-great grandmothers, filled and shared during the first of five generations I have known and loved. While we stitch, first one row, then two, then three....I will do my best to make each grand-lady come alive once more. My granddaughters will know from where they came and by whom they arrived.
I will elicit a promise in return. Tell and do, someday, the same, describing vintage jars with hand stitched nesting birds along with vivid tales of ladies past who bequeathed to them the gentle art of sewing......
And now, my little flock of birds and I flutter away to join The Pantry at Family Home and Life where my lovely friend, Connie, safely tends a virtual museum of domesticated Mason jars - the bountiful fruit of creative women everywhere!
Click here for Mason Jar Monday #1 and here for #2