Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pretty Birds, Pony Beads, and Pizza!

It's summer and Drop-In Days at Grandma's are back! These two+ hour, weekly opportunities are open to all grandchildren* ages three and up. Cute craft projects and drawing lessons await them. Kids interact with cousins and sample a variety of media - oil pastels, chalk, tempera and water color paint among them. We build inventory for family clothesline art shows and make seasonal decorations and gifts for parents. I'll eventually introduce origami, hand sewing, and weaving. So far, I've kept things simple and limited to what I already know. Very firmly set in my ways, you might say! That is, until dozens of light bulbs went off in my head on a recent visit to Grandma Honey's House!

Now, this remarkable lady, Pamela, is a well-seasoned multi-category baking and recipe contest winner; honors include three stints as a Pillsbury Bake Off finalist! But reading between the lines, I suspect she's most proud of her role as a grandmother who delights in entertaining her kiddoes with cooking/baking lessons. And I don't mean just the push-button ice cream machine output we call "cooking" over here! "Grandma Honey" directs youngsters through the proper process of making healthy breakfast menus, tasty fruit snacks, decadent pastries, and, most recently, pizza! In fact, her blog series on kitchen skills for kids is so clearly outlined that it comprises an excellent guide for achieving the same satisfying results with your own grandchildren. She's done all the homework for us, sharing basics like measuring tips and proper use of equipment - things people like me don't ordinarily consider. All I needed to wake myself up was the fleeting image of my own grandchildren, stranded on a deserted island, knowing nothing but how to glue sequins to a Popsicle stick! From now on, Drop-In Days at Grandma's include Grandma Honey's cooking projects as well!

This week, three year old Kaylee and five year old Brielle dropped in for "Pretty Birds, Pony Beads, and Pizza!"

But first - pizza!

Grandma Honey suggests a packaged dough, but I "short-cutted" that step with a two pound recipe churned up in my bread maker. That quantity was more than enough to yield a pair of nicely sized pies that went home hot in "official" pizza boxes** - dinner for family that evening - rolled, sauced, cheese-sprinkled and pepperoni-topped by very proud little ladies on their way to lifelong self-sufficiency in the kitchen! And how do I know this? Mommy told me that Brielle's enthusiastic comment on the way home was, "I fixed tonight's dinner! You guys just sat on the couch!"

I also scored well with the pet "wrist birds" we made. These were inspired by a design you'll find here at a creative blog sponsored by Princeton University.

Three inch wrapping paper tube sections form the body of these happy little chirps. Kids choose their own colors and punch out oval and circle shapes to decorate. Once feathers are firmly glued, a pipe cleaner is threaded through a pair of punched holes for attachment to wrist.

Sigh!....watching glue dry....not the "funnest" part of anybody's summer!

But don't worry, sweetie! Grandma's got another project for you........!

Little ladies plowed through piles of pretty paper, plastic straws, and pony beads galore. These were the ingredients for summery necklaces (modeled by Kaylee) that offer pattern setting experience - (or not!) It's my suggestion that grandmas offer sumptuous quantities of choices: colors! textures! patterns! In this case, a 2" daisy-shaped paper punch made quick work of the finest in paper jewelry!

Use thin yarn to string necklaces, but roll the ends in a strip of masking tape to make threading easier. I offered a red, white, and blue star option with striped paper straw beads, but both girly-girls wanted to sport daisies - and I didn't blame them one bit!

 *Currently, I'm entertaining just the grandkids. But a "Bring a Friend" event is something I'm considering, too.

**I found pizza boxes locally, but they're available at Amazon and Uline. I received excellent service a few years ago from the latter when I ordered Chinese take out boxes. Both items create a special touch when cooking for the family - "curb-side pick-up" dinners for my daughters' families are very much appreciated!


  1. wonderful girls and yummy piza. Love from sunny Europe

  2. Hello, J! Pizza and birds, two of my favorite things. What fun projects. The wrist birds are so cute. I love pizza and pepperoni, YUM!
    Enjoy your day and the weekend ahead!

  3. I thought I was getting a good laugh at "you guys just sat on the couch" but then the watching glue dry. Her expression!! I just bust out laughing...that one is so darn cute and hysterical! What a capture...

    The girls are just adorable :)

  4. Always such fun - love the "couch comment". And what industrious little gals - working so hard at their crafts and cooking, and waiting for glue to dry. Happy weekend my dear.

  5. Pamela does have a wonderful blog! She is to cooking what you are to crafting! You both outdo the rest of us. Amara, Sophia and Celia are coming to spend the afternoon with me on Friday and I had been planning to have them do pizza too! LOVE Brielle's new hair cut!

  6. Oh they are precious. I love children. We have 6 and 11 grands and 2 ggrands. What fun people to be with.

  7. What fun! I love the owls - thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party!

  8. What beautiful little guests you had! They did such a great job with everything!! You are just the best, I am so humbled by your comments about me..thank you. I am cracking up with the comment that she will fix supper and they can sit on the couch!! Hysterical.

  9. This makes me long for days with my tiny grandboy! What fun!

  10. What a fun day and dinner to go. You really are over the top on the Grandma chart. But, I'm going to readily admit that it is challenging to read the text when I can barely get by the photos of those two cute little girls. I just sit here smiling and have to go back and reread because I got on such a detour thinking how cute they are and how much I'd want to give them a big hug. You are one lucky woman and your grands won the lottery getting you as their Grandma extraordinaire. :-)

  11. I love the little one watching the glue dry. The birds are really cute. I think my granddaughter would love making those. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.