Category Archives: Uncategorized

Window Dressing

Standard

When I first saw this pin, from Janette at Style with Cents, I envisioned it in my house.

I wanted it right under this window, which faces out onto our screened porch/backyard, and I wanted it with seating for two.

The window is in the “eat in” portion of the kitchen, which we have open right now to allow for His Majesty to hoop it up with his Little Tykes basketball hoop.  He’s energetic.  Rather than fight it, we make it work.  We eat at the island, or in the formal dining room, and give him the run of the family room and all of the kitchen on one side of the island. Our kitchen table currently lives in the garage.  We’ll bring it in someday.  I’m not in a hurry.

Anyway, I thought the little shelf desk concept would work out great under this window, and my sweet husband agreed.  He went to Home Depot with the intention of getting a 48 x 12 shelf board and some shelf brackets.  He came home with shelf brackets, but no shelf board.  Because he’d found something better while he was there.

A stair tread.

A stair tread is thicker than a shelf board (1 inch thick vs. 3/4 inch thick) and the edge was already rounded, eliminating sharp corners and taking away the need to router the edges.  And it looked like a shelf board to me, so I had no complaints.

He painted the tread and brackets with three coats of the same white paint as our trim, and then got to work hanging it up.

Because he positioned the brackets underneath the windows, he was able to secure them into wall studs, increasing the sturdiness of the desk.

And then we got to work finding kiddie chairs.  We looked online at Ikea.  We looked online at Target.  We looked online on Amazon.

And then we found these plans from the amazing Ana White. She’s pretty much my hero, and her plans have enabled my husband to build me all sorts of stuff.

The next day, he built these two chairs in about 2.5 hours, at a total cost of around $20. 

Now the biggest decision we have to make is what color to paint or stain them.

I am debating whether to keep them white like the shelf, to stain them to match the cabinets, or to do them in a bold accent color.  But for now, they’re just bare wood, while I make up my mind.

His Majesty now has a place to color, eat a snack, sit with a friend, etc, that doesn’t require him to be confined to his high chair, a fact that he definitely appreciates.   If we decide to homeschool him, he will have a place to do his lessons that keeps him near me while I go about doing my work in the kitchen, and keeps Christopher from being distracted while he works up in the office.

But for now, it’s just fun, and functional.  But I need to decide on a finish for the chairs.  What do you think?  Bold accent color?  Simple white?  Matching stain?  I am going to need some help deciding.

Red, White, and Blue-tiful!

Standard

While visiting Hobby Lobby last week, I noticed that tulle, in all sorts of colors, was on sale for 77 cents per yard.  Normally, it’s pretty cheap, but bright signs reading “Sale” really draw my attention, so I knew I had to have some.  The question however, was, what colors did I want, and what was I going to make?

Enter my transition to the “smart phone”.

Yes, go ahead and snicker.  I just now, within the past six weeks, have upgraded to a fancy phone.  Boy was I resistant, too.  I am not one of those people who learn how to use electronics very quickly, plus, I have deficient fingers when it comes to controlling a touch screen.  Whenever I try to use my husband’s Droid, I end up getting frustrated and giving up.   I was holding tightly to my old “dumb” phone, and was quite happy with it.

But, when I went to New York, my husband insisted that a smart phone would be useful (and he was right, natch).  I picked an iphone, since I love my Macbook and have an ipod touch somewhere in the bottom of my purse– or maybe it’s in my glove box, who knows–, and I figured that a little brand loyalty would make it a more seamless transition to the new device.  I’m happy to report that I am able to make calls on my new phone, and while I don’t use it, or poor neglected Siri, for even a fraction of their capabilities, I did manage to find the Pinterest App.  Thanks to that stroke of luck, I was able to pull up my boards, right there in the fabric section, and decide on my colors.

I quickly decided to make a wreath, to decorate our door in honor of the next holiday on deck, Independence Day.  And talk about some cute inspiration wreaths, there are so many great ones for Independence Day.  Plus, with red, white and blue, you can also hang it around Memorial Day, 9-11, Veterans Day, D-Day, or any other time you want to be patriotic– and being patriotic never goes out of season.

