Saturday, February 14, 2015

"Little Love Nest" Kissing Booth

I've always wanted to try my hand at a vintage style carnival kissing booth - a real show stopper - loud and gaudy, singing heartily with color and crazy pizzazz. One like this - the perfect party prop for our family Valentine's Day love fest.

No sooner than it was set up, little Kaylee scrambled to be the first to check it out........

.....and was immediately greeted by her first customer! Jersey (rescued, of course!) has always been a perfect gentleman. That's why he waits politely in line for his turn to slurp a cold wet tongue upon those cute and chubby cheeks!

We have a range of prices here, depending on what size of kiss you'd like. But daddies of little girls need not bother with these signs. This is standard policy:

"Kisses For Daddy - Always Free!"

But everybody enjoys a little freebie now and then!
"Help Yourself" is implied, of course........

Ava does exactly that!

Word of the day: "Awww!"
Here's our newest "man of the family." Mommy grabbed him for a smooch before anybody else could. But grandma's next in line. And once I scoop him up, well, good luck getting him back any time soon, everybody!

Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers!
I love you all....every day!

Making your own kissing booth is pretty self explanatory by looking at these photos. Cover 4 sides of a suitable height base box (no larger than 20" x 30" top surface*) with red bulletin board paper. Cut holes into top at center sides to accommodate two 5' upholstery tubes. Cover part of tubes that show with white paper. Remove tubes. Make newspaper pattern of base top, indicating holes cut for tubes. Cut a 20" x 30" foam board to match and lay it in place. (Allow a front overhang of a few inches if desired.) Replace tubes. Position a second foam board to span both tubes, and determine shape and size of archway with a newspaper pattern. Use craft knife to cut it out. Duct tape board to tubes. Decorate, as shown, with bunched up tissue paper, hand made or purchased paper medallions, craft punched birds and hearts, and other paper accents. Paint wooden hearts and glue to empty thread spools to hang printed signs. Cut letters from craft paper and glue to small wooden spools nestled inside tissue paper background.

Red bulletin board paper and 20" x 30" white foam boards are sold at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Ask for upholstery tubes at fabric stores (including Hobby Lobby).
*That's because 20" x 30" is a standard size foam board.

This original design, like all blog content, is intended for personal use only. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Thank you!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Valentine Workshop

"Okay. Lemme see. I want these, and those,
and two more of that and lots and lots more of this!"

Rules, rules, rules! Here come those art teachers - always loaded with them. How nice to attend a crafty event where there aren't any of those pesky things! Well, okay. Not exactly. You can't poke your brother's eye out with scissors and you can't glue your little sister to her chair. But you can dive into grandma's pile of red, white and pink paper, pom poms, buttons, punches, feathers, glitter, stickers, wiggle eyes, markers, paint and crayons and have yourself a merry little valentine making session by putting together anything you want, the way you want it!

We held one of these "do-it-your-own-way" workshops recently and it netted each of six little cousins their own tenderly made stack of cards for mommy, daddy, grandparents and friends. Mommies were right there to help, but creativity spilled independently and abundantly from the hearts - and glitter bottles! - of every little craft maker present.

Young boys gravitate toward things mechanical. Sae operated every paper punch like a pro and was the go-to guy for any shape you took a fancy to! He doesn't know it yet, but he'll find a star shaped one in his bag of valentine goodies from grandma and grandpa!

Little sissy, Angeline, crafts with a delicate hand. One carefully glued item at a time! This one's for mommy, so it has to be perfect!

Twin sissy, Ava, is in love with the look of pom poms!

Somehow I managed to slip in a rule or two. One of them was a designated "glitter station," slightly removed from the enthusiasm of the work table. Here's Nick, carefully considering his choice of color and placement.

Brielle is a lover of butterflies, sparkly jewels and the color pink. She was in valentine heaven!

It's evident that some of us are partial to stickers, others to wiggle eyes. But "everybody and his/her brother" (and sister!) is partial to glue. After allowing a healthier than normal drying time, we admired the fruits of our labor. And you can too, grandma. There's still time! A sweep through Dollar Tree will score you nearly everything you see here. Well, except for the six little artists. Those little love bugs are not for sale!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

U R 2 Cute!

In lots of ways, it's always Valentine's Day over here. When grandkids show up at my door, I squeal in delight, "U R 2 Cute!" That's followed by, "'Luv Bug!' come here and 'Hug Me!'" And "You Bet" that nothing but more "Sweet Talk" punctuates the rest of our time together. Each one of these kids is my "Sweetie," my "Cool Cat," and my "Top Dog!"

I start planning Valentine goodies for them right after Christmas. So far its been little collections of artsy-craftsy supplies. These items keep them busy on cold winter evenings and foster valuable hands-on skills for kids aged two and up. Small packs of brightly colored card stock, craft punches, sketch pads, "smelly" markers, watercolor sets and sticker sheets fill this year's line up of six glossy red paper sacks. I also include Valentine cards, of course, stuffed with a little cash for the toy store. But each "Baby" needs "Something Sweet" too! And this year it comes in the shape of a grandma-made Rice Krispie "Bear Hug" peeking coyly over the top of each gift bag!

Here's what you'll need to make one 3" Rice Krispie teddy bear pop:

I cup Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 tablespoon butter
1.5 oz. mini marshmallows + a few extras for use as "glue"
3 black candy Pearls
1 small conversation heart candy
24" length 3/8" wide Valentine ribbon
1 paper Valentine straw
Pointed wooden skewer and kitchen scissors (optional) for use as sculpting tools

And here's what you'll do:

1. Melt butter in small pan. Add marshmallows and stir to melt together. Gradually add cereal, working quickly to incorporate all.

2. As soon as mixture is cool enough to handle, tightly compress two balls, 2" for body and 1.5" for head. Add a 1/2" oval shaped ball to lower front of face for muzzle. Press head and body together to hold.

3. From remaining cereal form two ears and press to top of head. Form 2 tubes, each 2" long, for arms and attach - leave 1/2" space at center front for candy heart. Form 2 tubes, each 1.5" long, for legs and attach.

If you have difficulty making the parts attach, melt a few extra marshmallows for use as "glue." Apply it with the wooden skewer and press to hold until firm. If needed, use scissors to trim ears neatly.

4. Poke holes into head and nestle candy Pearls for eyes and nose. Attach candy heart.
5. Wrap ribbon around neck and tie into a 4 loop bow.
6.  Poke hole into center bottom of bear and insert straw.

So, what do you think?
"Too Cute"?
"I Do!"

This original design, like all blog content, is intended for personal use only. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Thank you!