I found three really great red, white, and blue wreaths as inspiration.  First, there was this one made of felt stars from Naptime Crafting.  (BTW, isn’t that a great blog name?  I can totally relate to capitalizing on the craft possibilities of nap time.)

Then there’s this one made with pinned felt squares from Sky, at Capital B.

Source: Capital B

And then this yarn wrapped version from Jamie at The Creative Imperative.

The theme being obviously flag based,  it was definitely amenable to using tied tulle, rather than felt, yard, or other mediums. Plus, tied tulle takes less time than yarn wrapping, or cutting and pinning/gluing felt.

I stocked up on 3 yards of white (figuring it would be thinner, and I’d need to layer more of it to keep it from being transparent), 2 yards of red, and 2 yards of blue.  I probably could have gotten by with 1.5 yards of red, but I had no way of knowing that until I came home, and at 77 cents a yard, a little leftover isn’t such a big deal.  I also picked up a 12 inch wreath form– your finished wreath will be larger because of the fluffy nature of the tulle; My finished product is 19.5 inches in diameter–, a firework themed ribbon, and a $3 package of sticky mirrored stars.  Grand total– using a 40% off coupon for the wreath form– $16 plus tax.  Not too shabby.

I started by folding the yarn in half lengthwise, and cutting it into strips about 4 inches wide (I didn’t measure, I just eyeballed it, and focused more on getting the cuts reasonably straight.  The tulle bunches when you tie it, making this a really forgiving project).  That gave me a stack of strips about 26 inches long by 4 inches wide.

Then I folded those strips in half (making them about 13 inches long, and started to tie the folded strips around the wreath form.

I mentioned that the tulle bunches up when you tie it, which ends up making each of your bands about 2 inches wide.   I then alternated tying white and red strips.

I did this until about 3/4 of the wreath form was covered, and then I started tying on blue strips.

I covered the rest of the wreath in blue tulle, and then tied a strip of ribbon around the form in a simple knot, covering it up by angling two strips of the blue tulle, so that you can’t see it other than the portion that is used for hanging the wreath. Like I said, this is a forgiving project.  Then I placed some mirrored stars on the blue portion, and hot glued them.  Their own adhesive was meant for simple paper, it wasn’t going to be able to permanently adhere to tulle.

I originally thought about doing stars all over, but when I placed them, I thought it was overkill, and that it made the design less reminiscent of an American Flag, so I ultimately only glued stars on the blue portion.  What do you think?

I hung it on the door, and it immediately got approval from the neighborhood kids.  Nothing like a bunch of elementary aged girls oohing and ahhing at your creation to boost your crafting self esteem.

The whole project took about 2 hours, and the bulk of that was cutting the strips of tulle.  Honestly, once you get that out of the way, it’s a piece of cake.

And it’s pretty festive looking, even from the driveway.  I just love a wreath on the door, it makes me smile whenever I drive in.

What about you? Anything exciting going on at your home lately?  Or at work?  Or in your imagination?  Big plans for Independence Day cookouts or travels?

3 Quick NYC Tidbits

Standard

Just popping in to share 3 quick helpful pieces of information that I learned while I was in NYC last week.  Then I’ll be back blogging later this week, starting with sharing a Mother’s Day project.  Ooooh, it is going to be so cute!!

Ok, so here are the tips that I learned. These will be useful if you decide to plan a trip to New York, which, by the way, I highly recommend. Here’s what you need to know:

1).  There is no sales tax on clothing or shoes priced at less than $110 per item.   That saves you 8.5% (4% NY state and 4.5% city) on some of your purchases… I’m not proud to admit how much I used this savings to my advantage, or of the fact that I used said savings when describing my purchases to my husband: “Oh honey, I spent XYZ, but I SAVED so much money!”

2). If you go to the Vistor’s Center in Macy’s and show them your out of state ID, you get a discount card for 11% off of your purchases (with a few exclusions, such as cosmetics and fragrances). But I mainly bought clothes and shoes, so when you add that to the tax discount, I saved almost 20%, right from the get go.  I then applied some of that savings towards the cost of the postage for shipping a few boxes home, since I broke a cardinal travel rule and didn’t leave enough room in my luggage to account for my purchases.  I wasn’t the only one who broke that rule, though.  There were several other women in line with me at the post office on 52nd Street doing the exact same thing!  Desperate times call for waiting in line at the Post Office on your last morning of vacation, I guess.

Ok, so let’s get to #3.  You should know that a lot of people come to Macy’s… tons in fact… and that the bathrooms were yucky.  Suffice it to say that my 4 foot 8 inch tall Grandmother was diligently looking for a manager to complain to until I managed to talk her down.  Which brings me to this seriously useful piece of information:

3). Starbucks has public bathrooms. You don’t have to buy anything to use them, and I’m happy to report that they’re remarkably clean.  With 194 locations in Manhattan alone, you won’t have a hard time finding one, although you might have to wait in line for a few minutes.  People love them some Starbucks, even in NYC.  They didn’t cram 200 of those bad boys 34 square miles for nothing, that’s for sure, and there was a line at the register at every one we passed, regardless of the time of day.

Anyway, tips aside, the visit was wonderful, we did everything we wanted to do and more, and I have 900 pictures to show for it.

Here’s just one of me and my Grandma at the top of the (obviously extremely windy) Empire State Building.

Isn’t she the cutest thing? You should see the outfits she wears, she is adorable.  And the woman loves to shop as much as I do– maybe more.  We’d be out for 12 hours running around from here to there, and she’d see a window display that she liked, and in we’d go.  She’s an awesome shopping buddy.

So, for now, it’s back to the normal grind, plus making Mother’s Day crafts, and figuring out what to give His Majesty’s play school teachers as an end of the year gift.  Plus, I’ve read two more books, and tried a few new recipes, and I want to tell you about those.  Oh, and you just wait until you see what my husband built me for our screened porch!  I’m excited to share some more stuff with you.

What did you do last week?  Make anything?  Buy anything?  Go somewhere? Do something fun?  I want to hear all about it!

 

 

Easter Egg Door Decor

Standard

As much as I loved my Valentine’s Day wreath, I had to take it down, being that it was about a month after Valentine’s Day.  But no worries.  I replaced it with something just as pretty.

My (p)inspiration to make an Easter Wreath came from this “Easter Egg and TuTu Wreath” from My Creative Way and this “Yarn Egg Wreath” from The Sweet Survival.  Both sources offer really easy to follow tutorials.  Ultimately, it came down to which was going to take more time, and I decided that an Easter Egg and Tutu wreath was going to be faster and easier to pull off, and, I’m happy to tell you that I completed mine in about an hour while watching Netflix while Christopher played outside with his friends and His Majesty took a nice, and much appreciated, nap.  But, I also put my own spin on the design of the finished product, partly because I wanted to in the first place, and partly because I ran into a problem with my original plan.

I originally planned to cover the entire wreath in strips of tulle, like the tutorial at Creative Way had done but using a foam wreath form, but then my goal was to cover the entire front of the wreath with Easter Eggs, using a hot glue gun.  Then I was going to fill in any gaps with eyelash yarn, hoping that it would look a little like plastic Easter “grass”.

I was worried that I didn’t have enough eggs.  Turns out the eggs weren’t the problem.  I’ll come back to that in a second.

So, I started by cutting the tulle into strips about as long as the diameter of the wreath form.

I folded the strips of tulle along the length, to make them less sheer, and to give them more fluff, and then tied them in a knot.

You see that glitter in the tulle? That shiny, pretty glitter?  It wasn’t so pretty when it was all over my floor.  What a mess.  Anyway, I tied the strips of tulle all along the wreath… Until I ran out, which was about halfway around.

*Sigh*

At that point, I decided to finish as much as I could by glueing the eggs along the tulle wrapped portion of the wreath, and then go back to the craft store at some point to pick up more tulle, allowing me to finish the wreath.  I applied a little hot glue along the opening of the eggs, to keep them intact, and then I applied a big glob of glue on the egg itself and pressed it to the tulle to stick them together. I alternated the colors, simply because I’m cool like that.

Once I’d covered the front of the tulle covered portion in eggs(I would have been dead on accurate with 50 eggs if I’d covered the entire thing, by the way), I held it up and examined it, and just as I was ready to clean up my mess and put it aside until I was able to get to the store for more tulle, and the idea struck me to cover the top portion of the wreath form in the eyelash yarn, which I thought might make the wreath slightly reminiscent of an actual Easter basket.  Plus, I reasoned, there really wasn’t enough space between the eggs to easily use the eyelash yarn otherwise, so why not.  I didn’t have any other options at the moment, so I gave it a try.

I was so unsure about the idea that I didn’t even glue the yarn, I just wrapped it around itself and tucked it in where it met the tulle.  It’s held up fine on the front door thus far, but if it looks decent when I take it down, I’ll glue a few pieces to secure it before I store it.  (But, that probably won’t be an issue, since the pollen in the air is almost certainly going to do a number on it and prevent me from using it again next year anyway). After I’d finished wrapping it, I took a leftover piece of tulle that had been just a touch too short to use earlier, and tied it at the top of the wreath, so that I could hang it.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and I’m extra glad that I was able to finish it in one sitting, and avoid another trip to the store (which I’m sure my husband is happy about).  I love seeing the colors when I pull in the driveway, all bright and cheery and spring-like.  It’s enough to bring a smile to my face every time.

So, what’s decorating your door these days?  Do you decorate for Easter?

Venturing Into Natural Remedies

Standard

I built a career working in healthcare.  Belief in Western Medicine pays the bills in my house, built the foundation of a good portion of my social circle, and occupies a huge percentage of my long term memory.   I believe in it like I believe in God, which is to say that I’m absolutely and unabashedly sure of its worth and importance in my life, even though there is still much that I don’t know or understand. But, just because I value and believe strongly in Western Medicine doesn’t mean that I don’t also appreciate other approaches towards health and wellness.  In fact, over the past few years, I have tried several homeopathic and herbal remedies with my own family, mostly with the help of my good friend Patty.  She’s steadily becoming my homeopathy guru.

When His Majesty was born, Patty  was one of the first visitors to come to our home.  She’s kind of the matriarch of our social group, the Don of our Mommy Mafia if you will, and she’s got to lay eyes on any newbies ASAP, give her approval, and read them a beautiful story that tugs on your super hormonal postpartum heart strings, and makes you fight back tears.   Anyway, during this visit, she gave me some breastfeeding support, and informed me that my breast milk would cure just about any problem his Majesty might have.  Diaper rash.  Pink eye.  Nasal congestion.  Eczema.   Now, honestly… she’s a little crunchier than I am, and I thought she was a little nuts for a minute there.  But Patty has a handful of children, and years more experience with infants (and with lactating, for that matter) then I ever will, so, when His Majesty woke up with a gunky eye on the day before his newborn photos would be taken, I squirted him in the eye with breast milk.  My husband, the wise man that he is, believes so much in the wisdom of my Patty that he even helped me get my aim right.

His eye was better- I’m talking completely cleared up- in 12 hours.

A few months later, when His Majesty started to become more mobile, and thus, began to bump his head into things, Patty recommended that I buy Arnica.  Do you know what Arnica is? I had never heard of it, but Arnica is magic.  It’s magic.  There’s no other way to describe it. You know how kids will bump their heads into things, and get those goose egg bruises?  Or when your toddler breaks away from your grasp and makes a run for freedom, thus running face first into the crystal clear, streak free, floor to ceiling glass windows at the Apple Store?  Oh, that’s just my nutty kid?  Well, either way, I have personally watched as bumps and bruises fade away in mere minutes following the application or ingestion of Arnica.  And, it must feel better, too, because His Majesty will ask for demand it by name (“Hurt head.  Need Arnica!”).

After His Majesty’s breathing problems earlier this month, I mentioned to Patty that he definitely seemed to have an environmental component to his symptoms.  In fact, after a few hours outside (we have had the warmest winter, it’s been unreal), he required a nebulized albuterol breathing treatment, and another one that evening before bed.    Breathing problems are obviously concerning, even with the proper equipment and an effective medication, and the nebulizer treatments are not only time consuming to administer, but they are also not without side effects (notedly, restlessness and irritability, which are particularly unpleasant in not-yet-completely-verbal toddler). Given that, Patty offered to let me try some of her homemade Elderberry Syrup, explaining to me that it can help ease the symptoms of not only environmental allergies, but also of the cold and flu viruses, and also works to improve mood, and boost immunity. She sells it for $8 a pint, which is far cheaper than the elderberry syrup that you’ll find at the store, plus hers is made with superior ingredients.

Given the solid history of following Patty’s advice, what do you think I said?  I’m not stupid, I took her up on the offer.

Elderberry Syrup from South of the Fork. Isn't it pretty?

After a few doses of Patty’s Elderberry Syrup, His Majesty was noticeably less stuffy, and on the 5th day, even after a full morning of outside play, he did not show any respiratory symptom at all.

The more that I think about it, the more instances of effective homeopathy I can recall. My “work husband” suffered terrible arthritis in his knees that was successfully managed for several years with glucosamine chondroitin, thereby avoiding steroid injections and hefty doses of NSAIDS, which can be hard on the gut.  Fish oil is now a staple recommendation in the  promotion of a healthy heart.  We have long known the benefit of B Vitamins in providing energy and aiding the metabolism (you know those “12 hour energy shots?  That’s what those are.  Take a B vitamin at night and try to go to sleep, and see if you don’t believe me…).  Ginger is useful in treating nausea (perhaps that is why your mother used to give you Ginger Ale when you were sick as a child).  Fenugreek can be used to aid in lactation, lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar.  I knew another man through work who, following a terminal cancer diagnosis with the grim prognosis of mere months to live, actually lived for several years, a blessing he attributed to “magic shiitake mushrooms“.  I bet if you really thought about it, you’d be able to come up with several instances of homeopathy at work in your friends and family.

Natural remedies and Western Medicine are not as far apart as you might think.  Aspirin, the “miracle drug”, was originally derived from the bark of the willow tree.  Antibiotics were first discovered in mold.  Warfarin, a popular anticoagulant, is based on a chemical naturally found in clover.  Digoxin, a powerful cardiac drug, is derived from the Foxglove plant.  Modern medicine is often based on some compound that is found naturally.   Science often takes its inspiration straight from God.  It is my belief that the two can not be wholly separated.

I’m not saying that they will work for everyone or for every problem, and herbs and homeopathic remedies can have their own side effects, especially if you go rogue and make up your own regimens without knowing what you’re doing.  Know that I’m not making any medical or treatment recommendations, PERIOD, that’s what you need to see your own health care provider for.  But I am saying that if you are at your wits end about what to do about a certain condition or ailment, don’t discount asking your provider about alternative therapies that may be available.

I should add an extra caution to you that because many natural remedies and herbal preparations are not held to a standard manufacturing quality or recipe, you should be cautious of where you get your products, especially if you don’t have a Patty in your life.  As with most things, cheaper isn’t always better, and if you are seeking herbal remedies, find yourself a trusted provider.  Just like Western Medicine, when you’re looking for advice on health, wellness, or disease, you should find a someone that you are comfortable with, someone that knows their stuff.  Don’t just head to any local vitamin place and pick up elderberry syrup, simply because it’s the closest store to your home that happens to sell it.  Actually talk to the staff, and find out where they get their products.  Then do your research, and come back and ask more questions. You should do this when it comes to your healthcare anyway, regardless of whether you are seeking alternative medicine or not.  It’s YOUR health. It’s YOUR body.  It’s in YOUR best interest.  No one should be expected to look out for you more than you look out for yourself.

Do you have any homeopathic or home remedies that you swear by?  Anything that your mom or grandparent passed along to you that perhaps you don’t completely understand, but you know it to be effective?  If we don’t pass these things along, they disappear when we do…

Creating a Memory Jar

Standard

The beginning of the year seemed like a great time for us to try out an idea that I’m hoping will become a family tradition.  I got the idea when I pinned this image from Inchmark: a jar for collecting the many funny things that children say.

Image from Inchmark.

I didn’t have to go out and buy anything for this project, I just took an empty glass jar that I got a few months ago at Hobby Lobby for under $5, and then I asked my husband to make a label for it.

Then, after that, we started randomly writing on some small Post-it notes that have been hanging around in my junk drawer for years.  We’ll likely take a cue from Inchmark and start using scrap paper when the Post-its run out, since it seems like a pretty good way to reuse the flaps on envelopes.   We did add a small twist of our own, in that we are not only writing down funny things that the kids say, but also funny moments that we share.  Then, on New Year’s Eve 2012, we’ll read them together, and hopefully have some laughs remembering the year that passed.  It’s just a simple way to try to remember the little moments that fill our days.

So far, we’ve got a handful of entries.  Christopher wrote about how when we went to get His Majesty from his crib on New Year’s Day, we saw that he’d managed to remove his pajama top, which made us laugh, since we were greeted with a view of his chubby, round tummy.   Is there a better way to be greeted in the morning than by a chubby topless toddler wearing an ear to ear grin?  I tell you, the boy can be so cute, it’s unreal.  I wrote about how when my husband told Christopher to put on a “play jacket” instead of his new jacket, Christopher’s response was “This fabric doesn’t get grass stained”, with his expression as serious as if he had personally performed qualitative analysis on the fabric, at which point my husband and I cracked up laughing.  Christopher wrote about walking in on a goofy dance I was doing in the kitchen while cleaning the cupboards. I’m sure there will be many more funny moments and quotes to keep track of.

You can expand on this idea by doing your own vacation keepsake memory jars, like this idea from The Inspired Room (P.S. Have you SEEN Melissa’s site, The Inspired Room?  It is an amazing resource full of ideas on how to create an “authentic” home, not just something that looks pretty but lacks character and functionality.  Check it out, but be sure you have some time to spare… I could easily kill a few hours over there).

You can fill the jars with shells, post cards, a favorite photo, magnets, keychains, sand, whatever you collect during your adventures, label them with dates and locations, and then display then in your home or office.  I think this is a really fun idea, full of character, and great conversation pieces.  I only wish I had remembered this idea in time to try it on our vacation last month. Oh, well, there’s always next time.

Do you have any new traditions that you’re trying out?  Any old traditions that you’re continuing?  I’d love to hear about them…

The Kids’ Table

Standard

Growing up, Thanksgiving on my Mom’s side was at my Grandparents’ house.  My brother, two cousins and I sat at the “kids’ table”, which was basically just a little folding card table that my sweet Grandma always covered with a festive tablecloth.  I loved the kids’ table.  It gave my cousins, my brother, and me a chance to hang out, chat and tease one another, while the adults in the family got to have actual real adult conversation (which I never understood the scarcity of until I had children of my own).  The kids’ table was a tradition that I thought was unique to my own family, until I got a little older and realized that many families used the kids’ table as a solution to the holiday seating dilemma.  Even though my family wasn’t “special” in our tradition of the kids’ table, I still smile when I think of the four of us sitting at that little card table (which I’m sure my Grandma still owns, and maintains in pristine condition, somewhere in her house).

It is a tradition that I’ll continue when I host this year’s Thanksgiving, and I pinned some ideas on activities to use for the kids’ table.  My board has a meager sampling of the things that you can do to occupy your kids while you put the finishing touches on the meal, or try to steal a few moments of those treasured real adult conversations, and there are many other great ideas out there.  I already decided that I’d print Thanksgiving coloring sheets and leave some crayons out, and this site has plenty to offer in that regard, but I wanted something else.  I thought about doing these napkin rings, but I didn’t want to have to sort through pictures, plus, while really cute, they wouldn’t do anything to keep the kids occupied. And then I found this idea. I think it is going to be a great way to help our kids focus on some of their many blessings, while also keeping them busy doing something creative.  Doesn’t it look like fun?

Thankful Turkey from Parents.com

I was given the incentive to start this craft by accident.  Contractors had taken over our home trying to complete items on the “one year punch list” for our not-s0-new-anymore home.  That said, I was displaced from doing anything of value, which gave me the perfect excuse to craft, but also took away my access to my computer, which was buried under (drywall dust covered) plastic.  Not wanting to disturb the contractors, I went outside onto the back porch, taking my brown yarn and two foam spheres (one larger than the other, to use as a head and a body for the turkey) with me, and trying to figure out how to make this guy without the benefit of directions.

I started wrapping the brown yarn around the foam spheres, one at a time, gluing it in place whenever I felt like it needed some securing.

Change directions to cover the entire sphere.

And just keep wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…

Keep wrapping until you get both of the sphere’s completely covered in yarn.

Luckily, this craft was pretty easily amenable to my own methods, however, this is the point when I realized that access to the original instructions would have been especially helpful.  As I admired my yarn covered spheres, the thought suddenly occurred to me that my round bodied turkey would not stand up on his own.  Oops.  Funny how something so simple can slip your mind, isn’t it? (Don’t worry, I figured out how to make my turkey stand up, you’ll see 🙂 )  Anyway, after the contractors were gone for the day, I went back to read the source’s recommendation that you cut a sliver off of the larger foam covered sphere to flatten it out and make it more stable (obviously doing so BEFORE you start wrapping the spheres in yarn).  That knowledge was no help to me at that point, but it will hopefully be helpful to you.

After the spheres were wrapped, a few days past until I was able to get back to this craft.  Which gave me time to figure out two things.  1) How was I going to secure the head to the body (The source blog says to use a tongue depressor, but I don’t have one of them, nor do I have any popsicles in the house, and I certainly wasn’t running out to the store in the frenzied Thanksgiving week crowds to buy any), and 2) How was I going to get my turkey to stand up?

The former was accomplished by using toothpicks and hot glue to hold the little ball in place as the head.  It took a few toothpicks, to hold it steady, and then I glued around the contact area to increase the liklihood that it would stay in place. We’ll see how it holds up the the kids, but it feels sturdy now.

Then, I got out my card paper scraps.  This activity is a great way to use up any scrap paper that you have lying around, and I didn’t have to cut a single new piece of paper.  I fixed the second problem by making Mr. Turkey a stand out of two strips of scrap paper that I stapled together in a circle.  His “body” fits right onto the ring of paper that serves as a base.  Problem solved.

I used two buttons as eyes, and cut out Mr. Turkey’s beak and red hangy neck thingee (Which, thanks to a quick Google search, I have come to learn is actually called a wattle.  Google is my proof that there isn’t a silly question that I can come up with that numerous other people haven’t also wondered about.).  There was nothing precise about this, I used buttons that came from a hotel sewing kit, and cut some scraps of orange and red paper, bending the ends to give me an edge to glue, and then applied pressure while the glue dried.

Here's Mr. Turkey with his face, standing up on his circular stand. It's all coming together...

Then, I picked out paper scraps that were large enough to use for feathers.

I picked a variety of colors, and cut out feathers using the first one that I cut as a template for the rest of them.  It certainly wasn’t rocket science, so they aren’t exactly the same size, but I’m pretty sure the kids won’t mind. See all of the pretty colors?

I hot glued toothpicks onto each feather, leaving about 1/2 of the toothpick on the feather and the other half sticking out to use to secure it to the turkey’s body. After waiting for them to dry, I arranged them on the back of the turkey’s body, and set him on his stand.

And here he is from the back:

Tah-Dah!!  The kids’ table Turkey Topper.  His Majesty is absolutely enthralled with this thing, and is actively planning an attack on it, but in the event that Mr. Turkey survives until Thanksgiving dinner, the kids can use crayons to write down things that they are thankful for on each of the feathers, and then stick the feathers back on the body of the Turkey to display.  I might even write down a few things that I am thankful for to help get them started.

Do you have a kids’ table?  Are you doing anything special to occupy the kids in the hours before you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast?  I’d love to hear your (p)inspiring ideas!